We'll get the good stuff out of the way first... To celebrate Grubbi's birthday I'm having a sale! 40% off for the next 48 hours, so great savings to be made if you've had your eye on something in my store. Use code HAPPY2ND for 40% off at checkout And if you're interested... It's Grubbi's 2nd birthday! I've gone through quite a journey over the last couple of years...starting out making jewellery, progressing onto wanting to create my own beads and becoming a polymer clay addict, playing around with metal smithing and MissFickleMedia's metal patina's (still the best ones in my opinion!), soldering, texturing metals, etching copper and brass, a very small dalliance with metal clay which left a lump of copper clay stuck to my fingers and finally, ceramics. I am totally in LOVE with ceramics. I tend to get bored very easily and flit from one kind of medium to another...nothing sticks with me for too long, I love to try new things and have learnt some fabulous techniques from the "beading community". I was content with Polymer for a long time...but they never gave me the clinkity clink satisfying noise that glazed beads do. I thought I would get bored but I haven't! I've finally found a medium that I want to explore with, try a million techniques with, progress and evolve with and I love it! I feel settled. I'm already wanting a bigger kiln, a much bigger kiln! I want a pottery wheel too. Unfortunately I don't have the space, so I shall be evolving on a very small scale. BUT there's so much to learn...I've touched upon a little bit of sculpture...something very basic but I found I was good at it, it wasn't difficult to master, it came easily...I also made a pot...that didn't turn out so well, but I think perhaps I need to remove the thought in my mind that pots NEED to be perfectly round. I love mishapen, odd looking things but when it comes to trying something myself, I kinda want perfection the first time I try something...have to get over that so I can find my own style...or evolve with my own style, something I feel I'm finding now as I progress with clay. The name Grubbi came about through a brainstorming session with a friend of mine...I was looking for a name that fit me. I love old worn looking things...always have. Old buildings, peeling paint, ruined castles, patinated metal, shabby furniture, aged jewellery, rustic beads...anything a bit different. I began playing with words and stumbled upon the word "Grubby", which means a bit dirty...worn looking, or the other less romantic meaning, infested with grubs!! Anyway, less of the infestation...so I liked the word Grubby, I like words that end with an "ee" sound, they roll off the tongue and so I switched the Y with an I (cos the I makes it cool! :p) and Grubbi was born! Plans for the future...I'm sketching away with ideas for handsculpted pendants...it's difficult coming up with ideas that haven't been done before. I have new glazes on the way, I plan more experiments with layering...maybe even adding a bit of copper clay into the mix. I have some bead bundle kits in the making...and hopefully a bead club starting soon (limited spots!). I'm also experimenting with Sgraffito which is great fun (carving into underglazes). I have more doodle bead sets coming soon, I'm experimenting with metal clay (metal section soon to be updated) and best of all, I'm off on holiday with my amazingly lovely boyfriend at the end of the month! Scotland here I come! :D Oh and here's a picture of my claying buddy...Jelli (my favourite cat, but don't tell the others!)
It's been a busy old week...repeated glazing and firing days...I need a bigger kiln! So, to give my customers some variety I added some larger bead sets, a few disk bead sets, a lot of new pendants and some of my new style of beads...
Below you can see some of them...these are heavily textured stoneware beads. I've applied the glazed with a sponge to get a multi-coloured mottled effect...then the textures are highlighted with a brown stain and covered in a clear or clear crackle glaze to finish them off. They take a lot more time to make, but it's fun seeing the final results!
I'm running a 25% off code when you spend £60 or more. That means if you spend £60, you'll only pay £45! Code is 25OFF60 and will run for the next week.
Remember to sign up to my Newsletter for more great savings :)
So I finally surpassed 300 likes on my Facebook Page and to celebrate I'm having a giveaway! Now, I was going to pick out some bead sets to give out to folks, but I decided that as people have different tastes that you may want to choose your own!
So, I'm giving away a £25 "shop" at my Etsy store...you get to choose £25 worth of items from my store with free delivery!
I'm also giving away a further two 50% discount codes...
So that's three giveaways. Names will be drawn randomly from comments using a random number generator.
Commenting on this blog post earns you one chance to enter...for futher chances to enter do any of the following below and add a new comment for each!
