Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Compact and Bijoux!

Do you remember the old chestnut that Estate Agents would roll out in the 80's and 90's? "This lovely studio apartment....all mod. cons..... central location......compact and bijoux!" It would turn out to be a slightly over sized airing cupboard in central London that would cost almost as much monthly as a mortgage on a 5 bedroom property in the Cotswolds! (Lovely, leafy, desirable area in Gloucestershire, in the West of England for all international readers!).

Now the phrase is never used in that context, well not in the Estate Agent's particulars that I read anyway, but is popping up all over the place in connection with beads. In Bath, there is a lovely shop called Bijoux Beads, and I see the word in connection with beads all over the Internet. Of course it is a French word meaning small, compact, neat or little (if my French is incorrect here, please someone correct me!). It fits well in front on the word "bead".

It also fits well as a description of my working area!

A fellow member of the Craftsman's Market in Cirencester, recently saw a photo of my so called "studio area" and was astounded that I could get anything done in so small a space! "How on earth do you manage?" he asked.

Well, it is a matter of having to! I feel very lucky to have a dedicated area to work on - it used to be the dining room table! - at least I don't have to clear away half way through a project so that the children can have their tea! Ahhh happy memories (not!).

It maybe small, it may be bijoux, but to me it is a little slice of heaven, where I feel totally comfortable and have everything around me that I need!

Mind you, that is not to say that I would not like a studio down the garden! The plans for that are just awaiting the lottery win!!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Coral Grove

Coral Grove
Originally uploaded by Pips Jewellery Creation
I have had quite a few comments on this new style of bangle, when I posted the picture of it first on Flickr.

I did not plan this style at all, it was just one of those "Oh I'll try doing this" sort of moments. The Bullseye Cane had been made for a different project and was just sitting there on my desk and I suddenly thought it would look good on the bangle.

I love textural pieces. Jewellery that not only looks good, but also feels good is a winner in my book!

It reminded me of coral, but the most interesting comment I had was that it looked like "octopus tentacles!" I know exactly what she means!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


I am beside myself with pride!

My beautiful, wonderful, talented and lovely daughter Katie, has won the first "Holt's Got Talent" competition!

We are so amazingly proud of her!

Singing on Stage

We live in a small village, not far from Bath in Wiltshire. It has an amazing community spirit and there is always lots going on. We have many clubs and organisations and a very thriving and brilliant Amateur Dramatic Society. They decided to hold a competition along the lines of "Britian's Got Talent" and they had the auditions last week. Katie got through, along with 14 other acts, ranging from pianists, dancers, bands through to singers, with ages ranging from 10 years old right through to OAP's.

Katie decided to sing "Colours of the Wind" from Disney's Pocahontas. She sang totally unaccompanied! She is only 13 years old, but she showed a maturity far beyond her years on the stage.

I have to say, that as her voice rang out over the audience, I got covered in goosebumps and experienced one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life.

Receiving her prize, a beautiful bowl, a certificate and £50.00 prize money.

With the Judges

Well done Katie - our own Wondergirl, because you are wonderful and I wonder how on earth I could have produced such an amazing person!

We love you so very much!

Monday, 11 May 2009

What a Find!

Originally uploaded by Pips Jewellery Creation
I am a Polymer Clay Artist. I work with polymer clay and occasionally Art Clay Silver, and I am quite nifty with wire if I put my mind to it, but I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a metalsmith. So, much though I would like to make my own settings for my polymer, the reality is that I can't, not yet anyway!

Trying to find a really great setting to show off my creations is a constant search. I have lost count of the hours I have spent trawling the web in search of good settings/blanks/bezels. Most of them have had to come from Canada or the US.

So to find a really great UK company that have just about every setting I could wish for (over 215 products listed!!), was like a dream come true! Add to the equation, a really lovely lady behind the company, who cannot do enough for you and really goes the extra mile in customer service, then you know you have hit the Jackpot!!

The company is and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Beautiful products, fantastic service, speedy postings and the human touch as well.

What more could anyone ask for!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Looking Up!

Originally uploaded by Pips Jewellery Creation
When I was little, about 8 or 9, I remember there being a craze at school for Erasers. Everyone tried to get different colours and styles and to show them to their best friends and swap them and collect them.

My favourite one (and does anyone else remember these?) were the sort that had a type of building brick around them. As you used the eraser and it wore down, you would remove the brick at the top and restack it on the bottom, revealing more clean new eraser at the top. The bricks were all different colours and I think there were about 10 of them.

This new bracelet of mine reminds me exactly of those, and also of a City Sky Line full of Skyscrapers.

Isn't it strange the places and memories that inspiration comes from?

Friday, 1 May 2009

Peacock Bangle

The other day, my friend Jo from Muddle House Mosaics, came to have a Play with the Clay Day! She wants to learn to make canes so that she can use them in her mosaic work. We had a great day drinking coffee, chatting, and eating the lovely cake she made.

We did actually get some claying done as well, I showed her how to make a leaf cane and I made one at the same time to demonstrate. Hers was really beautiful, she has a great eye for colour and it showed. Considering this was the very first time she had tried her hand at polymer clay, the results she got were fantastic - I could have some serious competition here!

Anyway, I have used the cane I made in several different projects (have a look at my flickr pages if you would like to see more) and had a go at making a bangle. I got these lovely bangle blanks from the US and am really happy with the way this turned out. I will be making a few more of these I think.