Thursday, 23 December 2010

Star Necklace and Festive Wire Knit

For the second part of my DT guest project this month, I have made a festive 'Star of Bethlehem' necklace and some wire knit goodies which will be available to buy on my website.

The necklace was made simply using a lovely piece of brown cotton thonging, onto which I hung a vial pendant in topaz, to look a bit like a star. You could fill the vial with a grain of rice, some glitter or oil. I then threaded festive green buttons in different shades and sizes from the 'emerald city' pack on at intervals along the cord - knotting roughly either side of the button secures each one into place. This is a nice project if you want to make a necklace for yourself or as a gift and have a few spare buttons, beads or other oddments lying around. It is especially nice if you use a whole variety of different things or at least different colours/shapes etc, as it gives the piece a unique and bohemian feel. Secure the ends by simply tying into a knot if the necklace is to be worn long or pick a fastening such as a lobster clasp or a toggle clasp. Either of those are quite nice and easy to do up and look good with the thonging. One tip for people who find doing a necklace up a little tricky is to put the fastening at the front - see my pirate charm necklaces for an example.

I also made these sumptuous berry-coloured Xmas tree earrings using some seed beads I had lying around and the gorgeous burgandy wire from

I decided to use the remaining green buttons with some olive green wire for a cute, festive wire knit cuff and some of my own green seed beads. I'm really pleased with the result as the buttons make the piece look quite fun!


Cotton Thonging
Copper Wire

You may also need:

Adornments or focal pieces
findings, such as clasps
tools eg. wire cutters

Sadly, this is my last project for Altered Element but it has been great fun being part of the team, I've absolutely loved it! Don't forget, you still have until 01/01/2011 to place an order online at

Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Snow Bunny Project

This month I am doing a guest project for Altered Element, so thought I would start by showing you my first festive offering! I'm actually a jewellery maker, but love to experiment with various mediums and try out projects using a variety of materials. I dressed up this cute calico rabbit to make a snow bunny to sit on my mantlepiece above the fire this Christmas.

This is such an easy project if, like me, you're not yet confident enough to make your own dolls etc and just fancy dressing one up!

To make the rabbit's beautiful little dress I laid out some angelina fibres in 'green pearl' in a fairly even layer rectangle onto a piece of paper on my ironing board. I added a couple of curled pieces of wire in the centre to make the pattern on the front and added another light layer of fibres over the top, to seal the wire curls in. If you're not sure how thick to make your layers of fibres, I recommend just experimenting with the product first - you can always use these experimental pieces on the front of Christmas cards! To fuse the fibres, I gently laid another piece of paper over the top of the fibres and lightly ironed over this to fuse them together. It's usually best to iron briefly and lightly and then peel the paper back carefully to see if the fibres have fused well. You can obviously repeat this step if needed.

At this point, you can trim any loose or unfused fibres from the edges but I left my edges as I quite like the effect. I then wrapped the piece around my bunny, overlapping the meeting edges and secured them with glue and left to dry. You may want to sew the dress into place if you have time.

I'm also a bit of a ribbon fanatic, especially if it is dotty! So, I tied a couple of apple green ribbons around the bunny's ears and used some jade green polkadot ribbon to make her a scarf. I cut the length of ribbon and glued together with a green button from the 'emerald city' pack, putting the finishing touches to a lovely Christmas decoration!

Materials used:

Calico rabbit

Angelina fibre

Copper wire



You may also need: glue, sewing threads

Don't forget to take advantage of Altered Element's closing down sale!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Featured Blog!

I'm always delighted when my work makes someone smile and it seems that 'Drawn to Scales' wire knit bracelet has made an impression on one fellow Etsy seller who has kindly featured it in this lovely blog feature:

Check out for a wealth of vintage finds!

Buy 'Drawn to Scales' and get it made to measure and posted out for free at

NEW Xmas gifts!

Get into the Christmas mood and check out these gorgeous new Christmas tree earrings made from stunning Swarovski Crystal, for the highest quality sparkle! - available to purchase at

Clear Crystal


Monday, 15 November 2010

FREE Postage!

