Category Archives: Out and About

Quickie Competition – What Am I ? – Win a Handmade Silver Charm !

Each morning when I take ChooChoo for his walk I am amazed by the changes in the countryside around me.

Now it’s the time if year when nature leaves these little gifts along our walk. What are they – visit www.lavidalerie.com/Give-Aways.html (or click on the photos) for how to enter draw to win a handmade Waiting for Spring sterling silver charm.

Ends Midnight tonight (16th)

jewellery competition

Waiting for Spring – Handmade Silver Charm

handmade silver waiting for spring charm

Good Luck Everybody !

PS – Find us on Instagram – I’ll be posting new jewellery, workshop photos, photos from around La Vidalerie and competitions

Another Count the Ginges Competition

We’ve been so busy running workshops recently that I haven’t had chance to post so here is a quick competition and a promise that I will post again soon !

Every morning I take ChooChoo for a walk along our lane, it gives me chance to see how the seasons are changing day by day.  Each day we are joined by some of our cats – have a look at the photo and count the GINGES.

ginger cats

And click on this link www.lavidalerie.com/Give-Aways.html to see how to enter the draw to win one of my handmade silver Blown Away Wish Charms.

wish charm handmade silver

Ends midnight 1.9.15.

Count the Ginges and Enter The Draw !

May Competition – Count the Ginges !

This morning my walk with Choo Choo was joined by some of our ginger cats – how many can you see in this photo ? You can enter the draw to win one of my new Blown Away Wish Charms, handmade in sterling silver and perfect for a necklace or bracelet via my website – http://www.lavidalerie.com/Give-Aways.html

Ginger Cats - on a walk with Choo Choo

handmade silver wish charm competition

Good luck to everyone !  And if you can’t wait you can also order this charm and even have it personalised for you by clicking on the photo above.

Competition ends midnight Monday 4th May 2015.

Step by Step Setting Cabs using Riveting and How to Make these Mixed Metal Earrings !

I made these earrings recently and it was only when I finished that I thought what a good step by step tutorial they’d make.

handmade silver riveted labradorite earrings

Riveting sterling silver & labradorite earrings – £28

Unfortunately I hadn’t taken any photos so I made different pair in a similar way and photoed each stage.

Handmade riveted mixed metal earrings step by step how to make tutorial

Copper & Silver Riveted Earrings Hanging on my Handmade Wild Garden Straights Ear Wires

tutorial earrings

Step 1 – Cut 2 pairs of triangles our of 0.3mm copper sheet (when the earrings are riveted 2 x 0.3mm = 0.6mm a nice weight/strength for earrings

how to make riveted earrings

Step 2 – 2 discs cut from textured sterling silver sheet = also 0.3mm thick

domed silver discs

Step 3 – Silver discs domed using a metal doming black

Step 4 - holes (a little smaller than diameter of domed discs)  punched in copper triangles.

Step 4 – holes (a little smaller than diameter of domed discs) punched in copper triangles.

mighty punch

Mighty Punch – This was what I used to make the holes.

Step 5 - Pick a hole in the doming block that is slightly larger than the hole in the triangle.  Use a punch to gently flare the hole outwards

Step 5 – Pick a hole in the doming block that is slightly larger than the hole in the triangle. Use a punch to gently flare the hole outwards

step by step mixed metal earrings handmade

Step 6 – Check the silver domes fit the triangles.

Step 7 - Drill 1mm holes for the 1mm rivets

Step 7 – Drill 1mm holes for the 1mm rivets

Step 8 - Handmade fine silver balled end rivets (these could have been made out of sterling silver)

Step 8 – Handmade fine silver balled end rivets (these could have been made out of sterling silver)

riveted earrings tutorial

Step 9 – Put the earrings together remembering to include the domed silver discs – put the silver rivets through the earrings front to back

Earrings ready to be riveted - I added an additional wire rivet near the top. - They are then ready to sand down the edges and add the ear wires.

Earrings ready to be riveted – I added an additional wire rivet near the top. – They are then ready to sand down the edges and add the ear wires.

handmade sterling silver ear wires unique

Wild Garden Straights – handmade silver ear wires – £4 per pair

Handmade riveted mixed metal earrings step by step how to make tutorial

Copper & Silver Riveted Earrings Hanging on my Handmade Wild Garden Straights Ear Wires

handmade silver riveted labradorite earrings

These earrings were made in a  very similar way, I punched the hole for the labradorite cab through both pieces of silver to allow the light to shine through and I riveted a bail on the top.

