4 November 2011

November ABS Art Bead Scene Challenge

Love this months challenge and luckily I had been working on beads and components that fit this months challenge perfectly.  I put this piece together using some lampwork I bought from Etsy and then everything else is my own creation.  

The polymer beads are quite large, approx 25mm and are of a marbled appearance made from scrap clay. I paired these with some handmade bead caps that I cut from brass sheet metal, textured and antiqued and then shaped to fit the beads. 

The cuff was cut from brass sheet metal, decorated with a leaf pattern and then etched and antiqued and shaped into a cuff. 

I then forged the hook and toggle from solid brass and put everything together. 

17 September 2011

Bead Soup Reveal!!

I got paired with the lovely Nancy from SnazzyDoodleDesigns which I was very pleased about as she makes her own lampwork and enamel beads...two things that I would dearly love to learn how to do! 

Considering my swap partner was in the USA and I'm in the UK, my goodies arrived very quickly!! 
I was delighted with my soup, especially the colours and the fabulous focals that Nancy made herself and the set of lampwork beads too. 

I managed to make 3 pieces with my soup but still have 2 of the three fabulous enamel beads that will be going into my personal stash of beads. 
The first piece is a necklace that I combined with Lorelei's Shadowbox Challenge in my previous post. 
I used Nancy's lampwork and the smaller enamel bead for this piece combined with a lot of the accent beads she sent me.  I paired it with sari ribbon and silver metal. 

14 September 2011

Lovely Goodies!!

Treated myself to some Kristi Bowman @ Dreamsome components last week. I have been drooling for far too long!!

Now what to make with them!!  I'm saving the paisleys for a Christmas present for a family member but the others shall be made into earrings for my shop.

I'm seeing purples and lilacs, maybe some spicy colours...not sure yet.  Am just about to make some ear wires for them and I'll see where I go from there.

17 August 2011

Bead Soup Partner & Swap

I haven't blogged a loooong time *hangs head in shame*.  I've had a lot going on and a big upheaval at home in that I'm now single...but happy. Big change though and so my mind hasn't really been in the right frame for creating...the cogs are slowly turning again now though, especially with a kick up the arse in the form of bead soup!! 

Firstly I'll introduce my lovely partner that I was paired with and then we'll get on to the fab beads I was sent!

Nancy from Snazzy Doodle Designs makes the cutest lampwork beads! Check them out at her Etsy Shop and swing by her relatively new and shiny blog for more info.

29 June 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

A few clay experiments today. I find playing around with clay quite therapeutic, which is what I need today. Have a few bits on my mind and a house full of workmen fitting new double glazing to the back of my house.
So much noise!

Today I am very thankful for wonderful friends and am looking forward to moving on with my life, wherever that may take me.

Anyway...the beads!

28 June 2011

Art Bead Scene June Challenge - Ophelia

I really loved this months piece of art. Ophelia by Odilon Redon is a wonderful summarisation of the fate of Ophelia. You can feel the sorrow eminating from the art work amongst the wonderful splashes of colour. 
When I first saw it I immediately read up on the story of Hamlet.  I read it once when I was younger in school but could only remember bits so I wanted to have some snippets fresh in my mind for creating the necklace. 

I sometimes have to force myself away from bracelets. They're my favourite thing to make but I knew I wanted to include a phrase from the play and stamp it into the metal...that called for a necklace.

"Some precious instance of itself" are my favourite words from the play. They are so poetical and meaningful. 

“Nature is fine in love, and where 't is fine, It sends some precious instance of itself After the thing it loves.” ~ William Shakespeare

So, the finished piece!

And some detail for you...

It started to rain as I was taking the pictures.  I love how the water droplets look on the brass plate so I didn't wipe it dry. 

Polymer focal by me
Vintaj brass wire
Blue "pond" Czech rondelles
Patinated verdegris brass flourishes
Teeny green and blue czech rondelles
Toho seed
Black polymer bead by me
Large yellow Czech nuggets
Blue patinated brass flower
Brass chain
Brass plate cut and stamped by me
Blue sari silk
Blue ceramic bead by Gaea
Brass clasp & large jump rings by me

25 June 2011

ABS Muffin Tin Challenge

Have been super busy this week but did manage to start the Art Bead Scene muffin tin challenge!  It's too late to start it now really unless you can do it all tomorrow and get entered before the deadline on Monday.

I've finished 7 pieces and am going to do the other 5 tomorrow whilst I have the house to myself. Took me a while to get organised but I got together a couple of things that were half finished and the...

14 June 2011

Not blogged for a while!

Haven't had much of a chance to get stuck into jewellery and beads until this last week or so. Having trouble getting some time by myself, which I need desperately! So lots of half finish projects that I've been trying to get finished up a wee bit.

I've half finished a necklace for my mums birthday. Not sure if she'll like it so if she doesn't then I'll put it in my shop and make her something else. Will show that off after...

