Art Giveaway by Victoria Antolini

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My awesome artists friends have started an absolutely wonderful project all about the sea, ships and a big adventure.  It is going to be an animated book for the ipads / smartphones. There are going to be lots of surprises there: animation, sounds of seagulls and ships' horns, etc.

I am inviting you to watch the birth of the illustrations for this unique fairy-tale! Click the "like" button and you won't miss all the updates from my talented friend and the illustrator of the project. Brighten up your feed stream in Facebook!

I promised more surprises from Victoria, the artist who painted that Birthday Party Invitation that you could download from my blog. Here is one more! Victoria is hosting a giveaway in her Facebook page!

Support "The Real Boat Project" by participating in this giveaway! It is very easy, just leave a comment under this Facebook post. You will get a chance to win this awesome piece of artwork!

If you would like to read more about this project, follow this link.

Scroll down for more pictures

This is what Victoria is saying about her project:

"Hello folks, we have a GIVEAWAY for you!!! Get this unique tattooed swimming sailor toy for free! 

We are happy to announce this giveaway in support of The Real Boat Project !. We hope that you like sailors just like we do! You may win this paper sailor toy beautifully tattooed by our great artist Victoria Antolini. As you may see he has wet swimming trunks, but you will also get a set of magnetic dry swimming trunks! You may frame our sailor, play (or even swim with him!) or just make a nice gift for a person who loves tattoos!

All you need to do is just to leave a comment below this post (follow the link!) and we will pick a winner next Friday (03 Apr)
Good luck everyone and THANK YOU!"


Make sure that you like The Real Boat's fan page to watch the progress of the work!

Monday Inspirational Quote

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ocean Life pendant with a moonstone and blue lace agate, sterling silver

Sunday Home Decoration Guide

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Anna is back on board! And here is her fabulous collection of interior design ideas! 

My favourites are the book ends. What's yours?

Visit the Guide's interactive page to look at all these items closer as well as even more ideas for home decoration.

I've met this little guy yesterday in my back yard

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring has come! I meet little insects in my back yard. Butterflies and spiders... I wish there were only butterflies there...

Bead Day. Beaded bag. The Museum at FIT

Medium: Glass seed beads and metal
Date: 1915-1920
Country: USA
Credit: Gift of Wanda Jagocki

Sold one-of-a-kind jewellery

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ocean Life pendant with ocean jasper, starfish and sea turtle

Nature Inspired Gifts

Do you like things that have a design inspired by nature? Do you know other people who love it too? Are you looking for a gift for them? :) Here I've found some items that could make a nice gift for a nature loving person. If you like what you see visit the featured shops and discover what else they have!

Cups are always a great gift. There is something for the nature lovers too:

Shakespeare Quote Mug by pattysheppardart
Mushroom Jar by tjCervantesArt

...and do not forget some cake dishes!

Maple Leaf Plate set of two dishes by amandalilibarker

Maybe a wall clock?

Owl on Marble desk clock by StonefaceClocks
Botanical Wall Clock with Fern by GoldenDaysDesigns

A gift that a birdwatcher would appreciate!

Single Switch Plate by FreckledDragonfly

Great home decor if they have a shelf to put it on:

Ceramic Sculpture inspired by structures in nature and delicate natural forms by KFortnumCeramics
Earth Spirit Totem by MadeToWander

If they like candles...

Handmade Candles Pebbles by LessCandles
Small Rustic Candle Art Wood by MahalKitaDesigns

Books and book-related gifts:

2015 Large Photo Calendar by IonAnthosPhotograph
Baby Nursery Wood Bookends by ToadAndLily
Hollow Book Safe by SecretSafeBooks
Feathers Mixed Media Journal & Sketch Book by MiEstrella

Pretty much anybody could use one of those!

Mother Natures Love Letters - 'HOME' by KatieLeighDesigns
Carved Wooden Welcome Sign by BenchmarkSignsGifts

Gloves is a great gift!

VALENTINE'S Gift, Elephant Gloves by talkingloves
Hand-knit Fingerless Gloves by lyralyra

Any lady could use one more scarf :)

Deer Graphic Painted Scarf by FineArtSilk
Mother Natures Love Letters - 'HOMESilk Scarf Barn Owls by FineArtSilk

A belt is not for everybody, you'd better be sure they wear them...

Brown Embossed Leather Belt by TheStagsHeadStudi
Pink flowers belt buckle by reganflegan

...however one more purse is a universal gift:

Grey bag with white leaves by MadameRenard
Botanical Butterfly Upcycled Large Weekender by SandBagsDesigns

Do they have an iPhone?

iPhone Cell Phone Case by dsbrennan
Snow iPhone case by semisweetstudios
Personalized Gift Set by LithaCreations
iPhone5/5S Case OR iPhone4/4S by PhotoLadz

Do they have long hair?

Ivy Leaves Hair Stick Pair by ArtisIgnis

Do they love small home decor items?

Hand Built ceramic ikebana vase by IkebanaStudio
Crochet Lace Stones by MINTOOK

Do they have kids?

springtime birds by EvesLittleEarthlings
Personalized Nature Owl Canvas Growth Chart by KidODesignStudio

Do they love plants for the inside?

