Why Are Crystals & Healing Crystals So Popular Right Now?

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So much can be said about crystals and their role in the millennial mind. The mainstream’s relatively recent fascination with crystals is far-reaching and undeniably polarizing. There are those that think a crystal’s ability to heal is hogwash. Others go so far as to dedicate their lives to healing crystal’s seemingly magical powers.

Then there are people like me who fall somewhere in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely fascinated by crystals, and my collection is vast enough to need its own cabinet or two. I use crystals while meditating, and I even playfully ponder over the unseen “energies” different crystals emit.

But I’m still skeptical. Do I think holding a piece of rose quartz over your heart is going to heal a cardiac arrhythmia? No. Do I think every crystal sends off a different vibration? Not really. What I do know is that each type of crystal has a different composition and absorbs and refracts light (and radiation) in different ways — to put it simply.

Regardless of where you stand, the age of buying druzy crystals in mass numbers is upon us. Crystal healing has been around for centuries, but why all of a sudden are these specimens so in-demand? Skepticism aside, here are some reasons why crystals are so popular:

1. Crystals Are Helpful Meditative Aids:

A crystal doesn’t need to be unearthly magical to help with a simple meditation practice. If the crystal just so happens to emit an energy that helps you channel a goal, great. But that isn’t the point. So much of our own energy is channeled through our thoughts.

If we think a particular stone will enhance our intuition, chances are we’ll be seeing things more clearly. Whether it’s the stone’s work or just our mind, having a token to focus our attention on while meditating can help with the process of destressing.

2. Healing Crystals Lend to Personalized Spiritual Practices:

I’m not a New Age expert, but I do know that the culture developed as a means to explore spirituality for those that don’t fit into the confines of standardized religion. In a New Age practice, no one model that fits all. An individual explores varying belief systems and ideologies, then they practice a mixture based on works for them. One potential area of study is crystal healing, which is an ancient practice that has been around for thousands of years.

Many millennials that don’t easily fit into another religion are adopting this New Age model to help them through difficult times. Whereas some might find their solace in Catholicism, Hinduism or Islam, New Agers might find that same comfort through astrology or paganism.

A recent cultural shift to more New Age type thinking among millennials explains in part why crystal sales have been seeing a resurgence. Before you’re quick to agree or disagree, remember that with belief systems, you don’t necessarily see what you’re believing. If crystals bring someone closer to their spirituality and the universe and if crystals somehow make them a better person because of it, all the power to them. So long as someone’s beliefs are ethically okay and don’t infringe upon someone else’s beliefs, no judgements here.

3. Crystals are Absolutely Fascinating to Look At and Study:

Alright, so let’s get down to the reason why most of my jewelry friends and I are obsessed with crystals. They’re gorgeous! Most of the time they’re completely untainted. And they can grow under the most extreme yet specific conditions. They’re colorful, optically fierce, and exceptional little snowflakes. Okay, I’m going a little overboard, but you get the idea.

Crystals and gemstones that haven’t been dyed or altered in any way are such a profound testament to the beauty of earth and nature. Something as seemingly simple as rain pushing sediment into a mountain crevice can transform into an unworldly treasure millions of years later. Hello, opal! And that’s just one example.

The science behind crystals is vast, complex, and undeniably intriguing. And even when you fully understand the how, you still can’t help but be mystified when you come across an even more radiant and unusual specimen.

Whatever marketing or New Age trend that pushed the mainstream population onto crystals has only promoted what we gemology and geology fanatics have known all along. There’s nothing quite like a perfectly imperfect crystal.

Five Crystal Items You Can Shop:

Crystal Gifts | Gem Gossip

Crystals – Paperback by Jennie Harding

Agate Bookends

Crystal Cluster Amethyst Art

Wellness Gem-Water Bottle by VitaJuwel

Green and Blue Mineral Art Print

This post was contributed by:

Ageless Heirlooms Lauren Thomann | I: @agelessheirlooms | W: www.agelessheirlooms.com

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30 Ways to Incorporate Your Love of Jewelry into Summertime!

