Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I have this absolutely incredible amazing dog! He’s lovable, intelligent, devoted, beautiful, and can be adorably obnoxious… as all puppies are. He’s a German-bred show line German Shepherd. His name is Cash and he’s 2 years old. And he’s my pride and joy! My poor husband doesn’t think he can ever compete with the animals… maybe he’s right. I don’t think so, I do love my husband. But Cash is just awesome!

When I was a kid, a German Shepherd bit me. I had over 150 stitches in my face and was hospitalized for a week. I still loved dogs after that, even saying in recovery, “He’s sorry, he’s a good dog, he didn’t mean to do it.” German Shepherds can be amazing dogs, but with any large, smart, powerful dog, gosh, you have to know what you’re getting!! So I knew I needed to research and find the right bloodlines, the right breeder. As soon as I met Cash’s dad Saint, I knew I had to have a Saint pup! I was then able to pick the mom, and then had first pick male of that litter.

I’ve worked with Cash since he was a puppy - socializing him, building his drive and building his spirit. He’s a certified therapy dog and he’s perfect for it! He LOVES people. Walk up to him and kneel down and you’ll have him slurping your face… don’t try to stop him once he’s started, or he’ll just lick your ears or your hair, or whatever else is exposed.

I have done some preliminary Schutzhund training with Cash over the last two years and have now finally found a great Schutzhund club and have set aside the time and the money to pursue the sport with him. Schutzhund is a sport developed for the German Shepherd that involves obedience, protection and tracking. Schutzhund tests the temperament, nerves and workability of the breed. It’s a very demanding sport for a dog and once a dog is titled in Schutzhund, it’s a testament to that dog’s soundness of mind and body.

We had our first training session (in quite a while!) on Saturday, and I was so impressed with Cash. From what I saw of him that day, he has just as much potential as I had always hoped he had. I’ve been working with him all week, riling him up for protection work and obedience. I can’t wait to go back to class next Saturday. It will be fun to see him improve every week and get to the point where he’s running blinds.

Google Schutzhund for more fascinating information on the sport! For really super-cool videos, go to www.youtube.com and check out the Schutzund videos… it’s AMAZING what these dogs can do!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

This year has been a wonderful year of growth for Symphony Jewels. I have had a summer of successful art shows, repeat customers visiting me regularly and frequent requests for custom jewelry. Now that the business is supporting itself, I have wanted to get more involved in local charities. For the last two years, sales from my Cancer Awareness bracelet has benefited the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, but I want to do more. Tonight a great opportunity came along. My aunt belongs to a local women’s club that hosts several fundraising events throughout the year. She called to ask if I wanted to donate a piece of jewelry to their next auction.

This week I have a necklace and earring set that is being featured in the Hawthorn Woods Women’s Club annual Love Fund Auction. All proceeds benefit women and children in need in Lake County, focusing on local shelters that support victims of domestic violence.

The donation is the Golden Skies set – a necklace and earrings in a beautiful combination of aquamarine blue and shimmery pale gold. This set features Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, sterling and fine silver, and rutilated quartz.

I am very excited to be a part of this event and hope for a very successful fundraiaser!

For more information on the benefiting charities, please visit the Hawthorn Woods Women’s Club at http://www.hwwc.info/.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I thought things would calm down a little bit after my summer art shows, but it just wasn't in the cards!

First of all, what a blast I have had at my shows this year. Meeting so many new people, getting back in touch with some of you that I only see a couple times a year... it's been wonderful! Thank you so much to those of you who have come out to see me. I can't tell you how happy I am to see familiar faces at my shows.

Second, like I said, things haven't slowed down much. Well, I have! We lost my grandmother a couple weeks ago. She was in hospice for a while (over a year), so we knew it was coming, but it's never easy. It was hard watching her children (my mom, aunts and uncles) deal with it. But some wonderful stories and memories were shared and distant family members were present. I haven't seen some of my cousins in years. And I met new family from grandma's hometown in Texas.

