Monday, 1 April 2013


The birthstone for April is the Diamond......
 what can I say about this stone?!?!?!
Marilyn Monroe sang Diamonds are a girls best friend,
Shirley Bassey sang - Diamonds are forever
words that
 makes one think you should have one!
To me a diamond is a gift of  love and committment
I do have a diamond engagement ring which I treasure
and I'm afraid that I shall not be cashing it in to pay the rent
What about you?
If it's your birthday this month, perhaps you will be gifted with a diamond. 
If so, I hope it brings you love and enjoyment.

Friday, 22 March 2013


Now this is a stone that I love!  Why you may ask ....well I do believe that this stone is a great help to anyone suffering with arthritis.  During the bowling season last year, a number of my team mates were suffering with the aches and pains this decease brings, sos I made them bracelets similar to the ones I wear to help reduce the pain in my hand and thumb joints -  they found that the stones also had beneficial effects for them.

On hearing this, Dave asked if I thought a chain would help with his neck pain.  So, beads out - chain made.  After wearing the chain for a couple of weeks, he gave it back saying his neck didn't hurt so he didn't need it - great result!!!!  3 days later the pain was back along with a request for return of the chain which he now wears always along with a strechty bracelet  - and guess what -  although not completely pain free, he no longer needs to take daily painkillers.

Good news spreads - now many of my friends have Hematite bracelets and have also found pain relief!   You could say it's in the mind?!?!?...maybe, but if avoiding taking painkillers -  does it matter?

The colour of Hematite can be from a silvery grey to black, or colour coated. It can also be magnetic and so should be avoided by anyone with a pacemaker, and from experience I know that hotel door keys can be wiped clean by just being next to a Hematite stone.  So just a warning not to put one anywhere near these beads or you'll be standing in the corridor like me, wondering "what's going on!!!    Hematite lifts and highlights stones.  It is also available in lots of different shapes and sizes and is reasonably priced.   In all,  it is a useful addition to your bead stash.

In this strechty I used three different shapes...

You can buy tibetan silver beads (a cheap alternative to silver but it doesn't wear as well) - with a 4mm hole that conveniently hides the knot - I prolong the looks by painting the bead with a clear nail varnish. 

This is a watch strap that looks dressy when I wear my tiara!

Again a strechty, but this one is a double strand and again a tibetan silver bead has made is possible to hide the knot! 

This is info I picked up from the web regarding this stone....

Physically: It is said that Hematite can help with:  leg cramps, blood disorders, nervous disorders, and insomnia. Spinal alignment and the proper healing of bones, breaks, and fractures.
Metaphysical:  Can be useful for a mental "tune up" and helps memory enhancement, original thinking and technical knowledge.  A good stone for IT personnel. 

It is a calming stone, but also offers support for your hopes, dreams, wishes, and desires by encouragaing you to "reach for the sun".  Hematite reminds you that the only limiations that exist are those that you place upon  yourself.  It helps to balance out the emotions and energies between the body, mind and spirit. and dissolves negativity.

Now you  will see why I like this stone so much  but as far as insomnis goes - it has failed to help me!BUT, if you are an arthritis sufferer, it's well worth a try. It will not cure your problem, but IT MAY HELP REDUCE THE PAIN!   If  you have found this to be a beneficial stone in any way - please let us know by leaving a comment. 
Thanks for dropping by,

Friday, 15 March 2013

A handy little tool...

The other day whilst shopping I came across these.....

a pair of tweezers with a light!
   I'd not seen them before so I thought I'd have a go at shaping my eyebrows.....exellent to be able to see what you're doing for a change!   Then I thought what a useful addition to my crafting/beading box especially for placing gems on dots of glue! 
 Wondered if anyone else had seen them?
  At 99p from B & M a bargain!


Friday, 8 March 2013

Aquamarine the Birthstone of March

 The birthstone for March is Aquamarine. 
It is said that Aquamarine is the Stone of Courage and Serenity
used to soothe, calm and alleviate fears and phobias, promotes safe travel on water, releases anxiety, restlessness, and combats depression.
Aquamarine blue the colour of the sky and of water is a variety of Beryl.  No wonder  this stone is attuned to the ocean and helps us to get in touch with the spirits of the sea.  Close your eyes, breath deep and remember sitting on the beach at dusk, the water coming in, the cool breeze. This is Aquamarines gift to you.
According to legend it has its origin in the treasure chest of the mermaids, and has for ages been reputed to be a lucky stone for sailors. Very good stone to take on vacations and cruises.
Physical Healing Properties: Throat, spleen, heart, immune system, thymus, lymph nodes. Especially: mouth, ears, breathing allergies, journeys, sea goddess, seeing through people, protection.  (info from the web)
 I have never been in the postion to buy this beautiful gem, but if this is your birthstone perhaps you have a piece of jewellery that you would like to share with us?  Love  to hear from you....
If it is your birthday this month - my very best wishes for a year filled with good health and happiness.

