Monday 31 December 2012

AJE component of the month - Wisdom

It's time to show you what I've made with the AJE component of the month. With everything else that December brings I only just met the deadline for this one! I planned out what I wanted to make with Jenny Davies-Reazor's lovely ceramic labyrinth pendant a couple of weeks ago with the idea that I would bring everything up with me to the inlaws this weekend and make it up here. But you should know me by now - it's very rare that my jewellery designs stick to the original plan! I'd packed everything I thought I'd need to make a long necklace, and as you can see I ended up with a bracelet!

(not my best photos I'm afraid as I've had to take the photos on my iPhone in my inlaws garden!)

Jenny chose a labyrinth symbol for her component as, in her words, "As they are a path to the center, your center, your self...they can provide insight and at times inspiration", and so appropriate for the New Year when we try to have a fresh start. You can read more of what she wrote about labyrinths here. I always remember the labyrinth at the centre of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, so I thought that one of my owl clasps would be appropriate as owls as the sacred symbol of the Greek goddess Athena, the goddess of learning, and a symbol of wisdom. I've also used palm wood beads from Smitten Beads and made some lengths of chain from hammered sterling silver rings. I think I might still tweak the bracelet a little as at the moment I think it's a little too big and I need to replace the last bead with a jump ring or two. Just taking the bead out would make it too small, but of course as I was originally going to make a necklace I didn't bring any jump rings with me!

You can see what the rest of the Art Jewelry Elements blog team made with Jenny's pendants through here. We're off to Wales to spend New Year's Eve with good friends so I'll be back again in 2013! I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve wherever you are!


Friday 28 December 2012

Thank you!

Thank you to all of you who have helped to make 2012 such a fantastic year for Daisychain Designs!

I've just celebrate 700 sales in my Daisychain Extra supplies shop, I've been kept busy with my Golden and Bloom collections on my Daisychain Jewellery website and I've been delighted with how popular my private jewellery tuition and workshops have been. There are still a couple of places left for private tuition in the first couple of months of 2013, and details of the next group workshops will be available soon.

To say thank you, I have a sale on my Daisychain Jewellery website and Daisychain Extra and Daisychain Jewellery etsy shops. A 15% discount has already been applied to my website, and to get the same discount in my Etsy shops use the code "HAPPYHOLIDAYS" at checkout. You may have noticed that I've made a few changes to my website, and my one-off designs and jewellery supplies are now on Etsy while my website is kept for made-to-order designs and jewellery tuition bookings, but all three of my shops can be accessed from the front page of my website.

I will be taking some of my more wintery items, such as the owl clasps, out of stock at the end of the sale, although I expect I'll bring them back again next autumn, so grab them while you can! 

Monday 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

The mince pies, glass of milk and carrots are out for Father Christmas and Rudolph. The boys are (finally!) fast asleep, the presents are wrapped, the table laid for tomorrow - oh, and I've had a stinking cold since the end of term! We're spending the day with my parents and my brother and his girlfriend, where we'll probably spend most of the day helping the boys put their presents together and play silly games. 

I hope that you all have a wonderful day wherever you are!

Monday 17 December 2012

Phew! Nearly there!

I'm not going to do the usual "where has the time gone" thing. This is a manic time of year, something that I'm finally getting used to! With jewellery and jewellery supply orders (thank you very much everyone!), craft shows, teaching - and of course two boys with birthdays either side of Christmas* - life has been very busy. I'm nearly there though. I finally finished my Christmas shopping today, I've just got a few more made-to-order pieces to polish and post, I've taught my last session of the year, and my last craft show was on Saturday.

I decided to change my craft show displays this year. I've made a few changes over the last couple of years - new table cloths that don't need ironing for example! - but this year I decided to do something to raise the displays up. I hunted for inspiration on pinterest and flickr, looking for ideas that would help me create displays that I could adapt to different sized tables, that I could easily take apart for transportation, oh, and wasn't too expensive either - and this is what I came up with!

A rare photo of me!

The shelves are oak floor boards that I got at a great reduced price as the box was already opened and a couple of the smaller boards were missing. They're not the lightest things to carry from the car but they fit on the small trolley I've got, and they were already cut to different lengths. And to hold the shelves up? Ssshh...don't tell anyone but they're tin cans sprayed cream! Jumbo hot dog cans to be exact, taller than normal cans and the perfect height. I also added in some painted canvasses and lovely wooden placemats to lay the jewellery out on, and I'm really pleased with the effect.

My new displays obviously helped my jewellery to catch people's eyes as my sales have been good, particularly at the show I did in Southampton on Saturday. I kept having to open up the Etsy app on my phone to take pieces out of the shop! I spent yesterday evening editing photos of new pieces list though, including the pieces below, so if you're still looking to finish your Christmas shopping my shop will be open until the end of this week!

These pieces, and several others, will be in my Daisychain Jewellery etsy shop tomorrow!

*birthday photos coming soon - it's been ages since I've shown you how much my boys have grown!

Tuesday 4 December 2012

New Tuition Dates Available!

Just a very quick post today, and maybe a longer one this evening, depending on how awake I am after teaching my evening classes! I updated the website last night with a new list of tuition dates for January, February and March 2013 (2013!!), and sent out a newsletter letting the people on my mailing list know shortly before midnight. And by midnight over half of the 26 dates available were gone! Thank you so much to those of you who have booked already. My private jewellery making tuition days have been growing in popularity, but it is immensely flattering for so many dates to get booked up so quickly.

