27 Aug 2009


These are the images that I used for my moo business cards:

26 Aug 2009

new earrings

So I mentioned some new earrings which I shall put on Etsy soon (hopefully today)....I thought I'd give you a wee preview here with a photo. I made some with black beads too and of course they can be made in any colour. The pins that the beads are on are handmade because the beads are tiny, so don't fit on the regular headpins.
Also I received my new batch of moo business cards today and I'm really pleased, they turned out really well! Hurrah!
Anyway, here's a photo of the earrings:

25 Aug 2009

curry & a pint

Tonight we're going out for a friend's birthday to have a curry. A curry goes hand in hand with a beer. Or a pint. of something. Pint of lager, pint of ale maybe, pint of cider. I'm just making this up, but I reckon a curry and a pint goes together like a two pints and a packet of crisps. You don't have to, but it's nice.

24 Aug 2009

monday and rulers and coriandr

Hello again! So it's Monday morning, everyone's favorite time of the week. I was happy to see that my earrings made it to the front page of Coriandr today, which is a nice start to the week. It's going to be a very busy week. I have loads to do, including the super exciting task of doing my taxes. At least I can just do them online. Hopefully it'll go smoothly and there will be no grumbling, shouting and shaking of fists. I also need to do some supply ordering, some making things, some polishing things, some thinking about commissions, and some ordering of stickers and business cards.
I was going to write some witty post about how my rulers are my three best friends. They are, during the day. I find it amusing how I have my rulers carefully laid out. Obviously there's the steel ruler at my bench. I can't imagine how I would get by without the steel ruler - for cutting paper, for marking lengths on silver sheet, for checking and rechecking if pieces are indeed square or rectangular as intended. Then by the computer I have my transparent ruler and my Snoopy ruler. Essential for measuring items to describe them on Etsy, Folksy, etc. This process, by the way, makes me dislike using inches - I find it pretty useless to describe things in terms of 19/32ths of an inch. I guess it's what you're used to. I think by now I could probably draw a ruler with the metric system freehand pretty accurately. Anyway, rulers are my friends. The end.

21 Aug 2009

it's friday

It's nearly the weekend! I hope everyone has fun plans. Congrats to Dr H, who won the free earrings I was offering earlier this week. They'll be in the post soon :-)
I'm off to stock up on boxes! I need to buy a decent stock of boxes so I don't run out halfway through the craft fairs.
In other news, I have some new earrings which I will be putting up on Etsy soonish. I say soonish because it seems to me that Etsy is in super slow time, seems like this is mega holiday time! Well, I'm pretty sure it is. Plus next weekend is bank holiday weekend here in the UK, so it's down time. In any case, those earrings will be up on Etsy, Folksy, etc soonish.... !!
Have a lovely weekend...

20 Aug 2009

make make make

I've been busy on the production front. I've made new cuff links that turned out really well (photos soon, but it still needs to be hallmarked). I also made a new large necklace. I need to make it a bit longer, as it turned out a touch too short. Also in the works have been long earrings, post earrings, and more cuff links. Today it's finishing the cuff links and moving on to cuff bangles. I'm working on a plan so I can update my website with a new collection and also send out a newsletter about all the new items and shows. I made a new pair of long earrings, which are on Etsy at the moment. I like the way they turned out, they have a certain Indian quality to them. Here's a photo:

18 Aug 2009

give give give

I'm going to try doing a giveaway on my blog for the first time today! woo! I ran a small "earring bar" at a friend's party over the weekend. I showed people how to make a basic pair of earrings with headed pins and fishhook ear wires. People really seemed to get into it and in the end all the people with pierced ears ended up walking around with new earrings made by their own two hands! It was fun and of course I had to make a some examples. This pair turned out quite cute - sparkly, simple, with a little tiny bit of detail in the bronze coloured decorations on either side of the bead. So, I'm offering this pair of earrings to someone who comments on this post :-) I'll pick someone randomly from the comments and let you know by Thursday. (The ear wires and pin are silver plated.) Here are some photos:

14 Aug 2009

Coriandr and Etsy

(click on photos for a closer look!)
So yesterday I was all excited because one of my earrings was picked for the front page of Coriandr:

Today I'm keeping a close watch on Etsy because I have a pair of cuff links on the accessories showcase:

13 Aug 2009


I studied for a year in Utrecht, many moons ago, and I think it's a lovely place with lovely buildings and generally lovely atmosphere. So today, apropos of nothing, here's a photo of Utrecht for you:

12 Aug 2009

socks and tea towels

I wanted to share two things with you. The first is a shop that a friend introduced to me in London. It's a wonderful store with every manner of sock. Yes, it's a sock speciality store! It has socks, leg warmers, toe socks, toeless socks, ankle socks, middle of the foot socks, socky sock sock.... I'm telling you, it's an awesome store. I was tempted to buy lots and lots but in the end I remained somewhat calm and restricted myself to getting a gift for a friend. Anyway, they happily have a lovely website, so you can look at their fabulous socks here (http://tabio.com/uk).
In other shopping news, my friends over at todryfor (you know you need a cool tea towel, so go have a look) now have a blog - check it out (http://blog.todryfor.com/). You'll see an amazingly useful tea towel on there - a list of when what vegetable is in season!! How handy....a multi-purpose tea towel. Can it get better than that?

11 Aug 2009


Mweh...the pitfalls of bench work: yesterday I added three slices and one puncture to my fingers. snif. I even had to scrounge around for a bandaid for the second time in a week. It's because I'm filing the thin edge of a disc and that gets quite sharp when I'm doing the filing. Then I occasionally slip, and wham, another little slice in my poor fingers. poor me! ok, not really. Something randomly interesting is that in the US, the bits of sticky stuff you put on a cut are called bandaids. That's a brand name, like q-tip or hoover or kleenex. Here in the UK, they are called plasters. Which is fine, but I thought it was interesting, as the word in Dutch is pleister (not sure if that's spelled plijster, but i think it's pleister). Anyway, that makes me wonder if in the US more brand names are used as a generic term than in the UK. So, to test my theory:

cotton bud

Scotch tape

Ok, I can't think of any other examples off hand, but with the exception of hoover, all the UK ones are not brand names. Anybody have any other examples?

7 Aug 2009

Norden Farm Centre for the Arts

Good news - I will have my jewellery on display and for sale in the foyer cases at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts! That will be from 28 December of this year until 1 March of 2010. The building is worth a visit just for itself, it's quite beautiful. There's a gallery with changing shows and films are shown at the centre as well. The address is Altwood Road, Maidenhead SL6 4PF and if you would like directions to get there, see here on their website.
The opening hour details are:

The Box Office is open 10am - 8pm, Tuesday - Saturday; 2pm - 8pm Sunday.

The Gallery is open 2pm - 10pm, Tuesday - Friday and 10am - 10pm Saturday and Sunday.

The Cafe Bar is open 10.30am - 11pm, Tuesday - Saturday and 10.30am - 10.30pm Sunday.

Norden Farm is closed to the public on Mondays.

6 Aug 2009


So I have ventured into another fabulous handmade online shoppe, which is Coriandr. It's a UK based site with much the same ideas behind it as Etsy, Folksy, etc. I thought I would give it a whirl and see how it goes on there. My shop on Coriandr is http://magpienest.coriandr.com
- please do have a look :-) I'll be adding things over the next couple of days....it always takes a while to list all the items with appropriate photos and such. It's a lovely site, with a nice layout and at the moment not overwhelming amount of stuff on it. It's a pretty, browsable site. Any opinions or experience with Coriandr? Do let me know in the comments....

5 Aug 2009

finished products

So about that ring from yesterday. I thought I'd be tidy about it and also show you a photo of the ring once the stone was properly set back into it. So here it is:

4 Aug 2009

ring reworking

My aunt had a gold ring which she didn't like. For starters the ring shank was fiddly and far too small. Also, she just didn't like the look of the ring...it was very fussy with far too much detail in a lots-of-work-but-little-aesthetic-appeal kind of way. Anyway, so I took off the ring shank and discovered that the ring was, in fact, gold plated, which explained the lack of gold hallmark! I changed the bezel setting to make it less fussy, fixed up the filigree a bit, and put on a new sleek shank. Happily, as it turns out, my aunt preferred the silver look so I didn't need to send off the ring to get gold plated. (I don't have the equipment to do gold plating myself.) So, here is a photo of the ring....the stone is not yet set in the photo, hence the crinkly appearance of the bezel around the stone. I took a photo for my aunt to decide if she wanted it gold plated or not. In any case, here's a photo:

3 Aug 2009

here we go again

Here we go again, down the only road I've ever known....what song is that?? It's some 80s song. Is it Bon Jovi? Oh my good god, I checked google and it's Whitesnake. I had Whitesnake lyrics in my head. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, there is no hope for me.

ANYWAY....moving right along. It's the start of the week again and I have heaps and heaps to do. I need to finish some items for my sister and aunt, go to the post office to send off some earrings that sold on Folksy at the weekend, plan a newsletter, etc. Also the washing machine is peeping that it's finished, so I think today is just going to have to be a mega productive, running around day. So, deep breath and here I go again!