Sunday, 22 May 2011

Facing the fear

Nearly a  year ago I went to learn how to enamel properly with Lynne Glazzard, artist in residence at Whitby Museum. I ground up scary toxic chemicals and made things very hot and suddenly there was melty glass stuck to my silver.

I haven't managed to achieve the same results with a blow torch. I'm sorted for brulees but there have been enamelling fails, and some Anglo Saxon words.

I needed some proper hardware. I needed a kiln.

Just before taking the plunge and just to make sure it wasn't something special about the Yorkshire air that made the enamelling work, I borrowed a kiln on Friday.

Eight hundred degrees. Three very scary words, especially when they're in your own kitchen. I was told that anything that came into contact with the inside of the kiln could burst into flames. I feared for the dog's safety, let alone that of my own arm.

I indulged in displacement activities. I even folded undies for a while rather than go in the kitchen but I knew I needed to face the fear so I ground the enamels and just got on with it.

I made a little silver and enamel forget-me-not brooch (3cm wide). It's a start. In the next day or two I'll be clicking 'add to basket' in the kiln shop.

In other news  Nina at Tabiboo has won the little ring and sketchbook giveaway prize. Congratualtions Nina! Please could you email me your address?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Here's the silver beehive

Where are the bees?

Hiding inside, where nobody sees.

Soon they come a-creeping, out of the hive.

One, two, three, four, five.

Well, three anyway. I'm making a new collection for Primavera.

Huge thanks for all the comments on my third blog birthday giveaway. I will be keeping the giveaway open until Saturday because of the blogger shenanigans.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Three years ago yesterday...

I was blogging on Wordpress (and I thought that was tricky!).

My third blog anniversary post disappeared! As you probably know, Blogger broke on Thursday night around 8pm UK time and many of Thursday's posts were deleted, lock, stock and comments.

The post was about how lovely and slightly bonkers blogging can be. The best bit by far is the virtual (and real) friends I have met along the way - the encouraging blog comments have spurred me on to make new kinds of shiny things and helped to lift my confidence in my jewellery making.

Big, massive, shiny thanks for visiting and commenting around here - seriously, it helps enormously.

If you had already peeped at my post then apologies for the broken record.

I will still be giving away the little silver, gemstone and vintage bead ring I made for the occasion. I can tailor it to your size, colour and charm choice.

I'll also be giving away this beautiful Angie Lewin sketchbook to be used for ideas and doodling.

I had already received 40 (!) very lovely comments. I still have them in my inbox and will count those as entries for my giveaway.

If you didn't get a chance to enter but would like to then we can start again from here. Everyone is welcome to enter - lurkers and new followers included.

Here's hoping that Blogger doesn't break again!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Today in the garden

I have to confess to stepping out into the garden and sometimes seeing only the tasks that I haven't managed to complete (or even begin). Today I decided that this was a daft mindset and that I needed to focus on the good stuff going on out there.

I picked a few flowers, stuck them in a tumbler and suddenly it was easier to overlook the patchy lawn, weedy veg bed and jumbled stack of triffid-like tayberry bushes (about which I have no clue what to do- any tips welcome).

Here are the cheery things I spotted:

Thrifted red enamel garden shelves (£2 at a car boot last summer)

Porthole I made in the living willow wigwam this February.

Garden archeology - I think our flower beds may once have been a Victorian waste tip.

Hop shoots. These are edible, apparently.

Flax flowers. Each bloom lasts just one day. (Excuse the hosepipe and snoozing dog).

My beachy bunting, still going strong.

.Oh and a pig in a wheelbarrow.

Edited to add:

I just clicked on the images of eldest (now 5 1/2) in the willow wigwam, newly contructed in 2008. She was 2 and I was 6 months pregnant. I built the thing in the rain in the middle of March. That's some slightly bonkers largescale crafting/nesting urge I must have been having.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

One weekend, two celebrations

In 1201 King John granted a charter for a fair in our village. During the last week of April every year the fairground rides arrive on the village green ready for May Day. This year the helter skelter was built right outside our sitting room window. Excitement was at fever pitch.

Combine that with a Royal wedding garden party with free rides on Friday afternoon and it was almost too much.

We even had a Royal line up.

See if you can spot:

1) Our cottage (it's pink)
2) Me having a greedy moment on the far left.