Thursday, 31 July 2008

'Stax' handmade fused glass chunky, funky rings!

FINALLY! Been wanting to get on with these rings for aaaages. I thought I'd try out the idea I had as I fired the 'Tropicana' bowl. 'Lemon Teal Stax' turned out really well and I'm so pleased with my new chunky, funky jewellery. I know of the perfect model to try them out too...! These rings will use the 'tack fuse' technique (see my new glassy glossary).

When I have a few more I'll add them to my website. Oo, the anticipation!

'Tropicana' handmade fused glass latticeware bowl completed

...and beautiful it is too! I love these firey, tropical colours. A prefect bowl for summertime :)

More photos to follow later.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The glassy colour chart is born!

As I had a lattice bowl cooking in the kiln tonight (the 'Tropicana' one) I thought I'd get started on the colour chart to help with commissions. I initially thought about photographing actual nuggets of glass but lining everything up and editing photos would take me forever. Instead I've gone for a nice, neat digital version showing, as accurately as possible, the colours of glass I have in stock/can get & have used before. There are other colours available I've not tried so if you're thinking of a commission, do ask if you don't see the colour you want.

Here is sheet 1. Sheet 2 will follow when I have another free moment. I'll maybe even need a sheet 3!

Handmade Heaven
: colour chart: white through green
*O = opaque, *T = transparent, *D = decorative

I will add this to my website asap.

More gorgeous glass and WIP

I fired the 'Tropicana' bowl as it was ready to go (the 2 others needed the 'gold purple' glass to complete the design) and it's looking so sunny and tropical (hence the name!). Here's a photo of it fired and ready to be made into a bowl:

I also used the space around the bowl in the kiln to fire more additions to the Handmade Heaven coaster range. Two new 'Patchwork' designs and another 'Lattice' one.

Bat walk

I went on a bat walk last night down at Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire. This is the same place where it did my conservation volunteering a little while ago (not had time for that since unfortunately). It was great to see them and to be outside in the dark (which I love!). We saw pipistrelles, daubenton's, lesser and greater horseshoe bats. I'd recommend a bat walk to anyone. They were so interesting to watch and so quick! I also saw my first ever glow worm. I have probably never been paying attention before as apparently they are quite common. Here's a photo, not my own as I didn't take my camera. I also saw a shooting star :)

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Silverstone Classic

You'd think I have absolutely no free time what with working Mon-Fri on my day job and running Handmade Heaven in the evenings/very early mornings/weekends, but I do manage to steal a few moments to take time away from it all and recharge my batteries. From other posts you might gather that I quite like cars. Having 2 brothers and no sisters it's hardly surprising! Sunday just gone I managed undo my kiln-shackle and go over to the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire for the Silverstone Classic.
Oh my goodness it was amazing! 100s of classic cars, road and racetrack, made up brilliant static displays, parades and exciting races. Time went so quickly though, which it always seems to do when you're having fun. I will definitely be going next year.

Brand new glass for Handmade Heaven

My UK glass supplier stocks a range of hand-rolled glass from Oregon in the US. The makers of the glass are always developing new colours and I like to try to keep up with them and try out this ever-growing range. Art glass is not cheap to buy so I only get the colours that appeal to me or I know I could make something great with. Normally this means buying in two or three new colours with each re-stock order I put in. The UK supplier has just started to stock the more 'fancy' glass which incorporates an inherent decorative quality. My latest order includes these three decorative glasses for which I already have lots of ideas. I LOVE the chocolate-coffee swirl glass in particular.

Black and white streaks on clear
Chocolate-coffee swirls
Carnival-colours on clear
One day I hope to provide a page on my website with a simple colour chart to help commissionees choose colours, etc. If I ever get a spare moment I'll let you know when I've done it!

Another etsy treasury, this time it's rainbows

Monday, 28 July 2008


WIP = Work In Progress! As promised, here are the photos I took of the commissioned lattice bowls and coasters.

