Sunday, 27 December 2009

The evil deed is done.

The van was finally loaded and the house emptied so I phoned Alison in France to check the arrangements.
The fact that no-one had been able to enter or leave the village for two days did not deter Mr Lemur from his plans. The ferry crossing was booked and we were going ahead as planned to drop all our worldly possessions in France.

We kind of decided that it would not turn out as bad in reality as we had been warned, the main roads were bound to be free of snow by now, so down to Portsmouth we went....happy to be giving Dover a wide berth.

We woke the following morning to find no snow at Le Havre and none on the roads, so despite the fact that we were driving a fully loaded 7.5 tonne truck, it felt good.
Our good friend Alan helped load the truck for two days in the UK then bravely offered to accompany us to France to lend a hand on the other side.

The house is located in rural Normandy and after about two hours of driving, wet approached the outskirts of the village.
As soon as we left the main road, we encountered the snow, not too bad on the flat but a bit of a white knuckle ride on the long downward hill into the village.
I tend to worry on the snow because never having driven this truck, I don't know if we're asking for it to deliver something out of it's comfort zone.
Anyway, we were nearly there and what other choice did we have than to have a go at negotiating the twisty, winding, icy slope?

I needn't have worried about the lorry in the snow, Mr Lemur negotiated it faultlessly and we arrived at the house ready to start day three of the move extravaganza.
At this point, Alison arrived from next door with promises of hot coffee, I didn't need asking twice, anyway, there was always the possibility that the others would arrive to say that the unloading was done.
Didn't happen.

Unpacking the truck was much as you would expect really, until we came to the range cooker. It went in easily enough...with a fork lift. it came out very laboriously, the four of us wondering how we could possibly lift the thing without the weight being taken bt the thin sheet steel on the bottom. Luckily it was a cooker on legs, Guy, our French neighbour (on the other side) suggested tying a rope around the bottom of each tapering leg to fashion a handle. This worked and we could move the cooker six inches per lift as far as the door and over the threshold, then came the fun stuff, we screwed the feet of the cooker onto planks to make skis and then dragged it into position. Easy peasy. Just took about an hour to move, that's all.
As soon as we finished unloading, the temperature plummeted and all the melting snow started to re-freeze.
Thankfully a canny one amongst us suggested moving the lorry into the main village before the road turned to glass, which is exactly what happened. We would have been stranded ourselves until who knows when had we not done it.

It became apparent that someone 'up there' decided that we deserved to live in France...for whatever reason. Had we started out a day earlier or later, we would not have found it as easy a journey.

A quick but heartfelt thank you to our good friends who helped us, to Mom and Dad, Alan, Helen, Alison and're the best.
...and Alison, I nicked your picture, thanks, hope you don't mind.

Look at the photo's on

Sunday, 13 December 2009

It's not until you get everything out to pack it that you find all your little lost treasures, the dear old camera that hasn't seen the light of day for a couple of years was found buried under a sheaf of 'vitally important documents'
Photos long forgotten about which had slid down the back of heavy cupboards.
A bottle of Jack Daniels which had been put aside for a rainy day turned up at the back of my wardrobe.

You will be thinking at this point that I'm not one of those people who empty out cupboards and drawers every couple of months. I hold up my hands as being one of life's apple polishers.
I blame my artistic temperament for can you be creative AND tidy? Maybe some of you tidier creative bods might like to share a few housekeeping tips with me.

As I'm packing all my stuff into boxes and labelling, I'm thinking that there are boxes we will need right away, ones that we won't need 'till the summer and others which will not be opened until the house is finished.
When the time arrives that those boxes can be opened I'm hoping that I will have learned to live with a central core of essential items and will not need to reinstate the clutter.

Housework is much easier a task without scores of objects to dust, and if truth is known I do love the idea of uncluttered surfaces.
Wish me luck....

PS. where I have written 'I' read 'we', I'm not alone in the guilt.

Monday, 7 December 2009

My old man said follow the van...

Well, the weeks are passing by and New Years Day is getting closer. New Years Day this time is very much more symbolic than any other I've is the day in which we arrive in France to start our new French life.

Saturday we held a Bon Voyage party for our family and friends at a local club, I'm always amazed at how many wonderful people I can rely on to support me on occasions like this- nobody likes to look like Billy-no-mates in front of the landlord and the regulars.

We have started sifting through eighteen years of 'treasure' every piece which is sacrificed, as I'm sure all you other hoarders out there know, will be needed in the coming months.
Packing the important bits into boxes that seem to be full before you know it. The 7.5 tonne truck will be groaning as it attempts to pull off from the kerb.
Mr Lemur, bless him(!) has got the wrong idea about packing. More and more tools keep arriving TO the house and packing the front room has taken on a whole new meaning.

Until our stuff actually moves from the house and into the lorry, I can't believe it's really happening. My mother and a couple of my friends were on the verge of quivering lips at the party, they must have thought me a heartless cow when I was still smiling. It wasn't until afterwards as I read through the cards that I started to feel it, but it's too late to back out now, the contracts have exchanged and it's final.
I'd never felt very tender towards Coventry previously, being a Black Country girl, but now I look around me and it's like seeing it for the first time. The people, the memories and the good times spent here have all become one. I have spent the biggest part of my adult life here and remember some very happy times, like getting married, raising my two girls and meeting the best friends anyone could wish for. At this point you may be asking yourself why I'm leaving, I ask myself too at times.
But this is an adventure that promises to be great. Not easy at times, but spending a lot more time together as a family making it work together is one opportunity that none of us want to pass by.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


Just thought I'd give you a sneak preview of the pendant I finished yesterday. This one is so 'me' and I will have a hard time letting it go. The biggest stone is a labradorite, the paler one a rainbow moonstone and the faceted one an amethyst.
There are two little copper flowers to the side of the main bezel.

I think I can feel matching earrings coming on...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Yay Us!

Last night, my ten year old daughter and I went to see a live band. The first real'gig' she has been to and the first that I have been to probably since the children were born.
The Jonas Brothers were amazing, the show was fantastic and the songs sounded just like the CD's. The place was packed and our seats were about ten rows back, we felt like we were up there with them.

But two things surprised me last night.

Firstly, security made sure that everyone stayed put in their allotted seat, no straying to the front or even into the aisle. No standing on the seats and strictly NO throwing bottles.

