Friday, 27 May 2011

Oak Leaves now available!

Thank you so much for the feedback on my new clasps! It's one thing to be pleased yourself with what you've made, but it means so much more when other people like it too! This week's orders have been shipped :)

The oak leaf toggle clasps are now on etsy, and I've listed everything on my website too. You can find them here and here . My sketch book is becoming full of ideas for more charms, clasps and other goodies for you to use in your jewellery - next up, buttons! With matching toggle clasps of course.

Don't forget the three daisy toggle clasps I'm giving away - all you have to do is leave a comment on yesterday's post to be in with a chance of winning. Good luck!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

BTW - and three giveaways!

Okay, so I know it's Thursday, but Wednesday was spent consoling and comforting a teething Jamie so I'm pretending that today is Wednesday instead! Poor Jamie - he's usually such a cheerful smiling baby that we know that he only makes a fuss when there is is something to make a fuss about. task these last couple of days has been to photograph my new clasp designs and list them on etsy and on my website - the job tomorrow morning is to put the banner on my daisychainextra etsy shop as I just realised this evening that I haven't done this yet! Today's its been the turn of toggle clasps, and daisies and leaves been the themes again. The daisy toggle clasps are in the daisychainextra etsy shop and will be on my website by the weekend. The oak leaves will be listed in both shops by the weekend too. As with the hook clasps, each comes in polished silver, oxidised silver and oxidised copper.

The daisy clasp comes in two sizes - the small one measures approximately 15mm in diameter, and the medium 20mm. I say medium as I'm planning to make a larger size too.

The oak leaf is my favourite though. I made one to finish off the Autumn necklace on my website. I decided that it was too beautiful to hide at the back of the necklace though, so the chain fastens at the front with the leaf hanging over the pendant.

I've decided to have three giveaways this month - although having decided last month to have monthly giveaways again I've left it until the last week of May to organise this one! I have one oxidised copper, one oxidised silver and one polished silver small daisy toggle to giveaway, one to someone on my newsletter mailing list and the other two to two people leaving comments on this post. So, if you're on my newsletter mailing list and you leave a comment you're in with two chances. If you'd like another chance then blog, facebook or tweet about the giveaway and come back here to tell me that you've done so, with a link to your blog post etc! You have until the end of May (i.e. midnight on Tuesday 31st May) to enter, the names will be chosen at random, as will which winner gets which toggle clasp. As before, the giveaways are open to everyone, no matter where you live.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

My new venture!

I haven't shown you very many photos of new jewellery designs recently, partly because I've been working on a couple of new projects that I haven't been ready to share with you yet- well, share with anyone really. I've found it's made it a bit harder for me to blog as I've been so concious that I haven't wanted to give the game away! Anyway, I can finally share one of them with you!

I've opened up my etsy shop again. I didn't really have it opened for very long the first time round as I opened it too soon really - I didn't have the time to run my own website and keep etsy up to date as well. Etsy seems to have become a lot easy to use now though, it's certainly a lot quicker and easier to list items and customise your shop, so I thought that I'd set it back up again. I hope that it will make things easier for overseas customers as prices automatically get converted to your own currency, and if you are already set up on etsy the buying process is quicker. I've got 20 pieces in the shop at the moment, and my plan is to add more of my one-off pieces over the next week. You can find my etsy Daisychain Jewellery shop here  -

But the project I really wanted to share with you is my other, brand new etsy shop Daisychain Extra. After nagging from gentle suggestions from a few people, including some of my students, I have finally started offering some of my hand made clasps for sale. Do you remember this picture from Bead Table Wednesday a couple of weeks ago?

This is a different view of it -

it's a copper hook clasp made from one of my daisies, and one of the designs that you can now find both on my website and in my new etsy shop, together with the leaf hook clasp that you can see below.

I used a leaf clasp on the Turquoise Tree necklaces:

Each design is available in oxidised copper, oxidised silver and polished silver, and each is made to the same high standards that I use in my own jewellery. I've listed them on my website here, and you can find them on etsy at  I've got more designs to photograph tomorrow to list and to show you, but for now, what do you think?

Tutorial Tuesday - Bird Nest Necklace

 I love the look of these necklaces - such a beautifully simple idea, and so easy to adapt, as you can see from the photo below. Sarah Ortega has written a lovely step-by-step tutorial so that you can make your own - with, not surprisingly as she's a talented photographer, beautiful photos to make everything as clear as possible. The single pearl is my favourite - something else to add to my must-do list! You can find Sarah's tutorial here


I don't know what I was thinking, saying that I would post at all last night, let alone that I'd post about one of the projects I'd been working on! It seems at the moment that whenever I tell you that I'm definitely going to post something comes up! This time it was blogger not letting me (and lots of other people it seems) log in. The fix was easy (just clearing my cookies and cache and rebooting) but it took a while to find out that that was all I needed to do!

