Wednesday 22 August 2007


Finally my mojo is back! Tonight's enamel beads.

Tuesday 21 August 2007

Bag Bling

My bead mojo is slowly ebbing back - I got a couple of sets made today that I'll add to my website tomorrow evening.

In the meantime I thought I'd show you this bag charm that I've just made. My lampwork with rainforest jasper squares and Swarovski crystals and pearls.

8 Random facts about yours truly

Caroline from Uniqart has 'tagged' me and therefore I am dutybound to reveal eight random facts about myself :

1. I hate baked beans with a burning passion. If I ever come into contact with one I have to wash my hands immediately. I worked in a restaurant years ago and if I got put on the baked potato section I would wrap the handle of the baked bean ladel with a load of serviettes to prevent any baked bean juice getting on my hand. I cannot stand the little orange buggers!

2. I have what can only be described as an obsession with pens. I love them. W H Smith and Paperchase are like an Aladdin's Cave to me. I like proper ink pens - none of this gel ink malarkey, mind.

3. I love 'The Office'. I watch the whole lot (Series 1, 2 and the Christmas specials) weekly. My week doesn't feel complete unless I've seen Gareth Keenan being an idiot. In fact, I think 'The Office' would be my Mastermind specialist subject.

4. I don't like dogs. I don't have a fear of them and I've never been bitten by one - I just don't like them. I don't mind seeing them about or walking by them in the street, I just don't like them near me or me having to make contact with them.

5. The first film I ever saw at the cinema was ET. I was six at the time and I've never seen ET since. It freaked me out good and proper and I hold it entirely responsible for my irrational fear of aliens. Not of aliens in general, though and in fact I quite like the idea that there are planets full of other beings somewhere. I just get freaked out about the thought of them visiting Earth in an Independence Day/Close Encounters/Men in Black kind of way.

6. I can't stand spelling mistakes. I hate seeing them in newspapers, magazines, on signs - anywhere. Oh, and I also can't stand it when people use 'K's instead of 'C's and 'Z's instead of 'S's. Like 'Kool Kats' or 'Bitz and Bobz'. Grrrrrrrrrr.

7. I have a very good memory but I cannot for the life of me remember numbers. The only phone numbers I know off by heart are my home one and my sister's home number. I totally rely on calendars and diaries for remembering birthdays. I don't even know what number bus I need to get into town - I have to look it up.

8. I don't drive a car. The thought of driving a car fills me with dread. I ride a Vespa instead which people (normally car drivers) just don't get. They say that riding a bike on the road must be scarier than driving a car. No. Not for me. I've driven a car but I turn into a gibbering wreck behind the wheel. Cars are just not my bag.

So there you have it. Eight random facts about me. I'm supposed to 'tag' eight other people to do the same but seeing as I'm relatively new to the world of the blog I don't have an extensive collection of contacts to call upon. And anyone that I would have tagged has already been tagged by someone else.

And now I look like a Belinda-No-Blog-Mates. Ah well.

The one person I'll tag is Janine at Cherished Trinkets. So Janine, if you're reading this you need to :

a.) Let others know who 'tagged' you.
b.) Post eight random facts about yourself.
c.) Post these rules.
d.) Tag another eight people and notify them that they've been tagged.

Monday 20 August 2007

'Ocean Gleam' Heart Pendant

My bead mojo's gone walkabout so I've spent this evening turning what beads I do have into SpangleDangles. I also made this heart pendant.

Hopefully my bead mojo will return swiftly and normal beadservice will resume shortly . . . . . . . .

Friday 17 August 2007

My first attempt at Art Clay Silver

A week or so ago I bought ten tiny grams of Art Clay Silver. If you're not familiar with this it's a clay that performs alchemy-type magic. When fired it turns from clay into fine silver. I've been reading lots about Art Clay Silver and have been slowly gathering bits and pieces for working with it and today I had my first go at making something with it. I am SO pleased with these oh-so-geeky-but-oh-so-unique Darth Vader earrings!

It's quite rare that I actually make jewellery for myself and I'm wearing these shiny danglies as I type. In actual fact they could be shinier so I'm going to give them another polish later. That's the thing - watching the material turn from white to shiny chrome-finish silver as you brush, sand and polish could become quite addictive . . . . . . .

