Thursday, 22 December 2011

Wedding Cufflinks for the Groom

The last of my Christmas orders has now been posted and the last present wrapped (which is extremely organised for me). This is my last blog post before Christmas and so I thought I would share with you a recent custom jewellery order that I made. This is for a lovely Christmas wedding that is due to take place a couple of days after Christmas day. The bride to be wanted a pair of cufflinks making for the groom and the cufflinks were to incorporate a small sample of her wedding dress.

Wedding dress cufflinks for the groom

And these are the cufflinks that I made for her. They are sterling silver and the wedding dress material has been set within resin within the silver flat cups. As always the resin has brought out the texture of the material and I think they are a lovely gift for her husband to be. I really do need very little wedding dress material for making these; approximately one inch square of fabric is ample. The tricky part is cutting the fabric into perfect oval shapes to fit inside the cufflinks but I have had plenty of practice! I hope the couple have a lovely winter wedding and that the groom treasures his cufflinks for years to come.

I wish all my blog followers, fellow crafters and customers a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Best Wishes

Mick

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Horse hair Bangle

You may remember a recent blog post where I announced the lucky winner of my horse hair jewellery giveaway. Well this is what she won; as part of the giveaway I asked the horse owner if they could send me some long lengths of horse tail hair for me to make a new range of horse hair jewellery. Well Louise kindly sent me some long strands of hair from her new pony and I made them into this horse hair bangle for her.

Horse Hair Bangle

I love the effects of the hair twisting around within this handmade resin bangle and can’t wait to make some more of these.

I have had quite a few commissions of horse hair jewellery over the last few weeks leading up to Christmas. I particularly liked this order for a matching set of jewellery.

This bracelet is sterling silver and the horse hair has been set within each charm in a criss-cross pattern. I have also engraved the back of each charm with the name of the horse and have included fine amber glitter within each charm (although you can’t see that within the photograph).

Horse Hair Bracelet

My wife likes the bracelet so much that she would like one too; even though she isn’t a horse owner! To match the bracelet I made these horse hair earrings. Again sterling silver and the name of the horse engraved onto the back of each earring.

Horse Hair Earrings

And to finish the set of jewellery is this sterling silver pendant engraved on the back and hung from a leather thong style necklace chain.

Horse Hair Necklace

I love the effects that can be achieved by using horse hair within jewellery and if you would like to see more examples please visit my horse hair jewellery website gallery.

Mick

Friday, 9 December 2011

Custom Jewellery - Microchip Cufflinks

I am often asked to preserve some very interesting items for people within my custom made jewellery and last week was one of those occasions. I was contacted by a UK company who specialise in the design and manufacture of wireless microcontrollers. These microcontrollers are used in many applications such as controlling smart lighting for homes, offices and even street lighting.

The lady who contacted me was organising a retirement gift for an employee and asked if she could send me some of their microchips (the electronic component type, not the McCaine type) for me to place within silver cufflinks. The microchips are part of the microcontrollers that the company manufacture, are 4mm square and paper thin. I encased them in resin onto a pair of sterling silver cufflinks and this was the result.

Microchip Cufflinks

It was the man’s retirement day today and I hope he liked his gift; I think the microchip cufflinks are certainly a very thoughtful gift by the company and I am sure they will bring back very fond memories for him.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Daisy from the Glass Jar

I live everyday by the slogan on my website ‘...more than just jewellery...’ because I truly believe there is far more to my jewellery making than just creating pieces of jewellery. I am often asked to help people who are going through difficult times, for example with my hair keepsake jewellery. Other people have a story to tell and want a keepsake making as a reminder of a moment in their lives.

This became evident this week when a lady purchased a daisy necklace from my website shop and left the following story after receiving it. It is extremely moving and I thank her for giving me the opportunity to share it.

“When I was a little girl, winter nights were filled with terror because of my father, so I picked a daisy in the summer (nature was where I took my comfort) and sealed it in an opaque glass jar, so that when things got bad again, I would be able to open the glass jar and see and feel the daisy.

Daisy Flower

I waited and waited until things got so bad it was difficult to bear and I opened my glass jar. I was so excited. I peeled the Sellotape off of the lid, strip by strip in anticipation. When I finally opened it, the daisy was black and mouldy. I think my heart broke.