That same week my brother came in from the Navy, so it was quite an emotional week of joy and sorrow. But we had a little celebration for his homecoming. I only see Dan once a year, so it was wonderful to spend some time with him. My brothers and I enjoyed our normal pasttime -- playing games, and winning! :) He's back out on the east coast again, but not going out on anymore 6-month deployments, so he'll actually be around more often for his final years of service.

And then, as luck would have it, I came down with a horrendous ... something. I've been bed-ridden for the last week. Today is my first day up and about. After 2 doctor's visits and several medication trials later, they finally gave me some meds that work! Of course, I'm pumped with a false sense of energy, so I should really be in bed resting right now. But I was excited to make some new jewelry and try some new techniques. I'm buying a bunch of new tools this week to continue on my journey. Oooh, I can't wait 'til I'm completely healthy again and can play more!

Anyway, this is a photo of brand new pendant. It's copper -- sawed, shaped, and hammered by hand. I normally patinate my copper, but I really like how the bright copper works with the bright sterling silver. An added splash of sparkle with 3 clear Swarovski crystals and sterling silver dangles, on sterling silver chain.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I just returned from my annual trip to Lexington, Kentucky for Breyerfest. To shed a little light on my “other identity”, Breyerfest is an annual convention for model horse collectors. Breyer Molding Co., a subsidiary of Reeves International, originally gave birth to its first plastic model horse around 1950. They were commissioned by a clock company to create this horse to decorate their clocks. The horse was then released by itself and Breyer continued to create an entire line of horse molds and colors.

I started collecting Breyers when I was 5 years old. I loved horses, but we didn’t have the land, the money or the know-how for horses. So Breyers were the next best thing. Throughout high school and college, my collection multiplied! In those years Breyers had great collectible value and I began buying and selling to help fund my schooling and my addiction to the hobby! Because I was heavily researching prices on Breyers, I decided to publish a Breyer value guide, which was in production for several years. As my life filled with other things, like a “real job” and home ownership, the Breyer value guide fell to the wayside. I still collected and eventually started to dabble in another aspect of the hobby – model horse customizing.

There are artists who repaint and/or resculpt these plastic models. There are also artists who create equine sculptures from scratch and have them produced into molds. People can buy these unpainted resins and paint them. I loved the idea of repainting these models so I started hand-painting and eventually picked up an airbrush. As I produced more and more customized horses, I started to offer them for sale to the model horse community. Sales went well and when my husband and I moved into our first house together, he made a studio for me where I did all my painting. We then decided to sell that and build a new house. Life filled up with home construction, home decorating, and career advancements and, again, left no time for the horse hobby. We never built a studio for me in our new home. But I do miss painting horses and every Breyerfest reminds me of that passion.

Breyerfest, summed up, is a madhouse of crazy horse collectors frantically buying, selling and promoting. It’s predominantly women, but supportive husbands and budding collector children come along for the ride. Breyerfest is held at the Kentucky Horse Park and the Holiday Inn. The hotel is booked 350-some days in advance, and rooms sell out within hours. Every evening, people staying in the hotel open up the room doors and the hotel becomes a model horse flea market! The halls are packed with thousands of people shopping for their next prized possession. The banquet halls are home of the infamous Friday night “Swap Meet”, where collectors rent tables and sell their horses, and the Artisan’s Gallery, where artists rent tables and sell their resins and customs (the repainted/resculpted & made from scratch models). There are also artists that make model horse sized tack, model horse sized buggies and carts, model horse sized stables, model horse sized dioramas… like I said, we’re crazy horse collectors. If I told you about the “model horse show world”, you’d think we all needed therapy. If I told you about the “model horse breeding program”, you’d think we all needed rehab!

