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, 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 !

Friday, 5 April 2013

OK given my very long absence from the blog I though I'd do a little overview of 2012. The heavily edited highlights are as follows -

February. BIG News. My lovely man and I got engaged. It was a bit of a surprise but in a thoroughly good way and Im still completely deliriously happy about it... and keeping busy planning and making weddingy stuff.

June. I heard that I had been selected for Glass Line Magazine's "Small and Beautiful" issue. I cannot describe how excitied / delighted / amazed / overjoyed I was and still am about this. For those that havent heard of it Glass Line decided to dedicate their June / July issue to celebrating "Significant works of art in glass beads" and asked internationally renowned artists Sara Sally LaGrand, Barbara Becker Simon and Paul Stankard and historian Robert K Liu to select 40 artists representing the international "best of the best" to be documented in that issue. Well, you can imagine the amount of happy dancing that went on in my kitchen when I got the news that I was one of the chosen right ?? Definitely a OMG Wow "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" moment.

August. I had the pleasure of taking a photography class with the lovely Mr Simon Bruntnell who was amazing, I learn so much in that day, he was very generous with his knowledge. If you get change to take a class with him I highly recommend it.

September. Had a dabble with print making at a one day class at Ochre Print Studio in Guildford, which was very inspiring and has resulted in some dabbling with printing on / with glass (nothing terribly successful yet, but one of these days it'll work)

October. I got first place in the British Bead Awards glass beads section with my set "An Ode to Miss Haversham" (detail photo below) lots of silver leaf, lace, and CZ's. I entered rather at the last minute in a should I / shouldnt I  frame of mind, as while I love the set and was really pleased with it, I wasnt sure it was really the right sort of thing, it photographs dreadfully, but I went for it and I am so very pleased I did.

We have also been to Prague and Vietnam in the last year, both of which were wonderful (and totally different !!). So that gives you a bit of an insight into what Ive been upto ! I'll be back soon with some images of some recent work !!!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

This one is for Caroline

I had a lovely student come to me for a class yesterday and we got onto the subject of blogs and specifically how very neglected mine is ... so THANK YOU Caroline, it was lovely to meet you and just for you - look a blog post !!

There has been rather a lot happened since I last posted which I will write about in another post (yes, really) but things are good here and Im certainly keeping busy, Im still doing lots of glass although not so many beads but beads are still part of life here at Chameleon Designs and there will be pictures of NEW beads to share too soon (Gasp!) once I have finished the cold work anyway...

On which note, out to the studio I go, and I promise I will be back again soon.