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.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

My nominations for a Sunshine Award are (drum roll)

The sunshine award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogging world.

The rules for accepting the award are as followers -

* Place the logo within your blog or post
* Pass the award on to 12 bloggers
* Link the nominees within the post
* Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blog
* Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award

My 12 nominations are:

Beads by Laura - who has inspired me to try my hand at lamp work bead making later this year.
Widget & Friends - for making me laugh
Pussy Galore - oh how I want one of those! (I'm holding out for a mini pussy)
Stuff for Kitty and you - for services to my furry friends - Charlie & Teddy adore their toys.
Lauren Ceramics - beautiful work that is so inspiring
Vintage Milly - may your luck continue
Annabella Designs Petticoats - so pretty, I just need the occasion to wear one
AMI Designs - from one jeweller to another, I love her work
Cinnamon Jewellery - for a really interesting and varied read
JPAT Purses - I love your work
Whimsical Angus - gorgeous
Mrs Fatface - so that's what I can do with Brussels Sprouts!

Please do have a look at all these fantastic blogs, there is so much talent and interest out there waiting to be discovered by us all.

I've been given a Sunshine Award!

This is so exciting. I've never been given an award before and for ages I have been thinking I am blogging to myself. Now I have been given the Sunshine award by Faeryatrix who also has a shop on Folksy. Thank you, it has really made my day!

As a condition of accepting this award I must nominate 12 bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogging world. I will do that over the next couple of days; it gives me an excuse to be reading lots of blogs.

Monday, 22 February 2010

A handmade revolution?

I was handed my shopping in a newspaper carrier bag the other day but sadly it carried a tag, attached with plastic tie, declaring it was made in Bali. This had me thinking. I rather liked the bag, although the staples in the handle wouldn't be recyclable, nor the plastic tie, and any carbon saving from recycling newspaper would be offset by the air miles from Bali. But a seed was sown.

I had a trawl through the internet and found a wonderful video and tutorial by The Newspaper Bag Project. I had the basic components to make a few bags (having forgotten to rescue a few more newspapers from the Recycling box this morning before the refuse collectors took them away), found an old paintbrush for the glue and started making a few. The video helped in understanding the instructions, I thought.

I'm quite pleased with my efforts, they don't take long to make although I think drying the bags at each stage would be a better idea as my PVA glue made the local newspaper a bit soggy. It rains a lot in Clevedon so perhaps they build in extra sogginess for us! Fortunately I'm working on the dining table with a radiator alongside so have a small production run going.

I pay a lot for my paper carrier bags from the wholesaler, I get through a lot at fairs, but is recycled newspaper carrier bags going at bit far? I've checked the ink doesn't come off easily, my hands are quite clean from making the bags so there is little risk of the ink coming off on something in the bag. They are quite strong; in the the video they test with 2 wine bottles and mine certainly hold 2 wine bottles although I wouldn't really want to carry that weight too far in them, just in case. My bags would be used at fairs to hold lightweight items.

But is this going a stage too far? Would you be offended if you were given your purchase, already wrapped in tissue paper or boxed, in a newspaper carrier? I didn't use the page with the local 'hatches, matches and dispatches' in case there was anything there to offend. Our local is mainly houses for sale but an interesting front cover would come in handy. I thought I would add a brightly coloured business card, with garden string so it would be recyclable, to personalise it a bit.

What are your thoughts? Let me know. Yes, no or maybe?

Special offers at Blue Box Studio

I have just listed 2 beautiful copper stamps, called tjaps or caps, in my Etsy store.

These are made to traditional methods by Javanese metal workers. I have used for printing onto silk and velvet but they are suitable for printing onto all mediums with inks, dyes, wax etc. These desperately need a new home as I have run out of space and don't use these as much as I
expected. Click on the picture to go to the item.

I have also listed some Indian Wooden printing blocks, again I have used for printing on silks and velvets. Again I have run out of space! Click on the picture to go to the item.

If you would like to buy more than just one of these items, contact me for a special price; the more you buy the better it will be, and the cheaper postage into one parcel should hopefully be. I am keen to find new homes for these items and they are already listed below cost price but good custom can be rewarded.

A visit to Cranford

Well, not quite. The film crew had long gone by the time we visited Lacock yesterday. We went for another of our tours of gardens with snowdrops - I haven't any in my garden (save the few I bought yesterday to plant). Lacock Abbey is National Trust but we could visit just the gardens under the National Gardens Scheme yesterday.

We were surprised how busy it was yesterday, a February Sunday; we've been in July and the village has been deserted.

So, there are plenty of snowdrops and aconites and a few crocus

I've not been around the Abbey before, just the village, but it looks worth a return visit. I think I am right in saying the Abbey houses the Fox-Talbot photographic museum. I was fascinated by the little right angled window in the corner of the chimney. Perhaps it isn't really a chimney?

and how many monks used this doorway before it was bricked up?

At the end of the garden there is a fast slowing river, too cold for a swim!

but it'll be a hot summer, the crows are nesting hight (is that an old wives tale?)

the glass house vents will need to be opened, although they provided some much needed warmth yesterday - loved the weights for keeping the vents closed in winter

and there's more colour in the garden in the warmer summers

which makes sitting with a glass of wine all the more pleasant

And, just to prove advertising doesn't work on some people, husband asked me on the way home 'why was there so much in the NT shop about Cranford and why had the the Quintessentially English Apothecary shop (lovely soaps and more) a display of Mrs Gaskell books?'