360 Days – day two

Wire-wrapped pearl earrings 

   
 

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Beads and beads and then some beads

Dear Reader, the postman came. I was expecting a shoebox. 

There was a shoebox. To fit a clown’s shoe. And it was inside a considerably bigger box, ingeniously packed with newspaper and squished egg boxes.

My father has never been one for hyperbole, so when he said there was “some bits and pieces’, I assumed thats what would arrive. Shows how much I know.

So, there were pearl-type beds



And there were necklace beads



About 25,  in all. And then there were the bracelets….





And then there bracelts with charms on them





and then there were more natural ones





and even some metal ones





About 100 of them, in fact.

Not to mention some odd earrings, bits and pieces, brooches and even three random lobster clasps!  I think it’s safe to say it was considerably more than I was expecting! So if anyone wants me, I’ll be over in the corner, planning and deconstructing and reconstructing. For the foreseeable future! 

Gift horses

My life is currently  a juggling trick extrordinaire, flaming clubs, swords, an axe. While riding a unicycle. On a bed of nails. Wearing a blindfold. And all the things i want to do are the very things that have to go at the bottom of the to do pile. But such is life and while it keeps me away from posting as much as I want to, I just need to keep trying, trying to find time for the things that make me happy, the things I want to do amidst the ever increasing things I need to do. And try to squeeze in time to fill you in with the goings-on!

The babies are thriving – their first trip to the vets was to be spayed which thankfully all went well, despite the hangdog expressions when they were first brought home…



They are a joy to come home to after a long day at work, and never fail to make me smile in the morning, which at 5.30am is no mean feat.



How could you not smile at that?

There’s been a couple of birthays…and couple of presents using my new favourite bracelet design





And Ive had  a package of my own….my dad, who  is now  retired, likes to attend the local auctions. So I’d asked him to keep an eye out for any job  lots of jewellery I could upcycle, but not to  really  spend any money..

 He phoned one night to say he”d picked up a box and it was on its way.  Less than 5  pound  but  he didn’t  know if it was what i needed.

And so i  waited impatiently for the postman….  

Repair, recycle, rejoice

It will probably come as no surprise to learn that I’m not a fashionista. I’d never buy something just because it was a designer label, or because X-celebrity wore it to that thing. Equally, I’ve no problem if you do, it’s just not for me. I get as much pleasure from getting a bargain buy for a couple of quid at a charity shop as from spending ten times that on one item. Which doesn’t mean I’ll turn down a bargain when ones presented to me. Like a cashmere jumper for £10 just because it had two little holes in it.

before….

and after. Very much a bargain for a small repair.

Now, the recycling! 

I finally got round to reusing some of the stuff my friend at work had given me. Mother’s Day was coming up and my mum loves that I can give life to something old, and I have one vivid childhood memory of my mother, dressing for Sunday church, putting on a bracelet, that she only wore on Sundays. I wanted to give her an everyday wearing one!

From this



I deconstructed the beads into respective sizes



Used a nifty jump ring design from Dorothy Wood’s  The Beaders Bible





And ended up with this





I really love how a bead can look so different, just by altering the setting. And I love the design so much that I’ve already made a couple more. I’ll save them for another post, because….it’s rejoice time. A year after losing my sweet Toby, the house is once more filled with binkying and leaping and happiness. Meet Daisy

And Millie

it’s a wonderful thing to get home from work and have a happy reaction! It’s lovely watching their individuality develop – though they do share a love of Lakeland catalogues, just like me!



Taking stock….and stock taking

Since last i posted (and I’m glossing over the many months) I’ve been at the sticky end or removed by one from birth, death, promotion, resignation, moving house, 16-hour working days, missed holidays and enforced separation. Just as well nobody said it would be easy. Or indeed fair.

But a new year means a new start, and everyone has to start somewhere. And this is as good a way as any.

With some new plans in place to procrastinate less and craft more I needed to literally take stock, having covered off the metaphorical side. I find when my things (be it work, crafts, heck, even the inside of my car) is messy or disorganised, then that’s my headspace. Clear the decks and I’m a whole different bunny, ready to hop right in there and get on. I needed to sort out my multiple craft stashes, make them organised and really find out everything I actually had.

Now, I’ll admit it. I’m a geek. I like databases. I spend quite a lot of time trying to break the one we use at work. I’m so good at it, that sometimes I’m actually asked to do just that. So I decided that was what I needed – a nifty database to catalogue my stash.

And after a good half hour of googling, I finally found one. Sortly. Top name. It’s IOS only, so sorry if you’re not, but trust me; if you have things you need to keep track of, this is what you need. It’s simple to use, but highly personalised too. You can set locations, sub locations and then you list the item by name. Add an image, you can even add quantity and price, plus there’s a section for notes, so you can add whatever extra info you need – such as where it was purchased etc. Tag it and it’s as searchable as all giddy up. SO now, if I have a fancy to craft something in a specific colour – bam, search ‘green’ and everything green pings up to inspire me. Fancy making a keychain charm but not sure if I’ve any lobster clasps? I know now.
Not having to waste time hunting, or checking means I can decide to do something…and then just do it. And I’m really hoping that’s the push I need.

So I’ve taken stock and now I’ve done my stock taking. The new year stretches before me and the opportunities await.

What’s your year shaping up to be?

Well Begun is Half Done

Otherwise known as Let’s Tidy Up my Craft Box.

I had a piece to work on, but I’ve not been able to settle to it this week. I’m no neat freak, but I do find a peace in things having a place and being in them.

All my jewellery making lives in a sparkly box, which was originally a Christmas hamper from family. But I had so many packets of beads and clasps and findings that, ironically, I couldn’t find things.

Because my brain hates me and allows me all of half an hour extra in bed on a Sunday, I decided today was a good day to tackle it.

First, empty the box…

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Wow. I have a lot of stuff. I really should actually make some jewellery and make a dent in it.

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So now I can see what I have….my OCD can really kick in. Yes, those little pots are now housing the contents of the bags. Because the bags have a sticky strip that sticks to everything but the bag and drives me crazy.
And yes. I did write labels telling my what everything is. I really regret not having one of the clicky label makers. It may now be on my wish list.

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And then, as is my way, I had doubt that I’d picked the right storage. I decided to change my mind (I’m female, it’s a basic right), and use a box I keep embroidery thread in. However, my beloved pointed out that I frequently sit on the couch crafting, then go to get up and fall over with dead legs, catapulting whatever I was working on across the room. Which is possibly a nicer way of saying I’m a clumsy sod. So I compromised and put the tubs in the storage box. Belt and braces approach.

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Clean, tidy and ready for me to stop procrastinating.