Friday, October 16, 2009

How to Select A Custom Jewelry Designer

Everyone loves jewelry, especially when it is custom made. Jewelry comes in all forms from rings to anklets. Anything that your mind can think and imagine can be done if it is custom made. The best thing about having your jewelry custom made is that you can have your jewelry made to the exact model that you want it. Say for instance that you want a ring made with blue sapphires and white gold. As long as you can describe it, it can be done.

There are many options to choose from when deciding to go with a jewelry designer, Colorado has some of the best jewelers around. They are known for their perfectionism and precision. Choosing the right jeweler can sometimes be a tough task, and it can also be more of a headache than it is worth because you want to make sure that you are getting the best handmade jewelry available. If your jeweler is not a good craftsman, then you might end up risking hundreds of dollars and not get what you requested.

There are things that you can do that will make your search for the right jeweler a lot more simple than it may seem. Not all jewelers are the same, and you want to make certain that you are getting your money's worth. A good hand-made jeweler will be able to tell you roughly how your piece is going to turn out. They will be able to help give you ideas where you might lack them when describing what you want. You will also want to make sure that the jeweler that you choose is easy to communicate with. They will definitely act like they know exactly what they are talking about and appear very confident in their profession.

Just because one particular jewelry designer might have a good reputation does not mean that he or she will be easy to work with. The right jeweler for you will be able to understand exactly what you want, be patient, and friendly to work with. You may want to do a simple investigation of the jeweler's background to see how much experience he or she has. Knowing the length of experience is always a great way to find out their skill level. Ask to see some of your potential jeweler's work beforehand so that you can get a good idea of what their style is.

A custom made piece of jewelry is very special. Not every occasion calls for custom made jewelry, but some that do are anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. Engagement rings are definitely something that should be custom made. Mother's Day necklaces, Father's Day rings, and graduation jewelry are other things that should be custom made as well. Your jeweler will have experience in making all types of jewelry, and most importantly, they will put you first.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Harmony Scott - Aspen Jeweler

Harmony Scott was raised by her bohemian parents between the tropical island of Kaua'i and the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Surrounded by artists, musicians, and freethinkers from an early age, Harmony found continual inspiration in both her environment and her community of friends. Harmony graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Chinese in 1996.

Soon after, she was invited to move back to Aspen to apprentice with a family friend, Elaine Greenspan, to learn the ancient Etruscan art of 22kt gold granulation and jewelry fabrication. After Elaine retired, she encouraged Harmony to follow in her footsteps and open her own Aspen Jewelry Store. Harmony's partner and love, Justin Doty, supported and encouraged her young design business and joined Harmony full-time in 1999. Together they showed at art fairs & trunk shows and traveled the country to place her jewelry in galleries & boutiques, living out of their little truck camper and being ski-bum jewelers. In 2001 they were finally ready to put down roots in the Roaring Fork Valley.

They opened their first store in the little town of Carbondale, just down the road from Aspen. The enormous success was exciting & daunting. Harmony and Justin couldn't keep up with demand and saw an opportunity to expand their production in Bali, Indonesia. Harmony & Justin met Wayan Subawa on their first visit to Bali. In Wayan, they found a perfect partner to realize their jewelry dreams. Wayan was ready to take on the challenge of learning about the jewelry process and working with Harmony & Justin to produce high quality jewelry with love and attention to detail. Soon Wayan's wife, niece and friends were working in his house, producing Harmony's beautiful designs. Now that the jewelry production was in place, Harmony and Justin were ready to take on new challenges in their business.

They opened their second store in Aspen during Christmas of 2003. Shortly after, they began to find a select group of boutiques and galleries to carry their work nation-wide. Every Spring and Fall, Justin and Harmony travel to Bali to design and produce the next collection that is now available in their Colorado stores, on the website, and through the circle of galleries that carry Harmony's designs. Harmony Scott Jewelry now employs four amazing women who manage and run the 2 stores, wholesale accounts, and website business from Carbondale & Aspen. In Bali, Wayan and his family are a group of four people making the limited-edition designs.

You can contact Harmony Scott Jewelry at:

199 Main Street
Carbondale, CO 81623

411 East Hyman Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611

Learn more about: Harmony Scott | Aspen Jewelry Store

Monday, August 10, 2009

Custom Bridal Jewelry

For all women, wedding is perhaps one of the most important occasions of our lives. It means the realization of the age old dream of spending your life with your soul mate. No wonder every woman wants her wedding day to be perfect! Perfect clothes, perfect make up and of course, perfect bridal jewelry!

Though most of would love to wear expensive diamonds and pearls, we all have our financial constraints. However, that doesn't really mean that we can't look good and have something nice to wear! These days custom bridal jewelry is one of the most affordable and elegant options for brides and their bridesmaids!

Custom jewelry is also known as fashion jewelry and nowadays more and more brides are opting for bridal costume jewelry rather than invest in diamonds, gold and other precious stones. Why? Here are some reasons why bridal costume jewelry scores notches over the traditional jewelry:

1. Trendy and fashionable: As a bride you want to look trendy and fashionable. Custom Bridal jewelry keeps changing with the current trends. So that means that when you choose your bridal jewelry you are actually keeping abreast of the trends of the season. The traditional jewelry may look boring since its been there and people have seen it a million times. However, your bridal jewelry can really pique the interest of the onlookers.

2. Inexpensive: While the bridal jewelry may look expensive, it's actually very affordable. So, even if it gets outdated after a while, you won't really mind returning it to your jewelry box. However, on the other hand if your real diamonds and pearls cannot be worn by you due to the latest fashion trends, you won't really like it would you?

3. Expensive looking: We all would love to wear rock size diamonds, but not all of us can afford it! However, with costume bridal jewelry you can wear rock size diamonds which look real! These days bridal jewelry looks so authentic that it's difficult to distinguish between the real and the fake. So, you get the effect of the real stones, without having to spend more of your real money!

4. Safety: Today's world is full of people who want to make easy money. They like robbing people of their jewelry and money. However, if you have costume wedding jewelry and your jewelry gets displaced or stolen, it won't be as bad as somebody stealing the real thing!

5. Matching: Costume wedding jewelry comes in all kinds of colors and styles; hence you can really choose well to go with your dress and the dresses of your bridesmaids.

6. Usability: You can use your bridal jewelry for as long as you like since it is so trendy and fashionable.

Custom bridal jewelry is available in various designs and patterns. For approximately $30 and less you can look like a million bucks! There are various setting available ranging from pearl wedding sets to crystal wedding sets and rhinestones wedding sets.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Making your own Wrapped Loop Jewelry

Here is a good video that gives instructions on how to create a wrapped loop jewelry piece yourself!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Beautiful Handmade Bridal Jewellery

If you want to be innovative with your bridal jewelery, handmade ornaments are an amazing choice. These brilliant jewels are prepared manually making use of no machines which give them an original and creative touch.

Although there are a lot of bridal jewelery options which you would come across on the internet, however, the handmade pieces are very distinctive and luring. As your wedding day calls for something out of the ordinary, handmade bridal jewelry can do the trick for you. These carefully designed ornaments will make you look stunning and a gorgeous bride. The warmth and chic attached to these jewels are matchless.

Being your bridal jewelry, whatever you wear ought to carry love and chic in it as well for which handmade pieces is perfect embodiment. Not only this, handmade bridal jewelery is a great options for those who have a tight budget yet they which to make the best of this occasion and obtain bridal jewellery which would make them look just perfect.

Handmade bridal jewelleries, be they necklaces or earrings, appear as stunning pieces of art and style which mesmerize the onlooker and give added confidence and joy to the wearer.

You can find some amazing handmade jewelry online as well in your local jewelery store. However, to be able to make the best choice of handmade jewelery, keep your dress design in mind. If your bridal jewelery is not in harmony with your dress, no matter how great a handmade ornament you wear it will not make you look perfect.

This is because the bridal jewelery together with the dress makes a perfect match and makes you look like the dream bride. It is not wrong to state that the best handmade jewelery has to complement your wedding dress. Otherwise no matter how expensive a factory made or handmade jewelery you wear, you will fail to create the look you deserve.

Be it the necklace or your earrings or ring, make sure the color as well as the material of your handmade bridal jewelery is appropriate and inline with the latest trends to make you look like the prettiest bride on earth.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Handmade Beaded Jewelry - Unique Handmade Jewelry Timeless Treasures

Unique handmade jewelry ranks right up there as one of the wonders of modern day. In fact custom jewelry takes the heart of yesterday and makes it the beauty and wondrous grace of today's beaded jewelry.

Some of the most amazing necklaces, bracelets, earrings worn by today's top names are actually handmade beaded jewelry crafted from the naturally formed stone and elements that have been present on the earth for centuries. It is this tie with nature, with a greater power, that makes handmade jewelry so attractive to so many people.

Gemstone jewelry is often used to symbolize or signify specific qualities the wearer hopes to enhance and accent. Handmade jewelry - perhaps a ruby - accenting a cross may signify the blood of Christ, the sacrifice, while jewelry containing turquoise may symbolize the traditional association of being at one with the sky, or freedom.

In these ways and many more, handmade beaded jewelry can often take the form of the latest style of fashion jewelry while having a meaning that is so much deeper, so much more intense than any trend.

When it comes to gemstones one of our most treasured traditions is the wedding ring and very few are as impressive as the diamond. While diamonds aren't normally used in beaded jewelry we would be remiss if diamonds were not included here.

A diamond is worn on the wedding ring due to its reputation for loyalty and continued love. It is placed on the ring finger of the left hand because it was thought that there was a vein that ran from that finger directly to the heart.

Handmade beaded jewelry artists create magical combinations of natural gemstones, beads and precious metals into one of a kind treasures. These beautiful works of art come to life and are to be cherished and passed along to generation after generation.

Custom crafted gemstone jewelry designed with care and attention to detail by a jewelry artisan, is really special. Whether it's handmade jewelry adorning an antiqued pendant or pearl drop earrings or a unique diamond set ring or an exquisitely crafted gemstone and silver necklace to rival any you would find at a big-name jeweler, handmade beaded jewelry captures the hearts of all who wear them.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Handmade Jewelry Replenishes, Expresses the Creative Impulse

Impossible to quantify, inevitable in even the most mundane of tasks, the creative spirit feeds most human efforts. The creative impulse, likely the only commonality behind all endeavors great and small, is as innate as our sense of breathing.

A recent development in expressing the creative impulse, handmade enamel jewelry, actually has its origins in some of mankind's earliest civilizations. Handmade jewelry dates back dozens of centuries, and examples can be found among the surviving relics of the Ancient Roman and Egyptian empires. It's not a new form, but new innovations in the creation tools and new ways of approaching their design are giving the ancient art form a new lease on life for the 21st Century.

