Saturday, August 31, 2013


("Minerva" by Handmaden Designs LLC.)

Goldtone and faux-pearl earrings with leaf design and brown bead dangles.  The earrings are just over 2 inches long and are made from parts of upcycled vintage necklaces.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cora: the Wanderer

("Cora: the Wanderer" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

This is a one-of-a-kind, Steampunk inspired necklace. It's made from reclaimed, upcycled vintage necklaces parts are features a working compass.  The length of the necklace is 23.75 inches.  Would make a great accessory for a Steampunk or Renaissance outfit!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


("Jane" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

A real fun pair of earrings that can go with just about any outfit!  They are goldtone and faux-pearl earrings made from reclaimed and upcycled vintage jewelry parts.  They measure at 2 inches long.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I'm in the news!

Well, I had my interview with the Arenac County Independent on Monday!  I was rather nervous at first, but once the interview actually started everything was fine and I think it went pretty well. 

The article will be appearing in this week's paper which comes out sometime today!  However, the article has already been posted online on the newspaper's website, so if anyone is interested in reading it you may find it here.  (However, please ignore the few grammatical/spelling errors of the writer/interviewer/photographer.)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Sphalerite

(Image found on

Sphalerite is a gorgeous gemstone.  It's also known as 'Blende' or Zinc Blende' as it is the major ore for zinc.  Sphalerite has a hardness of 3.5-4 and is a transparent to translucent gemstone,  It was discovered in 1847 and its name comes from the Greek sphaleros meaning 'treacherous.'  An interesting name to give a gemstone! The reason it was named 'treacherous' was because the dark varieties kept being mistaken for galena.  Sphalerite may have a resinous or adamantine luster and in colour may be: yellow, light to dark brown, black, red-brown, colourless, green, or orange.  Sphalerite varies in per carat value, but can get moderately expensive depending on the colour, size, and quality of the stone. For 2013 per carat values, there is a price list on  Sphalerite may be found in: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antarctica, the Atlantic Ocean, Argentina, Armenia, the Arctic Ocean, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Canada (provinces of: British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavat Territory, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon Territory), Chad, Channel Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Croatia, Cypress, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indian Ocean, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Loas, Luxemburg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, North Mariana Islands, Norway, Pacific Ocean, Poland, Portugal, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Red Sea, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uganda, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the states of: Wyoming, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington, Virginia, Vermont, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Islands, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nevada, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Georgia, California, Arkansas, Arizona, Alaska, and Alabama, Sphalerite is also found on the moon.

Monday, August 26, 2013


("Adella" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Planning a Steampunk/vintage style wedding? Going to the prom? Or do you just like pretty earrings that sparkle?  If you can answer yes to any of those questions, or know someone that could, then these earrings may be the perfect piece for you or them!

These earrings measure at 3 inches long and are a one-of-a-kind piece.  They have faux-pearl drops salvaged from a non-functional pair of vintage earrings, and the clear rhinestone chains came off of an beautiful vintage necklace. So whether you have a special occasion coming up, enjoy a vintage style, or just love sparkly jewelry, these earrings have a lot to offer.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Interview with the Arenac Independent!

Wow!! Over the weekend I received a very unexpected e-mail from the local newspaper (the Arenac Independent) where I live.  They heard about my recent awards at the Tawas show (the week prior the art show had been one of the front page articles in the Iosco county newspaper) and thought it would be an interesting feature story in their paper!  The interview is this Monday!  I'm super excited, but also incredibly nervous as this is a rather new experience for me.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


("Nora" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Simple, stylist, and retro-chic, these earrings are made from upcycled vintage necklace parts.  They measure at just under 2 inches long.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


("Melaina" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Vintage-chic, this elegant bracelet is made from vintage chains salvaged from old necklaces with a single vintage bracelet link as a focal point.  The bracelet measures at just over 7 inches long.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


("Hattie" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Cute and fashionable, these pink retro-style earrings are made from upcycled vintage bracelet links and old screw-back earrings.  They measure at just short of 2 inches long.

