Archive for Studio

New Beads for sale, in time for your Christmas makes

Thursday lunchtime

At last, I have restocked my shop with some of my handmade glass beads, and I hope to add some jewellery later to the jewellery and pendants sections. Please do go and take a look see. To order just drop me an email and I’ll send a Paypal request unless you tell me otherwise.

2 deg C, that’s what it was in my studio yesterday, brrrrr, and it was soooo cold that I decided to have the heater up full blast.  That was a huge mistake, as halfway through my session something went click and I was plunged into darkness and silence as the light went off and my radio, oxygen concentrator and fan heater came to an abrupt stop. Oh dear, my first thought was that we had just had a power cut, but a quick whizz up to the house to inspect the many clocks and appliances told me otherwise. An hour later and I had pulled myself together and found the blown fuse in my new Wattmeter, removed it from the circuit and managed to have lunch too.

So today, I just can’t bear to be outside again, its been really cold this week, and even with my thermals head to toe I’ve been feeling it. Let’s hope it warms up a bit next week, a bit of rain would help……tee hee. I’m hoping to make some icicles (glass ones, not ice ones, I know I’ve been complaining about the cold snap), some big holed beads for my lovely Pandora bracelet that Rick gave me for my birthday (which reminds me I need to order some larger silver tubing), and some whopper beads to adorn some of the many beadable winestoppers I had Rick bring back from the States in October.  I’m hoping to make some of these to put in my shop, and I’m planning to make a new section for my big holed silver core beads that I made to fit the Troll System. I’m still trying to think of a suitable name for them, I wish the names came as easily as the designs.

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Last few tuition dates for 2008

Monday afternoon

Phew, I’m glad this weekend is over. It was a very busy show on Saturday at Sandown, a huge event with masses of stalls and hundreds of visitors. Thank you to everyone who came to see us and say hello, and of course to everyone who bought my beads. My tray of new beads was decimated by the end of the show, I hope you all enjoy using them. I was so busy all day that it was only when I popped over to Tufnells late afternoon to collect my glass supplies that I realised how wet it was outside, yuch. Fortunately we didn’t have too far to drive to get home so were tucking into a well deserved curry and a bottle of wine by about 8 o’clock that evening, and today I’m sat here with my feet up having a second day of rest to get over the last 2 months solid of work. I now have to plan how I’m going to fit in the next 2 months work and sort Christmas at the same time, rather than leave it all until the last week before the event.

I have 3 tuition dates remaining this year, all of them for 1 person to attend a 1 day Beginners Beadmaking Course. The dates available are

Friday 7th Nov (yes…this week!)

Wednesday 12th Nov (next week)

Thursday 27th Nov

Email me to secure your place on one of these courses, the last dates available before next February! We are planning to replace the studio in January next year so I will not recommence teaching until February.

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In the driving seat

Saturday evening

The last day of Open Houses and studios is tomorrow, Sunday. Several venues will be open during the afternoon so do have a trek around and see some individual pieces of art. Today I woke up feeling so chirpy that I decided last minute to pack up my studio and take it down to Ediths to demonstrate making handmade glass beads. I was in the same place as last year, in a cosy little outbuilding facing out to the garden, although it was rather chilly in the shade there today. This was only my second attempt at making beads since my surgery, and I started getting back into the groove after a dodgy start last Thursday. It’s so good to be getting back to normality, and even though I had a rainbow of colours available to use today I decided to concentrate on making black and white beads with clear, to make a necklace for my mums birthday. It’s amazing how many different styles you can come up with even with such a limited palette, oh I had great fun, and even Rick joined in with a bumpy black and white creation just before we packed up.

Talking about new things, my recovery has progressed enough to allow me to drive again, amazing how fast all this is, so on Tuesday (seven weeks after) I attempted to get in the driving seat and had an enjoyable little tootle around the block, yay! This is really good news for me as it now means I have some independence and can actually leave the house on short errands or just to treat myself to a coffee in town, because I can. I can also start walking up and down a few of the stairs at home normally (instead of one step at a time with the same foot leading each step). I tend to walk around the house without a stick now, much better for carrying trays and mugs of tea, and even managed to wash my own hair this week. Now I’m guessing that for most of this you’ll be thinking ‘So what?’ but for a 45 year old it’s really annoying having to depend on someone else to do all this, and every new achievement is another step back to normality and independence. I’m hoping to conquer the shower this week, as up until now I’ve needed help to get in and out of the bath.

