Tuesday 26 January 2010

Springtime Tiara

At the moment, I am teaching Jewellery & Beadwork skills to two Duke Of Edinburgh Award students.

The course, which I devised, is for 12 weeks, and covers most of the more popular jewellery and beading techniques.

This week we made Tiaras :)

While the girls made pretty, almost bridal, pearl and crystal tiaras, I decided to plunge into my huge box of Bead Soup mix and just pull out a single bead to kick of my inspiration.

The result was a fabulous Polymer Clay Daffofil made by the very talented Elise Canning, I then dug out some complimenting beads in the same colourway and set to work :)

Just a bit of fun, hope you like it.

Thursday 14 January 2010

Beaded Butterflies

Crystal Lace Necklace Patterns - Sandra D Halpenny - I have had this book for quite a while now, but not really looked at it. but I wanted to make my Mum 'something different' for Christmas so I dug it out of the bookcase.

Since then I have been addicted to Sandra's designs, especially these butterflies. The finished piece is so eye-catching and unusual.

The first one I made was the blues, I had a bag of mixed Crystals so I picked out different colours for each wing, although the pattern had the same colour crystals. I think using the different colours seems to give it a stained glass look.

Then I made the red one. I have run out of mixed crystals now, so the next one I make will have to be colour co-ordinated :)

Tuesday 12 January 2010

BBC Radio Cumbria

I was asked to provide a week of short blogs for Radio Cumbria. Five days with 150 words a day, just simply a snippet into my life.
On Sunday I went to record them in the studio in Carlisle, I have never been in a radio studio before so it was quite exciting, I managed to complete it in a couple of takes too :)

Monday found me curled up on the kitchen floor cringing in embarrassement, don't you just hate the sound of your own voice? I am sure that person who didn't finish the words off properly, and used slang, was not me !!!

In case you are interested and missed the programme, here is the blog I wrote:

I promised myself a day of glass play, and for once I got it, which is unusual as I am usually side-tracked by work, friends, teenage children needing a taxi and various other things.
My project today was a stained glass panel, all in blues, with swirls, curves and nuggets. Designed to hang in a window to catch the sunshine for extra sparkle.
I have been glass working for a few years now, fusing, melting, cutting, painting, but Stained Glass is a new style for me, and this was just my 2nd piece.
I start by cutting the glass, then grinding it, adding copper foil to the edges, and soldering it all together. It is time consuming, but very satisfying, I just wish I had more hours in the day, or even more days in the week.

For a while I have been planning to take photographs of Talking Tarn for inspiration to use in my glasswork. Ideally I needed the four seasons, so when the snow made an appearance this week I jumped in the car and got myself up there with my camera.
It was splendid, the Tarn was frozen, except for a little patch in the centre that the ducks were taking advantage of, and there was a layer of crisp white snow everywhere. It was difficult to see where the path ended and the iced Tarn began.
The view was monochrome, breathtaking and so so still. It was almost disappointing to turn around and see the coloured covers of the docked sailing boats on the shore.
On leaving the car park the sky exploded into an amazing hue of oranges and red, the sun was setting and the sky was on fire.

Work - - - always busy on a Monday. When you are self-employed, and your business premises is attached to your home, it takes a lot of self-control not to nip out and catch up on the emails. Instead I torture myself by watching them mount up , I try not allow myself to switch on the computer but I just can’t help checking from my mobile phone.
Technology, a must for an online business like mine, but sometimes I despise being tied to the computer, it is like a ball and chain. It gives me a tiny snippet of information, bait, and then it reels me in. The long walk in the Lakes, the phoning and meeting up with friends, the gardening – it all gets forgotten when the computer calls.
In 2010 I vow to spend less time with the computer and gain some real life back.

Snow, why does it arouse such excitement I wonder. It’s cold, damp, slippy, and you never can tell just what is underneath the big handful you have just scooped up ready to form into a missile. Yes, even at 41 I still get the urge to throw a snowball, although these days I only throw one and remember how long it used to take to thaw out frozen fingers.
I also remember sitting in school with my coat on, shivering. The classroom door would be left open as one teacher supervised three or four classes as the other teachers had not made it in. I can never remember school being closed, or being sent home.
Today I am the proud owner of a large igloo type building in my back garden, built by my 19 yr old son, see? You’re never too old for snow.

Knitting is back in trend, lots of people I know have picked up the knitting needles again, myself included.
How soon you forget though, the sore fingers from pushing the knitting needle through. I believe this is why there are two rows in regular knitting – knit row and a purl row. The knit row hurts your index finger, which you allow to recover while you do the purl row which hurts your thumb. Or perhaps I am doing it wrong.
I decided on a baggy cardi, I started with the back panel, as this is usually the bit I get bored with and leave unfinished to re-discover years later. I have an added push this time though, a friend stated that I would never complete it, she knows me too well, but my competitive nature has taken this as an insult, and so the challenge is set.

Saturday 2 January 2010

Stained Glass Wall Hanging

Following on from my Stained Glass course with Mo Wallis way back in November, I came home and ordered all the equipment and gadgets that I needed to have a go myself.

Until this week it has sat in a box unpacked, but I decided I should really have a go while I can still recall what to do.

A wall hanging, I decided.

I love waves and circles as opposed to straight lines and right angles, so I drew a random pattern on a piece of paper, blobs and rounds, and curves.

To add texture to the piece I decided to fuse some glass to make nuggets, this would make the finished hanging a little more 3D I thought. Then I cut glass, grinded (ground?) the edges and got showered in millions of glass splinters. On trying to pull one out of my hair I managed to cut a chunk of hair out !! A bandana is needed next time I think, or perhaps a baseball cap.

I still need to work hard practising my soldering skills, it's all a little too rough for my liking, but hopefully it will improve with time.

This piece is just slightly smaller than A4, and I think I will gift it to my Godparents, who I am visiting tonight after too many years of not being in touch.