Thursday, 28 January 2010

Free Bracelet with Purchase - and Win A Valentine Necklace Draw

- A Free Bracelet with Purchase and Valentine's Day Competition Draw…
How about brightening up the end of winter?
A little winter warming offer for you...from today until the end of February 2010, you can have this handmade bracelet with glass pearls, crystal, silver plated findings,strung on Beadalon Pro and packed in an organza gift bag, free with every purchase over £60 (excluding postage and packing)…

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Its a hard life...

Just wanted to share this picture of Her Royal Highness is a hard life, being a cat, isn't it?

Saturday, 23 January 2010

New Work - Venetian Glass Sautoir Necklaces

This is a sautoir that I have made recently in different colours - soon to go on the site - if you'd like details before it goes up on there, please contact me!!

Sautoir in various colours featuring handmade Murano glass hearts, Czech glass beads, Swarovski crystal, goldtone chain, findings and fittings...

Thursday, 21 January 2010

New Work...

More new stuff for the site....just let me know if you want details before they get published on - thanks for looking!!  xx

Bracelet of Handmade Murano glass heart and beads, handmade fairtrade Karen silver rings, Swarovski crystal, sterling silver.

Earrings - Handmade fair-trade Karen Silver Hammered Hearts, Swarovski crystal and sterling silver earrings.

My Superstitions....

I don't consider myself superstitious, but I was working today and I got to thinking about the habits I have when I'm creating and now realise that perhaps I've been fooling myself all along....

I never ever swear when I am making jewellery (no, not even at customers!!!) because I am always conscious of only putting good energy into a piece - who wants a piece that's started off with someone cursing and swearing round it?    I confess to swearing quite a lot when I drive, usually at other motorists.

If I accidentally jab myself with a piece of wire or a tool and get a cut, I start the piece all over again - its not good karma to bleed on someone else's jewellery.

If a bead lands on the floor whilst I am making a piece, I won't use it in that piece - I call that bead karma, if it doesn't want to

Sunday, 17 January 2010

New Work

Murano Lace Necklace

I've just finished making this necklace as part of a commission and was so pleased with the end result I wanted to show it to everyone (hellooooo....anyone out there??) - anyway, for the benefit of my one reader (Fran!) (oh, ok, maybe my Mum reads it...) (and OK, I know Bobbie reads it too....) - but here is my new Murano Lace necklace - unfortunately my photography here is just rubbish, in fact I think I spent more time doing photos than making the darn thing  (I'm still getting to grips with this new camera).

The piece actually took me about four and a half hours to make - why??? - well, I never do drawings of things I want to make, I know how its supposed to end up by the picture in my head and I work from that, but inevitably on a piece that's complicated like this one, I end up thinking no, no, that won't do and going back and forth making adjustments, taking out, putting in, banging head against wall, crying, sobbing and throwing rattle out of, seriously though, its almost the way I imagined it would be, only it makes sense out of my head rather than in it, if you see what I mean...
Murano Lace Necklace (Commission) made from handmade silver lined Murano/Venetian glass beads, tons of Swarovski Crystal, Swarovski Crystal Pearls, crystal aurora borealis seed beads, sterling silver, strung on Beadalon Pro, and reduced me to a gibbering wreck (very important part to note, that last bit).

The Funniest Thing So Far This Week...

I have to share this with you...all this snow has even turned the police into children....

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Currently Reading...

This is what I have been reading recently...

African Queen: The Real Life of the Hottentot Venus by Rachel Holmes - this book promised much but delivered relatively little - a slim volume documenting the life of Saartjie Baartman, a member of the South African of Hottentots who was basically brought to England and then to France to go on display as a living exhibit as a curiosity...her story was a sad one, but the book fails to deliver in terms of her early life and is lightweight with regard to her feelings on the whole episode - she died young in France sadly never returning to her homeland whilst alive and her bones were not repatriated to South Africa until 2002 when she received a number of posthumous honours which were arguably politically motivated.   All her life, she was used and abused, and in death she was also a symbol which could be used.  Interesting and worth reading, but bear in mind, it feels like this piece of work is missing vital parts.
The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory - historical fiction account of the life of Catherine of Aragon, wife of the tyrannical Henry VIII - as always with Gregory's work, this is a wonderful piece of work which evokes the times, the smell and the feel of the era, puts the reader into the life of this abused princess and queen, and gives a different perspective to the life of one of Henry VIII's queens, all of whom seem to have eclipsed one another - a great read and highly recommended; a lot less flowery than the cover suggests!
1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI- The Untold Story by Peter Lance - a fascinating account of the apparent errors which have been made by the security services in detecting and preventing the current terrorist threats - the book deals with the American authors' perspective and deals with the first bombing of the Twin Towers in New York and the missed opportunities in detecting the greater threat that this presented and how that went on to manifest itself - its a bit long-winded but interesting - though, I guess we'd all have to say 'hindsight is a wonderful thing' and my perspective is that even the FBI is probably human....
Adept by Robert Finn - this book really interested me from the synopsis description on the cover - Described as "An impressively ambitious debut that marries the crime novel with the occult thriller...It's a British variant on The Da Vinci Code and The Rule of Four..." - well, I don't know what that reviewer read, but I found my credulity being stretched until it snapped - I stayed with it until I finished the book, but at the end wished I really hadn't bothered....I believe that this is one of a series, this being the first and I am afraid I won't be paying out good money to snap anything else, including my patience...

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Beautiful Merlin In The Snow....

I have to share this....this is my lovely boy, whom I just took for a walk...he's all wrapped up in his cosy rug and we're out enjoying the snow...its amazing how many people we meet out there on Carrington Moss who are walking their dogs...I think some of them decide to give up on drinking when they see a horse on a lead...but its a nice way of making friends and interesting to realise that some people have never even touched a horse in their lives - last year I went past what I can only describe as a pack of hoodies and despite my being on my horse's back and being armed with a whip (the whip is for shoving down boots just in case of human attack, never for using on my horse you understand) I have to confess to being completely terrified, especially when they all started to surround us - but all these kids wanted to do was stroke Merlin and feed him grass (the actual green, growing out of the ground type, not 'grass'...heavens, the horse is nutty enough without feeding him mind-altering drugs....!!) and we soon realised that despite my being on a horse and despite their being terrifying hoodies, we were all actually quite nice people.   So there's a lesson, get a horse, hug a hoodie.....

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The most snow I have ever seen in my entire life....

Just look at the snow on my tree!!  I bought the house because of this tree (ok, the studio was pretty cool too...)
New Car with snow optional extras!!!!!  So much better when they start, aren't they?

  Below - Spot the offending snowman...bah, humbug.....(clue - left hand side, large white thing...)
Its rare to see snow in these quantities in Britain, but around these parts (Cheshire/Manchester) its actually even rarer to see snow that stays on the ground - I cannot ever remember seeing so much - I just watched in astonishment as it came down, and down and down - and everyone was out building snowmen...someone down the road made a twelve foot high one and decorated it with bricks, which really wasn't the brightest of ideas (saw them taking the bricks out rather sheepishly later - he probably heard me ranting to Mark about taking him to court if the bricks fell out on my car!)...but it was like a huge adventure...driving was perilous (and yes - this is a photo of my NEW car!) but everywhere people were wrapped up warmly and despite the entire population of Sale driving around like snails, people were courteous, people were nice, and I even saw some unsolicited hey, snow, snow and snow some more!!

Friday, 8 January 2010

More New Work

More new stuff for the site next week... (spot the theme)...

New Work

Just finished photographing a few new pieces - I am probably going to put these on the site next week some time - if you are interested in anything in the meantime, just let me know.  I've been attracted back to the sterling silver gorgeous hand-enamelled pieces I bought a few years back for earrings because they make up into such beautiful jewellery, and for necklaces I've been doing a lot of asymmetric long linear stuff that catches the eye against a lovely sweater...

Its So Cold...........

Oh my goodness, how cold is it?   Yesterday I took the car out to the stables and I was pleased with myself when I took a photo of the temperature at minus 7 degrees.   Last night I went back to the stables and it was minus 13 degrees (I'd forgotten the camera). 

My pussycat Mia just looked at this white stuff for a few days and crossed her legs, and now she goes out, does whatever a cat has to do and comes in looking quite disgusted - there are little paw tracks across the nine inches of snow we currently have and we are forecast about another ten inches tomorrow - if that happens she'll just sink into it - its a good thing she's got some black on her or I'd never find her (and of course, she has been offered the convenience of an indoor loo its just she prefers to go outside).     

Link: Its Colder Than A Freezer In Cheshire UK
The days are so beautiful - I have never seen such wonderful blue skies in the winter time - Mark tells me this is what it is like when he goes ski-ing (it always seems completely crackers to me to go out in the cold voluntarily, throw yourself down a slippery slope covered in ice and call it fun - on the other hand, it probably seems crackers to other people that I get on half a ton of unpedictable animal who could throw me off at any moment and call THAT fun....) - I just saw a report that claimed that the UK was colder than the South Pole.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Just Launched (Loud Fanfare...)

I've just relaunched Tiaraonline - yay!!  Whole new collection (and some old favourites) of tiaras, hairpins, bands, and gorgeous stuff for special occasions...I'd love to know what you all think - aesthetically its still a bit of a work in progress but at least its finally launched - whew, what a relief!

Shown here is Alexis Heirloom Haircomb.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year One And All

Happy New Year One And All, I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year - ours was quiet which was lovely - I did get round to putting up a tree and it looked gorgeous, I baked and I made Christmas Dinner (twice) and today its my Mum's birthday so I took her a pile of gifts yesterday.  Father Christmas brought me a lovely camera which I had been wanting for months - just a little digital thing that is light and sturdy enough for me to have in my handbag and to take on rides with me when I go out with Merlin.

For the first time that I can remember we had snow over the Christmas period which was so beautiful - the first night it happened, I crept down the stairs at 3am and we've put tiny white lights on the tree outside the front of the house and I opened the front door a crack and it was all so white and beautiful and peaceful - and brrrrrrr.....COLD!!

How amazingly fast time passes - I can remember when we passed from 1999 to 2000 and how everyone was terrified that their computers were going to seize up, the internet would crash and airliners would fall from the sky...I can also remember being out on the pavement at midnight outside a friends' house, celebrating and 'bringing in the new year' and a random stranger stopped and kissed me.   I was totally bemused by that.   And now - 2010 - I am fascinated by the Edwardian period and I was thinking recently how amazed my great-grandparents would be at all the electronic wizardry we have these days - even something we now consider as basic as a digital camera - I find that period fascinating because of the huge social and
economic changes there were and also how it seemed to be the last age of innocence before the world wars came along, before a generation of young men were wiped out, even the changes from Victorian fashion to the flappers in the 1920's is an astonishing change; I find the history of the Titanic fascinating and of course we are not far off the 100 year anniversary of the sinking.