Archive for Etsy shop

Love Buns…well any cake actually

Friday afternoon

Valentines day has been and gone, and now we have the first half term of the new year upon us and Pancake day yet to come. We celebrated in style with a romantic candle lit dinner for 3 on Monday, which included using the chocolate fondue set I bought last year, and I made Nigella Lawson’s ‘Love Buns’ as a surprise. I couldn’t get the heart sprinkles she shows in  the book but bought some red edible glitter to use instead. The theory is that I can use it for Christmas decorating too. The only downside was that the icing was rather sickly, so I think I’ll stick to making a royal icing with freshly squeezed lemon juice again like I did last Friday. I’m so into baking at the moment, which is rather unfortunate as I just want to eat everything I’ve made, so I have to pace myself somewhat. I really wish I didn’t like cakes and puddings so much, but I won’t be hypnotising myself to give them up, like I did with crisps last June….I haven’t eaten a single real crisp, which is no loss really….empty calories.

I have yet more neads on Etsy (that should be beads, but well, maybe I should stick with neads as bead addicts need beads). I had another new set to put up for sale and went through the whole process until at the last moment I realised they were different from the photo I was using! I think Rick will have to do some more photography for me, especially as I have a real surprise of some really new beads that I’ve had in mind to make for ages and got my first chance to play with the designs this week. All will be unveiled later.

I have another new tuition date, a Beginners 4 hour taster session on Thursday 10th March, 10am to 2pm. There is one place available on this course. Contact me now to book your place, and come and have a lesson making glass beads.

Oh and here’s a photo of my Glitter Love Buns, I swirled in some red food colouring to some of the icing (I only made half the quantity and that was plenty), and unfortunately the whipped topping never set as it was supposed to.

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Zumba Zoom

Friday afternoon

Phew, feeling a bit jaded but very happy. Anyone heard of Zumba? (links to You Tube)  Cos that’s where I’ve been this morning. All my life I’ve hated exercise classes, especially aerobics, but I think I may have actually found some exercise that I like. I adore dancing and have been given the all go by my hip specialist to do Latin American dancing so I thought Zumba might be right up my street. I was so excited yesterday when I booked it, and fortunately I was not disappointed. I’m definitely going again, and need to buy some new jogging pants as my existing ones are 3 sizes too big, yay!

More sets on Etsy, some are new designs, others are repeats and variations on a theme.

I’m off to do more washing (boo hiss boo) and make some cup cakes for tomorrow (yay).

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February blitz

Thursday evening

Here’s a couple of photos of some of the new beads I put on Etsy yesterday. I had a mega blitz and went mad putting 5 sets up for sale on Etsy in a sitting, and then uploading bead photos to Flickr and joining lots of groups there. I also madly ordered a brand new oxygen concentrator that I’ve had my eye on for several months…since last April to be precise.

Today I’ve been having a bit of a paper clear out. Very boring, extremely tedious, and unfortunately necessary every so often. I’ve managed to get rid of a 2 foot pile of paper from my work area, and while going through the oddments came across a major task list from 2 years ago. It was brilliant! I was able to cross off every single job except one, I had actually achieved all I planned back in 2009. Ok so it took 2 years but I’d done them. The main and exciting reason I stayed indoors today, was because I needed to welcome the courier with my new super doopah wizzy powerful oxycon that should have enough wellie to power the bigger Nortel Midrange torch that I’m hoping to get in April, or even just give my existing torches more power, hopefully like using tanked oxygen. It arrived successfully and is sat on the carpet in front of me waiting to be carried down to the studio tomorrow.

I should also announce that I have responded to several requests to sell pairs of beads suitable for earrings so I have a new section in my Etsy shop called Didy Sets. This is my new range of mini bead sets, these contain 2 or 3 beads and are small enough to be used for matching earrings and a pendant or simply to add to a charm dangly type bracelet or similar.

