March is here and
spring is on our doorstep. Probably…
I have added some new clipon earrings to my Etsy shop, varied and fun!
apparently, International Women’s Day and I am, as always, late to
the party. However, I couldn’t let that pass without a few links to
posts about our awesome women. These ladies prove you can do more
than you ever thought possible!
We’ve had some hefty
gales hammering the UK recently – I hope the weather is nicer where
Its nice and warm
indoors, so that’s where I’ve been hiding, busily making stuff…
I’ve got a new selection of beautiful handmade ceramic earrings with Czech glass beads. These little darlings are available on my Etsy Shop.
My clearance range is growing rapidly and still has lots of cool stuff, with lots of bargains still to be found. Check out my SALE!
February houses Valentine’s Day, and I hope you have a lovely day with your partner, or perhaps find somebody to share the day with. In the UK, Valentines’ Day is primarily for romantic couples, but I gather that in the USA, the love theme expands to include family and friends and I think that’s rather nice.
If you want a laugh, scoot over to YouTube and take a gander at Simon’s cat’s (I love these cartoons!) Valentine’s Day story ‘Love Me, Love My Cat’.
So. Been a busy girl this week! I promised you some new products, and the first of these are now up at my Etsy shop. There are four, for now, very pretty Swarovski crystal heart earrings with sterling silver ear wires. They come in colours (the crystals, not wires!) of Siam red, Fuschia, rose, and heliotrope.
I’ve also been doing a bit of housekeeping, so to speak. I’ve been making a lot more earrings and to emphasise this, I have re-arranged the categories into alphabetical order.
In addition, I’ve added
a new clearance line. There are only a few things there so far, but I
will be adding a lot more soon – and the best bit is – because
I’ve dropped prices on those, you get some great deals!
Happy New Year! I hope
that 2020 will be great for all of you!
Did you all have a good
Christmas? Are you keeping warm in this cold weather? Or cool, if you
hail from somewhere warmer…
Rosebay hasn’t been
posting much lately but I have been making some lovely things and I
promise there will be some exciting products coming along very
shortly. Please keep watching this space and I will keep you
informed. I will also endeavour to make a quick weekly news post so
that you know that I’m not skiving or eloped with the milkman.
Although, he does do a nice line in dairy…
I have some brand new leather hand-plaited bag/purse decorations inspired by the brilliant cultures of Celtic and Viking. These are part of my new range of historically inspired jewellery and accessories and these will be introduced to you soon. In the meantime, these are already up on my Etsy shop, and retail at £14 – £16.
you love Christmas you will be all excited by my next topic, and if
you aren’t, you might want to find somewhere safe to gibber quietly
until I’ve gone away again.
you like your history hands-on, this could be the place for you.
about 5 miles south of Petersfield in Hampshire, England, Butser is
an open air museum, a ‘living history’ experiment, that tries to
re-create the bygone ways of life. It now has reconstructions of
ancient homes from the stone age and includes Iron Age and Anglos
Saxon dwellings, as well a Roman villa, all of which you can wander
was originally funded
in 1970 by the Council
for British Archaeology,
was intended as a working archaeology experiment to learn more about
the old ways of life, and to test theories on agriculture and
domestic economy. Butser now has a number of rare breeds on site,
such as Manx Loaghtan sheep from the Iron Age and Soay sheep from
Scotland and these are said to be be typical of the sheep around in
the Bronze Age and early Iron Age. These are very independent animals
that cannot be worked by sheepdogs. Butser also has goats and,
sometimes, pigs, although these are more seasonal to the site.
Apparently the Celts regarded pigs in very high regard.
site is open to the public most of the year, but check for times as
the winter season has shorter hours. Butser gets a lot of school
parties, and on occasion they do hire the venue out – not
surprisingly a lot of filming has taken place here – and at certain
times they run workshops and courses for visitors. Sadly there was
none of these in operation when we visited, which was a little
this made no difference to our enjoyment of the day. We visited on a
glorious summer day – there was a school party but they didn’t
really bother us and it was otherwise fairly quiet. It was quite
amusing to watch the children encounter the various unfamiliar
animals and dwellings, and in predictable child humour the outside
loo created lots of ribald hilarity!
favourite was the Saxon Longhouse, based on excavations of an
Anglo-Saxon settlement found in the nearby village of Chalton. The
archaeology discovered a large rectangular structure with opposing
doors in the middle of the long sides of a dividing interior wall.
The structure made at Butser is primarily of English oak, sweet
chestnut and hazel, and has a thatched roof.
building was really cosy inside, with an open fire on the left hand
side when entering, and with benches huddled around on three sides.
We were told that Butser sometimes has evenings with the public where
everyone gathers here and tells stories. That sounded like huge fun
and we were sad to have missed that – we would be tempted to go
back to the village just to take part!
work on all the buildings is ongoing, and we particularly noticed
this at the villa. This was the first Roman villa to be built with
authentic materials and techniques for over 1,600 years. Work on the
floors began in 2017 and when we visited, they were installing a real
mosaic floor. It looked intricate and fiddly and I’m sure it will be
beautiful when its finished, and the process looked fascinating.
