Friday, 28 September 2012

Meeting the Winners of the Makeover Competition

Last night, the group of ladies from small businesses in Hampshire met our lovely competition winners.  All three winners were lovely ladies who were very honest about their reasons for entering the competition, and what they hoped they would gain from the prize.  I can't wait to see the transformation when they go for their makeover!

Here is  picture of Aggi (from Imagenation Photography) with the three winners.

 From left to right:  Dorothy, Jenn and Emma, with Aggi on the far right.

And here is a picture of everyone who attended last night:

Top row (from left to right): Katy (Hair and Make Up), Jenn, Dorothy, Anna (Personal Stylist), and Emma.
Bottom row (from left to right): Lili (Mary Kay Cosmetics), Evelyn (me!) and Aggi (Imagenation Photography)

I believe the date of the makeover and photoshoot has been set to be 18th October, and I hope these well-deserved winners enjoy it!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Makeover Competition Winners Announced!

On 9th June I wrote about a competition that some local business women were running together.

The winner and two runners-up were announced yesterday  The winner will receive a 1h boudoir photo shoot, five 7x5" prints, various pampering sessions and a gift bag full of presents and special offers from local businesses.   The two runners-up will win a 0.5h boudoir photo shoot, three 7x5" prints, pampering sessions and a smaller gift bag.

Everyone who entered the competition will receive vouchers for shopping with the organisers.

Below is a list of the Hampshire business women (and their respective websites) who took part in contributing to this event. 

Aggi Leaver - Photographer -
Anna Zochowski   – Personal Stylist –
Katie Gulley – Make-up Artist & Hair Stylist  –
Lynn Rich – The Law of Attraction Coach –
Sarah Hutton  – Massage Therapist –
Lili Julian  – Mary Kay Cosmetics Consultant –
Patricia Lopez  – Yoga Teacher –
Henna Hibberd – Personal Trainer –
Jan Morton  – Arbonne Cosmetics Consultant – 
Evelyn Salt  – Inner Fyre Jewellery –
In closing, I'd like to say a huge congratulations to Emma who was the overall winner, and to Jenn and Dorothy - our runners-up.  Everyone should be pampered now and again, and winning a prize like this is definitely the way to do it!   ;-)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Trials of a new website

You may have thought Inner Fyre had gone quiet recently.  You'd be right.

Earlier this year, we lost the code for the Inner Fyre website due to a computer malfunction, and then 3 days later our backup drive (where we kept a backup of the code) also died.

Unfortunate timing that both stores of code disappeared together, yes.  But I like to believe that things happen for a reason.   So my husband and I made the decision to rebuild the whole website, from scratch.  (And back it up to a server this time!)

Why not just use a website template, of which there seem to be many out there?   Well, mainly because I wanted to ensure that my customers had as much choice as possible.   And the majority of templates out there were not as flexible as I needed them to be in order to do that.  Starting with that basic concept in mind, I wrote down what I wanted my customers to be able to do.

While the concept is pretty simple, creating the code to give this functionality is not quite as simple, as we discovered.   On top of that, we wanted to make sure that I had easy administrative control over the content of the site once it was up and running.  In other words, we wanted to ensure that every time I came up with a new design, I could upload it (along with the pricing) easily onto the website.

I also wanted some information pages, so that people who were interested in my jewellery could quickly find out the difference between gemstones, or crystals and pearls.  I wanted to have a page dedicated to information about the different types of commonly requested gemstones.  I wanted to have a permanent offer on one design, which would get rotated randomly every month.  I wanted to have a permanent competition running, with winners drawn monthly.  I wanted people to be able to request gift vouchers for loved ones.   I wanted to be able to display any testimonials.

In other words, I wanted the world!

Luckily for me, my husband is extremely good at writing code for the back-end of websites!  And all these dreams came true.

And this morning, that website went live.   Hooray!

Monday, 25 June 2012

If hummus could talk ...

... it would say, "Doh!" 

According to my 21-month-old daughter Charlotte that is.

I always find it fascinating what children pick up on when they listen to adults.  My husband has a T-Shirt with Homer from the Simpsons illustrated on the front of it.  He has taught Charlotte that Homer says "Doh!" in much the same way as a cow says, "Moo," or a sheep says "Baa."   It's part of her standard "animal noises" repertoire.

A few days ago we were having lunch, breadsticks and sliced vegetables with side dips, one of which was hummus.  Every now and again, Charlotte would say, "Doh!" apparently randomly, and I wondered what was causing it (and she's not normally random in her behaviour).   After a while it dawned on me and I asked her, "What does hummus say?" which got the same response.   It wasn't random at all - she was saying, "Doh!" every time I mentioned the hummus!   Presumably in her mind, Homer and hummus sound very similar.

We also used to think she said, "tick tock" quite randomly, and then we worked out she did it every time she saw a picture of a mouse.  If you ask her what a mouse says, she tells you it says, "tick tock."   I can only imagine that it's a direct result of too much Hickory Dickory Dock.

I hope these associations don't last too long.  While I'm finding it very cute at the moment, going to pre-school thinking that a mouse says, "tick tock," is probably not such a great idea.   

