A new year and a (slightly) different style to my Jewelled Web jewellery round-up and general link love posts. My photos have got a little bit larger (well, longer really) and I'm going to cast my craft-based web wider and include more links worth perusing from crafts further afield from jewellery.
I'm also interested in including any links you may have found, or ones you've created yourself, either on your blog or elsewhere on the web, so do contact me if you've something you'd like to share - twitter is good (and pretty reliable) or drop me a message via email at silvermoss1 (at) gmail (dot) com
After that let's get back into old traditions, despite the new year rushing in bracing and very, very cold.
I hope you had a good Christmas. Mine was deliciously quiet, so much so that I didn't even have Christmas dinner until Boxing day. My New Year's Eve (in the 'eve' part anyway) was also peaceful, involving a log fire and subdued lighting - no bad thing at all. The weather over this period was either grey or foggy (or both) and when the sun came back out (on the 2nd of January) it was astonishing to see the colour rush back into the world. Of course, it's grey again as I type this but it was sunny earlier and, despite the frost underfoot, the birds were singing already...
Here are some of the links I've mainly been saving up to read (more on how I do that later in the post) over the last month. I hope you find some gems here, no pun intended.
One of my Christmas gifts was a starter set for Efcolor Enamels, which is low heat enamelling (no kiln needed!) and includes masses of colours. I've yet to find the time and space to explore this area as much as I'd like but I do so hope to very soon - I've loved enamel work for so long but haven't been able to justify getting a kiln, so this looks like a wonderful alternative.
In more mainstream enamelling, I was rather taken by the idea of using pennies to enamel on - however, this tutorial is from the USA (and points out that only US pennies from before 1982 will work) and I have no idea whether UK pennies would cope with the heat involved. Fascinating stuff though, all the same.
Combining soldering and enamelling at Cinnamon Jewellery.
These exquisite polymer clay feathers caught my eye. The tutorial isn't in English but the photos are so clear that, if you're not a complete beginner, you should be able to work through it just on images alone.
Flame patina on copper - beautiful.
I've heard of Mokume Gane but have never seen the idea used in polymer clay before.
A simple tutorial for a simple Zen pendant.
A detailed tutorial on etching copper and making a wonderful bracelet in the process. Also check out these etched earrings.
I think this year may be when I return to cross stitch (and perhaps embroidery too). I've never thought of cross stitching onto crochet though - this fox cushion (with video tutorial) is so pretty.
And if I do venture into embroidery then I may well return to this mini-tutorial for these beautiful dragonflies. Although I do love this embroidered octopus...
I'm forever looking (so it seems) for ways to make the web easier and hope to share some of the tools I have found on my blog this year. In terms of saving links for these lists I use both Pocket and Evernote. I tend to save links to Evernote but save articles to read later (and offline) to Pocket. They're both great web tools and both have good free versions - although Evernote does restrict your use to two devices unless you pay.
One of the links saved into Evernote for the Jewelled Web is this feature from the BBC site, showing some stunning drone photographs from around the world.
This might be one of the best videos of all time - a giant panda playing with a snowman; if you've seen it before then do make sure you've seen the longer version that this links to.
Travel posters from the past make great wall art and are a nostalgic reminder of days gone by. These travel posters of the future are free to download and print - and are really worth doing so. I'm going to start with... Venus, I think, and then Kepler 16-b (not the best name for a planet perhaps, but a great poster).
And speaking of the skies, these starscapes are a delight - although slightly more dramatic than my glimpses of the fingernail Moon and Venus earlier this week.
I am still reading both Great North Road and Little Dorrit - this sentence might be a recurring theme this year. For more information on my trek through these long books, check out last month's Jewelled Web.
At last I've got around to reading The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge, which I found engrossing. It's based in a hostile setting, with a macabre plant taking centre stage and a wonderfully quirky and at times slightly unlikeable (but all the more real for it) heroine.
I got two jewellery books for Christmas, one from my Jewellery Book Wish List, and the other a surprise, and rather a good one. Reviews will follow after I've fully indulged and digested but I can reveal that I am now the proud owner of How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line by Emilie Shapiro and How to make Silver Charms from Metal Clay by Sue Heaser.
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I hope your January and the start of the New Year are good to you. Keep warm!
By the way, if you're after yet more links/inspiration/ways to waste time on the web then check out my randomly picked Jewelled Web from November 2014(this post includes affiliate links - please check details here for more info.)