If you would like to know more about my tuition days, you can find more information here, and the list of the 10 dates still available can be found on the same page - just scroll down a bit. Private tuition is tailored towards the individual (or individuals, as you can come with a friend too!), with complete beginners usually starting with projects like bangles or chains, whilst more advanced students cover various types of stone setting, riveting, anything you like really! The photos above show some of the work that students have completed this term, and I've got more photos to show you later in the week too.

If you are interested in coming for a day's tuition then email me with your preferred date from my list - but don't leave it too long in case the rest of them go just as quickly!

Friday 30 November 2012

Challenge of Color - UPDATED!

I just couldn't resist joining in with ErinPrais-Hintz's Challenge of Color this year - I've been working hard to create new stock for the Handmade Winchester show this weekend, so I thought the challenge would be a great way of adding more colours to my designs. This year Erin has joined forces with Brandi Hussey who has worked her magic to create beautiful palettes based on amazing pictures from the Earth As Art exhibit from the United States Geological Service taken from the Landsat 7 satellite. You can read more about the pictures on Erin's blog

Erin sent each of us two palettes and asked us to design a piece of jewellery using one of the palettes - or both of them if we were tempted! We could use all of the colours in each palette, or just a few. I was definitely tempted to use both palettes! Well, I did need to create more stock for my stall this weekend!

I took the red and blues from the palette from Colima Volcano (which is in Mexico btw - more here!) in the form of a red lampwork heart bead by Laura Sparling, and turquoise ceramic spacer beads, added in one of my lovebird clasps and some wood saucer-shaped beads to make this sweet bracelet. There's a little heart charm hanging next to the clasp too.

This next design is a slight cheat! All the colours I needed are in a beautiful lampwork glass cabochon by Mindy Macgregor. I kept the setting simple as the cab has enough detail in it, and I've turn it into a flower with silver leaves. The chain is attached to one bail hidden behind the flower and another behind the leaf. Part of my obviously really hopes that this sells at my show this weekend - but there's another part of me that will find it very difficult to part with!

It's probably going to take me all weekend to visit all the blogs taking part because of the craft show, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone has made, especially those who got the same palettes as me! Do make sure that you visit Erin's blog - she has a giveaway planned!

Erin Prais-Hintz
Rebecca Anderson
Kris Auderer
Chrizette Bayman
Lori Bowring Michaud
Courtney Breul
Lynsey Brooks
Stephanie Buss
Iveth Caruso
Shannon Chomanczuk
Lisa Cone
Cece Cormier
Lori Dorrington
Dawn Doucette
Jeannie Dukic
Kim Dworak
Beth Emery
Janice Everett
Pam Farren
Donetta Farrington
Gloria Ferrer
Cherrie Fick
Therese Frank
Patty Gasparino
Tanya Goodwin
Ambra Gostoli
Jess Green
Denielle Hagerman
Mary Harding
Karla Hartzog
Kim Hora
Brandi Hussey
Emanda Johnson
Jennifer Justman
Sue Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Lee Koopman
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Cynthia Machata
Alicia Marinache
Beth McCord
Mary K McGraw
Karen Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell-Reed
Aimee Moisa
Karla Morgan
Penny Neville
Becky Pancake
Kashmira Patel
Alice Peterson
Kayla Potega
Debbie Price
Bobbie Rafferty
Caron Reid
Nicole Rennell
Cynthia Riggs
Andrea Ross
Sally Russick
Annie Scherz
Pam Sears
Renetha Stanziano
Sandra Stein
Kristen Stevens
Tracy Stillman
Sherri Stokey
Lola Survillo
Kay Thomerson
Jo Tinley
Emma Todd
Cory Tompkins
Pam Traub
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Tucker
Shelley Graham Turner
Monique Urquhart
Rachel Van-Walsk
Patti Vanderbloemen
Lesley Watt
Lynn White
Joan Williams

Snowflakes - AJE Component of the Month

As this is my first month as a member of the Art Jewelry Elements it's the first time that I've taken part in the Component of the Month challenge. The November challenge was set by Lesley Watt who designed a brand new component for the occasion - bronze snowflake discs.

I love the snowflake that Lesley sent me, but it definitely set me a challenge! As soon as I opened the parcel it screamed "Christmas ornament!" at me - which was not useful as this is supposed to be an art jewellery challenge. So, I sat it on my desk for a couple of weeks, laying different beads, pieces of leather, cords etc etc next to it and did come up with a couple of ideas. My favourite design had an enamelled ruffled disc in the centre of the disc with beads on twisted headpins holding it in place and a bail passed on this one going through the middle - and but the bail just did not sit properly without pushing the enamelled disc out of the way and I was worried that the enamel would get chipped as the wire rubbed against it. So it was back to the drawing board.

And all the time the snowflake kept yelling "ORNAMENT!" at me (in big shouty letters just like that), partly because I make my Mum a new Christmas ornament each year, and I knew that if I did make a piece of jewellery out of it I would only take it apart and make an ornament that's what I eventually did! (I did check with Lesley that that would be ok first though)

I based it on the ornament I made for Mum with Mindy Macgregor's sweet chicken bead for Easter. I've used Lark's Head knots to make the loop at the top and Half Knots for the main section. The cream bead is Czech glass, the small round bead is a ceramic bead that I've had for years so I can't tell you who made it! The red heart is a lampwork bead made by Laura Sparling. I think if I made it again I'd probably leave the cream bead out, maybe add another red ceramic bead instead, but I'll let Mum hang it on her tree for a year first!

To see what everyone else has created with their snowflakes, please visit:


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