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!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Summer Lovin'

These wee earrings are just so full of fun!! They are probably the easiest piece(s) I've done to date. So easy and super-fast to create, that's one of the things I just <3 about making earrings, there are endless combinations and designs, the only limiting factor is you imagination! - so it is so easy to create diverse designs that can be as easy or intricate as you want - delightful!

They are colourful and lots of fun - perfect for the summer! I'm not too sure what the heart and flower charms are made of but it always reminds me of shells, which only re-inforces their summer-y feel! Ohh I do love the summer!!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Leading a CHARMED life!

So I asked my tiny mumito what she would like me to make for her and she asked for a bag charm. I loved making all the different wee attachments and got slightly carried away with pure enthusiasm and made far too many charms so I split them up and made two bag charms instead!
This one is probably my favourite, shorter, neater and better proportioned. I laid the colour combos out in a rainbow (red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple-pink) and used mulitcoloured pearls as the basis, here are two close-up pics, one with a flash and one without, I'm not sure which one I prefer as they both highlight different attributes of the beads, but see what you think:

See what I mean? The left-hand pic is darker and less aesthetically pleasing but it accentuates the sparkly beads better than the right-hand pic does.

It was lots of fun picking the beads and arranging them whatever way I pleased. There is less emphasis on balancing the bead combos in bag charms than there is in making earrings for example, where the arrangement can look top or bottom heavy and therefore unbalanced. However, I did try to stagger the styles and sizes so that they fell comfortably upon one another and no one side was over-powered. This bottom pic is just taken at a more artistic angle and gives a better idea of how the bag charm looks when it is attached to a beautiful bag and swinging merrily. Enjoy!

Take a LEAF out of this book!

Apologies for the cheesy title (but houseofspoon started it!!)
This is the first pair of earrings I have made - confession - I copied them from a little piece I made for my Mummy (which will feature here a little bit later!) As I was making her piece a few ideas popped up in my mind and I couldn't wait to get started on these two.

I love the earthy, tree-y feel of the leaves and the peppermint-y colour of the Swarovski crystals and the pearls (I've just got a craving for peppermint creams...wonder where that came from?...) The leafy beads and charms really tie in the nature-theme, while the flower and drop charms give the earrings a slightly edgier(sp?) feel so they are not too matchy-matchy.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Copper Heart

I made (very simple) necklaces years ago - just for fun, and so when my big sis was getting married and suggested that the bridesmaids should make their own jewellery I jumped on board. As it turned out she made the other two bridesmaids' necklaces (and rings) and I made my own - you can just about see it in my profile pic - and since then I spend every free minute musing over my beads to come up with a new piece.

The first thing I made was this copper bracelet, it was my first time trying some chainmail techniques but the copper was very easy to work with and I am super-happy with the result as it is ginger (just like me!).

Handsome Prince is not too sure about the blue crystal with the copper wire but I think the contrast is very striking! I might make another one in the future using paler, more complimentary colours (like the little peachy crystals flanking the blue ones).

I really like the heart-shaped clasp, it just lifts the whole bracelet - gives it something a little special! Here is a closer pic of the 'chainmail' effect, it was looks more sophisticated than it is. It is pretty easy to make which makes it a very good beginner piece!

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Hello and welcome to my brand-*sparkling*-new blog!!!!
Ever since April this year when my beloved cous MissMonj got married (hooray!) and I was experiencing certain financial hardships (we're in a recession people!) I decided to make her a wedding present (despite the fact that the beads worked out probably as expensive as a wedding gift would have been) and so my passion for jewellery making was re-kindled and with a little persuasion from craft-mistress houseofspoon I began to make beading my hobby and so this blog was born to document my pieces - hope you love them! <3