I’ve got some time in the jewellery workshop starting again this week, and I’m really looking forward to it – it’s been nearly a year since I’ve made anything with silver and I LOVE the classes (and there are still some places available if you fancy it!). I do struggle for ideas though and translating inspiration into design, so I’m really excited to be doing some commissions for friends and family this time, which really helps me work out what to create.
Planning and sketching designs is something I really could do with practicing so I was surprised how easily this sketch for a friend’s wedding jewellery came to me, and am very much looking forward to getting stuck in to making things again!
Dining in style
Over Christmas I went to visit my Auntie Pauline and my uncle & cousins. which I love doing. We’ve not really managed to spend much time together until recent years, but I’m loving getting to know another bit of my family better now. As there were ten of us, Pauline needed to retrieve some extra dining chairs from her attic (well, she delegated the job to my cousins, well done lads!). I didn’t notice these “extra” ones round the table till we’d all finished eating and people had started moving into another room, but when I did, I saw that they were my Grandma’s old dining chairs which Pauline had been taking care of since she passed away five years ago . Wonderful! I’d not really thought about what had happened to them but they are such lovely chairs – I remember them first appearing in her house when I was small, and being quite intrigued by them. They are a simple design but I’ve always thought them distinctive and I suppose when I think about it now, friendly and welcoming. Seeing them again brought back some lovely memories. And to my delight, Pauline offered them to me as she wanted someone in the family to use them rather than being hidden in her attic. As luck would have it, I have a dining room in my new house, which has a dining table but no chairs, so I had the perfect home for them! I think they give my house a really cosy, homely feel and I love having them around – and sitting on them to write or eat at the table is just wonderful.
Everybody’s Cosy Place
Walking along Corporation Street in Birmingham, where I went for a meeting on Saturday, I noticed the mid-morning January sunlight anachronistically silhouettings the city’s Christmas decorations onto this gorgeous facade.
And the Sun Still Rises
Just when you think that even though the days are technically getting longer, the daylight is still doing its shy best to hide behind grey clouds, fog and rain, this morning’s crisp but vibrant sunrise restored my faith in the Yorkshire weather. Not that I think this photo really does it justice . I do love the way the sun can be seen glowing like fire through the trees, as it peeks its head above my garage roof.
Pretty Belgian Houses
Thursday was my first failure on the taking a daily photo front. Oops. In my defence I went to a work-related meeting after spending all day at work, and said meeting went on longer than expected and when I got home at bedtime I didn’t feel like I’d had much material to work with. I wanted to avoid posting similar photo-subjects too close together, so rummaging round the house for random objects to snap was out, as were cats for the same reason. With hindsight I could perhaps have taken a picture of my work bag, but for me, this project is about my outside-of-work life, so I decided to sleep on the decision instead.
Three days later and I’m still not a hundred percent sure what my preferred option would be if this situation crops up again, but I’m hoping that’ll become clearer as time goes on, and also easier to avoid in the first place. To paraphrase the Boy Scouts, I need to be prepared for these eventualities!
But, for now, I’m going to cheat. Just a little bit. Above is a photo that I took in Brussels last spring (yes, I know it’s Belgium and I was in Belgium last weekend, but that was Lier, so it’s different. Definitely). I’m choosing this photo because firstly, you can’t go wrong with Belgium, and secondly this was one of three of mine that were spotted on Flickr by a chap called Geno Malkiewicz, and on Thursday he asked me for permission to use them in a book he is editing about his great uncle’s experience in Europe in the Second World War, and his return 55 years later in search of his Belgian sweetheart. Which I thought was nice. Here’s one of the others he asked to use:
No Glove No Love
OK I’ve no idea whether there is a waterfall of owls, or if there is where it might be, but it would be kinda nice to think that somewhere, a river cascaded through a forest and owls danced in the moonlight above it.
Today has been a bit of a wanting-to-snuggle-and-be-somewhere-familiar day, which inevitably means that I have been thinking about my next trip to Iceland. So it was with a wry smile to myself that I noticed this discount card from Icelandic wool company Álafoss still lying around in my bedroom. Icelandic lopi wool is cosy & beautiful. “Foss” means waterfall. “Ála-” is pronounced “owl-a”, although of course it has nothing to do with owls. I just think it’s a lovely mental image, just right for today.
This is a brilliant book! I’m brushing up on my German language skills at evening class – in particular I’m aiming to get to grips with the grammar again, but I don’t really feel I’ve made much progress on this aspect so far.
But I ordered German Grammar Drills the other day and have been leafing through it this evening – it’s just what I’ve been looking for! All the rules, in nice little groups, complete with explanations, examples and lots of opportunity to practice.