The Adorned Article Fine Handcrafted Sterling Silver and Gemstone Jewelry

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New Rosary Design & A Magpie Complex

My new shiny baby...

I'm normally mortified (and maybe a tiny bit nauseated) when I see blog posts that read like badly written product ads wherein the author is blatantly congratulating themselves on a job well done. So I'm mildly disgusted with myself right now-even as I continue to type up this post-which at best could be described as shameless self-promotion. Despite my trepidation I do intend to share one of my newly minted rosary designs with you and I hope that you will forgive me for saying that I love this particular piece. So much so in fact that it's pretty much all I can do to keep myself from ferreting it away with the rest of my jewelry hoard where no one will ever ever find it and where I can stop by occasionally to admire it's sparkly goodness...really what I need to do is find it a good home with a woman who will love it and take care of it...someone with the ability to appreciate this level of shiny.
If you happen to be such a woman and also happen to be reading this blog post-drop by my website so we can begin the adoption proceedings...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lovely Clusters Spring/Summer 2012 Catalog

Lovely Clusters has just published their Spring/Summer 2012 Catalog and I really recommend that you go take a look~it can be found right here:
http://issuu.com/lovelyclusters/docs/lc-summerspring2012/31
It's a beautifully curated collection of handcrafted jewelry, apparel, paper goods and housewares~arranged by lovely colors like carnation pink, mint green, tomato red and summer sky blue. It's filled with Pinterest-Worthy eye candy and also happens to include a few pieces from my Rosary Collection as well as some of my keepsake jewelry. (Of course this post is not selfishly motivated in the least) But truly I think Rachel Follett did a gorgeous job and I know it must have taken quite a bit of time and a lot of hard work on her part so Thank You Rachel! Don't forget to drop by her website: http://www.lovelyclusters.com and have a look around♥ But before you go and leave me scroll down a bit and have a look at this preview of the Lovely Clusters Spring/Summer 2012 Catalog...







































Saturday, March 10, 2012

Artist Spotlight-The Wildasins

















Meet Aaron and Nicole Wildasin, a husband and wife team of multi-talented artists and owners of The Wildasins shop on Etsy. Aaron & Nicole were kind enough to answer a few questions for us AND they were also awesome enough to pass along a coupon code just for you-my fabulous readers!Use code ADORNED15 for 15% off anything in their shop! You can also find The Wildasins- On their Website, their Photography Blog, their Food Blog and on Facebook

Early Morning Light Fine Art Print
                                                                  
Please tell us a little bit about yourselves…

We are Aaron and Nicole Wildasin, a husband and wife team of photographers, designers, and artisans. We've known each other since 6th grade, went to college together, and now live with our two awesome cats in Denver, Colorado. We run our Etsy shop with the branding of Live Beautifully where we sell all natural handmade body products, fine art prints, and handmade antique brass jewelry.   

You have multiple product lines-can you tell us what appeals to you about each of these mediums & if you have a favorite?
Summer Fields Solid Perfume

 




















It's too hard to pick a favorite medium :) We both have a degree in graphic design and I suppose the artist in us enjoys photography the most. Being able to express yourself visually, blending and interacting with reality and how you can perceive it is one of the coolest things and our fine art photography helps satisfy that.  
Foggy Ferris Dream Fine Art Print
     
 That being said, we absolutely adore our live beautifully body product line and want to see it grow exponentially! We didn't set out to be perfumers and body product artisans, it happened really organically and out of the blue and it hooked us right away. It was so much fun designing the overall look and feel of the brand, styling each scent's photo shoot to convey the smell and personality of each line… Not to mention, making and experimenting with scents!

The handmade jewelry that we feature on our site is the creative achievement of my (Nicole's) mother, Shoshana Drummer. She has such wonderful style and unique designs for her jewelry, when she asked us to help her sell them, we knew they would just fit in beautifully with the overall vintage french boutique look and feel of our store. Photographing and modeling her jewelry was amazing. We love the soft, feminine feel of every piece.
Sweet Cream & Berries Lip Balm
When/how did you make the decision to open a shop on Etsy?

There are so many amazing and talented artists and crafters on Etsy. It started with being super inspired, then growing slightly jealous of those out there who were able to just jump for it and put their work out there. Being successful doing what you love for yourself is the most rewarding thing in the world and it's worth working towards.                                                                   

What is your favorite part of running a business with your spouse? What do you find most challenging?

The best thing about working with each other on our business is we both know that we have the same set of goals, principals, and aesthetic. We can rely on each other whole-heartedly and put our trust in each other. That, and having your best friend on hand at any time for a laugh, a critique, or a break is awesome!
Antique Brass Earrings




















 The worst or hardest thing that we have found is knowing when to turn off the work and just be ourselves, husband and wife, again. We spend most of our day being partners and co-workers, it's hard to snap out of at the end of the day. It's super important to make sure you set aside time for yourselves to just be you not working, not thinking about the million little things you have to do.
Dark Gossamer Wings Fine Art Print

How do you promote your work?

