Archives

It’s oh so quiet….

Hello everyone, just to let you know that although we have been quiet on the blogging front over the last few weeks we are still here and planning lots more to come!  Unfortunately real life and “proper” jobs mean that we’ve been busier than usual recently but we’ll be back with a vengeance soon!

 

You can always keep in touch with us in other ways remember:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/adventuresthroughtheloupe

Twitter:  @throughtheloupe

Instagram:  @adventuresthroughtheloupe

Pinterest:  adventuresthroughtheloupe

Google+ :  Adventures through the Loupe

Email:  adventuresthroughtheloupe@outlook.com

We’re always interested in connecting with you so if you’d like to take part in a blog post with us, want to show us your jewels or just say hi do get in touch.

Becoming a Jewellery Maker…

Some of you will recall we were lucky enough to win a competition with Jewellery Maker and we received a lovely goody bag of treasures!  Regular readers will know that this blogging duo is made up of one accomplished jewellery maker…and one who is not so much (but she does shop with sheer brilliance!)

We thought the best way to really test out the goody bag would be for the non jewellery maker to give some crafting a go, and here’s what I ended up with:

DSC08625

…I was a little concerned when Debs showed up with more than one set of pliars…couldn’t work out why I would need more than one!

 

DSC08601

Ok so I had a little help – but only in terms of tools and guidance on how to use them I promise!

DSC08603

We had lots of organza ribbon so I was really keen to use this but couldn’t think of how to use it…so I made something up…I’m handy with a needle…

DSC08604

I took three different colours of organza and cut them to the same length and then threaded them with cotton and pulled

DSC08632

Finally I attached a brooch clasp on the reverse (sewn on) and this was my first piece – it’s a bit rosette-y but I do quite like the idea. I attached a gemstone bead to the centre.

 

 

So the first piece was just a little something I came up with on the hoof but what I really wanted to make was a necklace inspired by a friend’s Tiffany bracelet.  Now the Tiffany design was a little beyond me and I couldn’t work out how to get the spacing right so I added some rock crystal to help, but the theme was layers.

DSC08605

The process of laying out the beads for the necklace

 

DSC08609

DSC08611

Then I threaded these straight onto the wire

DSC08612

Learning how to add the findings 

DSC08619

You see I genuinely gemstone did do it all myself!

DSC08622

We got a couple of different fastenings in the goody bag but this is a great one as the wire is fairly delicate so I didn’t want anything too fiddly

DSC08623

Ta da! Not too shabby if I do say so myself

                          DSC08628  DSC08629

There were also some fab earring bits and I have left the right pieces of amethyst for those…but after two creations trying to work out how to get gems onto the earring pieces was too much, another time perhaps!

 

Disclosure:  The majority of items used to create these were provided by Jewellery Maker as a competition prize – thank you!

Christmas break

Well what a year it’s been, thank you to all of you who have been reading our blog since it started earlier this year, we’re having a short break while we celebrate the holiday season but will be back with you in January with lots of exciting new posts.  More styling, more interviews and if you make jewellery or are involved in the jewellery industry and would like us to interview you or do a review of your products please do get in touch.

 

In the meantime we hope that your Christmas cracker was full of Asprey cheer!

Talk to us!

Well we’ve been blogging for a few months now and expanding our repertoire of social media connections. You can always find out how to get in touch with us via our Contact Us page, but here’s a quick list of where we can be found and how you can contact us, we’d love to hear from you so please do link up to us on whatever networks you’re on!

Twitter: @throughtheloupe

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/adventuresthroughtheloupe

Pintrest: throughtheloupe

Stumbleupon: throughtheloupe

Reddit: throughtheloupe

Email: adventuresthroughtheloupe@outlook.com

We use some more than others whilst we work out how, what, why and where so do join us where you like to play!

Checking out the competition

You may not have seen, but we were lucky enough to win the Jewellery Maker #blog2win competition a few weeks ago, check out our post if you haven’t already!  We’ll be posting more in due course, but in the meantime we thought it would be worthwhile sharing with you the other entries because we really enjoyed reading them:

 

The Cassia Creations blog is from Kate who is currently on her travels in South East Asia (Vietnam we think), but will be returning to us to continue her jewellerying (…I know, it’s not a real word…but maybe it should be) in September.  We were particularly impressed at her choice of green amethyst – it’s such a lovely colour.  We look forward to following how her jewellery develops and is influenced by her recent experiences, exciting times, keep us updated with what you’re up to on the blog!

 

The Game Over blog post was really interesting, because this is completely outside her usual comfort zone!  We particularly liked the colour theme and well done for spotting the watermelon solar quartz – what an unusual gem and we agree this would look fab on some jewellery.

