Autumn Honey -Jewelry Wardrobe Inspiration

I know the stores have seemed to have skipped over Thanksgiving and are now pushing Christmas already. But for me -it's still autumn! What better way to enjoy the season than with a little Autumn Honey?!


Okay, the black cat...yeah, nothing to do with the inspiration but I love my black cat (Cookie Toe, a.k.a. Tookie-Tookie) and Halloween is right around the corner. Besides the kitty coordinates with the boots! Right?! :-)

You can get both the Topaz Crystal Earrings and Topaz Crystal Teardrop Carnelian Gemstone Necklace (N039) at CrystalAllure.com.

Mary Kay's Custom Swarovski Crystal Vintage Redux

My favorite customer, Mary Kay, came to me with three different pieces of vintage jewelry that she had obtained through a family inheritance and an estate sale. She loved the pieces but wanted to update the style of the pieces and create a coordinating 3-piece jewelry set.

Mary Kay's only design requests:
1. Make the necklace longer and adjustable;
2. Create a removable pendant (if possible); and
3. Make the earring with her preferred leverback earwires.

Everything else she left up to me.

I quickly discovered that two of the vintage Swarovski Crystals in original the design were no longer available but that did not hinder the design process. Since the original bracelet was a two-strand, it provided more than enough crystals to work with. I added more sterling silver, a few fresh new soft blue light sapphire Swarovski Crystals and the removable trigger clasp for the pendant on the necklace.

This custom project did pose a few challenges but after thinking about it long enough and then just sitting down at the studio table, it all came together in literally one night. I may have restrung the necklace three or more times, but the end result is a stunning 3-pc. modern vintage Swarovski Crystal jewelry set -vintage redux!!

The original pieces... very much vintage, but....DRAB!!!
Mary Kay's original mix matched vintage crystal jewelry
Mary Kay's original mix matched vintage crystal jewelry
Photo credit: Crystal Allure Jewelry
I created a stunning three piece original crystal jewelry set, using 90% of the vintage crystals that Mary Kay supplied from her older pieces. Her vintage jewelry set went from drab to fab!!

The redux with style for today's woman -FAB!!!!
Mary Kay's Custom Crystal Vintage 3-pc. Jewelry Set (JS100)
Mary Kay's Custom Crystal Vintage 3-pc. Jewelry Set (JS100)
SOLD
Custom vintage beaded necklace is adjustable 17"-19" with a removable triple-drop crystal pendant charm. The custom vintage crystal beaded bracelet measures 7-1/2" and the vintage earrings measure 1" from the bottom of the earwire. Now Mary Kay has three unique pieces of jewelry that all work together or can be worn individually!

With only having seen a picture so far of the set, Mary Kay's response was this:
"OMG, the set is absolutely gorgeous!!!"

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Final Show of the Season

For various reasons, I just didn't do many shows this year. It was kind of a bummer but necessary. However, I was invited back to the Johnson & Johnson Ortho Clinical United Way campaign show this year. As always, I was super excited because I get to meet and chat (however briefly) with all the ladies (and men this year too!). They have a few offsite locations and this year I added the second local offsite location at one of the Kodak buildings.

First and foremost, THANK YOU to all the wonderful ladies and men that I met and who purchased Crystal Allure Jewelry. A special thank you to my returning customers too! It is exactly your support and interest in my craft that drives my desire to create beautiful jewelry for you. And without doubt, thank you to Holly for pulling this all together and inviting me back for this years' campaign.

What was fascinating this year is I had quite a few men ask me about my pieces, stones used, etc AND they were actually listening. Don't get me wrong, but come on ladies, we all know how men can tune us out when we talk. Although in fairness we tend to babble sometimes or just talk out loud for the sake of talking. Maybe? You think? *smiles*

This year, I changed up my table decor and loved the new simple look. I like to change up the table every other year or so and the new setup was absolutely perfect for fall.

