Sunday, 25 April 2010

Something to Talk About

There I go again with another almost blogless week. But I haven't been doing nothing, I promise! Lots has been happening, I just haven't got around to writing about it.

It has been a rather bitty week - a bit here and a bit there - but important all the same. The biggest news of the week is finding a lovely new local shop to stock my jewellery, focusing on the polymer clay items (a feature will follow). It's so nerve wracking approaching a complete stranger to ask if they will display your creations but so encouraging when they say yes. I also delivered new items to Thirteen Moons ( and put some new listings in my Etsy shop. Last, but not least, I almost wore out my hands making more polymer clay beads (after discovering some of my new clay is rather hard to condition) but now my struggle is to decide if they are better left matt or sealed to give a shiny finish. I like both, hence my dilemma. A small selection is pictured below.

So, here's hoping that I can build on this week's small successes and make the next week something to really talk about.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Reaping of Rewards

Due to an unexpectedly busy week I've neglected to blog at all (what sacrilege!). Both work and family have been keeping me on my toes and nose to the grindstone.

Work consisted mainly of commission pieces which are now almost finished, two were copies of the Roman necklace I made for Archaeolink (pictured in an earlier blog entry) and the third was an order for a very special surprise gift which presented me with some interesting challenges. In addition, my son's very full calendar had me out every afternoon or evening from Monday to Friday and busy painting faces to raise money for his school on Saturday morning. My reward for all this hard work? Saturday saw the arrival of the first part of the prize for my star email in May's issue of Beads & Beyond magazine (pictured below).

And even better, I still have the second part of my prize to come. So how much work am I going to have to do to earn that?

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Display Dilemma

I rarely do craft stalls and space can vary for home parties so I have yet to come up with a definitive display solution for my jewellery. Late last week, with a booking for the Friday, I had my usual mad scramble to organise something to hang things on.

My husband had kindly found me some second hand lever arch files which we thought would be strong enough to make a stand from, and he had removed the metal insides, but by Thursday I still had no real plan and was desperately searching the Internet for inspiration. I had considered making a kind of pillowslip covering but then realised the weight of the jewellery would make the fabric sag, unless is was rather stiff and very tight. I did manage to glue two of the files together to make a 3 fold structure but was still struggling with how to make it look pretty and fit for purpose. Friday morning dawned and I finally made some progress by stapling faux suede onto the front side, finding a matching ribbon in my stash and choosing a small selection of colour co-ordinated buttons for decoration. The two things I was missing were time and some very wide ribbon to finish off the edge. My husband came to the rescue in the ribbon department - braving a local craft shop with only the name of the colour and the instruction to get ribbon "as wide as they have". The rest of the day was spent madly stapling and gluing (and then crossing my fingers that the glue would dry in time for the evening).

And there we have the not-quite finished product - it's not bad if you only look at it from the front and it certainly did it's job on the night but there is some finishing off to do and it doesn't actually fold up like I had hoped. I have more of the files so, with a bit of tinkering, hopefully I can come up with another display that is not such a rush job and does actually fold up for transport.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Sunshine and Splinters

It's amazing how inspiring a little bit of sun and warmer weather is. With a beautiful clear sky today turned into a bit of a work whirlwind, and about time since these school holidays have been terrible as far as getting any work done is concerned.

First on the list was photography, to make the most of the sunlight on my front windowsill. I got all my new pieces photographed and the picture above is a compilation image for one necklace (the "neck shot" was taken by hubby yesterday). Not content with the damage caused to my back by that exercise, I couldn't resist getting out in the sunshine to pull some weeds and trim back my climbers before they start shooting skyward again. As we have road works and a set of traffic lights virtually outside our front door at the moment, my tussles with overgrown plant life must have given the drivers some amusement while they waited to move on. Unfortunately, the plants weren't so amused and have left me with several scrapes (some self-inflicted as I dug fern splinters out of my fingers), an infected spot from a splinter I missed (will get out a needle to deal with it shortly) and a rather painful swelling on the back of my hand where I was caught by a rose thorn.

The moral of this story (as it is every time I get gung-ho in the garden) is to wear gloves when gardening. I'm sure it will also be the moral after my next bout of gardening, and the next, and the one after that ... I love to feel my garden, even when it bites me.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Soldiering On

Opening Day at Archaeolink was wet and windy but, all in all, a good day. The visitors that chose to ignore the weather forecast seemed to enjoy themselves, which is what it's all about.

Our Roman outfits worked well and I received a very nice compliment from one lady, although I do need to make myself some Roman shoes (black Magnum work boots are not quite authentic). My palla, which is quite a fine weave wool, was surprisingly good at blocking the cold wind when we did venture outside. As the photos of me do not really show my Roman jewellery I have included a picture of the two soldiers instead. You can just see the bottom of some of my handiwork (ie. braccae) covering my husband's knees.

Maybe next time round there will be a photo of me that I'm not embarrassed to share. But I wouldn't recommend holding your breath.