December 11, 2012

'Tis the Cocktail Season

Top left, clockwise: Bourbon Hot Toddy, Poinsettia Cocktail, Cranberry Cocktails, Bloody Caesar, Pina Colada

I've been a little obsessed with finding the perfect cocktails this season. With so many soirees for our Insiders, jewelry trunk shows and informal parties for family and friends, it has become a regular ritual to peruse the web, watch the food channels and ask local bartenders for their tastiest, colorful, most satisfying Holiday drinks. 

Between the beverages highlighted above and the favorites a few of my team members and I have pinned on my dedicated Pinterest board, we've creatively assembled quite a collection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic libations. Our PR & Marketing Manager, a self proclaimed  mixologist, has even designated one evening a month to cocktail sampling in my studio where we invent a few signature drinks like The Sapphire, consisting of vodka, lime juice and a few other ingredients that we soon learned should not, under any circumstances, be combined in a shaker or a blender.

I feel cocktail hour is not just for flavor experimentation, it's also a great time for ushering in a high energy party environment, enjoying good conversation or simply an accompaniment for some much needed quiet time. So as you make your way through this most joyous (yet hectic) time of year, take some time to delight in a cocktail or two. But whatever you choose to do, please drink responsibly.

November 13, 2012

Color Craze: Gray Days


As I wrapped up production of my latest jewelry collection back in August, I wondered if it was too much of a departure from my normally color-filled aesthetic. Would my customers be confused about the direction I was taking? I was so inspired by a hot Summer day and a brisk walk I took near a construction zone by the Hudson River. Sheets of cool slate lay on top of gravel and pebbles. The sun shone brightly on piles of rough rock, casting a prism of shadows that created more shades of gray than I ever thought possible. And while gray is considered a neutral in the world of fashion, I saw texture, vibrancy and endless creative possibilities.

Polished Organics is my homage to the shiny beauty of stones like Hematite, puffy clouds before a rainstorm, brand new No. 2 pencils and that pile of clean slate on that beautiful Summer day. 


September 27, 2012

Color Craze: Blue Green Scene

Images (top left, clockwise): Blue/Green pumps on the runway, Wall Art, Skirt and Blouse,
Blue and Green Tableware, Paintbrushes

There's no color combination that calms, soothes and cheers you up at the same time like Blue and Green. It's the type of match-up that's alive, vibrant and can work in your closet for all seasons. Add the combo to your wardrobe with accessories to inject a pop of cool color to a neutral outfit or wear it head to toe for a fresh, modern statement.

I love working these colors into my jewelry collections because there are endless shade variations that can compliment all skin types. For beautiful Fall looks, think deep blue/green Azurite, Turquoise, rich green Malachite and royal blue Lapis.

Images: 1. Seagrove Necklace, 2. Cote d'Azur Bracelet, 3. Seaside Earrings,
4. Fresh Bracelet , 5. Custom Earrings, 6. Rainforest Necklace


September 20, 2012

Even Jewelry Has a Past

Images: (Top Left) Ancient jewelry discovered by Israeli archaeologists is displayed at the Tel Aviv University, Israel. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty) (Top Right) Alexander Calder Flower necklace, c. 1938  calder.org (Bottom) 12th century gold earrings from Iran. From “Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry: Exquisite Objects from the Cradle of Civilization,” an exhibit sponsored by The National Jewelry Institute 

It is my belief that in order to truly perfect your craft, whatever it may be, you must first understand its origin. Those who teach should know the history of the modern educational system and the great educators of world. Those who are professional athletes should recognize and respect the athletes of the past who broke ground for their sport and paved the way for today's competitors. In that same vane, my passion is jewelry design so I pay homage to the history of its design by celebrating the creativity of those who originally developed time-honored production techniques and functionality as well as those whose use of color and culture collaboratively have inspired countless jewelry artists including myself.

