Course Review, Events, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Pause for Thought

Last Tuesday I attended a crafting class.  Not an unusual experience for me – my regular followers know how much I love a craft class!

This time the class was Aromatherapy in Jewellery.  The class was held at the Bead Shop in Nottingham – one of my favourite places to visit!    The class had two parts – the making of the jewellery, followed by the Aromatherapy.  The lovely Steph started off with an over view of what we would be doing, and we got started making a pendant using lava stones.  Once the pendants were complete we got to design our matching bracelets – lava stone and hematite!  The bracelets were made on elastic cord, which I have never used before, so I got to try out something new!

After the jewellery was finished, Karen from Bamboo Yoga took over the class (see below for her details) – It started off with an explanation of her background story, and how Bamboo Yoga came to be, and her passion for oils, yoga, and clean living – and her complete faith in the healing benefits of oils.

Then we got started on the oils!  Karen had bought a selection of oils which we were able to smell (divine!) and as we went along she explained the benefits and the uses of the individual oils.  It was absolutely fascinating, and the time flew by!  After a very thorough talk, where we were able to discuss individual points of concern, or particular ailments we all suffer from, we were then able to select an oil to use on our jewellery – and we got to take a small vial home with us as well!

By chance, we all chose the Lavender oil – which smells absolutely glorious!  We applied it to the jewellery, and I could immediately feel a sense of relaxation coming over me.

I could have happily stayed there chatting for hours!  The class really did fly by, and it gave me so much food for thought, which is what this post is really about!

I have been thinking for a long time about lifestyle.  In todays modern world, everything is so immediate, and fast.  People don’t take time for self care anymore, and I think it is fairly safe to say we all feel the downside of this.  Everything we drink, eat, use on our skin, use in our house – it is all packed full of chemicals.  Which cannot be good for us.  We are obsessed with social media – we spend hours and hours every day looking at the phone in our hand, instead of seeing the beauty of nature around us.  Connectivity has never been so easy, but we are so disconnected from each other and the world around us.

I have been suffering with niggly ailments for so long now.  Nothing major, but a series of annoying illnesses, periods of anxiety and stress, and an overall sense of things just “not being right”.

Sitting in the class, listening to Karen talk really made me start to think about all these things.  Changes that I need to make, things I need to do, the most important of all, to just take time for me. 

So……what does all this mean?  It means I need to take stock of my life, and decide how I want to live it.  It really is that complicated, and also that simple!  I really think it is fate that someone comes along at just the right time to prompt you to sit and consider the things that have been at the back of your mind for so long.  Watch this space as I delve into the realms of healthy living!

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Where am I?

Christmas is a coming, and I am taking part in a selection of online emporiums between now and Christmas! 

8th to 11th November      Paper Panda & Friends Emporium            https://www.facebook.com/groups/PPFEmporium/

30th November                  Enchanted Christmas                     https://www.facebook.com/events/306022997012242/

3rd & 4th December                          The Makers Emporium                  https://www.facebook.com/groups/498933563623248/

7th December                     Paper Panda & Friends Christmas Stocking Fillers                  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PPFEmporium/

Love and hugs

Zoe xx

Bamboo Yoga    https://www.bambooyoga.net/

Facebook            https://www.facebook.com/yogabamboo

Course Review, Uncategorized

Wire Wrapping Class

On Saturday I took myself off to Nottingham for the day again, to attend another class at the Nottingham Jewellery School (which is fast becoming my favourite place to visit).  This months class was Wire Wrapping, with the fabulous Angela Askins of Angleberry Jewellery.

The day started with an introduction to wire, the different types, strengths etc. and what to look for in a good working wire.  Angela had also brought her bead boxes with her, which I could have happily spent the rest of the day playing with!!!!!!

After a brief overview of the tools we would be working with, we got started.  The first task was to master turning loops and making our own ear-wires.  I was particularly interested in this, as I get through a lot of earwires!  We practised this for a little while, then moved on to making earrings wrapped with beads.

A short break for lunch, then back to it – in the afternoon session we were making figure of eight links, which could be used for so many things, then on to a wire wrapped ring!   Angela gave full instructions on how to get the sizing right, and how to make sure the ring is finished perfectly, so it is comfortable to wear.  We had a little time left at the end of the day, so practised making spirals, and adding beads.

It really was a thoroughly enjoyable day, with a lot of laughter, and I went home with two finished pieces of jewellery, and the makings for several more.  As soon as I got home I added bails to the two spiral pendants, and used the figure of eight links to make a bracelet!

I noticed today that the course is being run again next year – if you are able to get to Nottingham, I highly recommend booking yourself on it!  Pop across to the Focus Galleries website for details of all the upcoming courses.  I can’t wait for the next one!

https://www.focusgallerynottingham.com/

Until next time…….

