Tuesday, 19 November 2019

How to preserve a piece of football ground grass turf

So, if you are reading this you are either a regular follower of my blog, or you may have come across this through having an interest in the preservation  of a piece of turf!

As an avid follower of football, rugby and other sports, I can appreciate the sense of pride when your team takes part and preferably wins a final of a national competition. In the spring of 2016 I was contacted by a fan of Hibernian FC with a very interesting request.

On 21st May 2016, Hibernian FC beat Rangers FC in the 131st Scottish Cup Final held at Hampden Park. This was Hibernian FC’s first win of the Scottish Cup in 114 years, having last won the cup in 1902 and only one time previous to that in 1887. As you can imagine, as a fan of Hibernian FC this was a momentous victory, ending the long drought of not winning the competition.

Hibernian FC Scottish Cup winners 2016
Hibernian FC Scottish Cup winners 2016


A small piece of Hampden Park’s hallowed turf was gathered by one fan, presumably as he left the terraces to leave the ground. The piece of turf may even have been dropped by the boots of a Hibernian FC player. (Although I do hope it wasn’t from the massive pitch invasion that happened at the end of the game). The Hibernian fan took the piece of turf home, still celebrating his team’s amazing victory and then contacted me in the hope that I could preserve the turf in resin.

Paperweight containing a piece of Hampden Park turf
Paperweight containing a piece of Hampden Park turf


And this is the result; I set the piece of turf within a square paperweight and added details of the achievement to the paperweight. What a lovely way to preserve the memories of this victory.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Memorial Jewellery Ideas for Men - Jewellery for Ashes or Hair

I am often asked about what types of jewellery or other gifts incorporating cremated ashes or hair are available for a male. Hopefully the following will provide some options and inspiration for men’s memorial jewellery incorporating ashes or hair.

Men’s Pendants for Ashes or Hair

My sterling silver pendants for ashes or hair can be made in many shapes and sizes, I am confident that I could provide something suitable for a man. From basic pendant shapes such as oblong, circular or square, the ashes or lock of hair are encased within resin against a sterling silver bezel.

Men's Memorial Pendant for Ashes
Men's Pendant for Ashes

Men's Memorial Hair Locket
Men's Pendant for a Lock of Hair


The resin holding the hair or ashes can be coloured or left clear and other objects added if required to further personalise the pendants. The memorial pendants can also be supplied with leather thong style necklace chains (instead of the sterling silver chains that I usually supply with the pendants).

Keyrings for Ashes or a Lock of Hair

Any of my pendant shapes and designs can be supplied as memorial keyrings for ashes or a lock of hair. The ashes or lock of hair can be combined with other objects to further personalise them such as silver lettering for names or messages, small objects such as small flowers.

Memorial Keyring for Ashes
Keyring for Ashes 

Memorial Keyring for a Lock of Hair
Keyring for a Lock of Hair


My sterling silver oval pendants containing ashes or hair can also be engraved with names, dates and messages if required.

Alternatively, the pendants can be supplied mounted on ribbon within the jewellery box; allowing the keepsake containing the ashes or hair to be displayed.


Cufflinks for Ashes or Hair

As an alternative to pendants or keyrings for ashes or hair, some men may prefer to wear cufflinks. My sterling silver cufflinks (as seen below) are a lovely way to carry a piece of somebody special and they are often requested for wedding gifts to the groom.

Memorial Cufflinks for Ashes
Cufflinks for Ashes

Memorial Cufflinks Hair
Cufflinks for Lock of Hair


The memorial cufflink settings can be coloured or left clear. They can be made different if required (for example different locks of hair or ashes can be set within each cufflink setting).

Tie-slides for Ashes or Hair

The tie slides for ashes or a lock of hair are similar to my cufflinks above. The ashes or lock of hair are set within resin against a sterling silver setting. The memorial tie slide setting can be coloured or left clear.

Tieslide for a Lock of Hair

Paperweights for Ashes or a Lock of Hair

As an alternative to an item of jewellery, my paperweights for ashes or a lock of hair provide a lovely display piece. The memorial paperweights can be made in the traditional domed shape or square and along with the ashes or lock of hair, I can further personalise the paperweights with photographs, text and other sentimental items.

Memorial Paperweight for Ashes
Paperweight for Ashes
Paperweight for Locks of Hair
Paperweight for Locks of Hair


I hope this gives you some inspiration and ideas for the types of memorial jewellery available for cremated ashes or a lock of hair. If there is something I have missed or if you have an alternative idea for memorial jewellery, please let me know.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Celebrating 10 Years of Shpangle Jewellery

In 2019 I celebrate 10 years of making custom jewellery so I thought I would record the event and publish my highlights and favourite jewellery items from each year.

2009 - The Beginnings of Shpangle Jewellery

In 2005, after spending 20 years as a systems engineer I decided to make a positive change in my life and become a full time house husband and carer for our son. A few years later in 2009, our son was starting school and I contemplated starting a business.

I had always had an artistic side and wanted to develop this further; I was also interested in taking everyday objects and turning them into pieces of art and hence Shpangle Jewellery was born.

I decided to use resin as a medium for my jewellery and my first items of jewellery incorporated sweets and other small items such as fabric, flowers, confetti and even bubble-wrap. These were sold at local craft fairs and at my local market.

Resin pendant containing a Jelly Tot sweet
Resin pendant containing a Jelly Tot sweet


This was one of the first pendants I made, an orange jelly tot sweet and seed beads made into a resin pendant.

2010 - Name on Rice Jewellery

The previous year was mainly devoted to making and expanding my range of resin jewellery. I decided to expand this range into another form of jewellery and began to learn the art of rice writing – The writing of names onto grains of rice.

Name on rice jewellery
Name on rice jewellery


This saw my name on rice jewellery appear in a short film by Canon, showcasing their macro lenses.

2011 – Jewellery Incorporating Hair or Ashes

Throughout the last couple of years I had received many requests to incorporate sentimental items (flowers, photos and other small objects) into jewellery. However this year was the beginning of what I became reputable for; preserving hair from horses, pets and loved ones into items of keepsake jewellery.

Keepsake Jewellery for a Lock of Hair
Keepsake Jewellery for Hair


My lock of hair jewellery was featured later this year in a Daily Mail newspaper article and I was also interviewed by Radio 4 as part of their documentary about remembrance jewellery.

After many requests later this year, I expanded the range of jewellery for hair to also incorporate ashes.

Keepsake Jewellery for Ashes - Memorial Jewellery
Keepsake Jewellery for Ashes


Both the hair and ashes jewellery has become extremely important to me and I am extremely grateful for those people that have entrusted me with something so sentimental and important to them.

2012 - Custom Made Paperweights

My custom made paperweights were developed to accommodate the many requests I received for preserving larger items. The paperweights were also ideal for those people who wanted to display the sentimental item rather than having an item of jewellery.

Custom Made Paperweights Containing Flowers
Custom Made Paperweights


2013 - Magazine Article

In 2013 a lovely article about Shpangle Jewellery was featured within a magazine. The article appeared in the ‘Bunny Mad’ magazine and was part of a special feature about coping with pet loss.

Shpangle Jewellery Magazine Article - Coping With Pet Loss
Shpangle Jewellery Magazine Article

This article means so much to me; it was the first time that I had been featured in a magazine. To be chosen to be part of this subject made me realise even more how important my jewellery is to people.


2014 – Lovely Customer Feedback and Gifts

I always feel over the moon whenever I receive lovely customer feedback for my work and it is one of the main reasons that I make the items; knowing that I have made somebody happy is so important to me.

Customer Thank You Gifts
Customer Thank You Gifts

In 2014 I received through the post a gift of chocolates, wine and a thank you card for making an item of jewellery. So extremely thoughtful and I will never forget this act of kindness.

2015 - Hedgehog quills

From the numerous items of jewellery and paperweights that I made in 2015, I tried to think of one item that sticks out in my mind. A very difficult decision however it has to be this pendant containing hedgehog quills.

Hedgehog Quill Jewellery
Hedgehog Quill Pendant

This was the first and only time that I have worked with hedgehog quills and incorporated them into a necklace.

2016 - Pandora Style Beads

After many hours of experimentation in 2016 I finally discovered a way of incorporating either hair or ashes into Pandora style beads. This became another popular way of preserving both hair and ashes into an item of jewellery.

Custom made Pandora style beads for hair or ashes
Custom made Pandora style beads


2017 – Jewellery for Teeth

The year 2017 saw me produce my first pendant containing a tooth! After several years making jewellery for ashes, flowers, hair etc I am surprised that I have not done this sooner (i.e. keepsakes for a child’s first tooth, puppy tooth jewellery etc).

Jewellery containing a tooth
Jewellery containing a tooth


2018 - Rings

In 2018 I expanded the range of rings available for holding ashes and locks of hair. I now supply seven different styles of sterling silver rings for ashes/hair.

Custom made rings for hair or ashes
Custom made rings for hair or ashes


2019 – Sterling Silver Jewellery Range

This year has seen me release a new range of sterling silver pendants for ashes, hair and other keepsakes. I can now make the sterling silver pendants in most shapes, including hearts.

Sterling silver pendants for hair or ashes
Sterling silver pendants for hair or ashes


More sterling silver pendant shapes will be released in 2020 and I look forward to the next 10 years of Shpangle Jewellery!

Mick