Wednesday 30 December 2009

Knitted Produce

Hand Knitted Lace ScarfHello there! I hope you had a great Christmas?

I've not been making any beads (as I'm having some Christmassy time off!) so I thought I'd do a look-at-my-knitted-produce post. These were all given as Christmas presents to various people, hence why I couldn't blog them before now.

The scarf at the top of the post was a pressie for Chris's Mum and was knitted in fine two ply yarn in a wonderful pink-red-purple kind of colour. The pattern is 'Butternut' by Anne Hanson which is available

Hand Knitted SocksThe 'Lizard' socks above were knitted for my uncle's wife, who is also confusingly called Chris. I designed these ones myself.

Then next there is a pink and glittery scarf that I knitted for my friend Helen who loves all things pink. The pattern I used for this was 'Scrunchable Scarf' by Susan McConne and it can be found

Hand Knitted ScarfAnd lastly a scarf that I made for my friend Cheryl. It's knitted in Japanese Noro yarn which ranges from purple, through green and blue to grey and black. The pattern I used for this one was 'One Skein - A Stole!' by Katja Jordan and it's available on Ravelry as a free download.

Hand Knitted ScarfNot a massive amount of Christmassy knitting but a whole load of work nonetheless.

Oh and many many thanks for all your lovely congratulatory emails and comments re The Engagement. It's just about starting to sink in now .....

Tuesday 22 December 2009


I've got some news.

The newsworthy event took place on Sunday but my mind's been all of a whirl ever since and I knew I'd have to blog it and this might sound a little bit silly but I didn't quite know how to say it.

It hasn't really sunk in yet.

I'm just going to come out with it and tell you .....


Chris proposed to me on Sunday morning and I said yes!

Nope. Writing it down still doesn't make it feel any more real. It feels like some kind of lovely magical dream.

So that's made my Christmas ..... and then some.

This will probably be my last post before Christmas as I'm off up to Manchester to spend it with my fiancé (yes, fiancé) and his family so I wish you all a very Happy Christmas. Eat much turkey (or nut-roast if you're a Veggie), lots of chocolate and many Twiglets. Have a good'un!

Sunday 20 December 2009


December Prize Draw WinnerWell, the Lego Engineer didn't get round to making the Mark 2 Lego Tombola so I had to do the old-fashioned, non-technical names mixed up in a bowl thing and the winner of the December Prize Draw is Celeste. Well done to you, Celeste! Please email me and we'll sort out some glass melting fun for the New Year.

Big huge thanks to all who entered the draw. I really had no idea that so many of you would think that spending time with me and my glass was a good prize!

There will be another draw in January so do check back, bookmark my blog or add yourself as a follower to stay updated .....

Saturday 19 December 2009

'Roly Mo' Socks

Hand Knitted Striped SocksLast night I finished knitting a pair of socks made from a really groovy striped yarn. The purple and green stripes remind me of Roly Mo, the similarly-striped storytelling mole from The Fimbles. Please click here if you're wondering what I'm on about .....

I bought the yarn from Sunnyside Ellen on Etsy and it's really nice stuff to knit with. The colours are very vibrant, more so than in the photo. I had to take my sock pictures in the warm comfort of the lounge today as the stone floor in the conservatory was way too chilly to be grovelling around on. Brrrrr! Please click here to visit Ellen's Etsy shop and click here to visit her blog.

I think that's about all from me at the moment. I settled down to make beads yesterday only to find that the glass I wanted to use was totally unusable but I'm not going to rant about it. Instead I shall take a deep breath and move on. Seeing as the next few days are going to be stupidly busy for me I don't think that there will be any more beads this side of Christmas. Oh, and don't forget that you've only got a couple more days to enter the prize draw. I'm drawing the winner on Sunday night and to be honest, I don't think it's going to be from the Lego Tombola. I have so many entries that the slips of paper won't tumble about as they should. I'm going to ask Dad Lego Engineer to see if he can build a bigger, mark two version so we shall wait and see .....

Wednesday 16 December 2009

A Bit Of Glimmer

Lampwork Glass BeadsI've been playing about with fine silver and I've made some more 'Storm Cloud' beads (always popular) and some similar to them but with a dark treacle-coloured base. Yum!

These will be for sale on my website tonight at 8.30pm (UK time).

Sunday 13 December 2009

Mince Pies

Homemade Mince PiesI got up early this morning (because it's that time of year when you just need to make the days as long as you can) to bake some mince pies.

A few weeks back I made some mincemeat and jarred it all up ready for the mince pie making so all I had to do this morning was whip up a bit of pastry and voila - yumma, 100% homemade mince pies! I've just had one warm from the oven with a cup of tea and I have to say they are a little bit nice.

If you're planning to make mince pies, give the homemade mince meat thing a go. It's dead simple, makes the kitchen smell unbelievably festive and tastes so much nicer than the shop-bought stuff.

Homemade MincemeatI used Delia Smith's recipe which can be found here and I stored mine in those lovely old-fashioned preserving jars with the metal clippy fasteners. I gave a jar to my sister Sally and I think she got more excited about the jar than she did about its contents!

If you click on the picture at the top of the post it'll open a desktop-wallpaper-sized image. If you like, right click the image and select 'Set As Background' and you can have Christmassy mince pies decorating your monitor screen!

