New jewellery

I have a stack of new jewellery to share (and I mean a stack!).  I also have a hangover, so I’ll get on with sharing the pics and keep the words to a minimum.

through blue

(painted pebbles – Plymouth Rocks)

emerald blooms

(ceramic bead – Slate Studio Supply, wirework clasp – The Curious Bead Shop)

smoked stripes 1

(ceramic spikes – Scorched Earth)

smitten challenge pack bracelet 1

(polymer bird – Pips, patina key and clasp – Something to do Beads)

cushioned hearts 1

(ceramic beads – Golem Studio)

criss cross

(lampwork bead – Cat Lampwork, polymer bead – Shipwreck Dandy)

smitten challenge pack bracelet 2

(polymer flower cap – Jetta Bug Jewelry)

lusrous gold 1

(ceramic tips – Scorched Earth)

blue all over

(painted pebble – Plymouth Rocks, patina chain – Something to do Beads)

verdigris skinny

(ceramic lentil – Golem Studio, patina chain – Something to do Beads)

standing stones

(ceramic drops – Scorched Earth)

stitch up

(ceramic heart – Scorched Earth, bronze clasp – Thea Elements)

dip dye vintage feathers

(ceramic connectors – Scorched Earth, patina feathers and spirals – Something to do Beads)

misfits

Told you there was a lot!  Some pieces have sold since I made them and some have gone off to Boho, but if you’re interested in anything, do get in touch.  I’ll leave you with a couple of sneaky pieces that I made for myself.

peach melba

(polymer beads – Shipwreck Dandy)

griffiti necklace

(lampwork pendant – Helen Chalmers)

Sales speak and sore paws

It’s been a rather fuggy week.  I seem to have spent much of it trapped inside, stuck in my arm charm, doing repetitive tasks.  I finished the sprucing up of the jewellery shop.  I’m half-happy with the results.  (All the new jewellery is listed – including a few pieces I’ll share here.)  One of the final chores was standardising the listings – very repetitive.  I’ve always had great difficulty writing listings, a far greater difficulty than the task warrants!  I found myself writing this stuff – ‘this beautiful’, ‘featuring a wonderful’, ‘a very lovely’, etc., etc. – and it just didn’t sound right.  It probably sounds a bit precious to say it but it just didn’t sound persuasive coming from me.  I really have always admired the shop name Buy My Crap.  And I also admire listings that give a detailed, descriptive account of the piece and its making, highlighting its qualities and loveliness.  I just can’t strike the right tone.

travertine 1

daff 2

I don’t imagine anyone finds it easy to enthuse at any length about what they make.  I’m hoping the format I’ve arrived at (which includes losing the adjectives) is an okay compromise.  It might seem a bit impersonal.  I don’t know…  But I’ve probably spent more than enough time fretting about it for the time being.

teal cottage1 copy vcp (ceramic cottage – Bo Hulley Beads, ceramic flower – Captured Moments)

The other repetitive task that has dominated my time during the last few days is bead sanding.  Once done with shop-sorting, I was quite ready to get to work on some new bead designs.  Several days on, I can say that my desire for bead making has been thoroughly sated.  I’m very happy making them, but the sanding…. .  I’m sure there must be an easier, quicker method than the one I’ve arrived at.  And my hands are in ribbons!  Anyway, I must have made about 150 beads and they’re all sanded finally.  Now it’s time to add paint details to the ones that need it, then, some will need glazing.  However, I’m going to leave off the glaze with most I think.  I’m always tempted to finish beads with it because I think it will protect the surface, but for some designs it just doesn’t look right. Also, some people prefer beads unglazed.  There’ll be photos soon and I hope to get them listed by the weekend.  Today, however, I’m having a break.  I’m going for a pub lunch.  I know – on a Tuesday!  But I must leave the house.

Starting late…

So, at last, a blog. And a new year seems a fit time to start out on one. I could have said this much a week ago, when I first settled down to write this opening post. Since then I’ve been quietly turning a blind eye to an increasingly pressing virtual blank page. At least my procrastination led me to make some new pieces, which I’ll dot throughout here. I love the chunky vintage copper curb chain in this bracelet. I had planned to add more details to it, but struggled to find something that suited the proportions of the chain. Having left it for a few days, I decided I liked it as is, raw and slightly spare.

Rich vtg chain bracelet- edited

At least the new year gives me one (slightly inevitable) subject to go at, and making jewellery offers some chance of making resolutions that are manageable – enjoyable, even – rather than the usual denials of pleasure or emotional disciplining (‘I’m not going to worry about X, I will no longer care about Y). And, as this is my first post, it will give a bit of an idea of what is to come on my blog. This year I will try lampwork and have a go at making ceramic beads. I did ceramics for several years when I was younger and I wish I had the room here to take it up again properly (this year I will continue to dream of owning a shed), but I’ll have to make do with a workshop for now. One of the main reasons I use polymer clay is that it can be used in confined, domestic spaces. I’m planning to try some new claying skills this year, and experiment with making moulds, stamps and texture sheets. I’ve also got plans for some text pieces that I’m hoping to get working on shortly.

rutile earrings

Of course, selling jewellery offers its own set of more challenging but predictable resolutions – spread the word, do more markets, promote, promote, promote…  I must at least resolve to get a bit better at this side of things.

One other thing I’ve told myself I must start to do more, is use the art beads that I’ve been hoarding for ages.   I only really discovered the mass of beautiful handmade beads that are available from all over the world in the last twelve months.  (I always wish I could have two of everything I get so I can keep one for myself.)   I’ve already made a start to this end while I’ve been busy not writing my blog.  I used Lesley Watt’s gorgeous bronze button in this bracelet, along with a lovely pale rose dahlia bead from Ciel Creations (all contact details are given below.).  I’m quite tempted to keep this one for myself.

rose tones w dahlia

There’s a Blueberribeads urchin nestled in there too.  I have quite a clutch of Caroline’s pieces, including this gorgeous pendant that has finally been freed from the hoard.

mellowing necklace_edited-1

I’ve also got a fair few NKP Designs beads stashed away.  One found its way into this bracelet.

penny button bracelet - edit

I had the idea for this piece in my head for some time and when I came to make it, it was a bit of a fiddle to realise.  I came close to abandoning it, but I’m glad I pressed on.

It is, I think, a pretty poor time of year to be subjecting yourself to additional deprivations and punishing strictures.  I find winters quite difficult, and the coming tranche is the worst.  There’s none of the warmth of autumn and its attendant celebrations (i.e. pumpkins and bonfires), and the anticipation of Christmas has passed.   Despite having resolved to abandon all hope of there being anything like a summer this year, I am allowing myself to look forward just a little.

crisp white bracelet

vintage spring floral necklaceThose stunning lampwork roses in the bracelet are made by Cecelia Lawrence of Midgetgembeads.  I think that’s all my jewellery-related resolutions dealt with.  I’ll save the more harrowing ones for another day.  After all, I don’t want to exhaust all my potential subject matter in one sitting.   I realise I’m writing this as if you might have the first clue who I am and what I do.  You’ll find an ‘About’ link at the top of the page, which gives some idea of what’s what with something to do with your hands.  It also gives links to my Etsy and Folksy shops (where I sell my jewellery and handmade beads).  Whoever you are, I hope you’ll be back soon.  Foolishly, I picked a blog host that is fiendishly difficult to use – you practically need to be a computer programmer.  I’ve been relying very heavily on my friend, David [Thank you, David!].  I’m hoping to set up some method of subscription shortly.  Perhaps I can tempt you back by telling you that next time there’ll be a giveaway!!  Ta-ra for now.

rose taupe long earrings