Monday, 28 February 2011

Handmade Monday

Wasn't able to take part last week, but am back participating in Handmade Monday over at 1st Unique Gifts. Please pop over to Wendy's blog and have a read of all the other blogs taking part and see some of the fabulous work that has been created this week :)

I've been pretty busy this week and not had much time for jewellery, however I did have a go at a couple of things that are not normally my style. I love working with sterling silver and gemstones, but thought I'd have a rummage through my stash again and try my hand at some different styles.

Firstly I made this lovely necklace using some old pink and metal beads I had lying around, finished off with some beautiful stripey ribbon I found. I've never used ribbon in a piece before and am very happy with the final look of the piece - will be lovely for spring/summer!

The second piece I made was a two strand bracelet with freshwater pearls and Czech beads. I love the rose clasp on this which I bought ages ago and completely forgot I had! I think this looks quite vintage and hopefully it'll sell :)

I've got a few projects on at the moment with commissions and restringing for a colleague, but hope to have some more pieces to show later in the week.

Also I today ordered the centre piece of my planned 50 follower giveaway competition which will soon be launched - keep your eyes peeled for more information coming soon :)

Thanks for reading x

Monday, 14 February 2011

Handmade Monday

Handmade Monday is a lovely way to share what handmade items fellow bloggers have been working on all week. Wendy at 1st Unique Gifts started this a few weeks ago, and since I have this Monday off work, thought I'd take part :)

I've tried something completely different this week and am quite chuffed with the result! I was online buying some silver chain for an order I have at work and discovered at check out that there was a minimum spend! Normally I click off and find another site to purchase from, but really whilst having a mooch found something that intrigued me - so bought it!

What do you think of my very first watch...

The watch face is the item I purchased, and I have used some sterling silver chain with Swarovski crystals added along it for the strap. It does up with a lobster clasp and sits beautifully on the wrist.

It does slip round the wrist occasionally, so will have to try and find a way to counter this in future, but if I move it just below my wrist so it slightly sits on my hand, it doesn't move at all :)

While you're over at 1st Unique Gifts, have a look at all the other blogs taking part and add them to your blog reading list if not done all ready!

By the way, I plan to do a 50 follower giveaway when I get to that magic number, so watch this space for an announcement shortly :)

Thanks for reading x

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Am so excited! Not been blogging very long, so feel very chuffed that I have been awarded the Stylish Blogger Award by the lovely Beadelicious Beads @ :) My very first award!! Thank you Louisa x

This is a fabulous way to find out about and explore some blogs you may never have come across before. I love reading all sorts of blogs, but many I found by rumaging through the links of blogs nominated for above such awards.

Here is how is works.....

Step 1 - Make a post linking back to the person who gave you the award - Done! Beadelicious Beads is a fab blog

Step 2 - Share 7 random things about yourself
Step 3 – Award 15 recently discovered bloggers with this award
Step 4 – Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won the award
So.... 7 random things about me
1. I hate camping! I have been several times and really tried to love it for my husband and daughter, but cannot stand bathroom facilites with open spider access!
2. I have 4 lovely and cuddley pets. Maysie the Springer Spaniel, Rosey the cat and Polly and Rory the fish (they are really my daughters!)
3. I love love LOVE reading and am currently a member of 3 book clubs.
4. I have been a very lucky girl and lived abroad in Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia for several years during my childhood :)
5. I cannot stand baked beans. I don't know what it is, but they really give me the creeps!!
6. Rugby is my favourite sport to watch.
7. Granny Smith apples are my favourite - Yum!
That was fun!
Right, now for my 15 blogs to pass this onto...
Whew! Now off to let all of the above know - happy reading x

Friday, 11 February 2011

Starting in Silver Clay

I've been a bit busy this week with a poorly daughter and have not had much chance to make any new pieces. So, I thought I'd show you come of the silver clay jewellery I have made this year.

Silver clay is an area I am really keen to get into as it allows complete creativity and originality - which I love! I have been very lucky to have been given a kiln, tools and assay office membership as presents - it's just the clay that I have to buy!

This is my most favourite piece of jewellery that I have made. It was made quite simply by rolling the clay over a template, cutting a circle shape and making a hole. Then sanded, fired, oxidised (I think that's the word) and polished! This was also my first ever attempt at silver clay!

I really do LOVE this piece :) Below is a pendant that I am very proud of. It is a silver holly leaf which was created by painting a holly leaf with silver clay paste. After several coats it gets fired, where the leaf burns away, leaving  a perfect imprint of the holly leaf in the silver - this needs a hole, but am too scared to drill it in case it falls apart!

The below pictures are a couple of smaller pendants. The one on the left is a heart shape with random circle patterns on top - quite simple really. The one on the right is a scalloped rectangle with silver clay syringed on top and flattened to create the pattern. This was also oxidised, but wouldn't go a dark black colour - instead it seems to have come out in these gorgeous coppery brown shades!

The last couple of pictures are a selection of things I've experimented with when using up smaller bits of clay I had left over. The round one is made from a button mold and I plan to attach this to a ring in the future - same with the double teardrop shape which I also think would look fab on a ring. the other two are a simple bead and hollow teardrop pendant - sooo shiny! The picture on the left are a couple of pendants, that I'm not that happy with, but they have been made and there's no going back once it's fired - someone might buy them one day!

Actually I do have one more picture - this is of a ring I made a couple of weeks ago. It's a bit rough round the edges, and took me several failed attempts to get the band to stay as one piece and fill in the join so it was stable - but I got there eventually! It's not really good enough to sell, but it is my first one, and I want to keep it lol!

Which is your favourite?

Thanks for reading x

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

How NOT to organise beads!

I've seen a few posts about lately on organisation and storage of beads and other crafty items. Well, I'd thought I'd show you some pictures of how I organise my Jewellery stash...

Not great is it! These are all my main beads, all organised into types/colours and popped in a grip seal bag, then thrown into a plastic box. It does get worse though...

 *Sigh* On the top is a matted collection of silver plated findings - in much need of sorting out! below is my tin of all things (beads and findings) that need taking apart; found on the floor or given to me - basically my miscellaneous selection!

I really want to be able to organise my beads so I can find things quicker, so any ideas would be much appreciated!

On the plus side however, after have gone through my stash tin I found some beautiful little flower, dragonfly and butterfly beads and I've made a cute little bracelet with them...

I think this is a bit of fun. The flower beads are made of metal sheet in lilac, purple and black and the dragonflies and butterflies are Tibetan silver. Not something I normally make but very sweet I think :)

Thanks for reading x

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Fimo Swirls

After a very generous present from my parents last year of a jewellery kiln, I have started to experiment with Silver Clay and hope to make a lot more of this in the future - however, as I'm sure many of you know, Silver Clay is very expensive and so in order to have a little practice I have been using Fimo instead!

Fimo is very versatile and with the aid of a pasta machine to make it paper thin, and a lot of rolling and cutting you can create some fantastic results, which once baked in the oven it becomes rock hard and is perfecting usable in jewellery making.

So here is one of my first attempts....

I made the bead last year with blue and white Fimo and thought the colours were so vivid that I ought to make something with it! I think it works well as a pendant - the Fimo bead is about 15mm wide, so is a good size and hangs lovely.

I plan to make some more Fimo beads soon, so will go into the process more in depth next time.

Couldn't get the photo to come out right though! The weather is miserable and so not much light, but not making any excuses it's a terrible picture!

Let me know what you think?

Thanks for reading x