wire ... metal ... fibre .... unique handcrafted jewelry and accessories for men and women

Friday, May 29, 2009

speed and efficiency?

design-a-day April 08 set


to promote to and share with a wide audience



1 flickr slideshow (group photographs together in a set and then click on the slideshow function on that set's page, grab the embed this code)

1 ArtFire Rapid Cart

1 blog

1 ByHand account

1 Twitter account and associated twitterfeed from your blog



Create a new blog post on ByHand, incorporating your flickr slideshow (embed as html).

Below your description insert an ArtFire Rapid Cart with some of the items in the slideshow for sale.

Publish your blog entry on ByHand, checking the twitter and front page options if desired.

Check the 'publish to your own blog' option.



A quick slideshow attractively presents your work, and the Rapid Cart provides a one click buy now option for interested parties. Your work is presented to three different audiences.

.... all in one blog post


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ferries - excellent for portable crafting

my wordless wednesday submission (or maybe i just want a holiday)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

time goes by .........

studio time


... not slowly enough sometimes. How many other mums out there are trying to cram 27 hours-worth of duties into a measly 24 and still trying to grab some restorative shut eye too?

Although weekends are traditionally thought of as leisure time I've yet to met a mum who thinks on that wavelength. For me, it's just a time of the week when I have more family members in the house (and under my feet). Instead of having just one relative to wrangle, I have two. Now luckily additional family member J is quite handy at combining activities with junior member T so I can boot both of them out of the house at the one time, making space for such exciting projects as housework, cleaning toilets and floors, and homework from my further education course. Woohoo! I can also rely on Family Member J to come up with edible meals over the weekend too.

But this weekend was different. It was a long weekend for a start, then school decided to tack on a Pro D day at the end and Family Member J was jet-lagged so I felt guilty at throwing him into domestic stuff immediately (tho' if we'd all been flying back at the same time I guess I would have ended up being responsible for feeding us, jet lag or none!).

So I've had very little time to get anything done. If I'm working sensibly I try to kill many birds with one stone (squelch) so blogging via ByHand is a useful option in terms of getting my message out and reaching a wider audience. I still haven't cracked my marketing strategy but blogging is in my current armoury so I need to do it regularly. Once I blog it's tweeted out via ByHand, Blogfire (from my other blog, thank you Alicia for setting this up) and TwitterFeed, and thus appears on Facebook too. There is also a very useful function within ByHand which allows you to post from your account to you blogger or wordpress blog. So for one blog post I can potentially reach five different audiences.

An efficient use of my time methinks! (and I made a sale from my ecrater shop which I never really promote too!)

Saturday, May 16, 2009


a little something
wire crochet ring in gold artistic wire

Waiting for out-of-school activities to end can be a real drag, however I do enjoy hanging out at Place des Arts in Coquitlam where the Wee Guy goes for his art classes. I get to sit around in the gallery (where the incredible Tripolar exhibition by the Freemantle siblings is currently on view) and either contemplate on life as I sip my coffee and view the art, or can spend an entire hour crafting without distractions.
This was a recent result - I was asked at a recent craft fair if I made wire crochet rings.
Well I do now!

Friday, May 15, 2009

lacking focus

clutch of fidget rings

clutch of fidget rings in brass and copper with furnace glass

Time has most definitely not been of the essence recently, mainly due to an enforced run of solo parenting for the last week. When I'm not parenting I've generally been too tired to create, and this makes me more exhausted and in turn I get little other than the immediate childcare stuff done in a day ..... and so on! It becomes a catch-22 until I get some unfettered "me-time" to reboot. We've been mainly home-based too so I've not even been managing any portable crafting moments despite having a new waistcoat on the (circular) pins.

However, a few evenings ago I sat down at my desk and worked on two projects. Somehow the metal obeyed my command, I only shattered one glass bead during rivetting and the pair of fidget rings shown above were the end product. There's also a new flotsam wire and fibre brooch on the go but it needs a repeat felting so no pics so far.

Having some new projects on the go certainly helps me banish the crafting blues, and I've found it helps with life in general. I feel calmed and productive amidst the chaos of my role in family life, a job with no reference, feedback or career pattern. I guess this mother's little helper is fibre or metal plus assorted tools!

PS: they're fidget rings cos the glass rivet section sticks up a bit and is great for fiddling with, all rings should have a fiddle section!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

thrift heaven

...... and who says crafting has to be "old lady"?
Readers - may I introduce one of my new portable crafting holdalls? Behold, a genuine Italian leather handbag snaffled from a local consignment store for a mere 10CAD! It has three roomy pockets and easily holds an entire ball of wool, circular needle and the pattern, plus my usual day-to-day 'stuff'.

New thrift store shoes too, just to make crafting al fresco a little more stylish.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

morning rituals

espresso cup pair

espresso cup pair, handpainted by ebbandflo

Just wanted to share a morning ritual with you.

I am most definitely not a morning person but the Wee Guy is all abuzzing as soon as his eyes open at daybreak (yes, it's brutal in the summer). To emerge unscathed from the breakfast ritual we've evolved a small ritual - the "do not disturb mummy when she is listening to The Archers podcast" ritual which on a good day garners me approximately 13 minutes of uninterrupted breakfast. In translation, enough time for a poached egg on toast and most of a cup of coffee.

