Thursday, 18 August 2011

A new charm

I have been on leave this week and so far it has been a strange mixture of stress and relaxation. The stress was caused by a visit to my Dentist on Tuesday only to be told that one of my wisdom teeth needs to be extracted. She assures me that it should be straightforward to take out. Apparently upper wisdom teeth are much easier to extract than lower ones and luckily this is an upper one. So I have an appointment in two weeks time to have it pulled. I have a really good dentist and I trust her completely but I am a bit stressed out about it.

The rest of my break has been quite relaxing. Monday was a really beautiful day so we decided to go for a walk. We are very lucky to have a great deal of green space in Bournemouth. The Gardens run through the centre of Bournemouth, for about 5 miles down to the sea. We joined the Gardens in Westbourne and walked down to the centre of Bournemouth. It is a beautiful tranquil space filled with a wide variety of trees and shrubs, including some beautiful Sequoia. This is what the Upper gardens looked like on Monday afternoon.

Below is a picture of the Upper Gardens taken this afternoon (Thursday) by Nick Beck for the Bournemouth Echo. This morning we had a freak storm. At 11 am it was so dark that we had to turn on our living room lights and there was a violent thunder storm raging overhead. Over two inches of rain fell in less than two hours. The result was flash floods, which caused havoc in the centre of Bournemouth and Poole. Shops and houses were flooded, roads blocked and traffic in both areas ground to a complete standstill. Luckily we were not affected directly by the floods, but the car park at the back of our flats was ankle deep in water for a while. Sadly it meant that the first day of the Bournemouth Air Festival had to be cancelled. The forecast for tomorrow is much better, so hopefully the rest of the planned events will still go ahead.

On the beading front I have completed another charm for my bracelet. I created a peyote tube and then embellished it with size 15 seed beads and 2mm Swarovski crystals. I glued sterling silver grommets onto the sides of the bead to give it more stability.

Finally I attached a tiny Swarovski crystal heart charm. I have had this in my stash for a while. I bought it at a bead show without really knowing what I was going to use it for. It was in the 'bargain basket' on a stall, and I have never been able to resist sifting through reduced price beads. You never know what treasures you might find.

For me it symbolises two things. The first is a resolution that I have made to try to improve my general health and well being. Unfortunately I can't do anything about my arthritis, but I can try to take regular exercise and eat well, to ensure that my body is as strong as I can make it. Hopefully that will make coping with this auto-immune disease a bit easier. The second is to symbolise the love and support that I have received from my friends and family. I will talk about this a bit more in my next post in my other blog Arthropy. But this last twelve moths would have been virtually impossible to bear without their constant love and support.

And finally I have also been working on my butterfly necklace. I have embellished the bezel and added some beaded dangles to the bottom of the pendant.

The next stage will be to create a beaded rope and a bail. I will ashow you more pictures and describe how I created the necklace, in more detail, in my next post.

Friday, 12 August 2011


Just a quick update. A while ago I wrote about my plans to create a beaded charm bracelet to record my progress in coping with the recent changes in my life. Well, I have made the first charm. It is fairly plain but for me symbolises the start of my journey. Not trying to take on too much at once. Hence the simplicity of the design.

Also as part of my coping strategy I have started another blog, simply called Arthropy (see the link to the left). In it I try to explain what coping with a chronic illness means to me. I have been having some counselling recently and the counsellor suggested that I might want to record my thoughts in some way. I agonised for quite a long time as to whether to keep the blog private. In the end inspired by 'Stitched Together' and 'A Girl in Winter' I decided to make it public in case it might help someone else in my situation. After all, you don't have to read it if you don't want to.

Finally I have been experimenting with using 'found objects' in my bead work. This butterfly is actually sold for scrap booking but I thought that I would see if it worked as a pendant. I will tell you more about it and post some more pictures in future posts. So far I think that it looks really good and would make a great centrepiece for a Victorian inspired necklace.