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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Special Promotion!

I decided to have a special sale for my Facebook Fans :) If you'd like to know more and if you'd like to get 20% discount on any of my jewellery pieces go to and "Like" the page :) Offer ends on 1st December 2010!

Sunday, 31 October 2010


Inspired by the stone itself this delicate necklace features a natural moss Green Jasper. I picked this unique hand cut cabochon for its rare deep green colour which. It somehow brought to my mind an image of a Chinese dragon. I set the stone in Goldfill wire and added some Tourmalines and one Grossular Garnet briolette - they glitter like tiny fire sparkes. There are two more Tourmalines at the handmade clasp and the bail is adorned with one small Peridot. The pendant is 4.5cm long in total and 1.7cm wide at the widest place. The chain is 41cm long. All metal is Goldfill.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Five Sisters

Inspired by Autumn golden hues and one of my favourite places in the Highlands: "Five Sisters" is a limited edition of simple Amber pendants. They can be worn on both sides: one showing the swirls or the other one with little flower. Every pendant is adorned with a tiny gem hidden in the base of a bail. Perfect for everyday use :)

I will be listing them tomorrow - with a special price of £50 only till the end of October!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Golden inspirations

Autumn is here on The Hill in Her full glory: the sycamore and beech tree leaves are turning burgundy red and our Mr Rowan in the garden is now golden yellow. This morning I looked at him and decided this is the time to start working with Amber! I want to capture and embrace that gold and warmth of the season in my jewellery so I'm creating a new line of little Amber pendants. Photos soon :)

Monday, 20 September 2010

Waiting for Godot

Some month ago we were impatiently waiting for our first baby to be born. We didn't know whether it was a boy or a girl, it was to ba a surprise. The due date had came... and it passed... and still nothing happened! To kill the time I sat one day in my studio and started creating a new necklace for myself. My hands would choose only delicate hues: soft pinks and roses, pearls and yellows and we started laughing that it must be a girl we were expecting and that it was her telling me the colours. Then a week later and... we welcomed our baby son! Well, one day I'll give him a very special necklace with a story to tell his fiancé ;)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Featured in Vogue!!!

I'm thrilled to announce that my jewellery is featured in the October issue of Vogue (the UK edition)! Look at my Midsummer Sky ring - at the first page of the jewellery section themed Beautifully Bespoke :)

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Grand opening!

My beautiful re-vamped website is now officially open and working :) It not only has new smarter design but most important: it has a cart so you can buy more than one item at a time! Tempting :)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Brand new

New, fresh and re-designed Blue Almonds website is coming very soon! Stay tuned next week :)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Kiss

I fell in love with Topaz as a gemstone when I first saw it in one jewellery shop in Warsaw. It was a large honey-golden Imperial Topaz set in a very pretty gold ring. I wanted that ring so badly, it was almost like the stone was talking to me "buy me, you have to have me"! But... I couldn't afford it, it was extremly expensive and I don't think it would suit a teenager's look ;)

Later on I discovered White or Silver Topaz - the colourless, transparent variety that is much more common and not so much expensive but still full of sparkles, charm and this very special Topaz magic. And one day a miracle happened: searching for gems for a commissioned piece I came accross Rutile (or Rutilated) Topaz. Why miracle, you ask? Because the inclusions, the golden needles, are almost of the same golden hue I loved so much that day years ago AND the stone price was within my budget! So I got the beautifully hand cut oval and for over a week I waited impatiently for my mail.

When I saw the stone in a daylight, on my palm, I knew it deserved a very special design. Personally I don't like gold jewellery and to me Topaz looks very good when set just in in Silver but the golden needles were asking for gold... so I combined the metals together. On a Sterling Silver frame I wrapped 14K Goldfill wire and setting the stone I used the opposite technique: on a thin golden wire I wrapped the Sterling Silver. A added a few little Freshwater Pearls for more oldfashioned feel and to make the ring look like an old jewel.

Please let me introduce Il Bacio (The Kiss)

Monday, 2 August 2010

One last commission...

...before I go on my maternity leave :) Inspiration behind the "Black Velvet" set is a rock song written by Canadian musicians and recorded by a Canadian singer Alannah Myles in 1989. According to Wikipedia the song refers to the soulful black sound of Elvis' voice and the many African American recording artists and singers he emulated to create his special brand of rock’n'roll.