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Summer is next week–can you believe it?! Are you ready?! One of my most favorite things to do in the summer is to plan activities that I wouldn’t normally get to do…this involves taking days off from work, surrounding myself with people I love, and living my best life. I also like making lists or a group of goals to complete over the summer–they can be wishful thinking or very, very serious. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of 30 Ways to Incorporate Your Love of Jewelry just in time for summer!

1. Pick a gemstone, any gemstone, and learn all about it.

2. Find a gem show that is coming to your area and attend!

3. Have a gem or mineral specimen collection? Reorganize it in a cool way.

4. Plan a trip to go gem mining.

5. Do you have a favorite Instagrammer in our jewelry community? Plan a summer meetup.

6. Pick a state that is somewhat close to you, and research the best jewelry store they have to offer. Plan a visit!

7. Make a cool treat on a hot day–these gem ice trays can be filled with any fruity liquid!

8. Find a gemstone print top, bathing suit or towel and wear it to the beach.

9. Reserve a day at the nail salon and go for a gemstone manicure!

10. Buy that jewelry book you’ve been eyeing and lay by the pool with it!

11. Scout out some amazing flowers in your city, buy them, and take some jewelry photos with them.

12. Find a new way of wearing some of your favorite pieces of jewelry.

13. Take a day to clean your most-worn pieces of jewelry.

14. Plan a SWAP party with friends that also love jewelry.

15. Pick a time period you don’t know as much about as your favorite jewelry period, and learn about it!

16. Spend an entire day “hunting” for antique jewelry online–but do it by a pool.

17. Learn about crystal healing and depending on where you live, schedule an appointment with an expert.

18. Throw a gemstone-themed party!

19. Learn about a new designer you’ve never heard of before.

20. Need a new way to store your jewelry? Splurge on a jewelry cabinet and reconfigure it if necessary.

21. Take a jewelry making class.

22. Decide on creating a charm bracelet or necklace–gather charms, buy some new ones and put it together.

23. Get something very special and sentimental made into a piece of jewelry.

24. Size all of your fingers and keep it written down.

25. Get registered to bid at your favorite auction houses.

26. Put on all your favorite Art Deco jewels and watch a 1920s old movie.

27. Hit up your local estate sales or garage sales. You never know!

28. Tell someone thank you by gifting them a piece of jewelry.

29. Get lost on Pinterest by searching “antique jewelry” or “jewelry.”

30. Pick your favorite medium (water colors, arcryllics, pencil, etc) and try drawing/painting a diamond.

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Search my summer favorites

Let me know which of these you want to do! –> @gemgossip

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My Jewel Box: What I Bought In Tucson & Miami 2017

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Hey guys & gals.

hahaha

I’ve never started a blog post like that before. Should I just leave it? Ok, I will.

Here is the long overdue blog post about the items I brought back from my trips to Tucson & Miami. Anytime I go to a jewelry show, I never know what I’m going to find so the energy is always slightly tense and adrenaline is constantly flowing. If I buy something at a show, I never know for certain if I’m going to keep it or sell it–I’ve realized I have to bring it home and introduce it into my collection, wear it a few times, and decide if it feels like it should be mine forever or not. I can’t tell you how I determine that, I just know.

This time around in Tucson, I never knew I would find a piece of jewelry I would love and end up keeping. I was totally focused on buying gems, crystals and random minerals (see second photo) but when I stopped by the Excalibur Estate Jewelry booth at AGTA in Tucson, the ring kind of found me. It didn’t help that I had been searching for a special client of mine for something just like this, but it was out of her budget. I bought it anyway. The whole rest of the trip, I treated it as though it was for my client and that I would be saying goodbye to it as soon as I got home. Every time I thought about selling it, I couldn’t! I also kept looking at pictures of it (actually the exact photo in this blog post) the whole plane ride home. I had to keep it.

My next trip to Miami was only a week later, so normally I would be like “my budget is DONE” after buying something like that in Tucson. I had some good timing with my EBTH sale being launched the same day Miami started. I took my entire inventory and put it up for auction with EBTH–sort of nail-biting as every piece is sold at no reserve–so yes several pieces went for hundreds less than retail value, but I was able to justify finding and buying three amazing new pieces for my personal collection.

