Monday, 15 June 2015

Stopped Making Jewellery

This is just to ensure everyone knows I am not making jewellery now.
Thank you to all my lovely customers
Its been a blast.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Backgrounds: Black or White

I have been playing around with pictures recently and have had some of my images cut out from their backgrounds (see the post below for the results).  This then leads on to the next question which is the best background to place the images? Black or white?  White appears to be cleaner and crisper, but black seems to show off the silver better;

As you can see here, in isolation the white gets a little lost, but the black really stands out. Put together on a neutral background shows the difference a little better. So I asked my lovely facebook friends as a little survey, so far its an overwhelming 'black'. You can see the responses here

As was pointed out, for print purposes the black would be a non goer really as it is so ink heavy, but I also know that for line sheets etc white is preferred, but it really is true that black shows it up best. Or is that because its a masculine product? that came out in a lot of comments, the black looks better because its for men, so where does that leave us with stuff for women? My dilemma now is I am in the process of changing my website over, do I go black background or white? I see most are white and it is true that it is much easier on the eye, but there is no denying, black has more impact. So... what do you think? Black or white?
Would love to hear your comments!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Away from it all....

For Valentines and my birthday we have come away into the Dorset countryside with our lovely friends. To see how lovely they are, just have a look at this - isn't that the sweetest thing?

So, after the Christmas rush, you start work again and feel slightly 'depleted'. This break was suggested and I have to say it is proving the absolute perfect opportunity to blow the cobwebs, come up with new ideas, clarify plans and just relax and connect again. I feel like I'm in 7th heaven, the view from our room at the bottom I think shows you why!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 10 February 2013

To cut it or not (and who has the scissors)

I went and hired an accountant this year, I asked him whether I was on track for doing jewellery full time. His advice was to start outsourcing the time consuming stuff. Inwardly I laughed, as though I could afford that. He suggested the local University as a place to find people to help with stuff, however I didn't want anyone else touching my stuff (control freak here - I admit it).
So, I started following a course on jewellery design as a business and hey presto they said exactly the same thing. Now the one thing that sucks the life and time out of me is photo editing. There is a lot of talk of cut outs for jewellery,  I'm not convinced its really the image I want to project, however there was certainly a need for some things I do to have cut out images,  it's not that I can't do it, I can, it just takes me forever. So I took the advice of one of the other people on the course and signed up to an online outsourcing site. And this is the result. Oh my word I am so impressed. The work was done quickly and very reasonably priced, and now I've found it I will most definitely be using it again, and the guy who did my pictures.
Below you can see the difference in using cut outs and not.

And to show the immediate difference here is my Facebook timeline page before and after.

If anyone is interested in who I used
the site is
the guy I used was Razaur Rahman


Sunday, 3 February 2013

To Twitter or not to Twitter / Does Twitter HAVE to be so boring?

I joined twitter about 4 years ago. I have a jewellery business, I have a website and also sell on Etsy. Everyone told me that I needed to 'do social media' to succeed. I followed their advice, got me a facebook page and got me a twitter account.
I did as I was told and followed all the people I was told to follow, other sellers on etsy, people whose blogs I followed, other crafty types - I did it all. Any crafty type I went and looked to see who they were following and followed them as well, and slowly my followers grew, got about 700 followers. I tweeted about all the things I could think of that were to do with my craft and as etsy told me to,I always tweeted when I posted something new. Sometimes I was a bit canny and even tweeted when I was just renewing. I would try and start up conversations, try and engage and you know what? I hit a big fat wall of void. I hardly ever heard back from anyone. Yes sometimes I would get a retweet, but by and large it was the most depressingly boring thing I have ever done. People raved about twitter and I could not understand. All I had in my feed were tweets with new Etsy listings or adverts saying 'buy my crap'.

And then a wonderful thing happened. As I do blogging (I actually have about four blogs and write for another one), do facebook and twitter, I also trained as a journalist, I ended up being the person to start up the twitter account for the school I work at. Well of course you then have to start following a brand new breed of tweeter. Other schools, Universities, local newspapers, publishing houses, people of note. Hey presto twitter suddenly got interesting. Yes sure, some of the celebrities are promoting themselves, but not all, in fact what I see in the news feed now is just interesting facts, latest news, stuff that is actually worth reading. It is a totally different ball game. I am suddenly engaged, I love opening twitter up, I devour all the interesting stuff and retweet like an idiot because it is just so interesting. Of course the school I work at also has a lot of interesting things to say as well. So, if you recognise yourself in the top of this post, have a go and look around for some interesting people to follow, you can't go far wrong following your local paper, in fact just enter your local city in the search and see all the interesting accounts that come up. Newspapers and entrepreneurs are good as well. The more discerning and intelligent celebrities are worth having a stab at, although do get ready to unfollow them, some of them are right narcissistic idiots, but some are just lovely creatures. I deleted all the boring people from my own account ages ago, and was following about 20! That has changed now and I have started following all the same ones I follow for my works account. It's a much more pleasant experience. No idea whether it will do anything for my business, but it sure didn't do that much before anyway, so at least I'm enjoying it now.
Anyway, just thought I'd share.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 10 January 2013

