Wednesday, December 30, 2009

happy new years!

Now, I am not a go-all-out kind of New Years Eve girl but this year I have been dying for an excuse to wear sequins and sparkles, and what better day to do that than New Years Eve. Here's the outfit I am putting together for our low-key house party:I purchased a similar top from Old Navy in a tank version but this top is equally inexpensive (and on sale) at Ann Taylor Loft. I would also love to pair it with a similar necklace as shown... maybe some layers of long sterling chains. The rhinestone bracelet from Anthropologie has been on my wish list for awhile and I feel like I now have an excuse to buy it (especially with the gift card I received that is burning a hole in my wallet!). I am going to let the bracelet be the statement accessory and plan to pair it with simple diamond stud earrings and an understated sequined double headband. Not a crazy sparkly outfit by any means, but for someone who barely steps out in anything but solid earth tones and black, this is quite the departure!

Happy New Year! See you in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

merry christmas!

Sorry for the long delay in posts but I was busy spending time with family and friends. (I fully intended to post pictures of the presents I made and my wrapping this year but it appears that I blinked and the holiday was over.) I hope you had a wonderful holiday as well, enjoyed with those close to you.

Now that the dust has settled, after the hecticness of the christmas season has come and gone, I get to marvel at all the presents I have received. I have once again received many fantastic things, and have seen a generousness that makes me feel slightly guilty because I am in fact an adult. It is hard to pick a favorite gift but I am most excited about the tools I received. (My dad is grinning proudly as I am likely the only woman he knows that LOVES to receive tools for Christmas.) 5mm letter/ number stamp set- now I can make large monogram pendants! Watch out for these soon on etsy!Circle punches- this will also be very helpful in making my monogram pendants. Now I don't have to buy the circles... I can make them on my own!Dapping set- well, this is just going to be fun to experiment with!

Friday, December 18, 2009

nyc holiday windows

A group of us from work went to NYC on Wednesday to check out the big hitter holiday windows. Of course, we went to see all of the Anthropologie stores, but we also toured the traditional stops as well. No matter what, there is always something inspiring anyone can take away from these windows. Bergdorf's delicate details and craft were inspiring to me this year... maybe it was their use of books that caught my eye or the fact that they went with an Alice in Wonderland theme which I am always a sucker for. Here are some detail highlights...

Friday, December 11, 2009

halloween every day

I love Halloween... and I am not just talking about the festivities on October 31st. Halloween, an amazing jewelry store located at 13th and Pine in Philadelphia, is a must see for any jewelry lover. The selection is amazing. You could literally spend hours going through the tons of cases crammed with jewelry. You can find anything from antique pins, to engagement rings, to basic sterling silver bangles, to chunky bezel set rings, and as all the sales people will tell you, anything you see, or dream of, can be custom-made to suit any of your needs.Two levels of the store are filled with cases set into the structure of the walls and architecture of the space. Every case is themed, anywhere from a case of all antique cameo pins to garden themed charms, forming an almost diorama of sorts.My favorite reason to hit up this store... the replica filigree jewelry in sterling silver... the look and style I love without having to break the bank on the more commonly found gold versions. This time around I walked away with a lion's head necklace... just like I have been looking for ever since I took the trip to the NYC library.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

roaring 20s

My dream of having a themed 1920s party is finally coming true! My company's holiday party is taking this theme to the max, with gaming tables, dancing and booze, to celebrate this spectacular decade and our holiday season. I have been rummaging through my personal inspiration dedicated to this time period and I have so many ideas I feel like I might go into 1920s dress-up overload... the drop waisted dresses, the art deco jewelry, the elaborate hairpieces, the cloches, oh my!!!

I desperately want to rewatch the Great Gatsby to gather some more inspiration:

To live in this decade, just for a night... what a treat. I have always dreamed of dressing up and having my photo taken, in an Alfred Cheney Jonhston style:
But I know one thing for certain... I am definitely rocking finger waves. This style is usually only pulled out for red-carpet like events in my life, but I feel this might just be one of those occasions!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

update on JKarma

I was very excited to see that 2 of my necklaces are listed on JKarma's website. They look all pretty in their professional photos! (This inspires me to kick my own photography up a notch.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

champagne wishes

I have been loving champagne diamonds lately. (Who can argue with that?!) I love the color and clarity combined with the ultimate sparkle you can only get from a well cut diamond. There has been a strand of teeny rondelle champagne diamonds at my local bead store that I have been dying to come up with an excuse to buy. Sadly, I have not been able to justify the purchase as of yet. In the meantime, I have been substituting with light smoky quartz to capture a similar color in my jewelry. But I would love to work champagne diamonds into my pieces at some point... a girl can dream, can't she?!

I have also been eyeing this beauty for months now on sundance's website ( is my go-to website for jewelry inspiration, especially rings. There may be some off-kilter (and not in a good way) pieces but there are also design dreams in the midst, if you are motivated enough to weed through the selection.

Monday, November 30, 2009

nothing wrong with a little name dropping

As I have mentioned before, I love Somethings Hiding Here. And I love them even a little more now for name dropping my etsy store in their featured seller interview on etsy. Check it out: and while you are at it, just click right on through to my etsy store!

Monday, November 23, 2009

feeling pretty accomplished

I got a lot done this weekend (including clearing out some major clutter from my work space) and I am feeling pretty accomplished. Here's a look at what I completed for JKarma:I am kind of in love with my price tags too (the kraft paper, the typewriter prices, the baby blue thread, oh my!)...

But don't fret! If you can't make it to JKarma to pick up one of these bad boys, I am listing similar styles on my etsy site:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

some exciting stuff

I don't know if it is because the Christmas holiday is approaching and I need to get cracking on making my gifts or the fact that I have some serious orders to fill, but I have been a busy little bee lately and in major crafter's overload. But I have been working on some exciting stuff. Here's a sneak peek...

Supply shopping (for my necklaces, soon to be sold at JKarma):

AND creating some exciting new headband designs for etsy:

AND I am being selfish and working on some scarves for moi! Next stop... figuring out the theme for my holiday wrapping this year!

Friday, November 13, 2009

house of my dreams

Yesterday a group of us from work went to NYC. We walked all over the city, hitting stores in Chelsea and Soho, and had a wonderful lunch at Rice (yuuuuummmmm). As I drooled over the scores of jewelry stores I was dying to abuse my credit card in, the highlight of the day for me (besides purchasing an awesome pair of ruffled boots) was seeing this magnificent House of Textures by Tjep at Droog:The detail in this piece is amazingly beautiful and had me walking away pondering how I would fare laser cutting metal for my jewelry. Second runner up in the I *heart* this store: the Limited Fungi shelf by Katharina Mischer! Sadly, I didn't snatch a photo... but check out the Droog website at where you can see her work and many other awesome pieces.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

embracing my girlier side

Growing up, I was never what people called "girly." I never played princess, I never decorated with hearts, and I NEVER wore pink unless against my will. I grumbled about being dressed up in dresses by my mother and, when I was old enough to choose my own ensembles, I wore men's t-shirts and jeans for most of my adolescence. Even now, I wouldn't call myself "girly," persay. I still don't wear pink. But I am starting to embrace those feminine touches that make someone not traditionally "girly" feel a little more so without breaking their comfort level boundaries... number one example, ruffles. I love them! And lucky for me, they seem to be everywhere lately.

I am totally obsessed with the idea of manipulating one of my old scarves with some elastic thread and seeing how the ruffles will transform a basic scarf into a major accessory statement with feminine edge, like this lovely, but rather expensive, cashmere version:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

coming soon...

Coming soon to JKarma... Villette Jewelry! JKarma is an amazing accessories boutique located in Old City Philadelphia (if you don't have the pleasure of seeing the shop in person, visit them here at: I am obviously excited they will soon be carrying some of my necklaces, but the fact that this is one of my favorite jewelry stores in Philadelphia just makes this all the more sweeter. They were named Best Women's Accessories in Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly 2008, and there is a reason why! Stop by the shop or visit their website and check out their amazing selection.

