Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Brotherly Love!

How cute are these two? They often lay together like this - usually one of them starts to wash the other and it ends in a scrap though. They've been fast asleep like this for a couple of hours.

I really could do with an early night - I'm so tired. I woke up about 6 this morning and I could have sworn I heard someone going down the stairs. I thought it was one of the boys but they were both asleep. I ventured halfway down the stairs and then I panicked and had to get hubby to go down!!

I won't be to bed very early tonight though as I promised my son I'd take him to Asda because there's a computer game that's being released at midnight. The things we do for our kids!

I should have some beads ready to go on the website tomorrow. I'm also sorting some out for free draw so keep an eye out for that.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

I've got a new kiln!!

Hubby finally gave in and let me order my new kiln which arrived on Thursday. Would you like to see it? It's very pink!
I was starting to paint the studio in the beigy colour you can see in the pic but now I think I might go for a nice pale pink. What do you think - too much?

I tried the kiln out for the first time on Friday. The shelf that it's on now has only just been put up - the kiln was standing further over to the left before which made opening the left hand side difficult because it was near my torch. Silly me forgot about that, reached over to put a bead in and heard a strange fizzing noise accompanied by the most revolting smell. Let me tell you that burning hair does not smell good!! Yep, my hair got fried. Not too much thankfully but let's just say I need to visit the hairdressers pretty soon.

You may have noticed that I've redesigned my header for my website and blog. I wonder how long it'll be before I do it again!

Would you like to see some of my recent beads? Well I'm going to show them anyway...

Lots more over on the website...

Monday, 20 October 2008

Sweet sixteen!

Ooops - it's been ages since I updated..again! Sorry about that - I keep meaning to do it but something else comes along and then I forget about it.
Well what have I been up to? Not much other than the usual 'life stuff' and making beads really. It was my eldest sons 16th birthday last week - 16! I can hardly believe it. I start getting all sentimental when I think of how quickly they've grown up - I can't even bring myself to think about when they leave home!

It seems that I've been 'tagged' - thanks Veryan and Ali. Now all I need to do is find 7 people who haven't already been tagged - could be easier said than done!

I've been really enjoying my beadmaking these last couple of weeks. I've been using lots of clear glass and layers - it really gives the beads a lovely depth although it's pretty time consuming. I've also been using more red and orange - colours I wouldn't normally use but I think they add a really nice contrast to the blues in these beads. What do you think?

These are some of my new focal beads which will be in the shop sometime tomorrow. These two I call 'Water Gardens'.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Silver glass beads

I've never been a follower of trends - things tend to just pass me by most of the time. Silver glass for instance. I've really only just started playing with it....I've had rods sitting in my glass stash for ages. So last week I thought I should use some of it up. Now I can see why everyone loves it so much! I'm so pleased with the beads I made - the lustres and dreamy blue-greens are gorgeous. I love this focal bead - I think it's very Monet looking. This set of nugget beads is made with the newest silver glass..Triton. I think I'll have to play more with this one.

This next set of beads is one of my all time favourites - something about the rich blues and greens that seem so mystical and dreamy. I'm looking forward to getting into my studio tomorrow to play some more!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Spiders everywhere!!

I don't know whether it's the time of year but I've had 4 MASSIVE spiders in the house in the last few days. Last week I got up during the night to go to the bathroom and there on the wall was number 1. I got that and put it out of the window, happened to look up and there was number 2. This was THE biggest spider I've ever seen - no kidding it was huge! This beast measured 7cm front to back including its nasty hairy legs. In case you're wondering how I know, I took note of its position on the pattern of the wallpaper - clever eh? After a long saga at 4.30 in the morning involving the vacuum cleaner attachment and a cat (don't ask) I managed to get it and put it out.

Since then there have been two more - one that met it's end thanks to the cats and the other I put outside. I really, really hate spiders!

Lets move onto nicer things - beads! I've put some new lampwork beads in the shop tonight. These are button shaped with lots of flowers and goldstone scrolls on pale blue bases.

