Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Accessories Every Woman Needs

You know about the essential little black dress. You're probably still searching for the perfect figure-flattering jeans. But what are the accessories you shouldn't live without?

...The basic everywhere tote: You may have cute little purses and clutches that you use for a night out, but this one allows you to go anywhere. You'll want a size that's easy to carry but still has plenty of room for all your stuff. Since I like to be prepared for anything, mine is a little on the large side. Some women choose a neutral color, but I prefer colorful pieces, like this one I recently spotted on Etsy:

sage by CalviRee

...The anytime earrings: Look for a style that is simple, classic, and chic in a neutral color or a color you wear often. The goal here is a pair of earrings that transition from one day to the next. This is your faithful standby- the earrings you reach for when you aren't sure what else will work. This is an example of "basic" earrings that I created a while back:

...The walk forever shoes: Most women have at least dozens of pairs of shoes. Shoes for every look, every occasion, every outfit. But there's one pair that's most important: the one that's most comfortable. It's so vital for your health and happiness to have at least one pair that fits perfectly, feels wonderful and still looks stylish. If you haven't done so already, invest in a quality pair of comfort shoes that don't make you look like a frumpy grandma or like you just came from the gym. For me it's a pair of black mary janes made by Birkenstock. I can wear them with pants or a skirt and they're a classic style that doesn't look dated. They're more comfortable than any sneaker and look much more pulled together.

...The show stopping necklace: I believe every woman should have LOTS of necklaces! But it's important to have at least one really amazing piece. It should make you feel special when you wear it, brighten your complexion, highlight your best features. This is a piece you can turn to for the most special of events or rely on to make you look beautiful on a day when you otherwise might not feel that way.

Lydia Necklace by Snowflake Designs

...The "me" piece: It's essential to have one item that really reminds you of how you are. It may be a charm bracelet or mother's ring with components that tell the story of your family or life's persuits. It could be a vintage locket passed down by your great-grandmother. Or maybe it's an item with a special cultural or religious significance. In my case it's the amazing ring my husband gave me when we were engaged. He designed it and had a jeweler create it especially for me. We've been married for 10 years and I still get frequent complements on it.

A few key pieces like these will carry you through all sorts of situations and keep you feeling your most beautiful day after day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November Giveaway Winner...

I'm excited to announce the winner of my November Giveaway: a talented photographer and blogger, Michelle. You can visit her blog at:

Michelle has won a $25 Snowflake Designs Gift Certificate. Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who entered my latest giveaway. My next giveaway will be after the holiday season.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I'm getting ready for a crazy month at Snowflake Designs Jewelry!

In my Etsy shop, I am currently offering a 20% discount on all purchases of $50 or more (except Gift Certificates). And I'm offering FREE SHIPPING for a limited time as well!

I had originally planned to offer these specials for Black Friday weekend only, but I've decided to start early.

NOIR NECKLACE by Snowflake Designs Jewelry

And don't forget there's just a few days left to enter my Gift Certificate Giveaway (see previous post for details).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gift Certificate Giveaway!!!

After much work researching and designing, I am now offering Snowflake Designs Jewelry Gift Certificates! They're available in my Etsy shop in denominations of $25, $50, or $100. They arrive personalized, professionally printed on fine card stock and attractively packaged for gift giving.

To welcome these new additions to my Etsy shop I am giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to one very fortunate individual. The winner can choose whether to pass it along to someone else (and scratch a name off of your Gift List!) or keep it to enjoy for yourself!

If you'd like to be entered in this drawing, just leave a comment on this post along with your email address. (I'll use your email to contact you if you win and to send you special offers and announcements a couple times a year, but I will NEVER sell or share your contact information.)

The last day to enter is November 30th, so hurry!

The winner will be announced on December 1st.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top Ten Basic Fashion Tips

I originally published these tips on this blog a few months ago. It was a popular post that many found helpful, and the ideas are truly timeless. Here it is again for any who missed it the first time:

1. Time and money spent on keeping your skin and hair healthy will pay off in the long run. No matter how well dressed you may be, you'll never feel beautiful unless these essentials are given the proper attention.

2. Makeup completes your look, and most of us would never dream of being seen without it. But it can be costly. An upcoming post will discuss where to scrimp and where to splurge to keep your makeup kit well stocked without breaking the bank.

