Sunday, 13 January 2013

It's All About Love!

So, it’s mid January, and St Valentine’s Day is merely a month away. I always think Valentine’s cheers us up as one of the first Spring rituals, so the seasons are moving on. But who was Valentine?

There are several stories associated with this day, not least the fact that there may be three St Valentines, all of whom were martyrd for their cause, and all could be associated with the Romance to which we attach his day. One popular theory is that Valentine was a third century priest, who, during the reign of Claudius II who had banned marriage in the belief that unmarried men made better soldiers, defied this ban and continued to perform marriages, and was put to death.

Another story was possibly of the same person, who, while in gaol awaiting his death, had fallen in love with the gaoler’s daughter, who visited him, and before his death wrote her a letter signing it, ‘from your Valentine’.

The date could be from the date of his death, or it could coincide with the Roman festival of fertility called Lupercalia, in an attempt to ‘Christianise’ a pagan rite. Over the centuries, St Valentine’s Day has held a strong association with love and romance…and of course, marriage proposals!

The strong symbol of romance is of course the heart, and this, along with flowers is widely recognised as the ideal gift for Valentine’s Day. (along with wine, chocolate and so on) We see many, many hearts along our High streets at this time of year, but a handmade heart just cannot be beaten for a personal, extra special and unique gift for your loved one. Here is a selection from Folksy. I hope you like them.

Designed By Linda
Leisure Time Collection
Signature D
Funky Mosaics

Wisteria Cottage Crafts
The Quilted Teacup
Bonny Lass
Beadstorm Jewellery
Creative Treasures

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Brickdust, Beads and Baubles.

Well here we are in 2013, Christmas and New Year Celebrations are over, and my blog has yet again been abandoned. I do have a good excuse though. We have had building works done, turning our shower room into a wetroom, with a wider door, a new cupboard built in the bedroom to house the boiler, which had to be moved out of the bathroom, new front door, new steps and wheelchair ramp. This meant that a lot of my craft stash had to be sealed in boxes and put away for the duration, especially my polymer clay, as I didn’t want it textured with the layers of brickdust that I knew would get everywhere….and boy! Was there a lot of dust!

I did play with my seed beads some of the time, but everywhere was in such a muddle, it didn’t inspire much in the way of creativity.

 So what have I done since my last entry? Well I had a very successful run on beaded Christmas baubles. I’d seen these a few years back and always intended doing some of my own, so this year I purchased the baubles with the intention of attempting to develop my own designs. Next came the seed beads and dagger beads, and the first one turned out well, so well I put it up for sale, did two more and put those up for sale. These got a very good reception, but didn’t sell straight away, but once one went, the others followed, along with three commissions, and finally, a slightly larger one with Russian leaf design sold just after Christmas.

I have been promised some commissions throughout the year on these, but they were so successful I really do wish I’d got going on them earlier. I will be making these through the year ready for sale from August.

I also made a lot of beaded earrings, and a beautiful bridal necklace and earrings set.

 I’m also in the process of designing and making a bead embroidered necklace for the fashion colourworks beading competition, using the Spring 2013 colour pantone. I can’t show you progress on this one as it is for competition. Suffice to say it contains many characteristics of my previous work, with celtic knotwork, flowers, leaves, lots of sparkle and colour, and a polymer clay cabochon that looks a lot like Charoite as the centrepiece, one I made from leftover Mokume Gane projects done in the autumn. I’m calling it Beltaine, to keep with the ‘ancient British feel’ of my work, with emphasis on the May Queen too. Once the competition is done, I’ll show it to you all. I have now ordered the beads and stones I need, and it is waiting to be done, except I forgot the delicas, so while I finish off my Amazonite one, work on some new polymer clay jewellery and objects, and get my Folksy and Etsy shops going again, I’ll have to get them on order.

 Enjoy the photos and do come and visit my shop..

                                 Oh and one last point, here's my beautiful new wetroom!