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Book Review: Beading for the Absolute Beginner


Beading for the Absolute Beginner, 999 A160, £12.99 

Beading and its associated techniques can, at times, feel like a different language and can be more than a little confusing to anyone not familiar with the craft. This is why well written books can be such a godsend. And, I am happy to say ‘Beading for the Absolute Beginner’, is one such book thanks to a combination of experienced and competent authors and a great layout.

So, lets deal with the layout first; this book is produced by Search Press who specialise in practical art and craft books and manuals and have done for fifty years; in short, they know what they are doing. This particular book is both hard back and ring bound, meaning it will easily sit flat once open. It is also only A5 in size so it is ideal to sit on the bench top and be used as an instruction manual as you work.

Comprising of 192 pages, Jean Power and Liz Thornton guide you around materials and tools with a general introductory section spanning 37 pages. They discuss and explain the different types of beads available giving a general idea as to how they are best used, imparting great advice as they go.

“Lampwork beads – are made in a flame from glass rods. Each one is individually made so they can be quite special (and, of course, expensive).”

They then gently work through 25 varied projects which introduce a range of different techniques that fill the remainder of the book. Each project starts with a separate ‘Materials’ and ‘Tools’ section so you can clearly see what is required to complete each piece before you start. Projects include: Feet and hand ornaments, various different earrings, brooches and bracelets, a multi strand choker and a decorative keyring (to name but a few), all of which sound quite frankly terrifying to the uninitiated…

However, step by step instructions and generous amounts of photographs, (over 200 in total) coupled with friendly but informative language, help to make these projects far less daunting.

“Jump rings are metal rings that are used to attach findings and clasps, and can also be linked to each other to make chains. Make sure you open and close the jump rings correctly to help them retain their shapes.”

As the title suggests, this book covers some of the most basic techniques which will enable the reader to establish those first and fundamental building blocks of beading. For example; Crimping, opening and closing jump rings, making overhand knots, knotting elastic cord, cutting and filing wire, making double ended units and joining units together. All are covered within the confines of a project so their use is illustrated perfectly.

Both authors (Liz Thornton and Jean Power) are teachers, as well as designers/crafters, editors and writers about all things beading and their enthusiasm and knowledge really shines through in this book. This is a great introduction to beading and would make an ideal gift for anyone looking to try something new or who have perhaps been intimidated by beaded accessories in the past.

Written by Joanna Varney

Joanna has worked in and around the jewellery industry for well over 20 years. She has designed and created her own pieces as a designer maker, as well as working in jewellery retail on a much larger scale, producing designs and NPD for some of the UK’s largest high street retailers

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How to Put On a Cuff Bracelet

Silver cuff bracelet, view of opening

Small Opening on Cuff Bracelet

In my never-ending quest to educate people on jewelry, I thought I’d try another instructional video. Putting on a cuff bracelet sounds really simple, but it is not an intuitive skill.  There are three reasons I made this video.

First – I very often see people force their cuff bracelets on and off of their wrists, pulling the small open space in back, wider, then pushing it back to a smaller opening once it is on.

Second – I repair a lot of broken cuff bracelets.

Third – I hear the complaint that the cuff bracelet falls off while the wearer is driving.


Why Cuff Bracelets Break

As far as forcing the cuff on and off, many metals can certainly handle this flexing for some time, but like a paper clip, if you pull it back and forth enough times, it will ultimately break. If you want to keep your cuff bracelets for as long as possible, I think it’s worth checking to see if you’re putting it on and taking it off correctly.

If for some reason you can’t watch the video I’ve outlined the steps below.

Putting the Bracelet On – Some Anatomy Required


1. The first thing you’ll want to do is locate your radius and your ulna bone.

Thumb up Exposing Your Radius Bone

Thumb up Exposing Your Radius Bone

2. Point your thumb facing up. This exposes your cuff to the narrowest part of your forearm, or to your radius bone.
3. Place the cuff’s opening about one inch behind your wrist.