Wednesday 15 August 2007


A new bead design from me. I'm calling these my 'Anemone' beads because they look like little sea anemones caught in glass. These ones are periwinkle blue and white. They have the most incredible depth that you just can't see from the photo.

These are implosion beads. You kind of make the bead from the inside out and end up 'folding' the glass in on itself to create an awesome effect. They're quite tricky to make (lots of swearing and failed attempts involved) but the finished product is well worth the beadmaking stress!

I'd love to know what you think of them.

Tuesday 14 August 2007

Trains, Adam Ant and Sick Cat (Nice!)

Train journeys. I've never had a dull, boring and uneventful one. Something always happens, I always attract a wrongun of some description (I'm a proper nutter magnet, me) or I see something that I've never seen before. This weekend's train journey to and from Cambridge was no exception. I think I'm going to start taking notes on trains. I reckon I could write a book about my random train journeys.

My trip to (and from) Cambridge involves catching four trains - two normal ones and two underground ones. Things were pretty quiet on the way to Waterloo this time (apart from the man in the seat behind me snoring very loudly - thank goodness for my MP3 player) but things changed when I got underground. As I walked through from one tube platform to the next there was a huge crowd of people on the platform and a packed stationary train just sat there. There was some kind of kerfuffle occurring on the platform and there were police and underground staff frantically walkie-talking one another. After about ten minutes the train doors shut and the things started moving. The backlog of passengers meant another ten minute wait on a very hot and stuffy platform before I got on a very hot and stuffy tube train. There is air on the underground but it's not your average everyday air. It's warm, thick, recycled, dirty air.

When I was on the train I broke the number one tube rule - I spoke to someone. A lady was stood in front of me and by the looks of it she'd put her eyeliner away in her bag but accidentally scrawled a huge line of it across her arm as she did so. I know that if I was stood there with eyeliner on my arm I'd want someone to tell me. Plus she was all tarted up and dressed to the nines so she was obviously off somewhere important. I tapped her on the shoulder and she swung round and glared at me and said 'What?!' in a we're-on-the-tube-so-how-dare-you-make-verbal-contact kind of way but when I pointed out that she'd drawn on herself she seemed pretty grateful. Then my attention was drawn to an ant on the wall of the carriage.

This got me thinking. How did the ant get on the train? When I told Chris about the ant on the train he said that it had probably got there by hitching a ride on a passenger which is almost definitely the case but his sensible explanation sort of ruined the whole ant-on-the-tube story that I'd made up in my mind. I'd decided that Adam (I HAD to name him) was on an amazing journey and that he'd spent days trekking from one side of London to the other. I wanted him to be like a Disney character ant (a bit like Flik from 'A Bug's Life') who was on an adventurey mission to save something or someone. I'd even worked out that Adam had crawled down the edge of the platform on to the rail and then waited for a train. He then scuttled up the outside of the train and clung on in a James Bond manner while the train whizzed along to the next stop where he waited for the doors to open so he could run inside. Yes - I may be crazy but I like my idea better than Chris' sensible theory.

On the journey home when I was on the train from Cambridge to Kings Cross my nutter magnet was on full pull and a man wearing a full length leather trench coat (on a lovely warm sunny day) sat next to me. He stunk - and I mean totally reeked - of TCP. He must have bathed in it that morning. Then he plugged himself into his iPod and proceeded to listen to the most bizarre music on full blast. By bizarre I mean that I couldn't make out what genre of music it was. Do you know what I mean? When you hear someone else's 'personal' stereo you can make out if it's hip-hop, pop or opera or whatever. But this was truly odd. It was just a strange squeaking noise against a beat. It sounded exactly like someone had taken Sweep's voice (remember Sweep from 'The Sooty Show'?) and put it into a synthesizer and then played out a tune in different Sweep-notes. Odd.

When I arrived at Kings Cross the train came in at Platform 10. This means a long walk to the actual inside of the station. It also means you have to walk past 'Platform 9 3/4' of Harry Potter fame. Bearing in mind it's the summer holidays there were many excited children having their photo taken underneath the Platform 9 3/4 sign and I heard a very snooty and posh pair of ladies behind me chatting about said platform. One said to the other in a haughty voice "Platform nine and three quarters? What the hell is that all about? How can there be a platform nine and three quarters? Do they think we're idiots?" Her friend replied "Oh, it's from that film. The one with the wardrobe. Narnia. That's it. The children in the film catch a train from a fantastical platform. They filmed it here and the staff were sick to the back teeth of people asking where platform nine and three quarters was so they put up a sign. Pathetic if you ask me." I wanted to turn round and tell them it was Harry Potter, not Narnia and to stop being such a whinging pair of trouts!

When I got home I grabbed some lunch, sorted out washing, checked emails and then decided to give my sister a call. I picked up the phone and flumped into my armchair for a gossip. As I was waiting for Sally to answer the phone I got a waft of a horrendous smell. I turned to my left and gingerly lifted the cushion on the armchair. To my horror, underneath the cushion was a pile of dried cat sick. At that moment Sally answered the phone and I backed away from the armchair at high speed. I hate cleaning up cat sick at the best of times, but this was dried on and totally manky. When I got off the phone to Sal I set about cleaning up. I fashioned myself a yashmak out of a towel and a clothes peg and put a wodge of five Tesco carrier bags on my hand and removed the offending material. I then dragged the armchair seat cushion out into the garden and hosed it off with the hose set to jet. (Thank the SetteeGod that our furniture is leather.) Then I had to wash the cushion cover. The whole time my clean-up operation was happening Buster was laid in the conservatory sunbathing. I couldn't believe it. I actually had a conversation with Chris at the weekend where I championed cats. I was trying to convince my cat-hating boyfriend that cats are truly lovely animals. I guess Chris was right again . . . . . .

Thursday 9 August 2007

Beads, Beads, Beads

It's been one heck of a busy bead week! Last night I had fifteen - yes fifteen - sets of beads for sale and they all sold very quickly. I'm very lucky to have such lovely bead customers.

I know I often say this but I really do wonder what becomes of my beads when they reach their new homes. I absolutely love seeing photographs of jewellery that my customers have made with my glasswork. So if you have any photos please do email them to me.

Tuesday 7 August 2007

I like being in one piece

Yep - I'm still crazy about making enamel beads. Seems my lovely bead customers really like them too! The ones above are a selction of some of the beads that I'll have for sale on my website tomorrow night.

I went over to see my sister Sally this afternoon. It was beautifully sunny when I set out and I really enjoyed the ride over to her house. (For readers that may not know, I have a Vespa.) We sat in the garden and had a cup of tea (and a doughnut) while Robyn played in the sandpit. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere it became grey and overcast and began spitting with rain.

The drizzle turned into a thunderstorm and I had no choice but to scoot home in the rain. I tend to only ride my bike when it's dry but sometimes you've just got to face the fact you're going to get wet! Anyone who has ridden a motorbike knows that you need to take even more care on the roads than usual in the rain - things like white lines and drain covers become very slippery. So there I am riding carefully, not going too slow and sticking to the speed limits. But oh no, that's not good enough for some idiot in a huge BMW fat car (I call 4x4s 'fat cars' because to me they are just really fat cars) behind who insisted on getting way too close to me in an attempt to intimidate me and hurry me up. Well, I'm sorry but I'm doing 20 in a 20 limit on a road that is riddled with speed bumps as well as potholes and parked cars. Where is the problem with that? When I reached the traffic lights at the end of the road they were red but when they went green and I went straight ahead Mr BMW Man turned left and revved off in a right old huff. Dang - I pay my road tax and I have just as much right to be on the road as any other vehicle. Why do some drivers think that they can 'bully' others into doing what they want them to do? Grrrrrrrr - it gets right on my . . . . nerves. I love my Vittorio (the Vespa) so the last thing I'm going to do is ride my bike like an idiot and risk hurting him, let alone myself - I like being in one piece.

Friday 3 August 2007

More enamel beads

I'm still having fun making enamel beads - I just love the orchid and purple tones of the beads pictured.

