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I’m on top of the world

Wednesday lunchtime

Wow, what an amazing few days I’ve had.  It was my birthday last Thursday, and I have to admit to now being officially in ‘The Saga Club’ as one of my friends put it. So yes, that means I am now 50, but to be honest I only feel like 40 if that, and as many of my friends who came to celebrate with me informally last week said, I don’t look it. So yay!

I was determined not to let this milestone pass without a squeak, so planned and had a Fika party (cake and coffee) last Friday, for which I made several cakes. Then on Saturday we went to London and rode the London Eye, with champagne. It was absolutely fabulous and a highlight of the weekend. I was surprised with meeting my dad, who joined us for the Eye, and afterwards we went over to Covent Garden, one of my favourite places, that I haven’t visited in about 13 years. It’s still a vibrant and exciting place, just buzzing with energy, so we stayed there until it was time to come home, only venturing away to find some food. Unfortunately I had to work over the last 7 days also, sliding in bit of prep for both events, preparing for a Surrey Guild exhibition that I set up yesterday in Guildford, so I’m well and truly whacked….but happy.

I’m still smiling with happiness, I’ve had such a lovely time, and still haven’t come down!

Here’s a couple of snaps of the day in London

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Big Bead Show looms…it’s this Saturday

Wednesday teatime

It’s nearly here and I can’t wait…well I can’t on one hand because it’s so much fun and I love the vibe and meeting up with everyone again, but on the other hand I can wait because I always need more time to prepare and it’s very hard work. It always happens that the creative juices go into overload just before a show and then I run out of time to realise my ideas. I’ve been starved of making beads today because I’m being good and doing my newsletter a bit earlier (oh yes, gasp), so if you fancy a read and are not on my mailing list, why not click on the subscribe box on the left hand side and join it. There are perks to receiving my newsletter you know, but you’ll find out what they are when you join ;>)

I’ve gone a bit autumnal with amber colours this time, and I have some more of my Autumn Chic bead sets which were snapped up very quickly last year. But fear not, I also have some vibrant beads in greens, blues and violets. I’ve also made some penguins and some Halloween themed beads, pumpkins and ghosties! wooooooo. There are also some really yummy sets of Big hole beads ready to pop on your bracelet (these are uncored so a bit lighter on your purse).

As usual I will have bargains galore, rummage pots of beads for  £1, £2 and upwards, a few chains and a little jewellery if you feel like pampering yourself and buying something ready to wear.

I’m in my usual place this time called Stand 47. Find me near the Bead magazine stand up at the cafe end near where you enter the show.

Oh and if I’m not at my stand when you visit I’ll probably be at the British Bead Awards ceremony…..I can’t wait :>)

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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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Ardingly Bead Fair this Sunday

Wednesday morning

Well hellooooooo, the sun is shining and I’m about to go down to my lovely blue studio and make some more beads for all you lovely people who come and support me, as of course you know it’s my next bead fair this coming Sunday 22nd July, at the South of England Centre in Ardingly, West Sussex, 10am to 4pm. More details on my events page.

I’ve been trying to get the summer spirit by making some new beach beads and fish in the hope that the sun will come out, and am planning to make starfish and maybe a shell or two if I can come up with a design today. Actually it would help if I popped out and switched the kiln on to warm up first…….back in a mini mo…….that’s better.

So this Sunday I will have my usual mix of glass bead sets and focal beads, with several new designs, silver chains, and my ever popular rummage pots, with bargains starting at £1. I’m working on some new didy sets (matching 2’s and 3’s) for all you earring lovers and I also have some new uncored Big Hole Bead sets, perfect for filling up your Pandora, Troll or other similar charm bracelet. I may even put more beads in my sale dish, who knows!

Do come and say hi.

 

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Race for Life tomorrow

Tuesday evening

3 years ago I decided to do the Race for Life as I could walk again, and this year we have made a team of 8 lovely ladies and one teen to raise more money for this very worthy cause. So many people are affected by cancer every year, and Cancer Research UK do so much in their efforts to find cures and treatments.

So I personally will be very grateful for any sponsorship you can give, here’s a link to our sponsorship page.

Thank you, Sarah xxx

Race for Life – Team Hope – Sponsorship page

Mel, me and Anna 3 years ago.

