Thursday, 20 January 2011

I've even impressed myself today !!!

I slept REALLY badly last night .. only just managing about 3 hours of sleep ... so waking this morning was far from a joyous occasion, lol.

I did, however, have a lovely morning catching up with my friend, Hannah .. I hadn't seen her for what felt like AGES, so it was lovely to catch up :)

I bought a bead mag today too .... I'm not really what you'd call a trendsetter with my beads, but I like to stay up to date with that's up and coming, just in case it's something I actually like.

I also bought a notepad and pen too ... this year is going to be a busy one for me ... and if things go to plan, it will be a big year, work-wise too ... so I thought it best to start keeping a running journal / scribbles book, to try and keep up with everything.

I also took a very brave step yesterday too ... I won't know until the end of January ( I think ), but I have registered an interest for a table at the Stourbridge bead fair this August. Last year's exhibitors are usually given first refusal, but then the list is opened up to others, such as me ... so please wish me luck !

And now to the reason I am impressed with myself today .... I've been making a few hearts just lately ... yeh yeh .. I know ... but a heart isn't just for Valentines Day, is it !

But today I decided to make a funky set of little hearts .... I don't own a heart press, so I figured I'd give it a go and see what they looked like when they're done ......

They were all made one at a time ... I had no other bead to gauge them by as I was making them .... and they are all ( pretty much ) the same size and proportion !!!!

I have never managed to make a set like this before ... there are always odd sizes, so I usually sell them as 'graduated' sets of beads .. but nope, not these !!!!!!

I can't wait to clean and dress them tomorrow .. they are rather cute ... not all I need is for someone to agree and buy them !!!

Anyway .. enough rambling from me for this evening ... I hope for a productive day at the torch tomorrow ... I have a whole day of portraits on the books ... eek !

Lets hope I get more sleep tonight than I did last night eh ....

Night Night

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Can't sleep .....

I ate a cookie ... NOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo

Public Transport REAAAALLLYYYY stinks !

Today is a happy day  ..... I paid the mortgage with beads  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
OK ... well not literally, but yep ... for the first time ever, I made enough bead sales this month to cover my mortgage !!!!!
*happy dance*

I had a great day today ... went into town to post stuff ... enjoyed (well almost enjoyed) a SKINNY latte .... yep, I started a diet yesterday ...
Well .. not so much a calorie counting effort, as a better eating plan ... day 2 ( today) wasn't too bad until Mum dropped the kids off this evening .... she bought some choc brownies with her ... home baked and all .... so yeh .... my bad ... I've eaten one  ::)

Only one though ... and well, she does only bring then round once a week .... I did refuse cheesecake last night .. and the whipped cream and cake I usually have in Costa, so it's not all bad :)

I have made some beads today .... but as a pat on the back, I let myself take it a bit easier this afternoon, so haven't made as many as usual .... I did make some hearts though ... although I had forgotten how badly I scorch opaque red ... so that ones' for the bin :P

Am off into town tomorrow to catch up with a lovely friend of mine ... so tomorrow will be a short work day too ... ahh well ... I shall just have to make up for it later on :)

I'm off to make a cuppa and wait for the Etsy chat room to open up now ... so enjoy your evening :) Catch you tomorrow xx

Oh and by the way .... the bus home smelled of wee today ..... just wanted to share ;)

Should you feel the need to discuss the total wrong-ness of a low fat latte, or the state of our public transport, then just post a comment below ;)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Soooo busy and tired

How's everyone doing ?

I am soooooo tired !
This working for yourself lark is knackering ! Well it is when you're the only one in the house who's working ... I'm not sure if it's the pressure I'm feeling or just the fact that my days are so busy, but I am just plain pooped and ready for bed already !

Up at 6 ish ... out by 8am ... back in by 9 ... then it's emails, bead cleaning, photographing, image prep ... then there's the endless networking you have to do to get your work seen by potential buyers .... coffee break then it's of to the torch ..... worked till the kids came home, then it's dishes, cleaning the kitchen floor ... then the laundry.... then I sit by the fire place for an hour or so burning all the rubbish we can't get rid of ....  sit down for a bit then it's time to cook dinner ( we had hot dogs today cos I couldn't be bothered)

Where does the day go ?

I really don't understand this fabled equality ... it confuses me so !

When my partner was working, I did it all .... and fitted as many work hours in as I could .... so why, when I am the only worker, do I have 'help' with the jobs ?? I did them all myself when it was the other way around ? so why do I need to do them, but with a bit of help ??

And I don't understand all of this "oh it's a man thing" either .... people are people ... jobs are jobs ... so why the inequality I ask you ?

Ahh well ... tired moan over with ... I have had a few really productive days at the torch, which is always good :)
I'm still getting portrait requests, which is fab ! Challenging, but fab :D I might moan, but I REALLY need the work right now !

I made my first attempt at a thimble monster yesterday ... unfortunately, he slipped off the mandrel ... DOH ! So he looks pretty sorry for himself now ... he's intact though, so the attempt wasn't a total loss :D

Yesterday morning was nice too ... Mum slipped me £30, instructing me to 'treat myself' .... so I did :D It took an hour of walking in and out of the shops, but I finally bought myself a real luxury ... a new handbag !!!!
Oh and I bought a cool jewellery stand in the sale too ... not for me, I don't really wear jewellery, but just in case I get the chance to sell anywhere this year :)

Here are my goodies ...

Hmm .. anything else interesting happened to me over the last day or two ?? Ummm...... nope .. don't think so ...

I made some nice beads though :)
You may have seen them in the show and tells, but for the benefit of those who haven't and for posterity on my blogspot site.. here are a few piccies :)

Well that's pretty much it for now ... I have some commission nugget sets to clean and etch after this ... oh and a lovely chunky set of crunch beads, all left shiny, in graduated amber shades ... oh and there is my first home attempt at Anouk's Angel Wing's technique .. it was going quite well until I accidentally squished it, so I now have a flat, off mandrel pendant ... it actually turned out better than I had hoped... will share pictures tomorrow :)

Well I hope you all enjoy the rest of your evening :) Catch you tomorrow with more day to day mumblings :)

Ta Tar x

Friday, 14 January 2011

Oh yessss !!! It's friday !!!!

Well it's been a fairly productive week for me ... how about you ?

Today's been busy too ... I had to get my new sets all cleaned, etched, photographed, etc .... I got there eventually, but it always seems to eat into my day ... Maybe I should start subbing the work out to someone else so that I can just get on and make beads ;D

I still can't believe how well my portraits are selling at the moment .. I feel blessed ! Although I still have to finish them off !

I have one that's all finished though .. here she is ..

I've spent more time at the computer than making beads today. I'd much rather be at the torch, truth be told, but at least I have got lots done.... there's just one other thing I want to share with you this evening ... I've started building my new site, to compliment my Etsy shop .... I hope Sooz doesn't mind me sharing the link ... I just want to show you all what I have been working on .. not plug my work.

Well here it is ... I still have some work to do on it though .. like a proper banner !

Drum roll .......... ;D

There ... my new dot com :)

I'm so glad it's Saturday tomorrow ... no silly 6am alarm clock ... the chance to nip into town and post some orders off, then an afternoon back at the torch :)

I hoe you all have a lovely day tomorrow ... speak soon xxx

I love, love LOVE my friend George !!!!

*squeals* !!!!

Look what my wonderfully talented friend made with one of my beads ...

To see more of MizGeorge's amazing talent with silver,  

Catch you later :)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Oh how one day can differ from another !!!

Meh ... yesterday turned out to be a pretty naff day for portraits ... but then I suppose we all have our up days and our not so up days .

Ironically, yesterday would have been the perfect beading day as my 2 youngest go to their Nan's straight from school for their tea..... and true to form, I couldn't make a single half decent portrait bead ... and then to add insult to injury, I ran out of one of my staple colours too, so I had to stop trying anyway.

Ahh well ... at least it gave me a good excuse to go and browse Tuffnells for some more glass :)

And then just to top off an already frustrating day .... I find that I have been taken to court by severn trent for unpaid water bills .... WHICH I HAVE BEEN PAYING OFF WITH MY WATERCARD !!!!!

So beading was definitely out by this point ... so I took my frustrations out on the kitchen instead ... I shall go to the CAB next week and get them to sort it out ... I just don'[t have the energy to deal with this kind of thing right now.

At least I managed to round my evening off nicely, chatting with my lovely friends in Etsy team chat .. so at least I went to bed in a much better mood :)

Today has been MUCH better :)

I have actually had a productive beading day today ... I made a few sets, a couple of heart try outs and I FINALLY made a portrait ready for sale ..... I'm surprised at just how much I am dictated to by my mood, when it comes to beading ... yesterday I couldn't make a single portrait ... and today ... well I only made 1 portrait as I had to wait on my glass delivery ( which turned up so soon !), but it's a good one, and hopefully I'll have my first happy portrait customer real soon .... I still have quite a few to make though, as I already have a really busy portrait list ... as they're so new, I'm still flying by the seat of my pants with these beads, so I have to do lots of test beads before the final bead is made .... I'm getting there with them now though, I think :)

Dad called round today too.... he usually does on a thursday and it's always nice to see him :)
Today though, he pinched one of my first portrait experiments to show one of his friends ... he'd better bring her back ... she's mine ! LOL
And I'm also really glad that I happened to get some bracelets out to show him, as he's decided to buy one of them for his wife's birthday ;D

So all in all it's been a good day :)

Even better, my OH had an interview with an agency today too ... they have a VERY low opinion of both the company he was working for AND the agency that supplies them... so with any luck, his recent experience won't count against him ... we just have to wait now I suppose, and he needs to keep looking too !

Things are slowly moving in the right direction I think ... I know things won't be back to normal over night, but I am feeling more positive about it now :)

He STILL needs training up in the 'doing stuff to help out' stakes though ... might give him a butt kick tomorrow and make him do the dishes, etc .... ;)

I have no piccies to share tonight, but will have tomorrow after much bead cleaning and etching :)
See you tomorrow then :) xx

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The start of a new love affair ??

quick catch up for today :D

Nipped into town .... which was nice :)
Nipped to Costa for a latte .... which was even nicer ;D

Came home and had a play with some DH Clio and Kalypso .... which was just FAB ! ;D

Here are today's results ... well the best of the bunch anyway :D

and my second ever big hole bead .. the shaping's a wee bit wonky though. I think I was scared that I'd burn the colour out if I carried on heating it ...

Oh and I finally got rid of a manky old armchair out of my kitchen this evening... I have a new corner to fill with new junk now ;D

There ... my day in a nutshell ... tomorrow is portrait day... I am SO looking forward to it :D

Night night xxx

Class day !

Well ... yesterday (Monday) ... what can I say but wow ! What a fantastic day it was !

To prevent any rambling because I am tired, I shall be brief ...

Di East is lovely .... Anouk is enchanting .... Di's studio is a fabulous place to visit... I got to catch up with Emma (Duck in a bucket) and Sal (Red Hot Sal) .... I even got to catch up with my friend Rozelle and her little un, Phoebe, cos they came to visit ;D

My skill with silver glass and off mandrel definitely leaves a lot to be desired, but I came away having learned some gorgeous techniques from Anouk, and also some great instruction on taming silver glass, which has ALWAYS been so elusive to me.

Oh and the cheesecake !!! I shall never forget the divine cheesecake that Di brought round from the local eaterie ... nom nom nom !

All in all, I had a fantastic day ... even though I spent most of it operating WAY out of my comfort zone .. but that's good. I've been working with glass for about 7 years now, and I am amazed at just how safe I have been in my own little bubble. I should try new things more often !

I really did mean to take photos from the class... but as per usual... I totally forgot I had my camera sitting right next to my torch... I didn't take a single one !

Di was lovely and even gave me a little bundle of rod ends of silver glasses to play with ... which I did today ... photo's to follow in today's post in a minute.... it'll be a short post though, as I am soooo tired :P

If you're still reading ... thank you :) x

Brighter days and beady progress !

Sunday was a much better day :)

I'd spent the previous couple of days feeling gutted that I may have to shelve the business, but after much butt kicking by my wonderful glassy friends, I thought No ! I won't go down !!!

So scary decision made ... even if I have to be the breadwinner, I am going to give it a shot !

Decision made, I started to make some test beads for a new Etsy service (suggested by a couple of fellow artists), offering portraits of people on beads :)

The one I tried just as a boredom bead has really started something !
I already have some commissions to be working on... and here .. let me share with you a couple of my test beads from sunday's session at the torch ..

If you've already seen them, then I shall apologise now for repeating myself ;)

For the first time in AGES, I am starting to feel positive about glass working again .. I can't tell you how good it feels :)

So at least I went to bed a lot happier on Sunday night :)

Stress makes blisters .. not beads ....

Time for a catch up I think :)

Sorry I've not updated daily over the weekend, but my head has just been swimming with so many things.

I shall attempt a catch up blog though :)

Saturday ....

I didn't really do much on Saturday :)
I managed to farm out my youngest all day, until Sunday, so that gave me some much needed peace and quiet :)

I did decide to try to use the time productively and make beads ... not a good idea ! I had a water pot full of broken rejects and a burn on my thumb .... the moral of this little tale ? NEVER lampwork when you are exausted (sp?) and stressed !

I cancelled my class with Anouk ... I figured that it was better to lose the £50 deposit than try to find the extra £100, and then worry about not managing to pay all the bills.

I did, however have a lovely ray of sunshine ... I shan't say who, but a mystery benefactor made it possible for me to go after all !
My heartfelt thanks go out to that person .. they really are very special !

So my Saturday ended on a more positive note than it began ...  I think I was in bed by 9.oo ... I was totally knackered !

Friday, 7 January 2011

Why does the shit ALWAYS hit the fan

hello again :)

I'm sorry I don't have any cheery things to say tonight ... trust it to all happen while I am to keep a blog eh ...

I'll be to the point .. it will save me getting wound up ...

Yesterday my partner  got the sack :(

I have no idea how soon he'll get another job .. it took forever to find this one

I have a mortgage to pay ... debts to pay off ... huge utility bills

kids to support

I only restarted my business 4 months ago when he found this job, and now he's lost it ...... I am gutted

My situation is this .... I either throw myself into this business and make it work ... or I shelve the business again and live on benefits until he finds another job

Either way I feel like I'll be shafted right now. The thought of giving up the business again ,makes me want to cry ... but then so does the prospect of trying ot support us all and failing ...

I am going to ( for now) at least give the business a go .. Thanks to the talking to I have had off many glassy friends .....  I think ... well I am going to see what happens with sales

I can't see a future today ... I feel sick most of the time and I really don't know when it'll get better

So there you have it .. I promised myself that I'd use this month's blog as a habit forming excercise, and I am going to .. no matter how high or low I feel ... or how good or bad the news might be

He is seeing someone at the job centre on monday, I will hopefully have something to build on after that.


Thursday, 6 January 2011

New designs ......

Helloo :)

I'm sorry I forgot to blog last night. I got waylayed in Etsy team chat until some ungodly hour ! I blame George and Kay ;)

I had a really productive kind of day yesterday, had lots of ideas and made something new, but today has been a really bad day, so I am going to cut tonight's blog short, so I don't get too hung up on negative stuff ... I am determined that I will have a more positive head on by tomorrow ... Promise ;)

For now I shall leave you with a couple of pictures from yesterday ...

and I shall remake better, cleaner versions of these real soon ... my mind's eye idea is kind of happening slowly :)

Catch you tomorrow :) Night night x

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Freedom and the odd bus crash .....

Woo what a day :)

The kids have had a lovely Christmas break this year, but boy am I glad they're back at school today !

