Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Bags of Charm!

Sooo this bag chain was for Tante Lidi herself when we saw her over the summer (slap on my wrist for only posting these now!) and I tried to make it 'age-appropriate' so I didn't have any skull&crossbones hanging off the chain but on reflection I think it looks a tad sparse - mayhaps I should have added a couple more charms?! Oh well, Let's assess it for what it currently is...

I did have trouble trying to construct the charms (with hindsight I see all the things I would have done differently) but I really am quite proud of two particular charms that I 'fabricated' - or well - at the very least I 'embellished' them.
First up is the wee bunch of cherries charm:

Obviously being a boy, Handsome Prince had not the faintest idea what this was supposed to be but both my beautiful sisters recognised it for what is was/is. It was quite fiddly to work with but I really liked the result and cherries are fabulous (both in terms of eating and accessorising with!)
And next up the lily charm:

This one is a bit of a cheat because I had the flower charm but improvised a little stamen/stigma out of tiny multi-coloured seed beads. A few green tube beads for the stem and a little leaf completed this particular charm.

I followed up the flower theme with some metal petal (it's fun to rhyme!) and flower charms, a couple of chains and a few Swarovskis and it was good to go!!!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Winter Star

Even though I made this necklace in July I think it looks a lot more 'winter appropriate' than summer. I was a super-duper easy necklace I made for my second-cousin Charlotte who (very kindly) let Handsome Prince and I stay in her room when we visited Tante Lidi in the summer.

Just a wee token to say Thank-you!!

Blue pearl beads, opaque blue swarovski crystals, blue shell star and little metal stars - such a lovely blend of beads and blues - in fact, it's a very good remedy for 'the blues' - pearls, crystals and stars - they make my heart happy!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Birthday Girl

It was my lovely sister-in-law’s birthday in late September so when we were over in Germany for the wedding I brought her present over with us to save on postage costs! Part of the pres was (of course) a handcrafted necklace which she wore to the wedding (it really was a very successful marketing day for Gingerbelle Jewellery with all of my beautiful life models mingling among the masses!)
Her necklace had to be young and a little bit funky so I chose these iridescent pearls and clear cube beads to make it a little bit more age-appropriate. I have since made this particular necklace two more times for craft sales (one in my college – youth-themed and one for the craft day that Spoon (of House of Spoon see:http://houseofspoon.blogspot.com/) and I tutored at last Saturday!)

And just for her I added in a rather coolio catch (though I must admit it is a little bit odd to use at first because it works differently to regular catches) a little heart to match the heart at the end of the extension chain. (Never enough hearts!)

And finally here is the lovely lady herself sporting the item in question and doing a stellar job at inadvertently advertising and promoting Gingerbelle Jewellery (aka GBJ)!! Good on you girl!!

Le Coeur Bleu

And last but certainly not least – I made a necklace for the eldest St Andre as Rachel doesn’t have her ears pierced. I asked her what her favourite colour is and she said ‘all of them’ – in French obviously! Which didn’t really narrow it down but she did say she liked yellow and blue so imagine my delight when I spotted this gorgeous lampwork heart pendant in Abacus Beads?! I snapped it up and then used the yellowy-greeny-bluey tinge as a basis and located a few of the cube beads in various shades of blue and green and used little goldy-yellow round beads as accents!

The heart was rather heavy so I used two lengths of Tigertail to give the necklace extra support (which it definitely needed!) On the day of the wedding (when I was giving the girls their presents) Rachel was actually wearing a beautiful heart necklace so at least I know it is a style she likes and she put it on right away and wore it the whole day – so I was really chuffed!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

GoldFish?? (ok ok, I know! -but GoldMammal didn't work so well!)

So Sonia (or SoSo)'s fave colour is yellow (jaune) just like me (moi aussi)!!! So I loved making a yellow pair. SoSo was the only St Andre to have her ears pierced over the summer (Amandine and Deborah only got theirs pierced last month) and she had one pair of long dangly earrings so I thought I would change it up a bit and give her these little round pair. [With hindsight I think she might have prefered a long pair but these ones are definitely my favourite of the three I made.]

I used wee dolphins to add a bit of charm [haha - see what I did there?] And the wee golden balls and yellow crystals give the lovely sunshine yellow that we love!!

