Friday, 31 January 2014

Jewelled Web - January 2014 - Link Love

Jewelled web January 2014

The first Jewelled Web of 2014 and I've found the internet to be no less distracting and absorbing than I did in 2013... to that end, here's some more goodies I've found these last few, and new year, weeks...

~Jewellery links~

Measuring up for rings, never an easy task, but made simpler after reading this...

Fantastic tutorial/personal experience on how to combine soldering and enamel by Tracey from Cinnamon Jewellery, one of my favourite haunts for down-to-earth blogging and beautiful jewels.

Jewellery tutorials coming out of your ears... this site also has tutorials for pretty much every other craft in existence. Well worth a browse though.

Branding your jewellery ranges - how to and why.

More magazine fame for Rachel Lucie - well done!

Neat tutorial on just how to make ball chain look a little more hand-crafted.

Pretty wire designs.

Interested in making wedding jewellery?

Limited time only - reduced price on wirework tutorial by KS Jewellery

~Other links~

This may be a couple of years old now, but I love this post about the sea, such a wonderful place to be at the start of a new year...

How-to calligraphy by Mo.

Where people craft - photos of real work spaces, reassuringly normal, so you don't wonder how anything creative can happen at all... unlike these photos which is, of course, exactly how crafting work spaces should look.

If you're ever not busy (!) then you can take a look at these ways to pretty up your work space.

Inspiring website of art which often features a monthly desktop calendar, free to download...

Pretty freebies - in exchange for a tweet or FB mention, you can have a calendar and some beautiful illustrated flowers.

Getting serious about your crafting business this new year? Check out some of these articles, a great resource.

Blogging tips for arty/crafty bloggers. And some more from the same site... And just one more...

Great photos and interview from the Folksy blog.

Oh, okay. Yet more blogging resources. If you ever read all these articles then you deserve a nice cup of tea. And probably a lie down in a darkened room.

Try this one out too - words of wisdom on how to write engaging, crafty blog posts.

Hope your January was a good one - the photo at the top was taken when the waves were well past their worst! Here's a to a less blustery (and drier) February.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Silver, citrine, topaz and toil... the finished jewellery

Recently I showed some photos of the cut gemstone beads I'd bought for a project. Here are some images of the finished jewellery items themselves.

citrine and white topaz silver necklace

citrine and white topaz silver necklace

The plan was a to make a necklace for a very special birthday, falling in November, so being able to incorporate birth stones was important. I also wanted to make something wearable so, while it may look delicate, the soldering and strengthening of the silver through hammering means it's pretty strong.

citrine and white topaz silver necklace

citrine and white topaz silver necklace

The earrings were less planned and came about as I didn't have enough citrines to use for both items, but this also allowed me to play with the varying sizes of the white topaz gems. I was also able to use one of the little soldered silver designs from the necklace, and echo it in the earrings.

white topaz silver earrings

It was a time-consuming and absorbing project, and took a lot of preparation, but the final piecing together of the necklace especially was surprisingly quick. Hope you enjoy seeing the results of the toil!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Citrine and White Topaz - November Birth Stones

Late last year I was busy with a birthday project, and that project allowed me to indulge in buying some beautiful gem stones...

citrine gemstones - November birth stone 

When I took them out of the box (wisely unmarked to go through the postal system), I was, as always, struck by how beautiful well cut gemstones are. It was a sunny day and holding the gems up to the window made the light splinter and dance in exquisite was genuinely wonderful.

The white topaz came in a mix of sizes, graduated from about 3mm to 7mm. They're drilled through the middle and very slightly doughnut-shaped, although that could be more of an optical illusion due to the many facets.

white topaz gemstones - November birth stone

I chose white topaz rather than the more traditional and widespread blue as I was combining the gems for a November birthday, and felt that with the rich yellow of citrine, another November birthstone, they work better for the recipient than blue and yellow.

citrine gemstones - November birth stone

I only purchased four citrine gems, button shaped and nicely factetted. They're a beautiful rich autumn colour and I think much more than four would have been too many, although another two would have allowed the matching earrings I made to go with the necklace to match that little bit more...

Photos of the finished items will follow soon. Do let me know if any beautiful stones you've used in projects, especially if you have photos to share!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

How to link to individual Tweets

Twitter is a big place with lots of opportunities to network and make friends and contacts and generally hang out and chat, but it's also a big place that's pretty confusing.

The first few times I was asked for a link to a particular tweet, I scratched my head for a while and then needed to hunt around to find the instructions on how to do this.

When you know how to do it, then it's pretty simple, but otherwise it's one of those things which isn't exactly that obvious... hence this little post about it.

1. Firstly, you need to click right on the particular tweet in question - not the user name of the person who tweeted it.

blog tutorial - twitter url 1 photo twitterurl1txt.jpg

2. A little more information appears around the tweet - at the bottom you'll see the magic word 'Details' - click on this.

blog tutorial - twitter url 2 photo twitterurl2txt.jpg

3. You'll then be taken to a page displaying the tweet and here you can simply copy the url in the address bar at the top of the page, and paste it where you need to.

blog tutorial - twitter url 3 photo twitterurl3txt.jpg

Hope this is some help and comes in handy...!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Jewellery Book Wish List Fulfilment!

Since jewellery books and Lindt chocolate were both high on my Christmas list this year (and I even wrote a post about the former), I was rather pleased to open a carefully wrapped parcel on Christmas day and find The Art of Soldering for Jewellery Makers Techniques and Projects by Wing Mun Devenney.

soldering book - Christmas gift 2013

The book looks as good as I hoped it would be. I've not finished it yet, and had to wait until after the Christmas rush died down a little to even have a good peruse, but the detail and quality of work it displays looks exceptional.

From getting started, to basic and advanced techniques, to a whole plethora of projects to practice new skills on, or refine old ones, it looks to be a cornucopia of soldering delights. I'm especially loving the gallery of different jewellers' works, each photo featuring a description alongside it of the soldering techniques the artists used - how often do I wonder such a thing when I look at jewellery... yes, I am one of those people who mentally deconstructs items to figure out how they were made (and if I could do it myself!).

When I've read the book in more detail I shall do a more detailed review, but it's enough to say for now I'm very pleased with this particular item from my Christmas list. And I'm also pleased to add that I received more than one box of Lindt chocolate. I couldn't possibly reveal just how many boxes though.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Christmas, New Year, Gales, Chocolate, TV...

So how was your Christmas and New Year? I hope it was good. Mine was busy, busy, busy and then nice and peaceful, which isn't too bad a combination... None of it was helped by the awful weather we've been having in the UK - on Christmas Eve the gales left us with a slight (ahem) roof problem which needed immediate fixing, so come the time when I should have been sitting in front of the TV with a few chocolates and It's A Wonderful Life hitting the spot, I was instead holding a ladder, wishing I was wearing gloves (that wind was very cold), and wondering if I'd get enough time to push the shed back upright before it got dark (I didn't).

However, despite continued bad weather, the electricity stayed on, as did the roof, and the shed remains mostly upright. And all the water has stayed outside the house, a good state of affairs in anyone's book.

Christmas Chocolates
The chocolate on the middle left tasted of violets and was exquisite...

I'd hoped for a movie-saturated Christmas but events above and then welcome visitors meant it wasn't until close to the end of the year that I got to indulge myself with chocolates and films on the TV, but it was worth the wait, and Sherlock was a nice way to welcome the New Year in too...

My plans for the new year? Well, writing my blog, of course, a bit of jewellery making/creativity, a lot of blog design, and some careful tidying of my laptop before it explodes from all the photos and links I have insisted on saving to it... I hope your new year brings you much happiness - and thank you so much for reading my blog; the visits and comments mean a lot :)