All I seem to write here are 'I'm Back!' posts! Okay, I'm a bad, bad blogger. But life is moving at a startling pace, and I find that when I get time to do anything not work related, I find myself asleep instead. I got through another birthday, which actually was lovely- my sister, brother-in-law, boyfriend, mother and I sat and had a massive Indian takeaway and had such a good laugh. Barry bought me two rats and a cage for my birthday; we named them Apple and Crumble and they are so gorgeous :)
I've not been making much jewellery in the grand scheme of things; I did however do a craft fair in my local village which was an unprecedented success, I made £45 after taking off the table fee. I think the fact that my display was better than it had been in previous years was a great help, and that I had a bit more courage to talk about the things I'd made helped to draw people in. I know I was undervaluing my work a lot, but it has helped to get my name out there. There were nit pickers and people that made disparaging comments, but I suppose that is to be expected, and didn't dent my confidence. I was thinking that I'd like to try helping with the organisation of the craft section next year; they took in some of my feedback and it seemed to help greatly with everyone's sales.
Craft fairs are an interesting beast; they can be both the best and worst places to sell at. This is summed up perfectly in A bedtime story for craft stall holders, which Nemea linked to on UKBeaders (w00t, linkfest). Everyone should read this! Even people who don't run stalls, you might spot yourself as one of the customers!
In other jewellery related news, Barry and myself have started a silversmithing course. We both made silver rings in the first few weeks; both of which currently adorn my left hand (what can I say, I'm a magpie!). Barry is clever and textured his, it looks very much like a wood grain effect; I left mine plain. We've now moved onto our own projects; Barry is making a ring box and I'm concentrating on stone setting. One of my classmates fuses glass and whilst I was perving over this box of pretties, he said I could have my favourite. So the one I picked became my first challenge to set. I decided to set in copper because it suited the colours in my cabochon so well (okay, and also that I was too disorganised to order the silver); the first photograph shows post soldering, midway through trimming off the excess. The soldering is very messy I know, but the tutor tells me that silver is easier, so hopefully I'll manage better on my next attempt. I also gave myself a massive bloodblister on the palm of my hand shortly after I took this photo. I'm such an amateur! It took me five failed attempts to solder this piece; the instructor started me off and I managed to do the rest by myself. I did end up feeling like I'd melted most of my face off from the heat. The second photo shows a much tidier looking version; post trimming, mid filing. I slotted the gorgeous cabochon from Simon as CS Creations - his cabs aren't on the site at the moment, but they should be! Stunningly gorgeous. Only one oversight made on my part- I haven't soldered a bail on yet. I was thinking just something simple, along the lines of a loop of copper, I've got plenty of offcuts. Will post more photos when I've been to my next class!
In other news, I'm getting ready to move in with Barry in a couple of months. We've got a gorgeous little one bedroom house in Kings Lynn and are currently saving for a house deposit. I never saw this coming seven months ago; but here it is. There was always something missing from my life after we split up last year; I could never put my finger on it until we saw each other again, as friends. All those old feelings came flooding back, so I rejigged my life so we could be together. And it worked...well, not to say that he doesn't still drives me crazy, and I don't still drive him crazy, but what couple doesn't? We know that now. And he told me that he loves me. I should have known that all along, he showed me every day, but it's amazing how much we have both changed in a year, for the better. He lets me in now, and I don't go crazy paranoid-insecure every five minutes. It works :) Anyway, enough with the emotional faff, we have work to do! Need to try to design a website, stat!