About Us

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Stonehaven, North East Scotland, United Kingdom
Shoogly Beads is a husband and wife design team based beside the sea in Stonehaven on the lovely Northeast coast of Scotland. Mike is responsible for the gorgeous polymer clay beads and Pat is responsible for the jewellery design. The 'Shoogly' part of our name comes from a good Scots word meaning shaky, wobbly, swinging......just what beads and charms should do when you hang them off things.......a charm bracelet should be very shoogly as should dangly earrings! We also make and sell exclusive beads, pendants, charms, buttons and other bits and pieces in polymer clay. These can be used for your own creations! Pat has also re-discovered her love of painting and other crafts and some of these have been added to our shops. Currently we are selling our contemporary jewellery, polymer clay, art work and knitting via Folksy and Etsy

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Naturally Red on Etsy

We've had a shop on Etsy for some time but I've only recently started active promotion. One really fun way to promote others and make some friends is by posting treasuries. These feature some of the lovely things you might stumble across while browsing the shops and usually follow a theme. This is one of my first treasuries themed in memory of my once natural red hair......thank goodness for hair dye!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Christmas at Loch Morlich

We ended our first year of motorhoming (is that a word?!)by returning to our favourite camping spot at Loch Morlich below Cairngorm. Fully expecting to find snow on the ground we were disappointed to find none! The weather hit us with everything else mostly howling gales and torrential rain!! We still had a wonderful and totally stress free Christmas....apart from Mike forgetting to pack my 'Miranda'DVDs...He did of course remember to take his 'Bad Santa' DVD!! I had plenty of books on my Kindle....also managed to knit 3 pairs of gloves!! No painting though...the light was too poor......
Despite the weather a lot of time was spent walking with Hannah and taking photographs. In fact we enjoyed our Winter stay so much that we're planning to stay  for Christmas and New Year in 2012.

We were presented with a real Christmas tree on arrival. This was just as well since I failed miserably in the decoration department but managed to cobble together a mildly festive tree
Hannah is pictured here sitting in her favourite spot so she can keep an eye on all the goings on.
There was a cat in the van next door and Hannah enjoyed Grrrrring at her
The ski slopes were the barest they've been for yonks. I suppose the skiers were the most disappointed!
We don't ski so no problem there and the weather didn't stop us from enjoying walking.

Despite the weather Loch Morlich always has a beautiful side to her. The ducks are never far away even in Winter. This is sunset and the only one we saw during our week long stay!

Mike and I in one of our many attempts to communicate with family. You can't really see what the weather was doing! We were halfway up a mountain path in horizontal rain and at one point we almost took off over the mountains it was so gusty! Incidentally...Mike's fetching hat is actually mine!
Completely forgot about Christmas decorations so had to make do. Here's our Christmas tree and some pressies we took with us for Christmas morning.
'Moira' was wonderfully cosy and Mike cooked us up a gorgeous Christmas dinner of Halibut in white wine with loads of roasted veggies.

Mike took some wonderful photographs including this dramatic one of our hardy next door neighbour kite surfing in a Winter gale! It was bitterly cold....
Loch Morlich is fantastic for water sports but this was the only person we saw enjoying perfect weather for his particular water sport!!

Another of Mike's photographs.
This is the same sunset as my earlier picture but Mike remained on the beach longer than I was  prepared to wait. This was his reward for patience.....a simply stunning Winter sunset.
Hannah had to get into the picture. Freezing cold water does not put her off swimming!

Sunday, 27 November 2011


This Virtual Craft Festival is on all day today. Loads of lovely stalls including Shoogly Beads. Grab a coffee and go browse........
Find more photos like this on Creative Connections

Friday, 23 September 2011

Re-discovering Arts and Crafts - Knitting

I have spent quite a bit of time this past year re-visiting or re-discovering arts and crafts that I loved when I was much younger! The latest re-visit is to knitting.
As well as learning from my mother and grandmothers I was  taught knitting along with other crafts at school. In those days (I'll not mention when!) even the boys had to learn to knit!
Later on, in my student days, designing my own knitting went hand in hand with designing jewellery, my own clothes and anything else that needed making when I couldn't afford to buy! Nothing complicated...plain and simple designs that could be embellished or made to look different with the use of different yarns and materials.
My latest re-discovery led to knitted pieces being the latest additions to the ShooglyBeads shop. I find I'm once more hooked on knitting!
As part of my research into what sells and how people are currently pricing their items I visited lots of knitting shops on Folksy. There are some wonderfully talented knitters out there so I decided to sing the praises of some in a little treasury. As always I can't include everyone but here's what caught my eye..... Apologies for including my own....!
Click on the pictures to be taken to the original shops where you can explore to your heart's content!

A Knit 4 All Seasons
Tickled Pink Sheep

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Renewing Skills Part 2

I have been revisiting old skills recently and in my last blog entry I shared my attempts at making a beaded wrap bracelet for the first time since the 70s! Seems that picking up on old skills isn't quite as simple as riding a bicycle...you do need to keep practising and making!
I'm happy to report that my first attempt is still holding together and although it does twist a bit I'm able to straighten it out!
After a bit of practise I have now completed my first 'for sale' beaded wrap. 
I was a bit less ambitious so only a small amount of silver and pretty plastic button to fasten. Beads are a pretty multicolour jade and, this time, thy're all the same size. I also invested in some stronger and firmer stringing thread. The bracelet is more robust and will, I hope, be less prone to twisting.
I felt confident enough to put this one up for sale in Shoogly's Folksy shop yesterday.
I'll continue to develop these and hopefully have more to list in the coming months......
Here's the result in pictures:


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Old Dog Renewing Her Skills

In my teens and early twenties I always had some sort of arty crafty project on the go..... From dress, knitting, jewellery design and making to embroidery, drawing and painting very little escaped my busy hands!! I didn't however choose any of these as a career path after an early disastrous brush with a college design course. ( I don't like doing what I'm told.)