I hope that this little log of my progress will encourage anyone who’se reading and needing some sort of replacement, to feel encouraged by my experience and take the plunge to get help.

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Here comes the sun

Friday morning

Wow it’s so lovely outside today, and it was yesterday too. I had a better session in the studio, even though I’m suffering with a throat infection, and think I have my Tempest bead at last. I’m hoping to go out and make more lovelies today, although I’m not sure yet what I need to do……..goes off and rummages in bead boxes. I should probably be good and start getting organised for Open Houses and the Ardingly Bead Fair this summer, but I feel like experimenting today, something that I don’t feel I get much time to do. I’ve been playing around with my new press that I swapped with someone, it’s a lentil, which I thought was going to be difficult to use, but actually it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. That’s it, I’ve decided, I’ll do some experiments and some production work, a good compromise. Have a great weekend.

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Buzz buzz buzz, I wonder why it does? (ode to AA Milne)

Saturday lunchtime

Don’t blink, don’t turn away, don’t blink……..well I did and my week has been stolen. It hasn’t really, but it made an interesting start to this post. I’ve been busy teaching all week in what should have been a quiet and cooler month, and hasn’t it been hot and sunny? The weather’s been gorgeous and we’ve been getting soooooo hot with 2 burners, 3 people and a kiln in a relatively small space. It looks like summer has arrived at last, mind you the main problem with that is the wasps have arrived as well. But the good news is that most flying things haven’t bothered us this week with the new all singing and dancing fly screen. We had 2 sneaky wasps find a large gap when we hadn’t closed it properly but that was all. Not bad going really, so definitely an improvement on no screen and lots of screams!

Meanwhile the saga of the unruly house continues, you should see it (or maybe not). Stuff everywhere since we decided to decorate our daughters bedroom and are now having to accommodate 8 years worth of general stuff and art in the rest of the house. We really need to have a big sort out and de clutter before it all goes back in…which it’s NOT going to do. I’m well prepared for the sort out….got my dust masks and dust goggles last weekend to cope….I have a dust allergy see? I think it may end up looking like a scene from Silent Witness if we’re not careful. Now where did I put my white disposable coveralls?

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It’s a bugs life

Friday lunchtime

Still in a spin! But I’ve installed what I hope will be one of the best improvements to my studio yet…….drum roll please………..

a fly screen!

……oh yes, don’t you just hate it when you’re in mid flow, crafting some amazing bead or pendant, and in wafts a buzzy thang on the draft, buzzes around your head, whizzes left and right in front of you, and generally harasses you. What can a girl do when she’s torching at over 1000 deg c and can’t stop until said item is finished and put in the kiln! Last year I lost several sculpted off mandrel leaves in late summer as the pesky insects came in one after the other, intimidating me and threatening to set up home in my pad. I think the wasp nest in the tree 4 metres from my door didn’t help much either. Large Kamikaze moths in the evening have also been something of a problem, diving headlong into my flame then crazily fluttering around in ever decreasing circles as their scorched wings make them fly wonky, then crawling on my bench in circles on their only remaining legs and wing. Should I also mention the dust these things make as their scales flake off, only just missing my hot glass? Maybe this could be a new inclusion to my beads, like Pixie Dust. So hopefully, gone will be the days of me screaming like a big girls blouse and struggling to resist the temptation to rush out of my studio as fast as possible to avoid the critters……enjoy the sun!

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Spring forward

Tuesday Evening

Hasn’t it been a lovely day? The weather has been gorgeous. I sat in my studio this morning with my fleece and all my thermals on and made a few beads (still vermiculite), gradually getting hotter and hotter, having to strip off layers as I went. I also managed to get my first glass hole in my new pink beadmaking fleece bargain from Millets. I look like Obi-Wan Kenobi in it with it’s voluminous hood, or like I’m in a short dressing gown ready for bed.

