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EJR Beads Archive - Autumn / Winter 2008/9

Little did we know in Autumn what a long, pants winter we had coming... brrrrr



Studio Update: Monday 23rd February

I can't see you - so you can't see me, right?



trixie dog


Ah, don't you love Dog Logic?

Here is Trixie, trying to avoid her bath by going to her happy place.

I think she thinks that if she cannot see us then the reverse must also be true.

Even still, she is peeking over the top so she doesn't even follow her own rules there does she?

Never mind, we still love her no matter how daft her thinking can be at times. After all, it isn't like any of the other animals in this house are any less silly.

So, we have set the scene at EJR Beads then. A place full of daft animals as well as beads. And now the beads....


lampwork glass scroller beads 

I have listed a few new sets of lampwork beads today in the online store.

As usual, you know where to find them (in the Emma's Art Beads section of the store, under Lampwork obviously!)

All today's sets are in Springy colours as I am hoping by some form of sympathetic magic it will herald in some warmer weather!

Don't forget, all my art beads are sold on a strictly first come, first served basis. So if you see a set you like, don't leave them to be snapped up by someone else!





Studio Update: Friday 20th February

What's new pussycat?


polymer cafe magazineWell, not a lot to be honest! But least the snow has all gone now.

I finally managed to get back into the shed to melt some glass (and had much fun doing so) but the new beads are not ready to list just yet. They still need to be cleaned, photographed and then of course the most labourious job of all - to be named. Blimey I hate naming beads, but it has to be done. They cannot go through life without a name can they and a bad name is better than no name.

Meanwhile, something for you clay-heads out there. The latest Polymer Cafe magazine is now in stock. Some great articles in it as usual, including interesting geometrical Lantern pendants, a new twist on the Skinner Blend and much more.

Find it, back issues of polymer cafe and many other beady reads in the magazines section of the online store.



Studio Update: Thursday 12th February

Would you believe it?


Yup, it's snowing again. Brrrrr. Bored. So bored of snow now.

Anyway.... just a quick update today to say two things (or could be counted as three?). Firstly, the lampwork bead auction is now finished. I had a LOT of emails this time around trying to bid after the end time. It is not good you offering me megabucks once the auction is finished - you have to get your bids in before the end. Else someone could walk away with a bargain and you  will miss out on the goodies! Remember, you only ever need to email me the highest amount you are prepared to go to - I will do the rest so that the winning bid is only ever £1 above the next highest bid on my book.

polymer clay pod pendantAlong the same lines as the above note - can I just mention that the giveaway prize draw for the Dichro beads has long since closed now.

The beads have been won, are already with their new owner and she is probably even bored of them by now ;-). So please no more emails to enter that competition but do keep an eye on this page as I will have more giveaway draws soon.

lastly, you may be happy to know I have listed some polymer clay beads in the online store tonight. There is a great mix on offer, with beads from my Clarice, Illuminare and Shabby Silks series. Plus also some Big Hole beads and one of my funky Pod Pendants.

As always, beads are sold on a first come, first served basis. So please do take a quick peek!




Studio Update: Monday 9th February

And it's Still  (quite) Snowy!


The snow is finally starting to melt a little here, although most of the pavements are still icy and in the woods it is as snowy as ever. Even the dog was skidding all over the place on our morning walk today.

So not a great deal to report at EJR Beads right now. If you have been waiting on either the Makin's Professional Clay Extruder or the Anti Tarnish tabs, both are now back in stock in the online store.

For lampie fans, don't forget my auction finishes tomorrow - so hurry up and email me your bids in case you forget!




Studio Update: Wednesday 4th February

And it's Still Snowy!


Yes - we are still knee deep in snow here. I can only apologize for any delays this is causing in getting your orders delivered and thank you for your continued patience. Because of the state of the roads here, Royal Mail just have not been able to reach the Post Offices to collect the mail.

I noticed that many courier firms are at least back in the area making (or rather, trying to make) their deliveries, so that offers hope that the mail will soon be collected too. Although the vans are all running into trouble on the many minor roads around here - such as the City Link van that got totally stuck in our side street today! At least by the sounds of things most other areas are doing better now, so as soon as I can get the post into the system from this end, it should be relatively simply for Royal Mail to sort and deliver it.

pageant lampwork glass beadsI have been amazed by the number of pedestrians I have seen over the last couple of days. Doesn't it just prove how many of us use our cars for journeys we could easily walk. I am just as bad. Mental note - try to walk more instead of driving places and stop being a lazy moo-cow.

Anyway, despite the "wrong type of snow" problems at EJR Beads this week, there *are* some new lampwork beads. Although this set has gone to auction rather than the online store.

This set of my Mottled Flamenco Tabs has been adorned with real gold to indulge the theatrical side in us all. The set is up for Auction here on my website. There is NO RESERVE and bidding starts at just 99p. So what are you waiting for! Click here to see the Auction Page.



Studio Update: Tuesday 3rd February

Still Snowy!


giant snowball  Well it's still as snowy as a Christmas card here. I saw on TV last night that our area did indeed have the most snow. I knew it! Coulsdon was reported as having 28 cm, although I reckon it was more since it was up to my knees in most places.

 It took ages to dig the car out of the snow, so in the end we walked to the post office. Not sure why I bothered since it is unlikely the mail will even be collected. The roads are still terrible - even the main ones.

We walked back through the park and came across this fabulous thing. A huge snowball. See, here I am petting it. Don't I look dandy in my snow-gear of 2 pairs of trousers, wellie boots and about 18 jumpers!

The Snowball was at the entrance to an alleyway. As I walked down a young lad was walking up. He had such a beaming look of pride on his face I knew my question was a mere formality. "Is it yours?" I asked "yes - me and 6 mates made it yesterday. We were trying to roll it home, but it was too heavy!" "It's magnificent!" I told him. He looked happy.



Studio Update: Monday 2nd February

Snowed In!


snowy garden chairsWell I am afraid EJR Towers was officially snowed in today. The snow started yesterday afternoon and didn't stop. It is still snowing and we have had over a foot of snow already.

We live on the North Downs here, a very hilly area. Actually every single road in the town is uphill or downhill (most are a combo of both and look rather like Nessie's spine if you are lucky enough to have seen her!) So car travel has been near impossible.

If it were not for a bunch of highly enthusiastic neighbourhood teens last night, there would be many a car still stranded on the road outside. They worked like Trojans all evening pushing each stranded and skidding car up the slopey bits of the road until they were able to drive free again. I wish the people who write these snotty letters to the Daily Mail about the "youth of today" could have seen THAT. That might have shut them up!


snowy tree 

The sad news is that any orders placed on Sunday or Monday have not yet been despatched.

I am so sorry about that. They are all packed up and ready to go and I am confident they WILL be with you shortly, certainly I hope within the 2-5 day expected delivery time mentioned in the online store's ordering info. Just today, even if I could have physically got to the post office there would have been little point. No-one has come to collect the post and I expect not many Royal Mail staff are around to process it. I would far rather your orders were a day or two late than end up in a pile of "to be sorted when we have time" post in one of Royal Mail's warehouses. When their services are stretched they have a terrible habit of NOT dealing with the backlog of post in a first come, first served order.

