Thursday, 23 September 2010

Lori's competition

Before bed last night, I was reading blogs but too tired to leave any comments. The blogs must've been on my mind because I dreamed about a competition Lori Anderson of Pretty Things was having. You had to sneak into her house at night, eat a piece of chicken in sauce and then leave patterns in the dirty plate. The most artistic plate won the competition. 

Fortunately, the real competition is a little more mainstream, if you blog about it, you can win a book so why not pop over there and enter! And the best thing for Lori is that there'll be no washing up when she gets up!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Couldn't stay away long could I?!

Painting the studio black was very satisfying, the fence is done to match now too and as I was painting I could see exactly where I'd been ... I am definitely a goal oriented person. Some jobs (like unloading the dishwasher) don't give you such a sense of achievement as the kitchen doesn't look any different after you've finished, but wow - the studio looks VERY different now. AND I have ticked one job off my to do list :-)

But ... but ... sometimes doing one job makes another doesn't it? After the studio was finished, I realised there was a thin line of the old colour I couldn't get to behind the plastic glazing that comes with the shed pack. It just ruined the whole effect. After discussing the problem with DH, the only thing for it was to remove the wood holding the plastic in place, paint it and then put the glazing back. The tricky thing was that the plastic had become really discoloured as it degrades in sunlight.

The only thing for it was to replace the plastic and we came to the conclusion that my smart new studio deserved glass and so DH was dispatched to get some horticultural grade; it's amazing the difference it makes, sometimes I could hardly see out when the sun was shining on the plastic. It's only now I've got the glass, I realise how bad it had got.

I'm so proud of it, I had to take a photograph and then this Red Admiral came down to give it his seal of approval and he posed beautifully for me!

Monday, 20 September 2010


That's me at the moment: a whirlwind. I am so busy, I am meeting myself backwards! Loads of things on the "to do" list and very little time for blogging.

I will return with news and new photos in a couple of weeks prob'ly.

Hope everyone is happy and has more time than me at the moment!

Friday, 10 September 2010

New floor

On Wednesday, we laid my brand new floor in the studio. I thought it would only take a couple of hours, and I could spend the rest of the day painting the outside but no. Even with two of us at it, taking everything out, cleaning behind things that hadn't been moved for over two years, laying the floor and then putting everything back, it took all day! So worth it though :-)

The cushion on the floor is where Missy rests when she's keeping me company, the area closest to the camera on the right is going to have a work surface resting across the two drawer units and be painted white to be the photography area. We haven't got the light units for that yet so David Tennant will be with us for a few more days (so, sorry you have to go, David but next time you visit, you can park the Tardis in the garden, yeh?)

The desk to the left is where I do my soldering (and enamelling earlier in the year).  All the broken bottles for upcycling into beads and then jewellery are organised into containers with lids now so they don't get dusty and now they're in smaller boxes, there's much more room. My glass is now organised by manufacturer so I've got separate shelves for Effetre and Reichenbach with CIM and Double Helix sharing. Tons of room to buy loads more as well! The drawer unit that was freed up now I'm no longer using it for glass has got all the clutter that I don't use so much so now my workstation is looking much tidier. DH took this photo with his wide angle lens just after I'd made some Bombay Sapphire beads yesterday. You can still see my lovely new floor!
Here is a close up of my Effetre glass stash, I'd like eventually to arrange this into a rainbow of colours but that has a rather low priority. You can see the rough edges of my not-so-expert sawing hacking of the plastic pipe to cut them down to size!
I started painting the outside with black preservative yesterday afternoon after making recycled beads in the morning but I'm nowhere near finished! For the rest of today, I'm making jewellery for as long as it takes until I've used the small quantity of beads I've made this week and then I'm back to the painting. Photos when it's finished, it's looking good so far!

Ooo, before I forget, Laura is having one of her bead giveaways on her blog so head on over there and enter!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Studio re-organisation

The usual busy summer months of July and August are behind us, my sales are dwindling and so jewellery making to restock my stall has fallen to a more manageable level. Before the big Christmas push, it's a relief to find I will now have a bit of time to get round to some stuff I've been meaning to do for ages. Like, paint the shed studio and adjacent picket fencing (it's turning black).

I've also run out of space inside the studio as I'm not using the existing space very well. When I moved into this studio, it seemed huge but in the intervening two and a half years, I have been filling it up (mainly with glass). I've planned it all out and if I move things around and re-organise, I have room for another shelving unit and will even have room for a small photography area so I can take photographs independent of the weather and lighting outside.

I often want to photograph things after it's gone dark, particularly on a Friday night when the majority of my pieces are finished off.  Consequently, I don't take photographs of everything I make and sometimes some really nice items don't get recorded which bothers me. Provisionally, I am planning the photography area around this useful Etsy article about photography, but DH is going to have a look first and tell me if he thinks it will work for my jewellery.

Whilst I'm moving everything around, I'm going to take the opportunity to put a proper floor covering in. It's already got insulation and chipboard but that's it. Ideally I would like a ceramic tiled floor or chequerboard quarry tiles maybe but the budget won't stretch to that, especially as I think we'll be moving within a year or two. So, we're going to buy a cheap off-cut of a bit of vinyl and laying it ourselves. It'll look smarter, be easier to clean and it won't be the end of the world if it gets a scorch mark or two.

The photograph represents some initial purchases which DH picked up on his travels for me yesterday but I still need some inch and a half plastic pipes (which I cut up and store glass in), some brushes for the stain and the vinyl floor. So, I'm off to the shops!

There may be some jewellery/bead pictures later in the week.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Large hole bead bracelets

Over the past several weeks, I've been building up my stock of large hole Pandora style silver core lined beads (what a mouthful!) I'm displaying them on my stall on starter bangles, which are also available to purchase at less than half the price of a Pandora starter bracelet. The bangles are available in three sizes, a child's size, medium which will fit a lady with a UK dress size of (say) 8 to 12 and large for (say) size 14 over.

I've photographed a couple to show you what they look like with a selection of my glass bead, this blue one includes some sterling silver and also features three of my fine silver spacers right in the middle which I wrote about a while ago. The ends of the bracelet unscrew and you can therefore put as many or as few beads on the bangle as you like. The starter bangle includes two friction beads which go either side of your chosen beads to keep them tidily in place.

If you're out and about in Cambridge, the weather forecast is for fair weather on Saturday and I'd love to welcome you to my stall in the All Saints Art & Craft Market. Whatever you're up to, I hope everyone has a good weekend,