The Power of  Video for Crafts People

When you think of the word ‘Branding’ perhaps you think of logo’s, display’s, and packaging.

You probably think you don’t have it and cant afford it ,

It may surprise you to hear that you do already have it. You just don’t realise its there.

How people perceive you and your work is ‘branding’. Your customers have already formed a mental image of you and what you do, without the need for expensive logo’s, displays and packaging.

If you want to be known for something you need to get that message out there – the message that says this is who I am, this is what I do, and this is why you want my product.

Never before has there been an easier way to do that than through the power of video.

Video gives us the opportunity to visually engage our customers to let them enter our world and give them insight into who we are, what we do, and how we do it.

Im a maker myself, I understand the world of ‘handmade’, the importance of how people perceive us, and of creating an understanding of our process.

Amazingly not many people have their own personal branding video.

Yet …

Still unsure …. this is an interesting read

If you would like more information on what I can offer you please do get in touch :

My video package includes:

Filming your story – 3 hours filming

Editing Process – Music Licensing Fees

Bespoke 1 minute movie in two Mp4 Files 1080p Full HD and 720p HD.

A selection of still images from the film as JPEG files

Introductory price £150.00





9-10 & 11-12th February

Harlequin and Sundial Cabochons

Sandra Alder:

15-16 & 18-19 March

Blue moon Glassworks Austin,Texas
http:// m/manda-muddimer

Cabtastic Cabochons & Bobbles

Jim Berry:

25-26 & 27-28 May

Otterbein Glass de Langen , Germany http://www.otterbein- kurse/amanda.html

Harlequin Cabochons & Cabtastic Cabochons

Audrey Otterbein:

7-8 & 9-10 September

Ring Tops and Cabochons

21-22 October

Ladenkonzept Vienna, Austria

Cabtastic Cabochons and Bobbles

Cornelia Bock:

17-19 November

Ring Tops and Cabochons (Two Day) Bobbles (One Day)


I have just returned from 4 days teaching at Sandra Alders studio in Winterthur just north of  Zurich in Switzerland. There are so many things I love about teaching abroad but meeting new people is always top of the list, this trip was no exception.

Although the weather was grey the chill in the air with temperatures below freezing reminded me that I wasn’t at home ! Not a snow flake in sight other than on the mountains viewed from the plane on the flight,  but no soggy rain that so often accompanies the colder weather here at home … I definitely feel I have been away!

Met from my flight by Angela Meier I had Schnitzel on my plate within a couple of hours of leaving the airport and its fair to say I enjoyed a little more of it over the days I was there as I struggled with the menu translation but the Pizza and the Schnitzel were indeed excellent !

I even had a cream tea with scones made by Mr Brown …. how English can that be ! Thank you again Angela !

Tea in Winterthur

I stayed in a sweet little hotel along with some of the students on the classes including Heidi my new friend from the swiss mountains and Lydia , it was lovely to get to know you both in the extra time we had together!

Sandras studio is wonderful boasting a top floor location it is fully equipped with Bethlehem Alpha torches and oxygen concentrators to die for, a lamp workers dream . Her shop is an Aladdin’s cave of everything imaginable and if one had a whole week in which to explore it, it still wouldn’t be enough time.

Everyone being busy!

Such beautiful cabochons being made

The time just flew, the class was such fun and the students were just wonderful, everybody made such brilliant ring toppers and cabochons. The air was full of excitement from learning new skills something that as a lampwork teacher I really love to see.

Some of the beautiful cabochons made by the ladies who came on the class

Sandra and her assistant Claudia looked after me so well – thank you both for all the laughs we shared together. I’m so looking forward to seeing you again next year already 🙂

Im so excited to have been invited by Sandra to take part in Switzerlands own Bead Camp in April 2018. Alongside some amazing artists Corina Tettinger, Davide Penso, Claudia Trimbur – Pagel , Angela Meier and Angelika Kaufman it promises to be an amazing date for the lamp workers 2018 calendar!

5 day long classes a teachers dream and a students heaven – its going to be wonderful.

You can find out more details and book to secure your place on any of the classes by taking a look on their dedicated Bead Camp  web site


We just had such a fun weekend with Laura Sparling AKA Beads By Laura. Its the second time she’s done a class with us here at Mangobeads and its always so much fun !

Laura demonstrating blown beads

We did so many things in the class including Laura’s fabulous signature scrollwork on tiny tiny beads – wow she’s just so talented –  she also demonstrated her blown beads which the ladies with us had so much fun with .

