Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Loneliness of the Bead Stringer

The Loneliness of the Bead Stringer

Oh Woe Is Me,
I am alone,
No one wants to help.

It is the day after the big order has arrived from India and now I have to begin to string the beads for sale, Yes , I know that I could bag them up, but they look better strung and hung against the wall, rather than lying flat on the counter.
So here I sit at the Kitchen Table, with what looks like an ever ending mountain of beautiful beads before me. Their different coloured peaks rising up, towards the Kitchen ceiling and beyond and I have to decide which peaks to begin with, usually picking the one with the least beads to begin with, it’s easier that way to start.
And so my journey across the Mountains of Beads begin, I turn 3 packets of these into a bowl, there seems to be a moving ocean of glass beads afloat in the bowl, swirling around avoiding my fingers as I start to pick them out. Looking down in the bowl there seems to thousands there bobbing up and down as I attempt to get started, but really there are only 300 in the bowl, but there is still another 30 bags still to go)
And so my Bead stringing begins, one after one they are strung, endlessly, each bead eating another couple of seconds of time as I continue on my lonely trek through the bead stringing expedition, then there are those, who won’t play the game, the runaway ones, the ones that escape, they bounce and roll all over the kitchen, into the Hall and out towards the front door, trying to make a break for it… There I go after them, catching some in mid bounce, other rolling to darkest corner, below the kitchen units, behind the pipes of the radiator , below the table, if there is a place that it is difficult to get to, it is there they will go to hide and there I have to go to rescue them from non use.
Onwards, I go the noise of glass bead clicking on each other as they meet, sliding down the plastic cord, nearer the roll, one after another, the even ending pile, not seeming to be getting smaller, like an infinity puzzle, it just keeps going on and then you see it the first glimpse of the bottom of the bowl, faster you work to take in the sight, that glorious sight of the bottom of the bowl.
And then suddenly, it’s empty, a barren wasteland of bowl waiting for the next 3 bags of beads.
A feeling of euphoria, washes over me, I feel like celebrating, but, No
And so it begins again.
Tipping in the next 3 bags, it resumes …. Again you begin the process, one after another, just yourself alone, humming a little song in your head or over thinking an event that happened a couple days ago . Promising yourself that this will be the last lot before, Your Dinner, Bed or some other occasion, that you are using to get away from your Bead Stringing… But you are fooling yourself , you keep on racing against the clock, pushing yourself onward like an athlete, ( I know that sounds over the top, but I’m by myself, who’s to know.)
One bead after another, watching for the slightest sight of the bottom of the bowl, but alas it‘s not to be.
The phone ring, I stop what I am doing to answer it, my momentum gone, the moment lost.
“ Hello “, I say.
.” Hi Dad, What you doing? Says the voice of one of my Children.
 “ Stringing Beads “, Says I.
“ Don’t know, Why you don’t bag them, says he

So remember, the next time you buy a string of beads, the labour of love that went into it, the passion of the lonely Stringer, as he sat, late into the night, (Well 10.30), working so that you could have those beads strung. 

Check out Our Strings of Beads & the ones in bags

Monday, 28 September 2015

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Remember............. October is Visit Your Local Bead Shop Month

Remember............. October is Visit Your Local Bead Shop Month

Yes, Folks, It is that time again, It is the month, your Local Bead Shop, wants you to support it
So, Why Not Call in and see our Selection of Beads, Findings & Jewellery Making Items

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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Quotes for this Week

This Weeks Quotes To Make you Think, Smile or Inspire

Next Time , You hear someone Complain about the Price of Something Handmade, Have this at Hand

So True, I didn't Start my Business till I was over 50
Think again and believe that you can do it too

And I have Tried & Tried
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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

It Could Only Happen to Me, Seriously

It Could Only Happen to me, Seriously

Last weekend, My Eldest Son and I set off to a I.H.S.Reptile Show at  the racecourse in Doncaster,
Now, I do not count myself as an unlucky person, but after last weekend, I might have to rethink this.
I had the Day before, being Friday, I rang the hotel, that I had booked 3 months before, as well as the booking the Train Tickets from Manchester Airport to Doncaster. I rang just to confirm that we had a booking and that we would be arriving the next day, as well as getting details how to get there. Everything was confirmed and I felt happy, knowing that I had somewhere to sleep.
Saturday morning, got up early and got myself ready, deciding that I would go down and pick up, some tablets as I had been in hospital, the weekend before with a chest & throat infection ( usually in Good health , am I). But alas, they had none of the tablets, but found out that I could take my inhaler,
Happy days of sorts.
Got my taxi to the train station and started my journey, picked up my son at the next station and the 2 merry men were headed on their way on their first expedition on their own .
( I know , we are grown men, but ????).
Got to Belfast, but couldn’t get a connecting bus, ended up having to get a taxi, (Think he saw us coming, as the Fare turned out to be £10.00 for a 10 minute journey, Taxi driver should have wore a mask, anyway)
We got to George Best Airport, got through customs & security, without any problem and settled down to wait for the plane, which was due to take of in around an hour. Then, Yes Folks, the flight, it was delayed for an hour, ( even though my younger son had told me , that this would likely happen) which meant even though I had booked our train tickets for 1 hour later than when we should have
arrived, we would miss it .


