Friday, 31 July 2009

Thursday, 30 July 2009

FHFteam on Etsy

I have mentioned before that I belong to the FHFteam on Etsy. For those of you who are still unsure of what Etsy has to offer there is a fab way of taking a look. Click on the 2 links below (they only work for 48 hours from date of this post!!) and be transported to a world of gorgeousness and bead porn. Click here and here to have a look at what Etsy has to offer


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Meet my new friend aurae

Not really a brilliant picture I need to work on taking photos of this absolutely gorgeous glass! The base is effetre crystal clear (mmm.....nice clear glass) and then stringer of aurae wrapped round and swirled. The beads have then been handshaped into nuggets! The aurae has fumed the clear to give the gold effect and there are pearlescent effects round the glass which change colour in the sunlight. It is a classy looking glass which appears to make beautiful beads. It is easy to reduce and just generally a lovely glass!

Expect much more aurae. Mmmm.....Double Helix have just launched their new colour Ekho should I treat myself???


Monday, 27 July 2009

General Monday morning musings!

No pictures yet today I am afraid but I do have a few things I thought I would share with you! I am having to sit indoors today instead of torching waiting for the postie to arrive with my order of Aurae glass (I hope!) I have mixed success with silvered glass. I was appalling with terra I got what can only be described as brown poo from that glass. But I have had more fun with Psyche. The Aurae glass is fairly new from Double Helix and after seeing everyones pictures on Frit Happens I have succumbed and bought some! So I am quite excited about that! Watch this space for pictures!

Other news....I have finally given in and we are going camping for a long weekend in a couple of weeks. My memories of camping as a child are not that fab! Although the holidays themselves were brill they were overshadowed by the fact that they were completely primitive and Frosties with Five Pints powdered milk was gross!!!!! I know things have improved and you can have electric hook up now etc but it still does not massively appeal! Still Tony and I did buy a tent 5 years ago and we have never used it!!! So my friends invited us to come along and in light of everything that has happened this year and my life changing decisions etc we decided a weekend away would be fab! There are 16 of us going, we pitched our tent on Saturday to practise it and it was up in 30 mins which is pretty darn fab! Got a few things to buy still but bizarrely I am looking forward to it! Imogen has camped before so she is cool, Tony loves it and it will be a whole new experience for Savannah so you know what it will be great! Just hope the good ole British weather is good ;O)

Right best be off

PS No swine flu here Phew!!!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Last nights goodies

Some of what i made last night.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Blimey...3 posts in one day

But I really wanted to show you this picture. Jean regularly buys beads from me and always obliges with gorgeous photos of what she makes with them. I have a Gallery here on my website where I love to show off what people use my beads for.

Thank you Jean for sharing these and for making my beads look so fab in your gorgeous jewellery designs


Spacer beads

One of the things I supply is spacer beads. These are small beads that can be used in jewellery designs on their own or to compliment bigger components or designs. I do 2 sizes "normal" and mini. My Gallery of current beads available can be seen here and info on my spacer beads and how to order can be found here.

This is not a blatant post promoting my wares but to show you something I have been mulling over. How can I let my customers see what my spacer beads look like in real life. and I have come up with this ideaSo...what do you think. Those of you who make jewellery would you find this useful? Do you have any suggestions to anything that may make this a better resource for you?

I am interested in what you think so don't be shy leave me a comment and tell me what you think. I will likely launch these at the "Big Bead Show" in October so watch this space.


The expected swine flu post!

So do we have it or do we not! My eldest daughter's father and step mother and sisters are suspected to have it and have all been on or are taking Tamiflu. Imogen had a high temperature last night but seems fine this morning, she has a cough but has had this blessed cough since her chest infection 5 weeks ago so when I checked out her symptoms on the national pandemic flu service it came back as no she does not need antivirals.

Me.....well I have a headache, feel like I have been kicked by a horse I ache all over enough to be on regular paracetamol and to have had 2 nights of disturbed sleep, my glands are up in my throat / neck but no temperature so again I do not need antivirals.

Herein lies the problem. Imogen has potentially been exposed and the incubation period is about right but as of now her symptoms are not suggestive of swine flu if she spikes another temp I guess I will re-evaluate but do I let her go out with her friends, advice seems to suggest it is fine to carry on with normal life. There is such a lot of scaremongering going on in the press. Yes it is a new virus, I am not an expert yes people will get it and be ill and sadly some will die but 30 odd deaths in a country so far where the capitals population is approx 7 million needs to be kept in proportion I think and over 10,000 people (I think) are estimated to have contracted swine flu so far. Normal flu advice and vigilance should be the order of the day. Stay home if you have symptoms, drink plenty, paracetamol for the symptoms. If things get worse then call the GP. No panic, no stress.

So my dilemma is sorted, in the absence of clear symptoms that strongly suggest swine flu life will carry on as normal!


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Finally a picture of the prize for this months draw!

Hoorah Finally I have got my act together! The picture above is this months prize for my monthly prize draw! I know you have all been waiting with baited breathe for so long and I honestly hope it does not disappoint. Classic black and white complimented with sterling silver findings makes these a lovely set to wear for special occasions as well as everyday!

All you have to do is go to my Etsy page here register (it is free see my post from a couple of days ago!) and favourite my shop. All those people listed in my favourites on the 31st July 2009 will be entered into the draw.

Next month there will be a diferent task for you to do to be in with a chance of a prize and every 6 months or so I will do a big draw to include everyone on all my mailing lists etc! In the words of a famous weekly prize draw "you gotta be in it to win it" not millions I am afraid but a little something to show my appreciation for you all.

Other news: I have uploaded new stock today in both my Etsy shop (see link above) and my website here

The moody blues set that you can see and the Rolling stones ones are definitely sets that you will see more of in other colours! I am still struggling to find a signature bead and think that maybe that will come in its own good time meanwhile I enjoy swinging between the precision of dots and lines and the freedom granted by organic beads and the Moody blues set are a particular favourite at the moment


Monday, 20 July 2009

Excuse naff photo.

And naff it is but I just got this out of my kiln. Somewhat inspired by the Lydia Muell tutorial I bought and I think a natural progression of what I have been making over the past few months! The picture does not do it any justice although it is not a brilliant bead so this one will not be up for sale but expect more of these designs soon.


FHFteam on Etsy

The fabulous Jolene from Kitzbitz has organised for us peeps on Frit Happens to have our own Frit Happens Etsy team. I profess to not fully understanding what this means yet but I do know that it will be awesome for networking. There is a forum for us the chat on and we are all getting into doing treasuries (that is another post!!!) Anyway I am using my Etsy shop as much as I am using my website which I am sure you have noticed.

So what is Etsy? Etsy is an online market place where you can browse loads of shops selling handmade and artisan goods. Some people have described it as an artisan Ebay. There is no auction facility on Etsy and for those of us in the UK the prices are in $ but there are plenty of online currency converters available to do quick conversion. I use this one here but there are loads of others. It is free to join see here and you only need a Paypal account. BUT.....Please do not be disheartened if you do not want to join or do not have a Paypal account then all you have to do is go to my website here and use my contact form and I can sort out what it is you are after!

Go take a look at Etsy and make sure you have a couple of hours free to do it cos there is tons there to look at!

TTFN and happy browsing.
PS click here to visit my Etsy shop

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Live band at the Brit

Tony and I had a fantastic evening. The meal was gorgeous and during the meal we decided to take in a movie sadly we missed most of the showings so decided to go to our local after all. The Britannia pub is not really our local as it is about a 2o minute walk away with several pubs in between but it very often has quality live bands in and last night did not fail to impress. Breed covered lots of Foo Fighters songs a couple of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Queen, Led Zeppelin and radiohead. They were loud and fab and we left just before midnight with our ears ringing. If you live in Kent UK there is a fab website that you can go to to check out live bands here.

Right best be off have a lovely Sunday

Why every girl should make her own jewellery!

Otherwise called buy lampwork beads and hold onto them cos you never know when they will come in handy!

Soo....very very naughtily Tony and I have been shopping I have bought a dress and Tony bought a pair of trousers both in the sales which we stumbled across today! Why the post?

Well...there I was in Monsoon trying this dress on in teal and white polka dot both of which I do not normally do! It fitted a treat and I totally loved it and half price to boot! Then my little head starts going mmm...jewellery etc etc.

I got home and found these little teal fritty beads I have had languishing for a while and I made the pendant you can see above. Apologies for the crap photo, poor light and taken in a hurry but I am hoping you get this gist! How cool is it that I can buy a dress and a couple of hours later (and a few designs!) I have a totally unique piece of jewellery. I have a pair of earrings also to match the necklace. The necklace is hung from a 5mm closed sterling silver jump ring so I can slot it onto my ole favourite my macrame choker or I can slide it onto one of my sterling silver chains if I want. Completely versatile and a one off. What more could a gal want.

I will get Tony to take a picture of the whole ensemble later and post it tomorrow or monday!

Have a lovely weekend

What do you like to read in people's blogs?

I am intrigued by the ratings system that I have at the bottom of my blog page. Kinda useful to see how many people are reading my blog. A couple of weeks ago I was up to something like 168 in the ratings now I have slumped to 360 odd and I am curious. Is it because the last couple of my blog posts have not been interesting? Is it simply one of those things? Is everyone on holiday? Do the titles of my blog posts not inspire you to read them?

I am really keen to know what you guys like to read. Obviously this is a blog by me and I use it to showcase my glass work and I realise that my personal stuff has not been to exciting of late what with my depression etc but do you like some info on me or just want me to keep it business like.

I like to include some personal stuff number one because it affects my beading and jewellery work and also with 2 children I have an endless source of anecdotes to share with you.

I am not reading to much into the downturn just curious is all, all the while I can type I will post and if it interests you then I am more than happy to welcome you to my little world.

And on that note I have had very little beading time this week, Thursday was just to darned hot and there were those little thunder bugs crawling everywhere and irritating me which is not good with hot glass in your hand! Thursday evening there was a huge thunderstorm. Yesterday I spent the morning with Savannah at her mini sports day at nursery. This was her last day there as she starts school in September. Yesterday evening I was just to sleepy.

Tonight my fab hubby is taking me out for a meal for our anniversary. I am so looking forward to this we have not been out together for I think almost a year, in fact I think the last time we went out was our anniversary last year! We are going to the resturant where we had our first date and then onto our local pub which has fab local bands playing. Savannah is going to her auntie for the night and Imogen is with her dad so we can roll in as late as we like. It is a bit naughty as we are completely skint but spending a bit of quality time together is so important so what the heck....

Anyway I best be off, don't forget I am interested in your thoughts and thank you for reading my musings.


Thursday, 16 July 2009

Enterprising Women

In my search around for various support facilities to help me on my journey to be an independant business woman I have found this and I thought I would share it!

I have cut and pasted the "blurb" from the website for you!

"If you’re looking for business support, information, help, training, inspiration, mentoring, news, business partners, networking events, new clients.... it’s all here. Over 5500 entrepreneurial women in business already enjoy the benefits!

Well over 230 support organisations have also joined the women's business networking community, making it easier for you to find exactly what you and your business need throughout the whole enterprise journey.

We're here to provide a wide range of business support to help women, whether you're a start-up or a growing business.

Each week we profile one of our business women members right here on the home page. This great opportunity to promote your business is open to everyone, just email us. We'll feature all your success stories with new clients, put you on the google map, and much, much more - click here to read the benefits for you and your business!"

I am not sure that the links in the blurb work but if you click on the website address I have posted above or the link on the right side of this page you will be taken to the site.

Hope this helps some of you

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

New stock listed and a little sale

I have actually spent my designated admin day doing exactly that! I have cleaned beads, photographed beads, edited said photos and listed the beads for sale! They can be found in my Etsy shop here and my website here

As well as that I have a sale on all my earrings this ends tonight although I am not sure I promoted it very well so I may extend that till the weekend but all earrings on my website are only £5 what a complete bargain! Some of my beads are reduced as well so go take a look!

Other news: I went to my leaving do last night. It was not a specific do for me but for another colleague who is leaving as well and a general end of year bash for everyone! It was karaoke which I have never done and most certainly was not going to start last night! But others did and they were brill and I had a really lovely time. I was apprehensive but enjoyed it. As I have been off work for the last 10 weeks it was really nice to catch up with people and not have an anxiety attack doing it. My awesome colleagues bought me a beautiful bunch of flowers and a watch by Fossil which is another of my weaknesses along with jewellery, purses, shoes and bags, god I am such a girl! :o)

Right dinner to cook so best be off

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

My first vintaj necklace

I have bought a small amount of vintaj brass findings and thought I would have a play and see what it is like. I am a bit of a bore when it comes to findings sterling silver and that is about it! But this vintaj looks quite nice. I was making some nugget frit beads yesterday that reminded me of rose gardens and I thought this would look lovely with teh vintaj brass. it is, this one is mine and is limited cos I only bought little amounts of stuff but I think I can make a range out of this! It is a choker with 2 strands. Bottom bigger strand has 3 of my nugget frit beads and the other strand has 6 6mm swarovski crystals hung from it and I quite like it! I am wearing it to my work leaving do tonight so I hope I will get some feedback there but I would love to hear what you guys think as well!

What do you think?

Sneak peek

So what do you think! This one will be on sale tomorrow once I have taken better pictures but I can feel a series of beads coming up. It is so tactile and simple, not sure if I can etch this as it is BE glass and quite a few of these glasses don't seem to want to etch but I have a prototype that I can etch and see what happens!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Look what the kiln fairies left me!

Good morning. I managed to get up the studio last night and made a few beads and the last one I made was this one which is almost exactly how I pictured it in my head. It needs a bit of refining and some more to practice the twist etc but I totally love it. It is a poor picture taken on my phone and you cannot see the colours really well. The base is Bullseye French vanilla and the black is BE Stiff black I can see sets of these and variations on a theme as well so look out for these, now just got to think of a name for them!

I would love to hear what you think of these.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Firing up the torch

Finally. It has been nearly a week since I last did any beading because of this darstardly ear infection. I am still quite tired and in a fair amount of pain although I am no longer taking codeine just good ole reliable paracetamol. Anyway...enough of that I feel well enough to fire up the torch. I have several ideas pottering around as well.
The bead you can see at the top of this entry is one that I sold last week and is my next thign I have been learning to do with my dots. I was introduced to the work of Lydia Muell by my friend Keiara and she uses dots in her work which I have totally fallen in love with. I have bought her Black petal motif tutorial which I am going to have a go at later but I love what she does with her dots! Click on Lydia Muell's name and have a look at her gallery of beads and drool over her gorgeous work.

Right bead time is wasting and my lovely hubby has made me a cup of tea so time to go. I hope you all had a lovely weekend and have a lovely week.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The countdown has begun....


Tony and I went up his shed last night and listed all his big woodworking machines to sell and I have advertised them in our local free ads in 2 weeks time so hopefully over next 2 or 3 weeks we should be able to move them out of the shed. In have planned out where I would like my torching station, my soldering area and my jewellery designing area. And then today I had a thought...I know not to often that happens LOL.

This time last year I was trying to get the local press interested in what I do and the photographer came round and took some poctures and basic details and then nothing.......because I was not having an "event" they were not going to use the pictures to run a piece. So....I am thinking of having an "event". What I am thinking is a "Open Day", people can come along and see my set up, I will demo beads and take bookings for people who want to come along and do some taster sessions in bead making. I also thought it would be an opportunity for some of my beading friends to perhaps come along and catch up as well.

I am actually quite excited about it, there are a few logistical probs such as I live on a main road with extremely limited parking and there are quite a few steps up to my shed so people with mobility problems are likely to find it very difficult. My neighbours have been quite challenging lately complaining that we are noisy and they don't even acknowledge my husband exsists so do I speak to them first or what.

Ah planning but I feel that this would be a very positive move for me and I am very excited.

