Saturday, 22 August 2009

Look what Vikki made....isn't it beautiful. Vikki is one of our regulars at the shop and she has been working on a project for quite a few months now. She kept coming in buying pretty sparkly beads and this week bought in the results!! I think the necklace is gorgeous and a fabulous example of what can be made from a variety of different beads...some of the beads I haven't had for 2 years!! The project is based on one from Bead Magazine...Flower Garden - (I'll find out the issue number). I really appreciate it when customers bring their projects in for us to's great to see what creativity is happening out there and how our products are being used. More welcome....

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Our Jersey Trip and Weddings...

We returned from Jersey on was so lovely seeing Harry (and Lucy of course!!). When we arrived in Jersey on the Thursday they had the Battle of Flowers just starting...I took lots of photo's but here's some of my Favourites...

Can you believe these are all made from flowers.....yes every little bit!!!

I managed to get these photos before the parade started. We also managed to speak to some of the people that put them together. They said that they had been working on the floats since February then started to put the flowers on from Sunday and finished Thursday morning at about 3am(ish)!! It was totally amazing - unbelievable!! We were so lucky to arrive when we did.

On the Thursday afternoon Stuart and I hired bikes then got ready for a long bike ride starting Friday morning. Jersey is so beautiful and hiring bikes was the perfect way to see the island. You can pick the bikes up from a number of hire companies on the island - we used Zebra in St Helier. Cycle route maps are available from the tourism office and most hotels/ B&Bs. We cycled up to some beautiful beaches..

...some very long steep hills that we then had the pleasure gliding down....

...and collected some souvenirs along the way.

On the Saturday we went to Carl & Rachel's wedding - the purpose of the visit. The day was very magical and the weather was perfect. Due to some of us being more hungover than others I spent Sunday morning on my own. I first visited The Shell Garden. This was pretty cool - started in 1957 and still being added to today. The guy on the gate was the third generation. Reminded of a great book I have called Fantasy Worlds - a Tashen book. I then went to a wonderful gallery filled with beautiful things and inspiring objects in St Aubin - I think St Aubin was my favourite place for its nice resturants, bars, galleries, views and interesting buildings.

On Tuesday it was back to work. Lucy, Mum and Kay did a great job holding fort. On Tuesday I had a wedding ring workshop. Jeff and Pauline came in to make their own wedding rings - it was a lovely four hours and they finished in perfect time with perfect rings - Congratulations.X

Hard at Work

The finished Rings

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Decoupage Elephants and bubbly kits...

Look at my elephants....a couple of weeks ago I ran a children's birthday workshop for Storm. During the session Storm and her Mum mentioned they were going to make some elephants out of a very common item that we all discard every week.....any ideas??? First person to get it right wins a prize!!!!!!!

Kay has also put together some new kits using the pearl mixes we have in store.....aren't they great. I think they'd make a fab could actually fit a clasp that would enable you to use it as both a bracelet and necklace (not at the same time!). Obviously you'd need an extra section for the necklace that you could clip in- it would look wonderful!!

Pearl Bubble Bracelet Kit

Tomorrow we're off to Jersey for Carl & Rachel's wedding....I'm really looking forward to it. When we arrive on the Thursday they have an event called Battle of Flowers...take a look at the website. As far as I can tell its a big event based around floats and a procession dripping with flowers!! I'll take lots of photos...hope the weather's nice...fingers crossed!!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Making a Silver Ring

Saturday we did a Silver Ring workshop. The pieces made on the 10-4pm workshop were fantastic and a great achievement in the time. Helen made a bangle as she doesn't really wear rings. All the techniques used in this workshop are your silversmithing basic - this is why I use this project for my first on the Adult Learning classes.

Sterling Silver Rings made by complete beginners

Sunday Lucy and I went to The PMC Symposium in Bristol. We had a table there selling some of our products along with The PMC Studio. It was very interesting and a great opportunity to see pretty much everyone I know in The PMC world. I was also very impressed with Bristol. There seemed to be a lot going on and lots to see. We might have to make a visit in the future...maybe a weekend away.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Birmingham School of Jewellery

Last Sunday Stuart and I drove up to Birmingham to get ready for my three course I was delivering for the jewellery school. I've never driven to Birmingham before...well the centre anyway...only ever the NEC. It was surprisingly easy if I didn't take much notice of multimap...I'm sure I confuse myself too with it!! We drove straight to The SAS Raddison Hotel on Holloway Circus. The hotel was perfect for our stay...18 floors high with private apartments above for ???? floors - a very tall building!! On the 18th floor was a gym that I went and tried out on the sunday...felt a bit scary - I thought my cross trainer might jump forward and I'd end up out the window!!

SAS Raddison

The rooms were very comfortable..everything you could wish for. The beds were EXTREMELY comfortable - just what you need after a long days work!! The hotel was 5 mins from the Mailbox and Bullring so would be perfect for a weekend of shopping and relaxing if you had the time.

Our home for four days.

The Mailbox is a very 'trendy' area filled with nice shops, restaurants, galleries and a relaxed vibe. Stu and I had Tapas for dinner at Estillos on the Sunday night....the Paella was amazing!!! After a good nights sleep and a massive buffet breakfast I was ready to start my 3 day course. I took literally my whole workshop so got to the jewellery school early so I could get set up - Stu helped. We were greeted by one of the most friendliest security guards and caretakers I've met..they made us feel very welcome. Each day ran from 9.30-5pm with breaks if you wanted them. I had a group of 6 ladies from various areas around Birmingham and one from Belfast. The group were great and were all keen to learn what PMC is all about and how to work with it. What made the group so interesting is that each person had different reasons to be there and levels of jewellery making.

The Birmingham School of Jewellery

Throughout the 3 days we covered using:
  • paste to create a silver leaf
  • paste to create a hollow bead
  • lump to create a dry construction pendant
  • lump and torch firing to make a pair of earrings
  • soldering techniques on PMC to create a pair of stud earrings
  • dichroic glass and lump to create a pendant or ring
  • syringe to reate pattern and texture
  • cubic zirconias
  • and more.......

Hard at Work

The PMCers Bench

The Final Pieces

While we were gone Harry stayed with his much as he loves them he was pleased to see us!!!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Introduction to Precious Metal Clay

We had a great workshop today....Intro to PMC. Everyone achieved some great pieces - we made Silver leaves, Pendants and Earrings with multiple layers, cubic zirconias and more. I think all we sleep well tonight!!!

Hard at Work

Silver Leaves - Fresh from the Garden this morning!!!!

Silver Pendants - Dry constructions, Cubic Zirconias, Syringe work..