Monday, 30 July 2012

What a treat!!

Just been faffing about in the shedio, and came in to check on a firing schedule for my glass vase (yes I have big aspirations!) wandered back out to the shedio, doors all open, thankfully left the dogs in the house as we have just come back from down at the river and I wanted them to stay in the kitchen - its a bit drizzly here this morning - to dry off.  I went in the shedio, and nearly tripped over a black fluffy object, that scuttled away and hid behind my oxy-con. 
'Come here puss' I coo'ed
Out popped a little black fluffy MINK head!!  I had a baby mink in the shedio.
Called for girlie to bring my camera on the intercom (not posh just needed for when phone rings and hubby is in bed during day and for cups of tea  ;D ) she was the pace of a snail, quick obviously doesn't figure in teenage speak!  She eventually came with the camera, I crawled on hands and knees to get a pic, but the little critter just whizzed past me and girlie and shot out of the door, leaving a very musty scent in his wake.  What a treat! 
Anyone know how to get rid of mink musk smell from the shedio  ;D
This isn't 'my' mink but here is a pic from Google, had to Google to show girlie it wasn't a ferret!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Old cats, lovely strangers, fairy doors and dragons.

Claude and Megan sheltering from the heat on the drive, under the car.

Those mogs above are my geriatrics.  Claude, on the left is about 19 and Megan, on the right, is around 21.  Both cats were rescued many years ago.  Claude was dumped on the farm we lived on, when he was about 1 yrs old and Megan had a terrible life before finding her way into the Cats Protection League in Kent, where I found her.  She was estimated to be around 3/4yrs old then, and due to her terrible life before, has never been a 'family' cat in the sense that she would sit on your lap, or even take a fuss and stroke without trying to scratch or bite and get away.  We have just left her too her own ways and loved her unconditionally anyway, and she in turn, has spent her summers in the garden, hunting mice in the fields and her winters on top of the boiler in the utility room.  A few years ago, when Meg would have been about 7/8 yrs old, she had a nasty accident on the farm we were living on.  Suffering with a dodgy shoulder, she had been out hunting and obviously slipped, landing on something sharp, that penetrated her paw.  We think she fell on some sharp blade on a tractor or something.  She made her way home, but it had been several days and we were starting to think the worse for her, but she struggled into the house and collasped onto the floor, where I found her and rushed her to the vets. The vet was certain she would lose the leg, at least the paw, the infection was so bad.  We had to soak her poorly paw in hot water and squeeze the infection from it.  We did this for at least a week and Megan let us do it without a murmur, then one day she attacked me.  I was so pleased.  She had pulled through.  I rushed her back to the vets and proclaimed her cured.  Proudly showing off my new scars and scratches!  From that day, Meg has let us stroke her and seems to accept that she is safe, but, she still spends her winters on top of the boiler, with all four legs and paws.  Other than plenty of sleeping and no longer hunting, our Meg is showing very little signs of age.  She is now deaf and I suspect her sight is faltering, but she doesnt stray from the garden so is nice and safe, and she still swipes our Golden Retrievers when they step out of line!

Unlike our Claude.

Claude has always been a big softie.  Having still been a kitten when we found him, he has always known love and affection and lapped it up.  He sleeps where he pleases, the printer, the bed, the kitchen table, anywhere he can shed fur and be a nuisance, including on my beads! He was a fabulous hunter and age it seems has not stopped him trying to catch the rats from the farm, that are almost as big as him!  He has no fear of cars, lorries or tractors, to his cost, as I ran him over on the drive in our Jeep about 6/7 yrs ago - according to the vet the best car/vehicle to run him over with as the wide tyres distribute the weight evenly...Claude was not so sure! - even after breaking his pelvis he still sits in the middle of the drive and dodges the traffic on our quiet country lane.  Which yesterday, was nearly his down fall.

Unlike Megan, Claude has aged rapidly in the last 6 months.  He has lost weight, so his once big fluffy body is now slim and slightly bony on the joints.  His eyes are rheumy and I suspect his sight is quite limited now.  He is deaf, until you open the larder then once again he is a kitten, and he is most definitely losing his marbles. 

