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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Ok, so I lied

And didn't update on Sunday.

I had a good reason though! Relationship issues arose on Friday and by the time Sunday rolled round I just wanted to sleep. So I did :)

Uni is now back in full swing - I had my first seminar on Monday that went far too fast and I had a dissertation meeting with my supervisor today, which was both very confusing and very useful. Society activity is also back with a vengence. The first meeting of circus was packed, it's always good to see so many new faces :) Then I actually -went- to anime and manga, like I was meaning to for the majority of last year. I think part of today's tiredness is due to an overload of social activity.

This evening we have our first official fire spinning gig of the year! Hurrah! Not paid, but they're providing fuel which means we don't loose money on it :) I'm so looking forward to it, it's been a whole week since I got to play with fire! I'll try and get some photos for you :)

Ooooh and yesterday I finally managed to get a Treasury spot! :D I've been trying for weeks but have never quite managed it. So here it is, my 'Pearls Before Swine' treasury:

Anyway. I must go and find some lunch. And possibly make some kind of decision in regards to my dissertation title and chapter headings :/ Wish me luck!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Full post on Sunday...promise!

Morning all!
Apologies for the lack of activity recently, I've been busy getting settled back into uni life (meaning not getting anywhere near enough sleep...) and so have neglected business and blog!

Yesterday was spent at the societies fair on campus where I tried very hard not to scare the freshers too much whilst on the fetish society stall. As ever, we attracted many, many weird looks but we got about 10 new members and 60 people on the mailing list. We're hoping for some more today! We're also aiming to beat our record of 'people tied up at freshers' - currently standing at 18 over the two days. We got 17 yesterday, so I have high hopes!

Also had a committee meeting for the gilbert and sullivan society (light opera) which was good fun, can't wait for that to kick off :D

And now I have seminar preparation to do. Expect a proper post on sunday :)

Monday, 21 September 2009

Bad Day :(

Apologies for not having been very active. I spend Friday and Saturday moving all my stuff back up to uni in Birmingham and then what was left of the weekend was designated 'boyfriend time'.

So. I'm back in student accomodation...and it's already cold :( It's a better house than last year, despite already having given some of my housemates carbon monoxide poisoning, but it's just not a real home. I love spending time at my parent's house, it feels so much more real than this one! Have been floating quite aimlessly today. Went to the library to do some work only to discover upon arriving that I'd lost one of the earrings I finished making this morning. They're relatively inexpensive, but I was so proud and now I have to make another :( Unless, of course, someone finds it and hands it in. Alas, it's a 20 minute walk from my house to campus and I have no idea at what point I lost it!

I managed to list a new necklace/bracelet set today :) And actually, I listed one on thursday that I don't think I told you about :)
Mulberry pearls:
Mint green pearls:

I'm simply too sleepy to give you pictures, but please do have a look. They're very pretty and reasonably priced :)

There is some sunshine on the horizon! A friend has just sent me a text to ask if I'm up for the pub tonight. Most definately yes! That has cheered me up somewhat :)

I spent some of this morning going through a new pricing method for my jewellery. It's a commonly used one and in contrast to my usual 'guess what someone would pay' method, it takes into account things like wages and overheads. The issue is, the figures I'm getting out of this seem grossely inflated to me :/ I shall have to revise this and see what I can come up with!

Ok, I now need food. I skipped lunch (not a wise move, considering my current state of mind) and my stomach thinks my throat's been cut!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Jewellery Subscriptions - Feedback Appreciated!

I was browsing through the Etsy forums today and came across this listing:

I thought it was such a good idea that I emailed the owner of the shop, asking if I could do something similar. She said yes, so I have!

So it's with great pleasure that I introduce my jewellery subscriptions! If you buy one, I will send you a piece of jewellery every month, specially handmade for you to your specifications. These are perfect as a present to yourself or for a special friend. If you want one but don't feel you can justify the cost, simply hint to your partner, parents, best friend, music teacher, whoever you think you like to get you such a unique present.
Specifications can include things such as length, materials and colour. Each piece will be beautifully gift wrapped and sent to you in the first week of each month, starting in the month you choose!

They're currently only available in 6 month packages. I can make custom listings as well, if you want a longer or shorter time period!
Necklace of the Month Club:
Bracelet of the Month Club:

What do you think? I'd love some feedback on this, especially in regards to the cost. The necklace package it $197 for 6 necklaces, making each necklace roughly $34, whilst the bracelet option is $97, making each bracelet roughly $16. Are these reasonable prices? Too high, too low?

