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.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

What's it all about Alfie?


I started off the year talking about changes and challenges.  The changes would bring challenges and the lack of changes would be a challenge themselves.  Thank you to all the people, including complete strangers, who have messaged me to ask if I am OK.  I’m fine.  Had an attack of the Big Black Dog, but I’m OK.  I’ve lost the plot a bit, but I’m fine.

So then, what’s all this about Mrs?

Please bear with me and I'll explain everything.  Just like a fairy story, there is a happy ending!

I have split my life between running Blue Box Studio, having a life and going out to a day job - and not one I enjoyed a lot.  So when in October my employer offered me the chance to apply for redundancy for the end of March, I applied.  I was assured I was in with a good chance; this was my challenge for change. 

At this point I need you to recall Jim Trott from the Vicar of Dibley who was usually saying ‘yes, yes, yes, no’ or ‘no, no, no, yes’.  In this case you need to remember the former – lots of ‘yes’ and ending with a ‘no’.

In a positive mood and planning for change, I signed up for an on-line 4 week marketing course which I really enjoyed and (hopefully) learned a lot.  This took my mind off January and gave me a focus to concentrate on growing my business, after all, I was getting lots of ‘yes, yes, yes,' hints from my employer ……..

Christmas came and went.  Extreme flooding events came and finally went (they were relevant to the organisation I worked for).  Time scales came and went again because of the flooding events that came and went.  My patience came and went, along with the hints of ‘yes, yes, yes’, at every meeting which started to sound more like ‘no, no, no’ hints.  Colleagues around me were leaving from as early as Christmas, yet a couple of us hadn’t heard a thing.  No, no, they cried, you are imagining all of this, no one is leaving yet!

 Cue Panto.  Believe me this has been like a panto, but with less laughs! 

‘Oh yes they are’;

'Oh no they’re not’

‘Oh yes they are’ – we’d been invited to the leaving do!!
The lack of information and transparency was stressful, and just getting through the lack of change and still doing my job was a challenge, one that sapped all my ‘out of the day job’ energy.  After January, February came and went.  March!  They have to make some kind of decision in March if people are leaving at the end of March? Don’t they?  What about notice – I’ve been employed for 8 years?  What do you mean you don’t know?  

Hello Black Dog!  

If the Black Dog visits you, then you will know what this is like.  Thankfully he doesn’t come often, but when he does he brings his bed and settles down for a holiday chez nous’.  ‘Snap out of it’ and ‘Smile, you’ll be fine’ just do not help!  Fortunately no one said that to me, else I’d have had a problem getting the patio slabs level again.

Early March, the phone rings, bad news; it’s ‘yes, yes, yes, no’!  Or May be.  I speak to a colleague, seems it is just me; she’s leaving at the end of the month.  Honestly, I am happy for her, I did try to match her excitement. But the job I did would end at the end of March.  So it’s was both change and challenge to find further work inside the organisation.

Since Christmas, I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled with balancing life and 2 jobs.  I lost the plot.  I didn’t want to make beads, I’ve not kept up with friends, in person or on-line, my outlets have been neglected, nothing seemed to work right, ideas didn’t flow and technology died on me; The Black Dog moved in and took over my life.  But I am not one to give up, I had to go on. And go on I did.  I made a few beads, baked a few burnt cakes, outwardly smiled and inwardly wished I could curl up into a ball and sleep forever. 


Click on the picture above for a little music that explains how I feel about all this - 'Artificial' by Martha Tilston and The Woods - a very talented British folk singer song writer.

Fast-forward a week later, when the phone rings as I am about to go on holiday.   The ‘yes, yes, yes, no’ lady is on the phone, should I sit down?  The Black Dog sits down next to me and tells me that the ‘no, no, no, may be’ has just lost its last word.  Bad Black Dog.  But no, she is saying ‘no, no, no’ has turned into ‘yes, yes, yes’.  Perhaps they had a recount of the votes, perhaps someone forgot to put the black ball in the sack this time.  I'd been given a second chance, and a chance to change.

So why didn't I say all this at the beginning?  Tempting fate!  Share a secret and it won't come true.  Not dare to hope.  Disbelief that Lady Luck would give me the chance to do what I really want to do in life - not work in an office but work for myself.

Big change – Blue Box Studio will now be run full time.  
I’ll soon be back on track for my 52 in 52challenge

Big challenge – it has to work!  It WILL work!!

Thank you to everyone, for their support during this, sometimes challenging, time, you know who you are.  Thank you for reading this far, hopefully we will all go far this year.

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