Saturday, 31 July 2010

New Jewellery Preview

A sneak preview of some new pieces for the site!
Petal Necklace; I've hand-patinated this brass petal-shaped focal which is wrapped with a gold-plated double leaf spray, added brass chain and enamelled wire, adding freshwater pearls, Czech glass and Swarovski crystal; the necklace is full of wire wrapped Swarovski crystal, Czech firepolish glass, freshwater pearls - a variety of contemporary and vintage components. The clasp is to the front/side to make the necklace easy to put on and take off and is finished with a brass clasp. Necklace measures approx. 16.5 inches / 42 cm; the pendant/focal/dangle element measures approx. 5 inches / 12.5 cm. 

Green Leaf Necklace; with an American artist-made Raku pottery lily pad leaf, this necklace also features antiqued bronze findings, a lovely copper leaf charm, bronze wiring, silk cord and a range of collected beads from around the world and through time - starting with a Victorian green glass bead, the green stripy satin glass bead (1930's), some 1960's Japanese beads, contemporary Swarovski crystal, Swarovski crystal pearls, contemporary gold-lined Murano glass, and ceramic spacers; the necklace is finished with hand-stitched green silk cord, so you can tie this at the length you want. Necklace measures approx. 35 inches / 89 cm end to end.
Green Leaf Necklace with handmade Raku clay pendant

Flying Necklace; with an American artist-made Raku pottery double wing pendant, antique and vintage beads and components including Victorian Venetian glass beads, 1930's Bohemian glass beads, 1940's Vaseline glass, a copper leaf charm, lots of freshwater pearls including a square and stick pearls, all the components are wrapped with bronze wire, bronze and patinated copper swallow, rings, beads and to-the-front clasp which makes the necklace easy to put on and take off; the necklace is finished off with a scrap of teal silk (which can be removed if you would prefer); the necklace measures approx. 18.5 inches / 47 cm and the pendant measures approx. 1.75 inches / 4.5 cm.

Flying Necklace

Green Leaves Earrings; these American artist-made Raku pottery leaves are beautiful - I've wired them with oxidised (blackened) sterling silver wire and green freshwater pearls; the sterling leverback fittings have been left shiny. The earrings measure approx. 1.5 inches / 4 cm.
Taking Flight Earrings; these American artist-made Raku pottery wings are gorgeous - I've wired them with oxidised (blackened) sterling silver wire and freshwater pearls; the sterling leverback fittings have been left shiny. The earrings measure approx. 1.5 inches / 4 cm.

Falling Leaves Earrings; these American artist-made Raku pottery leaves are gorgeous - I've wired them with oxidised (blackened) sterling silver wire and freshwater pearls; the sterling leverback fittings have been left shiny. The earrings measure approx. 1.25 inches / 3 cm.
 More to follow....

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A timely reminder of respect...

You'll notice I've not been around much on the Blog...this isn't because I've fallen into some Blogging Black Hole, no, its because Merlin, whom I'd been admiring so much the night before, got kicked on the inside of a back leg and had to go to horse hospital.  This was after the vet said 'I don't like the look of this', so of course when I got home I looked up the things it could be and spent the night sobbing.   
I got Merlin to the hospital the next day, where he made a nuisance of himself by pulling out his IV line several times before they tied his legs together - no actually, sedated and put in a special padded stable.  
A number of days later I was told to take him home where I could continue nursing, though that was easier said than done - it took ages to get him up the horse-box ramp and then when he got up there, he careened into me, crushing my chest and specifically my sternum and rib-cage right up against a thick steel bar.   I actually shrieked in pain, though I have no idea where the noise came from, and they guy who was doing the driving went quite white.   By the time we'd finished manhandling him into the truck I was sobbing (again) and I couldn't drive home because I was in too much pain.  At that moment, I would willingly have sold him for 50p.

Got him home, both of us upset, got him settled, went home.  Everyone kept saying I should go to casualty but you know I just couldn't face the 5 hour wait just to be told there was something cracked which they couldn't do anything about; I figured that if it had been anything really catastrophic I wouldn't have been able to breathe, and I WAS still breathing.   This was 2 weeks ago and I still have massive bruising and it hurts when I cough or laugh.   I had hiccups last night and that wasn't much fun either.

Merlin continues to recover, back to his normal sweet and lovely self, though keeping him quiet and confined was impossible - he has started to go out in his own field - next to the other horses whilst his leg is still in the healing process .

Despite having taken all the precautions I felt I could at the time (I was wearing thick jeans, my steel-toecap boots, my hardhat and my gloves), I still got nailed to the side of the horse-trailer, and that made me realise how often we put ourselves at risk.  Merlin is the sweetest horse you could wish for, he can be a bit spirited but never once have I found him mean or nasty. 

He was upset, probably in a bit of pain and didn't understand I was taking him home.   I   should have insisted on his being sedated to minimise the trauma, I know that would have made things easier for him.   It has reminded me how much respect I need to have for a large unpredictable animal who weighs more than half a ton (as I well now know) and that I should always, always, expect the unexpected.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Currently Reading

A is for Alibi - B is For Burgular by Sue Grafton 
This author is working her way through the alphabet, the next in the series being C is for Corpse so you get the drift.  The central character, Kinsey Millhone is a Private Detective, a straight talking divorcee who lives in a fifteen foot room and drives a beat-up old car; the books detail multi layered adventures, each story following fleshing out the character (I know this because I've already started B is for Burglar...!) - 'A' being the first book the character and the writing is a bit unformed but I can see myself tearing through the whole alphabet over the coming weeks and months - 'A' is enjoyable, a bit on the light side but it has possibilities (which are borne out in the next letter of the alphabet) and this one comes with a surprise ending which I won't spoil for you.   
Scarves and Wraps - 25 Gorgeous Designs by Jill Denton
I've realised that felting is seasonal - I have the most gorgeous pile of felting wools in my work-room (a.k.a. the spare bedroom) but I haven't once had the urge to do anything with them since the sun started shining (though now its raining constanly maybe I will do something...) - I've found that hot weather is not conducive to sweating over a great long piece of wool - and the physical process of felting is just that, physical - its hard work, and no-one wants to be panting over a sheet of wool in the summer, it just does not seem right somehow.
Having said that, its the most perfect time of year for learning, and this book offers lots of inspiration to the felter - I've not been doing it long and so I'll take any help I can get - I look at the work of others and wonder 'how did they do that'.  Each chapter develops work around a different 'natural' theme - lots to go on, maybe a bit light on in-depth techniques though that is easily worked round by looking up anthing you might need on the internet - Jill Denton also has a nice website, which can be found here.
Wideacre by Phillipa Gregory - sometimes when reading something you become mesmerised, but not necessarily in a good way - a bit, I imagine, like coming across a snake and being too scared to move.  Not that this book scared me, but I came away from reading it feeling thoroughly grubby and as though my soul had been slightly damaged.  This sounds amazing as the result of reading a book but the central character somehow does this to you; imagine Scarlett O'Hara on acid, and you've got Beatrice Lacey, the 'heroine' of this piece.  Its not that I don't recommend the book, but it should come with a health warning; murder, incest, you name it, its in here; riveting - certainly, entertaining - possibly, but dark, dark, dark - most definitely.
Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser - this is one you are going to love, it is incredibly evocative and brings to life this most astonishing King of France; not only does it do this to perfection, but it also does the same for the women in his life; mistresses and wives, mothers and daughters - this book explores the relationships between The Sun King and his women, including Louis XIV's mistresses, Louise de La Valliere, Athenais de Montespan, and the puritanical Madame de Maintenon, but also the wider story of his relationships with women in general, including his mother Anne of Austria, his sisters-in-law who were Duchesses d'Orleans in succession, his illegitimate daughters, and Adelaide, the child-wife of his grandson; highly recommended, Antonia Fraser never disapppoints.  

Saturday, 3 July 2010

My boy

It was an idyllic evening at the stables tonight - When I called, Merlin came straight to me, despite there being lots of lovely lush soft green grass to munch on.  He looks well - look at the shine on that coat, he looked so good my heart flipped.  
As I mucked out the stable, he was watching me from the barn door (complete with strand of hay dangling from his ear), he's content and safe and happy; we are so relaxed at our new home, hanging out with the horse is a pleasure once again.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

What I love about working for myself...

One of the best things about working for myself: who cares if I wear matching socks or not?
Actually, I think these are rather fetching....
and I've got another pair just like them somewhere...