My Turquoise Honeymoon.

I think it’s about time that I explained myself. I love Turquoise. Since I was little it was my stone of choice. I wear it all the time. I had to name my jewellery business with turquoise somewhere in the title.

We honeymooned in Marrakech. As a modern western women I struggled with the male dominated culture. “What will your lady like to drink?” I had just finished organizing a wedding for 160 guests, while working full time, while helping our daughter settle into her first year at school. I was a whirlwind kinda gal and the sudden change of responsibility took me a while to adjust to.

But I came to like this different approach. My new husband and I, giddy with love and the novelty of honeymoon (you need the honeymoon after the headache of planning a wedding) would wander through the souk. From every doorway we would hear shouts and heckles, inviting “the beautiful lady…”  to examine their stalls. I would express interest in an item, a coffee set perhaps or a chess board. I learnt over many hours that the stall holders would not or could not negotiate with me. Even though my French is better than his.

Finally my husband and I came to an understanding. I would glance around the shop, using subtle eye movements to indicate which things I liked most, and then I would step out of the small booth and said Husband and stall holder would open bartering. Which could take some time. And involved mint tea. Camels were often discussed. Sometimes husband would exit the shop at speed with no explanation, while the seller shouted lower and lower numbers until we turned and resumed the banter. The “patter” as they say in Glasgow was good fun. Noisy, confusing and fun.

At some point nearing the end, but not always, money was exchanged and a parcel would be presented. After dinner when we returned to our exquisite hotel I would examine and open the parcels, never sure what had or had not been bought. Prices were never discussed.

This turquoise bracelet was such a parcel. Seven long links with six round connecting links. Blue turquoise with pale brown markings I wore it every day for a year. It is my turquoise honeymoon bracelet and I love it. And him.

I’m off to Handmade Harbour to see what the other bloggers have been up to. Then I’m going to open my bead box and spend the week making turquoise bracelets.


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

I curated the homepage for today!

Whoop. Whoop.

My Pinterest board ” Perfect Turquoise” is being featured today as the homepage for today!

Folksy gets 260,000 visitors a day and everyone of those will see my pinterest board of lovely turquoise themed things ready to buy from 24 folksy shops.


Of course I listed one of my own items in the collection – a turquoise and haematite necklace. It would have been silly not to.



Birthday Gemstones

It’s thought that colour was originally the major attribute determining a person’s birthstone. The connection of birthstones with particular months became enormously popular during the 18th Century, and many different lists were developed.

In 1937, Britain’s National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) organised an “official” list, which seems to have become more or less internationally recognised. Gemstones associated with the zodiac signs sometimes coincide with the birthstones by month.
For each month there is a primary gemstone, and frequently an alternate gemstone that serve as each month’s birthstones. The alternate stone is typically less expensive but similar in color to the primary.
January Garnet Pink Quartz
February Amethyst Amethyst
March Aquamarine Bloodstone
April Diamond White Topaz
May Emerald Chrysoprase
June Pearl Moonstone
July Ruby Carnelian
August Peridot Sardonyx
September Sapphire Lapis Lazuli
October Opal Tourmaline
November Topaz Citrine
December Turquoise Blue Topaz

There is a degree of variance among lists of birthstones. For example, some lists include alexandrite as the birthstone for June and blue zircon for December. I’ve left these gemstones out of this birthstone chart as they are not commonly used for handcrafted jewellery.

If you follow this link to my Pinterst gallery you will see the images of all of these stones.

The alternate list contains some of my favourite stones. Citrine and Carnelian and Lapis Lazuli are in my humble opinion as beautiful as their highly costly rivals and just as suitable to be given as gifts.

So if you are struggling to find that perfect present, well, you know where to start perhaps.

Amazonite – Amazon Warrior Queen Necklace.

My degree started as Classical Civilization combined with English Literature. It didn’t quite end up like that, (mostly because my eldest was born the in middle of my second year,) but I adored the time I spent in the classics department.

At Glasgow University the classics professors have the offices away in the eaves of the old building, both emotionally and physically removed from the modern world. I loved spending time there where I could hide and study and pretend to be working while day dreaming about ruined temples and sun bleached stones.

The mythology of the amazon tribes, female warriors who were feared on the battle field and extremely good archers, caught my attention and I read and re-read the accounts of Herodotus and the passages in Homer’s Illiad where they are discussed.

This is a rather round about way of explaining why I love amazonite, with all the blue green and aqua variations that is is found in. To pair it with turquoise just seems such an easy combination.

So I made a necklace, which you can have a look at here.

If you would like to know more about gemstones then follow this link to an exellent site.

Breathe, hold and relax

Today is day five in my reclaimed life.

The toddlers (aged 4 and 3) are happily playing at nursery, where they will be every weekday until lunchtime. I adore them, and our elder daughter too of course, but together they make so much noise and mess. Indulgent tasks like writing a blog or designing and making some new jewellery were out of the question. As I write this I have scalding hot coffee on the table beside me. I would not have brave enough to attempt hot coffee and own task with the monsters beside me.

Anyway, so I am MyTuruqoiseQueen. I’ve been designing gemstone jewellery for a few years but am self taught. I’ve spent the first few mornings tidying up my folksy and etsy pages. I’m going to photograph and list all the existing pieces in my collection and then start on some new creations.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Joanna x