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Open Studios countdown…..4 days to go

Tuesday morning and only 4 days to go……………..

It’s that time of year again, when artists around the Horsham area fling open their doors and invite the public to see their work at home. I’m taking part again, and this year I’m with my friend Angela Jenkinson, who mainly makes fused glass items, jewellery and home accessories.

My main focus this year is on my loose beads and bead sets, but I’ve also been busy making lots of small items, my very popular beads on adjustable length cotton thongs, and some reasonable priced earrings (I call them credit crunch earrings), I also hope to make some greeting cards and keyrings. I will have my posh glass cabinet with a display of my range of jewellery and lots of bargain bead pots full of yummy single beads.

Come along this weekend and next to see our art, watch us demonstrate how we make our glass pieces and take some refreshment with us.

Venue: Oakhurst, Pondtail Road, Horsham, RH12 5HY (5th house on the left)

See you there.

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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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Big Bead Show tomorrow – woop woop

Friday afternoon

It’s here again, and looming up so fast. I always love going to the Big Bead Show, (Sandown Park, Esher, KT10 9AJ) and have been getting ready for months (yes really, new year resolution and all). I did fail at getting my newsletter out early as you will know if you are on my mailing list, but there have been extenuating circumstances over the last couple of weeks…..

So I will be on stand 41, my usual, up near the food hall and visible from the Bead Magazine stand. I have loads of new beads in new colours and designs, and have restocked my ever popular rummage pots, as well as making lots of ‘Didy sets’, they’re 2’s or 3’s of matched beads.

I’m also continuing my nutty spring sale with reductions of at least 25% on some focals and sets, so come and grab yourself a bargain or simply buy that gorgeous focal you’ve had your beady eyes on.

Here’s a peek at some of my new beads

 

See you there…….

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Exhibition at The Capitol, Horsham and The Big Bead Show

I am pleased to announce that my exhibition of work is in the Art Gallery in The Capitol, Horsham. I have invited my friend Katherine Haynes of Popped Bubble Designs to join me and we share the 5 cabinets upstairs in the gallery. The exhibition started Tuesday 6th September and runs until Sunday 9th October, and is open during the Capitol opening times. Please enquire at the box office if you wish to purchase anything on display.

Saturday 15th October sees the return of the Big Bead Show at Sandown Park, which is fast approaching. I’m busy getting ready for this event and look forward to welcoming you to my stall on the day. Please look out for my show newsletter when I hope to be able to offer some free tickets and show specials.

and a big woops…….this post was supposed to be my news on the front page and as such is rather formal, but never mind. The next blog post should be more fun.

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Bead Fair this Bank Holiday weekend

Friday afternoon

The Beadwork Fair – Sunday 28th August, The de Havilland Campus, University of Hertfordshire, AL10 9EU  10am to 4pm

I have been persuaded (thank you Paul), to do this bead fair this Bank Holiday Sunday. As you know I normally do the Stourbridge Bead Fair, but decided to take a break from it this year and enjoy the summer, but due to one thing and another and not attending the Ardingly summer fair in July due to my mums’ sudden death, I thought maybe I should take the plunge.

So I will be at this event, this Sunday, with my usual mix of handmade lampworked glass beads, sterling silver chains, New Designs of Cloud Beads and my range of contemporary jewellery. There are many new £1 bargain beads to be had, together with some old favourites.

I hope you will come and say hello and make the effort to attend this fair, being a Bank Holiday Sunday of course means the traffic will be minimal for a Sunday. Go on, you know you want to!

 

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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 will be selling at the Big Bead Show 2nd April

Tuesday evening

Big news today…….I have booked my space at the spring Big Bead Show at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9AJ. This huge show is on Saturday 2nd April and is well worth a visit. I’d be resisting booking, but the lovely Maria at Bead magazine said she’d squeeze me in if I wanted to come. So here we are, all of a sudden getting revved up for the big one. It’s great news for my mojo as all of a sudden lots of ideas for new beads are flooding in at last. Long may it continue. I hope you will all come and see me here, I will have some free tickets up for grabs later too.

Here’s a little sneaky peek at what I’ve been up to lately. At last I’ve had time to practice the skills I learnt last April at Flame Off with the hugely amusing and talented Sharon Peters, and have found some time to design some of my own characters. Here’s a green one…..

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Mojo a go go

Monday evening

Hellooooo there, thank you to all my friends, customers and students who came to say hello yesterday at the bead fair. You all make my bead fair days so special, it’s great to catch up with you all and share news and coo over beautiful beads and bits.  I’ve spent the day recovering from all my preparation efforts from the fair, as I had 4 full days bead making and spent all Saturday stringing up sets, pricing stuff and packing up. Of course we celebrated the day with a lovely curry when we got home, yum yum.

So now all I have to do is finish my accounts (ha ha) and get my tax out of the way, then I can start on my new efforts for this years business. I’m hoping to spend some time developing some new designs and hopefully some new colour combinations, although I will be continuing my favourites, as they are so lovely. I’m looking forward to spending time playing with new ideas without the pressure to stock up for an event, I just hope my mojo doesn’t go go.

Here’s some snaps of the bead fair from my stall, and ‘the boys’, sorry Jim, you’re out of focus….

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Happy New Year

Wednesday lunchtime

Happy New Year to all my friends, customers and family.

Ooh my! almost a month since my last post. It always happens when I’m really busy, too busy really. The last 30 days have gone in a haze of exhibition preparations, stewarding trips to Guildford, Christmas shopping trips, Christmas day itself, then …the inevitable illness that always seems to follow. Oh yes, just when you think you have survived, you (well me) get struck down with something seasonal. I managed to hold out until Boxing Day, when I was home caring for our little one, when I started the inevitable sniffle, then masses of sneezes. I’ve now been unwell for 9 days, I’m feeling much better but I’m still struggling with feeling giddy, especially now as I type, and I’m also struggling to breathe properly.

But of course with a new year, those pesky resolutions come to mind. I think I managed to do most of the ones I made regarding my business last year, all except one….wannna guess which? ha ha, you know already! That would be the one where I keep up to date with my accounts, which I didn’t, of course. Actually I did make a decision this last year about 4 months in, that I wouldn’t try, and that I wouldn’t beat myself up about it either. And here’s why.

I think it actually uses more time up to do accounts once a week, as you have to get everything out, get into the mindset, then do your task. You also have to remember what you did before and not replicate the task. I believe it’s better to save it up to do in one hit or a few smaller ones, so that is what I plan to do this year. Although things are easier again as I did all my filing and tidying up for this years accounts after I did last years work, always a good idea that, and I had a mega filing session half way through the year too, so invoices and receipts only need sorting from January to April. It also helps to be more organised with the paperwork, and I’ve been far more disciplined this past year with where I put my papers and printing out relevant paperwork. So I’m not going to get disappointed with myself, but pat myself on the back and hope that I can get through my accounts as quickly as possible. Here’s hoping.

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Dream state

Tuesday morning

Dreams. We all have them. But I’m not talking hopes and dreams, I’m talking of gently coming out of a deep slumber type dreaming here. I get loads, so many that it’s unusual for me not to have one in the morning. They often have recurring themes, and I often visit the same places regularly. I wasn’t going to divulge what I dream, but I may as well tell you that one of my regular haunts is a very big modern house with lots of rooms and a massive garden that stretches off into the distance. We don’t have the real luxury of that but at least I get to enjoy one of my dream properties regularly, including the joy of rediscovering a room that I had forgotten existed. We wouldn’t mind that here in our real house, although several months after we moved in our present house we rediscovered the cupboard under the stairs.

Dreams can often confuse and disappoint. Take this Saturday, when I had to get up early and continue with my preparations for the exhibitions I have to set up this week. I got up and ploughed on with my work really well, feeling relaxed and on top of things, enjoying the early morning weekend peace downstairs,  only to wake up at 10:30 and find that I’d seriously overslept and had to remake all the stuff I’d already done that morning. Oh that sucked.

Still, I successfully prepared my pieces for the Winter Exhibition at the Bank Gallery at Chobham, and now have today and tomorrow to prepare for the Surrey Guild Guildford Exhibition ‘Unique’. I’m feeling very jaded but also optimistic. Let’s hope the snow stays away so I can get stuck in. Here’s some more snowy photos to get you even more in the Christmas mood. Please excuse the dodgy photos, my camera is on it’s way out and Picasa isn’t playing ball either, it keeps changing the photo next to the one I’m trying to tweak. Bye y’all.

