Benefits to visiting the Cloverleaf Jewelry Shop at Handmade@Amazon:
1~If your Amazon account is set up through smile.amazon.com to make a donation to a charity of your choice, Handmade@Amazon purchases qualify for that!
2~If you have more payment methods set up through Amazon than in your Paypal account, purchases are as easy as 1-Click to make.
3~Use your Amazon shopping cart as a wishlist, or a Christmas list, or a Birthday list, or a Mother's Day list... You get the point. At last check I had 45 items just in my shopping cart. Which brings us to the next point -
4~Save your favorite Cloverleaf Jewelry in a Wish List. Don't forget to share that list with your significant gift-givers!
Though I am a self-professed, non-keeper-upper with Fashion Trends (jeans and t-shirts never go out of style, right?), I'm always curious to see the newest jewelry fashions from The Runway.
Here's what Style Caster says about Fall 2016:
Carried over from Fall 2015, tassels are still making an appearance:
~Extra Large Necklaces~
While beautiful works of art, my hope is that these necklaces decrease in size a bit as they trickle down into everyday fashion...
~Modern, Minimalist Earrings~
Though the designs are beautiful and intriguing, Louis Vuitton and I have very different ideas of what "Minimalist" means.
Having been a teenager in the post-punk 80's, this makes me laugh; but I love that safety pins have made it to the Runway!
And if you're wondering why I, a jewelry maker known for simplicity, would look to the fashion industry for what's coming next, I can't put it better than Miranda Priestly, AKA The Devil "who" Wears Prada:
If you would like to check out more Fall 2015 Jewelry Trends, head over to Style Caster's Slideshow.
Movieclips. “The Devil Wears Prada( 3/5).” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, June 18 2015. Web. July 27 2016.
The Top Jewelry Trends from Fall 2016 Fashion Month Read More: Http://stylecaster.com/fashion-month-jewelry-fall-2016/#ixzz4Fe0GfVhX." Style Caster. SheKnows Media, Mar. 2016. Web. 27 July 2016.
Over the years, I've collected quite a bit of jewelry. Only half (or less) of which I wear on a daily basis. I've got OPS aka "Oooh Pretty" Syndrome. All of this jewelry has landed in a white porcelain tray and if I do want to wear something for a special occasion, I spend about 10 minutes untangling or searching for the lost sister of the one earring that I found. My everyday earrings hang from the side of a white porcelain cup that holds my q-tips. So if I need a q-tip, I usually end up knocking earrings off. It's a dilemma!
I started looking through Etsy to find a jewelry organizer to hang on the wall and just can't make up my mind so thought I would share my choices and see what you think~ (Click on the photos to go to the page)
First the larger organizers:
Just for fun:
I think I remember having this for my earrings when I was a young girl!
And now the smaller table-top earring holders to replace the q-tip cup:
As of October 14, 2015, I have been married 20 years to my best friend! We met in college as Biology Lab Partners and never looked back. We used to half-heartedly celebrate Valentine's Day but about 10 years ago, just kind of quit. Restaurants are always so crowded and there just seemed to be an expectation that we, as a couple, had to DO Valentine's Day. No Thanks! We decided that we weren't going to let a manufactured holiday tell us when to express our love~
We're huge Netflix watchers (who isn't?) and found Parks and Rec after it's first season. We loved it and I am now a HUGE Leslie Knope fan! Leslie Knope found a different way to celebrate in February and called it Galentine's Day! It's February 13th and I think it's a beautiful idea: Celebrate your Girl Buddies! Females don't do this enough and WE NEED TO. I am so very grateful for my female friendships because there was a time that I didn't have any and it can get lonely out there, especially if you have an all male family (except for the girl cat, but she can't go get a pedi with me...)
So go call your girl friends on or around February 13 and hang out or go shopping or get a pedi together. FOSTER YOUR GIRL TRIBE THIS MONTH!
I follow National Geographic on Instagram. Some of the most beautiful photography ever! Had to share this one:
You might think that the life of a jewelry artist is very glamorous with everyone clamoring to own your artistic creations. But let me tell you, the grim reality is that it's not all shops, shows and parties. Every time I remove jewelry from a store or have a pair of earrings that just won't sell, I have to clean them. When I first realized this, it was a frustrating revelation and I sometimes just skipped it and put a low price on it. But when you're at a show and the sun is shining brightly on your earrings and there's a brown/gold cast to that sterling silver, people notice it and back away slowly, not making eye contact.
Let me school you in the nitty-gritty behind the limelight, Jewelry Artists have to work hard and part of that is the dirty job of regularly cleaning the jewelry that they sell or... it doesn't sell. Sometimes, the only reason I have clearance sales is because I don't want to clean my jewelry~
I've found some game-changing products that have made that chore not so chore-ish.
The first product that I use to clean my jewelry is a Sunshine Polishing Cloth. These are great for a quick clean-up and I use them when I'm refreshing my stock at shops. According to the website, these are "non-staining and easy-to-use cloths to remove tarnish from sterling silver, gold, brass, copper, glass, mirrors and most other surfaces, leaving a deep, long-lasting luster."
The only downside is that, though the tarnish is removed, the silver is not so sparkly after polishing. If you don't mind that, then it's a quick way to clean sterling silver.
SOAK CLEANERI have jewelry in a coffee shop and it's amazing how quickly it gets tarnished. (It even kind of smells like coffee when I remove it, but that's probably more than you needed to know.) Instead of a quick swipe with my sunshine cloth, I soak the jewelry in Sunshine Jewelry Cleaner. It's a pink, soapy liquid that comes with a little brush to get to the stubborn stains.
Here's how their site touts it:
~Made in the U.S.A.
~No ammonia, acids or alcohol
~Biodegradable; environmentally friendly
I use the container with a little basket so you can dump a bunch of jewelry in and leave it for an hour or so, then pull it out to rinse it off and not even get your hands sticky! It's a little pricey, but if you're just cleaning your own jewelry it will last a long time. Get your own HERE!
Most of the time, the jewelry is sparkly and the tarnish is gone. When the tarnish is really stubborn, like on the aforementioned coffee shop jewelry, I use a polishing cream.
I like JewelBrite Polishing Cream best. This polishing cream was my savior as far as jewelry cleaning goes. You can use it on most stones and metals and it's biodegradable.
BIODEGRADABLE POLISHING CREAM
The best way to use the polishing cream is to dampen a wash cloth, swipe some cream on, polish then rinse. It's great for delicate chains because you can gently pull the chain through the wet cloth several times.
The biodegradable polishing cream is also kind of expensive, but again, if you're only cleaning your own jewelry, the 2 oz. container should last a long time. If it dries out, just add water. Really good stuff!
Here are some options for purchasing (click the word):
Another option for cleaning that's a bit more involved is the Baking-Soda-Aluminum-Foil-Boiling-Water Method. I told you it was involved! However, you can clean a ton of jewelry all at once and it's all natural~
I'm sure there's a video somewhere that you could watch but here are the steps:
1-Begin by heating your water to boiling. I use a tea kettle which makes for easier pouring later. While you're waiting for that to boil:
2-Find a glass or plastic container (I use a flat long baking dish.) Pull off enough aluminum foil to line the bottom and crinkle it up a bit.
3-Lay your jewelry out in the pan on top of the aluminum foil, making sure that as much of each piece touches the foil as possible.
4-Sprinkle baking soda over all of the jewelry in a heavy coating.
5-Once your water is boiling, slowly pour it over the baking soda covered jewelry. Lean back a bit otherwise a stinky cloud of sulfur will rise up into your face...
6-Try to dissolve all of the baking soda with the boiling water because this is where the reaction happens. You can even sprinkle more baking soda over particularly stubborn areas of tarnish and follow that with more boiling water over it. Just make sure the water is still boiling hot.
7-After I've sprinkled and poured and sprinkled and poured some more, I let it sit for about 15-30 minutes. Then rinse everything off with clean water and let it dry!
Another benefit of this method is that you can usually put gemstones and certain pearls in as well.
So, now you know one of the ugly truths of being a jewelry artist. But, thanks to these products, I can quickly get through it with very little headache and move along to the Glamorous Life~
A favorite in the Cloverleaf Jewelry Collection is the Leather Wrap Bracelet. Having several bracelets of different types stacked on your forearm is a fun way to express yourself and, unlike your necklace and earrings, you can actually see and admire what you're wearing! Click a photo for details on each bracelet~
First up is the hole hearted bracelet. A cute little play on the word hole-hearted, this bracelet works for gals of all ages, 15-50!
Looking for something simple? Take a look at these leather wrap charm bracelets!
Each bracelet, including the charm or centerpiece is handcrafted in the Cloverleaf Jewelry Studio in Mint Hill, NC, including these leather wrap wire centerpiece bracelets:
Every Leather Wrap Bracelet is available in an array of colors so click on a photo to see what's available. Cloverleaf Leather Bracelets make a fun, cherished gift for anyone ~ which one goes on YOUR list?
As much as I dislike Christmas taking over all of the fall/winter holidays, there is something kind of exciting about the Holiday season beginning. As a veteran shopper myself, only outdone by my mother and brother, I start looking around for gift ideas as soon as I start to see the red and green slowly making its way out from the back corner of Target and Michael's.
In recent years, I've been doing more craft shows and have been able to buy unique handmade items for my family from fellow crafters and it's been tons of fun finding unique gifts that can't be found elsewhere, even at Target! My biggest challenge, if I start buying too soon is remembering that I did actually buy the gift and who it was for. (I won't mention the brie baker that I bought for my mother at a September show and found in my closet a year later...)
At most of my shows, the most popular piece of jewelry that shoppers are excited to find as a gift for someone special is a piece of jewelry from our Min-i-nitials Collection. These personal, one-of-a-kind necklaces and bracelets are fun to put together and make a great gift for anyone, including yourself. Select a tiny monogram charm, several shapes to choose from, and add a birthstone or just have everyone represented by their birthstone, a great option for lots of grandkids!
The problem with wearing big jewelry is not so much the size of it. Some very large pieces look stunning when worn the right way. The dilemma is the weight of the piece. I have very rarely worn heavy jewelry but as a teenager in the 80's, we had some large, funky earrings to go with our big hair and I was right in the middle of it. I'm grateful that decade passed and the 90's came along with small silver hippie hoops!
A common theme when customers talk about Cloverleaf Handcrafted Jewelry is the lightness of the earrings. There are several larger designs to choose from but each is incredibly lightweight. Try these out: