The less cute stuff that I really love to make

Yes, I really do like to step into the world of the surreal and strangeness every now and then, all the pretty kitty cat beads put that side of me on hold, and before you think I’m complaining, I’m not, but I must, must, must remember to visit the more bonkers side sometimes : )

FaceheadfFacehead1c Facehead1bFacehead1aRed Man

beardCat

big blue

Big Blue

I was asked to make a bead in a similar shape to the one on the left of the picture above, using the darkest blue in the bead. As the original bead had simply grown on the mandrel, I wasn’t sure that I could recreate the shape, the bead in the centre was my first attempt. I used several Effetre blues together, the darkest of which reacted with the others and made pits and discolourations (that bead is definitely heading for the etching solution!) but the shape was ok, if a little larger than intended.

So, on the second attempt I made a bead using only the darkest (and trickiest when combined) glass, Effetre 246, and it worked very well. A lovely blue with naturally occurring streaks and a smooth surface.
I am happy to consider commissions, especially when they work out as this one has. Sometimes there is an awful lot of blood, sweat, tears, gas, glass, electricity and most precious, time, before the required results are achieved, and then there’s the dilemma of charging. Does one charge for all the above, making one bead Very Expensive, or embrace the experience (bless the Learning Curve!) as payment in itself and charge a regular rate? There may even be perfectly good beads arising from the process of perfecting a commissioned bead, as I found recently when trying to get a cat bead just right, what a happy by product of a commissioned piece!

One of the traditionally difficult areas for an artist is pricing one’s work correctly, and everyone has an opinion on the subject. A lady at a craft fair picked up one of my beads, dropped (yes, dropped) it back down and walked away, saying ‘£4.00 for a bead! That’s too much!’ while another lady told me my beads were too cheap, and she was paying £14 for her bead. What can one do?! I’m so over the pricing dilemma. I ask what I ask, and that’s it. If it’s wrong then so be it. I’m glad to be making the beads, and while it must be brilliant to make money from something one loves, almost every bead has been some form of therapy or joy already. Money is a lovely, lovely bonus. Oh, and seeing people buy something I’ve made, for themselves or someone else, is a proper heart warmer. Excellent stuff. Lucky me.

R.I.P Nokia 9300

Two things happened to me today –

Firstly, I dropped my Nokia 9300 into the sea. Expletive, Expletive, Expletive! I’m going to borrow hubbie’s wellies in a minute and go for a wade as the tide has gone out again, my own wellies are still soaked from an earlier rescue effort. I’m pretty good about backing up info so that’s not a worry, but I’ve had that phone since mid 2005, and suddenly I don’t…there was nothing wrong with it, it wasn’t even on it’s way out and about to be replaced. In fact, I have an LG Chocolate still in the box, rejected in favour of my ‘old’ phone when I took out a new contract. I really ought to ebay it.
I lost my phone today because I was juggling three dogs, leads, poo bags, a dog toy, and a camera, and I lost track of coat zippers. Oh well, as they say, ‘worse things happen at sea’, and they do.

………………

Talk about a quick update to a story. David came to tell me that there were lots of people on the beach, didn’t I want to hurry up and get down there? I downed the last slug of my coffee, raced onto the beach, asked if anyone had seen a phone and they shook their heads blankly, far more focused on rock pools and shells. I looked about five yards to my left, and there it was, the familiar brick shape, silvery against the sand. Has there ever been anyone before who was glad to see their phone even though it was utterly kaput? I just wanted to say ‘goodbye’ to it and move on.

Secondly, I sold my first bead via my website, and not to someone I know. Now that was a great antidote to the phone issue, I am delighted. Note that I am resisting over use of exclamation marks…
Yay!


Ooh, and I got a delivery from Tuffnell Glass, yummy CiM glass, mmmm…..and some excellent silver bead caps from bumpybeads.co.uk.

So, all’s well, that ends well.

Migraine

I had migraine today. It sucked.
I cancelled my trip to Glasgow to go to the Art  Fair, which meant having to  tell the person I was going to meet that I couldn’t make it, I hate having to cancel plans. I know the migraine arrived uninvited and there’s nothing I can do about it, but I still felt like a flake. Having sent the message that I wouldn’t be there, I felt able to take a migraine pill and went to bed. There was no way I could take it and then go out because they make me drowsy. Probably that’s the best thing about them. I know pill popping isn’t the answer, but as I lay there contemplating the alternative, which involved sharpened six inch nails and a hammer, I thought it best to take the least messy option. One day I might take inspiration from Frida Kahlo and paint my pains.

Feeling nauseous, I fell asleep. Hurrah. A little while later I woke up because the dogs were barking at the sound of the doorbell, and I heard my husband take in a delivery for me, from Tuffnell Glass.
So, I was lying in bed, feeling horrible, knowing that there was a glass order waiting for me downstairs. Now that is torment! Also, when Tuffnell’s send out an order, there’s usually a sweetie in it somewhere. So I lay in bed wondering what kind of sweet it was, and looking forward to it only fractionally less than the glass.
I’ve got a sample pack of Northstar Precision 104 glass, I’m looking forward to seeing how that works out, I’m likely to be unable to resist giving it a little go this evening. Mind you, I’m having trouble using the computer because of mild tunnel vision, so why I think I’m going to fire up the torch, I don’t know.

I’ve been making lots of new beads, and have even been disciplined enough to make sets. I seem to have found a way to do this successfully, the main aim being to make repeats of beads in size, shape and design. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? I’ve booked a table for the Ayrshire Art & Craft Fair in Troon on 12th July, 9th August, 13th September, and 4th October, so I have to dive into The Shed of Destiny and spend hours playing, hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! People ask me if bead making is a ‘hobby’. No, it isn’t. My mum came up with a good word, she’s German, so when I translated it as ‘obsessed’ she said, ‘no, worse than that’, ‘what?’ I asked, astonished, ‘there’s something worse than being obsessed?’ we figured out that the word she was looking for is ‘possessed’, which I think is a fair description. I came to the conclusion many years ago, that when I honour my creative urges, they are my friend and I feel content, and when I ignore them and don’t go with the flow, I am their enemy and feel unhappy. Soon I hope to find work that brings in a regular income, and am quite concerned about how that might impact on my beading time. I’d hate to be rich but unable to follow my heart, I’d rather be poor and able to go into my shed and make glass beads.