3. Use your jewelry and other accessories to achieve the overall look you want. Some basic points to keep in mind are that tailored menswear styles are softened when paired with more romantic jewelry, whereas feminine clothing should be complemented by jewelry that is more subtle.

4. Having a few key accessories that you really love can help you be prepared for anything. Look for a future post which will discuss the most important key elements that every woman must have.

5. Find the best colors that work for you and enhance your complexion. Once you know what these colors are, you can learn to seek these out when shopping for accessories and clothing.

6. Don't be a slave to the fashion magazines. You don't need to follow every trend. A good rule of thumb is to strive not to be the first or last person wearing a certain style. Be an individual. Wear what you like and don't worry excessively about what the "experts" say.

7. Buy well fitting, season spanning clothes. Resist the temptation to buy the size you want to wear or the size you used to wear. More about this later.

8. When shopping for basic elements like skirts, pants,and jackets, always buy classic styles that won't embarrass you later. Save trendy styles for smaller items like accessories.

9. Don't be afraid to spend a little more on stuff that you'll wear every day. The quality will pay off in the long run.

10 .Jazz up basic, simple clothing with great accessories and you'll look more fashionable without spending a lot on clothes that will be out of style next season.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

End of Season Clearance Sale!!!

Since the fall and winter season is now upon us, I decided to mark down some colorful, summery items in my Etsy shop.

These are one-of-a-kind items so once they're gone, they're gone for good.

I'm hoping to find new homes for these favorites soon. Snowflake Designs is moving onward and upward! Look for more elaborate wire work, more luxurious gemstones, and more upscale jewelry designs from me over the next few months.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Eat Dessert First!

We've all heard this concept applied to various aspects of life and it's certainly important to take time to enjoy the little things.

I think this philosophy applies to the world of jewelry too. Rather than being a quickly thrown together afterthought, I believe jewelry can be the perfect starting point for building a gorgeous wardrobe. An amazing eye-grabbing piece can really steal the show, enabling your basic neutral clothing to transition easily from one season to the next. It's also a great tool to highlight your best features- such as drawing attention to your decolletage with a fabulous draping necklace.

However, as with many other little luxuries, women tend to turn into martyrs when it comes to buying jewelry for ourselves. Perhaps you just feel that jewelry should be received as a gift from a loved one, rather than a gift for yourself. But consider this: Do you just keep wearing the same old shoes and carrying the same boring tote bag around for years because you're waiting for someone else to buy them for you? Probably not. You recognize that these are important accessories and you're probably happy to shop for them and even splurge a little bit when you find something you really love. So why give your jewelry less attention?

Or maybe you're battling your inner Scrooge and just can't bear the thought of spending your hard earned cash on something as "trivial" as jewelry. Think of it this way: Dinner for two at a nice restaurant can easily cost $50 to $100, even more. You'll enjoy the experience, savor every bite, maybe even tell your friends about it. But then it's over. Choosing quality jewelry over the Wal-mart variety may cost you an extra $50 to $100, maybe more. But you'll enjoy it every time you wear it- probably for many years to come!

We all deserve a little decadence, and it's high time we stopped viewing pampering as unimportant. Take time to smell the roses, enjoy a beautiful sunset, eat dessert first, and buy jewelry you really love!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall Jewelry Collection

Pumpkin, crimson, rust, amber, chocolate.... I adore classic autumn colors and I've been itching to add more of these shades to my jewelry lineup. Unfortunately, I had some delays in launching my fall jewelry collection. But here they are at last!

The October Necklace

The Nostalgia Pendant

The Amber and Rust Necklace

The Rhapsody Necklace

My next post will offer a behind-the-scenes look at how I created the Amber and Rust Necklace.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stop By and Say Hello!

I'll be at the famous Grape Festival in Naples, New York this weekend (Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm). If you're in the area, please stop by and experience my jewelry in person. Try the pieces on and find one that's perfect for you!

If you haven't been to the Grape Festival before, you really have to check it out. Wine tasting, grape pies, lots of arts and crafts. I specialize in grape-themed jewelry which is always a big hit at the event.

This year I've landed a spot in the prestigious "King's Row," the area of the event that's reserved for the artists who are rank highest in the pre-event jurying. You'll find me right in front of the Town Hall.

