Archive of ‘Jewelry’ category

Lookbook from Portland: Sticks & Stones A/W 2013

SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook1Originating in the Pacific Northwest, Sticks & Stones was founded on the principle that re-purposed natural materials could be utilized in the construction of sustainable jewelry and accessories. Using materials such as reclaimed exotic wood, elk antler sheds, prehistoric ivories, fine metals, seashells, and gemstones, the in-house manufacturing team uses an intricate process of technology and skilled craftsmanship to produce these limited-edition and often one-of-a-kind pieces.

The construction of Sticks & Stones Accessories is done in various stages, including preparation, sanding, and dipping in a custom oil blend. The oil not only cures and protects the wood but also enhances the luster of the wood used. The strength and durability of these products are a testament to the quality of the
material and craftsmanship that is invested in each piece. Completely handcrafted in Portland, OR, pieces from Sticks & Stones have been featured in Lucky Magazine, Nylon, WWD, and Marie Claire, as well as DailyCandy and TrendHunter. Check out their latest collection below and leave your thoughts in the comments!SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook2 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook3 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook4 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook5 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook6 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook7 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook8 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook9 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook10 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook11

See More at Sticks & Stones Official Website

xo

Carly

Review: Maruti Beads Straight from India, Gorgeous, Handmade Beads for the Jewelry-Lover in Your Life

marutibeads4 First of all: What are Maruti Beads? you may ask.marutibeads1Answer: They are amazingly-detailed, handmade beads in the rich tradition of Indian beadmaking. The clay beads are often adorned with metallic paillettes, braided wire, and tiny rings to bring a textured, glamorous finish to each bead. And each is made by hand!marutibeads3marutibeads2

A little more info about these three types of beads, straight from the MarutiBeads.com website:

Kashmiri beads are made from a mix of marble powder and manufactured resin (polymer clay) while the resin used in Lac beads is from a natural source.Also known as “Bollywood” beads, Kashmiri beads are hand decorated and use a variety of materials for embellishment such as mirror chips, seed beads, silver plating and rhinestones.

Maruti Beads artistically blends the beauty of Kashmiri beads with silver plated side caps to culminate in a one of a kind creation exclusive to Maruti International.

Lac beads are made from a mixture of Lac and marble powder, ornamented with silver plating, seed beads and rhinestones: detailed with metal elements, mirror chips and various embellishments…In short, Lac beads are highly valued individual works of art…Lac is a substance secreted by a tiny insect called Kerria lacca. The Lac insect is so small that a magnifying glass is needed to see it. This little bug dwells in the twigs of host trees and lives off the sap from which they secrete the hard Lac resin. When first harvested Lac resin is brittle and tough however, through a process of slow heating the resin softens into a workable material.

marutibeads1

Lac beads to the back, Kashmiri beads to the right, and Maruti beads to the left.

To be honest, I had never heard of Maruti beads before (nor Kashmiri, nor Lac beads), not until a rep from Maruti Beads International contacted me to see if I wanted to review their beads.

They sent me a multi-pack that included Maruti, Lac, and Kashmiri beads to review.

marutibeads5
As you can see, each bead is beautifully unique. The attention to detail is just marvelous – and the rhinestones are top quality that really sparkle. Due to their ornate nature, the beads are a bit heavy but each exquisite one stands out. Thrown together into a piece of jewelry they may compete with one another – so probably the best use of them is to carefully choose where to place each one in designs for maximum impact.

marutibeads_braceletI made this pretty beaded bracelet in a flash, using imitation leather cording and a fish-hook closure. The beads would also be perfect as a single focal of a bracelet in an arm party stack (or many bracelets!!), or linked up together Shamballah-style. (You can also see Shamballah bracelets designed with Maruti beads here, and regular bracelets using Maruti beads here.) They can also be linked together into necklaces, or used in drop-style earrings. I love how each tiny bead tells a little story – and in some (not all) the hole is large enough to accommodate Pandora or Dione bead systems.

MarutiBeads.com also sells beautiful copper, glass, and gemstone beads, besides finished jewelry, on their website.

For any bead-lover or jewelry enthusiast I’d definitely recommend trying out these beads in your designs – and with the holiday season coming up they may make a wonderful present for the proverbial woman who has everything.

Wholesale Beads at MarutiBeads.com

Which is your favorite style of bead? (I just love that big black barrel one in the center of my bracelet!!) Or what would you make with these? Let me know in the comments section!

xo
Carly

FTC Disclosure: I was sent a Bead Mix Pack from Maruti Beads containing Lac, Kashmiri, and Maruti Beads for review purposes (ARV=$60). I have not been compensated for this post. The opinions above are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here.

March Sponsor Spotlight: Elinspired on Etsy

iusb_760x100.11521567_fi02 I am so excited to announce to you my newest sponsor for March: el.inspired!

