Eilisain Jewelry

Powerfully Divine

Some updates going on in the studio

Lisette Fee

Well maybe I should rephrase that - updates going on in my world and office. 

As to be honest I don't get as much time in my studio as I'd like, I'm coming to the realization that I'm still in my maternity leave stage.  I spend about 90% of my time caring for my new baby girl, and I'm truly loving every minute of it, even when I lose sleep. 

However, there are still some exciting things happening with Eilisain - first and foremost - I had two pieces published in a very, very cool book all about CASTING! I haven't even delved into a quarter of this book but already I'm amazed by the beautiful work that is in it. Cast Art and Objects: Made Using Humanity's Most Transformational Process by Jen Townsend and Renee Zettle-Sterling was a true labor of love and features all the ranges of what castingencompasses, from ceramics, concrete, bronze sculptures and jewelry and more.  I highly recommend this book to any art enthusiast.

The book features the Bast double spine ring and the Hunted owl talon cuff. I'm so honored to have my jewelry featured in their book.  I also wrote a guest blog post on their website describing my method of casting.  You can read it here.

The Bast double spine ring in sterling silver.

The Bast double spine ring in sterling silver.

Other news: I'm also in the beginning stages and creative process of designing my Fall/Winter 2018 collection.  It's going to continue the play on geometrical shapes that I used in the Vespa collection, drawing inspiration from geodes and gems.   The ideas have been percolating in my head and I've begun initial sketches - now is the time to begin prototypes and actual pieces.

And my last big news: I have a new stockist! And in my birth state of Kansas: The Striped Cow in Lawrence.  I met the buyer Nicole Manriquez in Las Vegas last year at a trade show.  Nicole and I had an instant bond and she fell in love with the owl talon pieces.   The Striped Cow features handmade jewelry, leather bags, terrariums (which you know I'm obessesed with) and they have their own in house barber!  So if you live or are driving through Kansas, hit up the Striped Cow and support local and handmade. 

Thanks for reading and visiting my blog, I hope you have a grand weekend!

 

My favorite new PODCASTS

podcast, spirit guide, small business, tarotLisette FeeComment

I've been saving this post for awhile now so I could research new podcasts to share with you.  And the ones I've been listening to are so inspiring and honestly super helpful to everyday life.

I feel like podcasts are the new 'radio stations' not that radio has been completely replaced.   They're fantastic for me, as a working mom, because I can listen to them while I'm doing stuff around my house or working in the studio or feeding Ms. Tulah (Tallulah).

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So here goes - my new favorite podcasts:

1.  Stuff Mom Never Told you - Bridget Todd and Emilie Aries break down all sorts of topics from Congresswoman Maxine Waters to Latina feminisim and the power of Beyonce in the world.  I love how they aren't embarrassed to share their own stories but that of women from all backgrounds, cultures etc.  Bridget and Emilie also do their research and provide interesting facts and knowledge about being a girlboss to current politics.

2.  Dream, Freedom, Beauty - I just recently discovered this new podcast via Empress of Herbs (as she was a guest not to long ago) and I LOVE IT, I'm learning so much about esoteric, magic, meditating, witch related topics and my favorite part is that Natalie Ross is local and based out of Durham.  Natalie is so down to earth and relatable and asks her guests all the questions we're thinking in our head.

3.  The Courage Makers - this is a fantastic podcast to listen to when you need uplifting stories and interviews of people that have risen from the ashes to become stronger and wiser.  I love listening to this podcast in the morning. 

4.  Work Wives -  Because I primarily work from home, I don't have a work spouse but I remember what it was like.  These women keep it real and get down to the nitty gritty of being a woman AND it's hosted by two women that work for my favorite magazine, Glamour!

5.  The Mythology Podcast - As a major fan of mythologies and ancient stories this has to be in my top five favorite podcasts.  It's like a history lesson every time and I become majorly inspired by all the grand and epic stories.  In addition you can help but feel a wonderful sense of calm listening to this podcast, I'd have to say this is a perfect nightcap. 

