30 Sep 2008

We got back home yesterday after a fantastic weekend walking part of the Ridgeway, which is an 85-mile public footpath in the countryside. It was perfect weather so we were very lucky - lots of sunshine and gorgeous views. Here's one view:
I now have a lovely big fat blister under each of my big toenails...bet you really wanted to know that. I'm hoping the nails won't fall off. ew. We'll see....
So today it's lots of little errands, final polishing, deciding what to make the rest of the week and tomorrow I'm going into London. I need to go to the Assay office and get a couple of things like a reversible tweezer stand - that's a stand which holds the tweezers in any position you want, sort of like giving you an extra hand so you can solder things in a slightly easier fashion. It looks like this:

25 Sep 2008

I'm working on a new version of the peek ring. Basically just making it a bit stronger and adding proper stones, ruby & sapphire so far. It'll take a while to get photos of the new version because I have to get them hallmarked before I put the stones in. I should have them back from the hallmarking office in 2 weeks. This is the old version:

24 Sep 2008

Phew, trying to sort out insurance as a working artist is not easy. I tried a bunch of different places but there aren't many that aim to insure artists, plus then there's the question of jewellery, which has high value in small items. Anyway, there's a very useful website which has loads of info for all kinds of different art-related things: the Artists Information Company. I decided to become a member and am eagerly awaiting my first magazine. I do get an American jewellery magazine, but it will be nice to read something UK-based. Happily the membership includes public liability insurance, which is something you need if you participate in exhibitions.
Right, well, that's all because it's gloomy out and I need to do some exercise and fill out this insurance form to get a quote!

23 Sep 2008

Hello again to you lovely 4 people who read my blog :-) It's a gloomy morning and I'm hoping it doesn't rain. This is because I actually have to venture outside to go to the gym.
I got a packet of fliers for the Gift show in November which I am supposed to distribute. I'm not sure how far in advance to start putting them in the usual spots around town. Also, I got some complimentary passes to hand out to friends to get into Gift for free, so if anyone's interested, please email me and I'll send/give you one. Which reminds me that I need to sort out a rental car for these shows in November. Neither are close to a train station and I obviously will have to bring my jewellery plus display items, quite bulky. So transport must be sorted...
That's all for now...hope everyone's week is going fine.

well, scratch that, apparently actually Gift is located quite close to the station: Farnham is approximately 50 minutes from London Waterloo and there are regular services (ranging from half hourly to hourly). The Maltings is then a five minute walk from Farnham Railway Station.

22 Sep 2008

Hm, now that I look at the video below, I do believe I may have been a bit delerious. It doesn't seem so funny now. Or it's just Monday morning. Or both!!!
It's a grey Monday morning and this week I am going to be making lots of STUFF. well, lots of rings, some earrings, some more star pendants, and fixing some star necklaces. Well, not exactly fix, because they aren't broken, but strenghthen so that they don't break in future!
I desperately need some tea, it's chilly and my head is still fuzzy thinking it might be asleep.

19 Sep 2008

Well, I may or may not be addicted to cuteoverload.com - according to me, not, according to my husband, probably. anyway, they had this competition over there to make something from an already silly video and the results are posted at cuteoverload now. I just had to share this video, I just thought it was hilarious and inspired:

18 Sep 2008

A date for your calendar, perhaps? Come see MagpieNest:

17 Sep 2008

Busy day today! Been to my lesson...still working on this same design I've been working on for weeks and am now very close to finishing it. phew. I do think it'll be tres chic when it's done though :-)
went to the gym....the gym is nice and quiet in that time right after lunch. one lady in some seriously scary shorts though. they were teeny. eeks.
I've been adding stuff to Etsy/DaWanda and Folksy....all slowly gathering pace again.
This blog cracks me up, just thought I'd share it: http://gofugyourself.celebuzz.com/ It's not exactly intellectual, but it's amusing.

16 Sep 2008

Yesterday was ok and today feels like a Monday. must be because I ended up waiting for a delivery all day yesterday and this morning it showed up. At least it showed up early. And I got a sale on Etsy, so I need to go to the post office and send that off. which is a good thing. just having a grey day....

15 Sep 2008

Monday morning again!! I got a very, very useful email from a friend of mine with all the last niggles and typos on the website, so it's in good shape now! :-) I want to change the "about" page to add some more information about me...initially a friend of mine who is good at writing copy wrote a blurb for me and I've been using that blurb ever since...but it's kind of been altered and tweaked so many times now that I need to write a piece myself. Ah well, another thing to go on the "to do" list.
Today I'm going to finish a bunch of small things (literally small, as in very small earrings) and hopefully finish a new item which I've been working on for weeks. I'm also waiting for a delivery because the barrel of my barrel polisher needed to be replaced....the lid stretched so it wasn't working because the water was just dripping out of the barrel. Hopefully I'll get the delivery today!!
It's somewhat sunny today, which is nice after all the rain lately. It was the least sunny August in 150 years for the UK. Somehow I didn't really mind....might be because I've been in the UK for nearly a decade now!! amazing....

11 Sep 2008

This week is whizzing by.... and I've stumbled upon a new UK-based craft site which is very similar to Etsy & DaWanda..... it's called Folksy and it's still in beta version. This is my shop on Folksy:
http://www.folksy.com/shops/magpienest -- you can explore the whole site by just clicking on the "Folksy" logo in top left hand corner. It would be very nice indeed to have a successful UK-based site!! It's looking good so far....
Several people have been clicking away on my own site to help me make sure there are no errors...it seems that all is well in that arena. If you have a spare minute, have a look and let me know what you think of the new design! www.magpienest.co.uk
In other news, my friends over at www.todryfor.com are doing very well and are going to be mentioned in the Telegraph this Saturday!! Not only that, but they are in the current Elle Decoration magazine and are going to be featured in a bunch more magazines in the coming months! Well done, tea towels :-)

10 Sep 2008

I had my lesson as usual this morning...I've been working on a new design which requires a special clasp. Clasps are quite tricky since they are small and need to be very precise. Usually you can buy part of or the whole clasp. That's more efficient because to make a clasp can be very time-consuming. But of course sometimes the design requires something a bit different or bigger, smaller, wider, etc than the ones you can buy. So I have made a box clasp, which was pretty tricky but I got it. However, now I've decided that's not really what I needed, so I'm working on making hinges. I made one yesterday and it turned out pretty darn good for my first one!! I made the space between the two sheets too narrow though, so I'm on my second go already. Hopefully soon I will actually be able to finish this item!! It's going to be good for either bracelets or a choker-style necklace or both. Photos will follow once it's done.....
back to the bench now...

9 Sep 2008

Well, some small niggles have been fixed on the website, I've had my first sale on DaWanda and I'm putting new items on Etsy & DaWanda again.....so the ball is rolling once again!!
I still need to make a lot of items for all the craft fairs coming up in November though, so I better get back to the bench!

8 Sep 2008

LIVE LIVE LIVE LIVE LIVE LIVE

The new website is now LIVE!!!! Please, if you have a spare moment, check it out! www.magpienest.co.uk
Let me know if you spot any missing pictures, broken links, spelling mistakes or anything that doesn't look right. I appreciate all help! I've done all the work myself so it's easy to overlook mistakes.

There is one problem I already know about - the shopping cart doesn't work properly in Internet Explorer if there are more than 2 different items in the cart. This will be fixed, I'm just waiting for Google to release the latest version of the shopping cart which they told me would solve the problem! UPDATE: actually I just realised what I hadn't done and this is fixed now! hurrah!

Also let me know if you like the new collections :-)

p.s. you may need to hit your "refresh" button to get the new site!

Some of the new features include:
- shopping cart!
- a cufflinks section
- refine your search option
- lots of new items
- new item photos on the homepage
- new, clearer design
- new homepage that looks like the rest of the site
- upcoming shows section
- direct link to this blog :-)
- MagpieNest logo in the corner of every page that links to the homepage


5 Sep 2008

A very good friend of mine is visiting at the moment and she brought me a fantastic little gift. The important word here is "little". This is the cutest little teeny tiny teddy bear ever!! So so cute! Here he is next to a silver bud ring:

3 Sep 2008

Still a couple of photos away from putting the new site live. It always takes longer than I want!! Also I really should wait until the new version of Google's shopping cart is released because there's a problem with it in Internet Explorer. In Firefox all is well, of course. I urge anyone who will listen to switch to Firefox. It's free, so why not!! it's soooo much better than Internet Explorer....faster, safer, better. You can download it here: http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox/

I have loads more ideas for new items, so I want to get the website up and working so I go back to the bench!! And of course I want to start adding items to my Etsy shop again, but I told myself I wouldn't do that until I have my site sorted!! In the meantime, to give a taster, a little picture of some new cufflinks: (matching pendant, earrings and ring will be on the new site)