Wednesday, 30 October 2013

DAY 30 Blogtoberfest 2013

As Blogtoberfest draws to an end I do apologies for not getting around to visiting more of other bloggers also joining in, I still hope to try and visit some on the list but not until after Saturday when my workshop is over!

I have visited some of the Craft Pimp forum members but not as much as I would have liked.  Sorry guys I will try to improve!!

So tomorrow will be the Big Halloween preparation!  Billie has plans sorted and costumes organised.  Popped down the shops to get some last minute bits and pieces for the costume, so will be taking pics when she is all ready to go!!


Have a spooktastic time!!

E x

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Top Tip Tuesday ~ Working with Wire

Working with Wire

What you need to know about working with wire!

Here is the first in my new series of Working with Wire.  It will include Top Tips on Tools and Wire Gauges ~ What to use & when and how to use it.

Top Tips    ~~  Stretching/Strengthening Wire

Before starting to work with wire it needs to be stretched or straightened, this strengthens and hardens it slightly, it also takes out a lot of the bends and light kinks it may have.

To stretch the wire, depending on the gauge -I will base it on 0.8mm (20g) wire, a pair of nylon coated jawed pliers are invaluable but you can use your own fingers (which is what I did for a number of years before getting my first pair of pliers).

Place the wire between the jaws of the pliers, starting nearest your hand, squeeze pliers and pull along the full length of your wire as far as your arms reach will allow. Now move the pliers to that position and carry on until the end of the wire. Repeat this action 2 or 3 times.

NB:  It is advisable to use around a 1m to 1.5m length of wire if you are using it for wrapping or coiling, if you use longer than this it is more likely to get tangled and kinked, plus can become difficult to handle and a possible chance of injury!

Wire makes a wonderful whipping noise through the air while working with it ~~ Love the sound but eye protection is necessary! 


Top Tips  ~~ Hammering Wire

When you have made your item, say for instance, a clasp/hook with a loop to connect a bracelet or necklace, you will need to strengthen it to stop it from bending or distorting.  Hammering the item will give it stability and strengthen it to stop it from doing this.

There are a couple of ways of hammering wire, it will depend on your chosen effect of the finished look to the piece!

Firstly, you have to decide if you would like a flattened look or a rounded look to your wire item:

Flatten Look ~ you can use a ball pein hammer on a steel block hitting the wire many times on the circular area of the clasp/hook or loop. You will also get hammering marks appearing which gives a slightly faceted look to the piece, this can enhance the feel of the piece and give it a more rustic effect.

NB:  Do not hit any wire areas where they cross over each other!

If you have a chasing hammer and prefer a much smoother feel to the piece then because of the lovely smooth, domed head of the hammer, it will not facet the item as much as the Ball Pein hammer. You can also use the round (ball end) head of the chasing hammer, this will leave slight indents in the wire and give a different type of finish altogether, to the wire.

Rounded Look ~ if you prefer to leave the wire in its natural rounded shape then the Rawhide Mallet is the hammer to use or a rubber mallet if you have one!  This hammer should not leave any marks on the wire or flatten it but it will still strengthen it.

Hope this is helpful.

Please comment if you would like any further advice!

I will come back when I have some photos to add, I couldn't find the photos I thought I had for this posting.

Next time ~ will be on Wire Gauges and when to use them.


E x

Monday, 28 October 2013

Day 28 Blogtoberfest

I haven't been quite as good in the latter stages of Blogtoberfest 2013 but I have been all over the place, doing many things at once and as usually not getting......... anywhere FAST!!!

So I am just going to put together what I can, which isn't much as I haven't taken many photos to show of my work!

Well as I said in my last post, Billie (DD) went off to Comic Con on Saturday with hubbie and friends and had a great time. Got the tickets beforehand and went up to London earlier this time which made things so much easier and quicker to get in.  She went dressed as Grell again (he is a Manga character from the Black Butler Japanese comic books)

This is from our trip in May but this time with flatter boots on, as last time she spent most of the time walking around in her socks as these killed her feet!!  Matt did not go dressed up this time nor did her boyfriend Aaron.  But Aaron had a great time as he had a shopping list from his brother and his own list of manga books to buy as well.

Good day was had by all!


