Saturday, 19 December 2009

Snow and Ice and all things nice!

Hi everyone,

I know most of the blogs in your readers are probably discussing the white stuff that has blanketed the country over the past few days - and here's another one! I managed to resist blogging about it yesterday, but when I went out today I saw some beautiful things that I'd really love to share with you all.

First up are these beautiful ice patterns on our shed windows. The ice is actually on the inside of the window. They look like beautiful frosted patterned windows that would cost a fortune to have installed! Isnt nature fantastic?

Then I noticed a gorgeous icicle hanging from the corner of the shed. I love icicles, I rarely see them - they remind me of unicorn horns ;) Below is a picture I took at 12 o'clock and then another at 4pm - it had grown nearly three inches in just four hours!

There were icicles all along Barney's shed too, which looked so pretty. Barney wasn't too sure what to make of the snow - look how it has all frozen into a canopy ontop of his run:

For anyone concerned about Barney being out in the snow - he has a cat flap going into the shed where his food, bed, litter tray and a little oil-filled radiator are, so whenever he gets cold paws from looking at the snow he can go inside and be nice and snug in his shed :)

Just a quick note to let you all know that Glamourpuss Jewellery is staying open right through the holidays, with items being posted as long as the Post Office is open, so take a look for last minute gifts or treat yourself to some accessories to help welcome in the new year.

Keep warm and take care out in the snow!

Kate x

Monday, 14 December 2009

York's Festival of Angels and Ice Sculptures

Hello again!

I had so much I needed to do today, and then I banged my head on a door frame when going into a room so I havent felt able to do much after that! Head is still a bit tender and I've got a nice red mark in the middle of my parting for all to see, but I thought I'd use the time productively and tell you all about the lovely few hours Paul and I had out at the Festival of Angels in York's city centre yesterday.

There was a parade of angels through the streets, led by the Golden Angel, which unfortunately we missed, but along three of the streets were lots of amazing and beautiful ice sculptures. Here is how it is described by "A true Christmas festival, transforming York's most unique streets into a winter wonderland of ice-sculptures, stalls, al fresco dining, street entertainment and guaranteed 'snow' showers" - and they were right! There was christmas music playing, all of the restaurants had stalls selling mulled wine, Baileys, Sake, hog roast sandwiches - I had my lunch at the La Tasca stall where I had some delicious chicken and sea food paella and HOT sangria! We were even treated to 'snow' outside a few shops and everywhere felt very festive. Here are the photos I took of the different ice sculptures - they were so skillfully crafted and you could even touch them...

There was a star:

A penguin:

A Puma...

A peacock..

A chinese dragon:
A laughing buddha (He was also a drinks luge - see the hand at the top? That was someone pouring Baileys. It ran through the statue and you caught it, ice cold, out the bottom, in a chocolate cup!)
And a snowflake:
There was also a skier, Spiderman, a christmas tree, a temple and a snowman! We walked around the corner to go down another street and look who was there...

Peter Rabbit!

It was a really lovely afternoon with everyone getting into the festive spirit. On the way home we stopped off and got our christmas tree which we decorated last night, circled everything I want to watch in the bumper Radio Times and so now I'm all set for the big day!

There's still lots more going on in York in the run up to Christmas, you can find out what's planned by going to Visit York.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Kate x

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Glamourpuss is in the building!

Hi everyone,

How have you all been? Everyone ready for Christmas? Only a few weeks now - where did the year go?!

I've been keeping busy making a few new items, listing them on Folksy and attending a few Christmas fairs in the local York area.

When I was at the fair in Morley, I met the fantastically talented and absolutely lovely Kirsten of Quernus Crafts. She was there selling her gorgeous wee beasties and cats - check them out here. I asked her to undertake a very special commission for me - to make Glamourpuss! As you all know, the 'face' of Glamourpuss Jewellery is my cat and I thought it would be great to have the image immortalised by Kirsten. She was very keen with the idea and bravely took up the challenge. A week later and she arrived! Here for your attention Ladies and Gentleman is ...... Glamourpuss!

Isn't she gorgeous?! She really is even better than I could imagine. Her tiara has sparkly jewels set into it, her loooong eyelashes are complemented beautifully by her purple eyeshadow, her pink feather boa is so soft - and check out those shoes!! And, my camera didn't manage to pick it up, but her body is not just white - it's got sparkles in it!!! She now has pride of place in my office where I can see her everyday and she always makes me smile. Thank you Kirsten!
All that leaves me to say is you really must go and see all of Kirsten's other creations over at Quernus Crafts. She really is a very talented lady and loves to hear all of your ideas for commission pieces and there is just enough time left before Christmas if you want to treat someone (or yourself!) to something in her shop at Folksy.
Catch you all again soon,
Kate x

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

First Fair

Hi everyone

Well, I survived my first fair! Sunday morning I was sick with nerves and nearly didn't go but my Mum gave me lots of moral support and we made it to Bruntcliffe High School in Morley for their Christmas Fayre.

