Archive for Etsy shop

New tuition dates

Well hello to you. So much for blogging more. I did write one draft but didn’t publish, as you can see ;-). I have been busy over the last few months keeping my Etsy shop full of lovely spacer swirls and other sets, and fulfilling occasional commissions.

I’m pleased to say I have 1 space on a 2 day course available, and you’ll be pleased to hear that I have an air conditioning unit so no worries about roasting please! Here are the dates:-

Mon 17th to Tues 18th July.

This is a 2 day course, 10am to 5pm and gives a good grounding on setting up, supplies, the all important health and safety and covers the basics on day 1 and progresses to more detailed techniques on the second day. Please drop me an email if you fancy joining us. I’m always happy to take a booking for just the first day too if you’d like a one day course.
If you can’t make these dates but would like a lesson please contact me for my current availability as I take bookings to suit you and me.

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New Year, new plumbing

Monday tea time

Happy very belated New Year. I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front again, but you should see my Facebook page, it’s all going on over there when it goes on. You can read reminders of the fairs I’m doing, spaces on courses and new Etsy listings.

Of course it was tax and accounts time last month and of course I did them in January as usual, and eventually managed to squeeze in a studio session making beads last Friday. Bliss, I couldn’t help smiling most of the time, it was so great to be back in production.

So what am I up to this year? I have the 2 Big Bead Shows at Sandown Park booked, the first one on 9th April, and as ever I’m looking forward to it. The rest of the year I will be concentrating more on my Etsy shop and tuition as I have some other commitments that need to take a bit more priority this year to get them done and out of the way, so my bead fair bookings are rather flexible thanks to the wonderful Paul of Beadworks Fairs. I will of course post here and on Facebook if I book any extra fairs.

The main event for me this February/March as taking care of Dickie Doodah, my lovely partner in crime at the fairs and skilled photo man. He is having Open Heart surgery (new plumbing) this Wednesday for a congenital defect that they only just found at the start of November. To say we’re a bit preoccupied with that would be huge understatement 😉  So all will be a bit quiet for a week or so while we deal with the first part of his recovery and numerous visits to keep him company in hospital. It will certainly make a change for me not to be the one undergoing major surgery this time.

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Here today, gone tommorrow (the hot weather that is)

Tuesday lunchtime

Tuition date – one space still remaining for tomorrow, Weds 11th September 10 – 5pm, contact me now….go on, treat yourself, you know you want to.

What has happened to the weather, it’s been so good this summer, heatwave last week, and now it’s cold, damp and wet. I invested in a portable air conditioning unit for my studio during the summer and never got a chance to use it, but it’s now happily in place and we’ve had a mini swap around so I’m ready for anything the weird weather throws at me, heatwave or cold day tomorrow when I teach….bring it on!

It’s been a long summer break but I’m back with a vengeance and so are you by the looks of it, my Etsy sales went mad last week, and it was all I could do to keep up. My Etsy shop is restocked with my current best sellers and I’m planning to add some new sets. Unfortunately this depends on when DickieDooda can process the latest batch of photos, and I’ve kind of scuppered him temporarily by making him break down his current computer set up so we can decorate and reorganise the room he works in…oh dear, I didn’t think that one through did I? Anyway I have added one new mini set today, Islands in the Sea.

Islands in the Sea mini set side 1

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Decisions decisions

Wednesday tea time

Hellooo there, and welcome back. Open Studios are over for another year, and we had a very successful fortnight. Thank you to everyone who came to see me at Sedgwick Park and then at Angela’s in Pondtail Drive. I have to say I loved being at Sedgwick park, it was such a buzz, and a really lovely venue.

So now it’s back to normality and preparations for the Beadwork Fair at Ardingly on Sunday July 21st, I actually started today and also made beads to restock my Etsy shop, which got raided (in a nice way…lots of sales) and needed topping up. I have been preparing some new sets for your delection, so pop over and have a look-see. Here’s one to start you off.

