Thursday, 29 December 2011

New Jewellery

New jewellery for the site!

Monday, 26 December 2011

A Terrible Day

Christmas has never been my favourite time of year, but this year it has outdone itself.   We'd had a nice Christmas day with the family and my good friend Yvonne round; I'd cooked dinner which was enjoyed by all when my parents decided they'd go home around 10pm, to find beautiful Bailey cat having a fit underneath their car.  We rushed him inside, inspected him and he gave a shuddering breath and died.  He'd been hit by a car; he was only just a year old, and its another blow to our small cat family.  

I think I can be excused for being a bit off christmas once again - there are so many 'if only's' - if only we hadn't brought him over from Mark's Mums' house where he'd been keeping her company for a week, if only we hadn't let him out, if only the weather had been colder he wouldn't have even gone out, oh so many - it has left me feeling desperately sad and I can't seem to stop leaking tears - this is the second untimely, young cat death this year, the first was Aston in April who died of asthma - and the waste of such a beautiful, loved feline has upset us all deeply - he was always a wanderer which happily is not the case with the other cats we have, but that does not make us feel any better. 

To Mark's Mum I had to say he was lucky in a way - he died surrounded by all the people who loved him, who were trying to help him - which I feel sure he knew, he never knew a moment of cruelty or unkindness in his entire life, and it was mercifully (I hope) quick.  

He was such a character, we often received phone calls from people telling us our cat was with them (and often either playing with their cats or eating dinner with them), and in September when Mark was away in France I spent 3 days looking for Bailey, in tears, convinced somthing awful had happened, only to find out he had wandered nearly 3 miles away from home - so realistically it was only a matter of time, but none of that makes any of us feel any better, and it was particularly terrible that Mark's 90-odd year old mother had to be there to see all that.  He's buried in the garden with his favourite toys, along with the other pusscats we've lost over the years, but what a terrible day. 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

New Work

New earrings for the Site, soon to be avaiilable on

Above: Handformed sterling hoops with Garnet and Tiny Turquoise beads.

Above: Handmade lampwork beads, Swarovski crystal and vermeil with gold-filled components.

 Above: Rock Crystal, White Zircon with freshwater pearls and sterling silver. 
Above: Swiss Blue Topaz with Gold-filled wire and fittings.
Above: Green Onyx with Goldfilled wire and componets, green jade and amazonite.
Above: Rock Crystal and Gold-filled wire and fittings.
Above: Turquoise and Sterling silver.

Above: Chalcedony and sterling silver.

Above: Handmade Murano Glass with Swarovski crystal and sterling silver.

Above: Dalmatian Jasper, Black Onyx and sterling silver.

Above: Swarovski Crystal 'gift wrapped' cubes with gold-filled ear wires.

Monday, 24 October 2011


Ohhh, butter wouldn't melt in MY mouth...

You remember we adopted Bailey several months and we love him dearly, as you can see from the pic he's spoiled and loved, and what we just cannot understand is why he keeps wandering off from home to find new adventures - this weekend was a case in point where I nearly went mad because he went missing for 2 nights and a day and was eventually found two and a half miles away from home, because some kind soul read the tag on his collar and rang me.

Mark had gone away for the weekend and for all intents and purposes, Bailey decided to do the same thing - it was several hours before I started to worry and then I worried and worried and worried and wandered the streets, bothering the neighbours, driving round and round the neighbourhood, looking for this cat all to no avail; when eventually I confessed to Mark I had lost the cat I was frantic and in tears, convinced something terible had happened to Bailey, only relieved more than 24 hours later after the call from the good samaritan the other side of town - I confess to bursting into tears from relief as soon as I buried my face in his fur (that would be the cat's fur, not the person who called me!).  

I cannot imagine how he managed to navigate over several main roads, over a park and into a housing estate all that way away, but right now we are looking into a GPS collar for him in an attempt to locate him when he goes on his next holiday - in the meantime, he's sleeping his adventure off, sore paws and all....

Monday, 17 October 2011

Just Made This

Handmade silver lined Murano glass with sterling silver and Swarovski crystal.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Long Time No See

Well, its been one of those long absences again.  Its not that I didn't miss you, I did, but I've been quite busy.  I've been busy with stock from recent buying splurges (Venetian glass, sterling silver and semi precious stones) and unfortunately I've been under the weather for some time with a cold, flu and a virus - then Mark, my husband had a minor heart attack and we've been quite preoccupied with that - THEN Bailey the cat went missing for three days, oh and so on and so forth.

In any case, here we find ourselves towards the end of the year with a neglected Blog.  Apologies.  This is one of a series of periodically recurring apologies for the same occurence.   The cat came back, Mark is OK again and so I am I, so its back to work.  And hopefully to pick up with my Blog again; I've got the baking bug once again so I'm getting into the swing of things with that, with big plans for baking all my Christmas presents - hah, let's see how that one works!

Thanks for your patience whilst I have been absent! 
And loads of new stuff for the site soon too!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Back to Venice

Today I am in Venice, another hot, hot hot day at 34 degrees...

Its been quite some time since I visited the city, which is one of my absolute favourites, and in actual fact I've never visited Venice in the heat, only when it has been wintertime/autumn which is evocative, misty and mysterious but its very different in the summertime - firstly a lot more crowded than I am accustomed to, cruise ships coming in and out of the city (which was worth seeing in itself) and oh my, have the prices been hiked in the hot weather?  Not sure I'd come back in the heat as I'd rather have the place to myself and I'd prefer to be able to afford it - I call 7 Euros for a tiny caffe latte wayyyyy too much!

I chose to stay at the Bauer Hotel, not somewhere I have stayed in the city before and it is wonderful - there are two Bauers, both owned by the same company - the expensive version and the less so, and I went for the cheaper option which is a boat trip over the water from St. Mark's Square on the island of La Giudecca, but the hotel has a little boat which shuttles back and forth which is quite convenient - the hotel was once a convent, dating back to the 16th Century - at the end of a crowded, hot and busy day in the city, it is an oasis of cool and calm and peace - and it even has its own garden which is lovely for breakfast; rooms are fab with lots of space (unusual in Venice), clean, spacious, with lovely staff.
Cafe Florian is one of Venice's great landmarks - the interiors date back to 1720 but again, one of those places you can just have a little peep inside and enjoy the ambience of the place by walking outside on the Piazza San Marco, because its another one of those place that unless you've recently won the lottery, there are so many other things you can spend your money on.

Above - the Lion of St Mark's - you see this emblem of Venice everywhere.

Above - view of St. Mark's Square from the launch going back to the hotel

Above - Goldoliers...waiting for their next victim customer

Above and below - someone's colourful washing!

Above - a tiny little painting I spotted on a wall next to a canal - so lovely - presumably an artist succumbed to boredom and decided to do us all a little doodle...much nicer than the usual grafitti though!


Above - Venetian glass creations. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Views of the most famous bridge in Florence on a lovely sunny day...the bridge dates back to the medieval period, and spans the the narrowest part of the Arno river - it is one of six bridges in the city and is the oldest.   The original shops on the bridge were probably butchers, tanners and fishmongers but in 1593 Ferdinando I decided that these trades were "vile" because their practice had been to throw their refuse into the river causing an almighty stink, replaced these trades with goldsmiths - who continue to occupy the shops  to the present with stunning displays of gold, silver and precious gems...the net worth on this bridge would most likely go a long way towards paying national debt!

Further info on the bridge can be found here - 

Lovers Locks on the Ponte di Vecchio - the same the world over...
WikiPedia says of this practice: "Along the Ponte Vecchio, there were many padlocks locked to various places, especially to the railing around the statue of Benvenuto Cellini. This is a recent tradition for the Ponte Vecchio. It was perhaps introduced by the padlock shop owner at the end of the bridge. It is popularly connected to idea of love and lovers: by locking the padlock and throwing the key into the river, the lovers became eternally bonded. This is an example of the negative impact of mass tourism: thousands of padlocks needed to be removed frequently, spoiling or damaging the structure of the centuries-old bridge; however, it seems to have decreased after the city administration put a sign on the bridge mentioning a 50€ penalty for those caught locking something to the fence."

Displays of coral and precious metal jewellery

The bridge is lined with amazing jewellers shops on either side...

During World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not destroy. Instead they blocked access by demolishing the medieval buildings on each side.

The bridge has always hosted shops and merchants who displayed their goods on tables in front of their shops, interestingly, it is claimed that the economic concept of bankruptcy originated here: when a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the "banco") was physically broken ("rotto") by soldiers, and this practice was called "bancorotto" (broken table; possibly it can come from "banca rotta" which means "broken bank"). Not having a table anymore, the merchant was not able to sell anything