Archive for Studio

Post Big Bead Show, and the lampwork continues

Thursday morning

What a lovely day we had on Saturday at the Big Bead Show. It was so nice to meet you all again, and share the excitement of the day. Visit my Facebook page to see photos of me and my stall there, and a running commentary from Dickie (he was posting as me, I was way too busy working – oops, my little secret for the day).

Today I get back into my studio to start making new beads for the next show at Newmarket, on Sunday 17th November, so I’d better get my head down quickly as I’m reliably informed that it’s a very busy one, almost like Big Bead Show, eek. I thought you might be interested to see the studio fallout from the show this weekend gone, so I’ve popped a photo of my workstation below. I have to say I will be tidying it up, I struggle to keep working with that much mess. Oh and there isn’t even more mess behind my bench, that’s a mirror reflecting the other side of the studio.

I’ve also received a new batch of frits to try from Glass Diversions in America, and I can’t wait to dig in. I have 4 large pots of some of my favourites from Robin, including 2 colour-ways that I’m using loads more of at the moment so that’s a relief knowing I won’t run out, and a mixed set of 16 mini pots to try out too (these last ages, I bought my previous batch about 7 years ago 😮  ), so exciting. Oh and I forgot my 3 freebies in mini zip loc bags. Yay, I can’t wait.

messy bench


Comment on this post

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

Comment on this post

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.

Comment on this post

February blitz

Thursday evening

Here’s a couple of photos of some of the new beads I put on Etsy yesterday. I had a mega blitz and went mad putting 5 sets up for sale on Etsy in a sitting, and then uploading bead photos to Flickr and joining lots of groups there. I also madly ordered a brand new oxygen concentrator that I’ve had my eye on for several months…since last April to be precise.

Today I’ve been having a bit of a paper clear out. Very boring, extremely tedious, and unfortunately necessary every so often. I’ve managed to get rid of a 2 foot pile of paper from my work area, and while going through the oddments came across a major task list from 2 years ago. It was brilliant! I was able to cross off every single job except one, I had actually achieved all I planned back in 2009. Ok so it took 2 years but I’d done them. The main and exciting reason I stayed indoors today, was because I needed to welcome the courier with my new super doopah wizzy powerful oxycon that should have enough wellie to power the bigger Nortel Midrange torch that I’m hoping to get in April, or even just give my existing torches more power, hopefully like using tanked oxygen. It arrived successfully and is sat on the carpet in front of me waiting to be carried down to the studio tomorrow.

I should also announce that I have responded to several requests to sell pairs of beads suitable for earrings so I have a new section in my Etsy shop called Didy Sets. This is my new range of mini bead sets, these contain 2 or 3 beads and are small enough to be used for matching earrings and a pendant or simply to add to a charm dangly type bracelet or similar.

Here’s what I have for sale so far

Comment on this post

More space man

Friday morning

Hurrah, we have more space in the lounge! Oh yes, we got stuck in last Saturday and actually managed to reclaim some floor space. We spent the day emptying the cupboards we bought to house all our daughters toys and bits when she was little, and for the old huge telly to sit on. It was 2 Ikea kitchen cabinets, both 60 cms wide and 60cms deep sitting out from the wall so that the TV could be rotated, and to cover the fireplace hole left when the old house owner sold up and decided to take his new fireplace with him because we refused to pay extra for it. Well it was a bit naff and not to our taste. We also (when we moved in) pulled off all the 70’s naff stone fireplace surround and hearth as we were terrified that our baby (just starting to walk at one year old) would fall and crack her head open on it. So all these years it’s been hidden by cupboards.

I have to confess to being rather staggered by the amount of rubbish that we had been storing in these cupboards, as I’d been saving all sorts of bits and pieces to use for junk modelling, something I used to love as a kid, not really realising that now if you want lovely shiny paper or card you can go and buy it. Gone are the days of recycling your Quality Street wrappers to make light catching jewels to adorn a mobile, although I bet someone out there is doing it well, but not the kids. Anyway, we have successfully sorted lots of paper and bits for recycling, and even managed so far to rehouse one of the 2 cupboards in a very successful position even if I do say so myself.

So now all we have to do (ha ha) is make some sort of fireplace surround to fake a fireplace and make the area look good. At the moment we have a small cube storage unit (one destined to go into my studio) with the TV on it in front of the fire area. Then we should have even more floor space. Talking of my studio…… cold? I popped out to put the kiln and heater on before coming here, and it was so cold that it was almost hazy in there. The kiln was reading 1 deg C when I switched it on, and I’m sitting here putting off the inevitable. It will be interesting to see how warm I am in my new improved super dooper insulated studio. Please think warm thoughts for me.

Comment on this post


Tuesday morning

We all have choices to make. At our daughters school they say ‘You can make a good choice, or you can make a bad choice’ in the hope that the kids will behave in a good way. Choices can be major or not, like whether to post yesterdays blog draft, which as it happens wasn’t up to standard. But today I think I’m going to be radical and make what I hope is a good choice, do I make beads in my lovely new wired up studio (do you see how I got that in?) or do I sit indoors and price up my work for the Open Studios that start a week on Saturday? I think pricing work a week and a half early would be really exciting (in a weird sort of way) and to be honest rather grown up for me, a bit scary really, but I think a good decision as hopefully it will mean a less stressful build up to the event and maybe give me some gardening time. It will also give me time to mull over what gaps I have and what beads I should actually make when I do get out to my lovely white studio with the pale beech laminate floor (ooo look I snuck another bit in about my lovely new refitted studio).

Don’t forget to check out my Etsy shop, lots of sets sold from here at the Dorking Bead Fair 2 weeks ago, but I have added one lovely set of Silver Waters. Just click on the Etsy widget on the left. Also I have a couple of glass beadmaking lesson dates:-

***1 place on a 2 day Beginners Course on 12th to 13th July***

***1 place on a 2 hour taster on Friday 25th June 2-4pm***

contact me now to book your place

Comment on this post

Moved back in…yipeeeeee

Tuesday morning

It’s official, I’m back in my new improved studio. I have insulation, posh lining and a pale laminate floor. I also have a new shelving unit for my glass and a new workbench (well, kitchen worktop). It all looks lovely, now I have to tidy up my jars of glass and organise some way to display and store my huge frit collection without the labels fading in the sun light. I have lots of jars to soak labels off, as I just used to use them as they were, label and all, to store glass rods in that I am using, but no more, I’m on a tidy up spree. I’ve ditched lots of rubbish that was in the old studio, including all those lovely colour wine bottles that I thought I would turn into beads. I’d love to spend the time recycling glass, but to be honest it takes too long for my style of beadmaking. I’ve got really ruthless and have decided to part with glass I won’t ever use and clear out a few bead presses also. All of yesterday was spent sorting out said rubbish and going up and down the steps between the house and garden with handfuls of things to put back in the studio. We can now see the floor in our lounge again, such a relief.

Here’s a couple of shots of my studio progress…..hover over the photos for captions

Comment on this post

Yet more new beads

Friday afternoon

More new beads…..I persuaded Rick to take some photos last night after he got back from band practice, and I’ve listed 4 new sets on Etsy today. Photos below. Unfortunately he forgot one of the angles that I like for each set so the poor duck will have to repeat the process tonight. We also have the exciting prospect of a trip to Ikea at some point this weekend to get flooring for my studio and some shelves to put the glass on.

I had a dream of what my studio would look like when finished and it’s gradually changing into something that I hadn’t envisaged and that I’m not so keen on. I know that practicality should come first, but I’m still a bit sad. But, it will still be lovely and I can’t wait to get back in there and start melting glass again. I also can’t wait to get the new torch that I fell in love with at Flame Off last weekend. It’s a HUGE torch, with a mahoosive flame that melts boro like chocolate. It has a large burner with a Minor burner on top, and you can light one from the other and swap easily between the two flames. Unfortunately this poses another problem in my studio because the flame is so much longer when you have it turned up for the boro. At least I found out at this stage so I can tweek my layout to suit it or install some type of flame insulation opposite where I decide to position it. I’ll have to wait a couple of months before I invest in it as I will also need another oxycon (the machine that extracts the oxygen from the air to supply my torch).

Comment on this post

I moved out today…out of the studio

Saturday evening

The grand studio refit started today. After 2 days of teaching lovely students Thursday and Friday, I spent the day packing up (again) my beadmaking glass, tools and equipment and moved out of my new studio so we could begin the proper fitting out of my studio that was delivered last May. I can’t believe I’ve nearly had it a year, the time has gone so fast, and it seems really mad that this is the first time in 11 months that I’ve had the time to be able to stop making beads and concentrate on getting the studio to the standard that we planned last year. If they had delivered when they were supposed to I would have had the time last April to do this. But such is life, you just have to get on with what life hands you and try not to whinge (or however it’s spelt… I think that should be spelled, as Spelt is a type of flower…or should that be flour? Oh it’s OK I do know how to spell, I’m just mucking abaaate). I seem to have amassed a large amount of stuff, and lots of mayonnaise jars of glass. Actually it’s interesting to see what jars I have down there, as they are a potted history of what we eat over the years and show our changing preference for the few cook in sauces that we use. We seem to have moved from ‘Bertolli Roasted Vegetable sauce’, to ‘Sharwoods Tikka Masala’ through to’ Dolmio Bolognaise with Extra Onions and Garlic’. I even found some baby food jars hiding the odd dead spider and a HUGE beatle with jaws, which we think must have got stuck inside the slippery overhanging edges.

Our lounge is now full of jars of stringer and glass, 2 oxy cons, chairs, my pink Maxine (kiln), and various boxes of bits, and a huge stack of insulation boards and chipboard flooring. The plasterboard is in the garage thank goodness or we’d be sitting on it. We’re having to eat from trays on our knees…we normally sit at the table and eat as a family. We’re having to be really careful where we put the jars of stringers on the floor so that we don’t poke our eyes out with them! Oh what a good Easter we’re having.

Comment on this post

Oh no, not more procrastination

Monday lunchtime

I’m procrastinating again….can you believe it? And this time it’s not tax or accounts, oh no, it’s sorting out my insulation and lining for my studio. I hate planning stuff when I’m not totally sure what I’m doing, or when I have too many design issues to resolve before I can do it, one reason why we still haven’t decked out the back yet (I want to get too many things out of the project). So what’s the hold up this time? I’m not sure, but I can tell you I’m feeling absolutely drained of enthusiasm or energy. I want to curl up into a little ball and snooze right now. But I can’t, I have to get this stuff ordered, especially as there’s a pesky bank holiday this Friday. Also the sooner I get this ordered, the sooner I can get back to play (sorry, work) at bead making. I’m sure that will be tomorrow now, and if that’s not incentive enough I don’t know what is!

I have a couple of places on glass beadmaking courses to fill again

1 place on a 1 Day Beginners Course Thurs 1st April……yes, that’s this Thursday!!!!!

…..1 place on a 2 Day Beginners Course Tues 25th to Weds 26th May……

contact me now to book your place

And I have also put yet more beads in my Etsy shop, here’s a taster….I know, I still can’t get over how regularly I’m doing this.

Comment on this post


Wednesday morning

Newsflash…dit dit dit…I have windows that open again! So my new shed last year had 2 windows that were supposed to open and one ended up very jammed. The lovely ‘Man from Malvern’ came today (first thing)  and fixed it, so I can now have both windows open again and keep the howling gales outside, well hurrah. This is actually double hurrah as I thought I was going to have to wait all day for him to come and wouldn’t be able to make any beads, but my day is clear now, up until 6pm, yay. (Hey come on, I know it’s a small thang, but I’m easily pleased.)

Talking of easily pleased, a couple of weeks ago we were pointed to several websites with a cool form of doodling on called Zentangles, and spent the whole of Saturday after the party just doodling (yes, the whole day, but we were shattered and it was very relaxing). Here’s a couple of mine

The tuition date of 13th May has been taken now, but more glass beadmaking lesson dates are still available for May, June and July. Just drop me a line with your preferred dates and we’ll choose one that suits us both.

Comment on this post

I love my new studio!

Tuesday morning

I love my new studio! I can’t get over how spacious it feels inside, you could really swing a cat in there (apologies to all cat lovers), whereas the last one you could pick up a mouse but not even swing it…not that there were any mice in there of course. I have 2 workspaces set up in a sort of minimal way, and I’m determined to keep it as clear as I can until we start lining the walls, however I don’t seem to be succeeding. I keep needing more things to be able to work, ‘oh just that tool’ and ‘I really want to try that glass I bought at the Flame Off‘. What’s a girl to do? All that scrumptious new glass and lovely new colours from CIM, I’m aching to try CIM Sapphire and Cornflower and TAG Taxco Silver Turquoise. OH dear, I’m going to have to take the rest of my box of goodies down to the studio today and start using it, I can always stash it in one of the wire drawers I have.

I really don’t know where the last 2 months have gone, well I do, but didn’t get the jobs done that I’d hoped to, as I thought I’d have loads of time to update my website, write tutorials and generally tart things up a bit. But taking down the studio and preparing for the new one took all my energies and thoughts, I suppose I thought that may be the case, but had hoped that I’d be able to take advantage of the time and sort some indoor jobs. But I’m not going to beat myself up about it, I have a huge new studio and can make handmade glass beads again, which is bliss. I also started my glass beadmaking courses again last week, and have a couple of days this week and several dates to look forward to throughout June. Anyway, enough of my wittering, I need to get my kiln on and get making beadies for the Bead Fair at Dorking Halls on 31st May.

Comments are disabled

New studio arrived!….at last

Friday morning

Where did the last week go? So much for blogging 3 times a week. We have been busy, honest, and you already know how hard I find it to concentrate when works are happening at home as I have to be tech (which I like)  and nourishment support, doing all the stuff that women normally do, and you know how much I can’t stand doing that for long. lol. Well, we bought our sleepers and got them down bit by bit (hmm, sounds like putting a baby to bed), but work had to stop as we weren’t totally confident where the door would be and how high it would be off the ground, but most are in and holding back the slope while we speak, and we’re going to get a couple more tomorrow to finish the job neatly. Our garden looks a bit like the Somme at the moment, with trenches and piles of earth all over the place, together with piles of slabs, yes they’ve been piled up in 3 places now during this job, 2 Hippo bags of earth, one forming a temporary home for an old Hydrangea, and general mess around.

The shed arrived and was installed yesterday morning, much to my relief, and looks lovely in the garden, well, I think it does, but our daughter keeps saying it’s too big. It is big, 12 x 8 foot, but actually sits down quite nicely, even if it is a bit pale and eye catching at the moment. I had thought I’d leave it ‘au natural’ but I think it could do with painting a nice colour so that it merges into the garden a bit while remaining a feature due to it’s size, but that will have to wait for a couple of months until the timber has dried a bit from the pressure treating. Plans were to have it all neatly fitted out for when I start teaching again next week, but as it’s arrived so late we’re only putting in the bare essentials to get started and so I can prepare for my next bead fair in May and Open Houses in June. We did have 3 weeks clear for the lining and fitting but that was truly mucked up by the shed people.

Here’s a few pics to keep you amused, a bit of a photo story

Old studioInside the old studioinside old empty studioEmpty space baseNew baseLovely sleeperssides comingNew shed!inside new studio

Comments are disabled

Big Plan(t)s

Friday afternoon

So I’m sat here, in the shade, on the new patio, as our neighbours have called it. Only I haven’t told them that a new studio is coming next week, when they said ‘we saw your new patio, didn’t you used to have a shed there?’,  I just smiled sweetly (yes it is possible) and quietly said yes. Hmmm. I wonder what they’ll think. When we put up our last shed there were comments from one of their daughters like ‘That’s a big shed for your garden’… wasn’t actually, I’ve seen as large in much smaller ones. So I’m getting a bit nervous about when the new one arrives and is errected. I mean, it’s not really a problem, as our garden is almost the shed width longer than theirs (about 6 foot), so it will be further back than the end of their garden, and it’s also wider by 3 foot, and lower down. Poor dicky had to dig 2 Hippo bags of earth out to cut into the slope of the garden, and even that level is lower than theirs, the corner with the studio is at least 2 foot lower than the bottom of their garden (which is terraced down away from them), so even though the new building will be taller, it will also sit snugly into the lawn and not peek out too much more than the last one, and it will look really smart. Ho hum. Actually I know it will be OK, they may just be a bit surprised.

It’s been a really lovely day, very relaxed and enjoyable. I started by trotting down to the Doc’s for my 84 day weigh in, pre breakfast and mugs of tea of course as you have to be as light as possible don’t you?  I thought I hadn’t lost much this time, but the graph he’s keeping is still showing the same gradient, so that can’t be bad, I’ve now lost 2 stone 9 pounds, and my jeans I used to wear years ago before I really ballooned out are getting really baggy all over and loose around my waist so that I have to hitch them up regularly. Can’t be bad. I just wish it would come off faster, but to be honest I’m not really having to try that hard and certainly not starving myself as that is so counter productive.

