Friday, 31 July 2015

Using Beads & Wire

Yesterdays National Beading Week Blog was all about the Spiral Folk made from beads and wire, so I thought today we would look at what else you can make using beads and wire.

As you may know, I am very fond of knitting and so have made several bracelets, by threading beads onto wire and then knitting with it.

But, don't worry if you can't knit, there are lots of other things you can make. Threading beads onto Memory Wire is great fun and relatively easy to do. You can create many different looks by adjusting the colour or size of the beads - here is one of my favourite ones.

But maybe you don't want a bracelet. Well how about some flowers then.
French Beaded Flowers are made by threaded seed beads onto wire and then twisting the wire to form the flowers

Of course there are lots of other fun things you can make with Beads and Wire, I like to have a play, when I get the time and here are a few of the things I have made.

As you can see from all the above, I am no expert with these things, but I do like to "have a go" and am always delighted with the results.

 I hope this has given you a small insight into what you can make with Beads and Wire and maybe given you the incentive to have a go yourself.  We have a Pinterest Board - Crafting with Wire - that has lots more ideas and a couple of tutorials on it - click here to have a look.

Of course, youtube is a good source of information about these sort of things, but be careful - it has a habit of stealing your time and making you wonder where the afternoon went!

If you want to have a go at knitting a bracelet with beads and wire click here to see the kits on our website in a great range of colours.

That's all for today - tomorrow is all about Greenland Beading!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Can Beads have Character?

Can beads and wire have character? Surely not!

 Well  click here to meet the Spiral Folk over at Spiral Rose and you might change your mind.

Cathy Rose, the face behind the business explains:

I started Spiral Rose just over two years ago, and at the time I was making wire-wrapped jewellery. I wanted to expand my range to include items that nobody else made, and the Eureka moment came when someone suggested I should make fairies.

Using wire, pearls and lucite flower beads, I came up with a 2.5 inch high fairy that immediately proved popular and it wasn’t long before people started asking for adaptations, like elves, witches, angels and even steampunk fairies. The Spiral Folk were born!

I thought it would be fun to personalise the figures, giving them charms to represent hobbies and occupations and started posting silly photos of them on the Spiral Rose Facebook page.

It soon became clear that while the Spiral Elves were helpful little souls, 

The Spiral Fairies, on the other hand, were mischievous little tykes who regularly got into trouble, often involving the over-consumption of food and alcohol! (Did you know that fairies puke glitter?)

Followers of the Facebook page really embraced the Spiral Folk and started suggesting scenarios for photo shoots and stories about their lives. Requests came in for ‘Mini-me’ Spiral Folk that actually looked like real people! (Have you ever tried to draw a recognisable face on a 10mm pearl? It’s not easy!).

Do you recognise this one - of course it is our very own Andy Murray!

The Spiral Folk community has grown and they’ve found homes all over the world. They have a variety of jobs and hobbies including medics, Police officers, fire fighters, musicians, sports stars and crafters. Or how about Spiral Cavemen?

Cathy kindly made two Spiral Witches who help me out on the Glitterwitch Facebook page, they are called Purl & Pearl and are very well behaved and hard working.

So, can beads and wire have character? Of course they can!

If you’d like to commission a Spiral figure, contact Cathy on her Spiral Rose Facebook page here. Prices start at £6 plus p&p

That is it for today folks, tomorrows blog is more about using Beads & Wire.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

How Wood You Use These Beads?

When you think of using beads for crafting, what do you think of? Making jewellery perhaps?

Beaded jewellery is, of course, lovely, but there are so many more things you can do with beads.

We have a range of Wooden Beads on our website and it never ceases to amaze me the things that customers use them for. I have set up a Pinterest Board  all about these beads and thought I would show you some of the ideas here.

Lets start simple, this would look great attached to a parcel.

Now, I am sure you have all seen these before.

This is a bit more ambitious, but doesn't it look lovely?

So, do you feel inspired to have a play with some Wooden beads?

I will leave you with my favourite idea from one of my lovely customers, Claire from Cobweb Creations . She makes the most wonderful Magical, Quirky collectables. Let me introduce you to Warwick Cobweb

Can you see how she has used to wooden beads. Isn't he just adorable?

If you would like to see more from Cobweb Creations click here to visit her Facebook page and then you can follow her magical world.

You can quote code NBW2015 during National Beading Week to get 10% off our Wooden Beads, click here to see our range on the website.

Tomorrow we ask the question Can Beads have Character?  Pop back tomorrow and and see what you think.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Beads Beads Everywhere

Well, here we are again, and today's blog is a little different - it is a beady poem.

Beads, beads everywhere
I've dropped them on the floor.
They are rolling across the carpet
And now heading for the door.

They've rolled across the hallway
And down the stairs they go.
I don't think I can catch them,
Watch out down below!

They are off towards the garden
I wonder where they'll rest.
Oh no, here comes the magpie
He will want them for his nest!

At last I think I've trapped them
Herded them under a garden chair.
One lesson this has taught me

The next beads I buy will be square!

I hope that made you smile today.

Tomorrow's blog is about some different uses for beads.

Quote NBW2015 for 10% off beads during National Beading Week click here to visit website

Monday, 27 July 2015

Its All About the Seed Beads

Day 3 of National Beading Week - have you been playing with your beads yet? Today's Blog is all about Seed Beads.

As a teenager in the 1970's I loved the growing trend for seed bead necklaces and bracelets, known as Love Beads.

I would save my pocket money, actually I saved my bus fare money by walking to school, to spend Saturdays with my friends scouring the shops for the prettiest necklaces. Love Beads were everywhere! We would wear them as necklaces, wrap them round our wrists as bracelets, and I would even weave them into a small plait at the side of my hair. Lucky there are no photos of that!

