Taking a break

Hi! I hope you’ve all been well and creating away!

After quite a bit of thinking, I’ve come to the conclusion that, despite my best efforts, I don’t have the ability to do 10 thinks per second (who’d know?) and yes, sometimes, I might need to chose between doing fewer things or walking around like a zombie, always on low battery, while my to-do list just piles up.

After getting married last year, 2016 is also one for a little bit of change, with a number of new challenges lined up. One of them is remembering that, as much as I love jewellery making, I don’t want it to become something I have to do rather than something I enjoy.

By all means, I love both creating new pieces and writing so I’m definitely not prepared to give up on BeeBiju or Bee’s Creations. I feel, however, that I need a bit of time to regain focus and specially make sure I don’t overload myself with things as I have a habit of doing!

So for once, without an exact time frame (it could be a month or two, it could be more), I am consciously putting a number of things on hold – Blog and Etsy shop included – until I get the other bits organised and allowing myself a bit of time without rushing around. My shop will remain opened for most of the time, however, you will most likely not see new items until then. I will also keep the blog online so you can visit older posts.

I will miss writing and creating, which I might secretly do while nobody’s watching, in preparation for when I’m back, but I am counting on coming back with enough energy to take Bee’s creations and BeeBiju further 🙂

I can’t wait!

But until then… slowing down time!

Love,

Briana

Monthly pick – June

Sometimes, the simpler, the better!

My favourite item this month is not a part of my new Travelling Collection nor a piece that took me 10 million hours to do!

n the Moon” earrings.

These earrings speak for themselves, with their simplicity and uniqueness! The adorable cat having some “thinking-time” in the Moon is a genius idea (thumbs up to the author)!! Anyone else identify themselves with this lovely pair of earrings? I know I do!

As per usual, here is my Promo Code – BEEBIJUBLOG6 – available until my next post is up.

 

Oui, Paris!

Hi, you! First of all, apologies for my absence. While I was busy travelling, working and with other bits and pieces, I didn’t realise that almost THREE MONTHS have passed (scary, no?!)!

Now, let’s put in practice something I’ve wanted to do for some time: a travelling collection.

During my honeymoon in Cuba, I was in a complete “offline” mode but I kicked myself a bit when I came back, very happy, extremely exhausted and… beads free – yes, I actually forgot! While in Havana, the hubby and I visited a lot of gorgeous places and had a very interesting cultural learning experience, to say the least. But despite the fact our living room has a little bit of Cuban art, my craft drawers don’t!

So, on a personal level, I’ve made a commitment to travel more and while it’s not easy – for many reasons (one of them being my irrational fear of flying) -, I’m trying as I love the idea of getting to know other cities, countries and cultures. At the same time, when possible, I want to get my crafty side, as much as my cultural side, on it. And where should we start? Lovely Paris, of course, a city full of elegance, culture and gorgeous sights! During a city break with the hubby and some friends, I paid a “little” visit to a beads shop – that is, while the friends caught up with their sleep in the car and the hubby kept asking “Are you done? Are you done?” 🙂 In the heart of Paris, lovely little Matière Première filled me with indecision. Eventually, I settled for these items:

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And I’m happy to say that they all have a purpose!

While I feel quite comfortable with the idea of making earrings (as you will see with most of the results!), I gave it a go with a few bracelets as well.

And I must confess, after days of consideration, I decided to keep a pair for myself:

 

As for the rest of the pieces, here is a little sneak peek of what they look like:

And I’m thrilled to share them on Etsy, as the first items in my “Around the World” collection! Feel free to take a look and let me know what you think. And as per usual, here is a discount code, in case you decide to buy: BEEBIJUBLOG5.

See you next time!

Easter jewellery

“Why buy Easter eggs when you can buy Easter jewellery?” (thank you, Charlotte!)

Easter is not all about chocolate (if I say this enough, I might actually believe it). It’s a lovely family occasion and, of course, there are very strong religious reasons behind it.

This year, I am also making it jewellery related… here are my Easter earrings. Currently on sale in my shop BeeBiju, the choice is between the super cute bronze bunnies or the cheeky silver chickens. As per usual, a promo code is available – BEEBIJUBLOG4 – for a 15% discount. This code will be live until my next blog post comes along.

 

HAPPY EASTER!

