Tuesday, 28 July 2009

FHF Team Starts Rolling!!!!

I am a regular over on the Frit Happens Forum, probably the nicest forum I’ve been on! Lots of glassy chat, help information, swaps and inspiration.

Now in addition they have launched a very active new Esty group, of which I have joined, and you may notice a new gadget on my blog, which shows some of the amazing glass and jewellery the members make. I have already been featured in a couple of the treasuries too! You can keep up with all that is happening on the dedicated FHF blog at http://www.fhfteam.blogspot.com/

It’s also spurring me on to get my Etsy shop in order asap, I have not listed or sold much as I’ve been concentrating on the UK shops like Folksy and Coriandr, but I will be trying to list a lot more in there in the next few weeks. It’s such a difficult balancing act trying to find time to take pictures, crop them down and upload them, oh and make stuff to start with! I’ve been trying out a few new designs and ideas too – yes, more marbles I’m afraid! I did try the novelty of ‘beads’ but after making about 9 of them I got bored and thought I’d take a break and make a quick couple of marbles – that then took about 1 ½ hour each! When I can get some decent light I will list one of those in my Etsy shop and one in my Folksy shop

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Lost and Found

Thanks to Silvermoss http://silvermoss.blogspot.com/ for putting me up for a ‘Lovely Blog award’ I shall put more details when I stop chasing my tail!

In the meantime it seems that I haven’t stopped and haven’t got anything done! Just before heading off to Cornwall (thanks for all the kind messages and wishes) it went well, and due to the poor weather we chose a lovely spot on a secluded beach that I know Chris loved and visited often.

Before heading off I managed to repair my ailing PC! Hurrah! I’d previously tried fitting a PSU a friend had lent me, which also turned out to either be faulty as well or incompatible! Still, it gave us an excuse to catch up and have a couple of beers.

The return from Cornwall was almost a disaster as we left a bag on the bus to the train station containing my other’arfs laptop! Argh! She’s previously been a victim of having a bag snatched from a London train, so neither of us expected to see that again. So imagine our delight and surprise at hearing it had been handed in by some honest Cornish folk – didn’t even leave their details for us to thank or reward them! So I am going to have to reward the young lady who ran around Cornwall picking it up & posting it all back to us (but she doesn’t know if yet ;-) )

I have been working on a very exciting range of new marbles, more of which I shall bore you all at a later date! In the meantime I have also listed a few of the earplugs on Folksy and Coriandr shops to see if they generate any interest, although I doubt I will carry on with these as I want to concentrate more on marbles at the moment.
If you fancy some beads though then check out Veebee beads who is doing some charity auctions for Macmillan Cancer support charity, a lot of people have been donating their spare green glass, while Vicki has been donating her time and skill to making the beads, so please support this worthwhile cause and get some lovely handmade glass beads in return! http://shop.ebay.co.uk/merchant/vicki1725_W0QQ_dmdZ1QQ_in_kwZ1QQ_ipgZ50QQ_sopZ12?_rdc=1

Monday, 13 July 2009

Oriental Magpie & Cornwall Punk Pirates

I am still a little pc-less, but now have a semi-functioning laptop so hopefully will be able to start listing some new bits and bobs in the next few weeks. Being able to sit on sofa I can see why people prefer laptops, although it does have a tendency to ‘get stuck’ on some web pages, so I see why some people call them ‘slaptops!’

The big news this week is the opening of a new website for Crafty shoppers, called
http://www.theorientalmagpie.com !!!!!!! This is a little different to other sites as all the listing, photographing and publicity is handled very amiably by it’s founder Emma. There will be quite a lot of very new bits from me, all of them are exclusive to The Oriental Magpie only, including the largest marbles I have yet made! The website launches on 16th July, there is a few sneaky previews on there and on the Facebook page, do take a look!

I am away for a few days this weekend, back to Cornwall for ashes scattering (ceremony? Event? Not quite sure what the term should be.) It’ll great to see some old faces, although rather sad for the reason why. I will be back at the start of next week so if you order anything from my Folksy, Misi or Etsy stores it might be a day or two late to you. However there is talk about hijacking a fishing boat to scatter the ashes from, and considering the motley crew of old punks, rockers, and assorted weirdoes, (plus some local Cornish chaps) that’s going along then anything might happen! I suspect some grog will be drunk, and we’ll give Johnny Depp a run for ‘most interesting pirates!’

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Have a look!

I seem to spend more time trying to photograph things than sometimes they took to originally make! I have been amassing a range of earplugs as they are quite nice to make, quite a challenge to get some interesting detail in a canvas that’s even smaller than many beads. The major advantage is also I can bulk anneal them rather than having to ‘bake as I go’ as I have to do with large marbles to reduce the strain inside them. With small pyrex items they can handle going cold, but I find the larger marbles need to stay hot to reduce cracking issues. In the hot weather sitting with an inch ball of orange glowing glass is one thing, but being sat by a kiln at the same time is a little too much! Until I get my pc back up an running and the earplugs annealed it might be another week before I have new things to show though.

In the meantime, with no new photo’s of my own, I thought I’d share a couple of talented photographers with you for your viewing pleasure! Firstly, from the US I’d like to recommend photographer, and Steampunk enthusiast (putting punk back into it rather than gluing some old cogs on things!) Libby Bulloff whose Etsy shop is well worth viewing here http://exoskeletoncabaret.etsy.com/ or her blog over at http://exoskeletoncabaret.com/ which has loads more photo’s to oogle! Based in Seattle her photographs cover a diverse range, from wonderful fantasy subjects of Steampunk heroines pointing ray guns towards dark brooding skies, belly dancers, food ‘porn,’ to people with amazing hair! Well worth a look, she has a range of photos on offer as well as photo’s made into fridge magnets. After a few days of reflasking (which means being covered in Detol and bleach) I decided I should reward myself with some of her art – keeping fingers crossed the post office don’t decide to fold them (ek!)

From the UK if you fancy your photography a little more serene then check out http://randomhamsterphotography.co.uk/ Travelling the country in her role as archaeological photographer allows Tracey to find some wonderful images. From sweeping scenery to very atmospheric still life ‘found’ object, most taken in lush black and white to show maximum detail. If you are a colour fiend with a sense of humour than you’ll also love some of her little monster still life’s where pentop monsters spill ink everywhere, fight from going down plug holes between eating polo mints! Great fun!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

More Random Silliness, Ramblings and Shed Pictures

Well we’re at the halfway stage in the year and it’s been a very odd and hard so far. Like most people I am suffering the credit crunch and am down to own brand baked beans and whatever bread I can wrestle off the ducks at the local pond. You have to be pretty quick to grab it before it falls into the water as people throw it; I’ve found a bush to jump out of near the pond, although people seem to have the wrong idea what I’m doing there, and the magistrate really didn’t seem to understand either. Ah well, guess you’re not a proper Essex resident until you’ve got an ASBO!

( I am joking by the way!!!! Excuse my warped sense of humour!)

Back in the real world I’ve not really been able to do much glasswork thanks to a combination of weather and lack of mojo, so have been continuing to work on making the shed a fit place to work again. I got these snaps last week, but my current computer dilemma has made it tricky to download them till now.

This is the furthest end of the 'shed' I have another bay before this which was meant to be a woodcutting and dusty storage area, then before that is greenhouse space

I was quite pleasantly surprised when I uncovered the old 1980's Taiwan made lathe that has been lurking under cover for past few years. It’s barely been used, I retrieved it from my Dad’s shed where it had been sitting rusting for at least 10-15 years, so I took the time to strip it down.

Mind you, I soon found there wasn’t a great deal to strip down! Even the gear change is just a block that pushes the motor down! Apart from a little rust on some non-critical parts, I discovered the reason it wasn’t running properly were some missing bolts that held the motor in place. Replacements found, wiring checked, and it was up and running a treat!

I popped some scrap pine in as a practise, and before I knew it was turning into a cane! I even began the long black Japan lacquering process! However I am kicking myself for doing too much as the first layer brought up the grain and looked lovely, but it wasn’t quite what I had in mind! Now instead I’m only on the 7th coat of shellac! I am in two minds whether to continue or strip it right back. I might just carry on for now and turn up some better bits of Ash I have stashed and do a lighter finish on that instead. I will keep you up to date as this continues!