Beads tonight I hope I am finally feeling well enough to sit for a couple of hours in the studio and I have a couple of ideas!


Friday, 10 July 2009

So my first week as a full time glass artist

...Mmmmm slightly problematic in that I have been unwell. Still I think I am getting better now. Still not up to sitting in my hot little studio and making beads but I have a necklace idea pottering around my head. I have ordered some bits and pieces and hopefully I can work it through today and show you all later.

I did manage to update my website here and my Etsy shop here last night so please pop over there and have a look and see what I have made. I think last week was a simple week, I have really focused on getting good shapes out of my spree press and I am pretty please with how it has gone. I have worked out my own little method for getting the right amount of glass on the mandrel for each size although I have to say the smallest size is the trickiest which seems a little odd in my head but hey I know my head is strange LOL!!!

I will definitely get up my studio over the weekend and production will be full on next week so get ready for Wednesday when I update all the shops again.

Tuesday will be a strange day for me. It is mine and Tony's wedding anniversary (3 years) Apparently these are the gifts associated with 3rd anniversaries:

Traditional 3rd wedding anniversary gifts have a theme of Leather

Contemporary or modern 3rd anniversary gifts have a theme of Crystal or Glass.

The flowers associated with the 3rd anniversary are Fuchsia

The Gemstone list shows Crystal associated with this Wedding Anniversary seems fairly appropriate don't you think! and Fuchsia are one of my fav flowers. But the reason why it will be odd is because that is my leaving do for work. It will seem quite strange having a leaving do. I still don't have any regret and to be honest I am not massively concerned about money yet but Tony is! But having a leaving do will make it all real. But hey it is karaoke and I don't sing but it will be a laff watching some of my colleagues sing!

Sunday we are hoping to go to Brogdale farm to the cherry festival. I love cherries so hopefully I will be able to eat my body weight in cherries, hope the weather stays fine!

Right best be off, got to get Savannah to my childminder and then to tesco for lots of chicken soup.
Have a lovely Friday and a brilliant weekend

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

New listings delayed...

...because I have a blasted ear infection. I think my ear drum perforated yesterday afternoon and I am in severe pain. I am hoping that the antibiotcs kick in by tomorrow so normal service should begin to return.

Apologies for the delay


Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Catching up with family

We had a lovely evening yesterday. Tony's brother and his family have come over to England from Switzerland for a touring holiday and they stopped off in Birchington last night overnight so we went out for dinner with them. It has been something like 20 months since we last saw them so it was fab to catch up and Savannah was just so relaxed with them it was lovely.
I hope to have some pictures later to show you. They all looked so well and their 2 boys have shot up. Sounds really naff to say but they have grown so much the speed that children change never ceases to amaze me as a parent.

I have sadly had to miss my Business Link meeting today as I am in absolute agony with my left ear again. This morning I have gone deaf again but the pain is intense. I am hoping though to be able to get up to my studio after I have seen the GP and make some more beads. I have quite a lot to photograph tomorrow and list for sale.

Right best go gotta get Savannah to the childminder and then off to GP

Sunday, 5 July 2009

I just joined the above site. Still working it out but it seems to be a fantastice resource for hunting for people who make handmade stuff!

There is a link on the right hand side of this page for you to go take a look at



So where do I get my inspiration from? I actually find inspiration from loads of places but I am still developing my skills to be able to use them in designs but I seem to definitely have a penchant for symmetrical things. Tony, Savannah and I have been to Tenterden today to have a wander around and we went into Waitrose to buy lunch and the uniforms have these patterns on them.
I really like these 2 designs. Maybe I can use them in some beads of my own although there are a few artists who make designs not entirely dissimilar to these so I need to put a Sam twist on them. I am thinking a lot about a "signature" bead that people can look at and think oh wow that is a bead by Sam and to be honest I am not sure I am quite there yet I am still fiddling with bead designs and using presses etc to concentrate on making one particular design my signature. That said I am thinking dots may figure in them cos I do like dots. I know they are not everyone's idea of a nice bead so it would have to be a design that appeals to all.

