Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Festive Fun with Beads

 Make an simple beaded napkin Ring
Our Christmas table is going to be red and silver this year so I've made napkin rings in white pearls, clear crystal and silver to complement the colour scheme.  These are really quick and easy to make (good job as there will be 12 of us around the table!) using 40mm memory wire.  They can also double as wraps for small votive candles.
For one napkin ring you will need:


  • Heavy duty round nosed pliers
  • Memory Wire cutters
  • Flat nosed/chain nosed pliers x2


  • Approx. 4 coils of 40mm diameter memory wire
  • 2 x 4mm jump ring
  • Selection of different sized beads in your choice of colour scheme.  Seed beads, crystals and glass pearls work really well.  The quantity depends on the size.
  • 2 x Snowflake charms or other Christmas charms


  1. Cut 3 or 4 complete coils of memory wire depending on how wide you would like your finished napkin ring.
  2. Turn a loop at one end of the cut coils using your heavy duty round nosed pliers.
  3. Thread beads onto the wire.  You can decide a pattern beforehand or just thread them randomly.  Keep pushing them down and threading beads until you are left with around 10mm of bare wire.
  4. Turn another loop to close the ring and secure the beads.
  5.  Attach a charm to the loops at either end of the napkin ring using jump rings.  Use two pairs of flat nosed pliers to open and close the jump rings neatly and firmly.
Your napkin ring is ready to use!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Make Your Own Christmas Earrings

It's the time of year again when I start to think about presents for friends and family.  

Do you like to buy handmade gifts at Christmas?  You may have bought items made by other craftspeople already but why not surprise people (and yourself!) by having a go at making something simple yourself?  

These earrings are always popular during the festive season as they are a great stocking filler but they could also be an ideal birthday gift as the colours don't have to be too Christmassy.

To make one pair of earrings you will need the following:


Wire cutters
Round nosed pliers
Flat nosed pliers


2 x 8mm glass cube beads
2 x 6mm glass cube beads
2 x 4mm glass cube beads
2 x 50mm headpins
2 x Bow connectors
2 x 2-3mm Round spacer beads
2 x Earwires

To make your earrings...

1. Begin by threading each headpin with beads/components in the following order:
- 8mm cube bead
- 6mm cube bead
- Bow connector
- Round spacer bead

2. Bend each headpin to 90 degrees above the beads you threaded in step 1

3. Trim the headpin to around 8mm using wire cutters and turn wire around  into a loop using round nose pliers

4. Attach to earwire by opening the loop at the bottom with flat nose pliers, threading through the loop at the top of your present stack, and closing again

5. Wear your earrings!

I have a limited number of kits containing all the components you need to make these fabulous Christmas Earrings (you will need your own tools).  The kits are available to purchase. Simply message my Facebook page. Kits are £3 posted to a UK address (please ask for a quote for International postage).  Colours of the cube beads may vary. 
A small number also available in a gold finish.
If you prefer not to make your own, you can buy a pair readymade for £4 posted to a UK address.

All designs are the intellectual property of Ring O’Roses – Original Jewellery by Helen Bowen.  
Please do not copy these instructions or photographs without permission.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Falling in love again...


...with your Facebook newsfeed

Do you remember a time, way back then, when you logged on to Facebook and saw lots of posts and updates to interest you and photos to ‘like’ and comment on?  When your newsfeed was chock full of news and not peppered with ‘Suggested Posts’, adverts, random updates from pages you don’t interact with on a regular basis and general non-news?
I have been struggling with my newsfeed for a long time now and have tried pretty much every tactic to shape it how I want it.  I toyed with ‘Interest Lists’ for a while but, with no way to get my custom newsfeed to display by default, or to add all my already liked pages to it easily, it became a bind to maintain and has now pretty much been left to grow wild.
I know first-hand how hard it is for Business Pages to reach their fans.  Posts on my page are lucky to appear in 30% of my fans’ newsfeeds with many of my updates barely attracting a like or comment.  So, when I realised that I was missing updates from some of my favourite pages (thanks to Facebook algorithms deciding what news I did and didn’t see), I decided it was time for action. 

Taking control from NOW!

Step 1 of reclaiming your newsfeed is to change your behaviour when you ‘like’ a new page.  When you hit that ‘Like’ button for the first time, take the extra step to tell Facebook how to keep you up-to-date.  You could choose the ‘Get Notifications’ option which will generate an entry in your notifications window every time the page posts.  This is great for your absolute favourite pages or for catching those posts where ‘time is of the essence’ and if you don’t react immediately, you’ll miss out.  However, if you choose this option for every page you like, your notifications will quickly become unmanageable and you’ll miss stuff anyway!
Instead, make sure the ‘Show in News Feed’ option is checked and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, adjust the settings for this by clicking on the ‘Settings’ menu item.  If you miss this step, the setting will default to ‘Most updates’ which effectively allows Facebook to decide what content to display in your feed – not what you want!
The bottom line is: If you want to see regular, unfiltered news on your feed from the page you have liked, you have to choose ‘All updates’.


Rediscovering lost pages

Step 2 of restoring your love for your newsfeed is about revisting the pages you have liked in the past to check the settings discussed above.  The advantage of this is that you can take the opportunity to have a ‘springclean’ and ‘downsize’ your newsfeed at the same time. 
You could traipse around Facebook, visiting each page in person but unless you have a few months to spare, this is not a practical approach and you will probably give up before the task is finished and be no closer to your newsfeed heaven.
A better way is to edit settings for all pages in one place.  You’ll need to have your ‘Likes’ section visible on your profile to do this.  If there is no likes section on your ‘About’ page, you can re-add it (temporarily if you wish) by clicking on the ‘Update info’ button on your cover photo, pressing the little edit symbol that appears on the right-hand side of the ‘About’ page and choosing the ‘Edit sections’ option.  Check the ‘Likes’ box and hit ‘Save’.
Now you have your ‘Likes’ section visible, click on the word Likes in large font.  Facebook will display a whole host of ‘Suggested Pages’ which you can simply ignore.    Click on the ‘more’ menu option and choose ‘Other likes’ to display the pages you have actually liked.

Now you can modify the update settings for each page by hovering on the page picture until the ‘Liked’ button appears and following the instructions described previously.

This process may take you a while but it’s worth it.  You’ll LOVE your newsfeed and the pages you liked will LOVE you for finding them again.

Have fun!