torstai 24. syyskuuta 2009

Your choice

By the way....Castaliaz may be in english, but feel free to comment in finnish or swedish. When I first announced my intentions to try blogging to my fellow beaders at Helmetti, I noted that comment language is free. I just forgot to mention it here too.

Ja sama Suomeksi lyhyesti -
Kommentoikaa toki vapaasti Suomeksi tai Ruotsiksi, unohdin vain mainita täällä että kieli on vapaa.


Hate to admit it, but the summer is officially over now. Time to say goodbye for strappy sandals and welcome new season of boots. And what a great season it looks like. I am well pleased with the continuing trend of high boots with less on the heel. All I really need is a pair of warm and comfortable boots to walk me through the falling leaves, rain and snow.

Ideally, I will get a pair of tan coloured boots to match my lovely new hangbag and black pair, well just because every girl needs a one pair of black boots ;-) In reality, real leather boots don't come cheaply so I will be grateful to get even one pair. True to my style I have done my homework before heading out to the shops. Here are my favourite contenders so far;

The black pair from Ellos are this seasons hottest over-the-knee boots. I think they're to die for, I'm just not quite sure my anatomy can pull them off.

tiistai 22. syyskuuta 2009

Another brick on the wall

Now that I have finally returned home and am surrounded by my beading goodies, I find myself either too busy or uninspired to be creative. Looking at all the amazing autumn inspired jewellery presented by other beading junkies I cannot help feeling a little defeated. Perhaps tomorrow I will reserve some quality time with just me and the beads, but then again I will probably end up going to Ikea.

Regardless of what I end up doing tomorrow, today I will share one of my favourite pieces of sudden creativeness -'brick wall'. Rarely have I been so utterly pleased with myself as I was with this one. Mostly because it was my original idea (not that no one else has ever done, just that I haven't seen any before) of combining a seed bead technique for these rather sizeable 8x8 mm squares. Red squares are beautiful red coral with a slightly textured finish, whereas the shiny black onyx squares have an alltogether different surface.

I created the 'chessboard-like' surface by brick-stiching the squares to each other using colourless beading wire. Finding the right type of a needle was the key for the success of this project. I used a large eyed beading needle which was flexible enough not to break if bended. At each end I attached a Bali-style silver 3-way divider and a clasp.

Not the easiest project I have done, but certainly one of the most satisfying to complete :-)

perjantai 18. syyskuuta 2009

Double take

This Saturday I witnessed two couples tying the knot. Since it was an autumn wedding and I opted for a dark look. With shoes and accessories I am hopefully succeeded to bring some softness into otherwise simple and classic look. I found this amazing double necklace with a detachable lace bow. It is so cute that I am desperately trying to find some lace to make my own too. Does anyone know where I could score some lace in a form of tube? I suppose it is quite similar to wire lace ribbon with the exception it is made of lace of course!

Necklace was a find from Dorothy Perkins.
This bracelet on the other hand I made myself some time ago. Beautifylly faceted and round black onyx with a simple slide-in clasp.

Easy to achieve finger curls were kept in order with this black bow band I found from my reccent shopping trip to Dublin.

And I danced the night away in one of my favourite shoes by Report. Oh, do I miss New York shoe stores.

sunnuntai 13. syyskuuta 2009

Let loose in Dublin

Today was a much needed break from work with one agenda only - shopping! I headed to Dublin with some friends to browse what the Irish / Bristish autumn fashion had to offer. Luckily browsing wasn't all I had to do, at the end of a long (and suprisingly enough sunny) day I managed tick every item off my 'neccessity-buy' list and even bag some amazing finds.

Here are few of the things I brought home with me tonight.

Navy blue vest top with beautiful neckline detail from Miss Selfridges (amazing find), slouch leather buckle bag in tan from River Island (neccessity-buy), electric blue ruched purse by John Rocha for Debemhams (neccessity-buy - you should see the shape of my old purse ;-/) and a black bow head band from Aldo (neccessity-buy - my hair accessory for next weekend's wedding).

I have been lusting after a tan (dark beige) leather bag for a while, so I was jumping from joy when I found this beauty screaming my name. My precious!

perjantai 11. syyskuuta 2009

Fresh pick of the stars

When looking for an inspiration, I have a habit of covering the floor or dining room table with beads. Slowly moving beads around, matching colours, comparing shapes, admiring textures, I usually come up with something that pleases my eye. Although, the end result can be a beautiful combination of colours wrapped around my neck or wrist, I often end sitting in the middle of an absolute chaos. One which really needs to be cleaned sooner rather than later.

Fresh picks at Lima Beads is a colour and texture arrangement designed to aid inspiration (& undoubtedly increase the sales too). And it just might overcome my cleaning problems. I was fascinated by this tool and rushed off to combine my own creation, only to discover that I could not share it in anywhere else but Lima Beads website.

Sometimes I cannot admit defeat - so here I present;

Starry nightsky by Castalia

Thank you Google Images and Photoshop Elements! And yes, it did take a while.

maanantai 7. syyskuuta 2009


I had completely forgotten about this piece of bling. Probably because this was one of the rare pieces I made in the past year. I used the coarsely faceted quartz beads which I bought from a 2008 Precious Gemstone show in Ylämaa, Finland and teamed them with some very modern looking silver findings. All in all I feel this is a very simple and contemporary piece (if that is something one can say about jewellery?!).

You will have to excuse me the quality of the photo - I never quite figured out how to photograph colourless / clear jewellery.

sunnuntai 6. syyskuuta 2009

Plasticiens Volants

End of my summer holiday was marked by a Night of the Arts which was part of the Helsinki festival 2009. Its main attraction Plasticiens Volants' show Perle transformed the darkening late summer evening at the Senate Square into a colourful ocean aquarium.

On this rainy Sunday afternoon these images make yet another lonely day far away from home seem little bit more bearable.


Many of the US and UK fashion labels carry an inspiring selection of relative inexpensive (except the Anna Beck Riua earrings) jewellery on their collection. Although I usually prefer to hand craft my own pieces to suit my taste, I cannot but be tempted with these seasonal fashion goodies to be mine. Here are best of the large cascading earrings. Since I cannot choose between my traditional favourite silver and my new found love for (black &) gold - I will give you both!

Silver Edition

From left to right; Duchess earrings by Forever 21, Oval floral scale earrings also from Forever 21, Embossed Disc earrings by Diva for Miss Selfridge, Tear drop shaped Anna Beck Riau earrings from Max & Chloe.

(Black &) Gold Edition

From left to right; Black & gold lead shower earrings , Embossed gold leaf earrings, Black & gold shell earrings. First three pairs all from Forever 21. Metallic golden tear drops from Accessorize.

Has anyone attempted to many their own cascading earring pair?

tiistai 1. syyskuuta 2009

Best of Bangles

I adore chunky bracelets. They are a snazzy little way to liven up an outfit, easy to slip on (how many can honestly say that bracelets with clasps willl slip on around your wrist in a matter of seconds?) and will not damage your new cardigan by ripping it to threads. Between gold and silver I've always been leaning towards the platinum look, but I find this autumn's black & gold combinations surprisinly appealing. I have added a little bit of both colours on my best of bangles selection and concentrated more on the texture. Here are some of the beauties I would like to take home. And given my artistic capabilities even try to make myself.

From top left hand corner;

Chunky pebble textured bangle in gold from Forever21
Brass bangle with black diamond detail from
Gold filingree and black leather cuff from Forever21
Bangled Cuff in silver from Forever21
Tripe coiled silver bracelet from Saks 5th Ave
Coiled silver cuff from Oasis
Gold & black metallic squares bangle from Forever21
Beaded and sequined Maurizio Pecoraro bangle (from Polyvore)
Gold & black sequined bangle from Forever21

I went a little crazy over Forever21's jewellery section. They were just so adorable! Stay tuned for more of my favourite pics from Forever21's jewellery collection later on in the week.