Tuesday, 30 December 2008
At work I set myself deadlines all the time. My boss works at a different branch to me and only contacts me when she needs to so I don't have anyone looking over my shoulder and that means that I have to be quite strict with myself and get things done early.
The funny thing is that when it comes to jewellery making and crafting, i enjoy it so much that I rarely leave things, I'm still disorganised and chaotic but I get results. That's why I'm confident that I can succeed, because no other profession has ever inspired me in this way. I've never felt this enthusiastic about my career and I'm loving it.
Do you need deadlines or is it just me?
Monday, 29 December 2008
Patches all dressed up with nowhere to go
Gluhwein mug from the Kristkindelmarkt
Some pearl and Swarovski Crystal earrings from my forth coming bridal range
and the lovely Paperchase boxes that my Christmas pressies from James came in
Still, I love the New Year, this year we will be celebrating it alone as everyone either has other plans or is working. I don’t mind because I find it an exciting time anyway. I always vow to lose weight (which once again I am determined to do despite having never done it in the past) and I always ponder the year’s glorious possibilities. This year’s main ambition is of course jewellery related. I’d love to make this year my last year working for someone else. I realise that it would be an enormous task to build my business to the point at which I can pay my mortgage but I’m confident that it will one day happen.
Photo by Wittyn. http://www.stock.xchng.com/
So yeah, lose weight. I’m not really overweight I’m just a little "fluffier" than I’d like to be. So I’m eating all the roast potatoes and chips that I can until Thursday, which is the start of my New Year, and my same but slightly lighter me, LOL.
This year I am going to force James to go for walks and bike rides with me. My walk to work is about 2.5 miles/4K but my mum gives me a lift home these days. Since I had my seizures everyone else has been way more concerned for my safety than I have. As soon as the evenings lighten I’m going to start walking home again. I feel so unfit at the moment, when I had my seizures I injured my back and it has at times been difficult. I could barely walk at first but slowly it improved but bit’s kind of hit a stand still now. I used to dance in the house all the time and that obviously stopped and now, when I try I get out of breath really easily. I’m 27 in January, I should be able to run up the stairs not drag myself up on the handrail!
Then there is the "diet" I don’t like that word , it makes me think of crazy celebrity fads rather than safe steady weight loss. My younger brother is a fitness instructor and very knowledgeable about nutrition. He is creating a "diet" for me that is based on my weight, height and activity level. I will be eating six small meals a day (I know it sounds silly) which will be nutritionally balanced so I’m not depriving my body of the things it needs. Eating small amounts often makes your metabolism run more efficiently and also your appetite shrinks because you aren’t filling your stomach to the brim when you eat. That’s my problem you see, I don’t snack, I eat a balanced healthy diet, I watch my fat and sugar content but I eat too much. I love pasta and can eat buckets of the stuff, how I’m not obese I’ll never know.
This sounds really stupid but I have been feeling very short lately, I have a lot of tall friends and compared to them I feel dumpy. I have always had an obsession with height, if I see a film, for example, and I enjoy it I’ll Google it and look for the heights of the actors. When I was 11 years old I was the tallest in my year at 5’ 3 3/4" everyone told me how I was going to be so tall, like a supermodel and I loved that. Sadly I never grew again which was a shock, given that I had become so accustomed to the thought of being tall. It sounds ridiculous I know but I’m not too bothered now, I love being short sometimes cause James is tall.
The only way to look taller is to lose a little weight, and then I’ll be short and slim instead of short and dumpy LOL. The only problem is that when I have lost my 20lbs I’ll need to go shopping, Oh no! ;)
My new camera
Sunday, 28 December 2008
naughty treats everywhere
and Jimmy playing with his new toy, it certainly felt like Christmas.
Original name don't you think! Oh and I got some beautiful shoes from Jimmy
Then we went up to my mums for a few hours and came home just in time to put the beef in the oven. I'm not really a turkey fan. So set the (coffee) tableRoast the beef, potatoes and parsnips in goose fat
Cheat with the pigs in blankets
Boil the only item with a discernible nutrition content
Watch out though, Patches has his eye on this one!
and an oceanic blue bracelet. When I think of Australia, these are the colours I picture
So I haven't mastered my camera just yet, although the grey British weather doesn't help!
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Congratulations Camera Girl, the prize is yours. Just send your address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get your prize in the post asap. I'll be posting pictures of the prize later this week.
