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EJR Beads Archive - Spring 2007

Want to see what art beads you missed in the early months of 2007? It's all here. At least it will be.




Studio Update: Monday 28th May

New Beads!


Caboodle - lampwork beads by Emma RalphWell, not much to report this Bank Holiday Monday as I am still making a career of being lazy. But I am a happy girl as the history channels are showing lots of Roman stuff today.

They do a very good line of these docu-drama things these days. One starred the bloke who played Tony Blair in The Queen as Nero - so obviously that actor makes a habit of playing leaders whose sanity is disputed. Another had evil Trevor from Eastenders as Caesar's pal. Somehow I don't think he would have been quite so scary had Little Mo seen him prancing about on a horse in a leather skirt and sandals.

Perfect history-trash to clean beads to anyway. So there are a handful of new lampwork bead sets up in the online store today. Including a new Caboodle!

This Caboodle is worked in shades of hot reds, oranges and cool pale pinks. Lots of useful little lampwork beads for you to have some fun with.



Studio Update: Sunday 27th May

Bank Holiday Bone Idle!


I am doing precisely nothing, in true Bank Holiday style. We are enjoying cold, wet weather - also in true bank holiday style. I can't believe that just two days ago I was enjoying my birthday picnic in the sweltering humid heat. Ah well, that is English weather for you -  never a dull moment. It's an English hobby to obsess and moan about our weather, but I personally love how you never know what it will be like from one day to the next. It keeps it all interesting.

So, what else can I do except sit around here at Mr Man's getting fat and watching telly? I have been sitting on the bed (with a blanket around me as I am so cold!) dreaming up new bead designs. I think at this rate I will have enough bead ideas to last me for weeks.

There is something really creative about being AWAY from your studio. Somehow, when you know you can't just stand up, go downstairs and get cracking on beads, your mind goes whirring away regardless and you just end up making the beads in your head anyway!



Studio Update: Friday 25th May

Happy Birthday to Me!


Yes, today is my birthday - and its been a lovely day.

I got some fantastic pressies - I need to get permission from the creators first, but two fantastic pressies came my way that are just out of this world that I really want to show off to you. Watch this space, with any luck I can show off pictures sometime this week. All I can say is that EJR Beads has allowed me to make the acquaintance and friendship of some very talented people!

Mr Man carried on the tradition of spending far too much money on me. Which he does each year. And each year I make him give me my pressies early, and then each year I get him nothing on his birthday. Aren't I horrible? This year he bought me an i-pod Shuffle, which has to be the cutest, didiest MP3 player in the world. It looks like a posh paperclip. He also got me something nerdy to back up files with in case my puter goes pop.

  But this doesn't mean I have done no work at all today.

 The quick-witted amongst you might notice I have tarted up the top of this page a little. I am no web-designer as you can see, but I think it looks a tad more interesting up there.

 I have also added a new set of Polymer clay art beads to the online store.

 This set has some of my Mackintosh inspired rose motifs on a subtle blue and mauve Illuminare base. Probably as close as I am going to get to ever making floral beads. Still...never say never!

I have some new lampwork beads ready to list next week too - so as always, do keep checking back won't you.


wire jewelry magazineAlso added to the Books & Magazines section of the store today - the new issue of Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry. This is the Summer 07 edition.

I was a little disappointed when I first picked it up - this issue seems really skinny. But the content is still corkingly good, so whatever they have done away with in the bulk, it isn't good quality projects.

There are lots of really good ideas for working wire - from wrought iron jewellery, to how to make a variety of unique and original earring findings.

Oh and been wondering where you can find the findings to make those cool cluster rings that are so hot lately? There is an article to show you how to make them.  Want to wirework with vintage buttons? Yup - there is a cool project for that too, plus much more. It may be skinny, but this issue ain't no airhead!



art clay silver paste  Also added to the store - more Art Clay Silver products. So, we have the larger-sized clay packs back in stock in both the Art Clay Silver 650 and the Art Clay Silver 650 Slow Dry.

 The paste version of Art Clay Silver 650 and Art Clay Silver Slow Tarnish is also available too. This is great stuff! If you have a kiln for firing your art clay projects, you can paint this onto textured organic material such as leaves, twigs etc to create fantastic forms. Use it also to repair cracks, join dried pieces of Art Clay silver prior to firing and more.

If you are new to Art Clay Silver - well, there is a fantastic starter kit available and you can fire the clay on a gas hob or with a small handheld crème brulee torch. How simple is that? And what are you left with? Pure fine silver beads, pendants and charms that you made yourself.



Studio Update: Thursday 24th May

Pants to Ovarian Cancer !


Well, that is what Jennifer Dangerfield says and I am inclined to agree with her.

Jennifer is running a fab competition in aid of Ovarian Cancer Action. You send her a postcard and then you are in with a chance to win some of her gorgeous jewellery. And for every postcard she receives, she will make a donation to the charity. Sounds like a winning idea to me - to read more about the competition, please visit Jennifer's blog.



Studio Update: Tuesday 22nd May

It's here' !

bead magazine



Yup, the new issue of Bead magazine is now in stock.

It's a corker of an issue this time around too, chock full of great projects and eye-candy from lots of EJR Beads customers! Oh yes, you know who you are! Congratulations to all of you!

This issue is the best yet I think. The mix of articles and features is a lot more varied and the difficulty level of the projects also seems to be a little more varied too.

To see this and other great beady magazines, just visit the Books & Magazines section of the EJR Beads Online Store!


Flamenco Tabs - Lampwork by Emma Ralph   Also, don't forget I listed new lampwork beads last night and have more to list tonight! Plus, a set of Polymer art beads too.

Right now there is still one set of lampwork available - one of my most fondled sets too ;-) These lovely jade-green Flamenco Tabs. Wouldn't they make the most adorable Summer jewellery?

 Do keep checking the Emma's Art Beads section for the new art beads, they will be listed later tonight.




Studio Update: Sunday 20th May

Just moochin' !


Elvis the Goat


Beads are in the kiln, the cat is asleep, orders are packed...hey, maybe I might get to bed before midnight tonight?  I was busy earlier though, finishing off some updates to my funny little website. Both the Polymer Clay and the Lampwork gallery pages have been updated a little. Hope you like 'em!

So what else have I been up to? Well, look who I met out walking yesterday!


old surrey downs logo

  There are 5 of these chaps who graze the common land near where we live. They are owned by the local council who obviously felt them a better investment than lawnmowers.

  I used to know all their names once upon a time, but now I only remember one is called Elvis. Maybe this is Elvis? Who knows. Lets assume he is. Hello Elvis. Nice beard.

   And if it isn't enough for them to own 5 goats, they even have goats on their logo. Have you ever seen a sillier logo? A goat, a butterfly and three aliens...





Studio Update: Thursday 17th May

I've Got Blue Tits!


And I bet you'd like to see them!

Yes, the nesting box Mr Man and I put up in the pear tree has its first tenants this Spring. Two stealthy little blue tits led us a right merry dance with their "will they, won't they?" teasing for the last few weeks. But it appears they finally made up their minds and moved in. Now the faint sound of chicks tweeting can be heard if you walk past quietly.

I would try to take a photo, and might try yet - but I have never really been a sucker for punishment. These little birds dash in and out so quickly. I just cannot see how I would ever catch them "on film" without CCTV and Google Earth trained on the little buggers.  I have even bought boxes of live mealworms to put out for them. Well, THAT is another story for another day. All I can say is those worms are out-foxing me at every turn and feeding them to the blue tits is NOT the straightforward job I naively assumed it would be.

Lampwork beads by Emma Ralph  And so onto beads....

 New Lampwork Beads are up! Mostly Ice beads this week. As I said yesterday I did try some more adventurous things out this week, but they were quite cacky if truth be told. You would be amazed how many beads end up on the cutting room floor actually!

 I thought you might enjoy this little set though. Tutankhamen's Hot Rod I call this duo!




Studio Update: Wednesday 16th May

Patience is a virtue!


 I have a few new sets of lampwork beads to list in the next couple of days, so bear with me - they will be up soon! There would have been more too. I made a set that I thought would be gorgeous, inspired and desirable. But they weren't - they turned out pants! I hate it when that happens, it seems like such a waste of time but I suppose everything is a learning experience.

freshwater stick pearls 

 Meanwhile - look - yummy white stick pearls at fantastic prices! Just like us all, they come in fat and thin varieties. Which will you chose? The Skinny Minnies or the Chubba Mammas? I think they are all gorgeous.

 Clickety-poo on Freshwater Pearls if you wanna see more.



Studio Update: Saturday 12th May

Raspberry Sauce on that?


Ice Cream Sundae Lampwork Beads by Emma Ralph I have ice cream on the brain lately.

 It took me ages to make this set of Lampwork Beads. I knew exactly what I wanted to make, it just took a while to get the glass to match the image in my head! Finally after trying different types, colours and combinations of glass, I found the perfect Vanilla and Strawberry colours for this Ice Cream Sundae set.

 Best part? No calories so you can indulge all you like!


Peacock freshwater pearlsWanna see something else cool? Of course you do. Who wouldn't?

The most gorgeous Freshwater Pearls came into stock. Smaller sized Rock Cake pearls in the most yummy peacock greeny/gold colour. I am so in love with these pearls I might just run away with them.

So nab yourself some before I change my mind, that's my advice! You will find them on the second page of the Pearls category.




Studio Update: Thursday 10th May

A Glimpse of Things to Come!


Glacier Graphical Lampwork Beads by Emma Ralph Sometimes when I make lampwork beads, they come out just as I had planned.

 Sometimes they don't, sometimes they come out even nicer than I was expecting!

 This is one such set, I am so pleased with the colours - a sort of glacier blue (I was expecting greys, hence the pale grey spacers! But I think they work nicely with the main beads regardless so we can run with that).

 As you can see, there are 6 large lentils in this set, 7 co-ordinating donut beads and a dozen grey spacers - so quite a set, with quite a lot of design potential.

 But they are not up for sale yet! I will be listing them sometime later tonight, once I have scoffed me dinner - and that can take a fair old time if I am hungry ;-)

So to see these, and a few other sets, just keep hitting that refresh button!


Patterned Tissue PaperMeanwhile, recent customer of my art beads may have noticed I have gone all sleazy with my packaging. I am sorry about that, but I just couldn't resist snuffling away some of these new Safari tissue paper mixes for myself.

I think pretty much all the usual suspects are there - zebra, tiger, giraffe, snake, alligator and of course our good friend Mr Leopard (who apparently will never change.)

I am slightly worried that using this packaging has turned me into the Kat Slater of the bead world though....

If you want to join me in tarting up your packaging, just check out the Bags and Boxes section of the online store.




Studio Update: Monday 7th May

New Lampwork is up!


lampwork glass art beads by Emma Ralph   I have just listed a couple of new sets of lampwork beads in the online store today - including this set of Heather graphical tabs.

  I won't clog up your inboxes with an email newsletter for just two sets, so whoever finds 'em first gets 'em!

 Head on over to the Lampwork section of the online store to see them and a fruity little set of Ice beads! Oh and I have also finished putting all the new Vintage Jewellery bits and pieces up too.





Studio Update: Sunday 6th May

Lots of Sparklies!


vintage jewellery   Well I made a start on updating the Vintage Jewellery section of the online store this week. There are a few new little brooches in there and plenty more to come in the week. I really like the whole Shabby chic thing of these old brooches, gives you that girlie dressing up feeling like you raided grannies jewellery box again. Its fun.

And guess what else? I got the new lampwork beads cleaned so they should be up either tomorrow or Tuesday - don't forget to keep checking back now! Enjoy your Sunday.



Studio Update: Friday 4th May

Happy Weekend!


Well once again its the weekend, and a long one too for us Brits as it is a Bank Holiday. Not that my working routine is much of a respecter of weekends! I seem to work the most peculiar hours these days.

I don't really know what to tell you all today. I could tell you about the big fat ice cream I just ate - it was nice. Or, the glass beads I made today that exploded! That was annoying and will teach me to muff about with untested colour combos when using Czech glass - blimey, everyone knows THAT don't they? Well, I thought I knew better didn't I.

I could tell you about all the lovely new products I have added to the online store recently, but that would take the fun of browsing the store away a bit really wouldn't it.

The truth is, I just have no energy to say much at all tonight. (post ice-cream sugar slump?).

What I can't tell you about are the new polymer beads - because they are all gone already! However, you can look forward to new lampwork beads in the next few days (non-exploding ones I hasten to add!). And over the weekend I hope to find time to add some wonderful vintage jewellery too. I am so into vintage brooches at the moment, I think deep down I just want to be a 1940s glamour-puss.

Yeah, ok - stop laughing.


Studio Update: Tuesday 1st May

Buzz Off!


honey bees!   Do you know what this is?

  Yes clearly some sort of grape vine, but I am more referring to the brown mass behind it on the wall.

  Its about 15,000 flipping honey bees that is what it is. All this talk on the news recently had me really worried. Maybe our European honey bees are disappearing too, like they seem to be in America?

 I needn't have worried.

 Yesterday afternoon, we became aware of a strange humming around the house. Looking out all the windows, well - we just freaked!

 Clouds, dense dense clouds, of bees surrounded the back of the house. I have never in my life seen anything like it It was quite surreal.

 Everywhere you looked there were bees. Bees, bees and more bees. Just a swirling great mass of them. And only around our house - nowhere else.

  It was starting to feel a bit biblical.

 Eventually they settled on the wall as you can see. The photo just doesn't capture the awesomeness of the swarm.  It was hard to get a good snap of them, shooting through the window. And it was so hard to believe that all those clouds of bees, obscuring the entire back of the house could then condense themselves down into this compact mass.

 Once we had realised we were not being smitten by the Lord (as none of us had done anything particularly sinful recently) we were able to calm down a bit and enjoy them.


What a fantastic spectacle they were. But also, what a problem. They were right by the back door, we couldn't go in or out (yes we are wimps). The dogs couldn't go in or out either. The daft spaniel has a fondness for eating any insect unfortunate enough to fly within snapping distance. Big potential problem there, so something had to be done.

