Saturday, 31 January 2009

A trip round the mountains

We were off to early start this morning and went off up into the Snowdonia mountains, what a treat !! We were heading for Betws y Coed, but stopped off at the Ugly House first to take a few photo's what a dissapointment it was closed. So we went down to the river nearby and it was stunning. The river even at it's deepest was crystal clear and the lichen covered tree's were vibrant green.



On the river bank there was this gorgeous looking piece of wood with a stone wedged in it, smoothed off by the fast running river. I really wanted to take home for the back garden but it was too big and there was no room left in the van :o(


The mountains had very little snow on them, each year there seems to be less and less.But I still enjoyed looking at them.


Once we'd been to Betws y Coed had a cup of much needed tea as it was flipping freezing up the mountains, we headed back to Anglesey to met my youngest son and his girlfriend. After spending some time with them we made our weary but happy way home.



How much stuff !!!

My oldest daughter and her family arrived last night about half eight, after hugging us hello, they started to bring in their bags. How much stuff for a weekend stay !!! Bag, after bag, after bag came through the door and almost filled my spare room to the rafters lol. Two matteresses, a sewing machine, a laundry basket full of toys, nappies, wet wipes, clothes, bags of material, rucksacks galore and god knows what else that I didn't see ha ha. My daughter and travelling light definetly don't go together in the same sentence.

Later that night the sewing machine was duly brought up, to see if I could thread it properly. After working out the right sequence of places for the thread to go, all was plugged in, the needle was threaded then ..... we noticied the foot was missing. The air was blue when we realised that a vital part had either been left behind or lost. No pretty sewing for me this weekend :o(

Later still my daughter and I compared materials, beads embroidery threads etc. Swapping this for that so we have more stuff to use when doing our panels. Doesn't take much to keep us two happy :o)

Monday, 26 January 2009

Gentle nudge

Seeing as my oldest daughter has just given me a gentle nudge and said I hadn't written on my blog for a few days I thought better write a line or two.

There's been a couple of family troubles since I wrote last, both of which will work themselves out in the end I expect. So my mind was on them rather than what I could waffle about on here.

I have however done a little bit more on the lastest panel, one things for sure this type of thing will never be a money spinner, unless of course I do panels a lot less complicated than the one I'm doing at the moment. But that's why artists are rarely rich I guess.

My post eating dog excelled himself this morning, not only did he manage to push the heavy velvet curtain back to get to the post and destroy it, he also managed to pull a good part of the curtain off the pole too !! At the moment the curtain is just hanging forlornly down, I haven't had the heart to check and see if he's destroyed the curtain hooks yet, but I'm fully expecting him to have done sigh ......

My oldest daughter and her family is coming to visit for the weekend. So we will be spending most of it pouring over some good library books shes got on embroidery, and ooohing and arhhhing over the pretty stitching no doubt lol. Trying to sort out how her sewing machine threads up and going somewhere to take some photo's no doubt. So I'm looking forward to that.

Anyway enough waffling here's the latest photo of the panel I'm doing, and also the photo of Mels panel I made for her birthday again as she's got it now, so I know she won't be mithering Andy to see it lol.




Friday, 23 January 2009

New project

After feeling a bit iffy this last few days, I feel much better today and ready to start a new project. A totally different one this time, an embellished panel. I decided on doing this after making a friend of mine a birthday present, I enjoyed doing it so much I thought I'd make a couple of similar things and see if they sell.

Todays blog is going to be photo heavy as there's no better way to show you the new project than do it with it photo's. There will first be photo's of the various things I'll use on this project, then the panel in it's early stages and lastly the finished panel for my friend ( Andy ... Mels not allowed to see the finished panel lol )

These are little bags of rovings, which I needle onto the material.Rovings can also be made into felt as I've done with the finished panel.


Next is embroidery silks, which I will embroidery with obviously but also may use the offcuts of pieces of thread on one part of the panel.


A tub full of various beads including seed beads and bugle beads. I also have a cabinet full of much bigger beads which I may use sometimes.


Next is some pretty wool I've had for a long time now which has just been waiting for a project like this. I'll use a needle felting needle to attach this to the panel. Incase some of you haven't come across needle felting before, this is a needle with a small handle the pointed end having barbs on it which attaches the ool and roving to the panel by pulling threads through the material.


A tub full of sewing thread which I use to embroidery with too as it has a different texture to the embroidery thread.


Last of the things I'll use to embellish this panel is sequins, and also a multicoloured threads.


Here is the first steps of the new panel.


Lastly is the finished birthday present I made for my friend Mel for her birthday next week. This photo has now been removed to stop MeL from peeking lol.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Funny old day

Well after waking at my usual 4am feeling fine, I decided to have a snooze for an hour later on. When I woke up again I felt a bit odd, but decided to ignore it. Off to do our fortnightly shop, I stood in the post office waiting to pay my never ending bills and realised I felt sick, my legs were rubbery and my arms felt like lead weights lol. So apart from getting some milk and taking the dog for a walk, the shopping's been abandoned for another day. I've dosed myself up with some flu tablets and hope that it wards it off whatever it is that ails me.

My front room is beginning to annoy me...... I'm surrounded by colourful boxes of beads, of all shapes and sizes, mirror tiles, sequins, bits of wool, reels of cotton and skeins of embroidery thread. I'm even saving the offcuts of embroidery thread incase they come in useful for gawds sake !! The pile is getting bigger and bigger every day, as I become more and more into this new found hobby of embellishment embroidery. As usual, I can stand the mess for quite a while before it starts to get on my nerves. I am getting very close this point right now !!!

Even the poor old dog is having to pick his way through all these boxes to come and get a bit of fuss. My old dog Zac, sometimes known as Lardy, is a bit of a character/liability. At 11 yrs old he can be very set in his ways at times. He will not eat his breakfast or dinner unless me or my daughter is sat downstairs with him. He has a very annoying habit of eating my post too !! He seems to outwit me every time I try to get to my post, before him and it gets either teeth marks all through it or at worst torn to shreds. It's usually the latter to be honest, as despite his elderly age he's a dammed sight faster than me. We bought one of those wire letter boxes and fixed that to the door, feeling very satisified with ourselves my daughter and I sat thinking we had at last fixed the problem. Oh no, two lunges at that the next morning found the post box on the floor along with the remaining bits of that days post !! That idea abandoned I decided, that maybe a really heavy, very long velvet curtain hung at the door would fox him, no way would he be able to get to the post now !! What a joke, the first morning he'd sussed out how to drag the curtain back with his mouth so that he could get to the letters he loves to destroy !! So apart from taking him to the doggy dentist and having all his teeth taken out, it seems that the only way is to keep him ( and me ) locked in the front room till after the post has been.

Whoever said you can't teach old dogs new tricks, obviously has never met my dog!! At our old house we had the old latch type handles on the doors, when he came to live with us he realised pretty quickly that if he banged his nose on the door a few times, he could dislodged the latch and get the door open. At this new house he has managed to open a sliding door !! At first I thought I hadn't shut the door properly when I went out, so the next time I made doubly sure the door was shut, I got back and sure enough the door was wide open. It seems this dog must have some Houdini blood in him.

When you take him for a walk, you can let him off the lead and he's no problem. He trundles along with you quite happily, UNTIL you decide its the end of walkies, then he seems to suddenly develope selective hearing .... and takes no notice whatsoever. You can talk nicely, shout, scream at him or even a combination of all three and he just totally ignores you !! Luckily however, if you start the car up and sound the horn, he can reappear from miles away and comes and gets in the car lol.

He also has a deep hatred of men, and should any try and get over our doorstep they are likely to get bitten. This means that he has to be locked away whenever meter readers, postmen, repair guys or odd random men come knocking. We were told by his previous owners he used to be fine, until they had a change of postman. They think this new postman used to kick him, because from then on he hated men. His hatred of men is why we actually got to have him. At my old house I was asleep on the settee one night and got woke up in the early hours by a guy stroking my leg !! I sat up screamed at this guy " Who the hell are you ?" as if he ws going to tell me ....dohhhh !!! My shouting must have scared him, (I can shout very loudly, just ask my kids) and he ran off. At first I wasn't sure what to do, was it too petty a thing to report it to the police ? I decided it wasn't and called the police, sniffer dogs tracked the guys scent to one of my neighbours and he was arrested !! This really shook me up and I was left feeling very vunerable, so one of my other neighbours a lovely guy called Chris, said I could borrow his dog till I felt a bit better. So we did and very quickly me, my son and my daughter got very attached to this fat, old, but very protective dog called Zac and began to dread the day when my neighbour would want him back. One day while Chris was having a cuppa at ours he turned round and said you might as well keep Zac, he's much happier and better off with you because your at home most of the time. We very quickly accepted this offer, and Zacs been with us ever since !!




Sunday, 18 January 2009


Blearhhhhhhh is exactly how I feel today after an extremely bad nights sleep. My back was really aching and even standing for a minute was really painful.The arthritus in my knees was very bad too, making my knees burn inside and out, I'm sure you could have almost cooked an eggs on my knees last night they were so hot.

