Saturday, 21 May 2016

The one with all the photos

Lampwork glass beads decorated with stringer, by Laura Sparling

Oh knickers! That's a big gap to have left betwixt blog posts. I shan't try and fill you in on everything that's happened between then and now as that would be highly boring for both of us, so I'll just skip through some highlights using the medium of photo-plus-caption. Ready? Here we go...

Curled gift wrap ribbon
Chris had a birthday that made his age start with a '4'

Pink flower, taken with my iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens
Chris' family came down to visit and we took a trip to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden where we saw this beautiful pinkus flowerus. (I didn't catch its actual name so I just made that one up but I can totally imagine Monty Don saying it on Gardeners' World.)

Green tendril, taken with my iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens
It was a very warm day and the greenhouses were mighty hot. See how this tendril dangles and curls.

Jade Vine at Cambridge University Botanic Garden
This crazy-beautiful Jade Vine looks like something out of Avatar

Close-up of the Jade Vine, taken with my iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens
Jade Vine close-up. Definitely a match for Effetre Light Turquoise 232.

Lampwork glass bee beads by Laura Sparling
I finished up the last of the Bumblebead orders. Are they whooping for joy, whistling, or horrified at the bead cleaning process they'd just endured? You decide.

Lampwork glass gravity swirl beads by Laura Sparling
Finishing bee beads meant I could faff about so I made Whirly-Go-Rounds with a finer 'whirl' than usual

Stringer for decorating lampwork glass beads
And then I entered my bead happy place and pulled a load of white stringer and made 'Rococo' beads that I'd not made for eight years

Lampwork glass beads decorated with stringer, by Laura Sparling
I offered the option of tumble-etching on the 'Rococo' beads and everyone opted for it. Behold their satin silkiness.

Lampwork glass beads decorated with stringer, by Laura Sparling
When I made this set I 'designed' them to be etched, layering two transparent shades to achieve a pretty 'glow'

Spotty lampwork glass lentil beads by Laura Sparling
After the 'Rococo' beads were done I had a desk full of stringer scraps, so I used it for spots on little lentils made in one of my favourite glasses - CiM Sepia Unique 2

Lampwork glass lentil beads decorated with spots, by Laura Sparling
I still had a load of stringer bits left so I made more spotty lentils, this time in glorious transparent red

And that, dear patient person reading this, brings you up to date with my goings-on.

The Cambridge University Botanic Garden really is great and I'll definitely be going back there soon. It's so relaxing and it makes you feel like you're a million miles away from the bustle of the town centre. (I sound like Judith Chalmers.) (I've just Googled Judith Chalmers to find out if she's still alive. She is and she's eighty, you know. Go Judith!)

If you'd like to see more of the flower photos I took at the Botanic Garden, you can see them on my personal Instagram feed.

Stuff is also happening in my own garden. Things are growing, especially daisies and dandelions, but I don't mind them. I hate that weeds have a bad name. They're lovely little things and the bees seem to like them, especially the dandelions.

Dandelion clock, taken with my iPhone 6s and Olloclip lens
Dandelion clock, taken with my iPhone 6s and Olloclip macro lens

I've got some strawberry plants that have appeared too. I'm assuming a bird 'planted' them via the act of plappage (yes, I mean poo) as they are down by the fence and I definitely didn't plant them. Cheers, bird! I'm growing chillies, munchkin pumpkins, micro sunflowers and catnip in a little plastic greenhouse and they're all coming along nicely. Maybe I'll do a garden-based blog post. That won't be at all boring for you, will it?

I'm off to make beads now, I've still got a bazillion scraps of white stringer to use up. Will I use them or will I bin them? We shall see... 

If you like the spotty red lentils, I have four pairs of them left in my shop. They're £4.00 a pair and if satin-finish glass is your bag I can etch them for you at no extra cost. I've also reduced the price of all remaining jewellery so you might be able to grab yourself a wearable glass bargain.

For full details of all glasses used for the beads in this post, please have a look at my Tumblr.

Have a super duper Saturday!


Aimee Moisa said...

Great post, welcome back! I love all the plant pictures. Is that Jade Vine a variety of lotus? I have a lotus with flowers shaped just like those turquoise beauties but totally different colors. I'll share a picture on instagram to show you.

Laura Sparling said...

Hi Aimee. No, I don't think it is. Wikipedia says its related to the pea and bean family. Apparently it's pollinated by bats, who hang upside down to get at the nectar.

Maria said...

Always such prettiness! Congratulate Chris on his '4 start' birthday. Don't you love nature's freebies of goodies to eat, I love bird dropping presents.

Laura Sparling said...

I will pass that on to him, Maria. And yes, I like it when the birds do the gardening. :-)