Gently Wiggle the Cuff Opening Over the Radius Bone

Gently Wiggle the Cuff Opening Over the Radius Bone

4. You’ll want to rock your wrist back and forth while lightly pushing your bracelet opening down over your radius bone.

Cuff Bracelet Over Radius and Ulna

Cuff Bracelet Over Radius and Ulna

5. As you rock your wrist/forearm back and forth, you’ll feel the tendons move out of the way. Your cuff will work its way lower. Once you work it past your ulna bone, it’s on.

Cuff Bracelet All the Way on

Cuff Bracelet All the Way on

6. Next, you’ll want to rotate your bracelet right, so that it’s lying flat on your wrist.

Push Your Cuff Forward of the Bump on Your Ulna Bone

Push Your Cuff Forward of the Bump on Your Ulna Bone

7. Once I have my cuff bracelet on, I move it forward toward my hand, over the bump of the ulna bone. In this position, it tends to stay put. If your bracelet isn’t at least slightly over your ulna bone’s bump, then it’s liable to slowly work its way off as you move your wrist around, such as when driving.

Taking the Cuff Bracelet Off

  1. First, push the bracelet behind the ulna bone’s bump, so it’s around an inch behind your wrist.
  2. Turn your wrist so that your thumb is up.
  3. Turn the bracelet toward you, moving the opening over your ulna bone. Rock your wrist back and forth. It will work its way over the bone, past the tendons and off your radius bone. Do not pull hard, just gently apply pressure upward, as you work the bracelet off.

How Big Should the Opening of a Cuff Bracelet Be?

The Opening of a Cuff Bracelet

The Opening of a Cuff Bracelet

When you buy a cuff bracelet or unearth one you haven’t been wearing, you’ll want to adjust the opening, so once it’s on, it fits snuggly. That takes a bit more doing, but ideally, it needs wiggling to get on and off, but does not need to be pulled open, to do so. In my case, the opening width of this cuff, looks as if I’d be trapped in it, unless I made the opening larger. Happily, I do not have to open it wider when using my method to remove this cuff.

If you follow these steps, your cuff bracelets will last a long time and will be less likely to fall off when you’re driving!

Your Personal Jeweler,”

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#255 From Burnout to Business Bliss with Jennifer Dawes

What happens when you’re doing the thing you”re supposed to love but the stress of it is taking a toll on your personal life? Business burnout is no joke!

Sometimes you may even want to give up. But Jennifer Dawes is here to prove that you can always overcome overwhelm and turn your biz around.

Jennifer has been in business for nearly 20 years and is known for her eclectic fine jewelry.  However, like so many designers, she hit a bottleneck and felt overwhelmed when it came time to grow her business.

I first met Jennifer when she joined the Flourish & Thrive community. To say she’s completely transformed in the time I’ve known her would be an understatement.

Utilizing our resources and her creative brilliance, she’s been able to overcome her hurdles and find tremendous success in business

Click here to download the show notes

Lean on Your Creativity

When you’re an artist first, business can be a challenge… at first.

Most designers go into business because they love the craft and want to share it with others. That’s what makes the Flourish & Thrive community great! 

There are always challenges that come with running your own brand. If you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of sales, marketing, and e-commerce, you’re going to get overwhelmed fast. 

But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed… once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize your creativity is actually your greatest strength in business.

Systematize for Growth

Scaling up is overwhelming – if you’re not prepared.

You may need to manage a team, share resources, and streamline your business. It might feel impossible if you’re not prepared, but with the right systems in place, these things become a breeze!

It’s time to break your day-to-day tasks down into systems that can be implemented over and over again. That way you can spend more time doing what you love, and less time stressing over the small things.

Let Go of Fear

Transformation doesn’t happen overnight.

It might feel like a lot when you’re thinking about everything you need to do all at once. Take a deep breath. Take it slow.

I guarantee you it’s never too late to overcome burnout and reignite the spark you once had for your business.

You’ve got this! Now go out there and thrive.

xo, Tracy


Follow Jennifer on Instagram!

Jennifer Dawes Design

We need your participation! – State of the Jewelry Industry Study

Strategic Online Success Accelerator Coaching Program



Listen on Apple Podcasts!

