Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Lots of new work !

Life has been rather eventful since I last posted -

Just after christmas my long serving SC2 kiln died, but the wonderful Kilncare sorted me out with a lovely new GREY Maxi kiln... and a loaner beadcube whilst it was being built !! Arent they wonderful people !!

The Lark Books "1000 Beads" book arrived, I feel very privileged to have 3 pieces included in such a lovely book with some very beautiful work, and its a real put your feet up with a cup of tea and have a good browse through book - in fact I have done several times and each time find something new to "Ooooo" at.

A few days before the Flame Off my oxycon decided it too was giving up, but with a lot of help from lovely people online I got a new one delivered and got back to work.

The Flame Off a couple of weeks back was great, it was lovely to chat to the people who came to my stall, meet old friends and make new ones.

Flame off Stand

Some of the beads !

As you might be able to see from the Flame Off pic I have been working hard on my lidded boxes, some new designs with lampworked decoration fused to the lids of the boxes.

Ive also been making lots of new designs of beads, some you can see in the picture from the Flame Off, mainly inspired by blossom as our new garden is full of it. First there was Blackthorn blossom, then the plums - Cherry Plums and Damsons, and now the Apples have started with everything from a soft white to a bright fuchsia pink crab apple and all sorts in between. It is stunning and really makes you feel the joy of spring !

From Left, Sloe, Apple and Crab Apple blossoms

One of the new blossom beads.

Then after the Flame Off we had a weekend in Budapest for a much needed break !!

So its been all go, I am hoping to blog more regularly now but if you are missing me dont forget you can also see me on Facebook.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Happy 2014

I hope the New Year is treating you well so far ? I cant believe how fast time is flying, half way through January already !

I have been busy, following a bit more clearing of boxes (and a bit of bodging together ) I have my torch set up !! Woo Hoo !! As you can understand Im very happy, its only a temporary home but it means I could torch :) …once I finished unpacking all the glass

An what have I been upto on my torch since this excitement occurred I hear you ask ? Well, I have had a couple of commissions to do but I have been working on inclusions for some new work - Lidded boxes. Or boxes with lids. However you want to describe them (I cant decide) they are dinky little creatures, about 3 1/2" ( 9cm for those that prefer it) across, with a soft curved bowl on the inside to put your treasures in and a little lid. The lids have been my current source of fascination or more specifically making inclusions to put in them. It has taken quite a lot of experimenting to get it to work quite how I wanted but ….drum roll…. my I present to you my first little box, with a cherry blossom lid -

and for the curious, another view showing the inside -

In other news the skitties have settled in pretty well now. Her Spottyness, ever the heat seeking kitty, is completely in love with the fire (cant say I blame her, its amazing, I have never lived somewhere with a real fire before and I love it) and is usually to be found stretched out in front of it basking. She has had a good look at the fish in the pond, but so far has only had a couple of half hearted attempts at getting them. 

Lily, following the arrival of a special new Lily chair, spends lots of time snoozing with occasional dainty forays out into the cold. She has been for a good wander around the garden, checked out the wendy house (and you know she can see potential for that come summer !!) and had a good nosey at the chickens next door. 

The Pickle boy has had a good mooch about, not over fussed on the great outdoors, its awful cold and wet, had a couple of nights out with the feral cats over the road (and possibly a bad mouse vindaloo…. yes, nuff said.) but is generally content to snooze on our bed or lounge around wherever the humans are. 

Anyway on that note I will leave you as there are kilns to empty and dinner to make..

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas tree update

Well, I was going to say its time for my annual Christmas tree ornament update, but looking back on the blog, I couldnt find it ?!?! ...Last years is still as a draft !! Hopeless ? Me ? hmmm.. possibly ! Guess we know what one of my New Years Resolutions needs to be.

So, the not so annual update...

Well this year I have a gorgeous little felted Robin from Sarah Jane Coleby how adorable is he ?!

