Following on from my holiday in Cyprus, I am finally getting round to sorting through all the found objects I scooped up and brought home with me. I do like a treasure hunt, so being in a foreign country only adds to the excitement of what I might find! Some people get their kicks from drugs, I get mine from stumbling across an unusual feather or beautifully patterned rock. Each to their own, and I am about to present you with mine!
Most of the bits and pieces I picked up were beach finds. I spend a lot of time in the woods and countryside normally, so being near the water presented a wonderful opportunity to collect things that I wouldn’t normally come across on one of my walks. If it wasn’t for the extreme heat and the fact that I needed to restrict myself because of the size of my suitcase, I would have happily trawled the Limassol beaches for hours looking for more natural treasures. During the trip I allowed myself 3 tubs worth of finds and no more. What I found (apart from tonnes of gorgeous shells) included a sea cucumber and a sea urchin and a few crab carcasses. Much to the horrified cries of my friend “it will make your suitcase stink!” I did bring them all back to the UK, I just sealed them well in a container.
Today I have been going through the tubs of stuff and sorting them all out. I didn’t realise quite how much I brought home with me. My curiosity box is already stuffed full, so the next thing on my shopping list is a cabinet of some sort, for storage and display. But that’s another story. Here are the various piles of Mediterranean treasures….
The picture below shows the crab carcasses.
Below shows the sea urchin.
The photo below shows the sea cucumber (top left in the pic, white slug-like creature). You can’t see it very well here but it is actually a glittery, opalescent colour.
Below is the whole collection from my trip to Cyprus. All organised into piles.
Underneath shows some quick sketches I did earlier today. Just initial analytical drawings in case I want to use the objects as starting points for a collection. It’s useful to have items of specific interest drawn out already so I can develop them more easily in future.
The grey objects below are a type of fir tree bark. I fell in love with the pattern, texture and shape, not to mention the colour when I visited Troodos mountains. These pieces of bark had flaked off (I didn’t pick them off the tree) and I found them on the ground surrounding the firs. There was so much of it. It was as if the trees were shedding a skin.
Just as on the beach I found the collecting and sifting for finds quietly meditative. So it is now with the sorting and categorising at home. I find it relaxing and comforting in a way. Of course the objects hold happy memories, but it’s also the fact that nature produces such endless beauty and I love having these tiny treasures to hand to marvel over whenever the moment takes me.
Did I really go on holiday? Or was it just an illusion? As I sit here in the same seat typing away in the same place as I did before I went away, I am asking myself this very question. Back to reality seems so real that it’s almost as if I dreamt I had got on a plane and visited my friend for a week. But such is life and the relentless speed by which we all seem to be whizzing along. Nothing has changed in a week, which is comforting and yet frustrating a the same time. What did I expect? I don’t really know, maybe my life to be more sorted?! In my mind I was dreaming and planning all kinds of things while I was away but coming back home, the physical aspects of my more ‘sorted’ life have yet to catch up with my thoughts! Still, it’s all work in progress. More importantly I have an immense amount to be incredibly grateful for.
I visited one of my best friends who now lives in Cyprus and the first day I was there, we went to an outdoor concert in Limassol. It was in aid of all the families who had lost their jobs and homes in the aftermath of the recent Cypriot/EU financial crisis. Instead of paying for tickets, gig-goers were expected to bring food and sundries such as dried pasta and canned food, toiletries and supplies (within their own means) to be given to those who have recently found themselves both jobless and homeless. Instead of presenting a ticket at the gates, you had to go to the street in front of the concert entrance, where a kilometre long main road had been turned into a sorting and packing station, with hundreds of volunteers collecting food and supplies and boxing it all up to go to stricken families.
This was the first time I had seen the effects of the EU financial crisis first hand. I couldn’t believe that there were so many thousands of families in Limassol alone who now could not afford bread, let alone toilet paper and nappies for their babies. It was truly heart breaking. To be suddenly left jobless then homeless is something you don’t expect to happen in a first world country, which was all the more shocking to me because it seems so much closer to home. In a way you feel a little sheltered by living in an EU country where you take it for granted that you’ll always be able to buy the basics in life and you certainly don’t expect this to happen.
Each major town in Cyprus had a concert like the one I attended in order to collect supplies for locally affected families. In Limassol, they were aiming to get enough food and supplies for 2000 boxes to be taken to families in need. By the end of the night they actually got 5000 boxes worth, which was an incredible feat of rallying around but nonetheless made a lasting impact that an event like this was needed in the first place.
