Friday, 11 September 2009

I've Been Playing with PMC...

I've been really enjoying my PMC lately. I've made lots of new pieces including the pendant here, which was a commission.

This is a beautiful ivy leaf pendant with a butterfly applique.

I was really happy with how this large toggle clasp turned out. It seems that I'm kind of using a floral, leafy and insect theme in all of my PMC designs and I love using the applique method. It's fiddly and intricate but I love the way the finished pieces look.

This has to be my favourite piece yet! It's a huge fancy clasp, with a large 'S' shaped hook which fits into a loop on the back of the leaf. The leaf has a cute lil ladybug and a pretty butterfly resting on it. This is a really chunky bit of silver but is still very delicate and would enhance any piece of jewellery.

This piece is mine!! I wanted to make myself something to wear and chose a ring...I'd been wanting to have a go at a ring for a while but was a little apprehensive because I've heard that they can be quite tricky to make, so thought making myself one would give me the ideal opportunity to attempt it without wasting a lot of silver if it went wrong!

Well it was difficult and fiddly, only because getting the measurements perfect is a science all in itself!! I got it just right it fit my finger loosely, to allow for shrinkage upon firing and I was really chuffed with it.

It was fired in the kiln and I was quite confident that it would be fine...hmm... seems I didn't allow enough for shrinkage! It was far too small for the finger I wanted it for, I wasn't a happy bunny :O(

But all was not lost, I've now added a little bit more clay to the shank, refired and it now fits my other finger perfectly. It's not a perfect finish, but it's mine and I made it and I'm dead proud of myself for that!!

NOTE TO SELF: Measure correctly next time! ;O)

Friday, 10 July 2009

Mission Complete...

In my last post I mentioned that I'd been working on a massive PMC commission. Well I'm happy to tell you that this comMISSION is Complete!!

My objective was to produce 46 bunches of grapes out of PMC.

These grapes were to create keepsakes for the ladies and gents that have worked with St Barnabas Primary School in Portishead, which sadly has been forced to close. It was decided that the ladies were to receive a necklace and the guys would receive a keyring. The bunch of grapes being the school emblem.

After working for over a month on the project it was great to finally have the whole 'bunch' of 45 pieces gift boxed and complete ready to go yesterday. The keepsakes will be presented on Monday as a gift from the Friends of St Barnabas.

The pendants in their pre-fired state...PMC is an amazing medium. Tiny particles of fine silver mixed with an organic binder to create the clay. Upon firing at temperatures of around 1000c the binder is burnt off to leave 99% pure silver.

The pendants post-firing. They have now been brushed off with a wire brush, after brushing the silver has what's called a brushed satin finish. To get the grapes to a high shine I placed them in a tumbler machine for 4 hours and finished by hand polishing with a silver cloth.

The completed product. 35 were placed on a sterling silver chain for the ladies and 11 placed on a sterling silver split ring for the gents.

What a thoughtful and unique way to say thank you...I do hope the people of St Barnabas Primary School enjoy their gift as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Recent Work...

I came across loads of vintage style charms while browsing the internet a while ago and never used them. I dug them out last week and here is what I made with some of them. I still have a bag full.

The large oriental fan is complimented on this piece by a beautiful pink daisy by polymer clay artist Elise Canning along with foiled pink Czech glass facets on an antique gold plated chain.
A huge copper butterfly attached to an antique gold plated chain and finished with bright red swarovski crystals on varying lengths of chain. There is no clasp and I've added the feature of 2 back drop dangles both finished with Siam Swarovski round beads.
A stunning silver dragonfly charm suspended from a fancy silver hoop off a silver chain. Finished with Indian Red AB Swarovski round crystals on 2 lengths of chain.

A large silver hoop tied with suede thong in bright cherry red which is then tied to silver chain to create the necklace, I've then simply tied more thong and knotted on to both ends a beautiful artisan lampwork bead by British artist Debbie Dew. Simple but stylish I hope you'll agree.
I'm busy with lots of fairs at the moment so much of the new stock is being sold before it gets entered into the web shops. I'm happy to work on commissions in the meantime, but there won't be much new stock added onto the web until the beginning of September now which is when I have a break in fairs.

I've been working on a massive PMC commission recently, I can't show you yet because the client hasn't received the finished product but watch this space to find out more...

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Craft Fair at Thurlaston Carnival, Leicestershire...

I had a lovely day out at Thurlaston Carnival in Leicestershire today. The weather was fantastic and a better day couldn't have been wished for by anyone, it got a bit too hot in the marquee though, which is unfortunately where we were sitting all day.

It was really great to see a proper village get together, where the whole village had made an effort for a good turn out.

I made lots of elasticated bracelets and childrens thong style necklaces, as I figured there would be lots of little girls with their pocket money to spend and I sold out!! Wow, need to make more now, BUT I'm not going to bother with the thong necklaces will understand when you see the picture...

This is how my lovely tidy bundles of thong necklaces ended up!! Never again...

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Tourette's Syndrome...

Ok, I know this is far away from the normal content of my blog but I felt I wanted to share this.

I missed the documentary that was on BBC 1 last week about John Davidson who was first followed by the BBC in the late 80's. I had seen the previous two documentaries and little did I know that his story would play such a huge part in my own life. I was so happy when I was able to watch the programme by using BBCiPlayer...

John Davidson has Tourette's Syndrome a neurological disorder that causes tics, in his case quite violent tics which make him, among other things, shout and swear, these tics are totally involuntary and he has absolutely no control over them.

My own son Josh was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome aged was from watching documentaries such as the one on John Davidson that gave me the information I needed to realise that there was something with Josh that wasn't 100% right. It took a long hard fight, 7 years in total, but eventually my son received a diagnosis and the help and support from the experts that we so desperately needed!

If you missed the documentary on BBC One, 9:00pm Thursday 28th May 2009 then you can watch it again by following this link Tourette's: I Swear I Can't Help It

Thursday, 30 April 2009

I had a PMC day...

I thought it was time to take the plunge and play with the PMC that I've had sitting here for ages!

I had a great time and can't wait to get the bits fired that I made, for now here is a pic of my pre-fired PMC creations.

I was surprised at how easily I got back into it, as I hadn't touched any PMC since the course I did in January I was really pleased with the outcome! Just hope they look as good when they're fired and tumbled.

Monday, 27 April 2009

NEW Website...

WOW, that was a busy weekend!

I was getting really frustrated with my website because the photos were taking forever to load and it was generally so slow it was off-putting. If I was feeling this way about it I dread to think what my potential customers were thinking, I can only wonder whether this is why I've had a drop in sales lately.

Anyway, I decided to treat myself (and my customers) to a new website and I've spent the whole weekend getting it up and ready.

The new site should now be much quicker to load, easier to navigate and generally much more pleasant to use.

Take a peek, and see for yourself


Sunday, 19 April 2009

I've had a Pendant Day...

I've had a great time sorting through my artisan lampwork stash and wiring some of them into pendants using sterling silver wire, spacers, swarovski and some beautiful Karen Hill Tribe fine silver.
Here's what I've created with some of the beautiful orphan lampwork beads that I'm fortunate enough to own.

I had a fantastic email today from an Etsy member saying that she had included me in her treasury...I feel really proud that someone has found my work worthy enough to include in an Etsy treasury. To have a peek for yourself click the link Etsy Treasury

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Gorgeous beads arrived this morning...

I bought these beautiful sets of beads from my friend Debbie Dew and they arrived this morning.

I just had to share them with you, I think they are stunning.

Debbie is a lampwork artist as well as a jewellery designer and produces some fantastic beads and jewellery from her home studio in Wales.

To see more of Debbie's work visit her website SilverArtz

Monday, 13 April 2009

Spring is in the Air...

It's been really bright and sunshiney here for the last few days and i'm happy to say it bought me a little bit of inspiration back.

I've been busy making handbag charms which seemed to sell really well at my last sale and have always been really popular on my website.

I've also made a couple of affordable charm bracelets in bright and cheery colours just in time for the spring that has just about sprung.

I love spring, don't you just love to see the daffodils and spring flowers in full bloom?

It's great to see the trees getting their new buds and the birds hunting for their nest making materials...

I also enjoy all the chocolate that the easter bunny brings ;o)

You can find all of my new spring creations at the Enchanted website or in my Misi shop

I also have to tell you I was a runner up in the Misi Easter Egg Hunt last week...

I was chuffed to bits to see that one of my prizes was a custom made bunny by Rennegurumi which I have had on my Misi wish list for ages now.

If you think she's as cute as I do you can buy your own Rennegurumi bunny or other gorgeously cute character by Irina at her Misi shop Rennegurumi

I also won one of these beautiful bunny pendants by Zoe Woods Collage Jewellery, another talented artist who sells her creations on Misi. To see Zoe's full range of gorgeous pendants, brooches and jewellery visit her Misi shop Zoe Woods Collage Jewellery

Thursday, 9 April 2009


I had a phone call this moning from the advertising and marketing dept. for Marie Claire, In Style and Look magazines.

I was shocked at the prices they are asking for just 1 advert in 1 magazine...£550+VAT for a 1/8 of a page advert, as you can imagine I had to say no! Think I'll stick to Free advertising for now lol

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Ladies Pamper Evening in aid of SANDS...

I'm taking my stand to Hinckley tonight for a charity Ladies Pamper Evening. I have to admit that I've never been to one of these events before, so I'm not really sure what to expect.

