27 March 2012

Happy Spring

I just wanted to say "Happy Spring"! I love you. - that's what the note read when I opened up the beautiful flowers Dan surprised me with this morning, while at work.

Caught of guard, and certainly not expecting these beautiful apricot-hued tulips today, I was beaming from ear to ear after.

They really are just gorgeous and I really am a very luck girl.  I couldn't decide which photo to share, so I'm sharing them all!  I hope your Spring is off to a wonderful start as well!

22 March 2012

Spring Sewing: Wiksten!

In an effort to expand my spring wardrobe and do so on a budget, I just purchased my very first Wiksten pattern.  Hurrah!  I've been crushing on them for so long now.  Jenny Gordy of Wiksten just recently released downloadable PDF sewing patterns which make her limited released patterns much easier to snag.  I ordered the Wiksten Tank.  It seems like to perfect top to carry one from the spring into the summer and will still look fabulous with a cardigan.

Wiksten Tank Downloadable Pattern, Source
Wiksten Tank and Dress, Source
The design is very simple and it seems to have so many possibilities depending on the fabric that one chooses.   It can also be sewn up as a dress, which is really very nice.  I'm looking forward to many belted dresses when fall rolls around.  But for now, I'll be working with a Kaffe Fassett 100% cotton fabric.
Kaffe Fassett Asha in Grey, Source 
I've had much luck with Kaffe Fassett's fabrics, particularly his hand-dyed shot cottons.  They are a dream to work with and I think that his Asha pattern in grey will prove no different.  It seems like just the perfect pattern for spring time. 

Have any of you had experience with Wiksten patterns?  If so, I'd love to hear about them!  Which patterns and what sort of fabrics did you use?  I'm so excited about all of the possibilities!

12 March 2012

Designs by Ryann Photo Necklace Giveaway!

A very exciting announcement:
My friend and fellow jewelry artisan Ryann Thompson, of Designs by Ryann, is running a giveaway for her popular and personalized Photo Necklaces in celebration of the new finishes and sizes she will soon be offering in her Etsy shop!!  Before she can add them to her shop, she needs new pictures to show examples.  This, my friends, gives you the opportunity to win FREE JEWELERY. Awesome, right? And what is even more awesome is that the jewelry will feature photos submitted by the participants! 

The giveaway started last week and is quickly coming to a close.  Tomorrow, March 13th, Ryann will select 3-5 photos to be used in her new pendants. As a BONUS- anyone who submits a picture to her by March 13th will receive a coupon code for 20% off a photo necklace just for participating!!

Please send the original JPEG image to Ryann@DesignsbyRyann.com

Source: Designs By Ryann

Here is a little info straight from Ryann's original giveaway post (and then scroll down for some gorgeous examples!):

What am I looking for?
Anything. Really. When in doubt send the photo.
I want pictures that will show all that my photo jewelry has to offer.
Wedding pictures, kids, pets, your favorite vacation spot...there are so many possibilities!!
You can even scan an old family photo to send to me - your parents wedding picture.

Be creative and think outside the box!!
If it is important to you, we can turn it into a keepsake that you can carry with you for years to come!!

Please Keep in mind when you submit your photos...
  • Your necklace will be shown in my Etsy shop, blog and facebook page. You may even see it on a banner during my festivals. Please make sure it is a photo you would not mind having shown to others - keep in mind if you plan to give your necklace as a gift.
  • Your image will be downsized to fit into a 1" or 2" pendant. Anything in the background behind your subject matter will probably not show, and should not be too "busy".
  • If you would like more than one person in your photo, make sure there is not a lot of space between them so I can fit everyone in.
  • There is no limit to the amount of pictures you can submit.

Send your pictures to Ryann@DesignsbyRyann.com by March 13th.
It will take about 2-3wks form the time the contest closes (March 13th) to receive your  
FREE necklace! Everyone else will receive their coupon code on March 13th.

Below are a few of my favorite pieces.  Ryann's personalized necklaces go beyond a photo encapsulated under resin.  She takes the time to pair your photo with the appropriate bezel finish and often adorns the pendants with her hand stamped polymer clay charms or her delicately hand formed polymer clay blossoms.  They truly are one of a kind pieces of art.

Source: Designs By Ryann
Source: Designs by Ryann
Source: Designs By Ryann

If you are interested in seeing more of Ryann's awesome work, visit her on Facebook page or her Etsy shop!

06 March 2012

Dreaming of Spring

Last week I added two new pieces to my shop that have me seriously longing for warmer weather.  I think it's that gorgeous blue of the Amazonite stone featured in both necklaces that making me a bit impatient for the spring and summer sunshine just lingering over the horizon.  This stone, which at first glance seems to be a Turquoise look alike, is quite lovely and has an interesting lore behind it.  

Ankara Necklace
Capri Bobble Necklace
Amazonite can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where it was employed in jewelry designs, inlays and ornamental carvings.  It is said to have been named after Amazon women warriors and thus is known as the stone of courage.  Some say that the Amazon river itself is reflected in this blue-green stone. Amazonite is also said to enhance creative expression, sooth nerves and improve self-worth.  And perhaps my favorite is that it is also known as the hope stone as it inspires confidence and hope.  Just looking it, I find hope for the warmer days to come.  :)

This stone also has a personal connection to me.  It reminds me of the waters of Capri which is why the Capri Bobble Necklace is named so.  In particular, it recalls a trip Dan and I made a few years back to that gorgeous island in the Tyrrhenian Sea.  We travelled there in the winter, January to be exact, while I was living in Italy.  During these chillier days the island seems barren- we honestly felt as though we were the only two people exploring it.  I really wouldn't have had it any other way- some of our best memories were made on that little island.  

I'm looking forward to being transported to warmer weather on Friday (mentally, any how) when I meet up with my mom for a trip to the Philadelphia International Flower Show.  This year's Hawaiian Islands theme promises a tropical experience.  This will be my first year attending and I'm sure I won't be disappointed.  

I plan to snap lots of photos and I'll be sure to share them with you all next week!