Vines Designs- Unique fully inclusive jewellery making workshops and classes in the lovely Wiltshire countryside near Swindon, Chippenham, Cirencester. Jewellery parties. Hen parties. birthday parties. Beads, findings and jewellery kits. Unique hand made jewellery

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Vines Designs, Cathy Fairgrieve's Jewellery making BLOG

This blogging lark takes up lots of time, which I don't seem to have at the moment, being a bit busy with my workshops, family, dogs, sheep, cats and chickens so I have decide to devote my time to those for the time being instead!

December 2nd 2013
WOW, well my sale on Saturday 30th went very well, many thanks to you if you came along to support it. There was quite a rush for the first hour or so then it calmed down and I managed to get a cup of coffee and a bit of a chat and catch up! I have just made a donation to Cancer Research of £385.00, which with gift aid comes to over
£481.00. I'm so pleased.

Somehow it did not seem to make much of a dent in my stock - I've obviously got too many beads. I do find to difficult to resist buying shiny pretty stuff. I must have been a magpie in a previous life!

I also have finally got around to preparing my recipe book. All for Cancer Research UK. The printers have been a bit slow, but I am assured I will have the books in my hot little hands this week. Feel free to order one, or come around for a cuppa and see if you can reduce my bead stock as well!

October 2013
I've justrealised that it has been almost a year since I last updated my BLOG! so much for keeping things current!

It's been a busy time with my workshops which have been growing nicely over the last year. Lots of regular ladies as well as new recruits. My husband has just come home after working away in Tokyo for 20 months. He now has a job in the UK so that has meant a big change here - He's having to get used to beads!

My next project is a charity recipe book. This will be for make-ahead dishes for company, meaning that you don't spend loads of time in the kitchen instead of with your guests. So do you have any favorite family recipes that fit that criteria? You will get a credit if your recipe is included and I will be selling the booklets for Cancer Research UK at my charity sale - see right!

Charity Christmas Jewellery and Bead Sale
Saturday 30th November 11.00am till 3.00pm
Vines House Grittenham, Wiltshire SN15 4JT
50% of profits from sales
to Cancer Research UK
Hand-made Jewellery
Beads and jewellery making tools and supplies
Findings, Charms and tibetan silver beads

Many half price and 3 for 2 offers
FREE tea/coffee and cake
(With optional donations to CRUK)

Raffle for workshop places and more with 100% proceeds to the charity

November 2012
One of the spurs for having the sale was to reduce my excess stock, but I just I keep on buying beads! can't resist those shiny things! -Of course I have a great excuse, the beads aren't for me, they are for the lovely ladies at my workshops! having said 'ladies', I have had my first chap attend a workshop, in fact two workshops! a great man called Graham, who is married to the lovely Lynne, one of my regular ladies. It makes a refreshing change watching a burly tatooed bloke making delicate earrings! - I was planning to add a picture, but my computer is throwing a hissy fit and won't look a the SD card, I'll have to come up with a work-around!

I've Just got in some nice little glass tube beads which has got me playing with beading wire to use them in ways that isn't just simple threading, although they make really nice spacers too.

The ladder technique is easy as long as you get the tension right, just using two strands of wire and crossing them over through the tubes. You can see the method with the detail photo of the green bracelet, just make sure you allow plenty of wire!

I'm quite pleased with the effect, it is a little time consuming, but ok to do in front of the telly!.

The other picture is my chickens enjoying a brief sunbathe in between showers!

My first group of Groupon ladies! It's been so much fun, everyone has been lovely and lots have said really nice things and want to come back again!

Its got to be the best thing, doing something you love as a job!

It's keeping me very busy ,that and acting as PA to my husband who is now self employed after 27 years with the same company - all very exciting.

Watching how my guests use my lovely beads is really inspiring, gives me some new ideas and helps me to see things from other angles. I think it's really valuable for creative people to get together and share ideas.

As well as making new jewellery I Must find time to get the lawn clipped and the dog mowed!