Love your mind

A few days ago, when I got home after work, it was already dark. In my not-so-well-lit road, I got off the car and happened to look up only to realise the sky full of stars – and in case you’re wondering, yes, I’m still in the UK, despite the clear sky. That, once again, reminded me that sometimes I need to take a step back!

 

As I mentioned last year,  I might be steering away from Jewellery Making at some point, just to give you all a little something different and this is one of those times.

Another exciting collab with my good friend and fellow blogger Charlotte Vickers (proud and talented owner/blogger of House of Lotz), this time we want you to focus on… you! And don’t forget to check her blog post for her perspective on this topic.

More often than not, with the busy lifestyle that comes with, well… being a part of the Universe, comes this lack of awareness that you’ve entered auto mode… and with auto mode constantly on, it’s only natural to forget to stop, take a breath and relax.

Whether you’re a busy Mum (or a stay-at-home Dad) or someone with the busiest ever social schedule, whether you’re a student or have 2 jobs, stress will sooner or later creep up on you. Now: stress is not necessarily negative (in moderation) and there are a thousand ways to keep it under control. And trust me, if you didn’t even know how “auto” you’ve been lately, you’re not alone!

When I need to get back to my “in-control” headspace?

Why not try a few things to find out what works for you? Take a step back and force yourself to take 10. Get up and take a walk, do a bit of brain dumping, sing a song or dance like crazy… For me (Charlotte knows too well) verbal brain dumping can work wonders! 5 minutes of going “wraaaaahwaaaawaaaa” and done! Oh, and one I love: putting a nice happy empowering song on and dancing and singing as much as I can – yes, I am the crazy one in the car, singing (more like screaming) and grooving like there’s no tomorrow!

And when I can make some time for me?

When I have a bit more time I, as you all know, create. I’ve never been particularly great at Arts but Jewellery Making has become a HUGE hobby, an outlet for any stressful time. I can also see some results of my work pretty fast so it’s great to feel that little sense of achievement every time I finish a new piece.

 

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I love my own space but time with family and friends is needed and much much appreciated. As cliche as it sounds, spending time with the hubby watching a film or out for lunch with the sister is fun and effective. Same goes for going out with friends. And those who know me also know that, for me, spending time with the niece and nephew is precious! And I gotta tell you, kids know how to have fun! (How else can you justify spending time hiding from/scaring/hiding from/scaring someone and laughing until you cry as a result)?

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Exercise! Yesss, my biggest struggle for time! If I’m at work, I’m structuring my week schedule for BeeBiju (my shop). If I’m doing my pieces I’m thinking about dinner. While I’m washing the dishes, I’m planning my next blog post… It’s hard to imagine going to the gym and having no time to do or think about other things. But I have been trying very hard, after signing up again, and have been going as much as I can. I also realised I miss dancing A LOT so I signed up for some classes, which I can’t wait to start… exciting!

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Now a few tips:

  • If you’re used to a busy lifestyle, learning to take time for yourself will take commitment. You have to teach yourself to accept that it’s ok to take some time. If you struggle with it like I do, schedule some time for it in your calendar to start with.
  • Having stated that, don’t force it by saying: “I’m going to wake up at 5.30am so I can relax until 6.15am” or “I will go to Nero but at 7pm I’m going to rush home to make dinner”. It doesn’t work if you’re walking around like a zombie or trying desperately to make up for time “wasted” relaxing 🙂 Try, instead, something like, “I will leave work today, get take-away for dinner, and worry about nothing at all this evening” or “I will go to bed right after the kids and I’ll read my book until I fall asleep”. Don’t let the respite become stressful!
  • Go with what you like to do! This post contains just a few examples of what you can do to relax but it’s a “me” guide. It has some of the things I do to unwind but it doesn’t mean it will necessarily suit you. If you’re not into exercising, going to the gym will feel like an obligation; for parents of young children, perhaps an hour by yourself at the coffee shop might sound like the perfect break. Focus on you and find what feels good for yourself!

The Disneyland of Jewellery Makers

Christmas Party at the London Jewellery School? Super in!

LJS are renowned for the wide range of courses and qualifications.

I wanted to take a closer look and, just as well, received a notification for their December Annual Christmas Party… and was I impressed! Based near Liverpool Street/Aldgate (see details here), the school and staff are very  welcoming and, right away, I could tell that they’re everything I can see online and more!

