Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Treat for Myself





I had hoped that the fair on Saturday would be a great debut for this pair that I made for myself. I made them a few weeks ago and I’ve been wearing them out but I hadn’t posted them yet. Initially I didn’t even know if I would post these because I really made them for myself.

For Christmas I made a small wish list; three items. Leather Gloves, a DNA test (so I can find out my family history and if I have any genetic disorders) and couple’s jewelry (necklace or ring). When I gave my list to Neil he said he couldn’t buy me any of them; he couldn’t get to a department store (he was sick around Christmas), he had to order the jewelry well in advance to get it by Christmas and he WOULD NOT get me the DNA test; he doesn’t want to know if I’m genetically predisposed to any diseases. So I had to make another wish list. I don’t remember what the other things were on it but one was a tablet and that’s what I got. For my birthday Neil was feeling a little better so we went to a store and we found some leather gloves. But still no couple’s jewelry.

Then one night it hit me; I may not be able to make a necklace (although I can try), but I can make myself a pair of earrings. And since I had some garnets anyway I’d just have to get Neil’s birthstone. So I sent away for some topaz (yellow) beads. I didn’t get exactly what I wanted; unfortunately they didn’t have smooth beads like my garnets. But fortunately I I realized I had some larger faceted beads that must be knock off topaz.

So one Sunday (I wrote about that day here) I made my earrings. Boy was it tough! The small faceted garnet beads are so small the holes will not accommodate my headpins. So I had to thread them with a smaller gauge wire which unfortunately is silver and not gold like the rest of the findings. But that was the only way I would get these threaded.


The earrings feature 6mm smooth garnet beads, 4mm faceted garnet beads, 6mm faceted topaz beads (plastic) and 4mm faceted glass topaz beads. Most of the findings are gold-plated, but as mentioned above the 4mm garnets are threaded by silver-plated wire. All the beads hang from an eyepin and look like a bunch of grapes hanging from my ears. The earrings hang about an inch and a third from the ear.



I must admit when I looked at couple’s jewelry at Christmas I realized that our birthstones look very nice together. How can you go wrong with red and gold? While these are mine and Neil’s birthstones I will make the same (or similar) earrings for anyone who like them. You can let me know your preferred stones and I’ll let you know how much they’ll cost. My supplier is pretty reasonable and delivers next day if the order is placed by midday.

Finally, after a lot of thought I’ve decided to stop using gold-plated findings. While I prefer gold to silver in jewelry I do not think that gold plated findings age well. I find that after a year the findings start to turn. Earrings made of silver plated findings do not turn or at least not as fast as I’ve noticed the gold turning. I want the best for my customers! I don’t want anyone buying one of my items then stops wearing them after a year because they’ve turned. I know the earrings are reasonably priced (I do that on purpose) but I want you to love for as long as possible.

As shown £6.00 including UK shipping or $10.20 including US shipping.
Special order price TBD

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Epic Fair or Epic Fail?


 

I was really excited about the spring fair; the Christmas fair was very successful. I made quite a few sales and had a lot of interest. On Saturday we arrived at the hall for the Spring Fair I noticed the size had decreased. In November the fair took up the main hall and both smaller side rooms. This time everyone was cramped into the main hall. The organizer told me there were more vendors which is unbelievable. In the winter we were placed by one of the entrances so we got a lot of foot traffic. This time we were in the corner between the Baptist Church stall and the hand-woven woolen items. Youd think that since both those stalls were heaving with people wed still get a lot of traffic, but no. Funny enough everyone walked by looking up to the ceiling as they passed our stall.

Id hoped that some of the happy customers from Christmas would come back looking for more treasure. The only recognizable face was our neighbor, who did mention that she loves her ‘Jacqueline Frosts’ and she still wears them.

As posted on FB and Twitter, I had a lucky dip on the day. Prizes included not only earrings but chocolate and stationary. The Lucky Dip did bring a bit of interest, especially from the older gentleman who luckily drew a bar of Cadburys chocolate. A few youngsters took a dip to get earrings for their moms for Mothers Day which is in the end of March here in the UK. But no one made any purchases.