I weaved and wrapped the ring and hoops using only Sterling Silver in a design with little hearts – sweet and gentle like so many of Elvis’s songs. I oxidised the set heavily and only delicately polished to keep the soft black patina, to give the jewellery the romantic aged look.

the hoops are 4cm in diameter, the ring is UK size O 1/2

Friday, 23 July 2010

Ice cream...

This time the inspiration came from... food! And to be precise from a certain, very special type of ice cream: Straciatella. This Italian "gelato" with a white base and chocolate shavings is similar to the American chocolate chip ice. I love the snow white and coffee black colour combination - it's the most elegant yet simple you can imagine (well, maybe except just pure black!). In the newest Straciatella Ice necklace a large briolette of Black Rutile Quartz combines these two colours: natural white translucent Quartz with black needles of Rutile. The pendant shape was inspired by the Art Nouveau, Art Deco and also a little bit by the mysterious Inca jewellery.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Sleepless nights

Sometimes I can't sleep. I like then to get up in the middle of the night and watch the world from our livingroom window. Sometimes I see magic, like the orange Moon rising over Cromarty Firth on a perfectly cobalt blue sky. Other nights I would stay long in my studio designing or creating new piece of jewellery, like the last earrings. The shape was inspired by the Art Nouveau and the colour palette by that rising Moon and that night sky... I call them Sleepless Night :)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The power of stones

I've been asked many times already whether I draw or sketch my designs. The answer is... no and yes. "No" - because usually it's the stone who is the leader: its shape and texture, its colour and warmth that I feel in my hands when I touch it. Sometimes I prepare colour combinations that I like and think they will work well and then when I start working all the set up disappears if the main stone doesn't agree.

It can be the wire that too leads my fingers - how it wants to serpent on the stone, how it curves to fit the shape. And nothing can be done by force. The stone breaks. The wire snatches. I get impatient.

Sometimes, however, the answer is "Yes" - I do sketch and I do it with more and more details. The designs that are first created on paper tend to be more elaborate in the very specific and unique Art Nouveau style which requires certain shapes of curves, certain proportions and balance. Sometimes I follow the drawing to a single line, like in the French Baroque pendant.
Sometimes, though, even the sketch won't work when the stones don't agree. That was the case when I started working on The Dream Comes True, having already chosen one of my favourite Crystal Quartz focals: a big, clear and pure freeform Quartz... which didn't cooperate with the wires and with the design at all!
Eventually I gave up and soon found a perfect replacement: the square Silver Rutile Quartz cabochon. And I love the outcome!

I try not to fight with the stones. Maybe they are my true Muse?

Monday, 31 May 2010

Early birthday treat

For some time now I had been dreaming to spend my birthday on the West Coast: drive to Ullapool, have the best fish&chips in the area, walk on the beach and treat myself to a silk shawl from a very special craft shop we discovered few years ago there. We had been talking about when would the best time be for my dream to come true as I wanted that day to be... well... maybe not perfect but at least not wet! But in Scotland you can never be sure what the weather would be in the next few hours so planning ahead is almost impossible. Today the weather was so summery, so sunny and warm that even though my birthday is still two weeks away we spontaneously decided to celebrate it NOW! At midday we set off for Ullapool and from then on the day was just perfect :)We stopped at a car park to admire the view over Loch Broom... and for some sunbathing :)

We had the fish&chips and then took a lazy stroll in the village now flooded with flowers! (on the photo a little local bar). Then we drove few miles further North and had a walk on the beach in perfect sunshine:

And if you think I forgot about my last treat... well, how about a royal blue-and-purple Pashmina with cashmere and silk :DEarly Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Little gift

A little gift for a friend: large Rhyolite flat drop adorned only with simple Art Nouveau style design and one tiny Freshwater Pearl. Heavily oxidised and delicately polished to keep the black and shiny patina.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

NEW rings made to order

Little wild flowers are now covering our garden like a colourful carpet. I couldn't resist this inspiration and during the last few days I was creating like mad new delicate rings. Each ring features just one gemstone in a colour representing one of the litte gems of Nature - the meadow flowers I can see in the grass. There is yellow Citrine, blue Iolite (or Water Sapphire), snow white Freshwater Pearl, grass green Vesuvian. Every stone is measures about 2-3mm and is of exceptional quality. I wrapped the band in my now favourite basket weave and then oxidised and hand polished the ring to bring out the pattern. Simple, everyday adornment.These rings will be made to order: you can pick the stone you want in your ring and let me know your ring size :) I will be listing the rings in the next few days so check my shop regularly! And there will be more gems too: I really want use my little orange Carnelians and smooth purple Garnets...

