Archive for June, 2006

do, ba do da da do, black pepper (Stones tribute)

Thursday morning

It had to happen. I knew one day it would. And today it did. Yes, I managed to grind black pepper into my porridge this morning. I missed the salt grinder completely and hit the black stuff. This is what happens when you don’t concentrate on the job in hand but stand gazing out into the garden watching the sparrows having thier little tiff on the fence. It was actually quite nice, adding a warm and musky flavour to it.

I’m in full flow now getting ready for my first solo bead fair next Sunday at Lingfield. I’ve done the GBUK ones but had all my jewellery for sale also (including my fashion range made with bought in beads from around the World), so it was really a mix of beads and jewellery. My stall at Lingfield will be selling my beautifully coloured focal beads and sets, my lampwork jewellery and various other bits and pieces including some sterling silver findings. There may also be some packaging items for sale. Better go and get on with more beads for the event, it should be lovely out in my studio as the weather is warming up again but not too much. Have a lovely day.

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Fit the Best

Wednesday morning

just thought I’d pop in and say hi. It’s my bits and pieces day today, when I catch up with admin and stuff (yuk), I’d much rather make beads. We have the man from Everest here this morning, attempting to go around the side of the house (ha) and on the patio bit at the back (hee hee), shame it’s covered in pots and stuff. Oooh he’s just gone oopstairs with Rick, I imagine them both crammed in the loo to peer at the hole in the sofit where the birds go in and out to their nests and little ones. Forget Spring Watch, we have a bird made nest in our roof, but no tit webcam. Of course they can’t do the work until the birds have flown the nest so to speak. Better trot off and continue with catching up. byeeeee

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Snail fest

Monday night

Oh the joys of wet weather. I’ve just come back indoors from my second snail hunt of the evening (after dipping my new mandrels first that is). The first one reaped about 15 – 20 and the second one 15 more. As I said in a previous post I really dislike killing garden or house pests, but when it comes to my Hostas (which I adore), it is the Hostas that win every time. I see it as a service to the birds, I’d rather squish them (or get Rick to squish them) so the birds can eat them, than use slug pellets which do a great job but can harm the other animals if they then eat the snails. I must say that I’ve found it even harder to squish them since I used to watch the kids programme ‘Snailsbury Tails’ (which I also like…..but not as much as Hostas).

If only they would munch the plants you don’t want in the garden, like the weeds. I almost felt like putting them all amongst the Ground Elder, which has come back yet again (am I surprised?). They could be a new type of weed control, people might buy them by the bucket load for keeping their weeds at bay. Maybe I should put some up for sale on my website?

All this reminds me of when I stayed in France as an eleven year old with a French family. We came home from a wet day out, the kids excited that it had been raining and we tore around the garden collecting snails, and carefully putting them in a bucket. When Francine, my host announced we were having Les Escargots for dinner I nearly heaved! I think we may have had steak that night instead.

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Cool for catzzzzz

Sunday night/Monday morning

Hi there, just thought I’d pop in and say hi before I trot off to bed (after I’ve tidied the kitchen and stuff). I survived the week, just, lots of late nights (2am) getting ready for the Open Houses in Worthing, and Barton Beading day (that was today). I had a lovely afternoon at our private view in Sheilas house in Worthing, (address No. 9 and on the events page) and took time out to chat with the other exhibiting artists and admire their lovely work. Sheila has a lovely ecclectic mix of styles of work displayed in her house, but I suppose the thing that links all of it together is the amount of colour that we all use, most pieces are very colourful, from patchwork to papermache, and resin jewellery to lively cat paintings. The walls are covered in beautiful paintings, pieces of decorated driftwood, colourful crochet scarves, silk paintings, hats, bags and there is also rumered to be a cabinet full of glass jewellery by me. I even treated me to a wonderful garden sculpture based on the idea of the faces at Easter Island, now I have to tart up the garden so it looks fabulous in it.

Gotta go and get some zzzz’s in…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Philately will get you nowhere (it’s just a starter)

Thursday Evening

Hi there, just finished another day’s work, well I finished half an hour ago and took time out to munch a bowl of Crunchy Nut and watch my favourite comedy show at the moment – ‘My Name is Earl‘. There were some really funny lines tonight, mainly because they’d given all their money away and were getting desperate for food, the funniest line being Earl replying to Joy

“Send the letter…I’ve already bought a stamp and I can’t take it back because I let Randy lick it for lunch”

Many apologies this week, my email’s been up the shute and I know that a few of them haven’t got through, this includes my contact form, so PLEASE if you sent me one on Wednesday, or I have failed to get back to you, please resend and I will.

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The Painted Garden

Monday evening

Welcome to the mad house, I have one of those really manic weeks ahead where I have far too much to do work wise. I have to get beads ready and out for the Barton under Needwood beading day (Amanda Glanville is kindly organising a stall for us again this year) and also sort my jewellery for the RAG Open Houses. This is my main problem because I haven’t started, you know how it is, everything has to be done yesterday, and of course there’s always some other job more important.

But the main reason I’m here today, is to point you in the direction of one of my oldest friends that I grew up with. She has had a major sucess and I’m so excited for her. She is a fantastic artist, and from a very young age even I could see she would be brilliant. In fact she was so good that I couldn’t see any reason to pursue a career in art and craft because I felt I wasn’t anywhere near her standard. I believed when I was younger that you had to be the best to suceed, although it helps, I do realise now that is not true. There are many places in life for all sorts of abilities, and not everyone can understand or even afford the top art.

Anyway, I digress, please follow this link to view Wedgewoods newest collection of home crockery, complete with stuningly beautiful floral decoration by my friend Mary Woodin. The pattern is called The Painted Garden after her book journal of the same name. Some of the pieces have anaemones like the ones we have on our original painting from Mary (which she painted specially for us for our wedding present). I’m going to have to buy at least one of these pieces.

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Thursday morning

Yo dudes, ready for a fun filled day? I am but I’m not gonna get it, cos I have to do admin stuff and not make beads again. I so wish being an artist designer maker meant that I could do just that all day, rather than have to worry about all the other stuff that goes along with running a small business. Whoever coined that phrase ‘Small business’ must have been trying to pull the wool over our eyes. There’s nothing small about the amount of admin we have to do such as the finances, proper paperwork, keeping all the relevant tax information and in a way you can do your tax return. Then there’s sourcing componants and materials, ordering stuff (I like that bit), stock control (boo), opening packages (hooray), advertising (hiss), cleaning the inside of beads (boo hiss boo)(ooo that’s not admin, but I don’t like having to do it), and the list goes on.

Then there’s photography, the pivotall element to any web-based business. I love photography (you know fun stuff like castles, flowers, gardens and people), but I just don’t seem to have cracked taking bead and jewellery pictures without an hours setting up and using a large flash, scoopy background thingy and shading. When I can consistently take wonderful pictures that really show the subtlty of the colouring in my beads consistently and quickly I shall be a happy woman. I shall also do a tutorial to help others that are struggling with this.

Off to take more pictures for a current order. Note to self – don’t put washing on until pictures taken or tripod will wobble all over the place. In case you’re wondering…..I’ve been taking pictures using the kitchen worktop over the washing machine as it’s next to the kitchen windows and gets diffuse light in the morning. The only problem is that our floor is 3 feet above the ground and it vibrates everytime the machine spins, and I keep forgeting this fact whenever I put the washing on in the morning, then have to wait until I can do any photography, by which time the sun is making an appearance near the windows and I have to do it another time, preferably next morning, but oops, I put the washing on…… get the picture. Maybe I should find another spot?