I took these photos at the end of the Limassol concert when most of the boxing up had been done.
As far as work was concerned I decided to have a complete switch off. I decided to take my sketch book with me in case I had the time, inclination or inspiration to draw. But apart from this I decided that I wouldn’t consciously use the holiday as a time to think up new ideas. The day I arrived in Cyprus I switched off my phone and didn’t turn it on until the day I left. Nor did I check my emails or any other social media. This was a very deliberate attempt to see if I could indeed survive a week without it all. And I’m pleased to say I could! It was really nice to be able to take myself off into a little bubble and tuck myself away from everything for a while. Above all it was lovely to be able to spend some distraction-free time with my friends, who were the reason I travelled to Cyprus in the first place.
As it turned out I didn’t open my sketch book and no new ideas flooded my mind. However I was filled with inspiration from the surroundings and stunning landscapes. From the sea to the mountains I was bombarded with beauty at every turn in the road. And so it turned out that photography was my medium of creative expression for the week and I came home with 582 pictures on my memory card. That would be a slide show to test the patience of Buddha, so I have refrained from inflicting this on family and friends (and blog readers!) Instead here is an edited snap-shot of some of the things that really fired up my creativity.
It’s not that I intend using everything I saw for ideas, it was just nice to appreciate the beauty of different scenery, just for the pure enjoyment of it. I really loved going back to photography too. It’s been ages since I picked up my SLR and shot something a little bit more artistic than family Christmases!
Of course a massive thank you goes to Nicole for inviting me over and allowing me to glimpse a little bit of ancient heaven!
The best thing about holidays is the way they make you forget your troubles for just a short while. Moments when everything really is alright. And I can’t tell you how tempting it is to get back on that plane and not come back. But until the next voyage, you can find me in my usual location, in the workshop, nestled in the Chiltern Hills hammering a bit of gold and dreaming of the next episode of escapism.
Well it seems to have been ages since I last wrote a blog post. Lots has been happening, not least a much longed-for holiday to Cyprus, which warrants it’s own blog post later on. But this post is a little update about one of the things I’ve been doing ‘on the side’. Kind of in addition to the goldsmithing and jewellery rather than instead of it. I’m now a contributing writer to Amanda De Cadenet’s The Conversation website, which accompanies her TV show. I submit articles to them every few months. I mainly write about personal development based on personal experience. It’s something I love doing and it’s definitely a community that I absolutely love being a part of. So I thought I’d share them with you here too.
One Easy Trick To Make Negativity Work For You http://www.theconversation.tv/career-finances/the-word-no/
The Importance Of Writing Your Own Self-Help Book http://www.theconversation.tv/truth-wisdom/the-importance-of-writing-your-own-self-help-book/
Making Peace With Each Other’s Bodies http://www.theconversation.tv/beauty/making-peace-with-each-others-bodies/
Will update as and when the next one is published. In the meantime you can find me on twitter @tootsgoldsmith
*Contains regular use of bad language.
This post is a bit long, but bear with me…
First off, a quick round up:
In the last few weeks the first shipment of Fairtrade and Fairmined platinum and silver arrived in the UK from an artisanal/small scale mining co-operative in Columbia. This means that there should be a steady influx of traceable precious metals available for jewellers in the UK to use. As the demand increases, more will be sent over to the UK. With more ethical metal becoming available it means that more collections can expand beyond wedding rings/bridal designs. There are still very few jewellers in the UK doing this, despite it being launched 2 years ago, so what would be really amazing would be for the public to embrace this and understand they have a choice and can choose conflict-free jewellery. Maybe when consumer demand increases, more jewellers will get involved. In the meantime, the crusade continues!
Residents in Kuala Lumpur insisted this week that they are exposed to unacceptable levels of cyanide exposure daily from the Raub Australian Gold Mining (RAGM) plant despite claims to the contrary. Most people know Cyanide poisoning from WWII: hydrogen cyanide gas was used by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust for mass execution in the gas chambers. It is a chemical that is used in gold mining to help extract the gold from its ore. It is highly toxic and if leached into local water systems it can cause devastating damage to entire populations as well as the environment. So it’s sad to see yet more stories like this.
