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Sunday, 24 January 2010

New Folksy Seller Article on IndieSmiles


Sweet Inspiration is my latest article on IndieSmiles and features four Folksy jewellery designers ~
Lorraine of FairlyGirly, Jean of Talking Beads, Amanda of Chicita and Becky of Red Bird Jewellery.

In it they discuss how they started making their own jewellery and what inspires their designs. It's well worth reading!
A big thank you to the above sellers for taking time to answer my questions and to Folksy seller Arts & Candies for the fab Iced Donut Bracelet photo also used in the article :D

I've also been given my own category ~ Folksy Favs, which is pretty cool as I have a lot of Folksy sellers wanting to be featured in future articles. Guess who's going to be pretty busy for a while............

Here is some of the lovely jewellery featured in the article


Red Cascades Heart Bookmark ~ FairlyGirly

 
Sea Ring ~ Chicita


Autumn Days Pendant ~ Red Bird Jewellery


Pearl Slices Necklace ~ Talking Beads


Saturday, 23 January 2010

Posting Comments Problem Solved!

A fellow Folksy seller emailed me yesterday  (thank you Quernus Crafts!) to say that she was unable to leave a comment ~ I wasn't aware there was a problem, I just thought you'd all gone off me! :D
Anyway...... I checked it and she was right, the comment box wasn't coming up.
I looked on the Google Help pages and it's quite common apparently. I changed my template last week and so I'm wondering if that had anything to do with it ??? Quite possibly.
However it's now sorted. The help page told me to go to "edit HTML" and tick the box for "revert widget templates to default" which I did and it's working again.
So now you can all add those lovely comments you were going to leave can't you........can't you? Please?
(only kidding)

Friday, 22 January 2010

Folksy Finds ~ Amigurumi Anyone?

I've seen these cute little people and creatures a lot on Folksy and often wondered what Amigurumi actually is. Well, it's the Japanese art of crocheting small animals and toys.
Here's a very cute selection I found on Folksy. Links to sellers can be found under the photos..........



1. Limited Edition Momo by MoMoaby  2. Dreamy Giraffes Amigurumi Pattern by reeneegurumi  3. Little Crochet Mouse by Blue Fish Handmade   4. Jade HooterNinnies by oddsox  5. Cavebear by Treaclezoo  6. Caramel The Amigurumi Bunny by SophieCat

Monday, 18 January 2010

Advertise Your Folksy Giveaway For Free!


Attention Folksy Sellers! IndieSmiles now has a section called Happy Giveaways where sellers can advertise their giveaways, normally for a small fee. However if you contact Sue at IndieSmiles and mention me (Tracy, Cinnamon Jewellery) your giveaway info will be listed for free!

The IndieSmiles site is undergoing a revamp (it looks different and better everytime I visit!) and the number of people visiting is increasing everyday so listing your giveaway there will definitely increase your exposure ~ always a good thing!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

New Jewels!

I spent most of Friday making them, Saturday morning oxidising and polishing them and this morning, as it was a lovely bright day, photographing and editing them.
And here they are ...........................


MelonHeart Twist


Pacific Drops


PassionFlower


My Blue Heart


WaterMelon Heart


Frosted Copper

And
they'll all be listed on Folksy in the next couple of weeks

Useful Tips For Budding Wireworks #2 Oxidising

The second in a short series of useful tips, this time ~ Oxidising Sterling Silver & Copper jewellery

Whether you oxidise your jewellery or not is a personal choice. I prefer the look of oxidised or "antiqued" Sterling Silver and copper wirework as it adds depth and highlights detail.

What you will need ~


Liver of Sulphur


You can buy Liver of Sulphur in liquid or solid form. I say "solid" but it's really powdery chucks. I prefer the solid form as it is more economical. I buy mine on eBay and it can also be found on jewellery supply sites.