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Designer of the Month – Emma Roy | The Bench

June’s Designer of the Month is Emma Roy. She is a designer who fell in love with jewellery making after taking a jewellery making course, who likes to work with silver clay and likes her pieces to have elements of nature and magic. Learn more about her, her background, what inspires her and what she thinks will be the next trend to take off with jewellery makers in this month’s Designer of the Month.

Let us know a bit about yourself, detailing your background, study and training in the jewellery making industry.

I have always had a love for jewellery and have been nicknamed the little magpie by my family and friends for as long as I can remember, for my attraction to all things sparkly!

In the Autumn of 2017, I started my journey into jewellery making, after the birth of my third child I decided I wanted to learn a new skill, so I went on a keepsake jewellery course. On this very course I discovered and fell in love with silver clay.

I began making keepsake jewellery for family and friends while I was learning about this new medium and exploring its potential. I then decided to venture into making my own designs, after being inspired by the natural world, and launched my own brand- Jewellery by Emma Roy.

In 2018 I wanted to expand my skill set further, in both jewellery making and in the behind the scenes of running a jewellery making business. I joined as a member to the Jewellers Academy. I have learned so very much through the academy. The ethos is very much community over competition and through the academy I have met the most amazingly supportive community.

Tell us about your work – are there any particular materials or techniques that you favour?

I absolutely adore working with Silver Clay, for me there is something so magical about the process of seeing an ambiguous lump of grey clay transform into something beautiful and shiny.

I have also quite recently discovered alcohol inks, as a way of adding a little colour to my pieces and love the end results.

How would you best describe your design style?

My style is quite whimsical, I like to have fun with my designs. With an element of magic and nature.

Where do you like to get your inspiration from for your pieces?

My jewellery is very much inspired by nature, folklore and fairy tales.

I have always had such a passion for the natural world. I feel very blessed to live in an area of outstanding natural beauty. This gorgeous countryside around me and my love of nature can be seen reflected in my designs.

I have also recently been inspired through my little girl who is now three and really being into fairies (they visit her every night and leave a little note under her pillow!) and magic. She has been my muse for my new enchanted collection, with little fairy houses hand sculpted from silver clay and a collection of little fairy wings.

Do you have a piece that you have made which you favour or are particularly proud of?

I am proud of my enchanted collection, inspired by my little girl’s love of magic, making this collection very close to my heart.

Each little fairy house is a one-of-a-kind piece, hand sculpted from silver clay with a little story behind each piece.

In the same collection are my little fairy wings and these are the first pieces where I introduced a splash of colour that have proved to have been really popular, especially as my customers can get involved with the design process and choose their own colour scheme.

What is the one item in your jewellery making workshop that you could not live without?

My kiln without question, it may have been one of my biggest investments, but I could not be without it. It makes such a difference to me when making lots of pieces.

What upcoming trends do you see being popular soon?

I have seen a shift in buyer behaviour. Rather than throw away fashion, with ever changing designs, I really believe consumers are looking for things that are more sustainable both in techniques and materials used, such as recycled materials like silver clay and reclaimed materials being of more importance.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt from your time in the jewellery making industry?

The most valuable lesson I have learned from my time in the jewellery making industry is the importance of community over competition. You are not alone!

Before I joined the Jewellers Academy, I had no idea of the incredible community and support that is out there for jewellers, as we do spend a lot of time working on our own this is so important.

During the Covid 19 lock-down this amazing support network was a real lifeline. Not only did the academy provide excellent courses to keep our skills up to date. The emotional support has been fantastic, from both the community of members as well the fantastic team at the academy.

Do you have any particular advice that you would give to up and coming jewellery designers, or someone interested in getting into jewellery making?

Go for it! Do not let self-doubt hold you back.

Joining the Jewellers Academy totally changed my viewpoint. They have been such an incredible support and it has really increased my confidence.

Also keep learning, no matter how much you know there is always more to learn.

Finally, time for a bit of fun in our quick-fire round!

