Friday, 16 November 2012

Celtic Knot Bracelets

Who would have thought that the Celtic knot actually had origins in ancient Egypt? I always thought they were actually Welsh, but going back in time there is evidence to support the fact that they were passed on from Coptic Egypt. Old Celtic manuscripts and knot work are very similar to those found in ancient Egypt. Knowledge over time then got passed to England, Scotland and Wales. The Celtic Christians then then took the Celtic knots to have "Spiritual significance" and developed their knot work even further and became more complex.

I took the opportunity to do a little research on the Celtic knot after creating a collection of micro macrame bracelets which again is knotting and combining them with the Celtic knot.

I hope you enjoy my latest creations and have learnt a little about the origin of the Celtic knot itself.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Egyptian Faience charms

Egyptian faience amulets and charms.

Egyptians are well known for their faience beads and Egyptian faience jewellery. Despite it’s appearance it is actually non clay based it is made from sand and crushed quartz and is usually coated in a soda-lime-silica gel. It is still locally produced and imported from Egypt today as it was in ancient Egyptian times.

Probably the most common and popular faience amulet around was probably the scarab and the Ankh  The scarab being used in funerary rites and burial chambers to bring good luck.  The ankh was a symbol of life and today portrays an Christian cross.
In keeping with ancient Egyptian tradition I have created three new Egyptian faience necklaces using authentic Egyptian faience beads and amulets. A scarab, ankh and the goddess Sekhmet.

Sekhmet was the goddess of healing and is depicted as a lioness. The fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It has been said that her breath actually created the desert.  She was also known as the protector of the pharoahs.

Today these three amulets are still worn and appreciated in modern culture either as a symbol of good luck or long life and protection. Charms have come and gone over the years but non have stayed with us for so long as some of these ancient Egyptian charms that are still made in Egypt today.

The Ankh and the Sekhmet necklace are both hung on a leather thong while the Scarab amulet is hung on a silver plated curb chain and has crystal lined seed beads added around the perimeter
If modern day jewellery and charms are still a favourite of yours there are still lots of choices to be found in both womens jewellery and men’s jewellery alike.

For any other kind of purchase you may be considering to buy this year then check out Shopseekers for the cheapest  prices online including lots of books about making jewellery for yourself  if you have a mind to. Remember handmade jewellery comes in lots of shapes and forms and most pieces are unique especially Egyptian faience beads as no two are ever exactly the same.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Sharm el Sheikh

It's that time of year again. I have been thinking endlessly about beaches. What with beach combing for  sea glass (sea my previous blog post) and happily strolling along the sandy shores of North Wales I wanted to post and tell you about somewhere a little more exotic and definitely a little more warmer and place I have longed to visit for many years.

Sharm El Sheikh lies on the crystal waters of the Red Sea on the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula. The beautiful white sand and the desert setting is just a magnificent getaway. Sharm El Sheikh is also a fabulous and rather special diving location with fabulous corals and deep sea flora and rare tropical fish.

I would like to share a couple of photos I found of Sharm El Sheikh. The first one is a fantastic shot taken at sunrise. I certainly wish I could see this sunrise each morning it would make my day. The last one shows the wonderful tantalising sandy beach. Don't you wish you could visit too?

Sharm El Sheikh

Sharm El Sheikh

Monday, 11 June 2012

Sea Glass Jewelry

Sea glass is pieces of broken glass that over time the sea has naturally tumbled with its movement to create a smooth and frosted appearance. Each piece is completely unique and is becoming rarer and rarer as it is fast becoming a new hobby for a lot of people.

 Collecting and finding sea glass is my new summer hobby when I can get time to get to a beach. I am about an hour away from the North Wales coast so when I get the time I am off beach-combing to find romantic pieces of sea glass to make my new creations. Who knows where these pieces have come from and who knows just how many years these lovely pieces have been drifting along in the Wales of the sea or how many shores they have landed on and been washed back out to sea again. The wonder and possible history of sea glass is what makes it so romantic. To my amazement I also did a little research and found that sea glass was also present in ancient Egyptian times too.

 My first pieces of sea glass jewellery were created from pieces I purchased from the North West coast of England. They were beautiful aquamarine pieces which I used to create a couple of necklaces, earrings and a bracelet. One necklace was sold only the other week to the USA.

 Last Sunday I made a trip to the beach in North Wales and was delighted to find my very first piece of sea glass. It was a beauty too. Perfect and pure white just lying there. Unfortunately is was the only piece I found that day too. Seems like its going to take me quite some time to make up a collection at this rate but I do love the hunt and its a great excuse t get to the beach and great way to combine work with pleasure.

 Here is my very first piece of sea glass that I found which I have already wire wrapped and made into a necklace.


Sea glass jewellery is also perfect for beach weddings and bridal jewellery. Making it just about the most perfect accessory any bride could wear to compliment the occasion.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Medinet Habu. Mortuary Temple of Ramses III

Medinet Habu or the Mortuary temple of Ramesses the III is the resting place of a former New Kingdom Egyptian King of the Twentieth Dynasty. The actual temple is said to have over 75,350 sq ft of wall reliefs and its design caught my eye and the colors in particular gave me much inspiration to create several pieces of macrame jewellery some have already been sold. The sandy and aged bronzes blends just perfectly with the washed out teal tones. One particular picture of a ceiling decoration and the pillars supporting it I found to be just amazing. The amount of hours work and the talent the the crafts men that created this are just awesome.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Egyptian Collars

Egyptian collars come in lots of shapes and sizes but the most traditional colors used in ancient Egyptian times were turquoise and gold. They were made in a netting pattern and were very intricate, often using many many seeds beads and many hours of manual labour.

I recently created a couple of Egyptian collars myself on a slightly smaller scale than the average ancient Egyptian collar so that the wearer of today can wear them on a more of a day to day basis rather than just in a fancy dress costume.

The first one is made with the traditional colors of turquoise and gold and can be seen in my Etsy shop. I hope you will like it. The second one can also be seen in my Etsy shop and is made in all white. Suitable for almost any outfit but also suitable as a beautiful bridal collar.
The third I am working on and will be in black and gold.

Please feel free to contact me through my Etsy shop should you require an Egyptian collar in any colors of your choice.

Egyptian Collar in turquoise and gold

Egyptian Collar in white.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Egyptian hieroglyphs were a form of writing used by the ancient Egyptians. I spent some time the other week trying to translate some hieroglyphs on some new beads I purchased. One thing I learned is that hieroglyphs can be read left to right, right to left and top to bottom. So........ how do you know which way round to read them to start with. The answer lies with the way the actual pictures are facing. For example. If a bird is facing left the you read them from left to right. Vice versa if the bird or character is facing right.

Egyptian hieroglyphs are not that straight forward however to read. They also have phonetic and logogram glyphs and a few more besides too, which can make translation difficult if you haven't studied hieroglyphs before or are trying to translate some thing.

The real breakthrough of translation came when the Rosetta stone was discovered by Napolean's troops in 1799. In the early 19th century scholars studied the inscriptions on the stone and were able to make some head way. However even top scholars confessed. "It is a complex system, writing figurative, symbolic, and phonetic all at once, in the same text, the same phrase, I would almost say in the same word" Jean Francois Champollian

Throughout ancient Egypt many fine examples can be seen of Egyptian hierogylphs. Scribes must have spent many many hours. Strangely enough there are no hieroglyphs in the pyramids although they can be seen in the temples nearby.

Below is a simple translation picture of some of the most used Egyptian hieroglyphs should you wish to begin any translations of your own.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Amethyst Jewellery

Amethysts are with out doubt one of the most beautiful gemstones I have come across. Some of the very first pieces of jewellery I created were made with amethyst. I have sold most of them now but still have a few left just in time for February Birthdays. Amethyst is the birthstone for February and would make either a lovely birthday present or indeed a valentines present too.

My favourite bracelet is the one below as its made with extra large highly polished amethyst chip gemstones then mixed with these lovely golden cuboid bead which really do compliment the amethyst. If this one doesn't sell I am in two minds to keep it for myself as I am an Aquarius with a February Birthday too.

More of my amethyst bracelets can be found here,
Amethyst Bracelets