Saturday, 31 January 2009

Meetings, Rain and Florence

Yesterday morning I had my introductory meeting with a Creative Launchpad advisor: a very knowledgeable-without-being-patronising man called Andy. Having been previously told the meeting would be approximately three hours I was imagining this to be excessive, but as it turned out three hours was very much required and packed full of information for me to digest.
Bizarrely nervous about the whole thing, mainly because I didn't really know where I was going, I hopped on the train, as hoards of my bemused students flooded off the opposite train on their way to school and wondering loudly why I wasn't! It was bitterly cold and lashing down with rain in Birmingham on Friday morning and in my explorations to find the Custard Factory (where was Mackay when I needed her!) I got drenched and any prior attempts to look composed and in control washed swiftly away.
There was no need for the apprehension, some kind passers by pointed me in the right direction and the meeting itself was hugely helpful. Got me thinking about a host of things from how on earth to fill in a tax form, e-commerce, marketing, insurance, networking, an artist called Robert J Ennis, whose work is stunning, websites, receipts, press releases and a stack more!
Glad I went - even managed to pop to the shops on the way home and bought a new pair of shoes. Plain, black, flat, for school, not very exciting.
Today, I've made some more teal and silver jewellery but haven't got good photographs yet as the sky was dull by the time I'd finished and the photos were a bit pants. I love teal. It's a beautiful colour. We went for a dander to post a manuscript off to an agent (fingers crossed) and it was very chilly, this Siberian cold snap is clearly on it's way. Have been back in for hours and am still wearing my hat and scarf, brrrrr.

Checked flights for Florence - we are planning to go back this Easter - and prices look good, phew, so we should be booking tomorrow, yay!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

For Next Week . . .

. . . I want to have:

1. Stocked my shop with at least 12 listings
2. Ordered some pmc - you guessed it I got paid today!
3. Registered my business name - depending on advice on Friday
4. Finished the 'heart' range
5. Upload an image to redbubble

I've got school and my first private tuition session this afternoon so I best put down the beads and wire and bits and go prepare.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Lists and Listing

Today is my first Tuesday not at school for ages, hooray! My new timetable kicks in this week and having two whole days to devote to getting this creative venture off the ground is very exciting. I've been fidgeting around wanting to get on with making and listing new jewellery items on my folksy shop but never had enough time. This turned out to be a good thing as I've had a chance to scribble a few ideas and sketches and give some thought to what order to list new items to fit in with what I've already listed.

Over the last few weeks I have made a few things and now I have the time again (joy!) I've set about photographing a few new pieces and listing three jewellery sets. I'm pleased with how they have turned out and if you fancy a look just click on the mini pic below.

As for the other lists . . .
Last week I planned to:

1. Arrange a meeting with a Creative Launch Pad advisor
This is the one I'd already done! Ha! Got a meeting this Friday morning and I'll no doubt be posting about how it went, what I learnt, what I need to do ya de yade!
2. Order necklace chains
Done, and I resisted buying a load of silver clay and resin stuff, must pace myself and wait til pay day (tomorrow, phew!)
3. Organise the studio - well the jewellery bit to start with
This was a joint effort and it looks great now. A proper working space and as I type R is in the corner at his new table (a lovely pine job we got from ebay for £13, score!) working away. Might have to take a few pictures for you.
4. Finish unpacking

Very nearly, almost there! I have one box of school files in the boot of my car which might just have to find a drawer in a classroom for! Apologies in advance to GEM for messing up her room!

I've a few ideas already for what the next week's list, but that can wait until the next post.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The Great Folksy Circle

The brain wave of photographer Dan Jackson as a way to let more people know about what's going on at folksy is simply to write about each other; makes sense to me. At the end of the list on the forum happened to be two of my favourite folksy sellers and I am delighted to bring you Lauren Ceramics and Ali Bali Jewellery

Lauren Denney creates the most beautiful slip cast ceramic pieces and her current range on folksy features tealight holders, oil burners (yes I did buy one and it glows gorgeously!), pots and vases and magnets.

Alison Reid, founder of Ali Bali Jewellery, designs and makes stunning pieces using a range of materials including silver (925 sterling, fine and precious metal clay), freshwater pearls, lampwork beads and semi-precious stones.

Being new to both jewellery making and Folksy I have found Alison's work greatly inspiring and the lady herself very helpful in answering some newbie questions (thanks again!).

I absolutely love the pmc textured pendants clasps and below are just three of many fabulous pieces available on folksy.

Lauren Ceramics and Ali Bali Jewellery are two of the most impressive folksy shops being well stocked with beautiful items which are effectively presented through both photographs and descriptions.

Something to aspire to methinks!

Sunday, 18 January 2009


A few of my redbubble favourites from the last few months:

"The Red Boat" by Steve Sharp

"Nendrum - spirit of the place"
by Ragman

I also love this crow and paintings by Melodious - just a few of the many talents on redbubble, check it out!

Friday, 16 January 2009

I love lists

The folksy forums are jam packed with blog links and whilst having a peruse through some of them I stumbled across an etsy seller who has started off 2009 with weekly goals which she has been reviewing every week. So thanks to the author of Moon of Glass I feel inspired to do something similar.

My goals for this week are to:
1. Arrange a meeting with a Creative Launch Pad advisor
2. Order necklace chains
3. Organise the studio - well the jewellery bit to start with
4. Finish unpacking

A lovely list I can come back to a confess to what I haven't done or celebrate what I have! I've actually done one already today but wanted to put it on the list just so later I could go 'yay me I did something brave which involved phoning strangers!'

An unexpected day off thanks to a water pipe problem in town meant school had to close on Tuesday so I've managed to do the tedious address changes and a few other moving type things so hopefully by next week everything will tidily have a place and I'll be able to get making again!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

New, New, New

All sorts of newness! I started my new teaching timetable which will be a handy two and a half days a week for the next two terms but for the first three weeks I'm doing a bit extra taking it up to four days a week, so not much making getting done. Over the weekend I moved house and am so happy to have done so! My sister and best friend's hyper sense of organisation must have rubbed off on me at some point when I was home for Christmas as I got everything packed, boxed, transported and cleaned so efficiently that I was able to hand my keys to the old place over on Saturday instead of tomorrow when my tenancy ends. The superbly energised organisation hasn't quite continued as I'm still not quite fully unpacked and arranged and my car might still contain just a few small things I have yet to find a home for. . .

In celebration of the move and whilst lamenting the passing of Christmas lights for another year we have been looking at the beautiful ceramic burners created by Lauren Ceramics and might just have to purchase one as a little house warming gift for ourselves. But which one? Oh, have a look they are gorgeous!

More new news comes in the form of my very talented mate Andy, otherwise known as Pagan Wanderer Lu, who is releasing a new album 'Fight My Battles' whi
ch you can buy early here!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

All the very best to you all for 2009!

I'm looking forward to silver fossils, blow torch and pmc experiments, circles and hearts, getting out with the camera, moving house, ribbon, silver wire and a knitting nancy (found that while 'tidying' my stuff in my parents' roofspace!), reading my new books, meeting Rosetta and celebrating with R by booking Florence in a month's time - and that's just the first few weeks of the year!

And just how cute is Marley?! The latest addition to the family, rescued by the lovely people at the Dogs Trust, he is only ten weeks old and is settling in really well with his new doggy family Shadow and Jilly. Not to mention the humans who are all doting on him! One more week to go and he'll be finished his jabs and will be able to venture into the big wide world outside the garden and I'll miss it as I'll be back in England! Though I am positive there will be photos of his adventures winging there way over the interweb and I might just post some here.

Once again Happy New Year!

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