Sunday, 9 May 2010

My Kaiserschmarrn recipe

Having posted on Facebook that the Kaiserschmarrn is my favourite Sunday breakfast I received an email from a friend who asked me to share my recipe which I happened to mention was easy. I thought I'd share it here - the dish really deserves to be appreciated worldwide :) So, here it is - my version of the special pancake or omelette, enjoy!

Serves as a breakfast for 2 hungry people:

4 eggs (yolks and whites separated)1 tablespoon of sugar (I use Demerara cane sugar but it can be the usual white one)
1/2 glass of milk
4 tablespoons of fine plain flour (heaped, not flattened!)
1 pinch of baking soda (mix it with the flour)
1 tablespoon of soft butter
1 tablespoon of dried cranberries or sultanas (you can mix them with 1tbsp of rum the night before if you like) or any dried fruit or nuts that you like

You'll need 2 bowls (salad size) and one frying pan of medium size which in my kitchen means 25cm/9.8" in diameter. If you use a bigger one the pancake will come slightly thinner but it won't affect the taste ;)
  • first beat the egg whites stiff in one bowl. I use my electric hand mixer - it's faster and that matters especially when I wake up hungry on Sunday morning!
  • in the other bowl mix the yolks with sugar till they are pale yellow
  • still mixing gradually add some flour and then milk, flour and milk. When you add it all the batter should not be to thick but runny like when making crepes
  • now put the pan with butter on low heat, the butter will melt while you are finishing the batter
  • using a metal spoon (NOT mixer!) combine very gently the whites with the yolk-milk-flour mixture. You should stop when you still can see some white fluffy lumps, don't try to mix it to make it completly smooth!
  • pour the batter into your pan and sprinkle with the cranberries. If you have a lid you can put it over the pan or use a sheet of the kitchen aluminium foil.
  • when the surface of the pancake is set (after about 2-3mins) flip the pancake over and let the other side cook for about 1min till it's golden on both sides. If you don't feel like flipping a pancake just put the pan under medium heated grill and keep it there till you see it's golden.
  • I would now cut the pancake in four pieces and... put it on the plates :) Don't worry if the pancake collapses a little.
we love it with thick cream and maple syrup or raspberry jam...


Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Beginning

Spring - the time of new life. The beginning.

The second ring in the Spring theme features beautiful sparkling chocolate brown Smoke Quartz accompanied by microfaceted rounds: deep cognac Tourmalines, soft pale green Prehnite, moss green Vesuvian and delicate Moonstone with flashes of blue. All the colours of awaking Nature.

And I think I'm beginning to like work with cabochons - those stones with no hole drilled, the very tricky ones to set when you're working with wire only... but hey, what a joy when a cab finally gets in place you wanted it to be :D

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Glass From Space

I made this pendant for my Mom. She chose the stone - Moldavite - accodring to Wkipedia: a substance possibly formed by a meteorite impact. A glass from the Space! Bottle green, strangely shaped it looks like very unusual glass. Or like a jelly baby ;) The shape of Mom's stone was so wavy and uncomfortable to work with I not only sketched the design but even made a detailed drawing!I made this pendant in the Art Nouveau style, in a butterfly shape, and decorated with very fine Black Spinel and Peridote briolettes. All metal is Sterling Silver, oxidised and then hand polished.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Primroses are not shy

"Primrose - a cheerful little plant to brighten the dullest spot in the garden" [Gardening, a commonsense guide]

Deep in my heart I'm still a horticulturalist and I'm easily moved by even the tiniest, shy and modest plants. When little wild Primroses pop up early in spring they cover the woods floor with lemony-yellow carpet like it was designed for fairies to dance on. And for this moment the flowers are not shy anymore.
For the first ring this Spring I chose beautifuly faceted Lemon Quartz onion briolette and then hand wrapped it with thin Sterling Silver wire. The band is also hand weaved - in a new to me "basket" technique I just discovered. Adorned with one smooth Carnelian round and then heavily oxidised, hand polished and buffed to reveal the basket pattern of the band the ring is a true everyday stunner - it's a Primrose, The Spring Princess.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Trip to the West Coast

