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Archive for Glass Beads

Big Bead Show this Saturday

Thurs lunchtime

Easter is fast looming into view…..and that can only mean one thing, or can it? Two things happen around Easter, the first one is Big Bead Show which is rapidly speeding towards me, Saturday April 5th, Sandown Park Racecourse. I’ve been working steadily towards this, trying to spend as much time as I can in the studio but I have to say I am being somewhat hampered by other stuff. It’s a delicate balance between making new styles, old favourites and of course leaving myself time for all the other important bits too, like my marketing, cleaning and string beads, packing for the show and all the sundries involved. I’ve been having loads more fun with my new and old frits, and there will be lots of lovely new simple designs in loads of gorgeous colours.

All my free tickets for this show have now gone, thank you for being so eager! I’m on stand 43 in my usual place near the entrance, the Bead magazine stand and up near the cafe area.

I’ll be taking card payments again with my new whizzy toy, or a Chip and Pin card reader as the Bankers like to call it. So going by our past use of it, payments will be much faster, yay.
Here’s a link to apply for your card reader and Worldpay account. Please apply using my unique URL below and you will get a £10 discount on the card reader and I get a little something too for referring you (you’ll have to copy and paste this). Sounds good to me.

http://wpzinc.me/yaK67Kq2mx

Here’s some photos to whet your appetite for Saturday, and don’t forget, the early birdies catch the best choice of beads.

Swirley nuggets news Raspberry set news Forest Dreams news

 

 

 

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2 Hour Taster Session this Thursday

Mon morning

Hello peeps, just swinging by to say I have one space available on a 2 hour Beadmaking Taster Session this Thursday 13th Feb. This would be an excellent early Valentine present to yourself or maybe you could persuade someone to buy this for you.

2 hour tasters are great because you can just fit them into a busy schedule easily, and they give you a chance to have a go at working hot glass without spending too much, always a bonus in this finance concious era we seem to be stuck in. Although you know they do say you have to spend money to get out of a recession….that’s what I’ve heard and I’m sticking to it! Well, so along that vein maybe you should come to a 1 day course or even a 2 day course ;-).

For more details have a look at my tuition page and contact me to book.

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Post Big Bead Show, and the lampwork continues

Thursday morning

What a lovely day we had on Saturday at the Big Bead Show. It was so nice to meet you all again, and share the excitement of the day. Visit my Facebook page to see photos of me and my stall there, and a running commentary from Dickie (he was posting as me, I was way too busy working – oops, my little secret for the day).

Today I get back into my studio to start making new beads for the next show at Newmarket, on Sunday 17th November, so I’d better get my head down quickly as I’m reliably informed that it’s a very busy one, almost like Big Bead Show, eek. I thought you might be interested to see the studio fallout from the show this weekend gone, so I’ve popped a photo of my workstation below. I have to say I will be tidying it up, I struggle to keep working with that much mess. Oh and there isn’t even more mess behind my bench, that’s a mirror reflecting the other side of the studio.

I’ve also received a new batch of frits to try from Glass Diversions in America, and I can’t wait to dig in. I have 4 large pots of some of my favourites from Robin, including 2 colour-ways that I’m using loads more of at the moment so that’s a relief knowing I won’t run out, and a mixed set of 16 mini pots to try out too (these last ages, I bought my previous batch about 7 years ago :-o  ), so exciting. Oh and I forgot my 3 freebies in mini zip loc bags. Yay, I can’t wait.

messy bench

 

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Big Bead Show again tomorrow…how bead-e-licious

Friday morning

Big Bead Show tomorrow, woop woop!

As I’m sure you know by now I love this show,  I get to see so many of you, my lovely customers, and it has a real buzz about it, probably because  it’s so busy, and most of you are so excited to be there. I also get to see a lot of my bead making buddies too, especially when Tuffnells Glass are there. It’s always a good opportunity to stock up without having to pay postage and nothing beats looking at all the lovely glass colours and tools and frit and……

So today I’m putting the finishing touches to my brand new stock (that means pricing up, lol ;-)  ), sorting out and reducing a few more bargains for my SALE bowl of focals and sets, checking my stationary quantities (boring), sorting yet more bargain single beads and having a general ‘surplus bead clearout’ (yipee) and lastly packing my boxes ready for the off tomorrow. I really hope that I get an earlier night tonight rather than the usual late one I always seem to have before a show. I must also make sure I pack my huge tub of celebrations, not really sure where that is going to go, but please make sure you get yours when you spend over £10……single chocy that is not whole tub :-)

Here’s a pic of some spooky spooks and smashing pumpkins that I made for last years’ show……..I have made more and a few penguins with Santa hats and they’re soooooo cute.

