Saturday, 30 January 2016

***REVEAL*** Pine Ridge Treasures Evening Elegance Challenge and Blog Hop

Hellooo lovelies! Here we are at the end of January already! Scary stuff, hey? It's going too fast. 

Anyhoo, the beautiful Lisa over at A Grateful Artist is running yet another awesome blog hop and challenge this month and this is my reveal post. Now, it's been CRAZY around here lately; the kids have had their six week summer break, and I must admit to being very lazy, not creating every day, and basically slacking off. I need to stop that. However, I did manage to pull a couple of pieces together. I'll come back and edit this post when I have photos of all of them, please consider this a "work in progress" post. 

The theme for this hop was "Evening Elegance" so when I received my package of goodies from Lisa, I wasn't disappointed. Lots of faceted crystal and glass, and in some of my favourite colours too: red, black, silver and clear. Gorgeous stuff. Here it is before I made a massive mess of my workbench. Again. 

Pretty yummy, right? 
I did battle a little bit with this challenge; I've been trying really, super hard to move forwards into wire weaving and stuff rather than sticking with stringing, and it threw me for a loop (which I think is another reason for the reluctance/difficulty starting the designing process). I did come up with a little somethin' somethin' though :) This is piece one:

I did run into a few issues with this bracelet. I found that the gorgeous red and black bicones were just too little to go onto the 20g sterling silver filled wire, so I strung them onto the 26g wire and wrapped them onto the bracelet instead. Also, trying to get a bracelet shaped into an oval shape without an oval shaped bracelet mandrel isn't as easy as you'd think, but it's pretty close. I'm learning very slowly to be kind to myself. Wire work is still new to me, and I must remember to stop beating myself up when things aren't "perfect." 

That's all for right now; as I said I'll edit this post with my other stuff tomorrow or Monday with my other pieces. In the meantime, go check out these other fabulously talented ladies and see what they came up with!! 

With love, 


Your hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings

Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry

Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures

Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera

Marde Lowe, Fancimardesigns

Saturday, 2 January 2016

An apology, a belated Merry Christmas, a learning curve, and a goal. Yeah. That's all.

Good evening, my loves!

It's been FOREVER since I blogged, and I'm so sorry for that. I feel like I've been juggling a lot of plates lately and yes, they've fallen down more than once. However, things seem to be on the up. I'm not sure if it's just a New Year thing or what, but I'm certainly feeling a lot more positive this year than at any point last year. Not bad for two days into 2016. I've got a plan and everything, so you'll be seeing a lot more of me this year.

So...before getting into the other stuff, I want to say a HUGE belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! I hope you all had a great time with friends and family, spoiled them rotten (with handmade items, of course!) and landed a few awesome gifts for yourselves, too! I got the absolute joy of spending another Christmas with my lovely mum which is always special.We actually went out for lunch this year which was a fab treat; it's getting too hot in Darwin to mess about with turkey and pork lunches, and the best thing? NO clean up! Bonus! Oh and the kids ate enough to sink a small ship for a change (have I mentioned how we have some of the fussiest kids on this planet? No? Okay I'll spare you!)

Next up...a goal. Way back in September, I signed up to the Business Bakery's awesome 100 day Goal challenge, which is an amazing idea, and one I felt I could day really get my teeth into. I lasted three days  before getting sicker than ever, then having each of my five cherubs come down with the same bug one after the other. My goal was a sales one and I basically pulled a number out of the blue without thinking too hard about it at all,  I didn't feel focused. either.I had a half arsed list of actions to take to achieve that goal, and as a result, bombed out pretty spectacularly. That said, it wasn't a complete waste of time. Far from it, in fact. I had the BEST 100 days of sales I've ever had, learned LOADS and along the way did a lot of stuff completely wrong which of course is how we learn the most, right? So when Julia announced she would be running the 100 day goal again in January, I literally couldn't sign up fast enough! We're onto Day 2 now and I'm running on sheer adrenaline (seriously....I haven't slept in 36 hours because I'm so focused on the end goal...I'm not advocating this, by the's actually pretty stupid). But, it's a goal I can see myself achieving, it's one that MEANS something and I'm totally okay with that. The actual goal will remain secret until the end, and I may not even reveal then, we'll see. 

