How to measure your finger size to buy a ring online with a Wheatsheaf ring stick and gauge used by jewellers to measure ring size

How to Measure your Finger and Choose a Ring Online

When you're looking for a ring online you need to be confident that you're going to get a ring that will fit. Perfectly.
The very best way to do this is always to visit a jeweller and have it measured using a ring sizer set like this. Known as a Wheatsheaf ring stick it's the industry standard and an accurate way to measure for rings. In the UK we measure ring sizes from A to Z, and beyond but it's easy to convert from other countries' sizing.
How to measure your finger to buy a ring online. Use a Wheatsheaf ring stick and gauge used by jewellers to measure ring sizes

I can't easily get to a jewellery store. What are my options?

It is possible to measure your finger at home. The best time of day to measure your fingers is the afternoon or evening. You can do it yourself by cutting a strip of paper about 5mm wide and wrapping it around your finger. Ideally the paper should be reasonably firm, but certainly not stretchy (crepe paper or ribbon would stretch). You should mark where it overlaps and join it at this point using sticky tape. Try the paper ring on again for size. Open it up and measure it carefully. Tell your jeweller the measurement in mm and they will be able to work out your ring size from that.

I already have a ring that's the right size. Can I measure that? 

Tapered candle used as a ring stick and a sharpie pen
Yes you can use a tapered wax candle. This is the sort of candle that is wide at the bottom and narrow at the top. Simply slide your ring onto your tapered candle and mark either side where it fits with a sharpie. Then post the candle to your jewellery designer. This is a very accurate and cheap method.

Are there any other ways I can measure a ring at home?

A bar of soap in a bowl of boiling hot water a silver ring by its side
Yes you can make an impression using a new bar of soap. Really good if you're being sneaky and planning a surprise! Mine was the Essential sensitive fragrance free soap from Waitrose, but any cheap soap will be fine. First pour some boiling hot water into the sink or bowl and leave your soap there for about 10-15 minutes to make the soap soft.  The water will look milky. Then carefully remove the soap from the water, handling it as little as possible. Be careful, the water may still be quite hot and the soap slippery! Now firmly press your ring into the surface. Push it in enough that it makes a good impression, I used a lolly stick to press it down into the soap.
Ring in soap after being softened in hot water
Lift your ring out carefully using a wooden skewer, lolly stick, toothpicks or plastic cutlery. Don't use anything metal, such as tweezers, or you may damage your ring! Then simply leave the soap to cool and set.
Soap with ring impression
You should have a great impression. Putting your ring closer to one of the edges would made it even easier to measure. Now simply send your bar of soap to your jewellery designer. They will know what size of ring you need from the soap impression. 

Can I use online measuring guides?

Yes if you are trying to find out the size of an existing ring there are a few online guides which help you to work out the sizing. If you put your screen size to the size of the your credit card and measure your own ring against the size of the ring on the screen, that will give you the correct size of your ring. 

Is there an easier way to measure at home?

You can measure a ring you already wear as long as it is still round. Note: If your ring has become misshapen, this is not the best way to measure. 

Use a ruler to measure from the INSIDE of the metal from one side to the other. The diameter measurement in mm can be sent to your jeweller. 

Planning a surprise purchase? 

Engagement ring on red rose
If you are planning to purchase a ring as a surprise for an engagement ring or similar, do bear in mind that left and right hands will not have the same measurements. Usually the dominant hand is larger than the non dominant hand! Try swapping your own rings from one hand to the other. Are yours the same?

Can I get a cheap ring sizer to use at home?

Multisizer ring sizer plastic to use at home
Photo credit: Cooksongold
Yes. You can buy a plastic multisize ring gauge to measure your own finger. These are simple to use and slip onto the finger and tighten like a belt. Again it is worth measuring your finger in the evening to make sure it is not going to be too tight. Check again in the morning to make sure your ring won't be too big. 
We sell these in our online shop for £1.00, which is redeemable against any future purchase. Simply search ring sizer to find it.

Anything else I should know?

Remember your jeweller will be making the ring to the size you tell them. If you make a mistake you can't expect them to change it without charge. So make sure you double check your measurements before you send them off. 


Getting your finger measured professionally is always the best option. 


For an interesting history of the British Wheatsheaf company click on the link below. 




Galentines, Valentines and Singles Awareness Days

Galentines, Valentines and Singles Awareness Days


Valentine's card from 1909. Cupids and red heart. Credit Wikipedia

1909 Valentine’s Card. Credit: Wikipedia

One thing I’ve been thinking about recently is what makes people feel loved.

It seems that Valentine's cards and gifts are becoming less popular. I thought I'd find out more.

My husband and I have always sent each other cards and gifts, but recently I've been wondering about the history of the Valentine. Exactly why do we exchange cards? I had a feeling there was a connection to the card making industry, but it seems that Valentine’s Day has a much longer history.

Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is celebrated on 14th February. It began as a religious holiday to honour an early saint or possibly several saints called Valentinius. And it wasn’t until the 18th century in England that people began exchanging cards. These were hand written love notes or ‘Valentines’. Flowers and candies were sometimes given, and keys were also sent to unlock the lover’s heart!

I discovered that women purchase about 85 percent of all Valentines. Does that mean that the majority of them don’t ever get anything back? Hallmark cards claim that 144 million people buy Valentine’s cards... Am I alone in worrying about the recycling?

If we want to make something ourselves a hand made card or gift is often even nicer. Perhaps we should go back to exchanging hand drawn hearts and messages. There are certainly lots of lovely artisan independent designers for that more individual personalised card or gift, who put a whole lot of love into what they do. I don't know about you, but I love cards and gifts that are created by people who love what they are doing.

I also began to think about people who may not be in a relationship. Sadly my Dad recently passed away and so my lovely Mum will be on her own for the first time in over 50 years. This made me think: should we feel bad if we are not in a partnership. There are so many single people for so many reasons, that I really don’t think so. I'll be sending a little something to my Mum to make her feel loved.

Update: In the end I decided to phone her on the morning of Valentine's Day and told her I loved her. This of course made her cry and I cried too, but we talked about my Dad. In the end she was really touched that I thought to phone her on V Day, and I think it really made har feel much happier than she might otherwise have been.

Singles Awareness Day 11th March

Did you know that there is a special day called Singles Awareness Day? It seems to have started as a bit of a backlash against Valentine's Day. I discovered that In the UK it's 11th March, China it’s 11th November and in America there's a National Singles Day on 22nd September. The idea is that singles gather together to have fun and also buy gifts for themselves. A treat if you like. I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of buying something lovely for myself and having fun. That’s something everybody should be able to do without feeling guilty, whether in a relationship or not! 

Galentine’s Day 13th February

A more recent celebration first seen in the American series Parks and Recration (2010) is credited with starting Galentine's day. Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope said “It’s only the best day of the year”.

It seems that Galentine’s Day, despite its youth is growing fast. A quick peek on Pinterest and you'll notice just how many Galentine’s boards there are. Whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s, you may really enjoy Galentine’s. I mean who needs an excuse to spend time with your besties? So gather your friends and a good movie, a bottle of wine or a pot of tea, a few nibbles and share some laughs.

 Heart shape biscuits and cup of tea with tulip

Biscuits courtesy of (thanks Vaani xx) 

I’d like to wish you all love and happiness, whether it’s for valentine's, galantine's or singles day. Lets just try and have a happy day every day.  Hopefully we can all be more inclusive and celebrate love! 

Please do support artisan makers and let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Of course we need more love in the world every day and not just on these special days! We also need more self-love, so be good to those you love all year round and remember to make time for yourself too!

Sending you all love and sparkles,


Sally ✨💝✨




Why I'm Giving Jewellery Away

Why I'm Giving Jewellery Away

How it started

When I first started making jewellery I was learning the techniques and spent many hours making things. I beavered away and obviously wore some myself, but mostly gave away the jewellery to friends and family. To be honest it took me so long to make things, and the quality was probably not the best, but I made things for the joy of making and loved the creative challenge. Soon I realised I loved the feeling of giving.

After a while I felt sure that family and friends would be fed up having jewellery as presents. Luckily at that point I was being asked often where I sold things, so I worked very hard to set up a website. And all was very exciting until I realised that after all my efforts very few new people actually came, so thank goodness for my lovely friends! I very nearly gave up... all that work for nobody to see! 

Then I discovered Instagram. I have always loved it on there because it's such a friendly community. People are very generous with their comments and I've found that its a great place to get feedback about my products. Its so lovely to be able to talk to your customers when you don't have a bricks and mortar shop.

So I held a few giveaways; the lucky winners have always been very happy with their wins and I get to find out more about what people like. I have also been lucky enough to win a few prizes too! Happily I was getting found and have built so many lovely friendships on Instagram too. I’m now managing to get a steadily increasing flow of traffic to my website. It's definitely still baby steps, but its making me feel much more positive.

Positive thinking helps creativity

I first discovered the power of positive thinking by wearing one of my hand stamped rings myself. I stamped a ring with ‘I am an artist’ and it really helped me. I had previously experienced a really dry patch and couldn't really get creative with anything.  I was amazed how simply having this daily reminder increased my creativity.  I sold a ring to one of the lovely ladies in my adult art classes and she said it helped increase her confidence in her work. Then I began selling to creatives I met through Instagram and artists as far as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, America and New Zealand are now wearing my jewellery.


Word of The Year

Flourish neon light

I’m not a fan of new years resolutions. I've never found they work for me. Instead I prefer to set myself a more positive goal to guide me through the year. Simply by having a word to guide me helps me a great deal. The words I considered for myself this year were evolve, brave, creative, thrive, trust, joy, focus, flourish, meraki, love, magical, vision and simplicity. 

