Thursday, 31 July 2008

Repurposeful Crafts

As a varied artist and designer/maker, I like to work in a variety of media. Therefore, reclaimed materials are an important part of what I do, as I take inspiration from what I find.

I love using reclaimed materials in my work. The idea of giving new life to an old, unwanted piece of jewellery intrigues me. I take the bus up to Stourbridge and scour the charity shops for interesting old jewellery to repurpose into new.


These second-hand pieces have their own unique qualities, which bring something different to a new creation. The style that these old pieces of jewellery already have can inspire the style of new piece. For example, the original look of the second-hand beaded chain in these necklaces inspired the forms that the finished pieces eventually took:

PeachyHeartModelled Long Beaded Chain Necklace With Star Details

My love of salvage means that you can expect to find reused chain, beads, and other found materials in many of my items (search "repurposed" in my shop for a few of those).

As well as salvaging jewellery for its aesthetic qualities, I am also interested in reusing materials for environmental reasons. I believe that reusing is the best form of recycling, as it is the best way to reduce waste. I feel that it is important to protect the environment by reusing and recycling wherever I can. The reusing of materials is something that I am committed to, not only in my work but also at home. Old sauce jars become containers for paintbrushes, old cereal boxes are cut up to become magazine files, old fruit containers become containers for craft supplies, the list goes on. I think the old adage of "Waste not, want not" is a great one to follow.



Posting the above in a couple of other blogs on Sunday made me want to do a bit of thrift shopping. So yesterday I popped into Stourbridge and bought a few things from the charity shops:


Beaded Bracelet 2

Earlier today I finished a necklace, which started life as the above bracelet. I took the bracelet apart, then put it together as one long chain:

Emerald Heart in progress

I then added a beaded heart and vintage Lucite charms, and created this piece:

Emerald Heart - a beaded steel pendant on thrifted chain

To hang from the thrifted steel chain, I created a beaded heart pendant from steel wire and emerald green glass beads. This heart measures 6cm (just under 2.5") high and is 5cm (2") high. The whole necklace measures 56cm (22") long, although it can be as short as you like, as the lobster clasp can be fastened through any of the chain's links. Find it for sale here.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Another new shop - Folksy

I've recently joined a new site called Folksy. It's still in its beta infancy, just like Etsy was not so long ago. The best bit about it is that it's UK based. So finally I can list my items in pounds, yay!

Click below for my Folksy shop:

folksy blog logo2
(button made by the lovely KMC, hurrah)

I've adopted Folksy as the new home for my tree sculptures. Here's what I've listed there so far:

Forest Gnarled

Monday, 14 July 2008

Truly Handmade - a craft fair

On Saturday the 19th of July, I'll be at a craft fair in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. It's called Truly Handmade, and has been organised by fellow UK Etsian LittleGemsUK. For sale at the fair, there will be jewellery, bags, cards, candles, food and more from some fine West Midlands artisans. There will also be refreshments provided, so come along to St James’ Church Hall in Mere Green for a great day out. Opening times are 10am-3pm.

Visit the website for more information:

Truly Handmade

Monday, 7 July 2008

Organised Chaos - The To-Do List

For someone with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, I'm extremely messy. But within that mess there will be little obsessively organised bits. Things like organising CDs in alphabetical order. Although I don't do that any more, it's a good example of things I do to try and feel like I have some control over my chaos. Another example is the making of lists. This also has to do with having a bad memory - if I don't write it down I forget it. So, with that in mind, I shall write my to-do list before I forget:

Organise the studio:
Throw away/ give to Flickr swap group/ give to charity/ sell what I don't need
Work out some storage solutions for what I do need to keep
A place for everything and everything in its place

Sideboard 5th Feb files

Get ready for craft fair:
Work out how display will look - table will be 6ft x 2.5ft
Visit charity shops for inexpensive displays
Possibly visit venue for ideas

Work out brand identity:
Good marketing
Good photos - less nonsense on Flickr!
Darker images on pinboard for inspiration
Stop trying to follow fashion!

Pinboard 27/05/08

Get a job

Lose weight

blah blah blah :)

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Secret Swap

I recently participated in the fabulous UK Secret Swap. Organized by UK people on Etsy, the UK Secret Swap is similar to a secret Santa idea. Basically, all that want to take part tell the organizer, then he finds out from them what type of item they would like to receive. Then, from this information, he works out who should get something from which seller. Each person makes something to send to the person they're allocated, and each person also receives a handmade item for themselves. If that makes sense!

I sent out a beaded heart to the lovely designsbylucy:

Secret Swap thing

And received a gorgeous tiara from the fabulous bizzybeetrinkets:

It was rather exciting getting the package. She'd put little hand-drawn flower stickers on it:

Secret Swap Flowers 2

And when I opened it up there was, in this beautiful little box,

Secret Swap Box

a little tiara,

Secret Swap Tiara

and a little pin:

Secret Swap Pin

I have no idea when I will wear this tiara, apart from modelling it for Flickr photos of course,

Headwear Wednesday 1 - Fairy

Headwear Wednesday 1 - Fairy

but, as Bee says in the thank you note, "I know a tiara isn't the most practical of items but I wear mine when washing up and you have such fabby hair that I couldn't help but make you one." Bless her :D