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Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas time :)

It's snowing on The Hill and we hope the snow will stay till the Christmas Day. All the countryside is silver-white-golden and so peaceful. Our cat doesn't want to go outside anymore, it's too cold for him, he prefers to stay by the fire :) Well, he tried this morning - he jumped out with his full speed and... with the full speed he was back :D The birds are crowded on the fat balls we hang on the nearest tree in the garden and Mr Pheasant visits us every day looking for crumbs. My studio is clean and tidy and ready for the last break in year. I like this time when the old is getting to an end and the new is coming! I wish you all wonderfull Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Saturday Project - November

I started this project last month (see here) and as I promissed myself I continue posting photos of the view from my bedroom window. This is how it looked in November:

Nephele and clouds

This ring used all my patience... it's all gone for some time. It was used during the process of creating this newest ring. The citrine cabochon is oval and very tall, and its all surface is hand cut beautifully. In one word - a masterpiece . I wanted to show off not only the flat top surface but also the stone sides and I had a certain idea in my mind. It took however about 4 weeks and one ring (I created Anna Karenina when I couldn't set the Citrin in the first time) to finally achieve my dream. I started weaving for the second time and I decided this time I'd make it! The construction was slightly different than my other rings - this time I made the band and the stone setting as two separate parts joined together half way through. This design allows seeing the stone sides and makes the ring look very delicate and airy when also being a safe and sturdy enclosure for the cabochon. I added three Freshwater pearls and oxidised the ring a little. Then for about two hours I was polishing and buffing, polishing and buffing... The result is almost white, fresh silver but with intriguing depth, almost like the patina which old jewellery can have.
I named the ring Nephele which is a name of a Greek nimph of cloud and mist. Why? This is the view that inspired me this morning:

Friday, 4 December 2009

Joy of the Season

Last year I made three or four rings in a certain style and I called them Rings Of Joy for I was very happy creating them. Picking the different little stones of all the vibrant colours, matching them in sets, then playing with the wire wrapping bands - I enjoyed every single moment of the process. I think it was the joy of Christmas one can start experiencing in December that made my Muse to follow that design again. The first one came up in - surprise, surprise! - in a green and burgundy combination.The second one - sweet like the icing on English Christmas cake. The third one - blue and golden like the blue and clear sky I enjoyed today when I went for a walk in the fields. I don't have names for them yet...

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Why Water, why Fire?

I 'm not sure why I keep creating jewellery in those colour schemes... maybe it's the waters that surround me here, the rains and mists and the view from my studio towards Cromarty Firth... that could have been the inspiration to create the Deep Water earrings with Water Sapphires (Iolite) and Lapis Lazuli. My latest dream about winter evenings spent near fire and watching the flames in silence must have lead my eyes and hands to pick the warm saffron orange of Carnelian and the joyful fanta-orange of Hessonite Garnet to create Fire Earrings. This dream is not just a wish though - we are having a wood burning stove installed in our house before Christmas! I can't wait for it!

The round focals are crocheted with Sterling Silver wire and wire wrapped. Both pairs are in the Special Free Worldwide shipping offer till 10 December.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Special offer in my shops!

I decided to have SPECIAL OFFERS in my shops between 26 November and 10 December:

In my Artfire shop you get FREE RECORDED AND INSURED DELIVERY to all countries for all my jewellery pieces. And that's not everything: I also decided to have a 10% SALE in Polish Gold and Pure Luxury Collections :)

For my Etsy users I'm offering FREE RECORDED AND INSURED DELIVERY to all countries for all my jewellery pieces.

Happy shopping and happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it!!!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Glen Cannich again

We simply love this place and any time it's possible we go there to admire ever-changing views. Every time we have visitors we try to introduce them to our favourite spots in the Highlands and this we had the opportunity to take there our friends from Brussels who first time set their feet on Scottish soil. Saturday morning was promissing - blue sky with little clouds, sunny and with no wind and we hoped for stunning views... the closer to the mountains we were however the thicker the clouds were and the darker the day was. Eventually we arrived in Glen Cannich in mist and drizzle. Against the weather we decided to get out the car and take a walk - you don't drive for 40mins only to look at the beautiful scenery from the windows! To feel the atmosphere, to breathe the fresh air, to BE there you need to experience the place for real. So we walked for about half an hour and only when the rain made our chatting and discussing uncomfortable, when the daylight become more dark-evening light we strolled back to the warm and dry car. I think that sometimes even a gloomy and wet day is a beauty though when you open your eyes and heart to see it - that day all the autumn colours were so rich, so vibrant, the glen spooky but quiet, empty, magical... unfogettable and unique experience :)

The Elements - finished

The first five necklaces from the new Elements collection are finished. Each one is crocheted and wrapped with Sterling Silver.

