Take time out for yourself


We are fast approaching the busiest time of the year, for my business…..Christmas! As a designer-maker, it not only involves the designing but also the sourcing of products, the final creation and then promoting and selling through social media, outlets and craft fairs.

For this reason, it is important to put aside some time for yourself, allowing you to slow down, reflect and in my case, this time, actually play with new products under no pressure. I already make cards, predominantly for personal use, so on Sunday I tried out painting cards using a craft airbrush and alcohol pens.

It was a pleasant morning, so rather than being stuck in the house, I worked outside (just had to contend with a strong breeze which was a little tricky).

Enjoying the sunshine, concentrating on the flow of the ink onto the page (and not me!!!) and creating something new was great fun. The fresh air and project took my mind off all the other daily concerns and I felt refreshed as a result.

You can’t beat the feeling of satisfaction when you complete a task, whether it be cleaning the car, gardening or doing your accounts. Not every project / task needs to be creative but taking time out for yourself and doing something you enjoy is beneficial for both body and mind.

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Comments Off on Take time out for yourself / 7th October 2019 /

October Birthstones are Opal and Tourmaline.


If you are born in October you are fortunate to have both opal and tourmaline as your birthstone. Each gem comes in a rainbow of shades and colour.

In myth and legend:

Opal encourages positive emotion, improves memory, instills loyalty and faithfulness with respect to love, personal and business relationships and brings spontaneity to the wearer.

Tourmaline helps balance the energies in the body; attract inspiration; promote understanding and encourage self-confidence.

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2019 Fanklemade Events


Why don’t you visit one of the following events and check out my handmade creations.

8th December 12 noon to 3 pm: St Albans Girls’ School Winter Fair, Sandridgebury Lane, St Albans, AL3 6DB

30th November 5 pm to 11 pm: Etsy Made Local 2019 Christmas Fair, Lannock Farm, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 7EE.

27th October: Winter Craft & Gift Fair, The Vineyard Barn, Welwyn Garden City, Herts., AL8 7PU

15th October – 9th November: Create Open – Artists in Action, The Workhouse, 5 Ashton Square, Dunstable, LU6 3SN


13th October 11:00 am to 3:00 pm: The DIY Wedding Fair, Venue 360, 20 Gipsy Lane, Luton, LU1 3JH


8th June 10:00 am to 4:00 pm: Huddle Market, Methodist Church Hall, High Street, Harpenden AL5 2RU.

6th April 10:00 am to 4:00 pm: Berkhamsted Pop Up Bazaar, The Town Hall, 196 High Street, Berkhamsted, HP4 3AP. https://www.facebook.com/berkhamstedmarket/

29th March 11:30 am to 3:30 pm: Spring Mother’s Day Craft Fair, WRFC Bar and Coffee House, Watford Rugby Club, Radlett Road, Watford, WD24 4LL https://www.facebook.com/events/368102820683490/

 23rd March 10:00 am to 4:00 pm: Health and Wellness Day, Great Hadham Golf and Country Club, Near Bishops Stortford, SG10 6JE. https://www.facebook.com/kneadamassagetherapyrooms/photos/a.507819342732048/1130171043830205/?type=3&theater

17th March 1.00 pm to 6:00 pm: Holistic and Craft Fayre, Pinner Green Social Club, Rickmansworth Road, Pinner, HA5 3TJ.

2nd and 3rd March: MK Handmade and Vintage Fair, Milton Keynes Shopping Centre – outside John Lewis. https://www.mkhandmadeandvintage.co.uk/

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Commissioning jewellery design or repairs


Commissioning jewellery design or repairs can be a leap of faith for the customer.   Allowing the designer free rein can be unnerving.  Familiarising yourself with the designer’s work and style helps with the selection process.  

This week I have repaired jewellery for two customers. The first one was a request to shorten a bracelet and the other a little more complicated. It was to create a new necklace from the broken remains.


1. clean the jewellery.
2. consider the customer’s style.
3. evaluate what gemstones and findings can be used in the new design.
4. design and make the piece.

The customer was delighted with the end result, which provided her with two different necklaces.



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November birthstones: Topaz and Citrine

Blog News

November babies are fortunate to have the choice of two birth stones: Topaz and Citrine

The colours of topaz range from clear (colourless), yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, to green and blue.   Blue topaz has often been treated to bring out the blue colour.

November birthstone: Topaz

This stone is pleochroic, which means that the gem can show different colours in different crystal directions.

Myth and Legend
Topaz brings the wearer joy, generosity, abundance and good health.  It is traditionally known as a stone of love and good fortune.  It promotes honesty, individuality and self-control.

