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Well, I think it's safe to say that this here blog is neglected.

Thing is, life is so fast and hectic (and I mean everybody's in general) that finding the time to write and read blogs is a bit tricky. I'm not writing the blog off totally. I expect I will blog from time to time but it won't be a regular occurrence.

If you'd like to make sure you keep up to date with all things Beads By Laura then your best bet is to look at my Facebook page. You don't need a Facebook account to view it and you'll find that there's a lot more happening over there than there is here.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Hoots & Fruits

Lampwork glass strawberry beads by Laura Sparling

I've finished updating the Beads-O'-Whimsy section of my shop. There are now owls and strawberries in there.

Lampwork glass owl bead set by Laura Sparling
Just like the sheep, ladybirds and Bumblebeads, the owls and strawberries are available as individual loose beads, as charms and stitch markers and also as feature-bead-and-a-dozen-spacers sets.

I had some backing cards printed for my stitch marker sets and I'm pretty pleased with the way they look.

Lampwork glass owl bead stitch marker set by Laura Sparling

I'll soon have some sets featuring beads that don't have eyes, so stay tuned ...

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Buzzzzz


They're back! The constantly perturbed Bumblebeads have returned and they've settled in various sections of my bead shop.

They're available as ... 

Lampwork glass Bumblebead by Laura Sparling

... single loose Bumblebeads (£4.50) ...

Lampwork glass Bumblebead set by Laura Sparling

... Bumblebead and spacers sets (£7.00) ...

Lampwork glass Bumblebead charm by Laura Sparling

... charms (£5.50) ...
Lampwork glass bee stitch markers by Laura Sparling

... knitting stitch markers (£5.50) ...

Lampwork glass bee stitch markers by Laura Sparling

... crochet stitch markers (£5.50) ...

Lampwork glass bee stitch markers by Laura Sparling

... stitch marker sets (8.50) ...

Lampwork glass bee beads 'Honey' bracelet by Laura Sparling

... and as part of a 'Honey' bracelet (£50.00). This bracelet features five Bumblebeads, half a dozen honeycomb-esque rounds and some honey-coloured spacers. The two in the shop are silver plated ones but I can do a sterling silver version if you'd like.

I've had a little shop clearout and switch around. Nothing major but you can now find all of my beads-with-eyes in one place.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Loveliness of Ladybirds

Lampwork glass ladybird (ladybug) beads by Laura Sparling

Look what I found in my kiln! A whole loveliness of ladybirds. And no, I haven't made that up; I Googled it and apparently 'loveliness' is the accepted collective noun for ladybirds. How very ... lovely.

Anyway, I've been a-cleanin', a-makin' and a-photographin' all the ladybirds in their various finished states and they're all available over in my shop.

You can buy them as a ...

Lampwork glass ladybird (ladybug) bead by Laura Sparling

... single bead (£4.50) ...

Lampwork glass ladybird (ladybug) beads by Laura Sparling

... ladybird and spacers set (£7.00) ...

Lampwork glass ladybird (ladybug) bead charm by Laura Sparling

... charm (£5.50) ...

Lampwork glass ladybird (ladybug) bead knitting stitch marker by Laura Sparling

... knitting stitch marker (£5.50) ...

Lampwork glass ladybird (ladybug) bead crochet stitch marker by Laura Sparling

... crochet stitch marker (£5.50) ...

Lampwork glass ladybird (ladybug) bead stitch marker set by Laura Sparling

... or a stitch marker set with the fitting of your choice (£8.50).

Whew! There you go.

Here, have a picture of a dandelion. I took this in the garden yesterday.

Dandelion in the drizzle

It's just an unaltered iPhone shot with an Instagram filter over the top but I really like it.

Have a super Saturday!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Sheep, sheep and a few more sheep

Lampwork glass sheep beads by Laura Sparling

Well, I'm overrun with sheep beads here. They're in the kiln, on the kitchen window sill, on the dinner table, on my knitting needles and I can also spy one on the coffee table. Sheep everywhere.

They're also in my shop.

They can be purchased as ...

Lampwork glass sheep bead by Laura Sparling

... an individual loose bead at £6.00 ...

Lampwork glass sheep bead charm by Laura Sparling

... a charm at £7.00 ...

Lampwork glass sheep bead knitting stitch marker by Laura Sparling

... a knitting stitch marker with a ring fitting at £7.00 ...

Lampwork glass sheep bead crochet stitch marker by Laura Sparling

... a crochet stitch marker with a clasp fitting at £7.00 ...

Lampwork glass sheep bead stitch marker set by Laura Sparling

... or as part of a set of five stitch markers, made with the fitting of your choice, at £10.00.

See? Sheep all over the show.

Have a very good Good Friday and a super duper long weekend!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Baaa

Lampwork glass sheep bead by Laura Sparling

Oh heck, its been twelve days since I last blogged. That's a bit naff of me, isn't it?

