Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Its a Winter Wonderland....

...out there!!  So I haven't been in my studio shed as its so cold. Instead I have been listing on Etsy and my now upgraded Artfire store.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade  Just click on the link! 

Hubby and I had a lovely walk with Izabel and Nina. (Iz's choccy lab cousin whom is stopping with us whilst my daughter is stopping with sister in law looking after her cousin.)  The weather is so snowy and the roads are so bad that even though our houses are only a 10 minute drive apart, its too much of a risk to swop back...not that I am complaining, a beautiful chocolate labrador for a teenage daughter is a good swop!!  We walked down to the river which is at least a third frozen over, I couldn't take any lovely photos though as my hubby had managed to put the camera 'card' in an old camera that was broken and threw it out for the rubbish, so this afternoon I had to empty out the bin and find it! 

I am looking forward to tomorrow as my daughter turns 15!!  Its unlikely she will be here on her birthday, so I am dragging out our old wooden sledge and trekking across town to surprise her, with camera card now retrieved I will be able to take some photos!!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

My new website

I am so excited.  Thanks to Debbie from Silver-Artz, I have got myself signed up to Getting British Business Online and got my new website http://www.izzy-beads.co.uk/.  It is still very much underconstruction, but I have big plans!! 

I have been busy in my studio shed this last week, making new beads and trying out new techniques.  Thanks to the snow and ice we have had over the last few weeks, I have spent as much time as possible, huddled over my torch keeping warm.  Here are some of my beads from last week.

Large Flower Focal with spacer beads

Tiger Beads (pair of)

Little Galaxies
Under the Sea - where the Jelly Fish are!

I hope you like them :O)

Next week the snow and icy conditions is due to return and its the last week of term for both my daughter at High School and my son at College, so next week is the last week I can play undisturbed, before Christmas in the Studio Shed, just hoping the kiln and torch keep me warm enough..brr...I hate the cold.  

 I hope that everyone manages to keep warm and safe.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and fabulous New Year, hopefully see you soon x

Laney x

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

This mornings walk around the woods with Iz and I remembered my camera, the colours are fabulous at the moment. Enjoy.

the beginning of our walk

     the autumn gardens are through the gate


autumn leaves


through the trees, I think this one is my favourite of the morning

the autumn garden inspired beads

Monday, 4 October 2010


What happened to the summer?  Last time I looked, the kids were getting ready to go back to school and the veggie patch was still producing stock for the cupboards.  Can't believe its October 4th, today.  My friend had another birthday last friday and we had a fabulous walk in the wet and muddy fields with Iz and Shiloh (Iz's husky friend), whilst remembering when we met when our little girls were at nursery school, now of course they are Year 10 of High School and my friends daughter even has a 'steady' boyfriend....is that phrase still used?  steady?  Who knows?  Ben is keeping me up nights with his late night calls to his girl-friends, I am told they are 'mates', gets confusing when his 'mate' has the same name as our dog, every time he says Iz was down by the river or in the pub, I question our goldie, Izabel, going to the pub without me...tut tut....my pub evenings are gone now that kayaking is no longer on a Thursday night due to the dark nights closing in, I really enjoyed being in the pub with Ziggy whilst our kids froze on the river in kayaks.

I have done some beady fairs and a craft fair and got a few more craft fairs to do before Christmas, so I am still busy and torching away. I have been enjoying the challenges on Bead Buddies forum, especially the Fairground one. My beads have taken a turn for the whimsy, I am loving creating those beads that make a smile, thankfully so are others and lots are finding new homes. This one is Charley's for her dolls house from the fairground challenge,

Darren the Dodgem....with 'bum-hole'.  I have also done a gorgeous Unicorn which is destined to go on the Bead Buddies forum as a swap bead, I like this one :O)

isn't he cute?  and keeping on the whimsy theme one last photo for the evening, my cat bracelet.....

Night x

Monday, 23 August 2010

Its been a week.....