Image found online  - not me, or my work. 
The learning curve...ahhhh, well this is related to my goal news. too. In recent weeks I've become absolutely obsessed with wire weaving! It's my new addiction. It's like the nicotine I sometimes wish I still had  can absolutely live without (*ahem*). I'm soumak weaving all over the place, I'm wrestling a little with figure 8 weave (which probably has a more specific name but I'm such a newbie I can't remember it!) and honestly thought about not paying the phone bill just so I could buy more wire and supplies (but then, I'd not have my phone and internet to show off my new creations on, would I? Okay, dodged a bullet there, then!) It's the most insanely beautiful jewellery and so creative, so individual, that no two pieces are ever 100%'s AWESOME! I'm like a kid learning how to colour in the lines again! I haven't been this excited about anything in ages (well except for polymer clay but I haven't been able to play with clay for ages thanks to the darling  kiddliwinks smashing my work surface tile). 

Anyhoo, I think my adrenaline is running out and my eyes are getting heavy! I'm off to Bedfordshire for the night to dream of wiry things and a beautiful clean workspace ...check it out, that's one more thing ticked off my ever growing to do list! hey...writing this blog is one thing off my list, too! Take that, 100 day Goal! 

Goodnight loves!! 

~ Jacqui ~ 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Music to Create By - Vol. 2

Good evening, lovelies! 

Quite a while ago now, when I was still operating under my old business name, and doing some very different jewellery, I did a "Music to Create By" blog post which turned out to be super popular and got a really positive response. 

Since then, I've been through some stuff, personally, academically and professionally. My art has changed, and so has the music I listen to when I create. It is still super important that I listen while I work (as opposed to whistling, hehe) because the mood I'm in is reflected in my music, and in turn, in my jewellery. If you've been keeping an eye on my Facebook page, you'll know that I try to post a "Song of the Day" most days (okay, I've been sorely lacking here lately, but I'm trying to get back into it!) which gives you an idea of the mood I'm in on the day. Sometimes it's rock, sometimes country, sometimes something sexy and sultry, sometimes pop, sometimes really, really sad. 

So here's a teeny glimpse into what's on my Spotify playlist! These are 15 random songs that are in my saved songs list. They haven't been put into any specific playlist; they're just the ones I hear and think "Oh!! I love this song!" and add to my collection. I'm doing this with shuffle ON, so this could be interesting! 

Ok here we go!
1. This Is How We Do - Katy Perry

Katy is sort of my guilty pleasure. I love her songs, her videos are totally kooky and fun, and she's got an all round awesome attitude. Love this song!! 

2. Lips are Moving - Meghan Trainor

We all know that person, right? The one who just lies constantly. Yep, thought so. I love Meghan's take on this! 

3. Never Ever - All Saints 

I adore the vocal on this song! The girls of All Saints were all so beautifully talented. Their harmonies still give me goosebumps. The rhythm of it just makes me happy. I can't sit still while it's playing; it's one that just makes me move.

4. Dear Mr President - Pink

I've been a HUGE fan of Pink since I saw the video for "There You Go" where she sends a motorbike flying through her no-good ex boyfriend's apartment. I knew right then she'd be a force to be reckoned with. Her vocal on "Dear Mr President" is incredible, and the message this is provocative, powerful, angry, and yet she remains perfectly vulnerable and gentle. I can't say enough. 

5. Groove Is In The Heart - Deee-Lite

Oh dear. I knew there'd be some in here that might be a tad....out there. I am, if nothing else, a child of the 80's and 90's, and this song was huge back then. The video is bizarre, but this song is still one that has me bopping in my chair. 

6. I Got Money Now - Pink 

No official video for this incredible, moving song. I'll let her lyrics speak for themselves: 
"When I was a young buck
I tried to be liked by
I tried so hard to be funny and nice
I tried so hard to be sugar and spice
Didn't work for me
Got old quickly
But now I'm not losing sleep at night
No one's calling me on the telephone
To see if I'm at home
Cause now I've got everything that I have ever wanted or so it seems
Yeah so it seems yeah"

7. Fades Like A Photograph - Filter 

I first heard this amazing song on the end credits of my favourite ever movie, "2012" . I love it. I can't figure out why. I'm not sure if it's the lyric, or the melody, or the stunning harmonies and backing vocals...or what. Just give it a listen. You won't regret it. 

