Monday, 23 January 2017

New Venture

This year is proving to be quite exciting so far, and we are only 23 days into it! I am in the early stages of working towards possible new opportunities for later this year but to kick start 2017 I was approached by the lovely Beth of  Sweet Hearts Hair Design, she asked me if I could make her some hair charms.
So now I am pleased to announce that Sweet Heart Hair Designs are now the exclusive stockists of these pretty Swarovski hair charms - handmade by me!



I also have in my shop this pretty Swarovski heart necklace



which, as you can see,  would look so lovely with the hair charms


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Perseverance pays off in the end!

"Sometimes you just have to keep going, ignoring obstacles being thrown in front of you - it pays off in the end!"
....... and this week I had yet another reminder of exactly that!
I have been knitting with wire and beads for many years now, and I have always used my old metal knitting needles but whenever I see anything written about knitting with wire it is always recommending that you use bamboo needles, so last week I invested in 2 sets of bamboo needles, single and double pointed, I thought it was about time!!!
Two days ago I decided to attempt to knit a daffodil brooch and looking through my new sets I chose to use 2.5mm, normally I would use 2 1/4 or 2 3/4 mm metal ones, I don't have 2.5mm metal ones - this is a crucial point!

To start with I used the double pointed needles to make the trumpet, I decided to make the trumpet first as I thought it would be easier to design a petal to fit the size of the trumpet than to make a trumpet to fit the petals.



It wasn't long before I encountered my first problem - the needles were so fine that the wire was cutting through the tips of the needles and slicing through the points sometimes removing slithers of bamboo in the process!
Which meant I had to check which end of the double pointed needle I was using to insert into the stitch every time I switched needle, to make sure I was selecting the strongest tip. This slowed down the making of trumpet but didn't stop work - the trumpet was completed!




Once the trumpet had been made I set too with the knitting of the petals,




 all was going smoothly until my fourth petal, one of the needles snapped around a quarter of the length from the point, which left me with a needle the length of a cocktail stick!



As I have already mentioned I don't have any metal needles sized 2.5mm so I couldn't swap to metal, I had no choice I had to continue to knit the remaining two and a half petals on my broken bamboo needle!


I did not give up, I was determined to knit this daffodil, I believed that it was going to make a stunning brooch when completed and so I persevered! I am so pleased I did as this is the finished knitted daffodil brooch!



.
As a footnote I also understood why people preferred bamboo over metal, the stitches definitely slide over the the needles smoothly and I should imagine that with larger needles bamboo definitely is the way to go, but it looks as though I am going to have to stick with metal for my finer work

Monday, 9 January 2017

A passion for jewellery making

Today I was determined to attended a WiRE network meeting, even though I was suffering with a cold - the guest speaker was Sara Moseley, a fabulously inspiring lady who I have known for quite a few years, she is a brilliant photographer who just oozes with confidence and can't fail to inspire. Sara has recently stepped back from her photographic work to set up 'Hiking Boots and Posh Pants' , today Sara was talking about 'the Importance of Passion in your Business'  so did she inspire?  oh boy yes!
but what she also did was to reaffirm that even after 23 years I am still as passionate about making my jewellery as I was when I first started, in fact I would go as far as saying that if anything I am even more passionate about making jewellery.
When I first started it was all new to me, I was self taught and my jewellery making business had developed from a hobby, something I could do in my free time while I was a stay at home Mum with three young children, two pre school age. So my passion then came from making and discovering I was pretty good at it and that people wanted to buy it.
Now my passion for my jewellery is about the journey I have made over the last 23 years, and the excitement of where it could still take me. I have the confidence now to say that what I make is beautiful and often totally unique - I still love the anticipation of receiving new beads for the first time and then opening the packages to behold the stunning sparkling beads that I will then use to create an item of jewellery to be loved by someone else!
I love that I still wake at silly times with an idea for a new design and have to get out of bed to make it up there and then, not returning to bed until I am happy the design will work, eager to sleep so I can then wake up to share my new design on twitter, facebook and occasionally blog it too!
I love that every week is different, for example last week, the first week of 2017, I made up a large order of hair charms, I spent a day in Gallery at 12, I visited venues for a couple of jewellery making workshops arranged for later this year, my jewellery and I were photographed for an exhibition later on in the year, I made up some simple Swarovski necklaces, I had a visit from a 2017 bride who now has one of my knitted tiaras, and I started photographing more of my jewellery to add to my #sbs shop. These necklaces are very simple Swarovski drops on silver plate chains - I am looking forward to adding these and more to my shop soon.









Monday, 17 October 2016

"Impromptu in A Flat Major - a collection of jewellery in black and white"

My new exhibition is currently on in Gallery at 12, Eccleshall Staffordshire.
 As soon as I was allocated a month I started thinking about a theme and title for it,  I knew I wanted all the pieces to be made in black or white or a mixture of both, so that was the theme sorted, the title was a bit more tricky! having played around with ideas for a while, I decided I wanted it to be musical, I had considered briefly calling it 'manuscript jewellery' or 'ebony and ivory' - but then it occurred to me that A Flat major had 4 flats - B,E,A,D spelling....!  and as I rarely know what I am going to make with my beads until I start making it is all quite Impromptu.
With the theme and the title decided I then had to make the jewellery along with the displays, I also had to photograph it all, price it up and list the items.
Most of the pieces I made specifically for the exhibition - a few I had made earlier but fitted the theme nicely so I included them too, in total I made over 150 pieces, safe to say I really am now enjoying working with coloured beads again, whenever I can - I found it quite hard to stick to my self imposed theme of black and white and had to resist putting the odd red bead into the mix-

"Impromptu in A Flat Major - a collection of jewellery in black and white"


earrings displayed as sheet music 


 most of the necklaces and bracelets are either hanging from trebles clefs or resting on quaver rests


some of my knitted, crocheted  or woven tiaras and crowns




beaded black and white cuffs







beaded black and white pendants

crocheted bead necklace

knitted masques

a tree full of stone pendants each stone is wrapped in crocheted wire and beads, the stones themselves came from Black beach, Isle of Mull 



As you can see, I have made jewellery in a variety of styles,suitable for many different occassions.

This exhibition will close Thursday October 27th,


handmade jewellery by Angela Smith 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Purple Friday

A purple day for Prince -  to contribute to this very sad news from yesterday here is a selection of my purple beaded jewellery - such a sad day yesterday - #PrinceRIP