You can use this technique for semi-precious cabs, round fused glass cabs and domed discs.

Learning how to rivet gives you lots of options in your jewellery making – have a look here for more examples – Riveting Workshop or see more riveted jewellery made by our students on our FB page

Just a Little Bit of Snow This Year – So Far…..

For those of you who missed my snowy pictures on FB – Here are a few of the photos I have taken in our lane whilst walking Choo Choo

LaVidalerieSign

Our lane

Our lane

lunet

This is our closest village – Lunet

And these two photos I’m planning to etch into rings – I’ll post photos when I find the time to do this 😉

snow

Ivy

And Finally… Choo Choo

lhassa apso - snowball legs

Choo Choo after his walk – His legs have turned into snowballs !

Do visit our website and see all the lovely new items by clicking here

And learn more about our fabulous jewellery making holidays by clicking here

Quick GiveAway – UPDATE 1.3.15 – Congratulations to Caroline J – Winner !

Add a comment with the name of our closest village to be included in the draw for a pair of my new handmade silver crescent moons – winner can choose hammered or sanded finish – Draw ends Sunday midnight 15th Feb 2015 (don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear – they won’t until after midnight on Sunday)

artisan silver findings crescent moons handmade

Handmade silver crescent moons – Sanded finish – £5.50 a pair

handmade silver findings

Hammered Moons – £5.50 a pair

Full Post This Time – Circles and Domes Earrings – Step by Step How they were made And Strange Foot Prints

Sorry everyone – my chubby fingers hit publish too soon – This is what you should have seen.

Winter is usually our quiet time as we cut back running workshops and after Christmas website business is slow so I have no excuse for not posting more here.

In an effort to make up for this here are the photos I took whilst making these earrings.

Handmade Silver Earrings - £25

Handmade Silver Earrings – £25

Circles cut from sterling silver sheet using my new disc cutter

Circles cut from sterling silver sheet using my new disc cutter

Step 2 - Circles and dots stamped on all the discs

Step 2 – Circles and dots stamped on all the discs

Step 3 - I annealed the discs to make them easier to dome

Step 3 – I annealed the discs to make them easier to dome

doming punch

Step 4 – I domed the discs using a steel doming block and punch

domed silver discs for earrings

All the discs have been domed now

Step 5 - I soldered ear wires onto the backs of the larger discs and balled the ends of short wires to connect the discs

Step 5 – I soldered ear wires onto the backs of the larger discs and balled the ends of short wires to connect the discs

step by step earrings

Step 6 – I used the balled wires to connect the two discs then balled the other end of the wire

Unexpected Step 7 !  After pickling and polishing I decided the earrings were too long with the balled links so I removed the links and added jump rings instead - Lovely light earrings with lots of movement !

Unexpected Step 7 ! After pickling and polishing I decided the earrings were too long with the balled links so I removed the links and added jump rings instead – Lovely light earrings with lots of movement !

Strange Foot Prints

Yesterday we had snow and my new routine of walking Choo Choo each morning means that I see more of our beautiful countryside than ever before.  Yesterday I came across these foot prints

Footprints3

Possibly bear 🙂

Footprints2

These look like cute little flowers

Footprints1

Not great detail but perfectly spaced

We have so may wild and domestic animals around us (but no bears honest 😉 so if anyone has their tracking badge from scouts and knows what left these tracks we’d love to know.  If I find some better prints to photo I’ll try etching them onto a ring.

Latest Jewellery Making Workshop Photos – January 2015 Silversmithing, Riveting, Etching & More – Isabella

Isabella joined us for a 3 day, one to one workshop. She is a sculptor creating beautiful small sculptures. She wanted to explore jewellery making techniques and especially soldering to use in her work. Although she was more interested in learning techniques than making items of jewellery you can see that she made a lot of beautiful pieces whilst she was with us.

Group

And Finally….

We have 2 more rescue kittens, one Tim found just before Christmas (an early Christmas present for me), she’s called Dora (after Dora the Explorer – not so clever as she is now living up to her name).  She was painfully thin when she arrived but is now a perfect, fat little kitten.

Ginger cats and Dora

Here she is being cleaned by Nibblet, one of our older rescue cats.

Then just before my Birthday Tim came home with Annie (from Anniversaire 😉 who is having a harder time getting well so fingers crossed I will have good news and photos of her soon.

