Christmas is coming- FREE Gifts & an interview with the creator of ‘Diabeadies by Vivi’

Last week I was fortunate to spend the whole week in Melbourne at the Exhibition & Convention Centre on South Bank. When I got home, my husband asked me, ‘how big is the Centre? Is it as big as a railway Station?’ I told him, ‘it’s as big as TWO Spencer Street railway stations T-boned into each other.’ The two T-boned concourses are each incredibly long, and the Convention centre has 3 floors, with an equally long concourse on each level! Then there are the User Spaces themselves, the Exhibition Hall & several Associated display spaces which combine to cover more floor area than many small towns in Australia, and the two Plenary Halls and many meeting rooms of the Convention Centre. I have never been in a larger enclosed space. This space was filled with over 10,000 delegates, plus the Catering and Support staff, and the Exhibitors & Expert presenters from all over the World. Possibly 20,000 people using the Centre on any given day.

At this amazing event, Diabetes Counselling Online made its presence felt. We had 8 wonderful volunteers, one of them doubling as Ph. D. supervisor for our founder, Helen Edwards, and four doubling as staff members and delegates. You can see Helen Edwards’ blog on Words for diabetes here on the event together with a wonderful Video she has put together on Youtube

In the Exhibition Hall, DCO presented THE most popular stand of the week. At some points there were 30 or more people trying to get into our tiny stand. Sure, we had giveaways, our brochures, pens, flyers, satchel bags, & bananas. In addition, our large Screen showing our live website was continually in use, as people from other countries could not believe the service that we provide. We remain unique in the world. Many could not even grasp the concept until they were shown on the screen and talked with one of us. In addition, many Australian Diabetes Educators and other HCP’s who did know us stopped by to collect brochures & say ‘Hi!’.

So as well as providing information about the DCO Service, the Volunteers were also able to Display samples and show samples of the aquamarines, from the World Diabetes Day ‘Blue Circle’ range,to visitors of our wonderful fund raising Product, our ‘Diabeadies® by Vivi’. There was very keen interest, and visitors from countries as far apart as Africa, Indonesia, China, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Turkey, as well as Australia would very much liked to have been able to buy on the spot! Unfortunately we did not have the capacity to do that for them, but we are hoping that the admirers of Diabeadies from last week will find their way to our estore.  During the week of the Congress, Vivi launched a ‘Christmas Promotion’, and I thought it might be a good idea to showcase her work here, while that promotion is still running. Here is the promotion:


Photo: Matt H, will be receiving two sets of sterling silver amethyst and sapphire earrings with our compliments this week.  They are to go with the amethyst and sapphire bracelets he purchased today - well done Matt!  If you haven't ordered yours yet for Christmas, get in quickly, the offer ends on December 20.  These special orders come in a pretty gift box and bag so you don't even have to gift wrap them!  Just go to /shop/category/e-store//shop/category/e-store/  to place your order

Matt H will be receiving two sets of sterling silver amethyst and sapphire earrings with our compliments this week. They are to go with the amethyst and sapphire bracelets he purchased today- Well done Matt! If you haven’t ordered yours yet for Christmas, get in quickly, this offer ends on December 2oth. These special orders come in a pretty gift box and bag so you don’t even need to gift wrap them! Just Go to the shop to purchase your item and receive your FREE gift! shop here


Just HURRY  to place your order

Isn’t it a great offer?

On my return from the World Diabetes Congress in Melbourne to Adelaide, I interviewed Vivi about her process of design.

Here is our discussion!

Q1. Hi Vivi.  I love the beautiful jewellery you make. Where do your  Beads come from?

A1. All of our Beads are precious Gemstones. They are not glass or plastic. They come from various countries. For example, my aquamarines, from the World Diabetes Day ‘Blue Circle’ range, come from Brazil, the beautiful Moonstones from Sri Lanka, the lovely dark red Garnets come from Africa, and the Amethysts from Russia.


Q2.Why do you choose specific stones, and do they have any therapeutic benefits?