Now all these years later with beautiful children and grandchildren of my own, my daisy is back. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that the heart break of that night all those years ago has been healed and the past re written.

I know this is possibly too much information for you, and I apologise for taking your time, but you should know how powerful this has been for me and how grateful I am to you, your skill and your Art.

This is my daisy from the glass jar. Bless you and thank you again”.

Daisy Flower Necklace

This story means more to me than anything and I feel very honoured to have brought such joy from the things that I do. I will continue to follow my website slogan and comments like the above continue to make the things that I do extremely worthwhile!

Mick

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Shpangle Jewellery has gone International

This week has seen a few items of my handmade custom jewellery and paperweights making their way to their new home in Thailand. It got me thinking about all of the international countries that now have Shpangle Jewellery and how proud it makes me feel.

Anyone who makes jewellery and other handmade crafts knows that feeling when an item they have made goes to a good home. The feeling never goes away, knowing that an item we have made with our own hands is now being loved by somebody else. But whenever a piece of my jewellery makes its way to another country, the feeling is awesome! Yes, the internet has opened up the possibilities of selling worldwide to everyone, but people do tend to stay local whenever they can. So when a piece of my jewellery becomes owned by somebody on the other side of the world I feel it is a huge achievement.

Currently the different countries (and states) that have my jewellery are:

USA - Washington
USA - Colarado
USA - Florida
USA - Arizona
USA - Wisconsin
USA - California
USA - Georgia
USA - Ohio
USA - Minnesota
USA - New Jersey
USA - Virginia
USA - Massachusetts
USA - Tennessee
USA - Texas
Australia - New South Wales
Canada - Ontario
England
Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Northern Ireland
Taiwan
Slovenia
Thailand
Austria

I found this great website called www.travbuddy.com where you can create your own travel map. And this is what I go when I listed my international jewellery sales.



Shpangle Jewellery has currently visited 5% of the countries in the world! I would love to hear about your worldwide sales of handmade jewellery or crafts.

Mick

Friday, 18 November 2011

Patchwork Tote Bag for my Wife

It was my wife’s birthday last week and she is now an extremely proud owner of this patchwork tote bag by the fabulous Lynda of Bags of Swank by SimJaTa.

When the tote bag appeared on Lynda’s Facebook page I immediately fell in love with it. I am not the kind of guy who walks around with tote bags; but my wife’s birthday was a great excuse to buy it for her and she loves it too!

Patchwork Tote Bag

The patchwork of colours that make up the bag all complement each other and work together so well. With bright paisley prints, tie dyes and cords and details such as the inner pockets and lining, the tote bag is so special and a real credit to the handmade industry. You just couldn’t find a bag made to this quality and level of workmanship in the shops so thank you Lynda for making a fantastic one-of-a-kind bag.

Handmade Hippie Bag

I must say, the tote bag is one of the best presents that I have ever bought (and certainly beats last years’ present of a lump of dinosaur poop). Not only is the quality fantastic but it is supporting a fellow maker of handmade crafts. So if you are looking for a unique gift for a member of your family or friend, please visit Lynda’s SimJaTa shop on Etsy.

Mick

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

What were you doing at 11:11:11 on 11/11/11?

I am sure people will be asking you this question for years to come. It will only happen once in our life time so I would love to know what you were doing at this moment in time when the clocks struck 11:11:11: on the 11/11/11.

I was in the middle of blowing up some strange animal shaped balloons for my wife’s birthday at the time. As the time drew closer to the 11:11:11 moment I probably took the strangest decision ever and decided to capture the moment on my PC! So there I sat with my PC clock open and fingers poised over CTRL-PRTSC.

11:11:11 on 11/11/11

I then opened Twitter to see what others were doing on this date and time and saw a great Tweet from Pan Aveyard, who made his 11111th tweet at the precise moment and here it is:

11111th Tweet at 11:11:11 on 11/11/11

So what were you doing at 11:11:11 on 11/11/11 and did you make a wish?

Mick

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Horse Hair Jewellery Giveaway Winner is...

Following my recent horse hair jewellery blog giveaway at 12.00 noon on Friday I selected a winner. The random number generator didn’t have to work too hard because not that many horse owners entered, but here it is!

The winner of my horse hair jewellery giveaway, who will receive the first of my new range of horse hair jewellery, is...... Louise Yeoman from my facebook page. Congratulations Louise!

