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 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