Heishi pearls

I have always had a love and hate relationship with pearls. I think pearls are beautiful but they tend to seem a bit boring and old. These heishi pearls though make designing easy since the shape of these pearls is interesting. The remind me of petals but I love it that they are imperfect. I added a large faceted crystal quartz nugget as well.

Heishi pearl and crystal quartz braceletHeishi pearl and crystal quartz braceletHeishi pearl and crystal quartz braceletHeishi pearl and crystal quartz braceletHeishi pearl and crystal quartz bracelet

Perfect imperfection.

- Alina

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Fox

I’ve probably mentioned before that I love to surf on the web and find new material for my jewelry making obsession. During the start of the summer I made a find on Ebay. It was a fox head that I thought was just wonderful. Not only was it shiny and not antique silver but the size was great (approx. 5x4cm). I love charms but finding these bigger once is always a treat.

So I did this real quick necklace on the last day of my summer holiday. I’m really hoping to see how these fox jewelries evolve since I have 20 of these heads.

Fox necklace Fox necklace

I used a large faceted crystal quartz, a faceted dyed orage jade, a carnelian and a white freshwater pearl in the necklace.

Fox necklace Fox necklace What do you think about the fox? Aren’t the carvings beautiful?

- Alina

 

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Cement leaf tutorial

About 6 years ago I did some cement leaves and since then I haven’t had the chance. This summer I did not let the holidays get in the way and I finally got three leaves done.

We’ve all probably seen all these wonderful cement project people have created. I’ve always had a thing for the leaves since the idea of preserving the beautiful shape. I noticed that rhubarb leaves I perfect to use for this project since the leaves are strong and large. I wanted to make leaves that weren’t flat but had a bit of a concave shape to them.

Here is a little tutorial on how I made my cement leaves.

CementLeafTutorialTitle

 

 

1. Buy some cement from the hardware store. This is the one that I got here in Finland. Mix it with water. Make sure the mixture isn’t too watery since you don’t want it running done the leaves.

Cement

2. I spread a large sheet of protective cover over the grass and made little piles of dirt on the sheet. The reason for these piles were to give the cement leaves their concave shape.

Cement leaf tutorial

3. I picked rhubarb leaves which had distinct veins and laid them on top of the piles.

Cement leaf

3. I then covered the leaves with them cement. I mostly used my hands since it was the best way to keep the cement in control and to get the best result. Remember to have good gloves since cement can take a toll on you hands.

Cement leaf4. Let the leaves dry over night. After turning the cement leaves around you can pull off the  green leaf off. Notice that if you use a leaf with distinct veins they are quite hard to take off immediately. I just left all the green on that seemed to hard to take off by hand.

Cement leaf

5. I left the leaves outside and as you can see nature did it’s thing and the green parts started falling off by themselves. You can then use a brush to take off the excess leaf parts still.

Cement leaf

6. Then you have yourself beautiful cement leaves that you can use inside or outside. I love to use them in my garden and have them popping up in various corners.

Cement leaf

Cement leafCement leaf

I want to show you the leaf that I did 6 years ago. It has been outside since then enduring the hot summer sun, the pouring autumn rains and the cold winters and I think it still looks quite good. I love that the moss has started growing on it since it just fits in to our natural garden a  bit better.

Cement leafI hope to try some other interesting projects next summer. Now I have to get my head straight since I’m starting work tomorrow. Hope I can keep this blog going and all the little things I do.

- Alina

 

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Coconut and banana porridge

I told you about the strawberry porridge that I served to my girls during the summer. I thought I’d try something else as well since I do think that eating the same porridge every morning can get a bit boring.

I decided to mix my oatmeal not into milk but into coconut milk. I also mashed up some bananas and mixed them into the porridge as well. Be careful with the amount of bananas since the coconut milk itself is already sweet. Adding sweet bananas to this can make the porridge too sweet.

Coconut and banana porridge Coconut and banana porridgeTo make the porridge taste even a bit more slice up some bananas on top. I loved the outcome but I guess it is a question weather or not you like coconut milk.

- Alina

 

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1,2,3 little bracelets

I’ve done quite a few bracelets this summer but I’ve just had no time to blog. You’ll see in my next blog post why. But getting to the point, here three bracelets that I have to show you. Hope you like them.

Black cracked agate stone with crystal quartz and white jade braceletThis first bracelet is made of black cracked faceted agate stone with Tibetan silver beads, crystal quartz and white jade. I do like the doughnut  shaped Tibetan silver beads that I just put into a row. Note that Tibetan silver isn’t sterling silver.

Black cracked agate stone with crystal quartz and white jade bracelet Black cracked agate stone with crystal quartz and white jade bracelet
Botswana agate bracelet

This second bracelet is made using botswana agate nuggets. I’ve always thought that this particular stone is fantastic. Look at the amount of colors and textures. I used cotton cord where I stringed the agates.

Botswana agate braceletBotswana agate bracelet

Turquoise and red coral bracelet

The last one is a turquoise and red coral bracelet with sterling silver findings. This is one of my favorites and I really love the little silver bead that dangles from the bracelet.

