Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 22 ~ One A Day ~ Corsage

Silk flower corsage with foliage and fronding. finished in sage green ribbon wrap.
Can be created in various flowers and colours to suit the outfit / occassion.

Celtic Woman - A New Journey - Sing Out

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 21 ~ One A Day Challenge ~ Glass bead necklace

Today's creation is a necklace created with various beads i simply think are "nice" The colours sit really nicely together and bring the best out of the focal bead.


Why is it so difficult to choose a new appliance?
Why, when you have chosen it, is it out of stock?
Why, when they finally get it in stock and decide to deliver it are you allocated a 7.15am until 11.15am slot? Who could cope on a school morning with workmen fitting it?
Why is it always the last minute of the slot when they finally arrive?
Why is it that you buy an electric appliance because you think you have the correct wire sticking out of your wall and you then discover it is outdated and cannot be connected?
Why when all this is going on around you do a million other things go wrong too?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Amy Grant - Father's Eyes

see the post below

Positive thinking ~ The power of Polly-Anna

When I was a child I had a really scruffy copy of the book Polly-Anna. I bought it from a jumble sale (the pre runner to car boot sales) and I read it and read it until the covers fell off and the pages became soft.
Even as a child I was ennamured and captivated by the attitude of the girl in my story book. You see, Polly-Anna was champion at the game "glad". She effected everyone around her and lightened their lives and encouraged everyone to join in.
The game had originated when as the child of a widowed missionary father, Polly-Anna had awaited a charity parcel hoping that inside it would be a doll. Imagine her dissapointment when instead of the flaxen haired doll, the parcel contained a pair of crutches. Her father seeing the dissapointment on his daughters face, encouraged her to look for something to be glad about and Polly-Anna was able to be glad that she didn't need them. This positive thinking got her through the death of her father, and the shipment to live with her aunt and then the horrific injury that caused her paralysis.
Amy Grant song Fathers Eyes, talks about reflecting God and it's words are very powerful:
She's got her father's eyes
Her father's eyes
Eyes that find the good in things
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help,
when help just can't be found
Eyes full of compassion,
seein' every pain
Knowing what you're going through, and feelin' it the same
I'd love to encourage you to join in this wonderful game too! How glad were you that you came along and read this post!

Day 20 ~ One A Day Challenge ~ flower brooches

I have been having a lot of fun with my flower loom, creating this selection of flower brooches.

Embroidery silk, wool and buttons have been combined to create the brooches.
The centres are sen together in different ways to create different looks.

Buttons are added as a centre.

This is an experimental one created with eyelash wool, but I am really pleased with the result.

I can't believe I've managed 20 days!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Beads are "a tonic"

How lovely to receive the following email from a client!

"Thanx for the lovely beads. Ooh they do look nice.Packaging very impressive I must say. I was sat at home in the cold as the boiler had broken feeling miserable due to being on crutches as I had a fall in the bathroom on our Spanish holiday just before Xmas. Then your beads arrived & cheered me up. You should advertise them as a tonic!!"

Casting Crowns - Who Am I

Another song with wonderful truthful words
"Not because of who I am,
but because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done
Because of who you are"

Day 18 ~ One A Day Challenge ~ Heart Brooch

Brooch created with multi layers of coloured felt and finished with embellishments of sequis and delica beads.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Grafitti ~ an art form to embrace

Driving into town yesterday, we drove through a run down area, where education and ambition are not embraced and where moral and hopes are low. It was as we passed the broken buildings and crumbling wastelands that my eye was drawn to some art work.
Sprayed onto the blank canvas of a former factory wall, was a mix of colour and line that thrilled my heart! A talent that someone had used. I don't understand the meaning, I didn't know the intention, but I could see the creativity and talent that had placed it there.
How sad that young people have the artistic site and ability to create this street art and yet not to have it challenged and recognised, to have someone champion their ability and encourage it into something for their own futures. Surely someone with such tallent should be encouraged into art classes or courses so that they can use and develop their gifts for the future.
I'd love to see councils set up free art places where people can go to grafitti to their hearts content, places where youth workers could communicate and encourage these tallented individuals.

South Cave History Movie

Justin from has assembled these historic images of South Cave and set them to music.
It really amazing to see how little certain aspects of the village have not changed over the years!

