Thursday, 17 December 2009

Scotland's Christmas Fair

Busy getting ready for the big event - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December. It looks like it will be very busy so I will need to have enough stock for sale. Could be busy on Saturday night too! Here's hoping!

Not at work tomorrow so should be able to get organised.

Looking forward to Christmas and a rest!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Beginner's Jewellery Making - Troon

Due to an unexpected interest in my class I am offering a Beginner's Beading class in Troon on a Tuesday evening starting on 17 November, 2009. Obviously this depends on the numbers but I would hope to run the class in the Community Centre. I am still investigating this possibility.

I will be offering the same class on Monday 16 November, 2009 at 8 pm in the Prestwick Community Centre.

The Beginner's class which is currently running on a Monday night at the Prestwick Community Centre will continue but will be the 'Intermediate' Class. This will start at 6.30 pm till 8.00 pm to allow the second class to start at 8 pm. The centre asks that we stop at 9.30 pm.

More updates to follow . . .

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Went well on Monday - have a full class now and a waiting list too!

Next week - make earrings - at least 3 different techniques.


Sunday, 30 August 2009

sWork in progres

Decided to make a wired flower pendant with gold wire and swarovski crystal centre - still not quite complete but I will 'tweak' it a bit more.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Creating new from old

I have been asked if I restring pearls - the answer is yes. I have been asked to restring pearls and also redesign them by creating a droplet. It is also possible to change the clasp - sometimes restringing may be necessary in order to do this.

I can also take your old pieces of jewellery and beads and redesign these to create a brand new item - earrings, pendant, bracelet.

Sometimes just a simple alteration can breath new life into a piece of treasured jewellery - this allows it to be 'loved again'.


Monday, 17 August 2009


Just a reminder that the class starts on Monday 7 September, 2009 at Prestwick Community Centre. Call me for more details on 01292 470391 or 07858 257455


Saturday, 8 August 2009

Ayr Flower Show

Today was the second day. Phew I'm pretty tired.

Thank you very much for those who purchased jewellery from me and also those who placed commissions. I look forward to creating these pieces. Tomorrow is the final day and could also be busy (as was today).

I intend to rest on Monday and then begin the commissions.

If you live in the Ayrshire area it's worth coming to the show. There is a great variety of exhibits in the Floral Marquee as well as many other entertainments. You will find me in the Craft Marquee, Stand No 107.

Look forward to seeing you there!


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Ailsa Pendant

Just thought I would post details of my new pendant which I finished before going on holiday. I was inspired by this landmark - the Ailsa Craig. It sits majestically across the sea and can be seen from the Ayrshire coast. It takes different shapes depending on where you are. I have designed my pendant and it is the view from Prestwick that I have chosen.

I cut a piece of rectangular silver and then designed and cut out the Ailsa Craig shape and the two layers of waves. These were then soldered on to the base piece of silver. After the removal of firestain the pendant was filed and polished. A half loop of sterling silver was soldered on to the back to allow the pendant to be suspended on a choker or a silver chain.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

How to make a crystal fascinator tiara


Having a go at a 'how to' instruction video as an experiment. Just don't seem to have time to do more as I'm too busy making jewellery!

Ideally would like to do more of these and to show some of my silversmithing work - will get round to it eventually!


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The Open

Finished working on Sunday - it was really hard work for very low pay. I was quite surprised at how the catering staff are treated. I found this to be quite an experience and it makes me realise that it is truly worth studying and gaining a degree. Having a job with good conditions and pay is paramount - as long as you enjoy it.

However, a lot of my experience will be relevant for events management and how it all comes together.

Today I have been finishing a commission which will be delivered tomorrow.

I have 7 brooches to add brooch pins to and then polish and finish.

