Sunday, 10 October 2010

Motor Neurone Disease Auction.

In September I heard about a facebook auction site which was raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. It was a great idea and a wonderful way to raise funds in aid of the organisers mother, Marion May. If you joined the facebook group or bid on any of the auctions thank you very much.

The auctions all ended tonight, and the amazing sum of £1000.13 was raised in just a matter of weeks. Overall there were over 100 items donated, along with a charm necklace from SparkleSmith which sold for £19. The auction page can be seen here. A very big well done to Caryl Purdy who organised the auction, for her great idea and all her hard work.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Open 24 Hours, Excluding Mon-Sun.

The "24 hour" Asda at Junction One, Antrim. We arrived at noon on a Sunday. Need I say more?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Old Bracelet Reinvented.

I got a gorgeous deep blue dress to wear for next weeks wedding and wanted some sparkling jewels to go with it. As I have so much jewellery already, instead of starting from scratch I decided to adapt the Halo bracelet I had worn for my own wedding last year. Original bracelet above, new electric blue bracelet below. Comments welcome.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Laughter & Horror Gauranteed.

Couldn't resist snapping this one as we walked up Cockburn Street last week.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Purses & Pouches Giveaway.

A new SparkleSmith competition has started and you can enter for free over at our Facebook page.

Its very easy to enter, simply find the Purses & Pouches album on our page and comment on your favourite picture. More will be added as the weeks go and feel free to comment on more than one picture.

The closing date is Sunday 26th September 2010, and the winner will be chosen at random from all the comments. The winner can choose any 2 available purses from the SparkleSmith website or Facebook.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

New Site. Again.

Ok, I know it hasn't been long since I last revamped the SparkleSmith site, but once again I got bored with it and before I knew it half the pages were upside down, inside out and back to front so I had to start again.

As well as jewellery the site now includes a selection of the purses and pouches I've been working on. More textile funk to follow soon. I've had a few requests in the past for an easier to navigate layout, so have now incorporated shopping by price and shopping by item functions which should make it more user friendly. The pages are also whiter and cleaner, and the images are more crisp.

Its taken a good few days work to get the site ready this time. This one will be sticking around for a while.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Relocating Where?

I've just entered a giveaway and looking back on what I wrote after publishing it I can see it is full of mistakes. My excuse is I didn't get to bed till 4am, have just woken from a 2 hour evening snooze and my brain is totally scrambled.

I wonder what excuse the maker of this horrendous gaff on Shandwick Place gave?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Green Afro Man of Glasgow.

A totally random and short posting today of a man I saw many years ago with huge green afro hair. He was bending down on Giant Western Road in Glasgow, and was at the perfect angle to get his new stunning bushy hairstyle. Oh, how we laughed. Click the pic to enlarge.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Rain and Rod.

Rod Stewart was playing at Edinburgh Castle last night. We didn't have tickets but decided to go for a meal then have a wee dance along the Royal Mile to his music. We had a speedy meal at The Outsider on George IV Bridge, spent 20mins waiting to be served at Bar Kohl, then ducked into The National Library to avoid the monsoon, and spent about 20mins reading up on the history of golf. Turns out if you visit the library at 1950hrs on a Wednesday you have the whole place to yourself.

The rain got heavier as we got closer to the castle. Below is the queue of sodden Rod fans as they waited to get to in. As we walked down the Royal Mile we were offered 2 tickets (5th row from front) for just £50. They cost around £60 each at face value but fortunately we don't love Rod enough to sit in the wind and sheet rain for 3 hours. Plus the fact we were already soaked to the skin. We decided to head home.

Waiting for the bus on North Bridge the rain was so heavy we couldn't even see the other side. The picture below is of the Balmoral Hotel on the left, and the Old Post Office building on the right. Fingers crossed it's all gone for my outside fair this weekend, unlikely.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

July Jesters

I'm currently taking part in July Jesters on Folksy. This is a concerted effort by shop holders taking part to list a new item every day for a month. I'm not sure if I'll make it through to the end but I've made it to day 9 so far.

The Folksy shop for SparkleSmith can be found at

The picture above contains just a few of the many amazing handmade items available on Folksy. I especially love the bun with icing and the crazy purple fluffy teapot cover.

Top row, left to right. Pipistrelle, Mrs Toad Designs, Fresh n Funky Cards, Designs by Maxi

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Horseboy visits Amsterdam.

Last September we went on our mini honeymoon and were lucky enough to stay in the beautiful Hotel Toren in Amsterdam. Sitting outside the hotel on Keizersgracht one morning, I saw an odd site coming across the bridge towards me. I quickly dug my camera out and managed to get a couple of snaps of the strange horseman. Click the pictures to enlarge.

