Saturday, 30 August 2008
Now that we've decided where the furniture goes I'm going to test my (appalling) painting skills and stencil some cars and trains on the walls. I'm sure I'll let you know how it goes!
Anyway, something more business related, Monday is the 2nd anniversary of me registering as self-employed and officially setting Daisychain Designs up, so look out for a few new things and a special offer!
Thursday, 28 August 2008
I've already made a couple of these for my mum to give as christening presents for her friend's grandchildren, so I obviously had to make another one when the third child was born! It's a simple accordian album with little pockets behind the photomats for tags for journalling. I've cut out titles for each page, and packaged up some embellishments too. I know that the children's mum liked the first two albums, so I hope she enjoys filling this one up too.
It made a nice change cutting paper and cardstock rather than silver today. I don't think that I'll ever spend as much time as I once did on papercrafts, but you never know, I may finish the scrapbook I've started for B's first year before he starts school!
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
I had been told that it was better to make a mould of B's finger print and then use that to make an impression into the art clay as that would give a better impression, so I mixed up some two-part moulding compound. B loves playing with play dough, so you'd think that getting him to press an index finger into the moulding compound before it set would be no trouble at all, but it took a few attempts! I then used fimo to make a 'finger' that I could bake and then press into the art clay. It's not that that clear in the photo, but I also scratched B's name and the date into the back of the dried cufflinks before I fired them. The finished cufflinks were lightly oxidised to make the fingerprints easier to see. Thankfully T did like them alot after all that work!
By the way, the cufflinks that I posted on Friday are finally on the website here!
Friday, 22 August 2008
So, the category has been renamed 'For Him' and these are the first items going in. Each cufflink has been made using silver art clay, so the front design is fine silver while the chain and bar on each is sterling silver. I love the feel of finished silver art clay - it is so tactile. I've lightly oxidised them to give an antique effect and given them a satin finish, but I'm also going to make some that aren't oxidised.
I have a confession to make though - these aren't the first I've made, just the first I've actually photographed and shown you! The first pairs I made were for T and my Dad for Father's Day. I've made some for Spice Art Studios too, and just finished a couple of commission ones, but I can't show you those yet! I'll photograph T's to show you tomorrow as I'm really pleased with them!
P.S. It was my neighbour's funeral today - it went as well as these things ever can. There was a lovely turn out, and I'd say about a third of the households in the street were represented - a lot in this day and age. All this has definitely made me want to get to know my neighbours better. You can't predict what your neighbours are going to be like when you move into a new house, and we have definintely been lucky with ours.
P.P.S. I haven't been able to post since Monday. To cut a long story short I'd tried out a new comments box that blogger had come up with, but I didn't like the look of it in the end. I couldn't upload the backed up original of my template that I had thankfully remembered to save until I remembered older versions of IE sometimes work better with blogger templates than the latest, so uploaded the backed up template through that - and here I am! Maybe now I'll learn not to mess around with my template - maybe!
Monday, 18 August 2008
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Friday, 15 August 2008
Anyway, the reminder first...this weekend is the annual Royal Victoria Country Park Hobbies Festival. It’s a great day (or two!) out with lots of hobbies and crafts being demonstrated and opportunity for you to have a go at many of them too. I will be demonstrating jewellery making and will also be exhibiting my jewellery, so come along if you fancy seeing my work, including many of the jewellery workshop projects, in real life. More details can be found here on their website and the Festival starts at 11am each day. I was there setting up this afternoon and it was looking busy already with childrens activities including crazy golf and small fair ground-type rides being set up and other demonstrators getting organised. If you're in the area and haven't been to the Park before it's well worth a visit - B loves the miniature railway there - well, he loves all trains!
As usual at the craft shows that I do, if you spend £30 or more on jewellery on my stall and mention my blog I’ll give you 10% off. Remember, too, that by putting the code ‘daisy’ into the relevant box at checkout on my website that you get 10% off your first jewellery order of £30 or more. Well, I have to be fair to those who live to far away to come to a show, don’t I? Please feel free to pass the offers onto friends and family.
Okay, non-jewellery news now...
The unexpected horrible news happened yesterday. One of our neighbours died very suddenly. Wednesday afternoon he was getting the caravan ready to go on holiday with his wife first thing on Thursday morning. He and I did the usual British thing of joking about the British summer weather, and he said it looked like he would be taking the bad weather away with them according to the weather reports. Thursday morning he collapsed and died of an aneurysm. I saw his son and daughter trying to put the caravan away after I came back from taking B to his childminder (Thursday is my work day) so went out to give them a hand and asked if everything was okay, and they told me what had happened. We must have missed the ambulance coming up the road when we were getting B up, but no one else in the road knew that he had died, not even those who had come out to offer help when they saw the ambulance. I offered to let people know as we're a fairly close-knit street (as streets go these days!). We've only got 30 houses in a cul-de-sac, so most people know each other, pop round for coffee, stand in the street chatting, take in parcels for each other, that kind of thing. We're lucky in that. There were two general reactions from everyone - complete disbelief as he was one of those people who was never ever ill, who you assumed would live until he was 90 (he was mid 60s at most), and most people said "but I only spoke to him/waved hello yesterday afternoon". I found that second bit really heartening. His family are keeping busy, and I suppose all that we as neighbours can do is keep an eye on his wife (his children are grown up but live in the area), and try and make sure that she knows that we're there for her while trying not to intrude at the same time. Life is really sh*t sometimes. Sorry, I'm not being my usual cheerfully blogging self at the moment, but hey, it's my blog and I made the decision from the start to not make this just about my business. If you read to the end - thanks for putting up with it!