When we arrived in Manchester airport, we were only behind by 5 minutes, but by the time we walked from the airport to the station, our train was gone. We got to the ticket desk, the guy behind the desk was real helpful and gave us our tickets and told us , if we hurried down quickly we could get the next train, which didn’t stop, but went straight through. But, because we were not on our original train, the reserved seats that had been ours, were no longer valid, but we could sit, where we could.  

Go First Trans Pennine Express, Thanks for your help and great service
Running like the wind, (well sort of, nearly fell, Surprise).
We made the train and just made the train with seconds to spare and we were on our way. We got seated, but then moved, when we got to Manchester Piccadilly. We didn’t know if we would be moved again or not, but we sat our ground, even when I saw the conductor coming, I thought, “Here , we go, we’re gonna get moved,” but we didn’t and on we sailed to Doncaster.
We ended up being only 20 minutes late, so we grabbed a taxi and headed out to or hotel which was well out of town. We were tired and hungry I went to book us in, then it happened, I stood there with a face like thunder, when the desk clerk told me, that we had been double booked for that night and they were full, but he could take us Sunday & Monday. I told him, that I had booked it 2 months previous and had had it confirmed the day before.
I was not happy, to say the least. The guy did his best to find us somewhere else, but their chain had no rooms, at this stage I knew how Mary and Joseph felt. He gave us direction to other hotels and we set off on the next stage of “What the hell else can happen expedition”, Believe it or not, we still could laugh, my son telling me to phone my sister, a family joke, because when he got stranded, he rang her to come to is rescue.
After about five minutes, we saw a Premier Inn and headed to towards it.
Arriving there, we went in to be greeted by a very pleasant Receptionist by the name of Hailey, who apologized and told us, that they were fully booked. But she told us to hold on. She made a phone call to the sister Hotel in Doncaster City centre. Yes, they had a room, it would cost us twice the amount, but it was a room. Neither of us had cards with us, as we didn’t want to spend over our budget, but she promised the girl on the other side of the phone, that she would get us a taxi and we would be there within 15 minutes. She did as she had promised and had us taxied off and back into Doncaster.
Go Hailey and Thanks
Arriving there, we booked in and got our room. We had been lucky , because they were almost full.
We headed out into town and worked our way round to the Taj Mahal Restaurant, which we had been recommended to by a friend where we had a beautiful meal, I had Butter Chicken, which was delicious and a wee cider.
Afterwards, we had a walk around the town, which has loads of Clubs, Pubs & eating establishments and went back to the room to chill out
We lay and watch T.V. as we were both exhausted and as we fell asleep, our hotel became very noisy, as people were arriving back, A guy in the room above us talked till 2.00a.m. in the morning. AAAGGGGHHHH!!
Finally, around 4.00a.m., I fell asleep. The rest of the night flew past and the alarm went off at 8.00 and I could have screamed.
We had breakfast and headed off in a taxi to the show which was enjoyable and after 3 hours and spending a load of money; we got a taxi and went back to the hotel. Lunch and then a nap and then we went in search of the Train Station, which turned out to be just a few minutes away. No taxi to pay then.
 We had a couple of beers and then retired as we were up again at 6.00a.m.


