I have heard several times that one should live each day as if it’s their last, but I think I’ll go further.

Every day is a beginning and an end. Try to live each day as though it’s your FIRST AND your LAST.

 

So prepare the canvas. Try to eat decent stuff and sleep a decent amount, build a foundation of health for tomorrow. Be sweet, but also brave and try to build bridges that might lead to somewhere, or someone. BEGIN.

Take the freshness of it all and work with that. Today isn’t yesterday. The stubbed toes and snubbed feelings of history don’t have to matter any more. You may be physically a bit scuffed and broken or lost in tiredness, but there are always fresh paths. New music to listen to. Adjust your view so you can see the potential.

 

Not to forget, of course that it is also your last day. A day of taking stock and holding on. A day of gratitude. A day to live to the end. You might as well live to its end. It’s only one last day.

If you think you can quietly exit and close the door behind you, you can’t. That is the gentle sweep of the butterfly wing that leaves the tsunami behind it.

 

This might all sound really cheesy – and I’m sorry. It’s difficult to communicate ideas sometimes – but I like this one.

There are so many people that have nothing and so many things that can be taken away with cruelty and bad luck, I take it that if you are reading this, you have a computer, and so an indoors and some freedom and time.

Please feel the joy in that. Not in the things but in what they equate to.

 

 

Let 2015 be a succession of vibrant beginnings and finales. Please don’t wait. Please don’t let go. Please have a very happy new year. It’s there for you already.


OK. I’ve been spending a while thinking about the advice I would give rapt and interested would-be jewellery designers should they ask for it…

Blogs seem to be for stuff like this so here we go. If you want to be a jewellery designer, here is a by no means exhaustive list of tips.

 

1. Pen and paper. Always. Everywhere. It used to be a case of remembering to take your camera. But you have that, it’s on your phone. So the next step is ensuring that you can do the fancy stuff like writing notes and doing sketches.

The ideas will come but usually at an unfair time. I tend to have my breakthroughs when doing something else that is totally unrelated and completely urgent or standing in a queue or just about to drop off to sleep.

If you are more tech leaning then there are apps that can just about fill the gap of a pen and paper when you are used to them. But come on. A pack of post-its and a biro… That’s so much more sexy.

 

2. When you have had the ideas….organise them. This coming from me is hilarious. There are bits and bobs of my work dotted about everywhere… but getting your sketched notes annotated and redrawn if necessary and into a notebook (another great feature of the humble post-it) or scanned and into well labeled soft folders for use is vital. Otherwise that sketching wasn’t design at all. It was litter manufacture. And that helps no one.

 

3. DON’T ERASE OR OBLITERATE. INSTEAD COPY PIECE, COVER OR FADE ERRORS OUT, AND WORK OVER. Here’s a story. In the dim past, I started working on a comic book called Smallfish with a guy. I was not at all confident and I hadn’t even thought of anything art based as a career. I drew out that damned cover about 12 times. I went wrong, even a bit and I binned it. I was later mocked for not using sticky labels to cover the error and draw over. So simple. A pro trick. So much easier in this aged of advanced tech.

The method = Like it? > Save it. Hate it? > Archive a copy of it, cover the bad bits, replace with different bits, ask again.

And I found my title logo. I am rather proud of this.

smallfish

Post-it notes. Even then.

 

4. Look at what’s out there. Notice what makes you angry. If “bad” design makes you angry, you’re likely to be passionate enough to make a decent fist of things. There are a few things that niggle me every time I see them. They get to me because it is lazy design, or it’s not generous, or it’s just not design at all.

  • an identical form, scaled up or down to form a different thing. Like when there’s a flock of birds and bird 1 is a bigger version of bird 4 and 2 is a slightly rotated 3. Was it so hard to draw them? Or are you rationed (limited) to drawing only 2 bird shapes in your life? The wallpaper in my mum’s last house drove me crazy. It had 2 birds on it (always birds!) The designer had designed the second bird by taking the head from the first, flipping it and sticking it back on its body. To hate drawing that much…. wow. They got paid too much for that. Even if they weren’t paid.
  • identical earrings used as pairs. Designers so lazy that they can’t even be bothered to flip an image. I hate that.
  • hollowed out work. Cheaper to manufacture. Transparent greed. That’s the only reason it’s done. I see Absolutely Zero Excuse for it because the weight of a piece is one of its qualities. Weight in a larger piece is soothing and gives its wearer additional pleasure. Pleasure you can hollow out and cash.
  • jewellery that is supposed to resemble something but doesn’t (unless intentional.) Research is such a major part of design that if you can’t be bothered to research, you can’t really be bothered to design.
  • 9ct gold. Sorry.

