October 31, 2008

Scary Studio

I’ll be spending my Halloween in a very frightening place – the production area of my design studio. The picture on the left highlights a very small area on one of my design tables. I dare not show more as I fear for my reputation. I know it’s not pretty but it is what it is. The table looks the way it does because I can not create jewelry on pristine spaces. I’ve tried. For some bizarre reason, I must be surrounded at all times by colorful clutter. Only then do I begin to “feel” a bracelet coming on or a necklace surface from the deep, dark crevices of my creative mind. Don’t laugh. It’s my reality.

So on this All Hallows Eve, while greeting the neighborhood children with boatloads of assorted sweets and confections, I must temporarily relinquish control of my sacred space and “tidy” it in order to not scare away guests that will be attending a private trunk show I am hosting with a friend on Saturday. I’ve been asked to actually demonstrate how I go about designing my jewelry and the best place to do that is where it actually happens, so I was told. I’ve selfishly kept this part of my studio off limits to the public for obvious reasons but my friend made a cunning plea, I promised without thinking through the consequences and now I must honor the ill-gotten commitment. This trick is definitely not a treat…

Save some organic candy corn for me.


If you live or work in the New York Tri-State or Philadelphia, PA areas and would like more information on hosting a JulRe Designs Private Trunk Show in your home, at your company or at our Jersey City, NJ Design Studio,
email us.

October 29, 2008

Colorful Inspirations

Creative insight can come from varying sources for most writers, designers and other artistes. The evolution process from concept to finished product can be a holistic, spiritual but always very personal experience. My own method of discovery may be birthed from the fertile, green trees that line my street one day or the gleam of a golden sprinkle that lies atop a rich carrot cupcake from my favorite bakery in Chelsea. At times, it comes from the admiration of another jewelry designer like the incomparable Laura Gibson. But the resource I call upon most often to clear the artistic cobwebs is the work of the late abstract Russian painter, Wassily (Vasily) Kandinsky.




Here’s what
Wikipedia has to say about the artist's own process:
Kandinsky's creation of purely abstract work followed a long period of development and maturation of intense theoretical thought based on his personal artistic experiences. He called this devotion to inner beauty, fervor of spirit, and deep spiritual desire inner necessity, which was a central aspect of his art.

A lot of my jewelry has truly been inspired by Kandinsky’s apparent freedom from restriction in some paintings to the precise, geometric qualities in other of his works. To own a Kandinsky original will remain a dream but in the meantime, I will continue to visit the Guggenheim Museum in New York City often to breathe in the vivid, color-filled work of this artist. Learn more about Kandinsky here.

Photos Courtesy of Guggenheim.org

October 27, 2008

Water Works

My fellow beauty junkies, I’m going to share another one of my closely guarded secrets. This one’s big because I like keeping my cosmetic treasure chest close to the vest, letting out snippets ONLY when I’m about to bust with an overwhelming need to let the world know about a great discovery. I have a girlfriend that gets so annoyed with my inability to share my beauty finds that when she comes to visit, she immediately heads for my bathroom and proceeds to do her own investigation.


I stumbled upon H2O+ Sea-Derived Skincare many years ago during those carefree, frivolous times when Saturday shopping sprees were the norm and leaving the mall with your arms fatigued from the weight of the countless glossy bags you carried deserved a badge of honor. It was during one of my forays through the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center in New York City that I was drawn to this bright white, cheery space with shiny aluminum and glass shelves, artfully organized with bottles and jars of a unique contemporary design. I knew immediately that those bottles and jars that filled those shelves would soon fill mine. I walked out with my first jar of Face Oasis™ Hydrating Treatment, “a moisture-intensive gel that hydrates the skin while firming and diminishing the appearance of fine lines”, filled with Marine extracts of wakame, sea lettuce, and sea fennel and “helps attract, transport and distribute moisture equivalent to eight glasses of water.” It was love at first application. The H2O+ line is “focused solely on water-based, oil-free skincare” which makes it great for virtually all skin types. Although I started with the Oasis™ line (best for Oily, Dry or Combination skin), I have since become a fan of the Sea Results™ Collection with its menu of fabulous anti-aging products with straight from the sea ingredients like Spirulina and Nori. Most products are lightly fragranced or fragrance-free - great for even the most sensitive skin.

I’m loyal to anything that elicits amazed, slack-jawed expressions when I share my age. While most of the credit for my youthful spirit must go to great genes, wonderful family and friends, an amazing boyfriend, a business I'm passionate about and healthy living (most of the time), I must also give props to H2O+ for helping to keep the age-busting wolves at bay. You can purchase H2O+ Skincare, including superb its body care products at

www.h2oplus.com.
Photo Courtesy of h2Oplus.com

October 23, 2008

The Author Within

I'm writing a best-seller. Until now, I've kept it a closely guarded secret and those that know me will now be scratching their heads and wondering if I've taken that final leap into insanity. There's no doubt that my life is already filled with uncontrolled levels of complexity. The fact is I've been writing this book off and on for 6 years, trying to fulfill a dream I've had since childhood. Without giving away too much of the premise, it's a fictional love story about two people who meet through the infatuation a mutual friend has for one of them. And of course jewelry plays a huge role in how all of the characters connect. Here's the thing. Writers block is not my issue. Procrastination is not my excuse - this time. It's not really a lack of time or any of the common excuses one gives for not completing a project. It's my unnatural obsession with making sure the locations, the scents, the surroundings I write about are factual. I've been drawing on so many resources: the Internet, encyclopedias, conversations with residents of Chicago, IL (where the story takes place). I'm hopelessly lost in the research! The latest fixation I've called upon to expand my knowledge of jewelry and gemstone lore is the book Jewels, A Secret History by Victoria Finlay. Ginormous mistake!



I've been fascinated by the rich, impassioned stories Ms. Finlay tells about those "sparkly trinkets" we ogle in Tiffany's or drool over on the glossy pages of Vogue. From Cleopatra's Emerald mines to the fact that Peridot sometimes falls from the sky, this book is filled with alluring legends and written in a manner that makes historical facts captivate, not bore. In my humble opinion, this book should be in the library of every aspiring and established jewelry designer. It will allow you to be able to speak about your craft from a totally different and rather glamorous perspective. It will complete you. Fashion history buffs will absolutely love it too. And for me, perhaps it will someday help to make my best-seller a fact-based reality - if I can ever get my head out of it....

Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com

October 22, 2008

I've Been Wu'd....

I paid an unusual amount of attention to the Spring 2009 RTW Collections at NY Fashion Week in September. Typically, I’m not a fan of the fashion calendar - clothing shown so far from the time it can actually be worn or purchased can cause an anxiety attack. But I’m so starved for something new and exciting to look forward to. I’ve written too many times to mention about the small cache of American design houses that have never let me down – Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. As dependable as they are, I’m always looking for that one remarkable designer who can break through and give me the sophisticated classic lines that I love but with a bit of fresh whimsy. I think I found just that designer – Jason Wu.


Photos Courtesy of Style.com

Jason’s designs are at once ladylike and slightly devilish. The flowing A-line skirts he showcased are perfect for dressing up with one of his jewel-toned cashmere T’s and accesorizing with one of the color-filled bracelets from my Uncommon Splendors collection. In my opinion, his sheath dresses are his specialty. You can tell that he appreciates the female anatomy with his use of form fitting silhouettes and delicate detailing. I’ve never seen pleats and draping like his! The use of fun fabrics and brilliant colors give Jason’s clothing a quirky edge but it’s not overdone. Actually, it’s all perfectly Wu – nderful….

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