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07/11/2014 / katnewman

Poetical glassy addicts too!

We also played a ‘make up limericks’ game on my trunk show, some of them are rather good! Some people displayed limerick Anarchy which is always good to see, nobody needs to colour inside the lines all the time, do they? 😀

There once was a beader from Bucks

Who liked to go feed the ducks

She fell on the floor

But she aint there no more

Cos she went to the bead store!


There once was a total bead addict

Who could not fit in the attic

So she beaded in her room

Just waiting for her groom

And the 3 week honeymoon


There once was a kitty named Horace

Who lived in a deep, dark forest

Who because of her bead habit was the poorest

Until she was accosted by a tourist

And now she sells beads in a tux


There once was a crazy Beady Lady

Who everyone said was quite shady

So she stole from her sister named Sadie

And ran off in her new Mercedes


There once was a lady whose beads

Were feted from London to Leeds

Who did wonderful good deeds

While traipsing through weeds

She found a unicorn to feed


There once was a bead so impressive

The maker became quite obsessive

She gave up on sleep

Round her studio to creep

Quoth: ‘My precious, of you I’m possessive!’


There once was a doggy quite handsome

A burglar snatched him for ransom

An arm he did bite

And then won the fight

When he took off the hand and then some!

03/10/2017 / katnewman

I’m baaaack!!

Oh man, a year+ has gone by since my last post! Always life gets in the way.

Still looking after the elderly neighbour (2 posts back). She had her hip replacement eventually and then the knee went, so we’re waiting for that now, and as she can barely walk at all now we’re still running errands for her. The leg is bent at a 45 degree inwards as the knee has gone completely, and they tried to prescribe swimming lessons for her. Seriously?! The state of the nhs lately is frightening. We treat our animals better…

I got back into fishkeeping after a long absence – more on that another time but here’s my tropical set up.

I haven’t been on the torch since May, I spent alot of time doing mosaics for the Open Studios season in the summer, but now I’m back to resin which I played with during year 2 of silversmithing school. Fab little stud earrings in bright shapes and colours, loving it!

Just a selection in black there tho lol.

Am also still enjoying pottery and have started on the Christmas list today. Our family is a family of tea addicts so large mugs are always a winner! These are slab built as I have a recurring trapped nerve in the neck and can’t sit at the wheel much these days.

Am hoping that I manage to pick the right glaze to show off the decoration best! I find glazing so hit and miss.

I made this last week to hold all my fishtank ‘stuff’ – nets, tweezers, plant forks etc – and it’s gone through for first fire today so hopefully I’ll be able to glaze it in a couple of weeks. Also slab built and textured with a roller with an untextured area that I’ve decorated with this fish and bubbles design.

Until next time!

13/08/2016 / katnewman

The Red Hot Chilli Diary

I love chillies! They don’t love me so much but I love them, the colours you can get and the way they can transform just about any dish, even chocolate, is amazing.

I’ve grown them most years, to varying degrees of success but not really ventured past the standard varieties except for my beloved Hungarian Hot Wax, discovered in my first year of growing by an old friend.

A friend that I’ve known for 2 or 3 years now is a bit of a forrager chef like myself, but on a much grander scale – she has a bigger kitchen lol – and loves to make jams and chutneys and brews too. She makes a fabulous chilli jam every year and this year I vowed to try and make some for myself.

She also put me onto chilli vodka, which although not to my taste so much, is an absolute winner with my husband and so easy to do so an easy way to please my weary man on an evening without too much effort. I even went as far as drying out a big batch of chillis in my dehydrator for even easier use! I’ll share my recipes and methods over the course of the rest of the year.

So, I decided I was going to grow my beloved Hungarian Hot Wax chillis*


and ordered the seeds, plus some cayenne seeds and some for ‘Vampire’ chilli seeds. Black and red gothic toothy looking chillis, right up my street on the variation scale!!*


I planted the hungarians and the vampires but left the cayenne as mum and dad had planted up one of those big buckets worth and had a cajillion of them already so was happy to take some of those off their hands!!

You don’t get many seeds in the pacjets of specialist chillis so I had 7 hungarians and 6 vampires to plant. The vampires were rubbish, only 2 grew, but 5 out of 6 hungarians grew and I wrote to Suttons to complain and got a fresh packet of vampires for next year so alls well there.

The chillis from mum and dad when I eventually got them were leggy and half eaten by slugs. Not a good start all round!! So, off I toddle to the local garden centre for a couple more plants… yeah…about that. Never take husbands shopping…for anything… ‘have you seen this one, how about that one’ led to me walking out of there with not 2 or 3 but about 10 more chilli plants!! Of varying colours, sizes, strengths and varieties! They’re going to look fabulous all together.


