Thursday, 31 December 2015

Planning a necklace inspired by honeysuckle

The spirits of nature are fickle this year. We've just come back from a walk in the glorious sunshine. We have a hedge that runs alongside our house and there is always something interesting to see in it. Sloes in the autumn, as well as hawthorn berries, not to mention all the varied birds and smaller creatures - we even had a hedgehog make it's way through a tiny gap in our fence in the summer - and they are rarer these days.
Todays surprise was honeysuckle, flowering away quite happily thanks to the mild weather here. Many times over the last few days we have counted our blessings, not to have endured the misery of a flooded out home. It must have been the most horrible Christmas ever for some.
I love the delicate cream and yellow flowers in the honeysuckle plant, and the shapes in the curling flowers, and I can't help wondering how I could make a piece of jewellery inspired by it. Actually I'm quite excited by the idea, as I haven't made many things with yellow shades. Those little stamens could be made by enamelling some headpins. An exciting parcel arrived yesterday with some new enamelling equipment so I now have all I need to give it a go. I also bought a lovely little nugget of lemon coloured jasper that could be wire wrapped and used as a feature in the necklace.
So it will be out with my sketchbook after lunch - I do like a challenge.
Happy new Year!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Woodland inspired wirewrapped necklaces

It's been a frantically busy couple of months. Decorating the house, assorted repairs and decluttering has left little time for jewellery related activities. With the start of Autumn came an urge to tackle all the jobs that I had been putting off for far too long. With the aim of transforming our humble abode into a calm and tidy pale blue haven in time for Christmas I set to work with the wallpaper stripper. Oh how good it felt to see all the shabby old paper go! Seven big boxes of books and CDs were packed up and sent off to Ziffit, which involved several trips with a shopping trolley down to the nearest collection point.

The upside of these trips was that we got to walk through the woods on the way home. We are very lucky to have some lovely open spaces to wander around our area. One of these is a huge open area that was once the country park attached to a Catton Hall. It was set out by Humphrey Repton and many of the original trees remain. Scuffling through the fallen Autumn leaves in the woodland that borders the park is a wonderful antidote to all the household tasks. I love all the different personalities the trees seem to have- especially the old ivy-clad ones. How easy it is to imagine faces within the foliage - often my daydreams find their way into my sketchbook.

A fantasy page from my sketchbook
Being close to nature always lifts my mood and inspires me to create something when I get back home. I like to fill a wooden bowl with treasures from my collection, a leather cord here, a gemstone there, adding whatever takes my fancy and transports me back to the woodland with its many colours and textures.

One ivy inspired and one bramble inspired with a rose quartz centre
I allow my fingers to wander where they please to place the beads and wrap the wire, keeping in mind my sketch and the memory of the walk through the wood with it's fleeting magical glimpses.