Friday, 28 November 2014

Pre - Christmas Sale - 25% Off....

If you're looking for some bargains while you're Christmas shopping I'm running pre-holiday sales in both my shops from 8am GMT Friday 28th November until 12 Midnight 1st December. Use coupon code SANTA25 when you check out and 25% (excluding shipping) will be deducted from your order automatically.

THEA elements
THEA jewellery

Happy shopping!


 

Lesley













































Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Beads Of Courage Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction...

 

Welcome - this is my second year of taking part in this Art Charm Exchange and Auction organised by the talented and indefatigable Jennifer Cameron in support of 'Beads of Courage' a charity providing innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.

The Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path. 


The premise of the exchange is that each participant makes 11 charms based on a given theme and sends them to Jen, who then sends each of us a collection of 10 charms including one of our own. The 11th charm goes up for auction for BOC and you can find details of the auction later in this post.

The theme for this year was 'Soar' and my immediate thoughts went to the song from the Children's classic film Mary Poppins since he seems to draw a parallel with these kids daily striving to rise above adversity...

Let's go fly  kite, up to the highest height,
Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring...
Up to the atmosphere, up where the air is clear
Oh let's go fly  kite....

I made from charms from bronze clay and engraved a heart on one side to represent courage, then painted them in the bright fun colours from the BOC logo and added a little brass dangle for the tail.

So those are my charms but what about the ones I was sent...? Well what a fabulous selection in all sorts of media and here they are...



You can find out more about the inspiration behind these charms and the others in the auction by visiting the makers blogs below. All participants will have a charm up for auction so If you'd like the opportunity to get your hands on one... including my design, while donating to a fantastic cause, you can take part in the auction here. You can buy each of the charms individually and the listings will be staggered so keep checking back for new ones!

Last year we raised just over $1500 dollars for the Beads of Courage project, so dig deep and let's see if we can't do better this year.!

Thank you

Lesley

Jennifer Cameron: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Alenka Obid: http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca
Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com
Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk
Cassi Paslick: http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
Cate van Alphen: http://fulgorine.wordpress.com
Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg: http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Auld: http://www.beadsforbusygals.com
Genevieve Gabbert: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Jami Shipp: http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com
Jenny Davies-Reazor: http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Jill Bradley: http://www.jillybeads.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak: http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Lennis Carrier: http://www.windbent.net
Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger: http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/
Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com
Nancy Dale: http://nedbeads.blogspot.com
Nancy Smith: http://wirednan.blogspot.ca
Niky Sayers: http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Perri Jackson: http://ShaktipajDesigns.com/blog/
Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com
Shai Williams: http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Sheila Prosterman: http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Susan Delaney: http://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com
Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Terri DelSignore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com
Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com
Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/



Saturday, 1 November 2014

AJE Compononent of the Month - October Reveal

Yes, it's that time of month again and for this months AJE COM challenge the components we got to work with were these gorgeous earthy fossil discs from Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio. These are right up my street and I chose a lovely chocolate/tan one in the middle of this image.


I wanted to give my design an old or tribal feel and knew I wanted to use leather. I had in mind to use a wire cocoon bead I made years ago and recently reclaimed from an old necklace but in the event it wasn't substantial enough to balance Karen's focal. So I started from scratch and made a new one in bronze wire and incorporated a wire bail to attach it.


I wanted to get a layered talisman effect so I added one of my bronze clam shell shards with some tiny seed bead dangles at the bottom.


I was originally going to keep it very simple and use a very thick piece of leather to suspend the focal from but I couldn't make up my mind on colour so I started playing around with mixing thinner pieces. I used some chunky rustic Czech glass beads to create this woven pattern and made wire wrapped cord ends and a clasp to finish it off.


And this is my finished piece - quite a design departure for me as I don't usually make short necklaces but it was necessary for this bold focal and I quite like the effect so I think there may be more to come...



Thank you for visiting today and I hope you'll join me and visit our guest bloggers and the restof the AJE team to see what they have designed with Karen's beads.

Lesley
Guest Designers


AJE Blog Team

Monday, 13 October 2014

And The Giveaway Winners Are...




Many thanks to everyone who has taken part in this giveaway and for everyone who has like and followed and shared the word...you are all awesome. I'm not going to keep you in suspense any longer and I'm delighted to announce that the winners are:


Main prize - Emily Smith

Anchors Away Inspiration packs - Sara Jo Wentling and Carol Briody


Congratulations ladies - I'll be in touch with you shortly to sort out the details.

Lesley

Friday, 10 October 2014

A Very Late Bead Fest Giveaway....

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

OK I know Bead Fest was weeks ago now but I did promised that when I got back I would give away some goodies. Well September kind of got away from me and snook out the back door and now here we are running headlong into October. Better late than never though especially when it comes to a giveaway and here's what's up for grabs...


 This little bundle of loveliness will be won by one lucky person and consists of:

Stoneware Queen Anne's Lace Pendant from me THEA elements
Stoneware leaf connector from me Thea elements
Pewter bird pendant from Green Girl Studios
Lampork headpins from Glass Addictions by Jen Cameron
Enamelled charm pair from Gardanne Beads.


The Green Girl pendant is double sided and has an Emily Dickinson quote on the back - how lovely is that...


I will also be giving away two "Anchors Away' inspiration packs kindly donated by Diana Ptasztnski of Suburban Girl Studios. The pack were designed by Erin Siegal for a bead cruise and feature one of Diana's ceramic anchor beads along with an anchor charm, seed beads and waxed linen.


To be in the running to win one of these prizes all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. But there are are lots of ways you can increase your chances of winning too... Do any of the following and leave an additional comment for each thing you do and you will get an extra entry for each one:
  • Sign up for my newsletter using the link in the sidebar of this blog.
  • Share this giveaway on your own blog.
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook pages, Google+, Twitter etc.
  • Become a new follower of 'The Gossiping Goddess' - see sidebar.
  • Become a follower of my Facebook page.
  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Like my Etsy shops THEA jewellery and THEA Elements.
  • Anything else of you can think of to spread the word.
Don't forget to leave a separate comment for each method to maximise your chances though!

The giveaway will close at 8pm BST (UK time) on Sunday 12th October 2014 and I will randomly select and announce the winners later in the day.


So good luck and I'll see you back here on Sunday.

Lesley

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

AJE Component of the Month - September Reveal....

Almost October already - how can that be? It seems like only yesterday I was planning my summer holidays and here we are charging headlong into autumn. So it is that I welcome you to another reveal for the AJE Component of the month challenge ( full details here) this month featuring these lovely copper pieces from Kristi Bowman which she calls goddess vessels.


The component I chose to work with was the white copper piece in the centre of the top row and I have to admit it did give cause me some headaches trying to come up with a design. For some reason I struggled for a while to find beads in a shape or colour that I felt worked well and then when I did find something I liked for a bracelet I didn't have enough beads to do what I wanted to - argh! At one point I got quite quite stroppy, shut the door on the studio and went off to sulk.

But then 10 minutes later an idea popped into my brain to make some chain links that mirrored the shape of the focal and after playing around for a bit I hit on something I liked using steel wire. So all I had to do was find some beads to go with them and there they were sitting on my bead table - a new delivery of Czech glass flowers from Buttoned Up Beads Extra. The lovely blue of the beads went really well with the colour of the metal  and the result of the combination is this necklace called 'Blue Steel"


It has quite a minimalist urban feel which I love... the strong  contrast of the two colours and the way the flowers, despite being very cool in colour add a certain softness appeals to me.


I played around with the positioning of the beads for a while, in the end opting for an asymmetrical format. The piece is finished with black brass chain and the focal is embellished with a little crystal and silver charm to balance the asymmetry.


I'm pretty happy with how this turned out in the end and it just goes to show that it pays to take a break when your muse isn't playing ball.

 

Thanks to Kristi for providing this months challenge and to you for visiting this post today - please now join me in seeing what the rest of the AJE team and our guest have made with their components using the links below.

Lesley

Guests


AJE Team Members

Jenny Davies-Reazor
Sue Kennedy

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

All About the Beads...


So yesterday I arrived home very tired but very happy after an amazing holiday in the USA which gave me the chance to meet a whole bunch of awesome people as well as to attend Bead Fest. If you were one of those people be it friend - old or new, customer, social event organiser or vendor then thank you so much for making me feel so welcome and contributing to me having such a great time - I really am grateful to you all.

I have plans for a number of blog posts in the near future inspired by my visit but since I am still suffering a little from 'plane brain' this first post is all about the beads... heavy on pictures and short on words. There are beads I bought as well as numerous beads that other artists and vendors were generous enough to swap with or gift to me and as you will see - I was very much in my element.

I'm going to start with the beads of my lovely hosts without whom none of this would have been possible. Diana Suburban Girl Studio Ptaszynski and her lovely hubby Colin met me at the airport and put me up for the first few days of my stay. Very generously Diana also offered me the opportunity to sell my own beads from her booth which of course meant I had more money to spend on buying beads - thanks Diana and everyone who bought my beads.

photo courtesy of Kathleen Lange Klik
Considering I had access to trays and trays of these beautiful beads all day I was actually very restrained but if I'd had a bigger suitcase and higher customs limits it would have been a whole different story...


Jen Cameron was hosting me for a road trip straight after Bead Fest but as you can see she was having a great time at the show... I think maybe the strain of making inventory while recovering from a broken arm finally got to her though!


Jen makes gorgeous lampwork headpins and I managed to bag a good selection along with some cute little beads...


