About Me

My photo
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.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Weekend fairs - a curate's egg!

Well, what a difference day makes - or a month. A month ago we did so well at the craft fair in Hereford and poorly at the fair in Ross on Wye. This weekend it was the opposite. Hereford wasn't a complete wash-out, it did stop raining for a while. We didn't come home empty-handed but nor was there a happy dance in the Harris household. Ross was definitely one of our better days, the fair was quite busy (unusual for Ross) and we did well.

My faux-pas off the weekend was that I forgot to check how many shibori dyeing kits I had in my box! When Alistair asked me if I had another secret bag of them somewhere I knew I was in trouble. I'd remembered I needed to do this about an hour after I'd gone to bed. Did I get up and do it or did I do it first thing in the morning? I really need a notepad by my bed. It went out of my mind at that point and didn't come back until much later. Fortunately I was able to take orders and post them out today but obviously, as I was offering this as free post, I've more expense. Never mind, it impressed the post office staff as I staggered in with lots of jiffy bags today. I should practice what I preach and make a list of things to do before each show, even if it is 1am when I start writing.

My next faux-pas hasn't yet been confessed to Alistair - er, we are down to our last 6 scarf blanks. I order these in from the US and they are currently out of stock. Oops. My kits make great Christmas gifts, and we were amazed how many we sold this weekend.

Thinking things happen in 3s, my car has decided yet again that it's sick. Sadly it's not old enough for the government to give me money under the scrappage scheme, nor can I afford a new car, or another used one come to that. We replaced the clutch soon after we bought it then bought a warranty as we had a feeling about this car. So far, over 2 years repairs under warranty have overall exceeded the value of the car. The clutch started to lose pressure a month or so ago but the garage, very reliable, said they'd tweeked something and it was alright now. Then it did it again a week ago, and on Friday. One minute I have a clutch, the next I stall the car at the traffic lights and look a fool (which I can do without the car, thanks). Today I'm told it is probably the master cylinder. I know nothing about cars so presume that's like a Foo Foo valve! It is expensive and covered by the warranty but they will not cover the costs until the 'probably' bit is eliminated. I'm hoping it will be fixed Friday as we are in Salisbury for a fair on Saturday - or not, having found out how much it is to hire a car for the minimum 2 days.

I don't usually buy from the fairs I attend - I'm under Alistair's watchful gaze. I did buy fudge from the lady at the next stall but that is really to bribe Alistair who has a very sweet tooth! The man opposite was selling shell jewellery and also some shells so I bought a gorgeous nautilus shell which is now keeping company with the turbo shells I bought at a trade fair. I think it's rather pretty. The man is selling his stock to 'retire' and now breeds snakes! Fortunately he didn't have any of them with him.

The blue bottles are victorian medecine bottles - the origin of the blue sea glass I find on the beach. My other purchase was some lovely slate placemats and coasters. The sellers are called Simply Slate but I can't find a website to link to. They are based in the Forest of Dean by a husband and wife partnership. Very reasonably priced they will look much better on my maple table than the cheap glass placemats I bought from Big W many years ago! If anyone would like details of this seller, send me an email and I'll find a phone number for you. At £25 for 4 placemats and 4 coasters, they are very reasonably priced.

Today I have been steam fixing silk scarves in a vegetable steamer. Usually I use a microwave but one of my customers bought a kit but hasn't a microwave so wanted detailed instructions for
steaming another way. Slow, but fun. All I have to do now if type up my additional instructions and print in case anyone else asks for them. Who said vegetable steams were for food?

1 comment:

  1. Fairs can be pretty "ify". My last one was a bust. The one before was fantastic. One never knows.