Handcrafted Jewellery, Bead Jewellery, Heart Necklaces at incapilgrim.co.uk
Shamballa seems to be totally on trend...so, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Inca Pilgrim will be launching a whole new line of Shamballa style jewellery. So watch out for all the must have's this coming January. Styles, beads and colours to suit everyone...even the guys. So be prepared!
So as the big event of the year is just around the corner...18 days and counting, here's a bit of Christmas culture over the years.

Santa hasn't always been red
The typical image we all know of Santa Claus dressed in red clothes with white fur trim is actually an amalgamation of cultural input over many years. In fact, pre-1930's there were many different versions of santa, sporting a variety of different coloured garments and ranging from big to small. Santa even appeared as an elf in some depictions. Some people claim the modern day image of Santa was created by Coca-Cola, however this isn't strictly true. The original red-suited Santa became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. 

In 1931 Coca-Cola commissioned the artist Haddon Sundblom to create images of Santa Claus drinking from a bottle of Coke for use in their advertising campaigns. Sundblom's depictions of the red and white Santa became very, very popular, but it's not accurate to say that Sundblom actually invented the modern image of Santa as it had already been around for some time.

A white Christmas doesn't actually need to be that white

For many, a white Christmas means a complete covering of snow, however the official definition of a white Christmas (used most widely, notably by those placing and taking bets) is for a single snow flake (perhaps amongst a shower of rain and snow mixed) to be observed falling in the 24 hours of 25 December.

St Stephens day... I mean Boxing day

December 26 is actually traditionally known as St Stephen's Day, but is now more commonly known as Boxing Day. The origin of Boxing Day is unknown, however it is believed it may have begun with the lords and ladies of England, who presented Christmas gifts in boxes to their servants on December 26. Or it may have begun with priests, who opened the church's alms (charity) boxes on the day after Christmas and distributed the contents to the poor.

It's illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas day in England

As daft as this sounds, it is actually true. In the 17th century Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas pudding, mince pies and anything to do with gluttony. That law has never been rescinded so mince pies are illegal in England on Christmas day. Although, I can't see Crimewatch picking that one up.


1 in 3 men will wait until Christmas Eve to finish their shopping

And 1 in 6 men would like to get rid of all the "gift-giving nonsense". Bah humbug! So give Ebenezer the heave ho, if you want a very merry Christmas this year

There is room at the inn

On Christmas Eve in 2001, the Bethlehem Hotel had 208 of its 210 rooms free. Typical.

People love their pets

7 out of 10 cats & dogs will receive a present at Christmas in the UK.

Too many presents?
If you received all of the gifts listed in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song, you would receive 364 presents. Now if my true love sent me 364 presents in 12 days it might cause the postman a few problems.

Christmas is cancelled

English Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas between 1647 and 1660 because he believed such celebrations were immoral for the holiest day of the year...a bit more 'bah humbug' I'd say!

The Christmas tree

The Christmas tree was first introduced by Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert and his family in 1846. The Christmas tree displayed in Trafalgar square in London is an annual gift to the UK from Norway since 1947. The Norwegian spruce given is a token of appreciation of British friendship during World War II from the Norwegian people.
How much?!

The most valuable Christmas card was sold at an auction in the UK in 2001 for £20,000.

Christmas - what does it mean?

The word Christmas is Old English and comes from the terms Christ's Mass.                                                                                                   

Well, it was definitely that 'time of the month again'. All the fun of the fair...Ayrshire Arts & Crafts Fair to be literal. You know, slow mornings seem to have a way of setting you up for a surprisingly good afternoon, for me anyway. You can sit there watching minutes like they're strawberry plants...except there's nothing to eat at the end.  Craft fairs have a habit of being very unpredictable, so Saturday was a very pleasant surprise, so much so, I bought a sticky toffee pudding from Yummy Things!

Mairi with knitting needles in hand
Anyhow, fast becoming my biggest fan...in the jewellery stakes mind you, Mairi  got a bit excited at my latest creations. So on Saturday, rather than indulging in one piece, she couldn't stop herself taking the whole bloomin lot!

Mairi's stuff & me in the background!
Mairi could knit for Britain. You name it, and she can do it...cupcakes, tea cosies, animals, bugs, flowers and one of my favourites...which I think could possibly be her trademark...Daleks! So if you'd like to have a peek at what this is all about, nip into the Ayrshire Arts & Crafts fair, it's on every month with loads of unique handcrafted ideas, and it's completely free.

