Yup, there's now 20% off all jewellery in my shop so why not grab yourself an end-of-the-month bargain?
Monday, 24 February 2014
It's an absolutely gorgeous day here. I'm sat here packing up orders (waiting for the propane man to bring me a gas refill) with the back door open. Nigel's running in and out of the place like a mad thing and Ruth is outside in her run, munching grass. She's a bit better but not quite right. I'm going to see how she goes today and tomorrow and then I might call the vet. Again.
Before my gas sputtered out yesterday morning I was able to make some amber-yellow beads for a couple of heart bracelets. I know yellow is always a dodgy colour because you either like to wear it or hate to do so. I'm the latter. Yellow looks awful on me. But hey, maybe it looks fabulous on you or someone you know? There are two of these 'Sunshine' bracelets for sale in my shop.
I've just made a few changes to my postage options. Prices have stayed the same but I've added the options of Special Delivery and International Signed For for those who like a little extra peace of mind. All postage, packing and dispatch details can be found here.
Oooh, gas man has just pulled up outside. I'd better go and see to that.
Have a good day!
Saturday, 22 February 2014
I love that people like my beads. I love that people want to buy my beads, I really do.
But my answer to those emails is always the same.
And I appreciate that this might be disappointing or annoying. I also appreciate that you might think I'm an ungrateful cow who is being awkward or who doesn't want the business.
Some of the beads in my gallery are anything up to about eight years old. There are several reasons why I can't or won't reproduce them ...
The glass I used for the beads is no longer available.
Sometimes glass is only available in limited batches. This is especially so with Creation Is Messy glass which I use a lot. Some of the Italian glasses I've used might have been 'odd lots' (production mistakes or anomalies) and they will never be made again. I often get sent one or two rods of glass as samples or gifts. After I've used them, there is no more.
The moon was in just the right phase.
I have made beads that I would love to make again but for some reason I just can't. Maybe this is because I was in a really brilliant mood on the day I made them. Or maybe I had a certain pair of socks on that gave me magical glass powers. Perhaps my torch was set at a slightly different flame and the oxygen and propane levels were freakishly superb. Maybe the weather filled me with a zing and a zest and I was beadily unstoppable that day. Or perhaps I just forgot how I made a particular bead design. Trust me, you only need to do one thing differently - aim the flame at the 'wrong' point, tilt the mandrel differently or use the incorrect amount of encasing - to get inconsistent results.
I just don't want to.
Some beads are absolute buggers to make. Sometimes I have the patience for them and sometimes I don't. Simple as that.
The beads were a one-off.
There are beads in my gallery that I won't make again because they were promised as one-offs to customers. There are also beads in my gallery that I won't make again because they have very special meanings or memories attached to them and it would feel wrong to remake them. I know that sounds really bizarre but it's true.
More recently, there's also a financial reason. I don't buy glass to keep in stock 'just in case', same as I no longer buy sterling silver to keep in stock just in case someone asks for certain jewellery. 'Just in case' stock would be a wonderful thing to have but I'm not in a financial position to do that. Anyone who has bought my beads for several years will have seen the price of them go down. Nowadays most people just don't have the money like they used to. In turn, neither do I. Even though my prices have dropped considerably, twice last year I was told that my work is overpriced. I'm not going to whinge on about money because frankly I find it bloody awful when I see and hear other beadmakers doing so but just know that my work is very utterly totally not overpriced. It might be out of some people's price ranges but that is not my fault. You know what? I'd really like an iPad but I don't email Apple and tell them they're too expensive for me. I just ... don't have the iPad. (I'm sorry if that sounds rude or brash but talking about money can so often be that way so let's just stop it now, yes?)
The main reason I don't do bead remakes, custom orders or requests is a simple yet simultaneously complex one.
I've been a creative person for as long as I can rewind my brain. I'm used to the fits and starts that my creativity occurs in. I'm used to its battery-like properties where it can be fully charged and I'll not be able to stop making stuff, right through to its flatness where I've not got any creative power at all and the only thing I can do is rest the make-and-do lobe of my brain and let it recharge. I'm used to my brain but I totally understand that you might not be. (I do hope other creative folk understand what I mean?)
My creativity is also affected by my state of mind. If I'm upset or worried about something then that will show in my work. During those times I tend to stick to simple beads - spacers, hearts, nuggets and encased rounds. When I'm on top of the world, my more complex designs happen - the really dotty beads, the encased, highly detailed ones and the decorative florals. When I'm ticking over somewhere in between, my normal beads occur - the stringer ones, the polka dots, the owls and the like.
There's also the case of not wanting to make the same thing over and over. I knit but I don't knit the same socks or the same scarf repeatedly because that wouldn't be fun. It would become stale and boring. It'd be like an artist painting the same picture over and over again. I'm not a machine. I've never churned out beads, mainly because I just won't and also because I'm such a perfectionist and every single bead that leaves the shed is right. I pride myself on the quality of my work and second quality beads just don't happen in my shed. If it's not right, it gets killed in the water jug. Some people find that an odd attitude but hey, I'm an odd person and I'm just fine with that.
So there you have it. Those are the reasons why I no longer do remakes, custom orders or commissions. I know it's annoying and I do apologise. These days I just have beadmaking sessions and I make several of one design or several sets the same and sell them when I have them. I appreciate that this is inconsistent and unreliable (and those are not very positive words, I know) but I hope that this here waffling on explains why this is so.
Thank you for your interest in my work and thank you, my lovely customers, for your custom. I hope nobody takes offence at this post. Never think that I'm ungrateful for or unappreciative of your business. It's quite the opposite, I assure you, because without my customers there would be no Beads By Laura.
Friday, 21 February 2014
I've just put some more heart bracelets in the shop. There are five different colours available and each bracelet costs £15.00.
Ruth and I went to the vet yesterday afternoon. We came away with more medicine and some green sludge that I have to feed her with a syringe. She's perked up a little bit today which is fab. She's in her run in the garden at the moment and it's been so nice to see her out and about, nibbling the grass.
Have a super duper Friday night!
Thursday, 20 February 2014
I've been quiet because I've been juggling making beads with looking after my unwell guinea pig. She had an operation a few days ago and she's not recovered very well. I think I'll be off to the vet again later. But here I be now with a little bead update.
There are two more Rose heart sets and some new Steel grey ones. There are also two more of the lavender Prettiness bracelets made up. All of these are available here.
I'll have some more beady things very soon. I just need to clean, string/assemble and photograph them. I don't know if that'll be tonight or tomorrow; depends on how things go with Ruth pig.