Charlotte Balbier

Just Add Lustre! Supplier Showcase: Poppy Sparkles

February 6th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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How’s your Monday going Brides Up North?  Let’s give it some lustre!

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This afternoon on the wedding blog I chat to super mum, lovely lady and designer of beautiful baubles Viv from Poppy Sparkles about her stunning range of hand made bridal jewellery. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Poppy Sparkles

Cascade Earrings

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How did Poppy Sparkles begin?

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Poppy SparklesI’ve been making jewellery since my early teens and selling my creations for nearly as long. I’d dabbled in selling my jewellery online for a little while and then (cliché warning!) after the birth of my second baby I decided that whilst I was on a career break from teaching it was my opportunity to take it beyond a hobby craft business. Although I am a full time mum which takes up most of my time, I do have more time than when I was teaching full time and I manage to fit in a variety of admin or online tasks during the day and then get creative with jewellery making during nap times and the evening.

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For the most part I’m self-taught in jewellery making, but I have undertaken a silver-smithing course and it is something that I hope to build on in the future. I’d love to do some more courses and learn new skills that I can put to use. I’ve been creative with a strong urge to make pretty things for as long as I can remember. .

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As well as making jewellery, I’m also a keen crafter and like to knit, make cards, cross stitch and one day hope to master my sewing machine.

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Tell Brides Up North about your range of jewellery?

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I’ve managed to channel a variety of loves and passions into Poppy Sparkles and my jewellery, as well as drawing inspiration from my eclectic tastes.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Poppy Sparkles   Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Poppy Sparkles

Sparkle Ball Hairpins & Boho Leaf Hairpins

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I love the purity of bridal jewellery – clear crystals, white pearls and silver.

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I love playing about with colour and experimenting with different colour ways.

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I love buttons and have created a couple of collections with buttons as the focal piece, including the Lustre Collection with Mother Of Pearl buttons which was made as a more original wedding jewellery collection.

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I’m also sentimental and love jewellery which celebrates life and special occasions. It was this that lead me to create Birthstone jewellery and my Mummy necklaces.

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Overall, I’d describe my jewellery as fresh, contemporary, clean, simple. I tend to air on the less fussy side and love the beauty that is to be had in cleaner, simpler creations.

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Poppy Sparkles

Mother Of Pearl Cluster Earrings

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What materials do you use in your designs?

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Primarily I work with Swarovski crystal, freshwater pearls and sterling silver. I aim to create jewellery which can be treasured and worn for years to come, not cheap costume jewellery. When selecting materials to work with I always consider its quality and whether it will retain its beauty with wear and time. Whilst I like to consider current trends and fashions, I aim to create pieces that have style and a more timeless appeal to them.

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Poppy Sparkles

Bracelet Detail

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Where do you get your inspiration?

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I draw inspiration from a range of sources. I may find a particular bead that I want to use in a design – this was how my Boho collection began as I fell in love with the carved Mother Of Pearl leaf shaped beads. Other times I see an outfit or dress and imagine a particular design that would work well with it. Sometimes I just get a vague notion of the emotion or look I want to capture and will gather some materials and experiment with colours and designs until I’ve brought the idea to life.

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Random things inspire, especially for colour combinations. I see a few colours together that really work and I’ll recreate it with crystals or gemstones.

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Bespoke commissions are also a source of inspiration as I work with a client’s ideas rather than just my own. Often a bespoke design leads to a new design or collection.

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Poppy Sparkles

Lustre Bracelet

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What pieces are available in each range?

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I have a number of collections or ranges, but also create pieces when I feel inspired and these may or may not develop beyond a single piece into a complimentary collection.

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When designing a collection, as a minimum I like to create a necklace, bracelet and earrings that all match. As I develop my bridal and special occasion collections, I am aiming to have more choice with different length earrings, a choice of necklaces from a simple pendant to a fuller necklace to suit a range of dress necklines, as well as hair accessories – with a few variations on a theme.

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Poppy Sparkles

Boho Pendant

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Do you make bespoke pieces?

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Bespoke orders are something I welcome and relish. I love the opportunity to work with a client to create something truly special. Bespoke commissions allow me to have a closer relationship to a client whilst we develop ideas together via emails and I love getting to know my clients through this correspondence and being a part of their special day and plans.

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Poppy Sparkles

Boho Drop Earrings

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Are you married? Tell us about your big day…

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I was married in July 2007 and chose to keep it more intimate with just our immediate family, a decision that meant we were able to go ahead with our special day when my mum took ill the day of the wedding. The rain that poured down that day was the least of my concerns!

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It was lovely planning our wedding; with just eight of us we didn’t have to think too much about the budget! In keeping with our lower key wedding I chose to wear a tea length bridesmaid dress in ivory by Watters and Watters – being barely over 5ft I also felt that a shorter dress would suit me better. I make my own jewellery and tiara, or course, as well as all the wedding stationery and a unity candle for the service. For favours we had mugs handmade at the Pilling Pottery with each person’s name on them, as well as more traditional heart shaped chocolates in favour boxes. I struggle with high heeled shoes and hadn’t found anything that was quite right, with the designs I favoured having too high a heel for me. This dilemma was solved when I had a pair of shoes made especially for me by Elegant Wedding Shoes in Burnley who created a peep toe sling back shoe with just the right sized heel.

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The actual wedding service was pretty unique with my mum taking the service (she’s ordained in the Church of England). I was worried that this would be odd and I have to admit that at the wedding rehearsal I did little but laugh, leaving everyone concerned that I was going to giggle throughout the actual wedding. On the day however nerves took hold.  I wasn’t nervous about getting married or any of the usual bridal concerns: I was worried about my mum and whether we would get through the day. Unwilling to worry us or ruin our special day my mum didn’t let on just how awful she felt! 

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After the wedding service in Garstang, we made our way to The Swan Hotel in Grasmere for an afternoon tea buffet, complete with Moet and Chandon champagne. In the evening we had a formal sit down meal in the restaurant- as a party of eight we were able to each choose what we wanted from the menu, which doesn’t normally happen at a wedding. Despite being a smaller wedding party, the hotel staff were fantastic and helped us celebrate our special day.

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I’ve love to have a chance to dress up and be a bride again and have another chance to capture full wattage smiles, joy and happiness in a tiara and a wedding dress!

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Poppy Sparkles   Poppy Sparkles

Luxe Sparkle Necklace & Pure Pearl Earrings

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What Poppy Sparkles pieces would you choose to wear on your wedding day and why?

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At the moment I’m loving wearing the Lustre earrings. I also really love my Boho Collection. I love the warmth of the creamy mother of pearl together with the blush and golden crystals. It’s a lovely delicate and romantic collection that makes a perfect alternative to pure whites and crystal. In truth though I’d have to go bespoke and create some new pieces that were perfect for me and my dress.

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Poppy Sparkles

Elegance Stardust Midi Drop Earrings

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Tell us about your Mummy Birthstone necklaces?

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Although better known as Mummy necklaces, I like to think of them as Family birthstone necklaces. Each Necklace is personalised with Swarovski birthstone crystals to represent the wearer’s children or loved ones.

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I personally have several Mummy necklaces of my own and my children love them. They can both pick out their birthstone and they understand that it’s a special necklace. My little boy will often tell me to wear my ‘special necklace’. I love creating my Mummy necklaces and hearing back from the recipients who invariably love wearing them. Charm jewellery remains popular and mums especially love to hold the ones they love close with meaningful jewellery.

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Poppy Sparkles   Poppy Sparkles

Birthstone Necklaces

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We hear you write a rather fabulous blog. Tell us a bit about it?

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I love to share my adventures in jewellery making as well ass indulge my love of handmade through my blog. There’s so many wonderful items from independent designers and retailers and I love to share them with others, as well as news from Poppy Sparkles. From time to time I have giveaways, reviews and tutorials. I love that I have an outlet to indulge in my love of crafts and handmade. You can find my blog at www.poppysparkles.blogspot.com

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Poppy Sparkles

Mother Of Pearl Drop Earrings

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Prices start from around £10 to £60.

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Poppy Sparkles

Boho Bracelet

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How can Brides Up North see more examples of your work/ get in touch with you?

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Email:  viv@poppysparkles.co.uk

Web:  www.poppysparkles.co.uk

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/poppysparkles

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/poppysparkles

Blog: www.poppysparkles.blogspot.com

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Make sure to check back later in the week as Viv unveils the Valentine’s collection from Poppy Sparkles with an exclusive Brides Up North giveaway!

 

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  – Images © 2012 Poppy Sparkles

Poppy Sparkles is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Sparkle & Shine: Supplier Showcase: By Gina Jewellery

June 10th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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The lovely Gina of By Gina Jewellery has become of friend of mine via Twitter and later in real life.  She is a little ray of sunshine: bright, bubbly and boy, does she create some beautiful wedding jewellery!

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I’m like a kid in a sweet shop today as Gina showcases some of her gorgeous creations and tells Brides Up North all about By Gina Jewellery.

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By Gina Romance Tiara

Romance

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How did By Gina Jewellery begin? What is your story?

