Friday, 28 March 2008

A quickie...

Just a very quick note to post up another photo - Me, Mum and Patricia at the SS Great Britain. We all had a fantastic time getting to know each other.

Martha has gone off to Paris with school... the house is very quiet without her. She'll be back on Sunday, but it already feels like she's been gone an age. And they weren't allowed to take their phones, so I have no idea how she's getting on. Missing her like mad.

Have to dash as I'm doing an all-day jewellery party at Sarah's today - and tomorrow morning! Will let you know how it goes.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Three Generations on the Pier...

From left to right: Martha, Patricia, Me and Mum
Just a quick post before everyone else gets up! Posting this so my blog readers in Brazil can see a photo of us all taken yesterday. We were on Clevedon's Victorian pier - and although we didn't have the snow that covered half of the country - it was flippin' freezing!!

And we braved the cold in the evening too, to see a display of fireworks.
Today we're taking Patricia to her first English pub.

Hope to post some more pictures later.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Happy Easter!

I'm sending you all love and hugs (and maybe the odd bit of chocolate) for Easter. I know I'm a day early, but I'm going to be busy tomorrow and probably won't get on here... because...

and here's the excitement I hinted at the other day... tomorrow I'm going to meet my niece - for the first time - and she's 26!!

My brother emigrated to Brazil eons ago (back in the late 70s) and has never returned - not even for a visit. So I have never met his two children, Patricia and Rafael. But Patricia is currently studying in Germany and so has popped over to visit her UK family for the first time. She's with my mum at the moment and has met my other brother and his wife...and then tomorrow, they're coming to stay with us for a few days. We're all very excited!!

I will let you know how it all goes next week and hopefully post up some pics.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Stepping outside my comfort zone

Recently on UK Beaders forum, we were raising some money by taking some of Lynn Davy's stash of fuglies off her hands. Fugly is the term lampworkers use for beads which are... well, let's just say they are 'very' ugly - in their eyes - some of them look pretty good to me!
The one Lynn sent me was WAY outside my comfort zone - with a mix of several bright colours. I was stumped... until I hit on the idea of sending off to my mate, Julie, of Lushlampwork, asking her if she'd etch it for me. This subdued the colours slightly and brought it a bit nearer to my comfort zone.
The bead is so colourful and has swirls and dots that it needed to be strung with something to compliment the colours, but simple as that the eye is not distracted from the focal bead. I chose a selection of seed and 4mm beads which reflected the colour in the bead and strung three strands with some Tibetan silver to break it up:

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out and I'm sure it did me good to be stretched like this!

Wish I could have been stretched at WW this morning... put on an awful three pounds... Whoops! Ah well, I had a marvellous time putting it on - and now I have to be very very good to try and get it off again. C'est la vie!

We were given our new project at Silversmithing last night and we have to make an item (not necessarily jewellery) using mixed metals. I'm still mulling, not decided what my item might be - or what metals I might mix! Watch this space...

I've got something very exciting happening next weekend (not jewellery related) which I'll tell you about later in the week... but it involves lots of cleaning and tidying (which I hate) so there may not be too much jewellery to show in the next few days.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Super weekend

We went up to Leicester for the weekend and had a really great time. Friday night we went to the beer festival and, by chance, met up with a chum that I'd not seen since his wedding in 1987!! AND he recognised me. Wonderful to know I've not changed that much in 21 years.... ROFL!!

The whole weekend was an eating and drinking fest - brilliant - but am dreading the weigh-in tomorrow... :-( Never mind, it was worth it.

Here's a necklace that I made at the end of last week, but only got round to photographing it today.

The long thin bits are mussel shell 'splinters' and in between the dark red/orange beads are sponge coral. The shell is quite heavy, so I've made the back of the necklace with some leather and put one of those lovely starfish clasps to fasten on the side. To balance that there is a smaller starfish bead on the other side. I love the randomness of this and think it will be a lovely piece to wear on holiday.

Off to my silversmithing class in a moment - at the start of an extension course, so that means a new project! I'll let you know what it is tomorrow and any ideas I have for items to make.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

"I beg your pardon...

... I never promised you a rose garden."

