Thursday, 26 June 2008

And the awards go to...

Oh I do love my shed! I've been able to get so much done today while B has been at his childminder, far more than if I'd been working in the house with the distraction of the computer nearby! I've given myself a rule - I can do work on the computer first thing in the morning on Thursdays, but by 10.30am latest I must be working in the shed.

Today I've done lots of 'housekeeping' jobs such as print new business cards, making a couple of hundred headpins, making jumprings etc, and also made some earrings including these smokey quartz and angelite ones. I love smokey quartz, so it's a good job that the colour for this week is brown! I made a bracelet using smokey quartz yesterday but forgot to photograph it before sending it off for hallmarking, so you'll have to wait until next week for that one, sorry!

Anyway, on Sunday (I think - the week has gone so quickly!) Michele very kindly gave me a 'Sweet Home Blogger' for sharing Beauty, Love and Joy. I blushed when I saw what she'd written on her blog! After very careful thought, I have decided to pass the award onto the following 5 people:

Nicky of Sparkly Treasures - Nicky is my beading partner-in-crime! We only met in real life a year ago, but it really does seem as though I've known her for a lot longer. She lives close by so we meet up with our children regularly, have late into the night jewellery making sessions and help each other out when we run out of wire etc!

Laura Sparling - Laura is another Hampshire lass, though not for much longer :(. She makes the most amazingly intricate beads, as you already know if you are a) a fellow lampwork addict or b) have read earlier posts in my blog! Her beads definitely add beauty to the world, and her blog is always a good read.

Fiona of Fede - Fiona started the colour challenge I'm enjoying at the moment. I only found her blog a few weeks ago, but so much of what she writes stricks a cord with me as she's another mum juggling children and a crafting career. Her cushions are gorgeous, and her children's tool shaped rattles such a cool idea!

Anne of Contrariwise - Anne definitely adds beauty to the world with her gorgeous jewellery, and also with the fantastic newspaper clippings and photos that she posts on her blog. She's also very generous with her tips on having an Etsy and jewellery making.

Hannah of Kutuu - another very talented jewellery designer. Hannah's work is so stylish and beautifully crafted. She's also been very generous with her help when I was having problems with my website.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Here it is - proof that I can work in yellow when I put my mind to it! In hindsight the yellow week of the challenge has been very good for me as it's made me use beads in a different way than I would have before - I guess that was the whole idea though!

Here's the lampwork and citrine bracelet I finished at the weekend. The lampwork beads are by Clare Scott and I've had them for a little while now. They were always intended for a bracelet and matching pendant (on it's way!), but I would have put blue and green crystals with them if it wasn't for the colour challenge. I'm really pleased with how the pale yellow brings out the lighter tones in the glass.
I'm not sure whether the butterfly fits into last week or this though, as the hessonite garnet is a golden honey colour. Either way, they'll be on the site soon!

Daddy's work

After we'd put B to bed last night I told T what he'd been doing earlier that day...

B came into the kitchen as I was washing up (yes, I do try and do the housework as well as play in the shed!) wheeling his little play suitcase full of playdough behind him.

"I'm going to Daddy's work" he says

"Are you? Is that your bag for work?"

"Yes. I like Daddy's work"

"Well, have a good time. Do you know what Daddy does at work?"

"Yes. He makes bracelets"

T thought it was really sweet until that last part. Needless to say, he does not make bracelets or any other type of jewellery at work!

I finished the lampwork and citrine bracelet on Sunday, but I've only just been able to get a decent photo as first there was no sun (must get light studio lights set up properly) and then all the rechargable batteries for the camera were flat - typical! I'll post some photos tonight. I've also got to pass some awards on too - Michele (Hedgelands Glass Gems) gave me a lovely award on Sunday and I've been thinking of the five people I need to pass it onto. I think it's going to be an international award!