8. With A Little Help From My Friends - Wet Wet Wet 


I repeat. I was a child of the 80's! I adored these guys, and honestly thought that I'd grow up to marry Marti Pellow because he was (no sorry, is) just gorgeous. That Scottish accent, the cheekbones... Sigh. I just found out tonight that Wet Wet Wet is touring the UK in 2016 and will be in my old stomping grounds of Newcastle in March. I'm devastated I won't be able to go, but might have to send some friends to get some awesome video for me! Now, as far as this song is concerned, yes, some will say that The Beatles or  Joe Cocker  sang it better, but for me, Marti just aces it. Sigh

9. Tessie - Dropkick Murphys

I don't even know what to say. GO RED SOX!!!!! (Song doesn't really kick in until about 1:20 in). It's such an awesome, loud, song!! Enjoy!

10. Runaway - The Corrs

I remember this song came out the year before I left England. I sang it over and over and over until those harmonies were second nature, used it as a lullaby for my oldest daughter, and even today, 20 years later, it's still one of my favourite ever songs. Exquisite. 

11. Cheerleader - OMI 

Just a happy, smiley, boppy song. Love it. 

12. Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson 

This has to be an anthem for every single girl on the planet. I'm not single, but this song just kicks so much butt, it's obviously on my list and one that I like to belt out whenever I'm alone :) 

13. Hot in the City - Billy Idol 

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love me some Billy. That bleach blonde hair, those piercing eyes... anyhoo...enjoy the song! I always think of Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer every time I see this (or, any of Billy's stuff, actually. I just think that Spike would sing it really well LOL! The video is quintessentially 80's and completely over the top, but it's still loads of fun and a great song to dance to! 

14. I Found Someone - Cher 

Oh Cher how I love you! That voice never fails to give me chills. Thanks to my lovely mum for bringing me up on songs like "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" and "Dark Lady" and all her other classics. Awesome stuff. 

15. Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne *NSFW - language warning!* 

To finish up, here's one of my absolute favourites for when I just want to dance around my living room like a complete idiot. Enjoy! 

So that's it!! Fifteen awesome songs from my own personal Spotify playlist! 

I hope you found something you forgot you once loved, or something completely new. Until next time, lovelies, 

Saturday, 12 September 2015

{REVEAL} Pine Ridge Treasures Favourite Things Blog Hop and Challenge!!

Hi lovelies, and welcome to my FIRST EVER blog hop/challenge! I'm super excited about this and am dying to show you all my goodies. 

If you're unfamiliar with this concept, we all received a package of gorgeous things from Lisa and our challenge was to make jewellery using those items and items from our own stash if necessary. First of all, the package of yummy beady goodness that I received from Lisa was even more gorgeous than I thought it would be. The colours are stunning, the quality amazing, and it's all just beautiful stuff. 

I was, to be 100% honest, a little overwhelmed by the amount of stuff there was in this parcel, and it took ages for me to be able to sort through my thoughts enough to come up with pieces that made any sort of sense whatsoever. What I managed to come up with though, is in my opinion, the beginnings of a lovely Autumn themed line of jewellery that will suit many tastes and styles. So, without further ado, here we go: 

Piece 1. ~ Necklace

I wanted something super simple and yet elegant for my first piece. I originally wanted to do something totally asymmetrical and random looking, but I never find that easy to do and of course, ended up with something far more symmetrical. I'll work on that ;) I love the colours in this, and thought the addition of a bronze metal leaf from my own stash made sense for an autumn/fall range. (Focal from Joan Miller). 

Piece 2 ~ Memory Wire Bracelet
Keeping with the bohemian autumn feel, I decided to go with memory wire bracelets instead of messing about with clasps and multi strands (okay, okay....I initially went with multi strand and decided I hated everything!) 

Piece 3 ~ Second memory wire bracelet

This one uses the smaller, less chunky of the beads in this pack, giving it a completely different look: 

Pieces 4 - 7 ~Earrings 

All earrings are hung on sterling silver wires. I deliberately went with small and delicate rather than big and bulky. 

26g silver wire is used to wrap the top drilled leaf beads, This has been done in a natural, organic fashion rather than concentrating on nice, even wraps. 

