Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Pippa, Lesley & Bo

Not long to go now so here is a little introduction to our 3 artisan beaders who will be our Special guests at the Smitten Beads Open House on the 5th September

Firstly there's Pippa Chandler (of Pips).
I asked Pippa to give us a taste of what she's been up to and what we can expect to see on the day...

After many years of doing a weekly craft fair, in August this year I decided, after a lot of deliberating, that I wanted to concentrate solely on making beads and just a little jewellery that I would sell via facebook and Etsy. It was a difficult decision, the craft fair had been a part of my life for a very long time and I had made some good friends there. But it was the right decision for me, and now I have more time to make beads, which I completely love doing. I miss all my friends and colleagues, but certainly don't miss the early mornings and long days!

So now I am concentrating on developing new designs and new techniques and am loving every minute. This week I decided to go through the jewellery that was left to me from my Mum. I haven't had the heart to do it until now. She had some really interesting pieces, nothing of any value, but all meant something special to her. I loved the look of a few of the pieces and decided that it would be a lovely thing to take moulds of them and perhaps make them into beads. She would have loved that pieces of jewellery that meant to much to her, had inspired new pieces made by me, which would eventually go to someone else in a completely new style.

Here are the pieces that I made. I think she would have liked them!

some of Pippa's latest creations

Special guest number two is Lesley Watt (Thea Elements)
Lesley will not only be bringing her fantastic components to sell but she will also be demonstrating the wire macrame method she used to make these fantastic earring.......

 wire macrame earrings

Apart from the fantastic pmc connectors, pendants and beads that Lesley makes she has recently turned her hand to etched pieces and will be bringing both on the day.

 etched copper & pmc components

Last but not least we have Teresa Hulley (Bo Hulley Beads).
Smitten already stocks a range of beautiful ceramic pieces from Bo Hulley (in fact we have just restocked), so Teresa will be bringing a different range to sell on the day. You will be able to by from both ranges.

Bo Hulley ceramics you can find on the Smitten website

Some of the beads that Teresa will be bringing on the day

Well I bet this little lot has got your creative juices flowing, me too! I can't wait to see all these lovely goodies and their creators in the flesh on the day.....Something tells me there is going to be a lot of cake eating and a fair bit of chuckling!  I can't wait.

Don't forget to contact me (via the website) to get on the guest list

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Preparing for the Smitten Open House

Scaling the Fabric Mountain - the destash begins!

It all started a long long time ago in a small city far far away (well about 15 miles anyway)...Before Smitten Beads, there was Smitten Accessories. My little shop in Bath, where I used to sell my handmade bags, cushions, throws, jewellery, cards and a fair few other bits and bobs. I ran the shop for 7 years and I can't tell you how many bracelets, necklaces and handbags I made in that time, but each year as the shop got busier I made less and less and bought more and more in from other designers and manufacturers, always trying to buy British where I could. When the day came to close the shop I sold most of the stock off in a grand closing down sale, but I kept some of the more interesting things we had back from the sale as I intended to carry on selling on line. However as the Smitten Beads website got busier and busier I found that all the lovely stock I had kept was just sitting in boxes along with all my fabrics, trimmings and beads that have not managed to make it onto the website.

Here's my little shop...

Now do you remember this, my very very large stash of fabric, trimmings, papers and faux fur.  As you can see I have boxes and boxes of the stuff....

Well on Thursday my long suffering (she's been helping me in one way or another since the shop began) and very understanding (her stash is almost the same size as mine) Mum came over to Bristol to help me start the mammoth destash....We sorted and sifted, tidied and trimmed and so the fabric mountain was conquered! We managed to sort through about 20 large boxes of fabric and a very large box of beads and various craft items.

Here is a little taster of the items to be destashed at the Open house, I'm dedicating a whole room to the discontinued and sale items so there will be some serious bargains to bag........

Fabrics & trimmings - Mostly furnishing weight for cushions and light upholstery plus huge amounts of very good quality faux fur and suede fabric.....all at a fraction of the original wholesale price, most will be £2 - £4 per metre. 

Hand made and Scrapbook papers going for a song.

I also have a few weird and wonderful craft items such as boxes of wooden slices! 
I'm destashing my large jewellery display stands

I also have a few leather, suede and fabric handbags left which will all be going for half price or less.

Hand printed shopping bags and purses, felted vases! And a few table cloths/throws/towels

Jewellery, mostly silver including some men's cuff links.

Last but not least, I have piles of craft coloured jewellery necklace boxes at trade price. 

And obviously lots and lots and lots of beads! 

There's still loads more to sort through but hopefully I will be ready and tidy for the 5th. Don't forget the Open house is invitation only so please get in touch via here, facebook or our website if you would like to go on the guest list.

Hope to see you there
Claire x

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Open House

We have a date....The next Smitten Beads Open House is set for the 5th of September...

You will be able to see all our lovely beads out on display.....just in case you have forgotten here is a little taster of what will be on display....

Some of our new Czech glass, tiny 1x2mm crystals & brand new antique copper wire from Beadsmith.

 A selection of our latest love....Peanuts!

 A brand new batch of sari silks!

Plus I'll be showing off the new and utterly gorgeous challenge packs. 

The Open house is going to be a little grander than the last one, as you can see we have a few special guests - Pippa Chandler from Pips, Lesley Watt from Thea Elements, Teresa Hulley From Bo Hulley Beads. All will be selling their wares plus the lovely Lesley has promised to demonstrate her stunning macrame earrings. I'm looking forward to learning this one.

An example of Lesley's beautiful macrame earrings to be demonstrated on the day.

Cermics from Bo Hulley - Polymer clay from Pips - Bronze components from Thea Elements

You may also have spotted that it says Fabric Sale! yes Fabric on my little flyer at the top. Some of you may know that before Smitten Beads there was Smitten Accessories. This is how Smitten began, I had a little shop in Bath, UK where I made and sold cushions, throws and handbags (and of course jewellery). Well I have a huge pile of beautiful fabrics just sitting in boxes! And that's just not right so it's time for a destash. So if you sew or know anyone who does then this years Smitten Open House is for you too. I shall be posting more when I have had a chance to sort through it all, there is a lot of  fabric!

Here's the mountain that is my fabric stock all to be sorted and destashed.

ACRYLIC BEAD CLEAR OUT (with some other beads too)
To make room for our ever growing glass bead range we're selling off most of the acrylic and synthetic beads. Here are a few of the bags I've been making up for the Open House, most of the beads will be 50-70% off and in some cases even more :) it's grab a bargain time...

  Bags of beads for the clearout sale.

As if all this lovely bead heaven is not enough, some of our lovely customers have already offered to bring cakes, my Mum will be making her mushroom quiche and my husband has promised to put together something cooling to drink!

Heres what to do, if you would like to come to the Open House then just drop me an email via the contacts page of the Smitten website Contact page or message me via facebook Smitten Facebook page with your email address. I will then add you to the in vitation list. The invitations with directions and more details will be emailed the week prior to the event. (This is an invitation only event as it's in my home) :) ..

Looking forward to hearing from you.