GA

Monday, 27 December 2010

Designing with crystals.



Latest designs from the holidays! I have a love of circles, circles appear everywhere in nature, nearly everything that has a regular form in nature is related one way or another to a circle. Check it out the next time you see a leaf or a flower, or even a rainbow!


So, while these may be quite abstract, I feel they reflect nature's treasure chest. They are made with fine silver and crushed minerals. My biggest problem is not having a camera with a spot function, and so they aren't as detailed and crisp as they are in real life. The colours shown here are a mix of greens, blues and teals. They catch the light and are so sparkly! I like the constrast with the heavy designs of the silver. I tried manipulating the colours in photo shop, but felt that was cheating a little, even though it does give a better impression of what they are really like. (The large pic is as it came, the small picture shows the manipulated shot.)

(And in case you were wondering - this isn't one necklace but 5 pendants!)

Now just got to get on and upload and list them. Sadly for the bank balance - I'm completely addicted - yet again!

Happy New Year!!

Monday, 20 December 2010

On the front page of Etsy


Oh Yes - lovely way to end the year - on the front page of Etsy!
Thanks to Lacocone.


Sunday, 12 December 2010

Coming to the end....

The end of the year is nearly here, and my fingers are frazzled. I must have made forty gadzillion little peapods, each one a little bit different, and so many have new little homes. These last two months took me by surprise, I wasn't really prepared for the Christmas rush. Next year I will be! So, time to sit back, ponder on next year and dream a little. Thank you to all my lovely customers.
Oh by the way, I am having a massive new year sale (50% off) on my gemstone, lampwork, crystal and sterling items for the new year. If you would like more details sign up for the newsletter with the link above. Have a very happy and restful holiday period.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Crafty Fox Pop Up Market


I'm going to the crafty fox pop up market next Saturday at the Dog Star Pub in Brixton. Really looking forward to meeting other Etsians and have a chance to set up my stall again. If you are around the area do pop in and say Hi, would be great to meet you. Click on the link to see who else is attending.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

To the Lighthouse

Delighted my yachts at sea pendant is here - second up on the left - I was so pleased with this.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

7 love momentoes



I was recently commissioned to make a lovely idea, 7 love momentoes to celebrate a couples anniversary. The gentleman who commissioned this had put a lot of thought behind it and came up with the following ideas:
A squid. ( a stuffed gift)
A walking stick. (a walk they had been on)
A disc with JMJ (A restaurant)
A scarf (knotted) (A gift)
two sets of footprint (barefoot) (from a walk)
A pot of congee - open or closed (from a meal).
A Kayak (from a trip)
I was sent some photos to copy and the above are the representations.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Christmas Present Hunting

Perfect timing - just right for christmas - my peapod cufflinks.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

And more leaves


Here are a few of the latest leaves. I'm in the middle of doing a commission at the moment, can't wait to go and find the last remaining leaves around to play with.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Blue and Chocolate

My lovely rainbow flowers are here - top right.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Getting into leaves



Ages ago I tried my hand at making leaves, and wasn't that impressed with the result. I then refound the piece and recrafted part of it and suddenly I thought it was just the loveliest thing. So.. that started me off again. Of course it isn't really the right time of year to be looking for leaves but that brought it's own inspirations with colours, I love treating the silver so they arrive with gorgeous colours. The one on the left however just struck me that it looked like an angel. It was made using a type of a sycamore leaf (the maple family??) and isn't the normal wide leaf but looked like wings and a gown. I now have a whole little bush that are waiting to be finished and photographed!!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Thinks in Green

The Silver Ball and Chain necklace is here. Love this!!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Friday, 5 November 2010

Wanna be my cowboy?

My 'No Limit' Dog tag is in this one.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Closeness

I am so happy with this piece and it means a lot to me personally.
'Closeness'
was inspired by the beautiful painting by Alan Daysh which depicts an adult (father?) and child (son) fishing. I just adore this picture and wanted to recreate it in a 3D form that could be worn. It is made in fine silver and hangs on two chains (to symbolise the relationship - a fine chain and a bolder chain).

