Saturday, 31 January 2009

What music does it for you?

It did not take me to long to discover that I enjoy having music to listen to whilst I am making beads. It did take me a little longer to discover WHAT music.

I can't listen to chillout whilst making beads I find it to relaxing and can't concentrate properly but Muse...different matter.

I thought I would give you a wee list of some of the stuff I listen to, on my iPod I have a "songs to torch to" playlist. There are 206 songs currently on this list...Don't worry I am not going to list all 206 but thought I would list some of the artists and any songs I particularly recommend. I stick the earphones in me ears hit shuffle and off I go:
The Beloved
The Cure (All Mixed up album)
Dave Gahan (of Depeche Mode fame)
Depeche Mode (Massive fan!!!)
Def Leppard (Hysteria Album)
Foo Fighters
The Hoosiers
Kaiser Chiefs
Linkin Park
Muse (massive fan)
Nik Kershaw (random I know but I adore his "The Riddle" album Roses is an awesome track)
Pendulum (Propane nightmares - seems strangley appropriate!!!)
Bloc Party (Flux)

So there you have it fairly eclectic but no where near as eclectic as the contents of my iPod, thats another post!!!


Friday, 30 January 2009

George the first

When I met with Keiara the other day she showed me how she makes her fish and I got one throught the post a couple of days ago, sooooo......I thought I would have a go. Here is George called the first cos that is what he is!!! He was quite hard to photograph with my phone not least cos he is made from clear effetre glass. Note the deliberate mistake......hole goes from side to side and probably looks better top to bottom! But......I have great fun making him and it was not quite a awful as I thought!!!
Thank you Keiara (PS don't worry I think it will be ages before I get anywhere near as good as you!!!) ;-)

I have had a fab response to my headpins so will be putting them up on Folksy later I hope! I will let you know when I have!!!


George the first

Art Clay headpins

For those of you who follow my blog I posted a picture a couple of days ago of some headpins I was working on. Well I have finished them and I am so chuffed with them I will be making more I think! And I think (if you guys like them) I may sell some!!! If you click on the photo you should be able to see a bigger picture!!!

The wire is 1.5mm fine silver wire and they were all fired in the kiln before being tumbled and a final polish! Again the photography is not the best but I took them, my photography skills are dire!!!!

I made a flower pendant and the heart that i posted the other day as well but my heavey handed ness got the better of me and the heart broke beyond repair and the flower annoyed me cos it just simply would not mend!!! so I have put them into my recycle collection and am awaiting a new order of Art Clay to start them again!!! It is all a learning process eh!!!

Would love to hear your comments


Thursday, 29 January 2009

I so do not know how to do this so here goes!!! I have put a tutorial together for the beads that you see in my avatar! I found this reaction and a couple of people commented on it so I thought I would share! If you want to acknowledge me if you make and sell these then I ain't gonna turn down free advertising but this is probably like dots we all do em!!! There are loads of opportunities with various colours that I have not found yet so go on play and have fun!!!

There are 5 pictures above and go in order of the process from left to right.
Step 1: make a base bead in your chosen colour (white here!)
Step 2: place dots of Rubino Oro round the equator of the bead and ink blue round the edges of the bead
Step 3: melt the dots in
Step 4: place dots of opaque pink in the centre of the Rubino dots
Step 5: melt in

Ta Dah!!!!

Enjoy and let me see what you create please!!!


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Valentines day idea stage one!

Right I had a dream last night about an idea for a very simple but beautiful heart shaped pendant for Valentines. This is stage one the heart shape has been cut out of the Art Clay and is now drying before sanding and firing. I will show stage 2 tomorrow after firing!

Flower head pins

Right this is it from me tonight I have been slightly prolific!!!! These are my first attempt at Art Clay headpins. The silver stalks are fine silver 1.5mm so quite a hefty size and the ends are flowers. Now I am doing this quite blind I have simply pushed the fine silver into the Art Clay and I am now thinking that the art clay will just come off the fine silver once it is dry! So I made the join wet!!! I have oil paste if this does occur so I can stick the 2 components together after firing, I guess soldering is a last option!!! But my track record with soldering is not that fab ;-)
Savannah starts pre school tomorrow so I get 3 hours on the torch tomorrow afternoon, so much goodness in such a short time I am in a happy place!!!


And another cruddy mobile phone picture courtesy of naff lighting BUT again I have made this this evening. I have not made this style of choker for ages and it is quite nice to make although this one is a little loose for me but then I have a skinny neck so it will probabaly be fine for someone else! Again I will get Tony to take pictures later this week and pop it up for sale.



Blimey excuse the cruddy pictures taken under a flourescent (sp?) light with my mobile phone!!! BUT...I made these this evening. I will get hubby to photograph them properly later this week and pop them on my website!

Honest who would want to be a parent in today's society!

Sometimes my life reads like an Eastenders script and here is today's episode. That sounds quite glib but it is hiding a deeply unsettling feeling that despite what we do for our kids and what we teach them and how sensible they are they just simply are not safe!

Imogen walks home from school most days with at least 2 or 3 friends and she mentioned to me the other day that a strange man had pulled over in his van and got out and walked behind them. When they crossed the road he did not. We weren't to sure if this was suspect or not so Imogen and I discussed stranger danger and walking home etc. We thought no more of it until today when I received a phone call from the school asking me if Imogen had reported a white van with blacked out windows. Initially I said no but then remembered Imogen had mentioned this to me. The school had had an incident with a white van with blacked out windows and Imogen's incident had come to light.

Now so far this is all just circumstantial and no threats have been made that I am aware of, the school have been awesome they have PSCO attached to the school who will be involved and the head of year has been active in supporting the kids walking home from school. all just makes for a slightly unsettled feeling. Is my child in danger are some of her friends potentially in danger. What can we do as parents to help the kids deal with this. Imogen seems fairly pragmatic but I think that this has bothered her a bit. Her friends have been awesome, 6 of the boys in her year walked her home this evening!!! (Should I be worried about 6 boys walking my daughter home!!! LOL)

Honest, and I know this is going to sound cliche but this just did not happen when I was a kid. I used to go out during the summer hols first thing in the morning and would not be home till tea time. There were no mobile phones so my parents did not have any way of contacting us. I don't ever remember anything dodgy. Poor youth of today I honestly think that their childhood is no where near as carefree as mine was. We had stranger danger but not to the extent we have today. My 11 year old does not go down the park to play, I lived there at the age of 11. I am saddened that my daughter will not have the childhood I had and why on earth would anyone want to bring a child into this world and expose them to the scum and bad people that are permeating our society. Even if this is an innocent incident it has marred her journey to a fro school and left a black mark on her childhood!

To top this all off she is already a victim of what is classified as sexual abuse, a boy in her primary school with learning difficulties kissed her and when she asked him not to he did it again and then threatened to hurt her. What have we done to our world!!!!!!

I am off now to spend some time with my daughter and make her feel safe!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Oops...... would appear that there has been a minor (!) cock up in the Beads and Beyond Competition that I entered. A large number of us have apparently sent our entries to the wrong email address which was not checked in the printed mag!!! This means that we have all been given the chance to resubmit our entries and judging has been suspended until the end of Feb. OMG!!! More waiting!!! Honestly this has been quite stressful. Anyways I will duly resubmit my beads and wait to see the end result.........
Any suggestions for making the waiting less painful!!! At least I am not alone! Good luck once again to everyone who entered lets hope we all get showcased!!!


Sunday, 25 January 2009

Kreativ Award

I have been going through my posts and found that I have been given an award by Scrapbook Sisters
The deal is I have to nominate 5 others who inspire me! This is quite challenging as so many people inspire me and I admire their work a great deal! After much consideration I have nominated the following:
1) Keiara
2) Emma
3) Coloraddiction
4) Melanie Moertel
5) Art Bead Scene

Like I said there are so many others whose work I admire but these are a few that particularly stick in my mind!
Thank you Scrapbook Sisters and I hope the nominated 5 are ok with being nominated and now you have to nominate 5 others!!!


Did you miss me?

I hope so!!! ;-) Anyhoo I am back from my little jaunt to Chester. It was a conference for work and the first conference I have been on for 5 years!!! I like going to conferences as they always make me enthusiastic for my job which is lacking seriously of late. It is a brill opportunity to update knowledge and network. Sadly networking was limited as there were only some 60 or 70 delegates which is just the smallest number I have ever heard of. Still I managed to pick up some props for teaching and updated my knowledge a bit. There were a couple of very interesting speakers who presented work I am going to follow up on as it was quite interesting and relevant to lots of my teaching. I did not go alone Paula was with me and we joked a bit about what I would blog about our trip. We did get a little lost (well not really lost more side tracked) not sure if that was my fault as the map reader or the AA instructions but we were at one point heading for Peterborough rather than Chester!!! Anyway we got to the hotel had a fab dinner and then crashed! The conference was Friday and Saturday but we managed to get a little shopping time in on Friday afternoon! I bought my raclett cheese so Tony and I can have a raclet (sp?) sometime soon. Paula was quite worried about the smell but the cheese was very well behaved!!!
We left the conference early as Paula's sister was rushed to hospital with appendicitus and it was a 5 hour journey. It was not an emergency to get home but we wanted to be on our way in case of any problems!
I have posted a couple of pictures of Chester!!! I have now just found out that I was very close to one of my friends off Frit Happens which I am completely gutted about I could have met up!!! I know where she lives roughly but my geography is so crap I did not realise that it was near to where I was going! :-(

