AJE Fossilised Pebbles - July Component of the Month Reveal

July's AJE component of the month was supplied by our super talented Lesley Watt of  THEA Elements, and here is her beautiful group shot of what she was sending out....

I received the beautiful blue one on the second row and as soon as it arrived in the post I just fell in love!

When I first saw the photo of these pieces I was thinking Oh, I know what I want to do with this piece, I want to cut off the loops, prong set it on a sheet of copper with another ammonite cut out of the back and a couple of tube set CZ on the bottom left, but then.... I put it in my hand, and it is just so tactile! So much so that I could not bring myself to cover the back so instead I did this.....

I added a chunky sterling chain, a prong set coin and a beautiful lampwork head pin by the Bead Fairy with a thick rustic silver bead cap....

I hope you will join me on the blog hop to see what everyone else has made



AJE Summertime Challenge

Welcome to my AJE Summertime Challenge post!
Every summer for the last five years my family and I travel down to Cornwall to spend a week or two with my partners dad. We visit all our favourite places and always find new ones! We enjoy fish and chips by the sea, go hunting for sea shells and sea glass and spend lots of time walking around the local artists galleries (I'm not a great fan of laying on a beach doing nothing, due to my bright white complexsion and a three year old that only stops running to sleep and fears NOTHING.... well apart from a haircut)!
So summertime for me is summed up by these few photos....

St Ives 

Rock piles and stony beaches

and of course I have a pile of treasures/memories from all these trips to the beach stashed in my draw....

So I used up some of my hoard in these pieces! Now these are still only works in progress but you get the general idea behind them!

This first piece is a bit of slate from the beach that will be riveted to the silver backing piece via the green set gem. The green in the stone reminded me of the lovely seal photo above so it will be finished off with a little hand sawn seal soldered on to the back or possibly on the side of the necklace?

and the other piece is a little collection of my beach treasures....

There is a mix of Sea glass and beautiful little pebbles all (will be) prong set in silver and finished off with a lovely little handmade chain.

The prongs are all open backed with the centre piece having a little heart soldered into it (I want to experiment with this idea more with more complex shapes inside the backs of the settings). There is still a lot of cleaning up and polishing to go in to this piece but I rather like where it is going!

I hope you will join me in checking out what every one else has created (and keep an eye out for my finished pieces)....

Caroline Denison
Susan Kennedy
Lesley Watt


May Component of the Month

May's super cute COM by our wonderfully talented Sue of SueBeads appeals to me on so many levels firstly, well.... glass!!! Second, they are cabs (I love cabs possibly more then I love beads) and third, I LOVE the size, they are just 10-12mm.

Photo by Sue
Of course I was too excited to get a photo of the ones I received before I started work on them, so had to steal Sue's photo from the blog!
My first piece was not what I had intended to make at all, as I opened the packet I received from Sue the tiny cabs spilled onto the table and from the corner of my eye I noticed that the colour of the light blue cab went beautifully with a broken necklace that had been sitting on my desk for a while!
The necklace was one I made a couple of years back for the Bead Soup Blog hop that was given to my youngest daughter but some how she managed to snap the metal focal on it and it had been sitting on my desk waiting for inspiration to strike!

Little Star Necklace
I tried a few other things first but just could not get the idea out of my head, so I gave into inspiration and tried to figure out how I could make it into the focal.

I ended up making quiet a simple silver prong setting and was rather surprised at how easy it worked (normally my ideas take a few attempts to figure out, the joy's of being self taught and not quiet knowing what I'm doing).

Close up of prongs
I still need to file and polish up the back of the piece but I really love this one.

View of the Back 
Next up I had the idea of setting one of the cabs in silver and riveting it to a stone we found on a beach on our holidays in Cornwall last year (I have a whole box of stones from beaches). And then this just kind of happened....

Heart Cab Set in Silver
I actually got out my diamond coated drill bits out for this stone and set my drill to high speed, scary stuff! I am now completely at home with fire but the drill still scares the life out of me!

Whole necklace
Of course I had to throw in a coin (prong set) and a lamp work headpin (this lovely crusty one is by Bead Fairy on Etsy and really looks like it glows in the day light).

Side View
It's quiet a thick piece but I rather like that! This time I kept the back very simple, a tiny heart cut out and a key stamp....

Back Side
I do have one of these left, a dark blue star but that one is still just an idea and you will have to wait to see what it turns into!

Close ups
I would like to thank Sue for the wonderful cabs I throughly enjoyed working with them and am looking forward to seeing what all the others have created....


April Component Of The Month

Today is the day for the AJE Component Of The Month reveal! I can't tell you how much I adore these stunning pieces by our multitalented Jenny Davies-Reazor (pic stolen from AJE blog)....

Jenny's Stunning Amulets 

Now I am normally one for leaving things to the last minute but I literally JUST finished playing with this piece this morning, yep a few moments ago and I am still not quiet done with it!
This is the amazing amulet that Jenny sent to me....

Swirls and Script I'm in Heaven

This is where my problem began you see this amulet is everything I look for in art jewellery elements, all in one piece, it's my favourite colour, it's covered in scrip writing (which I LOVE), it has a beautiful textured a wonderful ancient feel to it. So it goes with pretty much all of the beads in my stash so no real jumping off point, see what I mean....

So Many to Choose From

So first off I started making piles, and then adding and adding to it. I was thinking maybe a necklace full of art bead treasures but there was just too much and it did not show the amulet off enough, so I moved on to another idea, start with the lid!

Lampwork and Coin Lid

So of course I started with a coin then took the longest time ever to decide on what bead to fix to the top of it! This beautiful bead is by the amazing Laura Sparling and has been riveted in place. The lid then fits snugly into the top of the amulet....

Almost done

Once the top was made I used balled headpins to make the loops through the amulet and decided I had to use the wonderful oak leaf clasp by Joanne Tinley (because there is an oak leaf on the bottom of the amulet). 

My Precious!

So that takes me to this point, I have added a pre-made sterling chain, which I am not happy with so that will be changed out for a mixed copper and silver hammered chain the same size as the loops and I'm thinking it needs SOMETHING on the left to balance it, I'm just not sure what! Maybe a gem or something!?

Thank you Jenny for such a wonderful challenge!!

Please join me on the blog hop....

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio
Alison of Alison Adorns
Jess of The Copper Cat

AJE Team: 

 Have a wonderful day x


January, The year of jewellery project

Here are my pieces for The Year of Jewellery Project on facebook....

'Midnight Walk on the Beach' This one is made from a flat pebble I found on our holiday to Cornwall, set in silver with a lovely moon stone set onto the front of the stone. It was some what of a practice piece!

This one was made specially for me, I utterly love the moon baby focal by Staci and used it in this piece to which represents my three children, the Moonbaby is my oldest who when she was little told me every night "I love you to the moon and back, around the world a million times, to the depths and breth of the widest ocean and more and more and more...." The coin which I set in a two tier prong setting is a very old spanish coin showing a lion is for my little boy Leo and last but not least the shiny little drop is for my little girl who is a collector of shiny little things!

This stone henge book pendent was made for the AJE challenge and was so fun to make that I think I may have to make a few more, maybe the seven wonders?

This one I made for a tutorial on AJE so if you want to find out how to make it click here. It's a beautiful amethyst set into an Irish 3d coin tresure locket.

These last earrings were also made for an AJE tutorial on using dimple making pliers (tutorial can be found here)! So far I am amazed that I have managed to keep up making a piece a week!


AJE Buried Treasure - the "Use your stash" reveal!

It will come as no surprise that Hoard beads, I buy these wonderful little handmade treasures and then I stash them away (and occasionally I take them out and stroke them).

So joining in with the use your stash hop was a must! Here is (some of) what I am dealing with....

The print tray on the wall is for my larger beads that will not fit into the little draws on my print chest.

Here's an inside view of some of the draws.... lots of lovely treasures!
Now I was hoping to have lots of pieces to show you, I was set to really tackle my stash and use some that I had held on to for a while (maybe as long as 5 plus years). But life got in the way and I only came up with the one piece, but I love it!

I used this AMAZING raven focal by the ever so talented Jenny Davies-Reazor and super cute glass drops by our wonderful Jen Cameron. I absoloutly love the colours Jenny has used in the focal it is just so me, so I made a piece for me!

Here I tinkered a little with the placement of the glass pin (moved it up a little) Ideally I would have loved a black tavernier cut stone set in silver to the side of this focal but I don't have one of those (yet)!

I may well tinker with this one a little but I really like how it turned out, It's very me!

Shot of the back. I do hope you will join me in seeing what everyone else has created....


AJE Sun Challenge Reveal

Over on the Art Jewelry Elements blog the Theme for December's design challenge was the Re-birth of the sun. Now the first thing that popped into my head relating to the sun was a beautiful Aztec sun god, so I was thinking that a sun god pendent cut from a sheet of golden brass would be a great idea but I just could not get the design right! 
So I went back to Lesley's beautiful introduction post and re-read it several times, each time stopping to look at the beautiful Photo of Stonehenge that Lesley had posted....

I have seen Stonehenge several times but only in passing as we have driven by on the way to some where else and I would really like to go and have a wander around. I adore that it is so ancient and has such a beautiful magical look to the place plus I love all the mystery surrounding it's use/how and why it was made. So I decided to use this as inspiration instead!
Here's what I created....

A tiny copper book pendent/necklace. It measures a touch over 4cm in height, the idea was that it would be made into a necklace with a few drilled stone beads and some heavy chain but unfortunately I have not found the right beads yet so it remains as is.

Each of the tiny pages have had the edges burnt to make the book look old and then I used the coptic stitch to bind them into the book, which is fastened with a little hook clasp.
I do hope you will join me to see what every one else has created!


AJE November Component of the Month

Hello lovely people, today is the reveal day for AJE November Component of the Month! November's components were supplied by the Amazingly Talented Caroline of BlueberriBeads and were these stunning Lichen pieces....

Of course as always I forget to take before photo's so I have pinched Caroline's pic!  Don't they look amazing and so beautifully organic!
Now what did come as a bit of a surprise when I opened my package was the amazing colour of the tiny pools of glass in the centre of the cab, I just assumed it was a dark blue but it's the most wonderful amethyst colour and that is what inspired my design, tumbling amethysts! 

Everything has been hammered to try to keep quiet an organic feel but it is still a work in progress,  I'm not happy with the lay out of the chain so the rough amethyst will be moved to make a more asymmetric design as soon as I have some beach pebbles or some sort of grey stone to add in!

Of course there is a little hidden message on the back, a little reminder inspired by thanks giving (which unfortunately we don't have in the UK) to be thankful. Surprisingly the LOS gave the back of this piece a beautiful pinkie/purple colour which you can only just see in the photo but I really like it!

Thank you so much Caroline for you wonderful component, I really enjoyed designing with it! Now I can't wait to see what everyone else has created with theres!!!

Please join me....



Beading Back in Time Blog Hop

So the theme for this Beading Back in Time Blog Hop was to Choose your Favourite Historical period (500 AD - Present), so of course I went straight back to the Roman era.
I'm not sure what it is about the Roman style that I feel so drawn to but I just love it!
For my piece I chose a Roman gold and amethyst necklace circa 1st century B.C for inspiration this is the piece....
Photo found on christies.com via Pinterest

I just love every thing about this piece, the colours, the gems, the way the focal is set, the detail in the clasp every thing!
Unfortunately I am not so much in love with the piece I created, (it was one issue after another) so it is more of a work in progress!

So here it is....

First issue I had was the silver beads that were going to sit in between the tourmaline beads were not the right shape, they did not look organic enough so I left them out, which I don't like! Then even tho there was 20 inches of tourmaline beads only about 15 inches of them had a hole big enough to thread the stringing stuff through (can you tell I never string things) so it came out shorted then I wanted and I had to attach chain to the ends with I really don't like the look of!

I did not have a cameo in my stash to use as a focal so I decided to use a piece of Roman glass, but I did not have any that had that beautiful luster that I associate with ancient glass and it looked rather plain so I decided to set a stone in centre to add interest which I like but think maybe it's a bit too large/over powering? Still on the plus side I taught myself to set a stone on stone! I have seen this technique used quiet a lot and am glad I tried it!

So I like the ideas I had but they defiantly need refining, also I did not get to make a beautiful clasp in time so just chucked a pre-made one on, when I restring this to add on the more organic silver breads I will also be making a beautiful handmade clasp to go with it!!!!

To check out what everyone else has created head on over to Phantasm Creations!

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