Saturday, 30 January 2016

Where have I been?

Well for a year now, I have been out of action due to an accident in my garden!  (I know, it's ridiculous isn't it!) I have had a "Cook's Tour" of Norfolk hospitals for tests and Xrays and procedures, but Hey Ho nothing has worked yet.

It's not life threatening, but it means that I can't drive, can't walk far, and in pain with a Bursa in my right leg/hip!  If it had been my left leg, then  at least I could have driven my car, as Mr Lottie bought me an automatic.   (But I am not wishing anything to damage my left left leg) Scans, Xrays, injections, didn't work. I can't even walk far and I so loved my 3-4 mile walk most days. I have had to give up my allotment, so that blog is now dormant!

But today I got the most wonderful package from the USA from Heather Powers. of Humblebeads, and it has really lifted my spirits, so much so  that tomorrow or Monday I will post them on here, and show you, and then  you can see what I create with them over the coming weeks.

Got to dash and have some lunch before we whizz of to my appointment today.  At least the hospital is in Norwich is not so far way!

Back tomorrow with the goodies I have bought (thank heavens for the internet!)

Monday, 10 November 2014

Heather Powers Bon Bon bead workshop

Well - you have seen Heather's Bon Bon beads in the last post below (sigh) and here are my first efforts.  They have taken me most of the day to create - and as you will see I need so much more practice!

This should,  have another layer of leaves but it was the last one I made and was worn out!  It is a really small bead so it doesn't matter - these are my practice ones!
I was rather proud of the cane I made for the leaves though!

These are not my Christmas Bon Bon beads - these are my practice ones.
These should all technically have two layers of leaves but I messed up my leaf canes and didn't have enough.
This doesn't look this bright in real life - this photo makes it look like slices of bacon and salami.

These look so much better in real life - not so shiny and bright.
They have been baked, treated with burnt sienna paint to dull them down and to give definition, rubbed and buffed, and finished with Renaissance Wax to protect them and then buffed until they shine!   But none of it you can see in the photos.  Hey ho!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Heather Powers Bon bon beads - they look good enough to eat

Look at this aren't they amazing?  I just had to sign up for this course.  I know what  you are thinking (That I haven't finished the course that I am currently on) but it doesn't matter!  Once  you have one of Heather's causes you have it for life!  Access to the website, all the videos, all the worksheets and print outs - everything - which is brilliant for those leading busy lives - or just oldies like me!

We are getting to make ALL  of these or any combination or even just one sort - it's up to us.  And like the other course - we get videos, print outs almost like a book or magazine.  I have already printed out all the course work and inspiration for the last course - so just look when I am not at the computer.

Have a look at the site and tell me which ones you like the best - there are so many different ones - they look good enough to eat - and I just can't make my mind up which to make and I need to get a wriggle on and order some more colours.

Thanks for reading - and watch this space next week!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Update on Heather Powers amazing online Cane making course.

I have been beavering away at Heather's fantastic course - in between 'life's events' as usual.  Never enough hours in the day!

I can honestly say that I have never taken such an in depth course in all my life!  It's a four week course - but once you have subscribed it stays up forever!  And I for one will need it too.

The amount of videos showing clear step by step instructions have to be seen to be believed.  So much better for someone like me to actually see 'live' how to create each stage of the cane rather than just reading about it!  Each project not only comes with videos, but print outs too showing every single stage - an absolute boon for me with a hearing loss!  Heather shares all her 'tips and secrets' and there are pages and pages of step by step full colour course notes, with professional photos of  each stage.  It's awesome - to think that it has taken her years to evolve and develop her amazing techniques through trial and error and she is generously sharing then with us.  I have a lever arch file of her A4 pages of instructions - stage by stage - of colour photos for each element and project.  Lots of internet links, 'recipes' for each project, inspiration links, mood boards - finished projects with the beads etc.......the list is more than I can type here!

So what I have I been making - well as a beginner - a lot of mess!  My old bent fingers aren't as user friendly as they used to be, so my dragon fly cane ended up looking like a squished mosquito.  But never fear, I will try again and the polymer clay never gets wasted - not one little bit.  So my failed dragonfly cane ended up recycled as marbled beads!
But after 'sitting' on them for a couple of weeks, I realized that in all truthfulness - they do not inspire me one little bit so I will be doing a 'Mr Powers' and mixing them all up into one colour - ready to use again in another project  - of which there are many!
I did have some success in the Cattail Cane which restored my confidence.
 It will be sliced up thinly and used on lots of projects - along with some other canes - talking of which!
I am mightily pleased with the small leaf cane project

Using translucent cane for the outer 'casing' on these projects means that it will 'disappear' when sliced thinly and laid on a bead or whatever so that you just see the veined leaf!
I might even turn a pair of them, with the addition of a body - into a butterfly pendant!

Or am I getting ideas 'above my station'

Friday, 10 October 2014

Heather Powers amazing polymer clay cane design bootcamp

Well it has taken me a bit of time to get started on this amazing course.  But I am feeling a lot better now, and spent a few days 'playing' - well part of the days actually!

Not only do you get step by step videos with Heather demonstrating - and sharing her amazing techniques, but also lots of links, lots and lots of information which truly astounded me.  I just thought that it would be a lesson on each of her techniques - but it is so much more than that - and links to sites, lots of her original ideas - and things I would never in a million years would have ever been able to create or imagine you could create with polymer clay - such a cheap product to work with.

This is one of my favourite silk scarves which I used for the inspiration for my cane bead lesson.

 The polymer clay I used for the light stripes was meant to turn out a pale cream but sadly as a beginner, I realised (too late) that I should have used less of the gold colour in the mix as it looks totally different than expected.
I just needed to roll this a bit more to make sure that it is perfectly round,

Here they are baking in my little halogen fan oven
Here are some of the baked green beads made using the green and red cane
Here is the red and cream cane
Here is a bead made from it
And the others I made from it too
I used up the 'rubbish' leftovers to make......
These.  I am sure that I will never use my first experimental
beads - they look nothing like Heather's

BUT I did have the most amazing, relaxing time playing with polymer clay and experimenting.

If you are interested in joining the group  you can click on a link HERE.

Thank you for visiting

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Humblebeads amazing Polymer Clay Cane Design Bootcamp

September 18 - October 9: Polymer Clay Cane Design Bootcamp
Take a four week online course with me to learn how to make a beautiful collection of dragonfly and iris cane beads along with lessons on designing your own canes and finding your voice in polymer clay. Don't miss it! Only 30 spaces are available.

This course is what 'dreams' are made of.

To get to learn the secrets and techniques from Heather Powers, of how to create these stunning and original beads from polymer clay is not to be missed.

I am off to order the polymer clay, drag out my box of tools and dust off my long neglected halogen oven for my first ever lesson.

I have been 'missing' for quite a while and badly neglected all things creative - so this is just the most amazing opportunity to focus my attention on something just for me.  Learn new skills, and made new 'cyber' friends from around the world at the online Boot Camp.

Hope to see some of you there soon.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

R.I.P. Zola Buddy Bantam


My dear little rare breed Game Bird (at the front of this picture 
with the long neck - taken a number of years ago when she was just
a few years old)

Passed away today peacefully.  The above photo she is on the left at the front.
She had a very long life for a rare breed - over 8 years
 She was such a fast runner - hence her being named after the South African Olympic runner Zola Budd!

My Zola was such a character - she was so inquisitive - and ran so fast if there was any 'goodies' thrown out - like chopped up apple cores, or fresh berries, or corn.  I knew that she was winding down, as she was at the bottom of the pecking order, so was last at the food, though she did get plenty.  She spent a lot of time just lying down in the sun (or the shade), rather than chasing around trying to catch flies like the others.
She could fly high above our heads from one end of the garden to the other to get to the treats first.  Absolutely amazing.

My special memory of her was when a few years ago, our then neighbour's side fence blew down and they hadn't told us, and the weather was bad so we had no reason to walk around the back side of the bungalow where it was.    About 5 o'clock in the evening, a chap rang our door bell and said to me........'We have a weird looking little bird in our garden, and we don't know what it is - I don't suppose you could come and catch it could you - only it's so sweet we don't want any of the cats to get it.'

Long story short - it was Zola - but she was rather nervous of the chap, his big dog and me and I just couldn't get her to come to me.

She ignored the corn in my hand, and decided to fly across his garden over a 6ft fence into the next one by the field.  Then when we  in there, she was a bit frightened of this kind hearted man calling her, 'Here chickie chickie'

By this time it was raining hard and pitch black and she suddenly did a vertical take off and flew the length of her garden and over the hedge into the fields beyond.  I trudged home, in the pouring rain with tears streaming down my face, knowing that she was 'lost' and wouldn't survive.

Then a week later, when it was dustbin day, I opened the gate and there she was - waiting outside the gate - and she just marched back in as though nothing had happened, demanding breakfast!

How she survived I do not know.  There is always plenty of food in the fields - grass, insects, weeds, etc - but no streams - so water would be a problem,  Maybe she went into another field where they had sheep, or the one with horses even further away, and drank from their troughs.  I will never know!

I was told her life span would be about 2 to 2.5yrs - so she had a long and happy innings

I now have five little bantams left - all old - but I am still getting half a  dozen or so eggs a week from them - and that's only when they are in the mood in the summer.
They often hide them around the garden too!   But I don't have them for the eggs
but just for the pleasure of seeing them running around the garden getting up to all sorts of
mischief and antics.  They are so entertaining and each day make us laugh!

The remaining bantams are quite a bit older than Zola was, but are still chasing about like spring chickens.  But chooks are funny creatures - they run around as though they are as fit as a fiddle, then can literally go to sleep and not wake up in the morning!