Sunday, February 28, 2010

Swan song!!

I am going to continue to bore the pants off you about swans!!! I know 3 blogs its been swans, swans, and more swans, but with all the looking I became inspired and at last I finished making a swan of my own. Its been in progress for a while but I didn't quite feel I got it right. I am still not sure but at least I am reasonably happy with this one. I have image in my head for another piece so I must get on, get a sketch book going and get it sorted. As I am a bit of a sucker for hearts, then I thought I would do a heart of 2 swan necking,..... You will have to wait and see if I actually succeed, in the mean time, here is my current swan, and I promise I will stopped ranting on about blessed swans, well for at least a week anyway!!!!! x

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Folksy Friday

As my last blog was about how Swans make me smile, I thought I would make my theme Swans,

All the following items can be purchased from Folksy just follow the links.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Flying swans

In my beautiful flower blog, I mentioned about how swans flying make me smile. I guess this is an obsession that started when I was younger. As children we would visit the wildfowl and wetland trust at Slimbridge to feed the swans. Now an old married woman, me and Mr Wellydog are members and still enjoy going to feed and photograph these beautiful birds.

I did a fantastic art day there a couple of years ago,
learning to study and draw wetland birds. I of course drew and painted swans.
I enjoyed looking at the structure of the birds and I learnt a bit of therory about how they fly. There is something about how pure and graceful they look when floating on the water, but if you have ever seen them take off then they are so funny and clumsy, they make me laugh, so now everytime I see one flying over, I am reminded of how silly they look when taking off and landing and so it makes my day and makes me Smile : )

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sewing jewellery

Recently we had a family get together to celebrate my sisters 50th Birthday. It was a lovely occasion and we all had a huge delicious meal.

Her daughter , my niece, made a fantastic cake for the occasion and in homage to the beautiful needle craft produced by her mum, who is a brilliant textile artist, she incorporated a cross stitch pattern on the cake. We were all stuffed from the meal but of course managed to squeeze some cake in!!!!!!

With the taste of the cake fresh in my mind, I came home and worked on a piece I had been thinking about for sometime. I wanted to stitch wire into silver. I had not been able to think about how this could be done but somehow seeing the cake had made something click and I just knew!! I think I had tried to over complicate the idea and seeing the simplicity of design on the cake that was so effective, made me look for a simple solution.

I decided to only make a tiny piece to see if it would work in principle, as the PMC I work in is fairly expensive to make a huge mistake in. But I am really pleased with how delicate it looks and I think bigger pendants probably wouldn't work quite so well.

Isn't it amazing where inspiration comes from!!!!

Check this link to see this piece in my Folksy shop .................... Sewn Heart

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Shark's Tale

With the snow coming down, then I am drawn towards those holiday brochures again. We are not sure if we can have a holiday this year as there is uncertainty about my job, but that really doesn't stop me looking. It makes me feel warm just looking at the pictures of the sunny, sandy beaches. And I dream of Cocktails and warm lazy days.

My Favourite destination is the Maldives I am lucky enough to have been a few times but just can't wait to get back. We had been thinking we would do a tour and follow it by a beach holiday, maybe in Thailand or Sri-Lanka. I sort of want the adventure but when it comes to looking at the beach resorts, I get a bit down thinking we wont be on those fantastic, sandy, secluded, small Islands in the Indian Ocean.
Paradise Swirl

I keep telling my husband I need to go back for inspiration. I am still working on a range of Maldives inspired pieces. Paradise is of course very obvious as it literally is based on the view from the window of our beach hut. But swirls, not so clear. It is based on the movement of the ripples in the water, when a sharks tail flips as they turn in the water. Yes!! I was brave enough to get into the water with real life sharks.

..........but I will let you into a secret ....if you promise not to tell anyone..... Shhhh....

They are only about 18 inches long... The lagoon around the islands are very shallow, and the baby sharks patrol them as its not safe for them to go over the reef's edge, incase big brothers or sisters eat them. They are really sweet at that size, but they are more curious that the larger ones and come very close to your feet if you keep still.

Its a different story with the big ones. I was sat over the waters edge once and a huge one ( at least 5ft) swam underneath my feet. I jumped and he was off like a shot, I think he was as scared by my feet as I was by his teeth, but that seemed fair to me. It may seem scary, but when we were first going, I looked into how safe it was to be in the water and apparently statistically you are more likley to be injured by toast, than anything in the water. So I just avoid the toast and eat croissants instead.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Folksy Day

I was so inspired by the exhibition of Alinah Azadeh at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, I decided my Folksy Day should be Bright and colourful items that remind me of her beautiful piece "Gifts"

by Rachel Henderson Crafts

by Petal Textiles

by Rara Avis

By Bluebell and Rosie

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Alinah Azadeh

I visited an exhibition at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery that inspired me, so I thought I would share it with you. I loved the whole exhibition but found myself really drawn to the work of Alinah Azadeh. 'The Gifts' was a contemporay installation that used objects donated by people. The idea was people donated 99 items that, "had outlived their emotional shelf-life". These were all wrapped in very vibrant coloured fabrics and Sari yarn and suspended from the ceiling on invisible wire in a wave pattern. On the wall beside was messages written by the people who donated them about the object and why they had donated it. There were fabulous items like a childs umbilical cord clamp, a book give to a child from a mother who had abandoned her. Some items were fun but most were very poinient.

Even if you didn't look at the labels, the piece was so beautiiful, it was like a living vibrant wave. Anyone who likes textiles will love it. When I first saw it I hadn't realised that the Artist own mother had been killed in the Asian Tsunami, but even without that knowledge, the shape definatley felt like a huge engulfing wave, it was very comforting in colour and style. There is a numerological and religious significance to the number 99. But the work could completeley be enjoyed with absolutley no knowledge of the contextual significances. I always like to look at a piece before I read any guides to get a completeley fresh perspective and my overall emotion when seeing it was joy, it made me smile and then later made me think.

I really suggest that anyone who is in Bristol before the 18th of April should take a look.

You can dowload and exhibition guide here

Monday, February 15, 2010

Anyone for Cocktails!!!!!!!

What’s your favourite cocktail?...........
Mines a WooWoo!!!!
I've always been a bit partial to a nice afternoon siesta with a Big cocktail in my hand. Of course it goes without saying its best served on a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach!!! I always love going on holiday in order to justify having far to many, What is it they say? Sun Sea and Sangria!!! or in my case whatever takes my fancy!

Recipe for a WooWoo.................

Put ice in the glass

Add a splash of peach schnapps (archers).

Then pour in a fair size gulp of vodka.

Mix it together with cranberry juice to taste just the way you like it!! You can tell I don't really do measures!! can't you????

Then to make it extra sweet, sit and relax and soak up the sun!!! That really is my perfect idea of a great holiday afternoon!
What's your favourite tipple on Holiday?????
Now thats got me in the mood I think I'm off to try and plan this years sunshine break X

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Beautiful Flowers

Having been nominated for the Sunshine award with is beautiful flower photo and with the sun shining on this spring Day( Is it spring yet?), then I thought I would talk about flowers!

It is Valentines day and I do have some beautiful roses in my house. But they are not a Valentines gift, they were from Mr Wellydog last week. They are just starting to fade but are still very beautiful. I only wish they smelt like the old english roses I have in my garden. I love the David Austin roses and over the last few years I have started to fill the garden with them. They smell amazing and they remind me of when I was a child and we used to collect rose petals in the garden to make perfume. We would put them in a small jam jar, add water and leave. It was not always altogether pleasant, especially if you forgot about it and left it a week or two!!! But it was heavenly when the petals were first picked. Whoever was it that decided that they should now produce cut roses without scent????

I generally just love flowers in the house. Mr WD knows there are 2 things guaranteed to make me smile, one is watching swans fly (maybe a blog of the future) and the other is him giving me flowers. He is quite good at bringing them for me but that doesn't mean I don't buy them myself, I recently had tulips in the front room, as when I was in the supermarket they just jumped into my trolley and begged to be taken home.

As my jewellery designs develops I am hoping to incorporate more flower designs,
at the moment the only designs I have, are moulded or textures from a glass buttons and buckles that were in my Button box, ( see my previous blog Buttons and Buckles). In the future I would love to make a silver rose , I will have to wait for the time being for my new supplies to arrive before I can experiment.

Sunshine Award

Sunshine Blog Award

I'd like to say a very big thank you to minifelts and violetstone for nominating me for the Sunshine blog award. Thank you.
The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity & creativity inspires others in the blog world.

The rules for accepting the Sunshine award are:

Put the logo on your blog or within your post
Pass the award onto 12 bloggers
Link the nominees within your post

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Mine are: birgittadesignz mrsgibsonsatelier robynlouisewilson mollimoo woolandwireuk themagpiediaries willowwirecreations lissi-natalie dizzyizzyhandmade folksyweddings craftingwithsugarmice mycreativeplace

Friday, February 12, 2010

Folksy Friday

This is my first Folksy Friday, so be kind.......

