DIY - brass and bead necklace

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

I'm normally a statement necklace kind of girl but I wanted to make something simple to wear at weekends. I saw a brass necklace a while back and thought it'd be perfect to try. For this necklace you really need to use heavy beads (no plastic or acrylic) like brass and glass as I've used here, this will ensure it has a good weight and hangs well. The rest is really simple...
Step 1. Cut a piece of tiger-tail 30cm long and thread your beads. Make sure you mix them up. 

Step 2. Once you're happy with the design, you're aiming for a 20cm length of beads. Add a calotte and crimp to one end. Squeeze the crimp closed and then close the calotte over the top, repeat on the other side. 

Step 3. Cut a length of leather 60cm long. Add a crimp to one end loop the leather over on itself and squeeze the crimp closed. Repeat on the other side. 

Step 4. Fix the leather to the beads with a 5mm jump-rings


 I love these necklaces - sometimes its good to be simple. Happy Making! x

Images - Siobhan Watts, Bless the Weather

Styling The Seasons - A few tips

Monday, 20 October 2014

Image - Renee Richelle Design via Instagram

The beautiful photo's and posts for Styling The Seasons just keep coming in - there has been such an amazing array of talented people take part, our Instagram feed (#StylingTheSeasons) has well over 200 entries and is gorgeous! 

Today I want to give anyone a nudge who is thinking of taking part and hasn't yet. For me I've found it a great exercise in practicing styling and photographing, whilst I'm not the best by any means I feel like having a monthly photography project makes me plan and prepare which is something I wouldn't necessarily do. Giving myself time to take photo's improves them, I can play around with my camera settings, wait for the best light, try different compositions to find what works best for me. This ultimately makes me takes better photos and better photo's improves my confidence which is always my biggest hurdle. From looking through all the entries, here are some tips I have picked up along the way,  I hope these help you in getting started.

Keep it personal - If you need a starting point pick an item that you absolutely love and work from there. I love hearing the stories behind an object. 

Keep the palette simple - I find using a palette of just a few colours makes a photograph easier on the eye. 

Use nature - nature helps soften hard edges and creates unity. Plus using nature means you have to go outside and thats never a bad thing! 

Don't try to be like everyone else - let others inspire you but always stay true to what you love. 

Try your best and have fun - from the beginning Katy and I wanted to create a project that everyone could join in. It doesn't matter if you have a window sill or a ballroom to style, everyone is invited and everyone is different so go and grab yourself a handful of nature, a vase and a special something and have a little play. You'll be surprised at the results and before long Styling The Seasons will become a way of life! 

Make sure you use the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons on any social media channels you use so we can see them. 

DIY - jewelled cuff

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I'm excited to share this jewelled cuff diy - it's sooooo easy to make and I just love these photo's Siobhan has taken. I had a huge clear out when I moved and was left with a pile of jewels that I no longer wanted to wear but couldn't get rid of. I saw an amazing jewelled bracelet on instagram and knew I had to convert all my old treasures into something special. Here's how I did it. 
Materials - Plain bracelets/cuff, old jewels (I used a mix of bracelets, earrings and necklaces) and epoxy resin (or any other strong glue)
There is only one real step - remove the backs off any earrings with wire cutters and then glue onto your bracelet. Leave to dry, wear! My bracelets kept moving around so I made a tube out of card to keep them still.
I told you it was simple -  I just love how these have turned out! I have more winter jewel tutorials planned for upcoming months so come back soon for more, until then happy making! x

Beautiful photo's - Siobhan, Bless The Weather

what to wear with...statement tassel earrings

Friday, 10 October 2014

One question I quite often get asked is how I wear the jewels that I make, its very rare that I'm without something I've made myself, everything I make becomes incorporated into my day-to-day wardrobe. Lately I've not stopped wearing my statement tassel earrings - I love them so much! I don't think you have to look like a crafter to get a bit of DIY into your everyday, I've been updating my autumn wardrobe recently (apart from the gorgeous coat) here's what I've been buying and wearing my statement beauties with. 

