Handcrafted jewellery and gifts by Rebecca Reynolds BA (Hons)

Shop with me at www.hollysfriends.co.uk and now also at www.jewellerybyrebecca.co.uk Contact me via comment, or email: rebecca@hollysfriends.co.uk

Friday, 15 August 2014

My Blog is moving location

Hello Everyone,

I'm sure you think I've dropped off the face of the planet...or maybe you'd forgotten I was even here :D

I just wanted to let you know that I decided to move my craft blogging onto my Jewellery by Rebecca website www.jewellerybyrebecca.co.uk

I'll be posting info about shows, recent makes, and any special offers for both Holly's Friends and Jewellery by Rebecca, so I hope you'll join me over there.

See you soon, and thank you for your support
Rebecca xx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


I was approached before Christmas, by a lady in America. She wanted a bespoke ragdoll for her daughter, who was at Boarding school here in England.

She also wanted the ragdoll to become a family heirloom, and had a list of special little details that she wanted me to include. She had seen my ragdolls whilst doing an internet search, and said she really liked my style and the level of detail I include on all my ragdolls.

Here's what this special ragdoll needed to include:
  • Lavender (dried and added to the stuffing)
  • Blue and cream check fabric
  • Light brown hair
  • A little pocket for a family locket
  • A little pocket for a note from Mother to Daughter
  • Somehow include fabric from a blouse belonging to the daughter's Grandmother (sent to me all the way from America!)                
And here she is!  


When the daughter received her at Christmas, she decided to call her Isabella, her grandmother's name...funnily enough, I had the name Isobel in mind when I was making her :). The little rabbit was an additional extra of my own. Although I put lots of French Lavender inside Isabella, once she was dressed, you couldn't really smell it unless you gave her a good squish. I thought about adding a lavender filled pocket to her pinny, or making her a little bag to wear. I did some research to see if there was something simple I could do.

Suddenly, inspiration struck! She needs a little toy rabbit!...and I could stuff that with lavender!! Perfect! I designed the pattern myself, and cut it out of brown felt. The eyes and nose are hand stitched. Before I packed up the ragdoll for shipping, I sewed the rabbit to the inside cuff of her sleeve. That way, the rabbit won't get separated from the ragdoll, and also, it dangles in a pleasingly 'Winnie the Pooh' way when you pick the ragdoll up to hold her.

The Grandmother's blouse turned out to be a very old silk scarf, which had been hand sewn into a clever little top with collar and buttons. However, silk becomes very fragile with age, and this severely limited my options.

I decided to sew a band of it onto the bottom of the petticoat, so that the silk was fully supported. You can just see it peeking out from under the blue and cream check dress. The lace trim on the bottom was sandwiched in between the petticoat and the silk.

You may just be able to make out the pocket for the locket in the first photo. It is on the tabard of the petticoat. It keeps the locket close to the ragdoll's heart.

And the secret pocket for the note from Mother to Daughter?...Well, that's a secret isn't it ;-)

This is me holding Isabella before she went off to America.

Lots of Love
Rebecca xx

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

New Year New Website!!

I know!!

It's less than a year since I launched www.hollysfriends.co.uk to showcase my work in a proper online shop environment. It's been fantastic, with wonderful regular customers as well as gaining me special commissions from as far afield as France, Portugal and America, something I could never have hoped for just 12 months ago.

However, as time has gone on, my jewellery making has increased and indeed overtaken the 'craftier' side of my work, and I was becoming very aware that perhaps Holly's Friends Country Crafts wasn't giving the right impression of my jewellery. Especially as I was moving further into precious gemstones and metals. So I asked my friends and customers if they thought it would be worth creating a whole new website, dedicated to my jewellery, allowing Holly's Friends to be just my craftwork (handpainted furniture, ragdolls, fairies etc).

And thus www.jewellerybyrebecca.co.uk was born!

We launched officially on New Years Day 2013 and I've been thrilled by the response. It has a very different look to my Holly's Friends website, as you will see for yourself. I wanted it to feel slicker and more...professional? I suppose so.

Holly's Friends is unashamedly 'cute' and friendly. Jewellery by Rebecca hopefully feels smooth and sleek like a polished gemstone. It will still have my impassioned (sometimes slightly kooky!) descriptions, and as ever, everything has been handcrafted by myself.

I've started trying to make pieces in 'collections', which is working well, and the first two to launch are the 'Winterberry' and 'Romance' collections.

'Winterberry' is about big bold cranberry coloured Shell Pearls, teamed with Silver Plated finding and Heart Charms. http://www.jewellerybyrebecca.co.uk/products/collections/winterberry/

'Romance' is softer and more delicate, like looking at a beautiful bunch of Cabbage Roses through a soft focus lens. It combines Watermelon Tourmaline,  Apricot Freshwater Pearls and Silver Plated findings and Heart Charms in a variety of looks, but because the gems used are common, then any pair of earrings will work with any necklace and any bracelet.  http://www.jewellerybyrebecca.co.uk/products/collections/romance/

(Apologies, I'm having trouble uploading actual photos, so for now you'll need to follow the links to see the jewellery pieces)

I hope you all love the new website, and don't forget that I will be continually adding new pieces to Holly's Friends too.

