Real Gold Dipped Leaves

It’s a sad thing when you purchase a particular bead/component for a jewelry design and end up not doing anything with it for nearly a year. Where does the time go?! What is so fantastic about the new pieces that I have posted is that they come directly from nature. That’s right. Picked right off the tree (okay, well, maybe the ground?). And what better way to celebrate the peak of the fall season than to be adorned by these lovelies.

This crystal necklace and earrings are designed with real oak leaves set against the warmth of gold metal. Each leaf is unique and special, capturing a part of nature, resulting in a beautiful piece of wearable art.
Real Oak Leaf Crystal Earrings (E135)
Real Oak Leaf Crystal Earrings (E135)
One of a Kind
SOLD

Sparkle amongst the autumn leaves wearing these real lacey oak leaves which have been hand-dipped and electroformed in 24 karat gold, accented with crystal copper Swarovski Crystals. Finished with gold leverback earwires. Leaf earrings measure 1-7/8" from the bottom of the earwire; oak leaf measures 1-1/2".

Real Oak Leaf Pendant Crystal Necklace (N034)
Real Oak Leaf Pendant Crystal Necklace (N034)
One of a Kind
SOLD

An elegant handmade beaded necklace that is reminiscent of autumn acorns and oak. Accented with crystal copper Swarovski Crystals drops along a 14 karat long and short gold-fill cable style chain with a real oak leaf pendant which has been hand-dipped and electroformed in 24 karat gold. The overall necklace measures 17-3/4"; the leaf drop is 2" and the oak leaf measures 1-1/2" in length.

Find both of these stunning fall leaf jewelry pieces under the fall beaded jewelry.

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So how’d they do that?

Electroformed Genuine Leaves

The art of electroforming leaves - A real leaf is pressed flat and dried. Once dried, the leaf’s pulp is removed in a light acid bath, resulting in a fragile leaf skeleton. The leaf is dried once more and then hand painted with a copper based paint, which allows it to be electroformed. The leaf is next submerged in an electrolytic solution and with the magic of the positive/negative charges from electricity, over a 3 day period, metal deposits onto the copper based surface. If the leaf has fine veining then a filigree leaf will result. If a leaf has little veining then the electroformed surface will be solid. Prolong electroforming will also result in a more solid form. The final metallic leaf finish is dependent on the electrolytic solution used.

How to care for your leaf jewelry

Leaves should be cleaned carefully with a warm cloth and not with abrasives to maintain its longevity. Each leaf is unique and special, capturing a part of nature, resulting in a beautiful piece of wearable art.

Contest For November

Newsletter subscribers -where are you?! Sadly, the September newsletter winner did not claim their prize of a lovely pair of earrings fashioned after purple grape bunches. That’s too bad, I love giving away beautiful jewelry.

Well, this next contest comes at a perfect time. Just in time for holiday parties. Our November newsletter subscriber prize is a pair of sterling silver and sparkling genuine Swarovski crystal earrings in black and white. What a fantastic accent to any upcoming holiday party.


The winner is: claudia_dunn and she/he will have one week to claim their prize.

Good Luck!

Bali Crystal Beaded Moss Agate Gemstone Necklace

I’ve posted a new gemstone necklace and earrings. A spectacular show of oval moss agate gemstones complemented by olive Swarovski Crystals and .925 sterling Bali beads lead the way to a wire wrapped moss agate gemstone drop pendant. The light and dark bands of color in each agate gemstone make this handmade beaded necklace truly unique. Gemstone necklace is adjustable 16-1/2" to 17- 1/2" with the drop pendant measuring 1-1/2".

Each moss agate oval is uniquely different through a natural process that creates bands and patterns within the gemstone.
Bali Crystal Beaded Moss Agate Gemstone Necklace (N036)
Bali Crystal Beaded Moss Agate Gemstone Necklace (N036)
SOLD

Find this gemstone beaded necklace and more at Crystal Allure Creations.

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Moss Agate is a chalcedony (pronounced kal-sed-on-ee) that is formed in the sedimentary process whereby viscous silicic acid has been penetrated with iron silicate solutions without becoming mixed (essentially weathered volcanic rocks). This creates streaked moss green inclusions. It is a semi-precious gemstone, which despite its name does not contain organic matter.

Moss agate is one of the more modest members of the crystal world. It lacks the glitter of lapis lazuli, the radiance of clear quartz, or the chatoyance of tiger’s eye. However, this multi shaded green variety of agate looks similar to moss when viewed from a distance and if you examine a moss agate closely (and especially if you hold it up to the light) you may discover a world within it.

When used in jewelry moss agate is believed to bring the wearer health, friends and riches.

