Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Please don't forget about your Mother!

Sometimes we need to remember that wedding jewellery isn't just for the Bride. There are other ladies all in need of jewellery too, including bridesmaids and of course The Mother of the Bride.
Below are three of my necklaces which would be perfect, with the right outfit of course, for the Mother of The Bride
this necklace is made with Swarovski crystals and small brass beads

Sodalite works so well with navy, it has quite a soft look to it so won't overpower an outfit

This necklace is made with freshwater pearls and a few small Swarovski crystals have been thrown in for good measure!

...And of course with Mothers Day at the weekend necklaces such as these would be great as gifts.
I have a selection of necklaces in the Gallery at 12 in Eccleshall at the moment which would make ideal Mothers day gifts

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Wedding Wednesday - a time to reminisce- My Wedding Day

Please forgive this little indulgence on my part - today instead of sharing some more of my jewellery creations I want to celebrate the fact that at the weekend Mr.S and I will be celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary. So I thought I would take you back 28 years and tell you about my wedding day.
28 years ago I was still a student in my final year at teacher training college. I'd met Mr S. 19 months earlier, 7 months later he had moved to the town I where I was studying and we were engaged 3 months after that.
As I was a student at the time of our wedding, we were married on a very small budget £250 to be precise,  even 28 yrs ago £250 was not a lot of money - trust me - it really wasn't!

With a very large Royal wedding taking place at the end of next month and a second one taking place in July, along with reports that an average spend on a wedding today is around £10,000 - £15,000 you would be forgiven in thinking weddings have to be a fantastic spectacle to be a success, I want to show you it doesn't have to be like that!

Our families offered a lot of support but as they were all living at least 50 miles away and mine were 150 miles away and we didn't have the luxury of social  network sites then or even mobile phones they weren't as readily at hand as they would have been today.
However, we were very fortunate at that time to be members of a very close and supportive church, filled with very lovely and talented people. and thanks to these wonderful people we enjoyed the most fantastic day of our lives.
So having announced our engagement we then had 10 months to get the wedding organised.

Once the date had been settled we needed invitations - cue our very good friend Trevor and his camera!
Trevor took a  profile picture of me and one of Mr S. He then played about with the images and silhouetted them with them facing each other, the card opening out from the centre like double doors, with an image of myself on one side and Mr S on the other. The invitations were on a dark brown card and we kept the same design for the order of service

Trevor's wife Christine makes the most wonderful cakes I have ever seen, the one she made for us was a trues piece of art. Christine has never made them professionally because it would be impossible to put a realistic cost for the time she spends on making all of the individual flowers and the detail she puts into them. For weeks every time we walked into her dining room, the table would be covered in tiny icing flowers.It was fascinating to watch it progress.

So that was the invitations and cake sorted.

Next biggy of course is the dress. Let me introduce you to Emma, what a star. Emma at the time was studying dress making at college and volunteered straight away to make my dress and the bridesmaids outfits. I don't think she realised what she had let herself in for but I'm never one to turn away good offers! I drew out a rough sketch of the type of design I had in mind, I opted for a skirt and blouse and the bridesmaids hoped for something they could wear again that didn't look to bridesmaidy. I bought all the material (lemon taffeta for me and cream linen for my bridesmaids) and then handed it all over to Emma.

So once the colour of dress had been chosen the flower choice became very easy, I was going to be wearing lemon, the wedding was going to be in March, so what a coincidence that my favourite flower was in abundance at that time of year. Yes you've guessed it , my bouquet, button holes, hall and table decorations were dominated by the humble daffodil. Jayne did a fantastic job getting it all together, it worked so well.
In fact my skirt was also inspired by the beautiful daffodil

The Big Day 
On the day itself other people were around to help out in many different ways
First caller of the day was Sue,
Sue was a trainee hair dresser at the time, and she came over to do my hair and make up, I wasn't one for going to hairdressers or for wearing a lot of make up and I was thrilled with the end result!!!
Then Geoff pulled up in a very smart Rover that he had hired for the day, so he could chauffeur us around, he was in his element. First stop registry office to get the legal bit out of the way, no guests for that bit just a couple of witnesses.
Then back home so I could get changed and meet up with family and bridesmaids before the church celebration.
Then off to the Church Hall
All decked out in the yellow daffodils. the celebration was as beautiful as I had hoped
We walked out of the Hall as Mr and Mrs Smith to some music which had been specially written for us and played by friend and concert pianist Mark who later played it again to us, so we could identify it as being an adapted version of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'!

