Monday, 27 April 2009

It's curtains for me

At the beginning of last week I trundled off to Budleigh Salterton, by the sea, to spend some time with my Mum making curtains for their new Bed and Breakfast business. This has been a dream of theirs for so many years and they have waited so patiently for the time to be right... well, now it is and they have the most amazing house right on the beach!!! 

The sun was shining with all it's might as I rounded the corner at the far end of the beach on Monday morning, and this is what I saw:

... the beach stretched away before me, the colours, sounds and smells assaulted my senses and I drank it all in... WOW!! ...  also stopping to take a few pictures. Isn't it beautiful? Pebbles - the name of the B&B -  is about the 2nd or 3rd house along from where you can see the houses begin:: those boats and beach huts are directly in front of it... who wouldn't want to stay there?

Here is Pebbles....

This is the view over the garden wall, looking onto the beach and away to Exmouth  at the far end of the bay

Looking over towards Sidmouth.. over the brow of the hill .. (notice the pesky seagull?? more about him later!!)

I have to let you into a secret now.. both Mum and I have been sewers for most of our lives, my mum teaching me how to sew clothes for my doll on her Singer hand sewing machine when I was about 7 (I still have the doll and the dresses!!)... BUT we both hate making curtains!! No matter how many times you work out your fabric lengths and how many you need, or how precisely you match the seams, the fabric just seems to take over and one length is longer than the other, the straight line you thought you'd carefully measured and cut ends up being all over the place... it's a nightmare! Grr... Fortunately though, we had each other to moan at and we spent a lot of time laughing at our incompetence and how cross we were getting!!

Here is mum working out the measurements for yet another pair of curtains!.. do you think the calculator is big enough???

... and she's off...

This is where it gets tricky - 3 widths of curtain fabric and 3 widths of bonded interlining each 2m long and mum starts to disappear!

But.. what a view from our 'workroom'... across the lawn and out to sea. This room will be the breakfast room.. I wouldn't mind getting up to that every day. However, make sure you carry an umbrella with you in Budleigh.. I was standing at the door of the conservatory, having a well earned cuppa, when all of a sudden there was a squawk and I felt something land with a 'splat' on my arm... followed by an exremely fishy smell.. see where I am going with this?? Yes, you are right, a seagull decided to 'dump' on me, and shower the floor of the conservatory too. And as if that wasn't enough, as I was loading the car that evening.. yes you guessed it.. it happened again.. all down my back.. yuk!! I should have turned around and come home then... 

You have been warned!!

The view through the Front door... across the walls and out to sea...

In 3 days we did manage to make 3 pairs of curtains and 2 throws for the sofa from some fabric that we picked up at the local recycling centre.. that was a real find.. its John Lewis fabric from the 70's, about 12 m and we paid £2!! What a treasure!!!

These are the throws.. not a brilliant picture, the sofas aren't in situ, they are waiting to be moved once the decorating is finished

After all that curtain making.. pictures of the finished ones coming soon.. I needed to get down to some beady business. I must have decided to use these beads as I had been inspired by the colours of the sea at Budleigh..

Daisy simplicity...

I love the heart on this. It was a bit of an experiment with my silver plated wire, but I think It's turned out really well.. I think I will make more - what do you think?

Closer still...

Well, that's all for now folks.. the not so little people are returning from a 3 week holiday in Australia with their dad today so I must go and bake a cake in celebration.

Have a great day ... x

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Memory Lane

I had a wonderful trip down memory lane last week re - living my days at college in Bath. I studied for a B.ed in Fashion and Textiles at the then named Bath College of Higher Education based at Sion Hill in Bath. Going back brought back so many things. I really enjoyed the course and the chance to be creative in so many different ways. Just walking the streets of Bath again made my creative juices begin to stir again. It is such a beautiful City and the weather last weekend was glorious, showing Bath off at its best!

Somerset Place.... this is where may lectures were held... amazing views from here over the city

2 Portland Place... this was home for 3 years. In the first year my room was right at the very top of this house - can you see the very small window at the top on the left hand side? ....  that was my room, wonky floorboards and all!

Me outside No.2

This is the post box where many many letters were sent home to family and friends... letters were what kept me going. Isn't it a shame that we don't send so many 'proper' letters anymore? I love it when the post plops on the mat and there is a letter or card from a friend, it really brightens my day.. 

My walk home 

Pultney bridge and the weir... many walks were taken down here

Of course, a trip to Bath isn't complete without a visit to sample a 'Sally Lunn' bun... with cream and jam of course!

..... and Bijoux beads...  

And finally, when the sun was setting two hot air balloons took off from Victoria Park.. a perfect end to a perfect day!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Signs of life

Imagine my delight when I went to have a peek at the seeds I planted into snuggly warm duvets of moist soil last week to see that they have started to peep  their sleepy heads out in search of the sun....             

can you see them...look very carefully!!

I might actually have success this year - as long as the slugs don't get to them first. I then had a potter around the garden, cuppa in hand, marvelling at all the signs of new life emerging from the soil. Nature is so inspirational, its shapes, textures and colours are often where my ideas for new collections come from.  

This time of year brings hope of new things to come, even when the ground looks bare you know that there is so much going on underneath it in preparation. Its a good lesson to remember. I am in the process of writing a business plan, *yawns*, and looking for premises for a new creative business venture, it's very much in the seed stage at the moment, but hopefully it won't be too long before it emerges into something that brings much pleasure to many people. Watch this space for more information... 

Whilst I'm waiting, I have been busy yet again with some new jewellery designs - want a sneeky peek??

What a hard life I lead......

Back to more mundane things now like a trip to the supermarket before I am whisked off for the weekend...ok, not so mundane!

See you soon xxx

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Beady Thursday

Don't you just love it when the post man arrives on the doorstep with a pile of parcels for you??? I get soo excited........ today was one of those days! Two parcels.... did I really order that much?

Here's a sneek at what was lurking inside.....aren't they delicious?

I especially like these ones...

and these....

and these...

and these.....

they really are delicious aren't they?
Well, that was it, once opened I was immediately inspired to make some new pieces of jewellery. Firstly, this one...

I really love the bright summery colours, they make me feel very happy. I used waxed cotton to string the beads on to, some, with larger holes, have been threaded directly onto the cotton, whilst the others I have either put onto a headpin or created my own headpins with a wire shape at the bottom. I really enjoy working with the wire and creating new shapes. I think that they really add a special touch to the necklace. In my usual style, I also made earrings and bracelet to match....

I also had an order from a lady who had previously bought one of my necklaces to make her another one the same but in "kingfisher" colours..

I think it turned out ok.
I have been thinking about setting up a website to sell my jewellery and other hand made bits, and now that I have new beads, I think that I had better do something about it. I am not really sure where to start but I am sure that it will all come the end.

I had some really exciting news yesterday and that is that I have been selected to show my jewellery and demonstrate / hold workshops in jewellery making at The Great Create that is to be held at Greenway House, on the banks of the river Dart in Devon, over the bank holiday weekend in May. Aghh... so much to do and prepare, but, I feel fully justified in buying all those beads as I now have to make lots and lots so that I have product to sell. I would love to see you if you are near by, come and say "Hi" and have a go at making something for yourself - you'll love it...I promise.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring? I hope that your tomorrow is filled with happiness  and little treasures to thrill your hearts.

Bye for now xx

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Hello and welcome

Hello and welcome to Joharo. I have been thinking about this blog for a while now, but you know what it's like, you start reading others and think that there is no way that you can achieve anything as beautiful, funny, inspiring and uplifting as theirs, and you give up even before you started. Well.... I have not given up and here we are. As I have been thinking about what to say on my first post I was reminded about a story I wrote when I was a small girl. It was entitled "The Penny". It was a story about the life of a penny - funny that, given the title- and the first line went something like.."'BANG!' And there it was!!" I feel a little bit like that with this blog - 'Bang" and there I am out in the ether hoping to be found and of use!!
You may be wondering where the name Joharo came from? Well, to cut a very long story short, I used to foster children and babies, and one of these dear children, a baby no more than a few weeks old, came to live with us for about a year. Not long before her first birthday the baby was adopted and I was so heartbroken; to all intents and purposes she was my child and I loved her as my own. Amazingly, the adoptive parents, who are also incredibly creative and talented, wanted to keep in touch, and I am now her God-mother and see her once a year. It was during one of these visits when I was setting up a new business making children's play tents/dens and accessories, that we had a brain storming session to come up with a name for the business. We thought around the obvious names but nothing seemed to be right. As a last attempt, we wrote the names of my 3 children down onto paper - Joshua, Harriet and Rosie and there it was. So as you can see, the name is special to me in more ways than one.

Some pictures of my play tents and dens



 Cottage Tabletop Tent

I am looking forward to sharing snippets of my  family, life, work, creativity and ideas with you. Please feel free to get in touch at anytime, I would love to hear from you. xxx