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.
I find that one of the most difficult things to organize is my never-ending pile of jewelry. A jewelry box is functional, however, I have found that openly displaying your jewelry can be even more beautiful and can even serve as a piece of artwork within your home.
The handmade jewelry organizer pictured above is from a wonderful shop called BlueBirdHeaven based in Louisville, Kentucky. The artist, Jessica, is a sustainable architectural designer who is the original creator of these jewelry displays made from vintage printer’s drawers. She is passionate about finding ways to reuse the distinctive and beautiful things that surround us. Visit her shop to see all of the different colors and styles available to fit any decorating scheme.
This whimsical little butterfly jewelry display can be found at Hook and Line. The idea for the artist’s designs came from her daughter’s growing love for jewelry and the need for a place to store it all. You can display all sorts of earrings styles on this simple picture frame style organizer. What I love about pieces like this is that you can see all of your earrings at once, so it makes selecting a pair that matches your outfit incredibly simple. No more digging through jewelry boxes, no more searching for that missing earring.
This last jewelry display helps you to organize not only your earrings, but your necklaces as well! Frank and Marla of New Dimension Wood Design have a jewelry display line called Jewelry Holders For You where they specialize in their one of a kind, elegant displays suitable for home use or in a boutique setting. Frank is a professional wood craftsman with forty years of architectural woodworking experience and creates truly beautiful works of art.
Find these and many other jewelry display ideas online, or have fun coming up with your own unique designs! As always, feel free to share your ideas with us!
Jewelry artist Dawn Benedetto calls her colorful line of jewelry her “fun and clever alter ego.” The petal ring, the signature Poppi product, is made from glass and sterling silver, and is literally a burst of color that refuses to be ignored. Poppi rings are sure to turn any wallflower into the belle of the ball.
In addition to the explosive petal rings, Dawn uses the same technique to create bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Whether you choose the rounded, “roe” beads or the sharper, “flake” beads that make the petal rings, your Poppi jewelry is definitely going to pop.
Dawn began her life as a jewelry artist at the tender age of fourteen. Although she ironically does not wear much jewelry, it has been the focal point of her creative endeavors. Her portfolio that got her into college was mostly jewelry. Even though she also studied ceramics, sculpture, crafts, art history, and a host of other topics that intrigued her, most of her time in school was spent on jewelry. Her first job out of school was teaching other people how to make jewelry…you might say she’s an expert!
Although the brightly colored glass rings are now her most popular items, Dawn still works with her first love, silver and gold metal work. She began her career as a metalsmith, and still creates one-of-a-kind rings in gold and silver, as well as teaches metalworking classes.
The splashy and colorful Poppi line was born in 2000, when Dawn came up with the design for the petal ring, which instantly became a hit. Customers love them not only because of the enticing color and eye-catching design, but also because they miraculously fit pretty much anybody.
The Poppi line has since expanded to include vintage lucite jewelry, which is just as colorful and fun as the original petal rings, but with a slightly more retro feel to them. These are perfect for collectors, since production on this type of lucite was halted in the 1980s.
Dawn has been making jewelry for most of her life, and she still loves every bit of the process. From the design stage down to each minute phase of production, she’s unable to choose a favorite part, because she loves all of it!
Although her business has expanded to the point of needing several staff members to help with production and business management, you can still find Dawn in her studio making pretty things nearly every day.
Visit Dawn in her Torpedo Factory studio to see her at work, or find her jewelry in a number of local and national retail locations. Her colorful glass and lucite work is also available online at www.poppishop.com.
Plarn is the new yarn (or wool, as us Brits call it.) It’s name comes from combining the words ‘plastic’ and ‘yarn.’ Plarn is made up from folded and shredded plastic bags which are then rolled into a ball and is used as a replacement yarn. It is then crocheted into various items. I’ve seen bags, (like the above) necklaces, ear rings, koozies, cuffs, scourers, coasters and even headbands made from plarn. (Top image: Arny’s Etsy)
Yep, I said necklaces made from plarn. This was one of my favourites from the Arny shop, but if you wanted something a little more low key and less chunky you could opt for something like this:
The Arny shop strapline is; “Giving Earth a second chance.” And after a recent de-clutter and purge of my un-used “stuff” I came across Plastic Bag Mountain in our kitchen.
We have a huge collection of plastic bags and here’s why; we don’t drive otherwise we’d invest in some strong milk cartons which would carry our groceries home, so every time we hit the store, we (read: my husband) forget to pack our ‘Bags For Life’ (a cotton bag that the stores have taken to sell near the cash registers in order to encourage customers to opt out of using plastic bags.) So more plastic bags are used, collected, stored in the tiny kitchen we have and generally they get forgotten about.
I have heard it takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to break down in a landfill site. Bearing this in mind, I wanted to check this out for myself. There are conflicting studies; some studies suggest that it takes between 10-20 years to break down (The New York Times, Nemve E. Metropolitan Diary, October 1, 2001) and Ohio State University telling us that by adding moisture to a landfill site that it will speed up the decomposition process.
Either way, plastic bags are becoming a growing problem; clogging up drains, being a general eyesore and have even more serious fatal consequences when wildlife mistake plastic bags for food.
In the UK our supermarkets have started to charge it’s customers per bag when they opt for plastic as a way to bring down the usage of plastic bags.
So while I still have Plastic Bag Mountain I will opt to learn to crochet, make plarn and try my hand at plarning myself some necklaces for next Christmas. And thanks to eHow and their step by step “how to” on making plarn I can make my own ball of plarn.
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.