Sunday, November 5, 2017

Forgive my lateness...

I am so sorry I was not able to get this blog up on the 1st of the month, as I usually do. I have been seriously busy with getting my fine jewellery site transactional and published. That happened today. Unfortunately, events during the month of October has impacted on my work. I will explain more of that later.

Firstly, dates for this year's holiday purchases. For any orders in the UK, I would ask that orders be placed no later than December 20th. This will give us adequate time to get the package to you by December 25th. For any international orders, if you could please place your orders by November 20th, that would give the international postal service plenty of time, once again, to get packages to their destinations by Christmas.

Secondly, I hope to add some additional bracelets - in both chained and bangle style - to the offerings by mid- month. I am also working on some gem set rings and some pendants. Hopefully, they will be online and ready to go within a couple of week.

Finally, just to let you know what is going on so you can understand my situation. After nearly three years of remission, my husband's cancer has returned. While the original cancer was located in his bowel, it has returned and has shown up in several liver lesions. This is not an ideal place for recurrence of the cancer. Chris has had two additional scans - scheduled within days of the news - and we are now awaiting a letter from the surgeon so we can find out what happens now. Any wishes or prayers of support will be most welcome.

That's about it for this month. I will have the newsletter out to you within the next few hours. If you are not amongst my subscribers, please do take the time to subscribe by clicking HERE. The newsletters not only offer news on what is happening and events that are occurring, but provide subscribers with discount codes for their purchases. It costs nothing to subscribe and you only receive one newsletter a month.

Thank you for your interest in The Selkie's Haunt. I appreciate your support.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


I’ve had many requests over the past month or two for stud earrings to join my dangle earrings in the collection for the Selkie’s Haunt. I am happy to introduce a full collection of stud earrings.
Bronze heart studs
With the exception of earrings that include gemstones or pearls, these earrings come in at £20 and under. All stud earrings have sterling silver posts and backs, so that will give you additional confidence in comfortable wearing of these little lovelies.

I’ve also added some more rings to the current offerings and I hope to start creating some more metal-centred bracelets, such as links bracelets and bangles. Continue to keep an eye on the website, because I do expect that I will be adding pieces fairly regularly between now and Christmas.

Yes, I did. I went there. I said Christmas! Let’s face it, it is not that far away and each day brings it closer. For the months of October and November, I will make shopping a little less expensive by offering discounts and free postage. But to take advantage of those, you will need to subscribe to The Selkie’s Haunt newsletter. You can do that here. In addition to discounts and offers, you will see designs before anyone else and know about upcoming events. It only drops into your inbox once a month (almost always on the first) and I won’t be using your contact details for any other reason. Only emergencies would require any communication other than the newsletter, and I honestly can’t think of a situation that would require that. So, please do join our happy little group. And once I’ve reached 150 subscribers, I am going to pull a name at random to receive a piece of bespoke jewellery. Pretty fab, huh?

So, that’s it for now. I have work to do. Thank you so much for your interest in my work and my passion. It really is very much appreciated.

Friday, September 1, 2017

New Brooch Designs

As the days are getting shorter – and cooler – I find that the attention of visitors to my market table often focuses on my brooches. I am even thinking about crocheting myself a lovely, chunky shawl in preparation for the colder weather – one with which I can wear a statement brooch. I do love these brooches. With the only limitation on design being the ability to manipulate the central pin correctly, the options are pretty infinite. And as I’ve become more comfortable with playing with fire, I have realised that heat can create amazing colour play on copper and bronze.  My new brooch – “Relic” – shows the various colours that can be achieved – from striking red and purple to softer hues of grey and lavender. Beautiful.

These brooches would make ideal gifts for Christmas. And I am happy to take on commissions. I can incorporate cabochons (as in this design that includes a stunning green tourmaline) and could even incorporate a faceted gemstone if that were desired. If this is something that would interest you, please get in touch. I am limiting the number of commissions I am taking on this Autumn as I need to be sure I am not overbooked. But I would welcome the opportunity to create some amazing brooches on a bespoke basis.

