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Showing posts from August, 2015

That Moment When...

Do you ever have one of those moments when realisation strikes and you cringe and groan as you wish you could hit undo and avoid the stupid thing you just did?  Please tell me it's not just me. Well I had one of those moments today.  Someone greeted me in the most friendly upbeat manner, asking me how I was and how life in the thrilling world of finance was going.  I smiled back, answered her questions, and asked her how she was.  All perfectly fine right?  There's just one catch.  I had absolutely no idea who she was. I'm pretty sure she wasn't just some random stranger toying with my brain.  She knew my name and what department I worked in.  So she must know me.  But why don't I know her? I've never been one of those people that's bad with names but remembers faces.  I can't remember either.  However, I do have that 'I know I know you' feeling when I see them.  I usually don't have a clue why I know them, but at least they are vaguely

Publication News

For a writer there is nothing more exciting than getting a piece of work accepted for publication. It’s a feeling that I don’t think I will ever get used to, or at least I hope I don’t. I love that sensation when you receive an email that says yes.  That thrill of excitement that has you jumping up and down, before you’ve even finished reading.  All you can hear is your heart pounding and your own gleeful shouts of: “They want to publish it.” I’m delighted to say I had one of those moments today. Kishboo magazine will be publishing my article; ‘If You Don’t Try’. The article follows my own nerve wracking, yet gratifying experience, of getting my novel reviewed by the Romantic Novelists Association as part of their New Writers Scheme.  The feedback I received filled me with a renewed determination and belief in my writing and inspired me to write the article.   The acceptance of my article for publication filled me with a desire to shout my news from the roof top

The Greenhouse

This weekend we decided to clean out Dad’s greenhouse.  For a self-confessed neat freak / non gardener like me, the question that springs to mind is why would anyone want to make a structure out of glass?  Seriously, it’s just gonna show the dirt! Okay, so I do actually get the purpose of a greenhouse.  I might not appreciate it when I have to clean it, but I do get it. We started by emptying all the plant pots, bags of compost, weed killer and grass seed that attempt to hide in this see-through storage room.  Actually no, I lie.  We started by finding me a pair of gloves to wear, after I picked up the first plant pot and discovered all the spiders, woodlice and slugs that were attached to it.  Ugh. Once the contents of his somewhat cluttered greenhouse was spread across the lawn, I started hosing down the inside of the greenhouse, while Dad rummaged through the collection of plant pots on the lawn to decide what he actually needed.  I’m still struggling to figure out how

Elaina James Jewellery

Visit my online shop at Etsy  Or view full product catalog below (and contact me to place an order): Earrings Necklaces Seasonal Jewellery & Accessories Wedding Jewellery & Gifts           Graduation Gifts Flag Jewellery & Accessories Skating Jewellery & Accessories               Ballet Shoe Jewellery & Accessories      Scarves                         Repair Kits

Tutorials - Air-Dry Clay

This tutorial provides a general introduction to using air-dry clay.  However, it is important to ensure that you follow the directions on the packet of whichever brand of clay you purchase. Air-dry clay is often available in a variety of colours, which can be used as they are, or blended together.  It is also available in white, often in larger blocks than the other colours, which can be painted using acrylic paint once it has dried. Air-dry clay can be used to create jewellery, accessories and even to decorate handmade cards.   Several of the earrings, necklaces, key chains and mobile phone charms available on Elaina James Jeweller have been made using either  Makins  or  Eberhard Faber  air-dry clays. To make your own clay mobile phone charm First decide what charm you would like to make, such as a flower, butterfly, Christmas tree or ice skate etc. and draw a picture the size that you want.  However, bear in mind that you will be cutting this design out of the cl

Tutorials - How to Open Jump Rings

The trick to opening jump ringsis to open the ring sideways, this is easier if you have two pairs of pliers and can grip the ring either side of the opening. Gently pull one side towards you whilst holding the other side still. Remember not to open the jump ring more than you need, as you don't want to distort the shape.

