04/12/2014

Shop News

The moment I see that first string of Christmas lights plugged in...I'm suddenly taken back to decorating the tree with my Mom, Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" in the background, and nothing but Christmas lights and candles burning throughout the house. Aahh! Childhood memories!




Just to let all you lovelies know that I have put my shop on holiday until Monday as I'm off up to Norfolk to visit family .......and to refresh my stock in the wonderful Orton Reynolds Gallery in Eye, Suffolk.

Plus....if you are up that way you might even see me dressed as Tinkerbell for the Eye Christmas Lights Switch on!  All children visiting the gallery can have their photos taken with a variety of Pantomime characters for FREE!!

Happy Thursday my lovelies!

29/11/2014

From the Bench-Peg - 29.11.14



I've been busy at the bench-peg the last few evenings, and most of this weekend so far.....and I can tell you a Silversmiths hands are always dirty!  Plus we like hot chocolate with marshmallows!

I've been working on commissions, presents, new stock for a gallery and a little bit of jewellery for myself.



Anywho, I thought in the midst of all this black Friday/Cyber Monday stuff it would be nice to remind people to shop local, shop handmade, and support those who work hard to make beautiful things.

Here's a list of some of my favourite makers from around the UK:

Nicolette Dawn Wire Sculptures

I Like Cats 

Made & Able 

Rosie Moss

Delicious Bits

Soerndegaard Design

Sarah Lovell Art

Herbal Harmony

Happy Weekend my lovelies.  xx

25/11/2014

My Brothers Wedding Rings

My brother and I have never been especially close, we bickered as children (don't all siblings), he moved away, I moved away, he moved back, I never did.  So when he asked me if I would make his and Lynsey's wedding rings I was really touched.

We talked through a number of designs, I made some prototypes, and we settled on the final design.  I ordered the white gold and set about making the rings.......and then the nerves kicked in!  My brothers wedding rings!  He and Lynsey were going to wear these for the rest of their lives......and I wanted to make them perfect!

I thoroughly enjoyed making the rings, it was such a special experience.  Being asked to make the rings they will wear forever felt like being let into the biggest secret in all the world.  The day before the wedding I took the rings up to Norfolk and gave them to the bride and groom.....and I'm so pleased to say they loved them!  

The wedding seems like an age ago now but I just wanted to share with you some of the beautiful photos which Orton-Reynolds, the wedding photographer, took of the happy couple and the wedding rings.  






I was also asked to make the bridesmaids necklaces.  I very rarely get to see the look on peoples faces when they open my jewellery boxes so it was lovely to see this photo of Lynsey's sister-in-law opening her necklaces.


And finally here's a piccie of my Brother and I taken by my dear Mum.  A rare and lovely sibling moment.

 
I really feel that the journey of making the wedding rings has brought my brother and I closer together.  A truly special experience.   

So thank you Warren & Lynsey for making me a part of your special day.

20/06/2014

Lovely Summer Days

So another week goes by.......and so quickly!  Is it just me or does a week seems to go by in the blink of an eye!
Palms my dreams. 

But what a week it's been.  It's been beautiful and warm since we got back from Orlando and I really feel like it's extended that holiday feeling.  I'm not a sun worshipper and always wear sunblock but as someone who is constantly cold I like nothing better than to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.....the warm breeze in my hair and the smell of the sea air.  I'm a summer kind of girl!

This week has consisted of........ finishing the prototype wedding rings for my brother // tidying the house // tidying the studio // reading // going to a folk festival // catching up with friends // swimming // working on volunteering opportunities with staff at work // shopping for bed linen // planning for Latitude Festival // drying washing on the line outside (one of my favourite things) // and all the usual day to day stuff with the love of my life.

Have you had a productive week?

I've also done a little bit of sitting in front of the laptop this week.....and this is what caught my eye:

//  Guy saves tired swimming squirrel......too cute!

//  26 Ridiculously easy ways to be healthy

//  Shrink That Footprint....a great site to help you reduce your energy consumption and reduce your carbon footprint....lots of great info and tips.

//  Raccoon Rehab.........I so wish we'd be able to visit when we were in Orlando.....I LOVE Raccoons!!!!!!!  If you are looking for a wildlife charity to support and you love raccoons then look no further!

//  My friend Nicolette is far too talented.....check out her amazing wire sculptures.  I wonder if she could do a Raccoon!!!!

Anywho....once I've sent the wedding rings off I'm ready for a relaxing weekend with The Boy and hopefully a cheeky glass of wine or two!