What have I been doing? Well, I've been to the vet with the guinea pig and the cat. Again. I know. I'm sick of going, the vet must be sick of me going and my bank account is sick of the vet too. However, Ruth seems to be okay. She has no bladder stones (a £50 X-ray showed that) and she's on antibiotics for some sort of internal nethers infection. Nigel seems to have some kind of gastritis so I've been cooking him chicken and fish and feeding him small meals. We've got to just wait and see how he goes. (Thank goodness he's insured.) Nigel's also got a new drinking fountain which he loves. He loves both drinking from it and also splashing it all over the place like a child in a paddling pool.

Speaking of animals, I've taken to making them. Glass ones. That don't require special cooking and feeding, or medicine syringing into their faces twice a day.

Sheep.

Baaa.

I've had sheep on my mind recently. Odd, I know. I'm blaming it on listening to Felicity Ford's excellent KNITSONIK podcast and also stroking my Jamieson & Smith pure Shetland wool that I bought as part of a fingerless mitts kit from Kate Davies.

Gorgeous Kate Davies Designs 'Ecclefechan' fingerless mittens kit
Gorgeous Kate Davies Designs 'Ecclefechan' fingerless mittens kit

So, with the aforementioned sheep on my mind, I sat and twiddled about with glass and after about seven attempts I came up with the little fella at the top of this post. Chris has named him Baaarney. I say I had seven attempts but it was more like fifty-seven. (Seven just sounds less obsessive.) You see, there's no point in me making a bead that I'm potentially going to sell that I can't replicate. Each bead needs to be made in the same way, with bits added and worked on in the same order every time, so that I can make roughly the same bead over and over again.

Lampwork glass sheep bead by Laura Sparling
Baaarney, rearing up like a scared horse and also relaxing

The sheep is tiny. He's only about 10mm tall.

I've turned Baaarney into a stitch marker for my knitting. The sock in this photograph doesn't even require marking but I just like having a tiny glass sheep there, dangling from my needle.

Lampwork glass sheep bead stitch marker by Laura Sparling
Baaarney doing a knitting-related dangle

Facebook and Instagram seem to like Baaarney so I think I'll make a small flock for the shop.

Have a fun-filled Thursday!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Mini Sets

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

I've just put a few mini sets in the shop.

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

These little assortments would be great for making bracelets.

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

Each mini set is £13.50 and they're available here.

Have a groovy Saturday!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Hello to you

Some lovely tulips

Hello! I am here and I am making beads. It's just that they're sold by the time I get to publish a blog about it. This is how I usually sell beads:
  1. Edit bead photos
  2. Create shop listings for them
  3. Set up Facebook post, blog and/or newsletter ready
  4. Make the shop listings live
  5. Go to publish the Facebook post, blog and/or newsletter
  6. BAM. The beads sell before I can carry out all of step five.
Now, please don't think I'm moaning because it's wonderful that my beads sell so fast, it truly is, and I thank you very much for liking them so, but I do get a few emails and messages from people who are desperate to get hold of some of my beads but just can't seem to. All I can suggest to those people is that if you have a Facebook account, please be sure to follow my bead page and using the menu under the 'like' button, click 'get notifications' to be kept right up to date. I think Google Alerts also allows you keep an eye on website updates but you'd have to check that out because I'm not one hundred percent sure.

But yes, those are two potential ways in which you can try and get to the front of the bead queue.

I know I'm a bit of a pain in not listing my beads in one go on one night at a certain time but to be honest, that doesn't suit me financially. Selling beads as I make them keeps a steady cashflow meandering in which I prefer, for various boring reasons, to having larger chunks of dosh less often. I guess it's a bit like the difference between being paid weekly or monthly.

Anyway ... I have been making beads, see?

Lots of lampwork glass beads

These all have new homes now. And yes, I know they all look like pretty much the same set but in different colours but there is a reason for this. I'm heading up to my ten year anniversary of making beads and as such I have amassed a ridiculous stash of glass rod odds and ends. In this stash are lots of discontinued colours or odd-lots but in some cases there's only one or two rods of each. I'm trying to use up as much of this old glass as I can because it seems like such a waste for it to be sat there quite literally gathering dust. These sets are like mini patchwork quilt kind of beads; a way of using up scraps in a pretty fashion. It also makes me use colours together that I might not usually use together which is always fun. So please bear with me whilst I continue working my way through my substantial glass scrapyard.

Lampwork glass owl bead
Finally, I know I said I don't do orders these days but quite a few of you have written and asked when there will be owls so I had a think and have decided that I will temporarily take orders for owl beads and necklaces.

This ordering window is open until 7.00pm on Sunday 6th April. After this date the ordering window will close and I will make and post all the ordered owls. As such, please allow up to fourteen days from the time of ordering (it'll most probably be less than this, though) for me to make and dispatch your owl bead order.

After all the orders are in I'll set aside a couple of days to make the owls. I get into a rhythm this way, you see, and making a whole batch is actually less stress-making for me than doing them in dribs and drabs.

I'll more than likely do a similar thing with the ladybirds and Bumblebeads at a later date.

Owls can be ordered here

What a lot of waffle. I'm heading shedwards now.

Thanks for reading, have a good Friday, don't get sniffing too much Saharan dust and enjoy your weekend.

(PS: The tulips at the top of this post bear zero relevance to it. It's just they're sat on the coffee table and they look nice and I thought they could pretty up my blog as well as the lounge.)

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