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Bead of the Week

ornate heartsTwo ornate 'puffy' silver heart beads, hollow in the center with holes at top and bottom for stringing. Each is about 1" wide and lightweight. Sold as a set of two. I will consider selling them separately -- so let me know if you'd like to buy only one.

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ByzantineHere’s a new style to consider if you haven’t checked it out before. The mysterious and richly historical Byzantine and Chainmail (or Chainmaille) from ancient times. Authentic Byzantine jewelry was created during the Byzantine Empire, which was from the fourth century AD to approximately the mid-1400s. The jewelry was influenced by the art of this civilization, and made heavy use of the Christian cross and other early religious symbols. The Byzantine time period was full of wealth and riches, so there was an abundance of gold metal used during this time.

Authentic Byzantine jewelry is usually made from weighty gold with generous amounts of gemstones. Common gemstones used include garnets, pearls, corundum, and beryls, which were traded from the Eastern countries such as India and areas of Persia.Typical types of jewelry that were made during the Byzantine time period include necklaces, neck pieces, head pieces along with b racelets, rings, earrings, and other ornamental jewelry. Bangles were very popular during this period, and people often wore more than one at a time on each arm.

Chainmail is a part of this tradition; the original art was the earliest form of metal armor and was probably invented before the 5th century by the ancient Celts. The name mail comes from the French word “maille” which is derived from the Latin “macula” meaning “mesh of a net”. The armor itself involved the linking of iron or steel rings, the ends of which were either pressed together, welded or riveted. Sometimes the rings were stamped out of a sheet of iron; these were then used in alternate rows with riveted links. There are many styles and methods within this category of art. One fairly simple tutorial is offered by 

Chainmail can look extremely feminine when made in precious metals and delicate designs. It is also very durable and the only limitation an artist has is imagination. Today artists have utilized traditional ancient patterns but have modified them to create unique patterns of their own. New metals have been introduced, old metals resurrected. Glass, metal, pearls and precious stones can be used to embellish any piece. 

Here is a fairly simple tutorial (for only $1.00!) for creating a beaded chainmail bracelet -- offered by CreatingUnkamen on Etsy. And I love this beautiful Byzantine coin necklace desgined by AnewAgain


 Chainmail can look extremely feminine when made in precious metals and delicate designs. It is also very durable and the only limitation an artist has is imagination. Today artists have utilized traditional ancient patterns but have modified them to create unique patterns of their own. New metals have been introduced, old metals resurrected. Glass, metal, pearls and precious stones can be used to embellish any piece. 




Minimalist: A style that uses pared-down design elements. The artist strips everything down to its essential quality, to achieve simplicity. The pursuit of the basic essence of a piece, by rediscovering the valuable qualities in simple and common materials.

When it comes to accessorizing, sometimes less is more. Minimalist jewelry happens to be trending right now, and you can design some killer pieces if you like this style. Leonardo da Vinci said "Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication." It's the natural beauty of minimalism and the lack of clutter.

bead braceletDainty rings, necklaces, bracelets, and body chains have been all over lately. You can see them ‘modeled’ by popular bloggers and buy them in trendy and high-end department stores. And you can make them yourself with a little attention to design and a delicate and steady hand. 

For some serious inspiration from great minimalistic artisans we’ve found on Etsy, check out these items shown here -- from top to bottom.

A delicate diamond necklace from an artisan named Maya Rolc Majericic -- a jewelry designer and owner of the minimalvs, capucinne, threelayers, and bibicco shops on Etsy. All her items are handmade from start to finish, in a studio in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

From Kurafuchi (Sarah, who designs and handcrafts all her Etsy items in Paris, Ile-de-France), we have a delicate bracelet, simple rose gold with tiny multicolored beads.

dangleAnd finally from Tocco Di Lustro in Zagreb, Croatia, (another Etsy shop) we found these sweet gold-filled dangle earrings.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also some of our previous posts on 'style' issues --

Boho Style   &

Getting Noticed: A Guide for Jewelry Designers

Until Next Time!







white cat 2Did you know that gemstones are mentioned in many fables and fairy tales of long ago? If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know I am fascinated with the many myths and magical stories associated with stones and crystals.

Scholars of folklore have noticed that gemstones often signify that the reader has entered a special or magical place – with out-of-this-world sightings like streets paved in gemstones, jewel-encrusted goblets, and robes sparkling with precious diamonds, rubies and emeralds. There are many such stories featuring gemstones. There is one that is a particular favorite of mine – “The White Cat”, a French tale by Countess D’Aulnoy (1650 – 1705). The fairy tale is extraordinarily long, but enchanting.

The basic story is one of a young prince’s quest for his father, the king. In his travels he discovers a magnificent castle, with a gate covered in red garnets, walls of crystal and doors made of coral, lapis lazuli and pearls. Within the castle are fine robes encrusted with emeralds, and a beautiful white cat who wears a strand of pearls and holds a goblet of gemstones. Here are a couple of little snippets to give you an idea:

The Prince could not believe that any danger threatened him when he was welcomed in this way, so, guided by the mysterious hands, he went toward a door of coral, which opened of its own accord, and he found himself in a vast hall of mother-of-pearl, out of which opened a number of other rooms, glittering with thousands of lights, and full of such beautiful pictures and precious things that the Prince felt quite bewildered. After passing through sixty rooms the hands that conducted him stopped, and the Prince saw a most comfortable-looking arm-chair drawn up close to the chimney-corner; at the same moment the fire lighted itself, and the pretty, soft, clever hands took off the Prince's wet, muddy clothes, and presented him with fresh ones made of the richest stuffs, all embroidered with gold and emeralds. He could not help admiring everything he saw, and the deft way in which the hands waited on him, though they sometimes appeared so suddenly that they made him jump...   

bat beadsAre you trying to figure out how to write a compelling ‘About Me’ page for your Etsy shop or web site? Are you unsure about how to present your bio or your shop story? Are you sure you and your brand are interesting, but you don’t know how to convey that in an effective way?
If so, you’re not alone. We’ve read many boring ‘About Me’ & Bio pages in our time. Sure, folks often list a series of facts about their background and work, but not necessarily anything their current and future clients could really relate to or connect with.

yemenYour personal story is more important than you may realize. Your goal is to captivate your dream client, in the same way a writer does in a novel to keep their audience engaged. Here are a few suggestions about how to write it in the best way possible.

1. Use the ‘First Person’ Voice

This is a great method for creating an immediate connection with your audience. Instead of saying: ‘Shannon Schreiber developed a passion for design when she was only five years old,’ say: ‘My passion for design started as a child.’

It’s not incorrect to write in the Third Person voice, but it is much more powerful to establish a personal connection by using the First Person approach.

2. Offer your audience something fascinating about you as an individual

One of my favorite Etsy artisans – Savanna Caravan - has a bio that starts like this:


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