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EJR Beads Archive - Summer 2007

Want to see what I was waffling about in our so-called Summer of 2007? Well read on!




Studio Update: Monday 20th August

Feeling off.


If you notice me being a bit quiet over the next few days its only because I am not too well at the moment. Nothing to worry about, I will be back to normal soon and orders from the online store will process as normal. Just there may be a delay on getting new beads made I am afraid (sorry to those of you waiting - I will get caught up soon, I promise) and I might be a bit slow on answering emails and the like. Sorry about that.

Meanwhile - a request to any of you who live in the South-West of England. I am thinking of relocating there sometime in the next year and really need to work on picking a good area. If you live in that neck of the woods, do let me know the low-down. Where is good, where should I avoid? I am ideally thinking about somewhere ruralish around the Bath area, but am open to suggestions!

If any of you could send me a local paper or two from that area, that would also be fantastic. I would of course reimburse you for postage and so on,




Studio Update: Wednesday 15th August

ooh er...


flamenco tab lampwork beads  I have just eaten an entire bag of fizzy cola bottles and my face hurts. I think I have dislocated my jaw from spending the last half hour chomping through gummy sweet jelly. And my stomach is gurgling away from all the sherbet. When will I ever learn? Fizzy cola bottles are a young mans game ...

I'm inside working on polymer clay beads today, but if you are looking for lampwork - well don't forget my Auction ends very soon! Right now the flamenco tabs are still under a fiver! Who knows, you could grab yourself a bargain there!




Studio Update: Sunday 12th August

Hubba bubba...


Just one little set of Flamenco Tabs today put on ebay! They really are cutie-pies in the prettiest bubblegum pink glass.

 Hopefully I will have some more beads to list in the online store soon, but it's been a funny old week for my beadmaking. Everything I make is coming out ugly or wrong or somehow just not what I wanted. I think if you ask most beadmakers, you will find we all get days like that where inspiration is nowhere to be found.

Usually I would use times like that to tidy up my studio and by gosh it needs it. But I don't want to disturb the spiderlings. That is my excuse anyway and I am sticking to it!




Studio Update: Tuesday 7th August

Oodles and oodles of...



Yup, the big spider in my shed is a proud mamma. I went in yesterday and she is surrounded by a cloud of dinky little baby spiders hung up in every which way around her. It really is very sweet.

I have had a total change of heart about spiders since setting up my lampworking studio. At first I was determined the place would be spider-proof and made great strides forward in keeping it that way for a long while. But whether we call it entropy or just the encroachment of Mother Nature, it didn't stay that way for long.

First one spider, then another, then - well now its more spider than shed. But I have grown fond of them. I find myself worrying if they have enough to eat in there. I cannot tell you how many beads I have lost because I have been trying to keep a bead warm in one hand and remove a spider from getting too close to my torch with the other!

And yes, I now feel very protective of my spider-dudes. Or should I say Dudettes as I think they are mostly females. If you ever hear on the news that there has been a spider shortage this year, all I can say is I did my bit!

There is nothing much else to say today. My auctions end in a few hours. So you might want to check those out before they do. I plan on making beads today so will be out with the spiders having fun!



Studio Update: Saturday 4th August

More beads!


lampwork glass beads by Emma RalphAre you waiting for me to list some more lampwork beads? Let's hope so, because I have just popped this set up in the online store. The Fisher King can be found in the Lampwork Beads section of Emma's Art Beads.

I hope to list a few more beads before the day is out too. However, its my dad's birthday today so I will most likely be in and out of the "office" and off doing "family stuff". Although frankly, there is only so much of the birthday boy showing off his new petrol lawn-strimmer that a girl can take.  I expect I will creep on home to the puter before too long ;-)


Oh, and please don't forget to visit my auctions before the week is out. I had forgotten how much fun ebay can be, so be sure to add me to your favourite sellers as you will be seeing more of me on there!



Studio Update: Thursday 2nd August

Sneaky Preview!


Lampwork Glass BeadsI will be listing this weeks new lampwork beads in the online store soon. By soon I mean sporadically over the next couple of days. This is to space things out a bit and give everyone a chance to snag some goodies.

Just to give you a taste of what is to come, you will find this elegant set listed at some point if I can bear to part with them! They are certainly my favourite beads of the week. I just love these colours together. Before you ask - no, I am not going to reserve the set for anyone until it is actually up  and listed in the store. So if you want these bubbas, you will just have to keep checking back!

