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

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

I don't earn enough... #EUVAT will not affect me. REALLY?

If small sole traders think the new EU Vat rules don't affect them, think again!

Just touching on this briefly. Links below to more details.

Do you sell any kind of digital downloads like jewellery making tutorials in pdf format, or your crochet / knitting patterns, or a downloadable "how to" video about sewing? 

And do you sell maybe one or two of these to someone in the EU? Then you ARE affected!

I hear you say "But I don't make the UK Vat threshold! I don't even make the tax threshold"

It DOES NOT matter!

After 1st January 2015 if you sell digital products & services to EU customers then you have to pay Vat as applicable in the country your customer resides.

Its as simple as that! It does not matter if you sell Only £5.00 worth of your downloadable bracelet design tutorial to jewellery hobbyist Stefanie in Holland. By virtue of the fact that you sold an e-book to someone living in Holland you have to pay the applicable Dutch VAT on Digital products in Holland. Its not Stefanie's fault and its not your fault.

Its what some "clever" people decided! The same highly "qualified" people who do not even know that thousands of micro businesses like mine exist all over Europe and UK by the sounds of it!

A HUGE amount of research and work has been carried out by several small business owners who are directly affected. Read it all here: http://euvataction.org/

Please read, please share, PLEASE Spread the word!

It affects all of us who sell or buy digital downloads of any kind. Yes that fab new ringtone for your phone from Dave in Burton Coggles... that cool game app from Igor in Ghent... that lovely new soundtrack by an upcoming artist in Porto... those little graphics for your website by Dino in Poznan... the list goes on!

If you are a business owner Take the survey: http://euvataction.org/take-action-now/complete-the-survey/

If you care about businesses in your local community selling digital downloads PLEASE help us by signing: http://euvataction.org/take-action-now/sign-the-petition/

Monday, 27 October 2014

Decorative Jasper Wire Tree Sculpture

I am feeling rather pleased with myself at how these little, lightweight aluminium wire trees are turning out :-) What do you think?

I also think they will make great Christmas Gifts and can be made to order in stones of your choice. Commissions and bespoke orders are VERY welcome!

Decorative Jasper Wire Tree Sculpture - Shalini Austin Designs… hand-crafted for YOU!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Silver & Copper Over-Wrap Bangle Bracelet

Silver & Copper Over-Wrap Bangle Bracelet from Shalini Austin Designs… wearable wire art, sculpture & lapidary

This piece can be made to order in the size you require so please contact me and I will be happy to make a piece just for you in the diameter you require. If the wire is available in stock 3-4 working days should be sufficient but if you have a special requirement of colour or material not held in stock it can take upto 14 days as I would need to order the wire from one of my wire suppliers. My wire suppliers are UK based.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Credit where its due?

I came across this site Link with Love a while ago and this struck a cord:
We support original content and its creators
The site does not seem to be very active any more but the message it carries is still there.

Everyday I see lots of things being shared without credit being given to the person who originally created the content / image / design. Its rife on facebook and twitter and Pinterest where people sometimes share but many times download an image to their own computer first and then post it back up. Sometimes the original source is just not available, but many times it is and not credited. And if the source is unknown its very rare to see people mention something like I don't know who wrote this but I wanted to share it. If you know the author let me know.

And a simple thank you for whoever they have shared it from or whose work they are using on their website.

It makes me sad because a lot of my original web content and work no longer carries even the briefest of credit by those still using it.

Its just a bit of respect and consideration for someone else's work isn't it?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

From Thunder Bay to Stamford to Thunder Bay

Exciting couple of days as Our Thunderbay Crystals tweet was picked up by a radio station in Thunder Bay Canada and they got in touch for a brief interview with Mr A :-)


Thunder Bay Rocks!
Coveted crystals. We'll find out why a shopowner in Stamford, Lincolnshire is importing Thunder Bay amethyst. Dave Austin and his wife Shalini, own Stamford Lapidary

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bead Peeps

A new group has recently started on Facebook for Beaders and Jewellery Artists. Its called Bead Peeps. Fabulous place for like minded artists and designers to have a chat, exchange ideas and share their creativity.

If you are a jewellery maker do come and join us!

This is the first Header image for the group and guess what! My Lapis Lazuli Flower necklace is on it! Thank you Linda & Hannah for including my design on the first ever Bead Peeps Cover Photo :-)

Collage created by Hannah Trost, one of the members of Bead Peeps.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Twice as Nice Holiday in July Challenge « Jewellery By Shalini

Twice as Nice Holiday in July Challenge « Jewellery By Shalini

I have signed up for another Non-Blogger/Blogger Challenge - “Twice as Nice Holiday in July”
These are the challenge pictures and I am thinking of making two pieces in the same style just to see how different colours and materials can make each piece unique and have its own individual personality. 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Quality Craft Events and Shows

I had to take it a bit easy this year after all the health issues but I really do need to find some new organisers and quality events locally. Diary is not very full for 2014...

I may have missed the boat on some as I could not really commit to events until I knew I was going to be in a position to create enough new designs to attend them

Any ideas? And obviously not ones that cost Hundreds of pounds to attend. Much as I would love to be able to go to big events I have to be able to afford them! Remember I was unable to work much for about 6 months.

Looking for events in Stamford, Peterborough, Oakham area.

This is my current Confirmed Craft Shows Diary: http://jewellerybyshalini.co.uk/craft-fair-calendar/

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Networking Evening with #Stamfordhour

Recently I was followed on twitter by @StamfordNetwork
This is what its all about
Building a strong business network - Here to discuss, share, connect & support. Join us for  Wednesday nights 8.30 - 9.30pm

Great idea! I have seen a lot of these #(addplace/activity)hour happening on twitter recently and its good to see one for Stamford. Local businesswomen Cheryl & Amanda from Cocktail Marketing are the brains behind #StamfordHour and they are doing a fantastic job promoting it. Its nice for local businesses to talk to each other and where possible work with each other.

After a few twitter sessions they decided to have a Meet up at local Wine Bar Milano Bar Stamford last night and what a lovely evening it was! Met some lovely people and I hope we will be talking more on twitter now. Always nice to put a face to a tweet! I hope this becomes a regular event on the Stamford networking scene.

I was so busy chatting that I did not take any photos so I'll share this one from Stamford Living.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Beadsoup Blog Party: Shalini's Soup is Served! Finally!

The chef is a lazy sod but I do hope the servings have been worth waiting for?

For a while it was Will she, Won't she, Can She? Yes she can! :-)

I didn't get to use any fancy tools like the torch, saw, drill or add ingredients like solder but I did what I could with the lovely ingredients and I think they did not need any extra embellishments to be honest! The fantastic Bead soup from my partner Susan McClelland had enough ingredients in it to just add a bit of wire, a few findings to create this!

The main piece!

Sari Silk Ribbon, Ceramic Pendant Focal, Hand etched Copper Clasp, handmade glazed ceramic beads and plenty of copper wire. All joined together with my trademark spiral links.
YES Fabric! Not really my friend! But it was too beautiful not to use! Thanks for the challenge Susan, I quite enjoyed playing with the sari silk to make it part of the pendant.
Tools: My hands, Flat and round nose pliers and dodgy eyes. 

And because Susan sent me such a generous helping with 4 Focal Pieces!

Another Main Piece!

Wooden Dragonfly Pendant,  handmade glass bead, Stone heishi beads and Waxed Linen Cord.
So Linen Cord... another one of my (non) friends. A long time ago I had a necklace made from apple seed which was just lots of seed knotted together randomly on a thread. I used that idea and knotted the little stone beads on to the cord and I am quite pleased with the result. Will I be ordering more linen cord? Maybe...
Tools: Hands and dodgy eyes!
This was going to be it! I put the rest of the soup ingredients away for a time when my eyes would be in full working condition again. But I got the all clear from iritis and with medication cut down the vision started improving. And the reveal date was postponed by a week.


