Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A reminder

I am still here (well sort of).  Just a reminder that with my new website my blog has been incorporated into that so if you want to keep up with what I am up to, please check out my website (click on the word website and it will take you there) and check out the blog posts on the right hand side of any page (underneath 'pages').  Hope to see you there :)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Where have my photos gone!

For some reason my photos have all disappeared from this blog?  Not sure why and frankly trying to find them all again is going to be a bit of a pain, soooo, I am letting you know that I am going to stop posting on here from now on as now I have a new wonderful website which I can also use as a blog, so from now on I shall only post on there.  If you would like to carry on reading what I have been up to, check out the site (the blog posts can be found in the bottom right hand corner of the website). 

Hope to see you over there :)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Autumn comes

Yes I know, been quiet on here, but it has been a crazy summer (as usual).  All those good intentions over the winter to get stock made up so I don't end up working 7 days a week over the summer just never seemed to happen last year and what with a new house (well old house that needs LOTS of work doing on it); the sad passing of my beloved Daddy (born Guy Faulks day, 5th November, died 21st June - Summer solstice, dates not easily forgotten!); and being involved in some new galleries I have been completely snowed under.  Oh and 3 acres of jungle, sorry garden, that needed taming!!!

So now the weekly summer market has finished for the season and the studio/shop in Bude being now open 5 days a week rather than 7 you would think I have learned my lesson and am getting on with stock making for the Christmas markets and next year, but... I have learned that I need to be in a panic to get stock made.  Have all day today to make, but my mojo is still curled up warm in bed with the cat whilst the rain batters on the windows. It would be nice and warm if I got on the torch with the kiln going so maybe in an hour I will get down to it! 

Here are some photos of what I have been up to over the summer, both garden wise and work wise to keep you entertained!

Glass fish windchime

May tree in full bloom

Pretty rose outside our kitchen window

Towards the sea from the lock gates at Bude

Glass tree, handmade by me, apple wood base, handmade by himself.

A very small selection of the fruits of the garden

My stall at Clovelly (N Devon), at the Maritime Festival

Thursday, 14 August 2014


I am sorry I have been away for so long, rather a few things going on (or have been), some nice some very sad.  I will be back in September and will try to update you on everything (well most things anyway).  Hope you will be back to see what has been going on.  Thank you for your understanding. :)

Monday, 19 May 2014

Busy busy busy

Well my weekly market has started up again on a Friday and the studio/shop is now open mostly every day and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the week (I so meant to make sure I had loads of stock for this year, but folks will keep buying and so no matter how much you think you have it soon goes!  Then of course there are commissions!!!!!  Not complaining but....).

Summer is comming, heard a cuckoo for the first time ever (well I might have heard one as a child but that was a while ago).  My mother, who was brought up in rural oxfordshire in the 1920's and 30's used to sing me this song as a child

The Cuckoo is a pretty bird
She singeth as she flys
She bringeth us good tidings
She telleth us no lies
She sips the sweetest flowers
To keep her song voice sweet
And when she flies she sings
cuckoo, cuckoo

I think there are probably many versions of this song, but I love this one as it was my mummy's :)

In the garden we have dug the 3 beds over (ok the edges need attention but there are limits on what one can do!).  We now have in.... runner beans, french beans, peas, carrots, potatoes, swede, garlic, shallots, sweet corn, spring onions (scallion I think in some countries) and lettuce.  In the greenhouse we have cucumber, chillies, lettuces and tomatoes.  We also have grapes, apples, pears...... and so on!  I really will do a post about this garden one day with pictures!

Work wise here are some photos of some new ideas I have been working on.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Promise of things to come

Keep meaning to tell you about this house and the jungle it came with (think it is supposed to be a garden, we are gradually finding bits as we mow through the long grass and hack back the trees and shrubs), but busy time work wise for me with the markets starting up and the lovely visitors comming down to the South West for their holidays.  So whilst I write up my masterpiece on the garden here are a few photos of promise of things to come!  The grape pictured was unbelievable last year, we ended up throwing them out, we just couldn't keep up, or keep up with the figs (we have two fig trees and 14 grape vines!!!!!  Only one vine produced last year but they had all been neglected, they have been pruned back now and should produce, many are wine varieties, lucky I kept all my wine making equipment!  We also have 3 eating apples and 3 cooking apple trees, the one pictured is a Russet a fine old English variety (that actually I am not that keen on, but am I going to refuse free apples? No!)