After breakfast I drove down to my friends house in Ashington for a coffee morning, than followed that with my first visit to Big Plant nursery nearby to ogle the plants and get ideas for our garden.  I stayed much longer than I planned, as I had intended to just whiz around and see what they’ve got. At around 1pm I took to the car again and had a very pleasant drive to Horsham Fencing, past the fabulously blousy Leonardslee Gardens, to look at the sleepers and get prices. I arrived home in time to have a leisurely lunch while watching Neighbours (bye bye Harold) and then do the school run, well, walk actually, I can quite categorically say I have never run it!

And now I’m here, outside on the new patio, lol, blogging and contemplating how many sleepers we need, enjoying the twittering of the birds, yep, they were there first, and watching the bees or wasps come and go in between their digging holes in the bare earth. Watch out Rick when you cut away to put the sleepers down tomorrow!

Comments are disabled

Less haste, less waste

Weds morning

The chaos continues as does my floundering. I’m trying so hard to use this time that I have unexpectedly on my hands, but it seems to be slipping through my fingers like a handful of sand. I’m trying to do my two column A4 long list of jobs and have only managed to knock 5 off so far, I think I may have to look at getting the quick ones done so I can have the pleasure of more ticks and crossing out. I should also set up my stock control programme that I bought a couple of years ago, as now would be the perfect time for stock control with it being a new financial year and having all my glass indoors near my scales……..oh dear, doesn’t it sound boring? I think if I start counting and logging stuff I may just loose the will to live, which is odd because I didn’t mind doing this stuff years ago when I was a student and got paid for it. I guess it’s different when there’s lots of other things you’d rather be doing, like making beads and jewellery, but of course the beads production is definately off at the moment. I may attempt to start making pieces for the Open Houses in June, or at least start making lots of headpins and earhooks for my special pieces, but oh no, that’s a bit mind numbing too, oh dear.

The good news is that my tool for lining big holed beads came last week and it’s wonderful. It’s so much quicker than doing it with dapping punches and doesn’t leave lots of dents and scratches that then have to be polished out. I’ve lined 4 beads succesfully which are sitting proudly on my Pandora bracelet, and only managed to break 2 so far, and that was only because I was being careless and was in a rush as I had to pack up for dinner. So the addage ‘more haste, less speed’ is so true (….or should that be ‘less haste more speed’?) although maybe I should tweek that to ‘more haste, more waste’ (my tip for the day….slow it down). So Silver Lined beads will be coming soon, I have a few that I made a while back using the traditional method and that fit the Troll bracelets with a 4mm hole, but I will be doing some larger 5mm hole beads to suit Pandora also. Now I have to think of a suitable name, which is quite hard for me as I never really do the fancy names, watch this space.

Comments are disabled

Never ending story, well, job actually

Saturday evening

You know how when you start a job you think ‘Oh, we just have to move this, do that, buy the other, then we can move the wangle, relay the wotsit and job’s done’? Well, how come it never is? and why am I always surprised that what I thought would be a simple job is never straightforward or easy? I’m talking about the garden reorganisation and overhaul that started off as a simple, ‘let’s take down the studio, lay a few more slabs’ and is now a major remodeling and terracing of the garden, especially as we have 2 huge Hippo Bags full of earth and another one threatening to be filled as we have to cut away yet more earth on the non slopey slope just to allow the new shed door to open. Oh my, so poor Rick has to chop away another load of earth, but I’ve had this wizzard idea that we should pile it on the slope next to it to form a flat terrace, result. All I have to do is decide how many sleepers I need and get them deliverd. We also have to sort the surface in front of the door, clear a path or make a new one (more decisions and possible cost), repair or replace the back fence – see I said it had gotten complicated, that’s what comes of  tearing down our back fence to reveal all the pernicious squibs…sorry  Virginia Creeper. We also have a huge Climbing Hydangea to replant, which at the moment is precariously perched in a Hippo bag full and overflowing with earth. This relocation in turn means preparing a raised border, which also means removing yet more crazy paving path…..arggghhhh…….I can’t cope with all the crazy paving. There’s masses of it, the previous owners obviously liked the stuff and very generously decided to have a path that went all the way around the garden and back again, in addition to the patio and a path around the patio.

I feel a few days (maybe weeks)  coming on of chipping away at these York stone slabs, diligently removing concrete so we could maybe reuse the good ones, if I can persuade Rick that he wants to lay them instead of forking out for new slabs.

Hmmmm, so while I drone on about all the jobs to do, I should also announce that I’m taking part in an exhibiton that starts next week at a  new gallery in Chobham that opens next week. The gallery is called Bank Gallery, the exhibition is a ‘taste of what’s to come’, and is due to be opened by the Rt Hon. Michael Grove MP. Please see my events page for more details.

Comments are disabled

Studio progress update

Monday tea time

Where did the Easter holiday go? Why am I sooooo tired? Why am I skint? Why is there a huge pile of washing up in the kitchen, you know, all the posh stuff you don’t want to ruin in the dishwasher? Why are there masses of glass jars and bits all over the lounge floor? and who left that shed in pieces around the side of the house?

OK, so here’s the plot, Monday before Easter we emptied my studio, that took longer than I thought it would, even with my packing things and tidying stuff away the week beforehand. Late Monday afternoon Rick removed the benches, power and stuff screwed to the walls. Tuesday we took the shed apart and carted it around the side of the house, this was very enjoyable as there was no way I could have done that for the last 10 or so years previous. Then Rick started excavating the plot to lay the next 12 slabs we needed, including digging out the pesky Virginia Creeper shoots and ivy plants everywhere. We managed to fill 2 of those Hippo bags you can get from builders merchants with the soil from the slope, which didn’t look particularly slopey until he started digging of course. Then he had to lug 12 bags of sand, 12 huge slabs, move the 2 heavy sleepers that were holding back the lawn, then move them 3 or 4 more times as they kept gettong in the way. After the slabs were laid we started repairing the surrounding fences, and removed 2 panels from the back of our garden so that we have slightly more room to walk along the back of the new studio to remove leaves and stuff. The panel removal revealed a huge tangle of more Virginia Creeper, which all had to be prised off the fence and chopped to fill the recycling bags, and the huge root dug up and disposed of. I also went around the garden and pulled out all the brown long leaves from the Crocosmia and grasses around the place, cut back the Pyrocantha and the Fatsia Japonica to reveal the Hellibores we planted last spring, and generally got rid of the plant rubbish. I then attacked the front garden border and had several subsequent trips to the dump, which in itself was entertaining as the bags were so heavy I had to drag them, then pull individual handfuls of plant bits into the skips until the bag was light enough to pick up and tip the contents away. Phew. Oh and we also had 2 trips down to look at cars, one of them to buy a car we wanted and had rung up to check it was still there, only to be told casually ‘Oh we sold that one yesterday’ when we got there. Typical.

That’s the progress so far, we now have to finish repairing the fences, paint them, and decide how many new sleepers and slabs we need to complete the area around the studio and the path down to it. I also need to organise the insulating materials, the internal cladding, the flooring, the ventilation and what benches I want. I’m also trying to choose a couple of lovely garden shades to paint the shed when it’s been up for a while. That’s all the good news, the bad news is that I’ve been let down on when the studio is being delivered, which is after I was supposed to be starting teaching again. This is very annoying and stressful because I now have almost 3 weeks without a studio, the time slot that I had planned for fitting out my studio perfectly, and now we have to make it just ‘OK’ to start teaching on time, and that’s with having had to rearrange a couple of students to come in June instead now. Of course even OK will be plenty to actually teach properly, it just won’t be fixed up permanently and decorated.

As far as the rest of the holiday and my tireness, that’s probably down to going away to the Flame Off last Friday and Saturday, but thats another post!

Comments are disabled

No studio!!!! New studio…coming

Wednesday evening

So much is happening at the moment, I don’t seem to be able to squeeze in blog time. I went on a fabby course this weekend gone, at Creative Glass in Medway, Kent. We were tutored by Gail Crossman Moore, a renowned glass artist who works mainly in borosilicate glass, and so the course was all about this type of glass, one that I haven’t even dared try to use before. It was very informative and lots of fun, especially as we turned out to be a very small select group of 5 including Gail, 2 students having bailed out just prior to the course. Gail gave us a really solid grounding in using boro, teaching us about the metals used to make the colours, and good colour combinations, and how to vary the effects.  We also had the added bonus of making a felt bead, that was fun. I feel so fired up by what I’ve done, and can’t wait to get my beads that I had to leave there from the second day. I was also very pleased that we all went out for dinner on the Saturday evening (this is something that doesn’t normally happen unfortunately) and the added bonus was Rick and our daughter being with us too as they’d driven to Kent to collect me (still only 1 car). The only down side is that I now am bursting to go and try what I’ve learnt and can’t because we dismantled my studio yesterday.

Oh yes, it’s all in pieces, and all my equipment is in the garage or scattered around the lounge floor. Oh it’s fun to be back in chaos in our house again, not, but it is worth the mess and disruption. It’s amazing how little I can actually do when Rick is working on a project. I seem to spend my whole time troubleshooting and running around buying things we need, or brewing endless mugs of tea, preparing lunch and cooking dinner. I still haven’t managed to do the washing up, but I did actually order a washing machine last night, so that’s another good and necesary job done, just the car to find now! and all the mini problems of landscaping the garden to solve to accomodate the new shed.

Comments are disabled

Tuition Dates

Thurs evening

I have a couple of spaces available for beadmaking courses

The first is a space for 1 person on a 1 day beginners course Thurs 21st May.

The second is suitable for you if you have taken a course but not yet set up your studio, or if you are self taught and want to improve your skills or simply see someone else make beads. The dates for this 2 day refresher course are Sat 16th May and Weds 20th May.

See my tuition page for more information and email me now to reserve your place.

Plans are going ahead for my studio refurbishment, or should I say demolition and rebuilding. It’s been a long time coming, we chose a new shed last year, but the weather was soooooo cold in January that I had to put my plans on hold as we were concerned about freezing concrete. I’ve since found out that I don’t need to lay a concrete base, which I’m really happy about as it’s not very green laying masses of uneccesary concrete. I ordered my shed on Monday, with a whole 25% discount, the best I’ve seen for this make, and it should be here in 2 to 4 weeks. In the meantime we will be packing up the studio on Monday and dismantling it, then lifting the old slabs, cutting away the lawn to make space for the extra 2 foot width and hauling the sleepers along before laying the base. There’s so much to do but I’ve decided to deal with each stage about a week before it’s due to happen. I can’t be doing with sourcing everything right now as I have an urge to make as many beads as I can before I see my studio collapse.

So what about our fabby new car? Oh dear, after masses of agonising on Tuesday we walked away from the deal because the dealer couldn’t locate the Service History. To say we were gutted would be an understatement, but the saying ‘that you get what you pay for’, and ‘some things are too good to be true’ are spot on. It was such a good deal, very new second hand car with a low mileage and a high specification that was 1K less than it should have been.  So now the hunt continues, although I think we’ve narrowed down the choice of cars, so could possibly task a garage with the fun of tracking down our ideal car.

Comments are disabled

New Year plans

Monday morning

It’s back to normality again, at least kind of, because I have my daughter here on an inset day, and I only found out about that by chance after a party she went to yesterday. If it hadn’t been for my friend saying ‘oh you do know it’s an inset day tomorrow’, my poor daughter would have been walking up the school path on her own,wondering where on earth everyone else was, ha ha. I had all sorts of things planned for today, well, I say that, but I was planning to make my weekly 90 beads today, but I’m not really ready, well, I should really say that the studio isn’t, I have to tidy it and remove the 2 spare kilns from the floor and anything else that was shoved there out of the way on Christmas day so we could sit down on chairs instead of kilns to have our festive lunch! I expect there aren’t any mandrels ready either, I think I’ll bring those indoors to dip and dry because it’s a bit white outside with thin patches of snow. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to make beads and finding you have to spend an hour tidying up first.

So we’re having a nice quiet day together today, just me and my daughter, as Rick is back to work after a 2 week break. I may just make the effort to take her into town and get her feet checked while all the other kids are in school, that will save queuing.

Of course this month is also my dreaded month of catching up with my accounts and doing my tax, oh joy of joys. I always dread it but enjoy it when I get going, I just have a real problem making a regular slot to do my bookeeping, there’s always something more urgent needs doing. We were planning to replace the studio this month with a much larger version while I’m indoors doing my accounts, but discussions with the shed suppliers have revealed that I’ll need a concrete base to support the new size and of course it’s been very frosty this winter, so we’re rescheduling this for the Easter break. Also this month is the Beadworks bead fair at Ardingly on the 25th January, so I’ll have to punctuate the month with bead making sessions, what a I’m planning to make more Double Helix beads for sale at this fair, using my new found silvered glass skills, yipee, I can’t wait to get out there and play.

Comments are disabled

Next Page »