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January 01, 2010
Today dawned a beautiful bright sunny and utterly freezing day, a perfect start for a new year in fact. I had planned to make some beads today but decided that the shed deserved a bit of a new year tidy up, out with the old in with the new! So much glass, so many tools, critical mass had been reached in the shed. I couldn't turn around without arseing into something, usually glass which of course smashes to smithereens once it hits the floor. So I have about 10 lbs of random glass rods, mostly unlabelled, that I piled onto a tray and which I now have to attempt to sort out. Also a big stack of all of my favourite tools, about 30, that I need to find a way of storing so that they are on hand when I need them, any suggestions? I am considering one of those peg board deelios that you can clip the tools onto.I have a fantastic new Glass Hive kiln coming to me soon and I am so excited about it, I have already cleared a space for it. I will be able to do pmc as well as boro in it plus I am looking forward to not having to use the transformer with it. I consider these to be the Rolls Royce of bead kilns and I have been spending far too much time on the Glass Hive web site drooling over them, go and have a look, you know you want to...oh and did I mention that I was really excited about it?We went for a walk along the seafront this afternoon, the sea was completely flat calm with the sun setting over it, it was beautiful. There were so many people with the same idea as us though, it was nearly as busy as it is in the height of summer, wooly hats and sunglasses were de rigeur of course. One of the things I love about living here is that it really doesn't matter how daft your wooly hat is there is always someone wearing one that is infinitely more ridiculous!All in all a lovely day was enjoyed at chez Johnston, an earlyish night and I am all set to melt tomorrow.Bonne Nuit.
Dolly Mix Click to big it up!
This is one of the first pictures I took with my new camera for publication in issue 19 of Bead Magazine November 09.
January 23, 2013
I am on the horns of a dilemma... The sign ups for the 7th Bead Soup blog are fast approaching and I really, really want to take part again. I absolutely loved the last one, if you remember I was paired with Elaine Robitaille of Too Aquarius who sent me a package of her spectacular polymer clay beads. I loved working out how to use them and I only got slightly stressed about posting my final piece. I also loved visiting the blogs of the other particpants and seeing their bead soup ingredients, reading about their inspiration and process to their final pieces.
But....I am somewhat over subscribed at the moment...I have several Facebook Groups which I signed up for in a flurry of new year enthusiasm but it's looking less and less likely that I have time for.I am commited to my once a month blog circle, which doesn't sound much but I really try to take time over writing, reading and commenting on it.I am already doing the Art Jewelry Earring challenge.I have an exciting e-course starting in the next week or soMy mothers house is due to exchange and complete over the next 4-6 weeks, which means I have all sorts of packing and organising shenanagins to sort out.not to mention various teams and forums that I am active inand mostly not forgettinglampwork!I want to make some beads, I really want to make some beads and there just aren't enough hours in the day.So I think that I need to scale it down a bit and work out what I can sensibly achieve. I am still undecided but it is looking unlikely that I will sign up for Bead Soup 7 however just because I can't doesn't mean you shouldn't. Lori is accepting all applicants this time with 3 different reveal dates so click on over to Bead Soup 7 and check it out. Sign ups are from 25-27th January that is just four days away so mark your diaries.Oh and don't be surprised if I suddenly show up over there having had a last minute attack of the sod it, I just fancy a bowl of soup.
January 20, 2013
I recently signed up for the Art Jewelry Elements blog Earring Challenge to make one pair of earrings every week for a whole year, the earrings have to feature at least one artisan component. Every two weeks there will be a reveal with some of the earrings being featured on the AJE blog. There is also a Pinterest board which is looking fantastic already with challenge participants.Both my first and second pair feature gorgeous polymer clay beads by Elaine Robitaille of Too Aquarius. Elaine and I were partners in the Bead Soup challenge last year and I have been waiting for an opportunity to use these wonderful beads since last autumn.
My first pair are Flower Fairy Earrings with Elaine's flower beads, gemstone beads and Swarovski lilac opal crystal beads wire wrapped with Bali silver headpins.
Check out some of the other blog hop participants below there are some wonderful earrings out there.
January 17, 2013
I love the start of the year, a clean slate bursting with the of possibility of adventure.The start of this year finds me deep in family stuff. My 76 year old mother has sold her house and we are currently packing up the last 48 years of her life and all that goes with it. Layers of the lives of the people who lived there are being trawled through and sorted out. Tons of crap punctuated with bright sparkling jewels of memories, photographs, books, the occasional treasure which has lain forgotten about for decades, it's an emotional roller coaster, heart breaking at times.
I can't imagine how hard it must be to be leaving the scene of your entire life for nearly 50 years. The memories and ghosts of the people you loved most and other, bit part players you were rather less fond of. I do know mum, although sad, is really looking forward to finding somewhere smaller, easier to keep and cosy, her new beginning.
It's not just mum leaving, it's me too. When the removal van pulls away from the house where I lived from the age of 3 I will be leaving behind the house I left for school every morning waving to mum through a gap in the trees, the house where I experienced the highs and lows of being a teenager, the house I first I left for a bedsit in Dulwich at 19, the house where I set off for my wedding at 24, the house where my father and brother both passed away. It is a place packed with so many of my memories I know I will be overwhelmed with sadness.
On the other side of that though I can already see a gleaming new path, liberated from lifelong fears and expectations. It feels as if I really am throwing out the old to bring in the new by exposing things that have laid under dust for years and actually deciding I don't want or need them.
My new beginning is a big one it involves business plans, travel plans, new beads, new jewelry, lots of things I dreamt about for years. Finally, as Howard Jones once sang, I will be able to throw off my mental chains and I am beyond excited as to where it's going to take me!
This post is part of a "New Beginnings" blog circle, if you would like to step this way and follow the link the next blog is by Jean Wagner - New Beginnings