Do you know what to do when a swarm of 15,000 bees land on your house? Oddly enough, I do. I cannot remember anything that is vaguely day-to-day useful in life. But things such as what one does with a bee swarm seems to be right up my brain's alley.

Clearly a bee-keeper was called for.

A little search on t'internet and we had a bee keeper on his way within the hour. He knocked most of them into a box, made sure he had the queen, said "ta very much" and was on his way. Bish, bash, bosh.

On his way minus about 500 of the little buggers. Buggers which did NOT disperse as promised, because it appears there was another young queen about.

Come nightfall, all these remaining bees curled up and went to sleep in a tiny ornamental bird box close by. Would you ever have thought bees could be cute? Well, seeing them all snuggle up for the night, crawling one by one into this silly little wooden box was indeed cute. Bizarrely so.

Cute of course until the cold light of morning. When they are all awake, swarming about again and it becomes very apparent they have made that bird box their new home.

Clearly a bee-keeper was called for.

Gary the bee-keeper came back and collected the last of them this evening, after waiting for them to curl up for sleepy bye-byes again. I do hope "our" bees will be happy with Gary. I think they will. He seems a decent sort, he has a nice net hat and everything.  And because he has taken the swarm back to his hives we know they will have somewhere proper to live and won't end up making their new home in someone's chimney or any other inconvenient place.

Only downside to all this?

Well, I couldn't get out and make lampwork beads could I!

I was far too worried about all those bees getting sucked into my shed whilst I was torching. Instead, I stayed inside and stuck to making polymer beads. So keep an eye on the online store come Thursday or Friday. I will probably be listing the new beads then, unless anything else strange happens. And around here, that is highly possible!



Studio Update: Saturday 28th April

Getting there!


Still no new art beads I am afraid. I am working on new polymer beads and new Silver charms, but they won't be ready for a few days yet. Hopefully by next week there should also be some lampwork goodies to see, so do keep checking back won't you.

Step by Step beads magazine 

  Meanwhile, fancy a good read?

  The new Step-by-Step beads is in. Its a corker of an issue this time around. A new look cover, but still the same great mix of beadmaking and bead-using projects inside. Look out for two great lampwork projects, some polymer beads and a variety of beadweaving ideas this time around.

You can find this and many other great mags in the Books & Magazines section of EJR Beads online store! Who would have thunk it?





Studio Update: Thursday 26th April



I wish I had a tail. Do you?

No, I don't want the whole duck feet, whale spout package. But a tail would be nice. I could express myself with it, twitching it when I am annoyed and wagging it wildly when happy. Or when asleep I could curl it up over my nose if the weather was cold. I completely have tail envy when I look at my pets. And the worst thing is, it seems to me they don't even appreciate their tails one bit.

Still. I have to face facts, it will never happen - a tail will never be mine. So today I just coped as best I could with my tail-less lot in life and got on with things. I have been making some polymer beads today. Mainly because it has been very April Showery here and I didn't fancy going out into the glass shed today. I am such a lightweight.

So what else is new? I have had a restock on the Art Clay Silver goodies, so we have more rolling guides, clay and also more Starter Kits in stock. Also I added a few other useful bits and bobs for firing and finishing your Art Clay silver work. Fun huh?




Studio Update: Tuesday 24th April

Blink and you miss it!


Cubism Lampwork beads by Emma Ralph  It appears quite a few of you noticed I listed new lampwork beads yesterday evening, as they all seem to have sold before I even had chance to write about them here or send out email notifications.

 Thank you all so much, your support of my work is so appreciated. Vain artist that I am though, I still insist on plopping a photo of my fave set here regardless.

 This was another set of my Cubism beads, as you can see I am *trying* to get braver about using blue. Blue is not a colour that I instinctively reach for but I have made a promise to myself to try and use it more. I don't really understand blue that well. Blue and I have never really hung out and partied that much,  so I may come out with some butt-ugly colour combinations while I am getting to know it! You have been warned.


So since I have no new art beads to peddle, what on earth can I waffle on about?

I know, I can update you on the randy frogs! Well, as you will remember we left Mr and Mrs Frog in a passionate embrace back in February. Nature being what it is it wasn't long before the fish pond was sporting a large clump of frog spawn. I like frog spawn, there is something very appealing about it visually. Probably it reminds me of beads. I don't know.

Anyway - this was a perilous situation. The spawn was in the fish pond, along with Codzilla, Codzuke and all their friends. For some reason, although our fish pond is tiny, the fish have become massive great things. And massive fish have massive appetites. The spawn would not last too long there. So what is a frog-lovin' beadmaker to do? Well, we decided to remove the spawn and raise them as our own. Ah.....

The spawn was removed into a bucket for a while and when all our little tadpoles had hatched - into the nature pond they went. No fish there, so they have much more of a fighting chance of making it. They seem joyfully content in there, swimming about and getting bigger and bigger each day. It brings a warm glow. When they turn into frogs I shall do my best to get some photos. Of course one day I will have to face the difficult task of telling them where they came from and that I am not their real mum. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.



Studio Update: Saturday 21st April

They're here!


Ornament Magazine  The first issue of Ornament magazine has arrived. This is such a beautifully put together publication from the US, dedicated to the art and craft of Personal Adornment.

 So what does that mean? Well, beads, jewellery and clothing. In a nutshell all the things that float our collective boat. Mostly the articles seem to be features on designers and craftspeople and their work but there are practical projects too, such as a lampwork bead master class from bead making hero Kristina Logan. Look out also for the feature on replicating the beadwork found in Tutankhamen's tomb and more.

 This magazine was founded and is co-edited by Robert K Lui, respected bead researcher and author. His passion for beads and personal adornment shines out throughout the magazine.

 Stocks are very limited for this issue and as always is sold on a first come, first served basis. So if you fancy a copy, take yourself over to the Books & Magazines section of EJR Beads pretty quickly.




Studio Update: Wednesday 18th April

Well Lookie What I Found!


Orangery Lampwork Beads by Emma Ralph  Look at what I found lurking in my kiln over the last few days - lots of new lampwork beads!

  There are many different sets this week. Because the weather was so glorious in the beginning of the week, it was very easy for me to stay outside in my shed for hours on end getting into the lampwork groove!

  This set, Orangery, just grew and grew. I only meant to make a couple of those orange focal beads, but fell in love with how the colour looked under the clear glass.


crazy cuboid lampwork beads by Emma RalphI was also in a playful mood at times, experimenting with brighter colours just perfect for summer. Case in point these Crazy Cuboids. Named by Mr Man if you please!

As always, all lampwork beads are one-off sets,  sold on a first come, first served basis. So please don't leave it too long before ordering if you see something you like!

Could I also ask you to take extra care when placing orders and make sure checkout is completed fully? When making Paypal payments, please wait for Paypal to return you to the EJR Beads site before closing your browser window. This should only take a few moments, but it better ensures that Paypal and my shop talk to each other nicely and tell each other who has bought what! Otherwise, sometimes the order only partially completes and I end up with two people trying to buy the same set of beads - very embarrassing!

Thanks for your co-operation on that. Our store software is pretty good, but it does have its little quirks sometimes. So do I though, so I can hardly complain too much.




