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Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Tea light holder containing pet hair

I am often asked if I can make resin ornaments, paperweights and other decorative items containing pet hair, a loved one’s hair or cremated ashes. Well, a few weeks ago I was contacted by Faye who had been given my details from a friend whom I had made a necklace for, containing the hair from her beloved dog.

Faye had some fur from her darling border terrier Flo who was sadly put to sleep following a short illness late last year. Faye really loved the idea of having some fur preserved within a resin tea light holder. Having never made a resin tea light holder before containing pet fur but always up for a challenge, I began to look at possible designs. I managed to source suitable moulds to make several different styles of tea light holders, including star, circular and heart shaped options. 

Faye decided that she would like the pet fur to be preserved within a heart shaped tea light holder. She sent the fur to me, and this is the completed tea light holder containing the fur. The holder is created using clear resin and measures approx. 10 cm in diameter.

A heart shaped clear resin tea light holder containing pet fur
Resin tea light holder containing pet fur

The central circular container holding the tea light candle is made of glass and can be easily removed, so the tea light holder could also be used as a trinket dish if required.

A clear resin heart shaped trinket dish containing pet fur
Resin trinket dish containing pet fur

Faye  received her custom-made tea light holder containing her pet’s fur and loved it! She sent me this lovely message after receiving it and accompanying photo of the tea light located in her memorial space.

“Just got back from a busy morning at work to open my lovely tea light holder, I'm so happy with it, it's so beautiful and I can't thank you enough for your wonderful work.  I will treasure this for the rest of my life. All the best, keep doing what you do”,

A resin heart shaped tea light holder containing pet fur in a memorial setting
Custom made tea light holder memorial

I am so thankful to people like Faye who give me inspiration for making new products. The tea light holder is an excellent idea and I am looking for to making more of them to preserve sentimental objects for people.


Friday, 17 February 2023

Custom paperweight for fishing flies

 I have been making custom made paperweights encapsulating personal objects for over ten years now, and it never ceases to amaze me whenever I am asked to set something new inside the paperweights.

This happened to me recently when I was asked by Brenda from Ayrshire in Scotland, if I could set fishing flies inside my resin paperweights.  It is certainly possible for me to encase a fishing fly within a resin paperweight, and I am surprised that I have never been asked to do this before. Although I do not fish, I have always  found fishing flies beautiful to look at and I also admire the skill and artistry of those that make them.

Brenda sent me a photo of the fishing flies along with measurements, so that I could advise on the best size and shape of paperweight to accommodate them.

Four colourful fishing flies with measuring tape
A selection of colourful fishing flies

We decided that two of the smaller fishing flies would be perfect together inside the square shaped paperweight that I make. Brenda also wanted me to further customise the paperweight by including a short message; she sent me the flies and this is the completed paperweight:

A square resin paperweight containing two fishing flies
Custom paperweight for fishing flies

I have encased the fishing flies together with the message ‘Tight Lines’ (which is used between fishermen as a greeting or good luck wish), the phrase ‘keeping your lines tight’ means that lots of fish are being caught.

The fishing flies really do look beautiful inside the paperweight. The resin tends to enhance colour and textures, so the feathers and other materials that make up the flies look stunning. The fishing flies also look like they are suspended within water. The square paperweight being a good choice for displaying the flies because as well as being displayed flat like a traditional paperweight, it can also be displayed upright as a display piece.

I am going to now look up some YouTube videos on how fishing flies are made. Thank you so much for reading about my paperweights!


Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Horseshoe bracelet charm containing horse hair

I was asked by Sharon towards the end of last year if I could set a small amount of horse hair within a bracelet charm that would be suitable for a Thomas Sabo charm bracelet.

The bracelet charm was going to be a gift for her friend whom tragically lost her horse last summer. Unfortunately, they only managed to get a few strands of tail hair at the time, however this was more than sufficient for me to make an item of jewellery with it.

After a little investigation I discovered that Thomas Sabu made a horseshoe style bracelet charm, so I suggested making something similar to contain the hair. This is the horseshoe shaped bracelet charm that I made for her, containing the hair from her friend’s horse.

A bracelet charm in the shape of a horseshoe containing horse hair
Horseshoe charm for horse hair

I encased a few strands of the hair with clear resin inside a sterling silver horseshoe shaped pendant bezel and then attached a sterling silver lobster clasp clip.

I have been quite busy this month making resin bracelet charms containing horse hair. Here is an example of coloured resin bracelet charms that I recently made. Again, my customer only had a few strands of horse hair that they were able to send to me however this was more than sufficient to make a couple of small resin oval shaped charms. I coloured the bracelet charms blue and green and criss-crossed the horse hair throughout the resin.

Two resin oval bracelet charms coloured green and blue containing horse hair
Multicoloured bracelet charms containing horse hair

I really enjoy working with horse hair in my resin jewellery because of the amazing effects that you can create with it, for example, the criss-crossing of the horse hair in resin often resembles rutilated quartz.

Many thanks for reading!


Thursday, 5 January 2023

Preserving conkers from a special tree

Happy New Year! So, I know it is probably the wrong time of year to be discussing conkers (Horse Chestnuts), but towards the end of last year I was asked on several occasions to preserve conkers that had fallen from special Horse Chestnut trees.

I have been asked many times in the past to preserve special flowers and even leaves within items of resin jewellery and paperweights. Several examples can be seen within my real flower jewellery page. These flowers and leaves are often taken from a special occasion such as a wedding or birthday, but on occasions they are also taken from a sentimental plant or tree. Maybe a plant or tree that evokes fond family memories or a memorial to a loved one.

The following are a couple of examples whereby I have been sent conkers recently for them to be preserved within resin paperweights. The conkers were obviously very sentimental to the families that sent them to me.

The first example is of a resin domed shaped paperweight containing two conkers that have been encased inside the paperweight side by side.

Resin paperweight containing conkers
Resin paperweight containing conkers

For the next example I have preserved two conkers within a resin square shaped paperweight. I have also included a section taken from a fallen leaf from the Horse Chestnut tree, and a photograph of the family home and the tree. 

Paperweight containing conkers and leaves
Paperweight containing conkers and leaves

I hope these paperweights containing the conkers are special keepsakes for the families, and they give a lasting reminder of their special conker trees for many years to come.

Did you know that in North America, many people refer to conkers as “buckeyes.” They are named “buckeyes” because the conkers resemble a buck’s (or male deer’s) shiny brown eye!

Take care and I hope 2023 is a great year for everyone!


Thursday, 1 December 2022

Handmade Christmas Decorations Containing Pet Fur

This is likely to be my last blog post before Christmas and most likely the last post of 2022, so I thought that I would continue with the Christmas theme. Following on from a recent post I made about my custom-made Christmas snowflake decorations that I recently made, I have been contacted by several people since who have asked me if I could put cremated ashes and/or hair or fur from a loved one or pet within the hanging decorations.

I was contacted by a previous customer Sarah who wanted me to set the fur from her very much missed pet Hugo within a couple of resin snowflake decorations, and these are the decorations I made for her.

The first custom made hanging snowflake decoration that I made for her containing Hugo’s fur containing a small amount of glitter and is personalised with Hugo’s name.

Personalised Christmas decoration containing pet hair
Personalised pet hair Christmas decoration

And the second snowflake decoration I made for her contains the pet fur, glitter dust and a small amount of blue glitter.

Christmas decoration containing pet fur
Christmas decoration containing pet fur

After receiving her snowflake decorations containing Hugo’s fur, this is the lovely message that Sarah sent to me:

“Wow what can I say? Thank you so much for my stunning Xmas decorations! I absolutely love them. They’re beautiful (and I love the pretty packaging too, what a lovely touch.)

I am honestly thrilled with how they’ve turned out, they will be the highlight of my Xmas tree every year from now on. They are truly gorgeous. I’m so grateful to you for the lovely things you’ve created for me with Hugo’s fur, keepsakes that I will treasure forever and look at with great love and affection.

I am sure we will be doing business again soon and wish you all the very, very best.


I was thrilled to hear that my Christmas decorations containing Hugo’s fur will be on display, hanging from her Christmas tree every year.

Take care and I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year.


Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Handmade Christmas Decoration Photography Tips

I blogged recently about some custom-made Christmas decorations that I made and that, at the time it was a great excuse to get more creative with my photography. I initially photographed the resin snowflake decorations against quite a plain background. This really do not do them justice and I wanted something that would make the decorations look more Christmassy and bring the snowflakes to life.

Next, I thought about photographing the snowflakes hanging from a Christmas tree, or even having the tree as a backdrop to the decoration. But laziness got the better of me and the thought of having to get our artificial tree out of the garage and assembling it in October made me look for alternative solutions.

The following are some of the backgrounds that I experimented with in photographing the Christmas decorations. Let me know which is your favourite!

The first photo has the Christmas decoration set against a background of an open fire, giving a warming and certainly Christmassy feel to the photograph.

Handmade Xmas decoration - Photography tips
Handmade Xmas decoration - Photography tips

The second photo has the Christmas decoration set against a more colourful background of multicoloured flames.

Colourful Xmas decoration background
Colourful Xmas decoration background

And lastly the hanging handmade Christmas decoration is set against a closer view of the fireplace, giving the impression of warmth, without it being immediately obvious that it is an open fire.

Artistic photography of Christmas decorations
Artistic photography of Christmas decorations

Can you guess how I created these effects for the photographs? Read on to find out…

How the artistic background to the decoration was created?

OK, I must admit that I did not really photograph the handmade decorations against a real fireplace. Firstly, I searched through YouTube videos on our TV for ‘fireplace’ and I was amazed by the variety of videos, some many hours long, and very relaxing they are too! So, I selected a few and paused the video at a good moment to take the photo.

Then I began to assemble my photography ‘rig’.  I taped a bamboo cane to our clothes horse and hung the Christmas decoration from it in front of the TV. 

Setup used to photograph the handmade decorations
Setup used to photograph the handmade decorations

I attached my camera to a tripod in front of the hanging decoration and took the pictures. Cool tip eh! Thanks to YouTube, a clothes horse, bamboo cane and a good dose of imagination I think I have created to interesting and Christmassy backgrounds to the photographs.


Friday, 14 October 2022

Custom Made and Personalised Christmas Snowflake Decorations

I realise it is only October but after what we have all been through the last couple of years, I wanted to get into the Christmas spirit early this year! It has been great fun making these resin hanging Christmas snowflake decorations over the last couple of weeks. Making these decorations has also given me an opportunity to be more creative with my photography! These snowflake hanging decorations that can either be hung from a tree or as a standalone decoration. They can be coloured with any colour, glitter added, personalised with names, and can also include personal items such as a loved one’s ashes or lock of hair.

The first custom made snowflake Christmas decoration I made was this clear snowflake containing iridescent glitter and glitter dust, it really sparkles nicely when it catches the light.

Custom Personalised Christmas Snowflake Decoration
Custom Christmas Snowflake Decoration

The second hanging Christmas decoration is the same as the one above, but this example is further personalised with a name floating inside the snowflake.

Personalised Christmas Snowflake Decoration
Personalised Christmas Snowflake Decoration

The third custom hanging decoration is again a clear resin snowflake. This snowflake has a different shape to the previous examples and contains these gorgeous polymer clay snowflake sprinkles in tones of blue and white. Again, I have added a sprinkle of glitter dust to the resin to provide that sparkle.

Memorial Christmas Decoration with Ashes
Memorial Christmas Decoration with Ashes

I can personalise these hanging Christmas snowflake decorations to any requirement, including the use of any combination of colours and glitter, personalised with names/year etc. Like my keepsake jewellery, I can even incorporate a loved one’s ashes or lock of hair into the Christmas decorations, providing a lovely way of having a loved one with you at Christmas time.

As well as having fun making these resin Christmas decorations I have also been experimenting with my photography. It really did not do the decorations justice having them photographed against a plain background and I hope you like the effect that I achieved. Can you guess how I did this?