Saturday, 27 September 2008

Two whole weeks have flown by! I really don't know where the time goes to.

So, what's new? The workspace doesn't look a lot different to the photo in the last entry, except that the walls have dried out and we've filled the holes etc that needed attention on the other walls. Oh, and we've taken up the tiles from the floor. Next is sanding down the filler and then - maybe - we'll get to the emulsion! Everything always takes so much longer than you think doesn't it?

Mum came to stay the week before last, which was lovely. We made a whole heap of jewellery together and she went off with some to finish off which I should get back on Wednesday. We work well together and, thankfully, have similar taste.

Here's a few bits from the heap!

Firstly, this exciting set:

The focal is Murano glass from the island of Murano just off Venice. I went to Venice for the first time a couple of years ago and just adored it. Would love to go again. Anyway, in the set, I have echoed the colours in the focal with black onyx, gold vermeil and sterling/gold vermeil tubes. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.

This one features Spiderweb Agate - isn't it just fab?! There's also some black onyx in there too. This had hardly been finished before my mate, Kathy saw it and put her name on it. I was rather hoping to keep it for myself! Hey ho!

This one features a gorgeous bead by another mate, Julie Fountain of Lush Lampwork. I know Julie is a big fan of Smoky Quartz and so that came to mind when I was thinking about what to do with this one. I think it goes really well with the turquoise coloured lampwork, don't you?

This is a really fun necklace - one that Mum helped to string. I've called it 'What Colourful Teeth You Have, Grandma' because the beads reminded me of teeth and from there my mind went straight to Little Red Riding Hood. Sometimes I worry about the wiring in my brain...

And, with an eye on the calendar, I've started to make a few festive items. This shaggy loop bracelet with its gold jumprings and red and green beads just makes me want to sing a few carols and put up some tinsel.

Mind you, I might be best advised to do it now as I know that I'm going to be mega-busy in the run-up to Christmas and might not have the time for festive singing and tinsel decorating when it gets nearer the time!

This last week seems to have been mainly taken up with admin. Hardly any jewellery made at all. I have been putting together an application to take part in North Somerset Arts Week. This meant deciding on a venue, getting together photographs for the brochure, writing blurbs and directions, and it all seemed to take ages. BUT, it has gone off in the post this morning, so fingers crossed we'll get in. Here's the photograph that has been sent off to respresent mine and Sarah's jewellery... must admit to being rather proud of it.

We've got a busy week coming up: a ladies' evening at Nailsea Rugby Club on Wednesday, back to Axa on Friday and Churchill Craft Fair on Saturday. Should be good. Good job Mum and I got such a lot done!

I hope you are managing to get out and enjoy this fabulous Indian summer we're having. A couple of good friends dropped in for lunch today on their way to Cornwall and it was so lovely to be able to eat outside. We seemed to wait all summer for a chance to enjoy our new garden furniture, so I'm really pleased that we got to use it before it gets too cold.

Right, take care all and I'll try and catch you up with happenings next weekend.

Much love to all. xx

Friday, 12 September 2008

I got plastered...

or rather, my new workspace did!

It's only taken a year to get to this stage... but I'm hopeful that it won't take too much longer before I can get in there and create gorgeousness. Next step is to emulsion the walls and ceiling and then get the plumber in to install the radiator. Watch this space...

So, what's been happening? Well, it took me an age to throw off that cold/cough I picked up in London. A real pain. But, I'm all fit and well now and looking forward to a busy autumn.

Back-tracking to where I left off. Monmouth show was a bit of a disappointment, sales-wise, but there were 20 other stalls selling jewellery! It would seem that the organisers of big fairs don't really care about the mix of crafts in their marquee, as long as everyone has paid their money. Craft fair organisers do, usually, have limits on the numbers of traders selling each craft. A pain as jewellery always fills up first, but it gives the customer a wider selection and the traders don't have so much competition. Still, we did make a profit, which is good news!

At the beginning of September we were back into Clerical Medical and did well, especially as we booked a party from that.

And, of course, the beginning of September means back to school. Martha wasn't best pleased as her school has introduced blazers from this year. I think she looks very smart...

but she decided she looked like a 'dork'.

Tom started his 6th Form College. All very grown-up and responsible.

We did a lovely event on 6th at a local(ish) primary school to help raise funds for their swimming pool. Although the turn-out was low, a high percentage of visitors bought some jewellery which was great. We also helped the funds by buying loads of the second-hand books, Christmas cards, a 'few' cakes and raffle tickets - two of which won great prizes! A good day!!

Monday saw me at the Autumn Fair at the NEC with two of my super beady chums. There was lots of chatting and quite a bit of shopping done!!

Last Wednesday, we had our first visit to sell in the Axa offices. And blimey, what super offices they have! Rolling lawns, a lake, their own branch of WHSmiths, a nail bar, a gym, squash court - fab. Almost made me wish I could have a job there... almost! We did really well and look forward to going back at the beginning of October.

This weekend, my lovely mum is coming to stay and on Sunday, Brian is running in the Bristol half marathon! He's so fit, my hubby! And then Monday is a daytime jewellery party.

So, you see it's all go round here. And, of course, there's been jewellery made:

Golden Oriole: lovely Black and Yellow oval Agates with matte Black Onyx and sterling silver.

A byzantine chain maille set using silver plated and antique copper rings. It took ages, but I really like it... it moves beautifully.
At the Autumn Fair there was a definite trend towards large jewellery, so I bought these lovely - light - wooden beads and teamed them with some ribbed gold plated tubes. I think this will look fab with a chunky knit in the winter, don't you? As I think this one is not for the faint-hearted, I've called it 'Wood You?'

A challenging bead this next focal. A super one by Emma Ralph, but it really didn't want to be made into anything for ages. Finally, it spoke to me and demanded this lovely colour combination of glass pearls. I've named it Hedgerow Treasures as it reminds me of the bounty of autumn.
The next two I made as a commission for my lovely friend, Anne. She only wanted one, but I do like to give customers a choice, if possible. They are double shaggy loop bracelets made with antique gold rings. The first one uses all black beads and the second has a mix called Volcanic Beach. She chose the second one and it's now gone off with Anne to a posh do!

OK, that's got you all caught up with goings on.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I'll try to not leave you in the lurch for so long next time!

Much love to all. xx