Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone

I have some great things planned for this year on the blog including much more from the workshop but dont worry I will still be working with beads (I don thing that will ever change). So feel free to share the blog with friends and family who you think may like what I have posted and will hopefully like whats coming. Thanks for sticking through this first year with me and watch out for a great surprise later on in the week. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

I Bought an Ultrasonic Machine

I was reading through the booklet from Lidl last week (German discount supermarket thats right by my house) and noticed they were selling ultrasonic machines for only €25. They normally only get a limited number of these types of things and then may not get them again for a year or more so I ran to the shop and got one. Its one thing I need for the workshop. It takes all the polish off a piece so easily. It only takes 600ml of water so its small but I have been playing with it and it can take quite a few pieces at a time. A bigger one would have only taken up too much space in the workshop. Thats one more thing marked off the workshop 'to buy' list for after Christmas.

If nothing else my whole family will have sparkling jewellery all the time now.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you are all having a wonderful time and I will be back very soon with new posts.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Look What Ana Made

Ana from AcBeads was the winner of my Christmas giveaway and she recently posted on her blog a great picture of a beautiful piece she made using the beads I sent to her. She chose to make a handbag charm and used beautiful antique bronze coloured chain and findings and a lovely little charm!

Here's a picture of what I sent again

Now click here and see the finished piece. Thanks for sharing Ana I loved seeing how you used the beads.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My 100th Blog Post

So this post is my 100th blog post and thought it deserved its own post to celebrate. 100 posts in a year isnt bad but I'm aiming for a lot more n 2014 so be warned I have plenty more to come.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thank You Beads Direct

Beads Direct had a online party last week giving away loads of different prizes and today mine arrived. I won a mug and pen. Both will come in very handy in the workshop so thank you Beads Direct.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Snowflake

I picked up the December Bumper issue of Making Jewellery Magazine last week and it came with a lovely packet of Preciosa mixed beads in blues and clear colours and a Chaton Rose. (you can also get the pack of beads in green as well). Inside the magazine where instructions to make a snowflake out of the beads using wire so I had to try it out. Im really happy with how its turned out. Its going to have to go on the tree as soon as we put it up.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Little Bit Black And White

I decided it was time to go through some boxes of beads and organise everything and see exactly what I have. About 10 minutes in I had come across black and white glass pearls and some wire and a new toggle clasp I had bought a while ago but hadnt used yet so I gave up on organising the boxes and started to make this bracelet. Im blaming the lack of colour on the horrible windy wet weather when I was making it. Had I had some grey beads Im sure they would have gone in too.

I used my wire coiler to make the black wire coils and silver plated wire to attach all the beads. I love the black toggle clasp. I ordered a few of these in all available colours from Beads Direct a while ago but havent tried using any until now. Im going to have to get more. I love the chunky-ness of them.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Thank you to everyone who entered and came by the blog to check out my giveaway. And of course for everyone who shared the blog everywhere.

And now its time to pick a winner. Everyone was assigned a number in the order that they commented and using Random.org the winner is

Which was assigned to Ana of ACBeads. Congratulations Ana. Send me your mailing address via facebook as we are already connected there and I will send you your prize.

Hopefully I will be having another little giveaway to celebrate my blogs first birthday in the new year so make sure to keep an eye out for it.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A New Piece From The Workshop

I have been practicing away in the workshop trying to get myself used to my new bench and tools and I set myself a bit of a task. I wanted to see how well I would get on doing a more intricate piece. Seen as it has been so long since I used my saw I have surprised myself. There are obvious problems (my circle isnt exactly round and my polishing isnt great) but all in all Im really happy with how the piece has turned out. I need a little bit more practice with the saw and polishing but the design worked out quite well and almost identical to how it should look.

I think its safe to say Im back and soon I can get back to silver and leave the practice aluminium aside.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Giveaway

So I thought I would have a little giveaway to celebrate my blogs first Christmas. I have collected together a bead mix in the workshop of glass beads ranging from large seed beads to large glass bead in various finishes beads in a Christmas colour pallet. I have also included a bookmark like the ones I have used in the past. (You can see what I did with them here.)

I would love to see what the person uses the beads for so please let me know if you are the lucky winner. This is the first giveaway I have done (so be kind its my test run to see how we all get on) on the blog but I have been a part of so many I figured it was time to run one myself.



