Saturday, 11 July 2009

Family and Friends

Oops! Where did that month go? Sorry, blog readers for neglecting you for so long.

So, what's been happening... Well, there's BIG family news... which I'll tell you about at the end. What a tease!

Sarah and I have done loads of events and most of them were pretty good... in fact, some were excellent! We've got a busy few weeks ahead of us too. Portishead Flower Show, Publow Garden Fete and Bristol Balloon Fiesta! And our monthly appearance at Nailsea Craft Market which is proving to be a super event. On top of all that we have our office selling days which are so enjoyable.

So, it's been heads down working hard for the last few weeks - and for the next few weeks too.

New jewellery... Here we go with a small selection:

The first one is a pendant made with sterling silver wire, which I have shaped, soldered and then hammered to give a 3-D effect... then hung a wonderfully marked ocean jasper bead in the centre.

The next one I made using the same process but filled the centre with squiggles.

For this next one, I hammered the base plate - with one of my lovely new hammers - and then soldered the coils of wire onto the front. Then the whole thing - including the chain - was dipped into Liver of Sulphur to oxidise it - turn it black. I then polished it so that the blackness was removed or lightened on the highlights. I was thinking of ferns... but having consulted pictures of ferns (after I finished it) I find that they curl in the opposite direction! Hey ho, artistic license.

A lady at one of the offices asked me to make an amber necklace for her mum. I didn't have any amber... what a great excuse to go shopping... It's actually quite difficult to find suppliers and in the end, these beads came from Hong Kong! I love the different colours. Here I have teamed the amber with Vermeil (Sterling Silver with a layer of 24 carat gold) and I'm pleased with the results. I'm going to make some other styles - some with Sterling Silver - which I'll try to show you... soon!

What else has been happening... Martha took her grade 1 keyboard exam. I could hear some of it from outside the room and it sounded fine... so fingers crossed, she did OK.

Tom and I have been looking around universities. We had a day at Birmingham Uni and enjoyed that and then we went to Oxford. It must have been the hottest day of the year... we were melting. But, what a great day. We went inside many of the colleges and it was like we'd visited five or six stately homes. Fabulous. Tom loved it... so 'all' he has to do now is get in!! Of course, competition is fierce for places, but he's going to give it his best shot.

Is that the big news? No.

I had my birthday. It was wonderful. We had a barbecue on the Sunday and loads of friends - and my mum - came over and we had a great time. On the Monday - my actual birthday - we went to Bristol Museum and saw the Banksy exhibit. It's just fantastic. I loved it. Do go and see it if you get the chance.

Is that the big news? No.

I had a super night out with chums at Chepstow races. I didn't win anything! But, it was great fun. We had a delicious picnic in the car park (well on a grassy bank at the side of the car park) afterwards and ate cheese and biscuits in the mini bus on the way home.

Is that it? No.

My lovely mum will be having her birthday soon. She'll be 80. But, you'd never believe it. She doesn't look her age - and, thankfully, I inherited those genes and I'm told I don't look my age either. She's pretty sprightly for her age too. Love you, Mum.

Is that the news? No, but close.

OK, I give in. The news is related to Mum's birthday. My brother, four years younger than me, emigrated to Brazil in 1979. And he's never been back to the UK since... and none of us have ever been over there. BUT, he's coming for Mum's birthday. So, I'll be seeing my brother for the first time in 30 years... next Friday! And I can't wait. He's bringing his wife, Kelle, who we haven't met before - and who doesn't speak English - so that's going to be fun. His daughter, Patricia, is coming too. We have met her before... remember me blogging about it? Here. It's going to be just amazing.

See, I told you it was BIG!

Right, better get washed and dressed and get on with the weekend.

Take care, All, and much love to each and every one of you.