The swallows have arrived!

A sure sign of Summer is the arrival of swallows in Ashgrove.  I was speaking to my mother earlier in the week and she told me they had made the long flight from Africa and have returned to Cobh for the Summer!

I had just finished making some bird rings and I thought that it was a good omen.

IMG_20160422_181133

 

No pictures of the swallows I’m afraid as they are SO fast.  But last time I was home my sister and I met a beautiful Swan down in Cuskinny.  So here is a few pictures of Cobh with the lovely Swan that me met.

IMG_20160409_172206

It is the first Brighton Artists Open Houses for me this year.  Eeeek! That starts tomorrow for the month of May. Check it out! http://aoh.org.uk/artist/pauline-morley/

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.  It is a Bank Holiday here in the UK. So one extra day. Yay!

Thanks for reading.

 

Advertisements

Stacking Rings

I have been a little lax on my blog posts recently. I had a very busy Christmas season and I am only just now recovering! I have been posting pics on my Instagram (@fancypantsjewellery) with stacking combinations of my jewellery, mostly rings.  But with a few necklaces and earrings thrown in for good measure.  I will have to start doing more earrings and necklaces and I think adding bangles to the mix.  But that will take time.  For now I will begin by properly introducing some rings here.

I started used eco sterling silver for my rings back in June 2015. EcoSilver is an eco-friendly alternative which is produced from 100% recycled scrap silverEcoSilver is an eco-friendly alternative which is produced from 100% recycled scrap silverEcosilver is an eco-friendly alternative to newly mined sterling silver. It is produced from 100% recycled scrap silver. It is both an ethical and ecological choice.

This stack has a total of four rings. Two made entirely in eco silver, the other in a combination of eco silver and recycled 18 ct gold.  So again a completely ethical and ecological choice.

There are two medium pebbles – one gold and silver and the other silver which I then oxidised and brushed back to show the shiny silver underneath.  The other two are small pebble rings, again one a combination of gold and silver and the other made entirely in sterling (eco) silver.

1st stacking post sterling silver ring gold ring silver and gold ring 20150722_190753

I wear them on their own, all together, or in numerous different combinations (which you will see in later blog posts). I sometimes add “spacer” rings between them to make them sit better on my finger.  Depending on how I want it to look.

I love jewellery, ALL jewellery, but rings are my favourite. I guess that’s why I make so many of them!

Find them here!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/217705035/alternative-engagement-ring-recycled

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/238561904/gold-and-silver-ring-handmade-engagement

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/217694215/sterling-silver-ring-unique-handmade

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/217692185/sterling-silver-ring-silver-pebble-ring

1st stacking post sterling silver ring gold ring silver and gold ring IMG_20151207_081018

Every Cloud has a silver lining (or in this case a solid sterling silver core)

New silver casting pieces  Popcorn earrings

These little silver and golden clouds were a complete experiment.  The original design came from a ring that I thought I ruined.  So I decided to try and put it back together.  And the result was a pleasant surprise!

small Sterling silver cloud earrings e

Little clouds floating.  Ethereal, silver and gold plated clouds.

Sterling silver cloud earrings chunky bGold Plated sterling silver cloud earrings chunky e

So far I have made earrings

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/242287940/sterling-silver-earrings-stud-earrings

and tie pins.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/250028013/sterling-silver-tie-pin-handmade-cloud

IMG_20150920_121804

I plan on making necklaces and cuff links and whatever else works with these designs.

This was the original ring.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/238455781/sterling-silver-ring-silver-ring-lava

Sterling Silver lava ring a Sterling Silver lava ring b

And this is the second ring I made with this technique.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/252712745/sterling-silver-statement-ring-chunky

SONY DSC

I wear the earrings most days.  And the lovely big chunky rings sit nicely on my fingers with a wonderful weight.  I love chunky rings.  They have always been my favourite.

I am looking forward to conducting more experiments and seeing how they turn out!

Thanks for reading.

Connected – Personalised jewellery without the stamping



20150920_142134-1    20150919_113218

We all have connections. With our families, our friends, our pets. 🙂

I love the idea of personalised jewellery.  Jewellery that MEANS something to the owner or gift giver.  I do a little bit of stamping letters etc, on jewellery but my hearts not in it.  I prefer more of a simple symbol.  A representation of someone or a group of people that you love. Be it your siblings, parents, children, partner or pet. That’s where this line of jewellery came from. I thought how can I represent my loved ones in a piece of jewellery that I would wear every day.

For me the 5 piece necklace represents my siblings and I.  All five of us! (how did my parents do it).  We are all living separate lives in different countries but we all love each other dearly.  Each one sits on the chain unique and different but similar in many ways.  I cut the pieces from the same piece of silver, which means each piece was once joined together.  I think that makes it mean that little bit more.

I also have a pair of earrings representing my parents and a bangle representing myself, my husband and our daughter.

20151001_132750-1 20151001_132552

It’s a very lovely way of remembering your connections.

20150920_142233

I have a ritual of choosing jewellery in the morning.  The finishing touch to getting dressed.  I would feel naked without it.  I always choose my jewellery depending on my mood. I have been particularly missing my siblings recently so I wear that one a lot.  It’s a way to keep them close. Really I should call or Skype more often. But this is my way of keeping them close to my heart.

If you would like your own little something to represent your friends or family you can find the listing on my etsy shop here:  https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/248579717/sterling-silver-silver-necklace-silver

Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

Triquetra Necklace

20150919_090042

I first made this necklace as a commission for a member of my lovely family.

