Friday, 16 December 2016

Christmas lights like jewels...

Christmas lights like jewels - silvermoss jewellery blog

Canterbury city centre, including the Christmas Market, is lit up like jewellery this year. I love Christmas lights; they make cold warmer and add such an air of comfort to a cold and dark time of the year. Plus they look a little like gemstones set against a background of ever-changing blues, from gentle shades to deep hues, and everything in between.

I also enjoy the lights much more now I shop more online -  avoiding the long, fraught queues in shops; the noise of Christmas music cashing between shop doorways; the anxiety of what to chose and who to chose it for... okay, shopping online doesn't remove the latter but I did enjoy my trip out to the shops all the more for only having a very short shopping list in my hand.

I hope your Christmas shopping is going well and isn't getting in the way of being able to pause and enjoy some of the (less commercial) magic that this time of year can bring.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Jewellery Book Wish List - Christmas 2016

I've not made a (public) jewellery book wish list for a few years now and I thought twice about doing this one because, to be honest, I've not yet asked for any jewellery books for Christmas this year and I'm not sure I will. This isn't because I don't want any; reading through this list below may convince you of how little that statement applies to me. But I have a good collection now and I don't use and read the books I do have enough.

I've tried to be good last year and the year before, thinking perhaps it was time to show some control, and ease up on the bookshelves, but the odd book still slipped through the net and onto the list and I can't say that won't happen again, not with these books to tempt me.

In no particular order, here are the books that I'm most in hope of...

three jewellery book covers

Successful Jewellery Maker by Frieda Munro
I first saw this book a little earlier this year and I bookmarked it straight away. So many jewellery books focus on the 'simple' things, the designs, the materials, the how-to-put-things-together, but less focus on what to do when things go wrong, as they often do. A detailed resource close at hand that can point out simple errors and help clarify more complex one, is a real boon and this looks like an excellent place to start.

Metal Jewelry Made Easy by Jan Loney
This looks to be a more traditional craft book, with chapters on tools, techniques and materials, but the projects look detailed and interesting. Books that cater for beginners can be frustrating for more advanced makers but they often contain new nuggets of information, and nearly always include new aspects of design and inspiration.

Soldering Made Simple by Joe Silvera
I'm not sure how I've missed this book before now, but a dedicated guide to soldering, at the heart of much of metal jewellery making, seems a wise investment to read and study.

three jewellery book covers

How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line by Emilie Shapiro
This book must be ideal for anyone who is trying to sell their jewellery on sites like Folksy and Etsy. Unlike the other books featured it, it isn't about the practicalities of making jewellery, but instead focusses on how to run a small business and all that goes along with that. It's written by an American jeweller who has a successful jewellery business and so, while the slant will no doubt be towards a US view of things, I would hope much of the information will apply wherever you live. I do think this could be useful.

Making Wire Jewellery by Janice Zethraeus
I love working in wire. A brief look at my work would tell anyone this. Creating shapes out of simple wire is addictive and yet also a fascinating process, as you work through what works and what doesn't. Books on this topic appeal to me no end and this one, by a British writer and jeweller, looks to be no exception.

Cool Copper Cuffs by Eva M Sherman
The cover of this book caught my eye immediately I saw it. The mix of textures and colours seems to typify copper and what it can offer in terms of jewellery. Plus, I still have a stash of copper that needs to be used...

Have you read any of these and can recommend them to me? What's on your own jewellery book wishlist this year? Do leave a message in the comments below as I'd love to hear from you!

PS. If you fancy seeing what jewellery books I've wished for in past Christmases then do check out my lists for 2013 and 2012.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Jewelled Web - December 2016 - Link Love

Cafe with mirrors on wall - Jewelled Web December 2016 Silver Moss

It's the coldest month of the year. Okay, that can actually be January or February, chilled as they are without the lights of Christmas to look forward to. But it's so cold this year, icy cold at times, with a harsh wind and an increasingly odd-looking world whichever way you look at it.

So this month I will trying to mostly keep warm but stay cool, to remember to relax and not be stressed, to try and enjoy the people I love who are in my life, and the good things they bring to me, and that I try and bring to them. I'll also try not to get too sentimental...

Some links I've enjoyed over the past month an that I hope to read more carefully before the end of this month. I hope you enjoy perusing them too.

~jewellery links~

Jewellery made from coins isn't hard to find now but this is the first time I've seen such a delicate adaptation as this design - that's some mean piercing...

A few years back I made some brooches from copper wire and loved doing so - stumbling across this simple (but helpful) tutorial has reminded me that I must make some more...

A tutorial for a wire and thread bracelet.

I'm falling in love with the possibilities of bronze clay - this work is amazing and this bracelet tutorial is fascinating...

Wonderful resources from Kernowcraft on setting stones.

I have a decent amount of copper pipe offcuts collecting in a large cardboard box - these examples of etching on copper are very enticing...

A tutorial for making an ivy copper clay bracelet (pdf).

~non-jewellery links~

Utterly beautiful photograph of a white rainbow in Scotland.

If you're looking for an excuse to take lot of photographs this month then this may be worth checking out - a wonderful way to take, and share, images and ideas for this last year.

Non-jewellery ideas for polymer clay...

I don't know about you but I subscribe to things I'm even just half-interested in and I need to stop, and I need to unsubscribe more.

Gift wrap for the dedicated cat lover in your life - we all know at least one, surely...

And these photos will be adored by anyone who loves dogs. In fact, even if you don't love dogs (really? Is that possible?) you'll love them.

Giving a compliment is always nice.

A reminder, if we need one, of the frightening impact of litter on wildlife, everywhere.

~My Own Personal Book Club ~

This month I've started reading Great North Road by Peter F Hamilton - I've got it as an eBook which helps disguise the fact that it's over a 1000 pages long... I'm not expecting to be finishing it this side of, well, next year... but I am enjoying the 14% I've read so far...

Speaking of embarking upon long books, I've also made a start on Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, after realising I've not read anything by him for a few years now, and also realising that if I don't start reading his novels soon then I won't get to read them all... (this is over 800 pages so I must find something a little shorter to read to get me through those spells when a long book just feels too long...suggestions please!)

I've also been leafing through and getting distracted by a Mollie Makes book, this one being Woodland Friends - it just makes you want to create tiny and gorgeous little creatures for no reason other than the fun of doing so.

(affiliate links included for the books listed here - please check details here for more info.)


I hope your December, your Christmas and New Year are all special and warm.

PS. If you need more links (and sometimes we all need more) then check out this post full of link love.