Friday, March 31, 2006

5 Senses Friday...

Printed tile bought from an ECA degree show a few years ago...

Cripes! What a busy busy has it been for you? I am SO glad that it is Friday, and I can get a bit of a long lie tomorrow. I have been struggling all week, what with the clocks going back, and just feel knackered, but good knackered if you know what I mean?!! I have pretty much cleared the decks of all my jobs..the last ivories are drying, necklaces have been's all good. Have you realised today is the last day of the feels quite good to have gotten through so much of the year already and still be afloat. This months business account statement said I paid more money in than took it was a good month! Thank you all so much for your support..orders, kind words..everything, it sure has helped get me through the hard start to my fist full year of trading- you are all so very appreciated! :)
A bit of I sent off some work to the fabulous store Rare Device run by the lovely Rena Tom who's work I very much admire! I am really delighted to be stocking them..and it my first stockists overseas (never mind that's it's NY!!) so it is a big milestone for me..yay!! on with the sensory part of the programme:...

Sight: Looking for seriously comfy footwear for the big French walkabout next month and saw thatCamper's new spring/summer collection is wonderful , and that they have started to make size 9's (42)..hurrah!!...after Mav's posts on art, I was inspired to hang these on my wall (they had been inside my cupboard door)..and I am reminded just how much I love them!!.... I am just in love with this book, and can firmly say I WANT it so badly, I am reminded just how much here and , here as soon as I can figure out how to get Japanese Amazon to accept my address..I will!!

Touch: Cold chill of smokey quartz beads whilst stringing necklaces, waxed paper wrapping from a sandwich from Heart Buchanan deli this image from Stella touches my soul (does that count?)

Sound: Prince, Purple Rain....that will never get old for me, it's so beautiful (nor will he!), The I am going to their farewell tour soon and must be able to sing along to all their hits!(rock on!)...the sound of children running around outside in the 'sunshine!'.....the tweeting of finches building a nest in the tree outside the window of the hall where I do Tai Chi (so calming to me).

Taste: Chicken Suppers (always nicer in theory than in reality!).....Rare fillet steak with large green salad and crusty wholemeal bread....Moroccan fig and orange blossom jam (dark, treacley and fragrant)...fruit salad with mango and pineapple (rock hard

Smell: Bacon frying last weekend....Manilla envelopes....the pages of a new magazine .....Spray Varnish...the air after the rain, fresh and green smelling...:)

I find this such a good exercise, as it makes me realise how little attention I pay to touch and smell, compared to the other senses. I am a wholly visual person, so maybe when one sense prevails..the others become less-so?? It is good to make myself think about my week in this way..I enjoy it very much..and my super tidy (still) room has helped me no's been a good week! :) Hope everyone else had a lovely week too...Off to make some supper now.
Happy friday to you my dears! XX

Monday, March 27, 2006


With the spring equinox last week...the clocks going back, and the evenings suddenly longer, my thought turn to light!

When carving ivories, this (above) is how I check the depth, and the form of the piece. Holding it up to the light shows in the translucency of the material where the staining will go, and it helps me imagine how it will look....this one is the last part of Shari's necklace. SO hope you like it when it's finished!!

Now to Marias posts on show us your art..I have snapped some of my favourite pieces (to date...I am still working on my collection!!) and have started a wee set on the theme of precious objects...see it so far here.... I think this will be a nice way to remind myself to really look at all the things I treasure!

Look just how light it is (in my tidy room!!) at almost half past seven in the evening!! So lovely!......despite the rain, it really is beginning to feel like spring is on its way which will hopefully make for some more opportunities to 'shoot into the light' and post the results here .

I had a good day today, and got through a lot of work...ready for the big post out of orders on thursday...can you tell I am building up to the 40 min hell that is the post office queue!? (hehe). I like to save all the parcels up and then get them all away in one big fung shui sweep! Hope you all had a good day too....feeling ready for a sit down now!

Have a lovely evening all....xox

Tidy Space, tidy mind...

Oh at last!!! I found a few hours to actually tidy my room..and you have NO IDEA what a relief it was a midden! I have been so busy for so long, that things have just mounted up, and as a Virgo, I find this very stressful, but generally..when I have to choose, I go for tidiness and perfection in work rather than in what I need for me. So..this is just the nicest treat, and I can at last see my desk...I had forgotten it was there! I have posted the picture here and have added notes, so you can see things in more detail should you wish. (This is the desk in my bedroom by the way).