We had a good table, infront of the stage and almost directly opposite the door through which people entered the fayre. We managed to get set up just before the doors opened - my hands were shaking with nerves and we were distracted by the smells of the baking stall next to us! (We relented and treated ourselves to some cupcakes which were delicious). Here's a picture of the stall

Throughout the afternoon I had lots of people stop by the stall and gave me some lovely comments which really helped to boost my confidence. I made a few sales, but when I had a wander around the fair there were 8 other jewellery stalls. It seemed that because there were so many jewellers, we were all struggling a bit as a result. A few people took business cards so hopefully they might visit Glamourpuss Jewellery on Folksy and find a few things they like on there.

Overall it was a good day, I covered the cost of my table and gained some valuable experience. Looking at my stall I can see how to change the layout slightly to improve the presentation and I feel so proud of myself for going in the first place! My next fair is this Saturday (in Sheriff Hutton Town Hall if anyone is nearby!) so hopefully I can apply the things I learned at this first fair to my next one and I hope to have a bit more confidence now.

As I probably have enough stock for my fairs now, I'm spending the majority of this week listing all of my new pieces on my folksy shop, so please pop along and take a look

Hope you all have a great week, thanks for reading,

Kate x

Friday, 20 November 2009

Friday? Already?!

Hi all,

How does Friday always come round so fast?! I start the week with a long to do list, the next five days stretching ahead of me ready to be filled with jobs and jewellery and then all of a sudden it's Friday again and rather than getting shorter, my to-do list gets longer!

This week has mostly been spent getting ready for Sunday's craft fair. There is so much to do in preparation, I had no idea. I've been making little signs to go on the table to explain the stones used in some items, writing and tying on price tags, organising insurance and yesterday there was a last minute panic to find carrier bags. I am having some last minute nerves too - what if no one comes? What if hundreds of people come but no one buys anything from me? What if people look at my things and think of them as home-made rather than hand-made and aren't willing to part with their cash? What if people laugh at my jewellery (and not in a good way)? Luckily, my lovely mum is coming with me for support and in return I promised her coffee and a bun. It's all paid for now and the jewellery is made, so I guess I've got nothing to lose by going, I'm just a stresshead I think.

If anyone is in the Leeds area on Sunday, the fair is a Christmas Fair at Bruntcliffe High School in Morley and it's running 1-4pm and there are going to be lots of lovely craft stalls there, mince pies and other such christmassy goodies!

Hope you all have a great weekend, hopefully I'll remember to take my camera and will update you all next week to let you know how I get on!

Thanks for reading,

Kate x

Friday, 13 November 2009

Hi everyone,

I have been a bit quiet of late, apologies for that. Last week I had a few days Christmas shopping in London and at the Papercrafts exhibition at the NEC and over the weekend and into this week I've been decorating the living room in anticipation of our new sofas which arrived Tuesday. I have my first craft fair coming up on the 22nd so should be making like mad to have enough stock to fill my stall but I haven't been feeling to great this week, so it's all sort of fallen by the wayside.

One thing I really do have to tell you about though is the lovely Sarah over at I left a comment on her blog and to say thank you look what she sent me!!!!

Aren't they gorgeous?! I'm not sure how well it's come out on the photo, but the robin has a lovely glittery red tummy! I was so touched that she sent them out to me, as my mum said when I told her about them 'it just goes to show that there are still some nice people in the world' and she's right. Thanks Sarah! They will look great decorating my stall at Christmas fayres, and even better on my Christmas tree!

I'll sign off for now, but hope to be back again soon with reports of the many new jewellery pieces I have made. In the meantime, head on over to Sarah's blog at and see all the lovely things she makes.

Thanks for reading,

Kate x

Friday, 23 October 2009

Thought for the Day

I was sent this quote in an email, so don't know who to attribute it too, but it was obviously one smart and sassy woman:

'Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her... So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.'

True, huh?!

Kate x

Thursday, 22 October 2009

New York, Baby!!

Hi everyone,
I'm back now from New York and if I could describe it in one word? Amazing. The whole place completely blew me away. I never anticipated just how much of an effect it would have on me and now I'm longing to go back again!
Much as I'd love to waffle on and on for pages about what we did and saw, I'll try to keep it brief so as not to bore you all! We stayed in a gorgeous hotel on Park Avenue, just a few blocks away from Grand Central Station so we were well placed to be able to get to a lot of the things we wanted to see and do. Whilst I think Dad might have been concerned a lot of his holiday was going to be spent sitting outside changing rooms in Macy's and Bloomingdales waiting for mum and I to melt his credit card, we only spent a couple of hours in Macys and the rest of the time was spent sightseeing and soaking up the atmosphere.
The first day we were there we went up the Rockefeller centre and out onto the roof. The views were breathtaking and you could see for miles. Here we're looking north, onto Central Park:
After this we stopped off for a cupcake, then got on an open-top bus for a night tour of Manhattan and Brooklyn which was great. We went with Gray Line tours and had a three day pass and I'd highly recommend them to anyone visiting NY. Every tour guide we had was knowledgeable, friendly and obviously loved their city passionately.

Friday morning we hit the shops and I went to Beads on 5th and got some lovely beads that I hadn't seen at home (Will show them in another blogpost!) and then we went on to Macy's and got some beautiful christmas decorations. In the afternoon we visited the Chrysler Building, FAO Schwartz (lovely toy shop. Remember in the film 'Big' when Tom Hanks danced on the giant keyboard on the floor? That was in FAO Scwartz. I got to dance on it too!) and then we went up the Empire State Building. This was great, having seen the views during daylight the previous day at the Rockefeller, we saw it all at night from the Empire State.

Saturday we hopped on a bus tour which took us around downtown Manhattan. We got off at Battery Park where they were filming a movie (The Other Guys, a comedy due out next year. We saw a clip being made with Mark Wahlberg) and then walked round to the Staten Island Ferry which took us right past the Statue of Liberty. That was an amazing experience. Before that it had all felt like a dream, that we weren't really in New York but seeing Lady Liberty made it all very real - we were really here! After that we got back on the tour bus and carried on up through Manhattan and on into Harlem, seeing some great sights.

Sunday we went to Kate's Paperie shop. Anyone who knows me knows I love my stationery, so to find a store which had stationery AND my name over the door was great! I got a lovely desk calender with vintage New York images and some gorgeous paper and card which I hope to use in a scrapbook of our trip. Afterwards we went into Central Park where Dad and I had a hotdog (or a dirty water dog, as the locals call them!), something I'd always wanted to do. We then got a horse-drawn carriage around the park, which is something Mum had always wanted to experience and it really was lovely. That afternoon we walked back down 5th avenue, looking in the windows of the stores and we stopped off at the Rockefeller Centre again where they had opened the ice skating rink. We could have stood there all night, there were some fantastic skaters. (This is where they have a Christmas tree and is where the end to Home Alone 2 was filmed. Remember the reunion with Kevin and his mum infront of a Christmas tree?)

The next day was sadly our last. We popped into Bloomingdales for a quick look then back onto 5th. As it was Columbus Day there was a great parade all along 5th Avenue with dancers, singers and floats, all celebrating their Italian heritage. It was really great to see as we walked back to our hotel to collect our bags. It was a fantastic trip all in all and I'm already trying to save to go back again as soon as possible!

If you're still reading, thanks for staying till the end! I tried to make it a short post whilst including the main things we did, but believe me, I could have written soooo much more!

Will post again soon, thanks for reading,
Kate x

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Flying visit!

Hi everyone!
Apologies for not updating my blog in a while, things have been pretty hectic round here - in a good way!

The last few weeks of September were spent decorating the bathroom (a much more mammoth job than originally anticipated due to it needing a few coats. And a few arguments, but that's another story) and going on holiday for a week to Majorca. This was the first holiday abroad together that Paul and I had taken and it was lovely. We managed to get a good last minute deal and when we arrived we were amazed. The hotel was gorgeous, real luxury and it gave us chance to finally chill out and relax together. Despite there being a few storms at night, the days tended to be dry and sunny so we were quite lucky. Here are just a few photos (dont worry, I know how boring it can be looking at other peoples' holiday snaps!)
This was our gorgeous hotel:

Paul, relaxing by the pool..

The local puss we saw every day on our way to the beach (he was one of 10!)

