Friday, 26 June 2009

Quick ...

... I'm late for the Wimbledon highlights programme!

So this is a flying visit to show you a preview of new Red Mist items that will be on sale on my stall at the Art & Craft Market in Trinity Stree, Cambridge tomorrow. Half of the proceeds of any sales of this range will go to the Orangutan Foundation, a UK based charity.

Have a great weekend, hope to see you in Cambridge tomorrow!
I've made lots of other items, they're all in the camera waiting to be put onto the website on Sunday/Monday.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Perfume for dogs

My delightful dog, Missy, today decided that the perfect perfume for the lady pooch in the country is Eau de Tortoise Poo. This exclusive fragrance is available by rolling on the grass just where the tortoise has been to the loo! So she's had to have a bath, fortunately it's warm so she's drying out now looking all cross and sulky with me. So I'm a bit behind on everything now!

A few days ago, I got a lovely e-mail from a lady who bought two bracelets from me, she wants me to make her some jewellery for her birthday (better not say which one!) Black and silver is the brief and I sent her this photograph of beads I made that I thought might fit the bill:handmade lampwork black silver beads

The bead on the extreme left is made with silver leaf and as it melts, leaves behind lots of tiny little dots which are then encased in clear glass to magnify them. Some of these have clumped together in the sample on the left hand side ordinarily I would reject this bead but just for sample's sake, it gives an idea.

The bead second left is made using baking soda to create lots of tiny bubbles which look silvery as they reflect the light. Again this bead is encased in clear glass.

The bead second from the right is made using .4mm fine silver wire wrapped around the core in a random fashion, lightly melted in and then encased in clear glass.

The bead on the extreme right has been made using fine silver .99% purity mesh. As the mesh is melted into the black base bead, it leaves a network of silver dots, bigger than those left by the silver leaf. Again the bead is encased in clear glass.

Fiona has gone for the baking soda bead and so I will be matching a batch of them very soon - I think it's going to be a very stylish one-of-a-kind jewellery set, I'm so looking forward to making them!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Camera and computer still not talking to one another

Despite the fact that my computer is refusing to talk to my digital camera, DH's computer has been far more amenable. Perhaps my laptop was just having a case of Monday blues but it might be time to think about a new one as it's over five years old. But anyway, here are the beads that I promised yesterday. I am going to make some more of these and hopefully get them made up into jewellery this week.Blue and violet akamai style lampwork beads

I forget to tell you, I sold my first Pandora style, large-hole bead on Saturday! I only started putting them out for sale on the stall two weeks ago. I still haven't photographed any yet and I want to make a new page on the website for them.

These are jobs that are on the list of jobs to do this week but as its Wimbledon fortnight, I might not get round to everything. I will be wanting to watch all of Andy Murray's games live but for the main, I will content myself with the hour of highlights in the evening. Today he is third on centre court so it's finally time to get my ironing up to date. I can iron inbetween points and not feel so guilty that I'm watching TV in the middle of the day! Wimbledon fortnight is the only time my ironing pile is ever up to date!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Communication error

I was so busy making replacement stock for my stall last week, I didn't get the chance to photograph any of my new items for the blog or the website. Conscious of the fact that I haven't shown you anything for over a week, I took a photograph of some new experimental beads that I am going to go into production with this week but my digital camera is giving me a "Communication Error" when I'm trying to download them into my computer.

I'll try with DH's laptop this evening when he's back from work to see if the problem is with the computer or the camera so sorry about the lack of updates. I do have new work to show you when the camera is back in operation.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Red mist success

I am pleased to say that I have sold a pair of the Red Mist earrings to one of my regular customers and also, her friend wants the Red Mist necklace - all without ever setting themselves down on my stall! As soon as I receive the cheque, I will be making the promised donation of half of the proceeds to the Orangutan Foundation. It's nice to know people actually read my blog (even if you don't leave comments!) :-)

Fear not, I still have a (not yet photographed) Red Mist pendant and a further pair of earrings should anyone want to see (and or buy) them tomorrow on my stall at the Art & Craft Market in Trinity Street, Cambridge!

I've put a few new items on the website today, highlights of these below:

Bracelet made with handmade lampwork glass beadsBracelet made with handmade lampwork glass beadsHand made bracelet with handmade lampwork beads and fair trade hill tribe silver beads

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Have a great holiday Sandy and Chris!

