Handmade Jewelry: The Trendy Vintage Touch

Vintage Neon Flower Cabochon Ring
One of the hottest trends I have been seeing is the comeback of Vintage Jewelry. In my own shop Natural Amber Designsmany of my newest rings and earrings have been  made with vintage cabochons. It is a great, unique, and appealing way to add a little bit of fun and trend to handmade jewelry pieces. One of the best ways to acquire unique vintage pieces is hitting up small thrift shops and antique stores, you would be surprised the hidden treasuries tucked on their shelves!
Some of my latest Vintage Jewelry:

Jewelry 101: Trendy Gemstones

 

Pearl and Quartz Pink Bracelet

Pearl and Quartz Pink Bracelet

Being an artist in the world of handmade jewelry, the competition can be a little tough, but if you can follow the market, and research the wants of consumers you may find incorporating today’s hot new trends can boost business for you and your jewelry business.

 

In 2008, gemstones have been trendy, but will this continue to be the case going into 2009, many fashion experts agree gemstones are no where near going out of style.  Every bead magazine you pick up in the store show beaded gemstone jewelry on the cover, and Tiger Eye and Turquoise being the hottest of all those stones.  It’s no surprise why they are in style, people are trying to bring back that natural touch, jewelry fashion all began thousands of years ago with beaded gemstone jewelry.  So what can you do to start incorporating these much wanted stones in your pieces?

 

1. You Work with Metals Mainly.  Great, stones look beautiful with metal work. Write now charm bracelets are hot with beaded gemstone charms. Try incorporating a few in your designs.

 

2. You Work with Glass Only. Gemstones once they are polished look a lot like glass as well. Try making a beaded glass necklace and have a gemstone dangling as the pendant.

 

3. You Already Work With Gemstones. Are there any gemstones you have not worked with? I would expand your collection of beads and see what you can come up with!

 

Just remember to have fun, and love the natural beauty of gemstones. They are in.

 

Love the piece above come see it in my shop Pink Pearl and Quartz Bracelet

Support the Handcrafted Movement

Going Green, Supporting Local Farmers has been a wonderful ongoing movement that I encourage more people to follow, and now a new movement that has been around for centuries is taking the world by storm — “The Handcrafted Movement”.  With sites such as ETSY, Dwanda, and now Art Fire taking the internet by storm people are starting to realize that there is a world outside of retail to buy wonderful artisan gifts. I would rather support a local farm or a handcrafted piece of work over food that has been touched by several different sources over months of traveling time, and support the work of an artist who appreciates and takes quality time into their work over the retail movement of ‘Walmartness” and pieces that took little time to create.  It’s a step back to what is important, supporting our neighbors, embracing artist dreams, and getting back that little bit of customer service that has been easily forgot through the growing of “Corporate America”. What can you do to support the movement?

1. Check out these wonderful websites, the handcrafted communities online. I sell through ETSY (http://naturalamber.etsy.com) and have fallen in love so many wonderful and talented artists work. I would rather give my mother handmade pot holders, over buying a pair at Walmart.

2. Support Local Farmer Markets and Craft Fairs. Whether you buy something or not, going to your local craft fair and market can be fun, and a great way to bond with the community as well as your family.

3. Instead of throwing away items, consider selling them at a yard sale. I can not tell you how much fun it is for a crafter to find beautiful items that they can break apart and make into new pieces. I love finding beautiful pendants, or pins I can make into pendants, for strung beaded necklaces. Last weekend I picked up a box of shells that I can’t wait to turn into pendants! Recycle and Reuse is a great aspect of the going green movement.

With the holidays just around the corner, let’s don’t forget about the handmade goods. Check out the sites, visit a craft fair, and warm your friends and families with special gifts without the “retail” vibe.

Color 101: Fall 2008

These kind of posts crack me up, the ones where it is the hottest month of the year yet here I am writing about whats in store for October. I shouldn’t laugh too hard, there really is only about 6 more weeks left of summer and then the fall colors are in! Are you ready for the fall? Have you already started adding new pieces to your fall lines or your jewelry box? I know I have been researching and adding new beads to my assortment ready to be assembled into something beautiful? So what can you expect this season? Variety. Move on over earthtones and let some color in this fall season! (Don’t get me wrong, earthtones are still in this season, we’re just making some room for some brighter revisions to the season)

Colors to watch (My FAV FOUR of about 20):

**** Fuchsia, Minty Fresh, Pumpkin, Fire Fly (pretty much the color of yellow turquoise) *********

This season is going to debut with bright colors of purple, yellow, and green. It is going to be a fun season.

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My Thoughts on Awareness Jewelry

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

Awareness Jewelry I believe is one of the best ways for a jewelry designer to contribute to a cause for two reasons: first reason being is you are raising money for a cause you believe in, but secondly you become more connected with the cause by making jewelry in support of it. It really makes me feel like I am doing something special and making a statement with my unique awareness jewelry that shows I do believe in this cause with my heart and sole.
With me, Drug Addiction is a strong cause I believe in, and wish that there were more funds available for those who need help but can not afford it. Often times people want to quit but without the proper resources or financial help these people can’t stop — since their body craves it even though they know they are hurting themselves, hurting others, and just want to stop but they can’t. I lost a very dear friend of mine to drug addiction, and hate to see others have this pain. It was a horrible path to watch and it saddened me that I could not do anything to help. With awareness jewelry I feel like I can now make a statement, I too can help raise money for those who can not afford to reach out and get help. I feel there should be more affordable health care options for people who are fighting addiction whether it be to drugs or alcohol.
Please stay tuned to my website: http://naturalamber.etsy.com
where I will be debuting my drug addiction awareness jewelry in the next couple of weeks.

What’s Hot About Yellow Turquoise?

Yesterday I wrote about trendy new gemstone colors for summer 2008, and I said I thought yellow turquoise may becoming a new hot trend, and my hunch has been confirmed by overwhelming amounts of Google sites and new jewelry designs in the anniversary edition of BeadStyle (I love this edition! Please buy it if you are in love with making jewelry)!

 

So why yellow? Is blue out now?  Yellow seems to be the new green this year, but please do not be fooled by how they are made. It is important to know that yellow turquoise is actually rather rare so often times most of the “yellow turquoise” on the market is enhanced in color, these are the stones from China, or the gemstones found are often times really Jasper or serpentine with black rock markings that make them look like turquoise.

Regardless to where they come from, or what they are, they are taking a giant sweep into the jewelry industry and the pieces made with this stone are absolutely stunning!  

 

So should you donate that dazzling new turquoise bracelet you just bought? Absolutely not. Blue is still hotter then ever, as I mentioned before check out the new BeadStyle magazine and you will see how hot blue still is.

 

Please stay tuned for yellow turquoise jewelry coming to my shop at, and please see my newest turquoise jewelry set:

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13526879

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13519743

http://naturalamber.etsy.com

 

Gemstones are Hot for 2008

 

What’s Hot this summer? If you are like me, following the trends are important, for me it’s because I am a jewelry artist and want to make sure I offer what people want, but I am also a trend enthusiastic and I am always wanting to design myself a pair of trendy earrings to wear out on a girls night out, or for a night of karaoke.

 

So what is hot right now?  Gemstones and silver. Currently,  the stars are flashing gemstones around and dazzling up their casual and evening wear with simple gemstone bracelets and gemstone earrings. The trendy colors this summer are the pastels colors: light pinks, purples, and blues. So what kind of gemstones should you be looking for?

 

Gemstones that are Pink: Rose Quartz, Cherry Quartz, Rhodolite, Agate, Moonstone

Gemstones that are Blue: Turquoise, Sapphire, Aquamarine, Topaz, Agate

Gemstones that are Purple: Amethyst, Some Jaspers, Agate

 

Have fun, find colors that compliment your skin tone, your eye color, and your outfit. I love purples and blues, and they look good on me so I often times wear gemstones like that. I love Amethyst and Turquoise. Also be on the look out for yellow! I have been seeing many new pieces with yellow turquoise on the market, and I have also been experimenting yellow turquoise and be so happy with the results. Absolutely stunning.