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EJR Beads Archive - Winter 2006 / 2007

What to see what art beads you missed? Need to know what I saw when out birding? Need to know what banal conversations me and Mr Man had throughout the winter of 2006 and early 2007? It's all here. At least it will be.




Studio Update: Wednesday 31st January

Nearly there!


Well, you just have the rest of today to enter your bid for Jean's Auctions!

Now - I know I said I am holding bids on everything - but bids are still quite low for some items (and I'm not telling which!)

So the question you have to ask yourself is - do you want to see some of those goodies get snapped up at their reserve price and let someone get the bargain of the century? All because you assumed your bid was too late or wouldn't be high enough? Whaddaya got to lose? Email me a bid already! ( Look - I even went all New Yoik in honour of Jeanie)




Studio Update: Monday 29th January

Woo hoo!


I am now holding multiple bids on all the items for Jean's Auctions . But don't let that stop you entering your bid - there is still time!

But now I do hold all these lovely bids, I won't feel so bad about letting you know I have listed some new art beads in my store this morning. I am sorry to everyone who was expecting them yesterday afternoon. I didn't mean to lead you on, I just ran out of time and couldn't get them listed.

Lampwork glass beads by Emma Ralph  Want a sneaky preview? How about these then? I call them "Spring Eclectic".

 You can find these and all my other new glass beads here - in the Lampwork Beads area of the online store!

But remember, these are just back to my normal sales, where I get the money to spend on sweets and make-up. So, why not put your money into Jean's Auctions instead - a far worthier cause.




Studio Update: Sunday 28th January

Going... going....!


But  not quite yet gone. Yes, there are still a few days left for you to email in your bids for the Jean Yates auction.

We have some really generous pledges in - thank you all so much. I am now holding bids on both the bead sets and Kate's ring. However still no bids in on the beautiful Silver necklace of Kate's. Come now, come now folks - this is a great opportunity to snag a piece of her work for a song AND help a fellow beader at the same time. Scroll down the page a little and take a look at the photo of all the auctions again now...there, wouldn't that just look so pretty on? ;-)

I wanted to thank you all also for the kind emails you have sent in asking me to pass on my best wishes to Jean. It means so much, so thank you. Many of you have offered items in donation to the cause. That is really kind of you but sadly I am not really in a position to auction off everyone's items for them. I am hoping to put together some further auctions in aid of Jean from us Brits. But what we really need is someone Stateside who could take charge of drumming up donations in the US and auctioning them off. It would be great to see.

In the meanwhile, I talked to Bob at Justbeads.com and they are very happy for anyone who wants to help out to list their own auctions for Jean in the Charity Auctions section of their site. This seems to me the very best way forward if you have a donation you want to auction in benefit of Jean and her family. Just trot over to justbeads and list it! Let me know when your listing is up and I promise to do all I can to promote any auctions as best I can. All auctions for Jean must have the worlds "Jean Yates Benefit Auction" either in the title or someplace in the text.




Studio Update: Wednesday 24th January

Stop Press!


The wonderful Kate McKinnon contacted me today. She has come on board with Jean's benefit auction and donated two beautiful pieces of her work to the cause.

Please read the (now updated) auction details below to see how you can bid on Kate's beautiful donations, my beads and why we are doing this.

Please note that the reserve prices for all auctions are now shown in US dollars to make things easier. I have put an approximate conversion in each case for us Brits but if we can all work in dollars for the bidding it will make things easier. Don't worry if you are in the UK and want to make your final payment in sterling - we can work around that, just for the moment lets think global!


Please also note that all bids should be emailed to me - not Jean or Kate - following the directions against each auction. Otherwise we will all get in a tizz.



Studio Update: Wednesday 24th January

It's new beads Jim, but not as we know it!


I have some special beads to tell you about today.

Why are they special? Because I am offering up these particular beads in benefit of my dear friend Jean Yates and her family.

Why are they "not as we know it" ?  Because you cannot purchase these beads through my online store. These two sets are a personal sale from me to you, with the aim of raising as much dough for Jean as I can. So, I will be offering these sets in a blind auction.


To bid is easy - just email me with the name of the set you are interested in and the highest price you are prepared to bid for it.

You can bid on one or both sets, each is running as a separate auction.  Each set has a reserve price - a starting point for bidding. So please only submit bids of, or greater than, the reserve for each set. Bids below the reserve price will not qualify.

The auction will run until the morning of the 1st February. Whoever has placed the highest bid for each set by then, will win the beads.  Its a good way to nab some of my beads if you usually miss out too - because this time it isn't first come, first served. Its more a case of "most generous purse, first served!"

Worldwide postage is included on these beads. So what you bid will be what you pay - assuming yours is the highest bid of course! If more than one person submits the same highest bid on either set, the beads will go to whoever emailed in their bid first. Please note that I will email you a confirmation email for each bid received. Just so you know your email got through and the Spam monkeys didn't eat it.


Ok, so let's take a look at the beads first and then I will tell you why I am doing this.


The Jean Yates auctions - all email bids to be in by Feb 1st.


Golders green - polymer clay art beads by Emma Ralph   Golders' Green. (Emma Ralph)

   11 Shimmering lentil beads, worked in teal greens, turquoise, black and gold. Each bead measures approx 17 x 18 mm and is around 9 mm thick. These beads have been hand finished to perfection, with a soft satin sheen. The Swarovski crystal accent beads shown with the set are included.

  Your bid includes worldwide postage.

  RESERVE PRICE US Dollars $88 (approx 45) - only bids of this amount or over are eligible to win.  - SHIPS FROM THE UK -

  Please email your bid for this set, quoting Golders' Green and your full name.




