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Alison Moore Designs

  • Tourmaline - the October birthstone

    Have you spotted the obvious mistake?  It's November and I'm writing about October birthstones.  But these gorgeous little gemstones are too good to miss out on, see for yourself.


    So as they say on all the best TV shows, here's something I prepared earlier.

    As I write, the wind is howling around Orkney and people are struggling to hold onto their garden ornaments as the autumn equinox makes its arrival. Until the last couple of days though, the weather through September had been glorious and we’ve had some incredible sunsets and purple skies, rainbows and even spectacular Northern Lights. All of this is great inspiration for designs and colours, and the October birthstone, Tourmaline, is very fitting.

    Orkney sunset Orkney sunset

    In ancient days the tourmaline was believed to have travelled up from the centre of the earth and passed a rainbow assuming all the colours. When you see them collectively you can understand why that belief originated, they really do look tempting enough to eat. (picture) Jelly bean anyone?

    I know, they look good enough to eat. I know, they look good enough to eat.


    The name tourmaline is derived from Tura Mali meaning ‘stone mixed with colours’ and that’s exactly what this gemstone is as they come in a variety of colours. Mainly red, green and blue but can also be found in yellow and black.
    Often, the two or more colours can change as the light changes. Uniquely there are no two tourmaline gemstones the same and their remarkable hue when slicing it through the middle makes it look just like a slice of watermelon.

    The tourmaline is said to be the gemstone of love and friendship, rendering them long lasting, making it an ideal choice for your engagement ring or a special gift for a friend or the special someone in your life and if none of those fit the bill, it'll soon be Christmas. What’s not to love?

  • CAKE

    Somehow I knew that would grab your attention!  Here in my little workshop, I am fortunate enough to work with the most amazing home-bakers.  When I heard about the Macmillan Coffee Morning, I thought that it was about time that we shared their talents with the rest of Orkney.

    Macmillan provides an invaluable service for those facing or affected by cancer, giving excellent care and a warm welcome when it’s needed the most.  It is a charity run organisation which has NO government support and so relies entirely on the generous donations and support of the public.  With 1 in 3 people affected by cancer it is an essential service that this charity provides. They need our support to continue, and fundraising events such as this raise huge amounts of essential funds.

    My team bake the best cakes! My team bake the best cakes!

    So, this Saturday we will be hosting our very own Macmillan Coffee Morning in my little jewellery shop in Dounby.  The kettle will be on all day and there will be an abundance of home-bakes on offer. We are all working hard to help raise as much money as we can for this very worthy cause and I will be making a donation to Macmillan for every jewellery sale made in the shop on the day.  In addition, the generous local Dounby businesses have donated gifts to make up a charity raffle (who doesn't love a good raffle?!).

    If you can't make it to the event there are still ways which you can support Macmillan:

    SHOP ONLINE:  a donation will be made to Macmillan for every jewellery sale made on my website this weekend.

    TEXT: text code BUN 4JVD to 70550 to donate £5*.

    I hope that we can make this a fabulous day and raise those valuable much needed funds x

    (*Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Macmillan will receive 100% of every £1 donated in this way. Obtain bill payer’s permission. Text STOP to 70550 to opt out from future communications from Macmillan.)



  • Women's rugby

    I've always admired women that strive out in a male dominated world. Many years ago, I worked in the construction sector so I know how  tough it can be to be seen as an equal.  I'm sure that some attitudes have started to shift since then, but there is a long way to go.

    Last year I came across a group of women determined to set up their own rugby union team. Their enthusiasm was intoxicating and I pledged to help them wherever I could.


    ORFC Women members sporting their new strip ORFC Women members sporting their new strip

    I am so pleased to say that they will be having their very first competitive match today against local rivals Shetland, in a newly formed women's league.  They will be sporting their beautifully designed shirts which I was lucky enough to sponsor.

    If you are in the north of Scotland or indeed anywhere, I hope that you can make it to a game of women's rugby and give them the support that they deserve.

    Come on girls!


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