I wanted a word that supports me being more visible promoting my business, but also in my personal life making sure I nourish my body with good food choices instead of junk. I also wanted to make time to nurture my creativity and not feel guilty about doing things like going for a walk in nature or treating myself to a gallery visit, or a much needed massage after lots of hammering. 

So after living with a few words pinned on my wall for a while,  I have chosen my main word to be ‘flourish’ and I’m loving how its helping me to be more outgoing and to feel better about nurturing myself. As a supporting word I decided to choose 'meraki' (pronunciation may-rah-kee) which means to do something with soul, creativity or love, to put something of yourself into your work. Its a Greek word and I really like its meaning because I do put a little bit of myself into every piece of jewellery I make, so need to make sure I nurture my own creativity. Daily meditation is another of my meraki choices. As a typographer I also love how the word looks and find it visually inspiring.  I'll be wearing my rings daily and enjoying the confidence its giving me..Meraki definition to do something with creativity or love, to put something of yourself into your work




Kindness Project

You might wonder why I’m excited about giving products away. Well it’s one of my business core values. Kindness. Because by being kind I get more of my products into the world, and more people will experience how good they are at making them feel better. A self fulfilling prophecy if you like. I have also donated jewellery to good causes, which is something I love to do. 

So I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was when I found out about a project on Instagram started by the lovely Victoria from @featherandwild www. 

With her #atouchofkind project she's started an initiative to show random acts of kindness to people and also supporting independent makers. The general idea is that makers will send out mostly handmade items of any sort to people without cost to them and without any expectations, but with the suggestion that they too might pay it forward in some way. So of course I’m going to be sending out a few of my handmade silver word of the year rings with the hope that it helps people. 

Instagram feed @howfinedesigns showing giveaway #atouchofkind

I’m now looking forward to being able to pay it forward with a touch of kindness to other artists and creatives. I want to give them the self-belief and a little reminder to live their best lives. Being kind to ourselves is something we really need to do, so if I can help people to be good to themselves as well that's another benefit.  Do pop over and say hello if you're on Instagram.

What next?

Obviously this isn't a sustainable business model. While I'm able to offer a few offers like this I will, but longer term I would really love to be able to give something back as a regular commitment. I'm now working on my new collection and wholesale. It would be so good to hear from other people doing something like this, it certainly feels good to give something back. 

Do please let me know what you think, I'd love to know.  

Don't Be Blue... Grab a Brew and reconnect with your CREATIVITY

Don't Be Blue... Grab a Brew and reconnect with your CREATIVITY


The third Monday of January is officially the day known as BLUE MONDAY. This is the day more people are reported to feel fed up and blue: I really don't like that idea, so I'm giving you some creative tips to avoid feeling the blues... or at least to really enjoy the blues you create! There is no need to do all of these, just choose the ones that appeal to you. 

Top tips to make your life more colourful and creative:

Splash some colour around. Painting is a great activity. Don't worry about what to paint, just let the colours do whatever happens. It's the act of painting, the process that's important rather than the outcome.

Blue ink splash with red on white background
Treat yourself to something different such as learning a new creative skill or activity. It doesn't have to be art. Try joining a choir, playing an instrument or take a dance class. The sound of music is known to induce feelings of wellbeing, and the social side is really good for you too! 


Take a walk outside. Walking is brilliant for you. Research has shown that regular brisk walking several times each week improves your overall health considerably. 

Natures beauty. Trees against beautiful coloured sky.

Take any sort of exercise. Whether it's running, pilates, yoga, football, tennis, swimming, boxing, it doesn't really matter. All sorts of exercise are good to make your blood flow and to increase endorphins.

Gratitude journaling. Begin to write down things that you are greatful for. If you are feeling really blue you may not think that you have much, but even the smallest things should be noted. Make a regular time, it only needs to be a few minutes each day.

Draw something. It really doesn't matter what! Just start with making a regular drawing every day. There are lots of word prompts on line to give you a stimulus for the subject matter. This regular activity will repay you with a steady improvement. Just don't quit after the first few days. They say that 21 days is needed to achieve results, so aim for three weeks or more.

 Drawing of bird using blue and purple pastel

Turn your phone and tech to night setting. On an iPhone go to Settings then select Display and Brightness and press Night Shift. You can preset the times you want to use the softer colours and it eliminates much of the harsher blue light, with the aim that you will sleep better. 

Blue lights with neon glow on blue wall at Hepworth Gallery

This image was taken at The Hepworth, Wakefield. Steven Claydon, Like Shooting Sparrows in the Dark 3, (deterrent lure) 2016. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London 

Try to make your bedroom a technology free zone ( yes I know this is such a tricky one). Save the tech for downstairs and use an alarm clock to wake you. If you banish electronics from the bedroom you will not be tempted to use them during the night. By putting a notebook and pencil by your bed to jot down ideas and thoughts, or nagging worries, make a to do list for the next day etc. the idea is that you will sleep better. If you are lucky enough, perhaps you will even be able to record your dreams in the morning... Your body will benefit from the more restful sleep you will hopefully enjoy. You may also find a SAD light is a helpful bright light to make you feel more optimistic during the daylight hours. I use one during the dark winters days and love it!   


