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Love Grows

28 Feb


In time for Spring (which is just round the corner – my bones tell me so – is the ‘Love Grows’ range. I love the Old English feel to this, with the trellis growing up behind the satin finished cushion hearts. Personally I love great big chunky things but know a lot of people like smaller items, so the pendants come in three different sizes, the earrings are either long hanging earrings or smaller stud earrings. They are finished and photographed, but not up online yet. I think they’ll be available in Chichester from next week. (Will say for definite when I know). Should be available at the weekend on the website.


Introducing the new Brocade Range

7 Jul

Ta Dah!!!!

I have finally uploaded my new range of Silver Brocade. Very difficult to choose a name as I loved all the ideas; Brocade, Damask, Jacquard etc etc. You know those gorgeous black and white satin waistcoats some men wear at weddings, this design conjurs up the same elegant feel. The background is a deep sumptuous rich charcoal, and the silver is hammered and highly polished, the contrast is lovely. I am completely besotted with it!
I showed it to a gorgeous little shop in a local town and they want to showcase the entire range!
So I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

When blatant copying is not flattery

29 May

So what you can see on the bottom is what made me spit my tea out all over my desk this afternoon!
I was doing a search (as you do) to see if my items had been syndicated by etsy, and to see where they came on a search. The peapod cufflinks are always a good one to check as there are almost no others around. You can imagine how shocked I was to see this site in China selling silver pea pod cufflinks, made in China, minimum order 30 pairs! MINE!!! If you look closely you can see that there is nothing that hasn’t been copied, not a single thing left out, even… (this is the funny bit) my copywrite statement

On further checking, I could see many many many, (maybe all of them) other etsy seller cufflinks. I posted a post in the etsy forums and I have to say was blown away by the support and suggestions from the other sellers.
(etsy forum link)
I have linked the pictures to the relevant sites so you can check it out for yourself (and if you are a cufflink seller I suggest you do, you may well find your items there.)

So what is it? I have no idea, it seems that if you follow the links to twitter or facebook you start getting led a right song and dance and keep finding yourself on yet another site (same colours and logos, slightly different version of the name) always selling rip off items that they don’t make. Is it a scam site just waiting for the money to come in? will they get on and make them up quickly if they get an order? Who knows. I wrote to the Huffington Post to see if they wanted to do the story and am waiting to hear back. I also (;-) wrote to the site and asked for a quote for 50 pairs, and am waiting to hear.
So, looks like I have been ‘syndicated’ after all, just not in the way I was hoping. I’m sure I will be adding to this story in due course, but this is as much info as I have at the moment. Would love to hear your comments.

This lovely person fineheart has written a much better worded post on her blog – do have a look

Since Saturday: They took down my description and just had the photos. Then a very badly written description went back up. Then when I checked today (Wednesday 1/6/11)the original description was back up minus my details. I’m so mad I could spit, it’s like they are just sticking the finger up. I wrote on Saturday to htem, again on Sunday, then again on Monday and then my lovely Chinese friend gave me some further information, and I wrote giving them 3 days to take it down before I reported them to the Chinese Government department dealing with this sort of thing. And since that letter they have put back the original description, so they are obviously not going to do anything.
The worst thing in all of this is that I wrote to etsy administration asking for help, as did many of the other sellers affected. Did we hear anything? did we bollocks, not until tonight when they shut the thread down, because some daft tart mentionned another shop on etsy – suddenly we are ‘calling out’ and that’s that. Not one single word of help, comment or advice from admin, I am so shocked. Etsy has been good to me in the past, I have sold many many items on there, but I have made the mistake of seeing it as a community, whereas it’s obviously not, the other lovely lovely sellers are great, but when you need help?

Finally – My Hallmark!! (or sponsor’s mark)

12 May

Okay, so this doesn’t look that impressive, but hey – I am very very proud of it. It cost me about £180 ($280) to get it registered!!
Here in the UK, you can not by law sell anything made in silver that weighs more than 7.78 grams unless it is hallmarked by one of the four assay offices in the UK.
Online of course, you can sell what you want to outside of UK, but I have plenty of items that I have only been able to sell to outside the UK and not to the UK. Mainly it’s the larger rings and chunky pendants, but they have been available just not UK side.

So the process goes like this a little: You have to register a stamp, this can be with your initials. You start by thinking ‘oh that will be great I’ll make a word’, then you realise each letter costs about £40 and quickly come down to just the minimum initials.
You then choose the type of stamp, swan neck (for rings) or straight and where you would like it kept (either with you or at one of the halls).