Studio Update: Tuesday 17th April

Charmed I'm sure!


There are oodles of new Fine Silver charms in the online store this week. I love making these, but bringing them up to a shine sure brings out muscles I didn't know I had!

Fine Silver Charms at EJR Beads  All the charms are handmade by me and come on cute little collector cards. Use them for earrings, bracelets and so on or just keep them on the cards so you can stroke them occasionally and purr. I'm not fussy.

  I am sorry about the very poor photos, these charms just refuse to photograph well. The shine confuses poor little Nikon, and given that he is an old chap now and very overworked I really don't like to mention it to him.

 Besides, telling any machine that it is not up to scratch or failing in its duties is just asking for trouble.

freshwater stick pearls at EJR Beads 

I also have some new additions to the Freshwater Pearls category.

These stick pearls are just stunning. I tried to take a nice close-up, but you get an entire strand of these babies! Again, the photos of these just do not do them justice. They come in 3 different very feminine shades of pink. But hurry as stocks are limited on these.


art jewelry magazine   On the magazine front, we have most of the Spring issues in now I think, but there is always a straggler isn't there? Art Jewelry came in the other day. Its a cracking issue, dedicated to Colour - which as everyone knows is certainly my bag baby.

  There are two really great polymer clay projects in this issue - one for making translucent canes, the other for incorporating painting and drawing into clay projects. So miss that at your peril if you are a clay head with a talent for drawing!

  There are of course many other fantastic articles, techniques and features too. Don't miss the fantastic metal clay project for instance. This magazine focuses on jewellery fabrication. So if you like metal working, soldering, enamelling - you name it, Art Jewelry is for you. But don't run away with the idea that you need to be skilled in these techniques first. They always have plenty of info for newbies and entry-level projects to teach you different jewellery making techniques.


I have however saved the best news until last.

Yes, it is unashamedly another big fat brag. This time I am bragging on Jean Yates. In what is probably a UK exclusive scoop for EJR Beads, I can now show you the cover to her soon-to-be-released book - Links.

Links by Jean YatesIsn't it fantastic? I am told the cover may change slightly before publication - but that's unlikely to be anything major. So remember to brand this image in your mind. You do NOT want to miss this book. Trust me, I have seen some of the photos and text. It really will be one of those books that teaches you more than just how to make the individual projects featured.

Jean has worked really hard to show you how she finds and uses inspirations for her work. It's not only metal that links together you see - ideas link too, creating new ideas in the process. Clever huh?

Inspiration and how to use it is such an important issue. I get SO many emails from people who feel they are "not creative enough" or people who don't know how to find original ideas of their own. But designing is a skill that can be practiced and improved upon - as human beings we are all innately creative. Jean's book will give many tips and ideas on how to search out and improve your own creative skills.

Jean encourages you to take stock of every type of inspiration - maybe a flash thought, something you read in the paper, a swatch of fabric or sweet wrapper etc. She then shows you how to work those abstract inspirations into tangible jewellery designs that are intensely personal, original and satisfying.




Studio Update: Thursday 12th April

Spring Reading!


I don't know where the time is going at the moment, I seem to be updating this page less and less frequently despite having so many cool new products in the online store for you to see!

I took a day off to do a spot of birding yesterday but it was well worth it. We saw the most enormous golden coloured fish violently throwing itself out of the lake several times. I swear it was the size of a shark, but I am guessing that was some type of fantastically large carp.

We also got to watch a couple of Great Crested Grebes do their famous courtship dance. That was just amazing. Apparently if you are a grebe, its the done thing to paddle about with your beloved, both dive under (all synchronised you understand), re-surface with a beak full of pond slime and then stand up on the water together and boogie. Way to go Grebes!

Also we saw a mother duck with 12 little ducklings following her about. Three different males seemed to be in constant attendance so I don't know what the story is there but I reckon it would be worthy of the Jeremy Kyle show.


polymer cafe magazine at ejr beads  But enough of my springtime nature frolics. You would far rather know about the new magazines in stock wouldn't you?  So get yourself comfy and I shall begin.

 The new issue of Polymer Cafe has arrived!

 As usual, this issue is fantastic. Inside there are several projects for making polymer clay beads using advanced millefiore caning amongst other processes. There is also an article on how to get your clay creations cast in bronze, how to make wedding cake toppers and much more.

 Just take a look at the cover. Now don't pretend you don't want to make those canes because I know you do.



There is more though ...ooh ooh brag mode alert! The back cover has made me and Jeanie of PrettyKittyDogMoonJewelry cover girls!

The Fire Mountain Gems advert features one of Jean's spectacular bracelets, worked with some of my polymer clay art beads. I love those bracelets and I think the folks at Fire Mountain Gems have done a smashing job of the layout.

Would you believe they also included my name and website addy as well as Jean's. I think that is really nice. They didn't have to do that, but they did. Jean didn't have to tell them about me - but she did. Thank you Jean, you always have been so supportive of my bead making and I just want to this website to give you a big sloppy kiss for it - MWAH!


Jewelry Crafts Magazine at EJR Beads  But another new magazine also came in - Jewelry Crafts, June 2007 issue!

 I think Jewelry Crafts is fantastic publication - often let down by a less than interesting cover though. I know we are not meant to judge books by their covers, but often we do.

 At first glance, I thought the necklace on the cover of this issue was "just another" chainmaille thingy - but its not, its a lovely seed-bead multi-stranded jobby. It really is so pretty, it even temps me to get the tiny beads out.

  There are many other lovely projects in this mag too. There are some great polymer clay projects - one for a vibrant geometric cane and another for making the most realistic looking stick pearls.

 Also look out for stringing projects - a great necklace using antique trade beads for instance. There is beadwork too, with a geometric art deco bracelet and more.


Now, aside from the magazines - would it excite you to know I have a couple of sets of lampwork beads due to be listed in the next couple of days? Or would you rather hear that I am working on a massive slew of Fine Silver Charms too? Because I have been quite a busy little beaver over Easter you know!



Studio Update: Saturday 7th April

Heavy Metal!


The dawn of a new era is upon EJR Beads. Well, ok, maybe that is exaggerating a little bit, but lets just say I have some cool new products in the online store.

art clay silver at EJR Beads  Introducing Art Clay Silver. This is a modelling clay that is transformed into 99 % pure silver when fired in a kiln, with a hand held torch or on your gas hob (that is purer than sterling silver!)

  I have decided to carry the lower firing-temperature 650 formula, the slow-dry version of that and the slow tarnish formula for the time being. If there is more demand, I might increase the range though.

 The lower firing temperature of the 650 and 650 Slow Dry formulas even allow you to introduce fused glass and some stones to your projects (glass inclusions will require kiln firing though)


art clay silver starter kit at EJR Beads

In the meanwhile, click here to see how easy it is to use Art Clay Silver.

If you are new to using these materials, you will find lots of classes offered throughout the UK. But if, like me, you prefer self-teaching, it is also easy to get good results at home. Just give it a try, it is such fun. I even have a starter kit with all the clay, tools and instructions you need to make a pendant or charm and fire it on the gas hob.

wire jewelry magazine at EJR Beads 


  Whilst we are on the subject of metal - I should let you know that the Spring issue of Wire Jewelry is now in.