I was selling some “original finish” models (factory-produced, the ones you buy off the shelf in a store) and some customs and resins. I had customs from various artists, including 4 of my own. I was very pleased that the 2 customs that sold were both mine! Made me feel like my artistry is still valued a little in the hobby! And made me want to rush home, build a new studio, and grab the airbrush and air compressor out of storage. My husband refused to let me. He said he gets little enough of my time as it is.

To add a jewelry-related blurb... I brought my jewelry the last couple years and sold that out of the room too. It doesn’t sell too well, since everyone’s budget is for more horses. But one of the girls who bought a necklace from me last year came to my room late Saturday night, told me she’s been looking for me all weekend, and wanted to see my jewelry again. She said she gets compliments constantly when she wears the necklace. I didn’t have my jewelry with me, but had a few pieces I brought to wear. She fell in love with one of the bracelets, and bought that.

I’m back home, unpacked and all model horses are put back away. Next year is the 20th anniversary of Breyerfest and should be quite a fiesta! My husband wants to ditch the annual horse trip and go to the Jimmy Buffet concert instead. “But honey, it’s the 20TH ANNIVERSARY!” I think he wants to skip the madness of it all just once. It takes a strong man to be married to a model horse collector.

Monday, July 21, 2008

August 24, Sunday, 10-5
A Walk in the Park Art Show
North School Park,
410 N. Arlington Heights Rd
Near downtown Arlington Heights

This posting is a week late. I couldn’t quite get it out in time before my vacation last week!

Monday, July 14, 2008
I just wrapped up my weekend at the Arts in the Park show in Northbrook hosted by D&W Events. Another great show!! We were super-lucky with the weather. All week I watched the weather reports that predicted scattered thunderstorms on Saturday and temperatures in the 90’s all weekend. I was prepared for a hot humid rainy weekend. Luckily, it was all wrong! Saturday was a bit gloomy in the morning, but everything cleared up by mid-day. We had milder temperatures and humidity than expected both days. My booth originally wasn’t in the greatest location, but I requested to move to a better spot if there were any cancellations, and the show holder moved me to a prime location, just a few booths down from the food vendors on the main path. The stars were aligned perfectly! Sales were great, and one of my most fabulous statement necklaces sold. Margaret, I hope you enjoy it!!

It was great to see those of you who were able to make it out to the show! It’s always nice to see familiar faces. Thank you for taking the time to visit and to recommend my jewelry to your friends.

I wasn’t able to socialize or visit other booths as much as I like to, but I did see a few interesting booths with some wonderful artwork. There were dogs-a-plenty (and I love furry critters!), so I was drawn out of my booth several times to get some puppy kisses. At the end of Sunday, a couple who runs a bird rescue walked by with 2 cockatoos. I never realized there was a bird rescue. I’ve always wanted an African Grey or a Cockatoo. If the day ever comes to get one, I know where I’ll go to give a sweet bird a home. Now to convince the husband………

I am also happy to report that all of my newest designs sold! My metal and wirework has been flying off the shelf, so I’ll have to restock before my next show in August. I sold enough of all of my designs to now justify making more products. Earlier this year, I decided to have a “maximum quantity” of pieces in stock at any time. I have compartment trays for my bracelets and necklaces, and I decided not to make anything new as long as my stock exceeds the number of compartments available. After the last few shows, I am well under my maximum stock! I’m looking forward to creating some brand new designs in the upcoming weeks.

The bad news I only have one more summer show left this year. It’s been a busy year with weddings, vacations, and other family commitments, so my weekends available for art shows were limited. If you haven’t seen me yet (or even if you have!) stop by my last summer show. I hope to have my metal & wirework display full by then. August 24, Sunday, 10am-5pm, “A Walk in the Park” art show is located at the beautiful North School Park, 410 N. Arlington Heights Rd, near downtown Arlington Heights. This has always been my favorite show of the year. I hope to see some of you there!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Show Review
Cuneo Gardens, Vernon Hills, IL
Hosted by D&W Events
Sat-Sun, May 24-25, 2008

Take a stroll through the Cuneo Gardens Art Show and take in beautiful scenery and equally beautiful artwork!