The three rings in the last photo above on the left are my Miami Antique Show finds. The furthest one on the left is from Shelly Storch Fine Jewelry–I found it early on in the day on my last day, I made an offer which wasn’t accepted and then came back right before I left at the end of the day. This is one of those rings that you simply can’t stop staring at! The turquoise and black enamel ring was found at Haig’s of Rochester and I love the contrast of the turquoise with the enamel. I think it may have been a stick pin conversion–while most stick pins are tiny, this one is pretty large, which is what I like about it as well. The last purchase from the Miami Antique Show is the Art Nouveau diamond and black enamel ring from Marlene Wong Alvarado Antique & Estate Jewelry. She is a seller who has been in the business for YEARS and is based out of Corpus Christi, Texas. She told me she personally wore that ring for over 20 years, as it was in her personal collection and this was the first time she was offering it for sale. I told her I would take good care of it! It is marked Syman and I couldn’t find much about this maker online. I posted a photo of the ring on a Facebook Group I’m a member of–Antique Jewelry Identification Group–and my friend Jenn believes that it is a Colorado based company from the early 1900s. If you know more about this maker, please contact me!

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out what else is in my jewel box!

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Festive 2016 collection

Sayuri has been known for its thematic well planned seasonal collections but it always wasn’t the case.

Sayuri has been known for its thematic well planned seasonal collections but it always wasn’t the case. When I started Sayuri in 2008, I wasn’t trying to cater to a particular audience who like thematic pieces, I was attempting to strike a chord with every woman who wanted something unique and special, something that she would not find anywhere. So I made ranges of jewelry – pieces to fit every style, every color and every price point. Eight years later, life has come a full circle for me and here is a Festive collection that is literally a collection of random thoughts, concepts, and designs.
Presenting pieces from the Festive 2016 collection that are in shades or blue and pink. I’ll post the remaining designs in a following post.

Festive 2016 collection

Unique, handmade colorful beaded necklaces with a variety of interesting mixed media pendants.

Vibrant Lotus Necklace – A long statement necklace with a Lotus paper and resin pendant and multicolored beads
Luminescent sea – Inspired by the frothy sea waters and floating algae the beaded necklace of glass and howlite beads come with a shimmery mixed media pendant.

Beach sparkle necklace – Silk cord necklace with glass beads and a silver foil – paper pendant set in resin
At Indian beaches you can see a rare sight – of women dressed up in silks, flowers and in their finest jewels (particularly during festivals) as opposed to being in quick drying beachwear as in other countries. My necklace though made in traditional blues and greens of the beach theme have elements like silk cord, rhinestones and metal foil to as an ode to this interesting fashion adaptation that is based on a social agenda of looking your best when you go out with your family.

Colors pops – Looped beaded necklace in bright colors with brass links. Picture a Saturday evening at the beach during sunset – its cool, a bit crowded and completely colorful with an energetic vibe. Colorful umbrellas, balloons, cotton candy stalls, and kites dot the beach completely replacing the brown and blue color spectrum with lots of vibrant colors.

Reflections Dew Drop: Icy blue crystal necklace with a Silver foil pendant that has a matt blue patina on it. For added interest I have used silver foil glass beads and silver crystals along with purple glass beads and a double sided purple and green matt crystal bead. The necklace has a lot of intrinsic shine but without that blingly over the top rhinestone type of shine.

So how do you like these pieces? yes, some of them were made for various challenges (ABS, BNB – “The day at the beach”, etc,.) and with certain tweaks, I thought that they would all fit in.
They are all available for sale, please email me to buy

I hope you find it interesting
Cheers

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Metal Cloud Earrings

I have a confession to make – “I am crazy about clouds and I love taking pictures of the sky!” If I could photograph anything I wanted to, I would probably photograph clouds.

I have a confession to make – “I am crazy about clouds and I love taking pictures of the sky!” If I could photograph anything I wanted to, I would probably photograph clouds. For me there is no “ordinary” cloud – every cloud is special and beautiful in its own way. I have pissed off many with this compulsion of mine, to stop, admire, and photograph clouds even when I am in the middle of something important. From dates to functions, from roadtrips to photoshoots – none have been spared. So to hear Keith Christiansen, a curator at the MET museum speak about his attachment for clouds was very satisfying.

