***Celebratory Giveaway***

Well, I say celebratory, let’s consider it a thank you, from me to you.

This whole Covid-19 thing has been very hard for most of the people I know personally, incredibly challenging for many, especially those with loved ones working in key jobs or isolating. I’ve been terribly fortunate to live in Exeter, where we have plenty of green space visible from home, and everywhere is accessible by foot, but it has made me even more appreciative of nature.

As you’ll know, I make lots of silver jewellery and nature inspires much of it – from peapods (currently sold out) to forget-me-nots to sycamore keys  and of course edible flowers

I am going to offer a handmade floral sterling necklace / pair of earrings / pin to whoever I get #LovelySue to pick from the list once this giveaway expires, on June 30th*.

Worldwide postage will be included in the prize, so please don’t feel you can’t enter if you live outside the UK. This is something I’m doing to show appreciation for all of you who’ve bought, shared or commented on my work over the past few years. Thank you; every interaction helps to make me feel validated and every sale helps us financially.

To participate, please comment with your favourite flower, and if you have a photo you can upload in the comments to enable us all to ogle at it’s gloriousness, all the better.

There’s absolutely no requirement to share this post on your timeline or in any groups, but of course, if you do that helps raise my profile, and that’s something for which I’m very grateful.

If you are on Facebook, the same process applies, on Twitter, there’ll be another chance, which will involve retweeting, and on Instagram, it will be to upload a picture of your favourite (or one of!) flower

The hashtag to use when reposting or entering outside of comments on here is  #DGDFloralGiveaway2020 so that I can keep track of all the entries

I’ll start with a few of my faves..

Sweetpeas from last year, dog rose, apple blossom, nigella and a rose from this year.

*I will work out some way of doing this whilst 2m distant 😀

(as always, this giveaway isn’t endorsed by any social media company in any way, and they won’t be held liable for anything 😉 )

Posted in #Allotment, #HandmadeHour, cheeryuppy, Giveaway, Hamlin Lane Allotments, Meet The Maker, silver, Stuff I love, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Travel – June’s RingAMonth

June’s #RingAMonth challenge was travel

Now, those of you who know me, know that I’m not a big traveller – but I am a bit of a sci-fi geek. My first thought was Time Travel, rapidly followed by Space Travel, and then of course The Doctor…

However I wanted something more subtle so I went with Stargate. I loved the Stargate TV series, particularly the more comedic episodes of the original SG1 series, so this ring is my homage to Teal’c and the gang. 

My favourite episode is this one which combines time travel, planetary travel and humour:

Windowofopportunitystargate.JPG

This is a ring that I made from the scrap that I had smelted into sheet, so it does double duty, counting as a #Scraphappy post as well as a #RingAMonth post (although it is a little late!)

It’s also the first piece I’ve photographed with my new DSLR camera. For anyone who doesn’t spend half their life trying to photograph shinies, I can’t tell you just how challenging a piece like this is to take pictures of! Sooo much reflection. I could, of course, edit them all out, but I always feel that’s a bit cheaty.

So. Here’s how I made the ring.

I used Uncle Chris’s architect’s compass set that I inherited in 1987 to draw a circle the size I wanted to create a washer shape. Stuck that onto my sheet of super-recycled-silver, making sure to utilise the piece that has the hole in it (it was a very overcast day – usually I can hold this sort of thing to a window, but that day I had to resort to the spots in the bathroom) and then used my piercing saw to saw the outer ring. Most Stargates (it’s real, practically a documentary, don’tcha know!) have chevrons to set in combination to select the destination planet, but some only have one Stargate with which they are paired, and these don’t have any chevrons. That’s what I’ve chosen to reflect here

1-Photos1

I used the other part of the wonky end of the silver sheet, and my largest hammer to create a beaten effect which I then domed in my doming block for the dishing shape, to reflect the liquidity of the wormhole that’s created once the connection has been made and the two gates are locked together, enabling travel between two worlds

I used my riveting hammer to texture the outer ring, as stargates are all made from stone, and filed and sanded the edges smooth and closer to round both before and after the hammering.

