Saturday, 31 January 2009

Heading experiments

I played around with banner headings today, reckoning it was time I tried to make one again after a not entirely successful attempt last year. Time always adds experience and little pieces of gleaned knowledge placed together can make a difference.

It certainly did so in terms of creation - in other words, I managed to finish something I was happy with today, finding some gadgets in Vista that I've not discovered in XP, although that may just be because I wasn't looking in the right place before . . .

Anyway, on its lonesome, in the middle of a white screen, I rather liked my new banner.

Uploaded to my shop on Folksy I'm not so sure.

It seems to have a certain fuzziness to both the photos and the text, and the colour of said text is just too pale. Plus the green space above the text seems to weigh it down. Hmm.

So back to the messing around in Paint again. Could think of worse ways to spend a cold afternoon!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Slowness . . .

Apparently, slowness isn't always bad. But it feels like this has been a slow week that hasn't been good. I don't feel I've got anywhere fast despite having my first sale of the year. Which should be cause for great happiness!

I'm hoping to turn this around, gee myself up, get stuck into making again. I'm also going to list some more items.

I need to really, considering I placed my silver order and they're never cheap . . .

It's meant to be sunny tomorrow so I shall use that, try and get going again!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Silver, silver

For those who make items in sterling you'll know how I'm feeling when I say I'm about to buy some more silver, always a nervous time as I try not to buy the wrong amount (too little can be as bad as too much!), make sure my measurements are right and double check I've not forgotten anything that I'm going to need in a week's time.

I've another big project on the very close horizon and, while I need to be a bit cagey about it here (just in case the recipient should stop buy and have a read), suffice to say it requires enough silver to make me gulp a little when I'd figured out the pricing.

How come no matter how much silver you end up accumulating it's just never the right size, shape, depth . . . ?

I buy most often from Cooksons Gold and they have a handy little page that shows you the pricing of precious metals so you can feel a bit annoyed at yourself that you either didn't stock up last week, three months ago or, even better five years back, before silver began to climb in price.

When I first started working in silver, around ten years ago, prices were relatively cheap and while it was still valued, and any left-overs pieces carefully put away for later use, it wasn't quite as painful as it is now when you make a mistake.

Having a wander around the net I've found a pretty scary site called Kitco which makes me think the sooner I place my order the better - although, naturally enough, the sooner I place it the sooner I can get started making which is probably more to the point.

I also found a graph (no, seriously, this is interesting!) showing the price of silver over 600 years; given the massive drop in its price around the mid eighties compared to what it had been previously, perhaps I'm wrong to even be complaining about the cost today at all!

Okay, back to figuring out my order and, despite the last paragraph, still seeing where I can cut back!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Bangle in progress

Back at my silversmithing class last night and ended up with some D-shaped wire (5.25mm x 1.25 mm I think) that was no longer to be used for what I'd originally intended it for. So I managed to fashion one half of it into this:

It's unfinished and unpolished but I love the ribbon effect and the satin texture is so lovely that I'm hoping to recreate that in the polishing process.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Valentine's listings . . .

At very long last, after much soldering and filing, more photographs than I can count being taken, and a few hours spent scratching my head in front of the computer, I've started to list some more items in my Folksy store, all with a Valentine (ie. heart) theme.

These are the first few . . .

More to follow!

I am featured!

Dig The Earth has featured me on his blog, a lovely looking place, and so I'm very happy indeed.

Here's the direct link and I'm happy to be a fully fledged member of the Folksy Blog Circle . . .

Feature! Blackberry Crafts

Feeling on a bit of a roll - and discovering a good way of procrastination - I've decided to blog about Blackberry Crafts as well.

Another knitter (you can't have too many really, not given the weather . . .) Blackberry has a wonderful selection of fingerless gloves in her shop although the lovely mossy colour on the trim of this pair makes them, naturally enough, my favourite.

And some good news is, they're on sale!!!

Also on the Folksy site is this very sweet - and again on sale - little mushroom decorated purse.

Makes me almost feel I could venture outside again, with a few magical golden coins in my purse to throw into a wishing well somewhere . . . Hmm. Instead, I'll stay in and read Blackberry's inviting blog instead.

Feature! Big Blue Bed

My first ever feature on another craft maker! And the lucky person is . . .
Big Blue Bed, who is a fellow Folksian and a bit of a wizard with wool.

In her Folksy shop a lovely selection of covetable goodies are displayed. The one that really caught my eye, especially given the frost outside, is this fantastic scarf made from Icelandic wool.

The Dorset buttons are very interesting with an historical element tied up with them, reinforcing how important handmade goods still are today. This one caught my eye, with its wonderful heathery colour.

Big Blue Bed also has a blog which is well worth whiling some time away with as you contemplate that snuggly warm Icelandic scarf . . .

Saturday, 17 January 2009

More hearts . . . and sunlight!

Yes, the sun came back again today! At first tentatively, quickly hiding back behind the grey cloud cover, then pushing its way through in brazen fashion and giving a wonderful few hours of brightness.

I made the best of it and took a lot of photos. Then I got back to making things to take photos of. Mostly (okay, exclusively) hearts . . .

Friday, 16 January 2009

Hearts in January

Very, very slow to blog this year, after Christmas and the turn of the year itself. Tut. But I've been making again (after that same Christmas and New Year malarky) and have spent a fair time this week making hearts in preparation for Valentine's Day, chasing away the dark gloom of the January weather in doing so.

This is them, as a work in progress, looking pretty dull after just being subjected to some creation by soldering:

A good few more are also in various stages of production.

Next is the description writing process . . . which sometimes seems to take longer than making the jewellery itself . . .