Saturday, 2 October 2010

Out & about find: Funky Swedish Ceramics

This coffee pot, cup and saucer set is right up my alley. I spotted it in an antiques shop over in Barnard Castle. If I had the space I would've snapped it up. I love the design and have not seen this particular one before.

I did manage to grab a bargain in a charity shop there though - got myself a lovely pressed glass cake stand. Once I've cleaned it up I'll post a photo :)

Friday, 1 October 2010

Internet find: Lush Designs - Lightshades, etc

* Internet find of the day *
This isn't technically an internet find as I came across these fabulous lightshades and other goodies by 'Lush Designs' whilst on my week off, mooching about Lytham, near Blackpool. But they have a website and I wanted to share! Their designs are something quite different and I really like the style of illustration and funky colourways.

I really liked this pale colourway which I imagine will look fab lit up.

And this stylised fox and cubs is lovely.

My mum and I both adored these wild boars and the flora around them.

These cards they do are also very stylish, in bright colourways with added foil 'bling'. We bought a few of these and it was very hard to choose between the designs as we loved them all!

They sell tea towels, bags, cushions, aprons, clocks, decorations... allsorts! Take a look - might make for a lovely alternative gift. I emailed the ladies who make these and got a lovely reply, so I wholehearted support their talented work :)

Saturday, 25 September 2010


I've booked next week off work so I am taking some time to chill. It has been insanely busy at the day job. Designing books for kids takes a lot of hard work you know! We've been prepping for the annual book fair where all our new ideas get showcased to buyers. We spend a good couple of months intensely working on covers to sell these new ideas. Our office is one of 3 - the smallest of the bunch with just a handful of designers, me included - 7 of us. We did about a third of all covers produced (just under 400 this year, I think) which is a big achievement as there are around 20 designers in the medium-sized office, and around 2 or 3 times as many as that in the 'big' office! I've also been in charge of orchestrating the whole thing - keeping tabs on illustrators, commissioning, fees, invoices, designs, feedback from our bosses... all the while getting not one, but TWO books off to print at the same time! No wonder I am pooped. I just couldn't face next week at work and Friday just gone was our official book fair deadline, so I made a break for it!

I am off to see my folks in Lancaster later on today for a while. It is my dad's birthday Monday so we're looking forward to a zoo trip (family tradition!). Maybe I'll make him a courgette cake?! (see allotment blog!) I'm hoping the weather is alright as I've heard whilst we've had a reasonably nice spate of sunshine, they've had rain and gale force winds. Think I'll pack some warm gear and my waterproof! I'll be back later in the week to tend to the allotment - see if the butternut squash have grown much since I last saw them budding up, and dig up my 'rooster' spuds, along with other jobs. I also want to make some glassy goodies too. 'Back to the Future' is being shown at the cinema (HUZZAH!) so I'll be seeing that and out for a friend's birthday meal.

In between all those things, I plan on chilling. I find this very hard to do, getting 'lazy guilt', but I'll give it a good go!

FOR SALE 'Autumn Sunrise' handmade fused glass latticeware bowl

Autumn is officially here and along with it comes an autumnally-inspired handmade latticeware bowl, fresh from the kiln - 'Autumn Sunrise' (click to go to the shop). Soft shades of purple, warm amber, chocolate and cream come together to form this pretty bowl.

Our latticeware bowls look stunning anywhere and change throughout the day, in different lighting conditions, casting wonderful coloured shadows. Ideal on a table or sideboard filled with fruit, or left empty as a statement piece.

I'm taking a few days holiday from the day job so some relaxing is in order. I will be away from the studio for a few days but plan to get some new glassy goodies underway when I return :)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

FOR SALE 'Lavender Kiss' latticeware handmade fused glass coaster duo

Hot and fresh from the kiln, the latest addition to the 'latticeware' family - please welcome 'Lavender Kiss'. The photographs really don't do this pretty duo justice. I love this simple colour combination & soft-coloured glass.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

What have you been up to?

'Ello :) Another little blog gap. Been making & prepping things behind the scenes. Yesterday I was sending photos and info over to makers-online who asked me to join their handmade website. It was lovely to be asked and it will be good to have my glassy goodies somewhere new. So far they have some of my JAXX rings, PATCHWORK coaster duos, LATTICEWARE bowls and HARLEQUIN coasters. I will be sending them some more wall art - planning on making more of that today - as well as more rings, square bowls and handmade cards. They're just re-launching the website and I support what they're doing. With the line "we want to include the best makers around" how could I refuse? ;)

So, what else? I made a pair of bespoke coasters for a lady who bought a pair of my Teal & Chocolate Block coasters a while ago. It is always lovely to get repeat business and heartwarming to be thought of again. She wanted the 'Ice Age' design but in browns, cream & white. Here's what I came up with:

I have also had an enquiry from a re-seller in Hungary. I'm currently organising my work into a new catalogue with retail & wholesale prices. The graphic designer in me is faffing and wants it perfect. The businesswoman in me just wants it done and ready to send and the artist just wants to make new glass! I really need to get it finished, at least the relevant pages for now. I am liking how it looks so far...

