NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane's Creative Hands Newsletter for June 2008
In This Issue
- A SPECIAL FATHER'S DAY VIDEO MESSAGE from Ruby Lane
- ARTISAN SPOTLIGHT: Carole Axium
- SHOP SPOTLIGHT: Designs by Ali
- PEARLS! by Judith Rudolph of Holly Cottage Designs
- Share Creative Hands With A Friend
A SPECIAL FATHER'S DAY VIDEO MESSAGE FROM RUBY LANE
Click here to see a special Father's Day video message from Ruby Lane, or go to:
ARTISAN SPOTLIGHT: CAROLE AXIUM
As long as I can remember, I have always had a deep desire to work with my hands. I was never a person who could work in an office; I had to "do" something. After the birth of my first daughter, I realized that I could not leave her, so I quit my job. While I loved my job as Mommy, I was missing doing something, something that defined who I had become after the birth of my two children, because it was a life changing experience for me. I really just fell into jewelry design after that first year, when I longed to do something with my hands again. TA! DA!, this is it, I thought to myself.
I think it is my southern roots that drive me to create, whether it is decorating my home, sewing, baking, or designing jewelry. Growing up in the 'South' with a Mother that loved to sew, crochet, and hated white walls, was my true inspiration. My mother made our clothes, dolls, and whatever else she could craft! She could do anything she set her mind to and I really wanted to be her when I was young.
I am also inspired by nature, the mountains in Tennessee and beautiful flowers in particular, but the gemstones themselves really speak to me. I am always in awe that the earth can create such stunning colors that can heal, inspire authors and songwriters to write of them, and people to desire them so greatly.
Many people ask me why I design jewelry, and aside from the reasons I have written of already, I design because I need an outlet for expression for myself, because I LOVE to see how happy it makes people, because I Love beads, and color and seasons and texture. I love discovering new ways to twist wire and design new color combos to suit ones personality. I feel jewelry should express your personality, and not a trend or fashion. I believe in COLOR!
My daughter will be seven in September, and as she has grown, so has my Art. I started out as most do stringing beautiful Crystals, silver beads, and semi-precious stones, but was soon bored. I realized if I was going to try to break even or just stand out from the thousands of other jewelry designers, I would have to do something different, unique, but not so unique the everyday real woman wouldn't be able to wear it. I found wire wrapping via guru's Connie fox and Eni Oken, and purchased some on-line tutorials to learn fundamentals. After about two and a half years, I found my niche. "Fun Jewelry for Real Women" is the phrase. I really strive to create jewelry that in everyday life, will make you smile, and make people ask, "where did you get that?!".
I am very happy with where I am in my Art today. It has been a fabulous journey of learning and growing, and I expect it will take me farther than I can dream of now. Carole Axium Designs
SHOP SPOTLIGHT: DESIGNS BY ALI
We are approaching our 1st anniversary with Ruby Lane! It has been a wonderful year for us and for Designs by Ali. Looking back to the beginning of our business, we have come a long way.
Alison Ruggieri, the Designer and Creator, and Blake Johnson, head of Sales and Marketing, opened the company in 1998. Alison has always been a creative soul. Jewelry happened to be where she found her niche. She began to make jewelry as a hobby to wear for herself. Then friends and strangers would ask about the jewelry she wore and wanted to pay her for her creations! Alison decided to get a business license and began Designs by Ali. The name came from her nickname, Ali. She loved to create jewelry, but did not really enjoy the sales aspect that was crucial to the company's success. That position was perfect for her sister Blake. In the summer of 2000, Alison and Blake became partners and Blake now loves selling Alison's beautiful artwork. Since the partnership began, we have sold to over 50 galleries and women's boutiques all over the Southeast. In 2002, we began mass producing jewelry for The TharpeRobbins Company (formerly The Tharpe Company, Inc. until 2007) specializing in employee recognition programs and service awards.
