Friday, July 10, 2015

Inside the Studio with Rebecca of Songbead

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries.

Congratulations to Terri del Signore!

You have won a 'Seek Beautiful Moments' bracelet kit from Erin:

in your choice of SPICY (reds/pinks) or BREEZY (blues/greens) color palette. WooP! Email Erin to claim your lovely prize.


Today it's over to me at Songbead. Well, as usual for this year (and every year - let's be honest, but particularly 2015) this past month has been super-busy. I sometimes feel like I'm pedalling to stand still right now. You know that feeling - a constant whirling dervish but all you seem to manage to achieve is the bare minimum requirements, perhaps because there are so many of them?! Which is all very well, but I have soooo much to prepare for for the end of this month and all of August - I could really do with one of Hermione Granger's time whatsits - you know, that thing that allows you to go back in time and gain extra hours. Yes please, one of them for me over here, thank you kindly. 

Last time I wrote for Inside the Studio, I was about to head off to Holmfirth for their biannual Art Market

My stand at this summer's Art Market, Holmfirth.

Well, that's been and gone - blink and you miss it! - and I'm forging ahead with preparations for the rest of the summer, along with, you know, keeping things going with The Curious Bead Shop, Songbead, the flat, family and three cute bunny rabbits. Phew! 

The big things I have ahead are for one, the 3.5 week Craft and Design Fair in Edinburgh, an annual event, which this year is from the 8th - 30th  August. If you're in or around Edinburgh during August, I thoroughly recommend popping along - it's open every day, come rain or shine(!), from 11am to 6pm, and it's free entry for absolutely oodles and oodles of wonderful handmade loveliness. 

A view of my wee hut from last year's West End Fair.
You'll also not only see me, but art bead artist Helen Chalmers too - one of my favourite lampworkers. 

Helen putting her wee own hut together last year!
As you can imagine, everyone preparing for this event, whether they are doing one, two and three and a half weeks like I am, is starting to feel that August really is only just around the corner....eek! And as I discovered at Holmfirth 2 weekends ago, after working until after midnight every night for a week, I *just* had enough stock for a one-day fair. So, quite a lot to do for a 3.5 week event then.....

To make things extra challenging for myself, I'm diving back into the 'Song' part of Songbead and off to London on the 21st July to work on a newly commissioned opera with Re:Sound, which we'll be performing in London, Suffolk and Manchester during August - with the final performance on the 11th August. What's that, I hear you say? But my fair starts on the 8th? Yes - you are quite right - I'm overlapping these two projects. Gah! When I applied for both, I had no certainty of getting either, and so after much discussion with Helen, decided that if the best case scenario happened, she would take time off work and cover the beginning of the fair for me. She is a SUPER-supportive wife, and almost always helps me out at craft fairs, and so she knows the ropes almost as well as I do with these things, so I have no concerns there (and lots of gratitude!). However, it does mean that I have to be extra prepared for the fair, because I will be working flat out throughout England from the 21st July - 11th August at something completely different! And as it's a brand new opera, score only arriving with the cast yesterday, with all of us not just singing and acting, but playing instruments too (eek!), it is going to be A LOT of work. Rewarding, exciting and brilliant - but a LOT of work. Cue hilarious picture of me playing the cello as Cinderella's Mother in Into the Woods 4 years ago. 

FYI, that's my wee sister Catriona on the far right, playing Rapunzel in the same production. The younger and cuter version of me. Or perhaps I am the older, decidedly more worn-out version of her...!

So, as you can imagine, I'm feeling not a little anxious and full of nervous anticipation about the season ahead. In some ways, I'm wishing I had another two months before I head off to London - but in another way, I am itching to get going. However, it's probably best that I do have the ten (TEN!!!) days left before leaving, as I still have oodles of music learning AND jewellery making to achieve before then. Eek! Wish me luck! Here are some of the pieces I've whipped up over the past week or so - a good start but still lots and lots of making to do:

Art Beads - Green Girl Studios

Art Beads - Soul Silver

Art Beads - Soul Silver 

You can find most of these pieces over in my etsy shop now by the way - I am trying my best to keep on top of photographing and listing as I create, so that my only recently restocked shop doesn't empty again over the summer! 

