Thursday, 30 October 2008

Swell Trinkets

I've had some very good news this week! Very good, and very exciting. I'm not going to disclose too much at this stage, but here's a hint - Swell Vintage retail?? Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do!

I've been hunting for more lovely vintage parts this week, and have found some rather interesting bits and bobs that I can't wait to play with. My mannequin arrived yesterday, and she is beautiful! I have named her Edie, and she and I are going to make beautiful jewellery together!

In other news, have you seen Dr Horrible's Sing-a-long yet? I've got the episodes AND the soundtrack on my ipod, and I'm totally addicted:

If you watch this, I guarantee you'll love it. And if you don't...then what's wrong with you??

That's all for today!

Much love,



Sunday, 26 October 2008

Swell progress

What a productive day I've had!

First of all, I FINALLY managed to win a cheap and decent mannequin body on ebay:

Apologies for the nipple display! This is going to make getting chain length right SO much easier. I've found it tricky measuring it on myself. I'm still in shock at how much of a bargain it was - £3.15! I can't wait to see what my designs look like on her.

Also, I made 2 new necklaces today. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty pleased with them. I think I've just recently found my 'style' as it were, and I'm really enjoying it. A few people have asked to see photos of what I've done so far, and thanks to the lovely Bianca at Just Be Designs, I've finally managed to take some photos that aren't blurry! Hooray! I'm still trying to figure out the best way to position the items, so these photos are literally my first attempts. I will keep practicing, and fingers crossed that I'll manage to get some great shots for my etsy shop. Please please please let me know what you think! Any feedback will be welcomed!

So, here they are:

This is one of the ones that I made today. It used to be a small broach, which I've now mounted onto a vintage locket base. I've used a rather unusual double-link vintage chain that I think brings out the shine of the jewel in the center quite nicely.

I found this tiny perfume bottle in an antique shop in Edinburgh, and it was originally on a pin. Unfortunately the lid was glued shut a while ago, but I still think it's very pretty. I've linked it on some vintage pearl chain (you'll be seeing a LOT of pearl in my work), then used three stands of thin chain to make it look a little less dainty.

'E' is for Elixir - I was so pleased when I found this gorgeous perfume bottle. I threaded through some large jump rings, and linked it half to vintage pearl chain (see, told you!) and half to some vintage dark chain. I added a large pearl to the other side to create a bit of balance. This is one of my longer necklaces. I think it would be too crowded otherwise.

This is another locket of mine. The broach I've used was actually made to sit on it's side, but I think it looks much better in portrait style on this vintage locket. As you can see, once again I've used some vintage pearl chain to link it, as it matches the tiny pearl in the center. The photo quality isn't great for this one, so I've taken a close-up of the locket itself

That's better. I wore this locket to work as a 'test' last week, and received so many compliments on it! I'm really happy with it, and it makes me want to keep making more! I might have a hard time parting with it if someone were to buy it, but I guess I'll cross that bridge if I ever come to it!

So what do you think? Honest opinions please. I'm still very new to this, and am always looking to improve. I'd love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment or send me an email with any ideas/thoughts/suggestions that you might have!

In other news, I can't believe it's nearly Monday already! I don't want to go back to work tomorrow, I want to play with shiny things!

Much love,



Friday, 24 October 2008

Looking swell!

If you've visited before, you'll notice some changes to my blog. This is because my very dear and talented friend, Mr Mark Pavey, has designed me a beautiful banner for my etsy shop! You can see the banner at the top of the page, but do you know what? I like it so much that I'm going to post it again!:

Isn't it lovely? I couldn't be happier with it. I maybe a wee bit biased, as he's one of my most favourite people, but I love it. He's really captured the essence of what I want Swell Vintage to be, and I can't wait to open my shop now. I'm just waiting for a delivery of vintage chain, then I'll be doing a bit more creating. I want to have a good level of stock from the start!

So if you need any design work done, you should contact Mark Pavey. He has a rather good website,, where you can see examples of other brilliant work that he's done. If you have any questions or would like to discuss some work, I'm sure he'd be more than happy to accommodate you. He is also a very handsome man:

How's that for an incentive? Those aren't his real eyebrows, but he did make them. See? Talented!


Tuesday, 14 October 2008


...that didn't really work, did it?

If you know me personally, or have actually read my 'profile' on here, you will know of my love for Have you been on yet? If not, then please do take the time to visit it. I promise you won't be disappointed.