The park itself is breathtaking. I was so busy setting up on that early chilly morning, it wasn’t until I finished my display and took a step outside my tent that I saw the peaceful lake a stone’s throw away. As I walked back from the artist parking area, the stone pathway led me through a beautiful garden abundant with budding flowers, contrasting green boxwood and burgundy barberry and a forest of mature trees. Cuneo Gardens also features an historic mansion open for tours and open to the public for indoor restrooms with functioning plumbing!

I have never attended or participated in this show before, but I can’t rave enough! This is a young show and the flow of attendees is light and steady. That means there is plenty of parking and you don’t have to fight the crowds. But I predict it won’t be long before this show becomes well-known and well-loved!

It is a smaller show, featuring only 45 artists this year, but don’t let that deter you. The artistry in this show is amazing! There were several vendors in various mediums, but each artist had their own style, giving customers quite a variety. For example, there were several jewelry designers, but not one of us had a similar style. As an artist, I felt like I really had no direct competition. As a shopper, I felt like each booth I walked into was something new and delightful.

This show also provides a great way to spend time with the family. Admission is free to the public and the show features artwork, entertainment, food and a kid-friendly environment. Parents can spend some time at the Kids’ Art tent, keeping the young ones busy and allowing them to create some art of their own.

The entertainment tent had a variety of music playing throughout the entire event. Each day, Saturday and Sunday, featured three different musical artists with a nice variety of songs, adding a wonderful element to this little festival. Not only could you enjoy viewing and purchasing original artwork, but you could also enjoy listening to original artists and songwriters on stage, featuring some of their own musical creations.

Last but not least… the food! I am a big fan of food, and this is one of the greatest spreads I’ve seen at an art fair. The main course was provided by a local caterer that grilled your meal on the spot. They had burgers, hot dogs, and fabulously tasty chicken and bell pepper kabobs. Beverages included non-alcoholic and alcoholic refreshments. I greatly enjoyed the kettle korn booth. I’ve never tried it before, but I’m hooked on that delicious combination of sweet and salty! There was also fresh-squeezed lemonade, fruit smoothies and funnel cake. Yes! Funnel cake! Just like an all-out festival!

Maybe it was the satisfied tummies, the peaceful park setting, or just the thought of a relaxing 3-day weekend, but the artists and guests alike were thoughtful, friendly and happy. It was one of the best show experiences I’ve ever had. If you haven’t attended this show, mark your calendars for next year!

For D&W Events’ full show schedule, visit their website at www.dwevents.org.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New metal jewelry...
I have been playing around some more with my wire and metal sheet... and it's been so much fun!! Here are 2 of my newest creations from last night.

You can find these newest pieces at my Etsy store...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Take a poll! One thing I’m going to start utilizing my blog for is polls. I always have ideas, sometimes conflicting, and I’d love to hear everyone’s input. From existing customers, potential customers, other jewelry designers, or just browsers… everyone has different ideas and different input. I’d love to hear what you all think.

My first poll is about the home page on my website. My original introduction was very informative and factual, and a bit formal. It described my jewelry in paragraphs. My new introduction is still informative, but in bullet points and more succinct. I think the information is easier to look at this way. I’ve also spruced it up with a little ‘story’. I’d love to hear what you think. Which do you prefer? And if you’d like to comment, I’d love to hear why. Is the first one too stuffy and boring? Or does it sound very professional? Does the second one seem too unprofessional and whimsical? Or does the ‘story’ appeal to you, does it draw you in? I think most importantly, which introduction makes you want to actually start delving further into my website and looking at my jewelry?

Sorry, this first poll is a little more than just a question with a yes or no answer. But this is my first issue that comes to mind. Thanks to all who respond!

