Thursday, February 25, 2010

Things I Envy--Il Mare Atelier

As I mentioned in my last post, I love browsing through handmade venues, looking at all the pretty things that catch my eye. And trust me, a LOT of things catch my eye, in all categories. Of course, being a jewelry maker, it's easiest to envy other jewelry makers, because I know exactly how much skill it takes to do what catches my eye. I know how hard it is to learn the technique and how difficult it is to execute it perfectly. Most pieces of jewelry look deceptively easy to make. Very much like the pieces from today's CrazyTrain Rider: Il Mare Atelier:

"Il Mare Atelier was created out of a desire to fuse art and jewelry into unique, versatile, yet wearable and affordable pieces. Inspired by the beauty of nature and art, my jewelry creations are for the woman who prefers the thoughtfulness of an artisan's touch to off-the-peg designs.

I take great pride in the materials I use, always searching for the finest quality gemstones and durable materials.

“Il Mare” means “the sea” in Italian, with waters shimmering in an array of hues, from the blue of the deep sea to lighter azzurro, pale sea green and brilliant emerald. “Atelier” means “workshop” in French. Put together, they mean “Studio by the Sea”, perfectly apt for the tiny tropical island that I live on."



This pair of earrings features high quality amethyst, rainbow moonstones, and white topaz with 14k gold and sterling silver. This pair of earrings look simple and certainly possess a classic, simple beauty. But trust me, it takes skill to wrap the moonstones and topaz like that.


I LOVE this pair of earrings. They remind me of Summer and fruity cocktails. I love reds and pinks of all shades. This piece features Songea and colourful Kenyan sapphires; mauve pink and raspberry tourmalines; pristine green amethysts and briolettes of the same green amethysts on 14k gold findings. I know they seem pricey at $89, but trust me, that is a steal. Besides the fact that gold is at its highest price, those gems are high quality and sapphires are, well, sapphires! A precious stone. Another complex technique hidden behind simple beauty.


This pair of earrings use garnets and moonstones--my two favorite gemstones! These are peach moonstones--yes, moonstone comes in colors! My favorite moonstone will always be rainbow moonstone, but peach comes in second. Moonstones also come in milky whites, grey, and even red. Some sources claim labradorite is a black moonstone (of course, some sources say rainbow moonstone is white labradorite). Garnets also come in many colors, including green, orange, even black! But back to this piece, this embodies classic beauty and more high quality gems and perfect technique. At $22, these are also a steal.


I love the mix of colors in this piece, and think it would look absolutely gorgeous when paired with these earrings (the second pair I wrote about, above). This piece features rose quartz, pink tourmaline, and lemon quartz. These are AAA gemstones and it shows.

This bracelet is made of smoky quartz, citrine, and garnet. This is another instance of superb technique equaling stunning and deceptively simple beauty.

Her prices may look high, but I did not see one overpriced item in her shop. Her prices are more than fair given the high quality of gemstones used. Trust me, if I didn't fully believe that, I wouldn't lie to you and say otherwise. Her gallery of past designs should not be missed, either!

Other helpful links: Her blog, Etsy shop, Flickr, Facebook Page, and Twitter.

As always, thank you for reading. I will try to post more often with things I envy and hope to post an update on my own shop soon, but did not want to take away from the beauties I featured in this post.

Thank you again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Things I Envy

I often find myself browsing handmade items of all types and say to myself, "I wish I could do that!" This happens with crafts of all types, knitted items, polymer clay, jewelry, sewing. Today, I'm focusing on jewelry. The Crazy Train rider for today, Girlseattle, has some lovely pieces that I envy, so I get to combine two activities--promoting the train rider and sharing things I envy and wish I could do!


This multi gemstone mosaic necklace is made of peridot, amethyst, apatite, fresh water pearl, moonstone, cz and iolite. I love this pendant and the mix of gemstones and the hand wiring makes it look organic.



