Valérie of Luz Bijoux is featuring me on her blog at the moment. It is in English, so pop across and have a read http://luzbijoux.over-blog.com/
I have also been reminded to join L'Association des Perliers d'Art de France. It has been my intent to join since arriving in France last Autumn, but as we still have no income we've been prioritising our expenditure. L'Association des Perliers d'Art de France has been instrumental in having a book published on French beadmakers (in which I'm hoping to feature). You can find many talented glass artists listed on their website (see web listing). It would provide tremendous opportunity to showcase my work, so this has nudged me to move applying for membership to the top of my priority list.
We had a wonderful afternoon with the girls at Citadelle de Montmédy Sunday afternoon. It's less than a 15 minute drive from where we are, although a different commune. The weather has been wonderful here since Thursday. It has given me a glimmer of hope that Summer is on it's way.
Here are my little darlings modeling their sunglasses...
And this is a view from the Citadelle...
You can find a great aerial view of Citadelle de Montmédy here
We had a wonderful day at the park yesterday with the girls. The sun was shining, it was a very warm 18 degrees and the day had "park" written all over it. Daisy and Ruby were climbing trees (unfortunately I didn't have my camera, but when grandpa downloads his pictures I'll add one to this post) and there is also an athletics section to the park and I showed Daisy and Ruby "how to do" the long jump. It was so warm, I was wearing knee length trousers... Hadn't realised how abrasive sand can be!! After a few hours at the park, we had a short drive to our main shopping complex which houses a Haagen Dazs cafe, so the girls had an ice-cream and chocolate brownie, and James and I were very good sticking with our diet and had a water and orange juice respecively :-D We had a great time, and Daisy and Ruby were asleep within minutes of their heads hitting the pillow. They were awake very early this morning though, so we're having a quite day doing jigsaw puzzles and crayon-ing.
James has gone into Luxembourg today for a lunch with someone who may have some work for him. Here's hoping!! It has been a long time since we had a regular income and funds are now running very low.
When James is out, I can't make any beads, but I can upload photo's so I've been updating the albums on Flickr (and I'd hoped Facebook, but I keep getting an error message :-( ). Here's one set I made from a bunch of beads last week. I love the classic reaction of turquoise and ivory and rather predictably, have called them Classico...
I don't know if maybe I need to move away from dotty beads again for a spell and re-visit the sculpted focals I so enjoyed making at the end of last year...
To be honest, it seems the case that when I sit at the torch, I'm subconciously driven to making a set of dotty beads, or a tree bead, or a sculpted focal before my conciousness engages and even realises it. I find I can't "force" myself into making a specific type of bead, I can't sit down and say "Right, I'm making this kind of bead today" because I usually end up with a jar full of water and frit. Maybe that's lack of discipline, I'm not sure. It is interesting though. I stand in front of my rack of glass, pulling out colours not knowing what is to become of them... Maybe that's all part of this glassy madness!
I am very slowly finding Forums based in mainland Europe where jewellery artists congregate. Another very friendly forum I have found, on recommendation of Valérie (Luz Bijoux) and Laurence (Laulo) is Beadouillerie. The work is beautiful. Even if you've not spoken/read French since your school days, hop over and take a look at the work :-D You will be impressed.
I am trying to negotiate the boards to find the correct place to upload images of jewellery and beads... It is taking me a while :-D I think I repeatedly post in the wrong sections on Histoire de Perles, and my poor French makes people wince, but everyone is so encouraging, it is wonderful.
I passed up the opportunity to lock myself away in the cellar this afternoon, as the weather is so glorious.
Daisy, Ruby and I took the camera into the wilderness that is the garden (that's my way of warning you this Post may be image heavy and quite possibly boring to all but me!!!), and took some photo's to help me with colour alchemy on my tree beads.
Additionally, I really want to do a series of nature inspired beads, but not being into florals, I need to find another way to interpret flora and it's beautiful colours.... Watch this space.
I might create an album set in Flickr to store the rest of this afternoon's photos otherwise you might get really bored :-D
And Daisy insisted we had a photo of the tree-house Grandpa is building...
I was also able to exchange a few emails with Teresa Laliberté yesterday. She has posted for sale through her Etsy shop, an absolutely incredible tutorial on her Willendorf style goddess. The detail she has put into the tutorial is truly outstanding. I am really looking forward to attempting to make a goddess in this style over the next week. If you would like to see more of Teresa's art, her Lavender Creek website is listed on recommended websites to visit. I hope to attend one of Teresa's classes one day. I should start saving for one to one tuition with her in Germany :-D
And not forgetting to mention, my friend in Toulouse, Laurence (or Laulo to admirers of her jewellery) now has an English version of her blog. See the recommended blog links...
We have woken up to such a bright, beautiful, sunny day. It's absolutely gorgeous outside. I feel as though my internal batteries are recharging already. It's amazing how a little sunshine cheers you, isn't it? I'm happy, even though my first tempt at a mermaid didn't go so well. She wasn't the most attractive thing anyway, and she cracked in the kiln. Some things aren't meant to be... but never mind! The sun is shining!
And this chap came over to say hello to us this morning. Our neighbours horse (one of two). We aren't quite sure what his name is, but now I have such a nice photo of him I shall try to find out.
And how is this for a view...?
Took this photo from the hill leading up to the woods. You can see the in-law's house nestled amongst the trees (three storey brown house in the middle of the photo). Isn't it a beautiful setting? How can you not be inspired by nature?
I've actually spent a few hours on the torch for the first time in aaaaages! The fairy and wood nymph unfortunately cracked so I won't post pictures, but I made three dotty bead sets to send to friends, a Pysche tree (smaller than usual and found it really difficult doing a tree small scale!)
and also this bangle for myself.... Double Helix pysche, nero intense black and some sterling and Karen Hill Tribe silver...
So, I check my email this afternoon and I have a notification from "Compare People" on Facebook. My rankings have changed.
I've slipped down the rankings to #4 most athletic (not sure how I ever ranked third amongst my friends for that any how!!!!) I'm not even that upset at slipping 2 places (well, slightly...) and now being ranked 4th for most generous but GOING FROM TOP SPOT TO #4 MOST FASHIONABLE?? I need to have words with my friends >:-(
On a more positive note, have been at the torch the last two afternoons. Depending on how kind the kiln fairy is, there are a couple of Pysche tree beads, a couple of dotty sets, and I hope a fairy and a wood nymph... but I'm not that hopeful on the last two, but we shall see.
You know that saying, "The Devil makes work for idle thumbs"? Well, Ruby and I are both down with the lurgies today. So while James and Daisy have their afternoon jaunt to Daisy's ballet class, followed by a sleep-over at a friends (yes, both of them. James's friend Gareth celebrates his birthday this weekend and he and his wife are having a party incorporating a wine tasting evening, so the girls were going to have a sleep-over with their children while we joined the adults and quaffed some wine), Ruby and are watching DVD's, drinking juice and I also decided to have a play with the banners I use on various online shop fronts and forums. So, gone is the monochrome look, and you'll see above a rather colourful banner incorporating a set of beads I made with topaz and light steel effetre glass. Not sure if I like it, and if it will stay.... but it's here for now.
Here's the set in their full glory!
I have to say, they are one of my favourite sets to date.
I can't believe I haven't been on the torch for almost a month now. Besieged by back ache, and now a cold. Busy week next week too as James is in London, but I'm hoping for torch time on Monday. There are beads to get out!!!
There is a huge European forum - Histoire de Perles, which is multi-lingual and has so much incredible work showcased on it. I was fortunate enough to hear of it through two new beadie friends I have made here in France - Luz Bijoux and Laulo (see links to their Blogs). I can't post pictures to show you samples of their work as obviously I don't own copyright of their images, but if you get chance, go have a look at their Blogs. You should be able to translate the sites from French to English using the Google website translation tool.
Laulo also has work available through a DaWanda shop.... http://en.dawanda.com/user/laulo31700
I am a self-representing artist handcrafting flameworked glass beads in my home studio in France. My work has been featured in Step by Step Beads magazine (collaborative piece with Lynn Davy/Nemeton), and can be seen on pages 46 and 125 of the Kimberley Adams/Michele Sauvelle published book - Verre et Flame: Creation de perles de verre (available from www.Amazon.fr)
Items listed for sale can be viewed at
www.billiejeanlittle.etsy.com or purchased from The Art of Good Taste gallery in Limpertsberg, Luxembourg.
I am SRA and SRAJD registered, and a member of ISGB and GBUK.
As well as being a glass artist, I am mum to two beautiful girls - Daisy (aged 6) and Ruby (aged 4), wife to James, and carer of two house rabbits _ Twinkle and Luly.