A Mother's Day gift to treasure forever

Mothering Sunday falls this year on 26 March.  That probably seems a long time away, but here at AM Jewellery we are already creating precious metal jewellery gifts that will make the perfect surprise gift for lucky Mums and Grandmas.

It takes up to 3 weeks to complete a commission so we like to plan early to ensure your unique gift is ready in time.  Children's drawings from the fridge door, attic or even doodled on a scarp of paper capture such precious memories.  We can preserve that forever in a piece of handcrafted silver jewellery to treasure forever.

If you want to know what can be created from your artwork simply email us photographs of the drawings and email to avril@amjewellery.co.uk Our designer Avril, will get back to you with some no-obligation design ideas to fit your brief and budget.

Drawings from more than one child can be incorporated into the one piece so all your little artists will be included.  Have a look in our online shop for our range and ideas.

Wishing all the busy Mums a relaxing Mother's Day!

Mother and Daughter Jewellery

Although I have made jewellery from children's drawings for almost 15 years, I have rarely created a piece from my own children's drawings.  It has been on my 'to do' list to create something special for such a long time, but I am sure most busy Mums can relate to never quite finishing the list!

My daughter Eve is a fantastic artist and can spend hours drawing and colouring in one of her many notebooks.  This summer, after a visit to the beaches of Wales, she drew this picture of a Mermaid.  She loves Mermaids and this drawing captured her innocent and carefree nature.  So I decided that I would make a special piece of jewellery for both of us.

I made two solid pendants in the shape of her mermaid.  My pendant was slightly larger than hers but they are both exactly the same design.  The drawing of the mermaid was painstakingly etched into the silver before the detail was added by oxidising, or darkening, particular areas.  The pieces were then sent away to be hallmarked and stamped with my own @AM Jewellery' designer mark.

Eve was delighted with her new necklace and these are pieces I know we will both treasure forever.  She may not always believe in mermaids, but I hope her necklace will bring back many happy memories...I know mine will!

http://www.amjewellery.co.uk/shop/mother-and-daughter-necklace-from-childs-drawings

childs drawing mermaid
mermaid childs drawing jewellery

What can you do with squiggles?

My youngest child is 2 and a half and today he produced pages and pages of fantastic squiggles. He was extremely proud of his work and it reminded me of a question I am often asked.

Clients may be commissioning a piece of jewellery with drawings from 2 or more children, but the youngest is quite young yet they still want them to be included. So what can be achieved with the squiggles and scribbles of younger children?

Well if you use a bit of imagination these somewhat random lines and blobs can be brought to life.  Take for example the pendant below.  This was created from the squiggles of a very young artist.  When I looked closely at her drawings, I found there was a shape that resembled a heart hidden among all the pencil marks.

This was used as the basis of a pendant design, much to the delight of her Mum!

If you have any squiggles you would like us to look at, just email avril@amjewellery.co.uk for a no obligation quotation.

#AMJewellery #jewelleryfromchildrensdrawings #squiggles #scribbles

pendant heart childs drawing

Going to a beach this summer?

I am just back from a family holiday to the Llyn Peninsula in Wales.  The area has the most amazing beaches and my three children played happily for hours on end in the sand.  They created sandcastles and lots of beach art and drawings.

These creations can be turned into silver jewellery and I took lots of photos to capture these childhood memories.  So if you are heading to a beach this summer, remember to take some photographs of their creations.  Not only will they have fun looking back at the photographs in years to come, they might even inspire a piece of silver jewellery to capture those happy moments forever.

This is a photograph of my daughter with her stone 'Princess' creation on Llanbedrog beach!

Happy holidays, Avril :-)

princess sand artwork Llanbedrog beach

I have 3 children...can you use all their drawings?

Of course, we don't want to leave anyone out.  Drawings from quite a few children can be worked into even the smallest of pieces and we will try our best to design something that incorporates a little bit of each of their art.  

We can create a design that includes elements of each piece of artwork and we also make reversible pendants to maximise the silver space that can be used.  Even the very youngest can have a handprint or squiggle to make sure they are not left out!

Simply get in touch and we can discuss your options.

What type of packaging do we use?

Clients often ask how their jewellery will be packaged.  The presentation of our work is an important part of the commissioning process.

Each piece of jewellery is supplied in a branded AM Jewellery black box with a hinged lid.  This allows a miniature version of the children's drawings to be added to the inside.  Our customers tell us this really adds to the experience when opening the gift.

Additional wrapping and gift cards can be included...just ask!

How quickly can you make a piece of jewellery?

We often get last minute requests for pieces of jewellery from men who have left shopping for Mum's birthday or Christmas present until the last minute. (Sorry men, but the ladies seem to be a lot more organised!)