So I can only thank you for your patience and promise you that normal service WILL be resumed soon. It has just been really, really bad in this area today.



Studio Update: Thursday 29th January

Read all about it!


jewelry artist magazine

New mags have been arriving here, as so often they do.

This week, new issues in of Bead Magazine - full of fantastic projects, artist profiles and all the news from the British bead and beadwork scene.

Also in, the new issue of American magazine, Jewelry Artist. This is the new name for the long-standing title Lapidary Journal, focusing very much on the fabrication of jewellery plus the cutting and setting of stones. A lovely pull out wall chart of stone colours in included in this issue!

I have also added a few new useful tools to the Modelling and Finishing section, including metal files, craft knives and dental picks. All fantastically useful tools for polymer clay, metal work, art clay silver and lampworking projects.

Lastly don't forget to enter my lampwork bead giveaway (details below). Thanks to everyone who has already entered. I hope you don't mind that I haven't acknowledged all your entries - but don't worry, if you have emailed me to enter, your name IS in the hat!



Studio Update: Saturday 24th January



free lampwork glass beads


I thought it was high time I gave away some lampwork beads, don't you?

This little set of Dichro Relics came out ok. I was playing around with different ideas though, so they are more prototypes than finished article. So whilst they are not the best beads I have ever made, they are not the worst either and definitely too good to bin.

So if you want to be in with a chance of winning these - just email me your FULL name and your postal address. Only other condition is that you think about joining my mailing list if you haven't already. (Click here for details on the mailing list and how to join). I will pick a winner out of the hat this time next week.

So what else is new?

Well I am afraid no new lampwork or polymer clay art beads are available at the moment. I shall be out working in my shed soon though, I promise, and should have something to show you before long.

Meanwhile some of my ceramic work is still available for purchase in the online store. Just check out the ceramic sections of the Emma's Art Beads and Emma's Jewellery categories and of course the Emma's Art Buttons to see my ceramic buttons.

ultrafine glitter powders

Those of you who have purchased my Ultrafine Glitter Collection - "Anodized" may be interested to know that I am now selling the refill packs for the main glitter colours in that collection.

These packs contain 15 grams of the Ultrafine glitter powders, allowing you to recreate the blends in the "Anodized" collection or just create your own new shades.  Don't forget there is also a full free tutorial up now, showing how to use the Ultrafine glitters - just click here to see the tutorial, or visit the Tutorials page to see my other projects and articles.




Studio Update: Monday 19th January

Hey Ho!


polymer clay beads by Emma Ralph


Well, after a nice - but busy - weekend, it is off to work once more.

I must apologize for not updating this page very often at the moment. I really just don't know where the time is going at the moment.

So what news then?

Well firstly, I have a couple of polymer clay bead sets just added to the online store. I love how these beads came out - all covered with vibrant shades of bronze, gold and cool blue-greys. I also added a little leaf pendant to the ceramic beads section too.


ornament magazine - available by mail order in the UK


In the Magazines area of the store, you can find many new issues in stock, including the latest issue of Ornament magazine. This issue is going to be especially interesting to all you beadmakers.

Not only can you see some stunning enamelled beads and jewellery by Barbara Minor and Marjorie Simon, there is also a  profile on the colourful lampwork glass of beadmaker Heather Trimlett, plus a review of the Pasadena Bead Show.

Oh and some final little news - I set up a Facebook site for EJR Beads.

I don't quite know why, or what I will do with it yet. I just did it because other people were. (Yes, I probably *would* jump off cliffs and put my head in a gas oven if other people did. Clearly, this has proved it. I am a sheep. Baaaaa ) Anyway, please feel free to become a "fan" of it. Whatever that means!




Studio Update: Monday 12th January



glazed ceramic beads by emma ralph


Yey the snow and ice has finally gone!

Well for the time being at least. I felt like it was a summer's day when out walking the dogs because I only needed two jumpers today and got away with the one pair of socks!

Yey also because i have made as tart on listing some of the new Art Beads in the online store.

I have new ceramic beads and buttons up and listed in the store already. Over the next few days I hope to get some new polymer clay beads and lampwork glass beads up for sale too. So watch this space!

bead star magazine 

New magazines have been arriving also - look for the new issues of CRAFTS, Step-by-Step Beads and a new title - Bead Star.

This magazine is brought to you by the Beadwork people and features a slew of award-winning jewellery designs as voted for by the visitors to the beadingdaily.com website.

 So, not only can you vote for the designs you like, but you also now get the instructions to make them! There are some lovely stringing projects in there, suited to all levels of expertise.





Studio Update: Monday 5th January



Woke up to patchy white snow everywhere and it is as cold as an iceberg out there.

I am getting really bored with all this cold weather. So are the dogs. Our spaniel is knocking on a bit and like all King Charles Cavaliers, he has the inevitable heart problems which doesn't help matters. So that combined with the cold just made him refuse to walk the other day. We got as far as the woods and then he just stood there with that look on his face (spaniel owners know the look) and promptly refused to take another step. Oh, he found the energy to toddle over to every other dog as far as the eye could see to sniff their butts, but would he just get on with the walk? Would he heck.

Anyway, thankfully the vet has tweaked his meds and reckons he was just being stubborn and should be back to his jolly self soon. He already seems better, but we have decided maybe smaller, more local walks are the order of the day until Sir Spaniel deems otherwise.

beads and beyond magazine


Meanwhile there is little new to report in the online store at the moment.

But I do have the latest issue of Beads and Beyond magazine now in stock though - and that more than makes up for the lack of action elsewhere!

In this issue, you can see more of the fabulous entries for their lampworking competition plus lots of other news and reviews for anyone into making their own beads. There are also a couple of lampworking projects too.

Also, some great project ideas for using Vintage buttons. Lynn Davy shows how to make the gorgeous clunk click key rings (I still have to show you all the one she sent me - it is gorgeous. But now you can make your own!). And remember this month, if you spend over £15 in the EJR Beads Online store, you can add a free packet of mixed vintage buttons  to your order!


Also - don't forget, my lampwork bead Auction ends at 7pm British Time this evening!




Studio Update: Saturday 3rd January

Happy Noo Year!


illuminare polymer clay beads  Happy New Year everyone!

 I do so hope that 2009 proves to be a happy and successful year for you and yours. I know that for many of us 2008 was not the best of years was it? So lets hope 2009 is an improvement.

Well I have listed my first beads of the year!

If you visit the online store, you will find some of my polymer clay Illuminare beads. I am just in love with these squares, so please don't feel obliged to buy them ;-) if they ended up finding their way into my own personal stash, well I can't pretend I would mind too much.

Also listed is another of my Big Hole riveted beads and some Illuminare lentils.







Studio Update: Monday 29th December

Seasons Greetings!



jennifer blunden christmas card

Well, whaddaya know - Christmas has been and gone already. I do hope you all had a fantastic time. I did enjoy the break, but at the same time it is nice to get back to work. Especially when your work involves beads and beads are so much fun.

I must thank everyone for the lovely cards they sent me - I am ashamed to say I didn't get to send any cards out this year. Getting that nasty cold just before Christmas really through me and I was utterly disorganised on every level. So apologies to everyone who I usually send a card to - you were in my thoughts even if I didn't get it together enough to show it!

I was very lucky to get another of Jennifer Blunden's beautiful cards. I say this each time she sends me one, but I really do think it is the best yet. Isn't it stunning?

I also got a gorgeous beady-buttoney key ring from the talented Lynn Davy which I will try to photograph soon and show off over the next day or two.


prize draw polymer clay bead Because of Christmas, there are still no new lampwork beads I am afraid - I should have some soon enough though and hopefully will have some polymer clay beads and new polymer clay jewellery to show very shortly. Meanwhile there is a little lampwork bead auction listed. If you want to see the beads you will need to visit the Auction page!

The auction bead set has a 99p start and no reserve, and of course with my website auctions postage and packing worldwide is included! But also anyone bidding on this week's auctions will also be entered into a prize draw to win this polymer clay bead! So what are you waiting for - check out the Auction now!



Studio Update: Thursday 18th December

Ho Ho Ho!


Well hello there!

Did you think I had fallen off the face of the earth? Nope, just a nasty cold laying me low for a bit. I have only managed to get the bare essentials done over the last few days I am afraid, so there was not much news to share on here.

ceramic earrings by Emma RalphI did add some more bits of ceramic work to the online store recently, including more of my Troikesque earrings. Also, we have lots of stuff back in stock in the the following categories: Art Clay Silver, Fimo Clay, Adirondack Alcohol Inks and Tools

Just to let you know - if you want your order before Christmas, you need to place it NOW! Tomorrow morning at 11 am is the cut off for all orders if they are to arrive with you before Christmas. You can continue placing orders throughout the holiday season though.

Please remember that Royal Mail do not guarantee first class post delivery times however. So if it really HAS to be there do consider upgrading your post to Special Delivery by visiting the "Insurance for Orders" section of the online store before you enter checkout.



Studio Update: Wednesday 10th December

Read all about it!


Two great new magazine issues arrived at EJR Towers today - the latest Wire Jewelry and the latest Beads & Beyond. Both of these issues are absolute corkers!

beads and beyond magazine


Beads and Beyond had a bit of a rocky start when it was first published in the UK over a year ago. The magazine publishers had aimed to show ways beyond "just" jewellery to use your beads although the concept of beaded candle holders and bikini  bottoms left many of you cold!

However, they really do seem to have upped their game. If you tried this magazine when it first came out and have avoided it since, I urge you to try it again. It has changed.

The focus of the magazine is still *beyond* just beads, but beyond in a way that most of us jewellery designers seem to appreciate. So many of the articles focus on the fabrication of jewellery using other products such as Art Clay silver, or traditional metalworking and wirework techniques. In any typical issue you will find some lampworking projects, wirework, chain maille, metal clay and more. This issue is no exception with two very nice metal clay projects, a gorgeous lampworking focal bead and much more.


wire jewelry magazine


Wire Jewelry is always a quick seller here. It doesn't seem to matter how many copies I order in, they always fly out the door as quickly as I can get them packed up!

In this latest issue of Wire Jewelry, there is plenty to appeal to wire workers with beautiful new takes on traditional wrapping and stone setting. Look also for a great introduction to the very popular Viking Knitting. Although this wire working technique has been around for centuries it really has emerged as the hot new look for the season in wire working circles. And good thing too - it is a stunning effect.

There are plenty more ideas to get your pliers stuck into, from soldering and wrapping your own unique clasps to easy soldering ideas and more.



Studio Update: Monday 1st December



lampwork auction beads


I only managed to make one set of lampwork beads this week. But what a set! I just love them to bits.

Because there is only the one set though, I thought we might as well make it a bit more fun selling them, so I have put them up for Auction here on this site.

If you click on the Auction link, you can more details about the beads, including their current price and how to place your bid.

The auction runs until next Monday evening, so plenty of time to get your bid in. But why not get it done sooner rather than later, so you don't forget?

Remember, you only need to email me your highest proxy bid. I will do the rest and bid on your behalf up to that amount.


ceramic pendant 

If you don't fancy the cut and thrust of an auction though, don't worry. There are plenty of other goodies up for sale in my online store.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been working on a lot of ceramic pieces. So you will find new additions to my ceramic jewellery, ceramic buttons and ceramic beads sections of the online store.

How about some beautiful glazed buttons for instance?

Or why not treat yourself to one of my Medallion pendants?





Studio Update: Wednesday 26th November

Mud Time!


ceramic clay earrings Well, it would be mud time if I had been able to photograph all the new ceramic work today. Sadly, I was a bit under the weather so didn't manage to photograph the new ceramic beads and buttons. Soon though I hope. I had a lovely kiln full of goodies the other morning and I cannot wait to show them all to you!

I did manage a few snaps of some ceramic earrings I have been working on. I love these earrings, although I'm not really happy with the photos. I don't think they quite do the earrings justice, so I will try to re-shoot them in the next couple of days.

The earrings are from a series I am working on, loosely inspired by British ceramic work of the 60's and 70s. They would make a fantastic Christmas gift for anyone you know who is a fan of the arts and crafts or ceramic work specifically. Or maybe just a great gift for yourself. After all, I am sure you deserve it!



Studio Update: Friday 21st November

Bend me, Shape me!


anodized niobium wire

Good news! After many requests, I now have  anodized niobium wire available in the EJR Beads Online Store.

This wire is perfect for making your own custom hypo-allergenic earring findings, necklace clasps, jump rings and so on. The wire is 20 gauge, it is very firm and springy and holds its shape well.

The wire is sold by the foot (approx 30cm) and available in a variety of anodized colours, including a new shade to the EJR Beads Niobium range - Bronze.

bronze coloured niobium earwires


I also have a selection of earwires, headpins, jump rings and more in the new anodized Bronze colour.

These earwires and other findings are a deep coppery brown colour. They will team very well with antique copper beads and findings. So you can now offer customers a hypo-allergenic option for your fashionable copper jewellery designs. This is especially useful for those customers who just cannot be convinced their ears will not turn green with the copper-finish findings (which, incidentally they wouldn't anyway!)



Studio Update: Friday 14th November

Beads, Beads, Glorious Beads!


terra lampwork glass beads

Well I promised you lampwork didn't I? And Lampwork you shall have by Jove!

Only not just yet. Tomorrow, I promise.

It has been a killer of a week and I am pooped. Really tonight, I just want to sit on the bed, watch some telly and dribble slightly.

But don't tune out just yet because here is a sneaky preview of one of tomorrow's sets -Temperance.

lampwork auction beads 

PLUS I have a new auction listed!

This eclectic mix of beads is up for auction at just a 99p start price, with no reserve. Email me your bids before 7pm on the 21st November to be in with a chance of nabbing them!





Studio Update: Wednesday 12th November

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud!

crafts magazine


Well hello!

I can't believe a week has gone by already since I last updated this page. Mind you, I haven't really had a great deal to tell you.

I have been head down, bum up and working away in my little studio this week creating lots of lovely ceramic beads and pendants.

Sorry, they are nowhere near finished yet. I just thought it would maybe explain my absence! I did also get out into the shed one day to melt a spot of glass. But again, those beads are not photographed or cleaned yet either.


ornament magazine


Just rest assured, there will be lots of goodies up for sale over the next week or two - with lots of ceramic pendants, just perfect gifts for all the arts and crafts lovers in your life.

