Monday, 2 November 2015

Only you can make it happen!

I have for several months been creating on a Monday morning and occasionally, 'shush' a Monday afternoon quote  that I like to share across my social media platforms, such as on my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest accounts. I had a bit of a 'aha' moment this morning and thought why don't I share it on my blog and today is the first time I have done so. Monday morning motivation quotes are very popular on Twitter, they even have their own hashtags!

In one of my previous blogs, I mentioned that I really love reading motivation quotes and that I have even created a Pinterest board, called 'Positive Words', here is the link, where I collect and share all my favourite quotes and I know lots of other people like to do so as well.

They are especially great to read on a Monday, if you have a busy week ahead of you and you would like to read something that will get you thinking and focused on the coming week.

So here it is, I hope it inspires you and I hope you also have a good week. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Five Common Wedding Planning Mistakes

If you have just got engaged, I bet both of you cannot wait to dive in and start planning your big day. Unless you have been married before, or have helped a friend or relation plan their wedding, you may not know where to start. Now would be the time to sit down and start doing your research.

There are many wedding planning websites online, that will give you advice and guidance on what to do and when to do it. Or maybe you could even hire a wedding planner to deal with everything for you, but for some couples this is not the case, they just rush ahead, without any  planning.

Many brides-to-be, set up a Pinterest board with ideas of dresses they like, flowers, cakes, wedding venue decorations, the list just goes on and on.

If you want to try and have a stress free wedding planning time, grab your note pad and start taking notes of the following valuable tips!

Not staying in budget

First things first, I would advise you to get a wedding planner folder. There are several types on the market out there, on places such as Amazon, but you can make your own, there are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest. Inside the folder you could have a spreadsheet detailing what your expenditure is for each category, such as the dress, cost of venue, bridesmaid dresses, flowers and gifts, grooms suit, catering, photographer, e.t.c, you get my gist.

Also printing off a calendar and scheduling what needs to be done, is handy. You can keep track of payment of deposits and keep copies of the contracts, which you will need if anything happens, that would disrupt your day. You should work out the maximum you would like to spend on each category and try to stick with it and don't be afraid to ask if there any discounts, if you don't ask you don't get!

The one area of wedding planning you should never do on the cheap, is the photography. You do need a very good photographer, one that will capture your wedding day and keep the memories alive for you, whenever you look at your wedding album. Don't try and rope in a friend who thinks they are Mario Testino, because you will kick yourself for doing so.

Choosing a dress that is not the 'one'

Wedding dress shopping can be very exciting and also very stressful. The best thing to do before you book an appointment at a bridal shop, is to have a look at all the different bridal styles and get familiar with them and learn about the types of necklines, styles and fabric.

They can range from a ball gown, made with masses of tulle, which would make it full and round, to a tea length style dress, that would allow you to show off Jimmy Choo shoes, that you had to save up for.  When shopping for your wedding dress,  you can never really say no to a style and be certain of the style that you want, until you try the dress on, then you may get a feeling that the dress, might be the 'one'. 

If you have every watched a program on Sky called 'Say Yes To The Dress', you will know exactly what I am talking about. If you have tried on a few and your still not sure, keep looking, but don't settle for one that you have hastily chosen, because you felt pressured to choose it by your wedding entourage, who accompanied you to the bridal shop.

Just remember, it is you that is wearing the dress on the day and not them! The last thing you would want, would be to have a dress wobble, just weeks before the big day, then having to try and find another dress.

Having a DIY wedding, but leaving it to the last minute

I get it, you've not stopped browsing Pinterest for wedding tips and ideas on how you want to dress your venue, but you've also seen the DIY pages for wedding venue decorating and you've decided that you want to make your wedding extra special, by making some of the wedding reception decorations yourself. Your thinking to yourself, how hard can it be to use a pot of glue, some glitter and a glass jar to make some centre pieces for your tables.

But that's fine, but don't leave it to the last few weeks leading up to the wedding, because you will end up with your home resembling the arts and craft class at the local nursery school. Your best bet, is to get someone you know that is into crafts and likes making things and you could get them on board to help you. If you are determined to have a DIY wedding, then start making everything early, but be prepared, you might not be very good at it and halfway through, you might think it's not worth the grief. Then at least you will still have time on your side to buy the items already made.

Trying to please everyone!

Once the word is out that your planning your wedding, everybody will have an opinion on how you should do things. But at the end of the day, it is your wedding and your big day. So if you want to have a Star Wars themed wedding go for it, don't let anyone talk you out of it. Or maybe you want to elope abroad and have a quiet wedding with just the two of you.

Then there is having a small intimate  gathering, with just immediate family, however your parents want to you invite everyone, even relations you have not clapped eyes on since you were child. Unless you can come to an arrangement and maybe just have them as evening guests, then I think the answer will have to be no.

If you try to please everyone, you will come to regret it and wish you had stuck to your guns and done it your way. After all the day, is supposed to be about the happy couple, not about everyone else. I know it sounds a bit selfish, but when you walk up the aisle, you just want it to feel right and be right.

Having a large wedding party

I've notice recently from photos posted on Pinterest and Facebook, that there seems to be a trend of having multiple numbers of bridesmaids and groomsmen.  Just because you have lots of friends, it does not mean you need to ask all of them to be a part of your wedding party.When I see wedding pictures of 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, I just think why. 

You are not obliged to ask all of them, just because they are your friends. They can still be a part of your big day but maybe just as a guest. If you can afford to have a massive bridal party go ahead, but if you have set a budget, it might be a good idea to reduce the numbers, otherwise you will have to cut corners on another area in your wedding planning.

If you are in the midst of your own wedding planning,  I wish you good luck and I hope you found the information in this blog post useful.

Please leave a comment if you can think of any more mistakes, that you should avoid when planning a wedding.

Bye for now

Michelle  x

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

My latest jewellery designs.

I have been trying to write this blog post since last week and I have only just finished it today. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I wanted to get it exactly right, but the result is that my blog post is a week late and I'm annoyed at myself. I am going to from now on, stop tweaking my blog posts to death and just write them, proof read them and post them.

When I sit down to write, I spend ages weighing up what subject to write about, then a flurry of subjects start whizzing around my head at the same time and I quickly write them down before I forget them. I'm a major note maker, meaning that I have a note book with notes about what I'm going to be doing that day and what needs to be done that week. Well, on the top of my 'To Do' list, is to finish off three new christening bracelets that I have been working on.

The designs are simple, using just white pearls and silver plated crosses. I think jewellery made for a baby/toddler should be not flashy or over the top and as these were christening/baptism bracelets, I wanted to keep to that format. 

So here they are, they are nearly finished I just need to add on the extender chains, which are always a good idea, as babies and small children can grow fast and if it has been bought as a gift and the buyer is not sure of the wrist size, then an extender is needed incase the bracelet needs to be expanded.

The finished bracelets are now listed on my website at and in my Etsy shop at

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Making a Glossy Accents Pendant

I bought a bottle of Glossy Accents the other day from my local craft shop, after coming across a picture of a bottle cap pendant necklace on Pinterest, that someone had made using Glossy Accents. You might be sitting there thinking, 'what is Glossy Accents, well Glossy Accents is a 3-dimensional clear gloss medium, used by crafters and it can be used to accent, brighten, magnify, dimensionalize, bond and protect embellishments and designs.  Phew, that was a mouthful and if you wondering yes, I did just copy that description off the back of the bottle. Basically, it's a type of resin that you pour straight from the bottle and you can add it to any paper project or embellishment. It dries to a clear hard shiny finish and also doubles a glue!

In some of the projects that I have seen using Glossy Accents, the makers have used bottle caps, but I did not have any, however I did have some pendant trays that I'd bought a while ago. I'd not used them, because I'd had trouble finding any clear glass domes to fit them, as they were not a common available size. So I'd given up in looking for the domes and just put them away in a draw. When I saw what could be done with a bottle of Glossy Accents, I straight away thought about my unused pendant trays and what I could do with them. 