EARTH. The gems are: Bronzite square, Unakite plumpy drop, Malachite, green Aventurine, Peridot.
DARK WATERS. The gems are: deep cobalt blue Kyanite oval in the centre. It's accompanied by a cluster of lovely smooth natural Blue Sapphires and creamy Freshwater Pearls.
HOT AIR. The gems are: natural Yellow Agate coin, natural Lemon Jasper flat smooth drop, Yellow Serpentine smooth round, Citrine faceted rounds.
FIRE. The gems are: Red Tiger's Eye oval, Red Coral, Sunstone (synthetic), Carnelian.
SPRING WATER. The gems are: Apatite faceted onion, Turquoise nugget, Pale Green Jade, Aquamarine, Freshwater Pearls.

Blue Almonds jewellery now available in Poland!

My debut in Polish online boutique Decobazaar: Anna Karenina ring with delicate and misterious almost white natural Chalcedony and seed Freshwater Pearls (1mm!). Available only at Decobazaar - Blue Almonds

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Saturday Project - October

I love the view from our bedroom window and I can never get bored of it. It changes with the time of day, with the weather and the sunlight. One day I thought I'd take a photo every week as long as we live here to capture the spirit of this place, to see the subtle changes, the rythm of life on The Hill and the Nature around. I will do it every weekend trying to keep the same time of day - around midday so I can see how the light changes with the different time of year. I started the Saturday Project on 10th October and here is the first month so far :)

10 October 2009
18 October 2009
27 October 2009

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Meet Jet The Cat

For some time, too long time, our unwanted neighbours - the mice - had been driving me mad. Last week they brought me at my wits end: for three days in a row I had had to sleep in my studio on the firts floor, because it was the only place where I wouldn't hear theyr noise. That night however one mouse found its way to my safe hide and all the scraching and squeeking woke me up at 4am. When tired and furious I complained to my landlady she suggested "Why don't you get a cat?". Well... why don't we actually??? I love cats (but I'm not a Cat Mamma) and I prefer their nature and character better than dogs. I like that they have their own ways and that they live more "next to you" than "with you". And that you don't need to walk them every day ;)
I started looking for a cat. I needed one who would hunt mice - not a kitten then - and the same time one that would keep me company while I work long hours in my home studio. I didn't want to buy one as I knew there would be a cat somewhere who is just waiting for a new home and for some reason not wanted where he/she is. I tried our local Freecycle group and the Cats Protection who replied to me quicker. They had a few cats ready for homing and description of one three-year-old black male we liked most.He lived in a cat's house for two months and before that was in a large family where he wasn't really wanted and most of his time had to spend outdoors hunting for food. He was perfect to keep my mice away then and looked like a cat who would appreciate a quiet and loving family. On Saturday we exchanged telephone calls with the Cats Protection, on Sunday morning we had a home visit from their volunteer and on Sunday afternoon we met the cat we wanted to adopt. I fell in love the moment I saw him and Jet, the black cat, moved in with us on Monday evening. His first night and the day in our house he spent hiding on the first floor behind my husband's desk and would come down only to eat. Today is his third day with us and he already slept under our bed last night, discovered all the rooms and window sills and although he is still very shy and affraid of many sounds he is sleeping next to me on the sofa, snorring, while I'm writing this post. I think he is settling down all right :)

Working on the water

My work on The Elements collection continues. I was working on the Water element thinking how much I really love this technique and how I used to enjoy doing it when I was a girl. This activity with the repeating moves, the concentration and then the pride when you see a finished pillow case, table cloth or a jumper... Working with silver wire is a little bit harder and more painful (fingers ache!) than working with soft yarns but it's rewarding as well so there is more jewels coming soon!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Something new

I've just started working on a new line for a local Inverness shop - Araveli in Victorian Market for those who know the area. The colour themes are inspired by the Nature elements: the blue of Water, the reds of Fire, the whites, crystals and pale yellow of Air and greens, bronzes of Earth. Most of the designs will be made in a technique I've been using since I was a little girl - crocheting. Here is the first jewel I'm creating, Hot Air colours:
Yellow Agate, Lemon Jasper, Serpentine, Citrine and Sterling Silver.

Colorino in Art Deco

It may be gloomy around and all that I can see out of my window may be Autumn with its rain, mists and short days but when I started working on this commission all my thoughts flew to Tuscany... This new project - a commissioned bangle - brought back all the happy memories that I have of the sunshine, warmth, the countryside and the wine too and lead my hands to shape that bangle. I gave it a very special name: Colorino in Art Deco. Colorino is a red Italian wine grape planted primarily in Tuscany. The grape is known for its deep dark coloring very like the hue of Garnet.