Circles & Domes Earrings – Step by Step How they were made & Strange Foot Prints

Winter is usually our quiet time as we cut back running workshops and after Christmas website business is slow so I have no excuse for not posting more here.

In an effort to make up for this here are the photos I took whilst making these earrings.

Handmade Silver Earrings - £25

Handmade Silver Earrings – £25

Circles cut from sterling silver sheet using my new disc cutter

Circles cut from sterling silver sheet using my new disc cutter

Step 2 - Circles and dots stamped on all the discs

Step 2 – Circles and dots stamped on all the discs

Step 3 - I annealed the discs to make them easier to dome

Step 3 – I annealed the discs to make them easier to dome

doming punch

Step 4 – I domed the discs using a steel doming block and punch

domed silver discs for earrings

All the discs have been domed now

Step 5 - I soldered ear wires onto the backs of the larger discs and balled the ends of short wires to connect the discs

Step 5 – I soldered ear wires onto the backs of the larger discs and balled the ends of short wires to connect the discs

step by step earrings

Step 6 – I used the balled wires to connect the two discs then balled the other end of the wire

Unexpected Step 7 !  After pickling and polishing I decided the earrings were too long with the balled links so I removed the links and added jump rings instead - Lovely light earrings with lots of movement !

Unexpected Step 7 ! After pickling and polishing I decided the earrings were too long with the balled links so I removed the links and added jump rings instead – Lovely light earrings with lots of movement !

Strange Foot Prints

Yesterday we had snow and my new routine of walking Choo Choo each morning means that I see more of our beautiful countryside than ever before.  Yesterday I came across these foot prints

Footprints3

Possibly bear 🙂

Footprints2

These look like cute little flowers

Footprints1

Not great detail but perfectly spaced

We have so may wild and domestic animals around us (but no bears honest 😉 so if anyone has their tracking badge from scouts and knows what left these tracks we’d love to know.  If I find some better prints to photo I’ll try etching them onto a ring.

Latest Jewellery Making Workshop Photos – January 2015 Silversmithing, Riveting, Etching & More – Isabella

Isabella joined us for a 3 day, one to one workshop. She is a sculptor creating beautiful small sculptures. She wanted to explore jewellery making techniques and especially soldering to use in her work. Although she was more interested in learning techniques than making items of jewellery you can see that she made a lot of beautiful pieces whilst she was with us.

Group

And Finally….

We have 2 more rescue kittens, one Tim found just before Christmas (an early Christmas present for me), she’s called Dora (after Dora the Explorer – not so clever as she is now living up to her name).  She was painfully thin when she arrived but is now a perfect, fat little kitten.

Ginger cats and Dora

Here she is being cleaned by Nibblet, one of our older rescue cats.

Then just before my Birthday Tim came home with Annie (from Anniversaire 😉 who is having a harder time getting well so fingers crossed I will have good news and photos of her soon.

Return of the Salamanders, Fast and Fabulous Workshop and Christmas Ideas

Finally catching up after our pre-Christmas rush of orders (I wish I was so organised 😉

Salamanders
Most years around this time we are visited by a Fire Salamander or two, this year I was lucky enough to see 4, here is one of them.

Fire Salamander in the Aveyron

They are on their way to meet other salamanders so they can hibernate together.  They are stunning and always make me feel a little blessed to have seen them.

Latest Workshop
We are just getting over our latest workshop – Sara arrived in the evening and left 2 days later at 5am (Tim isn’t a morning person but managed to take Sara to the station in time, mind you he looked like a zombie for a couple of days).  In the two short days she was with us she wanted to expand her existing skills with new techniques – here are some of the beautiful things she made –

Etching workshop jewellery making workshop

Click on the image for more photos and information.

I hope Sara enjoyed her visit as much as we did.  As you can see from the photo she made a beautiful etched silver pendant from one of her sketches and managed to fit in stone setting, riveting and fold  Sara is a very talented jewellery maker and you can see more of her work on her etsy site https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SWebsterCollection

Mistletoe
I mentioned seeing the mistletoe in my last post, well I managed to remember my camera on one of my more recent walks with Choo Choo – it looks wonderful and I wish I could have done it justice.

Mistletoe

Christmas Gift Ideas
I have been a little slow this year but have a look at some of my Christmas jewellery, gift and findings ideas by clicking here.