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  1. The minutes roll into hours, the hours into days, the days into weeks and so on and so forth!  I have good intentions ... I always have good intentions but I don't always follow through on my good intentions!

    I have been busy though.  Two of my 3 accreditation pieces are complete.  The mirror finish is so shiny I need sunglasses to look at it.1  The ring is a definite size N (whew!) and all the stones are where they're supposed to be and none have fallen out! Even the cranky owl seems to be coming in line now and I should finish him today.  I've had a few customer orders to complete as well.

    It's been an emotionally draining week though because one of my closest friends left for Australia on Tuesday.  I thought that I'd left these awful good byes behind when I left South Africa almost 14 years ago, but it seems that throughout life, wherever you , you will say goodbye to people you care about very much.  Facebook, for all its faults certainly makes the world a much smaller place. When I left 14 years ago we had to rely on email and the odd phonecall.  Texting was fairly new as well then.  This time we get regular, sometimes hourly updates on the progress of their journey and their arrival.  What the weather's doing etc.  I even got a photograph of my daily kiss from precious baby Jake, who I miss more than words can say.  It's so hard to say goodbye to friends and family even with all this modern technology.  How hard it must have been for my ancestors in 1820 and later in the 1900s to leave the shores of Britain for the colonies, knowing that they would probably never see their families again.  Knowning that news of births and deaths would take weeks, if not months to reach the other side.  Funny how life goes full circle ... my ancestors left Britain in a quest for a better life for their children and we came back here in a quest for a better life for OUR children.  I wonder sometimes where my boys will end up one day - in the country of their birth or the country of their ancestors?  Now what does any of this have to do with making jewellery I wonder?  Nothing ... sometimes my thoughts just flow through my fingers and I simply can't stop them!

    I'm itching for a challenge.  I want to make something I've never attempted before - to really push my skills to the limits. Any suggestions? 

  2. I have had such fun making little lentil beads to go onto bracelets!  I've made 2 so far and have been so amazed at how easy they are to make and how effective they look.  They're also sometimes called Pillow beads.  I'll be posting some photos soon. 

    I'm exhibiting at the Ladies Night In at Sparrow's Den in Coney Hall tonight and really wanted to get some of my new bracelets finished but alas, there just weren't enough hours in the day to do it all! 

    Am also frantically trying to finish the 3 Evaluation pieces for my Level 2 course.  They're on track with 2 finished and the 3rd in progress.  Mmmmm, the 3rd is the D shape ring with stones set in it.  Can't say it's been the easiest project.  It's the design part that floors me ... I'm one of those people like things to grow under my fingers as I work.  I can do sketches etc but my finished pieces don't always look like the sketches.  I haven't had time to work on the ring today so hopefully the design with grow on Monday!  As I'll be drilling great big holes into the ring I'm thinking I'll have to have another go at the drawing bit before I get the drills out :o)

    I really must introduce you to my cats Twinkle and Thomas as they do play quite a bit role in my life - especially Twinkle - who quite fancies herself as the artist's apprentice at the moment!  Her latest passion is carting my paint brushes all over the house!  Keep finding them cropping up in the wierdest places!  I made each of the cats a name tag out of copper today!  Really pleased with the outcome so will be adding them to my repertoire shortly.

    With that tolls the final bell and now I have to run down to the school in time to fetch the boys!  Have a lovely week end everyone!

  3. I'm back after a very special time in South Africa with my family to celebrate my parents' Golden Wedding anniversary.  So many people take their families for granted - knowing that mum or sister/brother are just down the road.  Knowing that their kids have cousins who they see on a regular basis.  For the immigrant this is not the case and for South African families in particular the modern day legacy echoes that of the turn of the last century, when so many people left the shores of Britain for the new world, in search of a better future, a better life for their children.  So many South African families today have children scattered to the 4 corners of the earth.  I have a brother living in Northern Ireland and a sister living in Australia, leaving my mum and dad with 1 daugher and 1 son still with them in South Africa.  We didn't think we'd all be together to celebrate this important milestone in my parents' lives, but by an absolute miracle all 5 of us were there.  We were together for the first time in 5 years and I can tell you that the sacrifice of missing my Christmas trade was worth it!  My family are so important to me and they are what have defined me and made me into the person I am today and to share that time with them was so precious.  I've bottled the memories deep in my heart because I don't know if we'll ever get the opportunity to all be together again :-)

    Anyway, it's taken me almost 3 weeks to get my head cleared and my workshop unpacked and productive again!  I'm back in business and ready for those orders to come rolling in.

    I'm currenly working on my 3 evaluation pieces for my Level 2 certification.  One is ready for the kiln and the old owl is proving to be a rather tricky customer, but I'm getting there - slowly but surely! 

    I spent the morning with a friend who is a photographer, who very kindly gave me one of his old cameras so that I can improve the quality of my photos!  We spent 2 hours playing with F stops and shutter speeds and my brain was a bit fried, but hopefully my copious notes will come in handy when it comes time to capturing the shots!

    I've run out of time again - needing to be at my next appointment in half an hour.  I wonder if my stomach will notice too much if I don't give it any lunch today ...

  4. The 1st of November!  Wow!  Where has this year gone to?  Christmas is in the air and the orders are beginning to roll in, so it's busy busy busy for me!  I completed my Level 2 certificate last week end.  Four days of jewellery making and no kids ... it was GOOD!  I do love my kids, honestly - but it is good to have a break from them occassionally!  The week end was very intense and we started out a bit slowly and then found ourselves playing massive catch up on the last day, which started at 9:30, had a 20 min break for lunch and saw me finally leaving at 9:30 pm - totally cream crackered!  Now I have to get my head around the 3 assessment pieces which I have to submit in order to get my Senior Instructor's certificate!  Woo hoo - it's all happening!

    The website is still not complete :-(  I'm sure I'll manage it one day - but it's not going to be today!  I think I'll have to train Michael to do the website - that way I can concentrate on doing what I love most and he can do the yucky bits like the website!  10 year olds are very useful sometimes!  I've found that I don't need instruction books for anything technical anymore - having a 10 year old is usually sufficient!

    Anyway, on that note, the 10 year old can't finish the orders sitting on my bench, so best I get back to it!  Will have to find a spare 15 mins to hoover the carpet today as well as have clients coming in to do fingerprints this afternoon!