Thursday, 31 March 2011

Post-exam hangover

I had exams on Monday and Tuesday, then audit presentation yesterday, so now I am officially free! Being the wild thing that I am, I celebrated by making jewellery whilst Firefly was on in the background. I also ate a whole bag of jelly babies. The purple one, Bigheart, is my favourite :-)

Not much of a drinker myself, I tend to use it more in cooking than anything else, though I did have a cider after Tuesday's exam. Still feeling exhausted, was going to tidy my room and do some packing today, but ended up making more jewellery, watching more Firefly and going round to a friend's to have one last cuppa together before we go off on our electives. 

Still surreal that I'm going off on Wednesday, it is so soon! Can't believe it. I made this piece whilst I was in a break from revision and called it 'Happiness is Elephants'.

I wonder what adventures lie waiting for me out there.. I'm excited, but it just doesn't seem real at the moment. The boyfriend is going to hold down the fort whilst I'm gone, we're just trying to get as many listings up as possible before I go! My biggest hurdle is getting enough views out there, but I'm going to keep at it and be patient. 

Incidentally, the best Youtube video to watch before exams is Liu Wei playing the piano with his feet. Brought tears to my eyes, he is such an inspiration. 'Where there is a will, there is a way.' He's also 23, he lost both arms in a terrible accident and taught himself to play piano with his feet when he was 19. I can't even play like that with my hands. Watching him made me feel like I can do anything, so uplifting.

I have a calendar next to my bed featuring art from 'foot and mouth' artists.  It's amazing what people can do with their bodies, and how resilient they are in face of hardship. I tried writing my name with my foot the other day, and well, I won't be winning any art competitions any time soon!

Life is beautiful. Truly. Thank you, Liu Wei, for reminding me.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The calm before the storm

Haven't had time to list lately, I tell myself that if I get this bit of revision done, I can make one earring etc. I've made a couple of things, so it has worked! Here's a pair of earrings inspired by the Cheshire Cat, I'm really pleased with how it turned out and they have been listed on Etsy. Short post, but lots of listings to go up next week after exams!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

There's panic in the air

Being around medical students around exam time generally makes me stressed. I normally work in the quiet computer cluster, so it's ok but we had to do the GMC pre-registration earlier and now I feel a bit all over the place after overhearing people talk about exams. So much to do, so little time. There's also that audit poster that is not ready to be printed off, and apparently it takes a week to do it on campus so I'm going to have to go elsewhere as my presentation is next Wednesday. 

Mad and hairy. I can't believe I'm going off to SA so soon. A lot has been happening, and it's all a bit overwhelming really. People who don't get exams in their last year of uni, then there's my old housemate's boyfriend who hasn't got any this year, or the year before! 

I swear it's always sunny as well when it's revision time, but this time next week, I'll be free. I'm still not ready for my exams, but I can only do my best. 

There were two Japanese people collecting money for the tsunami today, they were on campus, just opposite the uni train station. I hope they get lots of support today. Wish I had more change! They were lovely people too.  

I had my third sale yesterday, Strawberry Dreams, one of my personal favourites is going off to the US as a 'just because' present to a daughter-in-law. Still haven't had any shop feedback as yet, but feeling hopeful. It's a nice distraction from revision, trying to raise tsunami funds!

This here is Salem, whom I listed yesterday, she's a rather marvellous piece of artisan lampwork I bought a few years ago. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

A series of forunate events

Not long after Stephanie bought 'Queensferry', I found something I had lost for a while - tools and a pair of commissioned earrings. I've contacted the lady to apologise again for the long delay, and to ask if she would still like them after all this time. Then the magical owl chorus last night and now I got this email from medical school:

'Many congratulations – I am writing to inform you that your application has been successful, and that you have been awarded the Mike Jones Memorial Bursary, to the value of £250. This is an excellent achievement. There was a very large volume indeed of applications this year, and of high standard, so the selection process has been extremely competitive. Your Elective idea sounds beneficial, and interesting.'

It was so unexpected! I came out of the interview thinking that I would never get it, especially when my aforementioned clever friend (who is doing the same project as me) was interviewed immediately before me. 

The sun is shining, and I am so incredibly grateful for everything. Thank you!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Owls in the night

There's a certain magic in the air tonight, I'm hearing owls from my attic room window and feeling squeaky clean after a hot shower. I didn't see the big moon the other day because of the cloud cover, but I feel the owl chorus made up for it somewhat! I have my practice paper library book, another cuppa, and ready to resume revision. Just thought I'd post about a necklace called 'Johanna' that I made at the weekend before I go and hit the books.

The etched sky blue lampwork bead was part of a lovely set I bought from 'Sooz Beads', a fellow UK Etsy seller. Sue made them by melting down an old Bombay Sapphire bottle - how cool is that?

Anyway, I probably sound like a teenager. Big thank you to the lovely Stephanie, maker of beautiful 'Jaunty Gnomes' for being my second Etsy customer and blog follower! I'm so glad 'Queensferry', the Scottish sea glass necklace in a previous post, will go to a good home!