L-R: 'A Touch of Luxury' coasters and bowl,
'Tropicana' bowl & 'Berry Zest' bowl

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Bowls, bowls, bowls!

Well, it seems my handmade latticeware bowls are popular at the moment - I have just had my third commission for a 'design your own' come in today when I had just finished cutting the glass for 2 others.

The first is for a mother and daughter's very stylish living room. They are after deep red, deep pink, grey, purple, white and clear (with 8x matching lattice coasters). You can just about see the white sideboard (above the purple chair on the left) where the bowl will go.

The next in the queue is for a bowl in 'hot' colours. I've chosen reds, oranges, yellows, amber and pinks for this one and it looks amazing already!! I just know when this one is fired it's going to be something pretty special.

The order I just received was also for 'hot' colours but with purple too. I was told that it is for a gift and the recipient's favourite colours are orange and purple so that's what I've cut. I think this will also look lovely. I am using oranges, my new 'gold purple', a rich violet, amber and 'dusty lilac'. The lady who commissioned this also bought 'Bellini Blockster' so I think she must be pleased with that. I get quite a few repeat customers so I must be doing something right! My glass is very addictive (ask Tash!) and the fact I hand make each piece to my own design or to your specifications makes it totally unique.

Watch this space this for work in progress photos for all three bowl commissions. I'd take them right now but my little bro has borrowed the battery from my camera as a spare for the new one we bought him for his graduation! He and my dad are at the Silverstone Classic all weekend and are using my place as a b&b!! I'll be going tomorrow and I really can't wait :) Andy took so many photos and videos yesterday that he almost used all the battery hence the need for a spare one, just in case. That's a lot of photos!!

The 'We Make: Oxford' fair becomes 'handm@de'

The fair I am doing on the 9th November in Oxford Town Hall has changed it's name but everything else remains the same. 'We Make: Oxford' has become 'handm@de'. I like both names and am perfectly happy with the new one. It certainly describes what to expect at the fair! Hope to see you there.

Featured on blog "Pretty Little Love Objects"

It's always very nice when my work is chosen by others (especially total strangers, not under my influence!) to be featured in a blog, treasury or collection. Today is no exception and I feel honoured to be amongst 11 others whom Jodie of Pretty Little Love Objects selected as artists who caught her eye. Here's what she wrote:
Handmade Heaven designs kids books for a living and works with
fused glass in her personal time to make coasters interesting! I bet you thought that coasters were a piece of table wear stuck at boring but by using striking stripes, lattice work and shimmering colours this UK crafter really livens up this item.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Batman: The Dark Knight

Brilliant! Go see it NOW!!!

Emergency cufflinks

I aim to please with my commissions. In my terms and conditions I say that they could take up to 28 days to complete once a design is agreed, however it rarely takes that long. I always try my best to get commissions done asap as it's all about pleasing the customer, right?! I'm also one of those 'pleaser' people by nature and love it when I can help someone out. Last week I had only a couple of days free but got an order for 2 pairs of cufflinks which was an "emergency"! Initially I said I couldn't fit them in in the timescale (I had other things to finish too before I went south to get my car sorted), but I ended up mid-email response talking myself into it! I made 'Last night at the Proms' and another set of 'Britannia' cufflink pairs. I hope the wedding they were made for went well and they finished off the two outfits just right :)

'Last night at the Proms'

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


Awwwwwwwwww, what a cute film! I'm such a softie at heart. Lil' Wall-e is so sweet and adorable and I want one. Can I have one? Can I?! ...actually I could use a robot to clean up for me whilst I busy myself making glassy goodies! I've started work on some new latticeware commissions so expect some new glassy goodies posted over/after the weekend. 'Bellini Blockster' is all wrapped up and ready to go so I guess I need to get making some more funky artwork soon too :)

Go see Wall-e though. Definitely one to warm the coldest of hearts. Bless his little caterpillar tracks!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Bye bye 'Bellini Blockster'

Well, this one didn't hang around too long! 'Bellini Blockster' is off 'oop narth' to Edinburgh. Hopefully it'll bring it's new owner lots of sunshine with it's bright, hot colours.

