Friday, 20 January 2012

Giveaway Time!

Hello lovely readers. Hope you are all well :o)

Time for a giveaway here on Damselfly Gemma. Technically this giveaway is celebrating the fact that I got my 100th sale over in my Folksy shop late last year...I've just been a bit late organising it!

I have decided to give away three heart themed pieces of jewellery as valentines day is approaching. This giveaway will run in a similar way to others I have had. I will do a draw for each item separately so you need to leave me a comment saying which of the three pieces you would like to win.

Here are you choices:

1) Frosted glass heart beads and sterling silver earrings

2) Blue resin drops with iridescent hearts and sterling silver earrings

 3) Pink glitter and black lace resin heart pendant with sterling silver bail

To enter:
Leave me a comment saying which of the three draws you would like to be entered in. One choice only please! Oh and make sure I have some way of contacting you if you win!

Open worldwide but as I will be paying the postage I will be sending the cheapest way possible ;o)

Closing date: 23.59pm Sunday 29th January (UK time)


Thanks to all that entered. I used a random number generator to select the winners (Elloria's Boutique, Charters and Say it Says). Congratulations :o)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Beading courses: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced?

What do you think constitutes a beginner, intermediate and advanced beader?

I ask because I've recently discovered (via the OTTBS facebook group and Becs) that there is a shop/studio not too far from me that offers exciting beading courses. Its called Stitchncraft. Amongst the many, many exciting courses are a few by the fantastic bead artist Laura McCabe. Now her 1 day courses are already fully booked but she does have a couple of 2 day courses entitled 'Masterclass Beaded Sculpture' that are for advanced beaders only who are proficient in all the basic stitches.

The course is £120 (excl. materials) which is very cheap considering you get 12 hours of tuition from a beading master but I do not consider myself an advanced beader so I doubt I will be booking it. Besides which I have masses of books and tutorials here at home that are gathering dust.

It has got me thinking though. What is an advanced beader? Competitions often describe an advanced beader as someone who has been beading for over 5 years. Well I certainly fit in that category but I do not consider myself advanced, maybe intermediate? I first started beadweaving in my early/mid teens I think, with a kit from Spellbound beads that I picked up at a craft fair in the NEC when I used to go with my Mum. Not long after I acquired Carol Wilcox Wells' Creative Bead Weaving. My copy is not the newer edition but is dated 1996. So, time wise I started to learn beadweaving at least 15 years ago. But, I have not actually done a lot of beading in that time! I have an okish knowledge of the basic stitches but occasionally need to dig out one of my many books to remind me how its done. I have never been on a beading course but have learnt through books, magazines, bought tutorials and the internet. I don't struggle following instructions but haven't actually done many complicated designs. The most complex kit I have purchased and completed is probably the dragon necklace kit from Spellbound beads. I did this at least 5 years ago and did not struggle with it.

I did not do much beading during my A levels or whilst at uni. I probably did no beading at all when I was teacher training and whilst I was a secondary school teacher. (So that's 3 years when I don't think I touched my beads). Just before I started my teacher training I joined the Bead Workers Guild and found a group in Totton that I used to attend but the teaching malarkey put a stop to that and I let my membership lapse. After leaving classroom teaching and moving into private tuition I have now rediscovered time for beading and am really enjoying it again. Last year I came across OTTBS and am loving being part of that group. They're all wonderful at encouraging and sharing. They are really making me want to bead loads and I have been beading a lot more since finding the group. They are making me want to go on courses to meet other beaders and develop my beadwork....which leads me back to my initial question! Am I a beginner, intermediate or advanced beader?!

One thing for sure, I need to actually have a go at some of the many projects I have in books etc! Although this will mean buying more beads as much of my stash was bough on the cheap and the quality is not good enough for beadweaving.

I also want to continue with resin and silversmithing and be honest, I like being a Jack of all trades, master of none! 

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

Hello lovely readers. Happy New Year! Hope all your 2012 dreams come true. xxx

In Damselfly Gemmaland things have been a little quiet as real life Gemmaland has been a little on the busy side. Don't worry though, I haven't forgotten about the giveaway. I'll try and get that sorted this month so keep an eye out. Haven't decided on the format yet but will prob be a choice of bits.

Here on my blog I have a few plans. I would like to use it to keep a better record of what I create. I'm really bad at photographing creations so I'm thinking that at each month end/beginning of next I'll put together a photo mosaic or something, mainly for my own records and so I can see my crafty achievements.

This month I have some creating booked in that I better get cracking with (for friends' wedding) and I'm also considering doing a few challenges running around over on "Operation Tackle That Bead Stash". The January challenge (that the link goes straight to) is very cool and I had a fab new book for Christmas that could be very useful- Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald. Over on the facebook group I'm taking part in a group challenge where we gave each one person picked a theme then you sign up and set the theme for the next person. I've got Earth, Wind and Fire. No time limit though so don't expect anything too soon on that front ;o) Also over on the fb group, Clair has suggested a earring beadalong where we make a pair of earrings every week for a year. Very, very tempted with this one!

On the folksy front. I've been a bit quiet. Haven't listed anything for a while. Not really been in the mood to and had a lot on. Hoping to get re-enthused on that front soon. I prob have a load to relist as I was listing daily 6 months ago. I'll prob start listing daily again soon. Missing the lovely people over on the folksy forums.

Well, there's some of my plans...what are yours? Exciting things planned?