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.

Monday, 12 October 2009

The solution - Plan B

8am saw a sunny morning and me raring to go making the new tote bag stand. the understairs cupboard has been emptied in search of the power drill (Christmas present from DH 2 years ago) the new jigsaw (end of line sale at Focus DIY - the old one fell apart when we sawed up the old sofa so we could get it in the car to go to the tip) and the palm sander. Screws, drill bits and other general bits and bobs are already assembled in a bucket, ready to go (not put away from last job).

First task, source the screw thingies. Easier said than done. My trusted supplier of all things un-named failed me on this one. They didn't know what they were called either. By now it is nearly 10am so I must get on; which means avoiding the forums of the many sites I subscribe to. By the end of this post you will see that this might have my downfall today.

Helen from HJDCrafts came up with a solution that her DH had made for her, so I decided to work to that plan and call it my Plan B. I went to my nearest DIY store, Focus, no broom handles. They only have the ones that go with branded mop heads etc. The old fashioned hardware shop hasn't them either but they send me off to a warehouse I've not visited before but have meaning to go. Better still I've a 5% off voucher in this month's local advertising email.

Within minutes I had broom handles (choice of 2 sizes), 2x2 timber (with a very helpful man assisting and carrying), a suitable bit for drilling 1" holes (slightly large but best we can do) and, today's bargain, 2 collapsible crates for £2.75 each when everywhere else locally is way over £5 each. They will have several roles, not least as emergency 'get this stuff packed, we've got to leave NOW' boxes for those end of craft show moments when nothing goes back in the boxes, despite selling some of it. I digress.

Back home, more coffee and down to the end of the garden in the sun. Neighbours terrified by the sound of me drilling, sawing, sanding, cats have run for cover. Still, many hours later, this is the finished result. It's not perfect, it doesn't rotate (I overlooked that part in my excitement!) but it functions and it was quite cheap to make, thanks to the newly discovered DIY store having components for much less than I thought. It is completely collapsible, the arms come out and are just held in place by 2 bolts to stop anyone pulling them the entire way out and leaving me with a pile of bags and the spine is held in the post holder with 2 screws.

It's not quite as wonky as it looks - that's just poor photography, quick snap and strange angles. I think the black metpost fitting will get resprayed a brighter colour in it's reincarnation, I just happened to have black spray paint in the shed. It has 10 arms to hang bags from so should work well. I'll take a photo of it fully clothed in due course.

And if I'd read the forums and procrastinated as usual? I'd have seen someone's suggestion to ask Woody what the mystery 'thingies' were called. I might then have made this differently. But then again, I wanted to get on with this so I might not. Depending how well this 'prototype' works, I might make another using the 'thingies' and a lazy susan mechanism after Christmas. It'll give me something else to get excited over.