Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Grey Girl Designs 2011 Holiday Collection

I thought I'd share with you what I've been busy creating lately.  I wanted to make a collection of jewelry that would be perfect to wear for the holidays.  Dark and smoky with a hint of sparkle, perfect to compliment modern holiday party attire or even everyday wear if you want to be noticed.  These are all pieces that I would definitely wear myself, my favorite color palette mixed with lots of shining sterling silver.  I may have trouble parting with these pieces- I really love them all!

Polaris beaded necklace and earrings by Grey Girl Designs

The Polaris beaded necklace and earrings feature soft silver cultured freshwater pearls and lots of sterling silver.  The necklace is accented with faceted labradorite that really sparkles.  I think you can see why I named it for the North Star!
This necklace is also a Madcap Charity item. I have chosen the charity Heifer International to donate to with the sale of this necklace. If you are unfamiliar with Heifer International, they help hungry families all over the world in need become more self-reliant by giving them livestock and training. When this necklace is sold, I will donate a Flock of chicks ($20.00) to Heifer International in the buyer's name. "Your gift of chicks helps provide a family in need with a starter flock of 10 to 50 chicks and the training that will enpower them to turn your generosity into a lifetime of opportunity. A good hen can lay more than 200 eggs a year, so your gift will provide a family with a steady source of both nutrition and income." If you want more info on Heifer Int'l check out their website here: I think this is a great way to help those around the world in need!

Wish beaded necklace by Grey Girl Designs

The Wish beaded necklace also reminds me of stars.  I always used to love making a wish on a falling star or the first star I saw in the night sky.  The Wish necklace sparkles with the brilliance of faceted amethyst, faceted smoky quartz and labradorite heishe.  Silver adds to the shine and magical quality of this necklace.  It ends with a delicate sterling silver feather charm.  The Wish necklace is also a Madcap Charity item and I will be donating $20.00 to Heifer International with the sale of it as well. 

Midnight Kiss beaded necklace and earrings from Grey Girl Designs

I was thinking of New Year's Eve when I designed the Midnight Kiss set.  Have you heard that whatever you are doing at midnight on New Year's Eve sets the tone for the rest of your year?  Well, that midnight kiss with the one you love is oh-so-romantic and sure to fill the rest of your year with lots of love!  This jewelry set features blue labradorite in shades of smoky grey and black with lots of fire.  I complimented the blue labradorite with deep red faceted garnet and sterling silver. 

My favorite piece in the Holiday Collection was inspired by my African greys.  I wanted to make a bracelet that captures a bit of their beauty so I used the colors found in their feathers- deep grey and dark red.  I added a gorgeous detailed sterling silver feather and created this charm bracelet:

I'll Fly Away charm bracelet by Grey Girl Designs

The I'll Fly Away charm bracelet features faceted black fire agate rounds, black onyx, grey freshwater cultured pearl, garnet and sterling silver.  You can wear it as is, or even add on more charms later if you so desired. 

The Dragon Heart beaded necklace and bracelet are real show stoppers!  I love the combination of bright fiery red quartz with the sable freshwater cultured pearls and black fire agate.  It also features a bit of black onyx and sterling silver. 

Dragon Heart beaded necklace by Grey Girl Designs

I think this set would be perfect with a little black dress, or a v-necked cashmere sweater... in fact, you could even wear it with a plain black tank and really stand out in the crowd.  Here's the matching bracelet:

Dragon Heart beaded bracelet by Grey Girl Designs

So, what do you think?  All these pieces are one of a kind, handmade by me and perfect for a gift for your favorite lady (or to treat yourself!)  this Christmas.  If you want to see more details about any piece just click on the name. I am busy creating a few more designs to add to my Holiday Collection so be sure to check my Etsy store to see what I come up with!  Thanks for stopping by!  I'd just love it if you'd leave a message and let me know your thoughts about my jewelry.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Great Gift Ideas for the Music Lover

Hi! Thanksgiving is just right around the corner and before we know it we'll all be scrambling to find the perfect holiday gift for those special people in our lives.  I've talked about great gift ideas for the animal lover but today I thought I'd focus on those that have a special place for music in their hearts.  All these ideas come from Etsy, a great place to shop and find unique and handmade items.  Why not show your support for craftsmen and artists who work long and hard to come up with these great ideas? 

Check out this cool brass cuff bracelet from Kate's shop JezebelCharms.  I'm not sure what piece of music is portrayed on this bracelet but I think it's very charming and would look great on! 

Love Music Brass Cuff Bracelet by JezebelCharms

The brass will age with time taking on a patina that will add to the beauty of this piece.  This bracelet is handmade in England so please take this into consideration and leave adequate time for it to arrive if you are purchasing for Christmas!

Here's a custom designed t-shirt for the guitar lover out there.  I don't think you'll find another one just like it as Bruno makes all his own designs and prints the t's himself in his shop MyPersonaliTs:

Guitar Tshirt screenprinted by MyPersonaliTs

It's a cool design, isn't it?  There is also a custom shirt with drums, as well as many funny shirts with different sayings.  If unique t-shirts are on your gift buying list then check out this shop!