The show was such a success that I had to regroup and pump out a few new designs because I did one of the Kodak buildings first (it was a new location for me this year) and the ladies cleaned me out! I firmly live by the belief that every piece belongs to a particular woman and this was crystal clear at the first show because there were three necklaces in particular that were purchased by the very women they were perfect for. I hope you ladies are enjoying your new beaded jewelry!

At the second show, which was at the main location (Canal Ponds), I did put out some of my "special jewelry stash" designs for all the fantastic ladies there. Keeping this special stash is my way of thanking the ladies for their support and to offer pieces that no one else has seen yet. At the end of the show, my table was cleaned out, except for a few pieces. I even had a shopper comment on that (that I was cleaned out). But, I consider that a good thing and at this particular event, each purchase helps the United Way too.

You know how there are 'reformed smokers', you know the ones...they are soooo anti-smoking (and they used to smoke)?! I consider myself a 'reformed consumer'. Since I started designing jewelry, I just can't and won't purchase mass produced products (of any kind) if I know I can get it locally and more importantly by a local artist. I find the quality is much, much better and I'm actually investing in something rather than just buying it. This is another good reason why I love doing this event. It gives the opportunity to purchase handmade goods, from a local artist -the purchase supports the local economy AND helps the United Way. All this from one event. Fantastic!!

It is usually at the end of this show that I am inspired to create a host of new designs....and provided they do not sell before the next show -I promise in 2010, if invited back, that the designs will be even more fabulous than before!

Rhodonite vs. Rhodolite -New Beaded Necklace Added

Garnet is a popular jewelry component and has been used since the bronze age as an ornamental gemstone. I personally love all the colors of garnet from the reds to the greens.

The rhodonite gemstone is a stone of grace and elegance, with its' muted rose color and black manganese oxide veins running through it. It gets its name from the Greek word for rose, rhodon. Rhodonite is mined in the United States, Brazil, India, and Russia and is the official gem of Massachusetts.
Freshwater Pearl Rhodonite Gemstone Beaded Necklace (N071)

Just added to the jewelry boutique is the lovely necklace shown above. It's a can't miss, one of a kind.

Rhodolite comes from the garnet family and is a mixed crystal of almandine and pyrope. It generally features a magnificent velvety red with a fine violet or raspberry-red undertone. This "purple-red" color is the most sought after color for rhodolite.
Rhodolite Garnet Gemstone Earrings (E171)
Rhodolite Garnet Gemstone Earrings (E171)
SOLD

Rhodolite is a beautiful stone that tends to be lighter in color than most other kinds of red garnet. It can easily be confused with ruby because of the similarity in color. However, rhodolite garnet is not artificially enhanced in any way. Originally found in the USA, it now comes mainly from the gemstone mines in East Africa, India and Sri Lanka.

Shown above: handmade gemstone earrings are ultra-light and elegant. A lovely purple-red rhodolite garnet gemstone briolette has been wire-wrapped and paired with hammered 14kt gold filled oval hoops. The earrings are finished with 14kt gold filled ear wires and are 3/4" from bottom of ear wires.

Unique Elegant Transplant Awareness Bracelets (B165, B167)

Two new beaded awareness bracelets have been added to the jewelry boutique. By popular request, both represent organ donation and transplant awareness.

I've been quite the busy bee designing new jewelry -albeit slowly -but the new designs are sure to tickle your fancy. Just last night while working on three different custom orders, I had this idea for a necklace and bead color combo and just had to put everything else down to design it. It can be crazy at times because this is exactly a representation of how designs come to be (sometimes). I will be sitting there working and my mind wanders and viola' -and idea!

For now, I'm super excited about the new awareness bracelets. Remember, each purchase helps support the mission of the Lungs for Life Foundation.
Jasper Gemstone Organ Transplant Awareness Bracelet (B165)
Jasper Gemstone Organ Transplant Awareness Bracelet (B165)
SOLD

This one of a kind handmade Organ Transplant awareness bracelet features a jasper gemstone centered on a strand of white Swarovski Pearls and green emerald crystals, accented by sterling silver, Bali and finished with a sterling silver awareness ribbon charm and our signature jewelry tag.

What is so unique about this jasper gemstone is its' coloring with ribbons of green, beige and a hint of purple, it is the perfect stone representing both cystic fibrosis and transplant. Measures 7-1/2".

This is a one-of-a-kind beaded awareness bracelet and cannot be replicated.
Sterling Green Organ Transplant Awareness Bracelet (B167)
Sterling Green Organ Transplant Awareness Bracelet (B167)
SOLD

This next bracelet is an elegant strand of sparkling green emerald Swarovski Crystals accented with sterling Bali and white Swarovski Pearls. This stunning handmade beaded organ transplant awareness bracelet is finished with a sterling silver awareness ribbon charm and measures 7-1/2".

Check out the other organ donation awareness bracelets and transplant awareness bracelets at Crystal Allure Creations.

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

As a child my family had both cats and dogs. But it wasn't until this past April that I too (as a adult) became a dog parent. Yes, you read that correctly -dog parent. Not "owner". We do not "own" our children and nor do we "own" our pets. When we have children we protect them, shelter them, feed them and raise them properly. The same applies to pets -the difference (in my opinion) is that pets give us unconditional love and friendship.

Every year millions of animals are surrendered to shelters or found as strays and there is no one to blame for this terrible tragedy but ourselves. As pet parents we have been irresponsible. We think it'll be great to get a pet -but then we don't spay or neuter them -we think it'll be fine for them to roam free outside -we don't take them for regular medical checkups and/or we don't walk them daily. Sadly, many have probably made the decision to adopt a dog but did not think about the costs or time involved in parenting a pet.

The Story of Our Shelter Dog
I honestly cannot say exactly why I (we) started thinking about getting a dog -maybe it was to balance out the cats we have -or secretly, maybe it was to put them in their place. Those little stinkers think they "own" us humans! Who am I kidding...yes, all our pets have us wrapped around their fingers. Really, though, I think it was maybe to bring another element into our lives, even more enrichment and maybe some life into our home. My husband and I do not have children (and trust me, after hearing some of our friends who do have kids...we're kinda glad) and our pets give us more closeness and love than we could have ever hoped for.

So, as our talks became more serious, so did our search and RESEARCH. We were not taking this new endeavor lightly. We fully intended on finding the right dog for us and for our existing household. But we also knew, once we did make a choice it was a commitment we would never break. Therefore, it was extremely important to make an informed decision.

Although we did make an inquiry once to a woman who bred pugs, as we thought they'd make a great addition. I really, really did want an all black pug -but, I just couldn't wrap myself around paying for a dog, (1) when there are so many homeless dogs; (2) so many in shelters and (3) we'd still be paying for the unknown. And sadly, today, many people use dog breeding as their "job" and that's all they think about -the money. But that's a subject for another post.

For months, we continued to look up different breeds to learn at least a little something about their temperment and the breed itself. But we fully intended on adopting a shelter dog. The purpose of the research was to gain some knowledge of the different breeds should we adopt a dog that was listed as a specific breed or breed mix. It wasn't that we decided one day, I want a dog and adopted one within a week. This process took us months and months. We would go look and along the way discuss how we would handle this or that situation with the biggest factor being our cats. We didn't want to alienate them as they were the kings of the castle (all male cats except one).

One day, I happened across an ad for a toy breed dog. Due to the womans work schedule, she just felt it was wrong to keep the dog in a crate all day. So, my husband and I had met with her. Again, not sure why we even inquired as it just wasn't in me to purchase a dog. But we met with her anyway, loved the dog, cutest little button. But of course, she paid full price for the dog (which she said she got from a breeder in another state). When we had left I had stated that we both loved the dog (named LuLu) but I just couldn't morally pay that amount of money, especially knowing how good a home she would be going to and that there were so many homeless dogs. I said, at most, I'd pay X amount and even then I wasn't feeling good about it. Well, a day or two passed and as time went on part of me hoped she either wouldn't call or that she'd call and say she chose another family (this way, I wouldn't have to say, I've changed my mind that I just can't pay for a dog). The other part of me wanted her to call because we did fall in love with LuLu.

Well, we did get her call. She called me at work one day and was very apologetic but said she just couldn't part with her dog. She said she had a moment the night before and just couldn't let her go and that she was going to try and work it out with her family. I completely understood. I felt relieved and sad at the same time. But thanked her for calling and wished her the best. I think this call came on a friday. That following Monday or Tuesday, don't recall specifically, I was off work and happened across the website of one of our local shelters. I found they had two miniature pinscher mixes and decided to go meet them.

It was FATE
Strangely, of the two I wanted to meet the one they named Lou Lou -yes, the same name as the dog we just "lost". First impression, sweet, a tad high energy but I figured it was also because of all the excitement being out of the cage, etc. We did a kitty test by introducing her to the resident cats and the dog could care less. So I asked that she be held until my husband could meet her. The next day, we both went down there and Lou Lou was even more excited, still very sweet, and very kissy!

My only concern was that I didn't like her "face jumping" as I called it. You see, I was bitten as a young child, by a little white fluffy dog. But it was my fault. I had no right to approach the dog (who was on a lease in the front yard) and my brother even told me not to. I thought, oh no, she's soooo cute, she won't bite. Wrong. After getting some stitches and an eye patch, all I have today is a little scar near the eye. Am I afraid of dogs -NO. Just more careful and respectful of them. But, I will say I am not a fan when dogs jump at my face.

With Lou Lou, I realized it wasn't meant to be a defensive action, it was just her way, something she learned or wasn't taught properly and figured of all the things that could be an issue, we could train her to stop. We were told she was a stray they picked up and they had no prior info on her other than she passed the behavior tests. We had her put back in her cage and we talked in the hallway. While we talked I peeked around the corner (she was in the first cage) and there she stood as close as she could get to the door, with her cute little flippy ears pearked up and big eyes staring at me as if say, "I love you, don't leave me".

We left having completed the paperwork to pick her up in a few days after she was spayed. The day before picking her up we went "puppy" shopping -new harness, food bowl, food, toys, etc. We were so excited. While in the store, we get a call. It was the woman we met with for LuLu. She apologized for calling again but after a week realized that although she loved her dog very much she just couldn't give her the play time she deserved and would be happy for us to have her. In the blink of an eye I was happy, sad, angry and frustrated. I explained our story -we just adopted a dog...ironically, named Lou Lou....we love her dog but we've made a commitement...and we are not ready for two dogs...we don't even fully know how our new dog will integrate with our cats. The call was bittersweet. She understood, apologized and said if we changed our minds to please call her.

Our drive home should have been a happy one -there was silence and sadness. And I cried.

We arrived early the next day at the shelter to pick up Lucy (we decided she wasn't a Lou Lou...well, maybe she was...but we instead chose to name her Lucy). It was a chore getting her harness on but we came prepared with two different sizes since we didn't know which she'd fit and the technician helped us get the harness on. We decided to walk her in the park across the street before getting in the car -good thing we did. Lucy was in high gear, lots going on, super excited and she had to have pooped at least six times!

While shopping the day before we got Lucy a squeaky toy -we call it red dog (RD). We gave her this red dog in the shelter and from that point forward -she would go nuts if her red dog wasn't near. It was like her comfort toy and we've actually acquired a graveyard of red dogs! She will tear them a little but she sooooo loves her RD!!

To date, we haven't seen one issue that would have caused her previous parents to let her go and never look for her. She was a cared for dog because she had already been spayed and seemed in good health. The only thing not maintained on her were her nails. So we have yet to understand why she was a stray -she's a great dog. Fabulous little stinker -loves us dearly and is pretty much attached to my rear calf anywhere I go. We went from the crate during the day and at bedtime to being gated in the living room during the day and now sleeping on our bed at night -spoiled stinker...that's what she is. :-)

She does have her quirks, one of which is that she does not like the noise a camera makes or the flash. So getting a picture of her is hard but my sister in law got this great photo while she relaxed on the lawn one day. Thanks Dawn!

We have already taken her to Level 1 dog training and aside from a few very small things, she is the perfect dog. And perfect for us. The point(s) of this long, drawn out story:
1. adopt a shelter dog (if you do your research and make an informed decision, you won't be disappointed!)
2. believe in fate

You will get back triple and more than what you invested to find your perfect pet!

PS The big question. Does she get along with our cats? Yes....for the most part. She can have that drive to chase them...it's her breed. But do we allow her? NEVER. We correct her immediately upon seeing her face. She will have a certain fixated stare if she is going to chase them. And we've found it's usually not to hurt them, it's to play with them (which they don't get cause she's a bit bigger than them!) or to get them away from us (she thinks we're all hers!).

In the end - A VERY HAPPY STORY!

Remember, adopt a shelter dog and save a life!

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness 65 Roses Necklace (N088)

The first of its' kind is finally here! For years I racked my brain for a design that would symbolize the term "65 Roses" (cystic fibrosis, is often referred to as 'sixty five roses' by young children).

This past weekend I spent just about the whole weekend in my studio. Of course, my plan was to do paperwork, but I just started creating. By the time I was done I had numerous earrings, three necklaces and four bracelets (I've already started posting them on the site with more pictures coming!). With many of the designs being new to the awareness collection.

I am very happy with how this design came out. Not only is the pendant bail a one-of-a-kind designer original the bead pattern is so unique it is set so that groups of 6 and 5 crystals run throughout the necklace -for a total of 65 crystals in the design. Absolutely beautiful!
65 Roses Crystal Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Necklace (N088)
65 Roses Crystal Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Necklace (N088)
$156.45
This beaded awareness necklace was designed to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis ('sixty five roses') with a one-of-a-kind designer original handcrafted pendant bail to showcase the 7x10mm sterling silver rose charm with clusters of various purple crystals hand-wrapped with sterling silver wire. Adding to this necklaces' unique design is beaded pattern sets of 6 and 5 purple amethyst Swarovski Crystals to symbolize 65 Roses and carries a full 65 Swarovski Crystals in the design. Crystals are accented with Swarovski Pearls and .925 Bali. Measures 18-1/4".


The story behind why cystic fibrosis is referred to as "65 Roses" by young children:

In 1965, after learning that her three little boys had Cystic Fibrosis, Mary G. Weiss began volunteering to raise money to cure cystic fibrosis. One of her duties was to call every civic club, social and service organization seeking financial support for CF research. Mary's four year old son, Richard, listened closely to his mother as she made each call. After several calls, Richard came into the room and told his mom, "I know what you are working for."

Mary was dumbstruck because Richard did not know what she was doing, nor did he know he had Cystic Fibrosis. With some trepidation, Mary posed the question back to Richard, "What am I working for, Richard?"

"You are working for '65 Roses'," he answered so sweetly. Mary was speechless. She went over to him and tenderly pressed his tiny body to hers. He could not see the tears running down Mary's cheeks as she stammered, "Yes, Richard, I'm working for '65 Roses'."

View more from the Crystal Allure Awareness Jewelry Collection

Autumn Beaded Earrings: Stacked Gourds or Autumn Maize Crystal

It's been a busy week or two and I am in the process of restocking the store. I had just gotten into a design groove and in a flash, I'm sold out. That's a good thing! To get started, I've already posted a few new pairs of handmade beaded earrings and there will be a new category added very soon...stay tuned!
Stacked Gourds Crystal Lampwork Beaded Earrings (E242)
Stacked Gourds Crystal Lampwork Beaded Earrings (E242)
$33.95
A lovely topaz shaded lampwork bead showcasing a black striped core is the base of these stacked gourd handmade beaded earrings. Accented with the most beautiful shades of autumn, brown smoke topaz and black jet Swarovski Crystals, 14kt antiqued gold-fill Bali and 14kt gold-fill leverback earwires. Length is 1-1/4" from bottom of earwire.
Autumn Maize Topaz Crystal Beaded Earrings (E196)
Autumn Maize Topaz Crystal Beaded Earrings (E196)
$18.95
A brilliant transparent burnt orange indian glass barrel is flanked by brass heishi discs and lightly smoked topaz Swarovski Crystals. The orange glass barrel is called "white heart barrels" because of the white core of the bead. Handmade beaded earrings are finished with 14kt gold-fill french hook earwires. Length is 1-1/4" from bottom of earwire.

