Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Big Things Come in Small Packages

Beaded Cross Ornament
Have you ever received a gift that you didn't want to open because it looked so pretty?  Of course, you eventually open it, but you have a twinge of guilt when the package is wrapped just right. You take your time opening it being careful to tear it gently, you even save the ribbons/ornaments that it came with.

I absolutely love wrapping gifts! I take special care when I am wrapping, thinking of the person the gift is for and only using colors and paper styles that I think they would like. I use silk ribbons, ornaments, sparkling rhinestones and anything else that will make a package beautiful. I learned very young how to make ornaments and to tie ribbons on wreaths and packages.

Snowflake Ornaments
People automatically determine the worth of the gift by the package it came's human nature. If there were a bunch of packages lined up and you had to choose just one (like that yankee swap your forced to do at work), you'd choose the one that is most attractive to you. Often times people go for the largest package, but of course, there's the old saying "big things come in small packages" and I'm sure whoever came up with that saying received a beautiful piece of jewelry! 

At we have several accessory items that can be used to decorate packages, but if you're just the throw it in the bag kinda gal but you want to try something different, then we have gift wrapping available with your purchase. 

Hit 'em with a great first impression and make your gift beautiful inside and out. If you're brave enough to try it yourself Martha Stewart has some great gift-wrapping ideas. If you don't know how or just don't have the motivation to wrap your own gifts, most retailers will do it for you and there are places who specialize in just that. Be sure to ask. Now that's a wrap!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Konnichiwa Kumihimo!

Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands.  In Japan, braids are also used for religious ceremonies, on kimonos, ornaments on festival carts, tea ceremony containers, ribbons for mirrors, and fans, and most recently for attaching cell phones to belts, purses, etc.

When I first saw a bracelet made using the Kumihimo technique I was intrigued. I just knew I wanted to learn how to create this beautiful piece of art. As I researched the internet to see how it was done, I was floored! I thought I would need to hire someone to build me a bamboo stand (pictured right) just to make projects! My instincts told me this couldn't be the only way, so I decided to add Kumihimo Braiding to my course schedule.

In class I was excited to learn that I only needed a foam disk to begin creating. The class was interesting and the technique is not as complicated as it looks. I picked it up right away, and I now have my first Kumihimo bracelet (on the left) created. So, say hello or konnichiwa to my brand new technique and stay tuned to see lots of Kumihimo pieces sold on!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Like Birds Of a Feather

Are feathers a passing trend?  About a year ago I started creating feather earrings and hair clips, of course being the huge animal lover that I am, I only use cruelty-free feathers. 

Like the 70s and 80s feathers were popping up everywhere in 2010. They were flying off department store shelves, nesting in every magazine and flocking all the award shows.  Staying with the trend I hit the studio and began creating fancy feathers for all ages. 

Although I had so much fun going back in time creating these feathers of the future, this passing trend had my inventory as light as a feather.  I watched the sales go down and slowly stopped producing the blast from the past.  You can still find feathers on  but the way the trend is moving, I'm predicting in 2012 you won't be able to find feathers for another decade or so. I can't say I'm overly disappointed, this was not a trend I particularly flocked to. So I'll just say bye bye birdie! (For now)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cute As a Button

I attended a Button Ring workshop last week.  OK, picture this...I walk into this quaint little bead shop all the way to the back of the store there was a long table and seven women of all ages and backgrounds sitting down. There was a big black box, martini and margarita glasses full of buttons. Everyone said hello and introduced themselves and we picked through what seemed like hundreds of buttons.  There were rumbles of ooh that one is so there another one like that?

The store owner began passing out cocktail glasses filled with...wait for it...Benjamin Button Age Reversal cocktails!  (Recipe Below) How cute is that?  I opted not to drink mine until my first button ring was completely done, and it's a good thing I held off because this new task was more challenging than I expected.  However, by the end of the evening I finally got the hang of wrapping wire the just right around the button.  Because I have such a huge attraction to shiny objects, I went for the brightest buttons in the box.  Two hours later I had four button rings created.

As the women were passing around cupcakes to go along with the Benjamin Button cocktails, I focused on perfecting my new creation. As you can see from the photo I got it down now!  I also now have a bad addiction to buttons (as if I need another craft addiction), I even gone as far as looking at my friend's jackets and wondering when they will be giving up those buttons!  It's only been a week but I love it so much that I started a button jar to bring to my shows and I created around ten button rings already. I tested that button jar out on a show I had this past Saturday and it was a success!  My favorites are antique and of course bling buttons. My daughter had a school trip to NYC where they went to Mood Designer Fabrics (everyone knows that place) and what did she bring me back? Yes! Buttons!  I love my Mood buttons.  Thank you sweet heart :)  This is a more advanced project but once you get the hang of it it's very easy.  I say to all you jewelry designers...try it you'll love it!

Benjamin Button Age Reversal Cocktail


  • 2 oz 10 Cane Rum
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice
  • 3/4 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • dash of simple syrup
  • pomegranate seeds or lemon twist for garnish


  1. In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously.
  3. Strain into martini glass.
  4. Garnish with pomegranate seeds or lemon twist.

Enjoy...I sure did!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Blog?

I decided to write a blog because I want to keep a journal of all of my wonderful hobbies (mainly jewelry).  The reason I named my company Essentials Etc. because the "Etcetera" or "Etc." covers all of my crafty/fashion addictions. Also, just in case my 21 year old daughter who is a fashion design student ever decides to collaborate with her old mom...I got her covered! 

I often wonder how a busy wife, mother and full-time Website Designer finds time for it all? The only way it's all possible is because I LOVE everything I do.  If I didn't it would be thrown in a closet to never be seen again, like the greeting card making idea and anything else that was one and done.

You ask...what are your hobbies?  Knitting, crocheting, drawing, painting, floral design, dancing, traveling, and of course jewelry design.  Phew...that's a mouthfull!  Why so many?  Because I'm a curious one and I love to explore new adventures. I love to travel and I'm always interested when I go to museums and art shows in the beautiful handcrafted creations. It's my passion.  Will I ever stop?  Probably not.  There are so many things I have yet to do and so many things I am curious stay tuned to see what's next. 

I plan to blog to share all of my experiences but mainly to share my love for jewelry design.  I will keep you posted on all the latest trends and my new exciting creations.  You can also always check my website which I update regularly for updates.

Thank you for reading...we'll talk soon.