  • Share this giveaway (Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook etc. I dont mind). 
  • Follow Vovs Jewellery Blog (if you don't already). 
  • Comment below to let me know you have done this (and where you have shared)
Only one comment per person will be counted and each comment will be given a number starting at 1 being the first comment and using random.org I will find a winner. Comments are currently moderated but everyone has an equal chance. I will then post a blog post announcing the winner for you to contact me (This is why I need you to be following me so you dont miss the announcement). The giveaway runs from 7.30pm (GMT) November 30th and will finish at 8pm (GMT) Wednesday 4th December. Any comments after this wont be included. Remember to take note of my time zone compared to yours so as not to miss the fun. If I dont hear back from the winner by 8pm Friday 6th I will have to pick another winner. This is an international giveaway.

So now that all the rules are there its time to get commenting and sharing. Goodluck everyone.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

First Piece From My Workshop

So yesterday I made my first piece at my new bench wanting to just get used to my saw again. I used my saw and new little drill and polishing sticks and have to get used to the polishing sticks a bit more as they are very new to me. When I was training I used a bit polishing machine so doing it by hand is going to take some getting used to. The drill is hand operated and again Im used to a power drill but this one I got is simple and easy to use so takes no getting used to.

I had thought I would have problems with the saw (it has been 6 years after all) but really its taken no time at all I havent even broken a single saw blade which I was always doing when I used it all day every day so Im pretty happy about that.

The piece I made is simple and it has a few little issues (I drew the heart freehand and Im not great with getting a heart to be simetrical) but all in all Im happy with how it turned out. I havent decided weather or not to use this as the center piece in a bracelet or just add a simple bit of chain to each side as a pendant. It measures 3 cm x 1 cm and is made from aluminium. Either way I know I will wear it.

I was up very early this morning and back out in the workshop by 8am and spent most of the day working on an other piece that required a lot more piercing so as I can test where I am at skill wise now. The piece Im making is something that wouldnt have taken much time when I left off 6 years ago but is taking a lot more at the moment but Im happy with were its going. Still no broken blade in my saw so thats a plus. I have a market day tomorrow so I wont get to work on it but I should have some photos of it in a bit better condition during the week.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Workshop


So my workshop is almost there and actually looks like a workshop now. I have some tools and a bench and loads of storage (thats in a huge mess and still needs organising so theres no photos of that side of the workshop just yet) so its nearly there. I can start working away at bits and pieces now because I have the things I need to cut, drill, solder and polish. My tools are basic and all hand powered but they are better than no tools at all. I do hope to get a proper torch and drill at some point when I have a bit more money but for no this will all do and at least I can say my electricity consumption wont be more than my work lamp.

This workshop has been put together using things from the house we no longer needed and building the shelves and bench (well my dad built my shelves and bench with a small bit of help from me) from scratch rather than buying so bar the few tools I have bought recently everything in handmade and recycled. I have an old blind for one window, left over flooring from the house and Ikea boxes to store everything in. Pretty basic but really what else do I need?

You may have noticed from the photo that I dont have leather for my bench. Again this came down to cost so I have a piece of that oilcloth you use as a table cover. It even has a lovely subtle pattern and goes well with my cream walls so Im happy. All in all the room in 8 foot x 8 foot. Not huge but I dont have to share it and I dont have to pack everything away so what would I do with the space if it was any bigger?

I have already started working on a little piece (you can see it on the bench peg) and will have photos of that tomorrow when I have it finished off. Seen as its the first time in 6 years I have picked up my saw and tools Im happy with how its come out. So come back tomorrow and see what Ive done.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November Birthstone: Topaz

Topaz can come in a variety of colours including white, yellow, amber, pink, blue, green, gray as well as a colourless stone. The colourless version is most commonly found naturally and it is rare to find natural pink and blue pieces of the stone. Most of the blue topaz sold is actually treated colourless topaz. Pink and red topaz are the most expensive colours as they are rare to find naturally.  Gold-Yellow topaz, known as Imperial Topaz, is expensive as it is quite rare to be found naturally. 

Topaz is mostly found in igneous rocks and is found around the world but not in large quantities. It can be found in Brazil which is the most important supplier to the worlds market. It can also be found in Russia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Japan, Ukraine, United States, Nigeria, Mexico, Australia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. Small amounts of a natural light blue topaz can be found in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Cornwall in England.