Second, because we were right at the front, I thought everyone would be going crazy, jumping, dancing, screaming.
Do you know how these teens best enjoyed their concert experience?
Through the lens of their camcorder!
I was gobsmacked. Surely you weren't getting the full on experience if you were concentrating on getting everything in shot.

Sign of the times I suppose, you tube is a hard mistress.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Coventry Blitz...69 years ago today.

14/11/2009 is the 69th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, the day when 11 hours of air raids and bombing was unleashed on the city. When the city's beloved cathedral was razed to the ground along with many of the shops and factories in the town centre.

Coventry was the target for destruction because many of the weapons, bombs, bullets and planes were built in the factories that in peacetime made cars, sewing machines, bicycles and aeroplane engines.
The bombers came in two waves, the first delivering incendiary bombs which burned the town so fiercely that the blaze was visible 300 miles away on the south coast.

The next bombers brought explosives which devastated the city's gas, water and electricity supplies,along with countless houses which were built side by side with the small metalworking factories.
In fact, the house that we're living in at the moment was bombed that night, the bomb actually fell on No. 27, two doors down, but it gutted the two on either side of it too.

I will not be living in Coventry next year when they remember the fallen, so I am taking the opportunity of sharing this moving clip, talking to the people of Coventry who remember that terrible night.
Click here for the Coventry Blitz

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The boys are back

Check this out
Click here for Y'a pas un homme

It's a wonderful song sung by my three all time fave French singers...Florent Pagny, Calogero and Pascal Obispo. It was made a few years ago to raise money for AIDS research and the video features so many famous French stars. Look out for Catherine Deneuve, Vanessa Paradis, Isabelle Adjani and Jean Reno.

Watching my boys together is rather like trying to pick out my favourite from a box of exquisite chocolates, each one is my fave in turn.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

...and Van Gogh thought HE had a blue period!!

Let me show you a couple of the new things I have just listed in my Etsy shop...there seems to be a blue theme going on. I have to laugh at myself sometimes, if you were to ask me which colour was my fave I would name all the other colours of the rainbow before I got to blue, yet when I'm in the 'zone' creatively speaking, blue is one of my main colours. All of my paintings seem to be essentially blue?!

Anyway, back to blue jewellery, I have had a weakness for labradorite(blue) and rainbow moonstones(blue) for ever. Take a look at my labradorite ring, made in silver with a touch of copper to emphasise the labradoressence.

On a square note,this ring is a smaller version of the celeste coloured one I made in the summer. Don't know whether I like the one inch square or the 3/4 inch square best, I just know that I'm so in love with the depth and vibrancy of coloured enamel.
See what you think

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Branching out

Wave ByeBye to my little house in Coventry! Fingers crossed.

In my quest for world domination (re. previous post) I've found a little promotional site which lists my shop in a directory, full of other handmade shops, lots of jewellery out there.
The best thing about this for me is that I don't have to rack my brains to remember where my stuff is listed....the links are all there for me to click on.

At the moment the tally stands at five shops, four of which are listed at shop handmade.
It's funny, but the one shop that I really don't like the format of is the only one that I have had to pay to be included. Take a look at and let me know if you share my distaste.

The site which lists my collection of shops can be found in the jewellery designer part
There's one shop which is still waiting to be included on there, the one written in Foreignese where I get to list my stuff in my own brand of pidgin French

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Today Coventry, Tomorrow World Domination

Since the mindblowing news of my last post, life has slowed right down again. I thought momentum was gathering speed, and maybe it was, but now the fact that nothing is happening is making me jumpy.
I could be packing boxes, organising dates, telling the Gas Board what I really think of them. However, until we get confirmation that our buyer has been granted a mortgage, we can do nothing but wait...and for that period at least, we need a gas supply!

On the bright side, the Post Office has managed to find the consignment of stones which I thought would be lost, they tried to deliver it in the midst of the strike, then the sorting office couldn't find it, so I have lots of new moonstones and labradorite cabs to dream about.

I opened another new shop today, my aim from my living room in Coventry is total world domination, How am I doing? Not the best, but I'll keep at it.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Shell shock.

As my husband came in from work on Friday, he held a bunch of flowers in one hand and a bottle in the other. 'We have something to celebrate' he said, presenting me with the flowers. My stomach lurched as I realised that after threatening to move to France for the last four or five years, it was actually happening.

The kids were jumping around obviously delighted at the news, Marcus was grinning from ear to ear, and me, I was just too shocked to speak.
I honestly don't know how I can be shocked after such a long time spent talking about it, but, I wasn't ready to break the news to my family I did the most logical and sensible thing and posted the news onto facebook!?

At that point the phone rang, it was my neighbour and good friend Alison from France who spent the next hour discussing the plans and projects with me that until now, were no more than pie in the sky. Sometimes it takes something as simple as a telephone call from a friend to remind you of all the reasons you wanted to do this in the first place....and to stop you from worrying about the logistics that you can do nothing about until there's a fixed date.

So, as with all major life events, it's another good excuse to go shopping. We bought an Esse Ironheart range cooker for the kitchen and a woodburning stove for the lounge. That sorts out all of our heating and hot water needs. If I make it sound like an impulse buy, then I have to say that we decided on this arrangement after three years of considering all options, fuels etc.

The plans at last seem to be coming together, the house is sold and the rolling ball is gathering momentum. Our buyer wants the house vacant by mid December, I hope that's enough time to gather our lives and pack them into a seven tonne lorry.
Posting it all as it happens seems to be a good way for me to get everything straight in my head, so I'll be keeping you posted as the saying goes.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

This afternoon after school finished the girls and I decided that we should go to the park on a mission to collect all the natural things that have fallen to the ground since the Autumn season started. Sticks, twigs, leaves, conkers, beech nuts, sycamore keys.
The plan was to build a scarecrow to enter the competition at school.
Building it is always the easy part, the difficult bit is finding the fantastic idea that will wow the judges.

Frankie, my eldest found a big,big stick with what looked like a gnarled foot on the bottom, so she was happy and went on to lash arms onto this stick and build a dress out of newspaper. This dress then took on an Autumn style with appliqued leaves and seed pods.
The head was a celeriac (which in my opinion is a veg only good for scarecrows) with button mushroom eyes and carrot nose. She's still wondering what to do for hair....

Libby, as I've said before, likes all things cute, so little sticks were more her style...and if it could look like a bunny, better still.
She found a stick which appeared to have raised arms, so she made a slinky one shouldered dress, An apple was the perfect size for a head and it actually cried real tears when we pushed the tiny stones into it for eyes!
Two feathers completed the transformation into aforementioned bunny. Voila, Diva Bunny.

