Saturday, 29 October 2011

Checking in

We got internet back up and running again yesterday evening. It's awful being out of touch ... five whole days without e-mails, blogs or Facebook. I have lots of e-mails, Etsy convos and blog reading to catch up on!

The move went pretty well, we're getting settled into our new home, but I haven't got either of my studios up and running again yet, I can now find pretty much everything I need in the house (our cereal bowls went missing for 4 days ... I got so, so, SO sick of toast for breakfast) and I only found the boots that I wear to my market stall this morning!)

One surprise was that what I assumed was a built-in fridge freezer in the new kitchen is in fact only a fridge. So when our order from Sainsbury's arrived, we had nowhere to put the frozen items ... prawns and ice cream for dinner on Wednesday ... yum! 

Some filing cabinet keys went missing, I got a new one cut in Cambridge this afternoon - EIGHT QUID! Only took the guy a matter of seconds once I gave him the 3-digit number on the lock ... I'm definitely in the wrong business but am infinitely grateful nothing else too dreadful went wrong.

So the filing cabinet that is IN MY WAY can now be moved and then the house will be straight but my studios are another matter. I am starting on unpacking all the boxes which comprise my jewellery making studio tomorrow, I'm hopeful I will be finished on that front on Monday evening at the latest but it'll be at least another week til I get round to being able to make beads again. The outbuilding which is to be my new beadmaking HQ is choc-a-block full of lots of things that need a good sorting out (or throwing out!) Some items are heavy so I need DH's help to move things around, everything just got plonked in there willy-nilly. As he's already taken a week off work to move, he has to get back to earning some proper money next week so it'll be a while before I can get back to lampworking unfortunately. 
In the meantime, I'm just checking in to prove that I am still connected to the universe. I'm so relieved the move is over and looking forward to getting back into jewellery and beadmaking routines once again - doing something different for a while (even if it has been a bit stressful) has whetted my apetite and given me ideas ... there's nothing like being UNABLE to make jewellery or beads to really, really make me particularly want to do both of those things ... more soon!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Moonbeams and trees

I'm very fond of the moon, I particularly love it when you can see the moon during the day; so different than when she's out at night. During the hours of darkness, on a clear night, she's a beacon and you can't miss her, she demands you look, admire and wonder at her majesty.

On a clear blue sparklingly shiny day like today, she's almost in disguise. Here she is tippy-toeing through the tree tops pretending she's a little bitty cloud. Mysterious and cloaking her true nature but still inspiring and drawing the tides, still "chaste and fair" and "seated in thy silver chair" (Ben Johnson). It calls to mind another poet, Ted Hughes who says of the moon

"The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work 
That points at him amazed".

To more mundane matters, removal plans are going well but to DH's chagrin, I have gone into list mode. If I have things recorded and written down so I don't forget, it enables me to sleep at night! I had a list for jobs that needed doing on Sunday (complete in total, all items ticked off and list disposed of). Still to be completed is the "List of moving jobs to do the first half of the week" (4 items left to complete but I've still got Wednesday morning to finish that one off!)

The next list is the "List of moving jobs to do the second half of the week", it's the longest of them all but on the plus side, one of them is already crossed out!

Shorter lists are the "List of moving jobs to do on pack up day" (Monday) and "List of moving jobs to do on day of move" (Tuesday). Wow, so this time next week, we should be safely domiciled in our new home.

One of the Sunday jobs was to sweep the paved area outside the backdoor. I swear I did this but look - it already needs doing again.

The horse chestnut and willow trees in and around the garden are half way through shedding. But I think I'm going to get away with the major leaf event in our garden which is when this ash tree shrugs off its foilage.
Look it's still green, will it stay that way for another week?!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Wintry clear bubble beads

The weather is set to turn a little colder from this evening onwards and here are some icy white clear bubble beads to go with it! It wasn't my idea to make some clear bubble beads, a customer suggested it but I'm really pleased with the simplicity of them.

