Saturday 31 December 2016

Favourites from 2016

I haven't posted many photos recently, and partly that's because I keep wearing the same combos over and over again! So what were some of my favourites from my new buys this year?

ACA Kreations / Endangered Trolls collaboration - I have one each of the high shine and oxidised versions launched in late September. What tickled me is they came the day before I went to Denmark - so I took them straight back to Denmark the following day for a visit.

Ohmbead's Luna / Oxidised - I adore this bead, I have both versions but it's this bangle with the oxidised Luna that is so often on my wrist. I've barely changed this since it arrived, here is a pic taken only this week, still going strong from May!

Trollbeads Twisted Bangle / Silver - as you can see below the twisted version is pretty much constantly on my wrist, I love this version of their bangle. It was only released in early September but it's a firm favourite already.

Ohmbeads Typo Beads / M - I only have the M so far, but I intend to get ARS in January to add to it.

True story,  a friend asked why I'd spelt ASS wrong, when I mentioned I needed A, R and S and another friend asked "Didn't I need an E?"... they're all obsessed, or they're trying to tell me something!  In time I also want "Born of Fire" too, and okay, okay, I want all the alphabet plus multiples!!

I do have other favourites (who only has 4??), but these have all stood out for me and either have got, or will get, a lot of wear and be going strong into 2017!

Notes from 2016 - it seems I'm still quite the bargain hunter; there were a lot of preloved and sales buys in my box!  In fact most of the new full RRP items were either very Limited Editions (buy now or forget it!) or stoppers - I seem to have bought a lot of stoppers last year!

Name wise, for 2016 a combined variety of artisan makers topped my buying list, I bought more beads and jewellery from artisans than the big name brands.  In this list I include the lovely Eske Storm, Scott Bouwens and the fabulous ACA Kreations/Endangered Trolls collaboration shown.

Second on my list, unsurprisingly, were Trollbeads, with Ohm coming a close third, plus a much lighter scattering of X Jewellery, Elfbeads, Thomas Sabo Karma and Pandora (only bracelets for the last two).

I wonder what 2017 will bring?

What were your favourite beads or buys of 2016?

Friday 30 December 2016

2016 New Years Bead Resolutions in Review

Well hello blog! Long time no see...

I've finally got around to having a sort through my bead box, and in doing so my thoughts turned to the resolutions I made at the start of the year, how I got on with these, and that I really should get my arse in gear to tell you the results!

Making resolutions is something I've done for the last 4 years - so I really couldn't end the year without doing my annual review.

My New Year's Bead Resolutions 2016
  • To become a better beadmaker - this is a little vague and broad at the moment.  It's been spurred on by a rather unsatisfying session I had on New Years Day at the torch, where I learnt I not only can't bead and talk, but that not beadmaking for 4 weeks does make a really big difference to what I can produce!  I'm fairly sure this resolution is much more than become a more consistent beadmaker, although I'd like to do that too, along with learning a whole host of techniques that I'm spectacularly bad at, at the moment!  Perhaps this will morph into mini goals as the year progresses, we shall see!
  • To spend less in 2016 than I did in 2015 - This is my repeated bead resolution, I've actually achieved it every year, so it's not because I can't reduce my spending... and I am starting to get into the ball park of what I'd like to be spending on beads per year, not what I actually spend. So I've kept it in for another year as a reminder that I'm not quite there just yet.
  • To share more of my beadmaking journey - I've not really done this much apart from where the blog naturally crosses over with my beadmaking e.g. my Element bracelet where I wanted to make a glass set to go with my silvers.  I've been promising to do this more lately, so I'm going to set it as one of my resolutions to talk specifically about beadmaking, and learning to make glass beads, from my point of view.  As I'm writing this down, I think it might help me with No.1 too!

Okay, in no particular order... I dedicated my AtoZ to my beadmaking journey, so there were a whole 26 posts dedicated to glass.

However once the AtoZ finished that was pretty much it.  Not only for the spilling the beans about the beadmaking, but also for a lot of my blog posts and content, it's been rather sporadic for 2016!  So what happened?

Well a whole heap of things; I started going to college in April for half a day a week to learn more about glass fusing and kilnforming, I continued to make beads and fused glass and sell them via my new business and the day job got super busy.  Something had to give and that was usually the blog, and er, a lot of my social life!

For those curious about my beadmaking journey, the most updated place for information is probably the Born of Fire - facebook page (apologies for those not on Facebook), or my Born of Fire - Instagram (on occasion), or (rarely) my Born of Fire -Twitter.  The Born of Fire - website gets updated once in a blue moon when I remember... or I have to pay the fees!

To become a better beadmaker, looking back as what I was making December 2015 to what I made throughout the year, I think in many ways I did, but I also fell down the fusing rabbit hole, which was inevitable I guess given I started college in April so there were a whole load of new ideas I was trying out!

One of the best changes I made was attending Flame Off in April.  In turn this gave me the confidence to finally try some group lampworking courses which I had been too nervous to do before.

After a quick 1-1 lesson in Borosilicate to give it a go (different glass, different rules), my first course was with the lovely Marcel Rensmaag to make eyeballs!  We did make other things but it was the eyeballs I really wanted to try out.

Later in the year was a quick fire course with Ray Skene.  This really boosed my confidence and I learnt a whole host of new tricks, my favourite make from the day was my leaf pendant!

Finally on to the money, to spend less in 2016 than I did in 2015. In spite of a trip to Denmark, where I had a lovely splurge on Trollbeads and Eske Storm Jewellery, I managed it!  By quite a considerable margin actually, my spending on jewellery is finally coming down to something I consider more reasonable for a jewellery addict - although it's probably still a lot by "normal" standards of course!

All things considered I think I did okay on the 2016 resolutions.

What did you get up to this year that was different to last year?
Or did you want to do more of the same as it was so good?