Monday 14 August 2017

First Year 'Houseversary', Timely Perseids, Lack of Jam and More Uncertainty about Earrings

Our house from the end of the garden. The paint job we did made a disproportionate amount of difference. 

It's our 'Houseversary'! We've been here exactly 12 months! We absolutely love it here. We couldn't be happier ;-) All the stress and anxiety of the move has turned out to be totally worth it. . . 

We wouldn't do it again, mind, no matter how worth it it might ultimately turn out to be, but that's academic, as I can't see a reason why we would ever want to move again. Like I said before, we both feel that the only way we would leave this place is in a box. . .

view across the pond to the conservatory

What made the moving in day even more memorable than it might ordinarily have been was that it coincided with the peak of the Perseids meteor shower.
That night we dragged our exhausted selves and our cane sofa onto the lawn and sprawled on that, sipping prosecco and watching sporadic shooting stars whizz across a clear starry sky. . . This year we did the same again, only it was a bit colder and less clear, and we had no prosecco. . . but we had just got back from the pub and as luck would have it we timed it just right. There was just enough clear sky to see the show. Until we started to get cold and went to bed. ;-)

I hope you got to see it too.

The 'lack of jam' thing refers, jokingly, (ha ha hee hee etc) not to a shortage of preserved fruit condiment, which would be a serious matter, but to the monthly jam night at a pub in the next village (an event which also had no connection to preserved fruit condiment). I hadn't been before so I was feeling a bit nervous about the whole thing as I lugged my bass guitar down there, but, due to it being the time of year when many people are away on their holidays, there was a distinct lack of musicians. 'Dearth' would be a better word ;-) We found only the organiser and his wife there. Undeterred, we had a drink and a good chat with them and will come back next month when folks will be back from vacations etc, we hope. They were both artists too and were very nice people, so that was a good connection made.

Anyway, or 'Any road up' as my wife says when in Yorkshire mode, this is turning into a bit of a diary so, without further ado I will get onto the earring stuff. . .

'Biscuit' charms, polymer clay image transfer with wooden backs, with copper jump rings and oxidised copper ear wires

As a non earring wearing male, I do feel as though any foray I make into earring construction involves a lot of guesswork and certain amount of copying what others do in order to get things 'right' (whatever that is). This makes me a bit nervous about it all. I've posted about this earring insecurity before, which didn't seem to move me forward even though I got many supportive comments. Hopefully I have worked through the anxiety and now can just make the blooming things, leaving the question of whether anyone except me likes them up to fate/life and not worry about it.

rough polymer clay beads on flattened copper wire with copper ear wires

I have realised that ear wires can be any shape I like, as long as they fulfil their purpose and look good at the same time.

Round image trans beads on oxidised copper ear wires

I think that certain amount of eccentricity can be a good thing too. Probably. Well, me being me it's going to have to be. ;-)

distressed wooden beads on up cycled nails with steel wire wrap and titanium ear wires

Upcycling is fine too. And using non standard materials. Well, I think it's fine and I am working by my rules. . .

Textured polymer clay charms with textured beads on oxidised copper wire.

And, it's ok to make more conventional looking earrings as long as everything works well together and there is enough quirkiness in the choice of beads. . . For me, 'conventional' counts as a radical departure from the norm, being one of those annoying people who just has to be 'different' for all sorts of unexamined reasons. . . :-)

I'm still enjoying making earring charms/beads too. Trying different types of image and treatments.

DIY permitting I'll continue my earring exploration and see where it gets me. I mean, if others don't find my beads useful I can always use them myself ;-)

And to finish, a garden update. Not that you wanted one, but you're getting it anyway. . .


We will be inundated with various kinds of fruit soon. The pear tree is looking promising, but the pears won't be ripe for a while. The gooseberries and blackcurrants have just finished, but we do have ripe victoria plums, early apples, mulberries and the last of the redcurrents. Damsons, greengages, medlars, quince, and the other apples to follow. Lots of apples. . . I've never lived anywhere with so much fruit involved ;-)

I tried to make cider last year but it was a disaster, I will get more serious about it this year.

On the veg front, the asparagus finished a while ago and so did the artichokes, though we hardly ate any of them. Right now we have potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes and beans all demanding to be dug up/picked/cut including some very red potatoes. I'm pleased with those as I actually grew them myself rather than inherited the previous owner's plantings.

Very red potatoes. They cook quickly and tend to fall apart, but taste really nice. I must try cooking them more slowly and carefully. I'm too used to supermarket spuds. . .

On the DIY front, for those interested, a minority group for sure, the fake panelling is nearly done. The colour is a darker, greyer turquoise-lish colour than in the pic but I had to use flash which bleached it out somewhat.
Next we finish the painting, get some pictures up and construct or buy a radiator cover of some kind. And we lose the green carpet of course! Yech. . .

My round stones collection and bust of Beethoven are in place already. .

So, onwards and upwards as they say. 

Even though Etsy is, perplexingly, still not what it was and my new shop and site is not visited as much as I had hoped, I will plough on. . . I need to research ways of amassing more 'traffic', but it's still early days and these things take time.
Jon x


  1. You made my day Jon! Love the verbosity and collection of different story lines. I actually found myself right there with you...watching Perseids...have my own story about that...and digging potatoes and picking apples. I'm totally jealous. You know that!

    Love your earring collection too! I found when I started that I gained considerable knowledge of how to make things by closely examining the jewelry I already owned. It was a real eye opener! I had many aha! moments.

    Don't ever change Jon. Your voice and thoughts are a wonderful beckoning beacon in these dark days.

    1. Thanks, I read too much P G Wodehouse I think. . . As for earrings I have to substitute looking at ones I own for looking on pinterest etc. I enjoy writing this stuff and I hope it shows ;-)

  2. I agree. This was a delightful read. thanks for sharing about the house and veges as well as the jewelry. Did you spray the fruit trees with any bug spray? I have a pear tree and bought Neem Oil spray but didn't get it on the tree in time. Next year.

    1. I leave the trees alone really. From laziness as much as anything else, but if they showed signs of something nasty I would take steps. . . We don't have the climate or the heated greenhouse for peach trees here. mmm peaches. . .

  3. Also, where did you get the code for your Etsy mini? I can't find any link on Etsy. Thanks

    1. I can't remember where I got that from. It may have been a widget thing in the blogger dashboard. . .