If you mention that you've seen me on Etsy, you'll receive a free gift with purchase. I'll also be doing a drawing for some other goodies, including a gift certificate for my online store.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What's In a Name?

Some have asked me for the story behind my business name, Snowflake Designs. Here's the scoop:

Originally I set out to make exclusively one-of-a-kind pieces. Each and every item of jewelry that I made was unique and I never repeated any patterns or designs. No two were ever alike. Just like snowflakes.

There are so many beautiful gems, so many perfect pearls, so many intriguing glass beads, so many exciting new techniques to learn. I was certain I would never run out of ideas for new jewelry designs.

And so far I haven't.

But there are some problems with creating only one-of-a-kind pieces. I started to play favorites. A few designs turned out so well that I just fell in love with them and didn't want to see them go. Sometimes I would keep these items for myself, but the artist in me still wanted to share these creations with the world. So I started to think about how I could shift my identity.

As I started to do more and more repeatable designs, I found that my creativity was not suffering, but rather flourishing. The more time and practice I had with each piece, the closer it came to my original vision. And as I started to perfect my techniques, I became more confident to use more lavish gemstones, precious metals and other premium materials.

I started to wonder: Should I change my business name? Or could I simply learn to look at it differently?

Snowflakes are one of the most intriguing elements in nature. I have always been fascinated by their intricate details and multifaceted complexity. And it was a similar fascination with sparkling tiny things that attracted me to jewelry making. My approach to jewelry is also multifaceted, using a broad range of varied techniques and materials.

So, today you will find in my jewelry collection some repeating designs alongside some one-of-a-kind works. And the name Snowflake Designs will continue to represent my work, even as I continue to reinvent myself.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What to Wear Where?

Jewelry For Every Occasion

Recent trends in fashion have seen a change to bolder, more luxurious jewelry. Artisan gemstone creations and intricate wire work are hot right now and very fun to wear. But incorporating these styles into your regular wardrobe can seem challenging. Here are some suggestions:

Business casual
Choose one focal piece of handcrafted jewelry as a standout piece and keep your other accessories simple.

Dinner Date
Consider a delicate chain or pendant paired with dangling or chandelier earrings.

Pearls are classic and always a great choice, but this can also be a great opportunity to wear a more formal extravagant piece.

Evening Glamor
Contrast a sleek, feminine outfit with chunky, artisan crafted gemstone-studded necklaces.

At Work
Spice up your business attire with an intricate wirework necklace, but keep the color choices simple and professional.

For a chic Fall look, pair jeans and a sweater with an eye-catching pendant in classic autumn hues dangling from a long chain.

Looking for earrings to match your favorite necklace? Be sure to wear that necklace the next time you hit the mall so that you can be on the lookout for the perfect match

Use extreme caution when deciding whether to wear jewelry or accessories if you're engaging in sports or other strenuous activities. Jewelry can get caught, snag, break or just be a general hazard or nuisance. Consider skipping it altogether.

Barbecue or Picnic
Keep your accessories casual and limit yourself to just one piece. Outdoor parties are a great chance to show off simple, nature-inspired jewelry, like sterling leaf-shaped earrings.

Garden Party
Like a picnic or barbecue, you may want to have a natural theme. But since garden parties are a little more formal, try pairing a breezy summer dress with a more elaborate gemstone bracelet or necklace.

Cocktail Party
Intricate artisan jewelry is very much at home at a cocktail parties. Wear your best pieces and don't be afraid to stand out!

I suggest keeping jewelry to a minimum while traveling for two reasons: 1) if you accidentally leave your favorite one-of-a-kind jewelry item behind, you'll probably never see it again and 2) jewelry makes a great souvenir, so buy something new and indulgent while you are away.

Art Galleries
How appropriate it is to wear art while viewing art! Break out your wildest, most unconventional artisan jewelry item and you'll really showcase your appreciation for creativity and design.

Keep your eyes out for a fabulous new find while wear your favorite vintage jewelry. (of course!)

Wine tasting
Check out my collection of grape-inspired jewelry, such as this one:

I hope this post gave you some ideas about how to wear your colorful artisan jewelry. Your favorite gems shouldn't just sit in a box all year long! Find any excuse to wear your fanciest, most lavish pieces because you never know when the next formal occasion may be. Life is uncertain, so make the best of it and find pleasure in the (sparkly) little things!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Color Series: Part Three

Neutrals and Earth Tones

Every outfit you wear will probably include a neutral or earth tone. While these shades may often take a back seat to the brighter colors you wear, they are nonetheless important in looking your best. The right balance of neutral colors can help you to appear more professional and keep your use of bold colors from taking over.