I found a background image from a magazine, this was cut into an oval shape. I then sealed the front and back of the image with PVA white glue, I did this twice, each time waiting for the glue to be completely dry before I added the next coat. After the final coat, the image was ready to be glued to the back of the inside of pendant tray. For this I used E600 glue. I love this glue, it does not smell that great, make sure the room is well ventilated when you use it, but it is what I call jewellery cement, once you use it, nothing moves, it dries rock hard. 

I left this to dry overnight then, the next day I was ready to fill the tray with the Glossy Accents. I'd noticed in pictures of resin jewellery, the makers sometimes added a small object to their pendant tray, I had a small silver key on my desk, it was left over from a project and I decided to put the key in the tray before I poured in the Glossy Accents. 

I filled the tray to the edge, then left it to cure over night. The next morning, I noticed that it had set, but it looked a little sunken around the key. So I thought it could not do any harm to add some more Glossy Accents to fill up the tray, so that it looked more level. When I filled up the tray the first time, I remembered to leave it on a level surface, but this time don't ask me why, I decided to put it in another place. Little did I know, but this place was not as level as I thought it was and the tray ended up leaning slightly to one side. The Glossy Accents had spilt slightly over the edge and some of it had seeped underneath!

How could I have been so careless, I could have kicked myself for not paying more attention to what I was doing. I managed to scrape some of the Glossy Accents off, but you can still see some of it on the back of the pendant tray. I learnt a lesson that you should take your time and not change the way you perform certain tasks, unless you want the results to be different. If you don't want change, then don't change a thing and that's my quote for the day!

I still like the pendant, I popped it on a chain and have been wearing it and I've have had some lovely complements about it. I've still got a near full bottle of Glossy Accents and some more of those pendant trays, so I will be making some more pendants in the near future.

If you would like to see my other handmade jewellery, please visit my online store at

Bye for now!


Monday, 9 February 2015

Aluminium Wirework Jewellery

Last year I spoke about wanting to work more with wire in my jewellery making and expanding into wire work jewellery. Well, I have being doing so, I've been experimenting over the past couple of months, when I've had a spare couple of hours, with a my tools and a roll of inexpensive wire. To make the most basic, to the most intricate designs, only requires confidence in the tools that you have and your imagination.

At first I started with a piece of shiny brown aluminium craft wire, that caught my eye in a local craft shop. Aluminium craft wire is a soft a malleable wire, that can easily bent with your fingers and is available in many colours. It also can be rigid enough to hold it's shape. At first I made into an oval shape, then I added some tiny turquoise blue seed beads, that I found in my bead stash, which I have wanted to use for a while, because they are soo pretty. I strung them onto a piece of thin silver wire and then started wrapping them around the oval frame.

This is what I ended up with, yes I know it looks strange, it reminds me of something you'd find in the ocean, some sort of sea creƤture. The fringe bits at the bottom, were made from uneven strips of wire, that I just bent and curved around a round nose pliers. After I made this, I thought it would make an interesting pendant, but I've not got around to making it into a necklace. I'm not even sure I will make it into one, it's one of the most unusual pieces I've ever made. If there is anyone out there that can suggest a suitable stringing material, I would love to hear from them. 

After making this pendant, I wanted to make a pair of earrings, I did not have a design in my head, I just bent the wire around into a circle, then made a spiral shape and added some blue Czech glass nugget beads, that hung from the base and created some movement and these are the earrings I came up with!

Again, they are an unusual  design, but that's what I love about making jewellery with wire, the designs don't always turn out how you expect them to turn out, there are no hard and fast rules about jewellery making, just the freedom of creating whatever your tools, hands and imagination lets you create.

Most of my handmade jewellery is one-off pieces, if you would like to see my work, then head over to

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Christmas Bag Charms - Work in Progress

Summer is long gone and it's time to think of winter, in particular Christmas. In a jewellery designers calendar, Christmas is one of the most important times of the year, everyone is looking for gifts for friends or love ones, or they might be looking for something new to wear to an event over the Christmas season.

