January 2018
Amazing Beads Customers
Customer Jewellery Makes
Beading Tips
Display Tips
Jewellery Tips
Branding Your Shop
Business Tips - General
Craft Shows
Jewellery Parties
Promoting Your Business
Gemstone Charts
General Info
Runway Jewellery
1. March 2017
2. January 2017
3. October 2016
4. September 2016
5.January 2016
6. April 2015


Neck Scarf Chic

Are Rose-Coloured Glasses the Best Way to View the World?

Are Rose-Coloured Glasses the Best Way to View the World?
by Ani Berberian March 02, 2017

Sunglasses come in a wide range of lens colours, for both practical and aesthetic reasons. From Johnny Depp’s psychedelic yellow hued specs in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to most every shade of shades Elton John has ever worn, tinted sunglasses are both favourite Hollywood accessories and practical accoutrements, particularly when it comes to outdoor sports.

Here’s the low down on how each colour helps your vision, as well as which activities each hue is best suited for.

Blue and Purple Tinted Lenses

Golfers often sport cobalt-coloured specs due to the glare reduction and enhanced colour perception, but the tint is also beneficial for skiers and outdoor enthusiasts in general.

* * * * *
Pink and Red Tinted Lenses

Rosier hues help reduce eye strain and improve both depth perception and road visibility, which is ideal for sports where speed is involved, such as biking or racing. Since red also enhances details and helps with contrast adjustment, the colour is a good choice for when you need to be sure of your footing, such as running, hiking, or rock climbing.

* * * * *
Green Tinted Lenses

Emerald hues transmit the spectrum evenly, diminish glare, and brighten shadows, making them an optimal choice in low-light conditions.

* * * * *
Grey Tinted Lenses

Contrary to what you might guess, grey helps provide better colour perception, as well as reduce fatigue and glare.

* * * * *
Brown and Amber Tinted Lenses

Brown tones are quite popular because of their all-around benefits. Improved contrast, especially on green backgrounds, makes the colour a good choice for sports played on grass, such as golf and baseball. Most brown-tinted lenses also contain elements of red, which means that depth perception is improved.

* * * * *
Yellow Tinted Lenses

Although they can cause colour distortion, lenses with a yellow tint filter out blue light, helping you to see better in fog and hazy conditions and even when using the computer.

4 February - A Brief History of Sunglasses

The right pair of shades can make or break an outfit. But just who do we have to thank for this sartorial — yet practical — invention?

Primitive sunglasses were worn by the Inuit all the way back in prehistoric times, but these were merely walrus ivory with slits in them — good for helping with snow blindness but not particularly fashionable (unless you were a prehistoric Inuit).

Legend has it that the emperor Nero watched gladiator fights wearing emerald lenses, but many historians cite this claim as iffy.

The Chinese made a slight improvement over the Inuit model in the 12th century, when they used smoky quartz for lenses, but the specs were used for concealing judges’ facial expressions rather than style or sunlight purposes. In the mid-1700s, a London optician began experimenting with green lenses to help with certain vision problems — and, indeed, green is the best color for protecting your peepers from the sun’s rays. Emerald-tinted specs remained quite the rage for some time, as evidenced by several mentions in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that modern sunglasses as we know them were invented. In 1929, Sam Foster began selling the first mass-produced shades, which soon became a hot fashion item on the Atlantic City boardwalk. A few years later, Bausch & Lomb got in on the act when the company began making sunglasses for American military aviators, a design that has changed little since General Douglas MacArthur sparked a new trend when he wore a pair to the movies.

General Douglas MacArthur

In the decades since, sunglasses have enjoyed various degrees of popularity and more than a few design upgrades. Perhaps the most important technological improvement has been polarized lens, introduced in the 1930s, which help to further reduce glare and also reduce the risk of eye damage due to UV light.

And there you have it — a little conversation fodder for your next dinner party.

* * * * *

Written by by Ani berberian February 03, 2017 for the Sunglass Museum

How Do I Look?

How Do I Look? by Jules Erbit

A Painting I like

This is fab it's by Peter de Sève. I think it's so cute the little mouse has his own Railway tracks and briefcase.

9 June 2016 - Scarves

You seem really cool wearing a silk scarf around your neck, but apart from the fact that you look like a stewardess in the 60s, this is a fixed accessory for the 60s.

