Welcome to the art of curiosity; my personal amble through the worlds of art, crafts, books & all manner of other curiosities. You'll find examples of my jewellery & art work plus an account of how I'm attempting to confound depression & my bipolarity by pursuing my creativity. There's a lot of whimsy too; my mind set is distinctly frivolous at times!

So, Dear Reader, won't you join me on my journey?

Saturday, 16 February 2008

You Make My Day Award

My dear friend Laura Sparling has presented me with this award - bless you Laura & thank you very much for thinking of me.

It's now my honour to hand it on to five people who make my day - here are the guide lines as to how to pass the award on:

1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day. Check!
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver. Check!
3. Display the “You Make My Day Award” logo. Check!
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news. Just about to ;-)

I would like to give this award to:

Jean of 'Snap out of it Jean. There's Beading to be done!'
Corrine of Jafabrit's Art
Angela of Angela's Art Diary
Margot of The Impatient Blogger'
Dan of Dan's Blah Blah Blog

Truly unmissable blogs :-)

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Trying a little longer...

I set myself the task of making up some earrings which are a little longer than my normal range so my Flickr Gallery now hosts photos of eight sets of earrings which measure from between 55 mm to 70mm.

Featured here are ( from the top) a set of gorgeous 'Glowing Stacklets' featuring beads by Emma Ralph, some 'Rosy Tubular Belles' which are a stunning showcase for the work of Laura Sparling & below, a pair of 'Paradise Stacklets'. These beads were created by Beverley Hicklin & their beauty is utterly hypnotic.

I am SO LUCKY to be able to play with beads such as these!!

Friday, 8 February 2008

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day - Part II

This stunning focal by Emma Ralph provides the 'Inner Glow' in this stupendous heart pendant. The word that springs automatically to mind is:


Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day - Part I

It's time to get ready for the day when someone who's dotty about you, can hand over their heart! Click on Flickr for more sweethearts plus this 'I ♥ Kitsch' pendant.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Emma & 'An Elemental Wave'

An Elemental Wave', I hear you ask? I chose this name because Emma Ralph has captured the essence of the Mediterranean Sea & trapped it in her nugget beads. If you click on the flickering Flickr show, there is a photo of one of these beads in close-up. It's a joy, but then everything that Emma makes is a joy!

Indeed, if you look below at the cover of Jean Yates' book 'Links', you will see more examples of Emma's work, this time in polymer clay. Are you hooked? Do you want to see some more? Have a rummage in Emma's shop!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Book Review - 'Links’ by Jean Yates - a source book for the imagination!

My shipment from Amazon has crossed the Atlantic to England & delivered into my hands a luscious, lavish & extraordinary book, namely ’Links’ by the well known American jewellery designer, Jean Yates. I have the good fortune to own an extensive library of reference books, but I can't think of any other jewellery book or manual that explains the craft of jewellery design & creation as thoroughly & pertinently as 'Links'. I’ve been assembling jewellery for several years, but even so, I've learnt new techniques & I've certainly assimilated fresh perspectives about design.

Jean’s designs are so glamorous & gloriously feminine - they celebrate the art of the coquette & her womanly wiles. Turn to page 88 & enjoy the allure of Jean’s ‘Gigi Bracelet.’ Trace back to page 62 & behold the enticing ‘Blooming Chain Maille Earrings’. Tiptoe through the pages once more & prepare for the glory of the ’Sun & Shadow Necklace’ on page 118. Jean’s jewellery is sumptuous and, as I once wrote in a fan letter:

'Am I Madame de Pompadour?' Where is my Salon?' These are the daydreams that drift through my head when I survey your earrings. I may long to have the brain of a blue stocking, but I want to look like a luscious courtesan which is why I am so grateful to you for these earrings. They make me feel like a marquise & I swear that my neck lengthens into that of an aristocratic when I wear them. They are a Rococo dream & blissfully baroque! Jean, without doubt, you are a very special magician!'

In ‘Links’, Jean discusses & shares the wide ranging prompts, clues & cues which inspire her designs. In other words, she has created a source book for the imagination! The word 'inspirational' is bandied around a great deal now & there are times when I feel it's in danger of losing its lustre. 'Links' restores it - Jean’s book puts 'inspirational' back on top of the value pile & far away from any commonplace usage.

‘Links’ is also an account of a voyage. It’s an autobiography in jewellery of a remarkable woman’s life. For those of us who have the privilege of knowing Jean, she has created an emotional touchstone for us all. For those of you who are new to her work, read her stories & reflect & imagine. I defy you not to be moved by her words or inspired by her designs & ideas.

This is an extraordinary & extravagant book, richly inventive & full of fascination. Read ‘Links‘& be inspired - make your own links & begin to chart your unique stories.

To find out more about Jean, check out her blog: 'Snap out of it Jean! There's beading to be done!'

By the way, Jean is a bona fide Rock CHICk ( she puts the chic into Rock Chick, don't you know! )

because her son is in The Ruse!!

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Why There's a Mug Shot of the Nativity Donkey!

This photo of the brood exhibits a fine replica of Milady Lula's normal facial expression.

This mug shot doesn't. Let me tell you why.

Actually, looks are deceptive. As Lula is obsessed with animals, she was delighted, not only to be picked as the donkey in the Nativity play, but also to be put in charge of all the other animals. She has no time for the sheep - they are 'thupid'. There were some pigs & mice as well - I won't quibble about mice being present in a stable, but I don't recall a swineherd in attendance.

Her new sense of responsibility did go to her head a little. As - obviously - the donkey's part is a non speaking role, everyone ( especially her teacher, hence the high dudgeon exhibited in the mug shot) was rather surprised to hear the donkey shouting 'GET A MOVE ON!' at Joseph & a heavily pregnant Mary. I don't recall this incident mentioned in any of the carols I've heard - have you?

Monday, 7 January 2008

The time has come to re-read...

Each year, aside from all the other books I'm reading ( four at present) I like to choose a book to reread which represents a bit of a literary tussock - one of those 'Books to Read Before You Shuffle Off This Mortal Coil'. For instance, and I swear this to be true, my Everyman editions of Proust's 'Á La Recherche du Temps Perdu' are well thumbed! That was quite a year and one in which I didn't get much else done. (Note the literary snobbery I allow myself by not using the imprecise translation, 'Remembrance of Things Past'. Purveyors of petty literary snobbery are not a pretty sight, don't you think? Please read the 'The Times Literary Supplement' for further evidence.)

Another year I forced myself to reread 'Jude the Obscure' by Thomas Hardy. Bar Mr Hardy's poetry, he & I do not make for happy company. Scholarly study means that we are overly acquainted. When my library shelves are finally installed, I shall allot a space in D rather than H for Mr Hardy; the D stands for 'Dismal Old Goat'.

This year, inspired by the BBC's exquisite version of Elizabeth Gaskell's 'Cranford' which was broadcast before Christmas, I've settled upon another book which unveils a canvas of life in a C19th small town & have picked up George Elliot's novel, 'Middlemarch' again. Pleasure awaits, but given my ditzy brain, I'm wondering how many vast tracts I will have forgotten by the time I reach the page entitled 'The End'.

Who he? Rufus Sewell as Will Ladislaw.

(May I put in a good word for Mrs Gaskell? She's a superb writer & often overlooked, thanks in part to her biography about Charlotte & championship of the Brontë sisters. It's my belief that if you like the Venerable Jane (Austen), you will savour Mrs G's volumes with relish!)

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Moth Balled!

Could it be possible that I'm putting my obsession with assembling jewellery up in the loft alongside the Christmas decorations? I fear the answer is yes for I'm taking a sabbatical. I haven't gone totally mad & thrown in the pliers completely. After all I still need things to wear even though my jewellery caskets are overflowing - I hold this frivolous belief that you can never have too much jewellery!

So what am I going to do? Most importantly, we are home tutoring our son who has been shamefully neglected by his school. Alongside their disastrous handling of the bullying incidents, we have now discovered that the SEN department has lost his file, PDD diagnosis and all. For the past two years, no account has been taken of his condition & he has received none of the support which should have been available to him. His school should hang its head in shame - quite literally in my opinion!

I'm not neglecting my voyage in the good ship 'the art of curiosity...' though. Oh no! I'm casting my net in different directions to see what I can find. There are always more things for me to discover & play with.

Happy New Year!

May it be a time full of peace, good health & happiness!