Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Studio PlayTime

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"Forest Floor" - painted in apples and cinnamon inspired hues and values

It's been ages since I've properly reconnected with my blog or even Facebook. I think it's because I was made to feel thoroughly miserable for a while with all the health issues and I knew that would come through online. The appointments and follow ups are continuing and will do throughout November, but I am fine within myself, which is a relief to be able to say

I am going to keep the shop closed for the rest of the year now, to give myself room to relax and play...this is how I come up with my best work to be honest. I'm planning to open at least another shop next year which will be based on mixed media, altered books, paintings and such, so there is a lot of work going into that behind the scenes. The hubby is also literally heading into his final few weeks before handing in his thesis, so a calm stress free household is paramount. Christmas will be fun though!

I have really got back into my painting again recently. I have decided to accept the fact that I'm incredibly faddish when it comes to my medium of choice. All I want to do is paint at the moment, and who knows how long that impulse will last before I move onto something else. That's probably why I'll need all these different types of retail outlets to store all forms of my work lol . Anyway, I will leave you with my latest paintings, they're acrylic abstract pieces, one titled "Forest Floor" and the other playfully called "Grapelicious". They've both been painted in a negative painting style, which I am obsessed with at the moment. I hope you like them...I've included close ups of different aspects of the paintings as well as a view of them on the studio table :)

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"Grapelicious" - hues inspired by both the red and the green grapes on vines

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Thanks for stopping by

Samantha Braund

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Getting Back On The Horse!

I haven't blogged an update here in a long time because quite frankly it would have been too depressing to document everything! Suffice it to say, that I have been looked after very well by the wonderful Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons in hospital, and thank goodness really because there were some scary moments during the last few weeks. Swellings in the neck were compressing my windpipe and making swallowing difficult in addition to a raging infection, in my jaw bone, that the antibiotics just couldn't seem to get a handle on! I ended up on antibiotics for 6 weeks continuously - can you imagine how that has affected my system as a whole....so I am taking my recovery time seriously and at a slow pace. My energy levels are not great at the moment but everyday I get stronger, so that's good. Anyway, the drama should be over for he most part now (touch wood)

I am itching to get back to being creative and have many ideas and experiments I'd like to work on. The only pieces left to list in the shop are the Spider Conch necklaces (the Peacock freshwater pearl one is in the photo above)...I still haven't edited the photos, so that chore is still hanging over me lol. Outside of that, it should be a case of all new work, which is so exciting... I'd really love to combine my jewellery making and book making , in addition to my usual style of pieces -we'll see...for now I am just happy to be back home and on the mend :)

Thanks so much for the supportive emails and well wishes they have meant so much to me. I need to acknowledge them all, when I can, and mostly thanks for being so patient lol .

The Prize Giveaway went very well - I didn't really get a chance to appreciate that fact until now really. I loved all the interactions and excitement induced by the event, and the video was sooo much fun to do. I will definitely do more Giveaways in the future. The best part for me is how happy the Prize winners are (yay!) and all the new fans of my jewellery page. The numbers have continued to climb despite my sick leave, which is so encouraging. I definitely would suggest following my Samantha Braund Jewellery Facebook Page for special offers, previews of new collections and more frequent updates

Bye for now xx

Lemon and Cognac Quartz Holi Charm Necklace (in the shop now)


Samantha Braund

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Giveaway Winners Video and Dry Socket Drama!

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What a crazy time of extreme highs and lows I am having right now!

I am currently going through the most awful dental pain I've ever experienced! My wisdom tooth got infected, which meant enduring 2 weeks of horrible antibiotics. The infection recurred and the dentist extracted the tooth,which was a traumatic procedure, and then the clot dislodged leaving the bone and nerves exposed!! It's a condition known as Dry Socket! Oh my, it is horrendous....so I am now on my third set of antibiotics and the whole sorry saga is entering it's fourth week, and the pain is worse than ever

Ideally, I would have closed the computer and shut the shop for the duration, but there were too many issues to deal with. First there was the sale of one of my favourite pieces in the shop, the beautiful Cognac Quartz Gemstone Circle Necklace (pictured above),went to a new owner a week or so ago, which felt wonderful! I also managed to list ALL the Holi Charm Necklaces this week. 19 luscious gemstone laden charm necklaces inspired by the Holi Hindu Festival celebrating colour. The complete collection can be seen here I am so proud of myself for enduring awful dental pain and managing to edit all the images, (which amounted to at least 100 high res photos)and proceed to list them in the shop! This time last year I would have avoided the task like the plague lol.