Tell us your favourite…

Colour – Purple
Biscuit – Chocolate Digestive
Drink – Latte in the day and a nice glass of Rose in the evening occasionally
Place – The Netherlands
Animal – Cat
Gemstone – Blue Topaz
Food – My mum’s Sunday Roast!
Sport – I’m not really into sport
Film – Anything Disney at the moment with a three-year-old in the house!
City – Lovely Leiden in The Netherlands

Many thanks to Emma Roy for being our Designer of the Month this month and for sharing this information

Want to discover the work of other jewellery makers?

Take a look at our interviews with even more Designers of the Month to learn more about their designs, inspiration and more.

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RIP, Larry Kramer | Wendy Brandes Jewelry Blog

Larry Kramer, a writer and one of the earliest AIDS activists, died today at age 84. You can read his full resume in the many obituaries that have been and will be published but, in short, Kramer was a co-founder of two AIDS activism groups — Gay Men’s Health Crisis, in 1982, which provided support services to people with AIDS; and the more activist ACT UP in 1987, which used both public protest and self-taught research skills to light a fire under scientists and politicians. In between, he wrote The Normal Heart, an autobiographical play about the dawn of the AIDS crisis and the conflicts at GMHC, which played to acclaim at New York’s Public Theater in 1985 and raised awareness of AIDS outside the gay community.

Kramer’s confrontational way of raising AIDS awareness within the gay community often made enemies and alienated would-be allies. In 1983, he published an article in the New York Native called, “1,112 and Counting,” which began, “If this article doesn’t scare the shit out of you, we’re in real trouble. If this article doesn’t rouse you to anger, fury, rage, and action, gay men may have no future on this earth. Our continued existence depends on just how angry you can get.” He was ousted from GMHC. Last year, he described his 1980s style:

“…I was a loudmouth. People would walk across the street to not be near me. People would also thank me for what I was doing, and I would say, ‘For what? Why aren’t you doing it, too?’ And they didn’t like that either,” Larry Kramer, in Interview magazine, December 2019.

However, when it came to applying pressure to the government to dedicate resources to the research of and treatment for a contagious new virus, he got things done. As Dr. Anthony Fauci has said, “There’s medicine before Larry Kramer, and then there’s medicine after Larry Kramer.”

Yes, that’s the same Dr. Anthony Fauci of COVID-19 pandemic fame. Fauci has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and, before a detente was reached in 1989, he was a frequent target of Kramer’s displeasure. My favorite example of that is Kramer’s piece called “An Open Letter to Anthony Fauci, an Incompetent Idiot.” The combination of a contagious new virus erupting and Fauci’s media presence has kept Larry Kramer constantly on my mind since March, when I wrote a post over how people had no problem “social distancing” in the era of AIDS the way they do for now for COVID-19. But I’d been thinking of Kramer even before that, after I watched the documentary How to Survive a Plague in October.

That was followed by a December 2019 Interview magazine story called “Larry Kramer Is Still the Angriest Gay Man in the World.” His take on the fall-off in AIDS activism hit me hard. And that’s why — even pre-COVID-19 — I was asking rhetorically, with some frequency, “Where is the next Larry Kramer?” to help us fight the sickness of fascism. With a literal disease added to our woes, I’ve been asking that question daily. Usually, I just ask myself. Sometimes I ask friends, sometimes I ask Twitter …

… and, since quarantine, sometimes I ask MrB because he’s the only other person here and he’s normally so good at answering tough questions. Maybe the problem is that we overlooked the next Larry Kramer at the right moment, because one of the key strengths of the original Larry Kramer is how quickly he comprehended a deadly situation and took action. The title of his “1,112 and Counting” essay referred to how many people had been diagnosed with AIDS. These were the numbers he was tracking:

“There are now 1,112 cases of serious Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. When we first became worried, there were only 41. In only twenty-eight days, from January 13th to February 9th [1983], there were 164 new cases – and 73 more dead. The total death tally is now 418. Twenty percent of all cases were registered this January alone. There have been 195 dead in New York City from among 526 victims. Of all serious AIDS cases, 47.3 percent are in the New York metropolitan area.”

