Sunday, 28 December 2008

Swell bloggings

I'm so so happy to have joined Independent Fashion Bloggers!

Independent Fashion Bloggers/

To use their own words, IFB is a web community to help bloggers make informed choices about monetisation, advertising networks and general blog improvement. It's a wonderfully friendly and helpful place, and many truly brilliant bloggers are involved. I found out about it through the site's founder, the lovely and stylish Jennine Tamm. She is possibly one of the hardest working fashion bloggers around! Her other site, The Coveted, is a cracking read.

So fingers crossed that my blogging skills will soon improve! I'm hoping that 2009 is going to be a big one for me, so it's very reassuring to know that the IFB is there.

In other news, I went on a vintage shopping binge today (whoops - it was a total accident). Photos soon to come!

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas break, and that going back to work tomorrow isn't going to be too painful!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Friday, 26 December 2008

Swell corsages

The second blog post in two days?! You can tell I have some extra time on my hands!

Happy Boxing day, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying some well deserved time off. I myself decided to be a bit more active than I was yesterday following my turkey-induced coma, and had a go at branching out into something a bit different. Well, for me and Swell Vintage at least!

I cut the sleeves off a dress I bought recently (it looked better this way), and ever since I'd been wanting to do something with them.

So today I sat down with my sewing box, and had a go at turning them into corsages. I used a vintage rhinestone broach on one, and on the other a vintage do-dad I'd picked up somewhere along the way. Et voila! (Sorry, I've been watching a LOT of Poirot these past couple of days...):

Now I haven't actually put a back on either of these, but I'm thinking of putting a simple broach clip on the back of each - but what are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas what I could do with these? Most of the lovely people who read my blog are a lot more talented and creative than I am, so any suggestions are welcome!

Also, to show off, my sister got me a really handy stand for my jewellery for Christmas:

Looks much better than the way I was keeping them before - lying on my printer!

What lovely gifts have you received this year?

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Thursday, 25 December 2008

Swell Christmas

Merry Christmas, lovely loves!

I hope you've all had a SWELL day (see what I did there?), filled with food, presents and other such delights.

I've had a brilliantly relaxing one this year, and have been spoiled with amazing presents! My Mum and sister, who are very supportive of my jewellery stuff, got me a new digital camera so that I can finally take some decent photos of my pieces - hooray! I've taken new photos of my silver flower necklace that I couldn't get right with my old camera, so here you go!:

I'm really looking forward to 2009 - if everything goes according to plan, I think it's going to be a gooden. Fingers crossed anyway!

What lovely gifts have you received this year??

I'll hopefully be making some new pieces over the next few days, so keep your eyes lovely and peeled.

Much festive love,

Swell Vintage


Sunday, 21 December 2008

Swell menagerie

Hello hello hello!

So it's the Sunday before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
...except for the animal-themed necklaces I made this weekend!

Wow, that was really bad, wasn't it?

Anyway, I made two necklaces this weekend: one was for a commission, and the other will be on sale at my etsy shop in the new year. Wanna see? Ok!

My dear friend Ruth asked me to make a necklace for her Mum. Ruth has been extremely supportive of all my jewellery-related work, and the only real instruction she gave me for this was, "Make it big enough so she can get it over her head without having to faff around with clasps!" Creatively she's trusted me to do whatever I like, but I did check that she wouldn't mind a here it is:

It's made from a vintage spider broach, linked on vintage brass chain with pearl. I'm really nervous and hope she likes it! What do you think of it? Honest opinions will be welcomed, please!

This necklace is made from a vintage bird broach that I got in Edinburgh (oh, how I miss that city), linked on vintage silver plated chain. Oh, and what's he got there? A vintage faux pearl in his claw!

I'm quite please with how this one has turned out, but I'd love to hear what you think. Should I make more animal-themed jewellery?

I can't believe it's nearly Christmas already! I can't wait to eat lots of amazing food, watch lots of ridiculous television and have many, many lie-ins. All I want for Christmas is the Poirot DVD box set (yes, I am massively geeky). What have you asked Santa for this year?

