Tuesday, 26 January 2010

UK Handmade Valentines Gift Guide

The UK Handmade Valentines Gift Guide is out, lots of beautiful handmade gifts for her and for him!

My Loveheart Necklace is featured amongst the jewellery finds - click on the picture above to visit it!

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Valentines Giveaway Winner!

I am pleased to annouce the winner of my Valentines Giveaway!!

The Poppy Earrings go to Kirsty Ware.

Congratulations :)
I will be in touch via email too.

Thank you to everyone for entering, I will be sending out a newsletter very soon with a very special discount for my subscribers.


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Monday, 25 January 2010

Mosaic Monday - European Street Team

I've just joined the European Street Team on Etsy, my Monday Mosaic is a lovely selection of finds from members of the team.
Olga Blouse by Floremarkshop from Sweden
Pick Me No.1 Necklace by Green River Studio from the UK
The Totoro Gang by sabahnur from Turkey
Free Mini Art by Art Mind from Belgium

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Sunday, 24 January 2010

gorilla photography

I've been wishing to improve my necklace and modelled shots lately and my Christmas gift of a gorillapod was just what I needed.

I definitely think that having photographs of necklaces being worn really helps sales of them, as people can see the size properly, more so than any kind of necklace bust.

I had a good photography session yesterday afternoon, I set up my camera in front of a small mirror next to the window, with my camera on the gorillapod.

I'm so pleased with how my new necklace photographs look, definitely more steady than me trying to take a picture with my arms held out in front of me. Or worse trying to balance my camera on something precarious!

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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Blooms in my shop!

My shops are blooming with lots of beautiful vintage glass flowers, I do love all of these -they are so interesting and pretty.

See my Etsy shop for the full collection and my All Things Original shop for a selection.

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Friday, 22 January 2010

Creative Boom

I recently came across a website called Creative Boom, featuring artists, musicians and other creative exploits in various towns and cities around the UK.

I have been lucky enough to be featured by one of the writers, Karen Jinks, as a local jewellery artist in Cambridge.


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Thursday, 21 January 2010


Becoming a jeweller has also led naturally to an interest in photography, I'm nowhere near the heights of some of my favourites on Flickr but I do like capturing something interesting, or something average making an interesting photo.

I heard about blipfoto journalling about a month ago from some other crafters who had joined and I've been trying to work on photographs not related to jewellery. I take ALOT of pictures of jewellery but not enough of things that just catch my eye.

Hope you will come and find me on blipfoto! And maybe even join, its fun!

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010


I love making long necklaces, its nice to have a long (pardon the pun) project to do, and they make lovely sitting on the sofa type beading.

This necklace is made from my favourite luxurious chunky brass chain which is adorned with little pink daises, glass saucers and two rare vintage chandelier crystals.

Cotton Candy Necklace now in my Etsy Shop


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Monday, 18 January 2010

Mosaic Monday - Twitchers

Some lovely finds from the United Kingdom inspired by birds!

L - R - Textured Chick Earrings by Joanna Rutter ; Let out Love Valentines Moleskine by Champignons ; His 'n' Hers Tweets by Feltmeupdesigns ; Silver Bird with Wing Necklace by AliBaliJewellery

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Work in progress..

Some pictures from weekend crafting, working on a lovely long necklace. The design is also flexible so you can loop it twice round your neck or lots of times around your wrist for a chunky bracelet.

Listing later on today on Etsy!

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Saturday, 16 January 2010

Chorizo Meatballs & Black Bean Stew

This is definitely something that is going to become a staple in my house. It is wonderful when the weather is cold and one of those recipes that is very easy to put together after a long day.

I have used proper chorizo in the past and this works well although I find fresh sausages flavoured with smoked paprika and chili makes for a lovely chorizo-y flavour, and I find the meat much more tender than normal chorizo. If you can find them some supermarkets and good butchers sell chorizo style spiced fresh sausages which save you a bit of time.

I have recently discovered the merits of black beans too, I much prefer them to the floury old kidney bean that is normally used. I used canned beans, very easy to find something to do with them in a fix. They are lovely spiced & stuffed into tortillas for enchiladas and added to chili or any kind of stew that needs bulking up.

Chorizo Meatball & Black Bean Stew - Serves 2

4 fresh pork sausages
smoked paprika - 2 tsp

clove of garlic - finely chopped or minced
1/2 onion - finely sliced
generous glass of red wine
about half can of chopped or plum tomatoes
tomato puree
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
dash of cayenne
dash of chili flakes or chili powder - to your own taste
1/2 tbsp worcester sauce
fresh thyme
fresh coriander
1 can of black beans, drained

First of all you need to make your sausage meatballs.
Meatballs made from sausage meat are great when you are in a hurry, you can use fresh mince and add seasoning, breadcrumbs, eggs etc but I find fresh sausages are great because they are already well seasoned, with a good amount of fat for tenderness and hold their shape very well.

Remove your sausages from the casings into a bowl. Add in your smoked paprika, don't be afraid to add it all, you want your sausages to have that deep chorizo flavour from the paprika. If you have found fresh chorizo style sausages then you don't need to do this.
Shape into meatballs and set aside.

Heat up a large saucepan and add olive oil. Fry the onion in olive oil until soft, add the garlic after a few minutes and fry for a minute or so before adding your sausage meatballs. Brown your meatballs for a few minutes. Make sure the heat is up high and everything is sizzling away nicely - add in your wine- be generous, the red wine makes for a beautiful rich sauce.

