For those of you with children, you’ll know that school’s almost out for summer! This last term has seemed particularly long and my little girl, AKA The Little Chick is really ready for some time at home with mum!
I’m going to be closing my Folksy and Etsy online shops for a short time during the summer holidays, starting yesterday the 17th July and re-opening on the 14th of August, so that I can spend some time with my daughter.
In the meantime, my handmade jewellery is still available to buy from these galleries and shops:
I’ll be updating my Facebook and Instagram pages during the holidays so please make sure to follow me as I’d love to keep in touch!
There’s some exciting new products I’ve been working on which I’m looking forward to sharing with you all later in September. There’ll be a sneak peek in my next newsletter, so don’t miss out and subscribe via the pop up form on my website.
Wishing you all a lovely summer, whatever you’re doing!
Last Saturday I attended a Wedding Fayre in my home village of Staplehurst. The fayre was organised by Donna from Bombalicious who makes gorgeous bath bombs and soaps that make perfect wedding favours!
Staplehurst has a beautiful Norman church and it was a lovely idea for the wedding fayre to be held there.
It was really inspiring to be in such a beautiful setting (which also happens to be the church we got married in!)
I make a range of freshwater pearl, Swarovski crystal and Sterling silver jewellery, all of which are suitable for bridal wear. I made sure to have available images of my previous commissions, as many of these pieces were personalised bridesmaid pendants. Please take a look at the commissions photo album on my Facebook page for ideas.
As well as my handmade silver and copper jewellery, there were a good variety of stalls, all selling different items and services essential to prospective brides (and grooms!) Most were local business too.
Everyone who knows me knows that I love roses. My love for these beautiful flowers borders on obsession! I just wish my garden was big enough to grow all the varieties which catch my eye.
We moved house a few years ago and were only able to take two of our rose bushes with us. One of them was the lovely Felicite – Perpetue. As its name suggests, it was bought for us as a gift to celebrate the happy times past and those yet to come. It was a lovely gift to give us hope during a really tough time. Of course, with this rose being so special, we just had to take it with us.
Felicite – Perpetue is a rambling rose, so is really robust and vigorous and once planted, was soon happily scrambling up a cherry tree in our new garden.
The rosebuds are a dark cerise pink and once they open, this pink fades to almost white. The blooms remind me of paint splattered ballerina’s tutus. The rich green foliage stays green all year round, so it’s a fantastic rose for covering an old unsightly shed or ugly tree stump.
I’ve recently made some recycled silver pendants with a vintage lace pattern and I wanted to find a suitable prop to photograph them with before I listed them in my Folksy and Etsy shops.
I have an antique handmade lace handkerchief that was given to me by grandmother and I was pleased with the results using this in my images. However, I felt I needed a flower or two to compliment the delicate prettiness of the lace pattern.
Fortunately, my Felicite – Perpetue was flowering at just the right time and I had lots of fun adding these gorgeous rose blooms to my photographs. Why not pop over to my Folksy shop and take a look at the finished results. I’d love to know what you think?
Leaves, recycled silver & lots of elbow grease! That’s what is involved in creating my eco silver leaf pattern pendants.
These pendants are one of my favourite things to make. They are always popular, as being simple and elegant they can be worn for a variety of occasions, if not everyday!
My leaf pattern pendants are handmade from Precious Metal Clay, a fantastic material which incorporates fine silver particles in a non-toxic binder. There are lots of different products available, I like to use Art Clay Silver which has a slower drying time and less shrinkage than other metal clay products I’ve tried.
Another reason I use Art Clay Silver is it’s a great eco-friendly product. It uses silver recycled from items such as circuit boards, dentistry and photographic processes and mixes them with an organic, non-toxic binder. This binder burns off when fired in a kiln (it can also be torch fired) to leave behind a piece of jewellery that is 99.9% pure silver.
First the clay is rolled and shaped (a bit like play dough), then I use a leaf from the garden (a skeleton leaf from craft shops works well too) to make an impression on the clay. I have a collection of clay cutters, which are a bit like miniature pastry cutters, to cut out the desired shape of the pendants. My favourites are the heart and teardrop and these always seem to be popular with my customers too!
I like to use a cocktail stick to make a hole for the pendant jump ring to go through, being very careful not to disturb the delicate design before it’s dried. Then comes the drying, which can be done at room temperature over twenty-four hours, or in a cool oven within an hour. There’s always drying instructions included in the Metal Clay packet and I’ve found oven drying to be the best and speediest method for me.
It’s important for the clay to be completely bone dry before it is fired in the kiln, as any residual moisture can cause the silver to crack. Any little imperfections can be sanded away at this stage, however this has to be done with extreme care as the dry clay will be very fragile! I’m afraid I’ve had a few casualties in the past, so have learnt the hard way to be very careful.
Following the instructions on my clay packet, I then fire my dry pendants in my table top kiln. This little kiln is one of my favourite tools as it’s so versatile and easy to use. I always look forward to hearing the timer ping and seeing what the pendants look like, once they are cooled down.
I like to burnish my fired pendants with a brass brush; this brings the fine silver to the surface and gives them a subdued, satin finish. I tidy up the edges and reverse side with polishing papers, this is where the elbow grease comes in! Then give them a quick spin in the tumble polisher too if they need it. All that’s left is to buff and shine with a silver cloth and then the finished pendants are ready to be boxed up awaiting their new homes.
I love wearing these pendants as they go with everything and suit every occasion, but are really special too. They are available to order from my Folksy Shop and Etsy Shop
Why not take a look and let me know what you think!
I love using semi – precious stones in my jewellery designs and today I’d like to share withyou one of my favourites:Labradorite!
This beautiful stone, with its flashes of green, blue and purple was first discovered on the East Coast of Canada in 1770. Historically, it has inspired legends and was believed to have healing powers, by the Inuit people of Labrador.
Labradorite belongs to the Feldspar group of minerals and is a relatively soft stone: 6-6.5 on the mohs scale, a specific scale to measure the hardness of precious and semi – precious stones.
Last week I updated my Etsy shop to use Etsy’s new look. I love the new flexibility to feature and highlight items and the great new shop banner! The opportunity to add photos of your workspace and making process is a really good addition too.
Oxidised silver & moonstone dangle earrings
Silver wire twist pendant
Eco silver heart pendant with leaf pattern
Silver beaded hoop earrings
Rainbow Fluorite bead necklace with silver bark pendant
Silver personalised pendant
Personalised copper butterfly pendants
I’m continuing to add products and it’s been really encouraging to get positive feedback from my followers.
Silver and labradorite drop earrings
The ever – popular silver wire twist pendant
To celebrate my new look Etsy shop, I’m running a flash sale:20% off everything in my Etsy shop until midnight, Wednesday 20/04.
Just use code ETSY20 at the checkout!
I hope you enjoy having a browse, please let me know what you think?
I just love Instagram! Taking photographs is one of my hobbies, so it’s a social media platform I really enjoy using.
During March, I took part in an Instagram challenge called #marchmeetthemaker. This was invented by illustrator @joannehawker and involved taking a photo a day with a set theme. The aim was to get to know the maker a little bit better, by offering a behind the scenes glimpse of everything involved in running a creative business.
I really enjoyed the challenge of showing my creative processes, whilst taking photos that blended in with the rest of my gallery.
Hello and welcome to my blog. I’m so glad you’re joining me on my adventures in handmade jewellery design. Writing about my craft, inspiration and my other passion, photography, is something I’ve been planning for some time…
I’m very happy that I now have a space to share my creative journey with you!
Please check back soon for more posts about what inspires me !