Dragonfodder Jewellery

Dragonfodder Jewellery

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Clothing seems to be turning to the feminine and whimsical. I'm not a very close follower of fashion. I know what suits me and then I try and add in a hint of what's available in the stores or go according to the fashion mags. I bought myself this scarf at Mr Price. It's lovely and soft and I liked the lace trim. It also looks pretty on, sort of softens the look of the rest of ones outfit.

My daughter Jocelynn is a strong supporter of my jewellery and nabs pieces that she says she can't go without. Joce also often gives me jewellery or components and asks for a redesign or to make something around a particular component. I'll insert images of the Joce's orders at a later date. The modem in my laptop seems to have packed up. I have to go to Vodocom in the week so they can have a look at it. I'm working on Richard's desktop at the moment and obviously can't access my photos.

In the Crystal Heart necklace, Joce asked me to make a necklace using the crystal cut heart. She gave no specifications but I know that she likes chain and prefers a "Rope" length. I used different types of chain, glass beads with a silver edging and faceted Carnelian rounds. On the one side of the link above the heart, are Czech glass beads hand wired to jump rings and on the other side three charms. Further up the necklace, between chains I've added a circle and again the hand wired Czech beads. One of the links between the chains has a pin through it with more Czech beads. Joce was very taken with the necklace, which made me very happy, as I wasn't so sure about the design.

Crystal Heart
This whole problem with my modem has nearly driven me crazy, as I haven't been able to get onto the Internet since Thursday morning. I had a poor signal, so later in the day when I wanted to access the Internet again and couldn't get a signal I wasn't too worried.  Same storey yesterday, but when I still couldn't get on today, I thought something was up. Anyway, after much trying to puzzle what the problem was, I contacted Vodocom and they said I should try Rich's SIM in my laptop, if it didn't work then it was my modem. So here I am at Rich's PC. He wasn't so happy and kind of hovered protectively, his PC is new.


Here are one of my attempts at using silk cord and ribbon in a necklace. I went all out and even used buttons. The necklace started with the copper ball. The buttons are from my of old button collection. The other balls are marble, I think, I'm not sure though. Some suppliers don't label their goods and the staff don't always know either. The organic shaped stones are probably Agate, but once again I stand corrected. They are interspersed with Egyptian silver.


Rose Tinted
The "Rose Tinted" necklace was designed around the pink glass pendant. This necklace is quited girly and feminine and at a length between "Princess" and Matinee".

Red Rope
Red Rope was made using plenty of red buttons of different hues and sizes. I bought the buttons at a craft shop. They are strung on linen cord and these necklaces take ages to string. I find I need to lay out the design first or things go horribly wrong. 
Wall Flower

The Wall Flower started with the two cylinder beads and the big round glass bead. These three beads lay on my table for days. Then came the new beads I'd bought and everything just came together. The pendant is one of Bevan's, which he made using recycled Aluminium. The new beads are the glass beads with the flowers on. I think the flowers are printed transfers, they are interspersed with glass pearls. The necklace also contains Hematite and orangy red coral.

Bevan's pants I've been making are on the 99, they would have been finished if it hadn't been for the modem problem which kept me busy for hours.

The next order of business is:
  1. To finish the two jerseys that I'm busy with.
  2. To sew the top for myself that is already cut out.
  3. To buy a pattern to make Claire's skirt.
  4. To buy wool for jerseys for the girls, that is, Joce and Claire. It's their turn this year.
  5. To make display holders for the necklaces, so I can peddle my wares.
That's plenty for now. The list in my head is as usual much longer but I'll get there.

P.S If there are grammer and spelling mistakes, tough, my eyes are too tired to go through the text again.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Some of the beads from The Original House of Beads
I haven't been able to get to blogging since Tuesday. I read somewhere that it only takes ten minutes to blog. Well, I suppose that depends on what one is blogging about. In as much as a blog can be seen as a personal diary, one does have to assume that someone, somewhere, might be reading what you have to say. So for me, blogging takes a lot longer than ten minutes. I usually have to give it a bit of thought and of course that happens long before I actually get a chance to get down to it. I was having a look at a few other blogs on Wednesday morning and found http://www.vintagelifestylemag.co.za/. I had a quick look and then had to get a move on as Joce and I were going out to get beads, chain and charms at The Original House of Beads http://www.originalbeads.co.za/ I managed to get beads for my stash, chain and some charms. We then went for lunch at PURE in Colbyn. This is a wonderful restaurant come deli, with seating under old pavement trees as well as indoors. The food is great and the atmosphere is vintage/retro.  

I don't know what one would term the jewellery I make, is it art, craft, vintage, retro or quirky jewellery? I don't really have a particular style, the beads or pieces I want to use usually dictate the design. I'm also swayed by jewellery I see, on someone, in a magazine or in a shop.

Retro and Vintage, as I see it, are items from the past. It appears that Vintage items could be seen to be more valuable than Retro items, although I stand corrected. I'm probably Vintage, having been born in the fifties, a teenager in the late sixties and early seventies. In fact had I only kept some of my STUFF from those years.

I was hell bent on buying this new Vintage Lifestyle mag, only to discover that it is an online mag. Crazy in this day and age for me to be surprised but I love to sit in my favourite chair with my "Coff" and page through a mag. I'm an avid collector of magazines and buy just about every South African mag on homes, lifestyles, gardens and food. Joce buys most of the women's fashion magazines, so there's always lots to read, as well as loads of inspiration. I also buy some UK home and life style mags when I can turn a blind eye to the price.

My kitchen table scape
This is one of my table scape's, as I like to call them. I adore picking flowers from the garden, although the garden is a bit sparse at present. I arranged the Delphinium in the blue baby cham bottle, the Penstemon in the brown Cobra Beer bottle and the Rhodesian Heath in the Coke bottle. Then some Nasturtiums in the old glass yogurt bottle and a mustard pot from Pomegranate, a lovely shop, now long gone. The red paprika in the blue bowl is from the garden. I was really chuffed with myself, hence the snap.

Here are two necklaces which were Christmas gifts. Iconic Charm was nabbed by Joce. She saw it in the making a while before Christmas and asked if it could be her prezzie. I'd had the clear lamp work glass beads with the red polka dots for ages. I only had three, so it took a while to match them with anything. 

Iconic Charm

The Seaside necklace was a commission. I sort of know the person the necklace was intended for. I used a sea shell for a pendant, the shell was found on a beach in Port Elizabeth known as Skoenmakerskop (don't know if this is entirely correct) in January 2010. I drilled a hole in the shell and strung it with different types of shells and pearls. I'm pleased to say the recipient was very happy with her prezzie.

Now what would one call this jewellery? other than Dragon Fodder. I was so pleased recently when someone recognised a piece I'd made and asked if it was a Dragon Fodder.

 I packed away the new stuff, did a tidy up, and started with a design using one of Bevan's aluminium pendants this afternoon, which I hope to finish tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


It looks like Autumn is early this year, the leaves are already falling and have been for about two weeks. I first noticed the leaves turning yellow on a potted tree in the courtyard and then about a week later the leaves from the big "Stinkhout" off the patio were also falling. This is about a month early, I hope we are not in for a long winter. The rest of the world has had severe weather, but the weather in Gauteng has been pretty much normal for the season.
I have two Barberton Daisies, one is flowering. They remind me so much of my Grandfather as he had loads of Barberton Daisies. He also had loads of Amaryllis in pots on the wrap-around patio of their home in Kimberley. My Mom gave me some Amaryllis from her garden but they haven't flowered. I first had them in the ground and then I potted them but to no avail. I need to read up on them as I'm probably doing something wrong.
I have a whole lot of cacti in pots at the braai. They seem to love it there and flower with little or no attention.
I stopped working officially the end of March 2010 and had to be available to the company for 3 months thereafter. I can't believe how time has flown, although we have had a roller coaster ride for the last year. Joce and Simon were pregnant in January 2010, Mom was in hospital in January, I stopped working in April, Rich was advised that his position at work had been down graded and he would have to find something else from April 2011, Simon was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus (stage four) in June, Linda, Celio and Alexander came back to SA from Dubai in about July and Liam was born in September. Quite a lot for one family. Simon's illness really floored us and with Joce being pregnant it made coping all the more difficult. Simon is on the mend, he has "chemo" for three days every second week and the last scan showed that the only area still infected are the lymph nodes on the oesophagus. The next scan is in March, hopefully he'll be clear enough for them to operate.