The picture I have posted today is my first attempt at an idea that has been poottling around my brain for a little over a year now! It is an Art Clay pendant with one of my handmade glass beads floating in the middle! There are a few things that need refining but I am very pleased with it! Please excuse the cruddy picture it is taken with my mobile but hopefully you get the idea!!!
Right gotta go, hubby home and we have a trip to Asda to keep us amused!!!


Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Making friends..

I met Keiara yesterday and we had a complete blast it was so nice to finally meet up and I just realised that you need to see what she makes cos it is bloody stunning! So here it is by keiara her glass is just divine and it was so nice to meet. Imogen was off sick from school so she came with me and she really enjoyed herself as well. I sincerely hope that Keiara and I meet up again soon and maybe try to meet up fairly regularly.

Speaking of Imogen being off sick I hope she won't mind me blogging this but she has stomach pain of no major significance just enough to make her feel a bit grim. Think I know what it might be but whatever she is better today and to be honest she probably could have gone back to school yesterday but I think she was feeling a bit sorry for herself! Bless her!!

I am off up the shed tonight got an order to make before I go to Chester tomorrow till saturday. I have a conference to attend, only as a participant not a contributer (phew!!). Keiara showed me how she encases yesterday so I intend to practise tonight. I think my theoretical technique is fine just the ole PPP (Practice Practice Practice) I think I need to refine my general technique tho as well cos after watching Keiara think I am a bit rushed and need to really slow down and take my time more! The other thing is I used a Creation Station yesterday and really liked it so I think I may treat myself!

Ah well must be off, Savannah needs her bath!


Monday, 19 January 2009

I am OK!

Thank you so much to those of you who read my last post and those of you who replied. I am OK honest just that one particluar thing got methinking. Maybe that is a sign that I am doing OK at the mo! Onwards and upwards definitely. So to show that I am fine onto my news!

New stock has been added to my website. I don't usually do repeat sets but there is a particular design I really love at the mo and I think it will be popular cos I have sold 2 sets already. So for the first time and for an as yet undisclosed limited period of time I am happy to do repeat set! This is my Spring Collection 1 and 5. I am really enjoying playing with dots and with the Rubino Oro glass to get the gorgeous reactions and I think this will be a theme for a while!

Tomorrow I am finally meeting one of my forum friends. Keiara (Wishing Wells Glass) lives about 45 mins away from me and we have been trying to organise a meet for some time but one thing and another kept scuppering our plans but tomorrow is the day and I am well excited! Frit Happens is the first forum I have ever particpated in to the extent that I have and as I have said previously I count many of the peopl I speak to on there as my friends so to meet up in the flesh so to speak is fab! I am sure I will give you a report once I get home. I know Keiara is as excited as me so it will be a fab day!

I am at a conference for my day job on Friday and Saturday so I am likely to be quiet from Thursday till Saturday evening but I will be back.


Friday, 16 January 2009

General musings...

...I have just watched Eastenders (don't shoot me!!!) and watched Jean's sad slide back into mental ill health and it has really affected me. I have struggled with "something" since the birth of my eldest daughter and for 11 years I have struggled with do I have depression or am I just a miserable cow. When I read the traditional list of signs and symptoms for depression I don't think I particularly meet them. For instance I care about my appearance but often that is to cover up how crap I feel. For 8 years I did nothing, my marriage broke down, millions of reasons no one person's fault and then I met Tony. Until we got together there was absolutely no way in hell I was having another child. I felt to unable to do that again but Tony made me feel able to face it so we talked and we were in love so it seemed completely natural to have Savannah. Wow what a fab choice. I have so enjoyed doing the baby thing second time round. This time I was fine until....I went back to work and then I crashed. This time I did something about it, I was on anti depressants for nearly 2 years and this time last year I came off them cos I felt fab, gradually over the summer things got really crap again and worsened considerably. I have always been moody and angry but this worsened to the point that I was not sure I could control my anger and I felt anxious for my girls and for my relationship with I am back on the anti depressants. I am on a more even keel most of the time I still swing up and down, going down a bit at the mo cos of work pressures but I am getting better at recognising it.