The Really Fucking Ugly:
‘Following years of denial, Barrick Gold is implementing a remedy program for victims of rape by employees of its Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) [gold]mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG).’ HOWEVER ‘In order to receive a remedy package, women must enter into an agreement in which “the claimant agrees that she will not pursue or participate in any legal action against PJV, PRFA [Porgera Remediation Framework Association Inc.] or Barrick in or outside of Papua New Guinea. PRFA and Barrick will be able to rely on the agreement as a bar to any legal proceedings which may be brought by the claimant in breach of the agreement.’
So, to summarise: Barrick Gold employees rape local women. For years, Barrick Gold deny this ever went on. Barrick Gold are then forced to admit it has been going on in their gold mines at which point they are shoehorned (by an independent investigation) in to providing compensation. BUT in order to get help, the rape victims must sign away their right to take legal action. Does anyone else see something drastically wrong here? FFS.
Barrick Gold should have done more to stop what was going on as soon as the first woman made an allegation. And in my view, now they should be doing absolutely everything in their power to offer as much assistance as possible medical, psychological, financial or otherwise, yet are somehow allowed to squirm their way out of it. To make matters worse, none of the employees who carried out the rapes have been reprimanded, imprisoned or held accountable in any way and (unbelievably) continue to be supported, fed, housed by PJV on gold mine sites.
This makes me physically sick and extremely angry to read about this. So in case you need yet more evidence of why the gold mining and jewellery industry needs cleaning up, this is it folks.
On a lighter note, things seem to be getting into a bit of a rhythm after a few years of flying by the seat of my pants. The business is steadily growing and heading in the right direction. My occasional propensity for procrastination always gets a good kick up the arse around January when I get completely fed up with thinking and not actually doing. So at the moment, I am doing a lot. Nothing quite beats learning on the job and the past few months have been a baptism of fire. Excel spreadsheets (which still do my head in) suppliers, costings, these are all the things which you have to learn fairly quickly because they don’t teach you this at uni. Tax returns anyone? I’m going cross eyed with numbers. But anyway, it’s all settling down a bit and it’s given me time to re-evaluate other areas of my life that have been sorely neglected. As much as I’ve loved getting stuck in to a new career and launching a new business, the one thing that’s been suffering has been my personal life, so I am looking forward to some much needed normality.
Which brings me to the ‘normality’ of social media. In the last couple of years, like everyone else, I’ve joined Instagram, Pinterest, twitter, tumblr, facebook, I’ve written occasional articles for The Conversation and now signed up to Vine. Jesus, how the fuck does anyone have any time to actually you know, live? By the time I have updated each social media platform I feel like I have almost nothing left to actually say in real life. How ‘normal’ is that?! This seems wrong. Yet, social media is such a powerful tool, how else would we be able to connect with customers, galleries, and other interesting folk? I’m not knocking it because I have benefitted from it all but I must admit that I joined in because if I hadn’t, then I’d have been left at the side with tumbleweed as my only company. Sometimes I feel like I’m having a chat with about 100 people at a time, yet feel like I’m on a cyber island not really connecting with anyone. And the irony of course is that I am actually typing this too. I thought about writing this on a bit of parchment, rolling it up, squeezing it into a bottle and chucking it in the River Thames in the vain hope that someone might find it and recognise something handwritten. Just think of me as Robinson Crusoe (but without the unwashed hair).
So with this in mind, I am whittling it all down a bit. My blog posts have been decreasing steadily over the past year so I’m going to keep it to once a month. Less pressure and one less thing to berate myself for not doing regularly enough! I must admit I tweet a fair amount, and it’s short, so in my head this equals ultra easy, but I’m going to try and reduce the time I spend on there too. However I do remember an invention called the….oh hang on, what was it?….kind of banana shaped handle, square base, made a loud ring, you had to articulate actual words using your tongue and facial muscles….oh yes, the telephone. Yeah, that antiquated bit of kit that used to force people to talk to each other. I think I’d like to use it more, before I lose the capacity to physically speak, feel free to join me in this most unusual of activities!
In other news, it’s my birthday on Thursday which is also Valentine’s day, which always makes it a bit of a fucker for going out. Thankfully I have some lovely girlfriends around who are joining me for a night of cocktails at a local bar (Classic Martini or Brandy Alexander are my tipples of choice if you would like to get a round in). Sometimes I think it’s shit being single on my birthday/Valentine’s day then I think of my girlfriend whose husband doesn’t even acknowledge that it’s Valentine’s day and I think that would be so much worse. Every cloud…..
Oh and I’d really like a dog. A chocolate Labrador: tangible, non-technological, cuddle-able and all out love. Yes, this would be good. Failing that desired gifts include: deeds to a tropical island, poetry, love songs and marriage proposals, all on a postcard please addressed to yours truly. Tweets, FB comments and cyber versions of requested presents don’t count and will be politely declined, just so’s you know.
Roll on year 36, I’m ready for ya.
I’m beginning the new year with a slight change of direction in terms of subject matter. My obsession with containers is a life-long one, however I have put it on the back burner temporarily. Winter-absolute is most definitely upon us and these stark surroundings are breathing new life into me. I can’t help but feel passionate about the fact that winter has us firmly in its chilly embrace because I literally feel like I’m in my element at the moment. My love of winter is one I have written about before, so I will spare you a repeat ramble, suffice to say I feel creatively inspired the most at this time of year. So much so that my immediate environment in its current stripped-bare, decayed state is forming the basis of my next lot of ideas. Definitely a time when I love being outdoors the most.
I took the pictures today in the woods that border the wheat field close to where I live. There was hardly anyone about (bliss!) this meant I could sit on a tree stump and sketch without anyone giving me strange looks. There’s something a little bit magical about wandering amongst the trees in winter, they look as if they’ve come straight out of a Grimm’s Fairytale book, ever so slightly sinister, but exquisitely beautiful.
The photo of my tattered old lace I included here because it ties in with my subject of decay, distress and worn textures. Someone once asked me once why I love winter so much and why I prefer trees when they are essentially stripped to their bones. I think one of the main reasons is my preference for imperfection. Spring and summer are predictably beautiful whereas the colder months reveal dramatic forms, devoid of any ‘prettying up’. Decay, imperfection, ruins that have been abandoned, crumbling surfaces, asymmetric and distorted shapes are beautiful to me. The imperfect has character and is visually stimulating, it draws me in to every indentation and layer.
The ink drawings below are leaves & seeds I collected from the woods, still to do with the process of deterioration. They are just ideas floating around my head at the moment. Sometimes I find myself drawing and designing pages and pages of stuff, only to find that I actually use so little of it! So some of these drawings might not even make it in to 3D form as models, let alone metal. But the process is fun and it gives me the chance to just brainstorm everything out onto paper.
Back to work tomorrow. It’s been great to have a week off and it’s given me plenty of headspace to think about where I go from here. I seem to be outgrowing my current workshop with more and more equipment so I’m looking at relocating to a larger space. And if the business grows at the same rate as my tool collection then 2013 will be a very good year indeed!
Well I’m signing off for this year and what a year it has been! 2012 has definitely been one of the most challenging and exciting years of my life with a major career change amongst other things. The ambulance service seems like a very distant memory even though I only left in April. It’s stored in the memory banks and filed under the ‘how to not follow your heart’ section of life. When I think back to school and A-levels, and in particular my art and design classes, I always remember feeling happy. I didn’t enjoy school very much but I remember loving every minute of my art lessons, I just couldn’t get enough of creating something, even if it was syllabus-led. It was at this point that I wish I had followed my passion. But I chose something ‘sensible’. And it came with a pension, sick pay, holiday pay and was recession proof.
Fast forward 12 years and I now find myself following my instinct, my passion and my heart. My uncontrollable urge to create was too strong to ignore and I finally feel fulfilled with my career. I am happy with my work because it doesn’t even feel like work. I feel as if I’m doing my favourite hobby day in day out and being paid for it! As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get better than that.
So, what next for Tootsievalentine®? Well this is something I am in the process of unfolding. After graduating from university in the summer, I aimed more for the gallery market, which is quite niche, very small and attracts collectors but not regular sales. Likewise with exhibitions. It’s great fun to exhibit and be part of a collective of designers, but I feel there is more scope for growth by taking the business in a different direction. And yes, this means a more commercial aspect. The ethical side of my company is extremely important, so whatever direction Tootsievalentine® goes in, this will be the top consideration. I suppose I’m talking about designs more than anything, I’d like to make jewellery for a different market and develop more of a small brand with the emphasis on ethical fine jewellery. I have so many ideas in my head, sometimes I can’t get them down on paper quickly enough. This is the exciting part! In the meantime I’ll still be making bespoke pieces, doing repairs and traditional ‘jobbing jeweller’ work which is rewarding in a different way. Somewhere down the line, the brand and the bespoke work will converge and these ‘hows’ are the details I’m working out at the moment. I’ll be updating progress as and when. Right now I still have a mountain of work to finish for customers before Christmas Eve and then I’ll be taking a digital media and workshop break for a couple of weeks. So I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year for 2013. I’ll be back soon…..