Photographs taken at New York City, Udaipur and Chennai

At one point he explains why he takes pictures of clouds and the sky – “it is not a record of a place that I have been too but rather an emotion that I felt standing there and looking at it.” I do not think that I can summarise my feelings for the sky and clouds any better than how Keith feels.
Many, Many artists have taken inspiration from clouds, from Sunrise and sunset skies to fuel their imagination. Next only to flowers, I consider the ever changing nature of clouds as the universal definition of strong inspirational direction.
This Month’s we’re all ears challenge is all about Weather – wind patterns, clouds and rain and as inspiration Erin had provided us with Van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cypresses that I had posted in the September ABS challenge here

I had great plans for all sorts of earrings when I started writing this post a week back and was then struck down by 102 deg fever. But I have made 2 pairs at the last moment. One is a direct realisation of cloud earring showcasing deep dark booming clouds and the other is a more stylised version of cloud movement in the evening just before the golden hour. The long stud meant to be worn as evening or party wear. Both are studs and are made of brass – brass flower stamping blanks (cut into the cloud shape) and brass wire. I have used my new texture hammer from Parawire to add interest to both pieces. I somehow like the texture on the wire better, what do you guys think?

We’re all ears – its cloudy

I have blinged up both earrings with swarovski crystals and lots of pearls. I also like how the loreals in the first earrings move a lot without making much sound, an attribute I prefer in my earrings. On hindsight, I think I should have not wrapped such heavy pearls to the earrings. As it quite long and tilts to the side (as per the design) it feels even more heavy. But it would be nice to wear it on an evening out and be the cynosure of all eyes. That’s it for this reveal folks and as I close I am going to leave you with more cloud pictures I took in the last few years all over the world.
Photographs taken at Chennai, Kathmandu, New Jersey, and Philadephia

I just realised that even though my inspiration pictures are colorful, vibrant with a happy vibe my designs are dull and melancholic, maybe reflecting my current state of mind and body. Maybe looking at all the beady baubles that the other participants made would cheer me up so I am off to visit the challenge reveal page. Why don’t you all join me ?

I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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How to: Write a DIY Tutorial

Let me open with the disclaimer that I am not a tutorial expert and there are people who are far more experienced than me when it comes to writing design instructions. But as someone who has been writing DIY Jewelry and craft tutorials for both web as well as print, I thought I’ll share my learning with everyone.

Let me open with the disclaimer that I am not a tutorial expert and there are people who are far more experienced than me when it comes to writing design instructions. But as someone who has been writing DIY Jewelry and craft tutorials for both web as well as print, I thought I’ll share my learning with everyone.

Contrary to what people think creating a jewelry tutorial is a hard job. It hard enough when you get paid for it but harder still when you write it for free on your blog. You need to come up with an original idea (that well, will work!), create it, document it every step of the way using photographs, edit the photographs and then write the tutorial. That is just the first part; the second part is promoting it, responding to comments, answering questions, and updating it as you go. Also ,tutorials are slightly different from “How to” posts such as this one, in the sense that there is a definite product/ process that results from following the tutorial and how to is just a series of steps leading ot varied results.

When I started writing tutorials for my blog, I thought if everyone is doing it, why can’t I, it must be easy after all. I learned the hard way, that there is a big difference between writing a tutorial and writing an excellent tutorial and I cringe when I look at my old posts. So in this post, I’ll talk about the elements that make a tutorial stand out in a great way.


1. Show Finished product images:

This might sound like a no-brainer but there are hundreds (maybe 1000s) of tutorial on the net that do not show clear pictures of end products. Some of them have such tiny pictures enclosed in all sorts of fancy frames that I cannot see the details. Personally, I cannot follow text instructions and often learn how to make a product just by looking at the final picture and the material list. I look at the step wise pictures only if the product is very complicated or if the final product image is very small.
Also post at least 2 pictures (one full image showing the back, clasp or hook) and one close up. They must be in large size – one landscape and one portrait preferably as it makes your tutorial easily shareable across social media channels. Showing how the item is being used is an added bonus, though not a must.

