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Monday 4 December 2023

Paperweights containing coins

Recently I had an interesting request for a custom-made resin paperweight. A solicitor firm asked me to make two paperweights containing £1.62 in coins (a £1 coin, a 50p coin, a 10p coin and a 2p coin).

Custom made paperweight containing £1.62 in coins
Custom made coin paperweight

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Remembrance Day Poppy Ring

This year (2023) I made this poppy ring for my wife for Remembrance Day. The ring is sterling silver and I have incorporated a 10mm glass cabochon containing an image of poppies into the ring setting. For the ring design, I wanted to incorporate an image of poppies that was not too realistic, more of an artistic impression of poppies. I even considered including a miniature poppy inside the ring setting, but finally decided to incorporate something that was more subtle. 

Remembrance Day ring with the central cabochon containing Poppy flowers
Remembrance Day Poppy Ring

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Preserving your wedding memorabilia and keepsakes

Weddings are a time of excitement, planning and organization. The result being a hopefully flawless and memorable wedding. However, most of the energy for a wedding is put into the preparation for the big day and once the wedding is over, the bride and groom look forward to the honeymoon and relaxing. So, it is not surprising that after wedding thoughts often go forgotten.

Resin preservation of wedding keepsakes

Traditionally, capturing memories of the big day take the form of photographs and videos, but there are often other items which helped make the day special that the bride and groom may have kept but are unsure what to do with. These can be anything from confetti used at the ceremony or table confetti used to decorate the tables at the reception, from flowers to ribbon, wedding favours, or anything else that made the day special.

Clear resin domed paperweight containing wedding confetti
Wedding confetti paperweight

All these items can be preserved forever and even worn and enjoyed for many years to come in the form of resin preservation.

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Resin Jewellery Making - Safety Precautions and Equipment

Resin jewellery making is fun and easy if you follow the necessary safety guidelines. Even a resin labelled as 'low odour' will still emit fumes and therefore it is always essential that you wear the necessary safety equipment when handling resin.

As well as the general safety guidelines detailed below, you must always read and understand the manufacturer safety precautions that are provided with the product.

A Respirator

The respirators can be purchased from most hardware stores and must be worn whilst mixing, pouring, and working with resin. The fumes produced by resin are harmful and therefore the respirator filter must be one designed for the prevention of fumes and not dust.

Traditional respirator used when working with resin jewellery
A respirator used when working with resin

Thursday 28 September 2023

Personalised love heart sweet paperweight

Over 10 years ago, back in October 2011, I wrote an article about the messages found on love heart sweets. Around this time, I also started to make resin pendants containing the sweets, and I didn’t realise at the time how popular these would be. Today I continue to make both pendants and paperweights containing individual love heart sweets.

A packet of bespoke love heart sweets set within a clear resin paperweight
Personalised love heart sweets paperweight

Monday 18 September 2023

Memorial tea light candle holders for ashes

I mentioned in March that I had introduced a latest item within my range of keepsake jewellery and memorial ornaments for hair or fur, a resin tea light candle holder for pet fur.

Well, last month a lady asked me if I could set the cremated ashes from her pet dogs within a resin memorial tea light candle holder.

This is the completed tea light holder; the candle holder is cast using clear resin and is heart shaped measuring approximately 10cm in diameter. The central jar holding the tea light is glass and is removeable, allowing the tea light candle holder to be used as a trinket dish as an alternative option. The cremated ashes are embedded inside the resin and scattered throughout the heart shaped candle holder.

A clear resin heart shaped tea light holder containing ashes
Heart shaped tea light holder containing ashes

Thursday 22 June 2023

Bone shaped memorial pendant for pet hair or ashes

Those that follow my Facebook Page will know that I had this year’s second jewellery giveaway in April. My giveaway was for a custom-made bone shaped sterling silver memorial pendant that would be suitable for containing a pet dog’s hair or ashes. Alternatively, the bespoke pendant could be left without any contents, with the resin simply coloured and/or glittered.

The jewellery giveaway was won by Lorraine who wanted to combine a small amount of fur from her much-loved pet dog Holly with the ashes from two other fur children, Chloe and Sheba. I suggested including a small amount of her hair within the straight/horizontal section of the pendant, with a small sample of ashes from each of the fur children within the two end sections of the pendant.

Here is the completed pendant, a sterling silver bone shaped pendant containing both pet fur and ashes set within clear resin.

Sterling silver bone shaped pendant containing pet dog hair and ashes
Bone shaped pendant for hair and ashes

Lorraine loved her bone shaped memorial pendant and thanked me for bringing her three girls Holly, Chloe and Sheba together. 


Monday 15 May 2023

Bespoke Retirement Paperweights

Over three years ago I wrote a blog post about a custom retirement paperweight gift that I had made for a retiree from a company. Well recently I have been asked to make several similar paperweights for various companies and charities, the bespoke paperweights are to be given as retirement gifts to the departing employees.

The following are just a few examples of the bespoke retirement paperweights that I have recently been asked to make and all contain objects that were sent to me by the business or charity for encasing inside the resin paperweight.

Refuse derived fuel pellet within a paperweight.

For the first bespoke retirement paperweight I was asked to make, my customer sent me an unusual object to be encased inside the paperweight. To be honest, I was not sure what the object was after receiving it and I had to ask my customer to explain.

A square resin paperweight containing a fuel pellet and personalised with text
Refuse derived fuel pellet paperweight


Wednesday 19 April 2023

Butterfly themed memorial jewellery for ashes or hair

 I had a jewellery giveaway on my Facebook page in January, to celebrate my 14th year in business making keepsake jewellery. One lucky winner was to win a new stye of keepsake pendant that I have started making in the shape of a butterfly. The sterling silver and resin butterfly pendant would be suitable for ashes, locks of hair, horse hair or just coloured and personalised to virtually any requirements.

The giveaway winner sent me a small quantity of ashes from her pets to be incorporated into the pendant and this is the completed butterfly pendant:

Sterling silver pendant in the shape of a butterfly containing ashes
Memorial butterfly pendant for ashes

I have set the ashes within purple coloured resin inside the sterling silver butterfly pendant and gave the pendant a sparkle with a small amount of glitter dust. The recipient was over the moon with the finished pendant, and I really enjoyed making it for her!

This was the first butterfly shaped memorial pendant that I have made, although I have been asked many times over the years to incorporate butterfly symbols into my jewellery. For example, there is this resin hair keepsake pendant containing a silver butterfly.

Heart shaped resin pendant containing a lock of hair, silver butterfly and silver initial
Memorial pendant for hair with butterfly

or this heart shaped memorial pendant containing ashes and a tiny, coloured butterfly.

Heart shaped resin pendant containing ashes, purple butterfly and text
Memorial pendant for ashes and butterfly

As part of the jewellery giveaway, I also asked each participant to name their favourite butterfly. The Peacock butterfly seemed to be the most popular amongst those that entered my blog giveaway. I would love to know, what is your favourite type of butterfly?


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!