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

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!)


  1. I have never tried this type of beading before. I love the results so far and can not see that it is not perfect! You will get the hang of this soon with all the proper materials handy. This style bracelet would sell really well! ~Val

  2. Thank you for your kind words...but each day on my wrist it spirals a bit more!! I'm still looking for a good tutorial....