Saturday 13 April 2013

I'm Back....

I have been a very poor blogger over recent months. With so many other commitments it just hasn't be possible for me to keep up but do you know what, I've really missed it. Sharing what I'm doing with you has become second nature and when I can't get the time to do it I get very frustrated, so all that is about to change.

First of all I would like to apologise to the lovely Sally Russick as I have not taken part in her 'Life In Focus' project for more weeks that I can remember. I had planned to get get back to blogging straight after my show last weekend and post in the project today but wouldn't you know it - barely back from the show 24 hours and I went down with a horrible cold and throat infection that laid me up for most of the week. I'm still not 100% and I suspect it's going to hang around a while but frankly I've had enough so it's time for some mind over matter and I will take part next week.

Back to the show may remember that this was my first bead show and was something of an experiment. I was aiming to get my work in front of a wider home audience and just see what sort of reception I got and whether this sort of show (commercial bead show with just 3 artisan sellers) was viable. Well the reception I got was great - people seemed very happy to have something new at the show and were very complementary about my work. Business was pretty brisk in the morning but did slow down in the afternoon and at the end of the day I did come away with a profit, if not a spectacular one. The issue for me is the amount of effort that goes into preparing for a show like this, particularly with a medium like bronze clay where you can only produce small batches at a time. There is an awful lot of time and work that is very difficult to quantify and realistically my conclusion has to be that this outweighs the return.


Unfortunately I was a bit late setting up so I didn't take any pictures - thanks to Pippa Chandler for this one. No idea why I'm holding my table sign...maybe it was a futile attempt to hide!

That's not to say though that it wasn't worthwhile and just putting myself in front of people and getting some feedback was an invaluable exercise. I met some of my lovely Etsy customers and hopefully some of the new show customers will become regular visitors to the shop - I've already linked up with some of them through various social media so a big thank you to everyone who came to visit or buy.

It was also great to meet up with some of the online friends I've made over the last year and I had a great time with Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads and her helper for the day Julie Sumner, also a talented designer. Not to mention Bo Hulley who doesn't live that far from me but we are separated by a stretch of water that is very expensive to cross. A good time was had by...well me at least, they were all a bit camera shy!

I don't have any more shows planned for this year but I would like to do a purely handmade show at some point and am contemplating taking part in a two day arts festival next year...we shall see.

The other big thing that is going on in my life at the moment is of course the conversion of my garage to a new studio but unfortunately I've hit a stumbling block on that too. In the UK building work that does not extend the size of the property or affect the outside of the building is usually done under 'permitted rights' regulations, which means you don't need planning permission but just have to notify the relevant council. However, some councils have the right to remove these rights if they want to exercise greater control in particular areas and guess what..yes, the development I live on has no permitted rights!

My surveyor rang to give me this news just as I was agreeing all the fixtures and fitting with the design consultant and I was to put it politely, rather 'miffed'! It's unlikely to have any impact on the plans as four houses close by have already made the same changes, it just means that I can't proceed with the building until permission is formally granted at the end of May and of course, full planning permission costs more!

There's nothing I can do about it though so I've just had to re-plan and on the positive side, having been ill this week the chances of me being ready for builders to move in on Monday would have been slim anyway. I can however, share the 3D visual with you although it's not great quality as I'm still waiting for them to send me a PDF and had to take a picture of a print. The perspective is a little off here and even though it's quite compact it makes it look rather longer and narrower than it is but you get the idea. I need to come up with a tool storage idea for that empty wall I think....

So the upshot is that I find myself with a few weeks with no pressing engagements and nothing crucial that has to be done and I'm quite liking that. My Bead Soup Blog Party reveal is next weekend so I have a week to work on was always going to be to the wire. I'm also looking forward to sprucing up my jewellery shop with some new designs as that too has been sorely neglected over recent months. I gathered up a whole load of stuff for listing yesterday and I don't seem to have done any since Christmas - eek! Needless to say, I also have plenty of component designs floating around in my head and want to start thinking about broadening my range and using other mediums. Plenty to keep me going until building begins then.

Hopefully, while I'm doing all this the weather might get it's act together to. Apart from a rare sunny day it's still cold in the UK with much grey, dismal rain which doesn't do much for the spirits and many of the spring flowers seem loathe to make an appearance. I might have to decorate the garden with some of my bronze ones!

Well, that's where I am and I hope you are all progressing with your creative plans apace. I'll see you back here very shortly - and that's a promise!

Have a great weekend.


Other than that


  1. Hey Lesley,

    Sorry to hear about the snag in your studio build. Unfortunately, it's the same as here in the states, it's all about the money. Any way to get more money outta ya. Grrrr....

    Hope you make good use of your unexpected free time. Don't know about you, but that often finds me at loose ends. I think I get more done when I'm overbooked. :-)

    Happy creating!


  2. It was lovely to catch up with you too Lesley :0) I'm glad we all did the show as it was a gret experience, but like you although we did well, I found the effort a little too much. Yous and Bo's stands looked amazing so many beautiful works of art. I've been such a bad blogger of late too but hoping to do one about the show next week, I'll let you know.

    The plans for your new work space look great I'm very envious, can't wait to come for a visit when you're ensconsed. Hope you feel better soon, I'm sure that it can't last much longer can it, it is a real clinger! cough cough splutter splutter!

    Claire xx

  3. Although I don't make components-just the jewelry-I feel the same way about much time and effort goes into each one! I become exhausted just thinkng about it!

    So sorry to read about your construction delays! That stinks to high heaven!!! But, your 3D perspective of your revamped space looks awesome and I am green with envy!

    Your new designs are stunning, Lesley! You are so very talented and I so admire your creativity! I do hope you feel better soon!

  4. Lesley, it's good to read your blog always. You sure have been busy. Shows sure do take a lot of preparation. Just setting up and then being pleasant all day long is exhausting. Your new studio plan looks so neat. I"m scattered all over the house! I do have to tell you I really love those bellflowers. They make me feel happy!

  5. I love dogwoods, so I have to say that I really like your dogwood pendants. I loved seeing these cute pics of you, because chance are slim that we'll ever get to meet in reality. Feel better soon.


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