A scarf can be cool, but instead of wearing on the neck, you can connect your bag handles (contrasting colour) or you can turn it into a silk bracelet.

The vintage scarves are especially attractive for using in these ways.

You could also wear them to ties your hair up like the land army girls.

Shop vintage scarves at Swanky Jewels...

​This Chart Helps You Choose the Best Sunglasses for Your Face Shape

Different sunglasses look better on different faces. Sure, you could try them all out until you find one that works, but if you need a little help, here's an infographic that'll help narrow it down for you.

It's simple: first, you determine your face shape by tracing it in a mirror and comparing it to the shapes on the infographic. Then refer to the second half, which lists your face shape and the sunglass styles that match. It even explains why those sunglasses are a good fit for you, which is good to remember if you're ever out without the guide on hand.

With that, you've narrowed it down from way too many options to just a handful, which makes this process a lot easier.

18 November - A Study of The Effect of Beautiful Items on The Brain

I read this item today, and related it to jewellery too., since jewellery is art....

Art has been scientifically proven to help you to live a longer and healthier life.

In a study where human guinea pigs were hooked up to a brain scanner and shown 30 different works by world-renowned artists, they found that when the viewer looked at a piece of art that they really enjoyed, blood flow increased to the brain by 10 percent (the same as looking at a loved one!) The increase in blood flow was directly related to how much the viewer enjoyed the piece.

When they were shown works that the viewer thought was ugly, often times either little or no blood flow increased to the brain.

Even though it may seem obvious that looking at something beautiful will make you feel good, the scientific study proved that it affects our brain even more than we previously thought.

Wearing a piece of jewellery, or other accessory that you love does more than just make you feel good every day (as if that benefit wasn’t enough!) If it can cause increased blood flow to your brain that helps you to think more clearly and have healthier cognitive function, then it can also improve your overall health.

So there you go..

Layered Look - Chanel - 5 Novenber

fashionfeude: “Detail at Chanel Spring Summer 2016 | PFW ”

3 June 2015 - The Meaning of the Word - RETRO


One thing I wanted to mention because it's something I've been coming across a lot since I've been sourcing vintage items.

I wish more people understood what the term Retro means. Maybe many of you do, but I must admit that prior to researching vintage items, I didn't fully understand it myself, so I'm going to try and explain it here, for those of you that don't know.

'Retro' is a term for new items which are made to look like vintage items. A lot of vintage sellers use the term retro, but the only times that this applies, is if they are selling a newly made item that is made to look as though it was made in the 1950's, for example. This item wouldn't be vintage. It would be retro 1950's.

The other time it applies is when sometimes you will find items that are vintage but still retro. For instance you can see a genuine vintage 1980's handbag that is made to look as though it was made in the 1950's. It is still vintage because it's over 20 years old, but it's also retro 1950s because it was made to look like it was made in the 1950's.

The term 'Retro' can therefore be very misleading to buyers who don't understand. Which is why I want you to know. Retro and vintage mean two very different things. They are not interchangeable.
Something 'Retro' is not necessarily vintage, even if it looks it. So please be sure of what you are buying when you are buying it.

Also please be aware that 'Vintage Style' is not vintage at all and never can be.

As reassurance for you, so that you know exactly what you are buying when you buy vintage from Swanky Jewels, I only ever describe items with the true year in which they were made, and everything I have for sale comes from reputable sources.

* * * * *

11 April 2015 - Fashionable and Beautiful 1950s Women Used to Stack their Jewellery Too

I thought that stacking of bracelets and necklaces was a new thing that fashionable women of today were doing, but I found lots of pictures of 1950's women using the style too.

In fact they stacked their jewellery, whether bracelets or necklaces, extremely lavishly, and the overall look was very glamorous.

Today we could take a lesson from the 1950's and stack not only our casual jewellery but our glam pieces too - or maybe mix them up.

10 February - Top 5 De-Aging Jewellery Style Tips

Top 5 De-Aging Jewellery Style Tips

One of the easiest ways to fight aging and appear more youthful, fun and vibrant is by focusing on the jewellery you wear. Jewellery and accessories play a major role in any fashion statement and choosing the right pieces can literally take years off any look. Here are some top de-aging jewellery tips:

1. Spice Things Up

A common fashion mistake is letting jewellery become more and more conservative as you age and relying too much on fine jewellery versus branching out into fashion/costume and handmade (one-of-a-kind) jewellery. Keep jewellery statements fresh by mixing together fine and fashion jewellery and a combination of different metals, finishes and materials, such as leather and pearls, shiny and matte or smooth and rough textured surfaces.

Incorporate unexpected, edgy, kitschy or trendy motifs into jewellery designs such as skulls, spikes, shark teeth, snakes, insects, tassels and more. Play up the scale of jewellery by designing with oversized pearls, chunky gemstones, large-link chain and attention-getting pendants for youthfully inspired statements. Have fun experimenting with non-traditional jewellery styles, such as toe rings or ear cuffs for a cutting-edge look.

2. Bibs Aren't Just for Babies

Keep necklaces short and sweet. Chunky bib-style necklaces brighten the face and draw attention upward towards the eyes, especially in mixes of pearls, crystals, beads and stones that reflect light. Bib necklaces can also disguise sun-damaged skin, can be easily dressed up and down, and offer the perfect complement to flattering V-neck and scoop necklines.

3. Stacked Up Style

Start stacking bracelets, rings and necklaces for a younger-looking appearance. Layering jewellery and mixing in different pieces exudes a fun and youthful spirit. For example, layer a pendant charm necklace with a long chain necklace, wear a few mismatched bracelet bangles, a multi-strand bracelet and necklace, or a couple of different rings together.

4. Colour Your World

Take years off your look by adding bright pops of colour to black, navy and beige outfits. Colourful jewellery is cheery, fun and when worn near the face can instantly enhance the complexion. Brightly coloured bracelets are a smart choice for three-quarter length sleeves. Shockingly bright-coloured earrings make a major impact and large-stone cocktail rings are extra memorable. Experiment with brilliant jewel tones and even neon-coloured jewellery for stunning results. Ombré colour patterning and colour-blocking techniques are a great way to master a colourful fashion statement.

5. A Stud Magnet

Attract attention and avoid showing droopy earlobes with statement stud earrings. Studs, along with slim hoops, are lightweight, easy to wear and can be beautifully showcased by smoothing hair behind the ears or wearing a ponytail. Incorporate colourful elements, shiny crystal beads, clusters of seed beads, sparkly gems, floral motifs and filigree or lace-like materials for stud earrings that are anything but small in terms of their fashion influence.

You can also wear studs with dangled elements attached.

via Fire Mountain Gems
by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively


The Return of the Parure

Parures are enjoying their time in the fashion spotlight as demand for co-ordinating jewelry sets continues to rise. Derived from an Old French verb meaning "to adorn," a parure, pronounced pah-rur, refers to an entire wardrobe or suite of jewelry, often designed to be worn all at once. Representing the ultimate in adornment, these jewelry ensembles could consist of a necklace, comb, tiara, bracelets, pins, rings, earrings, brooch or belt clasp.

Traditional parures were seen as status symbols and included enough jewellery to fill out an entire wardrobe. Mixing things up was encouraged, in fact some parures even featured necklaces that could be easily taken apart and rearranged into pendants, bracelets, hairpieces and more. This is very similar to the interchangeable/convertible jewellery concept we know and love today.

Full jewellery parures include three or more matching items made by the same designer, and a demi parure is a term used to describe a jewellery set consisting of two pieces, such as a necklace and co-ordinating earrings. Parures offer a wide range of style power as pieces within the set can be worn individually or in different combinations for a multitude of looks, complementing everything from casual to special occasion attire. The bottom line is that jewellery parures make it look like you have more jewellery than you actually do and keep you looking fresh.

Commonly connected by a similar stone, the jewellery pieces within a parure can share similar materials, colours, patterns or motifs. Jewellery lines can be presented in a way that allows customers to create their own parures, encouraging add-on sales and repeat purchases.

Parures are especially popular in wedding jewellery, as brides can wear the entire ensemble or select certain pieces for the ceremony and reception, setting many different style moods throughout the day and night. This can also be a great way to market awareness and holiday-themed jewellery, giving customers a wide variety of fashionable jewellery options with a consistent message.

Parures can be designed for both women and men, for example a men’s parure can include a wallet chain along with a matching necklace and bracelet. Designing in terms of a parure offers the perfect solution for leftover beads as well; simply use them up by making a pair of earrings or a pin to go with an existing necklace and bracelet set.

via Firemountain Gems

New Line of Jewellery at Amazing Beads - Hat/Stick Pins

I've been busy making a new line of jewellery for the winter here at Amazing Beads.

