I’ve been busy

Hmm, mostly I’ve been thinking about blogging, usually at about 2.30am when I’ve gone to bed because I’ve run out of steam rather than will.
I had my Very First Craft Fair recently, at Troon Concert Hall. I’d been planning it for months, wondering if all the effort I was putting in was worth it, and despite the length of time I had to be prepared I was still packing things up at 2am that morning. When I arrived (with my trusty friend Linda as help for the day) I was just so happy that I’d made it, that  actually having customers seemed irelevant, and by the time we had set up, my brain had officially gone on holiday. It didn’t take long before people started drifting in, and the real fun began, I love chatting to people and being surprised by their choice of bead – I sold two that I was wearing myself, and even though one of them was a little tricky to let go of, I knew as it went away with it’s new owner, it was going to a good home where it was genuinely appreciated.

I particularly enjoyed interacting with the children who passed by, and had a selection of small beads to give away (I confess that wasn’t my initial plan but it evolved like that) so with strict instructions not to put beads in mouths, ears or noses, off they went with a little bead given with pleasure. A friend and my husband tutted at me for that, but they’re my beads and I can do what I like with them, not everything is about money. Two girls, who looked about 12 years old, stopped for a look and were especially fun, they were so on the ball that I would have happily left my table in their charge for the rest of the day. They gave me some good ideas and pointers for things they would like, so I’ve put plans in action so that I’ve got stock for my next craft fair. After the success of the day (which I pray wasn’t just beginner’s luck) I booked five more craft fairs. It’s a good feeling to go to my shed because I have to, not only because I want to. I can’t just sit on my laurels (or that other thing) there’s ‘work’ to be done.


My (our) son James came to visit recently. We were a bit slow to get to the shed for the first bead making lesson, which meant that his second session was in a hurry on his last morning, but I was glad that he knew enough to get in there and make beads. He was quite excited about a bead he made, which I had to post to him as it was still in the kiln when he left. If he’s bitten by the bug even in a small way, then I am happy. Does that make me a lampwork pusher? I don’t know. I just think it’s nice to be part of someone finding something they are fascinated by and enjoy doing.

first beads are special, they’re stepping stones

Minnie Mandr’elle and the Shed Of Destiny

Everyone’s got a blog (well, almost everyone), and it seems that hardly anyone keeps a hand written diary anymore. I used to, and now I don’t. Arial is my own personal font, it’s more familiar than my own handwriting. If I try to write as much as a birthday card by hand, my fingers ache by the time I’ve finished, and I am always surprised by what comes out of the end of the pen, ‘Oh look! That’s my writing!’. Blogging is the modern journal keeping, and the great thing about it is the word processing aspect. I have a beautiful leather bound gilt edged journal, it remains as blank as the day I bought it, about six years ago, I couldn’t bring myself to ‘spoil’ it by writing in it. I like being able to change things around without using an eraser, and lots of sprightly arrows redirecting sentences. Hence easy conversion to blogging.
What I don’t understand is the urge to jump in and put myself out there with the rest of the world. I mean, who reads this stuff anyway?
So…I’m setting up this website. Occasionally I know what I’m doing, then things get a bit fuzzy and I’m lost. Right now I want to upload some photos to the shop, but realised that I need to compare actual bead colours with the colours that show on the site, because I don’t want to misrepresent my work. So, I thought I’d take a break and do something that comes relatively easily to me, namely writing.

A mandrel is the steel rod around which one wraps the hot glass that eventually becomes the bead. On removal of the bead, there is a hole where the mandrel was. My nickname is ‘Min’, I love alliteration, I thought Minnie Mandr’elle was fun, and as for The Shed, that’s where I make my glass beads. Yesterday I went into it with the intention of taking a picture of my work space, because I appreciate seeing photos of other lampworker’s studio’s on their websites, but it would have made such a dull photo I wondered who’d want to look at it. Maybe I’ll revise that decision soon.
Should I explain the ‘Destiny’ part?
I’ve wanted to make glass beads for AGES and ages and ages. I’m finally doing it, and I feel as if I’ve found my place in the world of creativity. There’s nothing else I want to do more than make beads out of glass. I am so happy to know what I want, it’s taken a long time to get here, and it feels good. It is my destiny for sure (I think).