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:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

something's hiding in here... take a look

I am in love with Something's Hiding Here for so many reasons... one, their point of view and aestethic is amazing... two, their attention to detail is flawless... three, I am in awe of the fact that they manage to do all that they do... four, Shauna and Stephen are possibly the cutest couple I know... and five, Shauna happens to be a regular source of knowledge and inspiration to me because I am lucky enough to get to work with her 5 days a week. The list could go on and on really...

Of course, I am a dedicated reader of Shauna and Stephen's blog... ... and when I saw these photos by Carl Zoch using their "mustache envy" in wedding portraits, I could have kicked myself that I didn't think of it for my own wedding! Visions of my guests using these wonderful hand-crafted mustaches on a stick in the photobooth I rented for the day keep flashing in my mind and it is just another reason why I dream about reliving my wedding 10 different times in 10 different ways. Sometimes the most obvious and brilliant ideas are right in front of your face!

Monday, August 24, 2009

book art

There is something about black ink on aged, yellowed book pages that I love. I am inspired by books in many ways, including their use as a canvas or medium for art. One of my all time favorite artists/ concrete poets is Tom Phillips. His work, A Humument, is beautiful, both visually and verbally. (You can see this entire work at )I am mesmerized by the artists who use books as the medium for their sculptures. The clean cuts and attention to detail in these works is truly inspiring. This work by Su Blackwell is breathtaking and happens to be inspired by one of my favorite stories:My hand is not quite as steady and trained as needed for the level of detail I dream about in carving my own book sculptures (because, believe me, I wish that it was!!!) but I love incorporating books and book pages into my work in my own way. Other than using old book pages in my jewelry, I dream of a day when I can mass produce jewelry boxes carved out of books as my jewelry packaging. Here is my first attempt at achieving that dream (featured with 2 of my bezel set rings)... practice makes perfect, right?!...

Friday, August 21, 2009

my love for all things handmade

I love etsy. Who doesn't really?! And it's not just because I am an etsy seller. I love seeing and feeling connected to so many others out there that love creating things with their own two hands. I am inspired by the ideas people have and it pushes me further in my own work.

I stumbled across this etsy seller and I am completely inspired by the beautiful details in her work. I love silhouettes... I mean I LOVE them. But this artist's work is on a whole other level. She cuts all of her work by hand and the delicacy of each piece is amazing:Please stop by and visit her etsy site: trust me, it will be soooooo worth the visit!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I 'heart' monograms!

Maybe it's because mine recently changed due to marriage, but I have been loving monograms this past year. My "wrapping paper" for Christmas this year was upholstery fabric with the recipient's initial embroidered on it. But there is something about monogram jewelry that I am totally enamored with! I made this necklace shortly before I was married... I was so excited to have a new letter to my monogram:I gravitate towards certain letters. I love the letter V (my grandmother's name was Violet) so it felt very natural to name my company Villette and I love using the V wax seal as the design on my gift boxes. I get all of my wax seal supplies from an online company called Nostalgic Impressions. I loved this place before, but I recently discovered that they are now carrying monogram wax seal jewelry! Check out their selection:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

fabric flowers and soft details

You may have noticed already the rise in fabric being used within jewelry lately. I have been experimenting with it myself for a little bit now and I am loving the contrast between soft and hard materials. Here is one sample:Fabric flowers seem to be adorning the necks of women everywhere (or at least they will be soon!). And I am currently obsessed with searching the internet to find ways to make different flowers out of fabric. I am in love with this necklace from Anthropologie as a twist on fabric ranunculus (and, again, I am loving the mix of soft and hard materials):This is quite the statement piece but when worn right can really make an outfit. If you are not quite ready to make the plunge into such an extreme necklace, I recommend the scarf/ soft necklace hybrid. I fell in love with the etsy designer, Necklush, about a year ago and immediately bought two scarves in one shot. Love 'em! (Check them out at

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Made in Philly!!!

I saw a poster for this website today and I am totally in love! It is a company based in Philadelphia that sells products that are made by people in Philadelphia. As if I couldn't love Philly even more! Check out their site:

I will definitely be going to their next event. What a great way to bring a community of local designers and artists together.

Monday, August 10, 2009

craft fair season!

