I’m so excited (and I just can’t hide it)…continuing my song title theme ;-)

Saturday lunchtime

The sun is shining, and at last I’m feeling excited about making beads again, so much so that I can’t stop smiling. Rick and our daughter are off in Brighton today, a trip we promised her in half term.  Of course I’m running behind in my preparations as usual, this time due to the untimely loss of my brother, which took time out of my usual schedule to plan the funeral service and after ‘do’ and to generally try to come to terms with it. Stuff like this really does mess with your head, but also brings more questioning about life and ‘regrets’, and once again I’ve decided I must have more fun, more me time and more exercise.

I made the difficult decision this morning to stay home and work for Open Studios next weekend, and I’m so glad I did. I’m determined that whatever I do today I’m going to have fun, and I do believe I will. So I thought I’d pop on by here and do a quick post to say ‘yay’, and I can’t wait to get into my blue studio and make lovely beads!

Here’s a snap of some beads I’ve already made for my rummage pot.

Beads en Masse

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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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Ardingly Bead Fair this Sunday….snow permitting

Thurs morning

All my new sets are made for this show! They’ve been strung and photographed and I can actually use my new posh photos!

Now let me tell you this is totally unheard of in our house, usually photos are done one day ahead if I’m lucky, more often than not they’re done the afternoon or evening before the fair giving me the evening/night (if they’ve been done yet) to price up then pack everything else in the boxes.  So what am I going to do today? Well I shall go to my studio and make £1 beads as I know how much you like a rummage, and I’ll also make some repeat sets, and maybe some grey City Chic if I feel like it.  I feel a  fun day coming on, with maybe a fishy or two (although that will mean more photos) and lots of brightly coloured fun beads so I can pretend it’s not freezing outside……oh yes, minus 2.5 deg c in the studio today, it was misty in there just now.

Lavender swirlers Pink swirlers Pinks Big Hile Beads

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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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Gifted in Guildford – 1 week remaining

Tuesday lunchtime

The puddings are steaming (OK so they’re a few weeks late, but at least I’m trying again), the shopping is arriving tonight, and I have a list of jobs as long as my arm, but preparations are under way for Christmas at last.

I’ve been mega busy making beads, then cleaning, drying and sorting them, before frantically making more jewellery for our Christmas exhibition in Guildford this year. As part of the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen I’m really pleased to be in this selling event once more at the Guildford House Gallery at the top of the pedestrianised part of Guildford High Street, opposite Sainsbury. We are open every day except Sunday from 10am to 4:45pm, and Christmas Eve from 10 – 2pm.

The Garden Room looks lovely with wonderful handmade items from a selection of some of our Guild members. Browse wooden items, cushions and throws, jewellery, textile art, pottery, weaving, calligraphy, kaleidoscopes, metal sculpture, colourful leather goods, enamelling and of course my original range of glass bead jewellery. I have some new designs and great packaged stocking fillers of beads on thongs £6, key-rings £9 and uncored big hole beads from £4 (perfect for filling a Pandora style bracelet cheaply). My Cloud Beads (silver cored by hand) are also here together with a selection of heavy chains to wear them on. Why not buy a bracelet or necklace with a Cloud Bead and add some cheaper Big Hole Beads to complete the look?

I’ll be stewarding tomorrow, so why not pop and see me there.

SGC@GHG2012A5Pots and textilesmetal sculpture and cabinetsWeaving, wood and kaleidoscopesMy cabinet top shelf

Gifted in Guildford, Guildford House Gallery, 155 High Street, Guildford, GU1 3AJ.
Every day Mon – Sat, 10am to 4:45pm.
Christmas Eve 10am to 2pm

And don’t forget the Christmas Extravaganza at Surrey Guild of Craftsmen Gallery, open every day 10am to 5pm, even Sundays.
New pieces of work arriving daily!
I have restocked here also.

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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 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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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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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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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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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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