Fast forward a few months and Horseboy is all over the news thanks to Google Streetview. He was spotted on it in Aberdeens Hardgate area, and then again on Hazlemere Road. Could this possibly be him on his holidays?

For a couple of other excellent Streetview images take a look here.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Folksy Friday. Dots, Spots & Louise the Chicken.

Recently I've developed a bit of a thing for polka dots and spots. I have a fabulous polka dot bag, my spotty shoes are once more on show and I rarely am seen without my dotty summer scarf. With this in mind my Folksy Friday for today is pink themed and based around some of my favourite spotty dotty makes.

Bottom row, left to right – Tagus Gifts, Hollie Lollie, Titchables

I particularly love the spotty mugs and Louise the chicken. Click on the picture to see bigger images.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Patchwork Purses, Dots and Spots.

Buying fabric is becoming a bit of a new addiction for me. Once my workroom was full of beads, and now its full of beads, fabric, random pieces of ribbon, crystals, silver and wood among other things. When we eventually get our new house I can't wait to have a bigger room with lots and lots of lovely storage. For now, small room = organised chaos.

Here's a few of the wee purses I've been turning my fabric hoard into recently. I went to town for mascara today and ended up coming home with masses of tartan, so lots more on the way soon.

Friday, 11 June 2010

I want a Tigerdog.

Looking through msn's week in pictures, I found this gem of a pic and had to share as it made me laugh so much. Thankfully it's just hair fur dye, not some new tigerdog creation. I msn'd the pic to a friend who immediately pinged me back a link to the panda dogs below. All the dogs live at the Dahe Pet Civilization Park in Zhengzhou, China. They were dyed as a publicity stunt. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Out of the Blue Arts Market. Edinburgh

This Saturday as part of the Leith Festival, SparkleSmith will be having a stall at the fabulous Out of the Blue Arts Market in Leith, Edinburgh. There will be over 50 makers and designers there selling their painting, jewellery, furniture, clothes, photography and much more. SparkleSmith will be selling our fab range of sparkles as well as a mix of purses, mini purses and bags.

The market is open 11am to 6pm and is just 80p entrance fee. The Drill Hall Café will also be open throughout the day for snacks, meals and coffee. Hope to see you there.

Friday, 28 May 2010

The Bank, Open to All?

Nothing says come and eat in my restaurant quite like a bleeding horse head does. This is such a bizarre advert, it definitely got us talking but definitely didn't make us want to eat there. I take pity on any bankers who unwittingly wander in for a swift half, particularly if they work for Lloyds TSB. Click on the picture to enlarge it and read all the text.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Folksy Friday. Bumbley Bumbles.

I finally joined Folksy last night. There are only 2 SparkleSmith items there just now but more to be added soon, once I work out a faster way of doing it. And I have now discovered Folksy Friday which promotes other fabulous makers and designers. Thanks to the 2 giant bumble bees which flew into my living room this morning, my first theme is the humble bumble. Enjoy.

Top row, left to right. Pookie Su, Spoilt Pig, Julia Smith Ceramics (I have a bee bowl)

Click the pic to enlarge.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Norman. Happier times in St Andrews.

This is one of my favourite pictures of Norman. Quite happy and full of chug as he drives along Granny Clarks Wynd and across the 1st and 18th fairways of the Old Course. We were lucky to get such a great shot with no golfers on the course and hardly any tourists in the background. Unfortunately due to the vandalism of mindless idiots we had to put Norman into early retirement. He’s been in my family longer than I have and hopefully he'll be making a comeback someday soon.

Below are some brilliant mini inspired items from etsy. I love them, especially the gorgeous lower 3 items all by Vitamini. Top row, left to right - Bag with Mini print by NKanner, Mini cufflinks by Blinkphoto, fabulous Mini drawing (which could be Norman) by Annechovie. Bottom row - Mini cards and lavender sachets by Mini lover Vitamini. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Ribbit Ribbit.

A few pics of just some of the many many frogs we dodged on the way round Arthurs Seat a couple of weeks ago. It was a pretty amazing sight. They were all over the place, literally hundreds of them. Ribbit ribbit.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Today is Earth Day.

Thanks to the ever changing Google Doodle I've just found out that today is Earth Day. To find out more and add your Act of Green go here - My small acts of green today will be unplugging the television, putting out the recycling, walking home and picking up plastic litter along the way. The text below is from Earth Day.

Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.

Earth Day 2010 can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. Earth Day Network is galvanizing millions who make personal commitments to sustainability. Earth Day 2010 is a pivotal opportunity for individuals, corporations and governments to join together and create a global green economy. Join the more than one billion people in 190 countries that are taking action for Earth Day

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Chloe, are you out there?

The Twisted Silver bracelet below has been chosen by Dawn, one of our recent winners as her prize. "Clementine" is a one-off Twisted Silver bracelet made with puffed banded agate, carnelian and creamy freshwater pearls. This bracelet has around 5ft of Sterling silver in it. The other winner is only known as Chloe, no email was left and no contact details on her out of date blog. So on the off chance anyone knows a Chloe who writes a Dr Who blog, please tell her to get in touch. Her prize awaits.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

And the Winners Are.....

Firstly a huge thankyou to everyone who entered, altogether there was just over 300 entries with a massive 247 email entries, thankyou. The favourites chosen by entrants were quite interesting, I certainly didn't think the no2 favourite would be anywhere near the top.

Top row, left to right. 20 votes, 18 votes, 13 votes
Second row, left to right. 13 votes, 13 votes, 12 votes
Third row, 11 votes, 11 votes, 10 votes
Fourth row, 10 votes, 10 votes, 10 votes.

The competition ended at midnight last night, the winners were chosen by the random number generator this morning.

Blog Winner - Chloe
Email Winner - Dawn Earls, Cornwall

Thanks again and don't forget to check back for the next competition starting soon.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Purses and Pouches.

Interfacing. Calico. Seam rippers. A wee while ago I hadn’t heard of any of these and wouldn’t have a clue what they were for. Now I’ve learnt the terms, mastered the seam rippers for sure and have an ever growing and already massive range of brightly patterned fabrics. Oh and I've also made a load of bags, purses and pouches.

Today was my first fair of 2010, and as well as my usual range of bracelets, rings and necklaces I took along a selection of zippered purses and mini purses. Have a look and please let me know what you think. Thankyou.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Wonders of Google.

Personally I love Google Street View, and to be honest I don't have a huge problem with Cradley Heath in the West Midlands either. Not so sure other people feel that way though.

Take a look at these brilliant street view snips. The first one you need to look up once fully loaded. The second, you might feel the need to zoom out. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Brand New Site on the Way.

For anyone that regularly checks the SparkleSmith website you will no doubt be aware that the layout has changed a good few times over the years. So no surprise, once again I've been busy with my html and a new design is on the way.

Here's a wee sneaky peak at what the homepage will look like. The colour scheme will change to match the focal point. Any comments gratefully received, thank you. Oh and we'll be up and running again very soon.

Monday, 15 March 2010

More Pretty Things.

A wee collection of items that make me smile, from some of the many talented people I follow on Twitter.

Top row, left to right. The Dog House, Taraduff, Dots & Spots

Bottom row, left to right. Ark Designs, SketchStitch, Hat Therapy

Friday, 12 March 2010

Please Ask for Furthur Details.

To kill time and avoid frizzy hair during one of Edinburgh’s recent downpours I popped into the Cath Kidston shop on George Street. Very special and overpriced it was too, with pretty floral patterns, expensive aprons and tea towels aplenty.

However, the item that caught my eye is above. A sign telling customers to “ask for furthur details”. Amazing that a company that made £34m in profit last year hasn’t spent £2 of that on a dictionary. Have a look at some of the great images here for more classic mistakes.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Fifty Marathons in 56 Days!!

Every year, along with millions of others I make a resolution to get in shape and take up jogging. This year that resolution hasn’t totally gone by the wayside, but I also haven’t quite managed the weekly run round Arthurs Seat I promised myself.

Someone who puts me to shame and has probably run further this year than I have in my entire life is Mark Cooper. Mark who lives in Edinburgh is currently in training for a massive marathon of marathons. Starting in May, Mark will be running a huge 50 marathons over just 56 days. His first marathon begins in Holland, and 8 weeks and an exhaustive 1300 miles later the last marathon ends in Barcelona.

Mark is running in memory of his mother Sheila who passed away in 1997. He is aiming to raise £25,000 for Edinburgh Headway. You can find more about Mark and his challenge here, follow his blog here, tweet at him here, and most important of all donate here. Photo courtesy of Fourtheye Photography.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Lovely People with Lovely Things.

A small selection of gorgeous and tasty items from just a few of the lovely chatty people I’ve met at fairs over the years. From top left clockwise,

Friday, 26 February 2010

Spell check is currently unavavailbale.

While waiting for some printing to be done in Mail Boxes Etc the other week, I spotted this excellent sign on the counter. How this could go so horribly wrong I'm not sure. Even when spelled phonetically, I'm pretty certain available doesn't come out as avavailbale, teehee.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Winner of the OWOH Giveaway

Its been a busy few weeks getting through the One World One Heart Giveaway blogs. There were 1105 bloggers from 40 different countries taking part this year, the biggest so far. No doubt next year will be bigger and better.

Big thanks to everyone who commented on this blog, we had 254 entries which is amazing and so much more than expected. The random number generator came up with number 54. Congratulations to Candy from Oregon, USA who runs the lovely Moments in Time blog. I'll contact you direct to get your details and your bracelet will be heading across the pond very soon. Well done.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Valintine's Weekend. Eeeekk!!

Spotted this weekend in Co, Antrim, Northern Ireland. Honestly, how could nobody notice the blazing error in this poster before it went in the window?

By no means am I perfect myself at spelling and grammar, but there are some things that really should be double, and sometimes triple checked. Have a look at this fab blog by the Grammar Vandal for more cringe worthy mistakes.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

One World One Heart Giveaway.

Three days ago the brilliant and now annual One World One Heart blogfest started. I am taking part this year along with, at this point over 760 other bloggers around the world.

To take part yourself all you need is an active blog and something that you can put up as a prize, preferably handmade. For more details and for a huge list of all participants and chances to enter go to the One World One Heart blog.

Up for grabs this year from me will be a bracelet from the SparkleSmith Twisted Silver collection. This bracelet is a totally unique one-off piece designed and made by me. It is Sterling silver and made with gorgeous Chrysophrase spheres and Swarovski crystals. Chrysophrase is pale green with strains of brown throughout, it gets nicknamed mint choc chip for obvious reasons.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment. Make sure to leave your email or blog so I can contact the winner. Entries can be received up till Sunday February 14th. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator and announced on Monday 15th. If the winner is also a follower of this blog an extra prize will be heading their way. Good luck.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Edinburgh Zoo

One of my favourite places to spend a rainy day is Edinburgh Zoo. And if anyone else loves the zoo as much as I do, you will love this link too. The zoo is opening a new jungle themed restaurant this Easter, and they are currently looking for a name for it.

The winner gets a family pass valid for a year, excellent, as many days of penguin watching as you can cope with. So get thinking and email your entries to the zoo. For full details and the boring bits etc follow the link.

Edinburgh Zoo Competition

Friday, 15 January 2010

Sparkles to be Won.

The first SparkleSmith competition of 2010 is open. And as always its easy as pie, extra easy pie this time.

Simply go to the SparkleSmith Sold page, have a look at the pretty bracelets then either email or comment on this blog to let us know your favourite (theres 72 sparkles and all bracelets have a grid reference number to save you typing descriptions).

A winner will be picked at random from both the email and comment entries.

Winners can choose any item off the site (except Halo bracelets). Closing date is 31st March. Winners will be emailed if possible and listed on this blog in April, so remember to follow us or check back to see if you've been lucky.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The Woolpack at The Sheep Heid Inn

My favourite pub is the Sheep Heid in Duddingston Village, and luckily enough it is also my local. Usually we go for bbq's, beer festivals, banter and board games, but last night I went along for the first meetup of the Woolpack. Slightly apprehensively, as despite being given knitting needles 4 years ago last night was their first trip out the packet. Not that that mattered as I had some great coaching from Lauren and Evelyn, who were also very patient with me as a complete beginner. Good night, go at your own pace and eat tunnocks teacakes. Everyone is welcome, knitters extrordinaires and novice knitters.

The Woolpack at the Sheep Heid Inn runs on the first Tuesday of every month. Half seven till approx half nine. See the links below for more info, see you there.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Goodbye Snow.

So the lady in the radio said today we are starting to come out of the big freeze. Hurrah, boo!! Hopefully that means the heating bill will start to drop, other news might be mentioned and wearing gloves in the house might come to an end. But on the boo side, the thought of no more snow till Christmas makes me sad. Its lovely to see the snowflakes falling under the streetlights, and it was quite funny watching the neighbours cat slipping on the ice. Here is one of my favourite images of the snowfall across the country.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Back with a Bump.

Happy New Year. Well after two weeks on honeymoon in the sunshine, we are def back in Scotland enjoying the cold. Currently in flat with gloves and blanket wrapped around me even though the heating is on. Gotta love it. Just thankful we haven't been stuck in massive traffic jams overnight, or lost our electricity, yet.

Two weeks on an all you can eat buffet saw me put on 7lbs whilst on hols, so 2010 on a mission to lose it and the other 7lbs I put on after Sep, oops. Already lost a couple of pounds from going back to work, turns out they don't have non stop ice cream and pina colada's in the office - shame. Temperatures are apparently diving to -20 here tonight. We're off to a Russian night out this Saturday so I think the temp seems very apt for that, here's hoping there will be White Russians aplenty and the health can restart again on Sunday morning.

Happy days everyone.