Sunday, 28 October 2012

Impromptu Friday Night . . .

The darkest sale room ever. . . 
It was Wednesday night when the prospect of a stall on Friday night occurred. Short notice. . . just a little. But I have lots of pre made jewellery from the Christmas season last year as we moved here early in the year  so I wasn't too concerned about filling my table. I made up a few extra sets of wine glass charms and some Christmas themed earrings and away we went. It was the worst venue ever for a stall. It was in a bar ergo one assumes there will be some sort of lighting. No we are informed the lights don't work. There were a few coloured disco lights at the far end, not close enough to do any good and there was a strange orange light that came on and off periodically. The lady next to me had four night lights and four tea lights on her table so there was a little light and there were some dull safety lights on but the main lights were a definite no show.
I was lucky I still managed to make a few pennies. The lady across from me was one of three selling cushions, we paid 5€ a stall and had to donate a raffle prize, she bought a drink at the bar for 4€ and took 2€ on her stall. I made my money back and more and being a skinflint I took a bottle of coke and a plastic cup and two packs of crisps from home. I spent nothing other then my table fee and a donation of some earrings for the raffle. 
Shell pendant

Pearly Queen bracelet

Pearly Queen earrings
These were a few of the beauties that sold. Several sets of lass charms and Christmas earrings were also favoured.
So that was my impromptu evening. How did you spend yours? 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Wedding bells. . .

Bride and maids!
Yet again the photo has been taken in the evening after the small people are in dreamland. 

I have been asked by my good friend to make her wedding jewellery. It is not until July next year but as there is a new baby on the cards I am starting early to get it all done in plenty of time. 

Here are the earrings for the bride and her two maids. 

I am looking forward to this wedding just hoping I can get there. :o)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Updated List!

