Monday, 2 November 2015

Only you can make it happen!

I have for several months been creating on a Monday morning and occasionally, 'shush' a Monday afternoon quote  that I like to share across my social media platforms, such as on my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest accounts. I had a bit of a 'aha' moment this morning and thought why don't I share it on my blog and today is the first time I have done so. Monday morning motivation quotes are very popular on Twitter, they even have their own hashtags!

In one of my previous blogs, I mentioned that I really love reading motivation quotes and that I have even created a Pinterest board, called 'Positive Words', here is the link, https://uk.pinterest.com/michelleshand/positive-words/ where I collect and share all my favourite quotes and I know lots of other people like to do so as well.

They are especially great to read on a Monday, if you have a busy week ahead of you and you would like to read something that will get you thinking and focused on the coming week.

So here it is, I hope it inspires you and I hope you also have a good week. 


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

My latest jewellery designs.

I have been trying to write this blog post since last week and I have only just finished it today. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I wanted to get it exactly right, but the result is that my blog post is a week late and I'm annoyed at myself. I am going to from now on, stop tweaking my blog posts to death and just write them, proof read them and post them.

When I sit down to write, I spend ages weighing up what subject to write about, then a flurry of subjects start whizzing around my head at the same time and I quickly write them down before I forget them. I'm a major note maker, meaning that I have a note book with notes about what I'm going to be doing that day and what needs to be done that week. Well, on the top of my 'To Do' list, is to finish off three new christening bracelets that I have been working on.

The designs are simple, using just white pearls and silver plated crosses. I think jewellery made for a baby/toddler should be not flashy or over the top and as these were christening/baptism bracelets, I wanted to keep to that format. 

So here they are, they are nearly finished I just need to add on the extender chains, which are always a good idea, as babies and small children can grow fast and if it has been bought as a gift and the buyer is not sure of the wrist size, then an extender is needed incase the bracelet needs to be expanded.



The finished bracelets are now listed on my website at www.michelleshandcraftedjewellery.com and in my Etsy shop at www.michelleshandcrafted.etsy.com



Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Making a Glossy Accents Pendant

I bought a bottle of Glossy Accents the other day from my local craft shop, after coming across a picture of a bottle cap pendant necklace on Pinterest, that someone had made using Glossy Accents. You might be sitting there thinking, 'what is Glossy Accents, well Glossy Accents is a 3-dimensional clear gloss medium, used by crafters and it can be used to accent, brighten, magnify, dimensionalize, bond and protect embellishments and designs.  Phew, that was a mouthful and if you wondering yes, I did just copy that description off the back of the bottle. Basically, it's a type of resin that you pour straight from the bottle and you can add it to any paper project or embellishment. It dries to a clear hard shiny finish and also doubles a glue!





In some of the projects that I have seen using Glossy Accents, the makers have used bottle caps, but I did not have any, however I did have some pendant trays that I'd bought a while ago. I'd not used them, because I'd had trouble finding any clear glass domes to fit them, as they were not a common available size. So I'd given up in looking for the domes and just put them away in a draw. When I saw what could be done with a bottle of Glossy Accents, I straight away thought about my unused pendant trays and what I could do with them. 

I found a background image from a magazine, this was cut into an oval shape. I then sealed the front and back of the image with PVA white glue, I did this twice, each time waiting for the glue to be completely dry before I added the next coat. After the final coat, the image was ready to be glued to the back of the inside of pendant tray. For this I used E600 glue. I love this glue, it does not smell that great, make sure the room is well ventilated when you use it, but it is what I call jewellery cement, once you use it, nothing moves, it dries rock hard. 

I left this to dry overnight then, the next day I was ready to fill the tray with the Glossy Accents. I'd noticed in pictures of resin jewellery, the makers sometimes added a small object to their pendant tray, I had a small silver key on my desk, it was left over from a project and I decided to put the key in the tray before I poured in the Glossy Accents. 




I filled the tray to the edge, then left it to cure over night. The next morning, I noticed that it had set, but it looked a little sunken around the key. So I thought it could not do any harm to add some more Glossy Accents to fill up the tray, so that it looked more level. When I filled up the tray the first time, I remembered to leave it on a level surface, but this time don't ask me why, I decided to put it in another place. Little did I know, but this place was not as level as I thought it was and the tray ended up leaning slightly to one side. The Glossy Accents had spilt slightly over the edge and some of it had seeped underneath!




How could I have been so careless, I could have kicked myself for not paying more attention to what I was doing. I managed to scrape some of the Glossy Accents off, but you can still see some of it on the back of the pendant tray. I learnt a lesson that you should take your time and not change the way you perform certain tasks, unless you want the results to be different. If you don't want change, then don't change a thing and that's my quote for the day!


I still like the pendant, I popped it on a chain and have been wearing it and I've have had some lovely complements about it. I've still got a near full bottle of Glossy Accents and some more of those pendant trays, so I will be making some more pendants in the near future.



If you would like to see my other handmade jewellery, please visit my online store at www.michelleshandcraftedjewellery.com

Bye for now!

x


Monday, 9 February 2015

Aluminium Wirework Jewellery

Last year I spoke about wanting to work more with wire in my jewellery making and expanding into wire work jewellery. Well, I have being doing so, I've been experimenting over the past couple of months, when I've had a spare couple of hours, with a my tools and a roll of inexpensive wire. To make the most basic, to the most intricate designs, only requires confidence in the tools that you have and your imagination.

At first I started with a piece of shiny brown aluminium craft wire, that caught my eye in a local craft shop. Aluminium craft wire is a soft a malleable wire, that can easily bent with your fingers and is available in many colours. It also can be rigid enough to hold it's shape. At first I made into an oval shape, then I added some tiny turquoise blue seed beads, that I found in my bead stash, which I have wanted to use for a while, because they are soo pretty. I strung them onto a piece of thin silver wire and then started wrapping them around the oval frame.


This is what I ended up with, yes I know it looks strange, it reminds me of something you'd find in the ocean, some sort of sea cre├Ąture. The fringe bits at the bottom, were made from uneven strips of wire, that I just bent and curved around a round nose pliers. After I made this, I thought it would make an interesting pendant, but I've not got around to making it into a necklace. I'm not even sure I will make it into one, it's one of the most unusual pieces I've ever made. If there is anyone out there that can suggest a suitable stringing material, I would love to hear from them. 

After making this pendant, I wanted to make a pair of earrings, I did not have a design in my head, I just bent the wire around into a circle, then made a spiral shape and added some blue Czech glass nugget beads, that hung from the base and created some movement and these are the earrings I came up with!




Again, they are an unusual  design, but that's what I love about making jewellery with wire, the designs don't always turn out how you expect them to turn out, there are no hard and fast rules about jewellery making, just the freedom of creating whatever your tools, hands and imagination lets you create.

Most of my handmade jewellery is one-off pieces, if you would like to see my work, then head over to www.michelleshandcraftedjewellery.com