Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Am I messy?

I asked this question of myself when I was reading Amy's ReFinds blog. I "met" Amy through the Upcyclers team on Etsy.

So .. am I messy? I took these pictures of my indoor studio where I make my jewellery and the answer is ... when I'm working, most definitely!

I have another studio in my garden where I do my soldering and melt glass for beads which I've featured in here before. Basically that's for hot work -  if it burns down, the house is safe! I had a big tidy up in there over the christmas holidays and so basically looks as tidy as it was in the last photograph. (That won't last!)

This blog entry has been featured in the Etsy teamUpcyclers Love 2 Upcycle blog under their Blogs 2 Love section. My infamy spreads!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Wedding jewellery

My heart confetti arrived through the post this morning and so I've been photographing the jewellery I made with the recycled Rosé bottle beads.
These have all been listed in my Etsy shop. The plan is to be back at my stall at Cambridge's Art & Craft market from next Saturday onwards (if the weather forecast is dodgy though, I probably won't be there until February) and so I'll have them with me there too.

I celebrated my first Etsy sale yesterday! I changed my shop over to dollars and also introduced free worldwide shipping, I'm not sure which of the two things tipped my luck but I'm glad whichever it was! A lovely jewellery designer in the USA purchased a set of etched Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry beads. We both think that these will look great with the seaglass that she mainly works with. This is a market I wouldn't have reached but for Etsy so I'm hap-hap-happy! I have missed the buzz of making sales on my stall and am also looking forward to being back out there amongst my customers.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Recycled lampwork beads now available to buy

I've made a small selection of my recycled glass beads available for sale in my Etsy Shop.
As well as the etched Bombay Sapphire beads shown in the photograph, I have also added listings for beer bottle beads (Poachers, specially drunk by DH), sherry bottles and Perrier Water beads. Still to come are some beads made from Cava bottles and unetched Bombay Sapphire.

I have made some bridal jewellery with the Rosé bottle beads which I'm excited about but I'm holding off photographing them just for the time being as I'm waiting for a prop to come in the post to make the pics more "weddingy". All will be revealed here first! I've used up all the beads I made but I will be making more so I'll add a set of those in the course of the next few days too.

So why start selling beads now? I've been asked at various times since I started Sooz Jewels via e-mail and on my Saturday stall if I would consider selling them to other jewellery designers and my answer til now has always been an apologetic no but I have changed my mind. I've always thought that I would get bored with making more than I actually need myself and I do find that other lampwork beads are more interesting to make.

Having said that, I have been making recycled beads quite a lot lately and found it relaxing. If I do get a little bored, I watch the birds through my studio window, I have a strategically placed bird table and feeders especially for this. They absolutely love the sunflower seeds that I've been putting out for them (ready shelled so there's less mess). They fly in, pick one up and then fly off to eat it. A few seconds later, they're back for another ... I would get terrible indigestion if I ran around inbetween mouthfuls. It made me wonder what birds use instead of Rennies ...

Monday, 17 January 2011

New recycled beads (Rosé wine bottle)

This is a new colour for me for my upcycled/recycled range, this time I used a Rosé wine bottle which had clear glass to show the colour of the pinky wine inside. Unlike Bombay Sapphire where it's the bottle that is the lovely colour, in this instance, the glass is clear and remarkably "clean" for glass from melted bottles.

I think it looks lovely etched as it is here and I can envisage some beautiful bridal pieces using them - keep a look out for new jewellery soon!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

New kiln; I think I love the FedEx man

My new kiln arrived just before lunchtime. It's a diddy little thing compared to the old one, teeny but I never used to fill up the old one anyway; I tend to make beads for about 4 hours at a time and this will easily take half a day's lampwork output.

I've been going crackers without my kiln this week. I even feebly tried turning on my Paragon in the hope that the christmas rest had done it some good and it would suddenly work again. Never mind, now my new one is here, I can finally make some more beads! I made a sandwich and read the manual cover to cover whilst eating it (yes I am THAT sort of person!)

I was just about to take it out to the studio to give it a trial run and the power went off in the house and possibly the entire village. The people in the big house opposite are having some work done and I have a feeling their workmen did something. I couldn't believe it! How unlucky am I?!

By the time it came back on again, it was time for me to make dinner, we are having lamb stew tonight and as it takes at least a couple of hours to cook, I was chopping and browning instead of playing with my kiln. It's bubbling away nicely on the stove now but we'll be eating in an hour or so, I really want to sit and hold it's hand on its first run through to make sure everything is AOK so I think it'll be tomorrow before I know whether I love my new kiln as much as I do the FedEx man who brought it to me.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Modified photography set up

I've added to the photography set up I wrote about last year. I've been reasonably happy with the photographs I was taking with it but even so, they were still much better if I opened the studio door and let in some natural light. I really wanted something that was independent of the time of day or weather. Hence I've invested in another OTT light and a softbox to replace the amateurish piece of paper. I've also purchased some different coloured card backgrounds cut to fit the softbox.

I think my jewellery photography is improving; I'm really pleased with this photograph of a recycled beer bottle and copper necklace, taken today (flat, dull, very overcast and breezy). The necklace will be on sale in my Etsy shop this afternoon!

Thursday, 6 January 2011


Another New Year's Resolution has been ticked off the list; I am now on Facebook! Just click the link to the left to see.  I have sent out some Friend requests to some people that I know have Facebook pages (and even had some replies already!)

If any of my readers/followers would like to request me as a friend, please do so and I'll add you next time I'm on-line :-)

I was in DH's diary yesterday; he was going to take me to Stoke to pick up a new kiln from Kiln Care (a couple hours drive) so I can get back to beadmaking but I got postponed til today ... and now he can't go again so I think I'll order one to be couriered. I'm not cross, I'm glad he's got the work and is busy (especially as I'm not earning anything this month!) The Art and Craft market isn't open again til 22nd January and I'm planning on being back a couple of weeks after that so it's not urgent but I am worried that I'm forgetting how to melt glass!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Messin' aroun'

I've been playing with Etsy this afternoon. I rephotographed all the earrings I have in stock made with Bombay Sapphire lampwork beads and have listed them in the my new Etsy shop. Then I read up about this thing called a Treasury. People seem to like it when they get included in one and seeing as I'm so new, I thought I'd be unlikely to be featured so soon so I made one myself in my company colour of aquamarine. I only included one of my own items, all the rest are things I like which are in Etsy and are either aquamarine colour or its close cousin, turquoise. It's called Aquamarine Dreams Hope you like it too!

I'll be adding the rest of the range of recycled/upcycled earrings very soon:
  • Cava bottle
  • Perrier water bottle
  • Harveys Bristol Cream sherry
Coming soon (when I get my new kiln): jewellery made from upcycled wine bottles and the much anticipated return of the beer bottle.