Steel/Wire Wool

0000 or 00000 Grade which can be found in DIY stores






Oxidising your jewellery

Before you start, close the kitchen door and open the back door (wide!) Yes the clue is in the name Sulphur and it stinks like rotten eggs!
Dissolve a small piece of Liver of Sulphur in hot but not boiling water in a small bowl. I keep a bowl especially for oxidising. Avoid touching the Liver of Sulphur if you can help it, it doesn't sting if it comes into contact with your skin but does make your skin tingle for a short while. Always wash your hands if they come into conatct with the Liver of Sulphur. Use a spoon or old pair of flatnose pliers to handle the Liver of Sulphur or gloves if preferred.
Drop your jewellery into the bowl. Copper oxidises very quickly, Sterling Silver takes a bit longer.



Once the jewellery has turned black/grey remove using a spoon/pliers and rinse in a bowl of cold water. Allow to dry on a piece of kitchen roll.
When dry, polish with wire wool over a piece of kitchen roll. This can be quite time~consuming but very therapeutic!




When you've finished cleaning with the wirewool check for any stray bits of wire. How much you clean up your jewellery is up to you : some people leave it fairly black, I prefer it well polished. Finish by polishing to a shine with a silver polishing cloth, available from any supermarket.



The End Result

 Before


After


 The Liver of Sulphur solution can be kept and used again, preferably on the same day, if you heat it up in the microwave. Any longer than a few hours and it loses it's effect. It's advisable to dispose of the solution by tipping down the outside drain!

Friday, 15 January 2010

We Are All A Wee Bit Nosy


That's the title of my latest Folksy article on IndieSmiles!

It features mini interviews with two Folksy sellers ~ Christine of Planet Events and Danni of nelli D.
Planet Events sells trimmings and accessories and nelli D is home to quirky resin jewellery and handbags.

If, like me, you like to know a bit more about the seller behind the shop, or if you're just plain nosy(!) go and have a look, it's an interesting read!

Cute dog photo courtesy of Much In A Little, another Folksy seller, specialising in porcelain

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

New On Folksy & My New (FREE!) Website

I've listed a couple of new pairs of earrings on Folksy ~ my first listings since before Christmas! Not that I was getting withdrawal symptoms or anything!

Night Bloom ~ Lucite Flowers & Copper



Green Seas ~ Seaglass Coins & Sterling Silver




I've spent a very pleasant few hours this afternoon "playing" with my new website. It's on spanglefish.com and it's free!
As you can see I've still got a lot to do, lots of pictures to add, plus links to some of the cool blogs I like. I'm using it mainly as another way to get my stuff "out there" at the moment, but you have the option to add PayPal buttons if you want to use it to sell which isn't bad for free. You can also add pages, change page names, do whatever you like with it really. I think it looks quite neat for a freebie and who knows, it might generate a few sales :D

I really should go and have a shower now, but I can't decide whether to watch the Liverpool game ............. you can take the girl out of the North West but you can't take the North West out of the girl......... (even though I've been living in the South East for the last 23 years!)


Tuesday, 12 January 2010

My First Blog Award!


Today I'm very happy to say I've been awarded a blog award by Karen at Blonde Design! I feel very honoured!

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity & creativity inspires others in the blog world.

The rules for accepting the Sunshine award ~

Put the logo on your blog or within your post ~

Pass the award onto 12 bloggers ~
Link the nominees within your post ~

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
 
I follow lots of interesting blogs so it was hard to narrow my choice down! Here are my 12 nominees ~
 

Monday, 11 January 2010

Shopping, Beads And Chicken Curry

This morning I ventured out in the car ~ the first time for about 4 days! Happily my poor snow~covered Fiesta started first time and I pootled into a fairly quiet Eastbourne town centre. Did a few errands ~ the bank to pay in a cheque I got for Christmas(!), posted a letter and had a look at the bead/jewellery mags in WH Smith. Now normally I buy every jewellery/bead magazine I come across (apart from Beads & Beyond, seen a few issues and don't think much of it) but today I exercised supreme self~control and WALKED AWAY! I also put down a cute little owl notebook I found in Poundland after deciding I didn't really need it as I have two brand new notebooks at home. I really think there's something wrong with me. I was going to buy myself some chocolate too but decided I could do without...........now I know there's definitely something wrong with me! Or maybe it's because I know there's still a big box of Ferrero Rocher in the cupboard...........