The evening has been organised as a charity event in aid of SANDS - the Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society, in my opinion a fantastic charity organisation which lends support to anyone affected by the death of a baby and promotes research into reducing the loss of babies lives.

How can You help?
Are you a 'knitter'? Could you help SANDS with their Precious Memory Box campaign. Follow this link to find out more

Friday, 3 April 2009


I had a disaster this week...

I've been having trouble with my laptop for a few months now and after too many phone calls to and from Microsoft to try and sort out the corrupt files that had somehow found their way into my system it was finally decided that I would need to do a factory reset!! Yes, a full system restore!!

Not to worry! I was prepared, and backed up all my important files and documents onto discs (or so I thought)

I did the system restore...finally got my laptop up and running again and was ready to load the backed up files on to my computer.

All fine and dandy?...NO!!

Documents - Fine
Files - Fine
Family photos - Fine
Jewellery photos - VANISHED!!!!

OH MY GOD!! 5 whole years worth of photographs of my work gone...the disc that I'd saved my Enchanted photos to was completely blank!!

Now what??

Well luckily, I had a previous back up disc which has some older work on it. Thank god for Flickr, Facebook and Photobucket where I had uploaded some of my more recent work...

...but unfortunately a whole lot of photos have been lost.

The moral of this story: Always make sure your back up discs work before doing a system restore on your computer

Monday, 30 March 2009

New Commission

I was contacted by a lady recently via my website. She would like to commission me to make her some silver jewellery from some cut stones that she's had for quite some time but has never actually got around to getting something done with them.

I was absolutely 'wowed' by the amount of stones that she is giving me to work with...all of these stones she wants setting to make pieces of jewellery for her friends and family.

Among these fantastic stones are Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires in various colours, Moonstone, Kunzite, Labradorite, Topaz, Green Diamonds, Amethyst and many more...

I'm soooooo excited about this commission...
What an amazing opportunity this client is giving me, to work with some of the most beautiful gems.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

My First Craft Fair of 2009

Well I wasn't expecting great things as it was only a small village fundraising event, but, this fair was a nightmare to say the least...I'm so glad it was a cheap table and I did thankfully make the table fees back.

I do apologise in advance if I offend anyone but this story has to be told...

I turned up at the fair and started looking to find my table, I thought there's a funny whiff in the air here...but thought it was just cos it was a kind of church hall sorta place!

I got to my table and the smell was even stronger!

I glanced over to the table next to me and I nearly died...I am no snob and I know some people are not like everyone else BUT this couple were the cause of the foul smell in the air...they were absolutely filthy, their fingernails were black, they had matted greasy hair that obviously hadn't seen a hairbrush or shampoo for years, they were wearing filthy clothes with very old stains and they absolutely stunk AND I MEAN STUNK!! I actually thought it was Lou and Andy from Little Britain, but it was 2 women...

Can you imagine the look on my face when they filled their stall...with HOMEMADE CAKES!!!!!! Me and my Mum(who came with me for support) looked at each other in disbelief...and do you know the best bit?? They actually sold some! People were actually buying their cakes!!

I was thinking 'ARE YOU MAD!!!'

Aren't there any kind of health regulations for selling cakes at fairs??

Would you have bought cakes from someone that looked totally unhygienic and quite obviously smelt so awful??

To top it all, the tables were tiny and I couldn't get half of my things on it so overall I wasn't amused.

Oh well, it can only get better...can't it??

Sunday, 22 March 2009

RIP Jade Goody...

I've just heard the sad news that Jade's battle with terminal cancer has come to an end. She passed away in the early hours of this morning.

My thoughts are with her sons and family at this time. I feel for her boys so much, and to lose their mum on Mothers Day is so sad.

Sleep peacefully now Jade, you were one very brave lady who showed immense strength and courage during your illness. God bless...

Saturday, 21 March 2009

I've been Blogged about...

I was thrilled to bits last night to find out I was the very first Misi featured seller on Zoe of Knitz n Bitz blog. You can see the blog entry here Knitz & Bitz Blog. Thanks so much Zoe, much appreciated!

I've finally sorted and polished all my stock ready for next weeks fair. I have sore fingers now, I hate that job!

I just need to place my order for some more busts and stands and I'm ready to rumble ;o)

Friday, 20 March 2009

Busy week...

I've had a really busy week this week and haven't blogged for a while...

My first craft fair of the year is slowly creeping up on me and I'm still not fully prepared for it. I'm actually quite relieved that it's only a small village fundraiser one. I still need to buy busts and display stuff because I don't have enough. Another thing to add to my to do list...

I've been busy making a few bits and bobs ready for the fairs that I've got coming up, all sterling silver and artisan lampwork pieces, and a bit of a monochrome theme going on...