2008 in Review

    We started off with a BANG and the highlight of the year with our trip in February, to the Tucson Gem & Mineral show (2nd largest in the world, 1st largest in the U.S.)!! At the AGTA show we saw many precious gems; diamonds, emerald, rubes, sapphires -- oh my!

    It was like a ‘kid in a candy store’ when we hit the numerous bead shows --- every kind of wholesale vendor under the sun, or should we say tent! The street vendors were just as numerous and the mineral shows were just incredible! Looking to get your entire inventory in one location, this was the show. We hand picked (as always) all our beads, findings and inventory for the entire year….cuts and natural gemstones that I’ve never heard of or seen such as navy Madagascar Agate, Morocco Agate, Turtellia Agate, Peruvian Opals, Australian Boulder Opals, natural Jaspers; and then there were lots of old favorites in Turquoise, Coral, cultured freshwater Pearls, Mother-of-Pearl, Howlite and many Agates and Jaspers. Metal beads from copper to silver to gold to platinum to stainless steal; it was like Christmas all over again!

    Our designs (see some of our favorites in the posts below) were uniquely bolder this year due in part by the stock we picked up in Tucson. Introduced where chunky and funky styles, large longer styles, more wire work and sculpture creations and of course the classic stylish favorites; we also introduced this fall a new pendant line where the pendant can be removed from its ribbon cord – such versatility! At our first spring shows, many people were delighted at the different cuts and unusual natural gemstone designs. We were on our way to blazing a new trail for our goal to produce high-end quality gemstone jewelry. We added several new spring shows this year, but will be downsizing the entire schedule for 2009 and the future. Doing a total of about 10-12 shows this entire year was a challenge and we quickly realized that restocking between shows proved interesting. In 2009, we will most likely scale back to around 6-8 shows for the season.
    Also in the spring we opened our first online avenue with Etsy; an online shopping venue which is still active, but not as much so since we launched our e-commerce site in October. The next big thing for us was in September when we were published in a coffee table book, “Handbook to Handmade” with a 2-page layout and even made the front cover with one of our silver necklace link designs. You can read all about it on our About Us website page.

    The fall show season started off early this year by adding the military monthly luncheons in August and September; which we love doing and hope to continue in the future! The show season was in full swing by October with Encino, Deep in the Arts of Texas, a couple of church fairs and in November Alzafar and the huge holiday 2-day fair at Freeman Coliseum; boasted as the largest holiday shopping show in south central Texas. We closed out the year with the military monthly luncheon ‘Holiday Mini-Bazaar’ in December. You can always find out where we are at next by stopping by our website Events page.

    As mentioned, in October we launched our own website ‘Timeless Designs’; where you can purchase many of our jewelry collection, see what shows we will be attending, browse customer design requests, read about how Timeless Designs came to be or see our polices and favorite links. Another avenue is this blog, which was launched in July and will continue to be a staple for us – we want to keep in touch with our customers; so we created the blog. Next year we hope to bring more in the way of jewelry industry news and techniques, more business tips, vendor reviews, announce new designs and also continue to list our show information and any website or show promotions.
    So, now we will be taking a breath……and for the next little while Timeless Designs will take time off to enjoy the holiday season. We have enjoyed this year more than ever! We have grown, developed, become seasoned and spiced, and met the many challenges that came our way. We want to thank all those great customers that made 2008 the best year here at Timeless Designs and helped us to achieve our goals; we hope that next year, 2009 will be even better. We have plenty in store for 2009; new designs, new techniques, and more information on business and jewelry – you will definitely want to keep an eye on our blog and website --- stay tuned!

    It’s been a great year and we are definitely looking forward to many more to come. So from our family to yours….

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
    The Timeless Designs Family

Bold & Chunky Favorites

    This year I was asked many times why I hadn't created many bold and chunky designs. So, after looking for larger gemstones, I created some of the following 'bold and chunky designs'. Here are a few more of my favorites of 2008; chunky, bold and charmed describe all three of these lovely sets from the collection this year.

    The first is a chunky set done in Peach Jasper, Smoky & Cherry Quartz; where I have charmed the Smoky Quartz between the gemstones. The matching earrings are of Peach Jasper and then hand wired including the ear wires.

    The second one is made from Kambaba Japser, Prehnite and Smoky Quartz nuggets. Again, I did the Smoky Quartz as individual charms between the Kambaba Japser and Prehnite gemstones. I custom made the earrings for this set in Kambaba Jasper, Smoky Quartz and a brass coil in non-tarnish wire.
    The next set is a chunky set of yellowish clear glass chunks mixed between purple crystals; hung at the center is a Kiwi Jasper pendant with the same color schemes and I had enough of the chunky glass left over to make charmed earrings hanging from fishhook ear wires.

    The last set is made from handcrafted wire links in non-tarnish brass wire dangled with Swarovski Copper crystals and accented with teardrop gemstones in Howlite. The matching hoops have a Howlite gemstone and a couple of larger round copper Swarovksi crystals.
    Enjoy some of these and many other designs at our website.

Wire Favorites

    These are my favorite designs done over the past year that have been accented with wire sculpture. I enjoyed making these designs and coming up with more and more wire sculputre to accent the beauty of the gemstones. Next year I'll be taking advanced wire working classes and as I perfect the designs, will be adding more wire sculpture to many of my jewelry designs!

    The first is made with an unusual gemstone in Turritella Agate accented with cultured freshwater pearls, Smoky Quartz and put together with handcrafted wire coiled links made in non-tarnish silver. This was one of the first designs I did with coiled links, I later graduated into double coiled links in different designs.

    The second one is a more bold, flirty and classy look all in one! This piece again has the coiled links, but in black artistic and non-tarnish brass wires. Charmed in the center of each coiled loop is an awesome faceted Sardonxy Agate in marbled colors of black, brown, white and cream. I dangled 3 of the Agates from the center of necklace to act as a swing pendant. The matching earrings are made of Agate, including a dark brown round agate and Onyx.

    The next design is a favorite of almost everyone who sees it. Beautiful handcrafted spiral links in non-tarnish silver and then accented with stabilized Turquoise nuggets and a medium freeform pendant that I accented in the same wire. The earrings are made of the same wire in smaller coils and have the same Turquoise nuggets.

Some of My Favorites

    This week I’m looking back over the past year and thinking of the many different designs that were created. Every one is pretty much a ‘favorite’ but others still were harder to ‘sell’ and let go. In looking at the all the photo’s and pondering how they were created, I thought I would share a few of my favorites through-out the week.

    Turquoise and Pearls
    These two pieces are among the top favorites on my list and are in Turquoise and Pearls.

    The first is a dramatic piece and a first attempt at working with pearls and multi-strands. I mixed fresh water cultured pearls with turquoise teardrop gemstones; intermixed with Swarovski Crystals in copper surrounded by copper metal spacers. For the earrings I took individual turquoise and charmed each of the pearls to the upper portion of the earring. It gave the earring a multi-dangle effect while still looking classy to complete the set. This lovely piece found a home with a very nice lady who saw the piece and said she wanted that piece exactly to complete her outfit to a friends wedding later that week. She liked the fact that it has a stylish and classy look, yet could also be worn more casual with jeans and a jacket.

    The second piece is a long large turquoise marquee pendant wire wrapped in bronze artistic wire. This was also a first attempt at traditional wire wrapping and was a lone pendant until I got the idea to set it with a strand of single fresh water cultured pearls. I hand coiled both side pieces and then pulled separate wires through to form the ‘frame’ that the turquoise pendant would sit in. Once completed, I hammered the spirals just to give a little bit of depth around the bail; which was made just large enough so that it could be removed and worn with something else and the pearls worn separately. It really was like getting 2 necklace pieces in one! The lovely lady that bought this loves turquoise and loved the unique wire wrap of coils and the fact that it wasn’t in silver.

    Visit our website for a wide selection of custom unique gemstone jewelry.
    Stay tuned all week as I’ll be doing a ‘review’ of all my favorites from Timeless Designs jewelry collection!

Turquoise & Amethyst

    Turquoise is extremely popular and many pieces are gone before I know it. Many times people miss out on the Turquoise pieces that I make and because they are not mass or reproduced, it’s often hard to be the ‘first’ to get the jewelry piece you want. I came to know a really great lady in Alabama and she loves Turquoise and Silver, with her favorite color being purple. Since missing several favorite Turquoise pieces, I offered to make a custom Turquoise and Silver piece just for her; mixing in her favorite color. While I have never put these two colors combinations together, I have seen them done before in spectacular jewelry pieces and I was up for the new adventure!