Left to right:

(pots – Hungarian hot wax) Fuego:Romital : Santa fe Grande : Gusto Purple : Bhut Jolekia : Romital

So I now have 2 troughs of chillis plus 5 pots with the hungarians in. Placed up on my garden benches and reinforced from naughty puppies and protected by bi-nightly slug salting, they’re doing ok – despite next door’s cat knocking the whole lot over one night, strewing them all across the garden.


Left to right, Vampire (black leaves) and cayenne : Chenzo in the centre, more cayenne and on the right, basket of fire

To date, the first to bear fruit have been the gusto purple (actually purple!) and the chenzo (black) and I have a couple of santa fe grande (yellow) in the freezer not properly ripened but saved from the jaws of the slugs.


*images taken from the suttons seeds website

11/08/2016 / katnewman

Life is busy

A few weeks back I had a knock at the door, to tell me that my elderly neighbour had fallen in the street. She has no family in the country, and her friends are not local and also elderly. Being shy and liking to keep to myself, we’re friendly as neighbours but that’s about it.

Somehow, I and another neighbour (who is a good friend) have ended up taking care of her, popping in to check she’s still upright and to get her bits and bobs of shopping. We’re only human afterall and who wouldn’t? I’d love to think that there’s someone out there who would do this for me or one of my family should I be unable to. We’ve been taking her to appointments and stuff too.

So it turns out that the hip that gave way has no cartilage left, and hasn’t had for over a year – according to the xray she had over a year ago. And yet the doctors have had her on the waiting list for a year for a cortisone injection! She does have a habit of going off topic a lot so I do wonder if the Doctor she’s been seeing has got to the end of her allotted 10 minute appointment without getting to the point, and not actually achieving anything meaningful. So now, the hip is breaking down and she’s on the list for a replacement – nope, not fasttracked to make up for the ineptitudes of the past, but she’s on the list nonetheless!

She’s also waiting for a contact from the falls clinic to come and assess her house – they’ll pull up all her rugs which she won’t appreciate but at least they’ll put in stuff to help her like a second handrail on the stairs.

I’ve replaced her old fashioned telephone with a cordless one – that was a revelation to her – not having to pull herself up off the sofa to hobble to the phone, just having it next to her. All these things we take for granted! And she – despite protests – makes us tasty German potato salad to eat! Provided we remember to pick her up some potatoes that is!

So, what with all this going on and Annie and her long season, operation and now on constant surveillance because she won’t leave her stitches alone, it’s getting a bit busy Chez Newman!

10/08/2016 / katnewman

Long time no blog!

Shall we just gloss over the fact that I’ve neglected my poor blog for over a year? Lol. We’ll just leave that little elephant in the corner of the room shall we 😉

I find the notion of blogging still a little foreign, I’ve never been one for sharing my private life publically but it’s getting easier – and we’re back on the concerted effort trail so here goes! Quick catch-up?

It’s been a bit of a year. We added another puppy to the fur-family at the end of 2015. Her name is Annie.


Bringing up furbabies is hard work and seems to just eat away at your time and energy – I suspect it’s the same for actual 2 legged kids but have no reference LOL. She’s now almost 10 months old and a tiddler at just under 5kg. They have their own facebook fanpage called DexterlovesAnnie so that I can indulge my need to publish all the photos I want without the judgemental crew harping on about me posting too many photos on my feed.


Annie had an emergency-ish spay last week having been in season for 7 weeks and still not right, there was no infection in the bits they took out but there is still an infection in her plumbing somewhere so we’ll be back for antibiotics.

Dexter has become a handsome and loving boy, still nutso, but so good and loving with Annie, they do love to snuggle together, strong bond there.

Lampwork – well my style has evolved quite strongly into seascape beads – getting so big now that I call them seaquariums – and florals. I’m making a concerted effort to build all my own elements to go into the beads and am loving experimenting with different floral cane recipes, and building various different murine and twisties to make different sea elements including jellyfish. Really enjoying this, and have recently added implosions to the list, meaning that a seaquarium now takes a good hour to make!


You can see all my beads on my facebook page but also I have a 48 hour show on Artist’s Spotlight starting at 2pm BST on 11th August so please come along if you can.

So I’ll leave it there for now, more catchup soon!

07/03/2015 / katnewman

The fusing diaries – A simple slump

I have the extra small square mould from Warm Glass UK. It’s fairly deep so I am expecting this to not work first time.