Here’s what I have for sale so far

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Etsy shop restock

Friday morning

It’s done, it’s dusted, it’s over for another year and now I can do what I want, yay. Yes my tax submission is done, thank you Mel, you’re a star. Now I’m planning to get as much done for this current year as I can in the next couple of weeks, but we’ll see how that goes. I expect once the initial enthusiasm has worn off nothing much will happen.

Unfortunately even though I was getting better I seem to have now come down with another cold, which is giving me my usual face ache symptoms, so I don’t feel like doing much at all today really. I should probably to go and see if I can buy a little florists wire for a project that I’m doing at the youth club tonight, and get the refreshments, but apart from that I could take it easy I suppose.

I have new beads in my Etsy shop, not restocked old designs but some new styles of dotties and a couple of Valentine themed sets. I’ll be putting more up today but for now here’s a taster of what is new…..p.s. I have a couple of tuition dates available, the first one is 1 space on a one day Beginners class on Tuesday 1st Feb coming next week. Contact me now to book your place on this fab lesson.

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I’m reviewing the situation

Monday lunchtime

More new beads on Etsy! OK., so I’ve only listed repeat sets of my most popular designs, but hey, that’s what I planned to use Etsy for. To get to my shop click on my name in the widget on the left or click  here.

Also I have another new teaching date on my tuition page, Tuesday 1st February is a one day beginners course. Just drop me a line now to book the last place and learn a new skill for a new year.

I’ve been thinking for a while about adding another category to my blog, one where I review what film, TV series or more exciting, the latest book I’ve read. I’m not sure how good I’ll be at reviewing something without giving the bulk of the plot away, but it could be fun to try. Just recently I’ve actually started reading books again. It’s been a long time coming as I used to read like a mad thing when I was at school (I had oodles of time then) and when I commuted on the train to work, but since I bought my first car and moved away from home (that would be around 1985 I think) I have let my fiction reading slip completely. I’ve read at least one book a year on holiday and that is all for the past few years, conveniently the new Harry Potter books came out in the summer, but since picking up Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series I’ve gone potty for her books and reading in general. So much so, that I’ve made a new year resolution to keep reading fiction throughout the year, and also to try to take up some of the others things I used to do before lampwork glass bead making took over my life. I was going to start with my first review today, but I’ve already written enough and my accounts (yuk) are calling. Toodles.

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The saga ends and more tuition news

Friday 8th October

I’ve finished………all the Twilight Saga books, yep, that means I’ve actually read more than one book this year, so my total is 4, and what fab books they were. I was so trying to pace myself, but found that I wanted to just keep picking them up, especially the last book, Breaking Dawn. I couldn’t keep away from it for long and found myself totally absorbed in the world of Bella and Edward. I’ve now also watched both films…..ooops, Rick, I didn’t mention that last night……and I have to say that even though they were good, I don’t know whether I would be itching to read the books if I saw the films first. I’m going to try and keep up the reading momentum if possible and the first book on my short list is Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I also have the next one in that series that I picked up in barely read second hand form for 20p…..bargain.

So today sees me doing lots of little jobs around the house and for my business, rather than making beads as I’d hoped. I started the morning by baking some of Nigella’s Banana and Chocolate muffins (actually called banana and butterscotch but I used choclit instead as she suggests). This was my first foray into muffin baking and didn’t go too badly, even though the muffin tray dips were far too big and the cases floated around in the dips in a sort of square shape because they had been in their box for far too long. I’ve now filled the house with the lovely aroma of baking and have even washed up! And there are now only 2 soggy bananas left instead of 5.

New beads are available in my Etsy shop and I have another new date for tuition, another silver glass course on Weds 20th October, same description as the previous date.

So here are the details for course places:-

***1 place on a 1 day silver glass and sparkly bits course Thurs 14th October***

***1 place on a 1 day silver glass and other intermediate techniques Weds 20th October***

On these classes we will be covering – using silver glass, dichroic glass, sparkly stuff , encasing, presses and shaping, long tubes and flame know-how – or as much as we can get through on this massive list in one day!

Email me now to book your place.

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Behind the times

Friday eveing

What ho! yes, I know, it’s a fairly corny greeting, but that’s what I got just now when I listed in Etsy this evening. Yes, I have some new beads, one set so far, but I’ll add some more in the next few days once Rick has gotten (I know, very American, it’s the books I’ve been reading) around to watermarking the photos and working his magic on them. It’s been a while since my last confession post, and even longer since I updated the front page of my website by adding news. During the interval I’ve had such a long rest that I don’t know that I can really be bothered to do any work and I feel very guilty when I do because our daughter is at home during the day while the school holidays continue. I’ve been manically juggling making beads for the Stourbridge bead fair next weekend, making beads for my jewellery range to stock a new outlet (I’ll let you know where when I’ve sent the package), and I have 130 beads to make by next Thursday for my regular buyer. It just never seems to let up.

On a fun note, during my break I’ve rediscovered the joy of reading. A friend recommended Stephenie MeyersTwilight books and I’ve been steaming my way through them. I read the first one in 3 days so I could vet it for my 11 year old daughter, and because I was so hooked. I then realised I need to slow down and enjoy them, so I decided I had to pace myself to 2 or 3 chapters a day while I read New Moon, and now I’m on Eclipse, struggling to keep to less than 3 chapters a day. It’s been a while since I was so addicted to my books, it’s been like that for all the Harry Potter series, and I miss not having my yearly book from JK Rowling. I’m just wondering what I’ll do when I’ve finished Breaking Dawn……probably read The Host, as I got a copy when I bought the 2nd and 3rd books in Asda. Hee, hee.

Well, I’ve just spent too long looking at Stephenie Meyers website, I really don’t know where I was when all the fuss was going on, but I hope to be up with the latest developments from now on.

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Choices

Tuesday morning

We all have choices to make. At our daughters school they say ‘You can make a good choice, or you can make a bad choice’ in the hope that the kids will behave in a good way. Choices can be major or not, like whether to post yesterdays blog draft, which as it happens wasn’t up to standard. But today I think I’m going to be radical and make what I hope is a good choice, do I make beads in my lovely new wired up studio (do you see how I got that in?) or do I sit indoors and price up my work for the Open Studios that start a week on Saturday? I think pricing work a week and a half early would be really exciting (in a weird sort of way) and to be honest rather grown up for me, a bit scary really, but I think a good decision as hopefully it will mean a less stressful build up to the event and maybe give me some gardening time. It will also give me time to mull over what gaps I have and what beads I should actually make when I do get out to my lovely white studio with the pale beech laminate floor (ooo look I snuck another bit in about my lovely new refitted studio).

Don’t forget to check out my Etsy shop, lots of sets sold from here at the Dorking Bead Fair 2 weeks ago, but I have added one lovely set of Silver Waters. Just click on the Etsy widget on the left. Also I have a couple of glass beadmaking lesson dates:-

***1 place on a 2 day Beginners Course on 12th to 13th July***

***1 place on a 2 hour taster on Friday 25th June 2-4pm***

contact me now to book your place

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Phew….another fab course..thank you Andrea

Friday morning

Wow what a week, I was going to post earlier than today but I’ve been a bit busy, again. This week I had the pleasure of attending another course, this time with the marvellous Andrea Guarino who came over from America to teach at Creative Glass. She has now gone to Zurich to their Swiss head office to teach a couple more classes. We had a fabulous 2 days with Andrea, who showed us how to make several of her bead designs, mainly to teach the techniques she uses to alter the appearance of the simple Effetre glass palate. We learnt some reactive  twistie recipes and some neat tricks for colour reactions. We also got to play with some of Jim Moores’ fabulous tools, something I’ve been intrigued by for a long time, and we loved them so much that we had to have a tool lottery to fairly decide who could buy what tool. I fortunately got second or third dibs and got the tool I was desperate to own, a large one and a half inch lentil masher. I was seen stroking this tool at some point and there is a photo of me doing this lurking on t’interweb somewhere. Andrea is great fun and a very generous teacher, and I’d thoroughly recommend going on one of her courses if the opportunity arises.

