Hi! This site is an archive of my old craft blog. You can now find my new writing, and my two new shops, in their new homes: Patchwork Jackdaw for one-off, intricate jewellery pieces in muted colours, and Florence Loves Fridays for bold, chunky, quirky jewellery.
The Beachcomber necklace is made from selected contents from my box of Things, which were collected over many years, and not necessarily always intentionally. Originally the box was somewhere to put unrelated might-be-useful-one-day small objects; eventually it became more curated as I realised that all the bits and pieces might one day become new pieces of jewellery. And one day they did:
This necklace is a longer length than many of the necklaces I make, measuring 64.5cm. It’s made with upcycled twisty gold-toned chain from a broken necklace that I inherited from somewhere (a friend of a relative who was having a clearout and sent their broken things to me? Although this seems to happen so often that I don’t remember who it was, now…). There are all sorts of old and new, found and donated things attached – old coins, a ceramic miniature teapot, beads and buttons and charms, a ring, seashells and a wooden carving.
Necklaces like this one are among my favourite things to make because they’re unique, unconventional, and mostly recycled. (They’re also a useful conversation-starter when I wear them to parties.)
You can find out more about this necklace (or even buy it!) here.
I’ve just been updating the button drop earrings section of my button jewellery shop. For a long time I’ve been making button earrings with multiple buttons in rows, or stacked on top of each other, like this…
…and I’ve added a few new designs in these styles. But I also thought it was time for something new, and I’ve also added a whole bunch of more minimalist button earrings, made with just one quite small button on each earring hook. There are some made with the 9mm buttons I use for my stud earrings, in lots of different colours – plus a few with flower shaped buttons, and some made of wood. You can browse the whole collection here.
Last month I made an interesting bundle of custom wedding jewellery. Jenny from Kendal spotted my bunting necklaces with the map design, and got in touch to ask whether I could make some similar ones for her bridesmaids, but with maps of her chosen locations on the bunting pieces. She supplied me with map snippets as a pdf, which I printed out and used to make the necklaces.
On one side all the necklaces are the same, featuring places around Glaramara in the Lake District. These necklaces aren’t usually double sided, but these ones also have maps on the back of each piece – featuring places connected to each bridesmaid, so they’re all different.
I’ve been making bracelets from my hoard of beads and bits and pieces. The hoard came about for various reasons: one reason is that there are leftovers from previous beading projects; another is that sometimes pieces of my own jewellery have broken and never ended up being fixed, or were so badly broken that it wasn’t worth repairing them. Then there is the slightly weird reason that sometimes when I buy a stash of vintage buttons, or receive one as a donation, there are a few beads in with the buttons. This happens surprisingly often, I suppose because they’re a similar size and people tend to just shove them into their button tins for tidiness. My mum gives me piles of beads too – she seems to mysteriously acquire them as well (I think people give them to here on the basis that she is an Arty Person and thus will know what to do with them).
My latest bracelets are in the mixed media bracelets section. They’re made with memory wire, which is a useful type of wire that is flexible but also holds its shape, meaning the bracelet can stretch to fit different wrist sizes while still retaining a firm, round shape. It also means they don’t need to fasten at the ends, which means they’re really easy to put on and take off (and I am a great fan of bracelets that are easy to put on and take off without having to fiddle with clasps).
Each one is unique, although as they sell I am replacing them with new ones in similar colour schemes (until the beads run out, anyway!).
I have a whole load of these glass leaf beads leftover from another project – so they’ve become two different sets of glass leaf drop earrings. You can get them in green, or in amber.
The beads are lovely Czech glass, with the leaf veins filled with gold paint that has a kind of antiqued effect. You can choose between silver plated earring hooks as a budget option (£6) or solid sterling silver for £7.50.
In the accessories section, I’ve just added a collection of button purses. These are handmade from 100% cotton fabrics in various different prints, and decorated with buttons that co-ordinate with the fabrics and zips. The fabrics are a mix of spotty, floral and paisley designs. Each one is unique. You can browse the purses section here.
These purses are handy for holding loose change, business cards, receipts, store cards, bank cards and any other general bits and pieces that you might find in a larger bag and in need of containing. I keep several of them in my larger bags that I occasionally swap between – when I’m going for a long walk, I use one of these to hold a bit of cash and my keys inside a rucksack, rather than taking my entire handbag with all its day-to-day nonsense (I mean, I don’t need my Boots Advantage Card and eye-liner and train-ticket holder when I’m going for a walk…)
These might even work as a soft, unusual mobile phone case, if you have a phone that fits – they measure 13x8cm, or 5×3″.
Talking of the purse dimensions, it’s probably worth mentioning for the benefit of my American customers: I’m using the word “purse” in the British sense of the word, here – a small bag for holding coins, rather than a larger bag to hold everything (known here as a “handbag”). So make sure you check the measurements are going to be right for you before buying!
Back in February, I got a message from Heather in Lincolnshire. She had recently lost a favourite button necklace, which wasn’t one that I’d made – it was slightly different. The main difference was that it was one continuous piece, with no clasp, which she preferred because she is sensitive to metals. Given that there was no clasp, it was also slightly longer than most of the necklaces I make, so that it could fit over a person’s head to put it on. The colour scheme was also a bit different to any single one of my regular ones – Heather described it as a combination of my autumn colours necklace and vintage summer pastels necklace.
She asked if I could recreate this lost necklace – and thanks to her detailed description, I was able to make something that she said was very close to it. This is what it looked like:
Heather got in touch again last week and told me she’s still wearing it almost every day. She had a new commission for me too – she’d raided her mum’s button tin and wanted me to make another necklace using the buttons. So she posted them to me, and once they arrived, I made another one in the same style.
These necklaces are great for petite necklines and people who want something subtle and buttony. They also make good presents for children, who can wear them as a longer necklace when they are small (I’d suggest around age 8 and up) but also continue to wear them as they grow, as they still fit as a shorter necklace on an adult.
The buttons used to make these necklaces are usually between 8 – 11mm across, and the necklaces measure around 45cm (exact lengths are specified on individual listings).
You can browse my button necklace collection here.
I am quite proud of these because they are a physical viola joke.
As I’m a violist, I’ve been hearing viola jokes since I was seven years old. The idea is that viola players are not as intelligent as other musicians, but this is, of course. nonsense*.
These cufflinks are based on the following joke:
‘ A violinist noticed at the end of each rehearsal break, one of the violists would look at the inside flap of his jacket before he sat down to resume rehearsal. This continued for several decades, and the violinist became quite curious about it. One day, during hot weather, the violist took off his jacket and went off on break. The violinist waited until everyone was off the platform, looked around, and sneaked over to the jacket. He pulled back the flap and saw a little note pinned on the inside. It read: “viola left hand, bow right.” ‘