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A slightly random assortment of thoughts, stories and other bits and pieces that I hope you find interesting . . . . . . . 

 . . . . . . . . and some of it is even to do with my jewellery too!

or as my father would have said "A bit of a Curate's egg"

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Thank you to Anne of Jewellery Quarter UK Etsy shop

I had a lovely suprise last week when I got home from my day job to get an Etsy convo from Anne of Jewellery Quarter to say that I was her 800th customer and had won $40 of goodies from her lovely shop. I had such a good time choosing some very nice supplies I had been eyeing up, and they arrived promply on Saturday morning.

Can't wait to start using them in some new designs :-)

Thank you so much Anne

This is her shop, full of useful and unusual goodies:

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Patrick Wolf covers Lana Del Ray

The very talented and fantastic Patrick Wolf doing a wonderful cover version of Born To Die !!

Here is the link if you want to hear him:

Patrick Wolf - Born To Die (Lana Del Rey cover)

Performed live on the Dermot O'Leary Show, BBC Radio 2, 1st September 2012. Hear the entire session at Patrick's soundcloud page (


I absolutely love Patrick Wolf, we saw him perform at the Old Vic, London 29th August on the first leg of his new tour and were lucky enough to literally bump into him outside the theatre before his gig (and get kissed by him :-) )



 . . . . . and I must apologise for my long silence over the summer holidays, normal service is now resumed (I hope!)

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Harriet's necklaces

Here are a couple of photos from a lovely US Lilygrace Originals customer called Harriet.

She has two of my necklaces, one a red circus necklace and the other a more delicate (but still flamboyant) bluebird necklace. Harriet has very kindly sent me photos of herself wearing them.

Harriet_bluebird_s.jpg                      harriet_circus.jpg

I am always thrilled to have pictures of my pieces with their new owners, especially when they look as happy as Harriet. Thank you so much! :-)

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The School Prom

Well, we survived! The School Yr11 Prom has been and gone.

We had the "it is only slightly less important than my wedding day" as far as the daughter is concerned.

We have had the dress panic where the dress we had made to order was c*****d up in every way it can have been                                                                                                                                           

The shoe crisis when the perfect pair were out of stock in the right size in the whole of the UK.         

The transport crisis where 5 (yes, 5) arrangements have fallen through (eventually went in a VW 60s campervan)                                                                                                                                         

Two hair practises (thank you my lovely friend Mary)                                                                          

The earrings I made for her that needed altering

The after party crisis . . . . . . . . . . . and the faint but palpable air of disappointment that I am not prepared to pay for a make up artist to do her makeup

Oh and the last minute requests for false nails and eyelashes!

Was it worth it? Well they all looked fabulous (with a couple of exceptions ie those girls dressed as 3yr old Princesses) and daughter had a great time (and looked absolutely beautiful), so it has to be a Yes!

Glad it's over tho . . . . . . . . .

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Saints and Sinners

I have been thinking a lot about strong women in history.

Today I turned on the radio and by a curious case of serendipity Aung San Suu Kyi was addressing the Houses of Parliament "More tears have been shed over wishes granted, than over wishes denied" she was saying, which I suppose is a version of "be careful what you wish for, you may get it"                Well, she is certainly an extraordinary example of a woman who has paid a very heavy price for her beliefs but has stayed true to herself.

I have been looking for more subjects for my Saints and Sinners section.

Saints are fairly straightforward but sinners are more problematic. I do not want to make pieces about women who have been guilty of acts of downright wickedness, but I am interested in women who have made difficult decisions and maybe been misunderstood as a consequence.

Isabella I

Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She has been called one of the ten most wicked women in history but I think her story is rather more complicated

Isabella and her husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon, brought stability to the kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. After a struggle to claim her right to the throne, she reorganized the governmental system, brought the crime rate to the lowest it had been in years, and pulled the kingdom out of the enormous debt her brother had left behind. Her reforms and those she made with her husband had an influence that extended well beyond the borders of their united kingdoms.

They financed Christopher Columbus' 1492 voyage that led to the opening of the "New World".

An act that we now find hard to understand however is that Isabella and Ferdinand are known for completing the Reconquista, ordering conversion or exile of their Muslim and Jewish subjects On 31 March 1492, the Alhambra Decree for the expulsion of the Jews was issued The Jews had until the end of July, three months, to leave the country and they were not to take with them gold, silver, money, arms, or horses. After a Muslim uprising in 1499, and further troubles thereafter, the Treaty of Granada was broken in 1502, and Muslims were ordered to either become Christians or to leave.

This is have supposed to been opposed by Isabella, but five centuries later who knows what the truth is?


Another woman I have researched is, a legendary figure in the history of the Roman Republic. According to the story, told mainly by the Roman historian Livy and the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus (who lived in Rome at the time of the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus), her rape by the king's son and consequent suicide were the immediate cause of the revolution that overthrew the monarchy and established the Roman Republic.

The incident kindled the flames of dissatisfaction over the tyrannical methods of the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. As a result, the prominent families instituted a republic, drove the extensive Tarquin family from Rome, and successfully defended the republic against attempted Etruscan and Latin intervention. Her rape and suicide has been a major theme in European art and literature.


And now I have to say thank you to Wikipedia for my information sources.

(And to anyone who has read all this!)


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The Wonder that is Dolly Parton

I have a long standing admiration for Dolly Parton, leaving aside her extraordinary appearance, she is the most amazing woman and has a very beautiful voice.

Here are some facts about her:


  • Dolly was one of 12 children raised in a one room cabin, her family really was "Dirt poor"
  • She has been married for 45 years to Carl Dean, who never appears in public with her
  • Miley Cyrus is her god daughter
  • Dolly the sheep (the first cloned animal) was named after Dolly since the sheep was cloned from a cell taken from an adult ewe's mammary gland. When was asked if she minded, Dolly P joked, "No, there's no such thing as baa-ad publicity."
  • Her literacy program, "Dolly Parton's Imagination Library",   a part of the Dollywood Foundation, mails one book per month to each enrolled child from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten. The program distributes more than 2.5 million free books to children annually.
  • There are many great Dolly quotes but this is my favourite: "Decide who you are, and then do it on purpose"


What a gal!

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A Good Day


a nice day at the day job, son got a 2:1 (yeay!), champagne, takeaway ordered through Just Eat website (brilliant), England won at Football (!!!!!!) and I finished my Black and White Night Circus necklace.


All in all, a pretty good day!

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The Night Circus

I have just finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I really enjoyed this book, though I had to concentrate a bit harder than I was expecting to keep up with the time shifts!

It has left me feeling inspired to make a black and white circus necklace in honour of Le Cirque des Reves. This will be a quite a challenge for me since I love working with colour, but I think it could be interesting. I suppose I could add some red in the style of the" reveurs" in the book, but I think I'll probably stick to black, white, grey and silver . . . . . . . . . Watch this space!

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Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

I thought I'd share this extraordinary painting of a medieval jeweller, called a "A Goldsmith in His Shop" 1449 by Petrus Christus. It is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has a similar character as the famous painting "The Alfornini Couple" by Jan Van Eyck, but to me it is more intriguing

I find the details absolutely fascinating, are the couple buying an engagement ring (or whatever the medieval equivalent was?)                                            

The woman looks quite keen, the man a little more reserved.

I love the piece of coral on the shelves beside the goldsmith but what is the clear slab of crystal for? And I wonder about the tiny couple with the bird glimpsed in the mirror, are they pondering whether to enter the shop? Were birds allowed in shops then?




And on a slightly different tack, we had a little jaunt out to Hungerford this afternoon, where I found some lovely bags of vintage beads and bits of broken necklaces, which I fell upon with joy. I am now going to spend a happy hour or two sorting them, and thinking about designs I can use them in.

I'm very easy to please !

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Thought for the Day (borrowed)

“a rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”

Antoine de Saint Exupery

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