Sunday, 30 October 2011

Folksy Item of the week......Blasting into Outer Space

Ever felt like you needed to STOP & get away from it all. I sometimes do & then imagine what it would really be like to get away from it in out of this world completely! Maybe just take a rocket to the stars...oh well, such are dreams made of. I don't think I'll ever have the 200,000 dollars required for a Virgin Galactic flight, so my imagination will have to do! Well that's infinitely less risky! So Folksy Item of the Week had to be outer space related & thanks go to Fizzy Popov for this really unusual clock!

Thanks to fizzypopov

Friday, 28 October 2011

Dichroic Glass ...A Brief Encounter

There's something so alluring about the dazzling spectrum of colours that shimmer across dichroic glass. So it's a jewellers dream to work with.

We can thank NASA for the current ease of access to this beautiful glass as they developed it for use as dichroic filters. However, it has been around a lot longer. Have you ever heard of the Lycergus cup? This is a Roman glass cage cup from the 4th Century. The glass has minute particles of silver & gold in its layers, much the same way that modern dichroic glass is created deliberately by using multiple thin layers of different metals & oxides. This causes different wavelengths of light to either reflect or go through, creating the myriad of colours that also change depending which way you look at it. That's why it can be difficult to capture a photo that in any way reveals the real depth of beauty it has in real life. Any photo is only giving you a brief encounter with dichroic glass.

The above pendants were created by fusing dichroic glass with bullseye glass in a kiln. It's always exciting seeing what happens, as the melting process can be somewhat unpredictable. The end result isn't always what you expect! Once fused, you then have basically cabochons. You can use fibre rope in the firing process, if you need a hole for pendant attachments or you can drill glass (that's another blog topic!) However, as a wire worker, I will simply wrap them in wire & create a loop to attach to any necklace.

The word dichroic is derived from the Greek 'di', which is two & 'chroma', which is colour.


Saturday, 22 October 2011

Folksy Item of the Week ...Squirrels

We're fortunate enough in Cumbria to still get glimpses of the very cute, but elusive red squirrel. However, even in the years that I've lived in Cumbria I've seen the march of the grey ones occurring up along the coast here. Greys are cute too, but they just don't give the red squirrels a chance.
If you read the forestry commission link, it tells you a bit about where to find Cumbria's red squirrels & the 'Save Our Squirrels' campaign.

Thank you DeesDesigns ..winner of item of the week

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Owls Need Rescue

Well, I have even more Folksy owls to show you & one copper wire work owl of my own. So what's the big deal with owls? It is something close to my heart, as these magnificent creatures are in need of all the support & help that they can get, in order to survive this ever changing world of ours. The World Owl Trust, which has a base at the World Owl Centre at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria, not only lets you have close up contact with these mysterious creatures, but endeavours to work with all those involved in their future survival, from ministers of governments to farmers. All in order to save the lives & habitats of these beautiful creatures. I couldn't imagine a world without them.

Spiral Fountain Jewellery

And here's some more Folksy Owls;



Thanks to everyone who has contributed their pictures to the 'Owl Blogs!'

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Folksy item of the week...owls

I'm lucky enough to have a resident owl in my garden. Not that I've ever seen her, just heard that lovely haunting hoot echoing into the twilight.

Folksy is abundant with owls so here's a selection to show you;

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Feather earrings...How to make

I showed you one of my little chicks a while back. Well they are all fully grown now & have recently also shed their feathers...which is a great source of some free items to turn into jewellery! Earrings are easiest & the same technique can also be used to create a simple pendant. There are several ways to attach feathers to earrings, but this uses simply wire.

Step 1

Choose 3  (6 for a pair) of suitable feathers that would make a desirable item. Take some 0.6mm  or 0.8 mm gold plated wire ( whichever you feel more comfortable twisting with) You also need a pair of gold plated ear hooks.

Step 2

Check the ends of the feathers. If the bare end is too long, then cut with snips. You only need a few mm of bare end.


Then cut approximately a 10cm  length of the gold plated wire. Take the mid point and twist it by hand initially around the bare ends of the feather held together. This is a bit fiddly & if you can use a vice or other to hold the feathers, it releases your two hands to pull on the wire. Ideally then use pliers to pull the wire as tight as possible in order to ensure the feather ends are gripped tight & will not fall out.


Then take the upper end wire and continue to wrap it around the end of the feathers. If the feather ends look too long to wrap the wire, whilst allowing a couple of cm's of wire still for the loop, then just trim the ends down further.


Using flat nose pliers, twist the end wire 90 degrees up from the feather end. Then using round nose pliers loop the wire around & finally wrap the end of the wire below the loop to meet with the coils around the feathers.


Once you have done this , then turn to the other lower end of the wire. Wrap it until it is at the 'front' of the earring and then twist with flat nose pliers 90 degrees downwards. Then using round nose pliers form a spiral shape and press the wire so that it is lying flat with the feather.


Take your fish hook ear hook & open the end as shown. Link it through the loop you created on the feathers. Close carefully & 'voila!' You have a feather earring! Obviously you have to repeat the process for the second earring. You can vary the feathers or wire used to create a whole set of different earrings.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Recommended Bead Suppliers

I had to share with you all some great suppliers that I met at the Rheged Bead Fair, Cumbria yesterday. There was a fantastic array of beads from lampwork, to crystal, gemstone, seed beads & even a ceramic bead maker. Their links are below;

Izzy Beads
Jeanette's Lampwork Beads 
Gallow Glass Beads
Silver Orchid Beads 
The Bead Shed, (Carlisle Bead Shop
The Southampton Bead Shop

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Folksy Item of the week...Creepy Crawlies

In keeping with the theme set by Inky Pinky Spider I went along with the Folksy Item of the week being creepy crawlies. Well all sorts of things crept out from under the Folksy Stone. My favourite was this;
Thank you Hollowbourne for your brooch & check out her shop for lots more goodies!

However, I loved all the items on the forum thread this week so you can take a look at them all here;

Monday, 3 October 2011

Halloween treat ..Inky Pinky Spider

In keeping with all the halloween crafty happenings at the moment, I thought I'd introduce you to my little critter - Inky Pinky Spider...she makes having a spider on you look cool!!( & is easy to make with simply wire & beads) She is now listed in my Folksy shop