Be There Or Be Square

Soo for Deborah I made these wee square cascade earrings. They are copies of 'Shiny Disco Balls' that I posted earlier but using square beads. It takes a bit of time to make this style but they always look really good on people, probably because there is so much going on and they are pretty from any angle. Her favourite colour is also purple so I chose pinks and purples for this pair.
They are fun and young and I think the wee boxes work just as well as the round beads...in fact I fancy a pair myself!!!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Oui, c'est l'amour

When I was in France over the summer visiting my beloved 'Famille Francais' Handsome Prince's youngest female cousin Amandine admired my earrings (which were bought in the Claire's Accessories shop in Dublin airport on the way over!) they are tiny dangly silver hearts with love written in joint writing in the middle. I didn't even know Amandine could speak English never mind read it (but apparently it is now on their Primary School curriculum)! But she pointed at them, squeaking with delight and said, "love". Anyhoo Prince Charming and I were in Germany last month at Yan&Dan's wonderful wedding, and as Miss Amandine was also to be in attendance, he asked me to make jewellery pieces for all his little cousins for all the lovely gifts his uncle and aunty had given us while we were in France.

Soooooo (after that very long intro!) here are the earrings I made for Amandine who just got her ears pierced last month. Her favourite colour is (purple) so that was the signature colour of the beads and I knew I wanted to make something simple (not too fancy) and yet not too childish either. But either way it definitely had to feature something to do with 'love' and when I saw these little charms online I purchased them instantly with her in mind.

In the end I think the style of these are slightly old for her but she adored them and immediately shouted 'love!' in her beautiful little french accent as soon as she saw them, so I'm thrilled that she likes them.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

How Much Is That Doggy In The Window...Woof Woof??!!

So in honour of the beloved (and unbelievably naughty!) Amber I wanted to make a piece to commemorate her incorporation into the family. Now, obviously for anyone even remotely familiar with Gil's pill-ish pup, they will know that there is NO WAY ON EARTH that I could make something for the little scamp herself as she would undoubtedly have it broken, destroyed, decimated and, no doubt, swallowed within 2 micro-seconds of receiving it (which is such a shame because it would be such an innovative business direction to branch out into doggy jewellery...hmm...I wonder...) Anyway as I couldn't make something for Ambino herself I made something 'Amber-themed' for GG.

This wee charm bracelet contains every single dog-ish charm i could find in shops and online!! (They are: a food bowl with 'Spot' on it, a doghouse, a pink bone, a wee heart with 'I love my dog' on it, a puppy, a silver bone, 'woof', a 3-D doghouse and a bone with 'Number 1 dog' on it). I think this is the first time I've used one of my toggle clasps which are better suited to bracelets than necklaces I think... (oh I've just remembered Copper Heart - my first entry uses a toggle clasp!) and I think they really add to the overall look of the piece as bracelets are viewed from all sides there is no definitive 'front' and 'back'. My favourite charms are the heart, puppy and silver bone, especially the wee bone - I even get the urge to bite it!!

Again - apologies for the photo, I can't currently crop any images.

So GG (true to form) had this charm bracelet all of one day before she broke it - typical! So it has been patched up and past back with a warning not to use this chain to bungie-jump, tow her car, climb a tree with - or whatever, it is only a very soft metal chain so I am reiterating the warning - go gentle GG, now I know where The Ginger Whirlwind aka Amber gets it from!!! Enjoy you two!

Hey Peeps

Apologies for the lack of posts but my work computer has been changed and it is preventing me from editing my photos so I can't post them at the minute. Am still waiting for a resolution but in the meantime I will search through and see if I have any 'ready-to-go' pics that I can post here just as they are... hopefully I'll get this sorted out sometime this week. Love to all. Stay Sparkly!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

All The Better To See You With My Dear

So for Mama I made a glasses chain so that she wouldn't lose her specs as she goes about her daily biz. Very simple concept and incredibly easy to make. All I had to do was choose the colour (red) which suits wee Mum's red trainers and add a few silver rose beads and hey presto!

I added a couple of dangly details (the wee Made With Love tag) and two butterfly wings hanging back to back to give a bit of texture and add another dimension to the piece (that sounds very space-y - adding "another dimension!").
Anyway it's a hit with me as it's speedy to make, pretty and practical!


