Jewellery At Play

Hello Fabulous

By now you know me at the Fabulously Quirky Designer-Maker. My jewellery is about joy but what happens when it inspires you to play. Here are some little fun films and photos of my jewellery at play. Have the sound up, they’re fun.

Ring Garden Photo

 

 

Interavtive Inspiration

Specs-tacular Cable Tie Neckalces.

Eye See you

                                    How will you play with your jewellery?

 

Zinfintity  Designer-maker of fabulous quirky inclusive jewellery and creative workshops.

 

10 Simple Rules to Customer Service – Simple things that we think we do but probably don’t

Hello Fabulous

Customer service is always important no matter what your business is. Here are a few tips.

  1. Smile, Say Hello, Be Friendly

  2. Location – When meeting think about location, is there a car park, how is the public transport, does it have disability access? Make sure you and your client can easily get there. Of course remember your safety. We often meet strangers in strange places, so always make sure you are not alone and meetings are in well-lit public places. Never take risks with your safety.

  3. Pen & Paper – Don’t reply on phones and tablets, sometimes it’s easier to describe on paper. We all communicate in different ways, so make sure you can communicate with each other.

  4. Be Professional – Don’t be overly intimate. Be friendly but still professional.

  5. Respect Your Customer – Listen to them, don’t presume you know what they want.

  6. Keep in Contact – If you are going to be late or have a problem let them know.

  7. Be Prompt – If you say you are going to do something try to do it within 3 days. Longer than a week shows disinterest and tells your client that you are of no interest to them.

  8. Be Patient – Your customer may find communicating their ideas difficult. Help them.

  9. Resolving the customers Problem – It doesn’t matter what your business is our job is to solve your customers problem. If you can’t, be honest, you may be able to pass them on to someone who can.

  10. Let your Fabulousness Shine – There is a reason this person has come to you, so show them why you are special.

 

Zinfintity  Designer-maker of fabulous quirky inclusive jewellery and creative workshops.

Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow

Hello Fabulous

There are good people and bad people but most of us float about in the middle. This month’s blog is about how teeny tiny steps can make life better. I have collected advice and combined it with my own experiences that improve the days of others and ourselves.

Smile

The simplest thing of all. When you see someone and Smile and Say Hello. This polite gesture has a far more positive effect than a blank face which seems to be most people’s response to a situation. A smile is infectious and so can bad moods. I would rather have the former, wouldn’t you?

Say Thank You

Yes it is that simple. Say thank you for your change, thank you for directions, thank you for giving me your time. Show appreciation.

Give a compliment

If you are a little shy this may be hard for you but give it a try if you can. If you see someone in the street or in a cafe and you like their bag, coat, scarf tell the person you like it. Tell them how good their hair cut looks on them. I told a women that her trousers looked nice and gave a real Audrey Hepburn look and she told me that it made her day. How lovely.

 

Cheryl-lya says ‘A kind word and a gentle touch help. Meditation sets the tone for the day and helps with the ‘little’ things in life! Letting someone ahead of you in the grocery store. Helping someone with a difficult problem. Spending 5 minutes chatting with a stranger.’

 

Don’t Be a Litter Bug

Recycle what you can and put what you can’t in a rubbish bin. There are lots of bins around and if you can’t find one, put it in your pocket and put it in your bin at home.

 

Jane says ‘I write daily gratitudes and appreciations which I send to my gratitude buddy every morning, we’ve been doing this for nearly a year now and it has helped up through some particularly difficult challenges.’

 

Donate

I donate jewellery that I have made to charity events so they can raise money. Think of charity shops before throwing those clothes away or Freecycle when ridding yourself of old furniture. Of course you don’t have to donate ‘things,’ what about your time. Can you give a few hours of your time to help. I give 4 hours a year to collect for the very worthy cause, the Poppy Appeal. By doing this I have raised hundreds of pounds for charity for so little of my time. I do free head shot shoots for people who need a more complimentary Facebook picture. After being in business for 14 years I have learnt a thing or two and meet others for coffee to help advise with business issues.

