Hello - I am Francine, I love jewelry!

I try to make this fun and informative. So if you are interested in learning more about jewelry and want to know more about a jewelry related topic, let me know and we can blog about it!

Have fun!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jewelry Trends over the Decades

Jewelry has been reused and recycled over the decades.  As the times change, so do the trends.  Could you imagine having belly button rings back in the 20s?

I am going to focus on the 20s and 30s today.  Enjoy!

The Roaring Twenties
As the neckline on shirts plunged to new depths, and hairstyles radically shortened into bobs, jewelry trends of the 1920s adjusted with the times with jewelers producing sportier, more casual accessories.

Synthetic plastics made their appearance in the Twenties, and showed up in jewelry cases, allowing for mass production and affordability. Bakelite, with its clay-like material that could be finished in a variety of colors, became a popular form of synthetic jewelry.

In the era, the definition of style transformed from expensive to affordable, from fancy to fun-and so did the jewelry. The martini may already have been invented, but the Roaring Twenties saw the dawn of cocktail jewelry.
Item image
Bakelite Bangle

The Dirty Thirties

American optimism took a hit as the booming economy faded into economic depression. Functionality was the word of the decade and fashion turned practical. Jewelry brought color and brightness to an otherwise gloomy state of affairs.

To liven up dull outfits, women turned to brilliant brooches found at bargain prices made from colorful enamel. In a desperate time, women were going to desperate measures to prove their social status, causing jewelry designers to grow bolder. And women piled it on, from dress clips in hair to the chunky necklaces that could be worn as bracelets. Bigger and bolder meant wealthier

Brilliant Brooch

I can think of several ways these trends have been reinvented over the years. 

Until next time...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Family Heirlooms

Hello -

Just got back from our annual trip to the beach!  I love the beach, it is so relaxing and therapeutic.  This year we went to St. Augustine, well actually, Crescent Beach which is just south of St. Augustine. 

I was not sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised.  There is a lot of history in that city!!  We were able to see some forts, visited several haunted locations and did a lot of walking on the beach.  For those of you who did not know, St. Augustine is supposed to be one of the most haunted cities in the US.  If you are a ghost hunter, this city is for you.

Since my Mother recently passed away, there is the dreaded chore of going through her belongings.  The only positive light is that there are some heirlooms that bring back so many memories.  I am going to talk about two pieces of jewelry which do just that!

My Grandmother, Frances, loved jewelry.  I guess that in addition to being named after her, I took after her in that regard.  Every birthday I would get a piece of jewelry.  Of course being a kid, one never truly appreciates it.

There were always two pieces of jewelry which I loved, even as a child.  My Mom wore more delicate jewelry. My Grandmother, on the other hand, liked bold pieces.  You will definitely see the difference in their style below.

This ring was my Grandmother's.  This ring is 14k gold and topaz.  I have loved this ring since I was about 14 and started wearing really large jewelry.  I was allowed to wear this only on special occasions when I was young.

This bracelet was my Mother's.  My Dad gave this to her.  It is 14k gold, garnets and pearls.  I remember liking this bracelet since I was very young.  Maybe it was the saying, maybe it was the color, but I always knew I loved it. 

As you can see, they had two totally different styles.  My Mother was very petite and would look silly wearing the ring:)

I hope you have enjoyed looking at some of my family heirlooms and a little history behind them!
Until next time...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bead and Button is Over

Hello -

What a nice weekend and get away I had in Milwaukee!  While it was a quick trip, about 30 hours, it was very relaxing and I learned a lot!  It is not often that I get away completely alone - no dogs, kids or husband.  It was nice to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it:)

My instructor, Gwen Bernacker did a nice job teaching myself and about 8 other students the technique of Keum boo.  I have posted a picture of the earrings I created.  I must say, I am happy with them.  It is not all of the time that I am excited about the very first piece of make of a new technique.

I have a very small, simple kiln being shipped to me so that I will be able to put old on EVERYTHING:)  Well I would not go that far with the gold prices the way they are, but at least on stuff until my gold foil runs out. Talk about recycling??? 

Having a kiln also means that I will be able to do PMC which is exciting.  I also purchased a book from an artist I met at the show, Katie McKinnon.  What a nice lady and her book is just great.  Just started reading it today.  What a great resource for metal clay.  There is really no limit to what you can make out of PMC, that is why it is so exciting!

Getting ready for my 1st outdoor summer show, let's hope that the weather cooperates as I have never done a show in the rain.  Good thing that silver does not melt:)

Until next time...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bead and Button Show


Boy it has been a while - sorry about that!!  Summer is a busy time for everyone, especially is you do art shows and dog shows:)  I do both!!

To catch you up on what is happening - I just accepted another position within the same company.  I start tomorrow!  I am very sad to leave all of the great people I worked with for the prior 4.5 years but also excited to work with some new people and learn a totally different set of skills. 

On the dog front - Piper took BOB at the Kalamazoo shows last weekend - YEAH Piper!  We only showed one day but it was a 4 day show - wishing I stayed for more:(

Rachael is officially done with school on Tuesday and she also got a new job!!!!  Bob Evans YUM!!!!  Say goodbye to McDonalds where she has worked for the prior two years!!!

