Sunday, 29 March 2009

Website update

I have added several new things to the Sooz Jewels website, here's a selection of three of them

Sterling silver hammer finish ringHand made lampwork pink bead with swarovski crystal bicone earringsBracelet made with handmade lampwork beads, swarovski crystal and sterling silver beads

I have also added some items to the Gallery page which are added for one of my customers who commissioned me for several pairs of earrings

Handy mittens

To the lighthouse fingerless mittensMy new mittens came in for some use yesterday when I was on my stall. It was cold and wet - both of which we can manage with, but the wind kept gusting. Wind is the hardest thing to deal with on an outdoor market. The tarpaulins get little puddles of rain in them, no matter how tightly you fix them down and when the wind blows, the puddles drain onto whatever is beneath the edge of them. Hopefully not a potential customer! Things fall over, prices blow away ... I'd rather it were wet all day than windy!

Half way through the day, we all wished we had just stayed in bed, there were precious few customers about and I think I just about broke even! Even so, nice to see a couple of regular customers and chat to them and it was great to find out that my mittens were a big success!

DH is off on a jaunt with one of his flying buddies today, he is going to Cromer and promises to bring back fresh crab for dinner! I have loads of jobs on my to do list:

  1. Put all the foam inserts into my new boxes order which came this week
  2. Publish photographs of new items on my website
  3. Tidy up my studio, the desk looks like a glass bomb has hit it
  4. Get up to the date with the ironing (note that item is right at the bottom!)

Not the most exciting of days but I will feel very virtuous when they're all done and ready to get on with the fun of making things next week.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Initials pendant

I've been kicking around the idea of making hammer finish (again!) pendants in the form of letters but I think sometimes having a letter around your neck looks a bit cheesy and so I want it to look like a funky piece of silver as well so the letters need to be stylised quite a bit.

A couple of weeks ago during a quiet spell on the stall one Saturday I was sketching my designs for the letters. They would be elongated quite a bit and every time there is an external curve/edge, I would turn it into a straight line, internal curves/edges would always be rounded. Holes (for example in the letter A) would be small and placed high or low.

I haven't finalised the designs for the whole alphabet but whilst I was doing that, one of my regular customers arrived and asked me what I was up to. So I did some market research on her and showed her my sketches. She immediately commissioned one of the letter Js without even seeing one!

I liked it so much I made myself one (an S for Sue oddly enough!) I put mine on a triple length of waxed cotton to look like a thong. They're a tad over 5cm long and a little under 1.5cm wide at the widest.

Pendant in shape of letter JThey aren't available to purchase on the website yet as I think I'm going to make a separate page and scan in all my designs properly drawn out as it would take me ages to make one of every letter so they'll be made to order. I'll be giving the choice of trace chain, snake chain or waxed cotton in a length of the customer's choosing.

If you'd like one in the meantime, don't hesitate to
contact me. They'll be £35 each.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Silver jewellery

This is a bit of a flying visit, I've put the new silver designs up on Jewellery section of the Sooz Jewels website. Two pendants and one pair of earrings; they're in hammered silver again, I love hammering silver (especially when I'm cross cos it gets it all out of your system!)
Sterling silver hammer finished pendantSterling silver hammer finished pendantSterling silver hammer finished earrings
I have a couple more things to add to the website but one of them was sold yesterday in the gorgeous sunshine we had in Cambridge all day before it even got added to the website!

Tete a Tete miniature daffodilsThe reason I'm in a bit of a hurry is that I have an appointment with mowing the lawn for the first time this year, it takes about three hours and as it's forecast to rain tomorrow, I need to get it done! My miniature daffodils are out, so they'll be keeping me company now the snowdrops are all over.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Photography and knitting

Mermaid bracelet made with handmade lampwork beads and sterling silverI have been taking advantage of the warmer weather this week and done some photography outside.

I've got some reasonable ones finally of the silver jewellery but I haven't processed them yet.

I've also photographed all the new things I have been making this week. Until I get round to resizing and optimising the photographs, above is a taster, this is my new Mermaid bracelet.

I'll upload the new products and photographs to the website early next week.

Here is a photograph of some new yarn that arrived this week from Violet Green. It's mainly merino wool which means it's ultra soft. The colour on the right hand side is called "To the Lighthouse". The name intrigues me as it's the title of a Virginia Woolf book I've been meaning to read ever since I read a biography. Anyway, it is destined to become a pair of fingerless gloves and matching socks (I bought two skeins). It's now a bit warm for gloves but if winter tries to bite back, I'll be ready for it!

The multi-coloured one is called Enigma and will be a pair of socks very soon. Laura Sparling has a lot to answer for by getting me hooked on knitting again!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Phone number withdrawn

Sorry that I've had to remove my telephone number from the website. I keep getting phone calls from advertisers wanting to relieve me of the small amount of money that I make from my business!

