About Me

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North Somerset, United Kingdom
My parents were worried when I ran around with scissors – now I play with fire and (intentionally) break glass! Based in the beautiful South West of England, close to the sea and often the scene of beautiful sunsets, I am inspired by the countryside around. Working with sea glass collected from remote beaches, soda lime glass from Murano, Italy, Europe, USA and beyond, I create artisan beads, for use in my own jewellery or for you to enjoy in your own creations. But I couldn’t stop there; continuing the theme from round rods to flat sheets, mostly from the USA, I break large sheets of transparent, opaque, multi-coloured and dichroic glass into much smaller pieces to make a kiln-formed range of bright, colourful jewellery and home decoration. Each piece I make is individually designed around the shape, size and beauty of the materials and intended to be unique, wearable, usable and affordable. All my glass work is kiln annealed for strength and durability and designed to give pleasure for years to come.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

A visit to Hesterbombe - these look like 'fun guys'

So this is England in the Fall, not quite New England, but I'm not lucky enough to be able to go there this year (or any other for that matter). The leaves are turning gorgeous shades of gold and it's fun to walk through deep piles of leaves making that swishing sound as you go. I'd forgotten that delight from being a child again.

As we were walking around we came across a lot of fungi. A few I know the names of, most I don't, and I wouldn't trust myself to know the deadly from the delicious.

This one was growing on an old tree stump, I presume it is a sort of bracket fungus, so called because it looks like a bracket on a wall.

Shaggy Inkcap, because it's shaggy and the black liquid that this mushroom releases after being picked was once used as ink

It can be eaten, but is poisonous when consumed with alcohol – hence another common name, tippler's bane.

Next up we discovered some Fly Agaric - how suitable for Halloween! I always thought this was poisonous but apparently deaths are rare and it is widely eaten in Eastern Europe. It is best known though for its hallucinogenic properties!

Then we found some small puffballs. I prefer them when they are large and ripe, a quick touch on the top usually generates 'puffs' of spores being released. These are good to eat - assuming you are sure of what you are picking!

I don't know what the next ones are. They look a bit like Cep, but since I wasn't collecting them and wouldn't harvest my own to eat without an expert in tow, I'll just enjoy their beauty.

All this talk of food, between Nature Boy (husband is a total Townie, trees are trees and all mushrooms come from Tesco) had us heading back to the restaurant for coffee and cakes. You'll notice, if you read my blog often, coffee and cakes is a recurring theme!

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