Friday, 4 July 2008

From the 9th March - 1st July

1st July 2008

Me and my eldest son Shane

Hi all, long time no chat! So much has happened.....2 wonderful weeks on the French Riviera with my partner, my eldest son and his trying to catch up loads of work on my return.....fighting the grass pollen and having to cancel golf games, staying indoors with goggles on......back on serious diet to shift some holiday pounds again (even though I regularly went to the gym at the holiday complex).....oh and I have negotiated a 3rd office as I have officially run out of space. So now this requires Brian (my partner) to cut a new door into the front wall so I have a dedicated front door and my customers won't have to come down a dingy passage any more (so often coming in looking lost and confused)....painting and recarpetting....and a complete re-hash of the whole layout. I can engrave on glass but I am not any good at interior decorating or flower arranging for that matter????? Anyway it will eventually look much better than it does now. whew.

I have about a dozen or so emails I still have not answered from engravers and others from all over the the world. Please bare with me, (is it bear or bare???) anyway, I am always flattered by all the mail, such fascinating people out there and I am delighted that my little website serves to entertain, help and inspire budding engravers and other interested people. I just wish I had more time!!! For those inquiring about sandblasting specifically, there is an excellent forum I belong to which is mainly American, they are a fantastic bunch and there is much more information on the subject to be found there than I could possibly give. Click on forum on this site.

Oh whilst in France we visited a place called Biot, we always go there to the glass centre, it is an absolute must for glass enthusiasts. The main glass gallery is just fabulous. I never know, hey....

One other note, if anyone is reading this in the Halesworth area and has a temporary job going for a strapping 22 year old New Zealand policeman on GAP leave, my son is now trying to find some work for the duration of his stay (till December) doing just about anything...please give me a shout if you have anything available. He has a valid drivers licence, a 5 year ancestral visa and his Nat Ins number.

...and today is my "baby's" 21st birthday!!! Far away in Zew Zealand. It is a tragedy that I am missing yet another milestone in my childrens life, but my turn will come. Happy Birthday my Gavs! X

25 May 2008

Well the radio interview went well once I finally found the studio!! Just made it in time after fighting with maps/ traffic and strange roads of Ipswich. A VERY big thanks to Lesley Dolphin for inviting me to be her Radio Suffolk "Guest on the couch" and making me feel so welcome, what a lovely lady, and Robert for looking after me, I am very grateful for the opportunity to share my work and story.

I managed to finally finish my mural on Saturday, at last , seemed to take an age, but of course I could only work on weekends. Click on the painting to go to its story.

In the mean time, I am having such a wonderful time having my eldest son with me and have already played 2 games of golf with him!! ;-) So special!

21 May 2008

What a happy busy time I have been having with my son, his girlfriend and my work...and golf! So much on the go and not enough time to cover it all. I was not going to tell you this...because I am feeling a bit shy.....but then I thought I really owe it to those who have supported me and my I am going to tell you that I am being interviewed live on Radio Suffolk by Lesley Dolphin tomorrow , Thurs 22nd May, at around 12.30. I am very nervous so if you read this please wish me luck and I am going to try and not say "um" too many times. If you do miss it I believe it will be available on Listen Again on the website HERE.

10 May 2008

On Tuesday this week we left at 3.30am for Heathrow to collect my eldest son and his girlfriend who have come to stay for a number of months from New Zealand. I have no words to describe the emotion. I had seen my Shane once in 7 years. The most wonderful reunion. Our home has come to life it seems, they are both little shining lights. Tears came to my eyes when my son called out to me as he walked into the lounge ..."Mom"....I only wish that all moms who do not see their sons and daughters for one reason or another, tragic or otherwise, could just hear that sound once again. Like beautiful music to a mothers ears. To top it all the weather seems to also be celebrating the event with glorious sunshine. Shane and I played our first game of golf in years, together, at the golf course where I am a member, Halesworth. What a treat. (playing off 7 now, I was amazed at his skill!!!)

