Real handmade one of a kind lampwork glass beads are unique pieces of art and every maker has a very distinct style. Because they are not mass produced, but made in a flame on a mandrel one at time, they are much more expensive than other beads but I just love them.
Although I really don't "do" Halloween, as my children are grown up, I do love themed beads and I tend to get out my relevant glassy goodies as each season moves on. I have Christmas beads, spring beads, summer/beach beads, autumn and Halloween treasures. Some I have no intention of making into a piece of jewellery, I just love owning them! I am sure you sewing or knitting ladies have pieces of fabric/ball of wool which you also have no intention of making into something but just love having them "in your stash".
I thought you would be interested to see what I have in my stash/treasure box for this season.
This is one of my most recent buys from the very talented American artist Amy who sells under the name of Flamekeeper on Etsy. Her Halloween beads are awesome and I recently bought Helga the witch who has crash landed into a bead....isn't it a clever bead!
I also commissioned from Amy a magic toadstool. It reminds me of the childhood fairy tales I used to love as a child.
I chose to have a red cap with flowers
....Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree anyone...??!!
These 2 beads are really quite something!
Another great lampworker, this time based in the UK is Laney who sells under the name of Izzybeads and is also a great blogging friend of mine. I recently commissioned her to made me some autumn beads and I am sure you agree they are fabulous!
I also bought a lovely autumn focal bead and some tiger beads from Laney a couple of years ago and I made them into a really chunky bracelet. This is one of my favourite bracelets and it always get comments when I wear it.
Another very talented artist is Claire who sells under the name of Rowanberry Glass. I was lucky enough to buy one of her focal tree beads last month which I treasure. A really stunning tree bead, I love the detail in this.
The bead has a front and a back so that whichever side is facing out there is a scene.
One useful gadget I own is a bead changer. This is a nifty item where I can unscrew the top and just pop on any bead of my choice! I can then wear the bead as an instant pendant on a chain, perfect. So I am able to wear any of my beads just for the day or night and then put then away and select something new.
The last artist I will feature in this blog (I plan to do a Christmas bead blog showing more of my talented suppliers) is Denise. Her lampwork creatures and beads are so original, I just love her work. I first bought a wonderful glass fish bead from Denise a couple of years ago which I made into a great necklace for my daughter when she went on her medical student elective to Barbados 2 years ago. I'm sorry about the poor photos, they were taken long before I had thought of writing a blog! I know this is also not autumn related but I thought it may be interesting to show my creation using Denise's fish.
I told my darling daughter to open this when she had a chance to sit on the beach and look out to the wonderful sea view. I think it went down quite well!
I have also been experimenting a little more with solid brass with a "vintage" protective coating (it does not tarnish) . I have a necklace on Etsy which I made with a summer theme using shells etc using this material.
The photo below shows a little glass bird on his separate twig which I bought from from Denise. I made a little nest using bronze wire and findings and freshwater rice pearls for the little eggs. I was quite pleased with it and I am think of simply adding it to a bronze chain as a focal bead. I may well launch this at my jewellery party which is this Saturday. I will let you know what the people think of it!
I also have a pair of pretty earrings I made using glass pumpkins which I bought from a bead fair a few years ago.
I added some Swarovski bicones and enjoy wearing these as they suit both a casual and dressed up outfit.
I do like my jewellery to be very functional!
Last but not least I just wanted to share one last Halloween piece with you. This is not made by me but bought from the rather outrageous and luscious Butler and Wilson who design and make the most stunning costume jewellery here in the UK.
This great little jewelled bat brooch was bought for me by my darling husband. I found it in my Christmas stocking a few years ago. I am very spoilt by my DH and I do have a couple of B&W pieces. Their costume jewellery is second to none and often very, very funny. They are certainly pieces which get noticed.
This little brooch was so hard to photograph in doors that I took it out into the garden to prevent using the flash on my camera.
My trusty camera assistant Billy decided as always that this was an opportunity not to miss!
He would not budge out of shot for me to do a close up!
He just sat very proudly by my little bat, I am sure he always thinks it his duty just to check everything out for me when I try to photograph anything.
Eventually I had to move my bat to another bench to get my close up shot.
So there we are, I little glimpse into my Halloween/autumn treasure chest, sharing some of my never to be sold beads and jewellery pieces, all very special to me (and so is Billy :0) )
I hope you enjoyed taking a peep.
Bye for now,