Friday, 13 November 2009

Hectic times, but some exciting times ahead too!


I am sooooo looking forward to Christmas! For all the obvious reasons (Christmas pudding, crackers, mince pies, seeing my family etc), but also because I will get almost 2 weeks off work! PhD are hard work and I have been working like a busy bee in recent months to meet some deadlines so I’ve had no extended time off since I went on my riding holiday long weekend to France in July. In a nutshell…I need a holiday!!!

I love what I do and it is what I wanted and worked hard for, but when it eats into my life outside of my PhD it sometimes gets frustrating. For example, I joined my uni’s polo club but because it happens on Wednesday afternoons (which all undergraduates get off for “sports”…but postgrads don’t :( ) it means at the moment I cannot justify losing whole afternoon of work time. It has meant that I’ve instead been able to go to life drawing classes on a Wednesday evening which I am really enjoying. I had to give up art at A level to carry on my science stuff so it has been nice to get my hand back in with some proper drawing. I would post pics of my work but not sure whether blogger allows nakedness in the medium of paper and pencil and I don’t want to get in trouble!!

There has also been an exciting development in my jewellery making “career” which I hope to be able to say more about once I know for sure that it is definitely happening. Going to spend the weekend working on “my part” and hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be able to tell you more.

Hoping to have a productive crafty weekend so I’ll try and take some pics (cos all writing blog posts are a wee bit boring aren’t they?)



Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Long time, no blog… the Big Bead Show!!


Yes, I know, it’s been a considerable time since my last blog post. Alas, real life seems to keep getting in the way (whoever thought up having to have a day job to earn money for rent and food and stuff, huh?) but I am really trying to get on top of things.

Last weekend I really got to grips with my bedroom and bought myself a desk – note: when you are trying to carry 17kg of flat pack desk in a box that is about an inch too big to carry under your arm, the trip from the bus stop to your front door which usually takes 5 minutes can, and will, feel like a lifetime. Chivalry is clearly dead…several people walked past me clearly struggling with the box without a second glance…and by the time I got to the flat lugging it up the stairs to our (top floor!) flat was well, torture!! But, once the feeling had returned to my hands, I cracked on and made it up and now I have a nice work/beading desk to use.

And speaking of beading…it was the Bead Magazine Big Bead Show on Saturday at Sandown racecourse so I eagerly hopped on the train from London to go and drool over stall after stall of fantastic beads. I was looking for some different things to usual as I have just started to work with art clay silver and wanted some different stuff to go with that than my usual seed beads.

The first stall I bought from was Ilona Biggins. I had to be VERY restrained because the entire stall was crammed with semi precious gorgeousness (I could have bought every kind of purple coloured stone on display they were so pretty!). Eventually I settled for some lovely purple crazy agate ovals and some chunky blue goldstone chips/nuggets. Neither of these photos does them justice (light was poo when I took pics) – the agate is a wonderful dusky lavender, and the sparkle on the goldstone is to die for :)



Then I bought some more semi precious beads from Twinkle Pieces – rounds this time. I’m not normally much of a pink person but these were so beautiful and I’d not seen any round matt rose quartz before so I had to have them.


And I also couldn’t resist these lovely impression jasper rounds either…my housemate says they look like little planet earths with the sea green and rock colours. Unfortunately my camera decided it didn’t want to download the pic I took of them for reasons best known only to itself. But I promise they are really nice too!

I spent a few pennies at the Bead Time stall – they had an offer on some nice glass pearls so I bought a selection in colours that work together in a few sizes.


And I also snapped up a few packs of acrylic flowers just because they are so sweet!


And I couldn’t quite manage to stay away from the seed beads and bought an adorable ladybird bracelet kit from Spellbound Beads that I started the other night – will post a pic when I have finished.

It was a great way to spend a Saturday and I’ve definitely found a few places where I can find stuff I want as my jewellery making takes a slightly new direction. Roll on the Big Bead Show 2010 :D

N    xoxo

Friday, 28 August 2009

Craftacular, markets and general creativeness

It's been a busy week at work for me so not had time to update the blog until now.

So, last weekend I dragged myself from my bed (went out Friday night, intended only to stay out a few hours...ended up not back til 2am, oops) and hopped on the tube to Bethnal Green to pay the Bust Craftacular a visit. Wasn't really sure what to expect, but despite the venue reminding me very much of school assemblies, there were lots of people surrounding most of the 50 stalls.

There was a mixture of the cute, the retro, the unusual and in some cases distinctly bizarre (!) but some great eye candy and worth the trip. Favourites included the cool wooden animal brooches on the OFFCUT design stall, the gorgeous birdie artwork on offer from Little Doodles and the very cool Tatty Devine stand where they were attempting to make a record breaking charm bracelet. My sole purchase of the day was this adorable little horse brooch on the Fine City Friends stall.

Since my housemate was away for the weekend, on the Sunday morning I headed to Spitalfields market to see what was on offer there. Lots of clothes - some handmade, some bought in, plus plenty of jewellery and food from pretty much every continent you can think of. Some equally cool market stalls can be found further up towards Brick Lane at the Sunday Upmarket and the Backyard Market. So if you are at a loss for something to do on a Sunday I recommend a trip there.

