Monday, 20 October 2014

Net Wars

This evening looking at my favorite forum, Craft Pimp, I came across a Youtube video featuring a potter. So I click and watch, for a few seconds, a master at work.
Then I hear my sons bedroom door open, his strident footsteps coming down the hall.
"Are watching Youtube?" whispers my youngest from beside me.
"Ummm...yes?" Older son is now pounding down the stairs, across the hall and bursts into the kitchen where we sit with laptops on the table.
"What are you doing?" he demands.
"It's a potter" I sheepishly explain. I know what his problem is. It's the same most nights.
"I got disconnected again" He is exasperated. "You know I can't play if you watch youtube"
Our connection here is really slow and there is often 6 of us trying to use it, and you can't please all of the people all of the time. He plays League of Legends, L.O.L. and it seems to be very particular about its bandwidth or something.
I will try to watch the video tomorrow. While he is at college. Sigh!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Painty Part Two

Nat and I had another gelli painting session today.
He wanted to do some snow because he was fed up with leaves. We choose pearl, zinc white and some coarse texture gel for texture and spread it about on the sheet we use for printing.


I also dug out my "Brusho" powder ink in cobalt blue and sprinkled a very little bit of it on the surface after it was inked up. Brusho is a very dense pigment and a little goes a long way. 

Nat smoothed down the paper and pulled the first print. We are planning to use them to do Christmas collage cards with. More of that another day. 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

New manicure?

Who needs a french manicure when you can have....

                                A Wiltshire manicure! 

Been planting spring bulbs today. Think my hands might need a little TLC now. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

We have a winner.

Thank you every one who voted. The colours chosen where the blues. 

The name drawn out of the hat was Jemma Gunning. Congrats Jemma I will be in touch.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tree Tuesday

Today's tree is the Tulip Tree, Liriodendron tulipifera. We have four of these in our garden, one in each corner of the lawn, planted by the previous owner. 
The leaves have a most unusual shape.

I first came across this type of tree as a young nanny on holiday with my charges and family in Cornwall in the beautiful garden of Glendurgan, owned by the National trust, and was enchanted by the lovely shape of the leaves. 
The second house we owned had an established Tulip Tree that guarded the way to the vegitable garden and green house and when we visited our current home for the first time and found there where four young trees here,  as well as others we valued, we took it as a good omen. 

The leaves are beginning to turn. 
The fruit, the flowers are long over.
 They flower each year with pretty creamy white flowers which turn to strange fruit at this time of year. You can see from the fruit that they are  related to the magnolia.
Last year I used a lot of the leaves in an art project for my college course.  

Monday, 13 October 2014


No idea what to blog about today. 

I have spent the best part of today making beads. My kiln is so full I don't think I could of shoehorned another bead in to it even if I had a mandrel dipped and ready to make it on. And I haven't even thought about the blog.
This does mean, of course that I will have to spend the best part of tomorrow cleaning all the beads! I think I will look out my story tapes and put one on to listen too while I work. 

Tomorrow is tree Tuesday so I wont be stuck for that. =) 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Getting Painty

I missed yesterday, sorry but today I have had some fun with my boys.
We played Torchlight 2 (a multi-player dungeon crawler game) and watched another episode of Primeval.
Nat and I also got a bit painty by doing some almost gelli printing. For which I have to thank "Shells in the Bush". Almost Gelli because we don't have a gelli plate and used a sheet of neoprene instead which seems to work OK.

Before the fun started

We ventured into the wet and windy garden and collected some leaves from our American Oak, which are the most beautiful colour at the moment. 

Inked up the neoprene with yellow paint and Nat drew a face in it. I inked up the leaves with red and popped them onto the plate as well. Then took the first print.

The artist at work. Unfortunately my camera battery ran out at this point so I have no more photos. We moved leaves around, added a touch of green and Nat drew into the paint a bit more. 
Below is a scan of one of the best prints from this session. It is called "Christmas Tree".

Friday, 10 October 2014

Choosing Colours II and Giveaway.

These are the beads I have made using the colours chosen last week. 
Doing this has shown my just how hard it is to match some colours in glass. The darkest grey blue green I do not have so I have used a deep petrol blue instead which works well with the other colours.

The colour Palettes are all from Design Seeds

This week I have chosen two more palettes. But this time I have decided to have a little giveaway. I will put all the names of people who vote in a draw and pick a winner on Wednesday 15th October. The winner will get a set of 20 little round beads made in the colours they voted for whether it is the winning colour or not. Please vote A or B in the comments and share with all and any beady friends you have. 



Thursday, 9 October 2014


I spent so much time beading today I haven't even thought about my blog.

I have cleaned beads, about 200, mostly little rounds.
I have tumbled beads, about 75, pebbles and sea-glass.
I have made beads, about 80, mostly for the show and tell tomorrow.
I have packaged beads, about 100, mostly bound for the United States.
I have photographed beads, about 30, all now listed on Facebook auction sites.
And, you never know, by tomorrow I may of sold beads too.

So now I am to tired to do a proper blog and you will have to make do with this.
Never mind. I am doing a giveaway tomorrow!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Colours Chosen

Thank you to everyone who voted for which colour palette I should try this week. The winner was "A", this one.

I do love the warm greeny greys, but the pink and purple will require some careful choosing from my glass stock. I will do my best. 

But before I start I think I had better clean up this,

My work bench. It is a bit of a mess. I have a friend coming over to play with fire today, too, so as much space as possible around my torch is a good idea. 

I will show and tell on Friday with the beads I make and offer up another two choices for voting on.
I am going to have a giveaway for voters to take part in, so stay tuned for Friday! 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Tree Tuesday

I am going to start my Tree series with the oldest tree in my garden.

A yew tree, Taxus baccata. This tree could well be older than our house. 

 It grows quite close to the church wall and according to old maps of the village a road ran this side of the church as well as on the current side placing the church on an island in the middle.

It is my belief that this part of the garden was once part of the church yard as there is no yew growing there now which is unusual as yew trees are most often planted in church yards so that stock animals can't graze on the poisonous branches. The wood of the yew was needed to make long bows. Maybe the road was added to the garden when the house became the Rectory (which it wasn't always) and part of the church yard was also taken into the garden.

We also have a well close to the yew and too far away from the house to be any real use to the house holders. I think it must of been the village well, this would mean the road ran between the yew and the well and our garden was much smaller!

It is very dark under this tree and not a lot grows in the shade. But this time of year we get this. It is a puff ball fungus, about the size of a football. This one is getting old, a month old or more I would guess. They start white and turn darker with age. When they are ready they are like husks, filled with the finest spores which "puff" out and are carried on the air to new ground to grow.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Bead Soup

For a while now I have had a collection of beads in my favorite colours that I want to use in a project. This kind of collection of beads is often called "Bead Soup".
Here are some photographs of my bead soup. 

Firstly some seed beads in aqua, sea blue, turquoise and teal. 

Second a beaded bead made from a tutorial by Lynn Davy.  

And thirdly little Czech glass beads from Snoochy on Etsy, copper shells and a copper clasp hand made by a fellow craft pimp members Jill of Kiln Fired Arts and Anna of McDaddio respectively and lampwork pebbles and little round beads and copper headpins made by myself. I am so pleased that I have so much made by other Craft Pimp members. It means this project is going to be very personal to me and something I will keep for ever. 

But what on earth am I actually going to make with them? I will decide and make over the month ahead and hopefully finish in time to show you during this Blogtoberfest. 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Party Time

No time to blog today.
My sons birthday party today.
He's 22!
Just blown up a load of balloons....Puff, Puff, Pant, Pant

Friday, 3 October 2014

Choosing Colours.

Choosing colours to work with is often more complicated for a glass artist than for someone using more traditional forms of artistic expression like paint.

Glass has a mind of its own once it begins to melt and the colour you pick when it is in rod form can disappear when heated only to reappear on a second heating or change into something very different depending on how much oxygen is in the flame you use and how much silver is in the glass. 

Mixing colours can yield extraordinary results too, but more often than not ends up with an undesirable black in my experience. This is due to the chemicals in the glass that give it its colour reacting with each other.

Trial and error is often the best way to discover what a glass will do. 

I keep my eyes open for new ways to be inspired to play with colour and recently found Design Seeds

I used this beautiful pallete to create the sets of beads below. Not really pink enough and a touch too yellow. In real life the colours are actually closer. But my lights bring out the yellows. 

The glass colours I chose where :-

Top to bottom, 

CIM Comando
CIM Slytherin
ASK Scarlet Dreams
CIM Pheonix
Eff Sedona
CIM Stonegroud

I thought as a little challenge for myself during Blogtoberfest  I would let my readers choose a colour palette for me to use to create a set of beads as I did at the top of this page. 
Please help me decide between these two colour palettes, also from Design Seeds, by voting "A" or "B" in the comments. I will count the votes on Wednesday and then I will do my best to make another set of beads using the winning pallete as inspiration.  I will report back next friday with my make and offer up another couple of pallettes to vote on.



Thank you for reading my blog and for voting, cause I dont think I could choose between these two. 


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Retail Therapy

I took the day off to go shopping with my Mum yesterday.

We got the garden center about lunchtime and pottered around looking at all the lovely shrubs and plants. Mum wanted a large tub to pot her camellia up and some little trailing, succulent or fern type things to plant in the garden wall. 
I was after a lot of bulbs and some cottage garden perennials to plant in the bank around the side of the house. 
But you know what its like when you go shopping, can you ever stick strictly to the list?

I ended up buying this, a sweet little succulent Jade Plant type plant. Such an unusual colour!
It looks like it has seen better days to be honest, but I think I can break some of it off to re-balance it and grow up a few cuttings into new plants as a bonus. I need to take some lavender cuttings too. Looks like I need to schedule an afternoon in the green house doesn't it?

But I didn't buy either of these :(
(It was a close thing though!)

Can't think how this got into my basket.......;-)

The day ended with the garden center being well over £100 better off and us with all we wanted and more. Happy Bunnies.
Now we just have to do the planting.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Let Blogtoberfest 2014 Begin!

Here we are, 1st of October and I have joined in  Blogtoberfest for the first time this years.

A little introduction for any one who doesn't know me.

Hi, I am Julia Hay.

Welcome to my Blog.

On line I am known as Pandanimal, in games, forums and sale sites. There is another Pandanimal out there but he is not me!

My main creativity goes into lampwork glass, but I also turn my hand to many other crafts and arts to express my creativity.

I live in Wiltshire U.K. in a grade two listed rectory, with my husband and four sons.

The sun is shining this morning and I have a day with my Mum planed, a visit to the garden center and the D.I.Y. shop for picture frames. So I wont ramble on too much.

For better or worse I plan to blog daily for the whole month of October because that's what Blogtoberfest is all about.

If you want to learn more about the event you can visit:-

You can even sign yourself up there too, if you feel like it. Shells is hosting the event this year and has all the information about it as well as links to all those blogs taking part.

I have a few ideas about how I will fill the days.  I have some ideas for posts about bead making lined up and I plan to introduce you to some trees that are important to me!

I have an idea about a couple of tutorials, but they are only have half written at the moment.

And I will be really pleased if anyone can spare a little time to vote on something I have planned for Fridays each week.

I think I will learn a lot more about blogging and blogger as the month unrolls and who knows, maybe I will learn a little about myself as well along the way.

Wish me luck, I think I'm going to need it!