We're learning what works and what doesn't work right now. Unfortunately, being a smaller start up business, we don't necessarily have the funds for advertisements. We rely on our Facebook page, word of mouth, wonderful blog friends who help us promote, and Etsy's marketing tools. Renewing items on Etsy is super helpful. We've noticed the most views at our store after continual renewals. Now that spring is almost here, we will definitely be trying our hand at craft shows and art fairs in the Denver area.
Fine Art Print Nature Botanical, Blue


 

















Do you have any advice or tips for artists wanting to start their own business?

Know what you want to sell and be true to yourself and your artistic abilities and style. There are a LOT of sellers on Etsy and it can be hard to differentiate yourself. Be unique without copying other's work and ideas and take really good pictures of your work! There is a lot of poor photography on Etsy and it can hurt your chances of a sale. Also - have a plan in mind for your business! Know where you want your business to go, can it be sold in brick and mortar stores as well? How can you expand or handle large amounts of sales? Knowing the answers to these questions, or at least thinking about them, before you even begin is a great step.
Cotton Candy Dreaming Lip Balm















Where do you want to be in five years?

Hopefully, we will be doing more of what we love but on an even grander scale! When you passionately believe in something as strongly as we do about our business and our products, failure is simply not an option. We see us growing our body product line and being in brick and mortar stores nation-wide. We see needing to hire on extra help down the road to keep up with demand. Hopefully, these all come true and we can keep living our dream and working together doing what we love!

Is there anything else you want people to know about you?

We love to cook together and try to make something super awesome and unique about once a week. We chronicle our cooking adventures with lovely food photography and printable recipe cards on our food blog, 'food, beautifully' which is here: foodbeautifully.blogspot.com/  We are avid hikers and love the mountains of Denver! We just moved here late last year from Cleveland, Ohio and we are just so unbelievably more inspired here. The sunshine, the fresh air, it really helps to be somewhere that you love to feel more at peace with yourself. Our cats think it's pretty awesome here, too!
Solid Lotion Bars Sweet Strawberry Honeysuckle

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring!

I may be rushing it a little bit-but I'm tired of waiting for Spring to arrive here in uber rainy Seattle. I get so sick of how grey everything is-I mean really I just need a little color. So keeping that in mind-I hope it's understandable why I went a little crazy over the weekend making way too many brightly colored gemstone pendants...Yes I did make them every color of the rainbow (except yellow-I'm apparently out of yellow) so I guess this is what happens when you have cabin fever and access to a large quantity of gemstones?? I think this is one of those moments when I can't decide if it was a cool idea or a really bad idea...



Amthyst & Gold Filled Custom Initial Pendant





Garnet & Sterling Silver Custom Initial Pendant

Shaded Carnelian & Sterling Silver Custom Initial Pendant

Peridot & Gold Fill Custom Initial Pendant

Iolite Blue Quartz & Gold Fill Custom Initial Pendant


Shaded Amethyst & Sterling Silver Custom Initial Pendant


Labradorite & Oxidized Sterling Silver Custom Initial Pendant















Smoky Quartz & Sterling Silver Custom Initial Pendant











Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fancy Wire Wrapped Pendant Tutorial

This may be more of a moderately fancy wire wrapped pendant than an outright fancy pendant but I suppose that's a matter of opinion. This necklace is made with sterling silver wire, a tiny smoky quartz rondelle & a light beer quartz briolette-I suspended this one from a pretty little sterling silver cable chain but you can use silk cord, ribbon or whatever you like. This tutorial is in PDF format so please feel free to download it, share it or repost it... all I ask is that you be nice about it and link back to my blog, that you not make any changes to it and that you refrain from using it for commercial purposes. If any of this is confusing or unclear just drop me a comment and I'll explain in greater detail. The finished necklace and others like it are available on my website http://www.shop.theadornedarticle.net/ 
Oh just one little reminder before you start making your pendant-be sure you make your loop big enough for your chain/cord/ribbon to fit through or remember to attach it before you close the loop. Otherwise it won't fit and then you'll be sad and we don't want that.   xoxo~S


Wire Wrapped Pendant Tutorial

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Linky Followers Blog Hop/Google Friend Connect Alternatives For Bloggers

As you all probably know by now, Google Friend Connect is going to be disappearing for anyone not on Blogspot as of February 29th. Horrifying and completely heinous I agree. After recovering from my initial panic-I stumbled upon this awesome little blog hop hosted by It's so Very Cheri and learned about Linky Followers-so even if Google Friend Connect disappears entirely. I feel much calmer now.


Here are the Rules!
 


1. You must have the LINKY FOLLOWERS tool on your site to participate.If you see that your link has been deleted you need to add the LINKY FOLLOWER tool to your site and then come back over and re-enter your link. You can have both the LINKY FOLLOWERS & GFC on your site but you must have the LINKY FOLLOWERS tool to participate in this party hop.