Day 17 ~ One A Day Challenge ~ Cake Toppers

I was asked to create the cake toppers for a cake topper for a friend.
The items are to represent aspects of her life:
Walking: boots and rucksack
Work: briefcase, court shoes and mobile
Holiday: fan, bracelet and dancing sandals
Rest: slippers and a bottle of wine.

Ennio Morricone conducts The Mission (Arena di Verona)

Another twentieth century composer whose music really touches me and has on many occassions been known to make me cry is the italian composer Ennio Morricone wrote the score for the film The Mission (staring Jeremey Ions) a film about missionary's who faced extreme trials whilst taking the message of Christianity to the South American tribes.

Day 16 ~ One A Day Challenge ~ Crystal Bracelet

Sundays make is a quick and simple bracelet with fire polished crystal drops in jewell colours.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Palladio ~ Karl Jenkins

Contemporary composer Karl Jenkins is a favourite of mine. His music is so powerful with its chord progressions. I love the depth of this piece. Another one to look out for is Adeamos.
Great video and still photography to enjoy too!

Day 15 ~ One a Day Challenge ~ Cufflinks

More Polymer clay scrappage use today. I have created two pairs of cufflinks using left over bits of polymer clay. I will soon have none left and will have to go shopping for some new clay!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hide me now ~ Reuben Morgan

Thoughts and prayers for a blogger friend Alleluiabelle and her husband Ron as they face trying times.

Day 14 ~ One A Day Challenge ~ pink choker

I recieved an email yesterday after someone had seen my purple choker asking me to create them a delicate pink one, so here's todays make!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 13 ~ One A Day ~ It's for me!

It's my birthday today and so my make today is for me. My favourite colour mix currently is the purple tones and I also love pearls, so I have combined the two to create this choker.

Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold

Over The Rainbow ~ The Eva Cassidy Story

What a fab birthday present! Thanks Mum and Dad!
Guess where I went to last night ....
Hull New Theatre to see the amazing show Over the Rainbow ~ The Eva Cassidy story.
The theatre production features a cast of about 9 people. Some with dual roles. The simple set being excentuated with the use of projected images of the places that Eva grew up in and visited.
The cast members are all competant musicians who form the band and the quality of singing is amazing.
The production shows scenes from her life and starts by introducing a fourteen year old Eva and her family. We see the relationships she had with them all and the shy, awkwardness with which she lived, her despiration to please her father, but her failure to do so. Her wonderful caring German mother, and her protectiveness and love for her sibblings.
We then see her growing up and getting her first job in a wild west theme park as a singer. Her tallent so obvious and yet her shyness holding her back.
When Eva was eighteen she met her sole mate Chris. Chris was a recoring engineer and Eva worked as a backing singer. Chris saw her tallent and when Eva asked him to help her produce a demo tape he agreed.
It was being introduced by Chris to singer Chuck Brown a black jazz singer and he dueted with Eva and was able to open doors into clubs and venues that had previously been shut to Eva.
Then came the famous Blues Alley album recording. Eva had borrowed money to fund it and everything was set. The night was by those that came hailed a success, but technical problems meant that the recording was of very poor qulality and Eva was unhappy as she felt her voice was nasily as she was suffering from a cold.
Sadly a cold was not all the Eva wa suffering from. Her arents owned a plant nursery and Eva loved to be working there, sadly a life outdoors tractor driving in the sun left her with a melanoma. The cancer was vicious and Eva missed appointments and it began to defeat her.
The Blues Alley Albumwith one additional song "O I had a golden thread" was not completed before her death.
On 17th September 1996 Eva gave her last public performance. Her friends organised a tribute concert. Eva arrived in her wheelchair, big fluffy hat and yet when she was lifted onto the stage she sang as though there was nothing wrong at all, her own version of "Wonderful world".
Sadly just six weeks later she died.
Eva Cassidy is the only artist to have achieved 3 postumous number 1 albums.
While she was alive Eva fought against the music industry and their closed minds. Albums had to be marketable in catagories, Jazz, blue, rock, folk, country etc. Eva transcended boundries. Her love for music was just that and her ability saw her totally capable in each genre. Record Labels were not interested in a wide tallent.
Eva Cassidy is still being discovered. Just recently she's had 5 albums all in the charts at the same time in Scandinavia as they have joined the throngs of Eva fans.
For those of you comtemplating going to the theatre to see the show, please don't forget the tissues. It's not only the end that has you weeping. Two songs in and they were flowing, women and men with tears falling.
The show features all her well known songs: Wade in the water, The rose, Kathy's song, Songbird, Imagine, What a wonderful world, Over the Rainbow, Fields of Barley, Autumn leaves and many many more.

Dispite the publicity showing Zoe Tyler. She wasn't there and from what I believe the whole of the spring tour, it will be by a girl who's voice, persona and looks were Eva. Sadly I don't know her name as she didn't appear in the programme. She was wonderful.

Day 12 ~ One a day challenge ~ It's just an illusion!

Day twelves creation is an eclectic piece made from various freshwater pearls, Czech crystals and beads left over from other projects. The colours are random and range from dark oily petrol blue, bronze and pinks.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The original and best artist. The designer of nature who see's the depth of my heart and loves me the same.

You placed the stars in the sky and you know them by name!

Beautiful ~Hyacinths

For christmas my daughter selected and planted some hyacinth bulbs for us and I think that today they are at their best. Beautiful pale yellow with a scent that delicately fragrances the air.

Look at the intricasy of the petals, how amazingly they are formed.

Day 11 ~ One A Day Challenge ~ Bead style

I have not actually assembled any jewellery items or other creations today, I have however been experimenting with bead finishes.
The beads above were plain wooden beads with a varnish coat on them. They have been hanging out in my stash for a long time and I decided to attack them with gold spray. I figured that I could use some gold beads in my designs. This morning I took and empty weetabix box, emptied all the wooden beads in and sprayed them until they were coated in gold. They looked great so I left thm on the back step and went out shopping. I can't believe what has happened and how good and stylish they look. The gold has adhered to certain areas and it now gives the impression that have applied gold leaf foils to them.

The second experimet is also leaving me very happy. I gathered some scraps of mica polymer. Mica is an inclusion in the polymerclay that adds a sparkle. Mica is a powdered stone.
Once the bead was baked I attacked it with a blade and shaved tiny areas of the curve so that it gave a hammered metal appearance. The mica is really brought out by this technique and it's quite metalic in it's look.
Both bead designs will find there way into some jewellery later in the week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 10 ~ One A Day Challenge ~ Polymer clay bracelet

Had some more fun with cane making last night and then this morning I thinly sliced it and applied it to some "guts" to create these beads. After baking and buffing to a shine, I assembled them with some ruby swarovski crstals and some patterned Bali beads to create this bracelet.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 9 ~ One A Day ~ fresh water pearl and Swarovski crystal bracelet

Todays make is a simple bracelet created using Swarovski crystals, fresh water pearls and Bali beads.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 8 ~ One a Day Challenge ~ White necklace

Today's make is a simple chunky white glass bead necklace. A classic style that never dates.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 7 ~ One A Day ~ Polymer clay play

I decided that today I was going to play with clay, but when I went to get it our, there wasn't the array I thought there was. This bracelet is what i call a sample run. The beads are all made out of related canes.
The bracelet base is an elasticated base in gold plate.

Sunshine Blog Award

What a lovely surprise when amid all the washing machine flood and hectic life, i discover that Elissa of Not Just Handbags has awarded me the Sunshine Blog Award for inspiring her to get crafting again! Thank you so much, it will look very pretty.
I now have to ellect 12 blogs to pass the award onto, not an easy task!
Ladies and gentlemen, may i have your attention please, the sunshine blog awards go to:
Sweet nothings : BJ thanks for sharing your lovely photos with the world!
Crafterholic: I love your blog and find it incredibly inspirational!
Sue Beads: I love to see what new creations you've been making!
Bodrighy: great to see so many beautiful things in one place!
Chasing cherios: Love your eclectic blog!
Unbought delicaces: wonderful crafting inspiration!
Emma Lamb: such a beautiful blog to read and look at!
A bun can dance: What a cute name for a blog. Great read!
Desert Colors: stunning photos, very inspirational!
A Baby changes everything: Such an inspirational read.
Aquamarine: love your use of colours.
Arlines allsorts: weddings and crafting ... too things i really love!
tat's all folk! I have to go and tidy up now!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 6 ~ One A Day Challenge ~ Floral mobile charm

Very nearly didn't get to make anythig today diue to a serious washing machine flood. Not going to shout too much about it because the filter drain became blocked with ............ a bead.
Luckily I managed to utilise my jewellery tools to open it up and remove it.
Anyway, better late than never is a mobile charm created using more of my acrylic flowers.

