Wednesday, 24 February 2010


Hi all,

My latest interview is with the incredibly talented Amanda of Gimme that Thing, also known on the forums as Chicita.  Here goes;-

Tell us a bit about yourself:-

I'm Amanda Robins (aka Chicita on the crafting forums). I live in Manchester with my crafting 12 year old daughter, 2 cats called Zebra and Dolphin, 4 hens called Jet, Opal, Beryl and Doris, a cheeky gerbil and a temperamental (or just plain mental) horse named Sid the Sod. I'm a writer during the day, working from home, and my spare time is spent designing and making beaded jewellery and hand built utility ceramics. I'm a knitaholic, and usually have a difficult project and an easy one on the go at one time, so as not to get bored with the repetition of the same stitch and colour.

When did you first start crafting?
As a child I was always knitting, making papier mache plates and sewing my own funky clothes. I'm a child of the 60s so there were a lot of flared floral trousers being created. I recently got back in touch with an old school friend after 35 years, and when I told her what I was making these days she reminded me that I used to make and sell wooden Disney character brooches to the girls at school as well as fat candles that I produced in my mum's best saucepans!

Would you describe this as your work or your passion?
This is definitely my passion. A few years ago I ran my own hand knitwear business and had a team of knitters working with me, so I know from experience how hard it is to make a living out of handmade items.

What inspires you?
I'm a real water baby and used to scuba dive before I became a mum. I still snorkel but only if the sea is warm, and love looking at the amazing colours of the marine life. So I have to say that the sea and general coastline and all the beautiful things that get washed up on the beach are my main influences in relation to shapes and colour combinations.

Tell us about your favourite creation – do you have a picture?
I like my ceramic jewellery as it's all come from me. My favourite pieces right now are the Dot to Dot Moss Ceramic Brooch and matching Oh! Earrings. I love the colours and textures created by just 2 glazes.

How do you keep yourself motivated?
I teach myself new skills. Today I learnt how to make wire wrapped rings, and can't get enough of this simple technique. I also find motivation by ordering beads that I've not used before and just by trial and error I combine them with other beads to create interesting designs.

Do you attend craft fairs etc. or do you sell purely on-line?
I started doing craft fairs locally last year and did some absolutely brilliant ones. I also did some truly dreadful fairs, so this year I'm able to choose the best ones to attend. I also don't need to spend time hunting for events as I'm now on mailing lists.

Where do you do your work?
Jewellery is usually made on my bed. It's a great place to work as I can spread beads out and see what goes with what. There's usually at least one cat ready to cause disruption, attack jewellery wire or just try to squeeze onto my lap. I use the kitchen for playing with clay and my kiln is in the spare bedroom, which I laughingly refer to as the studio!

Do you have a favourite medium to work with?
I love freshwater pearls and have recently found a good supplier that sells wonderful colours. I'm also really keen on using clay to make pieces for earrings, rings and brooches. I'm experimenting with bronze clay and copper clay at the moment. This is a fabulous medium to work with, especially if you have pottery skills and a kiln.

What are you working on right now?
This morning I've been making wire wrapped rings. This afternoon I intend to teach myself how to make wire wrapped bracelets and this evening I'm starting a new knitted wire choker.

Where can we see your creations?
I have a small proportion of my creations in my Folksy and Zibbet shops. I also feature some items on my blog. Most of my items are sold at craft fairs, but I've just started selling jewellery in Voodooville, my friend's shop in Afflecks Palace in the centre of Manchester. Unfortunately for me, it's right next to a bead shop so all my earnings get spent straight away!

Do you have your own website/blog?
You can purchase my items on Folksy and Zibbet. I blog 2 or 3 times a week.