The last leg of my trip was spent with Jenny Davies-Reazor - an artist and teacher who has inspired me to many new things during my stay but that's definitely for another post.


Again I was  reasonably restrained and could have got completely carried away looting Jenny's huge and wonderful range of ceramic and mixed media pieces...


Don't worry that I had to limit myself though - these lovely ladies have all been warned that I will be making a return visit next year to stock up further!

Before I even left the UK I'd made a list I things that I had to have and at the first opportunity I headed straight for Staci Louise Smith's booth to snag this little (well not so little actually) bronze clay and copper Sugar skull... Staci's work is so unique and original I just had to have it.


I was also extremely fortunate in being paired with Staci for Diana's annual art bead swap and just look what she gave me...lots of her own beautiful polymer clay and bronze beads plus pieces by Marsha Neal Minutella and Ann Gardanne - the bead mother load or what! Thank you so much Staci.


And as if that wasn't enough I also got this lovely white copper ring which I've worn constantly since.


I did the bulk of my shopping on the last day of the show and headed straight to the Green Girl Studio booth and found everything was heavily discount so yes, I got a little carried away but who wouldn't...isn't this all just heavenly? I have to keep getting it out and stroking it.


Next stop was the lovely Diane Hawkey to pick up some of her fabulously quirky ceramic beads...I just love these little gems and have a feeling they may be staying in my personal collection.I've certainly been inspired to create by this trip so that bead is definitely staying close to my heart.


I've long been a fan of Gardanne Beads enamelled flower caps so it was wonderful to be able to meet Ann in person and lose myself in the vast array at her booth but I really did have to force myself to leave to make sure I had money to spend elsewhere!


Another must visit vendor on my list was Hands of the Hills and if it hadn't been for the sheer weight I would have spent a lot more time and money there...lovely vendors and all sorts of beautiful things to be had.



Heather Powers of Humble Beads was vending at Bead Fest for the first time this year and I was so excited to able to meet Heather and shop 'in the flesh' for her wonderfully creative beads. Hard to choose when you're faced with so many lovelies but I think I did a pretty good job...


I'm also a really big fan of etched lampwork and soda beads so I was very happy to be able to do some swapping with Genea Crivello-Knable and get these wonderfully earthy, crusty beads and headpins - just perfect for autumn designs.


One of the biggest hightlights of this trip was meeting so many of the AJE blog team who have become such good friends and supporters online. No less than 9 of the 13 members made it to Bead Fest and I had such a great time with these lovely ladies...


From left to right: Karen Totten, Melissa Alford-Meman, Sue Kennedy, Me, Diana, Kristen Stevens (back) Jen, Linda Landig (back) and Jenny. And of course there was much swapping of lovelies among the group...

Gorgeous totem sets from the uber talented Karen...


Melissa's amazing mixed media pieces including polymer clay, metal clay and a resin set hand made bezel...

 The sweetest beaded beads and gorgeous headpins from Sue Kennedy...


Great pieces from Linda's new line of ceramic - who'd know she was new to this...


And always fabulous - Kristen's beaded hoops and beads. Kristen also made me some beautiful beaded jewellery but I'm saving that for another post.


Kristi Bowman couldn't make it to the show but Linda bought some of her work along and I snagged myself these cool copper earring charms...


 I also managed to get my hands on a few Basha Beads courtesy of Cooky Schock - love the ancient rustic feel of these...


Although there may seem to be a lot of beads here... there were in fact a number of vendors I never made it to just through being somewhat overwhelmed and exhausted. Although we met at the show one of these was Marsha Neal Minutella so I was absolutely delighted when I got to Jenny's and found out we were going to visit Marsha who lives close by.

Marsha is one of the first ceramic bead makers I came across, an absolute force of nature and an all round delightful person so I can't tell you how excited I was to find myself actually standing in her studio - when I grow up I want a work space like that. She is also incredibly generous and had I been there earlier in my trip and had more space my pockets would have been loaded with a lot more beauties like these. Can't wait to meet up again next year Marsha...


And if all that wasn't enough, I also met my online friend Jan Onipenco while I was staying at Diana's and she gifted me an incredible lampwork ammonite bead and some of her lovely shrink plastic pieces...another very generous lady that I hope to meet again.


So as you can see I had a pretty good time increasing my bead stash but I do feel a little greedy keeping everything for myself so, I am planning to do a little giveaway or two once I've sorted myself out a bit so keep an eye out for that. A lot of the artists featured here will also be listing Bead Fest inventory in their shops so do check them out using the links in this post.

My own beads are being shipped back later this week and as soon as they arrive I will be doing a big shop update but this trip has left me feeling hugely inspired to make some jewellery so until then I think this little lot will keep me more than busy!

Happy beading!

Lesley