1. Share this giveaway on your Facebook (personal/business page)
I haven't participated in the ABS challenge for a long time...probably through lack of time more than anything but decided to try and enter every month as I don't make enough jewellery and I really enjoy it.
For this bracelet I decided to make a cherry blossom connector for the focal...I glazed it pink but because I used brown clay it came out a lot darker than I planned, but I still think it looks pretty cool. I paired it with some of my ceramic beads in similar colours, some pink picasso Czech rounds, a Czech crystal, some copper chain and Tierracast clasp and charms.
Really enjoyed making this. Check out the Art Bead Scene HERE for some great monthly challenges.
Structure is something I definitely need to work on this year. I'm terribly dis-organised and I find it really stressful sometimes.
I get into ruts where I can't be bothered doing anything...and so some days I don't. This then put's me behind schedule and I get flustered and then stressed because I have so many things to do. I have work days, housework days, beading days, order/packing days, claying days, family days and lying about doing nothing days...I let things get on top of me.
I need a rota, I need to do little bits of each thing, each day...instead of letting them mount up. I need to utilise the things and people around me a bit more, ask for help instead of trying to be super woman.
So even though there are many words...schedule, utilise, dis-organised, stressful, flustered...that I could use, I'll go for the one that encompasses them all and one that sounds a little more useful and positive than the others...Structure.
Before I found my "calling" and became a bead addict I used to be an "artist". I say used to be, as I rarely draw anymore. Sometimes I get the urge and come up with something new...perhaps so my drawing hand doesn't rust up from lack of use.
I specialise mostly in portraits but have always been a great fan of still life...especially nudes. When I studied art at school we would go and draw naked folk. It was a novelty at the time...you're 16-18 years old in a class full of your friends and there's an old naked guy sitting in the middle of the class, humming to himself, without a care in the world, pretty funny to those juvenile eyes. Now I'm older and a lot more "sensible" (or so I like to believe), I'd kill for that opportunity again...
For me, the most interesting bodies to draw are the "imperfect" ones...perhaps some wrinkles or a pair of droopy boobs, someone who is overweight or has a big nose...something that little bit different...the things society perceive to be "flaws".
Of course I have no access to naked people at the moment (my boyfriend outright refused to pose!), so I'm working from photographs. I promised myself to draw more this year and so my first "nude" was not so imperfect, starting off slowly...although backs are pretty hard to capture and I hate feet...hence the unfinished bit.
Worked from a photograph by Amphisbaina @ DeviantArt.
Two of my bracelets are in the February edition of Bead Trends! I rushed off to get the digital edition and just LOVE how they photographed my bracelets!
The bracelet below was created with magatama beads (available in my Czech glass collections on Etsy), etched cream lampwork by Rob Johnson, lampwork by Lisa Falzone, peanut seed beads, TierraCast copper beadcaps and clasp and the focal is a polymer clay bead made by me.
The bracelet below was my entry for the Art Bead Scene challenge last year. Everything except the green Ghanan trade beads and the toho seed was handmade by me. I love forging metal and etching is another favourite of mine, although something I haven't done for a long time.
Catching up as I joined the party late...of course I did, completely disorganised, as usual!
I've had a pretty hectic week and am completely behind on everything! We've had a series of power cuts over the last fortnight due to a substation blowing up in the next street. Firing a kiln and power cuts do not go hand in hand, therefore all my listings are going to be up about a week later than planned! On top of that I've been working overtime and preparing for my next module at Uni starting very soon.
The New Years diet lasted approx 1 day before I gave in to cheese with caramalised onions in it, yummm! Trying to get back on track now but it's so hard. I tend to be an evening grazer, too busy during the day to prepare anything but coffee and then once everything is done and I can park my behind on the sofa with my man, grazing commences. It's a bad habit and one I'm trying to break. I really need something to do with my hands though, so I find it very difficult to just "sit" and do nothing.
I'm really looking forward to blogging more. That is the main reason I've joined in with Sally's "Focus On Life". I find it difficult knowing what to blog about and so having a little task presented to me each week from Sally will hopefully be great inspiration!
You can join in yourself with "Focus On Life" at any stage throughout the year. Just email Sally on her blog (linked to above) to join in! :)