Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Vacation Break

Hey All! Just wanted to say that I will be taking a week off of posts while I spend some time on vacation with my family. Check back next week for some more great finds!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sophisticated Vintage

Lisa Leonard, a busy mom of two boys, makes beautiful artisan jewelry handcrafted from genuine gemstones, freshwater pearls, vintage findings, and various metals. Her signature pieces, for which she has garnered much attention, are handforged from sterling silver with personalized etchings. The necklace and bracelet featured above are just two examples of her delicate work. The perfect gift for any loved one in your life, sentimental yet still cool enough for even the most sophisticated taste! I also love her collection featuring handmade brass chain with various vintage findings. The necklace below features a vintage locket, key and smoky quartz briolette. Nostalgic yet totally modern at the same time. See more of her fabulous collection HERE and read her blog while you are at it...it tells the tales of her daily life in California...a truly inspirational read.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rika Rika

While shopping at my favorite local boutique last week (Gina's Gallery), I came across some really gorgeous clothing from Seattle designer RikaRika. Handcrafted from vintage silk kimonos and finished with quirky yet elegant embellishments such as tiny flowers and contrast stitching and fabric, these are easy to wear, eye-catching styles that can be casual or elegant depending on how you accessorize. I particularly liked the sleeveless dupoini silk tops in pale pink and blue which are just so delicate and feminine. If you are in the Cleveland area, check out the collection at Ginas, if not, check on-line for a boutique near you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cool Site of the Week--Art and Design Online

As a small indie jewelry artist, I know how important it is to get the word out to the mainstream about the beauty and value in seeking out and shopping from independent designers, artists and craftsmen (THE reason I started this blog in the first place). So, I am always happy to come across sites that also promote this idea. Art and Design Online is a fabulous tool for the artist and designer community as it connects the artists with sophisticated collectors, buyers, galleries and enthusiasts around the world. A&D has an extensive database of artisans from around the world in categories such as jewelry, fashion, photograpy, painting, decorative arts and furniture (to name a few!). There are three forms of membership: a visitor membership (for buyers who want to participate in the community), a basic free membership (the ability to upload 4 images of your work, a link to your site, ability to participate in the community) (I have been a member for about a year, you can see my free listing HERE), and a premium membership ($9.95 a month gives you premium exposure on the visual site, and numerous other benefits.) Also, right now, A&D is accepting entries for the 3rd Art and Design Online Invitational--a series of exhibits that showcase and promote the creative talents of their members. The current exhibit can be viewed now at A&D and Youtube. Click HERE for information on how you can participate.

Photo credits: LJWildside Lantern Dress Ashley-Matisse Handbag by Susy S. Chen Designs Cobalt Glass Bowl by Marriart

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Show Cleveland Some Love

Cleveland Handmade is a collective of local artists and craftspeople who sell their handmade wares on Etsy. Cleveland Handmade is committed to promoting, teaching, and helping its members and the Cleveland area. Cleveland Handmade members' shops specialize in a wide range of fine and funky craft, including jewelry, clothing, handbags and other accessories, fiber arts, handmade glass, ceramics, paintings and prints, photography, home decor, and repurposed vintage pieces. The members of Cleveland Handmade want to show you — and the world — their favorite places in Cleveland. They would also like to show you that buying locally made goods online is an easy and fun way to start your holiday shopping. Cleveland Handmade is sponsoring a Show Cleveland Some Love Contest. The prize is a $65 gift certificate good at any of the thirteen participating shops. You can use the certificate all in one shop or break it up and spend it in as many shops as you like. How does the contest work? Easy. Visit at least seven of the participating shops and "collect" the answer to this question from each one: "One of my favorite places in the Cleveland area is _________." (Hint: you'll find it on each shop's profile page). Enter the answers in the form HERE, add your contact information, and click the button to submit your entry. The contest ends on October 26, 2007, so enter NOW.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Flying South for the Winter

I love these tiny little earrings by Robin Lynne. Simple white acrylic doves on silver fishhooks make a fun whimsical statement now that Fall is upon us. Because everyone can use a little cheer during the colder weather! Check out more of her one of a kind jewelry HERE.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mermaids Ball

The jewelry collections of Kelly Warren of Happy Shack Designs are filled with brightly colored lampwork beads, swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and semi precious gemstones. Beautifully crafted, the miscellaneous medley of materials renders her designs eye-catching, unexpected, and always beautiful. One of my favorites is the Mermaids Ball necklace. Made of a nicely cut brass chain, interspersed with glass stones and swarovski crystals, the focal is a darling starfish charm set against a gorgeous chunk of turquoise. Perfect with a low cut dress (to show off the decolletage) or a simple t-shirt, it exudes a cheeriness that is so needed as the temperatures dip and the skies get grey. Kelly is also the founding member of First Coast Art Spot, an on-line collective of artisans from the Jacksonville, Florida area that have joined together to share and promote their work in a collaborative effort.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Treasure Box

My Little Store, a fabulous jewelry line by Jennie Yin, is the epitome of simplicity and elegance. My favorite pieces are from the flower box collection. Created entirely by hand, of hand-forged oxidized sterling silver, the inner box contains a treasure trove of pearls and vintage glass seed beads. Perfect with jeans or a little black dress. See more HERE.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cool Site of the Week--Pants Stay Put

I am definitely a shoe person. I love my mules, my sling backs, my backless sandals...I hate, however, when they get caught on my jeans, trousers, wide leg pants. You know what I am talking about don't you? When the back of the pants gets caught between the heel of your foot and your shoewear? Ugh. The constant tugging at the bottom of my pants takes away the chic factor of anything I am wearing almost instantly. So, I cannot tell you how excited I was to come across this absolutely ingenious product called Pants Stay Put. Easy to use: 4 of the iron-on pouches (2 per leg) are ironed onto the back hem of the pant leg for a secure bond. Then, you insert a pant stick (reminds me of a collar stay for those of you that have significant others that wear dress shirts to work) into the pant stay pouch. It is truly amazing...it keeps the back of the pants taut and away from the back of the shoe. I love this product. For any women who has experienced this problem, Pants Stay Put will be a godsend to you! Check out their website HERE to order yours!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I love how architect and jewelry designer Carla Smiley of Orno makes the most beautiful, eye catching jewelry out of exotic woods. Each piece of jewelry is hand cut from a simple plank of wood (black walnut, mahogany, zebrawood are some of the woods she has worked with) and then carefully hand sanded and varnished. The result...simple yet stunning earrings and necklaces that make a bold statement and show her amazing craftsmanship. Wear a pair of these earrings, and let your other accessories call it a night. See more HERE.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Princess and the Pea

One of my favorite childhood fairy tales was the Princess and the Pea. I just loved the idea that a princess could be so spoiled that she could not fall sleep because of a pea under 40 mattresses. Well, with 2 kids, a full-time job, a jewelry business, and a blog to write, I sometimes feel like that princess...only I have just one mattress, with no pea, and I still can't fall asleep. However, for the past few weeks, I have been sleeping like a log (or like a true princess as the story goes) with my new down comforter from Plumeria Bay. Super soft and ultra lightweight, it truly feels like I am sleeping in a cloud. Available in a variety of sizes and weights, as well as a range of price points to suit most budgets, each comforter is made to order according to your personal preference. I have accepted that my life is busy right now, so getting a lot of sleep is not in my near future...but, the quality of it is something that I can control. This comforter truly makes me sleep like royalty. Check out all their comforters HERE, as well as their extensive line of duvets, pillows, and blankets.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Etsy Pink

Etsy Pink is a group on Etsy that donates a portion of their proceeds to breast cancer groups. Since Etsy is the largest marketplace for handmade goods, you can be assured that you will find something that will express your individuality, while at the same time, supporting a wonderful cause. These are just a few of the items that I found when I typed in "etsy pink breast cancer" into the etsy search engine.

This awesome tank (pictured above) by Cripple Creek is a cheery reminder to do self breast examinations. 75% of the $8.00 selling price will go directly to benefit a friend of hers who has breast cancer.

These charming little earrings by the Eclectic Slide feature wool felted beads, swarovski crystals and vintage flowers. ALL proceeds of these earrings will be donated to the "Relay for Life" team at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center.

For those of you who like to knit, this gorgeous merino wool yarn, handspun by Mud Creek, is perfect for creating some cuddly socks to warm your feet. ALL proceeds of this yarn will be donated to the Susan G. Komen For The Cure.

This fabulous Raspberry Swirl necklace by Meristem features individually wire wrapped pink beads centered by a pink chalcedony briolette on a really cool twisted wire mini sculpture. Made in honor of her stepmother, 30% of the $112 purchase price will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the cure foundation.

This chunky funky three strand necklace by Sandra Eileen featuring rose quartz, mother of pearl and amazonite makes a beautiful statement while supporting a great cause. 50% of the proceeds from the sale of this necklace ($148) will be donated efforts to help women feel beautiful while they are being treated for or recovering from breast cancer.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Grace Yourself

The Grace necklace, created by designer Laura Wells, and sold exclusively at Archestra, displays a simple pink wrapped spiral with a single sterling silver bead nested in the middle. Available on either a creme colored leather cord, or a delicate sterling silver chain, 50% of the purchase price is being donated to the Gal to Gal foundation which supports women with State IV breast cancer. Archestra, one of my favorite on-line shopping boutiques (fabulous one-stop shopping for any person you need to buy a gift for, including yourself!) is a proud sponsor of the virtual "Walk across America" fundraising event that Gal to Gal has organized. Click HERE to get more information on how you can participate in this event and click HERE to buy the Grace necklace or any other piece from the Grace collection. A fabulous way to mix art, shopping and generosity in one online step.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cool Site of the Week--Placetile Designs

Placetile Designs is a very unique company that offers tablewear, gifts and place cards. The uniqueness comes from the fact that all of the pieces are created from fine ceramic that can be written on with a dry eraser pen. Thus, the pieces can be used over and over again. Some of my favorite items are the Menu tiles (what a fun, hip, and elegant way to announce what dinner will be), napkin rings (perfect for letting everyone know where to sit) and the Babysitting tile (saves time from rewriting notes to the babysitter.) I love when people come up with cool ideas...that still look elegant. These are just so much nicer than those dry eraser boards!! And, Placetile Designs will be donating 5% of all proceeds from the Hats Off place tile (pictured below, and how perfect for a baby shower!), to the Susan G. Komen foundation!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Covered up in Cashmere

I have a collection of over 30 pashminas...they are truly a must-have fashion accessory for any woman because of their true versatility. The perfect wrap to throw on over a fancy dress, a wonderful way to jazz up a pair of jeans, or a cozy blanket to bring on an airplane (please...don't tell me you use those airplane blankets!). Cashmere pashminas cover up cold shoulders and warm the hearts of those who wear it!! The Pashmina Store offers one of the best selections of pashminas around, with an amazing color selection, and, hands down, the best prices around! Plus, the Pashmina Shop will donate 5% of the purchase of any pink item to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Check out their amazing selection HERE.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fashion Accessories for Women

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are currently 2 million American women survivors of breast cancer. To raise money for breast cancer awareness, research, and medical treatment, many companies and independent artists are donating a portion of their sales from certain products. This week, I will be posting some of those products! Today, my featured company is Wandering Star Designs. Wandering Star has created a really lovely collection of beaded bracelets and necklaces featuring glass, rose quartz, sterling silver and swarovski crystals. $5 from every sale of the Pink Ribbon Collection will be donated to the American Cancer Society. Get shopping HERE.

Friday, October 05, 2007


This effortlessly chic coat by designer Leanimal is perfect for the Fall and up-coming Holiday seasons. Timeless, yet perfectly on trend, the puffed hemline and sleeves and graphic neckline give it a romantic quality that instantly takes the "basic" out of a trench. The hint of plaid lining is a peek-a-boo treat of color. This would instantly elevate my casual Fall wardrobe of jeans and cords and would also be fabulous as a topper to any fancy outfit for holiday parties. Available for $278 HERE.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hear Me Roar

Peggy Li makes lovely and elegant jewelry out of sterling silver, gold, artisan glass and gemstones. Her pieces add just the right amount of color to a wardrobe. Two of my favorite pieces are the Tiger Tiger earrings and Tiger Eye Necklace. The rich warm colors of the black onyx and gold and red tiger eye make this a must-have set for the Fall. Understated but beautiful, this would look perfect with a suit for work or simply to dress up some jeans. See more of her beautiful work HERE.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cool Site of the Week--Trunkt

Trunkt, the Buyer's Guide to Independent Art and Design, is a virtual showcase of products from talented artisans in jewelry, art, accessories and fashion. Now, through November 15, 2007, you can support this community of independent artists and designers, and get yourself a $500 shopping spree! It is easy, simply browse through the Trunkt catalogue, and save your favorite products to a Wish List. On November 16, 2007, a lucky winner will be given $500 to buy some or all of the items in your wish list! What perfect timing for the holiday spending season!! Get started NOW!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sweet as Nectar

The handcrafted jewelry designs of silversmith Sharon Fiorini of Nectar jewelry have a clean and contemporary style to them that make them the perfect accessories to add a bit of edge to the ladylike fashions that are out for the Fall. The simple shapes and clean lines make each piece in her collection infinitely wearable...from the dressiest of suits to casual jeans and a cashmere sweater. Plus, bonus, prices start at only $22 for a pair of earrings and top off at $45 for a necklace. Affordable, and beautiful? What a perfect combination!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Look What I Got!

For the past year or so, I have been curtailing my spending so that I can get some of my debt paid down. However, I do, on occasion, go shopping, and, when I do, I will showcase some of those great purchases here! First up, the fabulous jewelry of Lisa Gastelum of TQB Designs. Tiny, delicate beaded rounds, hand-woven in the traditional gourd stitch, and containing anywhere from 50 - 500 individual beads, are so feminine and create a cheerful little burst of color to my neckline. I bought the three necklaces pictured here (prices start at only $34!), but she has a shopful of little treasures for you to check out, including gorgeous earrings and bracelets. Utterly feminine and whimsical, without being fussy, I have been wearing one of these every day for the past week. They are the perfect accessories to make an ordinary pair of jeans and a t-shirt seem, well, not so ordinary!! Check out her shop HERE to get your own everyday essential!