Some sparkle

Bollywood earrings? These glass beads are a fantastic colour!  I matched them first with copper, then silver and they looked beautiful with both. Then I remembered a Benaras silk sari someone I knew had which was in this beautiful turquoise/teal shade with gold thread work. I am not in touch with that lady any more and I don't even know if that sari still exists, but it inspired me to make some bling! I added some gold plated chain and little gold plated spacer beads on jump rings to connect the beads together. At the moment I am not sure if this will be staying in my personal collection or going into my on-line shop...
Tools: Pliers, a magnifying glass occasionally and improving eyes :-)

And some wire-work earrings 

These glass beads are really pretty and perfect for spring. Originally I was going to make a simple wire bracelet but now that spring is here and coats and scarves are finally off the wardrobe for a few months I thought I would make another pair of earrings instead. There are more of these beads so maybe I will make a second pair too later. Or make a matching bracelet...

And Finally!

More ribbon!  Its beautiful hand-dyed ribbon but something else out of my comfort zone. It matched really well with these yellow stone beads and the sparkly Chinese crystal cubes with flashes of blue. Wire spirals came to my rescue again and I made this necklace last night. Its just simple knots in the ribbon with the beads hanging from it. The necklace has a simple handmade hook and eye clasp. All wire is silver plated copper. Something else to add to your spring wardrobe yes?
And while I was busy doing this my partner was doing some amazing stuff with the soup I sent her. Check out her blog M is the Word and the fabulous pieces she has made from what I sent her. Really lovely creations Susan. Love each one of them but specially the red necklace. Red is my favourite colour :-)

And once you have finished drooling over Susan's pieces check out what the other participants of this wonderful blog party have been up to! There are nearly 500 participants from  30 Countries

I have had so much fun being part of the 8th Bead Soup party. Thank you Lori for being such a fabulous hostess and thank you Susan for being such a lovely partner. I hope I have been able to do some justice to the lovely ingredients you sent me. 

I really look forward to hearing from everyone about my work so please, please do leave a comment. Thank you.  

Friday, 9 May 2014

Beadsoup Reveal Post will be up in the morning

Sorry :-(

If you have clicked the link from Lori's blog to see what I have cooked up with my beads, please bear with me a little bit longer. I only finished some of my pieces today and took photos but they have come out awful so I have to take them again :-(

My eyes are tired and not playing at the moment. The vision is still not 100% and sometimes the blurriness is worse than at other times and that's why the photos are crap! So I will take the pics again in the morning when my eyes are seeing better and then publish my post.

It will be within the 10 May deadline but unfortunately not at midnight BST as I had hoped to, instead around 12 PM BST (ish)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Beadsoup Blog Party: Reveal Date Postponed to 10 May

Beadsoup Blog Party Reveal Date has been postponed by one week to 10 May. Our hostess Lori has been very unwell and its more important that she gets herself better first!

Not the kind of photos you normally
expect to see shared on this blog but this
is what I have been  working with since
November instead of pliers, beads,
wire and gemstones...
Personally this postponement suits me.

As you know I have not been able to work for almost 3 months due to the stupid Iritis! There have been several ups and downs on that saga since I last blogged about it including a visit to A&E due to acute eye pain and very high eye pressure! The good news is that the Iritis inflammation has finally gone and eye pressure is back to normal. The bad news is that the medication has to continue until 13 May so vision will stay slightly blurred until then. But I was able to get back to doing some work. Nothing fancy, just basic wire work and some fights with cords and ribbons.

Susan also sent me a very pretty handmade card which says
 "Enjoy Today"
Well I have taken that advise on board and I have certainly been
enjoying every day since I got the all clear and I am having fun
with beads :-)
My beadsoup partner Susan sent such lovely beads. I managed to make 2 pieces in time for the original reveal date (today) but this extra week means I should be able to use some more of my soup ingredients and make more bling!

It has been nice to get back to some making after such a long lay-off and hopefully it won't be long before I can get back to all those soldering tutorials and other new skills I was teaching myself.

There is so much I want to learn and try!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Soup's On! And its Tasty!

Actually it is Delicious!

Just have a look at what my Beadsoup partner Susan has sent me! M is the word... MAGNIFICENT!

It is an amazing selection of beads, ribbons & cords and not one, not two but FOUR different Focal pieces to play with. The hand-etched copper clasp is just amazing. And her generosity in the amount of beads she has sent is quite humbling. I don't think I sent her enough!

But she says she likes it and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing what she creates from it.

Just look at what I have to play with, so many different colours and media!

Read what Susan thinks of my soup.

And now I can reveal the soup I sent too!

It includes:
- A selection of pearl and shell beads in Yellow, Orange, Green and Red.
- A small selection of Felt beads that I made using the technique felt artisan Eve Marshall taught me.
- A selection of pewter and Tibetan Silver beads
- Yellow Organza ribbon.
- Kumihimo braid made with Chinese silk cord.
- Tibetan Silver Clasp.
- Handmade Silver plated copper wire flowers.
- Tree of Life focal piece made with freshwater pearls and silver plated copper wire.

And I really can't wait to see what this mish-mash ends up as :-) I am sure it will be very very special! Watch this space people.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Beadsoup Update: M is The Word!

So my beadsoup is on its way and this is what it looks like!
I am impatient and this is driving me Mad. Hurry Up Mail!

Introducing my Bead Soup Partner Susan from Ottawa. Susan makes jewellery for fun, to wear herself or give as gifts. She likes working with copper, fibre and artisan beads. She also makes all kind of lovely crafty things in lots of different media and she can sew & knit! RESPECT! My "difficult" relationship with fabric, yarn and thread is no secret! I can just about manage fluff and felt!

We have been chatting on email and Susan is lovely. Plus she has a dog so we are definitely going to be friends :-) Susan also has a 12 year old boy, hence M is the word!

Susan makes beautiful jewellery.
One of Susan's pieces from last year's party made from beads her partner Marina sent her. 
And this necklace that she made for another blogging challenge is

I am really looking forward to seeing what Susan creates from the soup I have sent her. She might need to put her sunglasses on when she opens the package as it is a bit bright... But after the long winter they have had in Canada I reckon this selection of spring colours will make her smile :-)

A BIG thank you once again to the very lovely Lori and her very supportive family and friends who made this year's party possible. Lori has not been well at all. And many would have probably said, Let's take a break from BSBP this year. Not Lori. She has been typing away from her sick bed, matching up partners all over the world and fighting with spreadsheets.
Get well soon Lori, you really are a very special lady xx

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Beadsoup Blog Party Update

There was a delay due to my eyes being very very sick with Iritis but my Bead Soup is finally on its way to Canada today :-)

I will tell you all about my partner Susan McClelland in another blog post very soon. We are in touch via email and getting to know each other better. She has posted my soup too and I am really really excited!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Life Slowly getting back to "Normal"

... well as normal as it can possibly be with 3 lots of steroid eye drops, plus a gooey ointment in both eyes daily and some of the blurriness that is a result of it...

This picture is a fair indication of what my
vision has been like at times in recent weeks! 
Had a little tidy-up of the work bench over the week-end and I made some beads for my beadsoup partner yesterday. Hopefully they will be dry today and then I can match up a few more ingredients and get this in the post this week to Ottawa, Canada where my new BSBP partner Susan lives. The Focal piece and matching beads were ready a while ago but I decided to add something different to the mix too.

And NO I am not telling you what beads I made just yet! :-P

More about Susan in the next blog post...