Laura demonstrating scroll work

Laura who can turn her hand to almost anything is also a fabulous knitter – she made me these wonderful sox and Max has of course put in an order for a jumper which we had a fun time measuring him up for ! As Laura says he has a very short inside leg measurement !

Max and my sox

I can honestly say that never have I met anyone so very generous with her knowledge – she was my inspiration before I started bead making and the reason I sought out Diana East to start me on my glass journey 12 years ago.

To have been holding this class this past weekend with Laura as the news of Diana’s passing broke was very sad, but it enabled me to reflect and smile on the memories of Diana and her involvement and support of both me and our business ‘Mangobeads’ with a studio full of students which she would have loved.

Diana Officially opened Mangobeads as a teaching studio in 2011 Blog Post on this to follow in the coming days.

Laura has a wonderful blog on her website and a terrific tumblr account which she shares so much of her life, loves and work. She’s an incredible writer and will brighten your day with her wonderful aptitude for writing and her brilliant sense of humour.

Along with her bead making Laura is about to embark on a new chapter in her life with an Archaeology Degree – I for one am looking forward to following her progress in something I know is very close to her heart.

Watch out Time Team you have one truly special Archaeologist on board .

Thank you Laura for a wonderful weekend one to remember XXXXX


My New Year has been slow to get going – Im not feeling hugely creative.

When this happens I find its helpful to take a step back and look at where I am and where it is I want to go . It helps me to stay positive and move forwards.

Im so excited that this year I have 6 classes Im teaching abroad – Im so looking forward to all these classes and meeting all the people who attend them its going to be a very special year in that respect ! Thats a huge positive 🙂

We have some wonderful artists coming to visit us here in the UK at out studio to give classes thats another super positive thing – seeing the workshop alive with eager excited people is so inspiring in so many ways.

Then I look back at my work and what I have recently acheived and how far I have moved forward with my own expectations of where I want to be on a personal level.

I can honestly say that last year was a great year for me and my work,  I feel I took another step up that ladder we never get to the top of and actually never want to – because then where would we go from there !

I never want my journey to end – I don’t feel the need anymore to be coming up with new ideas I just want to get better at what I already do –  I leave you with some images of my favourite work from last year !

… and now to the torch, well tomorrow anyway !

The Patchwork Bead Collection

Bezel set Harlequin Cabochon

Folklore Beads




So who like me loves stationary, any excuse to buy a new notebook and invest in some must have pens for doodling and creating beautiful spreads.

Im probably late at jumping on board but excited at the possibility of perhaps creating some order in my these days chaotic mind. I will most likely succeed in making myself more muddled but im going to have some fun finding out !

The Bullet Journal is the brain child of Ryder Carroll and you can read all about the original here. Basically its for you to interpret as you wish and do with as you want …or simply rush out and buy a new notebook …..

If like me you have already discovered the leuchtturm 1917 notebook this wont be a difficult thing to do .. however finding the dotted A5 version at this precise moment in time in the colour you want just might be tricky as it seems many people have had the same impulsive thoughts!

Just look at all the colours … which one would you choose? Photo: Leuchtturm1917. All Rights reserved

There are many inspirational Bullett Journalists to follow and its a wonderful # to explore on any social media platform.

One of my favourites to date is Christina77star she has a wonderful introduction to what its all about and suggestions for setting your own up on her web site ….. but if like me you are a real beginner I would suggest starting with writing a list of what’s important for you to include and just go from there … thats the stage I’m at .

So for now feast your eyes on the wonderful colours of the Leuchtturm 1917 …



Such a beautiful day here in our little corner of the UK , Max and I took off for a little spin on the beach.


View to Appledore from Instow

View over to Crow Point

Our nearest little bit of beach here in North Devon is Instow.

Instow is opposite Appledore, and where the Taw and Torridge Rivers meet before flowing out to sea.


Max and all dogs love it here its a great beach for socializing doggy style.

Surprisingly not too many about today so Max indulged in a few selfies.



Great selfie Max!


Crashing waves about to sweep Max off his feet (not)



Assessing the visitors for possible playmates!

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be able to do something special with my cabochons. I’ve dabbled a bit before and Davids had a play too but at last I am feeling confident in my own skills to do it myself and to be brave enough to use some special glass work too.

The desire to work with silver comes purely from the glass. Cabochons need silver its as simple as that, and I want my designs to be pure and simple, to simply enhance the beauty of the glass which is where my heart is.

Its all pretty major stuff because obviously the price of each piece goes up, not only with the cost of the silver but the extra workmanship and the Hallmarking which here in the UK we have to have done if the weight of the silver is over 7.78grms.

This last week I sent 30 pieces off to be Hallmarked, my Assay Office is Goldsmiths Hall in London. I waited anxiously for their return. Im pleased to say that it all went well and my first batch of work is marked with the Full Traditional Hallmark:

This comprises five marks:

Sponsor’s mark
Traditional fineness mark
Millesimal fineness mark
Assay Office mark
Date letter mark

Its made my work feel very special and im excited to be able to give my glass work that extra special touch.

Chunky Bangle

Chunky Bangle

New ideas for 2017

Can you think of anything nicer than getting together a group of lampworking friends, escaping to the west country to make beads for a whole weekend, perhaps visiting a beach or two and enjoying some lovely meals out.

Our Studio in Barnstaple is superbly placed for you to do just that.

Book hotels or self catering accommodation all together or separately and spend the day with your friends making beads at our studio and the evenings socialising and generally having a super time.

Provisional Idea of Costs 

420.00 for two days studio hire

Max 8 people

Times 10.00 – 4.30

You will have access to minor bench burners running on 5 litre oxycons , the use of our kiln , 2.4mm mandrels , and bead release, bench tools and a large collection of presses .

You will need to bring your own glass. We do have some to purchase.

Access to basic kitchen facilities including the use of a microwave.

The studio must be tidied at the end of the weekend.

Any beads that are left in the kiln will be sent to the person who made the booking the following week.
(there will be an extra charge for this)

Either David or myself will be present throughout the weekend for health and safety purposes only.

There will be a 50.00 deposit payable at time of booking which will be non refundable. The balance will be payable two weeks before the chosen date

This is only an idea and we would appreciate your response and would be delighted if you have time to comment !

I have classes of my own planned for 2017  and they are as follows!

11 12th February

Neus Shop – Switzerland :

Sundial and Harlequin Cabochons

imageThis class builds on techniques and skills with each demonstration. Each demonstration will take your  Sundial and Harlequin Cabochons one step further from small to big and from simple to complex. In doing this at the end of class you will have a new set of skills that you will be able to use confidently on your own, and a real understanding of how to construct cabochons and prevent so many of the classic things that can easily go so wrong !

Both designs demonstrate confident use of the torch as a tool for effective heat management – one of the keys to successful Cabochons.

I will share with you a technique I discovered that will enable you to easily alter and perfect both the Sundial and Harlequin designs making it very difficult to ‘go wrong’ with raking, encasing and manipulation of the glass.

You will be left wondering how you managed without it and will be able to apply all the knowledge you have learnt in constructing your cabochons to many areas of your bead making.

I will demonstrate for you how to clean up your work and make simple effective pendants from the finished cabochons.

15-16th and 18-19th March

Bluemoon Glassworks –  Austin Texas USA :

Cabtastic Cabochons and Bobbles

imageLots of cabs for rings, snaps, poppers, pins, cuff links earrings, and just about everything else – neat designs and color choices. Simple Sundials, concentric circles, dots, hearts everything in miniature ! We may even get some tumbling done.
Locket Pendants, and Bobbles including soldering the findings that I make to finish them into beautiful pendants.
There won’t be a minute to spare and you will have lots to take home with you after class !






25th – 26th – 27th and 28th May

Glas Gestaltung – Germany :

Two classes  that can be booked as individual days both classes running two times

Harlequin Cabochons

Again building on techniques and skills with each demonstration this class relies heavily on heat control in order to maintain mastery of the glass. We will practice confident use of the torch as a tool, using it not only effectively for heat management, but to our benefit when encasing the layers. _MG_0013
I will demonstrate effective use of color in the layered designs discussing with you those that should be avoided and those that work well. Emphasis will be on demonstrating working cool and slowly.
Encasing the design adds impact and clarity and results in a finished cabochon that is quite beautiful .
I will share with you a technique I discovered that will enable you to easily alter and achieve your design making it very difficult to ‘go wrong’ with the manipulation of the glass at the encasing stage.



Cabtastic Cabochons


Lots of cabs for rings, snaps, poppers, pins, cuff links earrings, and just about everything else – neat designs and color choices. Simple Sundials, concentric circles, dots, hearts everything in miniature ! We may even get some tumbling done 🙂
Locket Pendants, including soldering the findings that I make to finish them into beautiful pendants.
There won’t be a minute to spare and you will have lots to take home with you after class ! .
I will bring with me silver findings which you can purchase at the class.


And … I’m back at Bead Camp in Florida in 2018 !

If you are a studio and would like to host a class with me please do get it touch.

I hope to meet some more of you next year ….. And maybe some old friends at my new class in Austin Texas .