Scarlett Willow Designs

Jewellery is like a biography ~ a story that tells the many chapters of our life

2019.....Resolutions, Goals and Dreams

BlogScarlett Willow DesignsComment

At the beginning of every new year, the media always shouts about “Resolutions!”…..”New Year, New You!”……etc etc. Statistics show that nearly 80% fail by the second week of February! Too much pressure and perhaps too big a goal?

I prefer to set smaller goals throughout the year but my main one this year is to consume less and be more mindful of what I do consume and where it comes from. When I say “consume”, I don’t mean food…I mean in physical, material items. In particular, plastics……we’ve heard a lot over the last year or two about single use plastics and the damage they do to the environment.

I want to follow that through to my business as well. One of my suppliers is now using paper bags instead of plastic for many of their products which is fantastic. I’m going to be looking at my own packaging practices and see if there is anything further I can do.

Jewellers are very good at recycling and reusing materials, after all, gold and silver are not cheap! Scrap can be melted down either at a Refiners, where they pay for your scrap material and turn it back into sheet and wire, or many jewellers will melt the precious metal themselves to create something new.

I also don’t want to buy for the sake of buying….I’m as guilty as the next jeweller when it comes to tools but have I already got a tool that can do the job or one that can be adapted? Can I borrow the tool from a jeweller friend or buy it second-hand?

I also want to be mindful of where my materials come from, have they been mined in an ecological and ethical way? Different things but both equally as important.

So, let’s see where this takes me this year. I’m looking forward to 2019 and all the adventures it holds!




Goodbye 2018!

BlogScarlett Willow DesignsComment
Goodbye 2018!.jpg

I can’t believe we’re here….the last day of 2018!

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me over the past year. I’ve travelled to different parts of the country and met some wonderful people. I’ve seen some familiar faces and met plenty of new ones too.

I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings and I hope to see you all there!

Crazy Pre-Christmas Sale!

Christmas, SALE!Scarlett Willow DesignsComment
Pre-Christmas Sale!.jpg

I think I might have Tinsel Fever!

Starting this Saturday until Wednesday, each day I will be sending a special code to everyone on my mailing list to receive a discount on either one particular piece or over an entire collection. I'm not talking 5-10% here......I'm talking up to 50% AND free UK P&P! You'll have to be quick, some pieces are limited in number

On Thursday morning, I will send one final code that will give you a discount on ANY piece in the shop! This code will only last for two hours and I will then be wrapping like a crazy elf to post everything out on Thursday afternoon so that you'll receive your jewellery in time for Christmas! (Only in the UK)

“But I’m not on your mailing list!” I hear you wail! Did you see the pop-up when you came to my website? Pop in your details and voila…you’ve just joined the mailing list!

Can’t wait to see what you choose……will it be a special gift for a loved one or are you going to treat yourself!

T's and C's.jpg

Jars of Seaglass

BlogScarlett Willow DesignsComment

At the end of September, I was exhibiting at the Autumn Show in Malvern. I love this show, as a visitor and an exhibitor….especially the giant vegetable competition!

This year, I had a lot of people commenting on the “Morvoren Dagrow” collection that features seaglass. Each person I spoke to also had a love of these little jewels from the sea and loved to collect them on their trips to the coast. One woman had collected pieces from around the world! I asked each of them the same question…..

“What do you do with the pieces you’ve collected?”

Each and every person gave me exactly the same answer……

“I put it in a box or jar”

My reply was as follows……

Do you have a favourite piece? A piece that means a little more than all the others? You could always send it to me and I can create a beautiful piece of jewellery for you! “

I love creating bespoke pieces of jewellery for people, especially when they feature something from a place they’ve visited. And it doesn’t have to just be a piece of seaglass. Broken pottery, whether smoothed by the ocean waves or from Granny’s favourite teacup…a pebble that caught your eye….these can be turned into a piece of unique jewellery with meaning, my favourite kind of thing to make!

So if you’re someone who has a jar of seaglass or a piece of pottery that you would love to turn into a piece of jewellery for yourself or someone special, something unique, something with meaning, then please get in touch! Head over to the contact page and drop me a line

Morvoren Dagrow Necklace 4 (1).jpg

Sapphire ~ September's Birthstone (and mine!)

BirthstonesScarlett Willow DesignsComment
Sapphire _ September.jpg

What colour do you think of when I say “Sapphire”?  Blue? You wouldn’t be wrong…..but there are so many more!  

Rubies, for example, are a red sapphire.  The mineral Corundum makes a sapphire a sapphire but trace elements of different minerals give them their colour.  Blue is created by by having trace elements of titanium, chromium gives us the pinks and reds (rubies) depending on the amount, iron will produce yellow sapphires…..having more than one trace element will give us beautiful greens and purples too!

My personal favourite is the stunning Padparadscha sapphire, it’s a pale pinkish orange colour and it’s name is derived from the Sanskrit word for lotus flower.  They are also the rarest so can be very expensive.

