Sunday, November 25, 2012


Hello friends,

These were a lot of fun.... 3 different sized rings.. sitting together... connected only with the ear wire.

3 simple rings..lying flat...

and now three rings in motion..

And while Lori from Studio Waterstone is taking a well deserved break from hosting I Heart Macro,  I thought I would still add a little bit of Sunday macro. Can't help myself!

Goodnight all,


Saturday, November 24, 2012

A love of travel

Hello friends,

We have been a family that likes to travel. At the moment my youngest daughter is in Scotland.. getting ready to move to Ireland before coming home mid December. She has been away 6 months having a wonderful time visiting many countries.... most of which I have never seen myself.
She will certainly have a bigger "visited" list than either myself or my husband.
That's totally fine with me... I cannot wait for her to come home and share some of the many adventures she has had.

She is certainly the only person I know who has been to Iceland! And for someone who normally resides in Australia, that is a LONG way away!

I thought I would make her a little physical reminder of her trip.. and the countries she has seen.

So I started by making a heart template from some craft sticks and cereal box cardboard.

I cut out the countries from an old, unused atlas. I tell you, it felt so wrong doing this... however.. I did it!

I cut out hearts from the countries she had visited. This one is actually England. Wandsworth was a town she stayed at with a friend.. outside of London.

Here they are all lined up and ready to be glued down.

To complete the job, I will put it in a lovely white box frame. This is an easy and fun project, one that I saw initially, on Pinterest.
You can see the original idea here.

Creative use of maps is all the rage at the moment.... if you have an old atlas you are brave enough to cut up, then here are a few more ideas for you.

Where you met, married and live from Everything Fabulous. I just love this idea.. and it is such a pretty vignette.

And this is one of many fun map ideas from shelterness. I am so going to do this with an old wooden chair I have.

That's it for me today, folks

Enjoy your day,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Step by step - Russian wedding rings.

Hello friends,

I have had a few people ask how to go about making one of these rings. I am certainly no expert at making them... with only two of them under my belt so to speak, it may seem a little presumptive of me to write a "tutorial!" I learnt these steps while doing a beginners jewellery making class at NMIT, (Australia)
Let's just call it a step by step!
There are also a lot of instructions to be found on the internet and some very good U-tube videos for making single rings too if you wish to see the hands on 'live' approach.

1. Work out your finger size... and go FIVE sizes larger. There are different approaches to sizing Russian wedding rings...  The five sizes larger formula is what we did in class and this ring was a perfect fit.Yay! The sizes we used came from Tim McCreight's book, The Complete Metalsmith  ( I noticed the spiral bound version is on special and free delivery.. might have to buy myself a Christmas present!)
Allow a few extra mm's for any filing of ends.

2. Cut three equal lengths of wire. ( My first ring was made from 3mm wide x 1.3mm thick half round, soft wire) Make sure the ends are filed smooth and square.

3. Shape roughly in to a D- shape, make the ends meet on the straight run. The ends need to be a perfect join with no gap. Cut through the join with your jewelers saw until the ends are meeting with no space in-between. ( Hold it up to the light to check) You may need to do this more than once. Solder all three rings. Flux inside and outside the ring prior to soldering. Quench, pickle and rinse after soldering. Smooth away any excess solder with a file making sure you file in one direction only.

4. Shape rings back to round on a steel ring mandrel using a nylon or leather mallet. Chamfer the edges with a file. ( this allows the rings to 'roll' smoothly when worn on the finger). Smooth the edges you have just chamfered and also the inside of the ring, using grits of sandpaper from 400 to 1500, starting with 400 and working upwards to the finer grade. Then do the same to the outside of the ring.

5. Lightly anneal TWO of your rings... the old soldering line will be exposed as a dark line. Cut through this line carefully with your saw.

6. Attach the cut ring to the third ring ( which was not annealed or cut) Make sure the join is nice and tight fitting with no gap. Flux both rings inside and outside and solder the cut join. (cool, pickle and rinse)

7. Clean up this ring that has just been soldered... remove any excess solder, file and sand as required for a smooth finish. ( finish inside first, then outside) Put the second cut ring through BOTH (soldered) rings.

8. Flux all  three rings inside and out, solder this last one and clean up as before. Pickle, rinse and then tumble polish.

Here is a conversion chart for ring sizes if you need one. It would be so much easier if ring sizes were a little more uniform.. it seems that even the charts vary a little in their measurements!

Cheers for now,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I Heart macro - Bee still!

Hello friends,

A photo of a bee on a poppy for this weeks I heart macro.

I tried very hard to get a photo of this little bee... but he was doing what bees do.. busily... and just not keeping still enough for me to get focus on him.. so this was the best I could do!

Head on over to look at the other photos by clicking on the photo link below.

studio waterstone

Hope you are enjoying your weekend,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bead Table Wednesday - a completed ring

Hello dear friends,

Well, I said I would show you when I had completed the Russian wedding ring I have been working on this week.
I'm pretty happy... it fits really well... is shined up and looking pretty nice.

