My two friends, Katie Baumann and Mike Gawne were married on August 22, 2015 in their hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. The wedding was held at Katie’s high school, St. Ursula Academy Chapel followed by a reception at Kenwood Country Club.
Katie contacted me to create matching pearl bracelets for her mother and Mike’s mother to wear for the wedding. Their wedding photographer, Kortnee Kate captured the perfect moment that the moms opened their custom jewelry. Katie later told me, “I’ve always loved Hermosa and the custom bracelets were a perfect gift for our mothers! They wear them a lot- dressed up or with a simple sweater and jeans.”
Congratulations Katie and Mike! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day.
For inquries for custom bridal jewelry, please fill out the contact form below!
Custom jewelry is one of my specialties. These custom projects help me grow as a jewelry designer as each one is a challenge and is usually something new to me. Many people have something special passed down from generations that is just sitting in a drawer. Why not repurpose and remake it into something wearable ? Each of these projects have a special story to them, which makes me all the more invested to make something spectacular.
I’d like to share my most recent custom project that I did for my Zeta Tau Alpha sister, Lindsey Brown. Lindsey contacted me about making custom Christmas presents for her family out of saved buttons from her Grandfather’s Air Force jacket.
Here is a little background on Lindsey’s grandfather and exactly where those buttons came from. Charles Waddell Redfearn served in the United States Military for 26 years. Six of those years were dedicated to the Navy and twenty years in the Air Force flying the F4-E “Phantom”, logging more than 4,500 flying hours. He served during World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, he flew as a “Wild Weasel” fighter pilot, which was a highly recognized special group of pilots flying close air support missions prior to ground troops entering the combat zone. During this time, he was stationed in both Vietnam and Thailand. While in Thailand, he received the Thai Medal of Honor and acted as the Battle Staff Commander and Director, Tactical Analysis. Several of his additional decorations included the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. He retired at the young age of 48 as a full Bird Colonel.
Lindsey gave me a lot of direction for each design for each one of her family members (she is an avid Hermosa follower). She helped me with color and stone choices, and I incorporated the buttons into my normal designs. We ended up with three long necklaces, two short necklaces, two delicate chain necklaces, and two pairs of post earrings.
Lindsey was so excited to give these to her two sisters, mom, and grandmother for Christmas. Here are all the girls together in their custom button necklaces! Lindsey texted me the day of: “The necklaces were such a hit! Everyone LOVES them all and told me to tell you what a wonderful job that you did. Thanks for all your hard work. ” Lindsey put a lot of time and effort into this project as well and was such a pleasure to work with. I’m honored to have brought life back to these buttons for them to cherish for the rest of their lives.
These kind of projects are what makes my job so fulfilling. If you have an idea for a custom project, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you’re like me, your week is full of Holiday parties and family celebrations, sometimes multiple stops each night. I love getting to see old friends, new friends, and family members during this time of the year, and I also love getting to eat yummy food and drink festive drinks. Since most Holiday open houses ask that guests bring a plate to share, I thought I would share five delicious (and easy) appetizers that I found on POPSUGAR for you to make you decision on what to make a little easier.
I love dates. To me, they are festive and remind me of the Holiday season. Add bacon and you have yourself a killer app. Just remember to double the recipe because these things will be gone the second you set them down.
What’s a Holiday party in the south without deviled eggs? Spice up your typical eggs with this recipe. Fresh herbs offer a more savory and festive looking spin. Douse with a little paprika at the end to tie in red and green.
Everyone enjoy spending time with loved ones, eating way too much, and drinking a few extra cocktails this week. Safe travels and Happy Holidays!
While I am officially done with Christmas shopping, I know there are plenty of procrastinators out there who are just getting started. To all of you who played the wait game: You have twelve days to buy, wrap, and ship presents. To help you avoid the traffic, and more importantly, the mall, I have put together a Holiday Gift Guide for all the special people in your life.
Gifts for the Hermosa Lover
Give the gift of Hermosa for Christmas and you are guaranteed to get major brownie points! My website is stocked with one a kind pieces, and shipping and gift wrapping are FREE through Christmas!
Gifts for Her
Whether shopping for your Mom, sister, girlfriend, friend or any other special female in your life, you will be sure to find something she will love from this list.
Are you traveling for Christmas this year and don’t want to show up empty handed? Or maybe you are going to your significant other’s parents for the first time. These small but thoughtful gifts are the perfect way to show your appreciation and impress! Remember if you don’t have time to order something online, pick up a $15 bottle of wine at your local bottleshop!
Are you completely stumped on what to get someone? Or shopping for the person who has it all or the new home owners? Try picking up something for their house. It can be as simple as a tree ornament or as elaborate as a piece of decor (only if you truly know their taste). Websites such as Food 52 offer original pieces at affordable prices.
