For the love of silver…for the love of life!!

Archive for June, 2009

Getting a Grip

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have had to delay the date that I officially start my new business – Solunar Silver Studio – until the first of July.  This has given me time to get to grips with building a website and doing all the other advertising paraphernalia that I feel I will need to get a good launch.  I was hoping to be able to pass this responsibility over to someone who has more IT skills than I will ever have but that has never quite happened and so I have been working at it …a little bit here…and a little bit there…   I am slowly getting the idea…and today I finally worked out how to get my Solunar Silver Studio logo incorporated into a repeat design that I could use as a wallpaper for my website!  I am inordinately pleased with myself!!  The image above is an enlarged section – just to give you an idea…and a preview…because, of course, you will all come visit my website when I get it going… won’t you!!!

I still have a way to go yet but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel – and believe me – it has been a long time coming!

I have also had the time to build up quite a stock in decorative silver chains (mainly bracelets) which is my main interest and delight when it comes to making fine (pure) silver jewellery.  This is just a small section (about a third) of the chains I am about to send off to the Edinburgh Assay Office to get my personal hallmark applied to the little heart shaped tags I attach to  all of my handmade chains.

So – I think I can be forgiven for leaving a bit of a gap between this and my previous post…and anyway – people seemed to be interested in my ‘Rose Nose’ post as there has been a pretty constant number of visitors each day over the past week.  And, for the record…for anyone wanting to know how the  hay fever remedy is working – I have had a couple of days when I was wondering if the effect was wearing off as my nose was itching (but not intolerably) and needed blowing a few times but that was when the pollen count was really high.  I have not yet had to resort to any other type of medicine to control the symptoms – I have just continued to use the device as indicated and I have been fine.  I’m still reluctant to say it is ‘cured’ but I am having a much more comfortable summer that I usually do!

Well, I must get back to doing a bit more on my website building.  I’ll let you know when I ‘open the doors’ to Solunar Silver Studio’s on-line presence and look forward to getting some feedback from you all!

Advertisements

Rose Nose

I have suffered from hayfever for nearly 40 years.  I have dreaded the summer coming round each year and have missed out on enjoying all sorts of outdoor activities because of it.  I’ve tried all sorts of medication over the years and have even had de-sensitising injections but nothing has really made a long term difference……..could this year be different???

I recently  saw an advert on the televison for a new form of allergy relief which really took my attention…it was for some device that you clip up your nose for a few minutes each day.  Sceptical that this could help my hayfever I did a bit of research on the internet.  The customer reviews seem to indicate that it works really well…but they all mentioned not to use it in public places because it makes you nose light up!!  “Curious”, thinks I…..but I decide to buy one and give it a go.  Even if it doesn’t work it certainly raises your spirits because it makes you laugh every time you use it as it really does make your nose light up like a Christmas reindeer decoration!!!  Far from not using it in public I have decided to use it in front of the world!!!…because I think it might really work!!!

I know that it is only really the beginning of the grass pollen season in the UK but I have been using it for the last few days and decided to give it a baptism of fire yesterday.  I went to my favourite local ‘chill out’ location (Norton Priory Museum and Gardens)  in the  afternoon as it was beautifully warm and sunny and was fortunate enough to arrive just before the start of a guided tour of the Walled Garden.  I’ve been to this location dozens of times but have never heard the history of the gardens so this was really interesting – and the gardens are really lovely.  They have all sorts of ‘old fashioned’ roses – you know, the ones that actually have a fragrance!! and a walk in these sheltered walled gardens was like being in a box of ‘Turkish Delight’ (a soft jelly confection flavoured with rosewater) – soft, fragrant and indulgent!!

At the end of the tour the guide suggested that we take a walk through the ‘wild flower meadow’………hmmmmm.  Normally I would have run a mile at the thought but I decided I would give it a go to see if this device is really making a difference.

It was really lovely – although there was a haze of grass flowers, just above the oxeye daisies, across the whole field – and I walked the path that surrounded it without so much as a sniffle!  Amazing!!

I guess time will tell how effective this thing is as the hayfever season progresses but I am very impressed so far!

My afternoon was rounded off by meeting a lovely Irish lady called Louise from Crewe (and originally from Dundalk) who was kind enough to stop me and tell me that she had been admiring my jewellery!!  Needless to say – I was a walking advert for Solunar Silver Studio as usual!!  …but I have never had this experience before – and it made me feel wonderful!!  So thank you for your kindness Louise! – you really made my day!!

And I hope condron.us will keep me on a high by sending lots of lovely visitors my way!!!

Flowers for My Girl

Well, there has not been a lot of jewellery made for the last few days.

My daughter is graduating from her college on Thursday – having gained distinctions in practically everything she has done over the past 2 years – and she is now a fully trained and very competent Holistic Therapist.  Anyway, she wanted a dress to wear for the college “Leavers’ Ball”, and as she couldn’t afford to buy one she asked me if I would make something for her.  Now I have done a dressmaking course and have a qualification in Fashion Design but I tend towards the more ‘theatrical’ designs and I am not necessarily that happy following a conventional pattern design – however, I am fairly happy with what I have made for her.  It is really hard to photograph without a body in it but you might get the idea from this photo!  It is a one shoulder design with a ‘fishtail’ over skirt which falls to one side and is made from a lightweight black crepe fabric.

I couldn’t resist adding a bit of a extra decoration to break up the shoulder-to-hem blackness of the fabric…so I made a bunch of organza roses and sewed a broach pin onto it so she can pin it where she likes.  They are really quite easy and satisfying to make because they don’t take very long put together and the effect is quite stunning!  Again, they are really hard to photograph because the fabric has quite a sparkle to it and reflects the flash back in all sorts of odd ways!

But I am quite pleased with the fruits of my labour….and I am sure I can put together some silver jewellery to go with it!!

I hope she has a wonderful day.  She is a very clever girl…as a mother of 2 little ones it has not been easy for her to fit in a full time college course – but she has done it and excelled!!

We are so very proud of her!!.

Argentium Rules….UK!!

As previous readers of my blog, and followers of Thing-a-Day 2009, know – I work in fine (pure) silver, mostly making decorative chains, but I also dabble in PMC (precious metal clay).  I have never liked to add sterling silver to my work as sterling silver tarnishes so easily – and fine silver doesn’t!!  So I feel that sterling doesn’t fit in with the style of jewellery I want to promote at Solunar Silver Studio.  Now the only drawback of fine silver is that it is a little weaker than sterling silver.  Generally this doesn’t matter but it is a real problem with making earwires for earrings…especially if you hope to sell them.  I am happy to wear fine silver earwires because I am aware that I might have to reshape them a bit if the grandchildren swing on my earrings!!  …   But you can’t sell earrings with that warning on them!!

For a while now, I have been aware of the existence of a metal called Argentium – which is basically sterling silver with about 1% of germanium mixed in with it.  Now that little bit of germanium has the benefit of making the sterling it is mixed with much more tarnish resistant and it makes it even stronger than standard sterling silver…….I thought – “Bring it on!!” – but what is this????   It isn’t available in the UK!!!!   WHAT!!!!!!!  How cruel life is!!  But that is all in the past as since the beginning of June, it has been available in limited forms from one supplier in the UK – Cookson Gold.  It is currently only supplied in sheet, wire, earposts and a few other odds and ends – but no earwires!!

Ho-hum!  Out comes the jig thing I use on occasion, and in goes an order for a couple of metres of 0.7 Argentium wire to have a play with.

So today I have been having a play – and I am sold!  It makes some very acceptable earwires.  It is surprisingly strong and springy and I do believe I am going to order some more…and at last….. I can start making some earrings to go with the rest of the  Solunar Silver Studio jewellery range I make!  Of course – it will take a bit of time to see how quickly it shows signs of tarnish but so far – so good……Argentium Rules….UK!!

My apologies to condron.us readers – I have been neglecting posting recently!

Tag Cloud