Tuesday, 30 December 2008


I've never been much for self-motivation, I'd rather not do what it is I have to do if you don't mind. I'm a real one for running around at the last minute, I work better that way, under pressure, even though I know the lovely feeling of relief I get when I get something out of the way early.

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

A few more pics from the camera

My monster sized head

a bracelet I made for myself but will probably sell

some rather spangly earrings

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


Although I love Christmas I also love getting back to normality, de-cluttering the house and knowing what day of the week it is. I love that the 21st December has passed and the days are getting longer and that within a couple of months my walk home from work will be in daylight. I love winter when it’s idyllic, frosty crisp mornings and perfect pale blue skies. Of course the reality is far from that, grey over cast skies, rain, wind and a distinct lack of daylight. It’s at this point that I wait impatiently for the first signs of spring. Bluebells and Snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses. It still rains a lot but at least you have the pretty flowers outside and the new leaves emerging on the trees to brighten the world up a bit. I’m like this four times a year. I love each season but I love the beginning, the change, after three months of it I need something else. Sadly in the UK Autumn lasts a week and winter lasts six months! But the new year begins in winter, wouldn’t it be lovely if the first of January was the first day of spring, that on new years day we could awaken to dewy grass and butterflies.

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

Christmas in Cleckheaton

I was awoken several times in the night by a small voice telling me that he couldn't sleep cause they were too excited. I didn't know she had kids I hear you think. I don't, I have an over excited husband eager to open his presents from Santa Wife. So James arose at 6.30am and waited until I got up reluctantly at 7.15am. He made me a cup of tea and we began to open the presents. James has been wanting an Xbox for a while now but we couldn't afford one. Luckily the carphone Warehouse were offering free gifts when you renewed your contract so I upgraded my mobile and got a free Xbox 360 deluxe. He knew I was getting it but I still had to wrap it up and send it to Santa. I was very lucky to get the Nikon Coolpix S210 that I wanted so hopefully you'll be seeing a lot more photos on here, Starting today.

Sadly, I didn't see my first White Christmas. It would have been nice to see my unkempt garden covered with snow, hiding the brambles.

But with the tree decorated

naughty treats everywhere

and Jimmy playing with his new toy, it certainly felt like Christmas.

On Christmas morning I also made a new friend. I'd like to introduce you all to Patches..

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) table

Roast the beef, potatoes and parsnips in goose fat

Cheat with the pigs in blankets
Boil the only item with a discernible nutrition content

I couldn't miss these out, being a Yorkshire lassy

and don't forget the most important part

The finished, massive meal. I really should buy a gravy boat, the Pyrex measuring jug doesn't quite cut it.

Speaking of Christmas presents, Camera Girl, these are some of yours....

Watch out though, Patches has his eye on this one!
Matching bracelet

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

Christmas Giveaway

Here is my one final Christmas gift this year

and the gift goes to....

Congratulations Camera Girl, the prize is yours. Just send your address to me at apriljaneellis@yahoo.co.uk and I'll get your prize in the post asap. I'll be posting pictures of the prize later this week.

Seasons Greetings

Just a quick post to wish you all the merriest of Christmases. I hope you are all having a wonderful day. I am.

I'll be back later with the results of the giveaway.

XXXX April

p.s. Only 365 sleeps to go!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Santa Claus is coming to town, tonight!

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

XX April

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Reminder - Christmas giveaway

...ends 12pm (GMT) Tomorrow.

Leave a comment on the below post to enter.

Have an Amazing Christmas Eve
XXX April

Friday, 19 December 2008

Sparkly lights, shining bright

I'm looking outside but all I can see is a desk, a filing cabinet and a blond girl in a T shirt that is clearly too small for her, interspersed with orange street lamps and the occasional full beam of an articulated lorry. The rain gets so aggressive when it has the wind on its side it really victimises the trees.

I think I've had too many chocolate liqueurs. hic!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Christmas Giveaway!

I know I promised to do this sooner but things are a little crazy at the moment what with the impending holidays so I'm doing it now.