I am sorry if that sounds cruel. But from the feedback I am getting, the new way of listing beads randomly is proving overwhelmingly popular. It seems to be giving more people a shot at finding something available when they happen to visit the EJR Beads Online Store.


jewelry crafts magazine 

However, if you still are not able to find any beads available, I will also be listing a couple of sets at Ebay this week. Again there will be a silly 99p starting price on both sets, so make sure you visit my auctions and put in your bid. You wouldn't want someone else to get them for a quid now would you?!

The other news to share is that some more Magazines are in stock.

There are still a few copies left of the latest Wire Jewelry (another excellent issue there). Also, a new issue of Jewelry Crafts is in. This is a great issue with lots of beadwork and stringing ideas and two fantastic polymer clay projects too.






Studio Update: Tuesday 31st July

Summer at last!


I kid you not. Yesterday there was a blue sky, some sun and everything. Ok, it was still pretty chilly - but makes a change from the perpetual slate grey skies and downpours of late.

Because of the postal strike, I won't be sending out post today I am afraid. I know it causes a bit of a delay, but it would only sit there in the post office doing nothing if I took it down today anyway. So instead, I am off into my shed to melt some glass and make beads.

Don't forget I have a couple of ebay auctions for lampwork ending in just a few hours. If you keep missing out on the beads from my website, hopefully these auctions will give you a section chance to snag yourself some lampwork. I will be listing bead sets regular on ebay from now on, so please don't forget to add me to your favourite sellers list!



Studio Update: Friday 27th July

Melty Melty!


Well, it's a nice day here. In other words, its grey and miserable mostly, but at least its not RAINING right now! So, I think I will pop into the shed, catch up with my spider-dude friends and make me some beads.

Meanwhile, just to let you know - I have another couple of lampwork bead sets to list in the online store later on tonight and also, don't forget I have a couple of sets up on eBay too this week. Click here to see my auctions!




Studio Update: Wednesday 25th July

You made me ink!


adirondack inksNo, I am not an embarrassed squid - merely a crafter - but today I bring you inks!

Yes, EJR Beads now carries a range of the Adirondack Alcohol inks. These inks work beautifully on any slick surface, from plastic to glass, glossy paper to cellophane. So you can use them in a variety of ways with your crafting projects.

What is more - you can use them on polymer clay too! Use them over either baked or unbaked clay, or if you prefer knead them into the unbaked clay to create new custom shades. These inks are very saturated and a little goes a very long way! They come in handy 3-pack sets, colour-co-ordinated into different palettes for every mood you might find yourself in. There are also twin-packs of metallic mixtures to add to them, blending solution and applicators available.


To see the inks, visit the Fimo Clay & Crafts section of the online store, where you will find the inks have their own fab new cateogory!

Stringing Magazine at EJR Beads Online


Whilst you at the online store, don't forget to pop by the Books & Magazines section. I have the new issue of Stringing magazine in stock now.

This is a great publication from the people that bring you Beadwork magazine. It has oodles of projects for stringing bracelets, necklaces and earrings, from beginner level to more advanced. The many necklace projects are great  - they all have large pictures, so you can really see what is going on. Plus all the step-by-step instructions to help you recreate your own variations.

There are also plenty of tips and tutorials on basic techniques - so if you are new to jewellery making, this really will be worth its weight in gold for you!


And for those of you tuned in to find out about new Art Beads? Well, all I can say is watch this space!

I won't get a chance to list the new stuff for a couple of days at least I am afraid, but when I do you can look forward to some great new sets of beads, plus a couple of new Caboodles!




Studio Update: Friday 20th July

Wet, Wet, Wet!



It has been raining cats and dogs here. Well, more wolves and lions. Cats and dogs really doesn't quite cut it.

I looked out of the window earlier and the road had become a river. I actually saw a piece of lawn floating by. How does that happen? How does a clump of lawn ever get to float past your house? After that, a small plastic fork went by. It was like a surreal version of the generation game.

Clarice polymer beads by Emma RalphThe power was doing funny things too, with some serious and scary surges. But in between the computer going up and down I have been listing new today's new Art beads. Some are sold already, but some are not!

I have to tell you though - nothing now will be posted out until Monday. I have already done today's post office run - I saw a window of opportunity between the flash floods and traffic and just went for it!

But please do keep checking back - because I will be listing some Silver charms later today too!




Studio Update: Tuesday 17th July

Kato Kool!


There is not a great deal to report at EJR Beads today regarding Art beads.

I have some lampwork and polymer beads ready to photograph, plus some Silver Charms also. All of those should be ready to list later in the week, but nothing new today I am afraid. Still, I thought I would add a little update anyway, just so you all know I haven't fallen of the face of the earth. Wow wouldn't that be scary, to actually fall off the earth? Ew. I wouldn't like that.

kato polymer clay  nublade Anyway although there are no art beads there is some great claying news.

 I have added a section in the Tools category for our new range of Donna Kato's tools. So far I have her excellent Marxit tools available. Also a range of sharp cutting blades, including her NuBlade, NuFlex and her Ripple blades. These are the very tools I use myself literally everytime I clay so I am really thrilled to be able to bring the to you guys.

bead magazine at EJR Beads


Oh and guess what? I hope to have some Kato Polyclay available soon for you all to try out. That will be fun!


Other good news is that the latest issue of Bead magazine is in.

Whilst I have been having fun on the forums debating the advertising philosophy of this mag, the content is something no-one can argue about. It is great. The number of high-calibre projects seems to increase with every issue I think. It also has some great artist profiles - which is fantastic.

So find out what's hot and what's not in the UK bead world! Check out the Books and Magazines section to see this and many other great beady reads!





Studio Update: Friday 13th July


Ooh eck. I am staying in today. Firstly, it's Friday 13th so only a stuntman would tempt fate. Secondly, there is a postal strike today anyway. So I thought rather than burden the post office with my orders today, I would stay inside and make beads. I plan to work on polymer today and am really looking forward to it.

Orders will be shipped out tomorrow though, so hopefully the delay won't be too noticeable.

Meanwhile, I hope to also list some new lampwork today - although I don't know when they will go up and I will not be sending out emails, so this is advanced warning!

Please check back later in the day to see sets such as these fun experimental beetles. I was just playing around with ideas in this set, but they sort of approached what I was hoping to create.

Beetlebum and other sets should be up in the lampwork section of the online store soon!



Studio Update: Wednesday 11th July



This week, I have mostly been eating Bombay Mix. I have a big huge bag, and have chomping away morning, noon and night. I know its bad for you, but who cares. One day, when I have more time I shall set up a Bombay Mix appreciation society to honour this much misunderstood King of snacks. My family all think I am rancid for eating it, but its just soooooo good! What do they know?

Meanwhile - would you like some slightly more interesting news? I bet you would.

Braggy time first - I have been interviewed by Art Bead Scene! Yey.

This is a great site, featuring some very cool bead artists and jewellery designers and I feel flattered to stand shoulder to shoulder with them over there. Thanks Art Bead Scene folks, you have made my day!


Other great news?

The new polymer cafe magazine in now in stock in the EJR Beads Online Store.

This is the Summer 2007 issue. It is chock full of great projects, techniques and tips and usual and continues to be the only magazine published that is dedicated to polymer clay art alone.

In this issue, learn how to make the ever-popular swirled lentil beads, explore quilt Millefiore caning and much more.

Don't forget, we have lots of back issues of polymer cafe too! Not to mention a whole host of other cool Books and magazines.


And finally the bad news. Please don't forget we have another postal strike on Friday 13th. This could cause delays to your orders in general over the next few days and I will not be sending out any orders at all on Friday.




Studio Update: Friday 6th July

TFI Friday!


Well. What can I say? That was a bit of a mess wasn't it!

I listed new lampwork beads today, as many of you subscribed to my newsletter will know. And, as is often the case, the beads sold out within a few minutes of the emails going out.

So far, so good. It is always flattering to find my beads well received.

Only, this time Paypal decides to not tell my online store which beads have sold! SO they go on selling - multiple times over, to different people!

Those of you involved probably thought you happened upon the most inept, useless beadmaker in the UK! And possibly you would be right. I had to spend all afternoon refunding people and explaining apologetically that they hadn't got the beads after all! Those of you who did get them, well lets just say you proceeded to checkout not a moment too soon!