Saturday 12 December 2009

December Prize Draw

Beads By Laura HQI've got a bit of a different prize for you this month. As it's the end of the year and I'm feeling (a little bit) festive I thought I'd make the prize a good'un and offer one of you the chance to come and melt glass with me in the New Year.

So if you've always fancied having a go at making beads, or if you already do and you would like to come and learn some new glassy things with me then leave a comment on this post or zap me an email and I will put everyone's names in the Lego Tombola for a chance to win.

The beadmaking session will be a five hour one (normally £130.00) and the resulting winner and I will organise a suitable date for next year.

I will draw the winner on Sunday 20th December.

Now, the draw is open to anyone anywhere BUT if you're not in the UK then I must stress that I am not going to pay for anyone's hotels, flights, ferries or other means of travel so please only enter the prize draw if you're up for travelling to me in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

Thank you and good luck!

Thursday 10 December 2009

I am working, honest!

Cupcake Beads & FindingsI may well be quiet on the bead and blog front but rest assured I'm busy working. I've caught up with all my Cupcake orders which means I am now free to make my 'normal' beads. The batch of cakes in the (very grainy) photograph above have all been made into pendants and dangles and are now winging their way to their new homes.

I should have some new beads for sale on Monday or maybe Tuesday next week .....

Tuesday 8 December 2009

The Red Shoes

The Red ShoesI first saw this pair of shoes while I was out shopping with Nicky a few weekends ago and I wasn't able to get their loveliness out of my head. I'm very wary of pretty lady shoes (I live in Cons) as I'm a size seven and am not the daintiest of people. I've never been able to wear a pair of high heels for longer than an hour without moaning about my feet aching or without developing painful ball-of-the-foot blisters. So when I saw these glorious red patent shoes in Schuh I immediately dismissed the idea that they would ever be mine.

Whenever I've bought lady shoes in the past I've always needed to buy them in a size eight (and once in a nine) as my feet are quite wide so for a comfy-as-possible fit I go for the next size up. The thing is, not many places stock size eights and above. It's normally a case of 'We can order them in for you' but to be honest you want to try the shoes on before you pay for them and you want to try them on there. In the shop. Plea to shoe shops - please carry size eights and above. Most of you have them in storage somewhere but please don't be feetist against the larger footed ladies!

Anyway, after spending too much of my life thinking about The Red Shoes, last week I Googled about and discovered that they are available in red, black and navy blue but they only go up to size sevens in the red. I nearly ordered them online but I wanted to make sure that a seven would fit. So at the weekend I dragged Chris into Schuh in Cambridge and showed him The Red Shoes. Sensibly he said that the black would be more practical and would go with more things. I reluctantly agreed, knowing that they didn't have an eight in the red anyway so I asked the sales assistant if I could try on a seven and an eight in the black.

About five minutes later she reappeared carrying a pair of the red ones and said to me 'We haven't got any sevens or eights in stock in the black but you could try these red sevens and if you like we can order the black ones in for you?' so that is what I did. I was wearing striped socks (very attractive while trying on lady shoes) and even with those on The Red Shoes fit me. I looked in the mirror and instantly fell in love with them. Chris gave me the thumbs up and the sales assistant nodded with a big grin on her face! It was like in the movies when the lady tries on the absolutely right wedding dress and everyone just knows it's perfect. Yes, it was like that but with shoes.

The Red ShoesAnd that was it. The Red Shoes were mine. And they're a size seven. And they don't have a high spindly heel but a slightly chunkier one instead so I shouldn't get blisters. I wore them on the walk home from town to Chris's (that's quite a walk) and only had minor, normal new shoe rubbage. They do up with satin ribbons which makes me think of tap shoes. I always wanted to do tap dancing as a kid but Mum said no as I think she knew that I only wanted to do it because of the shoes. But the best thing of all is, and you can't see this in the early morning light of the pictures, they have a very fine, subtle copper-coloured glitter in them which gives them a beautiful shimmer. Amazing!

Thursday 3 December 2009

'Blue Shimmer'

Lampwork Glass BeadsThese sparkly pretties have a new home now but I thought I'd post the photo anyway.

There'll be no new beads from me now until next week. Dad's back from his six week trip around Australia so I've got to get back into the swing of the Cambridge Commute as of tomorrow. Train knitting here I come ......

And talking of knitting I'm click-clacking away on my needles every spare minute I get. I have lots of stealth Christmas pressies completed and on the go that I can't show you pictures of because many of the recipients of said items read my blog. So be prepared for a post-Christmas knitting blogfest!

Wednesday 2 December 2009

'Purple Prettiness'

Lampwork Glass BeadsThese lovelies will be for sale on my website at 8.30pm (UK time) tomorrow night.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Christmas Cupcake Deadline

Lampwork Glass Cupcake BeadsI thought I'd write a little post to remind you about my Cupcake deadline. If you would like to order Cupcake beads, pendants or dangles and you're going to need them in time for Christmas then please place your order by 10.00am (UK time) on December 5th because I can't guarantee that anything ordered after that date will be made and delivered in time for the holidays.

Thank you!

For Robyn

Lampwork Glass Heart Bead NecklaceWhen Robyn saw my heart necklace a couple of months back, she asked me to make one for her. I don't normally do commissions but when my five year old niece looked at me with her beautiful big brown eyes and asked 'Can I have a see-through blue heart with purple spots please, Auntie Laura?' how could I possibly have said no?!