Monday, 5 October 2009

Fuzzy Hearts

I heart these wee earrings. They are the first pair of stud-back earring I've made and I will definitely be making more. My hook-back earrings all tend to be very long but I like the stubby and sturdy look to this pair. I got the wee hearts in a craft shop in France and couldn't wait to get them home to try out some Valentines inspired pieces!!

I simply added a bicone spacer bead, a mini pearl bead and a little faceted red bead - easy as pie (oh...pie...yummy!!!!). Made in a matter of minutes (certainly less than 5) and ready to wear - perfecto!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Just Peachy!!!

[Please ignore the un-ironed pillowcase in the background - I had a small problem with my jewellery busts]
So this piece is for my Mama, it had to be classy (like her) but not too sophisticated that she wouldn't have any occasion to wear it. It had to be simple but pretty. And it had to be casual but special. Much like Muma herself. Sooo I choose these utterly delicious peachy pearls when I was in La France pour mes vacances, which are perfecto for Mumito as she wears lovely peachy-pinky shirts to her new fabulous work!!!
In between the front pearls I added a little sparkly rondelles (I ADORE them!!) and I think they just lift the whole necklace. The sparkles come from Germany – now let me quantify that statement with news that Muma will probably not find too pleasant so I apologise but just keep in mind “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” – Muma – confession – I found these beads – on the street – as part of a silver, gold and sparkly necklace. I deliberated about using them – normally I loath anything second-hand (I can’t abide owning copied DVDs, not thrilled with second-hand books either – except the really old ones! They are fabulous!) Anyway I just love the sparkles, plus they would be pretty pricey to purchase so the fact that I got them gratuis is even better – so apologies but that’s where they come from. Even so they do a stellar job in highlighting the pearls and adding a little je ne sais quoi to the overall effect.

And my Sweeto has worn it ever since I gave it to her (I must say I'm very flattered!), she even wears it in bed and in the shower - but I have noticed this is not reacting too well with the wire in the Tigertail so it may have to be restrung but I dont mind - I'm just delighted she loves it enough to wear it - which is what this whole blog is about!!!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Hello Laura!!!!!

This is just a wee quick message to say "Hello, top o' the morning to ya and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!" To the beautiful Miss Laura B all the way over in Oz!!!! I am delighted to hear that you got engaged - good on you girl!!!! And also so pleased to hear that you are following my blog - unfortunately I can't seem to get onto your blog at all?! So please email me an invite to it and I'll send one to you so you can comment whenever you wish! Also - awesome work on trying out the peg earrings, so simple and so funky! Keep it up and get a pic of you wearing them on your blog so that when I finally get on it I can see your handiwork!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves!

So the Pill is back from Germania and what better way to celebrate the reunion of the schwestern than with jewellery?! So in celebration of my lovely sisses I made them each a pair of earrings that reflect parts of their personalities! Hooray for personalisation of jewellery!!

So for Spooners obviously the earrings had to include a spoon!! I found the delight-inducing spoon charm in Belfast and snapped it up immediately! Also Junio is known for her love of stars and as is engraved into her graduation watch - she is our star - so I blinged out the earrings with as many stars as I could find (my fave is the wee tiny one!) Plus the blue star just fitted perfectly with the blue theme to match her eyes (typical blue eyed blondie!) - I just realised that almost everything I make for June is blue...hmm...according to Mum's rhyme it really ought to be maroon!!
The blue shard(?) also matches the one on her sailor necklace (I just love intertextuality!) and then on the other earring I made a heart out of blue wire and hung a wee colander off it to signify Spooners' love for cookery (and for Super D?!) I was torn between using a wee teapot charm (as J loves her tea!) but in the end I went with the colander as it is way cuter and more unique (much like the girl herself!) More stars and the wee clothes peg is rather topical as she has just invented a craft that requires pegs to string up letters to welcome guests and also she has a certain small (yeah right!) love of clothes - making and wearing!! So all in all, this is a rather true portrait of June through the medium of jewellery!

Now as for GG I did follow mum's wee mantra of 'Green Gill' - especially true because GG, a true redhead, knows how to rock a good green! So I took inspiration from her internal elf-nicity and went for a foresty, leafy look! So I used the leaf charm and a lovely green leaf shaped bead I bought in Germany (to remind her of fun times!). I made the green chain that the leaf charm hangs from by bending green wire, easy-peasy and it looks groovy too! I also made the green wire spiral spring which, in my opinion, combines architecturiness and whimsy - much like the Pill!

