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My mini break for a mini me…

October 19, 2011

Apologies for my recent absence but I was working on a special project that was definitely the hardest one so far!

I can’t believe that just 5 days after my last post, I (finally!!!) gave birth to my little girl. Eva Rose Louise Sadler was born at 4.50am on the 12th September weighing 9lbs 6ozs!!

So you can imagine the last 4 weeks have been a bit mad! However I am finally back on track and got lots planned!

I did spend my time planning upcoming articles and tutorials and I am pleased to say that I will be writing more articles for Beads and Beyond in the future. I am also working on a very exciting series that will run from the start of next year… Watch this space….

Next up…. A few of my ‘quick crafty fix’ projects!

Beady blessings! Xxx

– Posted using my iPhone


Free Tutorial – A blankless cuff!

September 7, 2011

OK, so I am not mad…. Well maybe a little! 😉 I love making cuffs and have various favourites for each summer outfit. This is one of my all time favourites…

Sun, Sea and Sand Cuff

But sometimes you need a little less stiffness or maybe you have just run out of blanks!

Here is my solution….

Felt backed cuff tutorial

(Starring Helen’s of LalaLampwork’s  gorgeous lampwork buttons…)

Step 1
Take the piece of beadwork that is going to cover the cuff. Mine was a nice strip of herringbone but peyote works great too. Measure the piece and cut a piece of card (you could also use a plastic milk carton for this inner piece but I use cardboard) that is slightly smaller than the beadwork, 5mm smaller all the way around will be enough.

Step 2
Take your chosen felt and 2 identical rectangles that are slightly larger than your beadwork. It is much better if they are too big than too small so leave yourself a couple of centimetres if you are worried.

Step 3
Sandwich your card between your two pieces of felt evenly and glue using a strong glue (I used the glue of death- E6000 but please be careful with it and use in well ventilated areas or outside)

Step 4
I wrapped around a tumbler to get a good shape and then secured with that trusty beading tool, a hair bobble! Technical hey?

Step 5
When the glue is dry… (Be patient!) Measure your beadwork against the felt and trim so that the felt and beads match up. Make sure you allow for curvature and this is when your glass comes in handy!

Step 6
Whipstitch the edges together passing through the edge row of beadwork and both sections of felt. You could also incorporate a brick stitch edge if you wanted but I wanted a smooth edge to the beadwork.

Step 7
When you have attached the felt to the beadwork all the way around (I like to do both ends first and then the sides to avoid any ‘gapping’ you can add your closure to the edges. (a lovely lampwork button or bead is always as good option! 😉

And voila! You are done!

I hope you like it, I have found it very useful (and cheaper) to use felt for some of the items that I want a ‘chunkier’ look for.

 Until next time…..


A bit of inspiration….

August 4, 2011

I am working on a free tutorial at the moment for a rather interesting twist on the stiff cuff blanks… Stay tuned for more but in the mean time, a little inspiration!

– Posted using my iPhone

BTW – 22.06.11

June 22, 2011

Well this week’s worktable is a bit of a sneak peek actually…. I am writing another article for Beads and Beyond and this one is a slightly longer feature article. It took quite a bit of trial and error but here is a little taster…

I can’t wait to see what it looks like in print!

What’s on your worktable this week?

Featured Friend Friday!

June 10, 2011

This weeks feature is on Hazel Ward from ContinuumDesigns.

We met on a beading forum and I was instantly struck by her natural talent for fabulous polymer clay beads. I have to admit that it is one medium that really defeats me, the blending, layering and those mind blowing canes?! I asked her a bit more about herself and her art…

Tell me a bit about yourself

I live in a small village in Nottinghamshire (the sort of place where a post box is the main landmark), and for the last three years I’ve been spending most of my time working on polymer clay creations and learning new jewellery skills like lampworking. I was supposed to be doing something to do with my MA in Cultural Studies, but I took a year off and never went back – oops.

Sugar bead set

Describe your style in one sentence.

I’m not sure that I have a particular style; but I think that there are definitely certain motifs that always seem to make their way into my work, such as flowers, winding vines, and leaves.

'British' toggle clasp

Can you describe your workspace or studio?

