The most productive and/or creative day of the year…

Wow. Today has been a good day.

Yesterday I spent my morning (the only precious hours I get when the house is empty and I can work in peace) reading blogs, following people on pinterest, writing twitter comments and generally wasted away my time. It was great, and I made some lovely new friends, but today I had to work seriously hard to catch up with my self inflicted deadlines.

So, I ignored the dirty washing, the breakfast dishes are still (at 5pm) sitting in the sink, and when the toddlers returned from nursery told them to go play but not disturb me. I should really be brave and go and see what kind of bomb has exploded in the girls room. But later, just now I wish to share my completed projects and bask in your collective “ahhh’s”.

I made four necklaces today. (Not from complete scratch, that would be impossible – the pendants I make all at one time when I can access a friends metal working shed.)  But not to distract from my achievement, FOUR necklaces. In ONE DAY !!!  So, I present for your approval….

Number 1 – Purple turquoise and lapis lazuli necklace.

Number 2 – Red Jasper Pendant with pearls and red coral necklace.

Number 3 – Amethyst Pendant Necklace.

Number 4 – Unakite Pendant with carnelian and adventurine necklace.

Of course there is still the same matter of naming, photographing in detail, listing on folksy or etsy and spread-sheeting the costs. That will take some hours, later tonight when I have coffee to keep me going.

I feel very clever. Now heading off to find the toddlers and rescue our eldest daughter. I think she is somewhere under the mess.  Joanna x


Tutorial – Moss Agate Necklace “Apple Blossom”

I thought that you might be interested to see how a piece of my jewellery is created.

Generally I start with an idea, or a colour combination that pleases me. This mornings project is my “Apple Blossom” necklace and it began with a moss quartz pendant I had in my collection.   (I’ll blog another day about how these pendants are made.)

The first image is the beads from my kit I’m going to use to make up the necklace. Rose Quartz coin beads and small round beads, some adventurine small round beads and some tiny seed beads of dark pink to compliment. The tiny beads need to be in the design to space out the more expensive stones, but I’ve found that your eye doesn’t “see” somehow. A necklace made without these spacing beads looks too cluttered and busy. The seed beads allow the valuable gemstone beads to shine somehow. (Sounds like another blog entry to follow on with and without seed beads… I’m just making myself more work.)

Moss Quartz is wonderful, in this example pale pink quartz with dark green markings. My choice of rose quartz and adventurine simply echos those colours and highlights the beautiful natural markings in the pendant.

Because the pendant is square in design I instinctively want to work with round and coin shaped beads, and to group those in odd numbers. The great thrill of designing jewellery is that I work on a bead board to layout all the stones before I begin to string them, so if something doesn’t look right then I can just start again.

Here is the necklace a third strung. The section you can see will be the top left side of the necklace. The top most section which will take one of the closure findings and because it will be mostly hidden from view tends to be more plain and simple. The pattern between the two coin beads will be repeated around the necklace and will take the pendant attachment when we reach the mid-point. In this necklace the repeat pattern will be 1x rose quartz coin, 3x rose quartz rounds, 3x adventurine rounds, 3x rose quartz rounds, 1x rose quartz coin.

The finished necklace, closed with a silver lobster clasp and extender chain. I disrupted the pattern at the section around the pendant to hold the pendant in place and also to draw attention to the pendant.

I hope that this tutorial has been useful. It’s actually very useful to have to explain this process so carefully, as I normally just trust my instincts and allow the necklace to develop organically. I didn’t realise I put so much thought into balance and colour choices.

I’ll get this necklace up for sale on my etsy page and will attach a link to the blog when I finish.

Joanna x

pinterest or how I can spend 2 hours happily playing at working

I have a secret I need to confess. When I tell my husband that I worked all morning, ( in that very valuable time when the children are at school and nursery and he thinks I should be cleaning the kitchen and ironing his shirts,) I’m actually drooling over images at

I have found a website that allows me to meander across the world wide web and not feel guilty about following wherever the trail will take me. Pinterest actually encourages viewers to wander. Aimlessly. Until the time is all gone and there is nothing material to show for it.

But it is working, I hear you shout, because it’s all for inspiration.

My boards (collections of images that I think make sense as an assembled whole) are mostly colours. I have a board for Turquoise (well of course I do, you all know how much I adore Turquoise.) There is also a Lapis Lazuli board and one for Pearls.

But the most useful, amazing, how did I ever function without these images come from a website called I can’t explain how wonderful their collages are, you just have to go and look for yourself.

So, follow my link to my pinterest boards and see where your journey will take you. It is very easy to join, then you too can waste away the day collating weird and wonderful images.

I do love it when the postman brings me parcels. Particularly when they are actually for me, not emergency triangles for the car (darling hubbie) or peppa pig figures (youngest daughter.)This morning was a great parcel. My new business cards from who are my newest best friend and can do amazing things with their fancy printers.

My cards are connected to my and accounts so I followed links from their sites to allow me to their logo on my cards. Ten minutes to follow the template, upload some of my images (I cropped an image of white pearls to get an extra long image for the edge of the card) and off to the moo printer they go. I ordered these on Monday and they are here on Thursday morning.

There are normal sized business cards, which feel strong and reliable. They are for normal use and so I’ve put both craft shop addresses on them.

These are the tiny mini-moo cards, which I adore and will be really useful as price tags and to attach to gift wrapped boxes.

So there really is no reason why everyone can’t have cool business cards to hand out. For new businesses, for bloggers out socializing, even just for yummy mummies who need to hand out their contact details. I highly recommend Go and have some fun designing your own. You get 10% off your order if you follow the link below.