Tearose polymer clay art beads by Emma Ralph   Tea Rose. (Emma Ralph)

   9 Shimmering round and tab beads, worked in deep rose pink, black and gold. The round beads average 13 mm diameter, the tabs around 15 mm. These beads have been hand finished to perfection, with a soft satin sheen. The Swarovski crystal accent beads shown with the set are included.

  Your bid includes worldwide postage.

  RESERVE PRICE US Dollars $78 (approx 40) - only bids of this amount or over are eligible to win.  - SHIPS FROM THE UK -

  Please email your bid for this set, quoting Tea Rose and your full name.




Oooh its a mystery...a mystery....Mystery Bonus! (Emma Ralph)

  Whoever submits the single highest winning bid overall, will also get another mystery set of my art beads as a thank-you bonus!

The bonus beads do not match either of the offered sets, but they co-ordinate with them beautifully. It's a set of 6 shimmery polymer art beads - that's all I'm saying on the matter!





Fine silver chain by Kate McKinnon   Fine Silver Chain ( Kate McKinnon)


   Kate has kindly donated one of her beautiful handcrafted Fine Silver chains.

If you manage to snag this beautiful chain, you will truly be owning a work of art.  Kate is world-famous for her metal clay work and a former winner of the Rio Grande Saul Bell award.

Your bid includes worldwide postage. - SHIPS FROM THE USA -

  RESERVE PRICE US Dollars $300 (approx 152-) - only bids of this amount or over are eligible to win.

  Please email your bid for this piece, quoting Silver Chain and your full name.




Ring by Kate McKinnon   Double Rivet Ring in Fine Silver ( Kate McKinnon)

   This gorgeous ring by Kate has seems almost too good to wear! I think I would spend all day just fondling it!

What a fantastic piece of work to own - the only problem is choosing a finger really. You can have the ring in a size 5, 6 or 7. To read more about Kate's work, click here

 Your bid includes worldwide postage. - SHIPS FROM THE USA -

  RESERVE PRICE US Dollars $100 (approx 51-) - only bids of this amount or over are eligible to win.

  Please email your bid for this ring, quoting Double Rivet Ring and your full name.



Ok, and now the "Why"


You might wonder why I am offering these beads in benefit of my friend Jean? (edited to add that I am sure my words very much echo Kate's sentiments)

Well, basically she is my friend and she and her family are going through a tough time right now. Some of you will be aware that Jean's two youngest sons are severely autistic. She wrote movingly about her sons in her article in Kate McKinnon's Studio Annual 2004. So, I will quote a sentence or two from that - as I feel Jean says it better than I ever could.

"... the characteristics of autism the boys have are pretty classic. By this I mean that our sons are drastically impaired socially, and have little or no ability to communicate in standard ways."

The article that Jean so beautifully wrote goes on to talk about her youngest son, Robert. However the reason for this auction is more connected with the older of the two boys, Dylan.

Recently Dylan has been suffering some terrifying seizures. Jim -(Jean's hubby and Dylan's dad) has had to administer some pretty scary first aid to Dylan, having to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on numerous occasions. Jim and Jean both have been put through the wringer in pretty much every way you could think of.

I don't even know how hard it has been for them - for the most part I can only guess - because they NEVER COMPLAIN. But I know things are in all probability a lot tougher than they let on. Honestly, I am inspired so much by both Jean and Jim. Their care and passion for their family is truly inspirational. I don't know where they find the energy and the mental reserves to cope with all the things thrown at them and still be as NICE as they are!

Jean has been one of a small core of truly wonderful and supportive online friends to me. She is absolutely a diamond. Whatever problems she has in her own life, she still is always there with a kind and supportive word for me and whatever baloney I am worried about that day. She is utterly non-judgemental, quirky, upbeat and very FUNNY! I like her a lot. And I admire her more so.


Now, last summer - my young cousin who is around the same age as Dylan suffered a seizure at our home. We had to call out the ambulance for him and it was truly horrific. He went on to have series of tests and medications to control what is evidently some sort of epilepsy. With all the worry the family has had with his health, at least the cost of testing and medication is not one of them. Because thankfully being British citizens, we have our much under-appreciated National Health Service.

In fact, as I write this now - my dad is in hospital having day surgery for a minor thing. In the last month me and Mr Man have been in and out of the doctors and hospital getting him fit and healthy. We will not have any bills to worry about - all we need to think about is getting better.

But for Jean and Jim - its not the case. They live out in the US and the cost of Dylan's medications in just the last couple of months alone would probably pay most peoples' rent for 6 months!

Jean is halfway through writing her first book. This should be a happy occasion for her, because her work is stunning and quirky and she has found some publishers who really dig her take on things. It's going to be an excellent book. But anyone who has written a craft  book will tell you, you don't do it for the money! If anything you lose money and barely cover expenses. It really is a labour of love. But of course Jean won't let her publishers down any more than she would let her kids down. She is not like that - instead she will work herself ragged to meet her contractual obligations alongside looking after Dylan and the rest of her family.

So in a way, whilst this auction is obviously about raising money to help with their medical bills, paradoxically it also has nothing to do with the money. Because really whatever we raise this week can only be a drop in the ocean considering what the Yates' need to find right now. And how they can find it when they are having to care so intensively for Dylan around the clock I just don't know.

Really more than being about the money, what this is about is sending a message to Jean, Jim and the boys that I am thinking of them at this tricky time. It's my way of publicly thanking them for their friendship and support and trying to return that in some small way. If you can join me in that, that is fabulous because they really are one of the good guys! If not and you feel this is my crusade, not yours - I understand. Please in that case just see it maybe as a quirky way to bid on some beads this week.




Studio Update: Sunday 21st January

New Things!


Ok. well I was going to tell you about the new Lampwork beads I listed this evening, but they is gone already! Not that I am complaining of course!

Fimo Bead Rolling Machines   So instead, lets talk clay.

  Polymer clay of course. The delightful, the gorgeous Fimo!

  Well, they are bringing out some funky new products. I won't taunt you with products not yet available. So for now we will stick with the two new bead rolling machines.

  One machine creates Olive and Coil shaped beads. The other machine makes a Triple Pearl and Ball shaped bead. Both come with 20 metal piercing needles and the machines have slots in - allowing you to easily pierce your beads without distorting them. Fun huh?

 Whilst we are on the subject of Fimo.....


I have had a few concerned emails recently about the baking temperatures of the Fimo clays. As some packs say to bake at 110 C whilst others say a higher temperature of 130 C.

The reason is that the manufacturers have recently changed the formulation of all the Fimo clays. The new recipe requires the lower baking temperature of 110 C . Until they phase out the old formulation for each colour, I am afraid we will see a mixture of both formulations on the market - I am entirely dependant on what stocks they send me for each colour.

I aim to get all our stock over to the new formulation just as soon as possible (for the most part we are there already). But many of you will continue to have the older formulation at home for some time to come anyway. So please be assured that from my own experiments, it seems the old and new formulations mix together just fine. Just remember that if you are using both formulations together, the project should be baked at 110 C for the best results. If I get any more information about the formulation change I will certainly pass it on.

On the whole, I have found the new formulation to be an improvement though - the new recipe clay handles beautifully. The only downsides I have found so far is that if you overheat the new formula clay when baking, there is a risk of cracking. So always use an oven thermometer when baking your clay projects!

The other thing I have noticed is that seams between pieces are a little harder to smooth out and can show up after baking unless you smooth them down really well. Actually this reminds me of the Fimo we used to get years ago, which I always thought was the best formulation anyway to be honest. Any old-timer clayers out there who remember when we could buy the stuff from Homebase? lol)

The new formulation Fimo Classic is now as smooth as silk with no bubbly appearance when you cut into it. You can run slices from the block straight through the pasta machine easily without it crumbling. Finally the clay stays very firm when in use which is great for millefiore caning or filigree work. The Fimo Soft formulation is now less sticky - so it is a lot easier to handle those ultra-thin sheets of translucent when making Mokume Gane stacks etc.

Some colours have also been discontinued. I don't yet know if this is because they are no longer made by the factory or simply because the UK distributors have ceased to carry them. I will find that out. So prepare yourselves. The Mother of Pearl and Transparent in the Fimo Classic range are no more....I still have some limited stocks of these colours in the old formulation, but once they are gone - that's it folks!



Studio Update: Saturday 20th January

Here I am!


Did you think I had fallen off the face of the earth? It's been an age since I updated this page, I am sorry to say.

Well, its been a busy old time here. The last couple of weeks have been quite stressful with lots of trips to the doctors and hospital with Mr Man. It seems as he approaches the big 40, he is falling apart and his warranty has clearly run out! Most of the scary stuff is out of the way now, so we can hopefully get back to business. With everything going on, I have only just been able to keep the orders going out each day and answer emails -  everything else has had to take a back seat.

So I have new lampwork beads sitting here waiting to be cleaned and photographed, new products in store that I haven't told you about. There are also some changes to the Fimo polymer clay range and new products from them that I need to let you know about. I am just shockingly behind with it all. Give me a few days and I will get back in the groove I am sure.

In the meantime, please forgive me if I seem less on the ball than normal. The orders are going out as quickly as possible - but please bear in mind that while I always try to despatch orders the same day, it isn't always possible and certainly cannot be guaranteed. My aim is to get your orders to you within 2 -5 days if you are in the UK.  If you need something urgently by Next Day (within the UK), please visit the Insurance for Orders section and upgrade your shipping to the Special Delivery option.


wedding jewelry magazine - available at EJR Beads  Meanwhile I will try to let you know a few titbits of beady news, just so we don't forget what this page is really meant for!

 There has been a new special edition magazine come in from the Step-by-Step beads people. 

  Wedding Jewelry magazine.

  Well, that one needs no explanations really, it does what it says on the tin. Its fabby - with some really useful projects, such as how to do traditional pearl knotting, how to make a Tiara and other hair ornaments, bridesmaid jewellery and much more. 

  Arm yourself with a copy of this, a bag full of Freshwater Pearls and I am betting you will soon have some bridal jewellery to make even the most ardent cynic want to skip up the aisle!





Studio Update: Friday 12th January

Here we go!


Troikesques - ceramic art beads by Emma Ralph  Ah well, finally I have listed some new beads. Ceramic beads this time. To see the latest click here  

  I have been watching too much "Flog It" lately and have fallen in love with all the Troika pottery they show on there.

 While my latest series of beads - my Troikesques - are not intended to be representational of Troika ( I wish!) - they are certainly paying some serious homage to it! But as Tenacious D would say - they are just a tribute.


 Creating these beads has been a labour of love I tell you. I have been back to the drawing board so many times trying to make these beads, you wouldn't believe it. It took me ages just to work out a half-decent glaze recipe to get the colours I wanted. But I am getting there, the beads are starting to become close to what I had my head!Troikesques - ceramic focal art beads by Emma Ralph

Another twist I have been working on with these beads is to incorporate fine silver with the beads.

So look out for my Hybrids - beads that are both fine silver and ceramic at the same time. And look out also for silver elements making there way into many of my other beads, such as the fine silver edge on this Troikesque focal.





Studio Update: Monday 8th January

Over to you!


I have been working on ceramic beads most of the day, but this evening I got around to updating the customer gallery pages a little bit. A few things have been moved around and new exhibitors are up on both pages! Welcome, welcome....

If you want to exhibit your work on my gallery pages, just email me. The work featured must be made predominantly using my art beads or other beads and findings from the EJR Beads online store.

Alternatively you can submit projects made following my tutorials or published projects if you are a clayhead! I cannot promise to put up every submission, but if your work is featured I will link to your website, auctions and generally big you up!



Studio Update: Sunday 7th January

Don't forget now!


Don't forget I have lots of auctions for crafty bargains on ebay, and they are ending SOON! Click here to see what is on offer and happy bidding!

Not much else to report. It has been one of those weeks I would rather forget. Full Moon maybe?




Studio Update: Thursday 4th January

So bored of tidying!


I am so bored of sorting stuff out and tidying up now. Maybe I really should have left my Spring clean until Spring!

Not much news to report today. There are still a couple of sets of lampwork beads left for sale, so if you are sick and tired of usually missing out - today is your day! Why not take a look and see what is left and spend your Christmas money ;-)

The only other thing I should mention is that my computer is due a small operation this weekend. We wont talk about what that is, I don't want him to freak out and work out what is gonna happen. It's a bit like bathing the dog I think. Best you get everything ready, get the water just right. Then you can just storm on in and get cracking before the dog has chance to run out the back garden into the front garden and hide quivering under the front hedge (again).

So - this won't affect the site or online store, you can still order as normal. It just means I might not be around to answer emails as much as usual.

Have a nice weekend all.... if I get time, I want to play with some polymer, ceramic and precious metal clay this weekend. Jealous? Bwah ha ha, I thought as much...



Studio Update: Tuesday 2nd January

Happy Noo Year!


Happy New Year everyone - I do hope 2007 turns out to be a good year for you all. Thank you too for all your kind wishes.

Spring Graphics Tabs - lampwork glass beads by Emma Ralph   Well I suppose you would like to know if there are any new Lampwork beads listed then?

 Yes Siree Bob there sure are. Such as these lovely green Graphics tabs for instance. I loved making these slimline tabs, there is something about working with the colour green that just sings to my heart. It really is a colour I never tire of.

 There are several other new sets up too, such as more of my ice beads, plus some Raggydolls - beads that are not quite perfect, but still every bit as lovable!

  To see the latest lampwork, just click here. But remember, it's always first come, first served on my beads so don't leave it too long if you fall in love with something!


polymer cafe magazine - available at www.ejrbeads.co.ukThere are also new issues in of many of the jewellery magazines. Visit the Books & Magazines section of EJR Beads to see the range.

You will find new issues out for Art Jewelry, Step-by-Step Beads, Wire Jewelry as well as the ever popular Polymer cafe magazine.

Whilst you are visiting the books and magazines area, check out the newly reinstated Second Hand books section. Here I have listed many different books from my own personal library. They are all second-hand books, titles that I would love to keep but just have not got room for anymore sadly.

So why not see if you can snap up a bargain or two with this chance to add to your own craft book collection? There are titles on clay and polymer clay work, jewellery making, design and more.


Lastly, you might be interested to hear I am auctioning off lots of very useful craft supplies. Again, these are all items from my own personal crafting stash that are too good to just be sitting there un-used by me. With the best will in the world, I just don't have the time to do as much crafting as I once did.

So please visit my auctions over at eBay to see what is available. You will find some super deals, such as a massive mix of hard-to-find polymer clay supplies, a large lot of epoxy resin cold enamels ( you can use these on polymer clay or precious metal clay too) and much more



Studio Update: Friday 29th December

Wish me luck!


Well today is the day.

Battle 'tween me and the Bookcase from Hell commences today. Wish me luck. I will need it.

I have had a hearty breakfast. I have my Beak & Nose (Beconase) Spray for the dust allergy and my spirit for the task is mostly enthusiastic.

Why do you care? Well my friends - who knows what beady caches I might find lurking about? And I know for sure I will be selling off a lot of my old books too. I don't really want to, just I need the room.

Last time I did a grand sell-off of my personal book stash, it proved very popular. So expect to see the "Second Hand Books" category appear in the Books & Magazines area of the store within the week!



Studio Update: Wednesday 27th December

Made it!


I made it through Christmas!

I made it through the breakfast of a roasted ham that was the size of my head. I made it through the lunch of an even larger turkey. I made it through the copious amounts of salad and cold meats that was evening tea. Not on my own of course, even I can't eat all that. No - with the energetic help of many a relative and friend. Come to think of it - I made it through that too.

Now all that remains is to waddle on back to normal life somehow and try to shift the extra pounds.

I hope you all had a lovely holiday. I am in a state of semi-holiday here and really appreciating it. I didn't realise just how burnt out I have been feeling lately until slowing down for a day or two. Orders are not shipping until the official re-opening on January 3rd, but I am still here tidying up and farting about with the website.

I have added an Archive page to keep all this old drivel neat and tidy in future, plus I have added a new article to the Tutorials page. This is a revision of the fact sheet on pricing your jewellery. It's a bit long and waffly, but then so am I!

I hope to add more articles as I go along.




Studio Update: Sunday 24th December

A day to go!