 This magazine is proving to be very popular at EJR Beads. It is only published quarterly though and tends to sell out quite quickly. Find it in the Books & Magazines section of the store.

  In this issue there are more useful tips and ideas from wire-working guru Connie Fox, some fantastic Celtic knot earrings, a project for forging sterling silver wire plus an assortment of other wire working and chainmaille ideas.




Studio Update: Thursday 5th April

Happy News!


I wasn't sure if I was meant to be sharing this news yet, but seeing as everyone else is buzzing with excitement about it I guess it's ok to spill the beans now...

The immensely talented Jennifer Dangerfield has updated her website, The Art of Curiosity,  to include a gallery of work available for purchase.

This is so exciting as I just love Jennifer's work and am very happy to brag that I own some pieces. She designs work that doesn't only look good - it FEELS good too. Jennifer's designs appeal very much to the sense of touch as they are so sensual in how they drape and work with gravity. I am lucky enough to own one of Jennifer's signature Barbed bracelet amongst other pieces. I remember passing it around all the girls at the last family shin-dig because it wasn't enough to see it, they all wanted to touch it too and try it on and experience how it felt on.

If you are looking for a luxurious gift or pressie for yourself - forget drooling over the latest Jimmy Choos, treat yourself to something from Jennifer Dangerfield - that is my advice!



Studio Update: Wednesday 4th April

Top tip to keep you tip-top!



If you are trying to watch your weight - its a really good idea to NOT share a house with a chef and an ice-cream machine. That's all I am gonna say about that.

Meanwhile, did you come here looking for new beadies? Well you won't be disappointed then,  I have just added lots of new sets of art beads to the online store.

Blush Caboodle - lampwork beads by Emma Ralph   First we have several sets of lampwork glass beads listed today.

  I have listed something new this week, a little along the lines of the old Pandora's Tins that so many of you loved just with a little more cohesion.  Allow me to introduce the Caboodle!

  Caboodles are collections of simple yet effective lampwork glass beads - all different but worked in co-ordinating colour palettes. They would look fab worked together in the same jewellery design I think. Team them with some metal beads or work them into some wirework bangles - they would be great for that.

  This Caboodle collection is worked in shades of pink through to brown. But be sure to check the online store for other colour combos too. I really enjoyed making them and combining the different colours and styles into collections that I think work well together.


polymer clay art beads by Emma Ralph  Also we cannot let this little waffle of mine finish without mentioning today's polymer clay art beads.

Why? because I am breaking my heart in selling this particular set this week. A set that I just plain fell in love with. Why else do you think I called it "Hands off!"

Ok, so I exaggerate a little of course, because obviously I could keep it if I really wanted to! But it seems silly to do that when I so rarely make (or even wear) jewellery these days. The truth is, I know you guys make much nicer work with my beads than I ever could - so I might as well set my beloved free to roam.... ;-)

Yes I am being far too arty-farty today aren't I? Let's just put that down to the fact that I ate a tube of Mini eggs and an obviously on some sort of sugar rush right now.

Thanks for reading! I think I might go and run around the house 18 times now.





Studio Update: Tuesday 3rd April

More free stuff if you make me giggle!


I'm really tired today, I could just go back to bed and sleep through. But I won't - I shall diligently finish off this weeks new lampwork and polymer clay art beads with a hope of getting them listed today or tomorrow! So please check back later for those.


So how was your April Fool's day? Did you play any good pranks? Did you get fooled? The whole thing passed me by without notice I am ashamed to say. I didn't even read the papers to see if there were any good ones. So I need to re-create the day or I will feel left out, bereft, like something is missing from 2007.

Email me the best April Fool's prank you have even perpetrated or been the victim of, and the one that makes me chuckle the most will get a bag of crafty/beady goodies.

The prize is nothing fancy, so don't get too excited. It's just some card-making and jewellery-making bits and bobs that surfaced in my recent stock take, but we might as well have a little fun in giving them away!

Oh, and I will provide a second little prize just as a raffle for the rest of you who email in, the winner picked at random. So no excuse to not bother just because you think your story isn't funny enough. Anyway, how could it not be funny enough? I laugh at anything.



Studio Update: Friday 30th March



I just added another set of Lampwork beads to the store!

Yes, one set slipped the net yesterday, but has been recaptured. If you think you can handle 'em, you know where to look by now!



Studio Update: Thursday 29th March



I can't believe it has been a week since I last updated this page! Where did that week go? Was I abducted by aliens or something? (not again!)

I can't even think what I managed to get done this week. I had a very nice time birding yesterday, which was great. Enjoyed a pair of tree creepers finding their lunch. Listened to two greylag geese doing the most ridiculous honking duet. We ended up just feeling embarrassed for them actually, they sounded so awful. Twitch of the day though was the long view of a very fat green parakeet on a feeder. No wonder she was fat, she had certainly worked out the easy way to find food around there.

lampwork glass beads by Emma Ralph   I have of course also been finishing off this week's art beads and listing them in the online store. You can find all the beads in the Emma's Art Beads section.

   I have listed both polymer clay and lampwork glass beads this week. Only a couple of sets of lampwork beads though, so don't leave it too long before taking a look. My faves are these Lavender Flamenco tabs, they are just yum!

polymer clay beads by Emma Ralph  

Also, I have listed several new sets of Illuminare and Clarice lentils today.

My favourite polymer beads have to be these shimmery gold and turquoise rounds. You can find all the polymer clay art beads in the online store. As always, all beads are sold on a first come, first served basis.


Another area of the store to see some new goodies is the Freshwater Pearls category.

blister pearls at EJR Beads  Listed today were more of the ever-popular Seashell beads in a new colour palette. Plus two different colours of these oh-so-sensual Blister Pearls.

  If you like your freshwater pearls to be organic and bizarrely shaped, these are the pearls for you! The remind me of little comets actually, each seems to have a "body" and a little protruding tail!

  I can't wait to have a play with them myself and try these dark grey ones with some sterling silver beads.




Studio Update: Thursday 22nd March



Bead Magazine at EJR Beads  Well Rat Fans... It's been way too chilly in my shed this week to make lampwork beads, even though my neck is now sufficiently recovered for a spot of melty melty hot hot.

  It has been snowing most of the day here. So, I have been working on some polymer clay art beads instead. They should be finished and ready for sale by next week - just got a spot of finishing off to do first.  

  In the meanwhile, if the return to winter is getting you down, don't fear! Just use it as the perfect excuse to curl up with a good read.

  Yup - the latest issue of Bead magazine in is! It is another fantastic issue, full of beading and stringing projects and lots of wire working ideas. You can find it, and many other fabulous beading titles, in the Books & Magazines section of EJR Beads.

 Just click on Bead to see the current issue and any back issues available.


sterling silver feature beads at EJR BeadsAlso new at EJR Beads this week are some fantastic ornate sterling silver beads and findings.