I suppose my longest love affair has been with jewellery and I've designed and sold with some success for a number of years. Recently I seem to have become a bit bored with it all. Add to this a recession where luxury goods are no longer eagerly snapped up and the motivation to design and make things definitely fades a bit!!

To keep my itchy little fingers busy and find some other sales opportunities I've started to dig back into the skills I was acquiring in my youth....painting...yaaayy, I sold some ACEOs!!
Knitting....I haven't yet had the nerve to put the results in Shoogly's shop!
Jewellery? Well yes...I used to particularly love all things Native American especially their beautiful beading and weaving. There was a craze at one time for woven beaded chokers and bracelets. I loved making those. I used to have a beading loom I made out of a cardboard box but I can't even remember how I made it! Then I remembered the beaded leather bracelets....think I actually used string instead of leather...we had to 'make do' in those pre internet shopping days. Those were easy I thought and, more to the point, very Hippy Chic so easy to sell.

A hunt through my bead stash found some lovely rondelle stones and a nice piece of leather. Added to that I found some Nymo beading thread that had been a 'freebie'. I also thought I'd do a quick Youtube search for any demos as a reminder for my ageing brain. The only one I found was awful and only memorable for the demonstrator's distracting French manicured nails!!!! Sorry but jewellery makers do not have nails like that...ever!

Here are my first two attempts at a leather beaded bracelet in pictures! (1st in nearly 40 years!!)
I have set myself the goal of having one of these designs in Shoogly Beads shop before Christmas..... This Old Dog has a way to go......

Attempt Number 1.
Looks not too bad until the rondelles start slipping!

Where did that twist behind the button come from?

Lesson 1. Don't use rondelles until you know exactly what you're doing that's why most designs have round beads in the first place!
Rondelles move about and change the shape of the piece so the threading is slacker.
The twist behind the button resulted from trying to straighten the rondelles. Ended up making one lace longer than the other so it twisted in upon itself!

Attempt Number 2.

Round beads do  look better but stitching still poor!

Not enough beads and thread too short. Filled in with silver tubes!

Lesson 2. I tend not to buy round beads so I ran out of the moss agate pretty quickly. Added some jade but they're ever so slightly larger and I still ran out. I could have added 1 or 2 more beads but my thread was also running out!
The additional silver beads were not part of my original idea but I needed something to finish off the length...that worked well I think!
Best designs are happy accidents!

This was only my 2nd attempt and it's far from perfect but I'll wear it and see how long it lasts!!! Meanwhile I'll continue practising and let you see what I finally put up for sale!

PS. The pretty silver button is by Malcolm Appleby. Mike has his buttons on his dress kilt jacket...this one was superfluous so he gave it to me!! (One stipulation...I can't sell it!)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

On Tour June

The Lovely 'Moira'
Seems ages since I've blogged....actually it is ages!! Jewellery making has taken a back seat since our motorhome arrived. Christened 'Moira' after a friend and a misunderstanding on Facebook when someone thought I was referring to the van and not my good friend Moira!
Derelict Cottage Near Pitlochry
We've had four trips now and stay away longer and longer each time. I suppose we're practising for our big trip to the south of England later this Summer. We're just so lucky we have Scotland to explore and enjoy. No 'wild' camping as yet...doesn't seem necessary when there are so many official sites in such glorious settings!

Aliums at Pitlochry
My goodness has camping and caravanning changed since last time either of us had such holidays. Our motorhome is a good size warm and comfortable with shower, all cooking facilities, fridge, freezer and TV....even halogen lights....a huge improvement upon torches (now I may have given away how long it is since I went camping!!)
Hannah, our labrador, took to 'Moira' straight away and is no problem as we tour around. As soon as she knows we're off she settles down to snooze on the floor between us. One of our main reasons for buying a motorhome was so we could holiday with Hannah. Most sites welcome well behaved dogs although some are pretty restrictive. The latter we will avoid!
A Single Swallow
How do we get on in together in a confined space?? Not too badly so far...mind you Mike has not tried to practise on his fiddle of an evening as yet..! We seem to have sorted out the chores...he cooks, I clean up! The only thing I can't abide is muck all over the carpets.....hard to avoid when hill walking is a daily enjoyment..usually in the rain! We need to have something outside where mucky boots and wet clothes can be hung....Does anyone know of a stand alone awning that will fit against an Avantgarde 150?????
Jay Walking Sheep
What do I love best about it all?? The changing view. I can have a different 'front garden' every day. It can be a remote loch shore or beach one morning and a forest of Scots pines the next...wonderful. 
Bridge at Tilt

Some more photos taken on recent trips......

Loch Morlich in Rain

Moira at Cairngorm Ski Centre

Grotto at Glen Tilt

Boats at Loch Morlich

Hannah at Loch Morlich

Hannah and Mike at Dusk

Ducks on Loch at Dawn