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.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

OK, here they are...

Now available direct from Blue Box Studio are gorgeous jade and purple cuff links, ideal for jazzing up a shirt or blouse

also available in purple and pink

as well as muted shades of green, red and yellow.

Brooches in darker shades of green, brown and blue or pink, purple, blue and turquoise , ideal for fastening scarves, embellishing bags

or adding pizazz to a jacket or coat.

All of these are handmade in my North Somerset studio from shibori dyed silk and my own hand blended dyes. Because of the technique, no 2 pieces of silk will be identical and each brooch or pair of cufflinks will be a little individual and original work of art.

Ideal for all occasions, these come gift boxed, ready for giving. I currently have these at a sale price starting £4.50 + P&P. Don't forget Mothers' Day is on 14th March and Father's Day is 20 June in the UK (other countries may vary) .

New from Blue Box Studio

I recently made some cuff links from a friend's wedding dress fabric for the groom and ushers to wear at the wedding and am so pleased with these that I have made some more using my own shibori dyed silk fabrics.

Not only do these look great on a men's plain shirt but would also jazz up a ladies white shirt to give a new or smarter look.

Not stopping there, I have also made a couple of brooches, which could be used as scarf pins or to brighten up a jacket or coat.

These compliment the range of pocket mirrors I make, also from my own shibori dyed silk.

So, what do you think, make more cuff links and/or brooches or not?

The cuff links and brooches will shortly be available from my web shop - http://www.blueboxstudio.bigcartel.com. The mirrors are generally available through my Etsy and Folksy shops but if you can't see quite what you are looking for do get in touch as I have lots more that are not listed.

If you would like cuff links made from your own fabrics, get in touch to discuss, commissions welcome.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The search goes on .....

Several weeks ago I asked Folksy members if they could identify a church for me. Years ago I visited a church in Devon or Cornwall with a car park on the cliff edge, remote, sad, many graves of souls who perished under the wheels of the London stage, lost at sea, that sort of thing. It was a warm day yet the church yard felt cold and the wind sounded wailing. For years I forgot about it but several years ago I decided to visit again but had forgotten where.

Several suggestions were made, Morwenstow in North Cornwall, St Edonoc in Daymer Bay, St Gennys. In Cornwall last week we headed off with a map in one hand and a hope of finding the right place.

First stop Morwenstow, the farthest on our journey. I visited here a few years ago, on this search, but it's not the right place. A previous vicar had walked down the cliff to give Christian burials to souls who perished on the waves and a figure head from one of the ships marks the captain's grave (the original is in the church, a copy on the grave).

Very pretty, but not the right place.

Next stop St Gennys. This pretty church might have the right credentials but the car park was not on the cliff edge and there weren't obviously any graves to souls lost at sea or other sad circumstances.

That's Alistair trying to work out how to tell me there don't seem to be any un-named graves here!

But they'd found a beautiful vase for some flowers

several ornate and matching table tombs, but this one caught my eye, simple, to the point and a genealogist's nightmare ...

and so the search went on. We discounted St Edonoc at Daymer Bay because it was on the beach - the sand often covered the church so the vicar and congregation had to enter the church through a door near the roof. So not on a cliff edge then. It was also a walk through a long established golf course, albeit a pretty one, and I definitely parked next to the church on a cliff edge.

Alistair wanted to visit Boscastle again so we headed off in that direction on a cold but bright day. Never without an ulterior motive, someone had mentioned Forrabury church, high on the hill above the village. I went into the tourist office, warmer inside than out, and spoke to the ladies there who thought I was a ghoulish soul. I can't help it, I love church yards. They said Forrabury wasn't on a cliff edge so not my place, but ..... Tintagel was.

Armed with a map and instructions to turn left opposite a car park and down a steep hill, off we went. St Materiana's is on a cliff edge ...

just not the right one! We toured the church yard and there was one memorial to a lost sailor and some interesting tombs but whichever way I looked at it, it's not the one.

Stunning stained glass windows though.

So, the search goes on. Do you know where in Devon or Cornwall there is a church, perched on the cliff edge, with the car park being a rough piece of ground overlooking the sea? There will be graves by the gate to souls lost under the wheels of the London stage (coach), and lost at sea. It'll be bleak and solitary. It's got to be there somewhere, I didn't dream it!

Vintage prints for sale

It's not like me to promote what I'm selling on Ebay but we've had a major clear out of pictures we've been keeping and I'm selling them there.

These four are rather special. Years ago I walked into my local picture framer with work for him to find him sitting surrounded by lots of vintage plates from a botanical book. Neither he nor I were the kind to pull beautiful old books apart to sell pages individually but he'd bought the remnants of this book, already in pieces and wanted to save what he could for the future. There was too much missing to remake the book and no one would want to buy it in its current state. I could only afford 4 pictures at the time - he'd worked out his price from what he paid for the book divided by the number of plates he could salvage.

I had these gorgeous plates mounted up, he fine-lined and coloured the mounts, hand made his own marbled paper to embellish and we agreed on a classic frame that would be in keeping with the printed page. For years they hung together on my wall but no more. I now have a much smaller house and they just don't look right in this one. So they need a good home. They are too good to just be abandoned to the local charity shop who I know don't the difference between a Rembrant and a reprint (silver stamped EPNS is being sold as hallmarked sterling!!).

2 of the prints are floral, wild rose and wild orchids ...

and the other 2 are of dock leaves - I didn't know there were so many varieties, and you can never find one when you get stung by nettles) and leaves and seeds of native British trees

I am also selling some beautiful Japanese prints, so mosey on over to my Ebay page to see what's available. I just don't have the room to keep everything and we've deliberated over these for ages, finally making a decision.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

The spring has sprung ....

...... the grass is riz,
I wonder where the birdies is?
The little bird is on the wing;
ain't that absurd?
I thought the wing was on the bird!

A little silliness is needed for my day - DH forgot today was Valentine's Day! First time in 5 years in fairness but he 'didn't realise it was the same date each year'! Oh St Jude, help him.

Having returned from holiday last night and not back at work until tomorrow, I decided that we'd enjoy our last day of freedom. We went to the Rococo Gardens in Painswick, Gloucestershire to see the snowdrops then used our new NGS Yellow Book (gardens opening for charity) and found one just up the road from Painswick.

Here's a few photos of the Rococo Gardens, special to us because we love the snowdrops and where I proposed to DH.

Definitely good for snowdrops!

I liked this reflection.

The Rococo Garden is very busy this time of year, we had to queue to get in and couldn't get near the coffee shop on our way out, so we had a look at the National Gardens Scheme handbook, known as the Yellow Book and moved on to a beautiful garden nearby. The gardens in the Yellow Book open for charity so it's all in a good cause. This one did teas too!

Cyclamen and Hellebores are two of my favourite spring time plants, oh and snowdrops and daffodils and .... the list goes on.

On our way around the garden we found a gate leading to a woodland walk - but the root of this tree fascinated me. I promise you it is the root off the tree! Some root.

There were several ponds in the garden

with statuary around the ponds and garden

and by the house, a carved tree with (I think) a Shakespeare quote from A Midsummer Night's Dream ...

'If we shadows
have offended
think but this,
and all is mended -
but you have
but slumbered here
whilst these visions
did appear'

To sit in someone else's garden, drinking their tea, eating their cake, watching the birds in the sunshine and not having to think 'I ought to cut the grass' - sheer bliss.