Lots of love

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Reasons to keep your eye on Holly's Friends

There are some very good reasons to keep up with Holly's Friends Country Crafts in all its formats, and one of the most important is that there is about to be a special offer on Facebook. Come along and 'like' the page www.facebook.com/hollysfriendscountrycrafts, and keep up to date with regular updates of new pieces available, shows and events that I'm attending, and of course those exclusive special offers!!

Here's where you can find me:
and of course here www.hollysfriends.blogspot.co.uk

Thank you for being one of Holly's Friends :-)

Lots of love
Rebecca xx

Thursday, 23 August 2012

September Birthstone Jewellery - Sapphire

Sapphire is one of the three gemstones traditionally classified as 'Precious', alongside Diamond and Ruby. In fact, Sapphire and Ruby are the same material, Corundum, but Ruby is always red, whereas Sapphire spans a wide colour range from reddish orange through to purple, depending on the other elements it contains. Clear or 'white' Sapphires are nearly always synthetic, or 'created' in a lab.

The most popular colour is blue, and some of the worlds largest and most famous Sapphires are also blue. The St Edward's Sapphire is set into the cross at the top of the Imperial Crown (pictured right), part of the Crown Jewels of England. The Star of India is the largest blue Sapphire at 536 carats, and was donated to the American Museum of Natural History...it was stolen in 1964 by infamous jewellery thief (surfer, artist, musician and various other 'occupations') Jack Murphy (Murph the Surf), but recovered two months later from a foot locker in Miami.
The Black Star of Queensland is 733 carats, it was discovered by a 14 year old boy in 1935, and used as a doorstop until 1948!!

Sapphires are mined in Thailand, Sri-Lanka, Burma, India, Australia, America, Tanzania, Cambodia and Madagascar, though Burma and Kashmir are now producing very little material.

Most Sapphires are heat treated to improve the colour. Stones are subjected to temperatures between 1700 and 1800 degrees Celsius for several hours. Beryllium can also be added during heating to reduce the blue tones in yellowish stones, making them appear a more brilliant yellow-orange.

As well as being September's birthstone, Sapphires have long been believed to symbolise truth, sincerity and faithfulness in relationships, and bring peace, joy and wisdom to the owner and wearer.

To see my range of Sapphire and 925 Sterling Silver jewellery, please click the link below:


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Shamballa Style hits Holly's Friends Country Crafts

Shamballa bracelets are so much fun!

The word Shamballa comes from Buddhist philosophy, and is the name of a mythical land of enlightenment, peace and harmony (shame it's only mythical!). They were popular with followers of Buddhism, and also Yoga and meditation practitioners, but quickly found their way into the world of mainstream fashion.

I loved the look, but when I saw the price of them on the High Street and internet, I thought 'No, I don't think so'.

I then found a source of brilliant resin Shamballa style beads, which are encrusted with glittery crystals. They are in a gorgeous range of colours, from elegant classics to zesty brights. Making the bracelets is so much fun, and the sliding 'clasp' knot makes them incredibly easy to put on and take off by yourself.

I like to mix in some other gemstones with the resin beads. All the bracelets have at least two genuine Hematite rounds, which form part of the fastening. Some include Shell Pearl, and some have genuine Howlite stars.

The threading material I've used is a lovely soft, supple nylon cord. There are no metal parts at all, and as they are 'one size fits all' they are the perfect gift, as you have no size or allergy issues to worry about.

The style is so simple and easy, it looks fab worn with anything from cool casuals to sharp business suits.

To get the full Shamballa experience, I have also created a range of Shamballa earrings which coorinate perfectly with the bracelets.

To view the range, follow this link:

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

August Birthstone Jewellery - Peridot

Apologies, I'm a bit late with the August Birthstone jewellery update on here, but there is still time to purchase gifts for the latter part of the month.

August's Birthstone is Peridot. Peridot is quite unusual in that it occurs in only one colour, green, ranging from yellowish green, to olive. The intensity of colour depends upon the level of iron it contains, and man has found no way of improving it's colour unlike many other gemstones. It comes from the Olivine group of gems, which are quite common in volcanic material and interestingly, meteorites. Having said that, gem quality Peridot is actually very rare.

The oldest deposit, mined for 3500 years is on the volcanic island of Zabargad, in the Red Sea off Egypt, and legend has it that Peridot was a favourite gemstone of Cleopatra, though she may have thought they were Emeralds at the time. Napoleon Bonaparte also gave Josaphine Peridots to express his undying love and admiration for her, but obviously this was before he had their marriage annulled!!

Find Periot combined with Peridot Jasper and other gemstones here: