My name is Amber Bryce-owner, designer, and soul creator of Blue Scarab Jewelry. Jewelry, to me, is an extension of oneself-your personality, your being, your soul.
From a very young age I had an intense interest for art of all kinds. I always enjoyed creating-anything I could get my hands into I would put my own spin on it. As I grew older I found myself dabbling in many different artistic medias, from drawing and writing to clays and mosaics. But creating Jewelry has always been what I come back to, because I feel such a strong connection with each piece I make. So much of myself is poured into each piece, because my creations are spawned from such a deep inspiration. I find inspiration in the moldings of old buildings, victorian dresses, fabrics, textiles, and most importantly Mother Nature herself. Moods, textures and even music spawn my creativity, constantly etching designs and images in my mind.
When I create jewelry, I don’t like to limit myself to any one technique. My repertoire of skills as an artist is ever growing-I love learning new techniques, all the while mastering old ones. Craftsmanship is very important to me-I want my customers to feel good knowing that I take great pride in providing them with an heirloom quality piece of jewelry that they can wear and pass down for many years.
Please help me welcome Jesika Wolff to Try Handmade! She’s a writer, artist and web developer and here on the blog she’s going to be detailing tips for Small Space Living. I live in a small space so I’m looking forward to her tips, and if you have any special requests, please leave them in the comments.
This mosaic inlaid candy dish by Smith Mosaics would be perfect for holding those little hard candies our grandmas loved so much, but maybe you’re not a candy person. Let’s say you’re more carrots and celery sticks. Those won’t keep too well in an open dish on the counter. There have been plenty of little bowls and silver dishes I’ve found enticing, but couldn’t fathom a use for. There are only so many “change bowls” a person needs before you end up losing the bowls with the change. Still, I can’t help but be drawn to beautiful craftsmanship; particularly if I can conceive a purpose for it.
I like looking at things. I can’t help it. When I’m driving down the highway I read all of the signs. When I’m shopping every window display has my undivided attention for at least one minute. I’m an observer by nature. One weekend, while observing a vase full of bracelets at my favorite boutique I had an epiphany: I was looking at bracelets in a vase. A grand realization, I know, but stick with me. I promise you it’ll all make sense in the end.
Why did I grow up thinking Jewelry had to be kept in a box? Stores keep necklaces on hooks and rods. They put earrings on trays and bracelets in bowls. I’d been hunting for the perfect Jewelry box for over a month, to no avail, when the solution was sitting in my kitchen cupboard! Boutiques keep it cute and classy by putting jewelry in random containers. Why couldn’t I do the same? Now, for those that want a little more flair than the standard glass vase, I highly recommend Bottlehood in San Diego, California. Take a look at this gorgeous upcycled Absolut bottle:
Wouldn’t your bracelets look spectacular in there? You could even put a few tumbled rocks in the bottom for filler, if you don’t need the bottle to be that deep.
But the earrings! What shall we do with those? We can’t possibly put them in a jar or bowl, even a little one, without making quite a mess of things. There’s a cheap and easy solution to this dilemma. Remember when you bought a shirt with buttons? Did it come with an extra button in a little plastic bag? I’ve already lost track of the shirts those buttons belonged to, but I still had those button bags. I took all of the buttons and condensed them in a jar, then used the bags to hold my earrings. This way I could put them in a container without making a mess. I’m also a big fan of organza pouches:
Home2 makes these lovely jewelry pouches. You can usually get them in any size and color, and they look much nicer than little plastic bags.
Here’s what I ended up doing:
I don’t have much jewelry, so I put the bracelets in a vase, stacked the really thick bracelets, and put my earrings in pouches. That weird looking metal contraption in the middle is actually a candle holder. I found it in our new house’s basement and couldn’t bear to part with it. Took me a month, but I finally figured out where to put it! I put my earrings in the glass “candle holder” and dangle my necklaces from the hook at the top.
Now I know there are two necklace boxes that managed to sneak in there, but for good reason. Some jewelry is a bit too important to put in bags and hang on hooks. One box has my wedding necklace. A beautiful piece I purchased from Etsy seller Leela Bijou. The other box has an anniversary present from my hubby. It’s another wonderful handmade piece from Etsy, by seller Kivaford.
What I love the most about this arrangement is that everyday I wake up and feel like I’m shopping for a new piece of jewelry. It makes the ho-hum of morning ritual a bit more interesting. Go ahead, give it a try! I’m sure there a few wine bottles left over from last weekend, maybe a nice vase from that last flower arrangement you received, or my absolute favorite way to spend a weekend: garage sale discoveries!
So next time you’re thinking of buying a new jewelry box for all of those earrings, necklaces, and bracelets you’ve accumulated, why not take a stroll around your abode first? You might be surprised by the random containers you find.
I’m Anna-Rosa and I’m the curator of myLifebox blog and jewelry. I’m a half-Dutch/half-Greek girl, grown up in Athens, but living in the island of Crete for the last 5 years of my life. I grew up in a home full of design books, with a mom working in the field of interior design, so it goes without saying that I chose to become an architect.
The story behind my jewelry line is pretty simple though. Architects prowess at making things with their own hands, often make them believe that they don’t need to buy anything as long as they can make stuff for themselves. In essence, I started making jewelry for my self. However, I got a bunch of exciting comments and the next thing I know is my place being full of drawings and new materials to test.
We were fortunate enough to be able to visit the North of Scotland this past week – in fact it is the furthest point of mainland UK.
The air feels a little easier on my lungs, I am greeted with the almost Welsh-sounding accent when I enter into a store and there is enough beautiful scenery you’d never tire of looking out at; even the sky is a work of art.
During the day it is blue skies and fluffy clouds, with faint rain that never seems to last too long. At night you can see stars aplenty twinlking away in the sky; very much like the famed nursery rhyme promised.
Another beauty from this part of the World is the Aurora jewellery shop that can be found in town up here.
Aurora are an Orkney based jewellers who specialise in making signature pieces, dazzling collections and they insist that modern machinery can’t create the jewelery they make – so every piece is handmade.
Their jewelery also comes in a very luxurious and plush presentation box – so no skimping on the little details.
I love to visit the Aurora shop whenever I am here – they always have something new and different in their collection, or they expand upon a much loved collection.
This break has been a welcome one for me and my little family. We’re doing things we don’t normally do at home; watching TV for hours at a time, forgetting to brush our teeth at night (read: I have been forgetting) and spending time with three of our favourite furry friends (two cats and a dog, just if you’re curious.)
I’ve always been wary of flying; it remains one of my least favourite things to do. So I’m a firm believer in taking holidays/vacations within the UK. I’ve been outside of Scotland and the UK many times; I’ve travelled to America, France, Spain, Germany and even lived in London in my early twenties. I’m not exactly a seasoned traveller but I have a passport and I am not ignorant of other cultures, customs and socieities.
In the UK there has been a growing trend (mostly due to low cost airlines offering cheap flight deals) of families jetting off to Spain or Greece. I often worry and wonder about the impact that has on our environment and at what cost, other than the price people pay for their holidays, these trips come in at.
I’ve read conflicting studies about the envrionmental impact that jet fuels have on the environment; with obvious biases going this way and that when it comes to certain studies and for me the jury is still out on it.
With my overwhelming-must-take-Valium-and-lots-of-it fear of flying and my love for this part of the World (plus it helps if you have ‘connections’ aka parents who live in these parts) I think we will be having a lot of British holidays in our near future.
Sasha Bell: I love shiny things and I love being crafty. I have been making jewelry for 6-7 years now off and on, and am so excited to be back on again. My love affair with metal started at the Kootenay School of the Arts where I completed 2 years of small object and Jewelry design.My design taste is rustic, modern, and textural. I’m fascinated with mechanisms-hinges/rivets, and I’m crazy about patinas-I will tarnish anything I can get my hands on.