Petunia mini set

Back on the topic of house and garden, I’m supposed to be sorting the gardens this year, but it’s already July, eeeek! I’m dying to visit Hampton Court Flower show again next week, but have to keep telling myself that my day (and money) would be better spent actually gardening and buying some plants/landscaping materials/someone else’s labour. You see the problem is, that I love the idea of having a designer garden to sit in, but find whenever I do garden, that it’s always the same….i.e. pulling out the weeds I pulled out 4 weeks ago. How dull is that? So what’s a girl to do? I obviously need a low maintenance design, and someone to do the boring stuff as I’m’ always so busy……..food for thought…..maybe I should go to the show and get some (more) inspiration …. now where did I put my RHS card?

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News

Tuesday evening

Big Bead Show came and went, and the Easter holiday too. A huge thank you to everyone who came and supported me by buying my beads at the show, and came to say hello, we had a good day and hope you did too.

I have to say I haven’t had a very good a couple of weeks really, as I was called by my family on Easter Monday (before the show) to tell me that my big brother had died unexpectedly that morning at the age of 55. This was why I was rather subdued at the show. I then had the privilege last Wednesday of having one of my wisdom teeth removed under sedation….cos I’m such a big woose. It’s needed doing for at least a year and wasn’t because I was too chicken, so really sedation and amnesia were the only option and better than the raging toothache I had at the show and just before…another reason I was quiet that day. We have yet to be told the cause of death and another funeral to arrange, so please bear with me if I’m a bit quiet on here in the next few weeks. I will do what I can when I can, which may be lots of new beads on Etsy, or maybe not, but please pop by my shop and have a look if you haven’t lately as I’m still sending out bead orders. Bye for now, Sarah xxx

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Home Delivery

Thurs Morning
Home delivery….and I’m not talking about child birth here. Isn’t this supposed to make life easier? The words ‘home delivery’ conjure up thoughts of luxury and maybe that bygone era of Downton Abbey (see what I did there?) where groceries and meat were delivered, and the rich had gardeners, cleaners and cooks. Of course today the middle classes and all sorts of people have food delivered, and may also employ cleaners, gardeners, nannies and home decorators, and have all sorts of items delivered right to the front door without having to move an inch.
But for me, home deliveries fill me with stress, will I hear the front door? will the bell work this time? What if I’m in the bathroom when they knock at the door and I miss it? Will they leave my package somewhere sensible, or will I have to ring a number that never gets answered to arrange to collect it at a time not convenient for me from some silly place which is a 40 minute drive away? This last scenario really fills me with dread, as I’ve had a few trips to said silly place which always take ages and are a complete waste of my time (apart from getting said parcels which is not a waste but I’d rather have had them left here than had to go and get them).

So today I am waiting for one such delivery, namely a 2 metre long 4 in 1 profile to finish the edge of our new laminate floor in the extension. Unfortunately the last ones got snapped in half on their journey from Sweden, so here I am stressing about the impending delivery. I’m glued to the lounge, can’t go to the studio and make beads as I would never hear the door there, I’m totally distracted and struggling to do the huge list of jobs I’ve allocated myself today. I haven’t even put any of the washing I’d planned for today in the washing machine, just in case it makes too much noise and I miss the door. I managed to switch on my pooter a short while ago, and have done some recycling of old magazines, decided what to cook for pudding on Sunday….very important that one ;-)… and rearranged 2 shelves of cookery books. The last one was fun and very quick, they are now in colour gradation rather than by author, and do you know, they look much neater. Hang on a mo while I pop over to another internet site and pay for my daughters school meals….see what I mean?..all done, and the first item crossed off the TO DO list, hurrah! I wonder if I pop over there again, if I can see what she’s chosen for lunch today, or if the information gets updated overnight? But I digress. (P.S. site is now updated and a toasted panini has been purchased, cool is that?)

So what is the answer to my quandary? I want to feel a sense of luxury, not dread? Maybe we need an air horn that fills the house with an alarming sound when the door button is pressed, a bit like the one they had in the Big Brother house. Unfortunately we don’t even have a doorbell at the moment, just to compound matters even more, so have to listen out for knocking by hand….we don’t even have a door knocker, as I couldn’t bear to get one of those urn ones that seem to be the only choice on every door in the land at the moment. I like to be different as you well know. I think I will go and make another pot of tea and put another set of beads or a focal on Etsy and hope they turn up soon.