Need more ideas? Websites like POPSUGAR, Tasting Table, and Garden and Gun have compiled Holiday Gift Guides to help you find a great present for everyone on your list. Happy last minute shopping and Happy Holidays to all.
It’s hard to believe that this is my final post in the Birthstone series. I hope each of you have enjoyed learning more about your birthstones and others as well. While my passion is creating one of a kind pieces, I also truly enjoy sharing my knowledge on the industry. With all that being said, its time to go out with a bang, and introduce all THREE of December’s blue birthstones: Tanzanite, Turquoise, and ZIrcon.
This truly one-of-a-kind gemstone can only be found in one place on Earth: the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Its vibrant blue and purple tones make it even more special. Tanzanite was named by Tiffany & Co after the country it is mined in, and the jeweler originally advertised with a campaign stating the gem could only be found in two places: Tanzania and Tiffany’s.
Crystal Meanings and Healing Powers of Tanzanite
Considered one of the most powerful crystals for spiritual explorations, Tanzanite has been said to bring together the powers of communication. Its high energy allows for deep meditation, protection, and uniting the mind and heart. For the body, it is a calming and soothing stone, best known for helping overcome communication issues and solving problems in a practical manner.
Turquoise is among one of the oldest known gemstones, and a Hermosa favorite. Worn by Egyptian Pharaohs, Native Americans, and modern day women, this stone has stood the test of time around the globe for centuries.Among the Ancient Egyptians, Persians and Chinese, Aztecs and Incas of South America, and Native North Americans, the radiant stone was sacred for power, luck, and protection. The different hues of blue and intensity make each stone unique and versatile. It can be found in different regions around the world, but many go to the Southwest region of the United States to get one of a kind pieces.
Crystal Meanings and Healing Powers of Turquoise
Turquoise has been long been known as a stone of strength and power, as well as wisdom and nobility. It promotes leadership and equality between men and women, especially in the workplace, and has been said to help with writer’s block. For the body, Turquoise is a strengthener, aiding in depression, exhaustion, and anxiety. It enhances the immune system, helps with ear nose and throat problems, and aids the respiratory system.
Considered the alternative birthstone of December, this sky-blue stone has often been used as a fill-in when other stones are not available. During the middle-ages, the gem was used as a sleep aid, and thought to bring prosperity to its owner. Zircon is mainly mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, but can be found in other countries as well.
Crystal Meanings and Healing Powers of Zircon
Zircon is believed to bring joy and enthusiasm to the owner’s life and the surrounding people. It is also thought to bring peace and stability during traumatic times, with many people believing it can heal bad breakups and help one move forward. For the body, Zircon eases vertigo and insomnia, and is thought to be helpful in treating muscle and bone disorders.
I am so excited Thanksgiving is just a few days away! A whole day with family, friends, great food and football is just what I need after a long fall, and before what is soon to be the “happiest (and busiest) season of all.”
Though I will not be hosting this year, I have played Thanksgiving (Friendsgiving) hostess a few times, and know how stressful planning and cooking for the Holiday can be. With my past experience along with some tips a friend passed along from the free Williams & Sonoma Thanksgiving Technique classes she has been attending, I put together five tips for hosting a stress free and delicious Thanksgiving.
Prep food in advance
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather spend my Thanksgiving morning sipping on a Bloody Mary and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, rather than cutting vegetables. I think most would agree. Use the day before or even two days before to chop veggie essentials and store them in your fridge. Chop your celery and onions up to two days before Thursday and store in an air tight container in the fridge. Peel and chop your potatoes for mashed potatoes the day before and submerge in ice water (to keep from browning) and refrigerate. TIP!: Be sure to chop your potatoes in even sizes, to ensure they cook evenly.
2. Choose linens and flatware, and set table a few days in advance
This seems like a minor detail, but having an exquisite table set can bring your hostess score from a 10 to a 12. You can find festive (and cheap) linens at places like World Market or Home Goods, and you can pre-order flowers for centerpieces to be picked up Wednesday evening. Putting last touches on your table like silverware and flowers the morning of, will make your life easier.
3. Invest in a cooler and meat thermometer
If you’re lucky enough to have an extra fridge in your house, that is great. If you are not so lucky, invest in a cooler. Crowding your fridge will result in cooling your stored food unevenly. A cooler will give you more space to store foods before the meal, and the inevitable leftovers. A meat thermometer is also a must! Opening and closing your oven to check on your bird not only makes your kitchen warm, but it lets out the air from the oven, causing your turkey to take longer to cook than planned. Use a digital meat thermometer to monitor temperature, and ensure a juicy, tender bird everyone will love.