It takes around 10 working days from we receive your images until the jewellery will be with you.  If you need the jewellery a bit sooner than this then contact us and we will try our best to help.  We always try to pull the stops out to ensure we can meet your deadline, just don't leave it too late!

 

What is the jewellery made from?

When people see our jewellery online they sometimes ask what it is made from.  Many people use silver clay to try to replicate drawings, but we prefer to use traditional silver-smithing techniques.

Avril trained for many years in the art of creating handcrafted precious metal jewellery using the finest sterling silver.  She believes it allows for intricate detail, a quality heavyweight piece that will last for years and a flawless finish to all pieces.  The blackened detail is created by oxidising, or blackening, the silver in areas to add detail.  

Every piece of AM Jewellery is sent to Birmingham Assay Office to be sampled before being stamped with both the British hallmark and our own designer mark.

We also take commissions in other precious metals, so get in touch if you have an idea.

Chalk, pencil, sand and more!

We are often asked if only children's crayon drawings can be used to create a piece of personalised handmade silver jewellery.  Definitely not!  We can create  jewellery from a really wide range of art mediums...basically if your child has made their mark, we can usually capture their creativity.

For example, if you are at the beach and your child writes their name or draws a picture in the sand, just take a photo with your camera or mobile phone and send it to us.  My children love chalking on our patio and I often take photos of their creations.

If you need advice then just get in touch and we will be happy to have a chat about your options. We always say that as each piece of silver jewellery is made by hand, almost anything is possible!

Anorak say we're 'Good Stuff'!

The latest issue of Anorak magazine has just hit the shelves and my doormat.  I am delighted they have mentioned AM Jewellery in their 'Good Stuff' section.

If you have children (boys and girls) ages 6+ and you haven't discovered Anorak yet, then do have a look.

First launched in 2006 by a Mum frustrated by the lack of good kids magazines available on the market, Anorak - the Happy Mag for Kids - is sold worldwide on the newsstand, in kids boutiques, museum shops and bookshops. Published four times a year, every issue has a theme (inspired by the British National Curriculum) to inspire and encourage kids to tap into their natural creativity and learn while having fun. Every edition has plenty of beautifully illustrated stories, games and activities to keep your little ones' creative cells buzzing! 

 I think it's a real gem of a magazine and beautifully illustrated throughout.  It's definitely one to keep on the bookshelf to go back to again and again for interesting facts, puzzles and stories.

Our jewellery was first featured in the magazine many years ago, and I am delighted that Anorak is still a fan of our work.

My 6 year old boy is devouring this issue as we speak and his 4 year old sister is loving him reading snippets out loud!  Visit Anorak Magazine for more information on where to get your copy.

Sign your name across his heart!

My daughter has just started school and even after just a few weeks I can see she is writing her name in a much more legible way.  I can't wait to see her writing develop over the months and years ahead.

Those first words, often written in birthday or Mother's Day cards, are a real milestone on their progression through childhood.  A piece of quality handmade jewellery, personalised with a little word or sentence, makes for a really unique gift to be treasured forever.

We make all jewellery by hand in our dedicated studio, and this means almost any design and style of jewellery you can think of is possible.  Our online shop along with our FAQ page will help guide you and do get in touch if you would like to discuss a commissioned piece.

Children soon grow up, and a piece of jewellery etched with their little words will make you smile for years to come.

We've had a facelift!

You may have noticed we have been having some work done to our website lately.  We have added an online store and made a few tweaks to make it easier to see our range of jewellery.

AM Jewellery started off in 2003 with quite a basic website.  But we have had to change with the times, and this is the 4th version to showcase our range of handmade jewellery from children's drawings.

  • Many of you have told us that an online store would make it quicker and easier to place your order...you'll find it here.  But we also love to chat to our customers about their uniquely personal jewellery, so just get in touch before you order if you want explore your possibilities.
     
  • We know there are often lots of questions we need to answer to help guide you in the journey to a piece of handmade jewellery based on your child's drawing.  You will find answers to many of these questions in our FAQ section.
     
  • We have also added lots of photos of jewellery made for customers to help inspire you.  Links to these are in the specific jewellery sections.  Or you may wish to have a general browse of gifts for him or gifts for her, to help spark an idea of that perfect present for Mum or Grandad.

So have a poke about, enjoy and let us know what you think.

All the best

 

A silver keyring that will be treasured forever

I recently had the pleasure of making a sterling silver keyring full of meaning for a lovely lady called Karen. Her son lives with autism and Karen was so delighted when he produced this drawing of him holding his Mum's hand.