If you have financial troubles seek help. Get a credit card with 0% interest. Tell somebody and work out a manageable plan to make your repayments. 


Breathe Deeply. Before you go to sleep and when you wake up treat yourself to a minute of really deep breathing. Oxygen is necessary to repair your body, so your body will thank you.

Blue flowers outside


Have some FUN! Do something you wouldn't usually consider. Schedule it into your diary and take a friend along. It doesn't matter what, as long as it makes you laugh. Ever fancied archery? A night at the latest cinema release? Sledging with the kids? Yes good old human interaction!

Colourful blue and green sledges. Fun!

Look at artists. Picasso was famous for his blue period and Yves Klien even invented his own shade of blue. A famously depressed artist was Van Gogh... Do you have any other suggestions? 

Coloured pencils in graduated shades of blue

Rose tinted glasses? Treat yourself to some fresh flowers. Really spend time choosing colours and shapes you are drawn to. I recommend going to an actual florist, as they will let you mix the colours and textures. You may even smell which ones are loveliest!

Pink rose. Stop and smell the roses
Smells... Scents and fragrances are very powerful and can be really uplifting. Try going  into a department store and try on a few new fragrances. Your nose can get overwhelmed with too many: three seems a good number.

Cook something tasty. The brighter the colours the better, think blueberry muffins, beetroot soup! You get the idea I'm sure...

Beetroot soup with sour cream and herbs on green table

Wear bright colour clothing. Thats sure to make you and everyone around you feel brighter. 

Make a brew of your favourite cuppa. Meet up with a friend in real life, or at very least stick the kettle on, have a cuppa of your favourite brew and phone a friend. Make it a BREW Monday... (but if you have trouble sleeping make it a decaff after 2pm in the afternoon).

A delicious cup of coffee


Please let me know in the comments below if you found this helpful or if you have any other top tips. I'd love to hear what you think. 

Love and Sparkles,

Sally XOX

If you have found this article hasn't helped at all please don't feel that you are alone. Depression is an illness, so if you think this is something you can no longer handle on your own seek help. You are certainly not alone. I recommend the book 'Cheer Up Love' by Susan Calman. If you are still feeling depressed tell a friend or visit a medical professional. SAMARITANS or call 116 123 (UK) 

Make Your Dream Come True Day

Make Your Dream Come True Day

Friday 13th January is actually 'MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE DAY' and maybe its not as crazy as it first sounds.

Do you have a dream? Well it will be likely to stay that way......

Unless YOU start making plans to make it happen. Several years ago I had a dream to start my own business. I had made jewellery for years. To be honest, it was an expensive hobby and although I did make lots of gifts for family and friends,  I was sad that I had let another New Years Resolution date pass me by. I don't believe that many people ever stick to their resolutions.

Two years ago I decided it would be different. I wrote down what I wanted to achieve and started to make notes in my phone every time I had an idea. Next I decided to actually tell people what I was thinking of doing. I joined a few Facebook groups and then paid for mentoring from people I knew were really respected in the industry.

At first people told me it would never work, but what happened next was great. I had a lot of positive feedback for my ideas. I decided that I would really go for it; after all what was the worst that could happen? -If it failed I could always go back to being a teacher.

The best thing I noticed about sharing my intentions was that I realised that the one thing I was most scared of, was of failure... but then I thought, what would happen if I never tried? -Well I guess I would never have known. 

As an art teacher I often encourage people to be experimental and to just start where they are. I don't know whether you have heard of daily practice? If you keep doing something creative, regardless of the outcome, eventually you get less worried about what other people think of your work; it's quite liberating actually. So I decided that I would take this innovative approach for my business building. I have attended numerous webinars, joined countless Facebook Groups, posted hundreds of pictures on Instagram and met so many lovely people (I'm @howfinedesigns), I've been featured several times, read lots of books by inspiring authors, designed my logo and designed my website. I launched my website and had my first sale in November 2015. I'd like to say a very big thank you to everybody who's helped me along the way. Now in 2017 I have lots of very exciting plans for the future.

What will YOU plan to make your dream come true? Set YOUR intention today.  

Advent Calendar Gift Guide

Advent Calendar Gift Guide

The 12 Days of Advent

Please visit us each day for new gift ideas, special offers and ways to make this Christmas extra fabulous and less stressful....
Advent Day 1
Advent Calendar Day 1 Love heart keyring silver
We're on the countdown to Christmas. It's such a busy time of year, so we thought we'd save you some time and effort: so sit back with a cup of tea (or something stronger perhaps) and let us guide you through your Christmas gifting.
Please be assured that we LOVE packaging your gifts to look beautiful and you will love that your gift recipient has a big smile on their face on Christmas morning. 
This Christmas get FREE worldwide shipping and gift wrapping with every purchase from How Fine Designs with the code: LOVESPARKLES 
Featured here is the Love Heart Silver Keyring at £72 
Advent Day 2 
Advent Calendar Day 2 Heart necklace silver
When the world is whizzing round at breakneck pace and everybody is so busy, it can be overwhelming knowing that you are responsible for organising gifts for everyone. It's important keep things in perspective though, so slow down and take a deep breath or two. These days it can be quite daunting with the expectations involved with putting on a show and making everything look perfect for Christmas. As anybody who organises Christmas knows, it is a LOT of effort for a few days. So why not make THIS the year to BUY LESS..... Single presents with more thought behind them will much more likely to be remembered than multiple gifts which will likely be quickly forgotten. Hand made gifts are my personal favourites. They are remembered long after the others have slipped our memories..... 
I always try to to remember that the most important thing is to let people know they are loved. Today I picked up the phone and spent time talking to my Mum. This heart is for my wonderful Mum. Why not tell somebody special they are loved. Family and friends we love you lots xox
Featured here is the So Solid Love Heart Necklace at £125
Advent Day 3
Advent Day 3
When the weather is cold and the lights are dim its always great to have some fresh foliage in the house. When the garden is past its best (in the UK!) bringing a fresh Christmas tree inside is an  exciting event in our house. We always look forward to its lovely fresh pine scent and gorgeous green foliage. Decorating our tree is a family ritual and we love it. 
The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years. Pagans used to decorate their homes during the winter solstice as it made them think that the spring near. Across Europe fir trees have been used for about 1000 years. Many trees were hung upside down from the ceiling using chains. The first Christmas trees came to Britain sometime in the 1830s when prince Albert (Queen Victoria's German husband) had a tree set up in Windsor Castle. In Victorian times the tree would have been decorated with candles to represent stars. The most famous Christmas tree in the UK is the one in Trafalgar Square London, which is presented to the British people for the help given to Norway during World War II. One of my favourite Christmas memories was visiting Austria where the trees were not decorated, instead we celebrated Christmas Eve at the local church. It was not at all commercial and had all the joy of Christmas with much less of the stress and pressure we have to make everything perfect. During the day we skiied and enjoyed the snow and beautiful fresh mountain air.... In our family growing up we always had 'tree presents' which were opened in the evening rather than the big presents enjoyed in the morning before lunch. 
Why not give an everlasting sweet silver flower in bloom. This was originally designed for my daughter Grace and has a purple cubic zirconia set in the centre. It would make a super 'tree present and comes gift wrapped.
What Christmas traditions do you love in your house at Christmas? 
Todays featured Jewellery is the Sterling Silver Grace Flower necklace at £80
Advent Day 4
Advent Day 4 Marble Swirl Silver Necklace

Return to traditional values.... Remember the good old days? Everybody likes to reminisce about days gone by..... even small children remember when they were tiny (a year seems like a lifetime to them)! Childhood memories are precious, so finding a gift that reminds people of this is priceless, even though it needn't cost a lot. The vintage glass buttons in the picture would make a brilliant present for somebody crafty who likes to make things. In Harrogate we are lucky enough to have a fabulous haberdashery shop called Duttons for Buttons, which sells amazing array of buttons, lace, threads and all sorts of fantastic colourful treasures for the crafty friend or relation. If you have a similar haberdashery store this sort of thing makes an original present idea, otherwise Ebay is a great place to find things for creative friends and family. These glass baubles were one of my Ebay finds and I love them! Todays featured Marble Swirl necklace has been a really popular gift and is quite a fun piece of jewellery with the lovely associated memories of childhood games. 

Featured here is the Marble Swirl Necklace at £30 without a chain (use your own chain) or £45 on a long silver chain (as shown above) 

Advent Day 5

Artist gifts I am an artist ring silver Advent day 5

What do you buy for an artist or designer? This can be a tricky one if you are buying for a creative friend or a partner...... Something well designed will be well received..... Designers and artists usually like things which have been well thought out and sometimes quite minimal. Think "less is more". I have a few fabulous Alessi products which are beautiful and useful too. Google the wonderful Alessi Anna corkscrew and the Alessi Blip spoon rest which is curvaceous, wavelike and beautiful, but also useful.... Art books or vouchers are always really popular..... at least most artists I know love Art books. Another tip is to buy Artist quality materials such as these Faber Castell Polychromos pencils, something from a gallery shop, or best of all a beautifully handmade item. Artists and designers mostly LOVE other artists work!

An empowering ring such as this "I AM AN ARTIST" ring is a wonderful handmade gift to help your artist to really believe in themselves. Each is uniquely made to fit and will have the individual style of a one off piece of jewellery, meaning that each is subtly different from the next. Made of Sterling Silver and with a comfort fit band this is one ring they really won't want to take off. 

