Exciting News!!

I’ve been sitting on this behind the scenes for a while now (although not as long as you might think) and I’m so excited to finally be able to tell you about it!

I’ll be doing a popup shop for a month, starting on Friday!

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If you’re based in the Bay Area, I’d love to see you there.

I’ll be in the Crocker Galleria (SF Financial District) from February 15th to March 15th

Opening hours Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm (Saturdays are a maybe for now)

This opportunity was organised by Storefront and Storenvy and there will be 3 other Storenvy sellers with me in the space: After Eleven ApparelAnimal Instincts and TopShelf Boutique.

Right now the space is just an empty store so I’ll be instagramming, tweeting and facebooking pictures of the setup, check those out if you’re interested!

Hope to see you there!!

New pieces for 2013

The process of working on and publishing new pieces always seems to take an excessive amount of time to me. I’ve had some of these designs made and ready for sale (and on sale at my craft fairs) since November but I’ve only just now finally got them ready to list online.

Anyway, I think they’re well worth the wait! I’m super pleased with the new collection; I really feel like I’ve developed my style to the point where my new designs fit seamlessly alongside my older ones and I’m loving exploring my inspirations a bit deeper.

My Emberseeds Collection is always the easiest to design for – ideas just won’t stop jumping into my head for this one so it’s no surprise that I’m adding quite a few pieces to it:

Triangles Stud Earrings

Triangles Stud Earrings

Chevron Band

Chevron Band

Isoceles Earrings

Isoceles Earrings

Square Studs

Square Studs

Kite Long Necklace

Kite Long Necklace

My Sundrops Collection is definitely the one that emerged first, and the one whose inspiration is closest to my heart. It’s such a simple collection, there seem to be endless ways of making beautiful things with circles so the challenge is to find the unique.

Eclipse Long Earrings

Eclipse Long Earrings

Eclipse Bracelet

Eclipse Bracelet – the only bracelet in my current collection

Eclipse Necklace

Eclipse Necklace – a rework of a very old design

The magical, romantic world of Fae is one I wish I could represent better with my jewelry but I’m really pleased with my small line of slightly more ornate pieces:

Scrollwork Earrings

Scrollwork Earrings – another rework of an original design

Earrings

I still need a name for this super simple design

Filigree Earrings

Filigree Earrings to coordinate with my Crown Ring

I’ve retired my After the Rain collection because I just didn’t feel connected enough to the inspiration behind it. I’m replacing it with the Ocean Dreams collection, where I get to use lots of turquoise in all different shades!

Ocean Spray Earrings

Ocean Spray Earrings

Sea Breeze Cuff

Sea Breeze Cuff – not strictly a new piece but since it’s a new collection I decided to show you all of it

Spiral Earrings

Spiral Earrings featuring a genuine, chemical patina instead of the gilder’s was I use on most of my patina pieces

Sea Breeze Earrings

Sea Breeze Earrings – another design that’s already been around a while, even in its patina form

 

Sea Foam Earrings

Sea Foam Earrings – another case of adding patina to an existing design

So there’s the preview! What do you think? I’ll be listing them online over the next few days so you should be able to buy them by the end of the week!

Sterling Silver Posts on Earrings

I made this change a while ago but I guess I forgot to tell you about it!

All my stud earrings now come with a silver-fill post instead of copper. I decided to make the change, not because there is anything wrong with putting copper in a piercing – my dangle earrings still have copper wires, and sterling silver is part copper – but because copper is too soft.

Studs just after soldering

In order to connect the disc to the post I have to solder it and that means heating the whole thing with a blowtorch. Heating metal makes it soft and then it takes a lot to get it tough again. If the post is too soft it tends to bend when you push the butterfly back onto it and that’s really annoying and not what you want in your earrings! So I’ve switched to the silver-fill because it has just enough extra toughness to make all the difference.

Red and Gold Custom Wedding Jewelry

I recently had the privilege of making another of my friends’ wedding jewelry. Her wedding took place in the UK in December so she chose a Christmas theme and a colour scheme of red and gold.

Sketch

She had a very clear idea of what she wanted – simple, pearls and gold, maybe with some red – so it was easy for me to sketch out some designs to show her.

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The bridesmaids’ jewelry was really, really simple – a large pearl bead with an ornate gold beadcap. Her maid of honour doesn’t have pierced ears so I made a bracelet instead of earrings for her.

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She wanted her tiara to be on the small and simple side of things so this was the design I came up with and crafted for her – small freshwater pearls with tiny, red swarovski crystals on a gold band.

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Her dress was strapless so she wanted to make sure her necklace was enough of a statement piece to hold its own. I carried through the tiny flashes of red in the 2nd strand of this simple 2-strand necklace.

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The earrings had the most red of any of her jewelry – I sandwiched a red margarita bead in between 2 freshwater pearls to make them a little more dramatic than the bridesmaids’ but still very simple.

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I was really happy with the designs, especially their simplicity, and I know she loved the finished result and she looked gorgeous on her big day! Success! :)

New Gemstones!

I did really well at my craft fairs in December so I went a bit crazy buying exciting new supplies for the new year!

I really love the look of raw gemstones – uncut or rough cut and so natural, they fit in perfectly with the existing style of my work and I finally managed to find some to buy!

You can see a whole pile of exciting stuff here! Most of them are beads but a few are cabochons (don’t have holes drilled in them).

These natural Aquamarine sticks are my absolute favourite! They were quite a lot more expensive that any other supplies I’ve bought before but I just *had* to get some. Now I just have to come up with a design that will do them justice (and take a proper picture of them).

I already have a design in mind for a lot of these supplies but there are quite a few that I just bought because I loved them, or which turned out different than I expected, that I’ll be playing around with over the next few weeks.

I’ll be posting previews of my latest items (and there’s a lot in the works :) ) very soon so keep an eye out :)

Mobile reading is now fixed!

Just a very quick post to let you know that you can now read my blog on a mobile device!

I don’t know why it was broken but there was a weird problem where the page was pushed across so you could only see the right hand side of the text but now, thanks to my wonderful husband, you can read the whole thing :)

I know quite a few people had been asking for this so hopefully you’ll be happy with the changes :) We removed a lot of the navigation elements so let me know if there’s anything you particularly need putting back in!

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New Year Sale

I know I mentioned my New Year Sale to you the other day but now I’ve been back from vacation a while and some of the dust has settled I wanted to share a few of the items which are in the sale with you.

There are 15 unique designs on sale, most of which I’ve been making for over 2 years now and I just feel like it’s time to change them up!

The bubbles bracelet and matching earrings (in Rose Quartz or Aquamarine) is still a really popular design but I’m moving away from gemstones in nearly all my pieces now and these have really done their time already!

 

 

These earrings were always limited edition (in Jasper, Green Aventurine, Rose Quartz or White Jade) because my supply of the beads is erratic. I know they have always been popular with people browsing but I think, thanks to the amount of time it takes to wrap each bead to the frame, the price was just a little too high for most people. Hopefully now they are 50% off the people who loved them will be able to get them :)

 

This dramatic, statement bracelet is a great piece but bracelets just aren’t that popular and I find, for statement pieces, people prefer bangles. I have 2 left before they are all gone for good.

 

These earrings were another really popular item but I didn’t feel like the design was unique enough – earrings in this shape are easy to find and I don’t think the copper and the textured finish are enough to make them stand out.

 

I love these long necklaces, they have such a summery feel! But, with my move away from using a lot of beads, they just don’t fit anymore so they have also been discontinued, along with the matching earrings.

If you’ve been counting you’ll notice that’s nowhere near 15 items, even if you include the matching earrings. You’ll just have to go to my Etsy shop if you want to know what else is on sale! :)

 

Featured Artist – Nangijala Jewelry

I discovered today’s featured artist via this post on the LAB. I was intrigued by that ring and knew I had to see more work from Nangijala Jewelry!

I found more work, loads more gorgeous work, and knew I had to share it with you; here are my favourites:

 

Aaaah… the colour, the twisty shape, the raw finish… what’s not to love about this ring!?

 

I love, love, love these stud earrings. The combination of yellow gold with blackened silver, the adorable shape that kind of looks like 2 halves which were broken apart and the contrast of the round side with the jagged, ‘broken’ side and, of course, the tiny little gemstone in just one of the studs!

 

The simplicity of this ring contrasts sharply with the striking design of the first I showed you, yet is clearly still part of the same body of work. I love the tiny gemstone set in the middle and Emerald is, after all, the colour for 2013.

 

I can’t get enough of that black and gold combination and I love natural shapes like feathers and leaves, especially done in this raw fashion.

What do you think? Check out her Etsy shop to see more of her work and let me know which piece is your favourite :)

Heading into 2013

I’m not particularly into New Year’s Resolutions. In fact I’m more the kind of person who likes to constantly make (and break) resolutions throughout the year! January is no exception and that fresh-start-feel helps me to feel like it’s ok to try more drastic changes than at other times of the year.

Here are a few of the things (of varying importance) that I want to try and achieve this year:

I still haven’t made anything with these beads I got in 2011!! I keep taking them out and pairing them up with things and putting them away again so this year I want to actually make at least one finished piece with them!

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I need to cease my endless determination to offer every style in every colour! Now I’m moving away from round beads towards raw, unfinished gemstones (more on that topic soon) it will be easier for me to achieve this because I just won’t be able to get hold of the materials in many colours.

Stop overthinking things. I think about my business and my jewelry all the time… which is good but I often take it too far and end up changing things that didn’t really *need* changing or, worse, not working on anything because I haven’t planned it out fully in my head yet.

Eat breakfast and lunch everyday! I’m so bad at this but I’ve been getting better since we moved house. I’m sure I won’t achieve this goal but I really want to continue moving towards it.

Photography. I want to take my camera with me more often when I leave the house and I want to go out on specific photo trips more often as well. And I want to snap snap with my phone more, too.

Looking back at 2012

The new year is a perfect excuse to look back over the previous year, and it’s really useful to review what did and didn’t work well so you can do better in the coming year. It’s also really nice to remind yourself of everything you did, and especially all the things you achieved, so you can start the new year with confidence and a happy glowing feeling.

So here’s a summary of what I feel are my highlights from 2012:

I started the once a month promise and set myself the challenge of buying a handmade jewelry component once a month and then making something with them. I had a lot of fun trying to design a piece of jewelry with a random component each month and I’ll be quite sad once I’ve made my December piece and the challenge is over.

My favourite Once A Month Challenge piece!

My favourite Once A Month Challenge piece!

I decided to give twitter another chance and discovered the awesomness that is tweetchats and then went on to host one myself! I love how many new friends and connections I’ve managed to make on twitter; there’s a whole community out there and I’m so pleased I joined it.

I carried on building on my skills in 2012 and tried out several new techniques including etching and chemical patinating. I also got a custom rubber stamp and started providing branded gift boxes with every order. I’m so happy with how much more professional they look now!

Orange and Copper Filigree earrings

The results of my early etching experiments

I love custom work and I was fortunate in 2012 to make 2 custom wedding orders and a few other custom pieces. Some of that work hasn’t been shared here yet so I’ll be showing you that in the next few weeks!

Bridal Headpiece

Custom Wedding Headpiece

We moved house and, as a result, I got a lovely new studio space which is so much bigger than before. Shortly after that my husband took me on an amazing surprise vacation to Hawaii where I got in equal parts relaxation and inspiration, coming back with loads of new ideas!

Volcano at night time in Hawai'i

Volcano at night time in Hawai’i

I am now selling my work in 2 San Francisco stores, Adorna Bella and Urban Bazaar. I know I didn’t actually tell you about Urban Bazaar because it happened not long before Christmas so I was too busy to get a post together.

Finally, it’s been a big year for me for blogging! I’m now a regular contributor on IAMTHELAB and also on Daft Crafts, as well as starting 2 new blogs which I’ll tell you about in more detail very, very soon!

How did your year shake out? Do you enjoy looking back or do you prefer to keep your eyes firmly ahead?