Plenty of work to get on with now whilst they are both off galavanting, exploring and finding jobs. My new Dartington range is proving extreemly popular, there is nothing like beautiful crystal to work on. There are 4 different styles of crystal beer tankard and 1 style crystal beer glass (no handle), something I had previously battled to find in plain top quality crystal. Also popular lately are the Dartington decanters, jugs and heavy based whisky glasses. I will include a selection of photos once the recipients have their gifts and presentations. Don't forget I will always have a full range of items available from a variety of suppliers.

28 April 2008

What a lovely succesful fair it was! Congrats to Denis and the team and thank you to my great customers and visitors to my stand! I have a MOUNTAIN of sorting out to do in my showroom now and much work to catch up on now.... so no more time to chat. have a great week everyone!

26 April 2008

Tomorrow is the Art Glass fair in London. I have been flat out busy with orders as well as my creations to add to my stand at the Fair. I have not had enough time to tell you all about them, not even enough time to take photos!!! That is not like me at all. For my engraving demonstration I will be working on a stunning crystal Atlantis decanter with an African elephant scene " From the African bush" also a crystal wine glass ...very tall, with a busy little bird scene "branch meeting". Both will be completed during the fair (obviously I have been working on them both for a while already), and both will be for sale....ok I will try and take a photo or 2 just now, have to start packing everything and get ready for that very early start in the morning. I do hope the weather is not as bad as the weather man says it may be, this fair is definitely worth a visit!! You will find me in the foyer.

here goes:


20th April 2008

Oh my, where do I start, if I thought I was busy before.....I was having a walk in the park.......since the 6th April I turned 46! Still feel like a spring chicken though ;-)

My highlight of the week......on Thursday I had the great privilege of being invited to spend a day at Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe, (initiated by the determined enthusiasm of one of the students, Sarah, thirsting for engraving knowledge). I was up at 5.15am so I could catch the 7.15 train to London, then on to HW by 11am. I was carrying my laptop, and pulling a VERY heavy suitcase containing my micromotor drill and several pieces of crystal and glass both engraved and blank, magnifiers, lighting, drip feed water "system" etc. I was met by Sue who is the Ceramics and Glass leader who was very welcoming and I felt immediately at home. There were about 10-12 students who were very friendly and enthusiastic and I felt that every word I was saying was being deeply absorbed. Teaching engraving is very satisfying. They didn't seem to flinch during my almost 2 hour lecture and PowerPoint presentation in the morning, even when I offered them a break! After a 45 minute lunch break we headed back for an afternoon of demonstrating, I really had to hurry this as each student was to have a go engraving both diamond point and drill on their own blank that they had chosen and designed. I found that this part went far to quickly and really needed much more time...or in fact if they each had a drill it would have been fine. I WISH universities would recognise the value of this art. The day ended and off I went catching all my trains (with slightly lighter suitcase without the blanks) and eventually got back to Halesworth at 10:15 ...but then I still had to go to work where I had arranged to meet a courier who collected a very urgent job that I had just completed the day before which had to be taken to the client in London that night......He came at about 10.30pm and I finally headed off home and soaked in a bubblebath with a glass of red wine!!!!...all in a days work.

I attempted to complete my mural yesterday but due to the power going off (so not enough light and freezing cold) I had to abandon that idea and head back to more engraving, which continued today, Sunday.....I have the Art Glass Fair in a weeks time....lots to do!

...a few of the Glass and Ceramic students at Buckinghamshire New University....Thank you for a wonderful day!!!

6th April 2008

What a busy week, steady and positive. It is interesting that I write this on weekends now and so what I have been up to on the weekend is foremost in my mind so I have to try and remember all that has happened earlier. The week was very interesting indeed , it included being photographed intensly whilst demonstrating engraving and questioned at length for a book on all forms of lettering which will be published in 18 months time. The author has written 28 books and so I was very honoured to be asked to be a part of this one. Watch this space.

