Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Slight change of plan...

So, shortly after my last entry here, I put plans into motion for a new website for Sacré Coeur that would involve a new blog which would be a part of the site rather than just linked out to blogspot, as it is at present. What with a new collection underway and a massive facelift on the cards, the website is taking a while to come to fruition but it will be well worth it once it's done and dusted and ready to go! I haven't forgotten about your submissions last year of your own jewellery collections. They are safely stashed with a written out entry about them ready to christen the new blog on the new site with! Basically, I am keeping the on-site blog very much SC and jewellery based.

That leaves me wondering about this blog and what to do with it. I don't want it to sit here uninhabited & unloved, nor do I want to delete it... so I had an idea!

Many of my customers and friends that I have made throughout the course of running Sacré Coeur follow me on Twitter & Facebook and, as such, they get a small glimpse into the weird and wonderful stuff I get up to in my lab/studio. I thought I'd open this blog up to act as a window into the inner workings of Sacré Coeur HQ and show you some of the stuff I do in my spare time... mainly because I'm a complete geek and like to share these things where possible!

If there is a call for this sort of thing then you can expect to find a lot of insects both dead and alive, projects involving my hobbies (entomology, amateur horticulture, collection and preservation of natural specimens, taxidermy, the creatures I rear etc), private collections, artwork I am working on and other such stuff. So, what say you guys? Might this be something you'd be interested in seeing?

I shall leave you with a few photos of my personal collection of natural history paraphernalia and other misc bits and pieces to give you an idea of what I'm talking about!

Au revoir for now! x


Friday, 13 May 2011

What’s in Your Jewellery Box? Pt. 2.

Last week I posted a handful of pictures of my own personal jewellery collection with the intention of offering a little insight into my personal tastes and to hopefully encourage a little interaction with you, my readers! Well, it seems to have worked so far! After asking for submissions from you so I could make another post featuring your collections, I have been somewhat inundated with lots of wonderful pictures and it’s been really interesting to see what you’ve got so far so please keep them coming! I will be accepting submissions from you all until the 20th of May and, after that, I will be putting together a selection of the best collections and posting them here in my blog for everyone to have a look at! Seriously, some of the submissions I’ve had so far have been EPIC. I’m honoured that so many of you have put so much time and effort into this!

If you would like to join in, please email your submissions to tea@sacre-coeur.co.uk and include a little info about yourself and the items you have submitted.

So, in the meantime, to continue the theme of what’s in your jewellery box, I’ve decided to show you the jewellery box itself. Only, my jewellery box isn’t necessarily a box. Depending on which pieces of jewellery we’re talking about, it might be a nail in my wall, a key in a cabinet lock or even the entire cabinet! Here, I’ll show you…

Above: Because I want to be able to see my jewellery all the time and not lock it away in a box, I have always tended to hang it from things in my room. When I was at university, I had a wooden shelf unit I picked up cheap for my books etc. I screwed a few wood screws into it at intervals up the front of it and hung my many necklaces from it. I don’t have that anymore and my furniture here is way too nice to be banging nails into it or screwing things into it… so I took it out on the walls and banged a couple of nails into them to hang things from instead! I love the way the necklaces look all bunched together hanging alongside a couple of my illustrations. There is usually a taxidermy mount in a glass case on the unit in front of this wall so you have to imagine a stuffed puffin somewhere in between the necklaces… he’s being cleaned at the moment though!

Above: One piece of aforementioned furniture is my lovely sideboard! It acts as a book case, cupboards and glass fronted cabinets for my collection of curios (the more I think about this, the more certain I am that I will do a post solely dedicated to these!). The glass cabinet parts lock with pretty little keys (though I only have one that luckily fits both locks. The other got lost when we moved). Naturally, as it’s something I can hang stuff from, that’s precisely what I did! Voila, another convenient hanging place for my necklaces!

Above: Not even my bathroom mirror has escaped having stuff hung from it. 

Above:  Nor did my light fitting. I wrap this necklace around a pair of hair sticks and rest them on the light. I have no idea what possessed me to do it the first time, but I liked how it looks so it stayed!

Above: Obviously, there are certain things I can't hang from every available fixture or fitting. Piercing jewellery, brooches, rings etc all need a place to live so I don't lose them! I keep all of my piercing jewellery in the little box to the far left of the first pic. It's a wooden hinged box from Iran, sent over for me by my grandmother. I love it. The lady that's hand painted onto it has a very fetching monobrow... as I would have too if I didn't wax, pluck or shave most of mine off! The round box in the middle holds various pins and miscellany and the very handsome crab holds a couple of pairs of earrings I bought in Berlin and my bullet pin. It's not a very big box on the inside so I can't put much in it.

Above: Last but not least, the organised chaos that is my studio. I was incredibly lucky to come into possession of that lovely shiny black humidor (far left, top pic) after being told that it was about to be chucked out of an off-license that was closing down. It used to house their selection of cigars, now it houses my stock! I absolutely love it. Also shown in the top pic are the bits I've currently 'stored' on my desk and my poor, battered desk-lamp that also hasn't managed to escape having stuff hung from it! The lower picture shows a couple of the stands I use for doing stalls and events. They are currently home to a lot more stuff than would be on them at any events they come to, but you get the idea. Nice and organised and a good way to display earrings clearly!

And so, that concludes the second little look at my jewellery collection! Don't forget, you have until May 20th to send in your own pictures for inclusion in my upcoming entry about reader's jewellery collections! In the meantime, keep your eyes open for my next entry which will take you on a little tour of my cabinet of curiosities!

Thanks for reading! Bye for now <3

Thursday, 5 May 2011

A Look Inside my Jewellery Box... What's in Yours? Part 1.

I find it fascinating when artists, designers and various other public figures open up and show a little bit of insight into their daily life, their personal taste and their day to day routine. I find these little glimpses to be a huge source of inspiration and will often spend ages searching online for photos of anything from workspaces to wardrobes to get ideas for things I could do to spruce up my own! It's also interesting to see what people collect and how their personalities are reflected and represented by the objects they surround themselves with. So, with that in mind, I thought it would be appropriate for me to open up and share some of my treasures with you all!

As a jewellery designer, what would be more appropriate for me to start with than my own personal jewellery collection? Here, take a look...

Above is what I affectionately refer to as my 'uniform'! The only time I take any of the above items off is when I'm having a bath or shower... or, y'know, taking pictures of them for my blog. Along the top, left to right: my studded leather band, Diesel mens watch, obsidian bead bracelet from Serre Poncon in Provence, France. Below those are 2 very delicate 24k gold bracelets from Iran, given to my mother by my fathers family which she then passed on to me, 3 diamond and gold/white gold rings all from Iran. The one of the far left was my grandmothers eternity ring. It has quite a spooky story attached to it... ask me if you want to hear it! Finally, along the bottom, left to right: Gold Catholic medallion given to me by my Irish grandmother, Trollbeads bracelet with various beads given to me by friends and family, sterling silver skull pendant with articulated jaw and compartment in the back and miniature raven skull pendant from Moon Raven Designs. And here it all is in action!

Next up, a few other bits and pieces I have collected along the way that I only wear occasionally...

Above are some pieces I have made for myself. Top left to right: Silver tone rosary necklace, fox bone inverted cross pendant, cord necklace with a little glass container holding one of my own teeth, another silver tone rosary necklace, inverted cross cameo from my own collection available here and a talisman necklace, a few of which are for sale on my Etsy shop. Beneath the necklaces are a charm kilt pin with bone tusk, Victorian cabinet key, watch parts and cameo charms and a brass bracelet with religious charms and mini locket. Here are some closer pictures of a couple of my favourites...

For the record, the tooth was pulled 15 years ago when I had my brace fitted. I still have the other 3 that came out at the same time in a vial in my cabinet of curiosities (which my well show up in a later post!).

