Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stepping Stones Revisited.....

I do these posts for Jewelry Creators Unite in Numbers sporadically - some might say eratically! I start with one of my own pieces and then connect it to the next, belonging to a guild member. Sometimes the connections are pretty tenuous! You might have to use your imagination a bit.

I stuck a metaphorical pin in my Bluetina studio and came up with these Blue Flower Earrings:

The obvious connection here is flowers and I found this Multiple Strand Pearl Necklace in the studio of PersonalOasis:

Pearls next, I think! Oh yes, I found this gorgeous leather and pearl wrap bracelet in PinkSunsetJewelry's studio:

That means leather next. I think I know just where to go for that! WildCatLeather, obviously! How about this leather and turquoise heart pendant from her studio?

Now, hearts or turquoise....turquoise or hearts? 

I plumped for turquoise. I spotted this lovely turquoise beaded necklace in epicetera's studio. It's got a bird on it. Guess what might be coming up?

Yep, it's a bird! Linda Landig obliged with this one. This is her ceramic bird pendant:

One more. Every bird must have a nest! Even a turquoise pearl and sterling silver one!  This is from the studio of Windy's Designs:

There, I finished. This is so much easier now that the Guilds on Artfire have been rebuilt. I can search for whatever I want. Love it!

Neglecting my duties...

Oh dear, last post on this blog was 30th September!

I am not sure where the last six weeks went, only that they did......and in somewhat of a blur. I still managed to collect another follower though. How I managed that while looking the other way, I'll never know.

I'm going to post something right now! A little post for Jewellery Creators Unite in Numbers Guild on Artfire, I think.

See you in a minute.....

Friday, September 30, 2011

More stepping stones.....

It's the last day of September and I still haven't done my blog post for Jewelry Creators Unite in Numbers Guild on Artfire. I am a naughty girl. I am an acknowledged expert in the art of procrastination. So, it's the stepping stones approach again.....

I'm starting with one of mine that doesn't get many views. I don't know why - I'm rather proud of the photo!

Sterling Silver & Haematite Fringed Necklace

This lovely necklace from Personal Oasis is also black and features chains but it is totally different. That's what I love about handmade jewellery - you can give a few designers the same colours and components and they all come up with something unique!

Two strand necklace in black and bronze
This necklace from epicetera also has a tenuous connection the the previous two. It's black and it features chain. But look how different it is!

Heart Pendant Necklace

I've just noticed that this blog post has veered off topic a bit. It now seems to be all about black jewellery with chains. Oh well, onwards and upwards!

This marvellous creation from Midnight Whispers (that's our Yini, in disguise!) is dark and atmospheric and features chain quite heavily.

Moonstone & Gunmetal Chain Necklace
Two more to go - let's see what I can find!

Southern Emma's Boutique is one of our newest members. I found a dark and atmospheric photo that seems to fit this theme well. It looks like that bracelet is held together with large black links of chain. Very effective!

Black Ice & Retro Bracelet

Strega Jewellry has produced this magnificent necklace. Now that's a chain and a half! Evidently it's not as heavy as it looks.

Metal Disc Pendant Necklace

I quite enjoyed that! Even if it did turn out to be a different blog post altogether! Can I be bothered to scroll back up and change the title? Nah......leave it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bluetinatoo is having a destash sale....

I'm destashing big time! My jewellery making efforts have veered off in a different direction and I now make a lot of components myself. I have loads of ear wires, clasps and other things that I no longer need. Perhaps they would be useful to you? Things like these:

SS Hoops with loops
Bali silver chandeliers

SS Fancy Bail
or these:

Blue Cloisonne Flower Beads
Amethyst glass angel wings
I have created a coupon:

Visit bluetinatoo's Studio
SAVE 25.00 % On Select Studio Categories
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.

It can be used in both my destash categories from now until Sunday 9th October.  I have limited it to ONE use per customer - I want you to buy everything you want in one go!