The runner-up of my jewellery giveaway who will receive a custom made horse hair pendant, similar to the one below, is..... Carl Dunger for his friend Sharnna Makins.

Horse Hair Jewellery


Many thanks for all those who took part in my first horse hair jewellery giveaway and if you were not successful this time please look out for my future giveaways.

Mick

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Budgie Feather Keepsake Jewellery for Circus

Back in February this year I blogged about A Budgie Keepsake - Mango’s Last Feather which was a very touching story from Laura who asked me to make keepsake jewellery from the feather of her gorgeous budgie Mango. Laura contacting me recently, following the very sad loss of her budgie Circus who was being treated for respiratory infection. She wanted the leg ring and a small feather taken from Circus preserving within a clear heart shaped pendant.

The following is a lovely message that Laura gave me after receiving her keepsake necklace:

“Once again Mick has left us with a fantastic reminder of one of our budgies - Circus. I was given Circus from a breeder who is also a great friend around my birthday 5 years ago.

Baby Budgie Circus

Over that time he has watched his sister raise 8 gorgeous little chicks and a year later to be joined by a great niece. Their blood line is by far my favourite and I'm proud to have most of the family tree right upstairs in the bird room!

Circus the Budgie - Bird Room

Soon after his passing I knew Mick was the person to go to preserve his leg ring and tummy feather.

Budgie Feather and Leg Ring Keepsake

Just as I'd hoped it's as beautiful and peaceful as imagined! There is something so calming about the pendant, you can view a perfectly frozen feather from all sides, there's something special about that.

Budgie Feather Keepsake Jewellery

Thank You a thousand times for once again providing a perfect keepsake that we will be able to hold close for a lifetime, he will still be here if or when his great niece and nephews take the plunge in starting their own family, now that'll be a story to tell them!”

Laura – Nov 2011


Circus the Budgie

Many thanks to Laura for a lovely story; it is a pleasure to have made a keepsake for the feather of such a gorgeous budgie!

If you would like to see more examples of my pet keepsake jewellery please visit my Pet Keepsake Jewellery gallery.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Horse Hair Jewellery Giveaway

I have been making horse hair jewellery for quite some time now and thought it was time to bring out a new range of jewellery for the horse owner. Unlike the traditional braided horse hair jewellery, my jewellery actually uses very little hair; approximately one to two inches of hair the thickness of a pencil is more than sufficient for any of my pendant designs.

Personalised Horse Hair Jewellery

For my new range of horse hair jewellery I am looking to use longer strands of hair to incorporate into my designs. And this is the reason for the giveaway. If you are a horse owner, or know of a horse owner who can supply me with a few (maybe six) strands of tail hair (approximately twelve inches long and preferably dark in colour), I will then send you the finished prototype piece of jewellery that I make with it free as a thank you!

I will only be making one prototype for my new range of horse hair jewellery and therefore will be selecting at random the winner of the giveaway (assuming more than one person enters that is!).

The rules of this giveaway are simple. If possible please follow this blog (Using the ‘Join this site’ button located on the right of the page). Then leave a comment on this blog, maybe letting me know why you would like a piece of my horse hair jewellery and how I can contact you if you are the winner.

Horse Hair Jewellery

This giveaway will end at midday on the 11th November 2011 (which incidentally is my wife’s birthday). Good Luck!

Mick

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Jewellery Made from Recycled Fabric Remnants

I do not know where the time has gone but it was last spring when I mentioned that I had been making jewellery made from recycled fabric. At the time I asked if anybody had small off-cuts of fabric that could be donated to me for my jewellery making, and the lovely Lynda of ‘Bags of Swank by SimJaTa’ came to my rescue. She sent me a huge pile of fabric remnants with some very gorgeous designs and I have finally got around to making some pendants with them.

Two pieces of fabric caught my eye in particular and the first is this ladybird fabric with foliage and small daisies. The ladybird fabric has been encased within a teardrop shaped resin pendant and has been backed by green coloured resin to compliment the colour of the foliage. The pendant has been given a Shpangle sparkle with a small amount of glitter dust.

Ladybird necklace

The second fabric remnant is this one with pink flowers and a lovely cheeky looking bee. The pendant has been backed by pink resin and given the usual sparkle.

