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Friday, 28 June 2013

Beadpunk and Other Fun Adventures

An Interview with Chris Maj of 'Beadn4fun' 

Being one of the crew of 'The Unpronounceable' whose home dock is the Steampunk Share Page on Facebook, I get to see lots of wonderful Steampunk Creations. Recently, something was posted there that quite took my breath away and I was introduced to a new term: 'Beadpunk'. 

Now, I cannot claim to be a massive fan of seed-beaded items. However, this item shows an incredible level of skill and patience. I love the assymetrical design and the colour choices. It moved me to go and explore her Etsy shop and I'm very glad I did!
Locked In Time

Keyhole Steampunk Bead Embroidered Brooch

1. How did your shop get its name and what was the main inspiration behind opening your shop? 

The name Beadn4Fun came about because I wanted to portray my crazy-stupid love for beading and how happy those tiny little seed beads make me! I was a bit concerned it would sound like I don't take my craft seriously, but instead I think it says how lucky I am to do something that allows me to explore my creativity on a daily basis.
a Cellini Spiral necklace Visit the Shop Listing!
2. What do you create and do you have a signature product? If so how did it come to be?

I work primarily with Japanese and Czech glass seed beads using bead embroidery and bead weaving techniques. One of my signature techniques is to use a focal piece (clay, metal, glass, semi-precious gemstones), surround it with bead embroidery (rows of beads sewn to a backing) and hang it as a pendant from a beaded rope. Another of my favorite techniques is creating a Cellini spiral necklace. It's a beadweaving technique called Peyote stitch done with 3-4 sizes of seed beads that creates a corkscrew effect.

Bluecopper is an example of my work with semi-precious gemstones...this one is a Pietersite.
3. Where do you find your inspiration and what makes you different from the other people that make what you make?

There are a LOT of beaders out there so it's tough to stand out. I'm very inspired by colors, nature, and art. I almost always name my work, big or small, and have a backstory of how it came to be.
(I love that too, stories seem to grow with the work, don't they?)

Greenraku and Directions both use Olivia Dowdy Brown Raku pieces (This piece is 'Directions')
 4. What do you enjoy most about your craft?

I love the ability to capture the beauty I see all around me and interpret it through beaded color and design into a piece of wearable art. And I love the friends I've made, customers and fellow beaders all over the world.
 5.What is your best advice to newbie Etsians just opening their shops?

My advice to an aspiring Etsy-ist is the advice that was given to me...Open up a shop, stick something in it, and get on social media to find like minded craftspeople either on Facebook or in an Etsy group. You will learn as you go along...and keep learning!
Paisley Garden Boho Bag is the piece I made for last year's Battle of the Beadsmith (still available in my shop)
 6. What are your top 3 favorite shops on Etsy and what do you like about them?

 Besides shopping for new beads, my absolute most favorite thing about what I do is using art from other crafters and in my beadwork. I literally have a drawer full of pottery and raku items from Olivia Dowdy Brown I get lots of my Czech seed beads from And for sheer "OMG how did she do that with beads" moments, I go to

Samira is a collar I made in March for a "Scheherazade" challenge in our Etsy Beadweavers Team.  It sold immediately and I won the challenge!!
7. Where else (other than Etsy) can you be found online? 

You can most often find me on facebook or, and on my blog

8. Do you have any coupon codes / special sales / upcoming or current promotional events going on in your shop?

I don't currently have any specials running, but I do offer discounts a couple times a year. I also love to create custom work. 

Thankyou Chris! I wish you much success with your shop and many happy customers. Do let Cap'n G. and the crew know of any more Steampunk creations you come up with over at the Steampunk Share page. Keep on beading for fun!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Photoshoot in May - Part 3

Adventures of The Navigatrix

As my business develops, so does the character of The Navigatrix herself. I may have mentioned before that one of my most cherished hobbies is Live Roleplay. I see it as a form of art therapy, in a way. It has certainly cured me of shyness, boosted my confidence and brought me many wonderful, supportive friends.

Past, Present and Future Necklace - visit my shop here

 As part of the crew of 'The Unpronounceable', a miraculously gigantic airship that traverses not only the aether, but also the dimensions, The Navigatrix has clear duties. The first and most obvious is the practical yet complex task of guiding the behemoth dirigible to its next destination. She also has a more subtle duty; as a member of the not so secret but not openly spoken about either School of Metaphysic, she guides her crewmates along their life journeys - but only when guidance is sought for. Her travelling experiences have brought her certain unique perspectives on life and it brings her joy to be able to have an intelligent discourse with those of an open mind and a kind heart.
Find the volley gun at Arcane Armoury
"When finding oneself in unfamiliar extra-planar territory, one must be prepared for the unusual and potentially dangerous." 

See an accessory you like? Do pop in and browse!
The Navigatrix enjoys finding unwanted or broken treasures and creating new trinkets and adornments from them. You should see the state of her cabin aboard ship when she comes back from a successful haul! She sits surrounded by a multitude of beads, lace and brass gubbins. 

"Of course everything gets squared away once in a while. Cap'n G enjoys seeing the creative explosion though (and is frequently the instigator of her own creative explosions). I wonder, do they leave 'cr(e)aters'? Oh dear. My poor punning has made Weldon Rivett wince again. He's our Mechaneer. I should introduce you to the crew some day, when they are willing... I digress.

"Corsets and bustles are all very well in polite society but when out adventuring, more practical garb must be worn. Do not gasp out loud when I let on that I wear trousers! A good pair of fashionable yet sturdy boots, an underbust harness for shapeliness and a head covering. Oh, no frilly hats with distasteful decoration; a tagelmust is the most practical garb. It protects one from the sun and wind, also from breathing the dust of barren landscapes. Plus I do believe they are rather fetching, in a mysterious sort of way. Goggles are of great use even though they do look utterly ridiculous when worn for use. No, I shall not show you that image. A certain 'Mr. Toad' may have been mentioned by W. Rivett esq...."

So, you see, various aspects of my personality have combined to be expressed through this medium of owning an Etsy shop. I do love to tell stories. The Navigatrix is the first character that I've created without following a roleplaying rulebook! Does The Navigatrix have a name, you may wonder? Of course she does but few know it...

Have a look through the ever changing treasure chest that is The Navigatrix shop. I value every sale and am sincerely grateful for all the help I receive in sharing and promoting my work.

Elsewhere, in Another Universe...

The orange tagelmust is actually part of a costume that I have created for my new character for Empire, a game by the professional Live Roleplay company Profound Decisions. The fantasy culture that I have chosen is inspired by medieval Spain, Tunisia and Morocco.

 The armour has had a previous life (originally in plain black) when I played a Samurai Badger - rubber mask, paint stripe in my hair, a rubber katana and a lrp (live roleplay) safe bow. 

I made the polearm too, quite some time ago. Those amazing trousers came from Etsy and the sandals I bought when I visited Japan in 2007. 

I'm really looking forward to this game as I have not been to one in quite some time. Take a look at my Pinterest Boards to see some of the images I used for inspiration. I have not yet played this character - the event I'll be at is at the end of July. If you're there, do say hello!

There's just one more link to leave you with: my new Tumblr blog!

Follow me on my journey around the aetherweb. You may discover that I have made a treasure in my shop just for you!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Photoshoot in May - Part 2

Cap'n G and Me!

A tale of what happened not exactly next...

I'm not laying this out in chronological order. To be honest, there's been so much going on in between that my brain seems to have scrambled the sequence of events. I put this down to 'Mumnesia' ;)

We had a very full day together with Matt behind the camera to take some new product shots and some set pieces for promotion. Here are a couple of the new product shots - if you browse The Navigatrix you will see that each listing has up to five accompanying photographs. I don't always use a modelled shot for the main listing picture but it is nice to see how an item can be worn. You get a better idea of scale, too.

Black Rose Choker

'Wear Me, Alice'
One can only hold a serious demeanour for so long...especially around friends who enjoy each other's company!  
Oh...we broke our model!

Does the 'G' in Cap'n G. stand for 'Giggly'?!
 Getting the model ready between shots. Yes, I was in my Navigatrix getup the whole time! 
Like the Fleur de Lys? Various colours available: Buy it here!

We just can't help it!
 When we'd got the music blasting out loud and were feeling comfortable in our Steampunk personas as the Captain and the Navigatrix of an airship named 'The Unpronounceable', we got serious!
Aside from the Lionhead, Zeppelin Union and Fleur de Lys badges (by ArcaneArmoury), all jewellery you see in these shots was made by The Navigatrix.  

The airship approaches...
The beautifully made large prop weapons are by Arcane Armoury, the small ones are what Matt buys in to convert to more Steampunkish designs. Ask him about custom orders!

When you need to deal with a Kraken, do it in style!

 A little while earlier...

The two ladies took a picnic at the lovely Great Western Gardens

We were lucky enough to have a sunny morning in which to take advantage of the kind offer to use a beautiful English country garden. It's amazing where you can find props from if you look. This wasn't planned very carefully but it turned out beautifully!

We're at it again! Found a nest of giggles somewhere...

The Navigatrix shows off her latest treasures.
 The Navigatrix, (who does have a name by the way, known only by a few) travels widely to foreign lands collecting treasures and trinkets to re-work into beautiful adornments for modern Ladies of Quality.  Here, she shows her Captain the latest creations over a good cup of oriental tea.
A good Captain always knows how to do several things at once. Even whilst relaxing!

We packed up just in time as the rain started to pour a short while later! 

If you see any item that you like and has not been linked (we were wearing half the shop!) please leave a comment below! 

Items featured are available from my Etsy shop and my brother's Etsy shop. Do also make sure to visit our lovely model Georgina's shops Curious Doors and Nevermore Dolls

Find us together on Facebook at The Steampunk Share Page where we are constantly looking for other Steampunk businesses to help. Join us!

We all greatly appreciate your support and your custom!

Next time: The Adventures of The Navigatrix!


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Fancy that!

This morning I discovered that a fellow Etsian, whom I'd got in touch with through #UKEtsyHour on Twitter (Tues and Thurs, 8pm) has kindly done a blog article on my shop! Not only that, but she noticed my location and mentioned that she lived nearby. I mean, practically in the next street! What are the chances?

Fabrilushus: The Navigatrix: Oh dear.  I haven't managed to update my blog for a few weeks.  That isn't good when I am supposedly trying to get it off the ground...

Do pop over to browse Fabrilushus' delightful items when you've read (and commented :) on the blog.

I do love being a part of the Etsy community. Serendipities like this really bring it home to me...