Monday 23 May 2016

Luna - OHM Bead of the Month - May 2016

Well now that I've drank my tea and cleared the table I use for photos, it's time to tell you about the splendid May offering from OHM Beads.

Only 555 released worldwide, in 2 versions, 455 in a light silver oxidation and just 100 in a dark silver oxidation.  Everyone, bead fans and retailers alike didn't know which version was in which box as they all came sealed in a space style package.

Crazy stuff - my first Luna was one of the 100 Dark Lunas!

After the beads starting arriving in their new homes, OHM Beads via Social Media said they would share a fun fact about the Dark Lunas if more than 10 people posted their Dark Luna pics.

They revealed that EACH one of the 100 Dark Lunas is actually unique and truly one of a kind, as there are small differences in the craters on the surface,  This was not only unexpected but really blew me away!

I have to confess here, that secretly, I'd been hoping for one of the more common light silver Lunas. 

As genuinely excited as I was to have a dark Luna, I mean who doesn't love a rare Limited Edition, from wearing my jewellery everyday point of view, I knew I'd get more wear from the light silver version.

Another collector pointed out I'd be swamped by people wanting to swap... however I really didn't want to let my Dark Luna go, just because I'd get more day to day wear from a light silver one, didn't mean I wanted to give up this one.

However, now they were sold out everywhere!

Here's where I got crazy lucky for the second time; a case of right time, right place.  One online retailer hadn't taken pre-orders as they were away, and they came back after release day and had a few left.  I checked, they were sold out (no surprise there) then they said they hadn't sold out, it was just their website uploading slowly!

I ordered and I got one of the few remaining, now I was holding my breath for this to arrive in the hope it was a light silver one!

But alas!  The shop had put a wrong number on my address...

...however my regular postie realised this, and after an extensive discussion with my neighbour (I wasn't in), put the package through my door anyway - I owe that postie a few pints!!

By now I knew that Dark Lunas came in white boxes, and Light Lunas came in black boxes... so opening up was just as exciting but also a bit tense; did I have a white or a black box inside my moon sample package?

Yay it was a little black box with a lovely light silver oxidised Luna within!

I really can't believe how lucky I've been with the whole Luna release, not only to have a dark one with my first order, but to find a second available after everywhere had sold out, for the postie to take a chance and for it to be silver too. Wow!

I'm one very happy, very lucky Mars!

So what did I do with them once I'd got them... Silver Luna went straight on to a necklace.

I love this bead, the detailing in the light oxidation is wonderful, and it may swing the balance to me ordering the OHM necklace that's designed so you can wear your RAWR skulls or your Luna bead vertically, as I think I would get a lot of use out of one - but as I'm spent up that'll have to wait for now.

With the Dark Luna, I wasn't sure how to wear it at first.  I tried several cominations using Trollbeads Fantasy Necklaces, but I wasn't 100% happy with how it was sitting (yep another vote for the OHM necklace) so I moved onto my bangles.

My copper bangle was the first one to hand; I really like the contrast between the two metals.  After dismantling a Fantasy Necklace to retrieve a pair of silver beads, I finished off with the new(ish) Trollbeads oxidised stoppers and voila!

I think Dark Luna is better in real life than how it photographs sometimes, the pic on my wrist is more true to the colour and finish - as some of the other photos make it look a bit dull.

So there you have it, two Luna beads, one of each, and a new bangle and necklace to wear, that'll do nicely!

Which would you prefer; the light silver or the heavily oxidised LUNA?
What do you think of the blind ordering method?

Saturday 21 May 2016

There's still some more tea in the pot...

I should be writing this whilst overlooking some lovely East Yorkshire countryside.

The campsite was duly booked, plans made, and then we looked at the weather forecast...

Now weather is not the biggest consideration when you have a bus, she's watertight, has a fire on board and a kettle which is pretty much all I need for a good time (oh how times change) but it was set to rain, and rain hard, all with a bit of blustery wind thrown in for good measure, all weekend, so campsite has been duly unbooked and plans unmade.

Instead I have been tackling the kiln excess problem (long story), the mountain of washing up (there's only 2 of us - where does it all come from?), the clothes washing pile I've been deliberately ignoring since I got back from Wales mid-week and I'm currently trying to uncover the dining room table...

I know the table is in the dining room somewhere, it's one of two, but it seems to have got buried under a pile of bead debris and spun facts about whether the UK should stay or go, and despite how much I think it, The Clash do not mysteriously come on the radio at this point - although in fairness I don't have the radio on, so if they did I might have a mild freak out.

I don't really "do" housework, it's something I ignore until either I physically can't move around the house or we have guests due!

Now that I've partially uncovered the relic that is our dining room table, I've been able to take a step back and consider the last few months of bead purchases.  It's been steady but relatively sane, a few sales items from Trollbeads, some preloved pieces from both unknown artisans and X Jewellery and TWO lovely Luna's from Ohm's Bead of the Month from May, lucky me as I got one dark and one silver!

I'm just waiting for one package at the moment, a quartet of some of the new Trollbeads Spacers, as despite thinking I was all spent up, I really couldn't resist ordering.

I can't show you any photos of these yet, that would involve uncovering the 2nd table near the window (my photo table) - which is now harbouring some of the overspill from the 1st table.  You'll just have to imagine them for now, but it's okay, there's still some more tea in the pot... I might be able to clear it in time for tomorrow!

