Saturday, November 12

Jewellery, events & updates! [lots of images!]

Hi there bloggers!
Another long stint since my last blog post, but I have been busy this time, and I do have things to share. We are now in the final weeks of the house buying, and hope to find out our completion date this week. Our solicitors on both sides are pushing for the end of this month so hopefully we can get in and settled well in time for Christmas.

Here (finally!) is my finished Laura McCabe cuff:
I am so pleased with this, sorry for the shabby photographs! The leather is a joy to wear, it's so soft, and it's so lovely to have been able to make an embroidered piece without having to cover every square millimetre to make it look good. The stone is Willow Creek Jasper, so I was quick to hunt down a stone to make a matching pendant:
Again, apologies for the poor photograph, it looks so much better in the flesh. This is a teardrop Willow Creek Jasper stone, stitched around with my remaining grey/silver delicas and gold size 15 charlottes. Nailheads embellish the left and a 10mm Swarovski flat back crystal sits at the top. The glass nugget at the bottom is one made by Linda from Bead Buddies - you can visit her website here.

It was my mother in law's birthday yesterday, so out came the beadies again, you might remember my blue cluster necklace I made for my mum earlier this year, well she had commented on how lovely that was. She loves all things cupcakes, so I finally found the perfect use for the charity cupcake bead I bought from Laura Sparling quite some time ago as well. This was the final piece:
I was very happy with this one as well, and not only that but it only took about an hour from start to finish, I do love those projects! It's all made with cream/mocha glass pearls and crystal rondelles, topped with a lemon meringue cupcake.

So, in other news, I have recently been re-broadening my horizons, and typically when I have none of the things I need, I really felt the urge to draw. I made a trip out to our local art store, came home equipped with pencils, black pens and a new sketch pad, and this is what happened:
I've been browsing a lot of Zentangles again recently, and it just made me want to draw. Now I can't stop looking at my butterfly. Very chuffed. I also used to frequent DeviantArt, and haven't visited the site for a long time. Today I returned and was looking back on some of my previous work - I really need to get my Illustrator back! I miss playing around with vector art. Don't get me wrong, I was never anything amazing at it, but I used to enjoy the hours spent tweaking and re-colouring images I had created from a photograph. You may or may not be interested, but if you'd like to take a look this is my DeviantArt page. If you do take a look, do leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Well, I will leave you all with a lovely image that met my eyes whilst I was on the phone at work on Thursday evening. I just had to take a picture... or three.

Saturday, October 8

Still shuffling!

Well it has been a while, has been very busy around here! I have a new niece, a new cousin who I still haven't had chance to get round and see (slap my wrist!) We have moved back in with my mother in law for a few weeks whilst we wait for news and an update on our house. It's all going through slowly, offer has been accepted and we are now going through the painstaking wait for our paperwork to be gone through by the mortgage people. Unfortunately as we are first time buyers and it's a great rate, it's all having to be done on paperwork instead of being able to do it online! the flat is finally starting to look a bit emptier, we have been doing a few loads on the weekends for the last couple of weeks now. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can move into our own home, then I can show you all my new beading room! Super excited, need to get some ideas of what to do with it though to utilise all of the space I can. Last weekend we went up to London as part of my birthday treat, and though I didn't spend much there, I did get a beautiful new Amber ring, which I will have to get a piccy of for you, but it also meant I had a spare few pennies for a shopping trip today. It's the first time in ages I have had any amount of money to get clothes so I'm normally quite stingy with what I will spend but I got a few good deals and was really happy with what I came home with. Only thing I am after is some new shoes and possibly boots but couldn't find any I liked today. And I have lost half a stone, so very happy at the moment! Coming soon, my finished Laura McCabe cuff... Watch this space right here!

Saturday, September 10

Moving along slowly!

I was so excited today driving to my friend Tracy's, as I drove past our new house, the SOLD sign has now gone up, and when I looked at the website this evening, this picture accompanies the property listing. I've got all sorts of butterflies in my tummy just looking at it - I can't wait!

We have a meeting tomorrow morning with our mortgage advisor, our solicitor's paperwork arrived this morning - hopefully our advisor can go through with that tomorrow as well! I can't believe how quickly this has all happened, it's crazy, but that's just the way of the world of property I guess!

Pictures of my new niece will follow shortly - Leah was born 08/09/11 weighing 7lbs exactly, and she is an exceptionally beautiful little girl. I'm a very proud auntie, and very happy now that my sister in law and Leah are now back home and all well.

Oh, and as this is meant to be a jewellery blog - here's a little something I finished last week!

Monday, September 5

How time sneaks up...

Oh my gosh bloggers, it's been a bit of a rollercoaster! We've been saving for a house for a long time now, and were planning to be looking to buy after Christmas. We looked at a house on Sunday, and now it's all come to a head with mortgage advisor meetings arranged for tomorrow, phone calls back and forth today, and I have the biggest knot in my stomach which I think will remain until I know the outcome! I hope this explains why I've not been around, and probably won't be around much for a little while. It will be all worth it though in the end, I'll have my very own bead room, and if this house is meant to be ours then my bead room will be a rather lovely size :D

Fingers crossed... and see you all soon!

Tuesday, August 23

Birthday makings!

Just a quick post from me this evening, two bracelets for my friend Jackie at work who hits the big 5-0 on Thursday! Bring on the hamper, flowers, balloons, desk confetti and CAKE! Quite a productive evening, I think :o)

Sunday, August 21

Bails, Cuffs & Weddings!

Well it's been a busy couple of weeks, but I've managed to do some beading to share with you all! I've set off on my own little journey with this first piece, having conquered using wonky squares to make a star (which you can see here) - I decided to make a couple more "wonky squares" and make an eye catching bail for this turquoise donut. Goodness knows how long I've had this sizeable nugget sat around, but I finally have a use for it! The plan is for a little odd count peyote chain to sit through the top bail and look pretty and sparkly. As soon as it's done I'll update you!

Work has once again been hectic, and our senior administrator is off on her holidays for the next two weeks so it could be interesting. Thank goodness it's bank holiday next weekend! Tomorrow hopefully won't be too bad or stressful, it's Tracy's daughter's wedding tomorrow, so getting the drinking shoes on for the evening, fingers crossed! I'll be sure to take my camera :o)

Finally, I'll show you a little project that I started and finished within a week (shocking, I know!) Donna at Bead Buddies needed testers to make sure her peyote word charts are all correct, so I opted for her Autumn Flowers cuff, and this is how it turned out:
I definitely need to practise the attaching of the peyote strip to the cuff blank, but overall I'm pretty pleased - it's quite cute!

Good news on the fund raising - currently Sandie has pulled together over £340 for the African Crisis Fund!

Well I'm off to prep for the office tomorrow, see you all soon,

Friday, August 12

Busy busy busy!

It's been another busy week, though it seemed to go slower than usual. Friday is upon us again, and I have my new handbag, my new approach to eating (no chocolate in a week, if you don't count the two squares at my cousin's baby shower last Saturday! And no snacking either!) and looking forward to my weekend.

Me and flossy are hosting this month's pass the parcel over on Bead Buddies, and are giving away a tiara making kit along with a special little surprise from me. No peeking! I'll be sure to fill you in at the end of the month when we send it all off to the winning buddy.

It's the last couple of days of our charity auctions on eBay so if you haven't had a look yet, please click here and bid on what takes your fancy! There are some beautiful pieces, including a stunning set from Lynn Davy
You'd be mad to miss out on it!

So tomorrow I'm off to see the girls, then hopefully get my hair cut (need to call them in the morning!) and off out in the evening to one of my engineer's wedding receptions. Should be a good day. Sunday we're out to a barbeque, so I'm hoping the weather this weekend holds out a bit better than it did today.

What are you up to this weekend?

Monday, August 8

Raising money for East Africa

Over at Bead Buddies we're at it again, and Sandie has rallied the girls together to raise money for the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal. There are lots of us who have donated pieces which are being auctioned off on eBay, so please pop over and have a look and if you bid, please bid generously!

Sunday, August 7

I heart macro

Taken when I was in Sydney September 2008

studio waterstone

Sunday night already?

This weekend has disappeared right in front of my eyes, and it's been an eventful one. Friday night, my beading buds and I had arranged for a night in so our hubbies could all meet. It was a really good night, and before we knew it, it had gone midnight! An evening full of chatter, laughter and good friends.

Saturday morning I headed out to see the girls for our regular Saturday beading sesh, and made these earrings! Unfortunately, an error of my own meant that I put an extra row of delicas in on one disc so one is fatter than the other - oh well, just means I will have to keep them for myself then ;) For a prototype though, I was quite pleased.

Saturday afternoon I headed to my parents house for a barbeque, which is where it became eventful. There's been a lot going on, and further developments have just got me thinking again. It's probably all for the best, but just now it's a little hard to see it. Later in the evening I headed off with my auntie, sister and mum to my cousin's baby shower, and though my mum and sister left after a short while, my auntie and I stayed on a bit longer and had a good giggle, including playing pin the sperm on the egg! It was very very close. We all did pretty well, but very funny to watch - especially as we were spun around first :D

So today we went for breakfast with my mother in law and were supposed to catch up with our brother in law and niece, which never materialised. In the end, my dad called and I went for a drink with him to catch up and try to make sense of what's happening. It's just changing, and it's not about me, but with work at the moment as well, it's all coming down on me. Things can only get better, right?! 