Merry Christmas, lovely lovelies!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Sunday, 14 December 2008

Swell plans

So I've finally decided to set a date for when I'll be selling my jewellery online through the Swell Vintage etsy shop: Saturday 3rd January 2009!

I figured there wasn't any point doing it before Christmas, and this way I have time to build up my stock levels. But don't forget, I'm still selling some lovely vintage items there at the moment, so why not have a browse?!

Speaking of building up stock levels, I made a few items today. Please see the pictures below. I'd love to know what you think!

This necklace is made from a brilliant vintage broach I found whilst in Edinburgh, linked onto two different vintage chains and pearl. It's pretty bold, and I quite like that.

This bracelet is made with a vintage broach, decorated with faux turquoise, and a really nice thick link vintage chain. I added a chunky faux pearl because...I really like pearl!

I really liked this vintage 'shell', and thought I'd add a pearl (for a change) to keep in with the theme. It is hung on a vintage chain, and I think it's even quite pretty from the back!

So there we go! As I've said time and time again, I'd really like to hear what you think of these. I love getting comments, and every message/piece of feedback/idea is read and deeply absorbed!

In other news, I'm so looking forward to Christmas. Time off my day job = more time to do what I love! Hooray! Do you have any nice Christmas plans? Any nice Christmas jewellery/outfits?

Thanks for reading!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Friday, 12 December 2008

Swell legends

Bettie Page
April 22, 1923 - December 11, 2008

I think anyone who loves their vintage LOVES Bettie Page, and I am definitely no exception. She made the "seedy" world of fetish glamourous and beautiful, she wore amazing underwear and she also had one of the best hairstyles of all time.

Rest in peace, you absolute legend.

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Friday, 5 December 2008

Swell bits

FINALLY I've had some time to blog! It's all been a bit crazy recently, but I had the day off today and was able to catch up on my jewellery stuff.

I think I've finally mastered the art of photographing my jewellery. Following a few suggestions from the lovely JuliaEmily, I've realised that daytime photography is the key. Here are a few of my latest pieces:


I love making this style of necklace, and I think this unusual vintage broach really works well with the vintage chain and faux pearl. It does remind me a little of a spider, but not enough to be scary (I hope)!



This necklace is made from part of an antique drawer pull. I've added a vintage faux pearl to lighten it up against the vintage brass chain. It's nice and heavy!


This necklace is made from a vintage do-dad, hung on vintage chain with faux pearls. It's a bit unusual, and but I quite like it!


I've turned this vintage green filigree broach into a sizable bracelet! Linked with vintage brass chain and a vintage clasp, I think it's quite striking.


This vintage brass chain is fixed with a faux pearl clasp. It's nice to keep it simple sometimes!

Also, I'm really excited to now have business cards! Hooray! That ever so talented friend of mine, Mr Mark Pavey, did an amazing job designing them and recommending a printer. I couldn't be happier with the results. Hopefully in the New Year he will be designing me a proper website too!



I'd really like to hear what you think of my photos (as well as what they're of), so if you have any suggestions/ideas/thoughts/stories, please leave me a comment.

Please come back soon! I promise to blog more.

Much love,



Thursday, 27 November 2008

Swell response!

I can't get over the response I've had to my Stephen Fry post!

Since I posted my blog for the lovely people on the Etsy UK chat thread to read, everyone has just been so wonderfully excited and enthusiastic about my minor stalking activity! Thank you so much to everyone for your congratulatory messages on Etsy/Twitter/here - you've made me feel less like a fanatical Stephen Fry-loving weirdo and more like a hero!

Not only have I had lots of amazing messages and comments, but a couple of the brilliant UK crew have even blogged about it! Take a look at their blogs and their shops - they have some gorgeous items for sale:

I'm so glad that everyone has been happy about what I did - I was a bit scared that I'd post to blog and that everyone would be horrified!

So I'm currently taking requests for my next celebrity target - it was suggested on Etsy that David Tennant would be a good choice, and he is currently starring in Hamlet in London...

....hmmm...double dare me?

Much love,



Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Swelling with excitement!

This post is actually nothing to do with my jewellery, but it is dedicated to the lovely UK sellers that frequent the Etsy UK Chat community thread.

