Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Archive for the ‘Jewellery’ Category

Flowers of Summer

I recently came across these pictures on my phone, and they are a nice reminder of summer now that autumn has arrived. They are some of the smallest blooms that I could find in the garden at the time, sometimes they are overlooked among the larger, brighter flowers but their delicacy has a beauty of its own.

SUMMER-FLOWERS

Looking at the structure of the blooms that are made up of many small flower-heads (such as the delicate white flowers shown here) appeals to my love and fascination for patterns. The way that these blossoms are built up from smaller identical forms is also a technique that is often used in craft projects, from patchwork quilts to jewellery.

I like to keep a crowd of flowering plants on the windowsill behind my workbench, so that even in the depths of winter I have a reminder of the beauty and colour in nature.

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The Natural History Museum

I recently popped into the Natural History Museum for a quick visit when I was in London for the day. I usually enjoy having a leisurely time admiring objects, hunting for inspiration, and making lots of sketches, but I only had time to look at some of the Asian and Islamic exhibits and snap a few photos.

I have roughly bunched the pictures into three categories: figures (above), patterns and metalwork.

The patterns made using inlaid mother of pearl, and those painted onto Islamic tiles, were particularly intricate and eye-catching.

The metalwork is particularly impressive considering the age of the exhibits, and the simple tools that would have been used to make them. The sheer opulence of some of the Indian pieces is stunning!

Even such a brief trip to the museum was inspiring, and there is always something new to see. Being able to admire such beautiful objects certainly makes me feel inspired to make things, and to learn new techniques and push my abilities.

Gallery

Monday Mood Board: Colour-Matching

Small Storage DIY

Small, plain wooden trays are often used as packaging for small items such as tealight candles or craft items, and are useful for organising small items. The trays are very plain, and sometimes only roughly finished, but it is quick and easy to turn them into decorative and useful drawer or desk-top organisers.

PLAIN-WOODEN-BOXES

First use some sandpaper to smooth off any rough edges. I simply decorated these trays by cutting felt inserts to sit in the bottom of each compartment- this is a useful project for using up fabric odds and ends.

WOODEN-BOX-INSERTS

The compartments were measured, and squares of different coloured felt cut out and fixed into the bottom of each compartment using a small amount of glue.

The trays could alternatively be lined using leather or decorative papers, or be decorated using paint. I have these trays in the bottom of a shallow drawer in my jewellery bench, and they are perfect for holding jewellery making materials and semi-finished items.

FELT-LINED-TRAYS

Monday Mood Board: Bunnies!

I seem to have acquired quite a few rabbit-related bits and pieces, including jewellery, stationary and small ornaments, some of which are shown here. I think I’ve always found the motif appealing, and can clearly remember particularly liking a picture of a black and white dutch rabbit in a Ladybird book when I was about three years old. Rabbits also make me think of spring, despite there being no shortage of them in the UK year-round!

I made the necklace and knitted rabbit shown above (the knitted rabbit is a great quick Easter gift); the ornaments and buttons are vintage; the blue wooden brooch is by a modern designer-maker (I am embarrassed to say that I can’t remember her name); the gold charm is modern.

Friendship Bracelets/Knotted Weaving

I haven’t made a friendship bracelet since I was at school, but decided to experiment with the method as I have plenty of embroidery thread in lovely colours.

As you can see, I experimented with a few different colour combinations and patterns. The free-form pattern below I made up as I went along, experimenting with changing direction.

I wanted to use the finished piece as something other than a bracelet, so decided to make a short length to use as a zipper pull on a jumper.

As I had cut longer strands of thread than I required for the pull, I left a gap and then knotted a second section below the first to use in another project.

KNOTTED-BRACELET

I trimmed the ends and cut the top section free from the bottom section.

CHEVRON-PATTERN

The top section became the zipper pull, with the loop used to thread it through the metal ring on the zipper.

This was a good way to use up some of the odds and ends of thread that I had in my stash: now I have to decide on projects for the other pieces that I made…:-)

MULTICOLOURED-BRACELETS

If you fancy having a go for yourself (and didn’t learn how to make these as a child) then there are plenty of helpful guides and how-to videos to be found online.

DIY Decorative Hair Clips

decorated-hair-clips

I have made a few decorative hair clips this year, and really like using feathers mixed with something sparkly. The ones shown here are rather dressy- the two mainly blue ones were made to wear to weddings. It isn’t very clear in these pictures but the clip with the peacock feather is backed by a fluffy white marabou feather, adding some width to the clip.

feather-hair-clips

The brown, gold and black clip in the centre (in the picture above) is a more subtle design, and I made it to wear to work on bad hair days! It consists of a row of diamontes sewn onto a piece of black patent leather, with feathers glued to the back of the leather. To the back of this was then glued a second piece of leather, onto which had been sewn a metal hair clip.

hand-made-hair-clip

Decorative hair clips are a definite stash-busting project, and they are so quick and easy to make. Vintage brooches or earrings can be up-cycled to provide a sparkly base for a decorative hair clip, and all sorts of haberdashery bits and pieces can be added. I plan on making a couple of clips to give away as Christmas presents…!

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