Sunday 28 October 2018

Landmarks Rushing By. . . Domestic Stuff - Who Do We Think We Are? . . ;-) Cats, and of course, Beads/Drops/Thingies

I only noticed the other day, quite by chance, that I had reached an interesting landmark. It was four years ago on the 3rd of October, that I made my first bead sale on Etsy. (and probably about six months before that, that I had encountered my first bit of polymer clay) The beads in the pic were the ones I sold, and the buyer (from the West Coast USA) rejoiced in the rather wonderful surname of Carefree Buffalo. . . Not the sort of surname you get in the UK ;-) 

It only occurred to me later that this might be a native american name, but the image of a carefree buffalo skipping over the prairie, probably wearing my beads, still makes me smile.

Well, my Etsy shop is still chugging along four years later, on about 1200 sales now, and making beads has become a important part of my life, from being something it would never have occurred to me to get involved in. . . Life huh? ;-) 
Well, I've long ceased to worry about how I got Here from There. 
Embrace the randomness is what I say!

On the domestic front, I have been planning our living room makeover for a while. We are going for some fancy wood panelling on the wall round the fireplace, complete with some fancy wooden corbels and bits. 
The trouble is that even when you know the dimensions of the things you are ordering, it still comes as a surprise just how flippin big they are sometimes. The wonderfully ornate one in the middle is 10 inches by 11-1/2, which is pretty impressive. It will look amazing, if somewhat over the top. 

Still, us pretentious arty types with high falutin ideas aren't afraid of going over the top on occasion. . . It's going to be at the faux baronial end of the Georgian scale, if you get my drift, All dark wood and knotty grain. . .

Still on the domestic front, it's a big front. . . Here is what we did to the bathroom. 
The tiles were made by me with my heat press etc. The image is a copy of a William De Morgan tile design that my wife painted very large. I photographed it, sorted it all out on Photoshop to result in a three by three, nine tile design with single tile width edging. The tiles even have a crackle glaze effect, done in photoshop using a photo of a crackled dish of my wife's superimposed over the individual tile images. 
And I did the tiling too. . . I impress myself sometimes! Not too often, mind.

Staying with the bathroom for a further moment, here is my digital fractal based shower tile design. It's a continuous image representing water in an abstract way. That was another learning curve. 

Before I actually got round to tiling the shower we made do with bubble wrap stapled to the plasterboard wall. . . nice. . .

Boudicca or Boodie or Boo

Cats -
The three cats we adopted as kittens about a year and a quarter ago are in fine fettle. Now the weather has started to get a bit colder and wetter (we don't half need the rain! It's chucking it down as I write) they spend a lot more time indoors. I sometimes think they are too confident and well adjusted. There are three chairs round the kitchen table and the selfish little beasties are far too relaxed to worry about where I'm going to sit, fah! 

Actually they are joy. Happy, affectionate cats. We love 'em to bits ;-)

Cleopatra, or Cloppy or Clops

Hereward, or Hairy Boy or Himself

OK, the bit you have been waiting for, maybe. .  the Beads/Drops/Dangles/Thingies. . .
Two big turned look beads with a couple of resistors

My supply of unemployed beads is still going strong, although I am looking forward to the day when I start making some new polymer clay things instead of sparking ideas off already existent ones. I'm still experimenting and learning, and people still like what I am making, so I am happy.

A pair of textured charms with shaped wire bails

Wiggly wire is a new departure

Image tiles and looped wire 'flowers' is another

With it's subtle variations

Distressed image transfer beads with wiggly wire

My last pair of 'shards'

And the idea of hanging shapes from bent wire constructions was another one I liked.

So, as you see, life potters along in an enjoyable and satisfactory way. What could be nicer? ;-)

Until next time,

Jon x


  1. I'm almost at a loss for words with this post Jon. I'm stunned by your bathroom tiles (and your bathroom)! You MADE all those tiles yourself? Here I was wondering just where you found those over the sink! It took me a while to see what the actual pic is but once I figured it - a bird feeding a fish to a fish? Is that it? And you made them. Yes - the question is - just who are you?! Does your talents know no bounds?!

    That kittens - are now sweet looking cats. Did I tell you a cat adopted us? After almost 10 years of no pets we now have a cat. She's black with a tiny white badge on her chest and doesn't know what loving is. The neighbours just put her outside all the time and she's not used to cuddling or snuggling or any of those things but she's getting trained I tell ya!!

    Still loving your stuff. I always come away from your blog inspired but also jealous of your talents. And here I am again - just super impressed and wishing I had one ounce of your talent in one finger...

    When we come over next summer can we drop by for a visit? Would love to visit with you for an afternoon - look at that bathroom and see your studio - cuddle the cats.... hmmmmm

    1. Sorry not to have replied to this earlier ;-(
      Anyway, a visit would be very agreeable. Let me know your plans when you have them, and we can take it from there.

  2. At present we have put our visit to England on hold - but you never know. If our $ rises above $.070 in the's simply ridiculous. Hard to even order anything these days as it's all in US dollars and it makes all costs prohibitive - plus travelling.

    So whenever we do head over I'll let you know.