(one thing I am STILL yet to learn is to remember to clean up a piece before taking a photo... it has a few hairs on it...I must buy one of those photographic hand held little dust blowers!)

These rings are the domain of the beginner jewellery maker really... after all they are really only 3 simple rings... just all interconnected.
It did take a while to make.... NEXT time should be a little faster now I know how to go about it!

Today, I am linking up to Bead table wednesday.. a Flickr group started by Heather at Humblebeads.
It's a place where those who  love to make jewellery show what is on their bead-making table on a Wednesday.

Hope you are enjoying your day,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I heart macro - passion

Hello friends,

As you know, part of each Sunday is for 'I Heart Macro'... here are a few close up photos from both garden and studio.

This is the first passionflower on my newly planted vine... they are such a weird and fabulous flower! I am hoping I will get lots of passionfruit.. there are certainly lots of buds and flowers appearing on the plant to make me think I should. I am not too sure if you get fruit in the first year... can anyone tell me?

Just love those wild tendrils!

This is such a delicate beauty with it's upright petals and hidden little pod. I never tire of seeing these beautiful poppies
show up in my garden each year.

 And just because we are talking 'up close' here.... this is a little bit of my passion at the moment... making a ring... this is a set of rings that you use to determine your finger size before making a ring.

The russian wedding ring I am still making needs to be made from a ring 5 sizes bigger than my finger! I am a 'P' but had to make the rings in a 'U' size. It seems so large and loose at the moment......! I am crossing my fingers and hoping it will be a good fit when completed.

studio waterstone

Today I am linking up to 'I heart macro' hosted by Lori at Studio Waterstone, so please do head on over and join in the macro and up close photography fun.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Russian wedding rings - a work in progress

Hello friends,

This week I have been working on my first version of a 'Russian wedding ring'. If you don't know the name ... I am sure you would have seen them.  ( see photo at end of this post)

The rings are constructed of 3 rings that are interconnected together ( but not actually attached to each other). They are not joined or interlocked.
I believe the significance of this style of ring in Russian culture comes from Christian Orthodox of the 19th Century, it was meant as a representation of the Holy Trinity.

Traditionally the three rings were made from yellow, rose and white gold, but these days it is quite common for the ring to be made out of only one type of metal and also may include diamonds, gemstones and or engraving.

So, now I am attempting to make one using silver for all three rings... I am afraid my skills and finances do not warrant gold, or diamonds.... but maybe one day! One can only aspire!

Half round sterling silver wire is cut in to 3 equal pieces.

The wire is soldered in to a semblance of a circle -  it doesn't matter that it is not round at this stage.

The rings are then hammered in to shape. From here they will be sanded with many grits of sandpaper to achieve a good finish. The edges are slightly chamfered. When all of that is done they will be cut and interlocked and re - soldered, cleaned up and polished... so still quite a way before it is finished!

Here also is a little bird I am having fun with... I might make her in to a brooch... still deciding.

This is what the ring will look like when complete ( I hope!)... except all in silver. ( photo from Google) Hope mine is as lovely and shiny as this!

I hope to show you the finished product in the next week or so.

Until then, have a great weekend,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A New Gadget

Hello friends,

As many of you know, I love Pinterest... as I know many of you do too. So I was thrilled to see a new  Pinterest linked gadget to put on my blog side bar.

It shows 6 of your latest pins. If you hover over a pin, it will show up larger and if you click on it it will direct you to the pin in a larger image for repining/information purposes.

Because it does not come from Blogger, it needs to be entered in to your template code.
The usual way to add a gadget is then used after the template has been 'tweaked'.

For all the information about how to do this, go to Code it pretty.

Marie has written up a great post with lots of information and steps to get this done. She appears to be very helpful with troubleshooting as the many responses will show.

Remember to SAVE YOUR TEMPLATE first before changing anything! (see Step one)

The only thing I still have to do, is to set it up so that my blog page remains open at the same time as looking at the expanded sized pin page. This will make it a lot easier for a blog browser to return to my blog. ( I thought I would wait to see if everything else worked o.k first before doing this step... I am happy to say it is, Yay!)

So what do you think... are you going to give it a go? If I can do it... you can too!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

I heart macro - evening light

Hello friends,

I was out in the garden late last week and when I stopped to look around and go inside, I suddenly saw
how beautiful it looked in the evening light.

So I did a mad dash for the camera (phone) before all sun had totally gone for the day.
Here are a few snaps.

Evening rays on violet leaves.

Evening rays on the new growth of the ornamental grape.

I call this one "elephant ears" These leaves are over 3 feet in length.

Evening light on the lily, "Green Goddess".

And "Sophie's Rose". A little friend is tucked away for the night... is this what butterflies do at night?! What a lovely soft and fragrant little spot! Wish I had seen this as I may have been able to get a little  closer... but it only became visible to me when I loaded it on the computer. Don't you hate that!

I am linking up to I heart Macro... click on the photo link below and it will take you straight there.

studio waterstone


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