Oh and I have been working on the cutest range of ceramic earrings too. I don't want to say too much in case they don't work out. Many a slip betwixt cup and lip and all that. Suffice to say though, I am excited about them!

Meanwhile, what CAN I try to flog you? Because I am sure you don't just come here for the pleasure of my company and my ceaseless wit. How about some good bead and crafty reads? Something to stockpile in readiness for when the rellies are over and you need to escape?

We have new issues in of many magazines - including CRAFTS, Ornament, Step-by-Step Beads, Beads & Beyond and more.



Studio Update: Wednesday 5th November

Remember, Remember....!


auction lampwork beads

Remember, remember - not the 5th of November, but tomorrow - the 6th.

Why? Well that is when my lampwork auction ends of course. So there is still time to get your bids in on this little set of enamelled pebble beads. As you can see if you visit the auction page, the current price is still quite low on these little purple lovelies!

Just email me your maximum proxy bid on this set of beads and I will do the rest and bid for you. And it will all be anonymous of course. We don't want bank managers and husbands knowing what goes on here, do we ;-)

Meanwhile if you prefer making your own beads to buying mine, do check out my latest tutorial - Faux Anodized Roll-up Beads

The tutorial should give you some ideas on how to use my new Ultrafine Glitters to great effect.




Studio Update: Thursday 30th October

Wake Up Maggie!


Maggie the Tail-challenged Magpie  Can you see what is wrong with this picture? This is Maggie. She has no tail feathers and has been hop-flying around the garden all day. I think my cats know more about this than they are letting on.

My mum, bless her socks, showed some classic logical thinking when it came to Maggie:

Me: " Why have you called it Maggie?"

Mum: " Because it's a magpie"

Me: " But how do you know it is a girl magpie?"

Mum: " Because it's called Maggie and Maggie is a girl's name."

Another case of Insane in the Mum-brain there I think ;-)


Maggie will be ok though. She is keeping herself well hidden in the bushes and pigging out on all the food we are putting out for her. She is being spoilt rotten and I rather suspect even when her tail grows back she will be expecting this royalty treatment!


Still, you didn't come here to read about tail-less magpies did you? You want to know about beads right?

Okey dokey then. Beads it is.

Firstly, there is a new Auction listed this week here on my site. Just click the Auction link to see this week's beads - a lovely little set of mis-matched pebble beads. A 99p start and no reserve, that has to be worth a punt surely? Just email me the highest you want to bid for them and I will do the rest!

flamenco tab glass beadsThere will also be some new lampies listed in the EJR Beads Online Store later this evening.

This might be the last of the lampwork beads for the next couple of weeks. I just don't know yet. I really want to concentrate on some ceramic work soon - the pull towards my clay desk is getting stronger by the day! So, if the weather stays cold and utterly pants I may well just stay indoors and play with mud instead.

But, there will be a couple of sets up tonight sometime - such as these rather earthy Flamenco Tabs!






Studio Update: Tuesday 28th October

Ooh pretty!


ultrafine glitters anodized collection

Ever the mad scientist when it comes to polymer clay, I have been busy behind the scenes working on some cool new products to show you.

Because I am a downright Magpie when it comes to sparkly things, I  didn't need much encouragement to bring these new Ultrafine Glitters to the EJR Beads online store. I see these glitters as sort of half-way house between the larger-particled Microfine glitters and much finer metallic powders such as the Fimo Pulvers or Pearl-Ex.

Whilst playing around with them, I discovered you could create some cool blend effects over polymer clay. The potential was mind-boggling - so many different blends I would want to create, but where to start?

It wasn't that hard to decide actually. The look of anodized metal has always made me weak at the knees, so what better inaugural collection to create than one to imitate that?

So I have put together a collection of colours that allow you to recreate the look of anodized metals such as niobium or titanium. In the "Anodized" collection, I have selected 5 different colours and created 4 additional blends to take you almost seamlessly through a rainbow of colours.

Brush lines of these different colours across a sheet of black polymer clay. Blend the colours a tad and then burnish the glitter particles flat by rubbing over them with a piece of baking paper. The result is a wonderful metallic blend effect that you can use to create beads and pendants. It really is that simple.

faux anodized niobium jewellery I hope to put up a tutorial soon, showing all the neat techniques I have discovered in better detail. However, you won't have any trouble using the glitters to create this look - it is so easy my cat could do it! Here are some other examples of jewellery I made using the glitters over black Fimo Classic polymer clay.

Right now, the "Anodized" Ultrafine Glitter collection is available in the EJR Beads Online Store. This collection is to die for (although please don't - at least not before checkout ;-)

In the kit, you get the 9 different shades of glitter - 5 grams of each colour, plus full written instructions on how to create the anodized look. I have also included a colour code, detailing the different colours used to make up the blended shades should you need to mix more for yourself in the future. I will also be selling the main colours separately soon. 




Studio Update: Thursday 23rd October

Way Aye Man!


I started re-watching Auf Wiedersehen Pet again last night. I just love that series and have done ever since I was a kid and it was first aired.

I don't know what I like about it so much. Maybe the authenticity, the variety of regional accents, the characters, the humour? I guess all the above really. Certainly for the first two series at least, it was not the plots though. They were hardly that complicated, but they made up for it by series three I think.

Now Heroes on the other hand is doing my nut in! I am a beadmaker of little brain and I just can't keep up. I had episodes backing up, because I just didn't have the fortitude to sit down and watch them. I felt like I had let my homework slip though so tried to catch up last night. Two episodes was all I managed before I needed to lie down and put AufPet on again. Bag guys become good guys, good guys become bad. Then you have to work out if they are now or in the future or if they have just morphed into someone else completely? And that is before you even managed to remember if this is the guy that flies around in his pants or the one that sucks brains out or.....

Its all too much I tell ya! I think I will go and make beads now and try to calm down a little.




Studio Update: Monday 20th October



large hole polymer bead

I am so sorry - I didn't manage to get the new lampwork beads and polymer clay beads ready for listing today after all.

The photographs all got snapped, but by the time I had started on the image processing I had lost the light.  I find it impossible to process my bead photos properly under artificial lighting.

I did get a couple of images finished though, such as this large holed polymer clay bead. So that gives you a little sneaky preview of what is due up for sale tomorrow in the EJR Beads Online Store!

Also, the new colours of Microfine Glitz glitters were listed today: Chocolate, Copper and Lime.  All three colours are available in small and large bags. I have given the glitters a category of their own in the main menu. So it should be a little easier to navigate the different colours and types of glitter available now.




Studio Update: Sunday 19th October

Beep Beep!


I have been doing important work today. Watching Road Runner cartoons. I had forgotten how cool they are actually. That poor coyote never did seem to learn did he?

But how is that work? Well, it isn't really I suppose. Although I could kid myself it is vital market research into customer loyalty profiles. Wyle E. Coyote was ahead of his time when it came to buying stuff by mail order. He is the customer we all aspire to attract. Not a cartoon went by without him purchasing several useful bird-chasing devices from the Acme company. And this was 50 years ago, when mail order was not so popular.

Yes, the coyote is inspirational. What I wouldn't do to have his custom. Although unlikely unless I start selling stuff like rocket-propelled tennis shoes, industrial sized catapults or boomerangs with a return-to-you guarantee. (Yes, ultimately all those products did lead to the poor Wyle E. falling into the ravine again!)