For those of you that have not been on this thread before, the main topic of conversation is, more often than not, Stephen Fry. As proud Brits, there is no one that we love more than this national treasure, and we have had numerous conversations about him and his regular tweets on Twitter. So when I got tickets to see him talk about his new America series at the V&A, my fellow etsians dared me to make a banner... I did. And here's the proof!

Can you believe it?! Me and the man himself! Needless to say I was VERY embarrassed asking him to do me this favour, but it was really a once in a lifetime opportunity. Plus, I was DOUBLE dared, so it had to be done!

If you have ever watched Mr Fry on television or in a film and thought to yourself, 'Wow, Stephen Fry seems a rather nice chap!" you'd be absolutely right! Witty, self-deprecating and just a thoroughly decent bloke. It was a really brilliant night, and if you ever get the opportunity to hear him do a talk - take it!

I will actually blog about jewellery-related things soon. Promise.

Much love,



Sunday, 23 November 2008

Just swell

Hello! This is going to be a quickie, as I'm rather sleepy and have work tomorrow, but I just wanted to write a little something. Apologies for any terrible spelling mistakes or grammatical errors - I'm pretty much ready for bed!

I had my mysterious meeting recently, and it went pretty well, I think. I'm not going to say too much at this stage in case I jinx it, but I will say that I could potentially get some great experience. Fingers crossed for me, please!

Today I made a new necklace. I'm pretty pleased with it, and it's nice to work with silver for a change. I've used this great silver plated chain, so this one's a bit special:

You can't really see the vintage broach I've used very well in that picture, so I've tried to capture it better in this one:

I really am a terrible photographer...

My sister really wants this one for Christmas. What do you think, lovely reader? Shall I be generous?

Also, all of my past pieces are now on their way to Trinket in Edinburgh! It's all very exciting, and I really hope the people of Edinburgh like them. I know that they are holding special Christmas shopping evenings there on 26th and 27th November, so if you're in the area why not pop in? I'd love to know how much jewellery looks there!

I made some big price reductions on my etsy shop today. Please visit Swell Vintage at and let me know what you think!

Once again, thank you for reading. You are my everything.

Much love,



Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Swell happenings

Right, so I'm finally ready to tell you all about where my jewellery is going! I didn't want to jinx it by telling people too early on, just in case my collection wasn't up to scratch, but it all seems good to go now! Hooray!

My jewellery is going to be on sale in a shop!!! Not only that, but it's a BEAUTIFUL shop! It's called Trinket, and it's in Edinburgh, Scotland. I've blogged about it before, not because of this, but because I visited the shop when I was on holiday there and genuinely loved it. It's a really gorgeous mix of vintage and contemporary pieces, and has some really unique jewellery and accessories. I spent a small fortune in there when I went! I'm so so excited that I've been given this opportunity, and Jan (the lovely lady who owns Trinket) is been so understanding and helpful. I will be shipping my jewellery off to her over the next week or so, just in time for Christmas. I will miss my pieces terribly, but hopefully they'll be going to a good home!

In other potentially exciting news, I have been given the chance to meet with a very brilliant and very talented jewellery designer. I won't name names at this stage, but even if it's just a meeting, I'm sure it'll be a great experience. Fingers crossed for me, please! I'm really going to have to attempt to contain myself, as I'm a really big fan of his work!

Also, I've had my first Etsy sale - woo! If you have a spare minute, please stop by my shop, Swell Vintage - I'm really looking forward to making more jewellery so that I'll be able to sell some online too. I need more free time, please!

So I think I've written more than enough for now! I will leave you with a photo of one of my favourite vintage scarves that is on sale in my etsy shop:

I LOVE the pattern!

Thanks for reading! You are brilliant.

Much love,



Sunday, 16 November 2008

Swell beginnings

So today I FINALLY opened my etsy shop! Hooray! Wanna see?

...I really must stop asking rhetorical questions in my posts. Here's the link:

Now I know what you may (or may not) be thinking - where's the jewellery at? Well, due to the mysterious news that I have blogged about previously, all of my jewellery stock will (hopefully still) be going somewhere else...somewhere up north, and therefore I won't have anything left to sell. So for now, my shop will just be selling vintage goodies. I would love to hear what you think of my shop, so if you have any feedback for me, please do let me know.