I would just like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope you have a great New Year. Thank you to everyone who sent me cards and pressies. I hope you all have a fantastic break.

And when we are back in the New Year, look out for lots of cool new beady things. 2007 is going to be a really exciting year for EJR Beads, so stick around for the ride won't you. Check back in January for some great new products!



Studio Update: Monday 18th December

A week to go!


Well there is one week left until the big day. EJR Beads will be closing from 21st December until 3rd of January inclusive. You may still place orders online over the Christmas break but they will not process until I go back "on duty" in the new year.

Orders placed between now and the 20th of December will be posted before Christmas, however I cannot guarantee they will arrive in time for the big day now - we are very much at the mercy of Royal Mail I am afraid.

If you are in the UK you can upgrade your shipping to Special Delivery Next Day by visiting the Insurance for Orders section of the online store. Just select the UK insured shipping option and add it to your shopping cart in the usual manner. That will bump your shipping up so it can be sent by Special Delivery. Please remember though - you will need to be home to sign for it!

This option is only available for orders weighing less than 2 kilos. If you wish to order something heavier, such as a Fimo Soft Class-in-a-box kit or multiple magazines  etc - you will need to purchase two of the shipping upgrades. That way, I can split your order and send it in two separate parcels. Unfortunately that is the most economical way of processing heavier orders if we wish to take advantage of the insurance and "next day" nature of Special Delivery.

Ruby grapefruit Illuminare Polymer Beads by Emma Ralph  So, it isn't too late to pick up some last minute pressies. Just bear in mind that from now on I cannot guarantee delivery, only promise to do my best to get the orders out as quickly as possible. Please do use the Special Delivery Next Day option as mentioned if you are in a hurry or need the items for Christmas.

 And now with the boring stuff out of the way - it is on to the beady news!

 Today I listed lots of new beads in the Emma's Art Beads area of the online store. There are lots of lovely new polymer clay art beads, such as these  mouth-watering Ruby Grapefruit Illuminare beads.

 To see the latest polymer clay beads, please click here.



Lunaris Lampwork Glass Beads by Emma Ralph

If you prefer your art beads to be of glass - fear not. I listed some new lampwork too, including these lovely Lunaris nuggets.

Oh how I wish I could get the colours of the Lunaris beads to show up on camera! They are so elusive - but trust me, they are gorgeous and you will love 'em!

Visit the Lampwork section of Emma's Art Beads to see the latest glass goodies!





Studio Update: Later on Friday 15th December

Holy Moo-Cows!


I chanced to look through the ancient family copy of Mrs Beeton's "All About Cookery" the other day. This excellent recipe book contains some remarkably (un)useful information -  such as how to cook and serve Snipe or how to bake a Lark pie (you will need 12 larks). Mrs. Beeton's era was not a good time to be vegetarian - they had recipes for pretty much anything that moved, including animals we would only consider as pets these days.

sexist claptrap from olden days - NOT available at EJR Beads.  Bizarrely, the book also contains several pages of adverts.

  Continuing my theme from the other day of sharing ye olde advertising copy with you, I couldn't resist letting you see this full pager for Fry's Cocoa.

  The text reads:

  "The Judicious Wife, realising the wear and tear on a man's system consequent on a hard day's work at the office or works, will do well to remember that there is no finer food than COCOA for repairing waste tissue. Have a cup ready for him when he comes home. He will appreciate it."

  In the words of Vicki Pollard..."Oh my God - I can't believe you just said that!"




Shabby Chic - Vintage Button Earrings by Emma RalphOther news? And something more bead-relevant this time I bet you are hoping?

Well, after adding all those vintage buttons to the online store the other day, I was asked for ideas on how they could be used to make jewellery. And so my Shabby Chic range was born.

I started playing around with ideas for button jewellery and just couldn't stop making these funky little earrings. So I have listed them all in their own snug little section in Emma's Jewellery. Just goes to show you that beads are not the only fruit...buttons can make fantastic jewellery too.


Now I really must go and finish cleaning the lampwork beads, or I can never get them up and listed to show you all! New polymer beads are hiding around here too, so expect to see new beads in both sections early next week!




Studio Update: Friday 15th December

Class-in-a-box is back!


The good news is, that finally I have my Fimo Soft Class-in-a-Box kits back in stock. They will be ready to ship out starting Monday, but stocks are still limited so please order sooner rather than later if you have been waiting for one.

The bad news is, I cannot now guarantee they would be delivered in time for Christmas. For normal postage on items of that weight I have to use Royal Mail's Standard Parcel service which at the best of times will take 3-4 working days for delivery.

If you are very keen to get one in as a pressie, please email me - because I can split the package into two and send both by Special Delivery Next Day - but that will bump the postage up to 14 on that item. This is only available for UK customers though.

To see the Class-in-a-Box kit - your great introduction to using polymer clay, visit the Polymer Clay section of the online store and click on Kits


Oh, while we are on the subject of Fimo. I got a sneak preview today of the new Fimo products due out next year. All I can say is wow! We have some really fun toys heading our way soon!



Studio Update: More of Tuesday 12th December



I added a new section to the Vintage Beads & Buttons area of the online store today.

vintage kitsch buttons - available at EJR Beads  The 60's & 70's Kitsch Buttons section. Kinda does what it says on the tin really. Lots of yummy old English buttons from those groovy decades, still on their cards. Ok, so the cards are bashed about a bit and they would not necessarily be collector's items if you are a purist. But what they do offer is a great way to add some genuine vintage components to your jewellery designs.

Using buttons in jewellery is HOT. Using vintage bits and bobs is HOT. So using these old buttons, it stands to reason your designs will be hot to the power of two!