Mind you, even I can't watch cartoons all day. So what is a girl to do once she has exhausted her patience for watching a cartoon canine muff up plenty of seemingly easy hunting opportunities? You play with glitter, that's what!

I have had some gorgeous new glitters come in. I hope to have them ready to show you later in the week. There are some lovely new colours for the Microfine Glitz range, such as a yummy chocolate brown. I also have another new addition to the glitter range - something to make your polymer clay beautifully sparkly and metallic and even finer than our microfine glitter powders! But I will reveal more about that soon. Just watch this space as it is gonna be fun. I am having so much fun playing with this stuff!



Studio Update: Friday 17th October

Read all about it some more!


art jewelry magazine


Even more mags have arrived today. We have the new issues of Stringing, Wire Jewelry and Art Jewelry.

Too many cool articles in each one for me to spell it all out here. Let's just say whatever type of jewellery you like to make, with these three titles you will probably have all bases covered! Find them and other cool magazines in the EJR Beads Online Store.

Meanwhile, if you are waiting for new art beads I have both lampwork beads and polymer clay beads almost ready to show you. I hope to have the new beads up on Sunday or Monday. On the polymer clay front you can look forward to more large-hole riveted beads amongst other things.

As for the lampwork beads - well, lets just say I am REALLY pleased with what the kiln fairies left me this week. Really love how the new beads came out. Anyway, more about that after the weekend. Have a great weekend all!



Studio Update: Tuesday 14th October

Read all about it!


victoria and albert museum magazine


Lots of new magazines have been arriving at EJR Towers over the last couple of weeks.

We now have the latest issues of V&A Magazine, Polymer Cafe Magazine, Beads and Beyond, Jewelry Artist and Step by Step Beads to name but a few.

I know I have said this before, but I am a huge fan of magazines. You can learn so much from all the beading and crafting publications these days. Many are easily as informative as a beginners book on the subject, but at a fraction of the price.

Plenty of the magazines also print very good basic techniques sections in each issue. These can cover subjects as diverse as soldering metal to blending colours of clay together or learning wire-wrapping techniques.

polymer cafe magazine


The other nice thing about magazines is how inspirational they are. Many titles have fantastic gallery pages and artist profiles.

When I flick through issues of Ornament magazine or Art Jewelry for instance, I just want to leap into my studio and get creating. There is something about seeing all the shapes and colours other artists are using that really wakes up my brain and makes my own ideas come thick and fast.

So today, I am officially saying "Aren't Magazines Brilliant?" whilst wearing a silly hat and jacket like that bloke off The Fast Show.




Studio Update: Monday 13th October

Can be recycled!


Well I have had a spot of luck this weekend, all thanks to recycling in different forms.

Firstly, I took some paper down to be recycled on Saturday. As I was throwing it into the huge bins I noticed some pictures propped up against the next bin over. It was three framed prints of Victorian bird drawings.

Well, it is not unusual for people to leave unwanted items there in the hope they will find a new home. So I knew they had been put up for grabs and grab them I did. As you all know, I am most fond of birds and I love free stuff. So perfect combo for me!


The first two prints were of exotic birds. Lovely! But the third one really made my heart skip a beat. A gorgeous drawing of 3 Bluejays.

Now some of you may know that I have, since childhood, been obsessed with Bluejays. I need to replace the glass or I would take a picture of the print to show you them. They are not a bird we have in this country, our Jays are quite different. Click here to see what a bluejay looks like if you have yet to meet this gorgeous, cheeky bird. I finally achieved my lifetime ambition of seeing Bluejays in the flesh a few years ago in Canada and I can tell you this really was a BIG HAPPY EVENT for me.

I wonder if the person leaving those pictures would be pleased to know they went to someone who is absolutely nuts about the subject matter? I like to think they would!

lampwork glass beads by emma ralph


The second bit of recycling luck this weekend came because older brother bought a new i-pod. So his old one went to younger brother,  and then somehow my mum ended up with it cos younger brother was getting a new one anyway. Well, long story short, I now have a new i-pod from younger brother. Apparently he thought it over and decided that I "needed a better one because I only have a shuffle" and was therefore the best candidate in the family for his old one. I am not proud. I will not argue this point. Woo hoo!

So the Jays are blue, the i-pod was blue and by way of a strange coincidence so are this week's lampies!

I have a couple of sets of lampwork beads to list later tonight in the EJR Beads Online Store. Included are this set of silver-rich nugget beads, Minoan Rocks!




Studio Update: Tuesday 7th October

Happy Birthday to you!


Happy Birthday to my brother Jolyon who is even older today than what he was (Jolyon -  please sing to self modified Happy Birthday with references to zoo animals and if possible give your self the bumps.)

I am sorry I didn't get you a card, but you know what I am like for remembering stuff. Besides, I forgot Mrs Jolyon's birthday too didn't I. So it would seem like favouritism to get you a card when I didn't get Ida one. Don't you think? No?

Ah Emma, when you are in a hole - stop digging.

Me thinks a trip to Moonpig is needed and a firm conversation with self about being better at this sort of stuff next year.

Jolyon, incidentally, is into rocks. Boring rocks. So one could argue he doesn't deserve a card anyway. Here is his site - Mindat -  all about  head-boilingly boring rocks.

anti tarnish strips / tabs


Talking of boring things. Isn't it boring when your sterling silver and copper beads tarnish?

Fear not. The Anti Tarnish tabs are now back in stock at the EJR Beads Online Store. Yey! (I should write links for telly, don't you think?)




Studio Update: Monday 6th October

Is it bed time yet?


I know I haven't updated this page for a while, but that is because I just haven't had a great deal to say (don't say it. Just don't. I know what you are thinking though!)

I've not been doing a great deal over the last week or so. Just working, going out for long walks and snoozing away where I can. I haven't even made many beads this week!

beads and beyond magazineThe walks have been lovely though - we've had some gorgeous warm and sunny Autumn days here recently. So I have been bunking off and taking long walks and then playing mad catch-up trying to get everything done that I was supposed to be doing.

My feeling is you just have to get out and walk when it is so pretty out there. I keep telling myself it is good for artistic inspiration to see all the gorgeous autumn scenery with its lovely colours. And the dogs sure are happy!

I have made a couple of sets of beads recently, but probably won't have those ready for sale until nearer the end of the week. In the meantime, the latest issue of Beads and Beyond magazine has arrived. And it's a great issue. Some lovely art clay silver projects, chain maille, seed bead work and lots of lovely original stringing projects. My fave project though has to be the gorgeous flower earings made from recycled soft drinks cans! Sometimes it is the simple, almost obvious ideas that are just so effective and ingenious.



Studio Update: Tuesday 30th September

Going, Going, Gone!


This week's auction ends tomorrow, and guess what - there are still no bids!

So if you fancy getting your mitts on a set of my Clarice polymer clay lentils with the Klimt Faces design, just visit the auction page. You will need to get your bid in to me before 12.00 pm midday British time tomorrow.



Studio Update: Thursday 25th September

Beads Seeing Ya!


lampwork beads by emma ralph

Well, I listed lots of new lampwork beads and polymer clay beads over the last couple of days. All are now sold, except this fun little trio, which are currently still available.

To get advanced warning when new beads will be listed, you must be on my mailing list.

The mailing list is operated from the EJR Beads online store. So to join the list you must set up a login profile / account there, remembering to tick the box for newsletter when asked!

Remember - if you don't opt in to the newsletter, you won't get the mail-outs.

If you have registered at the store but think you might be missing the newsletters,  click here to check your subscription. (You will be asked to log in and then be taken to the page where you can subscribe / unsubscribe to my mailing list).




Studio Update: Sunday 21st September

Did you know?


I have restocked many different items in the EJR Beads online store.

copper daisy spacer beadsIn the Copper & Plated Copper beads section, the popular daisy spacer beads are back! These little spacer beads are identical to the more expensive sterling silver versions, only they are handmade entirely from pure copper.

So you get all the charm of a bead handmade using traditional metal working techniques - but at a very affordable price. They are available in antiqued copper or sterling silver-plated copper.


fimo classic small block  The Fimo clay section and related tools have also been restocked. So if you needed some clay goodies that were previously unavailable, do check back. They may now be showing up.

As mentioned before, the prices for polymer clay products has shot up recently (along with so many other things!). I strive to keep my prices as low as possible, but inevitably some prices have risen. However the good news is not nearly as many as I expected. Actually, I am quite pleased at how I have managed to keep most prices the same as before. For the time being at least ;-(


makins professional clay extruderThe ever popular Makins Clay extruders are also back in stock!

Almost as useful as your right arm, and some might argue more so. These clever gadgets allow you to extrude long snakes of clay in different shapes. Great for filigree work or building up millefiore canes. There are also some extra disc sets you can buy to extend the range of shapes on offer. Plus, hand hollow core extruders that allow you to extrude tubes of clay with a hole through the middle. Just great for bead making!




Studio Update: Tuesday 16th September

Separated at Birth?


Rich Hall Comedian     Sassy the Cat


This is Sassy.

Sassy comes into Mr Man's house and demands food. Sassy gets what he wants because he is so damn scary! Sassy is, well - sassy.

Mr Man thinks he looks like the comedian Rich Hall. You decide. I think Mr Man puts forward a persuasive case.

Thankfully Sassy wears a very snazzy collar. This will prove a useful identifying factor should Rich Hall ever walk into the kitchen, jump on the counter and demand Go-Cat. (Or equally should Sassy decide to do the Edinburgh Fringe.) Without that collar though... we wouldn't know where we were.

Has looking at cats and comedians put you in the mood to bid on my auction? Well, worth a shot eh? It ends tomorrow at 12.00 GMT



Studio Update: Saturday 13th September

Off Gallivanting!


I am off over to spend the day and evening at Mr Man's place. So I won't be able to update the Auction page this evening, but I will still be reading emails if you want to get your bids in! No rush though - it is live until Wednesday.

And I promise to bring back any fresh news of Foxy too - although he seems to have reached his teens now and is spending less and less time visiting us in the garden!

Have a good weekend all.



Studio Update: Thursday 11th September

Happy Birthday Jeannie!


It is my friend, Jean's birthday today. Happy birthday Jeannie!

Also, I joined Flickr. Here is my page www.flickr.com/photos/ejrbeads/

I don't really know what it is all about or even why I joined. Everyone else was doing it, so it seemed like a good idea. Yes, I probably would jump off a cliff AND put my head in a gas oven if everyone else was doing it.



Studio Update: Wednesday 10th September

New Auction!


lampwork beads for auction


Take a look at the main menu to your left there. What do you see? Look close.

Yup - a new link to my Auction page. This is where I will occasionally auction off beads from this site rather than selling at a fixed price in the EJR Beads online store .

If you read the auction page, you can find full details on the auctions and how to bid.

As a little incentive to take a look - here is this week's set of auction beads. No reserve and and a starting bid of just £10. I must be clucking crazy....






Studio Update: Tuesday 9th September

New Lampies!


lampwork glass leaves


 I have just listed some new lampwork beads in the EJR Beads online store. Grab 'em while you can and remember - no squabbling over them (it would only inflate my already over-inflated ego more you see....)

How about these then? Autumn Leaves, if autumn was on Neptune or somewhere! Hardly fall colours are they, but who cares when the blue is so rich and pretty!





Studio Update: Monday 8th September

New stuff everywhere!


antique venetian fancy beads


 I have been adding all sorts of goodies to the EJR Beads online store this week.

Firstly, some great trade beads have been added to the Vintage Beads section. I have sets to suit all tastes and pockets. My favourite have to be these fancy Venetian beads though,. there is something endlessly stylish about these beads. It is hard to believe they are 100 years old really, the designs are so fresh.

czech glass buttons 

Also added to the store this week, a new category for the Vintage Buttons section.

The Czech Glass Buttons section will contain some gorgeous sets of glass buttons, both vintage and contemporary. There are a couple of sets listed to get you started, such as these delicious moulded Rose buttons. But keep an eye out as there will be more sets soon!





Studio Update: Tuesday 2nd September

New beads and free beads!


lampwork glass beads I took one look outside this morning, heard the rain thundering down and thought to myself "I will work inside today". Somehow the idea of spending all day in a spider-laden shed in the rain didn't quite grab me today! But there is always plenty of other stuff to do.

So I listed some new lampwork beads in the EJR Beads online store today, including this set of Encrusted Relic beads.

But I so have some freebies you can win. Giving away some free beads is a nice way to start a wet Tuesday don't you think?  I thought so.

free lampwork beads 

So, as promised - your chance to snap up some freebies. These beads are some of my new Encrusted Relic beads, with a bit of a Mackintosh feel to them. If you want to be in with a chance of winning them all you need to do is to email me three bits of info:

Firstly -  the answer competition question - "What is the name of the lampwork Focal bead I have listed for sale today?"

Secondly - your full name

Thirdly - your postal address (this is just time-saving, so I can get your beads straight out to you if you are the lucky winner.)




Studio Update: Thursday 28th August

Blink and you miss 'em!


jewelry gifts for the holidays magazine


 I listed a couple of sets of beads today. A set of lampwork and polymer beads, which both sold pretty quickly. So it just goes to show -  you should always drop by the EJR Beads online store to see if I have snuck a set or two in under the radar!

 There are more beads in the kiln though - so hopefully they should be cleaned, photographed and listed early next week sometime.

Meanwhile, the annual Jewelry - Gifts for the Holidays magazine from the Beadwork people has arrived.

 This mag has a lovely mix of projects in it. Not too Christmassey either if you know what I mean. More, they are just very nice projects that you would be happy to wear to special parties or give as gifts. A very nice issue, with a bit of everything in there from wirework to stringing.




Studio Update: Monday 25th August

Hooray, Hooray, it's a holiday!


Relic lampwork glass beadsI do hope you are all enjoying the bank holiday weekend. The Brits at least. ( I know that for my American readers, it's next weekend you get to loaf around in bed)

But for us Limeys we get to be lazy now and good thing too I reckon. We should do it every week if you ask me. I mean, what is even the POINT of Mondays? No-one likes them. Ban 'em I say.

Today isn't such a bad Monday though since I have some new lampwork beads to list later in the online store later. Here is a sneaky preview of one of the sets. This is a rather bizarre set of beads I am calling "Encrusted Relics", since they were very much inspired by things left under the sea / in the ground too long.

