Monday, 28 September 2009

weekend pictures

I've been draining camera batteries like nothing else this weekend...

I am in the process of reshooting the pictures of my jewellery and I'm really pleased with the darker background, the colours really pop! I also had to stop and take some obligatory pictures of the cats enjoying the last bit of sunshine.

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Friday, 25 September 2009

bits and bobs of news..

Just a few things happening in my Etsy shop right now...

Firstly two new items are back after a looooong time away. They were previous named 'Sorbet' bracelet and earrings but I've changed the name to 'Amber Leaves' for the Autumn! :)

I also have a sale on some of my summer items, from $10, they'll only be up for a week so catch a bargain whilst you can! The sale includes these beautiful Reef Earrings made with rare lampwork flowers, they are $12 in the sale, reduced from $24.

And.... whilst I still have some breath...

I am participating in Weekend Deals on Etsy - there is 15% off in my shop this weekend! See my Etsy shop for more details. :)

Have a lovely weekend!
I'll be back soon with more news about my soldering adventures and some autumnal recipes..


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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Adventures with soldering - part one

Ever since I bought a butane torch to make my own headpins I've been thinking about trying out soldering. I really want to bring more metalwork into my designs and make my jewellery components as handmade by me as possible.

It was much easier than I thought, as long as you've got the kit you are ok. I went for solder paste which is very easy to use.

I thought I'd start with brass first, mainly because it was cheaper, and formed a few simple circles - like the connectors I often buy.

They turned out really well and the joint was actually quite neat considering it was my first attempt. The only bit where I went wrong was pickling the sooty residue off the brass, I accidently added steel (my pliers) to the pickle and it bought the copper out in the brass, so it went bright pink!

The pink colour is actually very nice and I've made a simple necklace for myself to wear, its lovely for everyday.

I'll be practicing lots and lots and hope to bring some handformed loops in different shapes to my shop, with and without vintage components.

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Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Fond of filigrees...

I really love these filigrees, they do add such a unique element to my shop, I hope you like them too. I have lots of different colours and designs in my etsy shop and more to come too!

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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Orange Drizzle Cupcakes

I've been neglecting the food side of things for a while but fear not, I am back, with more drizzle cakes!
We've recently started getting a fruit and veg box from the lovely people at Abel and Cole , in an effort to eat more veg and also maybe because they have a little special offer on :)

I'm not a big orange eater, so I was a bit disappointed when we received 4 big oranges in our box (something I forgot to add into my dislikes list) this week, but then my thoughts turned to cake and all was well!

I make lemon drizzle cake a lot, its easy and tasty and I generally have the ingredients in the cupboard/fridge. I've been meaning to try orange drizzle cake for a while, its just as easy and just as tasty.

Orange Drizzle Cupcakes
makes about 20 - 22 cupcakes

for the cake:
200g self raising flour (or plain flour with 2 tsp of baking powder mixed in)
200g butter, softened
200g brown or caster sugar
2 medium eggs
zest of 2 large oranges
1 tsp cinnamon

juice of 1/2 orange

for the icing:
juice of 1 1/2 oranges
juice of 1/2 lemon
icing sugar - approx 4 tbsp

Cream butter and sugar, add the eggs. Zest the orange and mix into bowl with juice of orange. Stir in flour and cinamonn until all combined.

Spoon into a cupcake tray lined with cases. Bake on middle shelf at gas mark 5 for about 10 - 15mins until golden and cooked through.

Normally lemon drizzle cakes require you to wait til the cakes are completely cool to ice them, but I find that you don't need to so much with cupcakes. Allow them to cool slightly for a few minutes.

Mix the sugar in slow with the orange, sifting through a tea strainer to make it nice and fine. I normally use a fork or a whisk so the icing isn't lumpy. You may need more or less icing sugar than I have said above, depending on the juiceness of your oranges and lemon! Mix until it has a consistency like double cream.

Prick the cupcakes lightly with a fork or small knife. Brush or spoon the icing over the cakes generously.


I was really pleased with how these came out, I may add a little more lemon next time to counter the sweetness and give it a slightly more citrus flavour. This is not very cheffy or even food blogger-y but you could use a tiny bit of from concentrate orange juice to up the orange flavour a little.


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Monday, 7 September 2009

Etsy Anniversary Competition - A winner!

Congratulations to.....


You have won my giveaway and your necklace will be winging its way to you shortly :)
Picked at random using

Thank you to everyone who entered and joined my mailing list, I'll be sending out a newsletter very soon with some lovely discounts for my mailing list subscribers.



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Friday, 4 September 2009

starry night... sneaky peek

Not sure where the inspiration came from, but I have two new night sky inspired pieces for my Etsy shop.

I'll be listing these later on today, so happy to have new things after a bit of a drought this week!

I am also offering 15% off this weekend!

.... and don't forget to enter my giveaway, win a necklace!


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Thursday, 3 September 2009

Damson Vodka

I've been innocently making jam from our garden plums lately but I had something altogether more interesting for our Damsons. My neighbour mentioned that they make a wickedly good damson gin and I've had it in my thoughts since the spring blossom!

They finally ripened a couple of weeks ago (yes I have been lax in my food blogging ;)) and I rushed almost immediately out and bought a nice bottle of vodka for them. We aren't big gin drinkers so we went for the more neutral option of vodka, hoping for more of a fruity taste than a gin taste.

This is a very very easy recipe, the work of moments, really. I used the recipe on Cottage Smallholder (one of my favourite small holding type blogs).

All you do is prick the fruit, add it to a kilner jar, pour on some sugar and then the spirit. Seal up the jar and shake well. Keep the jar in a dark cool place, shake the jar every day until the sugar dissolves (usually about 3-4days). Taste a nip after a week to see if the sugar is right, add a little more if its too sharp and redo the shaking thing.

We are going to drain out the fruit and bottle it to have at Christmas time, although the recipe does recommend you strain the fruit after 3 months and mature for upto a year. Not sure we can wait that long!

I can't wait to try this, its going to be perfect on a cold Christmassy evening.

UPDATE : We bottled the Vodka just before Christmas and took it down to test it out on our relatives! The resultant vodka was just as a expected, fruity and far too easy to drink. I'll definitely be making this next year!

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Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Etsy Anniversary Giveaway and Sale!

Competition now closed!

On September 5th I am coming up to two years as an Etsy Seller!

To celebrate I am running a competition and also a sale in my Etsy shop.
Until Monday 7th I am offering 15% off all purchases in my Etsy shop - click here for more details.

I am giving away a FREE Two Lockets necklace to one lucky person. It has been my best selling jewellery design and one that I love to wear myself too!

Competition now closed! I will be announcing the winner in a new blog post :)

You will also become part of my mailing list, I send newsletters out no more than twice a month, they contain news about my products and special discounts for my Etsy shop.

Competition closes at at 12 noon Monday 7th September. I'll be picking the winner at random on the 7th September. I'll announce the winner and here also contact you by email.

Thank you for entering! :)


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