Some Pearly Creativity

I think I previously mentioned my love of pearl jewelry, if not, I love pearl jewelry. I love how diverse it can be, simple, traditional, or modern. And the white pearls go with just about anything in your wardrobe as long as the styles match. Without really trying, I went on a pearl kick over the past week or so, and I thought I would share my results.

This first necklace was created with freshwater pearls and sterling silver components strung on a leather cord. I saw a similar idea at my local bead shop, but I created my own version of it. This is a great jeans and t-shirt necklace, but the pearls dress it up a little.

I designed these earrings to match the necklace above. I always sell my pieces separately so people can mix and match or not feel locked into sets if they don’t want them, but I think these two are a great set to keep on hand. The earrings alone can work with about anything you can think of. (Yes, the earrings hang on an angle.)

I think I showed off the earrings that match this necklace previously. I made a set of these earrings and necklace for my mom so I thought I would add the necklace to the earrings I had as well. Again, it is perfect for dressing up or down. It is simple and elegant, yet it’s different enough to create its own little “oohs and ahhs”

Lastly, this is my pride and joy. I have wanted to create a straight strand of pearls for quite some time, so I finally created it. At some point I will create earrings to match it, if it doesn’t sell first. This necklace is 32-inches long, which is long enough to create a nice dramatic effect without getting in the way if you wear it as a single strand, or you can wrap it around your neck twice and get a double-stranded choker look. Both looks are very traditional and elegant, yet they can have a modern flare to them at the same time.

 

Side story…

For those who don’t know, I have a mannequin head which I use at shows.  At my last show, a gentleman asked me (with a slight laugh in his voice), “Does she have a name?” I responded, “Yes, her name is Pearl.” He looked a little surprised (I’m guessing he thought I was too old to name dolls). I continued, “It is easier to ask ‘Where is Pearl?’ than to ask ‘Where is the mannequin?’” With that, he nodded and continued on his way. I reference that because I used Pearl to take these photos (even though you can’t see her face). That makes these pearls on Pearl.

 

Anyway…thank you for stopping by!

Advertisements

Elegant Simplicity

Timeless elegance. Just plain pretty. Elegant simplicity. Those concepts are passions of mine and I think we’re going to see more of them in the coming months.

After writing my last post on pearls, I got to thinking about how the simple timeless pieces are really making a comeback. For quite some time, women have been buying chunky, colorful jewelry. It’s been through the magazines, down the catwalks, and on the streets. However, I’m starting to see a shift away from it, at least at the shows I am involved in. Women are looking for jewelry that can go anywhere instead of separate pieces to match every outfit.

Color is still a big deal in jewelry, but on more simple terms. A colorful pendant for instance or a bright pair of earrings is more in line with today’s woman than layers of bold necklaces. Solid metals really seem to be taking over, too. These are so versatile I don’t blame people for leaning towards them more and more. It’s not just jewelry that is becoming simpler; our wardrobes are, too.

For those who know me personally, you might have noticed I’ve lost a bit of weight over the past year. Because of this, I need to revamp my wardrobe. As I’ve been search for what is in style this year, I’m finding the clothes to be simpler and more fitted. Five work outfits you can mix and match, plus two weekend outfits, which are also fitted and streamlined, are about all you need. This is in check with what I have been seeing on the front lines of jewelry. A few pieces that can go anywhere are all a lady needs. A pendant, a pearl necklace, a pair of hoop earrings, a pair of stud pearl earrings, and a simple bracelet or two will do the job quite nicely. As I think about this, I think there is more to it than meets the eye.

If you follow the news, you know there are some rough economic situations going on across the world. If you follow the economic news, you might know there are predictions of a collapse come this autumn. I could be wrong, but I think the simpler styles we are seeing are related to the tightness in the economy. We saw this in the 1930s. The 1920s were a time of luxury and boldness in style, but when the 30s rolled around and the economy got tight, style simplified. With money becoming tighter, people are trying to streamline their lifestyles and simplify what they have.

In tune with this simple style concept, I recently posted a jewelry set in my Etsy shop which I think is perfect simplicity with just a touch of “wow.”  What do you think?

 Here are the links for them:

Wire Wrapped Aventurine Necklace

Wire Wrapped Aventurine Earrings

Simple style might not be for everyone, but I’m thrilled to see ladies leaning more towards it. I think there’s something very ladylike and refined about simple clothing and especially about simple jewelry. It’s simply elegant.

As always, thanks for reading!

All tied up in knots

I think most ladies in this world either own or dream of owning a pearl necklace. Not just any pearl necklace, but a traditional pearl necklace that has knots tied between each pearl. I could be wrong, but I know I dream of owning one. I suppose I should contact my local jewelry designer…

Traditional pearl necklaces are strung on silk cord with knots tied between each pearl. If you have pearls strung next to each other, the beads can rub against each other and affect the appearance and strength of the necklace over time. By tying knots between the pearls, they rub against the silk instead of each other and the silk does not damage them.

Flash forward to modern jewelry. Not only do we see knotting used for pearls, but it is also used with gemstone and glass beads. Knotting works well for several reasons. As I mentioned, knots keep the beads from rubbing against each other. They can also help if the necklace happens to come apart. The knots will stop the beads from sliding off the cord if the cord breaks. They also help to accent the beads and provide some separation between them. This is especially nice if you have unique beads you want to call attention to.

I find knotting to be simply elegant, but I do not see it done very often outside of high-end jewelry shops. For this reason, I have been teaching myself the knotting technique. At first it was frustrating because it is quite challenging to get the spacing just right. Now, I almost find it enjoyable.

In anticipation of my first show a few weeks ago, I decided to create a new jewelry set for myself. I have been wearing the same earrings and necklace to each show for the past four years! I wanted to create something bright and perfect for spring, but when I pulled out the beads I wanted to use, I only had 15 inches of them. That’s a tight necklace! I wanted to keep it in a traditional style and stay away from shiny metal, so I decided to use some silk cord and knot the beads together. This is what I came up with:

You may have seen these beads before. They are left over from another set I created. I love the look of these beads, so I have been taking my time trying to figure out exactly what to make with them. What do you think? I think the necklace looks like something out of a vintage jewelry box. That was my intention for it. I chose the off-white cord to really make the beads stand out.

Do you have any knotted necklaces? If so, what type of beads is the necklace made from?

I’m really in love with this necklace. It might be hard to sell it.

Thanks for reading!

PS: This weekend I will be at Manheim’s (PA) train station for Artist’s Alley. This event will feature our local glass blowing operation as well as several of the best local artisans. The show is from 12-5PM on Sunday, May 27, and we will do it again on the last Sunday of every month through August. If you are in the area, stop by and check us out! Thanks!

Vintage Jewlery Styles

Are you familiar with the television show Mad Men? It’s okay if you aren’t, I’m not either. However, it has been popping up a lot lately on various style websites. Thanks to these websites, I now know the show takes place during the 1960s and has a lot of great style going on.

With the talk of Mad Men going around the fashion forums, I’m feeling inspired to create some retro-inspired jewelry. If you know me well, you know I have a soft spot for retro jewelry and clothing, but I don’t create it often nor wear it often. I need some feedback on what other ladies think about it before I do too much with it.

The jewelry of this era was defined by pearl necklaces (real and glass), button earrings, statement pendants on chains (gold or silver), and brooches. Some of the other jewelry trends were large cocktail rings, glass jewels, and multi-strand necklaces. At just about any level in society, jewelry seemed to play an important role in every woman’s wardrobe.

Another material that often showed up in jewelry during the 1950s and 1960s was Lucite, a synthetic polymer used in place of glass (Plexiglas is a form of the same material). It was lightweight, durable, and economical. In simple terms, it’s a transparent or translucent plastic. I mention Lucite specifically, because it is not something you see very much in jewelry today, but I really like the look of chunky Lucite jewelry pieces.

