Thursday, 31 December 2009

Another one bites the dust!

Another year comes and goes - far too quickly for my liking. It must be true that saying that time goes quicker as you get older. I just want to grab hold of it and slow it down. Wouldn't it be great if you could do that? We could make all those special days last longer - the family get togethers, birthdays & days out.

So now it's the time for new year goals. I don't like resolutions - I prefer to think of them as things I want to achieve - it seems more positive that way.

I want, no I NEED to be healthier both in terms of food and exercise. I want to make some time for arty things like collage and painting. I want to be more organised and keep my Etsy and Folksy shops regularly stocked up with new items.

Talking of new items I added a few necklaces to my stores. I love this Calla Lily - the shape is fantastic and the matt white gold plated finish is so elegant.

These postcard charms are adorable - perfect for a gift for a loved one, perhaps Valentine's Day or just to treat yourself.

And how cute are these little silver birdies? An adorable bird outside her birdcage - perhaps making a bid for freedom?

Happy New Year to you all and I hope it brings you peace, love, good health and happiness.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Folksy Friday

I love browsing through Folksy - there is such a diversity of handmade crafts and unique items. I thought why not have a little section on my blog to share some of the wonderful things I've found. So here are a couple of my favourites this week.

I love these adorable paintings and prints from Sascalia - this Three Little Owls print of an original painting is one of my favourites. More gorgeous artwork can be found in her Folksy shop -

Next is SoapyChica - her handmade soaps look divine. I particularly like this set of 4 bars - they all sound scrummy especially the coffee one. More soapy loveliness can be found in her Folksy shop -

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Revamped blog

I've decided to have a revamp of my blog design. I wanted something a bit softer and more feminine so I found this fab site with free backgrounds and all sorts of other goodies - check out Shabby Blogs. So I've gone for the pink look for now although me being me, I may well decide it's time for another change in the not too distant future! For now though I'm happy with the look - what do you think?

I've had a bit of a change in my shops on Folksy and Etsy too. I redesigned my banner going for a pale blue damask which I think reflects more the direction I'm taking with my jewellery at the moment. I've also redone some of my pictures using soft coloured backgrounds instead of white. The trouble with me is that I can never decide on something and stick to it, so next time you look everything may have changed again!!

I've added some new jewellery pieces to the collection over the last few days - mainly necklaces and earrings.

I'm loving lockets at the moment - I think they're so feminine and romantic. This necklace has a vintage blue rose porcelain cabochon with a gorgeous blue rose.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Vintage beads

I love using vintage components in my jewellery - they really make a piece extra special and unique. I made this bracelet at the weekend and incorporated some vintage brass charms, vintage faux pearls and lucite moonglow beads. I had this sweet little heart pendant/locket that I found at a collectables fair and it went perfectly with the colours.

I am flattered to have been featured in 4 Etsy Treasuries recently and one of them made the front page - how cool is that?

Monday, 17 August 2009

Update on furbaby!

My precious little cat is doing so well at the moment. The medications have kicked in and he is eating well and is much more energetic and playful. Getting him to take 3 tablets a day can be a bit of a trial sometimes but we've found some fish that he loves so I hide the tablets in that.

I was taking some pictures yesterday and he decided that he wanted to be in them too! How cute is he?!

I put some more of my jewellery on Etsy. I really like how this Tarot Cat Charm Bracelet turned out - I wanted to make it quite celestial and mystical so I added little clusters of hematite stars.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

My poorly cat

Yesterday we found out that our darling 6 year old tabby cat has got advanced heart disease. Those of you that have pets will probably be able to imagine how I feel knowing that he won't be around for too much longer. He and his brother are the most adorable, sweet natured cats and it will break my heart when I lose either of them.

But I have to try and stay positive and enjoy the time we have with him. He's started on medications which I hope will slow down the progression of the disease and make him feel more comfortable.

As I was trying to keep myself busy yesterday while he was at the vets I made some earrings up. I used little silvertone frames which I had decoupaged images into and filled with epoxy resin. I think I have settled on resin now as my first choice when making these picture charms. I have wasted far too much time and money on other glazes which although they look nice and shiny they aren't durable at all.

I used images from an Italian tarot card deck featuring cats. I have a couple of bracelets using these too which I made a couple of months ago and haven't got round to photographing yet. These ones are The High Priestess and The Moon.