I'm slowly finding my way after working for about 30 years. Retiring has been a huge adjustment, although I do enjoy the freedom. When I worked, I often thought about how much I would get done in a day if I didn't work. Now I'm at home, I find that my days are still too short for all the things I want to cram in. So I'd better get on with it. Never got to gym yesterday!

Monday, February 14, 2011


It's Monday the 14th of February 2011. I'm supposed to be doing housework and here I am at the blog again. I've already been on three of my favourite blogs Ornamental, Lorelei Eurto and Live wire jewellery. They all make the most incredible jewellery and Nina Bagley's narrative is always amazing, inspiring, sad, soulful and beautiful.

Today is Valentines Day and after my lament yesterday that Rich isn't romantic, he presented me with a Valentines Day present this morning. A CD of Rupa and the April Fishes, Este Mundo, I've being trying to get my hands on this CD since about April 2010. So I'll treat myself to a quite listen this afternoon.

I'm once again struggling to insert an image, so I'll publish this, get on with the housework, go to gym, as I haven't been since last Monday and get back to this later this afternoon.
The "Man" necklace
OK! so I couldn't give up. I managed to get the date sorted and insert an image. Rich has been asking for a man necklace for ages. So this is the result. I completed it on Saturday evening and he is pleased with it. Slept in it on Saturday night, showered with it on Sunday morning, wore it the whole of Sunday and probably slept with it on last night, although I didn't check. The central bead is hand made and from Mali, the black beads are wood and the other beads are bone. Maybe I can say this was an early Valentines Day present?

Well  it's evening now, today went well as far as housework is concerned. I managed to do the whole house, as well as wash the kitchen and dining room floors. I even had time to water some of the garden. After this huge effort on my part, I have to now try not to get irritable when Rich spills something. I can honestly say that I really, really dislike housework, it's soul destroying, you have to do the same thing over and over again. I don't find it productive at all.

Yesterday I managed to do the deadheading I wanted to, as well as make the pesto. Although not Basil pesto, it turned out to be Basil, Rocket, Italian parsley and Mint pesto. With garlic thrown in for good measure. Aside from the olive oil, red wine vinegar, pine nuts and Parmesan were added to the mix. This is going to be great served with pasta, pitted black olives and cherry tomatoes from the garden. I've stored the pesto in the nicest bottles but I once again can't insert the image. So, frustrating. Rich thinks I'm crazy as I'm always saving glass jars. I say I'm recycling, saving them for when I do preserving. Not that I've ever preserved anything in my life. Although I have made pickled beetroot years and years ago.
My home made Pesto
I've got 4 images I want to insert. My pesto in the jars and 3 others, which now look like I'll have to save for tomorrow. I can't fiddle here any longer. GOT THE PIC OF THE PESTO INSERTED AND THE OTHERS IN THE FOLLOWING BLOG.

I want to go and read my book, The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho. I'm on page 161 and still can't decide if I like the book. It has most certainly not grabbed my attention like the Millennium Series by Stieg Larrson. I think I read all three books in about two weeks, which is a record for me. I usually read about two pages in bed and then start to fall asleep. I love reading, but with all the things I try to pack into a day, I struggle to get the reading in as well.

