2014 Art Charm Swap tease

This year I am joining in with the fab Jen Cameron (of Glass Addictions) 2014 Art Charm Swap and Beads of Courage Benefit Auction. Last year I was so impressed with all the beautiful charms that everyone made and this year I thought I would give it a go myself. So here is a little tease of what I have made....

Beautiful tiny iolite and pink rhodolite garnet cabs, to see what I and the other participants have made join me on November 14th when we will be having the revel and actioning off some of the charms!!!!

Have a great day x


May the making recomence!

With the kids off during August I did not get much time to make much of anything so I have enjoyed every minute of making the following....

These pieces were just me having a bit of a play around, the owl is a silver version of the one I made for my last bead soup and the hearts were inspired by one of my all time favourite designers Keirsten Giles of Lune Designs (she has a serious talent for jewellery making and a fantastic eye for detail)  Keirsten uses coins to texture her metal and has an amazing blog The Cerebral Dilettante which is full of beautiful photos, great tips and wonderful tutorials!

Tiny chrysoprase ring (British birthstone for May) This was made for mess maker after I was informed that she had plenty of bracelets and necklaces but no rings!

How could I say no to this little face (this is her showing off her new reading glasses)?!

Here is another coin locket I made up this one was commissioned for a birthday gift.

This ones is another byzantine chainmaille charm bracelet, I got to practise my sawing and stamping on this one!

I have even managed to put a few new things in the Bits of NikNats shop.

and as soon as I get the time to make up a few more pieces I am going to be having a giveaway on my Bits of NikNats face book page, so keep checking!

Have a great day x


Ancient Jewellery, The British Museum, third and final part

So I saved the best till last (well in my opinion)! The third and final photo's of The British Museum are all about the Jewellery (again please excuse the poor quality photos once again I have broken my camera again and am having to use my iphone).

Starting with one of the most beautiful pieces of gold work ever, I can not even imagine the work that went into this one!

I have already shown this pic but I really do love it! 
'Gold ring with the name Thutmose III'

Selection of beautiful gold rings with seals on them (owning a beautiful old seal one day is on my to do list) Oh and you can even see my phone in this one (you would not belive how many photo I ruine with my own reflection!

Lion heads, More amazing gold.

I love the design of these rings! 

Stunning supper fine gold chain, I love the beautiful clasp  on this piece!

Such beautiful gold and gem necklaces

Such a fancy clasp on this one....

Lovely links on this green one....

Beautiful set stones

This one looks like an amazing amount of work....

I totally love these....

 Beautiful Egyptian Faience melon beads.

I do wish I had time to get all of the information about the pieces, the where and when they were made and found but any visit we have to a museum with a two year old has to be a fast moving one, while he likes to look at the lovely shiny things he dose not like to linger!!!!

While in London we were lucky enough to fine the sweetest little Antiquity shop just across the road from the British Museum and we picked up these little beauties. I wanted to leave with at least half of the stuff in there but settled for just these (this time but we will go back)! I think I might prong set them with an open back so you can see both sides of the coin and use them in a bracelet or two!

Have a great day you lovely lot!


The British Museum part two Ancient Artifacts

After our Ancient Egyptian day out and our trip to  The British Museum we decided to go back and have a look around at some of the other exhibits on display, There were quiet a few items that I fell in love with so I thought I would share some of the photos with you (please excuse the quality as these were taken with with phone)....

One of my all time favorite photos, I just love old books, beautiful handwritting and medals and of course coins!

Another thing I love Roman glass, and this one was such a beautiful color! The info read....
'Large glass cylindrical box(pyxis) with cover
Roman, probably made in Rome,
AD 1-50
From near Rome

When found this box contained ashed,
though its use for cremated remains was
probably secondary. No other boxes of 
this size are known.'

Some more beautiful Roman glass.

Some stunning Aztec carvings (this photo makes me think of Staci L Smith's beautiful black carved beads)!

Some more beautiful carvings and then....
This really caught my eye, you can't tell by the photo but the tiny turquoise mosaic pieces were supper sparkly so I was drawn to it (like a moth to a flame, oh pretty) and then repulsed! Yep its a human skull, with real teeth!!!

 'Turquoise mosaic mask of Tezcatlipoca
Mixtec-Aztec, AD 1400-1521
A human skull forms the base for this mask of Tezcatlipoca, 'Smoking Mirror', one of the four powerful creator gods in the Aztec pantheon. The Aztec belived that the defeat of Quetzalcoatl by Tezcatlipoca marked the begining of the current era of creation. The emblem of Tezcatlipoca, an obsidian mirror, symbolises his control over the hidden forces of creation and destruction.
The mask is decorated with a mosaic of turquoise, lignite and shell; the eyes have been made from polished iron pyrites. The skull was probably tied around the waist by the leather straps."

On to a much nicer and much smaller skull and....

