Sunday, 2 September 2012

Beach Stone Earrings

Beach Stone Earrings

Simple pebble earrings

I thought I'd put together a selection of my Beach stone earrings, since I've covered the bracelets and Pendants in previous posts.

The earrings are a favourite of mine to make. Finding two almost identical pebbles is a nerdy thrill of mine! Because I know that means another cute pair of earrings will soon be in the pipeline.

Below are some of my most simple designs and that's what I love about them, this beach stone jewellery is 'straight from the beach chic'.

When looking for these tiny beach stones I am literally paddling in the surf at the shores edge. The reason for this is that the little stones are so light that they are often floating a top the surf and are deposited right at the shoreline. Because they are wet they much more easily catch my eye than the pebbles on the beach. So, they really are straight from the surf and into my studio.

Once they are safely home, I wash and lightly polish the pebbles before pairing and drilling them. Drilling beach stones is a tricky business that I will cover in a subsequent post, but some of these little stones can be super tricky to drill!

This simple design involves nothing more than adding sterling silver jump rings and earwires. I only use sterling silver ear wires in my designs as I can't wear anything else myself. I don't like the thought of putting plated metal in my ears, and increasingly people are having bad reactions to this kind of thing.


Beach Stone earrings with sterling silver gromets and wires



This design is very similar but also includes sterling silver grommets in the drilled holes for a more refined and polished pair.


Beach Stone earrings with silver flip flops



I also like to add sterling charms to some of my designs. I think these little silver flip flops compliment the beach stones really nicely.


These pebble earrings are actually really light weight. I'm often asked if they are heavy, I guess because people expect stone to be weighty, but in actual fact they are lighter than most beaded or metal earrings of the same size. So not only are they stylish, but the only time you'll know you're wearing them is when the compliments roll in ;)


Beach Stone earrings with pink crystal stones

Another of my designs involve drilling into the pebbles a little way to set a stone into them. I think a little bit of bling makes a really eye catching statement, whilst not detracting from the stones natural beauty.

Natural Stone Earrings

I think my favourite of Coast's earring designs has to be the Cairn earrings. I love making these little pebble stack beauties. There's something about the tiny round pebbles that is just really appealing. I think like most things in minature pebbles are just cuter that way!


Cairn earrings Beach stone pebble stack earrings


Every stack is unique and I love matching similar beach stones needed to make a pair.

   
Shades of Grey :)
pebble stack earrings Cairn earrings Beach stone

I've just added a new dangley style of earrings to Coast's range.

I'm not really one for BIG or very dangley jewellery, but love to cater for every taste.


Beach stone earrings dangle drop


This following style was born from a custom request for some longer dangle beach stone earrings. I'll be adding more to this collection in the near future.


If you like what you see why not take a look at my beach stone earrings and other beach stone jewelry in my etsy store. Thanks for reading :)


Sunday, 26 August 2012

Colouring inside the lines.


Colouring inside the lines.

 

Do you remember nursery school? 'Colour inside the lines' was the order of the day! To make your picture look pretty it was a must.

It struck me this week as I  embarked on a new skill just how much of crafting involves following lines.

I've been doing some machine embroidery and keeping those lines nice and straight around my applique was the goal, although of course with freehand machine embroidery a little wobble here and there all adds to the effect!

I haven't quite finished this one yet, but here it is so far....




The little girl is based on my daughter, she can often be seen, hair flying in the wind, carefree as a bird by the shore.


My other major pass time this week has been 'piercing'.



No, not holes in body kind of piercing! Although I did manage to put a hole in my finger on the first attempt - ouch! Piercing as in 'Piercing saw'. The kind jewellers use.

So, I've been following the lines with my new saw, cutting interesting shapes from sheet metal to make pendants, earrings, brooches and other such goodies.

All the instructional videos tell you to start with straight lines and progress slowly to simple shapes such as squares and eventually circles and hearts. Me? Where's the fun in that?! Thinks I! I started with a Geko I'd drawn instead. Much more fun :)

 




Since the first Geko, I have moved on to bigger geko's and sea horses amongst other things.
I absolutely LOVE piercing. I've found it really easy to get started and my mind is just buzzing with the possibilities of what I can create, so watch this space. This is the beginning of something exciting for Coast!


 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Creative spurts this week involved adding to my beach stone Jewellery collection with a new style of dangly beach stone earrings.

 


For those who prefer their pebbles with a bit more dangle!



A change from my single drop and cairn earrings. I'll be adding to this style with more danglies over the next few weeks.




And finally a little Coastal inspired craftiness... 

 

 with an upcycled picture frame which I found in the local thrift shop for €4, painted white and distressed for that 'beach house' look. Turns out I can distress 'stuff' as well as people!!





The photo was taken by my hubby of our daughter at a local beach at sunset last week. I tweeked it a little in photoshop and voila. I love it :)

So follow the lines? Well, sometimes, but knowing when to swerve a little (whether by design or not) is what makes a piece unique isn't it? It's what handmade is all about.




Thursday, 16 August 2012

Cairn Jewelry



Cairn Jewelry is beautifully simple, natural and steeped in tradition and symbolism. 

cairn pendant cairn necklace beach stone pendant from Coast

The word 'Cairn' in English denotes a pile or stack of stones set up as a memorial often to mark a boundary or path.

In Scotland, it is traditional to carry a stone up from the bottom of a hill to place on a cairn at its top. In such a fashion, cairns would grow ever larger.

 An old Scottish Gaelic blessing is Cuiridh mi clach air do ch├árn, "I'll put a stone on your cairn".




cairn necklace beach stone necklace from Coast inspired Jewellery
I love the symbolism this contains. Wearing a mini cairn around your neck or as ear rings is like wearing your own personal memorial! 

What will your cairn symbolise to you? 

Will it be the hurdles you have overcome in life? Each stone a step higher to where you want to be? Or will it be symbolic of the special people who have helped build with you in your life?

 

 

 

 


So simple, natural and meaningful.

 

 

 

Living in Cyprus my little explanation of 'Cairn's' wouldn't be complete without a little Greek mythology...

 

 

Cairn necklace beach stone pendant
In the mythology of ancient Greece, cairns were associated with Hermes, the god of overland travel.

According to one legend, Hermes was put on trial by Hera for slaying her favorite servant, the monster Argus.

All of the other gods acted as a jury, and as a way of declaring their verdict they were given pebbles, and told to throw them at whichever person they deemed to be in the right, Hermes or Hera.

Hermes argued so skillfully that he ended up buried under a heap of pebbles, and this was the first cairn.

My Cairn jewellery is made from Mediterranean beach stones found here on the shores of Cyprus where I live.

Sea Glass and Beach Stone Pendant
Each is carefully selected for it's smooth appearance, colour and symmetry.

I then lightly clean and polish the stones, hand drill them and assemble them into a beautiful piece of Jewellery so that my customers can carry a piece of Mediterranean beauty with them




cairn earrings beach stone earrings from Coast inspired jewellery


To view more of my Cairn and beach stone jewellery, please feel free to browse my online 'Etsy' store









Cairn earrings




Sunday, 5 August 2012

Beach Stone Bracelets.

Perfect to remind you of sandy days at the beach. When you are wearing these you can almost smell the salty air and feel the cool waves lapping your toes ;)



I thought I'd take the opportunity to post some images of some of the recent beach stone bracelets I've made. I've been stashing my drilled pebbles as I'm hoping to make quite a few more pieces in the coming weeks for an upcoming local craft fair.

So for those new visitors to my little blog, this is the kind of thing I make. Here are some of my bracelets...

beach stone charm bracelet pebble jewellery
Flip Flop and Pebble Charm Bracelet
Mediterranean beach pebble charms and Greek teal ceramic beads adorn this antique copper bracelet. It's feature piece is a copper hand crafted flip flop resting on a sandy beach stone. The bracelet is finished with a heart toggle clasp which is easy to fasten and secure.
This bracelet is surprisingly light, beautifully easy and comfortable to wear and measures 21cm in length (all of my bracelets can be adjusted to a longer or shorter fit on request).
I have personally collected all of these tiny pebbles from the shores of sunny Cyprus where I have polished and hand drilled them ready to deliver a little bit of the coast to my customers. The cute flip flop charm was also handmade by myself.


beach stone bracelet pebble jewellery
Creamy Neutral Beach Stone bracelet

These smooth pebble bracelets remind me of Thornton's chocolates. Of course you can't get Thornton's in Cyprus :( These are much less calorific though! I love the way the antique copper compliments the natural stones.

They are surprisingly really light to wear and the smooth pebbles next to your skin are very comfortable.


beach stone bracelet pebble jewellery
Chocolate Creams - Thorntons without the calories!

I have several different chocolate combinations in this range. Every piece is completely unique - true 'One of a kind' natural items, which is of course what we all love about handmade artisan's work.

The toggle clasps on these bracelets make for a simple and easy closure. Unlike lobster clasps which can be very fiddly they can be closed by the wearer and help from a 2nd pair of hands isn't called for!

At the same time they are very secure and I have never had one come undone on it's own.

beach stone bracelet pebble jewellery
Chocolate and copper natural beauties combined!

Some of my bracelets are made with smaller pebbles measuring approx 1.5cm in length each. These little guys can be tricky to drill, but the results are worth the effort. Cute little pebbles adorning your wrist remind you of sunny days at the beach!


beach stone bracelet pebble jewelry
Not quite 50, but definitely a few shades of grey!


Mediterranean beach pebbles in cool shades of grey with silver plated wire accent swirl. The bracelet is finished with a hand crafted 'S clasp' which is easy to fasten and secure.


pebble bracelet natural stone jewelry
Silver and cool grey tones - perfect!


I occasionally come across really pretty pink coloured pebbles on the shores of Episkopi here in Cyprus. Maybe it's because they are rare that I love to find them the most! I made this very girly pink pebble charm bracelet with my last lot. It's sold now, but I have been collecting some more pink stones and will be making something similar soon.


pebble charm bracelet pebble jewelry
Strawberry Creams - My personal favourite pebble colour palette


I love adding a touch of sparkle with Swarkovski crystals. I feel the crystals compliment the natural beauty of the beach stones and sometimes help to bring out the colour palette.  


natural stone charm bracelet pebble jewelryI hope that's given you a taste of my style of Jewellery making. Thanks for looking, and of course if you are interested in purchasing any of my jewellery or browsing the rest of my lines please click any of the the photo's and they will link you straight to my etsy shop where you can buy securely online.

Just to add, if you like my style but have something else in mind, please drop me a line either in the comments on this post or in a message via etsy or on my facebook page as I'm open to custom orders.


Friday, 3 August 2012

Rock Monsters! A Pebble Magnet Tutorial




Rock Monster Magnets - Tutorial.  

These colourful little dudes will brighten even the dullest of kitchen appliances...also great for magnetic note boards and such like.
Now you can finally do something with all those pebbles you (eh hem, I mean, your kid's) collect at the beach.


It's the Summer Holidays - yay! 6 (or 7 for us here in Cyprus) weeks of quality time with your kid's. Doesn't it sound idyllic? Hands up who was ready to list their children on ebay by 8 am on the first day? Really? OK maybe that was just me then...

Anyway. Here's a little project you can do with your own little monsters.
 

Step 1)  Collect some pebbles

 

We are blessed with a zillion pebble beaches to choose from here in Southern Cyprus.
River rocks, beach stones or pebbles are all good for this project. Medium sized are best. Too big and they will need super strong magnets to stay on the fridge, too small and they will be too fiddly to paint. 3 - 5cm diameter is a good size.
White or light coloured stones are easier to paint and the smoother the better for the same reason.

Step 2)  Have a cup of tea and some chocolate biscuits. 

 

What do you mean what has this got to do with making pebble magnets? Just make sure you follow the steps! ;)

 

 

Step 3)  Gather your materials

 

You are going to need:

  • Pebbles
  • Acrylic paints
  • Medium sized and small paint brushes
  • Small Magnets
  • Strong (or Super) Glue 
  • Fine tipped black permanent marker pen(sharpie)

 

 

 

 

Step 4) Paint those pebbles.

 


We used acrylic paints. They are great for painting on pebbles and really durable.
We used a brand called DEKA Lack, which we got locally here in Cyprus. Any acrylic paints will do the job though. In fact you could even use water based kid's paints if you are not too fussy about the paint job. Sometimes it's the taking part and creating that is really the main objective anyway!
We painted 2 coats on each side of the pebbles (allowing drying time between coats) for a nice deep coloured shiny finish.

 

 

 

 

Step 5) Monster Faces :0s :0) :0( Grrrrrr!

 

 

This is where your fine marker pen comes in verrrryy handy. You can use a paintbrush and paint if you have a super steady hand, but a pen makes it much easier.
Draw or paint a monster expression on your pebbles remembering to leave some space for their eyes. Let your imagination run wild a lil' bit, or just copy some of our expressions (above). I like the toothy grins best. This blue one at the bottom looks a bit like my own little monster who has just lost a front tooth!

 

 

Step 6) Googley eyes.

 

 

We opted for googly eyes to give our rock monsters a little bit of character, but you could paint some eyes if you prefer.
I bought these eyes from an ebay seller. I think it was 200 eyes for 99p and a quid postage. They also sell them in craft shops, Homebargains and the kid's craft sections of Asda and Tesco super cheaply.
I asked the children to place the eyes, one two and even 3!, and then I glued them myself with some really strong glue. Strong glue and children obviously not a good combination so this is a job for super mum.
Don't the eyes just make the faces?

I let the glue dry over night (follow the instructions on whatever glue you are using for drying times).

 

 

Step 7) Magnets.



So now you have your cute looking pebbles all painted, it's onto the magnets. I bought some circular magnets from ebay (about £4 incl. postage for 200). They need to be quite strong, but not the seriously strong ones which will have you stuck in a corner with every metalic object in your kitchen cabinets pinning you to the floor. Mine were for holding up to 30g which seems to work great. I used my industrial strength 'E-6000' glue for this job, as it obviously needs a really secure hold to prevent ripping the magnet from the pebble when moving it around the fridge.
I stuck 2 magnets to some of the bigger, heavier stones, just to be sure they wouldn't slip down the fridge with the weight. TopTip - If you are going to glue 2 magnets side by side, make sure first that you have them facing the right way to 'attract to one another and not 'repel' one another. Speaking from experience you can end up in rather a sticky mess if you don't!
I left the glue overnight to dry as a good bond is really essential here.

 

 

Step 8) Put them on your fridge, step back and admire - All done!

 

 

 

 

Step 9) More tea and chocky biscuits. Hooray!

 

 

Sorry Competition NOW CLOSED. Winner: Gilla Abrahams.


but you can always buy some from my online shop by clicking here

Why not buy a set of 4 Rock monsters?!

 
 



 

Check out my etsy shop for more of my pebble creations


This competition is listed on CrazyCompers.co.uk - UK Competitions Directory
OfferOasis.co.uk - Competitions and Freebies in the UK

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Bizarre Beachcombing.



It's amazing what you can find on the beach.

 I stopped by Curium beach yesterday in Limassol. One of the many local pebble beaches here in Cyprus where I collect pebbles for my beach stone jewellery. It was sizzling hot and it being the Summer hol's, my little people were with me.

We were on a mission to find some medium sized pebbles for a specific craft project (Monster fridge magnets - more on this in my next post) and this beach has the perfect sized stones.

The kid's soon got hot and went back to the air-con in the car whilst I finished up collecting. Right at the sea's edge I spotted something odd....

Rare two headed Bird Skeleton found on Curium beach
 I focused and saw what looked like a bird's skeleton, amazingly preserved and calcified by the sea salt. Wow! I thought, the kid's will love this. I took a closer look and was astounded by what I saw. So much so that I took a step back. The skeleton of the bird had two tiny preserved heads and just a single clawed foot! I was a bit creeped out by it to be honest. I wanted to pick it up, but I didn't want to touch it. I needed to examine it, but the kid's needed their lunch too. I decided to take it home for a closer look.

I clearly watched too much Sinbad as a 70's child.
I looked around and spotted a driftwood stick. With the very minimal amount of touching (I think I was half expecting it's skeleton to come to life and peck me, like a scene from the old 1958 Sinbad movie)) I managed to scoop it up and pop it in a plastic bag.

"You won't believe what I've found!" I excitedly told the kid's.

 On the 10 minute drive home I am wondering how rare this finding is. A fossilized bird skeleton of some kind of mutant bird! I wonder if it has anything to do with the Japanese reactor that exploded at Fukushima? Or maybe it's some sort of dinosaur that has somehow been dislodged from it's myriad years in a watery grave to be washed up at MY feet!

I'm marvelling at the luck of my find, I'm planning on googleing the Natural History Museum in London. I'm mentally listing it on ebay.

I have already spent the thousands of pounds the sale will bring in from some wealthy American Curio collector on an upcoming Disney holiday. Or even payed off the mortgage!

Who knows just HOW rare this thing is??

When, an unwanted thought creeps in;

the one thing I hadn't yet even contemplated, but in a flash the realisation blinded me like the Cypriot Summer sun....

It's plastic isn't it.



Check out my etsy shop for more of my beach stone Jewellery

Sunday, 22 July 2012

My local Pebble Beach.


The Pebbles at Happy Valley Beach in Episkopi. I spend a LOT of time on this pretty pebble beach. It's where I get most of the beach stones for my Beach Stone Jewellery.

Beach Stone Jewelry

I took this as the sun was setting last night. We are so blessed to live so close to such natural beauty.

As the third largest Island in the Med. Cyprus has approx 648km of coastline.

Cyprus map
Many of the beaches along the south coast are pebble beaches and great for hunting small smooth beach stones, perfect for my jewellery projects.

If it's sunbathing you are after, there are of course incredibly golden sand beaches in the Northern Turkish area of the island and the famous western coastal area has beautiful sandy beaches in the Protaras and Ayia Napa regions.

The Sea is crystal clear and shades of azure all around the Island and is beautifully warm in the summer months.

Pebble beach Cyprus

While I'm collecting pebbles or drinking tea (I'm SO British!) on a sun lounger, the boys are playing around with Power Kites. With those lovely sea breezes beaches are the best place to kite!




Check out my etsy shop for more of my beach stone jewellery