Handmade Christmas Tree Decorations

Here are a couple of pictures of some Christmas tree decorations that I attempted to make a few years ago. My wire wrapping skills have never been much good so they didn’t turn out as neat as I would have liked, but they still look nice hung on the tree. What do you think? They are supposed to be snowflake/stars.

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Jewellery Making – #12 – More Bracelets

Here are some more bracelets that I have handmade.

The below bracelets are pictures of some of the first chain maille jewellery that I made. The completely silver coloured byzantine bracelet was my first ever piece of chain maille jewellery.

The pictures below are a jewellers bronze 5 ring mobius bracelet that was from a kit that I purchased online. I found the instructions that came with this quite confusing to follow and so found the bracelet hard to make. Since then I have realised that to make one mobius ring on it’s own is very easy. However the instructions with the kit told you to attach jump rings to make the whole length of the bracelet first, and then add rings going along the length of the bracelet in layers until your mobius rings are complete. This leads me to wonder if it would be a lot easier to create the bracelet by making a complete mobius ring, then creating your next mobius ring attached to the first one and repeating this until you have the length you desire.

Jewellery Making – #11 – Bracelets

Here are some bracelets that I have handmade. Bracelets are my favourite kind of jewellery and I don’t normally leave the house without at least 1 bracelet on each arm.

Jewellery Making – #10 – More Necklace Sets

Here are some more of the necklace sets I have made. Most of the necklaces I make are short in length. However the last picture with the blue and purple square beads show my first long necklace, and is actually one of my favourite necklaces.

Handmade Soap Experiemnt – #3

So for my next lot of handmade soap I wanted to try making something more complicated, so decided to make my boyfriend a soap with his name in it. The fragrance I used for this lot of soaps was orange and cinnamon. You can see the final result in the image below.

I first made a white soap and then cut this up to try and make the lettering. My cutting skills need a bit of improvement but you can still see what the letters are. I think I could of tried to make the B look a bit better though. The pieces were then placed into the mould, which was a bit fiddly because they kept falling over. There was a bit of space left in the mould so I also made some thin slices of the white that was left over to make some curls. Any waste was melted back down and used to make some orange soap which was used to fill the gaps in the mould. After it had set I popped it out of the mould and attempted to cut along each side so that the the lettering could be neatly seen. However as I fail at cutting straight I accidentally ended up making the soap a little thinner than I wanted it to be. Therefore I had to cut off a bit more than I wanted to even it out a little. Despite the soap being a bit thin, I am still fairly pleased with the result, as this is my first attempt anyways. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of attempts in the future to improve.

The above image shows 2 little soaps I made at the same time from the spare space in the mould where the curls were placed. After cutting out the soaps,  and because of my little mess up with cutting. There was quite a lot of waste soap left over. I decided to make use of this by making a whole block of curly soap to cut into bars. Therefore I melted this back down and put into the mould to set. Afterwards the whole bar was cut into thin strips which were curled up and put back into the mould. I then made some soap in blue and used this to fill up the rest of the space in the mould. After it was set I cut it into various sized bars, the results of which you can see below.

Now although the result looks quite funky in my opinion, it didn’t turn out very curly. I guess this was because I just threw the curls into the mould and gave it a little shake. This must have made the majority of them land in the opposite position to how I needed them. If I were to try a similar soap again, then I would take more time to arrange and place them better.

However, at the end of the day I am quite new to this whole thing and so I am still learning what works and what doesn’t. I feel my main improvement to make is to learn how to cut straight lol! I am quite pleased with the soaps I have made and love getting my friends and family to test them out as much as I love using them myself. What do you thin of them? Do any other more experienced soap makers out there have any ideas/tips for me to try out that they would like to share?

Jewellery Making – #9 – Necklace Sets

Here are some of the necklaces and matching bracelet sets I have made. Some also have matching earrings. Most of these are from the very first jewellery that I made (with the first picture being the very first), so some of the pictures are not of good quality. Despite this I hope you like them.

