Sunday, 23 June 2013

We've come a long, long way together...

My youngest daughter turned 11 years old on monday. The start of last year she started her new middle school and after just one term her special needs coordinator and form teacher wanted her to be placed in a special school, saying she would never keep up or make friends.It was especially hurtful that this was said infront of Fern at parent's evening.
I was beyond angry and Fern was distraught. But I was very thankful to have 2 amazing teachers who believed in Fern and spoke with her special needs coordinator, who apologised to me for that incident.
Since then she has retired and Fern's form teacher has left, to be replaced by an amazing new teacher who supports Fern and a new special needs coordinator. Just 3 weeks ago Fern had to sit her sats exams and previously she would have had a melt down at the word test, let alone taking one! She didn't like doing them, but she got through. Better than that, her end of year review showed  had improved by 3 levels in all her subjects, even reading, which is so hard for her. In science she had improved by a staggering 4 levels, way over the targets set for her. With the help of her wonderful teaching assistants, the family learning group I go to with her, her own hard work she is now keeping up and has some lovely friends. At her review it was decided that a special school would be unnecessary.
She still need lots of help, but she is learning all the time and making great progress and I'm a very proud mum.
Here's a close up of the necklace, she wanted things to remind her of the sea and the seahorse is by Petra. She also had monster high dolls (they're so cool) and of course a science kit!

Also I'm slowly getting new tings into the shop and here's some newbies that will be listed soon.

Skullies with agate donuts from Tracy at pipnmolly and Petra's monkeys.

Kim of Numinosity criffles with skullies and handmade Egyptian beads.

Grey bird and Scorchedearth with labradorite nuggets

Finally I always hear this song when I think about how Fern's doing.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Dream Weaver

I dream the world will end, in fact I dream this a lot. For such a long time now, I've seen the world end in flames, flood or simply dust. Yet I don't worry.
One of my dearest friend Christine, sadly lost to me at only 34, loved dreams. She was fascinated by them and I'd arrive at her house strung out from a  job that didn't fit and a personal life that was unraveling. She had the warmest smile and the deepest eyes.."Tell me about your dreams."

She take careful notes of my dreams, paying attention to the colours, patterns, forms and out of the choatic tangle of weird imagery she would find the truth....that fear I tried so hard to keep under lock and key, the one about never being good enough, always being second best. She'd weave healing words, and sound advice into to the mess and gift me a clear road map for the journey ahead.
The end of the world dream, she told me, was not to be feared. "It is just your subconscious telling you that your are going through great change and your fears and emotions are on a big scale." Change is by it's very nature destructive and that's why it also one of the scariest roads to take. Sometimes we have to change in order to move on, sometimes change leaves us with no choice.

I dreamed of great churning floods and volcanoes belching masses of dark smoke when my father was dying. The dreams have returned and I know it is my fears for my mother and the inevitable change that I have no power over.
I've stepped back from adding to my shop for a while just to take a breather from the network running around and to just let my head rest. In that time I've read The Age of Miracles It's an amazing book about the changes in a young girl growing up in a dying earth. 

This next one is a thoughtful and gripping movie that takes you into the mind of a deeply troubled man and for me captures the quiet, still strength of his wife.


Taking Shelter is not an action packed movie, but to me it is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Micheal Shannon is a gifted actor that takes you with him through his fearful dreams and Jessica Chastian is truly believable as a mum to a deaf daughter and a wife dealing with her husband's dark thoughts.

I have still been creating, but I've been more considered in my approach and less happy accident.

This bracelet features hand made charms from 
Scorchedearthonetsy, Happyfishshop,Greybirdstudio,Rowansongcraft, Sheribeads and a house-gift from the lovely Tracy of pipnmolly. I've used blackened steel and hammered each link for texture.

This uses a lot of found pieces, a German thimble, religious medal, charms stamped and aged by me, vintage glass and the dog and fossil are from Mayahoney .

Petra drops and heart, bone scrimshaw and copper fern by me.


Bone birds, Grubbi beads and Petra dangles.