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mozzie munch

Tuesday morning

Hi, just a quick one today, I dont know where the morning has gone, it’s just zipped by. Probably because I was up untill midnight making beads in my studio because the day was just so darn hot yesterday. But hey how gorgeous is the weather at the moment? I’d just prefer to save it for the school holidays. Last nights session was cooler but not that cool, I had jeans and a vest on, but felt like I was mozzie feast so I’m not sure that I want to do that again. Maybe I should have taken my pink critter splitter with me? Must dash, byeeee.

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Pimms O’Clock

Saturday evening

Evening all, and what a cracking day it’s been. What a scorcher. I’m sat here on my bench again, no tea this time, and I can see my screen. I’ve been in my studio all day and boy was it ever hot, but sat out here now I could be in the mediteranean, all I need now is a nice cool Pimms with cucumber, mint and stawberry. Unfortunately I won’t be having one because they now give me migraine, maybe I’ll go for Cinzano Bianco instead or a nice Sauvignon Blanc. I just love cool evenings after a hot day, it’s so lovely to sit and listen to the hum of my neighbours around me (oo, someone just blew their nose rather horn like) and smell the aroma of barbeques wafting on the gentle breeze, and listen to the bird song as they get ready for bed. This is the life, I love the feeling of holidays when I’m still at home, it really refreshes me. Have a lovely balmy evening.

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How to juggle a cat – well a parasol really

Friday morning

Here we are again, safely installed on the garden bench for another mornings thoughts. I say safely because it wasn’t safe five minutes ago. This corner seems to get sunnier and sunnier every day, now I’m not complaining, as many of you who know me will know I adore the sunshine, and have a hard time staying in the shade now they know all they do about the sun’s damaging effects. Anyway, here I was, just installed on my bench, turning up the brightness full pelt and I still couldn’t see my screen. Drastic action had to be taken, I trotted back to the house, collected the parasol from by the front door, poured myself a cup of Breakfast tea and gingerly walked back down the path with tea in one hand and parasol in the other. So far so good.

These are my thought processes:- Put tea down carefully, after all there is a laptop here and we don’t want to get it wet do we? So I think I’ll put my tea where I sit well away from my laptop. Now to put up the parasol without putting anything down, gotta be ambidextrous for this. mmmm, spikey bit goes down the hole, ah, I need to bend over and undo the clamp, OK, now put spike in hole and do clamp up again without dropping umbrella bit or swiping laptop off bench, yep done that. Now to put the umbrella in the spike, oo carefull, the base is on the edge of the paving slabs at a jaunty angle and will fall over with more height. Better push it onto the slabs with my foot while I hold the brolly. OK, put up the shade, ah, it’s caught on the shrub next to me, better move it to the left, and back a bit so it doesn’t fall over. Phew, that’s done, I’ve got me a nice bit of shade to work under now. I better sit down and get cracking………..noooooooooo, I sat on my tea.

Note to Rick – it’s OK only me, my undies, the bench and the slabs got wet.

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Ricky the Mozzie Slayer

Thursday morning

The birds are tweeting, lawnmowers are humming, in the distance a holiday jet passes overhead….you guessed it, I’m in residence on the bench again.  OOh, there goes  a siren, actually I wish they’d pipe down a bit, those birds are making a racket!  The only problem with this is that it’s sooooo bright I’m having difficulty seeing my screen even with the brightness turned right up and I keep loosing my trusty arrow.  Also in an attempt to scoop some fresh bird poop off the bench I picked up a the nearest leaf to use and pricked my thumb, it being a holly leaf and all!  But I could really get usd to this.  I’ll sit here all day, blogging, surfing the net, and sipping Twinnings tea, wot  a life.  I could be a ‘Lady that lunches’, except I don’t think Rick would be too pleased.

Talking of Rick, it’s that time of year again when the mozzies come out in force and Rick does his balletict poses to keep up with them and splat the blighters.  Normally he’ll go around with rolled up paper or a magazine leaving fetching coloured splats and smeers on the wall and ceiling where mozzie goo and ink have mixed, but this year I had a cunning plan and insisted on buying a twin pack of attractively coloured plastic fly swotters in Ikea the last time we visited.  What a difference.  Even I can get the critters now, with my go faster aerodynamic (it has holes) critter splitter, and it’s such fun, it’s like playing tennis but with mozzies, well, against them, well, actually using them like balls, only they don’t bounce, or ping across the room, or make that lovely popping noise you get when you hit the ball really well.

Now you might think I’m being cruel, and I generally don’t like killing creepy crawlies, poor things, but when it comes to mozzies, especially when you have fifteen of them flitting around, it has to be us instead of them.  I just don’t want to be seen walking around with a line of red bumps where some vampiritic fly has had a five course meal with starters and desert folowed by coffee and mints.  It’s not on, you know what I mean?

Oh well, enough of that, I’d better go and pour another mug of tea and get on with some of the orders that I have, I may even take some photos….although I could have a problem there – but I’ll tell you about that another day.

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Tales from the big bench (homage to Tears for Fears)

Wednesday morning

Well, Rick mowed the lawn (back and front), shared cooking dinner and hoovered the floor this morning AND cleaned the bathwoom sink. Yahoo, I must get very busy more often. Actually he did a good job on the garden when I was on my course last month, I cheekily left him a huge list of jobs to do in the garden, including assembling the bench I’m sitting on as I write my blog this morning, oh yes, are you all jealous? I’m sat here sipping my Twinnings Breakfast tea as I write, enjoying the lovely morning sunshine. I thought I may as well blog while I gather my thoughts for the rest of the day. Anyways, he romped through the list and even had time to take our daughter swimming and visit his family around the corner. I must do that more often and then maybe our garden would look half tidy, after all, it needs a few hours done every week, it’s getting so bad I even thought about hiring the gardener who does one of our neighbours gardens evry week.

At the moment I have a huge patch of thriving Ground elder that’s just coming into flower, looks very pretty but I know it’s a lurking threat. I’ve been trying to get rid of it as long as we’ve been here, but hate using poisons and always forget to do the follow up treatment. Also I have a nice row of dead annuals still in their polystyrene cells that I bought last year and never got around to planting. I don’t know what it is a about June and July but they just seem to get busier each year, and the garden’s sufferring for it, poor thing. Oh well, better trot off and get on with my humungus list. See ya.

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Anyone got a shoe horn?

Monday morning

Yay I’m back. What a gorgeous sunny day it is, I’ve eaten breakfast and had a lovely steaming mug of tea sitting on our new bench outside my studio. I’m raring to go, but think I may have to restrain myself from making beads today as I’ve lots of admin and other stuff to do for my business today, but I think I might crack and make beads anyway, yeah, why not. Oh and looking at my last entry it looks a bit like Bits and Boobs at a glance don’t you think? woops.

I’ve got such a mad 7 weeks ahead of me and lots of work to stuff in before the school summer break like summer fetes, the Lingfield Bead Fair, Rag Open Houses and various teaching dates, I’m also hoping to squeeze in a visit to the Hampton Court Flower Show with my parents and hopefully a trip to Art in Action where you can see GBUKs very own Di East at work, supported by Amanda Glanville and Dora Schubert. I think I’m going to have to do a project plan to shoehorn everything in and make sure I get some sleep some nights in the next couple of months. It’s a good job that my jewellery class has finished for another year as I don’t think I could fit that in as well, which reminds me I’ve organised a trip for the class to see the Tiffany exhibition at Somerset House also, and rats, I’ve just spotted an inset day on the calender for June also. Oh dear, it’s worse than I thought. Off to have a stiff drink and a lie down, but no, I haven’t got time!

Will she manage to recover from her faint? Will she get time to make beads? Will she persuade Rick to mow the lawn tonight (please?)? Will he also cook dinner, do all the washing, clean the house and do all the shopping for the next 8 weeks? Find out the answer to all these questions in the next installment…..coming to a blog near you.

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