My heartfelt apologies to those people who ordered beads today and missed out. I am now all caught up with you all in private, just I wanted to say a public apology for today's shenanigans and thank you all for being so very understanding. I am spoilt in the extreme to not only have customers who are good enough to buy my beads, but also darn nice people too. I must have had a sixth sense that Paypal would play me up today though, because I even warned about this in my email newsletter didn't I!



Studio Update: Monday 2nd July

New Reads!


Crafts magazine at EJR Beads I am really pleased to add two new titles to the Books and Magazines section of EJR Beads today.

In keeping with my policy of trying to find magazines you might not be able to find easily elsewhere, I am pleased to say we will now be carrying Crafts magazine and V&A Magazine.

Crafts magazine is published by the Crafts Council . It's focus is on showcasing the very best in contemporary British craft and I have to say it is one of my favourite UK magazines. The photography is always stunning and the mix of craftsmen and women featured is always interesting and diverse.

The other useful thing about Crafts magazine are the adverts! If you are looking for interesting educational opportunities or access to grants or funding to further your work, this is the magazine for you. All the news from the craft scene in the UK is here.

The current issue of Crafts also comes with a supplement guide to shops and galleries for 2007.



The V&A Magazine is published, unsurprisingly, but the Victoria and Albert museum in London.

The magazine focuses on the work and the exhibitions of the museum, with its focus on art and design. The museum is known for its collections of fashion, both in dress and jewellery, including an impressive dress collection with items from the 17th century to the present day.

The magazine gives a valuable insight into the work the V&A do in both preserving past collections and promoting contemporary work in the area of fashion, art, ceramics and more.

Beautifully produced, you will just love this magazine whether you are a regular visitor to the museum, or just wish you could be!





Studio Update: Sunday 1st July

Pinch, Punch!


And now it is July! And still no sun. I think the only day it was nice since the end of April was my birthday, when the sun very obligingly popped out for the day. Still, the wind is back to blowing from the south-west, as it normally does around here, so that is a good sign I am sure!

So what can we do in all this wet yucky weather then? Well, get yer bits out and have a fiddle. And by bits, I mean jewellery findings and beads, of course! Grey days are great for sitting indoors, watching a spot of telly and making jewellery. What bliss.

lampwork pendant by Emma Ralph


I have been making some jewellery myself this week. I added a new pendant to the Emma's Jewellery section of the online store. You can find it in the lampwork jewellery sub-category.

This was a pendant I had planned in my mind's eye for absolutely ages, so I am so pleased to finally make the design a reality. I just love how it came out.


I have also been adding some more Fine silver charms to the store this week.

All my charms are 99 percent pure fine silver. They are fantastic to incorporate into your jewellery designs. What's more, they all come on cute little collectors' cards. So you can add them to your collection just to fondle every now and then if you don't want to actually use them! (Yes, I know what some of you are like!)

Or why not give them as gifts? They make great pressies for bead-obsessed friends!


Lastly, you might be interested to hear I added a couple of sets of Lampwork beads to the store this afternoon!

This set, Dune, is my favourite this time around. I just love browns anyway and the soft tan browns in this set make me melt!

Each of the beads is accented with copper and gold, so that sort of appeals to the magpie in me too. I do love anything shiny!




Studio Update: Wednesday 27th June

Nearly July?


Where is this year gone? Is it just me, or has it flown by? And where exactly is Summer? I am no lover of hot weather but I had to have my heater on in the shed today!

Ok, so while I remember, we need to talk about Postal Strikes. There is rumours of a postal strike for this coming Friday. I have no idea if it is going ahead or not. I never really know stuff like that, I just don't have the gene sequence for that type of "organised" I don't think. I never would know at school when the holidays were either. Just hoped someone would tell me when I should stop coming in. Mostly they did.

So - if we have a strike then no orders will ship on Friday. I will hopefully get stuff out on the Saturday of course, but things could be delayed a little.  So please bear this in mind if you need something urgently.

And with that bad news out of the way, I best give a little sugar to help the medicine go down. So what can I tell you?

Well, the new issue of Step-by-Step Beads is in. Its a bumper issue this time around, with oodles of pages of eye-candy in their feature on their upcoming Bead Fest classes. Lots of bead weaving and stringing projects and so great beadmaking projects too. 