Needless to say Saturday afternoon I was crushed. I guess I shouldnt have been though. I should explain that Wraysbury is a small hateful town which masquerades as a lovely quaint village. I would say racist but they werent particularly nice to Neils mother when she moved here 60 years ago because she was from Germany (and Jewish). There arent many minorities here, and the town is run by a few self-absorbed, close-minded, bossy people. If I had my way I wouldnt live here; I hate it! And when I get to leave Im going to post a seething rant on the “village” fb page to tell these people how I really feel.

I shouldnt be upset that they werent interested in my earrings, although I am. What upsets me more is that they didnt bother to look at the product because of who was sitting at the table. Unfortunately my circumstances will not let me travel to other places to do fairs and shows. So Ill have to stick with the blog and social media for product exposure. And Id really appreciate it if my loyal followers would share posts with their friends to expand my reach. Dont share this one though, I dont want people to think this is what its always like!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MacMillan Spring Fair and Coffee Morning



 

This Saturday is another MacMillan Fair and Coffee Morning in Wraysbury and once again we will be there selling our earrings. The morning really is a lot of fun! Local vendors, made up of local small businesses and non-profits, will be selling new and used merchandise. There will also be delicious cakes (biscuits, cupcakes, fruit cake and chocolate cake in December, both were yummy!) as well as coffee and tea.

The set-up is nice; there are tables and chairs set up so you can grab a cake and coffee and sit and chat with friends. In December the vendors' stalls lined the room and the tables were in the center. I didn’t go around personally and look at all the vendors but I could see another jewelry vendor, ladies accessories, plants,  stationary, baked goods, nutritional supplements and hand knit woolen items. There is also a raffle, the winners are announced at the end.

Like last time I’ll have some surprises on the day. Plus our prices are lower at the stall (no shipping!), so if you are local and have seen anything you like come along and check out our stock. I’ve also made a few pieces especially for the fair; they haven’t been featured on the blog.
 
 

First is this pair in Onyx, they are the same as the Garnet Queen which was released in February, in addition to onyx beads they feature a crystal chambala bead. Next there is this lovely wooden pair. These Retro earrings feature an oblong and a round wooden bead with bronze colored bead spacers.


 
 

 



I made this pair with the remaining crystal hearts from Love Hearts. Each earring has only one heart.
 
Finally this is the first pair I've made that feature Jasper and hematite beads. I will be using jasper beads in the future but I wanted to have something to show at the fair. Jasper is a very earthy stone, not necessarily beautiful like garnet or sapphire but it has it's own charm. I love trinkets made of this type of stone. My mother has a lovely box made of this stone.
 
 
 
 
MacMillan Fairs and Coffee Mornings really are a great way to spend the morning. And all the proceeds go to MacMillan Cancer Support. So please come down and support us on Saturday between 10am and noon.
 
Wraysbury Village Halls The Green, Staines-upon-Thames, Wraysbury, Staines TW19 5NA
 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Aqua Marine

 

These are not Aqua Marine! Let me say that up front. These are beautiful blue glass beads that I got last year. A few weeks ago when I was having a creative streak I made these one evening while watching TV. I had just watched a video of someone making jewelry and thought I’d try this specific setting. Then I bunched the beads up together; I wanted a range of sizes and shapes of the colored beads. Once I was finished I knew I’d save these for March since this is really close to the color of March’s birthstone Aqua Marine. But again these are glass beads and not Aqua Marine.

 


Really I was messing around trying to come up with an idea for wedding earrings this year. I have given it a try but that will wait a few months. But I love blue! And these earrings are lovely.

 

As I said they are glass beads of different sizes and shapes. The clear beads are a mixture of glass and acrylic beads. All of the findings are silver plated and the fitting can be is kidney wire (as seen), fish hook or clip on (additional cost). The earrings hang about an inch from the ear.

Just one more week! Next Saturday (18th) We’ll be at the Wraysbury Village Hall for another coffee morning fair. There will be tea, cakes and coffee on offer and lots of stalls selling fabulous merchandise (including us!) so come on down!

£6.00 including UK shipping, $9.75 including US delivery.
Only one pair available

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Good Luck Charms



May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again, may God

Hold you in the palm of His hand.

Irish Blessing                                                               


 
 This is originally what I wanted to post last week.