I've never seen anything quite like this and I love how unique it is. This one of a kind ornament is hand painted, glitter textured and sealed with clear coat varnish. It features some very sparkly clustered crystals and glass and ornate base metal findings.

Another gemstone mosaic. This piece is made of tourmaline and sterling silver.


This is ruby! This is unique and great quality ruby beads.

I love geodes and druzies, so I love this, of course! It sparkles like crystals (well, it is crystals) and looks like rock candy! Or, I suppose, rock candy looks like this! This piece is made with a spectacular agate geode slice with quartz crystals, hematite and glass.

These are just gorgeous. These mosaic earrings are made of aquamarine, peridot, iolite, freshwater pearl, apatite, cz and sterling silver.

She has many more great products in her shop. You should go browse, she does lovely work. I am quite envious of her wire-work. Working with wire looks deceptively easy, but I at least am still trying to get the hang of the more intricate work. If I tried anything like her woven mosaic, I'd end up with a tangled mess of wire. But someday, I'll learn. In the meantime, I can browse quality products like these and dream.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Look What I Bought

I love beads and all things relating to beads and jewelry making. To some extent, so do my customers, or anyone who purchases and wears jewelry. As the beads and supplies I buy are for pieces that you may buy, I think that you and others may be interested in what I bought and what I'm thinking of doing with it. You can get a little glimpse of my creative process, or what I was thinking of when I bought it.

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I'm thinking of using both in an ocean-themed crown, with the star hanging on the brow. Otherwise, the star will be the pendant in a necklace, and I'll use more coral along the sides.

Swarovski Starfish

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Swarovski Coral
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I might go with something simpler, just some green and green blue beads. If either sea horse fits, I can try one in the ocean crown, which I'm tentatively calling a Mermaid's Crown, but I think they are too big.


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I had no idea what to do with either gecko/lizard when I purchased them, but they were just so unique I couldn't help it. Bad jewelry maker, no cookie. I try to have a design in mind before purchasing items. Otherwise, I'd buy everything in a compulsive "Oooh, that's pretty!" or "Ohhh, that's interesting!" moment.

But now I am contemplating something simple, perhaps on its own on a suede necklace or leather cord.

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But when I saw this one, I immediately thought, "Browns". Browns with rock-like beads/gems. Rhyolite came to mind first:

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But... I'm leaning towards Moukaite, though the Brown Zebra Stone is also a contender. The petrified wood might be nice, too. Wood and stone, those are lizard-y things.

Moukaite:

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Marble Zebra Stone (I dunno why it's zebra stone):

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Petrified Wood:

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I'm not sure with this one. Orange and red shades, maybe Czech glass and Swarovski crystals. Or red and orange mother of pearl and shells. Maybe orange-y coral, if I can find it. Perhaps a few blue teardrops, like drops of water. Maybe the drops can dangle from the bottom of the sea horse, like he just emerged, dripping from the sea.

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These are only the latest things I have purchased. I still have very, very many beads to share with you. Along with some stories and ideas. I bought some very pretty things recently, not beads, but supplies I want to use to make some crowns, corsages, brooches, and hair clips. My corsages will be mini-bouquets on an elastic for your wrist, but I could easily add a pin to the back instead of the elastic.

I currently have a few plans for crowns. I am nearly finished with my Woodland Crown. It has vines of green wire and green seedbeads, with glass leaves throughout. There are flowers of all colors, blue, red, pink, yellow, some glass, a few silk, and a Swarovski flower or two. There are curling tendrils of green wire and some iridescent white beads threaded throughout to add some sparkle and magic. A beautiful little green bird is attached, but he can easily be removed. I just need to add a few more vines and leaves.

