Tag Archives: Crafty Betty

82cts of Gemstone in a Bracelet

So on Saturday I received a message, could I make 10 bracelets, to be sold in aid of a cancer charity. Well of course I could, instead of glass beads, or plastic I decided to give the charity a sporting chance I elected to use Gemstones.

Its hard, incredibly hard to be given a palette of colours to work towards & interrupt a logo into real beads. The issue encountered is that tablet, tv, computer screens all distort colour slightly, couple that with the camera, whether that be a phone or uber high tech digital or SLR camera used to photograph the beads for sale, not to mention the lighting conditions used to view & originally photograph under and you can start to see why selecting beads remotely is difficult.

Its also worth remembering that on the colour spectrum there are also variations of a colour, a purple shade has an entire spectrum of colour from a pale lavender through to almost black purple so even one strand of beads dyed purple, may not be exactly the same shade as the next strand of purple beads dyed purple. To illustrate this point, compare the 2 photos below, of the same beads but under 2 different lighting conditions, they give off different hues.


Obviously the Gemstones are all unique, but a lapidarist has made them in to 8mm rounds (not perfect but then they are gemstones not factory mass produced glass from moulds or plastic)

I set to the JM website, and selected a few strands:

Fushsia Quartz, Purple Dyed Quartz, Lavender Shaded Quartz and a strand of Purple Magnesite.

Each strand was roughly 160cts, 35cm in length, and contained approx. 49 beads – this is useful to know, because it enables you to calculate exactly how many strands are required to make a set number of bracelets, at a predetermined length.

10 Gemstone Bracelets, Fushsia, Purple & Lavender colours
10 Gemstone Bracelets, Fushsia, Purple & Lavender colours

Here’s the maths bit! Each bracelet contains 23 beads, I had 5 strands of beads, in 4 colours. 23 is an odd number, so obviously symmetry wasn’t going to be easy to establish, but I did decide to try and make them colour graduated, from light to dark, or dark to light depending in which way you wear the bracelet.

The great thing about gemstone bracelets is the weight, and cool sensation of the cold stone as it touches your wrist. They don’t feel or look flimsy, they have a lovely clink about them!

Crafty Betty also wanted a tag, or charm with the name on, attaching to the bracelets. Well on Sunday morning, Debbie Kershaw, stamping guest designer was on, so I did, I confess treat myself to a new set of stamping letters (lower and upper case), and a kit. Crashing Waves, check back another day to see what I actually create with it, but that was my birthday treat to me.

With CharmsNow the number of letters in the name “crafty betty” is significant, as it really doesn’t make stamping easy! I did order some large tags from JM, flower shaped but these just look ridiculously large against the 8mm gemstone bracelets, so I used some older (not silver plated) tags I already owned. These do look, “handmade”, and I think have a certain charm about them, however for my own personal taste they are too cluttered, too many letters on a small tag.


Use an ultra fine black permanent marker to mark the centre & edges of where you want the letters to be stamped.

Then use the ultra fine permanent marker to colour in the letters, this means you don’t need to worry about patinas etc.

This is the clever bit ….. Your stamp probably looks a mess after being coloured in and doodled on, but a simple wipe over with nail varnish remover on cotton wool (wearing gloves if you have gel nails like me) will remove the surface pen marks with ease. Do leave the pen to dry for a short period of time before wiping off, otherwise the pen marks in the letters may lift out too.

Jewellery Party – Happy Birthday

Jewellery Birthday Party
Jewellery Birthday Party

So last weekend we had a birthday party! A jewellery birthday party, 7 girls, all around 12 years old all wanting to make different things.

My basket was raided, absolutely raided, I took seed beads, elastic, silk cords, waxed cords, sari silks, general findings all sorts of jewellery items and the girls had such fun.

The creative juices were flowing, initially we all made a sari silk bracelet with a magnetic clasp, they each chose a silver finding to thread on, and then as the glue dried they moved on to threading seed beads on elastic or wire, they made rings, bracelets, choker necklace, long stringy necklaces, sari silk and seed bead hair grips each taking home several items, in a pretty fabric party bag.

The party was hosted by #craftybetty and some of the stringing materials we used were from #jewellerymaker, the silk was from #yarn-yarn, it was great to see the girls having fun and learning too.

IMG_5244 IMG_5245

Weddings in the Air

Wedding Tiara
Wedding Tiara

What is a wedding without a Hen Party?

Well, the Great British Sewing Bee is back on the TV, Celebrity Great British Baker too, why not combine the two and book a Crafternoon Hen Party at one of several beautiful venues? You can learn to sew, make a tiara, make jewellery using precious gemstones or pearls, combined with afternoon tea, and then add on a spa trip, or overnight stay to make your weekend complete.

Do contact Michelle @ CraftyBetty for more information including how to book.

Crafty Betty
Crafty Betty


It’s a tad cold outside, in the mornings the frost is on the rooftops of the car, the window ledges, the window panes everywhere. I do love the frost, it leave a sense of clean as everywhere you look is shiny sparkly and white, some mornings it can be like looking out of the window at little gems or even diamonds twinkling.