Halloween beads 2012

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Here today, gone tommorrow (the hot weather that is)

Tuesday lunchtime

Tuition date - one space still remaining for tomorrow, Weds 11th September 10 – 5pm, contact me now….go on, treat yourself, you know you want to.

What has happened to the weather, it’s been so good this summer, heatwave last week, and now it’s cold, damp and wet. I invested in a portable air conditioning unit for my studio during the summer and never got a chance to use it, but it’s now happily in place and we’ve had a mini swap around so I’m ready for anything the weird weather throws at me, heatwave or cold day tomorrow when I teach….bring it on!

It’s been a long summer break but I’m back with a vengeance and so are you by the looks of it, my Etsy sales went mad last week, and it was all I could do to keep up. My Etsy shop is restocked with my current best sellers and I’m planning to add some new sets. Unfortunately this depends on when DickieDooda can process the latest batch of photos, and I’ve kind of scuppered him temporarily by making him break down his current computer set up so we can decorate and reorganise the room he works in…oh dear, I didn’t think that one through did I? Anyway I have added one new mini set today, Islands in the Sea.

Islands in the Sea mini set side 1

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Horsham Artists in Action @ Sedgwick Park

Saturday evening
It’s Open Studios weekend 1 and this year we’ve kicked off with Horsham Artists in Action @ Sedgwick Park house, a beautiful private manor house in lovely gardens, which are open tomorrow as part of the National Garden Scheme.
We had a brilliant start to the weekend last night with a very lively and well attended Private View open by the Mayor of Horsham, fortunately the sun shone, the wine was flowing, canapés were consumed and we had wandering minstrels too (the playing type that is, not the choclit ones!) and a lovely June evening was had by all. Today we welcomed lots of visitors and look forward to many more tomorrow. There is an amazing amount of talent to be seen at this show, our first large show as a collective in Horsham, with many colourful paintings, ceramics, jewellery, photography, sculpture, glass, textiles and of course my original glass beads and jewellery.
Do come and see us tomorrow, we’re all really happy to be together! It makes a change from the isolation of Open Studios and means we can all get to enjoy each others art.

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If you can’t visit tomorrow then we will all be in our separate venues around Horsham next weekend, 22nd and 23rd June for the artists trail. I’m at venue 5 with Angela Jenkinson, address in on my events page Of course you are very welcome to attend both venues, we have a new video of me creating glass beads tomorrow and next weekend, and you can see me actually working the hot glass next weekend at Venue 5.

You can download your guide here at the Horsham Artists Open Studios new website.

I look forward to welcoming you to one of these events.

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I’m so excited (and I just can’t hide it)…continuing my song title theme ;-)

Saturday lunchtime

The sun is shining, and at last I’m feeling excited about making beads again, so much so that I can’t stop smiling. Rick and our daughter are off in Brighton today, a trip we promised her in half term.  Of course I’m running behind in my preparations as usual, this time due to the untimely loss of my brother, which took time out of my usual schedule to plan the funeral service and after ‘do’ and to generally try to come to terms with it. Stuff like this really does mess with your head, but also brings more questioning about life and ‘regrets’, and once again I’ve decided I must have more fun, more me time and more exercise.

I made the difficult decision this morning to stay home and work for Open Studios next weekend, and I’m so glad I did. I’m determined that whatever I do today I’m going to have fun, and I do believe I will. So I thought I’d pop on by here and do a quick post to say ‘yay’, and I can’t wait to get into my blue studio and make lovely beads!

Here’s a snap of some beads I’ve already made for my rummage pot.

Beads en Masse

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Let them eat cake

Thursday lunchtime

Half term this week, yes, again! I’ve been sorting out the stuff we need to finish off our extension. Life passes so fast, and it can be hard to make time for some of things we need to do, so this week has been full of internet searches, phone calls to companies to help me solve some of the little problems, and various orders placed. As I type our floor is on it’s way from Sweden, so I’m getting excited now.

I’ve also been a busy bee restocking my Etsy shop, which for me is filling up nicely, I have 40 items for sale, so a really nice selection. The funny thing is every time I pop some green beads in they sell really fast, so the colour range has a bit of a gap in it. I will be on a green mission next week when I get into the studio again.

