Saturday 30 April 2016

Beads and stuff and more stuff

Lampwork glass 'Bumblebead' beads by Laura Sparling

This week has mainly been about the Return of the Bumblebeads. I hadn't made any for a while because the CiM Hollandaise glass I used to use for them is now pretty much extinct. This new wave of Bumblebeads are made in CiM Goldenrod.

Creation is Messy 'Goldenrod'

I've made the Bumblebeads available to order for a short time. They're £5.00 each and can be purchased here.

Speaking of extinct glass, remember I mentioned I was recently given the gift of some assorted glass? Well, some of that was Z-99 Purple Rose Special - a rare, beautiful, no-longer-produced glass by Zimmerman. I did a bit of a Google and discovered that it's highly sought-after (I know, I'm a very lucky beadmaker) and I also realised that I've had a jar of it as frit sat in my drawer for about a decade.

Zimmerman Z-99 Purple Rose Special glass rods and frit

See? This is what I get for being a bead hermit and not interacting with other lampworkers. If I did, I'd have known about this sooner. I'm working on that, by the way. I've joined a few Facebook lampwork groups and am being more 'social' which is something that I struggle with. But anyway, yes, I had a play with my Z-99 frit and some Effetre Opal Yellow and made these 'Painted Sunset' beads.

Lampwork glass Z-99 and Opal Yellow beads by Laura Sparling

A friend told me these remind her of Edvard Munch's The Scream. These have sold already but I will be making more, both for my Edvard-loving friend and for sale, so keep an eye out for some next week.

In non-beady news, my garden is starting to do stuff. Seeds are sprouting and there are tiny green leaves appearing in pots and tubs. I think I might have planted the world's slowest-growing tulip bulbs but they've finally flowered this week.

Tulip, taken with my iPhone and Olloclip macro lens
Tulip from the Sarah Raven 'Brandy Snap' collection

Food-wise this week, I have rediscovered the joy that is sardines on toast. Simple pleasures. Whenever Mum used to make herself sardines on toast she'd always do an extra slice because she knew I'd be there, hovering around unable to resist the toasted fish deliciousness.

Sardines on toast

I've been pescatarian/pescetarian (choose whichever spelling you prefer) since October last year. This is mainly for health reasons - I have one large gallstone that measures about an inch in diameter. I call him Trevor (as in Trevor Bolder, as in Spiders From Mars, as in 'boulder', as in large rock) and it would appear that I've had him for many many years. Because I have just the one stone my gallbladder only really plays up if I overdo the saturated fat, so Trevor keeps me in check diet-wise. I could have my gallbladder removed but I've not had an attack since September and I don't really want surgery (and I know it's a doddle of an operation, but still, I'd like to avoid surgery if I can) so for the time being I'm happy to control it with diet. Cutting out all meat except fish has really helped and I'm totally surprised to find that I'm not missing meat in the slightest and no, not even bacon. I can't eat eggs, though. Eggs are Trevor's nemesis. They're okay if they're in something, but pure egg, or an egg-centric dish like quiche, is out. Oh, the pain! I'm fully aware that I've become the annoying person who people dread feeding but seeing as how I hardly ever eat at anyone else's house, it's not really a problem. I don't do meat substitutes, though. Quorn and fake meats can do one. I don't understand the logic behind that stuff in the slightest.

Television-wise, oh my word, did you see the Line of Duty finale? Blimey me. I flipping love that show and I will miss its drama and twists and turns on Thursday nights.

(Photo via

Ted Hastings needs his own show, Steve Arnott is so good at being not-Scottish, Kate Fleming is my new ladyhero and I think I might fancy Matthew 'Dot' Cottan. If you've never seen Line of Duty, go back and watch all three series and enjoy.

After Thursday night's police telly drama, Chris and I went to a midnight screening of Captain America: Civil War. It was SO good! We saw it in 3D, which I'm normally underwhelmed by, but the 3D-ness of this film was spectacular.

#TeamIronMan. Obvs.

Right, after all that waffle I'm off to pack up some beads for posting. Have a great weekend, and fellow British people, if you have Monday off work, enjoy this extended weekend. Right now the sun is shining but seeing as we've had all the weather flavours this week, including snow, who knows what this weekend has in store for us?

Have a good'un!


  1. I saw your "scream" beads on Facebook and absolutely ADORE the colours in them, some of my favourites!

    Hope you Trevor behaves himself... I'm now craving sardines on toast, might have to pick some up this weekend.


    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    1. Trevor is fine at the minute, thank you. And yes, get some sardines!

      Have a good weekend.

      Laura x

  2. I haven't watched any Line of Duty, yes I know I have had my wrists slapped by friends and I will start watching. Have watched any of the Peaky Blinders series? If not I would recommend it for your Thursday night viewing.
    As for sardines on toast, yum yum yum.

    1. Hi Yvette

      No, not seen any Peaky Blinders. Always struck me as not-my-kind-of-thing but might check it out. Ta!

      Laura x


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