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
I am soooo excited that it's Christmas Eve. It's a shame I have to work but I do get 4 days off which is great and really needed. I always get nostalgic at this time of year and remember past Christmases, they always have a Rosy tint! I remember one year sitting on the sofa and looking out at the sky and thinking that every dark speck was Santa in his sleigh when in actual fact it was probably fly poo on the window. My mum threw away a lot of our old baubles a few years ago and it made me feel really sad. Yeah, they were crap but I have such fond memories of helping my folks decorate the tree with them, I just wish that she had given them to me instead.
James and I are having our Christmas dinner at home tomorrow. We will be heading off to my parents for breakfast after the presents have been demolished and then home to cook the beef and play with our new toys. Boxing day will be spent with James folks and then we'll spend the Sunday home alone in front of the telly.
I Hope you all have an amazing Christmas.
Love to you all
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Friday, 19 December 2008
I think I've had too many chocolate liqueurs. hic!
Thursday, 18 December 2008
I'm giving away a surprise box filled with over £40 ($61 USD/ $73 CAD/$87AUD) worth of Aprilis Jewellery. To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and on Christmas Eve I'll draw the names out of a box and announce the winner.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Last night I made myself a jewellery set. I bought a cheap necklace from an anonymous shop and after destroying it turned it into a lovely necklace, bracelet and earrings set.
I'm just so inspired by beauty and one creation leads to another. Making one pair of earrings spurs me on and I make more. I can't wait to get my order so I can make even more! I'll just lock myself away and get twisting.
I'm having a few friends over this weekend for a little Christmas gathering, I was going to do my usual feed five thousandesque buffet but due to financial restrictions (LOL) I will be doing a few snacks instead. Still I'm excited by that too! Now, I need a cup of tea. Bye!
Monday, 15 December 2008
Our intention on Saturday was to get up early and put the Christmas tree up but I couldn't drag myself out of bed so we didn't really get anything done. The wedding was at 3.15 so, allowing over an hour for the journey we started to get ready at 12pm. I had to make some jewellery because I didn't have any that went with my dress and then panicked because I couldn't find the little bag that I had bought specifically for the occasion. After all the faffing was done we set off only to find that Google Maps doesn't have a clue! It sent us off the main road and up some country lanes and told us to take a left that didn't exist! I was really nervous because it was 3.15 and we still couldn't find the church. I hate being late and was telling James that I wouldn't go in if the wedding had started. Eventually after some frantic phone calls to friends we found the church on the main road Google had told us to turn off. There was no sign of a bridal car so we rushed inside and sat down. Unfortunately for the bride the car hadn't turned up to collect her and she had to have a friend pick her up so she was around 30 minutes late. When she did arrive she looked amazing as predicted, the church was lit solely by candles and she sparkled as she walked down the isle. Unfortunately both the bride and groom are tall, as are their families so I really couldn't see anything.
After the service and the photographs we all went next door to the village hall with was again lit by candles. Each table was adorned with candelabras wrapped with eucalyptus leaves and tulips. The meal was excellent and the speeches were very funny and really touching. The whole wedding was lovely and so romantic, a great start to what I know will be a great marriage.
The next day we went Christmas shopping. First we stopped off at Starbucks first for a gingerbread latte (A Christmas essential) and toast and then I braved Primark for some gifts for a friend. I did James' shopping and then we met up with a friend, had lunch and went home. We both felt a bit bluuur from the food so we sat down, had a cuppa and then wrapped all the presents and put the tree up and surrounded it with them. I had bought a rather racist Crooners Christmas CD, with Dean Martin making incredibly inappropriate comments at Sammy Davis Jr. so we were listening to that and skipping the inappropriate tracks. Then it was off to bed and before we knew it it was time to get up and go to work. Joy to the world!
Great weekends are the hardest to leave behind.
Friday, 12 December 2008
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Friday, 5 December 2008
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
I had a rather productive night last night, I made 11 pairs of rather lovely earrings and a black plated metal bracelet. I have started to make the links myself too. I realise that many jewellery makers already do this but in many respects I still think of myself as a novice. I'm really enjoying playing with the wire, twisting it and making unusually shaped links. Sometimes I make some really horrible stuff and other times I'll make something really pretty and work on the technique until I get it right. A couple of pairs of the earrings that I made last night were different to any I have made before and I love that because I often worry about becoming a one trick pony. On one hand I think that threading beads onto tiger tail is hardly difficult and that I need to develop new skills to even hope to compete in the flooded jewellery market. On the other hand I don't want to under value what I do because I know that it is more about having the eye for design and how to put beads together and create something than the twisting of wire and closing of crimps.
