Monday, 23 March 2015
I was round visiting my dad at the weekend and he's been trying to have a bit of a clear out. In amongst rifling through old newspaper cuttings and sketch books from my school days (hello teen angst charcoal sketches) I was handed a couple of jewellery boxes that had belonged to my Granny and my Mum. It was fun looking through them and seeing what was held inside. Both had a rather fine collection of single earrings (my mums being clip on ones) and many that were missing their fastenings, tricky wee things.
It was interesting to see how my taste differs from their's. While my shelves are stacked with statement acrylic and enamel pieces, these boxes contained a lot of shiny gold and pearl effect. There wasn't anything of great monetary value and I suppose that's where our collections would hold some similarities. I own very few pieces that are made of precious metal and even less (read none) that contain precious stones. Yet much of my jewellery collection is very precious to me. This might be because it was an item gifted to me by a family member or close friend or because of where I was when I bought it. It could even be because I connected with the designer who made it or just because I felt a connection with the piece itself. Most of my jewellery has it's own wee story and that's what makes it special. It made me wonder about the stories behind my Gran and Mum's collections. Some bits may be slightly damaged or bent out of shape but this could just show a life of use (or misuse). I've taken a few pieces that I think I can work into my style so I guess I'll just make my own stories with them.
This is one of my favourite necklaces that was my Mums. I've actually had it for a while but collecting the other pieces made me want to get it out and show it off. It's a locket and inside it has the tiniest folded paper for the owner to write medical details on. It doesn't actually have any information written on it, which is a bit of a shame. I can understand it though because you'd have to have the smallest handwriting ever to fit it on. It has a little stone missing from the front and its a bit scuffed round the edges but I love the SOS lettering and the pretty clasp. It also has a quirkiness that I am definitely attracted to when buying my own jewellery.
Monday, 16 March 2015
It was my birthday last month and I thought it was about high time I got my ears pierced. 28 seemed like the most appropriate time to take this step and, after seeing these beautiful earrings by Lou Taylor, I knew it was time to take the plunge.
Why such the long wait? It's difficult to say really. I've never been worried about the pain of having it done or anything like that. Earrings just never seemed to catch my attention. I've always preferred spending my pennies on rings and necklaces, so earrings didn't get much of a look in. Plus I did worry I might not suit them. Sometimes earrings can look a bit wrong on certain face shapes and I thought that might be me. A strange niggle but it was niggly enough to put me off. This is still something that plays on my mind but then I started noticing, and falling for, more and more ear jewels . These ones just tipped me over the edge. I'll find out if they're right for me soon enough and now I'm excited about it rather than worried.
It's only a few short weeks until I actually get to wear these creepy lovelies. In the meantime I've been compiling a bit of an earring wishlist. I think this may be the start of a new obsession......
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
For Valentines Day I treated myself to this fabulous flamingo number from Karen Mabon. I love all of her designs but this one was a particular favourite of mine from her new collection. There's something about those pink birds that just captured my attention. In fact I noticed a lot of flamingo themed jewels had been popping up on my radar recently. Here are some more of my favourites......
Spotted any pink feathery treats lately?
Monday, 2 March 2015
One of my goals for this year is to make the contents of my make up bag cruelty free. This process has made me think more about the ethical aspects of lots of the products I buy but one of the hardest things is finding brands to buy from. I know they're out there but pinpointing them can be tricky. When I came across This GOOD Box on Instagram it looked like something I'd like to get involved with. This new subscription box plans to introduce folks to a wide variety of ethical companies and encourage participants to partake in random acts of kindness. All good stuff in my book.
Just being in the planning stages they were looking for some people to test out the first box and give feed back on the process. Of course I was up for that and signed straight up. The box arrived last Monday and it couldn't have arrived at a better time. I was super ill and had suffered through the day at work. I got home feeling tired, gross and extremely sorry for myself. This little box was waiting for me and it perked me up so much!
Inside the box was a lovely little selection featuring teabags, a chocolate heart, paper bracelet, badges and a cute card. It also featured a postcard covered in challenges for random acts of kindness. It's definitely introduced me to a few new brands and has encouraged me to be more giving. Can't wait to see what the next stage of the box is.
What I got in my box:
Chocolate Memories chocolate heart
Tea People tea bags
Jenny Jackson illustrated card
This GOOD Box badges and inspiration postcard
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
A while back I did a post about the plight of Sugar & Vice after their laser cutter went up in flames. I am happy to report that their Indiegogo campaign went phenomenally well and they smashed their £1000 target. After a few more minor hiccups their laser powers have been restored and they're back up and running.
The little perk that went with my pledge was a specially designed piece of Sugar & Vice jewellery and on Saturday it arrived! Isn't it the most appropriate and perfect design! Very pheonix-esque! I proudly wore mine out the very next day for a trip to the ice rink.
I'm very happy that this creative business has found it's footing again. Especially when they put out new things like this:
This awesome necklace is from their new mini collection of classroom themed items. The pencil earrings also caught my eye. They've also been busy sharing glimpses of their new afternoon tea collection which drops in 6 days! It is looking super tasty and I can't wait to see it in it's full glory. In the meantime I'm busying myself by lusting after this little lot....
Monday, 2 February 2015
Last week saw Vanilla Ink close it's Dundee doors for the last time. Sob! Creator Kate Pickering is off to plan new adventures and develop Vanilla Ink 2.0 in Glasgow. Those lucky west siders!
I have loved having such an amazing facility so close to home, attending a number of evening classes, hot desking and falling for the work created by the Inkers. I have learned a lot and met some wonderful people thanks to Vanilla Ink and, though I didn't take advantage of the space as much as I would have liked, I will miss it greatly. It's on to bigger and better things and I can't wait to see what Kate comes up with next. Guaranteed it'll be fantastic. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that Vanilla Ink returns to Dundee in some form or another, but for now I can still enjoy the fantastic jewels it allowed me to ogle, the pieces I made as part of the classes and the lovely folks I met. Here's a wee look at my Vanilla Ink highlights.....
Make Your Own Xmas Presents Class
My first taste of a Vanilla Ink class saw me making a simple silver ring plus a bunch of presents for family and friends. I managed to make quite a few pieces in this class and loved being able to say "I made that!" come Christmas day.
Vanilla Ink End of Year Show 2013
The first end of year show saw a fine array of fabulous jewellery from the Inkers. All displayed alongside some strong on brand decor.
Intermediate Jewellery Making Class
I didn't quite manage to make as much during my second set of sessions at Vanilla Ink but I did produce the above faces ring. It's still one of my favourite pieces that I've made. Kate encouraged me to make the ring bigger and bolder and helped out when the filing got too much for me.
Precious Metal Clay Class
This class introduced me to a different way of working and opened up my mind to new possibilities. It also gave me some time to make a little gift for Ross.
Leatherwork Class with Pretty Vexed
This one off workshop let me play with a different material and try something new. It was great fun and amazing to see what can be achieved in a few short hours.
Vanilla Ink End of Year Show 2013
A fabulous show in an amazing space. This event was buzzing with people and the displays showed off the work perfectly. Plus it featured one rather spectacular catwalk show.
Scottish Jewellery Week
There was lots of inspiration and motivation to be had at Scotland's first jewellery week. A fine selection of events held at a number of venues across Dundee. Got me excited about jewellery in whole new ways.
Thanks to Kate for bringing Vanilla Ink to Dundee and all the best for Vanilla Ink 2.0. It's gonna be amazing!
Monday, 19 January 2015
The run up to Christmas gave me a chance to meet some lovely Dundee based jewellers, all thanks to Time Boutique. In the run up to the big day they hosted a number of pop up shops, allowing designers and makers to take over a table in the shop and talk to customers about their work. You may remember my post all about Karen Smith's beautiful jewels, as she kicked off the whole season of pop up events. Unfortunately I didn't manage to make it along to all them but I had a jolly good time at those I did get to. Not only was there fizz and sweet treats at each occasion, but I also managed to chat to some cheery designers, whose faces I recognised but had never actually met before.
One of the events I did make it to was the Syrah Jay pop up. I've always admired the selection of her felt creation in the DCA so it was nice to see a fuller range of pieces and meet the lady herself. She creates a wide variety of felt and cork pieces, all using wonderfully bright colours paired with simple shapes. I love the statement necklaces which are eye-catching, yet infinitely wearable. I also really enjoyed the way she'd displayed her items, adding to the joyful feel with bold frames and fake grass.
Did you make it along to any of the Time pop ups? What do you think of Syrah Jay's colourful designs? Looking at these photos is certainly cheering up my cold January days.