I love you!

Later back at home I was just starting to grumble that we haven't had any post for a few days when these beauties popped through the letterbox!




Aren't they gorgeous? They're Watermelon Jade hearts and I can't wait to make something with them tomorrow. Talking about tomorrow, I'm praying that it will be a bit brighter so that I can photograph the jewellery I've been making over the last couple of days. I'm getting Folksy listing withdrawal symptoms!

I spent some time looking at blog templates today too. I found a nice one but then realized if I changed my blog template I would have to add all my widget/gadget thingies again so decided to maybe just tinker with the background colour and try and tidy my blog up a bit (but not today!)

Later I made a curry for tea which was nice. I did feel a bit bad as I was ripping apart yesterday's chicken to put in said curry. Wondered what kind of life it had had and if it had been a happy one (I doubt it). It did taste very nice though! (I'm so awful!)



Sunday, 10 January 2010

♥I'm Having A Folksy Sale!♥


Yes, I've resisted so far but thought I'd like to make a bit of space for new stock..............

...........so I've reduced half of my Sterling Silver earrings and bracelets in my Folksy shop by up to 25% AND everything is still with FREE postage in the UK!



Here's some of what's in the sale ♥
Indigo Spirals ~ Sterling Silver & Glass Bead Wirework Earrings ♥ WAS £12.00 NOW £10.00!

Chocolate Champagne ~ Sterling Silver, Faceted Glass Bead, Freshwater & Swarovksi Pearl Earrings ♥ WAS £15.00 NOW £11.00!

Sweet As Sugilite ~ Sugilite Tubes, Freshwater Pearls & Sterling Silver Bracelet ♥ WAS £15.00 NOW £12.00!

And last but not least.......
Purple Pendulums ~ Crazy Lace Agate Bead & Sterling Silver Wirework Earrings ♥ WAS £12.00 NOW £10.00!

♥Lots more reductions to be found in my Folksy shop!♥

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Useful Tips For Budding Wireworkers #1 TOOLS

This is the first in a series of handy info and tips for anyone interested in making Wirework jewellery.

First of all let me explain that I am by no means an expert in Wirework! I've been making Wirework jewellery for nearly three years and am self~taught: everything I have learnt has come from the internet, books and DVDs. But I have so much more to learn and so much more practising to do!
First things first ~

Tools


There is a wide variety of jewellery making tools available for Wirework, some are absolutely necessary, some you can live without!

Pliers
You need several different types of pliers for Wirework ~ these are the pliers I use everytime I make a piece of Wirework jewellery ~

  • Roundnose Pliers ~ for creating loops and round bends


  • Chainnose Pliers ~ for creating bends, tucking in ends of wire and holding the wire


  • Flatnose pliers ~ for creating bends, holding the wire whilst making spirals, flattening wire


  • Wire cutters ~ Cutting wire (obviously!) Make sure you buy a pair that cut the wire flush (flat) at the end



Another pair of pliers that are very useful but not absolutely necessary when you start making Wirework jewellery are Nylon~Jawed pliers. The jaws are made of hard nylon which won't mark the wire and are used to straighten your wire before you start work. They also can be used to grip the wire as you work with it, although I find they don't grip very well but then mine are pretty mangled now!

Hammer And Bench Block


A bench block is a small piece of steel used with a Chasing or Ball Peen hammer to flatten wire, which in turn hardens it and adds interest to the design. The round end of a Ball Peen hammer can also be used to add texture to the wire. Again, not absolutely necessary when you start Wireworking but I couldn't live without mine! It helps to cut down noise when hammering if you put your bench block on a folded towel!

Files
Very useful for smoothing the ends of your wire to prevent scratches or your piece of jewellery catching on things!




