Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Meet the Cats

I've been sorting through photos and have come across some lovely recent ones of the cats.
They're Bombays - little black panthers with golden eyes. They're just beautiful and have the most wonderful natures.

illy (aka Princess illy One Eye)is slightly older than Mojo at 5 1/2, and lost her eye to a nasty infection last year. She is a huge personality and manages all of our lives quite successfully. If you've been to visit the studio you have probably met her!

Mojo is a little more shy, though he will occasionally socialize with new people. He always has a lot to say and can jump from the ground onto the top of the rotary washing line. His nickname is "Gerald McBoing Boing" (Do you remember the children's story about the boy who could leap to amazing heights?), and he has been found on the very top of our neighbours kitchen cabinets. He thinks its hilarious, but we have trouble with some of his jokes!

Here he is coming home with a story to tell.

We often call them the Bumpy cats because they adore one another and often bump along together - they seem to love to touch one another as they wander along - they are very sweet!

If you are wondering about their names - they are named for coffee brands - the Toy Boy and I both love good black coffee!

This last one is The Princess asleep hidden in the folded sun umbrella.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meeting Laura-mae

Recently I've been lucky to have a young woman share her Fridays with me on a local high school Day Out Programme.

Laura-mae lives just down the road from us, and though we have met before, it has been a real pleasure spending time with her getting to know her.

She is 14 years old and loves jewellery and music, spending time in her weekends busking (playing her guitar and singing) and hanging out with her friends.

The Toy boy also has a young man from Laura-mae's year group spending time with him in the workshop - Jeremy is helping to assemble snails as I write.

Since our son grew up and left home, we find that we have had ever decreasing contact with young people, so this has been great fun for both of us!

We're off to the bead room this afternoon to assemble some lovely coral Swirl beads that came out of the kiln this morning.

TGIF everyone! - Generation gap here - Laura-mae just asked what TGIF mean, and for those who don't know...THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

After a Long Silence...

It's been ages since I've posted here - and ages since I have uploaded new work onto the website.
Excuses, excuses...we've been away doing lots of shows and fairs - our last one was to Hunters Garden Marlborough on the 7th November. It was a fabulous day out, but quite chilly with that good old east coast wind blowing through us rather than round us!
I've just been catching up with uploading some of the new pieces I've been making in the little studio time I have had
So here's a little taste...

Light Ivory "Spice" Pearls
I was thinking about pearls when I made these beads, but with a bit more character!

Peach Mango Round Spice Beads
I'm in love with this Peach Mango glass and have just discovered that it was a limited edition - and I only bought a pound! Neeedless to say, I'm squeezing out as much as I can possibly get out of this gorgeous glass.

True Red Small Round Spice Beads
I always love true red - the Italian Reds are wonderful - rich and full.

Earthy Colours on Black CanCans
This is a different one for me - I'm not usually good with "off" colours as they don't suit me, but this set looks wonderful on my friend Helen, who has dark hair and skin.

Chakra Lotus Flowers with Whole Colours and Crystals
I've been meaning to try this out for ages - making Lotus Flower beads in two shades of the same colour. This style has so much meaning for me, and I love the "rhythm" of making them. It's a bit like a meditation in itself.
So, it's back to the studio again for me - I have lots of ideas for Roses in different colours and styles - watch this space.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Culverden Fete Thursday 28th October

It's getting exciting...
Things are really busy here - both the Toy Boy and I have been very productive in our studios preparing for the Christmas Country Fete in Culverden next week.
It's always a gorgeous day out, with wonderful food, music and early Christmas shopping - I always manage to find something extra special for gift giving there.
So put the date on your diaries - Thursday 28th October, 10 am till 4 pm
I'm in Stand A57 and the Toy Boy is in Stand A56 with Golden Bay Toys, right next door.
Come and say "Hi" - and remember to bring your sunhat!
See you there!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Green Beads for Sonja

It's been nearly a fortnight since we got home from our big trip South, and I've really enjoyed being back in my studio. After three weeks away I was beginning to get withdrawal symptoms - I just can't take time away from the torch!

However, the trip was a really good chance to recharge out batteries and breathe a little fresh air - and VERY fresh some of it was, too!

