Friday, 30 May 2008

Geometry Again

More of those geometric beads. This photo shows the strand from the side so you can see those stripes and that latticino a bit better.

Hopefully the weather will brighten up this weekend. Yesterday morning was so hot and muggy and it poured with rain all afternoon. What a manky day that was. I had to do Dodge The Slug as I went down the garden to put the wheelie bin out. Slugs are rubbish.

I'm going to Cambridge this afternoon so I'll post again sometime next week. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Glass Geometry

I'm in love with these! I started off making discs, then moved onto triangles and then squares. My favourite of the strand is the middle square with the latticino decoration. I can't wait to make more tomorrow!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

More 'Wilma' Beads

More 'Wilmas'. That's it for these - I've spent most of the weekend in the shed making these so yeah, I'm a bit bored of them now! Got to get back to my stringer . . . . .

I'm still bashing on with the losing weight thing. I got myself a workout DVD and I did it for the first time on Thursday and flippin' heck, I honestly thought I was going to have to call an ambulance for myself! It was a ten minute warm-up, a ten minute combat routine and a ten minute pilates cool-down. I did all that fine and staggered upstairs to have a shower but after that I went all funny. I got the shakes, I felt sick and I thought I was going to faint. I had that swimming-pool noise in my ears and black blobs floating in front of my eyes. I even had to crawl, like some kind of freak, from the bathroom to my bedroom because I was worried that I'd faint and fall down the stairs if I walked across the landing! It took me about two pints of water and half an hour's rest to get back to normal. I did the workout again yesterday and I made sure I had enough to eat beforehand so I wouldn't go all weak and feeble again. That worked but last night and today I can hardly walk! My thighs are absolutely killing me and I've pulled muscles I didn't even know existed.

I still can't quite believe that I'm doing all this. I always said I'd never diet. I always said I'd never consume 'diet' and 'fat free' food. And I always thought workout DVDs were sad. Yet here I am going against my word. I've bought things I thought I'd never own, too. Besides the DVD and the Weight Watchers yoghurts (which are rank, by the way) I've purchased jogging bottoms, a yoga mat, and a skipping rope. What's that all about?! I'm counting calories too. I'm driving myself nuts and it's almost as if there's nothing I can do about it.

I'm sure it's got something to do with being thirty. When I was in my twenties I always thought that women in their thirties that counted calories and did dieting were sad and people that didn't have puddings because they were 'watching their weight' irritated me. Now I'm like that! And I'd always ignore those 'Get That Bikini Body' and 'Get In Shape For Summer' articles in magazines. Now I read them and take them totally seriously.

A couple of friends have asked me why I want to lose weight. My answer is that I just do. I want to lose weight for me because I feel like a fat flump. I know I'm not a mega-huge-whale-pig but I feel like one.

Ah well. Enough of my dieting waffle. I'm off for an 'Options' low calorie hot chocolate - it's the closest I get to actual real chocolate at the moment!

Friday, 23 May 2008

New Weezer


Weezer have just put their new video for Pork & Beans on YouTube and it's great! It has a YouTube theme and features the Numa-Numa bloke and the Chocolate Rain fella too along with lots of other familiar YouTube-ness. Just one thing though - Rivers needs to shave off his 'stache and find his glasses . . . . .

'Strawberries'

Due to my current losing weight thing (which is working - I've lost half a stone in three weeks) I seem to be eating a lot of strawberries lately and maybe that's why I felt compelled to create some glass ones. These beads are very summery. I can imagine them dangling on a charm bracelet. Or maybe scattered along the length of a long necklace. But hey, I'll leave the jewellery design up to their new owner. I'm just the beadmaker!

So, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. I've been trying to not get too excited about Indy IV, after all, I did that with the Star Wars prequels and look what happened there. I was also concerned about the whole Harrison Ford being older thing.

But . . . . .

On the whole the movie was very good. Harrison's still fab as Indy and he pulls off some pretty amazing moves. There were a couple of annoyingly pointless scenes and a few totally far-fetched 'stunts' (not 'real' ones like in Raiders) but the film was altogether way better than I thought it was going to be. Go see it - it's good!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

'Sky Blue Wilmas'

As in Wilma Flintstone. These nugget-shaped beads remind me of her necklace.

There'll be more beads on Friday. There won't be any tomorrow as it's May 22nd so I'll be watching the new Indy movie . . . . .

Thursday, 15 May 2008

'Candy Apple'

It's been yonks since I made beads like these!

I got a delivery of glass a few days ago which contained two of my favourite glass colours - candy pink and apple green. When combined these two colours make such summery beads. I sat and pulled stringer and made cased stringer for over an hour before I got to work on these beads. I made loads of them and I did think about selling them all as one set but in the end I decided to split them into two smaller lots. Please check out my Flickr gallery if you'd like to see the two 'Candy Apple' sets.

I printed out some photos of my old beads and then brought the designs up to date by encasing the base beads (rather than using one solid colour) and by using finer stringer and more detail than I did on similar beads I made a couple of years ago.

Expect more of the same, but in different colours, next week. I'm off to Cambridgeland tomorrow so I shall see you next week. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Good Day

Today has been a good day! It's been sunny but not too hot which made for an excellent beadmaking climate this morning.

This afternoon I went to the dentist (you know how much I loathe going to the dentist) for a check-up and all was good! To celebrate this fact I bought a pair of lovely new shoes - metallic rose gold wedges. Any excuse to buy footwear . . . . .