We've extended our FREE postage offer on all wire knit bracelets purchased via Etsy throughout November. Usually we ask UK and overseas buyers to pay £2.50 for 1st class recorded postage (which we use to ensure the items get to you quickly and safely) but this month they'll be sent by this same service for FREE!

- Each bracelet is made to order (size as requested by the buyer)
- They can take 2-3 hours to make so all are great value
- They make a unique present, individual to the wearer, as no two are ever identical
- Etsy is a user-friendly site which guides you through the payment process

So, there's no excuse not to do your Christmas shopping! Visit

Monday, 8 November 2010

Christmas Craft Fairs

On 31st October we attended the Artsmix Craft fair at Castle Howard, near York to kick off the Christmas craft fair season! It was quite a chilly day so we're grateful to all who came and perused the stall! Some of our Halloween specials included a gorgeous gothic style tiara (available on our website and Etsy) and a great mini trilby hat, complete with black netting (available on Folksy in our new head accessories shop)!

We will also be attending the Flare Christmas Craft Fair at York Cemetery on 28th November. There will be tea and cakes on offer too!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Special Offer!

Throughout October we're offering FREE postage on all purchases of our knitted wire bracelets on Etsy. Plus, come to the Artsmix Craft Fair at Castle Howard, nr. York on 31st October and, as a Halloween treat, we'll give you a 10% off voucher with every purchase to use at our next craft fair!

CLICK HERE to view all knitted wire bracelets with FREE postage!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Design Team Project - Hairbands!

Every now and then, I like to dive into my button tin (it's a special spotty Cath Kidston one) and the kilner jars of fabric that I've acquired and which I usually save for a rainy day. I must admit that I've been eyeing up Altered Element's polka dot ribbon for a while now. I'm a bit of a dot addict. I own rather too much polkadot 'stuff' than is probably healthy... Still, I was really excited when the new plastic hairbands came onto the website ( and jumped at the chance to have a play with them as something a bit different from my usual tiaras and hairpieces.

First I wrapped the ribbon around the hairband to check I had the correct length needed to cover the whole band. This 1 metre piece was a perfect length. I secured the end with strong glue and began wrapping neatly around the whole band. I secured the other end with glue and closed the ends of the ribbon by sewing them. I then superglued two buttons from the vintage pack onto my hairband, in lovely contrasting colours, and let the glue dry. Voila!

I also made the hairband below using some gold velvet ribbon left over from a previous project. I left a space to wrap part of the band in gold wire and attached this gorgeous little butterfly which I knitted with gold wire and Glass Naturals seed beads. I then wrapped some antique style beads in dark brown to finish off this autumnal piece.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Autumn Thoughts

I've been feeling a bit wistful this month - it's now over a year since my last Scilly visit and I've been looking back at photos from last September for autumnal inspiration! The islands can be very different in Autumn and Winter. While frosts are rare and winter sunshine still peaks through the rain showers, the islands show a different side to their character. The heather covers the ground with a carpet of coral and purple shades in amongst the gorse, the wind starts to whip up a frenzy and the sea becomes wilder, smashing against the foam spattered cliffs.

For my new Autumn range of wire knit pieces, I've been inspired by (among other things) brambles, heather, slick washed up seaweed, muddied rockpools, granite rock, inky water, foaming storms and chilly breezes. Here are just a few of the lovely new colours and designs:

Burgandy Freshwater Pearl 'Seashore' wire knit bracelet £14.99
Olive green wire knit leaf earrings £8.00
'A Good Catch' wire knit fish bracelet in brown £14.99
'Old Town Bay' wire knit bracelet in petrol blue £11.99

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Wedding Belles

I had the very great pleasure of seeing my sister get married last weekend and was honoured to make her hair vine and the bridesmaids' jewellery which included a matching set of earrings, bracelet and necklace. I'm pleased to say it all looked great on the girls and my sister was a stunning bride, so I'm especially proud that the hair vine lived up to expectation! Here are some photos of the jewellery:

The lovely bride herself!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Fishy Finds

Just uploaded to the website is this stunning Swarovski Crystal fish pendant! A lovely chunky pendant with decorative bail on a silver plated chain with a sturdy barrel clasp. With luxurious perfectly cut facets to bounce the light beautifully.

Another beachy beauty new to our collection is this cute starfish pendant in indicolite blue on a decorative figaro chain with barrel clasp - a gorgeous swarovski crystal pendant with sparkling facets to perfect this season's nautical chic!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

DT Project - Steampunk Hairpiece and Fibre Ring

I made this pretty steampunk hair barrette with an assortment of beautiful greens. Materials include dress netting in forest, angelina fibre in dark green, some beautiful gilding flakes in variegated green, an Artchix mini wishes emerald green butterfly, Dress It Up beads in seafoam, a pale green vintage button and a watch pillar plate.

I used Ranger Inksessentials Glossy Accents over the Artchix image (which was set into the watch pillar plate) to give it a glossy sheen and to protect the image. The beads were inset into the watch pillar plate along with the vintage button, replacing traditional cogs and watch parts. This was backed onto a piece of angelina fibre within which I trapped gilding flakes to add some accents to the fabulous sparkly fibres. This was backed onto ruched dress netting and the whole piece fixed to a hair barrette. With a little of the excess angelina fibre, I made a beautiful matching ring!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

My First Treasury!

I have just made my first treasury on Etsy! A treasury is a selection of items that you pick, usually with a theme, to help promote others and to display your favourites. If you're very lucky of course, it might encourage people to do the same for you! I hope you enjoy looking at this lovely selection of sea-hued nautical finds!

Click here!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Getting Technical

As well as recently joining Etsy, Inspired: Scilly have now linked up their Facebook fan page with Etsy and the blog, plus every time an item is uploaded to Folksy, Etsy or our website, it shows up on Facebook! So, if you become our 'fan' on Facebook, you get to know first hand what items are new, where they've been listed and what the latest news is on our blog, plus any events we're going to! It's all so technical, I need to lie down!

Click on the icon below to Become a Fan!

Inspired: Scilly

Promote your Page too

Friday, 16 July 2010

The Alien has Landed!

It's not quite finished but here is my completely crazy felt creation (from a previous post entitled 'Is that an alien on your head'.. in hat form. I need some nice matching felt to go on the underside to finish it off but I'm quite pleased so far. Now to find someone who would wear it! That could be trickier!!

My favourite bit has to be the 'dreads' (an unusual alternative to feathers I think you'll agree) and beads - I guess it all looks a bit like seaweed in the water. It's hard to make out from the pic but there are some lovely coral and blue sparkly threads in the middle.

(materials courtesy of my Mum with blue sewing thread from

Monday, 12 July 2010

Magazine Feature

Inspired: Scilly were recently featured in the Reader's Showcase on page 6 of July's Making Jewellery magazine. The items featured can now be seen on their website. Click here to view the feature!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A Good Catch!

A Good Catch Wire Knit Bracelet is going down a storm on Etsy! It has now been featured in Etsy's blog, Storque in their 'Spotlight' feature among a fabulous selection of beachy finds, including some gorgeous 40s and 50s style swimsuits! Click here to view the spotlight feature. What's more, it's been bought and is now off to Alaska, how exciting is that?!!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Now on Etsy!

Inspired: Scilly is finally on international craft selling website, and although there is still loads to add to the site, Inspired: Scilly's 'A Good Catch' bracelet has made it into this gorgeous treasury of 'Seaside Fashion' pieces.

See more of our items at

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

New Cluster Rings!

Be sure to take a look at our new cluster rings! In several gorgeous colours, these rings are all unique designs which are never the same twice so be quick and get yours! With adjustable silver-plated ring shanks and a cluster of beads which have freedom to move on the shank, they are priced at just £6; a brilliant gift or a treat for yourself! Colours include sunshine yellow, on-trend aqua, emerald green and ladybird red. More styles and colours being added soon!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Something for the Buoys!

