We offer a collection of unique, hand-crafted metal, wire & semi-precious gemstones jewellery created individually in our design studio in Stamford, Lincolnshire. We also cut and polish semi precious stones and other rocks (Lapidary). We accept bespoke Lapidary, Jewellery making & Wire Sculpture Tree commissions. Do Visit our website & Online Showroom: www.shaliniaustin.co.uk

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Felt Beads and Wire... Follow up Post

I wrote about my new adventure with Felt beads a few days ago...

These are two new brooches I made with the lovely beads from Felt Artisan Eve Marshall

Flower Brooch with a Deep red needle felted bead centre made with copper wire.

Flower Brooch with a gorgeous felted bead in shades of turquoise, teal, aqua and dull green made with copper wire.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop

With the amount of beads, tumble stones and rocks I have collected over the years I am sure I could open a shop just for the things I have been hoarding... as you do... for the next big design idea or spark of genius. And then you find the next "best ever" bead or component and you save it and the cycle continues.

So when I saw Lori Anderson's new challenge how could I resist :-) I have signed up for this:

I'll post my designs on 20th July. 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Exactly 6 Months ago THIS arrived!

23 December 2012

We lost Bullet in September 2012 and it just did not feel right with only one dog in the house. Millie was depressed too and going downhill fast! She had never been the only dog in the house and was not coping well. Christmas would just not be the same without dogs creating chaos shredding wrapping paper all over the place and fighting over toys :-)
So on 23 December off we went to The Animal Helpline Dog Rescue in Wansford near Stamford to meet a Husky-GSD puppy. That wasn't to be as Millie was not very impressed with the little one we introduced to her. So this came back with us instead! His name on the rescue books was "Frankfurt" and he came with NO history at all (like a lot of other rescue dogs.)
He came into the house and refused to budge from the hall. Frightened, very thin and with a troubled frown on his face. That was exactly 6 months ago.
January - February 2013

We named him Taj after the Taj Mahal because even in his skinny, scared state we could see how gorgeous he was going to be.
These pictures are of Taj's first few days with us. He shifted from the hall to the sofa in the living room, adopted that corner and would just lie there looking at us. Slowly moved to the dog bed on the floor but that worried frown was always there.
Christmas came and while Millie knows the drill when lots of  brightly wrapped packages appear this one didn't have a clue! We unwrapped the toys for him in the hope that would get him excited. That's when we realised that this beautiful boy had no idea what to do with these toys! Its almost as if he had never had toys before! He is about 3 years old! And scared of toys? Did this dog actually have a childhood? Does he know what being a puppy is? And is English even his first language?
We don't know...
What we do know is that he is very eager to please us and Millie, he is very affectionate and he can be a sod when he sees other dogs.

6 months later...

He figured out how to have fun outdoors pretty quick as long as a stick was involved.  But when he got back home those toys were still a mystery!

It took a couple of months but Taj and his toys cannot be separated now! Whether its the football he found in the garden and proceeded to destroy or Bullet's old Kong toy (again He found it in the garden). He plays with them outdoors and indoors and carries toys around when in the mood. And he invents new toys all the time! My slippers have been found downstairs, socks from the washing basket have had a few walkies around the house and loo roll ends are fun! 
22nd June 2013

Pictured at exactly the same place in the hall where the first photo above was taken and roughly the same time too! Exactly 6 months. And we have a bundle of joy...  happy, naughty, loyal and fun just like all dogs should be! Just look at those eyes. They are not scared any more! They are full of mischief! 
We love our Mr Taj to bits, he has done wonders for Millie and the family is complete again. I sometimes think Bullet's ghost has found a home too, in Taj!

If you want to give a dog a forever home all I can urge you to do is contact a local Dog Home or Animal Shelter and RESCUE, ADOPT & RE-HOME a Dog. They have so much love to give and some of them have been through hell. Help them!

