Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Day 3

Well, end of Day 2, really! The roofers are done for now, seeing as they don't have any stonework to work with and lay the roof on! So they'll be having a day off today, and I'll need of something else to blog about ;o) The stonework needs building up to the gable, and the back, which also has a garage door, will be built up to have a 'proper' door and a window. There will be two conservation grade velux windows in the ceiling. Already, it looks so much more spacious inside. I'm in the process of finalising my ventilation system, before pressing the 'order' button.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Day no. 2

It was still a bit dark when I left this morning, and the angle is a bit disorienting, but, essentially, the roof has gone! It was an eyesore, tarp and pitch and whatever - the new one will look much nicer, pitched, rather than flat, adding extra space. I don't know if I'll update you all every day, but whenever there's anything to see, I'll share it here!

New beginnings!

After nearly two years of waiting, the builders finally started on my garage, turning it into a beautiful studio. Waiting for this has been frustrating - I bought a fabulous big torch (bearing in mind my 'normal' torch isn't small, either) as a second torch a few months ago, and, with a promise of builders just around the corner, decided to be patient and set it up in the new forward about 15 weeks!!!

I'll be so excited to see this project finished - I'll be able to hold open studios, teach, torch with natural light (luxury!) is what my 'studio' looked like in January 2008 - quite a while ago, I've since (in fact, that same month) had a dual fuel torch, an oxycon, and a kiln, but the generic set-up (i.e. the garage) remains the same. Cosy, huh?

I'll keep you all updated on progress!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Get your business straight, set a date...

...and don't you dare be late!

That's nearly the lyrics to the song (not wanting to blaspheme), from the musical 'Five Guys Named Moe', which I first came across when I was 17, and I still love it now (think swing & fifties).

Reason for this post is that I've had a date from the builder...a week today, they will descend on my garage. So, I'm getting my business straight, and setting a date. I'll have a 'proper' lampworkers' get-together, but I'm having a simple open studio on Saturday, 21st of November, to coincide with the village Christmas market. Not quite willing to plaster my address all over the internet, email me at if you can come, and I'll send out details (I know, not very open, I'll have to work on that, but I would love to have lovely people there! ;o))

Monday, 14 September 2009

New ventures, but no name!

I've had a play and made this, then I asked around, and the general consensus is to make more. Shown is the prototype, which is perfect for me (i.e. laid back and relaxed), but there will be posher ones, with silk, cotton, wool, yarns, scarves, much more delicate that the one shown.

Question is, with such a wide range (from 'scarf with lampwork bead' to 'fabric necklace with lampwork bead'), what shall I call these little babies of mine? Scarves? Necklaces? Scecklaces? Snarves? Snoozles (my favourite so far)? Ane clever ideas would be gratefully received!

Saturday, 12 September 2009


It's about two months before my website comes up for renewal, and after my recent marathon listings, I'm tempted to switch. But that's a grumble for another day. For now, I delved into the world of dragonflies, butterflies and roses once more, and listed new beads. What I am most proud of, however, are my silver cores. Yes, I had a 'destruction rate' of almost 50%, but I do love the ones that survived, all hammered and annealed and cored and stroked and polished by my own fair hands - aaaaaw!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Where do all the beadies go No. 2 - Joanna Bailey

When Jo ordered her first beads from me, I was surprised and delighted with the delivery address - a short detour between my home and work. Jo is a dress maker as well as a jewellery designer (and that's when she's not busy being a Mum). I love how she tickles new designs out of my beads - see the stunning rose ring - now, there's a statement piece! You can see more of Jo's work on her website, here.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Fairs, fairs, fairs...

I've not done many fairs to date - in fact, I can count them on one hand and still hold a biscuit in it (handy, that!) However, with full-time beady business fast approaching, this autumn and Christmas, things don't half happen. Not all fairs are confirmed yet, however, here's what I *think* I'm doing!

19th September - GBUK bead fair - mainly beads, but also jewellery
24th-25th October - UK Wedding Show, Manchester - scary, this one, it's massive. I will be there with Now Forevermore wedding stuff.
14th November (not confirmed yet) - Christmas fair in centre of Sheffield (Leopold Square)
29th-30th November - Craft Candy "Candy Cane" Christmas market

Plus, I'll be holding an open studio morning or afternoon (or day?) once my studio is finished.

That's at least five days of selling, possibly seven. What does that mean? Fairs are great - you get to meet new people, you get to chat, you get to see other people's goodies, and, hopefully, you get to sell. But how much? How much stock to pile up? How to balance beads & jewellery (& tiaras ;o)) on display? For me, while I work full-time, it also means five (or seven!) days when I can't make beads - a potentially serious loss of income. Will it be worth it? Would I be better off just shutting the door to my garage and bead away? No, I don't really think so. But I don't half hope the sales figures don't prove me wrong. Having said all this, I've made about 60 pieces of jewellery, and they're on my website for now - new beads will follow later this week, with a little surprise in store ;o)