…well, perhaps not quite!
I try, first thing every morning, to get out and have a brisk walk for about half an hour – even on a day like today when it was a bit chilly and drizzling – because nothing can beat that shot of beautiful fresh air before the rush hour traffic spoils it. We have a park near to where we live and I tend to walk around the park, breathing deep of the air – lightly scented at this time of year with the flowers in the hedgerows and trees – and taking in the sounds of the birds and activity of the surrounding nature. We are told that in order for walking to be beneficial, health wise, we need to make it brisk so I bound out of my front door and really go for it for the outward journey. For the return journey I try to benefit my mind. I have always had an issue with my confidence, and have recently been trying ‘self help’ strategies of self affirmations – which I really think are paying off! So, as I slow my pace on the way home, I talk to myself and remind myself of what I am capable of and how I am confident in my abilities. And yes, I do mean that I talk to myself – out loud! (I always check that there is no one else within ear shot though!!!)
And, as if that is not bad enough, I am also on the look out for inspirational stuff that might inform my jewellery designs.
Of course – there is the obvious stuff – which I am always drawn to…the lovely little flowers that are hidden away in our hedgerows…
…and I don’t feel too much of an idiot stopping to photograph these. But it’s the other moments…the times when I notice soemthing as I am walking, and it takes me a while to process what I have seen, and appreciate the inspirational value of it… it is those times when I stop dead in my tracks, then walk back a few yards and invariably stare down at the pavement, or into the gutter…and then whip out my camera and photograph something that no-one else can see!! It’s those times when I worry a bit what the people who are out and about in the early morning think of the crazy woman who talks to the trees and collects photographs of asphalt!!
No – actually – I haven’t got an extensive photo library of road surfaces…although now I come to look at it…..it is rather interesting – especially when wet!!!
Well, now you can see what I was photographing this time…he was very small and really brightly coloured…and I so nearly passed him by!
And, one day, he might very well inspire me to a piece of beautiful jewellery in his honour!!
All 3 of my grandchildren have their birthday between 16th March and 12th May….that makes for a tough time for me as I have always made cakes for them – and as they get older they seem to like more and more complicated things. My youngest grandchild has a passion for Toy Story at the moment. I did ‘toy’ :0) with the idea of making a ‘Buzz’ cake but when I actually looked at how he was put together I changed my mind!
Having made a Sleeping Beauty bed for my granddaughter at the beginning of May I decided to stick with the bed theme and do Andy’s bed and a handful of the toys for my grandson…… Simple…… Ha!
As with Sleeping Beauty – the bed making was fine. Andy’s bed has a wooden head and foot with ‘turned’ spindles…a bit of a challenge…but I overcame this by taping bundles of cocktail sticks together and rolling sugarpaste around them for the posts and rolling sugarpaste around individual cocktail sticks for the spindles. The large areas of the ‘woodwork’ were simply cut from thick sheets of sugarpaste. The spindles were inserted and the posts attached then all the whole lot was left to dry and harden for 4 days.
The ‘mattress’ was made from madeira cake (with home made blackberry jam and buttercream), covered with a thin layer of sugarpaste to represent sheets and pillowcase. The patchwork ‘quilt’ was just 1inch squares of alternate coloured sugarpaste. So that bit was fine…
…it was the characters that I really struggled with. Each part of each character had to be allowed to dry before I could add the next bit. I started making Woody on Saturday morning and finally added the finishing touches to him this afternoon (Monday)! It has probably been the longest cake making ‘marathon’ I have ever done!
As always – the faces are just a little bit ‘off’…it’s a bit like Toy Story from a parallel universe! – but as he is only 3 I don’t suppose it will spoil his day!
I will deliver the cake to his mum in the morning when he is in Nursery so it will be there for him when he gets back at lunchtime.
So you have been given a sneak preview of his special 3rd birthday cake….Shhhhhhhhhhh…don’t spoil the surprise!!
I just couldn’t resist sneeking up on this pair as they were totally absorbed in watching Shrek 3 D movie… My son and my grandson were taking a quiet moment after trashing my lounge!! I just love the sense of closeness and the shared pose as they are both absorbed with the film…..aw…..how cute!!!
‘Lips as red as the rose and hair as gold as sunshine…’ These were the instructions I received from my granddaughter with regard to the design of cake she wanted for her 6th birthday. She wanted a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ cake and obviously had in mind the Disney Princesses Sleeping Beauty because she is well into the Disney Princesses.
The cake concept was not going to be too much of a problem…but the breathtakingly beautiful slumbering princess…well, that was going to be a toughie!!
Surely I could dazzle a six year old girl with a grand, scroll encrusted and gilded bed with frilled and flounced bedding fit for a Princess…and she might not notice the girl herself was feeling a little below par!!
Truth to tell – she was not a beauty…she was definitely rather ‘homely’! In fact, I ended up calling her Medusa…which amused the adults but thankfully went over my granddaughter’s head!
Still – considering she was all moulded free hand from sugarpaste I don’t think I did too badly!
The whole thing was, in fact, edible. The head and foot of the bed were made from sugarpaste and the scroll work was done in royal icing which gave the strength needed to ‘build’ the freestanding bed ends. The gilding was also an edible food colour. All the rest was madeira sponge cake and coloured sugarpaste icing. Just because a thing is edible, however, doesn’t mean that it necessarily should be eaten (…not if you value your teeth in this case because the royal icing was really hard!) I did think that she might want to keep some bits of the cake – like the bed head and Sleeping Beauty, for a while, as a memento – and sugarpaste does keep quite well so long as it is kept in a dry place.
However, talking to my daughter this morning I was told that everyone liked the cake and during the evening Bethany had started eating Sleeping Beauty’s dress….later on the skirt was gone and one of the legs was missing….then there was nothing below the waist. Before bedtime there was a bite mark in the back of her head…and this morning her face had been bitten off!!
I’m not quite sure if that means she was just too hideous to leave lying around or that she was just too gorgeous to be left uneaten!!…but there certainly wasn’t any sentimental attachment formed there!!
Still, I’m glad her stomach loved her – even if her heart didn’t!!
I had a job interview yesterday…
It seemed like as good a time as any to make use of my new chrysocolla stones which I showed you last week – particularly as chrysocolla is supposed to have properties which help the throat chakra and therefore are good for public speaking and are overall good for keeping a calm and serene countenance!!
Using my handmade fine twist pure silver chain I added some of my newly made pure silver coated ceramic beads (which I made last week) to give a bit of a build up to the stunning chrysocolla teardrop focal bead which I used as the pendant.
I made a pair of very simple earrings with the small rectangle chrysocolla beads and a couple of small pure silver coated ceramic beads. They have a lovely weight to them which served to remind me every time I moved my head that I was wearing these eye-catching stones!!
I love them and was really proud to wear them.
It was a panel type interview – which was a bit daunting – but I felt very positive and happy with the way I performed…
OK – so I didn’t get the job…
…but I did get complimented on my jewellery!!!!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . R E S U L T ! ! ! ! !
Every cloud has a silver lining so they say – and not getting this job means that I can spend all those extra hours that I would have been working for someone else working on making my jewellery at Solunar Silver Studio!! So I’m still smiling!
I haven’t mentioned condron.us in my blog lately so there are loads of people who might have missed out on my recent jewellery experiments!!
Hopefully you will enjoy seeing the jewellery that I have just made….let me know!!