Posts Tagged With: handmade

And something from Sweden…..

Some of you might know that I’ve just come back from Sweden. I was on an exchange with our parish church – we have a link with a group of churches in Vasteras. I’ll apologise straight away for the bad Swedish names in this post – I have absolutely no idea how to get the accents over the letters (*hangs head in shame at being so English!*).

I had a wonderful time, meeting new friends and getting enthused, but if you ask my daughter what I did she’ll tell you that all I did was look at lots (and lots and lots) of churches. Clearly this isn’t her idea of fun!

So just for her I thought I’d post a photo of something I saw when I was over there. This is the altar from the medieval church in Karbo (spelling again):

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What I love about this is that if you look at the top left hand corner, you can see a depiction of the Ascension – but if you look even closer, tucked right up underneath the frame, you can see the feet of Jesus as he ascends:

Copy of Holiday and sweden 2013 279

 

I just loved that little detail!

I wasn’t going to put any of my jewellery in this post, but now I come to it, it seems quite fitting to show you the piece I finished just this afternoon.

In the pictures above we have the Ascension, the end of Jesus’ time on earth – my pendant today is the beginning of the story!

Nativity necklace 1

 

Thanks for reading x

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Autumn is definitely here!

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I went on a brief walk today, not far, just outside my door and along the road a little way, in search of a few leaves to work with. The sun was shining so I didn’t bother with a coat, but I hadn’t got very far before I wished I had!

Anyway I walked far enough to gather a selection of leaves – some hawthorn, silver birch and ash (complete with its keys) – which I’ve already started work with to create some new jewellery pieces. There will be some pendants and a couple of pairs of earrings too I think.

I also started work on some other new ideas – I can’t wait for the first stage of the clay to dry out so I can crack on! I just want to see how they turn out.

I love autumn – the colours of the turning leaves are inspiring and that lovely smell in the air puts a spring in my step. But sadly it means that the leaves will start to fall too – which in turn means no more leaves for my jewellery for a while! What will I do?!? Looking around today I noticed that the oak is still holding on to its leaves well whilst the silver birch is loosing them very fast indeed. If you’re after a piece of jewellery made from leaves at all – now is the time to speak up. At least I’ll still be able to use holly and ivy though:

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But then comes the spring and we can start all over again! But now I’m just wishing the time away xxx

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Folksy, Folksy and more Folksy!

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Well, the lovely team over at Folksy have been busy little bees! They have been working hard on the new shop design for all their sellers and the first shops went live this week. As was to be expected, there were a few minor hiccoughs along the way but, all in all, it seems like most people seem to be quite pleased with the changes.

I just took up residence in my new shop this evening – banner re-jigged, profile picture re-done, social media links added and new collections and featured items chosen. I’ve had a lovely browse through the shops of some others who were kind enough to post their progress on the forums – this gave me some much needed pointers on how the new banner was going to work! I thought that tonight I would share some of these shops – I hope you like what you see!

I am loving the delicious looking cake pincushions over at Lily Lily Handmade:

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The banner at Glamglass Gifts really caught my eye:

Glamglass Gifts

I saw this fabulous book cover at Whimsey Woo Designs:

whimseywoo

And these fantastic flowers at Ffflowers:

FFflowers

If you feel like it, you can always have a look at my very own shop too:

MoonRiverJewellery on Folksy

What do you all think about the changes?

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Sol sistere – Midsummer’s Folksy Friday

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The summer solstice arrives today – it is now midsummer, although that’s fairly hard to  believe from the weather. The word solstice comes from the Latin word sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).Scientifically speaking, the solstice is the moment when the tilt of the earth’s axis is closest to the sun and the sun reaches it’s highest point in the sky. (Don’t all complain if I’m not quite right – I’m no exert!) The upshot though is that Midsummer’s Day will have the most hours of daylight (the flip side of course is that it’s all downhill from here until mid-winter). In honour of Midsummer’s Day I’ve been having a browse for some lovely handmade sun themed goodies – if you like what you see, do go over and have a closer look at the makers’ shops – click on any of the pictures to follow the link . Have a fantastic mid-summer’s day, whatever you do and however you keep it – I’m considering getting up to see the sun rise, but I don’t expect I made it!

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Montgomery Sun by Glass Island Photography

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Rising Sun Necklace by Claire Gent

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Sun, Moon & Star brooch by Ruth Makes Jewellery

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Sun Suncatcher by Joysofglass.

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Ceramic Sun by Leadon Valley Crafts

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Sunshine garland by Pelemele

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Sunshine Cushion Cover by Spotty Cottage

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Sun Mounted Print by Carey Creations

There are more lovely pieces on my Pinterest Board at http://pinterest.com/moonriversilver/sol-sistere-mid-summers-folksy-friday/

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The Butterfly Effect

Silver Fingerprint Butterfly Necklace by MoonRiver

Available from my Folksy Shop – http://www.moonriverjewellery.folksy.com 

Love is like a butterfly,it goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes” 

“Love is like a butterfly, hold it too tight, it’ll crush, hold it too loose, it’ll fly.”

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Recently I designed this new piece of jewellery for my silver fingerprint range. I based it on the butterfly. Little did I know that butterflies had quite so many symbolic meanings! It had occurred to me that everyone likes butterflies (except my husband who will not go into a butterfly house) – what person can fail to smile as a butterfly flutters by in it’s ephemeral, here today, gone tomorrow existence. I have a wonderful memory of seeing my daughters face watching as a butterfly emerged from it’s chrysalis – like magic.

