Thursday 28 April 2011

This charmed life...

The Freemontodendron is in bloom and all's right with the world!
Much as I love bank holiday weekends they do throw me off balance a bit and with 2 in as many weeks I've kind of lost track off what day it is now. Maybe it's because I no longer work the 9 - 5 routine that keeps life running to order - not that I ever did really...

Less than a year ago, I would be up at 6am and off to work for a large corporate institution and probably wouldn't be home much before 7- 8pm. Don't get me wrong, I loved my job and was a real career girl for the xx!!! years of my working life - but then something changed. I stopped enjoying it and started to stress about it and that in turn impacted on me and my life outside of work. So, I gave it up, and now I spend my days designing and making jewellery and discovering all the wonderful things that are going on in my new world and the amazing people who inhabit it.

Now, I realise that I am extremely fortunate to be in a position to be able do this - the compensation packages are not exactly similar as you would expect!!! But for me this is outweighed by the fact that doing something creative makes me feel so much more fulfilled (even though my career was supposedly in a 'creative' occupation!) and because I have had so much support and positive feedback from other jewellery makers, I feel proud of what I'm doing again. Obviously, it's still early days and things may change - but I don't think so.

Anyway - to get back to the jewellery... I made this necklace for myself last week (a rare treat these days) using gorgeous sea inspired lampwork beads by Izzy Anderson. As the beads are so lovely I didn't want to do do very much with it so, I made a shell pendant in silver clay, moulded from a real shell and used this as the focal for the piece. I've used a few of these shells in my work in the past so it occurred to me that this could be something that other jewellery makers might like.

"fragment of the Past'
Copper clay pendant
So this week I've been experimenting with various metal clays and shells to make charms and pendants with a view to selling them through my Etsy shop and these are some of the early results.

Left to right - Proclay Bronze,  Art Clay Silver 650,  Bronzclay

More Silver clay waiting to be fired. The Ammonite is from
a bead rather than natural but still rather pretty
What do you think..?

I love the silver shells but I also think the bronze versions have a lovely rustic appeal and match well with warmer, earthy colours - I'll be trying copper clay too. It's just as well I live near the coast as I'm now on a constant search for small, interesting shells.

I'm hoping to get some of these into my shop next week. I'd also like to try and extend these to other small  'natural' items that can be moulded and made into charms, so if you have any ideas, please - do let me know. Ooh, maybe there's an idea for a little competition...!


So it's nearly the weekend again - hope it's a great one for you all and, for those of you who are fans of the Royal Family - enjoy the wedding!

Oh, and one last thing...

Cats have been featuring in Blogs this week so I thought I'd give a little mention to my design assistant Cleo, who can be seen here keeping a close eye on a photo shoot.

Lesley & Cleo


  1. Ah!....Anything to do with cats....I'm there like a shot.....! :). Love'em to bits.....!
    Jewellery nice tooooo!
    (No! No! Really mean that).
    But, a photo of Cleo, from time to time....would be nice...! :0).

  2. LOL LOVE Cleo! And love the pieces you are making, they are gorgeous!

  3. She'll be pleased to know she's appreciated - she has a high opinion of herself like most cats. Willie - she has her own section on my flick photostream (link on the side bar) feel free to take a look.

  4. A wonderful post, Lesley! I'm still drooling over your new beautiful necklace & now your newest components (got my eye on a few of one of them. I'll be stalking your shop!) Kisses & hugs for Miss Cleo!

  5. Your jewelry is always so drool-worthy! Agree about the rustic charm of the broze shells - love the earthy feel to them, not that I don't like the silver versions :) Beautiful cat!


Don't be shy - join in with the gossip...