Another Recall on Children's Jewelry

On Friday, January 29, 2010, Federal consumer safety regulators announced a recall of "The Princess and The Frog" pendants sold at Walmart stores because of high levels of toxic metal cadmium.

You might recall an Associated Press investigation, at the beginning of the year, into high levels of this carcinogen in Disney movie-themed pendants and other children's metal jewelry imported from China. High levels of cadmium found in pieces of inexpensive metal jewelry, is dangerous to childrens' health especially if they chew, suck on or swallow a bracelet charm or necklace. Cadmium that is ingested and accumulates for years, can cause potentially serious harm to the kidneys and bones. Most recent research suggests it can also harm brain development in children.

This latest recall affects two products with about 55,000 items in total. The retail price tag for these jewelry pieces was set at $5.00 each. As part of the Associated Press' original investigation, their testing of pendants from four "The Princess and The Frog" necklaces produced cadmium levels that ranged between 25 and 35 percent.

The Walt Disney Company's response to this latest recall was to alert their vendors and licensees via a letter stating a zero-tolerance policy for cadmium in any children's jewelry bearing its brand.

If you happen to be a parent who has purchased jewelry similar to this or your child received it as a gift, it has been advised that you throw it out. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Paw Stamped Ribbon Spay Neuter Awareness Bracelet (B171)

For years I have always done what I can to help animals and animal organizations. Today I am happy to announce the launch of my NEW Awareness Jewelry Collection: Animal Awareness! Within this collection, there will be crystal beaded bracelets and jewelry to support the worthy causes of spaying/neutering your pet, animal abuse and feral cat programs. I'm so excited to begin this new awareness collection.

The first piece to be introduced into the animal awareness collection is the beautiful and sparkling Paw Stamped Ribbon Spay Neuter Awareness Bracelet (B171).
Paw Stamped Ribbon Spay Neuter Awareness Bracelet (B171)
Paw Stamped Ribbon Spay Neuter Awareness Bracelet (B171)
$89.95
Designed with beautiful blue Swarovski Crystals, white pearls, sterling silver Bali bead star caps and a uniquely adorable paw stamped awareness ribbon toggle clasp. The bracelet measures 8".

Light blue is the support color for raising awareness of spaying and neutering your pet.

It's the responsible thing to do -spay and/or neuter your pet. In the U.S., there is an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year, with only about half of them being adopted out. It's a tragic ending that we, as individuals, have the power to change through the simple act of having our beloved pets spayed and/or neutered.

Spaying and/or neutering our pet(s) helps to save the lives of millions of homeless animals each year. Your purchase from this new awareness collection helps to make a difference and I thank you in advance for your support.

Have you rescued/adopted a pet? I'd love to hear your story. Sometimes it's the individual stories of animals that inspire my designs. Leave a comment below.

Photographing Beaded Jewelry & Pearls

If you are a jewelry designer or artisan, you know how absolutely frustrating it can be to get beautiful pictures of your designs. Quite by chance, I started having a discussion with Pearl over at the Beading Gem's Journal about the subject of photographing beaded jewelry, more specifically pearls. As if photographing jewelry wasn't hard enough as it is, pearls -they're a whole other ball game!

So, Pearl (yes, that is her name! ironic isn't it?!) decided to help me out by featuring my photography setup and photo results for Crystal Allure Designs using a before and after picture. The idea and hope of the post was to get some feedback from other designers (or even a professional photographer or two?) as to their experience in photographing their jewelry.
We would all love to hear your tips, tricks and comments. So head on over to the Beading Gem's Journal and participate in the discussion of "Taking good pictures of pearls is such a challenge!" (Photographic Inspirations, Part 2 of 3).

Thanks for the help Pearl and for featuring Crystal Allure Designs!

Unchain My Heart Gemstone Beaded Earrings: Jade and Rose Quartz

Unchain My Heart Gemstone Earrings: Jade Rose Quartz
Inspired by heart jewelry recently created by fellow blogger and artisan, Pearl, over at the Beading Gems Journal, last night I designed some lovely heart gemstone earrings. Available in both a Rose Quartz Heart and a Jade Heart, they are the perfect Valentine's Day gift for your sweetheart. Or if you simply love hearts, pick up a pair for yourself!

Only 1 pair is available in each gemstone.

Designed with sterling silver ear wires and a pair of intertwined chains, each showcases a lovely petite gemstone heart.

I'm a true romantic at heart and personally, I'm a sucker for all things hearts and love related. I believe you have one shot in life to find that one true love -that soul mate. I was lucky (after a few road bumps and detours) to find that man.

Although the song goes "unchain my heart, set me free", I prefer to think of it as "unchain my heart, let me breathe". If you love someone that much and they love you back that much, you don't want to be set free, you just need to step back, breathe, and put your love into perspective. If it was meant to be, everything else will fall into place.

Whether you have found that one true love or you are still hot on his trail, when love is in the air you can't help but feel feminine and beautiful. Celebrate your womanhood and adorn your lovely, alluring, beautiful self with these heart gemstone earrings from Crystal Allure Jewelry!
Unchain My Heart Jade Gemstone Earrings (E256-G)
Unchain My Heart Jade Gemstone Earrings (E256-G)
$27.95
Handcrafted beaded earrings feature a pair of romantic jade gemstone hearts dangling from a pair of entangled sterling silver chains. A lovely gift for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day! Sterling silver earwires. Length is 1-1/4" from the bottom of the earwire.
Unchain My Heart Rose Quartz Gemstone Earrings (E256-P)
Unchain My Heart Rose Quartz Gemstone Earrings (E256-P)
$27.95
This pair of handcrafted beaded earrings feature a set of romantic rose quartz gemstone hearts dangling from a pair of entangled sterling silver chains. Not only are these earrings  a lovely gift for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day -they make a great gift for yourself as well! Sterling silver earwires. Length is 1-1/4" from the bottom of the earwire.

Studio Friday: New Beaded Jewelry

What a week it's been. Whew, am I ever glad it's over. For the last month and a half to two months, I have been fiddling with Facebook to get a dedicated URL for the Crystal Allure business page. And this week, I was determined to figure it out -what a fiasco that was! Geeze. But, you know what? Every where I turned with questions on the internet or to friends...it was the same thing -Facebook, well, sucks. No better way to put it. There is absolutely no help along the way, the instructions are pretty much none existant and on some features, once you change it -you can never go back.

Needless to say, in the end, I had to create yet another "personal" account to be able to change the business page URL and even that didn't come out exactly as I had planned. BUT, it's done and now the shiny spankin' new Facebook URL is (drum roll, please...): www.facebook.com/CrystalAllure. Now it's even easier to stay connected and informed. The best part is that from time to time, I will be offering only Facebook fans particular specials and offers. So become a fan today and don't miss out.

I've been so focused on this Facebook thing (which by the way, will be a separate post that just might help someone else someday) I can't even remember what I was doing before all this. *sigh*.........(I'm thinking......)......Oh wait, moment of clarity. I had tweaked and updated the Crystal Allure website, improved some photos and added almost a whole new page of beaded jewelry! Ah yes, the real reason for my artistic endeavor -to create beutiful beaded jewelry that I can share with the world!

As a teaser, pictured at left are the new Cherry Garcia Artisan Lampwork Beaded Earrings. A delicious mix of lampwork glass beads and tasty Swarovski Austrian Crystals! There were a few other new lampwork earrings, two new 3-pc beaded jewelry sets, new cystic fibrosis awareness jewelry and new gemstone bracelets to enjoy.

Shop all New Beaded Jewelry Designs

The best part is I still have many more pieces to picture and get posted, so more beaded jewelry is on the way! As well, while tweaking the website, I did get a better glance at the fact that many of the categories are quite low on pieces (for example, the Crystal Ice Collection and Bridal). So, I'll be focusing on those, in addition to, the awareness jewelry collection in the coming weeks.

Our Second Passion -Helping Animals!

The Verona Street Animal Society for the City of Rochester Animal Services is holding their 2nd annual Frosty Paws fundraiser to raise necessary funds to help animals in their shelter.

The details of the event are below and even if you can't make it, a donation of any size will surely help the animals! As most of you know, I (we...my husband and I) are big animal lovers and we do whatever we can to help out. So, when Chris contacted me about a pair of earrings I had donated, to a past fundraiser that no one claimed, and asked if I wouldn't mind they put them in the upcoming Frosty Paws fundraiser for auction, of course my answer was 'absolutely'!

But I wanted to take it one step further. By chance I still had some of the beads in stock that were in the earring design and offered to make a coordinating bracelet for a matched set. Surely, that would auction for more than a single pair of earrings. Although my husband and I have other plans for the day and will miss the event, I was very happy to still be "participating" by helping the animals through my jewelry donation. Bid high attendees! Your donations make a big impact in helping animals!! Another great way to help is to welcome one of their animals into your home -every animal deserves to live a good, happy and loving life.

All our pets are rescues from various animal shelters/organizations, in fact, three of them are from the Rochester Animal Services. Our dog, Lucy; and our brother cats, Sweetie Pie and Cookie Toe. Each one of them give our lives so much enrichment, happiness, love and much more. Although they can all be little stinkers from time to time, but that's what makes each one unique and such a joy to be in our lives!










Fundraiser Details--------------------------------------------
2nd Annual Frosty Paws Winter Carnival
Presented by Invisible Fence Brand

When: Saturday, January 23, 2010 / 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Where: ARTISANworks, 565 Blossom Road Suite L, Rochester, New York 14610

Visit: http://www.artisanworks.net/ for information on the venue.

What: Join us for an evening of musical fare, mystic carnival entertainment and great food and wine. In support of Rochester's furry friends, the Frosty Paws Winter Carnival is complete with silent auction, tarot card reader, henna artist, and animal psychic all among the magnificent artistic surroundings of ARTISANworks! It's an evening you won't want to miss. Tickets are on sale now.

BUY TICKETS at Rochester Animal Services or at www.vsas.org

When purchasing tickets online, be sure to include "Frosty Paws" in the donation Purpose field so we know that you're buying a ticket!

From Couch Measurements to New Dining Room Set!

You ever have a specific list of things you wish to do over the weekend and end up not doing much from that list?! Well, that was me this past weekend. Studio Friday was spent very productively updating the Crystal Allure website, as well as, learning new tools to promote the site. But, come saturday morning, I was in a "get out and do something" mood. Which we did. So let's consider this an early birthday present! :-)

My husband and I ran some errands, one of which was to get some general couch measurements. But then I saw this table set. It's not like I haven't seen other sets over the years, but this time, this set, I dunno....ohhhh, I love it! I have been wanting a bigger table since the day we moved into our new house. We already had a table (onlys seats 4) when we moved but we entertain alot. I've lived with the smaller table for just about nine years now and when I saw this table -it was love! Okay, maybe a little dramatic there but you get the idea.

To be sure this was the table set for us and our needs, we did the right thing and shopped other stores for comparable pieces -and in our area they are all pretty well known furniture stores. The first store, I was shocked. For the prices, it looked like they were made of toothpicks. The second store, tables were better but didn't like anything. The last store specializes in dining furniture but again, nothing comparable or anything that caught our interest. So, we came to the conclusion that if we were going to get a new set, this set made the most sense.

It had all the features we wanted:
-More seating, removable leaf/leaves, seat at least 6 but much prefer 8 (this was top priority)
-Black and wood style (less black, more wood)
-A darker wood (since our existing set is a pale blond solid oak)
-Matching pieces (china, hutch, etc) that would accomodate all my crystal and holiday dishes, etc
-Something unique, looks different, not boxy or mission style (preferably, country-ish, french-country)
-Cloth seats (not required but would be nice)

Bonuses:
-It matches/coordinates with our door valance
-It coordinates with a few other rooms we have already redecorated
-It's definately a study set, has a rugged type weight to it

We also decided to opt out of the traditional china cabinet set up to be different and we just got the hutch. Oh, and those lamps you partially see on the hutch...got those too! Must be "old age" or something but I don't really like to put together a room from various places anymore. If I can find it all in one spot -all the better!

The other piece was even a little more unusual. It's called a "book shelf" but it really looks like a glass front jelly cabinet. The doors slide super easy and although it has a lot of glass area and is a little taller than I had planned, I think it's a great addition and will appropriately serve it's function. My only complaint. I wish the glass was that new antique-ish, bubbled type glass. We saw it on some country-ish style pieces. But, no biggie. At least now when we have friends over we can all sit at the table! No hauling in two-6 foot tables to accommodate, unless of course, it's a much bigger gathering.

Now is the chore of clearing out the old pieces, getting them pictured and trying to sell them. But, the excitement of getting the new pieces is like christmas all over again! Can't wait to get them! I'll post pictures of both the old and new dining room sets after I get the new ones set up.

Through all this excitement, I did somehow manage to get some pictures of new jewelry that will be posting soon. A few pieces have already gone up and more are coming.

Pay Cash For Your Jewelry Purchase!

It's a New Year and with it comes new resolutions and goals. For some, that might be to use your credit cards less. Personally, I only use my credit cards online for the security. I mean you really don't want to send your payment using your debit card, right?

But -there's an even better way to make your online purchases, securely AND, pay in cash. How? Use the e-check option through PayPal. Yes, you will need an account, but who doesn't have an account these days with PayPal?

So what is an e-check? An eCheck is just like a regular check. Payment comes directly from your bank account and it usually takes three to five business days to clear.

How do you pay with an e-check? First, you need to link your bank account to your PayPal account. Then log in to your PayPal account and:
1. Click Send Money.
2. Enter the required information.
3. Click Continue.
4. Click Change.
5. Select eCheck.
6. Click Continue.
7. Review the information and click Send Money to complete the transaction.
This method is both secure and easy. Merchants get paid but they never see your bank account details. They won’t even know what bank you use.

Shop CrystalAllure.com with confidence. At checkout, simply select "PayPal" for your payment method and log into your account. From there, follow the steps above and you can pay cash for your transaction -as if we were standing right next to each other!

Love You....and won't you Be Mine?

It's been tough getting back into the groove after the holidays, but I'm getting there. During my holiday down-time, I did manage to get organized and now there is a whole slew of new beaded jewelry to get pictured for the website...so stay tuned.

Is it just me or do you love Valentine's Day too? Yeah, yeah, it is all commercial -but for us romantics....it's a day to celebrate love and all the specialness that comes with being in love (and well, I think I speak for most ladies when I say, some sparklies don't hurt either!). Remember too those fun little candy conversation hearts we gave in our grade school Valentine's celebrations? It was so fun to read the messages and the colorful hearts were pretty tasty too.
Love You Heart Charm Crystal Pearl Bracelet Set (BES5)
Love You Heart Charm Crystal Pearl Bracelet Set (BES5)
So, with Valentine's Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your sweethearts' gift. If you are longing to say, I "Love You" but want it to be memorable, give your sweetheart the Love You Heart Charm Crystal Pearl Bracelet Set (BES5). This unique one-of-a-kind design incorporates a woman's desire for a more sophisticated piece of jewelry that sparkles, in a classic pearl and crystal bracelet with a playful conversation heart that reads, "Love You".
Be Mine Heart Charm Crystal Pearl Bracelet Set (BES4)
Be Mine Heart Charm Crystal Pearl Bracelet Set (BES4)
Not quite at that point in your relationship? Or simply have a special friend you wish to express how you feel? How about the Be Mine Heart Charm Crystal Pearl Bracelet Set (BES4). This unique one-of-a-kind beaded bracelet is similar to the "Love You" style except it showcases a pink crystal instead of a red crystal.

With both bracelets you get a matching pair of sterling silver, pearl and crystal earrings.

No matter which you choose, you can't go wrong. Not only do you express your love, and give a sparkling gift, you also give her something to treasure for years to come. But hurry, to ensure your sweethearts' gift arrives in time for Valentine's Day, you'll need to place your order no later than February 8, 2010.

As my gift to you, from now until February 8, 2010 you can save 10% on either bracelet set and you'll receive a delicious chocolate truffle in your shipment. No coupons needed.