I have plans for a Mermaid Crown, as I mentioned above. This one is pretty obvious. I am planning on using a lot of shells, real and beads, perhaps adorning some shells with Swarovski rhinestones. Starfish, again, both real and beads. All sorts of sea life charms, dolphins, shells, starfish, seahorses, mermaids, fish. A lot of sea colors, of course. I might try to add some ribbon to look like kelp or sea weed. Sea anemone spikes or parts, hermit crab shells. I might try a few sprinkles of sand, but only if I can seal it in place, I wouldn't want anyone to walk around with a sprinkling of sand in their hair! Tear drops in blue shades to look like droplets of water. Pearls and mother of pearl in all colors. I think you get the picture.

I have ideas for crowns for Autumn and Ice or Winter crowns. I am contemplating a Spring Crown, though the Woodland Crown is similar. A Summer Crown would closely resemble the Mermaid crown. Perhaps more specific themes, like roses, daisies, colors, even gemstones. An Easter Crown might be cute, perhaps plan a Valentine's Crown for next year, maybe even a Christmas Crown. I'd love to hear suggestions, if you have any!

As always, thank you for reading and supporting Moonlight Eternal. I truly appreciate it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

One Year Anniversary Sale!

Hmm, it appears I saved this post and never got around to posting it. How strange.

I have been open for more than a year! I can hardly believe it! It really has gone by so quickly! Before I go on, I'll post the sale details. Right now, I am actually having two sales. The big one is my anniversary sale, of course. Receive free US and Canada shipping on all orders over $15 with code ANNSHIP. Use code ANNIV10 to receive 10% off orders of $10+. Use ANNIV15 to receive 15% off orders of $25+. And receive 20% off orders of $50+ using code ANNIV20. In my artfire shop, you cannot use more than one coupon code. If your order qualifies for 2 coupons, apply one and pay for your order. I will manually apply the second coupon and refund you the difference via paypal. If you would like to pay with a money order, please contact me first and I can create a custom listing for you. For instance, if your order totals $15, you can use code ANNIV10 to receive 10% off. You also qualify for free shipping. The first coupon will deduct the 10%. Then I will refund you the shipping difference from my end. These coupons are good for EVERYTHING in my shop.




Along with that, I am having a Valentine's Day sale. Use code VAL1410 to receive 14% off all items in the Valentine's Day category and the UNValentine's Day category.




UNValentine's Day? Yes, that's right. A category for everyone sick to death of cutesie hearts and whose eyes are blinded by all the pink. I love pink, but even I get a bit sick of it during this time of year.




I have had a blast and am elated to be starting my second year. I have a lot of plans and goals. I grow to love jewelry making more and more each day. I find new techniques, new supplies, and new BEADS every day! I am obsessed with beads, I love them! I love gemstones and I love anything that sparkles. When it comes to sparkly gemstones, I love all of them! I have used a lot of gems in my pieces this year and yet there are so many gemstones I have never used. And I can not WAIT to get my hands on them! At the moment, I am trying to curb my 'want monster' when it comes to beads--I have strands and strands of beads I still haven't used! But it's so hard to restrain myself from buying those new pretty sparklies.




And that, right there, is what keeps my shop so diverse. I love new things. New colors, new gemstones, new crystals and glass, new designs and techniques. I personally believe that is my shop's strength, the diversity. I have seen many, many successful shops who operate a shop based on a 'theme'. One of my favorites is YoursTruli. She creates magnificent jewelry in an old-world style. Her items are all beautiful, but for myself, I would want more. I want old world and modern. I want classic and edgy. I want familiar and unique. I want it all. I want my cake and damned if I won't eat it too (I actually don't even like cake...). I think some people might be overwhelmed by all the different styles, colors, and mediums found in my shop, and I perfectly understand that. There are probably sellers who have seen my shop and thought that I need to find a theme, a design, a style, and stick to it. Instead of jumping from color to color, style to style, and so on. They may be even be right. But for myself, I can't limit myself. I have a lot of fun creating my jewelry and I think it shows. I have a love of many unique and diverse styles and I think it is a strength. Almost anyone can browse my shop and find something they like. Why? Because my items are so diverse there really is something for almost anyone. The exception would be specialized categories such as steampunk. This is mostly because I am the last to know of 'new' trends. Trust me, if you see something trendy in my shop, I assure you, it is an accident. Even though I'm 22, I just figured out who Lady Gaga was last week (though I can't say I understand it...).


As I mentioned before, I have a lot of plans and goals for my second year (still so strange and exciting to think it's my second year!). I want to briefly touch upon some plans I'm especially excited about. One is what I am calling 'Intention' jewelry. All gems and natural materials have various meanings and associations. For instance, moonstone is said to be the 'visionary's stone' and helps us see things clearly. Some gems are associated with love, luck or success. Certain colors have their own meanings and associations, such as red: in some cultures, red denotes purity, joy, and celebration. Red is the color of happiness and prosperity in China and may be used to attract good luck. Red is often the color worn by brides in the East while it is the color of mourning in South Africa. Use red when you don't want to sink into the background. Use red to suggest speed combined with confidence and perhaps even a dash of danger. The color has meaning a cultural associations. There is also a feeling attached: confidence, a dash of danger. This is true of many, if not all, things in life.

How does that apply to jewelry? Take luck. We all want good luck for a variety of reasons. There are many things associated with good luck. A bracelet designed to bring luck could have, for example, charms such as a rabbit's foot (NEVER a real one, not in my jewelry!), a 4 leaf clover, a horse shoe. There may be glass beads in lucky colors. Many gemstones bring luck. The same lucky symbols, when carved of gems associated with luck, have double the power. Combining various elements associated with luck, or many other intentions, is not so very difficult.

Do I think a piece of jewelry will bring you luck, love or wealth? No, of course not. So what's the point? The power of thought. Our thoughts have power. Don't worry, I won't get all 'The Secret' with you. But think of intention jewelry as a physical manifestation of your thoughts. Our thoughts are not as organized as many would wish, and though we may try to focus our thoughts on attaining luck, we have many, many more things on our mind. But if one is wearing a piece of this jewelry, it will remind you. You will feel its weight on your wrist, look at all the 'lucky charms', and it will serve as a gentle reminder to follow your heart and thoughts to whatever you desire. It really is as simple as that.

For those of you who believe in the metaphysical properties of gemstones and natural materials, that, of course, is also part of gem lore. You won't be disappointed.

And if you don't believe in any of that kind of things and see gems purely as pretty jewels--well, they still will be! Where one bracelet may symbolize luck to one person, it will still be pretty! Regardless of what you believe, the jewelry will still be pretty or flashy or classic or modern, or any other style which can be found in my shop.

Anyone who has ordered from me recently (and if you haven't, what are you waiting for?!) may have noticed something new. I figured I should announce it here. If you have made a purchase from me in the past, it will benefit you and your friends to convince new customers to make an order. Why? Because if your friend mentions your name when they check out, I will take 5% off their purchase. I will then send you a 10% coupon to use on your next order. If you convince 5 friends to order, I'll send you a coupon for 25% off. And if 5 more of your friends order, I'll send you another coupon. You both win. All they have to do is mention your first and last name in the notes to seller, and I will handle everything else. This works only for new customers--if you have ordered before and give a name, sorry, I can't give you or your friend a discount. But every new customer who mentions a friends name will get the discount. And you'll get the coupon!

As always, I want to thank you for supporting Moonlight Eternal in all its endeavors--even just writing in this blog!

Monday, February 1, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Vanessa! Congratulations!

I want to thank everyone who participated! I emailed everyone with a couple special offers. If you did NOT receive such an email, please let me know and give me your email address.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

If you didn't win the ring, there are still great deals to come. On the third, it will be my one year anniversary! I can't believe how quickly this year has come! I have surpassed my dreams and expectations this last year and am extremely positive and excited to begin my second year!

I will have many sales and promotions to celebrate my anniversary, so please come back here on the third for details! You can also follow me at twitter or sign up for the mailing list at the right or join the facebook page. And, of course, you can always visit my shop!

Thank you again everyone!

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