Apparently Butser has its own Roman re-enactment society, and this
makes the perfect headquarters for them!
All in all it was a really enjoyable day, and although the village was smaller than we’d expected, it was still really worth the journey to see it. I had hoped for more insight into the fashions and jewellery of the time, but there was very little on view for those. The location is very open and the view down over the surrounding countryside is lovely. Most of the village is fairly flat and would be fine for most people, and the management state that the site is completely wheelchair accessible. However, the area is pretty much all grass and I would imagine that on a very wet day, it could get very muddy and probably hard going for anyone with mobility issues.
I have 6 new beautiful,
and colourful, Sari Silk bag decorations. These pretties will add a
lovely splash of colour to your bags, belts, rooms, or anywhere else
you want to display them!
No two are alike –
different colours, different swivel claps, and differing lengths from
around 9 – 16 inches! (or 24 – 39cms) These are fun and funky and
the Sari Silk comes from an ethical supplier dealing with women’s
co-operatives in India.
These start at £14 and will be on sale between my Etsy and Folksy shops.
a good question, as it seems to mean different things to different
people. Even the definition of Steampunk alters depending on who you
talk to, so for the purposes of this simple guide, I am giving you
the definition as I understand it. Any products or accessories from
the genre can only be subjective, for that reason. When people ask me
what Steampunk is about, they don’t want a long-winded explanation,
they just want a short answer, and in that case, I will generally
call it ‘Victorian science fiction’. Its more complicated than that,
of course, as we shall see.
did Steampunk start?
people believe the genre to be rooted in the 19th Century
novels of the French author, Jules Verne. Of course, he didn’t know
he was writing Steampunk – or science fiction, for that matter –
as both terms hadn’t been invented then. H.G Wells is another
candidate for the steampunk storyteller crown, and after the term was
introduced – around 1987, there have been plenty of authors
actively writing in the genre since.
elements make up Steampunk?
you want to write in the genre, or make your own costumes, jewellery
and accessories, you’ll want some clue as to where to begin. I don’t
think you can go too far wrong by starting in the Victorian era, and
then adding layers. Or distorting layers. Corsets, for instance –
we all know that the ladies used to lace them up and then hide them
under their dresses and bodices. Not so with Steampunk – wear them
loud and proud ladies! (or gents, if you are so inclined…) Use
bright colours, fancy materials, or moody leathers, and pop them on
over your dress or shirt for maximum impact! No longer need they be
devices of torture, they can now be fun and sexy.
is a prominent component and gadgets feature heavily, too. The
quirkier the better. Have them steam-powered, or using technology
available in the Victorian era but spiced up as much, or as little,
as you want. Fancy having a steam-powered computer? Why not? Its your
world – play with it!
for making Steampunk jewellery
world is your oyster!
found objects – you can have such fun scouring car boot sales, thrift
stores and charity shops for the items listed below, and once you get
your eye in, I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with lots of your own
mad scientist – curiosities, test tubes, scientific bits and pieces
mechanics – copper, steel, brass, locks and keys, valves, small
nuts and tiny machine parts
Victorian – lace, cameos, chain, charms, flora and fauna, old
broken jewellery and watches (please be careful if you disassemble
old clocks and watches with glow-in-the-dark hands, as they may
colours – black, grey, burgundy, red, purple. Mostly the colours
were fairly natural in the Victorian era so not as bright as we’d be
used to. Purple was discovered by accident by Sir William Henry
Perkin in 1856. He was looking for an alternative to quinine (used to
treat malaria) and started
the trend for synthetic dyes instead when he discovered mauveine,
which was made from aniline.
Steampunk the only genre of its type?
Steampunk is generally Victorian/Edwardian, rough timelines for some
of the others include:
– 1960’s and 1970’s
– war eras 1920’s to 1945
– atomic age, circa 1945- 1965
– a wonderful, positive, Utopian world where everyone is equal,
power is clean and renewable. I think I like that optimistic
future… lets try for that, shall we?
inspiration can come from anywhere – a random comment from a friend
or family member, an interesting colour combination, or something
I’ve seen while out and about. But because I love historical
jewellery, often the initial spark will come from that, and there is
nothing quite like actually going to visit a good fashion or
jewellery collection to see the item sitting in front of you.
Earlier this year we scooted off to Bath to visit the Fashion Museum. It’s a beautiful place and was certainly well worth the journey. The museum has a lovely selection of clothing and often does extra exhibitions. It was one of these that I wanted to see – namely a collection called Royal Women. This exhibition has finished now, but if you are in the Bath area, please go and visit; their standard exhibition is worth the trip on its own!
warning about Bath if you have mobility issues. This area of Bath is
very hilly, and something of a mountain goat trek, but there is one
of those on-off tour buses that covers all the main attractions and
costs around £16. The museum itself is in a very old – and very
lovely – 18th Century Georgian house with lots of
stairs. The conveniences are down a couple of flights of stairs but
the museum is accessible for all, just speak to a member of staff who
will escort you to the lift. For the record, all of the staff we
spoke to were extremely polite and professional, and I’m sure they
will be able to sort out any problem you may have.
elegant house was designed by John Wood the Younger and finished in
1771. There are some impressive inter-connecting Assembly Rooms,
picture of the Ballroom below, and these, as are many old buildings
in Bath, also available for public hire. The Assembly Rooms are lit
by nine 18th Century chandeliers, measuring an
average of 8 feet in height and were made from Whitefriars Crystal
(from the Whitefriars Glass works in London). These chandeliers were
originally lit by between 40-48 candles per chandelier, changing to
gas in the 19th century and then altered again for
standard exhibition here is ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ and
shows off a fabulous collection of items from the 1600’s to the
present day and includes dresses, shoes, underclothes and men’s wear
as well. Alongside the Georgian and Regency clothes you will also
find more contemporary fashion sporting names like Christian Dior and
reason for visiting the Museum was to the see the ‘Royal Women’
display, and in particular, this stunning mauve/purple wedding dress
originally belonging to Princess Alexandria in 1863.
not disappoint, and my picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it
was every bit as beautiful as it looked in the pictures I’ve seen of
Women display also included clothing from Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth
the Queen Mother, and Princess Margaret.
Museum has a small display of clothing for dressing up purposes, for
both adults and children. Several children were having a whale of
time in there when we passed through, but sadly there was nothing in
there in my size.
can also take part in a sticker trail (info from reception) and there
are drawing cards in the galleries to amuse them.
cafe which serves a variety of tasty items but we can personally
vouch for the delicious cake on offer!
shop selling books and knick-knacks was available, too. I bought a
book covering the ‘100 objects’ collection and a little booklet for
the visiting Royal Women collection as well.
an abundance of museums and art exhibitions as well, and you
definitely should see the Roman Baths – yes, the remains are really
that old – and still pretty impressive. If you intend to visit both
the Fashion Museum and the Roman Baths, you can buy a combined ticket
to save a little money. We didn’t visit the Baths on this occasion,
as we’ve been to the city before, but the Bath complex also houses
the ruins of the Temple Sulis Minerva and a bronze head of the
Goddess is on display in the adjoining museum.
me how many people have difficulty finding the right jewellery. I’m
not talking here about the difficulties of choosing between that
lovely pair of red drop earrings or the spectacular emerald green
ones (buy both!)
believe that jewellery should be available to all, and yet, so many
of us struggle to achieve this simple goal, and for many different
Not being a standard size myself, I do understand the frustration of not being able to find something to suit your personality. This is actually one of the reasons I started to make my own jewellery in the first place. I think its better now than it used to be, but the situation is still far from perfect. For this reason, I now use extension chains on a lot of my jewellery to make them adjustable, I might make them multi-size or sometimes do a selection of sizes but not only can this can get very expensive, but isn’t really practical as quite a few of my designs are one-off unique creations.
Some of my
pieces are in ‘an average’ size, simply because I have to choose a
size to make the item in, and since I am running a business, this
needs to be what most of my customers require. However, I am aware
that there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ and not everyone
fits neatly into one category. Nor would I want them to. Wouldn’t
that be boring if we all had the same shape?
Lots of you have allergic reactions to standard jewellery components. The most common is with ear wires, and because of this most of my wires are sterling silver. Unfortunately, a surprising amount of you can’t wear sterling silver, and this is where it gets interesting because in spite of what the manufactures tell you, there is no such thing as ‘safe for everybody’ wires. Most of my wires are fairly safe. I use lots of sterling silver, hypo-allergenic niobium, goldfill (these are 14k gold-plated) stainless steel, and occasionally, titanium as well. If you have sensitive ears it might be best to steer clear of copper ear wires. I stock them because so many people like them, and copper earrings are beautiful, but they are not hypo-allergenic and the copper has a tendency to go green, so these might best be avoided if you have problems with jewellery components.
can be fiddly for the best of us, and if you have, for instance,
arthritis or mobility issues, putting on jewellery can, quite
literally, be a pain in the neck. Even something as simple as being
left-handed can be a nuisance in dressing day to day. I know you get
used to it. Yes, I’m sure you can cope perfectly well, but if it
bothers you, why suffer when you might not need to? There are often
ways around these problems. But I can’t help if I don’t know what the
Come and talk to me. I will not share anything you tell me with anyone else unless you want me to. Nor will I judge you. I just want to help you find the fun and pleasure that everyone deserves. Nobody should be excluded from expressing themselves in this way simply because of their size, age, gender, or physical ability. I like to think that between us, we can find a style that will work for you. I don’t generally make custom pieces, but usually that’s not necessary. I would be happy to advise on which of my products could be suitable for your needs, and a lot of items can be adjusted to work for you – like changing a fastening, ear wires, or adding an extension, for instance. In special circumstances I would consider making something just for you, but unless you ask, that’s not going to happen, is it?