Topaz can be broken if knocked constantly if it is set in something like a ring. This makes it a good stone for setting in pendants and earrings that wouldn’t get many knocks like a ring. 

You can also get man made topaz which should be marked that is has been created so you know what you are buying. Coloured and treated topaz should also be marked when being bought. 

On the Mohs scale Topaz has a hardness level of 8. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

More Workshop Bits Arrived

Im almost there. I ordered a few more bits last week from Cookson Gold for the workshop including a borax cone and dish, polishing compounds and polishing sticks and a new bench peg. I ordered a smaller one last time and a bigger one this time. I plan to use the bigger to start off but Im sure the smaller one will be used at some point on the bench. So now I can do some basic work in the workshop and start practicing again. Its been a while so I know I will need a bit of practice.

Hopefully my next post will be pictures of the workshop. I have it almost there and just have to finish up the bench a bit and get some good photos.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Today I reached 30000 views on the blog. When I started this blog last January I thought it would take a lot longer to hit this amount of views so Im really happy. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and if you havent already why follow the blog by clicking on the button down the right hand side of the page. So far I have 74 follows here on the blog so maybe I can get a few more before the end of the year.

I also have 147 followers on twitter already. Click here to follow me on twitter.

On Pinterest I have 109 followers so click here if you would like to follow my boards.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Tools

I said in my last post how I was getting back to working at the bench with my tools and metal. Well Im closer to my goal. I ordered some new tools and sheet metal from Cookson Gold and it arrived exactly 24 hours after I places my order. Im not very used to things arriving so quickly so Im really happy.

I spent a long time training with some fantastic jewellers a few years back who thought me a lot and its always been the goal to get back to working this way and keeping the beaded work as a hobby as it has always been. (Not that working at the bench is like work either really haha.) I have spent a lot of time building a workshop and gathering tools when money allowed and I have just about what I need to get going. Im starting basic and realising how many tools I had access to in the workshops I trained in. Hopefully one day as I go along I can build up my tools and have some fancy equiptment. But for now what I have will just have to do.

I ordered a new mallet and saw (I now have a few different types) along with saw blades, Beeswax, A hand drill and drill bits, and the best part: Aluminium, Copper and Brass Sheet. As its been a while I wan to practice again on a cheaper metal than silver but I also like aluminium. Its light weight and a good price so I think I will be sticking with it for a while.

Cant wait to place my next order with Cooksons. I need to get some polishing materials next.

There is nothing like getting new tools

Monday, October 28, 2013

Where Have I Been?

I haven't been on the blog in a while but that doesn't mean I've been doing nothing. I have been very busy designing my new pieces and fixing up my work shop so I can finally get back to working with metal. I will always work with beads and cord but its time I get back to the bench and work with solder and silver and gold again. I do check the blog everyday and see you all stopping by and will have some new updates on the workshop makeover and the first finished pieces very soon but until then I wont be leaving it so long to blog again.

Back soon....

Friday, September 27, 2013

Busy Friday

I had a busy day again today working on some more pieces. I managed to get a few necklaces, rosary beads and a bracelet done. I think I have just about enough to fill up my table this weekend at the craft fair. And if Im really lucky I have too much.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Busy Wednesday

I am getting myself ready for a Craft Fair this weekend which is the first I have done in a very long time. I have been trying to make a few extra bits this week so that I have a wide variety of things to display. Today I focused mainly on earrings using the sparkly pave beads and chain.

I also made one bracelet today. I have a few odd chainmaille rings in different colours and used them to make a small bit of a byzantine weave and attached some chain to either side to complete the bracelet. I love  the look of this. Im calling it a Shot of Chainmaille. Its a simple bracelet with just a pop of colour.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Featured Project

Today I logged onto Cut Out & Keep where I submit all of my tutorials that I do have on the blog and I noticed my tutorial for the Rosary Beads was featured on the front page. I've never had a project featured on their site before so I was really happy.

So welcome to the blog anyone who has clicked through from Cut Out & Keep hopefully you like it enough to subscribe (on the right hand side there is a button to subscribe.) You can click here to see all of my other tutorials there too.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Simple Little Bangle

I ordered some Preciosa Twin Hole Beads from Beads Direct recently and wasn't too sure what I was going to do with them. I haven't worked with twin hole beads much in the past so finally I decided to make this little bangle.

