Tuesday 30 December 2008

Joseph's Technicolour Dreamcoat

Last night I was out at the Theatre with my sister and my niece to see this production. It is the third time I have seen it. Forth if you include a school version. I can honestly say regardless of who is in the show be they professional or amateur, I love it. I enjoy listening to the music, singing and dancing along with it all. Last nights version with Craig Chalmers, Anthony Haston and I think it was Tara Bethan, all from various productions on BBC to find the next new stage stars was well performed and very enjoyable and boy did they have to work the audience! I have never come across and audience that was so unresponsive to such a lively production as I did last night. They were so incredibly boring and I am sure half of them were actually asleep. At one point, when the dancers came into the audience, me and my sister and my niece were the only ones up dancing with the cast. There were a few amused faces around us as we made an exhibition of ourselves. But we didn't care, we were enjoying ourselves and I am sure the cast of this production appreciated our efforts. So please what ever you do, if you go along to one of these productions no matter where in the country, then please join in. These actors/singers work hard for your enjoyment and if they ask you to join in then show your appreciation by doing so!

Friday 19 December 2008

A Christmas Past, A Christmas Present

A Christmas Past
This morning I woke up early thinking about a friend who has just lost her sister a few days ago. This took me onto thinking about my own losses. My dad 4 years ago and my uncle this September. Then I thought about Christmases past. To be exact I thought about Christmas celebrated about 40 years ago when I was about 5 years old. Then there were just ten of us. Mum & Dad, Zia(Italian for Aunty) and Uncle, my 3 cousins, me, my sister and brother. Our ages ranges from my cousin who was 4 to my sister who was 15. We were all somewhere in between. As a small family (as all our relatives lived either in Italy or Poland), we celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas day together. We would share a big meal on both days, my aunty cooking one day and my mum cooking the other day. We had a tradition of giving out our Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. The highlight would be the visit from Baba Yaga, who brought us our gifts. If you google Baba Yaga, there are many different descriptions of her. Our Baba Yaga was a Polish witch who came to us magically with presents. Looking back on it now I think we were pretty mixed up kids. We knew Baba Yaga was just Zia dressed up. She would put on the traditional red of Santa Clause. This would be a bright red house coat. A white beard of cotton wool was put on her face to disguise her and a scarf wrapped round her head like the witch Baba Yaga may have worn. She would come in bent double carrying her big bag of presents, cackling and ringing a hand held Christmas chime decoration. We, the children would screech with laughter not knowing if we should run up and hug her as she looked a bit like Santa Clause or run away scared because she was the witch Baba Yaga. It was such an exciting lively time. We all got 2 presents. One from our mum and dad and the other from Zia and Uncle. I remember getting Giggles the doll from mum and dad and an article of clothing from Zia and Uncle. They were happy memories but I found myself crying this morning remembering times I will never have again. They were simple and we were content with what we got. I cant remember when Christmas became a time for endless shopping trips and huge expenses. We still have the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day get togethers. But with our own families. There are so many of us now with our partners and our children that it was no longer possible to spend the time together. It now seems we only all get together at weddings and funerals.
A Christmas Present

I have a couple of brides getting married between Christmas and New Year but one that I was quite excited about got married about a month ago. She came to me in September for her tiara. She tried on many styles and she told me that her dress had red in it because it was so close to Christmas. So the tiara she would choose would also be customised with a bit of red. Having almost made up her mind on one design she spotted a tiara called Margaret. She like the asymmetrical shape of it. It was at this point I decided to enquire some more about her wedding dress. Her dress was all white except for this V shaped panel down the back of her dress which was red. At this my creative mind started going into overdrive as she had also mentions she would like her jewellery made. So I suggest that the inside V shape should also be in red. If it didnt look right then I would redo it with every 5th crystal in red. Then I suggest a new style necklace. I would shape her necklace using wire instead of using beadalon so that she kept asymmetrical theme going with her jewellery. She was delighted with her finished tiara and jewellery.

My other new items are for someone's Christmas present. I am fairly sure they are unlikely to read this blog before then so I feel I can show you them now. On my website, on my wire wrapped jewellery page I have a sterling silver bracelet with lampwork beads. My customer ask if I could also make a matching necklace. I was so excited because I had wanted to make a necklace like that for sometime. But as a small hobby business, I cant afford to make something like that and then have it lying around in my collection waiting to be sold. So needless to say I got stuck in. I used sterling silver wire gauge 20, and black and silver leaf lampwork beads. Lampwork beads are individually handcrafted which makes them quite expensive to use but they are gorgeous beads. Rather than have them shown here in the main blog I will put them on the side panel as they deserve to be seen. This gentleman who ordered this bracelet and necklace set for his wife is again delighted as this set is truley unique as it is the first set I have ever made.