Thursday, 16 June 2011

Back on the bums!!

As well as making the glass flowers I have a bit of a passion for the fun and whimsy side of bead making..and life!  I am inspired by so many great whimsy glass bead artists, Maybeads, BeastieBeads, Blue Mountain Magic lampwork beads to name but three.  Of course if you are talking whimsy beads you can't forget Sharon Peters whom must be the goddess of silly sculptural beads. 

 Of course, my girls inspire my chicken beads and my cats and dogs inspire my ...well...cats and dogs beads!! 

Marmalade...and toast!

Claude and the glassy mog!
As well as chooks, cats and dogs I like to make what makes me smile and I refuse to throw away some of my favourite childrens books, the pictures in those bring characters to life.  Why don't adult books (and I am not talking rude ones!) still have those little doodles at the beginning of chapters? 
Ellie the Elephant

Billy Button

Fish ear ring pair

A day at the seaside

 The fish ear ring pair of beads were inspired  from looking at old Venetian bead designs.

And just to round this blog off nicely, some more chooks, this time for big holes to fit the popular bracelets.  You can never have enough chooks! 

Monday, 6 June 2011

Woburn Abbey with friends.

Woburn Abbey
Its become a new tradition, but a very nice one and long may it continue, that one of my oldest friends and I meet up somewhere in the UK and visit a castle or stately home.  So far we have been to Warwick Castle, when it rained and rained but we still had fun, Kenilworth Castle, another overcast day, but it didn't spoil our enjoyment and this last weekend, in brilliant sunshine and blue skies we met at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire.

Coming from different sides of the country we manage to arrive more or less at the same time, and this time was no exception, but I think she had the edge on the journey as she is a bit nearer and her hubby drove, so she got a lie in!!  But, in all fairness, it was the first time I had to travel further.  So.  Charley, my daughter and I, set off from Hereford about 8.30am on Saturday morning and arrived at Woburn Abbey around 11.15am.  Its a beautiful setting and Woburn Abbey has been home to the Dukes of Bedford for nearly 400 years.  It was opened to the public following the death of the 13th Duke in 1953.  The deer park at Woburn Abbey is home to nine species of deer two of which, the Fallow Deer and the Red Deer are native to the UK.

Fallow Deer

 Inside the Abbey is beautifully restored, with a fabulous collection of paintings by artists such as Van Dyke - namely portraits some of them magnificent in their scale.  Canaletto - his beautifully paintings of Venice.  A wonderful collection of very rare books on wild birds, beautifully illustrated with watercolour paintings.  Down in the 'vaults' collection after collection of antique dinner services, which did fascinate my daughter as to why they had so many!  My favourite part of the Abbey, and sadly I was so overwhelmed I forgot to take photos, was the antiques 'row'.  Situated in the Abbey's 18th century South Court, the antiques are all displayed within traditional shop frontage 'shops', like an old fashioned shopping street.  ( I hope that makes sense!)  I was more intrigued by the shop fronts, some black and white buildings, like Hereford!, with balconies to which we all started quoting 'Romeo, Romeo...where for art thou Romeo' you do! than I was with the antiques, but still very amused listening to my friend Lorna trying to convince her hubby that they 'needed' that particular antique and it was a 'snip' at....£1400!!

Wooden men climbing.
Close up and underneath!

As well as the Abbey and the antique centre we wandered around the gardens.  The gardens are still at the beginning of the design stage for the Abbey and in 10 yrs they will be magnificent, but, when we were there they were still very pleasant with plenty to see.  Parts of the garden are exhibiting some of the most fantastic sculpture in various mediums, from wood, to mesh, bronze and steel.  One of all of our favourites was the wooden men climbing the monkey puzzle tree, even close up the figures were brilliantly made.  Another favourite was a bronze sculpture of a girl reading and a spaniel.  

We had a wonderful day, its so nice to meet up with friends, enjoy picnics, this time in the sunshine amongst the deer poo, and explore historic buildings and have a giggle.  I can't wait until the summer hols, Windsor Castle here we come!! 

Friday, 3 June 2011

Life with Izzybeads: All the way from the US of A!!

Life with Izzybeads: All the way from the US of A!!: "A few months ago I did a wonderful project for a FB friend's daughter. Flat Stanley - if anyone remembers Jackie Paper and Puff the Magic D..."

All the way from the US of A!!

A few months ago I did a wonderful project for a FB friend's daughter.  Flat Stanley - if anyone remembers Jackie Paper and Puff the Magic Dragon, Flat Stanley is a bit like that.  Flat Stanley came here for a visit and me and my daughter, Charley, took him around Hereford and took some photos to send back to Lauren, Maybeads, and her daughter.  Here is a photo Flat Stanley when he arrived in Hereford...this is our lane.

Flat Stanley comes to Hereford

Charley and I had so much fun, we took Flat Stanley to the library, the cathedral all over town and we did have such a giggle especially with the funny looks from passers by wondering what on earth we were doing!  We sent Flat Stanley back to America, but not before posting a favourite picture of him on our fridge.  The day before yesterday I received a fabulous parcel from America.  Sweets, pictures and stickers, a lovely card from Lauren's daughter, which is now pinned up in my studio, and some fabulous frit.  There was nothing else to do but test it yesterday so here are the results......

Parakeet frit with Red Roses

I love this one, its so summery and sweet, I think this one is 'Be Mine' frit

This chook is made using Outback frit.  I love the colours in this frit they are so dusty and remind me of Aboriginal paintings

So a huge thank you to Maybeads, and in her honour this chook is called Lauren!

I think this frit might have started a new craze for me, I have really enjoyed using it, even though I did end up with a burn't lip when a piece of molten glass, spat off the rod and sailed through the air landing on my lip...ouch!