I used memory wire and clear seed beads that I already had in the box and I love how it turned out. It's just a simple little bangle that doesn't need a catch or anything fussy. I have the Twin Hole beads in clear as well so I'm thinking of making another using a bright coloured seed bead. I may end up with a lot of these with the endless colour combinations I have in mind.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Last Weeks Haul

Last week I received my order from Funky Laser and haven't had time to get the post up. I ordered another Diving Swallow and a Butterfly as well this time. I also filled my order with chains in black, antique copper and chunky silver plated. And I got some lovely little wing shaped charms which I think Im going to use mainly in earrings.

I also got some plastic colourful beads to put in the box for my little cousins to make some more bracelets and necklaces soon.

I also received a copy of Beads & Beyond magazine last week. It was the September issue which featured my Designer Challenge page. Im still so happy with how it all turned out and was shown in the photographs. Hopefully my instructions are helpful for anyone trying to create the pieces that where shown.

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Goodies and A Lovely Suprise

I placed an order last week with Beads Direct during their big summer sale for loads of bits from findings to beads and stringing materials and today they arrived. I had been waiting so much for them to arrive because I couldn't wait to get my new Beadalon Coiling Gizmo. I have made my own jump rings and coils in the past using my trusty nail (see here) but I have wanted an actual tool for a while and decided it was finally time to buy one. So watch out for a future post to see how I get on with it.

Hopefully I will have loads of new pictures coming soon to show you exactly what I've been making with my new box of goodies.

I also got a lovely surprise this week when I went onto the Beads Direct website and saw my Morrocan Bracelet from the Bead Soup Blog Party featured on their website. I had added this to a group page that beads direct have for bracelet designs.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rosary Bead Tutorial

I make a lot of Rosary Beads and I have been asked to make a tutorial a few times (and I'm long over due a new tutorial) so here it is.

What You Need:
6x    6mm White Glass Pearls
53x  4mm White Glass Pearls
0.8mm Silver Plated Wire
4x 4mm Silver Plated Jump Rings
Fine Silver Plated Chain
Rosary Connector

Step 1:

Make a simple loop of either side of all 59 beads. (Click Here to see how to make a simple loop)

Step 2:

Working with the 4mm pearls, open the loop and join to another pearl and close the loop until you have 5 strands of 10 beads and 1 strand of 3 beads.

Step 3:

You need 14 short lengths of chain. I usually count out a certain number of links (5 in this case depending on the size of the beads Im working with).

Step 4:

Using 12 of the pieces of chain, attach a piece to each side of a 6mm pearl by opening the loop and securing it closed again. You have now 2 pieces of chain left.

Step 5:

Attach the final 2 pieces of chain to the rosary connector using jump rings.

Step 6:

Using a jump ring attach the chain connected to one of the 6mm pearls to the bottom of the connector. Attach the strand of 3 4mm pearls to the end of the chain and again another 6mm pearl.

Step 7:

Next join a strand of 10 4mm pearls to the chain of the 6mm pearl and continue around until all of the beads are connected together. Attach this to either side of the connector.

Step 8:

Using a jump ring attach the cross and charm to he chain.

Rosary Beads can make a great gift and can be made using any beads in any colour. I have made them using Swarovski Crystals in birthstone colours and changed the charm around to something suitable. Let me know how you have made yours.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Memory Wire Bracelet

When I was younger I worked a lot with memory wire. Its an inexpensive and quick way to make a stacked bracelet but as I got more experienced and had access to more beads and componants I just sort of stopped using it. But I've always had a supply of it sitting there waiting to be used. And today seemed like a good day to get back to it.

I recently received a pack of beads and charms from The Spellbound Bead Co after Bead Magazine published a picture of my jewellery in their 'Indian Summer' Readers Challenge. The beads are beautiful and it has taken me a while to decide what to use them for (I had too many ideas really). But this bracelet seemed like the perfect use of them. Click here to see my post about the Indian Summer Challenge.

One of the things I love about memory wire is that if you don't like how the beads are looking or sitting you can very easily just take the beads off the wire and bead them on again. I did this about 4 or 5 times while putting this bracelet together. Sometimes the beads just sit wrong on top of each other. There's no waste or major time delays with memory wire. Its exactly why I liked using it years ago that I had forgotten about. I can see myself using it again a lot over the next while.

