Saturday, January 14, 2017

A JEWELLERY EXHIBITION

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When I was invited to contribute to an exhibition of local crafts in the next village last summer, I had no real idea what I was letting myself in for!

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It all came about when we called into the tourist office in the village and I admired some of the jewellery on display there.  I got chatting to the French speaking English lady who was on duty that day and she mentioned the series of exhibitions (expos) that they had planned for the tourist office in the next village later in the year.  For two weeks at a time people would display their crafts in the office to show what craft work was going on in the area.  This would take place over several months in the summer and she asked me if I would be interested in taking part.  I agreed, never thinking for a minute that I would actually be asked to do it!

When the phone call came I was both pleased and flattered and agreed to do it.  When I then took stock of how much stuff I had available to display I wondered if I had made a big mistake!

Then when I went along to view the area the exhibition would take place in I really questioned my own sanity.  There were several huge display cabinets and I had nowhere near enough to stuff to fill them.  Not only that, but I couldn’t find most of my display equipment – about half of my black velvet busts and jewellery rolls were nowhere to be found despite turning the house upside down to search for them.

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With a humungous effort I scrambled together all the jewellery I had that I wear myself, borrowed stuff that I had made for other people, finished all the half done projects that were already on the go and made a whole lot more. 

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I gathered various bits of furniture, ornaments and kitchen ware from around the house, as well as some old floor tiles and bits of rock, to create things that I could display things on and supplement the few real display stands that I could find.

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Even with all the items that I had there was still not quite enough to fill all the available space.  So Nick and I came up with a great idea for one of the cabinets.

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As the whole point of the exhibition was to showcase local crafts, I decided to do a display of “how to make jewellery”, thinking that if I can do it, anyone can do it and somebody might just be sufficiently inspired to have a go.

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I made a display of basic tools, a few beads and beading books, to show how you would start to string a necklace.  I don’t suppose I’ll ever know if anyone was tempted to try it for themselves, but you never know.

The exhibition took two hours to assemble and about twenty minutes to take apart.  I sold a small number of items but that was not what it was all about for me.  To be able to show my work and the variety of styles that can be done as a hobby was what I was aiming for.  The young lady in charge in the tourist office said it was very well received and she had lots of interest, so it was worth the effort.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

BARCELONA BEADS

We recently had a short holiday in Barcelona.  It was not a success.  Barcelona is a theives’ paradise and I fell foul of one of them.  You can read all about it here if you’re interested.

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Anyway, before we got to the stage where I was no longer in possession of my bag and wallet, we went to a market that was on the sea front and I treated myself to some jewellery.  Because I make so much jewellery I rarely feel the need to buy anything but I thought this set, using jasper and lava stone rondelles, was lovely.  It was not expensive and…….I was on holiday so I bought it.

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The next day, when I no longer had my wallet, we stumbled upon a bead shop.  The beads were not expensive and as I was penniless, my husband treated me to them.  I probably bought fewer strands than if I had been in control of my own money but it was really nice of him to treat me!

I have worn the necklace set a lot already as it’s perfect for autumn in those colours.  As for the strands, I don’t usually go for blue beads but there was obviously something subconscious going on and reflecting my mood.  Possibly.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

AN EXHIBITION

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I called in at the tourist office in Le Grand-Pressigny earlier in the year and one way or another the conversation got round to the subject of home made jewellery.  To cut a long story short, I was asked if I would like to have a small exhibition in the tourist office in the next village as part of season showcasing the work of local craft persons.

Thinking that nothing would come of it, I was surprised to get the phone call confirming my place.  I went to look at the premises and was somewhat dismayed to find that the glass cases were huge – I’d need a lot of jewellery to fill them.

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This is one of the necklaces I made in order to fill the space in the cases.  Dyed crackle quartz crystal with silver.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

ANOTHER BIRTHDAY NECKLACE–BLUE GOLDSTONE

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It was my friend Lesley’s birthday last weekend.  I was in the process of making necklaces for a little local exhibition (more of that later) and she admired this one so I finished it for her as a birthday present. 

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The beads were blue goldstone, that lovely dark navy stone with a gold twinkle, teamed with small purple Swarovski crystals on purple beading wire.  It looked lovely worn with a black dress for summer.

Very pretty, light in weight and easy to wear.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A BIRTHDAY NECKLACE

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This is the necklace I made for my friend Gail’s special birthday last summer.  I forgot to take pictures of it at the time but she recently turned up wearing it so I swooped.

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Some of the beads are recycled beads from charity shop necklaces.  The others are from a variety of sources, bead shops, hobby shops, craft fairs.  Some I have had in my stash for so long that I now have no idea where they came from.  I was pleased with the result and very glad that she likes to wear it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

EIFFEL TOWER EARRINGS

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It’s months since I made any jewellery.  All my beads are now stored in one room and there’s really no reason to hold back.  Except that there are still so many jobs to be done around the place that playing with my beads seems like I’m shirking.  Rather like when I was working – I had to pinch time from doing chores to make time for beading.  This isn’t how it was meant to be…..

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I found another shop in France that sells beads yesterday.  It’s a bit like a Hobbycraft and the beads were expensive.  But I spotted these Eiffel Tower charms and couldn’t resist. 

Just like in the old days, I couldn’t wait to make something with them.  I see my beading mojo lurking just around the corner........