Tag Archives: jewellery

Day One – 30 Days of Creativity 2015 – Laser cut leaf necklace

Today’s theme was trees so I went with a lasercut leaf theme, based on elm leaves. I couldn’t decide whether to ink the centre vein on each of them to make it stand out a bit more, but I erred on the side of Nature and kept it subtle in the end.

Elm leaf necklace
Elm leaf necklace
Elm leaf earrings


Quality Street – in costume form

I’ve recently been on the annual work Christmas do with my day-job company. As I was part of the organising committee, I suggested that it be fancy dress, and so we came up with the theme of ‘Christmassy’ – a broad theme that people could do as little or as much with as they wanted. Not one to be normal or predictable, I decided that it would be a brilliant idea to dress as those traditional Christmas treats in the iconic purple tin: Quality Streets!

Quality Streets

I didn’t particularly want to go dressed as the tin (a little unwieldy) or as one particular chocolate (couldn’t decide which one to go as). I spotted these ladies on my Google searchings, dressed for Ladies Day at Ascot with some very impressive hats. Alas, that kind of headgear works well at Ascot, but less so in a restaurant, bar or nightclub!

I’ve been collecting the plastic wrappers from Quality Streets for years, simply because they come in lovely bright colours and have good crafting potential, so I decided to find a purple dress of some description and somehow attach Quality Streets to it. I’d already worked out that using actual chocolates on my dress could a) be messy and b) result in people trying to steal my accessories all evening! So I set my dad to work carving the shapes of the different chocolates out of some crafting foam, which I then wrapped in normal kitchen foil and finished off with the relevant plastic wrapper. They looked very very real!

Having found the perfect dress on eBay, I didn’t want to ruin it by using anything permanent to attach the ‘chocolates’, like a glue gun. I loosely hand-stitched the ‘chocolates’ to the frilly bit of the dress with invisible thread.

Invisible thread Quality Streets on frilly bit of the dress Quality Streets on frilly bit of the dress Dress with Quality StreetsDress in all its glory!

Once the dress was sorted, my thoughts turned to accessories. I had quite a few fake chocolates left over so decided to make a necklace – and what better way to remove all doubt about what I was dressed as than to laser cut the Quality Street logo out of purple and white acrylic, and use it as the centrepiece for the necklace?

Quality Street necklace Quality Street necklace Quality Street necklace

Finally, I decided I needed something to jazz up my hair. I’d had good intentions of dying my hair pinky-purple but ran out of time in the end, so decided to create a sort of headpiece with a plain headband that I had in my crafting stash. I threaded assorted fake chocolates onto three lengths of fairly flexible wire, wrapping the bottom end a couple of times around the headband, and finishing the top of the wire by adding a bead and looping the wire over to stop the chocolates escaping. I’d managed to get hold of a couple of the paper ‘which chocolate is which?’ guides (I’m sure they have a proper name) that can be found inside the tins, and concertina folded them and attached them with some double sided sticky tape on either side of the wires. To help secure everything, and make the headband look a bit more attractive, I stuck more double sided tape on the outside of the headband and wrapped purple ribbon around from end to end. The headpiece was very much admired by my colleagues on the night and it was very comfortable to wear – and very light of course, with the ‘chocolates’ made out of lightweight foam.

Quality Street headpiece Quality Street headpiece Quality Street headpiece

I’d love to hear about your best Christmas do outfits too. Merry Christmas!


Day Nineteen – 30 Days of Creativity 2012 – Interrobang necklace

I’ve had the idea for today’s creation in my head for ages. The theme was ‘question mark’ which immediately made me think of interrobangs – a combination of a question mark and an exclamation mark, and one of my favourite punctuation marks (I told you I was a bit of a geek, right?).

Et voila! An interrobang necklace, in black and white laser cut acrylic, with a bead ‘dot’:


Day Eighteen – 30 Days of Creativity 2012 – Sunshine brooch

The theme today was ‘yellow’, and, as the sun was shining, I thought it might be a good idea to build on Day Five’s creation and create something related to the weather:

I wore it today but I think it might have blended into the pattern of my outfit a bit:

Off to think of more weather-related jewellery ideas now!


Necklace Giveaway!

I’ve recently made an abundance of bunting/triangle flag necklaces, so I’ve decided to have a little giveaway! Simply head over to my new Facebook fan page, ‘Like’ me and add a comment to the photo explaining which is your favourite necklace and why. The best reason, in my opinion, wins, so be inventive! This giveaway is open internationally, closes on 20th June 2012 and you can enter as many times as you want. Any questions let me know!


Failure can be good

I often fill my Sunday afternoons with experiments using my laser cutter – nothing scientific of course, just trying out new techniques, ideas, styles of jewellery. Sometimes things go well, sometimes they don’t – sometimes an idea that I’ve carried around in my head for weeks just doesn’t work in real life, and sometimes an idea I think up on the spot works really well. It’s hard to predict, and easy to get disheartened by the things that don’t work.

The other day, I happened to read this Etsy blog post on the subject of failure, and how it can be good. The selection of videos in the featured playlist are really inspiring and thought-provoking. It reminded me of a chapter early on in the Open University design course that I’ve just completed, which was all about learning to fail:

Learning from failure is the best way of improving the thing that you are working on!

As it is, I think the things I made today that actually worked were better, and more interesting, than the original ideas. Failure is good!


Self assembly

Recently, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of crafty kits and workshops that are available. I can think of a couple of places off the top of my head whose basic raison d’être is to offer classes and workshops in various craft-related skills (The Make Lounge and The Makery) and several other shops that offer workshops as a sort of extra to help people get to grips with sewing/jewellery making/knitting etc.

I imagine that most of the appeal of going to a workshop, or buying something in kit form, comes down to a) people wanting to try a new skill without having to buy all the materials and equipment, only to find they don’t like it and b) getting that feeling of satisfaction from having made something, without jumping in at the deep end and having to work it all out oneself.

I personally like the idea of little kits. I’ve spotted some great ones on Etsy, including this constellation embroidery kit, a kit containing everything you’d need to cross stitch a rooster, terrarium kits, even an anatomical heart needle felting kit. Buttons and threadI’d like to make some of my own to sell in my Etsy shop, but I’m a bit stuck on what kind of kit to make. What button-related craft would you buy in kit form? I’ve had a few ideas:

– simplified button bracelets (or earrings) in kit form
– ‘pick your own’ laser cut jewellery to assemble yourself
– something to sew together
– button/embroidery kits including a hoop

Any suggestions gratefully received!