Saturday, 26 April 2008

Cordoba and Crazy Lace...

So we leave Granada and move to Cordoba. This is the Roman bridge - and the river which - because of all the rain - was in flood. It was hurtling through these arches and had masses of debris as well as loads of silt all caught up in it.

Then the mosque - and our reason for stopping in Cordoba. This serene building was built in 784 and added to up to 987. Then it was consecrated as a Christan cathedral in 1236 when the Christians conquored Cordoba - and then in the 16th Century a Catholic Cathedral was built slap bang in the middle of it. The contrast between the Muslim simplicity and the over ornate Christian additions is quite bewildering.
We were lucky enough to have rooms in a hotel just outside the mosque and so this is the view from the window - the outside of the mosque. And you'll see that the weather has improved!!
OK, there will be more of Spain in the next post, but for now, here's some new jewellery:

First up, a crazy lace agate necklace and earrings set. I love these stones - as does my mum! She saw these beads when I bought them and loved them so much, I made her a necklace and earrings for Mother's Day. These are the beads that were left over.

Next up is a set made with Lemon Chrysoprase. Not a stone I'd heard of before I bought these beads at Chepstow bead fair. Since then I've been trying to find something to go with them. The 'lemon' colour varies from almost white to an apple green. In the end, I had to wait for the new Swarovski crystal colour - Mocca - which goes really well with the veining on the beads and simply separate the beads with sterling silver. I think it works well.
These next two bracelets are part of my continuing obsession with chain maille. I find it very relaxing to do and love the results. These are flip-flop weave or shaggy loops - with magatama beads threaded on the outside rings. They look fab on.

This second one sold at a party last night... which I have to tell you about. The party - which we shared with a cookery demonstration (such FABULOUS - but terribly fattening food!) - was to raise funds for an orphanage in India. The hostess of the evening - the very lovely Vereen - lives in THE most beautiful flat I have ever been in. It is part of a converted convent chapel and she has the ornate windows and some of the pillars and archways in her lounge. The bedrooms are on two suspended platforms reached by spiral staircases. It was like something out of Grand Designs. Just wonderful.

Hope you're all having a lovely time in this glorious sunshine. We've been and bought the plants to do our pots this afternoon. I'll post a picture when they're in flower!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The rain in Spain...

... fell mainly on us!

Back from my hols - and although it was rainy and cold at the start, we had a fantastic time. Rather than give you the whole 10 days in one go, I'll tell you a little at a time - spreading it over the next few posts.

First up was Granada

Although I really like this statue, the picture was taken mainly for the shop in the background - yes, you're reading that right - Yellow Rat Bastard! And, it's a chain! We saw Yellow Rat Bastards all over the place... tee hee! This is one of the main squares in Granada - the statue is of Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus. I really like the flower display - those are cyclamen - loads of them in pots in a container with a spiralling trough. Very clever. And I love the lilies - we've got those in our front garden.
This one is taken at the Science Park... in the rain. Martha - sensible girl that she is - hovered over the seat, while Tom sat down - and had a wet bottom for the rest of the afternoon!

This is inside Granada cathedral. Those columns are absolutely huge - you can just about see a person on the left hand side to get some idea of scale. I loved it.

And then the Alhambra. What a fabulous place! The carving is just amazing - when you consider how long it's been around.
It has a kind of serenity and stillness that gives you a great sense of calm as you wander around.

And then as we moved into the Generalife gardens, the rain came down - and down - and down... This staircase had troughs in place of the handrails which are supposed to have a trickle of water cascading down them... they had a torrent when we were there!!

OK, that's enough of Spain for today. Especially as I have something else to show you... my photo for the prostpectus!! Well, the one I like best - I hope they'll use this one - although the others aren't bad, just not as nice.
I'll be back with the next installment of our hols soon - and maybe even some jewellery to show you!!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

birthdays and anniversaries

I know I said I was going... but just had to show you these pics. I'm off early tomorrow...

It was a big birthday weekend in Brian's family - a sister with a 'significant' birthday, a brother-in-law's birthday and little Mia was two. Here's Tom and Mia playing with the farm she had as a present:

And with the play food. When my two were little they had the play food from Early Learning Centre - but it's gone a bit upmarket these days. Just by Mia's foot is asparagus... and in the corner of the pic is a croissant!

And today is our 17th wedding anniversary. And I just have to show you my gorgeous present from Brian. It's turquoise and silver and has been made by our friend Jeremy Heber. He's a wonderfully talented silversmith and Brian commissioned this piece especially for me as it's not a stone that Jez uses in this piece usually. I just love it.

I'm really going this time. Be good. Or as my dad used to say when someone told him to be good... I won't be good, I'll be magnificent!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

The beads are revolting...

I've had a revolution on my hands this morning!

The big delivery of beads arrived and I made quite a few items - the beads were all glass and have been made up into silver plated designs. I had priced them and put them into their boxes when there was an uprising...

They demanded to be photographed - to have equal rights with semi-precious and sterling silver items.

What could I do?

Three charm bracelets using some of my favourite glass.

A necklace and earrings set in peach firepolished glass.

And a crystal AB set with daggers.

A set with matt black AB tubes, black AB firepolished and matt black stars. Don't you just love my little piggies? They've got nothing to do with the jewellery, but my mum gave them to me for Christmas and as they've not featured in a photograph before I thought I'd give them an airing before I had a scene from Animal Farm on my hands...

What's that you say? You think I need a holiday? OK then, if you say so! I think I'll go touring southern Spain. Thanks for that.

See you what I get back! Take care, everyone.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Bookmarks galore!

Had a day of feeling quite uninspired, so I thought I'd stick to something I know how to make and so made a load of bookmarks.
I've made (and sold) loads of the silver ones with the Swarovski crystal dragonfly dangle before - but the gold plated ones are a new thing. I'm pleased with how they turned out.

I'm awaiting a BIG package of beads - which hopefully will come tomorrow. And then I've got 101 things to make with them.

Tonight I've been at a study skill evening with Tom - his GCSEs start in May. He seems very laid back about it all, I'm more nervous than he is!

All right, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my close up...

Well, the Friday/Saturday party was a great success - our third best party ever! Although we were only open for two hours on Saturday morning, we took 2/3 of our total for all day Friday - so that was obviously a good time for a lot of people.

Martha got back from Paris on Sunday night. She was completely shattered, but had had a great time with her friends.

Then on Monday I had a phone call from Weston College (through which I do my silversmithing course) asking if I'd like to have my photograph in the prospectus!! So, yesterday I went off to Weston Super Mare and had my picture taken by a proper, professional photographer - with lights, umbrella, reflectors and all that pukka gubbins. I was pretty nervous, but on the whole enjoyed the experience. I was asked lots of questions so they can write a blurb about me too.

Afterwards, the head of the marketing department bought two pendants! But then she showed me last year's prospectus so I could see where my photo will go - and it's a WHOLE PAGE!!! Yikes! I thought it would be a little passport sized piccy in a corner somewhere.

They said they'll email me the picture when they've decided which one to use, so - if it's not too horrendous - I'll post it up for you to see.

I'll hopefully be back later with some pics of jewellery for you to see. Seems an age since I showed you anything! Have a great day.