Happy Friday my lovelies. xx

12/06/2014

Sunny Orlando and a week with The Boy

After the busy month of May and a full year struggling with a bad foot it was time for The Boy and I to get away and spend some much needed time simply enjoying each others company......so off to Orlando we went!

Now most of you will be expecting me to say we went to all the Disney attractions but if you know me well then you know that's not my style.  I'm not big on commercial tourist attractions, in fact I'm not big on commercial anything!  So before we went The Boy did lots of research and found lots of interesting 'local and independent' things to do.  That's not to say we didn't do a couple of touristy things.....and just a little bit of shopping!

As anyone who has gone to Orlando will know, most of the accommodation is on International Drive and that's exactly where we stayed....and to my delight we were right opposite an IHOP (International House of Pancakes).  In a bid not to put on a stone in a week we only ate breakfast here twice!  The rest of the time we grabbed breakfast from Wholefoods Market.


After fuelling up we jumped in the car and went on adventures.  Orlando was the perfect location for my foot.  Downtown Orlando is pretty much just a business district but there are lots of out-lying areas with unique and interesting shops and cafes, each taking only a couple of hours to bimble round.....so the days went much like this......drive a bit, walk a bit, repeat!  Perfect!

One of our favourite things was an evening market of local producers and crafters.  It was a small market in the parking lot of a great independent cafe called Stardust (to where we returned more than once!).  


Here we met a wonderful illustrator called Maria Bolton, we struck up a conversation based on my love of Raccoons and her wonderful illustration of one (needless to say I bought it!).  We'd already seen her work on an advert she'd illustrated for a local pet shelter.  She invited us to a wildlife shelter re-launch but unfortunately it was the day which we flew home so we couldn't make it.......I was gutted as they currently have two baby raccoons!!!!  We chatted with Maria for quite a while and she gave us lots of great tips about local things to do.....one of which was an open air cinema at the Enzian Theatre....a date which we promptly entered into the diary!  


I took this photo just after we arrived (we were advised to get there early!) and by the time the film started there wasn't a spare inch of grass left!  The film was Super Troopers......... we grabbed some 'chips' (crisps) and some freshly squeezed orange juice form a local market beforehand and had a great evening relaxing in the warmth of the Florida climate.

After a couple of local days we decided to head a little further afield to Daytona Beach.  I love to see the sea and hearing that Daytona had become a little less touristy and slightly run down since the new resort of New Smyrna had opened we thought it sounded perfect.......


....and we weren't disappointed.  It reminded me of Venice Beach in California, a little run down, bu with some beautiful buildings and a whole heap of atmosphere!  A walk along the pier, a stroll on the sand, sunshine, sea air and bikers.....it was a great day.

A little up the road from Daytona is Ponce Inlet with a beautiful red brick lighthouse.  Normally we would have climbed to the top but sadly with the foot this was out of the question.

 

Our one big touristy outing was to the Kennedy Space Centre....and it was AMAZING!!!!  SO many interesting things to see.....not too scientific...and not too kiddie-fied.  Rockets, spacesuits, moon rock, the Astrovan (an airstream no less!) and most impressively Atlantis.......the space shuttle!  


Atlantis was beautiful.  Much smaller than I had imagined, and her outer shell looked so soft she didn't seem like she could have gone into space and re-entered the Earths atmosphere 33 times!  There was so much to see at Kennedy and our trip included a bus tour to view the launch pads, the assembly building and the Saturn Building housing the Saturn 5.  This tour was so enjoyable with so much to see that I totally forgot to take any photos!  

I would definitely recommend Kennedy Space Centre to anyone visiting the area.  Plus it is surrounded by a Nature Reserve which yielded sightings of Alligators, Rose Spoonbills, Crested Cranes, Armadillos, Turtles, Eagles, Osprey, and so much more!  Truly amazing.

I also took my old analogue Olympus Trip with me, once I get the photos developed I'll be sure to share them with you......hope the security x-ray didn't damage the film.......they wouldn't do a hand search on it! Grrrr!

What a wonderful, fun filled, holiday we had......the Florida climate definitely suited me......and we're already planning a return trip.....next time it's Miami!  

Have you been to Orlando?  Or perhaps Miami?  I'd love to know your thoughts on either.

Happy Thursday my lovelies. xx





11/06/2014

Dorset Team Craft Fair May 2014

Well hello there.  May was a busy busy month, topped off with a wonderful craft fair and then a cheeky week away with The Boy (more on that another day!).  Was May good to you?