It them takes about 3 or so weeks to be ready.
You eventually get sent a bunch of paperwork which almost tells you how to get your stuff stamped 😉 The more you send off the cheaper, so you don’t really do one or two things at a time, and sending off a whole bunch is quite worrying! But there is a minimum charge, so even though I sent off 12 initial pieces I still had to pay the minimum charge. But you send no money. They get in touch and after you have registered you can check on line to find out how much you owe, and then pay online. A few days later (it is a quick turnaround) your lovely items arrive home with their new little marks.
When I say little marks trust me they are really small, I couldn’t find them to start!
So, I then discovered it has been mooted by the government to do away with this tradition. At the moment it is in the discussion stage. I have to say I hope they don’t do away with it. The point being, anything you buy in England that has this stamp on it, has had the tiniest piece scraped off and tested for quality so you know when you hand over your money, that this is truly authentic. I have bought things abroad, where the sales person has told me it is real and I have paid over my hard earned money, and later got home and found it wasn’t. It’s just one of those quirky British traditions that I really like – and anyhow, I’ve paid over all that money now!!

Victorian Swirl Padlocks

28 Apr

Once again the copiers are out, something that drives me to distraction, but in the end what can you do. And once again it has just made me determined to combat the feeling by trying to do something new. This is my new range, it ties in with the tear drop rings in design, but compliments rather than matches. The two pendants on the right are made totally in pure fine silver, forged, hammered, polished, shined and fussed over to the enth degree!! The one on the far right is a little twee, however in person it looks quite eye catching. I particularly like the central one and this led me on to make earrings that match. I prefer long danglies, so I have also made these hanging on double rings that are caught up with a single ring hanging on an ear hook.
The earrings on the left are the simple version. I call them Victorian swirl padlocks. Back to that oh so fancy pretty yet uptight time.

The New Teardrop Ring Design

10 Apr

I am very excited with my new design. I just love the front, its like the bottom of a heart, and looks like a perfect teardrop when flat. These are so comfortable to get on, because the angle allows for the nuckle and then they are turned, where the disc can then swing. Perfect for fiddling, and who doesn’t like fiddling! Loads of designs done just takes time uploading all the photos – I need a secretary!

So into doing earrings now

16 Mar

I have so gotten addicted to making earrings now I have the posts sorted out. I was trying to solder them on with such a crap torch which was quite frankly, dangerous! One minute shooting out a 6 inch flame, the next dying, and no way of regulating it, but now I have a decent torch.
This was made worse with the Chinese lodger, who doesn’t really speak any English, I would lock the cats up in the bathroom to keep them out of the way, he would wander through, make noises when he saw what I was doing and promptly let the cats out the bathroom, with a laugh, thinking they had gotten caught there by accident. No way of explaining. Imagine, 6 inch flame and two cats bouncing around on surfaces, it’s a wonder the house is still standing! (mind they are totally bald now 😉 (but no split ends in future lol)
I love hammering silver and have to stop myself over doing it, but it is just so satisfying. I am going to make some hammered circle dome earrings, nothing particularly unique about that I know, but I do know I will get a lot of satisfaction out of them. Roll on the weekend!

Gotta get the hallmark sorted!!

13 Mar

Here’s another little beast. However, I think, trying to decide, that this one I am keeping for myself. The problem is that these are coming out quite the weight little beasts, and in the UK you can’t sell silver if weighs over 7.8 grams if it hasn’t been hallmakred by the assay office. I am in the process of organising this, however it is expensive and annoying 😉 and so at the moment I can only sell my heavy bits outside UK. Perfect excuse me thinks for not selling this at all! (It also fits me perfectly – mm – wonder how that happened)

Recreating nature???

11 Mar

I love geodes, and decided to try my hand at making one in silver. This was made with cork clay and then inset with amethyst crystal zirconia. It’s not huge but quite unusual, as it looks like a silver egg straight on although there is a glint of lovely mauve crystal at the top, when you look in it glistens with mauve and purple crystals. Devils own job to polish the outside to make it so smooth.

The midnight daisy collection

7 Mar

So here is part of the Midnight Daisy collection. A round box pendant, which has holes in the side to let the central flower catch the light, a couple of different rings and simple flower post earrings, in a few sizes. It’s all quite chunky, but I can see this is what I’ll be making for this month at least. Not quite sure which one I’m keeping 😉