I will be curious to see what you make of these beads, since I think this is one of those "love 'em or hate 'em" type sets! Actually the photo doesn't quite do them justice but they are certainly unusual!

I think they will be a design challenge for whoever is brave enough to take them on. None of the beads is identical in style, colour or well - anything really! But somehow, for me at least, they seem to work.




Studio Update: Thursday 21st August

and now I have guilt!....


I was working out in my shed today, making lots of lovely new lampwork beads. When I went to turn off my propane, a spider was busy building a web right in front of the tank.

The spider was so nearly done and it was a lovely web. I figured that if I took one of the long guide silks she had made, maybe I could re-orientate the web slightly so I wouldn't snag it.

Well, that plan didn't work. I totally muffed up her web. Big time. She was only little, but I could SEE her angry face and I am sure I heard her swearing at me.

But, she gobbled it all up and when I returned half hour later, she was remaking her web. This time in a slightly different position so as to not obstruct my pathway.

What a clever, persevering, inspiring little spider. Yey to her!

Sometimes - ok, quite often - in bead making, things don't go according to plan. Or it can take months sometimes to perfect a process, to work out the right ceramic glaze or the perfect glass combo that will help you create the look you are after. There are so many times when I might open the kiln or oven and find another "what not to do" bead smiling at me.

I shall add Mrs Spider to my list of motivational thoughts for all those moments, spurring me to go back to the drawing board.




Studio Update: Wednesday 20th August

Hi Ho....Hi Ho...!


It's off to work I go!

I was sitting here this morning thinking how much I love my work. I really do. And thanks must go to you for that as it is you guys who keep EJR Beads going and me out the doss house! Thank you!

I got to thinking about some of the jobs I had in the past, before my previous "career" in credit control. Did you know, for example, I once started training to be a hairdresser. At the end of the day I couldn't really handle the "so, are you off anywhere nice for your holidays then?" level of conversation for 45 hours a week. But the work itself was cool.

Don't ever underestimate hairdressers because it takes a lot of hard work and talent to be good at hair. Believe me, I know from the botched attempts me and other student hairdressers made! It is a brave woman who replies to those "models required" signs in the hairdresser window. One of my models (the incredibly ancient Mrs Pettitt) would always just fall asleep. I am sure she only came in for the tea because her blowdry and set would always be dubious at best!

Then another of my jobs was factory work. A summer job making plastic identity cards using the fabulously-titled Pramesco Mark 3 machine! This machine would melt and fold plastic. That was it's raison d'être.  It knew what it was doing, it just needed a numpty human to put the flat plastic in and take the folded plastic out. I was that numpty.

I often wondered what the Pramesco Mark 2 was like. How inferior was it to the mark 3? Why the upgrade? Is there a Pramesco mark 4 now? Or even a mark 5?

My brother was working this job too. He put a jelly baby into his Pramesco Mark 3 and it never quite worked the same after that. Smelt interesting though.

polymer cafe magazine october 2008 

But thankfully the days of the Pramesco are behind me.

EJR Beads is now here to keep me out of trouble and away from public view. So what is new in store today I hear you cry?

Well the latest issue of Polymer Cafe magazine is in. It's a good'un too!

Lots of projects in there for using your translucent polymer clays with groovy products such as my favourite Adirondack Alcohol Inks for instance.

Also, a  cool sculptural project by Christi Friesen and much more.





Studio Update: Sunday 17th August cont.

Silent Auction!


lampwork auction beadsSo, I thought it was time for a lampwork bead auction. But this time, an auction with a difference - or more to the point several differences.

Firstly, this auction will be run from this website, not eBay or elsewhere. Secondly, it is a silent auction.

So how does that work?

Simple. Just email me your maximum bid, cross your fingers and wait. The highest bidder wins, paying just £1 higher than the next highest bid.

So, if you are the highest bidder with a max bid of £30 and the next highest bidder's bid was, say, £24 - you would win the beads for £25. Clear as mud?

Don't worry, it will all work out in the wash.

Here are the beads in question - a set of stylised rose design tabs in various shades of purple and lavender. All the beads are decorated on both side, they come with natty little coordinating spacer beads too. The tabs average around 18 x 16 mm.

Postage and packing worldwide is included. Closing date for entries is 24th August (a week from now). If there is more than one highest bidder, whoever's bid came in first will win. So what are you waiting for? Email me and get your bid in!




Studio Update: Sunday 17th August

Reading Specs on!


Well after a lovely Saturday afternoon over with Mr Man, feeding the foxes it is back to work for me. You will all be glad to hear Foxy is doing well! He showed up in the kitchen as I was making my dinner and had to be escorted outside again with bribes of whiskas cat kibble.

Foxy Lady is doing well too - she is Foxy's sister and a little more timid than Foxy (although still braver by far than your average fox. I guess it is all relative really. )

But the world does not turn on cute fox anecdotes alone really does it? Certainly this website needs a tad more than that and I know that most of you really tune in for beady news. So all I can tell you is that I am now settling down to clean a big bowl of lampwork beads.

Will I get them cleaned, photographed and listed in the EJR Beads online store today? I just don't know. If I shut up and get on with it just maybe.

jewelry artist magazine 

 Meanwhile, you might like to know that lots of new bead magazines have come in. I have new issues in for Jewelry Artist, Wire Jewelry, Art Jewelry and Beads & Beyond.

 Jewelry Artist has a fantastic issue out, as always. Among other great projects and articles, there is a feature on choosing and using resin. This opens up many new possibilities for your jewellery design, more so if you are a polymer clay artist as often resins can be successfully used with polymer clay (Check out my second book Get Creative with Polymer Clay for a cool resin and clay project for instance!)

There is also an excellent article on saws. Sounds odd, but if you are teaching yourself different skills for jewellery making, these sorts of articles are beyond value. Not only are all the basics covered, but there is even a very nice project at the end where you can put your new skills to practice.



wire jewelry magazineAlso in store now - the latest issue of Wire Jewelry.

This is the Summer 2008 issue. Thought the last issue was Summer 2008?

Well it was. So is this one.

I know, crazy huh? I think the last one was actually called the "Summer Preview". Anyway, the point is this, don't go thinking you already have this issue just because its called Summer 2008. You probably don't. You probably need this one. You probably need to hurry since these Wire Jewelry mags just fly out the door no matter how many copies I get in.

There is the usual mix of high quality wire projects in this issue, with 3 different chain maille projects for those of you who are link-obsessed.






Studio Update: Saturday 9th August

Nope. Not yet.

Thanks for asking though!

handmade ceramic pendantsWell, the new beads all seemed to sell out very quickly. Thank you everyone. Your support is so appreciated, I hope you know that. I am sorry to anyone who missed out but I am sure there will be some more goodies up soon.

I did list a couple more of my ceramic pendants this morning in the online store. I love making these pendants. In fact, I have one from this latest batch that I have kept back for myself as I want to make it into a necklace for me to wear. Gasp! I never wear jewellery these days, so this is rare!

I was going to list it for sale, but it kept looking at me asking me not to. Plus it is a green triangle shape so it reminds me of those noisette triangles from Quality Street chocolates. Umm chocolate.