Oh, and my curly hair is officially back! Not that you're probably concerned, bothered or interested but I just wanted to tell someone the good news!

Thursday 2 August 2007

Bright shiny beads!

I purchased a full set of enamels last week and I'm having such fun trying out all the beautiful colours. These are a few of the enamel beads that I've made over the past couple of days. I just love the effect of enamels on glass - always reminds me of airbrushed paint.

So many colours to try - expect more bright and shiny beads soon!

Wednesday 1 August 2007

Keyes, Curls and Cake

I haven't got any bead news today so I thought I'd witter on about other stuff.

First on the agenda is
Marian Keyes. I absolutely love her books and I finished reading the last of her novels today. Don't you just hate finishing a great book? I kind of drag out the last few chapters as much as I can and then I feel all lost until I get into the next book. Thing is, there are only three Marian Keyes books left for me to read - her 'Under the Duvet' collected journalism two and her short story 'No Dress Rehearsal'. Then that'll be it. A long wait for her next novel. I'll be at a loss! My favourite Marian book is 'Anybody Out There?' which had me laughing, crying, laughing a bit more and crying a LOT at the end. I finished it on a train journey and I kid you not, I was snivelling and blubbing out loud. At a book. People stared but I didn't care! It was fabulous and if you're a fan of girly books I highly recommend it.

Next up, hair. Mine is naturally curly. Well, it was. This is my point, you see. I had it cut a few months back, treated myself to a set of GHD straighteners (thank the Hair God for those babies!) and made my teenage dreams of one day having straight hair a reality. From about fourteen onwards I hated my hair - thick, curly and prone to fuzzing up to the size of a small continent at the slightest drop of moisture. I eventually learnt how to tame it (well, as much as I could) and spent many a year with curls and people saying 'Oh, you're so lucky to have curly hair!' while I was thinking 'No I'm not - I want straight, shiny lovely locks that do what you tell them to!'. This time last year I had shoulder length hair that I could straighten (well, get my sister to straighten because she was the one with the GHDs) or wear curly. I found the perfect product that would do the curly thing well without turning my hair into crispy twirls. Then after Christmas I fancied a change (you know, that old 'New Year, New Me' thing that us girls occasionally do?!) and I had it cut into a bob. Not a Victoria Beckham arrangement, just a chin-length bob. And I liked it. It grew out pretty quick and I'd decided that I'd grow it long again so I went back for a trim and a few layers (layers are essential for us curlymopheads or we'll end up looking like a cross-section of a Toblerone) BUT the hairdresser obviously didn't understand my just-a-tiny-bit-off-the-length instruction and got all scissor-happy and ended up cutting it shorter than the first time I had the bob done. I wasn't happy but I thought that it would grow pretty quick. It didn't. And it's taken an age to get to a length where I can wear it curly without fear of it springing up and making me look like Leo Sayer. I bought myself a new bottle of my fave styling product yesterday and curlified my do. But something's happened - my hair won't go curly! It's kind of tousled and wavy but my old curly-curls aren't there anymore. I haven't over-straightened my hair. I only ever straighten it when I go out (not much then!) and at weekends. Rest of the time I wear it in a ponytail. I washed my hair again this morning and curlified it again, but no - just waves. It seems to have forgotten how to curl. Could it be that I'm mourning my frizzy, curly, unruly hair of old? Come back curls - all is forgiven . . . . . . .

Enough of my hair. If you're still reading, haven't nodded off on your keyboard and you're a fan of cake, confectionery and doughnuts (don't you prefer the American spelling of 'donut'? Our English version is way too proper) then I have a cake recommendation for you. Rolo doughnuts. Yes, Rolo doughnuts. I was in Tesco (grrrrrrrrrr) this evening and I saw them. A display of beautiful doughnuts like an oasis in the desert. They called to me and I gave in and bought a pack. Doughnuts, filled with caramel, coated in chocolate icing and decorated with chocolate chippy things. Seriously great doughnut innovation - hubba hubba!

It's been a warm one today - very hot in the shed. I did get a few beads made which I'll put on the website either tomorrow or Friday. I shall keep you posted!