I shall be creating some more bronze and copper rings and earrings this month as I need to replace stock that has sold. So keep your eyes peeled for more additions to the website as the month progresses.

And, as mentioned above, Christmas is beginning to have some influence on my business at this point. I have the dates for the Poolewe Christmas Markets and will share them as soon as my participation is confirmed. (I am almost always one of the first to get my paperwork back, but always need to be sure that I am able to reserve a table.)

As always, thank you so very much for your continuing interest in The Selkie’s Haunt. It is very, very much appreciated.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Where does the time go?

Catching up with some issues left dangling after last month's blog:

Alice Elspeth Borland arrived safe and sound and is now queen of the castle. She is adored by all - especially her big sisters - and is growing and thriving and we are totally besotted. While visiting a couple of weeks ago, I told her I was Nana, and I would never say no. I'm quite sure she smiled. 

Returning to the problem of solder and copper/bronze, I tried the methods suggested to me to make the solder turn to a more copper colour and it didn't work. Or, if it did, not to my satisfaction. So, I will do what I can, remembering that solder seams will be visible. It is such a pain, though. I want invisible seams. I have made a lovely multi-link bracelet, but I can see the solder. Would that bother anyone else? Or would the veins of silver colour be seen as an accent? I'm so frustrated!

Now, on to what is going on and what is going to go on. I've not been able to complete any more jewellery (at least not that I have liked enough) to add to my current offerings. However, I have set aside several days this week for creating more bangles and rings. I am also going to work on some pendants. As I said before, I have some stunning cabochons that I want to include in some pieces, so they will be first in line to be used. I have four straight days of events this week and I need more copper and bronze. So I will be doing all that I can to create some more before the events. (Nothing like leaving things until the last minute - but I'm really good at that.)

Regarding cabochons, my biggest conundrum is what to do with this particular turquoise cabochon. This is a natural turquoise, with some green/yellow bits and it is gorgeous. So, do I do combine it with silver or copper? I just can't decide. I also have a lovely round amethyst cabochon. I think - seriously think - I am going to create a copper ring with that stone. But then amethyst goes so beautifully with silver. I suppose there are more troublesome things that could be bothering me! But, I seriously can't decide what to do with these particular cabs. I also have an opal mosaic, a rainbow fluorite, and some jade. So many beautiful stones to use. It's just getting the settings to work. I think most of these cabs will be part of rings. But the turquoise may be part of a pendant. Natural turquoise is a fairly soft material and a ring would easily chip. The fluorite is the same. So a couple of pendants and some rings and then I will use some smaller cabs in rings. Then I can check them off my list as I complete them.

I hate to even mention it, but we have to start thinking about (in a hushed voice) Christmas! It won't be that much longer until people will start buying for friends and relations. One of my best clients always buys in last August. So, another reason to have more stock made.

It's going to be a busy month. My elder granddaughter's birthday is at the end of August, so we will be making the trip down to where she lives to spend time with her and Alice and her stepsister and mum and dad. We are so looking forward to it.

So, that's all from me this month. Look for some additions to the website in the weeks to come. As always, I thank you for your interest in The Selkie's Haunt. Don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter for a chance to take advantage of subscriber discounts and the chance to win a piece of bespoke jewellery! The link is here on the website. Or you can connect straight from here!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rings and things...

I said there would be new pieces, and there have been. But still, I need to do more. So, this coming week, the first full week of July, I will be spending my time creating more bronze and copper jewellery. I will have finished my fine jewellery commissions (for the time being) and can concentrate on more pieces for The Selkie's Haunt. If you've checked out the website lately, you will see I've given it a slightly new look and added more pieces to my current offerings. Including...

RINGS! Finally and at last, I made some rings in bronze and copper. My hesitancy in the past has always been that solder simply isn't invisible when you make bronze and copper jewellery. No matter the solder you use, it never quite matches the colour. So, the rings I created are not soldered. This also means that they are adjustable. Well, almost, because while copper is a very malleable metal that can be pliable even when work hardened, bronze is an incredible tough metal, even when it has been annealed (softened). I am hoping to create more bronze and copper rings in the weeks to come. I have been given some tips for getting the solder to more closely match the colour of the metal, so will be doing some experimenting to see what happens.

I am also going to create some new bracelets - both bangle and chain. And I am hoping to do some more metal work to create brooches and necklaces that are more about the metal and the design than any stones. That being said, I have some lovely stone cabochons that I am looking forward to including on some rings and brooches, so stay tuned.

Of course, July is also the month that my new granddaughter is expected. In fact, we a fewer than two weeks from her due date now and I am getting so excited. But I've been very remiss in getting the baby's new blanket made (and some hats), so I best find time to do that as well. As they say, no rest for the wicked.

Thank you, as always, for your interest in The Selkie's Haunt.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

New pieces soon - I promise!

I always start each month with the best of intentions. This month I will create more bronze and copper jewellery! This is almost a mantra, but every month my poor copper and bronze sits to the side, waiting patiently for its moment on the bench. This month, however, I am going to actually do it! I have finished all commissions that need to be done RIGHT NOW and I can concentrate on building up some new pieces for The Selkie's Haunt. I don't even remember the last time I added new pieces to the website. I really need to totally revamp my offerings. So many things now showing are actually sold (and noted as sold). And I have so many new designs I want to get out there! This week I will start on the new pieces - starting with some new brooches for Céard in Ullapool. Of the original lot I sent to them, I believe there are only one or two remaining. Time to stock up again (and add some silver brooches in to the mix). See, there I go with the silver again. I promise, bronze and copper is not my least favourite child!

Summer has arrived in the Highlands and I welcome the longer and brighter days. We had a couple of days of very high temperatures and because of the position of the ceiling light in the studio, I had to abandon working in there in the daytime - it was just too hot. So my work couldn't even start until after 3. But with the night's remaining light until well past 10pm, I have plenty of time to work. I am going to make some copper and bronze rings this month. I've got some gorgeous cabochons to set as the focals of rings and I look forward to sharing photos of these pieces as they are made. With cabochons of green agate, amethyst, and turquoise, the choices will be amazing. Some will go to the Aultbea Hotel to join the other pieces in their lovely display. And others will be placed on the website and will be exhibited during markets. I intend to add bangle and chain bracelets and some lovely larger art-centric pieces as well.

I am so grateful for the support I get from so many of you. I look forward to reading your comments on the Facebook page and receiving your emails. Please always feel free to get in touch. And if there is something you would like to see that I currently don't offer, please remember that I am happy to take commissions.

Until next month...

Monday, May 1, 2017

Summer is coming...

Loch Maree

At last, some blue skies and sunshine. At the end of April, the northern Highlands were experiencing all four seasons in one day, but it appears that perhaps the better weather might be here to stay for a while. I love it. Not only do I find that I naturally rise earlier (it is usually daylight by about 5 this time of year), but the sunshine, green trees, and blooming flowers give me a new-found energy. So, let the fun begin!

My fine jewellery has occupied most of my waking hours over the last month, so I'm afraid I've nothing new to show you. Hopefully, I will be able to return to my bronze and copper jewellery making this month. I have so many designs and sketches that I've prepared over the winter. But commissions and getting jewellery ready for stockists and my new displays have taken over my time. I love my new displays for both the lines of jewellery. I will take some new photos of the tables this Tuesday at the market so I can share them. Instead of one large table, I now have two half tables, and I position myself between them. So each now has its own identity. Given the vast difference in the two lines of jewellery, I think this is the ideal solution. 

Over the next month, I will be adding rings to the Selkie's Haunt collection. At first I did debate whether or not people would buy copper (and bronze) rings, given that people are always questioning whether or not the copper will turn their skin green (shouldn't, unless it reacts with their distinct chemistry in that way). But I have so many lovely design ideas that will work best with the base metals. So, hopefully you will begin to see those appear on the website before the end of May.

As always, thank you so much for your continued support for The Selkie's Haunt. It means more than I can say.