That's it! My first ever blog hop and challenge! I'm hooked! I'm already looking forward to doing more in the near future. I'll be listing all of these pieces on the website; look out for this post being edited with the details. 

Enjoy your weekend! Lots of love,

***Here are the other gorgeous people involved in this blog hop. Please go check them all out and love on them a little bit :D***

Your Hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Gloria Allen, Wings and Beads

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera

Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings

Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design

Carolyn Lawson,  Carolyn's Creations

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

8 Things I Learned By Designing Jewellery

I've been feeling a little flat lately and wondering if this whole jewellery making malarkey is worth it, or if I've totally wasted the last 4 years of my life doing something that nobody gives a crap about. 

Then, the other day, I saw a post that said simply: 

Awesome. I let the words sort of sink in, then I sat down then and started to think about what I have really learned on this journey. Here's what I came up with: 

1. I can take criticism (when it's done properly). Don't just walk up to me and tell me my stuff sucks. Actually, don't do that to anyone because it's kind of a dick move, to be honest. Say something like, "Hey, I really like this piece, but have you thought about doing ............... instead?" Yes, offer me a suggestion! I won't bite your head off for doing so. Sure, I might bite my tongue and then cry a little bit when you're not looking, but I'll certainly think over your idea and try to put it into practice later on down the road. 

2. I have more artistic talent than I thought I did in high school. You remember those art classes? The ones with the little paint pots and A3 sized paper and a gazillion brushes in the room? Then the teacher, blabbering on about some famous painter or another, expects YOU to create some sort of weird masterpiece? Yeah. I sucked at those. I mean, I really sucked. I remember one "creation" I came up with that supposed to be a silhouette of a sunset and the piers I used to go to as a looked nothing like it. I talked myself down so much over that stupid painting that I decided I would never, ever, ever, in a million years, ever be an artist. Ummm..... my mistake. 

3. I'm really good at online shopping. Do I need to explain this one? 

4. I might be just a tiny little bit pedantic. This is not a good thing, people. Okay so being pedantic about some things and needing to have stuff in a certain way can be constructive and helpful. For me, it's the most paralysing thing EVER. I can't work if my workspace is a mess. My workspace is always a mess. You see the problem? I clean it up, I work well for a while, then by the time I'm done it looks like little jewellery making elves came in during the night and had a party on my desk. Then I can't work because it's a mess and it's too overwhelming to clean it up, but then I do because I'm so desperate to create something...... and so it goes.  Sigh. 

5. I am far too easily distracted. It's a problem. Oh look.....beads and wire and cogs and clocks and...Oooh someone liked my Instagram photo! I have comments on Facebook.... Oh yeah. I was writing a bad. 

6.  The jewellery making community ROCKS. For the most part, anyway. There's always the few who look down their nose and go "Oh, you just string? That's nice." Yeah, I did just string until a few weeks ago, and I don't see anything wrong with that. It is still art! Aargh! I'm a member of SRAJD (Self Representing Artists in Jewellery Design) and that community is amazing. It's full of super supportive, funny, entertaining and insanely talented people, all trying to make the world a better place one creation at a time :D 

7. I have a serious addiction to storage boxes. I can count 15 different types of storage just sitting here. That doesn't include the stuff that's NOT here on my workspace within easy reach, or what's in my filing cabinet which doesn't actually store anything that needs to be filed.. My husband sent me a text a couple of weeks ago telling me he'd bought me a present. It was more storage for my clay. I was so excited I actually squealed when I saw the photo. I may have a problem.

8. Making jewellery is my world. Apart from husband and children of course. It comes a very close 2nd. I've learned that if you're not doing something that you truly love - something that you can be proud of and that is pretty much an extension of yourself, you're not really living. Go. Find your passion. 

With all my love,


Monday, 22 June 2015

Monday Style Focus - Steampunk

Welcome to the first of my weekly style focus posts! This will form sort of the basis of the style I'll be working in for that week (although I won't concentrate solely on that style - if that makes sense!). 

This week - the focus is on Steampunk - one of my favourite styles but also the one I work with the least and know the least about. So, I went on a little internet hunt and found some nuggets of information I thought I'd share: 

What is steampunk, anyway? 

  1. Steampunk, before it became the full-blown sub-culture it is today, started out as a science-fiction sub-genre in the 1970s. Its fundamental inspirations go all the way back to 19th century Victorian writers, such as Jules Verne (author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and H.G. Wells (author of The Time Machine)
This focus has been brought about due to my involvment in a jewellery making challenge where the topic is Steampunk bridal, and I must admit, I'm stuck for ideas! I'm a very visual learner so scrolling through Google has really helped get those creative juices flowing, and here's some of my absolute favourite internet finds: 

The  large one in the middle is actually an insanely beautiful creation by WhatUpMerna, and it is amazing. The others have come from different places around the net, so if you know the creator of some of these, please let me know so I can credit the artist. 

Recommended reading: 

If youd like to read more about Steampunk and it's origins, here's a few links to start you off. 
  • (this is my favourite because it talks about the components that can go into steampunk jewellery!)

Keep an eye on the blog, my facebook page and the website to see what Steampunkery I get up to this week!



Thursday, 18 June 2015

5 Fabulous Jewellery Tips For Guys!

A little while ago, I did a Q &A thingymajig on my Facebook Page. One of the questions I received was from a lady wanting to know what jewellery was on trend for our men folk.

Now, I admit it, I don't do much men's jewellery. I think I should, and this blog is sort of the start of my men's line. I also don't follow trends much, but sometimes I feel there's a place for them, so over the next few days I'll follow the advice I've found and see what I can come up with. 

So with all that said, here are my Top 5 tips for guys (with a little lots of help from the internet!) 

1. Bracelets. 

If you ask my hubby, or any of my male friends, they'll tell you "No! Men don't wear bracelets! Men wear watches. Men occasionally wear cuff links. They do not wear bracelets!" 

Guess what? Not true. 

Thin, leather bracelets that can be worn with watches and stacked with other pieces are very "in" this year. Brands and designers such as Miansai and Alexander McQueen are doing some seriously AWESOME stuff with men's bracelets. Check them out. I don't think I'll ever convince my hubby but I think this look is HOT! (I really, really love the little metal skulls in these bracelets. I have some of those somewhere, I'm sure of it! Hmm.)

2. Necklaces. 

Icon Brand Wild at heart necklace
I've always loved necklaces on guys but it's soooo easy to get this look wrong. According to everything I've read so far, these are your best tips for wearing necklaces: 

  • Go for SLIM LINE. Don't go chunky, ever. 
  • Medium width chains, please. Don't go all rapper on us.
  • Look for silver, brass and gold. They won't be hard to's EVERYWHERE. I'm also seeing lots of black. As far as precious stones are concerned, I'll always suggest hematite and onyx for guys. But as always, it's up to your personal preference, too.
  • Keep it simple. 

3. Rings

Rings don't have to be scary, nor do they only have to tell the world, "Hey! I'm off the market!" They can be a gorgeous, fresh, stylish addition to your wardrobe. 
Here's some tips: 
  • Don't JUST go for plain gold, silver or rose gold - they will look too much like wedding rings (Not that there's anything wrong with that but if you're single, that might not be something you want the ladies thinking!)
  • Go for designs cast from oxidised silver, brass, and zinc for a look that's a little more bohemian and less matrimonial 
  • Layer up or just wear's really up to you but make sure that you don't end up looking like Mr T, please!

4. Cuff links

Let's face it, it's wedding season (or at least it is here, anyway. Not sure about the rest of the world!). This means that at some point, you may need to dress more formally than usual. Somehow I can't see how a crisp white T shirt and jeans are going to go down well at a formal, black tie event. In the event that you have to ditch your T for a tux, cuff links are a timeless classic that every guy should own (I really, really like these on the right by T.M Lewin). There are some awesome styles out there at the moment, so go ahead and check them out. Summer is a great time to experiment with different types of cuff links too; don't feel that you have to go only with silver or gold. 

 5. And finally.....

Guys, do whatever it is that makes you happy. If a watch is enough, just wear your watch. If you want to layer up necklaces (that DON'T make you look like Mr T!), go for it. If you want to wear rings that look like wedding rings even though you've never been it. 
Don't wear stuff just because some random fashion or jewellery blog tells you to. Your own personal style is just that. Yours. Be unique, be different, be yourself. 

With love,