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Monday, 25 October 2010

Silver Nest with eggs



I know that birds nests have been done a lot, but generally they are made with wire work and I fancied making one in solid silver. This little 'un is quite a chunky little beast, with a good weight to it. What I loved was the smoothness of the eggs. When I first applied a patina to it, it was the most glorious golden, and I was very tempted to elave it like that to reflect the material used in nests, but thought better of it as in time it would have worn off because of the texture. These are not beads but little eggs of silver - so a solid silver little nest of eggs.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

New attachments for the Pea Pod charms


When I first started making these charms I thought the large link would be the ideal attachment as most people have pandoro bracelets (don't they??). I've since realised that the craze for charm chain bracelets is still here, alive and kicking, so I have added a lobster clasp so they can be attached to chains or watch straps, and split rings to make adding them to chain bracelets easier. I love customer feedback - it clarifies things so often.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Silveriness

One of my particular favourites this. My fancy silver cufflinks are here. They have been very popular.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Pretty Things All In A Row

My rainbow flowers are here - I'm so proud of them, I wear mine all the time.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Lets Get Close

I love the 'freshness' of this lovely treasury. My silver knot - toally unique to somethingxtraspecial is featured here.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Patinas for pmc




I am by no means going to claim to be an expert here, but have been delighted with the results I have been getting with liver of sulphur of late. Just thought I'd share a few ideas.
A lot of the how to's say you should mix the liver of sulphur (LOS) with boiling hot water and keep dunking. Well all of the tutorials on youtube that I've watched show their items turning dark then brown then black, which when you want colour isn't really that helpful so... here's what I've found.
You'll need, bicarb of soda, LOS, ammonia, and plenty of kitchen towl.

Yes, start with hottish water, but have a bowl of very cold water close by plus a solution of bicarb of soda and water to hand. (about two or three heaped tea spoons in a cup of cold water).
First make sure the silver is ready to go. By that I mean that it is finished and polished. Then clean it with a dab of bicarbwith a drop of water to make sure there's no greasy residue.
Now you are ready to start.
A cup of hot water (from the kettle), a drop of ammonia and a drop of LOS. (I use liquid). Stir it up.
Dunk quickly then dunk in cold water. Dry it off with paper towel, and then wait. To get colour it is time consuming. Now slow down and watch, let the water cool a bit,dunking in LOS solution and then cold water and waiting for the colour to emerge. If the solution gets too cold, you apparently can heat it in a microwave - which I do - don't know if that's dangerous, but I read you could and I'm still here. As soon as you have the colour you want dunk it straight in the bicarb solution to neutralise it.
If you have gone too far, and it has started to turn black, I dunk it in silver dip - works for me -as long as you clean with bicarb again it works a treat.
Good colouring!

Happily Ever After

My Bali silver romantic bracelet was in this one - total romance. I have two of these bracelets available - but maybe I should say one - think I'll keep one.

Winner of Olly the Owl

And the winner of the lovely Olly - the solid silver owl ..............

To celebrate the launch of the new site, SomethingXtraSpecial offered one lucky person the chance to win a small solid silver Olly the Owl. M. Dunn added her name to the mailing and is the lucky new owner of Olly. If you would like to be kept up to date with offers and giveaways, please add your name on the left to the mailing list.

Just waiting for Margaret to contact me with her address so I can send it.
Congratulations Margaret!

Friday, 1 October 2010

About Green Treasury



Love that my peapods have again been in a treasury!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Sterling silver or Tibetan Silver???


Years ago I learned silver smithing, then gave it up as couldn't really afford to continue. The internet selling phenomenom hadn't arrived and I had no idea how to sell jewellery. so..

Years later I went to some random beading class with a friend, and got hooked into jewellery again. Seed beads, glass beads, crystals all sorts of pretty sparkly things, I loved it, and it was so much cheaper!

Problem!!! - the lovely items I made, which took loads of time to make and were cheap to make, so therefore cheapish to sell, just didn't last. I started buying wholesale from Asia etc to try and keep costs down. I sold over buys on ebay but still had the problem of the 'silver' rubbing off on the tibetan silver and the wire breaking on the cord, and the glass cracking on the lampwork.

