Conjuring Inspiration, Easter Beads, & Diamonds, April's Stone                          

Scroll down, or click a link below on the html version.  UK customers can see us at our British bead fairs during April & May, starting Sunday 29th April at Beads Up North, at Haydock Race Course - for details click here.


To go to the bead store click or   Follow Nigel on Twitter: nigel@nigelmckay & nigel@UKMrBead

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Conjuring Inspiration to Design Jewelry

Easter Beads

Diamonds - April's Gemstone
Man-made Diamonds
Cubic Zirconia
See Us in the UK for a Free Gift!
Easter Offer


Conjuring Inspiration to Design Jewelry

Sometimes youíre bursting with ideas and making jewelry faster than shorts & t-shirts leave shop windows at the start of cold weather - but other times you get designers block and canít think further than your last necklace.  What you need is lots of inspiration and a little motivation. 

Motivation may be a craft fair in a couple of days youíll be selling at, 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 locally with a notebook recording your observations.  Take a digital camera. 

        Study whatís in the window of your local boutiques Ė the colors, patterns, what draws your attention?  Look for new trends or what others make of designs similar to your own.  Record everything, donít trust to memory.


        Look into the past to see the future.  Go to the library and checkout books on the history of jewelry and fashion.  Visit museums and old houses, gardens, flea markets and art galleries.


        Examine detail of nature Ė patterns and colors 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.  Donít 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 Ė their colors, designs, clothing and architecture.  Out-of-the-way places not so far from home can also be inspiring.  Areas not polluted by commercialism.

Then 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 colors and pattern on a totem pole draw your attention Ė 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 jewelry, use the source of inspiration to help sell your design!



  Happy Easter Beads

Flower beads are great for the spring - so millefiori is ideal.  Choose pastel colors and mix them to make a bright, light, design.  Pearls are also very suitable this time of year, along with all types of crystal and jade. 


These all produce a bright, high-key look.  White, yellows, greens and pinks look good, giving a spring-like feel.  Colorful seed beads can be used to cover eggs and other objects to give an Easter look.  Why not give a loved one a pearl necklace for an Easter present - she will look so good wearing it on Easter Day. Plus, flower bead bracelets and earrings are so easy to make too. Happy Easter!

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See all our Flower Beads at or


Diamond- April's Gemstone 
April's birthstone is the diamond. Diamonds are a wonder of nature. Their cold sparkling fire has held us spell-bound for centuries with myths of romance, power, greed, and magic. Ancient Hindus, finding diamonds washed out of the ground after thunderstorms, believed they were created by lightning bolts. Today, the diamond is a symbol of enduring love.

Diamonds are the rich cousins of graphite, both crystalline forms of pure carbon. The enormous difference in their properties is a result of the way that carbon atoms are bonded together. In graphite, carbon atoms are arranged in sheets that easily slide past each other, making them ideal as lubricants. Diamond crystals, are a tight-fisted network of carbon atoms securely held in four directions, making it the hardest naturally-occurring substance. 

Man-made Diamonds       

Up until a few years ago De Beers controlled all the worlds diamonds - by stockpiling tons at a time, they greatly increased the value of a relatively-common crystallized rock.

However, it is now possible to artificially grow diamonds, the same way they are formed over millions of years. Using high-pressure and high-temperature in crystal growth chambers, the size of a washing machine. Within each chamber, a tiny sliver of natural diamond is bathed in a molten solution of graphite and a metal-based catalyst at approximately 1,500 C. Slowly, carbon precipitates onto the diamond seed crystal. A gem-quality, 2.8-carat rough yellow diamond grows in just under three-and-a-half days. This can then be cut and polished to give a gem larger than 1.5 carats. (One-half carat is equal to 100 mg of diamond about the size of a kernel of corn.).

To say these cultured stones are not real diamond is false. Chemically they are identical to mined diamonds, but they do have different growth patterns and a lack of inclusions that would draw suspicions to a qualified a jeweler. However, those bits of minerals that are enclosed in a natural diamond as its forms are regarded as flaws; a lack of inclusions is actually a good thing. For a jeweler to tell for sure, De Beers has designed a machine for around $10,000.   

     Cubic Zirconia                      
A much cheaper way of making a stone that looks like diamond was created by Russian scientists. Cubic Zirconia is a dense clear material through which laser light can be reflected. When melted at high-temperature and an incredibly-high electrical current sent through it, the compound crystallizes, forming chunks similar to rough diamonds, which are then be cut and polished to exact specifications.

Using the naked eye, even a trained jeweler cant detect the difference between good cubic zirconia, genuine or cultured diamonds. And even diamond experts have been fooled between cubic zirconia and a five-million-dollar diamond - concluding that both were fakes! All are fully faceted, cut and polished the same.                                                         to top

To see our cubic zirconia rings click or


See us in the UK for a Free Gift!

After being shut away in a little office reading and sending e-mails, we love to see customers! 


Visit us in the UK and say you're a MrBead Newsletter reader, and we'll give you a free gift!

Sunday 29th April 2012 - Beads up North!  Haydock Race Course, Newton-le-Willows WA12 0HQ
Sunday 6th May 2012 - Edinburgh Bead Fair - Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, EH14 1RJ
Saturday 12th May - The Luton MrBead Bead Show - Stockwood Hotel, Stockwood Crescent, Luton, LU1 3SS
Sunday 13th May - Norwich MrBead Bead Show with The Bead Queen - George Hotel, Arlington Lane, Norwich, NR2 2DA
Sunday 20th May 2011 - Cheshire Bead Fair - Nantwich Civic Hall, CW5 5DG
Sunday 29th May 2011 - Lakeland Bead Fair is cancelled until 14th October 2012

For details of all our 2012 bead fairs click here



Easter $10 or £6 Offer !
Sample our beads with $10 or £6 off any order from our MrBead bead store, just key in "springfairs" at the checkout (without the inverted commas) and click "Redeem Coupon".

Offer valid until Sunday 1st April 2012 only - so act now! Only for use in our store at the checkout and not valid with any other offers.

To go to our MrBead store click or


From our new book How to Make a Killing Selling Bead Jewelry - To buy at a 33% discount click: US Version or UK Version

To see all our old newsletters click here

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