Friday 31 May 2013

May Component of the Month - Poppies at Sunset

It was Sue Kennedy's turn to design us something special for the AJE Component of the Month this time round. She did warn us that she'd been playing round with contrasting colours, so I knew that whatever she sent me was going to be a challenge - and I was right - an orange and purple lampwork flower! I forgot to take a photo of the flower when it arrived, but it's the one on the far right of the picture that Sue took of all of the beads for the AJE blog.

The flower sat on my desk for a good couple of weeks before I had any idea of what I was going to make with it. I've realised over the years that this is actually the best way for me to work - I'll push beads and stones around on my desk in little bowls, adding in and then taking away other components until everything finally clicks together. I used to worry that I was leaving things to the last minute, but in reality by the time I actually make what every it is that I've decided to make I've spent so long subconsciously thinking about it, working through potential problems in my head, that it tends to all go smoothly and quickly once I actually pick up my tools. 

Poppies at Sunset - not yet on the website but it can be yours for £30 plus a little for shipping if you email me quickly!

And look what I added to Sue's flower - more orange! Yes, the colour that I usually avoid using! I tried more purple, or even using a mix of the two, but in the end I decided that the orange really made the purple 'pop', and the patinaed copper toned down the orange nicely. The beads are dyed jade. Not something that I usually use but they went perfectly. The poppies you will probably recognise by now as being from my Daisychain Extra shop.

Poppies at Sunset - lampwork flower by SueBeads, copper poppy links, charms and clasp by Daisychain Extra
To see what other colours Sue put together and to see what everyone else made follow the links!

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Peacocks and Flowers

Tonight has been a night of preparation for my college classes, working out the dates for my next set of private tuition days - and editing photos and writing project descriptions! I'm all written out for now, so I'll just leave you with pictures of the yummy pendants I've made with Mindy Macgregor's beautiful and amazingly coloured lampwork beads and say that they are all available on the website here now!

Indian Peacock
Bright Flowers and A Gentle Spring
Oh, and the next set of tuition dates will be out on Friday!

Thursday 23 May 2013

Finished Projects!

Well, almost finished anyway. I did actually do all the work you can see in these photos last week with the intention of blogging about them and linking up with the post on Art Jewelry Elements last Saturday but blogging time has been short recently.

So, this is what I did with the unfinished bits and pieces that I showed in my last post - apologies for the over bright photos but I realised too late that I'd left my camera on the wrong setting after taking photos of the boys! This is also the reason that none of these are on the website yet, as I need to go back and take better photos!

Chrysocolla "bubbles" pendant with handcrafted silver bead and smoky quartz bead - this is eventually going to be a long necklace on a length (or maybe a double length) or soft brown leather. I've made the back of the pendant just as interesting as the front as a longer necklace is more likely to swing round so I wanted it to look especially nice!
I knew I wouldn't be able to complete this pendant, partly due to time and partly because I am still using it as a teaching example - honest! I need to add a bail, tidy up the prongs, polish, and then the stone is ready to be set.

Another one that is waiting for that soft brown leather. The bird is a clasp that hooks onto the ring at the top of the Botswana agate, and I'm planning a double strand of the leather to complete it.
Of course, a blog post showing off new jewellery designs wouldn't be complete with a Moogin bead! I know I've said it before, but I absolutely love Mindy's use of colour. The cage above was made with the longer piece of curved wire I showed in my last post.

And this is what the shorter pieces of wire became! I made myself a pair of these pretty petal stud earrings for my cousin's wedding in March and I've worn them almost every day since. They are so light to wear and have got me lots of compliments - so they will be on the website very soon!

Although I haven't yet put the moogin bead pendant and the stud earrings on the website yet they will be there very soon - but if you are interested in them please email me- address on the left!

Thursday 16 May 2013

Finishing projects!

I have a growing pile of projects in every stage of creation from sketches in little boxes with the components I need to make them, to rings and pendants with the settings complete and polished and just waiting for the stone to be set. It has got to the stage that I am almost out of room on my desk, and it's not a small desk!

Two of the many cabochons that I've started to make settings for! I'll often make lots of bezel settings to fit some of my growing collection of stones and then they are ready for when inspiration strikes - and time allows!
I've always used the excuse that, because I teach jewellery making, I need part made projects to use as examples with my students, but as I have a pendant that has been waiting for its stone (the beautiful Botswana agate in the picture above) to be set for nearly three years now I think it safe to say that things have got a bit out of hand!

Beautiful picture jasper to be set in pring setting - may not completely finish this one as I am still using it for teaching!
So, at the weekend I set myself the goal of finishing off the projects that you can see here before the end of Saturday, which is going to be a bit of a tall order as I taught all day yesterday, I'm about to start teaching again all day today and I'm teaching for college all day Saturday, not to mention my usual Tuesday and Wednesday night evening classes. My inspiration was a post that Melissa Meman wrote for the AJE blog nearly two weeks ago, challenging readers to show off the projects that they managed to complete before the end of Saturday.

Mystery lengths of square wire - any guesses as to what these will turn out to be?
My questions to you are, will you be joining me in Melissa's challenge, and do you have any part made projects older than my poor three year old pendant?!

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Elegant rings and lovely earrings!

I've been busy teaching over the last couple of weeks, which is why I've been so quiet on here, sorry. I really must get into the habit of just posting pictures and not much writing to show you what I'm up to!

Julie's rings - rutilated quartz and aquamarine set on thick silver bands
 Two of my students over the last two weeks have learnt how to set stones for the first time and made beautiful pieces of jewellery - the same technique (bezel setting cabochons), but very different styles and colours, and all very well finished. I know that, because they are my students, I am slightly biased, but I don't think that anyone looking at the photos and not reading the text would have any idea that these were the first stones settings that Julie and Michelle made.

Michelle's first pair of earrings - I didn't have time to photograph the second pain made of silver sheet! Rose cut smoky quartz cabocons and amethyst briolettes
I will be putting new tuition dates for the summer months on the website here next week - to be in the know as soon as the dates are ready add your name to my newsletter using the link on the left!

Friday 3 May 2013

Enjoy the sunshine with free shipping this weekend!

The Spring sunshine is a time for a new injection of colour into your life! For me Spring means fresh colours, natural materials and textures - and long dangly earrings that can no longer get caught in woollen scarfs and bracelets that shorter sleeves show off to better effect!

Whether your tastes run to the one-off pieces in the Unique Collection, such as the earrings above, or the timeless elegance of the sterling silver and 24k gold designs in the Golden Collection, this Bank Holiday weekend brings FREEPOST on all jewellery orders above £25, UK or International.

No codes are needed, free post will automatically be applied for you, and the offer runs until midnight on Monday 6th May. Have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend!

The earrings shown above, L to R, are: Ebony and Silver, Tropics and Luna


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