We fell asleep, till at 4.35a.m. the fire alarm went off.
 Really, was this happening to me, finally we made our way downstairs , only to find that some local loony had followed a breakfast chef in and set off the fire alarm, she was alter arrested , as she had been causing havoc around Doncaster and the Police had been looking for her.
Finally we got back to our room, but it wasn’t much point of trying to sleep, so when the alarm went off for getting up, I was dressed anyway. We had a quick breakfast, checked out and headed towards the station.
The train arrived on time, but when we reached our seats, some Geezer had made himself comfortable, at this stage, I was ready for murder, but he moved when he was asked and produced the reserved sign from his pocket. The rest of the journey went unhindered and uneventful.
So, we made it to Manchester Airport, thinking to myself, that the only thing now, that could happen, is the flight would be delayed. Got in , got our tickets printed and headed to security. Took everything out of pockets, belt, etc. and went through the scanner. Guess What? It went off , I just smiled to myself, what else could I do. I had to have a body search, twice, ( Not a personal , poking type of search.). Guess, what it was the button and the brass things on my Jeans.
Got through and waited patiently for an hour and guess what………………………….
The Flight left on time.  Yeah!
Arrived back in George Best Airport, really I wanted to kiss the ground. Seriously.
As we stood waiting for our lift to arrive, my son says to me, “ I expect you wouldn’t go again. I says “Hell Yes, of course I would, I would want to see if it was worse or better”
As we drove, home, I wondered to myself, what was in store and waiting for me at home
When I arrived home and shut the Front Door, I went straight to the shop, to check if everything was Ok and it was, then into every room to check, everything was fine again
Happy days, my Expedition to Doncaster & back was over.
Since , I have arrived back, everything has been good,  no events or disasters
Bloody Boring Actually..

It Could Only Happen to me Seriously

New Arrivals.......This Week's Latest Products

New Arrivals.......This Week's Latest Products
This weeks New Additions

100 Champagne Glass Pearls 8mm

Bronze Key Rings

Four Leaf Clover Enamel Charms

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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Just because that woman didn’t like it

Just because that woman didn’t like it

I have a wee spot in The Church Street Craft market, where I do a 5 hour  Shift on a Monday afternoon ( You’re Welcome to come visit )
I am there with some other Crafters and over the last year we have become like a family of sorts, looking out for each other, helping each other and enjoying our time.
We all know about each others Crafts and how they do them, so that we can explain to customer, how they are created, where it was made and so on.

Each one of us do something different and we have a varied selection, from recycled Repainted plastic containers to Ceramics using Different Clays & porcelain, Sewing and embroidery , watercolour painting, Screen Printing, hand made teddy bears and so on.
I am one of the more mature crafters there, but some of the young ones just can’t get their heads around, some customers and how they view our work and the unkind things that they say
I have heard it all, Things like “Why , would you want that, …….. I can get that cheaper from eBay, No, That’s not my style………

Just because someone doesn’t like a piece, doesn’t mean that it’s not Pretty, or Well made or Hand made or Painted, or Sown by hand in the early hours of the morning.
 Please people, each piece has been made especially, Each piece is an one off thing, Time, sweat, Love and mistakes and experiments have gone into that even before it reached the stage, where it is now, for sale in the Shop. Plus much more has gone into it, than you will ever know, so if it a little more expensive, than the Local shop or eBay or the pound shop.
Please remember, each piece means something to the crafter, who made it
So just because the woman didn’t like it, just means that there is someone else out there, who will buy it, who will take it home and put it somewhere special, because it is special to them
Made with Love, to be loved Forever
Follow us on Facebook or visit us at the Church Street Craft Market

Monday, 21 September 2015

My Pinterest Boards

My Pinterest Boards

Don't you just love going to Pinterest and looking at all the Fabulous Pins
With Business Pinterest, you can see what your Followers like and all the others, who visit your Boards.

So you might be surprised to find what's on mine.

I work as a part time chef, so the food pins are always interesting
This is my Food Board, You can tell I like Sweet Stuff

 My Second Passion is Photography,
 I Have a Board with Tip Pins for your Camera
AlsoI have a board which has some of my Pictures
Here are the 2 links

Saturday, 19 September 2015

My First Craft Fair & Nearly My Last

 My First Craft Fair & Nearly My Last........
I Wish This Had been My First Craft Fair, but it wasn't.

Some one had contacted my sister through Facebook and asked her, if she would be interested in doing a Charity Fair. 
So, she also got me a place as well, so we headed down to it, she had packed her stuff and I packed some of my beads and supplies to sell.
It was a Cold, Wintery Saturday, there was still a little frost on the ground, which made it slippery and it was now beginning to rain, big cold drops of rain too. 
We set off in my Brother in Law's Car, loaded to the gills and began the journey, it was in a small village in the middle of the country on the far side of Lough Neagh.
We both had great expectations, hoping that we would sell some stuff, at least get our fee back. We drove for about an hour, down wee country roads,  and arrived at the venue, which turned out to be a bar / restaurant, the only Bar in the town. By the time we had got unpacked and into the place, we were soaked, freezing and slightly unhappy, to say the least

