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Saturday 17 December 2011

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Member Interrogations - Jean Munro

Today we have an interesting read from Jean Munro of Ceardannan Jewellery, including words about her inspiration, her start in jewellery-making, and a great double-quotation that sums up her approach to life!

1 - Your name: Jean Munro

2 - Your shop name and address: Ceardannan  www.ceardannan.co.uk  http://www.etsy.com/shop/ceardannanjewellery

3 - Describe your artistic style in three words: organic ….eclectic…colourful

4 - When did you first start jewellery making/lampworking, and how did you get started?I first started making jewellery about 5 years ago when  I was living in Greece.  I was shopping with my mum and saw a pair of earrings made with lapis stones that I liked but the wires were made with a metal I couldn’t wear. My mum said, “I’m sure if you have a look on the internet you will be able to find the materials to make something yourself.” 
She set me off on my first bead related google seach. This led to me buying my first set of lampwork beads on ebay, made by Mike Poole. Ever since holding them in my hands I wanted to learn to make lampwork beads.  As soon as we came back to Scotland to live I had a taster session followed by a workshop with Rachel Elliot. I grinned all the way through it and about 2 years ago I bought my lampwork start up kit second hand on FH forum.!

5 - What do you love most about your craft?
I especially like choosing semi precious gemstones and lampwork beads in my jewellery making and playing around with different combinations.   I  love that there are so many different colours and kinds of glass and the fact that I could never get bored with lampworking as there is always something else to try and something new to learn. And I really like melting glass!

6 - If you could take a class with any artist (in your field or otherwise) who would you choose and why?
So difficult a question but I would especially like to take a George and Julie Cab to Fab, or  by George. it’s Lush class.  I  have admired George’s work since I started making jewellery and  Lush Julies beads were some of the first I bought while Julies cabs are wonderful.   I would really like to dress  a few beads George style.

7 - Do you have a favourite piece of your work that you can share with us?

I am proud of this fibula as my husband did the wirework in this and made my bead look beautiful!

And I really enjoy making my beady boxes in different colourways..

8 - Where do you find your inspiration?
The colours all around me, I love the colours in nature, especially the coast the sea and wildflowers, Also there are so many beautiful colours of glass which are an inspiartion in themselves.

9 - What’s your favourite technique within your medium?At the moment I am enjoying working with cane, murrini and twisties, and making organic style beads particularly seascapes.

10 - Where do you create your work?
In my utility room that wanted to be a conservatory but never quite made it.  

11 - Do you have a favourite colour scheme or range when you’re creating pieces?
I guess I always go back to blues and greens  though I’m also particularly drawn to  reds and oranges. But I just really choose whatever colour I fancy at the time, 

12 - Can you give us a quotation/lyric/piece of advice that sums up your approach to life and your craft?Do what you can with what you have where you are….Theodore Roosevelt.
It’s hard to be positive when your bottles gone! …big sis

13 - The most serious question of all: if you could meet any fictional character, from TV film or literature, who would it be and why?
Mary DiNunzio the lawyer from Lisa Scottoline books, she’s a great character warm, funny and smart and I really like her.

14 - Finally, what are your plans or hopes for your work in the future?Keep on keeping on!


A big thanks to Jean for her answers!

Saturday 10 December 2011

Treasury round up 10/12

And a fabulous joint team treasury by Lynn

You can find beautiful beads, glass and more made by the talented members of FHFteam HERE

Friday 9 December 2011

FHFTeam prize giveaway - December

This giveaway is now closed - check the main blog for information about the new giveaway!
It's time for this month's FHFTeam giveaway, and for this giveaway it's my turn - Hazel from Continuum Designs - and here's what's on offer:

a choice between either;

a bracelet made with handmade polymer clay beads, gunmetal findings and Czech firepolished beads (the size can be adjusted to the winner's specifications if necessary)


A £10 gift certificate to my main shop, or Etsy storefront. It's up to the winner!

The winner will be drawn from the names of FHFTeam blog followers who comment on the blog during December, so don't forget to 'Follow' us, and start sharing what's on your mind! Drawing for the prize will take place on the 5th of January (2012!)

I'd also like to say a big thank you to all the lovely people who currently comment and follow us - we all appreciate reading what you have to say!

Happy Holidays!

Monday 5 December 2011

And the winner of a Lynn Davy Mojo Box is...

NEDbeads! Congratulations - your prize will be sent out soon! And here's a picture of what you won to whet your appetite:

There'll be another giveaway posted soon, so watch out for details of the prize coming up, and don't forget, the winner is drawn from a list of all people who commented on the blog during each month, so don't forget to share you thoughts, comments and ideas.


Saturday 3 December 2011

Friday 2 December 2011

Member Round-up - November

 Member Round-up - 

Here a look at what our members have been up to in November :

Our members in the press:

Making Jewellery

Sabine Little from Little Castle Designs appears with a simple but stunning lampwork tutorial in the Christmas 2011 issue, which shows readers how to make big-hole beads in a star shape.

In the same issue, Scarlet Leonard also has a lesson on a bauble-inspired wirework design that's full of holiday cheer, but subtle enough to wear all year round.

Etsy Front Page

Sam Capeling of Venus Art Glass was recently featured on the front page of Etsy in a beautiful feature of poppy items.

Inspirational Beading Blog

AR Jewellery, Helen Jewellery, and Fluid Glass Art Beads were included in a blog post on Inspirational Beading about 'Lushious Lampwork' - and with their drool-worthy beads, it's obviously well-deserved

Other News:

Julia Hay of Pandanimal has had a selection of her work included in the galley exhibit Yule, at the North Rock Gallery in the Shetlands Isles:

Thursday 1 December 2011

Xmas Gift Ideas from FHFteam

Pick of the Presents – Xmas Gift Ideas from FHFteam
by Lynn Davy

I envy those people who are organized about their Christmas shopping. I really do. I never even start mine until December…

Oh, wait. It is December. Help!

Once again, FHFteam comes to the rescue.

If you ever thought this team was just about beads, think again! I’ve put together a quick guide to a whole range of wonderful creations that will make ideal gifts. (If, that is, you can bear to give them away.)

There are hundreds more items that I didn’t have room to feature – search the Etsy listings for ‘FHFteam’ to see more!

Jewellery is the obvious place to start. There are lots of different styles to choose from, and the joy of handmade is that each item is individual and unique.


You can never have too many necklaces, right?

I love the unusual combination of materials – copper and polymer clay – in this ‘Cornfields’ necklace by Hazel Ward (ContinuumDesigns):

For a very special gift, this elegant ‘Omari’ chainmaille neckpiece by Lesley Lake (Eleljewellery) would be just the thing:

And for the young-at-heart of any age, I’d pick this jaunty, colourful necklace by Dawn Price (dawnsbeadboutique):


Pretty and versatile, and they don’t have to cost the earth to be really special!

Here’s a seasonal gift that would be wearable all year – a heart pendant by Lyn Gutteridge (Twirlybeads). She has made a matching charm bead too:

For something really unusual with a touch of fantasy magic, here’s a vessel by Rita Bennett (ceram60):

Every holiday party needs a bit of sparkle, and they don’t come much more sparkly than this dichroic glass beauty by Helen Clemons (BlueFairyDesigns), who also makes lovely suncatchers, coasters and bowls:


I love bracelets – you can see them and enjoy them while you’re wearing them!

I think this one would be perfect for teenagers – a zingy, bright toggle bracelet by cathsbeadyshed, where you’ll find a wide selection of other funky jewellery:

And for a complete contrast in mood and texture, here’s a gorgeous Viking knit by Stephanie Gough (beadsbystephanie):


The finishing touch to every party outfit!

These unusual blue ‘Puddle’ earrings by Jo Walker (Studio Jewellery) are a real talking point – her shop is packed with lots of other lovely jewellery too:

Di Sandland’s earrings with messages on are irresistible (I love her etched copper cuffs as well):

And for a can’t-go-wrong present, I’d choose the classic simplicity of these ‘Ink’ earrings by nemeadesigns:


Here’s a clever idea. Interchangeable rings/ring tops by Jeanie Munro (ceardannanjewellery) – her beadie boxes make lovely presents for crafters too:


My pick of the FHFteam brooch crop is this unique floral design by Gay (GaysieMay), who has lots of other unusual jewellery including recycled paper earrings!

Charm beads/big hole beads/silver cored beads

The ones that fit on your silver chain charm bracelet. Little wearable works of art. What’s not to love?

Here are two of my favourites with a Christmas theme: the beautifully textured ‘Blue Angel’ by Priscilla McGirr (PrincessPeggy):
and the wintry ‘Dark Skies’ by Kirsty Bryan (huppabella):


Yes, there are people who don’t wear jewellery… and yes, FHFteam caters for them too!

I covet this hand coloured velvet scarf by Sue Harris (Blue Box Studio) – she sells dyeing kits too, use them in the microwave – and her seaglass jewellery is lovely:

These bag charms from Blue Kiln Beads make unique little gifts. She has some lovely plaited leather bracelets too:

How can you resist this? For the Minecraft geek in your life – keyring by Julia Hay (Pandanimal):

House Beautiful

Wasn’t it William Morris who said your everyday things should be beautiful as well as functional?

These would cheer up even the grumpiest Scrooge on Christmas morning! Groovy funky floral coasters by Dawn Turner (Dawn Turner Designs):

And this bowl by Sam Capeling (venusartglass) is on my wishlist – just beautiful:

A vase is always appreciated. This elegant, restrained, blown lead crystal vase by Karen Lilley (lilleyglassdesigns) would enhance any mantelpiece:

And this one by Emma Mackintosh (flyingbead)couldn’t be more different – it reminds me of an exotic pitcher plant in a tropical jungle:

What about us chaps, then?

Doesn’t the man in your life get a glassy present too?

Cufflinks are a traditional seasonal gift, and these stunning ‘Flame’ dichroic red and gold ones by GaysieMay would brighten up anybody’s Christmas dinner:

Or how about a smart wine stopper for his favourite tipple? Glenn Godden (steampunkglass) makes gorgeous bottle stoppers (and collectable marbles too):

And I know there are plenty of jewellery-wearing blokes out there (I just don’t happen to be married to one) who would look gorgeous in this unisex cord necklace by Jane Hamill – who also makes classic chainmaille bracelets suitable for men:

And finally – don’t forget the Christmas decorations!

Go on, get into the Christmas spirit with some handmade sparkle…

These are very traditional and very Christmassy – candy canes by ScarletImpressions:

And how about a window full of sparkling snowflakes by Samantha Capeling (Venus Art Glass) – who also makes lots of other Xmas decorations plus super-cute owls, fish, birds and elephants:

*sings* “Deck the hall with sparkling glasses, falalalala, fala la la…” sorry, got a bit carried away there…

Have a very merry glassy sparkly Christmas, from all of us in FHFteam!

 (Photo collages by Hazel)