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What did you want to be when you grew up?

What did you want to be when you grew up?

How many of you are doing a job that you got a degree in? Or started out towards?

Do you feel like you were destined to do the job you are doing?

I was watching The Dig on Netflix (great film!) which is about the discovery of the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk and I felt a bit of sadness. I studied Ancient History & Archaeology at university and was partly inspired by Sutton Hoo to apply for that course.

I’ll go back a bit. When I was 16 I did my Silver Duke of Edinburgh (HATED it!) and unbeknownst to me, we went right past the site of Sutton Hoo. When I started my History A-Level one of the first things we studied was Sutton Hoo and I found out then that I had been within 1 mile of it and had no idea. I was fascinated! From that point on my favourite period of history was ancient. It was also partly what led me to chose Ancient History & Archaeology as a uni course. The other options were Marketing or American History. How different my life could have been!

So when I watch programmes about archaeology I always get a pang of “what if?” and “why didn’t I stick with it?” and then I remember why. I didn’t actually enjoy the archaeology side of things! Loved the finds processing and working in a museum, which I’ve done in spades, so it was no great shakes that I didn’t pursue archaeology as a career.

I also remember that during my course I was became fascinated by other cultures and also their adornments like jewellery. The jewellery, gold and metalwork found at Sutton Hoo are gorgeous! I also studied ancient Egyptian jewellery as part of my study project when I was lucky enough to travel to Egypt.

Outside the Cairo Museum on my Egyptology study tour in 1996

For most of my life, I have been interested in jewellery from different cultures and the past which links me nicely to my business. Maybe I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing after all? If you believe in destiny, fate an’ all that 😉

Have you ever visited Sutton Hoo? It’s now run by the National Trust and they have a fabulous visitor centre. I have been several times and I love it. As you can see I love to dress up while I’m there!

Did you know….

Burial mounds are the first forms of burials we can readily see in the landscape today. Nowadays we use cemeteries, graveyards and so on. My next collection will be influenced by these fascinating places so keep your eyes peeled for some sneaky peaks on social media soon!

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NEW Rock & Rose Collection Launched today!

Hi everyone! I’m really proud to launch my new collection today!

I’m calling it the Milagros Heart Collection and it’s available now in my shop. I have a large stamped copper heart on a sterling silver chain, a smaller stamped heart with a shining star in the middle and matching copper stud earrings. The pierced earrings are either sterling silver or stainless steel.

But what is Milagros?

Milagros (meaning miracles in Spanish) are small religious folk charms found on church walls throughout Mexico and Peru. They are small silver or gold votive offerings that come in the shape of body parts, animals, foods, houses and plots of land. They would have traditionally been given to the preferred saint in the hope of a pray answered or to give thanks. The Heart Milagro (also known as the Sacred Heart) represents love, healing, gratitude or a romantic connection.

Some are also made from tin, a metal that is strong, light, and visually looks like silver. Most Mexican tinwork is now made in the Mexican states of Guanajuato, Jalisco and Oaxaca in small family-run workshops. When we visit my Dad in Suffolk, we discovered a fantastic little shop in Stonham Aspal called Casa Mexico that actually ships their products directly from Mexico. We’ve bought a few items including these gorgeous tin hearts which helped inspire this collection.

But why a heart?

I had a few ideas for my Rock & Rose collections and this one is my next release just in time for Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t love a heart too?

These items are influenced by the Sacred Heart which is one of the most common motifs in religious folk art created in Mexico. It comes in various forms with flames around it, with a crown, with a dagger through the centre and sometimes with a crown of thorns. I particularly liked the shining star stamp I chose to put in the middle of my smaller necklace and earrings.

I chose to be influenced by Mexican folk art and Day of the Dead and I think the stamped effect of circles and dots really reflects this. Check out my Pinterest board of Mexican heart inspirations?

Did you know?!

In the 1824 Cornish tin miners left England for Mexico to mine the tin. There is one town, Pachuca in Mexico, where the residents have blue eyes and a passing resemblance to their Cornish ancestors!

Will you be buying a heart for yourself or a loved one this Valentine’s Day?

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Skull jewellery offers to cheer you up!

Hiya! So 2021 hasn’t been the new shiny start we’d all hoped for right? It’s basically 2020 Version II and I think we’re all feeling a bit down in the dumps. Am I right?

In the meantime, I will try and brighten your day with lots of offers on my jewellery.

Firstly, my last of my January Sales weekend offers starts today and this week it’s 30% off all earrings on my website! As usual, all you have to do is put the earrings you want in your basket and remember to add EAR30 in the coupon box before checking out.

 

Secondly, I have a special offer on my copper stacking rings until Valentines Day which isn’t available on the website!

I’m offering you the chance to buy 2 different style rings for £30 so you can wear them together or gift one to someone special. Just email me if you’d like to take advantage of this offer.

My final offer is over on Etsy until the end of January where I have 20% off everything!

As you may have noticed I’m having a bit of a clear-out and that’s because I’m planning on launching a whole new brand soon. I don’t have a confirmed date yet, but the website is being worked on, the designs are being finalised and my photography is being booked so keep everything crossed for my launch soon!

In meantime, why not treat yourself to some items that are being discontinued?

Stay safe and spooky everyone!

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Merry New Year everyone! :D

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you had a lovely (albeit it different) festive period? Although we had planned to visit my Dad and Step Mum in Suffolk, we had to change our plans along with many others and spend it in Warrington. Luckily, we also have family living nearby so we had a socially distanced lunch with them on Christmas Day instead which was lovely.