6.  2 Dope Queens - When you need a good laugh and want to be silly, listen to Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams talk about everything from sex, race, romance and living in NYC.  They feel like your two besties that you want to hang out at a dive bar and get tipsy with!

So get crackin' and add these amazing podcasts to your lists.  Thanks as always for reading!

What is it about Magic?

Lisette Fee

Several weeks ago I rented Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - I'd already seen it but I loved it so much I had to watch it again. 

Which got me thinking, what is it about magicians, sorceress, witches and the entire genre of fantasy that has become SO popular these days? There seems to be an explosion lately of anything related to magic and fantasy - Harry Potter, The Magicians tv show, tarot cards, The Vampire Diaries - I could go on and on. 

The Golden thread tarot deck

The Golden thread tarot deck

I could easily google this theme and give you data on it but I'd rather muse on why I believe you and the rest of the world are fascinated by magic.  And here is one BIG theme with magic - law of attraction - if you send out the energy of belief in the ephemeral and unknown it will be present in your life.  Magic is about energy and believing in the power of intention.   For example, when I sit to do a tarot spread I silently meditate on my current life situation as well as what I'd like answered in the spread.  My mind ruminates and as I shuffle the cards and lay them out.  The cards shown provide insight into what is happening in my life - the cards pulled are not random but pulled with intention. 

Magic isn't random, it's energy and the unexplainable yet comprehensible.  My belief is that our world needs magic and faith in the unseen, in the ephemeral.  We crave an alternate world, perhaps an escape from 'real life' from the mundane but here is the crux of it - our current world needs us to be present.  Not stuck in our phones, in the internet universe.  We need to tie the two together.  Magic and reality. 

To some or perhaps skeptics and realists would say that believing in magic is infantile or immature - words that associate it with children and innocence.  However there is a purity and a sense of pure trust in magic and that is powerful.  One must also have a healthy dose of respect for magic. 

Talismans have been incorporated in magic and can hold magical properties (aka The One Ring to rule them all) and perhaps that's one reason I find jewelry amazing.  That it can hold intention, provide power and guidance in our world.  Jewelry is the object that contains the magic. 

Okay I could go on and on on this subject and I've take a month to write what was supposed to be a brief post - however I hope that you'll find my post inspiring and one that brings perhaps some clarity or excitement about the possibilities of what our future holds in regards to the magical realm. 

The power of three

Trunk Show, succulents, StonesLisette Fee

Just as there has been much studied about color therapy and crystal healing there is also quite a bit of research and studies on numerology.  As they say, math is the universal language.  And one of my favorite numbers is three.  Especially when it comes to design and jewelry pieces. 

This post will cover two things - my special Mother's Day offers as well as some information on the number three.  As you can imagine, this is a special Mother's day for me because it'll be my first celebrating as a mother which is why I'm very excited to announce THREE special Mothers Day offers to you!

But before I get into the offers, let's discuss why there is power in threes.  First of all for religious purposes, three is a divine number.  It represents the trinity - regardless of what religion you practice there is the mind, body and soul or father, son and holy ghost along with light, energy and mass.  The triangle touches upon this symmetry of threes - it is a statement about relationship and balance.  Three remembers the one.  For example the Borromean Rings, named for the appearance on the crest of the Borromeo family of the Italian Renaissance.  It's when three rings are interlocked and when you gaze upon them it appears as though each ring is interconnected to the other and not separate from itself.  It takes all three interlocking simultaneously to become unified. 

As you can see three has a magic and symmetry to it, which is why I love using it in my jewelry designs.  Which leads me to my three special Mother's Day offers!

For all orders of $200 and over, you will get an air plant! I've been going a bit mad over creating terrariums and air plant arrangements so I want to share them with you.  You'll get a small hanging air plant with a gorgeous color pink or purple moss. 

*Note the air plant gift will not look like this one but have an air plant and moss in crystal vase.

*Note the air plant gift will not look like this one but have an air plant and moss in crystal vase.

For all orders of $100 and over, I'm continuing the offer of the Empress of Herbs Ostara roll on oil.  I still have several left in stock and can always order more.  This is a great mini gift to give to the mother in your life.

For all order of $50 and over, you will receive a beautiful quartz crystal point to add or begin your crystal collection. 

And for those of you that live in the Eastern NC area - don't forget I'm having a special Mother's Day Trunk show at Moxie Pop on Friday May 12th 5-7pm.  You'll get to eat light snacks and wine and purchase one of a kind jewelry!

These special offers begin now and continue through Mother's Day - so get your SHOP ON!

5 ways you can celebrate Earth Day everyday

animals, customersLisette Fee

As ya'll know I'm a big environmentalist and lover of animals and protecting their habitat so it's no surprise that I'd give you a blog post on Earth Day.

I don't think there's ever been a more urgent time or call to action to do more to protect Mother Earth - the current administration is removing protections to sacred lands and animals everyday.  So with that said, I wanted to share some super easy ways you can help reduce waste, recycle and reuse everyday!

1.  Use your own shopping bags - This one is a no brainer and super easy to do.  Keep several large shopping bags in your car and take them with you when you shop.  I probably have 5-6 in my truck, from small to large.

2.  Refuse a straw - Okay, this one has been a bit hard for me to do but I find I'm resisting straws more often now.  You'd be amazed how this small item has directly impacted animals in the ocean to land fills.  Granted I understand it'd be harder to do this when ordering from drive thru but every little bit helps.

3.  Purchase products with less packaging - This is one that I've become more aware of.  Think about it, why is there a need for tons of wrappers and plastic? For example, panty liners (lol I know a bit personal) but why do they need to be individually wrapped, or tampons too. 

4.  RECYCLE and REUSE - another no brainer, set aside a special recycle bin in your household.  And if your neighborhood doesn't collect recycling find your own center to recycle.
And reusing take out containers, bags and more helps save you money and time.  We love using old chinese take out containers for left overs.

5.  Buy less - So this is a win-win situation, buy less 'fast fashion', make up products etc.  And repair old items, buy items that are long lasting and well made.  Think of them as investment pieces.  You'll save money and cherish your items more. 

Photo by Katerina Plotnikova. 

Photo by Katerina Plotnikova. 

So if anything, try as much as you can to be conscious of your shopping and lifestyle habits that impact the earth.  For as much as our planet gives us, we can give back.

Thanks for reading!

Succulent time!

succulents, garden, herb lifeLisette Fee

Along with my new interest in essential oils and herbal care and medicine I'm also going a bit nuts for succulents and building lil terrariums.  Maybe it's part of becoming a mom or that I now have quite a bit of space to garden or that I'm becoming such a homebody but somehow I've gained more interests in caring for plants and tending to a garden.

A terrarium I made for my girlfriend.  I loved using an air plant with a splash of coral color.  The glass case is from TJ Maxx. 

A terrarium I made for my girlfriend.  I loved using an air plant with a splash of coral color.  The glass case is from TJ Maxx. 

Thus I wanted to share with you some new tips I've gleaned along the way as well as places to get your accoutrements for your terrarium garden.

1. Plant and See Nursery, Greenville, NC - If you live in my area you will definitely want to visit Plant and See if you haven't been there already.  They have a very large assortment of plants, statues, herbs and all things green! Now if you don't live in the Eastern NC area you'll want to find your local Garden shop versus the usual big box stores.  As I always urge you, go LOCAL.

2.  Glass containers and displays for terrariums - I'm going to admit I'm guilty and I went to TJ Maxx for a glass container HOWEVER, you can usually find super affordable containers at Goodwill, Salvation Army OR even use old vases to build up a terrarium.  I've done this before and it works perfectly to display your mini-plant universe.

3.  Terrarium Accessories - This one is super easy.  You can use medium sized stones, coral, sea shells, geodes etc. or even little people or houses you can get at your local craft store.  I was very excited to use purple moss (purple power friends!) or use any other moss you find or purchase.

My personal terrarium with special sea urchin shells from the Outer Banks. 

My personal terrarium with special sea urchin shells from the Outer Banks. 

4.  How to care for your terrarium and succulents - My friend gave me the advice to soak your air plants and some succulents in water for a good 20 mins and then let air dry twice a week.  You may want to clean out your glass case every couple of weeks.  Store your air terrarium in a cool yet temperate place near a window or where it will receive moderate sunlight.  

I hope you enjoyed this post and it helps you enjoy plant life, they say it eases stress and makes people happy when you have plants around and I believe it!

The nesting period is over

Changes, customers, feeling, mood, studioLisette Fee

I'd be remiss if I didn't elaborate more on my pregnancy; despite being my own boss I still answer to someone and that's you!  With that said, I'm due any moment now and I'm quite thrilled, nervous, scared and ready.   And I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts and plans on this new phase in my life. 

Tallulah's room.  I had such a fun time decorating it.

Tallulah's room.  I had such a fun time decorating it.

As an artist and jeweler I create for a living but now I'm creating something that will be my most precious treasure and it will change everything.  The most beneficial part of being my own boss is that I work from home (most of the time) and I'm so incredibly blessed and thankful for that, I'll be able care for Tallulah and have the flexibility to work in my home studio.  Yet it'll be a balance of juggling home life and work life all in the same space. 

What changes can you expect with your Eilisain Jewelry orders?
I'm taking three weeks of 'maternity leave' - it won't be official as business never really stops but I will be more removed from social media posts and marketing.
With that said, it will take me a bit longer to respond to inquiries and direct messages, perhaps 2-3 days.
I will of course continue to take your orders, as I've already prepared stock inventory and new one of a kind pieces ready to ship.  It may take a bit longer though for select pieces of jewelry.  And as you know I'll communicate with you the timeline of your order.

Leading up to the pregnancy it's definitely been a bit of struggle using my hands, which I didn't think would be an issue.  No one really talks about the bloated and swelling feeling you can get in the latter stages of pregnancy.  As well as being constantly tired.  It's been frustrating as I'm used to being able to run around and get things done.  

I think I was about 30 weeks pregnant in this photo. 

I think I was about 30 weeks pregnant in this photo. 

It's a strange feeling carrying another life in your body and feeling the movements.  It'll be strange when she's actually born to meet someone that has been in the womb for nine months.  I've been reading as many books as I can get my hands on, reread them and imagined what it'll be like holding her and as you'd imagine, it probably won't compare to the real thing.  I've compared it to taking a test or preparing for a marathon, you can train and study all you want but you won't know the experience until you actually have it.

Anywho, I wanted to share with you a little bit of what I've been going through personally.  And those of you that do know, thank you so much for your constant support and generosity - it has meant SO much!

As always thank you for reading. 

Guest Blog Post - Essential Oils by Empress Herbs

Lisette Fee

I'm super excited to give ya'll my first guest post by Rochelle Eisenberger - owner and maker behind the Empress Herbs.  I met Rochelle in January during a visit to my fav Durham shop, Everyday Magic.  Rochelle has her own apothecary and oil station set up in the store and it's AMAZING!  We got to talking about oils for sleep aid - as y'know I'm pregnant and struggle with a good nights rest.  Rochelle was super helpful in explaining oils to me and breaking down how they work.  Thus, I felt that many of you would LOVE to know more about essential oils and how they can help you everyday. 

AND not just that but Rochelle and I are collaborating to provide you with a very special Spring Equinox gift package available to you this week, on March 13th!

In preparation we wanted to give you a rundown on essential oils.  Until then enjoy Rochelle's Essential Oils 101 guide provided below.

Essential Oils Everyday

Essential oils are all over the interweb these days, each oil purported to have a healing superpowers that seems amazing. In truth, they are! They are also super concentrated plant essences and need to be used carefully. Essential oils can help clean, purify, and disinfect your home as well as lift your mood or help you go to sleep. First, we’ll cover what essential oils are and how they’re produced. Then we’ll look at some guidelines for purchasing, and finally I’ll share some of my favorite oils and their uses around the home.