So I have used a bit of each of the beads sent to me and one of each of the charms. The only thing I have used in this bracelet out of my stash of beads and bits is the memory wire and the pewter daisy spacers. I love the colour combination here and the charms suit the colours and give the bracelet a lovely theme. Its a simple bracelet but I'm loving it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Designer Challenge in Beads & Beyond Magazine

Beads & Beyond magazine (that I love and get every month!) was asking a while back for applications to take part in a Designer Challenge that they run in every issue. This is normally only open to their regular designers so when I saw that they where opening it to readers I jumped at the chance and applied. I was asked why I wanted to take part and had to submit a few pictures of my work and a few weeks later I received an email telling me that I was successful.

I was sent a package containing different types of beads from Jilly Beads which is a great bead shop based in Morecambe in the UK. They have a huge range of products at great prices and they picked some lovely things to send me for the challenge. I love the beads that I was sent. There was such a variety of different types of beads in the package.

I had to make three different pieces and write up the instructions. I love the pieces I made and cant wait to wear them.

Today I went and picked up my copy of Septembers issue of Beads & Beyond Magazine and I was so happy when I saw he pieces photographed so well. (I'm not a great photographer so its lovely to see my pieces photographed so well). The other three designers Claire Holbrook, Sue Rennie and Claire Wolfe's pieces are stunning and show just how different four people can work with the same package of beads.

So don't forget to pick up Septembers issue of Beads & Beyond Magazine (my pieces are page 66) and see the challenge pieces for yourself.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

20,000 Hits Thank You

So my blog has had 20,000 hits already in only 8 months. I've had plenty of feedback from everyone and lovely comments along the way. Hopefully you will all continue to like what I post and follow me along as the blog grows.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Oh Pretty New Beads

I got a lovely package in the post this morning from The Spellbound Bead Co. and Bead Magazine that I wasn't expecting for another little while. This is the prize I was sent for having my piece chosen for the Readers Challenge in issue 48 of Bead Magazine. The theme was Indian Summer so the beads sent to me have the same theme. 

I love them especially the little charms. I can't wait to make something with them. So thank you to Bead Magazine and The Spellbound Bead Co. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

My Bracelets Where In Bead Magazine

Thank you to Bead Magazine for choosing my bracelets as part of the Issue 48's Readers Challenge. The theme was 'Indian Summer' and I chose these bracelets to submit because of the variety of colours reminded me of the summer colours. I love that these bracelets can be stacked up and worn differently everytime.

I have submitted a few pieces before for the Readers Challenge but this is the first time my pieces has been published in the magazine so I'm very happy. See the album of all pieces submitted here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Oh Look What I Got

I entered into a giveaway run by Toltec Jewels a while back and was told I had won one of the beautiful pieces made by Blu Mudd. I wasn't sure what piece I was getting so it was a lovely surprise to open the pack and see this beautiful piece of work. I haven't done anything with it just yet because it is so nice I need to think of a special piece to incorporate it into.

Thank you to Toltec Jewels and Blu Mudd for this amazing piece of art. Below the picture you will find all of the links you need to contact both Blu Mudd and Toltec Jewels.

Toltec Jewels: Etsy shop, Blog, Facebook
Blu Mudd: Online Shop

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A 5 Year Olds Style

My little cousin is 5 now and has been asking me for a while to make her own necklace so I decided to bring her to the bead shop this week and let her pick her own beads. I was really suprised by her sense of style. She knew exactly what she was after and was describing how she was going to make it as she walked around picking out her beads.

Somwhere along the way a bracelet design was being talked about as well so she wanted to make sure she had enough beads to make her set. As soon as she had the beads in her backpack she was wanting to go straight home to make her pieces.

I set her up at the table and gave her my bead mat to stop everything rolling away and was about to start helping her but I wasn't exactly needed. She laid her beads out in the order she wanted to string them and I cut her elastic and away she went. I was only there to tell her when the pieces where long enough I think. When she was done she put them straight on and hasn't taken them off since. She is so proud of herself and so am I. It had never occured to me that she was watching me as closely as she was that she was so capable to make her pieces by herself.

I've now been told about our next trip to the bead shop and what she will be adding to the left over beads she has in her pink box to make her next few pieces. I think I have created a monster. Now I just have to decide what techniques to teach her next.