Friday, 6 November 2009

Just remembered I have a blog

Its an age thing and time thing and time consuming thing and a busy thing. I could blame it on so many things but basically I have been procrastinating. There have been times when I think "that would make a good blog" but, I would find an excuse not to post it. ie taking son to his class, running hubby to work, doing mums shopping....the list is endless!
Ok so what have I been doing that is new? Well my niece got married a few weeks ago and I have lots of pictures of new things that I have made that are now part of my samples. Unfortunately for my customers I don't have her tiara as I made it for her to keep. It is called Anastasia. I also made her jewellery.

Maria is wearing a new fascinator called Colette. This one is still to be added to the website.

Zena is wearing a new design called Fabiana and I am wearing a new creation called Olivia.
The lovely little boy between us is my sisters grandson...making me a great aunty!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

I've been to London to visit the Queen!

Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
I've been to London to visit the Queen.
Pussycat, pussycat, what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under her chair.

Ok despite the flag flying outside the palace our tour guide told us that while the palace was open to the public Her Majesty was actually in Balmoral. Also I guess I didnt really visit the Queen I just viewed the outside of her palace. I have just come back from a days visit to London. Me, hubby and his mum did the Yellow Bus tour around many of the sights in London. It was the first time in my 45 years that I have done the tourist thing in London and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We eventually got off at Trafalgar Square. We just sat for a little while and enjoyed the atmosphere before walking through Admiral Arch up the Mall to Buckingham Palace. I was amazed at how close everywhere was to each other.

Ok we didnt just go to London for a day we were also at a wedding the day before. Alison is a relative of my hubby and his mum, and I was delighted to make her tiara for her wedding day.
The wedding was held at Goodwood Race Course near Chichester and for a day I felt like a VIP. The bride was stunning. The venue was amazing. After the ceremony we went outside for photographs and while we stood drinking Pimms and eating canapés we were entertained with a flying display by a single aircraft.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Recent Makes

Ok I have been back from my hols now for a few weeks. Although I am never rushed off my feet with my wee hobby business I am kept going. I am off to a wedding in 2 weeks time and I still haven't made my self anything to wear for my head! But I have been busy creating a few nice things for family and my customers and the pictures now follow.

This is a necklace I made for my sister in law. She was celebrating a rather important birthday. It is made from sterling silver round wire. The crystals have be threaded onto the round wire then I have wire wrapped the round wire with half round sterling silver wire. I used ruby swarovski crystals as this is the birth stone of July.

This bracelet was purchased by a gentlemand for his wife. It is swarovski crystals, silver seed bead and sterling silver findings.

This is similar to the Galaxy fascinator but on a comb. I have added a few extra feathers along the comb and 2 extra wires curl round the wires that go round the flower. As I had difficulty in getting the exact colour I used darker and lighter feathers to contrast her outfit.

This is the Galaxy fascinator in grey chiffon ribbon, grey and cream feathers with golden shadow crystals and cream bugle beads.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Holiday inStoke on Trent

Just back from my holiday to Stoke on Trent. My first dilemma is whether to tell you about this beautiful cottage we stayed in or to keep it a secret. We all felt like lottery millionaires in this fabulous cottage. It was in the middle of the countryside. It had 5 bedrooms, 4 of which had ensuite facilities the 5th room was only a short corridor away from a toilet and sink basin. There were 2 kitchens with cookers, sinks, fridge and freezers. The big kitchen was huge.

There was also a room with a pool table and tv and another family lounge room with a flat screen tv. Two of the bedrooms also had small tv's in them. As me, hubby, mum and the twins arrived first, we all chose the best rooms. We did feel a little guilty, but not enough to give up the rooms we chose. The holiday started off disastrously. Mum slipped and fell in the kitchen. The next day we took her to A & E for an x ray. She had broken her hand. We spent a second day at the bone clinic to make sure the correct plaster cast had been put on her hand. Meanwhile our children, whose age range were from 18 to 27, went off to Alton Towers. Amazingly, they got sunburnt. I say amazingly because the weeks weather was horrendous. It would be dry in the morning and dry in the evenings but during the day when we would go out we would get caught in a huge down pour. Three days we went to Trentham Estate to see the Italian Gardens and each time we would just arrive and the weather would change and we would get caught in a downpour.

