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.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Meet the family!

Who needs kids when you've got cats?! I have a 9 year old domestic short hair ginger tom called Charlie and a 10 year old domestic long hair ginger tom called Teddy. We didn't name them, they came this way, with all the baggage previous homes and names give them.

Charlie may be 9 but there are times it is like living with a teenager. He thinks he's only a kitten and runs around, plays with his toys (Culpeper's catnip fish are a favourite) and generally makes a noise. He's not without his problems, and has just been diagnosed with quite bad arthritis in his back hips. A fussy eater, what was good yesterday is not good today; roast chicken must be fresh from the oven; parma ham in moderation and fish from the chip shop once in a while is a delicacy. We've tried most food ranges! Hiding his current range of meds in his food is a challenge - in fairness I'd not want to swallow the big pill he takes either. The super tasty (according to the vet - how does he know?) Gomega, which is Omega 3 for cats is definitely 'No-Gomega'. In fact if it says on the packet that it's pallatable, Charlie will prove otherwise. Favourite food: roast chicken; Favourite bed: ours; Favourite drink: skimmed milk, the cat milk does not cut the mustard.

His elder brother, by 9 months is Teddy. Not sure if they are genetically related but they've been together since the beginning. Teddy is the opposite to Charlie; won't sit on your lap (too risky), won't meet visitors (what's their motive?), won't come out of his box for the vet (have you seen where he puts the thermometer?) but is, after 2 years finally finding his voice. A huge bundle of fur, he leaves his mark wherever he goes. Visitors adore him, he does not adore them and spends most of his time under our bed, well hidden. Favourite food: anything; Favourite bed: up the side of the bed in the guest room, feet on the radiator keeping warm; Favourite drink: Charlie's milk.

Teddy, presumably named after a teddy bear as he's a bundle of fur, would have been better named Aslan as he has the most wonderful mane like ruff. He is devoted to Charlie and sits with him when Charlie's under the weather, washes him when he stands still long enough and generally tries to keep Charlie under control. Charlie however is devoted only to himself. Surely he was named 'Cheeky Charlie'?

Then there's my better half, but he put 'X for no publicity' on our marriage certificate so will have to remain a mystery. He is a red head though!

Our two merry moggies came from a local animal sanctuary. I'd spotted them on their rehoming website and went to see them. After a false start when we were nearly talked into having some other cats, these two came home. They've not looked back since, although sometimes feel the staff are not really up to the job.

Holly Hedge animal sanctuary is, like most I'm sure, always in need of funds. We help where we can but I have listed some of my work on Folksy, Misi and Etsy in aid of Holly Hedge. Do take a look. I am also taking part in North Somerset Arts Week from 1st to 10th May 2009, sharing my studio and display space with a ceramicist. Together we will be giving 10% of our sales to Holly Hedge, with some items being 100% donated sales as well as offering teas, coffees and home made cakes again in aid of Holly Hedge. If you are in the area do come and see us - I'm hoping Charlie and Teddy will meet and greet visitors (but am expecting them to fall asleep on the job). If you'd like more information on Holly Hedge animal sanctuary, have a look at www.hollyhedge.org.uk .

Asleep ...... Awake ....... Asleep!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

New bags

Just thought I'd share some new tote bags I've made. These are now listed in my Etsy shop. I have other bags in both my Etsy and Folksy shops and will be making more soon.

At a recent wedding I saw a mum and her little daughter with matching bags. Mum clearly needed a bag to carry round the vital things that mums need throughout a day; daughter needed a little bag to carry around her vital things for the day too - like something to amuse her whilst the grown-ups were being very boring and not playing with her. She was a little angel all day long.

Clearing out my many hidden stashes of fabrics I came across some small pieces of a floral upholstery fabric. There was just enough to make a couple of tote bags and a small piece that would make a small bag: for anyone who manages to go out with less than I do, or for a Mini Miss. The fabric, named 'Streatlam', was made by Textra in 1980. I've combined the fabric with some pretty embroidered cream fabric which makes a wonderful lining, complementing the colours of the Textra fabric.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Rococo Garden, Painswick, Gloucestershire

I am very fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas of England, surrounded by such pretty places to visit. One of these is the Rococo Garden in Painswick, a small Gloucestershire village. Discovered almost by accident, this place has special memories for my husband and I. This time of year the place is awash with snowdrops and a site not to be missed.

This beautiful garden, originally laid out in the early 18th century, is set in a hidden Cotswold valley with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. More about it can be found here - but here are a few photos, taken today.

Beautiful snowdrops, the herald of spring

a sight to behold

The Exedra

The Red House - some people seem to sneak into every photo!

A beautiful walk leading to a beautiful vista

The wonderful Cotswold countryside.