Right, are you sitting comfortably? This could be quite a long one... You've got two weeks of news to catch up on... and there's quite a bit of news!
Firstly, let's show you some of the jewellery that's been produced lately.
This first set is made with Kyanite - a gorgeous subtle blue stone.
My lovely chum - not to mention very talented jeweller, Nia, is a huge fan of Kyanite. So I have named this set after her. Of course, it helps that she has an unusual and pretty name. I might not have been so keen if her name had been... ooo now what can I say without offending anyone? Perhaps you should fill in the blank yourself!
Martha had an in-service day last week and wanted to help me, so she assisted on the design of the following set. I think she did a really good job.
It's a really pretty set made with sky quartz, chalcedony and sodalite. I think it has a real innocence about it and it would make a lovely gift for a first communion or for a bridesmaid.
Martha also helps with the memory wire bracelets. This is one of hers... shown off here by Perky.
The next two are my memory wire bracelets using just one colour and two sizes of seed beads. Firstly one that is the colour of celadon pottery...
and then one using matt purple beads which have an AB coating which means they shine in all different colours.
I bought the seed beads in London... and thereby hangs a tale.
Back before Christmas, I was supposed to meet up with my chums and go for a super lunch in London... but I was struck down by that awful flu that did the rounds and couldn't go. So, it was decided we should have a re-run.
So on 24th February, I actually made it to London... and to THE IVY for lunch!! My dear, it was SO posh. AND guess who was two tables down from me... Bill Nighy! Looking very dishy, it has to be said. So much less craggy than he looks for the parts he plays in films and on TV. Tony Booth (Cherie's dad) was also in there.
There were loads of other people in there who were probably famous, but we didn't know who they were - and certainly masses of folks who thought they were famous, but weren't! Two of my chums are sort of famous - they are both novelists - Lynne Barrett-Lee and Jane Wenham-Jones. And my other friend, Anne, is a budding author and deserves to be famous because she's one of the very nicest people I know. Not to mention that she has great taste in jewellery - that commissioned necklace and kilt pin I mentioned a couple of posts ago were for Anne.
Anyway, when we staggered out of The Ivy at five o'clock (yes, we were in there for lunch!), what should be opposite but the London Bead Shop. So in we plunged... and these seed beads were part of my haul.
Back to the jewellery... and onto chain maille. The first one - Summer Meadow - is made with antique silver rings and a mix of pastel colours of glass magatama beads. The 'antique' refers to the colour of the rings, not that they are old.
This next one is a Byzantine chain with a mix of silver and black plated rings. This one sold, first time out, last night.
And I've been making more watch bracelets. This one is silver with pale purple magatamas. It has a lovely ethereal quality and so I've named it 'Titania Time'.
I've also been making more bookmarks - loads on the website now. Mainly using lampwork beads by the very talented Clare Scott. I bought a huge batch of her 'orphan' beads - ones that - in her opinion - don't have enough soulmates to make a set. But, they are great for stand alone earrings and bookmarks.
I couldn't resist showing you my favourite one - black and red - and being a huge Star Wars fan it just shouted Darth Maul to me as soon as I saw it. And, at last, I got an excuse to use my Star Wars font. You wouldn't believe how long I've waited to have a valid reason.
Right, that's it for the jewellery. I have made more and am gradually putting it on the website, so do have a browse around in there.
Other news on the business front... Sarah and I have been MEGA-busy sorting out the shows for the rest of the year. For those that we are returning too, it's matter of filling in forms, photocopying our insurance and posting it off. But for others, it's a more arduous task... First of all, we have to find them! Hours searching the Internet for mentions of fairs, fayres, fetes, shows etc in our area, trawling through their pages to find costs, restrictions, onto the AA website to calculate mileages and journey times, phoning each other to discuss practicalities and check each other's diary (just in case we've had time to book any family time in amongst all this selling), emailing for forms... then it's back to filling in forms, devising risk assessments for having a stall with really no risk at all, but we have to think of something to put on the form, collating photos of our items and of our stall at other events, writing a cheque for the deposit.... and so it goes on and on.
BUT, whatever it is we're doing, we're doing it right, because....... drum roll here...... we have secured a place in the craft tent at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta!! This is a four day, free event which attracts over half a million visitors! HALF A MILLION! Gawd, I hope they all don't want to buy a necklace!! Can you tell I'm excited by the prospect?? If you are going to the Fiesta, please do drop by and say hello.
And just behind the Fiesta, in the excitement stakes, is the news that we shall be selling our wares in the Broadmead Shopping Mall in Bristol on 6th June. City centre selling! Woohoo.
That's going to be a very busy weekend as the next day, we return to Bowood Dog Show and Summer Fair. Let's hope it's a nice day, but not as hot as last year when we were melting in the marquee.
Other venues to which we're thrilled to be returning are: Publow Garden Party and Portishead Flower Show which was our most successful show last year.
And, next week, I hope to have some very exciting news for those of you in the North Somerset area... watch this space.
Phew! I think that's got you all caught up with jewellery news.
So, what's been happening on the home front?
Well, up there with the excitement of the Balloon Fiesta, is the news that we've booked to go to the States at Easter. We're going to stay with some friends in Denver for a few days (the rest of the family will go skiing... my knees just aren't up to it... that's my excuse!), then on to LA, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite and San Francisco. It's going to be fantastic. Brian and I have both been to the USA before, but not together. Can't wait. We are taking a laptop with us, so I'm hoping I'll be able to blog about it in real time and show you pics.
Gosh, I told you it was going to be an epic, didn't I?
OK, time for us all to get a coffee and get on with the day.
Have a super weekend, everyone.
Much love to all.
3 hours ago