25 June 2014

Date for the diary

I love this event, it's jam packed with great sellers. Worth marking it in the diary. You can do all your Christmas shopping, and give everyone beautiful, unique, hand made gifts.

24 June 2014

Work in progress

I have been trying to make some stock for Open Studios in July, as well as thinking about preparing for this year's main event - Kirsty Allsopp's Handmade Fair in September. Alongside that I have been working on some commissions as always.

Today I have been making a stunning gorgeous Blue Topaz  cocktail ring...

...and also a lovely aquamarine ring, with this big curved rectangular aquamarine. The setting needs to be shaped to match the stone, and this stone also has a curved base, which makes working with it harder. I like to avoid ones with curved bases, but this was such a great shape, and I knew it would make a great ring.

Both of these are no where near finished, they need a good polish and the stone setting, but I should be able to post finished pics by the end of the week.

4 June 2014

Come say goodbye to the studio!

It's that time of the year again. The Richmond-upon-Thames ARThouse Open Studio event is taking place on the last weekend of June and the first weekend of July. It is your chance to visit makers in their workspaces, to watch them at work, and maybe treat yourself to some of their work too. I am taking part on the second weekend only, so you can visit me in my garden studio on the 5th and 6th of July between the hours of 11am and 6pm.

As I am having to move, and leave my beloved studio, it seems fitting that this should be an Open Studio to remember. I can't promise sunshine, but the Pimm's will be flowing. Do try to get along and say hello and goodbye. I can't wait!

3 June 2014

Moving on

The last 48 hours have been a flurry of activity getting my house ready for photographs to be taken. A  slow and tedious divorce means the house has to be sold. I offered to walk away from money and pensions so the kids and I could stay here, as I think that would have been best for the boys, but sadly the ex had no desire to try and retain any stability for his kids with their home, even after all they have been through over the last couple of years. Still; I know a loving home can be created anywhere. It's not specific to just one set of bricks and mortar. Where one door closes...

So there has been cleaning, and painting, and tidying, and to be honest, the house hasn't looked so great for years. All the jobs that couldn't be done because they wouldn't be paid for, are getting done out of necessity. I have been wielding the paintbrush because ex refused to split the cost for a coat of paint before sale, but I have done house projects since the age of 25 so this is nothing new for me. yesterday the window cleaner came, and today the photographer.

So while the Estate agent photographer worked with his wide angle lens that seemed to make all my rooms look three times their actual size, and whizzed round and took a few more arty snaps of my own.

Today the mantel piece is sporting three bits of Hensteeth textile art, a Claire Hillerby collage, an Abigail Brown bird, a piece of Julie Whitmore pottery, some boot sale finds, and some teeny cotton voile bunting I made.

A perfect spot to grab five minutes with a magazine.

The children's rooms have been tidied and edited. 
(They won't look like this for long!)

Small boy's room...

...and big boy's room

I have jet washed the deck, the grass has been cut.

The dining table has been spruced with flowers for viewings to start.

And I grouped and hung some of my favourite pictures that the kids have done over the kitchen sofa.

The other wall has my favourite clock on it...

(But the number of times it cuckoos compared to how many times the little cuckoo pops out seem to have gone wrong since I reset the time. Ooops.)

..and of course there is my perfect Alex Snowdon artwork, that was designed just for me and the boys. It is actually a perfect pale blue, my photo is not doing it justice.

My bedroom is decorated with angel's wings, and some car boot sale teacups that cost me £1 for the lot.

And now the spare room has been cleared of eight years of hoarded junk, and the ex's belongings that he has refused to take for the year and a half that he hasn't lived here, my Grandma's old dressing table looks just perfect, and the beautiful cream stocks, make the room smell lovely.

Once more, I can hold my head high that I have done all this work, and made this place look great. I have negotiated with estate agents, and am house hunting, while running my little business, and looking after the boys (who will always be my number one priority). Thank goodness my family breeds strong, invincible women, who are not afraid to work hard, and know how to do the right thing!