A dragon, I do love netsuke but hey no suprises there they are after all beads, which brings me to these beauties....

Native American seed beads and just beautiful!

How cool would this look on a beaded cuff, such a beautiful design.

And as we were on the topic of beads how lovely are these!

'Faience melon beads
Melon beads in Egyptian faience 
were made and used in many parts 
of the empire.'

and of course some where to put all these lovely beads....

Such amazingly detailed carvings and I love the banding!

I hope you liked these photos because there are still afew more to come.
The Ancient jewellery ones, So watch this space!

Have a great day x


Ancient Egypt via London

During the summer holidays the children enjoyed learning about Ancient Egypt which included a day trip to London to see Cleopatra's Needle....

and then on to The British Museum which was utterly fantastic (and there website is amazing too)! They currently have 8 mummies on display each with there own fascinating stories!

They have a selection of both natural (shallow grave in the desert type) and man made mummies (organs removed and wrapped in bandages type), male and female, old and young (the youngest being a two year old boy and also a seven year old girl, both unusual because children were rarely mummified).

I did not get many photos as the rooms were very crowded, but they were truly stunning to behold. I did how ever manage to get a couple of jewellery shots of course....

I so need a ring like this!

There were a vast array of amulets in a multitude of diffrent materials 

Mess maker throughly enjoyed the day but insisted that she really should dress up as an Egyption to fully understand what it was like (all in the name of resurch, nothing to do with getting a lovely new dress)! So....

Thanks to the wonders of Ebay she got to be Cleopatra!

And insisted on wearing it every where for a whole week!

We also tried making some Ancient Egyptian food (thanks to a book from the library).

Home made pitta, Dukkah dip, chicken kebabs and date and cinnamon balls, and they seemed to enjoy it, well all bar the date balls! 

Have a wonderful day lovely people!


30 Words Thursday

Once upon a castle
So high up in the sky
Watching the most beautiful wedding
Reading of times gone by
Dreaming of happy ever afters
My lovely family and I

Please check out Erin's Treasures Found blog to see her wonderfly touching post and everyone elces 30 words thursday, and have a great day x


Clairemont Gardens "my Charolotte is gone"

Not far from where I live is an almost magical place, Clairemont Gardens, a place where I have been many times, walked around and never wondered about the history, just enjoyed the beauty.

Dreaming about living in tall towers (The Belvedere Tower)

With beautiful views

Then one day I saw some thing that made me think "well whats that all about?" and so I did what all people of this day and age do and I googled it, which lead to a whole days reading and a new found appreciation for the history of our Royal family.

Once apon a time (1796) there was a Princess called Charolotte (Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales) the only child of George, prince of Wales, later to become King George IV.  She was destined to become Queen of the United Kingdom and was much loved and seen as a sign of hope for the Britsh people.

Charlotte was presured by her father to marry William, Hereditary Prince of Orange, but although she  initially accepted the engament Charlotte soon broke off the match, and after followed a battle of wills between Charlotte and her father as to whom she would marry. 
Charlotte won and got to marry her prince charming, a Lieutenant-General in the Russian cavalry, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saaifeld (later King of the Belgians) or "the Leo" as she termed him.

She wrote:

"I find him charming, and go to bed happier than I have ever done yet in my life ... I am certainly a very fortunate creature, & have to bless God. A Princess never, I believe, set out in life (or married) with such prospects of happiness, real domestic ones like other people."

I just love this little insight! 

On 2 May 1816 Charolotte and Leopold were married in the Crison Drawing Room at Carlton House, Claremont House was brought by Parliment for the couple to live in. (The building was later brought and turned into Clairmont Fan Court School), On 24th August 1816, they took up residence at Claremont, Clairmont gardens were the grounds to Clairmont House and is infact the actual Garden of a Princess! 

(Charlotte's favorite view)

Very sadly in 1817 after only a year and a half of happy marrage Charlotte died after giving birth to a stillborn son, which is why at Charlotte's favorite viewing point at Clairmont, where she once had a little tearoom built to enjoy the beautiful view, and then later a building in herthere now lay long forgoten foundations and a marble stone simply with the words "My Charlotte is gone."

But as with all good storys, it dose not end there. 
Charlotte was King George III's only legitimate grandchild and with her death there was a great amount of presure put on the King's unmarried sons to marry and produce an heir. 
The King's forth son Edward, Duke of Kent married Prince Leopold's sister Victoria, Dowager Princess of Leiningen and thier daughter Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent (Later known as Queen Victoria) played in the gardens, so truely it was a playground for princesses!
Now the gardens are owned by the National Trust and is such a wonderful place to visit, here are a few pic's of our latest trip....

First ever pony ride!

Enjoying a picnic

Heads and shoulders above the rest

Enjoying the view

Playing in a hollowed out old tree

Taking time to smell the flowers

Taking it all in our stride!

Have a great day wonderful people! x

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