Autumn gift ideas

Are you ready to say good bye to summer and embrace the change of season? Even if you’re not, at least the colours that autumn brings kinda make up for it! This ombré Garnet necklace is a perfect match for the Acer at the bottom of my street!



Rich autumnal colours in the Chalso Etsy shop, including red Carnelian, beautiful natural woods, Tigers eye and silvery grey Hematite.


In ombré colours from red to orange, peach and white.

I never tire of making this beautiful necklace, each one is unique. It makes a great Autumn or October birthday gift.

For a 15% discount code to use in the Chalso Etsy shop, sign up to the Chalso newsletter.




Life in 7 Black and White Photos

Life in seven black and white photos, no people, no explanations.

Except this isn’t Instagram, Facebook or Twitter so, I’m including titles and the thinking behind each of these pictures for those of you interested enough to find my blog!

Home. A safe place, a calm place, a family bubble, the eye of the storm. I’m not building walls, I’m growing hedges.


Work. Just a part of the whole. Working from home is perfect for me at the moment. I have one room in the house that I use for Chalso. This means that I can shut the door on it when required and that I can easily work around family life and commitments.


Balance. Balance is essential for a happy and healthy body and mind. I regularly assess aspects of my life and give things a little nudge here and there to make sure everything is going in the right direction and everyone in the family has what they need to be happy and healthy.


Going my own way, but thanks for the advice
Going my own way, but thanks for the advice. This is as much to do with raising kids as anything else. I’m trying to bring my kids up to make their own decisions, think for themselves, no matter what they are being told or what direction they are being pushed in. It’s important to stop every now and again, and check if you are a doing what you want to do or if you are just following the signs.


No meat here
No meat here. Life-long vegetarian, I’m mostly a plant-eater and I’m doing a little more everyday to be more eco-responsible. Less plastic, less waste, less polluting…


Scottish and proud (OK so I was born in England to English parents, but I’m a Scot none the less 😜). Being Scottish isn’t about where you were born or who your parents were, it’s a state of mind.


Love. What’s it all for otherwise?


Credits: Purposefully, I chose two photos involving my husband directly, one was the pebble tower, which he built, and the other was the thistle. He came across the thistle in a neglected, isolated spot of the Scottish central belt. He was probably the only person to set eyes on it, and he took a photo of it, for me. 💜

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse into my life in black and white, thanks for reading!

Love, Sarah x



Balance, multitasking and focus



It’s so important to have balance in life. Everything is possible, just not all at the same time! Multitasking is part of everyday life for a working mum but sometimes, you need to focus on one thing and enjoy it wholeheartedly. That was the past week for me. I switched my brain entirely to family mode and it was wonderful! We visited family in Wales, we swam in the sea, ate ice cream and built sandcastles, had family BBQs and sleepovers with cousins.

Our summer holidays are almost over now in Scotland, the kids go back to school next week. I’m so glad I didn’t spend the entire summer multitasking!


On the beach


Links and further reading

Follow me on Instagram for daily updates.

For ideas on things to do in Scotland and family days out see these previous blog posts:

Bonnie Scotland

Summer in Scotland

There’s more on summer 2018 here Summertime, inspired by sun, sea and sand

The Chalso Etsy shop



Summertime! Inspired by sun, sea and sand…

We are having a very un-Scottish summer this year! With weeks and weeks of warm sunny weather it’s like being in a different country! The paddling pool has been filled, emptied and refilled numerous times and the kids are looking healthy and sun kissed (though I can’t say the same for our lawn!).

We also went on our first family holiday abroad, braving the “all inclusive” package holiday, a first for all of us. It was a bit of a culture shock if I’m being honest. We’re not really used to being around that many people and I definitely wouldn’t recommend arriving at midnight to a place where the booze is free… but, the hotel was well staffed and smooth running, the ice cream was plentiful and so were the sun loungers so, all good!

Summer hols 2018


As far as Chalso goes, there’s plenty of bright and colourful summery jewellery inspired by sun, sea and sand in the Chalso Etsy shop.



You can see more summer birthstone jewellery,  rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings on the Home page and in the Chalso Etsy shop.



For summer activity ideas in Scotland visit my other blog posts, Summer in Scotland and Bonnie Scotland.

More summer gift ideas.

Made with Pride by Chalso.

Sign up to the Chalso Newsletter for shop updates and exclusive special offers direct to your inbox!



May update from Chalso

Bit of a random title that doesn’t really tell you what to expect or give you any reason to click through to read more… hey ho, here we go anyway! It’s been an exciting and busy month at Chalso HQ! I have my first stockist, a local gift shop called Paper Isle, and I’ve been promoted to Captain of the I Heart Scotland Etsy Team!


Paper Isle

A beautiful, newly opened gift shop in Clarkston, Glasgow, Paper Isle stocks lots of beautiful cards and gifts, many by local makers. There is certainly something for everyone at Paper Isle!


I Heart Scotland Etsy Team

The I Heart Scotland Etsy Team is a small group of Scotland-based Etsy shop owners. I’ve been a Leader of the team for a while, my role has mostly been to keep the team Twitter and Instagram going. Recently, the team Captain stepped down and I was asked to take her place. I’m very excited about my new role and have been putting some thought into how I’m going to take the team forward. One of the first things I’ve done is set up a team Pinterest profile. There are 20+ group boards for members to pin to. If you are a Scotland-based Etsy seller, pop over and join us! If you are a lover of all things Scottish or live in Scotland and like to support local makers, come and follow us, we’d be glad to see you! 😀

I Heart Scotland Etsy Team logo


Fathers Day

Now to more important things! Fathers Day is 17th June this year. There are lots of gift ideas for Dad in the Chalso Etsy shop including matching Father and son/daughter bracelets and family birthstone bracelet sets.

If you are ordering Fathers Day gifts from outside the UK, please order by 28th May. If you are in the UK, please order by 11th June via the Chalso Etsy shop. 💙

Thanks for reading!
Sarah xx



I Heart Scotland Etsy Team

I Heart Scotland on Instagram

I Heart Scotland on Twitter

I Heart Scotland on Pinterest

Paper Isle on Instagram

Chalso Fathers Day gift ideas on Etsy

Sign up to the Chalso Newsletter for shop updates and exclusive special offers direct to your inbox!




Is Spring finally here???

The River Clyde with the Glasgow Science Centre and SEC in the distance.
The River Clyde with the Glasgow Science Centre and SEC in the distance.

After a very chilly Spring Break, the kids are back at school and the sun’s come out, well it did for one day anyway, today we are back to “baltic”! It feels like every year Spring takes longer to arrive, I still have daffodils in my garden that haven’t opened! However, thoughts are turning to upcoming summer weddings judging by the increased popularity of Chalso wedding jewellery this month…


Wedding Season 2018

Introducing a new addition to the Chalso Etsy shop, just in time for
Wedding Season 2018! This Sterling silver heart bracelet makes a great flower girl gift!

Sterling silver initial heart bracelet

I’m also happy to take custom orders for variations on a Chalso Classic or to make multiples for your bridesmaids. These three bridesmaid necklaces were a recent custom order for 9ct Gold versions of the Sterling silver single pearl necklace already available in the Chalso Etsy shop.



Spring birthstone gifts

Diamond is April’s birthstone. I make two Diamond necklaces, a raw Diamond necklace made with 25 tiny, sparkly raw Diamonds on Sterling silver chain and a black Diamond necklace made with seven cut black Diamonds on a Sterling silver chain. Both are perfect minimalist pieces, putting a Chalso twist on the traditional idea of a Diamond necklace.



If you are planning ahead and looking for a gift for a May birthday, Emerald is May’s birthstone. There are Emerald necklaces and earrings available in the Emeralds for May section of the Chalso Etsy shop.



Here’s hoping Spring arrives in earnest really soon!!

Sarah 🌱 xoxo


Links and further reading

Family fun in Scotland

Birthstone jewellery blog

Chalso Wedding ideas on Etsy

Chalso birthstone jewellery on Etsy

Sign up to the Chalso Newsletter for shop updates and exclusive special offers direct to your inbox!




Thinking of mum

Gift ideas for mum

Mothers Day in the UK has passed, but many around the world don’t celebrate Mothers Day until May. So, whether its mum’s birthday, Mothers Day or just a wee thank you gift for that very special lady, here are a few gift ideas for mum!

Personalised jewellery makes a great Mothers Day gift. The pendant shown is solid Sterling silver with initials stamped on each side representing each member of the family. I made one of these for my mother-in-law, each side stamped with the initials of her grandchildren, one side for each of her four children’s children.

Sterling silver bar necklace. Solid, Sterling silver, rectangular, hanging bar pendant on Sterling silver chain. Makes a great gift and can be personalised too!


As well as the Chalso Circles Collection which is full of gift ideas for mum, there are also some great Mother and daughter and family jewellery ideas in the Chalso Etsy shop.


Kids are people too

As a mum myself, doing my best to bring my kids up to be confident, knowledgeable, healthy and responsible adults, it saddens me to know that so many children, for whatever reason, aren’t getting the best start in life. When I was a kid, I struggled with feeling less important than everyone else, not being respected as a person in my own right. It was never my mum who made me feel like that though, in fact she bought me a badge with “kids are people too” on it when I was very small. I remember it well, but have no idea what happened to it. I searched online recently to see if I could find one the same, but came up with nothing so, I got some made! I am now selling these in my shop with all profits going to Cash for Kids.


Love Sarah xoxo


Further reading and links

Gifts for mum from the Chalso Etsy shop

Chalso Circles

Chalso fundraising page

Chalso community and charity page

Cash for Kids website

Sign up to the Chalso Newsletter for shop updates and exclusive special offers direct to your inbox!




Valentine or Galentine?

