Friday, 17 April 2015

Rolling Mill Textures On Metal and Copper Jellyfish

I've been quite busy recently with the usual orders {bangles and findings} plus I had a custom request to make a pendant in silver using the buyers rather lovely chequer cut labradorite cabochon. I've just posted that off so will wait to hear from the buyer before I post a photo.

I've got several things on the go at the moment, mainly some more copper shapes to finish so I can do a bit more enamelling with decal decoration. I also have ideas for some studs using the bronze and silver pebbles I made a few weeks ago. But in the meantime I have had a bit of time to make some embossed bronze and sterling silver studs. After deciding I don't have a lot of success using texture cards with sterling silver in the rolling mill - the results vary from a very faint pattern to ok-ish but not as deep as I'd like. However, using etched copper or brass to add pattern to silver with the rolling mill is much more successful. 
I discovered I had some brass sheet that I'd etched a while ago using nail art plates...

The size is quite small {they're designed for nails after all!} but they do work really well for etching using nail varnish as the resist and you can buy lots of different styles and designs depending on your taste. If you want to learn more I wrote a blog post about using nail art plates to etch sterling silver in 2013.

I used the etched brass sheet to texture bronze and silver sheet and the designs came out well. You obviously get the negative of the original design but it still looked ok.

I used the embossed metal to make these simple stud earrings...

handmade bronze stud earrings © Cinnamon Jewellery 2015

sterling silver embossed stud earrings © Cinnamon Jewellery 2015

I also wielded my jeweller's saw and produced what I like to call stylized jellyfish earrings in copper with a stabilized turquoise cabochon and silver balls. Or if you turn them the other way up they could be stylized flames :D Anyway I like the shape!

For someone who struggled with sawing metal when I started and preferred to use shears if at all possible I now love using my saw and find it really therapeutic to cut intricate{ish} shapes out of metal. I have an idea for a pierced design probably in etched copper layered on top of coloured leather and riveted to a base of copper. I can see it in my mind but I'm not sure how long it will stay there before I get round to doing it.....

Copyright © 2015 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Friday, 10 April 2015

The A To Z Of Me

Alphabet 03

I thought I'd do an A to Z of me this time. I've seen several of these on other peoples' blogs - some funny, some very deep and meaningful....I thought I'd keep mine light ☺ 

A is for Andrew - the name my Mum was going to call me if I had been a boy. Spencer Tracy was a popular film star around the time I was born hence the name she chose when I turned out to be a girl.

B is for Blondie. I loved Blondie when I was at school. I recently watched a documentary about the band on TV and they really were so good in their day and I love their early albums. I loved them right up until they did Rapture then The Tide Is High and that's when I stopped buying their albums. I still can't stand that song! They are still touring and have dates for this year in the UK.


C is for Chocolate! Oh how I love it {probably a little too much recently though}. I have a friend who doesn't like chocolate which I find, frankly, too weird.

Chocolate Truffles

D is for Denmark. I'm a great fan of all of the Scandinavian series that are very popular in the UK. My current favourite is 30° in February (Sky Arts 1), which now means I'd love to visit Denmark, Sweden and Norway!

E is for exercise. I've never been particularly sporty but I currently swim three times a week, try to go for a good walk regularly and have recently bought myself a skipping rope. Skipping is a really good way of getting fit and 10 minutes skipping is supposed to be equivalent to 30 minutes running. My aim {eventually} is to skip like a boxer.........not a seven year old child :D

F is for fear. My fear of deep, dark water. I remember jumping into a seawater swimming pool on the beach in Bude in Cornwall when I was on holiday as a child, then freaking out a bit {a lot} because I couldn't see what was in the water beneath me! In my head there were all sorts of creatures below me who would drag me under the water at any moment. I'm pleased to say they didn't.

  Summerleaze Sea Pool.jpg
 Bude sea pool...see what I mean?

G is for guitar. I started having lessons when I was at junior school and used to go every Saturday morning to a music shop in Preston where a nice man who was disabled and drove one of those turquoise invalid bubble cars taught me. I learned to read music {something I've now forgotten how to do} but my heart wasn't in it and when it came to a choice between horse riding and guitar lessons you can probably guess which one I chose ☺

H is for my height. It's 5'7" or 170.18 cm.

I is for icecream! I love it although I don't eat it that often. I tend to always go for chocolate but am also partial to any kind of caramel/praline flavours and love Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra.

J is for jewellery of course! I make it which means I also obsess about it......a lot.

K is for kabanos, a smoky Polish sausage made from pork or turkey. My Mum used to put it on pizzas she would make from scratch. It's very tasty and quite apt as I had a Polish great, great Grandfather. 


L is for left-handed. I made the choice when I was learning to write to use my left hand. Up to then I would write with both hands and also do mirror-writing. My Mum asked which hand I wanted to write with and I chose the left. I only write with my left hand, everything else I do right-handed. My poor brain must be so confused!

