Eco-friendly · Out & About in Kent · shop local · Uncategorized

A Visit To Local Flower Farm, Blooming Green

Do you have a local flower farm or cutting patch? A beautiful place where you can visit and gather yourself a beautiful bouquet of flowers to take home? I was delighted to discover Blooming Green, a flower farm where you can pick your own seasonal, organically grown flowers.

I wanted to share you with you some pictures of my visit there last summer. These were taken last June, but better late than never!

Blooming Green Loddington Farm Linton Kent
Beautiful cottage garden flowers, freshly picked!

 

 

Blooming Green Flower Farm Linton Kent redhenjewellery blog

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Blooming green gardeners hard at work keeping the cutting patch looking fabulous

 

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Beautiful candy colours!

Wildflower patch the little red hen jewellery Blog blooming green kent

Blooming Green local flower farm the little red hen jewellery blog
There’s always time for being silly!

 

beautiful pink wildflowers cutting patch Blooming Green Flower Farm 3
I even roped my husband in to help 🙂
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So much choice! Enjoying a peaceful moment gathering my bunch of flowers
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Pretty pickings!
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I love the dolly mixture colours of these cornflowers!

I bought my gorgeous bunch of flowers back home, where they filled 3 large vases and enamel jugs and amazingly lasted for well over a week!

Blooming Green are open every Friday April to October, 10-4pm for PYO flowers

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!

Jewellery Designing

Making Eco Silver Leaf Pattern Pendants

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Leaves, recycled silver & lots of elbow grease! That’s what is involved in creating my eco silver leaf pattern pendants.

These pendants are one of my favourite things to make. They are always popular, as being simple and elegant they can be worn for a variety of occasions, if not everyday!

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My leaf pattern pendants are handmade from Precious Metal Clay, a fantastic material which incorporates fine silver particles in a non-toxic binder. There are lots of different products available, I like to use Art Clay Silver which has a slower drying time and less shrinkage than other metal clay products I’ve tried.

Another reason I use Art Clay Silver is it’s a great eco-friendly product.  It uses silver recycled from items such as circuit boards, dentistry and photographic processes and mixes them with an organic, non-toxic binder. This binder burns off when fired in a kiln (it can also be torch fired) to leave behind a piece of jewellery that is 99.9% pure silver.

Circle silver clay leaf pattern pendant

First the clay is rolled and shaped (a bit like play dough), then I use a leaf from the garden (a skeleton leaf from craft shops works well too) to make an impression on the clay.  I have a collection of clay cutters, which are a bit like miniature pastry cutters, to cut out the desired shape of the pendants. My favourites are the heart and teardrop and these always seem to be popular with my customers too!

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Rolled soft clay and craft shop skeleton leaf.

I like to use a cocktail stick to make a hole for the pendant jump ring to go through, being very careful not to disturb the delicate design before it’s dried.  Then comes the drying, which can be done at room temperature over twenty-four hours, or in a cool oven within an hour. There’s always drying instructions included in the Metal Clay packet and I’ve found oven drying to be the best and speediest method for me.

It’s important for the clay to be completely bone dry before it is fired in the kiln, as any residual moisture can cause the silver to crack. Any little imperfections can be sanded away at this stage, however this has to be done with extreme care as the dry clay will be very fragile! I’m afraid I’ve had a few casualties in the past, so have learnt the hard way to be very careful.

Following the instructions on my clay packet, I then fire my dry pendants in my table top kiln. This little kiln is one of my favourite tools as it’s so versatile and easy to use.  I always look forward to hearing the timer ping and seeing what the pendants look like, once they are cooled down.

Fine silver heart pendant leaf pattern elegant

I like to burnish my fired pendants with a brass brush; this brings the fine silver to the surface and gives them a subdued, satin finish.  I tidy up the edges and reverse side with polishing papers, this is where the elbow grease comes in! Then give them a quick spin in the tumble polisher too if they need it.  All that’s left is to buff and shine with a silver cloth and then the finished pendants are ready to be boxed up awaiting their new homes.

I love wearing these pendants as they go with everything and suit every occasion, but are really special too. They are available to order from my Folksy Shop and Etsy Shop

Why not take a look and let me know what you think!