Turquoise and red coral braceletTurquoise and red coral braceletIn the end this was an interesting set since here you can see three ways to make bracelets. The first one uses metal wires, the second one cord and the third jewelry wire.

Next time you’ll see what else I’ve got going on.

- Alina

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Rings for my girls tutorial

My eldest has been asking me when will she get her own rings and each time I’ve had tell her that when she is older. A few days back I decided to do something about this and finally we had more rings than fingers.

Rings

These were a hit with the girls and they would have probably wanted even more but time ran out. But they do look wonderful. I did a little tutorial for you.

Ring tutorialRing tutorialRing tutorialRing tutorialThat is how simple it is. So try it out and enjoy!

RingsRingsRingsThe girls were in such a hurry that this was the best photo I got of the rings. My youngest is going through her strong willed 3 year old phase and turns instantly away when I try to photograph her. My eldest luckly let me take one photo of her hands before she was off to play princess.

Rings- Alina

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What to do with 20 mm gemstones?

I’ve had these large 20 mm agate stones lying around for 3 years. I think they are fantastic looking but I never really knew what to do with them. I’ve been playing around with leather and cotton cord for sometime now and I finally found a match for the stones.

Faceted 20 mm agate necklace with cotton cord

Faceted 20 mm agate necklace with cotton cord

The down to earth colors of the stones are lovely. It is so beautiful how the colors shift from all these wonderful hues. The brown cotton cord really fits in with the stones.

Faceted 20 mm agate necklace with cotton cord Faceted 20 mm agate necklace with cotton cord

I put two jump rings on each side of necklace to control the cotton cords. I also wrapped additional cord around in the back.

Faceted 20 mm agate necklace with cotton cord Faceted 20 mm agate necklace with cotton cord Faceted 20 mm agate necklace with cotton cord

Some crafts coming up next time using concrete.

- Alina

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If porridge isn’t you thing…

Strawberry season is here and we had some fresh strawberries growing just outside our door I decided to surprise the girls in the morning with a yummy breakfast by using these lovely strawberries. My girls and I eat porridge nearly each morning. It usually isn’t anything fancy but if you got 2 minutes more time to make it you can really make it into something good.

Strawberry porridge

Strawberry porridgeTo make this porridge you only need is oatmeal, berries, salt and sugar. I first let the oatmeal cook for a while. I sliced up most of the strawberries and mixed them into the porridge. I let them soften up and bring a little color to the porridge. I seasoned the porridge with sugar and salt. A pinch of salt is enough so be careful. Put some fresh strawberries on top.

Strawberry porridge

So if porridge isn’t your thing, try it with some fresh berries and I’m sure it’ll go down.

- Alina

 

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Light blue bracelet

A few stones that I have purchased have come with a large hole diameter. Usually the hole is under 0.7 mm but this these light blue faceted agate stones had a hole with a diameter of 1mm. This is sometimes a problem but in this case it was great.

Light blue faceted agate stone braceletI had 1mm cotton cord that fit nicely with these quite fancy stones. The agate stones are 10mm and due to the large hole I was able to use with the cotton cord. I really like to mix these down to earth cotton cord with the fancy faceted stones.

Light blue faceted agate stone braceletI think the little round charm with the thought is lovely. I just order some more with other thoughts. I can’t wait to get them. This is odd for me that I like them since I’ve only lately started liking these but my mom has taught me that you can always change your mind. I added a light yellow swarovski crystal to the bracelet. The blue and the yellow really work nicely in this together.

Light blue faceted agate stone bracelet

Light blue faceted agate stone bracelet

So remember to live your dream.

- Alina

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Black currant and mint leaf juice

Black currant and mint leaf juiceThis has to be absolutely my favorite juice of all time. I did it last year for the first time and since then I have been anxiously waiting for the next summer.

Now that our summer holiday started and we have settled at our cottage, I got to making this wonderful juice. We are more accustomed to making juice out of apples, red and black currant berries so this was a lovely surprise last year. Leaves work as well!

I’ll share this fresh and mouth tingling recipe with you and I really do hope that if you have access to these leaves you will surely try it. It is a fun way to start the juice making season and so easy that anyone can do it.

Mint leavesYou are going to need mint and black currant leaves. Then only water, sugar and citric acid. The acid at least here in Finland can be found at drug stores. The citric acid looks just like sugar and is the culprit causing your lips to pucker up when taking a bite of a lemon or tasting unsweetened lemon juice.

Black currant leavesThis time you’ll get the recipe like this. Hope you can all read it but don’t be afraid to ask if you have trouble reading it.

Leaf juice recipeEven though the recipe says you get 2 1/2 litres of ready juice remember that you are actually getting a lot more since you can really water it down.

Black currant and mint leaf juiceBoletesThe day came to a perfect end when I found two boletes right in middle of our yard. The mushroom season is starting and these little two beauties were our first treats. I can’t wait but first I’ll enjoy our soon to be ready carrots and potatoes.

Have a wonderful evening. I’m off to making jewelry.

- Alina

 

 

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