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I worked as an event planner in hotels for too many years and missed working in the wedding industry after I left – a big surprise to me! I decided I’d like to continue to work with weddings but didn’t want the unsocial hours that come with the hotel industry. It was a drunken idea in a pizza shop that started me thinking that I could run my own business (but isn’t that where all the best plans start?). I started with wedding stationery thinking how easy it would be to make and how wrong I was! With lots of practice and shouting at inanimate objects, I had created a range of stationery I was happy with but I didn’t stop there. If I could make stationery, then surely I could make jewellery, and you know what…I can! That was 5 years ago now and I have no idea how so much time has passed!

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By Gina Acacia Bracelet

Acacia

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What jewellery products/ bridal accessories are available from By Gina Jewellery?

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I have a range of tiaras, hair bands, necklaces, bracelets and earrings on the site at the moment but I am in the process of adding birdcage veils, garters and fascinators. At the moment my range is small but it is growing all the time. I aim to have a wide selection of styles, materials and prices so that no matter what a bride is looking for I should have something to suit.

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Do you design and make all the jewellery on your site?

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I did, but I’m very excited to have some very talented UK designers coming on board. They are designing and making new pieces that will feature on my site and a lot of them will be exclusive to By Gina Jewellery. I’m doing this to expand the selection I have on the site for brides, but also to showcase what amazing handmade items there are out there. A lot of the designers don’t have their own websites and sell through Etsy or Folksy so I thought how amazing it would be to be able to showcase their work on my site too.

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By Gina Acacia Earrings

Acacia

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Which piece is your favourite and why?

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Ooooh…that is a tough one! I love all my designs, they wouldn’t be on the website if I wasn’t 100% happy with them! But if I had to narrow it down to just one thing…at the moment it would have to be the Daisy Hair band (below). It’s just so simple, but yet sparkly. But, by the time this goes to press I will probably have changed my mind 100 times!

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By Gina Daisy Hair Band

Daisy

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Can you create bespoke pieces?

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Yes, because all the pieces are made to order they can be changed to suit the bride. Or if the bride wanted something completely different, I could sit down and discuss their ideas and come up with some sketches for a totally bespoke one off design.

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What celebrity would you like to design for and why?

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I would have loved to have designed Katy Perry’s wedding jewellery. I think a crystal tiara would have looked amazing in her dark hair! But as she’s now married, I’d like her to wear a few of my designs as she’s a bit of a style icon to a lot of people. If she rocked pearls, they would be even more fashionable!

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By Gina Darcy Earrings

Darcy

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By Gina Fae Earrings

Fae

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What materials do you work with?

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I mainly use Swarovski crystals and pearls with sterling silver fitments. I also use freshwater pearls in some of my designs. All the tiaras are made using silver coloured wire. I always make sure that each material is perfect before I use it….I’m too much of a perfectionist to use anything sub standard.

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By Gina Harmony Side Tiara

Harmony

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Can you buy all your designs online or do you do appointments?

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Everyone of my designs are available on my online shop. You can choose crystal and pearl colour and lengths online too. But if a bride wanted a more individual piece they can email or call me to discuss and I can arrange an appointment to go through the design with them.

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By Gina Isla Necklace

Isla

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What pieces would you recommend as bridesmaid’s gifts?

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If it was for a little girl the Mia butterfly pendant (below) is perfect! They are so cute and girly! For an older bridesmaid I would go with Acacia bracelet or necklace…they can be worn with so many outfits and look amazing!

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By Gina Mia Necklace

Mia

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

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From everyday life. I see what people are wearing, what’s in magazines on the TV and ideas seem to come together. I’m not a big one for drawing designs…I like to try things. I am always putting something together to pull it apart and start again. I have a quite simple style and I like to stick to that. I would like to design some more elaborate pieces, but have to wait until I have enough time to make them perfect!

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By Gina Princess CombPrincess 

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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We have so many things, where do I start!

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Tiaras start at £70.00 up to £90.00

Hair bands start from £25.00 up to £40.00

Hair combs start at £45.00 up to £60.00

Necklaces are from £22.50 up to £30.00

Bracelets from £10.00 up to £20.00

Earrings from £8.50 to £12.50

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?

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I have every imaginable way of contacting me!

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The old fashioned way by phone on 0191 272 8004 or 07881 903 953, by email gina@bygina.co.uk, via Twitter @byginaevents

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Through my website www.bygina.co.uk  – I have a blog on my website which you can follow for interesting tips and tricks and you can view my full range of jewellery and buy online.

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I have a facebook page www.facebook.com/bygina which I use for special offers and competitions.

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By Gina Twilight Tiara

Twilight

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Anything else that Brides Up North should know?