Moss Agate folklore:
The metaphysical properties of moss agate are primarily its strong connection with nature. Moss agate is a stabilizing stone that is said to refresh the soul and reveal the beauty of nature all around one. Healers use it to reduce sensitivity to weather as well as pollution in the environment.

Midwives use moss agate to lesson pain during child birthing and to assure a good delivery. It is considered to be a stone of new beginnings and abundance.

Healing properties of moss agate:

~Speeds up recovery
~Anti-inflammatory
~Cleanses circulatory system
~Relieves depression
~Reduces skin infections

Fall for Autumn's Colorful Crystal Frosted Leaf Earrings

If you are looking for unique bridesmaids jewelry gifts for your autumn wedding, these leaf earrings would be the perfect complement. It may be possible to get multiple pairs of these earrings in a variety of the colors shown below or in one color, please contact me for availability.

Frosting is a glass-finishing technique that renders a simple piece of glass as an exquisite piece of art.

The Illustrated Glass Dictionary at glassonline.com defines frosting as follows: "The process of giving a glass surface a matte finish, thus reducing transparency. Frosting is done through a variety of methods. It may involve treating the glass by pouring hydrofluoric acid on it or exposing it to the acid’s fumes. Frosting also may be achieved by sandblasting, through a special glue application and subsequent removal, or by mechanical etching with a grinding wheel."
Autumn's Frosted Leaf Crystal Beaded Earrings
Autumn's Frosted Leaf Crystal Beaded Earrings
Shown (left to right): Khaki, Light Topaz, Topaz

Frosted finishes can vary greatly. Some have a coarse, sandpaper feel, while others have a soft feel and the look of clouded glass. The 19th-century term for glass with a frosted or matte finish was satin glass. Frosting or "satinizing" may be applied to opaque as well as transparent glass.

In the handmade beaded earrings shown above, the shimmer of a genuine Swarovski Crystal was added to the design to purposely contrast to the frosted glass leaf bead.

Please note: The Frosted Leaf Orange Topaz Crystal Earrings have been sold.
Frosted Leaf Green Khaki Crystal Beaded Earrings (E131)

Frosted Leaf Green Khaki Crystal Beaded Earrings (E131)
$33.95
A green frosted glass leaf, fresh with morning dew, is intertwined with 14kt goldfill and genuine khaki Swarovski Crystals making these handmade beaded earrings truly exquisite. Finished with 14kt goldfill hoop earwires. Length is 1-3/8" from the bottom of the earwire.
Frosted Leaf Yellow Light Topaz Crystal Beaded Earrings (E132)
Frosted Leaf Yellow Light Topaz Crystal Beaded Earrings (E132)
$33.95
A warm yellow frosted glass leaf, fresh with morning dew, is intertwined with 14kt goldfill and light topaz Swarovski Crystals making these handmade beaded earrings truly exquisite. Finished with 14kt goldfill hoop earwires. Length is 1-3/8" from the bottom of the earwire.

After Show Recap

Although it is now almost two weeks past, I still wanted to recap my show as the featured vendor at the local Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics (OCD/J&J) company during their annual United Way campaign. Let me first say, it was a “breath of fresh air” to be a featured vendor. I was completely blown away by the internal promotion of the event and in particular the work put into the visual advertisements for my show date.

Someone took the time to create fantastic large signs that were posted on either side of the cafeteria. My ad was also featured as a split screen on two wall televisions, as well as, a full blown ad on a larger screen television. In addition, a company wide email was sent out indicating I would be there on this particular date. They had provided two great set-up locations to choose from on either side of the cafeteria, as well as, the tables and tablecloth. Everyone was extremely friendly and pleasant to talk with. At the later part of the day, one of the cafeteria employees even asked if I would like any water to drink.


But, by far (for me) the best part was the fact that I was the only vendor for that day/time. After having done so many other shows, where there are likely three or more jewelry vendors for every other artist -it can get quite frustrating. Especially when your product really is very different than the rest, but it just doesn’t stand out because every third booth or so is the same category. So I do feel for the shoppers as well.

I was thrilled to be able to talk about my jewelry, craft and specific design inspirations. I had some wonderful conversations and was very pleased to have met everyone that I did and appreciate their business and comments on my jewelry. In fact, I even learned something new -L.L. Bean has “bean dollars”! The system works much like other points systems, the more you buy the more “beans” you earn, valued in dollars. Too funny.

The show was to run from approximately 11:00 until 1:30, but I never got out of there until almost 3:45. I even offered to customers to feel free to browse through the items I had already begun packing up, I didn’t mind at all. I love it when someone finds just the right piece of jewelry to add to their collection. The great part is, even if they only purchased a pair of earrings, they likely could still get a coordinating necklace or bracelet -as long as the components are still available.

Many thanks to all the ladies AND gentleman who purchased an original piece of Crystal Allure Jewelry and thank you to Holly Korba for coordinating the event and including me this year. As well, a very special thank you to my husband for having brought my jewelry creations to the attention of Holly. I will be donating a portion of my sales to the United Way campaign and I very much look forward to participating next year.

Lesson Of The Day

If you have an online website and/or store, the best thing you can do for your business (and sanity!) is to BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP -at least monthly.

Regardless of any problems or issues you might have with your web hoster or their services, if you haven't backed up your site and something happens....and it is a possibility...you run the risk of losing your entire site and even your product pages.

I know for most of us small business owners it can be tedious and difficult to wear the many hats that we do -but if you lose all the hard work you put into your online store -you have pretty much worked for nothing. And all us small business owners know how much time really goes into it all...more than most people would care to even think about.

Although this issue came up with my store today -work was being done by the web hoster...and I hadn't backed up recently -I have learned my lesson. The shear worry (and fear!) of possibly losing all my hard work just infuriated me, frustrated me and much more. As soon as the site went up, I quickly did a back up. I don't think the hosting company is done with their updates so I cannot tell if there was any data loss -but I'm really, really hoping there wasn't!

Although intuitively I knew to do back ups, I was so busy tweaking my store and wearing all the other hats that I do -that I just plain forgot. So, I have decided to set a monthly reminder in my online calendar to remind me monthly to back up my data. And I'm going to make a concerted effort to remember to back up my data when I do any major chunks of data changes.

Remember: Back up, Back Up, Back Up

Fall Jewelry in Tigers Eye Gemstone Black Crystal Necklace and Earrings

Tiger eye gemstone jewelry should be a staple in your fall jewelry wardrobe. Whether designed in handmade earrings or beaded necklaces the rich brown color and bold style are perfect complements to the changing color of the Autumn leaves.

Tigers eye gemstone, if used properly in a design, can make for a versatile, everyday piece of jewelry. With swirls of black and brown and a hint of gold peeking out, here and there, these tiger eye gemstone pieces will be your favorite pick each morning!
Tiger Eye Gemstone Crystal Beaded Choker Necklace (NB024)
Tiger Eye Gemstone Crystal Beaded Choker Necklace (NB024)
One of a Kind
SOLD

Tiger Eye Gemstone Crystal Drop Earrings (E075)
Tiger Eye Gemstone Crystal Drop Earrings (E075)
One of a Kind
SOLD

Don’t miss out on these fabulous one of a kind pieces! Find these wonderful Fall Jewelry pieces and more at Crystal Allure Creations!

October Show Cancellation

Sadly, I was notified the show to be held at the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour (LCOS) on October 13, 2007 has been cancelled due to a lack of vendors.

The good news is you will still have an opportunity to pick up your favorite Crystal Allure Creations at the Union Hill show scheduled for October 20th.

Link To Me On Myspace





There are so many social networking sites that exist nowadays, but just about everybody has a Myspace page. If you do, check out my page here:

Crystal Allure Creations on Myspace

Network with me and Crystal Allure Creations handmade jewelry! I look forward to adding you as a friend!

Crystal Allure on Grechens Closet

I am excited to announce Crystal Allure Creations is now listed with Grechens Closet. Here you will find a comprehensive list of shopping sites featuring independent designers and boutiques that you may not have heard of.

Jewelry Styles Defined

Jewelry is more than just an accessory -it is a statement of its wearers' individuality and style. With the boom of jewelry designers coming into the market, as a consumer who wants to make an informed purchase you should be able to identify jewelry types, as well as, ask relevant questions about the materials used. There are three (recognized) main types of jewelry: Fine, Bridge and Fashion. At times, you might find the terms Bridge jewelry and Artisan jewelry used interchangeably, as well as, Fashion jewelry and Costume jewelry.

How jewelry is classified is primarily based on: (1) materials used and; (2) the price of the finished product. Even though a jewelry designer states they use quality materials, but sells their product inexpensively, does not mean you are get a quality product. There are many facets to making a jewelry purchase and from experience, I know not to assume: (1) I can get a quality product for less and; (2) a higher price means that seller is just "over-priced". The reality is, the value of the piece is directly related to the artists' interpretation, skills used in designing the piece, everyday business expenses to get that product to you and much more. When evaluating a piece of jewelry for purchase, keep in mind the price you are paying is part for the artists' skill but also part of his/her everyday business expenses which allows that artist to stay in business and continue to design quality pieces you will enjoy. With that said, let's take a closer look the three different types:

Fine Jewelry - is high end jewelry primarily crafted from gold and platinum. If set with gemstones usually only precious gemstones are used such as diamonds, pearls, rubies, sapphires, emeralds etc... Fine jewelry is dominated by stone settings and castings and can be found in jewelry stores or galleries. Fine jewelry commands the highest prices. When you think of fine jewelry you might think of Cartier.

Bridge (Artisan) Jewelry - is jewelry that is just that, a "bridge" between fine and fashion. Bridge jewelry is considered to be high quality accessories that can be worn every day. Primary materials used in crafting bridge jewelry include silver, copper, gold fill, vermeil, Swarovski crystal and semi-precious stones such as amethyst, citrine, freshwater pearls, garnet, jade, malachite, lapis, onyx, quartz, turquoise, topaz etc. Bridge jewelry is usually strung beadwork, castings and/or wire-wrapped. Bridge jewelry can be found at craft shows, galleries, art shows, high-end boutiques and the like. Bridge jewelry prices are in the mid-range between Fine and Fashion jewelry. When you think of bridge jewelry you might think of Crystal Allure Designs.

Fashion (Costume) Jewelry - is low end jewelry that is very inexpensive. Fashion jewelry is usually mass produced overseas and sold in franchise stores (but it can be artisan-made as well and sold at craft shows). Primary materials are base metals, rhinestones, plastics, acrylics etc. A lot of costume jewelry is cast and set with low quality materials or machine assembled. When you think of fashion jewelry you might think of jewelry you could purchase at Walmart.

Throughout any one of these types, jewelry can be mass-produced or artisan-made one-of-a-kind pieces or limited edition. As well, there is considerable overlap in styles and materials. When making your jewelry purchase, there are many points to consider. For some, one important point is whether their skin reacts to non-precious metal. If so, they might wish to consider investing in bridge or fine jewelry.

So how does one decide which type of jewelry to invest in? As a proponent of supporting artists and items Made in the USA, keep in mind, bridge jewelry is a unique and affordable option to your jewelry collection. Bridge jewelry provides you a good value because of the combination of quality materials; creativity and workmanship provided by the designers of these unique, one-of-a-kind and/or limited edition pieces.

Was this article helpful to you? Leave a comment and tell us.

So I Lied..

Okay, my last post back in July said the Crystal Allure blog had moved -and indeed it had -BUT, I found I just couldn't get rid of this original blog. So I decided to dress it up a bit and "re-invent" it, so to speak.

I can't say for sure how frequently I'll post -but I will post to it. I also added a new blog that I'm hoping to put a little focus on -Handmade Jewelry Outlet. The idea for this blog is to showcase quality, handmade jewelry, from a variety of designers, that for whatever reason is listed as sale, clearance, last chance, etc. So take a moment, stop on by that blog and if you have a piece to suggest, by all means give me a hollar (or email would work too).

The Crystal Allure Jewelry Blog Has Moved

Hi everyone! The Crystal Allure Jewelry Blog has moved to its new home. We are excited about the new website redesign and coordinating blog. Please take a moment to visit the new blog as it will replace this existing blog. As always, I will continue to post for you the same quality of information, current events, inspirations and much more that I did in the past. Hope to see you at the new Crystal Allure Jewelry Blog!

Crystal Allure Becomes a Member of the SRAJD

What is SRAJD? It is the International Organization for the Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designer. It might sound like a mouth full but when you purchase from an SRAJD member, you are buying directly from and supporting the artist.

An SRAJD member sells the jewelry that they designed and created -nothing is mass produced.

When purchasing your jewelry this is an important designation because it speaks volumes about the artists' quality of work, craftmanship and dedication to their craft. As a consumer, I am much more inclined to purchase from someone who has created their work of art, sells it and stands behind it.

You will see this logo proudly displayed on our redesigned website, very soon!

Crystal Allure Goes to the Prom!

As promised a few months back, here are pictures of the jewelry pieces I designed for two local girls going to the prom. I was honored to have been selected to design these girls' prom jewelry. Although their prom was this past Friday and Saturday, they will be able to enjoy their sparkling Swarovski crystal jewelry for years to come! Every special occasion deserves special accessories!

One girl requested a Swarovski crystal (clear) bracelet and earrings. I designed this set using a wire-wrapping technique for added elegance as well I added a wire wrapped swirl between the two crystals in the earrings. Absolutely stunning!









The second girl requested a Swarovski crystal AB necklace with a drop. Again, I used a wire-wrapping technique for the entire necklace and wire wrapped a swirl to the delicate drop in the front. This necklace was so beautiful I had a hard time giving it up!! One word best described this necklace -Dazzling!!!

Crystal Allure Custom Bead Jewelry for Prom

Some Days....

Some days it just does not pay to get out of bed -today is one of those days. As if running around like a crazy woman to get on the road to work wasn't enough, I had to witness someone who hit a deer today.

Our car barely missed that deer but not the car behind us. He wacked it with his front head light area and as I turned around in the car, I said to myself "don't do it", and sure enough I saw the deer fly into the air in circles only to land on the side of the road. As we drove and I tried to see how it was I noticed it was down (meaning it had been injured) and although its head was upright you could tell it wasn't going to be getting up. What made things worse is the guy who hit the deer didn't even stop.

We have invaded their living space with all our houses and development and for gosh sakes if you hit an animal the least you can do is stop and evaluate its injuries. And in todays day and age, use your cell phone for crying out loud to call for help. Even if the poor thing cannot be saved, at least it would not have to suffer either.

I don't know what happened to that deer today, BUT I did use my cell phone to call 911. I was not told that someone already called it in (which only made me more sad and angry) but I knew at least someone would go check him out. There was construction going on where the deer was hit and I hope those men at least went to check on the deer.

For all the things that went wrong today before seeing that have faded and all I'm left with now is worrying about that poor deer. Really makes a day a bad day. *sigh*

Update On Website Redesign

This is me: change this, update that, change this, oh and change that, how about this, how about that, what if this, what if that, change this, change that......

This is Meredith, our web designer and programmer:


Whew! It's difficult to redesign your website. Obviously I know how hard it is for me to make decisions that will affect my customers online shopping experience but I can only imagine what it's like for web designers.

You originally start with an idea and budget. Here it is. Then as things begin to be designed and you see your idea on screen you find some of the changes you wanted to do won't work, or work in the way the site has developed and so forth. Then of course there is the commitment factor...it's hard to get to the point to say, YES, DONE, PERFECT. Because once that happens, you are done. Anymore work and it'll cost you. Sometimes it's good, other times it bad, but I'm the type of person who tries to account for EVERY LITTLE what-if. That way, you know it's done perfectly.

BUT, if you get a great designer who understands you're a little weird (and picky) but through all this can still see your vision for what you would consider the perfect website -then what you'll end up with is just that. It has been what seems like a long road to get here but the new design is in the final stages and I'm getting very excited that it will be done soon.

Stay tuned....

Vote For Crystal Allure and YOU Could Win!

Stylebakery.com Designer on the Rise Award

Vote for Us for StyleBakery.com's 3rd annual On The Rise awards and you could win a $500 shopping spree!

Put your vote in for Crystal Allure Creations Jewelry for StyleBakery.com's 3rd annual On The Rise awards and you could win a $500 shopping spree!

Stylebakery.com Designer on the Rise Award

With Spring Comes All Things New

Nearly half-way into 2007, it has proven to be an extremely busy year so far. Business has been progressing along at a very fast pace with orders, a whole new look for the website, new website features, wholesale requests and the like.

With that said, I am very excited to announce Crystal Allure Creations is in collaboration with web designers to give us a whole new look! There are many, many changes coming down the pike. We do expect some minor bumps when the transition has been made, but for all the great changes coming it will be well worth it!

Our new look will incorporate different colors, website structure and logo. What you see now will be no where near what you see later! Just some of the new features to be added include a wish list, gift certificates and coupon/discount options for VIP customers. There are also plans to allow visitors to make a purchase without creating an account.

One of the things that I have struggled with since day one, has been photos of the jewelry and after many painstaking hours at research, testing and testing again, I do believe I have resolved this issue. You will start to see some better photos for the jewelry coming out now. I am even in the process of evolving the jewelry line and what you see available now might not be available once the new site is finished.

So as you can see there are HUGE changes coming in the VERY NEAR future. I am excited beyond words and look forward to the challenges the come. Now....if I can only make this a full-time venture it sure would make life easier!

Don't forget to check out the current designs, while they're still available!

www.CrystalAllure.com

Happy Shopping!

Earrings Sale Blowout! One Week Only

In celebration of springtime, all petite style earrings have been marked at either 50% or 60% off! Most earrings are limited edition or limited in quantity -so you won't want to miss out on this chance to own a Crystal Allure Creations original.

But hurry, the sale is for one week only and ends Easter Sunday (4/7/07).

Happy Shopping!

Everyone Should Sparkle At Their Prom!!

I am very proud and happy to be a part of my own town's community prom effort (you can read more details by clicking on the link below). Michele Child (aka, Mia) had a wonderful idea...through her blog, she has managed to pull together friends and neighbors to raise money to send two deserving girls to the upcoming prom.