Here’s a few shots of progress on our new front room last year.
Velux and door to garage Towards the frontPlaster boardfront corner

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Let them eat cake

Thursday lunchtime

Half term this week, yes, again! I’ve been sorting out the stuff we need to finish off our extension. Life passes so fast, and it can be hard to make time for some of things we need to do, so this week has been full of internet searches, phone calls to companies to help me solve some of the little problems, and various orders placed. As I type our floor is on it’s way from Sweden, so I’m getting excited now.

I’ve also been a busy bee restocking my Etsy shop, which for me is filling up nicely, I have 40 items for sale, so a really nice selection. The funny thing is every time I pop some green beads in they sell really fast, so the colour range has a bit of a gap in it. I will be on a green mission next week when I get into the studio again.

Of course Valentines day came and went last week, and I was so busy teaching that we made Saturday our Valentines day. I spent the afternoon preparing a lovely chocolate and raspberry cream cake from Nigellas’ ‘Feast’ recipe book. It was supposed to be the shape of a heart but instead I made it round, it still looked Valentiny because of the chocolate and raspberries on top, and the yummy pink cream and raspberry filling. Delish!

Candy Spot BHBsSpring Song BouquetRoyal Purple SparkleInky Fish facing rightValentine chocky cake

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Pa Pick up a penguin

Friday lunchtime

Thank you so much to the few of you who came to the Ardingly bead fair 2 weeks ago and bought my beadies. Even though I didn’t have many takers, I was very pleased to cover my pitch fee, so again, a huge thank you, you made my day :>). We had a lovely chilled (literally) and relaxed day out, watching the snow, enjoying Paul’s announcements over the tanoy, chatting to the other stallholders and quaffing coffee and tea. We packed up early and got home at about the time the show normally closes, even after stopping to take some snowy photos…must work out how to get them off my phone. The good news is I now have a lovely stock of new beads, and new posh photos, so I have started adding new stock to my Etsy shop.

On another strand (see what I did there?!) it’s done…my tax return was finished last Saturday, after a 7  day long slog of accounts, losing receipts, finding receipts, and general agony! and now, please sit down before you read this…..I’ve made a start on this current years accounts…..I say every year that I’m going to do this, and don’t, but this time I have, although it remains to be seen just how far I get. Of course all the missing receipts (6 months worth) from the tax return I’ve just done, were discovered while going through my green plastic wallet of receipts…why I didn’t see them when I looked several times before I really don’t know. So they’re now checked off too and the ones that got missed are ready in the wings. This is far too efficient, and rather boring, so I’m going to stop there and pop in some eye candy.

Have a great weekend.

Kefalonia Sparkle Nuggets 6 LS  Sunrise Sparkle Nuggets Trio Love SpringPip the Penguin

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Spring Flowers to cheer this cold day

Friday morning

Happy new year! and oh dear, it’s that time again that I dread, my annual accounts and tax fest, and also the first bead fair of the season thrown in for good measure. I’m busy making beads like fury for the Ardingly Bead fair next Sunday 20th Jan, more details on my events page, but have been taking time each morning to start restocking my Etsy shop. I’m gradually adding a mix of favourites and some new designs, as Rick has now processed photos of my newest designs (which incidentally look amazing (although there is only one set of beads with his new super dooper photos so far)). So pop on over and take a look when you can.

Here’s a look at what I added today, a departure from my usual, and I’m really proud of these, as I was shown last Easter how to make small encased florals. I have to say it was rather different from how all the tutorials in books say, and I learnt loads of tips on how to achieve perfection! Thank you Kathy!

Spring flowers

 

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I am the new Bead Awards judge

Tuesday lunchtime

I was really pleased to be asked to judge the British Bead Awards for Bead magazine again. We’ve already done the preliminary round and have called in finalist pieces for judging this Thursday.  As ever the standard is very high and I’m looking forward to seeing the work in the flesh when we get together this week. It will also be lovely to see Jennifer Airs and Elizabeth King again, and meet Linda Jones, who has written several books on making wire jewellery. I can’t wait!

More of my beads have been used in another project in Beads and Beyond this month. ‘Harvest sunset – String your favourite rose coloured beads to create this interchangeable necklace and earring set in sunset tones.’ Designed by Helen Bowen.

The design features my Tutti Ripple, and a set of these is available in my Etsy store, and they are also available ‘Made to Order’.

I also have more new tuition dates are available,
***1 day 10 – 5 Intermediate Course, Fri 5th October. *** SOLD OUT

but I have one place on each of these
***2 day Beginners Course, Tues 23rd to Weds 24th October***
***1 day 10 – 5 Intermediate Course, Sat 10th November***
Contact me now to secure your place***

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I’m back, it’s been a long time.

Thurs lunchtime

It’s been a long time, been a long time…..ode to Led Zep

Well, it has been the long school summer holidays, and we have been having building work done since mid June with all the upheaval that comes with it, like completely dismantling my non studio work space, then re setting the essential bits up in the conservatory (which incidentally is WAY to bright to use the computer), and putting the rest somewhere else….eeek. I’ve been so out of sorts and dazed and confused……more Led Zep. Still feeling a bit that way to be honest as they still haven’t finished, we’re waiting on plastering, then final wiring, then new doors. Then we have the fun part of decorating and putting down the floor of our choice. After that I get to move into the corner of the room for my new office, yay. Then I will be out of our living room (and conservatory) and I can shut the door on work instead of being constantly reminded of it. I can’t wait, and neither can Rick.

here’s some shots of past progress, we’re further on now, but they can come later…

So the kid went back to school yesterday, the builders are off for a couple of weeks and I get time to draw breath and think about the upcoming season. Big Bead Show is on the horizon, and new stock will be put in my Etsy shop very soon as Rick has now had time to do my last batch of photos, so keep an eye open for that.

In the meantime I am taking bookings for my autumn teaching, and I have one new date already for you with one space available……
Friday 5th October, 10am to 5pm, 1 day intermediate beadmaking course. Contact me now to book your place or for alternative dates, I have a few remaining but you need to be quick as they’re going fast.

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More beads in Beads and Beyond this month

Wednesday tea time

Hello to everyone visiting from Beads and Beyond magazine. I’m very pleased to have some more of my beads featured in another project in Beads and Beyond magazine this month (June issue out 10th May). Again by jewellery designer Rebecca Anderson, who makes truly special jewellery, and certainly has a way with my beads. And here are the beads.

 

You can buy these beads, well, similar ones, from my Etsy store, and I’ll be putting some up in my web shop here also. I’ve been busy making more of these beauties today, and some donut shape ones too. I may even push the boat out and have these for sale individually, Whatcha think?

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Quick update

Friday afternoon

Thank you to everyone who came by at Big Bead Show to say hello and buy my beads. We had such a busy day, it was quite manic and I only managed a couple of snatched minutes to go and buy a couple of supplies that I needed, let alone have time to put any make-up on!

My next event is the Beadworks Fair at Dorking Halls on May 27th, so I’ve started making new beads for that show, and I’m planning my new makes for the Horsham Open Studios in June (16,17 and 23,24).

Hopefully you will have seen that I’ve been adding new beads (and repeat sets) to my Etsy shop every day, and always announce this on Twitter and my Facebook page, so if you want to stay up to the minute on bead buys then ‘like’ my facebook page and /or subscribe to my Etsy rss feed. I also have beads ‘made to order’ on my shop page on this website, although some of my made to order beads are in stock at the moment, so delivery could be quicker.

I  have 2 spaces a One Day Beginners course on Saturday 12th May, contact me for more information and to secure your place.

Have a great weekend, whatever the weather.

Oh and here’s some eye candy ……some of my beads in my Etsy shop

 

 

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My Monet beads featured in Beads and Beyond Magazine this April

Wednesday Evening

Welcome to everyone new to my blog, especially if you have come here from Beads and Beyond magazine. I’m really pleased to have my beads used by Rebecca Anderson in her latest project in this magazine, the Monet inspired jewellery. You can buy my Monet Blues Mix beads on Etsy and see them here in my own shop and I’ve popped a photo below.

                       

I’ve been working really hard this month to keep my Etsy shop re stocked on an almost daily basis, and very busy making my new bead stock for the Big Bead Show at the end of this month. I have several new sets of beads and lots of focal beads, I don’t seem to be able to stop making long cylinder beads at the moment! I am at last getting to grips with another make of silver glass, called TAG, and most of my new beads feature this glass, especially the tubes. Poor Richard has his work cut out at the moment taking and editing photos of my beads to go on my website and in my shops, and my thanks go to him for doing such a fab job.

