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Thursday 28 January 2010

How to Make Personalised Photo Jewellery

I was recently given the opportunity to make some resin photograph pendants and keyrings for the very talented Laura and Gord of Cards & Candles for All Occasions.

The resin pendant and keyrings were to be made double sided and each would contain some very special family photographs. The photographs were emailed to me (which helped as I could then photo-edit them to fit into suitable pendant designs). The following describes the tasks I carried out to convert their very special photos into items of jewellery.
  • Firstly make a paper template for the pendant shape and size. This should be made slightly smaller than the resin mould so that air bubbles are not trapped beneath the photo.
  • Using photo-editing software the photo is then resized to fit, and the pendant template overlaid as seen below:
    Photo jewellery design
    Photo jewellery design
  • Again, using Photo-editing software, the unwanted photograph area is removed and the photo jewellery design is presented as seen below:
Photo jewellery design
Photo jewellery design
  • Using scissors, the photograph is then trimmed, ready to be embedded into the resin mould.
  • A thin layer of clear resin is then made up and poured into the mould. The photograph is then laid face-down into the resin and carefully tapped with a cocktail stick over the surface to remove any unwanted air bubbles. It is then left undisturbed over night to cure.
  • A second layer of resin is then made and coloured to suit. In my case I used a pearlescent white pigment. This is then poured over the first layer and it is again left undisturbed over night.
  • Because my pendants were to be made reversible, a second photograph is then placed face-up into the mould and sealed with a final coating of clear resin.
The pendant is then left several days to cure, removed from the mould, sanded, drilled and jewellery findings attached. And this is the result, beautiful and personalised photo jewellery, handmade by me!#

Personalised resin photo jewellery
Personalised resin photo jewellery

For more details about photo jewellery please visit my website page Personalised Photo Jewellery.

Thursday 21 January 2010

Crafters are such lovely people

Recently whilst paying my regular visit to a local craft shop (Kim’s Crafts in Hinckley), I was having a conversation with the owner (Kim) about pressed flowers. We were talking about how I sometimes use pressed flowers with my jewellery and also how the art of pressed flower picture making was not so popular these days.

I left the shop (clutching various crafty bits) and walked home. On my way home I received a phone-call from Kim who said that another customer had overheard our conversation and had something for me. Ooh I thought and so the next day, I raced back to the shop and was handed these!

A box full of pressed flowers
A box full of pressed flowers

A craft box full to the brim with pressed flowers and some pictures the lady had made! I almost fell to the floor when I saw them and was completely overcome. So I gave some of my pendants in exchange and everyone was extremely happy...especially me since I have got lots of flower jewellery to make now!

It does make you realise how the world can be such a wonderful place when things like that happen to you.

To see some examples of flowers set in jewellery, visit my new Wedding Keepsakes page.

Monday 18 January 2010

Valentine’s Day is Fast Approaching!

No sooner has the Christmas and New Year celebrations finished and the next chapter in the Craft makers’ calendar is fast approaching us. February 14th is Valentine’s Day - a day when each and every one of us can express those feelings of love for a loved one.

The shops are already displaying their Valentine’s Gifts and even I have just completed the finishing touches to my new website page devoted to the day. While making the page, it got me thinking about the origins of Valentine’s Day. So I did some research and my favourite explanation is:

Unique Valentines day gifts
Unique Valentines day gifts

In pagan festivals of 3rd century Rome, Feb 14th was a day to honour the goddess Juno who was the goddess of women and marriage. This was also the eve of the Feast of Lupercalia, a day to honour the God Lupercus who was said to watch over the shepherds and their flocks and keep them from the wolves that roamed outside Rome. During this time it was traditional for boys and girls to pick names from an urn and become partners for the festival. Sometimes the pairings lasted throughout the year (which began in March), and some even resulted in marriage.#

However you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, spare a thought for those boys and girls in Rome, and for those that may be descendants from a name picked out of an urn!

For a little inspiration for Valentine’s Day, take a look here... Unique Valentines Day Gifts

Monday 11 January 2010

Horsey horsey don't you stop

This is my 1st blog entry for 2010 so I'll start by wishing you all a Happy New Year and hope that 2010 will bring everything that you wish for. This is also my first custom order for the New Year and it was quite a fun one to do!

A lady wanted some hair from her horse (the horse is named Madonna aka Boo), preserved within a resin pendant. The hair was taken from the horses tail (it was due for a cut anyway) and one thing that struck me was just how coarse the hair certainly took quite a bit of effort to get the scissors through it!
Horse hair jewellery
Horse hair jewellery

Anyway, I made two pendants and couldn't decide on which one I preferred so I gave her you can imagine she was very pleased. They certainly look unusual and quite classy in an ‘out of the ordinary’ sort of way. For the heart shaped pendant, I took 2cm strips of the horse hair and embedded them quite randomly within the resin, building the pendant up in several layers. For the teardrop shaped pendant, I took a clump (not sure if that is the right word to use) of the horse hair and tied one end with black nylon thread before embedding it in the centre of the pendant.

I have already added a page to my website that describes preserving locks of hair and have now extended it to include horse hair keepsake jewellery.