I used to draw these a lot in primary school. When we were studying the Book of Kells or Celtic drawings.  Trying to get it to cross over the right way at each point was REALLY tricky.  I seem to remember it was mostly with Mrs. Spicer who was a sub teacher we had every now and again.  I went to a small country school in Cobh, Co. Cork.  A total of 72 pupils at one stage!  Mrs Spicer used to tell us stories of when she met the fairies in the fields around the Cunninghams.  (One of my neighbours across the fields) She even produced a little pair of shoes to prove to us she met them.  What a GREAT story that was.  She was a real Seanchaí. (Irish for storyteller).  I digress…

20150919_082925

I have since done a little more digging to find out a bit more about the triquetra.  And here is what I have found out.

The word itself Triquetra comes from the latin for “three” and quetrus “cornered”.  (handy having a mum who speaks Latin!) It has evolved with the addition of the circle. Which made it even trickier (but more enjoyable) to make.

It is also known as a “trinity knot”, or the Celtic triangle. The design is used by Christianity as a symbol of the “Holy Trinity” (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  And in Pagan religions as the “Triple Goddess” (Mother, Maiden and Crone).  It is similar to Odin’s symbol, the valknut, which is three interlocked triangles.

In some modern traditions, it represents the connection of mind, body and soul, and in Celtic-based Pagan groups it is symbolic of the three realms of earth, sea and sky

There is also a tradition for a loved one to give a gift such as a necklace or ring signifying their affection. The triquetra, is believed to represent the three promises of a relationship such as to love, honour, and protect, similar to the Claddagh design of the crown (loyalty), heart (love) and hands (friendship).

So no matter what your beliefs this necklace is a powerful symbol of love and unity.

If you would like one for you or someone special it is available in my Etsy shop here:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/248794766/sterling-silver-necklace-triquetra

20150923_125004-1

Thanks for reading.

A Yellow Rocking Chair

My earliest memory of this rocking chair is sitting in it with my sister in the kitchen.  We both had one of the many childhood illnesses maybe it was chicken pox, I’m not sure.  It’s more of a feeling than an actual proper memory I think.  I know I wanted to be near my mum in the busy farm kitchen rather than in bed.  We were well enough to be up but not well enough to be running around obviously.  We sat in the chair all bundled up gently rocking whilst my Mam got on with the business at hand.  I felt comfortable and safe.

Rocking chair Before shot

Thirty years on and the chair is still going strong!  But it is in need of a little TLC.  It now sits in the sunniest room in my parents house – the porch.  It is used to drink a morning coffee or read a Sunday newspaper, or relax and enjoy the view of the garden (and the sun).  Which there actually was quite a bit of during my visit in August.

Following on from the living room makeover the porch was my next port of call and the rocking chair is the fun bit!  I decided to add a little glass of wine to the 2nd coat proceedings, as the majority of the painting was now being done in the evening after I had finished work and Madam was in bed.

Rocking chair plus wine

I have had my eye on English Yellow (Annie Sloan chalk paint) for a while now.  My husband and I hope to use it for a project at home in the future.

The chair needed a good scrub.  It has several little annoying crevasses where you just know are going to be tricky to clean.  It didn’t take long and I was able to build it into a game my daughter and I were playing.  Double whammy.  Get some work done while entertaining a 5 year old.  A morning well spent. We had set up a fruit and veg shop in my mums garden.  We expanded to selling furniture and plant pots.  My daughter decided to charge €50 for a banana.  And my mum ‘paid’ it! I don’t know if I should be proud of my daughter for selling a banana that must impart the eater with everlasting life at that price, or disappointed with my mother that she would pay that much for a banana.  Although she did get a bargain on the carrots….

ANYWAY! Once the cleaning was done the painting could begin.  Two coats plus a varnish and Voila! I LOVE this colour. It is bright and beautiful. A perfect colour to reinvent an old friend.  There is a piano in my life that might get this colour too.  Time and energy is all that is needed!

Mams rocking chair after

River Rings

If you have been reading my blog for the last couple of weeks you will already know that I went home to Ireland for the month of August.  I am VERY lucky to have a job that allows me to work remotely.  If you haven’t been reading my blog.  I GOT TO GO HOME FOR A MONTH AND IT WAS AWESOME!  Now that I am back in my second home Brighton, it is time to share a few lovely experiences and the inspiration for my next collection.

My sister lives in a remote area of West Cork.  We went to visit and she made us TASTY soup and took us on a little trip for a wee walk afterwards.  We went to Roberts Cove.  It is a beautiful little cove in Cork.  Probably perfect for smuggling whiskey or laying the anchor of your pirate ship in the old days.

20150808_161130

This is where I got my inspiration for these River Rings.  The channels of water going through the sand.  The mini rivers making their way to the sea.  And the larger river at the back with all the lovely rocks making the water fight it’s way to the sea.

20150808_16051720150808_16150820150808_162848

These three rings have the river channels running through them.  I made one wide chunky ring (green) one with a slight arch and one with a little seat for a stone.  I have also made a skinny version of the wide chunky one.  But I don’t have a picture of that yet.

IMG_20150904_131714

I really like the different channels of “water” going through the wax.  They will be cast in silver and I am hoping to get very good at setting stones so that the River Ring with a Stone will be EXTRA sparkly.

20150824_193009

I am looking forward to making some earrings and necklaces in the same style.  A little work in progress to get me through the winter.

IMG_20150825_094923h

Thanks for reading.