The evening was filled with activities from beginning to end, all of them around, of course jewellery making. Many prizes were given with games and competitions. I met really interesting people, from staff to students and people who, just like me, were visiting the school for the first time. Some have online shops, some were trying to figure out whether they want to get into it and I even met someone who sells her pieces at a local shop in her area!

As for the school, I cannot wait to start doing some of the courses. They really do have lots to choose from and as soon as I saw all their class list, I started making plans in my head. Take a look at their 2016 prospectus here, it’s great and the feedback from the other students was really positive (I met a particular lady who, since retirement, has done a number of courses with them; the necklace she was wearing on the day was made by herself using Fused Glass).

And for you, WordPress fans… guess what they also have?! That’s right! Here is their blog, full of super interesting posts!

What about you? Are you thinking about paying them a little visit? 😉

Briana

I make cookies! – the Craft Swap

Table with 10,000 bits of wire? Check!
Kitchen looking like niece and nephew’s playroom before tidy up time? Check!

These are the results from our Craft Swap (Charlotte and I got together once again)!

For the first time EVER – in my very modest 27 years -, I made cookies! With the help of a pro, of course! And I’m very proud to say they’re all gone (blame the hubby)! Thanks to Charlotte, I managed this without baking stones or painting my kitchen walls with chocolate and icing sugar. She’s an awesome teacher and gave me all the “do this’ ” and the “becauses” so I can say I now understand the science behind sugar cookies.

 

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My poor kitchen after my little adventure

So while I baked cookies, Charlotte made jewellery (ah-ha! That I know a bit about!). She did great and ended up with a lovely pair of earrings she took home. For this, we used the super-fun Coiling Gizmo (I just had to show Charlotte how to use it and voilà!).

For this project, the following tools and materials were used:

Materials

  • 0.8 mm Silver Wire
  • 0.4 mm Artistic Wire (purple)
  • Earring hooks

Tools

  • Coiling Gizmo (to coil away)
  • Nylon jaw pliers (to straighten the wire before use)
  • 1 or 2 flat nose pliers (to bend the wire when/if needed)
  • Round nose pliers (to make the loops)

Charlotte double coiled wire to make the pieces. When doing this, it’s important to remember that you can use any wire gauge desired but the wire that you coil first cannot be thicker than the second wire (they can, however, have the same diameter). In this case, Charlotte used 0.4mm purple Artistic Wire to start. She coiled up to the desired length and, when she was finished, replaced the coil with the 0.8mm silver wire, inserting the purple coil in the silver wire (as shown in the photos below).

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From this point, it was a matter of coiling as much (or little) as she wanted.

Here is the gorgeous end result. Well done Charlotte!!

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Charlotte’s earrings

 

For a bit more detail on how to coil wire, take a look at my previous post: Coiling Gizmo, which contains tips, advice on what to watch out for and some links to a few interesting and informative videos on the Coiling Technique.

Going back to the cookies, once again, a huge thank you to Charlotte for the patience of taking me through every step of the recipe, bearing in mind I needed EVERY SINGLE BIT explained! Check her blog post here, for more details about the sugar cookies and a bit of the “other-side” perspective. This was great fun and I cannot wait for the next blog collaboration!! But I think maybe, just maybe, I’ll stick to what I know best and I’ll leave the expert baking to Lady Lotz! 🙂

And a Happy New Year!

Today marks the New Year! .Well, I know, it’s not the 1st of January anymore but at a working level it does! I’m back to my full-time job, BeeBiju re-opened on Etsy and Bee’s Creations is back to life – exciting times!

Stay tuned for tutorials, jewellery making advice and lots more!

May 2016 bring you a stream of beads, a wave of findings and a sea of inspiration 🙂

Taking some time off

Yes, the time has come. It’s Christmas!! Time for family… and food! (Yey!!!)

I am also taking a bit of time to focus on my shop, not only to make new pieces but also to have new material to continue to deliver this blog.

I will be back in January and, in the meantime, if there is something you would like to see featured in Bee’s creations, leave me a note! This blog is for you so who better than, well, you to tell me what to write about?

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and as we say back home, get into 2016 with your right foot! 😉