I have just read the Radio Times for next week and as its Valentines Day, they have done a list of Mens and Ladies Top romantic films! I was shocked to find that My favourite film 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' featured no 4 in the mens list, but didn't even make an appearance in the Ladies list, so to correct that I have based this weeks Folksy Friday on this image of Audrey Hepbern in that film.
I have picked black gloves for the elegant and sophisticated look, these are from Blue handmade fish

A Stunning silver and pearl necklace from Alibali Jewellery

and a delicate pair of pearl earrings by Cherished Trinkets

To finish off a beautiful simple tiara from Diamante Dream

Let me know what youthink?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alexander McQueen RIP

I know there are lots of tributes today on peoples blogs and twitter for Lee McQueen who sadly passed away today.

I just wanted to add a personal note on how he influenced me as an Art student. My work was very dominated at the time with body image. I felt as a large woman I was not considered beautiful, and I explored that vigorously in my work. When I saw Amiee Mullins, modeling for Alexander McQueen with specially made wooden carved legs, in 1998 I thought here was a Genius and instantly connected with his work. Although I could never match his style or talent I felt he gave me permission to be who I was both personaly and artistically and to fight against stereotypes.
I was hugely influenced by many people, Jenny Saville and Nick Lowe amongst them, but I feel it was Lee McQueen that was responsible for my artist development for the rest of my study years.
Bless him and I hope he is at peace now x

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Home sweet home

I have just sat and watched 'Relocation, Relocation' and apart from thinking how fussy the people on it were, then I started to think how important my home is.

I love my house, no period cottage for me! I love new builds. My house is 10 years old and we have been here 6 of those, if I didn't love it so much I would be tempted to move now as its getting a bit old and needs work doing, which are my usual reasons for moving.

What I love is the mix of living on an estate, being only a couple of miles from the beach and the countryside, and having a garden that no one really overlooks, that is if you don't count on all the people on the trains, passing by on the railway line a few hundred yards from the back of the garden - really no good for the house hunters tonight on Relocation Relocation who wanted total quiet, our house really can shake when the goods trains pass by!!!!!!!!!!!

For us its perfect, we sit in our garden on a nice summers Sunday morning and wait for the steam train to Dartmouth to go past the back of our house.
We have our own vegetable patch in our larger than average garden - courtesy of the railway line and a fishing pond and nice walks within 5 minutes of our front door. It does have one draw back, my dream master bedroom is actually just big enough to walk around with a double bed in, but as Kirsty says we compromised, we spend so little time in the bedroom compared to the rest of the house it only annoys for a small amount of time. Of course it would help if our lovely dog Welly didn't sleep on the floor at the bottom of the bed, and trip us up in the night .

In fact my house is so perfect it inspired a piece of jewellery.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Special Boxes

I bought a iphone, I know how sad that makes me, because while some of my fellow folksters are worried about the amount of time they spend on the web, I am getting more addicted. I have a new blog and I am learning to twitter, so the phone will allow me to monitor my virtual world more while in my boring day job.

So I get home my new gadget and guess what? ... I am like a four year old with a toy, not because of the phone but because of the BOX it came in!!!!!!! Those clever people at Apple have done it again, everything I have every bought from them has been perfectly packaged. As much design work goes into producing clever ways of packaging as it does into the latest gadget. Its clean and clever, accommodating all the bits and pieces that go with such a gadgety phone.

It always been a bit of a family joke that I'm more interested in the paper and packaging than the present. Years ago I was lucky enough to received a tiffany necklace. My husband had to go to new York on work and even though we didn't have much money at the time, he bought me a tiffany heart. He kept it for months and then gave it me for Christmas.
I cried, when he bought out the bag It was beautiful and that aqua blue is still one of my favourite colours, just look at my Folksy shop!!!!

Inside the bag was the most beautiful little blue box tied with white ribbon, I was shaking when I took it out. I was almost to frightened to open it.