The other major development to have occured this week, is that the Art Nouveau Earrings Giveaway Contest has run it's course! My facebook page reached the target number of likes 1111,(a binary combination in honour of Big Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper...my inner geek loved that!). The whole experience had been so much fun, and so many people had joined in and got into the spirit of things that I really did not want to let them down, so it meant having to procure a video showing the prize draw winners, again while unwell - but the adorable hubby lent a hand(literally lol) and helped me do the draw and edit the video. I am so pleased with the result having not really done anything like that before, and the reaction to the video and contest in general has been amazing. These are all things I wouldn't have wanted to miss inspite of the pain

Anyway, here's hoping that I recover in a timely fashion and get to have some fun in the studio soon!! Enjoy the video below

Samantha Braund

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

I Made A Book From Scratch!

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The Marble Book

This is a very image heavy post I am afraid, so I apologise up front. This is a book I made over the weekend for a friend. I made it from scratch, starting with painting the pages, then constructing the hardback cover, and finally decorating the cover . I wanted it to have a more feminine feel, with a touch of sophistication, like my friend :)

The cover has a faux leather effect I created with acrylic paint on a textured surface, and the marbled eff...ect is a something I came up with a few months ago using collage materials, and wax. I blogged about the process in this post HERE and this is a link to a finished mixed media piece I made using the same technique I call the piece "Squidy" lol

I had some left over scraps of wax papers from these projects which I incorporated into making the book. I’ve included plenty of pics including some process ones of the book, so I hope you like it! The reaction to my recent foray into book making and altered book covers has been sooo positive that I that these will feature strongly in one of the shops I'll be setting up within the next 12 months or so.They are almost like a guilty pleasure for me, and are polar opposite to my jewellery work in terms of discipline. I usually do something like this for fun to unwind as a break from the jewellery,so it's fab to know people love this side of me too! I think altered art is so much fun and I know the hubby loves that he finally gets to be able to use the things I make, as they are not restricted to being pieces for women to wear lol. He has already taken the Twisted Tree and Shipwrecked Pirate Captain's book for himself...he did not get this one though!

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Samantha Braund

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Twisted Tree Book

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I have had annoying appointments to deal with this week, which has meant not a lot of time to play. I really need to list the Holi Charm Necklaces (all 16 or 17of them!) into the shop next week. If I write it here I may actually do it lol!

I have however, managed to set aside a bit of time for more mixed media experiments. This time I decided to mess about with a small hardback pocket book, which had a shiny white plasticy looking cover - making it  perfect for a makeover. I wanted to try to create some vines or tree root type elements , as I do love the organic look in every medium I work with. This time I used some very inexpensive craft brass wire, and sculpted armatures out of it. Then using masking tape and arcylic paints I managed to create the look I was after...the uni course had really helped me in this area - last term I was constantly using aluminium wire and newspaper to create built up mixed media paintings. ...but this is the first time I was able to make something like this on a book cover.

I cannot wait to develop this further...on my FB page friends have suggested that the book is fitting with a Halloween theme, or could be part of the Harry Potter universe. I'd love to try to make a viney sinewy wand or a Magic Secret Garden themed book. Anyway, before I get carried away with my rambling, I will leave you with extra photos  and views the Twisted Tree Book and of my Pirate Captain's Shipwrecked  Book cover I made last week.

I'll see you  next week when I will back with photos of new jewellery pieces...

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Samantha Braund

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Bride Wore Red...

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I had to share these photos with the kind permission of the Bride and Groom of course. The beautiful lady with the red dress and the black feather boa is wearing the Red Freshwater Pearl Bridal Coral Drop necklace on her wedding day!

The Coral Drop necklaces were conceived as usual with Mermaids in mind lol, but they turned out looking rather bridal, hence the wordy title. I think the freshwater pearls give the necklaces that quality. The Red and Turquoise pieces from the collection have been sold, leaving the Peach, Lilac and White necklaces left in the shop. I am going to try and put together matching accessories such as earrings, when I make more of these in the future. Anyway, I will leave you with these photos and will be back soon with images from my Holi Charms necklace collection which will be appearing in the shop soon

Bye for now and thanks for reading

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Samantha Braund

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Ariel's Voice III and A Gift For Him!