Here are a couple of my favourite items that I have for sale:

  • Vintage Hermes scarf

    I love this! If only I wore scarves more...the design is amazing, and I love the image of Napoleon in the center:

    So very french and so very cool!

  • Vintage Mulberry messenger bag

    Mulberry make some of the most beautiful bags in the whole world - FACT. This bag is absolutely stunning, made from gorgeous chocolate brown leather. If I wasn't one of those women that carry their lives around in their handbags, I'd keep this one for myself.

    I like to think this is a bit of a bargain too!
Also, I haven't forgotten that in my last blog I promised to write all about bracelets. So, here I go:

I love bracelets. While I tend to make necklaces, I am trying to branch out more into bracelets, and I have already made a couple. Want to see?

...right, not more rhetoric! Silly me.

This one is made from a pair of vintage earrings, and I've carried on the pearl theme for good measure.

I loved this vintage brooch, but I think it makes a much more striking bracelet! I've used a heavy gold chain to give this bracelet a bit more of an edge.

I am definitely going to make some more bracelets soon, but again, I'd really like to know what you think. I'm still learning, and because I have some really fantastic Etsians reading my blog, I know how much I could benefit from any advice. Positive or negative, anything goes please!

Argghhhghh, I can't believe the weekend is nearly over! Thank you for reading my blog, you are very lovely.

Come back soon, please!

Much love,


Sunday, 9 November 2008

Swell antiques

I've been a rather busy bee recently, but today I finally had some time to make some new pieces. Three, to be precise. Want to see?

...I'm going to assume that you were thinking 'yes'. Here they are:

This piece is made from an antique drawer pull! I've used a mix of vintage pearl and darker chain to soften it up and make it a bit more wearable. I quite like it!

I've let the vintage brooch in the center do the talking on for this one. I've used some dark embellished vintage chain to add to the gothic feel with a single pearl because...I like pearl! Also green is my favourite colour.

I apologise in advance for the appalling blurriness of this photo:

Made from a HUGE antique drawer pull, this is easily one of the boldest pieces I've ever made. I've tried to lighten it up with pearl and some light large-link chain. It would definitely take a brave person to wear this one!

So, what do you think? Please feel free to email or comment me with feedback, good or bad. It's the only way I'll learn!

I realise that I've mainly shown my necklaces in this blog, but there is more to my work than just that. My next post will be ENTIRELY bracelet based, so please come back and have a looky.

It makes me very happy when people read my blog, so thank you very much for reading.

Much love,



Monday, 3 November 2008

Swell twitterings

So I've gone and jumped on the 'twitter' bandwagon!

I wasn't too sure about it at first, but now I'm hooked. There are so many etsy members on there! Even etsy is on there! It's a great way to get updated about what everyone's up to. If you have twitter, please follow me!:

In other news, I think I need to buy this from TheHandofFatima!:

It's totally stunning and an amazing antique find. She's gone and done it again! I get paid on the 18th, and then (hopefully) it shall be mine.

I think this post needs an image. Here are some passport photos I had taken the other day:

Soon after I had them done, I realised that I didn't actually need them. Good one.

Please come back soon! I'll be working on some new pieces towards the end of the week.

Much love


Saturday, 1 November 2008


...riverbanks, that is. What horrible, horrible weather we are having in the UK today! Perfect weather to stay indoors and make jewellery, I think.

Today I made a new necklace, and I'm pretty pleased with it:

I really like this large link chain. I'll definitely be buying some more. Thanks again, etsy! I also made a bracelet, but it didn't show up very well in the photographs I took.

Unfortunately none of these items are going to be for sale in my etsy shop. This is because of the exciting news I wrote about in my last post, and I promise to say more about it soon. Today's clue is: bagpipes. I will, however, still be opening my etsy shop in a week or so, selling primarily vintage bits and bobs. I will eventually be selling my jewellery there.

I'd love to know what you think of what I've done so far! Please leave me a comment with any ideas, suggestions or thoughts that you may have, they are all very welcome.

Thanks for reading my Swell Vintage blog!

Much love


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,