There are lots of Animal Rescues in the UK. These are just three I would like to mention, but there are many many more. And its not just dogs, there are cats, rabbits, horses, all kinds of creatures looking for their forever home. Please Help them  if you can!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Felt Beads and Wire... It Works!

I have new toys! Needle and wet felted beads :-)

Few weeks ago Felt Artisan Eve Marshall gave me a couple of red wet felted beads and said "see if you can make something with it".

I mainly work with gemstone beads, rocks, pearls and wire. So this was a completely new medium and I will be honest that initially I thought yeah lets try something but not sure if this will be my thing. Don't get me wrong, they were gorgeous beads but I don't work with fabric type stuff. Wool doesn't like me and yarn hates me. Why would felt be any different?
Anyway... I brought the lovely deep red wet felted beads home. They were round so I hammered them into discs and made a pair of earrings. And I was surprised at how nice they looked! So cool that they are mine now! I have been wearing them a lot. Lightweight and pretty, and of course RED!

Eve also gave me a lovely purple and blue bead. As a thank you present for being such a good friend I made a little flower brooch for her with the bead in the middle. Eve said she liked it a lot! And some people who saw Eve wearing it at the Oakham Castle Craft show said it was very pretty. I was pleased that she liked it. But that was really it...

No it wasn't! While at the Oakham Castle show Eve made a lovely needle bead for me. And that's where the idea of making a new range of Flower brooches with a felt heart was born. This yellow spotted beauty is the first one I have made and it is listed in my online shop. I made this brooch with Silver plated and pink coloured copper wire and it looks a bit good even if I say so myself...

So I placed an order for more beads which arrived yesterday! I had basically said to Eve surprise me and she has! Pleasantly! I really like the felt beads in the picture above and am really looking forward to putting out a whole new range of wire brooches with felt beads. Watch this space!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Workshop Envy... Shedglas Design

Yesterday I went to see my friend Cathi at her Open Studio and Garden event in Haconby Village in Lincolnshire. She has a beautiful garden! (I WANT A GARDEN LIKE THAT! Imagine how much fun Taj and Millie would have if they had all that space!)

And she has a lovely workshop. Yes it is in a shed but what a marvellous shed it is! Cathi's studio is a really pleasant place to be, surrounded by gorgeous stained glass panels, mirrors and decorative hangings. And all the right tools to make these beautiful stained glass designs. Cathi is very good at what she does!

We are very proud of of our Lapidary workshop in the garage, but the Shedglas Design studio is something else! One day I would love to have a jewellery and Lapidary workshop like this with lots of natural light, fresh air and space to have open studio days. That's when we could perhaps start teaching as well...

Cathi  was demonstrating her craft and carrying out little modifications to existing pieces for customers. It was lovely to see this really talented artist at work.

Cathi offers leaded and Copper Foil Stained glass classes at the studio. More details can be found on her website Shedglas.co.uk

I attended one of Cathi's Copper Foil Stained glass workshops some time ago and really enjoyed the experience. I look forward to doing another one in the near future. Its a great new skill to learn and something I know I can apply to some of my work too!

I made these at a Shedglas Design Copper Foil Workshop. Not in the same class as my lovely teacher's work but I am very proud of them :-)

Friday, 14 June 2013

WireWorkers Guild: SUMMER SHOW

My Wire Jewellery has been included in a fabulous summer showcase by Linda Jones of the Wire Workers Guild! I feel so honoured to be part of a showcase which includes so many talented wire-workers.

These are the pieces Linda included:


I am posting images of three of my favourites here. Check out some of the other amazing pieces on display via the link below!
by Jill from vivant-jewellery.com
by Carole Dadswell
by Sally Pitman aka Skypixie Design

WireWorkers Guild: SUMMER SHOW:

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Monday, 10 June 2013

Can you identify these rocks?

We recently bought a mixed box of rocks which contained two rocks we can’t identify, does anyone know what they are please?
More pictures on the original post via this link: Can you identify these rocks? | Rough Rocks, Minerals & Crystals
Dave & Shalini

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