Thursday, 29 August 2013

Where to next...

So, I've promised you a post, giving a thorough recap of the West End Fair.....that will come, but not quite yet. My brain is a little scrambled right now, so everything will come out not necessarily in a logical order, in terms of posts here! Right now, there are a couple of things on my mind.....firstly, that tomorrow I am off to visit dear friends on the Isle of Skye. 

I have visited them there several times now, since they moved 4 or 5 years ago. We are so lucky to have fabulous friends who live in such an awesome location! 

This time around, I'm going by myself, and have decided to take myself over to Harris for two nights, to stay at a wee B and B. I am seriously excited about this! Every time I'm on Skye, I am always drawn to the idea of getting the ferry across to Harris and/or Lewis....and this time, I'm doing it. All by myself, but I am quite content with my own company, and I think after the very crazy summer I've had, and what is to follow (I'm getting to that.....), I need a couple of days of quiet contemplation; taking in the scenery and the peace that only islands seem to possess, somehow. I am always very 'at one' when by the sea as well, and Harris is meant to have some of the best beaches (and most spectacular scenery). Just look at this beautiful picture I found online....

Admittedly, I'm not necessarily expecting sunshine like this......but I am thrilled at the idea of two days alone on this tiny island. Just look at those colours! What could be more inspiring? Expect lots of instagram photos coming this way soon....

The other thing that is occupying my head space is the fact that......we are shortly to move over the water to Belfast in Northern Ireland! It's a bit of a bolt from the blue - Helen was offered a job, very last minute about a month ago. We had 48 hours to decide....and, to cut a long story short, she said yes! So, after 13 years living in Manchester, I am leaving. If I'm honest, I've talked of moving away for approximately 8 of those years (no joke) so I am sure you can imagine how thrilled I am that I am finally doing it. Manchester is an awesome place, and a great, great city to live in, don't get me wrong. But it has never quite felt like my home. And I think that after 13 years, if it was ever going to be home, that would have happened some time ago.

The other thrillingly wonderful thing about this move is that I am going to be able to give up music teaching! I will be working from home, apart from when I travel both for craft fairs and to sing, and I COULD NOT be more excited about this prospect. Teaching, again, is an awesome and incredibly worthy and, at times, rewarding profession. I think I am not a bad teacher, if I do say so myself. I have got a lot out of it, over the years, and worked with some wonderful students. But it is incredibly draining, emotionally exhausting and at times, thankless. In the past year, both Songbead and The Curious Bead Shop have established themselves in a way that will allow me not to have to teach anymore, unless I want to. I hope that I will still be able to do some beading teaching, as this is something that I don't feel I am finished with. And I am upset to be leaving my wonderful private students - a bunch of lovely, talented adults, who I teach at home. An altogether different experience from peri teaching in schools! As we will potentially only live over in Ireland for a year (due to the NHS's ability to post you anywhere in the UK with each new job contract), it wouldn't be fair to take on any new private students for such a short amount of time. But for now, I am ready to stop music teaching, and focus on other aspects of my career. 

And I really do feel, already, that I am regaining both my life, and my spirit! I have a few days to do in my (very lovely) primary school.....but then, I am done, and will be joining Helen in Belfast to start this new chapter in our lives. Exciting times, without a doubt.

Monday, 26 August 2013

.....and I'm back in the room......sort of

Today is my first day off since the West End Fair in Edinburgh began (3rd August). And only my second day off since the 19th July. Phew! As you can imagine, I'm shattered. I will be writing a longer post over the next week, because my lovely wee blog has been much-neglacted of late, and it is still looking distinctly dusty round here....there are definite cobwebs in the corners. 

The fair ended yesterday. I couldn't quite believe that such an epic journey as my summer had virtually come to an end, but it has. And my goodness, it was awesome! Good sales, met lots of lovely new people, the stallholders surrounding me couldn't have been nicer or more fun.....yes, I'm tired, but I loved every minute of it. I'll be doing a fuller write-up soon. It's good to sit down and reflect upon these things I think.....

