Monday, November 20, 2006


Margie's Frame Pendant


I recently wrote a post about a necklace I made for my friend, Therese, using an unusual rectangle-shaped beaded feature frame. Here's a reminder of what I did:

And now, here's another take on the same frame. This gorgeous creation comes from Margie in Queensland. She has used a dainty little filigree butterfly, and a baroque Swarovski dangle in a delightful ruby red. Lovely!

I just love how you can get two completely different looks from one piece.

Well done, Margie. Thanks for letting us see your pendant.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


An Angel Only Lent


Early this week, I received an order from a new customer in Brisbane. After finishing at my web site, she sent me an email explaining that she started making jewellery three months ago to "get me through the grieving process after losing my daughter to ill health".

As a mother, I cannot bear even to think of losing my son. My heart therefore went out to this dear lady - not only for her loss, but for her bravery and determination in actively seeking ways to ease her pain.

I was so touched that I decided to make a little gift to send with her order - a pair of angel earrings in loving memory of her daughter. Here is a picture; click to see a larger version:

From bottom to top, the components I used in these earrings included an antique-gold bead cap; a large, pearlised-glass tear-drop bead; a Swarovski erinite bicone; an antique-gold angel-wing bead; a Czech glass crystal tear-drop (turned upside down); and a dark-amethsyt earring stud.

I won't pretend to know what this lady is going through. But I hope this gift lets her know that people are thinking of her - and admire her, too.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Bound for Rhode Island!


I recently sold this necklace on eBay. As I type, it is on an aeroplane bound for Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in the United States. Click to see larger versions of the pictures:

I called this necklace "Gothic Candy", because it combined dark elements like the large, antiqued cross with pretty, girly colours such as rose pink, aqua blue and purple. I really love the big purple beads in the necklace. They are cut with stacks and stacks of light-catching facets. Gorgeous!

I get a real buzz when my pieces are liked enough by someone in another country to bid on them. I have sent earrings to Spain, bracelets to England, and necklaces to Belgium. But I was epecially chuffed this time round, because of a lovely note sent to me by the winning bidder. Here's what she wrote:
"I am buying the necklace for a relative as a Christmas gift and I know she will love it. Your jewelry is very unique!"
I am just just so thrilled to think that someone on the other side of the world will be receiving this on Christmas Day. WOW!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Daisies for Lynette

Today I sent off an order for a customer called Lynette. She ordered a large quantity of my antiqued daisies with coloured centres. The colours Lynette chose included peridot, amethyst, siam and montana - all my favourites!

I was rushing to get to the post office before the last truck of the day. So when the glue had finished drying on Lynette's daisies, I scraped them together in a pile, ready to tumble them into a bag.

And I stopped short.

Those daisies looked so utterly beautiful in their sparkling mound, I just had to take a moment to photograph them. Here they are. Click to see a larger version:

I know it seems silly to stop everything for a photograph, and perhaps sillier still to devote a post to it. But one of the things I like most about my job is the photography. So it was nice to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Oh, and I still got to the post office in plenty of time!

I have had a few requests for a post on photographic tips. Coming soon - I promise!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Esta's Excellent Earrings

Enough with the alliteration, already! Just show us the earrings . . .

OK, then.

Esta is a long-time customer from Hobart, Tasmania. Over the weekend, she sent me the following picture of a pair of earrings that she made with my floral buttons (sorry, she got the last pair!) and black-diamond pears.

I just love what Esta has done here, dangling the rhinestone inside a double-garland of multi-coloured beads. Beautiful! Click to see a larger version:

Esta told me that she is wearing a black frock to a wedding in two weeks, and wanted to add some colour to her ensemble. I think these will do the trick perfectly, Esta!

Do you have a design - vintage-inspired or otherwise - that you'd like to share with us at Tomjoolery Times? Send it through! My email address is

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Birthday Present for Therese

My friend Therese is having a birthday this weekend. She is a slip of a girl who just loves unusual necklaces, so I have made one for her. Given it uses one of my favourite techniques - layering - I thought it might be useful to show you the different stages involved in the creation of this piece.

Like many things in life, this necklace had an accidental beginning. I was rummaging in my supply cupboard the other day when I discovered an ice-cream container full of brass pieces that I'd completely forgotten about. I bought them about two years ago when I opened a shop on eBay for selling antique-brass scrapbooking items.

The shop was called Metal Garnish. It was a complete flop. And the pieces ended up getting shoved further and further to the back of my cupboard. 'Nuff said about that episode. LOL.

Anyway, when I happened upon them again the other day, I dragged them all out - and looked at them with a fresh eye. I started wondering how I could use them for jewellery-making rather than scrapbooking. After much mixing and matching with other components (I swear I spend hours doing this), I chose to do something with this one:

I was selling this piece to scrapbookers as a photo frame, and I realised that I could use it for a similar purpose jewellery-wise. The open section in the middle measures about 37 x 20 millimetres, which gave me plenty of room for a dangle of some kind.

All I needed now was my husband and his trusty drill to turn a static frame into a hang-able pendant. He added some piercings for me - two in the top outer corners (for suspending from chain), and one at the top of the open section.

I'm not into the raw-brass look, so the next step was to antique the frame. And oh boy, I loved the result! All that beaded detail just popped in the antiqued version. Here's how it looked:

Another thing I found in the ice-cream container was some cute little filigree wings in antiqued brass. Here they are:

These were the one item that were popular with the scrapbookers. The idea was to add them to photos so that your child looked like a little angel. Here's an example of what I mean. This is my own son when he was a toddler. Cute, no?

I discovered that I could get quite a nice effect by laying two sets of these wings on top of the rectangular frame. They looked like a frame-on-a-frame, kind of thing. When I glued them in place, this is how the pendant looked:

Next . . . what to hang in the middle? Here I was faced with the tyrrany of choice, but in the end, I couldn't go past my new resin sliders. (I have already mentioned how pathetically in love I am with these!) I chose the mauve one, and teamed it with a small, olive-shaped Czech glass bead in peridot AB and a fluted spacer bead in antique brass. Here it is:

I turned this combo into a dangle by crimping the two strands of tiger tail together above the slider and adding a jump ring. The dangle is very light, so I am not concerned about the crimping coming apart.

The pendant looked lovely . . . but you know me! I couldn't resist adding some little rhinestone chatons for extra effect. Yet another layer! I chose peridot, to tie in with the bead:

With all that detail in the pendant, I felt that it wasn't necessary to do anything fancy with the necklace section. So I simply added some large-link antique-brass chain. And here is the finished product! What do you think?

I hope Therese likes it!

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