Choose wisely!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Spanish Fiesta...

This last weekend just gone, it was the occasion of Urcal's Annual Fiesta. As with all Spanish village fiestas, it starts on Friday night and no one gets any sleep until Monday!

The Spanish know how to party. There is lots of loud music and dancing and they wander around the village most of the night, chatting and letting off extremely loud fireworks. In previous years, we have attended but not this year. It doesn't matter what time they show on the posters for the various events, absolutely nothing of any significance happens until about one o'clock in the morning and it certainly doesn't wind down until at least 5 a.m. I can't stay up that late any more! I used to, in my teens and twenties but now, in my sixties, I just cannot acclimatize myself to the Spanish diurnal rhythm. They have their little siesta in the afternoon, especially in the summer months, but, if I try to sleep during the day, I awaken very groggily, wondering what day it is and whether it's morning or evening.

Having said that, sleeping at night is not an option on Fiesta Weekend! We only doze, fitfully, listening to the musical offerings of the night in the distance and tensing ourselves for the next big bang. It's like Chinese water torture!

During the daytime, as the villagers seem to get away with very little sleep, there are children's parties, market stalls, lots of paella and other entertainments. There is also the very solemn occasion of the procession of the Virgin. She is brought out of the local church on her platform and paraded up and down the village High Street. It takes several strong men to hold her up - I don't think she's been dropped yet but it wouldn't surprise me.

I took this photograph a few years ago. I actually won a photography competition with it!

Needless to say, on Monday morning the village is exceedingly quiet. I think most working people have the day off. I'm looking forward to a proper night's sleep tonight!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Changes afoot....

I just changed the layout of my blog a little. I put the Artfire Rapidcart at the top and the Flickr picture slide show thingy at the bottom.

Not sure I like it. What do you think?

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm all behind, like a cow's tale.....

My Mum used to say that and it's very apt. I'm so, so busy that I'm having dreadful trouble keeping up with this blogging lark. So much for posting every day! That went the way of all my resolutions.

I think I told you that I have some copper pieces displayed at C.A.T. Services in La Alfoquia. I remembered to take pictures last time I popped in.

Then I received an email from Karen to say they had sold three items! Hooray! The copper coils bracelet and the double coil pendant went, along with a pair of my pointy heart earrings. I popped down there this morning to replace them with these:

I seem to be on an earring binge lately. I must make some bracelets and necklaces. When I get the time......

More later!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

One thing leads to another...

It's blog post time for Jewelry Creators Unite in Numbers! I have terrible trouble thinking up themes. I decided to try the stepping stone method...

I have just listed this oxidized copper link necklace in my Bluetina studio on Artfire.

It has a pretty lavender pearl on it. So I went to StregaJewellry's studio and found something with pearls in it! You get the picture!

Black Ribbon and Pearls Necklace

Obviously, the theme continues with black and white! Here are some pretty earrings from Strungnature:

Black Shell Earrings

Something else with circles? Found them in Katyanne's studio!

Gaelic Earring Drops

Something green next, I think. Aha! Personaloasis has just the right piece!

3 Strand Green & Silver Necklace
And I knew just where to go for something multi stranded! This is from Sage's Cupboard.

Royal Gold and Black Necklace

One thing leads to another! I think I'll stop there - I could get carried away with this!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cheek biters united....

Over the last few weeks I have developed an annoying little habit. I have started chewing on the inside of my mouth, the right cheek to be precise.

A few ridges of scar tissue later and my husband telling me to "STOP DOING THAT!" for the umpteenth time, I resorted to my friend, the internet.

Well, it seems there are thousands upon thousands of us! Most, if not all, in a much worse state than I am. Numerous causes have been postulated - misaligned teeth or jaw, not enough vegetables, too many vegetables, not enough salt, too much salt, dehydration, worms (yes, worms!), tomatoes, garlic, etc., etc. The most prevalent theory is anxiety and stress. I can relate to that. Evidently, it's a less visible alternative to biting one's nails or pulling one's hair out.

As for a cure, there are far fewer hints about that. I could have downloaded a "relaxation tape" for an extortionate sum, bought a mouth guard (although I don't seem to chew while asleep), purchased worming powder or cut out garlic (no, no, no!) but the easiest, cheapest and immediately available thing to try was a tooth pick.  If you have a tooth pick between your teeth, you can't chew anything. Simples! Oops, sorry, Aleksandr crept in again there - that's what Bryn said I sounded like when chomping distractedly on my own flesh!

I have plenty of tooth picks. I don't stick cheese and pineapple chunks into a grapefruit very often these days, so they should last me a while. It seems to be working so far. The only drawback being the difficulty of talking round a little stick of wood. Some would say that isn't a drawback at all!

If you never hear about this again, you'll know it worked and I'm cured.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bluetina is a wimp....

I am being a big wuss today. I am afraid of most insects - yes, I am a fully paid up, died in the wool, wimp!

Bryn has gone out for a ride on his quad and I have to nip into town for some shopping. There are grasshoppers on the back door. "So what?" I hear you say. Please refer to first paragraph - it is a big deal! I've tried opening the door a crack and banging it shut to scare them off. No dice. Most placid, laid back, zen grasshoppers it's been my misfortune to meet. I can't lock the back door and use the front because that's not the way our crazy Fort Knox system works. I have to go out the back door. Eventually.

I'm leaving it until the last possible moment just in case Bryn comes back first and can do his knight in shining armour bit.

What a wimp....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday, 21st August...

Quite a lot has happened since I last blogged. Well, it feels like it anyway! Now that I'm trying to think what to write here, it doesn't seem much at all.

I took some pieces down to C.A.T. Services in La Alfoquia and displayed them nicely in their jewellery cabinet. I should have taken the camera with me and then I could have posted a photo. I'll do that next time. As well as the five pairs of earrings I showed you a post or two ago, I took these three items:

The bracelet and necklace I deactivated from my Artfire studio as they had not been getting much attention and I thought they were eminently suitable for a copper collection in C.A.T. Services' shop.  We shall see whether anything sells!

I recently heard tell of a new outdoor weekend market opening a few miles away, near Albox, so I drove up there to check it out. I was impressed with the set up. Most of the pitches are covered, they have a creche, children's playground, a bar and restaurant, public loos and toilet/shower rooms for the traders! It's quite expensive at nearly €18 a day for a pitch but, with some of us sharing, it could be cost effective. I have booked for Saturday, 10th September. My friend Pam and I will be setting up together. Pam makes knitwear so that will be a nice contrast to my jewellery. If it goes well, we'll book for the run up to Christmas and perhaps see if some of our other crafty friends want to join us. I'll let you know how it pans out!

I finished Ingebourg's shipping order and delivered it. I now have another necklace to make for her. She's certainly been keeping me busy lately!

I can now start making things for stock - I'll post pictures as I do them.

See you later!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday, 16th August....

It's catching up time again!

Life has been quite hectic lately. Bryn's son Gareth came to visit for a few days.  Bryn took him out quadding several times and he loved it. I would have had some good photos to show you but Bryn forgot to change the settings on the camera when he took it out. The last thing I photographed was close ups of jewellery so the macro was still on. The pics he took were very atmospheric, shall we say, but you couldn't tell what they were! I had to dump them. Shame.

I spent the whole day yesterday getting ready for the night market down at Vera Playa. I arrived at 7:30 p.m., set up and waited. And waited, and waited, and waited....

My friend Jen bought two pairs of earrings but the Madrilenos ignored my wares for the most part. One woman did go through most of my earring collection, physically trying each one in her ear, then walked away with nothing. Not very hygienic - I had to clean them all! I didn't get home until 2 a.m. I was overheated, exhausted and a bit depressed. Never mind! Onwards and upwards! It was very nice of Jen to let me try it out for free. I know these events can vary a lot from night to night but I'm afraid I can't afford the diesel to find out!