I've had a lovely project on, making a green bead necklace for Sonja - a petite redhead with that perfect Irish complexion. Those of you who know me well will know how much I love all shades of green - I have green eyes and wear a lot of it myself.

The colour green is one of the major colours associated with the heart chakra, the colour of healing and love.

The beads for this necklace are quite small and I decided to make them all in transparent glass in a Swirl pattern, and the colours are these. It's a very simple style but very effective, working on the principle that "less is more" - something I can find hard to achieve sometimes! The beads are quite small, too, and the transparent glass makes the piece look light and dainty.
In between each glass bead I have put a tiny Swarovski Crystal bead in the colour Peridot, just to create a flow of green from bead to bead.

I'm rather pleased with it, and so is Sonja, thank goodness!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lemon Honey or Lemon Curd

I seem to be blogging about almost anything except beads at the moment, but I promised to give you this recipe ages ago, so here it is.

Lemon Honey
Glennys Raffils

75 g butter
1/3 cup lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rhind

Put butter, sugar, juice and rind into a little jug and cook on high (100%) for 1 – 2 mins (until sugar has dissolved). Mix and gradually add to egg mixture, stirring well. Return mixture to the jug and cook on medium (50%), stirring every minute until mixture thickens (3-5min). Mixture will thicken more as it cools.

Lemon Honey using left-over egg yolks

1 cup sugar
Juice of 3 lemons
100gm butter
1 egg
Grated rind of 1 lemon
3 egg yolks

Same method as above.

Lemon Curd
Annabel Langbein

340gm caster sugar
220gm butter
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
300ml lemon juice (about 6 juicy lemons, strained)
6 eggs beaten lightly with a whisk

Place sugar, butter, lemon zest and juice in a pot (use a double boiler if you don’t have a
thermometer). Heat over medium low heat till butter has melted. Take off heat and
strain eggs into mixture.
Return to heat with a thermometer attached and cook, stirring constantly, until
temperature reaches 75 deg C. If using a double boiler, cook until mixture thickens
enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove at once from heat and stir a little to prevent mixture overheating at base and egg
from curdling.
Pour into hot sterilized jars while still hot and seal with pop-top lids or store in a sealed
container in the fridge. Chilled, it will keep for many weeks.
Preserved it will keep indefinitely as long as seal is unbroken.
Makes just over 1 litre.

I made the complicated (Annabel Langbein) recipe a wee while ago, with all the fuss, complete with thermometer etc, and what a palaver it was! I ended up with so many dirty dishes and even put the mixture back in the pot to do it all over again as I wasn’t satisfied that it had set the first time. I have to say that it is absolutely fabulous though – the flavour is really tart, and I’ve used a dollop of it in the middle of muffins, made a Krummeltorte with it (a butter crumble cake), and mixed it with yoghurt and whipped cream for desserts – and there’s still a jar left.
There’s nothing like having a jar of Lemon Curd in the fridge to whip up something fabulous when the urge comes upon you!
Next time I will try the microwave recipe – it’s one which my sister has used often and swears by. I remember that she used to make lots of microwave jams in the days when her kids where at home, and they were jolly good.
I’m sure it’s not Weight Watchers approved, but a little of what we fancy does us good, they say, just focus on of all the Vitamin C in the lemons!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Travelling South

When we heard that the Dunkley's Great NZ Craft Show was cancelled we were all packed and ready to leave - in fact we delayed our leaving because we were so sure that it could not go ahead.
So we decided to come ahead anyway, if only to take time to visit with elderly family living in Christchurch. It was an amazing experience, and one I'm not keen to repeat anytime soon.
I checked on this amazing website (you may have to install Google Earth to see it), and found that they have had in excess of 500 (yes, that's right) aftershocks since Saturday's huge quake. The ground is moving all the time, and even in the short time that we were there I began to wonder if my head was spinning or if the world really was moving constantly. A lot of the shakes were quite frightening, even then.
We had a brief drive around the city checking on old haunts and it seems that one of our old homes in the suburb of Dallington has probably gone - a victim of liquifaction. We could not get close enough to be sure, and it felt rather ghoulish to be viewing other people's misfortune quite so closely.
Liquifaction is where the earth is shaken so vigorously that the silt and fine sand comes to the surface with any groundwater - rather like shaking a container of wet cement.