I've listed them as a reserved set for that customer in my Etsy shop but I'll definitely be making some more of these soon. Hope I don't induce full-blown winter weather to appear too prematurely though! 

Preparations for the move are on-going, we're going to sign the tenancy agreement for the new house today and pay the first month's rent and deposit. The new house is empty now; the letting agent is giving us the keys for the afternoon so we can measure up and decide exactly what furniture is going into which room to hopefully make things on moving day as smooth as possible!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

So many bottles, so little time!

I got given these two bottles (empty!) by a couple of my lovely fellow stallholders at the Art & Craft Market in Cambridge a couple of weeks ago. The Jack Daniels was from Les, the Hairy Growler and the wine from Roz at Stabo.

The Jack Daniels bottle will create beads like the Talisker whiskey bottle - just plain old clear glass. As you know, I jazzed up the Talisker beads by sparingly applying silvered frit on the surface and reduced it to get a whiskey coloured bead. I'd like to do something similar with the Jack Daniels but maybe a different colour.

The wine bottle looks like it will produce beads very similar to the recycled Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry bottle but it looks a little lighter when side by side. I will have to melt some to see if they're easily discernible from each other. I could maybe make them a different shape though.

What I really need is time to experiment and that's in short supply at the moment! On top of that, I have managed to pick up a cold, DH and I both have it We probably caught it from being in a confined space on one of the warmest evenings of the year at the Blackmore's Night concert with thousands of other people- oh well, it's just a sniffle, it was worth it but it's really annoying when I need to blow mid-bead! What's more annoying is that it's only 3-4 months since I last had a cold, normally I get away with one a year. Ah well, better than getting it at Christmas time I suppose!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Getting there

Full steam ahead for the move. Removals are booked to pack us up on Monday 24th and we're moving into our new home on the 25th. It's been a busy couple of weeks showing removals people round for quotations and the Letting Agent so they can list it on Right Move. We've been continuing to work but all spare time is taken up with clearing drawers and taking old clothes to charity shops but I'm almost finished indoors. It's been so hot recently, not been doing a lot outside but we have some bits and pieces to take to the tip. Plus of course prospective tenants will start to arrive so I have to be in super-tidy mode just in case we get a short-notice visit. Cups and plates and dog bowls are whipped into the dishwasher immediately after use, taps on the sink, bath and shower are polished after every use ... it's exhausting!

Now we have a date, I have to do all the letters letting everyone know our new address. Hey Ho!

In amidst all this, we had tickets that we bought ages ago to see Blackmore's Night (site plays music as soon as you click on it). They're only doing 5 dates in the UK and it's the first time they've been in the UK for three years so we grabbed the front row seats of the dress circle of York Opera House as soon as they went on sale. York was the closest gig to us, it's usually about an hour and a half drive from where we are but given Friday night traffic, it took closer to three!

Blackmore's Night are a kind of rocked up medieval folk band. Guitarist is legend Ritchie Blackmore. He's married to the vocalist, Candice Night who has a brilliant voice. The band seemed to have a good time on stage, we all really enjoyed ourselves. They were on stage for ages and we didn't get to bed til 1am. We generally get up before 6am on Saturdays in order to get to Cambridge and set up my jewellery stall so it was a tiring weekend!

I've recovered from that now and am busily making stock (amongst moving preparations!) Here are some photographs of some of my latest creations. The top one features new clasps from Daisychain Extra in the shape of a poppy, they're really lovely! A bracelet made with a copper version of the poppy clasp and recycled Grand Marnier beads has already sold and so I've missed the opportunity to photograph that one. I'll be getting some more of these clasps so I'll make a better effort to get the camera out next time!
 This one is made with recycled Perrier Water beads in a variety of shapes.
 This bracelet is made with steely blue bubble beads, rock crystal and dyed quartz with one of my own sterling silver hand hammered clasps.
My taupe bubble beads are a lovely colour,  so neutral, they go with everything! (Especially amber and moonstone as here in these earrings).