Brown is an earthy, organic color. Its often associated with autumn, nature, and the outdoors. There are many beautiful shades ranging from deep, rich chocolate to soft sepia toned tans.
Try these suggestions to make the most of your browns:
  • Pair chocolate with pink or teal for a very modern, trendy combination.
  • Brown looks great with itself! Think "mocha latte" or " chocolate caramel" for a yummy, tone-on-tone look.
  • For a classic autumn look, wear browns with red or orange.
  • Brown and ivory can combine for a vintage, antique feel.

White symbolizes purity and innocence in some cultures, while other cultures use white to represent joy and serenity. No wonder white is so popular at weddings! But there are many other occasions to wear white:
  • White is a fresh, summery color all by itself or when paired with soft shades of blue for a nautical feel.
  • For a modern minimalist look, try combining white with a touch of aqua or lime.
  • A white top with jeans or khakis is relaxed, casual and simple.
  • In addition to the classic black and white combination, try using white with bright shades like magenta and tangerine.

Black can be sophisticated and elegant, or mysterious and moody. It's slimming, timeless and it goes with everything!
  • To convey a feeling of seriousness or formality, match black with gray or deep purple.
  • Combine black with red for a dramatic gothic look.
  • Black is the best backdrop for your wildest patterns and colors
  • Black can even look earthy and organic if paired with wood or stone jewelry.

Gray is sometimes thought of as a depressing, drab color, but it can be surprising lively when used in unexpected ways:
  • One of the hottest color combinations right now is gray and yellow. Try it!
  • Pair charcoal and burgundy for an elegant, understated look.
  • For a crisp, wintry look wear steely gray with sterling silver jewelry.
  • Gray can be a great alternative to black. Match it up with brights for a surprisingly modern and fresh look.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Winter Wedding

Now's the time for planning winter weddings! I put this collection together to showcase some of the beautiful wedding ideas on Etsy. This collection features a red color scheme with lots of snowflakes and whimsy.


Buy Handmade

Friday, July 31, 2009

Giveaway Winner

The randomly chosen winner of the Snowflake Designs July Giveaway is daer0n, the blogger behind several great blogs, including Style-ish.

Congratulations, you will be receiving your beautiful Bridget Gemstone Pendant soon.

I was so delighted to receive nearly a hundred entries in this giveaway! Thank you all for entering and for your lovely comments! And a special thank you to those of you who blogged about this giveaway for your readers.

Since I am only able to give away for free just one of these gorgeous pendants, I wanted to offer a consolation prize to all who entered but did not win. To thank you for your entries, I am offering each of you a 50% discount on a Bridget pendant of your own at my Etsy shop. Instead of $20, Bridget will be just $10!

Orders must be received by August 15th to qualify for the special pricing!

I hope that many of you will take me up on this generous offer so that you too can enjoy this pendant.

Visit this link to make your purchase: Bridget Pendant from Snowflake Designs Jewelry.

Thanks again for your entries, and check back soon for our next giveaway!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Color Series: Part Two

Express Yourself with Color

A previous post discussed some basic thoughts about how to choose the colors you wear. I'd like to share more details on this topic, since colorful jewelry is what Snowflake Designs is all about.

Jewelry doesn't need to be only gold or silver. Jewelry that embraces color-in the form of gemstones or beads- can add a special allure. It's also a wise fashion decision. If a certain gemstone or color works well for you now, it's likely to be a color you will reach for again and again for many years to come.

Consider the following to be a color guideline when choosing the color to suit your mood:

Blue is the color of water and the sky and so it is often associated with calmness and tranquility. Blue is a popular color with a relaxed feel. It’s a good choice for daytime wear, especially a casual or sporty look. For a denim blue gemstone, look for lapis lazuli or sodalite. For a lovely watery shade, try amazonite or apatite-- which are both seen here.

Red is the color of heat and fire and is often associated with desire, passion and love. Red's warm intensity also has an energizing effect; wearing red makes you seem vibrant and confident. The necklace pictured here pairs red with purple for a look that lives up to the name of the piece, Passion Flower. Red gemstones include ruby and garnet, among others.

