Saturday, 5 January 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

We're all still here!  No noticeable changes yet, including the rain.  My heart goes out to all those people dealing with flooded homes and businesses.  Some have been flooded for a couple of weeks now, and the water still isn't draining away.  The fields here are sodden, water welling up over my boots as I slosh my way through the wet grass.  We're on a slope, so the whole lot is supposed to drain down into the ditches and streams, which have been cutting deeper channels on their way to the turbulent rivers. It's amazing to think that parts of the country were experiencing a drought last March (although we were merely dry here). The Met Office reports that 2012 was the second wettest year since records began in 1910 (2000 was wettest) and the third wettest year for Wales.  We get a lot of rain here anyway, so we received only 18% more than the long term average. Unfortunately, the forecast is for more extreme weather in future.

To counter the urge to hibernate, I went off to a beach on the last day of November and again on New Year's Day, taking advantage of fine afternoons with low tides and hoping that recent stormy weather would wash up some nice bits and pieces.  No such luck. The beach appeared to have been washed clean, leaving drifts of shelly trash and stones on the very wet sand.  There were a couple of nice pebbles - sometimes the sea leaves natural, unpolished 'cabochons' of stone.  I've been working on some stone pendants with peyote stitch bezels, and quite like the contrast of the silver lined beads against the matte stones.  I'm at the point where I need to decide what to do for a bail; bead or metal?  Or mount them directly onto a beaded rope? Feel free to comment!

For the past couple of months, I seem to have been mostly unpicking work.  Several designs have been tried and scrapped, because beads didn't work together or with the stitch I was using, or the stitch didn't work for the design. A design can look fine on paper, but not so good in reality. Well, at least I feel as though I'm learning a lot from my experiments.  Even the bracelet I made for my stepson was redesigned and remade about 4 times until I was okay with it. It started as all glass beads in 2 different sizes, and ended as alternating glass and haematite. And then I forgot to take a picture!

I also have a design in mind for the tusk shells, but it needs matching shells. Trying to match natural objects like shells and stones for shape and size is quite difficult, so I'm going to need a larger sample of shells in order to find two which are close enough. A good excuse for more trips to the beach.

There was also very little sea glass and of the few bits I found, half were still too sharp to be usable.  And that's another thing where you need a large selection to find pieces which even vaguely match.  I suppose that so much glass goes into the recycling bins that little is left as 'litter'.  A few months ago, I met a nice woman on Goodwick beach who was also looking for sea glass, for use in a mosaic.  We chatted and agreed that sea glass seems to be in short supply here.  If anyone who reads this walks the coast path from time to time, please could you do a favour for me and other crafters/artists out there.  Take a bottle with you, preferably one which is an interesting colour, and toss it off the cliff onto rocks in the sea at a fairly inaccessible point, taking care not to brain a passing seal, bird, dolphin, kayaker, climber or fellow walker, of course.  The rocks and sea will take care of the breaking and rounding off, and will hopefully deposit the bits on a beach ready for us to find and use.  Thank you!

New year, new goals. I'm not going to review my goals from last year. Any that I failed to achieve still stand. Ah, well, moving on ... my key word for this year is MORE.  As in, do more, be more productive, try to earn more, achieve more, see more of my friends.  The exception is to eat more, because I need to lose more weight.

I had a very quiet New Year, sitting on the sofa with a glass of perry, beading and watching the TV with a purring cat on either side of me. As the fireworks popped and sparkled over London, I sent a wish for us all to have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013. 

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