Opps, the owls have been replaced momentarily by clubbing music from the neighbours.. got to love Selly Oak!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Flowers of yester year

Today is going to be a tough day. Mostly because I've run out of my medication and so has all the pharmacies in the area until Monday. I'll have to go without today and well, it happens. Good thing yesterday was productive, I had my clever friend come round for dinner at mine and had a revision session together going through practice questions. She was all kinds of awesome and taught me a lot, and I was happy because I realised I knew more than I thought I knew!

Anyway, I was looking through photos from last year that I never got round to uploading, and I have to say, I feel a bit more cheerful now. I hope they'll bring a smile to your day too, as it did to mine. Taken from the boyfriend's garden (mine is a complete wilderness), and yes, we were growing strawberries in the old rabbit run! I spotted the cluster of catepillars and was fascinated.  

There is something so satisfying about gardening, especially when flowers from yester year come back, even more beautiful and brighter than the year before. I love nature.  

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Scottish waters

I try and use ethical materials where I can in my work, like Hill Tribe fairtrade silver, gift wrapping from recycled paper, stamping and pen instead of printing. Sometimes, I do wonder if that's what people look for though. I see shops with lots of sales, producing the same designs over and over again with silver-toned metal and cheap glass, but then I remember the famous words:

'To thine own self be true.'

I listed 'Queensferry' yesterday, pictured below. That particular piece of sea glass was found during a camping holiday with the boyfriend in Scotland a couple of years back. My mother has always said 'never live by the water', and in light of increasing flooding all around the world, I'm inclined to agree. Yet, there is something about the ocean that calls to me. Always.

North Queensferry, where the sea glass was found.

From Tobermory, with love.

I have been away from the sea for much too long.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Wire dreams

I have my first blog follower, huzzah! I've been listing some of my wire-wrapped stone pendants last night, they're a lot of fun to do because I never really know how they would end up. The wire is half-hard, so my lack of muscles is a bit of a issue but I think they've turned out well! 

My first wire-wrapped project was a piece of malachite for a birthday commission, the birthday girl was an archer (like myself at the time) so it had a Sherwood theme. I also used swarovski crystals, and oxidised leaf charms. All metal used is solid sterling silver.


I was just saying yesterday that the problem with selling to friends was just that really, I hardly made any profit from it. Thinking back to this particular necklace, that definitely was the case. Still, I was happy to do it. I think the skill I acquired from doing it, and the look on her face when the present was opened.. they were worth something too. As old-fashioned as it sounds - you really can't put a price on happiness!   

On that note, it's high time for my morning cuppa. I saw a little blue tit outside the window just now too. I think it's going to be a great day! 

Thursday, 17 March 2011

God bless you, Perry!

I'm pretty sure no one reads this blog apart from me, but I do love Perry Como. I don't watch Lost so didn't know 'Catch a Falling Star' was made popular with one of the characters. Such a golden oldie! It inspired these earrings I listed on Etsy yesterday, which I had named after his song.

Perry Como married his high school sweetheart and they had three children together, she died two weeks after their 65th wedding anniversary.

'Como celebrated in life, and in song, romantic love and lifelong fidelity.'

Man, they really don't make them like they used to! He died in his sleep, 12 May 2001. His mum was also called Lucia, which makes me feel quite special. He's probably waltzing with his wife, Roselle, in heaven now. God bless you both, I wish we could all end up as happy as you!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Hello, first post!

The last time I blogged was during my 6th form years on myspace, wow, that does seem like a long time ago.

Empty boxes are always dangerous, the worst kind is generally when you have to write about all your achievements. I hate those.

I much prefer to fill up boxes with my random thoughts.

Like this one, I had a magic banana this morning. Well, it was big, yellow and smiley (as all bananas should be!) and it came from the medical school canteen. An unlikely place to find a small miracle, but I sneaked it into the computer cluster and ate it for late breakfast in between typing notes. Then suddenly, I was REALLY happy!

It's all about little things. Magical things. I don't understand exactly what it was about that particular banana that made me so extra happy, and so I'm filing it under magic. Who needs drugs when you can have bananas? And tea, and custard?

Also when I was young and learning English, I would try and write 'banana' for as long as I can, like this:


Until I ran out of space, or my mum noticed. She was like a homework hawk. I would try and fold up the paper so she wouldn't notice when she glanced up. One time I had a whole bunch of crinkly almost-infinity bananas before she told me off.

I guess I'm starting this blog because I've very recently opened an Etsy shop to try and raise some Tsunami Appeal funds for Red Cross, selling handmade jewellery:


I had my first sale (Akira, pictured) yesterday, and I've just taken a break to stretch my legs on campus whilst posting the earrings off. Saw groups of people being taken on open day tours - can't believe how quickly time has gone!

Akira was made a couple of years back now actually, but it seemed appropriate with the origami theme and I'm glad it sold so quickly. The clever box charms were made by the Karen Hill Tribe, working under fairtrade conditions, using traditional methods and made in small batches. The pure silver content is even higher than sterling, which is 92.5%. So all metal components of Akira is sterling silver, or finer.

Anyway, I should get back to revision! Thank you for your interest! Constructive comments about blog or shop or life welcome :-) Have a lovely day!