I. on the other hand, went off to my Bead Group over in Leighton Buzzard which is one of the next towns near me!  I hadn't been for months and really enjoyed seeing my Bead Buddies again!

Got some wire weaving going as I really want a copper bangle to wear as it really seems to help my wrist.  I broke my wrist when I was really little about 14 months old, I even learnt to walk with my plaster cast on, never had any troubles with it all my life up until NOW!!  When I wear something with copper in it, it just seems to help take out the ache I get in it! I haven't taken any photos yet, will do when it is done!  80))

I am also getting prepped for my 'Wirework for Beginners' workshop which is coming up fast on this Saturday 2nd November.  I am having to re-write some of the things I need, with a corrupted disc I have lost a lot of valuable documents and photos stored on it!  Very time consuming but I am only doing re-writes as I need them, plus I have now changed my logos as I have altered my business name for my jewellery/tutoring to ChatElaine Creations like my Etsy store for my Jewellery now.  

I am still ChatElaine Glass Art for my beads, so this means new stationery for everything.  I still need to do new business cards yet but that's a bit annoying too as I had 500 made from Vistaprint with my old website address on, which I closed down at the end of last year, so they are now defuncted too!!! 

Oh What JOY!!

So must get cracking on my long list of paperwork to do!!!!!

I have been thinking of getting a new Wirework series going so hopefully will have something for you soon!

Toodleoo for now

E x

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thursday Thriller DAY 24 ~~ Scary Make-up

I just love finding some of the fab make-up effects on Pinterest for Halloween.  Here are some of the scariest I could muster but they are excellent work though!!


Wicked effects!  I just love Halloween and so does my daughter who just needs to dress up in any costume she possibly can.

Talking about costumes and dressing up ~~~  well Comic Con is upon us once again!!

I have decided not to go this year but my hubbie is going this time so he has to be responsible for them all getting there, as she is taking her friends too including her boyfriend.  It is held twice a year and she went back in May and wore her Grell costume and so decided not to make a new one and is wearing it again this time.  So Saturday they're off to London to the Excel

So hope you will SLEEP WELL!!

E x

Monday, 21 October 2013

Blogtoberfest DAY 21

Oh dear dear me!! 

I have failed to keep up on my Blogtoberfest every day posting!!    Slappy Handy!!

Days just seem to be whizzing by and I haven't been around to organise what I wanted to post about!

I really am going to have to play catch up now but not necessarily in the order of my original schedule!  I am not good a time keeping so why I thought I could keep to a schedule I really don't know!!!  Ha ha!!

So Saturday Snippets

I headed off to the Big Bead Show at Sandown Park in Esher, Bead Magazine's Bead Show and their British Bead Awards, the winners where announced and Best in Show voting by the Bead Show attendees, I placed my vote but I didn't win any giveaway prizes though!

I did, however, get a bit carried away and my 'flexible friend' suffered a bit!

Tools were on the list amongst other things ~~ wire mainly but I did need that for my workshop which I might add is looming up fast on the 2nd November.  I have some students booked on it so its a Goer, YAY!   Need to make sure I have the necessary wire for that.

Well back to the TOOLS!

Top of my list was Letter Stamps for metal. TICK got those!  You might see my endeavours in the future.

New pair of wire cutters.  TICK got those with orange handles no less!

Pin vice, TICK.  Another pair of Nylon coated pliers, TICK got those!  Digital Calipers, TICK. And a Center Punch, TICK to them all! 

I did get a few beady things which included some solder paste and some st. silver beads and bead caps from Palmer Metals.  Gosh won't I be a busy beader!!! Whoahoo!!!!

I didn't get the wire as the supplier wasn't at the show so will need to order that on line, but I think I did quite well!  80))

And it was also my Wedding Anniversary so a lovely Chinese Takeaway for Tea!! Yum yum!

Next ~ The Sunday Gathering

I have got a few new beads to show you along with some new headpins which I have listed in my Etsy store



Jumbo Chatelle Beads

Leaves Headpins on copper wire

Sea Urchin Buttons and beads 

Just as few new things.

I do need to do some forum bits and bobs but will pop back to do that when I have sorted it out.

That's about it for now

E x


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Top Tip Tuesday ~~ Design Tips Part 2 -- Interpretation




In this second part of my Design Tips I will cover Interpretation and how to use your ideas for a design.  

