Saturday 30 June 2012

Flower Bangle Challenge Blog Hop

Here it is! The blog hop for my third challenge! This time round I sent five designers one of my new copper flower bangles, keen to see what they could make with it. Thank you again all of you who entered your name in the draw to take part - I will definitely do a draw again next time (haven't decided what the challenge will be based on next time yet though!) as it seemed the fairest way of working it.

I made two hammered daisy bangles, two with line textured daisies and two with poppies, all oxidised copper. I kept one of the line textured ones for myself and sent the other five out to the people you can see listed a little further down. I kept it on my desk for weeks without really touching it, just moving different piles of beads next to it to see what took my fancy and glancing at it when I was working on other things. And then finally last Sunday I decided what I was going to do - and for once everything worked out exactly how I'd planned and it took me longer to take the photos than it did to actually decorate the bangle! So.... this is what I came up with.....

I gently opened up the hook that fastens around the loop behind the flower and threaded on some big hole beads - three beautifully soft etched lampwork spacer by Beads of Passion and a gorgeous copper patina ceramic heart bead by Starry Road Studio - I'd actually been saving the heart bead for a magazine project, but I guess that I'm just going to have to buy another one now!  In between them, and to stop the beads from sliding all the way down round the bracelet, I wrapped some peanut seed beads on 0.4mm copper wire before closing the hook up again. I decided to leave this wire bright and polished as a contrast to the oxidisation, although it will tarnish and darken over time.

I hope that you like it! This is one piece that I am keeping for me as it looks great with the cropped jeans and tshirts that I seem to spend half my life in during the summer. I'm tempted to make a couple more too, as I bet they'll look great stacked up!

Please do go and visit the other designers taking part in my challenge. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they've made!

Sherri Stokey - Knot Just Macrame
Shannon Chomanczuk - For My SweetDaughter
Jenny - Shyme Design
Keri Lee Sereika - Pink Lemonade

And if you'd like a couple more ideas of what you could make with my flower bangles have a look out for the latest issue of Beads and Beyond magazine, and head back here on Tuesday for a project tutorial using them!

Friday 29 June 2012

Back again......

I've done it again. It's not as if I don't think about blogging, it's just that at the moment every moment seems to be accounted for - lots of teaching this week, both privately at home and at college, lots of lovely Etsy and NOTHS orders to fill and, of course, family events too. It was Ben's school Sports Day last Monday. It's actually the first one he's had as it was rained off last year. It did seem a bit like organised chaos at first, but it was actually very well thought out with all nearly 300 children involved and enjoying themselves altogether. No photos I'm afraid as a) the school ask us not to as for a couple of child protection reasons and b) I was too busy trying to entertain Jamie and distract him from running out to join his beloved big brother! Yes, running! Well, walking and stumbling really. There's no stopping him now!

Anyway, my main reason for posting so late at night is to remind you that tomorrow is the big reveal for my Flower Bangle Challenge - 6 designers, 6 flower bangles, and 6 hopefully very different designs! I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone has made with their bangles. I've actually written my post already for once and scheduled it ready to go!

I also need to remind you that I will be putting my website and Daisychain Extra etsy shop on holiday as from the end of Sunday. so if you need to stock up on flower bangles or any other goodies for the summer, then now is the time to do it as I'll be away until the start of September. The collage above (I love the new frames and collage feature on Picmonkey!) shows a few of the new pieces I uploaded this week - bunnies, owls, birdies and flowers! If you follow my Facebook page you may already have picked up on where we're going, but I will let you know more about our plans at the start of next week!

Thursday 21 June 2012

New etsy designs and a shop announcement

I've finally done the Daisychain Extra shop update that I promised last week! It's taken me a while longer than I expected to shake off this tonsillitis, but then again I've never had tonsillitis before now, so I didn't really know how it would hit me! It's virtually gone now though - thank God for antibiotics!

There are a few new made-to-order designs in this week's shop update, such as poppy ear wires to go with the head pins, charms, clasps and connector that I already have in that design. There are also a few Limited Edition designs - a couple of Lovebird clasps as the others flew off to new homes fairly quickly, and the Little House clasps that I showed you last week. And if you look below you'll be able to have a sneak peek at the new clasps I've been working on today to give myself a break from photo editing and magazine projects!

Can you tell that I've been playing around with the new features on Picmonkey?!

And I have a shop announcement too....

My Daisychain Extra shop will be in holiday mode from Sunday 1st July until the end of August as we are going on some family travels this summer. So if you need to stock up you need to get your orders in quickly please - click here to see what's new!

Saturday 16 June 2012


I woke up with a sore throat on Thursday morning and put it down to too many late nights - mainly late nights working rather than partying! By the boys bedtime, though, I had to crawl into bed with a temperature, the shivers and what felt like a golf ball stuck down my throat - yep, tonsilitis has come for a visit. It's something I've managed to avoid before, but I remember my Dad having it almost every summer holiday when my brother and I were little. As soon as he stopped work and we went away on holiday he'd be ill until, when I was about 7, I think, he eventually had his tonsils out. Now I know why he felt so awful! Anyway, I've been on antibiotics for just over 24 hours now and they are definitely helping, although it's taken me quite a while to type this!

So, that's why yesterday's planned Daisychain Extra shop update didn't happen! The new designs (some one-offs, some made-to-order) will be in the shop on Monday. I'll post on here when I'm done, but if you want a more speedy update pop over to Facebook and "like" my Daisychain page (click on the Facebook button on the left) as newly listed items automatically get listed on there.

Wednesday 13 June 2012



Today has mainly been a day of making jewellery and clasps for orders, with a break for a trip to the dentist, so I treated myself to a bit of a play this afternoon and made another house clasp - and a bracelet to go with it! I've used the same layout as my Home Is Where The Heart Is bracelet (which went to a new home last week, thank you!), but brighter colours this time. Pink, purple and aqua aren't a mix of colours I've used much before, but they went perfectly with the lampwork disc by Outwest that you can see in the background, and I love how it's turned out! The aqua is amazonite, the purple is jade and the pink is Czech glass.

And I made a couple more houses too, and they'll be part of a Daisychain Extra shop update on Friday! The bracelet will be in my new jewellery etsy shop that I'm finally setting up over the weekend, unless someone claims it before then!

Love My Art Jewellery

I've written a guest post for the Love My Art Jewellery blog, and it's been published today. I was pretty much given a free rein about what to write about. The first thing that sprung to mind was hallmarking, as although most people in the UK recognise hallmarks, even if they don't know exactly what they stand for, I do get questions from people over the States about what those tiny marks are on the back of some of my pieces of jewellery. The answer goes back over 700 years, so if you want to know what King Henry III has got to do with my jewellery, follow this link!

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Tutorial Tuesday - links from the tutorial library

I thought that it was about time that I updated the list of free jewellery tutorials that I've written, the list that I keep on the page shown at the top of the screen, as I rarely seem to remember to do it when I actually post the tutorials! I knew that I'd written quite a few, but I was surprised that there are 29 free jewellery tutorials so far. So I thought that this week's Tutorial Tuesday could re-introduce some of them to you - or indeed show them to you for the first time if you haven't been here long!

Some of the tutorials are on techniques or tools. For example there are a couple of tutorials on soldering tips (here and here), a tutorial on how to cut jump rings, and one on polishing your jewellery with a tumbler. And then there are the project tutorials. All but one of these are actually on making earrings! My three favourites are the ones above - Leaf Green earrings, Bubble earrings and Hammered Drop earrings. So, if you fancy learning some new skills or brushing up on some old ones, or making yourself a quick pair of earrings click on "Jewellery Tutorials" and have a browse. The list will be getting longer soon!

P.S. It's also worth clicking on the Tutorial Tuesday button on the left, as the list on the Jewellery Tutorials page doesn't include links to tutorials written by other people or tutorials that I've written on other subjects.

Monday 11 June 2012

Macramé, Art Beads and Wire

6 brand new projects featuring art beads 

50 pages
over 100 photos
step-by-step instructions for projects and macramé knots

inspirational gallery featuring work by 

The book costs £12, which works out at only £2 per project!
It is available through my website and also through my Daisychain Extra etsy shop.

I hope that you enjoy it!