Saturday, 21 June 2008


I'm still here, and I have been working hard this week, promise! The problem is that until tonight none of my work used yellow at all, so I haven't done too well at the colour challenge so far. I've been busy sawing, filing, sanding and soldering in my lovely lovely shed, trying to get as many things done as possible to send of to be hallmarked. The assay office have a minimum charge, so to keep prices down as much as possible (which I'm sure you'd rather I do!) I want to send off as many pieces at one go as I can. The plan is to send off everything I've got by Tuesday so that it gets back to me in time to polish up to take to the Southampton City museum shop at the end of the following week. So far I've got a couple more cuffs, bangles, chain bracelets and a couple of pendants, but none in a fit state to be photographed - you'll just have to wait until they get back, sorry!

I think the closest I've got to yellow so far is this bracelet - one of the aquamarine beads is a creamy yellow I'm sure! I've kept the bracelet simple - beautiful aquamarine with my hammered silver rings.
Anyway, it's past my bedtime. I'll try and photograph the bracelet I've been working on tonight (lampwork and citrine) and show it to you tomorrow to prove that I really can work with yellow! in the meantime, go and see what Fiona's been making - she's had a very busy week!

Saturday, 14 June 2008

British Silver Week

It is currently the first ever British Silver week. It's been organised by the UK Assay offices together with organisations such as Cooksons, where I get most of my silver from, to highlight some of the latest jewellery and silverware designs.

To celebrate, I'm offering 10% off all jewellery on my site between now and 17th June - just enter the code 'Britain' at checkout!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


Sorry, did someone say something? No, still couldn't hear you properly. I think my ears are still ringing after seeing BON JOVI TONIGHT!!! They were great and Jon certain gets better with age. I'm sure my hearing will come back soon!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Blue Monday!

Well, the Colour Challenge has started! It actually helped me get a couple of pieces finished in good time for delivery to Between Dreams this afternoon.

I sat and designed the necklaces and did the wirework yesterday evening and finished them off this afternoon while B was having his nap. I'd made the base of the butterfly earlier last week as I've decided to keep a couple of bases for each of my butterflies and daisies in stock, and decided to add turquoise to it to keep with the theme - oh, and also because turquoise jewellery usually sells really well in the shop! The first necklace is amazonite, smoky quartz and freshwater pearls by the way.

I'm in the middle of getting my stock ready for the Southampton City Art Gallery shop too. The exhibition they've got on when my jewellery first goes into the shop has a water theme so blue should fit in there nicely too! I've realised though that I'm going to have to break away from the colour theme at the weekends as I've got a couple of commissions to do. I don't think it'll go down too well if I put the pieces off until I get to that colour in the challenge!

It's been really hot working in the shed this afternoon as the afternoon sun streams in through the door. I am definitely not complaining though as the forecasters say it'll be much cooler by the weekend. I think it was too hot for B though - he didn't have such a good nap as usual. Unfortunately it is not too hot for mosquitoes. My face looks like I've got the mumps on the left hand side, or as if I've just had my wisdom teeth out. A lovely friendly mozzie decided that they liked my cheek this afternoon and as I'm allergic to them I've swelled up nicely despite lots of anti-histamines. Oh well! It could have been worse - it could have been a wasp!

Sunday, 8 June 2008


These are the projects that I finished on Saturday - I meant to post this yesterday but yet again my 'to-do' list was much too long!

I am so pleased with the cuff in particular. I actually cut the daisies out a month ago and after filing, sanding and in the case of the cuff forging into shape, sent them off to Goldsmiths' to be hallmarked. It's taken me until now to finish sanding, buffing, giving them a satin finish and then polishing, partly because I've been moving into the shed and also because I had spent so long cutting the cuff out that I was a bit nervous of spoiling it!

