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.