7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog — Meeka’s Mind


Thanks to Meeka for this. I rarely blog, so hadn’t reviewed my settings since creating this site in 2016. The thing I like most about WordPress is stumbling across interesting people through the comments left on a site I follow – it’s like a virtual scavenger hunt. Anyway, thanks to the fabulous Myths of the Mirror (I shall be following them, double quick!) I’ve updated and reviewed all the permissions mentioned.

Originally posted on Myths of the Mirror: This isn’t a new topic, but it seems worth a mention every now and then within the WordPress blog community. I love connecting with other bloggers and occasionally a website makes that hard if not impossible to do. Here are a few tips. 🙂 Definitely take a look…

via 7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog — Meeka’s Mind

Posted in geek, Tech Tip, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Self-publishing via Word and Createspace – overview


So….I don’t have the skills or imagination to be a proper writer. ACFlory, on the other hand does and is. She has also done some serious research, so you don’t have to…

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New commission equals new tool…and I made a mistake so you don’t have to.

Well. A girl can NEVER have too many tools. Nope. Never. And Grandad always told me to invest in the best I could afford, and assume I would grow into the tool. I didn’t quite understand what he meant at the time..

So. One of my customers messaged me…’I love my Star Trek studs, but wondered if you had ever thought about making some Harry Potter, Deathly Hallows ones?’

Of course I hadn’t. HP, as enjoyable as I found the movies and the book and the Lego PSX games, isn’t really in my Venn Diagram of geek. I looked at our box set. Nothing. I’d borrowed the books (virtually) from the library, so had nothing to use there, and had to resort to the interweb.

There are lots of images, but this seemed to be what was neededDeathlyHallowsFILMMontage. I sent it off to my customer, to see if I was on the right track, and she asked me to try and make some studs, as small as the smallest of my ST ones. Now these, really are teeny. They are 7×5.5mm and I make them using Art Clay Silver, and a mould I made from a prototype I sculpted.

I knew that this was going to be too awkward to make in that way: I was going to need to cut my silver wire and solder it. Unless I wanted to saw it from sheet, but I prefer a more dimensional finish than that.

Now. Each of these elements has a meaning. You can see what that is in the first pic – the Triangle represents the Cloak of Invisibility,  the ring the Resurrection stone set in Dumbledore’s ring and the line the Elder Wand (again, Dumbledore’s). It’s always important to me to try and reflect the meaning behind a commission, so I let that pootle away in my head whilst I got over excited and started a pair, and then, when I completed them sent off the pic to my customer. Lesson learned here?!   ALWAYS REFER TO THE BRIEF. Especially if you are like me, with the attention span of a chicken.

I had reversed the ring and the triangle. You can see that failed pair in the final photo, along with the correct version.

Hash-Tag IDIOT. Still. Having the corners of the triangle so visible means that  I can warrant the purchase of my new tool.. Skippetty-skip.

It was the second most expensive item I’ve bought, after Mr Tumnus, my Ultralight. It is a mitre vice. It is used for gripping and cutting wire, sheet and tube metal. It has fab little grooves in it all the way through, to avoid crushing the tube.

MitreVice.jpgIt is the second most expensive item I’ve bought, after Mr Tumnus, my Ultralight.

It’s awesome.

I can line up the wire in the angles, at 90, 45, 60 or 30 degrees. The finish I can get using this is outstanding. It meant I could saw and file each corner perfectly.

DSC_0006_17Of course. I know that the inside of each corner should be 60 degrees for a triangle like this, but maths has never been my strong point.

2 hours later, with a lot of swearing and close to tears, I have plenty of tiny bits of beautifully mitred 1.2mm wire, that would make a lovely honeycomb. IF THAT WAS WHAT I WANTED

Then. I went out the room in a strop and made something else. Whilst doing that, I realised that if I simply cut one of the internal corners, and laid it flush to the other wire, and then sawed the excess afterwards, I’d have it nailed.

Yup.  I understand now that I could have cut the pieces to 30 degrees and placing the two together would make a 60 degree corner (would it, I don’t really know that. I’m still guessing), but this worked for me. I laid them out on my honeycomb board, with a 5mm jumpring I’d made from 0.8 in the centre, butted them up, pinned the jumpring, and whoosh. They soldered beautifully. Plain sailing thereafter.

I should have taken piccies, but I was so delighted that they worked, I just cracked on. I’m putting them in my shop now, made to order, but I think I’ll make a couple of pairs just to keep my hand in.

Here they are, completed. I made them in two parts; hammering the triangle to give the impression of movement for the cloak, and taking the piece of silver that represents the wand right to the edge of reticulation when I soldered on the ear post, to give it a more organic and wooden feel. I then soldered the two together. As you can see, heaps better than my original attempt, a happy customer and I learned lots.


Posted in geek, processes, silver, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments


I guess it must be much worse for writers.

I get asked about inspiration quite often. All sorts of things contribute to an idea for a design; the weather, the allotment, my enthusiasm for geek. Fashion rarely plays into it, but the stones I plan to use combined with my self-selecting-skill (and tool) limitations often does.

TV, however regularly offers me up an idea. BonesEarrings01

Mostly something I like such as this:

Dr Temperence Brennan. ‘Bones’.

Super smart (all my favourite characters appear to be geniuses – or doctors it seems) and look  her jewellery is comfy and not at all matchy-matchy and also looks handmade. What’s not to love about this?



Sometimes something that makes me howl with laughter, such as this….

DroxineEarrings02Droxine, (Episode 21, season 3 TOS) with earrings that not only scrape her shoulders, but appear to have been made from left over wind chimes.

Sorry Star Trek. Much as I love you, there is no question as to which of these two characters I would choose to dress as, and which inspires me most.


In other news….I bought a new toy tool and it arrived yesterday. It’s to help me with cutting angles, so I can mitre corners more accurately. I love a new tool. It’ll be a rolling mill next if I’m a good girl.




Posted in SciFi, Stuff I love, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Happy Dance

Sometimes a week can’t get any better; and this, so far, has been one of those weeks.

I’ve had some jewellery accepted by a lovely, small, family run gift shop in Tavistock (on the edge of Dartmoor since you ask!)  and was beyond excited to be told by the owner I’d sold a piece within the first week.artichokestuds
It’s the first time I’ve had my jewellery in a real, physical shop. I packed up all the items I thought would work better in reality, rather than virtually (this includes things like these artichoke studs that I find are too shiny for me to photograph properly)  and I really didn’t expect them to want to stock anything. However, the owner, was lovely and generous and supportive, and was the second person in two days to give me a ticking off; saying that I should be more confident in my work, so I’ve promised them I’m going to try harder!
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve completed a few commissions; have a few more on the go and the results of two of the completed items are now shareable!
I’ve also lots of items to list in Etsy; but I need the sun to come out on a day when I’m not instructed to dig at the allotment so I can take the listing photos.
You might have picked up from my previous posts; I’m a big believer in reusing whenever possible; which is one of the reasons I welcome people asking me to repurpose or repair their special items.
Special to me means sentimental; not financial value, but as a result I find there is a different and often greater level of pressure. This is a good thing (I tell myself)!!
I was contacted last week by one of my customers asking me to adjust a pendant she loved. dsc_0001
She sent me her piece, including a couple of garnets she wanted me to use to replace the coral you can see at the top, (on this photo )   →
We then exchanged messages via FaceBook and Twitter – including a couple of brief videos to help her decide between some detail options. (This is standard practice for me; if a person asks me to make something special; it needs to be bang on, and I like them to be fully involved.)
I was rather pleased with the finished article, and from the lovely message sent to me and review left, so is my customer.
She stumbled across me through Twitter I think; way back when I just started tweeting, and that’s also how I discovered that Brocante Of Devon were looking for local crafter/makers, so I’m very pleased I went to the effort of trying to use it!
I made two delicate and beaten jumprings to punctuate the stones, allowing for fluidity of movement and sparkle (one can never have enough sparkle!) and an optional chain with hematite, peridot and garnets punctuating the clasp.
Only one of the other two commissions is ready to fully share; this is another example of social media being handy – my customer placed a shout out on her social media for jeweller recommendations, and one of my earlier customers recommended me.
She wanted a pendant, made from silver to reflect her logo.
Sometimes these things just design themselves, so I sent her an estimate, with the logic behind my interpretation of her brief, and then once she expressed an interest I mocked up and posted her a dummy pendant in quite cruddy polymer clay.
I hadn’t realised how dried out my Fimo had become, so had to hope she could see past the dodgy texture and visualise it all shiny and sleek. Fortunately she’s clearly a woman with vision (!), so was able to see past the rubbish polymer clay and commissioned me to make her a fine silver pendant.
I always tell people that I’m not an artist; I’m a craftswoman – and still learning, so I’m rubbish at drawings and sketches, but I am quite good at practical problem solving. I also hate to reinvent the wheel and am super lazy, so in case you are a fellow clayer; here’s ‘how I did that’Enlarge the design on the pc to a variety of sizes.

  • Print them off.
  • Trace them onto shrink plastic to effectively create cookie cutters and then use the right sized one to press out the design.
I did this, to give me options making it easier to factor in the shrinkable rate of the plastic and the silver
I wanted to reflect the ethos of my customer’s business, so my intention was to make the yogi curvy and sensual both visually and in reality.
I accomplished this by:
  • Roll Art Clay Silver to 6 cards thick
  • Trim to slightly larger than the planned piece
  • Lay some cling wrap over the clay and only then
  • Press out the shape.

The cling wrap forces in a graduated curve, which gave me exactly the result I wanted

I made  a former from 1mm wire, to use for the indentation for the leg, and then, once she was dry I refined the clay as usual, firing with my Ultralite. Especially wonderful to do that on a cold February day!
Whilst the clay was drying I had prepared a couple of jump rings to act as a bail – my customer really liked the idea of the bail being sparkly and moving about, so I made my jumprings from 1.5mm fine silver wire, hammering on the sides and edges.
Once she (this yogi is most definitely a she!) was fired, I soldered a little fired ACS ball between her palms, sawed open the selected jumpring; re-soldering it once I’d connected it.
Then it was time to polish.
Throughout the process, I was in touch with my customer, by social media, using photos, videos and also by phone. It was a truly lovely commission and she’s been enjoying the whole thing greatly – it’s been such fun, ad it’s another piece I’m pleased with as is my customer. Yay!!
In fact, I’m enjoying sending people videos so much, I have opened a YouTube channel, specifically for this purpose – I can’t send a video via Facebook message, and doing so via a direct Twitter / Instagram message doesn’t allow for the recipient to share if they want; whereas a link to the YouTube channel does.
Here’s a selection of the photos I sent her of the pendant’s progress, along with the final shot.
Posted in processes, silver, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments