Saturday, 19 December 2009

Tutorial in "Making Jewellery" Magazine

I have a tutorial published in the current issue (10) of "Making Jewellery" Magazine, so I just thought I'd let you know! It's a really simple tutorial that shows some easy techniques for making your jewellery more versatile so that you can wear it in different ways.

They have also featured some of my pieces in their Readers' Showcase, so I'm quite pleased!

It's a great issue this month and it comes with a fab 2010 calendar, so don't miss out.
On sale in all good newsagents now! I hope you enjoy the tutorial.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

What a result!

Wow, what a result! Just over £2500 was raised from the auctions of my jewellery for the David Shedrick Wildlife Trust. I am staggered! With just six pieces being auctioned that's an average winning bid of over £400 per piece.

If you placed a bid - THANK YOU! The Trust really needs the funds to help continue their incredible work rescuing orphan elephants and raising them until they're ready to return to the wild.

If you were one of the lucky bidders THANK YOU for your generosity and I hope your jewellery gives you as much pleasure as it gave me to make it.

If you're still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for someone who has everything, why not give an elephant? Yes, a real elephant! You can find out how to foster an elephant for a gift for someone, check out this link.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

New Beads!

It's been too long since I listed new beads, but I have listed some on Etsy today.

I have a Taj focal bead and a Taj bead set. These were an experiment with some colour reactions from some special effetre glass, and I'm quite pleased with the colours that emerged. I've called them "Taj" because they remind me of indian sari silk for some reason. I've etched them so that they're silky soft.

Then I've made more of my "All Washed Up" beads in purple and the palest pink.

The pink beads have been hand-shaped into little nuggets and I really like how the light catches the flat facets of these beads.

The elephant auctions are doing amazingly well, with bids now having reached over £1000! There are just a couple more days to go before they end, so don't miss out!
I almost forgot! Look out for my project in the January issue of "Making Jewellery", which will be on sale later this week.
Have a great week.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Elephant Auctions - now live!

It's that time again and the pre-Christmas auctions of jewellery, raising money for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust have launched today! They run for seven days, and there are six pieces, dedicated to six special baby elephants;







The DSWT have had a really busy year, rescuing more baby elephants than ever before, so if you're buying Christmas gifts at the moment, or even thinking of treating yourself, please consider a gift that keeps on giving.

The DSWT are also auctioning some completely gorgeous limited edition bronze statues of elephants, with all profits going to the charity. They are all absolutely beautiful, but Maisha is my favourite.

Or why not give a REALLY different gift this year, and give someone a baby elephant! Or at any rate you can give a gift of a fostered elephant, which is even better (no elephant poop to clear up after!) You can find out how to foster an orphan elephant yourself, or for a gift for someone at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's site.

Good luck if you decide to bid!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Coming soon - Elephant Auctions

Well it is almost that time again when the auctions of the next pieces of jewellery for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust will go live. For those of you unaware of the inspiring and life-saving work of the DSWT, you can read all about them on their website.

Since the Trust was established in 1977 it has successfully hand-reared more than 100 orphan elephants. That's amazing!

There are many reasons why elephant babies need rescuing. In some cases their mothers have been victims of poachers. In others the babies have fallen down man-made wells. How heart-wrenching must it be for a mother to have to leave her baby behind, when despite all efforts she has been unable to rescue her baby.

The DSWT is amazing. It never turns away an orphan in need of help, even when it is bursting full to capacity. And it has certainly been stretched this year as so many elephants have fallen prey to the droughts in Kenya. Without their mums to take care of them the babies can only hope that they are spotted so that they can be taken under the wing of the Trust and welcomed into the nursery to meet their new family.

So this year more than any other, the DSWT needs support. I hope that the six pieces of jewellery I have made raise a record-breaking amount.

The auctions will be up and running shortly, so keep checking here or here to find out when they're live. I've sprinkled some teaser photos of the pieces throughout this blog. As always, each piece is dedicated to a particular elephant, and the elephant's name is engraved on a sterling silver tag.

You can also help to support the baby elephants by fostering one. I foster Makena, a beautiful, motherly female, who I have watched graduate from the nursery in Nairobi to "big school" at the Ithumba stockades. Makena was just 7 weeks old when she was rescued. She is now 4 and loves to take care of the younger ones. She is becoming quite the little matriarch.

I also foster Shimba, a little boy. He's quite an aloof character, and must be one of the few elephants with an aversion to mud baths!

To foster your own baby elephant, or even baby rhino, visit the DSWT's website.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Moon

I have no new beads to show you this week, so I thought I'd show you the moon instead!