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Dust, anyone?

Friday morning

2 posts in one week, boy we’re steaming. So it’s full speed ahead in the run up to Christmas, I know it’s a bit of a dirty word, but the event can’t be ignored, in fact I don’t wish to ignore it, I just wish it wasn’t all such hard work.  I used to do loads of fairs in November and December, but gradually whittled them back until I was only doing 2, and this year I have none for the first time. This is good because it means we actually have some Saturdays available, not many, but a couple, and we’re planning to use them fully.  Now this may sound like I’m sitting back and doing nothing…so wrong. I have 2 exhibitions with the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen, one at Bank Gallery in Chobham which runs from 7th December to 16th January 2011, and one in Guildford from Friday 10th December to 24th December (this means more stewarding dates and lots of jewellery to make and catalogue). More details to be found on my events page.

We’re also in the throws of having a good old clear-out, general tidy up and major reorganisation downstairs and anywhere else that things are being moved to….you know how it goes…..

‘Let’s move this’ says Sarah
‘OK, but where shall we put it?’ Says Dickie, trying not to laugh at the Darth Vader mask that Sarah is wearing as she has a real problem with the dust.
‘Oh, that could go in the _____ (insert place name here).’ replies Sarah
‘But if we put it there, then we need to move the ________ (insert name of object or furniture).’ whines Dickie
‘OK, but where will we then put the ________ (insert name already inserted above) that we move?’ says Sarah, trying to sound chirpy but getting annoyed at the amount of work to gain an extra 2 square metres of floor space.
‘Dust, dust, anyone? High calorie or low? Dust?’

…..and so it goes on.

So the plan is to regain as much lounge space as possible, I’ll let you know how we get on, maybe, if it goes well. I also probably should put on a face mask.

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10.10.10.10.10.10

Sunday morning

Now I can blog the 10’s…..cool.

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GBUK Bead Fair this Saturday and new Silver Glass course vacancy

Friday morning

So tomorrow is the day…the day when we get our glassy bits from our glass-blowing taster last month. I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. I have to keep myself from bobbing up and down when I think of it. More importantly though, tomorrow is the GBUK Bead Fair at the Loyd Lindsay Rooms, Ardington, Oxon. The fair starts at 1pm and goes through to 5pm and will be amazing. It will be bringing together lampworkers from around the UK, both seasoned veterans (like myself) and exciting newcomers. Days like this are always very sociable, so we’re looking to forward to spending time in the company of our friends and have lots of good natters.

Of course I have some new beads, I’ve been playing with my new hand shaped nugget which I love  and have strung the faux bo beads shown below into lovely sets for you to buy and use. I’ve also been playing with animal print designs in amber colours, as these are all the rage this season.

But now I have to show you what the spiders have been getting up to on the hedge outside our front door (photos taken 8am Tues 21st Oct)……

Ah, I should add that I have a new course vacancy….

***1 place on a 1 day silver glass and sparkly bits course Thurs 14th October***
On this class we will be covering – using silver glass, dichroic glass, sparkly stuff (see my tuition page), 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!
Contact me now to book your place on this jam packed day.

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Luciousness abounds

Friday morning

Just thought I’d pop in before I get down to making beads again today to give you a quick glimpse at some of the luscious beads that I will be selling this Sunday at the bead fair in Vinopolis, central London. Obviously they’re still on their mandrels at the moment, and the photo’s not marvellous as I did a quick snap on my phone, but you get the idea. I’ve really got to grips with the faux boro technique after months of playing with it, and I love the range of colours I’ve managed to coax out of the glass. I’ve also been playing with rubino and Opal Yellow – a colour that looks really drab (In my opinion), but reacts well with other colours.

So don’t forget, this Sunday, The Beadwork fair,  Vinopolis, No.1 Bank End, London, SE1 9BU. 10am to 4pm.  I’ll have lots of luscious beads (new designs), more bargain in my rumage pots, and my usual supply of silver chains and cables. See you there.

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