When you get ideas for designs I find it best to keep them together for ease of access to the information you need.  I have found a ‘Diary’ to be valuable for writing down ideas for colour combinations, designs and even how I could execute designs onto a bead or in a piece of jewellery.  It is simply a notebook or sketchbook where all your ideas go when you have that ‘light bulb’ moment! 

They can strike at the most inconvenient time when you’re going to bed, on the loo (hee hee!) and of course when you are out of the house ~ at the office, in the park with the kids, now I was going to say ‘up a mountain’ but that is much more difficult to get onto paper and you could just plain lose that one I’m afraid, especially if you are hanging from a rope!!!!

But, then again, you may remember it when you come down off the mountain or you could, of course, have seen something which you may be able to take a picture of to remind you again later! 

A camera is another invaluable tool for a designer!!  Oh Yes! We don’t just need it for taking pictures of our work, that’s for sure, so remember to carry it with you at all times!  Don’t forget your Diary too!  Choose one that is not difficult to carry around with you, size wise that is, an A5 or even A6 would be very adequate.  I have to say I have a number of different types of Diary of varying sizes, some are notebooks and others are sketchbooks depending on what I need it for.

When I want to make some jewellery for myself or maybe even a commission, for instance, I would start by working out what colours I need for the particular outfit I need to compliment.  I need to determine what style I want for it ie. long, short, pendant, chain linked, simply strung, etc.  I then need to decide on the right amount of beads I will need to produce it, along with the colour combinations, patterns including what type of metals especially if I want chain included in the design and what would best suit the colours I have chosen as well as the shapes and sizes of the beads, what they are made from and then how they will be laid out!

Oh Yay, we are DESIGNING!!!

I know I make my own beads which means I can produce what I need for my item of jewellery, I realise not everyone can do this but it is then a matter of finding what beads you want to produce your piece of jewellery and purchase them from either a supplier or even a lampworker (like myself) whose style of beads you love and maybe even commission a set in your required colours.

Here is a commission I made for a friend, she wanted something simple and ended up picking out the focal bead I had previously made and so after making a few more beads in the same glass and some metal spacer beads, VOILA!

Star Bracelet

In my ‘Camouflage Mayhem’ range of beads, I made a set in an orange and brown colourway which were called ‘Tortoiseshell Flies’ maybe a bit of an odd name for a set of beads, I hear you say!! Well maybe your not saying that but I will explain a little of why I gave this range such an unusual title!

My Camouflage Mayhem range came about when I was trying out a new glass from CIM (Creation is Messy) ~ what a great name for a glass range/company, eh!!  and it is one of my favourite types of glass to use.  It was a green glass named ‘Commando’, dark green resembling an army camouflage colour.  Well this colour has some qualities that can come with some greens in the many glass ranges, it can be reactive with certain colour combinations, ~~ ivory being a great example.  So I did, I used ivory with the Commando and ‘Hey Presto’ I ended up with a dark webbed ring around the dots I placed with the ivory, onto the green. I then stacked more irregular dots and some of them reminded me of the actual uniforms that the military wear ~~ hence my new range was born!!!

GI Jane

My first set of beads In the Camouflage Mayhem range

I started to jot down other ideas in my Diary notebook, of colours that I could use to replicate different camouflage colours. Then a ‘light bulb’ moment struck me, Animals!  I could use their colours to inspire me in this range, as they use Camouflage to disguise themselves in the wild, birds, insects even marine life were all possible inspiration and open to interpretation in many different ways.

Now, have you worked out where the ‘Tortoiseshell’ comes from for my Tortoiseshell Flies set.

I think you may have guessed it!  ~ Ha ha!! 


The Giant Tortoiseshell Butterfly to be precise. On visiting the local Whipsnade Zoo, where I had taken along my camera (don’t leave home without it!!)  they have a butterfly and insect garden and as I wandered around I captured some pictures of butterflies feeding on the flowers!  Unfortunately I have not got those photos anymore as my disc is corrupted sadly!  I have found a few on the net for you though!!

Gt. Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Tortoiseshell Flies Set

Peacock Butterfly
Look at those gorgeous colours, very similar to the Gt. Tortoiseshell
On my return I got out a book from my extensive “library” called The British Country Companion which has many species of butterflies, inspects, birds, etc. it has given me many ideas for colours for my Camouflage Mayhem range, what better way to interpret an idea than using wildlife or even nature to help guide you to endless possible design ideas.

