I made a sun catcher using one of my large hollow cat beads. I tell you, in Scotland one needs anything that might catch the sun as it doesn’t get a look in that often, what with the persistent cloud cover. I hope it raises some money for charity at the Flame Off happening at Towcester this weekend.

Scottish Bead Fair

At last, I’m packed and ready for the Scottish Bead Fair, Perth this Sunday 11th March, and hopefully I’ll have wound down a bit by this time tomorrow. The amount of preparation for any kind of fair is enormous, and I’m shattered! I’ve been organising for days now (display does not make itself and one can’t just buy it off the shelf) and I know other exhibitors have been too, so I’m off to the shed for a bit of relaxation. Anyone wanting to make beads and sell them will soon find out that it’s not all about melting glass, there’s a list of skills that need to be developed that have nothing to do with melting glass.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Happy New Year!

I’m almost ready to put new work in the shop, I’ve been developing my owl beads and am very pleased with them. I have only two booked fairs for the coming year (so far), I needed some time to draw breath and give myself space for creating without pressure. I found myself referring to my work as ‘stock’ and it felt wrong.

Effort, skill, artistry, creativity, and thought goes into making a successful bead, and to nurture and enable those things I need to step back and give them space. I can imagine how awful it must be for a creative person to have to sit and make the same bead style, colour, size and design repeatedly all day long for a wage, it would bring out the absolute worst in me, I’d be sacked.

Here’s a close up of ‘Knuckles’, I was honoured to make him as a Christmas present


deeeelicious colours…


I needed something ‘new’ (well, new to me) to get my interest sparked again, so I’ve been trying out ‘painting’ with molten glass, and here’s my first attempt at an owl on a branch bead


Below is a photo of my newest bead display, I have handmade individual stands for each bead, I really like this idea, it means that favourite beads can be displayed while they wait to be made into jewellery. They are made from plaster, can be painted, and have a good weight to support a large bead without falling over, they are £2.00 each.



Well, I have listed new things in the shop, I’ve been making a new style of owl bead, taking my inspiration from an owl fridge magnet sent to me by Judy Munford, because it reminded her of me. I suppose I do look like that sometimes : ) I thought I’d share how I came to be making round owls with flappy finger wings rather than the flat owls. It was fun making a new style, I had one day where I just couldn’t stop making them to make anything else, not even a cat bead. More to go in the shop in the next day or so, and the second the gales give me a break, I’ll be back at the torch.



It wasn’t really a surprise that Amy died, but it was shocking to hear that she had. I got into recovery when I was 28…(I’m 49 now) it’s tough going, it takes courage, it takes being around people one can trust, and above all, people who know what they are talking about. ‘Just Say No’ is so simplistic it must have been coined by someone with absolutely no idea about addiction. So for me it’s not just that Amy wrote great songs and had an amazing voice, it’s that she represents the people I belong to, she’s One of Us, and never got to appreciate what recovery could be like. That’s why I feel sad about her dying.

I’ve just had a couple of weeks of being on a lovely creative roll, it’s come to an end though, as it will, and the last three shed sessions have been a bit difficult, made worse because I didn’t realise that I had to have a break from melting glass so that I could go back to it fresh (I’m a bit slow around things like that). I was in the shed last night, struggling to make attractive beads to sell at the bead fairs next month, if I had had any sense I would have shut everything down and watched a film or something, anything but flog a dead horse. The news was on and I was thinking about Amy in her yellow dress, I had a sudden urge to depict her in bead form, out came the rod of yellow glass and off I went. It went so well, I could hardly believe it myself, but I felt terribly grave as I made it, and still do 24 hours later. Her death feels like another significant marker in my own recovery, because she didn’t make it and that could have been me. I know that sounds a little self absorbed, sometimes I am (it’s a selfish programme 🙂 ). Making the bead you see in the picture was as much an acknowledgment of my own survival from the devastating illness of addiction, as it is a tribute to Amy.