Friday 25 March 2016

Randy doves, pink glitter, pasta and beads

Water droplet on a collared dove feather

I've had one of those weeks that never really gets going. Do you know what I mean? You start off on a Monday feeling ready to take on the world but all of a sudden it's Friday and you've not got much to show for it.

So what did I do with my week?

Well, amongst the whole not-feeling-very-beadish, I took a couple of photos. The one at the top of this post is a water droplet on a collared dove feather. We get so many collared doves in the garden and right now they are at peak randy. The man doves spend a large amount of their day doing that groovy, bob-up-and-down "Hello, lady dove, fancy a snog?" dance that they do. The lady doves never seem particularly interested, though, and when they do eventually go "Oh, alright Steve, just get on with it" there is much flappy wing flapping. This feather was left behind on the grass after said sexytime flappery.

Whilst I was grovelling about the place picking up feathers, I also took this photo of a daisy. Daisies are such simple flowers but they're just so lovely.


I'm into painting my nails at the moment. I go through phases of this. I cannot bear it when it gets chipped so I change it up quite often. At the weekend I got this bottle of Barry M glitter polish. I'm not usually a bright pink and glittery kind of person but something about this nail varnish made me go "Ooooh!" so I had to have it.

Glitter nail polish (Barry M 'Socialite', if you're interested)

I think that's the thing I like about nail varnish. I don't wear very bright colours clothes-wise because I have zero fashion sense and I'm always worried I'll end up going full Timmy Mallett, but nails are a way to go a little bit colour crazy on a very small scale.

All three of those photos were taken with my iPhone and OlloClip. You can see more of my photos over on my iPhoneography Tumblr.

I did make beads this week, just not very many. I did a set of Luminobeads called 'Green Smoke' and these have been tumble-etched.

Tumble-etched lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

I finished them off with a light application of an olive oil and beeswax mixture to really bring out their soft 'glow'. This will eventually wear off but will be replenished by the natural oils of hands and skin during handling, or when the beads are worn.

As I type, 'Green Smoke' are still available to buy. There are also some bargains to be had in my SALE section.

I taught someone how to make beads this week. Kelly was a total beginner and she did so well. Just look at her beads.

Kelly's first ever lampwork beads

I always say to beginner beadmakers that if they leave my shed having made a reasonably round bead with ends that won't injure anyone, then they'll have done really well. Kelly went beyond that and made some really lovely round frit beads and she even did some plunged bubble-dots. Top stuff!

If you'd like to come and learn how to make beads with me, I'm still taking bookings for one-to-one tuition in my shed here in Cambridge. There are only four places left on my two day course at MangoBeads in Devon in July so if you fancy that one, you'd best book a place; you can secure one with a £50.00 deposit.

I finished off the week with some nugget beads. These were made with a Vetrofond odd lot called 'Smoke Rings'. It's a filigrano - very pale amber-brown with an ivory core. I only had one rod of this now very rare glass, so this eight bead set is a one-off. These 'Wisp' Nuggets will be in my shop tonight.

Lampwork glass nugget beads made with Vetrofond 'Smoke Rings'

Boy George is currently tumbling some more beads so I'll pop back and post a photo of the results later today.

Oh, I know - food highlight of the week - Chris and I cooked Antonio Carluccio's Penne Giardiniera, and my goodness it was so nice. We always have the Penne Giardiniera whenever we go to Carluccio's so being able to recreate it at home is a bonus. It was very quick to cook but seemed to use every cooking utensil, pot and pan we own, so washing up wasn't exactly fun-time central, but hey, it was worth it.

I think that's it. Not an awfully productive week beadwise, but sometimes my bead batteries go flat. I think they're recharging, though.

I was going to work today but it's a Bank Holiday and the sun is shining and the garden is a mess so I'm going to tidy it up. I've got some seeds to plant and some weeds to un-plant, so I reckon that's what I'll do with my day.

Have a Good Friday! (See what I did there?)


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