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I am currently enjoying a jewellery making hiatus. It should have been a proper holiday, but the hubby's schedule is crazy at the moment so I have had to be creative (for a change haha...)

 Anyway, I adore playing with different media as this blog will testify. Thanks to my uni course, I have been introduced to media and techniques I'd never have thought of tackling in a million years. I was so into the course at one point that I almost closed the jewellery side of things for good...then saner minds prevailed and I am learning to balance everything, which is so against my innate character lol. It's never too late to keep evolving right?

The gorgeous pendant in the photos is that of the latest piece made over a week ago now. It's Ariel's Voice III, the third incarnation of this particular Mermaid Amulet. The Ariel’s Voice necklace is based on the fairytale," The Little Mermaid" by Hans Christian Andersen. The idea is that the Mermaid's voice has been magically confined to within the swirling golden vortex of the Citrine Nugget gemstone at the heart of the necklace. It's a personal favourite and has proved popular in the past too. The original one (pictured below) was one of the first pieces I ever sold from the online shop... my photography has altered somewhat since then, for the better I think

The other photos are the result of messing around with making moulds, pouring plaster, painting them and making a mixed media book cover for the hardworking hubby. He collects all the experiments I do, his desk is littered with all kinds of stuff from uni, and terrible metal clay experiments from years ago -  I knew he would want to collect these bits of plaster too, so turning them into a gift for him was kind of perfect lol. We've been together over 17 years now, time has flown and my career diection  has completely changed too - it's a blessing that we can grow and evolve together - long may it continue! The book cover is meant to be a Shipwrecked Pirate Captain's book, which is oddly in the similar fantasy realm as a lot of my jewellery work lol...anyway I'll finish here and say I hope you enjoy the photos. Thanks for reading :)

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(original Ariel's VoiceNecklace)

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(Shipwrecked Pirate Captain's Book)

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Bye for now xx

Samantha Braund

Saturday, 6 July 2013

So Much In So Little Time!

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AAA Cognac Quartz Art Nouveau Earrings

I can't believe it has been almost a month since I last posted here. The shame of it all is that I have been a constant presence online, photo editing and listing new items in the shop, as well as making new pieces.

The Art Nouveau Cognac Quartz earrings (above) were such a rewarding challenge to create. I  can admit to avoiding even attempting mirror image symmetry with my wirework - it is so much easier to do in metal clay lol. Yet, there they are, looking stunning dripping in "Gatsby Glamour" - I am totally chuffed to have been able to pull it off. I plan to make more, and am toying with the idea of making earrings based on my Bridal Coral Drop Necklaces too, as I have a kind of pattern to work from, so I will give it a go

As you can see from the Pirate's treasure chest of beauties below, there have been a lot of new additions to the Etsy shop . The complete Contessa Collection inspired by Countess Olenska from "The Age Of Innocence" novel by Edith Wharton, are in the shop now....the Queen of that collection (AAA Smokey Quartz gemstone one) has already been reserved, which is fabulous news.

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Contessa Collection and Dragon's Eye Necklace

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AAA Peridot Cubic Zirconia Dragon's Eye Necklace

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Close up of Blue Aquamarine Contessa Necklace

There have also been a fair few sales too, which has been a lovely surprise given the usual Summer slump many of us sellers experience. Let's face it I'd rather be running around in the sea and the sand than internet shopping too lol....anyway inspite of the season, the various pieces below have all sold. I'm a very happy bunny  lol

Next on the to do list is to continue listing my never ending backlog of pieces to the shop - I have the Holi Charms and the Spider Conch Collections to go in next aside from any new work. I will also be working on media experimentation for my new shops, which is really exciting and I will be sure to expand upon that here first :)

The Free Earrings Giveaway is going great guns too, there are less than 100 likes to go before the Prize draw will take place. if you haven't entered before now, it is well worth a look, the prize is a good one for such a giveaway... it has only been running less than a month, but I expect things will slow down a bit with Summer, which will give me a chance to work on the video for it!

So thats a brief synopsis of the latest goings on ... thanks for reading  - even if I don't update here as often, my Facebook Jewellery page is always up to date, so you can find me there :)

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Bridal Coral Drop (Turquoise freshwater Pearl)

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Selena - White Beryllium gemstone and sterling silver necklace

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Green Amethyst and Sterling wirewrapped Necklace

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Teal Blue Fluorite gemstone Boho earrings

Bye for now xx

Samantha Braund

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