But when I did what a surprise!! Inside was a perfect little suede pouch in matching blue. I nearly wet myself with excitement. The thing is I still have the necklace and I wear it all the time, and I still have the box and packaging . The necklace is special and I love it but its the packaging that brings back the

So Why is this important at the moment and why am I digging out old boxes? I have been thinking about how to package my new silver jewellery. I have been selling jewellery for a while, but now I am working in silver, and I really want it to be a special experience when someone opens one of my pieces, The sort of reaction I got from my tiffany necklace, I am asking myself why this was so special. I think the colour is extraordinary, and works well with silver, and the bag, box and pouch are all beautfully made, but what I really think made it sooooo special was the anticipation. So now I am off to look for the perfect packaging for my jewellery, and to build anticipation into the design, wish me luck as I think this may be a long job.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Buttons and buckles

Having thought about my mums button box I decided to rummage through my own. I have a big oval tin and in it, I found lots of buckles and buttons that are just great. I have had all of these pictured for years but just haven't know what to do with them. I love the green and clear plastic one as it really reminds me of my mum and her 60's/70's fashion. The glass buttons probably came from various places I used to just pick them up from charity shops etc, and I think my MIL gave me some. I just love the ones that are tied together to keep them in pairs, I almost don't want to separate them as they look so good , but I know one day I will.

Then I found the sparkle buckle, it came on the belt of a dress I bought years ago in a charity shop. I wasn't that keen at the time and it had one of the stones missing so I just tossed it into the tin and forgot about it. But now I love it, I m going to look to see if I can find a gem to replace the missing one and then I must think of something to do with it. I think it might look good on a clutch bag, what do you think?

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I have just been reminded by my friends at Folksy that it will be Mothers day soon, that got me to thinking about what I have available that would be suitable for a mum, I have the flower necklace with matching earrings which is quite apt really, as the mould for this necklace came from an old glass button that was in my mothers button box. I love button boxes and rummaging through them, I recently sorted through mine and came across some brilliant glass buttons and some fantastic buckles.

I don't remember my mum very well as she died when I was 17, but I do remember her clothes. She made most of her own clothes an ours. Of course as a teenager I hated that all my friends went to shops and bought their clothes and I had home made, but now I appreciate the skill she must have had, as I would come home and say I wanted the newest style and in a week I would have a copy. I wish I had taken note and picked up some tips, but that being a teenager for you!!! My sister has similar skills we were only discussing recently how different we are in the way we create, She uses patterns and what she produces is very skilled and perfectly executed. But me I can't follow a pattern for toffee. I just grab some material and make it up as I go along, the only trouble is I can only ever make one, and its never that neat and tidy. I made a handbag recently and I love it but the straps were not quiet long enough, I want to make another but I have now idea how I made the first one.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Good news

Just had some good news, I was notified by Lynwood jewellery that she has featured me in her blog

Check it out I am really pleased as the Hugs heart that she has featured is one of my favourite pieces.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Memories of mexico

Holidays are high in my mind at the moment, not only am I using my previous holidays to inspire my craft work but I am looking at where I can go this year, Me and my OH have been looking at various places, Greece, Kenya, Bali and Thailand, but can't make any decision. To much choice and not enough money. I really want a quiet peaceful time but love looking at the culture and the art and design work of where I visit. On a trip to Mexico I loved all the bright colours and of course the fantastic historical sites, This is my next plan to try and work a piece of jewellery based on Chitchen Itza. I promised I wouldn't buy any more silver clay until I sold some work, but thanks to an idea by Gelert designs on Folksy then I can make so practice runs and perhaps mould them ready for future use. Take a look at his shop its brilliant.
Folksy for those of you that don't know is an online shop for people selling handmade good, I have loved being on it and has been a brilliant experience, the forums are great for information and the people very friendly and generous with their knowledge.

Take a look at some Mexico photos and think where you would design with this as inspiration.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

WellyDog inspired by Exotic places

I have finally got round to starting a Wellydog Blog. I have started selling my silver jewellery on Folksy which is great place to get fantastic handmade items,

I don't know how I will get on with my blog, I have no idea what I am going to blog about, apart from my jewellery and what my inspirations are. Well thats a good as any place to start.

On the folksy forum we were asked what inspires us or an art theme, mine at the moment is exotic places so I have taken my inspiration from my fantastic holiday in the Maldives. I was lucky enough to go to Komandoo a beautiful small island in the Indian ocean. Reviewing the photos I designed a pendant made in silver clay to remind me of it, I made a small square one that I wear every day and then I made the one above to sell. I hope someone buys it that will love it as much as I do and that it reminds them of a trip they once took or are planning to take

Below is one of the photos that inspired it

Here are some other items on Folksy that may have been inspired by the same theme I haven't worked out how to hyperlink to photos yet so please check out the links below the photos for details

Love Janice