The Creative Impulse and The Workings of Narrative

Narratives - more commonly called stories - build themselves on one event leading into another, often with as much unpredictability as possible. In creating jewelry that highlights both iconic and mythological symbols, the handmade enamel jewelry maker is able to incorporate narrative symbols that help the viewer's mind recognize and interpret narratives on its own. The unpredictability in this case comes from the surprise at the jewelry piece's detail, or in finding how the symbol represented on the jewelry evokes and celebrates its own particular narrative.

Enamel jewelry craftsman John Madsen says the finished product both rewards his own creative impulse but also incorporates his work into a larger story. "In making handmade enamel jewelry, you become part of the spread of the story the jewelry represents," Madsen explains. "Even the most abstract designs, as well as those that are designed with a particular aesthetic in mind, challenge the creative impulse, if only to picture more such works like the ones [you see] here."

Crafting Jewelry With A Creative Impulse In Mind

Like its close cousin, fused glass ornaments, handmade enamel jewelry is often used to fire the creative impulse. Like the tree of life pendant, a popular fused glass work of ornamental jewelry, many jewelry pieces are meant not to just to reflect the imagination of the artist but also to fire the creative and cognitive impulses within the viewer. For example, in viewing the tree of life pendant, many viewers are provoked into thinking about its meaning, and which particular mythology to which it belongs. That may also prompt thoughts regarding to spirituality and to one's own spiritual development.

If that seems like a lot to ask from a single piece of jewelry, many handmade enamel and fused glass jewelry craftsmen see their work as not just ornamental but also representative. The jewelry work itself becomes almost totemic, meant not just to adorn but also to recall their symbols' tremendous spiritual potency.

"You get the sense when you create these pieces that you're really contributing to something larger than yourself," Madsen explains. "When you get that rush of seeing the finished work, it's even sometimes a little humbling. You've created art, not just for the sake of art but also to contribute to a larger understanding. That helps everybody."

How to Sell a Ton of Handmade Jewelry Right in Your Own Home Town!

There are a variety of simple ways to market your jewelry right in your own home town without spending aloof of time or a money. If you're serious about increasing your jewelry sales, give some of these simple marketing techniques a try:

1. Wear your jewelry everywhere you go. You probably interact with jewelry lovers every day of your life as you carry out your daily activities. What woman doesn't like jewelry to some extent? Highlight the beauty of your jewelry by wearing it with a simple, plain colored top so your necklace becomes the focal point. When someone compliments your jewelry design, be prepared to give them further information.

2. Carry business cards with you everywhere you go. Post your card on bulletin boards, put them in fishbowls at restaurants, leave them on restaurant tables with your tip. Give one to your dentist, hairdresser, tailor, and anyone else you may come in contact with on a daily basis. It's a low key way to network.

3. Invest in a car sign to advertise your business when you drive around during the day. This is one of the best investments you can make in terms of time and money. Be sure to include your website address in big bold letters on your sign.

4. Be friendly and approachable. You'll establish many more contacts for your jewelry line this way, plus you'll make more friends!

5. Donate a piece of your handmade jewelry to a charity auction. This is a great way to get you name out in the community as a jewelry designer. Plus, you're helping a good cause at the same time.

6. Learn everything you can about your customers. How old are they? What do they wear? Where do they live? Study their habits, wants, and needs. This will allow you to better optimize your sales material, flyers, and your jewelry designs to meet their particular needs.

7. Be active in your community by volunteering a few hours a week. This is a great way to make new contacts while establishing a reputation for giving back to your community.

8. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend meetings when possible. You local chamber can provide you with so many opportunities for networking. This is one group you definitely want to be a part of if you're serious about marketing your jewelry designs.

9. Visit local retail stores to see if they might be good markets for your jewelry. Keep an open mind. The markets for handmade jewelry extend far beyond the standard boutique and gallery. Consider hair salons, spas, nail salons, hospital gift shops, shoe stores, and other small businesses to be potential markets to sell your jewelry.

10. Market to local groups of which you're already a member. Do you belong to a church? Could you use your jewelry to help your church raise much needed funds? Offer to have a small church jewelry show to sell your jewelry and give the church a percentage of your profits.

11. Network with your local bead store. They may want you to do custom designs for their customers. You could also teach classes or give a trunk show of your designs at their store.

12. Offer to do trunk shows at local boutiques and galleries in your area. Many smaller boutiques and galleries would love to have the opportunity to sell your jewelry to their customers at no risk to them. Retail stores love the publicity that special events create!

13. Write a press release about your jewelry designs and submit it your local newspapers and magazines. This can bring in a ton of business very quickly.

Hopefully, these ideas will get you started thinking about how you can best market your handmade jewelry in your local community. It’s a great way to sell more jewelry!

Jewelers - How to Choose a Reputable One

Purchasing handmade jewelry can be an expensive, and often intimidating, affair. Most people have little knowledge of the industry and its products, and this unfortunately makes them ripe for the taking by disreputable jewelry dealers. Here are a few tips to find a jewelry dealer in whom you can trust.

Find out how long a particular dealer has been in business, and check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if there are any complaints against them. Just because a specific retailer is new doesn't mean you shouldn't consider patronizing them. New dealers should be given extra scrutiny, however, since they don't have a track record to refer to.

Ask what gemological credentials the jeweler has. Also find out if there is a gemologist on staff at the jeweler's location, and if the store has its own laboratory. Determine if the store offers any special services such as custom design, unusual gemstones or photography. Some dealers even offer educational programs for their customers.

You must learn what the return policy is for the store you are considering. If you make a return, will you get a full refund, or store credit? How many days do you have to make a return? What are the terms to make a return? Also, what is the retailer's repair or replacement policy?

Don't be afraid to ask to take a piece of jewelry "on approval." This is analogous to an extended "test-drive." Chances are the jeweler will not agree to this, but it can't hurt to ask. If you don't ask, you won't know.

Very importantly, find out to what extent the firm will guarantee its merchandise to be as represented. Be sure all details regarding a piece of jewelry, as certified by a licensed gemologist, are included on the bill of sale. Failure to see to this point could lead to disappointment.

Finally, what is the atmosphere of the store? Are displays orderly and tasteful, or are they a jumble of marked-down items designed to lure you, the potential customer. How does the staff present themselves? Are salespeople informative, helpful and unassuming? Or are they pushy and manipulative?

If after performing thorough due diligence you feel uncomfortable with a jeweler, then move on to another. Following these tips will help a lot, but there is also much to be said for instinct. If a deal doesn't feel right, don't do it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Handmade Jewelry and Handcrafted Wholesale Jewelry Maximizes Retail Sales

The best way of increasing the sales, thus the profits, is to find the most original handmade jewelry and the most unique handcrafted jewelry that can not be found in all the gift stores. Unique handmade jewelry will be the reason that your customers will keep coming back for. If your gift store is the only shop that is offering these unique handmade bracelets, handmade earrings, handcrafted necklaces, rings and brooches customers will have no other choice but coming back to you for birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, Christmas gifts as handmade artisan jewelry will make the most unique gifts for her and unique gifts for men.

The most important reason for customers to come back to your gift shop is to find original handmade jewelry because your store is the only store that offers these unique jewelry gifts. So it is a good idea to ask your handmade wholesale jewelry suppliers to give you the exclusive rights for your area. This way you will make sure that your customers have a reason to keep on coming back to your gift shop to find many handmade gifts, unique gifts and unique artisan jewelry that can not be found any where else in your area.

The other important reason that you will have steady customers that will be coming back to your store every time when they need to buy birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, men's gifts, women's gifts or Christmas gifts is that you have reasonable priced handmade unique jewelry. Especially Christmas time when people have to buy many gifts for their loved ones, your prices on handcrafted artisan jewelry will play a big role. Once your gift shop is known in the area with the most unique handmade jewelry and the reasonable prices, this will be the best advertisement for your gift store; customers telling to their friends about how wonderful your store is. You will be surprised to see people will be coming long distances to shop for unique artisan handcrafted jewelry. Then your business becomes a success story.

When looking for artisan handcrafted jewelry, be aware of the importance of high quality, reasonable wholesale jewelry prices and the most unique designs. When all these conditions are realized in real life the business becomes successful. This, of course, goes for all kinds of business, not only the handmade artisan jewelry business. Giving exclusive rights to wholesale jewelry customers is especially important for small town gift shops. This has always worked well for handmade jewelry suppliers as well as the gift store owners.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Handmade Jewelry is a Woman's Best Friend

One of a woman's most favorite and treasured gifts to receive is jewelry. Every woman can't help but feel a rush of excitement when she is handed a small gift box. Her mind starts to race through all the different possibilities that the delightfully wrapped box can hold. From diamond earrings or sapphire bracelets to the most exciting of all: an engagement ring. But while a woman loves to marvel at all these store bought gifts, jewelry that is made just for her is even more special. With all of the amaco art supplies on the market today, anyone can make handmade jewelry right in their own homes. All you need to get started is some beautifully colored clay.

Once you have chosen the color of the clay you want to use to create your piece of jewelry, it is time to begin. Use your imagination to create the one-of-a-kind piece that she will treasure forever. You could make some beads that have stripes or polka dots. You could make beads that vary in shape from round to triangle or square. Feel free to let yourself go in your creativity. If you don't like what you have created you can always start over. This is the beauty of working with moldable clay. Working with clay is so simple and easy to manipulate. When working with clay, you won't even have to worry about dealing with cone 06 glazes.

After you have finished molding your beads to your liking, make sure you remember to poke a needle through so you can string them together after baking. Once you have done this, all you have to do to finish the beads is to bake them in an oven until they are hardened. When your beads are done baking, leave them alone for some time to make sure that they have cooled off adequately. Now comes the moment of truth. String your beads into whatever piece of jewelry you have decided to make. Whether it's a bracelet, necklace or earrings, be sure that the wire you are using is neither too long nor too short.

Now you have created a unique piece of jewelry that the woman in your life is guaranteed to cherish. There are few things that can mean more to a woman than something that you have created with your own hands just for her. It doesn't matter if you have created a piece of handmade jewelry or some other clay pottery art, it is certain that she will absolutely love the masterpiece that you made, especially for her. You can purchase a small gift box to wrap your masterpiece in. When you present your handmade piece of jewelry to this special woman, make sure to keep your eyes open for her reaction, as it is sure to be one of joy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Handmade Bridal Jewelry

The real challenge is to find the bridal jewelry of your choice without breaking your bank. How? Well, there are some ways to accomplish this and make your wedding an unforgettable day of your life.

You may find some wedding jewelry which is affordable from one source or another but how about handmade bridal jewelry? Yes this is a great option for your jewelry which will surprise you. Handmade jewelry is unique as it has a special exquisiteness and warmth which is not obtainable by factory made jewelry. Since wedding jewelry has to have a softer side to it and reflect love and romance, handmade bridal jewelry can present you with all these prospects. Furthermore, handmade jewelry is affordable which means that you can look stunning on your wedding day without getting out of your budget which will get you in a fix afterward.

