Sunday, 1 December 2013

A Story of the "I Love Blood" Necklace in the Demi-Monde

When I decided that the time had come for me to sell beads - I didn't sell the ones I was making when I just started, they didn't seem to me to be good enough for other people to buy them - I thought that the best place to sell would be at a fair. And the first ever fair I went to was the Halloween weekend at Whitby. I made lots and lots of black beads, mainly tablet-shaped, and as you can see, they are still here with me! :)

There are all kinds, mainly etched with a tiny design on one side which is left unetched, or shiny. I do like them, and I hope one day they will find a good home with someone who will treasure them as much as I do.

The reason why I remembered these beads today is because I made a little necklace that consisted of three beads:

The original transparent red bead had a little white artificial diamond inside, but I could not find that necklace. It doesn't matter really, as today the sun was shining right through the bead making it all sparkly. When you look at them, you see "i", "heart" and a red bead in the shape of a drop. This was my take on "I love blood" - for the Whitby crowd.

BUT there is one other side to this story: in "The Demi-Monde: Winter", the first of the quadrology that Rod has written, there is a tiny episode, where Norma, one of the main characters, is surrounded by the bad guys, and "...The Witchfinder wrenched off the 'I (heart) Blood' necklace Norma was wearing, sending the glass beads skittering over the frost-hard cobbles."... Well, this is the necklace that went into the book!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Update from Daventry

Hello to you all again! I have decided (again!) that I will keep writing my blog no matter what. I love writing about beads and designs and colours. Actually, I'd prefer chatting about them, but I don't think my husband would be very happy, though he is very good about it, always helping me naming my sets and giving valuable comments on whether the colours have worked or not. Also my blog gives me an opportunity to keep people updated with what I'm up to these days.

Some of you might know that I have started working as PA, it is a part time position with London Russian Ballet School in Clapham. I am also looking after their charity "Kids Love Lambeth", so one can say that I am sort of a development officer. Despite a busy schedule and having sometimes to do bits a pieces over the weekend (like promoting performances on Facebook and in other media) I have not stopped making beads and jewellery and I still manage to sell here and there as well as write a tutorial from time to time. If anything, having to go to work has made me more focused on how I want to spend my free time, and of course when I go on my train journey there is plenty of time to think about new designs and projects.

So this is a little update on what's been happening in the "Princess Bead's Garden". I have also made new pieces for my Etsy shop, and here are the pictures. I had the "Russian Flag" pair in the shop for some time, but it became obvious that my Russian compatriots are not strong on jewellery making. So, as it is Christmas soon, I had a cunning plan and transformed them into a pretty pair of earrings, with a fashionable long loop, ready to wear. So we'll see! There is a bracelet featuring my famous "Berry! Christmas" beads, crystals and sterling silver findings. And the last one - Go, Matrioshka, go! One of the Matrioshkas, my winning stars, with a beautiful 8mm crystal on top as a sparkling crown, turned into a pendant - a truly unique piece. I have a better photo of it in the shop, but Blogger did not want to accept the portrait picture, so here it is in landscape. Talk to you soon! xx

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Daventry and Jewellery Making

"Shades of Red" Bracelet, detail

Oh, this is a surprise: I've decided to spend some time on my blog, I opened it and everything seems to look different here - so the Blogspot Team have changed things again. And there are lots of commands I can do from my toolbar, except the one that I use quite often - making the letters bigger. Ah, never mind!

Well, we've moved. Daventry is a much smaller place than we originally imagined, so I don't know how long we'll be here. We like going to the cinema, and occasionally going out for a cup of coffee, and there aren't places like that here. There is a Costa, but it gets absolutely swamped around lunch time and on into the afternoon - clearly people want to go somewhere to sit and chat with a cup of coffee and a biscuit, like us! - we've been there a couple of times, and I like it when a coffee shop is busy, but I do find it difficult to relax when you have to fight for a table.

I haven't unpacked my torch yet, there's been lots going on and I just didn't find the time. I go to the garage every so often and look at the boxes. But while I haven't been making any beads, I have been putting together some jewellery, and I have added some pieces to my Etsy shop. The picture of the Beads of the Day is a detail of my "Shades of Red" bracelet. These are the main beads in it, I have made them ages ago, the one on the right has lots of thick stripes in Red 428 and then small flowers in the same colour, everything on the transparent Light Blue 052. I wasn't very good at the time and I put the flowers directly on to the stripes, without putting a dot of transparent in between them for the flowers to stand out a bit. But the result was actually OK, a bit weird, but I was pleased (I did manage to get some transparent dots onto the flowers, that's why they are noticeable!). The bead on the left is made out of transparent Grass Green 020, with the dots of Red 022, with the "implosion" effect, which I found first described in Karen J Leonardo's book, again, ages and ages ago, before they made an appearance over here, in the UK. Actually, this was the only reason I bought that book, but I wasn't pleased with the results and I started doing my own "implosion" with layers and layers of opaque colours over transparent ones, which, I suspect, isn't even implosion. I should describe this better, I'll do that when I get to my torch. The thing about this bead is I like the colours, they do look really bright and cheerful even in the shade!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

February Already!

Bead of the Day: "Winter Slumberland" (sold on ebay)

We've been so busy trying to find a new place to live that I have totally neglected my blog - again! :( So I thought that if I keep it brief then it'll take me less time to write things which is always a problem: I write something, then I read it, re-write it, read it again and so on!

Anyway, in January I had to re-think my plans for the next book. Originally I thought I'd go to have a number of classes with Akihiro Okama and then I'd write a book of projects on japanese beads (tonbodama). But it felt like a book like this was very niche and it wouldn't appeal to a large number of lampwork artists and lampwork fans. Instead, I'll be working on a follow-up to my "Glass Bead Jewelry Projects" with possibly another 15 projects. The projects, however, are going to be more complicated, with more advanced techniques, like making and working with your own hand-pulled murrini, creating multi-layered paperweight-like base beads, decorating them using the very thin stringer, etc. etc. I've got lots of projects in my head; the trouble is, I've got to put it all down on paper and, what is a lot more difficult, to capture it all in photos.