Christmas Giveaway

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.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Baby it's cold outside

I placed a jewellery order today and I'm ridiculously excited. It's on next day delivery and I'm having it sent to my brothers house so I don't have to wait until Saturday to pick it up. I have ordered some gorgeous lamp work beads. I ordered these beads in green last time and made a lovely necklace and bracelet. This time I have ordered them in dark blue, teal and yellow. The yellow ones are a sunshine buttery yellow. They remind me of spring and knowing me I'll be wishing for spring by the first of January! I'm always doing that, half way through a season I start wishing it away. It's when Christmas is over and the adverts on TV are all about holidays abroad and outside it's cold and wet. It's silly really. Anyway, I never told you how the jewellery party went. It was a huge success! Not just because I sold quite a lot but because of the incredibly positive response I got from my friends. I've been working on a new (to me) wire twisting technique and I sold almost all of the pieces I had for sale that used this method, and one friend commissioned more! She said that she could see how my work has developed in the last year. I was very happy, it means a lot to hear that. I know that this is a never ending journey and I genuinely appreciate constructive comments or criticism. Just not when it comes to pricing. (There's a ranty post about that around here somewhere)
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

Oh little town of Lee-ee-ee-eeds

Friday night was spent with friends at Wagamama in Leeds. James was a little worried because he doesn't like Chinese food but he had a curry and he really enjoyed it. I thought the food was great and the company even better, all in all we had a great night.

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


On Christmas day it will be our seven month anniversary, now I don't celebrate every month anniversary but I do acknowledge them. Seven blurry months, it's gone so quickly and I have very little memory of it. I often look through our wedding photos and it makes me smile, even though I can't remember much of it I know that it was the happiest day of my life.

My boy with his boys.

Me with my boy's boy's

It really has been a year for weddings. Two of the guys in the above pic with me have married this year, one in June and one in July and Tomorrow we have another wedding to attend. They are a really lovely couple we met over a year ago when we first started going to the pub quiz. She is a tall beautiful brunette and I know she is going to look amazing.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Sorry I have been away for so long this week has been very busy indeed. I'm very tired today so this post wont be the most exciting ever. I'll be back later to tell you all about my weekend including how my weekend went. I will also be doing the christmas giveaway soon too!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful

Why is it that a little snow can bring England to a complete stand still? Here in West Yorkshire we generally have very mild weather, very little snow, rarely have storms just grey all the time but when we do experience a little weather we panic. Busses stop running and people decide not to go to work. James spent a couple of hours on his first bus to work only to find that his second bus wasn't running. Luckily for me he spent a few hours in Leeds shopping for my Christmas presents and then went home and started the housework in preparation for tonights jewellery party. I'm a feeling a little panicy about it actually because I ran out of display pins last night and I still have some pieces to hang. I have to get showered, hair, make-up vacuum the living room, wash the dishes, clean the bathroom in an hour and a half. Honestly we worked solidly last night but there still seems like there is so much to do. I know James will work his little socks off and we'll get it done, I just feel a little daunted. I also really hope everyone turns up!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Snow, Pearls and Freebies

Someone has told me that we are in for some serious snow tonight although the BBC news website says it's going to be sunny all day and rainy tomorrow. The weather yesterday was awful, It had snowed during the night and turned to slippy sludge, my walk to work was extremely treacherous.

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 ;)

Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Do me a favour

I have re-written this post at the suggestion of my husband. He thought I sounded a little bullish and he was right so here goes

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 can't believe it's December!

I can honestly say that this year has been the briefest I have ever experienced. I know it has been a busy one what with promotion, weddings, hospital stays, honeymoons and new businesses but jeez where did it go?

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.

First sale!

I just made my first sale on Etsy and I am so excited. It was a pair of $5 earrings with free postage so I won't be retiring just yet but that doesn't matter cause I made a sale!!!

I should do a little advertising here

Cyber Monday only Free shipping on everything to anywhere!
Prices start from $5

Can't bring me down today!
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