I woke at a ridiculous hour this morning ... it must have been about 4.30 ish ... it was WAY before 5, I know that much ... anyway, 2 paracetomol and a strong coffee later had me feeling at least human, lol.
The thought that I'd soon be able to go into town with no kids in tow and enjoy a relaxing latte in Costa also helped ;)

By 20 past 6 I had finished cleaning and packaging beads, ready for the post office .. go me ! ;D

It was a fab, but cold morning today though ... I got a real surprise to see snow when I opened the door this morning ! I do love the snow ;D ..... of course, the kids had to tell me off for doing skids down the pavement ;D ;D ;D Weeeeeeee

In town I treated myself to a decent scalpel (for more poly clay play) from the craft shop .. oh it's the small things that keep me happy :P I browsed through so many books too, but nothing jumped out at me .. this tells me that I just need to stick to what I have going on now ... and also saved me a heap of money I can't really afford to spend, hehe :)

I was dying to get home and have a go with my new knife .... and guess what ... the bl**dy bus decides to hit a car on a junction .... damn fool driver !!!! Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but blimey ! The scraping noise was just awful !
We were there for ages on that freezing bus, waiting to see if our details needed taking ... but no, and we were on our way again.

Anyway ... long and short of it ... I finally have an appalling photo of my first clay experiments ;D
They really are nothing to write home about, but I managed to make a cane, which was fun, and I had a go at skinner blends too :D

It had gone dark when I took this picture, but I hoe it gives you a rough idea of where I am going with this ...

For first attempts, I am really pleased with myself, but I need bigger blocks of fimo really, I only have those small 1/2 block sized packs of each colour at the moment ... ho hum ... all in good time eh :)

Well I'll leave you with those first experiments, and also a video with a really nice song that I have just been watching on you tube ... it's a cool song called 'Kings and Queens', by 30 Seconds to Mars ... and of course, it features some World of Warcraft, which I fully intend to be playing tomorrow night :)

Night night ... sleep well xx

Monday, 3 January 2011

Rather chilled sunday .....

Oh blimey ! I forgot to post last night ... I'm sorry about that ... I was really busy yesterday evening with family stuff, and was beat and off to bed by 10pm. I have no staying power  :-\

Well I shall make a cuppa then sit down and find something interesting to say, hehe ... back with coffee in a min :)

BACK ! :)

Well ..... Today has been yet another of those stay at home and potter days ... the one nice things was that I actually got to lie in bed for a bit this morning ;D I got up at 10.30 .... wow !

I must have stayed in my PJ's and dressing gown until sometime after lunch today, hehe ... oh how lazy I felt :P

We had scrummy scrambled egg on toast for lunch and I pretty much spent the afternoon pottering between the kitchen and the computer.
One thing I did find though, were some cool poly clay tutorials on youtube :) They're pretty basic really ... striped canes and buttons, etc, but I am going to have a go and see what I can make after I have written today's blog entry :)
The thing I am liking about poly clay is that I can chill out on the sofa, by the coffee table to do it, and not have to freeze in a draughty kitchen :D

I did stumble upon this lady's work while I was browsing though .,...

Here's a link to her page ...

Well I can dream, can't I ? :P

Anyway .. I shall save you from my ramblings for now. I should go and get some clay out for a play ... Kids go back to school tomorrow, and I need to get their stuff ready too... yipppeee :D

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend ?  .. see you tomorrow :)


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Hello :)

I hope everybody had  a lovely evening for New Years Eve ? I did ... I stayed at home .... watched some Jools Holland with a glass of red, then watched the fireworks on the telly ... I know how to live it up, don't I !

Today has been really quiet ... not a lot to report really I'm afraid.

One nice thing about today was that I managed to get some torch time while I actually felt like making something ! I didn't make much, but it's a start ... I made 2 of my favourite vikings :) It's only a small step, but it's a step towards a more productive year all the same :)

I've been thinking about resolutions a lot over the last week or so ... I have decided to make some, but to view them as goals for 2011 and not something that will fail by Jan 31st, hehe.

So what are my  goals ?

To keep on top of my paperwork and do it at the end of every month instead of panicking once a year

To be more productive

To look into diversifying

To timetable my time, so I can try to get a better work/ life balance

To address my awful kitchen / studio situation

I think that's more than enough to keep me going this year :)

Well that's me for tonight ... I'll be making more beads tomorrow hopefully, and will try and remember to get some photo's to share too :)

I hope you all have a great day tomorrow, what ever you get up to :)