Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Out with the OLD! Goodbye 2013!

I can't believe where this year has gone, I have to admit I can't wait to see the back of it to be honest!

Why? Because its has been one hell of a year for me and my family.
There have been highs and lows but mainly stressful lows I am sorry to say!

So seeing in the New Year 2014 will be very well received with great expectation!
I made many plans at the beginning of this year and I achieved very few of them, I will not be putting myself under anymore pressure that way, 2014 will just happen how it happens!!! I have stepped back and taken a look at my life throughout my 50th year and thought I just want to do what's right for my family and me!

So my daughter achieved great results in her GCSE exams back in the summer but it was a hard slog for her and it felt like I was doing them with her!  Her A-levels have also been hardwork too so far, as it has been a big jump from the GCSE's but she has now started to get to grips with them and slowly she is finding her feet and beginning to plan her time better and with a little help from a Maths tutor she is finding its getting better ~~ little steps!
Hubbie has serious back problems which is general wear and tear of his job but he struggles on, often has physio on it but there isn't much they can do really!  I think it will deteriorate more and more so its time for me to get out there and find a proper job, well more hours anyway.

So for me the new year will find me job hunting, what sort of job will be the main problem!!! This will mean less jewellery making for me, I do still intend to be beadmaking which can be fitted around a job but I just can't cope with both.

Jewellery making I will still do things just nowhere near what I used to do, saying that I hardly did any this year but that was due to other circumstances! I will make for myself and friends but I probably won't sell as much as I have in the past. I have been adding tutorials to my blog and I still intend to carry on with that.....  even though I haven't been very good over the last month or so... eek! 

I started it in the Blogtoberfest during October and I will try my best to post on Tuesday's my Top Tips day! I feel my blog is important to me and I would really like to build a following to help other jewellery makers out there. I have been starting with the basics and will build up to the more detailed things as I go along.

I have taken a little break from my magazine work but I do hope to get back to it next year as I have a couple of items I've promised to do, they are still in the planning stages but I must finish those as soon as I can get going again. 80))

I think that's about it  ~ Oh Ummmm....

I would just like to say I hope everyone out there in blogland had a great Christmas ~~

I enjoyed it ~~

I got some new tools which I can't wait to have a little go with ASAP

and some new books with some new techniques I want to try out

both from Amazon

The Torched Fired Enamel book I can have a go right away ~ so I will let you see what I do when I have had a play, very eager to get going on that one! I am also awaiting one that's only just been released and I am hoping that it will arrive on my Birthday which will be really cool!

so all there is left to say is ~~~~ here's to a



E x

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Christmas Smash Sale

I am having a little SALE in my Bead shop on Etsy.

Christmas Smash on some of my new items - buttons and headpins.

I haven't been making much at this time other than getting Christmas sorted out. This is very rare for me usually I rush around in the last week before Christmas, not this year! I was determined to get organised and I am afraid creativity has ceased!!!

So all I have for you is my Red hair!!!


I love it this colour, my favourite!!!



E x


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Top Tip Tuesday ~ Jewellery Basics Tutorial ~ Turning Loops

Jewellery Basics Techniques

I will be adding a number of Jewellery Basics to my blog along with other techniques in wirework.
In this tutorial I will show you how to make a turned loop using both methods, I have used one single bead to show how to do it with a bead in place.  I recommend that you try a few times on some spare, old or cheap headpins to practice before making a pair of earrings, for instance.
A Turned Loop
1. On a headpin place on beads in desired pattern/design.  
2. Trim headpin down to approx. 1cm above the last bead.
3. Take the round nosed pliers, grasp the end of the headpin between the blades at the very tip.


Ensure the tip of the pin does not protrude above the blades of the pliers, run your finger across the top of the blades ~ you shouldn't be able to feel the tip of the pin.

4.  Turn the pin around the blade pushing down with your thumb to form the loop, until you can't go any further.


5. Reposition your blades to continue with the loop until it closes, straighten you hands to allow you to continue comfortably

this should resemble a ‘p’ or ‘q’ shape 


6.  To finish the loop, place blade of pliers into the back of the loop


NB:  take careful note of the position of the blades in the loop

7.  Bend back the wire to centralise the loop above the bead  


You may need to ‘tweak’ the loop as the bending can cause the loop to open a little, to close it up, just place your blades into the front of the loop again and just pull around to remove the gap, making sure you have fully inserted the blade into the loop, otherwise the loop can distort.    
You could also squeeze the loop together using flat nosed pliers, very slowly and carefully ~ too much pressure could end up completely distorting the loop and destroying the circular shape of the loop.

                                         A Turned Loop
Turned Loop – Alternative Method

1.  Place beads onto a headpin, bend the pin back at 90° angle just above the bead

2.  Trim headpin to 1cm.  Grasp pin with round nosed pliers at the very tip.

3. Bend the pin around the blade to form the loop in the opposite direction to the bend        


Use your other thumb to help guide the wire around the blade as before.

If the end of the wire sits above the bead, too high, then you can trim the wire and carry the loop round to close it once again.  This shortens the wire so bringing it down lower, nearer to the bead.

That's it all done!

Next time ~~

I will show you how to make a Wrapped Loop ~  a little more complex than the turned loop but definitely worth the effort to master this technique as it has many uses and is a very fundamental wirework technique.

Til next time

E x