Oh yes, I made the front page again on Etsy for the second time in five days!! So exciting.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

This afternoon, with everyone busy doing their own thing, I decided to sneak away into my workshop for a little enamelling. This is something that I love to do but it's only practical when you have a few hours to spare.

I'm working at the moment on a new range of cufflinks which are going to need little enamel roundels set into them like stones. Some will be a single colour, others a simple cloisonne design.

My favourite from today was an born from an idea I had for valentines day. It seems to me that women are more demonstrative of declaring their undying love for all to see than men. So, what I was aiming at was something a bit lovey which would not embarrass the poor bloke at work when forced to wear the cufflinks in public.
Ladies and gentlemen I give you 'Hidden Heart' which is an interesting design when viewed alone, but when viewed together, the two halves come together to form a heart.
Discreet, romantic, interesting.

Grand designs.

Yesterday saw my husband drag us all off to the NEC in Birmingham to visit the Grand Designs Show, a spin off of the channel 4 programme with Kevin McCloud.
The great hall was packed with all kinds of Eco products, labour saving devices and objects of desire.
Five hours of waiting for Mr Lemur to stop chatting to first this stallholder, then that one was only put out of my mind by the most fabulous of cupcakes which was bright pink with purple glitter and a rolo on the top.....that and a chat to the beekeeper man who filled my head full of lovely ideas of bees and hives. I've always fancied myself as a beekeeper in a white suit and a veil.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Woo Hoo!

Wow, after all this time of keeping a shop on Etsy, a treasury that featured one of my pieces was chosen to adorn the front page.
It's the ultimate accolade, the one thing that everyone wants which is beyond your control (it's controlled by Etsy staff)

I knew that something had happened when I saw 10 shop hearts in the space of as many minutes.

Follow this link to the archived front page

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Top Tip

This is a tip that I thought I'd share with you after hearing about the misadventure of my husband.

If you are making coffee and have run out of sugar, do not...I repeat do not substitute jam making sugar. This product, although sweet, contains added pectin which makes a gooey swamp in the bottom of your cup.
The picture is for illustration only...the goo is not blue

Monday, 5 October 2009

A moment of clarity...a place to behold

This past week has seen three new prospective buyers come to look over our house...and one back for a second viewing. Even though the market is deflated and the banks are asking for crazy deposits, it's looking possible that we could find a buyer.

This has brought a whole set of thoughts and feelings to the forefront of my mind. Thoughts that are easy to push away when nobody wants to buy the house, and there's no chance of having to emigrate to France.

I love France, the people are fantastic, as are the neighbours (hi Alison), culture, food....the list goes on. The thing that worries me is living in a caravan for the foreseeable future whilst the house is being finished. A four berth caravan (containing 4 people) is ok for a week or two in the summer when you are outside for large amounts of the time, but when the winter weather starts and we are all living on top of each other, nowhere to dry the clothes, having to take the chemical toilet into town for emptying, then you can see how we might start falling out if no end is in sight.

Then today, we had one of those moments of clarity, the clouds parted and the sun illuminated the way.
We would build the workshop first and it could be a place to live, with an upstairs workspace so that we have the means to earn some money. We were going to do it sooner or later, but with a tweak of the plans, it could be a place to behold, not just your average shed for keeping the garden tools.

This little beauty from Norm is the project we have in mind, maybe tweaked slightly, we're waiting for the plans to arrive as we speak.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Gerrof moy laand!

On Sunday we celebrated my daughter's birthday with a trip to Hatton Farm Village, the weather was still warm for the end of guess who got to carry all the coats!!
Hatton is a great mix of farm animals, petting animals and things to do, there were even antique shops to keep Dad happy. We started with the guinea pigs, which were available to hold, then moved on to the llamas, pigs and sheep, then came the twisty slide, assault course and frisbee golf.

After that we panned for gold, finding tiny nuggets of 'gold' in the water. If you find ten pieces, you win a medal.
Then Daddy followed the map into the Maize maze and got everyone lost, it took two eight year olds to lead us back to civilisation.

There is lots to do to fill a great day, including fair rides, sheepdog trials, falconry and my own personal fave- the tractor ride. A tractor pulls a converted silage tank around the field, through the brook, down into the spinney and back again, with a recorded voice pointing out all the landmarks and introducing the scarecrows to the kids.
Check out the pic of me riding the white swans...

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Fluffy Bunnies And Fluffy Girlies

Monday will be the eighth birthday of my youngest daughter. She's into anything cute and furry and absolutely loves bunnies, hamsters, kittens and puppies. Whenever you see her, she will have an armful of furry soft toys in tow, each with their own name, birthday and circle of friends.
Her nickname is fluffy.
You are beginning to see why the pendant I made for her is so 'her'. It's a little bunny cut-out with a red ruby eye. Cute as a button.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Just thought I'd show you the latest couple of things that I've made. I seem to always gravitate towards making rings, I love to look at them, I love to wear them but since having my kids, the skin on my fingers seems not to tolerate them for long. Boo Hoo.
The first ring is made from rhodochrosite and silver to match a bracelet. It measures 2.5cm across and will stop the traffic.
The second one is a square moonstone set onto a wide silver band. The band was stamped with a repeat random oval pattern and oxidised for emphasis.
First of all when I'd finished making the rhodochrosite ring I knew it was one that I was going to fall in love with...but now that I've made the moonstone one, I can't help but fall in love with that one too.
Maybe you're starting to see the reasoning behind not making rings in my size.

Are brooches in fashion at the moment? I have a strange fancy to make one. I say strange because brooches are one of the few items of jewellery that I've never worn...along with nose studs and lip saucers.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Showing off again!

How lucky am I?
All of a sudden I find my work in four Etsy treasuries at the same time, which beats my previous personal best by two.
You may think that my head is starting to swell from all the adulation, but it comes at a time when morale is at low ebb-when all the viewings in my shop are up by 23% but no sales.
There may be various reasons why no-one feels like buying at the moment, including the obvious one that my work stinks,
or maybe it's all happening since I stopped advertising with Google Adwords. It was a decision that I made after receiving six bills in the space of 24 hours. It spooked me.
Or my favourite excuse to myself is that it's the lull before the Christmas rush. Sounds feasible to me.
Is anyone else experiencing a seasonal lull?
Anyway , to change the subject back to something a little more heart warming (for me at least)
Take a look at these treasuries. I love the orange tones reminiscent of autumn leaves, pumpkins, sunsets and the new laptop I would have liked....

