Tag: silver

Crafty Resolutions 2012

Tea Cosy

Despite working less since July, I still haven’t managed to get enough craft in my life. So I’m setting myself some crafty resolutions. I plan to check back & update every month or so and hope that I can cross some of them off. Hopefully I’ll have them all crossed off by the end of 2012. So here goes…

1. Knit a pair of socks. I really want to do this. I can’t explain why but I have a real desire to make myself some warm & snugly socks. I’ve just got some DPN’s and plenty of wool so this will be my first project.

2. Knit myself a matching hat, scarf and gloves set. I have a real love of wool & this canCrafty Resolutions be seen in the variety of winter gloves, hats and scarves that I have. However, none of them match. This bothers me immensely! So I plan to knit my own. I’ve already got the wool but I imagine it’ll take me until next winter before I’ve completed them!

3. Knit myself a jumper. I am not particularly confident that my knitting skills are up to this but I want to give it a go. I know there are loads of patterns out there but if anyone has a recommendation of a plain jumper pattern, I’d love to have it.

4. Make Mollie Makes kits. I love Mollie Makes. I wait until I have some quiet time before I sit down & read it. I love the free kits but I’ve only ever made one – the phone cover, which I gave to my sister. I want to make them all! So my aim is to make one a month, maybe even two so that I can catch up on the backlog!

5. Scrapbooking. The garden WILL get a makeover this year, honest. I want to document the transformation by doing something I’ve never done before & that’s scrapbooking. Any tips will be gratefully received.

6. Write my own knitting pattern. There are so many amazing patterns out there but sometimes I struggle to find one that fits what I want to make so I’d like to make my own.

7. Make more silver jewellery. Out of the crafts I currently do, this is the one I do least. The main reason is that I’m a neat freak & can’t keep my silver making stuff out so I rarely get down to it. I don’t go to silver group every week because I can’t always afford it. But I need to make a more concerted effort!

8. Sew more. I love my sewing machine but I’m still a beginner so need to spend more time using it. I have a few ideas of items I’d like to make so I’d better get busy! I’ve also got a cool sewing kit that I’d like to complete. It’ll make some awesome owls that would look great on my desk!

9. Make candles. I got a kit for my birthday and haven’t used it yet. I know some lovely people who would like some candles so I need to get busy with this one asap.

Tea Cosy10. Bake healthier cakes. I recently had a cholesterol test. It’s slightly higher than it should be so I need to cut down on bad fats. Therefore I need to find healthy ways to have cakes & chocolates. There’s no way I’m cutting them out!

11. Get organised. I’m one of the most organised people I know. But when it comes to making things in time to give others, or awareness of how close holidays are, I seem to be completely lost. I need to start preparing for Christmas in the summer if I want to make all the presents, cards, cakes etc. And not leave them all to the last minute like I did this year…and the year before…and the year before that! Oops!

12. Make time for craft! I’m not too great at balancing my time. I’ll do all my work, tidy & clean the house before doing craft. Sometimes this doesn’t leave enough time to do craft. I should probably spend less time on Pinterest but I often see that as creative thinking time. I need to allocate time each week, no matter how little, to craft so that I can achieve these resolutions.

I am also doing the usual – eat less fatty stuff, eat more veg, get off my bum more; be more thrifty; sort the garden & finish off the little jobs in the house; learn from my mistakes etc etc. But most of all I want to do more craft because craft makes me happy and isn’t that worth spending time on? x

What are your resolutions? Are you having any crafty ones? I’d love to hear what they are.

PMC Jewellery

Button Pendent

PMC JewelleryThis 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.

PMC EarringsThis 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

Button Pendent

A Crafty Chai on Folksy

Crafty Chai Trio Pendant

So I’ve finally done it. I’ve opened up a shop on Folksy to sell some of my silver jewellery that I’ve been making while attending jewellery-making classes.

Crafty Chai Trio Pendant The pendants are all handmade by me & I’ve tried to make them reasonably priced. I’ve bought equipment so that I can make silver jewellery at home. This is because the cost of classes has gone up by £40. I’m hoping to go to a local silversmith group so if I have any questions I can utilise their expertise but for now I’ll be making my little bits & pieces at home. Fingers crossed that I don’t burn the house down while I’m soldering away!

As well as some silver bits and pieces I hope to sell some knitted items – such as brooches, hats, headbands and maybe even socks if I get to grips to knitting with a circular needle!

Please feel free to have a look at A Crafty Chai on Folksy! Thanks x

Crafty Chai Duo Pendant

For the Love of Jewellery

Crafty Chai Jewellery

About two Christmases ago I felt that I needed to have a hobby & learn a new skill. I wanted to do something that was completely different to my day job. So I signed up to silver jewellery making for beginners through Oxfordshire Adult Learning. I’d previously attended classes for watercolours & Indian cookery, which I enjoyed but haven’t been back to those since. Jewellery making, however, is a different story. I’m attending my third term & will definitely be signing up when the new classes are released in the summer. I’ve not only learnt new skills but I’ve made some pretty nice jewellery in the process! So far I’ve made two pairs of earrings, a green amber ring & a bracelet.

Crafty Chai Jewellery

I am in the process of making two different necklaces – one for me & one for a present. I have about five ideas of what to do once they are finished & I’ve only got about five classes left until the summer break! But I love it. It’s something that I want to continue doing. It’s great seeing my skills develop over time. The more I solder my silver together the better I get at it. One day I hope to be good enough at it so that I can have my own Folksy or Etsy page and be able to sell some of my pieces. I’m a long way off that yet but a girl can dream…