As the leaves are turning gold and red, so why not use these lovely tones and textures in your commission?
Warm colours and cascading forms inspired by tumbling leaves, shapes of different types of leaves and seed pods merging together to create designs for rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and more.
Garnets, orange and yellow sapphires, rubies, amber, citrine, and many other gemstones would work beautifully in designs created from silver, white gold, yellow gold and/or rose gold.
Get in touch to discuss any ideas you may have for a possible commission...
Jewellery comes in many forms and is worn for many reasons - quite often, pieces are worn (or at least kept) for sentimental reasons; to remind you of a person who is no longer around or lives far away, a place/time/event that means a lot to you.
A bespoke jewellery service is perfect for creating or re-working memorial jewellery as you can get exactly what you are after.
There are so many ways to create a meaningful piece of jewellery, and to go through all the varieties and possibilities would take forever, and so I will briefly cover just a few examples.
The simplest way to make a piece of inherited jewellery wearable, is to make it fit.
2. Recycling metals.
Melting down inherited silver/gold is another possibility, although this does usually mean also adding new metal, and recycled metal often has problems such as perosity (looks like tiny pin pricks in the metal).
3. Recycling stones.
If you inherit a piece of jewellery that is broken, or not your cup of tea, you may be able to take the stones out and use them in a new commission. For example, I inherited a gold and ruby earring that my grandfather bought my grandmother for their ruby wedding anniversary; one earring was lost, and this one had a missing stone, and was a bit mis-shaped...so I have taken the tiny rubies out, and have them ready and waiting for when I come up with the right design.
4. Changing purpose.
Simple adaptations to turn a ring into a pendant, a pendant into an earrings, an earring into a brooch - etc. make an object that holds so many memories into something you can wear and enjoy.
5. Life diamonds.
Life diamonds are something I really want to look into, and have never worked with. "life diamonds" are diamonds that are created out of someones ashes. I'm not sure of costs, or what kind of sizes the stone would be, but I think I read that you can choose from Yellow or Blue diamonds - the colour is created as part of the process of turning ashes into a diamond (with extreme heat and pressure).
It is an option that may be open to you, you can then get the diamond set in a commissioned piece of jewellery.
(I will definately look into life diamonds and do another blog on them in the near future)
Using the stones that represent the month that your loved one
was born (or to represent the month you met/married etc).
January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine
April - Diamond
May - Emerald
June - Pearl
July - Ruby
August - Peridot
September - Sapphire
October - Opal
November - Topaz
December - Turquoise
If you would like me to go over any of these options in more detail, or discuss other possible routes to commission your own piece(s), please contact me.
I know it's been quite a while sine my last blog... (four months in fact!) But I have been a busy bee, working on designs for future collections, and customer commissions.
Future collections (although a way off yet) will include:
A series of seven rings inspired by the seven daughters of Triton in the Disney Film "The Little Mermaid".
These rings will be made from enamelled silver with granulation and precious/semi-precious stones.
These stackable rings were inspired by a children's nursery rhyme, and are available in sets to be worn individually/together - simply mix'n'match to suit your mood.
(one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told).
Not so creepy crawlies - Rings inspired by nature. This series of eight rings is an unusual collection of silver rings each based on a different insect.
(ladybird, bee, ant, etc).
I look forward to sharing my new rings with you soon.....
As I am partly Irish, I can never forget when it is St.Patrick's day... and so, I have selected a few items which have green stones as the focal point to fit with the theme.
If you would like to commission a St.Patrick's inspired item of jewellery use the contact page
to get in touch.
Enjoy your St.Patrick's day, and try not to drink too much guiness...
As you can see from my ring collections (and a lot of my bridal pieces too) I often use pearls in my work. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I am drawn to pearls more so than any of the other gemstones. So I thought I'd give you some information on this lovely gem in the hopes of igniting a passion for pearls in you...
What is a pearl?
Pearls are the only gemstones grown inside a living organism. Pearls are formed within oysters or molluscs when a foreign substance invades the shell of the mollusc and enters the soft mantle tissue. In response to the irritation a pearl sac is created which secretes a substance called nacre (the same substance that makes up the interior of a mollusc's shell) which builds up in layers around the irritant, forming a pearl.
