Monday, August 18, 2014

Temporary Closure for Stocktake

Handmade by Amo'r will temporarily close in a couple of days and will reopen after two weeks or so. This is for  stock taking and pre-Christmas preparation as well as a short vacation in the mix. 
If you wish to use a coupon code that expires end August, please message me via my store to get an extension to the end of September. I will respond early September.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Recent Feedback

Whether you are shopping online or selling online, customer reviews are crucial. For the discerning buyer, there is no substitute for real feedback from genuine customers. It's the best indicator as to the reliability of the shop and the standard of service you will get.
screen grab of my current feedback status
As for me, I cannot say thank you enough for the wonderful reviews I have received to date. Here are a couple of recent ones:

Irish Jewelry. Kilkenny Marble Pendant. Rare, Black Stone Heart with Celtic Spiral. Ceo

Irish Jewelry. Kilkenny Marble Pendant. Rare, Black Stone Heart with Celtic Spiral. Ceo

The pendant is absolutely beautiful--exactly as represented. The service was quick and the communication thoughtful. My first Etsy order was a very positive experience!

RESERVED Brown Stone Necklace. Red and Cocoa Desert Jasper with Copper. Dublin Hills

Gorgeous! I am in love with this necklace! The stones are even more beautiful in person! It's really a work of art—the necklace design and craftsmanship as well as the stones themselves. A joy and honor to wear. HandmadebyAmor is outstanding in every way!

To see all feedback, publicly left on my shop page please CLICK HERE

Sunday, August 10, 2014

H is for Howlite, Hematite & Headpin. ABC of Jewellery

Heyho, we've reached letter H in my ABC of Jewellery. This is a not-so-comprehensive guide to jewellery materials and techniques I use as well as inspirations and design styles.  is for Howlite, Hematite and Headpin .
Natural howlite                             Dyed, 'turquoise' howlite
Howlite is a porous, fairly matte, opaque stone. It is most often dyed artificially and re-named with a marketing term such as 'turquoise howlite,' 'pink turquoise,' 'howlite jasper' 'lapis jade' and all sorts of poetic names. In its natural state it is usually grey or white and indeed, is also often confused with 'white turquoise,' a much rarer mineral. The fact is, howlite is not turquoise. It's not jasper, jade or any other stone. It is what it is, a borate mineral that doesn't take a great polish, but can be dyed easily in beautiful colours and is perfect for fun and affordable jewellery.

Metaphysically it is the stone associated with awareness and wisdom. Natural healers believe howlite brings calm and relaxation to a troubled or anxious mind, relieves pain and helps with insomnia.
magnetised hematite beads
Hematite is ferric oxide, or in plane English, a form of iron ore. It is a shiny, charcoal grey or black. In its raw state it often appears red due to rust. The name 'hematite' comes from the Latin 'blood stone,' in reference to the redness. Sometimes the beads can be a bit heavy and not a good choice for earrings.
double stranded pearl choker with hematite focal (own necklace)
Hematite is often magnetised, which can be tricky to work with, or very useful in certain designs. When beading the double-stranded pearl necklace above, I placed a magnetic hematite bead at the centre of both strands to keep them neatly together and help the choker sit well. I am working on variations of the design at the moment.
Magnetic hematatite beads keep the strands from separating
As it is a raw form of iron, natural healers  use its energies for treating blood disorders. It it also the stone associated with grounding, calming and and clarity of thought.

Headpins are a type of finding frequently used in jewellery making. They are basically a long pin with a 'stopper' on the end used for wiring up earrings, pendants etc. They resemble straight pins used in sewing but come in a wide range of sizes and metals. The ends are most often flat, but you can find more decorative ones with a bead on the end, or indeed you can make your own out of wire, hammering the end. Alternatively you can form a spiral at the end to keep the bead or stone from slipping off. You will need to harden the spiral, for example, with a rubber hammer.
work in progress, beads threaded on headpins &1 finished piece
H is also for Handy Hints and How Tos, which you will frequently find on my blog. Some are tutorials, some are more general tips.

I could have sworn H was for something else important?  Woops, I forgot my Etsy shop, Handmade by Amo'r!!  Why choose handmade? Because of the quality, uniqueness and attention to detail.

Previous posts in this series
A  B  C  (plus C for Crimping D E F  (plus F for Findings) G1 and G2

All of this series: ABC

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Irish Blessing

“May you always walk in sunshine. May you never want for more. May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.” - Irish Blessing
Irish angel made with sea glass, silver plate and a crystal bead.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tuesday Treasuries, Sorta

Do you ever get thrown out of sync when Monday is a public holiday? You know how it is when you don't know what day of the week it is? Well that's why Tuesday Treasuries are, um, a few hours late this week, but let's move on... Treasuries are showcase collections of Etsy goodies from various shops. They are artfully put together by members of the Etsy community.  I am always very grateful to be included.
Thanks so much to Julie of  Julie's Bead Story for this vibrant list, A Splash of Green and Burnt Orange. Love the colour combo! 

My dark sea green sea glass pendant (3rd row, left) has featured in quite a few treasuries this past week. I guess it's the photo. White backgrounds help grab attention, yet I really love the darker grey against some of those burn orange creations. The orange pops without being too dazzling. You have to go with whatever shows off your work best.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Beach Combing. Arklow Pottery Mark

Recently I got to go beach combing again for the first time in a few months. As we hadn't had many storms in Dublin, with unusually sunny weather, there wasn't much treasure washed up on the shore but I did get a few beauts.
Irish sea glass and sea pottery, Dublin 2014
The big piece may say 'Riverview' but as it is not that buffed by the sea, it is not the most interesting shard to me. The blue and white, flowery triangle is perfect for a pendant but I will  have to work out a very light wire wrapping design so as not to cover too much of the pattern. The old and gnarled green sea glass at the top is screaming out to made into a rustic keychain. 

However, the creme de la creme is the white piece of pottery near the front with the trademark on it.
Arklow Pottery ironstone mark on sea pottery 
This is clearly an Arklow Pottery mark.  You  can just about make out the words 'Made in Republic of Ireland. Ironstone.' Founded in 1934, Arklow Pottery is very well known here. Most of us grew up eating off Arklow pottery crockery and milking our tea from Arklow pottery jugs. Sadly, the company was eventually taken over by Noritake only to cease production in 1999. But Arklow is still an old staple in many an Irish kitchen. If you've got a few of the older pieces, hold on to them as they are becoming collectors' items.

Ironstone was a type of hardy ceramic that was developed for mass production in the early 1800s in Staffordshire, Uk. What was different about it was its iron slag content. The first potter to coin the term 'ironstone' was Englishman, Charles James Mason, but he was not the only manufacturer to produce this type of delph.

I'm off to research a little into Arklow Pottery trademarks to see can I find out more about this piece. 

In the meantime, if I've sparked an interest in beach combing for sea pottery, you might like to learn a little about it so here are a few older posts to help:

And please click here for some sea pottery jewellery.
'Sea bird' Irish sea pottery pendant, blue &white