Jewellery Making – #6 – Mostly Chain Maille

Many of this batch of pictures are of chain maille type jewellery that I have made. I made my first piece of chain maille jewellery earlier this year on my 25th Birthday. It was a silver plated byzantine style bracelet and was part of the only jewellery making class I have been to, which my friend from work booked for us. Once you understand how to make a particular pattern it can be quite easy to make jewellery that looks quite fancy, so I’ve been interested in such jewellery ever since.

Byzantine Style Bracelets:

These were all made from silver plated enamelled coloured copper jump rings.

Chain Maille Style Earrings:

I feel a bit of chain maille mixed with some simple beads can create some quite elegant looking jewellery. For example the earrings I have made with a mobius ring added to the bottom of them like in the above picture.

Other jewellery:

The above images are of some other jewellery I made during the same weekend. Out of all the jewellery shown in this post, the plaited seed bead bracelet in the last picture was actually the most frustrating to make. This was because every time I came to tie up the end, the plait had half come undone, making it all loose. In the end I just had to settle for it being how it is in the picture.

Handmade Soap Experiment

A few weeks ago, I came across some images of handmade soap that looked lovely. It really made me feel like I wanted to try it myself. However after my first lot of online research into the subject it seemed like it would be a long and risky thing which involved the use of lye. Then last week I came across a tutorial describing ‘melt and pour’ soap base. In a way this method seems like a bit of a cheat because you simply melt down the base, add colour and fragrance and leave it for an hour or so to set and your’e done. This means that it is a lot less risky as no lye is involved and you don’t have to leave it for weeks and weeks to cure. I immediately got onto Ebay and purchased the items I required to give this a go. As soon as it arrived a few days later you can see my first attempt in the picture below.

I didn’t have anything to use for a colourant at this stage so this one was left plain. My mom was interested to try this out so we experimented together. We simply put some of the soap base cubes into a microwaveable tub and heated it on high for about 30 seconds. We then gave it a stir and added some fragrance. In this case it was coconut. It was stirred again before being poured into the mould and we then put it in the fridge to set. We felt the fridge might speed up the process. After about an hour we popped it out the mould and it was ready for use.

Since then I have now got some colouring and we have made soaps in other scents and various colours. From left to right in the above picture they are as follows: Orange and Cinnamon, Cherry, Green Apple and Coconut.

The above picture is of the green apple scented soap. The colouring used was green but it didn’t quite keep to the same colour when mixed in. I love how quick and easy it is to make these cute little soaps. It also means you can make any fragrance that would normally be hard to find in a soap at the shops.

The above one is orange and cinnamon scented. This one is my favourite out of all of them. These soaps would make great little gifts/stocking fillers. This orange and cinnamon scented one would be especially good for at Christmas time in my opinion.

This one is cherry scented. Believe it or not I added red colouring, which somehow turned to black when it was added to the soap mixture. After setting it ended up in the above brownish/dark blueish colour depending on how the light goes through it. I think next time I’ll try pink colouring in this one. This one is my second favourite. I feel an activity like this is good for people who are not normally crafty but want something easy to try. Or maybe it would be a good activity to do with kids, especially as this method involves no lye,  which is very corrosive to flesh and such.

This last one is the coconut scent again but with a bit of blue colour added to it as clear was a bit boring for me. This scent is quite a subtle but a nice one, which would be a nice gift for someone who doesn’t like overpowering scents. One thing I also noticed about this soap base, which may just be a property of the particular base I purchased, was that it seemed a lot better quality than the soap my mom buys from the shops. It lathers up really nice and creamy and leaves your skin feeling quite moisturised. This factor coupled with the cute shape and the fact you can have any scent you like equals perfection to someone like me, who has a bit of an addiction for nice fruity smelling shower gels. Now that I have experimented with this a little there are endless shapes, scents and designs that I can try out using some of the handmade soaps I have seen on the internet as my inspiration.