Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blog award - yay!

Wow, just reading the comments from my blog before christmas and I had loads of lovely comments, thank you. I even had a blog award waiting for me from Kazzells -thank you so much so now I'm really buzzing!

Ok so here's the blog award rules

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity & creativity inspires others in the blog world.

The rules for accepting these award:-

Put the logo on your blog or within your post.-

Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.-

Link the nominees within your post.-

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

So my chosen 12 for an award are as follows:

Bodrighy Wood - I love Pete's work and always find it inspiring and fascinating

Kiamyka - Chris has always been so supportive and helpful

A box of beads - Jean is lovely and makes beautiful jewellery

Plookiss - another beginner sewing girl - who is sooooo much better than me! but such an inspiration

Madison Mae - beautiful bag charms - I'm going to try making one to go with my new bag

Ooak Fairy Fae Sculpture - gosh I wish I could sculpt like Rita, she is very talented

Dragon Crafts - an inspiring mother whoes partner works away, she makes gorgeous jewellery

Carl Martin Jewellery - now Carl has inspired me with the idea of making our own wedding rings, can't wait to book onto his course

Monkey Chatter - When I see Monkey's beads it makes me want to learn lampworking, they are so fab and I love all the animal pictures too.

Begemmed - Emma has really inspired me to have a go at the polymer clay roses I've been wanting to try and make for ages now, hers are beautiful and I hope I can do as good a job as she does.

MissSearles - Charlotte should be an inspiration to us all to carry on with a positive attitude when life deals us a bad hand!

Lucy's Designs - I love Lucy - she can do everything! jewellery, bags, cards, all stunning!

well there we are my awards all dished out, I notice my blog circle of friends is quite small and most of the people I follow also follow the same group of people all from the uk craft forum - I need to spend more time on here obviously and be brave and venture outside of this lovely circle....

I've just taken some pictures of my latest jewellery bits and so if I can get Archie to have a nap before his tea I'll post them on another blog - gosh 3 blogs in one day - just like buses.

Long time coming!

Oh my, where has the time gone! It's been months since I last blogged and I've got loads to write about - I don't know where to start.

Well, Christmas has been and gone, it was nice and quiet, only the 4 of us on Christmas day, Archie woke up at 6.30am but had no idea it was a special day so when told to go back to sleep for a bit - he did, then at about 8.30 we shouted him through to our room and he got into our bed and then my other half came round to my side of the bed and knelt down, produced this small square box and asked me to marry him! I was gobsmacked, it was soooooo unexpected.

Archie didn't start opening any presents until after 11am but then he opened everyones, it turns out he likes presents. Emily didn't have a clue what was going on and stuck to her usual sleeping most of the morning routine and then discovered she had a load of new pink things that she could put in her mouth!

I got to open my present from the secret santa on the UK Craft Forum which was a lovely and unusual bracelet....

On boxing day we started talking weddings, we've decided to wait until 2012 when Emily will be old enough to be a part of it all, so I decided that will give me enough time to learn to sew so that I can make my own wedding dress. Now I've always said that I can't sew for toffee after once trying to take up a pair of trousers (I have stupidly short legs - about 26 inches) and ended up with one leg longer than the other and wonky hems. Soooo I joined a new forum - The Sewing Forum which is ace and full of lovely helpful people and have been trawling the net for free patterns, ideas and funky fabrics so that I can make stuff to learn and practice. A fantastic lady on the sewing forum was looking for ideas/new homes for loads of silk fabric she had ended up with and she very kindly sent me some bright pink, bright orange and pale pink silks, once this arrived I was eager to start making something so a trip to Dunelm Mill and £40 later I had fabric shears, needles thread, another fabric, interlining and was ready to go - the only thing I didn't have was a sewing machine. My future mother-in-law has said I can have hers but we haven't seen her yet. Unable to contain myself anymore I decided to make a bag after finding this tutorial  and here is my first sewing effort....

The flowers that were printed onto the fabric were crying out for some seed bead embellishment and I really enjoyed that bit.

I also loved working with the silk, it was like cutting paper so felt more familar than cutting the other fabric and then it behaved itself very well when I was sewing it, it folded nicely and gave crisp lines. There was something very theraputic and calming about hand sewing - apart from when the thread got tangled, and when I stuck the needle into the back of my thumb, or when one of the cats knocked my box of pins off the arm of the sofa before I had the chance to put the lid back on. So now I've been seeking out fabric stalls in the markets in Barnsley and Leeds and I seem to be looking at everything sussing out how it's made.

That doesn't mean I've given up on the jewellery though, quite the opposite. I'll be making my own jewellery for the wedding and I got a book out of the library on making tiara's. I got some exciting news the other day too as I sent an email to a beading magazine months ago and it got printed so I got a £25 gift voucher for Beads Unlimited and so have just bought a load of stuff from there. I also made my mum an unusual bracelet for Christmas that I was quite pleased with. It's made from coils of coloured wire and flourite chips.

oh and had a go at making fimo beads to make this bracelet for my chocoholic friend

I had a good jewellery day yesterday, finished off two orders and then made myself a new ring using a slightly new style to my other rings and a torque necklace which is another new style for me, still need to get photos though and my other half tidied all my craft things away before Christmas and now I can't find my camera anywhere.

I'm off to get some lunch now before the Archie monster gets home from nursery and I'll take some photos of my new makes on my phone

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Been a while

Well, I haven't blogged in ages, naughty me! I just seem to have been so busy recently. Since my last post we have done 3 craft fairs, but unfortunately they proved quite unsucessful. I was busy making loads of stock in the run up to the first one. It was at Ilkley on the 8th November, I was pleased with my display, it looked quite professional even though it was done fairly cheaply. Here's some of my stuff laid out on my living room floor

After laying it all out I realised I needed more bracelets and so made loads of memory wire bracelets and some wire wrapped bangles, I also made a load more earrings and some more rings.

I decided to hang my earrings on a christmas tree, like this

which is fibre optic and looks really nice when you switch it on, lots of people commented on it at the fairs and looked at my earrings so that was good.

So the first fair - lots of people there, it was in an old people's centre so a lot of them were elderly, but I got lots of nice comments about my jewellery, just no one buying. I sold one of my button rings and that was all and I even had to remake that to the right size. I did meet some lovely people there though, a few of the crafters from the UK craft forum so that was really nice. We had Emily with us so that attracted people to our stall I think. After chatting to some of the other stall holders I don't think many of them had many sales, in fact I think quite a few had no sales at all.

The second fair was a charity fair in a village hall, so I wasn't expecting much, there were quite a few people in. Again met a few people off the craft forum and had a lovely lady next to me who sells cosmetics - creams and shower gels etc, which she makes herself from scratch. Again I didn't sell much. My mother-in-law came and she bought a bracelet and necklace that she'd specifically asked me to make anyway

She also bought a memory wire bracelet and this pair of earrings

And a young girl bought a wire wrapped bangle

and that was it really, one of the other stall holders really liked one of my necklaces but thought it was a little too long for her, her mum was thinking about getting it for her for Christmas so I gave her a business card and offered to alter the length but I haven't heard anything.

So fair number 3, this one was at York Railway musuem and was bigger than the other two, so I thought it might be a good one, it was very slow, didn't seem to be many through the door and again I didn't sell much, 3 pairs of earrings this time, got some good comments again and people quite interested but just not buying. So three fairs down - it's cost a total of £55 to stand at them (not including petrol and food and drink on the day) and I sold £33 worth of stock, but I'm trying not to be disillussioned. I have a jewellery party coming up on the 4th December so hope that will prove sucessful and a two day fair at Elsecar the weekend after. Actually, now hoping I don't sell loads of stock at my party or else I may be short for the fair. hmmmmm may have to encourage people to place orders at the party instead.

Friday, October 16, 2009

These are a few of my favourite things.....

Not raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens

I wasn't sure what to blog about as haven't really been up to much, I have made a few bits of jewellery but nothing very exciting, I've started my upcycled book into a bag, but it's not ready to show yet (am pleased with it so far though) and I'm sure there's millions of other things I should be doing while the kiddies are asleep, but I just wanted a bit of me time as I've been running around all over this week and just want to sit and chill. Soooooo I thought I'd just blog about some of the lovely handmade things I've come across recently and I hope the creators of these lovely things don't mind me link to their photos, I'm sure they won't as I'm just doing it to show off their fabulous work.

So my first favourite thing are these gorgeous little pram shoes by LittleMillie on Folksy, they are so gorgeous that I've actually asked LittleMillie to make me some for my little Emily.