Handmade wedding jewelry is in fact no less than unique pieces of art which leave everlasting impression on the onlooker as well as the bride.

Before you opt for any kind of handmade jewelry, you will have to consider your wedding gown. The jewelry you select has to complement your dress otherwise it will not make a perfect whole. Once you select your dress, you need to determine the kind of handmade wedding jewelry which will go with it. Although the dress is the focal point, the jewelry is no less than that. This is because the necklaces catch immediate attention being right in from of the onlooker.

The neckline will help you to establish the style of your necklace. In addition the overall shape of your gown will also aid you to decide as to which bridal jewelry which will go with it the best. So wait no more and discover the amazing and affordable handmade bridal jewelry now!

Where can you find affordable bridal jewelry and wedding jewelry sets for your special day? Click here to find more than 3,000 chic and discounted bridal pearl jewelry line includes bridal necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Handmade Jewelry Boxes

Handmade jewelry boxes look different from jewelry boxes produced in factories, in terms of class and elegance. Their price is often very high. Though their supply is limited, they are available in a wide range of colors, sizes, textures, finishes and prices. If you are still not able to find one, it is always better to search for them online.

However, this carries a risk too. It is difficult to verify the claims made by sellers that the jewelry box bought by you is handmade. Any expert may be able to tell the difference but a common buyer cannot. In some cases, the jewelry box may be partly handmade and partly machine-made. In fact, such jewelry boxes have flooded the market, though most of them are being sold as fully handmade jewelry boxes.

To be sure that one is buying a handmade jewelry box, one should go for antique jewelry boxes. Until a couple of centuries back, all jewelry boxes were handmade. There are certain companies which offer to make handmade jewelry boxes available according to individual tastes and preferences. That could, however, cost one a great deal.

Most of the handmade jewelry boxes are generally made of wood. This is because wooden boxes often last longer than metallic boxes, are much easier to make, and most of the time look more elegant, also.

Handmade jewelry boxes are made differently all over the world. However, they can be ordered from anywhere in the world, as many of them are displayed online. A connoisseur of handmade jewelry boxes must keep track of various offline and online auctions where such items are made available quite often.

Jewelry Boxes provides detailed information on Jewelry Boxes, Jewelry Display Boxes, Jewelry Gift Boxes, Handmade Jewelry Boxes and more. Jewelry Boxes is affiliated with Wholesale Jewelers.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hip Handmade Jewelry

Projects from the editor of BeadStyle magazine Cathy Jakicic Hip Handmade Memory Jewelry is one of the newest publications from Kalmbach Books. Cathy says the idea for Memory Jewelry came after she attended a scrapbook event with a friend of hers. While there, working on a beading project, she began to realize how these 2 creative endeavors were alike. The scrapbooking group was fascinated by her project and how she designed and constructed it.The result is over 25 jewelry creations that are inspired by special occasions, divided into 4 categories: milestones, hobbies, vacations and remembrances. Yes, we all know the endless varieties of charm bracelets and pictures in small frames on pendants and keychains. But Cathy's projects go far beyond these common theme designs.


Be sure you check out the decoupage bracelet; who thought of creating a way to remember wallpaper or paint. The handmade birthstone jewelry was very personal and I liked these much more than pre-made, pre-formed standard pieces. Yes, the mini memory book pendant was a bit too trite for me, but other scrapbookers might love the concept. Creating beads from special paper, such as gift wrap, or napkins from your baby shower was another neat idea others might like, but not exactly my cup of tea. Cathy describes a reward bracelet----I liked using this for myself, adding a bead for each POUND lost on my diet, and maybe a slightly larger one for every 5 lbs. That is a prime example of how you may look at one of her designs and immediately see a new and innovative way to turn it into your own project.


Cathy described a project to commemorate a child's recital....while that didn't particularly appeal to me, it did spark my own creativity, as I thought about how I could take a program and use it to create a memory keepsake. I also like the pop culture project; I may have to use this to create a design for my best friend, who is dedicated movie buff. I could use movie posters and create a unique bracelet and earrings, with a slightly large set for a necklace. I think this could also work for books or album/CD covers. Oh, all of us remember our grade school art work being displayed on the refrigerator door (wonder what they ever did before refrigerators?). Cathy has a neat plan to co-op those into pendants.


I enjoyed the photobook/memory book charm or bookmark project; there would be endless variations on just this project alone! An earlier project showing how to personalize a sports bag or backpack could also be a variation on this theme. Her map bead project was also very original and could be used in many ways to commemorate a trip.


Cathy has different projects with photos, and a piece of cloth from your baby blanket or christening dress. But my fav was one that created a keepsake memory box with an autograph, quote or even haiku, if you wish. And, the baby blanket scrap is just fun and funny.

I thought the way she structured the book into 4 design 'types" was great, since it helped me, at least, to think about the types of events that I might like to commemorate from my own life. As an example, I have small dried flowers from my husband's grandmother's funeral that I plan to put between microscope slides and solder for pendants for my step daughter, sister in law and mother in law. No, it isn't the same as some of Cathy's projects, but it is a way to remember someone without being maudlin or dramatic. I think that is one of the things she accomplishes with her projects; giving us positive, unique ways to keep a special memory "alive."