To show Gilzo's engineeriness I included a 'ruler' charm and following in the stationery theme, the wee 'pencil' charm signifies her superb artistic skills in painting and sketching! And finally I added two green safety pins (which I bought in France - these earring components are so well travelled - European-tastic!) to add a little (s)punk to the piece, making them just a little edgy and alternative - just like G!

Is there a better way to express love than through jewellery - I think not!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Cuff Round The Ear... ops! I mean... Wrist!!

I was out shopping when I spotted a groovy wrist cuff in Castlecourt around Easter and I bought it to bring home and try my hand at replicating it, on my first go I used second-hand beads as I wasn't sure how it was going to work out (this one would definitely be at the difficult end of the jewellery making scale) so the beads are a little bit crazy multi-coloured but it's kind of fun!
(If I make it again I think I will use mini pearl beads to make it a little classier!)

I didn't have any measurements for this so I just laid wire along the bought bracelet to gauge the length of each piece - the bought one is much stronger than mine and bounces back into shape a lot more easily (mine tends to take on the shape of the last way in which it was bent) and despite all my attempts at measurements (which are reknowned for being poor at the best of times!) this one is a little too big for my wrist but it does make a nice mid-forearm-near-elbow cuff!

The plaiting was pretty hard and all the lengths are tapered (in the bought one) so I just attached them all at an angle to make them fit!! As mine is a little on the generous side space-wise whenever I wear it I use ribbons to hold it together, Handsome Prince says I should attach lobster claw clasps to hold it together but I think that will take away from the overall effect, after all this type of cuff isn't really supposed to have a fastening, just cling to your wrist and then spring back to shape after you take it off and I think (in my humble opinion) that the ribbons are sweet and add a whole other dimension (if slightly out of theme) to the whole ensemble!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Legend of Ballintoy Bay

Ballintoy - that haven of liberty and fun-tastic times - is also the location of a little known legend that stems from the Bodensee in Germany and ends in Greenisland...
...Once Upon A Time (this is starting to sound like T.F.A.O.L-M-P!) there was a wealthy family living on the north coast of N Ireland, in a fabulous manor house overlooking Ballintoy Harbour and Sheep Island. They were healthy and happy, the parents and their six wonderful children lived in peace and in love until one tragic day the parents were killed by the children's evil Aunt who usurped the manor and lands and exiled the children to work in far off lands. The poor little orphans were bundled onto a ship bound for unknown lands but on the third day of their voyage, after much weeping, wailing and struggling the youngest child escaped from her bonds and ran onto the deck of the ship and cried out for help. Her cry was heard by a water nymph who came to the aid of the small child and asked how she could help, the child explained that she and her siblings were being sent away from their family home to work as slaves. The water nymph promised to help the children and though she could not magic them home she devised a plan whereby she would turn the children into dolphins so they could swim home to their beloved Ballintoy and the moment their fins touched the secluded, sandy shore of Ballintoy Bay they would turn back into their human form and could claim back their ancestral home. The children happily agreed and as the nymph promised, she transformed the children who swam delightedly homewards to their beloved Ballintoy.

However, their wicked Aunt was also a sorceress and once she heard of the imminent return of her nieces and nephews she ran to the coastline and kept watch night and day for the return of the six dolphin-children, seeing them from afar she set her own spell upon the children, that they would never again return to their human form but the moment they reached the shore they would shrink to the size of ants and turn to stone, where they would be overcome by the waves crashing on the beach and the children would surely drown. But her spell was not powerful enough to entirely overthrow the nymph's spell and so the moment they came ashore the dolphin-children shrunk to the size of ants and turned not to stone but to steel and were frozen in suspended animation so that they could neither breathe nor drown. The cruel Aunt ran to the waters-edge to ascertain the fate of her unfortunate nieces and nephews but as she leant forward the water nymph leapt out of the water, threw her cold arms around the Aunt's neck and dragged her down into the depths of the ocean and she was never heard of again.
But as for the children, their tiny steely-dolphin forms were swept out to see and carried by the ebbing and flowing of the tides across the wide world for 6 long centuries when they were finally washed up on a stony beach and were discovered by a master-crafter of fine jewellery who was travelling through the south of France. He picked up each little steel dolphin and carried them back to his home in Germany were he gently and lovingly crafted them into a delicate and delightful child's anklet.