Well I'm off to do another load of washing, and prepare for an inevitably fantastic week at the office!

Monday, August 1

Today is a good day

I've had a really fab couple of days, including being drawn to win an adorable new handbag. Big thanks to tinchick over at Bead Buddies! Now it's my turn to put something up to be won... Hmmm...

I also came home today to a little parcel at my door. I opened it up and unwrapped the tissue paper to find another lovely surprise from Carrie - a lush polymer clay heart pendant that I had ogled at earlier this week. I love BB, such fantastic ladies to know!  

We went to visit the mortgage advisor today to find out whether we are on target as we hoped, and great news everyone, we really are! By October we should have our deposit and fees for the lower end of our budget, and by January, we will be able to put in offers on a property at the top end! I am so excited. It's mad how quickly this year has gone, and I know that even though January seems far away, it will be here before I even get chance to think about it.

I am off to update our spreadsheets and budgets, and see how close we are to our first home, and maybe do some beading!

Happy crafting everyone

Sunday, July 31

Final AOTM post - lots of photos!

And now, the end is near... And so I face the final curtain...This is my final aritst of the month post for bead buddies. Here's the rest of my travel adventures!
This month has absolutely flown by. I've just sat and arranged my budget spreadsheets to take to the mortgage advisor tomorrow, so we avoid the trying to figure out what we spend out on each month - we went to see an advisor a few months back to check we were on track, and struggled to remember it all!  Roll Eyes Hopefully it will be good news and that we are still where we need to be to get our house hunt officially started to hopefully buy in the next 6 months!

Anyway, as promised, here follows the details of my stay in Australia. I was a bit gutted to find that half of my pictures taken in Sydney appear to have been lost somewhere along the way... I need to try and find an old back-up disc as I'd be completely gutted if I've lost them completely. I do at least have a photo book with some of them in if that's the case.

Where were we... On our way to Goomeri! We got taken to the local bus depot where we picked up a Greyhound coach that took us to be picked up by Matt, our ranch hand for the week. 

We arrived and settled down in our bunk room and headed out to the conservatory for dinner. The meals here were fantastic, every night we had something different and delicious, and on the last night we had a huge barbeque GrinThen it was off to bed ready for our first day on the ranch. Now, I can't remember exactly what order we did these in, but what does it matter - it was all great fun!

Quad Bikes

These were bloody good fun, and we spent several hours going along various tracks, ridges and speeding across fields. You wouldn't believe the power in these machines, and unfortunately one of the girls did find that out the hard way. It involved a wheel slipping on a loose rock, adjusting the steering on the bike and causing her to go head on into a barbed wire fence. That's how easily it happens. Fear not, she was OK, but lucky to have hit the brakes when she did or it could have been less slicing and more garotting... A stark lesson. But as I said, other than that - bloody good fun! The scariest bit for me? Being at the top of a near-vertical hill, and pulling back on the throttle to go down it. Oh. My. Gosh.


This was terrifying. I've never ever been a fan of bikes, and to be honest they scare the living daylights out of me. Needless to say, when these were presented to me, I was less than eager to get on one. Thanks to Matt though, I made it onto one, and set off. First we had to go in a straight line, not so bad. Then we had to go around a little course. The only catch, it was up a hill, then around and across the top before turning onto the decline and back down. Not so easy, but after a couple of shaky laps, I soon caught up with the others. This was all OK, until we started doing a long run up to a hill where we had to turn full circle and come back. Why so nervous, you may ask - well the hill wasn't just a nice smooth grassy hill, it was absolutely riddled with boulders and rocks, and I started to doubt I was going any further on one of these things. Again, Matt talked me around, and although my cousin had to rescue my bike from a rocky outcrop once, it went alright. Then we were off! Out on the tracks, a different way to the route we took on the Quads, stopping off quite early on at a big round dusty 'circuit'. I pulled a wheely! I never thought I'd pull a wheely EVER, but it was awesome. Again we headed out along tracks and ridges and up into the top fields of the ranch. Once we got there we had great fun in making our way down the ridges. The fields were all ridged as we came down, this is their form of irrigation so that the water doesn't all collect at the very bottom of the hill. Half way down, we all pulled up and lined up to jump one of the larger ridges, and we knew we were getting stitched up - ranch hand's jokes aren't always funny you know! We all pulled off, and as my front wheel went over the ridge, all I could see was sloppy sticky mud underneath me. Lucky for me, I had flown over just behind two of the other girls, and my bike clipped the side of one of the others who had just got well and truly stuck in the mud! This resulted in my handlebars locking back and slamming into my leg - this was the end result:

The one on the left was taken the following day, the second one was about 7 days later when I was in Sydney. I still have a dent in my leg to remind me of it now Grin

4 x 4 driving

I loved this. We went out to the top of the fields again, and the first thing we did was learn about a 4x4 and maintaining them. This included each having a go at changing a tyre on one of these beasts. I couldn't remember how to do it now though... Smiley I have hubby for that Grin
After our little lesson, we each took it in turns to take it for a spin, and we had to be careful because those of us who weren't driving were sat on the back of the truck suffering any arguments with tree branches or excessive water splashes! We did all get out and go one by one for the big hill though - the reason? At one point the tilt of the vehicle was within 5 degrees of it's rolling point - that got you sweating! This was me on my way back down said hill - sadly it really doesn't look half as big or scary as it was!

Horse Riding
This was what I was looking forward to the most. I started horse riding when I was 2 years old, and I used to help out every weekend in exchange for a ride on a Sunday evening. I really miss it, as due to the expense of it, I haven't been in over 2 years. The smell of stables is a very nostalgic one for me. Here though, there were no stables - we had to round up the horses before we even started, quad bikes at the ready! We got them in, and groomed them to get rid of the dust before we saddled up. Whoever has been horse riding here in the UK will know we have quite a strict way of riding, in that you must always have your shoulders, hips and feet in a straight line, sitting up straight with your heels pushed firmly down. Americans for example, ride in a very laid back fashion with no such rules, they just sit back in the saddle and get on with it. Australian riding is somewhere in between, so for me, it was a little bizarre at first to do rising trot with my feet in front of my body. I soon settled into it though, and what followed was a very enjoyable ride. Highlight: when me and Molly cantered off with Laura the ranch assistant and jumped a sizeable log. What a rush, and how I miss it.

[Sorry no pictures of this... It's just building fences!] We got to play with chainsaw's today - felling excess trees, and chopping them down to size for collection. Later we headed to the wire fences and learned how to repair them and put in new posts.

Tractor Driving

This was wicked fun. My granddad used to work on a farm on tractors and harvesters, and used to tell us stories of his days there. We had to move the haybales from one location to another, ready to feed the cattle when we brought them in the next day. The gears and clutch took a minute or two to adjust to, but after that, playing with the spike and the lift at the front was brilliant. We also got to enjoy some beautiful views, and experimented with our sunglasses a bit Grin

The final round-up

Our last day was what we had been building up to, it was time for the cattle to come into the ranch. I saddled up with Paul, and the others picked quads or motorbikes to head out on. The plan was to do two rounds of the fields to collect every last cow and bull, and bring them back into the yard ready to be branded, clipped, injected and castrated... The first round went pretty well, we kept to formation and managed to round up all of the cattle. However, on our way down the last hill, me and Molly got into a bit of a to do with a bull who tried to break away from the front of the herd, and on our chase Molly lost her footing, and I went flying. Subsequently I was winded, and couldn't hold on to her reins - Matt galloped off after her to bring her back, and the other ranch hand came over on his horse - who apparently spooks at bodies on the floor. That was fun, there was nearly two of us spangled on the floor! Unluckily for me, when I landed, it was almost square on my tail bone, so when I got back up on the horse (which you always have to do!) I didn't get too far before it was hurting. Alot. I bade the group farewell and me and Molly took a steady walk back to the yard whilst they made the second round trip. We had a pleasant hour, I gave her a thorough wash down and brush, and lots of cuddles Smiley then when the others arrived back with the cattle up ahead, it was into the paddock with them. We had to get in to herd small numbers at a time into the bigger 'keep' paddock, via a small filter gate where we could seperate the calves that needed attending to. 

We all went home that night with a great feeling of accomplishment, but also sadness that it was over. We all celebrated with a barbeque, and got our certificates for passing the week! Oh, and we had a little bit to drink Smiley

From here, I bid farewell to everyone and as they headed off to work on various ranches, I made the trip back to Brisbane airport to fly to Sydney to meet my friend Tim. Unfortunately, it is now getting late, so I will leave you with snaps of Sydney, and tell you it really is a beautiful place. Wherever you look there are stunning water features, the gardens are so peaceful, the Opera House sublime, and the only thing I regret is not climbing the bridge, but that was something I just couldn't afford by then. I will be going back, and next time, I'm taking hubby. If I can, I'd like to time it to see the chalk festival again - if I ever recover those missing photos, I'll be sure to post them for you to see. Some of the art work we saw was amazing, and we got to decorate the water paths with our very own chalk stamper! 



Well, from here I thank you all for reading, and would like to invite you to my blog to keep up to date -
Please welcome for this month Dee! I look forward to reading your blog Dee, and sorry to everyone that I've been a bit of an inconsistent blogger. Wish me luck for the mortgage advisor!

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