Category Archives: Pendant

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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Nasty, sticky mess

I won some red, white and blue Fimo this week in one of Cookson Gold’s Jubilee competitions 🙂 They wanted suggestions for a new National Anthem, and I cheekily suggested the theme to BBC Radio 4’s The Archers. It was tempting to suggest Beardy’s own composition, nattily entitled “F**k the Jubilee”, but I demurred.

So what to do
With red, white and blue?

Simple. Get some green and make Welsh things instead 😉 I used my sparkly red to make some little Welsh dragons, they will become earrings and pendants with a green and white background. The blue makes a very nice background to my skeleton cameo, so I shall be making some more of those too. These will all become affordable, school fete priced trinkets for next weekend’s summer fete at one of the local infants’ schools.

If you plan on using Fimo with two-part silicon moulds, use talc or baby powder as a release agent. I tried Badger Balm initially and got a nasty, sticky mess…

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Upcycled

I just love creating something new and beautiful from something that has been discarded. I am renowned for rummaging through skips to find stuff, or scrap bins, or even the local tip. I picked up a set of bar stools, an outboard motor and a set of Audi alloy wheels on my last trip. Oh, and a Sony car stereo 🙂 My Dyson was dumped at the side of the road, all it needed was a new filter.

So, from waste Welsh slate, I have been very busy making pendants. By adding some sparkly CZs and an accent of solid silver, I’ve turned somebody’s crap into one-off, designer jewellery. This is the first batch, priced at just £24 each with free postage to the UK and available in my ebay shop. If you’d like one with a specific combination of stones, do get in touch!

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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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Splat!

It’s not that I’m bored with sheet and wire, far from it. I just fancied doing something…. Different. So I’ve been having a go with cold water casting. Basically you melt your silver and drop it into a bucket of water. Retrieve the resulting splats, select the good ones and remelt the rest. Repeat until you run out of gas. Solder the best bits together to make something pretty. That’s about it, really. Anyway, I need to make some flowery things for the Bloomin’ Women event at the end of June, so here’s a pendant.

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Fabulous Fluorite

I bought this flourite cabochon a little while ago but it’s taken me a little while to come up with a way to set it. It has quite intense colour striations, especially the purple, and I was concerned it would look dark and muddy once set.  So I put it to one side, got on with other things and kept it on the back burner.  Luckily it didn’t fall down the back of the cooker!

I came up with the idea of putting a gap between the stone and the back of the setting, to allow light to enter the stone from behind, and figured a shiny surface would act as a mirror as well.  I’d textured an oval with a leaf skeleton using the rolling mill, and soldered an oval to the rear of it for strength.  Initially I added a cross of wire to the back, bent up around the oval to form claws which would be soldered to the bezel, but it looked a bit too Heath Robinson, even for me! So I took that off, and cut small lengths of 2mm sterling wire to use as upright posts.  I soldered these to the base oval, squared them off and added a ring of reticulated silver to the top post before soldering the bezel (also leaf textured) on top.  A few hours in the tumbler while I went out for lunch, a quick dip in liver of sulphur to oxidise it, and then the polishing begun! Once I had a finish I was happy with, I set the fluorite into the bezel and gave it a final polish, before hanging it from a black satin cord with sterling silver ends and a twist of fine wire just above the pendant to stop it from slipping.

Time to test the theory and emerge squinting from the shed… I’m delighted with it, it worked really well.  I’d love to know what you guys think!

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Welsh Grand Slam, Triple Crown and Six Nations – Oh Yes!

As an adopted Welsh (with some Welsh blood), I’ve been watching the Six Nations avidly, and was biting my nails last Saturday in the hope that Wales would win not only the Six Nations but the Grand Slam as well – on top of the Triple Crown.  For the uninitiated, the Six Nations is an annual rugby tournament between Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy.  It is a BIG thing here. The Triple Crown is awarded if one of the UK home nations beats the other three – and the Grand Slam is if a team beats each of the other five.  Wales have now won three Grand Slams since I moved here 🙂 So with this in mind, I made these…  Just £12 each, and with the option to have “Grand Slam 2012” or anything you like engraved on the reverse, click the picture to go to our shop.


Happy Mothers’ Day!

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Happy Mothers’ Day to all you mummies out there 🙂 Despite being one myself, it’s always been a sad day for me, now it’s more bittersweet. To cut a long story short, I was adopted as a baby with all the best intentions and for all the right reasons. I always have been and always will be happy with that. My adoptive parents were so lovely, and I consider myself very lucky. Sadly, my adoptive mum died very suddenly in 1998, when I was just 24. I was absolutely devastated, and still am. Time doesn’t heal pain like that but it does make it easier to live with.

My parents were always very up front and open about my adoption and told me as much as they could about my origins. I wondered about my birth mum pretty much every day, and eventually I was ready to track her down. I obtained my records from social services in 2003, and learned a bit more. I was pregnant with Scroticule at the time, and was content to leave it at that.

One Wednesday in September 2010, I had that raging desire to use what I had found out and just find her. A quick search through the online electoral roll plus some rifling through the BMD records to double check, and I had an address that I was 99% confident was the right one. It took less than an hour.

So I wrote a letter. I should have gone through official channels, I know, but I had to strike while the iron was hot! Actually I wrote two letters, a covering one to ask if I’d got the right person, and another, more personal one with photographs for if I had. I had a wonderful email the next evening, and we emailed for a few days before speaking on the phone. We met up a couple of weeks later, and it’s gone from strength to strength since then. We are so similar it’s frightening! But fabulous 🙂

I’m lucky enough to have learned from the mistakes I made in my relationship with my other mum to really try and get this one right. It’s a rare oppurtunity that very few people get. I made this pendant for her for Mothers’ Day so that she knows how loved she really is.

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So happy Mothers’ Day to both my mums. Thinking of you both, as I do every day xxx


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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