The photos of these beads are pants, so I can only apologies for that. But once you get these beauties in your hot little hands, I guarantee you will be drooling! I think my faves are these large ornate barrel-shaped beads. They are so elegant that I nabbed a few myself to use in some projects. I think they will look wonderful teamed with lampwork.


sterling silver findings at EJR Beads  Also, the Daisy spacers are back! You know where to find them by now, just look in Sterling Silver Beads and click on the Spacers section. They are available in packs of 50, 100 and 200!

 In the Sterling Silver findings category, I have added these neat toggle clasps. Each has two loops - not only attractive but practical too. Use them to make necklaces and bracelets that are size-adjustable.

They are superb value and sold in useful bags of 5 clasps.




Studio Update: Tuesday 20th March

Getting much better - thanks for asking!



Bead Society Newsletter Back Issues  I have some new auctions up on eBay this week.

  Most are mixed lots from my latest round of spring cleaning, so there are several different lots of crafting magazines up for sale. There are also some bits and bobs for beadmakers too though!

  If you only check out one auction this YEAR, be sure it is my auction for the back issues of the Bead Society and the Beadworker's Guild journals.

  I love, love, love those newsletters- they are so fantastic, but I really need to re-claw some space back around here. So I really want those, if nothing else, to go to an appreciative home!



There are also some other unusual crafting bits and bobs listed there - so whatever your particular crafting weakness is, do take a look as there are bound to be some auctions that catch your eye.

Don't forget, these are not stock items! Once they are sold, that is it. And most of the auctions have just a 99 p start! Go and put in a proxy bid now, so you don't forget and miss them!

You can see all the auctions by clicking here, or simply search out my seller ID at eBay - its ejralph (original huh?).

You may as well add me to your fave sellers whilst you are there and all nicely logged on don't you think? Who knows what I might find in my next tidy up, and I do also keep threatening to list some beads up there one day!


So bid high, hot and long my friends - because I have my eye on a special new piece of crafty equipment that I *really* want. So I need to raise some readies if I am to possibly justify treating myself!



Studio Update: Sunday 18th March

Happy Mother's Day


Happy Mothering Sunday to all the mums out there. I do hope you all got breakfast in bed this morning and lots of pressies! If not, well you will just have to pop along to EJR Beads and buy yourself a treat I guess!

lampwork glass art beads by Emma Ralph  And there is lots of offer this week.

  I have lots of new lampwork glass and ceramic art beads listed in the store today.

  Probably my favourite set of the week is actually two sets in one - Constantinople. I just loved how these two very different sets of beads worked so well together,  so I decided maybe they should stay that way! They would look fantastic teamed with Sterling silver beads and findings!




Studio Update: Monday 12th March

Spring Clean!


It was a BAD day for spiders today. A day that will go down in Spider History. A day every spider will tell her grandchildren about, all 77,000 of them. Because today I cleaned my shed.

Yup - my glass shed got a top-to-toe makeover today and you would not believe the variety of spiders I found living in each and every corner. Big long leggy ones, short fat dumpy ones. Those gross ones with the really pale bodies that make me just want to yak. I dutifully re-homed each one outside choosing areas I thought they would enjoy, but I don't mind admitting that some of them really started to push my freak-out buttons. It took all of my self-control not to flounce off girlie style and get someone else to do it for me.

I even found a Leopard Slug in my shed! How the heck that got in there I don't know.

So what did I learn today? I learned that spiders CAN get into my shed (as can slugs) despite me spider-proofing every possible crack with No-More-Gaps stuff. I learned that dust-masks are a REALLY good invention and that Bauhaus still sounds good after all these years....

So hopefully tomorrow I shall be fired up to make lots of beads. Lets hope the weather stays like it did today - it was glorious!




Studio Update: Saturday 10th March

New Bling!


lampwork glass tab beads by Emma Ralph  Well, I have had an enjoyable time making beads and jewellery over the last few days. I really got into the groove. I love weeks like that!

  Many of the beads are still half-way through being made, but I do have some new offerings up in the Lampwork Beads section of my online store,  such as these playful graphics tabs!

  I also added some more of my lampwork jewellery to the store today. Do take a look at the Lampwork section of Emma's Jewellery to see my latest earrings and pendant. fine silver charms by Emma Ralph 

I have also been working on more ceramic beads, and am really enjoying combining the ceramic clays with fine silver.  But possibly the most fun I had this week was working on my new series of Fine Silver charms

All the charms are hand formed by me from pure fine silver. They come on these natty little cards, ideal to keep in your collection, give as gifts or you could just use them in your jewellery designs I suppose!




Studio Update: Thursday 8th March

Better late than never!


lampwork glass lentil beads by Emma Ralph   Well, I know I said I would be listing new beads much sooner than this, but what can I say? I am dreadfully behind schedule as usual.

 Still, better late than never - along with these Cafe au Lait graphics lentils I have also listed a couple of other new sets of Lampwork glass art beads.

  You can find them in the online store of course, in the Lampwork section!


Part of the reason I am so behind, is I have been having a creative burst this week and felt compelled to scurry away to my studio without distraction to create some new Troikesque beads. I have also been working on the beginnings to a series of fine silver charms. I am really excited about all the new beads I am working on at the moment. Although knowing me, it will take me months to finish these off and get them ready to be seen in public!

who's a pretty boy?Meanwhile, remember the Amaryllis that I nearly condemned to death with my lack of care?

Well, here he is in full bloom. I think you will agree he is mighty fine, despite his shaky start in life?


Other EJR Beads news - I have just taken delivery of lots of Fimo products.

So if you were waiting on any out of stock items, please check again as many items are now back in. Including the bead machines, Easy metal leaf and oodles of clay of course.

My Class-in-a-box kits are also back in limited number. Everything you need to get cracking with polymer clay, including a copy of my first book "Polymer Clay in a Day"

Unfortunately we are still waiting on the Water based varnish to come in however.





Studio Update: Saturday 3rd March



If you had wondered why I had been so quiet the last few days, well it's because I have had a stinky Migraine.

It has slowed me down to bare essentials only I am afraid. So the new lampwork glass beads are still sitting here waiting to be cleaned when I had hoped to have them up and listed today. Never mind, hopefully tomorrow or the day after.

But I thought it time to update you on a couple of key topics. Firstly, Kim Miles' raffle for Jean Yates finished a day or two back and with your help, she raised stacks of money for Jean and her family. I am so thrilled about this - so a big public thank you to Kim and to everyone who bought a raffle ticket from her. And congratulations to the jammy winners! I am Soooooo jealous!

Secondly, we have a winner to the caption competition of the randy toads. You all sent in some really cool captions, but the one that brought the most chuckles from my "jury"  was ...

"No dear, not in front of the Spawn!".

Congratulations to Julie in Essex for the winning entry, your beads are on their way!

step by step beads at EJR Beads  

 Other good news is that the latest issue of Step by Step Beads magazine is in!

 Look for this and other great beading and clay magazines in the Books & Magazines section of the online store.

 In this issue of Step by Step beads, there are some great bead making projects. This includes two polymer clay projects plus precious metal clay and lampworking ideas too. There is also the usual fantastic mix of seed bead patterns and more.





Studio Update: Wednesday 28th February

The Shape of Beads to Come!