Winter is my favourite season, very closely followed by autumn. Right now I can tell you that I am secretly doing cartwheels whenever it is grey, cold or wet. No, I’m not being sarcastic, no I’m not clinically insane and yes I am serious. I used to think of winter-love as an affliction because no-one else seemed to like this cold season. But the last few years I have decided to embrace the fact that I am a winter lover. I now know I’m not the only one and have since found a few fellow enthusiasts. Loving winter is a bit like loving Tori Amos, I think it’s perfectly normal, everyone else thinks it’s weird.
I was born in the winter, the bleakest month, February. Everyone I speak to moans about February being depressing and dreary, but I love it. Not because of my birthday, but because it is what I call Winter-Absolute, in other words no fairy lights or festivities to pretty it up and make the season seem more bearable. February is true winter at its most glorious, just dense cold, greyness and a stark feeling of being face to face with nature at its most exposed, raw and wild, when the elements take over and Mother Nature holds us at her mercy. Petals and foliage are gorgeous of course, but in winter, the bare branches take centre stage, all gnarled and twisted, boldly breathtaking silhouettes against a moody backdrop. As I write this, we are heading towards December I am filled with glee the fact we have only just got started. If Mother Nature had brakes, I would be slamming them on right now.
I don’t understand people who love summer any more than they understand my love of winter. I spend March til August longing for it to be September and the onset of cooler weather. I don’t feel the cold and I hate the heat. Give me grey, cold, wet and dark any day. To many people this sounds miserable and just plain odd, but I feel happier and far more balanced in the winter. My mood lifts, I complain less, I smile more, I feel like I’m in my element. Even though it’s chillier in the workshop and the heating sometimes struggles to warm my bones, it’s the season when I feel the most inspired. Winter will always be my greatest love.
On a practical level, I love winter because:
I don’t sweat
My pale skin loves it
No matter how cold it gets, you can always put another layer on whereas in summer you can only take so much off and you’ll still be hot
Log fires and wood burning stoves
My black wool cloak
Knee high boots
Rich comfort food
The woods becoming wild and uninhabited
You are of course more than welcome to join me with a glass of mulled wine or Scotch whisky and raise a toast to winter, we could even start a club….
You are one of my favorite blogs! :D I got tagged in one of the chain-ask "favorite blog" games, so I'm letting you know. :)
That’s really lovely, thank you! :-)
Emotional association and sentimentality are the two sensibilities that form the foundation of my obsession with jewellery. Being able to keep these cherished objects close to myself is the other. My magpie tendencies kicked in early and I would say that I have been obsessed with jewellery since primary school age. I was never into shoes, clothes or bags, I just wanted to raid people’s jewellery boxes and make like the Queen of Sheba! I’m not sure why it took so long, when it was so obviously instinctual, but I am finally a goldsmith, able to indulge my infatuation with precious artefacts.
I would say that the majority of my every day work is traditional jobbing jeweller work i.e repairs, re-sizings, re-builds and bespoke. Every day I am handling someone else’s jewellery in one way or another, from 18th century heirloom old-cut diamond rings to more contemporary solitaire engagement rings. What I love, apart from the actual making aspect of my job, is that piece each piece tells its own story. I don’t always meet the owner of the piece of jewellery that I am working on, an assistant usually passes it on to me, so it leaves me and my imagination to conjure up all kinds of romantic and familial stories entwined with each piece. As I study each piece, it never fails to amaze me the emotional value attached to jewellery. I had a couple of repairs recently that were illusion set diamond rings. This is where a teeny tiny diamond is set into a much larger white metal plate, which is engraved with similar cut markings to the facets seen on a diamond. It makes a miniature diamond seem 5-6 times bigger (unless of course you look closely). Good repairs and re-makes take time and cost a reasonable amount of money. In some instances (like with the low-financial-value illusion set rings) the repair and re-make can cost double that of the cost of the original ring, and this includes the cost of the gold which is still at an all-time high. Often in these cases, it would be cheaper to scrap the ring and make another from scratch. And sometimes, this does happen when a customer asks for the metal and stones from the original broken ring to be melted down and re-set. But the majority of the time, the repair is proceeded and the customer’s precious artefact is returned as new. Why? Why not save money and have a beautiful new piece made using the old material? Whenever I do get the chance to speak with the owner I often ask this (not from a critical point of view, rather from a genuine interest in what makes people tick) and 99.9% of the time, the answer has been steeped in sentimentality. The preservation of memories, the history of the piece, the integrity of the original design and how it reminds the owner of a special person, time or place. Indeed, why would anyone want to lose or alter this? I understand totally.