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I taught at West Dean College

Wednesday tea time

If you have been following me on Twitter or Facebook you will see that I have been a very busy bunny adding lots of new beads to my shop on an almost daily basis, I’ve ditched the Tuesday listing only and I’m popping stuff up every day at the moment. The only days I didn’t list was when I was suddenly invited to teach at West Dean College a weekend ago. Oh yes, did I tell you I taught at West Dean?!!! Here’s some snaps of the gardens.

So I had an email followed by a phone call the next day, and before I knew it I was booked to teach the Glass Beadmaking weekend class that started the same day, which meant I had 5 hours to organise my tools, glass, books and any other teaching bits I needed, pack my clothes, sort childcare and drive there to start teaching that evening. It was absolutely manic but so worth it. I had a super weekend, wonderful students who were so grateful that I had stepped in at such late notice to teach them, and my lovely Rick came too. He spent the time taking some fabulous photos and bobbing in and out of the teaching room, and also got to go on a short chocolate and wine tasting course (the lucky thing). So while I worked he stuffed chocolate……(It’s normally the other way around, lol).  It’s a fabulous place to spend time and be creative, and I was thrilled to be asked to teach there.

I’ve just added a new tuition date for anyone who is interested in coming to my studio in Horsham for a 2 day introduction to glass beadmaking. The course has one place remaining, but if you are interested in having a go and want to bring a friend, simply drop me a line and I’ll send you a list of other available dates.

New tuition date – Wednesday 18th to Thursday 19th April, Beginners Beadmaking, 1 place.

Here’s some of my latest beads added to Etsy.

 

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New Facebook page is here at last

Monday tea time

So the big news for this week is that I have at last set-up my own business Facebook page, yay. It’s called Sarah Downton Contemporary Glass beads (no surprise there then!)

If you haven’t already then click below to like my new Facebook page, it will be grey if you have already liked it.

I have to admit that it took the best part of Friday to do, and is a work in progress as I have a few little bits to add to it, but you don’t need to worry about them. You can also access a peek at my Etsy store page from the page by clicking on the Etsy button on the left hand side of my new page. Did I tell you I have a new page yet? 😉 You can follow the link to go and have a looksee, and I’d love it if you’d love my page. That way I can keep you in touch with my latest beads, happenings, fairs, and Etsy listings. To make it even more worth your while I will be having a giveaway, to be drawn randomly from everyone who likes my page. I haven’t yet decided what the prize will be, but I will be announcing it later this week, and you will be eligible for the draw even if you have already liked me.

With all this flurry of activity I have also managed to add yet more new beads to my Etsy store. and I hope to revert to listing regularly on a Tuesday now that I have my shop back up to respectable levels of stock.

Here’s a look at what I added yesterday and a taster of what will go up tomorrow

 

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New beads, new beads!

Tea Time Thursday

In case you haven’t already twigged, I have new beads in my Etsy shop, yay! Some designs are completely new, others, like the Grass and Sky Jupiters have been waiting impatiently for me to take the time and make them into a lovely set, and now I have (although they are still new in regards to never having been seen in those colourways). I have another set (Terra Firma) inspired by the lovely work of American beadmaker Kim Neely, whose inspiring book of colour recipes I bought last year to help kick start my creativity and get me out of the rut I felt I was in. I have been exploring using silver glass (mainly Double Helix) and all the effects that I can get from it in simple beads but needed the push to take it all a bit further.

Here’s a peek at some of the new sets……

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Horsham Open Studios are here

Monday 20th June

Hello peeps. It’s a been a long time hasn’t it? I’ve been really busy over the last few months doing a City and Guilds course, and I’m now eagerly awaiting my letter to tell me I’ve passed. I was really surprised how long all the homework and class preparation took, especially towards the end of the course. Anyway, that’s over now, and I have got my life back, sort of.

Horsham Open Studios started this weekend, and we have had a lovely first couple of days with so many visitors that we didn’t get time to eat lunch until 3:30pm on Saturday. Thank you to everyone who came this weekend, you made it really special for us, and we look forward to welcoming more of you next weekend. I have a cabinet full of colourful jewellery, with some new designs, lots of beads to choose from, my fun earrings (using sterling silver) and lots of big hole beads starting at just £3 each to put on your Pandora style bracelets (they don’t have silver in them). I also have other small bits and bobs to choose from, including my ever popular £1 rummage dish. Here’s a couple of photos to tease you.