Bumble bee necklace

I must start making more pendants with the fabric off-cuts that Lynda gave to me. The fabric is gorgeous and will look lovely made into some pendants; I also have an idea to make some of it into handmade buttons.

Mick

Friday, 14 October 2011

List of Messages Found on Love Heart Sweets

No, I am not currently going through some strange kind of mid life crisis by having a fascination with love heart sweet messages; there is honestly a serious reason why I would want to make a list of the messages found on love hearts sweets, so please continue reading and you may be able to help me!

I am often asked to incorporate love heart sweets into my jewellery and more often than not I am asked to include specific love heart sweet messages. I then encase the sweets within resin and they are transformed into pendants and charms. When I am asked to incorporate sweets with specific messages (for example this week when I was asked to make a pair of love heart sweet cufflinks); if I don’t have the requested message in my collection I need to purchase several tubes of the sweets!

Love Heart Sweet Necklace

These regular visits to the local shops to buy tubes of love heart sweets has resulted in a rather large collection of the sweets (and strange looks from shop assistants). Ok I admit that I have eaten quite a few...alright lots of them but still have bags and bags of them. So to help with future orders I thought it was necessary to catalogue the sweets and provide a list of the different love heart sweet messages in my collection.

The following list contains the different love heart sweet messages in my collection. I will keep this list updated whenever I receive new additions:

All Mine - Guess Who - Lush Lips
Angel Face - Happy Birthday - Make Up
Be Good - Hard Luck - My All
Be Mine - Heart Desire - My Angel
Best Mate - Heart Throb - My Boy
Bless You - Hello - My Girl
Blue Eyes - Hi Baby - My Hero
Bye Bye - Hold Me - My Ideal
Canny Lad - How Nice - Neat
Catch Me - Hug Me - New Love
Chase Me - Hunk - Oh Boy
Cheeky Boy - I Hope - Only You
Cheeky Boy - I Love You - Real Love
Cheer Up - I Spy - Relax
Cool Dude - I Surrender - Say Yes
Cool Kid - In Love - Smile
Crazy - I'm Shy - Spoil Me
Cuddle Me - Its Love - Sweet Heart
Cute Kid - Its True - Sweet Kiss
Dear One - I Want U - Sweet You
Dishy - Just Me - Take It Easy
Dream Boy - Keep Cool - Text Me
Dream Girl - Kiss Me - Too Much
Dream On - Lets Dance - True Love
E Mail - Lets Kiss - Try Me
Ever Yours - Like You - Wicked
Find Me - Little Kiss - Will You
First Love - Looking Good - Wow
For Ever - Love Bug - Yes Dear
For Keeps - Love Heart - You and I
Funny Face - Love You - You Win
Good Pals - Lover - You're Fab
Great Guy - Luck Lips - You're Gorgeous
Grow Up - Lucky Lips - You're Mine
Yours

And this is where you can help. I want to create a ‘wish list’ of messages that you think would be appropriate and would like to see on love heart sweets. I will then add them to a list here.

Mick

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Taking Inspiration from Beacon Hill Country Park

Last Sunday we spent a lovely day at Beacon Hill Country Park in the heart of Leicestershire. Beacon Hill is located in Charnwood Forest and has a lovely combination of woodland walks, ponds, grassland and Beacon Hill itself which is the second highest point in Leicestershire. We had a lovely picnic and sat on top of Beacon Hill (which was once a Bronze Age hill fort), taking in the surrounding views whilst our little boy climbed the many rocks.

We began our walk around the Beacon Hill Country Park and our first observation was an amusing sight of this tree that was just refusing to give up...

Beacon Hill Tree

Continuing on our walk we came across this wonderful rock formation and commented how the profile was similar to a face. Later we discovered that it was in fact known as The Old Man of Beacon Hill!

Old man of Beacon Hill

We stopped at the natural play area, a secluded area created in 2010 with timber grown at Beacon Hill. Here we discovered many wooden sculptures, a maze and even a wooden train that we pretended to drive around the park.

Beacon Hill play area

We then continued our walk through the beacon plantations to the native tree collection. In 1994 8,000 trees were planted in the park with representatives of the 28 species of trees and shrubs native to the British Isles. We managed to get ourselves a little lost in this area and after finally making our way out walked back to the 802ft summit of Beacon Hill.

