Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Autumn is here......and I'm back blogging about my latest jewellery and my pets!

Polymer Clay Pendant on Satin Cord

 Well, it's been absolutely ages since I last blogged...May in fact. I cannot believe it is 5 months since my last post, or that it is 'autumn 2013' already. Where has the year gone?

The last time I wrote a blog post I had just got another little furry friend - Maisie the kitten. She is now 6 months old and went for her spay yesterday (I felt so fact I made my husband take her to the vets as I felt so guilty). She has made a full recovery from her op and has been back to her naughty little self today. I have been trying to photograph all my new stock - I have literally loads of new jewellery that I have been working hard making over the past 6 months and I want it all to go onto my Etsy shop over the next few days! As you can see from the photos below my cats weren't exactly helping me with the mammoth task. For some reason they always want to come and sit on my desk when I have set up to photograph my work! I think they like the warmth from the lights.
Poppy - my 2 year old ginger girl.

 This happens everytime I try and do photos. The photo below (with little Maisie) was actually taken a couple of months ago : the last time I had an unproductive morning trying to photograph my work!

Maisie appeared from nowhere...only realised she was there when her paw entered the shot!
I actually took this photo a few months ago but I just love it!

I now have three cats : 2 year old Poppy; Dexter, my black and white rescue boy (I think he is about 18 months)who someone dumped in a garage over Christmas last year; and Maisie - the 6 month old tortoiseshell tabby aka 'naughty tortie'.


Anyway, I was supposed to be talking about my jewellery.....I always seem to get sidetracked talking about my animals! I will leave you with a few photos of my latest designs..........Thanks for reading my waffle ;) lots of love, Anna xxx

Blue crystal cascade earrings

'Victoria' necklace with garnet, pearls and Swarovski crystals

'Jade Lily' necklace with jade, pearls and aventurine.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Tiaras, Headbands and Combs

'Starburst' Headband with Pink Swarovski Crystals

Well, as briefly mentioned in yesterdays blog post....which got totally overshadowed by 8 week old Maisie....I have started making various head pieces. I think most of this range is bridal inspired so far but there is no reason why my creations cannot be worn to proms or parties as statement pieces. I have absolutely loved making these....although it has been very time-consuming trying to get it all perfect. Enough wire wrapping to ensure it is secure and won't fall apart but not so much that it looks messy and amateurish. It really is harder than it looks. 

The First Poppy Tiaras Range
 One thing about this range is that the pieces are really difficult to photograph. It's really hard to capture the sparkliness of the Swarovski crystals.....there really is loads of sparkle on these pieces. They look fantastic under the lights that I use on my stall but I don't think these pictures (and no doubt my lack of photography skills) really do them justice.

I have made a selection of tiaras, headbands and combs with all sorts of complimetary necklaces, earrings, bracelets etc and I haven't had so much fun in ages. The thing I like most about the tiaras is that there is so many places to go with them.....the sky really is the limit. I have mainly used Swarovski crystals and creamy or white pearls so far....although I have loads more ideas for new designs.

For now I will leave you with a few photos of my pieces, hope you like them .... xxx

Purple Flowers Headband/Tiara

Crystal and Pearl Comb

Lilac and White Pearl Comb

Add caption

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Maisie the Kitten......and my new bridal jewellery

 Maisie the Kitten

Well good afternoon on this horrible rainy Tuesday here in Manchester! Although it's absolutely pouring down outside I am blissfully happy indoors with my new kitten.....little Maisie. Isn't she beautiful? I saw her picture in Gumtree and just fell in love with her.....I guess this is a prime example of why looking at adverts of homeless animals is a bad end up wanting them all! Anyway, we collected her last weekend and she is now 9 weeks old. I am completely in love with her...she's absolutely adorable. I have always wanted a little tabby kitten. She's so bold and confident and super playful (and greedy). She reminds me very much of my Sandy when she was a kitten....very similar in personality indeed. My existing 2 cats have taken to her really well. Dexter was fine straightaway and was eager to play with her. He is probably about 10 months - a year old now (he was a rescue kitten so not sure exactly how old he was when we found him). He has been so sweet....he chases Maisie but away of her tiny size, jumps over her when he catches her, rather than maul her and fight like he does with Poppy. We have had a couple of minor incidents where he has forgotten himself and got carried away in the excitement and got a bit rough but apart from that...all is good. Poppy, who will be 2 in August, took a day or so longer to come round but by Tuesday evening they were all sleeping on the bed together : 

