Saturday 7 December 2013

The Venerable Bead...

Last week I had a bit of a disaster. Not the sort that involves environmental catastrophe, television appeals or chuggers accosting you as you walk down Holborn, but the sort of disaster which puts me in a bit of a morning strop.

My favourite earrings broke.

Now you have to understand that these earrings had been given to me by my lovely friend Sarah who lives in darkest Norfolk. They meant a lot. So I was a little upset, especially as there wasn't a television appeal with popstars wringing their hands in anguish.


I decided that I would pick up some new fish-hook earring bases next time I was near John Lewis, fix them whilst we chatted at the next London West End WI craft evening. A simple plan. Whilst I was there though I saw some little packs of mixed purple beads and thought "Ooh, I like purple", not that you'd think that from my purple ink, notebook, cardy and tights from the other week. So, I bought both and then promptly didn't do the earring repairs as, well, we had a committee meeting to so no craft. Mostly because the craft part involved chatting over drinks...

The very next day...

Clare: Don't forget your ticket!
Me: Huh, ticket?... *blank face*
Clare: The choir Christmas concert...
Me: Oh...

I really am hopeless. I'm not sure how I'd not put the entry in my diary. If I'd realised I was going to be going out I probably wouldn't have been nearly all in black with a purple cardy. But that gave me an idea. Over lunch I picked the bag of shiny beads, chose a few suitably purple bits and... Made some earrings. As you do.

And I really liked them.

Actually, what I really liked was the immediacy, I wanted a little something and it had to colour match because otherwise the fashion police (let's call them Clare for the sake of argument) would have me executed if they didn't work.

Harsh but fair.

On Thursday I went a-wandering as I needed to get some fresh air and escape my desk. As I wobbled slightly on Cavendish Square I decided to pop in to John Lewis again as the shiny things would distract me. And I could always have a coffee. Somehow though I ended up in the shiny bits part of the haberdashery and picked up a range of interesting looking mixes. In a flash of inspiration I realised I could just make up something to wear if my earrings didn't match.

Why had I not thought of this before?

Well, to be fair it has been over thirty years since I last made any, if you ignore the day before, so it's hardly surprising. I also knew that it would make a nice distraction and if we're honest I really needed distraction and something to cheer me up...

So later that evening as I sat and chatted with my flatmate I started making up a new set. Of course she couldn't resist. Imagine if you will a kitten and a ball of wool. Yep, that's her with shiny things. And it was a lot of a giggle. In total we made six pairs, though rather inconsiderately she is wearing one of them so they don't appear in this picture. Tssk.

On Friday morning, buoyed by the success I tried some of the earrings with what I was wearing. They just didn't quite work. Which meant it was time to test the theory... And it works. In the time it takes for the
kettle to boil and tea to brew you can make something to match what you are wearing (terms and conditions apply).

Oh this is good...

So I thought, okay, that's all well and good, but what about necklaces? Oh... shiny chain! I couldn't try anything out as I had a) work and b) agreed to go out last night, but this morning I stood in the Contrary Kitchen and as my tea brewed... Well I'm sure you get the idea!

Now it's not just me that's getting all excited about the possibilities, which means we now have yet more interesting bits to make in to interesting shiny adornments. So in a very short period of time our supply of nice bits to make nice things with has grown quite quickly, even more quickly when I realised that there was a specialist bead place in Covent Garden. Oh yes. Actually beadgasm.

So I visited, I wandered, I found some fabulous bits and pieces and then wandered out to head off to the Apple Market in search of a bag. Not that I got there, at least not straight away. I was slightly distracted by my flatmate discussing chip options. And then I looked up and saw the most glorious coat in Base Fashions, yep, clothing for ladies of a larger size, which is me. I had to go and look more closely...

Fortunately I was saved from being utterly extravagant with a dress by a suggestion of chips at the Rock & Sole Plaice on Endell Street. Fortunately, as it turned out, the chips and fishcake are much better than the puns. Though I did get the coat.

It was calling me. Really.

Anyway. Food eaten, gossip exchanged with best friend and flatmate, it was time to head off and pick up a couple of suitable bags before heading home to write and maybe make a few things. I might have got the order wrong...

So now here I am, I've written up the LWEWI minutes, I've written this quick blog post, I haz winez, so now, finally, I can do something with pink and green beads.

To match my scarf.

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