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Sunday, 14 October 2012

CHILLY NIGHTS, FROSTY MORNINGS, BUT GORGEOUS SUNSHINE IN THE DAY

Hello everyone

It's a little bit nippy now (sounds very similar to the opening words of an Elton John song) - the sunshine is very welcome, but the cold isn't and this is just the start of the chilly season.  The good thing about this time of year, rather like spring, is that the colours in the garden are beautiful.  Reds, browns, bronzes - quite spectacular and the complete opposite of spring with its yellows and whites.  I have a lot of bulbs still to plant - got behind with them - and have some big pots I want to put them in today so a few hours in the sunshine beckons.

The crafting flip-side of me

I am hoping that by now the winners of my World Card-Making Day competition have received their prizes - I know one has.  I hope you are all pleased with them.  Again, a big thank you to everyone who took part, whether as a maker or a voter and thank you to Make and Craft for sponsoring the competition - I hope your launch day was a great success.  My digital copy of the magazine is excellent and has lots of lovely things to make.  I have had two suggestions for the next competition: 'anything but cards' and, of course, cats.  Any other ideas?  I will put the suggestions into a hat and let one of my cats choose the theme.

Still on the subject of cards, did you read Ally's guest blog post on Friday?  Ally's cards are beautiful and make me realise that I must get into stamping - I have loads of stamps and as with lots of my craft 'things' they are in a box waiting to be used.  I think that in my stack of craft materials there is a 'I must do this' list.  If you would like to join Ally and everyone else who has been a guest blogger, it would be lovely to have you  on board.  Please get in touch: christmaspiecrafts@virginmedia.com.

My photographed 'makes' for this week's post are not for my business, but for me from my pottery course.  The first photograph is of the pendant and earrings I made last term, glazed this term and fired last week.  The pendant has a loop at the back and I may just add ribbon or a chain, not sure yet.  The earrings are ready to have hooks added.  I am pleased with the effect the wallpaper and rubbing off some of the glaze has created and glad they are not too heavy.


The second photograph is of one of this term's main projects - a mask.  I haven't yet decided whether to blend the features into the mask, but I am pleased with the nose which I learnt how to create last week.  The lips presented a problem in that I just couldn't get a good shape to them and they still do not match what my mind's eye wants.  I am going to add hair and ears to the mask, so there may be more photographs on the way.


In between various other things this week, I have been busy making stock for my events - mainly concentrating on two ranges of mini-cards.  They sell well and although I have two weeks between the first and second event, the second event is a three-day outing and is followed closely by my last event of the year and I want to have plenty to be able to ring the changes, particular for the three-day event.  I also need to make stock for my wall at Bourne Mill which, despite the high street shops already having them, doesn't have any of my Christmas range for sale yet.  I have to say that I am beginning to be rather concerned at how little time I have left and how very far behind I am.

don;t forget to checkout the other blogs taking part in this week's Handmade Monday.  Always lots of beautiful makes to see and great blog posts to read.  

I had a card order to make for a birthday at the end of this month.  The brief was the recipient likes pink, purple, spiritual things and cats.  I love these challenges, made the card and forgot to photograph it - again!  My customer was very pleased with it, so hard though it was to match the brief it was a success.

The other flip-side of me

I have two new residents who arrived yesterday morning - Monkey (how can you call a kitten that?) and Damon (equally poorly named).  They are ten weeks old; Damon is the little black kitten and Monkey is the grey one.  almost needless to say they are gorgeous, very playful and friendly and purr at the drop of a whisker.  I am not to sure how long they will be with me - they haven't yet been homed but there is a possibility that someone is interested in them.  As you can see, they are quite happy to have their picture taken - or probably fascinated by the camera.



