Friday, 31 October 2008

A Plethora of Pendants

I've been making quite a few (as you'll see) of these pendants. I've only recently discovered these findings which are great for showing off Lampwork beads. And they should be shown off... each one is hand-made (not by me!) and involves melting glass in a flame while turning the mandrel on which you're making the bead. Then putting on different glass and swirling and shaping and all sorts of complicated and clever stuff.

I just buy them from the artist and put them together with some other beads. The easy bit!

All the beads in these pendants are by Denise Karan of Indigo Lily Lampwork. I love Denise's beads. She's such a busy lady - she's doing a joint honours degree, works permanent nights on Friday/Saturday and Sunday and still finds time to make these gorgeous beads. She's an inspiration!

This next one is still a pendant, but something a little different. I treated myself just before we went away to a new book by Susan Lenart Kazmer called Making Connections: A Handbook of Cold Joins for Jewelers and Mixed-Media Artists. It's a very long winded title, but basically it means joining things together without having to do any soldering.
I've been SO inspired by this book... I've got pages and pages of sketches of things I want to make. Some will have to wait until January - the quiet time - so I can experiment and learn some new techniques, but others I hope you'll be seeing quite soon.
This pendant 'Mellow Fruitfulness' is the first item that I've made using something I've learned from the book. The large Carnelian teardrop hangs from a trapeze made from Sterling Silver, as you can see in the second picture which shows the back. I've then added a froth of Carnelian chips and freshwater pearls. I'm very pleased with how it turned out and will be using the trapeze again in future projects.

Because the pendant is very busy, I went for simplicity in the earrings. Freshwater pearls on elongated Sterling Silver kidney wires.
This next set is called 'Now Pipe Down!'. I've had these fabulous lampwork beads - the work of the supremely talented Isabelle Anderson - for quite a while and they kept nagging me to get something made with them. This is the result. I wanted the beads to be very much centre stage as they are just so beautiful, so I've threaded them with lots of Sterling Silver tubes, round beads and some lovely Stardust beads. Although I've had the design for this set in mind for a long time, I was surprised when the silver sections took on this almost chemical model effect. But I like it! And now I've made something with some of these beads... hopefully, they will 'Pipe Down'.
And lastly, a bracelet. Made with some stunning sea glass beads and Sterling Silver beads. I love sea glass, it's the matte effect, I think. Etched beads have the same look and I love them too.
Well done, on getting to the end of this looooooong post! There was just so much to show you.

On a family note: it was Brian's birthday on Wednesday. He arranged it so he was working from home which meant we could pop to the pub for lunch. And then we went out for an Italian meal in the evening. Doesn't auger well for WW next Tuesday! Especially as we're up to Leicester this weekend to go out for a meal on Saturday night and Sunday lunch! I think I'll be just drinking water on Monday...

Have a lovely weekend, All and take care.

Monday, 27 October 2008

A weekend in The Hamptons

Nah, not THAT one... but a very nice boutique hotel in Ilfracombe!
That's it... right in the centre of the photo. A gorgeous (and huge) Victorian villa. We were only having a long weekend away and so we thought we'd treat ourselves to somewhere a bit special. And it was. A fab hotel which I thoroughly recommend. Why not have a browse of their website (and no, I'm not on commission!).

Here's a few pics from the weekend:
I've been besotted with balconies ever since I was quite small, always wanted to own a house with one. I'm very lucky that I do now, it's small and we don't do anything with it, but I'm chuffed as anything anyway. These I thought were just so pretty and delicate looking.

I spotted this man out with his dogs... just image how many plastic bags he must have to take around with him! And then later in the day we spotted another man with just as many!

This is the last section of a four part mosiac to commemorate Jonathan Edwards triple jump successes and in particular his world record jump of 18.29 metres. When you see the distance that he hopped, skipped and jumped it's just astounding.

This name plate was just outside the tapas bar we went to on Saturday night... and, of course, I had to have a photo of it!

The 'cooling towers' are the rather wacky theatre in Ilfracombe... but I took the photo for the fantastic rocks in the foreground.

I saw these chaps out rowing in their boat and thought they must be mad... and then I turned the corner...

and there was another lot of them!

So, I'm all refreshed from a fab time (and LOADS of yummy food... what's that? Yes, of course I had a cream tea. You can't go to Devon and not have one, can you?!) and raring to get back to the beads. Will try very hard to get photos taken to show you this week... and update the website... and do the accounts...

