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, 29 May 2010

Looking a little bare; feeling a little 'pawly'

Any one who follows my various ramblings will know that I'm changing direction as a jeweller, gone are the tools that filled my little 'Blue Box' studio. I fancy trying my hand at lamp work bead making but time will tell if I have a flair for this - or not. Meanwhile, BBS, it's blue, box shaped and my studio, nothing too original here, has moved home several times in it's 10 year lifespan. These things are never meant to be taken apart and reassembled - endless removal men have told me this over the years as they baulk at the sheer size of the thing that are expected to move for me (and usually at some ridiculously inflated figure) - but BBS has done this several times so far. This time it didn't go back together quite as well as it came apart. Things ended up in the wrong order, bits of internal wall didn't quite fit anymore and there were gaps to be sealed everywhere. But I could sort that 'tomorrow'.

Tomorrow never comes. I have worked this way, zapping those terrifying spiders with the vacuum cleaner when they got too close for over 3 years. Enough was enough, something had to be done. Having made the big decision to sell my tools to fund a potential new project, I also decided that now was the time to blitz the place and make it cleaner, brighter, less cluttered. DH was bribed by the promise of a meal out if he'd give me a hand - on the pretence of I can't do too much after the op on my arm, but mainly because he is less frightened of the spiders hiding behind the cabinets.

Several tubes of 'No More Nails' and filler later we had put up some polystyrene coving (it covers a multitude of gaps and is smaller and lighter than the plaster variety), drunk the health of the man who invented 'pink' white paint and completely decorated the place. Only the tatty MDF worktop now lets the place down. I don't know whether to stain, paint or replace it or just put some kitchen worktop on top. But now it looks so bare. I've my trusty Dremel tools in place and in action for drilling sea glass but I'm not used to working so tidily or clutter free. I guess I'll get used to it.

Meanwhile, a drop of rain and my potatoes are coming on a treat. The old yellow rose bush we inherited when we moved here benefited from a hefty prune last autumn and is now a riot of colour. The pink rose was threatened with eviction last year, it had been such a sickly specimen for years so I cut it right back and read the riot act; it clearly listened. And the cats followed me to the end of the garden in the pouring rain just in case they were needed. Having languished with the lurgy for a few days I'm feeling particularly uninspired to do anything except sleep but also feel I need to get making again, especially as my Folksy, Etsy and Big Cartel shops have been sorely neglected over the past couple of weeks with the time taken to sell the other things.

Now, if the plumber would like to turn up on Tuesday and start installing my new bathroom, freeing up our conservatory of assorted bits of sanitary wear, I'd have somewhere to photograph new work again. Time will tell if that will happen. The DIY store's promise of 'when you want it' and 'at the price you want it' have both so far been sadly lacking! This should have been finished a week ago, but the plumber they were sending us became an ex-plumber and we had to wait for a new one to be found - who then revised the fitting estimate - upwards. It could only happen to us!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Folksy Fryday - While the hoomans away the cats will play!

Well, the hoomans aren't away away, just away from the pooter, he's got man flu and she's caught bird flu (the woman equivalent of man flu is bird flu). Whatever, she's miserable, no fun to play with and so it has been left to me, Charlie, one of the superior beings in this place to sort out her Folksy Fryday for her. [Ted edit: you spell it pAlace, stoopid] .

So, let me introduce myself, I'm Charlie. That's me above, having a snooze on my sofa bed. Me and my bruvver, Ted, came here after they let us out of prison. Whatever we did was so bad the previous servants emigrated. It's not bad here but the staff are a bit on the slow side sometimes. Me and Ted share a brain cell and usually it's not my day but what I lack in brains I make up for in charm. I demand lots of my staff, I like a lot of attenshun , but it keeps them bizzy. Ted, so named because he probably looked like a teddy bear when he was born, haha, hogs the brain cell and hides under the bed most of the time. He'd rarver be called Aslan or Lenny the Lion but tuff, he's more Cowardly Lion. [Ted edit: what's the red wiggly lines for bro? Are you spellin rong?]

This is Ted. He's an untidy sleeper! He leaves a lot of ginger fluff around the place [Ted edit: pAlace! and thank hevvens they got rid of that green sofa, we worked hard to ruwin it]. There's Louise who comes here once every 2 weeks to collect up all the ginger fluff but we've trained her better and now she just fills our biscit bowl with more fud and talks to us.

We're not sure what a Folksy Fryday is. We usually have Fryday on Fursday when man hooman comes in from teaching some thing that makes people fall asleep [Ted edit: he calls it meddy tayshon] and brings home a big bit of fish for us and a few chips for them. But not to be outdone by a mere hooman we're giving this our best paw. I'll use the buttons on the plonky thing and Ted can look at the pictures. and work the mowse. He'll need 2 paws to push the buttons on the top. It looks so much ezier in that moving picture on the table, the red mowse does it on its own. This one must be broken cos it hasn't any wheels.

