Friday, 27 June 2014

Beads From The Art at Fresh from the Studio

Here is a selection of jewellery 
that is now available from Fresh from the Studio, 
which has just opened in Littleborough. 
 I'll be selling similar pieces in my Etsy shop shortly.

  My new Vintage Style Necklaces and Pendants are priced from  £25 - £35.  
These are all new and original and mostly one of a kind pieces as I make my beads in small batches.
In most cases there are matching earrings available to purchase which are priced from £5 - £8.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

What a month!!!

Well, June was supposed to be a very busy month for me business wise.  However, due to the NHS not fitting in with my busy schedule, it meant I had the option of taking their cancellation appointment for my operation or risk being taken off the waiting list.  Consequently, the day after the phone call, there I was wearing a hospital gown and sexy blue surgical stockings with a needle in my hand waiting for the anesthetic to work.  Considering I had less than 24 hours to prepare and sort the kids out I was remarkably calm. (thanks to a super hypnotherapy relaxation app on my phone!) As it turned out, my day surgery, turned into a stay of four days due to complications and the kids managed totally fine without mum.

It really couldn't have come at a worst time and I thought it'd be all done and dusted and in two weeks I'd be fine!  Oh no! Besides the aches and pains, bits of stitches poking through my skin that I thought were supposed to have dissolved by now, the sheer exhaustion, probably caused by all the medication and then to top it all being floored with what started out as hayfever but might be viral, I also started to suffer with the guilt and stress because I'm having to let people down.

I think everyone will agree I went back to work far too early and so because I started to feel ill at work, I was sent home and now I'm having to take some more time off to recuperate some more. So, this week I was upset that I had to pull out of  an event with the lovely Stitched Up Ladies.  I was supposed to be doing a talk about being a Working Parent and because I was too poorly they cancelled it.  I felt so wretched but  they're going to reschedule for later in the year and I'll hopefully I'll be feeling totally better by then.

So yesterday, I had to make the decision to pull out of doing two craft fairs this weekend.  I'm gutted! But it can't be helped. I just don't feel well enough.  Funnily enough, one of my tips for my talk at Stitched Up was very fitting to my current situation.  This is it... ..

"There may be times when you are going to have to disappoint someone in business because things don't always go to plan, because for instance, you're ill or your kids are ill or your childcare lets you down at the last minute. If this happens and you get a negative response from them, it's not your fault!! What you then have to consider is do you want to work with someone who is unsympathetic? Life does not always go to plan and however organised we are, the unexpected can happen. You have to learn to say no and not feel guilty about it. The guilt part is a hard one, because we all hate letting people down, but you and your family comes first"...

so...I'm going to practice what I preach and try not to feel guilty, and so far, nobody's responded to my apologies in a negative way.  So that's ok...and on that note...I'm going to go and do....not very much and just get better!!!

PS I did manage to get to the opening of the new gallery in Littleborough, "Fresh from the Studio", for a little while this evening, that's stocking my jewellery.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stay too long but it's a lovely space and it was great to see so many people there.  Hopefully, my jewellery will do well there. I'll post some photos tomorrow, if I feel up to it, of some of the pieces that are available to buy.

G'night xx

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Summer Jewellery Preview

Well, the last few weeks has been a bit too dramatic for my own good really, with one thing or another and my new favourite word "no" has been employed quite often.  Well, there's only so much one person can do before they begin to star in their own version of a soap opera.  So anyway, while I recuperated from my recent hospital visit I've spent the odd hour or two beavering away in my attic studio.

So, you know how I love to doodle?  And I love to doodle flowers and leaves more than anything?  
So my latest batch of beads feature flowers that are based on these doodles.  I really like them and I've matched them with some gorgeous bead caps and some bronze "watermelon" beads that I've had in my stash for ages and didn't know what to do with.  However, I recently "invested" (invested sounds so much better than bought and makes things sound rather important...which of course anything beady or crafty is!!!) in some Vintaj Patinas!  I love them!  They transform everything beautifully...see how they transformed the bronze watermelon beads so that they match the pink flower beads.  Normally, I'd have used glass beads or crystals, but I didn't have anything the right shade of pink.  But now I can colour my metal beads and I think they look wonderful.  I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.

Obviously, I'm still going to use glass and crystal beads to compliment my beads.  
These ones particularly are so pretty!

So, where can you buy my new collection?  
Well, my friend, Elizabeth White is opening a new gallery on Church Street in Littleborough next week called "Fresh from the Studio" and they will be stocking my jewellery there.  
The Opening of the gallery takes place next Thursday evening on the 26th June.  
How very exciting!!!

Just to remind you that I make my beads in small batches 
so most of my jewellery is one of a kind or limited edition.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Sneaky photo of me and my stall at the Ladies Pamper Evening

My lovely friend Kerstin, who was one of the organisers of the Ladies Pamper Evening 
I recently attended, took this sneaky photo of me and my Jewellery Stall.  
I'm much liking my new earring boards with the vintage bird tags. 
The ball of wall to the right, is part of my contribution to the 7 mile long scarf for Wool Against Weapons.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Busy! Busy! Busy!

June is soooo busy!  
It wasn't the best of timing to go into hospital to have an operation, but the NHS wouldn't fit around my schedule!  However, now I've got two events out of the way, today I'm going to have a bit of a rest and maybe do some sketching as I've got some wonderful ideas for a new collection.  But then, over the next few days I have to take photos of my jewellery, edit them and then upload them along with descriptions, dimensions and prices etc for two online shops. I also have to make some exclusive jewellery for a new gallery that is opening soon, put together a Pennine Collection for a display in Hollingworth Lake, make a start on writing up my talk on being a working parent for Stitched Up's Meet the Makers and sort out Friday's Make & Take workshop!  Then on Monday, I have to go back to work! I really think I could do with a holiday, but holidays are just an excuse for making more beads, aren't they???!!! :) 
Maybe I should wish upon a star for more hours in the day!!!

Ladies Pamper Evening

Well, considering it's only been a week since I came out of hospital, maybe I shouldn't have done this event.  But I managed to get plenty of rest in between and got to sit down a fair amount and it was a remarkably laid back affair.   I was amazed at how the main hall at Horse Carrs had been transformed by indoor gazebos and hanging banners from the ceiling to create little treatment rooms.  It made it all so cosy and inviting and the aroma of essential oils and scented candles drew you in.  Everyone who attended seemed to have a lovely time and at £4 that included refreshments and a treatment it was very good value.
I had my jewellery on display and I sold some of my new pieces, but never got to use my new Intuit Pay card machine as everyone had cash.  Ah well, shouldn't complain really.  
Typically, I forgot to take a photo of my stall AND my Knit-In Workshop that you can read more about here,  I'm such a dope.  
However, here's a photo of my newly decorated hand wrist which was done by a local Mehndi Artist Madiha (link to follow). It's so beautiful and intricate and I'm really inspired to try some of these designs within my jewellery making. 

And here it is the morning after, with the dried henna removed and I'm left with a  lovely henna "tattoo". 
 The more I look at it, the more I can envisage a whole new collection of jewellery based on this experience. 
How exciting!!! 

The RNCM and the ring

My eldest daughter and I had a lovely relaxing day on Sunday, at the Royal Northern College of Music's Craft Fair.  It had been very well organised but unfortunately as it was competing with other events that day it wasn't well attended, which was a shame as the stalls were beautifully arranged with a vast array of wonderful goodies.  From pottery to prints and jewellery to gorgeous baby clothes.  It was lovely to meet Helen from Waterdew Designs who I had only ever come across on a local crafts Facebook site who I "recognised" from her lovely lace jewellery.  It was also really nice to see Victoria again from Parsnip and Bramble who makes the most divine baby clothes.  

  We met some lovely talented young artists and my daughter was in her element chatting away to them.  
As an art student, it was very inspiring for her to see what other young people were doing and what her future may hold.    

I was pleased that I sold one of my floral "Dorothy" rings (the photograph doesn't really do it justice).  The lovely ladies skin tone really complimented the colour of the ring and she appeared very happy with it.

Did I mention the harpist?  There was a young lady playing the harp for us, for the first half of the day...absolutely beautiful and a great way to spend the day.
Thank you to Tom Bevan and the staff of RNCM for having us. 
All in all, a very nice relaxing day.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Ladies Pamper Night ~ Monday 9th June

On Monday night, I'm having a stall at this Ladies Pamper Evening.  
I did this event last year and it was really amazing and I met some lovely people. 
If you've never been to Horse Carrs you really should go.  
Their Coffee House is open every Thursday and Friday and their Brie and Cranberry toasties is totally scrumptious.  They also have a fine array of delicious home made cake and it's always hard to decide which to have.  
Every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month I run my Make & Take Craft Group, (click on the link for The Little Craft Box Company at the top of the page) 
so it really is a home from home for me.  
The cost of the Pamper Evening is just £4 which includes refreshments and a great is that?  Plus I am running free craft workshops all evening!  
So come along and join in the fun!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Royal Northern College of Music Craft Fair

I'm very excited to be having a stall at this Craft Fair on Sunday, though I'm a bit nervous as I've not been out of hospital long!  As nothing in my life seems to go straightforward, my "straightforward" keyhole surgery had a few complications and so I ended up being in hospital for four days instead of one!  Unfortunately, the NHS wouldn't fit into my busy schedule and it was all a bit unexpected.  The timing wasn't great, as June was always going to be a hugely busy month with the kids and work and everything.  But you know, I always try to make a positive out of a negative, so the fact that I kept July and August fairly quiet, eventually I should get a well earned rest and recuperation!  Oh...the best laid plans, eh?!  
Anyway, I'm hoping I will have my lovely friends to help me this Sunday, so all will be good!
And..........tomorrow, my shiny new Intuit Pay card payment machine should exciting!!!