Splash of Colour: November

November 1st, 2010


Firstly, thankyou so much for all the votes and thoughts on my etsy banner. The single bird looking right towards the text (which Sue and I haven’t made yet) has won by a birdy mile. That will be the image at the top of my shop when it opens soon.


As promised, I’ll be photographing and posting colour this week and the first week of every month until February. The images to be found in the Splash of Colour flickr pool are a joy and we’ve only just begun! Thankyou to everyone who has said they’ll join in- I can hardly wait to see. I have a feeling there’ll be some very happy eyes in the next few days.


I’ve noticed that the autumnal trees seem more vivid this year. We haven’t had any strong wind storms in East Anglia so the leaves have clung on for longer. It’s beautiful. When the sun is shining the trees seem to glow. I have to admit that I’m enjoying autumn and the colour is a major part of that.


Pop over to Mrs Speechless - she’s posted some early morning colour too. I never realised before but I know now that I need some Disney princess plasters.

Right. I need to learn how to make mosaics.

(Little P is wearing a pumpkin costume handmade by Gina for her sons when they were small. Those little boys are now men so this is a very precious costume indeed.)


October 29th, 2010


Firstly here’s a quick reminder that I’m going to be hosting the first Splash of Colour week beginning this coming Monday 1st November, to be repeated in the first week of every month until February. Lots of bloggers are joining in already but if you fancy blogging colourful images next week to ward off grey, drab winteriness then we’d be delighted if you came to the party. Here is the Splash of Colour pool on flickr - it’s already an inspiring and very, very cheerful place to visit.


Very soon I will be opening an etsy shop - something I’ve wanted to do for a very, very long time. My current little online shop is lovely but it is a little isolated and I have a huge urge to be part of what is essentially a gigantic online hand-made fair. There’s a huge community over on etsy and I want to join in.

I’ve been ploughing through the more mundane aspects of setting up shop - policies, shipping, welcome statements, but you can help with the fun part - the appearance, or in other words, the silverpebble shop banner. Sue has helped me with this - what a wizard she is with photoshop. Thanks Sue.

So, one bird


or two?


These two look like they’ve had an ornithological falling out of some kind, but on the upside, when Sue had tinkered to create the mirror image, I realised that they reminded me a little of this:


William Morris, Strawberry Thief

Which do you prefer?

Splash of colour

October 26th, 2010


OK, I have to admit that despite my self delusion and concerted denial, winter is coming. I’ve blogged before about my lack of love for winter and back in February I tried to cheer up the last few weeks of the cold dark season by posting about the joys of Spring, quite some weeks before it had arrived.


This winter I have a plan. Joining in with Poppytalk’s autumn colour week recently was an absolute joy. I’ve realised rather late in life that colour can be seriously cheery and therapeutic. It might even help me to get through the winter. There are just over four months of potential steely skies and coldness ahead of us before March knocks on the door, bulbs spring up like fireworks and we’re in the home straight.


So, to ease in each wintry month I thought I’d cast about for colour, photograph it, blog it, then look at it, and keep looking at it to distract myself from the naked trees and lack of sunshine. I think it’s a fairly good plan, although in bleak January I might struggle to find colourful subjects.

The first week of the month, or thereabouts, I’ll be blogging colour - maybe not every day but at least once. I’ll be beginning around the first of November. It would be wonderful if you joined in. Pictures of creativity, flowers, interiors, nature, food, childrens’ drawings, anything that will give us a blast of colour as an antidote to cold grey weather would be fabulous. You can even grab this little button if you wish:


Blogging colour at the beginning of the month like this means that it’s only four colourful blogposts until Spring. A sinch!


I’ve set up a flickr group for this too, called Splash of colour, Winter 10/11. I’m fairly new to flickr and it’s possible that no one will join in. No matter. I’m going to post photos on there and if the fenland gloom gets to me, I’ll be hopping over to flickr and cheering myself up.


So, winter, how d’you like them crabapples? I expect winter will remain impassive but the rest of us might feel a little better.

Finally, I just wanted to thank you so much for visiting over here and to apologise for not visitng blogs very much at the moment - I have lots of commissions, which is wonderful, but it squeezes my spare time a bit. I hope to be able to blog again properly soon.