If you fancy a bit of funky, shiny fused glass art, commission me or check out my framed art page on my website :)

Beautiful photo

Just browsing my fave blogs: print&pattern, decor8 and design*sponge as I do regularly for inspiration (and a bit of a gawp at some beautiful design p*rn!). I just wanted to share this photo I found on design*sponge which is BEAUTIFUL. Sigh, wish I was there...

Photo taken from

I thoroughly recommend you visit the blogs above for a nose about on a regular basis. They really are a feast for the eyes!

All fixed & some nice time off

Yay! My car's all better now *touch wood*. I have had a new cat fitted so hopefully things will run smoothly with the mo' for a while. I know they're very expensive things to own but I'd never be without my car :)

So, that was friday and only took a couple of hours. However, I was down in Kent so I thought I'd stay the weekend and make the most of it, visiting my big bro and his girlfriend. It was nice to go on long walks in the sunshine, visit the beach and walk on the prom, go to a zoo-type place - 'Wildwood', ride on a miniature railway and have a bbq - all very relaxing :)

What was just as nice was to come home to a website sale: 'Silver Lining' lattice quad's on it's way to a new home in Bristol, as well as an order for a lattice bowl in 'hot colours'. So, as ever, no rest for me again!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

New glass! Yes, you read that right!!

Seems like forever since I've posted about new glassware what with all the commissions etc I've been working on and gallivanting I've been doing! I recently got some new colours in: a royal purple, dusty lavender, deep red, charcoal grey and pea green. As a test to see what colours they fire (never the same as the pre-fired glass ...maybe I should post about that one day...), I made two new sets of latticeware coaster pairs. I LOVE the 'Emerald City' pair and the royal purple is fabulous! Both sets are now on my website.

'Emerald City Lattice''Royal Flush Lattice'
I've also finished the other coasters to complete the set of 6 'Mix and Matchsticks'. This is a fun and funky design and the random coloured stripes look great against the plain white glass.

'Mix and Matchsticks' on white'Mix and Matchsticks' on navy
If you like this design, or any of my other glassy goodies I make for commissions and not listed to buy on my website, do commission me to make something special for you :) Contact me.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Art in the park

Just thought I'd share some art with you all. Went down to Imperial Gardens in Cheltenham today to support Tash who is doing 'Art in the Park' again this year. I have everything crossed she sells something as her paintings are fab. If you're about the Cheltenham area, do pop down and check out the artworks hanging along the railings there. So many styles of art by local, and not so local, artists.

Tash's contemporary paintings are real eye-catching, unique pieces.

Monday, 14 July 2008


Phew! The cat on my poorly car is covered on a 2-yr guarantee so that's good... apart from the fact I had it fixed in Folkestone! Now I have to squeeze in a fleeting visit to my big bro's to get it fixed Fri morning (a 3hr journey away!). I had it fixed on the 11th July last year so I was thinking I was a couple of days out of guarantee but luckily it's covered for TWO years, not one. At least that's something going right. Still feeling below par - just off for some comfort food!

'Cherry Mint Spots' set featured in an treasury

Turquoise and red is such a powerful colour combination. Just look at this treasury which features my 'Cherry Mint Spots' coaster quad. I heard this one also made it to the front page of etsy which is no great surprise as it's a handsome collection of items.

The Linen Cupboard - A home-maker's dream blog

Please visit this delightful and informative blog:

It's been set up by a good friend of mine who has oodles of tips, techniques and tricks for the perfect home. She's set up The Linen Cupboard blog to share her wealth of knowledge on great home-making and is filling a gap in the blog world so do support her and check back often.

She's also posting some great product finds for the home to complement her inspirational information. I noticed that there were some particularly nice-looking glass coasters featured here...!

I'm back!

It was lovely to have time off and see my family but, as per usual, nothing is ever plan sailing! I now have a crack in my car's exhaust - the expensive bit attached to the cat which is 3 days out of guarantee!!! - so that either needs welding or replacing. ££££££! I also have a cold which kicked in a day after I arrived home, so I've been ill for the best part of the holiday. Hey ho, this is usual 'Jones luck'!

I had a fab time at home despite these little set-backs though. On my mum's birthday (a big one - 60th but shh, we're not meant to mention that!), we went to Blackpool Zoo. The weather was meant to be rubbish so we were wrapped up in lots of layers and wearing waterproofs, armed with brollies and what did it do? That's right, the sun shone and it was sweltering!

Can I interest anyone in a triceratops?Red panda taken at Blackpool Zoo with
Andy's new camera (graduation present!)
I also went down the bumpkin route and visited the Great Eccleston Show. They had the usual agricultural stuff in marquees and the main arena, but Great Eccleston Show also has tractor pulling! To those of you who aren't familiar with tractor pulling then imagine drag racing but with tractors!! Very noisy and if I'm honest, rather silly, but great fun, especially when the commentator is hilarious (unintentionally, poor lad! Imagine Peter Kay on helium and too many sweeties!!).

Me and my tractor of choice - big enough for you?! (I'm 5'6)Tractor pulling (alas, not the most ridiculous of examples!)

On the glassy side, I've sold a couple of things whilst I was away. Two mini hangers ('Sunshine' and 'Peach Melba') are off to a new home in Bristol...
...and 'Regimented Rainbow' birch-framed art is off to Middlesex. I'll be sorry to see the artwork go as it's been with me a while and I tend to get attached to things (I'm a bit of a softie at heart!).

'Regimented Rainbow'

So there you go, you're all up-to-date!

Handmade Heaven is open for business again now.

I've got more 'Mix and Matchsticks' to make to complete a commission and some new colours to try out. Watch this space!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Banger photos

I'm still away on my kinda-hols but as I'm on my little bro's computer I thought I'd add some of his photos from the banger racing I went to last weekend.

Can anyone can tell me what this car used to be?! We can't work it out!! I championed this car, which was still running at the end, incredibly. Maybe we'll see it next time we go?!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Cards and commission

WOOHOO! My new business cards arrived today and they don't half look the biz! I'm really pleased with them. You might remember me posting about the design (here)?? Anyhoo, I wanted to brighten up the card and make it memorable (used to be mainly white), as well as being something people will want to pick up and keep. Hopefully it will deliver. If nothing else, they make a funky photo!

I also think I've had a breakthrough on a tough commission. It's always the things I think will be easy to do that turn into the real tough challenges. This is plan 'c' and I hope we have a winner. I love this new design whatever the outcome, as well as the name that popped into my head for them...

'Mix and Matchsticks' :)

Some time out

Just to let you know, Handmade Heaven will be closed for a few days: 8th-13th July inclusive. It will re-open on the 14th July. You can still email me or make purchases but I won't be able to process any orders until the 14th. Cheers :)

Monday, 7 July 2008

Graduation online

By the wonders of modern technology, I've just watched my little bro graduate university! The uni had the whole graduation ceremony broadcast live over realplayer. I saw him for the brief few seconds it took to read out his name, him walk on stage, shake hands with the big cheese, get a "well done" and walk off again!! I also spotted him fiddling with his motarboard at the end before he left the hall. It was almost like being there... I'm so proud. Well done Andy! :D

Sunday treasury

It's nice to see my work being chosen for another treasury. Especially when it's selected as 'cheery things to brighten up a rainy summer's day' :) My 'Deckchair Daze' handmade coaster quad was the one picked. This set seems to be quite popular (they did sell in a couple of days of being photographed and listed on my website, which is always nice!).