Wednesday, 6 February 2013

I'm in(to) chains

I am back with another update from my silversmithing class. Boy am I having fun making chains! As silver is so expensive now our teacher suggested that we practiced our chain maille and chain making techniques using aluminium jump rings. Not only are these relatively inexpensive but they come in a multitude of colours too. I ordered some and this is what came in the post.
For our first efforts we were shown the basic chain maille link and I decided that I would use plain and the black links, it also makes it easier when learning the technique to use 2 different colours.
Our teacher gave a demo and then provided us with a handout and it was time to get out the pliers and have a play.

It was a case of making up sets of 5 links called chainlinks and then joining them and believe me this was incredibly fiddly! In medieval times they would have linked hundreds of these up to make protection under armour. It must have take so long.

The following photos show me making up my links.

Once I had assembed the links it was time to join each of these links together into a chain and this was when it got even fiddlier!

Very slowly a length of chain started to appear

Now at this stage I sent a photo to my sister in law who then asked if my brother could commission this as a bracelet for her birthday. I was delighted to do so and after a few weeks I had finished the bracelet. I even managed to get a matching black aluminium clasp for it. As always jewellery is so tricky to photograph and this is prettier in the flesh but here is my Ta daa moment ......

It does not look very good here but on the wrist it really hangs well and also is super light. I tried taking a photo of it on my wrist but did not succeed. I have also started making one in the silver and blue. We have also been making a box chain and a Persian chain and they are also coming along really well. I will show you those soon. Our next project is to make a piece of  Mokume Gane, the Japanese technique which fuses metals into a wood grain effect. It looks very interesting, have a peep here. Obviously due to cost we are only making a small piece but it may be enough to make into a pendant. We will be fusing copper, silver and brass sheet together. Our teacher really does set some wonderful projects.

My card today is the card I made for my sister in law. For the first time I inked up one of the mermaid Lili of the Valley stamps which I bought with some of my winnings from their blog. As you know I love mermaids and I just love these stamps. I think they are one of my absolute favourites. I have 2 of their new mermaid stamps and this one is the single mermaid.

Isn't she a cutie and she colours up beautifully.

Here she is in close up. I coloured her with my Promakers as always. I framed her in my gorgeous Spellbinders floral oval frame die cut.
I used lots of sea themed embellies including die cut shells, an anchor charm and lace to resemble netting.

I also used LOTV sentiments and some Baker's twine. I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Natalie and Amy Something old/something new #6 my old is my LOTV sentiment and the new is this fab LOTV mermaid stamp.
Stampin for the weekend Something metal my metal is the anchor charm
ABC Card Challenge G is for going dotty
Allsorts #192 Let's get cute
Totally Gorjuss Anything goes with lace #169
Papertake Weekly anything goes
A+T emerald faeries love #40
Ladybug Crafts Ink Girlie
I love Promarkers Happy Birthday#154
Bunny Zoe anything goes

I have take a day off work today to meet up "halfway" with my darling daughter for ladies lunch and a spot of retail therapy. She finished the last of her hospital medicine placements yesterday, this forms the first part of her GP training.  Tomorrow she starts 18 months of GP based training. This means that in 18 months she will be a fully qualified GP. Yahoo! It is such a long training and contrary to what the press would have your believe our junior doctors really do give their pound of flesh with their work. They are such a dedicated bunch and work long hard shifts. She is at last saying goodbye to 12 day shifts, nights and 14 hour days. Her friends who have decided to do hospital based specialties will still have these to do. Medicine really is a vocation and thank goodness there are people out there ready to dedicate their working lives to looking after our physical and mental health.

Well I must be off as I need to drive to Guildford for our lunch date. Welcome to February everyone, I have even noticed in the last few days that it is not getting dark now until 5pm. The daylight is lengthening at last. Thanks for visiting my little nook in Blogland. For those of you in the UK it looks like another icy blast is heading our way again so keep snug as you craft.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x


  1. That does look a fiddley business, just imagine making a suit of armour for Henry VIII! Your bracelet looks great!
    The new technique looks brilliant, those rings are beautiful.
    Love the little seahorses on your card, so cute! :)
    Have a lovely girly day out!
    V xxx
    P.S. I don't for one minute doubt the hard work and dedication of Junior Doctors, they are what keep our health service going!

  2. Such a very pretty card Jane, thanks so much for joining in our 'Let's get Cute' theme at Allsorts challenge this week.

