Getting knotted

Arctic fox

Arctic Fox necklace and bracelet

As I’ve been learning about ancient textile crafts as part of my volunteering work at Stonehenge, I’ve really caught the knotting, weaving and braiding bug these past few months. I love creating braids, knots and jewellery pieces using a range of different pendants, charms and cord colours and now I’ve made so many I need to start selling them or the house will just fill up with them! So I’ve started a shop on the Etsy website and yesterday I did my first ever craft fair as a seller rather than a buyer; the first craft fair of the season at Marlborough Town Hall in Wiltshire. I’ve loved going to craft fairs all my life, but never had a go at being on the other side of the tables. I loved it, and sold my first pieces which is really exciting. The very first piece to go was the Arctic Fox necklace and bracelet set in the picture on the left. I found these cute little glass fox pendants on the web and bought them from an outlet in China, and have had great fun creating necklaces with different knots and colours.

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Polished ammonite with copper fastenings

It’s a lovely feeling to design and create something that people like and want to buy. At my day job in education I design and support courses on which students register, and I love it and find it very rewarding. But it is a bit distant, in comparison to designing and creating a physical ‘thing’. I love the whole process of design and creation, and especially getting ideas from a wide range of inspirations and then thinking about how ancient and traditional knot designs can create a modern piece of jewellery. For example, the ammonite necklace in the picture on the right came about after a visit to Salisbury Museum whilst browsing about in the museum shop. These beautiful real polished ammonites were on sale, and gave me all sorts of ideas. The little girl who bought this necklace yesterday seemed really delighted with it, which just made my day 🙂

I think I’ve caught the craft fair bug too now, after a great day yesterday meeting really talented and friendly people on the stalls. There’s a great feeling of camaraderie and support, which made the whole experience such a pleasure. And so lovely to see so much talent on display. I’m looking at where to go to my next fair in the summer (I have to build up the stocks in my ‘spare time’ – what’s that?) and I’ll post where I’m going, and reports on how they went, here on the blog. I’m just having so much fun with this 🙂

Author Interview: E.J. Kay

neverimitate

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Although Liz has been my next door neighbour for quite a number of years, I only discovered that she was a published author when she offered me a copy of her first novel, Watermark, for my Book Group to read in 2012. If you like a good murder mystery then go buy this book now, I couldn’t put it down.

As well as her day job (Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of the West of England) Liz is currently working on her second novel, provisionally titled ‘The Salt Man’. As a novice writer I am always intrigued to learn more about those who have succeeded in the craft and was therefore delighted when Liz agreed to this interview.

Please welcome to neverimitate, E.J. Kay.

Where do you typically write?

For me, writing fiction is a two-part process. First there is getting down the ideas…

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Life is what you make it

hot duckWell, there’s nothing like starting a new blog with an old cliché. But it is true. I’m making a serious start on my second book, following my debut novel  Watermark , and today has been a research day. I’ve really enjoyed it, but here are 2 ways of looking at it.

SO, it started out wet and grey. I went to the Roman Baths in Bath (U.K.) and it was very busy and difficult to take any time to look at the exhibits sometimes. When parking in the car park I dropped the little token and it rolled underneath the runners of the driver’s seat and I couldn’t get it out! The sun only came out at tea time, and then only for about an hour.

OR, the car park attendant was really helpful and the lost token was no problem really. It’s great to see so many people getting so much out of a visit to the Roman Baths, and the mix of languages you hear is marvellous. The duck in this picture had found a lovely warm spot right by the hot water inlet from the spring to the Great Bath, and was dozing happily. The sun came out at exactly the right time and I had a lovely meal on the terrace of the hotel I’m staying in.

I know which version I prefer, and that’s the one I’ve chosen. I had a great day!