As soon as I read about this, I signed up! I am excited to be offering my custom jewelry design services to this effort. As I said above -everyone should sparkle at their prom! I can't wait to see what dresses are chosen and I look forward to designing custom swarovski crystal jewelry for these two lovely ladies. It's probably a good thing they are both from different school districts because with all the sparkle they'll be displaying that night, the two won't be able to be in the same room together!

Stay tuned for more details and the final designs......

Chili Community Prom Effort

The Glittering Facts About Swarovski Crystals

pronounced: Swore-off-ski

Swarovski crystals are glitzy yet affordable and currently Swarovski offers more than 100,000 different shapes, colors, sizes, and facet styles, and their collection now includes more than 50,000 different articles.

~ The word crystal is based on the Greek word krystallos, derived from kryosk, meaning icy cold.

~ Performer Liberace had a piano encrusted with Swarovski crystals.

~ Marilyn Monroe wore a skin-tight evening gown dripping with 6,000 Swarovski crystals while singing "Happy Birthday" to John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962. This dress fetched $1.2 million at a Christie's auction in 1999.

~The replicas of the British Crown Jewels are made with Swarovski crystals.

~ Swarovski was also a sponsor for The Phantom of the Opera (2004 film), in which the "standing model" of the chandelier was composed of Swarovski crystals. A Swarovski shop window is also visible later in the film.

I honestly don't know if I could even make a guess at my current Swarovski inventory -that's how big it is! Although I will admit I do remember most of the items listed above that used Swarovski crystals -guess that is what made them so memorable in the first place. Which is why virtually all my jewelry designs incorporate Swarovski crystals in some way, or are entirely made using them.

Valentine's Day Jewelry

Where do the days go? I love the month of February for two reasons. The first is because I hold a special preference for amethyst jewelry (being a February baby myself) and of course there is Valentine's Day.

I've been so busy working extra hard to get additional features on the website store for you. Just about all of the earrings now have a customization feature on them. Necklaces are next and then bracelets. It's an arduous task but one I enjoy because I know how much I love to customize my jewelry and now I can offer you the same. This new feature makes Crystal Allure Creations unique to other online designers. It's jewelry -your way!

One task always weighing heavily on my mind is better quality pictures -really, I promise they are forthcoming!

Now, the reason for my post. Valentine's Day. Who says you have to wait for someone to buy a gift for you. Get your special piece in advance, while supplies last, at Crystal Allure Creations. To make it easier to find all these adorable and sparkling treasures of love, I've set them apart from the rest of my pieces. You can find everything available for this lovely day under the "Valentine's Day" link in the menu. Just look at the beautiful Hugs n' Kisses bracelet above!

If you want a head start on February birthday gifts -check out the Double Classic Petite Crystal Earrings. And as always, don't forget while you're there to check out the February Sale -new items have been added.

Happy Shopping!

Pass It On!! It's So Easy!

Pass it on!

Over ten million animals are abused, neglected or abandoned yearly. You can help each day with a free click!

Visit The Animal Rescue Site at http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/ daily and click the purple "Fund Food for Animals" button. That simple action gives food to an abandoned or abused animal.

There is no cost to you! Funding for nutritious food is paid by site sponsors and goes to nonprofit animal welfare organizations who use it to feed animals living in their shelters and sanctuaries.

The Animal Rescue Site was launched in July of 2002 and has generated millions of bowls of food for rescued animals since then. With your help, many more animals will benefit in 2007! It all depends on the number of people who visit the site.

Please click at The Animal Rescue Site once a day and forward this message on so more people can help give animals the happy, healthy lives they deserve.

http://theanimalrescuesite.com/

Together, we can make a difference for vulnerable pets and wildlife!

Business Practices

Customer Service 101 --
I have always prided myself on providing good customer service and employing the best business practices, and this is exactly why:

Recently a woman emailed me to say she was not able to pull up my product pictures and was disappointed. My first reaction was that I was grateful she took the time to email me and bring this to my attention. In my response I explained that it might be a server "hiccup" and that she should try it again in a few hours. But if she was still unable to view them I'd certainly email her whatever I could.

I emailed her the following day to ask if she had any success in pulling up the pictures and she replied that she did and was appreciative that I had followed up with her. She told me she appreciated the good business practice and that she would be forwarding my website link to some friends. BTW -if you read this Conni, Thank You for emailing me in the first place and mostly certainly for sharing my website with your friends!

On another occasion a woman had placed an order and didn't realize until a few emails later that what she thought she would be getting was in fact, not what I would be shipping. She explained (and apologized) for the confusion and felt badly that she misread the website. My response to her was that it was not a problem, things happen and I sent her money back to her. She was grateful and also commented on my great business practices.

And so there you have it. Customer Service 101 -it should never follow the old adage "the customer is always right" rather it should be your clear understanding that if you provide a service you DO have to make your customers #1 and WANT to make them #1. I have been on both sides of the fence and I am very proud of how I conduct business.

Most retail stores cannot always provide this personalized service because they are so big. That is part of what I like so much about Crystal Allure. I am able to provide my customers and the public with jewelry they love AND I can tend to each and every customer who emails and/or places an order. These are my rewards!!

Just something to think about the next time your looking to make a purchase online. But one thing is for sure -if you shop with Crystal Allure Creations you WILL get the best service AND high quality jewelry!

Happy Shopping

HUGE Winter SALE!! For A Limited Time

With the website back up and running I am very happy to announce the HUGE Winter SALE! This is one you really won't want to miss. New designs have been added to this exclusive sale and with an endless choice of options, you're sure to find something.

Across the board, this sale is featuring Crystal Allure Beaded Jewelry originals, with earrings for just $7.00! Necklaces for only $15.00 and bracelets for $18.00!! You'd have to be crazy to miss out on this fantastic sale -better still why not pick up a few things for gifts!

BUT, (there's always a 'but') -you must hurry. This sale will end Friday, January 26, 2007 and the products will no longer be available via the website. Pay securely with PayPal or your credit card. You can even pay using a check or money order.

Happy Shopping!

View All Winter Beaded Jewelry Designs

View All Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry Specials

Website Problems -Actively Being Worked On

I have been told that since yesterday my web hoster has had some DNS issues. What that means is, should you be attempting to pull up the Crystal Allure Creations website, you will not have any success. Due to these problems they are experiencing, they must reload all the configurations for their accounts and do not have an estimate of time as to when that will be completed.

You may be able to intermittently pull up the CAC website, but for the most part, most pages will be inaccessible. As soon as this issue is resolved I will be sure to post that information here.

With hope these issues will be rectified today so that I can post the "Winter Bonanza" sale that you really won't want to miss!!!

2007 Golden Globe Awards -Steal The Style!

Personally, I think the best part of the whole show is the red carpet! What was I interested in -the fashions, of course! If you searched around the internet in the days following the awards you probably have noticed there was no shortage of 'fashion observations' -some say this person looked great, others say they didn't. Some said, these were the hot accessories -others disagreed.

Whatever your observations or preferences, if you are interested in owning accessories similar to some of the more popular ones worn on the red carpet, you'll find them here at Crystal Allure Beaded Jewelry.

Take for example, Kyra Sedgewick. She wore a pair of long gold mini-chandelier earrings. You can get this similar style wearing the Swarovski Blue Square Chandelier Earrings, which gives you a little color.












Sheryl Crow's chandelier earrings are strinkingly similar to our Swarovski Garnet Filigree Chandelier Earrings. They are long, elegant and are designed with just a hint of color (although personally I think ours would match her outfit better!)

Happy Shopping for your red carpet styles at Crystal Allure Beaded Jewelry.

Crystal Allure on Ebay


Are you more comfortable with using eBay? If so, you will now find Crystal Allure Creations has an active blog on eBay for your viewing pleasure. Although I do not have a store on eBay, I now have a blog.

Additionally, while in my eBay blog you can request an RSS feed and always know when new posts are made to the blog. You can visit and bookmark the Crystal Allure Creations eBay blog here:

Crystal Allure Creations on eBay

Dozen Red Roses Bracelet

This bracelet is the perfect compliment to Valentine's Day! Now you can give the gift of both jewelry AND a dozen red roses!! Bracelet is a sterling silver heart link with lobster clasp, finished with genuine Swarovski pearls and crystal "charms".

Purchase you own one-of-a-kind Dozen Red Roses Bracelet on the Crystal Allure Designs website.

TGIF!!

I'd have to say it seemed this week was the longest week. Between being on vacation for the last two weeks of 2006 and then with the holiday last week. Just seemed very long -or maybe it's because I'm very tired. I have so many CAC things in the works that I'm not sure where to start!

Over this week I've taken on the task of "re-locating" my bead studio in my home. I felt I needed a more productive space, better lighting and the ability to "trash" my work space and not worry it would be in view of visitors. As of today I'm only partially moved -still working on the actual work area set up -and I have a whole basket of items to get pictured and posted. As well, I have a ton of existing projects to finish and many, many new pieces that I'd like to get done. One thing is for sure -I never lack for design ideas!

Whenever I organize my studio, I always think back to an edition of Extreme Makeover that I saw in 2005 (?). A young girl with cancer made necklaces that she sold to her friends and family to raise money for cancer -well, the EM team created for her a beading room, where she could do her beading. Let me tell you -this was the ultimate bead room! Even today I'm so jealous!! All the drawers, storage, lighting, clean lines, working surfaces...beautiful, just beautiful. Needless to say, I TRY but my studio NEVER looks or functions like that one!

But I make what space I have workable for my needs. Of course, I wish I had not painted this room the color that it is (and I'm sure my husband will grin if he reads this)...and as he knows...sometime (probably in summer) it'll get re-painted the color I want. With the new online store working, my goal right now is to get re-organized and settled so I can get to creating!

With that said, time to get some iced coffee (yum!!), wake up and figure out how to set up my new studio. Minus a short break tomorrow for a family get-together, I plan to be creating most of the weekend! Stay tuned for my brand new creations.....

Monthly Feature: Ice Crystals Earrings

With so many great CAC products to choose from -which one do you choose? Since I am so familiar with each of the designs available, I've decided to take the guess work out of making a selection! It is my hope each month to choose a piece to highlight, with as much detail as possible, including how the design came to be. This month's feature is......

ICE CRYSTALS EARRINGS
Was $15.00
For a limited time save 20% and get yours for $12.00!

These 2-1/2" long stunning earrings were made using genuine Swarovski AB crystals, frosted accent beads, sterling silver chain and post earrings. They are just the right touch for the most formal of outfits or to simply add a touch of glamour to a casual look.

Winter is here -BBrrrr!! Why not warm up to the shimmer of Ice Crystals decorating your ears. These earrings were designed to mimic twinkling ice crystals, you know, the ones that form on your house as the snow melts and re-freezes. When light hits these earrings in just the right way, the shimmer it creates against the silver chain and crystals is what makes this design true to its name.

Wear them to work, go home and change your outfit for a night out and you never have to change your earrings! That is what is so fabulous about Ice Crystals -you can take them from day to evening and from season to season. They are truly a staple to have in any jewelry wardrobe.

But hurry, this special savings ends January 31, 2007

Just A Quick FYI

In case anyone was confused, I wanted to post an explanation about why someone can still purchase products under the old product webpages.

At the moment, the old product webpages are still sitting on the server. As a result, if you had saved a product page in the past as a favorite, when you select that link the old page will still come up. All the old "add to cart" features are also still in place.

This was mainly a safeguard in case there were problems with the new online store. The intent was to delete those pages this weekend barring no purchasing problems with the new online store.

Based on the fact that I have received some purchases from the old pages and also the new online store pages, I see it is working and will be deleting the old pages from the server this weekend.

Have no fear, if you save a particular page you can still go to the new online store and do a keyword search that will return to you the exact product you were looking for. I hope this has helped to clear up any confusion and as always, I am here should you have difficulties checking out in the new online store.

Happy Shopping

Did You Make That?

I get asked this ALOT. Being a jewelry designer, my friends and family are always curious if the pieces I'm wearing are ones I've made. My response? Yes and No.

There are times when I wear exclusively my own designs; there are times when I wear jewelry given to me as a gift; and still there are times when I'll mix both: my designs with jewelry purchased for me/by me.

Here's the logic: I'll buy something only if I feel or know I cannot find the component that makes the design so spectacular, to make it myself. Although, as a rule if I do buy a "fashion jewelry" piece from a store (which is really rare these days) I always make sure I have something from my Crystal Allure collection that I could wear with it. And without a doubt, if my husband buys me a jewelry gift (which is usually diamonds -because he knows how much I can't resist sparkle!!) I will most certainly wear those! So, yes, occasionally I'll still wear something that I did not design.

I don't find the question offensive, actually I find it quite natural for people to ask that question. Over the years though, my personal jewelry collection has drastically grown with my own designs and also anything my husband would purchase for me..making the number of "fashion jewelry" pieces less-and-less in my collection.

Even further complicating things would be the fact that I might have a fashion jewelry piece that I bought some years ago and I'll decide I don't like the design any longer and disassemble it to remake it with my own design ideas (this usually happens with pendants). So imagine the explanation I give when asked if I designed that piece! LOL

I thought I'd share my experiences since this question came back to mind last night as I filled my new jewelry armoire (that I received as a gift from my husband). My husband works with wood and had already made me a beautiful dresser sized armoire -however, with my love of jewelry and growing collecting of Crystal Allure originals -I ran out of space! So, I asked for a full size jewelry armoire for Christmas. As I filled it and organized the few remaining older fashion pieces that I had purchased from a store, I happened to think of this question that I've been asked frequently.

And I wondered......as a designer, do you always wear exclusively your own designs? And how do you field the question when asked, 'did you make that?'