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Dairy Jam

Ah such a sight and one that reminds you that winter is over (the bullocks/steers are back too in the field by the house, they go mad on the first day out, so pleased to be back on grass again, they have got very very muddy too, think they have been having celebratory rolls!).

I don't mind getting stuck in a cow jam, it's quite nice seeing all the girls on their way with their great big swollen swinging udders to the milking parlour and they will back in the field in no time :)

Ooh and spot the N Devon trees in the picture, can you guess by looking at them which way the wind blows by any chance ;)  Not the best example round here, must remember to take my camera when I go out next (these were taken on my mobile which has a rubbish camera!).

Friday, 4 April 2014

Wow, will you look at that lovely pink colour!

A few new pieces posted in my Etsy shop recently.   I have to say that I just love the pearly pink in the second bead and completely love the colours in the top bead (now I wonder if I can remember what I did to get those effects!).

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Sparkly galaxy marble

 Can I get a decent photo of this lovely?  No!  So much depth in the sparkle nothing to focus on, but thought I would share this pretty, like a myriad of sparkling stars (get me, all poetic now ;)

Monday, 24 March 2014

What have I been up to this weekend?

Well on Saturday it was my turn to man the studio/workshop down on the wharf in Bude, a blustery showery day with a few visitors and I managed to get some work done and some new bracelets and earrings made up (at last!).  Then into our wonderful local pub on the edge of the Atlantic and home for supper.

Then yesterday I did something I have been meaning to do for months, but have kept putting it off as I just didn't know where to start!  That is going through all the boxes we brought back from Dad's flat when he moved into the home last year.  Thankfully one of my nieces in law took alot of the furniture and other large pieces had been 'left' to people in Dad's will so these pieces went 'early' to their new owners (Dad's flat is up for sale and had been sold subject to contract when we emptied it, sadly the sale fell through, but fingers crossed...).

So most of the boxes yesterday were odds and ends, crockery and books; lots and lots and lots and lots of books!  My parents were avid readers and were very well read; lots of classics, biographies, foreign language books (this was my Mum and not just learning language books these are novels) in French, Italian and Danish (I have studied Italian but these books are way way way beyond my abilities); and medical text books (my Father having been a surgeon).  Some of these medical text books are very old and some written by himself (must get him to sign his books at some point!).  There are also old stamp collections (my Victorian Great Aunt) and commemorative annuals from 1937 and books that were given as school prizes for Dad and for Mum.  How on earth do you go through these things, they are someones life, precious and cared for!

I had planned to end up with at least 4 boxes of books to go to a second hand shop, but instead have ended up with just two (one with Mum's foreign language books and one with books that I already have copies of!).  I kept picking things up and thinking, 'oh I might like to read that' and 'this is old, best keep it' and so on!  I actually got quite emotional about the whole thing.  Mum's passing was difficult, but in some ways a relief as she had been sooooo unwell; moving Dad into the home was difficult, but I see now that actually it was what he wanted, he was tired and old and although not much of a socialiser needed to have someone to talk to every day and to take care of him (and boy do the girls - and a few boys - take very good care of him where he is now!); packing the flat up was difficult, dividing up someone's belongings, but they had downsized over the years there really wasn't that much furniture left; but going through these books (and photo albums), finding old treasures and gifts from Dad to Mum (and the other way round) was painful, very painful.  For the first time in a year I shed a few tears over my parents lost youth (and mine I suppose).  We will take good care of these treasures and will ensure that the most precious are passed down the family when that time comes!  In the meantime we will now have to find somewhere to put all these wonderful books (and we have about 10 boxes of our own books to unpack yet!).