After the service most of us vacated the hall for photos. cue John.
Not a professional photographer in sight and we would have to wait a couple of weeks to see the results, All we needed were photo's to capture a record of the day. I dislike having my photo taken and the idea of standing there grinning like a Cheshire cat was not my idea of fun, I just wanted to enjoy every moment!
John did a great job, I have photo's of family and friends enjoying themselves and later he even managed to photograph a cream fight and a tramp who just happened to be walking past.

While the photo's were being taken outside, the catering team were inside re-arranging the hall so we could enjoy our reception,
The great thing was that the catering team were all good friends too, so they were able to join in the reception fun too!
We were so fortunate to have John and Lynn, they had for several years run a catering business and were happy to organise the catering for every event the church put on, we just put in our special requests and again left them to it.
With the help of my Parent in Laws who paid for the wine and champers - a great day was enjoyed.

Mr S and I then drove off in a car lent to us by Mark and Sarah for the week, we took it for a lovely drive up to the Lake District.

So there you are, Our wonderful wedding day on a shoe string budget, it was possible because we had wonderful friends who were happy to help in what ever way they could.
It could be that way for so many couples today too, I am convinced that guests would love to be more involved with weddings and with so many couples leaving it late on in their lives to marry most gifts are really quite unnecessary, what better gift to offer a bride than to help in making the day a truly memorable occasion!

My biggest regret has to be that at that time I had no idea I could make jewellery, it wasn't something I had ever tried to do, so I bought a simple pair of earrings and wore a lemon Juliette cap on my head!

Of course if you would like to make your on jewellery or tiara, but haven't a clue how to go about it- I do offer workshops and hen parties!!!!!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

beaded bouquet

Do you remember this fascinator from a couple of weeks ago on my blog, apart from it causing a lot of interest it also got me thinking again! always a dangerous thing...

I have been seeing a lot of beaded bouquets around about at the moment, so I thought I'd join in the fun, I have ideas now for three totally different designs, I can't wait to get started on them but for the time being here is my first new design!

I'm not sure I should be calling it a bouquet, as it is only one single large flower, if you could tell me what to call it that would be great. Trust me, when I picked this up to take outside I had rainbows dancing all around the room, as the sun shone through the window onto the 150 odd Swarovski crystals I used to make this....It was just beautiful!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A crown glistening in the sunshine - a beautiful treasure

My latest creation - hot off the knitting needles - this stunning crown knitted on silver plate wire with tiny rocaille beads and Swarovski Crystal pearls.

After a weeks work, it is quite a thick wire and I didn't want to risk repetitive strain so I took it a peak at a time, I have finally finished this beautiful crown. I love making them and each one is totally unique. This one is 5 peaked and has the swarovski crystal pearls knitted into the design. It is a looser knit to my previous crowns but I think it has turned out well.
How could a bride resist?

Monday, 7 March 2011

Tuesday tutorial - attaching a simple necklace end and clasp

Today I am going to show you how I attach a calotte crimp onto the end of a necklace or bracelet made on tiger tail wire, and then how I would add a clasp.
Firstly I need to show you what is needed to finish off a necklace.

Snipe nosed pliers, wire, two tiny crimps, two side opening calotte crimps, two jump rings, one split ring and a clasp.

Firstly pinch a tiny crimp, flat onto end of wire, using the snipe nosed pliers. Leave a small length of wire protruding from the end of the wire, to help ensure that the crimp is pinched onto the wire securely.

 Next, slip a calotte crimp over the pinched crimp on the end of the wire.

Use snipe nosed pliers to pinch the calotte crimp firmly over the tiny crimp.

Open a jump ring by twisting with pliers. Either open the jump ring using two pairs of pliers, or by holding the ring in your left hand (if right handed) between your index finger and thumb, and then holding the snipe nosed pliers in your right hand, grab hold of ring and gently twist the ring open.
Slip open jump ring onto loop of calotte crimp.

Before closing jump ring, slip in clasp or split ring

  then twist the jump ring so it is firmly closed.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

hand sewn beaded bridal necklaces

'Bead work'  'beaded lacework' however you want to describe these necklaces, I call them my football match designs because I sit in the lounge with my family while they watch a game of football and I can sew a band for these necklaces in the time it takes for the match to be played, I don't have time, normally, to attach the crystal loops, unless the game goes to extra time and a penalty shoot out, by then, though, even I'm a bundle of nerves so I can't concentrate on sewing anyway!

So after all that, here are a couple of the delicate necklaces, I currently have in stock. As with most items I make, I can of course create one for you in any colour, I just need to know the length and the colour required and for my family to want to watch a game of football on the television!

hope you like these!