At number 2 we have this amazing yew vase from Bodrighy on Etsy, I just love the organic-ness of this and the colour, I would love to be able to feel it. If it were mine I think I'd have a potted plant in it and it would look fab on my kitchen table

Now we have some beautiful beads by Glittering Prize, which I saw on the UK Beaders forum. Trudy sells her beads and jewellery on Etsy. I love the colours in these beads but there are some other fabulous ones in the Etsy shop too.......if only I was rich! or richer at least

At number 4 I had to have these absolutely adorable Tomte Family by Miss Searls which are for sale on Etsy, Miss Searls had the brilliant idea of doing her Sew It, Stick It, Sparkle Sundays (SISISS) Featured Blogs where she features other crafters and tells everyone a bit about them and what they've been making, I was featured in her first one!

For my number 5, I just had to show you this gorgeous wall hanging, poor Laurie at 23BeechHill has been busy making loads of these on commission and I'm not surprised as they are beautiful, it's called princess and the pea and if you look hard enough you can see the button 'pea' on one of the matresses. I want one for Emily's room, but will wait until after christmas and see what the bank balance looks like.

At number 6 I have this lovely pig by Moonbeam Angel, on the UK Craft forum, Diane (aka Moonbeam Angel) makes loads of fabulous mosaics and is so talented, but I just loved the colours in this pig. She sells her stuff on Misi

I saw this amazing piece of jewellery on the UK Beaders forum and was in so much awe, it was made by a lady called Dorrie and I would love to be able to make something like this one day, so this is my number 7

Well that's my top 7 favourite things, I might add more later, but I'll leave it there for now as it's getting late now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mmmmmm strawberries

We went to a local farmers market on Sunday and there was a stall there selling strawberries, I was suprised because I thought the strawberry season would be over by now, but the one I tasted was lovely and sweet so I got a punnet, didn't get chance to eat any on Sunday and forgot about them yesterday. So when I got them out of the fridge tonight I assumed they'be going mouldy or at least soft, but no, they were absolutely fine. Had they been supermarket ones they would definately be passed it by now. So I made some strawberry coulis - with lemon juice, caster sugar and strawberries, spooned over sliced peach and strawberries with creme fraiche, mmmmmmmmm.

On the jewellery front I made two necklaces as a gift for my team leader at work who's leaving our team this week. I used a vintage button in the first one and was pleased with how it turned out

The second one is a bit fancier, various wirework and wire wrapping and a mixture of glass beads, it's a bit more daring, but I hope she likes it.

I also had time to make two other necklaces and two bracelets today, which will be more stock for the craft fair I'm doing in Ilkley on the 8th November.I'll hopefully be doing another one in York on the 22nd, if it's not fully booked already, must remember to send my cheque off tomorrow.

And now it's time for a bath.......night.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Burning down the house

You know how easy it is to get sidetracked when you've got two youngsters in the house....... well, Emily and Archie were both asleep so I made myself some lunch, had a sit down with a cuppa and a bit of a break, then started making Archie's tea - pasta bolognese. I'd already started the source and it was simmering away so all that was left to do was put the pasta on and garlic bread in. I heard him stirring, so put the pasta on, a mixture of broken spaghetti and tiny stars. I decided to quickly fold up the dry washing that was hanging in the garage, which must have took longer that anticipated as when I went to get Archie up he'd dosed back off again. Got him up anyway as he'd been alseep for over two hours and was just changing his nappy when the fire alarm went off

We live in a four story town house and so have a proper "break glass" fire alarm system, I had to leave a rather shocked and upset Archie mid nappy change and ran down to the kitchen, where I found the pasta had boiled dry and burnt to the bottom of the pan and the kitchen was full of smoke. So I turned everything off and ran to the fire alarm control panel in the cupboard in the hallway and entered the reset code and it didn't work! The sound was deafening and I tried about 4 times to no avail, so I decided I had best get the kids out of the house. I found Archie screaming his head off half way down the stairs with no nappy on, poor thing, so took him back upstairs and put on nappy, trousers and shoes and took him down to the hall where I had to leave him (screaming again) while I went to get Emily - who was soundly sleeping through it all!. I realised the pram was in the back of the car with the other half at work, so I got Archie's coat and reins on and wrapped Emily in a blanket and got them outside while I rang him. He rang the building company and asked them to help so they arranged for the site foreman to come round and sort it out (luckily for us they are still building houses on our estate!). So the builders couldn't get the alarm to reset either and ended up disconnecting it to make it stop, when they reconnected it said there was a fault, so they hoovered out all the sensors and detectors but that didn't work, all they could do was leave me with it beeping every 30 seconds to tell me there was a fault and arrange for the company who installed it to send someone out. At least we were back in the house, it's no fun being on the street for 20 minutes with a bored toddler and a baby who has been rudely awakened and thinks the only consolation is a feed. The alarm company rang and said they couldn't get anyone out for 2 days!