St. Patrick’s Day is coming and I wanted to try to do something for the special day. I realize I’m in the UK and there is a bit of animosity between the British and the Irish; but I’m American! We celebrate all the holidays! If it’s fun, and you can have special food or drinks - we’re celebrating it! There's a saying back home "Everyone's Irish on St Patrick's Day". Growing up we always had special treats; Irish Potatoes are a delicacy at home. I found out the other year that they are a Philadelphia cuisine, found no place else - they are delicious!  They are candy made of coconut, cream cheese and cinnamon rolled up to look like small potatoes. As I got older I got to do my own thing; I would buy Irish Soda Bread which is different at home it's sweet and has raisins in it; the last year I was home I made my own. And I'd make corned beef and cabbage until I stopped eating beef. I still ate the cabbage though, it's my favorite vegetable.

A few years ago I went to Belfast to visit my friend for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. It was supposed to be a load of fun but my job messed up my paycheck so when I woke up in Belfast Friday morning I hadn’t beenpaid. We made the most of it though. My friend and I went to Derry on Saturday, we went to the parade on Sunday and walked around Belfast. We went to a café in Belfast and I got soda bread, it wasn't the same. Friday we went to a beautiful town called Killough which is on the Irish Sea. The tide was out and we walked on the seabed collecting oyster shells – I was scared to death! But Ireland was beautiful! We may not have made it to Dublin (maybe next time) but it was a lot of fun.

I wanted to get these published so that if anyone wanted a pair there is enough time to get them before the big day. There are actually two styles; one is a single shamrock, the other is a set of two shamrocks. They both feature glass tube beads that have roughly been shaped to look like a shamrock. The single shamrocks hang less than an inch from the ear so they are quite small, they would also be appropriate for a girl.  The double shamrocks hang an inch and a quarter from the ear. Both have silver plated findings and can be fitted with the fish hook, kidney wire or clip on.









£3.50 including UK shipping, $7.00 including US shipping.




 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fiona

 


When you think of people do you think of a color? If you have a friend who always wears blue, when you think of them does blue come to mind? Well I have a lovely friend here named Fiona and when I think of her I think Purple. She’s a very colorful person, she doesn’t always wear purple but she does wear it often. She redecorated her home last year and what’s the feature color? Purple. I wanted to make a pair for her last year but I had no purple beads. She picked another pair I’d already made and she loves them. Since then I have gotten purple beads but I had no idea what to do with them.



I’ve been having another creative streak over the past two days. Sunday my husband turned on the soccer so I went into a different room to watch political shows from back home. I made a few pairs while I watched. Then Monday I was updating some old designs and while putting my supplies away a style came to me, and these happened.
 
One of many patches of crocuses in our yard

Monday was a lovely day so I went outside to take pictures of the new earrings. I was going to publish a different pair this week but when these came about I knew I’d have to do them first. It looks like spring in our front yard and these earrings match the Crocuses. And since February’s birthstone is Amethyst (which is also purple) I wanted to get these out before the month was over.

 

 




The purple beads feature a marble type effects, traces of white swirling around them. In the center there is a iridescent glass bead with a swirl effect on it. Those three beads are separated by small purple iridescent beads. The findings are silver plated, and can be replaced by kidney wires or clip on if you’d prefer. They hang about an inch and a half from the ear.


This seems like a good time to make an announcement. The journey is making another stop. Once again at the village hall in Wraysbury on Saturday March 18th from 10am to noon. I’ll have the newest designs on hand as well as some old ones and some remixed designs. So put the date on your calendar and I hope to see you there. Remember, you save shipping costs when you buy in person. And there may even be a few surprises.

£4.00 including UK Shipping, $7.70 including US shipping



 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Clusters




I hope you all enjoyed your Valentine’s Day!

These are the last of the garnet earrings I made at the end of last year. I love these as well. I had a similar pair at home that were all pearls. But I think the contrast of garnet and pearl is cute.

 
Again these are smaller than the first few I posted at the beginning of January. They are just over an inch long so they would even be cute for a little girl. Each Cluster features 3 - 6mm garnet beads and 3 - 6mm pearls. All the metals and findings are silver plated.

 
While this may be the last pair in this line I may produce more garnet earrings in the future. I wanted to start off the year showing you all some really nice styles. Now I have to get working on my March idea, fingers crossed I can actually do it.

 
£7.00 including UK shipping or $9.75 including US shipping
Don't forget you can get any of the earrings in kidney wires or clips (clips are an additional cost)