I am not sure if that vine on this picture I took in Tuscany is Colorino itself but its colour is very like I imagine Colorino would have.

The frame I shaped is inspired by the Art Deco elegant, glamorous yet functional style. Oxidised and hand polished to shine. It's simple enough to be worn every day but it's also elegant and can be shown off on a special occassion and it will look amazing with a black dress.
Medium size.
Blue Almonds original design.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

The Equilibrist

Inspiration for this pendant was a song written and performed by a Polish artist Grzegorz Turnau "Linoskoczek" - "Equilibrist" or "Rope-Dancer" (you can listen to it here).

Natural Baltic Amber Nugget was wrapped in to a delicate Sterling Silver frame to look like it was dancing and balancing in the air on an invisible line. Blue shades of Lapis Lazuli and royal blue of the satin cord bring the image of clear sky one can see above the performing acrobat. One grey Labradorite smooth drop flashes with yellow and blue like the sun-rays that dazzle ones eyes.

The pendant was heavily oxidised and then hand polished to shine. The chain is embelished with two Lapis Lazuli beads and one natural Baltic Amber little bead.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Wild neighbours

Since we've moved in to our place on The Hill last June every day I am amazed with the wildlife around us. There are only 4 houses in our settlement and around us are fields, woods and lots of space - perfect place for all the creatures including mice and spiders which seem to like our warm and cosy house... but forget them for the purpose of this post. There are other more interesting neighbours too, for example a rabbit family living at the bottom end of our garden or Mr Pheasant who uses the paved path to get to the garden from the fields and peeks in to our windows:

But from all the animals we see here I love the birds of prey most: the Red Kites and Buzzards. One Buzzard family lives on a tree that I can see from my studio and one day I was lucky to have my camera on hand and took a photo of this beautiful bird when he was chasing a Red Kite away (they don't like each other!):
In the nights the owls pay us visits and hoot around the trees. One especially likes the apple tree next to my studio window and although I can't see him I can clearly hear his soft voice. It's almost never quiet here!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Lost and found treasure

It doesn't happen very often that I forget my jewellery pieces but I did. Somehow I forgot about 6 pieces and for long time they were were not listed in any of my shops!!! This entire week however I had been making full bead and jewellery inventory and going through all little and bigger boxes I've found my lost treasure. They say "life is a lerning curve" so I've learned my lesson and you can now find in my online shops (Etsy and Blue Almonds) these six beauties :)

Quiet Moment Set
Dahlia earrings
Orange Peel Swirl earrings
Pine Tree earrings
Red Geranium earrings
Weaving The Rainbow earrings

Sunday, 11 October 2009

mist, fog and rain...

... and you wake up in the morning at the sunrise. It's all cold and wet and days are getting shorter but despite all these signs I can feel the romanticism of Autumn. Nothing would make me to wake up in the sunset in Spring or Summer and now I have the opportunity to see it as well as with the world's first moves, to hear the birds fresh morning songs and to witness the clouds dance below our hill just on the Firth water surface... isn't this romantic?

view from the edge of our garden to South-East, in the background oil rigs in the Cromarty Firth (photo taken by my Husband)

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Handmade Christmas

I just added ArtFire Handmade Christmas badge to my blog. Are you thinking the same - isn't it too early? It's only the beginning of October, there is still almost two months to go till Christmas!

On the other hand... if you think about that "handmade" aspect then you need also to think about time to make the gifts or time to have them made! I already managed to finish two gifts and started thinking of the next one that needs more - yes, you guessed it - time.

If you like my jewellery I'm more than happy to create unique comission pieces, jewels designed especially for you but I also need the time. So - if you want something very special, that only jewel in the world for for your dearest one (or for yourself!) then order it with me now and it will be finished and ready on time with no distress and hassle. And I will have the time to make my favourite little ginger breads ;)

Moving in :)

Dear Friends and New Readers,

I've been writing a blog about my life and my jewellery adventure since June 2008 and you are most welcome to read it HERE

It was however getting more and more difficult to manage that site especially when I started taking tonnes of photos (it would load very slowly) and when I began to be more active on so called social networs such as Facebook or Twitter. I therefore decided to move my creativity here and from now on you will see my jewellery here, you will see my photos here and you will read short and longer stories from my life.

Welcome to Blue Almonds Jewellery Journey :)

PS You can find Polish version of this blog here: (please give me some time to move out from the old site!)