What I find interesting about this time period is there were actually two different worlds going on in regards to jewelry and fashion. I’m focusing on more the Mad Men style of jewelry because that is my personal preference and that’s what is getting noted in the fashion media outlets, but I feel I must also make a note of the hippie style jewelry that was present in this time period. Hippie jewelry styles focused more on natural materials, especially wood, shells, stone, feathers, leather, and cotton cord. The metals in hippie jewelry styles were often aged looking and not shiny like it was in the Mad Men style.

I find it interesting how these two styles of jewelry were both very popular during the same era, yet they couldn’t be more different, and they are both back in style today. I have a few pieces I have created to unleash my inner vintage love.

This necklace is more of the Mad Men style. I think the color creates the vintage look more than the necklace style itself. It was created with Swarovski’s crystal pearls and sterling silver. Swarovski’s crystal pearls have a leaded crystal core to give them some weight, and then they are finished with multiple layers of highly luminous pearlescence to give them a high-quality pearl look.

I would put this necklace in the hippie style category. It was created with wood beads accented with green glass beads to give it a great natural look. It is chunky, but very lightweight.

Which style do you prefer?

Thanks for reading!

Going to great lengths…

Have you read my previous post on choosing the right jewelry for your face shape? If not, I encourage you to read that and then continue with this post. I say that because I want to ask you, what length of necklace are you most comfortable wearing? After reading my previous post, is the reason you prefer that length based on your face (and possibly neck) shape and size? I have a long neck, so I prefer shorter necklaces, especially chunky ones or several smaller ones together to create a chunky look because it makes my neck look shorter. However, many of my clients prefer their necklaces to be a little longer. Let’s explore necklace lengths a little more now.

Collar and Choker

The names collar and choker are often used to describe the same thing…a short, snug-fitting necklace. Collar length necklaces usually run between 10 and 12 inches in length, while the choker length necklaces are between 14 and 16 inches in length. A choker length necklace can give you a similar effect to the collar if your neck is a little larger and 10 to 12 inches isn’t quite comfortable for you.  Both necklace lengths are great for dressing up or for casual wear and look wonderful with anything where your neck is completely exposed.

Princess

Princess length necklaces are generally 17 to 19 inches long. It works well with almost any neckline, but make sure the necklace and your neckline aren’t vying for the same position. The necklace should either rest a little above your neckline, or a little below it. This is generally regarding as a fairly common length, but I am finding that most of my clients prefer the next length category, so I try to have a mix of princess length and matinee length necklaces in stock.

Matinee

Matinee length necklaces are 20 to 24 inches long and are traditionally thought of as being best for dressing up. They work well with high or low necklines and can really be used for formal wear, business wear, or casual wear depending on the style.

Opera

Opera length necklaces are 28 to 34 inches in length. You often have the option with these of wearing them long, or wrapping them around your neck twice to give the illusion of a multi-strand necklace. I have also seen this length used in combination with a collar or choker length necklace. These are also diverse enough to be worn with either a high or low neckline.

Rope/Lariat

The rope/lariat length necklaces are usually any length of necklace over about 45 inches. These can be daring and modern, or they can add a traditional sophistication to an outfit (a long strand of pearls is good for this). They can be wrapped around the neck a few times, or worn long, or layered with a few shorter necklaces.

I find it interesting to look at the different necklace lengths and then to look at today’s styles. The matinee and opera length are generally regarded as traditional lengths while the rope and collar are thought of as more modern. Even with this in mind, today’s lady can be in style with any of these lengths, so all she has to do is find what she is comfortable with. What length do you prefer? Do you have a reason, or is it just what you are comfortable with? Don’t limit yourself! Remember, jewelry is all about having a little fun and adding some color to your day! Thanks for reading!

(Image courtesy of http://www.delamina.com)