Jazz is fascinated by them, Daisy definitely isn't.  She is not a very sociable cat; loves her home and us and Jazz (most of the time), and that it all she needs in her life - as well as food of course.  Everyone who enters our home (two-legged or four-legged) is a potential friend for Jazz - he bounces up to them and wants to be their best friend.  He is, however, a little concerned by Damon (black kitten) - we feel that he looks at him and thinks he could be a miniature Shadow (the cat who frightens him).  The joys of cat-owning and kitten-fostering are great fun - and exhausting.

I am thinking of adding another mini blog post on Thursdays, specifically in support of Woking Cats Protection.  I plan to feature one (or a pair if they are to be homed in pairs) kittens each week, so watch this space.  I hope you read my post last Wednesday about the gorgeous Simba?

On Friday I went with a couple of friends for my second day trip this year to the Isle of Wight.  The weather was gorgeous - sunny all day (despite the forecast), slightly chilly wind, but a great day.  We did a walking tour of Bembridge - started in the main street and made our way  down various side roads to the beach, then all they way along the beach (great big pebbles, stones and rocks everywhere - so hard going) and then back up some steep steps (no exaggeration here) which came out just to where we had left the car (thank goodness as my legs felt in need of a rest).  We then went off to Old Shanklin for a late lunch (gorgeous crab salad), wandered around the village and then slowly made our way back to the ferry, via Ventnor for a brief look around.  Everywhere was very quiet, which was nice - the ferry crossing was also quiet both ways, which meant speedy loading and unloading.  We are now planning our next trip and considering a Christmas market in Bruges.

I am helping a friend with her spreadsheets tomorrow.  She is not a great computer fan to say the least, and starting spreadsheets from scratch is daunting for her.  Lunch is included, so how could I refuse?  Yes, I know I should be stock making, but..............

I am off  now to work in the garden as this gorgeous weather is too good to miss and my daffodil bulbs are crying out to be planted.  I also have some pansies and polyanthus plants to go in - so may top the daffodil pots off with them - a nice display for most of the winter with the pansies.  I had meant to pot them on, but didn't get around to it, so think it is straight into their final growing place today.

I hope you all have a great day, don't forget to come back on Wednesday for my mid-week post and also on Friday for another great guest blog post.

And finally a couple of gems from this week's searches stats (apart from being intrigued as to how they landed on my blog, I am so curious as to what they were originally looking for):

crafts with bricks and toilet rolls crafts

Jill

43 comments:

  1. Hee at crafts with Bricks. I would love to be a kitty foster mum, My cats arent very friendly though due to being bullied by the neighbourhood cats :( I love the mask!! You are coming on so well! It sounds like your business is growing very well too and deservedly so :)

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    1. Glad you like the mask - I am pleased with how it is turning out, but still cannot get things to match what is in my mind;s eye. years of practice I think.

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  2. Wow, what a fun packed busy blog post, Jill. So interesting. I LOVE seeing your pottery course makes. Its amazing. What a lovely variety. I love both the jewellery set and the mask. Looks fantastic! Congrats on the Kittens. I love visiting the Isle of Wight. Bruges sounds like a good choice for your next trip, a beautiful place.

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    1. I so enjoy my pottery sessions. I think it may because it is not formal, heavy tuition and the tutor is really helpful and supportive, as we as being a brilliant potter (or ceramicist I think it s the right title).

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  3. Oh I do love the pendant and earrings, the glaze is just right. You are coming along well at the pottery course, be careful does not become an addiction

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  4. The pendant and earrings are lovely - it's always great to get a chance to learn something new. The mask is looking great too - I'd find that difficult as I always hate doing faces in whatever medium.

    Love your falling leaves too!

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    1. The course is great and I have learned so much since I started. The other students are so helpful and great potters too.

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    2. I discovered another face being made in a different group to mine and it is fantastic - sadly mine will never look that good, but I enjoy the sessions

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  5. your pendant and earrings turned out fantastically well! you must be really pleased as pottery can be so hit and miss, especially when you're learning techniques!

    i love the abstract features of the mask - really striking - i can't wait to see the finishes article :) x

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    1. Yes, it is - the glaze often turns out a different colour to what you think it will be

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  6. I love your pottery and its great you've discovered such a supportive tutor too.

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  7. Loving the mask and your jewellery creations - it must be so satisfying to do pottery, I've always wanted a try.

    Bless little Monkey and Damon. Hope your other cat gets used to them soon.

    Alison x

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    1. You should give it a go, it's a lovely way to pass a few hours and very relaxing

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  8. Your pendant and earrings are lovely. The falling leaves are great too.
    Ali x

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  9. Gosh, you are always so busy, I don't know how you fit it all in.
    The pottery jewellery is gorgeous - I love the understated colours. I also love the mask. I like the features as they are - standing out from the face. Can't wait to see it finished.
    Your falling leaves are fab too. Have a good week. xxx

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  10. Loving the grey kiten. You have to stop showing pics of cute kitties ....I'm supposed to be a dog person

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    1. He was my favourite, although I know I shouldn't have have one

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  11. Both the kittens are so completely gorgeous! Makes me wish I had one....not a great idea, seeing as I'm allergic! But I do love cats!

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  12. Love the earrings and pendant. I'm sure they will provoke a few comments when you wear them :) Those kittens are gorgeous as usual, don't think the names suit them one bit though! Lol!

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    1. No, their names were certainly not a good choice - they are now called Harper and Marlow (their new family are old detective film fans

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  13. The mask looks like it's coming on quite well. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

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    1. I keep feeling I want to change things, but not too much in case it goes wrong

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  14. I love the mask! And I agree, the nose is good. I also like the kittens. They are adorable! I hope they are soon in their forever homes.

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    1. Went on Thursday and by now well settled in

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  15. What a great week you had! I like the mask. The nose is excellent. I think the pendant is very striking, was a bit worried about the weight of the earrings?

    The kittens look lovely; the grey one (Damon?) is stunning.

    I love the Isle of Wight, a super day out for us.

    Good luck with the spreadsheets, it doesn't come easily to some people.

    Have another great week x.

    PS. Love the autumn leaves falling down your page :-)

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    1. The earrings are quite light, but haven't added the hooks yet, so not given them a try. Will let you know. Damon is the black boy, and he was a bundle of furry mischief - into everything and running around like a mad thing. Glad you like the leaves.

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  16. I love seeing your pottery makes. Makes me want to have a go at it too!

    Your page is jumping about all over the place for me at the moment (I don't know if it has anything to do with the leaves, or just my computer!)

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    1. Oh, you should give it a go. It's a nice way to lose yourself away from work for a while.

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  17. Those little kitties are enough to melt the hardest heart! I am so jealous of you going to a pottery class! I'm looking forward to seeing how the mask progresses.

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    1. They are all so gorgeous. I love the classes - a lovely way to pass a few hours.

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  18. I love working with clay, I like your mask, the nose and mouth look great but I know what you mean about getting like how you see it in 'your minds eye'
    I love the texture on the face.

    Jan x

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    1. I find it really relaxing and the time goes so quickly, which is a great shame really

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  19. I love the pendant and the ear rings-they're gorgeous!As are the kittens-so cute!

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  20. 1st of all I'm in love with your pendant and earrings, I was amazed when I read you made them in Pottery. I think the pendant would look great hung from a few ribbons, greys and black.

    Oh and I love the name Monkey, but I would as my cats are called Marmite, Muppet, Dofus, Mini Me & Dude. All rescued kitties.

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    1. Thank you Wendy, I am pleased how they turned out - and surprised too

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  21. The pottery jewellery you are making is so creative. I love the style.
    I've never been to the Isle of Wight..one day.
    Your falling leaves made me smile!
    Wendy

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    1. It's a lovely place and even nicer just after the summer season has ended. Peaceful.

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  22. oh Jill love your work! and the kitties are soooo cute!

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    1. Thank you Jules - the pottery sessions are great fun and very relaxing too

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Thank you for your comment - it is always lovely to have feedback and I hope you enjoyed my post.