13th February, “Galentine’s Day” is gaining popularity as a day for ladies to celebrate ladies, friendship and platonic love. Although the term was new to me until this year, the idea of celebrating platonic love around Valentine’s Day isn’t. As a child my Grandad would send my brothers and I Valentine’s cards with money in them every year, this is the same Grandad I mentioned in an earlier blog post who actually passed away on Valentine’s Day when I was 13. I remember speaking to him on the phone, the day before he died, and thanking him for the card that had arrived a day early.

As a teenager and young woman, I have to admit, I found Valentine’s Day awkward and quite stressful. So much so that when Valentine’s Day approached only a few month after meeting my now husband, I suggested we skip Valentine’s Day altogether. He must have asked me five times in the run up to Valentine’s Day if I was sure about not celebrating it, I think he thought it was a test until I convinced him I was serious! So, my hubby and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day in 15 years of marriage; I could totally see me sending Valentine’s cards to my future grandkids though!


White Agate and Rose Quartz couple's bracelets.


However, lots of people LOVE Valentine’s Day and look forward to it with great anticipation! So, of course there are many items in my shop that would make great Valentine’s gifts. I have a range of couple’s bracelets in my Etsy shop. Whether it’s one of the “You complete Me” or “Forget Me Not” sets, a personalised His and Hers set or a Galentine’s gift for you and your bestie, a Chalso couple’s bracelet set makes a great gift.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Symbols of Love


Obviously when we think of love symbols we instantly think of “love hearts”. However, if you are looking for something a little more subtle, “forever love” can be symbolised by circles and infinity symbols.


Not just for Valentine’s

These make thoughtful gifts not just for girlfriends, but for daughters and grandaughters, mothers and sisters or of course, your gal pals!

If you are looking to order gifts for Galentine’s or Valentine’s Day and are outside the UK, please place your orders before 29th January. If you are in the UK, please order by the 7th of February.

Love Sarah ❤️ xox



Chalso Couple’s bracelets

Chalso Circles

Chalso Hearts

Sign up to the Chalso Newsletter for shop updates and exclusive special offers direct to your inbox!




Roundup of 2017

One of Chalso’s most popular Christmas gifts in 2017 was the Chalso Circles mother and daughter(s) necklace set. I had a feeling this set would be popular as the first set I made was quickly snapped up by my own daughters and the eldest hasn’t taken hers off since she got it! Other popular items, in what was a very busy run up to Christmas, were minimal Sterling silver pieces and Lava jewellery including the new personalised couples bracelets.



Chalso fundraising update

For the last two years Chalso has supported #GivingTuesday. In 2017 there was also a charity bracelet available all year from which all the profits were donated to the Clyde Cash for Kids 1000 Faces Campaign.


Chalso raised £238 for Clyde Cash for Kids in 2017. Thank you to all my customers for making this possible!


Family time

Right now, I’m taking a short break from Chalso to spend the Christmas holidays with the family, going to the beach and the ballet and building snowmen!! My Etsy shop is still open for orders but, the first post office run won’t be until the post office opens again after New Year. In the meantime why not sign up for the Chalso newsletter for your exclusive discount code or pop over to your favourite social media and follow Chalso there?



See you in 2018!

Love, Sarah xxx


Further reading and links

Chalso Etsy shop

Clyde Cash for Kids website

#GivingTuesday website

Scottish Ballet

Giving Tuesday 2017 blog post

Summer trends blog post

Chalso on Instagram

Chalso on Twitter

Chalso on Facebook

Chalso on Pinterest

Sign up to the Chalso Newsletter for shop updates and exclusive special offers direct to your inbox!



Etsy Made Local 2017 Highlights

Wow, wow, WOW! Etsy Made Local Glasgow was amazing!

I dubbed up at about ten to eleven on Saturday with my volunteer hat on. The queue was down the street and stayed that way all day, although it did move quite quickly, there was a constant stream of people joining the end. My fellow orange-aproned volunteers and I were all about keeping everyone happy, doing tea/coffee and change runs for the vendors and handing out chocolates to the lovely people waiting to come in.

About 4pm, I was ready to make my escape and get back to prepping for Sunday. I did manage to grab a few bits before I left though!

Chalso at Etsy Made Local 2017
Items from ZoeScottDesigns, BitterLimeDesigns, KnottyKnottyMacrame and CaliGirl.

On Sunday, we’d made it into the Sunday Herald and it was looking to be another record breaking day. I was unaware of all this at the time as I was busy setting up and once the doors opened I don’t think I looked up until 2 o’clock! What a buzz! Only problem was I was too busy to shop, what I great problem to have!

Chalso at Etsy Made Local 2017
It was so busy, this is the only quick snap I managed to take all day!

That evening, at home with a glass of wine and a big grin on my face, I turned to the Facebook vendors group to give my thanks to the Glasgow Etsy Team leadership for organising another hugely successful event. I spent the next wee while reading through all the similarly gushy messages from other vendors, it gave me such a warm feeling to be part of such an amazing event (and no, it wasn’t just the wine!). Thank you Glasgow Etsy Team and everyone who came along to Etsy Made Local 2017!!