Confusion often surrounds the difference between natural and cultured pearls. Cultured pearls are still real pearls, grown organically inside a mollusc in the same way as a natural pearl; the difference is that in the case of cultured pearls, the pearl farmer intentionally stimulates the development of the pearl by inserting a "nucleus" into the mollusc - meaning that the formation and discovery of the pearl are not left to chance.
Pearls in history.
Although pearls are still popular today, they have been sought after for a very long time. They have been prized for their beauty and rarity from ancient China, India, and Egypt, to Imperial Rome, to the Arab world, to Native American tribes.
Ancient Greeks highly valued pearls and used them especially at weddings, as they were said to bring love.
In Hindu culture, pearls are associated with the moon and symbolise love and purity. Hindu texts also say that Krishna presented his daughter with a beautiful pearl on her wedding day.
Pearls are often said to provide love and fertility, to symbolise purity, and even ward off evil.
Caring for pearls.
Pearls are delicate, and are more easily scratched, cracked, or damaged; but as long as you care for them correctly, it is not a problem.
Pearls are sensitive to acids, dryness and humidity, and substances such as perfume and hairspray can cause them damage. If you wear make-up, hair products, or even simply moisturiser, ensure you put them on and allow them to fully dry and/or soak in before wearing your pearl jewellery to minimise the amount of contact between the products and the pearl(s). After wearing your pearls, wipe them with a clean soft cloth to remove any traces of cosmetics or body oils. You should store your pearl jewellery in a dry environment, and try to keep them separate from other jewellery as they are easily scratched; if possible, store them wrapped in a clean soft cloth, pouch, or jewellery box... not only will this keep them looking good, it will also make them seem more special.
A few examples of my pearl pieces.
Happy Valentines Day everyone!
So, just a quick one today... and not at all jewellery related.
As it is valentines day I thought I'd share a quick and easy recipe for making your own chocolate truffles. I tested them out on my other half as a Valentines treat, and although mine may not be the most beautiful truffles ever, they do taste YUMMY - even if I do say so myself.
So here's what you need and how to make them:
1 (200g) tub cream cheese, softened350g icing sugar, sifted500g plain chocolate, melted1 1/2 teaspoons vanillaIn a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in icing sugar until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until no streaks remain. Refrigerate for about 1 hour. Shape into 2.5cm balls.
Then roll them in cocoa powder, crushed nuts, or coconut, or simply decorate with melted white/dark chocolate.
With valentines day a round the corner (Monday 14th Feb in case you didn't know) I thought I'd share a few little bits to help inspire your own ideas of what to do for your other half...
Combining cards and gifts/proposals:
You can make or buy a card and pop your present on it...
such as a necklace threaded through holes on the front of the card (as seen in my example). you can also do this with earrings or a bracelet etc.
You can make a home made card to propose with, simply write the question and buy a mini wooden peg from a craft store (I got a pack of these cute little pegs with hearts on from hobbycraft). You can use the little peg to hold the engagement ring.
This is quite a nice idea as your partner will be very surprised as she will think it is just a card for valentines.
Alternatively, you can use a piece of ribbon to hold the ring, or even tie/peg it on the inside of a normal valentines card as an extra element of surprise.
This is another idea of how you could propose, although you could write "happy valentines day" instead if you aren't ready to propose yet but would like an unusual gift presentation. I simply used a card butterfly and empty box with a little bit of blue-tac to hold this ring and wrote "marry me?" across it's wings.
A sweet idea:
Ice the letters on the individual chocolates, so that when your partner opens the box they will get a lovely surprise, you can then get down on one knee with the ring. You could also pop the ring in the place of the last chocolate in the box -if you have a bigger box of chocs than I bought. (yes, that does mean you get to eat one of the chocolates first!)
If your not quite ready for that step, you can always just ice a nice message on the chocolates instead :)
here you can see a simple example, but you can ice whatever you like.
Now, get thinking about what you are going to do for your loved one this valentines day...
...or you could always just buy a pretty piece of jewellery (use the "contact"
page of the website to see what is currently in stock, or to discuss a commission).
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
The magic of Christmas seems so far away now, and even the buzz of the New Year has gone; but the bleak weather is still here.
In this month where the days are cold and the nights are long (and your wallet is still recovering) what you need to cheer you up is a touch of sparkle.
Here are just a few suggestions that are cheap and cheerful, to give you a little lift this January...
Drop earring: Silver, blue wooden beads, and black bead.
This earring is a lovely pair to wear on a night out as they are relatively chunky
Drop earring: Silver and dark grey pearl.
This is a lovely earring to wear as a pair, but I like wearing it in just one ear (often with a small silver or pearl stud in the other ear).
Drop earring: Silver and pale grey pearl.
The delicate form of this pearl makes these earrings very wearable, you can wear them every day or dress them up to go out... perfect.
Drop earring: Silver, white pearl, base metal bead, and glass beads.
This pretty earring reminds me of a snowdrop flower. This earring looks very sweet, but is just big enough to make a statement.
Stud earrings: 9ct yellow gold and pearls.
These simple studs are very cute. The small cultured white pearls have a lovely shimmer to them and are perfect for both the office and the night out.
Stud earrings: enamelled and brushed silver.
These simple silver studs have a brushed finish, although they are also available polished and have a hint of pink-lilac in the centre. The colour is created by adding a small amount of enamel, therefore you can choose from many colours available (for example: pink, navy, black, cream, white, turquoise, peppermint, pale blue, lilac, etc)
Something similar to these can be designed and hand made for you, just use the "contact"
page to get in touch!
With only 7 sleeps until christmas it is a bit late for me to start suggesting some other gift ideas, however, I thought I could mention a few ideas for ways to keep the little kids preoccupied until the day itself (especially if you are snowed in!!!)
Like most, I think the snow is beautiful, and perfect for getting you in the christmas mood, BUT there are only so many snowmen and snow angels I can make before I get cold and start sounding more like scrooge.
And so, here are a few suggestions for ways to keep the little ones busy (warm and dry) - and for those not so little ones who feel like embracing the inner child:
1. paper snowflakes.
This old classic will never lose its appeal... simple fold up sheets of white (or silver, or pale blue, or glittery - the choices are endless) paper until you have a triangular shape, then SNIP SNIP SNIP. cut out shapes from the folded edges. Unfold the paper to reveal your beautiful snowflake.
you can then tape them to your windows, or tie them on to cotton and hang them from the ceiling.
If you make enough of them you can create your very own WINTER WONDERLAND GROTTO.
2. Cookie christmas tree.
This is very very simple... as long as you have some star or snowflake shaped cookie cutters.
Make a batch of biscuit dough using your favourite recipe, and cut out lots of star/snowflake shapes in graduating sizes, and bake as normal. Once your biscuits have cooled, arrange them in little piles (biggest on the bottom, smallest on the top). you can add little blobs of icing in between to hold them together, or just balance them. Add coloured/silver sugar balls, or little dots of icing to look like baubles, then a sprinkle of icing sugar, and VOILA - edible christmas trees.
3. kids D.I.Y jewellery.
In advance draw out a simple crown/tiara, a necklace, a bracelet and a watch (do a few photocopies).
Get the children to colour in the pictures. When they are all done help them to cut them out, and use pretty ribbons to tie them on for the kids to wear and play jewellery dress up.
With only 31 sleeps until Christmas it is probably about time I start thinking about Christmas gifts for family and friends (as well as what jewels I want to wear over the christmas season).
For the christmas season you can't go wrong with the following two semi-precious gems:
1. Crackled Rock Crystal.
This lovely gem is clear with tiny crackles running
through it to add both frosting and sparkle.
These have a lovely snowy feel and the white colour goes
with absolutely everything!
I love this gem because if you get a spherical bead it
is like wearing your very own tiny snow globe...it's
If Crackled Rock Crystal is your snow storm in a bead,
Goldstone is your magical midnight sky...
Goldstone can be a lovely red (more of a terracotta)
colour, but I am talking about the blue-black shades.
These semi-precious gems are a deep navy colour with a
lot of depth, and has stunning flecks of gold speckled
throughout the stones.
There are many options for using these stones, or any others that take your fancy, and I am always happy to undertake a commission - however simple/complicated, big/small, fashion/precious.
I will be adding more galleries of examples soon, so keep an eye out for inspirations and examples. Or simply contact me to go through some ideas.
Happy Christmas Shopping everyone!!!!