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.