Last night, after a day of knitting & chatting (loved it!) I went to an event hosted by O3 Gallery in Oxford. It was an evening of crafty networking. I wasn’t sure what to expect, whether I’d be ‘crafty’ enough but I thought it’d be a great evening out if nothing else. I took along a friend of mine, who described herself as a ‘craft enthusiast’ as there were makers & buyers there & she just knits for herself & her loved ones. For me it was great to know that there are so many people out there doing very similar things to me – & some have been as brave/stupid as me by giving up their jobs to focus on their craft more.
It was a lovely night. I met & chatted with a lot of people and I got to hand out some of the business cards I’d had made by the lovely people over at Moo. And it was good to see how many people are interested in craft & how many people are interested in buying craft from local people.
I don’t know if anything will come of the networking, but it was really nice to talk with like minded people and to discuss local places & events etc. And I really enjoyed swapping cards with people! I’ll definitely be back x
This afternoon I was lucky enough to attend a Precious Metal Clay workshop at the Skinny Hippo in Abingdon. It was taught by Lisa Neal who used to be my silver jewellery teacher. I’d heard about PMC a few times but I didn’t know that it was created my Mitsubishi for the wives of their workers to make things at home. It is basically a clay that becomes 99.9% silver when fired. It is pretty pricey & comes in very small batches that have to be used within a week if opened. It also requires a different set of tools than the usual silver I work with.
That being said it is very easy to work with. If you make a mistake you can roll out your clay & start again. It’s very sticky so you have to be careful not to get yourself covered in it!
These are the beginning of my earrings. I created a pattern in them with some rubber templates. This was done by rolling out my clay & then rolling it on the rubber templates. I had to make the the little holes at the top which is why they look a little bit, ahem, special! Then you dry the item using a hairdryer – this takes about two minutes for something small like these earrings. If what you’ve made is bigger than a 50p piece it would need to go in a kiln for a while. If you have something small like these then you can heat them using the mini-blow torches used for soldering my usual jewellery or the ones that you might use to set the sugar on your creme brulee at home! Once you’ve done that you need to rub it with a metal wire brush until the silver shows.
This would be a great introduction to silver jewellery if you’d never made any before. You have to be quite gentle with it at different stages but the end result is not only produced really quickly but it also looks pretty decent. I’d never used PMC before but I’d definitely do it again & am hoping to go to another class in the new year.
In the three hour workshop we made a pair of earrings & a pendent. The Skinny Hippo was a lovely place to have the class & has loads of crafty things on offer, which I’d love to have a go at, pennies permitting! Below is my favourite thing from the day – my button pendent. As you may know I love buttons. Now I can wear one everyday! x
Had a bit of a mooch around Abingdon on Saturday. Headed to Mostly Books with the OH to see what latest offerings they had. I really enjoy bookshops. When things are tough at work, in my head I imagine working in one. They always seem really calm places! Anyway, I instantly went to the crafty section because this is always well stocked. My luck was in! Two books caught my eye.
The first one is written by the owner of bakery Babycakes in New York. This is great, as I have a few friends have food intolerances & some that are vegan. The second is called ‘Love…Knitting’ and has some really lovely patterns in.
You’ll have to check back to see my attempts at following some of the ideas in these books. Can’t wait for holiday time to have a go!
I love buttons. Always have. I like the different materials, colours & sizes. I like new & vintage. So imagine my joy on Christmas Day when my OH’s mum gave me her mother’s button collection! I was overwhelmed. Not only that, my mum also gave me the ones that were filling up her sewing box. I also inherited my Nana’s buttons when she passed away last year. This all means that I have a very awesome button collection & I love the fact that it’s from collections spanning three generations.
So how was I going to make sure I used these wonderful buttons? I was worried that I would just pack them into a box in my cupboard and forget about them. But then I had a brainwave. I’d seen pictures of people putting them & ribbons into jars. Genius, I thought, I can do that so that I can keep them out. So I ransacked the kitchen cupboards to find as many jars as I could & managed to get enough to start colour co-ordinating my beautiful buttons. (Words cannot express how much joy I had doing this!)
They are now all displayed in my study on the bookcase & look amazing. It is definitely the start of a crafty relationship!