Monday, October 20, 2008

Twisting the Day Away!

We held a Wire Jewellery Workshop at Graphicus on the 11th October, if you have looked at the Graphicus blog you will have seen all the marvellous jewellery that was crafted during the day. If not then I have posted some of the photographs here.

We had a wonderful day twisting and turning, adding beads and glitz. Everyone enjoyed producing their pieces of jewellery. You would be staggered at the amount of variations you can achieve with a wire jig and a few beads.

There was a lot of concentration going on and a few finger nails were chipped but I think they thought it all worthwhile. I think we may have a few budding wire twisters here.

They inspired me to come home and try something new in the way of twisting wire.

My daughter is getting married next year and she is on the lookout for jewellery to compliment her dress. This is my first attempt. It does look quite delicate. It is 18gauge wire twisted free hand. A wire wrap is made at the top for the chain and then the beads are added to the wire. Next you twist and bend the wire to the shape that pleases you. Remember to place the beads where you want them as you bend otherwise you may not be able to move them when you have finished. Wire is twisted around the pearls for the earrings and finished with a wire wrap for the hook. The pearls are the same colour but they look darker in this photograph.

This bracelet is done with an 18 gauge antique gold wire, it really does look very effective. I have joined the links with a single matching bead and wire wrapped it to each link.

Emma's birthday bracelet was done by twisting a frame for the main part of the bracelet and then beads were strung between the loops. A bead is wire wrapped, and this forms the link to fasten it all together. It is a bit fiddly to wire wrap the bead to the link but it is an effective way to join the bracelet together.

Now what colour will Denise want for her birthday!

I may be inspired to try a tiara next!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Holidays and Sunshine

Steve and I had a two week holiday in Gran Canaria, staying in Puerto Mogan in September. It was once a little fishing village but of course with tourists descending on it, it has grown and become a small resort but it is still unspoilt, quiet and restful.

It has a quaint little harbour surrounded by houses that put me in mind of old Colonial architecture. They all looked to have little cannons coming out of the walls, and they were painted in bright colours.

The houses lined the harbour down two sides, the other side little shops and restaurants. There was only one craft shop and they were making candles. You could watch as they dipped the candles in different coloured waxes and while still warm a girl carved, cut and twisted the wax into various shapes around the candle. They looked very nice and were done in various themes, Christmas, Weddings, Nursery Rhymes etc. I was a little surprised in the heat they did not just wilt and merge into a puddle!

We had a day in Las Palmas, shopping and sightseeing. An early start was required and as you leave Mogan on the bus you closed your eyes. The road out is up a very steep hill with sheer drops as you look over the side, as the bus swings out to go around the corner you tend to hold your breath, and the bus drivers don't hang about. Once at the top, if you dared to look, the view was breathtaking.

The old town in Palmas is charming and you would think you had stepped back in history with it's cobbled streets and old buildings. While just over the other side of the road you have a modern shopping plaza. Quite a contrast.

We visited The Casa Museo de Colón which is a very attractive building with ornate doorways, beautiful latticed balconies, large courtyards and carved wooden ceilings, representing numerous aspects of the island’s architecture. This palace was the residence of the first governors of the island and it is claimed that Columbus stayed there in 1492 while one of his ships was repaired, hence the name Casa de Colón (Columbus House).

The courtyard of the house had a paved area with fountain and carved seats for the weary occupants, but upstairs two parrots sat on the gallery rail. They were not too bothered if you walked past them but if you tried to approach them as one man did, they hurled themselves off the rail, screeching as they ran towards you. The gentleman bolted over to the other side of the gallery. After they had had their fun with him, an attendant chased them downstairs to their perches.

The top photograph is of a half eaten Seafood Paella, we stopped for lunch before returning back to Mogan at a little cafe, the Chef came out with a huge pan of it and we could not resist. I should have taken the photograph before we started but ............... it was delicious. I don't think this is one of Christopher's ships but it looked good as we passed on the ferry going into Puerto Rico.

View from the apartment balcony.

After partaking of a very cold beer, we posed beside the Gorilla that guarded the entrance to one of the bars down in the harbour. It must have been one of the most photographed things in the resort. People would walk past and whip out the camera or if they had children with them perch them on his back while they snapped away.

It was a holiday to recharge the batteries, no racing here and there to pack everything in before you go home. We wandered, then stopped, then wandered again. If it is a quiet holiday you need then Mogan is very nice and fits the bill, but then again with all that sunshine day after day, and the constant heat, you begin to look forward to the wind and the lashing torrential rain, er............... did I say that, no you don't, you wish you were back on holiday!