Posted by: alenegeed | January 16, 2015

5 Friday Inspirations


It’s Friday again.
If you are like me you have had a busy week and need a little pick me up at this point. be who you are

Inspirational quotes and images have such an impact on my life… especially when I am feeling overwhelmed; like now!

Those who know me better are aware that I am a quote maniac! I have been collecting meaningful quotes for many years. I keep a file folder, a note book and of course my Pinterest Quote board. (almost 700 quotes there alone). Follow the board and see them all.

Beginning today I will provide 5 quotes every Friday. (OK 6 this week counting the graphic from Dr Zeuss.

These are not just random quotes from a list. They will always be quotes that speak to me that day. Maybe you can use these tidbits to brighten your day and weekend too!

Enjoy

  1. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”  C.S. Lewis
  2. Anything is possible if you have enough nerve.”  J.K. Rowling
  3. “How to begin the journey? You need only take the first step. When? there is always now.”  George Leonard
  4. Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart instead of a piece of our mind.”
  5. “Always trust your gut. It knows what your head has not figured out yet.”

If you liked this post you may like my Inspiration blog page

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Posted by: alenegeed | January 7, 2015

MARSALA: 2015 Pantone Color of the Year


Ever heard of the color Marsala?  I had not. These days new names keep emerging for color blendPantone_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_ChipDrives. (very hard to keep up) This one is named after a wine.

Turns out Marsala is a blend of brown and red.  So pretty!  Here is a swatch to show you. Officially it is PMS 18-1438. (just in case you were wondering!)

Here is the detail the Pantone site offers:

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.

Lucky for me, I work with many gemstones that embody this rich color. Red Creek Jasper Antiqued

Red Creek J3 Red Creek Jasper antique1asper gems are perfect for 2015. One version of this gem features the rich red/brown Marsala color while adding in hints of green, caramel and black. What could be better?

Shown here are two examples of the gemstone in these deeper tones. 

So break out the wine, shop for a new ensemble and check out my Red Creek Jasper jewelry line!

If you enjoyed this post you may like Red Creek Jasper; Fascinating Facts.

Posted by: alenegeed | December 30, 2014

An Inside Peek… How I create my Designs


Did you ever wonder how a design is born? Is there some secret to the way artists create and conceive their designs?

turquoise pendant finished

I suspect every artist has their own unique process.. After all by definition we think outside the box mostly and are constantly morphing with some new concept or idea.

Many start with a sketch or drawing. I for one am challenged in that regard. My sketches tend to look like stick figures and don’t look at ALL like what I am envisioning! 

I like to start with a gemstone or metal design and work around that. So here is my proceturquoise cabachonss for this turquoise pendant.

I purchased an amazing turquoise gem and decided to make it the focal point of my new pendant.  Here is the original stone.

I knew I wanted to encase this in Silver, so created the bezel as shown.This particular bezel features a scalloped design.. which I feel enhances the stone so much.

The next step was to create the backing. I forged (hammered) the design into stturquoise original designerling silver and soldered the scalloped bezel to it. Then came the creative steps. First I drew a potential shape onto the silver.  I use sharpies for this since they will dissolve once I apply heat.

Then I thouturquoise 2nd revisionght that adding a smaller turquoise stone onto the bail (the part that attaches the piece to the chain).  this seemed like a good option but it felt that something was still not right.

The piece felt bulky and did not have enough pizazz for me. 

So I changed the entire design AGAIN! I scrapped the idea of the smaller stone, trimmed down the whole silver casing.. and then had the bright idea to add a glitzy CZ gemstone! See top of blog for the finished design.

I LOVE it! 

Such is the evolution of a design.. (at least ones by Alene’s Adornments)

Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this.. Please!

For more design inspiration check out Jewelry Processes

Posted by: alenegeed | November 26, 2014

You had the Power all along


Do you remember this sentiment from the Wizard of Oz?had the power

Dorothy is frantically trying to get home when the good witch tells her that the red slippers she is wearing will do the trick.  

You had the power all along, Dorothy!

 I was recently reminded of this as I was watching the final videos from an online course purchased from Creative Live. This particular workshop is about building a successful blog. April Bowles-Olin offered 3 days and 23 sessions of great ideas and advice.

As I neared the final sessions she said something that resonated with me. She told the listeners that we already had what was needed to create a successful blog! We had our own personality (that no one else can claim) We had our own perspective on life.. and we wanted to succeed!

Simple right? However this hit me like a ton of bricks! You see I have already spent the last 30 years creating and building my successful Promotional Marketing business. Many of the skills I learned and perfected over the years can help me! I already know:

  • The importance of building long term relationships.
  • How to create new opportunities.
  • Making my business fun.
  • Treating my clients with fairness and integrity.
  • And finally offering over-the-top customer service.

Realizing that I can apply these same principals to my social media and jewelry designing projects feels like someone lifted a huge weight off me. I absolutely LOVE designing my jewelry and I love sharing this with others.                               