These ones are 'Earth Mix' and 'Mosiacs'.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Makes you think

Sometimes things happen that make you think about life and priorites. In the last 2 weeks, 2 ladies that I know, not personally but from bead related forums, have lost their dear husbands. Reading through their posts, I have tears streaming down my face.

Things like this certainly make you stand back and look at what's really important in your life. My hubby's not perfect but I can't bear to think of being without him.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to Sandy and Michele.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Stupid migraines

I've had a rotten migraine for the last 3 days which has meant that I haven't really done much at all. I did go into the studio yesterday but only lasted an hour and a half before I admitted defeat! I don't think this weather helps either - it's been really close the last couple of days. It built up for a storm this afternoon but it didn't amount to much. Still, the air feels better now and thankfully so does my head.

The summer holidays are nearly finished now - how quickly have they gone? Thankfully, as the boys are home schooled, I haven't had to get caught up in the mad rush for school uniforms, stationery and all that. Bliss!!

On the bead front, I've just listed some new beads on the wesbite and I've put one set on Ebay. I love these red and black beads - so dramatic!

These are the ones on Ebay - Antique Ivory

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Thank you!

Thank you so much to everyone that sent me such lovely messages and happy birthday wishes for yesterday- you're all so sweet! It was also our 20th wedding anniversary! I really can't believe how quickly those years have gone. We had a lovely tea at my Mum and Dad's on Sunday with a birthday cake and champagne too. Yesterday me , hubby and the boys went out for tea.

The winner of the birthday beads draw is Louise B - congratulations! Your beads will be winging their to way you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Birthday beads!!

It's my birthday tomorrow and to celebrate I thought I'd have a draw to win this set of beads. Details are on my website.
Talking of draws, I have failed miserably to keep up with the prize draw event on my website. The last one was April so I still have May, June, July and now August to do! I fully intend to catch up though so hopefully over the next few weeks I'll be able to sort that out.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Updated website!

I've just put some new lampwork beads on my website, in between watching Corrie and Big Brother - I know I'm a saddo! Talking of BB, I'm so glad that awful Nicole has gone. What a sour faced, nasty piece of work she is! Her and Rex are well suited although to be fair Rex has a certain amount of charm which makes him a bit more likeable.

I love these 'Rose Garden' lentils. I've used a frit blend and encased it clear before pressing into lentil shapes. I find frit works much better for me this way as it sometimes tends to pit if used on the surface of pressed beads. I use a coe 96 glass for all my beads made this way so I don't have compatability issues.
I finally got round to updating the customer gallery pages on my website. If you have any pics you'd like included, email them to me and I'll put them on.

A bit of news I meant to share - I was part of an article about British Lampwork in Bead magazine this month. The picture of my beads was a bit pants though!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Trying to keep up with it all!

Oh dear - it's been some time since I posted here. I underestimated the amount of time it takes to keep up with making beads, updating the website, posting on forums, flickr, blogs etc!

We've just been to see the new Mummy film - we all enjoyed it although I think I preferred the second one.

My new studio window has made a huge difference - it's so nice to have lots of light and fresh air. I've been quite busy making beads although as I've been doing a lot of commissions I haven't had time to make many new designs - I'm not complaining though!

I finally gave in and bought some borosilicate glass the other day. I've only made a few beads and certainly none worthy of selling yet but I feel a love affair coming on!! It is quite a different beast to soft glass with such dreamy and vibrant colours. I'll show you some when I've had more of a play with it.

Most of the new beads I put on the website at the weekend have now been sold - thank you ladies! I've got a few new things to put on tomorrow including this tube focal bead.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Poorly Cat

We had to make an emergency trip to the vet today. Our cat started growling when he tried to stand up and it was clear he was in a lot of pain so he was rushed to the vet. It turns out that he had a blocked bladder which could have been fatal. Luckily he had a wee in the carrier just as he got to the vets which cleared his blockage otherwise he would have needed surgery. I've now got to try and get some medication down him and get him to drink more which may prove difficult.