That's it - I promised I'd keep them short! While I was away, I read a book about NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) which makes you look at how your thoughts affect your life. Without wanting to sound cheesy, it really helped me take a fresh look at my life and what I want from it and so I hope to give Glamourpuss Jewellery a real good push in a few weeks, with new stock, website, promotions and so on. Why wait a few weeks? Well, this week I'm going on holiday again! (I know, it's a hard life ;) ) Mum, Dad and I are going to New York for a long weekend. I'm so excited! I've never been and so have spent the last week unpacking, repacking and working out an itinerary of where we'll go, what we'll do and see while we're out there. If anyone has any recommendations of what we should do (or equally important what we should skip) I'd love to hear them! I'm hoping to visit a few bead shops while Im out there too.

Thanks for stopping by - sorry this has been a flying visit! I'll let you know how our trip went when I come back - then it's the big push for Christmas! Catch you all soon

Kate x

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The handmade revolution and the competition it faces

Over the weekend, Paul and I went shopping. Just window shopping really, browsing around a few of the shops at the local designer outlet. There's a jewellers there and what I saw amazed me. Inside were carousels of silver jewellery. Nothing strange there. What really caught my eye was how tarnished all of the pieces were. Seriously, I thought some of the chains were gold, they had tarnished so bad. There was a bracelet with a flat heart charm and the charm looked as if it had started to rot away, the way the tarnish covered it. It was priced up at £30. I was gobsmacked. And angry. There were 3 women working in there. One was behind the counter looking bored, the other two were jumping on customers seeing if they wanted 'help'. People were actually coming into the shop and looking at the jewellery in the case and actually showing an interest.

What made me so angry? Well, I could probably hazard a guess as to how much those tarnished pieces actually cost to make. It would be pretty low. Then, the items are put on display and left to rot, for want of a better expression. Why didn't one of the women working there spend her afternoon giving the pieces a polish, really making them shine and look their best to the customer? Well, looking back, why should they bother? People were still coming into the shop and looking at the pieces, with some looking like they might purchase. I thought about the pieces of jewellery I make and the effort I put into making them, keeping them clean, making them look their best for the customer, keeping them as affordable as I can. It's not just me, there are thousands of jewellery makers across the country, around the world who wouldnt dream of letting a piece get so tarnished, let alone putting it out on display for people to see.

Further round the shopping centre is a well-known high street fashion accessories shop. You probably know the one, its name is a girl's name. Sounds like eclairs. Anyway, I had a look in there and my heart sank further. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more, being sold for a few pounds. How can us handmade artists (for that is what we are) compete with prices like that?

Now, ok, chances are if you're reading this blog you can appreciate handmade pieces and the work and love that goes into each one, be it jewellery, art, toys, whatever. My problem is, how do we express that to the wider world? Money is tight for everyone at the moment and people relish the chance to be able to liven up an outfit for a few pounds. Rebecca at Buttons and Flowers makes the point when talking about a beautiful bag with charm that her daughter has made. She says "She's really pleased with the end result, but says that none of her friends will like it because it does not come from a shop and they think that, because it is handmade, it is not as good as something bought" - even though, as I said above, something bought from a shop may not be as good quality!

Apologies for my rant. How can we encourage the handmade revolution, dear readers? How do we show people, prospective customers that handmade does not mean cheap, or shoddy, or second rate, but infact premium, well-made and often unique?

Thanks for reading

Kate x

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Animal Farm

I thought that I'd introduce you all to the 'face' of Glamourpuss Jewellery today - Barney! He's the puss you see on my folksy and twitter banners. Barney was a rescue cat that came to live with me around 4 years ago when I lived in a flat. Because it was a first floor flat, I didn't want to force a 'normal' cat to have to live indoors, so I went looking for a deaf cat. As they can't hear cars, it's best to keep them indoors for their own safety. When I moved in with Paul, we bought a house with a garden and a little shed. My dad built Barney a run at the side of the shed and fitted a cat flap, so now during the day Barney can still go outside and get some fresh air and watch the birds, but I know he's safe in his run and can't escape. Some days I feel cruel keeping him enclosed, but it really is for his own safety. He wouldnt hear a car approaching and be able to get out of the way in time and...well ,it doesnt bear thinking about.

The day I took the picture above, Barney was out in his run enjoying the sunshine whilst I was taking some photos of the jewellery I had made. With Barn being deaf, he can't hear himself miaow - believe me, he has a LOUD miaow! So, I let him sit on the chair with me for a few minutes and have a bit of a fuss. Here he is inspecting the cat rings I had made that day, checking they are up to scratch. He informs me that if I'm going to use his image for the business, he wants to ensure standards are kept high!