Most important.

I've been listening to The Archers for most of my adult life (more info on them here) since I graduated from university and moved away fom where I grew up to work in the Rhondda Valley in Wales. The episodes have been a mainstay of continuity in a sometimes chaotic life. Storylines about rural life, love, tuberculosis, silage, farming accidents, suicide, births, and so on have accompanied me as I dealt with being far away from family, battled with an abusive boyfriend, bought and sold houses, moved around the UK for jobs and thru assorted (healthier) romances. When I emigrated to Canada I thought my affair with the country folks was over but then those jolly chaps at the BBC introduced the podcast and my listening life was saved! Originally the daily Archers podcasts were sent to my email inbox but over time my online life has become more sophisticated and RSS feeds such as this are collated in my Google Reader.

If you're a portable crafter, podcasts are available from many sources for downloading onto an iPod, but even in the craft studio they can be a welcome and educational accompaniment to your crafting day. Check out the links below for some additions to your RSS feeds list.

Happy listening!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Being a mum ......

the moment of birth!

Being a mum rocks!
  1. I loved being pregnant, found it fascinating and it total awe of my body even though it insisted on throwing up each and every day from about 8 weeks in (thank you doctor for the loverly diclectin!). I am still in awe of what my body managed, during the pregnancy, birth and thereafter until weaning at about 3 years. Thank you body!
  2. My Wee Guy continues to amaze me. The force of his own personality at such a young age impresses me. I'm sure that I wasn't as much my own person at his age. I only hope I can nurture and not crush it.
  3. We do fun things together, activities that I wouldn't even have thought of, like movie nights with popcorn, browsing for treasures at the local thrift (which he thoroughly enjoys), making pretzels, movies for mummies, cycling round the zoo ..... I'm sure some of these are just extensions of what I loved doing as a child but many are new to us both.
  4. I love watching him react to new situations and learning to handle these experiences in his own way. Certainly there are some instances when personality traits get in the way but it's rewarding seeing him learn for the next time around. He re-discovers the magic of the world for me. It's easy to become jaded as an adult "been there, seen that" so many times before. On his level, he's seeing everything afresh and his enthusiasm is infectious
  5. I'm amazed at how he is pre-programmed to grow and learn. His brain is like a sponge, his reading ability races ahead with every book and he gets bigger! How do his bones know to lengthen, how does his body know to get bigger? Yes, I know - I studied developmental anatomy and biology at university. I know that there are growth plates, mitosis, cell growth, hormonal cues etc etc etc ..... but when you see it in action it's quite astounding!
Being a mum sucks!
  1. I can no longer do anything on the spur of the moment. Leaving the house can take 20 minutes with lots of nagging about shoes, jacket, books, toys, toilet ..... and so on. I really notice how much less encumbered life is when I travel around by myself.
  2. My attention span has shrunk. Since I am on call 24/7/365 I have to be ready to drop everything at a moment's notice. Thus I no longer concentrate well on long, ie. more than 2 minutes, projects. I'm much more of a butterfly brain and I resent that imposition. Carving out 'me-time' is a practical necessity yet it is tinged with guilt at not spending time with the Wee Guy or with my husband. I spend a lot of time in conflict with my feelings.
  3. My waistline - now where did it go? and what's with the flaring ribcage? Luckily the boobs shrank back down to a more normal size.
  4. See no. 2 above - he may have his own forceful personality but often it is in direct conflict with mine! Life can be less than smooth for days on end - sometimes I think there will be no end to the hostilities (and there's still the teenage years to come!).
  5. I've grown up, I've had to grow up to be a mum but I feel my husband has lagged a long way behind. It would be incredible to feel like a wife again instead of just someone's mother - as far as I remember, I only gave birth to one child ........ and I don't think this is an unusual opinion for many mums out there.
On balance I have no regrets about becoming a mum, there would have been more if I had decided not to have a child I think. I love my Wee Guy and what he's brought into my life. He's an amazing companion for my day-to-day and we both learn from each other. I am so glad I didn't leave the option of motherhood until it was too late but now when I do the maths I do sometimes wish I'd started a bit earlier!

Thanks to i should be napping for kind-of tagging me via twitter! If you're reading this and you're a parent, please consider yourself tagged and comment back here to let me know!

Monday, May 4, 2009

buttonless knickers

flotsam buttons - post felting
wire and fibre felted buttons
(alpaca and tinned copper)

Phew! After Sunday's most incredible Got Craft spring opener I have relaxation in mind. Once that's been achieved portable crafting will have to take a bit of a back seat as I reload my online shops and attend to my website. I need to photograph and list my inventory - all of which translates into much computer time!
I also need to road test a new design - wire and fibre buttons (shown above). They look beautiful and will survive the washer/dryer but I need to find out how they function as functioning buttons. For example, since they felt they are unsuitable for certain wools ie. those which are not machine washable, and how stable are they for pushing in and out of a button hole? Normally I test out my fabric-related stuff on ..... knickers since they suffer a lot of abuse (?) and are laundered a lot. None of my knickers have buttons so I'm a little at a loss ......

Stay tuned!
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