30 Apr 2009


Sometimes I do repair jobs. Actually, come to think of it, I do them more than just sometimes. Friends have broken rings, beads missing from necklaces, brooches where the pin is bent out of shape, etc. I actually quite like doing these odd jobs, because I usually learn some useful new tips. Also, they are usually quite quick jobs which is nice to do in between longer ones. Just over a year ago, my aunt sent me some rings which belonged to my grandmother - my dad's mother. One of the rings is beyond repair. It's been repaired before with what seems to be a cheap metal like tin and the filigree is crushed and distorted. It also seems to be missing part of the original ring shank. Then there's another ring which is quite art deco and I think my mom would like it - I need to resize it when she's here. Then there was one other one. This one is gold and had three pearls set in an unusual flower setting. I would have never chosen this ring myself, since I prefer much less fussy jewellery, but it has a certain charm. The three pearls had long since dwindled to one. I guess the other two had fallen out because it looked like they had been replaced with little plastic beads. (That would be the work of my ever-resourceful great uncle.) In any case, the ring intrigued me, so I asked my mom to source the appropriate pearls in Singapore - not an easy task, since they are 2mm no-hole pearls. I cleaned out the ring and carefully poked out the old pearl and the beads so I could resize the ring. It now fits me and I've replaced the pearls and here's how it looks:

27 Apr 2009

back to the rain

So last week was amazingly lovely weather and the weekend was beatiful too. But now we're back to gloom and drizzle. whee hee... I feel the need for yet another cup of tea very soon indeed. I have been to the post office again already and got a scissor sharpener at John Lewis. The boy hadn't heard of scissor sharpeners, so I shall share in case you haven't either. They are little tools that can be used with any straight regular scissors - ie no pinking or curved or serrated scissors. Perfect for extending the life of your scissors and perfect if you want to cut tricky material. The one I got at John Lewis looks like the below photo and is £7.25, which isn't bad at all.

24 Apr 2009

so cute!

My sister also got some knit wee Easter rabbits and chicks and her cat liked them too, I think:

23 Apr 2009

hee hee hee

jewellery news.....I'm busy with the secret project and plan to launch it tomorrow! yay! If all goes well, there will be photos, there will be plans, they will major excitement (from me, anyway). I have a lot of ideas for new things as well, so the to-do list is as long as ever...

I'm loving the lovely weather we're having. Yesterday I went with my friend to Greys Court - that's a National Trust property close to Reading which has gorgeous gardens. This is a good time of year to see the gardens and there's also a tea room with an outdoor area. The house is closed for renovations, but it's a great place to go sit in the sunshine and enjoy the scenery. Also the woods were full of bluebells, so it just looked amazing.

ha ha - I just got this from my sister and I had to laugh out loud!

22 Apr 2009

ring, bracelet, ring

Two down, one to go. That is, I finished and resized a ring for a friend and delivered it to her yesterday and happily it fit and she's happy with it! Then I finished a cuff bangle which I had sent off to get engraved and that was posted yesterday. Now there's the engagement ring to go - I need to order the gold for it today and then I can get moving on it. It's all heading the right direction!
It's another gorgeous day today - beautiful blue skies and sun! A bit surreal, frankly....

The TOP SECRET project in coming along nicely and I should have photos sooooon....tum-di-dum....oh yes, the excitement!

Erm, in other news I'm getting my hair done tomorrow! hurrah! colour! So I'll have some photos of that soon too.

20 Apr 2009

birthday fun

A lovely day was had yesterday and actually the whole weekend was good! Yesterday was the boy's birthday and we all chilled down at the pub. We had a roast lunch - which was very filling indeed! I had nut roast and it even came with little mini Yorkshire puddings, which aren't usually given with the veggie option! Anyway...it was a lovely relaxed day! I also made a surprise birthday cake - a carrot cake with cream cheese icing (recipe randomly chosen from the internet!). It turned out really well and here's a photo of it:

Today we took down the Norden Farm exhibit, so that has come and gone. I'm sure it won't be too long before we do another exhibit and then I'll post it on here again :-)
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and here's hoping that we get fabulous weather this coming weekend too!!

16 Apr 2009

tra la la

I'm having a pretty darn good week. I had some more sales on Etsy and DaWanda and in new countries, too! I get a bit giddy when I have a sale that is going to a new country. This time it was Japan and Norway. Oo er! :-) I sold these cuff links, which in a way are going home. They are made with Japanese paper that I bought either in Yokohama or Kamakura, and now they are going over to Tokyo. Kind of a nice idea :-)

15 Apr 2009


Oh, I'm having a good day...very productive! I've called the stone setter, the gem supplier, the arts centre, had a lesson, got some box supplies, been to Staples and even went to Hobbycraft. This is all in the name of the engagement ring commission and a big secret plan. The big secret plan shall be revealed at some point. *evil cackles*
The engagement ring went beautifully well in silver and now I am awaiting approval (or not) from the bride-to-be, who is visiting this Saturday with her mum to see if it's what she wanted and to choose the stones that she wants set in it. I have a small pile of sapphires and such so she can look at the colours together, etc.
Ok, well I still have heaps to do so I'm off again....more photos of pretty things soon!!