Gemstone of the Week: Clinozoisite

(Clinozoisite image found on

Clinozoisite is very closely related to Epidote.  Clinozoisite was discovered in 1896 and named by Ernst Weinschenk.  It's name is an allusion to its monoclinic crystal structure and its relation to Zoisite.  It is a transparent to translucent gemstone with a vitreous luster.  In colour, it may be: colourless, green, yellow-green, grey, pale or golden yellow, pink, or red (although most commonly it will be some shade of green or yellow). Clinozoisite has a hardness of 7.  While it is rather widespread as to where it may be found, gem quality Clinozoisite crystals are fairly rare. It may be found in: Afghanistan, Argentina, the Atlantic Ocean, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada (the provinces of: Saskatchewan, British Colombia, Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec), Chile, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, New Caledonia, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, U.S. Virgin Islands, England, Scotland, Wales, Zimbabwe, and the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Hew Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgina, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Monday, August 12, 2013


("Lola" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Made entirely from salvaged vintage jewelry parts, this upcycled necklace is an asymmetrical necklace that harkens back to the flapper style of the 1920s-1930s.  It's a really fun piece whether you love vintage/retro fashion or just love the colour pink,  The necklace measures at just short of 24-inches long.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Fluorite

(Fluorite image found on

Fluorite is an under-appreciated gemstone.  While a fairly commonly occurring gemstone, it is still an absolutely gorgeous stone.  Fluorite was discovered in 1529 and was given its name in 1797 by Carlo Antonio Galeani Napione.  Its name comes from the Latin word fluere meaning 'to flow.'  This may sound like a rather strange thing to name the stone, however, there is actually a very logical reason for it.  Fluorite was named for its use as a flux in iron smelting; its purpose was to decrease the viscosity of slag (a glassy man-made byproduct of smelting).  Fluorite is a fairly soft stone only having a hardness 4.  However, despite this relative softness, it is still frequently used in the creation of jewelry.   I've seen it used in just about every type of jewelry, however, it would be best suited to low-impact pieces such as necklaces, pendants, and earrings rather than high-impact risk pieces such as rings or bracelets.  Although the sample pictured above is a beautiful teal coloured gemstone, Fluorite actually comes in a very wide variety of colours.  It may be purple, lilac, blue, green, golden-yellow, colourless, pink, brown, champagne, red, white, black, orange, and is frequently found as a colour-zoned gem (having sections of more than one colour; commonly occur as bands).  Fluorite is also an examples of a gemstone that fluoresces under UV light.  (In fact the word 'fluorescent' derives its name from the gemstone Fluorite because of this trait).  Fluorite has a vitreous or dull luster and may be transparent to sub-translucent. As mentioned earlier, Fluorite is a very widespread gemstone.  It may be found in: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antarctica, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma(Myanmar), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada (nearly every province), Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire),  Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Honduras, Guinea, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (North and South), Kyrgyzstan, Loas, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Niger, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the U.S. (in just about every state), Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and even the moon.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Success at Tawas!

Well, last weekend was the Tawas Waterfront Fine Art show and I apologize for taking so long to post an update about how the show went!

The first day started a little slow, but things definitely picked up later in the day. In particular, right after the awards were announced! Last year, I'd taken 1st place in the Jewelry Category and I was really hoping that I could do so again this year.  Well, not only did I win 1st place in the Jewelry category this year, but I was also awarded Best in Show!!  Afterwards, I was interviewed by a writer for the local paper about myself and my jewelry (they always right an article about each year's Best in Show winner) and it was going to published on the front-page of the local paper (which came out yesterday)!!

The second day more than made up for any slowness from the day before!  It was soooooo busy!! (Almost as busy as Petoskey at times when I actually had people lined up to get into my booth.)

Overall, the show went just great :) . The Tawas Bay Arts Council which hosts the show do just a great job of making the show a really enjoyable and welcoming show.  I've been doing that show for three years now and I'm already looking forward to being back next year!

The Lord really blessed with a great show and great weather for the show, and I'm just so thankful to Him for how it all turned out!