 I also have a very special ornament bought for me by himself, from Fortnum and Mason no less, when we went for afternoon tea as wonderful wedding present from very special friends, it is a little cranberry glass bauble engraved and lustred and a wonderful memento of a really lovely day out as well as being a stunning bauble in its own right.

The hedgepigs I bought a couple of years ago and then misplaced finally made it onto the tree (its amazing what turns up when you move house)

And himself got some very cute foxes and owls which also had to go on the tree.

This years me-made addition is one of my snowflakes -

What ornaments have you added to your tree this year ? just one or two to build up a collection ? Or maybe you have had a complete change of theme ? I would love to see pictures of ornaments or the whole tree, please add a link in the comments :)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Its (not) grim 'Up North'

Yes we're here, and finally also back in the land of the interwebularly connected !! It's been a slightly difficult few weeks without Internet, I forget how much we rely on it till its not there, I'd been all organised and written up lists of nearest diy stores, takeaways, (and even dr and hospital ! ) but there were still so many things that we went "we need a_______, I'll just look online ....er, no, I forgot no interwebs. " still we found out the town hall has a cafe and free wifi so that became the 'emergency' interwebs point !!

Anyway with the lack of distractions online more probably got done (ha) and lots of boxes have been unpacked, flat pack furniture built, and we're starting to be able to see the house !! I have a rudimentary studio set up, kiln and some cold working equipment (and a heater and a radio of course)  .

The rest of the workshop area is rather box filled, and at the moment not getting unpacked as there is going to be a bit of building work done to make the studio right before I can properly get set up and settled in.

I have had the kiln running (night and day !!) as the very lovely Dee at Soul Bird Gallery in Wem kindly offered me a space for the Wem Christmas Shopping night so I have been making glass snowflake ornaments and also making some float glass ornaments with my drawings and patterns sandblasted onto them. So all in all I have not been idle ! Looking forward to getting back some flamework soon but in the meantime I'll leave you with a picture of some of the snowflakes from a frosty morning.

Friday, 16 August 2013

We're on the move....

Its turning into a busy busy year this year !!

We are on the move (Northwards for anyone who is interested), from an exciting point of view that means that I get a lovely new space, well, lovely after a bit of building work and some "doing up" !! In the meantime what it means is I have to sort the studio out. For those who havent seen my studio it is a tad, er, Full. In fact it is crammed to the rafters with all manner of things, mostly, glass related. The obvious problem here being the thought of having to pack and move it all. So I have started the process of sorting out and trying to work out what I *need* to keep, what I have to throw out, and what I can sell.

As a result of yesterday's mammoth efforts I now have one clear work surface (hurrah!! although as you can see from the picture we wont talk about underneath the work surface !!) and a Sale selection of beads added to my Etsy shop .

There are Focal beads for a fiver !!

There are "Lucky Dip" packs, little collections of beads that are a mix of focals and smaller beads in all manner of shapes.

There are even a limited number of sets of 3 silver core beads for £20 !!!  

Lucky Dips

Please if you have a minute take a look and see if something takes your fancy !

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Taking a (metal) leaf out of Sarah's book

Following from drooling over the amazing work of Nancy Sutcliffe  which has the most gorgeous gold patterns in it, I have been pondering. Specifically over metallic surfaces on beads, not the gloriously smooth metallic of my much used lustres but a rougher, more "distressed", less perfect sort of metallic. All my experiments have annoyingly fallen short of what I was looking for.

I bought Frances Federer's Gold Leaf, Paint and Glass (Excellent book by the way) but decided that as I didnt want a top coat on my metallic-ing that gilding was not going to work for this.

So I played. And faffed, and sanded and filed but no, not what I wanted.

Then I was pondering the work of my good friend, the very talented Sarah of Flame Force Five and her use of gold. and I had an idea... so, following on from a bit more faffing, I have the spark of something Im pleased with using metal leaf and deeply sandblasted Im hopeful these are the start of something exciting -

..and yes, I am totally addicted to that soft green. Its almost on a par with grey. Almost. 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Recent work

Not beads exactly (they are built around beads) but some of what I have been working on recently

Hope you have had a great weekend !