14 Apr 2009

Monday feelings on a tuesday

So it's Tuesday but I'm feeling like it's Monday - wondering what order to do things in, what I'm supposed to be doing and thinking I'm probably forgetting something important! I have a box of items at the hallmarking office, so I should have those back at the beginning of next week. I have a small pile of half-finished items - this pile is, thankfully, getting a wee bit smaller and more manageable! Last Thursday I did loads and got various things done that had been laying around for ages. Also, we had the private view at Norden Farm which went very well. The show there is still on for another 2 weeks, so there's still a chance to see it!
I hope everyone had a lovely Easter. I put my knitted Easter bunnies and chicks on the table for Easter breakfast and it was very cheerful :-)
Tomorrow hopefully a more interesting post - with me more focused than I am today!

update: hm, two websites seem to have disappeared. One is a bead supplier I have used a lot - Jules Gems. They seem to have gone bust, the website is gone and I managed to find one comment somewhere that they aren't in business anymore. That's a shame because they had a good selection. And now I see that theindiego.com seems to have gone as well - but I can't find any comments about that, so not sure what the deal is there. If anyone knows....please leave a comment!

8 Apr 2009

sing song

Norden farm, Norden farm, Norden faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarm,
you are like a nice warm baaaaaaaaaaaalm,
tomorrow night you will see such a siiiiiiiiiiight,
lots of lovely jewellery under bright white liiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Is that a haiku? no? poem? terrible poem? ha! I think I better stick to jewellery.

ps. Looks like I may be having my jewellery at Norden Farm later this year as well, in their cases in the foyer area, from August onwards some time!! :-)

ps2. I put some things in my online shops, including this pair of earrings. They are silver folded over with texture on the inside and one is laser hallmarked. I think they would be perfect for someone who likes their earrings large...not huge, but not tiny:

7 Apr 2009

Norden Farm, Maidenhead

Yesterday morning we (Berkshire Designer Jewellers) set up the cases and jewellery and other bits and pieces for our group exhibit at Norden Farm Arts Centre. It looks fabulous and there is lots of exciting and beautiful jewellery on show. We are having a private view on Thursday evening from 6-8...you, oh myriad readers of my blog, are cordially invited (yes even the ones in California, although I think it might be a bit too far for you!). If you can make it, you can meet the makers and have a glass of wine :-) Directions are available on the Norden Farm website. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me at machi (at) magpienest.co.uk
Hopefully see some of you there!

6 Apr 2009

Not Mass Produced

Good morning! I've been accepted to join a website called Not Mass Produced - it's what it says on the tin - a website celebrating all the great handmade items from Europe (mostly UK and France I think). I'm a starter on the site, so that means I have 3 items available. Follow this link to see! The site has a nice feel to it, it's easy on the eye and since the owners vet every applicant, it has a good quality control in place. I like the ethos, which is on their about us page. It's about finding something special and supporting individual talent and small business. It's in the same vein as Folksy and Etsy and DaWanda, but with a bit more focus controlling who joins and a more active marketing team so publicity is not all down to the individual artisan. I'll let you know how it goes! :-)

3 Apr 2009

easter goodies

So I mentioned that my grandmother had sent me a box of goodies for easter...she knitted them all herself (she's 89!) and I love them, they are super fab. There are two rabbits, a bunch of chicks and then those little hats which are perfect as egg warmers. Egg cosies? I'm not sure what the right word is. Anyway, so here's a photo of most of the stash...there were loads more of those little hats but I didn't put them all in the photo.

2 Apr 2009


With commissions, I do my best to get a good feel for the style and preferences of the customer, but there's always a little sigh of relief when I hear that they are happy with the item! This is the commission that I've just worked on - it's a lace imprint cuff bangle but will also have an engraving on the inside when it's done:

1 Apr 2009


Well, I meant to take some photos of some fabulous knitted rabbits and chicks and egg warmers that I got from my grandmother. But I'm not sure where the camera is. Ok, I know where it is, but it's just too much for today. I'll get around to it. Then you can see the fabulous goodies that I'm going to use to decorate the table for easter breakfast. I don't think I've had easter breakfast for years...maybe not even since I lived with my parents. But this year it's going to happen, because I have stuffed knitted rabbits and chicks. Oh yes.
So yesterday I managed to get quite a bit done, including finally finishing 7 pendants I was working on for a big project which involves approaching a local business to see if they would like to sell my jewellery. I'm nearly ready to approach the store, just need to get my plan on paper so that they agree it's a genius idea. I'll post more about this once I've spoken to the store.... (ooo the suspense)
This weekend we're doing the end-of-tax-year stock take. That's going to involve making sure the stock sheet is accurate (I don't think it is, because sometimes I forget to take items off once I've sold them) and reviewing prices. I need to review prices because the silver and gold prices have changed, as they do, and increased loads again. Anyway, I like organising so I'm actually looking forward to this big stock take! And today I need to work on my commissions...so off I go...
ALSO - if anyone out there knows how to add a label cloud instead of just a list of labels on blogger, can you please tell me. It should be easy, but for some reason I can't figure it out.