Little Robin Red Breast


Here are some other colours I have used for the range and I will name them and leave the rest up to you to decide where they have come from!!

Funky Uniform

Blue Tweet Tweet

Pink Leopard 
Daffodils and Periwinkles
My Glass Diary is filling slowly with other ideas I have come up with along the way.
Dotty Socks & Ducky

Socky Dots Beads

Ducky Dots

I now want to show you a few things to get you started, to help you with your own ideas! And run with it!
Monet's Garden


Nature, Marine & Animal pictures

Sweets and Desserts

I hope this has helped a little with your interpretation of things around us in nature, animals and even some more unusual things too!


E x


Next Time I will cover:

Design Sources ~ what and where to find ideas and how to interpret them.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Movie Madness Monday -- DAY 14

I did it again tried to add this Youtube video from my phone and it doesn't work!!!

Lets see if it will work now.

25 funny scenes of Capt. Jack Sparrow
Pirates of the Caribbean


Must stop doing this sort of thing from my phone!!


E x

The Gathering -- DAY 13

This title is appropriate for the contents this week, I don't have any new items to show you as I have been busy like I said in my last posting and have not been to my torch for this week.  I am determined to change that for the coming week as there are lots of things I want to make.

What I have been doing, however, is visiting my OH family 'up north' as we say done south!  It was his Uncles 70 Birthday and his Aunt also celebrated her 65 back in August so they had a joint party held in Nuneaton about 1 and half hours away from us.

Terrible weather on the way up the M1 but well worth the trip, it was lovely to see them again and even meet some of the other family members, I in particular, have never met!  After losing both my in-laws this is the last remaining family on my husbands, fathers' side.

Mick with Margaret & George
Terrible photos still trying to work out how the camera works on my phone, I usually use my proper camera much better really but I forgot it, so best I could do!!!
The Cake
Best photo of the evening, the cake was really good, George's on the left which is his garden and Margaret's on the right she loves her holidays!!

And this is Billie with her boyfriend Aaron, aaaaawwwww!


Silly Children!!  STOP IT!

These ones I had the flash on and got glare from it very bad!!

Must get the better of it!

E x

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Running behind! DAY 12 ~~ Fire Walk of Courage Challenge (Craft Pimp Forum News)

I confess I am running behind with my Blogtoberfest blogging everyday challenge!! 

I have had a week of running around here, there and everywhere and so just wasn't able to fit blogging in so I am now playing catch up!

So to today from the Craft Pimp forum ~~

The Beads of Courage  ~ Fire Walk of Courage Challenge

At 7pm some brave people will be taking the fire walk challenge for the Beads of courage programme.  Some lovely lampworkers from the UK and Europe have been making pairs (or twins) of glass beads made from the colours that fire goes through
~  Black, Red, Orange and Yellow.

Each intrepid fire walker will carry a pair of these unique beads as they bravely walk the hot coals at the Selex Sports & Leisure Club, Gardiners Way Gardiners Lane, South Basildon.  One of the beads they will keep as a memento of the day and its twin will be given as a booster bead, along with a special message, to these very special children on the Beads of Courage program.

Some of the many beads that come from the lampworkers

By Stephanie Gough

By Carole Hughes

By Vic Tierney
By Laney Mead

By Jo Walker

And of course these were made by the lovely Jolene Woolfe of Kitzbitz Art Glass Blog who organises all these fabulous events for the programme. I have to confess to nicking these pics from her own blog post, I hope she won't mind!! 

Thank you Jo for all your great work

I am only sorry I couldn't get involved as I found out too late but I am sure I will get involved next year!!

See you again soon!  Promise!!!

E x

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Thriller Thursday ~~ DAY 10 (delayed) Creepy Scary or Fun Scary

Yes I have had a bit of delay posting this one but I couldn't miss it as Halloween is looming and I am having fun finding all the great stuff on Pinterest!  

So here are my picks of the week so far!!

Creepy or Fun Scary ~~~  You choose!!



Eye Earring

These would look so cool in the dark!

This one is definitely creepy even eerie!!!

As for this one ~~ its cool!!

Sleep well!!

E x