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## Day 243

I did some calculations the other day and it turns out that Day 243 of a 365 day project is about two-thirds of the way through the project (or 66.65% if you prefer decimals). That means today I am over 2/3 of the way through this project!

I spent some time the other day writing about my journey with this project, so I won’t go over it all again today. But today I wanted to mention what I like about an idea.

Everything starts with an idea.

It might be a question that needs to be answered, like “what if I add frit to that bottle, what will happen then?” or “what if I tried x.”

It might be a shape. Like today I have made another heart-shaped bead, but I made the hole run vertically today, instead of horizontally, like yesterday, and I have made an entirely new piece.

It might start with a colour. That colour might be the glass. I might wonder what beads will look beautiful with a particular colour of glass.

Everything starts with an idea. Sometimes, it is hard to find the time to come up with an idea, so I might take an old idea and tweak it a little bit. Sometimes, one idea can spark many new pieces.

What I think is helpful…is taking the time every day to be creative. To always have that on my list of things to do each day is a really lovely push to try something new every day. To see where my ideas take me, and to see what happens when I feel really low on ideas!

I was thinking that this style of pendant would make a lovely gift for someone, if it was made from a sentimental piece of glass. There was a lot of discussions on Saturday about broken glass objects that had too much sentimental value to throw away. Why not get some beads like these little heart shaped beads made with the object, that way you’ll be able to wear them forever!

(Just an idea)!

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## Heart challenge

There was so much to love about the artist demonstration at Pepper Street on Saturday. I loved the conversations about glass. And I loved that one visitor brought in some of my “old” work. Gosh, it was a real trip down memory lane for me!

In particular this customer loved my heart shaped beads. She asked me if I could make them with recycled glass, and I said I could, but they wouldn’t be as fancy as the one that she had brought with her (which I should have photographed)!

But then I thought…well, maybe we could make it “fancy” in other ways. So I have started making some heart-shaped beads, and over the next few days I’ll be making them into little pieces of jewellery to share with you.

This first necklace features a heart-shaped bead made from a wine bottle and decorated with fine silver wire. Sparkly and shiny!

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## My most essential tool…

Is this pair of long tweezers!  These tweezers are used every single time I have to make a bead from recycled glass.

You see, I have to warm the glass up on a hotplate before I put it into the flame. Glass is a bit temperamental, it doesn’t like to heat up or cool down too quickly. Warming the glass on a hotplate allows me to introduce the glass to the flame when it’s warm, meaning it’s less likely to explode!

This pair of earrings features beads made from a Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle (and my favourite orange cup for contrast)! They are super long, and a more rounded version of this pair that I made the other day.

SaveSave

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## What is frit?

I get asked “what is frit” quite a lot. It’s really just smashed up glass that I can use in small amounts to add colour to some of the beads that I make from clear recycled glass bottles. It is commercially made, although it is possible to make it at home.  I quite like the blends that people are making, and I’ll often combine them to create my own little blend!

Anyway, in the photo below you’ll see a pair of earrings that I have made from a wine bottle, decorated with the frit that is on the right hand side of the photo. I don’t have to use very much to get some lovely colour into the beads.

I think this blend might be my new favourite!

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## Dreaming of blue skies and swimming pools

Winter is nearly over! Hooray! I’m starting to dream about days when it’s warm enough to go to the swimming pool again. We have blue skies here today, it is such a treat. Spring is in the air. I know winter is still lurking in the background, I know it’s not over yet, but I am happy that we are now on the other side of that season.

These earrings were made from recycled glass gin and wine bottles that I have decorated with frit. The style is simple and elegant. Perfect for those days when you just need a pop of colour while you are wearing a simple t-shirt and pants. Soon….

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## My year of recycled glass jewellery

Some of you might know that last year I spent the year drawing a pair of earrings every day. It was a nice project that got me hooked on being creative every day. And by the end of the year I had 365 drawings of earrings! Some of them were awesome, and I ended up making them and taking some through to production. Some of them were a little bit crazy, and were never really meant to be made. But the process of taking time every day to think about earrings was definitely worthwhile.

This year I set myself the challenge of actually making a piece of jewellery from recycled glass beads every single day! This time it was different. This time it was for real! Not only was I making something every day, but I was sharing my finished piece (or prototype) with the world via Instagram, Facebook and my website. Talk about accountability!

When I started I thought it would be hard at times. Gosh, was I right? Some days I have been literally sitting in my studio saying to myself “just make something, anything”! Some days it has been the first thing I have done, some days it has been the last thing I have done. But pretty much every single day I have found the time to make something.

Some days I feel like I will never run out of ideas for new pieces. Some days I have absolutely no idea what to make. Always I say to myself “what is the worst thing that can happen?”

Yesterday I set a little challenge to make a piece of jewellery from the beads that people had picked out for me at the artist demonstration that I did at Pepper Street Arts Centre. It was awesome, because I made a necklace (prototype) that I would probably not have made this year if I hadn’t taken the opportunity to put myself out there a little bit!

Today I wanted to take an idea that I’d had floating around in my mind for a while. I wanted to see what it actually looked like in real life!

The result is below. It’s not perfect (far from it), it’s actually not very good at all…but it’s great because it has meant that instead of an idea bumping around in my mind, it is now out there and I can see what I might do differently next time.

Daily challenges are so good, for so many reasons. I could have drawn this necklace, and I might have liked the drawing too, but to actually make something, that gives me something to really work with.

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## Pepper Street Arts Centre – Artist on site

Yesterday I was the artist on site at Pepper Street Arts Centre. I wasn’t able to take my torch to do live demonstrations, but I did have a video for everyone to watch so they could get a bit of an idea of what is involved with making beads from recycled glass. I also had my tools with me, and I was happy to answer any questions that people had.

I have to say we had a lovely afternoon there!

I asked everyone who visited to help me with my daily making project. They each got to pick a bead from my collection of recycled glass beads, and I have to admit I was getting more and more nervous as beads were added to the collection! There were some interesting picks, and I knew that I would have to do something outside of my comfort zone!

By the time I got home I had put the beads together in my head a few different ways, so it was nice to get home and actually try out one of the ways that was different to how I would normally work.

This is the finished piece. I added two beads to the necklace to give it a little bit of balance. Otherwise, this is all thanks to the lovely visitors that made their way to Pepper Street Arts Centre yesterday. (The link takes you to some photographs of the event).

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## Pretty recycled glass flower pendant necklace

I have been making all sorts of jewellery with these flower beads lately. Some necklaces with five beads on them, some earrings. Today I thought I would see how a little pendant necklace would look. Pretty sweet! I am thinking about making a bunch of these in different colours, I think they’ll make lovely little gifts.

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## Long glowing gold earrings

I’m slightly obsessed with long earrings at the moment. They are so much fun to wear and depending on your face and hairstyle they can be a real hit!