Take care, All, and much love.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

I've been tagged!

Thanks to Caroline of Crafted Gems!

The rules are as follows:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.

4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

So, 7 facts about me...

1. I'm a BIG Bruce Springsteen fan. I've seen him about 10 times now and absolutely love to see him live. The last time was the day before my birthday this year in Cardiff. Gotta love The Boss!

2. I hate feet. Not mine... mine are lovely, pretty and perfectly formed... but anyone else's... YUCK!

3. I cry when I hear Away in a Manger.

4. I used to write fiction for the women's magazines and have been published in Bella, Best, Chat, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Realm, Woman's Weekly, My Weekly, Take a Break and Fiction Feast. In fact, I used to run an agency for women's fiction with my gorgeous buddy, Cari, to sell other people's work to the magazines.

5. I hate lettuce. I can see no good reason for it to exist. The same goes for wasps - which I am allergic to.

6. I once made Mick Jagger a cup of tea. My granddad used to work in Birmingham Town Hall as catering manager and when The Stones appeared I went with him and got to meet Mick and the boys (as they were then!).

7. I can whistle with my tongue out. So can Tom. But we've never met anyone else who can do it. Next time you see me in person, ask me to show you. Bet you can't do it!!

So, who to tag:

1. Izzy at Adventures in Glass

2. Liz at Crimson Moon

3. Jo at Daisychain Jewellery

4. Cristina at Cristina's Jewelry

5. Laura at Beads by Laura

6. Maura at Blue Daisy Jewellery

7. Manda at Jewellery Craft

What a week!

PHEW! It's been a crazy (but wonderfully successful) week here at Coburg Crafts!

Last weekend we held a two day party here which not only gave me a chance to see some of my lovely friends, but also to display every single piece of jewellery and gift items that Sarah and I had available!

Then Wednesday was another really super party at the home of a good friend - so more catching up with friends - and she had great display space so again a great opportunity to show off the range of goods we now have - which is expanding all the time.

And then this weekend we were at Sarah's with all her chums.

I was very delighted on Friday evening when my Murano Mystery (see post below) set was purchased by a lovely man (yes, you read that right!) who, in fact, bought all the Christmas gifts for the ladies in his life from us. Thank you, Kevin!!

So, a great week. In fact, October has been a great month! WhooHoo! And we've got loads of events in November too. I'm going to be very busy trying to keep the stock levels up.

With so much going on, it's been impossible to photograph everything, so you've missed a few lovely things, but here's a couple from the remaining stock that I'd like to show you...

Firstly a few 'stand alone' earrings - no necklace to go with these, just the earrings.

Here's Dainty Dangles - these are the tiniest of tiny pearls - I almost went blind making these!

These pearls are pretty small too... Gossamer Window
Parisian Nights - gorgeous purple pearls on Sterling silver chandeliers
These next two use a new pendant finding that I've just discovered. You can unscrew the top and put on the beads - which means that these wonderful hand-made lampwork beads can take centre stage - where they belong!
First up is Toffee Tornado featuring a gorgeous tube bead by Denise from Indigo Lily.
Next is Midnight Moment with beads by Suzy Hannabus.
This next set is (another) one I'm tempted to keep as I love it. Black onyx teamed with sterling silver beads that are faceted... but not just faceted, but SO faceted that they look - and act - like mirror balls. Just so twinkly!
This dainty set is called Blue Lightening because the labradorite flashes blue. It's a fabulous stone and here it's teamed with sterling silver tubes and rounds.
Progress on the workshop! It's now painted. All white to maximise the light in the room. It's lovely and bright in there. We did make a start on the floor today, but those puddles on concrete could still be felt through the underlay and hardboard, so we're going to have to chip them off. Hopefully it won't take too long and then the floor can go down. Will show you!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Quick update...

Just got five minutes (while I drink my coffee) to let you know that we got in to be part of North Somerset Arts Week... YeeHah! It's not until next May but I'm already excited!

And just in case you've got your eye on it, What Colourful Teeth You Have, Grandma from the previous post, sold last night. In fact, I could have sold it three times over. Better get on and make some more in that style.

Hope you're all behaving yourselves!

Back to it. Busy couple of days ahead....