Where is all this going? Beading has been my saviour. As crap as it sounds I can honestly say that having some "me" time has been fab for me. Firing up the torch is so therapeutic. But mental ill health has many different guises, I don't know if I am mentally ill I don't know if I want that label but it is insipid and challenging. The things Tony has to put up with, my mood swings, my sudden anger. My children have to witness me getting angry, I simply can't control it, I am trying now and my family are so understanding but it must be so frustrating for them. Help is difficult to find once you admit you need it I have tried counselling twice and just did not get on with it. I don't know what to do, I try to manage it myself and for the most part that works.

Back to Jean in Eastenders it is so sad to watch someone fall like that and it just bothered me cos maybe we are all vulnerable what would my family do if that was me..... what would I do?

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Belita Beads

I have my own collection of beads called Belita Beads that fit onto bracelet systems such as Troll and for some dumb reason I completely forgot to include these in my January sale. This has now been recitified and they are all 20% off (Aurorabeadz). At this moment I do not sell bracelets that fit my beads but I have some friends who make their own bracelets to use with these beads so please feel free to ask me and I will point you in their direction.
Anyway that is all will post more later, have a good day

Monday, 12 January 2009

Ta Dah...

...Today I submitted my tutorial for Beads and Beyond magazine! I think it is for the April 2009 issue (issue19) so there is a little wait Feb issue just come out so 2 issues to wait! Not gonna say anymore you will have to buy it LOL ;-) It is not anything to challenging but it is my first tutorial so I am looking forward to the feedback and response from everyone!

There is only one week left in my January sale so get on over to my website and have a look Aurorabeadz

Other then that not much else to report! I am making a jens pind necklace at the moment with my own jump rings that I have cut. There are a few things to tidy up with the Koil Kutter but I am quite pleased! I will post a piccy when it is done! Maybe a while cos it is part of some bigger project.

Well best be off eldest daughter is hanging off my shoulder wanting to go on MSN. The computer just is not mine anymore!!!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

A trip to my local police station.

No not because I am in any trouble and nor are either of my children. I have been working on developing relationships with the police for my youngest daughter. For some unknown and bizarre reason she has developed what can only be described as a phobia of police. She is constantly talking about them and seems quite nervous and when I asked her why she was doing that she said she did not want them to come and take her away from me!!!
My dad is a retired policeman and still works as a civilian in my local police station so I arranged for us to visit him today to try to help Savannah deal with her fears. It has worked a treat I think. We spent about an hour there and everyone we met was completely awesome. She got to see inside a police car and put the blue lights on, she got to see 3 different kinds of police hats but would not wear them!!! She got to pick up a stab vest (or try to have you ever felt the weight of those things!!!) and she saw a pair of handcuffs up close. She got her fingerprints done and generally was shown around. She got some high visibility stickers to take away with her and my eldest daughter now wants to be a scenes of crime officer (or CSI officer as they are now called) and get into forensic science. I always wanted to be a forensic scientist but did not nother as it meant I had to go to University to get my degree and when I was doing my A levels that was the last place I wanted to go. As it happens I have now studied to that level and above so perhaps I could have done it but Imogen was well interested in the whole finger prints and catching criminals etc.

What is such a shame is that the police now do not do any kind of "community" open days or at least ours don't. Things like that are so important for our children. They learn that police are not people to be scared of and they develop a healthy respect for what they do do and what they stand for and maybe this is where todays society is going wrong.

I am not going to get into the debate about why todays society is so much different from that when I was growing up and seriously at 37 I am not that bloody old, but there are major problems with todays youth and having a healthy respect for the law and the people that represent it is one way of helping that happen. That said I am also aware that there are inherent problems with some of the people in these positions of power!

Anyway that was not whay I was writing this. I just wanted to say thank you so much to my Dad and to the police officers that I met today at Margate Police Station who helped me to show my daughter that police are not bad or evil. And maybe you could take a leaf out of the local fire fighters and do the occasional open day for the local community to build a relationship with them and improve relations.


Friday, 9 January 2009

Beads and Beyond competition!

Well I did not make it into this months edition of Beads and Beyond where some of the entries for the lampwork competition were showcased. So here they are.


Sneak preview!

As promised here is a sneak preview of the first 4 sets of beads in my Spring 2009 collection. They are not up on my website yet because the January sale is still on but they will be up for sale from 17th January 2009. The bottom right set is my favourite set. I love the effect and sadly this is only a small set as this is what I was making when I started to get anxious about Savannah and the toothpaste episode! I would love to know what you think of them :-)

I am finishing the photos and tutorial tonight for Beads and Beyond after much gnashing of teeth with RAW format and JPEG and I am not even going to get into the technical stuff! Anyway I will post the pictures once they are all done!

I have a friend who has her own blog and website. She is a scrapbooker (is that a word) and card maker with some wicked stuff on her site so go take a look! Scrapbook Sisters

My beads did not make it into Beads and Beyond lampworking competition and not even showcased in the mag. I am kinda sad about that cos I really liked them but there are some truly fab beads in it from other lampworkers that deserve to be showcased so from that point of view I am not sad. Some serious eye candy in it!!!

One final thing I am now offering TUITION!!!!! Taster classes to have a go at lampworking. Please visit my website for more info. Go on have a go it is great fun!!!

Gotta go hubby has just got home and he is making me a cup of tea. (Aww...bless him)


Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Wow what a day....

...Savannah is fine after her close shave with the toothpaste. She was quite annoyed this morning when she realised that she did not have any toothpaste left to brush her teeth with so she obviously has not been put off at all ;-).

It has been quite a day on the business front. I have spoken with Beads and Beyond magazine and they are interested in me submitting a tutorial. Bit of a rush job in that I got to get it done by Friday ideally perhaps Monday if I am busy. The lady I spoke to said she liked my Silver Clay work so I am going to submit a very simple pendant, quick simple and easy. It will be good experience for me and hopefully open the door for more complex stuff in future and more stuff using my handmade glass beads.

Then this evening a friend contacted me asking if I would talk to her niece about her doing a presentation on me and my work for an interview she has for an art gallery. OMG but of course. It is so nice that I am finally getting my name out there, I knew it would take some time to get known and I still have a long way to go but Things are definitely looking up at the moment. Maybe I can really think about doing this as a more serious job! (Woah!!! Rein that thought in before you get to carried away girl....) and by serious I mean my main job!!! Can I? is that possible? number crunching coming up I think to see if we could manage it. I seriously doubt it but I gotta have a dream and that is it.

To the girl I spoke to this evening about her interview; good luck I have my fingers crossed that you have as good a start to your new year as I have had to mine so far. I am feeling good and positive and very happy.

That may change a little the marking marathon that periodically interupts my life is about to begin again and my life is about to end for 3 weeks or so :-(

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Can you overdose on toothpaste?

Apparently yes....and the reading is quite scary. Savannah decided she was going to brush her teeth this evening unknown to us and during this little event she decided to eat the whole tube of toothpaste (as you do.....) I rang my mum (as you do.....) and said Help! we decided a glass of milk was in order and she would probably get laxative effects from the sorbitol and maybe a tummy ache and that was it. I potter to my shed to make some beads. During my sesh I have a little ephiphany and have made some completely scrummy beads. I am completely getting into the bead making despite the cold and then a little thought worms its way into my head. What if you can overdose on toothpaste? What if there is an ingredient that you should not swallow in large quantities, I mean it does say to encourage spitting and not to swallow!
I turn the torch off, potter indoors nonchalantely so I don't stress hubby out and look toothpaste overdose up on the Internet. OMG Flouride can cause cardiac arrest!!! One call to NHS Direct later and we are cool but seriously toothpaste can be bad for your health! Toothpaste is now high up out of reach as are the Finish Quantum dishwasher tablets which Savannah also has a penchant for!!! Why can't she be more like Imogen she never did anything like that eat stuff, play with stuff? Still I guess having 2 the same would be boring, she is quite a cracker my Sassy bit full on and very high maintenance but fab!!!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

OMG something wonderful MAY be about to happen

I can't say what, why or anything really because it is all so tenous at the moment but something fantastic MAY be about to happen to me!
How's that for suspense.....


Thursday, 1 January 2009

My latest creation

Tony bought me a necklace for Christmas and I love it and it inspired me to make my own interpretation and here it is. The pictures aren't that fab cos I took them with my phone But I love it!!! What do ya think??? It will be available for sale after my January sale has finished but might make it onto my Folksy site before then!

Hope you are all ok after last nights festivities, I was quite unwell in the afternoon and did not think I was gonna get out but I did and managed to stay out to see the New Year in. I had a lovely evening singing karaoke and just chillin with friends and family!


My latest creation.