Monday, 18 August 2014

Monday Makes: Bespoke Bridal Headdress

This week's make has to be one of my favourites of 2014 (although having said that, I've been blessed with some amazing clients, with wonderful ideas this year, so my favourite does tend to change on a daily basis). 

 I first met bride-to-be Bec at the King's Lynn Wedding Festival last year, where she showed me a picture of something she liked but wasn't quite sure if it was exactly the right thing for her wedding.  She wanted a design that would make an impact but still remain pretty, and was pleased to have met somebody who would be willing to try and put all her ideas together.

I soon heard from Bec again and we arranged a consultation in my home studio.  She bought along an amazingly enthusiastic friend and their energy for wedding planning was really infectitious.  Anyone planning a wedding needs a friend like Bec's!  I can find consultations just as intimidating as brides (what if you don't like my things?  What if you think my house is a mess?  etc. etc.)  So to have two beaming ladies awing and ahhing over all the pearls and sparkle, was really lovely.  It made me realise how lucky I am to have this little job, working with pretty things all day and being able to make people smile, sometimes when I'm tired and busy, I forget that feeling!

The first photo of the completed design, before the ribbon was added

Bec still liked the image she had first shown me, but she wanted more sparkle and really loved the impact of our vintage inspired headdress, so we worked on a design that could incorporate both looks.  We opted for white Swarovski pearls to co-ordinate with her dress, handwired to make flower shapes, with the diamante navettes of our original design and some clusters of smaller pearls, as both ladies liked the use of these in some of our other pieces.

The final design, wrapped with brunette ribbon

The final design was wrapped in a brunnette ribbon so that it would blend seamlessly with Bec's beautiful dark hair.  We were so thrilled when she sent us this beautiful image, not long after the big day.  Doesn't she look amazing, and so happy? 

Bec and her husband on their wedding day

If you'd like to see a few more pictures of Bec's wedding and headdress, head over to her talented photographer's facebook page Craig Jacob Photography


Monday, 11 August 2014

Monday Makes: Bespoke Acorn Necklaces

The best bit of running Melissa Morgan Designs is making bespoke pieces for brides.  I love make things that ladies can't find anywhere else, that are personal to them, their style or their theme.

Last year Karla came to me, as she was looking for bridesmaid necklaces that would be personal to each of her maids and incorporate her gorgeous autumnal wedding theme.

Karla sent me several images of necklaces she liked, but none had all the elements she wanted.  Through many e-mails we came up with a design made up of a pearl acorn, oak leaf charm and a hand stamped, initial all in suitably seasonal gold tones.

We kept the necklaces personal by choosing Swarovski Crytstal pearls in three different gold/copper tones, so that each bridesmaid had her own bespoke piece.

The look was finished with co-ordinating stud earrings, made with Swarovski pearls and and gold filled findings.  These beautiful necklaces suited Karla's theme perfectly but also gave the bridesmaids a gift that was personal, original and that can be worn again and again.

If you like these pieces, and you'd like to see more of Karla's beautifully styled wedding, head over the Katherine Ashdown Photography's Facebook Page where you can find Karla's Storyboard - tons of heavenly autumn themed special touches!


Monday, 4 August 2014

Six Monthly Reflections

It seems like an age ago since I sat down in January and wrote about my big plans for 2014.  One of them was keeping the blog up to date and so I thought, why not start with a post about all I'd like to achieve this year and kill two birds with one stone?  Plus, by writing them all down and publishing them, it felt like a commitment to making sure I stuck to my personal promises.

Well, little did I know that the universe had other plans for us in 2014!  Just 6 days after publishing the post I discovered that a mini-person was taking up residency in my body!  Very exciting of course, but also completely terrifying.

The last 7 months have been an  interesting journey.  Luckily I avoided morning sickness, but January and February left me feeling exhausted and during the following months I suffered horrendous muscular pains meaning I was unable to sleep for many nights.  It's been hard to get my head around everything I set out to do.
We now have 6 weeks(ish) to go!  I'm getting tired again, and quite understandably the plans I made in January seem like a distant dream.  I'm hoping to use some of my maternity leave to build MMD up a little bit more, so I thought it might be a worthwhile exercise to go through my post again, for my own piece of mind and to evaluate the year we've had so far.

Our 'resolutions' revisited...

Set targets for sales, monitor these and react appropriately

It all began with good intentions... I set targets and recorded sales accurately for January, March and April.  It was a useful exercise as over the Christmas period I'd read an article entitled 'How to get a sale a day online' for some tips, only to find we already did average a sale a day!  Tiredness and work commitments have stopped me from smashing these targets, but to know I was already further ahead than I thought was a wonderful pick me up.  I probably should start this again!

Keep the blog up to date

Erm... we had a little flurry of posts in April, but other than that it's been quiet!  Luckily I have been given a new lease of inspiration from the fabulous Mollie Makes Blogging magazine that I took away last week.  That little notebook is rammed full of post ideas and schedules for the coming weeks, let's hope it works!

Increase our number of facebook likes

We've reached over 1700 likes, and I'm really happy with that!  There are some new ideas coming together to make the facebook page really worthwhile for our likers, so do come and say hi!

Create 'collections'

Another promise that's halfway there.  We have some beautiful new comb designs that are nearly ready and the bridal and bridesmaid jewellery collections are on their way.  With the birth of baby Morgan soon to be upon us, I've had to say no to a few bespoke requests, freeing up some time to work on the collections, at last! 

Learn new skills

In March I managed to get to Silver Pebble's fabulous silver clay workshop and you can read about what I got up to here.  Next up is pearl knotting!  Outside the world of jewellery I've also been trying out some other crafts that I hope to blog about soon. 

Read more

I've taken to reading a few monthly craft and jewellery magazines and it's unbelievably rewarding!  Each time I flick through the pages I'm filled with inspiration for new pieces, packaging and general business ideas, as well as finding out lots of new suppliers, blogs and craft shops.  Will definitely be keeping this up!

Don't let the 'bad guys' get me down! 

They're still out there - watching them get grumpy is fun!

So there they are, my six monthly reflections.  It has felt good to go through them, discover what I'm yet to do this year and what I've achieved already.  Thank you for indulging me!

Melissa xx