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


I'm glad these pieces got finished yesterday when I felt ok. Today I've been struck down with the dreaded 'man-flu'. We all owe the men in our lives an immense apology for not understanding how dire it can be and for skimping on the sympathy.
So today I have my red cufflinks, a silver and gemstone wirewrapped bracelet and an 18ct opal and white sapphire pendant to put into my shop.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

It has taken me a while to get back into the swing of full time jewellery making since the kids have gone back to school.
I have made a few things.....a couple of masters for casting, a pendant that needs to be hallmarked and a few beaded bracelets in the interim, but nothing that I can put in my shop
But today though I finished, polished and set a pair of cufflinks which I have listed. The blue and white enamel roundels which I showed you a few days ago were inspired by the sun and the moon and the way the light changes between day and night, and, judging by the sudden way they have disappeared into work wirh Mr Lemur today, I would call them a hit.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Fun in Coventry

Some of the best days happen unexpectedly, and as I'm not one of life's great planners, I'm always grateful of this. Today, the girls and I were thrown out of the house quite early to make more room for a viewer to see our house...we were making the house appear cluttered!
We walked into town with a pocket full of money (thanks darling) and headed for the shops..we had presents to buy.
Then lunch. we found a lovely little bistro alongside the ruins of the old cathedral where we took a table on the pavement and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine. The bells were ringing, the food was great, we could have been anywhere in Europe.
We gradually came to realise that it was 'Heritage Weekend' in Coventry and all the ancient historic buildings were open to the public. We visited the small cell in the Guildhall that once held Mary Queen of scots, we rung the bells of the old cathedral, learned all about Medieval music, saw the Titanic exhibition, visited the Wartime museum underneath the ruins of the old cathedral, did brass rubbing, claimed our fragment of roman pottery. When we climbed to the top of the belltower and viewed the city from was almost like being in Ikea's cafe!!
I'd always managed to miss the open days before today, so I was really pleased when today came together so well. It was a small glimpse of the Coventry that existed before 15th November 1940 when Coventry was almost wiped out.
Incidentally, my family, tired of all the bombings around Birmingham during the war, decided to distance theirselves from the nightly bomb raids and stay with their relatives... you guessed it in Coventry, just before 'that' night. Not surprisingly, they went home ASAP.
This is the report from the BBC from the time

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Release the inner magpie

Take a look at some of the vignettes I made today. These are domed copper discs enamelled in some of my fave shades...the red is one of my new acquisitions and she's gorgeous, just enough pink to be this season's hot colour.
The blue is the colour of Chip Foose's super-cars. The black is a deep dark assortment of blues and blacks that shimmer with the light.
The other one represents the sun and the moon in white and blue pearlescents.
I will be making settings for them over the next few days.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Who charged the DS?

I seem to have had a real 'lost weekend' since some helpful soul charged the Nintendo DS then left it lying idly for me to find.
We have a pod which has 88-games-in-one and I have not played many of them. I just love '7 wonders of the world' which is the kind of game where you match up blocks of different colour for them to explode giving fire ball rewards which you can use for destroying other blocks.
Anyone who has played 'Bejeweled Blitz' on facebook will know exactly what I'm talking about. It's simple and highly addictive...and makes me feel as if I'm going cross eyed after too long.
I think I'm going to give the charger to my youngest daughter to put away, safe in the knowledge that I'll never find it again if I do...

Friday, 4 September 2009

Bring back that summer feeling.

Now that Autumn has made it's presence felt, I knew that I had to do something to restore that warm fuzzy feeling that we felt throughout the Summer . So, what lifts your sprits better than a spot of retail therapy....especially when you're getting a discount?
This weekend is my first 'Weekend Sale' with 10% off any purchase on my online shop
All you need to do is put the word 'calogero' in the message to seller box at the checkout and I will either send you a revised invoice or refund the difference.
It's so easy to do.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

She shoots, the lightning ridge opal gets it.

I'm back.
after the absence of a few days from the shed and a few weeks since I could work it regularly, today has been pure bliss.
A whole day dedicated to jewellery. I decided that I would set the opal into a delicate pendant. I don't always do delicate but today was special. I wrapped the lightning ridge opal in 18ct yellow gold and suspended a sparkly white sapphire underneath. It works like a dream.
The photo is of the pendant in it's raw state before polishing as this one is gonna need a hallmark.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

A chink in the clouds, the promise of sunshine.

Tonight I'm dreaming about spending a whole wonderful day in the shed. This week has seen me shovelling all manner of superfluous items to the tip/charity shop/friends in an effort to make the small terraced house feel palacial. To my credit, it now echoes in the kitchen and the front room!

The estate agent paid us a visit and is due back on Tuesday to take the pics......if you fancy a lovely little house in the heart of sunny Coventry....

Back to tomorrow. I feel like a kid in a sweet shop, so many stones, so many ideas, what shall I do first? I have some delicious rose cut oro verde lemon quartz which are begging for setting. Tiny peridot cabochons or fab opals.
Answers on a postcard.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Selling your soul to a man in a field.

I was going to tell you how we were up bright and early this morning to catch the early birds at the car boot sale, but as Mr Lemur isn't given to early rising, we made it at 7.45. The LAST sellers to arrive onto the field.
That wasn't such a bad thing though as we had more room to s-p-r-e-a-d with no one on the other side of us.
We usually manage a boot sale per year and as I stand behind my stall I always feel a little exposed as all the things which make me tick are there, displayed on my second best wallpaper pasting table for all to see. As the first few people find stuff they like , they start asking the prices. When told that the beautifully embroidered denim shorts cost all of 50p they drop them to the ground as if scalded. Maybe it's me who has to hand over the 50p? A beginners error!
Then there's our collection of vinyl records. Eclectic? Definitely. Tasteful? Maybe not always. I didn't listen to the Falco and Brigitte Neilsen single more than about twice. I did have to have an inward cringe every so often when a bloke thumbed through the entire box of LP's , found nothing to buy but looked up at me deadpan. They didn't actually enquire after the state of my mental health, but you could see the thought did occur.

Have you ever done one of these sales? Isn't the worst thing when one of your friends suddenly comes into view and you have to do the swift mental reccy, making sure that none of the unwanted things was something that they bought/gave you.

Two thirds of the things we took along were sold, but the hard thing after that is to bring all the unwanted junk back onto the house. If my hubby had his way, we would have swung by the tip on the way back, it seems so wasteful to do that.
So that's my next job, decide on the final resting place.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

After spending a couple of weeks in France, nobody wanted to return to blighty. We have been intending to make a move to live in our house there for two or three years but waiting for the 'right' time to happen is so hard. The conditions are never right.
There is always one child or another attached to a best friend or the fact that the house isn't actually finished ( minor detail that one) that makes it easier to stay where we are in the relative safety of the UK.
In the immortal words of The Butthole Surfers 'it's better to regret something you did than something you didn't do', It's time. So , we are getting rid of lots of the chattel that you seem to collect throughout life, especially if you are natural born hoarders like us.
I find it hard to part with some things, for instance my old record collection. Some of the records are absolute rubbish but the memories that are woven into the songs are very much a part of me.
When I return from the car boot sale tomorrow I'm hoping to feel cleansed and uncluttered.
I'll let you know.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Back To Life

Just spent a glorious two week holiday in France, the weather was hot, the company was great and we travelled around the Normandy countryside discovering little pockets of perfection.
The one thing that really rings the changes for me between the town and the countryside is the wildlife that seems so abundant in the places that mankind leaves alone.

The 300 year old barn that has been our ongoing renovation project for the past four years is a veritable sanctuary.
Sitting quietly in the half light in the barn, you notice that you are no longer alone. You can hear the soft flapping of wings taking flight in the eaves above your head, then the bats move out from the shadows and you can see them against the squares of light that are fading fast from the windows.
Just a quick glimpse, tantalisingly close then disappearing as fast as it came.
This is the moment that I write a quick mental addition to my Christmas list for night vision Santa, if you're reading this.....

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Indian Summer? Monsoon Season!

So where is this Indian summer that the Met Office has been promising? June lived up to her name, flaming really was the word. July came and with it came the rain.
Today really took the biscuit, on the cusp of August and the whole day was grey, dark with heavy rain.
I'm hoping that this horrid weather is local and when we go to France, it will be glorious sunshine.

Getting laid.

You wouldn't believe how sore your knees can get in the space of just an afternoon. Carpet is a very unforgiving substance.
I toiled for hours, stretching and banging, stopping when the sweatiness demanded a cup of tea.
I'd forgotten how much like hard work it was.
Then after about four hours I was done, the room was transformed, we had carpet once again.
My knees really are black and blue, the cats paw tool jobby was as soft as could be, that wasn't what hurt. The real pain came from the friction of the knee that remained on the floor.
Those men who earn a living doing this on a daily basis deserve all the money they make.

I was hoping that same evening to retire to my shed once the kids were tucked up in bed but instead I hauled my aching body onto the computer.
An experiment of mine required a final fix.
I had made a ring with a wide hammered shank and a gorgeous spinel, but having made it as an uncommissioned piece, I had no idea what size I may be required to make it later. Here comes the experiment part.
I assembled the collet and the shank without soldering it together, put the stone into position, and photographed it. To my mind, it was far easier to make the ring a certain size without the constraints of having to consider the gemstone.
It worked a treat, it was so easy to size.
This has set me thinking about other ways that I can lighten the load....

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Stacking rings, the latest must have.

Today I decided to make another set of stacking rings following the popularity of the first set. This little set consists of five rings all hammered deeply for maximum light reflection. When the light catches them they twinkle like a mirror ball in a disco.
There are four tiny ones at 1mm across and one measuring 3mm

Did you know that they are this seasons must-have accessory? Check out all the glossies and see for yourself. Choose plain metal or go for a selection of gemstones, mix and match for endless possibilities

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Summer Holidays

It has come around to that time of year again when the children have six weeks of fun, fun, fun with me being head chauffeur and play date arranger. I love having the time to spend with them and the six weeks is usually over all too quickly. But what happens to my young jewellery business whilst I'm running around in the park?
Do I allot certain days of the week to work or do I give over a portion of each day?
What I don't want to do is play all day and work all night. There should be laws against that kind of caper.
I suppose what I'll do is play it by ear, get the orders out as they come in and think about new ideas for September. Anything else is a bonus.

Last week I finished three more rings in silver and enamel, big, bold and in yer face. Right up my street. Frankly I've been disappointed with the reaction to my enamel rings. I thought they would fly out of the door given that people like things which are different.
Are they too big? Wrong colours? Just nasty? Tell me because I'd love to know.
Worst case scenario, I can wear them all myself!!

Sunday, 12 July 2009


I've come to the conclusion that the great, largely untapped area in jewellery is gents jewellery.
I realise that I've not made any earth shattering discoveries here, but it's something that I've been toying with lately. It's a shame that the men in our lives are forgotten a little when it comes to adornment.
The result of this is two fab new pairs of cufflinks. Both of them are made with enamels set into the top, the first has a celtic/shamrock/four leaf clover motif in green. What other colour were you expecting me to say?
The other pair have a scarab design in red, blue and green. I love beetles and creepy crawlies. ( Not to be confused with VW beetles or Paul Mc Cartney of the Beatles)
well, I die when I come across them in the flesh, but have to admit that they have a certain charm when used in design.

Don't know whether I'm too enamoured of argentium silver which I used for the construction of the second pair. This type of silver contains no copper which means that it doesn't tarnish. Ever.
But it sure is funky to work with. If you touch the silver whilst soldering, or put pressure on it with anything, like binding wire which is used to keep something in place for soldering, it crumbles into a thousand pieces, which is not good.
It is definately a completely different skill to soldering sterling silver, one that I'm not sure I'm eager to learn.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

A treasury all of my very own

What a lovely beginning to a Sunday. Today for the first time I managed to bag myself an Etsy treasury slot, so the last hour or so has been spent arranging and re-arranging all the pretty things I've seen over the last few months. Well, obviously not ALL of them as there are tons and tons of things you see during the course of a day, most of which are breathtaking.

So, do you want to see what I've chosen? Good. You need to follow this link
Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Blog Feature

How thrilled was I to be contacted by the lovely Jess of Epheriell designs, all the way from Australia, to be told that she had featured my moonstone ring in her blog.
This is a Sunday feature which sees her choosing five pretties from the Etsy pages, all linked by a common thread. This week the link was blue.
Check it out.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The colour of sunshine

Today I finished a cute little ring in argentium silver. Don't know if you are familiar with argentium, but due to the absence of copper, Argentium has no firescale and it resists tarnish. Result.

The stone is a square citrine. Now citrines can range from the insipid pale yellow to the richest of ambers, and this one is the colour of pure sunshine.
I cut out a dainty little heart shape on each side of the bezel to let more light into the back of the stone.
I seem to be having a run on square shapes of late. The last ring I finished was a lab created alexandrite. I don't usually go for lab created stones but this one even has the same colour change properties found in the natural stones. It changes between green and pink depending on the type of light.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Elderflower jelly

It's a sure sign that summer's here when the Elder bushes are clothed in umbels of frothy white flowers. The fragrance of which is so heady and sweet, even the most olfactorily challenged of us cannot fail to be moved. This is my favourite of all the hedgerow.
Each year, I pick a bag of these prized blooms and head home in anticipation to make something wonderful.
In previous years I've made cordial which tastes divine and evokes memories of picnics in the English countryside.
This year I was determined that I would make elderflower jelly, inspired by the dandelion jelly making of my daughters with Alison, the owner of French gites in the normandy countryside.
Check out the fruits of their labour at this blog

Now that I knew what i was making, next was finding the recipe. I've never made jelly before so felt better with a recipe. The internet proved useless, nowhere was there a recipe for the jelly without added apples, strawberries or gooseberries. The only thing to do was to adapt one which was for a muscat jelly (thanks Nigella)
All things considered, this recipe was a great success, the jelly is so fragrant and sweet, tastes like honey and looks like nectar

Sunday, 14 June 2009

OMG I'm in a treasury!!

Fantastic news, I got an email today from a fellow etsian bearing the wonderful news that she had selected my frog enamel dish to be in her treasury. I am so thrilled.
I was in the forums at Etsy the other day and left my shop details on a thread asking if anyone was interested in being featured.
There were 105 posts on that thread, all wanting to be the proud owner of one of the 12 items included.
Check out the link, it will be there until Wednesday.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

My body clock needs new batteries.

This morning my other half had to be half way across the country before 9am this morning, which meant that we were up rather early. 5am is probably no big deal to all you hardened souls out there, but it has thrown me right out of kilter all day.

I had plenty of time for a leisurely bath to help pull it all together. I looked at the clock and to my horror realised that it was almost time for the kids to get to school.
We flew.
We were out of the house and across to the school in about 5 mins flat. At this point I have to point out to you that we live almost directly opposite the school gate.
As the girls entered the gate, we waved, I turned for home.
A few seconds later they were beside me again. The door into school was locked, there was no one around.
They thought they were so late.
I laughed so hard. The girls were looking puzzled. I could hardly explain ,
the people who were terminally late for everything had made it to school an hour early!!

This is a one time only occurence.
At least the earliness is. The crapness is here to stay.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

New Supplies

Don't you always look forward to the post arriving, especially if you know that shiny baubles may be dropping onto your doormat at any time? Yesterday saw the arrival of some beautiful round agate beads, all different shades of red, purple, yellow, green and blue finished with a matte, almost sugary texture. They came as a graduated strand- you know, the biggest at the front, getting smaller and smaller as you get around to the back. They remind me of the boiled sweets we used to have as children, they look good enough to eat.
I wondered if I should use them as nature intended, as a graduated necklace or go with my heart and mix the beads into a totally random bracelet.
I went with random, and in my opinion, they look TOO good to eat now.
This is definitely a product for all of us girlies who like sweeties but don't need the extra calories. lol

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Woo Hoo!!, My Own Hallmark

It was always something we'd intended to do, Mr Lemur and myself, we had always promised ourselves a hallmark of our own. We have been doing jewellery as a hobby for eighteen years, in fact , that's where we met, on a course in Birmingham's famous Jewellery Quarter.

It's easy enough to do. You select the initials you would like, decide what shape you would like them to take and if there's no-one with that mark already, it's yours. Simple.

This week saw the first batch of hallmarked items return from the Assay Office, and very good they looked too.
Before they hallmark your item, they have to test the metal to make sure that the metal is pure enough to carry a hallmark. This involves taking a small sample out of your item, usually from the place you tell them to....somewhere un-noticable. Well I thought it was going to be a scraping from the inside of my bezel.
The locket I had sent was to be set with a large heart shaped cabochon, held by a scalloped bezel.
I was more than a little shocked to find that they had taken a notch out of the centre front scallop. Not from the inside, or from the outside, but a snip from the edge.
I could get rid of the evidence and no-one would know but that hardly seemed the point.

Anyway, it's done. Our names are listed and there they stay. Years from now when Great Great grandchild Lemur goes to the Antiques Roadshow clutching a handful of bashed and blackened trinkets, Mr Expert will be able to tell little Lemur the names of the people who made these items.
Provenance my dear, provenance.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Ever had one of those pieces?

After the initial thrill had left me of being chosen by my client. I could put it off no longer and started work.
I retreated into my workshop armed with plans and drawings, excited to start.
Then I discovered the full horror of what is platinum. When we planned the piece, I didn't point out that I was a platinum virgin, assuming that it would be like working with 18ct gold.
Well now I understand that it's like no metal I've ever worked. 
It's hard.
 Harder than phospher bronze, which, for the record is the material used to make church bells.
It's impossible to solder.
 This metal needs to be welded. The melting point is so high that the French blow pipe that I normally work with only warms it through.  No, this is a job for oxy-propane. 
The metal used to join platinum to itself is not called solder like it is usually is in metalsmithing, it's called filler. It doesn't flow as solder does, it needs to be coaxed around the join with the aid of a pick.
Maybe you can see by this point that this wasn't a piece that I enjoyed making.

With perseverance and a google search I managed to make this ring,  and surprisingly it looked rather good.
Then began the mammoth task of cleaning and polishing.  As I mentioned earlier, this alloy is HARD.  
Never have I had to work so hard and so long just to get a shine. The first attempt to create that legendary platinum lustre ended in tears-metaphorically if not physically. I filed, and filed some more, then sanded, finer and finer. Then I reached that smooth satin finish which normally polishes so well. This time I find it covered in fine marks which are not smoothed by the polishing mop.
If I had a tumbler, this would have been a perfect job for it. With the absence of one I was left with just one thing to do.  Burnish it.
 Burnishing is the act of smoothing out one piece of metal by stroking with pressure with a piece of polished steel.
Oh joy.
I never mind working hard and working long, but it makes it so much easier to do if the results are satisfactory. And this really was worth the pain. The high shine was mindblowing, second to no kind of gold I've seen.
I am the kind of person who likes to think they can draw lessons from things like this.
The lesson for me at this point in my life is simple. Leave platinum alone.

And note to self:
Get a tumbler polisher

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Adjustable rings:- good or bad idea?

Yesterday I decided that I was ready to start a new thread on Etsy. I have spent quite a long time contributing to the threads of other people.
As I have been commissioned a few times to make the ring designs that I have on my online shop in different sizes, I wondered if there was any kind of a market for adjustable rings.

The first few people to post on this thread said that it was a cheap look. Not for the quality jewellery market. They certainly would not pay more than $20 for an adjustable ring.
Others said that it pinched the finger....which is what I've always found.
I started to think that everyone was of the same mind until I read the post saying that they were always of the same point of view as the others until the day when arthritis reared it's head.
The fingers stay the same size but the knuckles swell enough to make the wearing of rings difficult at best.  They then went on to say that a good adjustable ring would be a good solution.

Another poster reminded me of my own affliction, one which means that you have to be vigilant on warm days.   Saying that your fingers swell doesn't sound like much of a problem Mine swell a couple of sizes as soon as I become warm. You only have a couple of chances to get the thing off your finger before the very act of trying to remove it makes it swell even more.  So I can see the value of it.

At the end, the last few posters were in agreement that the idea reminded them of rings they wore as a child....from a cracker or a bubblegum machine.

That was it.

They had thrown down the gauntlet.

I couldn't back away now. Not now the challenge had been levelled. I had to make something that was going to turn their heads, something that didn't repulse or pinch, Something that could be both practical and beautiful.
So today saw me in the shed (during the hottest day we've seen so far this year)
The adjustment system that I used was a thickish round wire, soldered at one end to the underneath side of the bezel, forming a ring shape and then overlapping at the top.
It's comfortable, chic, an invisible join and most of all...adjustable.
Now that I have it made, I promised the people on my thread that I'd post it in another forum for their delectation. Or not. Give them the chance to tell me if  it's rubbish or brill.
I'll let you know the verdict.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Hi there,
is anyone else feeling let down by the weather?  There were many hot days in April and I was sure that summer would have started by now.
 Not monsoon season.      
  I sit working in my garden studio, rain beating on the roof,  clouds blocking out the last rays of sunlight, wind whistling under the door and I wonder where I dumped my old ski salopettes. I'm not joking here. The salopettes I bought twenty years ago for my one and only ski trip have come into their own.
Every year when I tidy out the loft, I wonder if I should throw them out but there they remain. They are quite a bit tighter than they used to be and they're not pretty.  It;s like slipping under a duvet albeit a duvet that pinches around the waist lol.
I look like a goth version of the abominable snowman.
I pray for warmer weather when I don't have to do a quick change when the doorbell rings. My postman is of a delicate constitution and I won't be held responsible.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Commissions, it feels good : )

How good it feels considering the current econonic climate and  the competition there is out there, that I have three new commissions...all at once.
The first  to come along was for a set of five stacking rings made in sterling silver. Different textures and oxidising one made the set really different and exciting. These were all made to a customers specs and although I thought the style didn't appeal to me, when they were finished I had changed my mind, they looked pretty special.
Even though the girl mistakenly gave me the wrong size,  it just took a day to make the five, resize four of them and polish and finish them. When you're in the zone.....

The next one was a set of three stacking rings, one plain and two twisted wire. These were quite simple to make. I like these rings as they are quite twinkly. The top of each twist has a hammered flat which acts like a facet and catches the light.

Now I'm working on a pendant which is going to be set with a large heart shaped tigers eye. This one isn't gonna be easy as the heart is a double cabochon and needs to be set like a spectacle glass. That is where the setting is wrapped around the stone and riveted closed at the bail.
There's nothing like a challenge to keep you fresh.
I have really enjoyed the unexpected turns my working week has taken and I know that it's not always gonna be this way so I enjoy it all the more while it lasts.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Google Analytics

Hi there,
does anyone out there use the free service provided by Google to track the traffic passing through their website? If you use Google Analytics you will already know just how addictive it can be.
Since the dawn of the internet, it has been called the 'worldwide web' and although I know what those words mean, I didn't get the full implications of it until trawling all the statistics gathered by Google.
I'm fascinated how I photograph an item that I made in my shed in Coventry UK, put it in my online shop, and someone from the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean is sitting at home looking at it ( hello to you if you are reading this!)
There have been 'hits' from places like Mongolia, Guam and Panama as well as Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
I find it all so exciting.
My geography skills are getting stronger too because of this. Now I can look at a map of the world and tell you which countries are which. Unfortunately, this has come along twenty five years too late to be of any real benefit to me.
Such is life.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

What will be next? Hair nets?

For a couple of months now I've been  sounding out a few discreet friends to figure out if this idea of mine is worth pursuing.
I know it makes perfect sense, but I can't decide if I have the bottle to follow it through. I wonder if I'm just old before my time.
Gotta have it.

It arrived today. My brand new, lime green, super shiny, PVC shopping trolley.
There. I said it.

I took it out on it's maiden voyage this afternoon, lots of people were super-smiley on the high street,  but we bonded, my trolley and me.
 Don't know about you, but I have to admit to being a bit dubious about going out pulling a trolley,  maybe my ego is too fragile.
The urge to dress up and put on high heels is quite strong. No longer do I pull on my old faithful coat and the practical dolly shoes (that hurt) to pop to the shops.   So you see, the benefits are enormous.  And add to that the advantage that a load of shopping weighs nothing at all when it's packed into your trolley.
And....this is a big AND there is always one child or the other who is begging to be allowed to have a go.

