I Can See Clearly Now...

It'll happen to everyone at some age right? The need for assistance with reading -a tad of magnification -glasses. I found myself in this position recently because of my desk set up at work. The screen is just too far away and rather than lean in (a very uncomfortable position I must say), I chose to go the fashionable route.

I knew my good friend, Barb, would set me up with some fabulously stylish glasses. Barb and I actually worked together "many moons" ago at an opticians office. That was my first 'career' and I loved it. Now that I think about it, not sure why I left it...probably the pay scale -hey a single woman has to make the dough so she can survive!

Anyhow, part of my job at that time was frame stylist. I was always brutally honest and that is what all my customers loved about me. They would always say they had never worked with anyone who was so honest and I simply told them, for the money they were investing in frames, they should look good! AND, they should really consider glasses like any other accessory. They're not just glasses. They're an accessory that speaks volumes to the onlooker -are you bold, shy, vibrant, classic? Glasses should fit your personality -your style and make you want to wear them. I don't recall anyone ever coming back unhappy.

Although I was in the optical field, I have never worn glasses. Until now. So I turned to my good friend to help me narrow down the choices -and be brutally honest with what really looked good on me. And as I already knew I would be, I'm extremely happy with both pairs!

Both are JLo frames, one is black metal with stars engraved into the sides. I call these the professional glasses. Very classic but chic. The other pair are my funky studio glasses. A mix of turquoise and burgundy. I know. It looks brown but it's really not. It's more of a very deep burgundy with a touch of brown.

Since they are just readers, the big question is -do I wear them regularly? Well, yes and no. The professional ones, I do at work -or else I'll be leaning over the keyboard tray! The funky ones, since they are the only ones I have at home, I do tend to leave them either in the living room or my studio. So, those are not always used like they should be, mainly because they are never where I need them to be. Hmmm...maybe I need meself another pair! Oh Barb....

Another confession. I know I said I was going to have some new brand designs up around the beginning of April, but...I've had a problem with tendonitis and it just doesn't seem to be going away. The good news is, I already have anywhere from 40-50 pieces that I just have to get pictured and posted. So, new jewelry is still going to be posted. It just might not be the new brand designs I was hoping to get done.

The Beauty of Spring Design Partner Gallery

Remember my interpretation of spring in my Freshwater Pearl Handmade Necklace design through the Artbead's blogging program? Well, they created a Beauty of Spring design gallery on Facebook to showcase the many fabulous designs from other blogging partners. At last count there was 129 inspiring photos and I was flattered to have my jewelry design showcased as the album cover! Thanks Artbeads!

The various interpretations were quite fascinating and if you click on the individual photos, you'll be shown a link to the artisan's original blog post about their design. As you might suspect, the theme of spring produced elements of butterflies, birds, flowers and more mixed with various techniques that included, beading, wire-work and beadweaving.

And the NEW Winner is....

It has been slightly over a month now since the guest post for Jewelry by Jackie and almost a month since the first winner was chosen. Sadly, this person never contacted me but I suppose that's good news for....ReBecca!! As chosen by random.org, a big congratulations to ReBecca for winning the Tracy Iolite Earrings.

It is my understanding that ReBecca's earrings have been shipped and I asked her to stop back by the Crystal Allure Studio Blog and leave a comment on her wonderful new pair of handmade earrings. Hope to hear from you ReBecca!

So why so long before a new winner was chosen? Well, first I tried to give the first name chosen a little more time than initially given to contact me. Second, after consultation with Maria from Bella Business Branding, I found myself in the middle of a full-on rebranding project. You probably noticed some of the changes as soon as you visited the Studio Blog. No worries though, an official announcement will be given in the first few days of April -pssst, with a great offer too!

Plus, if the truth be told...I've been trying to enjoy some of the scarce sunshine we rarely seem to get here in Western New York. Happy Spring!!

Spring brings forth a New Brand for Crystal Allure

What started out as a "freshening up" of the Crystal Allure brand, has turned into a full-on website, logo and brand restyling project! Before the end of March I'll be introducing a new brand for Crystal Allure. Since this past friday, I have been working with a fabulous designer and I'm super excited to introduce her when the project is finalized.

As many of you know, the concept of Crystal Allure came about because of my love for Swarovski crystal. My goal with Crystal Allure was to offer luxury handmade jewelry at affordable prices, with a variety of styles to choose from that ranged between beaded to wire-wrapped. I can't even count the number of times I've changed the website look, but over the years, as we all do, we learn something new everyday. While I sat looking at the website this past week, I had a "gee...." moment and decided Crystal Allure is ready to take the next step to further the success of the brand and company. I hope you will be as excited as I am and rest assured, the brand may look different but you will continue to receive beautiful, quality handmade jewelry and personalized customer service.

Reflecting my love for Swarovski, I happened to stop in the local Swarovski retail store this past weekend and picked up the pen pictured above. I was told it has over 500 crystals in the top of the pen! Now that makes for a stylish writing instrument! Hmmmm....I wonder if it could write in sparkling ink?!

Crystal Allure Jewelry now accepts Google Checkout!

I'm very happy to announce we now accept Google Checkout. As with everything it seems, it has been a long time coming but it's finally here! When you are ready to checkout you now have the option to "Go To Payments", pay by PayPal or choose "Google Checkout" to checkout with well...Google!

I should probably warn you too that I have been tinkering (once again) with the website. In fact, I've changed it slightly twice in the last three days and now I'm looking at possibly re-branding. As I sat looking at the site today, a light bulb went off and I realized I didn't think the site look was conveying what I wanted. So, I've begun exploring new options and quite possibly you'll see something new coming down the road.

In light of these changes, I'd LOVE to hear from you. I'm looking to hear your thoughts on what you think, feel, "see" when you think of "Crystal Allure Jewelry"? Feel free to contact me directly or leave a comment below. Any thoughts on the current look is greatly appreciated too.

Update: Effective 6/26/12 Google Checkout has become Google Wallet