Not long after that a small, ginger girl from the north of Ireland happened upon a shop in the Bodensee where she was holidaying with her family. The little girl instantly fell in love with the dolphin anklet and purchased the item and treasured it above all her possessions. But as fate would have it, one day when she had returned to her homeland and was spending a fun-filled weekend away with her cousies she happened to travel down to a sleepy fishing village just outside Coleraine, known as Ballintoy. She and her cousies decided to go swimming in the cove, formerly known as Ballintoy Bay, and watch the sunrise. Before entering the water she carefully removed her anklet, not wanting to wet the chain, and leaving it with her clothes, happily plunged into rollers and enjoyed hours of fun and frivolity with her family. Upon returning to the pile of clothes she left abandoned on the beach she discovered her dolphin anklet had gone! She searched frantically up and down the strand, in great distress at the loss of her beloved anklet but she would never find it. For the dolphin-children having returned to their homeland and in delight had slipped away from the girl and once they gained the familiar waters beneath their home they turned back into living dolphins and frolicked with joy and they lived out all their lives below the sea cliffs of Ballintoy.

Now the young girl grew up but she kept her love for the anklet dolphins with her and even when she returned, years later, to the Bodensee she went in search of more dolphin anklets. And though she did find others, none ever resembled nor meant as much to her as the one she bought all those years ago. As an adult her love of jewellery resulted in her crafting jewellery as a hobby and she knew that she must recreate a dolphin anklet to remind her of the one that was lost. And this is it...
The ginger girl always remembers her anklet with fondness and whenever she travels to the north coast she is always on the lookout for six dolphins playing among the waves, though she has not seen one even to this day. But, dear reader, she has never given up hope that perhaps one day, maybe darting through the moonlight reflected on the waves, or smoothly sailing through the first golden rays of sunrise, gilding the rippling water, she will spot the dorsal fin of one of her darling dolphins - fun-loving, free and fabulous! And They All Lived Happily Ever After. The End.

-Can't think of a pithy title to do with pegs-

This entry is surprisingly hard to find a title for - nothing 'peg-y' was coming to me, all I could come up with was 'Peg Me!' (in the theme of 'pick me') but the very fact that I would have to explain it means it wasn't a particularly good title, so I'm just going to go with 'Peggy Sue' (for obvious reasons!). So back to the jewellery...

Fun, funky and fast. I found a bag of multi-coloured pegs in a craft shop in Belfast and decided to turn them into a pair of earrings. Just pick your colour scheme, number of pegs and shape (this one is zig-zag, but you could also do curvy pointing towards or away from your face, for example) and then clip them in place!! Word of warning however, they do tend to 'ping' off every so often so a wee blog of wood glue between the 'nippy-bits' should hold them in place. I haven't glued mine because I like being able to change the colour combinations and length to suit my mood - 2 pegs day wear, 4 pegs night wear - but the sky is the limit, you could clip them all the way down to your waist if you so desired! Or simply make lots of versions and secure them all safely with glue, as a bag of about 50 pegs costs abround 80p-£1 you could make as many of them as you want!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

"CHARMED to meet you!"

This is another bag charm that I made for my mum - she has the most *blinged-out* handbags!!
This one has longer charms hanging off it than the previous one (though the premise of rainbow colour scheme is still the basis) and I really enjoyed picking which beads should go with which charm - the variety of choice is such fun to work with!I just love the wee copper heart - I didn't have a charm that would go with the the peachy coloured bead so I fiddled about with a bit of copper wire and bent it into the shape of a heart - I love the adaptability and versatility of wire work! And it means it's a little bit more personal than before. (I'm think of making a bag chain made up only out of home-made charms..hmm...)
I used a phone charm I got in a sale (just lots of thin metal butterflies) as the wings on the little angel, her skirt is a lily-esq flower bead and her head is a pink pearl - so easy and just made up of pieces I had in my bead-box (the wonderland that it is!)
The bicone beads above her head are all Swarovskis (in fact all the crystal beads in this piece are) they are super-sparkly and come in such a huge range of colours - perfect! Oh also, the wee silver heart hanging off the red charm is part of an extension chain that I cut-up to match the silver hearts and rose - mucho romantic-o!! And as it was a pressie for Mumito I had to add in a wee flip-flop sandal charm as Mum loves her sunny summer holidays, so when she looks at it (even in the bleak mid winter) she can remember fun times and look forward to more to come - she is such a suntot!!!

Honey, I'm Home!

Well I do believe it is about time for another post, now that i'm back from my fantabulous holidays and geared up to make more jewellery!! When I was away I treated myself to some fabulous beads and I just couldn't wait to get home and get making - in the last four days I've made 4 necklaces and two pairs of earrings and I've plenty more to come! In fact today I am sporting one of my newly made necklaces and it just makes me want to get home all the faster to get back at it! Also another reason for cramming as many pieces as I can is that I have (provisionally) got a new job for a jewellery shop in Carrickfergus making their jewellery sets!! I fear it will seriously detract from the time I can work on my own pieces but the extra money will be spent (in its entirety!) on new beads and charms - which I think is a pretty good exchange!!

But now, back to the jewellery...

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Shiny Disco Balls!!!

These wee earrings have probably sparked the most compliments of any pair I have made and they are such a simple concept - sparkly beads in rainbow colours (I can hear Spoon sighing with delight from here!) And really what more does a pair of earrings need than sparkly beads and rainbow colours? A match made in heaven in my opinion!

These beads are truly beautiful but I never seem to photograph them well, I lose their glittery sparkle with the flash and lose their shimmery shine without it - so I just have to go with whatever photo is clearest so the above pic is the winner! Also I am attempting to photograph my jewellery in different locations or situations until I get some sort of bust or jewellery hanger to display them on but at the min I'm using my crystal glasses - double bonus as I can now highlight my beloved glassware!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Violets are Blue... (See previous post for context!)

This is one of my favourite pieces, such a simple pattern and yet so effective! I also like how adaptable it can be, it can be warmed up to be salsa-rific by changing the colours or double the breadth (or is it the width?) and turn it into a feature-piece wrist cuff. It is easy to make and doesn't require any catches or fixings as it is stretchy, so all you need to do is tie off the end of the thread and hide it underneath one of the beads! And 'hey presto' it's ready to wear!

The above pic gives the impression that the bracelet isn't the same width/breadth all the way round but this is a sort of visual-illusion, or the pic was just taken from a funny angle. My colour choice was quite simplistic here and if I make another one I'll definitely spice things up a little, also next time I will use wider beads, the ones I used here are pretty standard-small 'seed beads' which made it more difficult to thread the needle and threading through, especially as some of the beads were passed through three or four times! But overall I love the look (and feel) of it and best of all it is easy-peasy and quick to make!!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Roses are red...

This is the necklace I made for MissMonj's wedding in April. It started my love affair with swarovski crystal beads that led to spending copious amounts online - ops! Don't tell Handsome Prince! Anyway this neckace has about half-a-dozen swarovskis in it, though they aren't too visible as I took photos of it ages ago on Sam and now I can't find them anywhere so it was remarkably bright of me to photo the piece on the owner at Spooners' soiree last week, so apologies for the bad lighting and angles but I didn't realise the other pics were missing!!

I chose the red and white theme as MissMonj loves her red, and red & roses (some of the wee metallic beads are roses) are universal symbols of love and because her engagement ring is a ruby so I though this would compliment it nicely! And she doesn't look too sad about it either!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Nautical Necklace!

Ok so here is my first birthday necklace - The Spoon asked me to make her a sailor/seaside inspired necklace for her birthday and I was happy to oblige! I must be honest and admit that this was probably the hardest piece I have made to date, I couldn't get all the layers to lie flat and compliment rather than detract from each other and I wasn't exactly sure what Spooners wanted it to look like - long chains with a couple of charms on the end (though I'm pretty sure she has one like this), short but full of dangly bits (but she def said she wanted a long necklace and not a choker), or something in the middle - guess what I went for?! Yip - something in the middle, short pieces with charms, longer chains, different types of chain and beading...and even some home-made rope!

I began with the thickest (and longest) chain as the foundation of the necklace, it was the heaviest and also the strongest so it could support the weight of the rest of the necklace, without being too overpowering (both in terms of link-age and weight!) I attached a few sailing-inspired charms (anchor, ship's wheel) and a some special pieces - like the chinese fish pendant and the mother-of-pearl-esq shard that hangs in the centre. The clam shell on the left is made up of two shell charms joined by wire, that can be opened to reveal a little pearl hanging in the inside. I made a pair of earrings that feature this idea and will be shown here later - I just love the idea of secret jewels (or in this case pearls!) you know it is there and you can tell people or keep it a special secret!!! [You know this reminds me of a pair of shoes I got years ago in Clarks - Mum kept asking me if I was sure they didn't hurt and to be honest they could have made every single one of my toes bleed and I would still have wanted them because they came with a key and this key, once inserted into the heel turned a little turntable so that you could see a picture of a rose or a 'diamond' showing through a small window on the sole of your shoes - brings a whole new meaning to the concept of 'Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes' - as an (gulp!) adult I now wonder what on earth was the point of having pictures of roses and small 'diamonds' on the soles of your shoes? Knowing how proud I was of them I have no doubt that I probably crawled about on all fours so people would notice them - seems strange now - especially because the top (read-visible) side of the shoe was so dull! White with maybe a flower motif somewhere but just nothing compared to the secret underneath - and that is probably where this hidden pearl, secret surprise, utter delight probably stems from - so thanks for that Mum - see what you have created!?!] Anyway where on earth was I? Oh yes, back to the necklace. I made the blue chain out of metal wire which is surprisingly maleable (or is that ductile?) and lightweight and then attached it to the main chain (it's fun to rhyme!). Above the clam shell is a little blue twist (I thought it reminded me of a wave? - or maybe that was just my over-active imagination?!) and a ring with tiny bells on it, to add a little jingling sound! i then attached the finer chain and hung more seaside charms (dolphin, crab and wee clam shells with blue sparkle beads).
I wanted to use the metal heart as the catch as I have done with othere necklaces but the chains were just too heavy and kept pulling it apart so in the end I hung it beside the 'made with love' charm and used a regualr lobster-claw catch to hold it all together! Though I have just realised i put the catch on the wrong side - Doh! Rookie mistake!!!

The above pic shows a close up of the convergence of my two favourite parts - the rope and the pearl chain. I love the asymetrical pearl necklace with all the tiny wee pearls!!! Never enough pearls! And as for the rope, I tried to twist the cord to imitate a ship's rope but it just untwisted as soon as I tied a knot in it. In the end I just gave up and plaited it with a couple of knots every so often. But I'm really happy with the way it turned out - believe me, there were times when i fantasised about chucking it out the window and even when i gave it to June it was just out of sheer desperation - to get it out of my house cause I had taken it apart about a zillion times!! But whenever I saw it on Spoon's neck at her party i began to relax and appreciate it. It turned out better than I expected, so I'm even more proud of it than I ought to be (in the way that when an under-performing child gets an A in his/her homework is way more encouraging than a straight-A student getting an A+)!! So yes it is slightly lop-sided and prone to tying itself in knots (dear love J - as we all know she is not one to keep her jewellery in a tangle-free zone!) But I really like it now and I think the imperfections give it character and unique-ness!

Beautiful! (Nice necklace too!)

Monday, 22 June 2009

Round and Round the Garden...

Ok so this has nothing to do with teddy bears but the shape and the rosebud and leaf beads seem to suit the title! I made this bracelet after making the Copper Heart bracelet and while I love the large blue beads (with rosebuds and leaves) and the very pale pink beads in this one, if I was to make it again I would use thicker wire and thicker jump rings. I think the beads look a bit too heavy for the thin wire and while it would be harder to work with thicker wire I think it might look better, if a little bit less dainty!I added a wee 'MADE WITH LOVE' charm and an extension chain with a little heart on the end to add a little flourish to the bracelet because I believe all sides of jewellery (front and back) should be pretty to look at. For example, when your necklace (inevitably!) spins round so the catch and the pendant are side by side, instead of detratcing from the overall effect, a pretty catch or an extra wee charm can provide a little bonus! Hooray!

Sorry about the blurry pics and the big black semi-circle in the right-hand photo is a shadow from the lens (I couldn't get the chainmail-y bit in focus unless I was very close so the camera blocked its own light!) Oh well, at least you get the gist!