My jewellery design experience at Roseanna Croft Jewellery

A couple of months ago the team at Rosanna Croft Jewellery got in touch to see if I would like to be part of the new bespoke design experience at their Bakewell studio. I do love jewellery, who doesn’t right? I have a few lovely items in my jewellery box, plus my engagement ring, wedding band and eternity ring, which I wear all the time. So, of course I wanted to have a bespoke design experience, you never know I might not ever be able to experience this again.

jewellery Design Experience at Roseanna Croft Jewellery

I headed over Bakewell in Derbyshire to meet with Roseanna herself, to find out a bit more about her and Roseanna Croft Jewellery. Roseanna, studied Jewellery design and manufacturing at university and then went on to travel the world working within the jewellery industry. While in Australia, Roseanna picked up a beautiful black diamond, I was luckily enough to be shown it while at the studio. Having not seen a black diamond before, I was blown away with the cut and the way the light reflected from it, just stunning.

Roseanna is also Princes Trust young ambassador, she has recently attended the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles’ 70th birthday, I am very jealous. I would honestly love to attend a Garden Party at the Palace one day.

As we got talking about both of our loves for luxury items, we started to discuss what style of jewellery I like and the style of piece I would love to design. I already knew that it was a ring, that I had my heart set on designing with Roseanna. For a long time I have wanted something that represented my children. I have been looking for the last couple of years for something that did just that. I love the vintage style, so I am always looking in second hand jewellery shops and antique stores to find something, however I still have not found exactly what I have been looking for. This bespoke design service is perfect when you know you want something but haven’t quite found what it is yet.

As my son’s birthday is July, Ruby is his birthstone and my daughters birthday is in October so Opal is her birthstone. I felt like this would be my perfect opportunity to design a luxury item of jewellery that represented them both and have it’s very own story.

My jewellery design experience at Roseanna Croft Jewellery

Roseanna Croft Jewellery offers a unique champagne afternoon tea design experience, which we booked in for a couple of weeks later. Roseanna Croft Jewellery’s bespoke service gets booked up, so to get the day of the week suitable for me I needed to wait a couple of weeks. It wasn’t an issue, I gave me time to put some ideas together and email some over to Roseanna before going back.

Rosanna believes that ‘every piece of jewellery tells a story’ so with every piece of bespoke jewellery made, they produce a story card along with a valuation of your item.

I was really looking forward to working with Roseanna Croft jewellery and having my bespoke design experience. I arrived at the studio in the heart of Bakewell, to be greeted by the lovely Roseanna who had a glass of champagne to hand to me as I arrived. While I made myself comfortable she went out to the back of the studio to finish preparing the afternoon tea. Sandwiches, olives, mini shortbread, mini muffins, fresh melon and delicious champagne truffles, all serviced on a vintage style cake stand. I don’t actually eat olives, but everything else looked and tasted lovely.

We sat down together and began designing my ring. I had put together a Pinterest board of vintage rings that I loved, I had also previously sent Roseanna a few images I had found that I liked so she did have some idea of what I had in mind. While talking about the ring style, the stones and the metal it would be made from, I showed Roseanna a couple of other rings I had with me from home. A diamond solitaire ring set in white 18ct white gold plus an 18ct white gold wish bone style ring set with 11 small diamonds. These rings were actually from my ex fiancée when I was in my late teens, which for some reason I had kept in box in my jewellery box. I wondered if maybe we could use the stones and the gold from them within my new ring. It seemed silly to me that they had been in a box for almost 15 years. (Wow, 15 years……. time has flown)

As we set about looking at the different style rings that I liked, it became quite clear I wanted a statement ring. Something that I would probably never find anywhere else, something people would remember and ask where it came from. I felt drawn to the rings that I can only describe as a shield, something marquis shaped, but not as a single stone.

As Roseanna put pen to paper, she started to sketch a couple of styles out. We spoke about each one and then designed another, I also spoke about my ideas as we went along. Some good, some ……… well, lets just say there is a reason I do not design luxury jewellery. We continued looking at different styles, talking about what worked, until Roseanna had designed something that I loved, something that no one else would have and something that was perfect for me. Even though I had made a few different suggestions, most didn’t work however, Roseanna put me at ease to be able to come up with ideas and she never once made me feel silly for making a suggestion. I’m sure Roseanna knew they wouldn’t have worked but she sketched them down and we discussed each one as we went along.

Roseanna felt that using the diamonds from my other rings would work beautifully within the ring design I had chosen. When we were both sure it was what I had been dreaming about, Roseanna added colour to the sketch so I could see the placement of the Rubies, Opals and Diamonds. The sketch was then turned over with a few details written on the back, about the stones, the metal I had chosen and also my ring size, which Roseanna sized for me. Although at this point I wasn’t sure about white gold or yellow gold.

My bespoke ring design

As I wasn’t 100% sure about the metal for my ring, we discussed how yellow gold would help the Rubies to stand out, but make the diamonds slightly yellow looking and how the white gold would make the diamonds sparkle more. As it is quite difficult to visualise, Roseanna offered to send me the computer generated image of the ring in both yellow and white gold. Perfect. At Roseanna Croft Jewellery they work to a 6 week turn around from your jewellery design experience to taking your item home, of course that depends on how easy people find it to decide on the item they would like made (I did not), and also depending on the jewels as some have to be specially sourced from across the globe for these bespoke pieces.

As I finished off my second or third glass of champagne and nibbled at the afternoon tea, while chatting away about the Royal Wedding and Royal engagement rings over the years. Roseanna explained that after the appointment, she would design the ring on the CAD computer system, which allows you to see something in 3D image before actually making it. It would then be emailed over to me to look at and see if I would like any changes making.

After I said good bye, I couldn’t wait to see the design. Within 5 days my design arrived in my inbox. As promised in both yellow and white gold. Wow!

The yellow gold as you can see, just didn’t quite have the same feeling to me. I felt like that yellow gold made more of an impact that the setting of the stones and I wanted to stones to be the standout part. What do you think?

 

I am very indicieve about things, and I just wasn’t 100% sure about the placements of the rubies, so I asked Roseanna is she would be able to put together an image of them flipped around. It was no problem, Roseanna was more than happy to adjust the ring. A couple of days later another image arrived for me to look at.

I will be honest, I had had both of the images for a week or more and I still did not know which I loved more. I asked my hubby, my friends, my sister and my brother-in-law who has a great eye for design yet I still couldn’t make my mind up.

So I contacted Roseanna back again, to ask for the size of ring so I could visualise it even more on my finger. Roseanna said to me to try not to over think it and go with what I love, she also offered to see me again to re-design if I wanted to. I knew I loved the rings, just I wasn’t to sure which one I loved that bit more. In the end after almost two weeks of comparing the rings and writing this post, I have finally decided on the first design that Roseanna put together for me. I felt like it was more balanced and I love it.

Now, I cannot wait to see the process of my gorgeous ring being made, I will be going over to the studio again to see some of the stones being placed and to see how it is all made. I will share the rest of my jewellery design experience at Roseanna Croft Jewellery, when I have collected my gorgeous ring. I cannot wait.

Country walks with my comfy shoes from Hotter

At the beginning of May, I headed to Manchester for the BlogOn conference. A wonderful day meeting up with friends and making new ones, but also to meet fabulous brands and see some their great products. This year was the 4th BlogOn I had attended, each time I had chatted with Hotter Shoes yet never got my hands on my own pair. Things changed this time when I entered a competition to have my photograph taken with Prince charming and share it on my social media…………….. woohoo I won a pair!

comfy-shoes-from-hotter

I have heard so many great things about Hotter shoes, lots of my blogging friends have them and recommend them. For the Royal wedding they even released a range especially for that. As with every shoe shop, not all of the styles are what I would look for in shoes but there was a few that caught my eye.

While at BlogOn I had my feet measured, to find my perfect fit. I am a size 5 in Hotter shoes, I think it helps because they are a wider fit shoe and often when buying a standard shoe I need to get a size 6 to fit my feet.

I chose a pair of the ‘Brooke’ in blue river, they come in four different colours and I really loved the salmon pink ones, however I felt that blue would be more wearable with my style of clothing. As much as I love pink I just do not wear it anywhere near enough.

Last week we headed away to Yorkshire to celebrate my sisters 30th birthday. There was 7 of us staying in a fabulous barn conversion in the middle of nowhere, along with our two dogs. For the week we hadn’t really planned too much other than going out for some long walks. I wasn’t quite prepared for how rocky and hilly the walks were going to be.

Luckily I had my new Brooke hotter shoes with me. I hadn’t even tried them on before packing them in my luggage, I thought I might have warn them a couple of times popping out to the shop. However they didn’t leave my feet for the whole holiday, they were perfect for the walks.

From the moment they went on my feet before setting out on our first hike, they were so comfortable. We must have covered 20 miles or more during our stay and I had no issues with them, no blisters, no areas of my feet that hurt a bit. My only disappointment was that when we walked down the stream, we had to use stepping stones to cross back and forth in a few places, and I managed to step into sludgy mud and cover the sued in it. When we returned to the barn, I was easily able to wipe then down and they have just about returned to their former glory.

I am now a Hotter shoe convert, for a pair of pumps I would highly recommend them, they look fashionable and are so comfy.

Thank you hotter shoes for my prize. I love them.

How to prep for a Summer wedding

Summer tends to be the most popular time for people to get married, because it’s warm, dry, and the sun makes everything look better. So you may find that you have an invitation or two this year. This can be a very exciting time because it means you get to go shopping to find something pretty, but having said that, if you’re not much of a fashion shopper and more of a grocery shopper, then you may find it a little bit difficult.

Summer Wedding

One of the hardest things to learn, is how to dress for your body, as it’s important to know that not everything will look good with your shape, and some things are a lot better suited.

Here are some of the best summer wedding tips.

Dresses are your go-to

No matter how old you are, or what shape you are, dresses are always in. There are so many different styles and designs and materials, that you are guaranteed to find something made for you. Depending on what part you play in the wedding, will determine what kind of dress you have. For example, if you’re Mother of the Bride, you will want something beautiful and classy that asserts some power. You can shop online with stores to check out the kind of ideas that are already out there, just make sure you do this in advance because a lot of dresses have a limited availability on them. If you’re stuck for colours and patterns, floral always works wonderfully.

Consider a hat

Getting a hat for the wedding essentially works as killing two birds with one stone. You not only have an air of class about you, but you are also able to shade yourself from the hot scorching sun. Remember, it’s the summer, and the last thing you want is for your makeup to sweat down your face and have to keep popping to the bathroom to powder up again. A hat will also supply you with instant cooling relief at the same time. The size you opt for entirely depends on how big of a statement you want to make – the bigger, the more attention you will draw to yourself. If you’re not sure, then think about how it will look in photos with others – is it going to be so big that it blocks people out from the picture? If so, maybe go down a size or two.

Walk the walk

Shoes are the piece that tend to finish off the entire look, and while you may be looking at the most stunning pair of stilettos that would go perfectly with your outfit, ask yourself one question – will you be able to walk in them? No matter how good a pair looks, if you’re walking like you’ve just had an accident, then you won’t do them justice. It’s very easy to underestimate how hard walking in heels is when you try them on in the shop – until you have to do it for hours on end. So make a good judgment call, and if you’re not sure about what to do, then drop an inch until you are sure.