Love these vintage bird tags and amazing gold flek lapis lazuli

Last pair for now

Bone elephants, Petra monkeys and cloisonne beads.

Sweet Dreams

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Artisan Whimsey 5 x 5 tester blog

Firstly a big thank you to the amazingly talented Elaine Ray - and for generously letting us loose on her wonderful ceramic creations.
So it was  5 ceramic lovelies, 5 girls and 5 days (in my case, international post and all that!.)

I'll start with the headpins, which have the most amazing glazes and the benefit of extra long wires to play with. Here's the two sets of earrings I made.

 I had enough wire to loop twice and wrap turquoise around. Grey beads from RowanSongCrafts on etsy.

Here I made a loop at the top added heishi beads and a bit of wire wrapping. I love how the jade flowers pick out Elaine's glaze.

The necklace piece had a great number of design options to use and I love the colour. I feel that a seed beader or macrami fan would be able to create some amazing work with this piece.
I used some plaited suede and additional beads from Grubbi on etsy and a textile tassel.

The next piece was my favourite to wok with. I'm mad about the colour and how versatile it is, the opportunities are endless.

I used a brass bird, curved to fit, plaited suede and charm from HappyFishShop on etsy. I wrapped bronze wire around for extra texture!

The last piece was more challenging, again gorgeous colour and glaze,plus lots of loops. I felt that with the loops all around it might not rest well as a pendant. So I thought about creating a bag charm and using some great steampunk charms that I had.

Additional bead ScorchedEarthonetsy.
I really enjoyed this challenge and many thanks to Elaine and the Artisan Whimsey team
Please see these amazing blogs and their creations
Cheryl Provost Foiles
Cory Tompkins
Marcia Dunne
Robin Showstack hosted by
Sharon Palac

Saturday, 1 June 2013

History Blog Hop

Firstly thank you to our host Leah Curtis of
This hop is about selecting a period in history that you find inspiring and want to explore more.
I chose Celtic and mourning jewellery.
Mourning jewellery from the Victorian period was particularly ornate, sombre and carried high sentiment to reflect Queen Victoria's intense grief. Sometimes it was even made from the hair of a love one or at the very least would contain a lock.
The stunning skull ring is much older than the Victorian era, it dates from 1700's and is beautiful detailed and from the Birmingham museum.

My piece is a locket made from tin, fittingly an old cadbury one with blue kaynite, pink opal and African glass. I've also used a finger from scorchedearthonetsy as the locking mechanism. The brass ribbon is stamped with YOLO to reflect the sentiments of our time - you only live once.

The earrings feature fake hair and squares of garnet and rinestones.

Celtic jewellery is finely crafted and uses a lot of surface decoration and motifs such as swirls. The first piece is money which the Celts would carry around on woven linen or strips of leather.
The second shows the craftmanship achieved with the most basic of tools. They also had access to gemstons such as lapis lazuli.
The first of my pieces was inspired by Celtic money and uses a bold ceramic ring from raggedrobyn on etsy and a ring from scorchedearthonetsy and vintage leather. The earrings use the coil motif, chunky lapis lazuli and square crystal.
Here are the rest of the history hoppers fro you to enjoy.

Leah Curtis - Indus Valley -
Laney Mead - Māori -
Becca - Art Nouveau -
Melissa - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry -
Tracy Stillman - Native American -
Gerda - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry -
Liz E - Native North American -
Ahowin - Māori (New Zealand)  - 
Jasvanti - Indus Valley -
Lizzie - Art Nouveau -
Julia Hay - Merovingian -
Dini - Celtic -
Caroline - Art Nouveau - 
Charlie - Moche of Peru -
Karin - China -
Niky Sayers - Rome -
Marcia Dunne - Celctic and Mourning Jewelry -
anafiassa - Mesopotamia -
Kokopelli - Native American -
Christa - Native American -
Clair - Roman -
Susan Bowie - Native American -
Gloria Allen - English Romanticism -
Sheila Garrett - Early Russia -