In the meantime, here are some of the pieces that sold. This is just what I have photos of to was a 23-day fair, so there are a loooooot of pics here - you've been warned!

The shop is standing pretty empty right now, but over the next few weeks I will be working on filling it up again. Lots of photographing and editing in my future, I feel......

I will be back, sooner rather than later - I promise!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Hello! I'm still here.....and a Sale or two this weekend

Wow, it's looking a bit dusty round here, isn't it?! You've probably all forgotten who I am and what this blog actually is....I'm still here! *waves* Today is, however, day 35 with only one day yes, I am feeling quite tired and a perhaps a little unhinged....! There really isn't enough concealer in the world....

I come to you today with good news however - firstly, I have three days (and let's hope three glorious days!) at the West End Fair in Edinburgh. It's being running daily from the 3rd August (I was in production down in London prior to that, hence my distinct lack of days off) but finishes up this Sunday. I've then a few days downtime in Edinburgh, followed by a trip up to Skye and possibly even across to Harris, if my brain can organise such a feat without the means of a car....not sure of the viability of public transport in the Western Isles....we shall see. Needless to say, I am seriously craving some downtime and am extremely excited about this trip!
Where I will be in a week......YES.......
I am also popping in here to let you know that both of my shops - Songbead and The Curious Bead Shop - are having sales this weekend. Pity Party Sales......this weekend is Bead Fest in Philly, and of course, being over here in the UK, I'm not going! Neither are some of my friends over at Art Bead Scene and beyond, and so we have banded together to have a joint sale. 

Use coupon code PITYPARTY13 to grab yourself a bargain at any of the following places this weekend!

Second Surf - 20% off.  Also check our Second Surf's Facebook page for one-of-a-kind bead sets through the weekend. 
Jewellery Quarter - 30% off. 
Grubbi - 40% off. 

The sales are running through til the end of Sunday. Enjoy! And hopefully see you here sooner rather than later....

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Singing, craft fair-ing and a new design....

An all-too-short day off today, after performances for the past two nights, and another tomorrow. Tomorrow's is part of the Lake District Festival, and I am looking forward to singing the totally awesome music that we are performing, once again! I must say, I'm not so much looking forward to my 6am rise tomorrow however.......

Straight after the performance, I'm driving up to Edinburgh, to take over the West End Craft Fair, which began today. I hear it was a little bit of a slow start, but not bad! I am looking forward to getting there, although I have really enjoyed these past two weeks of singing and performing, and I will miss the rest of the company and the music, of course. 

I thought I'd share a new design here with you. A custom order lead to this pretty, simple and customisable (is that really a word?!) bracelet, which I made in a variety of colours and mixes. I love them! I call them 'Stackables'. What colours would you like to see?

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Brit Pack Beaders - The Reveal (at last)!

Welcome to the third instalment of the Brit Pack Beaders! My goodness, we have put this one back and just kept getting in the way (annoying how it does that, eh?!). And in fact, life EVEN got in the way for me yesterday, the day I was supposed to be posting this reveal. I am currently rehearsing for a production in London, and sod's law, despite being in the capital of England, there is NO internet reception in our rehearsal venue. Last night was the tech rehearsal (always quite a long and drawn-out procedure - lights, electronics etc....) which meant I didn't get back to my friend's house where I'm staying til 11.30pm.....too late to engage my brain and sort out the post, definitely! So here I am, better late than never I hope :-)

You can see the lovely, lovely materials we each sent out over here. And here's the beautiful inspiration piece, chosen by Bo.

Mariana by Rossetti

Not a palette I often work with - there's something very classic about these colours together - but I really enjoyed working with it. They felt very serene and balanced, and the designs came together very easily. Of course, I know I will hop over to other people's reveals and think 'Damn! They did such a better job than I did!', because that's what I always do.  But I like the simple designs I created. Take a look....

And now, hope over to my friends' blogs:


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