 

Mel’s Makes is a blog from Mel, a beader and jewellery maker, the whole blog features some fantastic and unique pieces of jewellery from.  We really love beaded jewellery but working in such detail can be a real challenge so it’s lovely to see how she manages to work the beads into such intricate designs.  We really liked the way she had been able to use actual pictures of her jewellery to demonstrate how the gems could be used, these amazing art deco style earrings have become a personal favourite.  Do check out the posts on her blog about storage and organising of your crafty bits, it’s organising heaven!

 

Vovs Jewellery Blog is a fab blog with tutorials and how to guides – they’re very good and tempting us to try loom banding after seeing the finished band with beads!  If you’re interested in trying out jewellery making for yourself do check it out, it’s well worth it, although you could possibly get a bit addicted to plotting all your future makes…

Anyway the point was onyx and black diamond – both pretty unusual choices but excellent ones, these would set off pretty much anything and make a fabulous choice.

 

Aarticrafts by Fi is  a blog from a wonderful beadweaver, she had a really eclectic choice in that she hit the big boys (which we completely missed…pretty unusual for us!) excellent choice and then moved onto mookite, which we love so it really caught our eye (and we’re looking forward to seeing more mookite from you!)  She really knows her stuff when it comes to gems too so her blog is a really interesting read with a mix of jewellery and the inner workings of a jewellers mind.

 

Cazzann was an exciting entry and it was her first blog post!  Congratulations to Carol and we’re looking forward to what else there is to come.  Again the beautiful amethyst, but joined by some lovely opal and tourmaline, and with some more brilliant green in the form of chrome diopside which is a really beautiful and vivid gem, all great choices.

 

 

Have we missed anyone?!  If we missed your post do message us (Twitter: @throughtheloupe; FB: http://www.facebook.com/adventuresthroughtheloupe; Email: adventuresthroughtheloupe@outlook.com) so we can check out your blog and add you to our list!

 

 

Am I a Jewellery Maker?!

When we saw this opportunity we just couldn’t say no – Jewellery Maker are offering bloggers the opportunity to win a strand of gemstones by writing a post about our top 5 choices from the site under the hashtag #blog2win.

This is rather appropriate for us, as one of us has a small addiction to the Genuine Gemstone Company Ltd, the umbrella company who run Jewellery Maker and sister channel Gems TV, and a burning but unfulfilled desire to create her own pieces of jewellery (I’m not telling you which one of us it is….)  Having only recently discovered Jewellery Maker it was a good opportunity to explore the website, so here are my top 5 Jewellery Maker gemstone strands:

  1. 65 carats of Smokey Quartz graduated drops – anyone who knows me will know why I’ve picked this!  Aside from being one of my favourite gemstones (I have a fabulous smokey quartz ring which is one of my most prized possessions) the graduated sizes of this strand mean that it would make a very straightforward yet striking necklace.  I would probably team this with a brightly coloured wire such as this purple coloured copper wire – although I can’t tell from the website what thickness would be best for these drops…a quick call to the freephone number should resolve that though!
  2. 140 carats of multi-colour fluorite diamonds – I love the unusual shape of these and the mix of colour.  I feel I should probably pick something more expensive as this is a particularly cheap strand!  But I just couldn’t skip over this strand, I am a great one for crochet and I have been aiming to start my creative journey with some jewelled cuffs and these would be the perfect thing.
  3. 480 carats of red jasper puffy coins – these look amazingly tactile, I can imagine lots of them on a layered statement necklace (although I fear they would end up spending far too much time in my son’s mouth) or think what great earrings they would make.  I can imagine them really standing out against even the chunkiest of winter clothes.
  4. 140 carats of labradorite graduated plain drops – labradorite is such an amazing gem and often overlooked so I couldn’t resist these huge pieces.  The labradorescence given off by this gem means it looks fabulous in pretty much every light and is sure to attract attention.  I also think this strand is great value – you could get several pieces of jewellery from one strand.
  5. 75 carats of amethyst graduated plain marquise – I am a huge fan of amethyst and chose this particular strand to highlight the unusual cuts available.  It’s not a cut I would usually go for, so it’s a bit of a risk, but I think these would make amazing earrings.  If you, like me, enjoy amethyst do check out the cabochons and puffy coins which look good enough to eat.

Well, there you go, my top 5.  I wish it had been top 10 because I didn’t get to tell you about the larimar pearls, green aventurine, real blue sapphire, slabs of chalcedony and ruby nuggets to name but a few (moonstone, agate, turquoise coins, sunstone rondels and crackle quartz to name a few more…Jewellery Maker, you may have created a monster!)

I promise if I do #blog2win I will do a blog about creating my first piece of jewellery…although I may have to enlist the help of my favourite co-blogger/jeweller/gemologist!

Getting to know us – Victoria Arslan-Ward

What’s your favourite item in your jewellery box?