We've all been a bit worried in our family lately about my sister's cats. Poor Georgie (pictured on the right) spent three nights at the vets on a drip with something unpronounceable. No sooner was Georgie home and making good progress when Darcy (the other one!) came out in sympathy with a dodgy eye. Fortunately some cream cleared that up in no time. Sandy thought she would have to cancel her holiday, they were due to fly out on Tuesday. Fortunately her travel insurance would've covered it but the cats are now in the cattery with the owner fully up to speed and keeping a special eye on them so all is well - phew! Aren't they cute? I thought dogs knew how to relax ...!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

First red mist products

Here is a photograph of the very first red mist products. When (if!) they are sold, half of the proceeds will be donated to the Orangutan Foundation. The necklace will be £65 and the earrings £12 per pair. They will be on sale on my stall from this Saturday and on my website soon.
Here is another photograph of a new bracelet made with my hagstone beads, this time they have been shaped using my kalera press, the edges of a pure kalera are squared off, these have been softened so they're more organic and with the etched surface, they feel like real pebbles! Don't the fair trade Karen Hill Tribe sterling silver beads look just dinky with them?Handmade bracelet with lampwork beads and fair trade Karen Hill tribe sterling silver beadsRightio, excuse me, readers of my other blog - Free me of palm oil - will understand why I now feel the need to set fire to things (via soldering) and bash things (via hammering silver links into a chain).

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Strawberry fair

As I'm typing this, it is pouring with rain here. It started the same yesterday morning - market day in Cambridge. I decided to believe the forecast and optimistically set up my stall anyway and fortunately, it was right and the rain cleared away to leave a pleasant day.

It was strawberry fair in Cambridge. This is usually a mixed blessing for my business - there are far more people around in Cambridge than usual and if the weather is fair and not too hot, many will wander over into the craft market as well and one always hopes they will buy something. But on the other hand, serious shoppers who don't like it when it's too crowded stay away. This is my sixth year and no two have been alike so I was prepared for anything! I just hoped I wouldn't have to spend too much time doing the crossword and soduko puzzles!

I ended up having a really good day, several things have sold before they made it onto the website (again!) But as I can't garden today, I will be spending some of my day off updating the website with pictures so I'll put them straight into the gallery or on the Lampwork section with "sold" on them.

To celebrate my good day and commemorate strawberry fair's role in it, I bought a strawberry cupcake from anew stallholder who appeared last week selling tempting cakes and goodies!

It was especially nice to see Sue and Lucie, two of my regular customers, who stopped by particularly to see any red mist jewellery I had produced in aid of the Orangutan Foundation. I'm afraid I had nothing to show them, I made up a batch of the beads on Thursday but didn't get time on Friday to turn them into jewellery so that's first job on Monday. But it proves people do read the blog and so it made my day!

I also haven't made any jewellery yet with these beads, they are a variation of the Akamai beads, these are orange/yellow and brown instead of the blue/green ones you've already seen.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

We have a winner!

I am pleased to say we have a winner, but not of the elections, sorry! Make sure that in the excitement of the announcement of the winner of my Name that Jewellery competition, you don't all forget to go and vote!

There were all of six entries ... that's three fewer than my previous competition! I shall have to make the prizes bigger methinks! Anyway, what you've all been waiting for is ...

Eric with "Blue planet with moon"! Thank you for entering Eric, I have your address from a previous website order so I shall be posting the earrings to you tomorrow! I'll e-mail you when I dispatch.

Now I have to pick a name for the jewellery from all the suggestions, I do like "blue planet with moon" as it's very descriptive of the beads. In fact all the suggestions would've fitted the jewellery well but just pipping the others is "Akamai", as suggested by Dani in her blog comment last week. So I shall be putting the jewellery on the website under that name but it will be in the Gallery section as it's already been sold.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Red mist

For the past few weeks I've been getting very annoyed about something. It's palm oil. I'm still as mad as I was when I first read this article and this one in the Independent. What has got me so cross is that I have been buying many of these items for years without realising that my money was contributing towards the demand for palm oil. Well, no more, I'm determined to try to live without the stuff as far as I can. I have read in many places that it's more or less impossible as this stuff is insidious throughout our consumer products. Nevertheless, I feel I have to act.

I don't want to clutter up my lampwork blog as this issue is a bit disparate but what I'd like to do is invite my readers to look at my other blog, Free me of palm oil, which is dedicated to my attempts to boycott products using palm oil.

I'll be prettying up the new blog with some photographs of rainforest creatures when I get chance to look out some royalty-free not for profit photographs.

This bead was made today whilst I was thinking about the issues thrown up by palm oil and the destruction of orangutan habitat in particular. I'm calling it Red Mist as it represents how angry - really angry - I am with the manufacturers who have been using it and disguising the fact on their ingredients' lists.

I'll be making more of these beads and a percentage of the proceeds of the jewellery sold will be donated towards the Orangutan Foundation, a UK based charity.