So cold - Brrrrrr....

February 05, 2009

After a week when I drove over 1100 miles and attended 3 university open days of varying quality with snowy blizzards and temperatures well below freezing disrupting the country I'm done, at least for a little while. I have, by and large, escaped the worst of the weather. It was snowing and extremely cold where we stayed in the Northwest but Brighton had it's worst snowfall in years after I left on Sunday night, the freak weather seemed to follow me round but miraculously I wasn't really affected by it. I reckon if I had looked in my rear view mirror I would have been able to see its snowy maw snapping at my heels!
Here is one of N-Js photos of our back yard

Me and the boy headed Northwards to Liverpool on Sunday lunchtime. Him plugged into his ipod, me trying to fight the urge to rip it off his head & throw the thing out of the window as the tinny tiny yet strangely loud thumping noise seeped through his headphones to grate on my every last frayed nerve while I battled through the rapidly deteriorating weather with my face jammed inches from the windscreen. Fortunately I realised I would regret de-iPodding him very quickly as I would then be a captive audience for badly regurgitated t.v. comedy sketches of the last 30 years.

Ann was waiting for us with a lovely roast dinner and we had a very pleasant evening catching up on the family gossip.
I took Ann a present, some flannelet pyjamas she had been looking for (big clue there) and even though she told me loads of times to bring warm clothes I didn't realise she meant for sleeping in too! I had in fact completely forgotten that she doesn't have either double glazing or central heating and no heating of any kind upstairs in the bedrooms. Man alive it was cold, we're talking ice on the inside of the windows here. I was sleeping in a single bed with a single quilt, it didn't matter which way I turned myself or the quilt it was impossible to cover myself completely and whichever bit was uncovered got ridiculously cold extremely quickly. By morning I had not slept a wink and was frozen stiff despite spending the night wearing every item of clothing I had packed . I recovered sufficiently after breakfast to go shopping to buy the boy some smartish clothes i.e. ones that fit and are not ripped or stained by super strength laundry detergent, for his uni interview. For myself I invested in some thermal long johns and a long sleeve vest to go under my pyjamas. Pleased with my cosy new bedtime attire I packed myself off for an early night to make up for the previous nights lack of sleep.


I forgot about my head....Noooooooooo

my hat was in the car and it was snowing again...In desperation I started to cast about for things I could fashion into some form of headwear, a towel - nope too bulky, a jumper - nope too itchy, a carrier bag - nope suffocation risk, a pair of knickers - nope ears would poke thru leg-holes leading to possible ear snappage.


I've got it!

and here I have to tell you that in fact necessity truly is the mother of invention

...I wound a vest around my head, tied it under my chin with the straps and then secured it with a pair of (new) frilly knickers yes I really did and I'm not ashamed to admit it!
Finally I was warm, ahhhhh, sleep followed quickly.

Next morning I awoke startled by the sound of Ann howling with laughter when she found me snoring gently with my head festooned in my vest and pants.

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