    Enter the creation of Turquoise, Amethyst and Silver necklace set! This piece is made from Terconite Turquoise in medium pillow gemstone beads and accented with pewter filigree end-caps. The Turquoise has a very nice blue color and excellent brown/black matrix that gives it character. In-between I mixed Amethyst chips in 2-strands and added the same stones in dangle earrings. The necklace is 19.5” and the earrings dangle about 1”; making a very nice comfortable piece for that dressy or casual event!

    The traditional properties for this piece are very interesting too…….
    Amethyst: Contentment, spirituality, dreams, healing, peace, happiness, love, intuition.
    Turquoise: Spiritual attunement, cleansing, healing, protection, valor, soothing, peace of mind, guidance through the unknown, romantic spontaneity.


    I come across a lot of information – from people to books to the internet; it’s all about getting the information and learning from it to be a success in the business world today. The following article I found in some of my “Business Stuff” while contemplating my next blog post. It brought about some really great questions about marketing and advertising in the world of Internet and Email. Just something to think about this Holiday Season as we are all running “Sales” on Etsy, Ebay and Websites.

    Those of you familiar with advertising may be familiar with the Rule of 3. This rule states that in order for a consumer to actively think about purchasing your product or service you have to hit them with the advertisement 3 different times. For example if a company wants to sell you something they should send you an email, a direct mail letter and give you a phone call. This is just an example, but you get the point. This “rule” has been around quite some time and I think we need to re-examine its effectiveness.

    The Rule of 3 has been in existence pre-internet but I question its modern day utility. Let’s think about this for a moment. The overall attention span of humans is decreasing, meaning we are all getting a more and more ADD with how we perceive and interact with information. We don’t have the time to sit and watch ads anymore, we want things instantly and we want it our way, and we don’t get it, we hit the “back” or the “delete” button. So knowing this, do you think that marketers should spend their time trying to show you MORE ads? There has been a large backlash against telemarketers, spammers, blog pitchers, etc. for precisely this reason, people do not want to be spammed and people do not want to see more ads.

    There are a couple of things that can happen. Either the Rule of 3 will turn into the rule of 33, meaning that marketers are really going to have to bombard and spam the hell out of people in order to get their attention (and really irritate them). OR instead, the Rule of 3 will switch from a metric of quantity to a metric of quality and relevancy. Instead of concentrating on how many times marketers need to advertise to someone to get their attention, marketers need to focus on the relevancy and the quality of those ads.

    We can all see that our attention is diminishing we don’t want to be bombarded with ads and we don’t want to be spammed, so what is the solution? Focus on relevancy, it is far more effective to show someone a relevant ad than it is to show non-relevant ads in larger quantity. Of course we could combine the concepts and show more relevant ads, but remember over time marketers will reach a point of diminishing return, meaning that just because you show more relevant ads doesn’t mean you are going to get more purchases. There is a balance between relevancy and respecting your consumers. Show consumers relevant ads, but don’t bombard them. If you are tired of seeing ads, so are your consumers.

    The above article is from various business marketing books and internet materials.

Customer Custom Requests

    Though all of our designs are custom jewelry pieces; it is much more fun to have an original and unique work of art in jewelry; rather than something that is mass produced or duplicated. Making sure that we keep our designs fresh and unique is often difficult, but a challenge I take on every time I step into the studio to create.

    Quite often we get customer custom requests for something a little more to their liking or personality. These requests are usually to make something in their favorite colors or gemstones and are accompanied with a request to add my trademark wire sculpture.

    If you would like t0 make a custom request, just contact us for more information!

Goldstone: Old World Folklore Stone

    Goldstone is an unusual gemstone in that it is manmade from a type of glass with copper or copper salts in the presence of a reducing flame. Under the right oxidative conditions, the copper ions meld into the silica to produce the transparent bluish-green or red-brown colors. When the goldstone cools, the copper remains in an atomic isolation and becomes small crystalline clusters.
    The most common form of goldstone gives the illusion of being reddish-brown, although in fact that color comes from the copper crystals and the glass itself is colorless. Some goldstone variants have an intensely-colored glass matrix, usually blue or violet, more rarely green, and a more silvery appearance to the suspended crystals, whose color may be partially masked by the glass or which may be based on different metals than copper like cobalt, manganese or chromium.

