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  1. Have you ever been to a workshop/seminar where you couldn’t wait for the lunch break? Maybe it was because you weren’t engaged with the topic or the speaker wasn’t very inspiring or you were just hungry! 

    At my recent polymer clay workshop, the reaction of the learners - I use this term because that is what people are doing as opposed to attendees where people are ‘attending’ but are they learning? That is another topic.  Anyway, the workshop started well and progressed nicely with learners practicing new techniques.  Around 130pm, I suggested we break for lunch AND no one wanted to! They were too engrossed in creating their jewellery.  It was great to watch them so determined to manipulate the clay and to come up with their own ideas – those ‘what if I’ or ‘I could do this’ moments – creativity filled the room.

    What was it about this workshop that seemed to ‘work’ for the learners (I wondered)? 

    1.Time – they were given time to listen to instructions and work at their own pace. You need time to practice techniques and with polymer clay – there is no right or wrong – so you can be relaxed about making your creations.




    2. Active – they were actively ‘doing’ which is a crucial part of learning anything new; it’s great to listen and watch a PowerPoint slideshow but to participate in the clay softening process and rolling the clay embeds the learning. They will remember for the next session the basic steps that need to be done before actually creating a piece.

    Active Rolling Aug Blog


    3. Phones off rule – there wasn’t one! This actually didn’t occur to me to say. After all, we are all adults and sometimes we need to have our phones on. But as one learner said at the end ‘I don’t think we looked at our phones more than a couple of times’. The workshop was 6 hours long during the week – how many times do you check your phone on a business day?

    Mobile phone Aug blog

    4. Conversation – plenty of this all around the table. People getting to know each other and asking each other questions like ‘how did you do that?’ – lots of information sharing.


    5. Jewellery – at the end of the day, they all created their own piece of jewellery (or two or three!)

    Finished Jewellery July 2018 Beadeze Workshop


    6. Feedback


    “‘Can't wait for the next one! Highly recommended.” (VJ)


    “What an absolutely brilliant day creating, making, networking, laughing, relaxing and chatting.” (ES)


    “It was an amazing experience - totally absorbing and creative - yet friendly and informal” (SSM)


    Imagine you as one of those relaxed learners in a workshop designed to help you explore your creativity, meet other people and produce a piece of jewellery.  You won’t want any lunch either!

    If you have any questions about workshops, contact me.

    Best wishes



  2. What about other necklines?

    Last month, I described the best shape/style of necklace that complements a few necklines.  There are a few others that you will probably have in your wardrobe.

    The turtle neck is popular during the Autumn/Winter season  and wearing a long necklace gives balance to the look.  You can wear chunky beads as shown in this diagram or several long graduated chains.  Try it out and see for yourself.

    The square neckline or variations is more suited to square/angular pendants.  This creates harmony with the shape of the neckline.  If you wore a round pendant, it would look out of place.

    July 2018 More necklines pic1

    The necklines below are the final ones to explore.  You can see how the size and shape ofthe necklaces are in balance with the tops.  The boat neck is emphasized when choosing to wear long necklaces with maybe one or 2 beads and layered to give depth to the top.

    The collared shirt is always tricky – should you wear a necklace at all?  You can see that a simple choker blends well with this neckline and provides interest to your outfit. 


    July 2018 More necklines pic2

    You can try these tips the next time you choose a necklace; experiment with different necklaces and the tops your have and you will see the difference the right length and style of a necklace can make to your outfit.