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.