28 May 2009


I have a nasty sore throat which I'm hoping will go away very quickly indeed. Yesterday I made some new earrings, some stock earrings, and started on another bracelet. Today there will be fun-filled trip to the dentist, hurrah. It should be fine, hopefully. That's pretty much all the news here. Not very exciting, so I'll make up for it with a couple of photos of cute bunnies. :-)

27 May 2009

new bracelet

I'm making some new earrings and I'm going to work on another one of these. It's a lace imprint bracelet with a hinge. It has a dimple clasp on the inside and a padlock clasp on the outside. The padlock is a mere 9mm and it's attached by a safety chain. I'm quite proud of this here bracelet, as it took quite a lot of work. I'm happy with how it turned out and it fits and works well. Plus it looks good on. Sooooooo I'm hoping lots of people will agree with me :-) So here are some photos. It's 22mm wide and just over a millimeter thick.

26 May 2009

pro pro pro crastination

If I didn't procrastinate so much, I'd rule the world by now. Still, there's plenty of time left in the day. So I keep telling myself, anyway! ha! Well...the bank holiday weekend was lovely and warm and summery so I guess I am in a mellow warm and summery mood. Bit too mellow! I just had some caffeine though and will be doing LOADS this afternoon. Oh yes! Plus over the weekend I went to little shop in a museum and I need to give them a call to see if they want to stock some of my jewellery. So at least I did something over the weekend! And we worked on my display unit as well - I'm really looking forward to that being DONE. We're doing some more hammering and gluing on that tonight, so hopefully soon it'll be photo-ready!
On another note, the Projeto gallery have been working hard on their website and have a number of my pieces available online as well now. Check it out here.
Also, for those of you in the Reading area, the Caversham Open Studios is next weekend (5-7 June) and you can see art and artists in the area. I'd love to have participated, but I'm at a wedding for part of the time so it would have been too hectic. Hopefully next year! You can find more information here.

22 May 2009

nice weather????

Hey hey it's supposed to be nice weather for this bank holiday weekend! woo hoo!!! excitement...
It was amazing this morning, all blue skies, warmth, sun and a slight breeze. perfect. Now it's cloudy but hey ho at least it's not raining. Sooooo I just had a lesson which was useful as ever and I've borrowed a tool to see if it'll help me with a problem I've been having with one of my designs. The tool is called a bull stick, hee hee...for some reason that sounds funny to me!! It's a scorper type tool and has a very sharp edge that you can use to carve off tiny slivers of metal. It's particularly useful for opening up holes to set stones in. So I'm going to see if it helps me and if it does, I'll be purchasing one of those. Hm, I've just checked and here's a photo of the scorper itself...and then you buy the handle separately because there are different shapes of wooden handles. So the bit that's at the top of the photo is the part that you put in the handle - the other end is the part that you shape so that you can do the carving. Hm. Total cost would be just over 10 quid...although there's a set with a handle that has a chuck and a whole bunch of different scorpers...and that's just under 20 quid...which would seem to be better value. Hm. So many tools...it's very hard not to just buy loads and loads of tools. It's so tempting! There are a couple of tools that I couldn't do without now (pendant drill, 3rd hand tweezers) but some that I thought I would use lots and haven't (drawplates). It depends on the type of things you make and the style you have, of course. In any case, I'm going to try this bull stick and see how useful it is...
Hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend and that it is fun! I'm going to be at home doing hopefully lots of fun stuff, but also a bit of working on my display for all the craft fairs.

20 May 2009

me versus the bracelet

I've been battling with a bracelet that looks amazing in my head. The picture I have in my mind is fabulous - a real stunner of a bracelet. However, that stunner is taking a while to actually become reality!! I've been struggling with the hinge - the hinge part works fine but it's been a lot of fiddly-ness to solder the hinge on to the rounded sheet. There's been swearing, frustration, and some (read: lots) resorting to the brute force and ignorance approach. After what feels like a long battle, though, the bracelet is nearly completely formed. I just need to polish it and smooth out a couple of kinks. I'm really hoping that the finished product will match the picture that I have in my head!!! The goal is to finish and photograph it today. Then I need to do some pendant bails, but after that I will immediately start making another one of these bracelets. I have a good feeling about them and want to get the making of it down pat - plus now I know what not to do! ha! So, sorry to keep you in suspense but a photo should be appearing soon. It's a wide bracelet with lace imprint and a hinge on one side and a tiny padlock on the other side as the clasp.

18 May 2009

Monday again!??!

So it's Monday again...seems almost impossible. I thought it was just Friday. Pf. Well, it's lovely British weather again, ie raining and dismal. It doesn't even remotely feel like it's summer or even near it. However, on Saturday I did get to experience a small sliver of something sort of resembling summer. I very unexpectedly won free tickets from the Guardian to The Great Escape festival in Brighton! I entered the competition on a complete whim and was totally surprised to win. So hurrah for the Guardian! The Great Escape is a music festival in which lots of small (and small-ish) bands play in venues all across Brighton. It's sort of like the Camden Crawl, but no queues. And a bit bigger, I think. In any case, off we went to Brighton on Saturday and lo and behold, there was sun there! So we walked along the beach area and the pier and the Lanes (the windy shopping streets) and we walked into Choccywoccydoodah's Brighton store - if you are unfamiliar with this fabulous chocolate store, do have a look at the cakes on their website! Of course we also saw lots of bands...we saw bands from Japan, bands featured by Artrocker magazine and bands we knew. Of the latter, we saw the KASMS who were fun and good and jumped around a lot. We also saw the Joy Formidable - they were FANTASTIC!! They were so very good that they played and we listened and when it was over I was thinking, what?! over already?! more more more!! They were truly brilliant.

15 May 2009

My friend took this photo in Cuba or Indonesia, I can't remember. I save it because someday I want to get it printed on canvas for her. I keep wanting to do that, but I don't want a tiny canvas, so I'm forever on the lookout for a place that would do a good job but not too expensive. If anyone has any tips...let me know :-)

14 May 2009

deliveries and things

A funny side effect of working at home is that I've gotten to know the postmen and delivery guys. They are all men, no postwoman yet on my road. I don't really know the postmen, but it is at the point where they recognise me even in town! I think I probably get more packages than most people, considering I buy almost all my metals, tools, stationary and so on online. There's a postman for regular post and another one for special deliveries and then there's a whole host of guys that work for the private courier companies. I would prefer not to have to pay for couriers, but sometimes it's required - like if I buy so-called "hazardous" materials. They aren't really hazardous if you use them correctly, but I think it's required by law to send corrosive type materials by courier. I guess it's to avoid accidents.
Anyway, so today I got one special delivery - engagement ring back from the Assay Office. I also got a courier delivery - some silver and a whole bunch of clasps. And I got regular post - a Metals Directory which I wasn't expecting, it was free from one of the suppliers I use. So, busy day for post. And I'm off to the post office very soon to send out a bunch of stuff.
Phew, who knew there was so much to write about post...

13 May 2009


On a whim, I've just bought this book about hot and cold connections. I am hoping it will be a good, solid, technical book. The problem I have with most jewellery books is that lots are all pictures for inspiration, which I just don't want because I already have too many ideas and not enough time to execute them all. I also don't like the ones that are beginner because they are just too simplistic and are just about the very basics. I am hoping this is a book that is more advanced, very practical, and not just pretty pictures to fill up space. According the reviews, that is a reasonable thing to hope for in this book. So, I'll see when it arrives!

12 May 2009


So in my profile it says my mom is an artist. She is, and she works mostly as a painter and at the moment mostly with watercolour and collage. My mom used to work mostly in acrylics, but is very versatile in the mediums she uses. In any case, you can see lots of her work on the website I built for her, which is here. But the reason I'm writing this now is that she got a commission to make a painting of the view in Yokohama - of the harbour area. So here are some photos of that painting! The first is the whole painting and the second is a close-up of the middle. I really like this painting because of the colours and the 3-D feeling of the pier in the middle. I also like the collage use of pages of old Japanese books to subtly add a little detail.

11 May 2009

Reveal in Henley

I'm going to be at Reveal - a showcase of crafts - in Henley-upon-Thames from the 10th to the 13th of December. If you've never been to Henley, this is a good reason to go! It's a lovely place and has lots of super cosy pubs, perfect for hiding from winter weather. Plus there's an amazing teddy bear store. And now there's also a fabulous craft fair showing the work of a varied selection of artists from the Oxon/Berkshire area.

7 May 2009

South Hill Park Christmas Fair

I just got a letter to say that I've been accepted to the South Hill Park Christmas Fair for this year! Hurrah! It's 14 & 15th November. I know it's a looooong way off, but now's the time to put it in your calendar.
Also, I sold another large star necklace yesterday - this one: (they are all slightly different so I need to update my main website and put some photos of another one up!)

6 May 2009

random stuff

So the work went really well yesterday - engagement ring is nearly done. I just need to do all the final polishing. The white gold is harder than I expected, as in I think it'll take longer to polish. It looks really good though, the ring is shaping up nicely and really has an art nouveau feel to it - which is what the aim was. After this I just need to get it hallmarked and get the stones set.
The pouch that I put up a photo of yesterday seemed to work really well, it did catch pretty much every last little filing. That was its purpose, so that's good.
I'm also going to finish a craft fair application and send that off tomorrow. I would do it today but the local post office is closed Wednesday afternoons.
As soon as I get the engagement ring polished I'm also going to add more things to Etsy. So, that's pretty much the plan for now.

5 May 2009

bank holiday

The end of the bank holiday weekend - luckily not too bad, since there's another bank holiday at the end of this month! hurrah! So even though it was a holiday yesterday and the boy was home, I did work on the engagement ring. The boy even made me a leather pouch to catch all the gold filings. I don't have a traditional jeweller's bench in the sense that there's no half circle cut out of it with a leather bit underneath. Initially I didn't want that because that would mean giving up a lot of table area. But now I have a detachable thingy (technical term) so I can put it up when I'm working with gold. With silver it's not as important to catch every last little filing, so what I normally do is just brush off my apron before I stand up. It's a big, heavy apron that I always wear when I'm working, so it catches most filings and extra pieces. But it's not quite good enough for gold, so I have a new solution! It seemed to work really well yesterday, so I'm happy! I might just keep it up permanently if I like it after working with it for a full week. This week will be a trial week for the new pouch attachment, then! And here's a photo: (Hm, it doesn't look so great on the photo, but it works really well because it's cinched at front and back so the filings stay in the pouch.)