I went to the crafts and fine arts festival in Collingswood, NJ this weekend. There was a wide variety of items, ranging from the commonplace craft staples to some fresh, new ideas I was really excited about. Regardless, no matter what, a craft fair is always inspiring to me, even if I just get a glimpse of what others out there are doing or how people are merchandising their booths and packaging their items. (That's why I love this time of year... it seems like every weekend there is some kind of local neighborhood craft fair!) I walked away from this fair thinking of ways to experiment some more with enamel... so all in all, a successful day!

Friday, August 7, 2009

dangerous territory!

I took a knitting class over lunch this afternoon and absolutely loved it. I have attempted to teach myself to knit in the past but could never quite troubleshoot some steps on my own or from the illustrated instruction booklets I purchased. When my company offered a free "learn how to knit" class, I jumped at the opportunity and signed up. Heather Dixon, knitter extraordinaire, came from NYC to teach the class (check out her blog at: The hour long session went by in a flash but during that time I was able to push through and overcome the problems I was having before. Needless to say, I raced home this evening from work to continue working on my knitting techniques. A new craft is dangerous territory for me! I may just have to run out tomorrow to a craft store and load up on some new supplies!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

flower headbands and family

This past weekend, my husband and I went to visit family in New Jersey and I made a gift for my little cousin, Kleio. I just got this wonderful picture of her modeling the headband I made for her...I wear a lot of headbands, hair combs, scarves, etc. in my hair (I am obsessed with creating hairstyles a la Jane Austen with my curly hair) so naturally I started exploring making hair accessories myself, just like with jewelry. (Kleio makes a much cuter model for my stuff though!) I am working on different designs and different flower patterns but the one Kleio is wearing is one of my favorites.

Speaking of family... I need to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my big brother, Rick! He is such an amazing person and a great source of inspiration to me. Check out his blog site:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Villette packaging

Here's a sample of my Villette gift boxes. I got a ton of these maroon boxes for free and morphed them into Villette packaging for a craft fair I decided to participate in at the last minute a few months back. Eventually I plan to move over to kraft boxes when I run out of the mass amount of maroon ones I produced. But of course, I am hanging on to the V wax seal as the packaging's "trademark." The fun part will be deciding color combinations for both the box and the wax! I am favoring a baby blue and chocolate brown combo (my favorite color duo) but it will be fun to experiment with other options. Who knows... I might fall in love with something I never expected!Here's my own twist on gift packaging for those gift givers out there! Sure, the gift is the beautiful piece of handmade jewelry lovingly cushioned on a bed of polyfil, but why not add a small note to remind the receiver how much you care? Attached to the underneath of the gift box lid is a little typed note on vintage paper that says "Just because... ___________." The giver can then add their own simple note to the line. It's such a sweet little surprise for the receiver to discover when they open the box. This idea sprung from my love of giving "just because" gifts. I love surprising people with a small little gift on a random day just to let them know how much I appreciate them.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

supply shopping and the end result

I took the day off from work yesterday, for no particular reason other than to just have a relaxing yet personally productive day off, and went supply shopping in my neighborhood. Of course I had to hit my favorite stores...
First stop, Anastacia's Antiques... I love this store and the woman who owns it, Stacy. Every time I go in she directs me to anything new I would love and always looks out for anything I say I am interested in buying. I looked for some small side hair combs to add to my collection but had no luck this time around.
Next stop, Antiquarian's Delight, an antique mall housed in an old synagogue. This place is an antique lovers dream. I stopped by to shop at Barb's store and found an awesome broken watch face. I talked to Barb for about a half hour about a bunch of items I was interested in... speaking to this woman is like getting a crash course in the history of antiques... I love it!
Final stop, Beadworks, my general jewelry supply store. This place is conveniently located in walking distance from my house and they have a good selection of quality semi-precious beads. The sales people are really sweet and they really try to get to know their customers. I bought some silver beads, chain and a few other items and headed home.

And the projects began... what a great use of a vacation day!
From my day's shopping, I finally had all the pieces I needed to make my much desired watch necklace! I oxidized silver chain and some silver faceted beads and added two pieces of pyrite to the chain as a special little touch. I am really happy with the result!