One Man’s Junk…

Well, I have to admit, I am a very happy bunny.  I have discovered a treasure chest!

Well, not literally, but in my line of jewellery, it may as well be.

treasure-beach

This picture doesn’t look much, but it is a beach.  When a friend of mine told me what she had found there, I couldn’t get there quick enough!

Dig deeper, and this is what I found!

sea-glass

I’ve always dreamed of going to Sea Glass Beach in California, but seeing I’m on the other side of the Atlantic, it was very unlikely.  However, look at the beauties here!  Not only sea glass, but lovely ceramics too.  I posted last year about wire wrapping stones from the beach, but this really does take the biscuit!

I’ve been sworn to secrecy as to its location, but my friend did say supplies were really depleted compared to her first visit, so I do think it’s a one off as this beach isn’t well known for sea glass.  But all in all, I have plenty to keep me going here.

 

wire-wrap-sea-glass
Typical wire wrapped sea glass pendants

 

Have you discovered anything new recently?

Karen J Jewellery

 

 

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I Am Not Buying Jewellery…

tools

I have been blessed with an order to produce six individual wirework pendants.

“Will it take long?” my customer asked?

“Well, I will need to

–     design the piece

–     ensure I have the appropriate wire for the design

–     construct the design

–     weave and wrap the design

–     hammer where required

–     oxidise

–     seal the piece

–     prepare presentation

All of the above X 6” I replied.

My customer was quiet.  “Well, it’s quite a process then.”

wire

I really don’t think it is appreciated the work that goes into handmade. Now that I am selling on Etsy, the work doesn’t stop  once the piece has been made either.  There then follows

–      photography (five different pictures) taking into account lighting, angles and sizing

–     relevant heading, description and tags to consider

–     social media/advertising your product.

Once an order has been made, there’s also the presentation and shipping to take care of.

So, all in all, it is quite a process.  So next time you consider purchasing, please consider the handmade market and the time and effort it takes for you to receive your unique present.

My client is now awaiting his order (at time of writing, I have one more to make), but what made me smile was his comment…”I am not buying jewellery, I am buying you as a designer and your designs.”

What a lovely thing to hear and it brought a big smile to my face.

Has something different made you smile this week?

KarenJJewellery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animal Magic

Everyone has a favourite animal. Personally, I love birds, elephants, monkeys, apes, sealife and much more.

I can’t really recall what inspired me to include animals as part of  my designs but I do recall wanting my animal designs to stand out.

It is not easy to try and establish the correct shape of the animal but my aim was to achieve a shape so you could recognise what animal it is!  Lots of sketching was required before hand, certainly with my horse and seahorse pendants.

 

equine-copper-necklace

I wanted to achieve a sense of individuality  with my designs and to feel confident my customer would know  they have something different and original.

I don’t really know if any other animals may be on the agenda.  I would love to create the shape of an elephant head, but would someone wear it? That is the question.

What animal would you like to see incorporated into jewellery?

owl-wire-weave-pendant

 

KarenJJewellery

Colour Craze

In my last post, Doodling Off Topic, I discovered the art of designing Mandala drawing to colour in.

I thought I would give some ideas how to colour a Mandala.

1  Use a colour wheel as your guide.

colour-wheelChoose a light colour to start with in the centre of the Mandala then gradually work round each colour graduating out.  Or you may want to work round the wheel starting with a dark colour.  Alternatively, use colours opposite each other on the wheel.

2  Don’t fill the whole shape with colour – draw closely spaced parallel lines.  When you graduate to the next round, change directions of your lines.

hatching

3  Go bold.  Use bright colours.  Be adventurous!

4 Go pastel.

5 Go monochrome.

6 Use different pens or pencils i.e. gel pens

7 Go dotty. Fill the spaces with dots, large and small.

This list is not exhaustive.  Can you think of other ways to colour?

Here’s the link for the above Mandalas.

Doodling off topic

When writing blog posts, I’ve always been advised not to go “off topic”, but today, I’ll be doing just that.

In my post “What Stole My Mojo?” I asked you to take a peek at my Etsy shop to see if you could see anything not jewellery related.

Did you spot my new designs?

EPSON MFP imageAm I mad to change direction including these design with my jewellery?

Life can be hectic, and although I find making my wirework jewellery very therapeutic, sometimes I just want to snuggle up and watch TV.  However, I find it hard sometimes just to sit there – my hands need to be busy.  Then I discovered Zentangle – art therapy, meditative drawing to reduce stress, increase wellbeing and enhance relaxation.  It was only about 6 weeks ago, and for the life of me, I can’t think how I came upon it.  Here’s an example of Zentangle that I done.

zentangle

 

I’m not going to go into details about Zentangle – check it out yourself.  Please don’t say “I can’t draw.” Being able to draw is not a requirement!

As a result of Zentangle, I began to “zendoodle” and created pictures that you are able to colour in.  I then moved on and designed my very first Mandal picture.  Mandala is a circular figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism.

I’ll be talking about my Mandala in my next post and will be give some guidance on how to colour it.

As there appears to be a colouring craze going on at the moment, I hope my designs provide some pleasure.

What creative process have you discovered or rediscovered in yourself?

KarenJJewellery

What is in a letter?

If you’ve connected to my Facebook page, or have visited my shop, you may have noticed the alphabet fairy has dropped by.

It has been on my mind to do letters for a while, and I’m so pleased I did as they were a pleasure to make.  One reason why, is that I can pretty much keep it freeform and go with the flow to create the look I’m after.

letter-p-copper-pendant

I’ll be honest though, I won’t be working through the alphabet, unless there is a demand, as some letters would be trickier (though that wouldn’t stop me trying!).

I’ve marketed these letters as pendant  necklaces or bag charms and most of my tags relate to “initial letter.”  My question is, when you see a letter, or monogram, is your name your initial thought (no pun intended!).

letter-l-necklace

Bearing that in mind, would you wear a letter that wasn’t your initial, but meant something else to you ie your partner’s name, your pet name, or something more general like ‘peace’ or ‘love’?

It would be interesting to see if anyone thinks outside the box.  Let me know what you think?

KarenJJewellery

What stole my mojo?

mojo

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted regularly.

I feel quite guilty to be honest that I neglected my blog because I made such an effort to get it up and running in the first place.  Here’s the thing though – I had a website at the time and I made a conscious decision to remove my website in favour of opening an Etsy shop.  And so I took the leap and  I soon realised how much time and effort you need to run an Etsy shop.

I also realised that I was competing in a category that is the top category in Etsy – Jewellery/Jewelry.  It is estimated by December 2016 there will be 12,885,710 jewellery listings worldwide in Etsy.  So you can see, I’ve certainly got my work cut out trying to get my listings seen by shoppers!! At the end of the day though, it fits in with my lifestyle, and that suits me fine.

However, I realised I was missing my blog, and now I’ve got to the stage where I can  concentrate on both my shop and my blog.

Please feel free to take a peek at my shop  KarenJJewellery  You will see my wirework jewellery, but you will also see something else, very much unexpected and not jewellery related!

So a big thank you for joining me again and I look forward to connecting with you.

ps a big thank you to my Etsy colleague Metzli for helping me rediscover my blogging mojo!!

 

 

Knitting Like the Vikings

I write this with a pit in my stomach.  Is that the right expression?

It’s been a mixed week.   I must admit, only because I’m quite used to my weekly  routines and half term last week (which was great by the way), has thrown my routine out of sync.   There’s also been a Birthday to prepare for, a job application to contemplate and my vacuum decided to stop vacuuming. Then I get that dreaded phone call from school…there’s been an accident…my youngest son has had a fall…and his front tooth has broken.  His adult tooth.  I am crying inside, I tell you, and every time I think of it, I feel this almighty thud in my stomach.   I know all mums and dads reading this will resonate with that.

I won’t go into the dental details but I do foresee lots of dental visits in the future.  No one ever says being a parent is easy and when times do get a little testing, I know with confidence that I can go to my craft,  for some therapeutic support!  Believe me, once you get into the zone, it works wonders.

I decided to return to practice a technique which I have only recently tried – Viking Knit.  This technique is also known as Trichinopoly but Viking Knit sounds a bit more exciting, and is easier to say! In brief, it is the type of a weave/chain which origin dates back as far as Viking era of 9th and 10th centuries but I won’t embellish any more of its history as it appears ambiguous.

The first technique I tried was the actual chain.  There is a branded tool available to help create the tubular chain and although it does take some practice, there is something very therapeutic about creating this.

First attempt at Viking Weave chain.
First attempt at Viking Weave chain.

Another design using the technique is wrapping a cabochon.  This is the design I did this week and I loved it! It can only work on certain shapes as the weave needs to anchor the stone, but once I started I couldn’t stop until it was finished.  Turn it sideways and I can see a fish and even a hedgehog!

Viking Knit Weave round an Onyx cabochon

I was so pleased I did this, one for taking my mind off my poor son’s tooth, and another for reigniting my desire to knit like a Viking!

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Hannah Spannah Coco Banana