Some of you may remember that I posted a list of 101 things I would like to do. It was of the 101 in 1001 theme but I didn't set a time limit as some things I knew would take more than 10001 days. I thought it was about time I popped back and reviewed the list to see if I could cross off anything else.
I am not quite sure why I highlighted those to do in green and those done in red, seems a bit back to front now but that's how it is!
  1. Make a draft excluder for front door - I might even make another one
  2. Read top 200 BBC books (not including those already read) - I have started this
  3. Craft an item a month (different crafts) x 12 - Cross stitch, beading, sugar craft, resin jewellery, card making, hand sewing, bread making, basic knitting, jam making, beeswax candle, dressmaking (well a skirt) with a machine and knitting with Katia wool, (the wool is different but process the same so undecided about this one but I think it counts)
  4. Use my rolling machine
  5. Take a silver clay course
  6. Use ultrasonic cleaner
  7. Attend 6 table sales/craft fairs - 3 out of 6!
  8. Finish nieces cross stitch - I showed you a picture of this.
  9. Make a Thomas cross stitch for No 1 son
  10. Make Xmas baubles for boys - my mother bought me a kit to make beaded baubles
  11. Complete No 1 son 1st yr frame - We have misplaced/lost the frame so we will have to think of a new one for this! (Luckily it had no pictures in it yet)
  12. Make No 1 son baby album
  13. Finish patchwork quilt
  14. Grow own veg - we did this last year it wasn't a great year but we did eat our own food
  15. Organise all beads and findings - I have now almost finished doing this.
  16. Produce cost list for beads and findings - started
  17. Use the Champney's spa treatments book I was given
  18. Learn to use sewing machine - I'm no pro but I have cleaned, threaded, wound a bobbin and sewn!
  19. Return to pre-baby size - This will have to wait until I have had baby number three. . . 
  20. Make cheese and butter
  21. Go to America and meet in-laws
  22. Scrap a wedding page
  23. Finish Father Christmas
  24. Set up a website - started - I did this in UK but we moved so another thing to be put on hold or rethought out.
  25. Blog once a week for 10 weeks
  26. Commit a random act of kindness every month x 10 
  27. Make No 2 son baby album
  28. Use knotting tool to make necklace/bracelet
  29. Make a candle - I rolled a beeswax candle would still like to mould a candle
  30. Use leaf whacking technique from garden programme
  31. Raise money for YCT - I raised £2035.35 by shaving my head earlier in the year and having cakes and a tombola etc on the day and an on-line auction with the left over donations.
  32. Save each month x 12, pay off any cards - This was a double one 8 out of 12 mth saved in then things like moving abroad eat into the savings.
  33. Hand make cards x 10 - 3 out of 10
  34. Make items using techniques from each book
  35. Refresh silver smithing techniques
  36. Go to a ballet
  37. Go to a musical
  38. Make 10 presents in 2011 - this has rolled into 2012 - 11 out of 12 (2 little girls received bracelet and earring sets this weekend at their parties.
  39. Do more home baking with No 1 son
  40. Go on a family trip once a mth x 12 
  41. Take boys camping
  42. Spend a weekend away with hubby
  43. Document Bad Taste bear collection
  44. Document Tatty Teddy collection
  45. Document DVD collection
  46. Bring boxes from parents and unpack - we started this then we moved abroad and took boxes back to parents for storage
  47. See family at least once every 2 mth (x6) - now we are abroad this will be harder to keep up but we will keep in touch with them
  48. Take 30 mins exercise a week - Not counting running round after children and doing housework this is not proving something I am keeping up with 6 specific episodes! Opps
  49. Cook 5 new recipes - chocolate macaroons, chicken stew, fudge, lemon cake, home made soup
  50. Try 5 new foods - 3 out of 5
  51. Have a night out with hubby once a mth when he is home - twice - We need to work on this it has been over 7 months since we had a night out together, I expect more than that even as we have now been here 7 months. :o)
  52. Write menu plans for a month
  53. Use Ipod for more then FB - now we use it for games and music too!
  54. Upload CD collection to Ipod - started
  55. Make a herb pot - we had to leave it when we moved as couldn't take plants with us
  56. Write a proper will
  57. Send hubby a care package a week when away
  58. Make a list of places to visit and visit them
  59. Make sure to have a relaxing bath once a mth x 6
  60. Use slow cooker more
  61. Clean out kitchen cupboards and reorganise - now we have moved this will need doing again!
  62. Go out for walk once a wk with boys - we still do this now when we can
  63. Take boys swimming
  64. Return library books on time x3
  65. Pay off sofa
  66. Neice cross stitch (a different neice)
  67. Make nephew cross stitch
  68. Make nephew cross stitch
  69. Make nephew cross stitch
  70. Choose No 2 son cross stitch
  71. Try lace making with Mum
  72. Attend car event with Dad (not pub lunch)
  73. Shop from grocery list no extras 3 mth
  74. Read thrift book, try 10 things suggested - 1 out of 10
  75. Go on a residential jewellery course
  76. Sell an item a month x5
  77. Go to bed at 10 every night for a week
  78. Sell in a shop - 2 months in a shop only 2 items sold so decided to wait and try another way rent was more than made
  79. Have a facial every month - once
  80. Have fresh flowers in house x5 mth
  81. Clean out car and wash x 3 - We did it twice and then we bought a new car two weeks ago. 
  82. Have hair cut every 2 mth x3
  83. Sew an item of clothing - you saw a picture of my skirt last week!
  84. Customise an item of clothing
  85. Have a clothes swap party - this seemed a good idea at time but now we have moved and I am not sure
  86. Make a housework schedule
  87. Try quilling
  88. Try encaustic art
  89. Plant a garden with No 1 son
  90. Scan in old pictures and save to external hard drive - Started
  91. Make a paper chain with No 1 son a link a day while Daddy is away
  92. Make a jewellery item every week x  10
  93. Reorganise bedrooms clean and tidy - will need doing again in a few mth now we have moved
  94. Get No  1 son his own bookcase
  95. Make a welcome home Daddy banner/flag for No 2 son
  96. Clear out clutter ebay/buy and sell etc - of course we have amassed more now
  97. Live frugally for a month - I am going to say we achieved this in September as we knew we had a lot of expense coming up with new car lights, (250€), and winter safe tyres which will knock us back over 400€. 
  98. Refurbish a piece of furniture - We have started this with a bedside table.
  99. Make a soft toy
  100. Bake bread once a week x 5
  101. Have a night in with friends once a mth x 10
The latest additions are highlighted in blue. There are a few new things but still a lot to do. A few set backs with number 3 baby on the way and moving abroad but these can be sorted.

Do you have a list of things to do?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Afternoon makes

Yesterday afternoon the little man had a sleep after a busy morning playing at the soft play with his friends.
I took the opportunity to pop downstairs and have a quick think about something new to make. I am still trying to use up what I have rather than shop for new as there is a phenomenal amount of bits down there.

I found some pretty dragonfly spacer beads I had been asked to buy for some wedding jewellery then the bride changed her mind. I also found a handful of left over freshwater pearls. I have to admit to not remembering what they were from though. But they are very pretty and I love the look of them. The result of my two finds was this rather pretty bracelet. I hope you like it.
This is not the best photo I am afraid. It was rather a dull day yesterday. 

What do you get up to on your afternoons 'off'?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Tales from the bus stop. . .

Now I don't know about you but our school bus stop is an interesting place. It's the one time you will get most of the estate together whether they like it or not. Living on a British estate in the middle of a German town means that you get to know your neighbours to some extent and they are of course not always people you would befriend 'in the real world'. But this is our world and it jiggles along sometimes better than others.
I have only been visiting the bus stop for about five weeks and to start with I have to admit I didn't pay a lot of attention to the ways of the bus stop more to the mothering of a little boy who wasn't really sure he wanted to go to school on a big boy bus. We had tears and shakes and I went home the first day feeling awful. I smiled until my mouth hurt and the minute the bus pulled away and I could get back inside I sat on the stairs in tears and ended up calling my Mum as we all know Mum's are a cure for everything!
By the end of the first week we were down to a wobble of the chin and now we are climbing on and chatting to the little boy on the seat behind and the little girl who sits next to us and waving happily as the bus pulls away.
The first three weeks were staggered start so we dropped off and collected at different times to the mainstream children so the crowd was thin and everyone nodded at everyone else politely. Then the full time trips started.
This change of perspective from him has left me lots of time to appreciate the intricacies of 'The Bus Stop'!
Our estate is one road with bits branching off to the right and a park in the middle. This divide is noticeable as you stand on the grass waiting you will see the Mum's mostly wander down and stand in the same places everyday. As if they were allotted spots. There are four or five in a huddle at one end, a group who seem to expand regularly at the other. A few pairs chatting and the odd one or two who stand aside and watch as the tales of the bus stop unfold before them.
I haven't met a lot of these people before as we are still fairly new to the estate compared to some of the others and a few moved here after us but have been in the area elsewhere before. It is a little like a school playground for adults.
I noted one new lady and her children chatting with one of the women who keeps herself to herself after some bad experiences and the 'mouths' as we shall call them waved her over careful to exclude the other Mum.
Then there was the morning when I walked down from our front door and was halloed by the 'posh' lady on the estate. She isn't at all but bless her she likes to think she is a cut above the rest of us. This has led I have noted to most of the 'mouths' disliking her. I duly stopped and walked down with her while she told me of the fabulous £100 toy she had bought her 18 mth old for Christmas and the amazing Disney plastic she had bought her four year old that could have cost £24 or £100, (which it did she dropped in), but it will be worth it to see her face, then I was dropped as someone who is obviously considered more interesting appeared.
It was this morning I really noticed the divides.
I had heard it was a difficult place to be but I noted how especially if you were a little shy or nervous what an awful experience it could become.
This morning however I enjoyed my little walk. I chatted with the token Dad who always turns up with his son and with one of the women from further along my stretch. It was nice to have a bit of adult conversation with someone other than my lovely hubby. Since I don't go to the pre school any more I realised I have lost most of my contact with other adults.
I don't really have a suitable picture for this post. I will try and find one for next time.
How do your mornings go? ;o)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Trying new things

I have been wondering about photos. I am not very good at photographing jewellery sometimes I get a freak shot that looks great but mostly it's a bit hit and miss to be honest. So this morning I thought I would try a prop. I found a tea light holder that my Aunt gave me years ago when we first bought a house. I am not sure we have used it as a tea light holder but it has always sat on the sideboard or the window sill as it is quite pretty. I tried to drape the jewellery over the candle holder and here are a few of my results. 
On the table with a busy background!

Butterfly pendant necklace - against the wall.

Close up against the wall - pink shell and bead pendant.

Glass heart - plain background.

Doughnut pendant on cord - think it needs more of the prop!

Shell and seed bead necklace using lots of the prop

Picture frame pendant.

Bracelet - not sure this works as well.
I am still not quite sure it's quite right but I think it is better than a plain white sheet of paper. It seems to add something to the picture. I think finer jewellery might get lost in the picture though.
These are all items I made a week or so ago when I was trying to used up the odds and ends that were floating in my box. Apart from the picture frame which was made as a project previously.
How do you photograph your items and is it just me that finds it such a fiddly kind of job?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Anybody there?

I feel like I am going through one of those phases where I am talking to myself again. It happens from time to time. I try and keep up with as many of you as possible and comment on as many posts as possible and I appreciate it is time consuming but sometimes I do wonder if there is anyone out there. 
What makes a blog post interesting? What makes people comment or engage with what the writer is saying? What makes you comment on something someone else has written about a little slice of their life?
I am going to think about this when I am reading through the latest updates on my reading list and see where it takes me. 
As for what is happening here, not much today, it's dull, it has been raining since before I went to bed last night and it is still raining. The water congregates in a small pond at the bottom of our path and the car wheel is partially submerged. I was dripping when I got in the car after dropping off number one at the bus and and still rather damp when I arrived at the Dr's. The saving grace was 'The Big Brew Up' we went to after. Bacon sandwich, cup of tea and a piece of marble cake. Yum!
Take care.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Gem chip antics

Many moons ago, when I first started liking jewellery and beads I bought a pack of gem chips. 
I can't remember why or where or even when. I imagine I was quite young and didn't have a lot of money and 'semi-precious' seemed like gold, even if they were odd miss matched chips of this and that. 
Over the years I must have used them for the odd project as slowly the collection became smaller. But I have had lurking in the bottom of my bead box for a long time now the last of this magical selection.
If you have been following me recently you will know I am trying to have a bit of a clear out and de clutter in an attempt to be somewhat organised. I am not sure how well this is going to take off but I am trying. 
So this evening I came up with a little project for the last of these chips. Now I know this is nothing fancy or spectacular but I was very pleased with the way it turned out. Teemed up with some silver spacers and added to a little memory wire it makes a sparkly little addition to the best of wardrobes.
I know the photo is not the best of quality, my battery was flashing and it's 10 pm so the light is awful. I just wanted to share my evenings creation with you all.
How do you use your left overs?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Winners all around

I was very lucky to win a give away recently over on a fellow bloggers page. Do pop over and visit to see what a lovely blog it is. 
A magazine and a free gift!
It was lovely to receive something in the post that wasn't a bill that was for me!
And this week I gave away a bracelet on my facebook page. It was won by a lady I knew in the UK who always supported my efforts and was very pleased to hear of her luck.
The other winner this week was the cake I made very last minute for our friends son's 16th. She had ordered him a cake but the woman had some problems at home that made her unavailable for cake making. My effort was not quite as impressive as the Man Utd creation she had ordered but his face when he opened the door told me that it was probably more appreciated.
You will notice we don't have 16 candles in our house yet, the 16th was the letter S the only letter that matched his name from our son's 1st cake last year!
Number one is off school with a bad tummy so we are not up to much this afternoon at Chez Christals. . . 
How about you? How is your week going?