Thursday, 31 March 2016

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal - My Glass Beadmaking Journey!

I've been in two minds over whether to commit to a 3rd year of Blogging from A to Z, I really enjoy the Challenge, but I've been so busy over the last year I've seriously questioned if attempting this might send me insane... there's a good chance it might so stay tuned in April to find out!

I've been promising my regular readers that I would write more about my own journey into glass beadmaking but so far I've only managed one post this year... so now I'm about to attempt to write 26 more posts on the subject, starting with A and working my way through to Z, blogging every day in April along with hundreds of other bloggers - with Sundays off to recover. So, without further ado...

My Theme for 2016's Blogging from A to Z Challenge is... My Glass Beadmaking Journey!

So if you've ever wondered what it might be like, or what I get up to - come join me on 1st April to find out!

Posts will be super short to allow A to Z participants to blog hop easily, for regular readers this is the format for A to Z if you've not done this with me before...

Please say hello in the comments section to show  your support.

If you're participating in the A to Z Challenge yourself
be sure to leave me your blog link so I can visit you back!

Mars xx

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

To A-Z or Not to A-Z...

As my regular readers know, it's normally about this time of year that I start declaring my crazy intentions to blog from A to Z throughout April, usually with a theme, vague (2014) or specific (2015)!

This year I still haven't decided whether or not I can commit to the month, life is pretty crazy and April doesn't get any easier... I'd set myself an arbitary goal of "If I can get some posts written and a theme chosen and ready for the 21st March Theme Reveal I will!"

As you can see it's the 23rd March now and I haven't...

However whether I do, or don't, I'd really like you all to pop over to see my friend who is taking part for her first year... if you like Curling Stones I think you'll enjoy her A to Z series for sure...

I know I can't wait to read these!

As for me, I think it's going to be a decision I make on the 31st March - I may well be the last blog on the list if I do sign up!

Will you be reading or writing any of the A to Z Bloggers this year?

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Sticking to my Budget?! 16 days to go!!

Well, this is a surprise post!

I started 2016 with good, nay, great intentions of really cutting down on how much I spend on beads, and then promptly managed to spend January, February and March's (strict) allocations all before the end of January!

In my defence, (there's always a defence), February's allocation was for OHM's Love Cage and if I hadn't have preordered in January I don't think I would have got one...  March's allocation also has a defence too (see earlier bracketed comment) which was spent on a preloved Amethyst and an old letter style bead both from Trollbeads.  Sometimes with beads you are looking for you really do need to grab them when you see them if they are at a good price preloved.

Oops I almost forgot that February also included some of the new oxidised stoppers from Trollbeads too... I actually have no excuse for that one as I could have picked those up anytime!!

I am exactly halfway through March and provided I don't spend anything for the next 16 days, I will be on target with a strict budget for the first quarter of the year... if I achieve this - it really will be a first!

Mars xx

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Treasured Tools for Beadmaking - Cup with a Hat!

I said I would start to talk more about my journey with glass beadmaking, or lampworking this year and I started out by writing a nice chronological account of how I got started again... but it was a bit boring so I deleted it!

I thought instead I'd introduce you to something my husband bought for me that I treasure for the joy it brings in my beadmaking...

... yes it's a mug with a lid, or a cup with a hat!

If you read my A to Z series last year you may already know where I'm going with this as I touched on it in G is for Glass!

Not only does this protect my tea from flying glass or other foreign objects, it also keeps my tea warm which is essential when I'm making, as I often forget I have a cup of tea there!

But the hidden secret is that it also contains a strainer... so if I don't have time or want to make myself a teapot's worth I can still enjoy my favourite Imperial Tea's loose leaf Blue Flower Earl Grey whilst I'm making!

How cool is that??

What is your most favourite unusual tool?

Sunday, 6 March 2016

@HBHullBloggers March Meet - Good Food & Great Company!

Saturday was marked in my calendar as #HBMarchMeet to remind me of the hashtag for the event - a lunch with some of the lovely Hull Bloggers and a catch up on all things bloggy!

Obviously my first and most important decision as a Jewellery Blogger... what to wear on my wrist?

My choice?  My Trollbeads Copper Bangle, with copper, oxidised silver and silver stoppers with a bead of my own to compliment my dress.  For those of you following my budget dilemmas... the oxidised stoppers were part of my February spends in January!

Trollbeads Copper Bangle, stoppers x6 & my own bead.

The weather was sunny one minute and raining the next and I dithered about how to get into town... in the end I caught the bus and walked through the city centre which meant I caught this awesome fountain rainbow on the way!

Fountain rainbow at Princes Quay

Al Porto is situated next to Hull Marina, a place I've always loved to visit in Hull and I took the chance to snap a few quick shots on my way, not many as I was due to arrive just in time for our 1pm start so I couldn't dither for too long.

On arrival I was greeted by our hosts for the day and shown to my seat.  They had set us out two tables in the bar and rooms that are beyond the restaurant - it all looked very cosy.

Time to shed our coats (and umbrellas), have a catch up with old friends and introduce ourselves to new friends before lunch was served.

Place settings had been well thought out and we'd all been mixed up so that we all had an opportunity to talk to people we'd not met before, this was a great idea as it meant we all got chance to at least talk to half the group in more depth over lunch.

Blogger lunch tables, drinks, cameras and gadgets!

The food was really good, it was their regular Lunchtime Menu, a main course and a drink for £8, I chose the Winter Salad and a glass of wine, both of which were delicious.  I would definitely go back again - I have my eye on the Frittata next which looked especially amazing!

My Winter Salad at Al Porto Hull, Chicken and Chorizo - yum!

We also had some fun "questions" to ask each other after the food and it was good to get to know more about the other bloggers who were there.

Selection of Questions... the last one had me stumped, I have so many!!

It's surprising how quickly the time went, before I knew it, it was time to head for home with our goody bags and let the testing commence!

A sample of the brands involved - really amazed at the quality so far!

I was so pleased to catch up with my old blogging friends, pleased to meet new blogging friends and the whole afternoon was an utter delight.  At these events it's always the people element that make the day for me, the format and the food on Saturday were really conducive to spending some quality time with people.

I've always thought all the Hull Bloggers run really quality events, and that's what keeps me coming back; that and the people, although good food & quality brands involved make it all the sweeter!

From the pictures of the goody bag, what would you most like to try and why?
I'd love to hear from you!

*Food & drinks were paid for individually by all the bloggers attending,
goody bag items are supplied by the brands as samples for review.