I had intended to go to the post office this afternoon and post recent bead orders but unfortunately I didn't get round to it. So if you're waiting for beads they will be sent off tomorrow - sorry for the delay.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Studio revamp

My little room I loosely call a studio is ready for a revamp. I went and bought a new window for it at the weekend - the one that's in at the moment is tiny. I'm going to have my bench moved over to the window which will give me lots more light and fresh air. This has forced me to tackle the mountainous pile of glass on my bench - something I've been promising myself to do every time I make beads. It's got to the point where I put a rod of glass down and it causes a landslide! I've already got 3 carrier bags full of rod ends, stringers and remains of rod explosions. Oh and dust - lots of dust! And that's just from the bench - I haven't even started on the floor yet. I promise I'll post some pics when it's in a fit state.

I had a nice surprise - Ali Perry (All About the Beads) sent me a Sweet Home Blogger Award. How nice of her to think of me - thank you Ali. Being a bit of a newbie where blogging's concerned, I now have to figure out what I have to do. I think I need to pass it on to 5 more people - correct me if I'm wrong someone please.

On the bead front - I put some new glass beads on the website yesterday including these Tanzanite Fantasy Pools. I handmixed the base colour for these which resulted in a gorgeous bluey purple. I'm going to get some torch time in tomorrow before I get my dear old Dad round to get started on the revamp.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Polymer Pebbles

Isn't this bracelet by Gill Child of Bluebell Designs gorgeous? Gill has used some of my polymer clay pebbles and I love what she has done with them. I hope she won't mind me showing this pic here. If you pop over to her website have a peek at her blog too - there's a picture of her absolutely adorable baby girl. Makes me feel quite broody!!

As we were talking about pebbles, I know I said I'd get the newest polymer pebbles in the shop today. I didn't have the time to get them listed today - I forgot that it was my son's archery lesson so things were a bit rushed. I will get them in the shop tomorrow though. I've got another set of lampwork beads too to put on. I've decided to follow the trend and open an Etsy shop. Well I actually had one a couple of years ago but neglected it badly - there's a surprise! The intention is to list a set of beads on there at least once a week.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Lampwork beadies.

I finally got round to putting my growing stash of beads in the shop tonight. I made these ones yesterday using the crunch press. I haven't used this one for ages. To be honest, it's been sitting there with a heap of enamel powder on it for months
that I kept meaning to clear off! Anyway I'm pleased with these ones - the colours go beautifully together and encasing really makes a difference. These have teal and pale peridot encased over turquoise.

I made some more floral lentils at the weekend. These ones have lavender flowers on pale blue bases. I etched these and I think they look even better like this than shiny - the colours seem to pop a bit more. There's something about etched beads - they
look and feel so good.
I've got lots of work to do on my website - I need to update the customer gallery and links pages. If you've emailed me pictures of your creations, I will get them on there soon - I promise. Sorry it's taken so long and thanks for sending them to me. I love to see what you've done with my beads so if any of you have any pictures that you'd like to go on the gallery page, please send them to me.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Feeling brighter

Well I'm back and feeling a lot brighter than last week. I've been making lots of polymer beads - it really is quite addictive you know! Here are some of the latest ones - these will go on the website soon.

The top ones are lovely autumn colours with gold metal leaf which gives them a beautiful warm glow. I'm pleased with the green/blue buttons above. I used a technique to make them look a bit like marble - if you look closely they have little black veins running through them. I honestly think that apart from the weight you would think they were glass. There are several more polymer beads and also some new glass beads to go in the shop including these lentils.
On a different subject - I had a visit from the Local Education Authority today to review the boys home education. I must admit I wasn't looking forward to it. But I needn't have worried - the lady was very pleasant and was pleased with how things are going.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Dull and dreary.