With COVID-19, Trump spent six weeks denying and dithering, rejecting experts’ warnings, and now we have 100,000 people dead in the U.S. since January. Peter Staley, an ACT UP alum who worked closely with Kramer, recently posted the image of the New York Times story about AIDS deaths exceeding 100,000. He was pointing out that the Times didn’t even report the story itself but picked up an Associated Press story. The Times also gave the story a position indicating a lack of importance, below the fold on the front page. But what I keep looking at is the date: January 25, 1991 — almost nine years after the Times first reported on a “homosexual disorder” that hadn’t been named yet.

Via Peter Staley.

We’ve blown past that number of deaths in months, and right-wing agitators are more focused on displaying guns and opening beaches than saving lives. Larry Kramer wanted people to live. He wrote The Normal Heart after visiting the Dachau concentration camp in Germany. What he was struck by, he said, was “how early it had opened, in March 1933, and we didn’t even know it. It was a lesson for us.” Similarly, I’m taking a lesson about timing from Peter Staley’s tribute to Larry Kramer. He wrote:

“We forget that ACT UP was born six years into the crisis. Six lost years, as the country and its president ignored a new virus that was slaughtering a community they despised.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Except now we’re down to weeks, not years, for the disease to spread and kill, and the despised community is black instead of gay. We’re already late; let’s not be any later. Fight in any way you can. I always have ideas if you ask. And you should ask, because like Kramer said in December, “The one thing I’ve never been able to answer to my satisfaction is why, at the height of the AIDS horrors in the mid ’90s, every gay man in America was not out there fighting along with the few thousand who were in ACT UP. Why? I couldn’t understand why people weren’t willing to fight to save their own lives? I don’t know why, and that’s what breaks my heart.” Save your own lives, dammit.

Recommended reading:

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Look at these gorgeous interior design ideas to find your own jewelry style!

1. Jewelry and Interior Design ideas.Marie MartinVan CleefArpelsCouleurs de Geraldine.png X

Pillows are by Marie Martin and the vintage brooch of a bird is by Tiffany. The earrings are by the Dutch jewelry designer Couleurs de Geraldine

So why not think about interior design and create a style on a jewelry blog? 🙂 Personally, I love to make that connection, and I think most of you consciously or unconsciously do. I know perfectly well that jewelry isn’t on your mind each day. Neither are you visiting your local jewelry weekly to purchase something new. Some have a clear idea about their Style and taste in jewelry, but most of us, aren’t so aware of it. And we opt to save ideas such as classic style jewelry or something you saw on your friend recently.

2.Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Marie Martin Zydo Syna

The gorgeous rond velvet couch is by Marie Martin, the ring is by the Italian company Zydo and the lovely earrings are by Syna

But if you take a look at what you like and have or look at your vision boards on Pinterest ;-), it ought to give you some idea of what jewelry you might like too.
We’ll try to inspire you this year with various blogs that connect different styles and different products that might connect the dots for your personal inspiration.

As most of our blogs are not sponsored, we think you should see it as inspiration. Perhaps show it on your phone while trying to explain your jeweler or friends what you love or seek for. Pin it on your style board on Pinterest or use it merely as entertaining information. It’s all good!

3.Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Manya Roumen MOOOI

Imaginative interior design for those who love to make a statement, all by Moooi. The goldfish bracelet is by Manya & Roumen

Jewelry is lovely as it often symbolizes moments in life you treasure. Memories, people, special moments, we love to capture it is something so personal and lasting as jewelry. However, jewelry is also a statement. It can be a great way to show your Style!

In this blog, we used Dutch designers only. We searched for particular styles, and as the Netherlands is a fascinating place these days for fashion and interior designers, we wanted to share that with you. Take Marie Martin, a collaboration between two interior designers -Marielle de Graaf-Blok and Martin de Boer- who love to restore, refurbish, and lavishly decorated homes. Or Marcel Wanders, the genius designer who creates “oh and ah moments” with his humor and his outspoken pieces.