Friday, 21 March 2014

Some more of my work

Whilst I ponder posts about septic tanks and bore holes (although not together!) I thought I would share some more of my work.  These are lampwork glass beads that I make in my little studio at home.  Lampwork involves (in a nutshell and there is alot more to it than this!) melting glass rods onto steel sticks (mandrels) which have been coated with a fine clay mixture so that the glass doesn't stick to the rod in an oxygen/propane mix flame that burns at 1000 degrees C.  You can then shape the glass, add detail to it, anything you want really.  Once you are happy with your bead (and as you have seen I also make things other than beads) it goes into a digitally controlled kiln (pretty quickly otherwise the glass will crack) to cool slowly and to strengthen (I quite often have a couple of 'spare' beads in the shop and will drop them on the concrete floor in our shop to show how strong they are ;) ).

I then make the beads up into jewellery items (sometimes I do sell the beads on their own) and then sell them through a local farmers market (in the summer), through the workshop/studio I share with 3 other glassy ladies in Bude and through various galleries and other outlets.  These beads are being sold as beads through my Etsy shop :)

Thursday, 13 March 2014


No not ones that grow in the garden or countryside but glass sculpture!  I made this the other day (love making them, soooo relaxing), it is a bit big for my kiln (but I have a plan ;) ).  Stands 5 inches tall and 5 inches at it's widest point (roots). :)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

'Pretty in Pink' picture interlude

Spring is here, daffs are comming out and lots of other things!  Someone in the last few years was a bit of a gardener and the jungle (aka garden) is full of beautiful flowers and shrubs (in many cases I have absolutely NO idea what they are, but am learning!).  Took some photos yesterday of some lovely pinks.

Camellia - we have about 10 of these dotted around the garden!  Most of them will need a good prune once they have stopped flowering!

We also have an enormous number of fruit shrubs and bushes (more of that another day), but among the more unusual is a very straggly (again will need a prune later in the year) quince!  Quince jelly methinks!  The flowers are lovely :)

Wonderful colours and inspiration for some glass making :)

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

From there to here - house!

When we moved down here 7 or was it 6 years ago (I don't know feels like we have been here for ever!), we were supposed to rent for 6 months and then buy our own place with a bit of land for a smallholding. Unfortunately we rather fell in love with our very old dairy farmhouse with fabulous views and were convinced that our lovely landlord (and he was brilliant) would eventually sell it to us so we were rather lackadaisical about house hunting.

In the early part of last year we had another 'oh go on sell it to us, you know you want to' conversation with the landlord and for the first time he gave us a very firm 'NO'! In the past he just used to say 'maybe, maybe not', but now the message was clear. So now we really had to go, we had to make a proper effort and so the house hunting started in earnest. We saw some great places, big, small, needing work, ready to move into, some mad ones on Bodmin Moor (one very very very remote and old and very very cold!), but all had something 'not quite right' about them. Then this very quirky house came on the market, AGAIN. Being a 'Rightmove and Primelocation' watcher (these are websites where you can see most houses for sale in an area from all the agents rather than having to check out each agent one at a time and stops all those annoying mail shots!) I had seen this house many times over the previous 6 years. When I first saw it they wanted an enormous amount of money for it; it was in the wrong area (a lovely area but not where we wanted to be, especially with my parents living in S Devon); had little land and no real outbuildings, but it did look very quirky, had no near neighbours and walking distance to the sea and always intrigued me. However, as it didn't fit the bill we never viewed it. Then in April it came on again, at a much lower price and we were getting desperate, so we made an appointment.

So on a hot April day (day before my birthday in-fact) we came to see this mad house. Quirky is an understatement and the garden is a jungle, but it was just 'us'! We had a second view, made a stupid offer (it had come down in price ALOT since I had first seen it 5 years before, and infact had changed hands once in that period) and got a prompt and very firm NO from the estate agent, so we waited and made other viewings for other houses.