M is for Marmite. I detest the stuff. Definitely a hater :D

 N is for northern accent. I lived in Preston in Lancashire for 16 years before defecting to the south east and still have the accent 29 years later.

O is for online. I sell online therefore I am online several times everyday. I would be lost without this other world I inhabit. It would mean I'd have to go out and talk to people...aaaargh!

P is for Porth Curno in Cornwall, a favourite place of mine. White sandy beach and turquoise sea....beautiful!

Porth Curno Beach near Minnack Theater

Q is for quizzes. Ooh, I love a good pub quiz. They are a lovely combination of using your brain and relaxing at the same time.

R is for Radiohead. I was aware of Radiohead in the 90's but always thought they were a bit dull and depressing to listen to and I was very much an Oasis girl at the time. I have now become a big Radiohead fan and absolutely love them.

S is for super power. If I could choose one it would be time-travel. I have thought of another good one though - the "eat as much chocolate, chilli-coated peanuts and biscuits you like without getting fat" super power. Yes, I like that one.

T is for Toronto in Canada. We lived there for three years when I was younger. I was almost five when we came back to England but I do remember lots including the snow in winter, going to Niagara Falls and playing on the shore by Lake Ontario. I also remember a holiday we took to Cape Cod in Massachusetts in the US when I was three or four.

         Me and my Mum in the late 60's Cape Cod.

U is for under-ripe bananas! I love bananas that are still a bit green and will not eat a banana with black spots. They taste weird.

V is for vinegar. I do not like the taste or smell of vinegar and don't put it on my chips. Strangely, I do like salt and vinegar crisps though.

W is for weird crush. I have one. It's....oh do I have to.........alright then it's......Greg Davies. The comedian. He sometimes makes me cry with laughter with some of the things he says.

Greg Davies at the Udderbelly

Photo: Isabelle Adam on Flickr {Creative Commons}

X is for X-Factor. I hate it with a passion. I dislike any of those singing "talent" contests and decided about three years ago never to waste any more of my life watching them.

Y is for yoghurt. My favourite yoghurt ever is Sainsbury's Greek Style Honey yoghurt. I eat it almost every day with fruit. It's lovely.

Image for Sainsbury's Greek Style Honey Yogurt 450g from Sainsbury's
Photo: Sainsbury's

Z is for {Frank } Zappa. I saw him perform in Brighton in the late 80's. That was an experience. I had a bad stomach that night unfortunately and spent quite a bit of the time in the toilet but I do recall seeing lots of blokes wondering round in curly wigs and flowery dresses......

Frank Zappa 1209730002

Copyright © 2015 Cinnamon Jewellery. All rights reserved.

Monday, 30 March 2015

JewelleryMaker Bracelet Project Kit - A Product Review

Just over a week ago I was contacted by Frances, the editor of JewelleryMaker and asked if I would like to blog about one of their recently launched project kits. The kits are for charm bracelets and contain all the components you need to make the bracelet, the only items you need yourself are two pairs of pliers and a good pair of reading glasses if your eyesight is anything like mine!

The bracelet kits are available in plated gold, plated silver, plated antique bronze and plated rose gold. There are different charms available too - stars, leaf and heart mix, gemstone dangles and hearts.
I chose a rose gold plated bracelet with leaf and heart charms. It's a far cry from the type of jewellery I usually make but I thought it would be fun to do for a change.

I sat down in my shed with my two pairs of pliers, glasses and a cup of tea and began.
So what's in the box?

The box is a square shape with a lift off lid and multi-coloured stripes down the sides. Inside you find the instructions and all the components you need for making the charm bracelet in separate plastic bags.

For anyone using the kit who hasn't done any jewellery making the all-important instructions for opening and closing jump rings the correct way are found on one side of the instruction card.

The card also contains a list of the 80 components in this kit and the instructions. There are five steps to making the bracelet and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.

I started by linking one end of the toggle fastener and the S links together with the jump rings. The jump rings are quite soft but sturdy enough and neatly cut.

Once all the S links were joined together I added the other end of the toggle fastener then started adding the heart and leaf charms. All the charms have jump rings already attached which saves a bit of time. Adding the charms was a bit fiddly but not difficult. The charms are nicely made and light but sturdy. I added half to one side of the links then the rest to the other side.

The finished bracelet. As you can see there are plenty of charms - you get 20 of each design making the bracelet jingle nicely when you wear it. The toggle makes it easy to fasten too. I used all of the S links and the finished bracelet length was 10 inches/26cm which was too long for me but it would be easy enough to alter the length by adding or removing an S link. Or do what I didn't do and check the length as you make it!

I was left with 19 jump rings which puzzled me a bit but these could be used to double up on the joins between the S links and the two toggle parts for added security.

The kit costs £9.95 and for that money I think you end up with a decent charm bracelet that can be made in less than an hour. It would make an ideal present for someone who is thinking about trying jewellery making for the first time and teaming it with a pliers kit would be even better!