1 July 2013

EtsyMetal blog Carnival- Favourite Recipes

Welcome to our EtsyMetal monthly Blog Carnival!
Blog Carnival is about a group of our members sharing their experience on a common topic.

What are your favourite recipes?

I am not sure why I am taking part in this blog carnival as I have so many recipes that I like!  I studied professional culinary arts for 3 years in college so food has always been a big part of my life.  One of the first cookbooks I bought was Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef, I still have my original battered copy that I bought when it was first released 14 years ago!

I love it because it takes me back to when I was a student, good times.

I am not going to write out all of the recipes that I like from this book as there are just too many, here is a little list of "some" my faves and you can look them up in the book as I assume you will have this one already ;)

Perfect roast chicken

Pork and crackling

Simple chocolate tart

Check out what my other team members love to eat!

3 June 2013

EtsyMetal blog carnival- Summer's a comin'!

Welcome to our EtsyMetal monthly Blog Carnival!
Blog Carnival is about a group of our members sharing their experience on a common topic.

Summer's a comin'!

Or is it?...

It certainly doesn't feel like it at the moment where I am that's for sure!
I think the Seasons are shifting and summer is going to come later and last longer towards the end of the year.

We have just recently bought a caravan and we have already had our first trip in it, we went to Les Fuvettes and also visited Lausanne, here are some pics:

Les Fuvettes


We will go away again soon, probably to the South, Cote D'Azur and maybe into Italy too or Spain, can't wait!

That is my summer sorted, check out what other members of EtsyMetal have planned:

31 May 2013

Shop update

I have added a couple of new things to my shop, my aim is to have 100 items listed and I am at 52 so er, it could take a while :)

Hope you like them.

1 May 2013

EtsyMetal blog carnival- Show off your latest

Welcome to our EtsyMetal monthly Blog Carnival!
Blog Carnival is about a group of our members sharing their experience on a common topic.

Show off your latest!

I am currently working on my ring making, finally! I made these 2 rings at the weekend just to practice with the soldering, they are not good enough yet so I am still working on them. 

I managed to mess up the sizing which is kinda crucial! I did treat myself to this new tool though to help me out, it's a ring stretcher and reducer, looks fancy!

I am also currently sawing out another butterfly, I think this next one is going to be a necklace though not a brooch this time around.

Check out what Laura has been working on over at her blog

25 April 2013

New bench, new work..

Hello! I wanted to show you my amazing new workbench, made by amazing other half, Dom.  I have been wanting a "proper" bench forever but couldn't justify the price.  After searching, a lot, I stumbled across one made out of an Ikea kitchen island.

"I have one of those in my kitchen!" I thought.

 So that is what it became, my new jewelers bench and it is the perfect size and everything. :)

Here is the original Ikea island

And what it became, the perfect jewellery bench!

...and me working at it

Here is a new necklace I have in my shop, all sterling silver.

Finally a first look at a new brooch I made for the Brooch a Week challenge

Thanks for reading :)

4 March 2013

EtsyMetal blog carnival: Where do you live?

Welcome to our EtsyMetal monthly Blog Carnival!
Blog Carnival is about a group of our members sharing their experience on a common topic.

Where do you live?

I have moved around a lot, my Dad was in the army so I moved more than the average child anyway.
I am currently settled and I live in the Alsace region of France, it is right on the border of Germany and Basel, Switzerland where I work. I have been here for 3 and a half years and I have no plans to move back to the U.K right now :)

Here are some pics!


Strasbourg again

Basel, in the summer we swim down this river, the Rhein

Walking in the woods

Looking out of my living room window

Keeping this one short and sweet, this is where I live!

See where other members live.

4 February 2013

EtsyMetal blog carnival- Photography tips

Welcome to our EtsyMetal monthly Blog Carnival!
Blog Carnival is about a group of our members sharing their experience on a common topic.

Photography Tips & Tricks

Since I started making  jewellery I have been trying to take good photos for my Etsy shop and Website and blog.  The photos are so important when you want people to purchase your work online, the images are all they have to go by when they can't see it in real life of touch it in person.

My photos keep changing, I go through phases where I really like them and then I get bored and want to change the style again.  I have used everything from coloured backgrounds to sandpaper and now I mainly photograph on wood with a lighter colour in the background.

My tips are to use a macro lens or the macro setting on your camera, this lets you get close up and give good depth of field to the picture to make it more interesting.

I use a 100mm Canon macro lens:

I always used to photograph during the day in natural light from my kitchen window on my dining table.  This was fine but I got annoyed with only being able to to take pictures at the weekend (I work full time and it is always dark when I get home!) I recently made my own little light box which works great, all of my pictures are taken using this, easiest thing ever:

....and then I received a proper light tent for my Birthday, I haven't used it yet and I don't think I have a need for it right now as my trusty plastic box does the trick!  I will probably use it for larger items if I need too.

This is the tent I have:

Daylight bulbs are essential otherwise your pictures will have a yellow tint from normal bulbs.  
When I have finished taking my pictures I always edit them either using iphoto which I find the quickest or I also have photoshop elements. There are plenty of free photo editing programs on the web you can also use, one I particularly like is Aviary which you use through Flickr. I always have to adjust the levels to brighten the picture and occasionally colour saturation; and sometimes I crop and use the retouch tool if I have a bit of dust or something in photo.

Here are a few of my pictures using my homemade light box and the above methods.

I hope these tips were useful!

See some more tips from other members of the EtsyMetal team.

28 January 2013

Brooch a Week, the first month.

So I made my first 4 brooches/pins for January and it seemed to be a month of silhouettes and silver.  I don't mind though, this is what I like to make. I am just happy I have managed to stick to the challenge so far!
Next month I am hoping to use some base metals and maybe add some colour too.  I tend to settle on a design at the last minute so we will see.

Here is a mosaic for January.

7 January 2013

EtsyMetal blog carnival

Welcome to our EtsyMetal monthly Blog Carnival!
Blog Carnival is about a group of our members sharing their experience on a common topic

Topic: New Years Resolutions!

Happy New Year! I always start the New Year with lots of resolutions to keep, whether I stick to them is another matter!
This year is no different of course but I hope to stick to as many as possible.

1, Lose some weight! of course I always start with this one, time to shift some pounds gained over Christmas and a bit more besides.  Also to become more active, I really want to start running, at the min I can possibly manage 10 meters without passing out. *snort*

2, Stop biting my nails.  Yes I have done this all of my life, it is a horrible habit but at the same time I enjoy doing it! Gross I know and my nails look beyond terrible bit I can't help it.  I would love to have nice nails to paint, so maybe this is the year!?

3, Start a creative challenge and stick to it.  This year is Brooch a Week and I have successfully completed week 1.  This is the first time I have ever made a pin/brooch and I like how it turned out.

Brooch a Week, wk1

4, Learn new skills.  I keep saying that I want to make rings and I will!  I need to practice more as I would really like to start adding some to my Etsy shop. Watch this space. Edited to say that I want to learn stone setting too, I forgot about this and was reminded yesterday when I received some lovely stones to use in the mail.

5, Be a more positive person.  I need to be more happy. Towards the end of last year I realised I was getting grumpier and grumpier and little things and people were annoying me pretty much most of the time. I need to have a more positive outlook and I am determined to not be as grumpy this year.

6, Be more sociable.  I tend to be a bit of a loner and I don't go out as much anymore but I think it's because I like my own company and to do my own thing, my partner is kind of the same so we are a good match!

7, Be more frugal.  I am a bit of spender and I like the idea of being more frugal and saving a bit more than I do.  I have been reading Frugal Queens blog and it is very interesting and a bit of an eye opener!  I won'r be as extreme but it has some great tips.

I think that is enough to be getting on with for now, see what other members of the team have in store for this years resolutions and goals.