Jewellery Making – #7 – Dragon Fly and Other Necklaces

Here are some of the necklaces I have made, most of which are dragon fly themed.

The blue one above was actually made by my aunty, and is the person who I learned how to make these from.

The wings are made from beads called dagger beads.

They are fairly simple to make using tiger tail,and I think they look quite pretty.

The next picture shows a flower necklace I made using the same dagger beads.

The following necklace was also made using dagger beads.

This next necklace was made by wrapping wire around a pebble my brothers brought home from a trip to the seaside one day. The wire didn’t wrap how I would have liked. I am not very good at wire wrapping but I think that’s because I need to learn more about which wire is best to use as this wire didn’t hold in place very well.

This next butterfly pendant was made using very thin wire.


New Barry M Magnetic Nail Paints

Just a quick post to share what I received in the post this morning. Barry M announced some new magnetic colours recently and I just couldn’t wait to try them out. My nails are still completely unchipped from when I painted them last Sunday, so I managed to persuade my mom to let me try them out on her toenails instead, as you can see in the pictures below.

These were painted very quickly as I just wanted to experiment to see how they looked. I plan on trying out each colour separately over the coming weeks to give you a more in depth look at them individually.

So far from my first impressions, I like the blue one the most. It feels very summery and reminds me of the sea, and so I think I will start with trying out that one first. Unlike the previous magnetic paints, these are lighter in colour, although you wouldn’t realise this from looking at them in the bottle.

One other main difference with these is that you can see very visible flecks of glitter and/or shimmer in each one. With the previous magnetics it was more of a subtle shimmer to give you a metallic effect type finish. With the new shades I also found that the consistency was a bit thinner and they are slightly a bit more sheer. However, 2 coats is still all you need to get the desired effect. I think this may be due to the fact that the colours are lighter. I also found these ones easier to apply and to get the effect to come out on successfully. This may just be because I have more experience with magnetic nail paints now though.

On the Barry M facebook page the colours are called as follows (going form left to right): Neptune Sea (Blue), Cosmic Glow (Green), Moon Dust (Gold), Super Nova (Multi) and Venus Sunset (Red). However on the bottles they are labelled as: Magnetic Sparkle Blue #345, Magnetic Green Sparkle #348, Magnetic Sparkle Gold #344, Magnetic Multi Sparkle #347 and Magnetic Sparkle Red #346, which reflects the colours of the glitter in each.

Who else will be purchasing these new shades? I can’t wait to try them out properly.

Jewellery Making – #6 – Mostly Chain Maille

Many of this batch of pictures are of chain maille type jewellery that I have made. I made my first piece of chain maille jewellery earlier this year on my 25th Birthday. It was a silver plated byzantine style bracelet and was part of the only jewellery making class I have been to, which my friend from work booked for us. Once you understand how to make a particular pattern it can be quite easy to make jewellery that looks quite fancy, so I’ve been interested in such jewellery ever since.

Byzantine Style Bracelets:

These were all made from silver plated enamelled coloured copper jump rings.

Chain Maille Style Earrings:

I feel a bit of chain maille mixed with some simple beads can create some quite elegant looking jewellery. For example the earrings I have made with a mobius ring added to the bottom of them like in the above picture.

Other jewellery:

The above images are of some other jewellery I made during the same weekend. Out of all the jewellery shown in this post, the plaited seed bead bracelet in the last picture was actually the most frustrating to make. This was because every time I came to tie up the end, the plait had half come undone, making it all loose. In the end I just had to settle for it being how it is in the picture.

More Nspa Goodness

So I just couldn’t resist myself. I have a bit of leftover cash before pay day so why not lol. I also bought the same as shown in this post for my friend as part of her birthday present.

This time I opted for the sets of shower gels and body butters. Each set comes with four different flavours in the smaller sizes.

The flavours included in each are the mango, shea butter, raspberry and the coconut. The shower gels are 100ml each and the body butters are 75ml.

Both sets currently cost £5 each. I think the packaging design is quite simple, yet it is cute and looks good quality at the same time.

I also think the pots used to hold the body butters are of good quality as well. As I expected these all smell and feel great. I used the shea butter body butter on my legs after shaving them earlier today and they feel so soft and smooth.

I have never seen shea butter on its own before. I’ve only ever seen it as part of some other flavour, and so have never realised how great it smells. It’s a nice subtle sweet scent that does not smell sickly sweet at all.

Has anyone else tried any of their new products? I’m eager to know what flavour is everyone’s favourite.

Chameleon Britannia Nails

My most recent Barry M purchases have included their recent Chameleon releases. With these you apply the chameleon nail paint and then instead of coating the whole thing with top coat, you just add it where you want to create a design. Wherever the top coat comes into contact with the chameleon coat, it will change colour. They currently have 3 different colours, and the one I am showing you in this post is the blue one. This changes to red when you use top coat over it.

Now your first thought is probably that you could just paint red nail paint over a blue to make a design, which is true. However the thing that stood out to me the most about these shades is that they all have a kind of metallic finish to them which is a bit like the finish you get from the magnetic nail paints before you use the magnet on them. Also when adding designs to your nails I find it can sometimes be difficult to not get any onto your skin/cuticles whilst trying to add the detail for designs that go to the very sides of the nail. With the chameleon effects you do not really have this problem as any that goes onto your skin would just look clear. Therefore I think it can help when trying to do quite fiddly complex designs.

In the design I have done, I decided that instead of just using topcoat to make some stripes, I would use a clear nail paint with glitter in to add a bit of sparkle. The nail paint I used is also a quite recent release from Barry M called Jewel Britannia. I decided to purchase this because I liked the fact that the glitter sizes and colours were mixed. I thought that the colours would also be perfect to use with the particular chameleon shade that was used also.

I found the consistency of these paints were quite thick, but they dry quite quick also. One problem is that because you can’t protect the entire nail with a top coat, it is slightly less durable than what I normally get from Barry M. However the wear is still fair. The photographs in this post that are above this paragraph were taken 24 hours after painting them, which was after a day at work and also a little jewellery making, and there was no sign of any wear at this point. The below picture was taken from my naff phone camera, which is why it is so blurry. However you can still make out some of the sparkle of the glitter, caused by probably the only sunshine this summer that I managed to capture. This was taken while I was waiting for my brother to finish work and was about 72 hours after painting them. There was a bit of tip chipping by then on some fingers, but the two shown in the picture still looked perfect.

New Nspa Purchases

I was in Asda a few days ago, and noticed that the Nspa Fruits range seems to have been replaced with an improved/revamped range called Nspa Fruit Extracts. I am absolutely addicted to fruity smelling bath time products, which was all originally started off by the Nspa fruits shower gels (especially the blueberry one). Therefore as much as I have been trying to not buy any more shower gels, I just had to buy at least one of the new flavours there and then. After careful consideration I decided on the passion fruit one and a matching body lotion.

Obviously this had to be used for my next shower, and I love the smell just like I do with all their other shower gels. It smells just as you would expect passion fruit flavoured products to smell like. They are priced at £3 each, but at the moment they have a 2 for £4 offer on. As I am sitting here typing this I am enjoying the aroma and feel of being covered in the body lotion.

Whilst there I also made another purchase from the range. This was a pack of 3 lip balms. I have never seen lip balms from Nspa before, so I decided on these over another flavour of shower gel. They were £5 for the pack, which is a bit more pricey than I would normally spend on lip balm, but I was too eager to try them out.

The flavours of the lip balms are Shea Butter, Raspberry and Mango. These are also the same as some of the new shower gel flavours as well. I think the packaging is quite nice looking as well as it reflects a sense of good quality, and it would therefore make a good gift. I have so far only tried the mango flavoured lip balm and I love the taste and fragrance of it. It also feels great on your lips when you rub them together.  It seems to last long and leaves them moisturised sufficiently.

Before this, I have only ever regularly used the Rosy Lips lip therapy by Vaseline. The Nspa lip balms so far appear to work just as good as this. The Nspa lip balms are also more solidified in consistency than the Vaseline ones when in its tub, and they also have a screw on lid rather than one you pull off. I prefer this as it is less messy. I remember an incident when my bag had been sitting under the sun shining through my bedroom window for a few hours. The Vaseline lip balm was inside my bag upside down and had melted and leaked everywhere into a sticky mess.

The only thing I do not like about the Nspa lip balms is that with the Vaseline ones, to apply it I just rub my bottom lip in the tub and then rub my lips together. However because the Nspa tubs have a smaller diameter, this is not possible and so I have to use my finger to apply it. I don’t like to do this because I usually end up getting some under my nail and I don’t like the thought of putting any dirt in my lip balm.

My last purchase was a nail file/buffer by Nspa. I think this is also new as I have never seen it before in the shops. I got my mom one as well because they were doing 2 or £3 so I saved myself 18p lol. I’ve needed a new nail buffer for a while anyways though as my other ones are completely worn away. I haven’t really tried it out yet except on one nail I caught on something. It seemed to smooth the roughness away easily, so I’m sure its as good as a typical nail buffer.

I did look online on the Nspa website to see the full details of their new products. But on the day I did, they didn’t have these new products listed there so I guess they are still in the process of updating their website. However on the Asda website it seems that as well as the 4 flavours listed above, they also have a mint flavour, pink grapefruit flavour and a coconut flavour. I did have a sniff of their coconut one in the shop. I wasn’t keen on their old coconut ice cream flavour as it was to sickly sweet. This new one however seemed to smell more of a normal coconut flavour which smells a lot nicer in my opinion. I also noticed they had a few body mists in some of the flavours as well, but I am not sure I would bother giving those a try yet. Has anyone else tried any of the new products?, and if so what did you think?

