Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Mid-Party Entry

Half-way through the two day party... So far, I've spent almost as much on buying clothes (we're sharing the party with an end-of-line clothing seller) as I've taken from the jewellery!

Shell necklaces continue to be the big sellers. I suppose because they are very individual and as the components are so reasonable, the price for a necklace/earring set is also very reasonable. People are starting to think about Christmas and snapping up bargains.

Monday, 17 September 2007

A whole month has gone by...!

I don't know where the time is going at the moment.

Update on the building work: All finished! Apart from waiting for the plumber to connect up the sink, dish washer and cooker. So we walk through the beautiful new kitchen, stroke it... and then go and cook in the manky old kitchen...LOL! Never mind, the plumber is due on Friday and then we will be operational!

Not such good news on the fish front. Three of the original four have died. Don't know what happened - they all went within a day. Very strange. So, just Leo is left. Martha has given everything a good clean and hopefully Leo will be here to stay. I expect we'll get another fish to keep him company next weekend.

As for jewellery - I've been beading away like a woman possessed. We've got a huge amount of jewellery parties and craft fairs from now until Christmas. We did two parties last week - both very enjoyable and, happily, profitable! This week we've got a two day party! Plus two more. So this is a big week.

Here's a couple of pictures of new creations:

These are just glass beads, but I really like the colour combination and I forced myself to do the necklace in a random non-pattern. Couldn't stop myself making the earrings match though!

Did better with these and made a pair of unmatching earrings! This necklace/earring set is my representation of a sunset... a challenge on the UK Beaders forum. I really enjoyed looking at sunsets and seeing just how wide the variety of colours can be. The beads are all hand-made lampwork. They are supposed to be spacers - ie they are made to go between more colourful/elaborate beads - but I think they are beautiful in their own right.

Right better get back to the beads. I'll try and find a minute (before another month goes by) to post more pictures before things get taken to parties... and hopefully sold before you get to see them!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Where did that 10 days go?

Answers on a postcard!

Truth is we've been rushing around behind the builders and plasterers - sweeping, cleaning and painting so that everything would be ready for yesterday - when the chap arrived to lay the kitchen floor and then he'll be fitting the kitchen ... HOORAY!!!! It seems to have taken soooooo long to get to the bit that we started the whole things for... a new kitchen! Still it's all starting to take shape now and it's looking lovely. AND the new cooker arrived yesterday... so have spend an inordinate amount of time stroking it... just need it all connecting up and I'll be cooking up a storm (probably!).

Have managed to do some beading in between sessions with the paint brush - these are on the website already.

This set features one of those orphan beads that I got the other day. Luckily I had some other lampwork beads that matched exactly! I have used Thai Hill Tribe silver beads in between the lampwork and the rest of the necklace is brown leather thong. I'm really pleased with the way this turned out.

These two bracelets feature some of my favourite components - Thai Hill Tribe Silver 'elbows'. They fit really neatly to the sides of your wrist. The first bracelet has pink coin and stick freshwater pearls and the second has lampwork beads in a gorgeously rich cobalt blue. I made some earrings to go with the cobalt bracelet:

Monday, 6 August 2007

Tassels R us!

After doing that repair and making the tassel, I'm hooked! Made another one:

It will be on the website in a couple of days... hopefully!

Building update: plasterers have finished in the kitchen/diner - so we'll be getting on with the painting so it's ready for the floor and the kitchen fitter on Monday. Still quite a bit of work to be done in the cloakroom, but hopefully that'll be done tomorrow and plastered on Wednesday... which is also the day the kitchen is being delivered... great excitement!

Some gorgeous beads arrived this morning:

They are some 'orphan' beads from Beads-on-Toast... My mind is already whirring with ideas - they're all so lovely!

The person who commissioned the aqua rondelles set saw them on Saturday and bought the second set shown. The other set will be on the website later this week.

I also finished a competition entry today. The piece had to be inspired by a holiday destination. My favourite place to visit is Southern Ireland - especially the south-west corner - and so I decided that my theme would be '40 shades of green'. I went for a charm bracelet:

There are 40 green charms on a Sterling Silver chain. The charms have been made with: New Jade, Freshwater Pearls, Green Tourmaline, Malacite, Serpentine, Green Quartz, Rhyolite, Tree Agate, Prehnite, Peridot, Fluorite, South Sea Jade, Aventurine, Swaros and Glass. The shamrock is Sterling and I love the fact that it should be green... and isn't!

We got the goldfish today! My daughter is a great Charmed fan and so they've been named Cole, Phoebe, Piper and Leo. She already has a (stuffed) rabbit named Paige. They're all different - black, black and gold, white and gold and all white - and pretty lively. Quite interesting... for goldfish!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Entertaining in Sodom and Gomorrah...

Been away from the blog for a few days as we've had friends come to stay. They live in Spain and as Marina is 6 month pregnant, I think they've come over to get away from the heat! However, I really don't know what they thought about staying with us as we'd got builders in one room and plasterers in another - dust, dirt, power tools and two different radio stations playing at full volume... It was like a scene from a disaster movie... To get to the kitchen we had to go out of the french doors in the lounge, across the patio (which looks more like a junk yard - full of wood, bricks, buckets, toilets and washbasins) and through the back door. That wasnt' too bad on Tuesday and Wednesday... but not so much fun yesterday when it was bucketing down with rain! Needless to say we spent most of the time out of the house!

