Wednesday, 29 August 2012


I'm Still here!

Oh my I can't believe it has been a month since I have blogged. Life seems to have been very busy with the engine blowing up in our car hence having to get a new one in the past week. I have also been focusing  bit on packaging ideas and learning a lot how best to optimise my Facebook Page. It has been a huge learning curve for me but worth it in the end.

Anyway here are some pics of my latest send outs.
Simple Supplies still get the star treatment

The natural look with a splash of colour

Quite fiddly to make myself and didn't stay together too well. Still working on it.
Note in all of these packages are seed beads and supplies - we all like getting something pretty and there is no reason at all why supplies cannot be sent this way too.

Don't forget to share the packaging ideas you are happy to share on my FB page Serendiptiy Beads

Monday, 23 July 2012

Turquoise for the Birthday Girl

Ok - Personal Fact - I am Adopted. There you go! My birth mother Marion was young when she had me and I was adopted by my parents who are now in their 70's when I was 2weeks old or thereabouts. Fairly common in the 1960's and 1970's. Interestingly my husband Craig is also adopted - so it was kind of neat when we both had our own children. (although for a while there we thought we would be venturing down the adoption track)

Anyway, Marion turned 60 on Sunday and decided to celebrate at the Langham Hotel in central Auckland with their High Tea. It was a dilema - do I make something or do I buy something? Obviously the universe was pulling me to make something, since crafting with beads is my thing, and I was fast running out of time.

I loved the blue in this pendant that I had made a while ago but had never really liked the ribbon and rattail it was hanging from. Obviously neither did my customers as it had been for sale in my shop for a wee while. Got to thinking with 3 days left and decided to bead a Russian Spiral Rope to go with it.

Before the new reconstructed necklace is revealed here is the way I decorated the box it was gifted in. Plain kraft box an lid then shoozzed it up a bit with the silver paper, ribbon and paper flowers. The blue is the envelope with the card. Yes I made that too but forgot to take a photo - sorry.

The final reconstructed Russian Spiral Rope to go with the necklace. Sorry the photo isn't a closeup. It definitely looks so much better this way and the rope is Turquoise, Black and Silver. Made with size 11 and size 15 Japanese Seed Beads.
Marion loves it and I was so relieved to hear that her current favourite colour is turquoise as I really had no idea. The only recent photos I had seen she was wearing red so it was a bit of a gamble.
High Tea was lovely and it was great to finally taste some macaroons. - Pistashio - Yumm!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Lesson Learned!

Today I learned a very valuable lesson regarding keeping your website totally up to date. I thought I was pretty good at making sure my website had all of the current information up - but alas it seems not, and it has probably cost me some business.

I sell the flip top seed bead storage cases on my website and after a large order back in February had sold out of everything I had. I then received a large order from the same people (an embroidery guild here in NZ) which I had to import in from the US. At the time I put "Out of Stock" on my website with a notation mentioning they would be back in stock in March.

In the mean time I had also taken out an ad in the Embroidery Guilds (ANZEG) bi-annual publication specifically with a reference to these storage boxes. As  result of my large previous sale to just one of the many guilds in NZ I had anticipated getting a few orders. It was getting frustrating that I wasn't and I wasn't sure what I had done wrong. I FORGOT TO CHECK THE WEBSITE.

Today a new customer contacted me through Facebook asking if I still sold the storage boxes - so I went to check the website just to make sure they were showing properly and I found my MISTAKE. How embarrassed am I and how many sales and potentially good will have I lost as a result. I hate to think.

I tell you I have learned this lesson and it will never happen again. I will be religious with how I check the details on my website from now on.

Yes they are all now back in Stock (and have been since March) in limited quantities - but I can purchase more if need be. :)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Because I Can ...

Do you have any project that you do just because you can? Be it beading, artwork, sewing, whatever -you did it just because you had an idea and you wanted to try it for yourself. Well this is what I did. It took me longer than I thought it would but for me - I LOVE IT! Craig looked at me when I was nearly finished with that Why? look and I answered "Because I can".

I knew I wanted to make something using Right Angle Weave and multiple rows and bag-like.(Beaded bags is something I would love to do more of in the future) Although I had made loads of plain single row RAW pieces I hadn't actually played with more rows even though I knew how. I selected my colours (excuse rubbish photo) from what I had in stock and the pencils to match.

I got out my Right Angle Weave graph paper (Courtesy of Firemountain Gems) and sketched using my coloured pencils the basic idea of colours and where the beads should go. As you can see I wasn't aiming my sights at anything too complicated. Just something bright for me.

This is the fabric starting to take shape - see very basic.

Scunched up beaded fabric - it really does take on an amazing material like quality and is great to pick up and manipulate, all squishy and fun to play with. My girls were loving watching the progress.

Finished Cellphone pouch with button and loop clasp. I love it, it is so me and feels so nice to hold.

No losing my cellphone in my handbag now with these bright colours.
What do you think?

If you wish to buy any of these size 8 Toho beads from by Bead Store then Click Here to go to my website

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

More Inspiration...

Wow! I found some more inspiration for colour and beading. Indian Sari's aren't they just stunning and more often than not have an abundance of colour and pattern.

