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Thursday, 11 November 2010

I'm still here...

Honest.
I have not been eaten by killer bees, eloped with my tutor or anything like that. I'm just -really- busy.
I spent the summer in the USA ,which was awesome and may prompt an actual, detailed blog at some point. Then again, it may not.
I was working at a summer camp and teaching kids how to make jewellery, including a bit of chainmaille, which was fairly awesome.Since I got back I've started back at uni. I'm doing a 1 year research masters which will (hopefully) lead into a PhD. I'm also:
* working part time at a candy shop
* running a proofreading business (reasonable rates - note me :P)* editing erotic fiction for Filament magazine
* running the university's Gilbert and Sullivan society
* having a social life

Sadly, this all leaves very little time for art/jewellery. I'm doing bits and pieces and will hopefully have some photos up at (or before) Christmas, but nothing major will be happening around here for a while :(

I am still taking commissions, so get in touch if you need anything :)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Off to the States

Morning!

Well, I'm flying to America today at 2pm. I'm going to be working at a summer camp in NY state, teaching jewellery and silversmithing.
Yay!

...I'm mildly terrified.But excited.
It'll be fiiine once I get there, it's just the getting there part! I'm not a very good flyer :/ hopefully I can sleep through the journey though.

So there'll probably be another couple of months of few blog posts from me :(
(my excuse for the past few months is that I've been revising for my finals. I get my results next week!)

So, to tide you over, I've a few photos of a recently completed commission. Sterling silver and freshwater pearls. They're to be bridesmaid presents from a couple who are getting married in November :)

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The Most Amazing Year Thus Far

Yes, I am inclined to be a tad dramatic at times.
But it's true! This year has been really, really great. And it's only March :)

That's the main reason why I haven't written recently. There's so many exciting things going on that I just haven't had the time.
Academic news first.
I had a meeting with my dissertation supervisor in February (I think) and he told me he wants to try and publish it. And that I should really apply to do postgrad work. Now, I've always wanted to do a PhD but put it off for various reasons. Alasdair telling me that I -should- gave me the kick I needed to apply for an MPhil (hopefully I can use that as the first year of a PhD). Only hitch was that I was planning on moving in with my partner in a different city. So, I rang him that evening and told him (he was thrilled) and he's now looking for work in Birmingham :D So not only do I get to stay in the city I love, but the man I love will be joining me!
I've been accepted onto the MPhil programme too, as long as I get a 2:2 or higher. Shouldn't be an issue :)
Publishing news.
I am the new fiction editor for Filament magazine! I applied a few weeks ago, got shortlisted and had to do a few tasks and the editor emailed me and said I'd got the job if I wanted it. Seeing as I'd be going into publishing if I wasn't continuing with education, this is possibly the most perfect arrangement. I'm enjoying it hugely and feel so proud that I'm contributing to such a great publication.
Ladies, if you haven't read it yet, I strongly suggest you order yourself a copy. They can be ordered from the website :)

What else...

Oh yes! My amazing boyfriend and a variety of friends organised a suprise birthday for me! When I walked in and saw them my first instinct was to try and run away - I ran for the door and it's only because Tom's bigger than me that I didn't make it. He kind of blocked the way.
So yes, that was immense fun.
I have a placement at an American Summer Camp for June-August! I get to teach children how to make various pieces of jewellery, which will be loooots of fun.
Funfunfun.

And for now, that's it. I'm spending the Easter doing lots of revision - I've only got 2 exams, but they're in early May and they're quite important :)
Will try and drop by again soooooon!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Beef Stew Recipe!

Beef stew is one of my favourite meals to make. It's delicious, easy to make and very filling. Plus you can put about ANYTHING in it.
My recipe is slightly different every time, but this time the ingredients included:

Diced beef
Chorizo sausage
Mushrooms
Courgette
Red pepper
Shallots (or onions)
Garlic
Red wine
Vegetable stock
Butter
Olive oil
Tomato puree

Sadly there are no measurements - I don't tend to use them :/ If you decide on how much beef you want to use then you should be able to just estimate the rest of the ingredients.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3 (or thereabouts).
Put a small amount of butter and olive oil in whatever pan/casserole dish you're using and heat it up the hob. Cook the garlic and shallots (or onions) until soft, then add the beef, chorizo, assorted vegetables, red wine and stock. Simmer on the hob for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables have gone soft.
Add salt, pepper, a small amount of tomato puree and whatever herbs you like using. Bung the whole lot in the oven until the beef has gone all soft and tender - mine's usually in for 2-3 hours :)
Serve up with mash and enjoy!