Tutorials - Simple Dropper Earrings

Materials 2 Headpins 2 Earwires 6 Coloured Beads 8 Seed Beads Tools Wire Cutters Round nose pliers Needle Files (optional) Instructions Thread the beads onto a headpin in the following order; seed bead, coloured bead, seed bead, coloured bead and then another seed bead. Hold the beads in place with your thumb and forefinger, and bend the headpin 90 degrees at the top of the beads. Leave 8mm of wire after the beads and then cut off the excess using the wire cutters. You can carefully file the rough edge of the wire using a needle file if you have one. Position the round nose pliers at the end of the wire and then, holding the beads in place between your thumb and forefinger, roll the wire away from you to form a loop. Use the round nose pliers to ensure that the loop is even and that the end of the wire is neatly tucked in against the top of the bead, so that there are no rough edges exposed. Use the round

Help & Advice - Cleaning & Care

There are many different theories on how to look after your jewellery, however not all methods are successful.  I therefore decided to share the tips and advice that I have picked up over the years and tell you the methods that I use myself (though I can not guarantee they will work for everyone). There are two main factors in caring for your jewellery: Storage: My top tip for storing earrings is to always remove the rubber stoppers, otherwise your earring may tarnish rather rapidly. Anti tarnish strips have been highly recommend to me and I have recently added then to my own jewellery box (though it is too soon to say how successful they will be).  If you do use anti tarnish strips make sure they don’t come into contact with your jewellery and that you change then every 3 to 6 months. Another tip is to store jewellery in an air tight, low humidity environment. And finally avoid storing jewellery in paper or cardboard, as apparently this can increase the rate of oxidatio

Dance of the Lawnmower

As it's a slightly early finish at the office on a Friday, my plan was to head on home and mow the lawns.  I know how to live it up on a Friday night don't I? However, when one of my colleagues informed me that the weather forecasters are predicting a monsoon on Thursday, I figured that I might want to move it up my schedule.  Soggy lawns tend not to be much fun to mow. So Wednesday night I unraveled the worlds longest extension cable, I dutifully located and tested the RCD adaptor and then began my ritualistic 'Dance of the lawnmower'. While my neighbours can manage to stroll up and down their lawns with ease as their cable stays obediently behind them, I twist, turn, shove and tug my way around the garden.  All the while battling an unruly cable which is always too taut, too loose, or often somehow wrapped around me (don't ask!). Nevertheless the end result is a short lawn.  Albeit with somewhat wonky lines and long edges. More relieved that it was over

Cloudy with a chance of disappointment

So there I was, all excited about the possibility of watching last nights meteor shower.  So much so that I actually remembered to look out of my window. Usually with this type of rare event, I head off to bed with a nagging feeling of having forgotten something, which typically remains a mystery to me until my colleagues are discussing it the next day. But this time was different.  This time I was going to join in the excited post event chatter in the morning.  That was the theory anyway. The reality was that I spent about an hour or so, repeatedly peeking through my curtains to peer up at a big expanse of nothingness.  No meteors, no stars, and not even an airplane penetrated the darkness, which given I live under a flight path was a pretty momentous event itself. I fear the only thing I achieved, aside from a sense of disappointment, was to end up looking like a nosy neighbour with my curtains twitching all night.

Is It Just Me? De-cluttering The Car For Its Service

So my little car went off for its annual visit to the garage yesterday.  Thankfully it came back without any unexpected additional costs, the ones I already knew about where quite high enough already . As part of the ritual for its annual service my car and I always embark on a major de-cluttering event the night before.  So there I was on Sunday night unearthing countless pairs of shoes from under the seats, retrieving missing sunglasses, note books and pens from each little hidey hole along with two window demisting cloths, and three scrappers.  Yep I said three.  Nope I have no idea why I need three, or to be quite honest how they got there.  I know this is England and scrapping the ice from the windows first thing in the morning is a winter tradition, but seriously just how much ice do I think we're going to have this year?  I collected everything up, along with the emergency bag I carry in the boot of my car, and plonked in the hallway. Well everything apart from the sho

Is It Just Me? Speaking Like Your Characters

Has anyone else started speaking like the characters they are writing about?  Or is it just me? Like most writers, the characters I write about seem so clear and close to me that they are practically real.  It seems that like my real friends, my characters can have an affect on me that lingers on even after I put my pen down. Having spent the last few months immersed in editing my first novel which is set in the old west, this very English writer found herself suffering a slight identify crisis this week. In the middle of a very serious discussion on one of my department’s year end accounts I found myself uttering the words ‘I reckon so’. I can honestly say I have never used that expression before, especially in the middle of a formal meeting. Whilst by itself it doesn’t sound too bad, added to the ‘ain’t’ I’d already caught myself saying, I can’t help what other words from my characters vocabulary I have also let slip. The only saving grace is that I haven’t yet acquired