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Yes, it’s that time of year again. Christmas starts very early when you make gifts and jewellery does always make a lovely gift. So I have spent my weekend preparing work  for the six Christmas exhibitions I will be taking part in this year.

The parcels are now ready to fly off to Devon, Dorset, Carmarthenshire, Derbyshire, Aberdeenshire and Shetland over the next couple of weeks.  And my work will still be available in all my year round stockists too.

Christmas Exhibitions 2012:

1st November – 31st January:  Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen, Wales

3rd November – 31st December: Inspire, Walford Mill Crafts, Wimbourne, Dorset

10th November – 24th December: I Give You This… Brewhouse Art Centre, Burton-On-Trent, Derbyshire

9th November 2012- 1st March 2013: Winter Exhibition, Touched By Scotland, Ryehill, Aberdeenshire

16th November – 23rd December:  Christmas Exhibition, Bonhoga Gallery,Weisland, Shetland

17th November – 31st December: Make – Contemparary Crafts For Christmas, Devon Guild, Bovey Tracey

All these exhibitions are group shows so if one is close to you do go along and support all the makers taking part and the galleries that look after them – you never know, you might find something to add to your own Christmas list.

I am so excited about this. Really. So excited. And I have been dying to tell you about it and when this lovely package dropped through the letterbox this morning it just seemed like the perfect time to  do it.

Selected pieces from my collections will now be available to buy from madebyhandonline.com!! This wonderful website is a maker focused on-line gallery where you can view and buy everything from ceramics, glass and textiles to sculpture, prints and of course wonderful jewellery.

This is what they say about it…

“Madebyhandonline.com aims to make it easy to buy what you really want. Our collection represents a highly selective mix of the finest makers from UK and Ireland, with an enviable group of jewellers, ceramic artists, furniture makers, textile designers and fashion accessory makers as well as beautiful pieces made from glass, willow, metal and leather. We’re so pleased to be working with so many fabulous makers of contemporary craft and hope you will join us in supporting and promoting their incredible skills.”

For me it is a huge compliment to be selected to sell alongside makers I have known of and respected for many years and I am really proud to be part of it and looking forward to finding lots of new customers through them. And if I happen to buy one or two gorgeous little things while browsing their site then I will call it research – and surely that’s tax deductible right?

With only one fair left to go and a few orders left to finish I am starting my wind down for Christmas. It has been a fantastic autumn/winter and so I will say a big big thank you to all the wonderful people who put on events, exhibitions and of course to all my lovely customers who make this such a fantastic and fun job.

It’s such a pleasure and a privilege to help people find the perfect presents for the people they love and as I sit in the studio working my thoughts often turn to all the people who will be opening their little packets of jewellery on Christmas morning.

I will be taking commissions right up until Christmas and my next tasks are to get some more things onto the online shop (it is looking a little bit sparse at the minute) and then start preparing for some the exciting things that are happening next year – starting with a New Year showcase at Bilston Craft Gallery in Wolverhampton followed by exhibitions at The Harley Gallery, The Beetroot Tree and Unit Twelve. And today I have been accepted into my very first event of 2012 – the brilliant SOCK craft market in Loughborough in March.

Thank you for being part of a fantastic 2011 and here’s to 2012 being even better. Merry Christmas. xx

I really enjoy the craft fairs and art markets I visit through the year. Spending so much solitary time in the studio is a luxury but it is so valuable to get out and talk to people, see them looking at and trying on pieces and get some feedback on the things I’m making. At this time of year I do as many events as possible and each one is always exciting and a little bit nerve-racking too.

The events list for Autumn/Winter is now full, I am out and about over the next few months and coming to an event near you. If you are looking to treat your nearest and dearest (or yourself) to something gorgeous this Christmas this is where you will find me and that perfect gift.

My work is also in three Christmas exhibitions in The New Brewery Arts Centre, Whisby Natural Worlds Centre and Rugby Museum and  Art Gallery (more about them later) or you can find it in all the usual stockists.

See you soon… xx.

I braved the blustery weather this morning to visit my favourite car boot site and I’m so glad I did. 8 vintage strands of glass and fresh water pearls – some with lovely diamante clasps, 1950′s smoked glass beads, one mother-of-pearl necklace, 7 porcelain flower brooches, 3 diamante brooches, 9 vintage earrings and an Eiffel tower charm later and I had nothing left to spend and plenty to keep me busy in the studio on Tuesday.  And there were so many things I didn’t let myself take home – 1930′s blueprints, Victorian glass bottles, bevelled edge art deco mirrors…

It’s a great place to buy stuff when you don’t know what you are looking for and there were a couple of my favourite jewellery sellers there with lots of lovely trinkets. There is something so satisfying about stumbling upon forgotten treasures on a drizzly Sunday and I can’t wait to start work on transforming them. The history of objects has a real pull for me. I love the look of more battered and worn pieces, a  few dents, missing stones and chip edges all add to their charm for me but it’s also the previous lives of the object which draw me towards them. My thoughts often turn to the previous owners and wearers of my materials, especially when they have clearly been worn and loved. It’s a pleasure to transform these once treasured items to a new glory and to think about the new life they’ll have once they leave my studio.

I’m working on some wedding and bridal pieces at the moment so I  focussed my shopping onto crystals and pearls and other weddingy pieces. Pearls and crystals are traditional enough to allow me a more creative free rein on the design and I think on special occasions a little tradition is no bad thing.

And just a little something for myself. x

Hello and welcome to the design blog for Alys Power Design. I am a jewellery designer/maker specialising in original and unique pieces hand crafted from vintage and precious materials. My work explores the challenges of forgotten and discarded articles into objects of beauty and value. I work from my home studio in Nottingham, England and sell work through local and national shops and galleries and at regional craft fairs and arts market. More info and online shop can be found on my website www.alyspower.co.uk. xx

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