Kiln wash – this is my first time with this stuff, its a bit daunting to use, what with all the health warnings and needing to wear big crazy masks so Ive been putting this off for a while! I have the bullseye primer and a haik brush. I’m mixing a bit into a glass jar. When mixed I applied two coats, letting it air dry for 24 hours inbetween each coat but this is just because I’m preparing in advance.

Ok so, d-day. I had prepped a tile previously with some murrini that I had made. I place the tile on the top of the mould and run the basic slumping schedule found on the warm glass site.

Ramp at 167 to 640 and hold for 10 (variable)
Ramp at full to 482 and hold for 60

Not slumped fully, this was expected. Slight creases in the sides where the tile appears to have caught on the sde of the mould. Makes me wonder if it would have all slumped inwards had it had a bit more time.

The kiln wash – I had conflicting information in my head. Need to scrape it all off and reapply, or it will go for a few more fires. Investigated, discovered I should have added 5 layers instead of 2, and that as I didn’t do a full fuse and didn’t go over 7?? It can be reused. So I paint on a few more layers and pop in thr kiln at 260 for 20 mins to dry.

Then I will re slump on the same schedule, but in future I will try holding the first phase of the program for 15 – 20 mins and see where that gets me!

07/03/2015 / katnewman

The fusing diaries – Coasters

So, I’m going to start listing my findings on here from my fusing experiments. Its a long and daunting process, reading up on firing schedules etc and getting your head around prigramming the kiln so this is as much  for me as for anyone else!
Most of my reference has come from Warm Glass UK and help from my friends over at Craft Pimp forum.

So, we start with a basic coaster. Chop up bits of glass, get some frit and murrine and anything else that you want to incorporate. Glue it all on with a suitable glass glue – I used glasstack.

When the glue is dry you can fire it in the kiln.

The schedule I used is

And this was the result.

I had used some kiln paper that was kindly given to me, but it was too coarse hence the uneven back. Also there were some areas not fully melted in, and the dicro across the top was not very visible so I scattered on some frit, and re fired on ? Paper just for the learning experience.

12/02/2015 / katnewman

New designs!!

Huzaaahhhhh, finally I can reveal the fabulous idea I’ve been working on the last few weeks!! As you know, I love kumihimo and am always looking to combine my lampwork with beautiful braids etc.

Its been a while since I brought out my end caps and pixie caps, made especially with an inner ‘step’ so that knots can be tied at the larger end that won’t pull through the smaller end.

This time, the imaginatively titled ‘End Beads’ are born! (If you have a better name for them I’m all ears lol!!)

These are sculpted glass, made on the end of a 5mm mandrel so the hole doesn’t pass all the way through. This way they can be glued on the ends – end beads, you see? 🙂

So, thoroughly tested, I have used them as ends for a torque bracelet and a torque necklace. These were made using 16 strand basic round braid in s-lon, around a hollow rubber lace/tube. When completed, memory wire is fed through the inner tube (in the case of the necklace, very slowly and carefully, using strong pliers) I have some of those scoubidou laces kicking about by craft box still, but you can get this on the internet fairly easily. Then the end beads are glued on.

I also made a lariat necklace using 1mm rattail in an 8 strand round braid and glued the ends on.

Please note that superglue should never new used on glass, so if you buy some of these from me to try, my recommendation is a 2 part epoxy, or E6000.

So, I should show you my pieces shouldn’t I!! I’m so pleased with them 🙂


There are a few designs available in my shop, please visit memenu

And if you do have a go, be sure to come back and show me! Find me on Facebook at and send me a picture!!

Enjoy 🙂

03/02/2015 / katnewman

A new furbaby!

You may be wondering where I’ve been recently? No?! Harsh!! I know you missed me really !

Anyway,  as the title suggests there’s a new kid in town and he’s taking all my attention! Meet Dexter, my 8 week old Jack Russel pup 🙂


Ain’t he just the cutest?!

Well yeah, most of the time he is! ! Smells and bitey puppy rage aside 😕

He has settled in fabulously, sleeps through the night with no wining and is so cuddly:)


His favourite toy is currently my sock…


So, I will be back in the studio soon, but I am a little distracted right now!

Getting a new pet after having lost one as special as Harry was a hard decision but as he’s laid in my arms wimpering cos he’s chasing wabbits in his sleep, I know he’s got our hearts wrapped firmly round his little waggy tail 💜

17/01/2015 / katnewman

52 things, week 3

For the kiddies at BOC



And for the Craft Pimp challenge,  my cabochon


13/01/2015 / katnewman

52 things, week 2

As explained in week 1’s post, I am doing 2 52 things challenges. Firstly the beads of courage one – and here’s this week’s minion bead


And here’s this weeks cabochon


Until next week!