Emma makes pretty, sparkly bracelets adorned with chunky chains and Swarovski crystal, chic leather tassels, elastic hair tie sets, and tiny leather coin purses.  She writes:

I have been making Jewellery for years along with some sewing here and there but never thought about turning it into a business until a couple of years ago when I stumbled upon Etsy & fell in love!! Being a stay at home Mum I was looking for something that I could do for myself while still being at home with my kids, so I decided to take the plunge and in June 2012 I opened el.inspired. I want my store to be a ‘Boutique Accessories’ Store with a main focus on Jewellery. As well as bracelets I am currently working on necklaces, which I hope to add to my collection soon. I love the creativity my business allows me to have and I am so exited for the future!!

Here are some of my favorite pieces from her shop:sponsorspotlight_elinspired

1. Gold Chain and Clear AB Crystal Bracelet, $18.95  /  2. Silver Chain and Azure Crystal Bracelet, (sold now, but similar here), $17.06   /  3. Gold Chain Emerald Cut Crystal Bracelet, (sold now, but similar here) $27.85 /  4. Lilac Leather Tassel Keyring Keychain, $14.97

Thank you, Emma, for your sponsorship this month!  If you have a chance, visit her shop and browse all her lovely offerings: great for stacking bracelets and arm adornment!  I’m lusting after that emerald cut crystal bracelet like crazy, especially since she has one in my favorite color blue here!

Visit el.inspired on Etsy

And if any of you are interested in sponsoring Chic Steals, there are still sponsorships open.  If you are a seller of DIY supplies, crafty goods, sewing books, jewelry, clothing, beauty products, or home wares that are chic, affordable, and on-trend, then you would be a perfect fit for my readers!  You can purchase an ad here on my site through Passionfruit’s integrated ad system, or email me if you’d like more information, including current stats.

Thank you!
xo

Carly

Styled by Tori Spelling Jewelry Components Review – and DIY Jumble Chain Choker Necklace

{styled}™ by Tori Spelling is a brand-new line of chic jewelry components that you can use to make your own jewelry without the use of any tools (no pliers necessary!)

 

Available at both Michael’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics stores (though the items available may vary per store), the line is divided into 4 “styles” of components: Noir, Boho, Glitz, and Glam, with different-colored stones and metals that are mix-and-match.  The components are designed to work together and to be easily assembled into finished jewelry.

(more…)

Recent DIY Projects

I’ve been so busy lately I’ve been neglecting to share things that I’ve made.  Here are a couple items that I’ve finished up and am enjoying:

Galaxy-Print Scrunchie

Make following this tutorial from some leftover self-designed galaxy-print fabric scraps.  I’m making a top with the fabric and since the tiny amount I bought was so goshdarn expesnive, I didn’t want to let any part of it go to waste.  The fabric is silk, backed in black mesh chiffon.  I should have made it twice as wide, but I only had so many scraps leftover.  It tends to slip out of my hair since it’s silk, so I wear it around a hair-tie.

 

Tribal Necklace

Made with faux bamboo-stick beads and faux coral beads from Michael’s.  I love the spiky organic-ness to it.

 

Bohemian Leaf Head-band (Head-dress?)

I’m not really a boho gal, but I couldn’t resist crafting this.  Take any flat-ish jewely finding that has a hole in either end, and string them together with jumprings to make an adornment for your brow.  The leaf findings I used only had one hole, so I drilled another one in the end of each piece.  Which took a $%##% long time, too.

 

Feather Earrings

Made in the style of Owlita.  (Theirs are much nicer, though!)  I just wired together some feathers and added a handmade ear-wire to them.  I love how they mingle in with my hair.

Have you made any projects recently that you’re dying to show off?  Do tell!

xoxox

Carly

~If you liked this post, please share it!~

Ring Storage Solutions

So this now closes my Rings Week series – it actually ended up being TWO weeks as I’ve gotten so behind on things. This is how I store my rings in my closet: right below my clothing, on top of my tights drawer.

Storing rings (or just about anything) I’ve always found a challenge – because the more you have, the harder it is to make the storage look “neat” and “organized.”  My solution is to store my rings with thin bands in a velour-lined case, bought from a jewelry supply shop; it keeps them visible, neat, and looks a little luxurious.  (This is a tufted ring display, similar to this one here.)(I stack another box and 3 layers below this one that hold small stud earrings, chain necklaces, and larger necklaces.  Similar flocked inserts are sold here, and the trays are sold here.)  But lately I’ve acquired a number of rings that have very thick shanks or wide bands or large, wide stones in them, and have had trouble figuring out how to store/display them.  (For me, if I don’t have it on display in front of my face, I completely forget that it’s in my closet.;-)  At first I tried compartmentalized boxes, but I own such a range of sizes and widths that I was still left with rings that didn’t fit in the boxes, or tiny, delicate rings that were just left swimming in their compartments.  So I now keep my larger rings all jumbled together (they’re costume jewelry anyway) in wide, cotton-lined jewelry gift boxes that have come with one purchase or another at some time.  You can see some of the ring shanks are wrapped with moleskin to prevent them slipping off my fingers.