 ....and her and Poppy even sat on the couch together watching tv :

....and my new bridal jewellery

Poppy Designs Bridal Range

 ....and almost as an aside after my beautiful little kitten.....I have spent quite a while lately creating a bridal range. I think I shall do a seperate blog post about it later in the week as let's face it.....there's nothing more beautiful than an 8 week old kitten! lol! Here is a picture of my first creations : tiaras, headbands and combs. I have used mainly pearls and Swarovski crystals to create these pieces. They are surprisingly difficult to photograph so I will invest some energy into getting some good pictures and will post in more detail later in the week......

Monday, 13 May 2013

Craft Fair Displays and Making Friends with Animals

I have been exhibiting at craft fairs and shows for quite a while now yet I still feel that I haven't got my display 'just right'. Over what I call the winter break (I do not do fairs from Christmas until April) I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the most out of my display. The cost of the table space seems to be on the increase and there is no doubt those sales are harder and harder to come by, so I decided to make the most of my display space. I think lots of height and levels make the stall more interesting to the public. I have my acrylic cube displays at each end of the stall (I used to have a big cube display in the centre of my stand but found that it was harder to interact and engage with people from behind a huge display) and then a tiered section in the middle. This is the first time I have tried this set up and it seems to work. I suppose time will tell whether or not the display is attracting people over to look at all my goodies. 

Cute chickens

Me with Sandy and Ginger the chickens!

Last weekend, complete with new display, I exhibited at Capesthorne Hall. One of my best friends lives nearby so I called in after the fair to visit him and his new pets - 8 chickens! I had no idea chickens were so friendly. The one I am holding is called Sandy! (I thought for a moment that Adrian had named her after my beloved and much missed SandyCat.....but apparently she already had the name). Anyway, my friend and his boyfriend have created this fantastic allotment where they are growing all their own vegetables and have these friendly chickens as pets.......I have been assured that these ARE pets and used only to lay eggs. I have been totally put off eating chicken now after stroking these sweet little animals.

Chickens aren't the only animals I have picked up for the first time this week either. I paid another very dear friend a visit last night and she has just got 2 baby rabbits : Humbug and Domino.....
Beautiful Baby Bunny 

 .....I now don't want to give my cats rabbit cat food! lol! Speaking of my cats, whilst I am posting lots of animal pics here are a couple of my two furbabies :

Poppy helping me with my creations

Dexter - was actually sitting on the back of my chair overseeing my designs!

Seeing as it is supposed to be Handmade Monday, as always organised by the fabulous Wendy over at Handmade Harbour I guess I should post a couple of photos of my makes this week! I have always used Swarovski crystals ever since I started making jewellery and they feature in some way, shape or form in pretty much ALL my designs. I just love the fact I even had Swarovski crystals on my wedding dress when I got married last year. I have just started expanding into hair pieces etc so here is a photo of my first go at headbands with sparkling Swarovski crystals

....on that note I am off to read what all the other participants of Handmade Monday have been up to with a nice coffee and a rest......... xxxx

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year....Goodbye my beloved Sandy

Sandy Neill : 23rd April 1996 - 20th November 2012

Well, it's been a long time since I have felt able to write my blog with a new name....

This isn't due to lupus, or time is due to the very sad loss of my beloved Sandy on 20th November. Sadly, at 16 years and 7 months of age my beautiful Sandy lost her fight with diabetes and renal failure and suffered a cardiac arrest at the vets. It was the saddest day of my life so far and seeing as she has been such a huge part of my life for so long it has taken a lot of coming to terms with. She's been my best friend since childhood and for the first time as an adult I am facing life without her. I am going to keep this post brief as I still find it so hard to talk about her.....but I will say :

 Goodbye my beautiful Sandy, my best friend and I will miss you so much. Thank you for all the happy times and rest in peace you beautiful, adored animal xxx