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
They were designed by Kerrie Slade, a seed beader who has had several projects published this year in both UK and US magazines. She originally designed them to raise money for the hospital where her mum received breast cancer treatment, but she's now made the pattern available to everyone. She says on her blog:
I would like to encourage as many people as possible to get on board with this project and to make these pins in any colour they wish to represent the causes closest to their hearts. I am happy for people to donate them, raffle them, sell them to raise money for the charity of their choice - whatever, so long as the money goes to charity. I am hoping that this could actually be a lot of fun and a great way to raise money for local hospitals, hospices, education and support around the world.
The pattern is available here. All funds raised by the sale of the pattern until the end of September will go to cancer charities. Kerry has given permission for anyone to use the pattern to sell pins, but only in order to raise money for whatever charity they wish. There is also a second part to the fundraising - the opportunity to win the two pins in the picture.
Visit Kerrie's blog (http://www.kerrieslade.blogspot.com/) for more details!
Sunday, 10 August 2008
Anyway, I'm really pleased with Papillion. It was one of the rare pieces that I had sketched out and made exactly as I'd sketched it. More often than not, the pieces I make insist that I adapt my designs as I'm working - yes, silver and beads do talk to you as you work with them! Didn't you know?! I cut both layers of the butterfly from sterling silver sheet, hammered the bottom layer to give a line texture, soldered the layers together and finally oxidised the pieces to highlight the texture. You'll find Poppy here and Papillion here. Poppy is obviously unique due to the beautiful bead, and Papillion is part of my Limited Edition collection.
By the way, I've made a few changes to the website menus as it was all getting a bit cluttered. I haven't removed any information, but some links have been moved from the menu on the left to the bottom of the page, and some pages (the jewellery party ones and the jewellery information ones i.e. the ones about the materials I use) have been made into one page. I think the website looks a lot neater and easier to find your way around - I hope you'll agree!
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Well, I've painted the spare room and sorted everything out in there enough for T's Dad to sleep in this weekend, so that was one goal met this week! Now I just need to sort out the rest of my papercrafting bits and pieces and move B's things in there. I think I'm going to have to ask my parents to look after B for the day or at least wait until T has a day off (he's due a few) so that I can move everything around without trying to entertain B at the same time. This is not exactly something that I can do while he's having a nap!
Anyway, despite the almost wintery weather here I've been able to take some photos, and the ones here are of the necklaces I mentioned here on Wednesday, the ones made with Mindy Macgregor's beautiful beads. The first designs that I had sketched out for the ivory and black bead used patterned silver discs (I was going to make some myself using a disc cutter and my lovely rolling mill - more about those 2 tools to come next week!), but I realised that using that much silver took the focus away from the bead, and I really didn't want to do that. So, I re-visited and adapted a design that I came up with years ago before I started using much silver. I put the bead together with Swarovski crystals and hung it from 2 strands of seed beads and one strand of silver chain. I like how this one turned out so much that I decided to use the same idea for the red and blue poppy bead.
It was only when I started editing the photos of the necklaces that I realised why the seed bead/silver chain combination looked more familiar that a years-old design usually would - have a look at these gorgeous bracelets by US lampwork artist Kerry Bogert. If you stay for a read you'll see that she's made several different colours and adapted the idea into necklaces too. Her blog Kab's Creative Concepts is one that I read nearly every day, and I guess that more stayed in my subconcious than I realised! Oh well! Kerry, if you ever read this I really hope you don't mind!
"Ivory" was sold the day after it was made - a friend was over when the post arrived one day and I unwrapped the beads and made me promise to show her what ever I made with it before I showed anyone else and she bought it! "Poppy" will be on the website tomorrow.
There are some great interviews and some really lovely pictures to feast your eyes on. I definitely recommend a visit or two - or several visits as you'll keep finding more and more delicious handcrafted goodies!
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
So, this week I've been sorting out the spare room. This is the room that used to be my workroom, and since moving into the shed the room has been a bit of a mess. It's got the rest of my craft stuff (mainly paper craft things that I just don't have time for any more) and also several items that appear to have been dumped in there - you know what happens when you've got a spare room - stuff just accumulates there! The plan is that this room will becomes B's, and I was rushing to get it done so that B could move in there in time for T's Dad to be able to sleep in B's old room this weekend. In the spirit of givning myself a break, though, I've decided to just paint it and tidy it so that T's Dad can sleep in there, and then B can move in there when it's done properly.
All that was a long winded explanation of why I hadn't posted yet this week - sorry! I have managed to squeeze in some jewellery making though. I've made some lovely (well, I think they're lovely!) necklaces using Mindy Macgregor's beautiful beads. Actually, I can't be the only one who thinks they're lovely as one has sold even before I've had a chance to put it on the site properly. I've also been making lots of bangles as commissions. I love making bangles! My favourite bit is when I hammer them around my bracelet mandrel after I've soldered them as they don't just look like strange silver shapes then! I've also been working on a couple of other things, so I'm going to stop now, get some sleep, and take some photos for you tomorrow.