    Old World Folklore
    Goldstone has been around for centuries and was presumed discovered by accident in the 17th century Venice by the Miotti family. Old World folklore attributes the discovery of Goldstone from an old monastery where monks were trying to make gold out of other materials, specifically alchemy. Molten copper was tipped by accident into a crucible of molten glass and crystallized out in tiny bright triangular crystals and forming a melt from which objects with golden light could be formed. It has an alternate or folklore name of ‘Monk’s Gold’ or ‘Monkstone’ from this discover before it was named Goldstone due to the starry internal reflections of the stone.
    Though Goldstone doesn’t have any associated birthstone or anniversary, it does however have some associated properties. Goldstone is associated with vitality, energy and the uplifting of a persons spirits. It is known to help to reduce tension and believed to be helpful in securing love, protection, riches and inspired diplomacy. It is found in the United States, India and Russia. Has a symbolic meaning for Ambition and Drive.
    Blue Goldstone is a stone for wisdom and science
    Red/Brownish Goldstone is a stone for physical stimulation

    I came across some Goldstone recently that the dealer called “Bad Goldstone” because there are darker striations within the beads and not totally clear starry inclusions. Looking at these beads, I felt they were unique and would make great additions to a jewelry design. Though a very beautiful stone, I have partnered it with Peach Jasper, Cherry Quartz, and gold caged lampwork beads in black-pink-cream colors. It is available for purchase on my website along with many other unique and original natural gemstone jewelry designs.

Traditional Gemstone Properties

    Many people know the traditional gemstone properties for their favorites; Turquoise, Agates, Jasper or their own birthstone. When buying jewelry, it’s interesting to note the different gemstone properties for all the different stones nature gives us. Here I’ve listed the ones that I could find; the gemstone and their matching property. Enjoy and keep for reference…when purchasing a piece of gemstone jewelry, impress the person with a little knowledge of the properties the gems hold!