Thanks Amanda - I love your jewellery.
Next interview will be in a weeks time, and will feature Susie from Lynwood Jewellery

Monday, 15 February 2010

Selling Gold

Hi all,

This probably doesn't really relate to this blog as such, but I had to tell you all about it.  I have been sorting my jewellery box out ( a never ending pastime!!) and came across the usual bits of broken jewellery that I am sure everyone has.  I had an old gold chain that was twisted and unwearable, and an old gate bracelet that was somewhat squished.  I went online to get a quote from one of these sites that keep advertising on the telly.  I am always a bit dubious about this things - call it a distrusting nature!.  I had to enter descriptions, and the weight of the two in total, and they quoted me a price of £9.  I thought this seemed pretty low, so didn't think much more about it, until one of my friends mentioned she had taken some of her stuff into our local jewellers, and he had given her a really good price.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I have just been up town, and my incredibly lovely jeweller gave me £60 for the exact same items!!!  So I really would advise people to avoid these on-line, and postal places if you are wanting to get rid of your old stuff, and try your local jeweller instead.  It makes me so mad that these on-line places are taking advantage of people who are desperate to make a bit of extra cash.  I am sure there are some reputable on-line or postal firms, but on the whole, they seem to be a bunch of rip-off merchants.  Has anyone else come across anything like this???

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Interview with Laura Gladwyn of Jewellery Drops by Laura

Hi, I am so pleased to be able to present my first blog interview.  Laura Gladwyn of Jewellery Drops by Laura kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me.  Her answers are below;-

Tell us a bit about yourself:-
My name is Laura Gladwyn. I live in Nantwich Cheshire, and work fulltime as Auditor for a company in North Wales and when not working I like to create new and unique pieces of jewellery and try and sell them in my online shop Jewellery Drops by Laura.

When did you first start crafting?
I have always been crafty, loved art when I was at school, but got into jewellery making about six years ago. When I was at university one of the lecturers used to make jewellery and it started from there, most of what I know is self taught or out of books. I like to learn this way and get a lot of satisfaction from learning new techniques.

Would you describe this as your work or your passion?
This is a passion for me, or as I call it a hobby. I find it relaxing, and at the end of it I have a lovely item of jewellery that is wearable. I would love to call it work but it’s not profitable enough for me to make a business out of it. I would love to have my own bead shop where I can teach other people but this is just dream.

What inspires you?
Lots of things inspire me - people, time of year, the way I feel.

Tell us about your favourite creation – do you have a picture?
I have a Victorian style necklace which is one of the first things I made and learnt how to bead weave while making it, I still have it somewhere!!! Unfortunately I have no pictures.

How do you keep yourself motivated?
I find keeping motivated very hard at times, especially when I’m not selling anything, but I like to make what I like and when I’m in a creative mood that is what I do.

Do you attend craft fairs etc. or do you sell purely on-line?
I have a couple of Craft Fairs in the summer and am hoping to have more booked for Christmas time as this is my busy period. I do sell my jewellery all year round on my online shop:

Where do you do your work?
I mainly work in my room where I can listen to music or TV while working. I also have a cupboard that was built specially for me by my brother who is a joiner, it’s fab (I am so jealous!!!! Zoe) I know where everything is and can find items easy

Do you have a favourite medium to work with?
My favourite medium at the moment is Lampwork Beads and I have been using these beads in my work. I love the colours, textures and the fact that every bead is different and unique. I would love to have a go at making my own beads but for now I will just buy from British Artists

What are you working on right now?
I work on lots of different thing at one time, that way I don’t get bored of one thing. I have a tubular bangle which I’m still working on, Pineapple Pendant and of course coming up with new ideas for my lampwork beads

Where can we see your creations?
You can see my creations at:

Do you have your own website/blog?
My blog address is and you can become a fan on Facebook as well

These are some of my favourite things from Laura’s shop;-

This Bracelet has been made with Lampwork bead made by a British Artist, the findings used is memory wire to keep the shape of the bracelet.

I love the colours of the lampwork bead, and the simplicity of the surrounding beads really set it off.

