Hot lazy days are here again. Christmas is done and dusted, but the school holiday rages on. The nights are hot and sleepless and the days are warm and weary. One has a tendency to relax more than One should. There’s a million jobs that need doing because I procrastinated through spring. I only just today sorted out my linen cupboard and packed away the winter woolies.
Every day my goal has been to get some beading time in, but every day it’s a struggle to get more than half an hour in. Yesterday, in a fit of inspiration, I donned my headphones, put on a Algernon Blackwood audiobook, attached a new thread to my beadwork and promptly slipped into the dreamworld. My 7 year-old woke me up two hours later to tell me that my snoring was scaring her and that she had taken the remote control out of sleeping Daddy’s hand before he dropped it.
This morning I decided to go for a walk before it got too hot, so at 6.30am the girl-child and I visited some ducks and explored the cemetery. I was feeling quite smug with myself for out-witting the sun, for surely early exercise would give me the energy boost that would keep me going through the day. But then l I got home and napped most of my morning away. It’s now 2pm and I could quite easily go back to sleep.
So progress for me has been characteristically slow this month, but I do have something to show for it. My Harlequin tutorial is finished! It’s available in my Etsy store now. Well, I thought it was finished, but then someone asked if there were sizing options. Whoops!! That was quite an oversight. So I am rectifying that, and anyone who has bought the tutorial, or buys the tutorial in the interim, will be contacted and emailed a new and improved copy with two more sizing options and colour ways. The patterns for the new sizes are complete, but I need to partially bead them to get an accurate measurement. Watch this space!
Things are gearing up to Christmas and Summer is finally here – for today anyway. Yesterday was rainy and the school picnic in the park was cancelled. But today is glorious. The kids are outside playing with water pistols. They’re alternating between good-natured fun, and fights over the ultimate war-crime: attacking during the opponents refill time.
Summer has me pining for days of old. Sitting in the shade, legs in the sun, drink in hand, talking nonsense. These days I’d rather switch the drink and talking for a book and silence, but washing needs folding and someones got to clean up the cat spew. I’ll have to settle with the fact that the kids are having fun, and that’s what counts.
All in all, I’m having a better time than husband, who is still reeling from the rather traumatic removal of two wisdom teeth. Nearly two months on and he’s still having a rough time. He’s coping well, so long as we don’t make any sudden movements, stay out of his way, and avoid eye-contact. Here’s hoping he’s better before Christmas, because I’ve got a big juicy steak to throw on the BBQ and it’s got his name on it.
As I write this, I am experiencing a rare solitude. This morning I took my 3 year old son to kindergarten for the third time, and then I took my 6 year old daughter to her first day of her second school year. My boy tells me “I luff Kindy” and “I luff my fwiends”. In his eagerness to get in the door he fell over three times, found the nearest toy truck and shouted “BYE MUM!!” It’s a good thing it’s only twice a week or he would explode from the excitement. My daughter faces a slightly more daunting day, a new teacher, new rules and a new classroom with children aged 6 to 8 years old. It’s a scary thing when your last class was exclusively 5 year olds.
As is a mother’s prerogative, I still feel a little anxious about them being away from me; more so for my daughter, who is a born anarchist. This is not helped by the fact the school is ever-so-slightly within earshot of my house. Random shouts, screams and wails are carried through my windows on the wind throughout the day and I find myself listening for the distress call of my cub.
Cup of tea and a sit down with Shaped Beadwork and Beyond by Diane Fitzgerald.
When I returned home, the silence was deafening, so I listened to two Slayer albums in their entirety while I done the housework in record time (no interruptions!) and then sat down for a cup of tea. A cup of tea in the middle of the day, how novel! I often boil the jug, but I never get as far as actually drinking tea.
After an un-rushed lunch I even sat down with my beads – will wonders never cease? I’ve been playing with circular netting lately, and after some experimentation, I’ve come up with a very simple bracelet design that I really love. One day I’ll develop it further, but for the moment, I’m just enjoying the simplicity of making them. Now it’s nearly time, to collect my boy, and the peace will be broken for the day. I’ll be glad to see him, but it sure was nice having a break.
This year, in a move completely out of character, I got organised for Christmas early. All of my shopping is done, dinner is going to be a casual summer barbecue; all I need to do is wrap the presents and I’m done. It’s a good thing too, because my little Facebook Christmas sale seems to have ramped up interest in my artisan jewellery and custom work has been pouring in this last week. I’ve never had anything like it and I’m utterly thrilled. I’ve had to order materials from the same store three days in a row and must offer my sincere thanks to the gracious Queen Bead from The Bead Hold. In the midst of her big relocation, no doubt the last thing she needed was picky customers (me) constantly amending orders.