Pink conveys the idea of femininity, sweetness, and youth. Pink can also look grown up: carrying the thought of romance and the essence of spring, as shown in the earrings pictured here. I also love the contrast of pairing pink with black or brown. The most common pink gemstone is rose quartz.

Green is an earthy color that signifies growth, freshness, and nature. Green is my favorite color, and I enjoy it in all shades. It can be found in many gemstones such as malachite, peridot, jade, aventurine, moss agate, and emerald. Many of those gems are found in this monochromatic green necklace.

Yellow is synonymous with sunshine and summer. It's a cheerful, light and energetic color and tends to reflect happiness in the person wearing it. Yellow gems may include citrine, amber, and certain types of quartz or jade. In this photo I used soft shades of yellow to convey the essence of the sun, in a necklace I named Soleil.

Orange is an upbeat color, symbolizing joy, sun and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm and happiness. This pendant combines the deep brownish orange of amber with the watery blue of apatite for a tropical, warm weather feel.

Purple is often associated with royalty and symbolizes power and luxury. I also think purple carries a hint of mystery. Since amethyst is one of my favorite gemstones, you'll see lots of purple in my jewelry-- usually used alongside other colors. I especially like to use amethyst in my Grapevine Collection, as seen here.

Since I like to keep my posts short, I will discuss neutral colors in a future post.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Giveaway Ending Soon!

I would like to thank everyone who has entered my giveaway so far. I especially appreciate all the great comments you have left. All of the feedback has been very helpful to me in knowing what items in my jewelry collection catch the attention of my readers.

If you have not yet entered the giveaway for a Bridget gemstone pendant, you can do so by leaving a comment (including your email address) on this post. The last day to enter is July 30th and the winner will be announced on June 31st.

I will also be offering a consolation prize, in the form of a discount coupon, to all entrants who do not win.

Thanks again and keep the entries coming. There's only a few days left!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Color Series: Part One

Live Colorfully

can evoke strong emotions, convey a range of moods, mark the seasons, and express your individuality. What colors you choose to wear says a lot about who are and how you feel. I believe that jewelry should be colorful; that's the most basic concept that defines Snowflake Designs.

Choosing which colors to wear can be tricky. You may like a certain color, but it may not necessarily look good on you. One way to know if a color is right for you is to listen to feedback. If you consistently receive compliments when wearing a certain color, it is likely a color that suits you well.

There are lots of experts with opinions about this topic. While researching the subject, I came across tons of online articles, most trying to group people into those old seasonal stereotypes: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The problem is, like many people, I just don't fit neatly into any of the traditional categories. Professional color analysis is also available, but this can be expensive.

I've compiled some loose guidelines that helped me to determine which colors best suit me. Here are some of my findings:

  • One thing that many experts agree on is that most people's skin tone is either warm (yellow undertones) or cool (blue undertones). If your skin's tone doesn't seem to align with your hair or eyes-- like if you have warm skin with cool eyes or cool skin with warm hair-- just remember that your skin tone is most important.
  • Wearing the right color should make your skin seem more clear, more healthy. The wrong color can make you look sickly.
  • When choosing whether to pair two colors together, consider using a color wheel as a guideline.
  • When wearing multiple colors, let one color dominate while the other colors play supporting roles. One expert recommends that 75 to 90 percent of your outfit should be in the dominant color.
  • Use neutral colors to draw the whole look together.

While you may not fit into traditional "season" based color categories, these do have some merit and can be helpful. For instance, I have warm coloring in my hair and skin, but steely blue -cool- eyes. For the most part, I stick to warm color types, but look for warm versions of blues and greens, which complement my eyes better than typical warm colors like red and yellow.

I'll share more of my findings about choosing colors in an upcoming post.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Necklace Lengths

What necklace lengths are available and which one should you choose?

Collars necklaces are usually about 12 to 13 inches in length and are designed to fit snugly, but comfortably on the middle of your neck, above the collarbone. Collar necklaces are often made up of three or more strands and tend to convey a style of Victorian elegance. This length is not a good option for anyone who feels self-conscious about their neck, since it will call extra attention to that area. Best suited for formal occasions, collar necklaces pair well with off-the-shoulder and V-neck necklines.

