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As a little girl I can remember tiptoeing into my grandma's bedroom when visiting her so I could sneak a peek at her jewelry collection. The two top drawers of her dresser were lined with royal blue velvet and divided into square compartments for her rings, pendants, brooches, earrings and bracelets. I just loved looking at each piece, admiring the sparkle, enchanted by the colors and using my imagination to picture where she had worn each piece of jewelry. I then, of course, imagined myself all dolled up wearing the same jewels.
As the years pass, my grandma has shared her jewelry collection with me, giving me some of her pieces to commemorate special occasions in my life. A strand of pearls and pearl earrings upon graduation, a pendant and earrings with rubies and diamond accents for my 18th birthday and diamond stud earrings for my 21st birthday. Every time I wear these pieces I think of my grandma and I love the connection I feel with her, knowing that she wore the same necklace or earrings. One day, I will share these pieces and their stories with my granddaughters, passing on our family history.
What is in your jewelry box that you plan on passing down to your children and grandchildren? Is it pearls? Diamonds? Or are you still looking for that legacy piece to share with your loved ones? If so, I think I have the answer to your search...tanzanite.
This breathtaking gem is a unique combination of blue and purple, with hints of pink and red, thanks to its trichroic nature. Tanzanite's rarity relates to the fact that it has only been discovered in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. The single source and limited supply factors make tanzanite one thousand times rarer than diamonds. Currently we are in the "Tanzanite Generation", as this is potentially the only time you can become a first time owner of faceted tanzanite jewelry before the mines are exhausted. Future generations will be the lucky owners of tanzanite only if they are fortunate enough to have pieces of jewelry passed down within their family.
Now is the time to shop jtv.com and watch JTV to find your first or next tanzanite treasure. We are celebrating this gorgeous gem during our Tanzanite Event September 11-14th, bringing you customer favorite designs and brand new debuts all at special event pricing. Join in the celebration and you never know...the next time your granddaughter comes to visit, you may find her on her tiptoes, peering into your jewelry box with a smile on her face.
Congratulations to the Winner
of our “Jewel School 100th Blog, Random Prize Drawing”, Paula Wolfe!
Jewel School Program Monday Sept 8, from10am-noon (EST)-
Join us as Guest Artist Anne Dilker helps us kick-off Jewel School Customer Appreciation Week with some beautiful New Project Kits!
Launching her Colors for Fall-Kumihimo Supply Collections, shown above is Anne’s New Premium Kumihimo Design Kit that includes Miyuki beads. Shown below is an earthy, beaded kumihimo bracelet that she created by using the ‘Wheat Berries’ bead selection. Both the Miyuki beads and the rattail come in her delicious New Berries and Cream Kumihimo Supply Kit. (I can’t wait to see a sample made with the ‘Melon Berries’ colors!)
Looking closer at Anne’s bracelet, you’ll notice that she’s professionally finished it with Wired On End Caps. If you’d like to try them too, follow this link to watch a Free Wired End Cap Video where Anne explains and shows how easy it is to finish a kumihimo piece using these special findings.
What do you get when you mix Aluminum Chain, S-lon and Miyuki Beads? Looking below at the lovely array of autumn colors included in this kit, I’m excited to see what samples projects Anne will have to share with us on Monday!
Have YOU voted yet?
Each year, during our Jewel School Customer Appreciation Event, JTV and Jewel School run a fabulous design challenge, with some pretty awesome prizes. The Grand Prize is chosen by a selection of jewelry making expert judges, but the other $9150.00 in prizes are awarded by YOUR Votes!! Voting runs from now until Monday 9/15 at 11:59pm (EST).
So follow this link, Vote Now and choose which pieces you’d like to see win!!
“Cougarism”- Heads-Up!! Set your recording devices!
I’m really excited! This is going to be a jamming week at JTV in Knoxville, TN, as we Celebrate our 5th Annual Jewel School Customer Appreciation Event.
This means that we will also have TWO Additional, Live Jewel School Shows! Many of your favorite artists will be here to teach live classes, and they will also be appearing on Jewel School, so I thought I’d give you an advance notice about our Live Show Schedule.
Special Guests Jewel School will be on from 10am-noon (EST)
Monday 9/8 (see above) – Wednesday 9/10 – Thursday 9/11 and Monday 9/15
Watch your email for an Extra JS Blog from me tomorrow, Sunday 9/7, where I list each of these amazing artists and some of the New Project/Product Demonstrations they will be sharing on-air. Enjoy!