The people in and around Stoke on Trent were really nice and helpful. When we arrived at the hospital with mum, other patients who were standing outside helped by getting a wheelchair for mum and even helped me get her into it. And basically anywhere we went people were so nice and friendly and helpful.
The road system in Stoke on Trent was amazing also but it seemed that when people get into their cars their personality took a change. There was little patience for people using SatNavs who weren't sure of where they were going. I blame it on the fact that there were so many speed cameras. It must annoy the residence of Stoke on Trent having so many of these speed cameras.
We didn't manage to get to any of the pottery places either, as mum often didn't feel very well, what with her broken hand and her many other illnesses. Most of the holiday was spent around the pool table in the cottage and watching DVD's or cooking in that huge kitchen. It was also lovely just having all the family around that table eating, drinking and generally spending some quality time together. I think Stoke on Trent would have been a lovely holiday if only the weather had been better and if mum hadn't had that accident.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Handcrafted Creations Blog

As a follower of Handcrafted Creations Blog I recently asked the owner, Victoria Joanne, if she would be good enough to blog about my website.

Victoria took her time and picked out her favourite styles of tiaras and jewellery from my website and wrote about them. I really appreciate the time she spent doing this for me. Unfortunately at this moment in time I am unable to reciprocate so I have just taken a description of her work from her website and hope to in future give a more detailed description of her work. But I am sure you will see for yourself what she does by visiting her website.

Victoria's Designer Garter portfolio for her HandCrafted Creations unique wedding garters which can be custom made for you! All of her personalized custom garters are created special for each client. Your luxury garters can be personalized in any way you would like. Embroidery such as Names and/or date, a Monogram of your initials, or a personalized saying may be embroidered onto your uniquely custom made garter. You may choose to have extra charms added or Swarovski crystals sewn all over for added glitz and elegance. With Victoria Joanne custom wedding garters the possibilities are endless. See her website here

Please visit her blog and read what she had to say about my work and why not join Victoria's blog as a follower.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Crowning your Crowning Glory

Its always nice when a bride sends you a picture of herself on her wedding day wearing something that you have made. It makes you feel that the work you have produced is appreciated. But its also nice when other people host pictures of a special day and you can direct other people via the web to see these pictures. I was in the fortunate position this year of providing tiaras for 16 girls in the Deanburn PS retinue. Pictures can be viewed at the Fair Day website
Click on the link for Crowning & War Memorial. The pictures in particular that show my work are Picture 17, 27 - 29, 35, 75 - 77
Picture 17 is a design called Guilia Crystal and the rest of the girls in the other pictures are wearing Alina.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Lots of new & different stuff

Its been a strange time as I am not over worked but I seem to have work to keep me going. Thank goodness this is just a hobby and not full time as I think I would have had to supplement my income with a second job! And thank goodness for hubby who is good enough not to ask me to go out to work but allows me the luxury of a hobby business so that I can stay at home and help look after mum as well as being my teenagers taxi service! Any way what have I been up to? First of all I finished the tiara that I talked about in an earlier post for my hubby's cousin. So the finished tiara called Alison looks like this
I went out to buy a wedding outfit for this wedding and ended up getting an outfit for my nieces wedding instead. I am not sure if I can wear it to Alison's wedding as the material is quite warm to wear. Alison's wedding is in August and my niece Stephanie is not until October!
I have also had a few commissions for Rosary beads with June being the month of First Communions and Confirmations but these 2 sets are Irish and Celtic sets.

I also made one of my beaded combs in swarovski crystals and it looks quite stunning. You can see the lady wearing it on my gallery page. Her name is Janet.
Finally I took part in a challenge by a gentleman called Simon who works with wood. His website is called Wood Tattoos He asked a craft forum if they could create something in their own craft using items from his so that he could incorporate it into a book that he is writing. So I volunteered to wire wrap a wooden pendant. My choice of design was a star but Si suggested that it should be stars on a sun which sounded lovely. Well I have to admit it took me 2 attempts to wire wrap this pendant. That is the first time that has ever happened to me. It was a creative block! Anyway I was in the last throws of creating this pendant when I heard the sad news about Michael Jackson dying. My pendant that I was creating looked like a dreamcatcher but without the feathers. I thought Michael Jackson was a bit of a dream catcher. He lived the life of fame and celebrity something that everyone dreams about, and he was such a talented man. I stopped creating the pendant at that point to listen to the news. I then went of to bed but I tossed and turned all night as the dream catcher was missing something. In the morning I knew what I had to do. I search my box for suitable small feathers and added it to "Dreamcatcher". I am pleased to say that Si liked my pendant and he says he will include it in his book about Pyrography. I will add pictures of the pendant before and after the feathers were added to the end of this blog.
When people say "What were you doing when you heard about the death of Michael Jackson?" I will always remember that I was creating a pendant called Dreamcatcher and if anyone says "When did you make that pendant?" I will reply "The day that Michael Jackson died." The two will always be linked.

