Archive for Sarah’s tips

Less haste, less waste

Weds morning

The chaos continues as does my floundering. I’m trying so hard to use this time that I have unexpectedly on my hands, but it seems to be slipping through my fingers like a handful of sand. I’m trying to do my two column A4 long list of jobs and have only managed to knock 5 off so far, I think I may have to look at getting the quick ones done so I can have the pleasure of more ticks and crossing out. I should also set up my stock control programme that I bought a couple of years ago, as now would be the perfect time for stock control with it being a new financial year and having all my glass indoors near my scales……..oh dear, doesn’t it sound boring? I think if I start counting and logging stuff I may just loose the will to live, which is odd because I didn’t mind doing this stuff years ago when I was a student and got paid for it. I guess it’s different when there’s lots of other things you’d rather be doing, like making beads and jewellery, but of course the beads production is definately off at the moment. I may attempt to start making pieces for the Open Houses in June, or at least start making lots of headpins and earhooks for my special pieces, but oh no, that’s a bit mind numbing too, oh dear.

The good news is that my tool for lining big holed beads came last week and it’s wonderful. It’s so much quicker than doing it with dapping punches and doesn’t leave lots of dents and scratches that then have to be polished out. I’ve lined 4 beads succesfully which are sitting proudly on my Pandora bracelet, and only managed to break 2 so far, and that was only because I was being careless and was in a rush as I had to pack up for dinner. So the addage ‘more haste, less speed’ is so true (….or should that be ‘less haste more speed’?) although maybe I should tweek that to ‘more haste, more waste’ (my tip for the day….slow it down). So Silver Lined beads will be coming soon, I have a few that I made a while back using the traditional method and that fit the Troll bracelets with a 4mm hole, but I will be doing some larger 5mm hole beads to suit Pandora also. Now I have to think of a suitable name, which is quite hard for me as I never really do the fancy names, watch this space.

Comments are disabled

Get ahead, get a box

Thursday morning

Oh I can hardly type, my fingers are starting to seize up I’m getting colder by the hour. What’s occuring? The boiler has gone kaput and not firing, just in time for the cold snap, would you believe. It’s 16 deg C where I’m sitting, maybe not that cold, but when you’re not moving around it seems too chilly. I think I feel the cold, I remember when I was doing my Mechanical Engineering course that we used to go into the Metrology lab which was a completely sealed and air conditioned room kept at 18 deg C and I was always freezing in there. Well it’s colder here right now. The good news is they’re coming tomorrow morning to get it sorted so that will be good. Speaking of temperatures, it was 3 deg in my studio when I popped out a moment ago to fire up the kiln, I know it will warm up when I get in there and switch on the heater and the torch, I think in fact I’m looking forward to getting outside to warm up!

On another note I was so pleased with myself last night I could hardly get to sleep even though I was shattered as usual. Hmmm, how sad, and all over getting my show stuff and our huge cupboard organised. You know how it is, you start off small, then over the years get more equipment for your stall, first the fake shelf, then the lights, then other different sizes and makes of boxes to put jewellery stands and other bits in, and so it goes on over the years (9 of them) just evolving and turning into a total eclectic mishmash of an untidy bunch of boxes that have to be put in all sorts of different places in the cupboard and the car to fit, and that have to be pulled out of the cupboard every time Rick needs something of his. Well no more. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been popping into our local Staples to choose different Really Useful Boxes and see which shape best suits my application and at last I have the problem solved. Last night I knuckled under and we pulled everything out and repacked it, and ta da, what a difference. My gear is now all in one (yes, only one) single very neat stack of boxes all on top of a 35 litre box, and yes, bar 2 boxes they’re all the same footprint. I’ve also worked out how I can replace my sneaky shelf prop tins (4 large Family Circle biscuit tins I had given that took up oodles of space in storage) with the much smaller Pencil boxes also made by Really Useful Products Ltd. these stack and give me 4 different height options whilst also containing my beads for sale, which I obviously have to pull out and put somewhere while I set up my stall, but I have that planned too.