Tonight I really need to tidy and clean the living room. I also need to sort my beads out. Down the side of the sofa is a pile of trays with the odd bead on, headpin and tiger tail off cuts, it's a real mess and I think that tidying it up should be my priority tonight, at least then after all the tidying is done I can still make more jewellery because all my beads will be organised and there wont be the huge mess I usually make.
Recently I have been considering launching a bridal line. I have made some beautiful faux pearl jewellery which I would have worn myself for my own wedding had I known how to make them back then. I think I will launch it in January but I will use freshwater pearls and sterling silver. I could make a budget range but personally I'm a little sentimental and like to keep special items for ever. Once it's complete I'll take it to local bridal shops and try and sell it that way. What do you reckon?
Oh and this week I will be having a Christmas giveaway. I haven't decided what to give away yet but it'll be something special ;)
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
If you wouldn't mind clicking on the ads at the side I would really appreciate it. Any money I earn will go towards some new silver wire. Thanks
Monday, 1 December 2008
I have been wondering when to put my Christmas tree up. Not this week as it will take up too much space that I need for Fridays jewellery party. It is a shame really cause it would give a great festive feel to the place. Still I'll make some hot mulled wine and get the mince pies out. It looks like I might get a good turn out on Friday, you always get last minute cancellations but that is to be expected. I'm getting really excited about it even though I know I have so much work to do for it. I have enough stock but I want to make more, I need to tidy and clean the house and then I need to set up my displays which I will do the night before having learnt not to do it on the day last time.
I also really need to get baking my Christmas cake. I made one and took it to work as it was my practice cake but it was really nice. Christmas is a coming so I better get on with it.
Are you prepared for Christmas? We did the majority of our present shopping on Saturday. We only bought for others. We can't buy for each other until we know what's in the budget. Needless to say my letter to Santa lists a digital camera and James' lists a screen printing kit. I'm a very lucky lady, not only is my husband the bestestest boy in the world he is also incredibly talented. He has recently designed a couple of T shirts and had them printed up and I must say that they are great. So I think that when he gets his kit he should start screen printing and set up his own Etsy shop.
I hope you made it to the end of this incredibly dis-jointed post.
I should do a little advertising here
Can't bring me down today!
Thursday, 27 November 2008
It's just plain ole Thursday here in the UK but that does mean that tomorrow is another very lovely Friday and that means weekend Yay! It seems that we are going to be busy every weekend until Christmas now. This Saturday we are Christmas shopping through the day and then in the evening we are going to a charity event my sister has organised at a local pub for a children's hospice, Sunday we are going back to the Christkindelmarkt with some other friends and then later to the pub quiz. The weekend after we are having our pub quiz team annual Christmas dinner. This year as we are all exceptionally poor as most of us have got married this year except one couple who are getting married on the 13th December so we are all putting in a fiver and having the meal at a friends house, it should be fun. The Friday will have been my Jewellery party. The next week is the afore mentioned couples wedding on the Saturday and overspill Christmas shopping on the Sunday. Then on the 20th we are having a Christmas Party at our house and sleeping all day Sunday. I also have to fit in jewellery time around the 40 hours at work! I have to say though, tiring as that might all be, I know it will be great fun!
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
I really need to make some jewellery tonight, I haven't made much recently and I need to make as much as possible for the party next Friday. I just haven't felt inspired this week. I think it might be because I'm low on really nice beads. Sure I have nice beads but no really nice beads, sadly I have no money to rectify this.
So I joined Twitter last week. Seems okay, I went on a mass following spree today and now I haven't got time to reply to all the direct messages. I will, but it may take a while. It's essentially another marketing tool, another way to get your name out there. Sadly I'm not the first to discover this. It's also great from a personal perspective. It's interesting to see glimpses of peoples lives. I'm a big blog reader even if I don't always comment, I love to read about the regular, what some would call, mundane parts of life. I also love to read crafty and creative blogs, there is a wealth of information out there that some generous bloggers are willing to share.
If you have visited through a link I posted on Twitter I would really appreciate it if you left me a comment.
Oh, and I have a severe craving for bean sprouts right now!
Monday, 24 November 2008
the weather has been a little unpredictable today. This morning it was lovely and sunny, then around lunch time it clouded over and started snowing and now it's sunny again! What's going on?
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Then we all had a go on the Carousel, it was ace! My horse was called James and he was the fastest, I won.