25 May 2011

Art Bead Scene May Challenge

This has been in the making since the very beginning of the month but just could not get around to finishing it until today.  I've been quite ill for the last week and before that I was busy with non jewellery related stuffs so have been itching to get stuck...

6 May 2011

New Bits & Bobs

Been busy experimenting this week. Made a few new canes and a tutorial for my etsy shop. I was really pleased with how my stripey

28 April 2011

My First Etsy Sale

So I made my first Etsy sale yesterday! I received a custom order for some polymer clay beads...very similar to what I already had listed but a larger size and hollow. The lady is from New Mexico!
It blows my mind that someone on the other side of the world will be using my beads in their jewellery!! I can't wait to see what she makes with them, how exciting!!

Been a busy bee this week as I received my large order of alcohol ink and have been playing with them. Also made some connectors, some purple beads and tiles and a few other bits I shall blog about once I take some photographs.

23 April 2011


I've been slightly addicted to Etsy for a long time now so I took the plunge, opened up a new selling account so I could use my "Grubbi" name and started listing last night.

It's such a time consuming experience! Probably why I've never actually had a serious pop at setting up a shop before.

As I may have mentioned in the past...I kind of flit from one project to the next and rarely actually sit down and finish anything in a timely fashion. So being organised enough to get a few bits together, presentable, photographed, edited, measured, described and uploaded...sheesh, what a long winded, slightly boring experience! I'd much rather be kneading clay or something a tad more creative.

Still, I've had a lot of likes and even been added to someones treasury...all in two days! Pretty pleased with that! Not bad for an English gal in a mainly US pond...and what a hugeeee pond it is!

Anyhooo, my etsy is linked to now on my blog and my Flickr...I ship worldwide too :D

9 April 2011

Art Bead Scene April

ABS April Challenge

Have been loving the ABS challenge each month but have never got around to entering before. I like making my own components and beads rather than using everything bought in but when something comes up that I want to do, I start it but never finish. I may make beads one day and plan to do the components the next but it never quite works out that way.

I keep getting "creators block", I guess that's kinda like writers block but without the text. :p
Am finding it quite difficult to get around to actually completing a piece at the mo as the house is up the wall...every room has been replastered, just had a new kitchen fitted and as a result I'm trying too hard to ignore the mess and not stress about it and so have just been doing the odd thing here and there rather than planning pieces out.

I did love this months ABS challenge though...particularly as I'd just finished a piece with similar colours last week and so still had my project pots overflowing with yellows, golds, pinks and oranges...I also just had some fab texture sheets arrive that I wanted to try out.

I had the components in mind first and liked the little circles textured and patina'd but wasn't sure what to do with them. I initially had them in mind for connectors but decided to link in a "chain" manner to add something interesting to the brass plate area.

All components are solid brass and hand made by me as is the polymer focal. The other beads are coral, czech glass, Swarovski crystal and a yellow polymer round made by me. All brass has been textured and antiqued and some patina'd. It's finished with a little piece of saffron sari silk.

20 March 2011

A Commission Piece

This took me a couple of days to put together. My mum commissioned a piece for a ball that she is going to next week. She told me the type of thing she wanted and the colours and picked out a few beads that she would like included which gave me something to "go on". She ended up with matching earrings too. Alot of the piece is completely handmade but some things are of course, bought in.

The clasp is handmade by me, solid brass wire (18G) which has been antiqued and polished to make it shine. Attached to that is some bog standard antique brass chain with little pieces of Louise Harding sari ribbon tied on, which I just love!
Going down the right hand side are some czech glass beads and toho seeds and then a large brass calalily which has been antiqued and had holes punched into it so I could attach jumprings. On the left hand side is 3 rows of seed beads and Czech glass. Both sides are accompanied with deep pink, frayed, sari silk ribbons.

The centre piece is cut from brass sheet metal, filed for smoothness and hammered with a texture hammer and then antiqued. I added holes with a hole punch around the edges so I could attach the necklace and the things dangling. The centre looked a bit too bare with all the frivality of the adjacent adornments so I added a piece of stamped and painted polymer clay with some strong glue.

The danglys are a mixture of handmade polymer clay beads and czech beads with a few various things thrown in...a Japanese Henshi bead, a cream acrylic bead with gold highlights...a russian doll bead in porcelain, a brass bird frame with Swarovski dangles...The cream stamped beads, the klimt style pink disk and the purple swirl on the brass frame are all polymer clay, handmade by me.

I wanted to create something fun and whimsical with lots going on...something quite playful. I'm really pleased with how it turned out :D

13 March 2011


Need coffee!

Anyway...been messing about with sculpting, stamps and mould (or is it mold?) making and come up with a few beads which I quite like the look of.

There's a bee, starfish, dragonfly, leaf, owl and goddess...once I've made moulds from them I'll be able to reproduce much easier. Am gonna use white clay and acrylics to finish them, so hopefully will have some finished beads next week to show you...these are just tests made from scrap clay.

