Tuesday 24 July 2012


I have some news to share with you.  I have a new job!

Yep, you read correctly, I have a new job.  At Hobbycraft.  What could be more perfect for a crafter?

I wasn't even aware that I was looking for a job, I know that sounds a bit daft, but driving past an empty store in Carlisle, I noticed that there was a Hobbycraft sign outside.  I could hardly contain my excitement on the way home....Carlisle, getting a Hobbycraft!  Whoop.

Whenever we go anywhere in the UK, I find myself Googling, finding and visiting the nearest HC,  there is always something 'new' to try in there. Last time I bought resin, still not used it but plan to...

Anyway, I digress. So I went on the HC website to see when the shop was to open, and found the 'jobs' link.  Light bulb moment, I could happily work there, I thought, so I filled in the online application, ended up being invited for an interview and, much to my delight, was offered a job.

I will be just working a couple of 4 hour shifts a week, which is perfect for me with all the other stuff I do.  The Bead Shed has been quite quiet since the Royal Mail price increases, so it will be a nice change to be out, mixing with other people, and getting paid for the pleasure  :)

If you are local to Carlisle, check out the Hobbycraft website, they are offering a free gift to the first 100 people through the door on Saturday 8th Sept.  You might be a lucky one.

If you see me there, come up and say ' Hi'  :)

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Implosion Beads

One of the skills I learnt on the Marble Class was how to do implosions.  Now I have touched on these once before .... way way back in February 2009 when I had a class with Laura Sparling.  I didn't practise the skill once home as I was concentrating on encasing, which is what I really wanted to learn to do way back then.

In the marble class we did an implosion within a marble design. My interest in them was reignited, so once home I sat down at the torch to play...

Implosion beads are not for the impatient. You have to, very slowly, allow the glass to drop which drags the 'petals' down. There is a lot of practising required to get them anywhere near decent, never mind perfect.

First I tried some regular sized beads, but I was unhappy with how the glass didn't have enough room to make the pattern drag properly.

I felt the beads needed to be bigger to get a good effect, so I made some teardrop shaped ones.  I was quite pleased with these - a long way to go, but a good start.

This one was a double imlposion, I did a teardrop first, then added more glass and imploded it the opposite way, then shaped it into a barrel.

Now, if you want to see some perfect (and I mean PERFECT) implosions within marbles, check out this page.

Monday 9 July 2012

A free knitted scarf pattern.

I often sign up for newsletters on craft sites.  I don't always read all the newsletters, but last weekend the word "FREE" caught my eye..... as it does  :)

It was a free knitting pattern for a scarf.  Nothing unusual there really, a scarf is one of those things that most people will knit at some point (presuming they knit of course).  But this one just had something about it that I liked.

I go walking in the Lakes and Fells quite a bit, and a scarf is a bulky thing to have, although warm and useful they can be a bit cumbersome.  If it's too long it gets caught up in everything, if it is too short then it keep falling off.  What I liked about this pattern, that it was a short scarf with a way of keeping it in place - genius!  Why didn't I think of this?

So, as I was going away that weekend, I grabbed some needles and a couple of balls of wool out of the huge stash I have and took it with me.  Alas, I had only done 4" of work when I realised I would need some stitch holders (which were 4 hours away at home).  It was the weekend we had gone to Bridlington for the Tuffnell Glass Marble Class. My parents had blagged a lift with us so they could have the weekend by the sea-side, so on the saturday I sent my mother out on a mission to find me some stitch holders.  Within an hour she had them, from a charity shop at the princely price of 20p each  :)

There was a small error in the pattern I noticed (just stitch counts) but I just ignored it and it worked fine.

(Had a little doodle on this photo to show you how it works)

It is so cosy warm, and sits beautifully on the neck.

I have checked the newsletter and I can 'forward to a friend', so if you would like a copy give me a yell and I will send it onto you.

Friday 6 July 2012

Making Marbles at Tuffnell Glass.

Last weekend, the Hubster and myself had booked ourselves on a Marble making course at Tuffnell Glass.

So, on the friday evening, after work, we set off from home and drove for 3.5 hours to Bridlington, where we had booked a little seaside B&B.

Saturday, we arrived at Tuffnell House headquarters where the marble class was being held.

Our tutor was Jan Rigden-Clay, lovely lady and very very talented. 

I had previously met Jan, having been on a course with her at the Flame Off, with Pati Walton.   
Here are some of Jan's own marbles.

So, saturday, we learnt to make marbles, or rather I did.  Andrew can already make a decent marble, but he wanted to learn some different techniques.  I had only made a couple of really bad ones before in soft glass, the glass we were using on this course was Boro.  It works a little differently and I struggled a bit to start with.

I was getting so cross with myself for producing such badly shaped marbles.

The first one was just a two colour marble, to learn how to form the nice round shape.

Second, we did a vortex marble, with frit.  It is like looking into a deep pool.

The final one of the first day was a "wig-wag" marble.

Sunday was a bit better, I must have had my marble head on as I seemed to be getting the hang of it.

The first one of this day was a "Fireworks" marble, with a deep depth of dichroic glass inside.

This is the back of the same marble.

Another frit vortex marble.

And an implosion marble, I enjoyed making this one and seeing how it turned out.

Definately something I plan to continue, I really enjoyed making them.  Even though each marble can take 1 - 1.5 hours to make!