Blogging ~ A celebration

Another post inspired by a forum!
A year and a half ago, Blogs were unknown in my life. I barely knew what one was although I'd have had a guess. Those that wrote them were passionate about them and eventually inspired by one particular blogger (swirlyarts), I started my own.
It was a relitively easy process and Crystal Velvet Weddings sprang to life. I then had to make the decision as to whether to keep it as a professional or social blog and professional won the day.
That left a gap in my blogging life and I contacted another crafts forum member and together we set up Creative and Faithful. I really didn't believe that I had the time or inclination to write two blogs. Very soon though it became clear that I could and the friend left as she had big things happening in her life. Crystal Velvet is a happy balance in the crafting, personal thoughts and a bit of worship thrown in for good measure. I then started up a third blog Hallelujah Joy which is purely worship. There are a few cobwebs over there, but when I feel led, it'll be polished up!

My blogging day begins by logging in to see if there are any comments on my blogs, I then go onto the dashboard and read the posts on the blogs I follow. The beauty of Dashboard is that I can see just a snippt of each blog and can click on any that I want to read more of. I like to leave little comments of encouragement and in some cases prayer. It's such a privaledge to read the inner thoughts of people who don't even know me, to see what makes them tick and to share in their highs and lows. Thnk you to all of you whose blogs I read for giving me inspiring thoughts and stories. It makes me feel that I start my day off surrounded by my freinds from all over the world.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Esther ~ another Heroine!

Rembrant ~Esther Xerxes and Haman dining.

Following on from yesterdays post about Miep Gies, I found my memory jogged about another heroine of mine.

As a teenager, I was told the story of Esther and for some reason she seemed to me to be an amazing woman and one whom I aspired to be like. I'm not sure why she touched me, but it was probably because like Miep, she risked her own life to protect other people.

If you are Jewish, I'm sure you will be very familiar with the story, but for those of you who are not, then I'll tell you all about Esther ...

Esther lived in the land of Persia. She was an imigrant, her father and mother were dead and she was being raised by her uncle Mordecai.

The area was ruled over by King Xerxes (pronounced Zerk sees.) One day Xerxes held a large banquet and asfter he'd had quite a bit to drink called for his wife Vashti to come so that all the courtiers and guests could see how beautiful she was. Vashti refused and theis embarrassed the king greatly. This embarrassment turned to anger and he had Vashti exiled from the palace.

The king then set out to find a new wife. He called all the eligable girls to the palace. They were all treated for a year wth beuaty treatments, lotions and potions and in that year Esther made quite a hit with everyone who met her.

At the end of the year, the girls wre paraded in font of the king.

Xerses fell in love with Esther, she was beautiful and has a radience about her.

With out knowing she was a jew, (her Uncle Mordecai had told her not to let on), Xerxes married her.

Two of the kings ministers plotted to kill the king and Mordecai told Esther and she in turn told the king. The plot was foiled and then the king elected Haman to be minister. Haman was a man who hated the jews. What fueled his hatred more was the fact that Haman wanted everyone to bow to him in him new ministerial position. Mordecai refused because he said his Jewish faith did not allow it. Haman set out to see the downfall of the jews. He asked the king to decree that all the jews should be killed. The king did indeed decree it and set a date.

One night the king could not sleep and ordered his servants to bring him the diaries and to read from them. The entry that was read concerned the overthrowing of the plot to assasinate him. Xerzes asked what reward had been given to the man who had discovered the plot and found that no reward had been given.

The next morning he called Haman to him and asked what should the king do to reward the man who pleased him? Haman, thinking that the king was going to reward him said dress him in your robes and have your top man lead him about the city. Imagine Hamans anger and surprise when the king instructed him to go to Mordecai and lead him about the city.

Mordecai begged Esther to go to the king and beg for the pardoning of the jews. Esther was afraid, to enter the kings quarters with out his summoning was punishable with death. She pryed and faested and after three days went to the king.

The King although angry did not kill her, but asked what she wanted. Esther asked the king and Haman to dine with her. They did so and Esther met favour with the king, tell me what you want h said, even if it half my kingdom and you shall have it said the king. Esther simply asked that the king and Haman would come agian the following day, when she would tell the king of her desires.

The following day Esther explained that she ws a Jew and that hanam had pltted against them. She asked for the death threat to be lifted. The king ordered the death of Haman and set the jewish people free from their death penalties.

The celebration that followed is known and celebrated to this day by Jewish people and is known as the feast of Purim.

