Monday, 21 July 2014

Summer jewellery making

Thanks to Billy for holding the fort for me here on his birthday. He would like me to thank you all for his birthday wishes and yes he had a lovely day. I have been enjoying some crafting time in my studio after work and I have been making something special for my upcoming bloggerversary this coming Saturday, yes I will have been blogging for 4 years. I have also been restocking my Etsy shop with some new bag charms including a new garden themed one.
Here are some that I have recently made and sold including some fun ladybird themed ones.
This one is available in my Etsy shop here
as is this one - perfect for the summer
These I made as a commission

Of course I will be holding a giveaway to celebrate my 4 years and here is a rather blurry sneak peek of the first prize I will be offering...you will have to come back on Saturday to see the piece in it's entirety. I think you will love it ;0) I also have a second prize too.

As I am  showing some of my jewellery today I thought I would take the opportunity to share the summer term projects from my silversmithing class. First up is an etched copper blank which I also added some enamel to. This was more a technique piece but I may use this on a lid of a box.
First I transferred the design to my copper rectangle using an iron.
 After etching it in an etching tank I added some enamels
 This is such a laborious task as you have to build up the colours gradually and keep filing them back. It took several weeks to complete.
 And here is my finished piece. It's a really poor photo again taken with my phone, it's much prettier IRL.

The project that I did not quite finish is a design piece that was called 4 legs and a "tale/tail" and needed to feature a stone setting. I bought a gorgeous amber cabochon and my Hb thought it looked like a tortoise shell so that was my plan...to made a tortoise....my idea of 4 legs and a tail.

Originally I was going to make an abstract tortoise but then I decided I could make some limbs in fimo and make moulds which I could press silver metal clay into to form his 4 legs, head and a tail.
I first sawed an oval from sheet silver to make a backing for the shell and made a bezel to hold the "shell".

 This is how the stone will sit once it has been set
 I sculpted by hand all the limbs using  fimo. I then pushed the fimo limbs into moulding compound and let the moulds set. I then pushed out the fimo and used the impressions to make the silver parts.
 I  pressed in the silver metal clay and let it harden. Each part  then had to be polished and fired with a torch.

Here are the silver limbs in their finished state. I was really pleased how much detail was picked up by the moulds. This photo makes me giggle it looks like an invisible tortoise.
Next was the "fun" i.e trying to solder on the four legs, head and  tail. I had to solder the head and tail first using hard solder...this was really fiddly to keep in place.
 Next I had block everything out with rouge and solder on the 4 legs using easy solder, taking care not to melt off the head and tail.
 but hey presto here he is!

 Obviously he has not yet been polished. I will not be able to set the stone until September when class returns by I am really pleased with him. I have added a fitting to his head to wear him as a pendant. I will share him later in the year when he is all finished.

My card today is nothing to do with tortoises but everything to do with weddings and anniversaries. As well as my 4th bloggerversary on Saturday it is my 33rd wedding anniversary on Friday and my Hb and I have lunch booked in London, we have taken the day off work. Also on Saturday our daughter and SIL are hosting a family BBQ to celebrate their 2nd wedding anniversary (which is on 28th). I cannot share their card here so I thought I would share a wedding card I made. It has a lovely summer feel with a little added bling.
Here are a couple of close ups, the sentiment is a  LOTV stamp which I stamped using Versafine ink.
and the beautiful butterflies are Cheery Lynn as are the green leaves under the roses which I have glittered up. I added a silver edged ribbon and silver gems on the butterfly bodies.The inside is lovely silver card with a Cheery Lynn heart which surrounds a sentiment I made on the computer. The butterfly border is JoyCraft
 and here you can just see the silver peeping through

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

Cheery Lynn silver and/or gold
A little bit Crafty it's magic
My Mum's craft Shop summer
Stamping sensations summer blooms
Whimsy stamps summertime
Little Claire's summertime
Fashionable stamping dreaming of summer


I have my girlies up to stay for a few days as my SIL is away working, precious times. Thanks for visiting today and remember to pop back on Saturday to help me celebrate my 4th bloggerversary with some fun prizes.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Christmas in July aka Billy's Blog

Hello everyone, Billy here. Just for today I have renamed Jane's Journal  Billy's Blog.