Introduction #1:

Elegance. Class. Beauty.
This is what I want for my jewelry.
This is what I want for you.

Welcome to Symphony Jewels, where you can find beautiful handcrafted jewelry in truly original designs. My jewelry is the perfect treat to indulge yourself or give as a gift.

Symphony Jewels handmade jewelry is designed with high-quality materials, including Swarovski crystals, sterling and fine silver, Bali and Hills Tribe silver, freshwater pearls, and genuine gemstones.

All handmade jewelry designs are unique and usually one-of-a-kind pieces. Although I create many styles, my designs tend to be feminine and delicate. They don't overpower you, they simply make a beautiful statement. So whether you are looking for simple, elegant, flashy, or casual... classic or trendy... choose from Symphony Jewels' wide variety of colors and designs to match your personality (and your outfit)!

This website is updated with each new jewelry creation, so please check back often. I specialize in custom jewelry to cater to your specific style and color needs. Please see the Custom Orders link for more information.

Please email me at symphonyjewels@aol.com for specific questions on jewelry sizing, availability and pricing. Most items are in stock and can be shipped immediately.

Introduction #2:

Pirates of the Caribbean. Goonies. National Treasure. (keep in mind, a fun "pirate" font shows up on this line!)
…All great treasure hunt movies have a stash of loot at the end.

Imagine that you have just stumbled onto One-Eyed Willy’s pirate ship hidden unknown for decades underneath the Goon Docks. As you walk downstairs, in the dim misty light, you discover the infamous pirate’s secret treasure of glistening crystals, precious metals, and sparkling gemstones…

You have just stumbled onto Symphony Jewels!
Welcome, and enjoy your loot! (fun pirate font here too!)

Whatever your style, simply enjoy the compliments you’ll receive when you wear your Symphony Jewels jewelry. Just say, “Thank you.” (You can give them the website address too!)

Symphony Jewels offers you:
*Original one-of-a-kind and limited production jewelry designs.
*High-quality materials, including Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, genuine gemstones, precious metals, artisan silver and lampwork, and other beautiful and unique components.
*Elegance, beauty and simplicity.
*New, fun, beautiful designs offered almost every week.
*Wonderful gifts, even if it’s just a treat for yourself.
*Custom design services.
*100% guarantee on craftsmanship.
*Personalized service directly from me, the sole designer, artist and owner of Symphony Jewels. I will always be available for you, forever.
*Newsletter offering regular updates on fashion and style, new jewelry lines and designs, product specials, jewelry care and anything else that comes to mind that you might like to know.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I know!!!!! Shame on me.

I've been absolutely dreadful about keeping up with my blog. I know, I swear. I KNEW I was going to blow my new year's resolution of doing a weekly blog! I just knew it. But I am going to TRY much much harder. I do have excuses though! I have tons of valid excuses!!! :)

Okay, so here goes... here's all the SUPER-FUN stuff I've been doing lately that has kept me away from my blog!

FIRST of all... art fairs!! I've been keeping my fingers crossed about my 2008 art fair applications, and I was just accepted into some spiffy ones!! So far, here is my 2008 art fair schedule. I will post more as they're juried and approved.

Aug 24, Sun, 10-5
A Walk In The Park
North School Park, 410 N Arlington Heights Rd
Arlington Heights, IL

May 24, Sat, 10-5 & May 25, Sun, 10-5
Cuneo Gardens Art Fest
Cuneo Mansion and Gardens, 1350 Milwaukee Ave
Vernon Hills, IL

May 31, Sat, 10-5 & Jun 1, Sun, 10-5
Deerfield Festival of Fine Arts
Park Ave & Deerfield Rd
Deerfield, IL

Jul 12, Sat, 10-5 & Jul 13, Sun, 11-5
Art in the Park
Village Green Park, 1320 Shermer Rd
Northbrook, IL

SECOND of all, I've been concentrating heavily on promoting my Etsy store. Check it out... http://symphonyjewels.etsy.com/

THIRD, I really have been playing a LOT with my new wire work AND with sheet metal! Check out the new photo! This is a copper pendant, cut, filed, hammered and patinated. Then I hung one of my wire wrap pearl drops and finished it off with a Swarovski amethyst crystal. On a knotted black leather cord, this baby is so cool!!
4th.... I've been quite busy these last couple weeks with custom orders, and hunting down more boutiques to carry my jewelry. Keep your fingers crossed for me! I'm meeting in a few weeks with an owner of one of my all-time favorite stores ever, and I'm dying to get my stuff in there! It's in an extremely busy tourist town, in one of the most popular, perfectly located shops in town!
FIVE.... my photography. I have been wasting, ooh, sorry, spending SO much time working on my photography. See the first photo? Nifty huh? I'm trying to get photos of my jewelry with the plain light background to show off the piece itself, showing the colors, textures and lines of the jewelry, with no competing "accessories". But I also love the artsy look of different backgrounds and props. So that just means I'm taking about 30-40 photos of every single piece of jewelry. Then downloading it to the computer, editing the photos, uploading them to websites... it's purely exhausting, and never-ending!
SIX... since I have shows coming up, I've been trying to get a beautiful new booth setup. I'm all about image, so I want my booth to be totally warm and inviting. The old booth setup was very "pristine"... it was simple, had an ivory tablecloth, white leather displays, with some silver and black metal displays. But I want some PIZAZZ to the booth! Nothing too shocking, but I just want people to see my booth from across the park and say, "ooooh, let's go there!!!"
SEVEN... I'm actually putting together some videos to post on youtube and webshots. They're basically going to be an introduction of me, kind of a "meet the goofy artist" video, while my cat jumps on my lap and does her smoochy lovey thing she always does. Seriously, during my intro video, she snuck in the room and stole the spotlight. I'll also do videos showcasing different pieces of jewelry, whether there's a special story behind them, or just favorite pieces.
EIGHT... I know there's more. In fact, there's a big one more, but I need to get some rest. I'll save that story for another post. But, to remind myself, it's about moving, back and forth, and renovating a brand new house. Ugh... seriously, I'll tell you all about it later.
And for some reason, my separate paragraphs aren't separating. Sorry about that. :(
Good night folks!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I've been working on something new and so so so fun and exciting and I'm thrilled to finally have some photos to show what I've been doing!! I've started wirework. There are lots of possibilities with wirework and I've been creating so may new things, trying to find my "niche" in this. So many things I was creating just wasn't quite right. Either it didn't represent the style I want for my jewelry, or it just wasn't pretty enough... well, tonight I finally created a couple pieces that I just loved! Then I tried them on, and they're gorgeous!!! Sparkly sparkly with an abundance of Swarovski crystals!! Ooooh, just look!! Now, my husband thinks he's not going to see me for a few days now that I've discovered this new fun... he may be right! I'm going to keep making stuff, and I'll keep you posted!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I have completed the first piece in my Energy Jewelry line!

This is the Love bracelet. Wear this bracelet to draw deep, passionate, true love to you, or to remember and keep your significant other close at heart.

Pink and red represent love, so I have included Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls in these colors. Rose quartz is a gemstone that symbolizes love. This bracelet contains faceted rose quartz, to represent all the facets of your relationship, and also smooth rose quartz, to symbolize the eternal circle of love and to assist in smooth sailing in your relationship. I have included white freshwater pearls because white pearls are a classic, eternal jewelry... just as your love is eternal. There are 3 deep burgundy freshwater pearls to represent deep love and passion. To wrap it all up, I have added a sterling silver heart charm and an sterling silver eternity charm.

