Saturday, 24 May 2014

English Gardens

A white picket gate
The smell of Summer rain
Butterflies and bees

Available on Ebay for auction

Cut grass and fading lilacs
Buddleia dances in the gentle breeze
Reds, purples, yellows and greens

Rambling Roses and
Waving Lupins

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Tiger Tiger.....

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And What shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

One of my all time favourite poems is Tiger Tiger by William Blake.


Friday, 16 May 2014

Starting in the middle.

I have started writing, again.  I have doodled and written poetry and odd lines ever since I could hold a pencil.  I am being brave and showing a few extracts on my blog, I am starting small!


She stood on the balcony, a little girl barely reaching the top of the solid wooden rails around the edge.  Wearing a full length cream dress with chocolate ribbon trim and tiny delicate peach blossoms embroidered on an over frilly bodice, small leaves of pale green, each one a tiny stitch of silken thread.  She watched over the distant field, a sea of crimson.  Waves of rich red tulips, dancing to the tune of the setting sun.

Just click the link.
Laney x

Sunday, 11 May 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog reveal

Late as usual!  I was out all day yesterday and my blog post just wasn't ready for release so I have had to sort it all out this morning, good job I took the photos the other day..see I was trying!
Its the 8th Bead Soup Blog Part reveal, hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things 

Its my second time taking part and this year I got a bead soup buddy from across the pond, that great big pond, my bead soup buddy is Janet from Anvil Artifacts and if you get a chance to check out her blog and her Etsy shop please do as her work is truly stunning; which didn't help when she sent me the most amazing and ENORMOUS bead soup, the pressure was most definitely on!!

A fantastic collection of Jasper stone beads, fossil beads, agates, moakite, much!!

Not to mention some beautiful coral and a simply gorgeous mother of pearl clasp with some of Janet's beautiful wire work as part of the toggle.
This was actually the last piece I have managed to complete...I have plenty more beads to be making sooo much more!
Using copper wire and some lovely green beads from my 'stash' I made my first ever tree of life pendant using the last of the lovely citrine beads.

Next up, I just loved the fossil beads, and these beautiful round ones are called Mammoth bone beads and my over active imagination immediately thought of big woolly Mammoths roaming the lands of long ago, so I teamed them up with some of my glass bones, some of those beautiful agates, some silver plated wire - hand made links and clasps by me! - and a cute glass toadstool for a splash of colour.

This is my focal piece.  When the bead soup came I was heavily experimenting with bead embroidery.  My focal piece from Janet was this amazing huge Ammonite which she had attached to a silver clasp for hanging, I did remove the clasp as I really wanted to use this piece in a bead embroidered way, with some of those gorgeous moakite beads - the dangly ones - some more agate beads, a few glass beads on the silken rattail and a hand forged copper clasp by me.  I loved doing this piece, the soft and subtle colours that is Janet's colour palette really challenged me to find the colour within, working with a more reserved palette was a very interesting experiment.

Still bead embroidery and having a bit of fun with the mother of pearl buttons and a piece of the beautiful rich red coral.  I have plans for this to go into a picture frame, it brought me huge joy to sit and do this piece I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some Jasper stones and more agates, this time with a bit of colour, soft and subtle colour but colour none the less.  I called this bracelet A dog called Jasper, so I wouldn't forget the name of the stones!!

Lampwork glass dog head bead, a beautiful Great Dane head, some copper wire and my other muse of wire work.  I have come through the bead embroidery phase for the moment...

But before I did finish my bead embroidery phase this piece happened.  Fossil bead centre, aquarmarine drops and discs, citrine clusters and hours of relaxing stitching.

How I used my clasp.  This piece still needs tweaking as it doesn't lie with the clasp directly opposite the focal glass flower bead and that annoys me!  I love the clasp its so tactile.  Using some more of the agate beads and these fantastic wood agate beads, lovely chunky beads and a touch of the moakite and the agate stones with a bit of orangey colour and one of my sculptural flower beads, I really like this piece.  I added a few glass spacer beads which are etched for a matt finish, but they are in soft brown...see Janet I do do reserved colour!!  :)

I still have so much to play with and have a piece using the big chunky Flourite nuggets and beautiful pearls on my bead mat in a half constructed state.  I really enjoyed the collection of beads that Janet sent me and I highly recommend a trip to her Etsy shop Anvil Artifacts her work is truly stunning and its been a pleasure to have her as my bead soup partner, we have been chatting across the miles and I truly hope it continues as she is a lovely lady with a massive collection of beads!!
Here is the list for the other bloggers taking part in the Bead Soup Party. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Catastrophe and clean fridge.

My oxygen wasn't come through the pipes, there was no pressure there so my flame was really a bit of a damp squib, so I called an expert.  My husband.  He said he would come home asap to have a look...he is at the garage.  I waited an hour.  I text him 'don't forget me'. He rang me.  He was waiting for some deliveries so I had to wait.  I need my oxygen to make my beads, I need some for the weekend as I am exhibiting in Stourbridge - the 10th anniversary bead day at Broadfield House Glass Museum should you be able to come - so I was a bit of a loose end.  What to do?

I cooked tea.  Tuna and pasta bake was on the menu...yes I have a menu, husband works it all out the week before and shops accordingly and I have my menu pinned to the fridge, its so I know what's for tea and when to ring him to find out when he is back to cook it...or very occasionally I make a start, the kitchen being an alien place to me, but tuna and pasta bake I can do so I do it.  Pots and pans on the hob, one boils over so then I clean the hob.  Fight with Gordy over the cheese topping, I win he goes and sucks in the hall sitting and dribbling on the internet router box, he has since had some cheese, I relented and he won.  So tea cooked and ready in the oven, just needs to be turned on for 45 mins or so later.  Still no oxygen.

New plan.  I will finally get round to cleaning the fridge, husband hasn't gone shopping yet this week, he is planning to go tomorrow so the fridge is as empty as its going to get for now.  Which does bring me to my question.

How come fridges are getting bigger but sinks are getting smaller?

I mean, come on, the shelf from the fridge will not even sit in the sink on its end for me to wash it - my fridge cleaning not being as often as it should be a quick wipe is just not enough.  So now I have water splashed all over the side and me and the floor, so why is it that in the whole kitchen design thing the fridge is enormous, we have one of those upright American style fridges, we need a big one I have a 20 year old son with the appetite of a pack of hungry wolves coming off of a fortnight's fast, hence the almost bare fridge the day before shopping day, that lone tomato rolling silently in the salad tray with old seeds from long ago eaten peppers its only company being the carrot with the slightly manky end in the next drawer down, and the sink is the size of a matchbox?

Does everyone have and use a dishwasher all the time?

I have to ask that question as I sold mine, the daughter just wouldn't stack it properly and it drove me nuts, so I warned her that she would be on dish duty, the old fashioned way, upto elbows in soap suds and mouldy bowls - I refer once again to the 20 year old son and the once a blue moon he pulls all my bowls and cups out of his room, usually with various scientific experiments blooming at the bottom of each and every vessel.  So she continued to stack it badly and I continued to re-wash everything by hand in the morning so I sold the thing and now she washes up...when she is home which isn't very often as she works in the evening so I get to wash up the old fashioned way in a sink that just isn't big enough.

On the bright side.  My fridge is sparkly and my oxygen is back on line and I am off to the shed and I don't need to rush as tea is cooked!