What was old is new again

Jewellery’s a funny thing. It’s one of those things that you really do react to instinctively. Maybe you’re out shopping, and you pass by a jewellers. Some days you’re indifferent to anything in the window. Other days you may see something you think is awful – gaudy, tacky, whatever. And sometimes you’ll just know that one piece is your piece, as if fate has finally brought you together. I felt that way about my unofficial wedding ring – we weren’t shopping for one, it’s not a traditional ring, but then again neither am I (hence being unofficially married).

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So it’s not a great surprise that, no matter what, we find it hard to let jewellery go. A necklace with a broken catch, a bracelet with missing links, the earring that has no matching partner. We can’t wear them, but we can’t let them go either.

I’m guilty of hanging on to all sorts of things that I’d probably be better off letting go – both material and emotional. Jewellery, letters, photos – things I should probably just keep in my head and heart. But decluttering is just the practical side of letting go. And that can be cathartic. So my mum and I gathered some old jewellery

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and with some earrings and a bit of necklace and some of my stash

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made a key/bag charm. Old to new, upcycling memories.

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The other bird’s nest

I’ve made a couple of these, one for me and one for a friend. It’s been a good way of experimenting with different thicknesses of wire – thicker works better than thinner. I like the browns and greens for the “eggs”. (Oh…eggs…maybe I’ll make some for Easter gifts…)
I am still struggling a bit with the jump ends though, but am having more success with some from one shop as opposed to another so it may not just be my inability (though if anyone has any jump end failsafe instructions I’ll gladly hear them!)

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And as for the other nest? Five eggs still present and correct. Keep watching.

Playing with prototypes

I’ve spent the last few days playing with prototypes, trying to come up with new designs, new ways of doing old things and just generally trying to learn new things. It’s not often I have enough time to do something like that, which somehow always feels a little like a waste of precious time as it’s not producing something you can give or sell. But I’ve had some enforced vacation time so amidst lots of pottering around achieving not very much, I’ve been playing.
I tend to do this with wool, for a couple of reasons. One, you can unpick wool when you go wrong, and when I’m trying new patterns and stitches I go wrong a lot. A huge lot. The other reason is that I have any amount of wool and its cheaper than wire. But also, once I’ve prototyped it’s nice to keep it for reference, or just for inspiration further down the line.
This is, I think, going to be a cross between a dreamcatcher and a wind-chime. The idea of making wind-chimes has gripped me recently, but I’m struggling on the actually chimey bit right now, so I’m concentrating on the top bit for the moment,, just envisage it in wire, with some tiny iridescent beads..

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This next one is a form of Bruge lace – totally new to me, but I think I’ve got it worked out right. Again, some beading would go on, maybe alternating inside and outside the loops, or just inside, in alternate pairs. Or maybe a big bead every three repeats or so. That’s half the fun, isn’t it – adding your own twist to things.

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FInally, a different direction. This started life as a ring, but the wire was too thick and bulky, I think. So I debated turning it into a pendant of some sort, but it felt like something was missing, so I added a little tear drop bead. I wasn’t overly keen on it but taking it out to photograph it this morning I’m liking it a bit more.

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The fun part is what Im going to do tonight, where I take my notebook, look at the design and try to decide where the beads go and how do I get them there!
What’s everyone else up to?

New Year, new post

The year’s come in with a bit of a bang, weather wise; it’s blowing a gale and raining fit to burst, so other than a run to the woodshed later, I’m staying inside looking out.

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So it’s a good reason/excuse to curl up under a blanket (it’s cold!) and look at the pretty for some inspiration.

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Lets hope some comes before I freeze!