My daughter and I did a boot fair yesterday and managed to get rid of some of the clutter in the garage.  We came home and were unloading the car, when the dogs ran to the gate and started barking.  I looked up and saw two cars, one slightly on our drive way.  This isn't unusual as the lane is narrow and one car has to pull into the drive way to allow the other to pass.  What was unusal was they had stopped.  I took a quick second glance and was just about to call the dogs to shut them up, when I realized a lady had got out of her car and was cradling a long, dangly, black and white cat.  My heart stopped in my mouth.  Claude.  I ran down our drive (which isn't too long but.....) and out of the gate.

The lady, turned to me and said 'she was just sitting in the road'.

I blurted out that 'she' was a 'he'.  Totally irrelevant fact, but at the time it seemed most important.  The chap in the van was looking concerned and I thought Claude had been hit.  He turned his little face towards me, and the expression, 'lights on no-one home' came to mind. 

He was just sitting there.  Minding his own geriatric business.  But thankfully he is fine, lucky, but fine.  During the summer we get alot of traffic (for us) especially on the days like recently, when the weather has been glorious, as people like to go down to the river, to fish, to picnic or to walk dogs and children  - both children and dogs getting thoroughly worn out so the parents can enjoy an evening of peace no doubt!  So, Claudey was lucky that these people were paying attention to the lane (not everyone does).

I took him off the lady, all of his bony self, and hugged him tight.  He may be old, he may be geriatric, he may be sick when his food disagrees with him and he may forget where the litter tray is during the night and use a corner, but he is still our Claudey and we love him.  However, he is now banned from leaving the garden!!  I don't think my heart stopped hammering for a good half an hour and my daughter - he is her favourite cat - even shed a few private tears over what might have happened...she doesn't know I know that bit.  He is old and we know that both he and Megan are very elderly mogs and both have been loved and cherished for many years, but, you can't help but be grateful to strangers that stop and pick up an ancient, bony old mog and give him a cuddle.

He is currently fast asleep on the table in the garden, I just hope he stays there!

Its been too hot to torch this week, so I finished my first piece of netted beads, moddelled by my daughter.  When its been cool enough, not often enough for me, I have ventured into the studio and made just a couple of beads.  I am loving the dragons at the minute and the fairy door toadstools, inspired by Fiona of WINIBI, Fairy Door (click the link to see one of her beautiful clay fairy doors)...this is one of mine..

Fairy Toadstool Door

and finally, 'An eye for an eye...'  a beautiful sparkly dragon, he just glitters in the sunshine.


Laney x

Friday, 20 July 2012

My first YouTube Video, Seed Beads and Earrings

Izzybeads YouTube Video

I finally got round to making my first video for YouTube yesterday, click on the link above and watch an alien bead being born.  The bead is destined for Beads of Courage  and has been removed from the kiln and cleaned this morning.

I have been getting a few bits organized for the up and coming Hereford Art Week, this coming September 8th -16th, when I will be having 'open studios' for the whole ten days.  Lots of demonstrations and beautiful beads and fused bowls on display to see and buy.  The link above is for last year and has yet to be updated, and hopefully will be soon!  I will be posting a blog with links to other studios in the West of Hereford another time.  Lots of lovely studios are open in the west of Hereford this year, including ceramics and paintings.  Just need plenty of sunshine.  I will also be having a collection for Beads of Courage as well as some information and display of some of the beads.

Spiral rope with lampwork glass cat
Other than being busy getting things organized I have been playing with seed beads, above, and making some earrings..

I am starting to list them in my Etsy shop, just click on the link.  Finally a bit of fun, this bead is also available in my Etsy shop and is Defi dog trying very hard to get into a bead!

This weekend promises to be sunny with next week the UK finally seeing some summer weather, I hope its a good one!

Laney x

Monday, 16 July 2012

Battered, bruised but still smiling......

Just another day down by the river......

