Wednesday 31 December 2008

Final post of the year

Lego Star Wars AT-ATI do hope you had a wonderful Christmas?!

I had such a fantastic time in Manchester. It really was the best Christmas I've had in yonks! I bought Chris a Lego Star Wars AT-AT (he's thirty-two, but like me, in his mind he's only about fourteen) and on Boxing Day Chris, his brother Kev and I spent about three hours building it. It walks in that clunky, heavy-footed AT-AT way and its head moves about too. Dang, I love Lego! The other night I asked Chris to send me a photo of the AT-AT so I could blog it. I was expecting a grainy iPhone photo but I received this super duper Chris-enhanced image instead. He's a clever thing!

Did anyone see Eastenders on Christmas Day? Ha! I loved the whole thing about Christian's vest! (You may remember that I was on about that a while back.) I think the highlight of Christmas telly for me was the Gavin & Stacey special. I found Bryn's glee at the wonder of Mint Baileys hilarious! I'm so pleased that they're making a third series.

So have you eaten all your Christmas food and nibbles? The other day my auntie was saying how fed up she was with cold turkey but I love the stuff! I think I had three cold turkey dinners at Chris's parents' house. In fact I'm thinking of cooking another Christmas dinner this weekend just so I can have cold turkey, stuffing and oodles of pickled red cabbage again! Talking of food, remember how Chris got all arty with the mini party food the other week? Well, it's a case of Like Mother, Like Son because his Mum got all Delia with the salmon rolls and prawns on Boxing Day. Check this out :

Lynne's fancy salmon 'bunny' arrangement!  ;o)We're just hours away from a New Year. This year has been a particularly hectic one for me, what with the move and everything, and it would seem that 2009 is going to be just as busy. Chris and I are going to get a place together next year so I shall be moving to Cambridge at some point. It all feels mighty grown-up and tiny bit scary ..... but totally exciting!

Thank you for your custom and your interest in my work and waffle these past twelve months. Here's to a beady 2009! Happy New Year!

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Mele Kalikimaka!

That's Hawaiian for 'Merry Christmas!' in case you're wondering. No reason - I just thought I'd try a different festive greeting!

Well, I think I'm just about sorted. 'Fake' Christmas went really well and I've spent the past couple of days visiting relatives. I've just got to pack for Manchester now.

I had to nip to Tesco for some last minute things today. Oh. My. Goodness. That was a mistake! It was so busy in there it was untrue. Best of luck if you've still got the food shopping to do.

I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas! Eat much turkey and plenty of chocolate.

See you in a few days!

Wednesday 17 December 2008

'Waterfall Shimmer'

Lampwork Glass Nugget BeadsBlue frit and fine silver suspended in crystal clear glass, shaped into smooth, tactile nuggety shapes. These catch the light and twinkle beautifully.

So I'm guessing that these will probably be some of the last beads for this year as I'm in for a hectic few days. I've got to go and do the last of the Christmas present shopping tomorrow then I'm off to London on Friday, travelling back Saturday afternoon, then it'll be straight off to Tesco to get the Christmas vegetables and foody things because on Sunday everyone's coming for the 'fake' Christmas. I'll then have two clear days before I journey up to Manchester so maybe there will be time for one more full beadmaking day. I'll just have to wait and see how stressed I get!

Chris and I had a party on Saturday night. It was just a small gathering - Chris and I were the only guests! Mini party food seems to be being advertised left, right and centre so Chris decided that we should have a banquet of tiny treats. He got all Nigella and arranged the food in an artsy-fartsy manner .....

Mini Party FoodWe had small pizzas, little duck spring rolls and pig(let)s in blankets. Chris also bought some kind of miniature filo pastry parcel things filled with ricotta, spinach, goat's cheese and mushrooms but I wasn't having anything to do with those as I just don't trust white cheeses. My only exception to that is Dairylea and I don't think that actually counts as a proper cheese, does it?!

Thursday 11 December 2008

'Heather Shimmer'

Lampwork BeadsThe name reminds me of that famous shade of Rimmel lipstick. My sister Sally wore Heather Shimmer for about three years solid as a teenager during the nineties!

Wednesday 10 December 2008

'Seafoam Shimmer'

Lampwork BeadsAren't these pretty? The seafoam colour and the pearly shimmer of the spacer beads makes me think of mermaids which in turn has had me humming 'Mermaids' by the brilliant Flight Of The Conchords all afternoon.

I just watched the local news which I normally find highly irritating, mainly due to the cheesiness of the presenters and the shoddiness of most of the news reports, but there was an entertaining story on there about a cat called Frankie who goes out and about stealing soft toys from the next door neighbours. It really made me titter! Here's a link to the BBC news video about Frankie the cat burglar.

Monday 8 December 2008


RobinI was just sat having a cup of tea (and a mince pie) in the conservatory when I looked up and saw this beautiful robin in the back garden. I'm really pleased because I've been trying to encourage birds into the garden for a few weeks now. When we first moved here the back garden was pretty bird unfriendly. It had no grass and was just an arrangement of paving slabs, gravel, woodchips and a couple of flower beds. We've since put down some grass for the guinea pigs. I was really missing the birds and so was Buster. We used to get such an array of wildlife in the back garden at the old house and he would sit in the conservatory chattering to the birds in that funny whiskers-twitching-lots-of-tiny-miaows kind of way. He's far too lazy to be bothered to chase them so he just talks to them instead!

Anyway, after speaking to beadmaking bird guru Emma Ralph I put a couple of feeders in the back garden and for the past week or so the number of feathered visitors to the garden has increased. This morning I've seen starlings, pigeons, robins and blue tits. This little robin was eating the crumbs that the starlings had dropped from the feeder above. The picture's not brilliant as I took it from where I was sat with the camera set to maximum zoom but I think it's quite festive nonetheless.

Sunday 7 December 2008

'Twinkle Twinkle'

Lampwork Beads With Fine SilverBlack beads decorated with trails of fine silver 'stars', cased in a thin layer of clear for depth and sparkle. This set also consists of shimmery spacer beads. These are clear glass rolled in a layer of mica powder, also known as 'Pixie Dust'. I do like the shimmery effect but heck, it gets everywhere when you're using it! I always forget what a mess it makes, albeit a pretty spangly one. I ended up looking like I'd spent the day with that Kirks Folly woman off QVC who insists on sprinkling her 'Follydust' all over the place!

Mince Pies

Homemade Mince PiesI spent this morning making beads and this afternoon baking mince pies. These are homemade all-butter shortcrust pastry filled with mincemeat, almonds, cherries and a slosh of Jack Daniel's for added Christmassy naughtiness!

Saturday 6 December 2008

Glam Tigers

Lampwork Tiger BeadsSome chunkier-than-usual tiger-esque beads. These have a little bit of goldstone inside them which catches the light and glitters beautifully.

Friday 5 December 2008


Black & White Lampwork BeadsIt's nice to finally have a batch of decent black glass! The last lot I had was awful - it kept pitting and going all scummy on the surface of any bead I made. I took delivery of a new wodge of black glass a week-or-so ago and it is pure glossy, shiny loveliness. I made these 'Monochrome' Wiggledot beads yesterday - simple but striking.

So how's your Christmas stuff going? Are you a super-organised shopper who has got everything bought, wrapped and stashed away or are you a leave-it-to-the-last-minute-and-panic type? I was the latter last year but I'm pleased to say that I'm somewhere between the two this year. I haven't written Christmas cards yet but I have done a lot of present shopping. I'm trying to do something Christmas-related every day. I'm having two Christmases this year, you see. On the 21st Sally, Paul, Robyn, Dylan, Emily and her fella Ben are coming to see us and we're all going to have a 'fake' Christmas day. We'll do all that we usually do but four days early. This is because Sally and Paul are spending actual proper Christmas with Paul's sister in Telford, Emily is spending the day with Ben and his family and I'm going to Manchester for three days to do the Yuletide thing with Chris and his family. So I have no option but to be a heck of a lot more organised than I was this time last year!

Thursday 4 December 2008

Thank You

Assorted Lampwork Glass 'Luminobeads'I'm a lucky beadmaker, you know. Here we are in the middle of a worldwide financial nightmare and I still have customers that support me and buy my beads. I just want to say 'Thank You' to all of my wonderful bead-buyers for your continued custom. It enables me to keep doing what I love and for that I am extremely grateful. So great big thanks to you all.

Thank you also to all the people who've booked beadmaking lessons. It'll be great to meet all of you and I'm sure we'll have an absolute blast of a glass-melting day! There are only four lessons left so if you're interested in spending a day of beadmaking fun with yours truly please email me for available dates.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

'Festive Glow' Luminobeads

Etched Lampwork BeadsWell, they look festive to me. I really like non-traditional Christmas colours like these. Amber, dark green and plum. Rich and warm.