Never lose your sparkle!

We all have an inner sparkle and an outer sparkle! Many of my blogs aim at looking after the inner sparkle that is you, through quotes and little snippets of stories. We have to remind ourselves in this busy day and age of our inner sparkle and let it out once in a while!

I love this next quote. Don't wait for others to sprinkle their magic dust on your day, sprinkle your own!

The outer sparkle is important too. I stress this as a woman who, for a long time fell out with clothes. They became a means of covering up my curves that I should have loved. Clothes shopping became a chore and I'd revert to supermarket clothes shopping and I'd put my TU and F&F purchases in my trolley, next to some cheese and a pint of milk. I am in no way belittling supermarket clothes, just showing I didn't mark out a day to go to Meadowhall, excitedly trying on hundreds of outfits and happily swaying my bags from side to side like they do in the movies! I love this quote. Don't let your size define you.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoyed trips out and events, I just didn't have the same enjoyment buying clothes and getting ready as I did when I was a size 8 to 12 which was pretty much till I was into my my early twenties when I began teaching, drinking more, social eating, driving and watching more telly. This quote from Pinterest is spot on too.

What I did do though, on special occasions, like weddings and christenings was spend five minutes picking another trouser suit or linen dress and spend three hours happily choosing a bag, shoes and accessories to match!

When I was younger, I'd love going into Barnsley or Wakefield with family and friends and trying on clothes, just for the sake of it, in Chelsea Girl and Miss Selfridge. I'd save up for clothes and my friend and I even shared on a posh dress and bolero jacket from Top shop when we were seventeen! I'll never forget my big bro treating me to a size 10 little black dress from Oasis when I was a student either. My fave memory is buying my size 30, 30 Levis from Wakefield market! Memories that make me smile.

Saying that, I love the thinking of Annie and I must agree with her song that it's your smile that is your ultimate accessory; it what makes you you; it's what shines out, behind your eyes when you look back at old photos; it's the universal welcoming sign that puts people at ease. It's such an important accessory and it's free! It costs nothing to smile but is worth so much to many people.

As I grew bigger, and many friends didn't, I'd still go in the shops like Jane Norman, Oasis, Warehouse and River Island but I'd veer straight for the shoes, bags and jewellery because size wise, you can't go wrong!

I love the jewellery from department stores, especially Debenhams when it is the Blue Cross sale! The designers at Debenhams do fab jewellery at good prices. Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and River Island are fab too. This quote is good at reminding you that even though you are adding spirit and sparkle, they are already there in you!

Another wonderful little Aladdin's Cave is Accessorise where I can spend hours jusr browsing. I love how all the shop is sectionned into colours and styles and always go straight for the boho stuff.

Saying that, buying acessories is great because you don't have to breathe in and pretend to your mum or bestie that a certain dress you have fallen in love with fits. It just fits. However, I have struggled with vintage rings. I absolutely love browsing around the gorgeous antique centres in Elsecar, Wentworth and Cawthorne; I can spend hours. Even longer than I can spend in TKMaxx, and that's saying something! Not forgetting, my fave Newburgh Gallery in Barnsley where I get a coffee, walk around ten times, stop for a chat, then buy a lovely piece of jewellery! There are some lovely pieces for sale, especially the Nour jewellery from London but my fave are the pretty broaches and earings made by Vikki Lafford Garside.

I have, however, only very rarely come across a few antique rings that will fit me, my amethyst being my fave. But when I think of how small ladies' waists could be in the 40s and 50s, no wonder the rings are too! Most times, I will try the rings on and they always fit on my little finger. I put the ring back and buy a pair of earings that I know will fit! I love the art deco style rings and there are some lovely ones on Pinterest.

It is a bonus when you find rings in the old fashioned, cushioned ring boxes with the name of the jeweller on the inside. I cherish the ring boxes as much as the rings themselves!

I have managed to find some larger rings in Kingston Jewellers and Ryan Jewellers in the Victorian Arcade. They are both lovely, friendly independent shops. Such a fantastic range of jewellery in both. If I've fancied a more modern piece, I've gone to Kingston and bought some lovely Danon jewellery. I love loveheart earings and they do lovely ones here. I won a Danon leaf bracelet on Facebook which is lovely. They make collages of their pieces regularly on Facebook. This is one of my faves.

Ryan's Jewellers is amazing for its unique jewellery. They have a wide range of coloured gem stone rings and offer a very good alteration service. You can't walk past the window without something shiny and lovely catching your eye! Well, I can't anyway!

These Astra jewellery sets are just gorgeous. This one is called Double Heart, Always with you and there is an explantion on the box. I love how you can have a ring in the set too.

This reminds me of my last visit to Brighton which was brilliant. My sister in law had already told me I'd love the jewellery shops but I was not expecting so many in such a small area. We were with family as as they were going on different shops, I just kept walking from jewellers to jewellers, my eyes resting on the coloured gems and diamonds. I love flower and heart shapes with the coloured stone in the middle. I stopped mainly at one with an emerald and diamond ring. The people inside probably thought I was dizzy! You know, I'm really not a material person and I'm happy with what I've got but I'll admit, I did wonder for one moment how it would feel to be a celebrity and just waltz in, buy the ring and walk out. I'm not bothered about having a bigger house, a better car and designer clothes. But at that moment in time, that ring kept calling to me.