Despite the name, a choker necklace should never choke you, but should fall just to the base of your neck. At a length of about 14 to 16 inches, a choker is longer than a collar necklace and more versatile. A simple and classic choker can go with virtually any outfit. If you prefer modest necklines, a choker can be the perfect solution since other lengths may fall too long and become lost. It's also a beautiful choice for brides and bridesmaids.

The princess length necklace rests just over the collar bone and is a very popular length ranging from 17 to 19 inches. This style works well with crew and high necklines but it also complements low plunging necklines,especially when paired with a bold pendant. This is an excellent option for women who want to draw attention away from a thick neck.

The matinee necklace is 20 to 24 inches long and adds an elegant flourish to business or casual clothes. It should drape to the top of your bust line. Make sure there's no decoration on your blouse to clash with it. It flatters bigger busts and complements professional attire such as blazers and button-up blouses.

The opera necklace drapes elegantly to the mid-section at a length of about 28 to 34 inches. Opera length necklaces add a feeling of lavish extravagance to a formal gown or blouse.
This style will draw attention to your bust and is perfect for de-emphasizing a round face. The impressive length may also allow for you to double or triple the strand and wear one necklace in several different ways.

Rope necklaces are usually 45 inches or longer and cause the eye to sweep down your torso, emphasizing your curves. A stunning and sensual look, rope necklaces are wonderful to dress up a classic black dress. The rope necklace is also an effective way to add an element of drama or intrigue to your look. Some rope necklaces include extra clasps, making it easy to transform their length.

The Lariat is a long string of beads (without a clasp) which can be looped, wrapped or draped, according to the wearer's whim. This style is typically 45 inches or longer and delivers a romantic wraparound look. Lariats look best with low necklines and off the shoulder styles, and work especially well with a frilly blouse.

Monday, June 29, 2009


During the month of July, I will be giving away a gorgeous Bridget Pendant.

This pendant is composed of an oval freshwater pearl, a cluster of apatite gemstone chips and a chunky amethyst gemstone nugget. The pendant measures approximately 1 3/4 inches long. The chain is not included.

The retail value is $20, but it will be absolutely free to one fortunate winner.

It's a simple and sweet pendant. I made one for myself, too, and I always receive complements when I wear it. The playful shades of lavender and aqua make it a lovely accent to your summer wardrobe. Matching earrings are available in my Etsy shop.

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post and be sure to include your email address. The last day to enter is July 30th and the winner will be announced on July 31st.

Don't forget to tell your friends so they can enter, too!

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Little More About My Jewelry

I recently devoted a post to explaining why I chose my business name. In this post, I'd like to share a little about how I design my jewelry.

As you know, my shop takes its name from one of the most intriguing elements in nature. I have always been fascinated by the intricate details and multifaceted complexity of snowflakes. My approach to jewelry is likewise multifaceted.

I use a wide variety of materials and techniques in my work:
  • gemstones
  • pearls
  • glass beads
  • wood beads
  • polymer clay
  • recycled paper
  • wire wrapping
I feel that this mixed media approach gives me a broader range of possibilities to spark my creative muse. My goal is to create jewelry that is lush and colorful with an eclectic mixture of contrasting textures and details.

There is also a bit of a wabi-sabi feel to what I create. This term is used to describe the beauty of things that are flawed and imperfect. (Wabi-sabi does have a much deeper spiritual connotation as well, but I am referring to it merely as a principle in design.) I love to create using freshwater pearls with slight asymmetry and handcut gemstones that are irregular in shape. My jewelry designs reflect an appreciation for raw natural beauty.

I am a self-taught jewelry artist and I am always learning, always seeking to improve. I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions or constructive criticism, so please feel free to share them with me at any time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Little Indulgences: Bath Products

In an ongoing effort to provide my readers with inspiration, I decided to present a series of posts on the theme, "Little Indulgences." Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some lovely handmade goodies that are both lavishly indulgent as well as reasonably priced.

Treat yourself to some luxurious handmade bath and body products from these great Etsy sellers:

Dhara Holistics has an environmentally conscious approach to making artisan cold process soaps and other products. Her products use natural ingredients like honey, beeswax, essential oils. The featured item, Clarifying Skin Care Set includes a Dead Sea mud masque and an exquisitely scented skin toner. This is the perfect combination for skin that gets oily in the summer heat.