I loved May, full of creativity, friendship, and adventures.....my favourite being my first ever Dorset Team Craft Fair.  Held on the 25th of May at Hoburne Park in Christchurch, it was a great success.  Full of lovely crafters and busy with shoppers all day.  

Setting up

It was my first outing with the wonderful new display materials my father-in-law kindly made for me and I had so many wonderful comments on my stand......the jewellery stands really complemented my creations.  

Me and my stall (photo courtesy of Times to Treasure)


My stall

There were so many crafters of such good quality it was hard not to buy from them all!!!  Here are just a few of my favourites from the day (too many to feature here!)

Delicious Bits Jewellery

Nicolette Dawn Wire Sculptures


Chibi Chi Designs


Knot Only Cushions


Compassionate Dorset

There were so many great stalls......I wish I could feature them all.  If you missed it don't worry, we're holding two more this year on 26th  October and 6th December!!!  Woohoo!!!!  If you can't wait until then check out the work of Dorset Team Members on Etsy or visit our Facebook page.  And if you are on Twitter make sure you follow #dorsetteam for updates on what all our members are doing.

If you are on Etsy and in Dorset why not join the team!  For more info visit the Dorset Team Page on Etsy.

Did you come to the Craft Fair?  Did you make any purchases?  If so I'd love to know what you thought and what you bought!

Happy Wednesday my lovelies. xx

21/05/2014

Dorset Team Craft Fair & a Brand New Mardle Made Collection



Wow!  It’s been a busy few weeks round here!  I’m shattered….but I’m super excited because this weekend is the Dorset Team Craft Fair!

I’ve been beavering away on my studio this last couple of weeks making lots of lovely jewellery and I’m excited to be able to share some photos with you today.

I’m even more excited to share with you a NEW COLLECTION I’ve made.  It’s called Halo and is inspired by my Grandparents.  A couple of years ago we were burgled which was horrible!  Amongst other things they took all of my jewellery and almost all of the jewellery my Granddad had ever bought my Grandma……..I was devastated.  I felt like I had let them down, I felt like I hadn’t done a good enough job looking after these sentimental pieces.  

That said, we can’t wallow and when the insurance money came through I decided to buy the kit I needed to start silversmithing.  I couldn’t replace the sentimental jewellery and I thought that if I bought the kit I could remake my jewellery which was stolen and eventually start my own business.  In a strange kind of way it feels like it was almost meant to be.  So in tribute to my Grandparents…who I always feel are with me…..I designed Halo.  I really hope you like it.




And here are some other pieces I’ll be selling on Sunday……

Silver Castings of shells and twigs

Triangle Collection

Sea Caves Collection

Surface of the Sea Collection

Studs

Geometric Agate Earrings

Variety of earrings

Vintage Sterling Silver Charms turned into necklaces

If you are thinking of coming please bear in mind that currently I can only accept cash.  Prices range from £10 for some studs to £70 for the most expensive bangle.  Please come prepared.

There will also be 39 other lovely sellers there, here are my favourites….check them out!

Phew......that was a bit of a long post!  Anywho, I really hope to see some of you at the Craft Fair on Sunday.  I've put my Etsy and Folksy shops on 'holiday mode' in the run up to the craft fair.  If you can't make it to the fair I'll let you know when the shops will be open again.....just in case something has caught your eye!  

Happy Wednesday my lovelies xx

13/04/2014

Off the radar & off my feet

So it's been a while since my last post on this here blog.....apologies for my radio silence, and thanks for hanging on in there.

I've been feeling a little sorry for myself, I've had a bad foot for 11 months and have seen various services in the NHS and received varying diagnosis'.  It's been a very testing time, my foot has gradually gotten worse and worse and I started using crutches off and on at Christmas.....and full time since February.  It's been exhausting!

On Tuesday this week I finally had a diagnostic procedure carried out on my foot, with the aim of telling the Orthopaedic team more and easing my pain.  The orthopaedic fellow who has been dealing with my case suggested I have a steroid injection coupled with a regional anaesthetic.  The steroid was to reduce the inflammation and ease my pain, then the anaesthetic, which lasted 18 hours, was to tell them if they are looking at the right bit of my foot...or not..........in layman's terms......if it stopped hurting for 18 hours then they were looking at the right bit, if not, then it's back to square one!

These shots were to be guided under x-ray due to the complexity of the make up of the foot and the fact that the injection had to be very specifically targeted.  I was quite apprehensive at first but the Orthopaedic team were great.....the thing that made me laugh the most though........They tagged my foot with a marker pen!  Just like on the TV........make sure you get the right foot Mr Surgeon! 

