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Gratitude

November 15, 2012

As we approach Thanksgiving in the US, this months blog circle post is brought to you with gratitude. I have now written this post many times over but this was a tricky one for me. When I started writing I found myself putting all the things I was grateful for into some sort of hierarchy and that isn't the way it works.  Also I have come to the conclusion that I am not a good enough writer to actually express myself clearly without sounding trite so I have decided to keep it simple.

I lead a charmed life and I am blessed to have clean running water, good food readily available, I live in a warm house in a safe city in one of the richest countries in the world. My family and friends are equally healthy, warm and safe and live in the same conditions, for these very fundamental requirements I am inordinately grateful and I give thanks every single day. I know that many millions of people are not so lucky and permanently live in abject poverty and terror and even though I have seen it on the television, radio, internet and newspapers I cannot begin to imagine how that would be.

Obviously other things that I am grateful for on a daily basis include: family, friends and health which are a given. So today I will focus on being thankful that I found my métier (I would use the word passion but again it just sounds trite). I love melting glass to make beads,  I love making jewellery with my beads and I love to see peoples faces light up when they pick up one of my beads, turn it over in their hands, look up and ask "you made this?" I love sitting in my studio deciding which colours I feel drawn to, which colours might make have interesting reactions and which colours would shine in a particular bead. I love the feel of a perfectly shaped bead in my hand, the way it's weight feels balanced and the satisfaction of standing it on either end and seeing that the edges are true. I love learning a new technique, even the inevitable repetition of trying to perfect that technique. I love trying new colour glass or inclusions and putting them through their paces but best of all I just love sitting on my uncomfortable stool, in my spidery shed, with my ipod blaring and being in the zone, just me and the glass..... Thank You

Bead making bench
Me, the glass and some spiders
Bead Station
Hanging out in the shed melting some glass

This post is part of a blog circle of wonderful artists writing about the theme of Gratitude. The next post in the circle is by the extremely talented mixed media artist Vickie Martin please follow this link to read her post Vickie Martin - Gratitude (Our blogs are from all around the world so there may be some delay in publishing them, please be patient) 





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



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 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
lampwork!
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


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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.

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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

 

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