Each piece of jewelry is combined with natural stones and metals. Alison, a self-taught artist, finds her inspiration from what is in fashion, but most of her creations are cultivated in her mind and she has the talent to form them into beautiful jewelry. Alison makes each and every piece by hand. A tedious process, but one that she insists on to ensure that every piece that leaves the studio is of the highest quality. She enjoys using both sterling silver and brass. The stones in her designs range from semi-precious stones, to freshwater pearls, to crystals and cubic zirconia. It is always a feeling of pride for Alison and Blake when Alison comes up with an amazing necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings. It is important to Ali that her jewelry is something that someone can enjoy now and for many years into the future.
Something that began as a hobby has grown into a successful business. And we feel that this is the beginning to a long, wonderful journey.
We would love for you to shop our Ruby Lane site, Designs by Ali! Please feel free to visit us anytime. As Alison creates new designs, we are constantly adding new jewelry on a regular basis. We also run a sale several times a year. So please subscribe to Designs by Ali and we will notify you as events occur. As you browse the jewelry, you can always inquire about different lengths. There are also jewelry pieces that state there are other stone color options. Please feel free to email us and ask about the different stone colors. There may be a slightly longer ship time if you need a change in the length or color. Alison offers these great options, but ultimately we remain true to her wonderful designs.
Ruby Lane has been an amazing way for us to display Alison's designs. Welcome to our shop, Designs by Ali Alison Ruggieri and Blake Johnson of Designs by Ali ~ Creative and Unique Jewelry
PEARLS! BY JUDITH RUDOLPH OF HOLLY COTTAGE DESIGNS
Like most little girls, I loved looking through my mother's jewelry box. Especially when she told me stories about the pieces in it: the pair of earrings she wore on her wedding day that prompted a story about how her father had made all the flower arrangements for the church; the delicate little watch that was for special occasions only, and then there was the really ugly brooch that she kept because someone she loved gave it to her (they shall remain nameless!)
My very favorite was the pearl necklace that had been her mother's. My grandmother came to the United States from Sweden at the age of 16 and this necklace was a gift from her parents when she left, knowing that they were unlikely to ever see each other again. I loved holding the necklace while Mom told the story. It felt so silky as I turned it this way and that in my hands, and I could see pretty shimmers of color in the white pearls. They seemed somehow magical to me. I guess that was the beginning of my lifelong love of pearls.
I use a lot of pearls in my jewelry and, far from getting tired of them, I love them more all the time. For one thing, there is so much to learn about them, their characteristics, and what make them valuable. It still amazes me that these beautiful gems are created by something as ugly and unlikely as an oyster. I can't think of any other precious gem that is made by a living creature.
But most of all, it's their beauty that fascinates me. There are so many colors and shapes to inspire a jewelry designer like me. And then there's the way they seem to have a natural affinity for complimenting human complexions of all colors. We and the pearls seem to bring out the best in each other! I still have my very first pearl necklace; it's just a small strand but I have always felt special when it's around my neck.
Fine pearls are naturally luminous; there's no need for cutting and polishing. It's no wonder that they have been among the most treasured of gems over the centuries, seen as important symbols of wealth and power. Pearls have been worn by royalty around the world and they embellish some of the world's most exquisite objects. They are even ground to make powder that's used in cosmetics to give skin a luminous glow.
Fascinating stories regarding pearls and famous people abound. Cleopatra is said to have crushed a priceless pearl into her wine cup to win a bet with Marc Antony. A single strand pearl necklace, which belonged to Marie-Antoinette and later to Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, was sold by Christie's in 1999 for a then world record of $1,450,000. Five years later, another famous necklace sold at Christie's Auction in New York City for $7,096,000. One large, famous pearl, called La Peregrina, originally discovered by a slave in America, was possessed by royalty in Spain, England and France and eventually was bought by Richard Burton for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. In her autobiography, Taylor tells of losing the pearl one night, only to find her dogs playing with a bone that turned out to be La Peregrina! Another beautiful American actress, Marilyn Monroe, was given a classic cultured pearl necklace by Joe DiMaggio on their honeymoon.
Today, the availability of cultured pearls, which rival natural pearls in every way, has made them more affordable and more popular than ever. Magical, mysterious, and radiant, they enhance any woman, whether she's in a ball gown or blue jeans! Judith Rudolph of Holly Cottage Designs .
SHARE CREATIVE HANDS WITH A FRIEND
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