  • Start thinking about the Power you possess, too. What skills have you already mastered during your lifetime? Event Planning: what about that theme or dinner party you hosted? or the school event you coordinated? Do you volunteer for an organization? Do you balance the household finances? Do you dabble in crafts? Every one of these things.. and more have provided you with skills and opportunities.

So I say… Whoopee for me and you too!  we are all amazing people!

In the meantime, check out my newest designs and go see what classes April offers on Creative Live… and expect to hear lots more from me moving forward.

 

Posted by: alenegeed | November 3, 2014

Two Days at the Jewelry Bench… in a row!


 Are you now saying.  ‘What’s the big deal about that?’all designs for november smaller

Well for me it is extraordinary. Since I have another career that requires my attention as well, having 2 days in a row to play and design is a pleasure rarely available.
But this weekend I did just that! here are some of my treasures.
Not only did I finish up a few designs that had been in limbo for months.. I also got some new ones started!
We always need a piece that is partially done and calling to us, right?
Here is my pride and joy from the weekend. (FYI, Photos are point and shoot.. not taken with my DSLR) So cut me a little slack here.  thanks!

picture jasper with CZ new design smaller

This design has been in the works since January.  At least I can say I finished it this year, right?
I wanted to try the concept of having the clasp in the front… yet keep this a Gallery piece. The CZ gemstones (while very time consuming to add into the design) make the whole thing a work of art (if I do say so myself) I am over the top with this one!  The main gem is picture jasper. The design looks like a landscape to me. SO beautiful.
 Two new of my Sterling and Copper ‘Sprinkled Silver’ cuffs got finished. Yippee! 
cuffs and spiral earring November smallersilver designs in progress November smaller Of course I HAD to start some new projects. Here are two in the works. Both in Sterling. The left design uses druzy quartz and red creek jasper. Still a little hazy on the final design for this one. The right design is malachite with the spiral enhancement. Look for these completed designs next year.

Besides having loads of fun, what was the advantage to a 2 day concentration on my designing?

I felt much more cohesion this time. the ideas that were churning in my brain on Saturday were still there on Sunday. So I was able to implement them sooner. When I work one day a week at this, I can organize all I want but often lose the train of thought, the inspiration that was there when I started with the design.
So this is not a perfect world and I will have most ONE day sessions in the future, but sure LOVE these times when my passion can emerge and show itself!

I would love your feedback on the finished and ‘in progress’ designs.

 If you liked this blog, you may like.  Evolution of a Jewelry Collection.
 
Posted by: alenegeed | October 27, 2014

Hitting the Wall; A Personal Journey


Two weeks ago I hit a wall. Has this ever happened to you?something fun quote

Not literally of course.. I mean everything felt like it came crashing down on me at once.  Taking into account that none of these ‘everythings’ were considered a negative. Quite the contrary.. all of the components were great!
  • My Marketing Job was in high speed. It seemed like every one of my clients had a pressing need for ideas and product.
  • I had just gotten my first wholesale account and placed product in a gift shop.
  • We were planning a reunion vacation to the East Coast.
  • I was taking 2 (yes two)  online courses for building business through social media.
  • I was finishing up my catalog/line sheet for my jewelry wholesale line
  • And I was poised to sign up for my first Wholesale Trade show.
And when our trip got cancelled due to an unexpected circumstance, I made the decision to still take 4 of the days off as vacation. Thank goodness for this!
The first day I slept. ALL DAY. The second day I watched TV. ALL DAY.  
By day 3 I came out of the fog and went out on a real date with my husband. (When WAS the last time we did that?). It was FUN. Finally I got my focus back. I opted NOT to do the wholesale show. (way too soon) and I postponed one of the online courses. Suddenly everything else seemed manageable again. The passion had returned!
Lesson learned.

STOP being a Human DOING and START being a Human BEING.  Have fun. Back off when something doesn’t feel right.. or is causing stress. There is always another opportunity in the future.

 

If you enjoyed this post you may like  Relaxation by Button the Cat

 

Posted by: alenegeed | September 28, 2014

What to Wear with the Little Black Dress


We all have one, right? The little black dress is the staple piece in every woman’s wardrobe. Black looks  so elegant with the right accessories.  Here’s my idea of a great combo!

The essential Little Black Dress

Classy burgundy hat with black band. Spike heels (OK, not for everyday… but great for an evening out!) and of course, my signature Red Creek Jasper Pendant. The burgundys in this pendant blend perfectly with the shoes and hat.

Now you are ready for a night on the town. Have fun!

Click here for more of my Gallery Collection Limited Edition Designs.
If you liked this blog you may like  Red Creek Jasper; Fascinating Facts
 

Posted by: alenegeed | September 15, 2014

Copper & Sterling; Is it the New Silver & Gold?


Gold jewelry has always been coveted. And even though gold prices have come down over the last 2 years, they are still almgold imageost 3 times the price from 10 years ago.

As I write this post, the price of gold is $1229.00 and ounce.  Ten years ago it was under $500 an ounce.

I LOVE wearing beautiful baubles. In the past I eagerly purchased (and received as gifts from my hubby) gold jewelry. Since I began designing my own jewelry collection in 2007 I gravitated to Silver.
In the beginning stages, when I was taking multiple classes to improve my skills, the instructors had us experiment with copper metal before taking on Silver. (which is currently $18.50 an ounce)
I found that I really loved working with the copper. The rich color only gets richer when you add heat or other elements. The resulting colors can range anywhere from bright copper to deep red, teal blue, vibrant purple and more.    

Copper with blue patina

 Many other jewelers have started using copper as well. Who can blame us? At $3.00 a POUND, it is much more affordable for the consumer.
I love adding in Sterling silver . Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper (needed to strengthen this softer metal). The combination of the two colors is explosive!

 

 

A little bit of history:

Sprinkled Silver Fold Form2

Copper and sterling fused design Earrings

Silver was used in coinage beginning around 550 BC. IT was also popular for use in photosensitive materials used in photography. .. before the digital age! And of course silver has been used in jewelry over the ages.
 Copper was probably the first  metal to be used by humans and is considered sacred to many cultures. Copper has a natural ability to conduct electricity so, when worn, is said to harmonize the body’s energies, clearing any blockages or imbalances.

There will always be a place for gold in our bauble wardrobe of course… But consider copper for your next purchase. I think you will be surprised and delighted by your selection!

If you liked this post you may like Patinas for your Copper Designs

Posted by: alenegeed | August 14, 2014

Sprinkled Silver Designs; NEW


Yes I finally got around to getting a copyright on my signature process of copper and sterling. 

pendant sprinkled silver turquoise red

Sprinkled Silver Turquoise Pendant

I call it ‘Sprinkled Silver’ because that is what it looks like when I am creating it and what it looks like in the finished pieces, too

How and Why did I create this process?

The basic answer is… because it was fun!  I have been playing around with copper and silver since I began my journey into metals. Those of you who have read my book, Inside the Mind of a Jewelry Designer already know how a got into this ‘mess’ to begin with!

I was attracted to the metals process and once I took my first class, I was hooked! there was no looking back.

Sprinkled Silver Cuff bracelet 1

Sprinkled Silver Cuff

Fast forward 8 years to 2014 .. this passion has grown and gotten stronger.

That’s why I am so proud of these designs. They really speak to what I love about designing.. Each time I create another ‘Sprinkled Silver’ design, the passion grows. I wish I could explain it better.

Those of you who share this passion for your chosen field know the feeling already. The fire just grows and grows… and along the way is the fun of creating from our souls.

This entire collection uses copper, sterling and gemstones to create art. 

Earrings Sprinkled Silver2

Sprinkled Silver Earrings

I look forward to your feedback and comments. What do you like (or dislike) about the designs? Do they speak to you? 

Stay tuned for more designs and for more details about my entry into the Wholesale market.  (Yes you will be seeing me in retail stores next year)

Join my Newsletter today  for Subscriber Only Specials and Discounts.

If you liked this Post you may like  Fun with Foldforming… Metal that is!

Feel Inspired Today; Wear a Work of Art

Posted by: alenegeed | June 29, 2014

Tools of the Jewelry Trade; Pipe Cutter


The other day I decided to play around with a new process… using copper piping to create a jewelry design. I had seen some designs recently that started out as tubing/pipe and then were chased with a hammer to create some awesome results.

tube cutter large

medium pipe cutter

I had some 1/2″ pipe and 1/4″ flexible piping that I had purchased at a local Home Depot. 
As I brought out my Jewelers Saw to make the necessary cuts, my husband asked me why I wasn’t using a pipe cutter.
A Pipe cutter?? Aren’t those something that plumbers use? The answer was Yes… but if you want to cut pipe then why not use it for jewelry? What a concept!
And of course since my husband is handy around the house… he already owned 3 different sizes of cutters. Yippee!
tube cutter small with tube

Small tube cutter with copper

Once he showed my how to use this handy tool. I was in heaven! The one you see here is the smaller size for 1/4″ tubing. There is a blade on one side and a recessed area for the pipe on the other side. And talk about EASY to use.
1) Mark where you want the cut.. insert the tube into the cutter, turn the wheel to hold it snugly. (dont tighten too much)
2) Then spin the cutter slowly.
3) Once you see the marks (slight indentation around the tube), then tighten a little and spin again… repeat process until the piece is cut all the way through.  
AND, there is no need to anneal the tube before cutting. Save that step for  the design process. 
Next time you want to accomplish a new jewelry process and are not sure about the right tools to use.. remember to think outside the box and look at tools that are made for other purposes. They may be the perfect solution for your creation.
Rough tube designs

Rough tube designs

 Here’s the product I created in the rough stages. (copper cut, annealed, textured/hammered and sterling added)
tube earrings
And here is the finished Earring design.. the first of many designs now that I have this shortcut!
 
IF you enjoyed this post you may like
Tools of the Trade; Mini electric sander and filer.
 

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