Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jenny in Coral and Turquoise Wrap Bracelet

A few nights ago, I met my friend Jenny at Casa Vega restaurant in Sherman Oaks. Jenny and I worked together at Citysearch, which later turned into CityGrid Media. How and why the company changed names is a bit of a long, corporate story, but the result was that Jenny and I ended up sitting next to each other and became friends.

Maybe it's a little bit of vanity, but when I befriend younger women, they tend to remind me of myself "when I was their age." Mainly, this means they're feisty and looking for more in life than finding a man and settling down. Jenny's since moved on from Los Angeles, and is living up north with her best friend. To me, she's doing what every young lady ought to be - exploring different cities, meeting new people, and having fun.

Here she is, wearing the coral and turquoise wrap bracelet she just purchased. How cute is she?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Irvine Farmer's Market

Most Saturdays I share a booth with my friend Janet of Studio Blue Jewelry at Irvine Farmer's Market.  This means I wake up at 5am, I try to leave by 5:45, to get there by 6:45 or 7am to set up. Not an easy thing to do on Saturday mornings, but I love the interaction and reactions I get from people who check out my jewelry.

Having been in the online world, producing various different products for websites, I've mostly been behind the computer doing my work. The only times we interacted with our users were if we held focus groups or usability tests. So being out weekly with customers and getting their feedback is my focus group for my jewelry. I see what they like, and what they pass over, and I keep this in mind as I design my line. It's invaluable. Some pics below of last Saturday's market.

Early morning setup:

Irvine Farmer's Market is known for being an organic market. Some beautiful persimmons, grapes and oranges:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fall/Winter 2010-11 Jewelry Trends published a video on jewelry trends for Fall/Winter 2010/11. It looks like big and bold aren't going away soon, from the looks of some of these creations. I guess that's good news for me since I tend to like my jewelry noticeable. But while I like to know what's going on in the fashion industry, I don't take too much stock in trends because I like what I like. It's fun, though, to see some of these designs.

Video is below, and I've also posted some pics for those that don't want to sit through and watch.

Dior - some lovely pieces here, especially this long fringe necklace.

Huge pendant necklace by Lanvin:

The always stunning Chanel:

And the showman John Galliano:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Flowers and Leaves and Pucci

Thinking about... flowers. Of the pink variety. These are potted flowers in my backyard. You may have noticed I'm fond of flowers. The name 'Ayana' is an African name which means beautiful flower.

Also thinking about... leaves. The russet-orange colors the leaves are turning into now looks quite beautiful. I love mixing hot colors together like pinks and russet oranges. I'm fortunate that I only have to step outside to get inspired.

And lastly, thinking about... Pucci. Always thinking about my beloved pooch, Pucci. Happy almost-Friday.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Leathers and Pearls and Neutrals and Sheers

I love combining materials that that are the opposite of one another. It helps to keep one from being either too refined or too hard-edged.

One of my favorite combination is the look of leather and pearls - two seemingly opposites that form to create a blend of downtown luxury.

Isn't this outfit sumptuous? It's just the right look of sexy and cozy. The combination of delicate materials, like Alice + Olivia's sheer tulle silk top, worn with edgier pieces like Ayana Designs' pearl and suede necklace, spiky heels and to-die-for Givenchy leather bag, help keep the look from being too ladylike and precious.  Add the mohair sweater to give it a 'I just threw this outfit together look'.

Pearls and leathers and silks - because a girl should always look classy and fabulous.

Necklace: Ayana Designs Pearl and Suede Long Fringe Necklace
Top: Alice + Olivia's January embellished tulle top
Pants: Superfine Swirl stretch denim and leather jeans
Sweater: DKNY Mohair-blend cardigan
Heels: Pedro Garcia Piper cuffed peeptoe platform
Bag: Givenchy Grand Eve with chain strap in aviator

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Seed Bead Leaves: Earrings or Necklace

One of the things I'm currently working on is a leaf stitched with matte green beads and silver galvanized beads. At the end of each row is a round, faceted hematite stone.

