This is my very best friend in all the world. Last time when I visited her to say our 'Goodbyes' there were some things she asked me to do - and I promised I would.
One of Kath's hobbies was jewellery making - she was brilliant at it - so here is one of the things I am doing for Kath
As if by some miracle a couple of weeks after she passed, a note came with the village magazine announcing a new venture just a couple of miles outside our village - and I went along on their opening day last week signed up for my first lesson at Raggle Taggle Beads, which I had on Tuesday morning.
And this is where I went
It's on a farm site with some other units
In the peaceful countryside but easy to get to by car
Deborah - my lovely and very talented tutor
I literally felt like a kiddie in a sweet shop
But these were all beads!
I took these photos yesterday when I popped back to pick up a few more supplies.
I had the most amazing time - I was so nervous - I left with a blinding headache from all the concentration etc - but with such a joy in my heart. I wanted to dash indoors and get straight onto the computer to email Kath - as we always did - then it hit me! But I am sure that she had a hand in all this! These are my first efforts.
Wire winding - with shaky hands!
I really did have a struggle with these but persevered. I am not really an earring person, but having made some I think I am hooked. I chose lovely emerald green glass beads - Kath's favourite colour. They look so bright in natural light and really glisten and reflect the light. I can certainly see things wrong with these - but they are my first efforts and the 'not quite right' wiring doesn't show when they are on my ears - and I'll be wearing them with pride thinking of Kath.
Phew - with the first task out of the way, I started to relax a bit and Deborah and I were chatting away easily. She moved to our village so we had lots of things to talk about. Here is my next piece of work - rather ambitious I thought - but it's a pendant. I just love the little magnetic 'clasps' it takes away all that fiddling with awkward fasteners. Mind you I did get into a bit of a pickle wiring those - I kept dropping them and they attracted the chain so ended up each time with a little pile to prise off.
Would you believe that I photographed this on the same suede cloth as before - but the colour's gone peculiar. Still learning wirework, I chose this lovely hand painted bead for a pendant. The painting both sides was painted in pearlised paint - with gold outlines. I just love it! Kath and I both bought a set of paints in these very colours! I used beads top and bottom with the same colours - it's hard to see, but when the light catches them they look luminescent - like looking in a puddle and seeing all those rainbow colours.
I liked the look of these square black beads, as they will go with a lot of my outfits. I used the pearlised beads again - in blue and green - on the right there are a couple that caught the light but they all look gorgeous and really change colours in the sunshine. It was quite a challenge making the bracelet - again I am not a wearer of bracelets - just have one very thin platinum one that my son bought me after he got married - and it's on permanently. This one complements it as it's silver too, and it is so comfortable to wear - quite a challenge measuring up doing the wire work both ends - but I am getting better. This afternoon I made the little earrings to match - and after downloading a 'how to' set of pictures, I actually found it so much easier. It does take a bit of practice!
This is a lovely chunky but soft and tactile polymer clay heart which I fell in love with and bought to make my final piece of the lesson
I love it! I am always rummaging around in my handbag looking for my car keys.
This heart is so easy to find and feels lovely to the touch. In the enlarged picture above I can see that I need to bend the loop at the bottom straight!
I bought myself the blue set of tools from Diane - and am going back for another lesson on Tuesday. The other bits and bobs I have had for years - with the intention for including them in altered art - but never accomplishing it. It's amazing how much I found when I had a rummage and I can use lots on this hobby. I have put them all in a tool box now as you can see - so I can look in here first before buying more stuff! And I'll be on the look out for junk jewellery that I can turn into a new creation.
Chatting away about different things, I mentioned about the silver clay course I had booked - and by pure coincidence, Diane had met artist at the weekend and had some of her leaflets. They had stands side by side at an Exhibition in Norwich!
My lesson was supposed to be an hour - but we were chatting away for so long whilst working - about lots of aspects of jewellery making, and I got to hear/learn about some of the techniques in silver clay jewellery (which Diane can do, so I hope to persuade her to fit some lessons in after the Christmas rush - she's incredibly busy at the moment filling orders etc) Another talent of hers - she has so many in all fields of art and craft - is working with polymer clay - so I hope to twist her arm for lessons in that too next year.
Oops nearly forgot this
Deirdre's hand made soaps and toiletries.
I used to make soaps and skin creams using, amongst other things, beeswax from the village beekeeper. Things have moved on quite a bit from when I made them, and I won't have to bulk buy any more now that we have a supplier so near our village - no mail order costs to pay.
So - yes you have guessed - I am booking a lesson to try something new with Deirdre on 16th.
Off to flower arranging tomorrow!