You'll see I've an abundance of necklaces in this latest crop, which some of you will know is unlike me. And it's for this very reason that I'm trying to focus on producing more necklaces! For some reason, my brain really resists necklaces - it's desperate to create bracelet after bracelet after earrings after bracelet....but I'm trying to be strict and say NO! Necklaces are needed too! And I'm rather pleased with the ones here, I must say. 

So this leads me onto my question for you, dear readers, and of course the offer of a little bribe prize for answering :-) 

Tell me, what's your go-to piece of jewellery to create? What flows from you naturally and easily - and what challenges you, seemingly every time? 

Leave your answer in the comments below to be in with the chance of winning a £14 (just over $20) voucher for your choice of my shops - Songbead or The Curious Bead Shop, the choice is yours. The winner will be announced in next week's Inside the Studio post. 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer; currently living in the capital city of Edinburgh. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at


Firefly Design Studio said...

Your booth is so welcoming! Your jewelry designs are beautiful.

Mrs.Floaty Lady said...

My go to design is nearly always earrings...good luck with your opera and fayre x

Soul Silver said...

Its always rings with me, they are my staple fall back, and I never want to part with them because I have a real 'thing' for rings :D

Divya N said...

I struggle to make bracelets and they dont sell for me, so I envy those who do them well. I make necklaces by the dozen and earrings to go with them, even though I am more of an earring than a necklace person. As they say, designers cannot always design for themselves, they have to design for their clients. You necklaces are fresh and wearable and I wish you great luck with the performance and the show

Erin S said...

I love making necklaces most. Earrings are good, but I find I don't want to make the second one after creating the first. I actually HATE making bracelets. size is super limiting, and it's about the same amount of work as a necklace, but sells for less. Plus, one size does not fit all!

Claire Lockwood said...

GAH! Well if I could win I'd say earrings - said it anyway! Those necklaces look anything but forced! Thanks again for filling in.

Alice said...

Your pieces are fabulous! I love the Sweet Child of mine necklace. +To answer your question I love making earrings. But Now that I have two shops that carry my jewelry I am trying to make lots of necklaces and bracelets.

Liona (Blue Merlin Creations) said...

I love making necklaces. I find it a lot harder to design bracelets, for some reason. Good luck with all they busyness, Rebecca!

Katherine Thompson said...

I usually think of a necklace first and my challenge on any piece is finding the right way to express the personality of the piece and make it unique.

beadrecipes said...

Bracelets are my nemesis, and I really resist making them. I'm usually pretty happy designing necklaces, and earrings are my quick and easy pieces.
Loving your new pieces, just gorgeous!

Kristen said...

I also have trouble making bracelets! I see gorgeous bracelet designs but when I try it, bleh. On the other hand, I love making necklaces! You are one talented lady!

Kathy Lindemer said...

I love making earrings. Bracelets are my least favorite.

Your necklaces are lovely and your display is awesome. I am sure you will have a great season.

Sarajo Wentling said...

You're making me tired just thinking about everything you have on your plate! Good luck with it all! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous designs with us!!

For me, earrings are the thing that I love making and necklaces usually are fairly easy to design. Like many others who have commented, bracelets are really hard for me. I think it's partially because I don't ever wear them and so don't have a good sense of how they should be designed and crafted.

Lynn said...

I almost have to force myself to make bracelets although I love wearing them. You end up having almost as much cost as a necklace in supplies but cannot charge the same as a necklace. I love making earrings the best and then necklaces. Your designs are just wonderful and I love your playful choices of color!

freshbakeddesigns said...

Go to jewelry is anything with hammered, textured wire components. Most challenging is a newish adventure into bezel setting stones. Gaak!

Klassy Joolz said...

I love making anything that has lampwork beads in it. I agree sometimes bracelets can be a challenge. Right now I'm working on two custom pieces that have dainty Goddess lampwork center piece beads...the hole place is in an odd stop and they are just not talking to me...sigh!

Love all your pretties!

Debra Gibson said...

My go to design would be earrings they are so simple to put together but necklaces always give me a hard time ! Either the design or getting my beads to coordinate together so they hang just right or putting the right colors together ! Yike's !! I love your new pieces!!! Thanks for the chance to win !!

Shaiha said...

Mine would be necklaces. I have no problem putting them together while an earring takes me forever.

Mokki said...

I like making pendants and earrings. I struggle with bracelets.

Carolyn said...

I usually make necklaces and earrings to match. I seldom make bracelets.

I love your bracelets and wish I made some like yours.

Thanks for the giveaway.