A Foggy Day in London Town.

My eldest daughter and I were lucky enough to be in London during the Olympics this summer. My parents are in Sussex, Scotland was cold and wet and there was still a few weeks until the Scottish schools went back. I have siblings who live in London so on the pretense of going to lunch with them eldest darling and I set off on the commuter train to the big smoke.

But something very very strange had happened. People were talking to each other. The normal frosty atmosphere of London (which to a visiting Scot is amusing but not something I would like to experience frequently) was replaced by kindness and conversation. On the train into London we thought this is nice, but won’t last. We were heading to Swiss Cottage on the Saturday following the opening ceremony. All the news had been about avoiding London and traffic chaos  so we had low expectations and had allowed lots of extra traveling. Many hours discussion had taken place about the best way across London and which stations could not be alighted at.

Everything was much smoother than we had expected, and so after some negotiation (I think it involved chocolate) daughter and I got off close enough to walk to the British Museum. Apart from lots of over friendly “games makers” the streets of London were deserted and quiet.

We felt as though we had London to ourselves. It was hot and sunny and wonderful. Strangers – the few we met on the route – were walking in the middle of the road and smiling. I began to fear we had arrived in some alien city and that the film music was about to play. We discovered later that the men’s marathon route was all around us and that was why the roads were closed to traffic.

But we arrived at the British Museum without problem and walked in the main entrance. To those that know this amazing museum I hope you can understand our surprise when we arrived in the main foyer and instead of hordes of visitors we found that tourists were outnumbered by staff. My first thought was that they had just evacuated the whole building for a fire drill and that any moment thousands of people would rush back in. We rushed to our favourite gallery, the Egyptian galleries on the upper floors (darling daughter is 11) and a gallery that on many previous visits we have been unable to get past the doors into due to huge numbers of visitors. This time we had the whole floor to ourselves. Drunken with excitement we ran around for about an hour until we understood that floods of people were not about to join us.  We explored the whole museum, spent time in front of some favorites and discovered rooms we had never seen before.

One of our discoveries was a display of ammonite fossils and I was struck by how beautiful and simple they were. I had a pendant made of an ammonite surrounded in silver in my jewellery box, waiting for inspiration to strike, so I combined it with freshwater pearls and smoky quartz and the finished necklace is one I am very proud of. So proud that I may have difficulty actually parting with it. I have listed it for sale today, but it might appear on my own Christmas list instead!

This song does not reflect the sunshine or pleasure we felt at the British Museum, which could never “lose it’s charm” but it is a nice reflection of most of my London experiences and I thought it would add a nice touch to this post. Never miss a chance to reference Billie Holiday…enjoy x

Billie Holiday – A Foggy Day

A foggy day in London Town
Had me low and had me down
I viewed the morning with alarm
The British Museum had lost its charm
How long, I wondered, could this thing last?
But the age of miracles hadn’t passed,
For, suddenly, I saw you there
And through foggy London Town
The sun was shining everywhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jo2RaKyo5c

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Play Misty for Me.

This unusual pendant is made from Ocean Jasper, a gemstone found only found off the coastline of Madagascar. Sometimes called “Atlantis Stone” the quarry can only be worked at low tide.   The pendant has spherical markings in creams, grays and pinks and so I have paired it with a necklace made of rose quartz and rhodonite to highlight the pink and grays. If you click on the photo it will take you to my folksy.com shop

When I was 17 I played baritone sax with a big band. The baritone (the largest and deepest of the saxophone family) made my jaw vibrate when I played the lower notes, and was so large that I flirted with the percussionists so my instrument would travel to gigs with the drum kit.

Ella Fitzergerald and Sarah Vaughan were my icons. Secretly I wanted to be the singer at the front,  but it wasn’t to be. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.

Garner / Burke 1959 “Misty”

Look at me, I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree,
And I feel like I’m clinging to a cloud, I can’t understand,
I get misty, just holding your hand.
Walk my way, and a thousand violins begin to play,
Or it might be the sound of your hello, that music I hear,
I get misty, the moment you’re near.
You can say that you’re leading me on,
But it’s just what I want you to do,
Don’t you notice how hopelessly I’m lost,
That’s why I’m following you.
On my own, I would wander through this wonderland alone,
Never knowing my right foot from my left, my hat from my glove,
I’m too misty, and too much in love.
I’m too misty, and too much in love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQouJdvB80U

Black as the night or don’t wander around a jewellery supplier without a list.

I write lists. I take my list to the supermarket and strictly follow the advice not to shop when hungry. I prepare and research and under most circumstances know what I am shopping for before I leave the house.

However, when I began making my own jewellery I found that all my self control was lost and all the lists in the world could not have protected me from myself.

Jewellery suppliers are wonderful. Huge Aladdin’s caves of the most beautiful and sparkly beads. Colours of every shade, stones in tiny perfect sizes or large, statement pieces. These are shops where you are encouraged to touch, pick up and examine, and put into your basket for later.

If you have not prepared (as I found out to my cost on the first few shopping expedition you can be overwhelmed by colour and choice. On my first outing I found myself unable to resist, and that is why came home and discovered that somebody had bought these striped onyx stones.

Now I’m not saying that they aren’t wonderful. I like the markings, white bands against the striking perfect black. I love how large and smooth and tactile these stones are. They make a stunning statement necklace and I have had lots of comments about this piece. But they weren’t on my list and I didn’t know what to make with them.

So, I figured that simple was best. White freshwater pearls to bring out the banding, and leave it at that.

Next time I took a list.    Joanna x

Autumn Leaves

My birthday is in September so I’ve always loved the autumn.

I know that for some the autumn brings in early dusk and wet days (we live in Glasgow so I’m well versed in wet days all year round) but I adore the smells of decaying leaves in the woods and the frost in the air early in the morning.

The song “Autumn Leaves” plays on my ipod the whole year around, with Nat King Cole serenading me around the park whether it is spring or fall.

I thought I’d design a necklace to feature some beautiful brown agate, to pay tribute to the leaves of the season. http://folksy.com/items/3562714-Adventurine-and-Brown-Agate-Necklace-Autumn-Leaves-

I do hope you sing this great song all afternoon.

“Autumn Leaves” by Johnny Mercer 1947

The falling leaves drift by my window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

The follow link will take you to you-tube to hear Nat King Cole sing in all his glory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qOR13-M2rc

I’m off to Handmade Harbour to look at the other lovely blogs by some very clever crafty ladies. http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/handmade-monday-82.html

I curated the homepage for Folksy.com today!

Whoop. Whoop. http://pinterest.com/myturquoiseque/perfect-turquoise-presents-folksy/

My Pinterest board ” Perfect Turquoise” is being featured today as the homepage for Folksy.com today!

Folksy gets 260,000 visitors a day and everyone of those will see my pinterest board of lovely turquoise themed things ready to buy from 24 folksy shops.

 

Of course I listed one of my own items in the collection – a turquoise and haematite necklace. It would have been silly not to. http://folksy.com/items/3561378-Turquoise-and-haematite-necklace-Turquoise-Loves-

 

 

pinterest or how I can spend 2 hours happily playing at working

I have a secret I need to confess. When I tell my husband that I worked all morning, ( in that very valuable time when the children are at school and nursery and he thinks I should be cleaning the kitchen and ironing his shirts,) I’m actually drooling over images at pinterest.com

I have found a website that allows me to meander across the world wide web and not feel guilty about following wherever the trail will take me. Pinterest actually encourages viewers to wander. Aimlessly. Until the time is all gone and there is nothing material to show for it.

But it is working, I hear you shout, because it’s all for inspiration.

http://pinterest.com/myturquoiseque/

My boards (collections of images that I think make sense as an assembled whole) are mostly colours. I have a board for Turquoise (well of course I do, you all know how much I adore Turquoise.) There is also a Lapis Lazuli board and one for Pearls.

But the most useful, amazing, how did I ever function without these images come from a website called design-seeds.com I can’t explain how wonderful their collages are, you just have to go and look for yourself.


So, follow my link to my pinterest boards and see where your journey will take you. It is very easy to join, then you too can waste away the day collating weird and wonderful images.

Moo.com

I do love it when the postman brings me parcels. Particularly when they are actually for me, not emergency triangles for the car (darling hubbie) or peppa pig figures (youngest daughter.)This morning was a great parcel. My new business cards from moo.com who are my newest best friend and can do amazing things with their fancy printers.

My cards are connected to my etsy.com and folksy.com accounts so I followed links from their sites to allow me to their logo on my cards. Ten minutes to follow the template, upload some of my images (I cropped an image of white pearls to get an extra long image for the edge of the card) and off to the moo printer they go. I ordered these on Monday and they are here on Thursday morning.

There are normal sized business cards, which feel strong and reliable. They are for normal use and so I’ve put both craft shop addresses on them.

These are the tiny mini-moo cards, which I adore and will be really useful as price tags and to attach to gift wrapped boxes.

So there really is no reason why everyone can’t have cool business cards to hand out. For new businesses, for bloggers out socializing, even just for yummy mummies who need to hand out their contact details. I highly recommend moo.com Go and have some fun designing your own. You get 10% off your order if you follow the link below.

http://www.moo.com/share/prwznt