I used a new etching process on sterling silver sheet to replicate the detail of his drawing. The piece was finished using traditional silversmithing techniques and the quirky shape gives the piece a modern look. Finally, the heavyweight keyring was hallmarked at Birmingham Assay Office before being sent to a delighted client.

I know Karen will treasure this forever and she was happy for me to share her story with you all.

Handmade silver keyring from autistic childs drawing

Include your youngest child, even if they can't draw yet!

We are often asked about how to include tiny children on jewellery than has be mainly based on the drawings of older siblings.  Like most of our customers, we feel strongly that these little people should be able to make their mark!

There are many ways to do this.  We can take a hand or footprint and include that in the design.  If you give even a very young child a crayon and some paper then can be very artistic.  These squiggles can be incorporated into a design, and in the past we have made jewellery in the shape of a squiggle and then used older children's drawings within that main shape.

Dates of birth and initials can also be used.  The possibilities are (almost) endless, so do get in touch if you would like to discuss how to include your young artist.

Young childs drawing made into handmade silver cufflinks
Handmade silver cufflinks from your childs drawing

Dad earns major 'brownie points' for Mum's 40th birthday

It's my big birthday next year and I'm not sure what sort of a present my husband is planning.  But this Dad had it all sorted when he surprised his wife with this boat pendant created from his eldest daughter's drawing.

The family love to go sailing together, and so this drawing of Mum, Dad and their 3 children is a perfect reminder for mum of all those happy memories they have made over the years.

What a thoughtful gift...(And hint, hint to my husband for next year!)

40th birthday present for mum handmade silver pendant from childs drawing

Back to blogging!

I used to be quite a regular blogger but then things changed!  I think having 3 young children meant that this side of the business has been a bit neglected recently.

But customers are always telling me they love reading about the 'backend' of the business and what I, and the rest of the team, get up to.

So I am going to try and make time to share some of these snippets.  Don't forget to like us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for even more of the AM Jewellery gossip!  Just follow the links at the bottom of the page.

Customer comments

I always tell people that the reaction of my customers is the best part of the whole jewellery making process. 

I keep all the thank you cards and emails I receive in a folder and earlier this week I was having a flick through. It really was the best ego-boost ever!! 

One really stuck in my mind. It was a brooch I made for a lady's 80th birthday and was commissioned by her granddaughter. She approached me on a Friday and needed delivery of the jewellery the Tuesday of the next week. My usual turnaround is 3-4 weeks so this was really pushing it! 

But I hate to let people down and so I agreed. I burned the midnight oil over the weekend and got the brooch on the post on Monday. Receiving the thank you card from Caroline just made it worthwhile: 

"We can’t thank you enough for taking on our completely unreasonable request and for succeeding so brilliantly. The brooch is just so beautiful and the children’s Grandma was moved to tears." 

I was moved to tears myself...so a big thank you for all the "thank yous"! 

Holywood jewellery exhibition

On Friday evening I was invited to a jewellery exhibition at the premises of Holywood based designer Eddie J Doherty. 

Eddie has a fantastic jewellery studio on the ground floor with exhibition space upstairs. Really nice studio...must be a pleasure to work there! 

As well as examples of Eddies fantastic designs, he also showcased some other Northern Irish jewellery making talent.

It was brilliant to see so much talent - a great night for jewellery makers in Northern Ireland! 

Almost finished my Christmas shopping

Don't shoot me, but if I get a spare few minutes this weekend I am going to start wrapping my Christmas presents. Apart from a couple of last minute gifts, I have finished...phew!!

I'm not one of those people who is super organised and get all their presents in the January sales (oh to so self-disciplined!!) but it's just that I am so busy this time of year with making jewellery I just have to be prepared.

My last date for hallmarked jewellery is Friday 4th December. I always squeeze in a few more orders closer to the big day, but please do contact me ASAP if you are thinking of buying something for Christmas.

Happy shopping!

Christmas is coming

My nephew has had his Halloween decorations up for over a week and the pumpkin he had me carve is already looking a bit floppy! Every year the preparations for celebrations seem to come ever earlier (please don't tell me you have spotted the first Creme Egg!!)

But for me Christmas really does come early as my last date for orders this year is Friday 4th December...weeks before my other half will even think of hitting the shops.

I have already completed many Christmas orders that I hope will bring a smile to faces when the big day arrives. For a lovely story of a happy dad who received my work see:
http://www.littlestuff.co.uk/reviews/am-jewellery-product-review.php

So if you are thinking of placing an order please let me know as soon as you can so I can make sure I get to put my feet up for half an hour on Christmas Eve :-) before I start peeling the sprouts!