I have my little list of things that I would like to talk about on here but sometimes something else just comes up and it has to be shared.

My youngest daugher Alana plays hockey (6 aside at her age of 6.5yrs - and field hockey for you international visitors to this blog) and one of the fields that we travel to is a predominantly Indian (Asian) community. Many of the shops in Papatoetoe have Indian shops featuring some truly gorgeous sari's for young and old. Both of my daughters just love it when we stop at the lights so they can ogle at the beautiful displays.

When we went past last weekend it truly became apparent to me just how beautiful they are and that every time I looked at them I kept imagining the kinds of jewellery I could make to match the fabrics without even realising I was doing it.

So I just had to share this beauty with you of some pictures I found online to show you what I mean. You can imagine just how my mind is racing with ideas just from typing up this blog even.
Enjoy and look up some more images to give yourself some inspiration.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Inspiration of Colour

Where does your beading inspiration come from?
Whenever I read any artist's profile many of them site nature as where they get a lot of their inspiration.

For me a lot of my colour ideas come from what I feel is pleasing the eye, looking through all the beading mags, and websites of gorgeous designs. It amazes me how different designs make colour combinations look either great or not so great.  I also love watching what colour choices my customers tend towards when learning to stitch a project. I definitely learn from them as they all choose things I would never have dreamed of using together.

Interestingly someone who blows me away with how she chooses colour is my 8yr old daughter Peita. She is quite a big fan of most things arty and has always sorted and stacked felt pens, blocks, erasers, you name it - and of course my beads. When I first decided to teach her bead stringing a few years ago she actually spent nearly an hour sorting piles of beads into colours, shapes and sizes. I'm not sure how much beading she actually did.

The above is the first time I took a photo of Peita's colour combinations. This was done with Beado's (you know create design and spray with water so they stick together). She created a whole pattern on the template with all of these colours and it looked awesome. This was when she was 6 or 7.

Sorry about photo quality as taken on phone due to broken camera. Here is my beautiful Peita. After making her own necklace with pony beads she decided to sort them all into colour combos.

Some great colour combinations here. Might have to zoom in on this for some inspiration.

And of course Alana (6.5yrs) is a big fan of pink and yellow a the moment but decided to add a bit of purple in that day.

Happy Beading in your world. Would love to hear about what inspires you with colour.

Diana x

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Time away from Reality

It is not often that we, as a family get to go away on holiday. Being self employed in the way that we are, has it's drawbacks.(As well as some good stuff too) If we don't work, we don't get paid - end of story. We usually take our week away camping up to Martins Bay about 1hr north of Auckland. Great family beach and campground and we really love our time there in January of each year.

However in my husband's business (The House Mechanix) where he does home maintenance (everything from changing light bulbs to refitting your bathroom/kitchen) we have a customer who has a beach place (called a "Bach" (prounced Batch) in NZ) at Opito Bay in the Coromandel on the East Coast of NZ approx 3.5hrs drive from Auckland. On occasion they need some work done at the place, like painting etc. We have once before been lucky enough to stay there for 4 days while Craig did some jobs that took a day and a half. We were offered the place again during the second week of school holidays in April and this time we just said "bugger it - we're going" Craig had a bout a half days painting to do and we got to spend 5 nights there at no charge. Yay!

Packed up the girls for a few days of beautiful weather, kayaking, walks along the beach, sandcastles, body surfing, boogie boarding or just doing nothing. The beach house is directly across the road from the beach and the kitchen and dining table look straight out over the water. Heaven.

The Glorious Beach
  Did I mention that these photos are taken half way through Autumn in New Zealand. How is this for weather. Around 21 degrees C every day. We are so blessed in this country with many outstanding beaches.


My Beautiful Girls

Me & My Girls

Daddy & Sandcastle Competition

Its tradition to build 2 sandcastles close to where the tide is coming in and then sit up the beach and watch the tide take away the castle. Then to see which one lasts the longest. Unfortunately Alana's and mine in the forground was the first to go :)

Boogie Boarding

Our little 8yr old water baby. The waves were only little (that is the sand you can see under the water that is brown) but enough to get some good boarding in.
My Girls Again

Everyone Has a Tractor for The Boat!

Was hard case watching all of the tractors lined up on the beach with everyone out fishing.

And just in case you were wondering where the beading is - yes I finally decided to make something using Celini Spiral while we were away. I am making a necklace which isn't quite finished yet. Had been putting off giving it a go as everyone said it was hard. I loved it and it was so easy since I have done so much other Peyote stitch - granted I have done it in all green tones which is easier. Perfect way to relax in the evenings.
Look forward to going again one day :)

And its Green

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Fuelling the Dream

What made me decide to open my little beading studio?

Trust me it is not something that I ever thought I would do - even once I started on the jewellery making journey. My transition from wire strung pieces, to learning the most basic of stitches for woven jewellery and then moving on to a love of Bead Embroidered pieces has opened up my eyes to a whole host of possibilities.

When I fell in love with stitched jewellery I headed down the wedding jewellery track, which I loved and suited where I was at, at the time. I met many lovely brides (thankfully not one bridezilla) and embraced the opportunity to make something special just for them, from earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches and foot jewellery.

Japanese Seed Beads and Swarovski Pearls and Crystals are absolute favourites of mine and I felt an overwhelming desire to be surrounded by all of the colours of these treasures. I began to dream of how I could do this. Once I entered the world of Bead Embroidery the need for all and sundry to be on hand for this medium only fuelled the passion and desire to have all beads. This also came from the many gorgeous creations I was seeing online and the inspiration they give me to create something great.

Pieces like the above stunning necklace from Guzel Bakeeva Design are what has made the need to surround myself with the best beading equipment and beads a reality. And these kind of designs inspire me to be the best beader I can be.

Obviously at this early stage of the game I don't have all of the colours of the beads that I wish for but it is a start and I love the reaction from my new customers when they see the colour starting to fill up the walls and the excitement in their eyes when they realise just what beading can be.

To View what products I do have in store to date go to Serendipity Beads

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Igniting the Flame

It is interesting to talk to some people who really think of Jewellery making and beading as something for the children to do. Their first thoughts and visions are of plastic beads being strung on to stretchy cord - I see it all the time when telling people that I teach beading classes and make jewellery. This is more prevalent in NZ as beading, jewellery making and Glass bead making is still a relatively new concept here. Not enough people have been exposed to the wonders of bead stitching, bead embroidery, lampwork, wirework - you name it - there are many factions to the artform and creative pastime.

I remember only too well the first beading class a friend and I did. We had asked another friend to join us but she kept hesitating and you could see she definitely had the thought pattern above. She didn't even go into the bead shop and have a look before the class to get an idea of what we were talking about. Needless to say she did not take the class. We did and the result was my multistrand necklace in the previous post - which we were so excited about. Our other friend did enquire about our class afterwards and when we showed her what we had made she was certainly quite impressed.

For me this was the first spark in fuelling my interest in the world of all things beaded. Another basic wirework class (earring making) was undertaken with more friends and then came my first stitching class. Oh my - this opened up a whole new world to me that I just knew I had to persue.

Above is the first stitched piece of jewellery I ever made in this class. In case you didn't already know I am a huge fan of GREEN particularly this shade. The Czech Class faceted beads, Green & Gold Japanese Seed Beads and of course Peridot Swarovski Crystals - not to mention the gorgeous Czech button was more than enough to Ignite the Fire. I still have and wear this piece particularly in summer, and have made a fair few for brides over the years.
It is interesting to think back on the path this one bracelet has led me to follow. There is definitely more than just stringing plastic beads on elastic in this game and I look forward to being able to share this passion with more people and changing their perceptions.

For your own Swarovski Products and Highest Quality Japanese Seed Beads please Click Here

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

My Very First Project

Well, here it is - the very first jewellery item I ever made - around 5yrs ago.

I used to decorate paper mache boxes, paint them up and decorate the lids. The lids always had some kind of ribbon on the edges and I needed stones and pretty things to hide the join. My husband (Craig) sent me to The Bead Hold (which at the time had another store near home - now only at Point Chevalier) as he had done some work there.

Wow! This was the first time I had ever been into a bead shop and I remember being totally blown away by it and just loved the feeling and atmosphere in store. I was mesmerised and spent quite a bit of time looking at absolutely everything. Quite overwhelming too as there were things in there to cater for all kinds of beading.

I spotted the signs for Jewellery Making Classes in store and my heart leaped for joy and I litterally signed up on the spot to do the basics class - using beads and threading them on to tigertail and learning how to finish off the necklace. The above photo is the result of that first class - I was hooked , line and sinker.
You know, I still have this very necklace and still wear it!

My beading journey has taken many twists and turns over these past 5yrs and the style of my beading has evolved since this first class. In my next post I will show you my first stitched piece of jewellery that just set my love of beading on fire.

To see some items from my gallery CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

My Studio

This is my dream for a beading studio - finally reaching the reality stage back in October 2011.

What began as a couple of beading classes in 2007, then more private tuition, making specifically wedding jewellery for New Zealand Brides, and countless hours of thumbing through favourite beading magazine, somehow morphed into my own little studio/shop and ME teaching the beading classes.

Who would have thought ha - I know my Mum didn't. She still thinks it's hillarious that I am doing this crafting lark at all. You see my Mum, elder sister and myself are all Aquarian's. Aquarian's are supposed to be crafty - someone just forgot to tell me growing up - I just wasn't interested. (unless you call admin, accounting and sports crafty) Both my sister and mother are very much into their crafty things. My sister can sew, paint, cross stitch and has always been in to these. My Mum is a member of the Floral Art Society in New Zealand and her creations are phenominal. Obviously my Crafty streak came to me later in life. I was 36 when I started beading and look where I am now at 41. Beading is my passion and addiction, and my chance to relax and destress when time calls for it. My deductions are that January Aquarians who are on the cusp of Capricorn (Me) are just not as crafty as February ones (My Mum and Sister)

Anyway, take a look inside my studio and see where my love of bead weaving and embroidery has taken me thus far.

Click Here to take you to my website to buy beads etc