For Christmas my lovely mummy got me a selection box, now these are I know, very common around the festive season but, my mummy didn’t get me a chocolate selection box she got me a Jewellery Maker Selection box, which she selected herself! #jewellerymaker
Now by rights they shouldn’t be considered a my favourite purchase, because I didn’t buy them, my mum did, but she got them for me as she knows my love of Opals, I have a lovely white opal ring, that is quite vintage (probably 60’s / 70’s) as it was donated my by Gran a few years ago, I didn’t like it at the time so stashed it in my jewellery box then a couple of years ago I rediscovered it, and colours that eminate from it are outstanding, the pinks, blue, silver, gold hues all catch the light at different angles and refract it back making it a superb piece of jewellery.
So, you can buy these from Jewellery Maker , they are simply spectacular, 100 cts (yes 100!) of weighty slabs of genuine gemstones, each unique and completely natural. They feel amazing to wear, you really feel the weight on your neckline, and cool touch of cold gem on your skin when first wearing them, I wore them to the Kelham hall craft fair, and got a number of complements which was lovely, and gave me a real boost 🙂
So, what did I do with them ? Its not that much of a mystery if you read my blog because I excitedly published them last week, but I will repeat the image so you don’t need to stray,
Using pieces from the Silver Plated findings pack (115 pieces from JM but I only used a very small portion of these!) I added the 17cm strand of Opal slabs, mixed in some chain and created this awesome necklace.
If you want to create a similar one, in brief this is how I did it…
Unstring the Opals, because whilst they come beautifully packaged and presented from JM, the strands the gems are strung on as not designed to be long lasting, so I got some 19 strand beading wire (the more strands combined the better the strength of the beading wire, for the weight of these opals I opted for the highest I had in my stash it seems to hold them beautifully) I did break down a old silver chainmaille bracelet for the spacers in between the beads, but any silver toned bead (size 6 would be great) would do, or spacer beads. The thing to remember when creating jewellery is its ok to adapt, change and substitute gems, spacers, colours for what ever you have in your stash, or feel the urge to use. As Yoda would say use the force, I find the more of my amazing stash I pull out the more creative ideas start flowing (and then I get overwhelmed and put them all away again unsure which idea to start working with first!!)
At each end of the Opal Slabs I used a crimp bead, and crimp bead cover from the JM findings pack, but BEFORE I closed the crimp I threaded the beading wire through the silver plated chain that I intended to attach the clasp on. The number of times I have forgotten to add the clasp / chain closed the crimp and realised I have to either work around my mistake or chop it off and start again is ridiculous!!
Its not difficult just logical I find when jewellery making, so long as you lay out the component parts, work methodically and take your time, at the end of each chain I attached a clasp.
This particular clasp is really easy to use, not at all fiddly and the natural curve of the stones on the bead wire mean that the balance of the piece is perfect, and perfectly wearable. There is nothing worse than creating something truly beautiful and finding it doesn’t sit quite right on the neck line or wrist. Enjoy!
I rarely do craft fairs, not because I don’t love them (because I do, there is a huge amount of talent out there) but I don’t do them because I find it difficult to part with my creations. Anyway over Christmas I decided to book this one event, after having a reasonable amount of success at the Christmas event I did in the local shopping centre. Learning from other stall holders, remembering the excitement of people genuinely loving your work and getting money I decided another event could be fun.
Obviously I had grand plans but as usual for me they never really got any further than the planning stage ….bunting, bracelets, tiaras, hair combs, necklaces and much more anyway I have more than enough stock and my aim with the stall is to share the love of creating a piece of jewellery so I have a number of beady kits which hopefully some little monkeys and families might like to try. Its billed as a family fun day, so I have focused on a number of children friendly bracelet style kits, loom bands and some real treats for the Mummy’s and Gran’s should they fancy something special.
My day job which I rarely mention apart from being a Chartered Accountant is running a roofing supply business, (Fab-Linc) we (I) manufacture flashings, gutters, sell tile effect metal roofing sheets, fixings and much more (yawn) but my point of mentioning this is that I am hand folding all my metal display stands to give my stall some height, here is an example of my creation.
I was also hoping that by manufacturing it in galvanised metal it reflects some of the natural light (on the day) back on to the the sparkly creations and really show the natural beauty of the gem stones. The picture isn’t the best in the world, its indoor, its a dark overcast day, but aren’t the Amethyst Square cut gems beautiful (no prizes for guessing where these came from!) all 55cts of them! I am two minds about those, I want to sell them at the weekend so I can invest in more stunning gemstones, buuuttttt I don’t want to sell them because I love love love them, the simplicity of the necklace, the way it drapes, the geometric cut of the Gems its summery, its pretty, its easy to wear, there is little it wouldn’t go with clothes wise, and don’t you think the clasp is amazing (again JM findings pack! a treat from my mum this is a similar pack available on the site – silver plated copper findings pack)
You may also notice the wire wrapped pearls on the tiara on the bottom stand, and the hair comb, these are unfortunately “fake” pearls but still pretty effective, they don’t have the natural lustre of genuine pearl, nor do they have the touch they are synthetic, they didn’t cost a million dollars but when my little girl spotted it, her eyes grew large, her jaw dropped, she was hyper-ventilating and bouncing across my solid wood 1930’s flooring in sheer joy and excitement as she burst out with I ♥LOVE♠ my new princess crown mummy ….. I NEED NEED NEED one for all my friends at nursery
Just one other quick note, I know many craft sellers sell as their main business, this isn’t my main business its a hobby, its a form of escapism, I love crafting, experiencing different mediums to work with, and sharing my experiences I also know full well that I don’t charge enough for my work but I just hope to sell enough for me to justify buying new gems, new kits, and that the customer feels they have paid a fair price for an item they love too.
So if you are in the area at the weekend, do pop over support the Air Ambulance Charity and say hello as I would love to meet you!