Wedding anniversaries:

  • 4th
  • 23rd for imperial topaz
  • 50th for golden topaz

Citrine is part of the quartz family and ranges from transparent , yellow, yellowish brown to orange and has sometimes been mistaken for Topaz.

November birthstone: Citrine

Myth and Legend

Citrine is a warming, energising and highly creative crystal.  It promotes joy; protects against negative energy and helps concentration.  This gem is also known for abundance and believers will keep a citrine in the wealth corner of their home, in their purse/wallet and traders will keep some in their till.

Wedding anniversaries:

  • 11th as an alternative stone for this anniversary
  • 13th

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Craft Fairs 2018 Update

Blog News

Another fruitful craft fair is over.  Many thanks to all the lovely people that visited my stall and my fellow Etsy designer makers for their inspiration and support.  I look forward to meeting you all again on the 1st December at the next Etsy artisan market at the Intu Shopping Centre, Milton Keynes.  Same time, same place!

Sterling silver charm and citrine bracelet

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Fanklemade’s 2018 Events

Blog News

The first of Fanklemade’s 2018 events was at the #Huddlemarket Arts and Craft Fair yesterday.  We had good attendance and plenty of new customers.  Thank you to all my new friends and customers, it was a fun day.

Fanklemade at the Huddlemarket, Harpenden 15th September 2018


Next shows are:

15th September: Huddlemarket, Methodist Church Hall, High Street, Harpenden,  AL5 2RU

29th September : Etsy Local Market at Intu Shopping Centre, 67 Midsummer Place, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3GB

19th/20th October: Crafting Live, East of England Arena, Peterborough, PE2 6XE.  Fanklemade will be in the Artisan Tent.

3rd November: Huddlemarket, Methodist Church Hall, High Street, Harpenden,  AL5 2RU

1st December: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm Etsy Local Christmas Market at Intu Shopping Centre, 67 Midsummer Place, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3GB

9th December: 2 pm to 4 pm NPRA Christmas Fair, Napsbury Park Sports Pavilion, Pegrum Drive, Napsbury Park, London Colney, Herts

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Pantone Colour 2018 Ultra Violet


I love the ultra violet Pantone colour 2018. Its vibrancy can enhance many outfits. Did you know colours can influence your state of mind?  You probably don’t realise that you may be choosing your outfit colour, according to your mood.

Violet is a blue-based purple and has links with creativity, individuality, inspiration, royalty, luxury, wisdom, dignity, devotion, spirituality – who wouldn’t want that?

Complementary colours to violet are pale yellow, golden brown, turquoise, mint green, light orange.

The practices of mindfulness and meditation may help us to find balance and calmness in our stressful lives. Violet is the colour of spirituality and is linked to the crown chakra.

For those of you who want to bring this colour into your home or jewellery, you can find violet in:

Tanzanite, Amethyst, Iolite, Lavender Jade, Sugilite, Lepidolite, Charoite, Spinel.

Violets, Agapanthus, Aster, Freesia, Iris, Pansy, Phlox, Verbena, Lavender.

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Comments (0) / 26th February 2018 /

Gift Wrapping a Box


It’s that time of year again!  Here are some instructions on how to wrap a parcel.

Ensure the box contents are secure before wrapping.

Make sure you have sufficient wrapping material to cover article.  It doesn’t always have to be paper; try fabric for example.

Wrap a measuring tape / piece of string / ribbon around the box and measure the length to gauge how much paper you need to cover it.


Add a further inch / 2.5 cnm to both long edges.

Also measure the length of the box plus the depth of the two ends then cut the paper slightly less e.g. an inch / 2.5 cm per end – this really depends on the size of the box.

Cut the paper to the appropriate size.

Centre the box on the paper.  Wrap the two long edges of paper around the box; secure one edge to the underside of the box with a small strip of tape.  Draw the free edge over the secured edge; slightly fold under its raw edge and secure with tape.

Rest the palm of your hand on the box and curl your fingers over the short edge, pushing down one end of the paper against the box.  This will form two sloping sides. With your other hand, pinch a crease on both sides and then fold them towards the centre of the box, at the same time creasing the folded paper.  Remember to keep the paper taut over the box, perhaps run your fingers along the edges of the box to reinforce the shape.

Apply a small strip of tape on both of the folded sides.  Form another crease along the box edges.

At this point you should have a triangular shape tab.  Pinch the folded edges to form a crease.  Then fold over the rough edge of the final tab and fold the tab up to the box end and secure with tape.  Repeat at other end.

Apply more adhesive tape wherever needed.  Double-sided adhesive tape gives a cleaner finish.  Sharpen edges and folds wherever possible.

Turn the box right-side up and decorate with bows / tags / embellishments etc

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Comments (0) / 14th December 2017 /