 

5. JEWELLERS’ TOOLS. Be careful when buying tools… I must have read “you get what you pay for” with regard to jewellers’ tools at least 20 times. That’s right….sort of….sometimes.

Here’s the heads up. There are some tools that will become the bane of your life if you don’t spend out on them. Some that you can’t get (new) without a solid injection of money and some that you can pay a couple of quid for. It has taken YEARS for me to work this list out. Good job I am feeling generous really.

LIST ONE – CHEAP VERSIONS WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE

  • saw-blades
  • flat nose pliers
  • solder (strip – personal hatred of this – I once got a dodgy batch)
  • wet and dry paper
  • vices (OK with serious modification)
  • motorised drills
  • drillbits
  • tap and die sets
  • snips
  • large files

LIST TWO – BUY THEM – NOT SURE IF YOU CAN GET THEM CHEAP (make sure that 2nd hand ones are perfect)

  • ring bending and all smooth nosed pliers,
  • doming block and punches
  • long frame saw
  • barrel polisher
  • mandrels (all sizes)
  • burnishers
  • solder paste (all types)
  • polishing compounds
  • needle files

LIST THREE – BUY CHEAP – PERFECT JUST AS THEY ARE

  • most textured pliers
  • hammers
  • centre punches
  • steel rulers
  • gas
  • beeswax
  • ring measuring tools
  • regular saw frames (as long as the blade clamps work – ideally get an adjustable one)
  • lighters
  • alphabet punches
  • tweezers/reverse action tweezers
  • polishing cloths

What do you think of the list? Disagree? Did I miss anything out? I’d love to hear from you! (and yes, I have [just] noticed that list one and list two can be merged together. shush.)

 

6. Talk to people – find out what the humans want! It’s all very well to make stuff you think rocks… but if you never engage in proper, open conversation about it, you will miss out. Recently I have been granted 2 amazing commissions, the first client wanted two pieces in my style but he wanted a different animal. The second wanted a collection of pieces plus a showpiece. The collection requires a different scale from the one thats currently available, and the showpiece is a version of something I have only ever made once before!

Design is wicked fun, but unless you let other people play, it is limited by your imagination and patience. Factor in other people’s desires and it just gets better and better.

By the way, engaging in proper, open conversation requires confidence, both to stand up for but also question your ideas and work. You need to be up to that. Tantrums or deep inner hurt at feedback won’t rub. Please learn that one quickly.

 

7. Time and cash. Right. It’s a ridiculous balancing act you have here. If you are looking to be a sole trader, then your job description is basically one word; Everything.

Give yourself a solid way to make money for rent and bills. If that’s a day job, that’s fine. Actually limiting your “business time” in this way is great. It gives you more business cash by taking care of personal cash, keeps you grounded, reduces stress (well, the type caused by dodgy cash-flow anyway) forces you to socialise and – perhaps most importantly – shows you how much you love design. It also forces you to prioritise like a demon. I would recommend it.

I can’t advise you on family balance. I have a mum and a brother and I make time for them. I also have a strictly structured working day and time off to myself.

You need this structure and the will to stop. Throw yourself at 50 all nighters on the trot and you won’t end up with a sturdy business. You will probably end up sectioned. It’s going to be different for everyone. Married people, people from wealthier families or existing businesses…the pressures will be different but still present….

My tip for organising workload is to be one person in your business a day. I have split my role into 7 disciplines; Management (very similar to admin!), Design, Making, Finance, IT, PR and Sales.

Each day, I work out what my business needs most, and give the day to that. I also have an active and “easy to achieve each tiny step” list on the go in Evernote, always.

