Saturday, March 30, 2013

Slinky Bracelets

These fun, quirky bracelets provide hours of entertainment while looking good. Made from memory wire that remembers its springlike shape, these lightweight bracelets provide an alternative to numerous bangles on a wrist.

Like a spring, Memory Wire 'remembers' its shape and retains its coil form. Made from thin tempered stainless steel, which is tarnish and corrosion resistant, it is rigid and snaps back to its original form when expanded and released.

Memory wire bracelets will fit almost any wrist size. It does not require clasps or ends, so is extremely easy to put on; you just expand the coil and wrap it around your wrist. It is strong so, unlike thread bracelets, it will never break (only chip the beads if some creative child or adult tries to use it as an actual slinky)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Latin Jewellery

I am going to attempt something this weekend that I have little experience in doing: creating Dancesport jewellery that sparkles.

Materials needed:

  • Flesh coloured stretch material
  • Swarovski hotfix crystals (or glue on)
  • Fabric glue
  • Vilyn 
  • Elastic
  • Hooks and Eyes
  • Clear press-studs   
The first dilemma is that flesh coloured stretch fabric is not abundant in Cape Town. The stuff that is around is about 3 shades lighter than me and I have to still tan that 'wonderful' orange colour for competitions.

The second dilemma is keeping ironing stiffener between lycra type material that melts with heat.

This shall be a experiment. Results to follow. If successful maybe I will add a few items to Purple-Gecko for others looking for similar items.

Multi-way Knot

This necklace can be worn many ways. Created from six seed bead strands in a randomised collection of colours along a theme.

The necklace can be worn in the following way:
  • Six loose strands as a long necklace
  • Strands twisted to form a princess length necklace (with oval clasp to hold it together)
  • Worn as loose strand knotted in front mimicking the 1920s knotted pearl strings.
  • Twisted and then knotted in the front as shown in the featured picture (with oval clasp)

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I've been playing around recently on PicMonkey with photo effects. The original photos are loaded up and various filters are applied to create some awesome looking pics. 

I've added the original to show what a difference a pop of colour makes to the image!

Have Craft, Will Travel

Many a time I go away and pack myself a beading project to complete on my journeys. This is what my away case tends to look like: beading mat or felt, beads in individual containers, thread cards, needles and some thread conditioner.

I normally return home with a nearly completed object or UFO (Unfinished object) that needs glueing or a clasp.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cooking Safari in Bo-Kaap

Over the weekend my mother and I ventured into an area I have not really explored in Cape Town, Bo-Kaap. The area features a tight-knit Cape Malay community and a pretty colourful neighbourhood.

I snapped the photo above on my phone while we took a bit of a walk around and ogled the vibrant colours (it was late afternoon and many shadows). I shall definitely return another day to explore the beautiful houses and mosques. The scenery reminds me of touring Burano.

Our cooking lesson (with Lekka Kombuis) itself took us on an journey through the Cape Malay favourites (though Bobotie is still a favourite): Chicken curry, rotis, samoosas and chili bites. I have finally learnt the correct spice mix for a curry (Chilli powder, tumeric, coriander, fennel, cumin and Masala)!

Rolling rotis was an interesting experience, making the dough itself is very similar to making foccocia dough. The trick is in the rolling and using lots of butter! I also learnt how to beat your dough into submission.

I will definitely be trying out the recipes again at home and posting the results :)

Wrapped Loops

Delicately wrapped wire is shaped into loops and individually linked together to create an elegant crystal and pearl necklace. Consider purchasing a matching set with the wrapped loop crystal and pearl earrings

This technique makes the necklace incredibly light and is not suited to long strands that could potentially catch on buttons or for people who fiddle with their jewellery all day (I am just as guilty of this!)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nature's Inspiration

Inspiration comes from many sources, this time a bouquet of flowers in my moms house, a gift from visiting family.

The lilacs, purples and green are stunning and I think would look beautiful in a bracelet or set of earrings.

Hello Pretty

Purple Gecko Designs is now available for purchasing on Hello Pretty! Head on over to have a look at the unique pieces I've been adding to the stores inventory. You will be sure to see some pieces I've been writing about on my blog over the past year (and will be writing about in future as I catch up on my blogging).

Monday, March 25, 2013

Houndstooth Designs

With all the Houndstooth material being used for fashion item this season, I'm feeling rather inspired to duplicate the pattern in a bracelet (and maybe a pair of earrings)!

Now if only I can could get the pattern right! Seems attempt number 4 might finally be correct

For those wondering about the graph paper, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads have a wonderful set of FREE printable graph paper for brick stitch, peyote and square stitch.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Earrings everywhere

Earrings were the items in production this afternoon, all now waiting to be photographed. All earrings are wrapped at the top to provide an elegant finish.

The flat discs are coin pearls, quite unusual in comparison to nuggets or round pearls. The crystals have a metallic iris shimmer and match the wrapped loop necklace made last year.

Each pair will be put up separately soon.

Purple Gecko Designs

 Purple Gecko Designs  has officially launched. Items will be be going up every week handcrafted by H&L. Watch this space for new designs, old favourites and exciting commissions.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New material, lots of ideas

New material! I love shopping for new material. All those lovely bolts of fabric just waiting to be turned into items. I spent the morning digging through appliques and satins for ideas for a new Latin American dress.

The Sewing Centre in Cape Town has a multiple of haberdashery items to make any sewer lose track of time as they browse their bounty.

Fabric City has four (4!) floors of fabric that you could spend days wandering through the bridal section, upholstery section, suiting, haberdashery and stretch materials. Warning: you will end up spending money in that store!

The result of my shopping adventure includes a sort of pinky purple satin and black applique roses and leaves to play around with.

I shall post photos as the work progresses.

Guess what my Easter weekend will be spent doing?

Thursday, March 21, 2013



The red and black beads make this pair of medallion earrings look remarkably like a dartboard. Ready to play?

Shell Flowers

Shell Flowers with shell disc centres make for fun additions to an outfit. A matching bracelet can be made on elastic, a hit with children and adults alike.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pearls and Gemstones

Pearls and gemstones may not be the obvious choice to combine but in this piece, the gemstone chips highlight the colours of the pearls while still keeping the elegance of a knotted pearl necklace.