Right now this is what’s working best for me.

If you like displaying and storing your jewelry in a professional manner, you can certainly just use what jewelry stores do: velour, denim, plastic, or leather stands and cases are all surprisingly affordable and chic.  Some people also like buying tiny busts or miniature mannequins to display their favorite pieces, on top of a dresser or armoire for easy access. You can pile all your rings on long spikes (like those desk accessories that you stab finished receipts onto from old film noir movies) for a long n clustered look.

Brass Desk Spike Paperweight from Amazon.com: a DIY Ring Holder?

If you like the idea of a ring tray, Smart N Snazzy has a great DIY for making your own, lined in satin.  It gives the standard jewelry tray and utterly regal feel.

The ubiquitous hand-holder.  (img src)

Some people choose to display their rings on a branched holder; I’ve seen one shaped like deer antlers or trees; some use real sticks and branches to give their collection an earthy, bohemian feel.

Deer from Urban Outfitters; no longer available.:-(

The uber-talented duo from Dismount Creative DIY’d another Urban Outfitters piece: this one, white dollhouse chairs in a tower-cum-jewelry-organizer (which is also a great option if you like the “branch” setup and like to keep things on display).  What an inspiring project!

Do you have any ring storage solutions or ideas that work for you?  Please let me know in the comments!

Well this Week of Rings has been fun!  Hopefully there’s been some info in there that has been inspiring or useful – and helped us all look at those little decorations for our fingers just the slightest bit differently.  Thanks for reading along!

xoxo
Carly

~If you liked this post, please share it!~

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Rings Q&A

Question Mark Ring from CHAO & EERO – you can place an order from them here

Since beginning this week chock-full of ring-themed posts, I realize I haven’t delved into the basics just yet.  So for all of you who have questions about rings: how to clean em’, how to size em’, how to keep ’em…this post’s for YOU! (more…)

ThisRING.com: Let Your Fiance Know Your Engagement Ring Wishes Before He Pops the Question

Boy, I wish this site had been around when I got engaged!  Hub, kind and loving that he is, honestly isn’t the most clued-in when it comes to my personal taste or jewelry that I am drawn to.  As a result, I’m not really a fan of my own engagement…or wedding rings, sad to say.:-(  Though they are representative of our bond and our commitment to each other, they’re really not representative of either of us!

But shopping for an engagement ring is one of the most difficult things to do for a guy – ever!  You (as the lady on the receiving end) probably don’t want to whip out a list and say “This is what I want…something like this….but not THIS…” and hand it over to your guy before he even gets around to popping the question (talk about putting the cart before the horse!)  You can drop hints all you like prior to being asked but sometimes they go right over your guy’s head – or worse, he hears all of your hints and decides instead to choose something that he likes because it symbolizes his love for you.  (Yet you’re the one who has to wear it.  Ladies – please chime in here: is this ever okay?)  Oftentimes guys have no clue where to start and just ask their other guy friends, or other women in their lives for their advice…often even defaulting to their mothers to make this difficult choice!(*ahem*)  And sometimes there’s no hinting at all – and you are caught completely by surprise by the proposal – and didn’t even have a chance to mention what you’d really like to wear to show off as a symbol of your bond.

Enter ThisRING.com, designed to take the guesswork out of buying an engagement ring for someone else.  From their description:

It’s straightforward, no matter if you are in a relationship or not you just create an account, including diamond color and shape, ring size and metal type, and ring styles that you might have seen and wish to replicate.  It’s a very simple process, and can take as little as five minutes to complete.  Once done, for a very small fee the man can secretly access your details so the proposal is still a surprise, but present you with the ring of your dreams!

The style guides are specific enough so that the bride-to-be can lay out the details of what she likes…and vague enough so that the groom-to-be can still make his own decisions for the final piece.

What do all of you think?  Is this a service you can see yourself using?  Are you happy with your engagement/wedding ring yourself?  How did you get the hint across to your beau?

(Take it from somebody who’s been on the receiving end of something…less than perfect…it ends up as a permanent “wish it couldabeen….”  years down the road.  Perhaps at our 10th wedding anniversary we’ll renew our wedding/engagement rings so they’re more…our style…but gosh, it would have been soooo nice to get them right the first time around!!)

I had some different content planned for all of you this evening…but I have the flu, and have spent most of this week cocooned in blankets and tissues.  Hopefully I’ll be able to string together a couple sentences in coherent thought when the Dayquil kicks in tomorrow, and post something more meaty then.  Til tomorrow, lovelies!

xoxox
Carly

~If you liked this post, please share it!~

1 2 3 5