We also have two rabbits that live with us - Hef and Poppy. Yesterday was the first time they were allowed a run around the garden together. Hef is nearly a year old and Poppy is 6 months. As Hef is a boy and Poppy a girl, Hef had to be 'snipped' and we had to wait a few weeks before it was 'safe' to let them out together. We love rabbits, but two is enough for us really! Here are a few photos from their first encounter. It was love at first site! Hef (the white rabbit) was completely smitten and followed Poppy everywhere:

Today wasn't quite such a romantic tale. I think the novelty of having a playmate had quickly worn off for Hef. When I let them have a run around the garden this morning the tables had turned - it was Poppy who was following Hef! The poor lad couldnt get any peace. Even when he jumped into his hutch for some privacy she would follow him. Everywhere he went, she followed. Eventually I had to put him in his hutch and close the door to give him a chance to escape. He looked exhausted! Poppy's obviously never heard of 'playing it cool' around a guy.
We also have two coldwater fish - a Shubunkin called Seamus and a Goldfish called Gary. (We also used to have a Comet called Cuthbert. Are you getting the theme here....?). We've also got a pond in the back garden with about 20 more fish.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed being introduced to our little menagerie!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Fab Friday

Yesterday was quite a fab friday! I heard back from a wedding dress shop where I'd enquired about a job as a sales assistant and they invited me for an interview. Then, half an hour later I got an email saying I'd sold one of my bracelets on Folksy!

I've listed a few more items in my Folsky shop and would love you to go check them out:

First of all is this Kyanite and Freshwater Pearl bracelet. Kyanite is a beautiful gemstone which is thought to help with calming the mind and so helping meditation. I love the depth of colour of these stones and think they are set off nicely by the pearls.

This set is great for a couple! One can wear the heart necklace, the other can have the keyring with the matching key.

Lastly is this cute pair! I think these are my favourite :) Like the last set, one can wear the girl necklace and the other partner can have the keyring. Once the boy and girl are brought together, they magnetically lock into a kiss!

I'm hoping to spend the rest of the afternoon (after I've put the washing on!) making more pieces and listing them, so please keep stopping by! Hope you all have a great weekend

Kate x

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Blog Probs

I have to be honest and say that Im finding having a blog a lot harder than I thought. I read a lot of other blogs that exist out there on the interwebs and I worry that whatever I write is not as interesting, funny or well written. So, it therefore ends up that I dont write anything at all. I do have a twitter account and send a few updates every day, from new things listed in the shop, to what I'm up to, to what's happening around me. So, why am I finding writing a blog so hard? Surely it's just like twitter, but without being constricted to 140 characters?

In other news, I'm really pleased with the two latest necklaces I've made and listed in my folksy shop (just click on the folksy link on the right to take a look!). They are in two parts, for sharing between a couple. One can wear the necklace, the other has the keyring. When the necklace and keyring are brought together they make the piece whole, similar to the 'Best Friends' necklace I'm sure most of you had when you were little and shared with a friend.

Still struggling with the caffeine restrictions. I've cut it down to a can every other day which is better, but still need to cut it out altogether. Why is it, that when I'm busy and out and about I'm usually OK without the caffeine, but when I have a day in the house I'm craving it as soon as I get up?! It's like when you have a lie in, you feel more tired - why is that??? Oh well, we soldier on - and today is my caffeine allowed day, so off now to indulge! Thanks for stopping by x

Tuesday, 18 August 2009


Last week the doc suggested I cut out all caffeine in my diet completely. Well I tried really, really hard (honest gov!) and lasted about 2 and a half days. That's terrible isnt it?! I went back to drinking diet coke and red bull just to get me through the day. Without caffeine I felt like my legs were made of lead and my eyelids just refused to stay open.

So, I saw the doc again yesterday who wasn't impressed I'd given up so easily. I felt like I was back at school getting told off by the headmaster. So, I've resolved to try again, but this time maybe take things a bit slower and not go gold turkey straight away.

I'm not holding out much hope :(

Anyone else out there got a caffeine addiction they'd care to share? Dont worry, I wont suggest you cut it out! Maybe just hearing about other people's coffee and cola intake will be enough to keep me going.....

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

First Sale!

Hi everyone,

Just had to stop by and let you all know I got my first online sale of my jewellery today! It feels amazing and Im really looking forward to sending my first customer her necklace. Here's to many more hopefully!


Monday, 10 August 2009

I finally have a blog!

Well, here it is at last, the blog of Kate Fife of Glamourpuss Jewellery!

Thanks for stopping by. I'm not sure myself yet as to what will be written here - so watch this space!