Contrarily however, I also see the value of re-modelling a precious old piece and making it into something else. The picture below shows an old cameo ring heirloom that I was given. I cast it in silver so I could wear it all the time without worrying it would chip/break even further.
So often, we have old jewellery lying around, unworn, yet stubbornly holding on to it for emotional reasons. Surely, if something is worth so much from a personal point of view that we are unwilling to throw it out, then it must have enough intrinsic value that we would want to wear it and hold this precious item as close as possible to us? Is this not the beauty of jewellery? The fact that it can be worn all the time and be kept against the skin, becoming a part of the fabric of our own daily lives? “Yes but it’s not really my style” I hear people say. “It was my Grandmother’s, but it’s a bit old fashioned for me, so I don’t wear it”. Quite.
I love hearing about the history of a piece of someone’s jewellery, I find it fascinating. I find it curious to think that the jewellery we wear outlives several of our own generations, and if looked after well could last millennia, like the ancient Greek and Etruscan gold amulets forged 1500BC. This made me consider my own jewellery and what I wear most of the time, my own ‘heirloom’ pieces. I have a few bits of jewellery that I was just talking about: inherited rings mainly (see below).
They aren’t my style at all. The jewellery I wear is contemporary, all white coloured metal in silver or platinum, no stones and has an almost 60’s aesthetic to it, quite chunky and geometric. I don’t suit delicate! Of course, all the jewellery I wear I also made myself, so it could be argued that I am imbuing my own sentimentality into each ring and bangle, my own story evolving in each piece. But I am still totally hung-up on wearing jewellery that has great emotional and familial significance even though it isn’t my style. This is where being a goldsmith comes in handy because it means that I can fiddle around and come up with something that blends with my personal aesthetic yet also feeds the longing for the old attachments to a previously loved piece. Pictured below is a wide silver cuff that I made this year.
In the centre is a very traditional style, engraved oval locket that I was given for my 21st birthday. The locket means a lot to me and I wanted to be able to wear it, but the style became too traditional for my taste, so I set it into the cuff I made. I didn’t have to alter the locket, I merely soldered it in to a hole I pierced out of the cuff. The locket still opens. I never take the cuff off (except to clean it in the ultrasonic when it needs it). I sleep in it, I wear it even when I’m in the workshop, I shower in it, it is definitely now a part of me. Without the locket set into it, it would just be another cuff that I might wear occasionally. But with the locket as part of it, I never want to take it off, it keeps a very special and sentimental piece of jewellery close to me, and this I love. To most people, it doesn’t look like anything special, but to me it means the world because of who gave it to me. This is the same story behind most jewellery and where it’s actual value pales in comparison to its perceived value by its owner. It is where jewellery comes into its own, representing closeness, love, memories, occasions, family history, commitment, all in a portable way that you can literally carry around with you, an instant physical way of linking to someone or something intangible.
I’m pretty much jumping up and down on the spot with immense excitement the fact that it’s now autumn!!! My favourite season (along with winter - yes I said winter!)
The first of the leaves are turning and falling, so I’ve been collecting and swooning. Beautiful found objects abound and I cannot wait for conkers!
Today I was sent a beautiful gift. It was given to me by a dear lady called Gloria. The gift was a set of two beaded bracelets brought over from Nigeria. They are beautiful, I will post a picture of them.
Really though, it’s not about what the gift is. Although they are beautiful and I couldn’t have picked better myself, it was just the thought behind it. The fact that she had thought of me, thousands of miles away and had picked something out for me. I was so touched by her kindness that I felt myself welling up. It was so unexpected, it’s not my birthday, it’s not Christmas, there is no other occasion that I am due to celebrate. I know I’ve always been a sentimental old fool, but this type of gesture hits me right in the solar plexus and makes me melt with happiness.
So thank you Gloria, you made my day :-) xxxxx
Some super stunning early autumn days here. It’s perfect, the air is cool and the skies are bright and blue. I do love this time of year.
Have been neglecting the blog and other comms recently…been head-down in the workshop! Quite a bit to do to get things to the place I’d like them to be so it’s full on with making and with admin bits & bobs. Will endeavour to keep a toe in with my updates, but if I don’t you’ll know why!