Do you know someone who is always making their own music?  Look at this African Thumb Piano from LepelstatCrafts:

African Thumb Piano from LepelstatCrafts

Now your music loving friend can take along their own instrument wherever they go!  This handcrafted African Thumb Piano is made by Michael from recycled materials in the African tradition and small enough to be carried around easily for musical fun on the go.  It's a real beauty too!

Do you know anyone who collects vintage rock and roll memorabilia?  You can't get much more vintage or collectible than these vintage Rock and Roll Beatles Trading Cards from Carrie's shop BadCatBoutique:

Vintage Rock and Roll Beatles Trading Cards set from BadCatBoutique

This is a set of four different Beatles Trading Cards from the 1960's.  Isn't that awesome?  The set of cards is only $20.00 too so it's an affordable gift for the collector on your list. 
Here's a really cool handmade leather wallet for the music fan.  This slim bi-fold leather wallet Music and Me is from Joe V.'s shop, joevleather:

Slim BiFold Leather Wallet Music and Me by joevleather

The musical notes design is unique and perfect for any music lover in your life.  Joe has some really excellent leather Ipad cases, phone cases, belts, wallets and even handcrafted bracelets in his Etsy store. 

This is just a quick glimpse of some of the music related finds on Etsy.  You can search for anything (and probably find it too!) and a long list of related items will come up for you to look through.  I hope you'll take a look and see what treasures you can find waiting for you there!  Have fun doing your shopping this holiday season...stay warm and cozy inside your house while everyone else deals with crowds and cold weather to look for the perfect gift.  If you have someone on your list that likes unique one of a kind jewelry I hope you'll take a peek inside my Etsy store as well...Grey Girl Designs. I'm busy creating my nature inspired necklaces, bracelets and earrings and would love to have one of my creations thrill a lucky lady in your life! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More beads and a hat...

This past weekend I did two craft related things I'd like to share with you.  On Saturday I attended the Fall Bead Renaissance Show in Overland Park, KS, with my mom and sister.  We had a really lovely day and as usual I spent way more than I should have on beads I just couldn't live without.  But really, there is no better inspiration than seeing all those beautiful sparkling beads and coming home with some of them.  They are just waiting for me to create some fantastic new jewelry...and I'm really hoping to have a bit of free time soon to get to sit and play with them all! 
The other thing I did was crochet a new hat for winter.  As soon as the cold weather starts creeping in I always have the strongest desire to sit with a crochet hook in hand and a lap full of warm and fuzzy yarn.  I really love to crochet- I find it so comforting and peaceful.  If you are like me and you enjoy either crochet or knitting I hope you have found the Ravelry website.  You can check it out here:  It is a free website that is a real treasure trove for the fiber artist.  You can find all sorts of patterns on the site and many of them are even free.  I just did a search for hat patterns for crochet and looked through the many options that came up until I saw one that was just what I was looking for.  The one I found on Ravelry was actually a free pattern that was offered on Julie's Gleeful Things blog as her Christmas present to her readers last year.  Here is the link to the pattern I used on her delightful blog:  It is called the Gumdrop Slouchy Hat.  She has great pictures of it in different colors, some are solid one color and others she did in two colors.  I liked the way it looked so I decided to give her pattern a try. 
I used a size J crochet hook per her instructions and the yarn I used was Lion Brand Yarn, Tweed Stripes in Marble.  After checking the gauge I was about a half an inch bigger than what Julie recommended but I decided to just keep going and tried to make my stitches a bit tighter from that point on.  Since it is a slouchy hat, I didn't think having it a little bit big would make too much difference.  Here's the hat and the yarn I used to create it:

I love the way it turns out striped without the work of changing yarn!  The less ends you have to work in when you are finished the better off you are, I think!  It took me probably around 4 hours to make the whole hat, that's an estimate because I didn't sit and make the whole thing straight through.  Plus, I hadn't crocheted anything for over a year so I may have been a bit slow starting off.  I did alter the pattern just a bit at the end.  I had some yarn left in my skein so I did an extra row of single crochet at the very end, and I also did the last rows of single crochet in both loops instead of just the back loop as the rest of the pattern was made.  I did this so the brim around my head would fit a bit more snug and just to be a bit of a rebel...Here's my new winter hat!

Modeling my new Gumdrop Slouchy Hat!

I love it!  Of course, I love the color too, and it will look just so perfect with my grey coat this winter.  I may even get more ambitious and make a scarf to match.  So here's a big thank you to the wonderful people who run the Ravelry website and a thank you to Julie at Gleeful Things too!  Here's a link to the cool patterns you can buy from Julie on Ravelry's site:  She has some adorable crocheted critters on there as well as other hats and Ipod cozies.  I'm really loving the "feathered family" which is a little family of bluebirds along with a nest to tuck them into.  I hope you'll stop by her Ravelry store and see what she offers there!