Thursday 31 January 2008


I just had to go and say the word 'spring' and jinx the weather, didn't I?! It is really miserable here today. B and I got rained on and blown about as I took him down to his childminder. Never mind - he's now happy playing with megablocks in the warm and I've got my koil kutter and soldering equipment out so it's time to get to work!

Wednesday 30 January 2008

A beautiful day!

It feels postively spring-like today! The sun is shining, birds are sitting in the apple tree in our garden and I didn't have to zip my coat up and wrap myself in my scarf when I went into town this morning!

I've had a busy day and feel quite virtuous. B and I went into town this morning to buy him some new shoes and I got quite a few jobs done. He had fallen asleep in the car by the time we got home so I hoovered, cleaned the kitchen and got some paperwork done and even started organising tea. Okay, so that fact that I treated us to a Pizza Hut buffet isn't quite so good, but I'm only human! I always feel happier when the sun's out, but then again, doesn't everyone?

We've had a busy few days. We spent the weekend (well, Friday to Monday) visiting friends in mid Wales. They moved there in the summer and it was lovely to see them looking so happy, relaxed and settled in their new home. It's a beautiful place. We spent Saturday cooking jacket potatoes and sausages on the beach at Aberdovey, and N (our friend's youngest daughter) and I did some baking on Sunday, and we just generally relaxed and spent time chatting. Thank you to Jayne and Neil and the girls for a really lovely weekend! B keeps asking where the girls are, so we're going to have to meet up again soon.

Yesterday, my mum had organised an 'at-home' day for friends and neighbours and their friends to see (and buy!) her cards and my jewellery. Mum sells Phoenix cards. They are really lovely - I was amazed when she first started how much nicer the cards are than the ones you can get in the shops and how much cheaper they are too. I never buy cards in the high street now. We had a successful day, so thank you to everyone who came along.

The earrings in this post are spoken for now - sorry! I haven't even had a chance to put them on the website yet! The silver beads are Karen Hill tribe silver. I've used faceted garnets with the hearts and Swarovski crystals with the round daisy beads. I should have some more earrings to post very soon, including some studs. It's been a while since I made any studs but I've had some requests and my new soldering equipment has arrived so it's time to turn some of the designs in my sketch book into reality!

Friday 18 January 2008

Friday at last!

Usually my weeks fly by. When I was still teaching at school I (and most of my fellow teachers!) would count down the weeks until the next holiday, especially during the winter months, desperate for some time 'off' to catch up with some marking. Now I'm amazed that the school holidays seem to come round so quickly! This week has seemed long, though, probably because it's been so different than my usual weeks.

B's alot better today. No more sickness thankfully so the washing machine has been able to have a bit of a break! He's been rather tired and wanting lots more cuddles than usual, and hasn't wanted much to eat at all, but I guess most of us are like that after a tummy bug. Hopefully he'll be back to his usual cute cheeky self tomorrow!

Anyway, I promised you some photos so here they are. The first is a pendant I made over a week ago now using a beautiful bead by Izzy Anderson. I love this bead so the pendant is definitely staying with me! The bead has had lots of compliments so I'm hoping that Izzy might be tempted to make a set of them (this one was a one off). Hint hint Izzy!

The second is a rose quartz donut decorated with more rose quartz, sterling silver and purple jade. I've strung it on lovely brown soft leather, and made the necklace longer than I do usually, the leather is about 20" long and the pendant about 3".

T has promised me some work time this weekend (i.e. he'll look after Ben for most of Sunday) so hopefully I'll have some more jewellery to show you soon!

Thursday 17 January 2008

What a week!

Finally after tonnes of searching on the web for help and trying different ideas out I seem to have solved the hyperlink problem! I decided this evening to start again using a different blog address but wanted the same look so chose the same template, colours etc. Imagine my dismay when the hyperlinks didn't work on that either! It finally clicked that maybe the template was at fault so I changed it and ........they work!! How could something so simple have caused me to swear so much at the computer?!

It's been a strange old week. Poor old B has been ill today, and he is hardly ever ill. There's a 24 hour tummy bug doing the rounds and I think he's got that. When he's not actually being sick he's fine, just a bit tired and not really wanting to eat anything. He and I had a quiet day at home as there was no way he could go to his childminders as he usually does on Thursdays.