Beacon Hill plantations

The fantastic landscape and views around Beacon Hill Country Park gave me the inspiration to make a couple of pendants this week. The first is my interpretation of where the sky meets the sea. Not that there is much sea around Beacon Hill, in fact it couldn’t be further from the sea; but there was plenty of blue sky to look at and that was the inspiration behind this piece.

Blue sea and sky necklace

The second pendant was inspired by the random patchwork of colours around Beacon Hill. From the colours of the trees and heath land to the views of far away buildings and fields; this was the inspiration behind this item. The pendant was actually formed by encasing small fragments of sea glass within the resin pendant. The photo does not really do the pendant justice as the fizziness and details of the sea glass within the pendant is quite beautiful.

Random sea glass necklace

A visit to Leicestershire wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Beacon Hill Country Park, the views are breath taking and each time you visit you are guaranteed to discover something new.

Mick

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Jewellery Donated to the Acorn Centre Charity Auction

Yes it is your opportunity to bid on an item of my jewellery that I have recently donated to a fabulous charity auction and help a great cause.

I was very happy this week to donate an item of jewellery for a local charity auction to be held later this month. The charity auction is being held by the Acorn Centre (www.acorncentrenuneaton.co.uk) a small Nuneaton registered Charity which has been working for over 16 years offering a specialist pregnancy counselling service for women and men for issues relating to miscarriage and fertility problems. They also offer young people's counselling too to help with issues such as depression and anxiety etc.

The organisers are trying to get some interesting prizes together and thought it would be great if they could include some individual and unique pieces from local artists. So I have donated a custom made name on rice pendant to the auction.

Name on rice jewellery
The Acorn Centre is one of the only charities in the local area that offer the specialist pregnancy counselling support and all of their counsellors and administrators are volunteers. They really need more funds to enable them to keep helping people in the community so anything you could do to help would be much appreciated.

The auction is the charity's first major fundraising event and will be on Friday 21 October at the Rugby Club in Nuneaton (tickets are £3 and there's a live band on the night too.

Please join me in helping this charity by either donating a handmade item or you can come along on the night and make a bid for my necklace or one of the many unique gifts on offer.

Acorn Centre Nuneaton
For anybody who is ever given the opportunity to offer their handmade goods or services to help a charity such as this please do it. My personal experience from doing this has meant that I have already had mentions in various local newspapers, will have great product exposure on the night and I will have the satisfaction of helping a great cause.

Mick

Friday, 23 September 2011

Custom paperweight with a lock of hair

I have been asked several times in the past to make paperweights containing locks of hair for people who want to preserve a lock of hair from a loved one, baby or pet. They don’t necessarily want an item to wear such as my hair keepsake jewellery; but they want to preserve the lock of hair within a custom made object that they can view every day.

Custom paperweight

So a couple of weeks ago I started making my first paperweight containing a lock of my own hair tied with a pretty purple bow! This paperweight took me at least 10 days to make because I wanted to take my time and also wanted to prevent any heat build-up that can occur when working with large quantities of resin. The finished paperweight is dome shaped and measures three inches in diameter and approximately 2 inches high. The lock of hair is suspended within the centre of the resin paperweight and surprisingly the paperweight has quite some weight, weighing over 100 grams (about the same as an apple when I weighed them).

Paperweight with hair

These custom made paperweights are going to be an ideal solution for people who want to preserve an item and don’t want an item of jewellery. They are also going to be great for the larger items such as large flowers, pieces of fabric and other items of memorabilia that would be too large to incorporate into an item of jewellery.

I am going to have some great fun making these paperweights and my mind is already full of ideas for things to encapsulate into them. Make the most of this as it will be the last time you will see my hair tied with a purple bow but I must admit I don’t think it has ever looked so nice, what do you think?

Mick.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

What to do with Wedding Flowers?

I had a great little project to do last week; I was given the opportunity to preserve some wedding flowers in resin pendants for a lady who recently got married. She actually contacted me before her wedding back in July wanting to know the process and how to go about sending the flowers to me after her wedding. At the time I gave her help and advice on how best to dry the flowers and a couple of weeks ago I received these:

Preserving wedding flowers

Most of the flowers were unfortunately too big to include in the items of jewellery whole, however I prepared a few designs for her and she decided upon a teardrop shaped pendant containing a selection of her wedding flowers. I have tried to make all of the pendants similar to each other where I could and have included small flower buds, petals and gave them a little sparkle with some glitter dust. I eventually made these pendants which are bursting with the lovely colours from the flowers.

