2009 - Hurrah.

January 09, 2009

Howdy Doody and a Happy New Year to you all. I am really happy to have a shiny new year to play in because quite frankly I was pretty sick of the old one. I am currently sitting on the sofa with a hot water bottle jammed down the the back of my trousers unable to move very far very fast so I'm going to take advantage of the situation.... So much has happened since I last blogged and I hardly know where to start so I am not going to, I am going to carry on regardless.

Owing to certain prevailing circumstances beadmaking, amongst other things and much to my dismay, has had to take a back seat for a while and I have been knitting and cooking in a fairly frenzied fashion to try and make up for it. I can't believe how much easier, quicker and more fun it is to cook on a proper, full size cooker, I have to wipe a tear of gratitude away every time I use it.
Also I am knitting a CPH (Central Park Hoodie) in Magenta Irish Tweed, which btw is utterly gorgeous, and am really enjoying that too. I am hoping that by the time it is finished I will be melting glass again though.

Coming up I have the Johnston country wide university tour where I get to drive one or other of my teenagers in a zigzag pattern across the length and breadth England for a variety of interviews and entrance exams. Of course the way this has all panned out is that each visit is as far away as possible from the last one and I can't drive from one to another because I would have the wrong teenager in the car thus ensuring maximum driving distance/time possible at all times! This kicks off at the end of the month with N-Js interview in Exeter followed by Rob in Manchester, N-J Southampton, Rob Nottingham, Rob Southampton(again)and N-J London and we finish with N-J in Lancaster at the beginning of March. The last and longest trip (some 800 mile round trip) will include my mum as an added bonus passenger because her family live there and we will be visiting - Woot.
Obviously this is much worse because both kiddos are applying in the same year which would normally happen but I have to tell you I am NOT looking forward to this one bit, there is nothing quite like being stuck in a car with a freaked out teenager for hours on end.
Quite frankly I am still startled by both of my offspring not only being clever enough to go to uni but also by their subject choices. Rob wants to study Computer programming with artificial intelligence and N-J is going for Astrophysics, I can barely spell astrophysics, I think I may have to wait in the car in case I let the side down - lol.
I will be blogging our adventure for all to appreciate here. I think there is going to be a LOT of hanging about, so I reckon between the knitting and blogging I've got it covered, sounds too exciting does't it? I bet you can hardly wait?

Well that's it for now, I need to refill my teacup and my hot water bottle and I fear it's going to take a while, shuffle-tastic.

A picture lest we forget....

Also in LampworkJewels

Bead Soup 7

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.

Selection of purple flower polymer clay beads
My delicious soup from last year

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 so
My 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 in
and mostly not forgetting
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.

Purple floral polymer clay necklace
Soup is served

Earring Challenge Weeks 1 & 2

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.

Week 2/52

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.

Flower Fairy Earrings

Flower Fairy Earrings

Week 1/52

My second pair with some of Elaine's daisy beads are simply wire wrapped with copper and copper beads. I wanted to make something simple but with lots of movement. I have to tell you it was a real test of my wire working skills as I am not used to working with copper wire or light weight polymer clay beads. Also I didn't have any copper ear wires so I made these myself. I clearly need to practice working with copper as it is much softer than sterling silver. I really enjoyed making these earrings and I'm looking forward to experimenting and practising my skills on my next pair.

Copper Earrings

Copper Earrings
Check out some of the other blog hop participants below there are some wonderful earrings out there.

New Beginnings

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