Upon walking down at the river with the woofits, I met a man. A nice man with a lovely 18month old puppy spaniel. Oh Defi and Rufus..spaniel...ran around and played, enjoying the wet, soggy, muddy grey day of July. There we were chatting about his first dog, watching the dogs playing and stuff, when, I spectacularly skidded, slipped and landed in a deep wet, muddy with massive stones puddle, narrowly missing the barbed wire with me face, but managing to tangle the dog leads in it ::), breaking two nails and probably scoring an 8.7 on the advance movements scoring system ;D There I sat. Bemused. The man is concerned, bless him, he is not pissing his self like I would be if the boot was on the other foot, he offers me his hand, which I decline to touch with my now black, muddy, stinky, broken nailed paws, whilst Defi comes over to investigate my prone position for jumping on and determining whether or not this is a good puddle to wallow is, I am covered, no need to bother Defi ::) I carry on chatting as if its perfectly normal behaviour for me ::) the dogs meanwhile take one look at me and decide that my insistance of not going up and down the river bank and jumping into the largest of the puddles...THE BLUDDY now not up for discussion as I have proved my skill at covering my body in sludge, so therefore they can now do the same...I don't even bother trying to say no!

I walk trudge home, leaving the man at the farm gate, he is going the other way, probably no longer able to contain his mirth, and meet, workmen, runners, many cars....the girlie is waiting at the window to giggle...rat bag...I am now changed, my clothes in the washing machine, my body rinsed, my nails clipped and my bruises making a beautiful show on my hip, thigh and lower leg...but on the plus side, my skin is soft and supple....

Bugger it hurts already ::) ::)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Almost back to normal.....

My daughter, sweet 16 and going to Prom. 

It has to have been months since I had the time to post a blog or catch my breath.  There have been weddings, a funeral, my son leaving home, 4/5 bead fairs in various parts of the country all involving a long drive, local flooding, the weather is so rubbish and wet, and getting ready for this Prom.  The Prom is the end of school for my daughter, her GCSE's now over and Sixth Form College round the corner in September.  I don't quite understand the whole 'Prom' idea, when I was a kid *yawn* it was a school disco in the school gym hall, all that sweaty sock and teenage hormone pong, now its more glamorous, an evening dress, lots of sparkle, make up, fake tans and over the top transport...there were five.... FIVE.... helicopters taking some kids to the school fields on Friday night, rather extreme and considering the weather was more akin to a monsoon and the girls were 'slopping' their way from the helicopters, across the sodden fields and into the school hall, so their entry was a bit of a damp squib with no one watching anyway.  There were vintage cars, Post Office van with ribbons, several large cars with ribbons which did make me think of weddings not proms.  There were 'waiters' with no shirts on carrying one girl, just the collar and cuffs, bare chests and muscles...rather fun but a touch young for 16..or is that just me being old fashioned and ancient in my ways?

Still, my daughter looked beautiful.  I talked her out of the fake tan, she is naturally pale and beautiful, and as there has been no sun here in the UK anyway.......

I made the jewellery with my own fair hands.  The glass is fused and then beaded around, using a simple but effective spiral rope design in silver and blue teeny tiny took forever!  There are earrings, simple and elegant in the same colours and a bracelet of fused glass cabs.  The ring was from my stash of costume jewellery that I have collected since a teen myself.  I rarely wear more than my wedding rings - I have a gold and silver one both from the same hubby!! - lampwork dog earrings and my chook pendant, so my collection of over the top sparkly costume jewellery is lots of fun to dig through and giggle at what was obviously a riotious teenage youth!  So the ring, a massive faux diamond set in silver was the perfect match to my daughters dress.  What you can't see are the beautiful nude lacey effect 4.5inch heels, shame as they are stunning and elegant.  My daughter is a petite girl coming in just under 5ft and she does love her heels, rather her than me, these days my feet are not comfy unless in broken down crocs that have seen better days but are superby comfortable for these tired old paws.

So.  There we are.  One proud mummy, one beautiful daughter.  The end of school.  The end of my manic couple of months.  It has been busy, and fun, but exhausting so this week has been catching up on jobs around the house, dusting, grass cutting - inbetween the rain - and totally ignoring the weeds that are as tall as the bushes in places, this weather has been warm and wet making everything grow...everything except the summer veg which I haven't even bothered to plant out...this summer is shaping up to be the wettest on record.

A couple more pics of my daughter and her jewellery, and today I am in the shed!!  Making some more beads and bowls.  Next big fair is Stourbridge and the International Festival of Glass, Bank Holiday weekend in August.