Sunday, 9 November 2014

Apt to revisit this post today

 On the 40th anniversary of my mam's passing I felt I had to do something in her honour and so began tracing the family tree, with the focus on my mam's family name of Hutchinson. My grandad, Harry Hutchinson, had always maintained that we had Scottish roots and despite being a Yorkshire man through and through, when the First World War broke out he made his way to Perth to enlist in the Black Watch. He served until 1915 when he was shot in the leg and on recovery was sent home.
Me ,my brother Mick and my sister Julie always used to play what we call "Can you remember when?" and I recall talking to Mick once about Grandad's injury , as I only knew about it when I saw a copy of his discharge papers.
"But Chris, you must remember " he said, "He used to roll up his trousers leg and show us where the bullet went in and the bullet came out" . Now I have a truly amazing memory and I know for certain he never showed me his war wound so we concluded that Grandad must have felt such things were not for lasses to witness. How times have changed haha.
My Grandad was the kindest, sweetest soul and my greatest fear when I was "exiled" in Morecambe was that I would come to visit him and he would have been taken over by an imposter. I could never resist checking to see if he still had the mole on his neck - just in case . I don't remember many conversations with him. For me it was enough just to be in his presence. As a tot I would sit and watch him working in the outhouse, which was his workshop. He could turn his hand to anything and he always smelled of a mixture of sawdust and Coal Tar soap. When we went to the Post Office to collect his pension he would buy me Cherry Lips. I always felt my Mam was closer when I was around him. He lived to be 82 which for his generation was a good innings. His brother Arnold perished on the Somme and his name is on the Cenotaph in Dodworth.
As I stripped back the years unearthing our family history I became so acutely aware of how important that bullet had been - as it gave life to so many of us.
 My trail of the tree came to a halt in 1763 with the birth of George Hutchinson, allegedly the son of George and Mary. Despite every search there appears to be no such couple but there is Henry and Mary who went on to have numerous more children. I have to conclude that the record is wrong and that George's father was indeed Henry, who I can trace back to Dewsbury. And this leads us also to conclude how strong our oral history is, given that we still cannot find when or how we left Scotland. Interestingly, a distant cousin I met in Lancashire also adds evidence towards our Scottish roots. Her branch of the family left Yorkshire for Lancashire, when the Linen trade was overtaken by mining. Ruth was in her 80s when I met her and she had always been told we were driven out of Glencoe for sheep stealing.

Saturday, 9 March 2013


I'm posting these photographs to shame myself into finishing them off as some have been on my To Finish list for ermmm well a long time , whilst others only a week or so

Above is a bright orange bracelet made with Preciosa Twins and size 6 2 cut seeds- all it needs is a clasp!

4 projects here- 2 loomed pieces, a stunning cab of Tiger Iron which I have already encased and a few flowers which will end up adorning something , some time, some how.

One of Lyndsey Akehurst's focals and part of the necklace to go with it - I started this last week but have had the bead for a few months, but not as long as the rest of my stash of lampwork goodies.

Three unfinished Preciosa Seed bead necklaces , each one a different design.

Crocheted copper necklace, bracelet and bangle- they just need clasps and the ends working in.

Quite a medley here- brick stitch earrings, part of a dragonfly design bookmark, some more crocheted wire brooches to be, my take on a goddess which my OH claims to look like a bottle opener, a massive beaded bead and 2 shell pendants.
Now maybe I will get some of them finished - or maybe not lol
PS go and check out Tan's new glasswork art

Monday, 25 February 2013

Freeform Peyote

Last week I started an experimental piece of freeform peyote and just had to marvel at how the universe colludes. I was a day into it when I followed a link on facebook and found a fantastic group dedicated to freeform peyote.  They were just about to  reveal a challenge they had been part of and over the weekend I spent hours pouring over all the blog posts and the amazing creations . You can see all the blogs by first of all reading this one by Karen Williams  and following the other links in that post- Have fun and be prepared to be astounded. The pictures above are views of my piece- I have added more twiddly bits at the loop end and haven't had it off my wrist since .

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Still a Classic

This is a design which I created back in 2010 and it is still popular, which I suppose is a sure sign that something is a classic! It's made with Czech glass pearls and fire polished beads for added sparkle. Here's a close up....
It's available in kit from from Jencel and is available in 3 colour combinations . This particular one is going to someone as part of my Pay it Forward for mind which is my attempt to raise £1000 for  this charity which does so much good for those suffering mental health issues.
It's now even easier to make a donation too as you can send one by mobile - here's all you need do. Send a text to 70070 with the message ICAN55 £1- you can of course change the amount
These scarfs are also going to be posted out soon to surprise someone

Make sure you follow my blog for more updates and leave a comment on the blog to be in with a chance to be one of the recipients of my give aways .

Monday, 21 January 2013

The Time is Now #imapiece

I have got involved with a project being managed by The Craftivist Collective .
Their  manifesto is: “To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions.”
The current project is aimed at highlighting  and making  people aware of the injustices and poverty in the world in a fun and empowering way. #imapiece asks people to make a fabric jigsaw piece to support   Save the Children's Race Against Hunger Campaign. Using jigsaw pieces stitched by craftivists that means you, the project will create an art installation to raise awareness of the issues of world hunger and injustice. More information can be found here
Pictured is the piece I plan to send as soon as it's safe to go outside - I don't fancy slipping on all that white stuff out there. The fabric is some of my own batik work which I then embroidered with my message- I added a beaded heart based on a design by Lynn Davy and you can find her free tutorial  here .
And to follow up from my previous post I have now raised £30 for MIND - and I have plans for more so watch this space or look out for the post ;)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Pay it Forward for mind

Firstly apologies for being so inactive on my blog and for being so late in announcing my plans for 2013. However let me get this little project off the ground and then I can play catch up with you all.
My plans for 2013 are to raise funds for mind, the UK Mental Health Charity. With this in mind (pun intended of course) I have set up a Just Giving Page.
Here is how it works...
  • I will post items I am donating here on my blog
  • the first person to comment on the blog* and request it will be the one who gets it provided that they...
  • pay me  for postage costs and make a donation on my Just Giving Page
  • Once you have paid for postage and made a donation I will post the item to you
  • I will indicate what I would sell the item for and suggest a minimum but you will donate what you can afford
  • If the deal has gone and you would like me to make you something similar let me know and I will but that will be offered as a sale rather than as Pay it Forward
So here is my first offering up for grabs
This is a burnished silver plated bangle with two Picture Jasper stones - I sold these at £10 and I feel a minimum donation of £5 would be appropriate. Postage and packaging will be £2 in the UK and £3 worldwide.
* Comments will not show until I have approved them so you may not be first in the queue
Follow my Blog to be amongst the first to know about what the next item is

Friday, 7 September 2012

Beautiful Preciosa Beads

I often show off with my latest creations showing you them on here and on my Facebook profile and never tell you much about the stock which I use.
When I source my beads I have 2 main objectives - colour and quality and Preciosa Traditional Czech Beads offer me all of that and more! They manufacture an amazing range of beads in different shapes, sizes and finishes which offers me as an artist an amazing palette to work with.

This is one of my first designs which uses a medley of 12 different size 8 Rocaille (round) beads- most are translucent but some are opaque which adds to the sculptural look of this Garland necklace which is now in Jersey - another Garland necklace in a different colour scheme is in the USA . Beaders often ask me how I made this design and maybe one day I will write it up as a project and reveal my secrets :-)

Here is another of my early designs photographed to show you the textures- this one only uses around 8 different beads but I hope you can see how the mix of translucent and opaque beads adds to the overall look of this piece.

Recently I have been coming up with ideas which stitch up faster in order to keep the price more affordable and I came up with this design for my Slinky bracelets and earrings.

Although the same design has been used notice how much more textured the multi coloured ones are compared to the ruby red one which uses just one shade, which is why when I was asked by a customer on Holland to make her an orange one I knew I could rely on my Preciosa supplier to have a great range of oranges and I was not disappointed... here are the matching earrings I made her
What is even more exciting for me as a bead artist are the latest addition to the range -
PRECIOSA TWIN™ are 2 hole beads which open up amazing new design possibilities which I have been experimenting with but you will have to wait for another post to see those - aren't I a tease ?