Mr Man was cruelly teasing me yesterday. He tried to infer that I was so bead-obsessed I might go all Howard Hughes if we went to a bead fair again. He had images of me getting all overcome by the beads and having some kind of episode, chanting " the shape of beads to come!" over and over again.

I pointed out to him that conditions such as OCD are no joking matter and are actually very misunderstood disorders. Then I head butted him a bit just so he got the message in language he understands. You can never be too careful.

Nightshade Graphics - Lentil Lampwork Glass Beads by Emma Ralph  So, the shape of beads to come eh?

  Well, the shape of beads to come tomorrow is pretty diverse as it happens. Lentils, all kinds of crazy leaf shaped beads and more of my flamenco tabs to be precise. These are the lentils - my Nightshade Graphics.

They will all be going up in the online store tomorrow, in the Lampwork section. As to when? Well, that would be telling wouldn't it!

Jewelry Crafts magazine - at EJR Beads online


Another fab piece of news to share is that the latest issue of Jewelry Crafts magazine is now in stock.

This particular issue should not be missed if you like to work with polymer clay. There are some really great projects in there, including wonderful metallic crackle effect using pearlescent inks, how to make textured polymer clay lentil beads and a wonderful complex caning project.

Frankly, as pretty as the cover is - it really does not betray the wealth of cool polymer and beadmaking techniques there are inside. Oh and the beads made from inked Muslin cloth are just fantastic too. Miss this issue at your peril. I only have a limited number of copies and once they are gone - they are gone.





Studio Update: Friday 23rd February

New things!


Hi everyone

Thought you might like to know I have lots of new lampwork glass beads to show you later. They are not listed yet - that will happen sometime throughout the day or this evening, and I will not be sending out email notifications. So please keep checking back later this afternoon as there are lots of very fun beads to show you!

art deco vintage buttons at EJR Beads  Meanwhile, I added a whole slew of Vintage Buttons to the online store last night.

  I think this earthy mix of early plastic buttons are among my favourites. Vintage buttons are obviously desirable to collectors - that much anyone can guess. But I think jewellery designers and other crafters often overlook what utterly cool components they can be.

  For instance, vintage buttons make excellent jewellery - check out my customer gallery pages if you don't believe me and see Emma Green's fantastic charm bracelet.  Or the range of Shabby Chic earrings I made - fun, affordable jewellery just perfect for Spring. Seed bead workers too can create some magical effects by incorporating buttons into their bead weavings.

  You can also use buttons in all sorts of textile crafts, obviously - what better way to personalise your clothing than to change the buttons for something totally unique?

Greetings card artists too love to use old buttons and other found objects. There really are limitless ways to bring these miniature antiques back into our lives and enjoy them all over again.

You will be hearing more about buttons in my upcoming Art Deco Week! But more details on that some other time! In the meanwhile, why don't you all just button it!



Studio Update: Thursday 22nd February

Only in my house!

Only in my house could the dog eat the internet.

We couldn't work out why the internet wasn't working in the downstairs of the house today. Long story short, the dog had chewed through the vital cable!

Now, this is not as naughty as it sounds. Trixie is a GOODY TWOSHOES dog. Even as a puppy she was good and never chewed a thing she shouldn't. She would sooner throw herself under a train that do anything vaguely naughty. So the only reason we can think that she chewed through the cable was because she needed to.

Trixie Superdog  The other night, I heard a terrible yelping from downstairs and went down to find her totally entangled under the desk in the said cable. She likes to "nest" in strange places sometimes. Here she is nesting under a chair for example!

 Even though I thought I had secured the cable so it couldn't happen again, I can only assume it did and the poor dog found herself in the same predicament last night and had to chew her way to freedom!

 Needless to say I just shudder to think what could have happened had it been a power cable. She is brainy though - last time she hurt her leg a little struggling before I came and found her. This time she obviously thought "bugger that, I will just chomp myself free this time!"

As bad as I feel about this whole thing, I can't help but feel a little bit proud of Trixie and her problem solving skills. You can bet the spaniel wouldn't have had the brains to work that one out. He would have just sat there waiting for us to rescue him and then give us evil glares for the rest of the day!


Studio Update: Tuesday 20th February

Get a room!


Randy Froggies   I went out into the garden this evening to close up my shed and look what stopped me in my tracks (quite literally - with a squeal). These two froggies doing it on the garden path. What exhibitionists!

  I particularly like how the male has a good grasp on the female, obviously worried she might just slip away.

  I thought this is a photo that lends itself to captions. So if you fancy coming up with a caption for this photo - email it to me. Whoever sends in the funniest one by this time next week will get a Pandora's Pouch full of my lampwork glass art beads. Well worth putting your thinking cap on for!

 Oh and the judges will be me and my brother (who took the photo). And yes, we can be bribed.


Ceramic Cirque beads by Emma Ralph  I bet you were wondering what happened to the ceramic beads I promised for last week? Surely by now you are used to me letting you down with my broken promises on up-coming beads? I don't mean to be so contrary, just things always seem to take a lot longer than I reckon on!

Still, I listed two of the sets this evening. I have more focals to work on, but they won't be ready for a few days yet. I won't commit to when they will be finished, that is just asking for trouble isn't it!  In the meantime you can find these delectable beauties in the Ceramic section of Emma's Art Beads in the online store.



Studio Update: Friday 16th February

It's the weekend - yey!


So, have you ever been made to feel guilty by a plant?

Nope - it was a new one on me too.

I was given one of those Add-water-and-grow Amaryllis things for Christmas. It sat in the box on my floor ever since, just getting moved around from one place to the next as it always seemed to be in the way. I was moving it the other day to hoover and saw something green poking out of a hole in the lid of the box.

The poor little plant and just gone ahead and grown anyway and was struggling to get out of its box to freedom. It didn't even waste time trying to grow any leaves. The poor thing went straight to flower in a last ditch attempt to fulfil its destiny, despite the odds. Oh I felt bad. I am a bad plant mummy! Needless to say, I have now done my duty and the little chap is out of his box, nicely watered and on the window sill.

Thank god I don't have children. Can you imagine? I would be awful. I would probably leave them in Tesco's or forget what school they go to.

Candyfloss Leaves - Lampwork glass beads by Emma Ralph  Anyway, maybe its one of those life-lessons to "stick to what you know".

  And so I have - making beads. I have been really busy this week making new art beads. You can find some fabulous new lampwork glass bead sets up today. Such as this sweet set of Candyfloss Leaves!

 There are several new sets of lampwork beads up for grabs, plus another pair of lampwork bead earrings in the Emma's Jewellery section of the online store.


Polymer Clay Clarice Beads by Emma RalphIf polymer clay is more your thing - well, pay a visit to the polymer clay end of town!

I have listed two new large sets of polymer clay Clarice beads up this week. such as this set of Clarice lentils.

Wow those polymer clay beads of mine take an age to make, but they sure are addictive. I just love their bright colours. I never tire of making them as each one is different and has it's own unique colouration and pattern.

To see all the polymer clay art beads, just click here

Finally - I have also been working hard this week on more Ceramic art beads. Right now I am still finishing off, but there should be some new focals and sets up next week.

Please do just keep checking back as I won't be sending out a newsletter for those beads. And remember - as always, it's first come - first served on all art beads. So, you snooze - you loose my friend!