When I got home I decided to go and sit in the garden with a cup of tea and read for an hour or so which was nice, even if Buster did keep pestering me by wanting to sit on my lap. And yes, my new shoes came and sat with me too. Don't you just love having new shoes? I was the same as a kid. Mum and Dad would buy me new school shoes from Clarks and I'd wear them all weekend. And just as good were the shoe boxes - totally brilliant for turning into spaceships, vehicles and buildings for my Star Wars figures. Oh yes, I've always been a Star Wars geek . . . . .

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

More Floralentils

'Tropical Paradise' Floralentils in ink blue, teal green and pale blue. Very summery!

Hot Shed, Hot Chip


I've been making beads today in my sauna of a shed while chair dancing to the sounds of Hot Chip. I love their stuff - electropop with catchy rhythms and hummable hooks. This is the colourful video for 'One Pure Thought' which is one of my current favourite tunes.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Another warm one . . . . .

..... but I managed to get another set of Floralentils made today. I'll be putting them on the website tomorrow evening. There was lots of that willow fluff (looks like dandelion clock seeds, but fluffier) floating around my shed today and it kept getting stuck to my stringer.

Willow fluff isn't the only annoying airborne thing about at the moment. Last night I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth before bed and there was this flying insecty thing bashing into the window pane. The window was open on the catch but I shut it because I didn't want whatever electric-light-seeking thing it was coming into the bathroom. It carried on banging against the glass and when I looked at it closely I saw it was a cockchafer. Yeah, I know. If you've never heard of one before it is quite a tittersome name! We get cockchafers here a lot in the warm weather. They're quite chunky things and they have a hard shell and a patch of furry hair either side of their head. Huge waggly antennae too. Click here if you'd like to see a picture of one.

My flying insect encounter didn't end there. I then went into my bedroom and heard a 'bzzzzzz' noise and there was a huge fly buzzing about. I grabbed a DVD case (Napoleon Dynamite if you're interested) and tried to shoo it out of the room with it. I hate killing anything and I'd rather insects just left when politely asked to do so rather than splat them with something. The fly eventually landed on the mirror and when it was sat still I got a good look at it. It was bright yellowy-orange and looked quite evil. He looked like a biter. Well, I'd had enough of asking him politely to leave and trying to usher him to the exit so I went and got the can of Raid. Alas, now the yellow-potential-biter fly is an ex-yellow-potential-biter fly. I felt bad about killing him but I'd rather that than get fly bites in my sleep!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Too hot for beadmaking! Too hot, I tell you!

My shed is like a sauna. I managed to make four beads yesterday and then I had to stop as I was wilting. It doesn't take a lot of heat to make me wilt - I'm a delicate flower, me! Ha! ;o)

It's so warm today I didn't even attempt the making of the beads. Nicky came over this morning and gave me a copy of Step By Step Wire Jewelry which features her fantastic 'Round In Circles' bracelet tutorial. She used some of my beads in her design and it's really nice for me to see them in print. I took the step-by-step photographs for Nicky's tutorial and as a thank you she made me this wonderful silver pendant. Isn't it fab? I love it - it's very me. The magazine will be in the shops next week so if you get a chance to grab a copy, do. Nicky's tutorial is great!

So it's been another bead-free weekend for me. Feels odd. I feel naughty for not being down the shed making stuff. Plus I'll be in Cambridge next weekend so that'll be three weekends off in a row!

I've not been sat doing nothing, though. I've just done an hour of Yoga on the Wii Fit and no, I still can't master that balancing on one leg thing. I'm becoming quite fond of Dirk though as he's been much nicer to me lately. Today he told me I had 'beautiful form', bless him! My friends Helen and James came over for dinner last night and we spent the whole evening playing with Wii Fit. Annoyingly they have perfect BMIs, leaving me feeling like a fat hedge-pig. But I'm quite pleased with myself as I'm losing weight quite steadily. I want to drop a dress size and I'm getting there slowly through a combination of at least fifty minutes on Wii Fit every day and diet. Yes, the 'D' word. Can't believe it. I always swore to myself that I'd never do a diet of any kind and here I am being all Bridget Jones about my weight - counting naffing calories, not eating lovely puddings, abandoning my beloved chocolate, drinking two litres of uninteresting water a day, having one sugar in my tea instead of two and putting skimmed milk on my boring Shredded Wheat. I would kill for a slice of lemon meringue pie with a splodge of extra thick cream - apples and bananas just don't compare!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Drawing with glass

It's been a whole week-and-a-day since my last post. Shocking!

I was up in Cambridge for the bank holiday weekend and I didn't get home until Tuesday evening so I haven't had many beads to show you.

But I have today! I'm very pleased with these. They were inspired by a floral fabric that Lyn at Florspace has used for one of her MiniZs. The fabrics that Lyn uses are just so beautiful.

I wanted to put a bold, striking flower design on a bead but not in the normal arrange-the-dots beadmaking kind of way and the only way I could achieve the effect I was visualising was to literally draw with stringer. Now, you may think that I do this all the time but trust me, drawing fluid petal shapes with a hair-fine piece of glass isn't as easy as doing straight lines and scrollwork. So these beads were a real challenge but I totally enjoyed making them. In fact, I can honestly say that I haven't had such an enjoyable beadmaking day for months.

I think that these bright red lentils would make a fabulous summer bracelet. Pink ones would be nice too. And purple, of course! Or maybe pale blue. Or zesty orange ........

Thursday, 1 May 2008

A break from the norm

I've made so many precise and intricate beads lately and I decided I needed a little break from those so I abandoned my stringer, got out all my brightest colours and let the glass do its own thing. These fun, happy disc beads are a lot more 'painterly' than my usual beads and I like them. So much so that I'm not particularly fussed that the circles of colour aren't perfect, concentric rings. Well, maybe just a tiny bit fussed, but hey, a change is as good as a rest and all that!