Until next week, stay “twisted”!
Profiles of Courage
Who knew something so small and simple as a bead could have an impact on children around the world? Beads of Courage® does just that.
Beads of Courage® is an arts-in-medicine supportive care program that has been helping children and their families cope with serious illness since 2005. So where do the beads come in?
Colorful handmade, glass beads represent medical treatments and major milestones in a child’s journey. Children proudly wear strands upon strands of beads that tell their courageous story, and most children have over 500 beads in their collection.
The Beads of Courage® program is currently implemented in over 150 children’s hospitals throughout the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The program currently supports over 30,000 children – that’s a lot of beads!
At JTV we are celebrating courage in a big way! During the month of September we are raising awareness and funds for Beads of Courage®. Keeping “bead pharmacies” at every hospital stocked relies on donations from bead-making artists and compassionate donors.
You can help healing happen! Visit jtv.com/courage or call 800-619-3000 to donate and to learn more about Beads of Courage®.
JTV Show Host Dawn Tesh on set of the Beads of Courage® promo.
Photo Credit Bobbi Van Reet LLC.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t find much time for roaming around antique shops these days. Nor do I find myself with the disposable income to afford such little luxuries. (Heavy Sigh) Also, most of my family’s traditions begin and end with recipes and paint… house paint that is. My grandfather started a paint store that my father now owns. Don’t get me wrong; my dad has an excellent, well-trained eye for matching color. It amazes me every time I watch him recreate someone’s wall color from 20 years ago from a sample the size of a quarter! Even so, it’s nothing like the legendary family traditions and artistry shown on TV and written about in books. I suppose maybe this is why some people are drawn to antiques. It allows us to own a little piece of someone else’s story and preserve it for them. Jewelry is one of the best and most affordable ways to own a piece of history and preserve tradition! So many jewelry making techniques were developed centuries ago. Today, I’ve got a great story of just this… family tradition, ancient jewelry craftsmanship, and far away places.
Nino Tagliamonte grew up in Naples where he spent his childhood days sitting with jewelers and artisans in his father’s jewelry shop. In his words, “As the carvers worked away with their chisels, they would tell me stories of the mythological gods, muses, nymphs and satyrs that slowly took life and emerged at each movement of their hands. I was so mesmerized, intrigued and inspired by the beauty of classical art and the traditions of cameo carving.”
An artisan creates a Venetian glass and cameo pendant.
Nino grew up knowing he wanted to one-day carry on his family tradition of Cameo Jewelry Crafting. After moving to Vicenza, Nino realized the art he’d treasured since childhood of Venetian Cameo Carving had become lost. He also knew he had to bring it back. Nino and his wife spent the next several years researching Roman glass processing techniques and scouring antique shops all across the globe for original 18th century cameo moulds.
An artisan making glass
It’s these Greek-Roman mythological moulds that have been the inspiration for his line of jewelry, Tagliamonte. Some of my favorite pieces from his line are below. You can catch Nino and the Tagliamonte launch on JTV at 7pm ET on September 2nd. You can also find the full line right now at JTV.com!
Sapphire is an extremely versatile gemstone that has many applications beyond gemstones and jewelry and comes in a wide variety of colors and optical properties. Sapphire is used in scientific instruments, windows, wristwatch crystals and special purpose electronics. But it’s most well known for the deep blue color of sky above. With light blues of midday to that of the inky evening sky, sapphire has a color for everyone.
Sapphire is a stone that has many different origins, and many different varieties. From grayish – blue Montana Sapphires to pinks and purples from Madagascar, Sapphire is found on almost every continent. Sapphire has always been one of the Big Three gemstones, and the deepest blues have always been prized and are found in many “crown jewels”. Most recently, Sapphire was the stone of choice for a royal engagement ring. Blue Sapphire is a stone that will not lose its demand anytime soon. But alas, there is no blue, without yellow and orange.
Yellow and orange varieties are definitely the setting sun in the sky that is sapphire. Sparkling with a bright luster that commonly seen in corundum stones, these colors are very representative of the fall colors we start seeing in September. Natural yellow an orange sapphire are not seen in the quantities we see in the Blue and Black variety, but are just as beautiful.
Aside from the wide variety of colors Sapphire comes in, it also displays some very cool optical properties. The most well known is the asterism of a Star Sapphire. These stars are caused by intersecting needle like inclusions reflecting light and giving the illusion of a six-rayed star. Color Change and Color Shift are also found in Sapphires, but are seen less than those with asterism.
September’s birthstone sure packs a wallop and JTV.com has plenty of sapphires in plenty of colors. There is no reason to limit these to those born in September. We’re fine with anyone getting one or two. Or even five. Go crazy…
Update: “Jewel School 100th Blog, Random Prize Drawing!”
The entire Jewel School Team and I would like to thank those of you, who made some time earlier this week to write your honest comments about our live show and my blog. I really enjoyed personally communicating with each of you!
The winner of our JS Goodie Bag will be announced in next week’s blog, published on September 6th.
Jewel School Program Monday September 1st from10am-noon (EST)-
Be sure to tune in to Jewel School this week, for our Annual Labor Day Clearance Sale!! Labor Day weekend means it’s time to begin planning and thinking about the upcoming holidays, and … winter.
What a great time to stock up on supplies you’ll need to:
1. Make inventory for fall craft shows that shimmer and shine! One idea is to use the Rhinestone Component Kit to make designs similar to the ones shown below.
2. Create special gifts for friends and family. Imagine the sparkle in her eyes when your sister or friend opens their gift and sees a lovely design such as the one shown below, made by Wyatt White. The Stonesett Bracelet and Necklace Kit comes with one bracelet and one necklace, ready for you to add your favorite beads to.
3. Make your own holiday ornament design; such as this joyous snowflake by Lauren Andersen, or lovely jewelry by using this Silver Tone Chain Maille Kit that includes toggle clasps and 720 rings! (Pendant by Christiane Ross.)
4. Get yourself the gift you’ve always wanted, wrap it up and put it under the tree from “Santa”. One of our staff favorites is the complete E-3-Etch Kit. Everything needed to begin making beautiful etched designs is in one box. Open it up and enjoy!
5. Put goodies back that will make mid-winter cabin fever blues more fun for you, and possibly crafty children (to help keep your sanity!) My choices would be the 4500 Carat Bead Box, a spool of Ball Chain, and the Square Kumihimo Kit. (This combination should keep anyone busy for quite a while!)
Update: 5th Annual Jewel School Customer Appreciation Days
You will not believe all of the special plans Jewel School and the entire JTV Family has for our upcoming event! Besides being able to meet and take classes with your favorite of 20 instructors this year, you will also have the opportunity to work together in a relaxed atmosphere between classes, take a guided tour of the JTV building, shop for product to take home with you at special rates, visit with old and make new friends, and put faces to many of the folks you spend time with on Facebook! Oh, and we also eat, laugh, take lots of photographs, sometimes dance, eat again, and laugh some more. If you haven’t already signed up, we still have room for you. Follow this link to register: Jewel School Workshop. We are all excited to see you here in Knoxville!
Remember how much I needed my personal, not-work-related vacation this year? Well it worked! I am making a point to spend more time “with” my family now (kinda hard to do when my studio is in the back yard, but at least I do not bring work into the house or “home” with me anymore – or at least for now). I’ve gotten back into cooking (except that I make things I like and probably shouldn’t eat as much of them; hubby and I are going to attempt to make homemade summer sausage tomorrow). My dogs are happier because I take even more time to play with them during the day (a mini brain-break for me too). AND I am making time to make more jewelry!! (I know you thought I made pieces all of the time, huh. Truth is that I am now pretty good at writing html code and I never even wanted to learn how!) But, it all goes with the career I’ve chosen. The best part is still getting to meet and work with all of you, whenever I can; meaning I am really looking forward to JS Customer Appreciation Days (even though I have to work overtime a few nights a week). It’s all good!!
Until next week, stay “twisted”!
Football is in full swing! This is my favorite time of year for many reasons. I grew up in a family that eats, sleeps, and breathes football and I know that we're not the only ones! My weeks during football season consist of Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night football, so I couldn't resist the opportunity to feature some of my favorite game day looks!
Kelsey, Jade, and I chose three different color combinations. Orange and White, Blue and Gold, and Red and White! We then paired each look with our favorite JTV pieces!
Orange & White with Hillary
For my look I picked pieces that were orange and white of course, but I also mixed in gold, which really compliments those colors well. My favorite piece out of these was the orange mother of pearl ring! I even bought it for myself, because I do cheer for the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturdays! :) You will start seeing a lot of rings with this shape popping up this fall!