After the market we went back to our friends house and had haggis tatties and neeps for tea and stayed over. Over all a great time. Now we are getting ready to go to the pub quiz so I must dash. I'll let you know the score tomorrow.
Friday, 21 November 2008
Mr washing machine repairman came to my house yesterday and magiced my washer-dryer better. He even upgraded my thermostats!
Tomorrow James and I are going to indulge in some Glüwein at the German Christkindelmarkt at Millennium Square in Leeds it’s a great Christmas market, one of the biggest in the UK, the atmosphere is amazing and you get to ride the carousel which is great fun.
There is bar/restaurant called Frankfurter Scheune and it’s great. You get your Glüwein in a cute little mug, you have to pay a deposit of £2 but you can keep the mug if you don’t want your money back. I got a really lovely one last year but it’s lonely and wants a friend so I’ll get another this year. They also serve great food. I usually stick to the frankfurters but I might be a little more adventurous this year.
Here is the menu
Café, Coffee £ 2.00
Cappuccino £ 2.00
Kakao, Hot Chocolate Drink with Cream £ 2.50
"Lady´s Dream", Kakao, Baileys & Cream £ 3.50
"Men´s Dream", Kakao, Rum & Cream £ 3.50
"Santa´s Dream", Kakao, Amaretto & Cream £ 3.50
Tee, Tea £ 1.50
Glühwein, Mulledwine £ 3.00
"White Dream", White Mulledwine £ 3.00
"Hot Love", Mulledwine with Rum £ 4.00
"Flirt", Mulledwine with Amaretto £ 4.00
"Snowman", Mulledwine with Amaretto, Rum and Cream £ 4.00
"Bratapfelglühwein", Roast Apple Mulledwine £ 3.00
Himbeerwein, Mulled Raspberry Wine £ 3.00
"Himbi", Raspberrywine with Raspberryschnaps £ 4.00
Kirschwein, Mulled Cherry Wine £ 3.00
"Kirschi", Cherrywine with Cherryschnaps £ 4.00
Blaubeerwein, Mulled Blueberry Wine £ 3.00
"Heidi", Blueberrywine with Blueberryschnaps £ 4.00
"Hot Dream", Mulledwine with honey £ 3.00
Kinderpunsch, Children Mulledwine £ 1.50
Gulaschsuppe / Goulash Soup £ 3.00
Kartoffelsuppe / Potato Soup £ 2.00
Tomatensuppe / Tomato Soup £ 2.00
Käsewurst / Cheese Sausage £ 2.50
Feuerschlucker / Hot Spicy Sausage £ 2.50
Krakauer/ Krakauer Sausage £ 2.50
Pommes frites / Chips £ 1.50
Omi´s Blechkuchen / Grandma´s yeastcake £ 2.00
Sahnetorte / Cream Tart £ 2.50
Nusstorte / Nut Tart £ 2.50
Biskuit Roulade/ Sponge Cake £ 2.50
Apfelstrudel / Apple Strudel £ 2.00
Apfelkuchen / Apple Cake £ 2.00
Pfirsichkuchen / Peaches Cake £ 2.00
Obstkuchen / Fruit Cake £ 2.00
Marzipanstollen, Marzipan Fruit Bread, 1000g £ 4.50
Butter Mandel Stollen, Almond Fruit Bread, 750g £ 4.50
Slice of Fruit Bread £ 0.50
Rindergulasch mit Semmelknödel
Goulash and bread dumplings £ 6.00
Käsespätzle mit Röstzwiebeln
Swabian Noodel, melted cheese and fried onions £ 4.50
Semmelknödel mit Pilzsoße
Bread dumplings with mushroom sauce £ 4.50
Rinderbraten mit Spätzle
Roasted Beef with swabian noodles £ 6.00
Spießbraten mit Kartoffelsalat
Spit roasted pork & Mashed potatoes £ 6.00
Gegrillter Schweinenacken mit Kartoffelknödel und Blaukraut
Pork steak with potato dumpling and red cabbage £ 6.00
Krustenbraten mit Sauerkraut und Semmelknödel
Crackling roast pork with pickled cabbage and bread
dumpling £ 6.00
Surbraten mit Sauerkraut und Kartoffelpüree
Gammon pork with pickled cabbage and
mashed potatoes £ 6.50
Surbraten mit Knödel
Braised joint of pork with potato dumpling £ 6.50
¼ Ente mit Blaukraut und Kartoffelknödel
¼ Duck with red cabbage and potato dumpling £ 7.00
½ Schweinehaxe mit Sauerkraut
½ knuckle of pork with pickled cabbage £ 5.50
Spareribs mit Pommes
Spare ribs with chips £ 4.50
Zwiebelsteak mit Kartoffelpüree,
Pork steak with onions and mashed potatoes £ 5.50
Gefüllter Schweinebauch mit Brezelfüllung
Pork breast with pretzel filling £ 6.50
I think we are going to be taking a few trips because a few people have asked us to go with them. I’ve not been feeling the whole "it’s Christmas" thing yet this year. It’s still a little early for me. I love Christmas and usually I’ll be the first to be all Christmassy but I am sick of it by boxing day. I think the market will light my Christmas spark! I’ll try and remember to take some photographs.