We were shown to our tables, which were next to each other, thankfully. We set up and it became apparent that they had just filled the room, with as many people as possible , There were 4 people selling Jewellery. Next to my sister, was a lady from Belfast, who was selling Her Jewellery, which was at least 30 miles away from where she was now. She put her stall up, next to us and never spoke or even acknowledged us  and we all began to wait, people arrived and left and arrived and left, some stopping, a lot more not, even taking time to look.
My sister's prices were at the lower range of jewellery prices, as she wanted to sell stuff off, so that she could buy new beads. 
Then the Lady, next to her began to lower her prices, to stupid money, but no one bought from her. I had a sale and so had my sister, then another one, but the Lady next began to huff,( that was a sight to see), because she had not had a sale at all.
I took a quick walk around , only to find that the other 2 people selling jewellery had bought in the Jewellery made up and it was not Handmade by them, at all.
One of then then came over later and bought some stuff of me, after they had walked round at least 5 times and the day dragged on, like a snail on valium. Then eventually it was all over, 4.00, it seemed like ages, since we had left my house, plus we didn't even clear our fees, I know it was for a good cause, but we never even got enough to cover the petrol money.
I was cold, hungry and bored stupid, seriously disillusioned, I felt that I had wasted my time and felt sorry for my poor brother in law, who had had to sit, outside for 6 hours waiting for us.but I had learned something, about going to fairs.
Never expect a lot and be grateful for any sales
I only have even done another one, and it was a lot better, plus there were only the 3 of us there.
Feast or a Famine...... Lol.

So, How was your First Fair, would be interested to hear, if your experience was better or worse that mine.

Be Happy....

This Week's Best Sellers

This Week's Best Sellers

Best Selling Items
This Week are Enamel Charms, Crystal Beads & Glass Pearls.
4 Enamel Black & White Panda Bear Charms
23 x 28 mm

35 Ivory Glass Pearl Beads 12 mm

70 Clear Crystal Beads 8 mm

100 Fuchsia & Royal Blue 8mm Glass Pearls

230 Turquoise Abacus Glass Pearls 8 mm x 6 mm

4 Green Enamel Four Leaf Clover Charms
25 x 21 mm

Friday, 18 September 2015

When I Die..

When I die.
( A funny story for the people who buy my house )

 This is not going to be sad or morbid, but funny.
When my time is Up and I am called to wherever I am to go and My business is either moved or sold and my children, have to sell my house
This is my letter to the new occupants of my house.

Dear New Owners,
 I hope you will enjoy your life in this house , as much as I did. It has seen it’s fair share of good and bad things, but I must warn you, that in every room, in the garden, the attic, the garage, the drive, you will find them, possibly for the rest of your lives.
I hear you ask, 
Find What???.
Beads is the answer
Yes they are below the Skirting boards, in the Fireplace, tucked below the Kitchen Cupboards, I mean everywhere, even between the Paving Stones in the Patio, as well as among the Flower Beds.
There has been more bead spills than oil spills in that house

Seed Beads, 4mm Glass Beads of all colours, Crystal, Crackle, Acrylics, they are all there, hiding either from me or from a visitor, who had come to learn how to bead.
Yes I have hovered weekly, I have had my granddaughters, my niece, my sister & her dog search for them, but they are there.
The Reason
Oh ! I forgot to say, I had a Bead shop in my garage, hence the reason for so many lost & hiding beads
So, if you should happen upon them, lift them, because if you don’t they will keep turning up, when you least expect them, anyway, when you do venture upon one, give a little smile, because I will be watching from wherever having a good laugh at you, plus it will be a vintage bead as well.
So , remember there has been thousands of beads in the garage, Hundreds of people have come and gone through the Back Gate and so many people left with a smile in their face and a little excitement in their heart, because of the beads that you didn’t find, had gone to a new home
Take care, especially at night, because they have a habit of coming out, especially when you don’t wear slippers
Have a good life and Happy Bead discovery.
Enjoy Your New Home


Check out the beads that haven't got lost on our website

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Bubble Wrap Jewellery

Bubble Wrap Jewellery

At the beginning of the Month, I did a Blog on  Wasted Bubble Wrap.
Well, I have discovered, people are actually making Bubble Wrap Jewellery
Here is a few designs
Bubble Wrap Bracelet

Three String Bubble Wrap Necklace

Snowflake Earrings

Pearl, Chain & Bubble Wrap Disc Necklace

Ok Folks There are some Ideas, get recycling, Upcycling and have a Go at some Bubble wrap Jewellery. And of Course, Send me Pictures of your Creations

Monday, 14 September 2015