    Traditional Gemstone Properties
    Agates: Balancing physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual energies; perceptiveness, strength, inspiration, awakening talents.
    Amazonite: Success, joy, self-expression, awakening heart, soothing, harmony, balancing.
    Amber: Soothing, calming, cleansing.
    Amethyst: Contentment, spirituality, dreams, healing, peace, happiness, love, intuition.
    Ametrine: Intellectual stimulation, attunement, releasing, dispelling tension, connecting.
    Apatite: Intellect, achieving results, healing, insight, humanitarianism, meditation, balance, creativity.
    Aquamarine: Courage, purification, peace, intuition, self-expression, balance, preparedness.
    Aventurine: Healing, money, mental agility, visual acuity, peace, opening heart, motivation, leadership.
    Azurite: Intuitive energy, dreams, healing, insight, stilling the mind, concentration, self transformation.
    Bloodstone: Courage, intense healing, renewal, strength, victory, intuitive decision making.
    Calcite: Purification, peace, calming, memory, awareness, appreciation of nature.
    Carnelian: Precision, analytical capabilities, physical energy, verbal skill, peace, spirituality.
    Celestite: Verbal skill, healing, compassion, calming, growth, intuition, hope.
    Chrysocolla: Easing heartache, stamina, wisdom, peace, love, communication, vitality, inner strength.
    Chrysoprase: Balancing male-female energy, love, grace, compassion, clemency, personal growth.
    Citrine: Intuition, comfort, protection, creativity, physical energy, wealth, mental awakening.
    Coral: Diplomacy, quieting emotions, visualization.
    Crystal Quartz: Intensifying energy, spiritual development, healing, raising consciousness.
    Diamond: Courage, strength, healing, protection, spirituality, mental abilities.
    Dumortierite: Self-reliance, stamina, patience, recognition of potential, understanding, communication of ideas.
    Emerald: Love, domestic bliss, sensitivity, loyalty, memory, mental capacity, harmony, focus, eliminating negativity.
    Fluorite: Stability, impartial reasoning, responsibility, concentration, health.
    Fossil Stone: Accomplishments, improvement of one’s environment, communication, innovation.
    Garnet: Health, removing negativity, awareness, commitment, regeneration, order, insight.
    Hematite: Mental attunement, memory, calming, balance, focusing energy and emotions, peace, inner happiness, transforming negativity.
    Howlite: Awareness, calm, emotional expression, observation, patience, eliminating negativity.
    Iolite: Intuition, spiritual growth, healing, balance, releasing discord, awakening to inner knowledge.
    Jade: Fidelity, dreams, realization of potential, peace, accord, resourcefulness, accomplishment.
    Jaspers: Protection, nurturing, joy, awareness; balancing of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual energies.
    Labradorite: Alignment, spiritual connection, transformation, clarity, peace, progression, discernment.
    Lapis Lazuli: Wisdom, intuition, awareness, objectivity, clarity, creativity, expanded consciousness, dreams, purity, courage, serenity.
    Lepidolite: Hope, stress reduction, birth, peace, spirituality, physical strength, luck, protection, emotional balance.
    Malachite: Transformation, insight, clarifying emotions, fidelity, loyalty, practicality.
    Marble: Charitable actions, original thinking, alleviation of sorrow.
    Moonstone: Introspection, reflection, beginnings, insight, tenderness, harmony, peace, travel.
    Mother of Pearl: Mental clarity, intuition, sensitivity, imagination, adaptability, cooperation.
    Obsidians: Clarity, deflecting negativity, protection, healing.
    Onyx: Self-control, decision making, intuition, recognition of personal strengths.
    Opal: Creativity, spontaneity, relationships, memory, happy dreams and changes.
    Pearl: Purity, faith, charity, innocence, integrity, focus, wisdom, spirituality, sincerity, fertility.
    Peridot: Warmth, friendliness, understanding, openness in love and relationships, regulation of cycles.
    Pyrite: Defense, prevention, protection from negativity, physical wholeness, memory.
    Rhodocrosite: Love, emotional balance, cleansing, renewal, relaxation, expansion of consciousness.
    Rhodonite: Peace, generosity, attention to details.
    Rhyolite: Change, variety, progress, creativity, transcending barriers.
    Rose Quartz: Love, peace, happiness, gentleness, healing emotional wounds.
    Ruby: Nurturing, spiritual wisdom, attainment of values, economic stability, protection from distress.
    Sapphire: Joy, peace, beauty, intuition, prosperity, fulfillment of dreams.
    Serpentine: (see Jade)
    Smoky Quartz: Dissolving emotional blockage, clearing the mind, cooperation, personal pride, joy in living, attentiveness to the moment, protection.
    Sodalite: Wisdom, logic, calmness, healing, stress reduction, companionship, self-esteem.
    Sunstone: Alleviating fears, energizing, cleansing.
    Tanzanite: Communication, intuition, protection, symmetry, decision-making, spirituality.
    Tiger Eye: Practicality, peacefulness, clarity, intelligence, intuition, new experiences, financial stability, calmness, releasing inhibitions.
    Tiger Iron: Artistic endeavors, beauty, vitality.
    Topaz: True love, success in endeavors, understanding of interrelationships, expression of ideas, trust, health, personal expansion and growth.
    Tourmaline: Energizing, soul-searching, releasing.
    Turquoise: Spiritual attunement, cleansing, healing, protection, valor, soothing, peace of mind, guidance through the unknown, romantic spontaneity.
    Unakite: Balance, re-birth, foresight, emotional balance.Zoisite: Dispelling laziness, facilitating advancement.

Shades of Red

    The Holidays and New Years bring out shades of red in these new designs. I was challenged to design in-particular with the color red, since I don’t often work with that color. The 3 designs that came from the design board and my imagination are bold, classy, flirty, and have some bling!

    The first design is new, just finished from the studio is bold, chunky and a little casual. I used chunky pieces of red coral and smaller rondelles, mixed it with onyx and mother-of-pearl spikes. Then accented the piece with several of my signature double coil spiral links in non-tarnish silver wire. The earrings are dangle from fishhooks, in smaller gemstones in coral, onyx and glass silver-lined seed beads.

    The second design is also bold and chunky with a side of flirty. Here I used red coral barrel gemstones capped with pewter filigree caps, matching red coral rondelles and silver disks. Then accented with square onyx, silver-lined seed beads and large silver wired charms. The earrings dangle from fishhooks of the red coral barrel beads and filigree caps.

    The last design is bold, bling and classy with a splash of sassy. This one incorporates small and medium sized curb silver chain with 3 large Sardonyx Agate ovals in black, red and white tones. And then accented with Smoky Quartz and Swarovski Crystals. The dangle earrings from fishhooks use a silver wired charm with Swarvoski crystals and Smoky Quartz.

    For detailed information on all 3 designs see my website where they are available for purchase, along with many new jewelry gemstone designs!