No not the weather - it's how I'm feeling today. I really don't know what to do with myself today - I don't feel like doing anything. I absolutely hate feeling like this - my brain feels numb. I am sparkless. It will pass, I know it will. - soon I hope.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

My venture into polymer clay

I've neglected this blog recently - but didn't you just know I would!! My excuse is that I've been sucked into the world of polymer clay. I've been itching to have a go for ages now so I bought all the supplies a couple of weeks ago. The beads pictured above are made using a technique from the fab Donna Kato. I'm really pleased with these and I'm planning to make some more over the weekend in a different colour scheme.

It's really nice to be able to get 'hands on' with the clay - something not possible with hot glass - ouch!

These blue ones are made using a technique called Mokume Gane. They've got little bits of silver and some glitter in them for sparkle. I spent ages sanding to get the beads really smooth. I then polished them with a polishing motor so they've got a lovely shine.

I've also made a few lampwork beads which have now been put on the website. I really hope that some of you will give the polymer beads a try. I think it's often over looked by jewellery designers but it really is a fantastic medium. There are some amazing things that can be done with it - I hope that as I progress with it, I'm able to bring some of those to you.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Phew it's hot!!

I love to see the sunshine but I don't like the heat! It's been a tad too hot for me these past few days especially when I'm working. A small room with a low flat roof, a kiln and a hot flame do not go very well with hot weather, trust me. My oxygen concentrator tends to only manage an hour or so before it's had enough too so it's been a frustrating week for beadmaking.

We all had a day off on Thursday and went to Southwold for a day by the sea with fish and chips for lunch. It was really lovely there and considerably cooler than Norwich.

The website will be updated later tonight with a few new beads however. Here's a little preview.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Lots of pink!

I've had a bit of a pink thing recently - I think it must be the sunny weather and all the lovely pink blossoms that are on the trees. I love this set - pink and green has to be one of my favourite colour combos. I've got 4 new sets (including this one) to go in the shop sometime tomorrow.

Here's another one, this time in pale pink and lovely deep fuchsia. The other 2 sets are florals - one in my slightly whimsical style and the other is more sculptural.
Remember to have a peek at the website sometime tomorrow!

Friday, 2 May 2008

Another week gone.

Well here we are again the end of another week. I've been busy this week with commissions and orders so I haven't had any time for making new beads. I did intend to make some today but by the time we'd finished 'school' work, had lunch and I'd done a bit of tidying up (mother in law coming round!) I didn't much feel like it. Josh has got his GCSE maths and english courses now which he's been working on. He's very good at maths - I don't know where he gets that from - certainly not me. James was working on decimals the other day and he was really confused with the fact that 5 divided by 0.1 = 50. To be honest it confused me too! It wasn't till Josh explained it to both of us that it made sense. Home schooling is a learning process for all of us it seems.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Hyped up!

I feel very hyped up today - I'm not sure why. I think I'm just going through one of my very productive/obssessed spells! I've just added 7 new bead sets to the shop - if my hubby hadn't moaned at me I would have been outside making beads again today. I went to a Bead Fair in Norwich this morning and met some lovely people. Some of them I only knew virtually from forums so it was nice to put a face to the name. I also met a lovely fellow beadmaker - hi Felicity!

My head is buzzing with ideas for beads - I just want to get out there and do it all. Trouble is when I'm like this I could talk about beads all day! I'm also planning a revamp of my studio soon - I want to get a bigger window put in. It's a bit dark and dingy in there at the moment. It'll be nice to sit and look out of the window instead of a bare wall.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Under the weather.

My Crohn's is playing up so I'm feeling a bit under the weather today. I should have taken notice of the warning signs. My stomach has been making some awful noises for the last week and has felt really bloated but I've carried on eating as normal. It was really painful last night and I thought I was going to be in for night of being sick but thankfully I didn't. I'm going to give my poor tum a rest today and stick to the Complan.

I've got some beads to put on the website so I should be back later today.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008


I've been making lots of organic beads recently. I tend to go through phases of making a particular type of bead which is good because you can discover great new colour schemes or designs by focusing on a certain technique.

So what exactly is an organic bead? Well to me organic beads have an element of nature in them, often resembling rocks or stones and the designs are very random. I use silvered ivory a lot in my organic beads - it creates some fantastic effects. Some colours react with each other to produce lovely organic designs. These turquoise and ivory 'stone' beads are a good example of that.

I'm really pleased with these ivory beads. They have beautiful veining in them just like marble. I'm undecided though whether I should etch them or not. Both these sets should be on the website later tonight.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Wish I'd gone..

to the Flame Off in Towcester. It was the first UK meeting of glass obsessed people today and I didn't go. Why? Well I'm not sure really - partly due to my unadventurous nature I think. I don't really like travelling and I'd have had to go on my own. Ah well maybe next year.

I'm having a little trouble with my emails at the moment so if you've sent me a mail and you haven't received a reply yet, just leave a comment at the end of this post. I've sent emails to a couple of people but I don't think they got them.

I made this set of beads yesterday - they should be in the shop sometime tomorrow. I also made some organic-y tabs but I'm undecided as to whether I should etch them or not.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Hectic day!

What a hectic day I've had. I seem to have been rushing about all day. It was my Dads 65th birthday so I thought I'd make him a cake. But me being me I left it till the last minute. Josh (my eldest) had to be at the school for 3 0'clock to practise for a concert. For those of you that don't know I home school both my boys but Josh still joins in and plays guitar at the after school Rock Club. I got back from the weekly shop at Tesco about 1.30, unpacked it & did some lunch for the boys then whipped up a quick chocolate cake. That was in between packing up orders ready for the post office. I dropped Josh off and popped round to see my Dad who was feeling a bit depressed at officially being a pensioner! I got home about 5ish, quickly did some tea and then I had to be at the school for the concert at 6 o'clock. Phew!!

The concert was pretty good. I'm amazed at how brave and confident some of these kids are. When I was their age I used to blush if a teacher asked me a question! There is no way I would have had the guts to stand up on stage and perform.

Needless to say I haven't been able to make any beads today. I've still got a couple of sets to put on the website from earlier in the week. Perhaps I'll get round to that tomorrow. Here's a picture of a set of buttons I put in the shop yesterday. I really like these - they're quite random which surprisingly is quite difficult for me to do.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

New beads

I've been busy at the torch for the last couple of days - to be honest I can't get enough of it at the moment (beadmaking that is!!). I fell asleep last night thinking of beads - how strange (or sad as my kids would prefer to call it) is that. I'm sure all you other beadheads out there know what I'm talking about though.

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your lovely messages about the new website - it really is appreciated. I'll be listing some new beads tomorrow - my mailing list subscribers will get a note through as soon as they're in the shop.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Lazy cat!

Look at the state of this! This is my lazy, slightly chubby but very cute cat Tinker, or T for short. T likes to eat on his own so he's developed a little tactic to ensure that he gets the food dish all to himself. His brother is very jealous so T knows that if he lays like this when his breakfast is dished up he'll get someone come over and make a fuss of him, which in turn will bring his brother over. Then off T trots to nab all the food in peace!

Friday, 11 April 2008

New website soon ready.

The last few days have been spent making beads and working on the new website. I was hoping to set it live tonight but I'm not sure whether it'll be done in time. I'm taking the boys to the pictures later this afternoon but I'll carry on working on it when I get home. If it's not done tonight then it will be sometime over the weekend. Here's a taster of some of the beads which will be available.

Monday, 7 April 2008

I've joined the Bloggers!

I've finally decided to join the blogging revolution. It's not that I was against it, more that I know how chaotic and disorganised I can be and I wanted to be sure that I could devote the time to keeping it updated!

I've been struggling with deciding on a name for my new bead website for the last few days. I've had my old website, Rachel's Lampwork for quite a while now but I wanted to revamp it. I'm moving to a new host too so I thought this would be the ideal time to give it a new name. I'm hoping to be able to offer more than lampwork beads when it's all up and running so the old name doesn't really fit any more.