Going through all these buttons today, I realised they had colours back then that I can't even name. Strange weird amalgams of orange and green, married together into bizarre new shades. I love those groovy colours baby...

The back of the cards is amusing in some cases too. One says :

"Glamour Knitting Needles - Ask for them by name - they are worth it"

Well - that is what you call advertising copy huh? Forget me spending hours trying to think of original ways to get you guys to open your purses. I was barking up the wrong tree all along. All I really need have said was:

"Emma's Art Beads - Ask for them by name - they are worth it!"

Incidentally you might also like to know that "Adamite" shampoo for woollens is "Made in Scotland and very economical". You should apparently ask for that one by name too....

Genius....pure genius. Move over Saatchi & Saatchi.




Studio Update: Tuesday 12th December



I had hoped to get out into the shed today and work on some lampwork beads. But I am just so cold today - cold to the bone. So instead, I think I will stay in and finish off the latest batch of polymer beads. Hey, I might even get caught up on my accounts too! That would be something wouldn't it.

Well I can't think of anything else that interesting to say today, so I will shut up and toodle off to play with beads.... have a good Tuesday everyone.



Studio Update: Monday 11th December

No More Tears!



Forget horrible itchy earlobes this Christmas - treat yourself to our hypo-allergenic Niobium or Titanium earwires. They are like Scholl Party Feet for the ears, you can boogie all night to the Christmas party grooves without longing to take your earrings out!

niobium and titanium earwires - available at EJR Beads  Yes, the Titanium earwires are now back in stock, plus oodles of colourful Niobium findings too.

 These earwires are so comfortable to wear, even for the most sensitive of ears. If you are tired of losing customers because they can "only wear gold" maybe it's time to fight back? Arm yourself with some of these hypo-allergenic findings.

 Our anodized niobium earwires are available in a range of vibrant colours. Choose from ready-formed wires or build your own with the open wires, available in two different shapes. Coils and headpins are available too! Picture how cool the angular wires would look with a little Swarovski crystal.

 To match your silver jewellery, our antique silver-look Titanium wires will hit the spot.


To see the full range of hypo-allergenic findings, please visit the Niobium & Titanium Findings category of the EJR Beads Online Store

For hypo-allergenic necklace and bracelet clasps, you might be interested to see our Baltic Amber clasps.


Seashell Pearls - at EJR BeadsIf you love pearls - take a stroll through our Freshwater Pearls section. New pearl and shell beads are added all the time. This week I have some white and lemon yellow potato pearls and more of the nugget pearls - which you all love! But I also have something else that is really cool!... (drum roll)

Seashell Pearls!

These mammas are LARGE! They are 10 mm diameter near-perfect round pearls in a beautiful mixed palette of greens and golds.

Seashell pearls are man-made, created from mother of pearl. They have all the lustre, colour and weight you would expect from high-grade round pearls, but without the prohibitive cost.

It has to be said, I am in LOVE with these pearls! Trust me when I tell you that the picture does not do them justice. But please note that stocks on these are very limited.  I don't expect them to hang around long. Heck, I could be tempted to just snuffle them away for myself and refuse to share...




Studio Update: Friday 8th December

New Beads!


lampwork glass bead by Emma Ralph  The new lampwork beads are now up!

 This time around I have some focals too, such as this Forget-Me-Not Graphics Focal bead. I have really enjoyed making this style of bead, so couldn't pass up the chance to try some slightly larger focals too.

  Visit the lampwork section of the Online Store to see all the latest, and remember - its first come, first served!




Studio Update: Monday 4th December

Reading specs on now!


Get those reading glasses on now because the new issue of Jewelry Crafts is in!

jewelry crafts magazine - available at EJR Beads   Yup, I know we only just had the December issue and now the February 07 issue is here. Between you and me, I think they forgot about me and sent me the December issues late actually. I will have to go press their guilt buttons about that one later. But not to worry, it just means there are even more cool projects to enjoy and we didn't have to wait as long to get at 'em!

  This issue has a great polymer clay and wire bangle project in it. I can really see this idea being a foundation for some even more spectacular and wacky creations. A really inspiring concept for those of you who like to think outside the box and adapt projects. There is also the usual mix of beadwork and stringing articles, artist profiles and more.

  Visit the Magazines section of the online store and click on Jewelry Crafts!





Studio Update: Saturday 2nd December

New Beads!


Seascape Flamenco Tabs - Lampwork Glass Beads by Emma Ralph  Well the last Pandora's Tin has gone. But I did get the new beads listed today after all. Including this lovely set of Seascape Flamenco Tabs, which I just love. So it's not all bad!

 There are some other new sets listed too, all can be seen in the Lampwork section of the online store as usual.

 Thanks for looking and have a lovely Saturday evening.




Studio Update: Friday 1st December

One left!


There is still one Pandora's Tin up for grabs this morning. So why not treat yourself to an early Christmas present? Go on now, you've been a good girl all year haven't you?




Studio Update: Thursday 30th November

Catch 'em while you can!


I have some new lampwork beads all ready to be photographed and listed, although I am away this weekend so they may not go up until next week. Likewise please note that any orders placed on Friday or Saturday won't be posted out until Monday.

Pandora's Tin - Lampwork Beads by Emma Ralph  But the good news is ... I do have some more Pandora's Tins up for grabs.

 These ones are crammed so full of beads I could hardly get the lids on.

  Check out the lampwork section of Emma's Art Beads to see them. But hurry, there are only 3 tins available and once they are gone, they are gone.