    B x

  3. Gorgeous bracelet Jane. Loving your card too. Very pretty, loving those little sea-shells.
    Caz x

  4. I love that bracelet Jane!!!! It must feel so nice on, slinky, lightweight and swishy. I hope you wear it to lunch. Love the card because I love mermaids!!
    Congratulations to your daughter, she must be one extra special person. That's what I think of people who go into medicine now, because it is not an easy life. You must be so proud! Hugs to her.
    Enjoy, xoRobin❤

  5. I love the bracelet. It looks like so much work, but beautiful.
    My granddaughter who loves mermaids would claim that card very quickly.

  6. I has been decidely chillier (is that word?) these last few days, can't wait for Spring, so many snowdrops out already, so its close! Wonderful chainmaille Jane, I admire your skills, I have only done a little bit of fiddling with the wire, it makes my fingers hurt! all that fiddling!! Keep warm and congratulations to your daughter, we need a few more female GP's I think, its a bit male dominated at the moment. Lx

  7. Goodness I know just how much time those bracelets take to make! so well done!

    Lovely card too, such a sweetie of an image, Thanks for sharing with us this time at Allsorts, hugs Samantha :0)

  8. Oh my goodness.. I've always wanted to do a chain making class.. so I'm really impressed with what you're doing. Someday I will try that. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  9. Very impressive chain making, Jane! So neat, and no dents in the circles...I wonder how you do it! Love the little mermaid card, very sweet. I hope you had a lovely time with your daughter!
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
    Helen x

  10. Hi Jane! Your bracelet looks great, though I can seee how it could get a bit fiddly!! I'm scratching my head trying to think up some simple jewellery ideas for the kids at our local school to take part in a national competition (Urdd) and had contemplated some sort of chain mail, but have changed my mind since reading your post!!
    Hope you enjoyed your lunch out - I try to meet up with my Mam for lunch every now and again, just because we can!
    Yes, I have noticed that the days are getting longer, I'm counting down the days until March 23rd!! (Spring equinox)
    Love your little mermaid card and you've coloured her beautifully! Great choice of papers and embellies...and one of my fave nestie dies too!
    We've had snow twice already this week and more forecast for the weekend, so keep warm! Hugs, Lisa x

  11. What a beautiful card – the image you've used is perfect - thank you for joining us at LCI this fortnight xx

  12. Hello dear Jane,

    What a beautiful bracelet once again! And your jewelry surprises me every time, how can you manage with all this? Those tiny tiny links, my sausage-fingers wouldn't... I can't wait to see your silver makes!

    Little mermaid is so pretty too, and I love those seahorses!

    I wish you a lovely weekend!


  13. wspaniałe połączenie kolorów, urocza karteczka...

  14. Such a refreshing card to see. Thanks for sharing with ABC.

  15. Your bracelet looks fabby Jane but don't think I'd have the patience to make all those rings!!! I've noticed the lighter nights too..hoorah!!! Hope you enjoyed your girly day with Milly and congratulations to her for the next 18 months of relative normality lol!!! Love your mermaid card and the shape you've cut the image out with. Fab the glitter on her butt lololol. Super duper girlfriend. Thanks so much for joining in our Girly Challenge at LCI this fortnight xx

  16. Hi Jane,

    I'm with Vivienne, it looks super fiddly, but also very effective, I bet as a bracelet it hangs really well.

    Thanks for all your kind comments re Mum, I really do appreciated all the support.


  17. Wow your card is gorgeous, I love the sweet image and all the detail... and love your bracelet too. Well done :) Thank you for joining us at I ♥ Promarkers this week and good luck xx

  18. Good morning Jane..I hope you're having a lovely weekend....
    Your chain bracelet is wonderful and I can imagine how pretty it looks on the wrist and comfortable to wear too! (Yes, jewellery is so difficult to photograph!)
    Love your latest little mermaid card...the shades are so pretty and the Promarkers colour the images beautifully.
    Congratulations to your daughter on finally beginning her GP training...It's such a long journey with so much hard work along the way isn't it?...My Leah has a very long way to go yet!
    Happy Sunday,
    Susan x
    P.S Loving the extra hour or so of daylight for crafting. Roll on spring!

  19. Love this card, Jane. What a pretty mermaid image.

    Have fun with your chain maille projects. Can't wait to see the mokume gane. I love everything Japanese.

    Best wishes,


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Jane x