Although 2020 was a nasty year in many aspects as I look back on all the things that happened, I decided to focus on any silver linings that appeared as a result. The main silver lining for me was that I developed my little business into a growing bigger business.

I could not have done the last one had I not been on furlough and had more time on my hands. You, my followers, have seen this journey first-hand and I wanted to say thank you again as I could not do this without you.

Another silver lining in 2020 was me being able to begin a jewellery making course sooner than I had hoped and as you may be aware, I am now launching a whole new range of jewellery in February.

As a result, and to make way for these new pieces I am having a clearance sale on all my current jewellery during January. First up is 30% off all bead rings this weekend! (Friday to Monday – excluding my new copper rings).

All you need to do is pop to my website, put the ring(s) you want in your basket and remember to add RING30 in the coupon box before checking out. If you can’t see what you’d like drop me a message about a commission.

Each weekend I’ll have a new offer so sign up to my mailing list to find out more and keep your eyes peeled to my social media to know when the offers go live.

I hope 2021 brings you lots of luck and happiness and you continue to follow my journey!

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Magnificent Marvellous Makers Markets!

This Sunday I was at my first real life market in 7 weeks at Liverpool Bombed Out Church Makers Market. It felt great to be back and it was so wonderful to see so many people patronising and supporting small business and local makers. It was also fab to see so many fellow makers and friends again.

As mentioned last week I also launched my new Rock & Rose Collection copper rings this weekend and they were very well received!

As promised, I’ve now added them to my website, and I can’t wait to hear what you think?

As it’s Christmas and I love my supporters so much I’ve decided to offer them at a launch price until the end of December as follows

I shall be offering even bigger discounts at my markets so why not pop down and say hi and grab yourself a Christmas bargain. My jewellery is perfect for stocking fillers, Secret Santa or that special something for a loved one.

If you come to one of my markets then do say hi! new

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year (for Christmas markets)!

Hi again! How are you? How are you coping with lockdown and are you excited that it’s almost over and Christmas is coming?!?

I know I am because I’ve got a few December markets lined up and I can’t wait!!

First up is The Makers Market at The Bombed Out in Liverpool this coming Sunday. If you’ve never been there before it’s an amazing venue in the centre of Liverpool. The market starts at 11am so if you’re around why not pop down?

If you can’t make that the following weekend I’ve got 2 markets! My first one on Saturday 12th is with Independent Street at The Drum and Monkey pub in Alderley Edge (oooo posh!) and then I’m back at one of my favs, Warrington Makers Market on Sunday 13th.

And if that’s not enough the weekend after that I’ve got my final market before Christmas and that’s also with Independent Street at The Woodlands Pub in Great Sankey, Warrington.

To say I’m excited to be back at markets is a major understatement! Much as I’ve really enjoyed my online markets (which are continuing in December – check out the front page for details) I’ve really missed meeting my customers face to face.

And now for the best bit…

I’m launching a whole new collection on 6th December!!

As you may remember I’ve been doing a jewellery making course with Cheshire School of Jewellery and now I’m releasing my new creations into the wild. I’m starting with a collection of copper rings.

I can’t wait to share these with you in person! Don’t worry if you can’t get to any of my markets in December as I hope to be putting them online next week 🙂

In the meantime why not check out what other goodies I have in my shop for that Christmas present you just can’t find anywhere else!

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Today is Day of the Dead but what’s it all about?

As I’m sure you’re aware by now I’m a huge fan of sugar skulls and they heavily influence my jewellery. By why and what are they all about? Read on for more information about this fascinating culture!

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead, or Dia De Los Muertos, is a holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico on 1st and 2nd November to honour deceased loved ones in a similar way to Halloween in this country. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and to remember friends and family members who have died. It is commonly portrayed as a day of celebration rather than mourning.

When we went to America for our Honeymoon Disneyland had a whole section dedicated to Day of the Dead and their amazing film Coco. Here’s me and my husband enjoying the festivities!

Disneyworld California Day of the Dead
Getting a Sugar Skull Tattoo
My Sugar Skull Tattoo
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Decorating the home with an Ofrenda

This year I’ve decided to have my own ofrenda (Spanish for “offering”) which is a home altar with a collection of objects placed on a ritual display during Día de Muertos. In Mexico these altars can contain the favourite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls so they will hear the prayers and the remembrance of them.

I have pictures of my Mum, brother and my maternal grandparents. I also have some sugar skulls and we have lit candles. I’ve even bought a Pan de muerto which is a type of sweet roll shaped like a bun, topped with sugar, and decorated with bone-shaped pieces of the same pastry. I got mine from Sweet Nibble bakery. I also bought these sugar cute crochet sugar skulls which are made by Art_Mkt!

Sugar Skulls

One of the most iconic and colourful items seen during the festivities is the sugar skull or calavera. These skulls, which can come in different sizes, are traditionally made of sugar and are decorated with icing to be fun and colourful. Some even have feathers, glitter, hats, or other objects attached to make them more personal.

Sugar skulls are sometimes eaten, but their main function is to adorn the altars and tombs with a sugary delight for the visiting spirits. I have several sugar skulls as you might expect, and I won’t be eating mine mainly because they’re not actually edible ones!

But why SUGAR skulls? In Mexico, a country abundant in sugar production and perhaps too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, people learned quickly how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Clay moulded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the 18th century. Sugar skulls represented a departed soul and often had names written on their foreheads and placed on the home “ofrenda” or gravestone to honour the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk-art style of big happy smiles, colourful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments.

You might think that the sugar skulls can look a bit scary but they are meant to be happy, colourful and are meant to capture the joy and happy memories associated with lost loved ones which is why I am particularly fond of them and include them in my jewellery.