I am on a mission now. My intention is to make beads my business. Tony and I have talked long and hard about this all weekend. He has decided to sell all of his woodworking stuff and let me have his shed which is humungous. I will be able to have a torch station, a soldering station, photography corner and a jewellery making station all in one place, releasing tons of clutter from my house. At some point I will be offering tuition again but I need to get a second torch and oxycon before I can do this seriously. I will be treating each day as a work day so making beads on a daily basis. I will hopefully be able to have some evenings and most weekends with my family and obviously be home to collect my youngest from school when she starts school in September and to be at home when my eldest wanders home at the end of the school day.

MY CV now reads, bead designer / artist / maker and jewellery designer.

So if you have any requests for beads or jewellery you know where to come. Come to Aurorabeadz :o)

In the words of someone famous (the exact person eludes me right now but....)
"I am on a journey...."


Saturday, 4 July 2009

One door closes and another opens

I have decided to listen to the "signs" I have been given and am going to focus on making my beads my main job! Big decision but one I am very happy with.

So you will be very happy to hear that this will no longer be a general blog with a heavy emphasis on glass beads but mainly about glass beads. No more maudlin depressing stuff this is a new beginning for me and the chance to really develop my love for the glass beads I make and to develop my skills continually.

I will chat about my inspiration for my work and preview my beads and jewellery here for you to drool over and then every Wednesday I will update my website and my Etsy shop with my glassy delights I have made during the previous week.

I am also going to run a monthly prize draw and will announce the prize for this month on Monday (and show you a picture). All you have to do is favourite my Etsy shop to be in with a chance to win. The link to favourite an Etsy shop is found on the right hand side of the page I think you may have to join but it is free and no obligation. Etsy is an awesome collection of loads of different handmade things and I can guarantee you will spend absolutely ages on there browsing around the amazing stuff on there.

Hope to see you over at Etsy. Come back regularly for more gossip about glass and eye candy for you to drool over.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


Well unfortunately I did not get the job I applied for. I say unfortunately but I am not sure that is accurate. All the platitudes in the world did not help me yesterday it was not fate, there is nothing just around the bloody corner I was incredibly angry.

Today I have perspective. I am a fatalist, what will be will be, whether there is a "higher being" that influences what happens to us or whether our future is pre ordained etc who knows but bottom line I did not get the job, get over it and move on!!!

My totally awesome husband (who is materialistically driven and incredibly stressed by the potential money problems I am about to cause) is being so completely supportive and unselfish I completely adore him! we spent ages last night talking about options some of which I had already discussed with my extremely sensible and pragmatic sister and I have some options open to me, some less savoury than others but all have to be considered. I refuse to make a knee jerk reaction to my blinkered perception of what may be a crap situation and see it for what it is still an opportunity to grasp my life with both hands and enjoy it! Yes money is an issue but so is quality of life and I will make the right decision at the right time.

I have put things in place over the last 24 hours...contingency plans if you like. I have emailed the CAB and am awaiting their advice on potential benefits I may be able to claim, not holding out much hope as this is a self inflicted situation! But you never know! I am going to a meeting next Tuesday with my local Business Link to develop and plan to boost my sales and identify potential sources of money to help me move my business forward. Making beads and jewellery full time or a lot more hours than I currently do is definitely an option and my gorgeous husband keeps talking about giving me his huuugeee shed to convert it to my workspace and set up a second station so I can offer tuition on a more permenant basis!

I have been to the bank manager and I MAY (MAY) be able to claim on my payment protection plan for my loan to help us out a bit. I say may but it is unlikely as I have had depression before and I should have 2 clear years before making a claim and you know what banks are like if there is a loophole they will exploit it!!! But again there is something I can explore to make our life a little easier for the moment!

I MAY be able to take a mortgage break or swap to interest only for a while again to help out. All things that are good to have in my armoury.

Options, options, options!!! All need careful consideration!

Right best go photograph my beads and bags whilst there is some sun and update my Etsy and website very soon and Imogen is off school today as it is student review day and I have an appointment for noon to see how her first year at senior school has gone!!!

TTFN xxx