It looks suspiciously like a dining room! The dining table is stacked with various boxes full of canes, polymer clay and tools, and I work at the end of that; it has a view of the garden filled with flowers, perfect for when I need inspiration for my floral beads.

What item would you be secretly heartbroken if it sold?

I’m in love with my Spice Trail beads for some reason – they feel evocative of heady, spicy scents to me, hence the name. I can’t hold onto them though – they need someone whose jewellery style fits them better!

Spice Trail

A few of your favourites:


For jewellery and beads, I love all shades of blues and greens, but otherwise, it’s orange.

Artist (dead or alive):

I think most of the artists I admire work in polymer clay; I particularly love Kathleen Dustin‘s use of colour, Jana Benzon Robert’s shapes and forms, and Barbara Sperling’s canework.


I’m a movie junkie, so I can’t choose just one – the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Some Like it Hot, and Y Tu Mama Tambien are some favourites, as well as too many embarrassing musicals to mention.


Cake! Specifically vegan lemon drizzle cake.

Website (crafty or non crafty):

Polymer Clay Daily : it showcases the best of polymer clay art and is a terrific inspiration.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I’d love to be able to tolerate extreme temperatures – it would be very handy for when I lampwork! Superspeed for getting places fast would also fantastic, since I never learned to drive, and it would sure speed up all the tedious parts of crafting. 

 When you’re not crafting, what are you doing?

I craft most of the time as I‘m working at building a small business, so between polymer clay, lampworking, and jewellery making, the answer is: not much! I spend quite a bit of the rest of my time reading – I can’t stand not to have a book waiting for me. I’m also a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy TV(*cough*geek*cough*), vegan baking, walking, and writing.

Karma bead set

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you:

I’m oddly proud that I was once bitten by a prairie dog.

Where can we find you?

My main site is at for my polymer clay beads. I also blog quite often about a variety of crafty and cakey things at, and post new photos at flickr

Check out Hazel’s fab designs or why not ask her your own question here in the comments section?

BTW – 18.05.11

May 18, 2011

This week I have joined a flikr group called ‘Bead Table Wednesday’ …

Each week the members show what is currently on their workspace or waiting to be finished.

Now I had to crop this photo slightly to ensure that none of the ‘leaning tower of bead-sa’ was captured! My desk does look like a beady bomb has gone off! But this is what is currently capturing me….

BTW 18th May

I purchased the gorgeous faceted gems from a friend who runs a forum I am active on and she has a wonderful shop called The Bead Shed on Ebay which sells all sorts of fab beads I just can’t live without!

They are a really bright fuchsia pinky/purple and I thought this piece just had to be a jewelled cuff. I emptied my bead drawers of all my suitable ‘jewel-like’ colours and this is a small selection of them. I am still deciding on the design really, I find it really hard with embroidery to feel satisfied when planning. I much prefer a ‘making it up as I go along’ approach!

I am going on a bead retreat this weekend so I am hoping to get this piece finished or at least a very good attempt made on it if the beading isn’t overtaken by the banter…. watch this space ….

All you bead is love…

May 16, 2011
Courtesy of Miss Millificent


I got an email this morning offering me  ‘20% off all seed beads – save now!

Well, that is enough to bring on palpitations at the best of times but the ranges and colour mixes that they showcased made me catch my breath a little…
It got me wondering why our different art forms can bring out such an emotive response.
  • Is it part of our passion for the creation of a beautiful object?
  • Is it the potential that a few materials can make something unrecognisable from the original components?
  • Or is it just love? 
I would actually go so far as to say I love my beads… extreme, I know. But I have heard from many other artists who have said that their creative medium brings them such joy that at times it can be utterly overwhelming. I have been known to shed a tear (ok, get misty eyed, I wasn’t bawling my eyes out!) when walking into a bead shop with a particularly good and well-arranged selection. It simply was my idea of heaven.
We do have some excellent bead shops in the UK but nothing we have compares to the US. They LOVE their beads!
This powerful force that is awakened by my tiny glass spheres, is my passion for creativity and in a world where there is often much destruction and negative emotion, I think it is a good thing to hold on to this love, and live it.

What inspires you and how does your creative process make you feel? Am I the only one who feels love for my beads?!

I wanted to finish with one of my favourite quotes which is by George Bernard Shaw,
” Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself. ”


Hear, hear!