I also did some with pretty images of hummingbirds and another pair with an image of Van Gogh's Starry Night painting. All these earrings have sterling silver earwires and will be available on Etsy and Folksy.

Also yesterday I came across a website where a member had featured one of my bracelets as a recommendation. The site is called This Next - you can check it out here

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Back to creating!

Well what a horrible week I've had - turns out I did have swine flu after all!! I felt yucky for several days and didn't do a thing. I was sooo bored - I wanted to get back to creating but I just didn't have the energy or the inspiration. Thankfully though I'm fine now. I made several new pieces of jewellery and I went into the studio yesterday and made some lampwork beads.

I've just listed several pairs of these earrings on Etsy - I think they're so sweet and all the different colours look gorgeous together.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Finding time!

I'm trying really hard to keep up with all the promoting that's necessary for online sales. What with Twitter, blogging, forums, facebook, adding items to Etsy and Folksy there doesn't seem to be much time left to actually make anything!

I think I'm understanding Facebook at bit more now - come and have a look at my page - even be a fan if you like!! You can find me here -

I've not really made much jewellery this week as I haven't felt 100%. I've had a sore throat and a headache - hope it's not swine flu! I managed to get these listed on Etsy today - Alice and the Deer earrings and Klimt's Tree of Life necklace.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Working with resin

I've been making some pendants and bracelet charms today. I'm veering more towards using resin at the moment as I love the finish it gives. I've tried loads of different varnishes and glazes to coat my picture charms but none of them have the shiny hard finish that you get with resin. I thought that Diamond Glaze, which is really popular would be the answer at first but I've found that although it gives a lovely clear shiny finish it can be marked really easily.

Using resin is quite a time consuming process though. Your pictures have to be really well sealed, particularly the edges, otherwise the resin will seep into the paper causing a wet looking stain. Once you've got your resin in the frames you have to babysit for a good 20 minutes I've found to make sure there are no air bubbles coming to the surface. These need to be dealt with asap. I use a little butane torch and gently wave it over the resin - this normally gets rid of them.

Some of the charms I use are a bit of a pain to fill with resin like these ones in this bracelet I've just listed on Etsy. I've found that a little bit of clear acetate works well to protect the picture and looks nice too.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

What background to use?!

Well I've just added some more items to my Etsy shop. I've been playing around with backgrounds. I was going to go for a slightly patterned background for my pics and I have done some on a pretty scrapbook paper. I think it looks OK for earrings but the bracelets seem to get a bit lost.

I normally use my light tent and white paper for my lampwork beads but this method makes the silver too shiny and I lose the detail. So I took a couple of pieces outside this afternoon and took pics in the shade. I edited the white balance and I think they look quite good. The detail is still there and the silver is not too bright.

It's important to have consistance in Etsy shops so I want to get it right so all my pictures have a similar look. The first pic is an Alice in Wonderland charm bracelet but I don't think it stands out well enough on that background. The second pic of the Raven Charm Bracelet was taken outside in natural light. I think I'll retake the other pictures and see what they look like on the white.

Monday, 6 July 2009

New beginnings!

This is my first post on my brand spanking new blog which I've set up for my handmade jewellery. Some of you will know me from my lampwork beads website/blog - Earth and Fire Beads.

I've been making jewellery for several years which I've sold through a gallery in Scotland. I wanted to move away from sterling silver/lampwork beads and create a different style. Besides, my lovely customers make such gorgeous pieces with my beads that I thought I would leave it to them!

I have to confess that I used to be somewhat of a snob when it came to the sterling silver/silver plated issue. Sterling silver is still my favourite to work with and I would always use it when creating with lampwork beads and gemstones. But I have to say that I think plated metal has a place too. Yes I know that it's not going to last as long as a piece made with sterling silver but not everybody necessarily wants nor expects their jewellery to last forever. You may spend £30 -£40 on a pair of shoes but you know they won't last forever either!

So I look at things differently now. I still put the same amount of care into a piece made with plated metal as I would one with sterling silver - it just means that I can keep the cost down more for the customer.

I love the antiqued brass/copper findings that are available - they give such a wonderful vintage look to jewellery.

I've started putting some of my pieces on Etsy. I'll be adding more items over the coming weeks. I have several charm bracelets to list including some Alice in Wonderland pieces.