I love visiting Sorelle Jewellery at Fox Valley too. They've a lovely range of modern jewellery like Danon, Pilgrim and Orla. On my last visit, they have added these handmade lamps made from industrial materials and products and they look amazing!

We have just found a fab jewellers in Holmfirth too who sell gorgeous accessories and clothes too. My fave though are the expandable rings. Perfect!
One of my fave ever shops is Oliver Bonas. I love their take on vintage/retro and the mixture of modern and old that complement each other. I can spend ages at the one in Leeds browsing their clothes, bags, smellies, picture frames, candles and furniture. My fave part is the jewellery though. I love the wooden, chunky jewellery with the greens and blues the best.

In addition to High Street shops, I also love to buy handmade, unique jewellery, crafted with love. I love going to craft and gift fairs and do buy pots of jam and chutney and some smellies but my main purchases are jewellery, especially earings. The craft fairs at Elsecar are so busy and full of amazing stalls. My friends and I also love the Wonderfully Made in Yorkshire craft fair held in Silkstone church and the Hen's Teeth craft fair held in Penistone church. Both are in the run up to Christmas so you can buy amazing handmade gifts for Christmas.

The Utterly Unique range by Karen Kaye is lovely and bought these musical earings, made using upcycled paper, from Wonderfully Made in Yorkshire. I bought a fab handmade card too, showing a map of Yorkshire in a love heart. It was such a great idea!

When I looked at her Facebook page, it was full of gorgeous things made from paper. She explained she offers a professional gift wrapping service and loves making things from upcycled paper. These photos are fab and the products for sale at the Butcher's Works in Sheffield are lovely. The unique earings are made from an old pound note! Fabulous! I loved her line on Facebook that she sells jewellery that 'does not cost the earth because it doesn't in both respects!

My hubby and I have an unspoken rule if I by chance, come across a craft fair whilst we are out. He knows I love wandering around the fab stalls, chatting to the lovely people about their gorgeous handmade products, made with love. He always gives me ten minutes on my own to browse away happily before he joins me, nonchalantly nosying at my paper bags and enquiring how many earings I've bought this time! His best query is, "Do you really need that?" To which I reply, "Of course! Now let's go and get us a real ale beer!" Diversion tactics!

This leads me nicely to my favourite ever handmade jewellery, Brownfish Designs as the lovely lady who makes these was at the Penistone Hen's Teeth last Christmas and will be at the Holmfirth one this week. I love how unique her designs are and the fact they are made from old tins. I love this upcycling and the fact she shows the vintage tin the pieces have originally come from. Such wonderful colours, patterns and shapes. Her stalls at the craft fairs are stunning and reflect the time, effort and love she puts into everything. She also makes cards and small pictures for your wall, using shapes she has cut out of the tin.

I love all the colours but my favourite are the blue and green ranges. My sister in law and myself regularly purchase a little something, sometimes as a gift for someone else and other times, as a treat for ourselves. I first found this gorgeous range in the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley and still go there now to top up! The other two places I go is the wonderful Art Cafe in Penistone and Created in Yorkshire in the Ridings. There are lots of other beautiful, handmade products there too. They sell some amazing perspex earings in shapes like hearts and Pac Man. Just fab! Created in Yorkshire sells the work of many local artists and they all take it in turns to work in the shop. This was the first time I'd met the lady who makes the beautiful jewellery and we had a lovely chat. When we left, my friend said it was like I was starstruck! I was! It was like meeting an author at a book signing or a singer backstage! It was lovely meeting the lady behind all the wonderful jewellery I love!

Brownfish sell their jewellery in shops and antique centres all around Yorkshire. I follow them on Facebook and it makes me want to visit these places. They are now selling in The Bootyard Emporium in Stocksbridge, near Fox Valley and I would love to visit there.

 Her face book page is full of gorgeous pieces and if I won the lottery, I'd buy something every day!

There are so many wonderful people making gorgeous, handmade jewellery that I can't mention them all. I do have to mention the brilliant Laura's jewellery for their unique and often funny pieces. I came across her on facebook and love everything she posts but she also sells on Etsy. I do love boho jewellery and flowery, pretty things. What I love most about these is the fact they look all vintage and pretty, then when you look closer, the message is far from pretty! Love it! These are the two items I bought recently.

I have loved jewellery for such a long time and I think it also stems from hours playing with my grandma's costume jewellery. I used to sit with her in her front room, by the window and open up the wooden lacquered box with the painted flowers on top. I'd just sit transfixed, as the sun poured through the window and landed on pearls and coloured stones. Before I got them out, I'd just touch them and feel the cold against my fingers.

Then I'd carefully take each piece out, one by one and lay them alongside each other. I would try on the long necklaces that were always cold on the back of my neck, then the bracelets and finally the way too big rings that sparkled and twinkled, just like my grandma's smile.