....good or bad, its been a week!  Charley spent all last week at the vets, on the other side of town, doing work experience, which she arranged herself - very proud mum - and she loved it.  Unfortunately it mean't that I spent most of the day in the car!  Traffic in Hereford is chaos on a good day, throw in road works, accidents, and the final straw being rush hour and its a receipe for disaster.  Usually the journey takes about 15 mins, give or take but at its worst last week it took me over an hour and half to collect her and get back home, we had to stop for a pit stop at the sister in laws and have a cup of tea to calm the nerves, it is very safe to say I was not feeling the love that day.  But.  It was all worth it.  Now Charley has a direction in life and is off to our local vets (walking distance!!) to see if she can get some volunteer work there during holidays and weekends. 

Then my kiln started playing up.  A whole day of commission beads in the kiln and turn the programmes from garaging to annealling and ....nothing....it had a fit of temperature wobblies, registering 480 to 268 to 342 to 90 to 550 all in seconds of each other, so Jim got up from his night shift and rang the kiln man, but it was Friday and both Jim and Ben were off to Newgale for a weekend of kayaking so nothing happened until this morning when my husband, aided by the kiln man, got the little blue oven up and working again....wahoo....fingers crossed she will be co-operative tomorrow :o).

Ben moved one of my raised veggie beds today, during a monster downpour, the weather has been changeable for days.  Its still so mild and warm but the heavens open and down comes the rain, often not for longer than 5-10 mins but its heavy enough to soak you to the skin, the only ones loving it are Kayakers, Ducks and Golden Retrievers...aka Iz!!  whom loves nothing better than splashing in big puddles and rolling in muddy patches, the utility room is littered with soggy towels and smells like winter!

I have been having clear out of 'stuff' and found some dog prints that I did as a limited edition, so I have listed them on Artfire, the puppy is my favourite, but then thats probably because its our Iz as a teeny tiny cute puppy.

I also found some triptych abstracts that I have been storing in the wardrobe, the photos are not great, been having a hard time to capture the image, its not as easy on big things as it is on glass beads!! 

Amelia, my chook, is poorly again.  Sour crop.  I dosed her up with some Olive Oil this afternoon and gave her crop a nice massage, she must have been uncomfortable as she didn't complain, then some of the mass came out and I found out why they call it sour crop....yuck...it really does stink, and then Amelia started to get a bit bothered about the attention so I put her back with the other girls.  She was cuddled up to the other girls tonight at bedtime, so I am praying that she is ok again in the morning.  I think she is always going to have problems, this isn't the first time she has had sour crop this summer and of course we had the prolapsed vent early this holidays so she hasn't laid in over 2 months.  I don't mind her not laying if she was well and was enjoying herself more.  Mind, none of the girls are very chuffed with the weather, their coop is like a skating rink!  I have done some prunning in the garden, catching up on some of those jobs I put off when the kiln was working, and put the garden cuttings into the coop for the girls to scratch at and eat the grubs, they love a treat!.  I am also hoping the green stuff soaks up some of the slippery mud, before I end up going over!

Well, other than that this week, I have watched the trees at the woods start to turn from lush green to heavenly golden and have even spied the odd red leaf. I rather like this time of year, I prefer the sunshine, but late summer mornings you can't beat. Iz and I have been up at the woods really early a couple of times now, its so quiet you can hear the squirrels starting to get busy for the winter storage, so much so that Jane's acorn beads inspired this little guy....

Glass Bead Squirrel...with nuts!! 


Friday, 13 August 2010

A Day Out at Kenilworth Castle

I have my beverage of choice to hand...Southern Comfort, splash of lime and ginger beer...and have just finished uploading my photographs of a fantastic day out.  Friday the 13th, unlucky for some, but for me, fantastic. 

the approach to Kenilworth Castle
Charley and I met some friends at nearly half way point between our homes, in Warwickshire, at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden.   Built in the 1120's by Geoffrey de Clinton, extended by John of Gaunt around 1370-1380  and then remodelled in about 1570 by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the Elizabethan Garden orginally created for the last visit of Elizabeth I in 1575.  She visited Kenilworth 4/5 times during her reign and rumour has it that there was a very strong attraction between the Queen and her loyal subject.  It is a fantastic ruin to wander around in and admire, of course the company you take has to be perfect and ours was, even the car picnic in the rain couldn't dampen our day.  Asking Charley on the drive home what was her favourite part of the day, I was surprised to hear that I have never taken her for a car picnic in the rain before, poor sheltered child! 

