Friday, 4 April 2008

Hunting for treasure

I love charity shops. A favourite pastime is to browse through the jewellery and book sections. I have made a few pieces of jewellery over the past few years using recycled beads and buttons found in flea markets, antiques fairs and charity shops. Currently languishing in in my bead storage boxes are a handful of Victorian carved jet beads and a venetian glass pendant bought at a recent antiques fair plus a range of vintage glass and mother of pearl buttons. All were bought for only a few pounds. One of the great things about scouring the shops fairs and markets is you never know what you will find next. Two years ago I was in Lymington when I spotted a piece of beadwork in the window of a charity shop. On further investigation it turned out to be an amulet purse. Intrigued I asked the elderly lady behind the counter about it. She was not sure where it had come from and I bought it, thinking that I could probably reuse the beads if nothing else. I have not been able to bring myself to cut it up. When I arrived home I examined it closely and realised how beautifully made it was. I have used it for inspiration rather than the beads themselves. Another great thing for me about buying from such places is that you can't help but wonder who the objects belonged to and what their lives were like. Another lucky recent find was the vase that I am using as the base for my current beading project.

My lucky charity shop find in Lymington.

This strap detail shows how beautifully it has been made.

My first piece of completed beadwork made over 8 years ago. The strap and fringe contain beads from a broken necklace found in a charity shop. I keep it to remind myself how far I have come.

Well, I am struggling on with my passionflower beading project. I have covered most of the vase with netting and I am now making passionflowers. My current struggle is with how to deal with the base and rim of my vase. I bought the vase because I liked the shape but did not really think about how I was going to bead around it. I think I have worked out how to cover the base but the rim eludes me. Perhaps I could use wire to keep the netting in place. It will need some more thought.

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