Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Chain reaction

I thought today I would share another of my jewellery projects I finished at the end of last year which I have yet had a chance to share on my blog. Our brief was to make a bracelet with wide textured links. I looked at our tutor's finished piece and decided that the bracelet was rather too chunky but that it could be adapted to be made into a necklace as a Christmas present for my darling daughter.

The first thing I did was to cut out the links in paper to find the size links which suited. I then made a plan of the sizes and bought a piece of sheet silver. To texture my sheet of silver I played with several fabrics and copper samples and eventually found that this lace made a pretty texture.
I placed it on my sheet silver and put it through the rolling mill.
 I then marked up the sheet and using a saw cut out all the strips I needed.
Next it was time to bend the strips into links first using pliers and then use a mandrel for shaping.
I then bound each link with steel binding wire and soldered them shut.
Here is a link soldered and yes it was very fiddly!
It was then time to put the links together but as these are in a chain, alternate links had to be sawn open again and re soldered again afterwards.

 You can see how I had to then re solder the middle link of each group.
It was then time to file, finish and polish the links and attach a length of shop bought silver chain. My chunky links were the "feature " of my necklace.  All this work took me over 6 lessons to complete and I was delighted that on the last class before Christmas I able to put it into the polisher.

My daughter unwrapped her present on Christmas day and was thrilled with it.  Here is the finished chain.

She wears it lots and it was certainly made with lots of love.

My card challenge today has nothing to do with chains but I really liked the simplicity of my silver chain against the white card so I created a wedding card for my Etsy shop using this as my inspiration.
I made a shabby chic white on white card with a silver edged ribbon and a black heat embossed LOTV sentiment stamp.. I embossed the backing paper. The floral die cuts are Cheery Lynn and Joanna Sheen. It is so hard to photograph white on white, they always look a bit grey but IRL this is a gorgeous crisp white.
I also added one little silver heart brad to the flower.

This is for sale here in my Etsy shop which I am trying to re stock with some summery cards. More will be listed over the coming weeks.

I would like to enter my card into the following great challenges;

Cheery Lynn anything goes
Penny Black and More blossoms and bows
Fashionable stamping favourite go to stamp I have many favourite stamps this my fave wedding sentiment stamp
Country view crafts anything goes
Crafty ribbons anything goes with ribbon
Crafty Catz no designer papers
Whimsy stamps use a diecut
 Papertake Weekly a cut above
Top Tip Tuesdays buttons or bows
Frilly and Funkie put a ribbon on it


I have a wonderful day to look forward to tomorrow, my parents' Diamond Wedding Anniversary. We are visiting a National Trust property and having lunch. Their official celebrations are not until Sunday when the rest of the family are able to join us. I have made a very special card which I will share after the big day.....

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 23 March 2015

Marching on through March

Wow the weather has certainly taken a step up here and we have enjoyed milder temperatures and daylight. Thanks for all you birthday wishes to my DD on my last post, I passed them on to her. She had a lovely day being spoilt  by her dear Hb.
 This was the gorgeous sunshine in my garden over the weekend and I noticed that my flowering currant has sneaked into flower....it must have happened in the last week as the buds were shut tight last weekend.

 I also noticed that my magnolia is starting to open up its buds too. Although this is such a short lasting flowering tree it is one of my favourites and gives me so much pleasure in my tiny garden.


 There is a house near mine which has a much bigger magnolia and I snapped a couple of shots on my way home from work.

When these buds break open fully this will be glorious.

All the trees are budding, these sights make my heart skip a beat. Sticky buds will reveal new horse chestnut leaves very soon...
and the cherry trees are also coming into flower

Inspired by the sunshine and blossoms I reached for one of my Lavinia fairy stamps for today's card. I made the background with some Bister pigments. I will be back with a post on my newest crafting play soon, they are water reactive and are just amazing to play with.  I used blue for the backing card and green and yellow to colour the paper flower which started life completely white. I added some corrugated card behind the flower for some texture

 and a huge yummy shiny gem in the centre. This is so pretty  in real life.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Lavinia add some gems
Country view crafts anything goes
Little Claire's Springtime
The Artistic stamper spring is coming
Cute card Thursday spring fever
Fussy and Fancy girlie
Crafty Catz no designer papers
Crafty Card Makers spring has sprung
Crafty boots spring
Fashionable stamping favourite go to stamp I have many favourite stamps but this fairy is one of my favourites when I'm looking for a not too cute fairy image. I think she works well on this card
That's Crafty wings and things
Inspiration Journal spring blooms
Craft stamper take it make it stamp, anything goes
Mixed Media World anything goes

 I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Are any of you watching Poldark on a Sunday evening? We only tend to watch TV on Saturday and Sunday evenings and this is BBC at its best. I watched the original Poldark in the 1970s, this version is as good and Aidan Turner as Ross is just delicious ;0) For those of you outside the UK keep an eye out for the series; if you are fans of BBC costume/period dramas you will absolute love it. I also love Cornwall, such beautiful countryside and coast and this shows the area so well. My Hb is not a fan of Downton Abbey, which I also love, but even he agreed that Poldark is very watchable. Roll on next Sunday.......

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x




Friday, 20 March 2015

My spring daughter

Today is my darling daughter's birthday and the first day of spring. What a double celebration. It's the vernal equinox when the number of daylight hours is the same as the same as those of darkness. This means that from tomorrow will will have more daylight than darkness, what a glorious thought. My daughter sent me these gorgeous spring flowers for Mother's day on Sunday and they smell as spring like as they look.

I have been playing with my Inktense pencils for the first time. I made a box for these recently which I showed in this post  . I decided that one of my stamping Bella images would be a great image to use. 


I used a couple of different colourways and I was really pleased with my first dab-lings. You use water with them and they are almost like painting with inks. The effect is of water colouring....I really like them and a little goes a long way. You can see how much colour I got from just outlining the blue dress.



 As always I was overseen by my crafty helper Billy who checked everything with a sniff.
 I fussy cut them all out


I really liked the colours of one on the far left so I chose to use this for her birthday card.
I made a brayered background using acrylic paints as the base card.
I then put my creative hat on and came up with this card. It is very apt for my very sassy daughter who will no doubt be raising a glass of bubbly with her Hb today. 

 The brayered background really gives some great texture

I added a few gems for some bling and some bright sunny ribbon too.
I also made another version of this card for my Etsy shop..you can see it here where it is for sale.

I would like to enter my card into the following fun challenges;

Fashionable stamping Springtime 
Country view crafts anything goes
Crafty ribbons anything goes with ribbon
Papertake weekly Happy anything
Little Claire's Springtime
The Ribbon Girl Green
Simon says stamp Wednesday Spring mood board inspiration I was inspired by the yellow ribbon from the chocolate egg and the blues and yellows of the sweet little blue tit
Whimsy stamps use a diecut mine is the lovely Memory box bow
Cute card Thursday spring fever
Fussy and Fancy girlie
Coffee chocolate and cards something yummy to eat or drink
Crafty Catz no designer papers
Art with heart go green
The Artistic stamper spring is coming


Another weekend looms, how quickly the month is flashing by. Next weekend is the last in the month.

Thanks for all your lovely comments and good wishes for our family celebrations, March is certainly a busy month for us. April should be more mellow. The sun is shining this afternoon and it really does feel like spring is finally here.
I would  like to warmly welcome my latest followers, it's great to see you joining me on my creative journey. I hope you enjoy the journey.

Have a crafty weekend,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x