So here we are again, Ayrshire's biggest street event. Attending last year's was probably the most surprised I'd ever been from any kind of festival/fair. Nestled in a' that Burns country, with its cobble stoned back streets and 'in costume' vendors, this fair was everything you imagined it should be.
This year there's entertainment from The Rhythm Kings, Screamin' Preachers, Pop Go The Movies...to name a few, there's also featured shows on the Bleaching Green...I'm looking forward to the Tug 'O' War, and for a bit of balance, possibly take a sneak peek at the Meccano Society. There are stalls all over the town, from Loudoun Cottage just off the Ayr Road, to the museum (worth a look) on Castle street next to Kilmarnock Road. Bang smack in the middle of the Burns Festival, this one is worth a diary slot. It's all happening on Saturday 28th May 2011 from 11am...and it's completely FREE!

For a full detailed listing of this event click here!

The Crafters community across the board regardless of craft admit to contemplating whether or not fairs or shows are worthy of time and expense. Here’s my opinion and why it can be a daunting decision
This is my craft stall (and helper son) at a local fair.
When I started doing craft events I signed up for just about any fair or exhibition…a definite ‘trial & error’ process. I learned quite a few lessons, the good and the not so good, along the way. Some fairs can be a considerable investment of time, energy and money, as they can be two, three and even four day long events. Some even run later into the night. While there is a lot of potential for sales, there is potential for disaster too. It should be paramount to check how established a venue as well as an organiser is. Always check the kind of advertising in place…is it targeting the right market? Is it covering the relevant catchment area and so on? And of course, weather. We can’t really predict the weather, but a bit of research up’s the odds of determining the footfall, whether it’s an outdoor or indoor event. Weather is probably up near the top of the list of what can make an event a raging success or a complete washout!

Catrine Festival (June 4th 2011)

Marquee events are probably are one my favourite, so long as the weather is kind and my feet are in good form…there’s a lot to be said for thermal socks and wellies, let me tell you. 

My table with shelves, display stands, platforms and busts
Making the most of your six foot table is vital. I invested in a 30” tiered corner shelf (see picture) which gave my table visibility from other points on the marquee floor. Although having pretty cloth on the table adds to the effect, laying all your items flat doesn’t. Display stands, platforms, shelves, whatever will lift your wares up for better viewing will make the world of difference. Local farmers markets can be a good investment. They attract a lot of local customers that go just to see if they can find something a bit different, and organisers usually welcome local crafters.

Mauchline Holy Fair
Although, sometimes it’s not necessarily always about the sales, you also have the opportunity to promote your craft, with business cards, your website, twitter, facebook pages etc. Meeting customers and fellow stallholders are great for feedback, validation, ideas and friendships. There’s no greater reward than a customer enthusing how beautiful one of your creations are, especially when they are willing to part with their cash too! Market research costs a lot of money, and being a crafter, you probably don’t have a stash especially for it. But being a crafter also means you don’t need to. Attending events is the ideal opportunity to exhibit your work at a comparatively nominal outlay, and feedback is usually immediate. I’ve found that casually listening in while customers are browsing and talking to each other a very useful tool. Customers can be brutally honest, but don't be down heartened by every negative comment…unless of course they are all saying the same thing. Bear in mind, that different markets will in all likelihood yield different results in both sales and comments.

Mauchline Holy Fair May 28th 2011
I love doing craft events, though I don’t get to do as many as I used to because my website and online orders don’t let me, but the ones I do are great, which for me I think, is good value for my time and money.

Mauchline Holy Fair is happening all over again on May 28th 2011
See you there!

Turquoise dates back as far as the Egyptians, used to adorn with colourful jewellery. It carries great wisdom and truth and is the frequently used as the birthstone for Sagittarians. Found in countries including Tibet, China, Iran, Africa and United States, it is one of the oldest protection amulets and it is important that the owner of the gemstone gives it proper attention by attuning to its needs, instead of the stone attuning to the person. The colour depends on the minerals found in the area where it grew. The more copper in the mix produces a bluer stone. The more iron in the mix produces a greener stone. Honoured by the Native Americans as a sacred stone, the gemstone absorbs negativity, transmuting it into useful energy. It also helps you to become one with the universe.

 Turquoise Gemstone has many spiritual, emotional as well as physical properties that assist inner strengths.
  • Protection from harm.
  • Symbol of friendship.
  • Psychic sensitivity and connection to the spirit world.
  • Peace to the home.
  • Turquoise takes on the characteristics of its owner.
  • As a gift, it brings good fortune and helps protect against negative energies.
  • Is a healing stone.
  Some of its physical properties.
  • Healing ailments of the immune, respiratory, waste and skeletal systems.
  • Recommended by crystal healers for ‘detoxifying’…alcohol, poison, pollution or radiation in the body, treatment of high blood pressure, asthma, infections, TMJ and dental problems.
  • Assists mental clarity - it helps us communicate our desires to others and be clear about what we want.
  • Use turquoise if you have a fear of public speaking.
  • Improves the mental state.
There are many types and colours of Turquoise, not just the traditional green/blue. Here is a few -

Yellow Turquoise is mostly a jasper or serpentine gemstone that is yellow with brown, green and red within. The black webbing that appears throughout this stone is hematite. Yellow turquoise helps communication, intuition and creativity, and brings wisdom.

Chinese Turquoise is mined and processed in the Hubei province in China. Most of this turquoise is enhanced with wax treatment, restabilization or dyed.

African Turquoise is sometimes natural Jasper that resembles turquoise

Simulated Turquoise can be made up of one of several stones (howlite, dolomite, glass, plastic or polymer clay) that can be dyed to resemble turquoise.

Black turquoise is actually naturally occurring Onyx whose markings can resemble that seen on natural turquoise.

A string of turquoise gemstone beads used as a bracelet, necklace or even an anklet will help detoxify the body from alcohol, pollution, poison and radiation. The idea is to wear the beads around one area of the body so as the blood flows back and forth through the area, the turquoise can purify it. Anyone that has problems with their lungs, throat or from asthma, can hang a turquoise gemstone from a cord or chain so it hangs directly over the area causing the problem. This allows the gem energies to get as close as possible to the problem area and begin the healing work even faster.

Chemical Composition: A Phosphate
Hardness - 5 to 6
Astrological sign: Sagittarius
Fairies have a great affinity with earth. They live in the meadows and woods, and are powerful elemental spirits of nature. They are inhabited by Fay, who can be summoned by magical rites. It is believed that fairies are descendants of the hidden children of the biblical Eve, and by others that they are fallen angels.

Throughout the Celtic folklore, it is believed that fairies are tricky folk to be involved with. They might steal your baby and replace it with a changeling, or they might fall in love with you and take you in their realm where you can live a life full of enchantment.

Nevertheless, fairies are one part of the complex fabric of spiritual reality, and in our times we perceive fairies as enchanting creatures with magic drawn from the power of glamour. They can be seen on the Midsummer’s Eve, together with nature spirits that keep themselves hidden from humans.

Inca Pilgrim have a range of mid-summer magic inspired fairy jewellery; necklaces, bracelets, earrings and charms, that evoke thoughts of fairies, fireflies and figments of the imagination. These pieces will make any woman feel special.
All jewellery is presented is a gorgeous organza gift pouch which can be used again. Some of the earrings in the fairy collection are sterling silver, hallmarked 925 and all Inca Pilgrim jewellery is nickel and lead free.

Black Fairy Charm Necklace
Intense red silver foil glass heart charm
Got your own chain? Perfect! You can fit your own charm or pendant to it, and create your own necklace or bracelet. We all know how expensive and a touch over-priced some of the big brand named charms like Pandora, Biaggi, Troll etc. can be, well Inca Pilgrim has designed some very cost-effective and original charms for you to add to your existing jewellery, or to create a piece from scratch, or even change to suit your mood. In keeping with Inca Pilgrim's unique style, there are  Angels, Butterflies, Fairies, Hearts & Flowers. The charms will fit any 3mm chain , and just slide on (check chain fitting first as some may have a larger fastening connector). You can also request a specific style or colour, just email the details and we'll let you know how long.

Inspired by the fast approaching summer, Turquoise is the colour that inspires thoughts of tropical Island holidays and walks along warm evening sands...not to mention drinking cocktails and fuzzy floaty feelings that ensue. Yup, think that pretty much captured it! But there can't be a better visual combination than turquoise on sun-tanned skin...it was meant to be.

This gorgeous necklace epitomises all of the above, with just enough bohemian ethnicity to make a statement. Beautiful turquoise magnesite teamed with devilish scarlet scream 'look at me'. Magnesite gemstone has a smooth and very tactile finish with naturally occurring marks. The large Heart measures 2.5cm and the hearts on either side measure 1.6cm. Antique silver toned beads finish this piece off perfectly!

Beautiful Arran. From my sisters window
My name is Alison and I'm the designer behind Inca Pilgrim. I'm based in Troon home of Golf (Gowf) on the south west coast of Scotland which to me has one of the most beautifully picturesque coastlines in the UK.  Inca Pilgrim has been going since 2009 and has generated a lot of interest locally as well as further afield. I grew up surrounded by arts & crafts; Mum loved painting & improvising, Dad  made acoustic guitars and model aeroplanes, my brother built just about anything...and still does, and as a child I would spend hours rummaging through my Gran's bead and button tin (my Aladdin’s cave) for any little trinket I could use to make a necklace or a bracelet. I went onto selling my creations at school. Eventually, at the start of 2009 requests were thick and fast, so I dusted off my pliers and here I am enjoying again what I did for fun, now in the big world! Ali x