Well it's been a funny old year, hasn't it? The world has gone bananas and I have no idea what awaits us on the other side. On a personal level, the past year has been chaotic, stressful and exciting in equal measures. Our lovely wreck of a house has finally had some significant work done on it, which was marvellous, although I would very much not recommend project managing a construction project, starting a new part-time job and dealing with the run up to Christmas order madness all at the same time! The boy was too busy with work stuff to get involved in the renovation planning, and I had to turn down a lot of custom orders that I would have liked to do, just because I didn't have enough hours in the day.
However, this year I have also been lucky enough to be able to progress my jewellery collections and create some lovely bespoke pieces.
Some of my favourites have been the wedding rings and engagement rings I have created for lovely couples from eco-friendly recycled gold and silver:
Hand making each piece of jewellery in my studio has allowed me to make sure that each piece I create is as eco-friendly and ethical as possible. I now use recycled metals wherever I can in my jewellery and also ensure that my gemstones are ethically sourced. I'm currently looking into using lab-grown gemstones as well - the science is fascinating!
This year I also became Fairtrade Certified, which means that I am now able to use Fairtrade as well as recycled gold in my jewellery. I am passionate about creating high quality jewellery in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
Rather disappointingly I have had a couple of jewellery companies copy my designs, including my lovely custard cream and bourbon biscuits. However, their jewellery is mass produced overseas, so it is greatly cheering to know that my customers do care about original design and ethical production. Thank you for supporting independent designers!
Whilst this has been a bit of a crazy year, I have had the chance to do a couple of custom orders, including this fabulous Vivienne Westwood inspired necklace to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of London Rollergirls:
And this re-make of a old favourite necklace, which was made of cheap plated metal but had great sentimental value.
I also made time to update my photography - I finally got a flashgun and everything!
As well as adding new pieces to my Rain or Shine collection, this year I have been working on new pieces inspired by the textures of the beaches where I spent my childhood. I've not had a chance to put them on the website yet, but they've done really well at events, which is always a good sign!
Moving forward, I have so many exciting plans and new designs in my head - come at me 2017, I'm ready for you!