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Just thinking aloud, because I’ve been dreaming of a vegan craft and art supply store again ;D. I did my best to find out from the manufacturers of quite a few products whether their products were vegan, trying to give a clear deifnition of what exactly I was asking, but here is the sticking point for me: I’m not a chemist. I am woefully underinformed about what animal by-products are likely be used, or may be reasonablely expected to be used, during the production of materials like these. So I have to rely on the word of each companies’ spokesperson (who were very helpful by the way), who may or may not know the complete ingredient list.


Facebook questions:

Favourite wildflowers
Favourite bead shape

Blog posts

Bead curtain – doesn’t have to be door length. Bead suncatcher

How to display treasured beads.


Hey, you know how some people actually write in their blog when they’re on another person’s blog?

Yeah….I forget to do stuff like that.

Aster of Seedy Beader very kindly asked me to do an interview about my craft, and even more kindly published it on her blog :D You can go Aster’s blog to read it. She came up with some terrific questions which were so much fun to think about.

PS. Check out Aster’s astounding seed bead work while you’re there, or over here; she was resonsible for the beautiful turquoise necklace on the cover of the July 2011 Beads & Beyond.


Guess what I’ve been doing with walnuts?

It’s okay, it’s nothing weird. A lot of walnut shells end up in my garden, courtesy of various other animals, so yesterday I washed and scrubbed some of them, hoping to do something crafty with them. I managed to drill a hole in one of them using a tiny hand screwdriver, although it was a fiddly job, and now it’s currently being varnished.


Another summer tradition is ice-cream, whether it’s eaten plain in a cone or as an elaborate sundae so this week’s design idea draws inspiration from the yummy colours of these cool tasty treats.

How about a scoop of rich vanilla bean ice cream (soy) drizzled with thick ribbons of caramel sauce to start with?Indulge without the calories with BeadsByStephanie’s focal lentil. Wire the focal with some copper wire, then hang the provided acccent beads from the bottom from large to small to make a trail of ‘ice cream’ drips for a real statement pendant!

Midgetgembead’s delicious creamy beads continue the theme, so link a few of these hot caramel drenched delights with some more copper wire:

And of course, no ice-cream is complete without a sprinkling of nuts and hundreds & thousands, so link a few of these crunchy looking, cream beads from helbels in between your other beads:

And for a bit of pizazz, the cherry on top: sals25 has come up with some cute sweetie style beads, and the red ones would make a lovely pair of cherry inspired earrings, whilst the yellow and orange beads can be used as spacers in the necklace to represent Smarties or M&Ms, and pick up the colours in the beads above:

Enjoy this tasty treat, and thanks for looking!



Summer means a trip to the seaside for many people (which is followed by 2 hours hiding from the rain under brightly coloured shop awnings if you’re British), so this week’s idea is a bracelet and necklace set with a nautical theme.

Taking this absolutely adorable sailor girl focal from Sals25 as a starting point, we get a colour scheme of deep blue and white, classic nautical colours:

Use wrapped loops to hang her from the main necklace chain of wired-up beads, and add one of Pandanimal’s frosted glass beads at the bottom of a dangle, to resemble beautifully tumbled sea glass:

To match the deep blue transparent and crisp white glass in the sailor girl’s outfit, these beads by RedsBeads echo the colours, whilst the trails of organic silver and ivory around the beads are reminiscent of rocky shoals, and pebbled beaches where the little sailor girl wanders. Wire wrap a few of these beads with silver wire; using the tail of wrapped loops to make small spirals of wire, and gently pressing these flat against the beads will mimic curling waves:

Now for the bracelet, a simple strung creation would be fabulous for featuring JustDesireJewellery’s irridescent shell bead. This shimmering focal holds the colours of the sea inside, and seems to catch the light in subtle waves:

And to make up the rest of the bracelet, try threading these oyster shell shaped white buttons by LushLampwork onto your stringing material:

And intersperse them with FiBead’s lushious deep blue spacer beads. Meanwhile, the rest of the frosted and silver dotted beads would look lovely used to lengthen the necklace:

Thanks for reading!



Here’s a departure from the usual Design Idea of the Week; an idea for the home instead. The FHFTeam members are a diverse bunch, and don’t only make pieces to adorn people. So here are a few ideas designed to add some fizz and fun to your dining table.

I think a lot of people would agree that no matter how good the company, a fabulous dinner party usually requires a little touch of alcohol (or at least a classy fizzy drink in a proper bottle!) so why not keep the drinks fresh with this stunning glass bottle stopper by Steampunkglass. With delicate three-dimensional glass flowers embedded within crystal clear glass, it may even become an object of conversation (well, it’s got to be more interesting that politics):

Need a centrepiece? In keeping with the theme of clear simplicity, how about this beautiful frosty bowl by DawnTurnerDesigns? It can be left as it is, or double up on functionality and rest special serving utensils and napkins on it at the beginning of the meal (just don’t try to serve your soups in it, okay?)

Speaking of decoration, a few of FlyingCheeseToastie’s clear glass leverets dotted strategically around the table, peering out from behind bowls and bottles, would add a lovely touch, and help to reflect the light:

Steampunkglass has another good idea for the dinner table; for those Asian-themed meals, a set of chopstick rests shaped like twisted leaves and made from clear boro glass infused with wisps of darker colours (and if you’ve already exhausted talking about the bottle stopper and politics, I’m sure these will perk up the conversation!)

And finally, one you’ve finished the meal and the wine/drink bottles are empty, Flyingbead has created a gorgeous dragon sculpture specially designed to turn old bottles into fantastical oil lamps, complete with fire-breathing…and placing a few around the room would produce a wonderfully cosy atmosphere for the next dinner party!

Thanks for reading!





Cool and refreshing


Raspberry Ripple

  • Beets
  • Saffron
  • Turmeric
  • Raspberries
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries 
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Turmeric
  • Avocados
  • Carrots
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella
  • A seive
    • 1
      Add 1 tsp of stale turmeric for yellow. Turmeric is often used to give vegan puddings and tofu scrambles that “eggy” shade. This is a good use for turmeric that’s past its prime, since stale turmeric is fairly flavor neutral.
    • 2
      Mash the juice from 14 fresh or thawed frozen raspberries directly into the icing using a sieve to create blush or pale pink
    • 3
      Mash half a small avocado until creamy paste to get pastel green. Mix this into your icing. The avocado makes your icing thinner, but in a fluffy, pleasant way.
    • 4
      Mash the juice from 14 fresh or thawed frozen blueberries and 12 fresh or thawed frozen blackberries directly into the icing for raspberry purple, using a sieve.
    • 5
      Experiment and color your world! Other natural sources of color include carrots, beet juice and chlorella.
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