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My aim in life is to have a gorgeous boutique in Tynemouth near Newcastle upon Tyne where I live. I would love couples to be able to come in, sit down and talk through all their hopes and dreams for their wedding day in a consultation room. I also aim to have a shop front in the boutique displaying all my handmade jewellery and stationery.  I’d also love to showcase other handmade items from wedding businesses in the boutique.

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By Gina Vintage Comb

Vintage

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Why do you read Brides Up North?

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I love the complete randomness of the posts! One day I’m reading about a real wedding, the next dresses and the day after a supplier spotlight! It’s never the same old stuff rehashed and I never get bored! I think it also helps that I’m nosey and want to see what all the couples weddings were like!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © By Gina Jewellery 

By Gina Jewellery is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Countdown to Christmas! Brides Up North Giveaway: Chez Bec!

December 9th, 2010 | Julia Braime

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Giveaway closes Sunday 12 December 2010 at midnight!  Comment now to enter!

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You lucky things! Over the next few weeks I’ll be spoiling you with some very special giveaways!  Its like a giant Brides Up North advent calendar (well,almost!)…keep checking the blog!

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All you have to do is spread some festive cheer by leaving me a comment to be in with a chance of winning an early – and rather fabulous, darling – Chrimbo pressie!

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First up, the delectable Chez Bec!

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CB Vintage Bridal Hair Comb    CB Poppy II Vintage Bridal Headband

Vintage Bridal Hair Comb                                       Poppy II Vintage Bridal Headband

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Newly annointed Brides Up North Featured Supplier and award-winning bridal jewellery experts Chez Bec have the perfect wedding jewellery and hair accessories for your big day.

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CB Fleur II Pearl Bridal Earrings CB Viola Vintage Bridal Pendant

Fleur II Pearl Bridal Earrings                                   Viola Vintage Bridal Pendant

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Featuring an abundance of freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals, all of their jewellery is hand-made to order in the UK.  With prices from £20, there really is something for every bride.  Here we showcase Chez Bec’s top ten bestsellers for December 2010, so you can keep your finger firmly on the pulse of bridal fashion.

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CB Fleur Pearl Bridal Headband    Orla Vintage Bridal Hair Comb

Fleur Pearl Bridal Headband                                      Orla Vintage Bridal Hair Comb

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Chez Bec launched in 2006 and is now regarded as one of the UK’s leading providers of Wedding Jewellery having won the Award for Best Bridal Accessories at the Wedding Ideas Awards 2010 as well as being nominated on one of 3 Finalists for Best Bridal Accessories in the Wedding Ideas Awards 2008 and 2009. Chez Bec was also short listed as one of 5 Bridal Jewellery Finalists in the UK Jewellery Awards 2008.

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CB Vanessa Vintage Pearl Bridal Bracelet    CB Sylvia Vintage Pearl and Crystal Bridal Bracelet

Vanessa Vintage Pearl Bridal Bracelet                        Sylvia Vintage Pearl and Crystal Bridal Bracelet

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Each and every piece within the Chez Bec Collection is beautifully designed and hand-made using the finest A-grade freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals. With one of the largest collections of bridal jewellery available online, Chez Bec offers a beautiful array of wedding jewellery and hair accessories.

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CB Grand Gardenia Wedding Hair Flower Clip              Grace Vintage Pearl Bridal Earrings

Grand Gardenia Wedding Hair Flower Clip                                Grace Vintage Pearl Bridal Earrings

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Alongside their ready-to-wear Collection, Chez Bec also offer a bespoke service which is becoming more and more popular with brides looking for a truly unique piece of jewellery to wear on their special day.

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All purchases from Chez Bec are gorgeously gift wrapped as standard in luxury branded gift boxes complete with lashings and lashings of the softest white tissue paper, and a hand written gift card.  Perfect for bridesmaids’ gifts and one less thing for busy brides to do!

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Santa’s little helpers Chez Bec are giving away two of their

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bestselling Crystal Elegance Bracelets worth £44 each to two

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lucky Brides Up North readers!

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Crystal Elegance Pearl Bridal Bracelet

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To win, simply:

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1. Enter your email in the Subscribe! box at top right*; and

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2.  Leave a comment below telling Brides Up North why your wrists should be the ones to be adorned with such gorgeousness!

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Simples! 

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The very best of luck and a Very Merry Christmas from Brides Up

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North and Chez Bec to all of you, each and every one!

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*Brides Up North never share your email.  You won’t get any nasty surprises, just my lovely newsletter once a month! For more information see my Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

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Giveaway closes Sunday 12 December 2010 at midnight!  Comment now to enter!

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Chez Bec is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North today to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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