Caviar/Microbead Nails

So I know it’s a little late but I finally got around to trying the whole caviar/microbeads nails as you can see in the photo below.

The microbeads I got from ebay. It was roughly just under £4 for 12 little pots. The colours that you get were random from an overseas seller. This means you have to wait a while for them to arrive, but the wait was worth it. I love how these nails came out and as well as the look of the design, I also love the different texture you are left with.

For my first attempt, I decided to try out a lilac colour. I only applied them to my ring fingers this time. This is because from experience, I know that my thumbs and first two fingers are the most likest to chip, especially on the right hand. Usually I can have my nails in the same design for a week and my little finger and ring fingers wouldn’t have chipped at all usually. As I felt that the beads would come off more easily than normal nail varnish, I made the decision to only use them on my ring fingers.

Underneath the beads I used the lilac foil paint by Barry M. On the other nails I painted them with the silver foil  and then added a bit of detail with the lilac foil. It was on the second coat on the ring finger when I added the beads. I just poured them on while the nail was wet. I then pressed the beads down a little and tried to fill in any gaps to make the beads tightly packed together.

This was a little messy. The beads are so small and like to fly all over the place lol. Anyways I let it dry for a while and then added my top coat. On the ring fingers I added a very generous helping of topcoat by blobbing it all over the beads. I blew on this while it was wet to try and push it into the gaps in the beads. After that was dry I repeated the process the same. I feel that it was doing this which helped to keep the design as durable as it was.

The beads stayed in place for around 3 days before the ring finger chipped. However because the top coat had stuck everything together solidly, the whole nail chipped off in one solid ‘shell’. Therefore I just gently picked it up and effectively ‘glued’ it back on with some top coat lol. This was on the right hand, and on the day after the exact same thing happened to the left hand. Since sticking them both back on they still look as good as the day I applied them, and it has been a week since I did my nails now. They proved to be more durable than I expected, but I am not sure if they would last this good on the fingers I know that are prone to chipping.

I will definatley use mcrobeads on my nails in the future and I am eager to try out the different colours I got. However next time I would change my base coat as normally my base coat is a nail strengthener. I want to see if using my top coat as a base would be better for keeping the beads on the nails longer. This is because since sticking the chipped off nails back on with my top coat they have become a whole lot more durable. It was also only by change that I realised when the nails chipped off and I was able to ‘save’ them.

Latest Shower Discovery

Some of you may know from a previous post, but I am absolutely addicted to bath and shower products that smell great and feel great. Especially fruity shower gels. The only problem is I currently have so many different ones I don’t really have anywhere to put new ones until I use up some of the old ones, which is a bit harder when you buy them quicker than you use them up lol. One thing that doesn’t help is going into places like Home Bargains because you can get great products very cheaply. Also since a friend of someone at work started doing the Avon earlier this year it has been even tougher to resist lol.

Anyways for a couple of months now I have been eyeing up and smelling some of the Radox shower smoothies every time I have been in my local Asda, especially the orange one. I finally gave in last week and purchased the 2 below.

The pink one on the left is called Soul Soother and contains chamomile, blackcurrant and cranberry seeds. The orange one on the right is called Island Indulgence and contains passion fruit, papaya and aronia berries. They both smell divine, but the orange one is clearly my favourite.

They both contain fruit seeds, which are there to help lightly exfoliate, but it also helps to add to the fruity feel of the product. The consistency of both is thick and creamy, which it also mentions on the front of the tube. Also apart from the smell, the best part for me is how it feels on your skin. It glides on so smoothly and feels so soft when compared to other shower products that I have tried. It feels so pleasing to rub it all over your skin, especially on places like arms and legs. The combination of the fruity fragrance, the seeds and the texture of the product crated a pleasing shower experience, which has a lovely natural feel to it.

I would definatley recommend this to anyone who has a bit of a fruity shower gel addiction like me, but also to anyone who enjoys a relaxing shower. Has anyone else tried one of these and if so what are your opinions on the product?

The also do other flavours other than the two above, but I will try to resist buying those ones for a bit longer.

Mint Silvery Lilac Nails

So I decided I would try out Barry M’s Silvery Lilac polish again as I wasn’t much impressed with it the first time I used it. I decided I would apply just 1 coat over the top of their mint green colour. I then added some detail with a thin brush and their racing green paint. Here’s the result:

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the camera to pick up the true result from the silvery lilac. But trust me when I say it looks a lot better in real life.

The silvery lilac makes the mint darker a little, but it also adds a lovely shimmery finish to the whole design. Also where light shines directly onto the nail you can see the lilac shade come through a lot better in contrast to the green, than you can against just the  silver. It is a shame I couldn’t get the camera to pick up the lilac colour because it looks lovely against the mint green.

Therefore I would say this is a great polish for applying over other colours to get a nice shimmery duochrome effect. I like it a lot better used in this way than when it is used alone. I am also interested in trying it over darker colours to see how that would turn out.