I start at the center of the leaf and gradually decrease each row. When I reach the end, at the tip of the leaf, I turn my loom around and finish the leaf, again decreasing until I reach the end. I do it this way, rather than starting at the top of the pattern to the end as I would for a square shaped pattern, because I've found that decreasing is easier than increasing. And if anyone bead stitches, they'll know how time consuming it can be and will look for ways to make it easier :)

See all the threads that are sticking out of the leaf - these are the dreaded warp threads! Any beader will know that these are the real time consuming pieces of the process, but I haven't been able to find a way to make this part easier. It's just something you have to deal with as a beader. You need to weave in the threads back into the pattern. This is so the beads don't pull apart.

Originally I was thinking this would be a pendant for a necklace, but when I held them up as earrings, I liked it quite a bit. So I haven't decided yet, but I think I may make another one and create earrings for these! Look for them in my shop soon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Glam Up Your Basic Leggings, Sweater and Jean Jacket

What I love about accessories is the color it can add to clothes. A beautiful bag, shoes, and of course, necklaces, earrings and bracelets all lend to make a simple outfit stand out from the crowd.

Your accessories is also where you can add punch and personality to an otherwise standard outfit. Packing in color to your wrists, ears and neck (but preferably not all at the same time) can brighten up a simple denim jacket and leggings.

Keeping your overall outfit simple, while throwing in some colorful and intricate accessories, is how to achieve looking chic and effortless. Who wouldn't want that?

Ayana Designs Turquoise Blue Leather Fringe necklace is paired with things most girls have in their closet - black leggings and sweater, denim jacket and brown boots. OK, most girls won't have Cole Haan's Air Georgina boot in their closet, but isn't it beautiful?? And the bronze cuff by Jammer Jewelry available on Etsy completes the look.

And I know it's cold outside, but I couldn't resist pairing the necklace with Diane von Furstenberg's maxi dress. All you need now is a tan to go with this outfit.

The beautiful turquoise ring doesn't seem to be available anymore, but I think it came from this site: 

New Accessories for the Classic Little Black Dress

I know it's tempting to buy a new dress for the holiday festivities. But I believe that accessorizing can add a new look to what you already have hanging in your closet.

Almost every girl I know has a little black dress. It's a classic. Who can forget Audrey Hepburn's dress in Breakfast at Tiffany's

And Coco Chanel once said, "It's the one dress for all occasions." So for the holiday parties this season, consider taking out your little black dress and accessorizing with some new earrings, shoes, or bracelets.

Some dangling earrings, gold and a pop of bright color will go a long way in making your little black dress new again.

Earrings: Ayana Designs white and gold seed beads, turquoise stones
Clutch: Laura Merkin gold metallic lambskin clutch
Shoes: Miu Miu strappy blue suede heels (I covet these!)
Bangles: Shelia Bangles in ocean blue (only $18!)

Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festival

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be part of the Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festival in Santa Ana. Patchwork is a bi-annual event that occurs in various locations, featuring local emerging artists, designers and crafters. They also feature live music and food. And I know that Californians aren't really allowed to say this, but it was COLD! Santa Ana winds were in full effect, and unfortunately some vendors fragiles broke in the wind. Fortunately, though, I don't think there was any major damage.

They blocked off the Main Street and Buffalo area in Santa Ana where vendors set up booths, and browsers walked around. My booth that I shared with my good friend, Janet of Studio Blue Jewelry, was off Buffalo. Our next door neighbor, Delia, featured some great Mexican stickers, masks, screens, t-shirts and jewelry, all hand-made.

My jewelry I featured at the festival is my new leather collection. I've been inspired by dark deep colors lately, maybe something to do with the colder weather... I'm loving the turquoise, chocolate brown and coral leathers I've been seeing. They're so beautiful and rich - made even more beautiful contrasted with stones and silver. Some pics below of the festival and our booths.

My table setup:

Janet's setup:

My neighbor's handmade stickers and booth:

Keeping warm from the cold by bundling up in a blanket!

 Some cool booth setups:

Me modeling the Fringe Leather Necklace with Green Onyx Stones.

Thanks to Nicole and Delilah from Patchworks for setting up a cool, fun and safe event!!