Of course Valentines day came and went last week, and I was so busy teaching that we made Saturday our Valentines day. I spent the afternoon preparing a lovely chocolate and raspberry cream cake from Nigellas’ ‘Feast’ recipe book. It was supposed to be the shape of a heart but instead I made it round, it still looked Valentiny because of the chocolate and raspberries on top, and the yummy pink cream and raspberry filling. Delish!

Candy Spot BHBsSpring Song BouquetRoyal Purple SparkleInky Fish facing rightValentine chocky cake

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Pa Pick up a penguin

Friday lunchtime

Thank you so much to the few of you who came to the Ardingly bead fair 2 weeks ago and bought my beadies. Even though I didn’t have many takers, I was very pleased to cover my pitch fee, so again, a huge thank you, you made my day :>). We had a lovely chilled (literally) and relaxed day out, watching the snow, enjoying Paul’s announcements over the tanoy, chatting to the other stallholders and quaffing coffee and tea. We packed up early and got home at about the time the show normally closes, even after stopping to take some snowy photos…must work out how to get them off my phone. The good news is I now have a lovely stock of new beads, and new posh photos, so I have started adding new stock to my Etsy shop.

On another strand (see what I did there?!) it’s done…my tax return was finished last Saturday, after a 7  day long slog of accounts, losing receipts, finding receipts, and general agony! and now, please sit down before you read this…..I’ve made a start on this current years accounts…..I say every year that I’m going to do this, and don’t, but this time I have, although it remains to be seen just how far I get. Of course all the missing receipts (6 months worth) from the tax return I’ve just done, were discovered while going through my green plastic wallet of receipts…why I didn’t see them when I looked several times before I really don’t know. So they’re now checked off too and the ones that got missed are ready in the wings. This is far too efficient, and rather boring, so I’m going to stop there and pop in some eye candy.

Have a great weekend.

Kefalonia Sparkle Nuggets 6 LS  Sunrise Sparkle Nuggets Trio Love SpringPip the Penguin

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Ardingly Bead Fair this Sunday….snow permitting

Thurs morning

All my new sets are made for this show! They’ve been strung and photographed and I can actually use my new posh photos!

Now let me tell you this is totally unheard of in our house, usually photos are done one day ahead if I’m lucky, more often than not they’re done the afternoon or evening before the fair giving me the evening/night (if they’ve been done yet) to price up then pack everything else in the boxes.  So what am I going to do today? Well I shall go to my studio and make £1 beads as I know how much you like a rummage, and I’ll also make some repeat sets, and maybe some grey City Chic if I feel like it.  I feel a  fun day coming on, with maybe a fishy or two (although that will mean more photos) and lots of brightly coloured fun beads so I can pretend it’s not freezing outside……oh yes, minus 2.5 deg c in the studio today, it was misty in there just now.

Lavender swirlers Pink swirlers Pinks Big Hile Beads

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Spring Flowers to cheer this cold day

Friday morning

Happy new year! and oh dear, it’s that time again that I dread, my annual accounts and tax fest, and also the first bead fair of the season thrown in for good measure. I’m busy making beads like fury for the Ardingly Bead fair next Sunday 20th Jan, more details on my events page, but have been taking time each morning to start restocking my Etsy shop. I’m gradually adding a mix of favourites and some new designs, as Rick has now processed photos of my newest designs (which incidentally look amazing (although there is only one set of beads with his new super dooper photos so far)). So pop on over and take a look when you can.

Here’s a look at what I added today, a departure from my usual, and I’m really proud of these, as I was shown last Easter how to make small encased florals. I have to say it was rather different from how all the tutorials in books say, and I learnt loads of tips on how to achieve perfection! Thank you Kathy!

Spring flowers

 

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Big Bead Show looms…it’s this Saturday

Wednesday teatime

It’s nearly here and I can’t wait…well I can’t on one hand because it’s so much fun and I love the vibe and meeting up with everyone again, but on the other hand I can wait because I always need more time to prepare and it’s very hard work. It always happens that the creative juices go into overload just before a show and then I run out of time to realise my ideas. I’ve been starved of making beads today because I’m being good and doing my newsletter a bit earlier (oh yes, gasp), so if you fancy a read and are not on my mailing list, why not click on the subscribe box on the left hand side and join it. There are perks to receiving my newsletter you know, but you’ll find out what they are when you join ;>)

I’ve gone a bit autumnal with amber colours this time, and I have some more of my Autumn Chic bead sets which were snapped up very quickly last year. But fear not, I also have some vibrant beads in greens, blues and violets. I’ve also made some penguins and some Halloween themed beads, pumpkins and ghosties! wooooooo. There are also some really yummy sets of Big hole beads ready to pop on your bracelet (these are uncored so a bit lighter on your purse).

As usual I will have bargains galore, rummage pots of beads for  £1, £2 and upwards, a few chains and a little jewellery if you feel like pampering yourself and buying something ready to wear.

I’m in my usual place this time called Stand 47. Find me near the Bead magazine stand up at the cafe end near where you enter the show.

Oh and if I’m not at my stand when you visit I’ll probably be at the British Bead Awards ceremony…..I can’t wait :>)

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I am the new Bead Awards judge

Tuesday lunchtime

I was really pleased to be asked to judge the British Bead Awards for Bead magazine again. We’ve already done the preliminary round and have called in finalist pieces for judging this Thursday.  As ever the standard is very high and I’m looking forward to seeing the work in the flesh when we get together this week. It will also be lovely to see Jennifer Airs and Elizabeth King again, and meet Linda Jones, who has written several books on making wire jewellery. I can’t wait!

More of my beads have been used in another project in Beads and Beyond this month. ‘Harvest sunset – String your favourite rose coloured beads to create this interchangeable necklace and earring set in sunset tones.’ Designed by Helen Bowen.

The design features my Tutti Ripple, and a set of these is available in my Etsy store, and they are also available ‘Made to Order’.

I also have more new tuition dates are available,
***1 day 10 – 5 Intermediate Course, Fri 5th October. *** SOLD OUT

but I have one place on each of these
***2 day Beginners Course, Tues 23rd to Weds 24th October***
***1 day 10 – 5 Intermediate Course, Sat 10th November***
Contact me now to secure your place***

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Ardingly Bead Fair this Sunday

Wednesday morning

Well hellooooooo, the sun is shining and I’m about to go down to my lovely blue studio and make some more beads for all you lovely people who come and support me, as of course you know it’s my next bead fair this coming Sunday 22nd July, at the South of England Centre in Ardingly, West Sussex, 10am to 4pm. More details on my events page.

I’ve been trying to get the summer spirit by making some new beach beads and fish in the hope that the sun will come out, and am planning to make starfish and maybe a shell or two if I can come up with a design today. Actually it would help if I popped out and switched the kiln on to warm up first…….back in a mini mo…….that’s better.

So this Sunday I will have my usual mix of glass bead sets and focal beads, with several new designs, silver chains, and my ever popular rummage pots, with bargains starting at £1. I’m working on some new didy sets (matching 2′s and 3′s) for all you earring lovers and I also have some new uncored Big Hole Bead sets, perfect for filling up your Pandora, Troll or other similar charm bracelet. I may even put more beads in my sale dish, who knows!

Do come and say hi.

 

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Open Studios countdown…..4 days to go

Tuesday morning and only 4 days to go……………..

It’s that time of year again, when artists around the Horsham area fling open their doors and invite the public to see their work at home. I’m taking part again, and this year I’m with my friend Angela Jenkinson, who mainly makes fused glass items, jewellery and home accessories.

My main focus this year is on my loose beads and bead sets, but I’ve also been busy making lots of small items, my very popular beads on adjustable length cotton thongs, and some reasonable priced earrings (I call them credit crunch earrings), I also hope to make some greeting cards and keyrings. I will have my posh glass cabinet with a display of my range of jewellery and lots of bargain bead pots full of yummy single beads.

Come along this weekend and next to see our art, watch us demonstrate how we make our glass pieces and take some refreshment with us.

Venue: Oakhurst, Pondtail Road, Horsham, RH12 5HY (5th house on the left)

See you there.

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More beads in Beads and Beyond this month

Wednesday tea time

Hello to everyone visiting from Beads and Beyond magazine. I’m very pleased to have some more of my beads featured in another project in Beads and Beyond magazine this month (June issue out 10th May). Again by jewellery designer Rebecca Anderson, who makes truly special jewellery, and certainly has a way with my beads. And here are the beads.

 

You can buy these beads, well, similar ones, from my Etsy store, and I’ll be putting some up in my web shop here also. I’ve been busy making more of these beauties today, and some donut shape ones too. I may even push the boat out and have these for sale individually, Whatcha think?

