My visit to the gardens, shops and galleries at Logie Steading in the North of Scotland.
I’m still getting Scotland withdrawal symptoms, so to cheer myself up I am going to share another lovely place I visited, Logie Steading. Located east of Inverness and 6 miles south of the Moray coast, Logie Steading is a small complex of shops and galleries set in the Logie Estate and also offers a gorgeous garden and river walks. Read more
These simple earrings are perfect for using up seed beads leftover from another project!
Seed beads are usually sold by weight, meaning you often end up getting more than you need. But then you only have a few left over, so what do you do with them? Make these simple bead and jump ring earrings! This is also a great beginner project which is great for practicing using pliers and jump rings. Read more
-Thick brass wire, minimum of 1.2mm to 1.5mm
-Thin brass wire, 0.4mm to 0.6mm
-Household wire cutters
1.Cut 40cm of the thicker wire. Bend in half and use something like a Sharpie pen or similar at this mid-way point to create a smooth curved teardrop shape.
2.Take the chainnose pliers and grip one side of the wire just below the point where the two wires cross and bend it straight up.
3.Repeat on the other side
4.Cut a short (20cm approx) length of the thinner wire. Create a right angle bend about 1cm from one end. Hold this short end along the length of the thicker wire and begin tightly wrapping around the bangle, moving towards your hand.
5.Wrap about 5 times before tucking the end under the wrapped section, pulling tightly and cutting off the excess. Use youe pliers to make sure there are no sharp ends poking out
6.Use a cylindrical object (I’m using my craft storage stacker!) that is slightly smaller than your wrist to form the shape of the bracelet.
7. Measure the bangle around your wrist allowing an extra 1.5cm to create the hook. Cut off any excess wire (use household pliers on thicker wire so not to dent your nice jewellery pliers!). Use another piece of thinner wire to create another wrapped section approx halfway around the bangle.
8. Use the chainnose pliers to bend the end of the bangle back on themselves, creating the hook. You might want to use a nail file to smooth the ends.
9. Create a final wrapped section just before the hook. Adjust the bangle to fit.
Let me know if you use this tutorial to make your bangle, by commenting with a link or message me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! Happy Making!
I’ll admit, I’m not normally one for over-the-top Halloween costumes. But I do like a little bit of something that acknowledges the season without screaming about it. These Barbed Wire Earrings are a quick DIY that uses basic jewellery making skills.
You Will Need –
-A chunky needle (like a darning or knitters needle) approx 1.2mm thick
-Chain nose, Round nose and Side cutter pliers
1.Cut a 10cm length of wire, and holding the short end, begin tightly coiling around the needle (You could also use a piece of 1.2mm wire).
2. Continue until there are 5 complete coils around the needle. Try to get the ends to be on opposite sides of the needle.
3. If the coils aren’t sitting next to one another, use the chain nose pliers to gently squeeze them together.
4.Remove the coil from the needle and trim the ends to about 5mm long.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have 3 in total.
6. Thread onto a headpin. (If you used something larger than the end of the headpin to create the coils, pop a small bead on the end)
7. Take your round nose pliers and grip the headpin.
8. Bend the wire a right angle bend away from yourself.
9.Adjust your pliers so the jaws are on top of one another and bring the wire over the top of the pliers towards you.
10.Adjust your pliers so the jaw wit the wire in on the bottom and continue to bend the wire down and away from you until you have made a complete loop. Change to chain nose pliers.
11. Gripping the loop tightly with your chain nose pliers, wrap the tail of the headpin wire around the stem, until it meets the barbed wire coils.
12. Twist open the loop on one of your fishhook earrings and hook the barbed wire section on. Do the same for the other earring!
I only chose copper because I thought it would show up well on the photographs, but I actually really like the mixed metal effect! You could even use coloured wire for a cool look. I would love to see photos if you make a pair of these earrings, so let me know by commenting below or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! Happy Making!
Septembers modern birthstone Lapis Lazuli is a rich, opaque royal blue with speckles of gold. So it might surprise you to hear that technically, it isn’t a gemstone, but a mineral. Gemmologists consider a stone to be semi-precious or gem quality when it consists of a single type stone; but Lapis is made up of several, mainly lazurite, calcite and pyrite.That it is still considered a gemstone, says something about not only how rare it is, but how beautiful and coveted it is.
Many famous paintings use Lapis Lazuli as a pigment in the oil paint, where artists would crush lapis lazuli into a powder and mix with oil to produce the colour ultramarine. In the early 19th century a synthetic version became available, largely ending the use of Lapis as a pigment. One of the most recognisable paintings to use Lapis is ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Vermeer. The amazing blue colour on the turban comes from Lapis! You might have seen the 2003 film staring Scarlett Johansson as the ‘girl’ which tells a fictional tale about the creation of the painting.
The Sar-e-Sang mine in Badakhstan, Afghanistan has been producing Lapis for the past 6000 years, making it the longest working mine in the gem world. Just getting to the mine is dangerous. In 1862 an earthquake destroyed the road to the Sar-e-Sang mine and hasn’t been properly repaired. The mine itself is in the steep sided and often narrow Kotcha Valley, surrounded by high jagged peaks. The mine can only be worked between December and May because of the cold temperatures and lying snow.
I love opaque gemstones and have a thing for pyrite, so its no surprise I love lapis, and use in my own jewellery. In this bracelet, I’ve teamed 4mm lapis beads with haematite and carnelian.
The month of February has Amethyst, a beautiful purple variety of quartz as its birthstone.
The word amethyst can be translated from the Greek “amethystos” which roughly translates as “not drunken”! In fact for centuries amethyst was considered a potent cure for intoxication and wine goblets were made out of the stone.
Prehistoric man used amethyst as a decorative stone as far as 25,000 years ago in France and it is said that Cleopatra owned an engraved signet ring made from amethyst too.
The stones link with the month of February comes from its association with Saint Valentine, the third-century Roman saint who died on February 14th. According to legend, he wore an amethyst engraved with the figure of Cupid.
To this day, the regal purple of amethyst is associated with royalty and religion, with clothing, jewellery and ceremonial objects incorporating both the colour and the stone itself.
After planning, making, finishing and a last minute drama over my allocated space, my work is up as part of Sherwood Art Week! Its in the side window of The Sherwood Cookery Workshop on Mansfield Road until this Saturday the 29th June.
As well as the Craft Fair last Saturday, the Art in Shops, Exhibitions and the Art Marquee at the Sherwood Festival this Saturday, Sherwood has been yarn-bombed! Lots of knitters and crocheters (?) decorated bus stops, bollards trees and railings with their creations and you really couldn’t help but smile at it all! Here are some of my favourites (and the lovely Welcome to Sherwood mosaic) –
So last Saturday saw my first craft fair appearance in about 2 years! I really enjoyed it; met some absolutely lovely crafters, got some great feedback on my newer pieces and sold a couple of things to boot. To me, craft fairs aren’t always about selling loads of items. Sometimes you need to get out there in the real world of selling and see you products alongside others, see how people react to different stalls. Its all valuable experience. I was really pleased with how my new stall display setup looked with my new packaging and cards.