With the colder months arriving upon us right now, we will all start wearing our hats again, and I have been making Hat Pins, or Stick Pins as some people call them.

They make a fantastic addition to any hat, and if you don't wear hats they make a great brooch to pin through a coat, jacket or scarf too.

They are also a good present to give to friends and family members because whatever happens, their beauty will be admired when they are being worn, or lying on the dressing table.

Small pieces of jewellery at affordable prices.


Gift Vouchers are a lovely way to give a present when you aren't sure what the person you are buying for might like.

Vouchers can be purchased for any price and can be used to buy anything on site, whether jewellery or beads etc.

The vouchers can be sent to you to give, or can be posted direct to the person of your choice, with the wording of your choice in them. (Great for those of you who tend to leave things a bit late - I can even send a voucher by email !)

They are posted in a quality card (unless it's email), with the amount available for the recipient to spend printed within.

I have made a category in 'Shop Items' where you can go and buy direct.

If you would like to spend an amount that is not listed here, then click on the 'Contact' button above, and let me know how much you would like the voucher to be for, and I will get back to you.

14 October - Some 2015 Runway Jewellery

images via:forlikeminded


2 October 2014 - A Giambattista Valli Couture Show At The Duke Mansion

via PInterest

2 October 2014

Jewellery on the catwalks for 2015 is colourful, Oriental, and big. Tassels and stacking remain in vogue for next year, along with one large earring or odd/asymmetrical earrings. See photo's.....

19 September - Autumn 2014 Runway - Focus on Necklaces with Tassels

Autumn (Fall) 2014 Runway - RTW Anna Sui - Focus on Necklaces with Tassels

11 September - A Necklace Idea From New York Fashion Week

I love these chunky necklaces, made from lengths of material (try a a scarf, or how about using Sari Silk, pulled through a connector or chunky bail with drops ?) with charms hanging. I'm off to make one....

* * * * *

RODARTE - Spring/Summer 2015 COLLECTION - New York Fashion Week
Photos via: yourmothershouldknow

Tassels Are In....

Yes indeed. Tassels are well in now. I've just made some fab tassel earrings with some of the 'Crushed Berries' handmade Indian silk tassels that are for sale here:

There are more on the way too.

Check out too the faux suede tassels. Great prices and great styling for your jewellery projects


7 September

Something's bugging me.....


I suppose we have to start to feel a bit autumnal now? We need to start thinking of different colour schemes for our jewellery designs. Rusts, browns, purples, red, black.

There's not a lot of point in making pastel jewellery, unless it's pearl of course. Pearls are an item that can be worn at any time of the year.

Having said that, I've had ideas running through my head that include clear crystal and a few pastel colours too. I'm thinking that if I add some darker colours, or maybe larger metal beads, that will take the pastel summery look away to a certain extent, and make them a bit more timeless.

I made this bracelet the other day, and I think that it's pretty timeless because of the chunkiness, and could be worn throughout the year. I can visualise it being worn with so many outfits and at any time of the year, so this is the look that I will be aiming for, for the next few months. Different colours, different beads, different styles even, but that timeless look.

30 August - Stacked

Ann Demeulemeester FW14

18 August 2014 - Brooches are Back in Vogue

Brooches are back in style in a big way for autumn, winter and spring. The trick is to wear a mass of them all at once though, not just one. This is what is appearing on the runways and I think it's rather nice.

I think this idea is a great one that could look well on bags too, if you don't want to wear them on your clothes.

Why not wear a theme of brooches? Perhaps a colour theme, or floral, bugs, gemstones, feathers. Whatever you feel like on any particular day. Or simply just mix them all up.

Vintage rhinestones of course, are the favourite.

So have a root through your jewellery boxes and sort out your brooches, your mums brooches and your grannies brooches and group them up, and use them.

It seems that jewellery is being worn collectively right now, and for the forthcoming seasons. Stacked bracelets, necklaces of different lengths all worn together, and now brooches en masse. I really like this look, and you can take the essence of the style and use it to a greater or lesser degree according to your own taste, and still be bang on trend.

* * * * *

I have all of my brooches pinned onto a pretty padded blue heart notice board made for me by Amanda Wright, artist. So when I'm not wearing them they are acting as a pretty , shabby chic piece of art on my wall.

You could do something similar with a picture frame.

* * * * *

Photo via Lulu Frost