Monday, 28 December 2009

A welcome distraction

I am still on holiday, and although my head is full of ideas for new designs I am determined to make the most of this break, so today we enjoyed a two hour walk with our dog.

I would like to share some of this sunny but cold and frosty stroll from our home

Having walked up the lane, across the fields we found ourselves on the bridge over the canal

We then slid down the path to join the disused railway

This buzzard flew out in front of us and across the field to the top of this tree
couldn't resist trying to capture this image

The only plant we found in flower was this gorse.

We eventually left the railway line and walked up a woody lane

And then down a hill past this

Following the public footpath which led us through a garden , and across more fields including this harvested maize field

And then back along the canal to the lane. and home again to smoked salmon sandwiches, well it is still our Christmas holiday!

Monday, 21 December 2009

In the light of day

As the pictures of the Christmas decoration were so dark yesterday, I thought I'd try again in day light. So here goes:

I experimented with lengths of strips before making the decoration and was left with a spare strip, I don't like wasting materials so I folded the strip in half and sewed wire along open edges, I then used the remaining wire to make a loop at one end to make a pendant.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

My Christmas decoration is completed at last!

Thanks to Daisychain Jewellery for reminding me about a simple paper Christmas decoration which gave me the idea for this knitted version.
The photo is really dark, but if you click on it, the image comes up slightly better. I love the way the light catches the tiny gold seed beads.

The instructions for my knitted version can be found below.

You will need
1 reel of 0.315mm coloured wire vivid red or colour of your choice.
seed beads gold coloured or colour of your choice
3mm knitting needles.

Thread 1920 seed beads onto your reel of wire.
Cast on 42 stitches, include one bead per stitch.
Knit 8 rows include one bead per stitch,
Cast off include one bead per stitch.


Then knit two strips of 30 stiches, two strips of 18 stitches and one strip of 12 stitches.
Arrange strips so that shortest is in centre and other strips are attached in increasing length order each side.

Use wires left from casting on and off to join strips together and then twist remaining ends together to make a hanging loop.

Friday, 18 December 2009

A jewellers work is never done

So there I was thinking all I have to do now is knit a decoration for my home, when a customer phones asking for a last minute order before Christmas so decoration has been put on hold.

Thought I'd have a play with my dog before setting to on order, bad idea, hand got caught up with spectacle chain as throwing ball and snap, spectacle chain ended up in two.

I need spectacle chain for tonight, but no beading thread at home. I do though have some wire.
So I thread all the beads except the bugles onto wire and crochet a chain.

As lovely as it is I have decided it is too fussy to have up around my face. So chain will have to become a necklace.

Plan B, I found some small glass seed beads, so I have crocheted a much more suitable chain for my glasses.

Now I can get back to my order and hopefully the Christmas decoration will get started on tomorrow when I am at the Gallery, although Saturday in the Gallery could be busy.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Make it personal

Last night I attended my last booking before Christmas;
I held a jewellery making workshop for a local W.I. group.
One of the attending ladies brought her daughter, Beth, with her. Beth was wearing her name necklace she had received from me at her birthday party earlier on this year and was very keen to show all the ladies, so I thought I would show you a couple of others. I make these on a range of coloured leather and they have been very popular at events I've attended over the last year or so, as I can make them to order while my customers walk around looking at the other stalls.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Let's go Victorian

This has to be one of my favourite events of the year.
The Victorian Christmas Fair in the wonderful setting of St Lawrence Church in Gnosall.

I would like to recommend this event to you for next year.

Memories of the School's Hebridean Society came flooding back as the singers sang good old favourites such as 'My Grandfathers Clock' and 'You are my Sunshine' but that's a story for another day.

We were really well looked after this year by the 'Friends of St Lawrence' being offered drinks or relief from manning the stall throughout the day, so unusually for this type of event I was able to have a good look around at the other stalls and spend money.

It is a shame this is so dark, I became very excited at this stall, weaving on sticks,
my mind is now full of new possibilities.

Watch this space.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

There's no stopping me once I get started

Living in a wonderful rural part of Britain as I do, I regularly enjoy spectacular views of Buzzards flying out from hedges along the road in front of me as I am driving to and from my workshop, never though have I had one fly into my windscreen, until today, that is.

So there I was keen to get back to share pictures of my completed jewellery with my blogging friends when out of a hedge flew a large buzzard, straight towards my car, carrying its very heavy prey, so heavy I could see it was struggling to get the lift it needed to clear my car, It all happened so quickly I swerved to try and miss it, but it still managed to clobber the top left hand side of my windscreen, such a noise!, I stopped, I was ok, a little shaken but ok, the windscreen is still in one piece and the Buzzard flew off into a nearby tree, I couldn't see the prey at all, no doubt it retrieved it once I had driven off.

So safely back at home and having checked the car over again, I can now show you a couple of sets I made today with some of the dichroic glass.