4.Jewelry and Design Ideas Horse Hermes Magerit

If you love the horse theme of the Moooi horse light, you’ll probably love these rings by the Spanish Magerit too. Or the uber stylish silver ring by Hermès

We featured Menno Kroon, who owns one of the most inspiring flower stores in Amsterdam and Moooi, the company that gave us the (real-size)horse lamp and pig table and so much more.
We connected these designs with jewelry from Bulgari to Anabela Chan and from Lydia Courteille, Solange, and Boucheron to Magerit and Manya & Roumen.

Let us know what you loved and think, and if you have a great idea, don’t be shy! We love to hear all about it!

5 Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Marie Martin VherniergioielliLydia CourteilleMargherite Burgener

Lamp and stool are by Marie Martin, the flower ring is by Margherite Burgener in gold and titanium and some diamonds, the earrings with the cute parrots are by the Parisian designer Lydia Courteille and the fabulous jewelry set containing a necklace and bracelet is by one of the most admired Italian jewelry brands: Vhernier. 

6 Jewelry and Interior Design IdeasMarie Martin

All the lamps are by Marie Martin, the rings above are by Lydia Courteille and Falcinelli, both contain amethyst and are made in 18k gold. The rings in the middle, which I think are stunning are by Garavelli from Valenza, Italy. The peridot earrings are by Amy Glaswand from NYC and the earrings are created with lab-grown gemstones by Anabela Chan


7.Jewelry and Interior Design IdeasSolangeMarcel Wanders

Dutch genius interior designer Marcel Wanders created these objects and the rings are by the English brand Solange ( Azagury-Partridge)

8.Jewelry and Interior Design ideas Bulgari

These beautiful creations are by Bulgari. Look at how they use colors together and how this matches with lavishly interior designs. 

9.Jewelry and Interior Designs IdeasPerch tree Moooi UMUT YAMAC Korat Works MattioliWolfand badger

Perch Tree lamps by Moooi (Umut Yamac) an origami pendant by Wolf and Badger, a rhino ring by Mattioli and freshwater pearls with Japanese lacquer by Korat Works

10.Jewelry and Interior DesignsMattioli VhernierWandersMarcle

Eurasian Garden Spirits by Marcel Wanders and animal brooches with gemstones by Vhernier and the Arcimboldo ring by Mattioli

11.Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Mathon

The Collection unique is born from a collaboration between Émeline Piot and Mathon Paris. One of a kind pieces showing the love for nature.

12. Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Moooi the party Lydia Courteille Garavelli

The lamp with masks is called The Party and is by Moooi, the mask ring on the left is by Lydia Courteille and the mask rings on the right are by Garavelli

13.Jewelry and Interior Designs IdeasMenno KroonTiffany

Flowers are big in the Netherlands and there are some genius creatives working with flowers such as the Amsterdam-based Menno Kroon. The stunning brooch is by Tiffany & Co

14.Jewelry and Interior Design ideas Studio Job moooiBoucheron Tenet

Table is by Studio Job for Moooi, the Signet Ring is by Tenet jewelry and the one of a kind ring is by Boucheron -Duo Taille Emeraude-with a Heliodor Beryl, diamonds and onyx

15.Jewelry and Interior Design IdeasMaria Frerin Maria MartinLydia Courteille

If the photo on the right (Marie Martin) is your dream interior you probably love this ring with topaz and Egyptian cotton by Maria Frening or the precious earrings by Lydia Courteille

16. Jewelry and Interior Design ideas Qeelin deGrisogono Marcel Wanders Marie Martin

Room Divider by Marie Martin, and Mickey Mouse statue – One Minute Mickey, by Marcel Wanders. The necklace with goldfish is by Qeelin and both piggy rings are by de Grisogono


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Never stop learning… especially about jewellery! I was always fascinated by the wealth of legends associated with talisman jewels, so you can imagine my excitement when I found myself right next to Place Vendome, attending L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry school in Paris. Just in 4 hours I learned so much about talismanic jewellery! From naturalistic symbols to the secrets of shapes and magic of numbers across different cultures to the true history of gemstone meanings and their connection to astrology. ⁠

One of my favourite symbols from my L’ecole Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry course in Paris is the butterfly, associated with spiritual elevation and the soul in Greek mythology and across many cultures in Americas. Also representing womanhood in Japan and eternal love in China, butterfly has become the ultimate expression of the splendour of nature for Van Cleef & Arpels. I can’t recommend it enough to treat yourself with the gift of learning by booking a course during your next Paris visit! There are so many to choose from – check L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels.