Monday, 4 February 2013

A blog meet!

Hi, yesterday I did something new! I was invited to a Blog Meet - something that I had not heard of before. It was very interesting and also surprising because I was unaware that blogging was so popular with the young! What did we do - well, chatted about different forms of crafting and blogging and how to publicize/sell/promote your own blog. 
The meet took place in Leek, North Staffordshire at The Pamper Pit  in St. Edward Street, and was organized by Michelle and hosted by Libbi the owner of this very different unique venue.
as the name suggests - you can get seriously pampered here from head to toe!
 On the ground floor of this old and very interesting building is a cafe called
"The Spout"
Libbi has taken the name for her new cafe from the area in which the building stands which years ago was call Spout Gate.
The coffee was very good, the cakes looked very tempting, the atmesphere was very relaxed, and a good time was had by all.  
Now how's this for a very clever marketing advert which came in a gift bag when I left along with some other lovely goodies!
At the moment I'm resisting the temptation to rip open the bag
 but I can feel my resistance waning!  Diet - what diet?  Well not today!
The diet went a bit astray yesterday as well because also in the bag was
a gift from Misco's Chocolates and Truffles.
The chocs were delicious and if you ever feel the need to indulge
yourself or a friend - you will find Misco's on Facebook and Twitter
Thank you Libbi and Michelle for a lovely time and the gifts  - I really enjoyed the meet and came away with new ideas and enthusiam.

Friday, 1 February 2013

February's birthstone - Amethyst

1st February and time to look at the birthstone of the month  -  AMETHYST.

It is said that .....

Amethyst is a powerful aid to creative thinking, spiritual awareness and healing. It is believed to ease headaches, relieve pain and help combat insomnia. ......  I wonder if wearing a bracelet in bed will help with my insomnia?

This gem is a favourite for many folks and always sells well!   I love the colours and shades - it can be anything from a lavender to a deep purple. My wardrobe consist of lots of black and grey clothes and so it is a useful accessory in my beady box, but also you can wear these colours with cream, white, and pink.

Is it any wonder that this stone is so popular - and since it is my friend's birthday this month I thought she might like a little gift.  I have kept the design simple as she like delicate jewellery.

and then I made a pair for myself......

 The earrings are made with sterling silver hooks and 6mm amethyst round beads.
Thanks for dropping by,

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Colours and how to use them

Hi,  I watched a programme last week about  how to blend and mix colours in beading. If you are a beader who sells your pieces or just interested in colours and trends in fashion, you might find this colour chart for spring and summer 2013 by Pantone useful in your planning/buying new stones.


Tips on colour

 Refer to a colour wheel - if you draw a diagonal line from the left of the yellow to the right of purple you have divided the wheel into warm and cool colours.

The effects of colours

Warm colours: Red, Orange, Yellow and bold exciting colours which appear larger and closer
Cool colours: Blue, Purple, Green are calming and appear smaller

Monochromatic Colour

To achieve  monochromatic colour scheme you would use only one colour. Mixing light and dark shades, different shapes and sizes works well.

Analogous Colour

This type of colour combination produces an harmomonious effect.  Use colours that are next to each other on the chart so that they share the same common colour.

Complementary Colour

If you need contrast: Use colours opposite each other on the colour wheel. For a dramatic and vibrant look - Yellow/Purple, Orange/Blue, Red/Green

Using complementary colours next to each other brings out the colours of the beads, this will make each colour appear richer and brighert, but you need to get the mixture of colour right so that the balance is pleasing on the eye. To do this use a smaller amount of the complementary bead colour this will accentuate the main bead colour.

Since the colours are opposites - one will be warm; the other cool. Use the warmer colour in smaller amounts and you will find that this also will give a more pleasing look.

Offset Complementary Colour

If  you find the complementary colours are too bold, you can calm this down by using a colour that is next to the complementary colour on the wheel.  This will give a less dramatic effect and be more restful. So instead of using blue and orange, you would use a turquoise and orange.  Again using the warmer colour in small amounts.

Black and White Colours

These colours do not appear on the colour wheel, but by using them together you can create stunning jewellery. They are classic colours never going out of fasion!

By introducing Black to warm colours, such as red, makes the warm colour appear even more vibrant. By using White with warm colours you get the opposite effect and the warm colour loses it vibrance.

To make the White really effective, use it with the cool colours on the wheel. For example Blue and White look great together.

BUT, rules are meant to be broken - look at nature and some fashion designers!

The choice of colour is yours!


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Dragons Vein Agate

At the beginnning of the year the postie delivered a strand of yellow Dragons Vein Agate gemstones.  I instantly liked them despite the fact that I would not really describe them as "yellow", I would say they were more of a green with a hint of yellow, but then one of the things about gemstones is their individual nature.   A black vein runs through the stone so I straight away had an accompanying colour.  The stone I used to highlight the Dragons Vein was Hematite - I find this stone invaluable! 

This is the strectchy braclet I made.....

One of the things I like about stretchies is that they are easier to wear - what I dislike is the knot!  This is where I hide mine and the charms I make are something that folks are attracted to!

It is said that:
"Dragons Vein Agate: Can heighten creative visualization. It strengthens the ability and will to manifest one’s life purpose on the earth plane. Promotes energy and strength, and will help one discover the truth in a matter and to aid in accepting ones fate." (Info taken from Crystals and Stones/ Mystic dreamz).

mmmmmm....I'm thinking there is something about this stone and me....I'm certainly more creative of late with more energy than I have had for a long time!!


January's Birthstone - Garnet

Hi, just thought I would share this comment  that I received from Cheryl following my post on birthstones .......

"I love that you provide useful info along with your beady inspiration, Ikki. My birthday is actually tomorrow (Jan. 27) so I am a garnet girl. I inherited a garnet necklace from my great grandmother because I was the first granddaughter to be born in January. I have now passed that necklace on to my only granddaughter born in January. It is such a treasure!"

Cheryl, what a lovely thoughtful gesture by your great grandmother, and how wonderful that you have had the opportunity to pass this on to your own grandaughter.  Thank you so much for sharing this with us and since today is 27th January - "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" - Hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Gizmo and wire work

Wire is an increasing trend in jewellery making and although I have always liked and used wire in my papercrafting, I have very little knowledge of the ins and outs of the techniques - but I'm learning!
For a start I ordered a stock of different wire gauges and a Gizmo.
The Gizmo (priced £6/7) is easy to use.  It is recommended that it is mounted on your desk with a clamp, but I've found that I can use the tool in my hand without any difficulty.   The gauges of wires that I have tried are 0.6 and 0.8mm.  Also 1mm but this being a thicker structure it needs more care when coiling. 
coiled wire lmm and 0.6mm
This is my first attempt at making a clasp......
Not sure if this is something that I will be doing, unless I can manage to make it smaller and neater, but I can see the advantage of using this method for easy of fastening.  Nothing more frustrating than not being able to do up a bracelet!
If you have any suggestions or have mastered this technique - please share with us - we would all love to see your work. 
I have collated wire information on a separate page for convenience.  You will find this page listed under my blog heading. 
Thanks for dropping by and a warm welcome to my new followers.  

Thursday, 24 January 2013



Garnet  is associated with fire, passion and blood, and as well as January's birthstone is it also a recommended gift for both the 2nd and 6th Wedding Annivesaries.

Garnet is mainly thought of as a deep red colour, but natural colours include orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, black, pink and colourless.  The stone is steeped in history - it can be dated as far back as 3500BC when it was found in Egypt round the neck of a mummified body.












NB:  Information used from Jewellery Maker and web

I hope to make the beady box a source of information in the same way as the cupboard.  It will take time to list the many things that are going round my head - but to make a start I thought I would start with Birthstones.  Just made January with a few interesting facts about Garnet!  Must get busy now checking out February.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Journey into beading

Today I'm opening the lid on my new beady box and hope you will enjoy sharing my hobby with me and other beaders out in blogland. Although this is my third blog, it has taken an age to set up. I seem to have forgotten how to do anything regarding blogging and have made mistake after mistake in creating a personal banner and just getting it uploaded was soooooo frustrating!! Anyway upwards and onwards as they say!  And so the box is open..........!
Today's delve into the box reveals that I use semi precious gemstones in my jewellery. I  love the tactile nature of stones - they are cold to touch, smooth to feel, exciting in colour, and make me feel good when I wear them.   I now have beads to match everything in my wardrobe!   Did I mentioned that this hobby is very addictive?

I made these pieces last year from beads purchased from Beads Direct and China.  From the close-up you will be able to see the individuality of the stones.   

Beads and findings used for this 7.3/4" bracelet: 
Bowenite: tablet 10 mm x 15 mm
                   three sided rice 10 mm x 20 mm
Golden Sandstone: 6mm rounds
Red Agate:  rice 10 mm x 30mm (in the necklace)
Beading wire, crimp beads, clasp,
Bowenite it is said: "can bring success to all pursuits or to make a clean break from past traumas/environments. This stone is a true symbol of love, friendship and thankfulness." from the web.  I just love the colours and marbling but if theres any truth in these words - I like them too because they fit the day and are shown in love, friendship and thankfulness for your support!
One of the things that I've found difficult to get my head round when I started beading were sizes - if you view them on the telly they look so big, but in reality much small than you thought!  There are also many shapes, so I thought it would be useful to give this info should you be tempted to have a go yourself.  I've made numerous mistakes in buying the wrong thickness/thinness of wire ,findings and tools which I will past on to you, and I would welcome your advice/experiences on any area that will help the box become as useful source of info as the cupboard.
I hope you will find the box full of interesting jewellery, colour and information - I will shortly open my Friday Followers Gallery, so didn't forget to contact me and we can get together and arrange to view your work. 
Thanks for dropping by - let's have some creative fun together.