The quaint old shop where I had my first after school job has totally gone - it is the gap in the photo at the top - there are so many of these lovely old heritage buildings disappearing and being demolished before they can do any harm.
We had a little essential shopping to do while we were in the city and found that when we asked shop assistants how they were coping they almost broke down - the whole city is in a state of shock and grief.
It's hard to convey just how hard this vibrant place has been hit - the damage goes much further than the eye can see - literally!
It has been a relief to move further South and sit in this gorgeous little fishing village on the coast. How fortunate we are to be able to do this! I will tell you more about this over the coming days.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Due to the horrifying series of earthquakes in Christchurch, the Great NZ Craft Show in that city ONLY has been cancelled.
We will be in Dunedin and Invercargill, but will only visit Christchurch briefly to check on family and friends. I wish I could bring you all home with me!
Our love and prayers go to everyone in Christchurch.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Christchurch Earthquake

Even from this distance we are having trouble coming to terms with the devastating earthquake in our old home town. It seems that huge swathes of the old city have collapsed under an earthquake that is comparable with the Haiti quake.
It's hard to imagine, and a part of me wants to go there to see with my own eyes, and the other part of me never wants to see what's happened. Buildings that I walked past most days of my life at times and are so familiar that they are like old friends are not only gone, their remains are scattered and dismembered.
We are still making contact with friends and family and they are all OK apart from superficial damage, apart from one old and dear friend who has lost his home. It has been condemned.
So many people tell us that they ran for their lives - it's so hard to believe that there were no lives lost.
We are due to leave for the Dunkley's Great New Zealand Craft Show tomorrow, and can't quite believe that the show will go on...but we have had an email from the organisers to say that it's still happening. From what we hear in the news I'm expecting another email reversing that decision any time.
We live six and a half hours drive from Christchurch in Golden Bay, and were staying in Nelson on the night of the quake and still felt it quite strongly.
Our lovely old clock stopped at the time of the quake, as did the lovely old clock on the clock tower in Victoria Street in Christchurch. (Sorry - I've tried and tried to get a photo of this but you can find some amazing pictures here)

It reminded me of that poem by W H Auden "Stop the clocks...". Perhaps I'm being melodramatic?
Arohanui me kia kaha o te whanau o Te Waipounamu (Love and strength to family and friends in the South Island).
Apologies for the photo hiccups in this post - Blogger and I were having a disagreement!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Home Comforts

I've been feeling poorly with winter ills and chills, and there's nothing like a little home baking and a cuppa to make me feel better.

These are blueberry and lemon curd muffins - I love cooking (and eating :P) food almost as much as I love cooking glass!

I just made ordinary blueberry muffins and put a dollop of lemon curd in their middles...divine!

I made the lemon curd the other day in a double boiler as suggested in a recipe, but what a fuss! It took ages and even then I wasn't sure that it had set. Then my sister gave me a microwave recipe which she says is easy-peasy, so I'm going to try that next time. Fresh lemon curd is one of life's luxuries for me!

It's officially the first day of spring tomorrow...bring it on!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've Been Making Brooches

This week I've been making brooches.

They're terrible things to photograph as they want to lie sideways when they're just hung from a ribbon, but they actually sit really nicely when worn.
I'm really quite pleased with this lot - the Red Raku Hearts are so easy to wear - I pinned one on a favourite jacket some time ago, and there it has remained - I can wear it with any scarf or outfit - it just seems to fit in with all the clothes I wear. These ones are
Medium True Red Raku Heart Brooch and Small True Red Raku Heart Brooch

The Flow Beads are a nice mix of transparent and opaque glass - the little pink one has a lovely big swirl of transparent amethyst across it and the blue one is a nice mix of Sapphire and Periwinkle Blues.

And these ones are Small Pink Amethyst Round Flow Brooch and Large Sapphire Blue Flow Heart Brooch

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Half Price Tickets!

Would you like to have half price tickets to any of the next three Dunkley's Great New Zealand Craft Shows?