Now that the washer-dryer is repaired (Yay!) I can catch up on the laundry and make some Jewellery on Sunday and then hopefully it’s off to the pub quiz in the evening. I have missed our outings to the quiz, we haven’t been for a while for one reason or another and I miss it. I enjoy my two pints of Speckled Hen and the company.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Last night James and I were so miserable, it was just getting on top of us, we work 80 hours a week between us and have no money, it hardly seems fair. We can't afford a car and James travels for two hours each way on the bus to work so he is hardly at home and when he is things like this happen. We both need a holiday I think, just time off work. I shouldn't complain really because there are so many people worse off than us, at least I have a home and a job!!
Monday, 17 November 2008
Reading about Baby P in the news has me so angry. When I hold Joshua all I want to do is protect him and keep him safe. He is so precious, not just because he is the cutest most beautifulest little boy in the world but because he is a helpless little child. So innocent and pure, so vulnerable and fragile. A new life, and there is nothing more wonderful and awe inspiring than that. We "normal" human beings will never be able to understand how anyone could hurt someone like that. Least of all a child. All the people in this world who go through years of IVF treatment, people who long for a baby and people out there who commit such atrocities. It hardly seems fair does it?
Friday, 14 November 2008
So why is this, why do so many musicians also craft? Does the appreciation for all things aesthetically beautiful bring with it an appreciation for audible beauty? I've wanted to be a singer for as long as I can remember but I've tended to go with folk, country, blues and Jazz rather than pop or rock.
Here are just a few examples
Kate Rusby is an lovely utterly creative folk singer who I had the pleasure of seeing in concert last year. We had a lovely day, it was an open air concert, we had a picnic and watched her weave her magical melodies sat on the grass on a perfect summer evening.
Frank is a lovely young lady I had the pleasure of working with a couple of years ago. Although I hated the job I enjoyed her company and the music we'd play when the manager was out. She writes and sings the most beautiful melodies and she is also a wonderful artist. She is one of a kind, not someone who just tries to be different, don't those people annoy you? Frank just is who she is. I hope she doesn't mind me telling you this but She was the Supervisor and I was the Assistant Manager. If the manager was ever unhappy with someone I had the unhappy task of delivering the message. Frank was always humming, I enjoyed listening to the humming, it wasn't like she was humming spice girls tunes badly, they were delicate, sweet little melodies. The manager made me tell her to stop humming and I hated her for it. I suppose the humming did interfere with the Robbie Williams CD playing in the background! As I type I am listening to Dragonflies I recommend that you do the same.
And of course there is Eva Cassidy. Now I don't care what people say about her being too popular now. I don't form my musical opinions based on popularity. Her music and artwork are beautiful. Her arrangement of Over the Rainbow is still one of my favourite songs and listening to I wandered by a brook side makes me feel like I'm floating.
And then there's little ole me. I can't paint (I really wish I could) and I still have only covers on here, I really must pull my finger out and get some of my original music up there.
I was obsessed by music for a long time and then my jewellery kind of took over but today having looked up the ladies above I once again feel inspired. That's what a true artist does to you, they inspire you. Every day I visit the people on my blog list and everyday they rejuvenate me.
So why is it? Is my musical ability in some way responsible for my ability to string beads onto tigertail? Do I see the beauty in todays dark and opressive sky because I like folk music and do my colleagues laugh at me and call me stupid for it because they listen to the Pussycat dolls?
No, the leafless trees and the charcoal clouds are beautiful, and the gentle picking of a guitar accompanying a tale of love and tragedy sung with honesty are beautiful. There is so much magic and wonder out there, you just have to pay attention.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
I've listed some lovely 9ct Gold and Swarovski Crystal earrings today which I think are a bargain at $30 US, that's about £20 ish. They are the first piece of gold jewellery that I have ever made and I really want to keep them but that is not the aim of this little venture.