A new year A new plan

Well that's the idea. Last year I had virtually no time for my self or my lovely man. It was all about the jewellery. Being obsessive is not all it's cracked up to be. So my New Year's plan (we stopped resolutions years ago - when they stopped working) is to get a much better work life balance.
My first plan of action has been to take off most of the custom pieces from my site and shop, if it's made it's for sale, if it's not made, it's not for sale.
The relief I feel knowing that when that bing bong for a sale comes in that its something that is already made is incredible.
What I am hoping, is to get a bit of my life back, to be able to relax a bit, get back to creating - what I want to create, and get back to being a bit more regular with my blog.
7 or so years ago I did a journalist course. The reason I did the course is because I love writing - I decided again getting a job in journalism for many reasons, but the love of writing is still there and I miss coming here and blathering away.
So watch this space!
And... A very happy and healthy and peaceful New Year to anyone reading this.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Unconditional Love

Watching television tonight and hearing someone talking about their mother and unconditional love made me think of the unconditional love that I was blessed to experience in my own life.
I am tall, slim to thin, straight talking, honest and pretty straight forward, opinionated, quite sharp tongued, quick to respond, loyal with a love of using my hands - and every time one of these characteristics surfaces I am reminded that I am my father's daughter.
My father; Henry Duncan Haggett, born 1929, died 2012 - 10 years ago.
Ten years ago on New Year's Eve I left a party and walked up the road just before midnight to slip into St Mary's hospital in Portsmouth to bring the new year in with my dad, the last one he would see in, I will always be thankful I did that, it was a very special moment. I was 44, he was 72 and hated being in the hospital. He wasn't an emotional man, he was a man of his generation who found it hard to show his feelings but his face lit up that night when I slipped into his room at a few minutes before midnight to spend the last minutes of the old year and bring in the new year with him.
We tuned in his radio, shared an ear phone each and held hands while the bells rang out and the fireworks flashed outside the window.
A constant stalwart in my life, slow to show praise, slow to criticize, just a constant, safe and loyal and always there. While others in the family needed to follow other paths, my dad always showed me that he was there for me. He didn't always, in fact quite rarely agreed with my choices, but would always support me with them.
Now when I look round my slightly shabby home I am reminded of him constantly. Ten years on and in every room there is a reminder of some sort of that very good man. The kitchen knife he gave me, sharp because 'you have to have one good sharp knife in your kitchen'. In the dining room - the brackets for the wall hanging that he carved for me, made to measure exactly as I asked for them. The bookcase, made in the wood I wanted, exactly the right shade to fit in the alcove, the 'antique' sewing table restored, the last thing he managed to do for me, not perfectly because by then he was quite sick, which makes it even more precious. In the hallway the pictures of him and me. The wooden fruits he made on his lathe that decorate my CD shelves, the shoe rack in my bedroom, rustic but functional, and in my 'studio' the jewellers drill and stand that he bought as a surprise to encourage me with my new 'hobby'. Tucked away in my bedroom cupboard is a beautifully polished wooden box with my initials carved and a secret opening mechanism that he made for me when I was 14, for me to hide my 'private things' from my brother! In fact as I am writing more and more things come to mind that I have around the house from my dad, things he fixed, things he made, few words spoken, just asked and he did them. I wasn't a little princess and I couldn't wrap him round my finger, but I knew he was always there when I needed him, and in those 44 years not once did he let me down, not once. And I miss that. I miss the fact that we argued constantly, that we rarely agreed on things, things that I have since changed over to his way of thinking. I regret little, but maybe I regret telling him more often how much I appreciated that, but maybe I didn't even know until it wasn't there anymore.
I remember the first time I heard this Luther Vandross song, I just bawled my eyes out, and still today it touches me deep inside.
I wonder whether people realise the unconditional love they receive until it's gone, I'm not sure I did, I do know that I am glad I returned to England to be able to spend his last years with him and finally really get to know him, and what a good man he was, and to be able to hold his hand and be by his side the moment he left this world, such a very good decent honest kind man.
I am happy today but it is a slightly cooler and emptier world without him.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

More on the Resin Front

Just love these new photo pendants.  I am so lucky to know so many artist friends, and they have all agreed for me to use their images, which I think is lovely, no generic pictures but real art form images.  Many more to come, just trying to find the time to upload them all.
All in the new shop SxtraS

Just playing with Pretty - Steampunk

I know it's now called steampunk, but when I started loving this stuff was back in 1991 on a trip to Bologna, where I saw in a gypsy market a brooch made up of old watch parts.  Since that day I have saved and collected all my old watches.  Here is what I have been playing with.  I made a few so have listed some in the resin shop.

Timeless Love
Link to steampunk timeless love heart

Friday, 16 November 2012

Win a Solid Silver Pea Pod!

I belong to the lovely metalclayhead team and there is an article about ME this month.  If you comment on the post (not this one but the metalclayhead one) - you'll be in with a chance to win!  That's all you have to do.  
Click here to go to the post

Good luck and thank you