You know how it is when one thing leads to another. That certainly happened for us last weekend, we bought a nice little bookcase for the living room, just the right size to put the television on. I have to say I'm very pleased with it, perfect for our little cottage. Then the fun began, where to put the previous cupboard which held the television - now in the dining room, which meant that the little cupboard/shelf unit in there could go in the bedroom. Also, because we had more space for books I had a sort out, sent some books to the charity shop and moved some others around. We now have one less bookcase in the office, this enabled us to rearrange most of the furniture in there. I'm not at all certain that we've finished yet....
I don't often put pictures of myself on my blog, but I felt I should put this one on to show you all what the well dressed ladies are wearing when dog walking these days. I'm quite lucky that I don't get seen to often when I'm out on my wander round the meadows first thing in the morning.
I have put several new pairs of gemstone earrings on the website this week, they're really good value at £12.50 per pair. The stones come from India and I think they're lovely. Have a look in the New Items section. I'll have them, and some new Fine Silver (which I haven't managed to put on the website yet) at Halesworth Produce Market tomorrow morning.
There I was, quietly having a little snooze on the settee with the television burbling gently in the background. Dick was busily giving Otto a shower outside (he refuses to get in the bath (Otto, not Dick)). Otto managed to slip Dick's clutches and ran indoors to see me, I was awoken by a loud shout from Dick, very quickly followed by the shock of a sodden Otto shaking himself right next to me. Lovely. You'd be surprised how much water Otto's fur holds, believe me, it's a lot. At least he's clean. The living room may take some time to dry!
I took delivery of a wonderful new piece of equipment this week, a kiln. I've been hankering after one for a while now and am very happy (and lucky) to have it. It will enable me to produce much better quality fine silver than I could with a blowtorch. I have already tried it out - as you can see from the photo, I had also made earrings, but these all sold at the Beccles Market yesterday morning. I hadn't even taken photos of them to put them on the website, so more to be made this week. I will be putting the pendants on the website tomorrow and will have them with me at Halesworth Produce Market next Saturday.
I didn't think it was possible to get a double exposure on a modern phone/camera, so I was somewhat surprised to see a photo of Otto and his double. I'm sure he would find this useful when he is hunting (he's really not very good at it). Otto used to be an enthusiastic hunter, and would happily chase for miles and still not catch anything, nowadays he chases his prey for up to about 50 yards and then decides that it's too much like hard work. He's a not very grown up eight and a half years old now, he still loves a cuddly toy and takes a lot more care of them than he used to - they used to get chewed in no time, but he's had his current cuddly pig for some time now.
I'm being extremely busy this week, as well as having some online orders (thank you!), I'm preparing for my annual few days at Walsham le Willows where I will be having a stall at the glorious Open Gardens event on Sunday and Monday. It would be lovely to see some of you there, it's a beautiful village with lovely gardens and this is a very well run event. If you do come, don't forget to pop into the wonderful old barn in the centre of the village, where all of the craft stalls can be found.
Don't get me wrong - I love sunny, warm weather. A good summer's day is an absolute joy, but my poor garden (and everyone else's too) has struggled in the long, hot spell we've just had. In fact the photos on the site today weren't taken in my garden - one was of a lovely bouquet of flowers I received, and the other was at a garden centre I was taken to yesterday by my lovely friend Frances. A photo from my garden would, sadly, show half dead foliage and very little in the way of flowers. I haven't been able to plant anything for weeks because the soil is so hard, I'm hoping that today's rain continues a while so that I can at least tidy up the borders a bit and fill some gaps where plants have died.
I have been fairly busy in the workshop this week, and have made several new items, as well as restringing necklaces for customers who had old favourites they couldn't wear any more. Luckily for me I have also had a few online orders, so have had little parcels to wrap and post. I will be having a stall at Halesworth this Saturday, the first I've done there for some months, so I'm looking forward to meeting up with old friends there. I'm also focussing on preparations for one of my favourite events of the year, Walsham le Willows Open Gardens on Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday.
I have been wanting to go back to Oxburgh Hall for a long time, and Dick has never been, so we decided that this would be the destination for our long awaited day out. It's absolutely my favourite National Trust property, it's got a lovely feel to it and you can't beat a good moat! Of course we made sure that I didn't overdo things, so we stopped for a cream tea (compulsory I think), and had a further stop for refreshment later in the day. I had a great time, but I have to admit that I slept all the way home!
Just for info - Mary's Little Gems will be at the Beccles Farmer's Market tomorrow, I'm not allowed to do the carrying but I can do the selling! It will be lovely to get back to normal. All being well the production of new jewellery will start next week.
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.
The weekly(ish) ramblings of a self-employed jeweller and countrywoman based in the Waveney Valley.