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The triumphant return

The triumphant return

Well, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure how triumphant it really is :)  But, it is a return nevertheless!

When all was calm and still

So why have I been radio silent for the past three months?  No, I wasn’t lazing around, eating bon bons all day (though little chocolate treats do seem to find me a lot more often than they should).  I had temporarily placed my blog on hiatus so I could focus on promoting my handmade jewelry and accessories through the big social media outlets.  I realized that I needed to grow my lists of followers and establish more regular communication with those followers, so I concentrated all of my efforts on upping my Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ games.  I definitely gained some new fans, but the push to get my name and my products out there never really ends.  I have to work at it every single day.

A glutton for punishment

Then, I did something that I swore I would never do — I opened a Twitter account.  Actually, I opened two of them (one for personal use and one for the business).  Oh, the horror!!  I had been avoiding Twitter up until that point because I felt like I wouldn’t be able to devote enough time to it to make it successful.  It would have become just one more site to manage in an already frenzied social media soup.  But, so many independent artists recommend using Twitter that I simply couldn’t ignore it any longer.  Into the depths of Twitter I went!  A little late, but there you have it.  You can see my most recent tweets along the right sidebar of this page.

I also spent some time tweaking this site in the interim.  I installed a new theme, added plugins, and began setting up the bones of my very own online store.  For several years, Etsy has been the primary venue for showcasing my wares, but their recent policy changes have created an unfavorable selling environment for small shops such as mine.  I need to explore different options so I can decide whether or not to take matters into my own hands.

Ready to rock

Now, it’s finally time to get back into the blogging business, so here I am!  Thank you for your patience, my apologies for the disappearing act, and I’ll do my best to keep things under control from this point on!

Fall 2014 Pantone fashion color report

The Pantone fall 2014 fashion color report introduces the top ten women’s fashion colors for the coming season.

Fall 2014 Pantone fashion color report

A river of rose gold

Rose gold rings from Tiffany & Co.  A girl can dream.

Tiffany & Co. Atlas open ring

Tiffany & Co. Lucida band ring

Tiffany & Co. Tiffany Sparklers octagonal amethyst ring

Tiffany & Co. Tiffany Hearts ring

Tiffany & Co. Tiffany Somerset ring

Tiffany & Co. Tiffany Cobblestone diamond band ring

Tiffany & Co. Tiffany Sparklers flower ring

Tiffany & Co. Atlas open ring

Craveworthy jewels

Chopard earrings

Chopard watch

Louis Vuitton white gold watch

Tazanna ring

Aquamarine & diamond pendant

Jewels of the 2014 Tony Awards

In this article, Hannah Connorton at National Jeweler 10X takes a look at the lovely jewelry that adorned celebrities at the 2014 Tony Awards.  I particularly like this pair of William Goldberg platinum and diamond cluster earrings worn by singer / actress Jennifer Hudson.

Jewels of the 2014 Tony Awards

Silver cleaner

I love sterling silver jewelry, so there is quite a bit of it scattered around my house.  My jewelry doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, but sometimes tarnish does develop on pieces that I haven’t worn in awhile.  I use Hagerty Silver Clean to return those pieces to their former glory.  This cleaner is amazing.  One dunk into the cleaning solution and silver is instantly bright and shiny again.  It works on sterling silver and silver plated items alike but should not be used on porous materials such as pearls and opals.  I highly recommend it!

Hagerty Silver Clean

Jewelry of the day

My jewelry of the day – a purple leather double wrap bracelet from Holmes Custom Leather and a sterling silver ring made by Native Americans in New Mexico.

Purple leather double wrap bracelet & sterling silver ring

Purple leather double wrap bracelet

Purple leather double wrap bracelet

Sterling silver ring

Are you allergic to your jewelry?

The first time I had my ears pierced, I had a terrible reaction and had to let the holes close up so the infection would heal.  That was when I learned that I’m allergic to nickel.  The piercing gun was the likely culprit.  Another attempt in my teenage years was much more successful though also quite painful.

I now know that nickel is present in everything from jewelry to zippers to eyeglass frames and is one of the most common skin allergies, so it’s no surprise that I had such trouble back in the day.  Luckily, I seem to have outgrown most of my nickel allergy and am able to wear just about any jewelry without negative reaction.  I can’t imagine having to worry about something as small as a metal button or rivet irritating my skin.

Visit WebMD to learn more about the symptoms and treatments of nickel allergies, as well as steps you can take to avoid an allergic reaction like the one I had as a kid.

Skagen watches

I absolutely love Skagen watches.  They have a clean, sleek, modern style that always draws me in when I pass a jewelry counter at the mall.  I prefer Skagen watches over my other watches because the Skagens are low profile and super comfortable to wear.  Here are some beauties available for sale on the Skagen website …

Skagen black leather Hiromichi Konno watch

Skagen Ancher three hand steel mesh watch

Skagen silver and black Hiromichi Konno watch

Skagen Ancher three hand cabled steel mesh watch

Skagen leather and crystal three hand watch

Skagen black three hand embossed snakeskin watch

Skagen Anita three hand steel mesh watch

Featured Friday – Fancy Felt

Fancy Felt

This week’s featured Etsy shop is Fancy Felt in Moscow, Russia.  Shop owner Tanya creates amazing crossbody bags, clutches, totes, and other accessories in bold colors and geometric shapes.  These stylish pieces are made with high quality Spanish wool felt and soft genuine leather.  I especially love the purple clutch shown in this photo.