At any rate, most of the time, I am in my studio making jewellery and I can't hear the phone in there. Even if I put a phone in the studio or took a cordless one, you can't stop making a bead half way through, so phone calls would just be an irritation anyway. (I am not good when interrupted) So I have decided that it's e-mail only as a means of contacting me or - BEST OF ALL - come and see me at my stall in Cambridge on All Saints Art & Craft Market any Saturday!

I am working hard on a couple of commissions which are both a little behind the time that I promised to dispatch so ... I'd better get on with it!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Caterpillar bracelet

I have been reviewing the photographs I took of my new hammered silver designs that I promised last week but they need re-doing. I seem to find silver items (with no beads) really difficult to photograph, last time I used a mirror and they came out well so I'll give it another go. As I sold the items on Saturday, I also need to re-make them as well!

In the meantime, these two new products are going onto the website shortly, both are made with lampwork beads created using recycled Perrier water bottles. I'm not sure you can see that every other bead on the bracelet has been etched to a matt finish. DH very helpfully told me that he thought the bracelet looked like a caterpillar. So, ignore the name, it's actually a very nice looking bracelet!

Friday, 13 March 2009

All my previous burblings can be accessed at:

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Today is Anthony Head Day!

Today has been Anthony Head day in our house!

This morning I made some recycled beads out of Perrier bottles whilst listening to his album "Music for Elevators" on my MP3 player. He has got a really good voice, I think he enjoys singing. My favourite song is "This Town in the Rain". He was really good on the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once More With Feeling. Occasionally during the seven series he gets his guitar out, Spike interrrupts him when singing one of my favourite songs, Freebird (I have that song on an album but sung by Lynyrd Skynyrd not AH!) Once More With Feeling is one of my favourite episodes, coming a close second to Band Candy with Family third.

My absolutely favourite Buffy moment involving Anthony Head is during Once More With Feeling when they are all singing a song together, one of Buffy's lines is to sing "Hey I've died twice" and AH does this absolutely lovely smile. I have no idea how to go about it, but I'd really like a still of that moment.

Anyway, enough Buffy ramblings .... after lunch, I made jewellery with yesterday's batch of beads whilst watching a DVD of The Invisibles in which Anthony Head stars. It's a TV series but I must've missed it if it was aired. I've just finished watching the Merlin DVDs last week, in which AH is really really good and so I was casting around for something else and I only found it when doing a routine search on LoveFilm. (I rent DVDs from them and they come by post - most convenient!) When Merlin was on TV, it was a Saturday night and I was usually having dinner after the market so never got to watch it; the series was halfway through before I realised it was repeated on Sunday nights!

I've got some new designs to photograph tomorrow; when I wasn't bead making much last week, I did some new silver designs with my trademark hammered silver, so hopefully there should be some new jewellery to look at tomorrow!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

I am still here really

Loads of reasons why my blogging has been tardy, sorry they're all excuses (but good ones!)
My dog got attacked last week, two vet visits, £60. I won't bore you with many details but I was very silly in taking on two full grown labradors that had Missy round the throat. I was trying to give off "Leader-vibes" so they wouldn't bite me as well but the "calm assertive" attitude you need according to Caesar Milan doesn't work when you're screaming at them at the top of your voice (I think it surprised them cos they let go!)

Missy has got some nasty looking wounds but she's going to be fine apart from some scarring.

I also had a health scare of my own involving GP and hospital visits which fortunately turned up (next to) nothing and I'm fine now.

My two sisters and their partners plus my mum and dad came for a visit last Sunday to see the snowdrops which are on the land adjacent to our house belonging to the farm. I made lunch for us all so there was eight of us altogether. It's a good job Sandy (one of my sisters) made dessert - a lovely chocolate orange trifle - don't think I would've had time! This is a photograph my husband took (of the snowdrops, not the trifle!) - they have been out ever since the snow melted. Aren't they beautiful?

Monday, 2 March 2009

Emerald Reichenbach glass

A customer recently admired this pendant on the Sooz Jewels website and has commissioned me to make a pair of earrings for her with some Karen Hill Tribe silver beads and a dangly silver flower on the bottom that she supplied herself. But ... Trubble!!! (with a capital T!) I have run out of the Reichenbach green glass called Emerald that I need to make some more of the beads.

Reichenbach is a German glass company and my usual suppliers don't carry this particular colour. I just had the one rod which came in a sample pack. I put a plea out on the Frit-Happens forum and the lovely Beadysam, whose frit blends I use all the time, has come to the rescue! She says she has 5-6 rods she can sell to me so I am extremely grateful to her.