River Island Black Skinnies - they're keeping their shape well
Cos Silk Tshirt - such a perfect drape, I went for cream
Dorothy Perkins Pink Jacket - less wolly than a cardi
Topshop Leopard Coat - just because leopard and autumn go hand in hand
Office Leather Boots - simple (a bit dull) but needed

Have a great weekend x

DIY - Crystal Statement Necklace

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

This statement necklace has caught me surprise, it's a tutorial I wrote for Jewelry From Home, I didn't really plan it I just went to the bead shop looking for inspiration and then all sorts of statement greatness happened! This version is a necklace I made for Emily's Floral Friday Competition, made with cord instead chain I love how you can mix colours and textures to create something unique each time. 
Not only is this a really fun piece to make, it would make a fab introduction to jewellery making class. I'm looking ahead to 2015 at the moment and really want to get some more classes running as Lotts and Lots, if you'd be interested in attending classes or can recommend some studio space that is reasonable to hire either central or east London then get in touch, by email i'm lottsandlots@gmail.com but you can find me on Twitter and Instagram

I'd like to start running hen/or general parties too so if you're looking for a stylish activity that you and your friends will actually wear and use after then get in touch. 

Happy Making! x

Monday's - somethings I've learnt

Monday, 6 October 2014

I absolutely love Monday its the best day of my week, rather than have the Sunday night dreads I get so excited about what I can do the next day.  If you follow me on Instagram it might look all jewels and flowers but behind the scenes it's rarely that, I wont lie it's been harder than I thought especially balancing what I think I can do verses what I can realistically do, for todays post I thought I'd share so things I have learnt. 

Get dressed - whilst it's tempting to schlep around in pj's or Sunday's leggings; showering, getting dressed and putting on a bit of blusher gets you in the mid-set to work.

Work out what your best time of day is best for you - I'm most definitely a morning person so I do all my tutorials first thing when I'm most inspired.

Drink some water - sounds so simple but I spent months so caught up doing projects that I didn't stop to eat or drink anything and then end up crashing about 3 o'clock. I now keep a jug of water on my desk which keeps me going.

Take regular breaks - Another simple one, but again I ignored this so many times. I hate to waste a minute of my favourite day but not stopping for lunch turned me into a crazy lady. I now allow myself a break in the middle of the day.

Get a separate bank account - This is something that I wish I had done from day one, I was put off by having an official business account as I don't earn enough to warrant one but opening a separate current account with its own card has made my finances much less muddley and stressful to organise.

Manage your time honestly - I read something somewhere about time management and it said look at the spare time you think you have and then half it to get the accurate amount of time you to work with. Due to my initial enthusiasm I thought I had 8 days a week spare instead of one, trying to write three tutorials a day is just not possible (I learnt this to my peril a few times).

Just get on with it - writing elaborate lists and grand plans is brilliant but writing a list isn't the same as getting something done, roll up your sleeves and get started - it's the only way you're going to find out if something works.

Know when to stop - for months I started work at about 8 in the morning and then worked straight through until 10pm. This was the worst thing but I found not having the boundaries of a traditional working day meant I felt guilty if I stopped working. I've started going to pilates on a Monday evening as it means I have an end point to my day and stretches me out after being hunched of my laptop or work table.

My original Monday post is here and if you'd like to come and join me at a workshop you can find all the lastest dates here.

DIY Round Up

Friday, 3 October 2014

Things have been ticking along nicely these past few weeks, I've written and shot some new autumnal tutorials that I can't wait to share and have a loads more ideas that I want try out. First, I'd like to take a moment to look back at my tutorials from the summer. My blog started as a way for me to learn and test new ideas and it's still definitely at its heart, just as I think I've mastered a new technique there is always something else that catches my eye and gets me reaching for my pliers. 


I've obviously been on a pink kick this summer but if pink isn't your thing then these tutorials will work in any colour palette you like. I tend to use gold findings but if silver is more your thing use silver instead . Don't like bright colours? Switch yellows, pinks for soft greys and neutrals. If jazzy gold leather doesn't do it for you (why ever not?!) then use a beautiful tan - its fine if you don't use exactly the same as me, I just want you to feel inspired to make and create. The beauty of jewellery making is there is no right or wrong - it doesn't matter if you miss a stitch or your notches don't match as long as you're having fun that's the most important thing. 

I'm revisiting my Introduction to Jewellery Making later this month but of there is anything you'd like to know or want me to make then comment below (although commenting has been a bit temperamental lately) you can also email me at Lottsandlots@gmail.com, tweet me @Tweetinglotts or follow me on Instagram @Lottsandlots . I'd really love to hear from you.

Have a super weekend and happy making! xx

Bead and Wire Hoops / Tie Dye Table Cloth / Leather Wrap Bracelet / Embellished Canvas Shoes / Bow T-Shirt / Multi-Charm Bracelet
 
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