And I have started playing with some beautiful beach glass a client gave me sometime ago.
+ The new lot of St Helena Rock
+ A Wire and Felt Peacock project I am working on with my friend Eve.
+ Don't get me started!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

BSBP and Iritis Update

So the 8th Beadsoup Blog Party International Partners have been announced. Our hostess is US based so I am "international" from her location :-) In the next few days I am hoping to get to know my partner.

Meanwhile a disaster (for me it is!). Iritis is back and this time it is in BOTH Eyes. Bugger! This is not good as I only got the all clear on 11th Feb! I feel really down and defeated at the moment because I am letting my clients down and I am letting my businesses down. I am writing this post through a haze... or better description is probably looking through a waterfall. I can barely make out what I am typing even through the browser is set to 250%. And in a few minutes I have to use the dilating eye drops again and then even this will not be possible!

I am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me (I can do a very good job of doing that all by myself!) but it does mean all these fancy plans of learning new skills and trying new ideas that I have talked about in the past are on hold once again! All those metalsmithing and soldering tutorials I invested in for my birthday last November will continue to gather dust for a bit longer. BAH!

This time I have been given a different medication regime so after 4-5 days the nasty drops that blur vision will stop and I should be able to make some things again as long as I don't put too much strain on my eyes. But Lapidary, torch etc. will probably be on hold again as they have been since November. Good job I am mainly a wire worker and there are some things I can do with my eyes (almost) closed!

Its not the end of the world, I did participate in a very successful Exhibition through it, but it is a setback I did not need :-( 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party

Not long till partners are announced for Lori Anderson's 8th Bead Soup Blog Party and I am getting very excited :-) At the moment Lori is doing all the hard work as she pairs jewellery artists to be Bead Soup Partners. Our work and the fun really starts once we know who our partner will be. Hurry up 28th Feb!

Last year's BSBP (which was my first party) introduced me to Sarah Goode from Pookledo who has now become a good friend and we talk quite often on facebook and twitter even though she does like to wind me up sometimes with talk of this thing called "Holiday"

She sent me a challenge which was totally out of my comfort zone!

After MUCH head scratching to start with I had Fun! LOTS of Fun! And did this:

7th Bead Soup Party: Shalini's Sparkly Serving Revealed!


So Now you know why I am excited about the new Bead Soup Party :-)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Artisan Exhibition... One Week on...

Still looking fantastic The wonderful comments from the visitors have left all the exhibitors feeling elated!

If you have not visited yet please do come and have a look!
All artists accept commissions & bespoke orders and at least one of the participating artists is available at the venue for a chat between 10 AM - 9 PM.

Stamford Arts Centre Gallery
27 St Mary's Street, Stamford.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Reba in Peterborough is Closing after 19 Years

I would like to wish Rachel and her Reba team the very best.
I am really sad to read the announcement that Reba is closing. This really isn't the kind of news you want to hear as a New Year starts. But sadly it is the reality on many High Streets in big cities and in small towns. And its even more depressing when it is one of the most active local champions of Shop Local and Shop Indie.

For those of you on twitter who follow @Rebaboutique I don't really need to tell you that Rachel has been actively spreading much needed awareness about local Independent shops. For those who don't... Reba's tweets about shopping local and supporting small business have been truly inspiring. Often quirky, sometimes really funny but always with the simple message of buying from independent local businesses where possible.

This blog post on Jofftastic will give you the full text of Rachel's very honest press release announcing the closure  "End of an era" as Reba closes in Peterborough - Jofftastic

I'd just like to highlight one thing that really strikes a cord:

It’s an embittered and embattled time for small independent retailers, rents are way out of line with the footfall that’s a daily reality on our high street, business rates are unbelievably high and all this against the backdrop of the highest internet usage in Europe means that it’s no longer reasonable for us to continue in Peterborough.

Peterborough... or it could be Lincoln, it could be Leicester and equally it could be a town like Stamford, Grantham and Oakham.

Sad :-(