Featured "I am an artist" ring made of Sterling Silver at £70 or you can add your own words or phrase (use the contact box to let us know the words you would like e.g. I am enough)

Advent Day 6

Advent calendar Day 6 Gift guide Silver Leaf tie pin

Spending time wrapping presents as you go along is a great thing to do... and I should know! Having left everything until the last minute and ended staying awake into the wee small hours on Christmas Eve when the children were small! It also saves last minute dashes to buy more wrapping paper ((yes me again)). Adding little flourishes like hand tied bows is my top tip for a creative wrap. In the image above you can see I have layered tissue paper on top of another sheet of paper and simply scooped up the present with a ribbon and tied a bow...... no need for sellotape for this one! Match the writing inside the card to the ribbon and you have a beautifully co-ordinated creative pressie.

What do you get for the person who has everything you may ask? New to my range is a leaf tie/lapel pin.

Featured Jewellery is the Silver Leaf Tie/lapel pin at £39 

This Christmas get FREE worldwide shipping and gift wrapping with every purchase from How Fine Designs with the code: LOVESPARKLES 

 Advent Day 7

Advent Calendar Day 7 This Twig Silver bangle bracelet and satsumas

A workshop can be a great present for an artistic friend or relation. I made some of my own Christmas presents at a nearby artists workshop. 

Although I currently make jewellery, I also teach art and really love to create things in different media. The glass bowl above was really exciting to make. This wasn't my first attempt I have to say.... We started out by making four glass coasters and even these were very impressive. I had so much fun that I've done several workshops now and its great to take a few friends along too. We learned how to cut the glass safely and were able to choose and make our own designs after a while. The colours are simply wonderful! 

If you're in the Harrogate area why not check out The Glasshouse Studio in Knaresborough. If you do, be sure to tell the lovely Jane I sent you...... You could begin making your presents for next year and be really organised!!!

If you're getting stressed about the Christmas preparations why not go outside and stretch your legs, I picked these holly sprigs nearby. Immediately I felt much more festive and calmer. I think sometimes the simplest decorations are the very best and bringing nature inside always looks lovely. A plain bow around them looks simply timeless. Oh yes and clementines...... I simply can't get enough of them at this time of year, anybody else? 

Todays featured jewellery is the This Twig Bangle bracelet made of Sterling Silver at £139. 

 Advent Day 8

Advent Day 8 Aloe plant, chocolate money, reindeer and Silver star tie/lapel pin

Entertaining at Christmas can be lots of fun, but the rush of preparing for it can be quite a lot of stress. Even when you're not hosting you have to make or buy gifts for your hosts and to make sure you're the most fabulous guests. After a few days of such close proximity even with close relations sometimes people can be prickly with each other.....

Sometimes we have to remember what its all about and for me that's spending time with family and friends. Recently losing a couple of friends and a family member makes me realise that we shouldn't take each other for granted. This year I'm definitely going to try to be a great house guest and be really helpful to my hosts..... I know they have worked really hard to make things special and memorable for us. I'm also sparing a thought for elderly friends and relations who can't make it to our celebrations this year, so I'm going to send special messages and presents even though we won't be seeing them xox

Todays featured gift is the You're a Star tie/lapel pin in Sterling Silver at £43

Advent Day 9 

Advent Day 9 Candle, lights, silver glass love heart necklace

At this busy time of the year amidst the kinetic activity of life and the social whirl of the festivities, its really important to make sure you give yourself some nurturing time and space. So make sure you schedule some me time..... light the candles, put on the fairy lights and the relaxing music, paint your nails or whatever takes your fancy and give yourself some LOVE!

And if you're doing some online shopping this week you can choose a couple of things for yourself too....... with our special code just for YOU.

The featured jewellery today  is our new Queen of Hearts glass and sterling silver necklace at £85 

Our gift to you today is a 20% off code when you spend £100 or more with the code: SELFLOVE

Advent Day 10

Advent Calendar Day 10 Silver heart earrings writing place cards Christmas fairy lights

At Christmas it's the smallest things that make a difference..... fresh foliage on the table, hand written place cards, and fairy lights to make the place more magical! These really do add to the atmosphere and come in a huge variety of different styles. My preference is for a warm light. The cool ones feel rather too cold for my liking most of the time, and particularly for Christmas I do really love a cosy atmosphere. They are great for taking photographs and give a lovely warm cosy glow. Also remember to help out with the chores. When there are lots of people coming there is always another cup of tea to be made and another pan to be washed so I always get a new pair of marigold washing up gloves (as a jeweller my hands take lots of abuse already!)

When we are old we shall enjoy watching the younger generation rushing round looking after us I am sure.... 

