I walked into Hobbycraft at the end of August (2010) having decided to pursue a new hobby - I was thinking along the lines of cross-stitch embroidery, which I've always admired from afar, clay modelling, which I've always been fascinated with, pencil drawing, an interest I wanted to rekindle, and origami, which I remembered from childhood. Anyway, I picked up lots of 'How-to' leaflets on embroidery, candle making, mosaic tiles, polymer clay making..... I started dreaming about all the handmade Christmas pressies I would make!!! I opted to try polymer clay first off. Unfortunately, I had but two choices of the remaining kits on the shelf - jewellery or, discouragingly, the many childrens packs! The jewellery kit was pants (only because it didn't suit me in colour or style), but it was a good introduction to what was possible. I subsequently made a few pendants with matching earrings though it was a couple of months before I would think of it in terms of jewellery making. I've expanded to wire work and would like to extend this to soldering (maybe), but I would love to have a go at precious metal clay.
Last month, or rather in March, my mum asked me to make her a Byzantine bracelet for Mother's day. I said yes, of course, no problem, without knowing what Byzantine was in terms of jewellery making, or what it would entail. However, there's a wealth of information and videos on the web and I soon scared myself to death! I ordered the jump rings and set to with the task. I found that (a) it was nowhere near as difficult as I had imagined, (2) I didn't get bored with opening and closing the many, many, many rings as I was sure I would be. I finished the bracelet in a couple of hours - it was as easy as all the instructions stated. I had ordered much too many rings, so I promptly made one for my sister, one for me and mother asked me to make one for her sister-in-law. I then made a 4 in one European link bracelet using large 8mm rings (don't like it so much), then a smaller linked one using 6mm rings (luv it), made a shaggy mail bracelet for one of my nieces (so-so) and a necklace and earring set for me (wearing it now, can't decide if I like it). I mention these only because I still have a few more packs of links when looking on-line for a more interesting, non-rope pattern, yesterday (5 May) I came across this site. I found here some of the most beautiful jewellery I've seen on line, so I decided to join.
My other active hobby is photography, which I love, though I'm not very good at it. I am though a luddite as far as cameras are concerned as all those I own are analogue - a couple of SLRs and some medium format cameras (sounds grander than it is in reality). However, I have found using my phone camera for taking pictures of my stuff quite liberating in terms of speed and ease of uploading, so perhaps I'll think about getting a digi-proper one of these days.