Studio Update: Tuesday 13th February

The freebie beads are gone!


Well done to Nicola who nabbed those ugly snotty-green beads!

But if you want to see beads that are not snot-green - stay tuned. I have been a busy bead maker this week, towards the end of the week I will have lots of new art beads to list. Lampwork glass, polymer clay and ceramic!

They will be up in the online store on Thursday or Friday - off for a day out somewhere tomorrow. Well it is Valentine's day AND Mr Man's birthday of course.



Studio Update: Tuesday 13th February

There *is* such a thing as a free lunch!


Well, if you eat beads that is. (BUT YOU SHOULD NOT EAT BEADS - OK? They are not one of your five-a-day.)


Ugly Betty Beads!  Take a look at these monsters. Ugly arent they? I think so.

 Oh , I know - you are thinking "they look ok to me?" - no, the camera flattered them. They are munters.

 They looked so nice when I was making them, but when the glass colours returned to normal, once the beads were cool, I could see that nice shade of green DIDN'T look quite so good as I thought it would. Yuk. Almost as bad as the Ear Wax beads of 2004.

So...who wan't them? Some of you out there surely have the personality that likes to adopt mutants? Maybe you have a 3 legged cat, or a brother with webbed feet or something and are very used to loving ugly things?

First one to email me gets them!



Studio Update: Monday 12th February

Fantastic News!


The wonderful Kim Miles is running a not-to-be-missed raffle in aid of Jean.

Continuing on the good work of our previous charity silent auction, Kim is raffling off three separate stashes of goodies she picked up at the Tucson bead fair this year. You need to see the prizes - they are stupendously amazing. Drool-worthy doesn't even begin to describe them.

Kim Miles Cupcake Earrings   Not only that, each scrumptious pile of loot comes with one of Kim's own stunning pair of lampwork Cupcake earrings. These are limited editions that she rarely makes -  you can't even BUY these babies!

 The full details of the raffle are on Kim's site - click here to see more and just scroll down the page a little way.

 In a nutshell, Kim is selling a limited number of tickets for each raffle, so your odds are pretty good! All the money raised goes to help Jean and her family and tickets are only $10 USD each. Go check out the booty, this is one raffle you don't want to miss! Be lucky!!! But hurry - tickets are going fast!

 Kim told me she will cover the postage to anywhere in the world for the winning bidder too! So if you live in Timbuktu, don't let that stop you from having a punt now! She is also covering the Paypal fees for each ticket sold.

 Yey to Kim!



Studio Update: Thursday 8th February

No-one mention cars!


If I have to be subjected to any more car chat, I think I will hurl myself under one. This week, we have mostly been buying-a-car and what a soul-destroying task that is.  Car dealers really can tell porkie pies can't they. We have seen more turkeys this week than Bernard Matthews owns I think.

In the end, Mr Man settled on a lovely silver Ford Focus estate.  It appears as Mr Man's 40th is around the corner, we have gone all grown up. It's quite fun though. No Laura - we will NOT be buying a tartan travel rug for the back, but thank you for the suggestion! That might just be a step too far. But ok, I confess we did look at the travel rugs whilst buying mats for it in Halfords today.

Prior to this, I was always against Ford Focuses (Focii?) as I feel they look far too much like Kenneth Williams. Case in point:

A Ford Focus   Kenneth Williams

(The Ford Focus is the one on the right.)

But thankfully the Estate model is far more Carry-Stuff than Carry-On. It hasn't stopped me calling the new car Kenneth though.



lampwork glass beads by Emma Ralph  So that is why there are so few beads this week - because SOMEONE has had me traipsing about getting bored and cold looking at cars too much.

  I did list some new lampwork beads yesterday but they got snapped up pretty quickly. Today I have listed another set of my Sophisticats.

  You can find them in the lampwork section of Emma's Art Beads in my online store. But hurry - as always, it's first come, first served on all art beads.

art jewelry magazine - available at EJR Beads 

Also added to the online store today is the latest issue of Art Jewelry magazine

This fabulous American magazine focuses on jewellery fabrication. So if you ever wanted to learn to solder, make your own jump rings and other jewellery findings. Or you fancy trying your hand at some more advanced polymer clay or precious metal clay articles - well, this is the publication for you. Every issue really is a keeper.

You can find this, and many other jewellery and polymer clay magazines, in my online store. Look for the Books & Magazines section to see what issues are available for each title.





Studio Update: Sunday 4th February

They're here!


Rose Graphics - Lampwork Glass Lentil Beads by Emma Ralph  Hi chaps!

  I got the new lampwork beads listed this morning. Please take a goosey gander when you get a spare moment. You can find all the new lampwork beads here

 This is my favourite set of the week. A trio of my Graphics beads, lentils large enough to use as focals.

 Of course, not all the beads are large this week. I made two sets of mini-sized beads for those of you wanting to create daintier pieces! But if you want to see those, well you will just have to go and browse in the online store, won't you?

You know where to look by now! Ok, here's the link again then!



lampwork glass bead earrings by Emma Ralph   I also had a little tidy up of the Emma's Jewellery section of the online store today. Lots of old photos in there of sold items that needed to come out.

I listed this new pair of earrings too - the photo is a bit pants, but the earrings aren't! I just love them and am half-tempted to keep them myself if truth be told. They feature a pair of my lampwork glass beads that are matching but not matching, if you see what I mean.





Studio Update: Sunday 4th February

Blinkin t'internet!


Well, as some of you noticed - the EJR Beads empire was off-line a fair bit on Friday. I am sorry about that - our servers are located in a nice fancy data centre. Which is all fine and dandy until some muppet on the London end decides to unplug cables they don't understand.

So - I am now finally caught up with all the emails I do have, but I am aware that I may well have lost some incoming mails. If you have written to me in the last couple of days and not got a reply - please resend your email, chances are I never got it.




Studio Update: Friday 2nd February

Well done you!


Jean's auctions are officially over and we took generous bids on all the items. Thank you all again for your bids and your very kind messages.

At first count it looks like we raised around $800 or thereabouts. Not at all bad for a quick little auction thrown together in a hurry.  I know many of you felt the same way I did - in that it was nice to offer a little support and friendship back to Jean when she has done the same for so many of us. In the course of running these auctions, I heard the same story over and over - how supportive and kind Jean is. She truly is a friend to the self-representing bead maker!

 I got a note from Jean today - asking me to pass on my thanks to you all. It is my pleasure to include it here:


Dear Everyone,
We wish to thank all of you who participated in Emma's silent auction which she held, with Kate's help, for our family. Jim and I are so touched that this auction took place for Dylan's sake, and we can't get over the kindness and concern we have been shown.
I know that Dylan will get better and better on this medication. I have faith in this. Jim and I do not sit around and live in fear concerning our children. We do what we need to do to help ALL of our children. After that, we also trust that our children will grow stronger and stronger each day with help from doctors, teachers, and caring people like you. 
There are not enough words to express how I feel about the wonderful actions you have taken for our son Dylan. It makes us proud to be a part of the human race. You have really helped us. Thank you again!
Jean and Jim and Dylan