Sunday, 30 January 2011

Deer Stalking

I went to Attingham Park last week for a lovely Sunday afternoon winter stroll. Hoping to see some deer, we walked through the copses and along the paths feeling a little let down by zero sightings until just as we were about to walk back to the house I saw some antlers on the horizon...

Friday, 28 January 2011


In the spirit of attempting to get back into a variety of crafts this year, I have been doodling.

These sketches are after the Portrait of Rosamund Croker by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Just what everyone needs... a Fortune Cookie trinket box!

How wonderful the postman is to bring me such a lovely random thing on this fair morn!

Apart from the fact that I am very pleased that I was in to answer the door, (thus preventing the hideous trek to the Post Office depot to collect this parcel) it is always nice to receive something shiny and wondrous at the start of the day!
I have no idea why I coveted this so much on or what I will do with it really but I have lovingly polished the silver plating and popped it in a zip up bag for the moment to protect it. I'm wondering whether it has some sort of magical ability to bring good fortune like The Queen's Nose or Aladdin's lamp? The Made in China sticker inside dampens this possibility but perhaps if I write something on a little slip of paper and place it inside that thing will come to pass? Gold coins could start appearing by the bucket load, a wonderful commission could drop into my lap and pay for me to go on holiday or Johnny Depp could come into my place of work and say hello!

I think I'll try it and will report back if anything happens, although if a genie pops out and grants me three wishes I may be too busy travelling the world to let you know! ;-D

Treasure Hunting...

Sometimes I wonder whether I was a pirate in a past life because (and I quote Captain Jack Sparrow) "I'm really obsessed with treasure!"

Recently I've been trying to expand my collection of vintage brooches by trawling vintage fairs looking for a particular maker, the mysterious 'BJL'. There are some personal reasons for why I love these brooches largely inspired by my Great Grandmother's collection of extremely sparkly costume brooches that used to captivate me as a child but I specifically love BJL because my Gran once found me an enamelled peacock brooch by BJL on a market stall years ago and I've always loved the tiny marcasite stones and the swirling green blue enamelling.

There's something about vintage jewellery that is very inspiring as a jewellery designer not least because it has survived the test of time and I wonder sometimes whether my designs will hold that magic for someone else in the future. Whether these brooches are desirable objects and are worth something in monetary value, to me it doesn't really matter because if I like something that much, I am going to keep it because selling it would leave me with that feeling of loss that everyone feels when they lose a treasured piece of jewellery with sentimental value. I almost feel that it is my responsibility to make sure that these little jewels survive another fifty years!

I do sell some of my vintage finds but I suspect that I will keep a hoard for myself as there is that element of a treasure seeker and collector to my personality that derives pleasure from finding something beautiful and using it as inspiration to attempt to create other beautiful things. Often times, a good story and a hint of mystery behind a piece of jewellery is worth as much as the piece itself!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

New Year New Crafts!

Happy New Year to everyone!

I am trying some new crafts out for 2011 to expand my repertoire and after a successful vintage shopping expedition I have managed to locate a lovely tweedy vintage skirt that is the right colour to set off a bright orange leaping fox that I have needle felted directly onto the fabric. I had this idea quite a long time ago but haven't really been able to find the right sort of skirt until today. I have ordered some new needle felting wool so hopefully there will be some more felted designs in the future including brooches inspired by my original drawings and perhaps some little whimsical art doll type things.

It's nice to try something new for the New Year to beat those January blues! :D