Rick is busy working on my kiln again at the moment, we had to buy a new part and we’ve found out what’s going wrong. It may be a couple more days before it’s completely sorted, so my bead making is still rather restricted regarding what I can do and putting any sets together for sale. Of course we’ve also got the school Easter holiday looming up this weekend which will also put the Kaibosh on my bead making activities.

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Red Hot Chilli Pepper….or not

Tuesday Teatime

Yo ho, another week almost gone since I blogged. I still don’t have much time to make beads and even when I do I have something of a kiln crisis at the moment, and I’m having to cool my beads in Vermiculite and haven’t been able to anneal any for a few weeks. The second kiln (my Chilli Pepper) was supposed to be a backup but won’t work in my studio as it is at the moment. Hmmmm. So it’s a bit of a stale mate at the moment.

Last week was a very busy week for me, with 2 days lampwork tuition (always very enjoyable), preparaton for my daughters party and then the party itself, with some visitors who stayed until midnight (it’s OK, they were invited to stay longer!). I’m still trying to recover from all the physical effort. I hope to get some beadmaking time tommorrow if all goes well, and I must remember to nudge Rick to take another look at my original kiln. I hope normal service will be resumed soon, but it will probably be after the Easter hols. Bye for now.

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OOps I forgot the title.

Tuesday morning
Yipeee, at last I get to make beads again. I’ve been so busy the last week that this is my first chance to blog or bead and I may not be doing experimental work or trying out all the new glass and frits I have ordered lately, but I’m going to enjoy myself. I have to make pendants and beads for my craft fairs and the Guild exhibition, so will be in production mode, but the good news is that I can please myself on what I produce, oh the joys of being self employed and setting my own targets.

I must say though that it is going to be very hard to stop myself from trying out the new ASK104 glass from Kugler or the gold pink frit that I’ve waited years to get hold of. It’s also going to be fun working in a studio with more space, it feels so much better now the shelves have been removed and storage is below the benches like it should have been from the start.

I’m also very relieved that the weather is still so mild, I’ve been kind of dreading working in the freezing cold, but last night as I dipped mandrels at 10pm it was still warm enough to work and I had to stop myself sitting down for a play. Must dash. (moustache?)

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Just the posh bit to do now

Tuesday evening

Well hello there, at last a few minutes time to blog. We had so much to do to get the studio ready to accommodate 2 students, which included changing a worktop, buying under bench storage frames, sorting shelves for them, reorganising tools, glass, and generally moving everything, that poor Richard didn’t really get to celebrate his birthday properly yesterday. Added to that I was teaching all day Saturday, and we were out all day Sunday, and I was out all day yesterday so we’ve only just stopped. I think that may be why a migrane is threatening to rear it’s ugly head. Mind you, at least the floor got a quick wizz of the hoover this morning (cheers rick).

So the good news is that we had a lovely day today, we all fitted in the studio nicely, my students made some fab beads and were really pleased with themselves. My studio looks great without the shelves and now needs a lick of paint to make the remaining section of wall white, and a bit of time to cut lengths of waste pipe and glue them to the shelves to make a posh rod storage thingy-ma-jig. While tomorrow my next panic starts, ho hum….I really know how to get snowed under with stuff to do. Night all.

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Two’s company

Saturday evening

Brrrrrrrrrrr. It’s definately cooling down for winter. It was 0.5 deg C in my studio yesterday morning and 5 deg C today, although Rick had put the heater on to warm it up before we went out there. I’ve had the joy of teaching several beginner beadmakers lately and have 2 more coming together next week, so it’s a relief to finally get my spare oxygen concentrator and second torch hooked up and working. Rick changed part of the worktop last week so we can accommodate a second student, and I’ve been buying the bits to furnish a second workstation and to posh up my glass storage, which at the moment consists of long cardboard boxes stowed on the shelves in the studio. Those are coming out to make room for 3 people at once in the studio (2 students and little ole’ me). Oh it’s so exciting, I love changes, especially when it’s for the better.

Of course I will be sticking to my one to one lessons, so if you book on your own, that booking is one to one, unless of course you want to bring a friend to learn with you. I will never add another person to a one to one booking that has already been made, but I’ve had so many requests for 2 friends together lately that we felt we needed to do something. I’m off to put me feet up with a coffee now, have a good weekend.

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