I saw some really pretty beads on ebay, silver they were. I wrote to the lady and asked for some information. Point being the cost of one bead was the cost of two or three bags of cheap beads! I also asked her if she had any clue how to protect tibetan silver or if it could be re-covered. This lovely lady took the time to talk to me and said that she had changed over to sterling silver years before and had never looked back.

I thought about this and splashed out on enough bits to make a sterling silver bracelet with some of these beads.

She was so right. I never looked back.

(one of the first beads I bought is at the top of this - the lady I bought from was: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Pretty-Pebbles-Beads).
So.. slowly I got more hooked, spent a fortune, strange how one day £5 seemed a lot to spend, a week later £50 was nothing! Slowly I bought more and more, importing from Bali, buying in large quantities.
Eventually I moved over to Fine silver, but that's for a future blog, here I want to say, this lady was right. If you are wondering, quality lasts, quality costs but is so worth it. Items I made that lasted a month or so before the colour came off, in silver would last a lifetime, though not cost a fortune. People are willing to pay for quality so all round it was one of the best moves I made.
My thoughts on it anyway. (by the way, if you would like to buy a few huge boxes of tibetan silver cheap - let me know!! ;-)

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Last Chance to Win Olly The Solid Silver Owl




The draw for the winner of Olly will be on Thursday 30th. If you haven't added your name to the list yet, don't miss out.
Olly is solid silver, hand crafted and exclusive to somethingxtraspecial. He's the representation of an owl I used to draw all over my school books way back when!
Solid silver, comes with a 16 inch sterling silver fine link chain and postage is free. All you need to do is add your name by clicking the link above. Good Luck.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Silver Peapod Jewellery



My little peapod family are growing. I now have one, two, three, four and five peas in a pod pendants, and have also added some charms. I have been asked to make peapod cufflinks a few times, so they have now also been added to the gang. New more de-luxe peapods are coming with leaf embellishments.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Nothing to do with Jewellery! Lloret de Mar - Spain!



Just got back after my first holiday abroad for simply ages, and our first week away since we met!

When I was 17 my parents went on their first holiday to Spain. To me it sounded just dreadful, so cheesy and touristy and just everything I thought was awful. I spent the next 30 odd years travelling independently to some very exotic and pretty far flung places. I've been lucky enough to see, live and work in a lot of Europe, Asia and West Africa.

Always when anyone mentionned a holiday to the Costas I got a shiver of distaste down my spine. So time moves on, purse strings tighten, and my lovely man managed to bag us a week in Spain in my idea of hell for under £300. (not easy!)

Oh my god! It was one of the best holidays I've had. I don't know that I have ever felt more relaxed and talk about life being easy. I don't speak Spanish, but was able to be understood everywhere, sat by a lovely pool for a lot of the time, a smashing beach was just down the road. The hotel served up great food from all different countries. Dreadful tourist tat was available if I wanted (and that is always available). I didn't have to have any jabs, I didn't have to avoid nasty insects, take pills, search for edible food, understand local customs so as not to offend, sit horrendously cramped on ghastly local transport with a goat peeing on my head (yes that has happened) or sit on a bus for 18 hours with a pain which I finally realised was a nail protruding into my back (yes that also happened). All in all it was just bloody marvellous. So, I've been from Blackpool to Bali to Burkina Faso, Thailand, to Tenerife to Togo, and I have to say, all in all, Lloret de Mar - you are great!

(Now back to the land of Jewellery!!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Can you hear the Earth Whisper

Isn't this just the loveliest name for a collection? Earth whispers! My passion flowers are up at the top.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

My Lovely Team Brittania

These are all artists from the UK, and what a wealth of talent! My little flowers are up there at the top - thank you!!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Peas in a pod Treasury

Of course this particular collection is very close to my heart - I just adore little peapods and am so pleased mine was included.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Cockney Cuisine

So this treasury was a bit of different, all things used in cockney cooking - my peapod featured for peas pudding! Isn't it gorgeous!

My challenge piece - Tree of Love


I've just entered my very first challenge. The theme is Summer Romance, so I made this little tree of love! It is listed in my Etsy shop but mostly what I would hugely appreciate is a vote, which you can do just by clicking the pics or title and click a button - simple!
Thank you so much - I'm so excited!! (I'm not last at the moment ;-)