The Toy Boy and I will be exhibiting our work at the shows in Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill next month, and as exhibitors we are offered as many half price tickets as we would like.

The price is normally $8, but we can get them for you for $4!

Show dates and venues are...
Christchurch, Addington Raceway, Friday 10th to Sunday 12th September
Dunedin, Edgar Centre, Friday 17th to Sunday 19th September
Invercargill, Stadium Southland, Friday 24th to Sunday 26th September

10 - 5 daily.

Drop me an email to lesley at glitz dot co dot nz and I will order and post them to you before the shows - I'll even pay the postage!

I will let you know our site number once we know where we will be.

Don't miss out on a great show - there are just so many unique handmade goodies there - it;s a great place to do your Christmas shopping.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Feather Gift

Because I sit on my backside to work for most of the day I need to take lots of exercise, and lately my friend who lives nearby and I have been walking on the beach at dawn every morning.

It’s been lovely to see the lengthening of the days this way and we’ve really noticed recently that the mornings are much lighter. When we leave at 6.30 am the hills are just picked out by the first of the dawn light, but by the time we get home 45 minutes later it’s full daylight.

It’s a great way to see the day in, and we’re really energized when we get home.

As we were coming home this morning I almost stepped on a beautiful and perfect feather – I love to receive feathers from nature – I always feel as though they are a blessing.

In the book The Secret Language of Signs by Denise Linn feathers are said to be the connection between man and the supreme being, symbolizing the flight to spirit and to the heavens above. Maybe it’s that something is soft or “as light as a feather” or maybe I have “a feather in my cap”? Whatever it is, I love it and am grateful.

Now I need to see if I can discover what type of bird it came from – it’s such an unusual shape and colour.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Paua Shell Beads

I’ve just uploaded a whole new batch of Paua Shells beads to the website.

These beads were the result of an amazing day of alchemy in the studio – I’d been playing with two glass colours for a while, but as an experiment I tried adding a third glass – and – WOW!

I got this lovely opalescence which is different every time it occurs.

This happened a few months ago now, and I keep playing with the idea and each time the result is different – I have yet to discover exactly WHY this happens, I just know that it does, to varying degrees every time!

I reckon they look rather like paua shells on a beach.

If you're looking for them on the website they are
1. Large Paua Shells Heart
2. Medium Flat Round Paua Shells Bead and
3. Small Paua Shells Round Bead

I’ve been fascinated with the colours in Paua shells forever – they’re known as Abalone shells in some other parts of the world. The shells have layer on layer of transluscent colours - blues, greens, pinks and purples – although they can be quite thin, the shellfish has taken the minerals from the water it lives in and created the individual swirls and flows – so like an intense version of the water it lives in.

They hold special significance in spiritual rituals and are often used as a bowl or vessel in ceremonies such as smudging. I love to find them on my beach walks – I am a real magpie (I pick up shiny things), and rarely come home empty-handed from a walk.

My artist friend Kim shares this love and has created some amazing paintings using a paint layering technique which emulates the paua’s own layering. I am the very blessed recipient of a fabulous triptych – a work that is very hard to photograph, but one which I can look into for a long time and always see something different. It is one of my treasures!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Working with Silver

One of the things that I've been playing with over the past couple of weeks is a silverworking course here in Takaka with Duncan MacKay.

Our breif was to design and make a piece of jewellery of our choice, and Duncan would teach us the rudiments of metal smithing techniques practiced through the ages, including cutting, shaping, fusing, embossing, setting and cold fixing silver and or copper.

We could make our own ring, pendant, brooch or pair of earrings.

We were really lucky in that there were only four students, and Elvira, Mary Ann Nadia and I spent four mornings playing with Duncan's toys. And he has some pretty exciting toys to share...
My favourite...no surprises here...was the soldering torch! There's just something about playing with fire that I find irresistible!

But it's not easy - the way that solder jumps around in the flame is very disconcerting! And it runs everywhere!

I've discovered that metals also behave really uniquely in the flame - the copper in sterling silver comes to the surface, that metal anneals quite differently from glass and saw that the brass, copper and silver that Elvira used in her fabulous pendant reacted with one another to give unexpected results - rather like glass, but different.