 

8. Learn the things. If you can build your website, resize and edit your own photographs, write your own press releases etc etc etc, you are going to be a damn sight more in control and spend a damn sight less than the person who can’t. If you choose to delegate these things later one – or get some horrible thing troubleshot, you will have a clue about the things the grown up will be doing.

I have spoken to so many people who have mentioned the length of time they have to wait to get an image on their site changed. That’s just weird to me.

I would be so frustrated if I weren’t hands on. And I love knowing the magic tricks being done by the people now doing the stuff I used to do…

 

9. Allow yourself to multitask. I honestly haven’t switched my TV on in a year. I’m not one of those people who is proud of that sort of thing – in fact I am slightly appalled to own stuff that I don’t use. Fact is. I listen to comedy while working … I don’t want to do things that prevent me doing other things.

 

10. It’s not not enough that people merely tolerate you. Reserve your affections for those who quietly, brilliantly give a damn about you, your life and your love of your work.

But don’t be hurt if they aren’t as wired about your work as you are. That’s not their job. They love YOU, not the metal…

 

 

 


Very excited here at hbHQ as the finishing touches have been made to (and the obligatory bottle of Moet has just been smashed over – [OK, drunk near to]) our newly shiny style blog!!!

 

This is where Harriet will post styling suggestions for all of her designs and highlight her pick of the latest trends, best colour combinations and top bargains!

“This is great! It appeals to the part of me who loves going shopping with people. When people look great or are in a beautiful environment it makes them relaxed and happy which makes me happy. It’s contagious!

There are designers out there producing such beautiful work and this is a lovely way to give them the spotlight.

I’m a real bargain hunter too… It’s all very well to say that you will get a lot of use out of a piece I’ve designed – I want to prove it to you!” hb x

 

springinyourstep

 

COME AND VISIT US NOW AT http://harrietbedford.wordpress.com – we’ll have the kettle on ready for you! x

 

(Just pictures and sourcing details. No faff. It’s gorgeous.)

 


I’m currently on the train. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as listening to a very happy child grinding her mother’s brain into a fine paste by telling a constant high pitched stream of near identical jokes and demanding not only rapt attention, but also genuine mirth.

All of the jokes are along the lines of “why did the chicken cross the road? Because he was walking quite quickly and he wanted to see his friend.” “Why did the chicken cross the road? Because he was nice.”
The mother’s protestations of,”please no more,” “alright that’s enough now” and “don’t you know any others?” are falling on merciless ears… The girl is a pro and not about to give up for any reason. I am crying through laughing so much… I hope I’m not encouraging this… (Although I know I absolutely am).
There may be nothing for it but to ram my coat into my mouth.

Things I did before I was 37.

Hello.

This might look at first glance to be one of those “swim with mountains and climb a dolphin” sort of list. It isn’t. Don’t worry.

 

It isn’t one of those lists for two reasons. 1 – I find them bossy, impossible to emulate and slanted to inspire envy/a feeling that ones own life has been wasted and 2 – I haven’t ever been swimming with dolphins and I don’t want to climb a mountain.

 

I tried to find the list of 30 things I did before I was 30. Sadly, the medium I used to create it was myspace. Part of the construction of their great new look (myspace is impossible to use or like but it does now look great) involved getting rid of everything everyone had ever put on there. Except tiny pictures of people you had connected with. That’s it now. But oooh! Pretty, unusable nothing!

 

Anyway. Couldn’t find my 30th birthday list. But I am 37 tomorrow. I thought I’d share some things that are really great and if you get the chance, you should try them. Or not.

 

MAKE AN IMPROBABLE TOASTIE – Or smoothie or BBQ thing, or ice cream. Just combine some things that you like the taste of and eat them. One of the finest discoveries of my young life was banana wrapped in bacon and stuck on the barbecue…AKA “Monkeys on Horseback”. My goodness they are good.

 

NAME THINGS – being given the chance to name a thing is awe-inspiringly wonderful.  If it’s a kid, you have basic care/bullying needs to consider (or not). I, a few years ago, had the golden opportunity to name pedigree kittens. Thanks to me, Mr Doyle kitten, Taptaptap kitten, and Ordinary kitten can now step out in style. It’s brilliant fun.

 

BE A TOURIST IN YOUR HOME TOWN – Easier in some places than others. I have a funfair visible from where I am currently sitting. Just mill about, buy postcards, collect leaves, go brass rubbing, have a burger, go on a guided tour. No one ever said you had to be an adult. (And if they did well… they were probably miserable being adult themselves and wanted to see someone else suffer too…) AND if you’re abroad, be properly abroad. If you are on a beach, enjoy beach things, don’t dick around with your phone. In fact just avoid dicking around with your phone in company forever please.

 

IF IT’S THE BEST, MAKE IT BETTER! – You know baths? They are great. Why not make every bath the best one you’ve ever had? Candles, cup of tea, good book. Don’t skimp on nice stuff just because it’s not Christmas. You might die tomorrow… It’s not a question of greed or gluttony or hedonism…more a sense of gratitude and staying in the moment. This is (was) your only 15th April 2014… did you…do anything good? Did you do anything? Also if you can do stuff that makes you stride in a puffed up way, that’s good. Striding is excellent. I once strode down Oxford Street, took the tube to the London Eye and had a ride on it in an immensely puffed up way. It was fabulous.

 

REDISCOVER. Get into things you were into/wanted to get into as a kid. About 10 years ago, I bought the entire set of Panini WWF stickers. Because I am an adult and I could afford more than 1 packet a week. I also had all bar 1 of the Garfield set – and Shaun W. had all of them – and that broke my heart. That’s why. I also really love Ricicles.

 

FOLLOW THE LINE – As a scientific atheist, I have issues with the concept of fate – BUT it is fun sometimes to follow a line and see where it takes you. My only real attempt at this led me to my mentor and great friend Judith Lockwood…. – I didn’t win the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Brooch Competition …but that was good because I badly injured my back and was immobile for the 3 weeks I would have needed to spend making it …and I was bed ridden watching a lot of daytime TV …including antiques programmes which got me into the idea of auctioning work for charity …so I got involved with the Born Free Foundation and was due to attend a Ball in Derby …which was cancelled due to horrible illness …but I went anyway …and slotted in a visit to Birmingham …and noticed that the BJA were having a meeting on the day I was there…so I went…and met Judith…and Gordon Hamme, the organiser of the new mentoring initiative…and….well…you see?  And it’s all the fault of hours of “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”. Bizarre and lucky and very satisfying.

 

TALK TO STRANGERS – No kids, never those strangers. I mean useful strangers. You know when you go into an Asian Supermarket and there are all of those things everywhere. You know your favourite takeaway food? If you ask the person behind the counter, they will give you everything you need, knowledge-wise to make it – and sell you the rest. It’s in their interest and yours. It makes life better (oh salt and pepper chicken wings…)

 

GIVE MONDO-GIFTS – You know those presents that make people cry with the joy and the thoughtfulness of them. Endeavour to give those every time for every occasion. You’ll look forward to other people’s special occasions more than you look forward to your own. And no…if your first thought is “it’s too expensive,” you are already doing it wrong. Imagine them weeping with happiness then work backwards.

 

THAT? YEAH, DO THAT! Last year, I applied with my pal Josie (after whom the Josie Rose collection is named) for the gameshow Pointless. We got an audition which was a lot of fun and an excuse for an adventure and to revisit Bristol. I occasionally enter competitions – win stuff even more occasionally – but when it’s a pair of kickass headphones or an evening with the head chef from Gu and a load of diamonds in nick james’ old place in Hatton Garden – it really is quality that counts! It might be geeky or odd to ask or participate but if you want to DO.

 

PLEASE UNDERSTAND – It’s only in the last couple of years that I have realised that the judgement that is supposed to be falling on all of us – by society – so BY EACH OTHER is just horse-shit. Live, kiddo. Live before you die.

 

 

 


I am really happy to be bringing back these earrings as a part of my new core collection. The first two people I showed the new pieces to asked me why – Why did I include 2 little silver cats….?

cats mismatched studs

Well people are either dog people or cat people, I guess – and the studs are mismatched, which is a fact that I love…and these were my childhood pets.

At the beginning was the unfortunately named “Licky” (giving me a porn star name of Licky Somers in case you are interested) who ran away to live on a farm….

 

Then came Tabby and her almost-instantly-hit-by-a-car brother Tom.

 

Tabby, (the slightly bigger cat of the cat earring pair) was elegant, intelligent, aloof and happily lived as an only cat for several years until we decided to her horror that she was lonely and introduced Tabby (the slightly smaller cat).

In stark contrast to Tabby, Tammy was a delightful and deranged rodent-like monster. Noisy, cheeky and playful – she was fantastic.

It was like housing The White Witch with a hyperactive toddler.

tabby

tabby

tammy

tammy – helping me to take some photographs…

 

And these mismatched cat earrings are the best I can do for them. I looked around the flat today and the above is the only picture I have of Tammy – being about as sensible as I remember her.

These cat earrings are good to have. For you, they will be easy to wear and have the lovely extra buzz that mismatched pairs bring (I really do love the fact that they aren’t too sober and traditional!)

For me, they are a solid reminder of 2 really good friends – and it brings me real pleasure to share them with you. hx

 

AVAILABLE VERY SOON – If you would like to go on the waiting list for these items please contact us, or subscribe to harriet’s newsletter or blog for news of items as they become available…

 

 


Those of you that know me personally will probably be aware that I am usually in a bit of a hurry.

 

In terms of actual spare time, I am probably (certainly) better off than a lot of the people I know – especially those with kids and other commitments, but I am still making a stand.

I will be in less of a rush. Even if I am in one. Which I will be.

 

The all came to light when I realised how little cooking I did during the course of last year. OK, I made a couple of cakes, but then ate cake instead of dinner.

I had also got it into my head that I was eating well because I “got rid” of my microwave oven. In truth, the eggs I was keeping on to of it had been smashed. Albumen had then dribbled into its mysterious workings. So I decided not to trust those mysterious workings to be safe any more…

(The watermelon that had fallen onto the eggs and smashed them was unblemished – until 1 week later it fell onto the floor and exploded. I hate that watermelon).

 

ANYWAY

The realisation that I was eating mainly Tangfastics, takeaways and puddings was a bit of a shock. So. Action required. When I am in a rush, which I won’t be, I will need decent food in a hurry.

Tangfastics...the bane of my adult life. And adult teeth...

Tangfastics…the bane of my adult life. And adult teeth…

Chicken bought, thai green curry (chicken breasts, onions, aubergine, green curry paste, coconut cream), roast chicken (legs, thighs and wings plus seasoning, olive oil, thyme and root veg) and chicken soup (carcass, onions, carrots, seasoning) made. Portions boxed up and put in freezer.

New, tiny little microwave oven with steamer and crisper (wat?) functions ordered. Like I’m a proper grown up who cares about things like that.

 

I also made the following veggie meal this morning. I wanted something that tasted like the good, snugly bits of winter. And it absolutely does the trick.  Have a go. Measurements aren’t included because I honestly don’t know how much of anything I used.

Try not to omit things because the flavours are balanced pretty well…. Also the number it feeds depends larger upon the hunger and size of those involved. Duh.

 

HOT ROAST WINTER STUFF

Celeriac

Carrots

Sprouts

Pears

Thyme

Chilli (I use lazy ready chopped stuff in oil)

Salt and pepper

 

To serve

Grated mature cheddar (the sort that hurts when you eat it)

Posh Croutons (big french bread ones)

 

Cut it all into nice chunks and roast it until it’s roasted. The sprouts should brown. Add cheese and croutons. Eat. Say nom.

 

 

Do try it. Yummy and easy. Now to go and have a conversation about my pension.


Over the last couple of days, I have put together a collection of a few of the press cuttings I have about hb. I started thinking about the people I have chosen to deal with. And why the majority are stand up comedians.

 

I have been a fan of live stand up comedy since the very early 90s, One of the first gigs I saw was to see Jack Dee supported by Lee Evans. I can still remember the discovery. I knew I wanted to experience that kind of laughter all the time.

6 years later and I was doing stand up comedy myself. My first open mic spot was at The Fez in Bath. The other open mic spot that night was Marcus Brigstocke.