Thanks for stopping by! Do you have a special amulet or talisman jewel? ⁠Let me know in comments below!

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

You can sign up for GEMOLOGUE newsletter below and I also share  jewellery on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook  and Youtube if you’d like to connect, or feel free to say hello


GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

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Little Diamonds Get a Terrific New Life



White gold monogram bracelet made from watch

Little Diamond From a Watch Re-used

I run into clients all the time with small caches of tiny diamonds. Sometimes they’re loose. Sometimes not.

Often, the diamonds are set in some ancient—and out of date—piece of jewelry.

How About Some Inspiration?

What do you do with them? Well this Santa Barbara Jeweler has lots of ideas, dive right in and find your inspiration.

Re-using Very Tiny Diamonds

Tiny Diamonds Sprinkled into Bangles

My client had a plastic bags of tiny diamonds and wanted a three bangle stacking set. She likes black, so one of the bangles was created in oxidized silver. She also went with black diamonds for her white gold bangle. They not only pop wonderfully, but were less expensive.

Redesigning Unworn Tennis Bracelet Diamonds

One day Mary Jane called me. “Calla,” she said, “I’m not wearing my tennis bracelet anymore and I remember your mantra, ‘Wear it Don’t Warehouse it!’”

Let’s do something with my diamonds.”


Hammer Finish Cuff Bangle with Diamonds

We made her a white gold cuff bracelet. She wanted a bold, wear it everyday, informal design.  First we decided on an ideal width. In discussing texture I found out she liked the hammer finish. The width we chose complimented another piece she loved. Mary Jane’s diamonds are channel set in yellow gold for a nice pop of color.

Yay, Mary Jane, for using your unworn diamonds!

Use Bezel Settings to Space Your Gemstones

Opal bracelet in silver with purple sapphires. All bezel set with oxidation.

Using Family Jewels in a Bracelet

We made this bracelet to utilize family opal. Since the opal came from more than one ring, they weren’t perfect matches. Using popped up bezel settings to separate gemstones in a piece, allows you to have a bold piece of jewelry, yet keep it casual and use the number of diamonds and gems you have without needing to add more.

earrings with square emeralds bezel set in Etruscan design

Bezel Setting a Few Gems

Sometimes you just have a few beloved diamonds, but you want them to get some good love. Bezel setting the above emeralds really highlights them. This Etruscan style is a wonderful way to frame gemstones. This pair of earrings would look wonderful with diamonds as well.

Bezel Setting These Older Cut Diamonds Makes the Most of Their Beauty

We used diamonds from different rings, both older cuts, to create this wonderful ring. I am a fan of using hand engraving and the milgrain edge on the bezel with older cut diamonds.

Using Different Sized Small Diamonds

Tiny Diamonds Look Wonderful in This Heart Necklace

Small diamonds that don’t match in size can be used most successfully with the pave style of setting. It’s French for paving a road. We pave set the diamonds into the design we are making. I set the larger diamonds in the center and graduate smaller diamonds outward from the center. This works in pendants and rings.

emerald and diamond and sapphire and diamond eternity bands

Round diamonds in ‘Shapes’ Rings

Different sized diamonds can work well in stacking rings with shapes. The rings above have bezel-set larger gems and flush set smaller gems in the marquis shape design.

Swirls wedding band with heirloom diamonds

Inherited Diamond Wedding Ring

Using freeform designs in rings, pendants, etc nicely uses different shapes of smaller diamonds. A bonus with this type of design is the fact that you can also use subtly different colors of diamonds. If one is a but grayer, it can nestle in the lowest position.

Using Textures and Oxidation with Different Sized Gems

I can’t help myself. I love this ring so much. When using different sizes and colors of diamonds, the differences are de-emphasized by varying the texture and introducing oxidation, (blackening) to the piece. Adding an uneven edge to the piece, making it read as more freeform and artistic is quite helpful.

Using Tennis Bracelet Diamonds to Make a Cross

Diamonds in Cross and on Chain

We used tennis bracelet diamonds to create this beautiful cross. We had some leftover diamonds and made reversible diamond stations on the chain. There was another pretty diamond unused in her collection and it went into the center of the cross.

Wear it Don’t Warehouse it!

The moral of the story is not to let your old diamonds sit unused in the dark, dusty, corners of your jewelry box.

Your Personal Jeweler

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The Dramatic Kathakali Collection – Voylla

Has it ever happened to you that you walk past a shop window and immediately turn back, bedazzled by a pair of exquisite earrings? Or you are browsing online, swiping your way past hundreds of jewelry when suddenly your fingers freeze, your eyes widen in sheer joy?

Ladies, may we present that ‘aha’ moment in shopping for imitation jewellery online, our incredibly dramatic, Kathakali collection!

At Studio Voylla, we have always prided ourselves on seeking inspiration from the traditional art and crafts of our country. But nothing gives us more joy, than finding our rhythm in the dance forms of our country. We worked with the Bhawai dance form earlier, and now we take the vibrant, dramatic and elaborate form of Kathakali to hear – in a dazzling collection of temple and dance inspired jewelry.

Take the Vismaya Earrings for instance. Evoking a sense of wonder, this pair of statuesque temple-style jhumkas are inspired by the masks and headgear of the dance form. Wear them with your kanjeevarams or any rich silk, a strand of fresh seasonal flowers in your hair and you are a picture of elegance.

Similarly, the Kathakali Mudra Ring, will remind you of the intricate hand formations or mudras of the dancers, and is the perfect accessory for your elegant fingers too.

Crafted out of the highest grade brass with a long-lasting skin friendly gold plating, The Kathakali collection has a 22-carat gold finish that can compete with the finest precious jewellery you can buy.

Be it for a festival or a wedding, the Kathakali collection – featuring bangles, statement rings, bold earrings – is the perfect highlight to your prized occasion wear. Go ahead, dazzle the world!


buy designer jewellery, buy jewellery online, fashion, Imitation Jewellery, Online Jewellery

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#254 How to Use Tik Tok For Your Jewelry or Creative Product Business with Elise Darma

How do you achieve freedom and financial independence? By taking risks.

Elise Darma rebelled against her traditional upbringing and chose the freedom to travel instead of being tied down to a job. 

She made her dream come true when she started her own business providing social media marketing services. 

Social media is integral, now more than ever, to running your business – but learning a new platform can be intimidating. 

Elise is here today to give us advice on how to help your business thrive in a whole new way.

Click here to download the show notes

Don’t Worry, Everyone Feels “Too Old” for Tik Tok

TikTok is notoriously used by teenagers. 

When you first open an app, you are bombarded with trends and songs that are completely unfamiliar. Don’t let this deter you! Everyone feels the same way at first.

You don’t need to sing or dance to draw attention. As long as your videos are targeted towards your niche demographic and have a creative flair, your Dream Clients will take notice!

Take A Break From Needing to Look Perfect

Instagram content is expected to look staged and perfect. TikTok is totally the opposite.

There is a freedom in using TikTok that you just don’t find on other social platforms. It’s meant to be silly, so use your creativity to your advantage.

If you make your Dream Client laugh, they’ll wanna know more about your business! That’s all you need to do, m’dear.

Put Yourself Out There and Try It

Like all things, marketing on Tik Tok will take some trial and error. But it doesn”t take long to get the hang of!

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. 

Elise has graciously given lots of great tips on her youtube channel if you want some inspiration to get started.

xo, Tracy


5 Tik Tok Ideas for Your Business

6 Easy Tik Tok Ideas to Grow Your Business

Follow Elise on Instagram!

Follow Elise on Tik Tok!

Follow Flourish & Thrive on Tik Tok

Done-For-You Bundles for Your Business



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