Look in the Books and Magazines section of the online store to see this mag and all its friends.





Studio Update: Sunday 24th June

New beads - Freaky dreams!


Not much to report to you this weekend Beady fans - as I have been having quite a lazy time of it. Mr Man and I went out birding on Saturday which was very nice, but both felt really ill so came home for a much needed power-nap!

Whenever I have a sleep in the daytime, I always have vivid dreams and yesterday was no exception. I dreamt my dentist went a bit crazy and turned into a serial killer. Not unusual in itself to dream that I suppose (hope?). But what upset me most in the dream was that she wanted to charge me 8000 for a crown! *That* was what riled me and made me call her mad.

lampwork beads by Emma Ralph    Psychologists amongst you, both professional and of the armchair variety, can make of that dream what you will.

 Mr Man is convinced it proves his theory that I am a psychopathic social misfit. Honestly with friends like that, who needs enemies huh! Ok, so maybe he has a point.

Perhaps it is best I channel my, urm...energies through my art then after all?

 Let's hope that listing this new stash of Lampwork and Polymer clay art beads has done the trick in quietening my obviously frazzled mind! 

 I have listed several sets of beads today in both categories, included these Atomic Lampwork beads. You can find all the sets in my online store. Just look for the Emma's Art Beads category.




Studio Update: Friday 22nd June

Happy Fridays!


Well, all Fridays are happy, sunny, yellow days aren't they! Unless you have to work Saturdays of course, which sucks. Lets assume you don't and you can have a nice lie in tomorrow, else you will bring the mood down for the rest of us right?

And what does this weekend promise? Well, some new lampwork beads at some point I hope. I have some new beads to up over the weekend, just I have no idea when yet! I have been busy working on a private commission for some jewellery this week, so haven't had chance to make much for the store.

And yes, I do usually say a big, fat, firm NO to commissions - but it's family, so I couldn't refuse!

makins professional clay extruder gun   Meanwhile, don't forget that lots of cool items have been restocked in the online store. Restocked items won't show up in the "new products" search, so do be sure to have a good nosey.

 The Makin's cutters are back in stock in the Modelling & Finishing area of the Tools category. Makins tools are great for polymer clay and precious metal clays - the range includes an enormous range of cutters, texture sheets and more. I even have the fantastic Makins' extruders in stock - so much easier for squeezing out snakes of polymer clay than the traditional clay guns.




Studio Update: Monday 18th June

Happy Mondays!


lampwork glass beads by Emma Ralph  Who could not like Mondays when there are so many new Lampwork Beads listed in my online store today?

 Not I sir!

 No, I am more than happy with this latest stash of lampwork goodies. I just had the best time making them even though the weather lately has been rather awful. My favourite set has to be these raspberry Nemo beads. I just love how they came out - so fruity and full of pattern but still a bit organic and random too. Just like me!


I am also happy because I got out for a spot of Birding at the weekend. Usually coming into summer, you don't get that much activity bird-wise. Mostly birds have done their thing and buggered off someplace else.

However - still lots of cute baby things around so I was in my element! I cannot decide what was cuter though. Was it the 3 baby Egyptian Geese? They looked just like Mumble from Happy Feet! Or could it have been the family of Canadian geese that had adopted a baby Greylag as one of their own?

I still have no idea if any of them realised he wasn't the same as them! I wonder if the greylag himself even knows it? I wonder if he will grow up thinking he is Canadian? lol

Too bad I don't have photos. But then any of you into birding can no doubt supply the images yourself in your mind's eye. Any of you not into birding probably stopped reading this ages ago anyway...




Studio Update: Wednesday 13th June

More Noo Beads!


lampwork beads by Emma RalphWell I have been quiet lately haven't I!

For some reason, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day lately to get everything done. I have updated the online store, and also the customer gallery pages (although not finished with the updates there as I still have some fabulous designers to add!)

And of course I still have to try to find time to make and list new lampwork beads don't I ! Which, you may be pleased to hear I shall be doing this evening.

There will only be a few sets up this evening, but look out for my graphics tabs, some Flamencos and of course some Ice beads. Lots of family favourites tonight!


ornament magazine  So what else can I tell you?

 Well I finally got all the new Microfine Glitters listed.

 There are lots of new colours and new blends to enjoy, and all are available in wholesale 50 gram packs now too.

