Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Samantha Moore Silversmith!

For those of you who don't know..... when my little brother married the lovely Lyn (she's far too good for him by the way!) 15 years ago - Beryl and I acquired a new nephew and niece.

Peter and Samantha have both turned into lovely adults with successful careers and have also both met two lovely people to share their lives with in Kerry and Darren.

Samantha has just passed her Master's degree in Silversmithing from the University of Ulster with distinction and is hoping to make this her career. She graduated this afternoon and here she is all dressed up with a very proud mum and stepfather!

She already has a website (which seems to be a work in progress at the moment - get a move on with it Sammy - its your shop window!) but if you check out her facebook page you will see some samples of her gorgeous work!

She has made some wondefully unique engagement rings - including her own and Kerry's - here's an example she made for a friend.....

and another one

She also made a fabulous locket for Beryl's 60th birthday. This one is based on an antique piece Beryl was given by one of Mum's neighbours in Belfast on her wedding day - but alas it got lost in all the house moves since. Nigel and Karen described it to Sammy - and here is her take on it - a beautiful locket with a raised letter B inset with pearls (Beryl's birth stone!)

Her latest commission is this beautiful amethyst and diamond pendant and in the facebook album you can see it in all its preliminary stages of manufacture

But its not all about jewellery - she has also made some beatiful pieces in precious metals too - this Absinthe case was one of her Master's pieces - and she made all the silver items in it as well as helping with the design of the little cabinet. It won first prize at a big exhibition in Goldsmith's hall a couple of months ago as well!

She has some truly gorgeoous samples of her work  (- and yes - I know I'm biased - but prize committees and degree awarding bodies seem to agree!) in her facebook gallery.
If you would like to chat to her about making you a piece of jewellery or a christening cup or another treasure - get in touch with her by phone on 07840 133921 or email her on

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Kaiser trinket chest

Did I mention that I went a bit mad in the Merly Impressions shop at the Kaiser retreat last month??
Yes?? Oh well - as I did - here is another project I made using the stash I acquired back then.

This is the gorgeous new trinket chest that Kaiser brought out in June, and I have decorated it with one of the other brand new offerings - the Velvet Ensemble paper collection. This is actually just both sides of one of the sheets (Matinee) - I used the patterned side on the drawer fronts, and the plain side on the side and interior of the lift up section at the top, and the sides of the chest.

I painted the chest with cream acrylic paint, and bashed the edges of the chest and the drawers and all the papers with a dewdrop inkpad (Gingerbread) before going mad with the decorating.

For the top - I used some of the elements from the Stage Show sheet on both the top and inner lid. For the top I used the plain cream one, finished off with a piece of the keyboard sticker from the sticker sheet on the front edge before adding a piece of a black pearl swirl and some of the lush roses. The problem with this little chest is that with the lift up lid and the nearly half inch high lip at the back, any embellishments on the lid have to be towards the front to allow the lid to open properly!

I did the sides with the plain red side of the Matinee paper, and again finished off the bottom edges with a piece of the keyboard sticker. And on one side I added this beautiful wooden dress form flourish. I left it plain as the natural wood finish went perfectlly with the vintage look of this piece.

When i lifted the top up - I thought that the inside of this section needed a bit of embellishment so I put in another element from Stage Show in the underside of the lid, and a rectangle of Matinee in the bottom.

Finally I embellished the front of the drawers with more flowers and bits I had chopped off the pearl swirl used on the top. The pearls around the top edges of the drawers are long strips and I simply curved them around the finger holes.

I hope you like this one - now off to do some layouts with the rest of my Chapter One and Velvet Ensemble papers!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

More Kaiser lushness

Well I couldn't resist all my gorgeous new stash for very long - and I spent yesterday putting together and painting my new Kaiser storage chest, and this morning I decorated it.

Although I had seen Chrissy's gorgeous version on Sunday, I had already decided to use the same paper she did (Chapter 1 Motivate) as the main decoration for the drawers before she brought hers in - so while there are similarities - there are some differences as well....

I started by putting together the chest first and then painting it ( I found that if you paint first the wood seems to swell a bit - and what went together easily in its raw version, requires a bit of brute force when it's been painted) with Kaisercolour acrylic paint in black. I assembled the drawers using Sarah's method of using Glossy Accents up the seams and holding it for a minute or so until it grabbed hold, as I didn't want to cover the backs and sides of the drawers. They were then painted black as well.

I used the absolutely gorgeous Chapter One papers for this one - I must admit that the cool blues and greens on white with black accents are right up my street (almost as much as my favourite red black and white!) - and by sheer coincidence - just happen to match my bedroom and I needed some new storage for my bling!

The main sheet was the Motivate paper which is just the right size for covering the three drawer fronts and the top of the chest (the only bit of waste from this sheet was a tiny strip the height of the 3 drawers and 1/4" wide). I used the equally lovely Flourish paper on the sides, although I did cut it carefully to ensure I got the patterned sections.

Once I had the drawers covered, I bashed the edges with a black inkpad to soften them and blend them into the black sides, and I inked the top piece before I stuck it down. As you can see from the abundance of blooms, (link takes you to the olive ones but i used the sea breeze version too!) wood flourishes and crystal swirls, a lot of Merly's stock found its way into my pizza box over the weekend, although I had a few green crystals left from making the retreat samples so I did use them as flower centres on the paper daisies.

As you can see - I used a wooden lamp post, a swirl, a butterfly and some leaves from the wood flourishes collection - all inked black and stuck on, before going mad with the big bushy roses!

Now that the cabinet is finished I'm going to create some dividers for the drawers so that my bling doesn't end up a tangled mess!

I'm absolutely delighted with my effort - but as I went to post this entry this morning I see that Chrissy has put hers up on the Merly Impressions blog today as well - so you can check hers out (and maybe go shopping while you are there?????)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

We have our road back!!

Well after what seems like a lifetime - Brenchley Road has reopened.....

Since the 17th January - South Eastern Water have had the road closed signs up between Horsmonden and Brenchley and have made life hell for the villagers, through traffic, the buses and commuters...

Ever since this.....

horrendous thing appeared we have either had to take a ridiculously long detour round the A21 (about 10 miles if you don't know the local rat runs..) or in my case take my life in my hands down a very narrow lane which in places is barely wide enough for one car (even when that car is a Smartie!) To say that there is very muddy evidence in the verges of Furnace Lane  of the fact that more than one car had to take evasive action would be an understatement...

Anyway - they told us (with only a week's warning) that the road would be closed for 10 weeks while they did what they needed to do - but they have managed to complete it with two weeks to spare.

Having come along there yesterday - there is precious little evidence of whatever it was they were doing for two solid months - but the road surface bears the signs of far too much heavy equipment trundling up and down. The roads round here are a nightmare after cold weather anyway with some real axle -breaking potholes and shattered edges - so this is just what we didn't need!!!

Off to write a letter of complaint to the Council - suggesting that they get Southern Water to pay for the repairs to the carriageway.

However - I rejoice in the fact that the road is at least open again....