ScrapHappy August – or Travel With A TARDIS

You might have spotted my Doctor Who obsession enthusiasm, well, I make quite a few Who and geeky themed pieces, all of which are available on my website, and many in my Etsyshop.

I have a no- quibble guarantee with all my work, and occasionally I have a return.

This week I was contacted by someone who’d been bought one of my TARDIS pendants as a gift

The story was as follows:

“…my gorgeous tardis fell from my neck. I searched everywhere and remarkably it turned up a week later on my driveway. It would appear it fell on my way to the car and was then picked up by a bird and left on my roof until heavy rain washed it down.

It looks like it has been run over. Would you consider reviewing the damage and repairing?..”

Well, how exciting. And how lovely to have one of my pieces described as gorgeous.

That’s a #HappyDance right there

For those of you not in the UK, we’ve been quite restricted in our movements – although not actually ‘locked down’ like some areas, we’ve been asked to stay home as much as possible. It seemed to me that my customer’s TARDIS had, true to the original, taken it upon herself to go for a wander, properly travelling in Relative Dimensions In Space and quite probably in Time too, before choosing to return home.

This made me very happy.

As did the opportunity to repair her.TARDIS_Repair_01_20200812

My customer has returned her to me and I reviewed the damage.

Surprisingly minimal – the bail on the back was properly crushed, and there were some serious scratches on the back too, but the front is mostly undamaged. Here she is, on my (new) peg, whilst I reviewed the damage to see what needed doing. You can see she’s also got a bit of a wonk going on, which definitely wasn’t there when I sent her off to this lady’s partner back in May

TARDIS_Repair_02_20200812Repairing was a simple task – just heating to melt the solder that was holding the (now useless) bail on; a bit of judicious filing some serious sanding and polishing back to remove the scratches and the remnants of the excess, old solder and then making and applying the replacement bail, (utilising an off-cut from my scrap pot) with a polish and a trip in Betty-The-Barrel-Polisher

Finally I gave her a waft in some XL Gel (my favourite liver of sulphur solution) to bring her back to full glory

I always check back with my customers throughout the process of making or repairing a special item. It’s amazing how often a request will evolve during the process of a commission,. To my mind, half the point of commissioning a crafts-person is for the interaction and the other half is the resulting uniqueness.

Because this TARDIS had been off on her own adventures, I thought it would be nice to reflect that in my repair, and keep the wibble-wobbly-ness in. My customer agreed, and so the finished, repaired TARDIS is nearly as good as new -in fact she’s arguably better than the original because she has such a delightful story to tell.

So, I got to repair something for someone, enabling her to wear something she loves, and because I was able to reuse my offcuts, I was able to do so at minimal cost.

A two-fer. Splendid. And double duty for August’s #ScrapHappy

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


Posted in cheeryuppy, DGDCheeryUppy, geek, processes, SciFi, ScrapHappy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

The New Normal?

I’d just got the hang of fairs and organised a whole load of them for this year, when UK anti C-19 measures were imposed. Now I don’t know how many (if any) will be available for me to attend with my shinies this year.

I’ve always welcomed clients to our home by appointment (which, as you know is where I have my workshop / studio) for jewellery consultations or fittings and ‘try ons’ but that too had to pause for a while.

However, as we are now permitted visitors back into the workplace, I have devised a protocol that should comply with the anti-infection requirements, with the minimum of inconvenience to visitors and the maximum comfort I can manage!

Hello Visor!! wp-1595666143328.jpg

It’s only me that needs to wear it, if we sit in this room, I can have the patio doors at one end open, and the front room window at the other – because this part of Exeter is reasonably high, there’s a generous blow through, which combined with staying on opposite sides of the table, means we’ll be well over 1m apart, enabling you to look through and try any of my jewellery at your leisure.

Current guidance is that the virus lasts no longer than 72 hours on metals and hard surfaces (such as gemstones) so I will simply keep visitors to no more than one appointment every 3 days. If you want to come with a friend or family member who’s not in your household or bubble this is permitted within the guidance, but we will need to apply extra care over trying on the jewellery, to reduce the risk of you contaminating each other as one of you picks it up, and the other tries it on for size

I had my first visitor formally try out my ‘new normal’ procedures yesterday – it was such a joy to have her in my home, and have a proper chat.

The process, if you’d like to visit to discuss an order, or a purchase is:

Contact me (email, social media message) to tell me the days you’d like to come / are available for appointment, along with how many people of how many households you’d like to bring with you

We will then make an appointment, and I’ll send you details of what I’m doing to comply with the necessary protections

The morning of the appointment / the afternoon before, I’ll message you again, reiterating the standard questions** and confirming that I’m still safe. You will need to reply so that I have a record of the check list. This will also double as my ‘track and trace’ should it be necessary for us to use it

*Before you arrive I will have cleaned down any and all surfaces you might come into contact with, placed a hand sanitiser by the front door, set up liquid soap and freshly laundered towels in the kitchen (you can choose between the hand sanitiser or soap and water) and also have cleaned the bathroom thoroughly – again there will be liquid soap and a freshly laundered towel for your use should you need it. I’ll also have thoroughly washed my hands, and I’ll have my glamorous visor on rather than a mask so you can see what I’m saying.

During your visit I’ll give you a car parking permit if you drove (this is essential – don’t let me forget it!!) , I’ll wash my hands again after showing you to your chair, and after your visit I’ll re-clean everywhere, and put the towels through the wash.

If you choose to make a purchase, we’ll be able to do so using my contact-less payment device to avoid you having to touch any cash, which I’ll have cleaned since it was last used

After you leave I’ll put all the jewellery back in it’s isolation cupboard, clean down all the surfaces and ring / bangle sizers / tape measures and payment device

I’ll be retaining your contact details for 21 days, in line with the England track and trace requirements.

** Have you had C-19? If so when? Do you currently have any symptoms of C-19? Does anyone that you’ve been in (unprotected) contact with? Have you attended any mass gatherings? If the answer to any of these is ‘yes’ we may have to reschedule.

Email me using, pm me using my social media @DawnGillDesigns, or through the contact options in my Etsy shop or website 


Posted in #HandmadeHour, geek, Gems, Meet The Maker, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

***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:


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


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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 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