Still have a few things to make for C.A.T. Services. Here are some I've done so far:

I also have another shipping order from Ingebourg - at least five necklaces to make from her own beads - so I'd better get cracking!

See you later!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday, 8th August...

Afternoon all!

We went out on the quad again yesterday. That makes twice in one week! God, I ache.

We took a run down to Villaricos on the coast with our friends Alan and Christine. We had lunch and a couple of beers and then trundled off home again. It was blazingly hot and I was covered in sweat and dust by the time we got back to Urcal.  Bryn desperately needed a cold drink so we popped into the bar before going home. I looked a proper sight but you really can't go anywhere on the quad and arrive with your coiffure intact!

Artfire is still having major problems.  My stats haven't moved since Friday so I don't know what the hell is going on. I dare say it will all be sorted in due course so I'm not going to worry about it.

Very busy today, making jewellery for C.A.T. Services' shop. I am also popping down to Vera tonight to check out this evening market that Jen told me about. I must remember to take my stock with me - Jen wants to buy some more earrings!

See you later!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday, 6th August...

This is going to be a very short post! Missed one yesterday, I was very busy and then we went round to a friend's house for drinks. There very nearly wasn't a blog post today, either. I had a terrible hangover this morning!

I've spent most of today checking out the big changes at Artfire.  My studios both look great but there are some bugs, which is only to be expected. My statistics don't make sense at the moment but I'm sure they'll get it fixed soon.

Go have a peek at the new look! Bluetina and Bluetinatoo both looking good!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday, 4th August...

I did something today that I haven't done in a long, long while. I went out with Bryn on the quad!

Gathering of the quads in Urcal

This was quadding on a huge scale. There were seventeen vehicles (buggies and quads) and well over twenty people. We were all heading for the same destination but, despite our best efforts to stay together, a few were lost in the dust of the ramblas. We did all manage to end up at the restaurant eventually but some followed more circuitous routes than others.  We stopped for a couple of breaks along the way, one of which involved a bar.  The bar staff must have been amazed when us lot turned up! Never mind, it definitely upped the takings!

Having a break (no bar though)

When we finally reached the restaurant at the end of the universe (well, that's what it seemed like to my poor behind!), we were fed gallons of paella, salad and chips. It was the proprietor's birthday so we all sang to him. He cried. I don't know whether they were tears of joy or, perhaps, our rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" wasn't up to our usual standard. He bought us a drink anyway.

By this time I'd been out in the sun for seven hours, I was tired and dirtier than I've been for years so I persuaded Bryn it was time to go home. We fought, briefly, over the shower and I won. I feel better now!

The rest of the evening goes somewhat like this - blog post, pour large brandy, watch Torchwood and go to bed. I think I shall sleep well tonight.

See you later!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday, 3rd August...

Hello, it's me again!

Daft comment really, who else would it be?!

Another busy morning not accomplishing very much, as usual. I have, however, been corresponding with my friend Jen.  She lives in Vera, about half an hour away from me and she makes soap, among other things. There is an evening market being held on the beach, every night until the end of August and Jen says it is full of Spaniards, down from Madrid on their holidays. She has a stall there and has invited me to share it for the odd evening. I'm going to try it out next week. Bryn says he must come with me though - he doesn't like to think of me alone down there with jewellery and, possibly, money as well!

Jen has a blog also. Go and visit if you like. She is writing about her recent trip to Canada and it's very interesting.

Now, I might find a couple of hours to actually make something before I do dinner!

See you later!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday, 2nd August...

Well, the water's back on! The pressure was ridiculously low to start with but it's back up to full strength now. I'm clean! Hooray!

My friend Pam gave me a tip about a venue for displaying my jewellery so this morning I went to La Alfoquia to check it out. C.A.T. Services  do all sorts of things like post, residencia applications, translations, etc.  They have quite a large office area which is about to expand and they want to fill it with many and various items for sale. They already have pottery, yarn, ornaments, books, small furnishings and costume jewellery.  I am going to spend the next two weeks making copper jewellery to display there. I have high hopes!

