Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spiced Pear

In the autumn my mum and I visit the fruit orchard at my uncle's farm, which used to belong to my grandparents. There was an abundance of apples this year - we timed it just right with the blackberries, and we managed to pick a lovely warm, sunny day too.

As well as pears, lots of different varieties of eating apples, cooking apples, blackberries and rose-hips, earlier on in the year there are plums, damsons, crab apples and elderberries. I was lucky enough to grow up in the same village - helping out on the farm sometimes collecting eggs, picking potatoes, or riding on the trailer stacked high with hay bails ( I fell off it once - or rather the bails did, with me sat on top of them! Amazingly I came away with just scratches...).

I remember my dad went through a stage of making home-made wine, he used to pay us for every pound of elderberries we could collect. That included using a fork to get all the little berries off the stalks - it took us forever. Talk about slave labour! When I was old enough to drink it though, I did appreciate the wine ;-)

These earrings I've made with both sterling silver and gold-filled beads - I'm really liking the look of mixed metals at the moment. The tassel is made up of citrine, tsavorite, and tiny freshwater pearls, with gorgeous beer quartz briolettes at the bottom. Apples, pears, and sunshine :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Aegean Rose

Another gold-filled piece - this time a bracelet to match the 'Persephone' Earrings. I had lots of clusters in mind for this... but they covered up too much of the wirework, and spoiled the delicacy of the bracelet, so I decided to keep it simple :)

Gold-filled wire, handmade components, garnet and chalcedony.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Persephone Earrings

I thought I'd take the plunge with some gold-filled wire... beautiful to work with, and the colour seems so warm after working so long with sterling silver!

I'm really pleased with this colour combination - I've used pale blue chalcedony and aquamarine, with some rich ruby garnet to contrast.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Periwinkle Earrings

It's been far too long again since I last posted any new jewellery! I have lots of gold-filled wire and findings waiting to be played with too....

Some lacy earrings edged with faceted sapphires, gorgeous denim-blue colour! I've added some tiny peacock freshwater pearls, Hill Tribe seed beads, and mystic blue topaz briolettes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Something a bit different from me - and oxidised for a change! This sort of evolved really, from the basic cross shape I originally had in mind I added lots of detail - balled fine wire swirls on the inside, and picot beading on the corners of the cross ends.

In the centre is flashy blue labradorite, with sterling beads and mystic quartz briolettes. Pretty as it looked all shiny, it was crying out to be oxidised, so after much deliberation I took the plunge and dipped it, then polished to a soft antique finish.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sugar Plum Necklace

I love the berry colours in this necklace - wrapped and soldered wire focal (this measures about 4cm in diameter), with faceted garnet and amethyst beads.

I've added a cluster of more garnet and amethyst, with faceted pink amethyst briolettes for some added sparkle. Finally to finish off, an amazing plum-coloured ruby drop.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Orange Grove Pendant

Just a quick one! This is to match the orange grove earrings - this time with a teardrop shaped frame for the pendant. Again, a faceted vesuvianite drop at the bottom, with a cluster of sunstone and peridot beads.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lemon Merengue

That's merengue the dance, not lemon meringue... (a play on words, I'm not really that bad at spelling!).

Phew... not especially difficult these ones, once I'd worked out how I was going to do them, but quite simply a lot of careful coiling and wrapping several times to get the effect I wanted!

Gorgeous sunshine yellow citrine, with lemon quartz and freshwater pearls. How fab would these look with a suntan?!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Orange Grove Earrings

Something fresh! The simple, but very effective weave round the soldered circle makes a really pretty, lacy frame for these summery gemstones!

I've added clusters of vibrant faceted sunstone that has a gorgeous iridescent shimmer, leafy green peridot and faceted vesuvianite drops.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sapphire Heart Pendant

Similar to the ruby heart pendant I made before, this time I've used tiny Hill Tribe tube beads to 'fill' the heart shape. I love these sapphire beads - they're a gorgeous denim blue colour and look great with the shiny silver.

I've added some along the chain too, and a cluster near the toggle clasp. The heart itself has a surprising amount of weight to it with all the beads and silver wire!

