Archive for June, 2007

Festival season rules OK

Saturday night

One event down, one bead fair sorted for tomorrow…that’s Barton Bead Day (see my events). Now I have to get my head down for the Artists and Makers festival (Open Houses) that starts in 2 weeks time. At least I actually feel like making jewellery now, my brains been on a bit of a go slow and acting like a temperamental artist, saying that I didn’t feel like being creative. I do now, and I’m raring to go. Chomping at the bit, me. And it’s lovely to sit here blogging while class acts play at Glastonbury.

Oh yes, it’s festival time again, and I just love how the digital channels on TV cover so many of the music festivals now. I’m in my element, and it’s so much more comfortable watching from the sofa (or desk as I am now). I’d love to go to Glastonbury but have heard so many tales of friends tents being removed lock stock and barrel, then there’s the mud bath when it rains, not to mention rushing miles from one stage to the other (and by that I don’t mean ‘the other stage’), and how do you decide what to watch? There’s 2000 acts this year on loads of different stages. I’d feel like I was missing out if I didn’t see everything, which is obviously impossible anyway due to the logistics of the size of the place. I’m off to get a glass of wine and a coffee and to put my weary feet up.

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Beware the Ides of June

Monday afternoon

Phew, I need a rest. I started my art clay course this morning and only got back an hour ago because the traffic was so terrible on the M25. I decided to leave the motorway and take the A25 but that wasn’t any better, so I left that route and went the very scenic way through Ide Hill, Edenbridge and Lingfield. 1 hour and 40 minutes later I got home. It makes you realise how the motorways have changed the way we all live now, and how easy it is (when the traffic is good) to travel long distances with ease. This journey normally takes me 55minutes, and the first 20 minutes were a breeze. Still, I got to see some more of the beautiful countryside as I drove up and down the south downs, as it was really high up when got to Toy Hill.

I will post a picture of what I made this morning when I’ve finished it, it was all a bit of an experiment morning, getting the feel of the clay and how to manipulate it. The wire I stuck on with slip didn’t stay on the whole length and I have to solder about 1/4″ to make it secure, as I do the bail that I put on the back. I also have to clean up the edges and barrel polish it. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished article, but I’m really not sure if I like this medium or not, or if it’s any easier than doing normal metalwork with silver.

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Open Houses and Lingfield Bead fair countdown (3 weeks and counting)

Friday evening

Do you ever get those days or weeks where you’ve been busy non-stop, and yet when you look back to see what you’ve achieved you can’t work out you’ve been doing with your time? I have to say this week has been one of those. I’ve hardly made any beads, although I suppose odd little jobs have been done. One of the fun things I had to do yesterday was go to my friend Ediths house to see where we are locating our work for the RAG Open Houses. It was great to all sit around with a mug of tea, wander around the garden and discuss our plans.

Our work is going to be inside and outside of the massive summer house, with a relaxing area outside to sit and enjoy the garden, and we also plan to do demonstrations of our discipline, so if you fancy seeing how my beads are made, do pop along and have a look. I’m not sure what days I will be demoing but I will put details up here, so stay tuned. I will of course be at the Lingfield Beadfair on the first Sunday, and may well be doing the headless chicken dance the day before if previous events are anything to go by. Have a great weekend.

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Monday, Monday

Monday morning

The kiln is on and heating up as we speak. 17 deg in my studio (well, the kiln actually) again today, but it feels cooler as ‘it’s spitting’ (run for your lives). I managed 4 torch sessions last week, and have cleaned ALL the beads already..however Rick very kindly pointed out that the first batch I did weren’t done properly…how annoying….and I’d been trying out a new faster method before you start getting worried that I don’t clean my beads properly, cos I do normally. So the upshot is I have a hundred odd beads to clean again, urgh. I was doing so well as well.

Today I’m planning to make some lovely dichroic focal beads, so that should be fewer to clean. lol. I have ssoooooo much on over the next few weeks, and only 6 weeks of school left and I’m already stressed. This year so far has been a bit of a funny one with our daughter being seriously ill and me not being able to work and more importantly attend and sell at the few events I’d hoped to at that time. So now it’s doubly important that I make the best use of the opportunities in the next few months, which have all come along at once, like buses. Mind you I seem to remember it being like this last summer too. Now, how can I squeeze in those visits to the Hampton Court Flower Show, Tate Modern and the V&A?

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The Sourcerers Apprentice

Thursday Morning

So far so good this week, I’ve been able to have 3 long sessions at my torch to make lots of beads, and I’ve cleaned most of them. (I know!) It’s a struggle to balance making beads to sell at fairs and in my shop, and to make beads for my range of jewellery, but I’m happy no matter what! Now I need to find time to make the jewellery….hopefully all the dinners I’ve been cooking in the evening this week will buy me some production time from Rick while he cooks.

Now for the hot gossip…what about Katie on the Apprentice last night? Now that was a turn up for the books, she actually looked genuine after Sir Alan said she was through and with her discussions with him after the offer. I’m pleased Christine is through, I’ve been routing for her for a long time. As for those interviews….they were enough to make anyone squirm. It was amusing to observe the looks of confidence on the candidates faces as they arrived for the day, and to compare the look of devastation and worry after their gruelling.

It amazes me that in the 3rd (or is it the 4th?) series of the Apprentice that some of the candidates appear not to have watched any of the previous series, or if they did, that they failed to learn some of the key points about Sir Alan and how he likes things done. Who in their right mind applies for a 12 week long interview away from home without doing any research about him or the companies? And who applies for a job without considering that a relocation would be a probability? It just goes to prove that however smart people think they are, there will almost always be things that let them down, we are all only human after all.

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Another day, another dollar (and email problems)

Monday morning

Half term is over, daughter is at school, washing is on, kitchen’s almost tidy and the sun is shinning…all is well with the world. Now I just have to get really revved up to work hard as I have 2 major bead fairs, 1 minor beading day, 1 carnival, RAG Open houses and the Surrey Guild exhibition at Winchester Cathedral to prepare for, all in the next 7 weeks. I’m also going on a short Precious Metal clay course (already getting excited) and then a colouring anodised aluminium course (my third time) in this time frame. Phew. It always gets like this in the J months. Of course some of my preparations can be carried over from one event to the next, depending on how much I sell at the previous one, but I do like to produce some new designs for the summer events, both jewellery and beads, and this also takes more time than doing the same old same old. I also plan to make a new posh piece of jewellery, and need to mull this over while I work…..hmm, I wonder if I could squeeze a day off at the Hampton Court flower show too…..I’ll have to work on that one.

So….I’d better get on, the washing is beckoning me to hang it on the line (rotten stuff).

Oooh and while I remember, apologies to everyone who’s sent me emails in the last couple of weeks, my service has been up the spout, and Rick only just managed this morning to retrieve the ‘however many gigs of mail’ that has been sat waiting on the Talk Talk server for the past 2 weeks. We have now changed provider for my emails so normal service should soon be resumed (as soon as I get through the backlog).

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