So what have I got up my crafty sleeves in the coming weeks? Well, I have a silver clay workshop booked for a few weeks time that I'm really looking forward to, some belated birthday present jewellery to finish and I'm also brainstorming some ideas for a piece to enter in the Beads and Beyond magazine jewellery designer of the year competition. I'll let you know how that turns out



Thursday, 20 August 2009

A little netted cuff....

No, your eyes do not deceive you, I do indeed have a picture to show you of something I've made recently! Not an original design, but a project from Bead and Button - I don't really use netting much so I fancied a go at this. Not too struck on the colour but I love the labradorite chips I've used as the toggle buttons.

I have so many ideas for pieces I want to a couple of UFOs, but at the moment I am so busy at work that often I can just about summon up the energy to make and eat dinner, let alone get out the beads and thread. But I do really want to make a go of this jewellery making lark. Yesterday I signed up for a Misi account and I intend to use there and Folksy to sell pieces rather than my own website. It's a start in the right direction anyhow!!

So in the spirit of this, I have a very crafty weekend planned. On Saturday I'm off to the Bust London Craftacular to have a look at what other crafty and arty peeps have been up to, so, with the additional aim I have of blogging more regularly, look out for a report back on that in a few days time.

On Sunday I'm heading off to Spitalfields Market - in a brainstorming session I had and idea for a bracelet and I remembered that last time I was at Spitalfields there were a couple of stalls where I might be able to pick up some of what I need to make it. Fingers crossed they are there when I go, otherwise I may end up trawling Ebay for what I want.

So, to the future, look out for my jewellery being up for sale on Misi and Folksy, and for more in the way of blogs (I hope to start featuring other craft artists in Blog posts...we crafters have to support each other after all!).



Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Beady Backlog

I wish I had some pretty pics to show you, but sadly not. Has been a busy time of moving home, work, going on holiday and other stuff. Which means I have a bit of a beady backlog - still trying to get the pendant on a necklace for a friend's birthday to hang right...and have a piece for my mum's birthday I should really get finished this week since I am going back to Essex to see my family for the weekend! I'm also halfway through a cuff bracelet design from the latest Bead and Button. Rest assured once I have some finished pieces I will photograph them and post them up for you to see.

One thing I have done is start a 'page' for my jewellery on Facebook, so you can now go and become a 'fan' and make me feel all warm and fuzzy that yes, some people do like what I make! So if you want to make me smile today, become a fan here.

Best make tracks, time waits for no woman


Friday, 26 June 2009

Busy as a busy bee...but no time to bead!

Sadly I have not a bean of new beady stuff to show you. It has been a busy time chez Hollybird Beads in the last few weeks - for both good and not so good reasons. Fortunately though, it nows seems like the good is starting to outweigh the bad.

Now, sadly, I have to have a day job in order to be able to live, eat and buy beads, but until recently I was doing the Essex to London commute 5 days a week. Which meant you get to read a whole heap of books, but also means you have to sit next to people with rather questionable personal hygiene - surprisingly though, most of the real stinkers are the people in the shirts, ties and suits, not the builders in their paint splattered overalls (how exactly does one sit in an air conditioned office for 8 hrs and still manage to smell worse than someone who's been up and down scaffolding since 6am?).

So last weekend, myself and a good friend moved into a 2 bed flat in London - and now it takes me 20 mins on the bus and a short walk and there I am at my desk and I haven't had to get up at 6:45am! It also means I can stay at work longer - science is not a 9 - 5 kinda thing, and experiments are needy and like you to pander to them at random hours in the day.

So appologies for the lack of jewellery to show you, but hopefully once I get things sorted after the move I should have time to start getting creative again :) xx

Sunday, 14 June 2009

I will keep up with blogging!!! ...and Race for Life

Blogging is a bit like making New Years resolutions - you start off all 'yea I can totally find something to blabber on about for a few paragraphs or show everyone a new piece of jewellery I made,' and then you suddenly realise you've gone months without writing so much as a full stop!

Well I am going to attempt once again to maintain my jewellery making blog (just don't come throwing stuff if I let it slide!), and thought I'd make my first new post about something unjewellery related I did today - the 5K Cancer Research Race for Life.

We took part again for the 2nd time this year...and though we weren't strictly racing, we still managed to shave 6 minutes off last time, completing the course in 50 minutes.

If you've never been to one of these events before, let me tell you that it is an enjoyable, fun day - the warm up is always a giggle, plus there are the hilarious Nivea Boys male cheerleaders to get everyone in the spirit. People all around you are wearing silly wigs, fairy wings and tutus - someone even ran today dressed as Spongebob Squarepants!! But for every smile there is the constant reminder of why we take part in the race. Everyone has a 'back sign' where they have to complete the sentence "I race for life for..." Now I did giggle at one who had written "because it's safer than doing a parachute jump!"...but most people's back signs bear the names of friends and family who have been affected by cancer.

Some are survivors...I had my mum's name on my back and she took part in the race with me, but we also carried with us the name of my mum's aunt, who I am named after, and who passed away barely a month before my mum gave birth to me. I also wore the name of someone I went to school with who passed away a few months ago - I had not seen him since college...but that did not make the news that someone I used to be in classes with every day at secondary school passed away at the age of just 23 any easier to handle. Sometimes you have to look away from the back signs - one lady I saw had a t-shirt saying she was racing in memory of a little boy whose picture was printed on the back...the years of his life read 1994 - 1997. And if that isn't a reason to don a pink t-shirt and your trainers for a stroll around a park with thousands of other women to raise money to help fight cancer, I don't know what is.