2. Write a Detailed material list
The craziest part about writing for magazines is that they want a super detailed material list. Interweave specifies that name, size, finish, number, measurement and supplier name must be mentioned for every single consumable that it used. Also, all tools and equipment must be listed. When you write online, it doesn’t have to be that specific but it is good to have a clear material list so people know what exactly they need to create the item. When using Affiliate links, do not flood the entire list but use them only when the item is specific or uncommon as a common courtesy.

3. Take Step by Step pictures
A Majority of the craft world seems divided on this. Many say that a great tutorial must show every step (video tutorials might work better in that case) while others say that pictures showing the important or complicated steps are sufficient. I follow my “N-4 or above” rule for tutorials. That is, if there are 10 steps, I show a minimum of 6 steps visually. They can be separate images or a collage provided the images are clear and big enough. A tutorial is no place for tiny fudgy pictures. The idea is that a person who does not understand the language (in which the tutorial is written) must be able to comprehend the making process with just a rudimentary knowledge of the field.

4. Offer material or technique alternatives

When we write for an international audience, we must keep in mind that materials that are easily available to us might not be available to them. So suggest alternatives. For e.g, if the material list says Swarovski crystals, mention that it can also be created using glass, plastic or coated Chinese crystals. If the tutorial uses artistic wire mention how it can be created using base metal or other coated/plated wire. It might seem self-explanatory to an experienced person but a beginner coming across your post will require that support and guidance.

5. Discuss design Variations

Unlike Print, when we write for the web, basic courtesy demands that we discuss variations of the suggested idea. Apart from curbing plagiarism, it will encourage people to use your tutorial as a starting point to create new ideas and products.

Though there are many more good practices, I feel that the above five are an absolute must. As a bonus for all you tutorial newbies out there, here is a sample Tutorial template that I follow for every tutorial of mine. It is not restricted to jewelry making or crafts but can be adapted to any set of design instructions. So do download and share!


How to: Write a Jewelry Tutorial
A Sample Template

1. Introduction: Background of the design, your inspiration, how you chose the materials and what is the application of the idea or design
2. Finished product image no. 1
3. Material list, Material image optional
4. Method – numbered Step by step instructions with pictures
5. Finished product image no. 2, 3…..N
6.Conclusion – Summary if required (for complicated designs), any problems that you faced in the process and how they can be resolved, tips, suggestions, and variations. Add additional images if you have them as variations.
7. Call for action

That’s it for today folks, do add your tips on how to write a great tutorial in the comments section and tell me what you think of my tutorial template. If you find the template useful, please share on Social media (twitter, Instagram or Facebook) by tagging it to @jewelsofsayuri
I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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Latest Feminine Wedding Accessories – a guest post

Evolving from striking metallic bling to a muted boho feminine soft look, wedding accessories have come a long way in the past few years.

Evolving from striking metallic bling to a muted boho feminine soft look, wedding accessories have come a long way in the past few years. Evoking a softly romantic vintage and boho look, muted tones and softer metallic elements are embellishing the wedding accessories of choice right now. No longer sharp and clear, the jewels of now are muted and soft, the metals are rose gold and antique silver, and the embellishments are pearl, cream and neutral in hue. The softly romantic look is perfect for adding a touch of romance and femininity to the bride and her bridesmaids.

Make a Simple Wedding Gown Gorgeous with Bridal Belts
Taking a simple wedding gown and making it completely unique with elegant touches of color and style is perfect for the boho bride. Allowing brides to choose an unadorned wedding dress and add their own touches of style to make their wedding dress completely theirs without the cost of a couturier is right on trend. The perfect wedding accessory for this look is an embellished bridal belt and boy, is the bridal belt having a big moment right now!

The embellished bridal sash sits around the bride’s waist like a belt would, covered with pearls, Swarovski crystals, metallic thread and colored stones. The bridal belt can be as simple or as over the top as the bride chooses, and they have the choice of the most incredible array of jewels, beads, pearls, threads and sashes to add a complete mix of their own personality to a plain wedding dress. Divine!