As I drove home from work today the moon was large and low, and had that beautiful golden glow that you only get at this time of the year. I raced home hoping that the clouds would stay away long enough for me to get my telescope out. I was rewarded!

This is my very first piece of astrophotography. It was taken this evening through my telescope and my strategically placed trusty Canon Ixus. It was just an experimental shot, and I didn't expect it to work at all, but it did! Ok, so it's not perfectly focused but you can still pick out lots of features. I need to get my moon map out to navigate my way around.

It's amazing how looking through a telescope puts everything in perspective. All the worries and irritations of the day dissolve as you realise how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things.

The clouds are coming in now, but it was a treat to have a clear sky to view this beautiful waxing gibbous moon.

I imagine that it won't be long before the image above finds its way into a bead, or maybe an entire set of beads. Or, maybe a piece of silver jewellery. You see, I'm inspired already!

If you would like to begin stargazing there are two fantastic pieces of software that will get you started. The first is Stellarium, and the second is Pocket Universe for iPhone. There's an entire universe out there to discover!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

All Washed Up

I absolutely love making organic bead sets, and I love this softly etched set in ivory and black, with trails of silver and a lovely swathe of antique clear. They really look as if they could have been washed up on the tide, so they are my All Washed Up beads. See what I did there?

Staying on the organic theme, here is a fab lentil in one of my favourite colours. The black has laced over the bead giving a deep veiny appearance.

I rarely encase my organic beads, but when I experimented with this bead I was really pleased with the result, so there may well be more of these appearing in future.

Tiger beads are such fun to make, and this is a really hefty-sized focal.

If you prefer more colour in your beads, I can do that too! Pink Lipstick...

and Raspberry and Peach Melba.

That's all for now!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Verdigris beads published in the US.

I was really excited to learn recently that Lynn Davy won first prize in the Semiprecious Stone Contest, and her winning entry is featured in the September/October issue of the popular american magazine, "Step by Step Beads".

Lynn created an absolutely stunning necklace, which she called "Treasures of Atlantis". You can read all about it here.
Lynn used amazonite, labradorite and pearls, and a beautiful fine silver focal bead along with some of beady clusters, and my verdigris lampwork beads. The silver focal is by Rebecca Crabtree. I own one of Becci's silver lentils myself, and so I can vouch for how beautiful they are.

"Treasure of Atlantis" is a really gorgeous necklace, and I am so pleased that my own beads were fortunate enough to play a supporting role in this winning piece!

The September/October edition of the magazine features not only Lynn's winning necklace, but also a project for a matching bracelet, also incorporating my beads. Lynn has made some clever beaded beads for the bracelet.

Finally, there is a project to make matching earrings, which can be downloaded from the magazine website, and Lynn has used my verdigris beads in these too.

This is the first time my beads have featured in an american publication, so it is a big milestone for me. There is something quite surreal about browing through a magazine and your own creations jumping off the page at you. Lynn's pieces with my beads feature throughout the entire magazine, and Lynn has been generous enough to mention me as the bead artist. My website even gets a mention too. Thank you Lynn!

If you would like your very own verdigris beads to recreate Lynn's "Treasures of Atlantis" set, I would be happy to make some especially for you. Just contact me with your requirements and I'll give you a very reasonable price.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The BIG (it's not) SUMMER SALE

So that's that then. Summer I mean. In a few short weeks we'll be putting the clock back and drawing the curtains at 6pm. Now I quite like the dark nights, but I know i'm in a minority.

So to cheer you up I've just launched THE BIG (it's not) SUMMER SALE!

ALL beads are reduced, so there are some great bargains. There are bead sets and focals, so please pop along and take a look.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Mr Site - thanks!

I was really surprised to learn today that Mr Site has included my website as one of their "sample sites". I have a vague recollection of being asked for some comments on Mr Site a few months ago, but then I'd forgotten all about it.

There is a lovely screenshot of my website and a link back to it. So it's fantastic free advertising. Thank you Mr Site!
This isn't a terribly good screen capture, but if you want to see if for yourself go to page 10 here.

I've had a brilliant week of sales, but there are still plenty of beads left to buy in my Etsy Shop.

These are two of my favourites;

Iced Cranberries - named by Nic of Murano Silver

Shades of Amber

Well that's all for now folks. Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Beads on Etsy

For a number of reasons, none of which are interesting enough to blog about, I have decided that for the foreseeable future I shall be selling my beads on Etsy. You will recall that Etsy is THE online place to buy and sell handmade items.

From the buyer's perspective this will be much more straightforward, as the lack of a stock control system on my website has meant that on occasions the same bead has been sold twice or more, resulting in disappointed customers.

The slight down-side is that Etsy prices are displayed in US dollars rather than £ sterling, because it is an american site. Of course, if you're an american customer this is an up-side! For all other customers I recommend, which is a reliable currency conversion site. Paypal will do the conversion for you automatically, so you shouldn't really notice any difference at all when you're shopping in the Bumpy Beads Etsy Shop.

The exchange rate is ever-fluctuating, but I shall keep a close watch on it to ensure that my customers are not disadvantaged by the $:£ rates.

Of course I will still keep my website up-to-date, and you will be able to access my Etsy shop directly from my website.

You can also find my items on Etsy by searching on "Heather Webb". That's me!

I am also a proud member of the Frit Happens Etsy Street Team. The team is made up of a fabulous group of people who sell their handmade lampworks beads/marbles/knobs(!), fused glass pieces, jewellery and a whole host of other items that I know you'll love.

We all tag our pieces "FHFTeam". So to find us, just enter "FHFTeam" into the search box at the top of the Etsy page.
If you're familiar with Etsy you'll probably be familiar with treasuries. A treasury is a gallery of handpicked items. Members feature their favourite items. Treasuries might be based on a theme. Look out for FHF Team Treasuries to see some of the brilliant items for sale. I've been featured on three treasuries this week, which has been great!
The bead pictures that litter this blog are beads currently available in my Etsy shop.
I'm loving stripy beads at the moment, and am very likely to be making more of those this weekend, so expect to see more in my shop next week.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

New Torch

Most beadmakers begin beadmaking on a Hot Head, which is a fairly basic single fuel torch. The design of the torch means it can be used on propane, without the need for a sparate oxygen supply. The only thing with this is that Hot Heads don't run as hot as dual fuel torches. My usual impatience meant that I opted for a dual fuel torch straightaway. These torches need a separate supply of oxygen, either tanked or supplied by an oxygen concentrator.

There are so many different torches available now, and I opted for a Minnow, made by Bethlehem Burners. It has been a fabulous torch for me, and has a narrow flame which is great for pinpoint heating. However, I tend to work fairly large, and for a while I've been wanting a torch with a slightly wider and bushier flame. After much deliberation, and I mean MUCH deliberation, I chose a Carlisle Mini CC burner.

I lit it for the first time today and it is superb. It runs hotter than my Minnow and the flame is bushier and wider, so it ticks all the boxes. I'd heard a couple of reports of the Carlisle needing two oxycoms, but I'm running it on one and it's absolutely perfect.

Even the marver that fits it is pretty special. I chose a Crowley Marver, and this fits with a ball joint, which means that the angle of the torch can be adjusted independently of the marver, and the angle of the marver can be adjusted independently of the torch. The torch uses a ball joint too, so the entire set up is extremely versatile.

Strangely, despite the flame being wider, I've found that this has actually helped my stringer control. The greater area of ambient heat around the flame means that the "sweet spot" is easy to find.

But the biggest difference is the fact that the propane and oxygen valves are on the opposite side of the torch compared to the Minnow. Argh! I have to re-learn my POOP routine all over again! For those of you who are scratching your heads wondering what on earth a POOP routine is, it's the order the propane and oxygen are turned on/off when lighting/extinguishing the torch.

So the beads that I have to show you are the very last beads that I made on my Minnow. Enjoy!

I made focals.....

and I made sets....

Hope you like!

Friday, 19 June 2009


The Elephant Auctions ended today and raised just over £2000!

I am thrilled, particularly when the economy is on its knees and money is tighter than ever.

A total of 309 bids were placed over 10 days. The piece dedicated to Maxwell, the tiny blind orphan rhino, raised the most, at £311. Amazing!

Thank you to everyone who placed a bit. You're all brilliant!

A special thank you to Lynn Davy too, who gifted me her fab Clunk Click piece, which raised £55.55!

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust will put these funds to good use. May saw the arrival of three new orphans, so every penny counts.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Elephant Auctions - now with Rhino's!

The third round of auctions of my jewellery in aid of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is now live!

As always, each piece is dedicated to one of the orphans, and this time we have included two of the rhino's.

So the line up is Zurura, Sinya, Mawenzi, Madiba, Lualeni, Kibo and finally little Maxwell and Maalim.

The pieces have a silver tag with the name of the orphan engraved on it, and they're off to a flying start on Ebay. You can find the auctions here.

In addition, there are two bonus pieces. One of these is the lovely Clunk Click keyring, made by Lynn Davy that featured in February's "Beads & Beyond" and kindly donated by Lynn.

The other is my Silver Caps Necklace that featured in the January issue of "Bead".

As always, the entire amount raised will go to the DSWT.

Happy bidding!