I know it's been a very long time since my last blog, but I have a great excuse. I've been poorly. I have honestly had a horrible couple of months which included two stays in hospital (totalling three weeks - which is a long while to be on the acute cardiac unit). I didn't have a heart attack, which is what you would expect to have on that ward, I had pericarditis twice in quick succession, which did me no good at all. However, I am on the mend - it will take a while longer to get back to full strength, but I know I'm getting better because I'm frustrated at what I can't do yet. I'm hoping to get back in the workshop very soon. I'm sorry that I've had to let my business go for so long - it has been my passion for a long time, and it will be again, so please don't give up on me. I'm already designing in my head, if not in the workshop!!
On a brighter note I have been able to watch Wimbledon without the slightest pang of guilt this year, and will be settling down to watch the final this afternoon. Lovely!!
What a wonderful few days of weather we've had. I know I'm old enough to know better, but I've managed to get a bit of sunburn round my neck - too much gardening and walking without enough sun protection. Silly I know, but I've seen several people who have been even sillier - we saw a few reddish bodies in Southwold yesterday. Talking of Southwold, just a reminder that I'm returning to the Box for five days from 21st to 25th May, and am making new items at quite a rate. I have put a few on the website, with more to follow.
I've just been on the phone to my lovely friend Frances, who gave me some good advice. I had told her that we're not having the best of weeks (although we had a lovely highlight with step-daughter Ruth coming yesterday). I said that I really didn't know what to put on the blog this week as I always try to make it cheerful. My wise friend told me to be honest, because nobody can be that upbeat all the time - although I'm pretty good at it. No matter how cheerful I usually am there really is no fun in having father in law in hospital and mother in law home alone. All very stressful. The amazing thing is that they've been together all these years, but were separate yesterday which was their 65th Wedding Anniversary.
"Crikey, that's a whopper" Karan exclaimed as I advanced across the lawn with a large coffee sponge. It was indeed, sadly it was rather more risen on one side than the other, but that didn't stop us from having a goodly wodge each. It has been a wonderful day for sitting outside and having a really good natter (as well as coffee and cake), there's nothing like a good catch up with friends you haven't seen lately.
Apart from today I've been very busy on the jewellery front, you'll find a lot of new items on the website this week, with a lot more to go on. Although I have had a bit of a cold/cough I've spent a lot of time in the workshop with my bead stash from the Big Bead show, I have so many beads now that I have absolutely no excuse.
I have just realised that this is my 100th blog!! How did that happen? It really doesn't feel like that many. I know some are more entertaining than others, but you have to admit that I am persistent.
Following on from my two days in Southwold last week, I have booked a five day block starting on Monday May 21st, so I will have to make sure that I'm well stocked up for that. This Saturday I will be at the Beccles Farmer's Market - why not come and say hello.
Well, here we are in sunny Southwold, me and my glamorous assistant Frances. We eventually got set up in the Box, it's surprising how long it can take to display some jewellery, but we'd like to think we've done it all very tastefully. It was lovely to walk into an empty shop and turn it into a jewellery emporium. Local shopkeepers have been generous enough to display my flyers and several of them have visited to see what we're up to.
There has been a lot of interest in my new range of fine silver - which I have made myself!! Thanks to step-daughter Hannah who arranged for us both to go on a course. My word I'm enjoying it, and have a head full of design ideas, so watch this space. I'm sorry I haven't put much new on the website this week, and I've been concentrating on making enough stock for this shop, as we're here for two days. I'm looking forward to my Southwold pop-up experience again tomorrow, and possibly a lot more over the Summer. I promise to make amends on the website next week.
I'm having one of those days which is not "to plan". The plan was to get on with making necklaces - I had such a good event in Aldeburgh yesterday in support of The Pear Tree Centre, that I really need to get on to replenish stocks. Things were going well until the postman came, and I know it's not his fault, but today is really not a good day to receive a delivery of 72 (yes 72!) plug plants. They're in such tiny pots that they really need to be potted on immediately, but believe me, the greenhouse is not somewhere you want to be today. So I'll find a sheltered spot in the garden and get on with it.
Dick (and Otto) came to Aldeburgh with me yesterday, but as I was at a ladies fundraising lunch, they made themselves scarce - I understand that fish & chips and beer were involved. When my event had finished I met up with my boys and had a lovely walk along the beach, followed by ice cream (well, you don't often see maple & walnut and that's my favourite!).
It's going to be a lovely Saturday for me - I'm being taken to the Big Bead Show at Sandown Park by Hannah, and I'm prepared to buy an awful lot of beads. I see suppliers there who I just don't get to see anywhere else, and it's lovely to see so many semi-precious beads in one, very large, building. We're also going to be attending a couple of taster sessions - one involving silver clay which I'm genuinely excited about. Poor Dick, on the other hand, will be running my regular jewellery stall for me at the Beccles Produce Market at Ellough. He's a good man.
Next Thursday and Friday are coming round very fast - that's when I will be at The Box in Southwold. I placed an order with my favourite silver supplier, and one of the items received this morning was the glorious Crab pendant shown in the photo, all of it's claws are articulated and it's gorgeous, ideal for Southwold! I've been on the phone and ordered another ten - now I'm planning a display.
I don't know how anyone else feels, but I'm a bit tired of the weather at the moment, it's quite hard to take attractive photos in the fog and murk. This morning it even managed to be foggy and breezy at the same time, surely that's not right? There was a minor (very minor on a world scale) miracle, hens are really tricky to take good pictures of, they're usually running in different directions, but today seven of them kindly sat quietly and posed for a group photo. Thanks girls (and Chalky). The hens don't realise it yet, but we took delivery (thanks Stuart & Helen) of a quite superior coop which we'll use when we next have a broody hen, which I think will be quite soon - Dolly is showing signs of being a bit on the broody side.
