Out & About in Kent · shop local

Shop Local and Independent in Staplehurst with Made by Kent

This Spring, some exciting news came to Staplehurst, the village where I live. An opportunity arose for our seasonal pop up shop, known as Kentish Made and run by Katie Higgins, to become a permanent fixture in the high street!

Made by Kent gift shop Staplehurst Kent

Katie, of Marmaduke Scarlet and her team of hard working helpers soon had the shop (formerly the old bakers), looking great and ready to fill with lots of handmade goodies.

There’s a great community of independent designers, makers and businesses in Staplehurst and it’s so exciting to see them all under one roof, all year round!

Local baker Claire’s Bread supplies freshly baked bread daily and weekly sausage rolls too! Made by Kent gift shop Kentish Honey Staplehurst Kent 3

As well as delicious brownies and biscuits, every Friday there’s a cake of the week, all baked by Rebecca of Vallance and sons from her home bakery. Rebecca also makes gluten and diary free bakes, which is great for me, having to be gluten free. A lovely treat for the weekend to look forward to!

 

vallance and sons cake of the week
Rebecca’s fabulous cakes!

There’s something for everyone, with a wealth of handmade goodies to choose from!

 

I’m thrilled to have a selection of my handmade jewellery available to buy at Made by Kent and I’m so pleased with the support I’ve received so far!

The Little Red Hen Jewellery handmade silver, copper jewellery
My Silver and copper handmade jewellery AND my jewellery bust Maud, looking very happy in her new home!

So if you’re local or passing through this part of Kent, do pop in and have a browse, you won’t be disappointed!

To find out what’s new in the shop and for more information on the makers, please take a look at the Made by Kent Facebook page!

Jewellery Designing

A New Workshop – A Spring Update

It’s been too long since I’ve last posted on my blog! Christmas is always a manic time of year for a maker and alongside the seasonal rush, I’ve been kept busy organising my new workshop space.

I spent the hectic Christmas working from my kitchen, while my new workshop and office was being built. As you can imagine, I’m delighted that it’s now finished and I can spend more time making lots of jewellery!

Here’s some photos of my new workshop and some works in progress on the bench.

New Workshop red hen jewellery making in progress
Lots of works in progress: a messy bench =a happy jeweller!
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I love my new pegboard, but how long will it stay this organised?!
soldering earring silver close up redhen jewellery
Soldering – one of my favourite jobs
jewellery workshop bench and pliers the little red hen jewellery
I love the light in my new workshop
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A personalised interlinking rings pendant
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I’m so pleased with my new logo stamp! All my gift boxes are made from eco-friendly materials

I’m really enjoying designing and making in my new workshop, look out for some new designs coming soon!

Craft Fairs · Uncategorized

Christmas is Coming! My Upcoming Festive Craft Fairs.

I’m very excited to share with you the festive craft fair events I’ll be attending this year. It’s a super busy time for most makers, so I’ve started planning early!

I’m looking forward to showcasing some great new pieces of jewellery along with my usual favourite designs.  I really enjoy meeting my customers face to face, so I’d love it if you’re able to visit any of my Christmas Fairs!

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 Here’s a list of my upcoming Christmas craft fairs:

13th November – 20th November: Kentish Made, Aysgarth, High Street, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 0AU opening times to be confirmed

Saturday 25th November: Dandelion Time Festive Gift Fair, Branden Farm, Staplehurst Road, Marden, Kent, TN12 9BT  10am-2pm

Saturday 2nd December: Poppinghole Farm Christmas Fair, Poppinghole Farm, Poppinghole Lane, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5BN  10 – 4pm

Saturday 9th December: Kitsch and Stitch Christmas Fair, Vestry Hall, Cranbrook, Kent  10am – 3pm

Saturday 16th December: Meadows School Barnados Christmas Fair 20-22 London Rd, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells TN4 0RJ 11am-2pm

Sunday 17th December: I Heart Whitstable, The Umbrella Centre, Oxford Street, Whitstable, CT5 2BQ  11am-4pm

Don’t forget that you can browse my jewellery designs from my Folksy shop

Do come and say hello, I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Jewellery Designing

Woodland Inspired Fern Jewellery

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I’m pleased to share with you my latest makes! Inspired by peaceful woodland walks along paths shaded with ferns, I’ve created a beautiful eco silver pendant and earrings. These pieces are made using Precious Metal Clay; the clay is imprinted with a real fern leaf from my garden, fired in a kiln and then oxidised for a beautiful rustic finish. The finished pieces are 99.9% pure silver.

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Precious Metal Clay is a fabulous eco-friendly material which uses silver recycled from industrial processes. I love using it in some of my designs as it easily takes impressions from my nature finds!

Handmade silver clay rectangle pendant leaf pattern

And here’s the matching earrings…

oxidised leaf pattern fern nature inspired drop earringsecosilver clay fern pattern dangle earrings

I love them so much I decided to make a pendant using copper clay too. Matching earrings will be following soon, so watch this space!

With autumn fast approaching, the lovely warm tones of this copper jewellery complement the season perfectly!

This handmade fern leaf pattern jewellery is available to order from my Folksy shop.  Let me know what you think? I’d love to hear from you!

Uncategorized

Flower Magic with Bloom and Grow

All the best ideas are nutured from a single thought -instagram the little red hen jewellery
switching on ideas with a little floral help

Jewellery aside, flowers and photography are two of my favourite things, so late this Spring, I was excited to hear about Bloom & Grow, a new floral photography online course. The course is run by the fabulous Sara Tasker of Me & Orla and was just the thing I needed to add a creative boost to my images on Instagram.

I really enjoy analysing details in photographs and reading the messages behind images and most of all I love a creative challenge! I usually shy away from photos of myself, but thanks to incorporating flowers in the shot, I’ve even managed to post a few portraits too.

I thought I’d share my favourite images with you here

old fashioned sweet peas at Sissinghurst Castle Garden:'En Masse'
Sweet Peas en masse at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Floral moody portrait roses the little red hen jewellery
Moody Floral Portrait with my favourite climbing rose.
Oast houses and oxe-eye daisies en masse
Oast houses and oxe-eye daisies en masse-very Kentish!
You know how I knit with wire? Well, I tried it with Ivy too!
You know how I knit with wire? Well, I tried it with Ivy too!

The format of the course is so suitable for flexible learning, each module has its own theme and with weekly homework, it gave me the motivation to keep creating.

I’m so pleased to have discovered lots of like-minded creative people through the course and it’s been really enjoyable to discuss ideas in detail, something I’ve missed doing for many years. Please take a look at the #bloomandgrowtogether hashtag on Instagram, you won’t be disappointed by the amazing creativity there!

 

I’ve had so much fun dreaming up these images, the process has allowed me to add more dimension to my photos, something I’ll be continuing to add to my jewellery images too. I’d love it if you’d pop over to my Instagram and follow my further floral adventures  there!

Craft Fairs · Out & About in Kent

Whitefriars – New Food and Craft Market in Canterbury

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I’m so pleased to be stocking a range of my handmade jewellery in the new Whitefriars Food and Craft Market in the beautiful city of Canterbury!

This vibrant pop up shop in the retail centre of Canterbury, is packed full of gorgeous handmade goods, gifts and produce, all from Kentish Makers and local businesses.

Whitefriars Food and Craft Market was launched during the ‘Whitefriars in Bloom’ festival in the city of Canterbury and the lovely floral themed window display reflected this.

I love visiting Canterbury, as it’s such a beautiful vibrant city and I’m so pleased with how my jewellery has been received.

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I really recommend a visit to the Whitefriars Food and Craft Market, if you’re visiting Kent. I guarantee you won’t come away empty handed!

Take a look at the Whitefriars facebook page, for more information about the shop, designers and their products.

Jewellery Designing · Jewellery Tips

5 Ways To Care For Your Handmade Silver Jewellery

hammered silver hoops pendant

One question I’m often asked is ‘how do I care for my handmade jewellery?’ Well, I’d like to share my top tips with you for keeping your jewellery in great condition. I use Sterling silver in my jewellery designs. One of the problems with Sterling silver is that it tarnishes (goes black) when exposed to the air. Below are my top tips for keeping your jewellery super shiny!

  • Wear your jewellery regularly! The oils in your skin help to clean your jewellery.
  • Avoid contact with chemicals and always remove before swimming and showering.
  • When getting dressed, always put your jewellery on last of all. Perfume, cosmetics and hairspray all increase the risk of tarnishing.
  • When not in use, store your jewellery in a zip lock plastic bag or other air tight container. I will be posting out these little bags with my online orders, they’re just the right size to pop in your jewellery box!
  • If your jewellery does become tarnished, a quick gentle polish with a silver cleaning cloth will leave it looking sparkly and new again.

These silver cleaning cloths are now available to order from my Folksy shop

silver circle pendant polishing cloth the little red hen.jpg

The two Sterling silver hammered pendants pictured above are available to order now from my Folksy shop, why not pop over and take a look!