Simmer away the alcohol for about 3-5 minutes, then add in a squirt of tomato puree, your spices, herbs and worcester sauce. Blitz up your chopped or plum tomatoes until they are smooth and add to the pan.

Simmer slowly for about 15-20minutes, making sure the sauce doesn't get too thick - if it does before the meatballs are cooked through then add a little bit of water to keep it going until it is done.

Serve with a little grated mature cheddar or soured cream on top and with a nice chunk of fresh bread.

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Friday, 15 January 2010

Valentines Giveaway!

oooh time for a giveaway...

Inspired by all things romantic, lovey dovey, red, pink and sweet I am running a valentines giveaway!

WIN a free pair of Poppy Earrings

A sweet pair of lipstick red flower earrings on sterling silver earwires made with love by me.
All you need to do is join my mailing list, you can sign up right here.

Competition Closed - Winner to be Announced!

Along with a competition entry you will also be subscribed to my newsletters which contain lovely special discounts and news about my jewellery.
I'll be sending out my next newsletter right after the competition ends with a great special discount for all my subscribers!

I will pick a winner at random from my list of new subscribers on the 25th January.

Lots of time for your prize to arrive before Valentines Day. I will email you to let you know if you have won.

(existing subscribers can also enter, just leave a comment and your email address in my blog comments).

Thank you for entering!

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Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I crave things often and suddenly, but normally they go away fairly quickly to be replaced by another craving. Sometimes I crave something for days and this is when I have to make it at all costs.

This time it was sticky toffee pudding. I've never made it myself before but it was only going to be a matter of time. I searched around and found this recipe by David Lebowitz and also this version of his recipe on Ginger Tablet which was happily in grams rather than cups too.

This is just the kind of food you need when the roads are covered in ice and the house just won't heat up, it really does feel like it sticks to your ribs (and your arteries).

Sticky Toffee Pudding - adapted from David Lebowitz & Ginger Tablet
I roughly halved the Ginger Tablet recipe, made a couple of variations and we got four very generous helpings.

for the cake:

250g dried dates, chopped
100g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
50g butter, softened
80g granulated sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
50ml milk

for the toffee sauce:

100g muscovado sugar
25g butter, diced
100ml double, heavy cream
1tbsp golden syrup

Put your chopped dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for about 10-15 minutes whilst you make the cake mixture and sauce.

For toffee sauce add all the ingredients to a non stick saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time so it doesn't boil away. After about 5 minutes take off the heat. I added a bit of cream towards the end as the recipe said this would help the sauce to remain thin, it still thickened anyway! Reheating it will bring it back to sauce stage later on.

Line a loaf tin with well buttered greaseproof paper (both sides) - add half of the toffee sauce to the bottom of the loaf in.

Cream butter and sugar in a bowl.Add egg, then vanilla then your syrup. Sift in flour & baking soda slowly and mix in carefully. Add in milk and mix. Then drain your dates and add to the cake mixture, mixing carefully, take care not to overmix.
Then add your cake mixture to the loaf tin, on top of the toffee sauce.
The layer of toffee sauce really makes this pud stand out!

Bake for 20 -25 minutes at Gas mark 4 (I think 180c?). My oven is old and decripid and so took a lot longer but anyone with a normal oven should have this ready in less time.

Reheat the rest of the sauce on the hob when the cake is done, slice cake, pour on sauce, add ice cream/cream/custard, die of pleasure.

Any remaining sauce will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but if you use it all up the first sitting (don't blame you!) its fairly easy to make a small batch with the same recipe above.


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Tuesday, 12 January 2010

adventures with soldering part three

The last time I blogged properly about soldering was here, in October! I was desperate to spend more time on it before now but Weddings and Christmas happened and it all just got left to one side.

Fortunately with a long week off after Christmas I was able to get on with some brand new silversmithed pieces, my Etsy shop is looking great now I have a few soldered silver jewellery items in it.

I hope you like them, there will most definitely be more to come very soon! I've been mostly thinking in a necklace way but I think there will be more earrings soon too.

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Monday, 4 January 2010


I reached 300 sales today!

So pleased, I love a good milestone. Thank you to everyone that has shopped with me for the past 300, see you for the next 300 I hope!


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Mosaic Monday - Frosty Morning

Inspired by the Monday Moodboards of the European street team, my lovely friend missmaisy started up Monday Mosaic, so I'm having a go too!

My first mosaic is inspired by the extremely frosty morning we have today.

L-R - White Marshmallow Earrings by Miss Maisy; Handmade Snowball Bear by Clare Bears; Silk Drawstring bag by Caroline Hardy; Espresso Cup & Saucer by tinsnips

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Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a Happy New Year!!

I thought about doing a review of 2009 but I think I'll just say that it has been a good year, especially as I did that little thing of getting married ;)

looking forward to 2010 and lots of new ventures on the jewellery front!

I've started it well and listed another silversmithed piece, I'm so pleased with how it has turned out, I am really hoping to make a lot more progress on silversmithing in 2010, taking my shop in a whole new direction.

As a new year treat I am offering 10% off in my Etsy shop today only! See my shop for more details, this includes all sale items too, some of which are 50% off!

Exciting times ahead, wishing you a wonderful 2010, thank you for reading my blog and supporting my shop.


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