I worked mostly in pure silver, which before it was worked was beautifully soft and "buttery", and has come up almost white in the finished piece.

One of the most amazing aspects of the course was that four of us, who chatted and looked through numerous books together, came up with such distinctly different designs.

Here is Elvira's pendant. She worked brass, copper and silver into this design and then bezel set an amber cabuchon in the centre. The designing and polishing of this piece was a joy to watch!

And this is Mary Ann's piece - she made a brooch in the letter "U" for her mother, Una. This was also an amazing piece to watch develop from stencils to finished. I just love the copper and silver Forget-Me-Nots.

Now here's Nadia's piece. She intends for this to be a wrist band, mounted on a leather strap, and the photos I took don't really do this lovely piece justice. I just love the way she framed this piece of paua (which she cut from the shell), in it's beautiful wavy frame.

And here's my piece. Its a brooch made in pure silver, and I've mounted glass (surprise, surprise!) droplets in the throat of the flower - with lots of help from Duncan!

So, thank you Duncan - that was such fun!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Spring is here!

Just this week there are lots of wonderful signs that spring is here!

There are spring bulbs flowering, the magnolias, camellias and daphne are out and there is a sprinkling of calves and lambs about.

It's a beautiful day here - a day to be glad that you're alive.

I've been very involved in "busy work" lately - the days have been jam-packed and every minute seems to be accounted for a week in advance, so I did a terrible thing!

I took the day off!!!

Today I've planted the Christmas lilies, done a little cleaning, played with my camera, read my book in the sunshine...and not much else.

I was supposed to be somewhere else today, but I decided that I needed a quiet day at home - and it has been bliss!

I think that days off like mine should be compulsory on a monthly basis, and I may launch a petition...

I hope that you've enjoyed your day as much as I've enjoyed mine.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ink Blue Flow Beads

I had another play with ink blue yesterday, and have just taken these wee ones out of the kiln.
There are four beads, and I've photographed both sides, because the effect is quite different on each.
I'm really pleased with these because they show the effect that colours have on each other - the pink ones seem much more "violet" to me, while the blue has a "lavender" effect. Isn't colour so subjective and wonderful?
On one of the beads I've created a tiny air bubble at the end of a flow of pink glass - your eyes are not deceiving you!
I am mulling over an article I heard on the radio yesterday about how we see colour differently when we are depressed. Doesn't that make sense to you? I certainly did to me! It adds another layer to the "onion" of my love of colour and chakras. If we feel unhappy and surround ourselves with bright colour, will that lighten our mood?
Instinctively I took a bright orange gerbera wrapped in purple and orange florists wrap to someone I know who is depressed this week. He lives in a world of pastels and restful colours - but I just knew that he needed a shot of vibrancy. I will be interested to visit him again today to see how he is feeling.
I sometimes listen to National Radio in my studio - the only non-commercial station we have available here. It's a habit I picked up from the Toy Boy, and I often find that it's like having an intelligent, if one-sided, conversation!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

So here is one of the things that has been keeping me busy over the past weeks - I have sent out an email newsletter to reward my loyal customers.

To qualify for the discount, you must first join my email newsletter group. You can do this easily from the website on the "News" page. Happy browsing!

My First Ever Sale and Newsletter

I have been as busy as a wee bee in my little studio this winter, and have been uploading lots of lovely new work onto my website.

As promised, I have included a promotion code in this newsletter for you to use to receive 20% off all items on the website (excluding postage).

If you enter BUYBEADS into the coupon code box then follow the prompts, you will receive 20% discount on any item on the site, excluding postage.

Yes, that’s right – until the end of July, if you go onto the website and order any item, then enter the promotion code as you checkout, you will receive a 20% discount.

This offer is only open to people who have given me their email address and have signed up for my newsletter, so if you tell your friends about this, they must first register their email address, which they can easily do via my website www.glitz.co.nz


I will run the occasional “Blog Only” promotions, so keep yours eyes peeled!