I've also written and sent off two tutorials: one for the Bead and the other for Beads&Beyond. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to blog about the contents yet, so I won't :). The only thing is, as it's been bitterly cold and I have practially been unable to work in my usual place - conservatory - I've have a LOT of problems with making the final pieces for the articles, as I needed to send them off to be photographed by the magazines. Luckily for me, this hurdle is over and I'll be looking forward to seeing my projects in the summer issues - I'll keep you updated.

My little garden fairy is all covered in frost - Derbyshire proved to be very cold!

I've also been doing a lot of reading: Rod's second book in the Demi-Monde saga ("Spring") is out now, and I've been proof-reading the third, "Summer", and his other book which he wrote previously but haven't published yet. After that I've got the forth and the last of the Demi-Monde, "Fall", which is also written and is now with the editor. Busy!

Soon I'll start packing. Sadly, it will affect my bead making process... But I look forward to the new place and the new ideas!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Bead of the day: "Christmas Box"

Christmas is still coming to Russia: the Russian Orthodox Christmas is on the 7th January, and then on the night between 13th and 14th January it is the old Russian New Year - how cool is that! That's why I chose this bead for my today's blog: I made it some time ago, it is a hollow bead in the shape of a box with a decorated core. The festive theme involving red berries and green leaves of transparent glass with golstone-enhanced branches all of which is a slightly raised design is especially pretty with the light going through the bead. I've also partially etched it for the "frosted" look, but you can still peek inside. I'm not sure how good it looks on the photo, one really needs to see it in person, so as I don't usually go to fairs it is going to be more difficult to sell it - if I ever decide to do it.

I had some wonderful presents from my family this year, and they are especially dear to me because clearly a lot of thought was put into them. One of these which left me speechless when I opened it was a calendar designed by my children for me. I had told them I'd like a calendar and it had to be with flowers. But what I didn't expect at all was that they had contacted one of the internet companies which would print it and post it to you. So they put in photos of the previous year and even some older ones, including the pic of my parents at the datcha, and the leavers' ball, and many more. It is amazing...

Rod and I also received this lovely card which I loved so much that for the festive period I made it my FB profile pic, it's so cute! We don't usually give cards to each other, but the children said that they just couldn't resist when they saw it!

Happy New Year, and I hope it'll be happier, healthier and in general a lot better for all of us than the previous one!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Post-Christmas Lazy Days

Bead of the Day: "Ebay 1.6m Assortment"

Christmas is behind us, and the New Year is coming. I love these days: they are always so lazy - if you've got nothing planned, like me. Of course, there are bits and pieces to do, but generally it's relaxing after the pre-Christmas rush.

We had Rod's sister staying with us over Christmas, we went out for dinner on Christmas eve, as we always do, and for lunch on Boxing day, and it was her treat for us. There will be visitors in the next couple of days, the children's friends. I haven't been doing much in terms of bead making, and today is a lovely day, not too cold, so I will probably attempt to start on my tutorial for Bead magazine. It will be on making the Matrioshka bead, the winner of the British Bead Awards 2011. Although the actual article will be going into one of the summer issues of the magazine, they need the material for the 18th January, so I'd better get on with it. The actual making of the bead isn't complicated, but there will be many steps, especially on the shaping. So I'm looking forward to this challenge.

Also, and now it's not too early to reveal this little secret, one of my beads was included into the "Flow" magazine gallery of the winter issue, which is usually the issue dedicated to women in glass. I've had to keep it a secret until the issue was out, and now it's available, as I understand, but I haven't received my complimentary copy yet :(. I was also putting in some info about my book, but I haven't heard from them, so possibly they haven't liked it and didn't include the little promo write-up. Never mind.

Well, I hope you all are having a lovely festive season, and I'll be keeping you up to date with what's going on here. And I've started putting my "bargain" bead assortments on ebay, hence the photo of the Beads of the day. I don't think they are going to be too expensive, so if you are looking for some beads to practice your jewellery-making techniques on, they are there!:)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

And the Winner Is...

And the winner of the Festive Prize draw is Jane Tyrrell! Jane writes a wonderful blog ( of which I am a follower. She also has an Etsy shop ( ) where she sells beautiful jewellery and cards that she makes. Jane is a very talented jeweller, so it would be great if she lets me have a pic of what she's made with the "Morning Glory" beads. Thank you, Jane, for your support and I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a healthy, prosperous and peaceful New Year!

Apart from doing the Prize Draw, I've been thinking about starting a business page of Facebook for Nelli Rees Lampwork. The thing is, that although everything takes a lot of time for administration, it will give me a great chance of putting the links to my Etsy and ebay listings, especially if and when I put new beads and jewellery for sale. Whenever I do it on Facebook on my personal page, I always feel like I'm bugging my FB friends with my business things. My personal FB page is kind of for my "personal" things and announcements. I think it would be a good idea to split the two. So if you, my dear followers, get an invitation to "like" my new business page on FB, this is the explanation why I've done it.

Also, as you might know, my husband Rod has been writing "The Demi-Monde" books - saga, as they call it now, because there are four books in this series. It's been very close to both of us, as Rod asks me sometimes to proof read his work, and we do discuss the plot and the characters. So I'd also like to let my friends know what's happening on the Demi-Monde side of things, and again, I'd rather use my business page for these announcements.

I've looked into it, and it's not difficult, I'll just need to put some pix together to post on my profile etc, and I'll be in business! Talk to you soon!:)