Monday 30 June 2014

Jewelled Web - July 2014 - Link Love

the jewelled net - by the sea - july 2014 - silvermoss
June has gone by so, so fast this year. I seem to have been running to catch up with myself, and not quite making it, nearly every day.

And here I am, at the end of the month, with a cold. In summer. That just seems wrong.

I hope you like my links for July though - don't worry, you won't catch my cold just by clicking ;)

~jewellery links~

Wire bead tutorial, courtesy of Blue Forest Jewellery. Lots more tutorials dotted around this blog too...

Making domed shapes in resin, a simple tutorial I'm filing for future reference.

Cozy Sister is a great web site full of information and tutorials about wire jewellery.

Great post by Nan Fan about choosing the props she uses when styling her jewellery photographs.

Some help on how to make faceted polymer clay beads - with some links to more help.

I didn't know it was possible but it seems you can make your own metal clay. Here's a tutorial on making bronze and silver clay, and here's one for copper. I haven't tried this, and may well not do so (toxic chemicals and all) but the fact it's possible is fascinating.

~non-jewellery links~

Silversmithing is dirty, messy, and carries with it the perpetual risk of setting the table on fire but despite that I hanker for any single one of these tidy, bright and non-burning creative work spaces.

Such sweet illustrations - could anyone not love these?

Amazon reviews with just a hint of humour to them...

I like this formula for looking after yourself, something we should all do more of, I suspect...

Which browser do you use and just how out of date is it?

I don't think I use the net as efficiently as I could or should. I often feel like I'm 'wasting' time, even when I'm trying not to, if only because download speeds are painfully slow more and more frequently. So here's a little list of web tools I either use, have signed up to, or (most likely) think would be great to use if I ever got round to figuring out how they work - 

Dragdis - A neat tool for simple bookmarking - I overuse both Firefox and Chrome's handy drag-the-address-to-the-toolbar ability way too much and would like something with the same speed and ease of use, but Dragdis hopefully means that I can impose a little more order on my new bookmarks. The old ones are just a jumbled mess unfortunately...

Flipboard - Create your own 'magazine' from everything that interests you on the net. In theory, should save you having to hunt around for that same 'everything'. And it makes it pretty.

Feedly - seems bit similar to above, but perhaps more of a feed reader. This needs a bit more exploring.

Simplenote - A little like Evernote but perhaps more simple...? And it's free.

Instapaper - I've heard good things about this as a way of saving things from the net to read later. I'm guessing it's not that free though as it says you can 'try' if for free... hmm

Do let me know if you use any of these and they're worth taking the time to learn and use, or if you find anything else makes the web a little easier to navigate and explore.

Hope your June has been long and leisurely and that you have a good July...

Friday 20 June 2014

Midsummer - endings and beginnings, and the unfinished bit in the middle

I do love midsummer - just the word is so wonderful - but it also makes me feel a little sad. It's like the year is turning and, to be blunt, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and winter is on its way.

Of course, this isn't quite true. The next two months often contain the most sublime and beautiful weather of all; the slow encroach of darkness is just that - slow; and the nights don't start drawing in at all yet, as sunset times keep getting later for a little longer after the equinox. So we still have most of summer to come and, hopefully, a gentle slide into the colours of autumn.

midsummer skies - silvermoss blog

But, all the same, it feels like a change, and to mark the end of something and the start of something else, I'm going to make a concerted effort to finish things myself, to allow myself to start new things.

I surveyed my silver supplies the other day, or rather the silver that is in any form other than the original packets I bought it in. I looked through all the things I've started making, experimenting with, but that I haven't quite finished. It was a significant amount, not in terms of weight of silver, but more in terms of ideas and imaginings and industry that hasn't yet been fulfilled.

So my plan is to finish some old things, things that deserve to be finished, and that way I can start something new.

And also, it will keep my mind off the fact that winter is coming...

(Rather than share a photo of my unfinished jewellery, I chose instead to show an image my other half took the other day, just as the sun moved behind the houses.)

Monday 16 June 2014

Less than a word - singular letter jewellery

Since a special birthday often calls for a special gift, I pondered just what to make a close relative a little earlier this year. I'd already made her a necklace and earrings, and probably a bracelet too, once upon a time. I'd also made her a ring, which meant options were increasingly a little short in terms of originality. So I did some browsing, seeing if inspiration would hit me, and eventually it did.

Pinterest is always a wonderful source of ideas when your own mind just needs a jump-start for prompting and letter jewellery (does it have a better name than this?) is pretty popular right now when it comes to personalised jewellery gifts.

Some perusing later, a few sketches, a prototype in copper wire and a few more sketches, I came up with this...

Letter ring by Silvermoss

Letter ring by Silvermoss

Made with two separate pieces of silver wire (just to complicate things), a little bit of soldering and a lot of polishing. So far it's needed adjusting twice but that can only mean the recipient really wants to wear it...! Do let me know if you've made any letter jewellery lately, and have photos to share, or if you have come up with a better description of, ahem, letter jewellery... seriously, it must have a better name that that...

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Book Review - Setting Up a Successful Jewellery Business by Angie Boothroyd

Another book from my wish lists has made its way into my hands, Setting Up a Successful Jewellery Business by Angie Boothroyd. This is only a slim volume (128 pages) but don’t be fooled by its size; it contains a plethora of information and it isn’t full of unnecessary padding but sticks closely to its remit. It’s also, rather surprisingly for this type of book, geared towards a UK market. Yippee.

For those people who start making jewellery as a hobby and then find they have a business on their hands this book is an ideal companion. It would also suit graduating students, anyone who would like some guidance when striking out on their own, and those who would like to know what they might be getting into before they consider following this particular career path.

This book basically deals with the ‘difficult’ bits involved in selling the jewellery you make, and not how to actually make the jewellery in the first place.

Legal issues of setting up a business are dealt with, along with bookkeeping, tax and administration information and advice. The book also extends its scope by exploring how to price work for both wholesale and retail markets, and how to set up a website, as well as exploring the subject of exhibiting your work, and maintaining a business long-term. In terms of both breadth of information and specific detail the book is very helpful, without being overwhelming, and is a very good guide to its subject matter.

Setting Up a Successful Jewellery Business also has some crossover appeal - whilst it, obviously, focuses closely on jewellery making, many of the subject areas it covers would also apply to anyone setting up a small creative craft business. That said, it has most to offer those who wish to set up a jewellery business, and it is well worth a read if this applies to you.

{NB. The links to the book from this post are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click through to the book and then go on to buy it on Amazon, the nice people who run the company will give me money. From their own stash! It will cost you nothing. If I ever earn enough to qualify for payment, the money will go to my very needy rolling machine fund. It currently contains only copper money. For more info on my affiliate links, take a look at the bottom of my about page.}

Sunday 1 June 2014

Jewelled Web - June 2014 - Link Love

photo jewelled web june2014

If you've read any of my Jewelled Web posts before then you may have have noticed that I normally create them for the month that's just passed - in other words, this post, appearing around the end of May, should refer back to the May we've just experienced.

But I've changed things around a little, and have decided to look forward instead... so while I'll still mention the past month, and share links to things I'd discovered and read, I shall also include links for posts I want to read and study in more detail, and things I hope to explore in the future generally, and in June specifically...

It's a slight change, perhaps largely unnoticeable other than to me, but I thought it worth a mention... think of it as a mind shift as well, a way to look forward, focus on what's come, positive vibes etc etc...

Enjoy the links!

~jewellery links~

How to photograph small things (i.e. jewellery!)

A great collection of tutorials about making jewellery from spoons and forks - if I ever get my hands on a stack of silver spoons, this is where I'll start.

Beautiful drawn brooches.

Neat solution to resizing costume jewellery rings - and perhaps even metal ones if you don't fancy the drama of cutting, soldering, checking, cutting again, soldering again (ahem)...?

Such sweet origami earrings, and with a tutorial too.

Fantastic necklace for anyone who remembers, and/or loves, typewriters...

~non-jewellery links~

Folksy blog interview with Gilbert and Stone, maker of pretty and quirky ceramics.

Still baffled by twitter? Here's some basics to start with (or refresh yourself on); how to reply to just one person, or everyone.

A new find - if this then that - aims to streamline all your social media connections, and more...I've only just started exploring this.

Atmospheric, and slightly spooky, photos of trees. Reminds me of the cold winter days to come, which in turn reminds me to enjoy the warmer weather right now, even if it isn't that sunny!

Ever fancied learning how to paint digitally? Check this link out for (nearly) endless tutorials...

A handy video tutorial on taking Instagram photos.

Hope you had a good May and have an even better June!