Saturday 28 August 2010

Have you seen Creative Boom yet? They did a guest blog on Folksy earlier in the week Basically Creative Boom is an online magazine and network community that aims to celebrate, inspire and support the creative industries.

And look - I got featured in their "Look Book" a showcase for new design talent. Yay - I'm famous.
Click on the picture to go through to my little feature!

Friday 27 August 2010

Early autumn Folksy Friday

Listen, I'm just thinking ahead, I know it's not really autumn yet - hell no, still August and all that .... BUT... the weather has been a little...., you know, and the kids are back to school soon, and I do really like Autumn....(sorry did I tell you that before?).

Anyway - here's some rather lovely folksy autumn picks for the coming season...


Please click on the pics to go through to the shop..

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Late Summer Pallete

One of the  things I love about the end of summer is the colours. The pale golds and pinky browns of the summer plants as they fade; the pale blue of the sky on those still warm  (but not very...) afternoons.

This is a real transition, the palette moves from summers bold, bright and fresh hues, to a more muted collection. The sun still feels warm, but the soft glow of dusk is noticably earlier. This is the week or two before the autumn show arrives with it's deeper reds, browns and ambers.

I am so sad that summer is nearly gone, it's been such fun and has gone way to quickly, but then again...I'm looking forward to cosying up for autumn

Tuesday 24 August 2010

My Etsyversary - One Year On (FREE JEWELLERY ALERT!!!)

FREE JEWELLERY ALERT..... read on........

Crikey I've been selling my jewellery for a year on Etsy. A whole bloomin' year! Where's that time gone?

On 24th August 2009 my little shop opened and what a journey it's been. I've learned so much both in terms of making jewellery and selling it.

My photos have come on a bit... here's one of my first..

and this one is a bit more recent....

I've moved from only doing basic beading and linking to tackling wire wrapping, silversmithing, and playing with silver and copper clay. I've also started doing fingerprint and personalised jewellery, which is a joy to do!

I have my own personal hallmark, like a proper grown up jeweller, a dinky new kiln, a tumbler and a cupboard full of jewellery making "stuff".

People who know me, know I love to try all sorts of crafty things, I get bored easily and am always on the look out for my latest fad - but I have definitely been bitten by the jewellery making bug and will be doing this for a long time to come.

There's just so much to learn, so much to experiement with. I have projects and plans to keep me going for years to come.

I'm planning so many exciting things for my 2nd year. I've ordered a ring mandrel, and am going to get cracking on some new ring designs - keep a look out for them. I've been playing around with stamping, on bangles, and pendants. Another great way to make jewellery a bit more personal. And I've got lots of new ideas for the blog.

So as a celebration of my first year on Etsy, I'm offering for one day only a special sale on my store.

Buy 3 items and get the cheapest item for FREE!!! Yes you heard. Zilch. Zip. Nothing. How's that for a deal? The cost of the third item will be refunded via Paypal as soon as I see your order.

Tell your friends, tell your family, tell everyone! Get your Christmas shopping started early this year, like you always promise yourself you will! and enjoy!

Saturday 21 August 2010

Dublin - was brill!

Back again, and what a lovely lovely time we all had.

I must admit I was a little unsure what to expect. Anyone we'd asked about Dublin said it was brilliant, and they'd had an amazing time, "but oh... you're taking the kids... oh no we went pre-kids...., it was a hen do/ romantic weekend away etc..."

BUT we had a fantastic time. We had stayed in the south dock area, near Bono's recording studio apparently...

Grand Canal Square - Dublin Docklands
Here the old Dublin of dock workers and canal trade meets the new trendy Dublin of state-of-the-art theatres, offices and restaurants. The architecture is stunning!!

O' Connell Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

There's just an amazing mix of old and new all around.

We were only there for 2 full days so we didn't get a chance to do too much sight seeing - just the National Gallery and the Zoo, as well as a wander around the city centre. Unfortunately littlest is still a little young for too much wandering (we didn't take a buggy).

Hmmmmm looking at those fantastic markings on the giraffes gives me some jewellery ideas..
We took the girls out for dinner and lunch both days. On Richards birthday we went to a fab Thai restaurant Saba which was very grown up, but which catered for kids brilliantly, with colouring in, and a fab kids menu (fish tempura went down a treat!)

And did it rain?

Who cares!

Sunday 15 August 2010


We're off to Dublin for a few days tomorrow. I can't wait; I've not been before and I've heard it's a fantastic city.

Richard has plans for us to visit the James Joyce museum. Whilst I'm sure 3 yo would love to have an in depth discussion about the central cast of characters in Finnegans Wake I will probably take eldest around Phoenix Park while he's in there.

Looks like it's going to rain most of the time we're there, but we have macs, and there's lots of fun to be had in puddle jumping.

Will show you some pics on our return!

While I'm there I have some copper clay drying which I can't wait to fire on my return - I'll have pics soon.

Have a great week!

Friday 13 August 2010

Super stars....

Milky Way and Shooting Star

Apparently there was a meteor shower last night. I really REALLY wanted to see it. But it was about 11pm, and I was soooooo tired. So I've been looking for stars on Folksy instead... click through on the images to get to the shops.


I think the shower will carry onto tonight as well, so if you're still up when it goes dark do have a look. And let me know if you see anything.

Monday 9 August 2010

Macro is my friend

The sun finally came out over the weekend, and I decided to take some pictures of my newest jewellery makes so I could finally load it up in the shops. ( I have been slacking!)

You all know already that photos are vital if you want to sell anything online, and with jewellery in particular you really need a great photo that picks up all the detail, and colour of the item.

You might remember me playing with my camera a few months ago here and here; I realised then that just taking 5 minutes to play with the settings on my camera made all the difference. This weekend I played around with the Macro button.

 Don't get me wrong, I use macro, I often use macro - honest! But I don't always, and wasn't really sure what difference if any it really made.

Basically, all you need to do is press the macro button, which usually has a flower on it (see above!), and the computer moves the lens around to focus really close up on an object - which could even be just inches away. 

So here are the results of my very complicated, and time consuming experiement (ahem) ok 30 seconds in the garden.

 With the macro

Without the macro

I've made the pictures bigger so you can really see the difference. You can really pick up all the detail with the macro function... can you see how the pattern of the middle part of flower is so much clearer, 

BUT just a couple of issues to bear in mind...

Shadows - as you get closer in, it's alot easier to cast a shadow over the object you are trying to photograph

Depth of field - as usual, you only get focus on a particular part of the photo, but with the macro button the area that is in focus is reduced. This means you have to be careful to get the focus covering the right area!

Flash - you can't usually use a flash in macro mode, because you're generally so close to the object that the flash wouldn't illuminate it properly.

But that's it - easy peasy! A brilliant excuse to go off and explore the world in close up... would love to see your macro shots if you have any....add a link in the comments below.

Sunday 8 August 2010

Little trip away

I popped back up to Derbyshire to visit family and friends for a few days last week.
 I do love a trip back "home", just wish it was a bit nearer.
(that's a kite by the way!)
Got back to some exciting news on the house front... more of that later..
Have a good weekend!

Friday 6 August 2010

Folksy Friday - Papercutting

My Folksy Friday on a papercutting theme.... as my wordless wednesday blog post with a fantastic slow animation of papercutting doesn't seem to work so well!!

I must have a go at papercutting sometime soon, there are some amazing inspiring, intricate art papercutsaround. Check these out on Folksy - just click on the picture to go through to the shops!


If you fancy seeing some more amazing work, I'd recommend this blog:

Just beautiful!!!

Monday 2 August 2010

Can't believe it's only the beginning of week 2 of the school summer holidays. I'm loving the summer. My first proper summer off work with the girls (I don't count the summer littlest was born when I was on maternity leave as it didn't actually stop raining.. at all).

We've had loads and loads of fun, the girls are having a brilliant time, BUT I am getting very little jewellery made, and not keeping up with listings at all.

I've decided to go with it, and not worry too much. I'm working on a few bits and bobs, and have been playing around setting stones in bezels. I'm also working on a few new beaded necklaces, which are simple but I think effective. I'll hopefully load a few of these up later this week. So things are getting made.

My turquoise stash is steadily decreasing! I'm also planning on doing something along these lines with some rather lovely fluorite beads, and some shiny black onyx - intersperced with a splash of coral.

Summer is a quiet time on etsy and folksy generally, so it's a good opportunity to take some time out, and play.
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