So tomorrow we try again to publish pics with the blog.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Wooden Heart
 In time for Valentines Day

"True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly." - Unknown

We, that is my husband and I don't celebrate Valentines Day. Probably because we've been together for more that 36 years. Not that Rich was much interested in Valentines Day before we were married. Rich is not a romantic at all, so Valentines Day has been very much a non-event in my adult life. So sad, as I'm a romantic. But no matter. The necklace with the wooden heart was made recently. The wooden heart pendant was given to me by Mary-Jane the woman who shampoos my hair at the hairdresser. It was so sweet of her to remember that I make jewellery and especially sweet of her considering her financial situation. She actually gave me another larger wooden heart and some other bits and bobs. I've used both hearts and the smaller stuff is still in my stash. The other components in the necklace are jade, ceramic, wood and Egyptian silver. Elvis Presley produced a love song called "Wooden Heart". I'm not sure it was his originally and has been done by other artists since.
Birds On Wire

This necklace was made using a pendant that I made. Well, I made the mold for the pendant, Bevan made the pendant from recycled aluminium and polished it up for me. I've plenty of practicing to do as my mold was a lot less than perfect. But I'm still very pleased with how it came out. It depicts birds on wires. I used clay beads, amber, coral, turquoise and a lamp work bead.

Fish Tale

This was made yesterday afternoon but the design has been simmering for a day or two. I wanted to use the fish pendant and the slate blue buttons with the bubble or spot pattern. The entire necklace was designed around these two elements. There are more red buttons, lamp work beads, shell pearls and various different bits of chain. It's long but can be shortened by fastening the clasp elsewhere on the chain.

I bought the Azurite beads from Pearls & Beads in Lynnwood. They have the most amazing peacock like colour. The crochet covered beads come from Bead Some More in Waterkloof Glen and the polymer clay "Troll" bead from Beads Direct. I frequent these bead shops as they are in the vicinity. As with a lot of pieces I make, this necklace can also be worn with the crocheted beads on either side or in the centre. The fastener is a beaded loop and buttons.

I've now have to get into the garden and dead head my Basil which is starting to seed. The Marigolds also need to be dead headed. I'd like to make some Basil Pesto, I found a great recipe using Basil, Mint, Pine Nuts and of course Olive Oil.

I also want to do some more sewing on Bevan's pants. Joce gave me a picture of a necklace she liked and I'm going to try and make something similar, as she didn't like everything about the necklace. It's also mass produced which probably put her off. So with the million and one things whirling around in my head off I go. 

Friday, February 11, 2011


"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." - Unknown.

The tomatoes in one of our veggie patches are ripening at a dizzy rate. I know it seems crazy photographing tomatoes one has grown. Millions of people grow tomatoes. BUT these are special tomatoes. Bevan gets the seeds from people who grow plants for their seed. These are heritage tomatoes. So they are really special. I have five different plants and have tomatoes on all the plants. We are harvesting from three of the plants every day.

Sliced home grown tomatoes

Home grown tomatoes ripening in the window


I'm busy sewing Bevan's pants and am getting along nicely. The pockets and pleats are done and the fronts are tacked to the backs. 

My hand showing the pocket in Bevan's trousers I'm sewing
When something new is introduced to our home, I inevitably move a lot of things around. We were lucky enough to be given a large HD TV (I've no idea of the size). Anyway, this involved our having to purchase a new stand for the TV and the other audio and visual equipment. Then I HAD to introduce ornaments, so these owls were brought from the collection on display in the dining room. The two on the outside are stone and the middle on pottery. I think they look great!

Owls from my collection

Liam, our grandson, who I care for from Tuesday to Friday is getting bigger every day. Now five months and very busy with his toys.  
Liam the sunshine of our lives
This blog has taken three days to publish. I for some unknown reason couldn't get the images into the post. They are "somewhere" in the blog, as I got them from the blog and added them today, EVENTUALLY. In future I'm going to write what I want daily and if I can add the photos I will, otherwise I'll add them as I can. I must be doing something wrong. No worries! I'll just persevere as I'm still learning.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I've noticed that many blogs have a copyright notice. My feelings are:

"Nothing is orginal. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that which speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.
Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean Luc-Godard said: "It's not where you take things from - it's where you take then to.""

- Jim Jarmusch

Blue Belle - finished

 As far as the jewellery making goes, Tuesday was much better than Monday.

Blue Belle is finished and features, a glass pendant, a polymer clay bead, a metal bell, metal and enameled spacers and various glass beads from my stash. The design is random. It's looks great on, but perhaps a bit young for me. Hopefully it will get to hand around a younger neck.