Anyway...Legoland! Ben's school had a teacher training day yesterday. Each May the PTA arrange for parents to buy group priced tickets for Legoland to make the most of the day. I've wanted to take Ben there for ages, but the full priced tickest are horrendously expensive, so the chance to get tickets at such a good price was too good to pass up! My parents came with us, and we took a friend of Ben's too - and I did tell my parents that there was an ulterior motive to my invitation! I needed help to be able to take both of my boys, let alone another, as Ben isn't quite tall enough to go on most of the rides himself and I can't exactly leave Jamie on his own while I go on a ride with Ben. Thankfully they had just as good a time as the rest of us, and we're already talking about going again next year! The rides were great, but to my surprise the boys said that their favourite part was Mini World - the amazing scenes from around the world made from millions and millions of lego bricks. The attention to detail was fantastic. I would have loved to have helped build some of it - I love it when Ben gets a new lego kit so building on such a large scale would have been fantastic - and so addictive too! A bit like when I'm knitting - I'll just do one more row before bedtime! We took tonnes of photos so I'll let some of them do the talking rather than waffle on!

This was the expression on Jamie's face for most of the day!

It was the attention to detail that I loved. Look! Dr Who, the TARDIS and a Darlek at Canary Wharf!

And although you can't see it in this photo, they'd added Wills and Kate to Buckingham Palace

The Angel of the North - just for you Hellie

And for my American friends....

The boys kept yelling "Look! Look!". I don't think they knew where to look first!

I'll be back in a bit - I've got a great Tutorial Tuesday for you, and a few photos to show you that don't have a single lego brick in them.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Buzz buzz buzz....

I am quite literally buzzing with excitement! One of the reasons is that T and I went to a wonderful wedding reception yesterday. Kevin and Juno are two of our loveliest friends, and after a very small wedding yesterday 80 of us joined them for a reception at the Mayflower theatre, first of all for a champagne reception, then for a meal and then a fantastic performance of We Will Rock You - it was definitely the most unique wedding receptions we have been too, such a fantastic idea and so perfect for Kev and Juno. They had a box for the show whilst the rest of us had amazing seats in the upper circle. The rest of the audience must have wondered what on earth was going on though - all 80 of us gave the happy couple a standing ovation when they entered their box and we were all up on our feet dancing and singing to the wonderful Queen rock songs. A lot of other people in the audience were too (audience participation is encouraged!), but they must have wondered what we were all celebrating! Their wedding outfits were wonderful too - they went shopping for fantastic bohemian vintage clothes at Camden Market in London. Thank you both of you for a fantastic night out, and thank you Mum and Dad for babysitting and not minding that we didn't get back until well after midnight!

There are other reasons for my general buzziness too - two equally lovely commissions, some exciting emails and a couple of projects that I've been working on recently nearly ready to show you. I can finally share one of them with you on Monday, which will be a relief as it's been a bit frustrating watching what I type and what I show you on Bead Table Wednesdays so that I didn't give the game away too early!

Right then, time to watch the latest Doctor Who! It clashes with the boys bedtime so we have to record it. I've a feeling that I'll be hiding behind a cushion rather than buzzing while we watch it from what I've seen of the trailers!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Ummm....yummy colours! This was what was on my desk at the start of the evening when the sun was still streaming in through the windows! A gorgeous Moogin heart focal, some deep red spacer beads, Swarovski crystals, amethyst nuggets and some handmade silver chain, all sitting on top of the latest Beads and Beyond.

I've just spent a lovely couple of hours in the workshop working on some new designs, some of which I can't tell you about yet - sorry, I know I've said that a few times recently, but I've got a couple of exciting things in the pipeline! I can tell you about one of them very soon, promise. I can show you one though - some new earrings made with my favourite hammer.

Sorry about the awful picture - it was a very quick one!

These long ovals of silver have been sitting on my desk for months. They're the cut out sections from behind the turquoise set in two pairs of earrings that are waiting to go on the website, and I didn't want to put them in my scrap pot as they were so well matched and I just knew they'd be perfect for something. Today the perfect something came together, partly because most of the things I'm working on at the moment are big or NOTHS orders and I wanted something smaller to work on, something I could start and finish in one sitting!

The ovals have been hammered (obviously!), gently curved and had stud fixings soldered on. I think I'm going to oxidise one pair - what do you think?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - three needle bind off

I first learnt to knit when I was eight. Small groups of us were taken out of our class by a teaching assistant and taught how to cast on and knit simple squares. I think they were supposed to be dish cloths, but I seem to remember that mine was a bit too holey to be used for anything much! I've learnt a lot since then, mainly since getting the knitting bug again when Ben was born. I've made a few pairs of these booties recently, both for Jamie and for friends' babies. The pattern, Oh! Baby Baby Booties, is on Ravelry and also on a yarn shop website here. The original pattern has been adapted by a lovely helpful Raveller called babylee so it can be knit all in one piece - if you're on Ravelry either look her up for her modifications or have a look on my favourites as I've saved them in there. My Ravelry username is daisyjewellery (no surprises there!). And if you knit or crochet and you're not on Ravelry, why not?!