Right, really must go to bed now. Have a good night!

Statement Necklaces And A New Online Shop

Good evening, everyone!

Last night was a lot of fun - almost everyone got very drunk and we all had lots of fun. I think the alcohol drinkers polished off 2 bottles of champagne and around 5 bottle of white wine during the course of the meal - there were only 6 people drinking!
So yes, lots of fun. I got to wear my lovely new necklace and black patent 'dragon boots', as my friend calls them. They're awesome...alas, no photo.

But enough of this gay banter! Have some necklace photos. Remember the one I was having trouble with? I remade it and I love it :D
Newly listed on Etsy at $60, these necklaces will make people sit up and take notice of you.

Peacock Grey -
Creamy White -

For those of you who dislike Etsy, or for those European customers, I now have a DaWanda shop. I don't have all of my stock in there yet, but if there's something particular you'd like me to upload just let me know!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Out On The Town

We had the decision today regarding where they're putting the incinerator. Thankgully they decided against the site opposite my house, but it's still going somewhere and will poison people other than me.
We've won the battle, but the war will be long and stressful!

I made a great new necklace today - remember the necklace I posted about a while ago, asking for help?
Well, I remade it using silver petrol pearls and it looks spectacular with my favourite purple top, grey skinny jeans and patent black stiletto boots. I'll try and get a photo tomorrow, not time tonight as I'm going out for dinner with my parents and some friends :) Will be fun!

Have a good evening, everyone! Expect photos tomorrow.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Mass Burn Incineration and Pretty Dresses

Good evening, my little cabbages!

Today was quite a big day for my family, specifically my mother.
Since April she has been heavily involved in a campaign group called SAVI - Stop Aylesbury Vale Incineration.

Long story short, our county council is planning on putting a huuuge incinerator in one of the fields across from our house, in order to dispose of waste. They're calling it 'Energy From Waste'...sounds good, doesn't it? Unfortunatly, it sounds less good when you get into the scientific research. Exciting statistics like child cancer rates within 5 miles going up by a large percentage within 4 years of these things being installed.

Aside from the health issues, we have things like environmental pollution, property values, spoling the view. Joy.

Anyway, today we had a large rally to show our displeasure. We met in town and had some speeches, then (making a lot of noise and chanting loudly) we marched our way to the county hall to present our petitions. The national news were there as well as radio stations and newspapers.
We had over 300 people, so many more than we were expecting!

On Monday we get the decision about where this thing is going to be. The fight will go on wherever it is because this technology should not be in use, but things will be a bit more relaxed if they choose somewhere other than our site.

So yes, that went well :)

On to the dresses!
After a long conversation with Lauren (, I decided that the gorgeous rose dress would not fit :(
So, I bought the pinafore dress AND found a dress pattern for a very similar dress on Etsy! I'm going to John Lewis tomorrow to try and find some good fabric :D Can't wait!

It's been so long since I did any dress making, I'm really excited! There will be update photos as well :)

Today has been a pleasant break from jewellery. I think I will have a nice, hot bath after dinner and have an early bed time. Allll good.

Have a good evening!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Oooh I Found Pretties...Buy Something From Me So I Can Buy A Dress!

Ok, this is the main reason why I shouldn't poke around on Etsy. I find things like this:

I will not give you the links, as I want to buy them before you :P
I will, however, give you the shop link as it is am amazing shop and deserves your attention!
I found Lauren (the owner) on twitter, she posts regular updates about her shop!

To put it bluntly, please buy something from my Etsy so I can buy something from hers! I even have some new jewellery for you to buy - a necklace and matching braclet made out of sterling silver chain and pearls!

I spent yesterday evening in the delightful company of three small children. Ages 3, 6 and 9, they were suprisingly good company. We walked the dog, found lots of conkers and ate lots of fruit.
I enjoy babysitting, tis a shame it doesn't happen more often!

I should do another update over the weekend. I'm expecting some nice thick silk so I can restring this necklace -

And I've just been told that dinner is ready. Hurrah!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Eiriel's Eclectics - Now In A Shop Near You!

Ok, so probably not in a shop near anyone except me, but in a shop none the less!

I've been telling myself for a while now that I need to go and talk to gift shop owners about stocking some of my work, but I actually went and did it today. I packed a box of my favourite pieces, sat down and decided how much I could charge for wholesale and went into the world of retail. There's a little town down the road from me called Winslow. Pretty, old, picturesque and has about 3 gift shops.
On the drive over I started fantasising to myself about how the shop owner would comment on my necklace (I was wearing my Pearl Ruche) and say how lovely it was so I could say 'oh, well I made it, actually...' and things would go from there. I hate striking up conversations with strangers...I think it's something to do with being British!
I went into the first one and had a nose around and didn't really like it. The owner didn't seem interested in her customers and the stock was all mass made, factory produced stuff.
So I left.
I didn't even go into the next one - I was getting fairly nervous and it seemed to all be clothes. The third one looked beautiful from the outside, so I crept in and had a look.
Sheer heaven!
Lots of different, beautiful creations by several different artists and designers. It was such a comfortable shop and the woman who owned it seemed friendly and apologised for not noticing me right away.
I was just screwing my courage up to ask her 'would you be interested in seeing some samples of my handmade jewellery?' when I heard...
'Oooh, I like your necklace! Where did you get that from?'
With a slight stammer from shock and nerves, the reply came:
'Well, I made it myself, actually. I'm a jewellery designer. I actually came in to see if you'd be interested in stocking some of my pieces on a trial basis. I brought some samples with me, if you'd like to see.'
'Yes, yes I would, actually.'

I was actually shaking by this point, it's a miracle I managed to get my storage box out of my bag! So, I showed her the pieces I'd bought and told her the prices. To my absolute shock, she ended up taking 5 necklaces and 1 bracelet. I have instructions to go back in a few weeks so she can pay me and see more designs!

I cannot believe how easy that seemed to be. I've been worrying about it for weeks, but it happened in just one day! Admittedly, wholesale prices aren't great compared to the retail I can charge on Etsy, but it's still money.
My dream of having my work in the Waddesdon Manor gift shop in time for Christmas seems slightly more attainable now.

I think that's going to keep me smiling for a few weeks :D

Monday, 7 September 2009

Tutorial - Seaglass Symphony Earrings

Pretentious title? Maybe. But they're pretty and I like classical music, so there :P

Totally Tutorials ( runs a tutorial exchange, where suppliers donate free materials to crafters so they can make something pretty. The only stipulation is that the crafter has to make a tutorial, so other people can make pretty things too :D
This is fine with me, I've made tutorials in the past and have enjoyed it, so I got in touch with the lovely Corrie from who sent me two beautiful pieces of white seaglass.

As I previously said, I don't generally make earrings. Love them, own them, wear them, don't make. Despite this, I decided to make earrings :)
So, have an earring tutorial.

Starting Out
You will need:
* 2 pieces of pretty, pretty top-drilled seaglass.
* 6 beads, with two of each colour. I'm using 4 pearls (seafoam and moss green) and 2 clear bicone crystal beads. I was originally going to use 2 white pearls as well, but later decided not to.
* 2 silver eyepins.
* 6 silver headpins.
* 2 2" lengths of silver wire, roughly 18ga (or premade ear wires, up to you!).
* Pliers! Flat-nosed, round-nosed and some side-cutters.
* small file.

Making Bails
For those of you who don't know, bails are the little bits of metal used to attach a pendant to findings when making jewellery.
I used the 2 eyepins for this. First you need to your flat-nosed pliers and make a right angled bend in one of the headpins. To get the correct length, measure it against your sea glass. You want the eye to be just about the top of the glass when the pin is through the hole in the glass.

Once you've done that, thread the eyepin through the hole in the glass - the eye needs to be at the back! Bend the top of the eyepin around the top of the seaglass to get a nice, neat join.

Now, root out your round-nosed pliers and make a loop in the other end of the wire. The size is up to you, but I'd recommend keeping it fairly small.

The next step is to bend the part of the wire you've just curved and mould it to the front of the glass. Congratulations, the bail is now finished!

As if the glass wasn't pretty enough already, we're going to add some beads and pearls. Take 3 headpins thread one pearl/bead onto each one. Pick up your trusty flat-nosed pliers, one of the pearl/headpin combos and bend the wire at a right angle, just above the pearl. Then switch to the round-nosed pliers, put the bottom jaw of the pliers under the corner you've just made and bend the excess wire around to create a loop.

Hook this through the eyepin you made earlier, cut off the excess wire with the side-cutters and bend so that it's a clean join.

Hopefully the pictures explain it better than I can!