 Jane asked my to write today's blog post as she is very busy in her studio and wants me to be the one who has to admit that the crazy time of the year in the card making world known as Christmas in July has arrived. Now don't groan, you know that Jane's other name is Mrs Christmas and she noticed that the new Christmas crafts are coming into the shops. One of her favourite stamp manufactures, Lili of the Valley have even started sneak peeks on their blog and already she is straining not the break that promise of ,"I don't need any more stamps". I heard her say that last year and look what happened. Cheery Lynn are bringing out new dies and she has already earmarked a fab icicle one. Also Tim Holtz has started showing his new ranges and she has been drooling over those. That wish list of hers never stops growing.

She has decided that she will make her Christmas in July card today. Yes,  one of the hottest days of the year, it's forecast to top 30c here in sunny Surrey. Whilst she finishes it off in her studio she asked me to show you how things are growing in her little garden.
 This pot is nearest her studio, I think it might even inspire the card she is making. I can hear her radio playing and goodness me I think she is also humming the odd Christmas carol.

Whilst she is not looking I think I will have a quick roll around in the sun on the patio; no one can see me.


Did someone notice..quick, I had better get back to this blogging business.
 I think you might recognize this tree below, it's the one which they take inside each
year and hang chocolates on. It's madness isn't it, trees belong in gardens don't they? I think Jane will be delighted to see the new green growth on it.

She also is rather pleased with how the cosmos and petunia  are blooming
I think I can hear Jane calling now, she has finished her Christmas in July card and has asked me to show it to you...I'm delighted to see that a cat like me features on it........it even has a pink nose just like mine.

As she was super busy she used one of the Lili of the Valley printed die cut shapes, these are great when you don't have time to get out the Promarkers to colour an image. She also used a LOTV sentiment. Here are a couple of close ups
 The border is a Cheery Lynn lace border she cut with glitter card. The doily she used around the focal  is also Cheery Lynn.
She would like to enter her card into the following challenges

Lili of the Valley Take 2
Cheery Lynn Beautiful Borders
Winter Wonderland Three of 3 I have 3 colours (red, green and gold), 3 layers for the focal (2 scallop circles and a doily) and 3 types of legs; the girls legs, the cats legs and the legs of the stool the girl is standing on!
ABC Christmas N is for Numbers my number is 25
Sparkles Monthly Christmas in July
Artistic Inspirations 100th challenge anything goes
Crafty Hazelnut Glam it up I have glammed it up with my glitter card
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper anything goes
Divas by Design Christmas in July
As you like it favourite sentiment and why the reason this is my favourite is that my favourite season is Christmas and the words on this LOTV sentiment just say it all!#
Inky Chicks Christmas in July


Now you may wonder why Jane was too busy to be here as she needed to finish off her card. Well  today is even more special in Jane's eyes than Christmas in July............do you know why?
....well today is my 6th Birthday.........yes I am getting a very grown up man. And I shall take a seat here and wait for Jane to finish so that we can spend the rest of my birthday together. I am told a little treat may well feature in my food dish. I may also need to find some shade later as my furry coat is a little hot in this weather.



Happy Birthday to me...this is the life. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect...

Jane will be back soon and summer crafting projects will be restored until September when she will start her Christmas card making in earnest.

Thanks for visiting, keep cool for those of you in Southeast England.

Bye for now,

Billy x (and Jane x)


Monday, 14 July 2014

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

We had a lovely family day out on Thursday as my Hb and my SIL took the day off work and joined my daughter, myself and darling Daisy at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

This post is very photo heavy so if you have come just to see my card challenge entry please just scroll down to the last 7 photos at the bottom of the post.

We have not been to the show for the last 4 years and if I am honest it is not quite the flower show it used to be. It is a very spectacular show but the emphasis seems less on buying flowers and more on buying very expensive furniture, building etc. There used to be several floral marquees now there were only 2. The cost for 2 to get in was also £68 which I thought was pretty high. However we still manged to find some lovely plants and there were still some spectacular floral displays. We were also incredibly lucky as the weather stayed dry all day. My parents who only live about 15 miles from Hampton Court had torrential rain all day.
We spent some time in the floral marquee, the displays were stunning. I love cacti and succulents, these were superb.
 Fly catchers of every kind
 Black and yellow lilies
 as well as the more traditional pinks.
 Flowers and vegetables together, these are tomatoes in the centre of the flag.
aubergines....
 and beans and cabbage.


 Outside I fell in love with this dahlia called Art Deco.

























In the Rose Marquee the colours were bold and themed around the circus. Roses are one of my favourite flowers but they struggle in my tiny garden. I still loved looking at all these beauties.
This is an incredible new rose called For Your Eyes Only and will be available from next year 
It's buds start off like this
Other varieties

some fun circus colours inspired displays





We enjoyed a lovely picnic by the water. Daisy could hardly wait to start.


After lunch we had another wander around and also enjoyed an ice cream again sitting on the picnic mat together, such special family time.
We looked at a few more displays before we headed home.


So what did I bring home then?
I  found a really great bag for sale, it only cost £1.40 and came with a copy of The Telegraph and a jar of jam.
I also managed to find and buy that wonderful Dahlia, Art Deco and enjoyed potting her up on Saturday
 I adore the little flash of pink that is on just a couple of petals....just gorgeous..it reminds me of Fruit salad sweets (if you remember those little square sweets wrapped up from the 1960s and 70s)
I also bought a lovely purple delphinium
 and a selection of alpines for my front garden.
I also decided on Saturday afternoon to make a new Moment for my journal. I wanted to use the colours of my stunning new Dahlia and also the yellows,bright pink and green on the bag. Pink is never in my usual colour palette but I thought they worked really well together.
I wanted to use the embossing resist technique so I used one of my favourite Rose stamps by Visible Image. I first stamped the roses with Picked Raspberry and Spiced Marmalade Distress inks and then added clear embossing powder. I heated with my gun to emboss them. I then chose Picked Raspberry, Lawn Green, Spiced Marmalade and Squeezed lemonade Distress and blended them on. It's fun the way the embossing resists the ink.I also flicked on some water using Tim Holtz's spritz and flick distress technique.
I loved this colour combo. It's so bright, very outside my normal choice of colours but so hot for summer!
Next I added some stencilling with my new Honeycomb T Holz stencil. I was really lucky to be a recent winner at Frilly and Funkie and my package of goodies had arrived during the week.

Once I had this background ready I started to put together my ideas. I wanted to use one of my new TH quotes which was also part of my prize. This is such an apt one. I stamped it using Leaf Green Archival ink

 I also wanted to feature more roses so I used one of Ignacio's Henderson Giants Images which are available on his website. I love these vintage rose images. I also wanted to remember our family picnic together so I decided that I needed a daisy (of the flower not baby version) and some grass.
So here is my finished Moment.
Here are some close ups, a little seed tag and a grass die cut
 and a daisy and leaves


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

Craft Stamper Take it Make it  the embossing resist technique
A Vintage Journey Dies and Distress
Country View Stencil it
My Mum's Craft shop summer or bright colours
Stamping Sensations summer blooms
Whimsy Stamps summertime
Frilly and Funkie summer heat with a flower
Pan Pastels inspired by Tim Holtz
Fashionable Stamping dreaming of summer
Artistic Inspirations 100th challenge, anything goes

The garden is looking gorgeous as the weather this summer has been a rather mixed bag but with sunshine and showers the flowers are in heaven and are blooming their hearts out.
Today the sun is back in a blaze of glory and it's scorching outside...my bold colours seem really apt for such a hot day.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed visiting  the flower show with me and my rather bright Moment for Jane's Journal.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x