Since Sunday Jet is in his new home - we decided to give him away as it was getting too difficult to deal with his nocturnal habits especially now with some big changes in our family life on the way. Jet's new family lives in a lovely little village on the West Coast, some 70 miles from our place and to get there you need to travel through one of the most beautiful glens in the Highlands - Glen Shiel with stunning views of very steep slopes of Five Sisters. That Sunday the weather was just incredible with no wind, no clouds and full sunshine...
After saying our "good bye" to Jet we drove a little further to the west and had picknic to cheer us up.
... and then a bit further to the West to see the little community owned Skye ferry between Glenelg on the UK mainland and Kylerhea on Skye and we saw the ferry in action!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Is it Spring eventually???

Sunshine!!! Just an hour walk in the fields and woods and I find treasury hidden in the grass and in the trees :)
Primroses (Primula vulgaris) are just beginning to blossom along a little stream nearby and there is also plenty of warm yellow flowers of Lesser celandines (Ranunculus ficaria) so the place will be like sprinkled with gold soon! I was so happy to also spot a few of Anemone sylvestris (wood anemone or snowdrop windflower) -they are common in the woodlands of Central and Western Europe but I didn't know they can also grow here! In Poland the anemones cover the woods with white carpets at spring time, it's so lovely to walk amongst them :)

In the gardens I can already see the daffodils flower and little sky blue squills (Scilla siberica) when spring snowflakes (Leucojum vernum) and snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are already slowly fading...

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Winter come-back

Yesterday I woke up to a snow storm. It was such a windy day that even our fireplace refused to work and all the smoke gathered inside the house! I really hoped today would be different. It was - there was no wind but about an inch of snow lying everywhere and it was still snowing! So, when outside looks like this (poor daffodils!)...

...I stayed inside with these :) ...

... and decided to make my favourite Easter tarts (in Polish they are called "mazurek") - orange ones! I really miss the sunshine and the oranges and lemons were exactly of the right colours for such a white and cold day.
It takes some time to grate the fruit peels, cook the sugary topping and make the crysty base but after a few hours my mazurek was ready. We decorated it with sweet almonds:
Now there is only the poppy-seed one to bake. And the lemon one. And I think I might also make some meringues to use up the left over egg white...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Spring walk in Strathpeffer

Today I won't say much, I'm going to show you photos instead. Location: Strathpeffer, Highlands of Scotland. Time: the very first day of Spring. It was such a lovely day!
our walk started with a light shower...

but soon it got better :)
(view from a woodland walk just above the village towards Dingwall)

an example of Strathpeffer's own architechtural style

I was enchanted by the peaceful little streets!

White Butterbur (Petasites albus) found in the woods

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

My preciousssss....

It was a great day at the Scottish Bead Fair despite the terrential rain during our journey all the way down to Perth. We arrived just in time to watch Emma Baird's demonstration on how to use and work with Precious Metal Clay - very inspiring! I'm now actually seriously thinking of learning that jewellery making method in the future :)
And yes - I did get that Mystic Topaz trio!!! Thank you very much to Dawn from Precious Sparkle Beads for bringing them along to show how beautiful they are in reality! I'm also proud that I stuck to my budget limit and still got what I wanted most:from the top: Mystic Topaz, Sodalite, Blue Topaz, Labradorite, Peridot

Now when I cleared the workshop table (yep, as it gets messy soooo quickly!) I only need to put the beads in they boxes and I'll be ready to start new Spring projects!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

My Spring begins with Scottish Bead Fair

Finally there is snow on the fields around, the Nature is almost ready to boost with colours and I'm ready to enjoy the true feast, the rainbow of natural gems at the Scottish Bead Fair in Perth tomorrow! I've been there twice already but I just love gem fairs so this time can't wait too! I don't really NEED new gems but you know... once you start buying, using and *ehem* collecting them it's very hard to resist not going to an event like this. My favourite local online seller (well, she's based in Scotland and is the nearest quality gems supplier I have here) will be there with a stall so I will be able to see in the real life some of the stones I'm very interested in. Like this Mystic Topaz trio, isn't that amazing colour?
or these beauties *sigh*I'm sure I won't come back with empty hands... with an empty purse though - maybe...