You know whilst all this may sound boring, or exciting if you’re a tidy freek, you may say why didn’t I do this before? But life happens, things change slowly and you don’t necessarily realise things need changing in one go for the better. I only happenend to realise I needed a change a couple of weeks ago when for the umpteenth time poor Rick had to pull everything out and it made a huge mess all over the lounge floor yet again. So there we have it, next time you see us setting up at a bead fair we will have our new minimal sleeker stack of stuff. And hopefully I won’t let lots of other thing gradually change for the worst, we all know what happened about my hips. I shall be trying to keep a closer eye on life.

Comments are disabled

Get ahead……so far so good

Tuesday morning

What a wet day, it’s been so dry lately I was almost thinking it was time for Rick to give the lawn it’s first haircut of the year. At least if it’s wet it can’t be so cold as it was a month or so ago, although they are predicting another cold snap for the weekend, which is a bit annoying as I was thinking we could make a start clearing out the garage.

The kiln is on and heating up (8 deg C today in the studio) and I have yet to don my thermals and stuff, although I haven’t need the long johns for a week. In store for today I’m planning to continue making handmade glass beads for my jewellery range ready to make more pieces to top up my Surrey Guild cabinet, and hopefully make a stock of jewellery ready for the forthcoming Open Houses. I’m also starting on my beads for the Dorking bead fair and to put in my webshop. I’m absolutely determined to try and get ahead this year while things are a bit quieter as I hate the stress and last minute rush of preparing for fairs and shows, and I want to try and avoid this as my fairs seem to be at the end of weeks off school and during our summer holiday season, which is rather unfair on our daughter if I have to sit and work when we could be doing fun stuff together at home. How long I’ll stay ahead will be seen, I really hope some other problem doesn’t rear it’s ugly head this year, we could really do with a break from dramas.

On a lighter note I was relly pleased yesterday to actually achieve making almost an inch of a chain linkage that I’ve liked for a long time but never had the time or decent instructions on how to make it. The chain in question is Jen’s Pind and makes a chunky looking but nicely articulated piece. Following the instructions every third link looked wrong, so I undid it and made the links look how I thought they should and hey presto, what a result. I now have to wind and cut more jumprings so I can continue the linkage and make either a necklace or bracelet or both. It really helps to get the ratio of wire diameter to ring diameter¬† correct, as I had tried it out using cheap wire available that was the wrong ratio and the whole pattern just didn’t work.

Comments are disabled

Lost for words

Friday morning

It’s official, I’ve lost my voice….but not the use of my fingers, ha ha. Oh dear, this cold I’ve had for the last 2 1/2 weeks was actually starting to clear up on Wednesday, or so I thought, then my ear bunged up, my throat started hurting and I’m full of yuk. I’ve had earache for the last 36 hours (I thought only school kids got that) and today I woke up and for the first time in my life I can’t speak…hurrah said Rick…..and my daughter came in our bedroom just to say hello and laugh at my response. huh. Honestly, my family, what are they like???? lol.

Needless to say all this illness is putting a bit of a strain on my efforts to sort Christmas for us. Rick said last night that we weren’t organised, I think we are, we just haven’t finished everything we need to do! I mean, what does ‘being organised’ mean?¬† Lots of people smugly ask if I’m organised, now do they mean ‘Have you done everything?’ or ‘Is everything going to your plan for preparing for Christmas?’. I have to admit to always thinking I’m not organised because everything’s not done, but actually last night I realised that I am actually organised, I just haven’t done everything yet, but it’s all going to plan….except for the Christmas cards which I haven’t started yet, cos I’m too tired in the evening due to my cold. I know what we need to do each day, and have planned the jobs for each day next week. I also cunningly wrote down lots of notes about how we cooked Christmas dinner 2 years ago, you know, stuff like how many veg to do and about not cooking it to perfection………did you know if you put perfect cooked veg in a covered dish they keep on steaming and get soggy? what time things came out of the oven, and even what dishes we used to serve them. I know it may sound over the top, but the thought of having to learn it all again another year sent shivers down my spine, so I wrote as many notes as I could after the last event, and I have to say it’s already made me feel more on top of things.

Well, as nice as it is talking to you guys, I must stop procrastinating and get on with my list of jobs for the day. I hope your plans go well.

Comments are disabled