I always left the best till last. I was in awe of my grandma's intricate broaches. I would trace the patterns with my finger and listen to her stories of when she last wore each piece of jewellery. It's probably a mixture of sitting with gran, listening to her stories and the sun shining that also makes me remember these images so vividly. There is something so special about antique jewellery. When I wear my rings, I wonder about the stories behind them, who wore them and what were they like? I feel I'm carrying on the rings story! Heirloom jewellery is so precious. I was my great grandmother's birthday girl as we shared the same birthday and I was very lucky to know her as a child. When it is my time, I will wear her amethyst ring with pride, as I do my grandma's ruby and emerald rings now.

Back to broaches. I went through a stage of wearing pin badges on my denim jackets, then broaches, some made of felt and I feel I need to restart this again! Another fantastic shop that I must visit is Bird's Yard in Sheffield. My friend says it's amazing. It is packed to the brim with all sorts and their jewellery is brilliantly unique!

Bird's Yard have lots of fab local products celebrating Sheffield and Yorkshire. I absolutely love this 'Be Reyt' set.

This fab Diner necklace is brill too. I really need to visit this unique, wonderful gift shop this summer!

I have lovely memories of making my own badges and earings using fimo as a child. Then buying them at craft fairs as a student. I regularly wore odd eariings and my fave were Bertie Bassett and a pint of cider! An ex colleague at work used to make tons of lovely earings for Skeggy market and bring them to us as a sheep preview. I bought loads and wore them for work. They were so bright and fab and would cheer my Monday mornings up! I did wear odd orange earings and only noticed at dinner time that one was long and the other short! My very creative friend makes her own jewellery too and her hubby made her loads of jewellery shelving to hang everything on. I'm dropping very heavy hints at my hubby but he just thinks it means I'll buy more! I love these original earings on Pinterest of the bunch of grapes, wine bottle, a corkscrew and a wine glass!

There are cups of coffee and pints of beer ones too!

My other lovely friend is marvellous at decoupage and every craft under the sun! She has held family crafting workshops and is marvellous! I love all her unusual products, from her flamingo and Harry Potter earings, her Halloween bat necklaces and earings, her Alice in Wonderland necklaces to her little bee earings and broaches.

She makes amazing boxes to store them in and lovely hanging hearts. All her products are stunning. These are a few more I have.

I have a thing for buttons and when I was teaching, I'd love getting out my tubs of different buttons for the children to add to their cards and calendars. These are all lovely from Pinterest. Simple, but effective.

I love the idea of making your own jewellery and my friends and I did this once at Les Cadeaux in Darton. What a fab eve! We chatted, ate cake, drank coffee and made lovely bracelets and matching earings. We would definitely go again!
Ask me to do any of the following and I'd burst out in a sweat: reverse park my car, cook a three course meal, without burning anything or causing food poisoning; sneeze without pulling a muscle or bursting a blood vessel or put make up on without confusing my eyeshadow for lip gloss. The list could go on! But, ask me about cafes, tea rooms, vintage/retro pottery, handmade gifts, candles and jewellery and I seriously am your woman! I fair come alive speaking about my last visit to a vintage shop where I had a scrumptious afternoon tea and came home head to toe in jewellery.
I do love to bring on the bling from time to time and, in the words of Rihanna, we all need to 'shine bright like a diamond'.

I do try to keep my facebook pages and blog light and positive and tgis next quote majes me think of my family and friends leaving a little trail of glitter behind them. As I have got older though, I am becoming a bit more of a realist and know we can't do this everyday. I've had my fair share of dull days where the pot of glitter was stuck with glue and refused to pour. This quote reminds me to focus more on what's good and that being bitter gets you absolutely nowhere.

You are never too old to keep that sparkle in your eyes and twinkle in feet! Keep shining!

Even though I think Marilyn Monroe was amazing and I love her singing that 'diamonds are a girl's best friend', I have to agree with this quote. I love it!

That said, this is probably why I was over the moon when I saw this funky necklace in the new shop in Meadowhall, Typo. My friend and I popped in for a minute and came back out twenty minutes later!


  1. Keep blogging and sparkling!

  2. Loved the blog, I’m a bit of a jewellery girl myself. My favourite pieces are some I bought in Padstow whilst on holiday (erm several holiday’s) from recycled plastic. Apparently my eyes lit up when I was told about the recycling part, I simply had to purchase 🤣

  3. Aww. That's fab! I should have added recycled jewellery! Holiday jewellery is very special.

  4. Love it another gem! Loved reading it as always. So inspiring! 🥰

    1. Thank you! We all need to sprinkle our fairy dust far and wide!

  5. I have spent a happy half hour reading your blog- you have a wonderful friendly way of writing that involves the reader!
    Can't wait for the next post!

    1. Aww Thank you! Glad you have enjoyed reading it! My fave older ones are Mid life crisis and Battle of the bulge if you have not read them!

    2. Just read battle of the bulge and want to give you a big hug. Proud of what you have achieved so far! Claire x

    3. Aww thankyou! That's a lovely thing to say. I wrote it to inspire others!


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