Day 5 ~ One A Day ~ Red Earrings

These stunning silver leaf with red and pink detailing have been accented with filigree bead caps and tiny fire polished crystals to create these screw fasten earrings. They can actually be made with clip on's, hooks or stud tops.
The second pair of red earrings have beautiful red hearts with goldstone detailing and pink floral patterns. Again these earrings can be created as screw top, clip on, stud or hook tops.


Thank you to all those of you who have contacted me over the last few days to let me know that I cannot receive comments.
I have now fixed the issue, I hope, although I actually have no idea how. I simply clicked on some boxes and it now seems to be working.
As always I love to hear your thoughts on my posts.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies

An english project to continue to share the story with those who don't know.
How poignat that towards the end of the video we are told that she is still alive and healthy. Sadly she died yesterday following a short illness.

Day 5 ~ One A Day ~ Amethyst Tiara

Created for a client, I have finally finished this textural crown. Created with aged silver wire and deeply rich peices of amethst, this crown is destined for big things!
More amethyst next month!!

Miep Gies ~ A real Heroine

Prompted by a post this morning on one of the forums I frequent, I began to think about what women were my heroes.
My initial thought were of those who had done brave and cutting edge things for women, the suffragettes who fought for our votes. Those who had pioneered work in contraception and womens health.
Sitting in the car on the way to the shops, I began to think of who else would be in my top 5. At that point Miep Gies came to mind.
Miep was the last surviver of the goup of people who protected Anne Frank and her family and hid them from the Nazi's.
Miep was originally from Vienna, but moved to Holland when she was 11.
She worked as a secretary for Anne's father Otto.
When the war broke out and the Nazi's invaded Holland, they arrested all the Jews and rounded them up, put them on trains and sent them to concentration camps.
Miep, along with five other people risked their lives taking food and supplies to Anne, her sister and parents, another family and a single man who were squashed into an attic of the wharehouse where they worked. Miep and the others daily put themselves at risk, sharing their rations and visiting them. Miep provided the journals and notebooks that became the "Diary of Anne Frank"
Sadly Anne and her fellow hiders were betrayed and they were discovered and sent to camps by the Nazis.
Anne died of Typhoid in Belgen Belsen camp.
Annes Father Otto, was the sole survivor and after the war he returned to Amsterdam. It was then that Miep Gies handed him the diary written by Anne, that she had found in the attic after the Nazi's had taken Anne away.
Miep is in my eyes a true Heroine, a person who putting thoughts for her own safety and well being aside had cared with compassion for someone else.
What makes my thoughts so humbleing is that after I had been into the shops, I put on the radio for the return journey to hear the news that Miep Gies passed away on monday following a short illness. She was 100 years old at the time of her death and her lasting statement "I only did what seemed necessary at the time" should be a mantre for us all.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 4 ~ One A Day ~ Beaded Bookmarks

Todays make was beaded bookmarks. Created with these stunning silver coloured crook style bookmark bases.
Beads are then added to produce weight that hangs gracefully down the outer spine of the book.

Always great little gifts for taking to dinner parties, or for giving out to friends!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 3 ~ One A Day ~ Earth toned wrap around bracelets

I love working in an earth toned palate. These two bracelets are created on memory wire which is a special wire that maintains it's shape and "holds on" to the wrist. The bracelet above is created with smal beads and chips in gemstones including tigers eye, amethyst and rhodonite. there are also wooden, glass and metal beads.

This second bracelet is accented with wooden and glass beads. The small beads are a mix of ochres, oranges, chartreus, and grey, purple lustre beads.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 2 ~ One a day ~ Art Cards

If you saw this blog a couple of days ago youu'd have seen the sheets of mini artworks I created using acrylic paints.

These cards are made using the cut out and mounted art works.

By changing the mounts, I am able to highlight different aspects of each piece.
Suitable for all occasions as they are left blank for your own greetings.

So that's day 2's creation!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 1 ~ One a day challenge ~ flower girl band

I have had these stunning acrylic flower petals and heads for nearly a year! This has been a great excuse to get them out to start working with. They are accented with Swarovski crystal beads in amethyst colour and some filigree bead caps. The flowers are available in many many different colours and can be combined to match perfectly with any colour.

That's day one over and done with!

My Challenge ~ one a day!

Having been inspired by another blog trawl yesterday I have spent the night thinking and am going to go for it.

Go for what?

The challenge to create something everyday for the next year!

So have to get on my thinking cap and go for it.

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