Essential oils are the powerful, pure essence of a plant. It takes between 50 lbs to several tons of plant material to get a single quart of essential oil. An example of this is Rose - it takes 600 lbs of rose petals to produce 1 oz pure essential oil. That explains why 5 ml (a teaspoon) is about $200. It sounds crazy expensive, but considering the large amount of plant material it takes to make it, maybe $200 is a bargain.  Other plants, such as Eucalyptus, Pine, and Rosemary have a higher yield of oil per plant so the price is much cheaper.

The naturally occurring volatile oils that give the plants their powerful scent are the power of aromatherapy. Some of these oils are found mostly in the leaves and flowers, but they can also be found in the peel of the fruit, bark, roots, bulb, and even the resin (e.g., frankincense, pine). The volatile oils have many healing properties due to their complex chemical components which contain alcohols, terpenes, phenols, aldehydes, and ketones that give the plants their anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and disinfectant properties.

Extraction
The best quality essential oils are extracted by steam distillation. In this method, the herbs are placed on a screen over boiling water in a large covered vessel. The steam rises and then descends down a coiled tube where the vapor condenses. The separated oil and water are caught in a container where the lighter oil floats on top of the water and is decanted. 

Some plants, jasmine being the most notable, have less volatile oil and are extracted by solvents. The petroleum based by-products work at room temperature and pull the oils from the plant. It also pulls out the wax and colorants resulting in a colored and thicker oil. This waxy substance is then mixed with alcohol to extract the aromatics. It is sold as an absolute. Any time you see “absolute” on a label, you know that that plant has been solvent extracted. Common oils that are sold using this method are: tuberose, carnation, gardenia, jonquil, violet leaf, narcissus, and mimosa.

Guidelines for Purchasing
So how do you choose a brand? There are several things to take into consideration when purchasing oils. On the average, one drop of essential oil represents the extraction of one ounce or more of plant material. That’s a lot of plant material harvested annually for human use. I buy the oils I know I am going to use on a regular basis, with a couple I want to get to know better. 

When looking for an essential oil brand, company research is critical.  Do they guarantee their oils are “100% pure essential oil”?  If they don’t, it’s probably not. Are they a large company or a small one? I choose small companies that have long term relationships with small growers and compensate them well. I also like companies owned by aromatherapy practitioners that are well respected in their field and preferably have some knowledge of botany and herbology.

The next item may be surprising given all the talk about “grades,” but there are no certifications for essential oils.  Sometimes on labels you’ll see oils classified as “therapeutic grade” or “aromatherapy grade” but this is misleading. No government agency or organization grades or certifies essential oils. The term “therapeutic grade” was used by a company as a marketing ploy and shortly afterward almost all essential oil companies were using those words. So, while the grade on the label sounds good, it has no inherent value or claim to quality.

All of the following information should be available for the oil, if not directly on the label it should be listed in the product description: the common plant name, Latin name (exact genus and species), country of origin, part of the plant processed, type of extraction (distillation or expression), and how it was grown (organic, wild-crafted, traditional).

How to Use Essential Oils
Internally: Because essential oils are so concentrated the only way I recommend using essential oils internally is as a mouthwash.

 A drop of Tea Tree oil in 1/4 cup of water as a mouthwash for gingivitis and plaque. Swish and spit out.

Externally: There are many ways to use essential oils externally.  One of the easiest is putting a drop of oil in the palm of the hand, rubbing your hands together, and inhaling from your cupped palms. This is only safe with non-dermatoxic oils. Lavender, Clary Sage, Geranium, Chamomile are all good candidates for this method.

Diffusers are the most popular way to enjoy essential oils. You may use a single oil or pick two or three essential oils to combine. There are a variety of diffusers from simple to elaborate. When anyone in my family starts to feel ill, in addition to my herbal allies, I like to start diffusing an oil with an affinity to kill germs in the air. Some of my favorites are Pine, Eucalyptus, and Fir.  Diffusing for 15 minutes, twice a day is a great place to start.

For self-care luxury, I like to mix essential oils into bath oils or salts. It’s important to emulsify essential oils before adding them to the bath.  If the oil isn’t mixed into milk or salt before adding to the bath, the oil molecules will merely float on top of the water. Some oils (particularly the citrus) are very irritating to the skin and could cause an allergic reaction.To emulsify add a maximum of 5 drops to 1/2 cup of milk or salt, mix well and add to bath.

