Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sunday Eve Blues

We've been tidying like crazy to try and lose the warehouse look and make our house look all beautiful for viewings. There are still packed boxes which we can't really unpack because then we are left with the issue of where to put lots of cardboard boxes. So we are going for the tuck the boxes subtly away and explain the nearly moved but were shafted situation.

This still leaves us with a surplus of boxes that can't be subtly tucked away so, we're heading north for a few days with a car full to store at R's folks'. My parents are also up that way having braved the ferry with the motorhome (very impressed with my ma!) and I can't wait to see them all! It'll do us good to get away and fortunately it looks like I'll have some teaching work this week so we can afford the diesel.

Trying not to get agitated by the whole situation (people from NI do use that word a lot, you watch the news and it's all "situation this situation that") but I have the Sunday night blues. It is a common experience of teachers especially those delighting in the joys of supply teaching where you don't know where you are going or what you are teaching or even if you are going teaching anywhere at all. You wake on your early alarm and sit there waiting for the phone call ready to dive onto the computer to find out where the school is, followed by a frantic drive into the unknown all the time wishing you could be getting on with your own work, but sometimes the phone doesn't ring. . .

Speaking of my own work I bring you something bright and cheerful, just incase the Sunday eve blues are getting to you!

Friday, 26 February 2010

Teal Heart Jewellery

It's been quite a week and I'm just getting back into the swing of my own work. Thank you to everyone who has left comments here, on twitter and facebook both the encouragement and the sharing in our rage and disappointment is really appreciated!

We've started unpacking and setting up our work areas again and I've started tidying up my shops. New additions include a pair of teal heart earrings and a necklace to match the charm bracelet mainly because I do love teal!

Happy weekend everyone! xo

Monday, 22 February 2010


Our house sale has fallen through.

We are not happy but calmer than a few hours ago. Looks like we have to start all over again.

That's three months of our lives we're never getting back.

Thanks a bunch.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Good News

It has been a rather strained few weeks as one move date after another passed into history with us still firmly not moved. Much of what has been requested by our buyer is completely reasonable, what has been so annoying is that it was left so very late. We have been at serious risk of losing the house we were hoping to buy due only to the successive delays and it's even impinged on my parents' holiday to visit us, grr!

On Friday we had another hurdle of negotiation and were preparing to settle down to yet another weekend of waiting for Monday's phone call from the solicitor. Then late morning the phone rang, discussions were had and we prepared to wait again. Then just a few m
inutes later the phone rang again with happy news that finally everything has been sorted!

So, yes there is still a little bit more waiting but this time when we arrange a date we should actually be moving on it! Hope I haven't just jinxed everything! We're enjoying a grand weekend of actual relaxation and looking forward to our new home, seeing family again soon, setting up or work space, going to the beach, riding our bikes on empty roads, lounging in front of the fire, meeting new neighbours, exploring, working without banging your elbows on packed up belongings! Oh yay!

Northumberland Sunset October 2009

It feels like such a long time since we saw the house which should soon be ours. All the way back to October, yes it has been a long wait! Bring on the rolling hills and splendid sunsets!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Wedding Jewellery

An old university friend contacted me recently through Facebook to see if I would consider creating some some bridesmaid's necklaces for her. The dress is a beautiful deep plummy purple and it has been fun trying to match colours through picture phone messages this week. I've uploaded a few designs onto Facebook in a new album entitled 'Wedding Jewellery'.

My teal heart charm bracelet was also featured in a wedding themed blog post by Aingeal Jewellery. Love is indeed in the air!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Bits N Bobs

It was my Dad's Birthday during the week and Folksy came up with a fab gift idea - this Biscuit Soap set from Bits N Bobs. Fun, suitable for sensitive skin and a perfect fit for armpits! Ha!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Still Waiting

Hello everyone!

Hope you've had a good weekend! We are still waiting to move house now that our buyer's solicitor has been satisfied with the logistical impossibilities of having the moon on a stick she just wants a telescope and wants us to pay for it. We're getting rather annoyed and impatient that, unlike the standard decide-which-telescope-you-want-at-the-start-of-the-house-buying-process-pay-for-it-and-get-things-happening-swiftly, our buyer has decided to wait for three months to sort this telescope, despite already having had two telescopes.

Still no news whether we have lost the house in Scotland, so I'm not crying, yet. The nice bottle of champagne we saved as a welcome gi
ft for the buyer might just come with us if things don't get tied up soon. This does seem to be taking the Michael somewhat.

On Saturday we decided there was a need to get out on the bikes and we mounted a rage filled challenge on a hill on Cannock Chase. I got to the top and had to get off my bike with a strong feeling that I was going to throw up. Clearly my rage was greater than my lung capacity! Anyhoo, two hours pounding round the Chase, with a shameful walk up the last hill made us feel better, eventually, you know, after the nausea faded.

So, we are still surrounded by boxes, still prone to being grumpy/anxious/worried and still hopeful we'll be in our new home by the end of the month.
Work wise I have unpacked three boxes of jewellery stuff and am enjoying working on a few designs for bridesmaid jewellery on request from a friend, deep plum coloured loveliness!

