Do you remember the list of "hopes" I had for you and me in 2017? If not, you can read the post here. I decided not to make "resolutions" which are easy to make and even easier to forget.
Now, I am working my way down my list of hopes as 2017 gains speed and heads toward spring. Really, I should say I am working my way "up" my list because, for unknown reasons, I decided to begin at the end of my list.
Here is what I am doing to make that list of "hopes" become a part of my life and work.
The last item on the list is "focus on doing something nice for someone else".
I thought about doing something each day (paying for someone's coffee or lunch, for example) but I wanted to think bigger.
What could my jewelry business do to 'pay it forward"?
I started thinking of charities whose work I support and admire. The list was long, let me tell you!
Finally, I settled on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). One of my nieces, who is now 27 years old, (and who is a part-time jewelry model for my jewelry) was diagnosed with this life-altering disease on Christmas Eve when she was just 10 years old.
I contacted the state chapter of JDRF and presented my idea of making a dedicated line of simple jewelry pieces that would have special meaning to those living with T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) and their families.
My ideas were well received at the state level and I hope to partner with them so that this jewelry can be offered directly to those who would most appreciate it with proceeds going back to JDRF.
There is a chance that this will not work out; they may decide that my jewelry is not a good fit for their organization. If that happens, I will move forward and work with another charity and keep going until I find the perfect fit for my jewelry.
Have a wonderful day! Working on your list of hopes for 2017? I would love to hear in the comments below!
I have made chain mail jewelry (or chainmaille, depending on where you live) for many years and often look for ways to embellish or change up the designs. From my original jewelry collection, the Luxury Collection, last year I created the Little Luxuries Collection, which was lovely and satisfied a niche for people who love the style but wanted lighter weight and smaller jewelry. (The smaller format also makes this collection great for Christmas gifts or Hanukkah gifts.)
As I was planning a new handmade jewelry collection for the fall, I was thinking something darker might work well for the fall and winter seasons to complement colder weather attire and accessories.
I did some research and discovered a way to treat to sterling silver wire so that it would show a very dark "gunmetal" color which would last indefinitely and I experimented with that process during the late spring and summer months until I was happy with the consistent results I could get. I realized early on that I was not happy with chainmaille jewelry that was completely black and so started to experiment with combining the blackened silver with bright silver and with gold. It was when I put together the gold and black combination that I felt that I had something worth pursuing and developing into a truly new and exciting collection. At the left, you will see one of my favorite designs in the new jewelry collection. Click on the image to see the entire collection. Very simple but powerful due to the juxtaposition of light and dark.
I call this collection the La Luna Collection; La Luna means moon in the romance languages of Spanish and Italian and seems an appropriate name for this collection of bright and dark elements.
It is finally back to school time here in south Louisiana - the schools were in session for only one day before the floods came and now the schools are slowly getting back up to speed.
Back to school time also heralds the eminent arrival of fall, which is never far away once the kids get back to school. We are looking forward to cooler weather and cozy inside time with with friends and family.
At this time of year there are also lots of articles and blogs that talk about jewelry and fashion "trends" for fall/winter, 2016-2017. I, for one, enjoy looking at trending fashion but rarely follow it; I am much more comfortable depending on my tried and true classics to get me through my days.
As it happens, one of my favorite "trending" pieces this fall is pearl jewelry. Both classic and trending, best of both worlds! Pearls go with everything in your closet and are easily dressed up or down; but you knew that, didn't you?
Another trend this season is stacking rings, which many of us have worn and enjoyed for years; so we can wear our favorite classic jewelry pieces and still be in style! It's a win-win!
There are other trends, to be sure and we can all enjoy and be entertained by them. As for me, I will stick to the classics! How about you? Do you have a favorite trending jewelry piece or do you set your own trend? I would love to hear from you!
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The cross is one of the most ancient of human symbols and is the universal symbol of faith of the Christian religion. The cross is related both to the crucifix and to the more general family of cross symbols. The ancient Greek goddess Diana was often pictured in art with a cross over her head and Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, was depicted wearing a headdress adorned with crosses. Different types of crosses were used in Mexico centuries before the Spaniards arrived. The Egyptians used cross symbols in abundance, as did the Hindus. Use of the cross as a symbol of faith was seen as early as the 3rd century when it became hugely popular in Christian art.
Aside from its religious symbolism, the cross is also sometimes used to indicate the division of the world into four elements (earth, water, air and fire), into four cardinal points (north, south, east and west), or as the union of the divine (the vertical line) and the world (the horizontal line).
Whatever you understand the cross to represent for you, you are sure to appreciate the artistry of the sterling silver crosses shown as part of the Cherish Collection: the dramatic sterling silver cross earrings, the simplicity of the petite hammered silver cross necklace or the swirling drama of the Byzantine cross necklace.
One of my very favorite things about participating as an artist at festivals and shows has got to be the people I meet and the connections I make. It gives me such joy to have someone walk into my jewelry booth wearing a piece of my jewelry that they purchased at a previous show! It lets me know that what I do and how I choose to spend my time means something to someone - such a simple thing as handmade jewelry gives others happiness and makes their journey on this earth more pleasant.
At a show I did recently I had the extreme pleasure of watching a young couple pick out a gift for his mother for Mother's Day - this was two months before Mother's Day. I would have loved to have video taped their search for exactly the right gift of handmade jewelry for this most important woman. When they finally settled on a dainty sterling silver necklace with a heart stamped on it, they were so happy and completely satisfied that they had found the perfect gift.
How lucky am I? I get to be a part of all sorts of wonderful and warm interactions among people - it's just doesn't get any better than that!
Be happy today!
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Perhaps no other geometric shape feels more ancient and all encompassing than the circle. A simple, perfect, closed curve, we see it in nature in the sun and moon, and in one of the greatest inventions of man, the wheel. The circle has held profound meaning for humanity since the beginning of time, and represents wholeness, eternity, completion and inclusion. It’s no wonder that the ultimate symbol of human union, the wedding ring, is a circle enclosing the fourth finger, which was associated in ancient times with the heart.
The circle is at the heart of both the Signature and Luxury jewelry collections. Chain mail itself is the intertwining of small circles to make an incredibly strong, resilient, and beautiful fabric-like weave. From sterling silver wrap rings to handmade silver earrings, to bangles and chain bracelets, there’s almost no limit to the circles you can add to your jewelry collection. With no beginning and no end, the circle radiates a sense of infinite symmetry and stability. Wearing one, or a thousand woven together, will bring you a feeling of strength and peace.
Jacks was truly one of my favorite games to play as a child - my friend & I would play for what seemed like hours. I saw a large "jack" in an antique store not long ago that was to be used as a door stop (like a said a LARGE jack) and I was really drawn again to the shape, form and overall symmetry of that object. So, I began the process of figuring out how I could use those shapes in a jewelry design - you see one of the final products in the picture here. While not precisely jack-like, this is my representation of that old childhood game ; my interpretation of jacks. This piece moves freely around a central core of small rings so has a different "flavor" and feel but a similar look and it highly reminiscent of those dear old "friends"! Hope you like it!
Art made entirely of Mardi Gras beads - amazing! Huge murals - some as long as 8 feet in length. by an New Orleans-based artist named Stephen Wanger.
Laura lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and creates jewelry inspired by ancient and contemporary designs and motifs.