I took the beads up to the Dunkleys Great New Zealand Craft Show in New Plymouth over Queens Birthday Weekend in June and had a wonderful time there. Just loved New Plymouth – it’s one of New Zealand’s beauty spots, being right on the wonderful wild West Coast with its sea and surf and under Mount Taranaki. The mountain showed herself in all her glory on the very first morning of the show, so we all felt very privileged to be blessed by her.

I will do the South Island trip with Dunkley’s Craft Shows again in September. Look out for me at the

Christchurch Show at Addington Raceway September 10 – 12,
Dunedin Show at the Edgar Centre September 17 – 19, and the
Invercargill Show at Stadium Southland September 24 – 26

If you would like a discount coupon for your entry fee, please let me know and I’ll get one to you.

You can contact me via my contact details on the website www.glitz.co.nz

I am also booked in for the Thorndon Fair in Wellington on Sunday 5th December in my usual spot, though that feels quite a long way off right now.

Apart from that, I can be found on the Nelson Market every Saturday morning, which the lovely Sophie will run for me whenever I’m away.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Here They Are

OK - so here they are...not quite what I expected in some cases, but that's the way it is with glass - expect the unexpected!

From left to right
1. Olive Green Riverstones Bead
2. Ink Blue Lazy Daisies Bead - I had forgotten how hard it is to capture this colour on camera. This is the one with the Periwinkle Blue core - but it's almost invisible! It is a gorgeous colour - quite transparent - almost a royal purple. The centres of the daisies are raised and made with twisted cane. A pretty bead, but not the effect I was looking for.
3. This is a landscape bead - it's a local beach - Wharariki - where you walk a track through bush and farmland to a really expansive beach of huge pale gray sand dunes. There are enormous rock formations at the water's edge. I'm going to mount this one with silver wire scrollwork.
4. Small True Red Raku Heart - I love the way the glass frit (crushed glass) has spread on this one.
5. Small Aqua Flow Bead - I'm pleased with this one - the glass has really moved around and taken its own course. There's a good play of light through the transparent glass in this one - can you see it?
6. This is the other one I was quite excited about - I've used a very pale handmade opaque green, and love the way it has moved with the lime and bottle greens. There are little pools of transparency throughout the bead. I will play with this glass again.
7. Ink Blue Riverstones Bead - once again, it's hard to capture this colour with the camera - purples always go either darker or bluer for me - darker today. Any camera tips gratefully accepted :). Lots of lovely tranpsarency in this one too, which really highlights this gorgeous colour - a transparent royal purple.

So...there you go...that's most of an afternoon's play to get to this stage!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bead Love

I've just had a wonderful afternoon in the studio, making lovely large pendant beads.

I've been very involved in a few larger projects lately (more on this later), and I'm really enjoying making larger detailed beads again.

I've made a couple of "Flow" beads and a couple of "Riverstones" beads and a
Couple of red Raku Inclusion Hearts... I'm really quite excited to see what
comes out of the kiln tomorrow morning - I have made a green flow heart which I am really quite excited about, and the Riverstones beads are in Ink Blue which I haven't done before. One has a core of Periwinkle Blue which should be interesting. I'm fascinated to see what difference this makes to the Ink Blue colour...

Here is a round "Flow" bead and "Riverstones" bead which I prepared earlier :). They're on the website...

I will try to remember to take photos of the new beads for you when they come out.

It's experimenting like this that leads me to make discoveries which totally enthrall me!

Give me a few days and I will be ready to make sets of smaller beads again, but for now I'm as happy as a sandboy!

Now, I'm off to the kitchen to cook some gurnard (fish) for dinner - still cooking, just at a rather lower temperature and with different ingredients!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Very Brave Family

While I was in New Plymouth for the Dunkley's Great New Zealand Craft Show I was privileged to meet an amazing family.
Rory Gardiner was diagnosed with two cancerous brain tumors when he was 7 years old in March 2009, and since then he and his family have been fighting for his life. He is currently in remission, but will not be considered "safe" until March 2014.
Rory's mother, Leigh, has kept a faithful record of their journey on Rory's website.
During the course of his illness, Rory has amassed an amazing 800+ Beads of Courage!
I urge you to visit there and to read their incredible story.
So to Rory, Leigh, Sean and Sam, I salute you.
You are heroes!