If you have an aversion to feet look away now!


So I had the shots on Tuesday, and on Tuesday night the lump of pain that hung on the end of my leg for 11 months turned into a foot!!!!!  The regional anaesthetic had erased my pain, they are definitely looking at the right bit!  Once that wore off the pain returned and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were less than fun to say the least.  

Now the steroid is kicking in and the inflammation is reducing I'm getting about much more than before, the pain is easing, and whilst there is still some pain it's definitely better than before.  I do appear to be getting some odd Raynard's reactions/numbness in two of my toes but apart from that I can't complain.

The steroid lasts 4-6 weeks and I should be back to see the Orthopaedic team around about that time.......There are 3 outcomes.....1) the pain goes away for good, 2) the pain goes away and comes back, 3) the pain doesn't go away.  So it looks like I'm heading in the right direction.....fingers crossed it stays that way.

Needless to say there hasn't been a lot going on round here lately....mostly lots of sitting, and cat fussing!


Oh, and a little bit of online shopping....I bought this jacket.....it is AMAZING!


So that's what's been happening with me!......What have you lot been up to?  Hope you've been enjoying the sunshine.

Happy Sunday my lovelies. xx

05/03/2014

Mardle Made Jewellery - The Family Name Necklace

So today I'm really excited to share with you a new product I'm launching as part of the Mardle Made Jewellery Collection.  I've been working on this for a little while (delayed due to a poorly shoulder!), and I've made a few as presents for friends, and I am so, so pleased with it.


 Let me introduce you to the Family Name Necklace!  A stackable necklace which can be personalised with the names of your children, your spouse, your parents, grandparents......or anyone who is special to you.  The hoops can be personalised with any information from wedding dates, birth dates, birth weights, whatever you would like. 


The Necklace is made from sterling silver and comes in 3 variations; 1 small hoop; 1 large hoop; or double hoop (1 small & 1 large).  The hoops are hammered to give the necklace a wonderful texture which catches the light beautifully.  

Whilst designing this piece and thinking about the reasons behind the personalisation I worked on a number of different shapes for the necklace.  In the end I decided it had to be hoops.......eternally flowing, never ending connectedness.  These hoops signify the eternal connection which the wearer has with those whom the necklace and the personalisation represent. 

The hoops sit on a beautiful adjustable sterling silver chain, measuring 16 inches at it's shortest, and 18 inches at it's longest.  

This necklace can be personalised in any way you would like and would make a beautiful New Mother or New Grandmother gift, a first anniversary gift, or perhaps even a beautiful token of love from a Groom to his Bride!  I recently made one for a friend who has just had her first child and this is what she said:

"Thank you so much for my necklace, I love it so much and will treasure it forever"

I also made another for my friend to give to her Mother-In-Law for Christmas, and this is what she said:

" Thank you so much for the necklace....it made her cry.  She was so touched by the gift and thought it was stunning.  Not bad for someone who only wears £1000+ jewellery!"

I'd love to know what you think of this new piece in the Mardle Made Collection.  What personalisation would you add?  If I were to make one for myself (and this often happens!) I think I would make one with my Grandparents names on. 

Happy Wednesday my lovelies.  xx

04/03/2014

Pancakes!!!

(My expression clearly says......"stop taking photos of me, I want to put pancakes in my face!!!!!)

Happy Pancake Day my lovelies!  Don't you just think pancakes make everything better.  They are my go to choice on a Sunday morning (along with French Toast I  might add!).  They can be enjoyed either savoury or sweet, thick or thin, stuffed or sprinkled.  I LOVE pancakes!

My favourites are American pancakes, thick and fluffy, almost spongy in texture.  They are made with buttermilk and taste divine!  That said I don't always have buttermilk to had so I make them with a slight variation..........find the recipe here in one of my previous blog posts.  You'll also find some top recommendations of where to find the best pancakes.

This is THE best idea for pancakes ever, and I have to say I'll be trying this on up coming Sunday morning.....The Boy will be very pleased for sure.

Fancy a healthier version, but just as tasty?  Check out this healthy pancakes by Katrina.......Don't they look AMAZING!!!!  Follow Katrina's 100 Healthy Days here.....she's so inspiring!

And finally, aren't these the prettiest pancakes you've ever seen!

Whatever type of pancakes you are having, enjoy!

Happy Tuesday my lovelies! xx