I have been following the copy writing thread in the Artfire forums. I have put quite a bit of effort and brain power (such as it is!) into producing good, long descriptions for the next lot of earrings to be listed. I also tested the titles with Google's Keyword Tool. Getting found by Google is the secret to selling on line.

I listed these yesterday. One in my Bluetina studio:

SS Heart Earrings with Red Accent Beads

and this one in Bluetinatoo:

Spiral Earrings in Copper with Haematite

I shall be interested to see how they do. I posted them on my Facebook page as well but I'm not sure I get any lookers from there. We shall see!

Now I'm going to dust off my pliers and get to work!

See you later!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday, 1st August...

Don't get too close to your computer - I stink to high heaven. The water is off AGAIN! I'm still wearing my sloppy house dress that I use to cover my nakedness first thing in the morning, my hair is a greasy mop, I feel sweaty and dirty - I need a shower, NOW!

Of course, Murphy's Law applies in this, as in all similar situations, and we have had two lots of visitors already this morning. I felt at a distinct disadvantage with the first lot. The lady in question had never been to my house before. Indeed, I had only met her once.  It's just as well she is a down to earth sort and took it all in her stride. "Come on then, show me your jewellery!" she said.  That distracted me from my unkempt state somewhat but I didn't like to get too close!

The next lot we know pretty well and I didn't feel quite so phased but it's still difficult trying to make a pot of coffee when you need to rinse the pot and the filter but nothing is coming out of the tap.

Bryn has just informed me that Paco, our builder, is on site right now so he's going to find out what is going on. He has gone armed with his best Spanish. I wish him luck!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday, 31st July....

Hello again!

I am gratified to see that some people are reading this blog. I've had a few comments!

We popped up to our friends' house for drinks and nibbles last night. They had invited their next door neighbours who were over on holiday. I came over all domesticated and made some sausage rolls with my own fair hands. We sat outside (one of the things I love about living in Spain - you can sit outside at night and be perfectly warm in a summer dress) and nibbled and drank and nibbled and drank until 1 a.m. Went home slightly rat arsed! I had no business feeling as reasonably healthy as I did this morning. Should have had a hangover but I got away with it.

Bryn just got back from doing an airport run to Alicante.  He's gone to bed with a pounding headache.

Sold another buckle off the buckleman web site today. Seven down, eighty nine to go. If anybody is interested, Bryn is selling his collection of German Military belt buckles. He started collecting them when he was fifteen but now they are pension fund!

I've done the ironing and now I'm going to have a go at writing some good descriptions for these earrings I made a few weeks ago, just before I went off for my regular jaunt to the UK.

 Simple sterling silver spirals.
 Copper and haematite earrings.
 Copper wonky heart earrings with Swarovski crystals.
 Sterling silver large oval hoops with Mother of Pearl.
Sterling silver wonky hearts with red glass heart beads.

Some will be listed in bluetina and some in bluetinatoo. Not sure which ones yet.

See you later!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jewelry Creators Unite in Numbers

I have searched at random through the guild roster to spot unusual items from our members.

Blessed Bea Prayer Beads
Pagan prayer beads from Srega Jewellry. I haven't seen those before!

Midnight Blue Earrings
I love these beauties from Pretty Gonzo! Lovely photograph, too!

6 Strand Jade Necklace
This multi strand Jade necklace from JillsJewelry is rather luxurious!

Hot Pink Bracelet
Just look at the colour of these beads that personaloasis has used in this bracelet!

Sterling Silver Paua Shell Necklace
Epicetera has certainly gone to town on this one! Absolutely gorgeous!

Silver & Copper Shoulder Sweepers

And here is one of mine from my bluetinatoo studio. I discovered I could tilt the tripod!