I adore the animal print lampwork beads used in this set.
The filigree spacers complement the colours beautifully.


Tuesday, 9 February 2010


I have just sent emails to all those who kindly agreed to be interviewed for this blog.  Hopefully the replies will come back soon, and we can get to know some of the incredibly talented Folksters!!

New Makes

Hi,  I have been busy over the lat few days making birthday gifts for friends and family.  The first I made was this purple seed bead creation.

I love the clasp on this.  It is seven strands of seed beads, which I thread on to wire by hand.  I think it looks great when it is finished, but it really makes your hand ache!!!!

Here's a close up of the clasp.  I think it's so pretty, and makes it a more adaptable necklace, as you can have the clasp as a centre piece at the front, off to the side, or if you have it at the back, and have short hair, it really looks great.

My second creation was a keyring.  One of my friends doesn't really wear much jewellery, but I wanted to make her something for her birthday this week.  Never made a keyring before, but I don't think it's too bad for a first attempt.  Let me know what you think.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Sunshine Awards

I have been awarded the Sunshine Award by Black Cats Whiskers - thank you so much!!!  I've never won an award before so am feeling really special right now.  I am off to celebrate with another cup of tea and choc biccie.  The details of the Sunshine Award are;-

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity & creativity inspires others in the blog world.

The rules for accepting the Sunshine award ~

Put the logo on your blog or within your post

Pass the award onto 12 bloggers

Link the nominees within your post

I am now off to pass the award on.

Free Earrings

I have an offer running at the moment through my Folksy shop.  The first five people to buy through the shop will receive a free pair of earrings.  The earrings could be anything from pearls to Swarovski crystals, to some gorgeous handmade glass beads I have recently obtained.  My shop is at


I've been interviewed!!!!!!  Tracy of FatCatFelt emailed me with loads of questions, which I replied to yesterday.  I am so chuffed, as I've never been interviewed for anything before (except job interviews, which are so not enjoyable!!!)  The interview was for Tracy's blog, which can be found here  FatCatFelt makes some gorgeous journals, bags and jewellery which are all hand felted.  Absolutely gorgeous!!!  I don't know yet when my interview will appear, but will update when I do.  I have rewarded myself with a cup of tea, and a chocolate Breakaway bar that someone has bought into work. I didn't know they still made breakaways!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Thank you

Just want to say a huge thank you to all who have followed my blog, and for all the helpful and supportive suggestions made through Folksy.  I am currently writing the questions for my first interview and hope to be publishing this shortly.  In the meantime, thought I would share with you my official helper throughout my jewellery making - commonly known as Rose.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

I love working with semi-precious stones, and this is a necklace I made recently using 4mm Chrysocolla beads, and an Imperial Turquoise Jasper pendant, with a few small gold spacers. I love the markings on the jasper, they have a gorgeous, rich brown tone which I think combine well with the green of the Chrysocolla.

This is a closeup of the pendant.
Hi, I am starting this blog to talk about my trials and tribulations in jewellery making. I have always been interested in various types of crafts, and after years of buying jewellery in shops, only to see a dozen people wearing the same thing, I decided to give it a go myself. I have been making jewellery for a while now, and have made things for family and friends. They have persuaded me to give it a go at selling some. I have set up a shop on Folksy, which is an absolutely fabulous site where you can buy and sell handmade items. It is a great place to fin unusual and eclectic gifts that you wouldn’t find on the high street. You can find my shop at I hope to interview and feature other Folksy sellers in later blogs.

I also intend this to be a place where I can indulge my love of all jewellery. I will be writing articles on all aspects of jewellery, from making, to the history of jewellery, to gemstones to famous or legendary jewellery. I love to research (I am a geek and proud of it), so if there is anything in particular you would like to read about, drop me an email and I will see what I can do.

You may also find the occasional non jewellery related post about me, my life, and life in general, but I am not used to talking about myself so bear with me!!!

Bye for now