Online forums and networking

I remember a time when there was no Internet and online forums but in a very quick time these have become the most fantastic way of meeting like minded people with similar interests. They are fab for support, for gossipping, for learning and generally having fun. I thought I would introduce you to 4 of my favourite forums.

First up is Frit Happens. This wonderful forum is the first one I ever truly got involved with during my lampworking journey. The guys on here are a truly amazing bunch. Many of them I can truly count among my friends. I have been lucky enough to meet many of them in person through events such as Flame Off and meets as peoples houses. This forum is not exclusively for lampworkers and fusers but also people who make jewellery using handmade glass beads, silver workers, seed bead jewellery makers, PMC and art clay and many many other things. I totally recommend having a look at this forum. Despite the fact that I am not currently making glass beads I still pop in and when I went through my really tough patch 2 years ago they were so very supportive and kept me going with their amazing kindness. I LOVE FRIT HAPPENS.

Second is Bead Buddies this fantastic bunch of people are jewellery makers and glass workers again. Very similar population to Frit Happens but more focused on different media and not just glass. Again I have many friends on this forum and the work that I look at is stunning. I continue to be amazed at the seed beaders work, I have tried that and failed miserably!!!

The third forum is a relatively new forum started by my friend Jolene who I made the rag doll for. Craft Pimp is for the many different crafts that people are involved in from photography to jewellery to fabrics, fusing, clay and ceramics, papercraft and anything else crafty! Jolene is like many crafty people her skills do not stop with one media so having many many different media is fab to look at. Many of the people on this forum are from FH and BB but there are lots of new faces as well.

Finally I found this one just now and am watching its growth with interest. Emma is simply a magician with poly clay. I tried it a couple of times and really struggled with it and have currently given up with it in favour of my sewing. The Poly Clay Forum is specifically aimed at those who work and / or play with poly clay such as Fimo and Cernit.

Go take a look people, if you have never participated in a forum before I urge you to have a look, they can be fantastic places to socialise and  meet people who are doing similar things to you.

Happy friday guys, have a lovely weekend and see you soon

TTFN xx

Advertisements

New links for you to look at!

I have finally got round to updating my blogroll and including more blogs of people whose work and words I admire! Some of these people make beads and jewellery that I honestly covet a lot!!! Go take a look at Chameleon Designs. Becky is making me a bead at the moment which I am very excited about and when I finally have it in my little mitts I will be showing it off to everyone!

As you have all become aware I have a fetish for material and have found this awesome blog showcasing lots of fabrics which I am loving. Click here to have a look and see what I mean

Other news: I have a few days off now for Half term. I am doing some overtime later next week as Tony is currently unemployed (another long story in the life of Sam which I will not bore you with!) But I am doing overtime  to keep us going financially. Anyway tomorrow the plumber is coming round to put our radiator back on the wall, Tuesday my friend Toni is coming round with her new born baby (well 3 or 4 months old!). I am also planning to catch up with some other friends so there may not be much time for sewing! But who knows heh heh heh!!!

Right best be off things to do and washing up to get done from my scrummy Sunday roast!

TTFN xx

Now perhaps I am gonna look a fool!


P1030817

Originally uploaded by aurorabeadz

Some people have made a lot of sense today responding to my earlier blog post about my dilemma. I have cleaned my bedroom which doubles as my storage area for beads and found these that I made a couple of weeks ago! I completely forgot to photograph them and so now I have! They are not special really just simple little earring pairs but looking at them I realise I do like making beads and to sell up would be a crime right now anyway! I should simply get into my shedio whenever I can and make stuff. Some may be for me some may get sold!!! No pressure.

TTFN x

PS these will be on Etsy later if you like them!!!

My dilemma

I am not sure that I am going to do myself any favours here but I need to form some thoughts!!! and I guess that part of the reason for a blog is to help me do that!