4. Brine your turkey
Some people say brine, some people say don’t brine. I say brine. I have had turkeys both ways, and I have to say there is just something wonderfully delicious about a turkey that has been soaked in salt and spices for hours. You can do a traditional salt water brine, or you can purchase pre-packaged brine, such as this Williams & Sonoma one. Make sure you buy brining bags, or use an extra cooler for this prep exercise.
5. Use short cut kits
I am usually not a fan of pre-packaged short cut kits. But after hearing about how tasty the Williams & Sonoma recipes were, I feel the need to promote stress free over hassle. Things like gravy, stuffing, cranberry relish, and green bean casserole are all Thanksgiving staples, but quite honestly taste similar across the board. If you want to get a few things off your plate, I suggest trying some of these Thanksgiving Kits. Remember, gravy, cranberries, and stuffing can all be made ahead of time and stored in your fridge so all you have to do is reheat on Thanksgiving morning!
Gravy: Since you can never be sure just how much drippings you will end up with, use this base along with some store bought stock, and add drippings in the end giving this already delicious sauce even more flavor.
Stuffing: Instead of drying out bread, use this box kit. I think it has a little more pizazz to it than your average Stove Top box.
Cranberry Relish: I think I am one of the only people who looks forward to the cranberry relish. Most of the time, it sits on the table untouched, so don’t waste time making it from scratch. Grab this jar, put it in your most beautiful serving container, and throw the empty jar in the bottom of the trash can!
Bonus Tip: Don’t try to do it all. Have guests sign up to bring a side dish or appetizer. I think one of the best Thanksgiving meals I have ever had was in Denver, when everyone signed up to make their signature family recipes. We ended up with a bacon encrusted cajun turkey, mac and cheese, squash casserole, Brussels sprout salad, 10-Layer chocolate cake and so many other dishes I would have never even thought to incorporate in my menu.
This Saturday marks the second annual Buy Local Block Party hosted by the local Charleston business organization, Lowcountry Local First. The event will be held November 21st from 11am until 5pm at 1630 Meeting Street, downtown Charleston. I was a vendor last year, and let me just say, it was a blast! It is a one of a kind social event filled with LOCAL vendors & artisans, live music, good LOCAL food, and delicious drinks. This unique and festive event aims to spread awareness of the importance of SHOPPING LOCAL during the holiday season, as part of Lowcountry Local First’s 9th annual Buy Local Month, which runs from November 15th to December 15th. By spending more money locally, citizens and visitors alike are contributing to the positive growth of the Lowcountry. The weather is shaping up to be perfect at a high of 65 degrees and sunny. Tickets are available here for $10 in advance, and $15 the day of. Stop by the Hermosa Jewelry table and mention this blog post to receive 15% off your purchase!
I came across these bejeweled Stoned by Stone phone cases on Instagram, and I instantly fell in love. If I was a phone case, this is what I would look like- completely jeweled, super glam, and unique. These one of a kind cases are handcrafted by Frances Stone with vintage broaches, earrings, beads, and rhinestones. Frances even created a custom case for me with my own collection of sentimental trinkets and vintage pieces–and I will say, I’m OBSESSED!
Below you can read about the background, inspiration, and design process in my Q & A with Frances. Make sure to follow her at @stonedbystone!
Q & A with Frances Stone, designer of Stoned by Stone
1. Why did you start making these jeweled phone cases?
I have always been a huge fan of costume jewelry. The bigger and sparklier the better! I’ve been collecting all sorts of pieces from vintage heirlooms left behind by my Grandmother to cool pieces from the thrift shop.
My best friend in college, her mother inspired the idea to put the bling on a phone case. Tammy (nicknamed “Tiger”) had one she made herself entirely made up of Swarovski crystals and embellished with her initials. Her creation was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I lusted after it every time we would visit, so i decided to make one of my own. My phone case got me a lot of attention, so I started producing them for friends and came up with Stoned By Stone. My last name is Stone and the cases are covered in rhinestones so it’s more than appropriate!
2. What inspires your design process?
A badass piece of costume jewelry with lots of sparkle! Sourcing is inspiring too because I get so excited to see what kind of goodies are in the jewelry case! The ladies at the shops look at me like I’m crazy when I leave with 10-20 weird and cheesy baubles, earrings, brooches, pendants, etc.
3. How long does it take to make one case?
On average it takes me about 2 hours to create one phone case. Then I like to walk away from it and come back to it the next day to see what else I can add to make it fully complete.
4. Are they sturdy enough to use daily? Or are they for special occasion?
I encourage everyone to use them daily! I mean, whats the point of having such an awesome one of a kind piece of artwork on the back of your phone if you’re not going to show it off? You’ll be amazed at the comments and conversations your phone case will start.
Each one is made with industrial strength glue . I do tell people, YES stones will fall out SOMETIMES but find your own sentimental pieces and add them on to the existing case!
I still have the very first phone cases I ever made, and they are in immaculate shape for all the use I got out them.
5. Where do you sell them? How much do they retail for?
6. Where would you like to see your business go in the future?
First, I would like to see my phone cases on the red carpet! Like how cool would it be to have Rihanna and Miley Cyrus carrying a Stoned By Stone phone case to the VMAs? I am currently doing some projects for myself that include taxidermy animals (deer), stoning them and completely up-cycling them into works of art. I would eventually like to sell them or rent them out for editorial things, parties, events, film, etc.
Can you believe there are only two months left in 2015? I am already gearing up for Holiday Markets and Shows, and have been working away in my studio to make sure that I am fully stocked for the season. Though (and I have said it a million times) it has been a CRAZY fall, I still found time this week to do the birthstone blog post. November babies, like October, are lucky enough to have two birthstones to choose from: Citrine and Topaz.
Just like the fall leaves still hanging on by a thread or being brushed around on the sidewalks, Citrine is rich in color spanning from bright yellows to dark oranges. In ancient times, Citrine was used for protection against evil thoughts and snakes’ venom. Though its name is of French origin, meaning “Lemon,” it can be found all over the world in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes making it well known as the “merchant’s stone.” It is one of the most affordable and thus popular gemstones, not to mention many people believe it brings prosperity and success in business to its wearer.
Crystal Meanings and Healing Powers of Citrine
Citrine’s rich colors are believed to carry the power of the sun, and with that bring manifestation, personal will, and imagination to those who wear it. It is an energizing stone, grounding negative energy and transforming bad feelings or thoughts into positive ones. For the body, Citrine helps build a strong metabolism by stimulating the digestive system. It also activates the nervous system to help increase intelligence and brain power.
Like its partner birthstone, Topaz can often be found in the beautiful shades of fall that I mentioned above, but is most known for the variety of beautiful blues it comes in. Similarly to the powers of Citrine, Ancient Egyptians and Romans associated the stone with the Sun God, and believed the stone to be a protector and healer. Legends even state that the powerful stone dispels enchantment. It is found in many places throughout the world, notably at Topaz Mountain in Utah.
Crystal Meanings and Healing Powers of Topaz
A calming and balancing stone, Topaz is thought to stable emotions, release tension, and bring joy to the owner’s life (this sounds strangely similar to yoga!) Similar to its partner above, it is also thought to bring success and good fortune. For the body, Topaz is said to be extremely good for the endocrine system as well as blood disorders, poor appetite, and aging!
A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 28th birthday with ten of my best friends at Candlefish. Located in the heart of downtown Charleston, this beautiful store celebrates everything in the world of candles from the beginning inspiration to the final product.
We became Chandlers for the evening in our two hour candle making class. Our class was taught by Cat, who was very knowledgeable and articulate. She was great, and I could tell she loves her job at Candlefish. Upon our arrival, our table was carefully set up with each of our candle stations. We brought appetizers and wine to keep our minds and bellies fully inspired.
Our candle stations included a metal pan with two glass jars, two wicks, two popsicle sticks, four labels, a whisk, a ruler, a pen, a small glass measurement cup, and a metal beaker.
When you walk in, you can’t miss the The Candlefish Library. It is a curated selection of 100 unique fragrances labeled simply with a number from 1 to 100. The candles are placed under glass cloches that capture the fragrance within its dome. All of the Library candles are hand poured and hand labeled in the store by the talented chandlers.
We received a “library card” which helped us document and identify which scents were our favorite by jotting down notes about our favorites or not so favorites. Since smelling 100 scents would be way too overwhelming, we chose one scent from a curated collection of twenty candles.
After choosing each of our signature scents to use for our two candles, We hot glued our wicks to the base our two glass jars and filled out and affixed the labels.
I chose lucky Number 95, which is part of the wood family with nodes of mandarin, violet, cedar wood, and pachouli. One of my friends described it smelling like a “sexy surfer,” and I totally agree. The next step was to measure out our fragrance and soy wax and mix them together. We then had some down time to look around and shop while we waited for our wax to cool to a certain temperature. Candlefish doesn’t just sell candles, they have jewelry, candle accessories, coffee, prints, and other interesting gifts.
A few minutes later, the wax had cooled and it was time to pour! We gave it one more flick of the whisk and then distributed our wax into the two glass jars. We placed the popsicle sticks over the top yet flush with the wicks to ensure that they cooled straight up in the center. The candles then cooled overnight, and I came back the next day to pick them up.
We had the BEST time at Candlefish celebrating my birthday. I highly recommend it as a fun yet easy activity for anyone (even guys!) that likes candles. I can’t wait to go back to do another one. You can view their upcoming workshops listed here. Make sure you mention you read about them on the Hermosa Jewelry blog!