I met so many now very famous people during that time. I have no clue as to what I thought I was doing – but it felt like a plan – something that I wanted to be a part of. I think I just wanted to be a panelist on QI – before QI had been invented.

I enjoyed writing the stuff. I talked about things like the advert for Kinder Surprise Eggs, things it’s illegal to import and methods used by strangers to get children to get into their cars. Before every gig, terror – after, a sort of exhausted elation. Relief.

 

People often ask me why I don’t go back to stand up. The simple answer is that I don’t want to. I wasn’t good enough at it and I didn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t at home on stage.

I fell in love with the comedians and the slightly seedy, slightly too adult for a girl on her own nights out but I couldn’t be a fan. It was all too important to me. I wanted to talk to clever people as someone who knew what it was like to go out, bomb, die, panic, nail it, improvise and soar. I loved the brains of the people I met – and I will always be grateful for having had the chance to meet them in the days before twitter gave them something better to do with their time than talk to people at the back of the room pre-performance.

I’m also glad I met them when I was in awe of them. As an 18 year old, being cool while being given a free pass to meet my idols. Honest to god, I am so lucky. They won’t know me now, of course. They were all in a haze of panic of their own when we met. And I have a different name. I look different and I am finally at home, living the life I was meant to live. Phew.

 

But this Christmas, I received 3 stand up comedy dvds. The latest from Jack Dee, Greg Davies and Bill Bailey. All now recommended to you by someone who really does know.

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Live comedy is great. Undiluted joy when there is nothing else to drive you to feel happy, less calorific than chocolate, more soothing than alcohol, always there.

 

And Greg Davies shows off his gut. Again. What more could you possibly want?

 

 


I spent a recent afternoon measuring, marking, stitching, measuring again, cursing, tying, threading and cursing.
A couple of years ago I found 3 matching pale blue leather “skins” on etsy and happily imported them. And put them in a zip up bag with pictures of ice creams on it and ignored them.
About THIRTEEN years ago, I bought a fat quarter of Liberty’s fabulous Ianthe fabric from a shop that has since been closed down and demolished.
I have a coffee table in a fairly offensively orangey stained pine and I decided about a month ago to make a leather button tufted cushion with Ianthe buttons for it, to turn it into one of those wanky footstool ottoman things you can still rest a tray on…
So with all of my tufting experience (that is, zero), I gathered the fruits of my undisturbed stash of delights, bought some foam and some coverable buttons, did a billion drawings, watched a couple of tutorial videos on YouTube and got to it.
 
You’ll also need, foam, strong leather working thread, a variety of needles, coverable buttons, normal buttons, beeswax, thread, leather, a sewing machine wash tape, scissors, lining fabric, lovely fabric, a world of patience and no problem with the sight of your own blood or the sensation of stabbing yourself repeatedly. You will also need an elaborate, dramatic and extensive collection of swearwords. Here’s the guide….

foam STEP 1 – Scrawl incorrect measurements onto a piece of pre cut foam. Swear. Scrawl correct measurements onto piece of pre cut foam.

leather STEP 2 – Join two skins together with washi tape, sew them together and scrawl some measurements onto them. (2cm bigger both ways than the squares on the foam)

Ianthe buttons STEP 3 – Cover buttons with beautiful yet sadly delicate fabric. This is Ianthe by Liberty and it looks great on blue.

stitches STEP 4 – Do complicated knotty thing copied from YouTube video. Puff up with some pride at impressive nature of sudden expertise.

tufting STEP 5 – Do this bit. Try not to weep too excessively when leather tears and breaks in your fat fingers of ineptitude. Honestly I thought this would be the most fun bit – It really wasn’t.

tufting2 STEP 6 – Nor was this. Attempt to add sharp folds into the leather so that it looks nice.  I used a lolly stick. It meant I had to eat a lolly for practical reasons.

tufting3 STEP 7 – Continue, with the poking and folding and swearing.

