June 5, 2016 by sarah
I spent another enjoyable day making jewellery, this time using something called ‘silver clay’. It is silver held within a binding compound which allows you to mold, sculpt and generally mess around with it as it handles like a clay. But when fired (which can be done with a blow torch for small pieces), you are left with something which is 99% pure silver! Isn’t that brilliant! It is much easier to pick up than traditional silver smithing techniques and I can see many applications of this to play with but I don’t think it would replace traditional techniques: it is complementary. And probably a dangerous habit considering the cost!
I have a small amount of clay left so I am thinking of making some small charms, perhaps even a honey bee!
Category Home, Making | Tags: jewellery,making | 1 Comment
May 17, 2016 by sarah
I was wondering at the weekend, while on a silver jewellery course, do I need another craft or hobby? The answer should probably be no but I can’t stop making things! I find it fascinating finding out about new crafts to do and make, especially if they have an ancient basis. I have long wanted to do some jewellery making; I dabbled in beading to make my jewellery for my wedding. But I wanted to learn how to do it properly. So I spent this past weekend on a silver jewellery making course with Stephen O’Keeffe at Missenden Abbey. I can highly recommend this course and the sketching with water colours I did last year; in fact, probably any of their courses would be great fun to do and I circled at least half a dozen in the brochure. The sad thing is I have just received an email saying that they are closing down and this is the last year they are running courses. Very sad, but then they are not advertising properly or to the right people.
This is the silver bracelet that I spent most of the weekend making. Can you believe it is made only from silver wire? To make this the wire had to be soldered into rings, linking them together as I went along, and then they were shaped on molds (different sized bolts) – this was the most delicate bit and I snapped a couple of the hearts when trying to get a nice sharp shape. Finally I made the toggle catch – it looks like a ships anchor! Actually the mini heart earrings I made to go with it are even harder to make and fiddly – I nearly melted them while joining on the backs!
Our first project was a ring which is actually surprisingly easy to make but with my thin fingers, the ring had not been hammered to proper thickness and pattern all the way round before it was already too big. So the kink was put in which actually means it sits better on my finger. I don’t think I could be a hand model though!
Category Home, Making | Tags: jewellery,making,silver | No Comments
January 4, 2014 by sarah
Part of my Christmas present from my better half was a sewing machine to replace a very old and knackered hand-me-down that was on its last legs. It had its first try out a few nights ago as I needed to shorten my new trousers for work. It worked like a dream! Isn’t it wonderful when you have been using a worn out piece of equipment past its sell by date then get the new version, it suddenly seems so much easier? This applies everything to sewing machines to cars to ultrasound machines. Thank you to Patchwork Corner in Hemel Hempstead for helping me chose the machine; they were very friendly and helpful. It is, however, a dangerous place for someone like me as there are piles of beautiful fabrics.
So project number two for this year is to make a quilt. I am starting with a small quilt, which will hopefully be ready in time to welcome my new niece into this world and be taken half way round the world by my parents to her in Richmond. This will not be my first quilt. A long time ago, about 15 years ago, I made a quilt from scraps of material I found in my mothers sewing stash. It took me the whole long summer before I went to University but has been with me ever since and is still used almost daily as it lives on the bottom half of my side of the bed (my husband is always too hot so I need the extra layer on my side only). It is starting to look a little dirty (the cat likes it too) so this summer I will need to pluck up the courage and wash it. I love how every bit of fabric has a story to tell and particular meaning to me; there are scraps from clothes my mother made myself and my sister (including my prom dress and my sister’s communion dress) and the ones she didn’t get round to making, the curtain off cuts when I remember being with my mother choosing and buying the fabric and some fabric from old dresses she used to wear. I don’t remember the design process or even why I made it but I still the love the way it looks, that it is useful too and has personal meaning.
I have already bought some bundles of fabric to start the baby quilt but I haven’t decided on the colours yet. I don’t think it is giving anything away by showing them to you as I haven’t decided on which lot I am going to use. I think I was secretly buying for myself too, especially the yellow/orange set, so I guess that will be the next project after I finish the baby quilt. I have found another sweet fabric shop which is even closer to us. I had to drag myself away from it today otherwise I would of ended up with another bunch of fabrics. This little shop is upstairs in the ‘Barn Courtyard’ in Wendover.
Have you got any projects lined up for this year?
Category Home, Making | Tags: fabric,making,project,quilt,sewing,sewing machine | No Comments
March 17, 2013 by sarah
Hello friends and thank you for stopping by my wee blog! I have started this blog to get away from Facebook, to start some digital scrapbooking and see where this path leads me!
My name is Sarah Keir and by day (and plenty of nights and weekends too) I am a small animal veterinarian in the South-East of England. The rest of the time that I call my own I bake plenty of cakes, craft all sorts and am obsessed with vintage chic. My perfect weekend would be sunny (naturally), wearing a 1950’s dress and apron, knock together a teddy or vintage inspired brooch, make some delicious cakes and have friends round to enjoy them. The rest of the time my taste testers are my husband Mr K and my work mates who devour anything I produce. Anything that fails goes to the chickens – my lovely girls that keep me supplied with fresh eggs for my baking attempts.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: bakeoff,biscuits,cake,chic,crafts,making,vintage | No Comments