A2. All of our stones feel wonderful on the skin. They are also visually beautiful, and both of these properties help me to feel calm & relaxed. I choose the stones I love, and that I think will fit in with the principles of mental health for those living with chronic disease. I choose colours & stones & sizes of gems that I think will work well together, and as every item is individually designed and hand made I put them next to each other so I can decide what goes with what. Sometimes the stones surprise me by working well together when I was not sure they would! I love working with them, and find my stress levels and pain levels are reduced when working. There are many claims by others for the benefits of specific stones, and we have collected some of these beliefs, and can provide them on request. However, they are just that, beliefs. We do not claim any medicinal, curative, or therapeutic benefits other than those of aesthetics, beauty and pleasure. For example, one of the first stones we have used is Amethyst, one of the DCO trademark colours. Here are some of the claims for amethyst by others that we have published on the website :

“Amethyst is the most precious stone within the quartz group. Since purple is considered a royal color, amethyst, the transparent purple quartz, enjoyed an historical importance as an insignia of power. Fine amethysts are featured in the British Crown Jewels and were also a favourite of Catherine the Great and Egyptian royalty.

Amethyst is also a stone for meditation. It is said to be excellent for moving the mind into the alpha brain wave cycle smoothly and rapidly, thus making for a great meditation crystal. Probably that is the reason why amethyst has always been known as a sleeping aid down through the centuries.

It apparently exerts a calming effect behind the scenes; helps one to make judgments and carry out responsibilities. Its calming properties are said to help to moderate high strung temperaments and encourage the binding of the physical to the intellectual and beyond, into the spiritual realms; to stimulate the intellect, but temper it with a universal sense of compassion and connection.

– See more at: diabeadies

Q3.I know that you use both Tibetan silver and Sterling silver in the jewellery that you make. When do you decide to use Sterling Silver or Tibetan Silver?

A3. I use Tibetan silver because it is inert, ie does not react on the skin, beautiful and easy to work with, and a little more affordable than Sterling Silver, so it helps to keep the price down for the hand made beads and charms. However, I use the Sterling Silver for anything which pierces the body, as Sterling Silver is guaranteed to be of the highest possible purity and therefore the best possible product for this purpose. It does make the jewellery a little more expensive to make, and so a little more expensive for the customer.

Q4.I have noticed the special beads and charms that you use. Can customers request particular designs for these? Or ask for more than one per item?

A 4. Yes, all (or most! LOL) requests are possible. Because ALL items are hand made and custom made, and all charms & silver & gemstone beads are hand made, I can make to order. The price will be adjusted according to a customer’s order. Everything with regard to design is negotiable! I can even make a matching necklace if requested.

Q5. Why do you do this?

A5. Well, I love doing it. It’s a pleasurable and interesting occupation, and I have the time to be able to do it. I have always been interested in designing and making things, and have mastered many arts and crafts over the years. In addition, several members of my family live with diabetes, and I like to think that my work making Diabeadies makes a difference in the lives of people living with diabetes.

Q6. Do any of the profits go to Charity?

A6. Yes, all profits go to the National Australian Charity Diabetes Counselling Online. The purchase of just two items will provide introductory email counselling for an Australian living with diabetes, or the purchase of just one item will provide advice from a Dietitian, Diabetes Educator, or Mental Health Counsellor for a Social Media group of people living with diabetes from across the world.

Final question,Q 7. Do you mail order to anywhere in the world?

A7. Yes of course. Prices are quoted in Australian dollars, but we can work out a local costing for a customer. And mailing charges are pretty reasonable to anywhere in the World, as the items are light and easily packed.

Me: Thanks for your time, Vivi! Any Final Thoughts?

Vivi: Just perhaps share one of my favourite quotes: “If you can’t do great things,” Mother Teresa used to say,”do little things with great love…” that kind of sums it up for me- I truly love that I can make this little something that other people see value in and can derive pleasure from.


Helen Wilde

Helen is a long term Senior Counsellor with Diabetes Counselling Online, Teacher, mother of a type 1 diabetic for 34 years and a type 2 diabetic herself for 12 years.

Vivienne McKenna

Vivi is a long term Volunteer and Employee with Diabetes Counselling Online. She lives with Type 2 Diabetes herself, and has several family members with all types of diabetes.