Today it's back to the beads - plus going to buy the fish tank mentioned in Monday's blog.

I did repairs today - four necklaces that needed sorting. Some were an easy fix - others needed completely re-stringing. The most interesting was a necklace where it had a tassel that had come undone. I tried to fix it, but to no avail. So, I took it all apart and made a new tassel following the instructions from a wonderful seed beader on UKBeader forum. I'm really pleased with how it turned out!

We now have the fish tank and my daughter is currently going up and down the stairs filling it up with a jug... We should be getting the fish on Monday... watch this space!

Monday, 30 July 2007

Frustration, Fish and Cake

One of the four parcels I'm waiting for arrived this morning... but not one of the two that I really, really needed to come today!

Spent the morning researching goldfish with my daughter (12) who has decided she'd like some. We bought a book so she can read all about it before committing her money. Think it's going to cost her about £40 to get it all set up so she needs to be sure!

This afternoon I made my entry for the current challenge on the UKbeaders forum. We had to make a piece inspired by cakes! Here's mine - inspired by chocolate biscuit cake:

The mottled brown beads are Mica Quartz, the brown lantern shaped ones are Smoky Quartz, the cream ones are shell and in between is Sterling Silver.

It will be for sale on the website by the end of the week.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Postal Strikes, Christmas and Lake side strolls

Waited and waited yesterday morning for the postie to bring any of four packages I'm expecting... only to find it was a postal strike day... Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! I'm sure the posties have genuine reasons for taking strike action, but it's very frustrating when part of your business depends on the Royal Mail.... which I suppose is the very point they're making!

So much of my raw materials are bought through the internet I have a constant stream of packages arriving by post... which means most mornings here are like Christmas. Opening a packet of beads is SO exciting! My mind buzzes with ideas of what to make with impulse purchases and the things I've bought for specific projects arriving means I can get on and start something that's been in the design stage and I'm itching to make. I'm sure any other beaders out there will know exactly what I mean...

I saw my friend last night and showed her the blue pearl necklace (see below) which she commissioned for her mum. She was really pleased with it.

This afternoon we took advantage of the sunshine and went for a walk around Chew Valley Lake. Then we just HAD to go and have a reviving cuppa and a piece of rhubarb crumble! Bought a recipe book crammed with fantastic cakes (put on half a stone just looking at the pictures) which I'm going to have a go at when I've got my new cooker. The old one (inherited with the house) is just useless and I think the whole family is dying to try cooking with something more reliable. We'll be fighting over oven space. Won't do my weight watching much good though!

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Ooops! Here's the aqua rondelles... really!

Friends arrived at that point last night! They were breaking their journey to Devon for their holidays. It was great to see them and we had a lovely time - eating, drinking and putting the world to rights until the early hours.

So this is the bracelet bought by the customer - and she asked me to make a necklace and earrings to go with it... but without the hematite. I like to give my customers some choice, so I've made two necklaces and earrings:

Which one will she choose?

And this one which is a commission from a lovely friend for a present for her mum to wear to a wedding. It's Sterling silver and navy freshwater pearls.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Hammering, banging and aqua rondelles...

Electricians here today... Hammering and banging started at 8:30... I bet our neighbours are glad they're going on holiday tomorrow (although I don't envy them a week in a tent with three small children - probably in the pouring rain!).

Escaped at lunchtime to the pub - and we sat in the garden for about the first time this year!

And I've made some jewellery! A customer bought this bracelet:

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Hands, Knees and...

I'm plagued with injuries at the moment. Last week I sliced open my finger while cutting carrots and this week I'm hobbling on a gammy knee. I had it X-rayed on Tuesday and today went to my chiropractor to see what he could make of it... Turns out I have a 'joint mouse' - a bit of stuff floating about in my knee. So, I'm now at the mercy of the NHS awaiting an appointment... Tune in later to see how long it takes!

Anyway, I actually got round to some jewellery today. Some designing as I'm waiting for some beads which will hopefully be here tomorrow. Some making too - converted a spectacle chain into a necklace for a customer and made a couple of pairs of commissioned earrings.

Hope to make up some of my designs tomorrow - so there should be pics!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

The start of something new!

Here we are then... a blog! Being a first posting it's difficult to know what to write, but here goes.
Today the children (15 and 12) broke up from school - so jewellery making time will be a bit limited from now until September. However, three (yes, 3!) parcels of beads arrived this morning, so I am itching to get on and make something. BUT today was a day for catching up on paperwork - accounts and such like - which is probably why I've been side-tracked into setting up a blog instead!

Also, we are in the middle of having major work done on the house, so everything is even more chaotic than usual. It should all be finished by mid-August... but you know what builders are like! Watch this space for updates on the eventual finish date.

So, that's what's happened today. I do hope you'll pop back and visit again. I'll be posting up photographs of new items, talking about my jewellery and giving you various snippets of background stuff.