Feature Friday: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Happy Friday!

October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness month and we want to do our part to help raise awareness and show support. For a limited time, we have designated select PINK jewelry designs from the Crystal Allure Beaded Jewelry Collection to donate a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer awareness and research efforts.

Pink Guardian Angel Pendant Necklace (N003)
Pink Guardian Angel Pendant Necklace (N003)
SOLD

A dainty angel featuring a soft pink Czech flower skirt bead, gold angel wings accented with a white Swarovski Pearl and Bali adorns a 14kt gold-fill chain. Measures 18" in length.

For the month of October 2009, a portion of the proceeds, from any jewelry purchased from this select PINK jewelry designs collection, will be donated. All PINK beaded jewelry is one-of-a-kind so don't delay in getting yours today and helping to raise awareness. These also make wonderful milestone gifts!

If you can't find a necklace, bracelet or earrings you like, we also do custom awareness designs.

View Pink Crystal Breast Cancer Awareness Jewelry and all Pink Jewelry.

2009 Fall Jewelry and Colors Trend Report

Happy Autumn to everyone!

Our goal at Crystal Allure is to strike a balance with our jewelry designs that will easily transition from day into night. This is why you'll find our mixing of opaque and semi precious stones with hints of crystal works so well in our designs. We design pieces that have longevity and versatility for a look of classic femininity with a dash of color.

If you ask 10 different people what the "hot" colors and fashions of the fall season will be, you will get 10 different answers. Although we do not follow the latest trends and fashions, per se, to make it easy for you to coordinate your wardrobe with accessories, we have researched and compiled what we feel will be the colors of the upcoming fall and winter seasons. Look for some of these colors in the new beaded jewelry designs list.

We start the season with classic autumnal colors and then transition during the season into winter with vibrant jewel tone colors. These jewel tone colors will carry you into the winter season with the blues ruling the fall/winter season!

JEWELRY MUST HAVES
Statement Necklaces make a great focal for any outfit. The statement necklace below features a filigree "snowflake" metal pendant accented with black jet Swarovski crystals and blue lapis gemstones.
Blue Lapis Gemstone Crystal Filigree Snowflake Pendant Necklace (N069)
Blue Lapis Gemstone Crystal Filigree Snowflake Pendant Necklace (N069)
Cuff Bracelets whether beaded, wire-wrapped or memory wire bracelets, you'll definitely want to get at least one cuff bracelet in your jewelry collection this season. Check out the Autumn Splendor Czech Leaf Charm Cuff Beaded Bracelet (B121) for an abundance of autumnal color with oak leaf charms uniquely designed as a cuff bracelet using memory wire.
Autumn Honey Topaz Carnelian Gemstone Beaded Necklace (N039)
Autumn Honey Topaz Carnelian Gemstone Beaded Necklace (N039)
Closer to the holidays, chandelier earrings, in jewel tone colors will be the "it" accessory to have in your collection. Prefer the classic look? You can still enjoy chandelier earrings but instead, opt for designs with crystal shimmer -think of Crystal Ice Jewelry by by Crystal Allure!

FASHION ON A BUDGET
I think we all agree, we are on a perpetual quest to be fashionable but on a budget. That being said, how do you incorporate the colors of the season into your wardrobe without breaking the bank?

Choose pants, jackets and sweaters in neutral shades (black, brown, grey, etc) and add seasonal color to your basics with blouses, jewelry and accessories.