Rinse and repeat.

And again!

Making Earwires
At this point, you can just attach some pre-made earwires if you wish and leave me to fumble with bits of silver wire.
If you fancy making some of your own, go for it. It's easy and won't take you long!
I'm using 18ga sterling silver wire, but anything from 18 to 22 is usually fine :) You can make earwires using a wire jig, alas, I do not have one. So I'm relying on my trusty round-nosed pliers and a mandril!
Ok, to start, make another loop using the round-nosed pliers! Hurrah! To make sure the earwires are similar it's best to mark the point of the pliers your using.

Next, take the mandril and, starting from the loop, bend the wire round 3/4 of the way.

Make sure it's all level, file the ends so you don't cut yourself when wearing them and tadaaah!

Attach them to the bails on the seaglass and you're all done :)

As ever, I really hope this is helpful and has made sense! Please ask if you have any questions :)

Tutorial Finished :)

I don't think I mentioned this, but a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across and found that an Etsy seller was giving away a selection of seaglass. The only stipulation was that you had to make a tutorial of whatever you made it into.

So, I got in touch with the lovely Corrie from and she sent me some gorgeous pieces of drilled seaglass.

Now, I rarely make earrings. I don't kow why, I love wearing them and I have an extensive collection, but they're just not things I often get inspired to make.

When I opened the envelope last week and saw these two pretty pieces, I just knew that they had to be earrings. They may have made a good pendant, or bracelet charm, but for me they had to be earrings.

So I made these. And it was good.

I'm currently working on the tutorial for them, hopefully it will be up later tonight/tomorrow. Stay tuned :D

I also made a collar to match my crotalus cuff and made another cuff in bronze...these will be photographed and shown tomorrow, as I'm currently tired and my brain hurts!

Hope you all had a good weekend :)

Friday, 4 September 2009

I Need Opinions! (and I'm having a sale until wednesday!)

Ok, opinions first, people!
I've been struggling with this necklace design for a couple of days, it just doesn't feel quite 'right'. Some thoughts and opinions on it would be very, very much appreciated!

So what do you think? I'm considering putting either some silver chain in or another strand of small pearls, but my mum thinks that would make it too crowded :/
Add more, or leave it as it is?

Now, onto the sale!

In conjunction with the HAFteam's Summer Memories Challenge (, some team members are also having a sale!

At least 10% off select items through the end of voting on Wednesday, September 9.

You can see a list of participating shops here:,1659.0/topicseen.html

I'm not only offering 10% off 10 stunning pieces of jewellery, I'm offering free shipping as well to all members of my Facebook Fanpage! Take a look (link on the right sidebar), the code is in the top wall post :)
I've included things like my Elegant Orchid Necklace (picture on the left!) as well as some fantastic resin pins and several other necklaces. Go and take a look, you might find a bargin ^~

I also added a couple of bracelets to my Etsy shop yesterday! I've been neglecting my chainmaille recently so sat down yesterday and made a couple of classy pieces out of some left over rings.

Whilst these two beauties aren't in the sale, they've very reasonably priced!

And that's all for now :)
Coming up next week: fun with silver and hopefully a tutorial!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Mmm delicious chainmaille...

I have photos for you :)
And not much else, as it's half past midnight here and I need my sleep!

Two pretty chainmaille bracelets to use up some left over rings. May now buy some more and make matching necklaces for these two :D

Bright Byzantine:

Classy Crotalus:

A brief note on the rest of my life: my brother has got me hooked on Fable 2. I'm hoping a weekend in Birmingham with break the spell!

...I don't think it will work :(

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Frustration >.<

Evening all!
I got a fantastic parcel in the post today :D
Yes, yet more pearls. And some lovely spacer beads!
(apologies for the poor photo quality, I've spilt beads aaall over my floor and am too irritated to take a better one!)

So, because of my new shinies I've been making a couple of necklaces. The only problem is, the silk keeps snapping ;_; I got so frustrated with it that I've just taken it all apart and am going to try again tomorrow. It's a shame, I really wanted to have them photogaphed and ready to list tonight.

I did manage to make a great bracelet though - copper and aluminium chainmaille. I'll have a photo of that tomorrow as well :)

Ohoh exciting news, I made two sales today! Totally out of the blue, all of my others have been from people I know or have sold to before.

Right, I'm going to tidy my stuff off my bed so I can go to sleep. I'll be back tomorrow with photos and more random rambling :)