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Birthstone Jewellery

Now my last event for 2017 is behind me, I have no more workshops planned until January and both my December exhibitions are up and running, it is time to take stock and think about what direction to take my jewellery into next year.
I will continue knitting my tiaras and crowns, that is a given, along with making wedding jewellery commissions. I am planning a whole series of new jewellery making workshops for the New Year and I am waiting to see the response from my exhibitions before I start knitting and crocheting more wall art. but I am also wanting to introduce a range of beaded birthstone jewellery so I have been looking at the Kernowcraft website to see whether this would be possible – and to my delight I have discovered it is and I thought I would like to show you how!
Firstly why am I so surprised at being able to do this?
Well as you know if you have seen my jewellery makes – I work with beads, I usually work with glass, beads, freshwater pearls and semi precious beads basically anything with a hole all the way through so I can them thread onto wire or beading thread – I rarely wire wrap stones and I do not set stones or cabochons into bezels. So as far as semi precious stones this can be quite limiting or so I thought –
I have in mind to crochet or knit my birthstone jewellery so not only do the stones have to be in a bead form they have to be small enough or in a suitable shape to suit my designs and the beads I have selected for my wish list I believe will work perfectly to create the look I am after –
so here is my wish list with links to the product on the Kernowcraft website – If these products capture your imagination please contact me to discuss the type of jewellery I would /could make with the beads as I would be happy to make as a commission.

January  Garnet

Garnet Faceted
Marquise Briolette Beads 
I would hang at least five of these on a crocheted choker style necklace either with beading thread or wire.

February – Amethyst

Pink Amethyst Faceted Drop Briolette Beads, 
I would hang at least five of these on a crocheted choker style necklace either with beading thread or wire.

March – Aquamarine

Aquamarine Curved Triangular Tube Beads
These aquamarine beads would look great crochet or knitted on wire as a bracelet

April – Diamond

Diamond Natural Rough Crystal Nugget Beads
You can actually buy diamonds as beads – who knew?!
I would hope to crochet a choker / necklace and include at least three of these in the design – You just don’t know how excited I am about these!

May – Emerald
July – Ruby
September – Sapphire

Shaded Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald Faceted Rondelle Beads
This string would be great for three months and the rondelle beads would look great included in knitted or crocheted wire bracelets

June – Pearls

Cultured Freshwater White Pearls, 4-4.5mm Roundish
So many pearls to choose from but these small round Freshwater pearls would look stunning in a knitted bracelet or even a knitted tiara

August – Peridot

Peridot Faceted Rondelle Bead

These rondelle beads would be equally as beautiful included in a multi-stranded crocheted necklace or in a knitted or crocheted bracelet – so many options

October – Opal

Ethiopian Opal Drop Shape Briolette Beads

Most Opals come in cabochon form and would look stunning wire wrapped, but to my delight Kernowcraft also have opal beads which would hang so elegantly from a knitted or crocheted choker.

November – Topaz

Sky Blue Topaz Faceted Drop Briolette Beads
These delicate blue topaz would look so pretty hanging from a knitted or crocheted wire choker

December – Turquoise

Turquoise Round Beads
Again, so much choice, but I decided that these provided a lot of different options, such as crochet or knitted as a bracelet, or crocheted as a string of turquoise or crocheted knitted into a choker

All of my chosen beads could also be incorporated into earring designs and some could even be added to a knitted or crocheted ring and I am sure with more thought I could come up with even more suggestions, that is the beauty of jewellery design – the possibilities are endless .

I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I have enjoyed researching it – and maybe one day I will get my hands on some of these and share my actual makes!

this  post is part of Kernowcraft’s Win Your Wishlist competition.

Article source: http://angelasmithjewellery.blogspot.com/2017/12/birthstone-jewellery-looking-into.html

What can you do with your old, much loved tiara? ……. Upcycle it!!!

Do you have a tiara stuffed to the back of a drawer or sat in a box on top of your wardrobe hoping for a day when you can wear it again? or are you saving it in the hope that your daughter will want to wear on her wedding day?

Let me work my magic!

Last month a lovely young lady, Sally contacted me out of the blue.
Sally had a tiara that she loved but was probably never going to wear again and was wondering if I could make jewellery out of it instead! – what a lovely idea .
I arranged to meet Sally with her tiara in Gallery at 12, Eccleshall, as I have a large selection of pearl and crystal jewellery there already made up, I could use those pieces as examples when discussing the possibilities and believe me there were plenty of possibilities!
It turned out that Sally also wanted to gift some of the items of jewellery to the people who had helped make her wedding day so special, including her Mum – a lovely idea turned into a really fabulous idea!!!
Having spent half an hour or so discussing possible jewellery designs Sally left me with the tiara, and while she went off to enjoy a holiday, I set too dismantling the tiara and making up new jewellery.

This is the tiara, full of glistening crystal diamantes and pearls-

I agreed to keep Sally informed throughout the process – photographing my makes and emailing them to her so she could tell me if she liked each design or if she wanted it tweaking, by the time she returned from her holiday I had all her new jewellery waiting for her.
The day the jewellery was collected I finished off the bracelets using Sally’s wrist to gauge the correct lengths and handed all her new sparkling wearable jewellery over to a very happy Sally

These are some of the photos I took during the making process, some are completed items and some are the suggested designs before tweaking – I could have also made earrings but as Sally doesn’t wear earrings I didn’t make any this time  – there were really so many possibilities!

taken from Sally’s emails….

I absolutely loved working on this project and playing around with the beads to see what I could come up with, and would be more than happy to convert more tiaras into jewellery that can again be worn – please ask me to help bring your wedding day back to life! x

Article source: http://angelasmithjewellery.blogspot.com/2017/04/what-can-you-do-with-your-old-much.html

Perseverance pays off in the end!

“Sometimes you just have to keep going, ignoring obstacles being thrown in front of you – it pays off in the end!”
……. and this week I had yet another reminder of exactly that!
I have been knitting with wire and beads for many years now, and I have always used my old metal knitting needles but whenever I see anything written about knitting with wire it is always recommending that you use bamboo needles, so last week I invested in 2 sets of bamboo needles, single and double pointed, I thought it was about time!!!
Two days ago I decided to attempt to knit a daffodil brooch and looking through my new sets I chose to use 2.5mm, normally I would use 2 1/4 or 2 3/4 mm metal ones, I don’t have 2.5mm metal ones – this is a crucial point!

To start with I used the double pointed needles to make the trumpet, I decided to make the trumpet first as I thought it would be easier to design a petal to fit the size of the trumpet than to make a trumpet to fit the petals.

It wasn’t long before I encountered my first problem – the needles were so fine that the wire was cutting through the tips of the needles and slicing through the points sometimes removing slithers of bamboo in the process!
Which meant I had to check which end of the double pointed needle I was using to insert into the stitch every time I switched needle, to make sure I was selecting the strongest tip. This slowed down the making of trumpet but didn’t stop work – the trumpet was completed!

Once the trumpet had been made I set too with the knitting of the petals,

 all was going smoothly until my fourth petal, one of the needles snapped around a quarter of the length from the point, which left me with a needle the length of a cocktail stick!

As I have already mentioned I don’t have any metal needles sized 2.5mm so I couldn’t swap to metal, I had no choice I had to continue to knit the remaining two and a half petals on my broken bamboo needle!

I did not give up, I was determined to knit this daffodil, I believed that it was going to make a stunning brooch when completed and so I persevered! I am so pleased I did as this is the finished knitted daffodil brooch!

As a footnote I also understood why people preferred bamboo over metal, the stitches definitely slide over the the needles smoothly and I should imagine that with larger needles bamboo definitely is the way to go, but it looks as though I am going to have to stick with metal for my finer work

Article source: http://angelasmithjewellery.blogspot.com/2017/01/perseverance-pays-off-in-end.html