Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Christmas shopping dates

I promised myself I wouldn't mention it until November, and I think I did pretty well. But I do need to let you know about Christmas shopping cut off dates.

This year one of my lovely cousins is getting married on the 21st December, so I thought that was a pretty good reason to make sure my shop was shut up and all orders were shipped well before then.

International orders - USA, Australia, and some Europe (please check) - 30th November
Most of Europe (France, Spain, Portugal, Germany - contact me for more info) 7th December

UK - 10th December

If you have something custom in mind, please do get in touch sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

It's just me here doing, so if things get too busy, my shops will have to close earlier to enable me to get all of the items made to the high standard you all expect. So if you have your heart set on something in particular, please (please) do get your order in early.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

And the winner is....

Hang on...wait a minute.

Before I do the big reveal I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who took part in my giveaway. Plus so many of you got in touch with kind words about my jewellery. It's made me so incredibly happy.

Sometimes it feels a bit odd working for yourself, on your own and selling the things you make online. Don't get me wrong, on my own is one of my favourite places to be, but you know, you do wonder if the stuff you're doing is ok.

And it's you lovely bunch on facebook, instagram, pinterest and getting in touch via email who make me realise, "ah yes people do like what I'm doing". Seriously, it means such a lot so thank you.

That's why as I began writing this winner announcment I felt a bit sad about only picking one winner. Obviously I can't give you all a set of stacking rings/ £50 voucher. I mean, I'd love to, but you know...

BUT how's about this...I'll do a bit of a flash sale for the rest of today.

Until 12 midnight you can all have 25% off whatever you'd like from Becky Pearce Designs.

Just enter the code HAPPY25 at the checkout.

This offer closes at midnight tonight GMT (24th October) so get in quick and enjoy.

UNLESS of course, your name is Louise Hughes. Because if you're Louise Hughes, you might want to be planning out what stacking ring set to get, or what to spend your £50 on. Louise, I'll be in touch shortly!

Congratulations Louise, and commiserations to the rest of you - hopefully the discount code above will sweeten the blow a little. And don't forget those of you on my newsletter get entered into a giveaway each and every month, so don't uncross your fingers just yet.

Friday, 16 October 2015

It's my once in a blue moon GIVEAWAY!

Did you know I do a little giveaway every single month?

It's only open to my newsletter subscribers, and it's one of the many ways I thank this bunch of lovely loyal customers for letting me email them occasionally with news about my little handmade business.

But, I don't usually do more general giveaways. In fact, I don't think I've done one so far this year, and probably won't for the rest of the year - so NOW is your chance!

Birthstone stacker ring giveaway

If you'd like to win one of my ever popular birthstone stacking sets all for yourself..... you need to read on (and actually, even if you don't want a set - keep reading, as there is an alternative prize!)

The winner will choose up to three ring - which could each be plain or set with a gemstone (birthstones, favourite colours, favourite gems - whatever I have that you fancy) and together we will decide on the shapes and sizes that will work best, to make sure your bespoke stacking ring set is absolutely perfect for you. 

As soon as we have the design worked out, and your ring size I'll get to work. Your rings should be with you within three weeks of me getting started. 

If the stacking rings aren't for you (or you already have a set!) don't worry. You can either gift your prize to someone else... (I'm not mentioning the C word but I know you know what I mean) and I can create a little gift voucher for you to give OR you can have a £50 GIFT VOUCHER to spend at Becky Pearce Designs instead. 

This giveaway is my way of saying a HUGE BIG MASSIVE THANK YOU to you all for your support. This has been the best year ever for my little handmade business, and I'm so thrilled and thankful. 

But as well as saying thanks, I'm hoping this giveaway will help to spread the word about my jewellery! I'd love it if you could share the chance to win with your friends. 

I tried to give as many options as possible to enter to make it lots of fun. Click on the link below to get started and enjoy!!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

September's birthstone - Sapphire

Well September might be just about over, but there's still time for me to sneak in a little post about one of my favourite birthstones.

September's birthstone is sapphire. I did a little post about sapphire, back in 2013 - when I hardly had any sapphire goodies to show you. Well, in the last two years I've incorporated a load of them into my are some of my favourites. (Click on the links for some more information!)

sapphire stud earrings
Sapphire studs 

sapphire trillion ring
Sapphire trillion ring
I think this is one of my all time favourite rings that I've made.

I use lab created sapphires in most of my designs as sapphire is a precious, rather than semi-precious stone and therefore a lot more pricey than other gemstones. Lab created sapphires have all the same chemical and structural properties as "real" mined sapphires, but they are made in a laboratory environment rather than over eons beneath the earth. As such they're more reasonably priced, and near perfect in colour and composition.

Check out the rest of the sapphire jewellery in my range.

I found some other lovely handmade goodies on the September theme... (click on the pictures to go through to the shops!).

Sapphire journal by BOUND on Folksy
I do have a bit of an obsession with notebooks, and this one is rather lovely.

Congratulations Card by Angela Chick on Folksy
How could I not love this card? Perfect. 

Moonlight hedgehog birdbath by Jo Sara on Folksy
I love this birdbath too - such brilliant work. And those gorgeous blues are just wonderful.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Care of your silver jewellery

Silver jewellery, and particularly silver rings which are worn often are unfortunately are prone to tarnish.

Sterling silver is a mixed metal, combining pure silver (92.5%)  and copper (7.5%) and it is the copper in the silver that reacts with moisture, and sulphur in the air to create the tarnish. As such the tarnish is produced more quickly in areas with high humidity - like swimming pools.

The tarnish will also happen with different speeds on different people, due to the differing body chemistry and the environments they live in.

I did a blog post a while ago on the basics of how to keep your silver shiny.. and have since found lots of other useful info on the internet about it.

I thought this post was particularly informative on how to clean and care for sterling silver jewellery and covers everything you could possibly wish to know.

There are a lot of other websites which suggest using aluminium foil, and bicarbinate of soda - but I must admit I've not tried it yet. I'm also lucky as I got myself a super dooper ultrasonic cleaner for my workshop, which keeps all my silver nice and shiny, (and you're always welcome to get in touch about sending your jewellery for a go in it!) but I'd love to hear any of your other tips and tricks if you've got any.

To stop the tarnish building up in the first place there are lots of suggestions like not wearing your rings in the shower, or pool, or when you're cleaning etc..

Pah - I don't know about you, but I can't be doing with taking my jewellery on and off all the time.

Apart from anything else I'd forget to put it back on again.

I personally reckon the easiest solution is to keep the tarnish at bay by getting a silver polishing cloth, and giving them a quick rub every day just before you put them on. By keeping the tarnish down in that way, it should never build up to a problem level.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The evolution of a jewellery business

Well, after months of thinking about it, and a few weeks of doing bits and bobs behind the scenes, the new look Becky Pearce Designs is now live.

Things have really changed in terms of how my business looks since the start. When I started this all off back in 2009 it was a hobby. I was trying to juggle working three days as a research manager for a publishing company, and two pre schoolers. At this time doing a little bit of beading here and there was what kept me sane. It was how I relaxed.

It was so exciting to set up a new shop, and blog. There was loads to learn and play around with. I called my shop Red Bird Jewellery, got a pretty banner and it bought in a few pounds to help  pay for all the beading supplies I was buying. When I look back now on the really early days - crikey - things have changed a bit!!

Here's an, ahem, ever so professional picture of the first thing I ever put into my etsy shop.

(chain maille necklace from 2009)

Wow. I'd have to say both my jewellery style and photography have changed somewhat over the past six years. Hopefully for the better.

The first banner I had at this time was one;

Beading eventually led to playing with precious metal clay; which then led to getting a torch and basic soldering, which then led to all the silversmithing I do today.

(a 2015 necklace)

I gave up work at the end of 2009, and started childminding so I could spend more time with the kids, as well as step up the jewellery. It was then that I thought (hoped) that maybe jewellery could, just maybe be more than a hobby which just about funded itself, and develop into a creative business. 

Here's my post at the end of 2010 on whether I'd made the right decision or not. 

In 2011, I splashed out on a new camera. (I can still remember the pain of spending that much money at the time) and I took a photography course both of which changed the way my photos look dramatically. 

In February 2012 I got my own website, and changed the business name to Becky Pearce Designs. 

And this header made an appearance,

I also started making rings. And then realised I absolutely bloomin' LOVED making rings.

Some of you will probably remember this incarnation. It doesn't feel so long ago, but in so many ways the business has changed dramatically. 

In August 2013 the header changed again to this... 

and I got more and more into working with birthstones, and began making more and more rings. 

Rings, and in particular birthstone stacking rings have definitely become my number one bestseller...

...but I still make all my other goodies too; bangles, earrings, necklaces, you name it.  And I have so many new designs waiting to be made in my sketch book.

When I started writing this post, I was just going to show you the new logo design but once I started, looking back to the beginning and plotting the evolution of the business was a real eye opener.

One thing I realised is how much I have learned, and how my skills and confidence have developed in the last 6 years. I feel so proud of my progress.

But the thing that struck me most; the thing that really thrilled me is the realisation that so many of my customers, and facebook friends have been along for the ride, maybe not since the very beginning but for years and years. I can't tell you how grateful I am to all of you for your custom, your support, and advice, your comments and "likes" and for pushing me to advance my designs with your commissions and special requests.

It really means the world -  I am so lucky to have you all - THANK YOU!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Stone shapes

I wrote recently a bit about the difference between types of stones, specifically faceted stones, and cabochon cuts, but that's not the only thing to consider in the stones you choose.

I'm making more and more sets of stacking rings these days, and it's so lovely to use a variety of shapes and sizes in the stack.

I'm always adding more options to my stone collection, so won't list here all of the different shapes and sizes I can offer in each stone choice - for the most up to date information, just get in touch and I'll be able to let you know the options. But here are the key shapes...


These are the rose cut, faceted and cabochon stones that I use most often;

aquamarine rose cut ring

The size of cabochon I most often use within ring stacks are 6mm and 5mm. 

cz faceted round

The most popular size of faceted stones are 5mm, such as in this cz ring above.


Again ovals are available in cabochon, rose cut and faceted stones, and come in a variety of sizes. The most common, that fits nicely into a ring stack is a 7x5mm oval.

7x5 london blue rose cut stone
star sapphire cabochon in gold fill ring


The square sizes I most commonly use are 4mm and 5mm. These can be a little tricky to get hold of in a lot of gemstones but are readily available for rubies, sapphires, cz, and a few others.

Square sapphire with chunky band
The stack in the photo at the very top of this page shows a lovely turquoise cabochon.

cushion cut rainbow moonstone

A slight alternative to the square is a cushion cut which is a square cut stone with slightly rounded corners.

Triangle (Trillion)

Sky blue topaz trillion
The trillion stone has a few variations. It is a triangular cut, but can have straight or slightly curved edges, and often has soft points. 
Peridot trillion (a curvy number!)

This post is already a little picture heavy, but I hope it gives you an idea of the most popular stone shapes, that are readily available in a number of gemstones. I'll put together another post shortly with a few of the other options... octogon, teardrops and freeform. 

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