About Me

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I love to write, I love to read. I love to sing and play with my daughter. I love to learn new things, I love profound thoughts and random ones. I like making new friends and love rediscovering old ones. Most of all I like quality and variety.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Whoops! I've moved.

Hi all,

If you are looking for The Butterfly Hobbyist you will find my new blog here. It is brand new and improved and I hope you enjoy it. I would love your opinions and ideas for future features for the three categories, Tuesday Review, Flitting With The Hobbyist or The Crafty Crafter.


Monday, 30 May 2011

Goodbye Blogger?

I've just started a brand new blog http://thebutterflyhobbyist.wordpress.com I'm very excited. I plan to have 'Tuesday Reviews' - reviews of crafty literature, tools and events on Thursdays 'Flitting with the Hobbyist' - will be looking at current projects and plans for my homemade christmas and what I'm doing in my shop and Fridays will be 'Fabulous Friday Finds' with pictures and links to some of my favourite handcrafted items and perhaps interviews (? if anyone would be interested) with the crafter/artist. A page will then be in place that links to shops/websites that have been featured in the Fabulous Friday Finds of that month.

If anyone is interested in being featured/interviewed please subscribe to the blog, by just going to the blog and entering your email into the subscribe box, you'll get updates when new posts are made, then email me at thebutterflyhobbyist@gmail.com to let me know you are interested or leave a message on my FB Page - this Friday's theme is summertime.

I'll also be setting up a page of bloglinks and hope to start my own quarterly blog hop soon. That said as the blog has only just gone live I'm afraid there is a dearth of subscribers and I hope to build this up with interesting articles and crafty bloghops. I know a number of you have followed my blogger blog. Unfortunately, blogger has had quite a few bugs lately, not allowing comment and hiding followers, this has been going on for over a week now despite clearing my cache and all the rest of it. I think perhaps Wordpress may suit me better. I do hope I don't lose you and you still wish to read me. I do think it will be a better blog, with structure and interest.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Bit of a Moan!

Sooo frustrating these last couple of days.

I'm browsing my favourite blogs and stumbling on some fabulous blog hops and I can't comment because there is a problem with the thingmajig and its preventing me signing in to have my say. Now I know good old Blogger are working on it but I like to get my neb in and make myself known. So after four whole days of only being able to look - I'm having a little moan. *sigh* that feels better.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Themes & Inspiration

I started to think over the last week about my process when I'm designing something. My earrings so far have been designed by sitting at a bead board and then looking through my stash to see what went well together. So far that has worked for me and I've made items I'm happy with and look really pretty, but after deciding to do amybeads bloghop I had to really sit down and think about what I wanted to produce.

As I sat contemplating all my green and pink beads I remembered the lovely clay beach themed beads I bought from artist Lisa Boucher's shop Clay Works on Etsy recently. This gave me a theme and I created my item (not earrings either!), adding bits and subtracting them. I'll show the finished item and talk about the theme and process more on 7 June but I really enjoyed working to a theme and started to look at what beads I had to create my next set of earrings.

It was when I looked at my beautiful Botswana Agate beads that inspiration hit. They look just like storms caught forever in 12 mm globes. Quite breath-taking. This prompted me to think about how the sky looks when the sun is caught behind dark grey rainclouds and you get that beautiful silver lining. It took a bit of experimentation but I finally came up with a freeform design I liked where the sterling silver wire enhances the natural beauty of the agate gem stones without overpowering them.

I'm so pleased with the final results and I'm currently casting about for my next theme or inspiration. Working this way really did make a difference. Perhaps it's the writer in me and all the recent coursework I've done on themes, symbolism etc. is paying off in a totally unexpected direction.

Do you craft? If so how do you work? Do you wing it or work to a theme or colour scheme?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

A Twist Twist Here an a Twist Twist

Soooo glad I decided to take things slowly and concentrate on a couple of techniques at a time. My poor brain was getting so crowded with thread types, and elasticity and perfect necklace lengths. None of my bracelets or watches fit. What a nightmare!

So I sat down and had a think and decided to start simply - wire wrapping and earrings first. I'm so glad I did, the things you can produce with wire are unreal and I've actually produced some lovely bits I'm not afraid to offer for sale. Let me know what you think.

Also loving working with the sterling silver. Although I'm a bit tentative with it. I suppose its because I know how much it costs. Looks lovely though. I'm going to try wrapping individual stones etc to make pendants next and a bit of bead stitching. Who knows where my latest obsession will lead!

Sunday, 15 May 2011


I've done it! Taken the step and popped some of my pieces on Folksy to sell. I have my very own shopfront! I'm so excited.

I remember when I did a stall in Southamptons Artists Market for my painted glass and how well that went so I'm thinking about doing the same in Northampton this year.

I'd love to get your feedback on the pieces I have for sale and my branding.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Look what I got!

I feel like I've found a whole new world. Surfing some of the indie artisan crafters and beader shops I came across Pink Chihuahua Kisses . Susan McCormack who owns this store on Folksy makes the cutest clay pendants, buttons, frames, candle holders.

I was very excited to receive these pendants just two days after I made my purchase. I was worried they wouldn't look as nice in reality as they did on the web but I needn't have worried. They are so funky and nice and chunky.

I'm playing with ideas now ... thinking maybe a chunky watch or simple cord necklace. Any ideas? What would you match them with or make? I might even send one as the focal in a bead soup.

Will be getting buttons later on in the year to decorate some hand knitted hats for The Duckling (my daughter), nieces and nephews as part of my homemade christmas (oh yeah - still doing that!)
The best part about buying direct from the artist is that at a completely affordable price, I have 7 unique pendants. No-one in the whole world will ever have them. I find the idea and exciting and full of possibilities.