Friday, October 23, 2009

skeleton keys

When I was a little girl I used to play pretend A LOT. I remember being at my grandparents' house and finding an old skeleton key in a drawer and imagining all the different places that key would grant me access to and what secrets I would discover hidden behind those doors. To me, there is still something about keys that hold a tinge of mystery behind them so their rise in popularity does not surprise me. Sure, we have all seen the ads for the shiny, new, diamond encrusted Tiffany versions, but judge me if you will, I still prefer the rusty old kind to adorn my neck.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a little crush

Lately, I have formed a little crush on Zooey Deschanel. I love her laid back vintage style and I LOVE how she accessorizes her outfits... from her sparkly vintage jewelry to her cutesy vintage headbands. I am loving this image of her from the new cotton ad:...the bow heels, the sailor button shorts, the ruffled white shirt, the shrunken cardigan, the rhinestone bow necklace, the crown braid!!! In my dream land, this would be my most perfect outfit for a casual bicycle outing. I heart you, Zooey!

Monday, October 12, 2009

time for halloween

I am starting to get in the mood for Halloween... I can no longer deny myself chocolate with the rows and rows of temptation displayed in all stores. I start to crave the slasher movies of my youth. The weather is changing to a crisp cold with a breeze that reminds me that winter is on it's way. I no longer receive inquisitive looks for wearing an oversized scarf because I am finally appropriately dressed for the temperature. I am suddenly aware that the days are, in fact, shorter. Not to mention, the rapid color change in leaves and pumpkin flavored food everywhere. I LOVE this time of year.

Sadly, I believe the days of me regularly dressing up for the holiday are over. (Not to say I never will again... it just is no longer consistent or definite.) But maybe I'll give a little nod to the day of the dead this year with some Halloween-inspired charms, like my skull and amethyst necklace:
Or I could rock this mature version of the plastic spider ring:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


My brother and sister-in-law were in town and we decided to take a day trip to NYC. I have toured most of the major landmark locations at some point throughout my life and often travel to NYC for work, but my sister-in-law, who has never been to NYC, wanted to see all the traditional stops. The most inspirational location to me happened to be the New York Public Library. Maybe it was because I haven't been there in so long, but I didn't remember all the small little details of design that truly make the library beautiful. The carved woodwork in the most unexpected places, the wrought-iron covers to fire hoses, the water fountains! Every little nook and cranny holds something special to find. I am now obsessed with finding a miniature version of this lion head to slide around on a gold chain.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

a surprise gift

I am a lover of vintage books... if I had the room, I would have a rather large collection. (In fact, my dream house has a room entirely composed of wall to wall bookshelves.) I love the hard covers, the fragile discolored pages, the illustrations, the smell! So imagine my surprise when I came in to work on Monday and a vintage book on jewelry design was waiting for me at my desk... a gift from one of my coworkers. She saw it and knew it was for me. Very little has changed in the techniques but the material is far more thorough, rather than broken down step by step into charts or bullet points like most newer jewelry design books are now. Don't get me wrong, these are great when you are in the studio and you need a quick answer, but there is something about reading chapter upon chapter of discussions on jewelry that the nerd in me loves.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

accessory fun

The Italian Vogue Accessory magazine is here!!! I will be entertained for hours.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

simply mad for mad men!

I was recently turned on to Mad Men and now I am hooked. This show, amongst it's other merits, is delicious eye candy. Joan being my favorite of them all, with her clothes, hairtsyles, make-up, and most importantly her bombshell figure. She makes me want to run out and buy a form hugging dress!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

chain designs

Lately, I have been trying out different ways to manipulate chain in necklace designs. Nothing extravagant is really added to the necklace; just simple silver chain connected in a pattern to create a intricate design at the neck.

This necklace is composed of many different styles of silver chain. I twisted and weaved strands of chain together creating a knotted tangle that at the same time is remarkably beautiful. A very simple yet statement-worthy necklace. Small loops of chain are pulled out to simulate an almost lace-like quality around the edges.

Small pieces of chain are evenly linked together to create a lattice-like effect. The chain was oxidized to give the delicate lines a more impactful presence.

Here different lengths of chain are linked at one location on either side of the neck. The different lengths creates a cascade of silver down the neck. I left the silver polished to maintain a shine that catches the light, looking like a ripple in water when it moves.

On this necklace I added small brushed silver teardrops, layered on multiple lengths of chain. When looking at the small silver charms alone, they look simple, but when grouped together they act as multiple reflective points along the neckline.

The patterns one can create is endless. I cannot wait to try out more designs!

Monday, September 14, 2009


So I am back from Seattle, and I am happy to say it was an amazing visit. Seattle was on my top 5 have-to-see cities in the United States so I was glad to be able to check one of those destinations off my list. It was quite an enjoyable trip, being work related or not. We had some free time to walk around the city the first night we were there, one destination being Pike Place Market. It was interesting to see so many facets of retail in one location, from fish markets, to fruit stands, to stationery stores, to jewelry boutiques. One of the things I noticed about Seattle is that stores really care about their signage. In Philly, you are lucky if you get a sign telling you where you are... but in Seattle there are so many cute, personalized signs that announce not only the retailer's name but also manages to communicate the feeling of the store, by well selected fonts and images.

And of course, it wouldn't be a real trip to Seattle without the Space Needle. Here is a view of it from the block of our hotel:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

a walk in Philadelphia

I was walking around Center City this weekend and some cute accessories two girls were wearing caught my eye. I am often inspired by what people are wearing around me. I feel like my eye is always looking out for something new. It is also a test on what your mind remembers... it would be a fun experiment to glimpse something quickly, make a replication from memory, and then look back at the original and see what you took away from it. I am sure the designs would vary greatly but would hold some similar key points! So here they are... one cute black bow headband and chain link earrings:I am headed off to Seattle tomorrow for work for a few days and I plan to be chock full of inspiration when I get back! I'll share photos as soon as I can!

titanic... I love it... so shoot me!

After watching Revolutionary Road, I had a slight desire to rewatch Titanic. It had been quite awhile since I had last seen this movie in entirety, but I decided to make the 3 hour commitment this past weekend. And once again, I wasn't disappointed (and I am not ashamed to admit it!). The look of this film is breathtaking... the set design, the costumes! I am a huge fan of Kate Winslet and the history behind the Titanic, but even if you are not an avid fan of either, this movie is still wonderful eye candy. This movie was a huge inspiration to me when I was younger... it started me on my path to recreating era hairstyles and sparked my collection of vintage hair combs. And after watching it once again, I feel like re-introducing into my life some of the 1910 styles I adopted when I was younger.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

knitting update

So, over the last few weeks, I have been practicing my knitting techniques. There is something about repetitive tasks and trying to make something as neat and consistent as possible that I love...
Despite my love for mastering a technique, I have to admit my desire for instant gratification is overpowering. But I am determined to stick with it to complete my dream hoodie scarf in the end...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

polaroid love

I have redeveloped my love for Polaroids. This has been an ongoing infatuation for years but the spark has been reignited over the last few months. Almost 2 years ago, my father purchased me a mass quantity of Polaroid film as a Christmas gift because I had once mentioned to him about wanting some for my wedding. I thought "to hell with those cheesy disposable cameras on tables," I would have Polaroid cameras floating around at my wedding! Needless to say, I still have a ton of film left and started to cart my good ole Polaroid camera around for an endlessly fun activity at parties. There is just something about the nostalgia that is endearing.But despite everything, I discovered that this love affair may soon come to an end because the film is no longer being produced and as quantities are dwindling, the prices are skyrocketing. But fear not, lovers of Polaroids... there is still something that can help us get over our broken hearts! I was recently introduced to a website that can change your digital images into Polaroids. Maybe this love can survive after all! ( )

Friday, August 28, 2009

an adventure into applique!

My work held another lunchtime "how-to" session this afternoon and of course I couldn't resist attending another one. Fellow Urban Inc. employee and crafter extraordinaire, Kayte Terry ( ), taught us how to applique. I have tested my hand at embroidery before but it was exciting to finally experiment with this technique. It was hard to get my perfectionist side in check since I only had an hour to learn and complete the project, but it was so much fun. Here's the result: