Prepare For the Boom, Design Inspiration & July’s Gemstone

21st June 2020

Stay safe! Our Cornwall show has been posponed, but Newcastle Gem n Bead Fair is confirmed on – for all bookings click 2020 Bead Fairs.

The new MrBead shop is live and doing well.  The old stores will continue to operate alongside. However, many discount vouchers are ONLY for the new shop.

We’ve already listed around 100 new semi precious beads in the new shop – see at New Beads. And as no shows: there’ll be many more coming soon!

Prepare For The Boom!
Covid-15 Secure Measure For Bead Fairs
Inspiration To Design Jewellery
How To Design Jewellery
Ruby – July’s Birthstone
Onyx – July’s Alternate Stone
Summer Bead Fairs
New MrBead Shop
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£5 (about US$6)  Off Anything From MrBead 

Try the new shop with £5 off orders over £20. Shipping is free too on orders over £30 – under this UK P&P is just £2.50. Can only be used at the NEW shop, & only once!

To get the discount Key ONYX at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 26th June 2020. Use at https://mrbeadshop.com.

Prepare For The Boom!

The virus has almost gone. People have had enough of 3-months lockdown. Everyone wants to get out. To the beach, to the mountains, to the shops – anywhere!

Don’t you feel it? Are you itching? Itching to spend.

At least half of all workers are furloughed, and they feel better off. The average household has been able to save around £700 a month because of no travelling, holidays, shopping, and eating out.

Consumers’ will be keen to buy jewellery. They’re longing to reward themselves for the covid sacrifice. And once they’re free to go out with others, they’ll be keen to show off new jewellery and clothes.

Don’t believe the media. Remember Brexit. Doom sells papers and advertising. If you were in prison or stuck on a desert island for 3-months: what would you do on release?

So now is the time to stock up on new designs ready for the crowds, once social distancing is done and craft fairs open. While you still have time.

Covid-15 Secure Measure For Bead Fairs

Our Cornish show in July has been posponed. However, good news on Newcastle Gem n Bead Fair – this has been confirmed on! So will be our first show since lockdown – on the weekend of 18th-19th July.

For your protection all our shows will be compiling with the Government guidelines for safety:

  • Limited numbers in the hall at any one time
  • 2m (or maybe 1m soon) apart from anyone else
  • Wider isles between displays
  • Marked one-way system
  • All windows and doors open
  • Contactless payment where possible
  • No refreshments
  • Hand sanitisers
  • Sneeze guards at many checkouts
  • Free mask and gloves for our own fairs
  • Limit how many at a time in toilets

Don’t let propaganda or these measures put you off visiting! Most of the halls are roomy, especially racecourses, and these fairs are usually quiet quiet. Additionally, the venues are at out-of-the-way locations where few people live.

Inspiration to Design Jewellery

Where to find Inspiration
You want to design a new jewellery piece, but how do you get the creativity flowing to come up with a wave of ideas? Creativity stems from within.

Your brain stores everything you have seen and experienced – ideas spring from these memories. You already have millions of designs imbedded in your mind. The problem is getting them out! Never underestimate your own creativity.

Think new to create new
Rearrange your mind in every way you can – if you always think along the same lines, you’ll end up with the same ideas. Live life more

If you get stuck – paint with a different brush!

Think new to create new
Rearrange your mind in every way you can – if you always think along the same lines, you’ll end up with the same ideas. Build your creativity by collecting ideas all the time. Look at many different designs, online and offline. Talk with customers and other designers.

PortoThe smallest thing can spark a new idea. Inspiration comes from many sources apart from jewellery – especially the latest fashions in various forms. Try different experiences and travel more. The more diverse or the further travelled the better.

Analyze why some pieces of jewellery draw your attention, while others look dull. Is it because one element is emphasized over another? Is it a play of colour or shape? Does the design resemble something fashionable?

Coloured BeadsFrom a basic frame, experiment arranging beads in different ways, using shape, colour and stone to produce striking design. As long as the overall effect has harmony, it will look attractive.

Sometimes you’re bursting with ideas and making jewellery faster than t-shirts leave shop windows at the start of cold weather – but other times you get designers block and can’t think further than your last necklace. What you need is lots of inspiration and a little motivation.

Motivation may be a craft fair, jewellery on famous people, or even a big bill you need to raise funds to pay. Artistic inspiration may not be so obvious. You need to get your head outside the box. Walk with a notebook recording your observations. Take a digital camera. What are people wearing?