It’s so hard to choose, can I have more than 1?  Ok my favourite item is my Tiffany bracelet.  Whilst I LOVE Tiffany it’s a really atypical Tiffany piece, it’s understated and very simple, practical but the square chain design is unusual, If you didn’t know you wouldn’t think it was Tiffany, I absolutely love it, it was a gift so has huge sentimental value, as well as reminding me of the bracelet my mum used to wear when I was a child (I don’t know why – that was gold, with circular links…but hey).  It’s one of the few things I wear 24/7, I can sleep in it and party in it, perfect (not that I party much you understand, but in theory…)

Tiffany bracelet

What are you wearing today?

Today is Sunday so I am sitting at home doing nothing exciting, I am wearing my Tiffany bracelet (see above), my wedding ring (see below) and tiny little diamante earrings in my second ear-piercing.  Practical jewellery is essential when looking after a baby, as are things that he can’t pull off or damage by chewing!  These are the bare minimum for me, I wear them all the time and I hope to replace the earrings with real diamonds one day!

Wedding rings

White gold or yellow gold?

Neither (unless it’s my engagement ring which is white gold…and constantly needs re-plating 😦 )

Who’s your favourite jewellery designer today?

Today I’m still caught up with a recent trip to the British Museum where I fell in love with some upcycled jewellery by Louise Pringle (or www.eclecticshock.net).  Note to self: trips to museums are NOT an opportunity to shop…

What’s your jewellery style?

I like chunky large pieces of statement jewellery, but I’m very small so can’t really get away with them as they tend to wear me, so in reality simple and classic, I like clean lines and soft corners but I do love colour in my jewellery.

How did you become interested in jewellery?

I like shiny things generally, I like shopping.  I met Deborah; the rest is history.

Favourite holiday destination?

I love Singapore, the food, the lack of chewing gum, the airlines.

What is your favourite gemstone and why?

I think Morganite at the moment, I love the delicate shades of pink/peach and I find the whole Beryl family fascinating, such a range of beautiful colours.  The only loose gemstone I have ever bought was a Morganite and one day I’m going to have it set into a beautiful ring.  Although having said that I recently discovered purple turquoise, I love the beauty and individuality of gems where you can visibly see the inclusions and effects of nature, amazing.

What was your last jewellery purchase?

A smokey quartz ring, I’ve bought a couple of quartz items recently, I think the colours are fab and it’s such an affordable gem.

Getting to know us – Deborah Roberts

We thought it might be nice to start this blog with a little interview from each of us, so here goes:

What’s your favourite item in your jewellery box?

This is a tricky one, but I would say a sapphire ring I brought in Thailand while on holiday with my co-blogger! I like the shape and the fact I managed to find a ring without diamonds with the sapphires! It is an infinity ring with no beginning or end. Always reminds me of my Asian adventure when I wear it.

Thailand purchase!

Thailand purchase!

What are you wearing today?

Today is a low-key jewellery day!  I’m wearing my essentials of silver drop earrings (Amazon bargain, more on this in a later post) with silver studs in my second piercing.  I have a long silver chain with my talisman on it, I always wear it even when sleeping but a recent trip to the gym resulted in near disaster…luckily the next day it turned up in a local shop…what are the chances!

Silver earrings

White gold or yellow gold?

Silver!  Silver is the metal I learned to make jewellery with, and what I use in my own work, I understand the qualities of the metal and am used to handling it, its so versatile I love the variety of items you can make in silver, I also like historical and contemporary silversmithing work.

Who’s your favourite jewellery designer today?

Daphne Krinos for her integral use of gemstones, and colour in her work.

What’s your jewellery style?

Bold, colourful costume jewellery, I enjoy adding a bit of character to a simple outfit through the use of jewellery.

How did you become interested in jewellery?

A life long magpie, I have been making jewellery since I was a child, and was always fascinated by the period jewels I saw on costume dramas, which led me to start buying vintage pieces in markets, but I never thought back then that it could be a career, so it was many years before I undertook my training, my first passion was gems though and I remember my trips to the Natural History Museum to buy rocks and crystals and postcards of all sparking gems I had just gazed at in their cases, this ambition took longer to realise than the jewellery, but I got there in the end and was able to study and work with gems.

I think jewellery is an affordable way (depending where you shop) to have fun with your look, you can always wear jewellery whatever size and age you are and it gives me a buzz to buy something new and wear it, jewellery is a feel good purchase.

Favourite holiday destination?

Currently that would have to be Marrakech which I discovered last year, It is a wonderfully vibrant colourful and creative place which I find stimulating and inspiring and I love their jewellery too!

What is your favourite gemstone and why?

As a gem lover it’s very hard to pick one, and it does change over time, currently my favourite is labradorite one of the gems of the feldspar group of minerals, usually cut as a cabochon, good specimens have a wonderful iridescence and depth to them, I am on the look out for a great piece of jewellery set with this intriguing stone, to add to my collection. I also love tourmaline included quartz. Hmm so hard to pick!

What was your last jewellery purchase?

Some charity shop bargains.