At least she's enjoying her breadsticks.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Chain Mail experiments

In a previous post I revealed how I was starting to experiment with making Chain Mail jewellery.   Well, I have made some more designs and am pleased with the progress so I thought I would share it.

These earrings are silver plated chain mail, fringed with silver-lined red seed beads, and I have given this pair as a prize in the Imagenation competition.

This pair of silver-plated earrings is based on a Mobius Spiral and I have finished them with a black Swarovski briolette.

And finally a pair of gold earrings which I have called "Orbital Rings" because it reminded me a little bit of Saturn's rings.  They are finished with black onyx.

There are definitely more designs to come - watch this blog!

As always, any design can be made in any colour - visit for more information.

Since there is an open invitation to share this blog with Cherished Handmade Treasures, I'm going to join the fun and see what other people are up to....

Saturday, 9 June 2012


A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by Aggi from Imagenation Studios.  She is much more than a photographer, as she helps to give women sustained confidence through her profession.

She asked me if I'd be interested in contributing a prize for an amazing competition she was hosting.  Of course I said yes, and in doing so have contributed to three gift bags which will be prizes in this competition.   Other prizes include yoga classes, make-up, skincare cosmetics, personal training sessions, sewing lessons and not forgetting a makeover and photoshoot!  Each gift bag is worth over £1000 and is definitely a prize worth having.

So I have designed the following pairs of earrings, specifically with this competition in mind.   Each winner will get one of these!

The first is a pair of gold-plated earrings with black bicones.  I've called them "Libra" because they remind me of the sign of the Zodiac associated with the scales.

The second is a pair of silver plated celtic style earrings with teal faux pearls.  The four-leaf clover is intended to be a sign of luck, and I chose the colour purely because I thought it was pretty.

The third is a pair of silver plated chained earrings fringed with silver-lined red seed beads.  I think the look a little bit like little caterpillars. 

We have the prizes, all we need now are the competition entrants.  So if you fancy winning this fabulous prize, the entry for is here  :-)

And if you'd like to check out more unusual jewellery designs, visit the Inner Fyre website  :-)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Attempting chain mail

I like trying different things.  So I've recently decided to try my hand at chain mail.   At first I found it quite tricky and I nearly gave up, because it was completely different to anything I'd done before.  But I perservered, and with practice, seemed to get better and better, until I was confident to try an make a bracelet and earring set.   This is what emerged - a gold plated Byzantine bracelet with champagne crystals.  And now that I know wat I'm doing, I can make these in any colour!

This is the finished bracelet:

This is the finished pair of earrings:

And finally a close-up of the bracelet so that you can see the detail:

I'm really pleased with the resul of my efforts, and will certainly be attempting more chain mail designs - watch this space!  :-)

For more design ideas, visit the main Inner Fyre website.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Second Craft Fair

I'm not quite sure how it got to be May already, it feels like I've not posted here in a long time!

I recently did my second craft fair in my home town, at the Village Fete.  The weather was cold, wet and very windy, and the organisers insisted on holding it outside regardless of the weather.  (What happened to the summer?)

Anyway here I am with my little stall!  I used covered boxes and brandy glasses to give some height to the stall, and kept a little tub of (home made) fudge on one corner (to give away to bored youngters).

I only put out a selection because I didn't want to overcrowd the stall.

Here is a close-up of the brandy glasses:

And also pictures of a couple of items that sold on the day. 

Gold plated angel earrings with crystal head and body:

Silver plated chandelier earrings with dark blue faux pearls:

For more design ideas, see the main website  :-)

Friday, 24 February 2012

Second Competition

After the success of the first facebook competition, I thought I would do a second one.   But this time the winners would get to choose which prize they wanted to win by sharing the relevant picture.  There was a choice of 2 designs ... the silver celtic design or the golden champagne twist:

Over 70 people shared at least one of the photos within a 3 hour period.  I was utterly amazed.   I thought it was take a couple of days to hit the target of 300 "likes" but it only took a couple of hours.  I need to make the target more challenging next time  ;-)

Although the silver celtic earrings seemed to be more popular, the winner chose the gold champagne twist.  I hope she likes them as much as I do :-)

For more design ideas visit the main Inner Fyre website.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

My First Competition

I decided to try a competition on facebook, to win the pair of earrings shown here.

34 people entered, and given that the whole business venture is still very new, I was really pleased with such an overwhelming response!

There were also some lovely comments posted on the facebook page about these earrings.   This has certainly encouraged me to do more competitions in future.

For more pictures and design ideas, visit the Inner Fyre website.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope everyone had a good festive season.  We saw it as a time for family and had a nice time with my parents and my brother's family.   It was only a couple of weeks ago, but it feels like a lot longer!

Since then I've had a couple of commissioned items recently that I really liked, so I thought I'd share them.  The first is a silver plated bracelet with black Swarovski briolettes.  I think it's pretty, and the lady who bought it said she really enjoyed designing it with me, which is always nice to hear.

The other one I liked a lot was the chandelier earrings in gold and brown.   I think the colours really compliment each other and it's a piece which makes a statement.

I'm in the process of creating a gallery of commissioned and sold items.  Hopefully it will inspire people to get creative with me  :-)