Thursday, 22 October 2009

Beads, Witches and a Pussycat

Sorry it's been a few days since I posted anything ..... a combination of "real life" stuff, dental appointment, a bit of creative block and, very sadly, we had to take our very elderly (18 years old) cat, Baxter, on the one-way trip to the vets.  We knew his days were numbered, but making the decision (though the right one) was still so difficult.  He was the last of our cats (and was also the oldest), we've said goodbye to four others in the past few years, and it now feels very strange about the place.  No food bowls, no buying any cat food today, no little person hustling for a bit of ham out of the fridge or sitting on my lap, purring ...... yes, it's strange, it's the first time for almost two decades that we've been without any cat at all and the house seems so empty right now.

But onto other things ..... the Witchy ATC Swap.  Thank you, everyone who has sent in their cards for this swap, I've had a great response, and am just waiting on some arriving from the US ..... they're on their way, but unfortunately of course we have a national postal strike here for the next two days, which means there will unavoidably be a bit of a delay with swapping the cards out.  I promise I will be doing this as soon as I possibly can next week, barring anything else unforeseen happening!  What I would like to do is take pictures of all the cards and turn them into a slide show here on the blog, so everyone will get to see all the wonderful cards that have come in ...... I "think" I've figured out how to set up the slide show, just might not be able to add any tag line to say who sent what ..... so bear with me!  I'm still learning about what I can and can't do with all this blog stuff!

Finally, here are more images of my beaded jewellery, a bit of a mixture ...... some of the pieces I post are available for purchase. but if you would like something made up to a particular colour theme or using a certain stone or pearls, for instance, then I'd always be happy to discuss this with you and create a piece of jewellery to suit your needs.

This is a rather large netted amulet bag, with a "sea" theme - I got carried away with all the fringing and embellishing, it's full of little shells, stones and charms like the metallic seahorse and stone turtle.  Although it's quite heavy, it's balanced out by the beaded tube with fringed stones which sits at the back of the neck, so it's not uncomfortable to wear.

This "autumnal leaf" necklace is a lot more subdued both in colour and style.  Here is a close up of the leafy section, the leaves are attached slightly off-centre on the necklace and as they are each stitched on separately, you can arrange them how you like once you are wearing the piece.

The "bead soup" cuff with felted flower and the "lei" style flower garland above were both created as magazine projects.  The cuff fits snuggly around a 7" wrist and is created in peyote stitch using a mixture of coloured seed beads.  The "lei" consists of several strings of assorted beads, shells and pearls, all entwined together.

I've made a lot of amulet purses over the years, but this one was a little bit different.  I loved the cobalt blue which I used for the body and fringing of the purse; I then added a silver netted "skirt" over the top with a daisy chain strap, 24" long.    

The lime green and orange spiral necklace (above) was created for a Beadworkers Guild display with the colour theme "Citric".  This exhibition of beadwork travelled around the UK for a year at many of the craft and bead shows - it was one of the most stunning looking displays the Guild had ever put on and drew many positive comments from visitors to the shows, both beaders and non-beaders alike.

This amulet bag again has a netted skirt, this time working rock crystal stones into the netting, with a 24" long spiral strap ...... I can't claim the design is my own, it was taken from a pattern in a stitch magazine I had several years ago. 

This is my "Sweet Pea" necklace - the strap has beaded tendrils twining round it with flowers and leaves hanging from each end.  There is a toggle fastener hidden amongst the flowers, once you've fastened it you can arrange the flowers over the top to hide the toggle.  Here is a closeup of the flower section.

My final picture for tonight is of "Bagpuss" (how many of you remember - and love - the old children's programme about saggy, baggy Bagpuss and all his friends in the toy shop window?) - I designed Bagpuss as one of the pieces for my City & Guilds Beadwork course some years ago.  I first drew him out on bead graph paper and coloured in the squares with pencils (no high tech computer programs for me)!  As I stitched I would alter the shape slightly or change the colour of a bead here and there, until I was happy with the result.  I also made a pair of earrings with a mouse charm dangling from the end of each, using the same coloured beads.

Dear old Bagpuss - a little tribute and remembrance of our own sadly-missed Baxter, whose nickname was also "Bagpuss". 


  1. Thanks for posting the jewellery pictures...I've been telling everyone for ages how amazing your beadwork is! Yes, poor old Baxter - but he had a long and contented life with you and you made the right decision...the last loving thing you could do for him. I know that feeling of emptiness though. Lindsay x x x

  2. I spent some time through the night before last thinking of the last moments I had with our precious Toby. As usual the tears flooded. We let him go last December aged 18.5yrs and I so want him back. I feel for you and your family that only those who have had the honour of a feline friend can.
    Your jewellery is amazing. Thank you for sharing it with us. Joanne xxxxxx

  3. Thanks - it's very sad when we have to say goodbye to our animals, they're all members of the family, and we've lost all five of our pusscats now in as many years - some memories are still painful, you don't forget, and as you say, Joanne, it's an honour to share our homes with them.

  4. How sad you must be, was 3 years before we adopted another cat when our last cat Penwood died at nearly 19! However the joy continues even though I do worry what sort of life our Fitz had before he found us!!! LOL

  5. They do leave a big hole in our lives, don't they? We will give a home to more cats - there are so many of them out there, needing loving families to live with - we will see what happens. Each one of our cats has been special and unique, each with a different personality, and all are missed .... they can't be replaced, but we can open our home to other little furry people who need us.

  6. Hi Heather, so sorry to hear about Baxter, but I'm sure he had a very hapy life with you. Our Jess is definately the one in charge in our household - we are definately "owned" by her! Lidsay said that your jewellery is beautful and she is right. Love it - the "Autumnal Leaf" is gorgeous. Bagpuss has a very special place in my heart too! Looking forward to the ATC swap amd hopefully joining in the next one! S xx