The idea for the braclet "Tangerine" came from the focul lampwork glass bead, the two yellow and lilac lampwork beads are made locally by artisans still learning. The rest of the glass beads are from my stash. The beads are wired together with guage 20, coated wire.

"Mali" started with the three hand made African Trade Beads with originate from Mali. Coral was added to either side of the beads, which are hand wired. I made the one chain from a whole lot of buttons, which have a black glaze on the one side and mother of pearl on the other. The buttons may well be mother of pearl but I didn't want to break one to check. I put a jump ring in each button hole, then linked them with more jump rings, all in a gunmetal silver. The other chain is black and doubled. There is an old coin, a piece of coral and an African amber bead hi-lighting the split between the two chains. This necklace is long and can be worn in a number of ways. I love this necklace, just my style, hope I don't have to part with it too soon.

Mali - view 1
"Blue Jangle" is MINE. Made from turquoise, coral and bone with lots of dangly/jangly charms.

Mali - view 2

Blue Jangle

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Sad courtyard
Mondays are not my favourite. It's not as if I have to do anything in particular. I know I need to do the washing and I should dust, wash floors etc. I somehow always find other things to do, rather than what I should or what I had planned. I should really have worked on Bevan's pants but I somehow found much more important things to do. We hadn't had any rain for a few days, so I decided to water. We have, about a week ago, had days and days of rain. So much so, that I hardly went into the courtyard. I now find that the snails have had a field day in the petunias and generally the courtyard looks uncared for and sad. I have to do something!

New lettuce plants

After having watered the plants and Bonsai in the courtyard, I then did the plants in the alleyway including the new lettuce plants.
Moved millstone, wood and rocks

I also got carried away with moving bird ponds, pieces of wood and stones.

So all in all a non-achievement day!

Monday, February 7, 2011


"Dusty Gekho"
 If you're visiting my Blog, HELLO! and thank you.

In progress!!!!!

I started my blog on Saturday the 5th, signed out and then attempted to find the blog through Google Search. To no avail, I had no idea that there were so many blogs and that to get a following was going to involve marketing. No matter, at present I'll use the blog for my own diary. I didn't get much beading done this weekend. I managed to get a necklace completed with one of Bevan's aluminium gekho's and started a retro kind of necklace using this and that. While beading, I try to return unused beads etc to the containers they came out of, but if I'm feeling inspired and really getting going, then this doesn't happen and the leftovers all get tossed in an old tea cup for packing away later. On Saturday evening I sat with the tea cup, sorted though the lot and took out all the beads etc to match a little bell. The work is still in progress.

I planted some lettuce seedlings yesterday, in the alley way on the south side of our property and hope there will be enough sun for them. My little veggie patch is going great. Plenty of Basil, Rocket, Italian Parsely and Celery for us and the tomatoes are starting to ripen. I need to harvest the tomatoes as soon as they get a blush of colour, as the birds are very keen on them. Our garden is full of food for the wild birds, so for them to find the tomatoes is all too easy. What I thought were chillies are ready for harvesting but on chopping one up on  Saturday I found that they did not have the usual chilli burn, perhaps they are Paprika??


My tomatoes

So far Bevan's pants are cut out
 Hoping to make some headway with the pants for Bevan today. These posts are taking me quite a while to do, not so much because of what I want to say but just sorting out where to put the image inserts etc. But I have decided to try and post every day and I'll surely get faster at this.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Second Post

This post is just to prove to myself that I can insert an image. You need to understand that these are baby steps and I'm very much learning as I go along. This necklace was made in about 2008 and is one of my favourites. You will soon discover that I have far, far, far too many favourites. I don't usually make pieces with myself in mind but all to often I find parting with my creations very difficult. I've even priced items that I felt that no one would dare purchase, only to have customers fighting (albeit politley) over the item

Starting Out

The start of the Dragonfodder Jewellery Diary is probably going to be a bit slow as I learn how to blog, add photos of the Dragonfodder Jewellery range and what will hopefully be a daily diary.