So today this has left me feeling tired, very grumpy and still in pain. I don't usually do grumpy, it's just not me. I even snapped at my dog when he stood on my foot which I don't usually do, even though he weighs a ton. But I made an extra fuss of him afterwards because I felt so guilty. I had a couple of hours sleep at midday and had a dream about an ex, which I can remember and was quite nice, it's very unusual for me to dream and even more unusual for me to be able to remember it.

I doubt I'll do anything crafty today, I'm just not in the mood.... maybe a bit of stitching on the felted panel later if I get bored. But I certainly won't be getting to grips with scraping any of the surplus grouting off the boot I've mosaiced.

Well tomorrows another day and hopefully a better one. I'm putting a few photo's of my little grand daughter today as I think they are exceptionally good. I've been trying to persuade her mom to start a blog and put her photo's on there as she's got a very good camera and is getting better and better at teaching herself digi photography, but she's resisting at the moment.

So here she is Lacey Mae, She's got the looks of an angel but trust me she's a bundle of mischief and gets into everything !!




Saturday, 17 January 2009

Wet and windy

It was a very wet and windy day in Anglesey today, a shame that the wind wasn't at it strongest when it was high tide. But it was still worth a drive around our favourite beaches when we took our dog out for his walk. I have to admit he took himself for a walk today though and even he didn't stay out too long lol.

I took some photo's of the sea, it was pretty spectacular to see for real, but the photo's don't do it justice sadly. Hard to capture the sound of the wind blasting through the car window, smothering my camera lens with rain in about a second.


It seems to the time for change for some of my friends. Mel and Andy who I'm going to stay with in a couple of weeks, have just bought this lovely horsebox and are busy converting it as I type. Hopefully in time for when I get there :o)I was checking the long range weather forcast for Ullapool and there might even be some snow when I get there, fingers crossed.


Also my friend Ray who lives full time on a narrowboat, has just had his boat extended by 10ft to make room for a better workshop for his glass bead making. Trying to live and refit a boat is not an easy feat,as the photo below shows. It'll be worth it in the end eh Ray lol. Love the new colour, purple my fav :o)


Thursday, 15 January 2009

Felt and Glass

I've spent the last couple of days alternating between doing the mosaic boots and making a felted panel. Both are going well, although I accidentally let the grout on the boot dry out too much. Getting dry grout off seed beads and glass is a pain in the arse trust me !! I've accidentally done this before so you would think I would have learnt my lesson ...oh no, not me.

I managed to get the main panel of felt done last night, I'd forgotten how many times you have to roll it backwards and forwards to get the roving to felt up lol. Then this morning I added some very pretty coloured tie dye wool by needle felting it. Now I'm in the process of adding some bead detail, I wish I had more bugle beads but never mind.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Long long day

It's been a very long day today for me, only had about 3 hrs sleep and woke up twice during that time too. Fingers crossed I'll get a decent night tonight.

The boot is coming on a treat, all the glass is on and some bead detailing too. Just got the odd spot to put an extra small tile in, and it'll be ready to grout tomorrow. What colour to do the grouting is the question though hmmmmm.

Amazon had a special offer on Mr Site websites, so I've taken the plunge and bought one. It was only £12.47 (odd price) and free delivery too, can't be bad. I've wanted to get rid of my geocities one for a long time as it's outdated and also doesn't work with firefox either. It's much more profesional to have a proper website address with a checkout and everything too. I wonder where that disc is that I got to make my own headers, buttons etc ?

Monday, 12 January 2009

Making progress

Today and yesterday were spent cutting yet more tiny glass tiles and starting to put them on the boot. I'm really pleased that everything seems to be going to plan so far. The boot is holding up with the weight of the glass, something I was a bit worried about, so all in all I'm pretty pleased so far.

I tried doing a charcoal picture from a photo of a friend sent a couple of days ago, but I wasn't happy with it so it went in the bin. I'd planned to have another go tonight but then realised that my oil pastels are still packed away in a box somewhere grrrrrr. Knowing my luck it'll be the last of about 6 boxes with all my art stuff in, so I might try using some watercolour pencils one of my sons gave me for Xmas instead. I'm not sure if they've got the colour range I need though as I want to do the picture in really vibrant colours .... we shall see later.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Ooops what a surprise

Yesterday I added some things to my interest list on here. One of them was alternative lifestyles, in my head this meant hippys, travellers and the like. How wrong was I, when I clicked on it later lol !! Much to my amusement alternative lifestyles is erotica in it's various forms. Did I click the back key .... course not, the body might be falling apart but my heads still as open minded as it's always been. So I spent a happy hour ..ok ok two, exploring the various blogs reminding myself of happier times gone by ;o)Now don't all be going to look at what alternative lifestyles brings up, because I've changed it to alternative living now haha.

This morning started off at 4.30am, after a nice cuppa, my breakfast and a long soak in the bath I started cutting up more pieces of coloured glass for the boots. It's been pretty slow progress though as my fingers are sore from cutting glass yesterday. Only the green glass to cut now and I can carry on. Whether that'll get done today is yet to be seen, as Im very close to getting a blister on one the fingers that squashes the glass pliers that break the score in the glass.

The wind is pretty strong here today and I can't help but think of the waves that would be crashing over the Breakwater. A great photo opportunity missed because I can't there :o( I do love extreme weather, whether it be snow storms, gale force winds, or torrential rain I just love it. I like the sun too, but it's not exactly very exciting.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Another slow start

My inability to sleep later than 4 or 5am, can sometimes make my start to the day slow and sluggish. Often by 9 or 10am I'm tired and sleepy again, sometimes I give into the longing for more sleep and curl back up for another hour or two, other times I won't give in. If I don't give in, this inevitably can find me fast asleep sitting bolt up right in my chair up at 5pm, my body forcing me to get some sleep whether I want to or not lol !!

Most of the time I enjoy this twilight world I seem to occupy, being wide awake while the world sleeps on. When all 8 of my kids were living at home, it was a positive luxury to have an hour or so alone with my thoughts. A godsend to have some crafty time with my latest creation without prying fingers or constant interuptions. Those few hours alone kept me sane that's for sure. But now I'm older, it can be annoying to feel sleepy at the very time I'm at my most creative mentally. This is probably why the boot project is taking me so long to get into, but I've made progress today and the first boot now has a trail of tiny mirror tiles winding their way lazily round the boot, the rest of the design will as usual appear as I actually put the other bits and pieces in place.

Todays photo's are more dichoric pendants. This pendant has texture to it, done by firing to a slightly lower temperature so the glass goes less molten than usual.

This is one of my favourite pendants, the same glass is used, but by turning the smaller piece of glass over it's possible to give the pendant depth to it.


Finally today is a collection of the last batch of pendants that were down the gallery, most are now sold and when I've finished doing the boots I'll finish off my latest batch of carbons that are sitting ready and waiting for bails and chains.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Getting distracted

Well despite my best intentions I still haven't got much further with mosaicing the boots lol. I seem to going through a phase of getting distracted very easily. I have cut a few more pieces of glass and mirror ready to stick on the boots though. I do have a bit of a quandary though, should I do totally different designs on each boot and sell them seperately, which might make sales easier. Or do I do them identically and sell them as a pair hmmmm .....

Some of the distractions is reading blogs. How addictive are they !! I go to one blog and then start flollowing a list of blogs that person is interested in and before I know it, half a day's gone lol. I have such wide variety interests I'm sure I could spend all day on the blogs. I haven't even dared start looking at the photography ones, apart from my friend Andys one.

Todays photo's are just a small selection of the fused glass pendants I've made. All of them are already sold, but still might be of interest to someone who enjoys fusing.

The first is a pendant with extremely small pieces of dichroic put on in a design to look like patchwork. As the pendant was only about 1.5" long that might give you an idea how small each patchwork piece is.


The next one is a mixture of frit ( small pieces of glass )and dichocic glass.


Last is anothre design similar to the previous one.


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Change of plans

Well my plan to spend yesterday cutting glass went to the wall. Instead I spent the day in a daze of pleasant day dreams lol. Hey ho these things happen for a reason I guess..

Yet another day has passed with no activities as I needed to go shopping and make doubly sure I had every thing I need to last me till 16th Feb. My daughter is due to go away till then and without her to take me to the shops I'm pretty much housebound. So instead of my haphazard shopping day this was one of almost military precision, a list was made and everything crossed off as it landed in the shopping trolley. After housework, shopping is my next most hated thing to do. If I had a reasonable amount of money to spend it might be less of a chore. But as it is, there's only a very small budget left for food after the bills have been paid. But its all done and put away now and if I run out of anything it's just too bad lol.

Today for a change I thought I'd show off some photo's of my son and daughters crafts.

This first photo was done by my son, this is a model of a street fighter motorbike done entirely of matches, even though some parts at first glance look as though they aren't. This took him many many hours, putting all the painstakingly small detail on it. Even the spark plugs come out. It measures approx 18" long by 10" wide. This is for sale, if anyone is interested please leave me a message.


The picture frame in this next photo has also been done by my son, entirely of matchsticks. This measures 12" x 8".


Last but not least is my daughters creations as you can see she shares my love of glass and the biggest sculpture is made from small 1" long x 1/4" wide pieces of glass, which are glued and stacked, indivually. This is approx 18" high x 10" wide at the bottom.


Sunday, 4 January 2009

Another day gluing !!

Well I've spent another day gluing bits of brown paper on to the pair of Dr Marten boots. I really do question my own sanity at times lol. The boots seem pretty solid now, even though they haven't dried out properly from this last assault of paper and glue.

I'll be using beads, tiny pieces of mirror and various sorts of glass tiles to decorate them. I'm thinking that I might have to cut the glass even smaller than the usual 1/4" squares of glass I do, so that the tiles mould as much as possible to the shape of the boots. That alone will be very time consuming as it's much harder to cut tiny pieces of glass than you might think. I'm sure that my fingers will be smoothered with tiny cuts as usual, which despite their size can be quite painful.

No matter how much these boots sell for, I doubt very much whether it will actually ever pay me much above 50p an hour, if I added up the amount of hours that it actually takes me to do them. But that is my choice, I'll never be rich from my crafts, I do it for the love of it.

I've always been one of those type of people that likes to keep busy, which is probably why my crafts often turn out to be quite intricate a lot of the time.

The first photo today is an oil painting I did, this measures about 12" by 8" and is done on board. Most of my paintings and drawings are either nude or semi nude as I love to draw the human form.


This mirror is a style of mirror I do called jester mirrors, it was a commisioned mirror. It is made from stained glass with nuggets and copper wire embellisments

The last photo today is of little copper foiled stained glass guardian angels, they're about 4 " tall and come with their own little bags. I've made and sold more of these than I can count, but I always end up with burnt fingers as the size being so small means the glass heats up very quickly ...ouch !!!


Saturday, 3 January 2009

New project

I started a new project yesterday, to mosaic a pair of Dr Marten boots. That might seem an odd thing to do, but I've seen very femmine shoes mosaiced and although they look really good, I'm just not a really femmine type person. So, I thought why not do something that would appeal to me ...hence the Dr Marten boots.

The first step is to get the leather as stiff as I can, so it'll take the glass tiles without buckling under the weight. Following a suggestion from my daughter I've started to paper mache them. This seems to be working really well, and isn't taking as long to dry as I expected, which being the impatient type of person that I am, I'm pleased about that. I've done about 3 layers on one boot so far and will keep you up to date with my progress as I go.

I'm also adding more photo's of my crafts today, I wish that over the years I'd taken photo's of everything I'd made before it sold, I would have a huge portfoio by now. But as often happens you're only wise after the event.

My first photo today is of a tree sprite, this is made of copper foiled stained glass and copper wire. They are always custom made to fit each tree, and carefully attached so as not to cause the tree any damage.


Next is a leaded stained glass astrology wheel. It has various astrologic symbols painted on the glass and then is fired at a low temperature in a kiln to make the symbols permenently fixed to the glass. This measures about 14" across.


Lastly is a mirror which was called Wilderness. It is done in a unique way and is one of the few times I won't share the method with people. The abstract design winds it way around the mirror and has glass nuggets to add colour to it.


Thursday, 1 January 2009

A new day a new year

Well it's 2009, the new year came in very quietly for me, my daughter had fell asleep, tired after the drive home yesterday, and even the dog deserted me and went downstairs lol. But he soon came back when the fireworks started going off the big wuss !!

My new years resolution is to get my glass work seen by as many more people as I can, that's my only one too point in stretching myself too far lol. I have to admit I tend to only decide on resolutions, that I'm likely to achieve, as I hate to fail ;o)

So to start off I'm going to upload a few photo's of some of my creations today, that's me already achieved my goal this year haha. But seriously I want to find out new outlets to sell from, I'll try locally first and then further afield. I'm also going to get my work seen on the net more too, as one of the things I'm quite happy to do is do commisions, in fact a lot of the work I do is commision work to be honest. People do seem to like to own things that have been made specially for them. I've also been starting to do a page on Indiepublic today, a website with hand made items on it, once I'm happy with how that looks I'll be putting a link on here.

This is a mosaic mirror that I made it measured approx 18" x 12" and sold for £75.It included mirror tiles, stained glass tiles, metal adornments and mirror tiles.


Another mirror this one is slightly smaller and includes mirror tiles, stained glass tiles and glass nuggets.This little beauty is for sale.


Something slightly different this time, a jewellery box which is mosaiced on all sides apart from the back, this is for sale.