For those who don’t know (I moan about it often enough!), I am a slave to back pain, and have been for the last twenty years. It’s been especially bad the last few weeks, so I haven’t been able to get much done in the shed So without access to hammers and blowtorches, I’ve been playing with beads and made these bracelets. Something I can do on a tray on my lapped while propped up by lots of cushions!
These ended up being a bit weather related – I’m lucky to have a big picture window which gives me a wonderful view up the Rhondda Valley, and we often just sit and watch the weather roll in. By weather, I usually mean rain, this is Wales after all! I had recently acquired some lovely hand made glass beads, so decided to make these pretty bracelets…
Droplets of glass hang from this pretty silver plated chain which measures 18cm (7") plus an extender chain. The beads have a grungy monochrome colour scheme, off-whites and cloudy greys contrast with distressed blacks and metallics highlighted by bright flashes of shiny silver. Thunder and lightening for your wrist, perhaps?
Just £12 with free postage, you can buy it here: Grungy Monochrome Beaded Bracelet
Sunshine on a rainy day gives you a rainbow Just in case the weather doesn't oblige, why not wear your own personal flash of brilliant colour? Lovingly handcrafted in a purple shed in the heart of the Rhondda Valley, each individual glass bead hangs from a high-quality silver plated chain which measures 7 1/2" (19cm) plus an extender chain.
Just £12 with free postage, you can buy it here: Rainbow Beaded Glass & Silver Bracelet
I was lucky enough to find some very pretty lace when I was out and about with Liz in the week, so I thought I’d share that with you too! Some will be incorporated into a couple of Steampunk projects we have on the go, so do come back and see just what we do with it!
Quite an impressive array of vintage lace!
Anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t like Mondays (tell me why) and I especially don’t like mornings. Combine the two and you have a miserable Mel Strong winds also scare me silly…
So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I was organising manchild for school at half past eight this morning when an ominous flapping caught my eye… the felt started peeling off the shed, so Beardy and me dropped everything, legged it outside and tried to hold down a sheet of flailing roof felt with sharp nails sticking out at all angles! In our pyjamas. The felt got away from us, injuries were only minor, and dignity was (just about) maintained.
Problem is, windy weather tends to come with wet, so we had to come up with a way of keeping the rain out until we could refelt the roof – cue Beardy and his magnificent bodging skills. So now I have a ghetto shed. Courtesy of the Soweto Roofing Company…
This weekend I arranged for manchild to go to his dad’s and for Beardy to be busy mending his mate’s bike so that I could have some quality shed time. I had applied for my maker’s mark with the London assay office last month and ordered a few chunks of silver from Cookson’s soon after, but due to the running aboutiness of the school holidays, didn’t get chance to make anything. Until today!
Just to test the punch, I tried it on a bit of scrap copper, and that looked good, so I did another on a little lump of 2mm sterling. With a bit of texture and some fancy bezel as detailing, it makes the perfect focal point for a very personal piece of jewellery.
The lumps of silver I have had taunting me for the last three weeks finally became pendants. A lot of hammering, annealing and filing turned two quite rough cut pieces of metal into lovely smooth shapes. The only decoration on these will be a hallmark – vanity pieces really, but why not? The long one is for me and the other for my mum, but I’m planning on making some earrings to match mine next.
So now I’m busy temporarily reclaiming the silver goodies I have made for friends and loved ones, so I can send them off to get assayed and hallmarked. I really want to do it asap as the date letter for this year is an “m”!
It’s the last day of the school holidays, and I’m bursting with ideas and frustration! I really need to get back into making things for the sake of my sanity (or whatever passes for it these days). My hallmark registration has gone through, and I’m the proud owner of a hefty punch with my maker’s mark. I’ve got some sizeable chunks of sterling to make into pendants where the decoration will be just the texture of the metal and hallmark – vanity pieces really, but why not? They will make really personal gifts for the special people in my life who have helped me get this far.
I found some beautiful lace when I was up at Mum’s in the summer, and have been experimenting with making Steampunk chokers with lovely Swarovski crystal beads, silver chains and the occasional skull. I’ll be listing these for sale over the next few days, now that the final elements to finish them are on their way (Royal Mail permitting).
I have also been playing with wire wrapping and when I have had a chance, some leaf textures. This lovely labradorite is going to become the focal point of a lariat with silver and moonstone elements, and maybe some leaves…
School holidays have taken their toll on not just time to be creative, but time to blog about it as well. It was Beardy’s birthday last week, and as well as a solid silver guitar pick, I also made him a pendant using a leaf from his favourite tree, a small oak in our garden which we have had from an acorn.
When I first started working with precious metal clay and did it all by the book, there was a project that involved painting a lots of slip onto the back of a leaf, and firing with the leaf in situ. But at that stage, I didn’t have enough scrap clay to make slip with, so never tried. Until this month…
I chose a few likely candidates to try apart from the oak leaf, namely a couple of maple leaves, ivy leaves and a beech leaf. Many layers of slip painted on and dried on a mug warmer later, it was time to clean all the clay from the front of the leaves and do a little light filing around the edges, but not too much, because it was so delicate at this stage. A very smoky five minutes under the blowtorch, and some more filing and tidying, and the finished article emerged. Beardy was very pleased with it, but still preferred his Ford Mustang seatbelt belt…. Hey ho.
I arrived home last night after a lovely few days with my mum to an impressive pile of boxes that had arrived while I was away…
Mostly from Vistaprint, I’ve been making the most of the free offers they keep sending me, and as a relatively new enterprise, we can certainly use some stationery!
I’ve been using the shed as a bit of a dumping ground over the last couple of weeks, so I had nowhere to create, sit down, or stand up, if I’m totally honest. Add to that the three tons of banners, posters, cards, t shirts, magnets and other stuff, and SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE. So I did it. Beardy will be expecting me to do the same thing in the house at this rate…
Ready to MAKE STUFF!