Wednesday 1 January 2014

Out With The Old - Well Some Of It...

Happy New year to you all...I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Today a lot of you are probably like me mulling over the past year and thinking about what you can do to make 2014 a better year for you and yours. I find when I do this it's very easy to concentrate on the negatives, particularly as I ended 2013 with the particularly spectacular downer (down the stairs to be precise) of a broken ankle.

Fantastic tree ornament made by Kristi Bowman-Gruel
In actual fact however 2013 was a pretty good year for me. Health probably was the one area that didn't go so well since a spell with a really bad back strain also put me out of action for a while. I'm not really one for making resolutions but I have now realised that incidents like broken ankles are a whole lot harder to deal with if your basic level of fitness is as bad as mine. Now obviously I'm not planning to break any more bones but I'm no spring chicken and you never know what's around the corner so I figure that improving my core fitness can only really be a positive as long as I don't overdo it. In the immediate future this will mostly involve getting my leg and ankle back to full working order by improving strength and flexibility but then I plan to start a more holistic approach to a healthy mind and idea how yet but working that out will be part of the journey.

So what do I look back on from the last year that brings a smile to my face...Well number one has to be the conversion of the garage into the new studio. It had it's stresses at the time but I'm so settled in there now that I can't remember it being any other way and I just love it. I wander in there with my breakfast in the morning and sometimes get so completely lost in what I'm doing that I don't come out again until was very fortuitous that the garage adjoins the kitchen and other essential facilities!

 Some of the other positives have come about as a direct result of the studio conversion as I finally had the space to try out some of the new techniques I'd been itching to have a go at. Etching has turned into a firm favourite, proving popular with customers too and I'm really looking forward to developing this technique further.

But the best thing about 2013 for me from a creative aspect was discovering that I could work with ceramics with just a small kiln and as many of you will know I've become completely hooked. I don't think I can remember a better feeling than when I opened the kiln and took out that first little batch of beautiful glazed beads and I get that exact same feeling every time now.

 I'd really only just got going on this when I had my fall so it came to a bit of an abrupt halt but I've just finished the beads at the top of this post that had been waiting since then and I'm raring to get back to it now with lots of new ideas and some inspirational books I've been gifted.

In 2013 I was also blessed to have the support and friendship of some very creative people both virtually and in person. None of my new endeavours would have come to as much without the input of some very talented colleagues from Art Jewelry Elements who have encouraged and educated me, members of the various groups I belong to who've supported me and kept me howling with laughter and of course the friends and customers who support my work and follow me online  because without you, it would all come to nothing and the tough times would have been so much tougher.

There were many other good things too numerous to list so as I go in to the New Year I'm thinking that if I can avoid any clumsy accidents, achieve as much as I did last year and keep those wonderful people around me then it'll be another pretty good one that will see a few new skills tucked under the belt...and the belt a little better fitting.

How about you then...are you building on the successes of 2013 or changing course completely...? Either way I wish you every success and happiness for 2014 and hope you will continue to journey through with me.



  1. What a great year for you, well except for the health issue. I enjoyed your post and will be looking forward to seeing what the new year brings for you.

  2. Happy New Year to you Lesley. I've really enjoyed seeing all your creations and creative processes over the last year and look forward to many more in 2014. May the next year be full of love, luck, prosperity and friendship. xx

  3. I love the rustic look of your ceramics and I'm sure you'll go from strength to strength with your designs. Just try not to throw yourself down any steps this year!

    I'm planning to improve my confidence with soldering and let my imagination loose a bit more with my jewellery designs :D
    Happy New Year!

  4. Happy New Year! It's was great fun to see what you were up to this year, and brilliant to meet you! (one of my highlights ;) ) Looking forward to seeing where you go and what you create in 2014... Have a great one! x

  5. Hi Lesley,
    Happy New Year! 2013 was a good year for you, besides the little mishap with the ankle. I hope that 2014 is a great year for you in inspiration and creation, as well as good health.

  6. Happy New Year Lesley! I'm so glad your ankle is on the mend and that 2013 was a good year for your. Well except for the health issues.
    I wish you a spectacular wonderful, happy and healthy 2014. And I can't wait to see the ceramic bead candy!

  7. So great to see what you have achieved this year. Here's to a healthy and blissfully creative 2014 and to us finally getting together for a good old making day. Happy New Year Lesley, thank you for constantly inspiring me! Claire x

  8. I am excited to see where your foray into ceramics leads you. Wishing you a happy, creative and fit New Year!

  9. I too am looking forward to watching your new ideas becoming realities.

  10. Hi Lesley, IPod is being silly... Sorry. Anyhow, Happy and Healthy New Year to you too. Glad to see the back of 2013, but looking back and remembering it's lessons. My creative journey with beading is continuing, I want to experiment by adding techniques and components from different crafts. I'm using the dark winter months to research and gather ideas together. Lyn x


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