Friday, October 5, 2012

“Yes, Officer, I Am An Accessory To. . .

Jeannie Bracelet 
Camille Grande Carpetbag

. . .Beautiful Fall Fashions.  But, you should know - I do have an accomplice - Mary Kaiser Designs!”

I  have known about Mary Kaiser’s gorgeous handbag designs for  20+ years. I was first introduced to her clever line at the Atlanta Mart when I was buying for my store.  Mary's designs are made  of the finest home furnishings fabrics and leathers, including Scalamandre, Clarence House & Lee Jofa - they are then embellished with a variety of trimmings including vintage ribbons and braids, velvet flowers, rhinestones, French jacquard trims, buttons and high quality Italian brass & leather hardware.  

Fast forward many years later and we happily reconnected again when I purchased a wonderful handbag from her that others love to call my “Mary Poppins Carpetbag”.  I unwittingly became one of Mary’s best PR agents - giving out her cards and website info to total strangers - a stylist from the Four Seasons Beverly Hills to the fashion mecca of Boston - Newbury Street.

Brezza Dolce Antique Vinaigrette Necklace 
Mary Bag #3

If you are looking to perk up an outfit - why not add a great piece of jewelry and one of Mary’s stunning and one-of-a-kind handbags.  Here. .  I have already done some of the homework for you.

Adorned Layering Necklace Set
Mary Bag #2

Natalie Earrings
Bebe Carpetbag #4

Cherish Collection
Bella Grande Carpetbag

Pastilles Bracelet
Aqua Rose Linen Tote

Nerissa Necklace
Mary Bag #6

Celeste Earrings
Nantucket Bebe Carpetbag

Pink Daisy Necklace
Caroline Grande Carpetbag

Violet Necklace
Lily Grande Carpetbag

Bryn Earrings
Bebe Carpetbag #6

Officer, If Mary and I are being brought in for questioning - perhaps we could at least  beautifully accessorize those dreary striped outfits and the orange jumpsuits!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Soiree Jewelry Sale

Custom Orders, Made-to-Order, Layaways & Prior Sales Are Not Included In This Sale

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dust Storm Designs

In addition to being 110-115 degrees this past week - the Phoenix/Scottsdale area has been graced with not one, but two of these lovely dust storms!  For those of you that have never experienced this weather phenomena - consider yourself lucky.  They usually occur late in the day (rush hour is a favorite time) and kick up winds and DUST like you cannot imagine.

My faithful design assistants - Asher & Olivia
Of course, both my little King Charles Spaniels consider this the absolute best time to ring the bell indicating they need to go outside - ugh!  They get so excited by the wind blowing everything around the yard (makes for a great game of “chase”) and don’t even seem to mind all the dust in their faces.  These dust storms or “Haboobs” usually occur right after I have had the patio furniture dusted and vacuumed.  I guess it is the law of probability - like when you finally have your car washed and it rains the same day!
The best plan of action when a storm approaches is stay inside and pray that the storm does not knock out your electricity and AC!  It is also a good time to work on new jewelry designs.

Sconset Market - filled with little gourmet goodies.

Hydrangeas grow in profusion on Nantucket

Sadly, this magnificent sculpture will be washed out to sea at high tide
Can you tell I have been dreaming of past summers spent on Nantucket?  Walking down to the Sconset Market early in the morning to pick up the newspaper and a pastry for breakfast - running into town to pick up some fresh flowers for guests arriving on the next ferry and strolling along Jetties’ Beach while enjoying some of the amazing sand sculptures.

Judy Dinnick's Sailor's Valentines are some of the most gorgeous I have ever seen.

Seychelles Sailor's Valentine Necklace consists of stick and baroque pearls and champagne citrine.  There is a glass crystal, but it is easier to photograph without!

It was during our 10 year sojourns to Nantucket that I discovered Sailor’s Valentines and I have been smitten ever since.  These little shell mosaic designs encased in old pocket watches allows me to  indulge two of my favorite things - shells and gemstones.

Sucrée Necklace - rough tourmaline nuggets and pink topaz

My last trip to the Tucson Gem Show resulted in finding some beautiful nuggets which I have been saving for a summer design.  Unique pink and green rough and organic tourmaline nuggets - several with crystals embedded in the nugget - are paired with delicate pink topaz rondelles to create a delicious necklace that looks good enough to eat!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Shades of Gray - My Newest Captivation

via this Ivy House

Gottmanshofen Maria Heimsuchung Grisaille

Grisaille Painting Capitol Cupola Fine Art Print Christiane Schulze

via Fleaing France

I realize there are legions of women that have recently become captivated by the book - 50 Shades of Gray.  If you thought you would be reading some comments and thoughts about the book - I hate to disappoint.  No Missy, this is about another type of seduction - my growing interest into the world of gray or grisaille.

Christies - Late Louis XV Commode

French Empire Lamps en Grisaille with Scenes From Robinson Crusoe

Grisaille Beadwork - Trinity Antiques on Ruby Lane


Source Unknown

My little odyssey began about 8 years ago, when we were house-hunting in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area.  We came across a house that had a gorgeous lead-gray living room that I immediately fell in love with.  The memory of that stunning Living Room has stuck in my mind and greatly influenced my more recent renovation of my Kitchen/Family Room.

Antique French Enamel Lockets, Pendants & Watch - Sources Unknown

I recently came across some photos of gorgeous French enamel grisaille lockets and pendants which, of course, were already sold.  I was able to snag one that has yet to be made up, but the scarcity of this enamel technique got me thinking.  I have a growing collection of mourning lockets with glass on both sides that could make beautiful frames for hand-painted grisaille motifs.  The Elyse Locket is my first attempt at integrating the grisaille techinque into one of these mourning lockets.

Elyse Necklace - Emeralds, Green Onyx, Pyrite & Freshwater Pearls.
Recently Commissioned Grisaille Watercolor Putti in Edwardian Silver Paste Locket.

Back View of Elyse Necklace Features a Byzantine Gold Vermeil Cross
Floating in a Sea of 1.5cts. of Minuscule Emeralds

The necklace is composed of gorgeous emeralds and green onyx beads interspersed with gray pearls flanking bezel set pyrite accents stationed along the chain.  A precious hand-painted grisaille watercolor of a mischievous little Putti was recently commissioned to marry the charming folklore of it’s antique counterparts with a beautiful Edwardian double glazed silver paste locket.  This stunning locket, replete with a charming bow top, is a perfect frame to showcase the miniature art - which is a study in shades of gray.  However, there is a very unique surprise on the other side - a diminutive Byzantine cross in 24k gold vermeil, floating in a sea of minuscule emeralds. An emerald briolette capped with a profusion of textural gold vermeil rings, hangs delicately from the toggle clasp to make your exit just as dramatic as your entrance.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New March Designs - A Lover’s Eye Necklace, Forget-Me-Not Bracelet & Victorian Style Marcasite Necklace

Isabella Lover's Eye Necklace

On the Back - Two sweet little Toumaline hearts and a butterfly float in a sea of white topaz
A hauntingly beautiful hand-painted watercolor of a Lover’s Eye was recently commissioned to marry the charming folklore of it’s antique counterparts with a gorgeous antique Victorian 9k rose gold Repoussé double glazed locket.  This stunning locket, with deeply chased foliate design, is the perfect frame to showcase the very talented beauty of the eye art.  However, there is a very unique surprise on the other side - a diminutive butterfly in 24k gold vermeil, floating in a sea of 2.5 carats of white topaz and two sweet little pink tourmaline hearts.  From the back side, you can also see the artist’s signature and date.
The necklace is composed of sky blue topaz rondelles interspersed with delicate watermelon tourmaline slices stationed along the chain.  This one of a kind design - perfect for the Spring 2012 pastel revolution - is certain to be a conversation piece.

Leah Necklace
Hand-linked faceted pyrite rondelles are joined together with hand-coiled gold pyrite and laser cut Mother-of-Pearl buttons to compliment an antique style marcasite and Mother-of-Pearl pendant.  The combination of mixed metals in silver tones, blackened silver and gold allows the owner to wear this with any combination of other jewelry.  This layering necklace would also be gorgeous mixed with pearls to draw out the MOP buttons.

Dottie Bracelet

Four strands of hand-linked blue flash moonstone rondelles dotted with  every the popular Sleeping Beauty turquoise faceted oval nuggets are the perfect compliment for this antique Georgian Pinchbeck clasp.  The agate clasp features a lovely little turquoise floral design of a Forget-Me-Not flower.  Please note the exquisite Cannetille design that forms the outer ring of the clasp.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Color - It’s all About Proportion

seelensturm via Flickr

This post is not for the faint of heart, the vanilla crowd or anyone afraid of color.  It is clearly for the more spirited reader - the ones that are fearless in the face of color!

Inspiration Board  
Cameron Diaz / Estate Necklace / Interiors by Angele Perlange

Designers conceptualize designs from many different sources and much of the time, my jewelry designs are inspired from beautiful interiors since that was my career for many years.  However, my latest design was inspired from several sources - a beautifully designed room, a stunning  estate necklace and a celebrity.  All three converged to lead me down the path to a daring color combination of aqua and hot pink.  If you study the images above you will see that all three have the same color combination, but used in different ways.  Most importantly, what you see is a complementary color scheme using either aqua or hot pink as the primary focus with smaller accents of the opposing color.  Complimentary color schemes are probably the most difficult to pull off successfully.  Much of that difficulty lies in knowing exactly what proportion of the opposing color to use without becoming a garish combination. 

Abelle Necklace

Stunning Peruvian Opal smooth rondelles and pink sapphires are hand-linked to create this beautiful Spring / Summer necklace.  This cacophony of color terminates with an antique Georgian Silver Paste Locket  replete with a little gold vermeil bow.  This precious heirloom features an adorable gold vermeil Napoleonic bee floating amongst approximately 2 carats of minuscule rubies.  As most of these lockets are a combination of silver and gold (925 silver & 9ct gold), that combination also extends to the hand linked chain to allow the owners to wear it with either preference. The apt name for this necklace is Abelle, which signifies “bee” in French.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Après Tucson Gem Show

Dyann Necklace was inspired by a photograph from Marcola La Grenouille of Etsy

Chignon Necklace was inspired by this K. Sugarman Interiors Drawing Room

Charmaine Necklace was inspired by this quietly elegant vanity - source unknown