So let me tell you more about it. Etsy sells pretty much all things that are handmade, so you can find some really original and beautiful items on there. Clothing, jewellery, furniture, toys, food - the list is seemingly endless! And not only do they sell handmade items, but they also sell vintage. The best idea for a website ever? Yes, I think so. And that is why I have been on Etsy nearly every day since my first visit! It's addictive, but much safer and more moral than crack, so I'm not too concerned. It is, however, slightly worrying for my bank balance. But it's still better to buy vintage or handmade than crack, right?

My obsession with Etsy has now led me to open my own shop on there - Swell Vintage. If you have just click that link, you will see that there is very little up yet. Over the next few weeks, I will be uploading a stunning logo, designed by my good friend Mark Pavey, as well as a collection of jewellery made from reworked vintage parts and other vintage treasures. It's all very exciting for me, and I look forward to the challenge!

There are a lot of amazing sellers on Etsy that produce unbelievably stunning and original jewellery designs. I find the following particularly inspiring, and I highly recommend that you have a browse through their items - before I buy them all!:

So there you have it! Please note that while I admire these Etsy artists and their incredible work, I am NOT a copier. I can only hope and dream that I produce jewellery to such a high standard!

Thanks for reading my blog, you lovely blog reader you! Please come back again soon!

Much love,



Monday, 6 October 2008

My first time...

Hello there!

I can't imagine who'd actually be reading this (apart from YOU, Ruth Beedle), but welcome to my very first ever blog! It's all very exciting.

Ironically, I don't actually have anything particularly exciting to say. I'm hoping to finally launch my little etsy shop in the next couple of weeks, so I guess I'd better crack on with the jewellery making. I got back from a week in Scotland on Saturday (Edinburgh, to be precise), and I spent a bloody fortune on vintage treasures! If you've never been to Edinburgh, I strongly recommend that you visit, especially if you're into history and curios like me. The shopkeepers there are all really nice and friendly, and are more than happy to tell you other places to find great vintage.

Here are the shops that I recommend:

  • Trinket 18 William Street, Edinburgh
    This shop maybe small, but it's got some real treasures. A stunning array of broaches and handbags, as well as compacts that are in excellent condition. Not only that, but the shop owner has cleverly filled these compacts with brand new Max Factor face powder, so they're practical as well as pretty! The ladies that run Tricket are also lovely and extremely helpful. Definitely stop by if you can!
  • Godiva The Grass Market, Edinburgh
    I read about this shop in i-on magazine (VERY handy for finding where the good shops are, plus it's FREE in most shops! -, and it didn't disappoint. The shop has a reasonable size vintage collection, but also boasts designs by fashion students and local designers. I got a really nice vintage tweed jacket that has been customised by a Spanish designer. I can't work out her name unfortunately, as the label is faded, but I've had nothing but compliments on it. They also offer a 10% discount for students! Definitely worth a look.
  • Cavanagh Antique Shoppe 49 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh
    Unfortunately, this shop doesn't have a website, but that's because it's a very small family-run business. And yes, it is as adorable as it sounds! The shop has been owned by Mr and Mrs Cavanagh since the 70s, and is still run by them today along with their son, Simon. Having been in the 'Old Town' of Edinburgh for a good while, they've picked up some lovely antique pieces, and have a fantastic range of costume jewelery that is extremely well-priced. Their broaches are particularly lovely. If you're near the Royal Mile, pop in and see them. They're a lovely family, and you won't be disappointed.
  • Richard Wood Antiques 66 West Port, Edinburgh
    Another very small antique and curios shop, but that is not to say they don't have a fantastic range. I was shocked at the reasonable prices too, as I was able to pick up some Victorian perfume bottles for roughly £10 each. Apparently these guys travel far and wide (to France, the man told me) to get good quality pieces to sell at a decent price, and it definitely shows. They also have a huge collection of books, so there's something for everyone.
  • Barnardos Vintage 116 West Bow, Edinburgh
    This was an excellent find; a charity shop that specialises in vintage! Moral, guilt-free vintage shopping? What could be better? This shop, although small, has an excellent range of retro clothing, as well as an impressive range of sunglasses! They also sell all sorts of bits and bobs, all of it in brilliant condition. I found two skirts in there, including a rather special vintage kilt that I can't wait to give an airing. Also, because it's a charity shop, the prices are very, very good. Definitely pop in if you get the chance!

And that's about it for now. Due to time constraints, I wasn't able to visit all of the places suggested to me by the lovely ladies in Trinket, but I'll definitely be back to hunt for more goodies! I've already made a start on some jewellery with the pieces I picked up in Edinburgh, so perhaps I will upload some photos soon.

Thanks for reading, anyway. I will be writing again soon, so please come back! Please?