Of course there is the traditional way of putting spare change in donation pots and lots of people putting in makes a lot of difference. Do always think of safety, there are some unscrupulous people out there and they will look where you to put your purse / wallet. I keep a little change in my pocket just in case.

 

Barry says When people who are serving me I always try to be particularly friendly e.g. ‘you’re busy today,’ ‘isn’t it lovely outside.’ It is how I would like to be treated myself.

 

Sign a Petition

If you agree with the course, take the few seconds to sign the petition. Yours may only be one signature but lots of one’s become many.

 

If none of this is possible for you, just be the best you, you can be.

 

What do you do to improve life?

 

Zinfinity, Designer-maker of Fabulously Quirky Jewellery and Creative Workshops

Cheap Easter Thrills

It’s only a few days left until lovely Easter is here. Celebrations can turn out to be quite pricey so here is a fun, cheap crafty idea to amuse you and the family.

Buffy, Fluffy Egg Decorations.

These are simple, fun and can be made with scraps of material. They can be used as hanging decorations, table name place settings or if you have lots of energy to make enough they are great for a calorie-free egg hunt.

  1. Draw an egg shape to the size of the the egg you want. You can copy and paste this one as a guide.

  2. A tissue box or a cereal box make great templates (make sure you remove tissue and cereal before cutting 🙂 ). Draw on the shape and cut it out. If there are several of you working together make more so there is no need to share.

  3. Collect any scraps of material you have. Felt works particularly well but anything can be used. Draw around your template and cut out.

  4. Lay out your designs. This is the really fun part, placing all your bits and bobs in to position. You can add anything; ribbon, buttons, bits of lace etc. You can sew them on or use glue.

  5. Secure pieces in place with dressmaking pins. Please be careful not to prick yourself blood does not look good on art work!

  6. Sew the edges using normal dressmaking cotton. You can use any type of stitch, I like the blanket stitch but I like to be fancy 🙂 Here I have used blue cotton to contrast the pink and green materials. Don’t forget to leave a gap at the top for stuffing.

  7. Now it comes to stuffing. If you have stuffing material, great, but if you don’t just use the scraps of material to put in the middle (add ribbon on top if you want to hang it) and finish sewing.
  8. You can hang them up, use them as name places or table decorations. These are just a few suggestions, let your imagination run wild.

  9. Voilà you are done. Happy Easter

Zinfinity, Designer-maker of fabulousy quirky inclusive jewellery and exciting creative workshops.

Eye of the Tiger

Hello Fabulous You

Did you know Tigers Eye Stones come in a range of colours including red, brown, gold, cream, black and blue. Gold is the one you will see most often and has lovely bands of yellow-golden colour through it, mimicking the eye of a tiger.

It is the stone related to the star sign Leo and pieces and cost as little as a £1, so with Mothers Days so close you can treat mum and have some money left in your bank account.

Some believe stones have powers and each group of stones have their own qualities associated.

Tigers Eye is said to help convert anxiety and fear into practical logic and action and promotes balance and strength in difficult times, and to relieve doubt.

It is believed to be a powerful stone that helps one to release fear and aids harmony and balance. It stimulates taking action, and helps you to make decisions with discernment and understanding, unclouded by your emotions.

It aids emotional healing; decreasing anxiety; happiness; organization/order; courage; focus, objectivity, bravery and courage. It can help eliminate the ‘blues’ and helps your life blossom and protection.

The Ancient Romans carried it as a talisman to safeguard against their enemies and for bravery when going into battle. I wonder if Ancient Roman family-members gave their beloved such tokens?

Tigers eyes can be carved in to many shapes all showing off its gold or red radiance. Every piece is unique and individual for the wearer.

In jewellery one will often see Tigers Eye combines / set in gold as it have the same colour pallet as the stone. Personally I prefer stones mixed silver / white metal as I feel it enhances stones.

This is a series so look out for more and get in touch if you have any questions about Tigers Eye or jewellery.