So began my love of seed beads. I now own Glitterwitch and am the only UK stockist of Size 9 TOHO seed beads in over 100 colours.  The trend for Love Beads has slowed down, but maybe we can revive it - here is my more modern take on a necklace. What do you think?

Of course, there are lots of other ways that you can use these lovely seed beads including Bead Weaving and Bead Embroidery. But another favourite of mine is making Christmas Decorations with them. (Sorry, I had to mention the C word in July!)
I like to use the Silver Lined Colours as they catch the light beautifully and sparkle away all day long.

I have no great skill at beading, my Crafting Superpower is knitting as some of you will know. But even I can turn my hand to some pretty decorations using these lovely beads. Hmm, now how can I combine knitting with these beads - watch this space.........

That's all for today folks - let me know what you think won't you.

Tomorrows Beady Blog is entitled Beads Beads Everywhere - see you then!

If you would like to see our range of Size 9 beads Click Here and don't forget, you can use code NBW2015 to get 10% off this week.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A Beady Childhood

Well it is Day 2 of National Beading Week and I thought I would tell you how I came to have such a love of beads.

As a small child, in the 1960's, I used to love buttons and beads. Mum had a button tin which contained all sorts of shapes and sizes and I remember spending many happy hours tipping the contents on the carpet and then slowly inspecting each one before placing it back in the big tin. But the best treasures were in a smaller, old tobacco tin

This contained beads collected over the years from pieces of broken jewellery. Neighbours and family members would bring beads and glass "jewels" when they visited to add to my tin. Other children would come round to gaze in awe at the beautiful items I carefully showed them. 

"What are you going to do with them all" Mum used to ask.
" I just like looking at them" was always my reply.

Back then my Gran lived with us and I used to love watching her getting ready for church on a Sunday morning.  She would wear her very finest clothes and always top the outfit off with a beautiful brooch.  In her top drawer lived a wonderful collection of beaded brooches, received as gifts and collected over many years.  

There were animals, flowers, birds and various random shapes. She would carefully select one to compliment her outfit, pin it on and always turn to ask me how she looked. Fascinated by the brooches, I always said that when I grew up I would use my beads to make a brooch especially for her.

I used to run to my Mum and say when will I be big enough to make Granny a brooch?  Soon, she used to reply, very soon.  Sadly my Gran left us before I managed to make her that brooch, but I always think of her with great affection and she is the inspiration for the items I make these days.

Lets end with a little song,  I expect you all know the tune:

When I was just a little girl,
I asked my Mummy what would I bead
Will it be flowers? Will it be birds? 
Here's what she said to me
Que Sera ,Sera, 
Whatever will bead, will bead
The future's not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera, 
What will bead will bead.

That's all for today folks, Tomorrow's blog is all about seed beads.

Click here to visit our website for 10% off beads during National Beading Week

Saturday, 25 July 2015

National Beading Week

Today sees the start of the first ever National Beading Week. 

Following on the from the very successful National Knitting Week, it's time for beaders to have some fun too.  So The Beadworkers Guild came up with the wonderful idea of beaders coming together to celebrate their craft. Click here to visit the National Beading Week webside

Here at Glitterwitch, I think you probably know that we love beads and so we needed little persuasion to take part in the event.  Lorna our Marketing Dragon has been working hard to add more beads to the website, and come up with an offer of 10% off all beads during NBW - just quote NBW2015 at the checkout to receive the discount. Not only that but she will pop a code in your order to quote for 10% off your next order as well!

If you don't already follow us on Facebook then now is the time to join our page here. We will be having some fun on there during the week with a Bead Clearance Album, some Flash Sales, and a few games as well.

If you are an experienced beader then our website has lots of beads and beading patterns for you. If you are new to beading, we have some kits  to help you get started. Click here to visit website

We will be posting a new blog each day throughout National Beading Week, some will be fun and some will show you some of the different ways you can use beads in your crafting.

So, come back tomorrow for our Blog entitled "A Beady Childhood".

If you would like to know more about the Beadworkers Guild click here

Monday, 6 July 2015

Who is your Business Hero? Mine may surprise you!

Those of us who run small businesses, often take inspiration from other, usually successful, business owners. So who is your business hero?  Is it someone like Sir Alan Sugar who started with nothing and worked his way up to being in the House of Lords advising on business matters? Of how about someone like Karren Brady who got to the top in the male dominated world of football.

Well, my business inspiration may surprise you - it is none other than the very cuddly Pooh Bear! I can almost hear you gasp from here - but just stop for a moment and think about it. A lot of what Pooh said makes sense and can be translated into a business scenario. Let me give you a few examples:

This to me is about customer research. Do you know who your typical customer is, age range, male or female, etc etc?. Your marketing efforts need to be based around just who your customer is, otherwise they will be wasted.

This is all about Marketing. It is no good just waiting around for customers to come to you, sometimes you need to go out and get them. Give them a little push, a bit of encouragement to purchase from you.

This one speaks for itself I think. No matter how small your business is, you need to be organised from the start. That way when you grow everything will fall into place easily.

A typical Pooh Bear comment, but one we can learn from. When describing a product, talk in a language your customers understand. Of course, they need all the technical detail, but they also want to know how it will make their life, better, brighter or easier!

We all get days when nothing seems to be going right and we wonder if it is all worth while. This quote from Pooh always makes me smile, and helps me to believe in myself.

I could carry on, but I think you get the idea now, and maybe understand why Pooh Bear is my hero - he always makes me smile and that can't be a bad thing.

I will leave you this time with one of my favourite Pooh Bear quotes.