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Big Bead Show tomorrow – woop woop

Friday afternoon

It’s here again, and looming up so fast. I always love going to the Big Bead Show, (Sandown Park, Esher, KT10 9AJ) and have been getting ready for months (yes really, new year resolution and all). I did fail at getting my newsletter out early as you will know if you are on my mailing list, but there have been extenuating circumstances over the last couple of weeks…..

So I will be on stand 41, my usual, up near the food hall and visible from the Bead Magazine stand. I have loads of new beads in new colours and designs, and have restocked my ever popular rummage pots, as well as making lots of ‘Didy sets’, they’re 2′s or 3′s of matched beads.

I’m also continuing my nutty spring sale with reductions of at least 25% on some focals and sets, so come and grab yourself a bargain or simply buy that gorgeous focal you’ve had your beady eyes on.

Here’s a peek at some of my new beads

 

See you there…….

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My Monet beads featured in Beads and Beyond Magazine this April

Wednesday Evening

Welcome to everyone new to my blog, especially if you have come here from Beads and Beyond magazine. I’m really pleased to have my beads used by Rebecca Anderson in her latest project in this magazine, the Monet inspired jewellery. You can buy my Monet Blues Mix beads on Etsy and see them here in my own shop and I’ve popped a photo below.

                       

I’ve been working really hard this month to keep my Etsy shop re stocked on an almost daily basis, and very busy making my new bead stock for the Big Bead Show at the end of this month. I have several new sets of beads and lots of focal beads, I don’t seem to be able to stop making long cylinder beads at the moment! I am at last getting to grips with another make of silver glass, called TAG, and most of my new beads feature this glass, especially the tubes. Poor Richard has his work cut out at the moment taking and editing photos of my beads to go on my website and in my shops, and my thanks go to him for doing such a fab job.

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I taught at West Dean College

Wednesday tea time

If you have been following me on Twitter or Facebook you will see that I have been a very busy bunny adding lots of new beads to my shop on an almost daily basis, I’ve ditched the Tuesday listing only and I’m popping stuff up every day at the moment. The only days I didn’t list was when I was suddenly invited to teach at West Dean College a weekend ago. Oh yes, did I tell you I taught at West Dean?!!! Here’s some snaps of the gardens.

So I had an email followed by a phone call the next day, and before I knew it I was booked to teach the Glass Beadmaking weekend class that started the same day, which meant I had 5 hours to organise my tools, glass, books and any other teaching bits I needed, pack my clothes, sort childcare and drive there to start teaching that evening. It was absolutely manic but so worth it. I had a super weekend, wonderful students who were so grateful that I had stepped in at such late notice to teach them, and my lovely Rick came too. He spent the time taking some fabulous photos and bobbing in and out of the teaching room, and also got to go on a short chocolate and wine tasting course (the lucky thing). So while I worked he stuffed chocolate……(It’s normally the other way around, lol).  It’s a fabulous place to spend time and be creative, and I was thrilled to be asked to teach there.

I’ve just added a new tuition date for anyone who is interested in coming to my studio in Horsham for a 2 day introduction to glass beadmaking. The course has one place remaining, but if you are interested in having a go and want to bring a friend, simply drop me a line and I’ll send you a list of other available dates.

New tuition date – Wednesday 18th to Thursday 19th April, Beginners Beadmaking, 1 place.

Here’s some of my latest beads added to Etsy.

 

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New Facebook page is here at last

Monday tea time

So the big news for this week is that I have at last set-up my own business Facebook page, yay. It’s called Sarah Downton Contemporary Glass beads (no surprise there then!)

If you haven’t already then click below to like my new Facebook page, it will be grey if you have already liked it.

I have to admit that it took the best part of Friday to do, and is a work in progress as I have a few little bits to add to it, but you don’t need to worry about them. You can also access a peek at my Etsy store page from the page by clicking on the Etsy button on the left hand side of my new page. Did I tell you I have a new page yet? ;) You can follow the link to go and have a looksee, and I’d love it if you’d love my page. That way I can keep you in touch with my latest beads, happenings, fairs, and Etsy listings. To make it even more worth your while I will be having a giveaway, to be drawn randomly from everyone who likes my page. I haven’t yet decided what the prize will be, but I will be announcing it later this week, and you will be eligible for the draw even if you have already liked me.

With all this flurry of activity I have also managed to add yet more new beads to my Etsy store. and I hope to revert to listing regularly on a Tuesday now that I have my shop back up to respectable levels of stock.

Here’s a look at what I added yesterday and a taster of what will go up tomorrow

 

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