2. You must follow the person who has the party on their site as a thank you.

3. Just add your blog button to the LINKY PARTY below.

4. Then grab the BLOG HOP code.You will find the code right under the Linky Party where it says CLICK HERE TO ENTER–just under that it says: WHAT IS A BLOG HOP? GET THE CODE HERE

5. Click on GET THE CODE HERE and enter it into a post on your site.You can grab the party button code in the FOOTER at Its So Very Cheri

6. Follow other bloggers–(as many as you want)–leave each one of the blogs that you follow a comment letting them know you are following them and ask them to follow you back.

If you want to add the BLOG HOP to your own site you will get lots of new followers–(see rule #2)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Artist Spotlight-The Orange Windmill Handbound Leather Journals & Notebooks

Meet Shirley Lynne the artist and shop owner behind The Orange Windmill.  This talented creator of gorgeous leather journals, housewife and stay-at-home-mom, has graciously lent us some of her precious free time to tell us a little more about herself and her Etsy Shop-The Orange Windmill. Click on the link above to visit her gorgeous shop, drop by her Facebook Page & grab a coupon code or follow her on Twitter.


Lime Green Embossed Leather Journal Gift Set















 Please tell us a little bit about yourself:
My name is Shirley, and I live in Hamilton, Ontario. I am a housewife and stay-at-home-mom to two extraordinary children. I started The Orange Windmill in August 2011 selling handmade leather journals. Before I became a mom, I worked in the administration field. My ideal job would be to work in an old library, full of classics and manuscripts, with the smell of the pages lingering all around... mmm...

How did you first get started making journals?
I wanted to buy a journal, since the journal I had been using was almost full. I started looking around, and then my husband said to me, "Why don't you make a journal, instead of buying it?" And that started it all! Although, I did take my time in researching the different styles of binding, covers, paper, etc. before I made my first journal. And after I made that journal, I knew I was going to open up shop, selling them - I LOVED it.

Shiny Black Embossed Leather Journal


Can you walk us through your creative process?
My creative process is pretty much the same for each journal, it doesn't matter what size it is. I play with what colour of leather I want to use, and which colour thread and closure I want to use, and how many pages. Then I cut the leather down to the size I need. The pages are then torn down to size. I measure and poke the holes in the leather and pages. Then the binding begins (my favourite part!). Then I make and "install" the closure. And, Voila! It really is sort of cut and dry.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? 
My inspiration really comes from the leather. Almost every day, you can find me looking at different colours and styles of leather, finding the pieces I want to work with. When I get the leather, I look at the piece I need to cut to form the cover, and it all blooms from there.

Small Mocha Leather Journal

 
What’s your favorite part about running your own business? What do you find most difficult?
My favourite part about running my own business is the enjoyment that my customers get out of the journals I make for them. There's nothing like that feeling of accomplishment, knowing that people will pay me their hard earned money for one of my journals!
The most difficult is finding time! My kids are 3 years old and 10 months old, and I don't have a lot of time for creating or networking or marketing, etc. So when I have that time, I have to be really careful not to let the time get away from me, and manage my time very well.



Blue Hardcover Coptic Stitch Journal

Do you have any advice or tips for artists wanting to start their own business?
I would tell anyone starting their own business (specifically a shop on Etsy) to get everything prepared first. Build up some inventory. Figure out your branding, your business cards, your shop banner and avatar, your policies, everything. Once that is all done, then open your shop.
Also, do what you LOVE to do. Don't create something just because it sells (even though that's tempting!). I could sell the items I paint. However, if they sell, I would have to make them over and over and over and over again, I would end up hating it! So do something you really enjoy doing, so that when you are doing it so often, it's not a chore.

Large Orange Handbound Leather Journal

Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you?
Here are a few things that I love: campfires (without the mosquitoes), burnt marshmallows, a good book, napping, classical music, and interior design.Thanks so much, Samantha, for giving me the chance to get to know you and your readers!


Turquoise Embossed Leather Journal Gift Set


Monday, February 20, 2012

Gemstone Shopping


Admittedly-it has been a little too long since I last ordered new gemstones for my jewelry. This is a problem-not only in a business sense-but also in the sense that I have a very serious gemstone habit that is beginning to rear it's gorgeous shiny head. At any rate this means that I will be obliged to make a rather large gemstone purchase very soon. It'll be nice to take a break from some of the darker winter colors and start using some pretty springtime pastels in my jewelry. Here are some of my favorites for Spring 2012♥

Faceted Puffed Prehnite Briolettes



Gorgeous AAA Labradorite



Faceted Pink Opal Briolettes



Sky Blue Topaz



Basket Cut Lemon Quartz Briolettes



And given it's been an exceptionally dreary winter-as much sunstone as I can get my hands on...