Monday 9 May 2016

2016 A to Z Reflections Post

Another A to Z Challenge is over and what did I think?
I'm so glad I decided to join in at the last minute!!
I was still dithering right up to the last few days; but I have to thank Tracy at Black Boots Long Legs and SENCO Cat Herder at Special Teaching at Pempi's Palace for their encouragement - it definitely helped tip the scales towards putting my name down.

I think Blogger to Blogger encouragement and support is an integral part of the Challenge, and that is plentiful from the A to Z Challenge, whether it's your first time or your seventh - or your third in my case.

What did I enjoy the most?
With all 3 Challenges, it's been the discovery of new blogs, writers or themes, catching up with old friends, the making of new ones and learning about different worlds, both real and imaginary.

My own handmade glass beads - photo courtesy of Born Of Fire

It was also getting over (some of) my fear of talking about my own work.  I normally write about what other people make that I like.  Showing my own work and writing about it feels very different, I have dithered about properly coming out of my bead making closet, especially opening the door into Curling Stones.  Now that I have done this, and the world hasn't imploded, I feel really good; although the temptation to scuttle back into the closet is quite strong!

I always enjoy the conversations I have on Curling Stones with people, it one of my favourite aspects of blogging and it usually offers a different perspective.  This can directly affect what I write (especially if I'm writing on the fly, as I did for this year's challenge) and I love that interaction - I did my G post based on an idea from a conversation I had on my A post comments!

What did I enjoy the least?
Lack of Time - I wish I'd been more prepared with my own writing in order to spend more time blog hopping; I felt guilty that I didn't visit as many blogs compared to previous years.

I simply ran out of time on many days to get around all the blogs I wanted to.  In fairness I did know this would be the case before I started; it was one of the reasons I almost didn't take part.

What did surprise me is that apart from Q, which was a bit close to the wire, there was no danger that any post would be late, as I managed to keep on top of the writing all month.  Keeping up all the way through has taken it's toll, since the challenge finished I haven't done a thing, either writing or making glass beads as I'm still catching up with myself!

If you only read one more A to Z Challenge Blog from start to finish...
I enjoyed many of the blogs I found over the course of April but the one I couldn't wait to get to every day was Sophie's Thoughts and Fumbles.

Photo courtesy of Sophie's Thoughts and Fumbles

Sophie wrote her A to Z Murder Mystery letter by letter and I was gripped from Day 1!  I've pointed the link to her A post so you don't accidentally come across any spoilers prematurely, although it was written so that you could join in mid-theme and not need to reread any earlier posts as the catch up notes were excellent!

A-Z Team - I don't have any suggestions for improvements, the team seemed to be keeping on top of the lists, visiting blogs and removing those that weren't participating as the list shrank quite a bit during the challenge.  I'm very curious about the A to Z lite experiment that I stumbled upon closer to the end of the challenge and how that might work running alongside the main challenge?

My feedback to other participants:
  • When leaving comments please leave an A to Z blog link, or at least your blog name.  On a few occasions I had to give up trying to find out if you had an A to Z blog as I kept finding dead ends.
  • Please consider tidying up your blog layout for the challenge, sometimes it was hard to find the A to Z posts, or figure out if you were taking part or not
  • If I have to log in via my Facebook Account, or any other social media platform I have locked down for privacy, or sign up to a new commenting system in order to leave a comment, I will not be commenting, sorry!  I will try and find a way, but if it's not easy I will end up leaving - sad that I couldn't let you know I'd been and enjoyed your post.
  • This year I came across very few blogs that had CAPTCHA still turned on, so I think that message is really getting through about turning it off for the challenge.  During the A to Z I have to be a lot more vigilant in catching spam comments myself, but I think I managed to delete them all quite quickly!

I would definitely encourage other bloggers to join in next year, it's great fun even though it's a challenge and it can be tough to keep it up, or in my case recover after you have kept up!

Especially if like me you hadn't prepped beforehand and you disappear off to F and have 4 days away in U during L to O - Confused? You'll have to read F and U to figure that one out!

View from the bus this weekend

It's rather ironic that the book to finish on my kindle this weekend was a find from the A to Z Challenge, picked from a Z post by Kathleen Valentine about her characters Zeke and Gabe from her novel Each Angel Burns - and yes I do recommend you go pick up a copy!

Do you have any tips to share with me
to improve my own A to Z experience
and / or navigation of my/your blog?

P.S. If you want to get involved and write your own *Reflections Post, all the blogs taking part are here. The A to Z team are interested in your views, whether you wrote and finished, wrote and stopped, or just read the A to Z!  The list is open from now until Friday.

*As long as it's about the A to Z this year, if it's not, or spammy, the link will be deleted.

Here's a quick reference link to all my A to Z posts below - ignore, enjoy, revisit or just marvel that it all got finished considering I only decided to join the party at the last possible minute!

My Glass Beadmaking Journey by Mars

A is for Addiction & Adventures

B is for my Beads, Business Cards and a Bead Tester Group

C is for Coring

D is for Diddys

E is for Experimentation and Errors

F is for Flame Off

G is for Glass

H is for Hat

I is for Inspiration

J is for Jewellery

K is for Kiln

L is for Lessons

M is for Mandrels

N is for Naming

O is for Oxygen Concentrator

P is for Passing The Flame

Q is for Quality Control

R is for Rod Storage

S is for Silver

T is for Torch (and how to POOP)

U is for Uttoxeter

V is for Ventilation

W is for Website

X is for X-rated!

Y is for YouTube

Z is for ZigZag Razor