Category Archives: Bracelet

Market

Had a lovely morning down in Roath at the craft and farmers’ market, sold lots of pretty things, gave loads of nice cakes away, caught up with a lovely friend that I’d lost touch with, spent some time with my mum and drank lots of tea. Job’s a goodun.

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Mantra

I’m nearly thirty-eight. Which makes it my silver jubilee of being an Alarm fan. I vividly remember hearing “Strength” on my Walkman on holiday, aged thirteen with my family in North Devon and I was completely blown away. Over the years, I’ve bought the albums, been to the gigs, worn the t-shirts, met the band and spread the word. My nine year old son is quite a fan, he stood no chance, really. Despite a mad crush on Mike Peters, a lot of their lyrics have had quite a resonance with me, but none more so than this, from “Spirit of ’76”:

“I will never give in
Until the day that I die
Get myself some independence
Carve out a future
With these two bare hands”

It’s with these words at the back of my mind that I have attempted many things in my life. But it’s with starting Spiny Sharkly Things that it’s really come to the fore. While my lovely Beardy is happy to be the main breadwinner in our little family, I want to carve out my own niche in the world, with my two bare hands. And a hammer. And a blowtorch.

So I made this bracelet, to remind me of the words that have meant so much over the last quarter of a century. I can make one for you too – what’s YOUR mantra?

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Made of Wales

My first working day of being self employed and I’ve been taking a long, hard look at what I’ve sold most of so far on eBay and Etsy. Despite my love of funky silver statement pieces, the things that sell best are the “Made in Wales: Made FROM Wales” pieces. The slate domino pendants and earrings and the square bead bracelets in particular have been literally flying out of the shed! Often with a little added engraved personalisation, names and personal messages, these pieces are very special to the folk who buy and wear them.

I have drawn up some more designs for pieces using little square slate tiles, so watch this space! I feel a choker coming on…

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My chain has been pulled…

I went to one of my favourite Cardiff haunts the other week, the Pump House, purveyors of antiques and general emporium of miscellany. I was actually looking for a brass escutcheon for a Victorian writing slope that I’m restoring, and struck lucky at the first stand, which seems to specialise in knobs and knockers 😉 The lovely lady had a fabulous range of brass ware, and I bought a Victorian plug chain too.20120202-220655.jpg

I boiled it in acid, I blasted it in the ulrasonic cleaner and I attacked it with a spiky brass brush. Still the antique soap refused to budge! So today I took it apart and scraped all the gunge off with a blade… I think it’s come up quite nicely, don’t you? Goes perfectly with the brass peacock feather thing I made the other day. I suspect this bracelet will evolve into a steampunk charm bracelet before too long!

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Excellent Expo

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I met some lovely ladies at the Expo today, and even sold some jewellery 🙂 The free cake was a big hit with the visitors, so poor Scroticule didn’t get much in the way of leftovers.

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I was quite pleased with how the stand looked, but had some very helpful tips from one of the ladies who suggested that it wasn’t immediately obvious that we design and make our jewellery ourselves. So Beardy is going to take some artistic (artistic being black and white, obviously. Hides a multitude of sins!) photographs of us getting busy in the shed which we can use on some publicity material.

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Women’s Expo at the University of Glamorgan

Well, the car is loaded with our shop and just enough petrol to get to Treforest, I’m working my way through a pint of tea and gathering the last minute bits and pieces together. Really looking forward to the Expo, hopefully we’ll make some sales, but more importantly I hope we’ll meet some like-minded designer-makers!

If you’re in the Pontypridd area today, why not pop into the Student Union at the University of Glamorgan and come and say hello? And raid the cake stand 😉

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I Love My New Saw

I got a Knew Concepts piercing saw yesterday, as my cheapo-on-eBay one was really getting on my nerves.

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I’ve been trying to cut this hare bangle for ages, and just got so frustrated with constantly breaking blades that it got lobbed to the other side of the shed in a fit of pique. So the acid test of the new saw was my nemesis, cutting the rest of the outline from the strip of 2mm copper. I wanted the inside for another project, so accuracy was key. Well, what a revelation! I had finished in less than ten minutes, only the last quarter but compared to the hours I had spent on the damn thing with my old saw…. I’m sure you get the picture. Now, to turn the bits into something pretty!

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Polished Off

Well, we all got up not terribly bright, but definitely early this morning all set to get Scroticule to school for his first day back after half term. Sprog dispatched, I started to gather some bits together and hit the shed. Ten minutes later, he’s back home because it’s a teacher training day. Whoops. #badmummy #epicfail

So, just to make my mummy karma worse, I plugged him into his iPod and hit the shed anyway! I needed to unpack the portable workshop I had taken up to Mum’s and especially her tumbling machine 🙂 Mine had worn out, you see. Well, that one was hers too….

Remember those copper chains I made last week? My very first attempt at chain making, so thought I’d practice on copper before hitting the silver. Unfortunately silver solder shows up badly on copper, so I boiled the chains in some blued pickle with a length of iron wire: this copper plates the silver, covering the solder. I tumbled them in steel shot and burnishing soap for a few hours, and got some very, very spiny sharkly things as a result! I’m delighted with them, hope you like them too.

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Pulling my chain…

I went to one of my favourite Cardiff haunts the other week, the Pump House, purveyors of antiques and general emporium of miscellany. I was actually looking for a brass escutcheon for a Victorian writing slope that I’m restoring, and struck lucky at the first stand, which seems to specialise in knobs and knockers 😉 The lovely lady had a fabulous range of brass ware, and I bought a Victorian plug chain too.20120202-220655.jpg

I boiled it in acid, I blasted it in the ulrasonic cleaner and I attacked it with a spiky brass brush. Still the antique soap refused to budge! So today I took it apart and scraped all the gunge off with a blade… I think it’s come up quite nicely, don’t you? Goes perfectly with the brass peacock feather thing I made the other day. I suspect this bracelet will evolve into a steampunk charm bracelet before too long!

 

 

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All you need is love. La la la la la.

Not done any blogging for ages, what with Beardy being unwell, and all.  I’ve kind of got out of the habit.  He’s a lot better now, although there’s still a way to go before anything is back to normal.  Whatever that is!  Not sure we’d recognise it though…

With Valentine’s day now being rammed down our throats by every shop in the land, I thought I’d make my contribution.

I had enormous fun making this heart! I blasted some silver with the blow torch on a firebrick and when it was all melty, I teased it into a heart shape and quenched it.  By repeatedly heating it to just under the melting point and cooling, you achieve this fabulous textured effect called reticulation.  I’ve been trying it with copper as well.  When I had a shape I was happy with, I carved away the sharp edges and soldered a loop onto the back for the silk cord.  The engraving (below) was done with my lovely new Dremel kit – my Christmas present from Beardy and my mum.  Cariad is the Welsh word for love, so it seemed like a good place to write it.  My son wants it for his girlfriend’s Valentine’s present. But as they are eight, I politely suggested that he gets stuffed and made him a pretty little copper ring with a heart on it instead.

These are for sale in my Etsy shop, the bangle here and the pendant here.

Stop press: The pendant is now sold, but if you’d like something similar, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can. 🙂


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