I make glass beads…except that I simply don’t have time right now! I work full time doing shifts and to make beads I need a good couple of hours free. It is not simply about making a glass ball on a stick it is more complex. Ok I don’t have to fire up the kiln I can batch anneal but I lose more beads that way (potentially anyway). So to make beads I have to have a few hours free. On top of that I am finding it frustrating. I don’t feel that I have moved on in my bead making skills for some time now and more frequently I find myself sitting in front of the flame totally at a loss at what to make. I fail to see colour combos like some people. I have tried lots of different ways of beating this lack of mojo but quite simply I have not made much since the beginning of this year! On top of that the book keeping is a complete bind for the end of year tax return. I struggle to keep my books mostly my own fault cos I am quite undisciplined like that but I also fail to see the point on a business that runs at a substantial loss!

Another factor is my home life. Tony has been fantastically supportive with the things I have done over the last year and going back to shifts has been quite difficult for him to come to terms with. Running my own business on top of that means that I spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet promoting myself and keeping my profile up. Working on a computer is not really something I can do with my husband especially one who is completely computer illiterate. I like my time off to be with my family and not sitting on a computer!!

On the other side I have spent time and money building up my skills and my business and collecting the equipment that I have and am totally reluctant to sell. But do I leave them in the shedio collecting dust just in case one day I decide to make beads! If only someone lived close by that I could buy torch time off when I wanted to make stuff. I thought I had a friend nearby but something seems to have gone wrong with that and I am not sure what which saddens me a lot!

When I went off sick last year Tony bought me a sewing machine cos I wanted to make bags and this week I have started quilting. There is no way I can sell what I make cos the price of material works out to be quite phenomenal. I have just ordered some stuff to make a quilt for me and the price of materials is £80 so to sell will cost something like £160, would you buy a handmade quilt for £160? I can’t sell £20 beads so highly unlikely that I can sell quilts!

My dilemma simply then is – do I keep my torch or do I sell it? Do I give this up as a bad idea now or do I hold some more???

Arrrggghhhhhhh!!! why do I have to make things so difficult and overthink stuff !!!

BTW as a final thing there are still a few bits in my Etsy sale here not sure how much longer I am gonna leave the sale going so if you have your eye on something get it before it goes cos once it has gone it has gone! These prices are the final reduction so  quick get in and pick up a bargain!

TTFN xx

The strangest things has happened….

….and just when I wasn’t looking as well. But I have only gone and made a pile of beads today! Yay I hear you all shout (well hopefully anyway!!) I Shut my Etsy shop and website down on 22nd June as I was really struggling to make stuff and most importantly I was not enjoying making stuff. 3 nights ago I thought I might have a beady evening but anxiety got the better of me, as in why should I make stuff cos it does not sell, I don’t really like what I make sometimes and I don’t think I am that good at making beads! But today I got up and thought you know what I will make some beads. So I have.

The kiln is ramping down as I write this so it will be this evening before I see what the kiln fairies have left me but I am hopeful. Who knows I may even decide to sell some!!!

Photos to follow!!!

TTFN xx

Hello world!

I have been tinkering with WordPress for a little while now and like it a bit more than blogger. Not for any other reason than it is more aesthetically pleasing and I am quite shallow! There are (I think) more features on WordPress, I just have to work them out!!!

So anyway, welcome to my new blog! For those of you coming over from my previous blog here welcome and thank you for following me over. To those of you who are new to my little world a huge welcome to you all I hope you hang around and join me in my musings!

As a way of introduction I ought to let you have a little information about myself. I am 38 years old and a full time nurse in a busy general hospital. This is a relatively new job for me although I have been qualified for 16 years. I have spent the last 7 years teaching nurses at the local university. I am married to Tony and have 2 children Imogen (13) and Savannah (5) and like most people in this world we simply plod along dealing with life’s ups and downs. I am also a jewellery maker and a lampworker although I am currently taking a break from this as my new job is all consuming right now!

I have a Flickr album here where you can see much of my bead and jewellery work as well as photos of my family and some of the things we get up to!

This blog??? My diary I guess. Musings and ramblings about various things in the news and in my life.

I hope you hang around and even better I hope you guys chat to me, leave comments for me I love to hear what you all think as well!

TTFN xx