Little Koo Birthday sale now on!

So, it was my birthday last week. It was a fairly low key one (I think they tend to take a back seat when you have children, especially when their birthday happens to be quite close to yours – the twins’ 2nd birthday is coming up soon – eek!) but nice nonetheless. And I meant to have a little sale to celebrate on the Little Koo Etsy shop, but I forgot. So I thought I’d have one anyway, just a bit late!

So here it is, the Little Koo birthday sale is now on! 20% off EVERYTHING, including items already on sale! The sale runs until midnight on Monday 12th October so check it out now!

Little Koo birthday sale 2015

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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DIY crystal stud earrings

As I mentioned in my recent post on DIY button stud earrings, I am looking to increase my collection of stud earrings since the twins like to pull on dangly earrings. So when I saw these beautiful DIY crystal earrings on Thanks I Made It, I really wanted to try this for myself!

My only concern was, where do I get the crystals from? You can get them from Amazon UK if you search for “sew on crystals” (but make sure you buy the ones mounted in metal clasps, not the flat back ones), but that was no use to me in Hong Kong. But then I was wandering down Yu Chau Street in Sham Shui Po (THE best place to get craft and jewellery supplies in Hong Kong!) and came across a whole shop-load of them! I was in heaven trying to choose which ones to buy!

So, being totally predictable, I fell for some round mint green crystals and paired them with some marquise (leaf) shaped clear crystals. I got out my trusty E6000 glue and just stuck them together and stuck the earring back on (I didn’t bother with the wax paper like she did in the tutorial above, but it might be a good idea if you’re worried about everything sticking together).

DIY crystal stud earrings

It was so simple and quick and I love the results! I’m definitely going to make more of these!

Handmade mint green crystal stud earrings

What do you think? Will you have a go yourself? Do let me know if you do!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Custom delicate beaded wedding bracelets

My sister in law (whose wedding I mentioned in my last post) very kindly asked me to create two bracelets for her wedding – one for her and one for my other sister in law, who was a bridesmaid. The bridesmaid’s dress was a mid blue colour so I played around with a few designs on a blue theme and this was the one that she chose!

Blue crystal and pearl bracelet

(It was my favourite too, so I was really pleased)

These bracelets are really delicate, made from clusters of crystals, pearls and seed beads. I just love the look of tiny beads clustered together at the moment, as I mentioned here.

Blue crystal cluster bracelet

The bride’s bracelet had light blue crystals, and the bridesmaid’s bracelet had mid-blue crystals to match her dress. The beads are threaded onto two pieces of flexible beading wire, with some of the beads going through both wires to create a woven look.

Delicate mid blue crystal and pearl bracelet

The bracelets got lots of compliments on the big day, I was so pleased! I was so happy with how they came out, I think I might make one for myself…

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

New clustered beads necklaces

I’ve got a thing about clusters of small beads at the moment – I just think they look so pretty! If you remember, I made some Christmas decorations which were rings of clustered beads last year. I’ve been working on and off on some necklaces using this clustered bead technique for ages, and I’ve finally got them up in the Little Koo Etsy shop!

The central part of each necklace is made from small beads wrapped around a stiff wire semi-circle, hung on a sterling silver chain. These designs have a little sparkle from the clear Swarovski crystals interspersed with pearls, gemstones and tiny gold seed bead accents. So far, this necklace is available in two colours – mint green and pale pink. The mint green design features amazonite beads, while the pale pink design uses strawberry quartz.

The amazonite necklace can be found here

Mint green amazonite crystal and pearl cluster necklace - Little Koo

…while the strawberry quartz necklace can be found here.

Pale pink strawberry quartz crystal and pearl cluster necklace - Little Koo

I’m thinking of making some earrings to match, so watch this space!

What do you think? Is this a style that you like too? Would you like to see this design in a different colour?

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Making a sequin necklace

A while ago I saw this tutorial on Pinterest for making a sequin bangle. I really liked the look of all those sequins stacked up together and thought I’d try making a necklace using the same technique! Here is what I made:

sequin necklace DIY

I’m not going to post a detailed how-to here since I used very basic jewellery making techniques to make my necklaces, but do let me know if you want one!

The original blog post used cup sequins strung onto wire and shaped into a bangle shape. I didn’t realise she used cup sequins until after I had bought a load of flat sequins! (very cheap from a shop in Sham Shui Po) Oops. I think that the cup sequins stack together better than the flat sequins, but I still like the look that I managed to achieve.

mint green and white sequin necklace

Another difference to the original tutorial is that I strung the sequins on flexible multi-strand beading wire, rather than standard wire, to allow the necklace to drape well. I started out by stringing the sequins one at a time (VERY slow!) but quickly got bored. I realised that a much quicker way was to stack a bunch of sequins between my forefinger and thumb and then roll them gently to line them all up so you can then just thread your wire through the middle.