Monday, 1 June 2009

New Stuff

Hasn't this weather been gorgeous the last few days. Despite all this sun worshipping weather I have still managed to find time to be creative. The first couple of pictures are of swarovski pearl and crystal tiaras. More pearl to crystal ratio. The first has been named by a customer who has decided to buy it(Louise), the other is still waiting to be named.

I have also made a wire wrapped pendant with a choker for a bridesmaid in sterling silver and 2 sets of rosary beads in fresh water pearl and African jade and sterling silver for a silver wedding anniversary present.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Honest Scrap

Thank you to Carolee from Carolee Crafts for giving me the night mare job of trying to think up of 10 things about myself that are true. I have used the heading to link back to Carolee's blog or you can go to it via my Blog List.

1. I definitely spend to much time on the computer.
2. I struggle with my weight cause I like food.
3. I get embarrassed at charging people for my work.
4. I am my worst critic.
5. My family comes before my work.
6. I worry that I will not complete a project in time for an occasion although this has not happened yet.
7. I like helping other people
8. I have difficulty in saying "no" to requests from family and friends even when I am busy.
9. I like wine although 2 glasses makes me fall asleep.
10. This list was quite difficult to come up with and I don't know 7 people to pass on the award as I have been too busy to go look for other blogs to follow.

So I am passing on the award to
Chris from Kiamyka
Dichro-Findings who is following me
I'd like to also nominate Chrissy who is also following me but I am not sure if she has a blog.
And finally ...well I don't have any other blogs I follow at the moment so you can insert a rather embarrassed smiley here

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Substance Abuse Charity Event

Last evening I attended a charity event at our local Golf Club. It was the anniversary of a young man who lost his life to substance abuse and money was being raised to get young people off the streets and into sports before they get in contact with substances like cannabis. I attended this event with people and family from the table tennis association who are one of the sporting areas that these children are encouraged to take up. For quite a serious event it was absolutely fab. The were having a race night. This involves betting 50p per horse per 8 horse race to win anything from £1 to £5 back. For another £2.50 you were allowed to name a horse. Our horse was called Jammy Dodger. I don think he won. The very final race they asked people to bid on a horse. We bought a horse for £15 but some of the horses were getting £50 and £75 and this was coming from a group of young people. Amazingly our horse which ended up being the cheapest won the race! So when the prize raffle draw came and the young ones were wining them all we didn't grudge them as they deserved to win what with parting with all that money. There was also a small buffet of sausage rolls and sandwiches so bang went my diet! The evening ended with a disco I don't know what the final amount was raised as we left early, before midnight. As a house wife, mum, carer and then hobby business woman I thoroughly enjoyed my night out as they are far and few between.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Easter story

Last Sunday I decided to have the family over for a buffet Easter lunch. We had cauliflower fritters, pizza, cold meats, rice, salad and lots of different pickles. A cheesecake my niece made and apple pie. All washed down with either wine, beer or soft drinks. My teenagers were a bit confused by this as we haven't really celebrated Easter since my dad died 5 years ago during Holy Week. But I decided it was now time to do so. It was a lovely day. I had finished the tiara I made for my brothers daughter who is getting married this October. She had chosen the Amy tiara. Now Amy is a lovely simple side tiara suitable for brides, bridesmaids and guests. She had shown me a picture of her dress and it was also a very simple elegant design but there is a pattern on the bodice that I decided I could use to enhance this tiara. Needless to say I didn't tell my niece I was going to do this. When she saw it she was absolutely delighted with it. Now this tiara will not be available to anyone else until the Autumn and it will only be sold to brides who's weddings happen after my nieces. Here it is and my niece Stephanie has called it Anastasia.

I am also working on a tiara for a distant cousin of my husband who is getting married in August. She has requested a chunky hairband with a mixture of cyrstals and pearls. As I was making it up though I decided to take this picture as I decided that it would make a lovely simple hairband for a bride or bridesmade. Once it is complete I will post another picture of it on a future blog.
Finally my Easter story. At church today we had a Priest from Xavarian Fathers. he was there to raise money. During a service one of the things a priest says is "The Lord be with you" and the congregation answers "And also with you" Well this morning just after the welcome blessing the Priest decided to say hello to us all first. He asked if his mic was working and we all replied "Yes Father" He then continued "I ask because I don't know if you have heard this little story" "A visiting priest to another parish had started his mass and he was convinced that his mic was not working. The visiting priest said out aloud and into the mic just after the welcome blessing I think there is something wrong with this mic to which the faithful followers all replied And also with you
Needless to say we all had a wee chuckle. His sermon was quite interesting also. He was out in Sierra Leone in 1998. There was a lot of unrest with rebels and murders and children being recruited into the Rebel Army and people's hands and feet being chopped off. It sounded quite awful. The priest along with others and 6 Sisters were abducted and held hostage. During the time before they managed to get away several of the Sisters were murdered by the rebels. He said that at the time they wondered what was behind all of these terrible crimes. It was all to do with diamonds and the funding of terrorism.
It was quite a sermon. It often makes you wonder what makes a man or woman of God put their own lives in so much danger. It make you feel quite humble that they are willing to go in and help the poor unfortunate people in these third world countries.
I hope you all had a peaceful and happy Easter.

Monday, 30 March 2009

The month of March

I have never been one for keeping a diary...preferring to keep my thoughts to myself, but I started this blog to give people an insight into what I do and how I think. I am quite a quiet shy person and I don't usually have a lot to say for myself but it makes a boring blog if I don't try to keep it up to date. So needless to say, I am shocked that it's been over a month since my last posting. I have decided as I haven't had a creative epiphany that I will make this blog all about a little of everything that has happened to me in the business and as mum to 3 adult teens.
In Business
Weddings are down quite considerably for me this year. I remember being much busier this time last year. Thankfully though, I have been kept busy with an order from the girls in the Grangemouth Gala Day and the girls in the Bo'ness Fair Day. I made 8 tiaras for the Grangemouth Gala Day and 16 tiaras for the Bo'ness Fair Day. Because of the amount of tiaras ordered I was able to sell them to them with a considerable discount. My thinking for doing this, is word of mouth advertising. That is 24 mums and daughters telling their friends and family where they got their tiaras from. Friends could include friends with older sisters and family could include aunties and older cousins all near the age for marrying!
Anyway the Grangemouth Gala Day girls chose the Natalie tiara made using diamanté, light rose and light amethyst Swarovski crystals in silver plate.
The girls from Bo'ness chose Alina tiara in silver plate and all clear crystals.
The other thing that has happened in my world of business is that my bank account was hacked! Thankfully though my bank were on the ball and contacted me to confirm what transactions were genuine and which were not. Unfortunately though the first transaction that wasn't genuine did manage to go through. It was for over £300! The second though was stopped. My online bank account was suspended and my bank card cancelled. That was me officially unable to purchase any new materials until my new card was issued. I had just that day told a customer that her order would be ready for uplift at the start of the week but I had run out of crystals to complete the order. The customer telephoned me at the end of the week worrying that I was sitting with this completed order. I apologised and told her what had happened. She was very understanding and sympathetic about it. I have been reluctant to pay any bills during this time in case any cheques that I had written would bounce. I don't have an arranged overdraft >insert crying smilies here<
In Family
My twins(boy + girl) attended interviews for college and have conditional acceptances for their chosen course next year. My son is hoping to do a course on developing computer software and my daughter wants to continue her course in Media Communication. She came home this evening and told me that she has also applied to help her lecturer do some filming at Big in Falkirk This will be a good qualification on her CV. He only intends to chose people who have had good college attendance, and she feels that she will be in with a good chance, as she was only of one morning when she attended the hospital with a broken hand! I have an older son who is also at college doing a sports science degree. He will graduate this summer but is hoping to go on to university. Yesterday he was taking part in an International Tae Kwon Do competition. He won Gold for sparring and Silver for patterns. Unfortunately he did come home with a black eye!

