Sunday, March 6, 2011

A weekend in the Lakes

On Friday I popped into the Central Library to see if they had any books to inspire me and found three! Spellbinding Jewellery, Complete Jewellery, and How to Make Polymer Clay Beads. They're all fantastic and I've already taken some inspiration from each of them.
Spellbinding Jewellery has a few lovely designs and my favourites have been the wire net flowers and the knitted necklaces. It seems like all the designs in this book use a lot of expensive beads so I'll have to keep them on hold for birthdays and special occasions. The ladies who wrote this have been running there own beads shop and jewellery workshops for over twenty five years. These ladies have it as bad as me!
Complete Jewellery touches on a few of the techniques that can be used to create lovely pieces. I particularly like the simple but effective polymer clay pendant and hair clips. I will definitely be trying these out.
How to Make Polymer Clay Beads has really whetted my appetite and I'll definitely have to try it. It seems a shame that a lot of kit is needed (including a pasta machine) to try the items in the book but they're so stunning it'll be worth it. Some of the marbling and precious stone effects are amazing! And whilst searching for the last link I came across Craft Stew for amazing links to polymer clay techniques. That site has gone straight into my bookmarks!

I used some of my new found inspiration to while away an evening in the Lakes whilst staying at The Troutbeck Inn, a lovely little place that does amazing food in on the A66 between Penrith and Keswick. I stayed in our room with my daughter when she went to sleep and made some 1920 inspired dangle earrings. Today was beautiful with blue skies so I didn't have the heart to go back inside and do anymore crafting. Instead we all trekked over to Keswick to have a browse in the shops charity shops, an ice cream and a wander down to the lake. I heartily recommend the Troutbeck for a stay or just one of their amazing meals.

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