Sunday, 11 February 2018

Gemstones for February

Hello February, my, over a week has gone by already, after what felt like a very long month in January, this one seems to be whizzing by! So last weekend I did my research on gemstones associated with Feburary for this months blog and I was surprised to find there are quite a few.  The first one I came across predictably is the Amethyst as the birthstone for February. One of my favourite stones to work with. Amethyst comes from the quartz family and ranges from clear to opaque in all shades of purple, these are few of my pieces showing the variety of stones.
This beautiful teardrop shaped cabachon shows the range of colour from deepest purple at the top to almost pale lilac at the bottom.   I have set this one in Sterling Silver and added some decorative scrolls.
This bracelet combines round varigated beads with a clear faceted stone set in the bar

These earrings are made using some opaque pale lilac faceted beads.

Amethyst is said to be an emotionally soothing stone, used to ease stress and emotional exhaustion. It is often used during meditation to calm an overactive mind. I find this interesting, in that, I always say making jewellery is my stress relief and I am often drawn to Amethyst, perhaps that's why.
There is another purple stone associated with February. Charoite is named for the Chara River and found in Siberia, Russia. The colour is closer to violet with a waved pattern to the stone. It is known as a dream stone and can help to ease a troubled heart. 

This necklace is made from Charoite nuggets and amethyst, I find it fascinating to discover that I had paired these stones together not realising they were both associated with February.

Other stones I have not worked with yet are Lepidolite with Rubellite which is known for helping with the grieving process and Celestite or Celestine which opens the mind to new ideas. Two to look out for in the future. last gemstone on my list for February is Morganite a member of the Beryl family, which is sometimes known as pink beryl. Morganite varies in colour from pale to peachy pink. 

I recently made some earrings with morganite and the colours ranged from the palest pink through to blue, having done some research on these stones I have found that the blue shade comes from morganite mixed with aquamarine, you can see both colours in these earrings, with the pale pink above on the right and more blue tinted below.
Morganite is said to radiate the energy of love, peace and compassion. It is said that it can help you deal with emotional pain, letting go of the past and painful memories and moving forward with your life.

So that's my brief look at gemstones for February. I must say I have found it really interesting to learn about the more spiritual side of stones this month.  I know I am drawn to certain stones and have always thought it was the colour that drew me to them, but having read about the more emotional side, now I wonder if it is just the colour or if it's more emotional. The next time I feel drawn to a stone I'll take a minute to consider how I am feeling and see if there is a link.

I hope you enjoyed a look at gemstones for February, I'll be back in a few weeks with a look at Gemstones for March. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Making Memory Books - January 2018

Hello, blimey look at that my second blog for 2018 and it's still only January! Something a little different today, I'm showing some of my mixed media art techniques. The last few weeks has been busy with commissions for memory books, something I have been making now for several years, they are usually requested for Special Birthdays, Mother's Day, Hen Parties and Special Occasions.  The books are made from scratch and I generally create all the artwork myself, either using my own hand drawn images or using some of my digital stamps.

The first thing I do is design the artwork, this week I had commissions for two books with daisies on in shades of pink, with personalised messages and lots of sparkle.  I created the base artwork on CraftArtist (a digital package) for this one using a digital daisy stamp. I printed the base using archival inks onto art quality inkjet paper.

I then bound this to standard white mount board (the kind you use for picture frame mounts) using Copydex glue and left it to dry for a few hours

The next stage was adding some contrasting colour with inks. For this I used some masks and sequin waste and a sponge to apply the ink.  This is one of my favourite colours Worn Lipstick Distress Ink from Tim Holtz.  Again left to dry for an hour or so, then it was on to the metal leaf.

I used Indigo Blue flitter glue and mega flakes in gold.  I dabbed the glue around the edge of the cover using a sponge and in a few random places over the front too. Left to dry until tacky (about half an hour) then applied the flakes - this bit was messy and I have to try not to sneeze! the little particles of metal leaf get everywhere and I will sparkle for days!  Next I'm ready for binding.

My preferred tool for binding is my trusty Zutter which punches the holes for the wire binding.  I also have a larger office binder, but I prefer this one!  The books were made up using the front cover. A plain white mount board back cover and 12 pages of 300gsm thick white card, which is the recommended gsm for photographs.

After binding they were ready to finish with some ribbon, glitter, and acrylic gems.

Over the years I have made books for many occasions and in lots of different styles, here are just a few which include clockwise from the top a hand drawn zen doodle bunny rabbit for a new baby, a digitally hand drawn lily for an Aunty, a book using customers own photographs for travel memories, a digitally hand drawn Unicorn, a school journal with a mixture of my own hand drawn and digital stamps and a book for a teacher.

I don't make any books using copyright images but I do create books that can be themed. These two are my interpretation of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.  Both of these are in my Etsy shop. Click on the pictures to view.

You can find more of my books on both Etsy and Folksy at Paper, Chains and Beads, my links are on the right hand side if you fancy a browse, do check out the sold items too where you can see some of my other commissioned books.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I create my books and thanks so much for stopping by. Back soon with the February Gemstone Blog.