We hope your furry frends like our selection [Ted edit: big word - we copied from the Felix fud box]. We think these things are pretty and we would like them but we don't know her paws word to buy them on our own. Ted will go and tell her we've made a short list for krismus, nicer than the cullered bawl she bort that I dropped and cut my foot!

First we have some catnip toys by Big Sisters handmade Treasures. Don't know if the hoomans will play with them but if not we will. We liked this picture best, there are more toys in this one!

Not that we don't care they are feeling pawly and we have to feed us, we'd buy her this necklace by Purple heart Designs from her money box to remind her of the 2 things she loves most - us and mice [Ted edit: not sure she likes mice, seemed very unhappy when I left her one in the kitchen] [Charlie edit: that's cos it was still moving; she makes less noise when they stop moving]

Ted thought this would remind them of him, big fat cat, when they go to the big white food box. It's where they keep the better cat fud. Ted's got big hairy feet so you can't see his paws either so he thinks Hollowbourne's creation is perfect.

But I think this is more her thing, cute, cuddly and less hairy, just like me. Oh and a cute smile too. He's made by Pussy Galore, witch is so 'us' don't you think!?

[Ted edit: she's gone a little one like this by the pooter, I biffed it the other day because it was larfing at me. It's still larfing at me and I don't know why. I just want to hide].

Now, pay attention Ted, we need new beds. These look nice and are made by All Things Blankets and More. You see we don't like the memory foam ones she bort, can't get cumfy in them, the basket pillow is lumpy after Ted tiddled on it [Ted edit: I got scared] and it was washed. Sometimes it is nice to be near the floor and not have to jump off the beds at our age. [We're more than 8 - we can only count to 8 as we have 4 paws each, and it's more paws than we have.]

Nice bit of designer bling by Very Vintage - too much text on ours watt with phone numbers, vet's details [why do we need the vet's number?] it's not as if we don't know our way home. We follow the sound of the biscit box being shaken. No, this would be far more stylish, and it has stars, someone nows we are stars. [Ted edit: just can't get the staff these days]. And of course the hoomans are very vintage too.

Oh and you put your paw over the pictures to buy these lovely things for us. [Ted edit: I don't think our hoomans are listening, she didn't want to cuddle me, only the box with bits of white paper and he shouted at me when I touched his paw just as he was pouring the red sticky stuff on a metal stick. Why can't he lick it off the bed just like I would? He just took some of her white paper and she shouted at him. I think I'll tell them about the krismus list later].

Now, if you'll excuze us we need to paws for thought and think about where our next meal is coming from. If we stand on the tin with the biscits in we mite be able to force open the big white food box, climb in and have a look.

Charlie and Teddy

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Lots of gorgeous fabrics needing a new home

The clear out continues. Having bought lots of fabric to make bags, then deciding that bags were not for me, I need to find new homes for a lot of the fabrics. These are all new fabrics, not recycled or reclaimed. There are silks, cottons, mystery fabrics, big pieces, small pieces, odd shaped pieces, all sorts. Please read the listings for full details and about postage costs.

First up Dupion silks:

The other larger pieces of silk (mainly)

Then the cottons ...


and upholstery/curtain weight

Keep an eye on my Etsy and Folksy supplies shops as more will be listed, and has already been listed.

Check out Beads by Laura for some beautiful beads

As those who follow my ramblings will know, I've been selling off my jewellery tools and precious metals because of a long term injury to my arm. The fact is I just can't take out my anger on a piece of silver in the same way as before. As they say, 'when one door closes, another one opens' and around the time I decided to move on from silver, I discovered Beads by Laura's blog.

This talented lady makes stunning lampwork glass beads which she sells through her website - and you have to be quick to catch them when they are offered; I clearly can't type fast enough! Just reading her blog and looking at her stunning beads made me realise that this was a direction I wanted to explore. So I've been selling everything to raise funds for a potential new project. I'll start small and if I take to this I'll invest more, if not, well, the workshop has been tidied up, painted, cleaned and there is so much room now to work so all is not lost.

Laura has a prize draw on her blog for some of her 'Lonelies' beads so go on over and have a look, they are stunning. I've been lucky enough to win a few in the past - see above - but that won't stop me entering again! I've been using the beautiful beads with my own drilled sea glass to make some stunning necklaces - hopefully I'll soon be able to make some of my own although I doubt that'll stop me buying other people's work. See it, like it, buy it.