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 October 2011

Musings of a procrastinator

So there I am, supposed to be making things for upcoming fairs, supposed to be getting ready for a day out with Himself who complains he only sees me these days when we are both behind a craft stall, and I'm pondering the meaning of life!

It's not fair to keep all my mad thoughts to myself, I feel it's good to share, so here goes.

We all know Wagon Wheels have got smaller over the years, and it's not just that my mouth got bigger. OK, you only know that if you are over 30/40 years, just take my word for it. They were huge when I was a kid and now, however you look it, the pound devaluing, conversion to metric, whatever, they are a darn sight smaller - you'd have needed a lorry to get 6 in a pack back then. So, when your current favourite chocolate bar/packet of crisps says it's got 10% extra in 'this' pack, why do we get excited? Have you spotted how insignificant the 10% is. Did you also spot the price had, strangely, gone up by more than 10%. That's 'inflation' for you.

Another thing I've spotted is the card inner on kitchen and loo rolls. I know, I should get out more.

When I was at primary school, we had to make a doll out of a kitchen roll card insert. Now, for starters, my family didn't normally have these in the early 60s, only posh people used something other than a dishcloth and a tea towel, but somehow we managed to get one. My sister helped me make a nurse doll using a kitchen roll tube and a ping pong ball, complete with smart uniform and a nurses cap. The ping pong ball balanced nicely on the tube and looked in proportion. Just to put you out of your misery here, I didn't win first prize and some blighter swiped mine when it came to taking them home again. If the one remaining doll was anything to go by, I suspect the thief's parent might have spotted the difference, I am sure they were very academic because they sure weren't very practical!

So have you looked at the card roll on a kitchen paper roll recently? On the ones I buy (not posh, Juan Sheet is a liar, 1 does not do it for me, perhaps my family, pets and craft makings are uber-mucky?!) any ping pong ball would have a heck of a job balancing over the hole - the hole is far too large. So the hole has got larger, rather than ping pong balls have got smaller?

Having accidentally ordered quilted loo paper recently from Mr Waitrose, but having a few ordinary mortal's loo paper to use up, I've spotted something else that will cause insomnia at night. The roll insert on an ordinary loo roll slides inside the roll of a quilted loo paper roll. Why are they not the same size? Why are they so big anyway? I'm sure ping pong balls balanced on them as well 50 years ago? I have a couple of theories ....

  • the big hole gives the impression the roll is bigger and therefore better [bigger yes, better no]
  • the even bigger roll on the quilted roll means it looks even plumper so must be ultra soft and fluffy [not in my opinion]
  • All these rolls now take up more space, so you can get less boxes in a lorry, meaning more lorries carrying loo rolls and therefore the price has to go up because of the added freight costs [that's probably true]
  • Following on from above, loo rolls and kitchen rolls are adding to global warming, assuming fuel pollution is not helping the ozone layer [if you believe in global warming]
  • manufacturers wish to ridicule me for buying a Kleeneze loo roll holder for the back of the downstairs loo door - the rolls are too big to fit through the flap opening at the bottom and 2 will not sit side by side in the holder [husband says this ought to be true]
  • manufacturers are spoil sports and wish to stop children playing with spare ping pong balls and card tubes thereby meaning parents have to spend oodles on money on their little darling with electronic toys [if you don't believe this one, just add up what you spend on them for Christmas this year - bet you can buy a used car for that kind of money!]

I've just remembered that I have a DVD to watch. It is on lampworking so I guess watching that is educating, although it does stop me going out in the rain to my cold studio and actually being creative. But education is good - or so my mother said every time I complained I hated school. I'm about to learn the secrets of stringer control from a woman wielding a whip. Read into that what you will.

Then, in case I feel a touch guilty at having not worked hard today, I shall give hard labour to a cut glass dish I bought from a charity shop this afternoon, with 3 sections - ideal for nuts, olives ... and displaying my loose beads in 3 prices. The price label is well stuck, so it needs a bit of procrastination to remove. But I suppose I've made more work as I now need some price labels for the 3 sections and another 'what this is' label for the whole thing. Darn, more work!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A few new pendants .....

I've been busy making affordable pendants for sale at my fairs and in my Etsy, Artfire and Folksy shops. Each of these is made from one of handmade lampwork glass focal beads, threaded onto sterling silver wire and finished with sterling silver fittings and chain.

Have a look in my Etsy, Folksy and Artfire shops at the range available. Each comes in one of my professionally printed Blue Box Studio boxes, carefully packed for safe and speedy delivery. These would make wonderful presents for friends, family or even yourself.