I have several new tuition dates listed on my tuition page. The next available date is a 1 day Beginners course, Weds 29th June, 10am to3pm. Special rate of £79, class size of 2. Contact me to book your place now.
As always I have other availability if these dates do not suit, drop me a line for my list of dates to choose from.

I have one new listing on Etsy and will be adding more during the day, just follow the link on the left.

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The Birds – nightmare in Horsham garden

Saturday evening

Hey there, I am still alive. So Big Bead came and went in a haze of work, then Flame Off, and then the school Easter hols, followed by THE wedding of the decade. Thank you to everyone who came to say hello at the Big Bead show, we had a fantastic day and were so busy that we were still serving customers 40 minutes after the show closed and I didn’t get a proper chance to go shopping myself, apart from the odd snatched minute or two before was summoned back to my stall.

Enough of that though, today the most bizarre and freaky thing happened. We almost had a re-enactment of Hitchcocks’  ‘The Birds’. I saw movement outside the back door, a couple of minutes later I opened it to cool down and noticed a pair of birds hovering around a shrub and squawking really loudly.  I looked down to see a cat holding down a bird on our lovely gravel sitting area, shooed it away and the bird fortunately flew up into the tree above. The cat scampered off and jumped the 6 foot fence nearby. Sounds OK so far? I kept watching while the 2 starlings kept chirping alarm calls and flying from tree to tree to next doors roof and then back again, all the while followed by a little Coal Tit. So far so good. Well, this went on for a while, and I kept watch to see if the bird was injured and make sure the cat didn’t come back. After a while of this, the birds moved to the holly tree over my studio, directly in front of the kitchen, and some blackbirds and blue tits joined them, still chirping alarm calls. Very sweet, they were acting like a pack, and sticking together.

Then, one of the starlings did a loop down at my eye level, from the tree towards me standing in the doorway, and then back again. I thought it was maybe sort of coming to thank me. How sweet. Yer right. A few minutes later the same bird came storming out of the tree, straight at me in the door, and hovered, flapping it’s wings and  squawking very angrily at me for a few seconds. Ah, OK then. Then a couple of minutes later it did it again. OK, so now I’m getting worried, this is no lovely thank you, but a full on hate campaign. eeeeeeek. Rick’s also in the kitchen watching this, and decides that it’s time to shut the door in case we end up with a bird in the house.

He then ventures out after a bit to see if it’s OK, and nothing happens, but when I try opening the door and standing there the bird twitter campaign starts again. I thought maybe I would be stuck indoors all day, but I stayed in and away from the door for about an hour, while Rick decided to placate them with some food. Phew, and there I was thinking it might end up like the day we were chased indoors by marauding bees when we attempted a honey glaze on the barbecue several years ago. Now there’s another story. They we all banging against the windows trying to get in, hundreds of ’em!

OOO, and I have a few new beads in my Etsy store, including these…….ciao.

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I do like to be beside the Seaside

Friday lunchtime

Lampwork Classes – I have one new space on a 1 day Beginners  Beadmaking course, Tuesday 3rd May, contact me now for more information and to book your place.

I’ve popped some repeat sets on Etsy and a new whopper set of amber, ivory, black and brown beads. Here’s a taster including some of my new ‘Didy sets’.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks as I’ve enrolled on a 10 week course down in Goring and so went to have lunch on the beach after the session this week. After my food I had a walk along the path down to where we often go in the summer with friends. It was very different with the mist and cool spring breeze, and people wearing coats to walk their dogs. The sun was shinning very brightly and dazzling my eyes as it reflected off the pools of water on the sands where the sea had receded away from the shore. It was very peaceful and energising although a bit windy, my hair was a complete state by the time I got back in the car to come home.  It was a treat to have a change of scenery and a chance to reflect on the mornings’ proceedings and life in general. Here’s a few snaps that I took with my new Canon Ixus 130, including the ones I shot after I had rolled backwards onto my back through trying to crouch so low….I meant to do that.

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