Blue & Gold with Jade
Jade's look consisted of blue and gold jewelry of course! Her bracelet was my favorite and came from our Moda Di Pietra collection!
Red & White with Kelsey
Kelsey's look consisted of jewelry with hints of red. She even added in some black for you Alabama and Texas Tech fans! My favorite piece from her look was this Chelsea Taylor smoky & white crystal split ring! I love the shape. It is very unique!
At the end of our photo shoot Kelsey and Jade had some fun being game day rivals, but I think all of these looks were touchdowns! Whatever team your cheering for, cheer for them in style with JTV!
Each fashion week, a collection of colors is released that captures the most popular hues in our favorite designers upcoming collections. In February, the Fall/Winter 2014 Pantone Report glided down the runways. Today, I’d like to show you how to incorporate three of these stylish shades into your fall wardrobe with what else- jewelry!
By now, most of us are aware that the Color of the Year is Radiant Orchid. This pinky-purpleish shade is universally flattering and lends itself well to transitional summer to fall wardrobe changes. One thing I love about this year in fashion is that pastel shades- usually reserved only for spring, are making a splash into fall. I think the perfect way to capture Radiant Orchid in your jewelry is with our Orchid Amethyst.
For my Queen Bees- a color you’ll want in your fall wardrobe is Royal Blue. My mind automatically has me dreaming of over-the-top tanzanite rings in this gorgeous velvet-y hue. This is the time to add heirloom, royal-worthy jewelry and gems to your collection.
Soon, green will begin to fade from the world around us. But, Pantone’s olive-y “Cypress” green will stay with us through football season (Go Vols!) and into 2015. A great way to incorporate “Cypress” into your fashion palette is with one of JTV’s most rare and exotic gems- moldavite. It was created when a meteorite struck the earth. How cool! I think these pieces would look amazing with a neutral sweater, skinny jeans, boots and a “Cypress” colored jacket.
Outside of the jewelry world, a shearling jacket, over-the-knee boots and a wide-brimmed hat are my must-haves for Fall 2014. Also, just a reminder that New York Fashion (September 4-11) week is right around the corner. I love writing the schedule down in my planner and live streaming most of my favorite runway shows. I think you too will find some great inspiration for your fall wardrobe through Pantone’s Fall 2014 shades, as well as at NYFW. Search for your new look walking down the runway or on the stylists and starlets sitting in the front rows.
Learn all about New York Fashion Week at mbfashionweek.com
Gem cutting certainly has advanced from the days of cabochons. Almost immediately early lapidaries started improving and adding facets to stones. Possibly inspired by the natural shapes in crystal structures, the cutters would then try to improve them. Cabochons led to rose cuts, and the lapidaries realized the importance of faceting was controlling light. By using the stones optical properties, a cutter would know how light passed through a stone and could cut it to maximize the light.
If this sounds like a highly skilled art form you are 100% correct. Learning optical properties of a stone is something that can be learned. Having a vision to see past the rough material and determine where the table will be positioned to maximize the light to enter and then bounce off the facets in a beautiful display of illumination. That only comes from years of practice and a dedication to your craft.
Alexander Kreis is exactly that gem cutter with over 500 years of gem cutting and jewelry making experience in his family. Alexander has apprenticed as a traditional gem cutter, but struck out on his own, applying designs his mother Sonya creates to the gems. At this year’s Tucson gem shows, President and CEO Tim Matthews purchased pieces that would end up in JTV’s President's Collection. These pieces are the embodiment of our President's Collection; unique, well-crafted examples of gemstones that are one of a kind.
Below we will highlight those purchases, and Kreis’ inspirations for cutting these pieces:
"This Oregon Sunstone fascinated me with its beautiful shimmer, an effect, comparable with the northern lights in a champagne color."
"The golden play of light (rutilated needles) is touching earth and is symbolised by the smoky quartz."
"I was fascinated by this rutilated quartz an this beautiful star, symbolising the sun. To light up the power of the center from the star we have placed a diamond. Out of this, the sunrays stream out to the world to make the observers heart a little brighter place."
"This Oregon Sunstone with its beautiful green color represents 'the love of nature'."
"I was fascinated by this Oregon Sunstone's beautiful strong and shining shimmer. Oriented like a painting. It´s the harmony between nature and me."
- Thomas Joyce