The fountain in the Elizabethan Garden, two 'Athlants' supporting a 'boll' and made in white Carrara Marble from Tuscany just as the original would have been.
It was so lovely to see Lorna, Zoe, Thomas and Natalie, can't wait until October for our visit to Warwick Castle.  Thank you for a fabulous day, I am now home, pleasantly tired and 'me bloomin' knees' hurt from all those steps!! 

Laney x

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Its big but not big enough!!

nearly as big as Lorna's Chooky egg!!
How pleased was I today, when I collected our chooky eggs from the girls and saw Frankie 'perched' on top of the collection of fresh eggs.  She did look funny with this enormous egg poking out from under her, pushing up one side of her body.  Its not Frankie's egg but one of the ex-batt girls.  I rushed indoors and grabbed the weighing scales just to check that my friend Lorna's chicken still holds the record this week, for the biggest egg, her chook, Jalfrezi (they are all named after curries ;O) ) laid a whopper at 94g and she sent me a text photo to prove it!!  So Lorna, here it is, one of the ex-batts is giving Jally a rival for the title, 90g!!!!!....next week the titles ours!!

The Farmyard Button Series.
Keeping on the chicken theme I have some new lampwork buttons...Farmyard Series! Chickens, Cows and Pigs so far, but Donkeys, Horses, Sheep, Dogs and Cats all coming soon!! 

Laney x

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Our Meg.

Our Megan
Izabel - hating her photo shoot
This lovely little mog is our Megan.  She is roughly 20 yrs old and is quietly sleeping her way into very old age.  No longer does she hunt, or scratch the furniture, she gently snores, undisturbed as her hearing is not what it was.  About 17 yrs ago, Megan was in a rescue home on the Isle of Sheppey, down in Kent.  We had a number of mogs from this Cat Protection League, starting with Felicity, aka Psycho, because no one else could have her and she was going to be put down, long story short, I was very pregant, Ben born less than 12 hours later on 31st December 1993 (but wasn't very big so managed to convince the lady that I was child free at home...not quite a fib, just a bending of the truth! ) and during some of the worst flooding in Kent I convinced my friend, Nikki, to drive 140 miles, - she had a 4x4 -  round trip to get Fliss, not that we were rewarded for our efforts as Fliss really was psychotic for many years, before finally becoming brave enough to venture out and was then taken on the road, it was very sad, not least because the night before she let me stroke her for the first time.  But.  Our Meg.  Another desperate case.  Another battered cat.  Another phone call....this time my son had been born and it was April 16th 1994 (I remember silly things like dates, except birthday's I am always late for those!) so Megan and Thomas (another 'tail' for another time) came to live with us.  Megan was about 3yrs old and had been so viciously beaten and abused that to this day, 17yrs later, she still mistrusts all humans.  She is the smallest little calico cat with the smallest little tail and one of the biggest personalities in a cat I have ever seen.  She keeps Izabel in check and batters poor old Claude into submission if he dare get above his station, for the rest of the time, she sleeps.  She looked so sweet today, lying on the towel Ben left out on the table where I pot my plants and Ben dumps his kayak stuff, she didn't even know I was there.  Its so nice to see Meg quietly sleeping, I couldn't resist the photo....enjoy :O)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Connected with the modern world!!

...all by myself!  I have a blog and as a repressed author I am going to make the most of it. 

I started off trying to put a comment on someone else's blog and ended up finding an old subscription that I had and updating it...successfully...and customizing the page and everything...what a clever girl I am!  Well, today has been fairly normal, took Iz to the woods and had a lovely time throwing the ball, finding the ball, picking up poo and chatting to other doggy people.  The things we do.  Came home, Ben washed all the windows for me, so now you can see how dreadful they are from the inside :(, the sun came out, so I promptly forgot to put the washing on the line and left it in the machine.  But.  I have got some fantastic chickens cooking in the kiln!!  I was asked to do an order for chicken beads that could be hung from a window, as a sun catcher and after several experiments have made them out of transparent glass, some even with reactive centres and they looked fab going in the kiln, fingers crossed they look that good coming out!  I collected Charley from her friends late afternoon and nearly three hours later both kids have yet to have a full blown row so I think its going to be a nice evening....and there are those that wonder why their dad works nights!