Cup Burr
Creates a rounded, smooth end, very useful for the ends of earwires to prevent scratching the ear.



And lastly ~
Tool Magic!
This is a liquid rubber that you dip your pliers into. It dries in a couple of hours and leaves a coating on the pliers that helps to prevent them marking the wire. It can easily be peeled off when you've finished. Just don't inhale the fumes!



I hope you have found this interesting and useful! Below are links to jewellery supplies sites I've used and recommend.
Cookson Gold ~ Everything you could possibly need for jewellery making! (UK)
Palmer Metals ~ Bullion, findings and jewellery supplies (UK)
Fushion Beads ~ Beads, tools, wire and lots more (USA)


Next time..........
How to oxidise Sterling Silver and Copper jewellery!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Thursday, 7 January 2010

New Pretties!

Here's a photo of my latest pretties ::



I bought these with Valentine's Day in mind ~ some pretty little Czech Glass hearts, faceted Amethyst hearts and some lovely Lucite flowers in red, pink, white and black. I praise the clever person who thought to christen them "Lucite" as it sound so much better than plastic or acrylic! Although they really are acrylic (I can't bring myself to call them plastic!) they are very pretty and well made and combined with other beads and Sterling Silver or copper, make a lovely pair of earrings. I'll post the photos of my finished creations in a few days..............

The dreaded sort~out
At the latest count I have 7 boxes full of beads and the time has come to have a sort~out. However I can't decide how to go about it. Do I organise them so I have the same colours together, the same shape, the same type ~ Crystal, Semi~Precious, Freshwater Pearl, Copper, Sterling Silver, Glass?? Just the thought of it makes me want to find something MUCH MORE IMPORTANT to do (isn't Bargain Hunt on soon?......)
I did make a start earlier. I emptied the box with my copper stuff in it into another box with Sterling Silver, so now that box is a mess but at least I had an empty box to play with. I then filled the empty box with my FW and Swarovski pearls so at least they are sorted! At that point I lost interest, made myself a cup of tea and decided to write this.

The first of many tidied bead boxes  :D

 

Right, something much more important has come up, I have a date with Tim Wonnacott.......

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

New Article Up On IndieSmiles


My latest Folksy article is now up on IndieSmiles! It's the interview I did a while ago with Serena of The Copper Swallow.

The IndieSmiles site has had a revamp and is looking a lot better for it! You can see the latest articles on the home page and the whole site looks tidier and more professional ~ well done to the designer!

Incase you haven't come across it before Indiesmiles is a great place for news concerning handmade shops in regards to marketing, business tips, Indie shop reviews and interviews and more, as well as off topic that relates to various subjects including how handmade (Indie) teams are making a difference with their charity and community work.

You can also advertise your shop by placing your 125×125 image on every page of IndieSmiles.com. All ads rotate to provide optimum visibility. The cost is $12 for two weeks or $20 for 1 month.  It's definitely worth a look!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Just A Quickie!

I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year 2010! I still can't get used to writing that number!
Hope everyone isn't suffering too much this morning. I have to work today so unfortunately couldn't get too much into the spirit of it last night. But hey, I feel great this morning and the sun is shining!

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy Giveaways On IndieSmiles!

Looking for beautifully crafted handmade items for FREE?!  IndieSmiles now has a Happy Giveaways page dedicated to sellers giving away one of their items or holding give aways on their blogs!

Items up for grabs include ~

Coffee Cup Cozy Giveaway from Sew Sweet Stitches



Red Loopy Brooch Corsage Giveaway from SeventySeventyOne Design (a Folksy seller!)



Gift Certificate Giveaway from Artisan Clay

Win a yard of custom fabric from Eye Candey



Family Keepsake Print Giveaway from Amazing Mae



Other giveaway items include a Nautical Necklace, a bright and colourful Resin
Bangle and the chance to win one of 5 pairs of earrings from Tara Henderson

Pop over to IndieSmiles for the full list and the chance to win something beautiful (and FREE!)