I also got an email today saying that my JAXX rings on have been featured in a treasury. That was nice - the first one since rejoining the website. I used to be featured quite frequently which was flattering and always an honour to be picked.

Right then, back to it! Hope you're having a nice weekend :)

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

FOR SALE 'Jaxx' handmade fun, funky, fused glass rings

Re-photographing done, well, for a good chunk of the batch. Some more 'Jaxx' handmade fun, funky, fused glass rings need doing but this is plenty to start with. I am pleased with how the photos turned out. I went for an off-centre styling on white as this seemed to work the best. Hope you like them! You can find all these rings here in the online shop. Should you want to commission a different colour combination, let me know.

I will finish the 'Jaxx' batch soon, then get to work on re-photographing my other styles of rings, along with making another bowl - already cut! - and a commission duo.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

NEW PRODUCT 'Lavender Mint Trifle' handmade funky fused glass square bowl

HOORAY! I've finally got started on my 'Trifle' range of funky fused glass square dishes/bowl/plates. Only taken me months to get round to it after planning them in my head! The first one, 'Lavender Mint Trifle' is up for sale in my online shop now, with more to follow over the next few weeks/months as I have time. They're 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.75" / 21.5 x 21.5 x 2cm. I can make them to commission if you've seen a coaster design you'd like translated into a bowl - take a look at my funky fused glass gallery for designs. As ever, the real thing is much better than these photos show, but then I would say that... but IT IS TRUE! Ask any of my customers :)

Right, off to re-photograph my handmade funky fused glass rings...

Monday, 23 August 2010

'Lavender Drizzle' handmade fused glass coaster quad - photographs

Photographing glass is a bit of a nightmare - all those reflections! I've always been told my photos look pretty professional and I do aim to represent my work as accurately and stylishly as possible. I thought I'd show these two photos of my latest completed commission for my 'Lavender Drizzle' handmade fused glass coaster quad design out of interest. The first photo shows the totally unedited image. The paper I take the photos on is actually white but always appears grey in the final photo. I do set my white balance, so even before editing, the colours of the glass is represented as near as damn it to the actual work. I also use a polarising filter on the camera. This takes away some of the reflections - no-one wants to see what else is lying about my studio or my ugly mug in the final photo! ...or maybe they do? Anyhoo, I just wanted to show the difference in the images pre- and post- tweaking as I attempt to make them look their best. My aim is to accurately represent the pieces and 'sell' them to you the best I can. I feel a simple background works best so I tend to use crisp white or natural slate. I occassionally room-set the latticeware bowls to give a sense of size and to help you picture how the piece would look in your home. I hope you like my photographs.

Next, I will be re-photographing my range of rings as I looking to sell these through a new online store. Watch this space!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Busy busy busy!

Anyone who follows this blog will know I have been a bit quiet on the glassy front for a while. Not like the old days when I was working 6.30-8am, then 6pm-12am, the gap being for the 'day job' designing children's books! Well, it has been nice to take a break and to be honest, what with the ol' recession, things weren't ticking over as speedily as before. However, looks like we're picking back up again, which is great. Not only with orders, enquiries, commissions and business opportunities, but also my creativity is bubbling :)

The photos in this post are of an order I am putting together from my shop. I really like these complementary sets rather than every coaster the same. I need to make some more of these I think. Variety is the spice of life and all that! This particular set is called 'Lavender Drizzle' and can be bought here - this is a made-to-order design, like a lot of my work. Very unique, made just for you!

I am also faffing about with the blog styling. Still not quite right, but getting there. I do like the new headers which I have rolled out across my blog, shop and website. The website needs another overhaul, though I know lots of folk still like it. It still needs organising from when I moved the shop. Takes so much time though! I'd rather be making glassy goodies ;)

This weekend I am off 'oop narth' to see my folks and take a break, then I'm back to the kiln & behind the computer & camera, sorting the Handmade Heaven : Funky Fused Glass empire out! Exciting times :)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

FEATURED on 'craftiness' showcase

"Faberuna searches the web for the best handmade goods from all around the world." - and they approached ME to be featured on their site. I feel honoured :) All the hard work's worth it! Take a look at the link. I love the 'shut up!' line. Makes me giggle :D

My glasswork in situ

'Cherry Cola Gridz' handmade funky fused glass coasters, in detail & in situ, for sale in my shop here.

And 'Happy Ever After' handmade funky fused glass coasters can be found here.

Personalised dates & a rich red loveheart can be added on the reverse.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Coaster Commission: Harlequin & Ice Age

Got another commission for some of my glassy goodies. Two coasters, one of each in the 'Harlequin' & 'Ice Age' designs. They're for a friend at work who's sadly leaving. Be nice for her to have a reminder of little old me ;)