tufting4 STEP 8 – Add buttons. Consider not adding a base, not adding all of the buttons and spend a long time watching iPlayer and drinking tea instead of working on it at all.
The fact I have a Chesterfield sofa in the same room puts it to some shame, but the fact that I have a designer’s head, one that says, “ruin one skin, you’ll never find another in the right colour to match” and “could you just measure that again, idiot?” means that I now have a serviceably pretty thing.
I regret not waiting for a wooden base. I got impatient and thought tying it all up together taut at the back would do (no)… But other than that, I am very happy. VERY. All it needs now is a bit more stitching, a proper fabric base and some more cursing and I’m done….there will be evidence.
Keep your stashes. Trust them and the part of your brain that required them. The bits you love may find a way to be useful eventually…

 


If you don’t follow me on twitter (and IF you don’t, it’s a shame. I have come up with something truly awesome for the advent countdown…. Follow me here!! – you’ll have missed me dying my hair orange and white earlier this week too. It’s too late now!! It’s back to blondish again, but I did have a couple of important meetings looking like I had had an egg fight in a TippEx factory. AND I didn’t even cry. Not even once. I am grown up.)

 

You may also have missed the announcement that I was working on a design for the latest British Jewellers’ Association competition. This time it’s one to design a Cocktail Ring.

Cocktail Rings aren’t my specialty – as you can probably deduce from the massive number and variety of them I have never made – but I create things. I design jewellery and I know what looks nice. I’ll have a good stab at it….

 

And as I said in the tweet, It’ll blow your collective bum clean off.

 

So… this is how I work…(I wish this wasn’t so accurate).

  1. Instantly come up with a title for the Cocktail Ring I want to make. No idea what the piece involves or what it will look like but this time I was convinced that it would end up being called “DISCO WOLF GOES ON HOLIDAY”. Suffice to say, it won’t end up being called that – or anything like that.
  2. Spend a couple of weeks scribbling on post-it notes, inventing something absolutely impossible to make in the time. And too small for a catwalk cocktail ring. And not colourful enough. And barely functional. But it fits the title.
  3. Decide instead to listen to sanity and go for something completely different.
  4. Again with the post it notes and tiny pieces of paper, researching idea 2 until it is all I can think about… then realise that this is even more complicated than idea 1. And will take forever to make and at least 2 complex mechanisms… and springs….Decide to forge ahead.
  5. Speak to someone about it and note that they respond much more favourably to idea 1 than to idea 2.
  6. Procrastinate by doing other things – e.g….. dye own hair white and orange.
  7. Chat to a friend – who reminds me that I was talking about doing a design with this animal at some stage…wouldn’t that be cool?
  8. Realise that I have had a Kinder Surprise toy of this animal sitting in front of my face (balanced on the computer!!) for the past 5 months.
  9. Design Cocktail Ring (in about 2 minutes).

 

Horribly true. It will be brilliant though. …. (I hope)

competition sketch bundle...

just a quick note, each of the pages you can see is the front of a little booklet …of 8 pages…. I’ve been taking these EVERYWHERE…

Note  – I make these books (perfectly pocket sized) from a single sheet of paper, using this method I found on Etsy a couple of years ago.

It is so much better than paper for note making and mechanism sketches – you also get a neat little buzz every time you complete one – which is quite regularly seeing as they only have 8 pages…. Use and enjoy – and of course you don’t have to stick to A4 paper…

8 page booklet...

 

AND if you go to the PocketMod site , they have coded loads of very useful drag and drop pages for you to print onto your paper to transform it into a RIDICULOUSLY useful little cheap thing…. Those clever, altruistic humans…They deserve love and money and toast with good things on it.

 

If you’ve got a little more time, you might want to go even further….. This is a fantastic animated tutorial for making a slightly more complex larger notebook – with just tabs and slots holding it together – and glitter!

http://www.designlovefest.com/2012/04/make-it-10-2/ Kudos to D E S I G N L O V E F E S T for this. It’s chuffin’ genius.

 

More news… I am hopelessly addicted to Masterchef the Professionals – mainly for Monica’s face, but also for the food, I suppose. I love the premise of the show coming up on Monday, in which the 4 finalists are going to be given a load of manky kitchen scraps from which they have to produce something awe-inspiring and terribly fancy.

After work, I find it tricky to bring myself to even open the fridge, let alone do anything more complex than stare at its contents… these people are alchemists…I want a takeaway. Or toast with good things on it.