Studio Update: Thursday 7th August

Yup. Woe is still  me!


Horrid cold still here. Has now travelled to lungs. Either that or someone kindly sandblasted the inside of my lungs whilst I slept for that fashionable raw feeling.

So what is a girl to do except sit around in bed watching telly, eating chocolate, faffing around with beads and updating drivelley blogs all day? This being ill lark isn't all bad really is it.

foxy wants dinner  Meanwhile.... many of you have been asking for news about Garden Fox. So here he is.

This is Foxy's standard body language for "will you give me some dinner please? I am bored of rat and pigeon?"

(Yes, Foxy did eat Mr Man's favourite garden pigeon the other day, but we will draw a line under that sorry event. In fairness, pigeon was very stupid. We had to pull it out of one of the local cats just the weekend before and it STILL continued to walk around on the ground without the slightest concern for who was stalking it. I guess this is Darwinism in action)

So even though he has some shocking inter-species personal skills (as in eating the other animals he meets) could you resist Foxy when he asks so politely?



foxy really wants some dinner

Well, could you resist?

Are you sure?

Could anyone really resist those soft tan brown puppy eyes?

Looking at Foxy and how he has wrapped us around his little finger this summer, it is so easy to see how Man and Dog developed that so-called "best friend" relationship.

This cunning little creature knows just how to push our buttons. He must be laughing all the way to his den as he cons more specially blended "fox mix" and sultanas out of us. This fox even has Mr Man's mum making sandwiches for him daily.

When was the last time anyone made you sandwiches daily? Or me? We are in the wrong game. We need to get cute and furry.


foxy eyes! 

 So maybe you haven't fallen under Foxy's spell yet? Maybe you think we are just soft.

Are you REALLY SURE you could resist those eyes?

If so, all I can say is you are a stronger person than any of us are ;-)

You will notice that this photo was taken on a different day, with Foxy in a totally different part of the patio. This really is his stock pose for getting what he wants. He is the gigolo of foxes, just playing us for all he is worth.

Well, they do say foxes are sly and cunning, don't they. I am starting to see just what they mean. You don't want to know what the little criminal has stolen from the house and garden too! If it ain't nailed down.....


Are you bored of Foxy yet? Probably you are. I don't have children to bore the pants off you about, so I have to do it with animals.  Maybe I will start showing off copious pictures of my cats doing nothing in particular. Oh it will come to that, I am sure.

Did you maybe come here for some bead news instead though? If so, all I can do is apologise. This cold has pushed me right behind schedule on the bead front. I do have some new lampwork beads and ceramic beads, pendants and buttons almost ready to list in the online store. I just need another day at least to photograph them and whatnot. But there are some cool things in the pipeline so watch this space....!



Studio Update: Tuesday 5th August

Woe is still me!


microfine glitterOoh I feel dreadful. Aren't summer colds the pits? Never mind, I am sure it will be over and done with soon.

Meanwhile, we have had a new delivery of Microfine Glitters. But its not all good news. I need to warn you that some of these colours will not be around for ever (indeed some are gone already). My manufacturer is quitting the business. So unless I find a replacement as good as these glitters, when we run out they will be discontinued. I will only settle for a product that is as good (or better) than the glitter I stock now. This stuff is fabulous and I simply wont settle for the lesser quality glitters flooding the market today.

So the moral of this tale is - if you see a glitter colour you like at EJR Beads, do make sure you order up enough to keep you going. Even though stocks are pretty good right now for most colours, once they are gone that could well be it. Let's hope not. I am always scouring the globe looking for fantastic products to bring you but like men who put the seat down afterwards, good glitter can be hard to find it seems.

Oh, and some colours are available in larger 50 gram packs too don't forget!



Studio Update: Monday 4th August

Woe is Me!


I have had a stinky cold all weekend. Not a killer one, thank goodness. Just a nasty head cold. Now it has turned into a stupid, annoying sinus infection. Poo.

I have been very good though. I have managed to fit my "I'm dying. Leave me now.... I would be alone" moments in around my work. Got all the orders from the weekend packed and into the post nice and early. Also I managed to get some more ceramic beads and buttons fired. I should also have some lampwork beads cleaned and finished off in the next couple of days too.

Secretly though, I am thinking I should get some kind of medal or certificate of bravery for this soldiering-on. Remember I am a useless patient and hate being ill. If you think I am self-obsessed normally, you really don't want to see me when I have a temperature.

I am so glad we got out for a walk on Friday though, else I would be totally stir crazy by now.




Studio Update: Friday 1st August

Happy in Happy Valley!


happy valley 

I took a day off today. Well, I have been working very hard on lots of lovely lampwork and ceramic beads, so I figured I deserved it.

Mr Man and I decided to not do our usual dog walk. Instead we took the furry overlords on a trip to one of my favourite places around here. Happy Valley.

Happy Valley is just one of the open areas of chalk grassland around the town where I live. Pretty much all this part of Surrey is on chalk. It produces some fantastically beautiful landscapes. The downlands and meadows of gorgeous wild flowers attract so many birds, insects and other critters.

This valley and the surrounding downs (why are high areas of land called "Downs"?) have been farmed since Celtic times. In fact, the Celtic field markings and barrows are still visible in some areas.


chaldon church

After the comfortable stroll through the valley there is a rather insignificant turning to the right. A short walk over some farmland and you arrive at a small lane.

Trot up the lane just a little and what do you find? Only my very favouritest church ever!

Chaldon Church dates from the 10th - 11th century although there has been a church on the site since Saxon times at least.

There are many remarkable things in Chaldon Church. The ornately carved pulpit dates from the 1600s for example. A renaissance tablet set into the wall has the coolest Sun face and morally inspiring verse carved into it. Everywhere you look there is cool stuff.

Simply the smell of this place gets my heart thumping. It smells old. It smells of the middle ages. I used to do a lot of archaeology on mediaeval sites and the mud of those places smelled the same as Chaldon. Nice and musty and old. I am sure there some who would hate that smell. But for me it is magical and evocative.



chaldon mural 

There is, however, one more thing that Chaldon Church has up its sleeve. That is its 12th century wall painting - the oldest of its type in England.

Depicting the 'Ladder of Salvation of the Human Soul', this mural is a very graphical representation of hell and purgatory, full of warnings against the seven deadly sins.

Imagine you are a mediaeval peasant. Are you going to disobey the priests when all those evil demons await you? They will boil you in pots and do other nasty things to you if you don't watch out.

Or you can live righteously and be judged in purgatory up above. If you have led a good life (and can prove it) you might just ascend the ladder to heaven.

What ya gonna do? It's a no-brainer really isn't it.


domesday excerpt


Now, as I said - this place is OLD. It is mentioned in the Domesday book even.

On the wall inside the church someone has written out the excerpt from the Domesday book and its modern translation.

Take a look-see.

Now I am no lawyer, but that clearly says the Church belongs to Ralph yes? And what is my family name?


By my reckoning then, this is MY church. I has got it in writing, innit.



Well I do hope you enjoyed today's little romp around Northern Surrey with its delightful chalky downlands and interesting churches. Was it all a bit too clichéd "English" though?

Oh I do hope so. I hope you could almost taste the cheese and chutney sandwiches and lashings and lashings of ginger beer.