Wire Jewelry Magazine - Available at EJR Beads  


Also, I now have the latest edition of Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry in stock. This is a quarterly magazine from the Step-by-Step Beads people and it is fan-blinking-tastic!

This is the Winter 2007 issue. Quite how they have mastered time travel as well as wire-working is beyond me. But it's a good issue so if they want to welcome in the New Year early who am I to argue? Let them have their eccentricities I say.

Anyway, any and everything wire can be found in this magazine - not just chain maille projects, although there are always plenty of those. This issue includes a fantastic bracelet project from Connie Fox, artist profiles and much more. You will love the wire dress sculptures too!

Visit the Magazines section of the store to see this magazine and many more.





Studio Update: Wednesday 29th November

At last!


Many of you have been asking about copper crimp tubes. Well, if that is you - I have some interesting new do-dahs in that will be right up your alley. Let me introduce you to copper crimp covers -  Ta da!

Copper Crimp Covers - Available at EJR BeadsNow you won't need to buy separate crimps to finish off copper bracelets and necklaces. Just stick with your tried and tested finishing methods instead and then hide the crimps or knot with a Crimp Cover to match the copper beads and findings.

It really is the best of both worlds. These pure copper crimp covers don't look that impressive when they are open. But closed up around a crimp or knot they transform into a simple copper bead, hiding the mechanics of your finishing techniques.

They come in two sizes. Medium and large. The medium size (shown right) is large enough to fully cover a 2 x 1 mm crimp tube (the usual size of sterling crimps). The large crimp cover will accommodate bigger knots or crimps.


To see the copper crimp covers, visit the Copper Findings section of the online store. You can also find copper-finish bead tips and split rings too!




Studio Update: Monday 27th November



I'm very sleepy today. So don't expect too much from today's update!

This morning I packed up all the orders from yesterday (because all the new beads went fast! - thank you!!!) By the time I got home from the post office and scoffed down some lunch, it hardly seemed worth going out into the shed. These short days are so annoying.

So I have spent the rest of the day sorting out bits and pieces. I have some fantastic old vintage carded buttons - all dating from the '60s or thereabouts - which I have been sorting through. With any luck I will get these up and into the store this week.



Studio Update: Sunday 26th November

So sad...!


I watched Bambi today for the first time ever. Man is it sad! But so beautifully made.

Because I had never seen it, Mr Man decided this just wouldn't do and my childhood had not been completed without viewing Bambi. So he brought over a copy and we watched it this morning. I do hope this doesn't mean that I am now expected to be all grown-up and mature though? If he thought that, he sure is in for a shock!

Chocolate Tabs - Lampwork Glass Beads by Emma Ralph  He is watching something star wars-ey now, which bores me witless I am afraid to say. Those who know me well, know that my brain is just not wired for anything remotely Sci-Fi. I have a complete inability to follow plots or understand who is who. In fact, I would rather run full speed into a brick wall over and over than have to face watching anything on the Sci-Fi channel.

So I thought the time would be better put to use photographing and listing my new glass beads. For example, this lovely set of Chocolate tab beads - my fave glass beads of the week!


You can find my new glass beads in the usual place - Emma's Art Beads > Lampwork Glass




Studio Update: Saturday 25th November

Clayheads of the world unite!



Collage Clarice Polymer Clay Art Beads by Emma Ralph   A head's up for all polymer clay bead lovers out there.

  I have listed a whole new stash of my polymer clay art beads today, including these collage lentils from my Clarice series. I managed to work my little socks off yesterday to get them all finished and then photographed them today. Actually it has been a while since I sat down to work with polymer clay and I had forgotten how much fun it is!

  If you have not worked with polymer art beads before - you will love them!

  They tend to be lighter in weight size for size than glass beads, but every bit as lustrous and colourful. Their lighter weight makes them idea for earrings, or designs where you can use a lot of beads but not feel weighed down like you are wearing anchors!


Check out the polymer section of Emma's Art Beads in my online store to see today's goodies. Oh and look out for my funky new "sold" sign. Now that I am letting the sold beads stay up on view for a while, I just HAD to get rid of that horrible "Sold Out" sign and put something slightly nicer in its place!




Studio Update: Thursday 23rd November



It was a bit brrrr today so I decided to stay inside and work on a new stash of polymer clay beads. Don't hold your breath though, these bubbas take an age to finish up. So I doubt they will be up for sale until next week.


jewelry crafts magazine - available at EJR Beads Online Store  But while you are waiting, why not treat yourself to the latest issue of Jewelry Crafts magazine?

   It's another great issue. Two fabulous projects using polymer clay - learn to make colourful blends and a great millefiore leaf cane. Also there are beading projects, with a lovely project to make beaded beads and more. Stringing projects include multi-strand jewellery plus artist profiles and more.

  Other great news while we are on the subject of magazines!

   I have managed to get limited supplies of various PolymerCAFE back issues. PolymerCAFE is the only magazine in print that is dedicated just to the art of using polymer clay.

 These back issues are getting increasingly hard to find. So if you have some missing or you are new to claying and haven't yet seen this great mag - be sure to take a look.


You can find all the magazines in my online store in the Books & Magazines section. Click on the different titles to see what issues are available for each.




Studio Update: Tuesday 21st November

Sneaky Preview!


Nouveau Tabs - Lampwork Glass Art Beads by Emma Ralph   I thought you might like to see a sneak preview of some of my latest lampwork art beads.

 This set of Nouveau Tabs has to my favourite of the week. I will have a hard time parting with these. If it were not for Christmas and bills-needing-paying you can bet these would stay in my hot little hands for sure!

  I may well get the new sets listed tonight, but don't hold me to it. Its roast chicken for dinner and I intend to devote most of my attention to eating and digesting that. All else will run second place to this important project.

 But not to worry - all the new beads will be up soon, listed for sale in the lampwork section of the online store.


I have also made a small but significant change to the store.

I am starting to think some of you just don't believe I still make beads. Often they sell out before you get to see them, so I can see your point! To remedy this I have tweaked some settings in the shop. Now sold sets should stay visible (albeit with a big fat Sold Out sign) for a day or two rather than just vanishing from view once purchased.

I can't help it if you still miss out on the beads though! Its still very much "first come, first served" on all sets. But at least this way you will know for sure if the new beads have been and gone already or if its worth hitting that refresh button a few times!

I'm not entirely sure how this will work out yet. It might prove useful, it might just be annoying.  I am going to just try it and see and if we all find it too smelly to bear we can always revert back. If you find yourself having strong opinions either way just let me know. 



Studio Update: Friday 17th November

Feelin' better already!


I have made a decision today. I am going to take some TIME OFF at Christmas!

Oh yes, heady words indeed you are thinking. Yeah well, I will still be working and busy, just not shipping orders for the Christmas period. This is to give me chance to have an early Spring clean. Oh and maybe some R&R too. (Not rock 'n' roll -  the other one.)

I have been putting off so many chores and must-sort-that-out jobs that its starting to get me down. I just cannot face looking at the "Bookcase from Hell" a moment longer.

I think the BFH's life-force has finally superseded my own. It is now the stronger will in the room, it is become my nemesis.  I look at it and just crumple, never knowing where to begin in dismantling its chaotic, oppressive power. And so it stays as it is.

I put fairy lights on it the other day. Maybe to soften it a little? Maybe I was thinking I could make it look all "nutty girl's boho-chic whim" rather than what it is  - a housekeeping embarrassment. I often wonder if the mouse I saw run under there ever came out? Maybe the bookcase ate it? The bookcase is truly feral now, I wouldn't put much past it.

So this Christmas I will find out which of us really is stronger. It may have the weapon of Intense Dust, which it knows will trigger my allergies. But I have right on my side and a good dose of British Pluck by dammit, so I am determined it won't get the better of me this time.

So tentative closing dates for Christmas will be 21st December through to the 3rd Jan. Although I will confirm nearer the time. You will still be able to place orders through that Christmas week, just they won't ship until the New Year unless I am feeling particularly workaholic-ey and going cold turkey for the post office queue. Knowing me this is possible.

But just the thought that I might take a few days out to catch up with all these jobs has really lifted my spirits. I am sure it will be very good Feng Shui to get this place sorted out and tidied up at last!



Studio Update: Thursday 16th November



Lunaris Lampwork Beads by Emma Ralph  Went the beads out of the online store!

  Yup, sorry - most of today's beads have gone already, but there is still a set of my Lunaris beads left.

 If you like, you can go and blow raspberries at them for being Billy-No-Mates by clicking here




Studio Update: Tuesday 14th November



Many of you emailed to ask how my poor pussycats got on at the Vets the other day.  I forgot quite how many of you out there a) actually bother to read my nonsense (thank you so much, you give purpose to this page!) and b) have a big fondness for our feline overlords.

So, it was most wrong of me to not let you know that both Popsy and Mrs Munchie are fighting fit once more. The anti-inflammatory jab and drops the vet gave them seemed to work miracles and they are much happier little creatures now. They are back to their usual purring selves.

Thanks for asking after them. I would say the cats thank you too, but we know that would be a lie. Cats never really believe they owe gratitude for anything do they?



Studio Update: Monday 13th November




Well, I did intend to tell you about the new lampwork bead sets I listed today - but no sooner were they up in the store than they were gone!

Some of you ladies are quick! Not that I am complaining of course, I am very grateful for your business, but I am starting to wonder how you know? Do you all have a bead "sixth sense" ? Or are you watching me ??? Eek! I hope not. You would see what a slob I am. Today I was busy listing beads with the cat zonked out on my lap, feet up on the radiator (mine not hers. That would just be cruel - it gets quite hot) and munching my way through a bag of Waitrose prawn crackers. Hardly a glamorous image now is it! Kind of Waynetta-does-beads.....

Antique Millefiore Trade Beads.... resistance is futile....   But I did list some more trade beads too!

  I just adore these beads as many of you know. In fact I am planning to make my next postcard feature trade beads. Just because I think they are all so flippin gorgeous!

   Most of my trade beads sets are Venetian made and tend to date from the late 1800s to early 1900s. Some of these beads must have been traded many times over during their long life. I would love to know where they travelled to and what deals were struck along the way using them.

To see the latest additions, visit the Trade Beads category in the Vintage Beads & Buttons area of my online store.



Antique Silver-Tone Copper Toggle Clasps - available at EJR BeadsI have also added some very cool metal beads & findings to the online store this week.

They are all hand-made from solid copper, so you will find them in the Copper Beads and the Copper Findings area of the online store. But some have been finished with an antique gold or silver finish.

The result is a bead or finding with the colour, weight and hand-made charm of more expensive Sterling silver and Vermeil beads but at a more affordable cost.

Check out these gorgeous toggle clasps - you won't believe how affordable they are. After all, not every design calls for sterling silver so its nice to have cheaper alternatives that still look (and feel ) good!


Don't miss the Bali-style tubes and Baule disk beads too, now available in 3 different colours. The antique gold colour is just stunning and reminds me of old Babylonian and Egyptian beads.