Todays featured jewellery is the Shiny Heart Earrings set made of sterling silver at £29.00

Advent Day 11

Advent Day 11 Table decoration mince pies fairy lights stars

When I've had enough of all the chores I love to spend a few minutes planning the fun stuff...... like how the table should look at Christmas. Usually I love to have candles and things, but at Christmas time I think its best to keep the table  arrangements low down, so they don't get knocked over amidst the pulling of crackers and the refilling of Champagne glasses!!! I've been looking for something simple and came across these gold spray painted leaves. I bought these ones from M&S but may have a go at spray painting myself if I have a spare few minutes. My advice is to lay newspaper or an old sheet outside in the garden and definitely don't spray on a windy day! The cranberries and jewels just add a fun colour pop, but I'm sure you can think of your own ideas. The mince pies in my picture are from Betty's.... I do think its absolutely fine to pick and choose what to make yourself and what to buy..... After all we do want to enjoy the celebrations at Christmas, not find ourselves in bed with exhaiustion. So I'd say pick and choose now what you want to make and what you will add yourself, then add the others to your shopping list! I used to try to make everything, but I think its best to keep a balance and make the things I'm best at! Hope you enjoy creating something. Please do let me know in the comments below what you're planning to make?  I'd love to know.......

Our special offer is a free gift with every purchase from our One of a Kind range

Advent Day 12

Advent Day 12 Gingerbread house and Betty's chocolate penguinsFor the final day of Advent I'm going to wish you all lots of love, and a healthy and happy Christmas. This adorable gingerbread house was made by my daughter (Mary Berry's recipe, which tastes delicious by the way) and the chocolate penguins are from Betty's famous Tea rooms in Harrogate.....

If you haven't heard of hygge yet (pronounced HOO-GA) I'm going to recommend a couple of books for you. One is 'How to Hygge' by Signe Johansen and the other is 'The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well'  by Meek Wiking. In essence the Nordic countries are renowned for having a superb quality of life, but we can recreate the 'cosiness' in our own homes by being kind to ourselves, and others. Nature, candles and good food all play an important part. Perfect for Christmas time hey? 

Our featured jewellery is a one of a kind Star flower Fine Silver necklace at £40

I hope you all manage to enjoy time with your nearest and dearest, whether it be your family or friends. Go create some lovely memories and spend some blissful time.....

Love and Sparkles,


Please do let me know in the comments below what you've found useful:
Overcoming Creative Blocks.  Be Free to be Creative

Overcoming Creative Blocks. Be Free to be Creative

A CREATIVE BLOCK. As artists and designers we've all had them....... 

But how do you get to be creative again? Follow a few of these simple steps to feel inspired again.



Take a break     It sounds simple doesn't it..... but its not always that easy is it?

Well actually stepping away from your home or workspace is really important. I know life gets in the way, but getting some fresh air, even just going for a brief walk outside does wonders for creativity. Nature is one of the most inspiring things. So many different colours, textures, patterns, sounds and even smells..... (fresh cut grass - I LOVE that so much). Take a camera to record images. Start to really look at things. Zoom in. If you live in a city that's no excuse. Try looking up for a change. A change of perspective is always useful. There are so many ideas in every environment. Best of all it's free. Treat yourself to some ME time every once in a while and quit feeling guilty. Feeling refreshed is important. Think of it as an investment. If you're feeling washed out and tired, you won't be creative anyway!

If you really can't get out try running a fragranced bubble bath and play some music. Meditation and yoga can also work, they are both really beneficial for me.

Plan some time for yourself. Even a few minutes can do wonders......






Make a mess    Yes really! 

Designate an area where you can be untidy for a while and leave your work out. Whether it's a table in the corner of the dining room, an easel in the kitchen, a work bench in the spare bedroom or a shed. Just having your own space to work as the mood takes you is most important. 

Be prepared to play   Think about how creatively free children are......

As adults we rarely play enough to be honest. To be more creative we need to enjoy ourselves and take risks. Take time to be in the moment and enjoy the process. Commit to exploring and having fun, without attachment to the outcome. Many adults fear what other people think of them and this prevents us from being our best selves. Forget what they think and simply be yourself.

It really doesn't matter if we make mistakes. At the end of the day we want to enjoy ourselves right? We can always buy another sketchbook or a new canvas. Permission granted....... Don't worry about what other people think. Have FUN xox

    Often our mistakes are a record of learning. Out of a mistake comes knowledge. From knowledge comes understanding. Have you noticed how small children aren't even remotely interested in what they have made. They are forever moving on to the next activity. Schedule your play time now and enjoy making marks instead of worrying about the outcome. You never know you may surprise yourself. 


    Forget the blank page    That blank white canvas or perfect piece of shiny new silver can be quite intimidating..... 

    So begin to work over a piece of work you are already unhappy with, so that you can take risks. Nothing to lose, right? Next up try working on a different colour background from usual. That coloured ground will give a very interesting effect. Jewellers can create wonderful things from their scrap jar. If it doesn't work out there's nothing lost, because you were only playing. Besides it really is a fabulous feeing when you design something awesome out of scraps! 

    Change of scale    Get away from your usual routine.

    Work really large. This can be pretty liberating. You may try working on a huge roll of paper in the garden. Have you seen how cheap wallpaper lining paper is? Or try really tiny......  Miniature things are so cute right? 



      Use a different media     Switch it up. You are sure to delight in using your old watercolour set. Try wetting the paper before flooding the page with yummy colours. Fun hey! Those gorgeous pastels you have unused in the box, you can open them and use them. Yes I know they look so beautiful and neat, but honestly you can always buy more if you use them up. Go on....  It's playtime x







        Visually stimulate     Visit a gallery or sculpture trail, look at pictures in books or make an inspiring collection of images on Pinterest. I'd love you to follow me @howfinedesigns   There are heaps of amazing things out there which can spark ideas. When your mind is stimulated it will want to create.  Looking at other visual imagery is one of the best ways to inspire your own ideas. Next try making a brainstorm to start your own creative flow.

        The Arrival of Spring

        by David Hockney at Salts Mill


        Neon by Tracey Emin




















        Enrol in a class or workshop Go back to being a beginner for a while, perhaps try a new media. Remember the thrill of discovery when you were starting out!  This is a great way re-engage and you will love to rekindle your creativity and reconnect with why you decided to be creative in the first place. You will also meet other like minded people. It's amazing how inspiring this can be in itself. Swap ideas and chat about what you're thinking. In my classes the chatter and laughter is my favourite thing! As soon as others see your work, they do not notice the struggles you had to make it just so. Talking to people who are more distanced from you can be fabulous for your ego and will inspire you on your path to creative freedom.







          Its worth making sure other people know you should not be disturbed while you are busy creating. Let people know this is your time and you will be unavailable. Consider scheduling a regular day or evening for your creativity. Remember to turn off social media, phones and those pesky Facebook notifications while you are creating, as these are notorious for interrupting your flow. Try putting up a sign so people know you are busy being creative. People will soon get used to the idea.


          Remember WHY you want to create things....... Enjoyment?

          If you can think back to why you started creative activities. It's likely that you enjoyed the activity and it made you feel good.  That's what you should remember. Honestly just stop worrying about other people.

          Even if you sell your work..... If you like what you make, that is so important. Don't try to second guess what other people would like. That's a slippery path. Other people are sure to like your creations too, you just need to find the right people. When YOU are CONFIDENT in your work because you have LOVED making it that really does show through.


          Believe in yourself     Creativity NEVER gets used up you know.....

          The more you use it the more you get. Great hey?

          And DO have some FUN!

          Pssssst Have you seen my Empowering Rings? You can order your own words too!


            "Creativity is intelligence having Fun" 

            Albert Einstein


            Images above unless credited are by me, Sally How and the lovely artists in my classes and workshops at Rossett Adult Education, Harrogate. Please Contact Melissa or Catherine on 01423 563 768

              • Please do let me know if you've found any of these ideas useful. 
              How do YOU spark your creativity?
              PLEASE do let me know in the comments below........ I'd love to know.  Thanks Sally xox
              Absolutely Fabulous! How Fine Designs<Br>As seen in The Lady Magazine

              Absolutely Fabulous! How Fine Designs
              As seen in The Lady Magazine


              I've always loved Patsy and Edina from Absolutely Fabulous and I can hardly wait to see Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie...... Sadly my ticket to the premiere didn't arrive! 

              Having grown up with Absolutely Fabulous the TV series I'm excited to see Patsy and Edina (Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders) again! Not to mention the adorable June Whitfield starring as the terribly sensible Saffy's granny.... no I can't believe she's 90 either.... just goes to show that age is immaterial if you have style.

              Do let me know if you see it before I do...... I just love a feel good movie! 

              My news is that I'm featured in the same edition of The Lady as Joanna Lumley no less......  crack open the Bolly!!!



              Page 70 if you have a copy.......  There's an absolutely fabulous article about my jewellery designs and a free postage offer for the UK. I'll give you the code for Free UK postage:


               LADYSUMMER (just enter it into the box when you check out)


              My new favourite saying is 'I'm fabulous every day darling!' Please click on The Lady at the bottom right of the website. It will take you through to my listing in The Lady.

              So until next time stay fabulous,

              Sally xoxo






              The Art of Slow Living

              The Art of Slow Living

              Most of us have many demands on our time...... Life these days is often crazily busy...... Sometimes it seems that the pace is so frantic we are on a treadmill. With emails constantly pinging into our inboxes, the frenzy of social media, some of us are now seeking to slow things down in order to live a happier more enriched life.
              Please click on the blog to read more.......
              LOVE hearts

              LOVE hearts

              • Show how much you really care. The ultimate valentine gift...

              Flowers are gorgeous but they wilt 
              and chocolates taste lovely BUT one minute on the lips.......

              • The 'So Solid Love' necklace above is sterling silver and hallmarked. It is one of Sally's favourite designs.
              • A desirable gift which will last for years…...You know she will love it.
              • Feel good knowing that we will make a donation to Cancer Research UK, who pioneer life-saving research to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
              Tweets by howfinedesigns