3 weeks later a phone call, 'it's yours if you still want it'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was nearly sick, excitement and OMG! In July we moved in on a hot hot hot day (with my poor confused father phoning me to tell me that his flat had burned down and he had lost everything; he was in hospital by now and of course his flat hadn't burned down at all – poor chap!).

So we have bought a crazy house, miles from anywhere (except a lovely pub) with no neighbours, well water and only mains electricity which needs lots of work and comes with 3 acres of jungle (think there might be some garden under it all, including an acre of ancient woodland, ¾ acre of field and a veggie plot). In the 8 months since we have moved in we have done quite a bit, but it is one of those projects where trying to prioritise work is almost impossible and we want everything to happen NOW, but we are learning to be patient (just about).

Oh and the plan was to be closer to Bude just over the border in Cornwall as I spend about 3 or 4 days a week there in summer working, we aren't really that much closer but the commute is something else, with views of the sea all the way and going to work views of Dartmoor and Bodmin, beats the M25 I can tell you!

In my next post be prepared for scary, 'OMG the house is falling down' moments as I tell the tale of restoration!

Monday, 10 March 2014

From there to here - family

Ok, I have been thinking and decided to do a couple of catch up posts.  As my last post in 2011 talked about my Mum it seems to make sense to do a quick update on that side of things and then talk about our new 'project'!

I should just say in my defence of letting this blog lapse that I did start up another one about my glass making, but recently thought that this blog here could suit two purposes, one to talk about life in deepest darkest Devon and the other to talk about my glass work, so that's why I am back (hooray I hear you cry - I hope!).

Well on the family front my (now) 93 year old father was coping very well on his own thank you very much, still driving, getting the paper, doing some light shopping - I did a fornightly (that's every two weeks by the way) supermarket shop until last June when he suddenly went off and we had no idea why (later on it was decided that he had had a small stroke which didn't affect his mobility (as such), but caused him to become very confused and unable to look after himself.  I spent weeks doing a 3 hour round trip several times a week to visit him in the little community hospital where we managed to get him a bed (a fine little hospital it was too). 

We (including him when he was able) decided that the best thing to do was for him to go into a home (not an easy decision I can tell you and as those of you who have had to deal with this will know) but the most practical; to be honest I suspect that was what he had wanted for a bit and he had raised it but I had always refused to accept the idea.  Long and the short of it was that whilst in the throws of moving house and in the middle of a heat wave, I was also trying to find Dad the best I could in a care home (and I can tell you that I have seen a few in my time as an NVQ assessor for care staff!).  I did find him one about 20 minutes away and moved him up here (no help from our lovely ambulance service I have to say which resulted in a rather nasty experience in a public loo, least said about it the better really) at the end of July.  Now he has the lovely staff at his beck and call with a view over a lake full of ducks and geese and swans to watch, good food and a comfortable bed and me visiting twice a week and other family members when they can.  Once the weather gets better we will get him out and about for some trips (I am so impressed with the home that I have reserved my room already ;) ).

I know there will be people out there who have been through this and much worse (at least Dad, now, it completely back to normal now mentally and has a wicked sense of humour).  It is so hard to put a parent (parents) into care, feels like a bit of a failure (but there was no way we could have looked after him here).  Also so hard to think of that vibrant, highly intelligent, wonderful man reduced to an old man sitting in a chair in one room.  I just have to remember that he is getting the best care and he is happy (and safe) and that's the most important thing.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Still thinking!

Still thinking about post subjects to get this off the ground, but in the meantime thought I would share some photos of what I do for work these days!  Can you guess what this is?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Last post 2011!!!!!!  Thinking of restarting this up again in the near future as finally after 6, or is it 7; difficult to keep track of time down here;  years since we moved down from up country (up country here means anywhere that isn't the South West (ie Devon and Cornwall) even if you are south of us, ie say Southampton!), we have finally bought our own house.  Lots to tell, lots of fun and games, overflowing septic tanks, blue tap water and holes in walls, so rather than start a new blog up, think I might get this one going again, but am going to have some thinking time on what to put in here.  Alot has been going on in the last 2 and a half years!  Back soon :)