Thursday, 15 September 2011

Pale Watery September.

I was transfixed by the pale watery sun pushing it's way through the morning mist....even the trailer, piled high ready for the tip looks romantic and interesting lol

Don't you just love the way that the dew makes beautiful lacy masterpieces out of the spider webs along the lane?

I can't explain this effect that happened as if by magic, i always do get the feeling that this ancient lane is enchanted as you glimpse the hollowed out spaces under the roots of trees, the flowers and fungi. It must have been a place like this that inspired Enid Blyton to write her fairyland books.

Back home, and I really cannot put off starting work, my morning walk has been so refreshing, inspiring and makes you feel glad to be alive!  Don't be surprised if you start to notice a 'fairy' feel to some of my new pieces....

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A Path Lost And A Friend Found

 Just before the kids broke up for the 'grandes vacances' one of the exciting things on offer to the pupils of 6eme was a day of orienteering in the beautiful forests at St Sever in Calvados.  To help control the kids who found themselves set free to roam the forest, was the sports staff of the school and  a rather feeble army of four parent helpers alongside....myself included.
Now, I was so scared. I didn't know at this time whether it would be just me and 120 twelve year old French 'ados'. I was looking for any excuse not to go, examining each muscle and joint mentally, looking for a twinge or a sprain that could get me out of it.
 When I introduced myself to a rather dishy teacher, he seemed pleased to have me along,  so,  I was in.
I followed behind the coach in my fab new pale green Twingo, much to the delight of the boys on the back seat who thought it was hilarious!
The forest of St Sever is not far from the town of Vire in Calvados and is the natural habitat of wild boar, badgers and foxes, although we saw none of these creatures on the day that the forest was invaded by a tribe of wailing banshees.
The parent helpers were split up into two's ( two lots of two in fact) given a map and sent to patrol the border, marked quite clearly. I hoped that my partner would turn out to be a wizz at quickly emerged that she was hoping for the same thing,  we could't even decide which way up this map should be! We walked and we talked and we had a great time together with absolutely no idea if we were actually walking along the path or not.
Eventually we came across a woman walking her dogs who pointed us in the right direction, so we cooly finished the course on track, appearing to have followed it all the way round.

Whoever the wag was who first pointed out the fact that women and maps do not mix, was totally spot on!

I was glad that I didn't back out of going on this great day out, because I had a really good time, met a new friend, and also, sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone and do something that terrifies's good for you!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

fifth element in silver and peridot

Today is day 36.
I'm not managing to finish a whole piece of jewellery every day as I hoped I might, but I'm working every day at the creation of pieces. Maybe it's a little bit more of an uphill challenge to make a ring or pendant completely from scratch in one day, especially when there are husband, children and housework needing attention too!!
But I'm not feeling daunted by it and I won't give up the thought of trying.
 Don't know whether I've shown you this one before, but a stone as gorgeous as this one deserves another go! 'Welcome to Waterworld |Kid' from Day 12
 Such fab rainbow moostones are set into sweet silver studs. From Day 21
 'She's So 1970's'  Set of ten skinny stacking rings, hammered and polished, they're so dazzling they should come with a government health warning. DO NOT DRIVE IN THESE RINGS, RISK OF BLINDING lol
 This is a revamped version of 'Hortensia' this time she's a poison ring with a fully handmade hinge, sprung catch and the most satisfying click when shut. Made by Mr Lemur, my partner in crime.
 Showing off the opening mechanism.
 Love this one, the small piercings in the triangle applique give so much light to the back of the stone, which makes the stone sparkle and positively glow.
 Just sat down at the bench with no drawings or plan to work from, just selected a stone and channelled the inspiration. This one truly is from the soul. My fave way of working.
The drawings are made AFTER the silverwork is finished, backwards to the traditional method!!