I've put a photo of the lane outside ours just to show you (not very successfully) how many Primroses we have out at the moment, it's lovely. There are thousands of them forming a carpet all down that side of the road. The Violets are also really good this year, so perhaps the cool weather is helping the spring flowers.
There are new items on the website, and more to follow. I'm having a busy time at the moment. On Saturday I will be at the Craft Fair in St James, and Dick will be at Halesworth Farmer's Market, which will be his first stall on his own. Today I had a visit from a lovely lady wanting help to choose jewellery to wear for her daughter's wedding, so we spent a happy hour choosing beads and styles, oh, and there was cake too!
Have a look at the new items in store via this link
We had a glorious visit to Southwold this morning, it was a tad breezy but it was great if you could find a sheltered spot. After completing a good length walk, when Otto made lots of new friends, we found ourselves at the harbour, and lo! there was a sunny spot. The truth is that this particular sheltered spot was a bench in the sun right outside a very good fish and chip establishment, it would indeed have been extremely rude not to partake. Otto did quite well out of the visit too, he does love chips.
There was a "proper" reason for our visit - I have bravely (for me!) hired a pop up space in Southwold for the 26th & 27th of April, this will be a new departure for me, and I'm looking forward to it. The shop is called "The Box", it's on Southwold High Street - right behind the bus stop. It is very successfully used by the Penny Bun Bakehouse on Saturdays and Rosa Farine Patisserie on Sundays, and luckily for me, John is happy to rent it to me for a couple of days. Fingers crossed that I can make it worthwhile. If any of you are planning a Southwold visit in the near future, why not do it while I'm in town, it would be great to see some familiar faces. It will also be lovely for me to have enough space to display so much more of my jewellery than I can ever manage on a stall.
I have been making a lot of new stock this week, in anticipation of the several events coming up this month - I will be at Beccles Farmers Market at Ellough this Saturday, and at the annual Daffodil Day at St Margaret South Elmham on Sunday. I've spent so much time making new stock that I haven't yet had time to put it on the website, but I will be starting that job now that this blog is finished. So here goes...... take a look at the new stock page on this link
It's being a proper outdoor day today, lovely. I've been weeding and tidying, and I have to admit that I prefer gardening when you can really see where you've been - I'm not one to titivate round the edges. Well, I can certainly see the difference today, very satisfying.
Dick has been putting several new panes of glass in the greenhouse - I had misgivings about him trying to do this on his own, but he was adamant that he would be happier doing it alone, and would ask for help if need be. After a while I had filled my first bucket full of weeds & was walking past the greenhouse when (and I knew this would happen) help was requested. I went happily into the greenhouse to hold the glass while Dick put the clips in. All went well - for a very brief spell, until I dropped the glass!! He took it very well..... Pride goes before a fall, I slunk back to my weeding.
I have been really busy putting new and restocked Sterling Silver items on the website this week (including the Leaping Hare range), along with new hand crafted items, have a look at the website on this New Items link.
We had an outing to Hoxne yesterday, what a beautiful village. There's a road there called Nuttery Vale which has appealed to me since I was a child. We had a stained glass class at the lovely village hall because we'd missed one at Stradbroke and our tutor kindly let us "catch up" - not that we were behind, we're both doing really well and enjoying it immensely. So much so that we seem to be gathering all the equipment we need to set up "proper" production. I think it goes rather well alongside the jewellery, after all it's about colour and creation. I have to say that I have been surprised by the number of processes needed to make a window, I can now see why they're expensive! However, I shall make my own - and I already have two people wanting panels made. We're going to continue with the classes next term, as we only know the basics so far, some people stop after one term as they think they know enough about it, but I can see where pitfalls can happen and want to learn all I can. I want to be really good at it.
On our way out of the village we looked up, and there looking down at us, was a magnificent barn owl. We often see them at Howes Cottage, but it's most unusual for them to just sit there looking at you. Little Owls, on the other hand, often seem happy to watch us while we're out in the garden. Spring seems to be really here now, I know it's still a bit cold, but the spring flowers are definitely on show now.
I most certainly will not be letting my new hobby outshine my jewellery production - I have made several new items this week, have a look at the New Items page to see what I've been making.
I know I'm a bit later writing my blog than usual - and I also know that a few people will have looked for it already (Ann/Debs!), but better late than never. I've had a day in Norwich with my sister. Shopping with my sister is like nothing else on the planet, she can't help it I know, but she drives me bonkers because she can't keep up with me in the shopping stakes. We started out ok in the stained glass shop and bought some lovely pieces for future projects, but it went a bit downhill after that, there's nothing worse than trying to shop with someone who really isn't keen. Next time I'll go with Dick, who is a very accomplished shopper indeed!
It's been extremely wet on the meadows this last few days, all mud and puddles - the last of the snow didn't go until yesterday. Otto seems quite happy with this though, his favourite drink is puddle water, strange dog. He gets splendidly muddy, as good country mutts (and their owners) should, but doesn't understand why he isn't allowed access to all areas indoors until his paws are dry. C'est la vie, Otto.
This Saturday will be my first appearance at Beccles Farmer's Market which is held at Ellough airfield, it runs from 9 until 1 - come along and have a look - I just hope the weather forecast is wrong! The weekend sounds a bit grim.
I have been busy in the workshop this week - making new pearly necklaces, with more to come. I haven't got them all on the website yet, but will get round to it in the next few days. Have a look at the New Items section.
The weekly ramblings of a self-employed jeweller and countrywoman based in the Waveney Valley.