Archive for May, 2007

Those were the days

Wednesday morning (1 week later)

Whoa, a whole week later, what happened? Oh yes, Whitsun weekend, and we’ve been away in our newly fixed caravan for a few days. I think I need a holiday now just to get over the packing and I would say unpacking too, but the floor’s still covered in ‘stuff’ that needs unpacking and putting away. I love going away but I really hate all the preparations beforehand and the tidying away when you get home. There must be some solution to this dilema? Obviously staying in hotels is one of them, going abroad on package holidays is another – only 1 suitcase per person and a bit of hand luggage – sounds good to me. It’s the camping thing that makes life complicated, this must be why it’s a relatively cheap holiday, because of all the effort involved.

I remember preparing for holidays abroad, this was fun because it consisted of shopping…. for sun lotion, toiletries and bikinis, also film for my camera (we’re going back a bit here….scarey isn’t it?) and a good pocket guide book. Maybe I also needed some new t-shirts, sun tops and flip flops, oh and a new suitcase. Whereas now it’s ‘have we got enough chemicals for the toilet?’ and ‘that saucepan’s going a bit rusty’ and ‘have you packed enough tea towels?’. Blrghhhhh.

I must have gone wrong somewhere along the line, I’ve gone from 2 weeks at the end of May and 1 week in September, both abroad, to 2 weeks in the UK in a caravan of all things. I suppose at least I put my foot down about using a frame tent, now that was humungous and took all day to pack up the last time we used it. Some people may say we got too complicated in our use of the tent and should have stuck to sleeping on carry mats, eating cold baked beans out of the can and sitting on the floor, but arthritis soon put an end to that type of camping for me (which is also why we’re now in a caravan).

So, the piles of ‘stuff’ are still lined up along the lounge floor, the kitchen still looks like the remains of a bomb has hit, and I have visitors arriving for lunch in 5 minutes………I’d better get on! see ya.

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How does your garden grow?

Wednesday morning

At last, I have a bit more time to blog in the morning…..well I don’t really, but the bench outside was beckoning and I didn’t want to let it down. It’s gorgeous out here, the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing (the Cotoneaster shrub next to me is heaving with bees, they really go mad for the flowers when they come out each year), I can hear people about their business and the scent of the flowers is amazing. I could almost be on a Greek Island in the sun, especially with the occasional sound of scooters.

I think I could really do with a parasol out here as I can barely see my screen, it’s sooo bright. Mind you, we all know what happens when I get involved with parasols, tea and my laptop! It’s a lot sunnier in our garden at the moment too as we still have 5 fence panels missing, I can’t get the bits I need to repair them for love nor money. This could make the job a bit tricky when we do get the bits as our neighbours shrubs next to the fence are just exploding with leaves and branches. I just LOVE this time of year in the garden as everything grows so fast, if you blink then look everything’s doubled in size.

We also have the pleasure of enjoying coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show, supported by Marshalls (tee hee). Isn’t it funny how the non-advertising BBC have to get their presenters to say this every time the show starts or ends on TV? I just wish they’d show more of the other gardens when they do these programmes, as I’ve noticed from my trips to the Hampton Court show that they seem to concentrate on the same few gardens each time when there are many other good displays to be seen also. Maybe they’re trying to leave something new for those who visit the shows? and OK Heather, I know I’m talking about TV again. Gotta go, as much as I enjoy wittering on to you lot I’ve stuff to do.

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Wigwag paddy whack

Friday teatime

It’s been a fairly sunny day here today, and is now staring to cloud over, we just hope the weather holds for the party we’re having before Mike Frantz leaves for Holland and Germany. What can I say about Mike? He’s a friendly, kind man, who has done loads for the bead making art glass community by taking the time to forge links with the Italians so that we can enjoy a beautiful range of the finest venetian glass. He’s been awarded the ISGB 2006 Hall of Flame Award – ‘this goes to a person whose contribution to the world of glass beadmaking as well as the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) has left a long lasting legacy worthy of recognition’.

We enjoyed having Mike to stay for 2 nights, and he showed us many goodies that he’d obtained along the way, including some very valuable Murinnis that were stunning in detail, various samples of glass that he’d obtained from Effetre and Murano and a few select designer beads. He generously gave me (among a few other things) about 1/4 lb of a brand new colour from effetre to try first and some interesting goldstone which is shaped like a ribbon. It sure makes a change for us in England to have the first chance of trying a new colour or product.

And this is what I made with the new green called Grasshopper…….including the wigwags that I talked about yesterday…..the blue one is grasshopper free.

Swirly whirly Wigwag beadwigwagsgrasshopper floralBlues wigwag foacl

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Broadfield House of glass

Thursday evening

Another week has passed since I last blogged, and guess what…I’m whacked out. We had a great time at Broadfield House on Saturday and then came home to get ready for Mike Frantz’s visit. Mike owns one of the 2 largest beadmaking supplies companies in the world called Frantz and knows so many beadmakers. He regularly flies to Venice from Washington state in America to visit Effetre who make the glass that so many of us love. I’ll write more about Mikes visit another day as he stayed with us for 2 nights, but today I’ve posted up some photos from our day at Broadfield House.

Me Demonstrating at Broadfield HouseThe TableRoy Ayre DemonstratingA Captive Audience

I should also add that today has been a first for me as I spent a few hours being one of the first beadmakers in the world to try out the new colour from effetre. It’s a minty green colour that Mike is going to call Grasshopper and is very close to a shade that I mixed myself in February. My beads from today are annealed, cooled and cleaned and await Ricks photographic treatment. I also made several wig wag canes today using this colour and may put up a photo of these tommorrow if you’re lucky, that’s if I can move my arms tommorrow, all that wig wag twisting has made them ache like mad. Ouch. I also get to try out the goldstone ribbon that Mike picked up in Venice, that’s what I’ll do on the morrow what ho!

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Broadfield House beads day

Wednesday morning

It’s been a manic few days. I’ve been busy with preparing for and doing a couple of informal sales of my work. Both these mini events went well and now I’m gearing up for the Beads Day at Broadfield House this Saturday. This will be my third time at this event, selling my beads and jewellery together with those of other GBUK members and demonstrating glass bead making the studio. This has always been such a lovely day and we’re all looking forward to it. There are several bead stalls arranged in the various museum rooms and the museum is well worth a look around. Open 10am – 4 pm See you there!

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Tales from the big bench, again

Sunday lunchtime

I remembered today, sat here on my bench, how I used to sit and blog here, outside in the morning. and thought I should revive the practice. Only now it’s just started spitting with rain so I may trot back inside in a minuet. But I’m going to take a few moments, while I wonder how long I should stay here, to soak up the sounds of the birds, sparrows and woodpigeons, and the phantom nose hooter, and smell of the Spring (and all my neighbours sunday lunch smells wafting in the breeze). I can also smell my most favourite wiff starting, that of the dusty ground getting wet as it starts to rain after a dry spell. I think that’s one of the most magical aromas, and I could sit for hours deep breathing in the refreshing scent.

Rain after hot spells is so invigorating, and fills one’s body with renewed vigour (no, not vinegar), maybe they should try and bottle this fragrance, it would be a best seller with the smell of new born babys heads.

It’s stopped spitting now, but I’m covered in ducky bumps – otherwise known as goose pimples – it’s a term some friends and myself came up with as an alternative to the norm back when I was a nutty teenager. Anyway I’m done here for today, but I’d just like to say ‘hi’ to any of my friends who may have popped over for a visit today from Frit Happens, the UKs liveliest forum for glass beadmakers, fusers and the jewellery obsessed.

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New tricks (you can’t teach an old dog)

Tuesday night

Woops, I didn’t mean to leave it so long to blog, it’s not like I’m short on stuff to say, but we have been busy. By which I mean that we had a weekend away (and muggins had to do all the research and looking for a place to stay before we could go anywhere). Another wedding anniversary gone and the memories of a fab weekend in Tetbury between Cheltenham and Bath linger on.

It was just the sort of weekend a gal wants, country drives, oldie world villages, loadsa Georgian architecture, lovely meals out and a man on a pink unicycle in a pink t-shirt and a pink tutu, juggling knives. (Now why can’t Rick do that? he has the skills, and the equipment…..well maybe not the pink gear……but yes he can juggle……balls, clubs and fireclubs, and can ride a unicycle…what’s he waiting for?) Oh yes, the west country and Bath in particular has everything a gal could want to see and do.

Tetbury Market PlaceJuggling outside the Pump RoomChipping Steps

Pillars of the Community

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