To top it all off, Archie turned his nose up at my bolognese - and no I didn't give him the burnt pasta! He wouldn't even try it - little monkey. But he did eat all the middle bits of the garlic baguette.

So that was my eventful day on Tuesday, yesterday was much calmer and I even found time to make some jewellery..... just a couple of rings which is a new thing for me

I'm quite pleased with them, and going to see if they sell at the craft fairs I'm doing.

Today I've spent most of the day setting up a Folksy shop, which seems tobe taking me forever.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Busy busy busy

Gosh, where does the time go?

I've had such a busy couple of weeks. Archie started a new nursery and is only going half days so my afternoons are not so quiet anymore. He seems to have settled there just fine, but I cried on his first day because I was worried he would miss his old nursery!

Emily cried again at baby massage, this is the third week in a row now she's cried, yet she loves it when we do it at home and I was shocked to find out she's only put a pound on in 5 weeks,  so now I'm feeding her for England even though the Health Visitor wasn't too concerned - I feel like she's permanently attached to me!

Last weekend we went to the Newark gem and bead fair and my OH went round and bought me loads of stuff. He gets so carried away at these things and chose loads of pendants and some lovely beads for my necklaces. We spent £200, which I wasn't planning on, but he is so supportive of my jewellery making, I'm just hoping I can start selling my stuff and make him proud.

So here's what I've been making with the new beads....

This first one is my favourite, I think the pendant is banded agate and I used black faceted glass beads and blue seed beads and a lovely Tibetan silver toggle clasp

This is banded agate died pink, it's a really bright vivid pink and really stands out, it's about 3cm diameter and I used clear faceted glass bicones and velveteen tubing (which we bought a load of at the bead fair)

Here's another pink banded agate pendant, but this time with some really bright pink beads

Another pink banded agate, but this is very pale and delicate, I got a string of 10 of these pink coin beads and they are all different, some very pale and some bright pink. With this one I added some pink quartz ovals, silver lined seed beads and tried my hand at some wirework - which I think turned out ok

More banded agate, but this time green and yellow, with some lovely green and yellow beads and gold bugles, this one reminds me of a landscape, sunrise over green fields

I love the colours in this one - 4cm greeny blue and brown banded agate coin bead - to which I added sesame jasper flat ovals. I love the fact that you can spin these coin beads around and get a different pattern/colours on the other side

We also got 10 of the greeny blue banded agate coin beads and to this one I added some of the faceted black beads and blue seed beads which make a very pretty combination

I love this heart shaped pendant, I wished I had got some brown velveteen tubing for this one, but we only bought black, the smokey quartz cubey-pillowy beads are gorgeous and we also got those unusual shell beads at the fair

I wasn't sure what the purple pendant was (that's the problem when OH wonders off and buys a load of stuff but doesn't listen to what the sellers tell him about what they are.....) anyway it went well with the flourite chips we got so I did this 2 strand floating necklace on illusion thread.

I love this faceted glass teardrop pendant, to which I added some black faceted beads and some crystal rondels and good old velveteen tubing!

Last one using bead fair beads, again I'm not really sure what this is..... will have to do some research, I think it may be jasper, the round beads look very similar and so was a natural choice to compliment this pendant

Now for some other things I've made recently. I saw a tutorial for a wirewrapped cuff somewhere and was dying to make one, then not being able to remember where I'd seen it, I just had to make it up as I went along. I used silver plated wire and swarovski crystals from a mix called contempory christmas. Not bad for a first try I thought....

I made this beaded bangle which was featured in one of the bead magazines last month, quite easy to make but took a bit of time and used lots of thin wire.

I'm not sure about this one, I had started off making a stretch bracelet out of these and more similar beads, but then I didn't like it. When I pulled the elastic out the beads looked like they would make a nice necklace and so I added some champagne coloured velveteen tubing I had left. I'm just not sure if the lampwork lentil gets lost among all the dangles

I made this floating Swarovski crystal necklace to wear to a christening and it got me a cracking comission that I can't wait to get started on

Green agate ovals and serpentine round beads teamed up with some little purple beads, it's quite heavy this one, but I love the feel of the cool beads.

and a matching braccelet....

I love this little fishy bracelet, especially the little silver 'bubbles'

And finally I've made a load of earrings ready for the craft fair I've got coming up, I've paired off a load of other beads to make some more too

So I have been busy, just not had chance to take pictures or blog about what I've been doing!