If you are in the market for something truly unique. Perhaps you're knitting a cardi, or want something a little different for your newest photo or some buttons for a knitted wire cuff. I truly recommend Pink Chihuahua Kisses.

If you are interested in handmade items of all descriptions I would definately recommend Folksy they are a website dedicated to promoting British handcrafted goodies, its free to register and for you British artists and crafters out there - free to set up shop. Best of all while the emphasis is on British arts and crafts you can sell to anywhere around the world and Folksy will display the local currency to your customer. If you want to look further afield check out ETSY . This has a wider array of products with sellers providing products that are handmade, vintage, retro and just plain funky. ETSY is an American site and has sellers and buyers from all over the world. Beaders who want a treat should plug in handmade beads or handmade lampwork into the search engine - my oh my - I've just bought some fabby pendants from there but I'll keep that for another post when I have some photos.

Now I'm off to get my sketch book to see what I can make with them!

Sunday, 17 April 2011


What an interesting day I've had. Determined to find other beaders and jewellery designers to give me some inspiration I started to look through twitter and I came upon Lori Anderson's blog and from there took a whirlwind tour through the bloggosphere. Lori contacted other jewellery designers about a cause called 7000 bracelets for hope. Basically they were tasked with making an adult sized bracelet on the theme blue jeans which will be sent with handwritten notes to the mums of children with rare deseases so they know that someone somewhere is thinking of them. Please check this out, there are over 100 very talented artists who have made some beautiful - 'I want it! I want it!' jewellery and some amazing artistry. Also if you are in the market for some beautiful jewellery you will be spoilt for choice some of these people have amazing talent and very lovely shops. My personal favourites have to be Lori Anderson Designs and Cardiff based Hello Gorgeous Designs. A beader is definately spoilt for choice when it comes to finding one off handmade beads to incorporate into thier designs and I can't wait to explore all the new shops I've found. Not sure how long my wallet can sustain it though. hmmm. Well Amy at Copper Diem might be able to help as well as having a great blog which I now happily follow she is doing a draw and giving away a great stash! Check it out. Now I've heard alot about Bead Soup - Sounds great! How do I get in on the next one? Guys?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Compliments from Strangers

Very chuffed and just wanted to share. I made this new jewellery set and a total stranger said she loved it and asked where I got it. Told her I made it and she asked me if I sold it! Result.

Shes a nurse at the local doctors. I might just make her a pair of earrings for being lovely.

This is the bracelet and necklace. There's earrings too but I need to figure out how to use my camera better if I'm going to upload those.

Friday, 15 April 2011

New Passion

Wow! Sorry I haven’t been on for a little while but how things change in a few short weeks. Not just the direction of this blog, but all my crafting efforts! Not long after my first blog I was in Hobbycraft buying the wool for AHEM'S present and I needed some stitch markers. All they had was some ugly plastic rings and as I’m an aesthetic type who likes to work with soft wool and pretty tools that just wouldn’t do! It just so happened that next to the stitch markers … BEADS… lots and lots of beads. Beads in every colour, shape, and material you could think of. So not being one to shy away from something new I bought a pick and mix pot of some glass beads, round nose pliers, jump rings and head pins and decided to make my own. Who could have known what would be begun? I am hooked. Literally. All my thoughts are on jewellery. Those who know me know I don’t start simple so in the last month I’ve made a watch, necklaces, and lots of earrings and yesterday made a start on wirework. So if you don’t mind the blog is changing slightly. I’m still having a homemade Christmas and I’ll still be bogging about it, but I’m also going to be blogging about my journey from Novice bead stringer – to hopefully – a designer who can sell her work. I’ll be learning different techniques such as wirework and silver clay, maybe eventually lampworking and etching and putting all my experiences, good and bad up here for you to enjoy. By the by for any other novice beaders who haven’t yet discovered the beauty of Internet shopping – Hobbycraft buys many of their beading supplies for the fabulous http://www.beadsunlimited.co.uk/ . Buy direct and save yourself a packet. Look out for my letter appearing in issue 28 of Making Jewellery.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Countdown to Christmas

What I hear you ask is a butterfly hobbyist? ... I am ... well self proclaimed anyway. Basically I can't settle on any one hobby, there are so many I have tried or want to try so I flit from one to the other dependant on my mood.

So a la Kirsty Alsop, alongside my mother I have decided to have a completely homemade Christmas. Well pretty much. My daughter will get the usual Christmas goodies but alongside those I hope to present her with a decoupaged rocking chair, with homemade cushion and either a patchwork quilt or knitted afghan bedspread.
My Grans will get a breakfast hamper, filled with homemade Lemon Curd and Marmalade in hand painted/hand etched glass jars, homemade biscuits (that's cookies for my American audience). I'm going to search in boot sales, antique shops and charity stores for unique or individual china cups and saucers and add those. Or alternatively paint my own. Using Fimo and with a bit of practise I'll also try to decorate the handles of knife, fork, spoon and teaspoon. Of course it could all go horribly wrong and they'll end up with a couple of jars of soggy citrus fruit, biscuit shaped rocks and twisted cutlery.
Other projects I hope to take on are bath bombs, scented candles, soaps, jewellery making and mosaic.

Here on my blog I hope to point you in the direction of great shopping, review the products I'm using and basically chat a bit about the projects, without giving too much away to the lucky family members who are to receive my efforts, and count the months, weeks and days to Christmas 2011 and hope I reach my goal.

With at least 20 presents to make, 11 months to go and hundreds of crafts to try I'm in for an interesting year.