Thursday, 30 March 2017

March Birthdays

March has been a month filled with birthdays for friends and colleagues and it is times like these that I am really pleased I can make gifts. Above is a memory wire bracelet with aquamarine, apatite, peridot, amazonite and lapis lazuli for a colleague.

I also made a card for her, using the Altenew 'Simple Flowers' stamp set, which has a lovely 'retro' feel. I was pleased with the end result. 
 Another colleague was given this memory wire bracelet, with aquamarine, agate, apatite, amazonite, tanzanite and lapis lazuli.
 I made her card using the Altenew 'Half tone circles' stamp set in shades of blues.
 A friend had their 40th birthday, so I printed some wrapping paper using a Blockwallah stamp 'Curious fox' (as she likes foxes).
 I also stamped the envelope...
...and the card (apologies for the bad lighting!)
Inside the card, I used my dies and die cutter to create the 40 (using glitter card) in a silver circle. I made her a beryl stretchy bracelet with sterling silver spacers, like mine from the previous post, and bought her a Blockwallah Curious Fox stamp. some fox material and a few other bits and pieces which I think she liked.
A good thing about making cards and presents is that it is unlikely they will be duplicated!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Reassessing...

Before I continue with my post, I would just like to say how saddened I was about what happened in London yesterday.  We should be very proud of the emergency services, as well as all the people who did their best to help the injured.  In the midst of horror, there is good.

*****

It seems a little inappropriate to continue with a post about jewellery, but I had planned to do that today, so I shall carry on as normal.  I have been making (well, constructing) jewellery for a few years now and have enjoyed learning new skills such as macrame, kumihimo and using polymer clay. Initially, I made jewellery using larger sizes of bead/gemstones, around 10mm or 12mm.  However, as time has gone on, I have reassessed what I like and realised that I actually prefer smaller stones/beads, so I have been making a few simple elasticated bracelets for myself using those smaller stones.  Above is a beryl bracelet, in pastel shades, using 6mm gemstones with sterling silver spacer beads.
Then there is a Burmese jadeite 6mm bracelet, again using sterling silver spacers. Simple, but pretty and very easy to wear.
I was looking at some bracelet designs on the internet (as you do) and saw one made with memory wire and seed beads,  I didn't think I was that keen on seed beads (as I had become a bit of a gemstone snob - only the real thing, thank you) but when I searched some of the bead shops, I was impressed by the colours and prices. So, I placed an order and made up a couple of bracelets in my favourite colours.  I am really pleased with how they have turned out.
They are easy to wear - you just coil the memory wire around your wrist - and there they sit.  I made some little charms just to finish off the ends nicely.  The one above is my favourite as it looks like a stacker bracelet when it is on, but is all one piece in reality.  I have since order more seed beads, and feel that several more of these bracelets will be created very soon!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Signs of Spring

There are signs of Spring which makes me feel so cheerful.  In a pot at the front of the house, Prunus Kojo-no-mai  is flowering beautifully.  It only had a few flowers last year so is doing much better now.
 A blue hyacinth in the back garden is flowering for the third year in a row (I think).
 Primroses are blooming...
 ...as are Tete a Tete daffodils.  The smaller daffodils seem to come back more reliably in my garden.
 Crocus 'Jeanne D'Arc with the palest lilac lines inside the petals.
 Reliable grape hyacinth...
 ...and a single anemone blanda.
 More crocuses with some beautiful veining.
 Pale blue scillas, shyly facing away from the camera.
 Narcissus Jetfire - a single but very welcome survivor from a large group I planted a few years ago.
 The stars of the garden must be the hellebores - this is a new one this year 'Harvington Single Red' which I bought mail order from here and would happily recommend as the plant was in lovely condition and has three buds on it, which I wasn't expecting.
 This is Harvington Pink Speckled, (I think) and it has made a lovely clump in the garden.  To see the markings, you do have to lift the flower up though.
 Finally, Harvington Pink Picotee (I think) which is clumping up nicely too.  Lots of colour to enjoy and more to look forward to, including tulips!  I really enjoy this time of year.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Count Arthur Strong - The Sound of Mucus

We had a great evening full of laughter when we went to see Count Arthur Strong in his show 'The Sound of Mucus' on Thursday night.  He is the creation of Steve Delaney and has had eight radio series and two BBC TV series (so far).  Count Arthur is a frustrating, irritating but strangely endearing man, full of righteous indignation and a false sense of his own talents.  He is at his best with his malapropisms.  He treated us to a discussion on the best Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch gave many opportunities for word play - 'Cucumber Cabbage Patch' was one and my favourite was 'Bedford Van Camber Sands').  In the second half, he discussed the Sound of Music and his rendition of 'Sixteen going on Seventeen' had to be seen to be believed!
Just in case you haven't made his acquaintance yet, here he is dealing (in his own inimitable way) with a cold caller selling insurance.  Enjoy!



I have been listening to the radio shows series one and two yesterday and today while I have been making jewellery and sewing - a great way to spend the weekend!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Knights' Progress

As you know, I have been eagerly following the progress of my friend Rachael's Knight, one of the statues which will be seen around Lincoln this summer as part of The Knights' Trail  .  She has been working very hard on him/her/it and is almost finished.
 Apples, cakes, hearts, lightbulbs, keys, weather symbols and patchwork all feature in the design.
The blocks of colour are now suitcases (she has been working on him/her/it since I took these photos.  I really like the cake which is part of the saddle!
Once all the painting is finished, the varnish will be applied to protect the paint. This should really make the colours pop.
 He/she/it has lovely bright green eyes.  The pink mane will have white hearts on it, like the tail and Rachael said she may add some highlights to the washing up gloves.  I think it looks amazing!
 Three other statues are also nearing completion.
I like the Lincoln landmarks on this one.
This one is all about the Cathedral and features elements taken from the carvings there.  I am really looking forward to seeing them all finished and in place. I think Chris and I will be following the trail in the Summer.