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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

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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!

Out & About in Kent · photography

Bluebell Magic in The Woods

Woodland bluebells header image may kent the little red hen

It’s that time of year again. Each spring I have to go to the woods and visit the bluebells.  As I was driving through the country lanes one afternoon, I spied a few bluebells nodding their heads by the edge of the hedgerow and it reminded me that it must be bluebell time again. We’re so lucky to be living in rural Kent where there are many ancient woodlands carpeted with bluebells. I took a short detour home through the lanes to my favourite bluebell woodland and I wasn’t disappointed!

Each year the mass of blue flowers seems even more vibrant than the last.  This year the wild garlic was in abundance, its pungent but not unpleasant scent, mingling in with the perfumed bluebells.

bluebell woods blog post the little red hen may

All was quiet in the lane. I had parked my car and switched off the engine. I couldn’t resist jumping out and taking some photos to share with you here, then stayed a moment longer to breathe in the beauty of the woodland bluebells until next year.

Jewellery Designing

Handmade in Kent – An Exciting New Online Shop

Silver wire twist birds nest pendant artisan jewellery

Earlier this Spring I was thrilled to be invited to showcase my handmade jewellery with an exciting new website Handmade in Kent. This is an online shop devoted to sharing the very best of handmade products made in the lovely county of Kent! Of course I was delighted to be accepted, alongside many other talented Kent-based designers and makers, many who are personal friends.

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Handmade in Kent are also planning to organise regular events so people can meet the makers and see their products in the flesh. I really love the idea of a fresh new online shop where you can find the best of Kentish made products, with networking; so important when you work by yourself!

handcrafted leaf pattern eco silver dangle earrings
eco silver leaf pattern earrings

Why not take a look for yourself? Enjoy having a browse and let me know what you think of my collection of handmade jewellery at Handmade in Kent.

If you are a Kent based creative, you can find out more by emailing hello@handmadeinkent.shop

photography

Instagram Challenge #marchmeethemaker 2017

If you follow my blog, you may remember last year I took part in this fun and engaging Instagram photo challenge. Devised by illustrator and fellow Etsy seller, Joanne Hawker, the idea is to post a daily photo based on a theme that Joanne has selected focusing on life as maker. Each photo is tagged with #marchmeetthemaker and I really enjoyed searching for new, interesting designers and makers to follow.

It was a real challenge to plan, select and take photos which fitted the chosen theme of the day, whilst still fitting in with the overal style of my gallery.  I enjoyed using the Boomerang app to create a fun effect on day 5.

Here’s a selection of my favourite photos I took for the challenge. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Marchmeetthemaker!

If you’ve enjoyed looking at these photos, please visit my Instagram feed to see all my #marchmeetthemaker posts!

Craft Fairs · Out & About in Kent

Kentish Made – Celebrating Local and Handmade

Last November, I was lucky enough to be involved in an exciting pop- up shop held in the village where I live. Katie, the owner of luxury handmade accessories brand Marmaduke Scarlet lives in a beautiful beamed house situated right at the top of the hill. This lovely old house used to be a grocery shop decades ago ( I still remember it from my childhood!) So once again, for a few weeks in November, Katie’s front room was converted back into a shop, albeit this time the groceries were exchanged for gorgeous handmade goodies!

I was excited to be showcasing my handmade jewellery, alongside a selection of talented local makers, including Polly had a Dolly; Ginkgo Floristry; tatty tess and Ddesignmakebake. The shop and Starlight shopping evening event were a runaway success and lots of fun was had and friendships made as a result.

When I heard that Katie was opening Kentish Made this winter for a special Starlight Shopping event, I was thrilled to be invited along! I will be selling a lovely selection of handmade silver and copper jewellery which will make perfect Christmas gifts and stocking fillers.

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This year the Starlight Shopping event will feature some familiar faces and new people too, including local home-roasted coffee company StApple Hurst Roast and gorgeous handmade candle company The Hazel Tree. I’m really looking forward to buying some Christmas gifts myself!

If you’re local to Staplehurst, please do pop in and enjoy Kentish Made’s Starlight Shopping event, this Thursday 1st December,  7pm-10pm or if you can’t make the evening, why not drop into our open morning the following day Friday 9.30am -2.30pm

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Why not check out the Kentish Made Facebook page for updates on the event and lots of information about the makers, and their lovely products!