Try these ideas:

  • Study what’s in the window of your local boutiques – the colours, patterns, what draws your attention? Look for new trends or what others make of designs similar to your own. Record everything, don’t trust to memory.
  • Look into the past to see the future. Go to the library and checkout books on the history of jewellery and fashion. Visit museums and old houses, gardens, flea markets and art galleries.
  • Examine detail of nature – patterns and colours of flower petals, leafs, animals, rocks and things on the beach. Take macro photographs. Look up to the stars and down into a microscope.
  • Talk to others about design and styles. Join as many local craft groups as you can and bounce off ideas together. Don’t hide anything – be open and helpful and you will find others will reciprocate.
  • Travel more. Often, the further you go, the more opportunity. Especially in other countries. Explore different cultures – their colours, designs, clothing and architecture. Out-of-the-way places not so far from home can also be inspiring. Areas not polluted by commercialism.
    On your return, take a large sheet of paper and write numbered headings of your observations from the notes and photos. Elaborate and expand each main point.If the veins running on a leaf look interesting, draw a sketch to remind you of a choker design.Perhaps the colours and pattern on a totem pole draw your attention – this could be a new necklace. Or the side-section of a garden rock reminds you to make an agate bracelet.

These are just a few of the many ideas you can conjure with a brain storming session. The point is to investigate as much diversity as you can imagine, record it as detailed as you can, and then analyze everything when you get back home. Then when you go to sell your new jewellery, use the source of inspiration to help sell your design!

How to Design Jewellery

Sarah Ashmor JewelleryMost of you are expert jewellery designers, but going back to basics can inspire your imagination. You’ll get a lot of pleasure out of using fashion sense and creativity to make beaded jewellery – but if it’s new to you, how to start, and then how do you improve your skill?

How to Start
Some beginners find a bead loom is the easiest way to begin. Sketch your design on graph paper and select the beads you want to use for the project. Match the colour of beads to the colour you draw on paper. If you don’t want to buy a lot of beads and tools that will be left over, purchase a bead making kit for just one project.

Many start using patterns online or from magazines. Then after gaining experience making a few items, they experiment with ideas of their own.

Leaf through fashion magazines and learn current trends. Make notes when you see anything appealing, like a model wearing earrings that go well with her sweater. Then work with your pieces to create a variation on the look.

colourful beads for 2020Choice the colour of your necklace first, and then match earrings or other jewellery around this. Blend colours that are similar, contrasting colour seldom works. Aim for harmony and it will please the eye. However, learn how to use a colour wheel to create effects with stunning combinations too.

Size of Beads
To help decide on the size of beads to use, liken designing to a flower arrangement – start with the larger flowers first, then fill in with smaller ones. Bearing in mind the design must be functional and practical to wear.

Balancing jewellery is more an art than a science – however, certain guidelines generally apply:

  • Avoid symmetry & even numbers together.
  • It’s OK and good to use different types of beads in one design – like crystals, pearls and gemstones combined in one piece.
  • Your design should feel good to the eye.
  • All the elements in the design should be in harmony and complement each other.
  • All the elements in the design should be in harmony and complement each other. Think of this harmony as yin & yang, large & small, light & dark etc.
    If you use a focal bead, it must stand out drawing attention.


Spacer Beads

Use findings like spacers, bead caps, and jump rings creatively. These can add style and professionalism to your design. If your jewellery is to a theme, match the spacer beads and findings.

Start with a Frame
The basic elements of design outlined above are your building blocks. Use them as your starting point from which to alter the design into something from your heart. They’ll ensure your produce powerful jewellery.

How do I know I have a Good Design?
The successful jewellery design fits into the overall market – yet is distinctive enough to influence browsers to purchase

A well designed piece moves with the body, feels good to wear, and looks pleasing and harmonious to the eye. A necklace should drape nicely and it must feel right. The design should be creative, yet within the boundaries of wear-ability, and it must appeal to the customer or it won’t sell.

 Ruby – July’s Birthstone Ruby

Like a perfect red rose, the Ruby’s rich colour speaks of love and passion. July’s birthstone is among the most highly prized of gems throughout history.

Ruby was considered to have magical powers, and worn by royalty as a talisman against evil. It was thought to grow darker when danger was imminent, and to return to its original colour once safe. Ruby is the hardest mineral after diamond.

ruby beadsThe word Ruby comes from the Latin “ruber,” meaning red.  It comes in hues from an orangey red to a purplish red, but the best are a true red – and is called a sapphire in any colour other than red.

Rubies were thought to represent heat and power. Ancient tribes used the gem as bullets for blowguns, and it was said that a ruby would boil water instantly.

Ruby BeadsIt has been said that the ruby’s red glow comes from an eternal flame, making a gift of this stone symbolic of everlasting love.  Powdered ruby was used as a cure for indigestion, and if worn on the left hand, ancient lore has it that the ruby will bring good fortune.

Ruby is expensive, so it’s not so popular with our customers – however we do stock some beautiful 3mm faceted ruby beads, see here.

Onyx – July’s Alternate Stone

The Romans, Italians and Hebrew all have a different gemstone for July – Onyx.

Onyx BeadsOnyx is a term used for several stones. It has been dyed since ancient time, with the popular pure black variety, being dyed microcrystalline quartz. Its natural colour is brown, white or grey.

Onyx used in architecture isn’t a form of quartz at all, but a type of limestone marble. Onyx is very similar to agate. With straight bands of brown, white or black, where agate has curved bands of many colours.

Onyx BeadsAlthough regarded as protective, onyx has a reputation as a stone of discord. Onyx was worn to cool the ardors of love, probably because it helps to balance the mind and emotions. Not only avoided by lovers, but also at night, as it provoked nightmares.

Onyx BeadsHowever, it does improve concentration and devotion, hence many onyx rosaries.

Onyx is a strength-giving stone, aiding confidence and useful for athletes or people under stress. Its energy is a mental tonic and can help you cope with fears and worries, making you feel in harmony with your surroundings.

For Our Onyx and Obsidian Beads Click Here.

Summer Bead Fairs

There is little point making a list just yet, but officially indoor shows should be allowed from 4th July.

Despite this, our Cornish Bead Fair at Probus has been posponed as the hall will not be open yet. MiMi and I will just have to take Rosey along the rivers to Reedham instead!

However, Newcastle Gem n Bead has been confirmed, so is on as planned the weekend of 18th-19th July.

Click to see booking for the rest of 2020 at: Bead Fairs

New MrBead Shop

I hope you like the new shop: https://mrbeadshop.com. We started work on it in January, and it’s take hundreds of hours – thanks to the lockdown it’s ready months early!

Simplified Shipping
Everyone hates paying shipping! So for transparency, the new shop has a flat rate of £2.50 for UK orders under £30, then FREE. No need for any code. International shipping starts from £4.99 with a maximum of just £14 – full details here.

New Order Facilities

  • Enhanced Search at top left – key description or item number.
  • All Categories Page – Menu of all items.
  • On Category Page: View as Grid default, or change to view as List. Plus sort by name order, price, or date listed.
  • Choose by ShapeColourSize, or other ways.
  • Add to Wish List (click little heart icon) – you must make an account first, then login.
  • Easily ask Question about a product on Product Page.
  • Add to Compare – you can compare any number of items side-by-side.
  • No computer or email? No problem! You can order with a smartphone and checkout with your mobile phone number. The shop will send you a SMS tex on order and when mailed.

Key Controls

  • Customer Login  Click box at top right.
  • Home Button at top left of every page – takes back to Front Page.
  • Shopping Cart / Basket  at top right – Mouseover shows content & total price.

Use With Smartphone

  • Browse and add beads to your wishlist while relaxing or travelling.
  • Order beads easily on the go. It’s very fast with a smartphone, especially if you have an account and login.
  • Browse on the phone: order on the PC later.
  • Full details at How To Order Beads By Smartphone.

If you’ve seen the new shop, I’d really appreciate you taking my fast 10 simple question survey at: New MrBead Shop Survey.

15-Years of MrBead Newsletters
2005 to 2020

The MrBead Newsletter started April 2005, so April 2020 is the 15th full year of publication. To see the past newsletters click here. I hope some of these will inspire you to make more jewellery.

To see all the original old newsletters click here.
To sign-up for the free newsletters click http://www.mrbead.com/beadnewsletter.htm.

£5 (about US$6)  Off Anything From MrBead 

Try the new shop with £5 off orders over £20. Plus shipping is free too on orders over £30 – under this UK P&P is just £2.50. Can only be used at the NEW shop, and only once!

To get the discount Key ONYX at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 26th June 2020. Use at https://mrbeadshop.com.


Always Free Post on UK Orders Over £30!

For free UK shipping from our bead store enter FREEPOST at the checkout at http://www.MrBead.co.uk.

Or in our new shop, it will automatically give free post over £30 on UK orders.

MrBead Newsletter:

15 Years of Newsletters 2005 to 2020. See all at Old MrBead Newsletters.

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