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Challenge theme: Time to bead

Posted on December 16, 2008 at 2:19 PM


Although you all know me as Carmie on the forum, my real name is Valentina (Val) Moon . Born in Poona, India, I moved to the north east of England when I was 4. After leaving school, I studied for a degree in Fashion and Textiles at Newcastle College of Art and Industrial Design, where I met my future husband Ken (who was studying for a degree in Graphics). After finishing our courses, we then married and moved to London, where I worked as a knitwear designer and illustrator, winning 2 Courtaulds awards for hand knitting design.
Gardening and anything related to plants was (and still is!) my great passion, so after 20 years in the fashion industry I changed direction completely - I started work at a garden centre and took a 3 year course in garden design. This led to my working for The Chelsea Gardener in London for several years, during which time I won a silver medal at Hampton Court Garden Exhibition for a garden which I designed and built with the aid of every friend I could ?persuade? to help. My work began to involve designing garden ornament and furniture in metal and this eventually led to a position with a furniture retailer, designing and sourcing furniture for their 9 shops.
Ken, Carmie and I moved to Brighton about 11 years ago and opened our own shop - Plan B, selling contemporary Italian furniture alongside retro lighting (which Ken sourced and repaired) and jewellery (which at that time I bought in).
During quiet spells in the shop, I began to make my own designs for soft furnishings, quilts and jewellery which I then sold in the shop. Sadly, due to ridiculous rent increases, I had to close the shop (after 6 years) in July 2007, and since then I have concentrated on making jewellery which I now sell on my website.
My work is often inspired by my love of flowers and plants and I enjoy using all sorts of materials - acrylics, Swarovski crystals, metals, semi-precious stones, freshwater and faux pearls, glass beads wire and leather to name but a few. I have recently started modelling flowers, mermaids and fairies in polymer clay and incorporating these in my pieces. Although some of the components are bought in, I design and make each piece of jewellery myself.
We are moving to France at the beginning of January 2009 and hope to continue creating new designs which I will sell on my website, while running beading courses in France. You can view my work on my website Gallery at or

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