Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Earthenwood Design Team - Necklace Give-a-way


You can win this necklace!

Here is my design for February 2011 
"Heart Lock It"

You can win this necklace!  All you have to do is tell my your best or worst Valentine's Day story.  I will pick one winner from the stories posted.  Please post your email address with your story.
The winner will be chosen Monday, February 28th.  Good Luck!
Note from Melanie!
It's a new month, so it's time for a new challenge for the Design Team!  This month, in celebration of Valentine's Day (and my own anniversary with my sweetie Alex this week) I have chosen from my newest collection of hearts. I packaged up a dozen little bundles, each with a heart (either one of the Lock and Keys or the Everlasting Heartfires), a Heartfire link, a new Clock Face link, and a pair of little round pewtery link pairs. I have already sent out packages to the core members:

Andrew Thornton
Gaea Cannaday
Denise Yezbak Moore
Erin Prais-Hintz 
Erin Siegel
Heather Powers
Lorelei Eurto
 Lori Anderson
Jean Yates
Marie Dodd 

Antique Tuesday - Victorian Hair Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry
Mourning dress was popular throughout Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but it wasn't until Queen Victoria was widowed in 1861 upon Prince Albert's death that mourning dress spread throughout England, America and the world. Victoria, widowed at 42, proceeded to wear mourning dress for the next forty years of her life and required that her court do the same. The aristocracy followed suit, and mourning dress filtered down to all classes as an expression of dignity and social status. Although Americans were not directly affected by the mourning of England's monarch, they were influenced by world mourning fashion and customs. Several English magazines outlined the length of various mourning periods. The Gentlewoman, for example, recommended fifteen months mourning for a daughter who lost a parent: six in crape, six in black and three in half mourning. Different magazines outlined different schedules, which proved to be quite confusing for the mourner who didn't want to dress inappropriately. Women wore no jewelry during the initial phase, deep mourning, but a booming fashion and jewelry market emerged for the later stages. Mourning was a respectful, yet fashionable practice; women were quite interested in wearing attractive mourning dress and accessories. 

Laurelle Limited Antique and Fine Jewelry - $444.18 Circa 1850

For mourning accessories, jewelry items made from the hair of a deceased friend or loved one became hugely popular. Pamphlets featuring hairworking patterns assisted Victorians with creating their own hair jewelry, if they so desired. The jewelry designs are surprisingly complex and varied for consisting of such humble material as human hair. The pieces could incorporate jet, gold and diamonds for later stages of mourning or lockets for hair or photographs. There was also a large market for mass-produced gold fittings that could be personalized with engraving or monograms, so the jewelry items could be commissioned as well. There was some distrust, however, of professional hairworkers; there was a widespread problem of hairworkers neglecting to use the deceased person's hair. Instead, they would sell "custom-made" pieces actually made from purchased bulk hair. 

Weston Fine Jewelry - $1,099

Hair jewelry functioned as a keepsake of the dead and as a memento mori, a reminder that death was an ever-present possibility; the wearer was constantly reminded that she should lead a good life because death could strike without warning. Often a wearer would add more hair pieces to a glass-covered brooch when additional relatives or friends passed away. Hair jewelry was not always worn to commemorate the dead; lovers also wore pieces made from the couple's hair. 

Above Article from History of Hair Jewelry in Victorian America - Historic Northampton Museum and Education Center. 

Adin Fine Antique Jewelry - $3,729

This mourning ring has the hair of little baby that died in 1877 at the age of 11 months. The hair is visible behind the glass window in the center of the ring that is surrounded by 19 little rose cut diamonds. In the inside of the ring we see the name of the child and the day he passed away.

Maryefine Antique Jewelry - $395.72

Woven hair mourning earrings with 9 carat gold fittings dating to the Victorian period, circa 1870.

Pugh's Vintage - $1,250

Antique Victorian snake hair mourning bracelet 12kt gold.

Cutter Gallery - $524.99

Circa 1865 14kt gold mourning hair ring.

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

A. Bernhard & Co. Catalogue, 1870 - 48 of Victorian hair bracelets, brooches, stickpins and earrings.

I hope you enjoyed today's "Antique Tuesday".

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bead Trends Magazine - February 2011

I have to say that this issue of Bead Trends magazine features my favorite cover ever.  I think the flower necklace is fabulous and "No" it is not mine!

My first project in this magazine is called "Dance of the Dragonflies".  It features Vintaj Natural Brass and Ranger Alcohol Inks.

I am very excited to be featured in the "Jewel School" section of Bead Trends this month!

Be sure to pick up your copy of the February Bead Trends Magazine to get instructions on how to patina brass with sea salt and apple vinegar!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Free Projects at Michaels.com

Here are my latest free projects that have just been listed on Michaels.com.  All designs are made with "Bead Gallery" beads manufactured by Halcraft USA.

My original photo

My original photo

My original photo

I hope everyone likes the designs.  Be sure to check out Michaels.com for other fabulous and free jewelry designs.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bead and Button - February 2011

Michaels National Ad Campaign

I wanted to share with you my first Ad for Halcraft (Bead Gallery Beads).  It is a print advertisement  for Michaels craft stores.  This ad can be found in the February issue of Bead & Button Magazine.  There is a 15% off coupon for your jewelry supply purchase at Michaels. 

Here is my original photo.  It is amazing what a professional photographer can do.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Antique Tuesday - Plique a jour - Art Nouveau

Circa 1890 - Retail Value $25,073

Today we are looking at 3 pieces of Art Nouveau Period Circa 1890 to 1905 Plique-a-jour jewelry.

Circa 1900 - Retail Value $4,405

Plique-à-jour, (French for "braid letting in daylight"} is a vitreous enameling technique where the enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonne, but with no backing in the final product, so light can shine through the transparent or translucent enamel. It has a stained-glass like appearance and is considered very challenging technically. (From: Wikipedia)

Circa 1900 - Retail $2,914

This example below shows the back of the pendant/pin from the top of the page.

Sorry about last week everyone.  I have been super slammed with deadlines.  I will do my best to publish "Antique Tuesday" each week.  Sometimes it maybe only twice a month.  I hope you enjoyed this weeks post.

Please visit Adin Fine Antique Jewelry to see other fabulous jewelry!
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