31 Mar 2010

oooo pretty

lovely flyer for the Caversham Arts Trail: (click for larger image!)

30 Mar 2010


so i'm still sitting here waiting for the postman, hopefully my items will arrive very soon!!!!! argh. also i fell really hard on my hands last night while bravely jogging in the rain (lesson learnt, no more jogging, ha!) so my hands hurt rather a lot. can just about type. so not sure what i will get done today.... bah. more exciting posts coming when my hands heal a bit....

26 Mar 2010


You know how some projects seem to go wrong at every turn? I was thinking I was finally at the end of one such project and I could breathe easy again and all would be well. Except that this project required a stone setter. If the stones are high value and I'm using 18k gold, then I prefer to send the pieces off to a stone setter because I know he will do a perfect job. Now, I am well aware that I am small fry to the stone setter. I don't send off huge packages full of items and it's only occasionally that I feel the need to use their services. So I included a letter saying please can you do this job by this time. I left a margin for error in my deadline. I called on the deadline, since of course I hadn't heard anything. He said he'd try to get it done this week. Now, the absolute LAST day I can get these items and still get them hallmarked on time would be Tuesday. Guess what? No word from the stone setter. So I phoned today and guess what? He's not in. His colleague was very kind about it, however, now I'm in an awkward position. I sent the items 4 March. It's now 26 March. So now I have to phone him Monday morning and pester him to please get these items finished. Sometimes I really wish that not everything had to be chased up. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to rely on someone to do their bit without having to check up on them?

25 Mar 2010

End of term

It's the end of the first term of this year. Less than a month until the next term starts and I have big plans which I need to get sorted. Before that I *still* have to sort out the commissions. I'm making major progress though, so that's getting there. I'm still waiting for the stone setter and he's making me nervous so I really hope post arrives from him today.
Today I'm very happy to be featured on a fantastic new website called Creative Boom. There's a central Creative Boom website and then there are regional ones and I'm on the Reading Creative Boom. (The link is http://www.creativeboom.co.uk/reading/2010/03/25/focus-on-jewellery-maker-magpienest) It's a website that showcases art and creative happenings around the country and it has a fab design. Check it out!

ps. just got tipped off to this website...oooo if you like modern furniture: http://www.deconet.com/

19 Mar 2010

almost weekend

Wah, what a dreary day outside. Luckily I'm inside! I just wrote an email delving back into my linguistics past. My mom's Japanese teacher wanted to ask me some questions about English/Japanese learning issues so I had to think again about syllable structures, consonant clusters, phonetics, etc. A whole different set of jargon to jewellery!
I've had a packed week, with a very interesting demonstration of anticlastic raising. I had a go as well and bought a stake for small items and am even getting a custom made hammer.(That link will bring you to Tim's page about tools, if you are interested in buying any from him.) I'm excited about it because I could see applications to my own designs immediately. So that was a fun bit of the week. My classes went fine, one more week to go for this term. I have plans for next term, but am a bit worried that the students won't go for it. It's hard to introduce new things when the students have been coming for years and years and know the studio better than me! Still, I don't want to just plod along, I would like a bit more structure and a bit of a fun challenge for the students too. It would be nice to have something to point at at the end of the term for the whole class to be able to say "we did that" instead of just trailing off with all kinds of different projects, half of them not finished. In any case, I will make my plans and just see how it goes...
I should be sitting at my bench right now. I'm still working on the cuff links and brooches. I'm getting closer and closer. Just a bit more to go until I can send them all off for hallmarking. I'm also still waiting for a word from the stone setter for my other big project. I really, really hope I hear from him soon so I can just get that project finished! I asked for the items to be returned by this coming Monday, so hopefully that'll happen and I won't have to phone and pester him. I hate chasing people up, but it seems to be required for pretty much everything.
In any case, hurrah to the weekend and hope you all have a good one.

15 Mar 2010


Ugh, I dreamt about rivets all night. I can think of more restful things...yawn! At least it's bright and sunshiney outside. I have loads to do again today...had a lovely weekend. Yesterday we walked a whole long way so I felt like I got in a bit of exercise. On Saturday we did indeed go to Garlic & Shots, the restaurant I mentioned on Friday. I have two words about it: don't bother. The food was very disappointing, below pub grub. The super hot chili was bland and the plate it was on was mostly tortilla chips with a bit of chili in the corner. When Dougs told the waitress he was disappointed and thought it was bland, she said "oh". Then when she brought the bill, he said it again and she just kind of mumbled "oh" again. Plus the service charge was included and she didn't even offer to make it optional, or even say sorry he didn't like the food. I had baked garlic which was fine (but I've had better, and considering it's supposed to be their speciality...). I also had nachos, which looked good at first but then they were in a bowl and there was a bit of averagey topping on the top but the rest of the bowl was just plain tortilla chips. Anyway, overall it was very overpriced for what it was and very disappointing. Shame, because the idea is good and the place looks cool. Shame about the service too, I would've felt a little better if the waitress had shown one iota of interest in whether we liked the food or not.

12 Mar 2010

Lookee here

Or should it be looky here? Hmmm...anyway - the first bit of press for the Caversham Arts Trail is here (http://www.caversham.info/2010/03/caversham-arts-trail-coming-in-may/). Remember you can follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CavArtsTrail) which you may want to do anyway if you're looking for a piano. You'll have to go look to see what I mean...
I'm still working on the cufflinks & brooches, unsurprisingly. The weekend is shaping up to be a fun one, yippeee! We made a proper plan on paper and everything! One of the things we're going to do is go try out this restaurant. It's called Garlic & Shots. I've only ever gone to the bar bit and that was just to meet someone and then go elsewhere, so I was there probably only 5 minutes. I didn't even realise it had food. How can you go wrong with food full of garlic? Methinks you can't....I'll let you know what I thought of it....

11 Mar 2010

thursday already...

So, I passed my driving test! Hurrah! Now for the fun, fun search for car insurance that is mildly affordable, not so fun. I've been working as hard as I can on 9 cuff links and 9 brooches. Later I may take a photo of all the bits and pieces I have now. It looks like a sort of miniature manufacturing plant on the bench! I am getting there, but it is a lot of work. My classes went fine this week, but as usual I was totally tired by the end of Wednesday evening. Got a bit of a lie-in today and have now caught up on all my blog reading and emails (more or less) and twitter and facebook and all the rest of that nonsense, ha! I really need a cup of tea and then it's back to the bench. Well, after I call my gran and have another cup of tea....and take some photos....I'll update with some photos in a bit...

here's a photo of lots of little bits for making brooch parts, all handmade, not bought:

4 Mar 2010

here we go...

Tomorrow's the day - my driving test. I am trying to stay calm and focus on all the driving around I'll be able to do when I pass!!!
Plus I'm sending off two items that I've been working on for ages to the stone setter. Am very excited about these two and hope to high heaven that they turn out beautifully...photos to follow in some weeks after their return and hallmarking.
I got the go-ahead for a big commission that I will be slaving away on all of next week - lots of cuff links and brooches. And I'm even making progress on my copper bowl. The bowl is moving towards vertical on the top half...I'm working on getting the top to go in so I have a rounded bowl. Photos to follow for that as well.
The financial year's end is near so am also aware I need to sort out my folders of invoices, expenses, etc once again. It's hard to believe it's March already. I wouldn't mind spring to hurry up and get here already, my fingers are so cold again today!!
Here's to the weekend and hopefully good news after about 12.15 tomorrow!!!