This was the first time I used chorizo and I think it worked really well - but make sure you only use a small amount. A lot would overwhelm the other flavours! The vegetables listed can be substituted for whatever you like in your stew - carrots, parsnips and sweet potatos all work well.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Gilbert and Sullivan

Afternoon!

Today has been a bit...disjointed. Lecture was fun (Greek Sexuality, always good for a bit of a giggle), swimming was also good but I just don't feel like I've got anything done!

Specifically in regards to the University's Gilbert and Sullivan Society. We're well under way with rehearsals for our next production, 'The Mikado', but we still don't have a comic baritone.
For those who don't know their G&S, the comic baritone part is a fairly major one. It also looks like a lot of fun to play :D But we just haven't had anyone interested in playing it come and audition. Or even tell us that they're interested.
It's led to myself and Siz trying to work out what we'll do if we can't find anyone. We can't write the part out - it's far too important and we'd lose most of the amusing parts. The best suggestion we've come up with is too change it into a spoken part only. So have a normal actor play Ko-Ko (comic baritone character) and recite the songs as if they were poetry or something similar. We'd have issues with and duets/trios, but at least we'd have the character there.

Can you think of any other options?

Friday, 29 January 2010

Circles, Circles Everywhere

Evening!

Today has been a day of highs and lows. My lecture this morning was amusing as always, added to by the fact that my lecturer told me I'm allowed to write a commentary on the use of Classics in Terry Pratchett's 'Discworld' novels as one of my assessments. How awesome is that?

Then I got home and my boyfriend called a couple of hours later. We live about 3 hours apart and he works full-time so we really only get to see each other at the weekends. I've been looking forward to seeing him all week, but when he called he told me that his car has broken again so he's pretty much stranded at his parent's house :(
Boo!

Went for a swim, sat in the sauna for a bit and picked up some post from my next-door neighbour...joy of joys, it was the necklace mandrel I bought a couple of days ago!

I've had some pretty interesting necklace designs floating round in my sketchbook for a while now and this means I can finally put them into practise :D Spent half of the evening soldering silver circles together and the other half eating pizza with my housemates at watching the IT Crowd (UK comedy about IT guys...fairly funny!).



Despite the upset of not seeing Tom, I'm looking forward to the weekend. I have a Gilbert and Sullivan rehearsal from 10am-2pm tomorrow (next production is the Mikado :D), then my bestest friend Alana is coming to stay the night and I might even be seeing Alex, who I get to see about twice a year.
Oh and there's a barndance after church on Sunday :D What's not to like?


Have an excellent weekend, I'll catch up with you soon!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Valentine's Day Designs!

To be honest, I'm not really one for Valentine's Day. It's fun and all, but for some reason it's never especially appealed to me.

I do get a thrill when I get the post in the morning though. My mum always sends us Valentine's cards with little chocolates in them :) She's been doing it since before we left home...actually, since I was in primary school. We'd used to come down for breakfast in the morning and there would be a card waiting on the table for each of us next to our breakfast bowls.
Every year, they're signed with a big '?' in bright green ink. My mum always writes in green :)

So I guess I do enjoy Valentine's Day :)

I made a couple of simple designs especially for Valentine's, I showed you the basic pendants in my last post. They're now finished and listed on Etsy!

What do you think?

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Simple Silver Rings

Evening all!

I tweeted a while ago about the fact that I bought myself some soldering equipment and that I'd made some pretty rings.
Well, I finally have some free time so I can actually show you!

They're just simple circles of silver that've been hammered flat. One is polished to a high shine, one is matted and one has been oxidised and then polished back so it's shiny too.
Hurrah!


Also here's a sneak peak at my Valentine's designs:

They'll be on thin silver chain with pearls and flower charms hanging off them. Hopefully I'll have those finished in the next day or two so they can be on Etsy in time for Valentine's Day.