The course was also made very memorable by my friends who attended it. We had a real blast, and all got on very well with each other and Andrea, the guys at Creative Glass haven’t ever heard so much laughter at one of their courses before. Unfortunately the down side of all this is that I’m rather weary again, having had 2 intense days of tuition, a late night out for a meal with the lasses and 2 days manic driving back and forth to Rochester. Oh well, it was so worth it.

Today I’m catching up with stuff, listing more goodies on Etsy …. keep an eye out for new stuff during the day……and getting really stuck in to sorting my work for the Bank Gallery Exhibition that we set up in 11 days time. Oh and I have to check how my laminate floor will look when put in my studio.

Some photos of the course with Andrea

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Yet more new beads

Friday afternoon

More new beads…..I persuaded Rick to take some photos last night after he got back from band practice, and I’ve listed 4 new sets on Etsy today. Photos below. Unfortunately he forgot one of the angles that I like for each set so the poor duck will have to repeat the process tonight. We also have the exciting prospect of a trip to Ikea at some point this weekend to get flooring for my studio and some shelves to put the glass on.

I had a dream of what my studio would look like when finished and it’s gradually changing into something that I hadn’t envisaged and that I’m not so keen on. I know that practicality should come first, but I’m still a bit sad. But, it will still be lovely and I can’t wait to get back in there and start melting glass again. I also can’t wait to get the new torch that I fell in love with at Flame Off last weekend. It’s a HUGE torch, with a mahoosive flame that melts boro like chocolate. It has a large burner with a Minor burner on top, and you can light one from the other and swap easily between the two flames. Unfortunately this poses another problem in my studio because the flame is so much longer when you have it turned up for the boro. At least I found out at this stage so I can tweek my layout to suit it or install some type of flame insulation opposite where I decide to position it. I’ll have to wait a couple of months before I invest in it as I will also need another oxycon (the machine that extracts the oxygen from the air to supply my torch).

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Oh no, not more procrastination

Monday lunchtime

I’m procrastinating again….can you believe it? And this time it’s not tax or accounts, oh no, it’s sorting out my insulation and lining for my studio. I hate planning stuff when I’m not totally sure what I’m doing, or when I have too many design issues to resolve before I can do it, one reason why we still haven’t decked out the back yet (I want to get too many things out of the project). So what’s the hold up this time? I’m not sure, but I can tell you I’m feeling absolutely drained of enthusiasm or energy. I want to curl up into a little ball and snooze right now. But I can’t, I have to get this stuff ordered, especially as there’s a pesky bank holiday this Friday. Also the sooner I get this ordered, the sooner I can get back to play (sorry, work) at bead making. I’m sure that will be tomorrow now, and if that’s not incentive enough I don’t know what is!

I have a couple of places on glass beadmaking courses to fill again

1 place on a 1 Day Beginners Course Thurs 1st April……yes, that’s this Thursday!!!!!

…..1 place on a 2 Day Beginners Course Tues 25th to Weds 26th May……

contact me now to book your place

And I have also put yet more beads in my Etsy shop, here’s a taster….I know, I still can’t get over how regularly I’m doing this.


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You know you’re getting old when……

Friday afternoon

Life. It never goes to plan. It’s always unexpected. Wa hay, it’s fun isn’t it? Never knowing what’s around the corner, be it good or bad? I’m one of those people who likes a challenge, and I like problem solving, and I believe I’m flexible too. I’m saying this because today I had lots planned, but haven’t been able to do much of it because my poor daughter is home with a little sick bug. Fortunately she seems to be over the worst of it and is now feeling hungry, so that’s probably a good sign. I was thinking of taking the morning off, moseying into town to get my new spectacles adjusted….you know you’re getting older when you get your first varifocals, I couldn’t bear the thought of visible bi-focals making me look older than I am! I was then maybe going to treat myself to a coffee in Costa, then go home and leisurely make beads this afternoon.

But instead I’ve been updating my website, adding new events, writing news for my front page, answering contact forms and getting up to date with little tasks that suddenly seem to have piled up. I’ve been so intent on getting my Etsy shop up and running, and updating it on a regular basis that I seem to have let other stuff slip. I can’t win! Speaking of Etsy, I have added more new beads this week! And I have had my first ever sale to America, so exciting (for me anyway, I’m easily pleased). I really will have to go and lie down in a dark room if I keep this up…which I am doing! Look, there’s photos below of the new beads!

I have also 1 new place on a course, One Day Beginners Beadmaking on Thurs 13th May. Drop me an email to book this place. Have a great weekend.

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Course vacancy Sat 6th March!

Fri morning

just a flying visit to say I have one space on a beginners course tomorrow that has suddenly become available.

Yes that’s TOMORROW 6th March!

If you want to come drop me an email, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. I’m teaching again today but will check back often. Saturdays are rare for me to be teaching, and I know how you all want them, so grab your space now.

Oh, and I have some new beads on Etsy.

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Musical chairs and more new beads!

Thursday morning

How many musicians can you fit in a cluttered lounge?….lets see…..2 violinists, 1 cellist/guitarist, 1 keyboard player, 1 saxophonist, 1 flautist, 1 trumpeter, 1 bass player (that’s me) and 1 on Bodhran (to be full drums on Saturday)…yay 9! Ok so Rick didn’t have drums out but we were pretty full and enjoyed playing live music last night to practice for Saturday. I wonder what our neighbours thought! It’s OK though as we kept the volume down like last year. tee hee. We all gelled really well and it sounded great. It’ll be fun on Saturday when we have our visiting instrumentalist join us and they play through our stops and quiet bits, lol.

I know you’re amazed, and so am I, but I have yet more new beads for sale, they’re in my Etsy store and here’s a teaser….

I hope you like them, and there will be more to come in the next few weeks. Don’t forget you can click the link on the left to get there speedy fast.

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Grand Etsy Shop Opening, new beads on my website and 1 place on a course

Wednesday morning

It’s all change here I tell you! I had my Grand Etsy shop opening last Thursday, well I say grand but what really happened was I put 4 items up for sale and did a tiny bit of promotion. And guess what…..I’ve already made 2 sales…..and I have restocked the shop again too…..phew, I think I need a lie down now, the excitement is getting too much! lol. And have you noticed more changes here? You can now find a link straight to my Etsy shop in the left hand toolbar of my blog and shop. This has a few sneaky peeks of what is on offer over there, so do have a mosey on down and see what’s occurring. Also you’ll notice a link to Twitter, where I will be announcing when I have new pieces in my Etsy shop and this website shop. So if you want to keep up with my latest work, you can become a follower.

As well as this I have also restocked my shop here with some new bead sets, perfect for a Valentine present, and here’s a peek……

Today the kiln is heating up as I write, I’ve sort of made Wednesday my main bead making day, with another day thrown in each week if I can. Of course this will be subject to change as my teaching schedule is very varied from week to week. I still have a space for one person on Wednesday 17th March on a One Day Beginners Course and if you’re wanting to learn but this date doesn’t suit then I still have days available in my diary to pick from. Contact me for more details or if you want this date. Life is certainly never predictable or dull here.

I’m going to put a photo here of my favourite set at the moment, which sold from Etsy, but I’m planning to make some more so keep a look out for them. This set is called Silver Waters and has dreamy transparent shades of blue, turquoise and teal with a pastel spiral inside and a slight golden glow when you view the beads from the side.

Toodles……..I’m off to play with my hot glass (in the snow)(It’s snowing here)(slightly)(ish).

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