Wood and Copper Mount with Terrarium by GemsOfTheSoil

These are no kids toys. Wonderful home decorations for the animal lovers...

Nautilus, needle felted wool ball by roommate
Needle Felted Red Fox by ZeMode

...or cat lovers specifically :)

Cat Nightlight by HappyOwl

A mobile... if they like them:

Rustic Mobile Polyglotta 30 Words for Love In 36 Languages by tanjasova
Shubha - an art hanging mobile by ACdesignStudio

How about a nature inspired gift box?

Large Gift Box by Alsjeblieft
Forest Friends Wrapping Paper by WrapAndRevel

...or a plain box, but a fancy decoration?

Paper Flower by mbelldesign

You might even consider making your own wrapping paper with a rubber stamp!

Branch with leaves, nature, rubber stamp by dragonflybuzz
Butterfly Rubber Stamp Hand Carved by laKattun
Succulents Hand Carved Rubber Stamp by EnchantingStamps
Black Capped Chickadee Bird and Thistle Rubber Stamp by BlossomStamps

Do not forget a gift tag!

Watercolor Nature Butterflies by suppliesbyapryl
Paper Tags With Grommets - Nature Motives by etmamu

Jewelery Masterpieces. A watch by Hippolyte Téterger. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Maker: Watchmaker: Hippolyte Téterger
Date: ca. 1870–78
Culture: French, Paris
Medium: Gold, platinum and diamonds
Dimensions: overall: 6-1/2 x 2-3/8 in. (16.5 x 6.0 cm); diam. of watch: 1-1/4 in. (3.2 cm)

Jewellery masterpieces. Tutankhamun's earrings

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cloisonne earring from tomb of Tutankhamun The central feauture is described as a falcon with a duck's head its wings creating a sweeping circle around its head and its talons clutching shen rings, beneath the tail feathers is a bar decorated with circles from which hang five strings of gold and glass beads ending in pendant uraei. | Located in: Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Earrings with blue birds - calcite , cloisonné-enamel , earthenware , glass paste , quartz. Reign of Tutankhamun 1336-1327 BC. DISCOVERY SITE: Tutankhamun's tomb. | Photo (C) CULTNAT, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Ayman Khoury.

Birthday Party Invitation (download for free!)

I have written of Victoria Antolini's art in 2013 in my virtual wish list here. I was fascinated with her art and particularly with her boats and ocean related prints. Since then I got to know her better and asked her to paint me a banner that would reflect my jewellery art. She offered the deer idea and it was  absolutely perfect for me!

Then just recently I realized that I would like to see that deer as a birthday party invitation. Victoria kindly helped me with that too. I am so delighted with the result! It looked as if it was freshly painted with pastel water colors when I printed it out. Absolutely lovely! (The link is just below)

Victoria still has her successful etsy shop. However she just has gotten even busier! She is working on a wonderful project! I am not allowed to tell you what it is just yet, but you can watch the progress in her Facebook page. It is all about boats and ocean. You will see a birth of a fairy-tale! (Stay updated by liking her page)

There will be more surprises from Victoria in my blog, so stay tuned!


Look at the preview of the card and download it fo

r free if you like it! (Click on the link. Then it is a right button click on the picture with your mouse to save the pdf file)

Preview of the card:

Inside the card:


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Congratulations, Janice! Please, contact me with your mailing address!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Inspirational Quote

Monday, March 23, 2015

What a wonderful idea!

Squirrel necklace, silver, copper

Bead Day. Beaded car

Saturday, March 21, 2015

This is a Vochol, a cross between the Spanish word for the Beetle car ("voch") and the word "Huichol." It took seven months to create this car's look. This 1990 Volkswagen Beetle received over 2 million glass beads along with beeswax to cover every inch of the car’s exterior and the dashboard. This was all done by hand. The resulting car represents various aspects of its Mexican homeland, including landscapes, religion, and flowers.

Sold ooak jewellery

Friday, March 20, 2015

Pendant with a smokey quartz (silver, copper, brass)

Jewellery masterpieces. Paraiba tourmaline necklace by Giampiero Bodino

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Necklace by Giampiero Bodino The magnificent cascades of sea green and blue African Paraiba tourmalines were directly inspired by Bodino's summer swims in Sardinia. "I was brought a box of blue and green precious stones and fell in love with them all," says Bodino of the birth of this necklace. "I just wanted to dive into these stones like the sea. So I mixed the different hues and tones of blue and green, as well as a range of sizes along with rough, cabochon and facetted stones. The result could have been chaotic, but I laid out the stones to create a harmony - an overall balance"

Virtual Wish List. Pierced leather corset Andrei Kanunov

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

If you looked through my virtual Wish list collection, you probably had a chance to notice my love for everything pierced :) I've found something else that is pierced and I love it too (of cause!) My wish list is full of unrealistic wishes, so a corset like this fits just well.

There is a link to the author's website under the picture. His website is in Russian, so you will need to use an online translator, or just go ahead and click on all the links in the menu. Enjoy!

