Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bournemouth Beach to Cambodia

One of the things I like about designing components is the interaction with my customers and how suggestions from them can lead to a kind of metamorphosis of a particular piece.

Some of my most popular components this year have been these beach house pendants and bracelet connectors which came about when I found a little stamp in a local hobby shop. I'm always inspired by the area I live in and it's an area proliferated by these, so they were a perfect subject...

Back in the summer I started selling my components through bricks and mortar store  The Bead Shop Liverpool and they were keen to stock beach huts too. I wanted to give them something exclusive so I adapted the design to reflect some of the smaller examples to be found locally as seen here... an out of season photo as you can see from the attire of my friends!

These were the pendants that eventually went to Liverpool...

Both designs underwent a further incarnation a little later when our own AJE leader  Jen Cameron asked if I could make her a mixed set in the aubergine and teal colour scheme of her new lake house. Rather than use them as pendants, Jen turned them into personalised key fobs for each member of the family so they were readily identifiable - I thought this was a great idea!

And then just a few weeks ago I was asked if I could adapt the design to make it relevant for a very specific group of people. A friend of mine has been living in Singapore for many years and while there has been taking annual trips with a group women to support house building projects in Cambodia run by The Tabitha Foundation...

"Our mission is to enable the poorest of the poor in Cambodia to recognize and develop inherent skills and resources in  a way that brings dignity and respect within the people we work with;  within the country and within the world; and that will result in measurable and visible improvement in the lifestyles of the people we work with."
"Vision - The vision is to develop processes which will enable people to actively make their own choices and processes which will result in alleviation of poverty – results which can be clearly identified and seen."

These are are the houses the foundation and it's volunteers help to build...

My friend is now about to leave Singapore to return to the UK to live and the idea behind adapting the pendant design was for her to be able to give one to each of the the team of women as a parting gift. This was such a lovely and unique idea that I could hardy refuse so this is what I came up with.

I believe they have gone down well which is a relief!

So there you have a little bit about the evolution of a design idea... have you had anything similar happen with your own designs? If so we'd love the hear from you.

The Gossiping Goddess


  1. They look fantastic! and lovely that they all have something specially designed that will mean so much to them! Great to see how they evolved too!

  2. OMG, Lesley, that's so beautiful - how you journeyed from one type of house to another! Consider approaching other organizations that help build houses (here, in Canada, we have the Habitat for Humanity, for example) - I think this would be such an amazing way to help them fund-raise or just spread awareness. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love seeing this evolution! What a neat idea. And I especially love our key fobs you made for us :-)

  4. Love these little houses and thanks for sharing the story of their evolution!


  5. I love the story behind the evolution of your delightful little houses.
    I fell in love with them when I first saw them.We live at the beach full time in our little white beach cottage.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx love what your doing!

  6. Cute design and I loved seeing the progression...thanks for sharing!

  7. I absolutely LOVE your beach cottages (I need to order some for myself!)... and love the adaptation to other styles in other locations! What a wonderful idea!

  8. I love how one design has evolved. So many great uses for these quaint little cottages.

  9. I have wanted a beach hut ever since I saw a re-do of one on an old episode of "Changing Rooms". Yours are equally fab, and way more affordable. The modifications made for the Foundation's houses are so cool - and so different!

  10. Loved seeing the creative process behind your houses! I think art beads are always something special, but knowing the back story and development adds an extra special touch. They are lovely!

  11. Awesome Lesley,
    This could keep on changing, for we all live in some kind of house of one sort or another. I love the keychain idea.


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