Anyway, when you've finished knitting a bootie it looks like the photo above. I use a circular needle instead of two straight needles just because I prefer it. The next step is to cast off the stitches and sew the seam. You could either cast off and then fold the cast off edge in half and sew it together, or you can do the casting off and sewing in one step  - quicker and a much neater seam - using three needle bind off.

If you haven't done this before it is really really easy. All you need is the two needles (or circular needle) you've been working on already and (surprise surprise) a third needle, slightly bigger than the ones you've already used. Have half the stitches on one needle and half on the other. Hold the needles together as shown.

Using the third needle, knit into the first stitch on each needle at the same time.

Knit the next pair of stitches as well.

Cast off the first stitch on your third needle by slipping it off the needle over the second stitch. Knit into the next pair of stitiches on your original needles and cast off the second stitch on your third needle.

Repeat until you've got to the end and cast off the last stitch by pulling the yarn through the loop. Easy!

I cast off the shoulders of jumpers and tops in the same way. Instead of casting off the shoulders of the back section I leave them on stitch holders and then cast them off with the shoulders of the front. I find if much quicker, especially as it leaves me fewer yarn ends to sew in - and I hate sewing in yarn ends!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


I've only been able to grab an hour in the workshop today as I took Jamie into see the office ladies at Eastleigh College (who I teach evening classes for) this morning and Ben had a friend over for tea this afternoon, but it was long enough for me to take some more photos for a new project I've been working on. It's not quite ready to tell you about yet, but it won't be long now - you'll be the first to know, promise!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

I do love calm and productive days!

It has been a lovely day here today, and not just because the beautiful weather is continuing. It was one of those rare days when everything just slotted into place - Jamie had two lovely naps in his cot and was all smiles and gurgles when he was awake despite teething, poor love. So, while he was alseep I got finished some jobs I've been wanting to finish for the last week, and when he was awake we had lots of games of peekaboo and he supervised my housework. I do love this age - almost everything I do, as long as I talk to him while I'm doing it is entertaining and his smiles are so beautiful. Mind you, no matter how entertaining he finds me, Jamie saves his biggest smiles for Ben when he comes home from school! Today it was time for a game of Twister in the garden -although Jamie seems a bit bemused in these photos!

The cutest giveaway!

This really has to be the cutest giveaway ever! Lorelei Eurto is giving away a set of gorgeous ceramic charms made by Kylie Parry, who has even cuter (is that a word? well, it is now!) jewellery and beads in her etsy shop. I think my favourite is this lovely little bird.

The giveaway only runs until tomorrow morning so get over there (here!) and leave a comment!

Tutorial Tuesday - Wrapped Leather Bracelets

I found this tutorial through Deci's blog after she left a comment on the earrings giveaway post last month -she makes the most amazing beaded cuffs and pendants with such tiny beads!

Anyway, I thought I'd share the tutorial for leather wrapped bracelets here too, as I'm seeing so many of these lovely bracelets about at the moment. The tutorial is well written and has some good photos, and there are also a couple of useful videos to help you too, like the one below. I haven't had time to make one myself yet, but from everything I've read you need a lot of thread and it's difficult to attach more thread neatly if you need to half way through the bracelet, so do make sure that you cut enough to start with, and use something like beeswax or thread heaven to help make the thread easier to work with. You can find the tutorial here!

Monday, 9 May 2011

The winners - at last!

Sorry for the silence last week - both I and our internet conection were feeling a bit under the weather. The internet problem seems to have been solved by a very efficient engineer who came out to see what he could do last Thursday, and some early nights seem to have sorted me out. It may sound strange but I sometimes forget that not only have I got a four month baby (I don't ever forget that part!), but I'm still recovering from major surgery. My stay in hospital is starting to feel like a bad dream sometimes, until I catch sight of the scars again - but at least they are fading too. I just have to remember to pace myself. A fair bit of last week was spent at various hospital appointments, but I won't have so many to go to in the future as the main clinic are so pleased with how I'm doing that I just need to go in for a check up every 6 weeks or so, and the speech therapist is so pleased with me that she's signed me off, although she says I can call or email if I need help in the future. Everyone involved in my care at the hospital has been wonderful!

Anyway...the winners of the earrings! Drum roll please.......

The winner of the "leave a comment" pair of earrings is comment 14, left by Pralinka -you have some great photos on your blog! The winner of the newsletter subscription pair of earrings is Louise Fullerton. Congratulations both of you - emails are on their way to you so that I can get your addresses and post your new earrings to you! Thank you for the lovely comments you left - I didn't leave any comments in return as I didn't want to confuse the count, but it was lovely to read about what you all had been making!

I've got a new earring design to show you later in the week, and a pair of them to give away too!


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