Well I do hope I didn't spoil all your fun.....if you like creating personal keepsakes, or are a scrapbooker looking to "branch out" this book may be a great place to start. I think these projects would be wonderful to create personalized gifts. College girls, or your younger daughters might enjoy this to create thoughtful gifts that would be cherished but not expensive. You can find this online at Kalmbach Books.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How to Find the Perfect Jewelry Designer to Create Your Handmade Bridal Jewelry

(Written by: Harmony Scott)

"Couture" vs. "Costume" for your Wedding Jewelry

Designer, handmade jewelry is such a wonderful choice for your wedding day. Why not wear a work of art that will express your personal style? Handmade, quality jewelry doesn't have to be just need to be a smart shopper. It is quite possible to find a jeweler who creates gorgeous, unique jewelry with exotic gemstones and pearls set in silver or gold. "Real" jewelry can be surprisingly affordable, yet still carries lasting value. This can be the one item from your wedding (besides the ring) that you will wear over and over through the years. Handmade, designer jewelry made especially to compliment your wedding day will continue to be enjoyed into the future, and may even become a sentimental heirloom for your children or family members.

Swarovski crystals and faux pearl bridal jewelry are (sadly) everywhere, and often cost just as much as their far more fabulous and "real" counterparts. So why not choose "couture" over "costume" and celebrate your unique sense of style and beauty? I hope you will take a moment to read these tips, and find the ideal jewelry artist to create your perfect handmade wedding jewelry!

Where to Start

Start researching at least four months before your wedding date, so you won't be rushed. As soon as you have found your wedding dress you are ready to find your jewelry. When choosing a jewelry designer, make sure you are familiar with their style and price range. Start with a little research on jewelers in your area, ask your friends for recommendations, and clip photos in magazines of attractive styles. I particularly like Lucky and InStyle magazines for their variety and price range. If you want something very specific, it is always best to find a jeweler nearby that you can meet with face to face. Otherwise, email makes it pretty easy to refine your search and communicate with your designer of choice.

Websites are a great resource. Spend some time online where you can browse and educate yourself at your leisure. The more specific your search keywords, the more refined your results will be. Use keywords like "bridal jewelry" or "wedding jewelry" along with "freshwater pearl", "semi-precious gemstones", "affordable handmade jewelry", "handmade designer jewelry", "sterling silver", and "gold." It is helpful to narrow the field of choices by searching for specific gemstones or materials you like (like moonstone, topaz, amethyst, or pink freshwater pearls) or styles that attract you (like "Victorian", "Edwardian" or "Antique"). One useful website is It is basically a shopping search engine that organizes your results by price or search-term relevance, and best of all, it has little thumbnail photos of each piece so you can see if you like the item before you click through to the specific website.

Once you have a few good design candidates, make an appointment to speak with each jeweler on your list in person, by phone or via email. Bring in or email photos of your dress (preferably with you in it), have a clear budget and time frame, and be sure to communicate any other important details that will give the designer a good idea of your desires and expectations.

Buyer Beware

Steer clear of any jeweler who pushes you towards a design that is not your taste or is too expensive. It is one thing for a designer to educate you about the jewelry they create, but don't let someone sweet-talk you into a design that you don't really love or can't afford. This is a big red flag, and the best course of action is to go somewhere else. Also, don't let your sister's best friend guilt you into wearing a necklace she "designed" just because she can string beads in a row. This is your day, and you should have it your way! You deserve to work with a professional who takes their craft, reputation, and customer service seriously. With a little effort you can find a talented designer who creates jewelry you love, listens to your needs, caters to your budget, and treats you with the respect and honesty you deserve.

Budget Minded

Once you have found your jeweler of choice, you can trim your expenses by purchasing a design that is currently available for sale in their line, or by asking the designer to repeat or make small changes to a style they have created previously. This will help save money since the artist will not have to create something from scratch especially for you, and the price should be more reasonable. If you do want something made specifically for you, expect to pay more, and in some cases the increased expense can be significant. This is because the designer will have to take much more time and care to create a look that is exactly what you want, and may have to create and re-create the piece several times to get it just right. Always get an estimate first before any work has started to avoid any nasty surprises! Its best to be upfront with your budget, most jewelry designers will appreciate your candor and be able to guide you to your ideal look and price range.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips! Best wishes on finding the perfect jewelry designer to suit your specific style, budget, and desires for your special day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Colorado Bridal Jewelry

Spring weddings are one of the most desirable times to marry due to weather, fresh blooming flowers, and the comfort all brides can feel in their dress, no matter what the design-even long sleeves can be worn comfortably in the spring, especially in Colorado. While it is important to pick the right dress, shoes, veil, and other bridal attire, picking colorado bridal jewelry for your spring wedding should be tops on your list-especially with today's fashion trends changing from season to season and year to year.

Beyond a necklace and earrings for you, the bride, you should also think about your bridal party and how their jewelry can enhance the look of the bridal party but not over shadow it. Trends for both dresses and jewelry for the 2009 wedding are leaning toward color in both dresses and jewelry. While basic pearls and teardrop earrings remain popular, bursts of color are appearing in these traditional bridal jewelry wear and more and more, brides are choosing to have their bridal party wear various colors instead of all one matching color for their jewelry selections. Even different styles for necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are accepted and can make your bridal party unique.

When thinking about your spring bridal jewelry for the upcoming spring season instead of going with sterling silver necklaces and earrings, choose alternate colored jewelry such as turquoise and costume jewelry with colors like purple, blue, and pink. Ruby red, faux pearls in all colors, and even black crystal necklaces are on the rise. Big and bold statements are popular for spring in almost any design of bridal jewelry.

New twists are being made in Colorado bridal jewelry for spring and while it's still popular to wear everything from traditional to vintage jewelry, the styles and colors are fresh and new in sterling silver, gold, and faux and costume jewelry. Bulk necklaces that shout color and uniqueness are also in for the New Year in many designs.

Finding bridal jewelry in Colorado for your spring wedding doesn't have to be expensive either, whether you are choosing styles for yourself as the bride, or for the entire wedding party. Popular wedding color themes for spring are leaning toward wildflowers in bright greens, pinks, yellows, and greens. Coordinating jewelry for spring wildflower themes include chokers, teardrop necklaces and earrings, crystals of all kinds, and varied styles of both gold and silver combination.

Brides and their attendants are straying from the traditional high cut necklines this spring and v-neck and scooping lower necklines are being enhanced by longer necklaces with bright detail, styles, and shades.

Before you buy your spring bridal jewelry, think about your theme and colors and make it a fun event for your colorado wedding. While you may wear pink faux pearls and teardrop earrings, have your attendants compliment your jewelry style with flower designs in varied colors or pick jewelry with a flair for the more dramatic in twisted silver and gold or rhinestones in colors that match your theme.

If you want to give your bridal party their spring wedding jewelry for a gift to wear the day of your wedding, it's becoming appropriate to look for styles that don't scream wedding, but instead, choosing styles that can be worn for any occasion-even causal. If you do a little research and use your imagination, your spring bridal wedding jewelry can be fresh, unique, and remarkably received by both your attendants and the guests at your wedding.

(Source: Denise Sanger)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pearl Bridal Jewelry

This is not just my opinion, but pearls have been the first choice for bridal jewelry for a long time. Many years before the Romans considered pearls the ultimate gem, the Egyptians thought that pearls were the most beautiful gem.

Truth be told, the reason that pearls were people's first loved gem was that they needed no cutting or polishing, because the ancient peoples did not have the capabilities to cut and polish the harder gems like diamonds.

So is there any other reason why pearls became the gem of royalty and most importantly the gem of choice for bridal jewelry? In my opinion there is, instead of digging them from the dirt, pearls are obtained from a man risking his life to dive, sometimes quite deep into the sea. When he comes to the surface and presents his bride with a completely finished gem, it becomes so very spontaneous. A diamond or ruby or emerald is quite a bit more contrived. If a man were to present his love with a rough diamond, she would have hardly been impressed with the dull gray rough appearance, but the pearl is immediately beautiful. It needs no artificial contrivance to make it beautiful.

And the same is true today, soft, natural, glowing and lovely the pearl is the ultimate bridal jewelry. Maybe the pearl reflects the natural beauty of the bride. Think about this, there are ways of hiding a diamonds flaws, from coloring or even injecting a fluid to hide deep imperfections, but there are not easy ways to hide a pearls flaws. If the pearl have blemishes or cracks, or is just dull, how can you disguise that to a person?

Consider this the pearl is grown in the deepest softness of the oyster much like a child comes to life inside the bride. A diamond comes from carbon that is compressed and heated inside a volcano. Which way is more closely related us? One way is so hard and not really organic and the other way symbolizes birth. Am I so far off? Another way is that to show a pearls natural beauty, nothing needs to be done. The pearl's soft glow seems almost spiritual, whereas a diamond is almost like looking in to a glass mirror, or a polished piece of metal. What we experience in a pearl is more complicated. See a pearl just doesn't reflect like a mirror.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to create a falsely mystical feeling. But a pearl grow layer by layer and what this means to the beauty of this bridal jewelry is that when light is reflected back at your eyes it does not all bounce out like a mirror or crystal, it bounces back inside and reflects on and again from each semi-translucent layer of nacre. This is why a pearl appears to glow.

And this is why I think a pearl is lovelier than an artificially created cut gem, aside from the fact that a pearl is the gem of love.

(source: P E Sherlock)

More about Bridal Jewelry

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wholesale Bridal Jewelry

Bridal jewelry is not just glittering pieces of precious stones and metals. Items of jewelry used by brides are treasured as symbols of love and commitment. A wedding entails purchase of jewelry for the bride and for several other female members of the family. This is why quite a few jewelry stores offer free shipping for jewelry purchased for the bride's mother and the bridesmaids.

Almost every jewelry store deals in a fine selection bridal jewelry. This selection is sourced from wholesale bridal jewelry suppliers. All retail jewelry stores, whether online or regular, buy jewelry wholesale and then sell it on a retail basis. The most sought after jewelry is bridal jewelry as weddings are an occasion where jewelry is a must.

Stocking up for wholesale bridal jewelry entails a careful choice of jewelry pieces that will be suitable for the occasion. Delicate, elegant, tastefully made pieces of jewelry are chosen for bridal wear. The bride's wedding ring is carefully chosen. Wholesale bridal jewelry dealers should ensure that they source different standard ring sizes in varying varieties. The popular varieties in wedding bands are diamond bands, platinum bands, diamond solitaires and bands with other precious stones like rubies, emeralds and the like.

Wholesale bridal jewelry orders are also placed for many varieties of engagement rings. Necklaces, bracelets, brooches and the like are also purchased as part of a bride's jewelry.
The items of jewelry remain the same but trends change from time to time. Wholesale bridal jewelry suppliers should keep this in mind and keep abreast of market trends. They should maintain ideal stock sizes in varying designs so that they can cater to a sizable demand without running out of stock. Stock lots maintained by wholesale bridal jewelry dealers should not be so large that they get left with many pieces of unsold jewelry.