Uncategorized

Out of My Comfort Zone

I am a creature of habit.  I don’t see this as a fault, it’s just the way I am!  But occasionally, just occasionally, I like to push myself out of my comfort zone!

I like embroidery.  Give me a needle and thread and a piece of linen, and all is well with my world!  I also love to make jewellery.  I cannot describe the pleasure I get from spending a couple of hours playing with beads!

It seems like a small step to combine the two into bead embroidery, but it is something I struggled with for quite a while!  I love my embroidery, and I loved my beads, but never the twain shall meet in my world!    I was persuaded by a very good friend of mine to give it a go, and you know what?????   I loved it!    I have made several designs now, which have proved popular, and I have an ever growing list to do!  My go to designs are always going to be animals and insects, but I was recently asked to make a skull and crossbones for a fabulous lady to attach to a hairclip for a Fairy Festival she was attending (doesn’t that sound like fabulous fun?)  and you know what?  again, I loved it!

I have also recently discovered a wonderful product called Shibori Ribbon.  Shibori is a special hand-dyed silk, which is created by folding, twisting, and binding silk ribbon during the dyeing process to create wonderfully coloured, pleated pieces of silk to add to bead embroidery projects.   I have invested in a few of these, and have made two pendants so far.  Again, this is slightly out of my comfort zone, but I am persevering, and am loving the results so much that I have an entire range of Shibori jewellery planned for later this year – so watch this space!

 

 

And the moral of this story? – don’t be afraid to push yourself, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone – you might just surprise yourself!

Until next time….

Zoe xx

Uncategorized

My Silver Smithing Adventure

On Saturday, I took myself off to Nottingham for the Three Rings in a Day Workshop run by Alys Power at the Focus Art Gallery in Nottingham.

After an early start to get the bus into Nottingham, and a little bit of retail therapy first, I made my way up to the gallery.  As you approach, the window display catches your eye with the beautiful creations they have on offer to tempt you with!  As you enter, the delights continue, with many different styles of jewellery, homeware, art, glassware, and ceramics.  There really is something for everyone, and I imagine it to be the absolute perfect place to find a special gift.

The workshop is actually held at the Nottingham Jewellery School, which resides underneath the main gallery.  As you make you way down the stairs, there are more displays of artworks, and the first section you enter is where refreshments are laid out.  Teas in every flavour, coffees, and the most delicious of cakes are plentiful, and are fully available throughout the day.

While we were enjoying a very welcome cuppa (and maybe a sneaky little bit of cake), our tutor, the lovely Alys of Alys Power Jewellery joined us, and started things off with a welcome, brief introduction, the obligatory safety information, and an overview of the day, then off we went into the workshop to get started!

The focus of the mornings session was to have a look at designs, talk about possibilities, and to get started on making our first ring.  Alys gave a very clear, and easy to understand explanation of how to size a ring, and the types of silver we would be using.    After we all worked out what size we needed, and decided which silver wire we would be using (which felt like the most important decision ever to be made)  we got started.  I’m not going to go into every detail of how to make a ring (get yourself booked onto one of Alys’s courses!) but needless to say we cut, and we shaped using professional jewellers tools, and then the scary fun bit – we soldered! 

After a short break for lunch, it was back into it, and Alys explained the tools and methods to shape, texture, finish and polish our rings.  At the end of which we had our first ring!  The sense of achievement cannot be put into words!  We had made our very own, completely individual and unique, sterling silver ring!   After basking in our achievement, it was off to start our second and third!  

I choe to make a set of rings with a hammered texture, that I could wear all together, and chose three different depths and styles of silver to work with.  Following the procedures Alys had taught, I cut and shaped the rings, soldered again, the beat them into shape and size with a hammer (very therapeutic!) and then used a ball peen hammer to add the texture.  A bit of filing, and polishing to finish, and the results were a set of three rings that I was incredibly proud of!  

I had a little time left before the end of the class, so I actually set to, and made a fourth ring!  Using the same methods, but using a different shaped silver wire, I ended up with a complete set of four rings, that can be worn together, individually, or in any combination! 

 

After spending a little time admiring each others achievements, it was sadly time to go home.  I cannot remember a day going by so quickly before!  But what we achieved with Alys’s tuition and guidance was incredible.  If you ever find yourself in the Nottingham area, I would highly recommend booking yourself on one of Alys’s courses, and make sure you have a good tour of the Gallery too – I can guarantee you will find something to tempt yourself with!

Both the Gallery, and Alys Power Jewellery do mail order!  You can find them here;-

https://www.focusgallerynottingham.com/ 

http://www.alyspower.co.uk/