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Friday, March 28, 2008

Cuddle Baby Boutique

This is just one of the cutest stores I've ever seen.

Specialising in baby to toddler blankets and other items for your little one.

The owner of this delightful store is a stay-at-home mom with two little girls. She grew up in Sandy, Utah.

She says "I stay home with the kids and sew blankets and other items to try and make a little extra money. I just started this business and I hope that it will pick up soon. Besides that, I love being a wife and a mother and wouldn't want life any other way."

Come take a look you're be thrilled that you did

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Featured Artist - Sparkly Strandz

This is a lovely store stocking an eclectic mix of Jewellery, baby items and crocheted goods.

The owner of this store is a full time mum and a part-time occupational therapist. How she manages to look after 2 children and work part-time and still create all these wonderful items I really don't know.

She says "I've had a love for crafts, especially crochet for over 25 years ever since my grandmother taught me at age 5. It was probably the best thing she could have done for my parents because it would keep me busy for hours. During college, I developed a love for beads--not just because they're sparkly, but because beads have such a rich history to them from around the world, and can be made from almost anything imaginable. Also, as an occupational therapist, I am able to use a variety of crafts and activities in my therapy to make it more fun!"

In this store she has combined her love for crochet and beads and has started making jewelry, baby onesies, hats, and all sorts of gift items.

Drop in for a browse you wont be disappointed

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Featured Artist - Tiffany Teske

Tiffany is an extraordinarily talented photographer and this store certainly shows that.

Stocking a variety of photographic products including prints, cards, pendants and many more her skill is shown in every item.

Tiffany says "I have loved photography since I was given a 110 camera at the age of 7, to capture memories on a family trip. I studied ballet, creative writing, and art in high school but did not take photography classes. Instead, I was "the after school photography club" and was taught by a science teacher how to use the darkroom. The chemicals got into my blood, and after roaming the US for 5 years (Arizona, Florida, Connecticut, & New York) I settled in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, population 200, and home to Sugarloaf USA, and decided to go to University for.... nursing? Well, yes, I did start the pre req courses, but fate stepped in, and after one summer colour printing course and some credit mishaps on the school's part, I switched my major to photography. I graduated from the University of Maine at Augusta with both an Associate of Arts in Photography (Magna cum Laude) in 2000 and a Bachelor of Arts Joint BA in Art and Photography (Magna cum Laude) in 2002."

Now living in Banff, Alberta, Canada, with her husband and toddler, Quinlyn, and Tiffancy walks EVERYWHERE!!!

Come on don't delay visit this beautiful shop

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Feature Artist - Witty Workshop

This glorious store is owned by Valérie Parizeault. She is a Canadian Illustrator & designer from Montreal. She is also the owner of Rose Flash, Playfully spirited Jewelry (, a graphic designer AND an art teacher. She lives a very busy life!

Inspired by whimsical moments, children’s universes, friendship and mignonneries, She is truly living her dream life as an artist with her husband-cherie by her side and her black cat Tokyo (nicknamed minou) on my keyboard.

She says "I am also
- A Treehugger, a chocolate passionate, a coffee conoisseur (I've work several years as a Prima barista), a French Canadian, a daydreamer, a wannabe yoga wiz (not there yet!), a good cook...

I love: Feist & Coral Egan (singers), reading really late, antiques of all sorts(I collect them), all things graphic design-related, especially typo, shoes, graphic patterns, blogging and taking pictures.

I dislike: the word hate, electronic cords, talking on the phone, the smell of celeri, waiting in line, beer, over talkers and drama queens."

Come visit this shop you really wont be disappointed

Monday, March 17, 2008

Featured Artist - Cryztalvisions

This stunning store and all the glorious items found here are the work of artist Beth Alexander.

Fascinated by crystals and stones for as long as she can remember.

Coming from a long line of artistic souls on her father's side of the family, her great grandmother was a very talented artist who started painting late in life. She left behind some amazing oil paintings that Beth will always treasure. She also painted and fired china. Beth says "she had a fantastic eye for detail and could paint tiny pictures small enough to fit on a thimble. My father was an accomplished, well rounded artist and crafts person and spent many years teaching art in the public school system."

Beth has been creating unique pieces of jewelry for almost 20 years now, and is still excited by the process. Along the way she has also been drawn to studying and practicing various energy healing arts, like Reiki, chakra balancing, Earth based energy medicine, shamanic practices, and Angel Therapy. She has found combining my love of minerals, her artistic eye and skill in jewelry fabrication and design, along with her heightened sensitivity to energies creates a powerful synergy.

Beth says "I delight in creating these pieces! Each one is unique, with its own energy that I feel as I work with the materials. They transport me to a place of deep knowing, relaxation and happiness as I work. My pieces not only look wonderful when worn, but also carry with them the special healing energies of each gemstone or crystal. My work is a constant exploration of the interconnectedness of all life."

So I recommend you visit this store at the first opportunity it really is lovely

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Featured Artist - Cigar Box Beads

This is a truly unique etsy store. Selling an absolutely stunning array of beaded jewellery this store is sure to have something you like.

Jewellery not your thing then check out the quirky Beaded Pixies, unique and intricately work. You wont be disappointed and they are sure to bring a smile to your face.

The owner of this store is a retired Home Ec teacher, a job she loved and now she is lucky to have found something else she loves.

She says "Beadweaving is my joy, along with knitting, crocheting, sewing AND being with our twin grand daughters. Not at the same time though, they love to 'help'! We do have 'crafting time' every day that I watch them, so I hope I'm instilling the love of creating in them."

Come along and check out this wonderful store

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Feature Artist - Katrina Lerman

The owner of this beautiful store comes from a family of makers and has been making jewelry since she was a little girl.

Originally from Germany, Katrina settled in Massachusetts, US almost ten years ago. She draws inspiration from her German childhood as well as from the time spent in the US. She finds that sometimes, photographs of finished jewelry pop into her mind and she has to quickly run to jot them down before they are gone. Other times, she may have an idea in mind and it takes a lot of drawings until she gets it figured out.

Katrina graduated from the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University in Boston with a Degree of Fine Arts in Interior Design. She says "Interior Design is all about color, form, and texture – and that’s what I’m integrating in my jewelry designs".

Now the mother of a beautiful baby girl, she tries to spend every free minute (and those of you who have a baby know that there are few) creating jewelry. Naturally, she has lots more time thinking than creating and so her sketch book is filling up with ideas for years to come.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Featured Artist - A Pretty Rock

This is a beautiful store, a pretty store. Here metal and stone are matched in perfect harmony.

Yazmin the owner of this shop is both a jewelry designer and a web designer/developer (since 1999.)

She has always been an artsy-crafty person, but the move into jewelry was almost unintentionally. In 2004, she went to the Yellow Daisy Festival for the umpteenth time and found a pair of beautiful hair chopsticks with beaded ends, and wore them for about a month straight.

She spent a lot of time thinking about the chopsticks and how to go about making her own. This led her to local stores, including bead shops...Many stones and wire later and here she and her beautiful store are

Friday, March 7, 2008

Featured Artist - Coconut Palm Designs

This shop sells a beautiful array of signs and Aceos. The signs are made with Belizean hard or soft woods and can be personalized for you.

The ACEOs, done in a variety of mediums and are original art works. Each is signed and dated on the back.

The owner is a Canadian living in Belize, Central America and also a graphic designer. She says "Woodworking and sign design is my newest crafting passion but art has been in my blood since birth.

Sign making has turned into a great outlet for my creative energies and finally I am using my graphic design training for something exciting."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What a Lovely Surprise!!!

The wonderful people at Wickedly Chic have featured a pair of my earrings in their Daily Ditties section.

Having browsed around this site I feel it's a huge compliment and will definitely be signing up for their newsletter. So why not pop along and not only see my earrings but also all the other wonderful information they've got there.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Featured Artist - Mommy and Me Boutique

This is a gorgeous store using beautiful fabrics and stocking a diverse range of items, you're sure to find something you 'must' have. Items include aprons, child and baby, blankets, clothing and accessories.

The owner says "I enjoy working with designer fabric and ribbons. My specialty is adult and toddler aprons; fun, funky, traditional, vintage. Other passions involve creating toddler skirts and baby items."

So why not pop along and checkout this beautiful store:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Featured Artist - Bella Dio

The owner of this sore is SAHM with 3 boys living in Indianapolis (struggle finding time to create and I only have 2 kids!!).
Six years ago she began playing around with beading during a play date with friends. She started out just making jewelry for herself and then giving them as gifts. As more people took interest in her work she started taking it more seriously.
A few years into crafting stringing no longer thrilled her, so she began making beads from polymer clay.
Branching out further she soon added wirework to her designs.

Down a different track she also designs t-shirts from drawings that she has done. Wanting to express her faith she has made designs that have scriptures in them, and are suitable for all age groups.

A stunning shop please drop by and take a look

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Caring for your Jewellery

It has come to my attention that although I have been making and selling jewellery for quite some time I have been very slack at providing information about caring for your precious items. It would be impossible for me to cover absolutely every aspect of the care of every metal, gemstone etc however this should cover the bulk of your information requirements.


Caring for your jewellery doesn't have to be hard. I recommend either using mildly soapy water for cleaning, then light polishing with a jewelry polishing cloth, or having your jewellery cleaned by a professional.

However, many other methods exist for cleaning jewellery. Please make sure that you use a method appropriate for your particular item, not all gemstones and pearls can be treated the same way.

Abridged version

1) Avoid scratching, banging, chemicals of all kinds, swimming pools, hot tubs, extreme temps, strenuous activity, and intense sunlight.

The chlorine and bromine in pools and hot tubs is particularly damaging to stones and metal, and will even damage solid gold.

2) Wipe your jewelry off with a soft cloth after you wear it.

3) Clean it regularly with mild soapy water, rinse really well, and pat dry with a soft cloth. Polish metals gently with a jewelry polishing cloth.

4) Store most jewelry in a reclosable plastic bag or cloth with anti-tarnish paper. More details below.

5) Some gemstones can change when exposed to direct sunlight, the following is a Partial list:

Amethyst - becomes paler
Ametrine - may become lighter or change colors
Aquamarine - becomes paler
Aventurine - some lighter varieties become paler
Beryl - brown/orange varieties may fade to pale pink
Celestite - becomes paler
Chrysoprase - becomes paler
Citrine - becomes paler/changes color
Hiddenite - becomes paler
Kunzite - becomes paler
Rose Quartz - becomes paler
Smoky Quartz - becomes paler

Some Specifics

Argentium Silver

Argentium Silver is highly tarnish-resistant and needs far less care than traditional sterling silver. You should be able to clean up your Argentium jewelry with a warm mildly soapywater, and restore its high shine with a polishing close. Make sure that you keep the cloths you use to clean Argentium purly for this purpose.

Traditional Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, and Gold

Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, and Gold can be cared for in much the same way as Argentium. You can use the following methods to clean and polish traditional .925 sterling silver, .999 Fine Silver, and gold filled, as well as gold:

  1. Commercial silver/gold cleaners. Be sure that any stones in the jewellery can withstand the chemicals in the cleaner. Read the label, and if in doubt, do not use a chemical cleaner. Some gemstones that cannot be placed in most commercial jewelry cleaners are: pearls, lapis lazuli, malachite, opals, coral, turquoise, and others.
  2. Ammonia and water. Use a light solution of ammonia and water on a toothbrush or soft cloth, then rinse thoroughly with water. Ammonia should not be used on the same types of gemstones that should not be used with commercial cleaners
  3. Jewellery cleaning cloth - use lightly to restore luster. Note: Do not press hard when polishing 14 karat gold filled so that you do not damage the gold surface.
  4. Additionally, tarnish can be retarded by storing your jewelry in the resealable plastic bag included with each piece, or in a commercial jewelry bag with anti-tarnish papers. Pearls and opals, however, should not be stored in plastic because they need to "breathe."

Copper and Brass

Both copper and brass are also incredibly easy to care for. While they do tarnish more quickly than sterling silver, it takes very little to restore that original shine easily.

  1. Commercial copper/brass cleaner. Be sure that any stones in the jewellry can withstand the chemicals in the cleaner or do not use it.
  2. Worcestershire sauce. Strange, yep sounds strange but the acid in the tomato in worcestershire sauce does a great job of cleaning copper and brass jewellery. This method should not be used with gemstones or pearls that cannot be cleaned with chemical cleaners, as the acid in the tomato of the worcestershire may affect more delicate stones.
  3. Ketchup. Another strange but but again the acid in the tomato of the ketchup shines up copper and brass quite nicely. Apply it with a toothbrush or soft cloth, then rinse thoroughly. Avoid getting ketchup on the same types of stones as should not be used with chemical cleaners. I'm not sure about it, but I expect the acid in the tomato might affect more delicate stones.
  4. No Worcestershire sauce or Ketchup then try this recipe for another kitchen cleaner that can be used for copper and brass. Add a few drops of lemon or lime juice to a container of water, then add a teaspoon of salt and stir gently. Place the jewellery in the solution for a few minutes, then remove and rinse thoroughly. If needed, the dip in the solution can be repeated. Again, this method should not be used with gemstones or pearls that cannot be cleaned with chemical cleaners.
  5. Pop your copper and brass items in a reclosable plastic bag or jewellery case with anti-tarnish paper to slow tarnishing.
The following is a partial list of gemstones that should not be subjected to chemical cleaning methods

Lapis Lazuli

The following is a partial list of gemstones that should not be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner

Lapis Lazuli
Tiger Eye
Black Onyx

Avoid ultrasound cleaning with any gemstones containing flaws. Always follow all the operating instructions for your cleaning machine.

I cannot stress strongly enough that if you have any doubts about whether your jewellery item can withstand your chosen cleaning method DON'T DO IT, take it to a jeweller who will be able to advise you regarding your item specifically or even carry out the cleaning for you

Feature Artist - elektrajewelry

This is an absolutely gorgeous store, a stunning variety of jewellery items all created by a lady who describes herself as a "sparkle freak".

The store owner, Dina, has a Greek background and has therefore been exposed Greek artisan jewelers from a very young age and her Greek background has influenced her love of 18k and 24k gold and her choice to work with gold vermeil (24k gold layered over sterling silver).

The owner of this store says "I chose the name Elektra for my shop because it means bright and shining. I make one of a kind jewelry pieces to accommodate many different styles and fashion trends. My time and energy is devoted to creating pieces that can be worn and enjoyed for years to come."

To see more of this beautiful jewellery and to find out more about the artist please visit her store at

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Feature Artist - Kalicat

A fellow member of the Art Jewelry Collective, an Etsy Street Team, Kalicat is an absolute inspiration. Her creations scream quality, care and class what more can you want from a piece of Jewelry.

Kalicat has trained in jewellery at Central St Martins and Hatton Gardens, in London. Mom of 2, she says: "I keep sane by painting and illustrating Fashion, jewelry-making and dreaming about all the things I will create in the near future".

Come visit her at
and also come and visit The Art Jewelry Collective at