I've already started adding several new items to my websites, the earlier you make them available to potential customers, the sooner they can make their purchases and avoid disappointment if there is a delay in the post and it arrives after Christmas Day.

I've been working on a couple of new festive bag charms. I had a custom order last month for a Christmas style bag charm, so I thought I'd make a couple of them to add to my shops.

The first one is similar to the one I made for my customer, it's in traditional Christmas colours, with  snowflake, holly bush and flower charms.

The next one is, what I've called a Snowflake bag charm, this time I've used white, silver and pale blue glass pearl beads, crystals and silver charms.

I love making bag charms, I just grab my tools, chains and beads and let my imagination take over, all the bag charms I make are, one off pieces, making them unique and special.

Now I just need to take decent pictures of them both, so I can add them on my website and Etsy shop.

If you would like to see my other bag charms, head over to my websites, at

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Clean Eating - A New Way of Eating

Since April I have been discovered a new way of eating and it's called clean eating.  I bet your wondering what is clean eating, well I thought the same thing when I came a across a Youtube video and the person was discussing what she was eating and why she was eating it. At first I thought what do you mean, I don't think anybody eats dirty food on purpose, I know that sounds silly, but  I was a bit confused, but I started watching more videos and reading about it online and then it all started to make sense.

Eating clean or clean eating, is eating food that has not been processed. The food has not been refined or tampered with and is kept to it's natural form, without any unnecessary extras added to it.

This means ready meals, takeaways, fast foods, e.t.c are all to be avoided. The food needs to be whole and be in it's original form, just how nature made it. So it would mean eating fresh fruit and vegetables, Lean proteins such as fish or chicken and whole grains like brown rice or wholemeal pasta.

I researched all the different types of foods that were allowed, some foods I was unsure about, I like an easy life, so I thought I'd share with you the food I would eat in a typical day.


Banana and Berry Smoothie
I never use to eat smoothies, but now I have one every day for breakfast and this is my favourite one, at the moment. It is made with bananas, summer fruit berries, a spoonful of fat free Greek yogurt , half a cup of Almond milk and some ice.  All of this is thrown into a blender, whizzed for a minute then poured into a tall glass. This makes a yummy breakfast, that keeps me full, so no diving into the biscuit tin. Speaking of biscuits, I have lost the taste for them and I don't really miss them.


Greek Pasta Salad
For lunch I am loving my Greek Pasta Salad, I have it every day and I'm still not bored with it. It's made with green and black olives, chopped up cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, wholemeal fusilli pasta. I also make my own dressing, consisting of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano.


Baked Chicken with Rice and Vegetables
Dinner time is usually fish, or chicken, with a cup full of any vegetables and 1/2 cup of carbohydrates, this could brown rice, roasted sweet potato, quinoa, e.t.c. One thing I have learnt about, is to remember portion size, think of your plate as a clock, 1/2 of it should be vegetables, 1/4 your protein, i.e. chicken or fish and 1/4 your carbohydrates, such as brown rice.

I had this last night and it was yummy and very filling, before I started eating clean, I would want something sweet after dinner, but this has disappeared. I do remember being told by someone years ago, that it usually takes 2 weeks to lose your taste for sweet things, I think it's true, I no longer crave biscuits, cakes or chocolate bars, I do have the odd biscuit, but that's it really.

If I do want something sweet, I have found a healthy alternative them, but I will share that with you another time. I eat clean 99% of the time, rest of the time I might have the odd guilt free meal, don't judge me I'm human.

I don't see clean eating as a new diet fad, I really enjoy it., I just see it new way of eating. It's also spurred me to get fit, so every morning I do 30 mins of cadio or toning exercises. I use to go to the gym, but I would just get bored and find excuses why I couldn't go that day, but now I definitely prefer exercising at home, there are loads of great exercise videos on YouTube,  I even bought myself a set of dumbbells to use, I don't see exercise as a chore any more, I love doing it.

There you have it, my new way of eating healthy. In the forthcoming months, I'll share with you how I'm getting on and maybe a couple of recipes, I'll surprise you.

Bye for now.

M.  x