Anyway, the washing has just finished so I have to gooo!
Will be back later in the week :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Circus Tricks

Just a quick one today, I'm cooking chicken casserole for a friend tonight so can't stay long!

I'm applying to BUNAC for the summer (they organise counsellors for American summer camps) and the guy who interviewed me suggested I send a film showing that I can, in fact, juggle.

I did some filming on Monday at circus and then sat and put a short film together last night.
Some opinions on it would be very much appreciated...do I look like the kind of person you'd hire to care for small children?



video

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Snow Day!

If you live in the UK, you'll have noticed the snow.

If you haven't, I assume you're living in a hole. Or possibly an institution of some kind.

For those NOT in the UK, we've had snow! More snow that for 30 years or so. Certainly more snow than I've ever seen :D It's about 10 cm in our garden and I've been having SO MUCH FUN!
Went out for a walk yesterday with my little sister and my mum and we basically acted like children for an hour or so. Including snow angels! I've never made a snow angel before.














And I took photos :) Pretty, pretty photos. I won't bore you with them all, but if you wish to bore yourself please take a look on Flickr!

Admittedly, the snow isn't all good. England seems to grind to a halt when we have more than a couple of flakes, this much means out world explodes. I personally love it, but I don't really want to go anywhere other than for a walk in the woods. And my step-dad can actually walk across the fields to work, so it doesn't affect us too much.
We all ventured out to the cinema on Wednesday evening (Avatar again, SO WORTH IT!). It took about an hour longer than usual each way and on the way home we had to get out and push the car up a hill. Doesn't sound too great, but it was actually a lot of fun :)
Not sure if I'll make it to Birmingham for uni on Monday, but what the hey. Just gives me extra time to work :)

Finished Dress!

Evening all!

You may remember that a while ago I showed you photos of a dress I was in the process of making.
Well, I finished it before Christmas and wore it to my brother and sister's 21st birthday party :) Really pleased with how it turned out (less pleased with photos of myself, but you can't have everything!) and it fits like a dream. One of the perks of making your own clothes, I suppose!

Anyway. The pattern is a vintage 1950s, the fabric is a linen/cotton mix that's supposed to be for curtains. Brass buttons and I side-zip.

Took...more hours to make than I care to mention :)
(added the 2nd image because I HAD to show you how cool my shoes are! Even though you can't see them very well :()

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Long Time No Speak :)

Well, good evening!

It's been a while, but I'm still here!

I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable Christmas and that you've recovered from your New Year celebrations :D
I've had an excellent couple of weeks, although sadly real-life must resume tomorrow as I have uni work to do before term starts on Monday.

Couple of film recommendations for you - Avatar and Sherlock Holmes are both excellent.
Avatar is (obviously) beautiful, but the plot isn't half bad either. If you can afford it I would strongly encourage you to see it in 3D, it's well worth the extra expense.
Sherlock Holmes is just a really fun, well-shot and well-scripted film. Jude Law and Robert Downey Jnr. both give terrific performances. I had some initial doubts about this one due to the heavy influence on magic early on - anyone who knows anything about Holmes knows full well that magic really doesn't figure largely. My faith was restored halfway though when I guessed a couple of things, so overall it was very enjoyable.
(Please note: do not be put off by me guessing parts of the plot. This happens A LOT. I seem unable to just watch a film, I have to analyse it as I go along and try to see where the writers are leading the audience astray!)

Out of the Christmas money my Dad and Grandmother gave me I've purchased some fun bits of equipment which now means I can (gasp!) drill holes and polish metal to a respectable shine, as well as make rings. Hurrah! I will be having fun with those in the next month of so, photos will be forthcoming :)

I still owe a tutorial for the tutorial exchange programme (http://totallytutorials.blogspot.com/), hopefully I'll actually be able to finish that soon. Been having some slight problems with the design I originally had in mind, so it will need some reworking :)

Before I go, here are some photos of a neck-piece I made a while ago. I can across this amazing Etsy shop last year (http://www.etsy.com/shop/lilianasterfield) and thought that something similar would be an excellent use for my late Grandfather's silk ties. I rescued them from his house as they were going to be thrown away. He was an impeccably dressed man and I wanted to keep his beautiful ties so I could remember him.