Need to go to bed soon.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Open

Just back about an hour from working at the Open. Today I started at 10.00 am but I wasn't on duty till 11.30 am. Today was a busy day for the R & A staff as it is the last day before the championship begins. I was kept fairly busy but not as busy as yesterday. Also I started later so was not as tired. At 5 o' clock I decided to walk around and browse the merchandise marquee. There was lots of golf clothes etc and I was tempted to buy. I then went to the 18 th green and sat and watched the players coming in. It was a beautiful night and the sun was warm. What a fabulous setting - looking over the sea to Ailsa Craig!

I am starting at 8.30 am tomorrow so it's bedtime!


ps all jewellery orders will resume from Monday

Monday, 13 July 2009

My work experience

Yesterday I started my job at the Open. I had originally been asked to do waiting tables from Thursday. However, I was asked to work from Sunday to Sunday. I am managing and running the private staff dining area for the R & A Staff. This is an area where staff can 'get away from it all' and have breakfast and also lunch. There is a buffet as well as a hot dish of the day.

I am responsible for attending and waiting on the staff - there is self service but I need to ensure that all areas are stocked up. I also ensure that the coffee is made and kept fresh. Tea and hot water has to be maintained. I also tidy and clear tables and return all dishes to the kitchen.

All items have to be recorded on the till although no money changes hands. I must say that this is physically hard work and I am on the couch with my feet up. My feet are sore even with wearing proper leather shoes - an experience indeed!

It is only 9.30 pm but I am up at 5.00 am tomorrow so it's time for bed!


z . . . .z . . . . z

Thursday, 9 July 2009

A new experience!

Today I was working at the Open at Turnberry. You might ask - what is the Open and why were you working there? Well this is the British Open Golf Championship and I applied to work there for the fun of it - to experience working during a major event. This, I hope, will enrich my understanding of Events Management - always useful for my lecturing as well as my own business.

Basically I was part of the set up team for the various hospitality restaurants being set up. I was quite amazed at how much work is needed and how the areas look once set up. It was really hard work but it was a beautiful day and we had lunch provided sitting looking out to sea to the Ailsa Craig and beyond. Basically I was cleaning, setting up tables, sorting out food supplies for the various restaurants etc. The pay is the minimum wage and so I experienced what it is like to work on a very low wage.

I begin working in the Links Restaurant next Thursday - this is a fine dining restaurant and I will be waiting tables. This is waiter service only and so this should be an excellent opportunity. I am looking forward to doing this - this will be for 4 days. I am glad that this not my real job as it is really hard work and very physically demanding.

However, the experience will be worth it!

Will post more next week . . . .

Saturday, 4 July 2009

New post


Korma stains on the carpet

I thought I might write about things that go on in my life that are fairly mundane compared to jewellery designing etc . . . the kind of things that I'm sure others have experienced. Today I was at a fair so this involved getting everything together and going at least one hour before to set up. Today I was organised, today I deliberately got dressed up and wore one of my new pearl choker designs, today I thought 'today I will be ready for 11.00 am (when the fair starts) - instead of rushing as usual, beads of perspiration running down my back, attending to customers while I am STILL setting up (usually about noon)'.

Today was going to be so different - what a lovely sunny day as I drove over to Troon - Arran looked quite magnificent and all was well with the world. Until . . . got the car parked and started to unload - oh no! So busy tidying my car that I left my covers for the table and my mannequins for the tiaras. No way could I set up until I got these from home. Next step: phone T and ask him to bring them over? That would be find but . . . mobile phone a bit wonky - got cut off - he phoned back - I couldn't get through - left message. Finally got message. Went in and sat down - couldn't really do anything. T arrived at 10.25 am - this gave me 25 minutes to set up my stand!

Obviously - impossible. Just set up as best as I could and left the rest - it still looked pretty good and no one really knew of the background! T for coffee and doughnuts which was quite a treat - don't usually eat much at fairs.

Had a good day and met a lot of people and have 2 commissions. Pretty tired after all that and then I get home - what is on the carpet? Yes you guessed it - No 1 son has had the rest of last night's korma while watching TV and there are remnants of yellow sauce and rice on the lounge carpet. But hey what's new? Unfortunately this is a regular occurrence and he can't really help it. Of course you might think that this is normal for a teenager anyway but No 1 son has a condition which causes him to be more prone to accidental spillages etc. (dyspraxia) Yes I should be more understanding and 99% of the time I am. Every now and again it really gets to me.

So even although I was exhausted I just had to get down on my knees and armed with stain slayer I attacked the said korma with great gusto! Of course once you start this you always see more, don't you? So I discovered other less noticeable 'spillages' which had to be attacked!

Having completed all this I felt quite satisfied and the carpet looks pretty good - until tomorrow perhaps?

Now you understand the title?

I'm writing this with the Madonna concert on Sky 1 - one of my all time favourite singers/performers despite some outrageous episodes in her life.

I'm on twitter too - still to get used to it!


Friday, 26 June 2009

Holidays and Wimbledon

Oh how I love to be on holiday. On top of all this the sun is shining and everything looks wonderful! Living by the sea is just so rejuvenating - I love the sounds and the smells of the seaside. Sometimes I just don't take the time to go down to the beach. I have all the usual things to do - housework, cleaning, tidying, banking etc etc.

Today I have been doing some emails to customers as their jewellery orders are ready. I have more commissions in the pipeline and some other orders to complete. This is never a task as I actually love designing and making jewellery. However, I have stopped college for the summer and it's a wonderful feeling - I love teaching but I also love the summer break!

This gives me time to be myself and get creative! I have many design ideas in the pipeline and I am exhibiting at the Ayr Flower Show in August 7, 8 and 9, so I will show some of these designs and these will also be posted to my website. Obviously a floral theme is underlying and sterling silver will feature.

Must go and get ready . . . . .

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Holy Fair at Rozelle Park in Ayr

Had a good afternoon yesterday. It was very busy with all sorts of activities taking place.

I met a lot of interesting people and have received commissions as well as meeting with two brides to be.

Today I must rest as I am working Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at College. After that I am on holiday for the summer! This gives me time to rest but also time to complete my jewellery commissions which are piling up fast!

Time for breakfast and another snooze . . . .

Sunday, 14 June 2009


Just got back from a very busy weekend:

Friday night - retirement do at the College
Saturday 11.00 am till 4.30 pm Craft Fair at Troon Concert Hall
Saturday 7.00 pm till late: Clic Sargent Ladies Night at the Princess Royal Suite at the Racecourse
Sunday 12 till 5.00 pm: Calderglen Country Fair, East Kilbride

I had a busy but rewarding time. Met all sorts of new people as well as some existing customers.

Have gained some new contacts as well as new commissions.

Need to sleep now!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

silver claw setting

I have successfully finished this and it will be ready for my customer tomorrow.

It was tricky but I am pleased with it!

Tomorrow will be very busy. I am at the Craft Fair in Troon but need to go over to the Racecourse in Ayr to set up my table for the Clic Sargent Ladies night tomorrow night. I am also going to the dinner so I will need to get dressed up. I am looking forward to it as it is for a good cause.

On Sunday I am on the road again - to East Kilbride Country Fair from 1 pm till 5 pm. Hoping it is a good day as it's outside but the stalls are covered.

Will post after Sunday for updates on these various exhibitions.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

This week's challenge!

I am currently working on a claw setting for a client. This is to set a larger crystal pendant which has been damaged but has sentimental value. It has really presented a challenge - in order to set a stone it it is necessary to 'press' the claws up against it. However, this stone is delicate as it has been chipped. I have come up with an ingenious method so as not to damage the crystal further. I have created a 'cross' shaped setting which comprises of two lengths which cross over each other at the back of the stone. I will then solder on a link so that the stone can be suspended from a chain.

I was busy doing this when the phone rang - must go back to my workshop to continue . . . .

Monday, 1 June 2009


It has been a hectic week between one thing and another. I have been busy polishing and burnishing the cufflinks as they need to be ready for Tuesday. Tomorrow I am starting at 8.00 am at College so will need to leave about 6.30 am - only 6 hours sleep approx.

Yesterday I did a Craft Fair in Glasgow run by the Glasgow Craft Mafia. I enjoyed meeting new people and made some interesting contacts. Did sell from my table but not a great deal. The weather was fabulous and so no one wanted to come indoors. Don't blame them.

Must go to sleep.


Monday, 25 May 2009


I have been doing some silver work recently. I have a commission for cufflinks for a golfer and so I will complete these tomorrow. I will post a photo to the website once complete.

I have just completed a commission for a 'church crown'. This is for a crowning ceremony which is usually part of a panomime which the church holds annually. This is for someone in England and they will collect my creation tomorrow. I must take some photographs before it is collected. These will also be posted to the site.

I also am working on an unusual request. A client had a large Swarovski crystal which had belonged to her mother. Unfortunately it had gone through the washing machine and the drilled hole part had sheared off. I have designed a sterling silver claw setting to hold the crystal and I will solder a half ring in order that this may be worn as a pendant. I will put some 'before' and after photos on my commissions page.

Must go to bed as it's ten past twelve midnight. Last night was 3.00 am so I suppose I'm early!



Monday, 18 May 2009

Design Ideas

I have been making jewellery today but I have also been thinking of some new designs. I have a brooch idea as well as cufflinks.

I have also recorded some video clips to be used on my website as well as myspace, facebook and bebo.

I am having a major problem with my website reports - they are not working and it is the fault of my webhost - the server is not working as it should. I have reported this but basically I can't see who has visited and what it working best and what I can do to change this.

I have signed up for Google Analytics which allows me to track visitors - will need to check how this is working.


Thursday, 14 May 2009

Oxidised Silver

I have a number of commissions which I am working on. However, I will be using a technique which oxidises the silver and creates many different colour hues.

This is done by dipping the silver into liver of sulphur and leaving it in the liquid until the required shade is achieved. If left long enough the silver will be blackened and this gives an aged look.

This fine patina can be used with a contrast of highly polished and gives a 3d effect to the piece.

I will use this in a commission and when finished will publish this to my website.

Watch this space!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Craft Fair at Troon yesterday

It was a great day yesterday. The sun was shining and although the wind was cold it was really beautiful at Troon. As usual I was running a bit late but still managed to have my display ready for the public at 11.00 am. I had a busy day and received orders for jewellery and also sold some pieces from my display. Thanks to those who admired my work and also ordered from me.

Today I have had a day off from jewellery making but tomorrow I will need to get started.

Time for bed.


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Unable to attend work today

Unfortunately I was not too well last night and the effect was - not able to go to work. I had hardly slept all night - but I am feeling a bit better this afternoon so it's full steam ahead for tomorrow.

Nothing done so far re jewellery but I might finish some silver work after I've had a cup of tea! Will probably have a wee snooze to catch up on some rest.

Currently working on hammered silver pendant and earrings, bridal order for bridesmaids and bride's jewellery, various orders for handmade silver earrings plus a few more orders. Not complaining as I have received another order by email today!

Time for a teabreak


Sunday, 19 April 2009


Yesterday I was very busy with some orders where I was using this technique.

I was making a tiara with Swarovski crystals and silver plated wire. I was using a combination of twisting wire and making spirals. The wire is twisted to hold the crystal in place and by a process of adding 'branches' this can create a filigree effect.

Spirals are made by winding the wire around the round nosed pliers. I have also completed a cuff bracelet by using this technique. This image will be uploaded to my website.

I also made a bridal comb using 'silver seed beads' and twisting wire with pearls and crystals. This will be uploaded also.


Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Too busy to blog!

Thought I should enter some news to my blog. Have been on holiday since 3 April but despite this I've received some orders! One all the way from Spain!

I'm back at college this week and it's a blow. Getting up at 6.30 am and driving is pretty tiring. Not much time to do some jewellery. However, I have planned to finish orders over the weekend.

The Troon Craft Fair went really well last Saturday. Thanks to those who purchased items and also those who commissioned items. I always enjoy the Craft Fair and meeting people as well as chatting to my fellow crafters.

The weather was really beautiful for April and Troon was very busy - especially the beach.

My next event is at Loudoun Castle on 25 and 26 April. The next Craft Fair is the 2nd of May


Saturday, 4 April 2009

Brooch Commission

The Brooch has now been collected and will be on display for members to view.

I'm on holiday now and so I will be taking it easy. However, I can't resist doing some designing. I always have design ideas and need to note these down when they come to me.

I may see something on a building, a fence, a gate perhaps - the swirl of a metal gate. Sometimes it might be the deep colour of a flower which I might relate to a particular gemstone. I have a few ideas for working with silver. I am especially keen to work in layered silver and see how this develops.


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

the Brooch

Last night I finally completed the brooch. The master arrived back from casting - pretty rough looking. However, the copy is superb. I spent time filing and sanding to clean up the brooch. I then soldered the brooch findings. After pickling (to remove firestain) I then cleaned and polished.

Today I will complete final polishing. this involves polishing using Tripoli which removes surface scratches. Then I clean with warm soapy water. Then I polish with jeweller's rouge. This brings the surface to a highly polished finish.

The brooch will be ready for collection tomorrow.

I have ordered beautiful velvet boxes to complement the work.

I need to work on completion of other orders before having a break for Easter.


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

New gemstones

I forgot to say that I have received my order for some really beautiful gemstones: turquoise, fluorite, coral and faceted lemon citrine.

The stones are in a pear drop shape and I intend to make earrings and necklaces with these. I will also make some wire wrapped earrings and pendants. Can't wait to get started.

The colours are fabulous - just perfect for spring and summer.



The news is: the brooch has been approved for casting and I should have it back by the end of the week. I need to meet the deadline of 4 April which should be achievable - all going well.

I have just finished another large bridal order and this was collected today. I will begin my next order tomorrow as I need to be up to date before the 'return of the brooch'.

It's kind of late - 1.46 am - time for bed.

z .....z......z

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Snow by the seaside!

This is the snowman we built - I think he looks rather cute!

Snow in my garden showing my stone cats 'buried'.

We don't usually get snow here - being close to the sea.

Keeping busy

Haven't had much time to write up my blog. I am busy with various jewellery orders - I like to complete my orders as soon as I can. This week I have received a number of internet queries for a variety of commissions. From silver work to bridal jewellery. This makes my work very varied.

I am up at 6.30 am tomorrow as I have a class at 9.00 am and a drive of about 1 hour and a quarter to get there.

Time for bed!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

The Brooch

I received the brooch this morning from the engraver. I was so excited I could hardly wait to open it. Lo and behold it is really beautifully done! I can hardly believe I made it!

Now to send it for casting.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Too busy to post blog!

Haven't posted to blog since last week. I thought on Saturday that I would make some jewellery as I have a good number of orders. However, I received a call and had customers at 3 pm - to discuss the design and creation of Prom Jewellery. I'm not complaining though and look forward to making this jewellery.

On Sunday we got out in the fresh air and went up to Auchencruive - a country park with the River Ayr way running through. It was perfectly lovely but we just got back and the hail and sleet came on. On Tuesday it was really sunny and springlike. I gave my car a treat and washed and hoovered it. At night I went to my jewellery making class and worked on a silver ring with a heart setting in a layered design. Didn't quite finish it - still to remove the oxide.

Had a busy day today so just taking it easy tonight - a few emails to be done.

Saturday, 7 March 2009


Oops - I looked at the snow - didn't think too much. Went out to car - backed out and got STUCK. The whole parking area was covered in six inches of snow - not one footprint (apart from mine). The wheels were spinning and the snow was hard packed. I didn't get to work - no taxis or buses. Gritters came out about 2 pm - too late to drive.

So I went back in and was a bit stunned. Had planned to do all sorts of things. Eventually got to post office about 4.30 to post THE BROOCH.