My main focus over the last week or so has been wire. Once I find something that works, I often have trouble breaking away from a method to find new ways of doing something. In an attempt to stretch my creativity, I’ve been practicing making free-form pendants. I’m quite pleased with what I’ve come up with; they’re not as flawless as I would like, but hey, what is?
One great bonus to working with wire is how much quicker setup and pack up is. Everything goes in one box, all I need is a few simple tools and I’m good to go. Beading is a little more chaotic. I have numerous boxes and compartments, inside which are many more smaller containers containing hundreds different beads. Finding the right combination of beads for a project can be tedious. At the end of the night I have to painstakingly return each container to its box or drawer and find any needles or beads that I may have dropped. I guess it’s a small price to pay for doing something you love.
On Thursday night I attended the Hawera Ladies Night market and what a roaring success. There were 37 stalls in total, all of which were small home-based businesses, and over the course of two and a half hours we had 467 people through the door. The entry fee was a gold coin donation, with all proceeds going to the South Taranaki Parents Centre, raffles were also held and in all, $913 was raised for the cause. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Rocky and her team for putting this night together and I look forward to seeing it all happen again at the Bell Block Ladies Night in February.
My next piece of news is the CHRISTMAS SALE! This was intended the begin the day after the Ladies Night, but was postponed due to my waking up with a horrific head cold. I could not even begin to think straight, in fact I suspect this particular virus may have permanently reduced my brain function; I seem to be doing a lot more stupid things than usual. But better late than never, right?
The New Zealand only sale applies to all of the jewellery listed in the Facebook Sale album. The photos have been updated with the sale prices. To purchase, email me at email@example.com or send me a private message on Facebook. Let me know which item you would like (include a link to the image if you can), include your mailing address and I will reply with banking details. Postage is a flat rate of $3 for as many items as you like. I will try to keep things updated as quickly as I can, but please keep in mind that some items may become unavailable due to the time it takes to clear my emails and update the listing, it’s first in first served. The sale will run until midnight Sunday 8 December.
Seventeen. That is the most pairs of earrings that I have made in one sitting. I’m not sure how long it took me, I can’t remember how many continuous episodes of Breaking Bad I sat through that night. I can remember that at the end of it my feet were like ice blocks. This is because I had been so focused on what I was doing that I didn’t notice that the carpet in front of the couch was damp, and this dampness had been slowly wicking up my socks. Mr. Two thinks it’s great fun to empty his sippy cup on the floor.
I now have 77 pairs of earrings made in preparation for the Hawera Ladies Night market on 20 November (make that 76, because I just took a pair for myself) and I’ve been mulling over my pricing options. My woven earrings are usually priced by taking into account how much the materials cost and how much work goes into them. This means there is a fairly big variation between the price of each pair. The most expensive pair of earrings I have in stock at the moment are the Blizzard earrings at $NZ29 and the least expensive are the Little Nova earrings at $NZ18. In a perfect world, I would have each pair of earrings displayed on it’s own fancy card with my name emblazoned across the top, with the price listed on the card. But in that world, I would be able to afford a lovely big card holder display, and I would know what I’m doing. I would also be spending my days on a private island with my lovers Johnny Depp and Norman Reedus, while looking like Jessica Biel.
In accordance to my budget, I have acquired a cheap, wobbly copper stand, which is not suited to individual pricing. Tiny price-tags hanging off earrings is not a good look. I’ve decided just to have a sale instead, woohoo bargains!!
This is my price list for all of my jewellery on the night, except for bead woven necklaces and bracelets, which are still prices individually.
Earrings are a largely neglected item in my repertoire, I’m not really sure why. Every so often to get to feeling guilty that I don’t have enough earrings in stock. I sort of wonder if the few earrings that I do have, get lonely. Maybe they’re jealous of all the bracelets hanging out being cool together, and they huddle together in the corner of the box like Emos in a school playground. My mind is a strange place sometimes. In a bid to alleviate the suffering of this minority group, I’m on a bit of an earring bender. See some of the bead-woven earrings here.
Next month I will be attending the Hawera Ladies Night, which is a two-and-a-half-hour, evening shopping event. A gold coin donation will grant you entry, supper and drinks will be provided and spot prizes will be given out on the night. The entry fee will go toward a yet-to-be-decided charity or cause. It’s in it’s third year, but this is the first time I will be attending. I’ll have plenty of earrings ready by then. Make sure you come and say hello!