Sunday, 22 February 2009

First Craft Fayre

On Thursday I did my very first craft fayre at Dobbies in Stirling.
I fretted for weeks prior to it. First of all I didnt have transport through as hubby has the car for his work in the evening. When he did agree to give me the car and take the train to work I worried about it being dark and driving on the motorway. But thankfully my cousin came to my rescue and offered to drive me through.
I think she had a whale of a time at the craft fayre as she tried her hand at spinning wool on a spinning wheel and she also did a wee bit of basket weaving. She bought a knitted chicken as a present for her mum (my aunty). It was very cute with its little skirt on! My sister came with us also to the fayre. We had a good old chin wag, we laughed and we had a few sad memories about our dads who are no longer with us. We finished the evening off with a bottle of wine.
My other worry about the fayre was that I didnt have enough jewellery to take with me so I was amazed when I managed to cover the whole table with what I had made. I was keen to promote my wire wrapped jewellery so I made 5 new pieces.

It was a very positive experience. The staff at the garden centre were very complimentary about my work and the other crafter's were very friendly. So I hope that this will not be my last fayre.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Today I did my third ever demonstration. You would think that with the more times you do it the easier it gets but I can honestly say after it was over I was thoroughly exhausted. I have to admire teachers and professional speakers.
My first ever demonstration was to a Depressed and Self Help group (DASH) There I got the ladies to try and make a bracelet. The one after it was at a Ladies Guild. I was led to believe that all I had to do was turn up and show off my stuff until I was introduced and then I realised that I would have to talk. The one I did today, I was under no illusion. I knew exactly what was expected from me and I have to say I was worried. I decided to go through all the questions in my head that previous customers have asked and I would try and work my way through them like I was telling a story. Once or twice I did lose concentration but on the whole I managed to keep going with only one or two lulls in my conversation. I didn't mind that though as it allowed me to concentrate on what I was demonstrating and as a result I managed to make another tiara called Elaine, that I can show off at exhibitions and to new customers. I was paid a fee and one of the ladies purchased one of my wire wrapped pendants and another lady promised to get in touch with me as she was looking for an unusual present for her sister. Here is a picture of the Elaine tiara, although the one I made today, I used cream swarovski crystals.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Thursday Night Ritual

Every Thursday .....ok being truthful here I shop everyday. Usually just for milk and bread and the odd treat for my teenagers. Strange how milk and bread and the few treats usually come to approximately £15 but that's another story. On entering my chosen Supermarket I head straight for the newspaper stand and pick up my favourite weekly paper. The Falkirk Herald. Now I take it home and I leave it on my kitchen table as I never read it till I get back home in the evening. After putting the rest of my shopping away. I feed my husband and see him off to work ( he works backshift) then I spend the rest of the afternoon at mums. I help look after my mum who is semi disabled. At about 5pm I return home, put on the kettle, make myself a cup of decaffeinated coffee, find something nice and sweet to eat, spread out my copy of the Falkirk Herald, find my reading glasses then loose about half an hour of my time just reading all the little and not so little stories in the Herald. I like to read from the front page on to the back although I don't spend very long on the sports pages. There is a couple of reason for that but let me start at the start. I also read all the intimations. Its sad, as the older I get, I find that there is more often someone from my past in the death columns. Also of course if I am doing a wedding fayre I like to see if it is advertised. Then my next favourite page is Letters to the Editor and In My View (usually a witty view on something that is happening in one of the reporters life). Then I like to read Family Matters to see who got married and who was born. I always get excited when I recognise the brides name and usually by checking my copy of the receipts I can confirm if the tiara or jewellery they are wearing came from me. Today was one of those exciting days. In Family Matters it tells you how the couple met, about the proposal, where the wedding was held, what the bride wore and who she would like to thank(usually parents). But for some reason they don't seem to think that the accessories are very important. So I am in a position today to let you know that the bride was wearing a silver plated tiara called Francesca (after my daughter). The central heart was rose and the rest of the tiara was a mixture of clear, light rose and amethyst swarovski crystals. It was really sweet looking. It looked a bit like this.
After the centre pages the rest of the newspaper can usually be viewed in about a few minutes. I do a quick survey of the jobs page in case there is anything my teenagers could apply for. Flick through the houses although these days not as quickly as I used to as one of my nieces is house hunting as she is getting married this year. Finally a quick shifty through the sports page to see if anything is written about my brother in law who plays table tennis but I get annoyed at the martial arts section. For some reason because the club my son is attached to is based in Alloa /Stirling region they never seem to want to write anything about them even though there are classes in this area. My niece who is 27 is a forth degree black belt and my son who just turned 20 attained his 3rd degree black belt and he often wins trophy's at competitions. But despite that I thoroughly enjoy losing myself in this large newspaper every Thursday evening.