I am going to make an extra special effort to log the pieces that I make.
There's a definite feel of spring in the air in this past week or so, the buds and shoots are starting to  unfurl and the sun is beginning to warm the cold damp Norman mud. These fabulously foggy photo's were taken at 9am one morning just before the sun quickly burnt away the fog, making such a surprisingly warm day. You could hardly see the apple trees in the orchard, they looked like ghostly shapes through the mist.
Enjoy the first signs of sprng, x

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Day 23

Today I've reached day twenty three in my 'A thing A Day' personal pledge and I must admit that  I have missed a day or two already , but I don't see it as a big problem. Other days are more productive.
I am not a person who needs a drawing to work from before I begin,  in fact,  I love to evolve my ideas as I go. I have made many of my best pieces in this way.
Each day I have been arriving at my work bench not knowing what direction my thoughts will take me, taking inspiration in the precious stones themselves and the things which lie all around.
A few weeks ago I decided that I would make my version of the famous Anne Boleyn necklace, the letter B with three pearl droppers which is so instantly recognizable. This is a period in history which I find intriguing and at the same time so cruel.  Day 16 I could put off the project no more. I made the B in silver with discreetly hidden loops on the reverse side to take the pearls. A neatly drilled hole would do the job just as well, but it's something that I can't bring myself to do lol. The necklace itself and the drops are cultured freshwater pearls in subtle tones of pink, silver and beige.
I have listed this necklace in my Etsy shop as being available in any letter as I designed the whole alphabet.

I made another pearl pendant on day six, this time using a mabe pearl. A mabe pearl is a curiosity in the pearl world, they can be cultured or natural, but the foreign body implants not in the flesh of the oyster/mussel but on the shell wall. this results in the pearl being part of the shell and being a concave pearl which they cut from the shell.
I think this pendant needed to be quite simple in order to complement and not detract from the pearl, so I made a smooth silver bezel to hold the pearl and added a touch of detail in the twisted and hammered wire link above. This I oxidised for definition

The third 'thing ' I will share today is a big, bold, blue labradorite ring. Again, simply set to emphasise the fabulous stone. The stone is so dramatic, it's almost like a piece of the rainbow is trapped inside, it's stormy colours searching for a way out.
 Lots of the names that I've called my jewellery have been taken from a favourite film of mine and this one is no exception.
Meet 'Welcome To Waterworld Kid'

A big shining hunk of labradorite, what could be better?

Monday, 31 January 2011

New year and new personal pledge.

Tomorrow will be the brand new start of a new month. I shall not be sad to see January wave us goodbye, hoping she takes with her the frosty coldness and whistling winds to make way for milder weather.

To aid me in my creativity and to help me to dedicate myself to the task, I've pledged  to myself that I will make 'A Thing A Day'.  The thing that I'm finding most difficulty with is putting all of my efforts down on paper as it were.
I intended starting this pledge in 2010 but because it was half way through January when I first read got the idea, I put it off until I could start fresh on 1st January.  Obviously, twelve months later I'd forgotten all about it again, but this time on the 22nd Jan 2011 I decided that I must do it.

The first thing I made was a petite silver and ruby ring which is so sweet and delicate, and such a beautiful colour. There's something about the depth of winter which makes you crave the shot in the arm that bright colours give to the spirit.

Next I made a wide band silver ring with holes, loops and beads all around. The beauty of this ring is that it makes a feature out of the annoying way that a ring always seems to turn around when you wear it. Each aspect is different, so the face of this ring is constantly changing.

Then came a day at the kiln when I made the two enamelled hearts and the next day when I made the vignettes for the friendship rings. These are a set of two rings which have an abstract motif which works well as a stand alone ring. But when you place these two rings together, just like your life became complete when you found your soulmate, these rings form the two halves of a heart and only feel really complete when next to the other.

Each day so far I have managed to stay true to the pledge....well with the exception of the day that I lost the key to the courtesy car around town and was obliged to spend the day searching for it.... oh well.

Sunday, 9 January 2011


I reported a convo to Etsy only last week that was sent to my shop which was worded in quite a dubious way.
They wanted to make an offer for the most expensive item listed in my shop.
It came form a brand new etsy account created that same day and they wanted to arrange someone to pick up my item..I am in France and the chances of them being in France too are slim.
I am always suspicious of contact that veers from the norm, so there was never any risk of falling for this one.

The thing that puzzles me is this, this person was keen that I email back my reply, but is there any more information that I'm inadvertantly giving away had I done so?

Here is the actual convo, sent on Christmas day: Check out the account name

You Have a Message From fdjgjoe5jm8945 on Etsy

** Do NOT reply directly to this email.**

SUBJECT: La Vie Est Belle. Statuesque Alexandrite And Silver Ring. Bague En Argent A Couper Le Souffle, listing #61719971

Hi there ,
I want to make an offer for this item, and pls i can only pay
using pay pal, and after payments has been made ,i will arrange for
pick up of the item.will more than appreciate your reply...Email Me on mich*******

Message sent on December 25, 2010