Thank you to the wonderful designers who contributed to the gallery 
and to Rebecca and my very own T for proof reading for me!

Saturday 9 June 2012

It is Saturday, isn't it?!

Yes, I'm sure it is - the date on my computer is telling me so, even though it definitely doesn't feel like it! What with a four day weekend to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the halfterm holiday, the boys' childminder being on holiday and T and Ben going on a camping trip for a few days I've lost all track of the days, as I've not really needed to know what day it is! It's a lovely feeling, actually. It's great not to have to get up early for the school run or to get the boys to the childminder, and, although I've missed my big boys, it's been nice not to be ferrying Ben about all over the place and to have a quieter (and tidier and cleaner!) house. Jamie and I have been playing in the garden on the decking that T finished before they went camping (rain allowing of course), emptying out and repacking the kitchen cupboards several times a day, having lots of cuddles and taking bread down to the ducks and swans in the park. Despite being busy out and about, though, I kept forgetting to take photos, so the ones above are some of the few I've got from the Jubilee weekend - fun times at a great street party down the road! It was a fantastic fun and relaxed party, a real community event, and it felt great to know more than half of the families there. Before Ben was born, this area of Southampton was really just where T and I happened to live, a convenient place for work. Having Ben changed that as it's really made us part of the community.

The only downside to this week is that the only work time I've had has been for a couple of hours during Jamie's afternoon nap and in the evenings, and thanks to my jewellery sale and a few deadlines I've had lots of lovely work to do. It's meant some very late nights, but strangely enough I still feel refreshed. I think at least some of that is because I have....drum roll please.....nearly finished my ebook! Macramé, Art Beads and Wire just needs two last photos added and a final proof read, and then it will be published on Monday. I am nervous and excited in equal measures! The book will be available from both my Daisychain Extra etsy shop and my jewellery website.

Right, my big boys will be back any minute now so I'm going to get prepared to do loads of washing and put a very tired but happy Ben to bed!

Tuesday 5 June 2012

New Sale Offerings

1.  Jade Leaves Bracelet £36 £28.80
4. Lotus Flower Necklace £75 £60
5. and 6. Bright Jade Bracelet £36 £28.80

Well, not completely new as you have seen them on here before, but these are pieces of jewellery that I have for sale but I haven't uploaded onto the website. You can see more pictures of them and more information about them by clicking on their names - this will take you to the blog posts where I originally showed them off. The prices below the pictures are those in the 20% off sale. After the sale (if they don't sell!) I will be adding them to my etsy shop at the non-sale prices. Postage in the UK is £2 and postage for International sales is £4, and you can see more about my shipping information here on my website. If you would like to buy any of these pieces please email me (address on the left in my profile!) and I'll send you a paypal invoice.

I have extended the sale for a couple of days as I didn't realise until today that there was an error on my site - I put 5th June into the system for the end date, thinking that that meant midnight tonight but it actually meant midnight last night. Apologies for the confusion, but it's all working and showing the correct prices!

Friday 1 June 2012

Jubilee Jewellery Sale

I've mention on here before that I'm making some changes to my website. I use zencart, a free ecommerce package, and I've made all the changes to the template and layout myself. It's done me well for several years, but I've been conscious recently that it doesn't look quite how I want it to look - not as polished as I'd like, and a bit too mixed up too with one-off pieces competing for space with the made-to-order designs that I make, and tuition information added to the mix as well. I'm going to turn the website into a space for the made-to-order designs as these are the ones I supply to galleries and also tuition information, and I'm going to move the one-off pieces of jewellery over to my unused Daisychain Jewellery etsy shop.'s going to take me ages to transfer everything over, even considering that I've got the descriptions and photos already! So, to reduce the number of items I've got to move over, I'm having a sale on all my jewellery, just over the long Diamond Jubilee weekend. All jewellery is reduced by 20%, and the discounts have already been applied to the website. I've also got some pieces such as the jewellery I've made for recent blog challenges that are included in the sale, such as my Home Is Where The Heart Is bracelet, although I haven't added them to the website yet. I'll post about them on here again over the weekend so that you can see them again, and if you're interested in them please email me about them!

So, if you fancy giving yourself (or someone else!) a treat then you can find my website here!


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