Zinfinity, Designer-maker of fabulous quirky inclusive jewellery and exciting creative workshops.

From Their Mouths – A collection of quotes and poetry

With all the colour and fun of Christmas and New Year gone, here is a little something to make you smile.

 

A day without laughter is a day wasted

Charlie Chaplin

——————————————–

I saw a Jolly Hunter

I saw a jolly hunter

with a jolly gun

walking in the country

in the jolly sun.

 

In the jolly meadow

sat a jolly hare

saw the jolly hunter

took jolly care

 

Hunter jolly eager –

sight of jolly prey.

forgot gun pointing

wrong jolly way.

 

Jolly hunter jolly head

over heels gone.

Jolly old safety-catch

not jolly on.

 

Bang went the jolly gun.

Hunter jolly dead

jolly hare got clean away.

Jolly good I said.

 

By Charles Causley

————————————————-

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you never alone;

Audrey Hepburn

———————————————-

Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.

Connie Stevens

————————————————–

I love my mum because she gives me lots of huggles

A child I was teaching.

————————————————–

Happiness is warm puppy

Charles M Schultz (Snoopy)

————————————————–

What’s you favourite quote or poem to make you Smile?

Inspiration

The question I’m asked most of all is ‘Where do you get your idea?’ This is a tricky question as inspiration comes from everywhere and you never know where something will lead. By being open to the things around you lead you to ideas. Often people think that to create jewellery you must research jewellery. I feel that jewellery is the end product and you need to look outside jewellery to lead you to jewellery inspiration. For examples in my sketchbooks are sketches and pictures of stones, rust, maps, faux turf, felt, latex etc. Anything can be something.

I find when making a product that people live with / wear it’s important to be involved with people. Listen to their stories, what makes them happy, what makes life easier, what is their message?

Keep your eyes open. While sitting on a train (if you are lucky enough to get a seat), waiting for a bus, walking around the shops embrace all that’s around you.

So many things interweave in to my mind and designs come out the other end. Of course one can have an idea but it takes knowledge, skill and experimenting to create the final pieces. Touch, feel and explore what a item or material can do leads on to more ideas.

Despite what I have said, the opposite is also true; some of the best time you can spend is just by spacing out. Let your mind wonder and go free. Ideas can come when we aren’t thinking about it. Sometimes the best way to get ideas is to walk away, do something else or just do nothing.

Working your way is the best way.

Here are some idea paths that I followed.

I saw faux turf then researched and experimented with different styles, lengths and textures. I learnt how to melt it, curl it and shape it. Here it is set in sterling silver with a silver daisy in the centre.

I saw a picture of a toy Troll with it’s crazy hair in a magazine and it reminded me of working with felt and combining contrasting materials.

This idea came about as I was staring in to space, just in my own world.

What is your inspiration?

Make a Great Meeting

When we go to a meeting, whether a proposal or discussion we want to make the best meeting we can. Here are some simple tips to make the best of the time.

1) Find out who you are meeting. Look at their website, Facebook page etc.

2) Before you set off make sure you have their contact information. Address and phone number. If you are like me and meet a lot of clients in coffee shops and public places, a mobile number is a way to text and let them know where you are sitting so they can find you. Also no matter how hard we try to be on time, we are human after all; if you get lost, stuck on a train or sitting in a traffic jam, a phone number lets them know you are on your way. It’s simple courtesy.

3) A few days prior to the meeting, make sure you have samples of your work or any notes you may need. Put them in your bag so they are all ready to go.

4) When you meet SMILE. This is the simplest thing you can do to make the most of the meeting. A smile is friendly, polite and makes everyone feel good.

5) Know where your pen and note book are in your bag. You don’t want to start rummaging half way through a conversation. It may not be appropriate to get a note book out straight away but you want pen and paper to hand. If you are talking about an idea, it can be helpful to do rough sketches with them to aid communication.

6) Listen. Truly hear what you client is saying.

7) What do they want and how can you RESOLVE THEIR PROBLEM? When it comes down to it our purpose is to resolve problems. If you are a driver, you are solving the problem of them needing a reliable, honest, safe, proficient driver. If you are a designer, you are solving the problem of e.g. designing a wedding ring in gold and silver.

8) When you speak, think who you are speaking to. If you have a client who knows nothing of your field, use language so they understand. No one wins if the client feel stupid of doesn’t understand but don’t talk down to them.

9) If you don’t know the answer say you will check and get back to them.

10) Before you leave make sure you have covered all areas and both you and your possible client are clear. Sending an email after the meeting helps confirming ‘To Dos’ or plans makes sure everyone is on the same page. No matter how clear everyone seems on the day misunderstandings are common.

11) Finish as you start,  when saying goodbye.

Hope you found these tips helpful.

Secrets of Sapphires

A stone known for wisdom and royalty. It is associated with sacred things and considered the gem of gems, a jewel steeped in history and mentioned in nearly every religion. It was believed to bring protection, good fortune and spiritual insight. It was a symbol of power and strength, kindness and wise judgement.

In an engagement ring a Sapphire means faithfulness and sincerity.

Typically blue but ‘fancy’ Sapphires come in white, yellow, purple, orange and greens.

It is the birthstone of September and the Wedding Anniversary of 45 years.

Kings wore Sapphires around their necks as a powerful defence from harm.

One of the most famous Sapphires is unsurprisingly the engagement ring Prince Charles gave to Diana and now seen on Princess Kate.

Over history it has been ground and used as a medicine.

Ivan the Terrible of Russia stated that the Sapphires strengthen the heart and mussels and endowed a person with courage.

Blue Sapphires come from Burma and Kashmir. Sapphires from Sri Lanka are a less deep shade. Australia have dark blue with slightly green undertones.

Even tiny Sapphires can hold a strong colour and make a piece of jewellery striking.

To clean use warm soapy water.

How to Choose a Sapphire

Colour is a key indicator of the quality of a Sapphire. Sapphires with an even colouring command a premium over lighter or less saturated stones or darker stones. Look at the stone carefully and see if there are any imperfections or inclusions. Think about colour, shape and size.

Magnetic Personality

We often see magnets as those things on the fridge that hold children’s art work and dental apportionments. We actually use magnets far more than we think and have great uses. Here are some uses along with some fun facts.

Over 80% of all households have a promotional magnet on their fridge. Your logo on a magnet is an excellent give away because they nearly always go on the fridge with a shopping list under them, (or is that just me.)

Hammering or Heating a magnet with a hot flame will cause a magnet to loose its magnetic properties.

Magnets have a North and South Pole

Magnets can be found in telephones, computers, sterios, and TVs.

Legend has it that magnets were first discovered around 4,000 years ago.

Magnetic clasps on bracelets mean you can put it on yourself and one-handed. They can also be put on necklaces so you can put them on without looking.

Some jewellery magnetic clasps are not only strong enough to take charms but can hold the weight of a bunch of keys so the clasp is very secure.

Some vets use magnets to pick up pieces of wire or other metal from inside the stomachs of animals.

The first people to observe and comment on magnetic phenomena were the Chinese. They called them ‘Loving Stones’ because they ‘Loved’ metals. These were used for fortune telling and magic tricks.

We use it in Language – ‘She has a magnetic personality.’

A compas has a tiny magnet in it. The arrow always points to the North Pole.

Magnets are usually made from iron, or steel but aluminium, steel iron, copper, nickel and cobalt can also be used to make powerful magnets.

Magnetic Badges are strong. They are so powerful that you have to slide the magnetic back as just pulling is too strong to separate. They are excellent for clothing and bags as they have no spikes or pins to damage the material.

Once your eyes are open to magnets you will see them in Kitchens, Workshops, Children’s Toys, Desk Toys, Poetry Boards, in Crafts, Decorations etc.

My favourite thing about magnets is in the lovely click when they connect. I find it particularly satisfying when wearing the bracelet with a magnet clasp.

Happy Magnet Hunting