Sunday 1 October 2017

Busy not Dead

Hello lovely Curling Stones for Lego People friends... is there anyone out there still?

I was really tempted to leave just the title up for comic effect, but I figured that was way too mean... I was glad my last post was about Curling Stones on Instagram, as if anyone does follow me  there you'll have realised that I am indeed in the land of the living, or at least the snoozing.

As fun as it is to post pictures on the go, sometimes I have the urge to write a bit more than just hashtags, sooo...

What did I get up to? Well first there was a glass course in all things sparkly with Trudi from the Glittering Prize, followed by a festival, well technically 3 festivals in a week... brilliant but oh so tiring!

First time glamping at a Festival after 30 years of tents and buses!

The second festival was Flame Off  where I blew glass with Josh and Ann from Hen Ogledd Glass, made some amazing class beads with the lovely Jenny from Raspberry Rings, had my first go at Metal Clay with Tracey at Craftworx, caught up with glassy friends and immersed myself in glass generally down in Uttoexeter.  (That first link by the way is to the 2018 Flame Off and if you fancy a nice day out I thoroughly recommend it).

Photos of things I made over the 2017 Flame Off Event

This was interspersed with LOTS of gigs, a reunion of sorts, an amazing glass course down at a studio south of Bristol.  Unfortunately I was really ill with lurgy but due to the way cancellation fees worked for both my course and hotel I decided to attend - best decision ever!

Work in Progress Photos

My course Working with Images in Glass has kicked off quite a spurt of making fused glass using these techniques as part of my alter ego over at Born of Fire - Beads & Glass.  I've been doing a lot of commissions, and as several of them are for Christmas presents I can't show them on the blog publicly, but these are a few of the ones that aren't Christmas Presents!

Finished pieces inspired by, or made on my course

I ticked off a bucket list item by seeing Marc Almond perform at Pride, had another trip to Wales, wrote my car off, enjoyed another festival, bought a car, hired a car, sold a car and continued to be busy with another Glass Festival, The International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge and a Glass Course with the lovely Gay from Gaysie May.

2017 International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge

I may write about the Festival another day, I was really blown away by the whole experience and next time, which will be 2019 as it's every two years, I'm definitely doing all 4 days.

Phew! No wonder there was no time for writing!  So that was me...

Say hi if you're here, and tell me how you are?

Thursday 11 May 2017

Instagram with Curling Stones for Lego People

As I've been a bit quiet on the blog lately, only posting when I have something I want to say, I find I'm using my Instagram a bit more often for bangle combos and updates...

If you want to follow me there, you can find me at curling_stones_for_lego_people but here are a few shots of what I've been buying and wearing this year so far...

L-R: New copper and brass bangles from Cottingley Treasuers, Work Wear - X Jewellery & Born of Fire,
Gig Time - old favourites with Eske Storm / Trollbeads / ACA Kreations / Endangered Trolls

L-R: Work Wear - X Jewellery and Born of Fire, Time for a Walk - Bluebell Woods, Iron Age Fort in Wales,
Old Favourites Returned - Eske Storm / Trollbeads, Born of Fire glass with Cottingley Treasures Bangle/Stoppers

John Grant's North Atlantic Flux - Sounds from Smoky Bay
L-R: Saturday, Sunday & Monday, newbies on Monday were Chocolate links X Jewellery,
Ohmbeads Typo Collection, Pandora leather with Born of Fire Glass.

My last Instagram post was showcasing that new Brass hammered bangle from Cottingley Treasures, had been umming and ahhing about what to pair with it to get the most out of it... I looked down at the pattern on my top and voila!

Cottingley Treasures Brass and Born of Fire Glass

I often think my Instagram can be quite an odd mix at times, lots of wrist shots but mixed in with walks and cups of tea!

Do you have an Instagram Account?
If you do/did, what do/would you post?

Saturday 6 May 2017

Purple leather bracelets oh my!

Bead wise, or should I say bracelet wise, it's Trollbeads that's had me a bit perky this week as they've launched their new look single leather bracelets in a variety of colours and with a unique bead as part of the package... and they've finally done one in PURPLE* leather!!

New purple leather bracelet from Trollbeads - Stock Image

I love leather bracelets, from being a teen and tying leather thong around my wrist and leaving it on way longer (without taking it off) than is probably sanitary, through to the bigger brand and jewellery options from the likes of Trollbeads, Rebeligion and Story and a variety of artisan makers inbetween.

A word of warning for newer collectors - the leather on this version of the bracelet, is 4mm so your regular Trollbeads WON'T fit, other larger hole brands will, as well as some select silvers and of course the Trollbeads larger core range, called Universal Uniques, which is the bead that's being sold with the new bracelets.

New Trollbeads Single Leather Bracelets with unique beads

The beads you get are a bit of a lucky dip with only a few retailers showing you which bead you might get with your bracelet.  They are selling in the UK at £40 for both the bead and the bracelet.

I've mostly stopped buying outside of the UK since sterling took a dive last June, however I did find that one jewellery store worked out cheaper despite the exchange rate, so it's always worth having a quick check if you don't mind hunting out a bargain.  I'm fine with the wait knowing I've saved a few pennies - as that's always been the downside of buying outside of the UK for me.

I have a black and a purple bracelet on their way, I'm so glad the new versions just have the logo embossed onto the leather rather than printed, or my logo issue (I dislike obvious logos on jewellery) might have made these a no no for me.

I'm also really excited to try these with my own beads, as I'm hoping my cores will be compatible, especially as I get to make exactly what I want to wear - skills permitting of course!

What's got you a bit perky this week?

*yes I do know there is a purple two tone version, but I've longed for a purely purple one since I started collecting...

Saturday 11 March 2017

Seven of Nine - Hammered Bangle & Stoppers from Cottingley Treasures

Well after some enthusiastic letterbox camping on my part, I was duly rewarded with my 7th bangle; my very first package from Cottingley Treasures from GirleGo.

A beautiful hammered silver bangle with matching stoppers, with an extra set of mini-stoppers for good measure - I love wearing multiple stoppers!

I'm a bit of a sucker for well packaged jewellery that's "just right" and not excessive and this ticked all my boxes, everything was beautifully presented without being over the top.

Not only did I get half my stoppers for free (in an introductory deal whereby a refund is given on the original purchase price) but they also sent out a free amber bead, and a cleaning cloth as a part of the package which was a fabulous surprise.

I was keen to compare this with my current bangles which are all by Trollbeads, as I know that particular shape and size work well for me.

Comparing Bangles

The photos above show from Left to Right, my Cottingley Treasures hammered bangle on top of my smooth silver bangle, my hammered bangle next to twisted copper and smooth silver bangles, and finally one of my smooth bangles on top of my hammered bangle.

As you can see from the pictures the shape and sizing is almost identical, and from wearing this over the last couple of week, it's also just as comfortable.

I used the lovely free amber bead from GirleGo with my Trollbeads Decorative Bee Stoppers and paired with my Eske Storm Dragon Claw on some smooth bangles.

I've seen a lot of positive social media chatter about these bangles over the last month or so, indeed it was thanks to a UK based facebook group that I had come across the brand.

GirleGo are still offering the introductory price and stopper deal throughout March on these bangles.

I liked my hammered silver bangle so much, that after a few scant hours of testing (passed with flying colours) and where I gave myself a good talking to about budgets and sticking to my limits, I threw away my restraint and ordered the brass and copper hammered versions too!

Guess I need to do some more letterbox camping...

So what have you thrown away your restraint for recently?

Saturday 25 February 2017

...and on the 7th day, I'm waiting for the 7th bangle

I've been having a love affair with bangles ever since I plucked up the courage to try the Trollbeads bangle.

Trollbeads Carved Amber with the first Trollbeads Day beads
on the silver bangle

I've never really worn bangles much before this, the odd cuff that could be bent to my super small wrists, or perhaps the 80's fashion of multiple stacked metal bangles but generally bangles don't suit me.

Then there was an oval shaped one that did, and the rest is history.

3 silver bangles with Summer Stones

Very quickly I acquired 3 silver ones, who doesn't like to stack?

Rebeligion Skulls, X Jewellery and 2 silver bangles

Then came the copper version... Then the twisted silver and copper versions, add to this copper and dark oxidised stoppers followed by decorative stoppers and I barely wear anything else.

Copper, silver twisted and silver bangles

Copper and Silver Twisted Bangles

So what is the 7th bangle?

Well you'll just have to wait as although I'm camped by the letterbox it hasn't arrived yet...

Do you stack your jewellery?
Is it piled high, or artfully aranged in it's simplicity?

Monday 9 January 2017

My ARSE* has arrived!

*Ok, technically it's really my A, my R and my S, and, er, not actually my E, but I couldn't spend another £27 just for a blog title... the E will be coming in the next batch so I don't feel I've mislead you too much with a clickbait title. "Most of my ARSE has arrived!" whilst accurate was not quite as catchy!

Yes, it's the next stage of my Ohmbeads Typo Collection.

This was one of my favourite collections from 2016, and also my first purchases of 2017!  For those of you who aren't following the blog specifically, M arrived courtesy of my Secret Santa in early December, and I was waiting to see what arrived as M or F were top of my wishlist before placing my own order.

For those who've not come across these yet, they are individual letters that form a cylindrical barrel that can spell out words.  They have letters all the way around each "slice" alternating between lower and uppercase so the sequence of letters is always spelt out, they are slim and small, so you're definitely not shouting the words out even when they are all in capitals.

Currently they are available in A to Z and cost £27 each, there are the usual ways to make savings plus most Ohm retailers have the "Ohm discount card" that allows you to get a free Ohmbead after buying so many.

I was being good and not taking part in all the sales before Christmas as I wanted to finish the year within budget.  However now I've got my first word I regret this somewhat as I really want more of these.

There is chatter online about some symbols / punctuation to follow which is a fabulous idea and I can't wait to see those released by Ohmbeads, & # and @ are the obvious ones, but I hope we get some bog standard punctuation as well as the more exciting ones, and maybe a blank one for spaces too!

For me, I have less lofty goals, next up is "Born of Fire" for my glassy side but I wouldn't even attempt "Curling Stones for Lego People" as it's not just about the cost but I'd need a lot of bangles to carry that one off!

Normally I wear beads facing outwards, for example on this bangle the F always can be read by others, and is upside down from my perspective.  However my MARS bangle I prefer to read from my perspective.  It will be interesting to see what words I want outwards, and what words I want just for me!

I've already worked out what other words I can spell once I get my next set of letters which will probably be FIRE. So yes, my arse will finally be complete.

What would you spell and wear for fun - if money were no object?

Sunday 1 January 2017

New Year's Bead and Blog Resolutions 2017

I'd already given my New Year's Bead and Blog Resolutions quite a lot of thought for 2017, so although making some of the decisions has been more difficult, as I've not known what I wanted to do for sure until recently, by contrast writing them down once I'd decided has been fairly easy.

  • To blog less, but with more intent - this has been something I've been mulling over for most of the year, but especially since April.  I've been so busy in 2016, that I've blogged less and often at times when I didn't have much to say, or rather I had too much to say so I didn't say much about any of it!  I even considered killing the blog in 2017 rather than carry on in such a haphazard fashion... however... as I also enjoy writing along with everything else I do - I've decided to blog much less, but with more intent...
    • So expect fewer and/or shorter posts overall during the year, as I'll only blog when I have something I definitely want to write about, not just because it's a new month!

  • To make a "thing" with metal clay - I've been sent 4 sample metal clays; this is a material I've been fascinated with, ever since Tracy over at Black Boots Long Legs started to make her own beads and designs!
    • I want to make something in metal clay but from a definite idea, rather than just playing, as I only have a little of each of the four.

  • To spend the same or less in 2017 than I did in 2016, but to consider more - Last year was the first time I've come close to being comfortable with the amount of money I spend on jewellery.  This is something I definitely want to repeat this year!
    • My goal for 2017 is to spend the same, or a bit less, but with more intent on what I'm buying.  So going for the things I really want, but to think more about the things I buy out of habit or because I "collect", do I really want or need those? This might be a hard habit to break!

So that's all from me for now... I'm starting as I mean to go on,with intent!

I look forward to our chats in 2017 and I hope you have a very Happy New Year in 2017.

Do you set yourself any resolutions, bead or otherwise?  Feel free to share!