People have often remarked to me how butterflies have always turned up at significant moments in their lives and looking through the many associations with butterflies it doesn’t surprise me at all.

Butterflies have different associations in different cultures. In China they are a symbol of long life while in Japan they are associated with marital bliss. They are often considered to be a sign of good luck.

Butterflies are a great symbol of change – how many of you remember the fantastic ending of the Very Hungry Caterpillar? The butterfly’s life cycle consists of four stages: the egg, the caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly. These have been compared with the life cycle of a human – in the womb, in life, in death and finally eternal rebirth. Butterflies are a symbol of the soul and resurrection in many cultures including Christianity.

Many cultures have associated butterflies with the souls of the departed. The Ancient Greeks called the butterfly, ‘Psyche’ which means soul and an Irish tradition holds that butterflies are the souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory. In Mexico, the migratory return of the monarch butterfly each year around the time of the Day of the Dead is seen as the souls of the departed returning.

Butterflies also symbolise change and transition, both inevitable and unexpected as we move through life.

When I designed my butterfly piece, I never imagined that it could be so symbolic. It certainly set me thinking about all the times a butterfly has appeared in my life. I wonder now what that butterfly was doing at my wedding! Indeed many people now choose to release a host of butterflies as a symbol at their wedding.

Whether you choose to think of butterflies as a symbol of the changes in life from child into adult, or as the souls of our dear departed, or just a wonderful sign of the beauty and variety of creation you can be sure you’re not alone!

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An Indian Butterfly Legend

If anyone desires a wish to come true they must
capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.

Since they make no sound, they can’t tell the wish
to anyone but the Great Spirit.

So by making the wish and releasing the butterfly
it will be taken to the heavens and be granted.

  

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Folksy Friday anyone?

I’m a fairly new Folksy Shop holder – I’d never really heard of Folksy before I started looking around for ways to sell my jewellery online. But now I’ve found it there is no holding me back! I simply can’t believe the sheer range and quality of the items on offer, not to mention the real individual nature of each piece. I hear-by vow never to buy mass-produced again!

For those of you who haven’t yet spotted the chocolate oval shapes dominating the shop shelves (along with the influx of cute bunnies), it really is fast approaching Easter – yes I know – in March?! So today I thought I’d share a few of my favourite Easter related Folksy finds – do please go and have a look at the sellers’ shops, they have so much more to offer than I could ever fit on here!

Hand knitted merino bunny rabbit

Hand knitted merino bunny rabbit
Designed by Jo Macgregor – Pickle-Lily
£10 plus p+p

Easter Rag Wreath

Easter Rag Wreath
Designed by Gillian Rumford – Bobbin Cottage Designs
£12 plus p+p

When you first look at Folksy – it’s really hard to know where to begin – just browsing the categories can be so interesting if you’re not looking for anything particular. If you have something in mind, you can always use the search box.

I’ve decided that since I now run my own small business specialising in handmade goods that I should show solidarity with my fellows artists and pledge to buy from small, independent outlets. I’ve always found this hard in the past – where I live, there aren’t so many of these sorts of shops and I haven’t always had the time to go elsewhere for presents. Now I need look no further – I’m fairly certain that I’ll be able to find something for everyone from now on.

Another great advantage of buying handmade is the amount of care and attention that has gone into each product at every stage. These items have been LOVED –  from the day they were designed, right through the development stage (and yes – that includes all the frustrating mistakes and mix-ups along the way), throughout the process of selecting the right materials and making, right up to the point where they are carefully packaged up and wing their way off to their new loving home.

Set of 4 Decorated Eggs

Set of 4 Decorated Eggs
Designed by Debbie Stevenson – Burley Beads
£10 plus p+p

Cute Easter Rabbit

Cute Easter Rabbit
Designed by Louise Alison Townley – Ellie May Designs
£18 plus p+p

Just recently I read somewhere that all handmakers suffer from a sense of un-worthiness at one time or another.  “I just don’t think people think they’re worth the money,” they cry. For anyone out there who makes and sells their creations, I’m sure this will ring true. The sad fact is that mass-production items can afford to be cheap BECAUSE they are mass-produced rather than the other way around. Each one of these items will have been hours and hours in the making and no other item produced by the same maker is ever likely to be completely identical.

Easter Bunnies

Easter Bunnies
Designed by Angela Wilkinson – Small Purple Hedgehog
£2.50 plus p+p

Golden magpie nest bowl with egg

Golden magpie nest bowl with egg
Designed by Jo Lucksted – Jo Lucksted Ceramics
£39 plus p+p

Really what I suppose I’m saying is that if you want a gift for a truly unique person that really says you care, then try and have a look around Folksy. And remember whilst you’re browsing just how much effort has gone into each and every piece.

Don’t forget that you could always buy yourself something too as a treat – after all YOU deserve it after all that hard work supporting independent artisans.

Find me on Folksy

MoonRiver Jewellery

And finally – a shameless little plug for my own Folksy shop (although I can’t pretend for a second that it’s Easter related)!

http://www.folksy.com/shops/MoonRiverJewellery

You can find some more fabulous folksy finds on my Pinterest board:

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Inspiration is all around for those who choose to find it.

Inspiration is all around for those who choose to find it.