Postman has just been,

I've been waiting for these dichroic glass beads all week, so I'm off to my workshop to play again, just in time for the Victorian Christmas Fair in Gnosall on Saturday.

The large pendants will be hung from Sterling silver snake chains.

The oval glass beads will be used to make necklaces and matching earrings along with some Swarovski crystals and other glass beads.
I will post the end results later.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

First sign of Winter

To see more of the same, please look at 'Views from my Garden Gate' blog

Working in the Gallery again so time to play.
Celebrating the first frost of the winter

My ice inspired bracelet.
Using 2 different coloured wires, I started crochetting and twisting wire and beads, and as usual let the wire lead and see where it takes me.

The finished bracelet;
Necklace is almost finished

Thursday, 26 November 2009

'Water' treat

I just couldn't resist posting these, taken this morning, after taking my daughter to the bus.

in fact it has prompted me to set up a new blog page , pleae take a look at 'Views from my Garden Gate', very much in it's infancy, to see some more of the same

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

With Christmas on my mind

Last night at Adams Grammar School, Christmas Fair.
my stall doesn't look very Christmassy does it?
Yes I always show some of my tiara's, even at Christmas Fairs, you never know
Today I was back at the Gallery
Having viewed my jewellery in the cabinet I decided that I should knit a red choker and matching bracelet, so I poured hundreds of tiny glass beads into a pot ....

and started threading, by the time I had finished threading I had gone off the idea of knitting.....
instead I thought what would happen if I threaded the beads into flowers and let the wire guide me,
well this happened
So I continued,
I stopped at a bracelet, but I could have continued to make a choker, maybe another day

I then helped Becky from Little monsters hang up the garlands in our Arcade, ooh it really does look Christmassy now, just in time for late night shopping tomorrow and the Eccleshall Christmas lights switch on, on Monday

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

A grey and miserable day

As all my jewellery is packed up ready for the Christmas fair at Adams Grammar School, I have taken today off, no jewellery making today. Instead I have been very self indulgent and visited lots of beautiful blogs, I have totally immersed myself with glorious images of lace sheets blowing on clothes lines and beautiful meringue buttons, and I have overloaded my senses with bright and wonderful colours,

and then walked my dog, Meg in this!

I'm sorry I didn't have my camera to hand when a peregrine falcon was being mobbed by a carrion crow, it caused quite a commotion, all the gulls lifted and the ducks.

I didn't want to be taking photo's of grey skies with drizzle being blown into my face, I guess I am just going to have to be patient,
At least I can escape into the land of blogs, what a wonderful thought!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Christmas Crystal Stars at Gallery @ 12

I spent another day at the Gallery today, I try to make the most of my time when I am there. First thing I do is have a good look round to familiarise myself with all the new pieces the artists have brought in, a lot of oohs and ahhs! Then I make myself a cup of tea and introduce my new items into the Gallery, today I brought in my crystal Christmas stars.

Then I settle down behind the counter or on the stairs with my knitting needles or crochet hook and spend the rest of the day creating, between customers. Today I used a purple wire to knit some simple square beaded brooches, a beaded bracelet and matching square beaded earrings, I also crocheted a simple chain necklace, if you go in please have a look and let me know what you think, the square brooches have already been admired.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Angela Smith prepares for Christmas sales

So it's been a week since my open day, I am still waiting for all the pennies, I will let you know the final amount when all is in and counted.

What have I been doing since then, well it's been a week of open days; I spent Saturday in the Gastronomy Shop in Gnosall enjoying all the wonderful aroma's coming from the kitchen, catching up with friends over cups of earl grey tea and tasting chutney samples as well as selling a few of my pieces of jewellery.

Sunday we held an Open Day at the Gallery in Eccleshall, it was warm enough to sit out in the arcade for most of the day and enjoy all the nibbles supplied by the members of the co-operative. and the mulled wine was very welcome too!

Then it was back to the workshop Monday and today to make up more jewellery including the freshwater pearl and Swarovski crystal necklace shown in photo, for the Christmas Gift Fair at the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust at Wolseley Bridge this weekend.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


My Open day went ok. Thank you to those who did attend. and a very big thank you to those of you who came with your wares. Lisa with Lotty Box, Jo with her textiles including felt jewellery and cards, Bob with his glass, Jan with her knitted teddies, Helen with Cobwebs and Jacquie with Forever living products. We had a quieter day than I would have liked with only 6 visitors during the day time session and a further 12 in the evening. There was a good buzz about the studio all day, Jo and Jan sat creating throughout the day which added further interest and of course we had loads of cakes (Compliments of Jan) to keep our spirits up.
I haven't had all the pennies in yet but combined with the takings for a smaller one I held in October it looks as though we have made around about £175 for the County Air Ambulance in total. So thank you all again.