Apart from getting out some urgent jobs just in time, I have also had some beautiful fulfilling jobs to create (all jobs are fulfilling this one just a wee bit more fulfilling than normal). The order came directly from a young American soldier serving in Iraq, he had written this poem about what he is experiencing there right now. He turns 25 this year, and wanted me to create this special gift to send directly to his father in America for Fathers Day. He also emailed me a photo which he took looking across the hazy dusty desert when the sun was on the horizon. I had the photo printed to fit in the frame and I engraved the poem next to it on the curved glass extension of the frame. He asked for 2 of these, I presume one will be for himself. These special pieces are on their way to his dad right now. I am a mum of 2 sons in the military, my heart went out to him.

Yesterday and today I spent painting my mural, the scene of the sunny Spanish Med, whilst it was snowing outside!!! The laugh was when the grandsons came to have their photos taken, along with their little dog, so I can place them in the picture, dressed shorts, T shirts and sun hats....they were a little reluctant, naturally in 3 degC temperature and frequent snowshowers. We did this very quickly thanks to the wonderful settings of a modern day digital camera, as I had to take the from the side of a hill looking down at them walking towards me below, so I can get the perspective right in the mural.

Have a great week and stay positive, focus all your energy on what you need in life to make you happy and never on what makes you grumpy ;-)

31 March 2008

After a VERY busy week, I have been painting the mural all weekend. It still has a long way to go. (see Paintings page). So much happening this week and more emails which I have not managed to answer. Once this mural is finished I will have more weekend time again ;-) Keep well everyone.

21 March 2008

Very busy with orders at the moment, but spent today (Good Friday) painting the mural and tomorrow I have a golf match on what is promising to be a bitterly cold day, probably my coldest golf game ever, 0 degC and possible snow showers. Sunday will be my first day off for many weeks and then Monday I will be working again, starting off by unpacking my Dartington stock! Oh yes, that is my other news, I am now a stockist, with a smallish display of popular shapes including plain beer tankards and beer glasses, at LAST, beautiful lead crystal and PLAIN, after many requests. Of course you may now order any Dartington items from me.

Per ardua ad astra!

15 March 2008

Would you believe it was time for another Craft experience day at Darsham yesterday, what a busy day with 5 students in the morning including a 9 year old lad, then 7 students in the afternoon after the usual HUGE delicious lunch. Everyone was as keen as ever, though some a little nervous, but all produced LOVELY work in the 2 and a half hour session. Photos to follow. Thanks once again to the amazing organisers. With about 14 different crafts taking place with each person trying 2, you can imagine the organisation involved.

I have a very busy week ahead, albeit 4 normal engraving business days, however I will be painting the mural on Good Friday and then a golf match on Saturday. It is all systems go.

Have an excellent week everyone, and those waiting for answers to their emails, I will catch up soon! I want to thank you for the incredible mail I do get and I am always delighted to know my website is helping, inspiring anyone!

Keep your face to the sunshine so you cannot see the shadows.

Darsham craft day..remember most have never engraved before!:

Some of the finished pieces:

12th March 2008

Today is my father's funeral. I am sitting here in my workshop listening to his favourite classical music, because due to the gales and weather warnings I made the decision not to make the 10 hour round trip. For hours this morning the M6 was closed due to 7 lorries having overturned and we were being warned to stay indoors. It was not possible to travel up before today. So I sat quietly remembering my daddy during the time of his funeral . 'tis a very sad day. May he rest in peace. X

9th March 2008..Some exciting news is I have been asked to give a talk and hands on workshop at Buckinghamshire New University next month, I am very much looking forward to this. I also will be conducting a 2 day workshop up in the north of Scotland in May, and along with demonstrating at the Art Glass Fair next month and my one to one lesson I gave all day Friday....oh and not forgetting Darsham teaching day next seems to be a period of "teaching".

Business has been pretty hectic lately, with a huge variety of commissions to do. I have been tackling them during the week and painting my mural at the weekends. Watch the Paintings page for progress, I do have some more photos to add today. I have made a point of playing the odd game of golf inbetween which has been very good for my mind, body and soul. The main thing has been to keep my mind occupied otherwise I get very sad about my Daddy, one thing is for sure, he is safe and free as a bird and I am sure as happy as he looks in these pictures.

My father's funeral will take place in Heversham on Wednesday at 2pm.

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