Pat from Canvey's blog

Set of beads with crystal spacers

I've made a set of beads from dark purple glass, each with four very pale blue swirls and dashes of red. The plain smaller beads are also the very pale blue while they are separated by clear swarovzski crystals. The tiny bead caps are silver. I had thought to use larger Tibetan silver caps but after looking up the composition of Tibetan silver on the web, decided against on the grounds that the information was that this type of "Silver" more usually does not have any silver content at all. Indeed some of the cheaper caps have a large proportion of lead as their metal content.
The beads are what is called donut shaped rather than round and since they are made by hand, there is a slight variation in size according to how much glass is added to the mandrel during torching.


To be sung to " We three Kings" melody since I've just been looking at a book with cross stitch Christmas cards in it.

We three cats of Canvey are
Bearing leaves to take home to Ma
Nick and Bill and Nancy too oo oo
Scattering fur we go

Oh Oh
Cats of midnight black are we
To replace the kids you see
One so old he's turning brow ow own
Sleeping in Ma's armchair
I can't sit in my own armchairI can't sit in my own armchair

When it's sunny, when it's warm
On the trailer, but not in a storm
Never mind the dust and traffic noise
Sleeping the day away.

Latest lampwork beads and pendants

Not to be outdone, I've posted 11 pictures of my latest lampwork beads on
Here's a very simple one made from scrap window glass!
Clear glass with coilClear glass with coil
I won't bother you with the 100 or so other beads I've made in the last few weeks. As you can see, I like experimenting with the glass to produce one-off beads that are unique. There's something to be said for producing only one of a kind in any endeavour.

I've been beading again

I haven't posted pictures of beads I've made or of the seed beads for some time so here are a few now. I call these tentacle bracelets for obvious reasons. They look better on a wrist than flat being photographed.Original tentacle bracelet: I already has all these beads so didn't need to buy more for this experimentOriginal tentacle bracelet: I already has all these beads so didn't need to buy more for this experiment
The pink one was slightly different than expected. I did half of the second layer of tentacles with the red crystals and the other half small white discs.Pink tentacle braceletPink tentacle bracelet

One Sunny Morning

Every morning, I walk down to the shops to get DH's paper and a few groceries. If the weather is fine, like today, I come back via Canvey Lake where there is always something to see. Weekends, the fishermen are there, trying to catch the carp that inhabit the murky lake. They have to put them back after removing the hooks and the largest I've seen caught was about a foot long.
Last summer some Canada geese arrived to keep the ducks and swans company and must have liked the area because they've stayed and a few pairs have bred. One pair I counted 10 babies and another had six. The rest didn't seem to take the trouble to breed this year.

Visit to Reading

Last weekend, Edd came home for a visit and I decided to take him back home by car as he was taking more "stuff" back to his flat in Reading. I'd decided to stay overnight so took my sleeping bag and camp bed too so that I'd be rested for the 100 mile journey back home the following morning. After arriving there in the early afternoon, we went for a walk and I took some photos of Reading Abbey and Forbury Park. The Abbey's destruction started at the dissolution of the monasteries in about 1539. I believe that the lead was stripped from the roof and the fabric of the building allowed to deteriorate. Further information on the Abbey can be found on

Aged cat wins battle

For the last few months, a stray, I think, black and white fluffy Persian cat has been creeping into the kitchen at night in order to steal food from the dinner trays left out for my three black cats. The Persian was getting bolder and bolder, venturing into the lounge when it thought no one was around in the middle of the night and staying in the garden during the day sunning itself. Finally Nick, the eldest of my cats decided enough was enough and decided to fight it out. Nick is 15 in cat years which is about equivalent to 80 in human terms. He's arthritic, clingy, and likes to sit on me whenever I sit in my armchair. Nevertheless, they growled at each other and attacked, rolling around in a flowerbed. I rushed to Nick's aid and we both saw the Persian off the premises. A couple of days later, Matt noticed that an abscess had formed on Nick's head and proceeded to help it drain using kitchen towels. It's now healing but has left him with the mark in the centre of his forehead in the picture below:-

Another Necklace

I had a huge bag of matt clear seed beads bought at the Essex Bead Fair and a piece of fused and combed irregularly shaped glass that I was at a loss on what to do with it. Coupled with no projects on the go at the time, I decided to use the seed beads to make a twisted rope and the glass to use as a cabochon. I'd seen a similar idea of using seed beads to set up the cabochon in one of the beading magazines, but also Googled to find other instructions.The ones I eventually used were from an Article by Ann Brodrick published in the October 1998 issue of Lapidary Journal. The Article was reprinted at

Keeping busy

Over the last few months, I've started to learn the various seed bead stitches which can be used for all sorts of jewellery etc. Here are a few of my initial tries in following a pattern, whether it be a seed bead one or a cross stitch one I've used for seed beads. I've learnt a lot in the process, but here are some of the pieces, warts and all.

Ndebele necklace

I mentioned in one of my previous comments that I had a project on the go. Here it is. The main body of the necklace is of triangular bluish beds with a sheen and matte finish. It's a rope with wire threaded through to keep it from bunching. The chunky beads were deliberately made in an irregular shape but in graduated sizes because the pattern itself used polished chunks of semi-precious stone.

Ndebele necklace: Triangular seed beads with large chunky lampwork ones.Ndebele necklace: Triangular seed beads with large chunky lampwork ones.

The triangular seed beads felt a little odd to work with at first but the rope soon grew.

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