12 March 2011


Had a bit of a mishmash of a day. Started out planning to try out my new texture hammer on some sheet metal and ended up making earwires, antiquing some brass wire and taking photos. Not the day I had in mind but kinda productive.

Was a little nervous to antique the brass...the instructions that come with the antiquing solution made it sound like something out of a science lab...a bit intimidating but I just mixed a little of the solution in with some water and the brass and copper antiqued almost immediately...easy and a relief!

Anyway, I like the earwires I made, they're quite cute and I made some tiny weeny ones for a little girls earrings...awww!

Set up my little light tent and got my gorilla pod and flashes out to try my hand at taking some half decent pictures. Having a fine time with the camera and all it's multitudes of settings...it's hard finding the right balance for enough light. Will have to try sunlight more often, might be a little easier.

Have attached a few pics from my last few days of makes that I haven't blogged. I finished off my stamped beads with acrylics in white and brown. I love the white ones in actual life but they don't look too good on camera...the brown and aqua however, love! Am farting hearts over those! Love my leafy focal too...wrapped it with brass wire but not sure what to do with it yet. Also made some new canes for some spring/summer beads, they'll look cute on some rounds and lentils with co-ordinating spacers.

5 March 2011

New Beads!

Messed around with some polymer yesterday and did some colour mixing. Made a few beads I'm pretty happy with and then finished them off today along with some others I had lying around, waiting to be sanded.

I used to hate sanding beads with a passion but don't find it too bad any more. I get myself comfy at my desk, throw on some music (normally something quite upbeat to bop to) and then get my sanding set up ready. Just some sanding pads, a bowl of warm water and a towel and we're away...Ooo coffee, forgot coffee, mustn't forget coffee!!

I had quite the pile today but worked through them listening to Rihanna's "LOUD" album. Have just finished varnishing the last of them and they're drying on my make shift bead rack as I type.

Will take some better piccys tomorrow but you get the idea from the ones I've posted now.
I'm getting quite the collection of beads now, will have to actually put them into pieces of jewellery next!

4 March 2011

Birthday Bracelet

My nans birthday was fast approaching last week and I decided to make her something. She lives by the sea and loves it so I thought instantly of blue and using some sea glass.
I had a dig around in my bead boxes and found a lovely lampwork focal with blues and greens and a shell type pattern on it so decided to use that and the sea glass and some chalcedony.

I'd settled on using some aged brass chain and wire but couldn't decide on a clasp. I have a lot of handmade brass clasps and toggles but non very easy to use so in the end decided on a magnetic clasp as it would be easier for my nan to manage.

The blues weren't popping enough so I had a nose through my handmade polymer beads and pendants to add a little personal touch. I'd finished a batch of polymer clay beads the week before and was instantly drawn to the bright orange shiny spirals on the tab I used. To tie it all together I added some hurricane rondelles as dangles in blue, green and orange.

In the end I loved the bracelet and didn't think it was very apt for an elderly lady so I gave her a necklace I made and kept the bracelet for myself. I had it about a day before my Aunt begged it off me! Never mind...I have similar focals so will make myself another!

2 March 2011

My First Post!

After faffing around for a long, long time...I finally decided to get a little more organised with regards to my jewellery, bead and component making.

I started off making a very simple pair of earrings with some beadalon thread and some seed beads. They turned out well enough but were just the same as a lot of earrings on the likes of Ebay, cheap and unoriginal. BUT I found a love for beads! I adore them, can't get enough of them and quite frequently refuse to part with ones I fall in love with!

I've gone through phases of loving gemstones, lampwork, polymer but I've settled with Czech glass...I love it! Especially the picasso finishes...divine!

So I love to use beads as accents in my work but my main areas of focus lie with making my own beads and pendants out of polymer clay and I have also recently starting metal forging, soldering, using patinas. I love base metals and work predominantly with brass and copper.
Whilst sterling is beautiful, it's expensive, plus I really love the rustic and primitive feel that you get from brass and copper, they're more earthy and natural looking.

My work is kinda all over the place at the moment. I'm interested in so many media types and techniques...I think I get bored easily and so I'm probably spreading my interests too wide instead of concentrating on becoming great at one thing.

At the moment it's polymer, metal forging, metal stamping and then jewellery making in general.

I LOVE rustic looking pieces...stuff that looks a bit dirty, or as us English folk would say; a bit "grubby"...hence my name "Grubbi".
Patina is a fabulous way of aging metal...and the mixture of polymer clay, acrylic paints and patina'd metal...ooo to die for!
I love working my components, jewellery and beads around nature...leaves, flowers, animals. Sometimes I go a bit nuts with colour, sometimes very subtle hues, sometimes quite mainstream, sometimes a bit girly...I'm a gemini, what can I say!

Anyway...I hope to gain some followers and find some like minded folks to follow, hopefully I'll update soon with my next project.