About Me

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hi, I am a 40+ year old who loves jewellery and all things sparkly. I also enjoy trying out and reviewing new makeup products, finding stylish walking sticks, reading and writing book reviews. I will review anything from bird tables/ hedgehog houses to the latest fashion! My Instagram account is @sparkling_magpie

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Lion King Simba Silhouette Necklace: A Roaring Review

I bought my Simba pendant several years ago from Disney Couture UK and he gets lots of admiring comments whenever I wear him! 

The necklace is 14k gold plated and has quite a short chain (14-16") depending upon whether you use the extender. The clasp is large so easy to grip so it is easier to fasten as there is more to hold. It is easy to open and connect as it is or connect a magnetic closure. The necklace comes in a little purple silk pouch with Disney Couture embossed on it which is really cute and ensures that the heck lace doesn't get scratched when not being worn.


All Disney Couture jewellery is well made (I also have a bambi necklace) and the enamelled work on some of the pieces is very detailed. The pieces are not childish or twee but aimed at adults who still  love Disney. The most recent pieces are Alice in Wonderland items and whilst they are not my cup of tea, they are cute.


Disney Couture UK's customer service is fab and they are always very active on their social media channels and often run competitions and giveaways. 

I think my next Disney Couture purchase will continue with the Lion King theme and I will save up for the Lion King  Hakuna Matata Simba gold plated locket style necklace as it looks very tactile and cute! (and Timon is on it).


I bought the item myself and views expressed in this post are my own.

Disney Couture Simba necklace http://www.disneycouture.co.uk/disney-couture-lion-king-gold-plated-simba-silhouette-necklace.html

Disney Couture Social Media:
Instagram: http://instagram.com/disneycoutureuk
Twitter: @UKDisneyCouture

Monday, 20 June 2016

Jewellery Magnetic Closures: struggle no more with wonky clasps!

Due to spatial/ hand coordination issues I find it near impossible to fasten jewellery clasps. This hindered me from wearing my favourite jewellery as I couldn't fasten/ unfasten my jewellery without asking for help. I then saw some magnetic closures when searching through jewellery findings on Amazon UK. The clasps fasten on to the jewellery's original clasps and the magnets are extremely strong. These clasps would be great for anyone who likes wearing jewellery, but for whatevever reason, arthritis, poor coordination or spatial awareness or if  you just have long nails and don't want to chip or break them doing up a clasp. 

As you can see from the mini video below my hands are very shaky when I try and fasten clasps together so these magnetic closures, once attached, make my jewellery life so much easier!

The clasps can be found on Amazon, ebay and all online jewellery finding shops. I bought mine from both eBay and Amazon and they were both under £5 for a pack of 10 including postage. They come in two different shapes - a ball and a longer thinner more tubular shape and are silver or gold toned. I found the longer one easier to grip as I have longish nails and find it difficult to hold small objects. 

The only issues I have with the clasps are: they are only gold/ silver toned so cannot be worn all the time and the clasps do not sit flat so can get caught or knocked quite easily. I find myself checking that the clasp hasn't got knocked or pulled apart quite regularly, although it hasn't happened yet!

I bough these items myself and the views expressed in this blog post are my own. 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

#Bee Mine: #Bee #pendants & #Necklaces

Bee pendants became an instant must have classic with the introduction of Alex Monroe's iconic and very distinctive bumble bee range (6). Now there are lots of contenders for the cutest, tweest or most realistic at every price point. Looking through Pinterest I have found a variety, all of which are adorable and some very affordable. 

I especially love Alex Monroe's bumble bee range as after showing mine to several visually impaired friends they felt it they could envisage what a bumble bee looks like.

1 Queen Bee Hive Locket (£89) Kate Spade is gold tone, glass and enamel. The necklace is 38-41" and fastens with a lobster clasp. 

2 Joy by Corrine Smith. This is a sterling silver pendant (£28) and is also available in rose gold and gold.

3 Loubijoux Honey Bee Necklace (£20) is a honeybee and honeycomb necklace. It is very tactile and stands out from the crowd by having the hexagonal honeycomb design.

4 Mirabelle Bee Pendant (£45) is gold plated. The length of the link chain is 45 cm and the clasp is a lobster clasp.

5 Argent of London Honeybee (£42) and is made of vermeil.

6 saving the best until last - this is an Alex Monroe Bumble Bee (£150). Made out of 22ct vermeil the  length of the necklace is 40-45 cm and the bee is w3 and h1.5. The bee is textured and, in my opinion, remains the most realistic looking bee around in the jewellery world! He does a range of bees - the baby is £132 whilst the most expensive is made out of solid gold and retails at £2,400.

Items 2 & 3 are available at Notonthehighstreet.com

Items 4&5 are available from John Lewis - online and instore

Item 6 is available from John Lewis, Alex Monroe's website and shop and shops carrying the Alex Monroe range.

Friday, 17 June 2016

#bee mine

#bee mine

Kate Spade pendant locket
£90 - lordandtaylor.com

Corrine Smith Design bee jewelry

Bumble bee charm

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Coin pendant holders for all price points

Coin pendant or bracelet holders are a fabulous concept.  The coins are interchangeable and as they are a standard size - 25mm and 33mm can be switched between different brands. The most well known brand is Emozioni (part of the Hot Diamond brand) but there are several brands and ranges with different price points depending on the materials used. 