This bracelet was then infused with the energy for Love. It has been placed in a rose-lavendar-jasmine herb mixture. Jasmine is an herb that helps luck in love. It is also an aphrodisiac. Lavendar is used for happiness and love. Rose is for love, sexuality, and beauty. It awakens sensuality and activites feminine energies. Finally, the bracelet was wrapped around a burning red candle anointed with lavendar oil to also infuse love energy into this bracelet.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I have been doing so many new things lately with the jewelry... it's exciting and time-consuming!! So I haven't been at my weekly blog posts like I had hoped. But I'll catch up!

I have another great new line of jewelry I will be debuting soon. I think I'm going to keep the name nice and simple and just call it Energy Jewelry. Easy enough! I believe in believing in things! I believe that if you focus the right energy, you will find what you're looking for. Energy is just floating around out there, waiting for you to tap into it. Like they say, the first step in getting something is to believe in it.

My Energy Jewelry line will be mostly bracelets, and will contain colors and gemstones in different "energies". Patience, success, luck, love, hope... I have about 20 different "energies" so far. Right now I am heavily researching gemstone and color properties to put together the perfect combinations for my Energy Jewelry. I will also be infusing each finished piece with its corresponding energy.

These pieces of jewelry will serve somewhat as a channeling device. For example, take the Harry Potter books/movies. Witches and wizards use a wand to "channel" their magic. Now, they don't NEED one, as you'll see the professors don't always use their wand to perform magic. But the children do need their wands, it assists them, it gives them a means to "focus" their spell. This jewelry will be your wand! It will be the device to help you focus and channel your energy to help you achieve your goals. Wear your Energy Jewelry daily and put it under your pillow when you sleep... it will serve as a constant reminder and a constant motivator for you.

Some of these pieces will have my own handcrafted .999 fine silver charms. I am in the process of designing these charms. I'm hoping to have something done this weekend. I have a long Saturday with dog training, but Sunday is a free day! Hopefully by Sunday night I'll have at least one bracelet finished and posted here on my blog and on my website!

One other thing that I've been working on 'til the wee hours of the morning is my photography. I am re-shooting all of my jewelry with new lighting and backdrops and I can't believe how vibrant the pictures are! The colors and clarity are just amazing! As I complete each photo session, I am uploading all the new photos onto my website. So check out the new photos of everything at www.symphonyjewels.com. It's a tremendous difference!

I am also in the process of applying to many local art shows this year. I will update my 2008 show schedule on my website as shows are confirmed.

I also need to find more galleries and boutiques for my jewelry this year. But that is quite time-consuming!! Driving all over Chicagoland, researching the right stores for my style of jewelry and then meeting with store owners and buyers... it's quite a process!! There's one store that I just absolutely love in Lake Geneva called Cornerstone Shoppe. It's my favorite place to shop and has all sorts of wonderful unique things. It's under new ownership and unfortunately she had a massive stock of jewelry at the time I talked to her last year. I will be contacting her in the upcoming weeks to try to get in there by the summer. If you'd like to help my cause, you can call the store and ask if they carry Symphony Jewels' beautiful line of jewelry!! :) Then suggest they need it in their store!

Otherwise, stay tuned, Energy Jewelry is coming soon!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Artifacts Collection is a new line of jewelry for 2008. These designs are warm and earthy, a bit more casual, and incorporate neutral color tones, natural gemstones, and darker metals, such as copper, brass, oxidized sterling silver and patinated fine and sterling silver.

Featured here is one piece in the Artifacts Collection. I just love this turquoise stone! It has a warm green color with lots of rich brown veining to give it a very earthy look. Hills Tribe fine silver designs tend to look a bit ethnic, and this Hills Tribe pendant lends nicely to the overall feel of this necklace. One Swarovski crystal and a faceted smoky quartz rondelle hang from an oxidized sterling silver chain. The necklace is brown leather cord with a trigger clasp and 3" extension chain, lengthening this necklace from 15" to 18".
More Artifacts Collection designs can be seen at http://www.symphonyjewels.com/.