Thursday I left at - wait for it - 7 am to ensure I got to work. No snow and weather was fine.

It's 01.04 am Saturday so it's bedtime!

Goodnight x

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Snow by the seaside!

As I look out of my window I see about 4 inches of snow. As I live near the sea this is highly unusual. I will be leaving soon to go to work so I hope it isn't heavier inland.

At last I am posting my brooch for engraving. I will then complete my other orders that I am working on at present.

busy, busy, busy.

Must dash


Monday, 2 March 2009


Went to a local community centre and did a display for a local ladies group. I was made very welcome and enjoyed the night.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

I just don't believe it!

Got a call on Friday re the brooch. Jeweller not able to do the engraving due to shape of brooch. Since then I have been in contact with someone online and they will be able to do the hand engraving. The engraver's work on his site is superb.

I'll need to collect it and then post tomorrow.

Today I was at the Holiday Inn Wedding Fair. Althoug it wasn't busy I met some really nice people. I also have some names and details of those who might be interested in commissioning some work - here's hoping.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Friday tomorrow!

I'm glad it's Friday tomorrow as this has been a very busy week between one thing and another.

Tomorrow I am travelling to Alexandria to take a new course - back to College at lunchtime with another class at 1 pm. Quite a lot of driving. Not much jewellery making tonight but I am up to date with the work in progress.

Just a mention to Dee and William. The photos were taken at the reception and I was there with my husband and son. We were invited to the evening reception which we enjoyed very much. So thankyou for inviting us. It was so wonderful to see Dee in her gown and jewellery. I just love to see my jewellery being worn - it is so satisfying.


Brooch Commission

Finally I took the brooch to be engraved. I await this process so that I can send it for casting. I have been really busy working on my orders but today has been hectic as I had two appointments (not business) and then the one hour drive to college where I was teaching this afternoon.

Needless to say I was tired when I got home. However, here I am still awake. Just about to go to sleep - up at 6.30 am tomorrow as I start at 9 - can't be late.

Goodnight all x

Monday, 23 February 2009

Update on Brooch

To my great relief I have now completed the polishing stage of the brooch and it is now ready to be engraved. However, this will have to be Wednesday morning at 9.00 am due to the engraver not being available until then. I have spent a great deal of time polishing and buffing as I was not happy if I saw any slight scratches. Of course when the piece is cast it will require lots of work again but I want the master to be as flawless as possible!

Must go as dinner awaits!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Brooch Commission

The next stage in the saga - I need to get the brooch polished and cleaned to be ready for engraving. However, I don't seem to have the right 'chuck' or collet to use the cleaning mops that I specially ordered from Cookson Gold. I was up at 8.00 am phoning various diy stores. I finally got help from a really nice young man at B & Q and so now there's no excuse!

Except that after being out and about and then coming back to do dishes, clean etc I seemed to have come to a halt! However, I am just about to go out to the workshop and get the job done!
I've been messing about on the laptop looking up all sorts of things and I have some new ideas for other designs. Must focus or the day will be gone!

Friday, 20 February 2009

First Posting

I decided to add a blog to my site as this allows me to tell you more about me and what's happening with the business. It seems that blog may just be old-fashioned and the new way is 'twitter'.

However, I will use this for the present.

I seem to be juggling many different projects at the moment as is my favourite way to be. I am on a strict deadline for the silver brooch commission which I am working on - cannot reveal who for as yet - it will all come out in due course. Need to go and see about engraving tomorrow and send off asap for casting. No time to spare. On Sunday I will be at the Holiday Inn, Glasgow Airport with Lisa with her Prom Gowns. I will be displaying jewellery and tiaras and my designs will be modelled on the catwalk. I'll need to get organised and will be busy tomorrow preparing and perhaps making a new design?

I like to introduce a new design at a show if I have time. May have some videos done on Sunday and perhaps some editorial from a University in the Glasgow area - will detail what happens after Sunday.

Time for bed as I'll be busy tomorrow!