Saturday, 19 December 2009
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Sunday, 13 December 2009
The pink beads have been hand-shaped into little nuggets and I really like how the light catches the flat facets of these beads.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
The DSWT have had a really busy year, rescuing more baby elephants than ever before, so if you're buying Christmas gifts at the moment, or even thinking of treating yourself, please consider a gift that keeps on giving.
The DSWT are also auctioning some completely gorgeous limited edition bronze statues of elephants, with all profits going to the charity. They are all absolutely beautiful, but Maisha is my favourite.
Or why not give a REALLY different gift this year, and give someone a baby elephant! Or at any rate you can give a gift of a fostered elephant, which is even better (no elephant poop to clear up after!) You can find out how to foster an orphan elephant yourself, or for a gift for someone at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's site.
Good luck if you decide to bid!
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Well it is almost that time again when the auctions of the next pieces of jewellery for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust will go live. For those of you unaware of the inspiring and life-saving work of the DSWT, you can read all about them on their website.
Since the Trust was established in 1977 it has successfully hand-reared more than 100 orphan elephants. That's amazing!
There are many reasons why elephant babies need rescuing. In some cases their mothers have been victims of poachers. In others the babies have fallen down man-made wells. How heart-wrenching must it be for a mother to have to leave her baby behind, when despite all efforts she has been unable to rescue her baby.
The DSWT is amazing. It never turns away an orphan in need of help, even when it is bursting full to capacity. And it has certainly been stretched this year as so many elephants have fallen prey to the droughts in Kenya. Without their mums to take care of them the babies can only hope that they are spotted so that they can be taken under the wing of the Trust and welcomed into the nursery to meet their new family.
So this year more than any other, the DSWT needs support. I hope that the six pieces of jewellery I have made raise a record-breaking amount.
The auctions will be up and running shortly, so keep checking here or here to find out when they're live. I've sprinkled some teaser photos of the pieces throughout this blog. As always, each piece is dedicated to a particular elephant, and the elephant's name is engraved on a sterling silver tag.
You can also help to support the baby elephants by fostering one. I foster Makena, a beautiful, motherly female, who I have watched graduate from the nursery in Nairobi to "big school" at the Ithumba stockades. Makena was just 7 weeks old when she was rescued. She is now 4 and loves to take care of the younger ones. She is becoming quite the little matriarch.
I also foster Shimba, a little boy. He's quite an aloof character, and must be one of the few elephants with an aversion to mud baths!
To foster your own baby elephant, or even baby rhino, visit the DSWT's website.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
As I drove home from work today the moon was large and low, and had that beautiful golden glow that you only get at this time of the year. I raced home hoping that the clouds would stay away long enough for me to get my telescope out. I was rewarded!
This is my very first piece of astrophotography. It was taken this evening through my telescope and my strategically placed trusty Canon Ixus. It was just an experimental shot, and I didn't expect it to work at all, but it did! Ok, so it's not perfectly focused but you can still pick out lots of features. I need to get my moon map out to navigate my way around.
It's amazing how looking through a telescope puts everything in perspective. All the worries and irritations of the day dissolve as you realise how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things.
The clouds are coming in now, but it was a treat to have a clear sky to view this beautiful waxing gibbous moon.
I imagine that it won't be long before the image above finds its way into a bead, or maybe an entire set of beads. Or, maybe a piece of silver jewellery. You see, I'm inspired already!
If you would like to begin stargazing there are two fantastic pieces of software that will get you started. The first is Stellarium, and the second is Pocket Universe for iPhone. There's an entire universe out there to discover!
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Staying on the organic theme, here is a fab lentil in one of my favourite colours. The black has laced over the bead giving a deep veiny appearance.
I rarely encase my organic beads, but when I experimented with this bead I was really pleased with the result, so there may well be more of these appearing in future.
Tiger beads are such fun to make, and this is a really hefty-sized focal.
If you prefer more colour in your beads, I can do that too! Pink Lipstick...
and Raspberry and Peach Melba.
That's all for now!
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Friday, 21 August 2009
There is a lovely screenshot of my website and a link back to it. So it's fantastic free advertising. Thank you Mr Site!
This isn't a terribly good screen capture, but if you want to see if for yourself go to page 10 here.
I've had a brilliant week of sales, but there are still plenty of beads left to buy in my Etsy Shop.
These are two of my favourites;
Iced Cranberries - named by Nic of Murano Silver
Shades of Amber
Well that's all for now folks. Have a lovely weekend!
Friday, 14 August 2009
Saturday, 11 July 2009
There are so many different torches available now, and I opted for a Minnow, made by Bethlehem Burners. It has been a fabulous torch for me, and has a narrow flame which is great for pinpoint heating. However, I tend to work fairly large, and for a while I've been wanting a torch with a slightly wider and bushier flame. After much deliberation, and I mean MUCH deliberation, I chose a Carlisle Mini CC burner.
I lit it for the first time today and it is superb. It runs hotter than my Minnow and the flame is bushier and wider, so it ticks all the boxes. I'd heard a couple of reports of the Carlisle needing two oxycoms, but I'm running it on one and it's absolutely perfect.
Even the marver that fits it is pretty special. I chose a Crowley Marver, and this fits with a ball joint, which means that the angle of the torch can be adjusted independently of the marver, and the angle of the marver can be adjusted independently of the torch. The torch uses a ball joint too, so the entire set up is extremely versatile.
Strangely, despite the flame being wider, I've found that this has actually helped my stringer control. The greater area of ambient heat around the flame means that the "sweet spot" is easy to find.
But the biggest difference is the fact that the propane and oxygen valves are on the opposite side of the torch compared to the Minnow. Argh! I have to re-learn my POOP routine all over again! For those of you who are scratching your heads wondering what on earth a POOP routine is, it's the order the propane and oxygen are turned on/off when lighting/extinguishing the torch.
So the beads that I have to show you are the very last beads that I made on my Minnow. Enjoy!
I made focals.....
and I made sets....
Hope you like!
Friday, 19 June 2009
I am thrilled, particularly when the economy is on its knees and money is tighter than ever.
A total of 309 bids were placed over 10 days. The piece dedicated to Maxwell, the tiny blind orphan rhino, raised the most, at £311. Amazing!
Thank you to everyone who placed a bit. You're all brilliant!
A special thank you to Lynn Davy too, who gifted me her fab Clunk Click piece, which raised £55.55!
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust will put these funds to good use. May saw the arrival of three new orphans, so every penny counts.