On the jewelry front - I have not had much time creating new things, but I am working on a pretty pink bracelet - will look great for summer with a nice tan hand/arm:)  I know sun is bad, but I just love having that glow- makes you feel so good!!

I am going to the Bead and Button show this week - YEAH!!  I have had this trip booked for over 6 mos and it is finally here.  It started out when I was looking for a class on learing Keum Boo.  I found a location in CA but that was a little pricey considering plain fair so I was told to check out Bead and Button in Miwaukee, WI and sure enough they offered a class. 

Here is a link http://www.beadandbuttonshow.com/bnbshow/default.aspx.
This is the largest consumer bead show in the world but don't the the word bead scare you as it has everything and so many classes.  I wanted to take several more but I was too late in registering:(

I will be going on this trip alone which really is the only way to go as no one in my family would want to walk around a bead show all day then wait for me while I take a class.  I am super excited and get to learn a new technique!!! Here is a link which outlines it very nicely - so excited!!!


I will post when I get back from my trip.  Have a great week!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010



It has been a while but things have been crazy!  Good crazy but not a lot of computer time. Hope all of the Mom's out there had a great day.  Rachael got me three pretty balloons and a gift card to one of my favorite restaurants.  Thanks Rachy!!! 

Well today I taught a jewelry class for the first time.  I have a training background so it is not the first time I stood up in front of people teaching but the 1st time I tough someone how to make jewelry.  This was a fun class as it involved several skills which 2 out of the 4 did not have.  Overall, it went well and everyone finished their initial ring with a pearl dangle.

I am a huge fan of soliciting feedback and I asked the students if they would have liked to see anything different or have me go at a different pace and everyone said "no."  In looking back, there are a few things I would have done differently but the students probably did not know that:)

I have another class schedule at the end of May which is a totally different skill set so it should be fun!!!

I want to thank Laura from Embellish in Rocky River, OH for the opportunity to teach - check out her website- http://www.embellish.com/

I also created some really fun, custom jewelry. Sometimes it is fun just to use base metal and fun beads instead of the "good" stuff.  This necklace would look super cute worn with a black blouse or even white! I have attached a picture,

Full work week this week so need to get ready.  Until next time...

Monday, April 26, 2010


I know, I know I have promised to talk about diamonds, however, I have not had a lot of time to put anything together and I promised to update this once a week.  Therefore, I am going to talk about advertising.

I recently was featured on My Give Away Today.  It is a way of advertising where you not only pay the host but also give away either a piece of jewelry or a gift certificate.  I chose a gift certificate, this way the winner could choose what she wants!

I just found out who the winner is and I just emailed her the prize.  I hope she enjoys what she purchases!
I also hope that she passes the word around about my site.  If , of course, she is happy with her gift. 

This all leads me to the question - is this type of advertising worth it?

While this may not be all that much $ for a small business it can get costly.  While I did not generate any sales from this campaign, I did get 55 more fans on Facebook (or likes)  This is something that is truly priceless as I post a lot of my new pieces on FB and therefore, get a lot of exposure. 

Also, it has only been a few days since my feature so I am confident that it will generate sales in the future.

The drawback about doing this type of advertising is that I am now a target for other folks who have these types of blogs.  I have received at least 3 e-mails from other bloggers intersted in featuring my site.  I told them that I wanted to give it a few weeks before I made a decision on what I wanted to do. 

This is a part of the business I truly enjoy, I actually enjoy everything expect the tax part and thankfully that happens only two times per year.

Enjoy life and do want you are truly passionate about as life is short.  My husband lost a dear friend this week at a far too young age - left a wife and two teenagers behind.  Do not fret about the small things, take time to slow down and play with your dogs, read that book or just sit outside and smell the flowers!!  I need to take my own advise.  Until next time...

Sunday, April 18, 2010



Hope everyone is well.  Sorry for the late post, but I was in Tucson at a conference for work.  I went from 90 degree weather to 40 degree weather in 7 hours. 

Having never been to AZ, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.  The weather was absolutely wonderful!!  Warm during the day and cool in the mornings and after the sun went down.  We did a lot of outside sightseeing.

The first day we went to the desert museum which was recommended by the concierge at the hotel.  What a good suggestion!  I was even later able to identify a snake I saw outside of my door at my hotel!!!  It was not poisonous:)

The food at the hotel, El Conquistador, was outstanding.  That is saying a lot for conference food since it is difficult to serve hot food for that many people.  Kudos to them!!!

The conference was also great!  Took away a lot of great ideas this time - super excited to implement them.  Hopefully all of the attorneys will think the same way...

I promised that I would talk about the April birthstone, but I want to gather some additional info before posting on that, plus I wanted to talk about my little trip and share some pics!

Oh - I also got a lot of ideas for jewelry while I was bored in a few of the sessions LOL!!!

The site on our nightly walks!
The two people walking were from Ohio!!
A cave at the Desert Musuem
Man made but very realistic!