Perth Bead Fair

The bead fair at Perth Concert Hall this Sunday was such fun, I loved meeting people, and especially those who came with stories of beads bought from me and worn since the last bead fair at that venue. I need money as much as the next person, but the most fulfilment I acheive cannot be measured in financial terms, taking part in something I enjoy and feeling as if I belong and am valued means much more to me. Financially speaking, I will never be rich, I have had depression to such an extent that if someone had come to give me £10million I would have told them to go away and stop bothering me. I am just happy to be in a good mood and to have had an experience that did not leave me exhausted. Riches can be measured in many different ways.

Having said that, I bought a second oxycon from Martin Tuffnell. I hadn’t planned to (truly honestly) but as he was wheeling them out to the van I found myself counting out the cash and handing it over…so, I’m extremely pleased and quite excited at what it will do for me. I like making big beads and boro beckons too…not only that, but it would be so fab to have the facilities for two people to torch at the same time one day…perhaps after I have a shed that does not have a puddle under the table when it has been raining. Either the people who built my shed (it’s a brick building) were so used to the rain that puddles weren’t an issue, or they had a cunning plan when they made sure the floor was 4″ lower than the ground outside. I still haven’t worked out what it might be though…


I recently had a little breakthrough with my understanding of stringer work, I’m a very long way from being as good with stringer as Dora Schubert, or Mindy from Moogin, but what little I can do has made a big difference to potential for new designs. I’ll be concentrating on getting better at that and making sure that I have a new and vibrant selection of beads in time for Christmas, plus lots of cat beads (and maybe dogs too) and ducks, which I find time consuming and a bit pesky to make, but people seem to want them very much so oh, OK, I’ll make some. Ducks would be much easier to make if they didn’t have necks, or eyes. Mess either of those essential body parts up and one has a sweet little duck body and a lump for a head.

I have been promised photos from beaders and jewellery designers who intend making items using my beads, I know it can take time while an idea forms and a piece is made, so when pictures turn up out of the blue it will be a nice surprise. Well, that’s my news…I’m conscious that the 1st year anniversary of breaking my ankle is coming up. One of my clearest memories of that alarming event was talking to the ambulance man about bead making as we were on the way to the hospital, I was so glad that despite the calamity I could still make beads. What if I’d broken my arm? Nightmare!


Perth Preparations

Today I’ve been planning and packing for the Scottish Bead Fair, Perth this coming Sunday 30th August. My bags are packed and waiting to be loaded early Saturday morning, and last minute ideas for beads are probably going to have to wait until next week…deadlines always seem to throw up new ideas in which there is little time to realise them. I will also be at Portobello Town Hall craft fair the day before, Saturday 29th, I always look forward to Edinburgh fairs, and just because it is a craft fair and not a bead fair doesn’t mean that my stock won’t be depleted by the end of the day, so of course I’m a bit concerned that my newest beads will be snapped up before I get them to Perth. I’ve been exploring a new theme which I think works well, but it seems to me take longer and longer to produce what I consider ‘enough’ work. Yes, I could hold some back for Sunday, but what if I miss out on a sale or hold back the ‘wrong’ beads? Business is business and expenses must be covered. I don’t like finances to be more important than the art (they never can be for me) but one must be realistic.

I am so looking forward to Sunday and hope to see many people attend the bead fair. I also want to be early enough to have a look around myself as I’ll be on my own at my table. How frustrating to be at a bead fair and unable to forage!

Broken, Mended

I suppose it might have occurred to those of you who visit my site, that I have very few beads up for sale here. My website mainly shows what I have sold, not what I have for sale, now that is the wrong way round isn’t it? I really want to change that, however, it does mean photographing beads, photo editing, measuring beads, pricing, uploading images, writing descriptions…bead makers know this can be a time consuming task.

I promised (quite a while back now) that I’d show what chains and cords etc I have at the craft fairs, but stock changed, ideas changed, and in a way I’m glad I didn’t commit to items that weren’t exactly right. I’m still hoping to finalise my choices, what I need is to go to a bead fair and do some research, having my own stand means I don’t get to see what’s on offer elsewhere. Hopefully I’ll get to the Perth Bead Fair early this year and do some shopping around. I’m also toying with the idea of making my own silk cords, but that’s quite a job, and really, I’d rather be making beads…there are so many lovely things to do, and only so much energy.

I was very proud of myself today, as I replaced two faulty parts in my kiln without help or anyone standing over my shoulder. I was very upset when it wouldn’t heat up a few days ago, I haven’t made beads for ages, it was disappointing to be thwarted just when free time presented itself. After many phone calls, Robin at Cherryheaven
figured out which parts needed changing, posted them immediately and I got to play at kiln engineer, but I wouldn’t have had a clue without his help.

I also saw inside my oxycon for the first time when I changed a small but vital part in it. I’d much rather fiddle inside a kiln with only commonsense as my guide, than do anything with an oxycon except switch it on and off (and make beads of course). My husband took one look at it and said it looked like a bomb. I haven’t seen a real bomb, but I could see what he meant, although I’m sure he’s only seen Hollywood bombs in movies.