 You can also find something to read if you are bored of glittering stuff. Check out the Books & Magazines section for the latest issues of Jewelry Crafts and the wonderful Ornament magazine.

 Also, word on the street is the Trade Beads category might get some new additions soon and the Freshwater Pearls section is looking quite tasty too!

 Have a lovely evening.




Studio Update: Thursday 7th June

Noo Beads!


Graphics Tabs - lampwork by Emma Ralph  Yup, I got the new lampwork beads listed. Finally!

   Included in tonight's goodies are some Caboodles, Ice beads and this set of Graphics Tabs too of course. I can't stop making the graphics tabs, I just love 'em!

  You can find all of the latest lampwork beads in the online store. Just click on Emma's Art Beads!



Also added today  - a cute collection of glass beads - The Papyrus Collection.

In this collection,  I have collated beads with an ancient theme, put together to create great mix 'n' match jewellery. Everything goes with everything - which is so handy if you are putting together a collection and need to find a "look".




Studio Update: Wednesday 6th June

Oooh exciting!


Sorry I have been so quiet lately - I have just been really busy.

Mostly, I have been working on getting a lot of cool new products for the EJR Beads Online store. I should be caught up with myself in a day or two and have new art beads as well as other fantastic products to share with you.

So - my advice is don't go spending your pocket money too soon until you see what is new at EJR Beads by the weekend! Whether you are a clay-head, a bead-head  - well, whatever type of head you are - I am sure there will be something right up your crafty alley!

So check back soon won't you! I am trying to get everything done just as soon as I can.



Studio Update: Friday 1st June

Birthday Braggin'!


I have been wanting to show off these lovely gifts for days now - I don't know where the time goes! All are gifts from EJR Beads customers-turned-friends and I cannot tell you how touched I was to get such thoughtful and creative pressies - each one so different, yet all so inspiring and so beautifully made. So, excuse me whilst I brag now and big-up the gals that made these wonderful things. In no particular order, let's begin!

Jennifer Dangerfield's Stunning Work  This stunning collection of jewellery arrived with me so beautifully packaged that it was almost a sin to even open it.

 Sin I did though and opened it as quickly as I could, for I knew it contained some Jennifer Dangerfield jewellery and I wasn't about to prolong the wait!

 Imagine my delight when I saw one of Jennifer's beautiful pendant and earring sets. She has used my lampwork beads with sterling silver - and I know I always say this, but I just love how Jennifer works with my beads. She always seems to bring them to life so well.

 To see more of Jennifer's work - both galleries and available work, visit The Art of Curiosity.

 You can also find links on Jennifer's site to her blogs - they are not only inspiring but also highly entertaining!


Lynn Davy's BeadworkJewellery of a very different style came from beadwork artist, Lynn Davy.

Lynn used seed beads in beautiful warm orange and brown shades with some of EJR Bead's toxic green Freshwater Pearls. Let me apologise for the dodgy photo, I have not done Lynn's work justice - but please do visit her website - Lynn Davy Beading to see more of her work (she has kits available soon!)

This little flower is just so pretty - I love how it could be worn as a pendant on a ribbon or cord, or would be equally at home as a charm.  A stunning little burst of all the colours I love!

Anyone noticed yet how both Jennifer and Lynn seem to have worked out how much I love greens, browns and ambers? Spooky!



Original Watercolour by Jennifer Blunden   Jennifer Blunden also sent me a stunning gift for my birthday - in the form of a birthday card  that is actually one of her own original watercolours. Note that fantastic colour palette - You guys know me so well!

 Doesn't it make you sick with envy to see people who can draw and paint so beautifully? At least it would do if Jennifer were not so very lovely. No-one could ever think the slightest negative thought towards her I am sure! Besides which, I was far too busy being utterly awestruck to feel any real jealousy.

  What is even cooler - Jennifer is starting to put her beautiful and original fairies onto polymer clay - so I can only imagine the stunning work we will be seeing from her soon. The UK's very own answer to Kathleen Dustin I reckon.  If the first experiments Jennifer showed me are anything to go by, she will be a big name in the polymer clay world soon enough!


Thank you again Jennifer, Lynn and Jennifer for your lovely pressies - I was really, really touched by each of them. And thank you everyone else who sent me birthday wishes. You all took the sting out of getting older!