Wedding Hair Accessories Go Boho Chic

Brides of now are choosing to bring boho chic to their romantic wedding hair looks too. Romantic wedding hair accessories are most beautifully styled as stunning boho bridal halos embellished to match a bridal belt and add more of a feminine look to bridal hair. A truly wanderlust and bohemian choice, the bridal halo sits firmly as a favorite for brides everywhere right now. Halos embellished with crystals and pearls studded with some fresh flowers to spill over a veil or in place of a traditional wedding veil are the look of choice. Romance is alive and well.

lace hairclip

Add Romance with Vintage Styled Wedding Combs
For the brides, who prefer an antique or a vintage styled wedding, the bridal comb is a must have. Perfectly sitting in either an up-do like a classic French roll or bun, or pushed into the side of a romantic long loose haired look, a wedding comb is an easy way to bring vintage romance to your wedding look. The in-trend bridal combs are hand embellished with pearls, crystals and rose gold to match perfectly with your antique or vintage wedding theme.

Feminine Wedding Accessories
With all the romance of muted undertones and a pop of color overtone, wedding accessories are following the overarching trend of feminine wedding themes. Boho, wanderlust, antique, and vintage have ruled the wedding scene for a couple of years and we’re seeing the muted tones of wedding accessories in blush, pearl, cream, rose gold and ivory to fit.
If you’re looking to bring femininity to your wedding style, choose neutral undertones and overtones in encrusted accessories to your heart’s content to get the look that suits you perfectly, and runs right on trend as feminine and beautiful for your wedding day.

Author Bio:
Kathryn Porritt is the owner of Bridal Style Inc., your feminine online wedding shop filled with a curated collection of bridal accessories, wedding lingerie and wedding gowns to buy online. A celebrated author on all things weddings and parties, and an experienced wedding planner and stylist, Kathryn’s unique feminine wedding style is brought to her customers through her beautiful online wedding collections.

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Best of the Couture Show 2016

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Jacquie Aiche drew in buyers and press with window displays rich in colors, jewels and crystals from Tucson Gem Show. Inside, displays were already styled in layers and layers (the way her jewels are meant to be worn) making it easy for merchandisers to choose what to buy!

Couture | Gem Gossip

Stopped by Suzy Landa Jewelry to get a dose of COLOR–her juicy gemstones always brighten my day and so does the designer herself! So awesome!

Couture | Gem Gossip Untitled Untitled

Ilias Lalaounis’ tradition of bold gold pieces is wonderfully carried out through his four daughters who now are continuing his legacy. Every year I enjoy seeing his designs, as they immediately transport me to Greece and his heyday of accessorizing stars. I couldn’t pick a favorite!

Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip

Neha Dani wowed and inspired–I felt like I was back at the MET looking at the JAR exhibit for a second. The technicolored gold, hand-set diamonds, intricate work, where each mechanism, each stone, each design is precisely thought-out. Loved all!

Couture | Gem Gossip

Loved all the shapes, patterns and colors seen at Kavant & Sharart! This young husband and wife duo have really been cultivating their styles and merging them flawlessly. I want so many pieces from their line!

Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip

Pamela Love tapped into every night sky watcher’s dreams with the creation of this Lapis & diamond moon phase collar necklace. It feels so good in person too! I love her rings–the opal arrowhead was killer and the play-of-color on it was just right. And bet you didn’t realize the ring on my pointer finger flips!

Couture | Gem Gossip

Jordan Alexander Jewelry first grabbed my attention at the Nashville Fashion Show. Now a year later, they’ve put their focus from pearls to diamonds and other gemstones. And I love all the use of gold!

Couture | Gem Gossip

I believe this is Anthony Lent’s third year exhibiting and although I have a rule to see new designers every year, he is the only one to break this rule! Seen three years in a row and will never not be captivated by his designs.

Couture | Gem Gossip

Eva Fehren’s geometric designs were amazing to see for the first time in person. Loved her display as well, as seen above.

“Danielle, please call you grandmother. She’s worried about you. And did you make it to Vegas? You never even told us.” I immediately deleted the voicemail from my iPhone, which was hot to the touch because of all the charging and photo-downloading it incurred while at the jewelry shows in Vegas. Something about Vegas every year I find it liberating to block out everything going on in my personal life and back home, and truly immerse myself in the four-day jewel fest called Couture. Excuse me, five-day jewel fest–I just had to look it up, and wow, really? Five days? A little excessive? NOPE. Never. In fact, this year I spent the most time I’ve ever spent at Couture and still felt like I needed more time.

Couture 2016: Venni Vetti Vecci. And the best year yet. Remember that time I forgot my business cards? Ah, yes rookie mistake, but not this year. Remember that time I spent only six hours at Couture? Massively stupid mistake, but no, not this year. I came prepared, I packed my bags efficiently, and made a handful of appointments (enough I could count on both hands–not too many where I felt like I had planned way too much in such short of time). This year was all about enjoying my time, having fun and learning. Sometimes events like these can be stressful and far too often taken way too seriously. What is the fun in that?

This year, Couture was upbeat–the designers, the buyers, the atmosphere–even all my “whoops, I’m sorry I didn’t make an appointment” appointments. I loved seeing people whom I haven’t seen in forever and reconnecting with those who I sometimes talk to on a daily basis.

Some highlights for me are shown above. One of them being finally meeting Jacquie Aiche and experiencing her alluring booth full of layer heaven. I can easily see how and why people like Rihanna are die-hard fans of her jewelry–it is a lifestyle, not just a jewelry line. For a second year in a row, I clamored over Ilias Lalaounis’ designs as if I were in Greece and happened to stumble upon his boutique. It reminds me of my life goal of going to Greece and visiting both the Lalaounis museum and stores. Someday.

Other highlights include seeing the guys of Anthony Lent Jewelry who continually put the enchantment back into jewelry, as most designs have lost that aspect over time, especially all that is made now in factories or mass produced items. I love that everything he makes, he creates himself in his studio in Pennsylvania. Neha Dani was also a great highlight–such stunningly beautiful designs that easily wow. Huge fan of the technicolor gold she uses as well. Pamela Love had such a great line-up at her booth, of course the pièce de résistance for me was the lapis and diamond moon phase collar necklace that we took outside to photograph. Once posted on Instagram, it got 6,500+ likes–the most I’ve ever gotten in my 4+ year Instagram lifetime.

Loved seeing everyone at Couture this year–if I didn’t get a chance to swing by your booth, I’m SO sorry. Time was short but I will make a valiant effort next time around. Can you believe that I am totally stoked for next year already?! I am.

Can’t get enough of Couture? Read what I had to say from the years past: 2013, 2014, 2015

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Reflections – March ABS

For the March ABS challenge, our inspiration was a painting by Taisia K. Afonina titled “Still Life with Pussy Willows”.

For the March ABS challenge, our inspiration was a painting by Taisia K. Afonina titled “Still Life with Pussy Willows”. I had no idea what pussy willows meant until I looked at the picture and when I did, the painting felt more like a casual Tea table set up than the more formal “traditional” setting that is used for still life drawing in art classes. A note accompanying the paintings emphasizes the above point, by mentioning that the painting comprises of a “Set of objects that are organic and natural, causing numerous associations. Composition of the painting is devoid of stage effects. It seems that the observant eye of the artist captured on canvas daily life of a bygone era. The exquisite silver composition fills us with the invisible presence of those who are dear to us and whom we will always be waiting….”

Inspiration – March ABS
“Still Life with Pussy Willows” By Taisia K. Afonina


Rather poetic, I should say and the words “associations, organic and silver” immediately caught my attention. As I started to form a visual image in my head (for the design) all I could think about was something sea or water related and thus I settled in the concept of “Reflection”.
Inspirations work in strange ways and on closer examination of the painting I notices the reflections of the vessels on each other, the light reflection on the vase and the chiaroscuro effect on the sheer gossamer curtain.

crystal and paper necklace


Heather had suggested a color palette of pale grays and neutrals with dark peacock teal, purple and dull yellow. But I really couldnt see these colors in the picture. I found cold frosty silver with lots of blue along with accents of purple and on hindsight, ochre. I made two pieces based on the theme – Dew drop and Mirror Mirror and they came together pretty quickly as I found the colors very simple.


