My tools and supplies

The jewellery making cupboard. In this little building live my ribbons, wire, beads, charms, packaging materials and a lot more.

Moving into my current flat made me have a complete re-think about BeeBiju, Bee’s creations and how I work. Granted, I’m having a bit of a delayed reaction but I think I’m in the right headspace for it now – i.e.: not functioning on blocks of 3-hours sleep. So getting a cupboard might not sound like a big thing but this means that there is a new home for my supplies – which looks quite pretty on the eye (thank you for the recommendation, sis!) – and most importantly, all the tiny, dangerous bits are stored away from the curious eyes of the resident little human.

So here is The Cupboard:

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Due to its size, it’s in the hallway, right next to the office (again, thanks for the recommendation, sis!). That means I’m surrounded by everything I need, but not in a I-cannot-move kind of way.

As for the contents, here is a snapshot:

I love playing with bright colours, which you can see translated into my beads, cords, ribbons, wires and charms. I also have a number of tools I look forward to use more, like a Kumihimo disk and a bead loom – I will let you know about my experience with them in later posts.

I really do have more than I remembered – more supplies and more ideas – so it’s time to put these into action and, hopefully, I can develop my BeeBiju in the process. I will make sure I document my successes as well as my failures and frustrations and I hope to give you a fun read.

What happens next:

September will be dedicated to structure – my brain needs it and I often wonder if I focus on structure so much that I end up neglecting the process… I suspect the answer is yes! But I will try to time it a little bit better so I can focus on content more than planning.

Let’s go for it! And in the meantime… enjoy the next few days 🙂

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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!

3 jewellery pieces, 1 dress

Exciting times – our first collaboration!

It’s that time of year in which The House of Lotz tells everyone about 1 dress, 3 ways: with the sense of fashion of a pro, my dear friend and fellow blogger Charlotte recommends three different ways to wear the same dress. This time around, with her focusing on Christmas, her followers will spot some new additions to her gorgeous outfits (I may have something to do with it).

Casual Christmas at home:

Looking very much like Christmas, my Pearl earrings, complement Charlotte’s lovely complexion and short haircut… and how can we ignore her awesome Squirrel jumper – which, by the way, goes so well with her dress???

Dangle earrings (9)

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Work Christmas Party

How many times before have you had the work Christmas party… right after work?! And yes, you want to look different but you don’t have the time (or energy) to start the getting ready process all over again… Sometimes re-touching your make-up and putting some earrings and a necklace can do the trick! With my amethyst earrings and necklace, Charlotte pulls this off “like a boss”!

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A Formal New Year’s Eve:

You want to look like a million dollars but you also want to  be able to relax, enjoy and properly celebrate. I can assure you that your outfit is only a tiny part of it, you will be the sensation, not what you wear. So, simple and elegant is the way. Once again, Charlotte makes it happen beautifully, letting my ribbon bracelet complete the look, not take over it.

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Now off you go, it’s the weekend and not only you have your Christmas shopping to do, but now you also need a black dress 😉

Special thanks to lovely Charlotte, who acted as a model and put up with me going “A tenth of an inch to the left”;  “to the right”; “Bag in the picture, let’s do it again”! When you can, it’s worth checking her blog; with a mix of fashion, food, well-being and more, you’re in for a treat!

Briana **

 

 

Pendants and Charms

So, after taking some time to redefine priorities… here we are! While, of course, I need to create new items and advertise my shop to get it out there, I feel that the blog is becoming a very important part of the whole process; it allows me to share my experiences and it also helps me think outside the box. Due to the nature of the blog, I figured that while some posts will be generic and short, a big part of them will be based on research, new techniques, my shop, etc. So, as part of it, I’ve decided to post less, so I can make this blog more relevant and interesting for myself and, more importantly, you!

Today I want to keep it simple… let’s talk about pendants and charms! I love the diversity out there. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets… you can really use your imagination to expand on the ideas!

So what is the difference between both? Of course, as most concepts, these too can vary but after some research (I’ve always wondered myself) I settled for the idea that pendants are usually bigger and primarily used for necklaces whereas charms are generally smaller, great for bracelets and earrings. Here is a concise explanation by the GEMaffair diaries.

At the end of the day, no matter the definition, the possibilities are endless and will probably suit you whether you’re a beginner or you have a lot of experience. Here are some examples of pieces I have done:

Fairy earrings – for these earrings I used cute little fairy charms. Due to their size, they are great for bracelets too.

Bronze earrings – I’d be tempted to call these pendants! One would look pretty good in a simple bronze necklace… but let’s follow the definitions, here are my circular flower charms!

Silver chain necklace and chain earrings – A little different as the charms were beads to start with. These were then attached with silver wire and jump rings (I also used a bit of chain to complete the earrings).

These ideas really are like the tinniest needle in an enormous stack. For now, here are some of my favourite shops (online and off):

– Hobbycraft (this goes without saying!) – pendants and charms

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DIY Time

Later on today, I plan to visit a new bead and jewellery supplies store (well, new to me, they’ve been in the business for almost 50 years) and I suspect the challenge will be to spend less that 5 hours in there. I will let you know how that goes… 😉

My creative corner

Yes, it is important to have one! I will forever be faithful to the idea of having a little corner so you can completely disconnect from the outside world and focus on the “here and now”.

I can be a bit too aware of the surrounding space and can get easily distracted if there is no structure around me. Naturally, when I got involved with jewellery making and as I started getting more tools and materials things got a bit… chaotic (to say the least)! As a consequence and to avoid the messy kind of stress, I ended up putting together my own creative corner. It changed with time as it was all a bit trial-and-error but I think now it’s as I need. I now have beads to one side, tools to another, made jewellery separately… it’s a jewellery making Heaven 🙂

Below are some pictures of the adaptation process before the current stage:

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Essentially, before I was finding space rather than creating it. Here is how it all looks now:

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My desk: I always try to keep it free of things I’m not using at the time. It isn’t gigantic so I like to ensure I can use it as I need it.
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Tools and materials storage: Yes, I finally managed to get it all together so I don’t need to go around looking for what I need in different corners of the room anymore!
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My finished jewellery pieces (as well as my “paused” projects at the back)
Here I keep all my small beads and small charms as well as most of my findings
Here I keep all my small beads and small charms as well as most of my findings
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This is where the “heavy duty” beads and charms are… and some feathers
A mess that I understand so well! Here are all my tools!
A mess that I understand so well… Here are all my tools
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The board: Great to keep up with the things I need/want to do, motivational sentences, timetables, lists and so on. And why not use it to hang materials for pieces I’m doing?

Regardless of how organised you are, here is the thing to remember: If, like me, you have a million things on your to-do list all the time, set realistic deadlines! And allow yourself a bit of time to RELAX! (yes, yes, hard, I know – but you need it!).