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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Beating the Sunday night blues




Working long weeks take their toll and it feels like every weekend flies by, leaving me back at the Sunday night blues.  We all try to cram in as much as possible over those two precious days, and lose sight of the fact that Monday to Friday are about living as much as about working.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who has increased her working hours at the expense at some of the precious moments in life.

A few weeks back I made the decision to consciously focus on resin based jewellery moving forward.  I love the copper leaf pieces I have made, and by the way the copper leaf and steampunk earrings have sold, so have many of you.

So why did I find myself stood at the back of my local jewellery supply store, loving handling beads that were definitely nothing to do with resin?

Semi precious stones.

Most people are aware of the healing properties attributed to semi precious stones like rose quartz and carnelian.  I spent a long time looking in to the meaning of beads and have my pink and blues bracelet that is meant to help healing and communication.  Whether you believe in crystal healing or remain a sceptic, these bead are beautiful.  Cool against the skin, soothing colours and instant reminder of the type of healing you were seeking.  Regardless of whether these stones really do help heal, having a constant reminder by your wrist really will help mind over matter.

The stone I was particularly drawn to was Amazonite.  Nothing to do with the on line retailer (notwithstanding google constantly correcting my search request, thanks google!).  This beautiful translucent blue-green stone soothed me the moment I saw it.  It was cool against the skin, and the colour of a beautiful sea.
Amazonite is said to tame the irrational, provide harmony and balance, and assisting in clear thinking and expression.

I have previously made mala bead bracelets using elastic cord, but this week I am withdrawing them and replacing them with beads on silver cord, using silver coloured toggle clasps.  I am on a journey to add luxury, beauty and contentment to my life (that is not just the Sunday night blues starting) and the journey starts right now, with this stone.  I'll be updating you with more semi precious stone bracelets over the next week or so, and will be explaining what these bracelets do, and how they feel.

In the meantime, I will be taking a little bit of advice from Tonya Leigh at French Kiss Life, and give myself a treat to look forward to bye celebrating my Monday night with champagne.  Or perhaps a gin and tonic or three instead....

Picture courtesy of crystalcure.com

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Why buy handmade goods for Christmas?

It's the run up to Christmas, which means a couple of things:
  1. Novelty Jumpers.  No I don't know either, and no I won't be wearing one;
  2. Trying to slim down to get in to that gorgeous dress for the Christmas party.  Or at least thinking that you probably should try;
  3. Eating all the chocolate thereby undoing any good work from 2 above.  Maybe try purchasing a novelty jumper to cover it up?
  4. The gift dilemma
It's the same every year.  Start with good intentions, try to figure out what to buy, inevitably have nothing one week before Christmas and oh, I've run out of money too.

Sound familiar?

This year I plan to buy as many gifts as possible through local, handmade artisans.  The benefit of the internet is that local opens up a lot more possibilities.  If you're signed up to the Etsy newsletter you've probably seen their campaign to persuade people to buy handmade this year.  There's also Folksy, facebook selling pages and lots more independent websites.

This is now the busiest time of year, and I will be closing my order books the first week of December.  I will be offering customised and handmade earrings, bracelets, necklaces and cufflinks at RogueJewels

So why buy handmade?

One of the best things about it, is getting something that's absolutely right for you.  Or your recipient, if you're not just buying for yourself (but hey, why not buy yourself something special!).  You get to bounce ideas off of someone to create a one of a kind piece that is perfect for that special someone.  You get to take time, discussing your needs whilst sitting on your sofa, drinking a cup of tea and watching Corrie, rather than huffing and puffing round your local mall, queuing for HOURS waiting for a simple coffee, and then sitting in your car for a LIFETIME trying to get out of the car park at the same time as everyone else, after paying a fortune for parking.  Oh, and then finding you have to take your present back because cousin Laura already bought that present for Uncle Albert, leaving you with no idea of what to buy him and an intense urge to scream...

You also get a built in option of further gifts for the next year, or the year after.  Create a relationship with your artisan and they will be a friend for life, getting you little gifts last minute, maybe even throwing in a bit of gift wrapping free of charge.  You're supporting local economy, rather than huge conglomerate that bases itself somewhere else in the world to avoid paying tax.  You're walking lightly on the earth, creating one perfect design, rather than buying endless ephemera that will complement the 'not-quite-right' present with other 'not exactly I wanted but close enough' goods.

Finally, you get to know that this present will be perfect, simply because you've thought about it.  Because it hasn't arrived in a box from a high street retailer, wrapped in their standard paper, but is from someone who has put love in to that design, and bent over backwards for you.

So go on, why not buy handmade this Christmas?