The Abbey James Company began two years ago with a Mom's search for more natural products for her family. Noticing the beneficial effects of natural oils, butters and salts in treating her daughter's juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, she soon found herself creating a variety of naturally nourishing bath and body products. The Fabulous Feet Foot Butter and Spa Socks Gift Set includes a rich Shea-based foot butter designed to soften your feet while you sleep-- definitely a must during sandal season!

Madeline Bea Soap Co. creates handmade, natural bath & body goodies from scratch using the traditional cold-process method . Their goal is to create really wholesome indulgences that can be used every day to help maintain sanity! Fresh Mango Deluxe Spa Set is an amazing comination of fantastic products including soap made with mango and shea butters. These products are nourishing for the skin in a great summertime scent!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Makeup Makeover Series: Part Three

Where to Scrimp and Where to Splurge in Your Makeup Case
Part Three: The Lips

One of the biggest makeup challenges is choosing the right lip color. Lipstick is the finishing touch of your makeup, so it's definitely a step you'll want to get right. Some women of trying to match their lipstick to coordinate with their outfit. Bad idea! Choosing a lipstick that complements your skin tone will not only be more flattering, it will save you money since you won't need to buy dozens of different shades.

So,choose a color that complements the natural shade of your lips and skin. Here's some thoughts:
  • The best shade is the one that still looks great even if you're wearing no other makeup. This is a color that will always work for you.
  • If your skin tone is warm, look for browns, reds, and other warm shades. If your skin tone is cool, look for plums, wines, and pinks.
  • Use your lipstick color choice to downplay whatever you might not like about your skin tone. For example, if you have gray undereye circles, a lipstick shade with blue undertones will only draw attention to that. Likewise, if redness or blotchiness on your face is a problem than wearing a red hued lipstick may not be a good idea.
  • Look for a long-lasting brand. The product will last longer if you don't need to reapply 10 times a day. And this will save you money.
  • I recommend finding two shades of lipstick that you absolutely love. A lighter one for daytime and a darker one for night. When you find a shade that really flatters you, don't mess with success. You don't need a whole palette of lip colors. You just need a couple that really work.
  • Make sure you own a wonderful lip gloss that you love for those days when you just want a subtle sheen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I am participating in the Yart Sale on Etsy sponsored by Team ESST-- the Etsy Supply Street Team.

What is a yart sale? It's an artistic slant on a traditional Yard Sale. Yard + Art = YART. Get it? Tons of Etsy sellers will be participating from June 10th through 14th.

In my shop, I will be offering 20 percent off every purchase on those dates plus even bigger savings in to be found in a special "Yart Sale Section."

Visit my Etsy shop, find some great jewelry, and be sure to mention promo code "YART" in the notes to seller section when finalizing your purchase and the 20 percent will be refunded to you via your Paypal account. You can save even more by choosing from the already clearance priced items in the special "YART" section of my shop.

You can read more about it by visiting the ESST Blog.

Friday, June 5, 2009

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Jen of on winning my recycled paper bracelet.

You can see Jen's amazing items at her two Etsy shops:

I want to thank everyone who took the time to enter my first giveaway. I hope to have even more in the months to come!

As a special thanks to all who entered this giveaway, I would like to offer you a $5 credit toward any purchase of $25 or more at my Etsy shop. Visit my shop at Use promo code BLOG in the "Notes to Seller" space when making your purchase and I will give a $5 refund to your Paypal account.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Venezie Bags Giveaway

Venezie Bags is hosting a special giveaway to help a lucky crafter reorganize and revitalize their craft space. Items such as fabric, patterns, supplies, books, and more have been compiled to make one very special grab bag for a very fortunate winner. Visit this link to learn more:

I have contributed several packets of beads from my jewelry making collection. This is definitely going to be an awesome giveaway!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spring Fashion Show: Handmade Handbags

Here's some selections I found while browsing Etsy for handbags. Some photos have been removed. Below is a sample of my original selections.

Just click on any image to visit Etsy and get a closer look!