On Tuesday I had a meeting in Hastings with my new website hosting company. Mum had agreed to look after B (she didn't need much persuasion!) so he and I drove over there in horrible rain. Mum and B then dropped me off at Barnham train station as I had decided to get the train rather than drive as
a) it was slightly quicker and cheaper
b) I hate driving long distances in the rain (and for anyone reading this who wasn't in the UK on Tuesday it was horrendous weather) and
c) I could read my book and do some knitting (okay, so that was actually the deciding factor!)

I got as far as Eastbourne and then had to turn round again as concrete sheds had apparently been washed/blown onto the line damaging the line. They were organising a bus but by the time I would have eventually got there I would have had to turn right round and come straight back again. In the end I stopped in Brighton for a quick lunch as I had to change trains there anyway. I had a nice wander round the Laines (in the rain!) and found a couple of shops that could be potential outlets for my jewellery, so the day wasn't wasted, but it definitely didn't go to plan!

I've got a couple of new pieces of jewellery to show you but they'll have to wait until tomorrow as I still need to photograph them. In the meantime, have a look at Nicky's blog - I made up a chainmaille kit for her birthday using my koil kutter, and it looks as though she's got the chainmaille bug!

Monday 7 January 2008

Saturday's workshop

Just a quick note to let you know that there are only 2 places left on Saturday's jewellery workshop so if you want to come along and you're not booked in you'd better get in there quickly! The easiest and quickest way of booking is via my website The workshop is suitable for all abilities, and I've got a couple of new projects for those of you who are regulars.

I haven't actually made anything today as B and I went to a birthday party (our 2 in 3 days!) and I thought it was about time I tidied my workdesk. I did, however, plann out a couple of new projects and also bought some more sterling silver wire to make some more rings for chainmaille. I was going to wait a bit before putting an order in, but Nicky texted to say that she was putting an order in and did I want to add anything to the list? What a silly question!

It seems as though the hyperlink problem is only if you use the latest version of Internet Explorer as your web browser, and there only seems to be a problem on my blog - wonderful! It seems as though I may have to republish the blog, but we'll see.

Sunday 6 January 2008

hyperlink problem...

The hyperlinks on my blog don't seem to be working properly at the moment - hopefully I'll be able to get it fixed soon! Isn't technology wonderful?!


This time last year I just didn't 'get' chainmaille. I'd played around with various patterns using silver plated jumprings, but it just didn't appeal to me. Then I saw some beautiful work on various jewellery and beading forums and decided to give it another go. I don't know whether it was because I'd started using sterling silver for all of my designs, but I finally got it and I'm now hooked!

The earrings below are from a chainmaille pattern I found on a forum (I'll let you know which forum when I find it again!). I had to play around with them able to get the purple jade bead hanging to my liking, but I'm rather pleased with them.

I've posted them as the first week of the Year of Jewellery 2008 challenge. I joined up to the 2007 challenge halfway through last year and really enjoyed it. All of my pieces of jewelelry were made on time, but not always posted on time! Once winter arrived I found it more difficult to take photos and I'm still not that confident with my light studio. Anyway, I've posted on time this week and started as I mean to go on!

Saturday 5 January 2008

Happy New Year

Well, I wasn't good at updating my blog in the run up to Christmas, was I? I was busy making and selling and teaching jewellery and Christmas shopping in between. It was also B's second birthday shortly before Christmas, so I was concentrating on that as well. I promise to try better in the New Year!

I hope you all had relaxing Christmas holidays. I managed to get the flu the week before Christmas while we were up at T's mum's - perfect timing! We drove home on the Sunday and T made me stay in bed on Christmas Eve in the hope that I'd be better for Christmas Day. He looked after Ben, delivered Christmas cards, wrapped the last few presents and tidied the house in preparation for my parents and brother coming over for the big day while I slept - what a star!

I had a bit of a break from making jewellery Christmas itself but the New Year has brought lots of new ideas! I've been concentrating on making earrings as that section in the my website has become a bit bare and the hoops below have just been added to the website. I've also just listed a necklace made using a beautiful lampwork bead by Emma Mason.

One last photo - B blowing the candles out on his birthday cake!


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