I've used the same daisy shape for both pendant and cuff, but the cuff has got daisies overlapping to form a row. They'll be on the website later this evening, and watch out for a matching pair of earrings when I've rolled out some thinner silver sheet!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Colour Challenge

Browsing through the etsy while having my lunch I came across a list of blogs that had just been updated - including this one. Fiona is a mum and ex-graphic designer in Adelaide who makes beautiful cushions and really fun kids toys like these

Cute aren't they? Sometimes I wish B had a soft hammer!!

Anyway, Fiona's posted the following challenge and challenged others on etsy to do join in - and I thought it looked like fun!

"This week (starting Mon 9th June) I will be only sewing in BLUE. All creations will be posted (the good, the bad & the ugly) for your perusal and comment, and the winning designs will hit my Etsy store. Each subsequent week will have a colour assigned in this order.

I sometimes have to speak strictly to myself to use certain colours (I rarely use yellow or red!) so hopefully the challenge will get me thinking! I did do the Year of Jewelry challenge for the last quarter of last year and started it again in January, but the themes each week were so precise that it became a chore. This challenge is short enough that it won't become a chore and it'll hopefully get me to use some of the beautiful materials that I've been storing up! I've listed the others who have signed up to the challenge on the left so you can see what they get up to.

So, what have I been doing today apart from browsing other blogs? Well, T has been at work since very early this morning (alarm went off before 6 this morning which is horrendously early for us - we have a toodler who, thank God, doesn't wake up early!) so he could get to the park in the centre of Southampton and help set up for K2, a big youth event that is put on once a month during the summer here. B and I had pancakes (now a family tradition at weekends!) and then took Daddy his lunch before going to buy some new shoes. B is so proud of them as they've got diggers and wheels on them! I managed to get a couple of jewellery 'chores' done while he was having a nap (cutting jump rings for one) and finished a couple of projects too. I'll show you those tomorrow as it's definitely past my bedtime!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Raspberry and lime sorbet

I've just put together a treasury on etsy. It's here if you fancy a look. I hope you like the colour scheme - fresh colours for the lovely sunny day that we've had here! It's really worth having a look at etsy for presents or a treat for yourself. Everything is either hand crafted or some lovely vintage finds.

All Aboard!

It's been a busy week - as usual! B and I went to Toddler Twist on Monday morning, my parents came over on Tuesday, we went swimming on Wednesday morning, B went to his childminder on Thursday while I worked, and B had a friend over to play this morning. I definitely need his afternoon naps to catch up with the fun things like housework (oh, and jewellery of course!). Heaven knows what I'm going to do when he doesn't need a nap any more!!

B had a great time with my parents over on Tuesday. Dad was crawling around on the floor with him playing with his trains. They then got his play tools out and Dad was teaching him all the names - B came up to me with a very serious look on his face and told me that the tool he was holding was an adjustable spanner! This afternoon after his nap B has been combining his two new favourite pastimes by mending his trains with his wrench and drill. Do you think it would be child labour to put him to work on building a cupboard under the stairs?!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Moving Day

Yes, I have finally moved into the shed! I spent last Wednesday putting a final coat of paint inside while B had an extra day with his childminder, and then started the job of moving everything in from the spare room. By the evening everything was ready, and I started working in it on Thursday morning! It is fantastic having a space that is properly organised for silversmithing, with a soldering station permanently set up, and I love the fact that I can leave a project out on my desk ready for me to continue with it the next day. I've been able to get so much done over the last few days!

I've been working on a couple of commissions (can't show you these yet as they're going to be surprise presents) and also on some more projects for the next few jewellery workshops. The photos show another bracelet and also a pair of earrings for the Spirals Bracelet workshop coming up in a couple of weeks. Both of them will be added to the website tomorrow.
To celebrate the fact that I've finally got a proper workshop (okay, a shed!), I've got a special offer for you on jewellery workshop places. If you book 3 or more places on the workshops that I'm running this spring and summer then I will give you 10% off the workshop fees. To book places using this offer then please email me at to organise it as I can't yet get the website to work it out automatically! The offer runs until 12th June.


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