Monday, 26 April 2010

Running...

Some of you may know that I'm getting married in a few months...in an attempt to not destroy all wedding photos immediately they are developed, I have been hitting the gym recently - not my favourite thing to do! It seems to be making very little difference (possibly due to the fact that I like things such as cheese and wine?!) so last week I decided to try out a couple of sessions with a personal trainer. They were offering the initial sessions almost 1/2 price at my gym so I thought it would be rude not to.



Last Thursday I went along and paid to be tortured for an hour, during which I had to stop because I felt sick and was seeing spots! Who would have thought that after three months of going to the gym 3-5 times a week I was so unfit???!! Admittedly, we were doing completely different things to what I would normally do, but still, the experience was fairly mortifying! Today is the first day I've been able to get back up to the gym (due to busy-ness as opposed to being physically unable to move I might add!!) and I went through the workout Andria (perky trainer) had got me to do on Thursday. I'm sure there were a couple of weights exercises I forgot or at the very least I wasn't doing properly but I was pretty proud of myself for getting through the routine once again - and then managing to go into school to teach! I felt like I had pushed myself very hard but not that I wanted to die which was a DEFINITE improvement.

The bit that I find so hideous is the running! Andria had me doing interval training on the treadmill (1 minute brisk walk, 1 minute pelting it as hard as you can, repeat ad lib.) to start off the workout and the treadmill is the one machine I generally avoid like the plague. I HATE RUNNING. Like many musicians (for musician read GEEK!), P.E. was never my favourite subject at school and in particular I hated running because I was so damn slow. I actually used to be pretty fit at school and used to swim for a local team - I even have medals to prove it! But running has just never been my bag. And apparently it's still not. But for some reason, I'm going back up for another session of torture on Friday...wish me luck...

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Witching Hour is over......

Well, it's all over now - my approximately ten minutes out of an hour long (if that!) opera and although it went ok, for reasons that were not my fault, it could have gone a lot better. Very annoying! But singing a new role is always a good or perhaps a better word would be useful??! experience at the very least. All I need to do now is sing the Sorceress' part and I will have completed the coven!!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Witches!


I'm going to deviate briefly from the beads for this post, right over to the other part of my blog name, the SONG in Songbeads. Tomorrow, I'm off to Uttoxeter to play '1st Witch' in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. It's a great wee opera, especially if you're not used to listening to opera or even classical music - nice and short, lots of good melodies and witches plotting, love and of course, death! What opera would be complete without love and death?! Cheery stuff. It's one of the very first operas written in English and is probably the earliest one that is still performed regularly. Last year I was 2nd witch (slightly lower rather than secondary) in Opera Hesperia's production in Chester so I'm hoping I won't get confused with the two parts as they are fairly similar! Anyone else enjoy the combination of beads and music? Two of my very favourite things.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Lorelei's Giveaway


Lorelei is having a giveaway! She has made 3 super cute pendants and is giving them away to one lucky reader. If you have a minute why not check out her blog? Leave a comment before tomorrow morning to be in with a chance of winning!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Moogin


I've already told you about my slight obsession with lampwork beads so I thought I might start a new regular (not quite sure how regular as yet!) blog posting about my favourite lampwork artists and beads. If nothing else it will keep me entertained.

So, to kick it off, I'll begin with my all time favourite lampwork artiste extraordinaire - Mindy MacGregor, otherwise known as Moogin. You may have seen her profiled in Beads and Beyond recently (can't remember which issue off the top of my head) or perhaps at the Scottish Bead Fair where she regularly has a stand or perhaps you've also bought some of her amazing artwork. I first 'discovered' her in Perth at the SBF last summer. Wow! Before that, I was all about the organic, botanical lampworks. No more! Mindy really does create miniature glass paintings, I can see Miro, Klimt, Kandinsky there in the background behind her tiny masterpieces (three of my favourite artists anyway) to mention but a few;


but beyond this, she does things with glass I've never seen elsewhere. She has recently taken a move towards folk art which I never thought would be my cup of tea but, surprise surprise, it is!


Her love of colour is always evident whatever style she is working in and this is one of my favourite aspects of her work. There's so much more I could (ineloquently I'm sure!) say about Mindy's work but for now I'll let the beads speak for themselves.



My all time favourite Moogin bead - so far!

Friday, 9 April 2010

More RABs...

One final set of Right Angle Bangles....perhaps! These went to their new home yesterday - they were my friend Pip's birthday present. I LOVE orange and pink...

New purchases

As some of you may or may not be aware, I am a bit of a lampwork-aholic. I have a rather large and ever-expanding collection of these beauties and no plans to reform my habit! Now I of course have my own favourite lampwork artists (more about them later!) but recently I have seen more and more jewellery artists using beads by lampworker Clare Scott, not least Eve Smith who I have blogged about before. And, checking that blog post for the link, I see I even blogged about Clare before!



One of my favourite ways to buy lampworks is a 'destash' - where the artist is selling off a bunch of beads not necessarily related to one another - maybe orphans or pairs that didn't quite make it into full sets. I love these as you get loads of variety and often (can you tell I'm Scottish?!) at a very good price. So I was delighted to see Clare selling off three destash sets on her website! The above picture is of the set I chose and I have to say, I'm totally and utterly in love with it! I don't know that I've quite captured how gorgeous the beads are BUT believe me, they're stunning. I'm a real turquoise girl so...

...THIS ONE immediately jumped out at me but they are all stunning. I believe it's the reactive silvered glass that Clare uses which give her beads such a mystical sheen. You can see this with the other beads I've close-upped below. Completely wonderful.


Now, if only I could find something to do with all these lovely beads...!

Monday, 5 April 2010

I'm back!

It's been a while! My plans to blog more frequently in 2010 went slightly awry (clearly, as it's now April!) for quite a few reasons which essentially boil down to the fact that 2010 has so far been a fairly crap year for me and my little family. I won't go into it all now as not wanting to write about it is one of the main reasons I've let this blog slide but suffice to say it involves a lot of illness and hospitals! Things are on a bit more of an even keel now so that's something. But I decided today to get blogging again and reclaim my little piece of internet space. Above is a (slightly rubbish) photo of my most recent design - an embellished RAW bangle which I've become a bit obsessed with making, over and over and OVER again! These are the first five that I made; I must be up to at least 20 by now. They are great fun and I love playing with different colour combinations within each one. Currently on my bead mat is dark fuchsia, galvanized cocoa, coral opal and matt dark pinkish salmon.

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