Preserved wedding flowers

The pendants containing her wedding flowers are to be given to her mother and the bridesmaids as keepsakes or their wedding day. I think they are a lovely memento of such a special occasion and a unique way of preserving those sentimental items.

Wedding flower jewellery

So the next time anybody asks ‘What can I do with my wedding flowers?’ you can tell them to send the flowers to Mick at Shpangle Jewellery!

Please visit my website page Wedding Keepsakes for other ideas and inspiration for preserving those special items from a wedding.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Memorial Jewellery – Keepsake Jewellery for Ashes

A little while ago I made a pet hair keepsake bracelet for a lady who wanted to be able to wear the hair from each of her six dogs. The lady runs a puppy and dog training academy and has since given me lots of publicity and help. After receiving her bracelet she asked me if I had ever considered making memorial jewellery and in particular preserving the ashes from pets within keepsake jewellery.

To be honest it wasn’t something I had ever thought about, mainly because I haven’t previously been given the opportunity. She very kindly sent me the ashes from one of her dogs so that I could try and make a few items. I was very happy with the finished items and was quite amazed at how little ashes were actually used. I obviously sent her all the items that I made with them and thank her so much for giving me the opportunity.

The following are a couple of the items of jewellery that I made with the ashes. This resin heart shaped pendant also includes a small pressed Forget-me-not flower:

Keepsake Pendant for ashes

With this pendant the ashes are encased in resin against a sterling pendant bezel. I also engrave the back of the pendant with names and messages:

Memorial Jewellery for Ashes

Unlike traditional glass memorial jewellery, this type of jewellery is unlikely to break or smash if accidently dropped or knocked. Also there is the artistic element in that the ashes have been crafted into the object with care. I think the best description of this memorial jewellery though was made by one of my Facebook page followers yesterday. She said that they look like ‘little pieces of angel dust’; a very appropriate and beautiful description for these extremely important items of jewellery.

If you would like to read more about my new range of memorial jewellery for the ashes of a loved one or pet, please visit my new website page Keepsake Jewellery for Ashes.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Wood Crafts - The National Forest Wood Fair

I have always had a real fascination with wood crafts; from a young age watching my father making me toys from pieces of wood and to the present day when I visit craft fairs and spending most of my time admiring wood turned objects of art. So last weekend I had a great day out at The National Forest Wood fair. Set in the Beacon Hill country park in Leicestershire, the wood fair provides an opportunity for woodland related businesses and craftspeople to demonstrate their skills and showcase their wares.

national Forest Wood Fair

This year’s wood fair included many woodland related crafts including furniture makers, wood turners, wood carvings and even longbows. There were also several demonstrations and displays during the day including woodland survival crafts, lumberjack shows and even clog dancing. There were also plenty of hands-on things to do as well from having a go at Pyrography to paddling coracles!

The first highlight of the wood fair for me was watching Dick Tilley – Spirits of Wood; a chainsaw artist who was turning a couple of tree trunks into works of art. I was amazed at the workmanship and how much detail and delicate touches that were being made with such heavy equipment. These people certainly know how to handle chainsaws and the sculptures they were making were incredible.

Spirits of Wood

The next highlight for me was watching the New Forest and South East Axemen put on their show. This small group of young (and some not so young) men put on a great display of axe and cross cutting and the crowd participation was great. They made the cutting down of a tree look so easy; the picture below shows one member of the group demonstrating the old style lumberjack techniques of cutting down a tree. He is actually standing on a plank that he has just wedged into the tree-trunk!

New Forest and South East Axemen

It was a great day out at the National Forest Wood Fair this year. The weather could have been better but it certainly didn’t spoil peoples’ enjoyment and fascination of this wonderful craft.

Mick

Sunday, 28 August 2011

My latest pet keepsake bracelets

You may remember on a previous blog post where I showed my latest pet hair keepsake bracelet. Well, last week I was asked to make a similar bracelet for a lady who wanted a keepsake to her pets while they were all alive and well.

This bracelet is sterling silver and has seven charms represented her different pet animals; each bracelet charm is also engraved on the back with the corresponding pet’s name. The bracelet contains animal fur and hair from some types of pet that I have not worked with before and includes two cats, three gerbils, two dwarf hamsters and some snake skin that had been shed.

pet hair keepsake bracelet

Last week was quite a week for making pet keepsake bracelets and here is three more that I made for a lady in the states. The heart shaped charms are resin and contain the hair from some of her dogs. Unfortunately I cannot engrave the resin charms so instead I have embedded silver lettering within each charm to spell out the name.

This charm bracelet contains the hair from Brutus and his name has been spelt with silver lettering and I have also included some crystals to give it a twinkle!

Dog hair bracelet

This lovely rainbow bracelet includes the hair from three different dogs.

pet fur bracelet

And finally a second keepsake bracelet in rainbow colours for a dog called Sandy.

pet keepsake bracelet

Thank you for looking at my latest pet keepsake bracelets and I hope you all have a great bank holiday!

Mick

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Horse hair brooch – Equine jewellery

I have been making horsehair jewellery for quite some time now and I have created quite a few designs for necklaces, bracelets and even earrings containing horse hair. However last week I was given a challenge of making a horse hair brooch for a lady who has recently moved to Ireland.

Initially I thought I would encase the horse hair within resin and attach a silver brooch bar to the back. But then I like to look for alternative solutions that are a little bit different and decided to make her this:

Horse hair brooch

This sterling silver oval brooch has an extended brooch bar that gives a modern look to the piece. The sterling silver cup holding the horse hair is quite small (so I was quite limited to what I could do with the hair). As always the horse hair has been sealed with resin within the brooch cup.

So that is my latest piece of equine jewellery now in the safe hands of its new owner; hope you like it! If you would like to see more of my designs incorporating horse hair please visit my horsehair jewellery gallery.

Mick

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Farmyard Jewellery – Little Piggy Necklace

Old Macdonald had a farm ee-eye, ee-eye oh. And on that farm he had a pig ee-eye, ee-eye oh...

Yes you guessed it; today’s blog post is about my latest farmyard jewellery and in particular a little piggy necklace. I was asked last week to make an item of rice writing jewellery for a lady. She wanted to give it as a gift to her friend who is a farmer and she asked if I could make it farmyard related i.e. to include a farmyard animal within the necklace.

I searched high and low for suitable miniature animals that I could incorporate within the necklace however nothing was really appropriate or small enough to fit within the standard glass vials that I use for my name on rice jewellery. Then I came across this piggy glass vial which is so cute and without hesitation I imported it from the states.

Piggy Necklace

This is quite a greedy little pig as it has five grains of rice floating about including the names of the farming couple, their two dogs and a grain of rice with the year 2011 written onto it. I gave the magnifying oil within the glass vial a slight pink tint to give this little piggy some colour. Although there are five grains of rice floating about in this piggy, there is plenty of room for them to move about and it is really good fun watching them!

So that is my first piece of farmyard jewellery I have made making its way to a farm. I think this little piggy necklace will feel quite at home with all the other animals; what do you think?

Mick

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Personalised bridesmaid gifts – Wedding keepsakes

I had an order for my name on rice jewellery before I went away on holiday and I thought I would show it off. The original request was for several of my name on rice pendants for the lady’s bridesmaids. The wedding is due to take place this month, and the pendants are to be given to the bridesmaids during the wedding as personalised keepsake gifts for the special occasion.

As time went by the order grew to also provide personalised gifts for other wedding guests including the Mothers, friends and their daughter (who will be the flower girl) for the couple. I was asked to make each pendant personal to each person by including other objects such as flowers, pearls and glitter. Each pendant contains two grains of rice; the first grain of rice has the recipients’ name and the second grain was double sided incorporating the married couples initials with a heart, and on the reverse side the date of the wedding.

Personalised Bridesmaid Gifts

And here the wedding keepsakes are displayed in their presentation boxes and I also included little card inlays repeating the wedding details and the recipients’ name.

Wedding Keepsakes

It is a lovely feeling to know that my handmade gifts will be given out on such an important occasion. It is also good to know that these wedding keepsakes will be kept for years to come and will be used to bring back the happy memories of such a special time.

If you would like to read more about my personalised bridesmaid gifts please visit my unique bridesmaid gifts website page.

Mick