Don't forget: The last day to enter my giveaway for a recycled paper bracelet is May 31st. The winner will be announced on June 5th. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Makeup Makeover Series: Part Two

Where to Scrimp and Where to Splurge in Your Makeup Case
Part Two- The Face

Foundation: Having a flawless complexion is definitely one of the most important aspects of looking your best. In a future post, I'll share some great ideas for keeping your skin healthy and glowing. But great foundation can really make all the difference. Be sure to look for one that contains sunscreen and shop around until you find a brand you really love. Indulge in the highest quality foundation that you can afford.

Concealer: Like your foundation, concealer is important to achieve the perfect smooth look we all want. But as long as you're investing in a quality foundation, you can probably buy a cheaper version of concealer. Remember to use sparingly and blend carefully, since concealer tends to go on thick.

Minerals: Mineral makeup can really make your skin look radiant. Here's a few shops on Etsy who have some great selections:

When you're trying to trim some money from your beauty budget, remember that any looking great begins and ends with your face. It's the first thing everyone notices about you! Your skin deserves some indulgence, so take good care of it!

(P.S.-- Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a free recycled paper bracelet. The last day to enter is May 31st and the winner will be announced on June 5th.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Planning a Beautiful Summer Wedding

With so many brides-to-be currently knee-deep in their summer wedding plans, it seemed like a perfect time to devote a post to some of the fabulous wedding ideas I've seen recently.

Here's a few notable wedding related blogs: for general wedding stuff for unconventional ideas for inspiration for crafty tips

Also, I've put together a collection of some favorite handmade wedding items that I found on Etsy:

(sorry, these photos are no longer available)

On an unrelated note, there are still three weeks left to sign up for my bracelet giveaway. To enter, just leave a comment on the previous post. Don't forget to leave me a way to contact you!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My husband's Etsy Shop

My husband has finally gotten around to setting up his shop on Etsy. You can visit it at

He has a lot more work to do (and knowing my husband it will take a while!) but this is a good start.

So far he has listed one item: a custom handcarved sign that you can personalize with your name and/or address. He will be offering lots more handcarved items in the future, as well as wall graphics, custom banners and vinyl signs.

Here's a picture of his first listing:

Stay tuned, he'll be listing even more amazing signs. Eventually.

Friday, May 1, 2009


As a special thank you to everyone who follows my little blog, I will be having an exclusive giveaway during the month of May. The prize is the recycled paper bracelet you see here. (See the previous post for a behind the scenes look at how it is made).

Here's how it works:

Leave a comment for this post. Tell me what you think of my blog, my jewelry, whatever. But be sure to leave a way for me to contact you. It can be your email address, blog, Etsy shop-- even your mailing address if you would prefer. I just need a way to contact you if you win!

The winner will be announced on June 5th. You can enter up to three times, but only one comment/entry per day. Be sure to tell your friends and get them to enter too!

This is my first blog giveaway, so I'm pretty excited about it. And I can't wait to read your comments!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Making a Recycled Paper Bracelet

This is one of my most asked about items, and I wanted to share the process with you:

I obtain these large paper tubes from a local printery. Their original purpose is to hold a roll of paper or vinyl, but after the material is used these are waste. They used to throw them out or recycle them, but now they are repurposed by me.

Using a jigsaw, I cut the tube to size. I usually like these bracelets to be about one to three inches thick.

After cutting, the pieces will need a little sanding so that they are smooth and evenly shaped. Now they're ready to get prettied up.

At this point I look through my stash of salvaged scrap paper. A friend who is a scrapbooker donates to me all the little bits and pieces that she can't use in her own work. I decide on a color scheme for today's project.

Next I reshape the paper: sometimes by hand tearing for a natural look, sometimes using scissors and or another tool. This time, I want to use to make a bracelet with a dotted theme. So I have chosen to use a craft punch to make circular shapes from the paper.

Then it's time for the fun part! I start arranging the craft paper in a random pattern all over the bracelet.

I then coat the whole thing with MANY layers of a slightly glossy, water-resistant clear coat. This part of the process requires the most patience, since there is lots of drying time between layers.

And it's done! In an upcoming blog post, I will be having a giveaway to win this very bracelet. So stay tuned!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Busy Week!

This week I received a shipment of jewelry supplies and I've been busy creating. My post about making recycled paper bracelets will have to wait until next week. In the meantime, here are photos of some of the projects I've been working on:

I'll be listing these and many other new items in my Etsy shop over the next few weeks, so be sure to come check it out!