A departure from food: beading bonanza!

My cousin got me some wire, combination pliers and some seed beads as a Christmas present when I was 12 years old, and I’ve been a beader ever since. My first job out of school was as a jeweller, during which time I got a qualification in design and manufacture of fine jewellery, but I’ve always preferred cheap and cheerful, there’s so much more scope for grand sparkle and it’s so much less catastrophic if anything goes wrong!

Like many of my hobbies, it waxes and wanes. A few years ago I started teaching some simple projects as Adult Learners’ Week courses. I picked a design, broke it down into stages, purchased a lot of wire and beads in bulk (so much cheaper, as always!) and most of the people who came to my classes left with something wearable, which was quite pleasing when a lot had arrived proclaiming their supposed lack of skill.

This year I was recovering from surgery during the Adult Learners’ week and unable to deliver any classes, however I still have many kilos of beads left from previous years. I decided to make some quick bits and pieces to get my hand back in (I’m always meaning to make decorations for winter fairs, and then never quite getting round to it) so I made some earrings, some rings, a couple of necklaces. Then I started making some simple friendship-type bracelets and once started I kept thinking of different colour combinations I wanted to try. These are just one series (in my favourite colours) and I’ve made a couple more since I took this picture yesterday!

forearm almost covered with a series of bead bracelets in purple, turquoise and silver colours

I’m thinking about organising a craft swap, so I’ll probably put up a couple more posts with some other bits I’ve made in a little while…

Christmas Jumper

So, someone has a “wear a silly jumper to work” day tomorrow, and was going to buy an acrylic monstrosity for the best part of thirty quid. Instead I persuaded him that I could make him a Christmas jumper using an old item of clothing and synthetic felt.

I ended up finding a craft activity in the shops which just required sticking pre-cut shapes to other shapes to make a snowman and Santa which were then meant to go on sock shapes. Instead I stuck them to the jumper and made a tree, holly and present out of some of the sock fabric. And for the heck of it I just sewed one of the sock sections onto the back of the jumper. The top is open, so there’s scope for putting sweets in it, for bizarre novelty value.


For a quick and cheap solution I think it turned out quite well! (yes, I am aware it’s ridiculous!)

November ninety – day twenty-seven

Leicester Adult Education College was having one of their regular craft sales today (they seem to hold them once or twice a year), where they sell items which students have created during classes but not wanted to take away themselves for whatever reason. As you can imagine, the quality varies widely but it’s worth having a look, especially if you only work five minutes away!


At the last sale I was very taken with the work of one particular student as it had a lot of quirky charm, but unfortunately I hadn’t taken much cash with me. I still managed to procure a woodland themed planter, i.e. a plant-pot-holder in the shape of a tree trunk with various creatures (one of them apparently a very large squirrel) disporting themselves upon or nearby said trunk.

This time there wasn’t anything quite as eccentric, which is probably just as well for my budget, and I just spent a fiver on some festive decorations, not pictured in case I decide to give them to someone who also happens to read this blog! (I have asked most people for a present truce, but I’m not sure everyone will comply).

So, spend today £5, taking month’s spend to £77.50 out of a target of up to £81 for day 27.