The coin is placed in the open holder, it is then closed and the chain threaded through the top of the locket to hold it in place. 
The great thing about these pendants is that as they are reversible there are no unsightly settings- both sides are equally as pretty. 
Price wise the cheapest I could find for a holder, coin and chain was just under £20 at beads direct.co.uk. Bear in mind they are not sterling silver etc but silver, gold or rose gold toned. They are, however, very pretty items. 

More expensive brands make their items out of vermeil, sterling silver and rose gold are Emozioni and Mi Moneda.  They do carrier bracelets, matching earrings and rings. The great thing about this jewellery concept is that once you have a holder the coins can be bought for special occasions and the choices are endless as new designs are brought out each season. 

The cheapest coins pendants can be found at beads direct.co.uk

Goldsmiths: http://www.goldsmiths.co.uk/c/Brands/Emozioni/
The Jewel Hut: https://www.thejewelhut.co.uk/emozioni-jewellery/
Mi Moneda:
Hugh Rice http://www.hughrice.co.uk/collections/mi-moneda

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Alex and Ani: eco-conscious, empowering jewellery.

Alex and Ani was established in the US in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian, aiming to make "bangles bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit." All their Jewellery is made in their US factory and all the materials used in them are also from the US. Although this may seem a bit hippyish and out there they claim that all the jewellery is infused with positive energy via the manufacturing process in the US factories; the symbols used in their designs are carefully researched and every design is meant to positively empower the wearer and reflect the jewellery owner's unique qualities.  

The bracelets are adjustable and can fit any wrist between 2" to 3" in diameter. All their jewellery is made from recycled materials, scrap and finished in either Russian silver or Russian gold. Their enameled jewellery is especially unique and distinctive. Although adjustable wire bangles are becoming more widely available, no other company has the same detailed finish when using enamel in their products. 
Alex and Ani puts a great emphasis on giving back to the community and regularly maks bangles for specific charities, the most recent being UNICEF. Their charitable philanthropic endeavours are channelled through Charity by Design. By the end of 2015 they had donated over $20 million to over 44 charities. I can look past the positivity angle that Alex and Ani promotes (not really into it) to see well made, unusual jewellery which, unlike many other brands, actually gives back a substantial amount to local communities and charitable organisations.

Alex and Ani products for US/Canada can be found at: http://www.alexandani.com

And in the UK: https://www.simplyjewels.biz/page/alex-and-ani-jewellery?meta=alex-ani-landing


Certain Fraser Hart jewellers stock them in store.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Reclaimed Circuit Board Jewellery: A Review of Ashley Heather Jewellery Silver Pin

 I was lucky enough to win this pin in a recent #makeathingaday competition on Instagram. 

The pin came from South Africa so took around 3 weeks to arrive (I was very impatient, but Ashley Heather was very good at emailing tracking numbers etc). 

When it arrives it was packed carefully in a Jiffy bag, envelope and then a little hessian bag with Ashley Heather's logo on it. 

The pin itself is 5 cm in length and silver. It is very simplistic,  streamlined and understated in its design. It looks organic, unfussy, pared down, delicate, understated yet elegant. 


Ashley Heather's jewellery's unique selling point is they are made out of precious metals, in their Woodstock workshop, taken from reclaimed circuit boards from a small refinery in South Africa. They concentrate on ensuring they use sustainable practices and materials from when they source their materials, the manufacturing techniques used when making the piece of jewellery right through to packaging.   This would make a great talking point and as the use of sustainable and recycled materials becomes more important as landfill sites etc get full, it is great that Ashley Heather have taken this stance.

I would not hesitated to buy from Ashley Heather Jewellery in the future. Her customer service is great, the jewellery eye-catching and the materials are obtained  from an unusual  source.

Ashley Heather Jewellery can be found here:http://ashleyheather.co.za

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Jewellery for Literary Lovers

Ever had a relationship with a book or series that you couldn't put down, empathised with or just counted down the months until the next one in the series was published, or know someone who is all/ any of the above. Then what about some book related jewellery? 

Recently my mum had to get rid of some treasured books and as a compromise I found on Etsy (where else) a seller, MalteseMagpie who converted the front cover of books in to chunky acrylic bracelets. The buyer can choose 8 pictures which she the pits into acrylic. The buyer can choose a silver or gold background. She ships from the USA so you have to take into account customs charges but altogether including shipping the final price was around £54 for a piece that is unique and means a lot to my mum. The whole process including delivery time took about 3 weeks.

If you want to buy just one book themed piece of jewellery on Etsy there are lots of sellers who sell the Harry Potter series as pendants so it always worth searching for the cheapest, always factoring in shipping and customs. My pendants cost between £6 - £10 each depending on the seller and what the front cover is. Beatrix Potter was the most expensive.

The Literarygiftcompany.com do a range of book related jewellery which aims to recycle as much as possible. Want an Aslan brooch made out of paper, Your own mini Harry Potter bookcase pendant or a pair of Too Kill a Mockingbird book and typewriter earrings? These and much more can be found at this great shop. 

Enchanted Leaves do a huge range of book/film related jewellery. Your own hobbit door necklace, pet dragon, golden snitch or labyrinth door knocker earrings can all be found in this Etsy store. 

The choice is endless, especially when there are so many innovative, enthusiastic sellers on Etsy, EBay and Notonthehofhstreet.com.  Happy browsing!

All views expressed in this post are my own and the photos have either been taken by me or I have obtained permission to use stock photos.
Maltese Magpie: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MalteseMagpie

Literary Gift Company: https://www.theliterarygiftcompany.com/collections/new

Enchanted Leaves: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EnchantedLeaves