I was originally thinking of putting a bead on each end of my sequin string, but then I thought that a spiral copper cone would be quite fun! I’ve not made one before but I’ve seen various tutorials that use a pencil tip to create the cone shape. I wasn’t sure whether to start my cone at the tip or the bottom but I found it easier to make the cone shape from the tip down, by using pliers to hold the end of the wire cone against the tip of the mechanical pencil I was using. I had a few goes, and used the best two on my necklace. I have to admit that it’s very difficult to make a nice even, tightly curled cone! It’s certainly made me realise how much work I’m going to have to put in if I want to be really good at wire work…

sequin necklace with copper wire cones

One thing to note is that the base of the cone is slightly angled because there is a wire sticking out, and this makes your cone angled against the sequins. Maybe you could trim the end of the wire on your cone at an angle to reduce this.

Also, your cone won’t naturally stay central because it has a big open end. To get around this you could either make the end of the cone slightly bigger than your sequins, so the cone fits over the end of your sequin string, or thread a small bead onto your beading wire before you thread the cone on so that the bead fits inside your cone (and is hidden). I did mine the second way, using a large seed bead.

I was really pleased with how the cones look on the necklace!

silver and copper stacked sequin necklace

Anyway, I was having so much fun that I made another sequin necklace! This time I strung my sequins onto a short, straight piece of 0.6mm (22ga) wire.

mini stack sequin necklace

Again, I wanted to do something with each end of the sequin stack. This time I made a little flat copper wire spiral, which was actually really easy to do. Just make a small loop with some round nose pliers, and then continue winding your wire around the loop, holding the spiral flat with pliers as you go.

sequin necklace with copper wire spiral

I finished off each end of the wire with a wire-wrapped loop, threading the loop through the end of a piece of chain before wrapping the wire round. Again, because the wire wrapped loop finishes with a piece of wire sticking out, it makes the end of the sequins slightly angled. You could trim the end of the wire at an angle to minimise this, although it would be quite fiddly.

I think I prefer the other necklace, but the little cylinder-type pendant is quite nice!

green and white sequin stack pendant

What do you think? Do you have a favourite? Do you like the look of the stacked sequins? Do let me know if you have a go at this yourself!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Custom handmade jewellery designs

One of the nicest things about making jewellery is when I get asked to make something specific for someone! I love doing custom designs. And I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to create two of them recently.

The first was a very open brief – a friend wanted something fairly simple in style, but it had to be purple! I decided to make a bracelet from some beautiful purple swirled glass beads that I have. I bought some lilac Swarovski crystal bicones to match and pulled the design together with some silver spacer beads. The overall look is quite a slim bracelet design, which I chose because it is pretty but not too flashy.

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The second was a little more specific. I was asked to create a two layer necklace using some beautiful flat teardrop shaped lapis lazuli beads that had already been picked out. I played with a few designs and decided that the lapis lazuli matched well with some blue goldstone beads that I already had. I wanted the beads to be fairly spaced out so that the necklace didn’t look too heavy so I linked the beads together with wire wrapped loops. This took me quite a long time! I’m not sure whether I’d make another necklace like it again due to the time it took, but I was really pleased with the result.

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Luckily, both people loved their new jewellery!

It’s so much fun to design something for someone specific. If you’d like me to design you (or someone you know) a piece of jewellery, just get in touch. The best way is to email me at littlekoojewellery@gmail.com. I’d love to hear your requirements and work with you to produce a beautiful piece of jewellery.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Handmade Hong Kong Christmas Fair – in review

The next Handmade Hong Kong (HMHK) Sunday Market is this Sunday (11th January) in Discovery Bay, and Little Koo will be there with another stall! Come by and say hi!

Handmade Hong Kong Sunday Markets 2015

HMHK put on some great fairs, I really enjoyed the last Sunday Market I did in December. One highlight for me was a lady who loved a pair of my earrings (these ones) so much that she put them on straight away after she bought them!

Also. there were so many wonderful stalls around me. I ended buying a few things myself! Here are some of my favourites:

Longjungleee – this was the stall next to mine. The jewellery is all handmade from dried flowers set in resin. It was so pretty that I bought a pair of earrings for myself!

Lostjunglee - Handmade Hong Kong Fair

hej├Âl – a beautiful display of pretty candles in lovely shapes and colours

hejol - Handmade Hong Kong Fair

Ashwan – so many bright colourful Turkish hand-painted ceramics!

Ashwan - Handmade Hong Kong Fair

SAPH+ workshop – this stall certainly attracted a lot of attention with their range of unique shoes

SAPH+ Workshop - Handmade Hong Kong Fair

Felted – fun food of all kinds beautifully made from felt!

Felted - Handmade Hong Kong Fair

And some others I didn’t get photos of…

For all the knitters out there, knit purl crochet have a great range of handknit yarns

Beautiful cheongsam-style dresses for girls in modern fabrics from Dragonfly Girls

And finally, a special mention to a stall selling fun totes with cartoons of classic Hong Kong imagery such as fish balls! It was run by some teenage boys who didn’t really understand why I wanted to take a photo of their wares. I took a leaflet and afterwards realised that the bags were designed by teenagers attending GoGetters school from the St Stephen’s Society, which aims to keep young people off the streets and help with their education. The bags were really cool, I regret not buying one! If they’re at this Sunday’s fair I’m definitely buying one this time!

So I hope that’s helped to whet your appetite for the next HMHK fair this Sunday. If you’re in Hong Kong, why not pop over to Discovery Bay and check it out?!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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