Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Jewellery Giveaway!

Hello! I have reached my 20th blog follower, and also have over 150 twitter followers, which is all quite exciting for me. To celebrate, I'm going to launch my first giveaway!

I am giving away this pair of sterling silver and pearl earrings, made from honey coloured and brown freshwater pearls, handwrapped with sterling silver wire.

There are 3 ways to enter -

1) Leave a comment below

2) If you comment and follow this blog, that's 2 entries.

3) Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway @AneksiDesigns

It's as simple as that! This giveaway is open until 10pm Friday 8th October (to coincide with the UK Etsy Silly Sale!) - it will be drawn on Saturday 9th October, and the winner will get their new earrings posted to them the following Monday. It is open internationally, and the results will be posted on this blog.

It really couldn't be much simpler!


p.s. if you miss out, there is a very similar pair of earrings in my etsy store.... http://www.etsy.com/listing/55724307/silver-and-pearl-earrings

Friday, 24 September 2010

An Experiment in Oxidisation

Recently I found a forum on etsy about how to oxidise sterling silver with a hard boiled egg. 'Really?' I thought, 'Hmm, maybe I should give that a go.' I am always keen on experiments you can do with household objects!

The sensible thing would, of course, have been to try something small and see what it turned out like - however, I don't usually roll like that (impatience).

So, on Monday I finished a necklace (for me, for once) that I liked but thought was just missing a little something.

'Perfect!' I thought. 'Something that has taken me a while and involves a fair amount of silver. Just the thing to experiment on.'

So when Alice decided to save her afternoon nap yesterday for when we got back home from out trip to the British Library (lunch with a friend and a look at the Magna Carta), it seemed like a good time to try it out.

I got all my ingredients, boiled my egg for about 10 minutes (the problem of impatience again), chopped it up with a big knife very quickly, put it in the box with the necklace and closed the box, also quickly (speed is important, I believe).

I waited for the whole 40 minutes the forum recommended, and opened it up.

I don't know what you think, but to me it just looked like I'd left it in a box for a couple of years. Less nicely oxidised and more nastily tarnished. At this point, I began to berate myself for my impatience. Why didn't I try a small pair of earrings first?

However, all was not lost. I dug out my salt and baking powder, put a lining of foil in the plastic container and boiled the kettle (another 'household' method of cleaning jewellery). You put the jewellery on the foil at the bottom, put a bit of both of the above in (2tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt - or in my case, a shake of both containers) and pour the boiling water on. It goes 'FIZZ', and like magic it cleans your silver.

As you can see, it didn't get my necklace back to it's original condition, but it cleaned the chain up a treat and left the flower with more of the effect I was hoping for.

Overall, then, a qualified success. I will have to wear it a bit and see what I think of it. And maybe try something smaller next time!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

I Knit Weekender

Last Friday Alice and I got the train into London, and the bus to Victoria, to meet my Grandma and go to the I Knit weekender. Alice's favourite part of the whole day was the bus ride (which took in Oxford Street - lots of stops, lots of people). This is how she spent almost the whole ride -

Her conversation isn't great anyway, I tell myself - and at least I got to admire her lovely cardigan (not hand knitted, I'm afraid - from Zara. Not that I usually buy her stuff in Zara, you understand. This was just too nice not to.)

The I Knit weekender itself was in a really interesting venue, The Royal Horticultural Halls and Conference Centre, which was super Art Deco and had an unusual clock -

The Weekender was full of lovely, chatty, people, and gorgeous yarn. We were especially taken with the Illusion Knitting stall. I can't quite believe I'm considering it when I haven't finished the Blanket of Doom yet, but they have an ace pattern for a baby blanket with a teddy bear on it that I would really like to try! Who do I love enough, is the question....

This is my purchase for the day - two skeins of Araucania Toconao in a fabulous purple colour, bought from the Woolfish stall. Yummy. It is so soft and smooth! I have balled it up, and have plans already for it.

I could have bought a lot more, if I hadn't looked at my budget just the day before (boo hoo). There were so many gorgeous colours on display, it was sometimes hard to know where to look.

The only disappointment of the day was that the I Knit design competition, whose entries were supposed to be exhibited at the Weekender, was not in evidence. I wasn't expecting my pattern to win a prize, or anything, but I was looking forward to seeing it on display (as was my Grandma, who had kindly tested it for me). Not sure what happened there.

Overall we had a nice day out, but a bit more information would have been nice.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Work in Progress - The Blanket of Doom #2

So August has been and gone, and as predicted in a previous blog post, Joe and Laura's blanket is not yet done. But it is coming along...

It's just taking me a loooong time. I am even starting to get a bit worried about getting it done in time for Christmas! Especially as I am also trying to make as many Christmas presents as possible this year.

This is a detail of the pattern - I am really pleased with the way it is turning out, even if it is taking me forever!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Not the post I was intending...

Hello! It has been a while since I was one here - we went to Cornwall to see my brother and his girlfriend, and then I got tonsillitis which I haven't had for about 18 years and that was quite nasty. But I am all better now! Hooray for antibiotics.

I was going to blog about the Cornwall trip, but I have realised that in transferring my pictures to my mum's computer to show her, I somehow deleted them from my camera as well. The Cornwall trip post will have to wait. Instead, I want to show you the housewarming present I made them. Obviously, I am still working on the Blanket of Doom, which is now hopefully going to be their Christmas present and is the main present. I just wanted them to have something from us to celebrate their new jobs and new house!

Joe and Lau have just moved into a 3 bedroom place, which happily means that Alice sleeps in her own room when we are there - yay! They have 8 nephews and neices between them, and I decided that, although they don't have a sofa or rugs or even a bedframe at the moment, what they really needed was a name tag to go on the 3rd bedroom door for when the family come to stay! Obviously. Who doesn't need one of those?

So I went to Hobbycraft, and found these bits of wood -

Next I superglued a dowelling peg to the circular backboard, and sketched my ideas out. I am often very bad at planning. I tend to just 'do', and see what happens. This is what happened -

A few nights later (no painting in the day - can you imagine what a 12 month old would do with paint in the living room? I am bad enough, and still ended up with paint on my phone, clothes and me) I was done.

Poor Nadia ended up more brown than purple (an unfortunate consequence of the night time painting) but other than that I am quite pleased! The idea is that the name plates hang off the round backing and you swop them round depending on who is visiting.

My brother has had many years in which to practice his 'Thank you very much for this lovely handmade present' face, and he pulled out a blinder on receipt of the gift ;) Which is mainly what makes it worth it!