Diluting Essential Oils for Use on the Skin
To use essential oils on the skin they must be diluted in a carrier oil. There are many options for carrier oils: sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, apricot kernel oil, and coconut oil to name a few. Sweet almond oil is a great carrier oil when creating massage blends. I like jojoba oil for moisturizing blends because it is absorbed quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling. Experiment with small amounts of carrier oils to see how you like the final results before making a larger batch.

When making essential blends, there are generally three levels of dilution. A 1% dilution is used for children and elders. A 2% dilution is for general and adult use. 3% dilutions are used for acute health conditions.

Relaxing Oils:
Use one or a combination in bath, diffuser, or as a direct palm inhalation.
Lavender - may be put directly on burns, bites, and stings
Chamomile - combines well with Lavender in a diffuser
Geranium - calms anxiety

Cold and Flu Protection Oils:
These oils have decongestant properties, open breathing passages, protect against allergies, sinusitis, and mental dullness.  Diffuse one or a combination to use. All three of the oils listed have anti-inflammatory properties, are expectorants, and help regulate the mucus membranes.  All may be used in a diffuser, or used as a facial steam. 

Eucalyptus,  Pine,  & Tea Tree - sinusitis (for an effective facial steam and decongestant, add two drops of eucalyptus to pot of steaming water, carefully cover head with towel and inhale for 10-15 minutes)

Alleviating Headache:
Any of the following oils may be added to a carrier oil and 6-8 drops of Eucalyptus or Peppermint, or 10-12 drops if using Lavender.  Rub oil on temples, back of neck, or forehead.

Eucalyptus - anti-inflammatory properties, eases headaches, especially those associated with     sinusitis.
Lavender - good for morning and evening head pain
Peppermint - the menthol is eases tension and is cooling, good for head pain during the day

Household Cleaners:
All the oils listed below are powerful anti-microbials but are also phototoxic i.e., they enhance absorption of UV light.  They should never be applied directly to the skin unless they are diluted.

Tea Tree - kills mold. 20 drops of Tea Tree to a half cup of warm water.  Shake well, spray area thoroughly, wait for 1/2 hour, scrub.  For mold free maintenance spray tea tree mix in bathtub/shower after use to inhibit mold growth. 

The following cleaning powerhouse oils make a great spray for cleaning counters, stovetops, and sinks.  Cinnamon,  Clove bud, Lemon, Grapefruit, Lavender.


*I hope you enjoyed this guest post by Rochelle Eisenberger of Empress Herbs and that if want to test out some herbs you shop locally with Empress of Herbs.
Empress Herbs is located in Hillsborough, NC and handcrafted with love by Rochelle Eisenberger.  She is an herbalist, green witch, Reiki Master, and mystery student.

International Women's Day

Changes, class, color, small businessLisette Fee

It feels very crucial this year, to celebrate such a day.  Political upheaval is swirling around us - the world is changing and so is our involvement.  Typically I don't get too political with my business and my blog but I do feel it is very pertinent to refer to several themes in my business - such as animals, wildlife, conservation and women - because it is part of the ethos of Eilisain. 

Yesterday I read a great article on one of my favorite websites, Refinery29, regarding the history of how International Women's Day got started.   Back in the beginning of the 20th century much was changing in the world, as it is now, with a new labor movement growing in North America and much of Europe.  And women from both sides of the globe convened in 1910 in Denmark for the second annual International Conference of Working Women.  It was proposed at this meeting, by Clara Zetkin for countries to celebrate International Women's Day.  The purpose being is to advocate and put pressure on our countries to expand women's rights. 

Thus finally in 1913 it was declared that March 8th be International Women's Day and has been celebrated ever since.  In some countries it's a holiday!  And today, the women that organzied the uber grand world wide Women's March also organized a Day without Women to signify how much of a force women are in the workplace and beyond. 

So how can you celebrate this day - even if you truly have to go to work- because many of us don't have the luxury or privilege of not working or fighting the system?

Here are 5 Ways you Can Celebrate International Women's Day:

1. Wear RED - In solidarity with women striking work today.

2.  Make your VOICE HEARD - Call your representatives, Congress people and local officials.  Do you want equal pay for equal work? Better child care services and PAID MATERNITY AND PATERNITY? Do you want to better access to health services? Improved education?

3.  SHOP and SUPPORT Women owned and small business' - ALL day erry-day.  Let's say you're running around town and you need a quick coffee or sandwich, skip Starbucks or Arby's and hit up your local women-run business.  You may spend a buck or two more BUT that money will go back into your community. 

4.  Use social media to spread the word - Not just today but as much as possible about women's history, women making a difference.  It may not seem obvious on a daily basis but there is a true lack of knowledge and awareness about the HUGE part women play in our society. 

Repurposing your old jewelry

customers, repair, jewelry repairLisette Fee

Back when I worked at the Jewelry Doctor, the jewelry repair shop in Greenville NC, I learned SO many tricks and ways to repair and assist people with the smallest of jewelry woes. 

You wouldn't believe how many times people would bring in costume and mall jewelry that was honestly so cherished they couldn't stand to see it'd broken and not wear it.  We also received beautiful antique gold, silver and plated jewelry that needed extreme sensitivity. 

Ellis Cutrell, the Jewelry Doctor and my mentor.

Ellis Cutrell, the Jewelry Doctor and my mentor.

So with this post I want to give you some insider secrets on how to make your jewelry last and turn it into new and beloved pieces of jewelry

1.  Buy yourself flat nosed pliers and epoxy -  These are the two main tools that you'll need for very simple repairs.  Whether it be from connecting a jump ring or gluing back rhinestones or faux gemstones.  Often times customers would need just a simple connection of parts that had come undone. 

And epoxy is fantastic for all sorts of things, especially gluing back rhinestones or costume jewelry.  But one word caution DO NOT USE IT ON REAL GEMSTONES.  Leave that to the experts. 

Simple silver jump rings can save your jewelry!

Simple silver jump rings can save your jewelry!

2.  The MISSING earring - It happens to all of us, you've got those awesome cocktail earrings or chandelier earrings as we say and the other falls off or simply gets lost.  It's the worst because you really love them.  The SOLUTION? Turn that single pair of earring into a pendant! Yes, it'll be a perfect centerpiece on your neck AND eye catching.  You may need to buy a small box of steel wire jump rings (essentially small round rings to connect pieces) and these can easily be purchased at your local Michaels or AC Moore. 

3.  The missing stone - I think this is the worst loss for any piece of jewelry, and sometimes it can be irreplaceable.  Here are several solutions to this conundrum:
SOLUTIONS:
-If it's semiprecious or gold/silver jewelry, take it to your local jewelry repair shop and ask if they can locate a matching stone. 
-Redesign the piece using the old gold/silver with your local jewelry pair expert.  They can again, turn it into a pendant or a new ring.  The cost is not as much since you'll be reusing the same gold and silver with the time of your expert. 
-Mail in the gold/silver and leftover stones to a metal supply company such as Hoover & Strong.  They will either give you credit or send you a check!
These are honestly your best options when it comes to a missing stone.

4.  Your silver jewelry is tarnished and black -  It's a fact of life, oxygen begins to slowly blacken and tarnish your silver, especially the silver you want shiny! Thus there are several at home remedies that can work wonders to fix this problem.
-Keep a spare piece of chalk with your silver to ward off tarnish.  This handles the issue from the beginning.
At home silver tarnish removal:
Line the bottom of a glass baking dish with aluminum foil
Fill the dish with steaming hot water
Add salt (sodium chloride) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to the water. Some recipes call for 2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt, whereas others call for 2 tablespoons each of baking soda and salt. Personally, I wouldn't measure the amounts... just add a bit of each substance.
Drop the silver items into the container so that they are touching each other and resting on the foil. You will be able to watch the tarnish disappear.
Leave heavily tarnished items in the solution for as long as 5 minutes. Otherwise, remove the silver when it appears clean.
Rinse the silver with water and gently buff it dry with a soft towel.

5.  And lastly, if all else fails.  Take your cherished pieces to an expert.  It goes without saying that repairs are best done by those that know what they're doing.  And if you're completely clueless, that's okay! Invest the money and you will be glad you did!

I hope that my advice and tricks help you maintain and repair your own jewelry.  It'll make you feel empowered and satisfied!

Who is Ursula?

Changes, animals, mood, Our new lookLisette Fee

When I was dreaming up my newest collection, set to release in Monday, March 20th, I wanted to present a contradiction of dark and light.  To me it is a universal truth in our world - that you can't have light without dark and vice versa.  Often times it's a tough pill for many of us to swallow.  Why wouldn't we want to be happy all the time? But I've learned over the years that going through difficult times and situations can make you so much stronger and change your destiny.

01_LisetteFee.jpg

Ursula is that evil queen that shows us our mirror image - y'know the one that you don't show anyone? Just like in the Little Mermaid movie, she revels in her naughtiness, in her own self obsession.  But without her would we acknowledge that inner demon? I don't think many of us would. 

So with this collection, of varying pieces and combination of Eilisain elements, such as the crow claw, bird bones, owl talons along with sea shells I went to work with using a bit of everything.  AND I am excited that I got to work with Becky Parker, primarily a lifestyle photographer.  We had fun shooting my friend Dru Lindsay Patrick - with her shock of red hair and sassy attitude. 

We shot looks that had a ethereal quality as well as sublime, moodier looks.  I can't wait to share them with you and especially this month - of the Pisces - it's my favorite time of year.

As always thank you for reading!

How to create a meditative space

feeling, mediation, mood, tarotLisette Fee

As I've told you in a previous blog post, this year I'm trying to meditate and take more quiet times throughout the day and week to pray and be quiet.  It's harder than you think, everyday I tell myself I'm going to meditate the first thing I do when I wake up and I have yet to do that!

However, i do much better at night, when I need to play out the scenes of the day.  I've also read that you don't need to be in a defined space to meditate or let your mind relax and wander.  You can do it at the park, on your lunch break, at your desk or even in your car.  The point is to allow your mind to 'rest'. 

It does help though to have a space carved out to meditate and relax.  It could be a corner in your room or living room.  But adding a few touches can truly help.

Buddha and a rosemary wreath my friends gifted me. 

Buddha and a rosemary wreath my friends gifted me. 

1.  Setting the scene with ritual.  It could be lighting a candle or incense, pulling out your favorite blanket or pillow.  Rubbing scented oils on your pulse points.  Whatever it is, do one (or several) thing to put you in a meditative mood.  Ritual is very powerful when it comes to habits and a sense of serenity.

2.  Unplug completely.  Put your phone on vibrate, or do not disturb and put it in another room.  This is really essential to letting your mind and body rest.

3.  Make it completely comfortable.  Put on your pjs or leave them on, wear warm socks, or keep the air cool.  Surround yourself with lots of pillows.  You want to feel relaxed and sedated.

My 'grandma' chair and handmade pillow get me comfy and cozy for a tarot reading.

My 'grandma' chair and handmade pillow get me comfy and cozy for a tarot reading.

4.  Add special momentos in your space. It could be a photo of a beloved ancestor, or a rock you found on a hike.  Anything that brings back peaceful and happy memories is perfect for your meditative space.  I keep a photo of my me and my niece on my wedding day on the bookshelf next to my chair.  It fills me with happiness and joy just looking at it.

5.  Tell your partner or loved ones you need quiet and space to meditate.  This goes along with unplugging.  close the door or move cats, children and spouses out of your zone.  So that you can completely unwind. 

And one last word of advice, even if your mind wanders in the beginning, don't worry about it.  Often times our mind needs a moment to 'come down' for the activity of the day, to slowly allow the mind to shake off all the thoughts.  Then you can begin a ritual of connecting your body to the earth and the sky (my best way of getting into the meditative state).  Visualization really helps with this. 

I hope these tips help you to move into a state of peacefulness - meditation is like stretching, the more you do it the easier it becomes. 

thanks for reading!