Above: A selection of pieces that hold specific sentimental value or remind me of people and places. Up at the top is my little floral bracelet which was given to me by one of the sweetest women I ever had the pleasure of meeting. To the right of that is a heart pendant sent to me by one of my best friends. I haven't seen her since our graduation in 2009 and she just had a baby yesterday! Congratulations Ellen! Below, left to right: Horse tooth pendant, obsidian and silver handmade pendant from a (very handsome) street vendor in Madrid, a beautiful little steampunk pendant bought for me by my dear friend Catherine (check her out, she's amazing: Catherine Day Photography & Retouching), antique glass flower beaded necklace from an ex, within that is my little spark plug pendant... it's obscure but I love it! Next is a genuine WWII military working pocket watch bought for me by another ex boyfriend. Attached is a sterling silver watch chain with real cats paw preserved by the great Sarina Brewer (she only uses animals that have either died naturally or are road casualties), and finally, my Alice in Wonderland charm bracelet. Here are some closer pics of some of them...

The horse tooth, spark plug and charm bracelet were all bought by me for myself but they each remind me of different good times, hence their inclusion here!

Above: Last but not least, a few of my favourite purchases and finds from the past 7 or 8 years! Left to right: Key and chandelier crystal necklace from Louise Black, Vivienne Westwood bone choker, Mikey crystal padlock chain, raccoon paw necklace, again by Sarina Brewer, cameo locket containing aniseed solid perfume, my beautiful rat skull and mink jaw necklace by Bonnie Wood of Amore de Mori, gold wedding band (another story... I found this on the floor of a street in Paris. I tried to hand it in to the Hotel I was staying at that I found it outside of and also to the police but they all laughed at me and said they would throw it away as it was probably left by gypsies trying to scam people... that made me sad so I decided to keep it and give it pride of place in my cabinet), sterling silver skull pendant, black cut glass pendant, 2 grouse foot brooches- the older looking one is an antique with sterling silver and an amethyst gem (traditional Scottish jewellery... I'm not scottish at all but I can't resist anything that involves bird feet), sharks tooth pendant, bullet pin (had to mail this to myself after forgetting it was on my coat when trying to pass through airport security!) and finally, my favourite rosary. Here are a couple more close ups!

And that concludes part one of my foray into my jewellery box! Now that you've seen the items themselves, in part two I will be sharing with you the ways in which I store it all and maybe even how I wear some of it. What do you think? Is there anything else you'd like to see in part two? I'd love to see what you keep in your own jewellery boxes! Do you have any pieces with stories behind them? I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I have shown you!

In fact, if any of you have any photos of your own jewellery collections, send them to me! I'd like to do a feature on other peoples jewellery collections soon as this was really good fun and I think it'd be nice to see what you guys have too! Email any submissions for inclusion to tea@sacre-coeur.co.uk and if I get enough I will put up a post including them all soon! Don't forget to include your name and any info about the pieces you're submitting so I can tell everyone who sent it in and what it all is!

Take care for now :) x

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A few things!

Well, things have gotten decidedly hectic at Château Sacré Coeur of late. I'm not complaining by any stretch of the imagination. It's awesome! It is, however, completely insane and has left me with more or less NO free time whatsoever!

As well as things becoming busier and more exciting in terms of Sacré Coeur itself, I have taken on an internship with Rachel Freire which is most excellent as it means I not only get to spend some time with *gasp* actual human beings outside of my own studio, but also that I get to work on some amazing projects and also learn new skills while I'm at it that I can hopefully apply to my own work in future :) So, I can now be found in London, working in Rachel's studio, a few days a week!

In other news, I am planning to release a couple of new cameo items soon including new ear jewellery and hair accessories so be sure to keep your eyes open for those. I will no doubt post pictures here when I have prototypes ready :) On top of this I have a whole new collection of leather collars, gloves and other accessories in the making so it really is non-stop!

And, finally, there's word of an event coming up in a couple of months that will see an array of my new designs on display alongside an exhibition of amazing artwork, a live band and various other attractions which is set to take place in London. Dates and specifics again, have yet to be confirmed but the very minute I know more and am able to give full details it will no doubt get a post all of its own! Exciting times! I'm so busy and excited about everything I might actually explode. That is if i don't fall asleep for a week first.

In the meantime, here... have a picture of a custom hair accessory set I did for one of my lovely customers last month :)

Monday, 3 January 2011

2011 is upon us...

... what does this mean?

Well. For a start, it means new projects. I have a couple of these up my sleeve and will be sharing them all with you when they are ready. I will be having a sample sale soon to clear out some space as that is something I am rapidly running out of so I shall post information about that as and when!

I start off every year with the best of intentions. Don't we all? But in the last say 3 or 4 years I feel like I've actually done a pretty decent job of sticking to my guns and making stuff happen for me. This year is to be no different in that respect.... but the goals I have set myself do perhaps have a little more riding on them than usual. That does make me a bit nervous... but also excited. Here's hoping, eh?

One of my goals is to better maintain my online presence outside of Twitter & Facebook. This is where you guys could help me actually. What would you like to see more of in this blog? I have set up my Tumblr properly now so that will be a place for general pictorial stuff, be it my work, other people's work, inspirations etc, anything that takes my fancy. This blog, however, I'd like to keep for Sacré Coeur and the goings on in and around Sacré Coeur HQ. What would you be interested to read more of?

On that note, I shall be off for now as I have lots to catch up on after Christmas, but so as not to leave this text only and boring, here... have a photo of my favourite commission over the festive period. Sterling silver, one of a kind, inverted cross hoop earrings.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Some new custom work!

First of all, apologies for the radio silence these past few months. Things have been so busy, the blog has just sort of fallen by the wayside... however, I intend to fix this! I am busy compiling content for the next proper entry but for now I'd like to share with you all a recent custom order that I thoroughly enjoyed working on and am very much hoping/looking forward to seeing it on its new owner soon!

I won't go into massive detail on the brief but the main influences were Pirates of the Caribbean, Michael Jackson influenced styling and Tim Burton. At first it seemed like an odd combination and one that I wasn't sure how I'd pull off, but as soon as I started work on it it became apparent just how well it was going to work! Anyway, enough from me, I'll let the photo's do the rest of the talking!

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Saturday, 31 July 2010

I don't want to set the world on fire...

"...I just want to start a flame in your heart".

So, here we have something a little different. As a lot of you will know, Sacré Coeur means 'Sacred Heart' in French. The name is most commonly associated with Sacré Coeur Basilica in Paris which is an absolutely stunning cathedral set up high on a hill, visible from miles around. So, obviously, the name has religious connotations as well as a literal meaning. I chose the name because, as well as having a pretty sound to it, the Sacred Heart has always been a favourite image of mine, despite my lack of religious leanings of any description. I may not be religious but that doesn't stop me from having a fascination with religious imagery and symbolism! Anyway, as such, I decided it was high time I introduced a Sacred Heart into my repertoire... which got me thinking about a mini-collection of other heart inspired designs. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce the first in a new line of cameos...

The Sacred Heart and Locked Heart cameos, set on an antique effect, dry-brushed cameo setting are reproduced from my own hand carved designs here in my studio and then hand painted individually by myself. This ensures that, though they come from the same moulds, no two will ever be identical! The fact that they are hand painted also allows for a certain degree of customisation so, should a customer require a pink heart, for example, I can provide. These cameos are large so no detail is lost. They are guaranteed to stand out and are definitely eye-catching enough to make a statement. Available on 16" chain or mounted on a length of ribbon to allow the length to be adjusted.

These will be available shortly from my Bigcartel store and my Etsy store and will also be on sale, as well as other upcoming new designs, at the London Tattoo Convention & Whitby Gothic Weekend later on this year.

As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated!