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.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Cheesy grins, new wheels and eat your heart out Bargain Hunt!

I can hear it from here, 'now what's the woman been up to?'  Forgive me readers, it seems to have been 22 days since my last 'confession'!  

Cast your mind back to the cheese making day - I've had to raid the cuss box, my car needs new tyres.
Well, after all that, our cheeses weren't doing the blue thing.  Himself kept turning the fridge freezer temperature up - but since the control in the fridge controls the freezer as well, we had to stop this shenanigans, the peas were melting! 

Why oh why did you sell that little table top fridge you bought for Arts Week last year? 
Because you made me, no where to store it.
Well find another one - but don't spend too much - then we can keep the cheese in it and stop defrosting the peas.

So I did.  I found one on Ebay, local collection, not too expensive.  I had to pay more than expected, mind.  And the seller wanted cash on collection.

So we duly won, toddled off to Weston-super-Mare, got lost on a housing estate and realised what we were really looking for was the second hand shop on the corner of the shopping parade.  Not our usual stomping ground (I'm being tactful here), Comet this was not.  Health and Safety and fire hazard it probably is.  But, doing as I would be done by as an Ebay seller myself, in we went, spotted the fridge we had bought and handed over my £2.20.  Yep, I got a decent fridge for £2.20.  Wanting something that would be warmer than my big expensive frost-free Whirlpool fridge freezer, I've ended up with something that, when turned on low, struggles to get above 8C.  Nearly freezing it can do without a blink of an eye - Whirlpool can't do that!  Yes it's got a small dent on one side (might have been us getting it in the car) and yes the plastic strip along the back broke (but repaired with super glue) and yes it has less scratches than my fancy fridge.  All for £2.20.  Bargain!

The cheese loves it in there, it can stink away to its hearts content and look, we have blue!!!!!!  OK, the Cambozola hasn't a flippin' hint of blue and neither are giving us the soft rind we expected, but we have white mould on the Cambozola so must be doing something right?  We're blaming the frost free fridge for the dry rind.  

The Cambozola has another week of maturing then we can stick a knife instead of a knitting needle into it and eat it.   I gouged out a tiny bit when I was stabbing it and it's pretty tasty.  The blue cheese has a few more weeks yet, which will give us time to eat the Cambozola up first.  Who am I kidding, the first cheeses were eaten within days, nay hours, of me shouting 'on your marks, get set, Go!'

So, that black things not a cheese, missus?   Well, no.  Top marks for spotting that.  See, I sit at a table in my large studio (yes, I have two.  No garden to speak of but 2 studios :) ) and clean my beads.  Until now I've sat at a wooden stool with a screw height adjustment but, even with my padding, it's not too comfortable.  My draughtsman's chair is very comfortable but not got wheels so isn't easy to move around.  So I thought I'd treat myself to an office chair.  Have you seen the price of these things?  Wandering around Staples website I demoted myself from 'adjustable back and height with gas lift' to 'it's a chair you can manually adjust' - and that was still nigh on £50.  'Because you're worth it' didn't really come into it.

So I ring my new friends at the second hand shop in Weston. 
You got any gas lift office chairs?  With wheels?
Yep, we've got loads of them, how many do you want?
Just the one!
Come on over and have a look.

So we did.  The shop was as full as before, despite their reassurances that they'd shifted several lorry loads since we were last there.  The owner duly disappeared over several pieces of furniture and disappeared from sight.  I decided not to follow.

After a couple of false starts, one was no-gas-lift and no wheels, one was dead-gas-lift but had wheels.  Third time lucky, how about this one Missus?  Waves chair in the air - I duck in case it flies.....  It's got 3 levers.

Does the gas lift thing work? 
Which lever is that?
I don't know, try them all.
Man flies backwards (that was the back angle lever) then sinks down, stands up, pulls the other lever again and the seat rises.  Bingo.  We have a chair.
How much is that one then?  Thinking it's got three levers so will cost a pretty penny.  And in fairness it was more than twice the price of the fridge - £5 another bargain!

Yes, it's a bit grubby, so's my studio floor, and both will get a wash tomorrow.  So now my wooden stool with screw height adjustment will need a new home.  I'll give it a wash as well tomorrow, whilst I have me chammy out and then I think it can go on Ebay to find a new owner - it's only had one careful lady owner but has been well loved.

In between all this excitement I've been making and selling beads.  How do I find the time?  Oh and mother in law was taken ill but seems to be slowly on the mend (thank you to all the people who've sent me good wishes for this) so we are spending a lot of time running between Clevedon and Leamington Spa rehab hospital to make sure she's OK.  The car knows its own way there now - which is why I had to raid the cuss box to buy new tyres.  Tyres are something I will not penny-pinch on, not that I saw any in the Weston shop - but I bet they have them in there. Somewhere!