Come on in to this home for my jewellery and other stuff. I hope it will continue to grow as I hope to continue to grow in myself.
I do love a good bit of salty language, and encourage all who join me here to express yourselves in your truest forms! Enjoy yourselves xx

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Insomniac Musings

Stone the bleeding crows, another bout of the sleeplessness. It's just SO habit forming. But, having a head full of all manner of things has been vaguely productive in it's way.
What still feels like yesterday, but was, in fact twenty-three years ago (gasp!), I spent time doing some lone travelling in Australia and Thailand, and it's images of these places and others, that have been weaving through my nocturnal mind for some reason. Oh, and bongo monkeys! I don't know what that's all about! Brrrr - they give me the willies.
Also, of New Orleans. I've been dreaming of going there for years, and my delightful man and I are planning to get married there - sometime ......

Ah, those were the days - when I was young and fearless!

That weird toothy thing on Fanci D's place keeps popping into my head as well, possibly because of the something nasty that's lurking in our woodshed! I managed to stop being a jessie for long enough to get up close to take a picture of it.

  Look away now if you're of the squeamish persuasion!


I thought it was a fox at first, but I think maybe it's a badger instead. It looks like it went quite peacefully. Just curled up and slipped away on a straw bed.
It got me thinking about a necklace. No - not just a dead badger hanging round your neck! Those teeth Fanci has been using have probably been exciting me as well. I was thinking about teeth and claws and beaks. I got a bit carried away with the idea of deconstructing body parts, and ended up making all sorts of things!

There are a few more added now as well, so it'll be an interesting task putting them all together once they're fired.
I bought a whole load of agate slices last year, which I haven't got round to doing anything with yet - and it's about time I did.


This clay will turn black after firing, but I don't know if the idea will work or not. I managed to get a hole through one rather lovely piece, which I've just listed in the shop today. What do you reckon?

Absinthe Vision

Absinthe Vision

I've called it Absinthe Vision, and I'm a little bit in love with it!

I put another couple of things on today as well - a daft little ring, and another slavish offering to the mighty Mr Palahniuk. I couldn't not do a Fight Club piece really, and there's another two tributes to Damned coming up.

Oh, here's one of them - finished it sooner than expected.

Madison's Power

I've got these heads sitting here as well, waiting to be finished - they're a bit strange too. Just a glimpse of them here on my rather disorganised workbench.

I've also been pondering on my Polynesian ancestry - yes really! My dad was French/Dutch, and born in Java in Indonesia. It may well just have been one of his many tall tales, but there was talk of Polynesian Royalty way back in these genes! Inspiring stuff indeed, and I've been working on a couple of simple pendants in that style. It could be complete guff of course! For years I beleived that the scar he had on his thumb was the result of it having been bitten off by a conger eel he caught somewhere - it turned out that he got it caught in a deckchair!!

It's rather lovely down here at the moment with Autumn well under way. No sign of snow as yet, and hopefully it'll stay that way. But we're quite cosy in our little loft.

If it gets too bad, we can always wander across to the pub next door - and won't that be a shame!

Oh yes, I've been thinking of ways  I could use this lichen. It's quite beautiful when you have a good look at it. It grows in areas of clean air, and having come from an area of pretty mucky stuff, it makes me feel good to see it growing here.

Well, I think I'll just round things off here with a few pictures of my lovely kitty cat. He doesn't think there's been nearly enough of him on here so far!


Well, that's all for the moment. Kiln firing time very soon, so more things to put in the shop.

Best wishes to Jackie - I hope all went well, and that you're enjoying some silly moments on the happy pills!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

First tribute - Fanciful Devices


Since opening my Etsy shop a few months ago, I've been aware of Fanciful's stunning devices. Firstly, just winking at my magpie eyes on my activity feed. Then I found myself frequently popping back to her shop to check that I hadn't missed anything. I can be a bit slow to catch on, so it only recently occurred to me to check out her blog. If only I'd known!!! I keep saying this, but, it's like entering another world - a beautiful, compelling world, that's perfectly topped with some well constructed profanities! Heavenly!
I've been feeling quite restricted in the world of Etsy. Don't get me wrong, it's been the perfect antidote to several years spent working on an acute psychiatric ward, but, I'm often a rather warty, growly old bugger, and the niceness was starting to choke me a bit. So, imagine my squealing delight, when the first thing I read was -
"Why is everyone in craftblogetsyland so damn polite?! It means I must be being terribly rude in comparison, I just know it. It means I'm gonna hurt someone's feeling by being my spazy blunt self. But. but fuck that! Harumph!"
Hurrah!! Then it was 'Bob's World of Dildos', and earrings made from rheumatoid arthritis, and I knew that I was hooked!
What's more, it's opened me up to all the other myriad delights of  blog world, and has given me the kick up the bum I needed to get my own boat afloat.
So before I disintegrate into a swooning pile of compliments and exclamation marks, I'll attempt to pick some of my favourite Fanci devices for you to gaze at.

Poppy's Poison
That these were one of her first offerings just makes me want to weep really. Still, if I had discovered her back then, I would have got myself into some dire financial straits!It's only my impoverished state now that's keeping me safe!
High Tea On The Moon and Jarring
As Fanci described in her listing, people would be distracted by these earrings, reminded of something you can't quite remember. I think that accurately sums up how most of her pieces make me feel. Like I recognise them from somewhere - some deep, distant memory, or a dream, but I can't quite put my finger on exactly where.
I love the mystical quality of the ring - what is that inside??

All Faiths
Enchanting on the outside, and then so much more when you open it up to find all those treasure hidden inside.
Text Message       Going Away
Cross Dressers Of Yore     The Heart And Tongue Of Ra
The little book that opens every which way is just SO ingenious!
I adore the Going Away necklace, and it instantly evoked memories of my wild, youthful days when I was a fearless lone traveller!
That cross dresser just cracks me up, and I love the little pencil earring range. How does she think of these things??

Before We Are Clay    Pamphagous
Calcinatio   The Hanging Librarian
By gum, but she's smart cookie! Who else would think of using an old book cover in such a way?
And discovering a word like Pamphagous, then using it to inspire some earrings!!!!
I loved the description of the calcinatio earrings, and how the light shining through shows that fire within - that spark of imagination. -And there's that spark in some old librarians hanging about!
Ram's Horn and Letter To My Sweetheart
Even though it's reminiscent of old fags - sorry, cigarettes - that means something quite different to you guys over the water, doesn't it?!! I still find it rather romantic - and the other one just oozes the agony of love and passion in a long distance relationship. Gorgeous.

Embaphium     Dark Matter
Even though it feels almost impossible to pick any kind of favourites from all Fanci's extraordinary creations, I think these three are as close as I can get. They have a distinctly unnerving quality - the stuff of wild dreamings. How she manages to capture that quality is just mind-blowing. How does she think of these things? What normal mortal walks around knowing what an embaphium is for heaven's sake??!!
The Man In The Arena
So to finish off this gallery, I've included this man of daring-
a lesson to us all.

Well, I feel quite exhausted now! Will the genius never end? I do hope not.
Thank you Fanciful Marina, for all that you are xxx

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A Bit Of Background

So, where to start on this one? I made mention somewhere in my last post about the Autumn colours down here in the valley, so I thought I'd share a bit about where in the world I am these days.
After months and months of trying to work out how my man and I were going to manage to get to be in the same place, it became clear that the best thing to do was for me to move down here to Devon where his job is. So in April, I gave up my job on the psych ward, rented out my flat, and we moved into this cosy loft above an old hunting lodge in Heddon Valley on Exmoor, where I've been working on my Etsy shop.

It's a beautiful spot, although it's felt a little like the land that Summer forgot! It's not green down here for no reason! But, I just love living in the woods with it's variety of wildlife, which has clearly been a much greater source of inspiration for my work than I realised it would be. I don't think my friends can quite get used to this Nature Girl side of me, and are still waiting for some signs of the dark, crabby baggage they're used to!
My old moggie, Mack, has welcomed his new environment with open paws, and often enjoys a little trot across the field for a drink and a paddle in the stream.

He's the apple of my eye, (before anyone wonders - no, I don't have children!), and seems to thoroughly enjoy the company of his woodland mates - except for the peacocks. But then neither would you, if you were a pint sized kitty cat being greeted with this lot hanging around your front door!

I think they're a hoot though, and thank them for the feathers they left me in exchange for occasional peanut butter sandwiches, and for inspiring me to make these few creations.

Thanks, Boys

There's the squirrels too - LOVE them!

Oh - and this gorgeous little fella crawled over one day. Yes - it's only a bloody baby otter!!!

With the dramatic moorland views, and several beaches nearby, it really is an amazing place to be.
Sounds like I should be working for the Devon Tourist Board, doesn't it?!


Hopefully, we'll still be appreciating all this above, when we're stuck in this below over the winter!!


Well, that's it for today. I just thought I'd share a taste of my world with you.

Next entry will be the first of my posts to celebrate the work of my favourite designers - and what others could I possibly start with, than the jaw-droppingly,beautiful creations of that divine Fanciful Devices!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Well, here goes!

My first post on my bloggy thing.  Holy shit - I've really struggled to get my head around how this works, and just hope I can get to grips with it. There's still a whole load to put on here, but I think it's going to be a big old pile of trials and errors. I would just like to  say here that my inspiration to get going with this has been from visiting that delicious Fanciful Devices's blogspot. But really - that much talent in one person is just obscene! I need to figure out how to show other people's work on here, but for now, you'll just have to make do with my own!! Oh - that's the whole point of this, isn't it?!

Right - she said, through gnashing teeth, I'll re-write my text all over again. I'm really not liking this. First of all, I was rejected by my own bloody blog when I tried to reply to the comments made by the lovely Jackie, and now - all my accompanying text has just vaporised!!! I'm not a happy rabbit.
Above, is one of three necklaces I've made in celebration of some of my favourite books. This one is honouring Jitterbug Perfume by the delightfully doody Tom Robbins. I've long since lost count of the times I've read it now, but it was the perfect companion during my wild travelling days in Australia and Thailand. Ah, youth!

This is one of a few of my recent experiments with firing sea glass, and I was really rather pleased! I think this looks like a nice juicy olive. It's a bit rough and ready on the back, but I'm getting used to that - hooray!

I was more than a bit chuffed with the way this one turned out too, and it looks rather glam when round the neck.

A more greeny-bluey version, and scattered about a bit. Still Autumny though. There are so many colours going on down here in the valley at the moment. OH - I haven't mentioned any of that so far, have I? That'll be the topic for my next post then.

This is one of three (the one not pictured is a purply number - you can see it in the shop - www.jewelidentity.etsy.com). I had this idea of two necklaces in one. The lower section can be easily unclipped and clasped together to make another shorty necklace, or the beaded choker can be worn by itself. Or both together, but separate - see, lots of options!

Another bit of experimentation with sea glass melting here, and I was very pleasantly surprised by the blueyness of it when I opened the kiln. It looks really nice in natural light. It's got a few imperfections here and there, but hey, haven't we all?

I liked the idea of a sort of crucible effect with sea glass, but before it loses it's form, so I resined the glass in instead. I've done the same with the five rings in this collection.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of spending some time with a driftwood artist called Jamie Bird, who gave me a charcoal picture of a crow, forlornly staring into a black pan with an egg in it, which he titled, Mother and Child. It's poignant but dark humour kept me laughing every time I looked at it. With a bit of Photoshop jiggery pokery, I've re-created it as a pendant in the hope that someone else will enjoy it too.

This is one of five of my crucible rings in black stoneware with sea glass.

I love this Antique Turquoise glaze. My lovely man bought me my kiln, and with it a selection of yumtious glazes. The bangle needs someone with a small hand!

This is another experiment with fired sea glass and silver. it didn't turn out quite as I expected, but I was pleased with it nonetheless. I just love the cracked glass effect.

My friend Lisa, who I used to work with at the hospital got right into paper wrapped beads. It didn't really do it for me, but I thought I'd have a go with the same technique using porcelain, and was pleasantly surprised. As a potter herself, she'll be calling me all sorts of names when she claps her eyes on this!

Now then. This is my homage to the wonderful Chuck Palahniuk's latest masterpiece, Damned. Unsurprisingly, it's receiving rave reviews, and it feels like a return to the old Chuck style of writing that I love. Better still, it's the first of a trilogy! It's like I've died and gone to Hell!!!

Another piece honouring the great man, Chuck. This one in tribute to Invisible Monsters, which is still my favourite. It's due for re-release soon with another 150 pages! I'll make no attempt to resist that whatsoever!

Another of my crucible ideas. This one rather growly and earthy with the green glass fully melted and puddled in the centre.

These are some of the latest in my etsy shop (www.jewelidentity.etsy.com) - there's plenty more in there besides.
In the hope that this latest attempt at text is going to stay put, thank you again Jackie, for your kind words and interest. I appreciated them more than you can imagine, and I look forward to seeing some of your work. I'm really hoping that I can find out how to add comments myself. Next post coming soon. Petra x