Wow, talk about being careful what you wish for!
My Groupon promotion was super sucessfull. I thought I might sell about 20 or so. I actually sold 154! I had to call up Groupon and say stop! Groupon doesn't actually earn me any money, they take 50% of the offer fee plus VAT, so instead of £30 for a half day workshop I get £4.80! However, it's great adversising and exposure, and gets more lovely ladies through my door to find out how fab my workshops are!
I'm really looking forward to them, everyone I've spoken to so far has been lovely - creative beady types always are!

Just before that all happened I got a commission from a lovely man to make a special birthday set for his wife. He wanted something delicate but unique and hand made. I came up with this set made in sterling silver wire and freshwater pearls, with hand made clasps. I'm very pleased with it, and so was he!

I've been busy doing Birthday parties since Christmas, great fun.

My Valentine came through with this lovely bouquet! I might get some inspiration from it. Hope your valentine was good to you too.

On a different tack altogether, I'm about to run my first Groupon promotion, very exciting - I've no idea what it will do!

So, Happy New Year to you. Did you have a great Christmas? Mine was really busy with lots of family around and was really enjoyable.
Back to a new year and new challenges. I did a jewellery making birthday party on Saturday for a lovely girl called Hattie, age 13, and six of her friends. It always suprises me how creative the girls are. I show them the same techniques, they get to choose from the same beads, and everyone makes something completely different! They made lots of pretty things and even gave me some inspiration! The picture shows a typical charm bracelet with each charm chosen by one the the birthday guests. makes a nice souvenir of the day.

Vines house in the snow, December 2010

13th December,

Christmas is nearly here - yipee! I've just had a look through my piccies from last year, we had so much snow didn't we? the pictures are from this time last year.
I've been so busy preparing for sales and making commissions for pressies. Better than being bored! I've had several very successful sales. Bracelets I made with a selection of Tibetan silver beads were very popular and I've had commissions for the beaten copper wire work pieces. Hammering the wire work is a great way to work off some aggression and keep warm! Gift vouchers for the jewellery workshops have sold well too.
I've just had the last sale of my jewellery before Christmas so I am looking forward to having some time to develop some new ideas and to keep tweeking the website. I've become a tweeter, or is that a twitterer? (My family might think I'm just a twit), still a bit new to that.
Just had an absolutely lovely and very busy family weekend with 16 for supper on Saturday and 26 for lunch on Sunday! Great fun to get everyone together. All helped and mucked in.
Whatever you are doing, and whatever you plan for the festive season, may it be all you hope for.
Merry Christmas!

November 22nd - Welcome to my fresh new blog page! I've never done this before so be prepared for some rambling!


Well most of my time lately has been taken up with building the web site, but last week I received some silicone mold making putty and some clear casting resin. The last time I used resin I was about 10 years old and I have to say it was not a success! So this time I did a lot of reading on the interweb before I started and decided to have a go. First I made a mould from a small perfume bottle using the two part silicone putty. This is actually dental impression material and is very easy to use, although you don't get much working time before it sets. I had a rummage in my bead stash and thought it would be a good idea to try a bottled heart. The heart I chose was a pretty sparkly acrylic cabochon. The interesting thing was that the sparkle dissapeared once it was encased in the resin because the acrylic and the resin must have the same density, so there is no interface to reflect light. Anyway, then I tried one with words, inspired by the old song "Love potion number 9" my first attempts are shown here.

After that I made a new mold by pressing rounded rectangle glass beads into the putty and cast some cabochons using printed torn words and some metal leaf. I plan to make them into a bracelet.

Next I am going to try other words and antique images to make more beads for bracelets and use existing glass pendants to make molds for encasing words and pictures.

PS Resin is very smelly and sticky! wear gloves and open the windows, and use more newspaper to cover your table than I did!

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Vines Designs. Jewellery making workshops and classes, Jewellery parties, beads, findings and kits and unique hand-made jewellery. Vines House, Grittenham, Wiltshire, SN15 4JT 07796 955060 |

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