Dew Drop
The artisan component is resin pendant that I made with layers of paper and foil and is strung together with gorgeous glass crystals in a frosty blue. The pendant looks like metal, rough with a matt blue patina on it. For added interest I have used silver foil glass beads and silver crystals along with purple glass beads and a double sided purple and green matt crystal bead. The necklace has a lot of intrinsic shine but without that blingly over the top rhinestone type of shine.

crystal artbead necklacefaux metal pendant


Mirror Mirror:
My fascination with/for mirrors is very well known in my circle, so much so that my family never ceases to remind me that I will not live in a room devoid of mirrors. I have to admit albeit reluctantly that it is true. I think mirrors not only help see your yourself, they make a room appear bigger also brighten up the area by reflecting light. I am a big fan of how Ancient Egyptians used mirrors to light up their vaults and how mirrors are used in metal jewelry worn in India during Dandiya.


To cut the long story short, I knew that I wanted to used mirrors in my pendant and create a mosaic sort of look (as an ode to good old Gaudi) to mimic the distorted reflections and depth as showcased in the painting. I used matt silver paper as the base and did multiple resin pours. I made a mistake here. The first pour was ice resin and second was little windows, both of which have difference physical and chemical properties, so I ended up with lots of bubbles in the front and a pattern at the back. I am still wondering how to correct it.

Despite this flaw I really like the piece. It has organically cut shell nuggets from South east Asia, Indian glass beads and a lovely floral clasp. I actually like both these pieces, a first for me, mainly because they are in blue and I tend to shy away from this shade of blue. Maybe as the weather here is burning, roasting hot with complex humidity, I somehow feel that these pieces would bring the much needed coolness to refresh the wearer as well as the onlooker.

Do tell me what you think of these pieces and my unorthodox realisation of the given inspiration. You can find entries of other artists in the Art bead Scene Pinterest page – Beads and Jewelry challenge

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Top 5 jewelry trends of 2015 – a compilation

As the wheel of fashion rotates, it spins offs interesting components which mutate into specific directions when they adapt to changing socio-cultural-environmental scenarios. As 2015 is coming to an end (how did it go so fast?) here is a compilation of few such directions or trends, inspirations, materials and colors that were all the rage in 2015.1

As the wheel of fashion rotates, it spins offs interesting components which mutate into specific directions when they adapt to changing socio-cultural-environmental scenarios. As 2015 is coming to an end (how did it go so fast?) here is a compilation of few such directions or trends, inspirations, materials and colors that were all the rage in 2015.


1. Night Light
Forecasted trend for Spring summer 2015
Imagine standing at a busy road intersection at night, watching street lights, outdoor and indoor lighting of glass walled building filtering into the street and merging with vehicular light. After a point it all sort of fades in creating a soft buzz or hums that is constantly morphing into vivid colors and patterns before transcending into soft hues and painterly swirls. Such a visual illusion was a major direction in terms of color and pattern selection for jewellery in 2015. Dull emeralds and lavendars would pair up with striking yellows and grays producing an eclectic effect. Purples in various shades were seen as a continuation from 2014’s radiant orchid. Seed bead jewellery either bead woven or embroidered were seen dominating the wedding and evening wear market with coated or foiled crystals and rhinestones taking the center stage.

 

2. Industrial
Forecasted trend for summer 2015
Architecture and geometry were other strong influences especially in the precious metal segment. The pieces were bold, streamlined with emphasis on exacting standards of quality. With the jewellery brands boldly taking the stepping forward with 3D printing, piping lines, construction pillars and axis lines were key inspirations for statement making jewellery. Raw uncut gems fused with unconventional materials like piping or rubber tubing resulted in the category of Industrial chic jewellery.
The popularity of paper jewellery in the east led to origami being a big influence in the west. These simple paper folds were replicated in metal, resin, clay and other unconventional materials leading to jewellery and accessories that almost look like structural art installations.
Images courtesy: Rocks ‘n Beads

 

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