Try it for yourself.     Change your life, swear to God.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Sunshine, blossom and concrete floors

these last two weeks have seen the family back in France chipping away at the mammoth sized task we set ourselves when we bought a house in Normandie.
We have concrete floors.
It doesn't sound like much of an acheivment unless it's something you have experience of.
The first step along the way was sourcing, ordering and the delivery of twelve tonnes of gravel, all of which was dumped outside the house.
Let the barrowing begin.
The enthusiasm soon waned as we realised just what hard work it was going to be. The good old British shovel with it's square end proved less than useless, the French navvies knew what they were at when they made the sheild shaped shovel.
The barrow was loaded and the series of ramps leading to the inside of the house was the next challenge. Alison the next door neighbour was a godsend, she helped through each stage, shovelling, barrowing or entertaining the children with jam making. Every house should have an Alison!!
The barrowing lasted a couple of days and as a treat to celebrate, we ordered three tonnes of sand and a roll of DPM.
We finished all the preparations with a full three hours to spare before the arrival of the readymix concrete.
Now if you've ever heard of the expression 'pouring a concrete floor' it makes it sound as though you just have to encourage it to flow into the corners. Not so.
The lorry arrives with a chute about two feet long, with a lot of persuasion the driver consents to using the longer one which will actually bring the stuff into the house! Then one of the kindly neighbours who offered to help us with this task fabricates his own chute which brings the concrete into the right place. The pouring begins.
The next hour is a blur of sweat and shovelling as five of us attack it with rakes and a leveller.
Without Stephane the builder who helped out of the kindness of his heart, I'm not sure what kind of a floor we would have ended up with, he raked, levelled and orchestrated the lorry driver. Invaluable.
We have made some good friends in France. Alison, Guy, Stephane- thanks for being there.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Have to tell you this, it was a landmark happening in my cyber existance and one which made me hot, sweaty and my heart beat so fast. No, no, no, slow down there! Nothing like that.
I entered my first chat room.

Not just any chat room, but one in which an FS was promoting their shop for a five minute slot.
I entered wondering what an FS could be. No sooner had the thought entered my head than someone informed me that I was the new 'featured seller' and my time starts NOW!
Well, typing has never been a particular skill of mine, so I stumbled through what seemed a barrage of questions, all the time trying to plug my stuff and keep an eye on the time.
It must have been apparent to everyone that I was a newbie, but thanks to everyone that I met there on Etsy last night who were so patient with me and made me feel really welcome.

I left that chat room pretty soon after I had chosen the next FS and kept the time for her, but my experience there left me with a warm feeling inside and a resolve to learn more about this form of expression.

I have been busy in the workshop this week, the latest couple of rings that I've made have turned out to be a real success.
Instead of using gemstones, I've made a centre focal piece out of enamelled copper and set it as you would a stone. As a result, I've ended up with a ring which is really eyecatching with the freedom to create something different.
Take a look, see what you think.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

It's been a while since I last posted. I seem to have been busy with the mundane day to day operations, which keep a household ticking over but do nothing to nurture the creative vibe.
I've put this job off for a long time as it's not one I'm looking forward to doing.
Call it artistic temperament if you like, but I can only be really enthused about one medium at a time and at the moment I'm really enjoying silverwork.
The thing I'm working on at the moment is a stained glass panel for a little project in France.
Deep in the heart of Normandy is a work in progress that has been continuing for five years now.
The majority of the heavy work is done , it only remains to put in the insides before we can get to the exciting part....browsing the broccantes! If you say it quickly, it sounds like hardly any work at all.
This will be only the third stained glass window that I've made. The first one is above the front door of the house I'm living in, where it has been for about 15 years. Maybe I'm not the most prolific worker, once I get started it is a very enjoyable pastime which grows at an amazing rate.
The last piece I did was inspired by a 15th century panel I saw while visiting the Mont St Michel. Very simple geometric design based around diamonds and squares, don't you think that sometimes it's the simplest ideas that work best of all?

Friday, 20 March 2009

All hail Mother Nature, the most worthy of designers

Hello again,
well finally it feels like spring has arrived. With three days of warm sunshine behind us, I can see that now is the time to put together my new seasons collection.
The use of yellow and green enamel is almost subconscious as I follow the rhythm of nature.
My workshop is situated at the end of my garden and all through the winter months I barely thaw out between sessions there. But now I find that inspiration from the unfolding season is all around me.
The blues, greens and fresh colours of the garden and the sun giving everything a splash of gold.
The twitter of the birds as they are doing their thing. The voices of the children playing in the schoolyard. Lawnmowers. Dogs. The occasional police siren reminding me that I am still in the city.
Then the evening draws in and the setting sun casts its amber glow. That is my favourite part of all. Those are the colours that I will recreate.
And until this moment, I hadn't realised why I had felt the urge to put just those colours together.
The ring I made today was one of the simplest ones that I have made so far. Just a concave copper disc attached to a silver shank.
The top of the ring is coloured in the freshest leaf green, the colour of newly burst buds. The underneath of the disc is an opalescent blue. A pale sky blue which has a translucent quality allowing the copper base to glow where the light hits it....just the colour I was telling you about!

Maybe this is exactly the reason why I feel as if I've finally found my true medium in enamel. I love working with metal and gemstones, my magpie tendancies will always vie towards the bright and shiny, whether it be rubies , garnets, sapphires or the many jewel like colours which I can create with a kiln and a little powdered glass, marvelling at the beauty born of such humble origin.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

New Treasure

Last night my long suffering husband finally found time in his busy life to set a few rings for me. Maybe I should be doing this for myself, but he does it so well and much quicker than I could.
So now, after much cajoling and lots of cups of tea I have three brand new, shiny, sparkly rings in my sticky mitt, ever the magpie, the desire to hoard all the treasure that we make never leaves me.
Do other people suffer from this ?
I started selling (or should I say advertising as there's been no sales yet) my stuff on a great little website called etsy at the start of the new year. Even though there's been nothing sold as yet, it's very enlightening. The things that I am sure will be popular prove to be slow, you can never foretell these things, there is no accounting for taste...especially mine!!
Check me out on

Made my first wire collet today. It was not something I ever felt the need to do before today and it was surprisingly easy.
The collet I made was to fit a 4mm stone . I think this type of collet would suit a larger stone better as the holes between the wires are rather small at this scale.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

hello, I'm CheekyLemur. This is the first time that I've aired my thoughts publicly...not sure if blogging is gonna be something that comes easily to me.

Today has seen me in the shed, my own private sanctuary where I think and create. It's where magic happens. And on other days.....not.

The kiln was calling this morning, it had been a week since the last time. I had already cut out some little silver heart pendants, domed them and soldered little loops to the back. It's at this stage where I always reconsider whether I really want to enamel them. So smooth, shiny and perfect. There is always the chance that something unforeseen will happen during the enamel process and render them scrap.

No, I really wanted them opalescent white. They hang offset from one side of the heart, the colours now they are done shine subtly through the white as the light hits it, golden oranges and pinks. Reminiscent of a summer sunset.

Now I have to find a way for the camera to do justice to the colour. The best way I have found is to wait until midday and the warm sunlight streams through the window. I wonder how other people light their photos. Florescent strip is just too sterile and tungsten light too orangey.

Let me see if I can upload a couple of photos to show you what I have done.