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Friday, 30 January 2015

Necklace Hangers

Hi Everyone
It's Friday again and time for my weekly mini project. This week Im going to produce a version of this idea.

These samples are large enough to be used as actual coat hangers but my plan is to make small hangers for displaying necklaces. I've collected a few pieces of twigs as well as wooden off cuts (left over from building projects). I think I'm going to paint the wooden pieces and add small hooks as the hanger part. I'm not sure what I need to hand my hangers on ? I need some kind of structure which will stand on a table or shelf.
I want to keep to my rule of the 'less than an hour' project and this should qualify - easily. My sticks will be either white or a colour to enhance the presentation of a specific necklace. The hooks Im using are these items :

I need to take a pair of pliers to the hooks and reshape the hanging part. I will share my results and how I aim to use them, next time.

Have a great weekend.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Imitation Game

Hi Everyone
I'm working on a series of beads inspired by Jane Flannigans designs at the moment - look back at each Thursday to see the details of the project. Following my ideas last week, I've moved on and taken a slightly different tack ! I had intended to make my beads long and thin with a striped pattern. However, I've been sidetracked with a dress fabric I saw. There are similarities with some of the Jane Flannigan bead shapes.

I like the round shapes and the colours of the fabric. I'm thinking of incorporating the stripe idea and the half circle thing. I like the possible bead threading combinations using the half circle in a number of different ways.
I have been playing around with some clay combinations (pre finding the dress fabric) and not found the pattern I want to use. I will need to do some more experimenting using the fabric as my new inspiration. Here is a quick look at the original experiments.

I've got a few ideas of where I can go with these beads - Im sure I can use all the beads in a number of ways. All completed items will go onto my Pinterest Board called Imitation Game. I'm hoping to develop a couple of different bead options from my new direction this week.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Polishing Beads ..... again !

Hi Everyone
I'm looking at polymer bead polishing again today. I'm quite obsessed with trying to figure out the best way to use my new piece of kit - the rock tumbler for polishing. Here is a quick look at my latest experiment with the tumbler :

I'm quite pleased with the finish and it's not that time consuming to organise but ........ I've seen a great YouTube video using special 'plastic cones' for using with the tumbler. I'd love to get a hold of some of these cones but can't find a UK supplier. The cost of shipping the items in from Canada is huge, so not a good decision. I've linked a video showing the idea behind the cones and they seem to be exactly what I need.
Check this out
I'm going to keep researching for my UK supplier.
In the meantime, I've also come across another great idea for polishing. I found the original photo on Pinterest.

You can see how this photo attracted my attention

Detailed instruction about this DIY tool can be found on the second link. Thank you Linda.

Check out here

The time consuming polishing of one bead at a time needs to be left for projects which are particularly special or only using a small number of beads.
But I love the idea behind Linda's tool.

I often think I won't get involved in single bead polishing and eventually get drawn in because the final finish even if it's a buffed sheen is so superior and I think it's just about accepting the time it's going to take.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Who is Bella ?

Hi Everyone
Today, it's a Making Stuff Workshop day. I run a 3 hour practical workshop in our local High School every other Tuesday. We are in the middle of a 2 session necklace project and will finish this morning. I've developed the original project slightly (for session 2) and have learned a few simple lessons about finishing and organising the beads within the project idea. Having adapted the project, I particularly like the original look of the necklace. My idea of the development was to graduate the size and mix the beads to cover the threading cord. I also wanted to change the closure technique by adding a metal hook clasp.

Both necklaces work well as an item of jewellery. However, I prefer the original design. The second design needs a more graduated system of beads to realise my development idea. The leap from smallest to the next size bead is too large. This is entirely due to the size of cutters in my box. To give the true graduated system I need more varied/graduated cutters. I'm working on it and have sourced a few more sizes.
My next development of this project will be a bracelet following the second design idea. I will incorporate a hook clasp and try to have a seamless, graduated 'flow' of beads (coming from the centre). I will also make an elastic version - elastic is my favoured design. Clasps get in my way ! - especially while working. However, often the clasp adds a more sophisticated look and many people seem to like them.

Returning to the Making Stuff Project - Im developing a detailed project outline and am working on a sample 'virtual' student called Bella. I'm creating Bella to give me a story for illustrating how the project will work. If I can talk about Bella and 'get to know her' in my own head, I think I can explain how others could use the processes. I will keep you informed of Bella and how she gets on.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Make Art Monday

Hi Everyone
It's Make Art Monday (MAM) time again. As I mentioned last week, Im working on jewellery surface pattern designs and still need several more new designs for planned collections. I'm trying to use each design in as many ways as I can and have based the colours around each collection. Each piece of jewellery will need a specific type of packaging as well as price tags and little cards for extra product information. The wording will change for some samples but I'm happy to go with the styles of the patterns I've developed - for now. As usual canvas or paper versions will go into the MAM Album but here are the digital versions.

Each design has a colour spectrum of either 3 or 6 colours. I've enjoyed making these patterns and the actual printed package material (in card) looks great. I'm working on using each design as a background for a drawing too and will share my progress each Monday. I think the project will take a few weeks but my work is going well.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 23 January 2015

Working Smart ?

Hi Everyone
Another Friday and another week of 'catch up'. My mini project for today is the same project I've been trying to complete for the last two weeks ! I'm finally getting around to making it happen. To recap, it's a bracelet package idea incorporating one of my surface pattern designs on the card package material. See my original post on 9/1/15 for more information.

Here is a couple of the surface patterns Im using :

I'm taking the idea a step further today. This little (further) development has been 'swishing' around in my head and my work table for the last two days but Im planning on using the same idea to position my finished jewellery items inside a final gift box which will be sold with some jewellery items and will be available (separately) in the shops as gift wrap.

That all sounds a bit more complicated than it is ! I will get my prototype photos up to illustrate my plan in action - asap. This is top of my priority list today, I'm determined it will happen. Its all looking like a deliberate plan ie delaying development etc because - I'm working smart !!!! I wonder ?

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Imitation Game

Hi Everyone
Last Thursday, I introduced a new feature on the blog called Imitation Game (read up on the detail in the 15/1/15 blog). The idea is to use something as an inspiration for the development of a new bead. The bead will then develop into a new piece of jewellery or indeed a range of jewellery.
For my first project, I'm using a few pieces of actual jewellery as my starting point - designed by Jayne Flannigan (look at 15/1/15 for images). I've moved onto my 'liked characteristics' phase ie the things I especially like about the original inspiration item(s) and have produced a word cloud to express my thoughts :

Having (quickly) identified these characteristics (in the word cloud), I am deciding to focus on 2 or 3 words which will inform my new development. The words/characteristics which I particularly favour are STRIPES, SMOOTH and COLOUR. These words identify the elements which 'shout out' from theoriginal inspiration images. I want to try and use only polymer clay for the bead production, rather than add painted lines (as used in Jayne Flannigans work). I particularly like the very thin lines in Jaynes beads. I also want to go with a series of colours which can mix and match.

I think, I would like the final jewellery pieces to be interchangeable in some way and for this reason the range of colours are important. I like the long, thin style beads used in Jaynes designs but maybe something else will develop ?
My next move is to play with clay and the ideas I have in my head. I will get some photos as I go and put them on the pinterest board called Imitation Game in my pinterest page - you can access my page from the button - here on the blog. I think ? I'm after a oblong shaped, striped bead with some way of configuring with other similar beads in a variety of colours. The colours need to come next and Im undecided at this point.
I've given myself a month on each of these Thursday projects but I'm late in starting so for this first one my finish deadline will be the last Thursday in Feb.

Thanks to Jayne Flannigan for her inspiration and also thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Polishing Polymer Beads

Hi Everyone
I'm planning on using Wednesday blogs to explore techniques and tools. Each week I hope to look in detail at such things. Last week, I focused on my new tumbling/polishing machine. I thought I would share the necklace produced from the first bead polish, showing the extent of the 'shine'.

I'm impressed with the final finish and although I probably don't want to polish all my work to produce this finish, it's a great option the have. The photo isn't giving the true shine - trust me.

Staying with the polishing theme. I do use a Dremel Tool for most of the final finishing processes with my polymer clay beads. I make my own felt polishing pads for the Dremel. I'm not sure if it's possible to buy these felt pads but I saw something on the Internet a few years ago describing how to make them. They are simply ordinary felt circles (cut to size) - I tend to stack 3 or 4 felt circles, make a hole in the centre and attach to a Dremel accessory via a little screw (comes with the tool). I've made the pads with 5 and 6 layers and they are too bulky (causes damage to the bead). The size of the felt circles are important - I go for 1.7 mm diameter. When I first started making these pads, I did make them too large and this makes them floppy and ineffective. There is a balance, too small and the Dremel attachment (metal part) touches the beads and makes unsightly marks or makes the bead fly away (from my grasp). Holding beads while polishing is quite a skill ! I often find my beads flying around the room !! Here is a closer look at the felt pads :

This pad is a week old and has been used every day for about 10 mins. I put a small dab of wax onto the pad and then polish at high speed - most satisfying to see a subtle sheen evolve. If a shiney finish is required, I can get a good result eventually but it takes several layers of wax and polish for up to 1/2 hour. This is not sensible unless a very small number of beads are involved. You can understand how the tumbler comes into the job. This is the brand of wax I use.

If you don't have a Dremel, beads can be sealed/polished by hand using this wax. I often do this and use a piece of old denim. The hand/denim technique can produce good results but does take more time.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Making Stuff

Hi Everyone
Today is all about my Tuesday Project.
The 'catchy' title for my Tuesday Project (I mentioned a title was coming last week) will be 'Making Stuff'. Ive been describing my ideas about the project for some time with this reference - so why not ? I like the simple and direct description of the central idea. It suits my purpose very well. I think anyone and everyone can understand the message and it should save me lots of time explaining. My challenge now - is to set up the practicalities of delivering the aims of the project.

I have a number of different target client groups for the Making Stuff Project and they will all have a personal reason for getting involved. I guess the common theme is a desire or need to 'make stuff'. One of my jobs needs to be attracting those who don't realise they need to 'make stuff' yet !!

I'm trying to find different ways of providing opportunities to get involved in this project. The delivery model will be non traditional ie it won't involve attending a workshop every week in a particular place. I'm thinking each person will access the project in their own way depending on their own needs and 'fit' for their personal lifestyle. I hope to offer a mix of support to provide the appropriate personal plan. I'm developing structured workshop projects to facilitate these personal development plans. My speciality will be polymer clay work but other artists will work on other disciplines. Each plan will access support when its needed as well as identify personal goals to stretch skills and hopes/dreams. Ive got such a strong sense of inspiration from Making Stuff and it's keeping me thinking (most of he time) about each tiny aspect of the project. This will be a long term thing - several years.

One aspect of Making Stuff is a workshop, every other Tuesday. This is a real practical, 3 hour session. Last week we started a necklace (look back to 13/1/15). The necklaces are developing well and everyone wanted to extend the time we need to complete the task - to include a second workshop session.

I want to try out some different beads sizes/ threading combinations to show more options - we talked a little about this last week. I will prepare some samples today. This is my initial workshop project

These images show the beads used are the same size (within each piece) and all follow a simple threading style. My new developments will use varied bead sizes and use the bead sizes to change the 'look. I'm going to alter the combinations and will take a view on what works best for me. I just need to decide on a colour scheme - possibly, something to match an outfit ?

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Surface Patterns are here !

Hi Everyone
Amazingly - I do have a Make Art Monday offer today - it's just the start of a series of very basic designs. Im developing surface patterns for jewellery packaging and specifically the bracelet packaging I talked about last Monday (12/1/15). I'm hoping to be on track this week with all my plans !!
This is the beginnings of my design.

I'm keen to develop a range of colours (other than my usual blue range) so will keep going with this idea.
I've mocked up these views with my logos but the original artwork (minus the logos) will find a way into the Make Art Monday Album. I'm not sure exactly how the Album version will turn out yet - 'work in progress'. I may enlarge it for a canvas and get it onto some fabric ?

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Do always do your homework ?

Hi Everyone
It's the end of the week again and I feel like I need a holiday ! It's been quite a busy week with lots of small but time consuming things going on. I've been taken away from my 'creating table' every day at some point. All my little meetings and events have been exciting and potentially important to the future of my work but I've not done enough actual 'making' and I feel I need to spend a few days just making stuff.

Friday's are going to be about little projects - things which probably take up to an hour of time. The actual time spent is not that important, it's a way of (in my mind) deciding that the project is a very small one. I will organise these little projects into a Pinterest Board for easy reference and allow everyone to share from my page. I will also try and get a link organised from the blog too.

This week my project is about closing up a necklace. I've made a necklace with various components (I've made all the bits FROM SCRATCH, of course) and the closure needs to be suitable for the necklace. My necklace will slip over the head, so - no need to open/close. I want to compliment and balance other features on the necklace and am wondering which will look best. I think, I need to try a couple of options and choose the most appropriate. My initial thoughts are either a jump ring or a hook. I like 'simple' as a starting point but I'm wondering if a simple jump ring will not give enough of a statement ? On the other hand, will a hook be too 'fussy' and destroy a simple design ? I need to try both ideas and possibly more if they both don't work. I will spend up to an hour on the active research and share when I'm done. Here is a quick look at my project 'pre solution'.

PS I didn't finish or even start last weeks project and want to get that going today too. That's all I'm saying - look back to 9/1/15 for details. It's always good to own up when one doesn't get homework done. I feel better already.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Imitation Game

Hi Everyone
I'm reporting on my inspiration project today - I introduced the idea of this initiative last Thursday and created a Pinterest board to collect and share my work. Ive pondered a name for the board for a few days and keep coming back to the title Imitation Game (mainly as I've recently seen the film with the same title).
My idea is to take an inspirational idea/image/item etc each month and analyse (in a loose sense) what I like about it. I want to take the 'liked' characteristics and use them to take me to a creative place (metaphorically speaking) where I can produce something worthwhile (to me, I'm the judge here). This project will be to produce a range of beads which in turn will be items of jewellery.
I'm sort of thinking it's about 'imitation'. The dictionary uses a range of words to define imitation - the word Im latching onto is 'echoing' rather than words like 'reproduction' or 'copy'. Sounds like a brilliant plan. However, life is never so simple ! I'm there with the intention and much enthused but ..... I'm not getting my results - yet !
My work process is to look, in detail, at the inspirational images Ive chosen and make a few notes and words to hang my ideas on. I like to use the iPad version of Wordle (a word cloud tool) to visually record my words. Here is my initial word cloud (tiny bit not shown on right is word PROMPT).

My next stage is to add the 'liked' characteristics I've chosen from the inspiration, in this case Im starting with a few pieces of jewellery by the artist Jayne Flanagan. A big thank you to Jayne for providing the initial inspiration. My favourite pieces are these.

I will complete another word cloud, combining the chosen inspirational words with the 'liked' characteristics . The end result of the actual word cloud is not that important (but it appeals to me as an image) it's more the mental processes involved in getting my mind in the right place for something to 'spark' and then, I know I'm onto something.
I think, I like this process because it allows me to think I'm controlling my creations and gives a vent for the frustration that often occurs when I can't move forward with ideas. Somehow, ideas are in there (often) but won't come out or are not ready to emerge.
When I've developed my final cloud with this project, I will get into playing with clay and keep away from the inspiration images for a while. I don't want to make identical copies and don't want to be too influenced by specific colours or shapes. I'm going to record significant points (progress or ideas) on the Pinterest board as I a go and each Thursday I will share my progress.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Is the tumbler a success ?

Hi Everyone
Today, I'm sharing success with my new toy ie the rock tumbler. I mentioned the arrival of the rock tumbler last Wed. and it took me almost a week to find enough time to have a go !!

I did quite a bit of research around how to use the tumbler and am quite pleased with the results. I used a sandpaper lining technique. I've read about plastic cones as a polish medium and am keen to give this a go. However, I'm looking for a source of the plastic cones and can only find them in the States. I will keep looking in the UK. I need to use the tumbler much more to see exactly how, I will use it long term. The results, so far, have been good.
I used a variety of bead sizes and shapes in my first try. All the beads came out OK and the process didn't destroy any shapes. Here is a look at how the beads look :

After the beads came out of the tumbler I left them to (thoroughly) dry overnight and then polished them with a wax polish. I'm not sure the photos show the extent of the shine. The polished beads definitely have a 'glass like' finish. I think a light translucent clay would be more so. I like the unpolished look too and can see this 'chalk like' finish would be good at times.
All in all, it's been a success. I need to routinely use the tumbler to see how I can incorporate the tool in my work.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

New Projects - BIG & small

Hi Everyone
Last Tuesday, I mentioned a BIG project in my little world. The project is based on a recent Craft Council 'The-future-is-in-our-hands Report'. I'm hoping to implement a version of a practical model (check out the details here). It's a long term plan and involves various different delivery styles. I will be approaching the whole thing as a project study - looking at intention, implementation, delivery and review. At the moment there are 4 different strands. Each strand has a slightly different approach and a particular client focus group. All strands however, will use each other's resources and support structures. Sounds more confusing to describe in words, I like pictures. At the moment I'm drawing up the detail of the strands and want to make the project look pretty and inviting. Lots of drafts and edits going on but every day I'm getting a bit closer to the project outline. The job takes me back to my University days - this is a good thing. This will be my Tuesday job each week. I just need a 'catchy' title ? Will work on that one.
This morning is another of my local workshops - Workshop 7 (part of one of the strands). Today we are making these :

Each necklace and a bracelet has a different closure and uses different colours and bead sizes. The group always come up with new ideas which Im looking forward to seeing. I will get some photos and share the results.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Make Art Monday is back

Hi Everyone
It's back to work with much enthusiasm this week ! - sort of. We seem to have a gastric flu bug in the house ! I'm soldiering on but it's hard going. In addition, the weather is a bit wild this morning - windy and showers at the same time. I'm rather influenced by the weather and I'm hoping for a little sunshine to lift the day. I particularly want the wind to drop.

Last Friday (9/1/15) , I mentioned a little bracelet packaging project but it failed to get off the ground (the gastric flue kicked in) and I've been thinking about creating a few surface pattern designs to develop the project with my version of the packaging. As a result, the Make Art Monday will be re instated. This is the original inspiration for Make Art Monday - read the details of you are interested. Ive been looking for an excuse to bring the idea back into my life. I started this initiative a while back (Feb 2014) and it lapsed because I found it too difficult to fit into my work schedule. However, I've missed the opportunity to develop small art projects on a regular, planned basis. So, it's back and my plan is to start a project and follow through each Monday.I already have an album to keep my art together and as such have made each piece fit into the size of the book - mostly just short of A4.

I will give myself some time each Monday but not necessarily start a new project each Monday. As I've mentioned, I need some surface pattern designs and thought that will be my focus for today. It's a little project that will help me get into creative mode. I will share my progress with a current piece each Monday.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Recycle Inspiration

Hi Everyone
I say it most Friday's and today is no exception - I can't believe this week has flown by so quickly. My week has been a difficult one in terms of getting back into work mode post Christmas holidays. I've managed to get my basic 'to do' lists complete but I still feel Im not quite organised and planned for the new year. However, life moves on and Im sure everything will be sorted with another week.
On an optimistic note, I'm always looking for different ways of displaying or packaging my jewellery and while searching I came across this great example of a simple bracelet package. I thought I would share the idea.
check out the details here

This is a very simple project but looks lovely. I like the simple stamped name/ image and the lovely pattern design. I also like the recycle element of the project - I rarely throw anything away, so have loads of re usable material. I will definitely be using the idea and making my own version later today. I like a sharp edge on these sort of packages and am thinking about using a combination of cutting dies to get the basic outline done - I will work on this one. Thank you to 'thistle & leaves' for the idea.

Have a great weekend.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Inspiration Thursday

Hi Everyone
Over the last few weeks I've been looking around for inspiration re the development of a new range of clay beads. There's so many ideas out there, Im now wondering which way to go first ?
Each month Im planning on choosing a particular piece of jewellery which I will use as inspiration for my development work. For the very first piece, I've chosen this necklace :

As you can see I've taken the piece from Pinterest and added it to my boards - Im going to create a new board with the inspiration pieces alongside my inspired work - I haven't come up with a name for the board yet ! Will do that this morning. When it's up and running I will share a link from the blog so we can all share. By the end of the year I should have 12 new beads. These beads can then be used for creating jewellery collections.

This particular piece has been created by an Australian jewellery artist called Jayne Flanagan. Her work is lovely - take a look here for some great examples. I've read that Jayne paints her polymer beads, something I've not had a great deal of success with. I'm not sure why but my painted beads have, over a short time, been damaged with regular 'wear and tear'. A layer of seal or varnish would stop the damage - I guess ? However, I don't especially want to treat my beads with anything other than a simple wax polish finish, although I don't rule anything out. Janes work is making me think about creating beads with different coloured clay layers where the lines exist. I will use the central surface pattern idea as my starting point. I want to experiment so who knows what will happen ? I also have a plan to use ribbon ties for a statement necklace using the beads Im going to create. Let's see where I go with this ?

My new 2015 work plan is to use my week (planned short periods of time each day) for development work. I want to review developments each Thursday. I like to work to a schedule and my week/month is coming together with specific jobs each day. I hope to have a timetable over the next week. Wish me luck !!!!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015


Hi Everyone
It's Wednesday already ! - as usual my life is happening at high speed. I'm almost back to normal re routines and (miracle) the house is almost packed away post Christmas - boxes to go in the loft but READY - now responsibilities passed over to the loft packer. I'm celebrating my achievements so far this week as I write (with another coffee and a biscuit).

Another amazing thing came yesterday via the post. It's this :

I've been looking at these little machines for years and wondering if they would be worth the investment - both in terms of money and time (involved in the process). However, I've gone for it and am hugely excited and optimistic. I've not tried the process yet but maybe today or tomorrow. It's given me a massive lift this week - as previously mentioned I've been struggling post holidays.
If you are wondering what on earth it is - it's a rock tumbler which Im hoping will be great for polishing polymer clay beads. I need to adapt the system for polymer rather than rocks but I'm fairly certain it's going to be great. Individually polishing small and medium sized beads is incredibly time consuming and pushes me to the 'edge' !! This machine should make a difference to the final finish and happen while I can do something else. Will keep you informed.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Future is in our hands.

Hi Everyone
I had my usual post holiday 'difficult day syndrome' (DDS) yesterday ! This happens after most holiday periods and I decided, yesterday, to just go with it. My day rolled on and I did absolute basics ie made meals and washed. My house is in need of a good 'sort' and this will be my job for today - Im still not into work mode and my creative world is on hold. DDS may last for up to a week but I'm hopeful I will be able to move on this evening !!!

Other much more important matters - you may remember that I ran a polymer workshop with some 10 year olds before Christmas (10/12/14 post). I mentioned I would share some of the results post curing. Here is a small selection of the best :

I was so impressed with the work the children produced. Some of these pieces were destined to be Christmas presents for Mums - how lovely to open up to one of these pieces on Christmas Day.
This little project feeds into a bigger initiative which will support a recent report about getting craft into the school curriculum. The report produced by the Craft Council is something I'm working on at the moment.Take a look at the report - it's quite accessible.
I will share my work here as I develop ideas for trying to make some of this happen. I do think there is a place for making stuff in the school curriculum and in a very busy school year, there is a need to be creative about how opportunities can be given to children/young people. This is a big job and will take time and many different solutions to implement. Exciting stuff !

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Happy New Year

Hi and Happy New year to Everyone

Hope you all had a great Christmas. We had a lovely time - it's flown by but all the prep. worked well and now it's time to pack up for next year ! Here are a few images (didn't manage any blogging over the holidays) of odd moments I remember from Christmas Day.
The collage highlights : presents awaiting and wrapping discarded. My wrapping worked particularly well - I used my own tags and added a simple paper ribbon and some little bells. The bells jingled all day and gave a lovely touch to each gift. I've collected some of the bells and will recycle. The snowman worked well on the cake (although his arms came off - didn't seem to matter, I have them and will wire them in for next time) cake now gone !

Christmas is well and truly gone in my mind - just need to pack up all the decorations and reorganise the house today. I don't have that need to get rid of the evidence but I'd like a less cluttered space.

Other matters - one thing that I love to do all year is to have a 'book going'. I love to read novels and my reading books are a little treat most evenings. I usually read for about half an hour (if I can stay awake) each evening before sleeping. I look forward and hope to get some books for Christmas. This year, I was not disappointed. I thought, I would share my current book with the blog. I've tried this before on the blog and I'm not sure why it didn't quite work ? I'm going to talk about my current book each Monday - just to share my current reading books but also to allow me to comment about how each book is going. Hope you will enjoy this little initiative and perhaps join in. My current reading book is this one

I'm almost finished but it's been brilliant. I've had the book on the shelf for a long time and have only started reading it just before Christmas. It's had me gripped and I'm keen to see the film. This story is complicated with lots of Scandinavian names which tend to slightly confuse at the beginning. It's also a brutal tale - not sure how the film will deal with the sadistic elements ? I won't spoil the story but I do recommend the book - I've really enjoyed the story. I can't wait to see how the book ends. I want to think about how I will construct my Monday reviews - I think, I need to think more carefully and be clear about what Im trying to say with the idea.

It's also time for New Years resolutions ! We, as a family, write up 10 sort of resolutions in the form of objectives/things to be done each year and review them at the beginning of the next year. We have failed to complete the exercise (oh dear ! - not a good start) but it's timetabled for this week. Top of my list is to organise my life and living space. This is a constant theme in my life but I feel I need to focus on this more as there are so many new things I want to do. Without further a do - I need to make a list for today.

Thanks for reading.