Sunday, March 31, 2013

Broken Glass

Over the last few months we've managed to break every last one of our pretty yet very flimsy Christmas glasses. They were covered in a paisley type design in a dark maroon colour and I was quite excited to experiment with the broken pieces in the microwave kiln. I layered the paisley pieces with some thicker clear glass taken from a broken beer glass and jazzed it up by adding coloured confetti glass (very thin coloured scraps of glass) and orange and red frit, which has the consistency of grainy sand. 

You may remember the "hole without a drill" technique from an old post which I've used here in the top of the piece so it can hang nicely as a pendant. 

I was surprised to see that after firing, the paisley design that was once dark maroon has now turned a lovely purple/dark blueish colour. So not only can whatever paint or enamel was used to print the paisley withstand the super mega crazy temperatures of the kiln, it can also change colour! I really like the effect. If you look closely you can see some of the paisley still has that hint of maroon in places and it's ended up blending together really nicely. I'm pretty happy with how this experiment turned out. To highlight the designs and the colours as much as possible I've painted the back of the pendant with white exterior paint that I'll glaze after it's fully dried.

broken glass mish-mash

Friday, March 29, 2013

Semana Santa;Holy Monday and Maundy Thursday

Despite several events being cancelled due to the rain I've still managed to witness a couple of Easter processions this week and I have not been disappointed. Monday's rain put a stop to Nuestra Señora de los Dolores' procession but not before we had a chance to see the start of the bizarre march down Carrera del Darro. Wednesday gave us more rain and unfortunately the popular Gypsy procession of Sacramonte was called off.  Luckily Thursday's weather was much nicer and we finally got to see what all the fuss is about in the perfect setting of our own neighbourhood, the Albaicin. So we took to the streets and followed Jesús and Maria around town for the day for the procession of the San Cristobal church. 

Here are some of Mondays photos taken in the rain on Carrera del Darro...

2nd from the front wants me to call him

having a pow-wow

And here are some snaps of yesterday's fun fest in the Albaicin...

the band getting ready for a long day

the lucky people with balcony access 

here comes Jesús

Jesus bumps his head on the telephone wires

a good samaritan comes to the rescue

with the black hats they looks like wizards

here comes Maria

the widows

the brilliant view from our friend's terrace

here they are hauling the virgin up the steepest hill of the albaicin, right outside our front door

So there you have it, the last few fascinating days in Granada in pictures. I've never seen the place so busy and packed with energy. The mix of grandeur, solemnity, and celebration have certainly left an impression on this foreigner. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Treats

Earlier in the week I visited my favourite bead shop in Granada and came away with some right treasures. My favourite thing by far are these big chunky acrylic round beads in yummy blush tones. They remind me of apples.

 I've strung them together with some large pink glass donut beads and pale blue acrylic beads.

  I think the orange beads at the top really add to the fruitiness of this necklace.

    And of course it's finished with my favourite of all clasps, the leaf and vine.

It'll be up on etsy very soon

Here is another finished project that will be joining my shop, these dangle earrings made from Agate stone beads.

I've also got some ongoing projects to finish. I'm so super duper excited about this bracelet that is currently in the works. It's also made from the semi precious stone Agate, joined together with antique bronze chain and findings. When it's finished it will be a natural chunky statement bracelet that will go great with a party dress.

 Tragically I've run out of the head pins I use to attach the stones to the chain, so all work is on hold for now. I really can't wait to get started again.

And finally here are some new beads that were delivered to my house recently, these gorgeous Cloisonné Kingfisher beads. I love the deep rich colours used in Cloisonné and these are no exception.  I'm using them in a charm bracelet, the beginnings of which you can see here.

It's just the bare bones right now, I'll be adding more fun to this piece in the next few days and let you know how it turns out.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Feliz Pascua!

Hola, ladies and gents. It's a rainy Easter here in southern Spain and I've been using the grim weather as a great excuse to stay in and make some new pieces.

 I've been beading and fusing like a mad woman for months now but haven't made anything for myself for far too long. So when one of my favourite necklaces, a souvenir from the beautiful island of Saint Lucia, broke into a thousand pieces last week, instead of crying my eyes out I relished the opportunity to revamp the pretty wooden beads into something new. 
Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the old necklace, but to give you an idea, it was strung together with 3 dark hemp cords that ran horizontally across the neck. 
I've poshed it up a bit here with antique bronze chain and findings so it works for super casual, borderline slobby, day wear all the way to "getting a bit dressed up" night wear. 

And of course I had to add my favourite thing, these lovely leaf and vine clasps, to finish it off.

Since it's Holy Week, known as Semana Santa in there parts, the husband and I thought we'd get it started with a bang and sip some sangria by the roadside and watch the first processions roll by. So here is a sneak peek of the craziness that is Easter in Spain...

              As promised, I'll be posting lots more photographic bizarreness as the week unfolds. 
Fun little side note....the Spanish can't handle rain. The procession was called off and everyone ran back to the warmth of the church soon after these photos were taken. Lol. Hopefully the rest of the week will bring some sunshine so we can see more scary outfits parade the streets.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


It's been quite a break since my last blog post but fret not, I'm back with a little bit of old school fine art to get us back into the swing of things. I've found time amongst making jewellery to do a bit of painting and drawing and I thought I'd share a couple.

I used watercolours to paint this forest scene on a piece of old cardboard that I had lying around. I've added lots of pen details afterwards to highlight the flow of the paint and contrast the watery cloudiness of the colours with the sharp black lines.

This little guy is done with watercolour pencils and black pen, a favourite combo of mine, and is my current online pin at Merrifield Records 

Come back soon for some exciting blog additions, including some new jewellery and a bit of photography that I plan on snapping next week during Semana Santa in Granada.