Click on the photo for a much larger image and more detail! :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ivy Leaf Project

Remember this? Originally made for a challenge on the UK Beaders forum, I was asked if I would submit a project for this beaded wire pendant to Step by Step Jewelry Magazine.

Check out the current Summer Preview 2008 issue - step by step photos and instructions to make your own variegated ivy leaf pendant! I'd especially love to see what other designs anyone comes up with, based on this tutorial - do email pics to me :-)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Brandywine Bracelet

I seem to have lots of ideas for bracelets at the moment - which makes a change! The focal came first with this - soldered and wrapped wire inside a diamond shaped frame, coiled with fine gauge sterling wire. I've added some tiny brandy-coloured garnet briolettes, hessonite garnet, and gold filled beads. I've framed the focal with clusters of faceted hessonite garnet on hand made fine silver head pins.

For the bracelet itself I've used some lovely hessonite garnet ovals in lots of caramel colours, linked together with some hand made hammered circles.

Click on the image for a close-up ;-)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Sunset

The summer weather is still a little uncertain here just yet... it's GOT to be better than last year's miserable effort, surely??

Still... a little consolation - how inspiring is this! Amazing colours - I took this from my workroom window a couple of weeks ago. I'm a sucker for a pretty sunset, a rainbow, thunder clouds and snow. I used to get into trouble for gazing out of the window at school... not much has changed! ;-)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pistachio Necklace

I've had a break from wire wrapping and coiling recently, very busy with other commitments! But finally I have one or two pieces to show, and hopefully more on the way ;-)
The focal on this necklace is quite detailed - I've soldered and wrapped the wire shapes, then embellished with tiny faceted peridot briolettes, prehnite, and silver beads. Lots of coiling, but the result was worth it!
I've added a tassel of wire-wrapped prehnite beads and a Hill Tribe 'lotus' bead, also a little cluster of prehnite and peridot near the clasp.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Feeding the family...

Chris and I were busy digging over one of our vegetable patches this weekend ready for planting - someone else with a family to feed it seems is this blackbird, who decided to make the most of some freshly-turned soil to grab some juicy worms!

He kept coming back for more - we were so amazed at how close he came to us, in the end I fetched my camera and we spent more time watching him than doing any work!

Now the weather has beaten us... so we'll have to wait till later in the week to get the broccoli and sprouts planted :)

Back to the wire and beads!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Blue Wave Bracelet

Last one for today....

This was fun! I wrapped some little blue goldstone nuggets with sterling wire, adding a little swirl on the top. Hammered rings, lavender Czech glass beads and a twisted wire toggle.

Mint Choc Chip Hoops

Some more fun little earrings - hammered and textured sterling silver circles, with vesuvianite, smoky quartz, peridot and prehnite.

Oh, and a big bunch of white lilac blossom I pinched from the garden :D

Capuccino Jasper Bracelet

Hmm... still waiting for my wire-wrapping mojo to return, so some different pieces at the moment while it has (yet another!) holiday....

These gorgeous coin beads are jasper... really lovely stripy markings in coffee, chocolate brown, and creamy white. They remind me of minstrels - no wonder I'm getting chocolate cravings just lately!

The rondelles are faceted smoky quartz, and I've added some hammered, textured rings and a sterling toggle clasp.

Raspberry Ripple Earrings

Some more bits and bobs I haven't got round to posting yet...

Some summery cluster earrings... I was so pleased with these chalcedony briolettes when I received them a while ago - the raspberry colour is amazing, and they really seem to 'glow'.

The cluster is made up of faceted rock crystals, very pale blue topaz beads and Swarovski bicones in 'paparadscha'.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lavender Crystal Earrings

Some more hammered and textured circles - this time in graduated sizes, very lightweight and again look really shimmery when they catch the sun!

I've added some Swarovski crystal heart pendants, and bicones in violet and light amethyst wrapped on handmade fine silver headpins.

The flowers in the background are some gorgeous bluebells from my garden, which are now gracing a little glass pot on my desk and giving off the most amazing scent!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Blush Earrings

I really enjoyed making these earrings, it's nice to take a break from the kind of wire-wrapping I normally do. I soldered and lightly hammered the sterling silver rings - they have a really nice texture that catches the light, although I haven't managed to capture it in this photo :(

I've added some wrapped pink tourmaline beads on fine silver headpins, these are so dainty and very lightweight - perfect for summer!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Champagne Truffle Earrings

I'm loving these Swarovski crystal briolettes - the sparkle is amazing. These are golden shadow, which has to be one of my favourite shades as far as versatility goes - I use it a lot in my bridal jewellery as it goes so beautifully with pearls.

I've clustered some lovely faceted rock crystal and lemon quartz beads on some handmade fine silver headpins for a bit of girly luxury. If someone doesn't grab these soon, I may just have to keep them ;)

Amari on DaWanda

I've opened another shop on DaWanda, which is based in Europe with prices in euros. Fabulous site, with a friendly community and forum, lots of promotional events to get involved with, groups on Indiepublic, and monthly themes where your items can be featured.

You'll need to brush up on your French and German to get maximum exposure by translating your listings! There's lots of help on hand in the forums and from other members if you have any problems. Go take a look!

You can find my shop here : Amari on DaWanda

Lilac Blossom Earrings

I picked out some pretty pastel shades for these earrings, they have a lovely delicate look, very feminine!

Sterling silver wire frames, coiled with tiny Hill Tribe seed beads, faceted tanzanite, and faceted briolettes in pink amethyst and sky blue topaz.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I thought I'd play with some fine silver on these earrings - balling up the ends of the wire shapes. This was quite a fiddly design as there is no soldering, I really need an extra hand sometimes!

I've used some rich golden hessonite garnet beads in the centre and on the dangles, and some tiny goldfilled beads - I really like the look of mixed metals, it's quite subtle on these though. The beer quartz briolettes are an amazing colour - I've found it a bit of a challenge to know what to put with them, but I think this works!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fuchsia Earrings

These were fun! Another idea I've been meaning to put together for a while. The top 'sepals' I made by making and soldering wire frames, wrapping with fine gauge wire, then shaped them over the large rose Swarovski crystals.

The 'stamens' are some more fine silver headpins (I need to buy some more wire and make more now!)

There are some more pictures of these on the website :)

Mossy Glade - Vesuvianite Earrings

I'm struggling with a nasty cold at the moment and not feeling particularly creative, so I'm catching up on posting a couple of pieces I did last week!

The textured fine silver circles on these earrings are some I made with PMC a while ago, when I made the green amethyst cluster earrings.

This is the first time I've used vesuvianite - the gorgeous mossy green faceted drops on the bottom of the dangles. I've picked out some tourmaline buttons for the clusters, I love these colours - I think they all work really well together! I also made the fine silver headpins too - great fun, wish I'd known before how easy they were going to be :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Forget-Me-Nots - Sapphire and Pearl Bracelet

I decided that this year I would try to diversify a little and do some different pieces, rather than just earrings! This is quite a simple piece design-wise - but involved many, many hours of patient coiling and wrapping!!

I made the links with sterling wire, soldered together, then coiled with fine wire and wrapped again with tiny peacock freshwater pearls. I attached chain in between the links with more wrapping, then added clusters of peacock pearls, white Swarovski pearls, and gorgeous faceted sapphires.

I have forget-me-nots growing wild in my garden that keep self-seeding each year, I'm never quite sure where they're going to turn up! I'm hoping this piece has the same humble charm :-)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hot Spice - Oxidised Earrings

I agonised over these earrings, trying to add beads to the centre, changing my mind - unraveling lots of wire in the process! I finally realised that what I'd actually liked about these was the shapes and the swirls - where I was going wrong was in trying to cover them up!

So, some very fine coiling around the top and bottom with tiny faceted Hill Tribe beads, and dangles of rich spicy garnet beads and faceted marquise drops. I have then oxidised and spent lots of time polishing, buffing and burnishing for a soft antique effect!

These should be up on my website and Etsy shortly, so you can check out more pics!

Whispers - Chalcedony and Pink Topaz

I love the shape of these, I made circles first, then gently shaped them into ovals. Some of the swirls in between are soldered, others wrapped. I much prefer the stability and strength I get from soldering now!