Leather corset by Andrei Kanunov

Jewellery masterpieces. Diamond rose brooch by Theodore Fester

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Created by Theodore Fester in 1855, the gold-and-silver-setting rose has about 250 carats of diamonds and was created for Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, Napoleon’s niece. She owned one of Paris’ most distinguished literary and artistic salons. When she died in 1904, the piece was auctioned and eventually sold by Cartier to Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III

What you should know when buying no-name jewellery

We all go to a usual jewellery store and buy no-name jewellery (I used to do that too before I've become a jeweller). Often the things are of decent quality and we are happy with what we are getting. However, there are some problems that you might come across. I've learned of them only when I started doing repairs! 

When I have a piece in my hands and I approach it with a saw, the pliers or a torch... this is when all the problems are starting to come up onto the surface. If a piece of jewellery is made well, there is no problem to fix or change it. However, a poor quality will be revealed during repair. There is going to be extra work involved to fix it if it is possible at all.

Let me show you what problems you might come across and what you can do with this knowledge :)

1) When you are buying a ring ask the seller if it can be sized even if it fits you.

If you bought a ring that the seller did not want to size in the first place... do not ever give it away for the sizing. There are designs that cannot be modified. That ring might just break during sizing. Experienced jeweller won't take it for the sizing anyway, but do not count on that. It is not always easy to see that something should not be touched.

Sterling silver ring. This ring made in my studio is a sample of a ring that cannot be sized.

2) If a store offers free claw check up every 6 months, use this opportunity.

No-name jewellery is mass-produced. What does it mean and why should you care?

It means that all the stone settings were cast for the standard sizes of the stones (3mm, 3,5mm, 4mm etc). However, the stones do not always have the standard sizes. 1/10 of a millimeter might not sound like a big difference to you, but in the world of precious stones it means a lot! It means, that a stone  can get loose enough from the setting to get lost overtime. 

3) If a store offers free ring sizing, use this opportunity. I mean, actually get a ring that needs sizing.

Well, this advice you won't hear too often! However, think of what I've written at the beginning... if there are any problems, they will show up during sizing or repair. For example, let's say you are buying a ring with the channel-set stones (even diamonds!)  No-name ring has been mass-produced and the  channel setting might not be perfect for the stones. 

Here is the inside information from the jeweller who has done some repairs (that would be me). The diamonds might be secured with transparent glue! I am not kidding. The seller won't even know this. Who will? The jeweller who will try to size this ring. Size up or down... and the diamonds will just fall out. 

The sizing won't 100% guarantee that the problem will be fixed for you, though. If they are careful and use laser, they might save the stones in the place without having to repair it. 

What to do? Well... keep your ring in a box and wear it carefully, just in case. You won't know how your stones are being secured for sure. You will not see the glue even with good magnification. 

4) When you are buying no-name silver jewellery you can never be sure if it is sterling silver or silver at all. 

If you wear it carefully and do not try to modify it or size it, you might never find out. It always comes up during the repair only. Whenever I was approaching silver jewellery with a torch, I never knew what to expect. It was a 50/50 shot!

Only actual silver jewellery can be sized / repaired / modified. Silver is a white metal that needs to be soldered under a very high temperature. Other white metals (besides the precious ones) either cannot tolerate such temperature or lose their white color. If a piece is just silver plated then the plating will come off. 

5) Size a silver ring only if it has a great sentimental value for you, so you do not care how much it is.  

Sometimes you might come across a great deal and buy sterling silver jewellery at a cheap price (possibly abroad or on sale at a craft fair). That's cool. Just make sure that you really like it and it fits. Buying a cheap ring that does not fit is not a great idea. Ring sizing most likely will cost more than the ring itself in that case. A jeweller who does repairs will want to be paid for the actual spent time, at least an hour. 

If your ring was $10-$20 and the sizing $30-$60... Is it still worth it? 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in your comments!

Monday Inspirational quote

Monday, March 16, 2015

Magnolia Home Decorations

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Last year we've planted a few magnolias. One of them started to bloom a few days ago. I am so excited! I have never had a blooming magnolia under my window before! No wonder I got inspired to check out magnolia home decorations :)

Discover the featured shops at the collection's interactive page!

Bead Day. Beaded crown by Tim Hamill

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Yoruba Beaded Crown by Tim Hamill

TOP 10. Cushions for home decoration

Friday, March 13, 2015

A through cushion can add an interesting accent to your home decoration. It can be a part of a room design or a center piece. Why not? 

Here is my top 10 of awesome cushions that you can actually buy. 

Veliarca Tan Box Bolster Decorative Throw Pillow by SofaGarden

GREY CAT Linen pillow by linendreams

Knitted Ammonite Cushion by AutumnWithHolly

Long Cotton Wood Tree Log Bolster Pillow by chicsindesigndo

Mountain shaped pillow by ColetteBream

THE TUBER by retextil

Giant Kiwi Fruit Pillow by jumbojibbles

Sea shell decorative pillows by zolayka

Large Knitted Triangles Letter Cushion by BobAndJohn

Pac man cushion by MadeByMinah
See all pillows that I've found on my Pinboard:

Jewelry Designer Blog. Jewelry by Natalia Khon. Design by Pocket