Bridal jewelry is generally traditional with touches of modern trends making small but graceful changes. So, wholesale bridal jewelry manufacturers should try out designs that are classic in style, yet have an air of newness about them.

(Source: Ken Marlborough)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry Video

I thought this was good to see and get some new ideas...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cheap Designer Jewelry

Source: Ian Pennington
Women cannot go on a cocktail party or clubbing gimmick without donning three things: fashionable bag, stiletto shoes and shining-shimmering jewelry pieces. Fashion is ultimately women's world but the male species are starting to embrace the phenomenon of trotting with chic get-up and men's accessories. Thus, fashion doesn't exclude anybody because it's definitely where great ideas and contemporary outputs overflow. To address the growing needs of fashion aficionados and beautifully crafted accessories, the industry affords the market with cheap designer jewelry, discounted bags and shoes, low-priced yet quality clothes, and diamond rings on sale. A single day won't be enough to find the greatest of the best deals that online shops like,, walmart dot com and other websites are displaying for sale.

Cheap designer jewelry pieces are not necessarily low in quality and design. They are pieces sold at slashed tags as the jewelry makers feel there is a need to dispose volumes of pieces in order to give way to new series or collections of earrings, neckpieces, bracelets, bangles, anklets and watches. These designer jewelry pieces are of different concepts such as vintage, contemporary, fusion of classic and modern, crystal-embedded, native, sparkling, sterling silver, gold-embedded and Swarovski inspired. Any designer jewelry adds up to the glamour and beauty of the outfit you are wearing. It creates a twist while enhancing your look so that you can stand out in any occasion you are in. Simplicity can even transform into glamour when you pair your outfit with an artistically crafted designer watch, bangle or jewelry set.

Crystal is a wonderful piece to use when making a jewelry piece because of timelessness, classiness and versatility. Your beauty is likely to last forever as you are donned in designer pieces of jewelry. Chandelier and dangling earrings are popular among cheap designer jewelry pieces. Bangles are also trendy in lieu of the typical bracelets. For a neckpiece, you have an option to pick the choker type or the lengthy one that reaches to your tummy. Fusing silver with other types of materials can be very edgy as well. Colors like orange, blue and silver-plated are much followed by the younger crowd while earth tones of stones and red look pretty on mature women who desire to attain an elegant look in all occasions.

Gemstones, Swarovski crystals, Mother of Pearl and diamonds are women's fascinations when it comes to cheap designer jewelry. A distinctive set of rhodium embedded earrings coupled with bezel crystals can make you look sophisticated and elegant. Without too much glitters and sparkles, you can outshine dullness if you have Swarovski jewelry as part of your wardrobe. Any Swarovski inspired set provides an essence of haute couture that makes a woman feels as if she's wearing an authentic piece of diamonds and pearls.

Back to Handmade Jewelry

Funky Designer Jewelry

Source: Wendy Pan

Funky designer jewelry can be purchased from a department store, online store, eBay or you can even make your own. People who are drawn to funky jewelry are the people who like to be unique. Funky jewelry is noticeable, quirky, stylish, colorful, exotic. The type of jewelry you wear is reflective of your personality.

Dressed to the nines may not be enough if you don't complete your outfit with just the right accessories. Jewelry is the ornament on the tree, it captures and reflects light and makes you look dazzling. It's a good idea to have as many interchangeable pieces as you can, with an eye toward matching and complimenting your current wardrobe. If you are fond of wearing browns and tans, brown leather cording and coordinating pendants look quite nice. If you like blacks, silver is exceptionally pretty.

Funky Designer Jewelry: The Bangles

Bangle bracelets have become more and more popular throughout the years. They might be in the form of many thin bracelets jangling together on your wrist, or they might be one big heavy thick bracelet. Depending on the outfit, both are perfectly acceptable and fashionable. Some bangles are so thick and large they are referred to as "cuffs" because they are nearly the size of a cuff on a shirt. These tend to be quite ornate, studded with amazing stones and perfect with a sleeveless or halter dress.

You can find bangle bracelets made of nearly every material, and of course, in the traditional sterling silver and gold. They can also be made of velvet, wood, porcelain and nearly anything that can be affixed to a basic plastic bangle (like small felt flowers, ribbons, etc).

Funky Designer Jewelry: Pendant Necklaces

Nothing says "Look at me!" more than a gorgeous pendant necklace. In days past, a pendant necklace would be the focal point of the necklace. But now, with variations creeping up in all the designers fashions, even the necklace portion itself may be adorned with beads, charms or various crystals.

Pendant necklaces, when worn with no other jewelry, can make a statement for you without you even saying a word. Choose your pendants wisely, again, base it on what catches your eye, what speaks to you, like your birthstone, your favorite gem, your favorite color, or a combination of all three that truly is funky.

Funky Designer Jewelry: Earrings

Earrings may be the boldest of all funky designs to wear because being closest to your face they are the most noticeable. Many earring designs relate to certain holidays. Black cats, pumpkins and candy corn for Halloween. Christmas trees, tiny wrapped presents and candy canes for Christmas. If celebrating the holidays via your ears is not your style, you can purchase or make your own earrings in the shapes of hearts, flowers or any number of interesting designs. Funky earrings usually take on many different elements of color and material. Metal combined with crystal, high quality plastic combined with wood.

Funky jewelry is a fun way to convey your personality to the rest of the world. Stock up when you spot sales, as it's also fun to mix and match pieces and to make them into truly your own style.