Maria has asked us to post some of our favourite bought pieces of art work...and due to lack of light (as usual!) I can't get any good pics today (some delicious Japanese Woodblock prints will follow though!)...but in the one above, you can see the big abstract on wood sitting on my radiator (done by my bro and rescued by me last time there was a clear out!) which is about to be hung behind my bed on the dark pinky plummy purple wall there. The metallic tones in this (car spray-paint) look great in the room, and I am looking forward to a change anyway!

So, I had a busy weekend....It was Mothers Day here yesterday, so that was fun (the house now is scented with more than 100 daffodils!), and I went into town to do a bit of shopping...and got (shock horror!) a pair of jeans! You see, this is the first pair of trousers I have had in about a I am very pleased with myself! I did however just ignore the current trend for skinny jeans (ahem..not likely) and got very baggy cropped turn up jeans, very comfy and casual. I also got a vintage dress from Copenhagen that I am turning into a skirt. Oh yes, and don't forget the four hour tidy up marathon! Also Scotland is now smoke free in public places (pubs, restaurants, clubs), courtesy of the smoking that is a big (good) change too. As I said..busy weekend! Hope yours was good too... xox

PS..all you lovelies waiting for orders will hopefully be pleased to hear they will ALL be ready to go out this week (by thursday!)....yay :)...I will drop everyone an email as well! xx

Friday, March 24, 2006

5 Senses Friday...

Excerpt from Selvedge magazine...

My MOST treasured button, (150 years old)...and image from Selvedge

How on earth can it be Friday already!!?? The week has flown in..and I must apologize for my ridiculously sporadic posting this last has been a busy one, for sure! So, time for Shari's 5 Senses Friday once more, and I am afraid my week will make for a dull sensory experience..I am a bit into shut-down and press on with work mode, and am trying to recall if I have actually fully 'sensed' much at all this week? We will see......

Sight : New Selvedge Magazine arrived this week, and although I have only flicked through it, is always a sensory feast for the eyes :)....the sun casting Rainbows on my bedroom walls.

Sound: Nothing can be heard above the loud noise of my electro-magnetic polisher, apart from the thumping in my head (2 days and counting :[..), although the music in Mrs Henderson Presents was fantastic, courtesy of Will Young..(and the clothes were stunning too!!)

Touch: A week of silver dust, hand tools, sanding, water to rinse, pickle and filth - I love it really..:) Doesn't sound like much but jewellery can equal sensory overload to the nice thing to touch today,( a present!!) a new teeny digital camera for snapping happy in Paris...I don't know the technical bit cept it's light, and silver and cute :)))))

Smell : I am getting a cold, so nothing is penetrating here....

Taste: Waxy, soft organic Scottish smoked salmon on toasted onion bagels with cream cheese, lemon and black pepper, apple Danish and coffee with a friend...Tea, and lots of it, warding off the cold!!!

Above, you will see that the images are of old sewing supplies..which I just love. I wish they made them like that now, but I will have to settle for searching for them in antique shops and at flea markets, and raiding my granny's sewing boxes. I loved the spread in Selvedge that laid them all out this issue, such fun to see which ones I had or were new to me. Above (bottom left) there is a picture of one of my most prized buttons. I bought it in London from a button dealer..a lovely old man who showed me this one (the best he has ever seen) just because I was enthusiastic about buttons and carved detail! He had three of them in total (thinks that is all that exist quite like this design anywhere?), and they had come off an antique dress coat which was beyond repair from an old estate..but these buttons are 150 years old approx, hand carved black mother of pearl with cut steel inlay, about 1.5 inches across..just exquisite!! He said he was keeping one for his own private collection. I just HAD to have one of the others, so paid £30.00 for it (a bargain in my eyes, but a lot for a button I suppose??). Favourite things and beauty..what would you do without them...??

Have a lovely weekend all..hope your week was good, but that your weekend will be better! xox

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I was thinking today about tone, and how it can be used by way of a 'tonal palette' to draw attention to shape and form. These two (beloved) objects of mine set me on this path of thinking...and I feel that wooden objects (and wood in general) is a perfect example of this....

{On a side note..I love these because their usage, their history and their form somehow amalgamate into objects that I find exceptionally beautiful. Wood has such depth, such beauty and such history..a feeling that I try (really hard) to emulate in work I make (through the tonal palette use). Years ago I saw an image in a magazine of a collection of vintage hat moulds displayed on a wall...this image moved me, and has stayed with me all these years (now I have the first hat mould of my own collection!) Mav posted about Heroines, and I immediately thought that the said image was mine, odd I know, as it is not a person..and what an strange thought assosiation to have!}

So yes..back to tone. The series Lisa has been making 'Drawing a Day' has been so wonderful to watch evolve, not only because the drawings are beautiful, but (I think) because the content becomes even more-so when emphasised due to the limited colour palette. You really concentrate on the lines, their weight, the form and from (for want of a better word) distraction. It is an odd thing really, as I do love colour so much, but find when I reflect and analyse that I tend to limit my colour palette in my work (past and present), when I dress (although not obsessively!) and when I arrange my things, or would do if had a whole house to myself!! You see..I am thinking on this so much as I am considering making another collection sometime soon that maybe combines charcoal grey (oxidised silver) and pinky tones (some rose quartz and amythests)...

Then sometimes, I just love to group a riot of seen here with an update of my flickr favourites who knows? Maybe it is variety that is most moving of all!! :) xox

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon...

Here is the teacup that I sent to Bee in Australia...she has received the parcel now, so I am not spoiling any surprises! It was part of the Tea Cup Swap (which incidentally needs to be re-signed up to if you want to participate in further rounds), which was such fun! Here is a reminder of the one I received..pretty perfect swap I would say!! As I am sitting here, browsing the net on this lovely Sunday afternoon...I thought I would share some of my finds...First off, and most appropriately, a History of Tea....

And now to some fashion finds....So far I am finding the spring/summer fashions decidedly dull this year. They seem to be quite the re-hash of every summer past I can remember..and feel a bit in contrast to the wealth of loveliness that was the winter collections..(don't get me wrong, I do not buy designer clothing..or invest heavily in the latest styles..I just enjoy looking..for work purposes of course! :P) However, here are some videos from the shows via vogue...some of the pieces by Jessica Ogden are nice this season, as I like her use of vintage fabric, but I am not liking the nautical or gingham looks. For me, nothing this year is beating the beauty of Dries Van Noten ...I am loving the colour palette, the layering, the prints..the whole caboodle! Nice to dream egh....?

Off now to replenish my cup and snuggle down with a good of rest and all :) Hope you are all enjoying a day off too, xox

Saturday, March 18, 2006

5 Senses Friday (okay...saturday)...

Please forgive my slightly late post for 5 senses...I ended up staying the night in Edinburgh after my trip through yesterday, and have just got back home! we are...hope everyone has had a nice week as well.


Irish Soda Bread with runny honey and slightly salty butter....Salted Roast Almonds with drinks at Malmaison bar .....Bread and Butter pudding with caramelised banana and creme anglais...Strong and restorative Yorkshire tea...florally sweetness of Turkish Delight.


Wonderful paper package as part of a paper swap with Camilla ...Met Sharon yesterday and had a lovely long chat over coffee at The Museum of Scotland...Inside of Red Door gallery....Saturday Kitchen programme on BBC1....Snow, earlier in the week, deep and crisp and even :)


St Patricks day antics and hilarity...The silent swish of movements in unison at Tai Chi class....a mix CD from Shari ...the hum of my computer as I catalogued and invoiced orders...Laughter from my tiny great auntie who had me to stay....*Silence* as I had a few music free days....


Smoke in the bar (roll on the smoking ban!)....Diesel fumes from the buses in Edinburgh....Narcissi, crushed by the snow and then rescued and brought indoors.....Snow, the clean air....Coffee brewing in the morning today.


The chill of strands of pearls.....Crinkle of Tissue paper as I box up jewels....Cold water against linen as I printed doilies....Brand new crisp Filofax pages to help organise my life!....Paisley wool shawl, soft and warm.

Have a great weekend everyone...xox

Friday, March 17, 2006


Mission accomplished...! It is half one in the morning, but that is all the pieces of jewellery finished for tomorrows drop off. I just took a quick snap of the last three bits (above) that were just finished, by way of setting in the carvings, and pushing the little claws over. I will be getting up early to properly photograph them for my records and there are some new designs. You can see a glimpse of one of the printed doilies on the right...(please excuse the yellow light in the photos from my studio..I cant use daylight bulbs you see, as I cant see silver very well, so need the yellow light to work in!)..I will be sure to snap those too!

Tomorrow should be well as dropping off the work in Edinburgh, I will be meeting up with Sharon for a chat and a coffee, which will be lovely..and then in the evening I will be having dinner with my friend Tess who has recently de-camped to the capital! That is all providing that I actually wake up in the I had better drag my tired self off to bed for the night...

Almost friday..hurrah..and almost the weekend...double hurrah!! xox

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fruits of the day...

I am working away madly on a collection of work that is going to the Red Door Gallery in Edinburgh on friday. As you can see above, I finished one of the new pieces I have made ... (I posted the paint-up design for this new leaf necklace a week or so ago)...and just have to finally varnish the carving (to seal in the stain) and set the leaf by pushing over the claws. The rest of the collection is coming on well too...I have made a big chunky ring with an enormous dove-grey pearl on it, that I would quite like for myself, but it is a bit small for me, so off to the gallery it goes too!
I am also going to be printing some of the vintage Irish linen doilies (that I use in many of my shots) with my pattern designs, for use in the display at the they should be fun. I will post some images of them when they are all done...

I had some wonderful news yesterday...I was accepted to show at 'One Year On' at New Designers this coming June/July! I am so excited, as I really feel this will be a great boost for business, and will be great for me to have an important deadline to work towards. I am now, however, officially broke as I have to get my big cheque away tomorrow to pay for it! Oh well...speculate to accumulate I guess! :)

I will try to post tomorrow..but if I don't manage, you will know that I am still beavering away stringing, and setting and invoicing into the wee hours of the morning!

Have a great evening all, xox

Monday, March 13, 2006

Shades of grey...

Just as I thought spring had sprung...along came the snow, and in ernest too! At the weekend we had eight inches fall in Glasgow, and more is on it's way tonight apparently. It is so beautiful, all pale and silvery against the red sandstone is not really dark at night, the sky is glowing a sort of pale grey..I could watch it forever.

Photogram, 2000, Pleats (by me)

After posting the image of the Lace Dress by Jurgi Peterson in my last entry, a little conversation erupted between myself and Lisa when we both agreed the image reminded us of a photogram. Lisa told me about the artist/photographer Adam Fuss, and I just love his work!! Here are two of my favourite images of his (and the ones that relate well to the lace dress image too...) This image and this one are both from his series entitled 'My ghost', and I just love the negative, x-rayed quality of his photograms.

On another joyous note...I was delighted to find out Georgia from 'Muse to Muse' has chosen me as her muse for the day!! See the post here...I was so surprised and honoured to be written about, and to read all the kind, lovely comments Georgia wrote! Thank you so...:)

It's shaping up to be a busy week already....let it be a good one! xox

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Silhouettes, Continued....

As promised, here are some images from inside Spectres: When Fashion Turns Back from the exhibition of the same name at the V&A. I had been thinking about this book, what with all the new images from various fashion weeks, revealing new silhouettes and forms for Spring..Summer, and even Autumn 2006 fashions. What I like about this book is that it weaves together all era's and past fashions (not just for clothing..but in illustration, advertising and products) to show where things (designs now..) come from and how they started. As the top image above says..this book really is a Monument to Ideas. I don't think this book serves to answer questions..just to pose them, and explore them, which is perhaps what makes it best of all! ( On a purely aesthetic note..I love how they have printed some pages on brown paper.....)

As I have said before, I would love to write a book about pattern....(not that I am a great writer)...but I would like to weave together all sorts of topics to form a solid discussion with pattern at it's heart, like they have done with this book. Maybe one day!!

Went to my first Tai Chi class last night! It was the fastest hour ever...and I really enjoyed it. I am going to get the proper little shoes this week...and I may also get a video to catch up with the class (it has been going for four weeks) and to help learn and remember 'the form'.

Xx :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


My box-full of goodies from the Tea Cup Swap arrived today courtesy of the lovely Marieke {Treats and Treasures} ....It was both hers and my own first time swap! So I am really delighted with my bag (baby!) :). I was sent the most beautiful little old and delicate teacup which is white with an adorable pattern of stylised fuschia flowers...I am so glad that the style of it looks as if it came from the Netherlands {Amsterdam}, as it will always remind me at a glance of its origins! Marieke also included for me a copy of French Marie Claire Idees (which is jam-packed full of beautiful visuals), a lovely corsage pin made by her own fair hand, a delicious packet of mint tea, and a lovely hand made collage card to go with! (I love her collages!!). I feel really spoiled..thank you SO much Marieke! I will post the picture of the cup I sent to Bee in Oz...but not yet, as I don't want to ruin her surprise!

Spurred on by the fun of the swap (similar to the thrill of the chase I shouldn't wonder :P)...I am also doing a paper swap with Camilla which I have been pootering about collecting at intervals today in between working though my 'To DO' list. Camilla says she likes 'ugly' and 'cheap' I am trying to find some that will appeal....(How thrilling would it be to see a little glimpse of a bit of your paper in one of her wonderful works of art!?)....a good challenge to pick for the paper Queen! :D


Monday, March 06, 2006


{Colin and Vivienne}

Happiness is....watching your parents dancing together to Abba (Thank you for the Music :D!) on their 24th Anniversary. They never celebrate their wedding anniversary, just their first date! They had me and my brother before they were they choose to remember this day as the beginning of their loved-up-ness *beam*...

Seeing the wonderful Crocus coming up all over the pretty! Taking some time to make Paper Cranes to give to your loved ones.....I find this so relaxing...I never had the patience as a child to learn Origami, but I have now (that's what jewellery making will do to you!!) am thinking of doing some more as relaxation (must find a good book..any suggestions?), as well as my Tai Chi class which I am beginning on Wednesday. I will be feeling relaxed in no time....:)

Happy Monday to all....I hope this will be a good week full of productivity and beauty. XX

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Silhouettes and Treasures.....

Pictured above is a wonderful little treasure I got treated to today (early easter gift!) when out for my *daily* jaunt....a divine set of eight demi-tasse coffee cups and a tiny jug, decorated with a fabulous silhouette frieze of ladies and gents in the park! I love the grey and black graphics contrasted with the primrose yellow glaze on the body of the pieces (made by Foley China)...I think they will be wonderful for strong black coffee, served with (in the little jug) home made sugar syrup scented with orange blossom, rose water or vanilla after a meal! What a find..I am beaming! How I wish I could have you all over!!

Looking In and Out: The Fashion Machine- Ruben Toledo 2003

The silhouettes reminded me of the V&A exhibition (that was held this time last year) Spectres: When Fashion Turns Back... I was so enamored with the illustrations by Ruben Toledo that were central to the exhibitions scheme I was really sad to have missed it. I did however make sure to get the wonderful book, by the same name, that accompanied the exhibition and was written by Judith Clark... it is a treat in itself and so beautifully produced! Lots of printed brown paper pages..! Brown paper is one of the greatest loves of my life (stationary wise of course!) this was an absolute must-have book for me!...(let me know if you are interested in it, and I can take some photos of the inside if you are considering a purchase and can't get hold of a copy for a look first..)

Have a great evening all....almost Friday :) xx

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Life right now is all about....

Mon Ouvrage (My work) old French needlework magazine.

Yes, lots of work to do at the moment, and a bit of a struggle is erupting with how to balance work/life more is all 'Mon Ouvrage' right now. I posted this image today, as it is something that I see each day as I wake, propped up on the fireplace mantle in my bedroom...I got it for ten euros in a Paris flea market a few years ago, and it is wonderful to see a full magazine with all the old needle work projects still in tact..such beauty. So now the wonderful cover lives in a frame....(while the rest is snoozing in acid free tissue in a box)!

To help with my stress levels and my general well-being (still feeling a bit ill and generally guff every few days or so...) I am thinking of starting a Tai Chi class, which would hopefully be a good way to devote some time to me each day (practice) and a nice thing to learn as well. I am not getting outdoors as much as I should either (as my journey to work is bedroom to study!) , so maybe time to factor in taking a walk each day as well for some nice fresh air.

Oh, but hey..I can't tell you how good it sounds to my ears to be able to say, from this day on...I am going to Paris next month! Here are some shoes I am lusting over so I can have comfy feet while pootering around the streets of Paris....these little tariners and these moccasins . Also here are some images to soothe your soul, Mav's new Card for March and the new image from Camilla's calendar . I have to say..looking through the blogs certainly is one of the loveliest parts of my day, and really is a great de-stresser for me when I see so much beauty wherever the mouse doth take me :)

Have a good day all...Spring is coming, the crocus' are up, rejoice! xox