I coiled around the frame, adding tiny faceted Hill Tribe beads and faceted pink topaz in a lovely sugary pink. The pink chalcedony I have used before, they change colour from pale rose to lavender depending on the light. I will definitely be re-ordering these!

Vintage Rose Earrings

I've soldered individual heart shapes together to make the top component on these earrings. I then wrapped the centre with tiny goldfilled beads and added a pink freshwater pearl.

The cloisonne beads caught my eye while I was shopping for something else... they go perfectly with the pinky shades and the goldfilled beads. I've added a very full cluster of wrapped freshwater pearls and a faceted rose quartz briolette at the bottom.

Thank you Jo and Lesley!!

Much belated... but thank you to Jo and Lesley for the 'Make my Day' award! I am playing catch up today... but will be nominating my own shortly, so watch this space! Thanks again :D

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Japanese Rose Earrings - Week 5 - Amari

A few days ago I spotted this sunshine yellow pompom on the kerria japonica shrub in my garden. A very early bloom - normally this doesn't start flowering until late March/April, so a real taste of spring! Alas it wasn't to last... just as I was thinking maybe it was time to dig out my gardening gloves and grab a trowel to do a spot of weeding... along came the frost and the fog! So out came the woolly gloves instead... :-(

So my lovely spring-inspired earrings are a little premature... but I still like them! I've soldered twisted wire filigree shapes to half-moon frames, added fine trace chains, faceted lemon quartz marquise drops and sunny yellow citrine.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cluster Earrings - Hearts Revisited!

Oh, I know - Valentine's Day coming up and all that. Everyone's doing hearts! These are an adaptation of the heart pendant I did previously -these were just as much fun!

I've joined the two heart shapes with woven wire this time instead of silver beads, for a more airy, delicate look. The cluster is made up of faceted iolite and pink tourmaline, with a pink amethyst briolette drop.

Pearl and Labradorite Bracelet

Behind with posting again! So a couple of completed projects here that I just haven't got round to showing.

A bracelet for a change this time, I made the chain and clasp too, which were fun to do. The shapes that make up the focal were soldered together, then wrapped with silver wire, tiny white freshwater pearls, silver beads and faceted labradorite in the centre.

I have oxidised the whole piece, which was then tumbled and polished. I've noticed some people leave their pieces quite dark, which can be a great look - but I chose to keep on polishing this. I love the effect - hard to tell from the photo but it turned to have a lovely soft antiqued finish. Like a piece of old silver from your grandmother's jewellery box ;-)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Azure Skies - Sapphires and Kyanite

I have to take a step back occasionally and look at the pieces I'm making to check my range of colours. I think I'm drawn to certain shades when buying beads and gemstones without even thinking about it! I like to look at the latest colour trends for inspiration, but I do my own thing too.

I've had these vivid blue kyanite drops for a while now, so I got some little faceted sapphire beads to go with them for these earrings. I've soldered the frames between the shaped scrolls for a little more stability, and coiled around with fine gauge wire and tiny Hill Tribe faceted seed beads.

Sweet Violets - Tanzanite and Iolite

I have the tiniest little patch of violets that manage to peek their way through my wild front garden every year - in fact I tend to forget that they are even there until they start to flower and catch my eye. On my mental list of things to do this year, re-vamping my little square of garden at the front is high priority. I must remember to move those violets somewhere safe, before they get buried in a layer of gravel!

I've shaped the frames with sterling silver wire, soldering in between the scrolls for added strength. I then added a frilly picot edging of Hill Tribe faceted silver beads along the bottom, with peacock freshwater pearls, faceted tanzanite beads, and finished with little iolite drops.

Verdantis Earrings - Apatite and Green Onyx

I've decided to go back to basics since I have been out of action for a while. I'm sticking to quite simple designs and just enjoying the beads and the wire again!

Green seems to be gaining in popularity all the time - I'm especially liking these rich emerald shades at the moment. Think lush green meadows in the summer.. (I know I am!).

I've wrapped the soldered rings with the teeny white freshwater pearls, and faceted apatite beads in an amazing colour. The silver beads in the centre are Hill Tribe 'lotus' beads, and the briolettes are vivid green onyx.


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