Finally, I came across this painter on Flickr and was much amused by his comment on one of my sea glass pendants which reads as follows:

"Very nice work. I remember when I was about 8 or 9 I found a piece of sea glass and thought I had found a precious stone of great value. Took it to the jewellers (how naive was I?!!) and he told me it was just a piece of glass. Then I had the audacity to argue with him. 'How could it be glass when it was so polished looking?'..anyway, it is nice to see that someone has found potential in it, so well done."


Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

The third Murakami I have read having been introduced to The Wild Sheep Chase by my brother and later following up with Kafka on the Shore, I was not disappointed. Once again Murakami plunges you deep into the worlds experienced by the central character leaving you to explore each situation with Toru Okada and offering fresh perspectives through several narratives within the central story.

I never planned to review the books on this list, but just to keep a record of what I've read throughout the year but I must add that The Wind-up Bird Chronicle includes the most graphic and nauseating description of torture I have ever read, but please, don't let that put you off.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Glass Heart Pendant

Yesterday my teal glass heart pendant was included in Folksy's love themed featured items. That was rather exciting as it's the first time one of my items has been included! Then, within a few hours it sold, hooray for the Folksy front page! Then when packaging up the necklace I noticed it was going to an address just two streets away from where I lived as a wee baby! So another piece of my jewellery heads off to Northern Ireland, but this time to somebody I don't actually know!

This made up for the growing irritation at house move delays, yes we are still waiting! Thanks to those who have been asking and sharing the doom!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Friday, 5 February 2010

Creative Couples: Sian Bostwick and Fred Wyver

With Valentine's Day approaching, love being generally in the air and being part of a creative couple I got to wondering how many others were out there and put a call out to the Folksy folk to see if any couples fancied sharing the love and a glimpse of their creativity.

First up Sian Bostwick and Fred Wyver who have been together for three years and met whilst studying for a BA in silversmithing and jewellery. Both Sian and Fred create jewellery and Fred also works as a Graphic Designer.
On their work:
Sian -
-->I am constantly designing and making, I feel very passionate about this. I really enjoy investigating the interplay of materials, form and colour particularly though a mix of materials like titanium and silver to create unique pieces. Titanium is one of my favourite materials to work with, it has so many possibilities to create truly individual pieces. I also really enjoy learning new jewellery craft skills both new and traditional, one of these skills I really enjoy is delicate and detailed hand piercing. All my Jewellery is designed and carefully handcrafted by me in my workshop in Rochester which I share with Fred.
My designs are all original and I am influenced by a predominantly fashion focused design approach inspired by illustration, fairytales, myths and dreamscape as well as the beauty around me to create both high impact and commercial pieces with quirky, individual, dreamy and playful feel.

Fred - Compared to Sian's work mine is clearly masculine. I have a bad habit of over conceptualising things, but at my best my work is designed around the qualities of the materials and the techniques and traditional processes of the craft. My style is heavily influenced by the industrial world, ranging from dirty weathered steel to more modern precision engineering aesthetics. While I have made traditional jewellery pieces in the past I have more of an emotional link to work that edges away from jewellery.

Ring and Necklace by Sian Bostwick, Glasses by Fred Wyver
On their workspace:
Fred put together our workshop space in our spare bedroom, which houses a two person work bench and what tools we need and can safely and practically use in a terraced house. Besides the work bench the largest tool we have here is a home made draw bench for drawing down lengths of wire. It spends most of its time propped up against a wall to save on space.
On collaborating:
Fred -We haven't directly collaborated, however we constantly discuss our design work, bouncing ideas off each other and drawing on each others technical knowledge to solve problems. Which has proved very helpful to us both.
Sian- I have found this especially brilliant whilst I was still studying, it stoped me getting to into my own head and to have someone else who has the same design education, taste and style has been really helpful.

In the future we hope to operate a shop together, no doubt this will involve a variety of collaborative projects as well as our individual work and other artists, but nothing concrete yet.
On having a creative partner and how that influences their work:
Sian-I don’t have a creative family background so living with a highly creative person like Fred means that for the first time I can be truly comfortable, happy and express my creative instincts.
Fred- I come from a heavily creative family, so I tend to imagine that everyone thinks that way. I doubt I could find enough common ground with a non-creative person to justify a relationship. That said, I love having a girlfriend who gets as excited as me about buying new tools!
My work has changed only in as much as I don't get to do as much, I work full time as a graphic designer which restricts my making time. My priorities have certainly changed however, while I was studying I rarely considered the commercial side of my work, and despite still tending to design things that I basically want for myself, I try to do so in a way that opens up the possibility of actually earning enough to quit the day job.
Sian- I am much more responsible and a real motivation to get my business endeavour to work so Fred can quite his day job and join me . Living with a creative person has also meant that our home feels really creative with interesting artwork everywhere and vastly overflowing bookcases which befits us both.
Many thanks to Sian and Fred and all the best for the future!

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