For those of you who prefer playing to watching football, we're bringing you one of our favourite websites for discounted football boots! If you know a footie-playing dad, brother, son or partner who needs a new pair of great quality boots at heavily discounted prices, do check out this site: Great service and value!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

10% Discount at Altered Element!

For those of you who have been inspired to have a go at the tutorial project below, or one of the other projects by the Altered Element Design Team (found via the blog), you'll be delighted to know that you can get 10% off during all England matches over the period of the World Cup! For more details, including how to get your 10% discount code, please go to! While you are there, don't forget to check out the other Design Team projects submitted this month, there are some gorgeous creations!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Altered Element DT Tutorial Project

Memory Frame Pendant

This is a nice, easy beginners' tutorial on how to use Ranger Memory Frames to create beautiful memory jewellery. All the materials used are from At the bottom of this post, I've added some tips and additional ideas for more advanced projects.

You will need: Ranger Memory Frames (I used Antique Copper 1.5 x 1.5), Ranger Memory Glass (1.5 x 1.5), and Artchix Images (I used Artchix Imagine)

Optional: ribbon or chain for a necklace, brooch back for a brooch, additional adornments such as glitter or a flat-backed jewel, assorted charms and findings to complement the colour of your frame, Ranger Glossy Accents

Step 1. Cut out your chosen Artchix image to 1.5 x 1.5 inches. (If using a different sized frame, simply cut out the image/images to fit inside this frame). This leaves a slight border either side of the image. You only need one image but you may choose to cut out 2 images to place back to back, creating a double sided pendant.

Step 2. Carefully place your image(s) in between 2 slides of memory glass. For a double-sided pendant, place the images back to back in between the glass slides.

Step 3. Gently open the memory frame* using the side tab so that it is wide enough to insert your memory glass slides.

Step 4. Now for the fiddley bit! Hold the slides with the inserted image in place between finger and thumb and insert them into the frame, placing the image with the loop at the top for a pendant.

Step 5. Once inserted, close the frame gently around your glass slides and slide the tab back through the hole at the corner of the frame. Use a burnishing tool or similar implement to burnish the tab (close it flat against the side of the frame).

Step 6. Now you can use ribbon through the loop at the top of the frame or chain connected with findings as you would a normal pendant to finish your piece.

Now you have a gorgeous piece of memory jewellery!


*Do be careful when opening and closing the frame and inserting the glass slides. The frames are designed for one time framing of work only and will not take kindly to being bent backwards and forwards repeatedly!

Remember not to make the design you want to insert too thick. You don't have to use memory glass but the design needs to fit into the frame, if not between the slides and frame.

The frames come in 3 different colours, black patina, chrome and antique copper so you can be really creative!

Other ideas to try:

If you open your pack of Memory Frames carefully, you can cut out and use the image on the packaging! Also, use photos or pressed flowers for a really personal touch.

There are many Artchix images to choose from and some sheets even include words and phrases to glue over the top of your main image, creating a very funky effect!

It is just as easy to make a brooch. Simply insert your image with the loop of the frame at the base. Then add some Vintaj charms or beads to the loop at the base with jump rings or headpins in the same colour as your frame and glue a brooch pin to the back.

Try a 3D look by adding sequins, shells, glitter or fibres. You could even build the image up so that it protrudes from the frame but you may have to forgo the protective glass slides, depending on the thickness of the design. For another pendant design (shown below) I chose to cut out just the image with no border and backed it onto a piece of Kraft Card to create a neutral coloured background. I glued the image on with a small amount of Ranger Glossy Accents, then added this to the card border and a few dots on the image itself. I then poured a generous amount of Deko-Ice onto the image and let it dry. After allowing the image to dry, I funnelled the excess Deko-Ice back into the jar for future use and was left with gorgeous amber sparkles on my design!

I decorated my shell Artchix image with Deko-Ice glass glitter in Amber so that it looks like sand. The matching velvet ribbon seemed to complement this really well.

Why not try using inks to alter the look of the piece, such as creating a more 'distressed' or antique look?

Happy Crafting!