Pavement Frost
Pavement Frost 

I look for inspiration for my jewellery making everywhere, and whilst walking to work this morning I noticed that as the morning progressed the sun came up, and what was a chilly frosty white glaze over the pavements was rapidly disappearing under my feet.

I noticed, that whilst the frost & ice was dissolving it was leaving behind the most amazing patterns in the pavement – the image you see is nothing special, just simply the pavement under my feet as I walked to work, the ice melted away leaving behind a damp imprint of what clearly had been ice crystals on the ground. It’s so Lawrence Llewlyn-Bowen isn’t it !

The design reminds me of a mug I have as designed by Lawrence, but also a Fern Leaf pattern, the intricate stems, and leaf designs created by nature. Every pattern completely different. Its something I am attempting to replicate in my next jewellery challenge.

Jewellery Class….

Well despite my slight apprehension I really really enjoyed teaching at Crafty Bettys last Saturday, it was a fabulous crafty atmosphere with customers popping in the shop taking a huge interest in the delights on our class table. It over ran slightly as we veered off and made earrings to match the illusion necklace & scalloped bracelet in pearls, the daisy weave bracelet was addictive, and a set of 3 interlocking glass bead stretchy bracelets seemed to be a hit. So, we made Christmas wreath, started a daisy chain bracelet, 3 stretchy strung bracelets, an illusion pearl necklace, a pair of pearl earrings, and a scalloped edge pearl bracelet all in just under 4 hours ….. then a few hours later I read this on Facebook ……

“Thank you to Crafty Betty and particularly Fiona who provided a fantastic jewellery course. I have been well and truly inspired and would wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone interested in Jewellery Making.”

Its just so lovely to receive public feedback like this, really made me smile, and what more could a teacher / instructor ask for than to inspire others ? Still, days later makes me smile to read this 🙂

So we have another in the pipeline, and a Bridal Workshop / Wedding Fair  in March 2015 so busy busy busy. Am stocking up on pearls & wire as I type!

Check out the JM products on the table I used as well, and the JM tool kit, over the years I have used many sources for my threading materials and own countless tools but I will say I have found the wire, and tool kit exceptional from JM – and at a reasonable price. #jewellerymaker

The only thing we will have to differ on is that JM designers use the macrame board, and the necklace & bracelet boards I will always prefer a bead mat, or a bead it board, as I found the foam holds the beads, whereas the macrame board the pearls especially tend to just roll away on!

Anyway I am buzzing with excitement, planning my next workshops at the Bridal fair, and making my lovely sister some Christmas Party Jewellery ….. pics to follow later

Jewellery @ Crafty Bettys
Jewellery @ Crafty Bettys



daisy necklace
daisy necklace

Breaking News…..New Class in Newark

Breaking News!! Its rather exciting but I am running a Beaded Dreamcatcher Workshop at a local craft shop, Crafty Bettys in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Date – 15th November 2014

Time – 12 noon til 3pm

Cost –  £24.99

To Book – Email – michelle@craftybetty.co.uk

For more information – www.craftybetty.co.uk, or contact myself via this blog post / twitter / Facebook


Conveniently located in the centre of this delightful market town, with loads of fabulous restaurants, coffee shops, independent traders selling a variety of lovely items, plus your big hitters like Fat Face, Marks & Spencer, Next, WH Smith etc Newark has something to offer everyone.

So, the class size will be a maximum of 6, all materials are provided, and it will entirely suitable for beginners or a change for more experienced bead weavers or jewellery makers. don’t worry if you are nervous, this will be a fun workshop where hopefully we all learn a new skill, and make some new friends along the way.

The shop is located on the ground floor of the impressive Buttermarket, with car parks only a few minutes walk away.

The dreamcatcher uses a variety of seed beads, threads, bugle beads, feathers, and could be adapted to make a piece of jewellery, such as dinky earrings, or pendants for necklaces, once the basics are mastered the design ideas are only limited to your imagination! There will also be a selection of colours on offer, so don’t worry if you don’t fancy blue or brown! We have pink, red, and possibly green too!

As this is a basic introduction I am aiming to focus on techniques in basic bead weaving, if however you fancy a more advanced wirework, or genuine gemstone dreamcatcher do ask Michelle to organise another workshop, or if there are any other stitches you would like to learn such as Ladder weave, peyote, brick, netting again just ask Michelle as I am more than happy to share my skills.

I can also look at doing classes in Kumihimo, Macrame, Tiara, Fascinator’s, beaded corsage’s along with inexpensive but unique wedding jewellery.

So if you have an idea, get in touch … if you can doodle it, I can certainly have a go at making it for you or design a class to help you make it!

Beaded Dream Catcher, in shades of Brown
Beaded Dream Catcher, in shades of Brown
Beaded DreamCatcher, in Blue tones
Beaded DreamCatcher, in Blue tones