October 17th, 2010


Firstly, thankyou so much for all your wonderful encouraging comments about my jewellery recently. They are so helpful with keeping my confidence up and spurring me on. I can’t always answer because it’s such a busy time of year but rest assured that every single one is read, appreciated and contributes hugely to making me feel like it’s all worth while.

Recently I have been tagged by Scented Sweetpeas with the Beautiful Blogger award and Tess Driftwood with the Versatile Blogger award.



Thanks so much, Zoe and Tess.There is a general theme of seven for the latter, so I thought I’d share seven things I’m really enjoying at the moment:


Combining a farm shop haul with the last of our tomato harvest and making passata with our lovely new gadget.


The little shop itself is literally just down the road. It’s beautiful shelves of produce (see above) are manned only by an honesty box.


Little P’s latest drawings:





A beautiful, hymn-like song by one of Mr P’s latest discoveries, The Avett Brothers:

Finding a tiny, broken, vintage filligree bird brooch and converting it into something wearable again.


Unexpected October sunshine.


Sharing my favourite childhood programme with the little ones and finding that they’re transfixed, just as I was at their age. I adore this episode about a ship in a bottle:

Finally, the fact that I’m still managing to pick posies from the garden. The image at the top of the post was taken this afternoon. I blogged one of my first posies of the year here. I think I’ll record these little bunches of flowers more regularly next year and mark the changes in season.


There’s always a dilemma in passing these awards on but in case you fancied sharing seven somethings, I’ll pop it over to Cathy at Menopausal Musing, Harmony and Rosie, Anne at Andamento, Coffee Lady (who may well have enjoyed the ship in the bottle) and On a Branch, but if you don’t fancy it, not to worry!


October 14th, 2010


I’m working on a new collection for Primavera gallery and I thought I’d share some of the pieces with you before they’re installed in their cabinet. You’ll have to bear with me though - the light is terrible here today.

It seems my work has sold well, which is both exciting and unexpected - there are over sixty jewellers exhibiting there at any one time.

Thankyou so much for your lovely, encouraging comments about my silver acorn - it has inspired the little oak necklace shown above. It’s funny how coincidences happen in blogland sometimes. Ali posted her dear little felted acorn this morning.


No two silver birds of mine are ever the same - they all seem to have slightly different characters or similarities to different species. This pendant has turned out rather like a blackbird in his enamelled Sunday best. The two tiny birds below will become earrings to go with him.


Seedhead themes seem appropriate for this time of year so I made another brooch to go in the collection. I’ve been working on some tiny seedhead pendants too, paired with little green peridots and vintage ivory freshwater pearls. They’re tricky to make - I add the tiny silver seeds individually, sometimes resulting in some rather blue language and lots of cups of tea.


I have taken the nature table theme slightly further. The balance between the chain and the spacing and size of the charms needed work so I’ve come up with a nature table charm bracelet. The little star-like flower was inspired by witch hazel, which will begin flowering shortly after Christmas.


Well, that’s some of the collection. There’s still a silver hare to make, along with a new idea - a posy necklace. I’ll try to capture these tomorrow morning but for now I’ll leave you with something else that’s new. A few weeks ago I noticed I could no longer focus on the individual links of chain or tiny balls of silver clay. Old age has caught up with my peepers so I have my first ever pair of specs.


Autumn colour week: brown

October 8th, 2010



The light was so dingy this morning! Sheesh. Browns can become very sludgy in poor light. Still, I nipped up to the play park and stood on the wooden fort. This helped to counter the effect of the heavy grey skies.


Our cottage has a lot of wood in it. Mr P and his brother made the floors, cupboard doors and staircase from French oak, some of it reclaimed from a burned out barn. The satchelly handbags are both vintage. The darker one cost £1 from a rummage sale in Troutbeck Bridge. This may be my best ever thrifting bargain.


There is a fair amount of woodworm in the oak, now long gone, thankfully.




A Lakeland basketmaker taught me how to make these rustic sieves from willow. For many centuries they were used to wash potatoes.


Mr P’s hops have had a huge crop this year. He has bags and bags of them frozen down to make beer in the coming months. They smell delicious.

That’s it for Poppytalk Autumn Colour week. I was only participating for half of it but I’m now well and truly a user of flickr and I’m definitely hooked. The colour pool is here.

Autumn colour week: red

October 7th, 2010


I’m joining in with Poppytalk’s Autumn colour week. It’s forced me to get my bottom in gear - I now have a flickr account (silverpebble2). The autumn colour pool is a fabulous place to visit.


I’m a little late: I missed Monday’s green and Tuesday’s yellow. I just managed yesterday’s orange with images from my last post.


Today is the turn of red, so I have been snapping new tights, telephone boxes and lots and lots of beautiful berries.


The sunshine has helped enormously.


I bought these ruby beads (yes, real rubies!) at a gem fair at the weekend. They look almost edible - I think they are a little like cranberries and I can hardly wait to use them. Soon they’ll be teamed up with hand-made silver shapes and some vintage freshwater pearls I bagged at a boot fair.


Tomorrow is the turn of brown. Let’s see if I can manage it…

The cutting allotment

October 2nd, 2010


Despite today being blue-skied, crisp and sunny I’m afraid I’m a little sad about the change of season. I’m going to rewind the clock about six weeks and share our trip to the edge of the village, to my friend’s allotment.

We both love the idea of Flowers of Hatch - fields and fields of mixed, seasonal cut-your-own flowers sold by weight. This was a miniature version.  She had sown cornflowers, lemony yellow sunflowers and marigolds for cutting and selling in buckets by the side of the road. We went to help with the harvest.


On arriving we discovered there had been a hatch of ladybirds.



The cutting patch was beautiful - these crops have serious good looks, enhanced by being sown in blocks.



Even the results of deadheading were lovely.


The cutting patch is still going strong. There are some benefits to autumn.


Nature table necklace

September 22nd, 2010


There’s nothing like repetitive making for removing stress. These figure-of-eight sterling links are satisfying. Blood pressure drops as the wire is bent into loops and the chain builds steadily.  It’s like silvery yoga.


There’s been a design knocking around in my head for a couple of months. A collection of silver flowers, berries and nature finds placed around the hand-made chain, like a silver nature table.


Making the little nature-inspired charms is soothing too. My hands have made these shapes before, for pendants and earrings, so the movements are familiar.


A couple of new ones were inspired by Lynn’s nature table. I just needed one or two more ideas for tiny silver things to make. This is why blogland is truly brilliant. Thankyou Lynn. I loved firing the little acorn - it made quite a flame.


The best thing about this kind of relaxation is that when it’s finished there’s something to hold - something tangible that I’ve made. It’s shiny, which is always good.  I think I might add this necklace, or perhaps its cousin, to boost my collection at Primavera gallery.


Village Show

September 11th, 2010


Two days ago we heard there was to be a produce show in the next village this afternoon. Neither Mr P nor I had ever entered anything into a show before. i had my eye on the flower arrangement class. Mr P had a steely glint in his eye. He would enter his tomatoes. The little ones got excited about vegetable animals.

We did our research - there are rules you know. Tomato calyxes must be left on. Beans must not be trimmed. Flower stems must be of uniform length. Tricky stuff.


Letting the housework and washing go to pot, we beavered away at our entries this morning. We took it very seriously. Some of us a little too seriously if I’m honest. We took our entries of to the village hall and eyed up the competition.

Returning later we found there was a dog show before the results were revealed! We dashed off to pick up Hairy P. She had never been in a dog show before.

The fancy dressed entrants were first:


A hula girl.


A very, very reluctant schoolgirl with red gingham bobbles (incidentally, the same uniform as little P’s)


A canine Florence Nightingale. She must had an excellent bedside manner because she won.


Thw toy dog category was hotly contested. Obedience standards were high.


Hairy P won the waggiest tail category! How fabulous is that?

Next the doors were opened to reveal the results of the produce show. We were in suspense I tell you. Adrenaline was flowing.


Mr P won the tomato category! He was quietly triumphant (there were some very shiny, perfect-looking cherry tomatoes on a neighbouring plate)



Our lemon pig and chilli-and-squash-snail scooped second and third ( but if I’m honest there may have been some parental help with design and execution).


I was totally thrilled to win the flower arrangement category with my posy!

I was in a field of two entrants and I was told later that the judge was colour blind and that he thought all my flowers were blue but I was not downhearted. I won a prize for goodness sake!


What a brilliant day. I think we’re hooked.