Padparadscha Sapphire

Padparadscha Sapphire

Sapphires have traditionally symbolised sincerity, truth, faithfulness and nobility, and was also said to have healing powers.  In Medieval Europe, sapphires were thought to cure plague boils and diseases of the eye!

Deep blue sapphires have long been associated with royalty which is perhaps where the colour “royal blue” comes from.  Kings throughout history believed that the gemstone would protect them from their enemies.

 

Although Sapphires are found in many countries including Australia, USA and Thailand, historically Kashmir, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are important sources of this gemstone.  In 1881, Sapphires were discovered in Kashmir when a landslide in the Himalayas revealed a large pocket of cornflower blue crystals. As these gemstones started appearing further south, the Maharaja of Kashmir took control.  In the next six years, thousands of blue sapphires were found and it’s this that gives Kashmir it’s reputation for beautiful, covetable gemstones.

Jungle covered hills in the Magok region of Myanmar produce a rich, intense blue sapphire that is still known as “Burmese” sapphire.  It’s often found next to Ruby deposits but in lower quantities than it’s red neighbour.

Now, this is the one that most people would be familiar with when talking about Sapphires.  Sri Lanka has been a source of beautiful blue sapphires for more than 2000 years and display amazing saturation and brilliance.  It is also one of the few places where Padparadscha sapphire can be found.

Sapphires are rated 9 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, diamond being the only natural substance that can scratch it.  This makes it perfect for wearing in jewellery as it’s so durable.

So, with all these colours available, which would you choose?

Memorial Jewellery

Scarlett Willow DesignsComment

While I was in Saltaire at the beginning of May for a show, one of my newer designs prompted a comment from a lady that got me thinking.

This particular piece isn't even in the shop yet (I know, I know, I'll get it done!) but here's a picture that I've just snapped....

20180606_134034.jpg
20180606_134040.jpg

These are my "Vine" lockets, the top slides up the chain allowing you to pop a little note or love letter into it.  So what was the comment that got my thinking, I hear you ask......this lovely lady asked me if it was possible to place a loved ones ashes into it and have it soldered shut and I replied "Of course!"

Memorial jewellery isn't a new thing.  The Victorians would wear lockets containing photos and locks of hair.   More recently, memorial jewellery has moved on again to feature cremation ashes, whether of our human loved ones or our furry family members, sometimes in lockets and sometimes set in resin. I've set some of the ashes of my own Burmese cat into resin and turned them into a wearable piece of jewellery.

So, I'm thinking of offering this service, placing ashes into "Vine" lockets or creating pieces in my own style that would incorporate your loved ones ashes.   What are your thoughts on this?  Is this something you would like?

The Forest....

Not my usual blog!Scarlett Willow DesignsComment
20180110_091758 (1).jpg

Today’s blog is a little different from my usual topics, but I wanted to write about this as I find it fascinating.  From my work, you will already know how much I love the forest ~ it inspires almost all of my pieces. My social media accounts are overflowing with images of the forest at different times of the year, from the first new leaves of Spring, to the dappled sunlight pouring through the trees on an early Summer’s morning, to the stunning colours of Autumn, to the stark contrast in Winter.  And I’ve also found walking to be a great way to clear the mind, just putting one foot in front of the other can become quite meditative. I’ve done this since I was a teenager, it helped with exam stress although then I didn’t know why. I would just announce after a few hours of studying that I was “going for a walk”. I thought I just needed to get away from the books, get some fresh air and maybe that was part of it.  I never had a route planned in my head, I just walked til I felt it was time to go home. I’m lucky that I live in an area of the country that is filled with green open spaces, lots of trees and fields.

How many of you feel refreshed...energised...clear-headed….relaxed….happier….after going for a walk? I don’t mean marching the kids to school or racing to work! I’m talking about those times when you’re away from those pressures, whether on holiday, or after that huge Sunday lunch….

It turns out that in Japan they have a name for this ~ Shrinrin-yoku or “forest bathing”.  The phrase was coined in the 1980’s after researchers in Japan and South Korea conducted studies on the benefits of spending time amongst the trees.  Every study so far has shown a reduction in stress levels, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness. Blood pressure drops and concentration and mental clarity improve from just 15 minutes.  This has now become a cornerstone of preventative medicine and healing in Japanese medicine, with 44 accredited Shrinrin-yoku forests in Japan.

Some of the these studies show a boosted immune system, improved mood and a quicker recovery from illness.  My mental health has definitely improved over the last few years since having the dogs….I walk every day in the forest and on those days when my husband decides it’s his turn, there is a difference in how I feel.

I love being in the forest, I find it relaxing and energising all at the same time….and inspires me to do the work I love!

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. John MuirRead more at_ https_%2F%2Fwww.brainyquote.com%2Fauthors%2Fjohn_muir.jpg