These two pieces were then sweat soldered together, the excess sawn off (this will go into the ‘contaminated’ scrap pot as there will probably be a little solder on the excess) more filing and sanding, before I used another bit of scrap wire left from the #HookerRing trials to form the band, which has also been textured to echo the outer ring.

Finally, I filed a divot over the solder join, to match the curve of the back of the mini stargate and soldered the two pieces together, off-centre for more stacking wearability.

Then tumbled and polished and voila! my homage to Stargate SG1, Atlantis and Universe. I miss those shows.

This ring is available on my website should you want to see more details or photos. I love it, I think I might have to make some pendants too.

 

Posted in geek, RingAMonth, Ring a month, RingAMonth2020, SciFi, ScrapHappy, silver, Stuff I love, travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

#Happy Dance

Life as a small business is weird.

I’ve had to embrace things that I find uncomfortable and challenging. It’s not the dull bits of the sole trader thing, that I find hard; the accounts, the routine maintenance; making sure I’m on top of all the day to day, behind-the-scenes stuff is easy, if tedious.

It’s asking customers and gift recipients to post a review or give me feedback that I find the hardest thing (closely followed by setting a price that’s appropriate, item photography and publicity). Unless you have a small business yourself, it’s hard to overplay the significance of a review. Reviews really are the life blood of a small online business, so I try to face up to my discomfort and mention reviews at every online sale, and suggest when selling in person that they share a photo.

Then, when I receive a review, or if I’m tagged in a social media post I do my very best to contact everyone, be it on Etsy, Google, Facebook or my website so they know how much it means to me that they made the time to share their thoughts and opinion. I hope then  that continues onwards, encouraging everyone to leave more  (and honest!) reviews for small businesses.

If you keep an eye on my Facebook page, you’ll know that I’m always asking people to show me their DGD jewellery ‘in the wild’, and that I love, love, love it when I get a photo sent to me or shared publicly.

This past couple of weeks I’ve had a few people do this, and these have come from places as varied as the UK, New Zealand, USA and most recently Canada.

The Canadian share was exceptional, really raising the bar and setting me a challenge for the next review I leave myself – it was not at all what one might expect from someone buying a piece of jewellery – do pop over to Quimper Hittys to take a look at the whole story that is involved when it was received. The blog post really made my day properly super  and #CheeryUppy.

And, here are a few of the other recent public shout-outs. I now love all these people, none of whom I’ve met in real life (other than Susan, and then only once after her gig in Exeter). I get sent emails and occasionally some snail mail too but I didn’t think it would be appropriate to share those

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you’ll occasionally see a shout out, as sometimes I repost, but, to be honest that feels a tad too boastful, and I’ve been heavily trained not to boast, so I don’t find myself able to share as often as perhaps someone more commercially minded might!!

Anyway enough of my waffling – here are some of the publicly left comments / photos, all of which gave me a joyful day which extended into the whole week  🙂

I hope that you too have a wonderful day at least once this week.

Hugs and jelly-babies.

Posted in #HandmadeHour, Brave, cheeryuppy, DGDCheeryUppy, geek, processes, Stuff I love, Uncategorized | 18 Comments

ScrapHappy and April’s Ring a Month

I’m sneakily combining both in this post (I figure you’ve had a surfeit of me at the moment!)

Because the UK has been in semi lockdown since the 24th March, most of the bullion / gemstone / specialist suppliers have closed because non essential workers are furloughed or working from home where possible. The organiser of the RingAMonth challenge, asked us to suggest topics suitable in the current situation, and the theme decided upon was Make Do And Mend. This is a classic motto, stemming from WW2. It seems particularly appropriate for #ScrapHappy too.

As you know, I usually have HEAPS of scrap silver,April2020_MakeDoAndMend but typically, had just posted all my clean scrap off to a bullion refiner, (on the left of the collage) for him to smelt it and roll it into a nice fresh sheet for me. As such, my options were rather limited and I hate to stray from a brief, so I thought I’d see what I could do with the meagre bits I created since the 13th (on the right) when I posted it all off! I’ve used some curves that are left over when I saw out Bat’leth necklaces. I designed the piece through my favourite technique of moving the silver about to come up with a design; I thought that they worked rather well stacked on top of each other, suggestive of mayfly wings.

I then had a look through the gemstones I have, to find something that I thought would work well and opted for a moonstone or a garnet, both of which I’ve reclaimed from orphan earrings or broken jewellery given to me and both of which are imperfect cuts.

April2020_MakeDoAndMend1I ran the silver pieces through Morris the Mill to thin them to a more appropriate thickness and then again with a leaf, to get a vein texture into them, filed and polished the reverse, and sweat soldered* them together Once they were soldered, I did a bit more refining round the edges, and lay the stones on them to choose. The garnet won, so, as I already had a setting prepared (I got into a bit of a rhythm one day, and prepared lots when I was feeling uninspired) I finished that and soldered it to the wings.

Checked the curve, and then because all my wire scrap is away being remade into sheet, I used a small piece of 2mm wire to make a ring. I’ve hammered it, filed a flat bit, and then soldered the bug/mayfly to the top.

It all went for a tumble in Betty the Barrel Polisher for work hardening, and then it was time to file the edges of the bezel and set the stone.

I always wrap any exposed silver in washi tape when doing this – I don’t want to scratch it if my hand slips, and that’s so easy to do – I find this really helps.

Once the stone was set, I did a final measure and took these photos. I really, really like the design. It’s more of a dress ring than an every day one, as it extends a little beyond the finger, so I think I might make more of these as pendants and earrings.

* Sweat soldering is when you melt solder to one piece first – I melted solder to the top one, filed and sanding the solder flat after it cooled, and then heated the two pieces together, so that the pre-melted solder also flowed on to the lower piece

April2020_MakeDoAndMend1 (2)

*edit. I scheduled this post, and forgot to include links to the other ScrapHappy blogs. I hope they forgive me. They are:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn (ie me!)Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny and Kjerstin

Posted in Challenge, RingAMonth, Ring a month, RingAMonth2020, ScrapHappy, tutorial, Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Z is for

Z is either for Zipwire or catching some Zees.

I’m going with the nap option, on the basis that I imagine very few of us have a zipwire in our gardens – assuming we even have a garden.

Plus, napping is a superpower I have yet to develop

I’ve never been able to nap, so it’s a skill set I am lacking and extremely envious

I originally created a series of alphabet based ideas to help lift spirits in 2016. You can see the final post of that series here and that will give you a bit of background as to why I did so.

Since 2016 I think I’ve become a tad more proficient with social media, and I’ve gained extra pals – many of whom are incredibly supportive, so I’m giving their blogs (in no particular order) a shout out here, some I’ve mentioned before, some blog often, some more rarely. Meeka’s Mind ; Tall Tales From Chiconia; Wild Daffodil; Luann Udell; DV Berkom.

Do pop over and visit them if you have the time. And if you follow me on any social media – check the comments from other people, and wander over to their sites. That’s how I discover just about everyone, it’s a rabbit hole – but of the best sort.

And if you haven’t started blogging – why not have a go? It’s incredible how one can find like minded people all over our planet and you’ll stumble across other blogs too – I learn so much this way. Thanks so much for reading, and do pop back occasionally.

Today’s photos are from this week’s pre-Easter allotment visit and are the promise of things to come.

Properly #CheeryUppy.

Posted in #Allotment, Challenge, cheeryuppy, DGDCheeryUppy, friends, Stuff I love, Uncategorized | 15 Comments