Kenyan man wearing tribal beads. (Wikipedia)

1935 - Creation of the Ludo Hexagon bracelet.
Van Cleef & Arpels

For anyone who loves jewelry and wants to get more of an appreciation of this true art form, I recommend reading 7000 Years of Jewelry by Hugh Tait and Jewelry: From Antiquity to the Present by Clare Phillips. Rich with imagery, they also make great coffee table gifts! Also, visit the American Society Jewelry Historians website for a listing of jewelry exhibits across the globe. Long live jewelry!


September 13, 2012

Dress Code: Fall Wear

1. Marc By Marc Jacobs Palladium Sweater Black Blazer, 2. Silver Moon Necklace by JulRe Designs, 3. J. Crew Painter Boatneck Tee, 4. Ralph Lauren Collection Black Leather Laced Patchwork DoubleHandle Tote, 5. J Brand Denim 811 mid-rise skinny jeans, 6. Prada Black Leather Platform Tall Boots, 7. "The Minis" - Triangle Earrings by JulRe Designs

Summer is great but Fall is the hands down fashion season winner in my book. Luxurious sweater jackets, soft leather boots and medium to deep, dark wash skinny jeans (always with a little stretch) become my uniform of choice and I love to accent a perfect long sleeve t-shirt with an interesting necklace and lightweight earrings from my jewelry collections. This comfy combo takes me from my design studio, to the train or plane when I travel for custom jewelry consultations or private trunk shows, right to dinner at a favorite local bistro. Add a big, fabulous tote bag and I'm good to go on the go! 

September 6, 2012

It's Party Time!


My Fall 2012 Jewelry Collection is here! I'm so excited. Every collection is a true labor of love but this one is extra special. It's the first full collection that will available mainly through my soirees, complete with champagne and gourmet edibles. While a very small number of items are available online, there are more than 50 additional one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces that you will only be able to shop for at one of our fabulous events.

Don't worry if you can't make it to the New York City or Philadelphia areas to party with us. You can always host a Private Trunk Show where the shopping is made easy. My trained Jewelry Stylists will bring the jewels to you! We do almost all of the work (you provide the location) and sometimes we can even do mini fashion shows where our models can show you and your guests exactly how to accessorize your favorite outfits with my color-filled earrings, necklaces and bracelets. It's a great addition to bridal showers, birthday parties and Girls Nights Out. Trust me, we bring the fashion fun!

I love these events because it gives me a chance to meet fabulous people and make new jewelry friends. Hope to see you at the next party!

August 30, 2012

Color Craze: Glam Gold



I'm loving Gold for Fall. The color warms my heart and adds a Luxe dimension to anything it touches. I love it as an accessory like a great handbag or for a red carpet look at black tie events. Gold can also be worn in the workplace, in moderation, of course - a golden scarf over a black cashmere sweater or shiny gold pumps that go with ease from day to night. It's true what they say - All that glitters is golden.


I've always designed some jewelry in Gold for past collections but I've kept the trend "glowing" with some subtle, glam gold pieces that will be your go-to jewelry for everyday and special occasions. Check out (2) The Triplets Necklace in Matte Gold and stay tuned for more additions for Fall 2012 in my new boutique.

Images: (1) Soleil Slice Earrings, (3) Glistening Bronze Pearl Necklace, (4) The Gilt Bracelet

July 29, 2012

Pin the Jewels on Pinterest Giveaway! - CLOSED

UPDATE: Congrats to our winner, Jennifer B.!

If you're as addicted to Pinterest as we are, you'll love our latest giveaway! Go crazy in my Oh, the Jewels board. Feel free to "pin" away for a chance to win some cool jewelry! (Be sure to read the complete details, including the Terms and Conditions below before entering. Contest ends August 6, 2012.)

CONTEST DETAILS BELOW

a Rafflecopter giveaway


July 19, 2012

These Three Things

I'm enjoying the Summer season even though what is typically thought of as a time of rest and relaxation means an increased workload for me (not complaining just sharing). And although a real vacation is not in the cards for me this year, there are 3 things that I am going to make the time to see, read and enjoy before Fall leaves start to change colors:



1. Dale Chihuly is an incredibly gifted glass artist whose work is filled with color and incredible imagination. The Arboretum in Dallas, TX is featuring his illuminated sculptures during Chihuly Nights until November 5th.


2. The divine sparkling juices from the St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, MI are a perfect accompaniment for any meal when you'd prefer something refreshing and sans alcohol.  I'm anxiously awaiting my case of Passionfruit/Peach Spumante.


3. I'm a huge fan of the Bourne movies and will truly miss Matt Damon in the title role but a least I'll still be able to keep reading the Jason Bourne series and author Robert Ludlam's latest, The Bourne Imperative looks like the most exciting yet.

April 3, 2012

Beauty in the Jewelry Studio


Technically, we're on Spring Break at my company, but what that really means for us is that we slow our pace for one week (we do this at the beginning of every quarter) to catch-up, regroup and revitalize.  We work from home on projects of our choice, no shows, no travel, no meetings.  Except for our weekly Monday morning status call, made mandatory by our business manager,  a Type A+ workaholic personality with no turn-off switch. But I digress.  



After we'd finished dealing with business matters yesterday but before we all hung up, we segued into a discussion about the work we do when we're together in my design studio and regardless as to whether we're working with gemstones, packing jewelry for shipment or filing sketches of design ideas, dry hands are something we all have to contend with.  I mentioned that I'm loving (2) Vaseline Intensive Rescue Healing Hand Cream because it's really moisturizing, non-greasy and fragrance free.  All of a sudden there were gasps of agreement. Unbeknownst to each of us, we all had been using the exact same cream.  As the conversation progressed, we realized we all had must-have beauty products for surviving in the studio. So I took notes and here's a list of a few of our favorite items you might find in our handbags or desk drawers. You might want to give them a try too:


Lisa, our PR & Social Media Manager always has gorgeous hands, even after a day of typing out posts and pitches. She says the (1) Diamancel Flexible Diamond Nail Files make it easy to keep from her nails smooth and shapely. She's also a moisture freak, drinking water all day for her internal well being and refreshing her face from the dry studio air with (4) evian Facial Spray. Elisabeth, who makes sure everything runs smoothly for all of us everyday, does tons of paperwork and frequently needs to get her fragile hair away from her face. (9) Scunci "No Damage" Elastics are gentle and don't cause breakage when removed. Since tiny cuts from paper or moving boxes or unwinding wire are commonplace, she also swears by (7) Tea Tree Therapy for healing them quickly and painlessly. Our talented Sales Director and Trunk Show hostess extraordinaire, Alicia, surprised us all with her beauty secret, (6) the best hair brush around by Frederic Fekkai as a holiday gift. We're in deep LOVE with the brush for its convenient travel size but also the protecting natural boar bristles. 

I'm always on the move, meeting customers for jewelry styling or custom design consultations so when I need to refresh my makeup in between appointments, I rely on (8) L'Oreal Advanced Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Wet Cleansing Towelettes. They're not drying, remove eye makeup thoroughly and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.  And speaking of soft and smooth, I can't live without (3) Sara Happ's Lip Slip. It's super-hydrating and makes a perfect base before retouching my lipstick. And we can't leave out Brett, our new Shipping Manager, who insisted on being included in this post. He says all he needs to stay beautiful (said with mocking sarcasm) is (5) Vitamin B-12. He claims it's the reason his energy level is high and his hair is glossy. We're not sure about the hair claim but we do believe he may be onto something with regard to energy. When we're all fading fast into the 3 PM slump, he's the peppy, annoyingly positive one in no need of a coffee infusion. We may be ordering a few bottles for the studio.

Enjoy these suggestions!

March 15, 2012

Turning Tricks Into Treats


Image courtesy of chilloutspots.com 
Once again I find myself at the tail end of planning a Summer vacation that may or may not happen. Oh, everything was prepaid many months ago and as long as I'm still on this earth, I will make it to the resort where we've rented a beautiful house, hoping beyond hope that we'll be able to stay for the entire 3 weeks as planned.  For the past two years, due to the demands of entrepreneurship, vacation has always amounted to any number of hastily strewn together long weekends which no matter how much I promise, swear and cajole myself into believing that I can leave the work behind, almost always ended up being 30% vacation, 70% business. Quite frankly that can never be a substitution for the complete detachment from the world that 2-3 weeks totally away from the distractions of work can bring.  It doesn't help that my significant other, also an entrepreneur, has no turn off switch.


So what will make this time different? I'm not sure yet but I do know that it's only March and I'm already looking ahead to a break in the action.  Maybe if I practice an adult version what my Mom used to do with my brother and I as kids to get us to go to sleep at night.  She would keep us so active during the day that we would tire ourselves out and our bodies would make the shut down decision for us. Sleep came fast and easy.  I won't work so hard that I damage my wellbeing but perhaps I can trick myself into letting go completely this year. Guaranteed I'll need help getting to the treat.  Can you relate?

March 8, 2012

Eat Good Food

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
- George Bernard Shaw

Do you love food? I mean do you REALLY love food? Do you wake up and think not simply about what you will put in your mouth for breakfast but how you will plate it, how the smells will commingle in the air in your kitchen and waft through your house, how the tastes will coexist on your tongue? This is how I think of food and before you pass judgement, know that I come from a long line of foodies. Growing up, cooking was never just a function of eating in my family. It was a celebration of an edible art form. I was fortunate enough to experience fine dining at an early age as well as amazingly flavorful home cooking and tasty healthy fare. (Mom was a dietitian before she became a teacher.) I've learned to appreciate food not just as nourishment but as a gift to our palates. 

Since I'm fortunate enough to be able to enjoy good meals on a daily basis, I don't take food for granted.  I savor every bite and take the time to taste flavors and feel the textures of various dishes.  I LOVE to cook. It is one of the best stress-relievers.  I enjoy preparing meals with the best ingredients I can find, with a deep passion for dishes that satisfy and most importantly, with love.  Discovering a phenomenal new restaurant and revisiting old favorites is one of my greatest pleasures.  Here are 10 special eateries I can never get enough of: 

Gotham Bar & Grill, The Harrison and Red Rooster in New York City
Lighthorse Tavern in Jersey City, NJ
FIG in Charleston, SC
Alma de Cuba, Parc and Village Whiskey in Philadelphia, PA
Founding Farmers in Washington, DC
A Fish Called Avalon in Miami Beach, FL  

These choice few make my list because of their attention to small details (table settings, lighting), the incredible service and how each visit is consistently something to remember.  And of course, the food is always the brightest shining star.

Eating is a glorious experience but unfortunately, it isn't one that everyone in the world gets to partake in. Global hunger is a real epidemic and that's why I now support the efforts of such organizations as Stop Hunger Now whose mission is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world's most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.  Be grateful if you are able to appreciate food everyday and support efforts to feed those that can't. 

UPDATE: I'm also supporting the work of Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign.

Eat Good Food on Pinterest!

January 30, 2012

Less is Less. More is More.

If my life were a classified ad, it would read "Help Wanted: Designer Seeks a Life Balance Manager to Simplify her Existence".  Self-help books, focused meditations, mantras, visualization practices - I've tried them all.  And some of them have actually worked for me in small ways but there's been no better way to create the less chaotic life is desire than to be honest about what I am truly capable of handling.  The fact is, the more work and responsibility I take on, the more complicated each day is. The less I try to tackle, the less need for me to sweat the the small stuff. It's a very simple formula yet one that's ever increasingly difficult to implement. The reality of every day brings out-of-this-world challenges, unexpected smack downs but alternately highs so high you can become breathless from their heights.  The sheer act of trying to prioritize and put things into proper perspective can be exhausting.  And let's not forget that this life isn't just about us.  For most, what we decide to do and how we choose to do it impacts a host of others caught up in our orbit.  So with all of the moving pieces in our daily journey, is real balance a myth?  Maybe.

I think perfectionism, while necessary in cases where a precise outcome is required, like building airplanes, can be a destructive tool in the hands of a stressed out, over-wrought individual who feels the pressure to get a myriad of things done within any given 24 hour period.  You can't escape what life dishes out but you can control how much of it you take on.  The sooner we accept that the quest for a life of equilibrium will no doubt include many, many times of imbalance, the sooner we are able be at peace the imperfect nature of being.  I'm going to start this week off by acknowledging that there's only so much I can do. What I can accomplish, I will.  What I can't, I will accept. 


January 19, 2012

Custom, Color and the Jewelry Giveaway! - CLOSED

CONGRATULATIONS to our winner - Amanda R.!


I'M SO EXCITED! There's nothing I'd love more than to make someone happy by designing jewelry especially for them!




January 9, 2012

A #Jewelry Tradition



For three winter Sunday evenings beginning in mid-January and ending late February, I can be found popping some popcorn, opening a bottle of sparkling juice, positioning myself in the most optimal position in a big, comfy chair with a warm, plush blanket wrapped tightly around my legs and feet, laptop in lap, remote control in hand, ready to witness an annual Hollywood tradition: The Awards Season.



This year, beginning on January 15 with the Golden Globe Awards, January 29 for the Screen Actors Guild Awards and culminating with the Academy Awards on February 26, join me and a lively group of my jewelry-loving Twitter friends including the woman who got the whole party started, Jewelry.com's veritable blogger@JewelryInsider as we once again offer our sometimes tough, always fun but bitingly honest critiques of the beads, baubles and bangles (or in recent years, the lack thereof) worn by the stars as they walk the Red Carpet before each show. We use the hashtags #GlobeJewelry #SAGJewelry and #OscarJewelry to keep up with the conversations and observations. The easiest place to keep up with all of the action is here.  WARNING: Virtual drinking games have sometimes ensued but all in the name of beautiful jewels.



After last year's Golden Globes,  I was inspired to put my jewelry styling skills to the test and offer some Luxe for Less style board alternatives (as seen in this post) for some of my favorite actresses using pieces from my own LUXE jewelry collection.  This year, I will tackle the Oscars and hopefully introduce new items from my Spring 2012 collection before they hit my trunk shows and online boutiques.  Stay tuned for my post here on Monday, February 27 and don't forget to join me for all of the award season fun on Twitter!

January 2, 2012

New Year, New Career?

Happy 2012!  It's a brand new year full of wonderful possibilities.  I'm not a big believer in resolutions mainly because I've rarely been successful at committing to them but I'm a huge proponent of setting achievable goals with viable action plans.  So in that vane....
Earrings from JulRe Designs LUXE

A couple of years ago, a custom design client asked if I would bring some of my ready-to-wear jewelry to a photo shoot for her family portrait.  It was an odd request at that time but the idea of reaching back to my old fashion consulting bag of tricks was intriguing.  Little did I know that on that day, I would discover a whole new direction for my company.  I've been dabbling in jewelry styling rather informally ever since that day, occasionally at trunk shows and in my studio with customers but was never able to devote much time to it due to the demands of my design business.  This past weekend proved to be just the motivation I needed to shine a focused spotlight on what I hope will be my next big thing.


For my first official gig as a Jewelry Stylist, I was incredibly fortunate to be asked to style 2 very unique clients (who happen to be best friends) for New Year's Eve parties.  For each one, I brought along tons of jewelry from my Luxe and Eclectic collections.  The women's style sensibilities couldn't have been more different but that's what made the whole frantic, nerve-wracking adventure so much fun.  One was funky and free-spirited with a penchant for neon colors while the other is a self-proclaimed minimalist, more comfortable with simple lines and mellow hues.  Thanks to the magic of Polyvore, I put together the style boards above and below and while not exact representations of what each woman wore, the colors, clothing and accessory styles are strikingly similar.

 Bracelet from The Shop at JulRe Designs
Earrings from JulRe Designs LUXE
I'm so happy to say that both clients were fashionable hits at their events and I had the time of my life doing something I absolutely love.  There's nothing like discovering a new way to make people happy and then having the opportunity to turn it into a new creative avenue.  What a great way to start the year!

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