I've had that song going round and round in my head this afternoon as I made this bracelet:

Here it is modelled by Martha (her wrists don't have the crinkles that mine have! ROFL!)
The beads in the bracelet are green freshwater keshi pearls and the roses are carved rose quartz. I'm really pleased with it.

I bought both lots of beads at the bead sale this morning - and knew straight away exactly what I wanted to make with them. I love it when that happens. I've got loads of ideas for the rest of the stash too:
From the back: faceted red coral, sponge coral, Moonstone Nuggets, Moonstone buttons, Rose Quartz flowers, green freshwater keshi pearls, same in grey, little Labradorite buttons, Aventurine oval cylinders and drops, black Onyx long rectangles, Kyanite buttons and shell nuggets and buttons. There was also some little Amazonite faceted drops, but they missed out on the photograph somehow.

A lovely haul... but the trouble is - and those of you who frequent bead fairs will know the feeling - I could have bought SO much more! There was such gorgeousness on offer. Ah well, next time!

Martha and I really enjoyed Juno last night... and it was lovely to do something for just the two of us.

But then... the wind! And rain! Last night was the worst yet for this storm. And the sea was WILD... and we don't get much wildness in the sea this far up the Bristol channel. Today the promenade was about a foot deep in seaweed. But with all the noise of the wind (the double glazing was creaking - which was quite scary!) we didn't get much sleep... so I think I'll be tucked up straight after Torchwood tonight.

Hope you've all been OK and not suffered any damage.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Blowing a gale...

Still windy down here in the South-West... and more to come! We've not suffered any damage but a tree was blown down on Sunday night.

Here's the photos I promised:
The first is the next in my 'dainty' range - blue agate diamonds, Swarovski Crystals with Sterling Silver tubes and balls.

Next is another set made with the Nephrite squares I bought at Spring Fair - again coupled with freshwater pearls. I'm loving this combination and I'll be very sorry when I've used all these beads.

Now a Y-shaped necklace and earrings using banded agate, carnelian, fire opal Swarovski Crystals (aren't they just the most amazing colours?) and Sterling Silver flower beads.
And lastly in this bunch, a simple necklace of Lapis Lazuli chips with Thai Hill Tribe Silver seed beads.
So, what other news to tell you... I lost a pound at WW this morning (Yay!). I'm off to the cinema tonight (see previous post for details of the Curzon cinema in Clevedon) with Martha to see Juno. Bit of a mother/daughter bonding session.

And tomorrow, I'm off to a bead sale. I'm really looking forward to it. I'll show you my stash in my next post.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Battening down the hatches...

There's a severe gale warning for this part of the country for tonight. It was bad enough last night! There was a powercut sometime during the night and so all the alarm clocks didn't go off. Luckily, hubby woke at 7 so the kids were on time for their bus... but he was an hour and a half late!

Clevedon has strong on-shore winds at the best of times, so I expect we're in for a real humdinger tonight. This is how the trees grow along the sea front - you can see how windy it is here usually!

Had quite a good beady day, I'll photograph and post up the pics tomorrow.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. We had some friends round on Saturday night and had a really lovely time.

More tomorrow... if I've not been blown away!!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

What a week!

Phew! That was a heck of a week... and just when I thought I couldn't cram in anything else - Thursday evening involved dashing Tom to A+E!!! He spilt (my) coffee over his hand. He's absolutely fine and we did the right things... (just so you know if you don't already) held his hand under cold water for 15 minutes, then wrapped it in cling film, wrapped it in a tea towel with ice, kept it elevated and took him to the hospital.

It was scary though... but we've been very lucky - that was Tom's first ever trip to A+E. That's 16 years, so we're counting ourselves fortunate.

Onto jewellery matters: the sale at Clerical Medical went very well - and they're such a lovely bunch of people, very complimentary, very friendly - and have great taste in jewellery!! We're now booked in for four more sales through to the end of the year. Excellent.

Last night we were selling at a fashion show put on for International Women's Day. That was great too! I'm sure those of you who sell jewellery will know what I mean when I say that you can never tell what you'll sell at any event. Last night I sold a lot of stand alone Sterling earrings and some sets that I'd had in stock for so long I was thinking of re-designing them. Strange, but infinitely fascinating.

Here's a selection of things made this week:

Firstly, these pearl chandelier earrings. Sorry, it's not a very good picture - and I can't take another cos these sold last night! First time out. I think they have a very Art Deco look about them.
This set is Impression Jasper and Amazonite rondelles with Thai Hill Tribe silver. I'd not come across Impression Jasper before, but I really really like it.

Here's a close up so you can see just how lovely these beads are - a combination of browns and pale turquoise - just stunning:

Next is a set made with Labradorite rondelles, Swarovski crystals and Thai Hill Tribe Silver. It's so difficult to photograph Labradorite and get the effect of those blue flashes, but I managed to get a couple.

The next one is also Labradorite - but very different. Looking at my stock recently, I noticed there was a predominance of big and chunky stuff. I suppose being a big and chunky girl myself (LOL!) that is what I'm drawn to make. So, I thought I should try and redress that balance and make some more dainty items. This is the first of them. Labradorite and sterling silver. I was particularly pleased with the earrings - not a style I'd used before, but one I really like, so you'll be seeing more of those.
And lastly, in this batch, Blue Crazy Lacy Agate coupled with Freshwater Pearls. I really love the agate diamonds - I love the fact that there are rough bits, unpolished bits, it makes the beads SO interesting. And, I think, the pearls, just pop the gorgeous colours in the agate.

Can't go without telling you about Wednesday night. It was a real dash to get to London for 6:30, but we made it. The concert was an exclusive (oooo, get me!) event at Gibson guitars. There were only about 200 people there. I'd won 2 tickets through a competition on Amazon. It was a really great experience. Kathryn Williams and Niell MacColl were so un-starry, so friendly and you felt like you could just go up to them and have a natter. BUT, the music was just wonderful. They played tracks from their album 'Two' and I do urge you to try and have a listen to it - in fact, go and buy it... you won't be disappointed. It's beautiful.
Afterwards we went for a delicious Italian meal and then dashed back home. A great and very special evening.

Wow, that's a post and a half, isn't it? Well done, if you've managed to stick with it to the end! Have a lovely weekend and I'll see you all next week.

Much love to all.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Sorry, no pics!

Ah well, not a good costing, packing or photographing day after all! Was at WW most of the morning (stayed the same - minor miracle!) and then had a meeting with Sarah, my chum that I sell with, to try and work out which events we're going to try for this year.
Then spent most of the rest of the day trawling the internet for details of the events - and finding a few more. Looks like it might be quite a busy summer!

Tonight, we're off to the cinema to see No Country for Old Men. Not sure it's exactly my sort of film, but it's won so many awards I feel I really should see it. And it's at The Curzon, Clevedon's own wonderful cinema. Do have a look at the website: It's the oldest purpose-built, continuously operated cinema... in the world! And it's about a five minute walk from me.

Then tomorrow is Clerical Medical and then as soon as I'm back from that, hubby and I head for London and the Kathryn Williams/Niall MacColl gig. Goodness knows what time we'll be back - so Thursday I think I'll be pooped! My lovely sis-in-law is coming over to be with the children - can't really call it baby sitting now as they're 16 and 13!

So, I'll check back in on at the end of the week - and hopefully have those pics I promised! :-)

Monday, 3 March 2008

Beading up a storm!

You know how some days you just can't string two beads together and be happy with how they look... and then other days you just seem to be able to thread anything together and it looks great? Well today was one of those fantastic days! I've made loads of things. A great beading day.

I just hope tomorrow will prove a great pricing, packing and photographing day! Hope to be able to show you some pics tomorrow.

How was your Mother's Day? Mine felt very flat. I had lovely cards, some chocolate and some flowers, but I just didn't feel special. Silly really. But, hey, I don't need anything to know that my kids think I'm the bees knees... they tell me every day.

I made my mum a necklace and earrings - crazy lace agate and pearls. But, guess who forgot to take a photo! I'll have to snap it next time we're visiting.

Saturday we had a lovely time over in Cardiff with hubby's family. The wonderful Mia - nearly two - kept us all entertained. She really is the most gorgeous kid. I'll get a photo of her next time to show you... you won't believe her eyelashes!

To add to my busy, busy week, I've also got to fit in going to the dentist as I broke a bit off a tooth on Saturday - that'll teach me to eat pork scratchings! Good job I've had a good beading day, I don't think I'm going to have much time the rest of the week!