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….  

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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.

And 14 partridges not in a pear tree

Finally!! Some time between the evening of Friday 13th and the morning of Saturday 14th Mama Partridge decided it was time to hatch the babies! Up early I checked the nest long distance as usual and saw broken shells (along with one un hatched) but no sign of the occupants. I was so worried she had taken them away and I’d missed it, but a few hours later she brought them back and presented her brood.

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I think she looks pretty proud. And so she should.

They’ve been back a few times, I’m not sure where she takes them overnight – we’ve a couple of brick outhouses so they may be there, but she’s very good at hiding them underneath her! There still seems to be the same number as I counted that first day, 13, so she’s a clever Mama to keep them all safe. None of the eggs from the first nest have hatched but I’m not sure what to do about them now.

I did think “hurrah, I can weed the path properly now!” as we’ve had to let it grow for nest coverage…..

but, wouldn’t you know it, we seem to have a new resident.

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I can barely explain how ridiculously tiny he is! He’s so relaxed in the garden he fell asleep in the garden beside my car and we almost stepped on him! He twitched an ear when we turned the engine over but went back to sleep. Poppet.

June is the maddest month

Oh I have so much to do in June I almost feel discouraged before I’ve even begun!
I have a friends birthday to make something for – I have one idea but no idea how to do it; a sisters birthday, I’ve at least completed part of that today, Fathers Day – I know what I’m doing, just not quite how to do it and my mum’s birthday. And since she’s usually my guinea pig I may actually buy her something instead!
In amongst all that work is crazy, and my other half may be about to move 130 miles away. And Mama Partridge is still sitting on her eggs…

It’s going to be a long month! Send cake! And wine!

What was old is new again

Jewellery’s a funny thing. It’s one of those things that you really do react to instinctively. Maybe you’re out shopping, and you pass by a jewellers. Some days you’re indifferent to anything in the window. Other days you may see something you think is awful – gaudy, tacky, whatever. And sometimes you’ll just know that one piece is your piece, as if fate has finally brought you together. I felt that way about my unofficial wedding ring – we weren’t shopping for one, it’s not a traditional ring, but then again neither am I (hence being unofficially married).

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So it’s not a great surprise that, no matter what, we find it hard to let jewellery go. A necklace with a broken catch, a bracelet with missing links, the earring that has no matching partner. We can’t wear them, but we can’t let them go either.

I’m guilty of hanging on to all sorts of things that I’d probably be better off letting go – both material and emotional. Jewellery, letters, photos – things I should probably just keep in my head and heart. But decluttering is just the practical side of letting go. And that can be cathartic. So my mum and I gathered some old jewellery

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and with some earrings and a bit of necklace and some of my stash

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made a key/bag charm. Old to new, upcycling memories.

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And so it begins

Such a long time away. Sometimes it’s felt like it’s been too long to come back. But then I think it’s a Catch 22; with nothing to bog about, I won’t craft = with nothing to craft for I’ll have nothing to blog.

So here I start once more. Putting behind me the pressures of work and life that have kept me away. And trying to move on from the hardest part – losing my sweet little Toby.

I find that sometimes, when the bad happens, you just have to wait for the good. Well, maybe not good as such, just something opposite to before. Sometimes it comes the next day, sometimes you have to wait a week. I seem to have had to wait months. But I think it’s here.

I came home from work on Friday to see my tulips had emerged from nowhere.

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Pretty, sure, but not enough to change everything. I went to have a look….and found this.

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After a bit of research, it would appear that the Grey-Legged Partridges that like to wander about the garden and peck at the TTs alloys (they seem to prefer it to the Peugot. Not unlike us.) have decided that between the raspberry canes and the tulips is the perfect spot for building a nest.
This may also explain why the Grey-Legged Partridge is on the RSPB’s red extremely endangered list. But I figure I’m being reminded that life goes on. (Of course, if they don’t hatch, or get foxed/stoated/rated/etc) I’m going to feel crap, but I’m trying to be optimistic.

So there we are. New life, new start. And some spring flowers in my garden.

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