Lookbook from Portland: Sticks & Stones A/W 2013

SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook1Originating in the Pacific Northwest, Sticks & Stones was founded on the principle that re-purposed natural materials could be utilized in the construction of sustainable jewelry and accessories. Using materials such as reclaimed exotic wood, elk antler sheds, prehistoric ivories, fine metals, seashells, and gemstones, the in-house manufacturing team uses an intricate process of technology and skilled craftsmanship to produce these limited-edition and often one-of-a-kind pieces.

The construction of Sticks & Stones Accessories is done in various stages, including preparation, sanding, and dipping in a custom oil blend. The oil not only cures and protects the wood but also enhances the luster of the wood used. The strength and durability of these products are a testament to the quality of the
material and craftsmanship that is invested in each piece. Completely handcrafted in Portland, OR, pieces from Sticks & Stones have been featured in Lucky Magazine, Nylon, WWD, and Marie Claire, as well as DailyCandy and TrendHunter. Check out their latest collection below and leave your thoughts in the comments!SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook2 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook3 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook4 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook5 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook6 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook7 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook8 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook9 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook10 SticksandStones_AW2013lookbook11

See More at Sticks & Stones Official Website



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Review: Maruti Beads Straight from India, Gorgeous, Handmade Beads for the Jewelry-Lover in Your Life

marutibeads4 First of all: What are Maruti Beads? you may ask.marutibeads1Answer: They are amazingly-detailed, handmade beads in the rich tradition of Indian beadmaking. The clay beads are often adorned with metallic paillettes, braided wire, and tiny rings to bring a textured, glamorous finish to each bead. And each is made by hand!marutibeads3marutibeads2

A little more info about these three types of beads, straight from the MarutiBeads.com website:

Kashmiri beads are made from a mix of marble powder and manufactured resin (polymer clay) while the resin used in Lac beads is from a natural source.Also known as “Bollywood” beads, Kashmiri beads are hand decorated and use a variety of materials for embellishment such as mirror chips, seed beads, silver plating and rhinestones.

Maruti Beads artistically blends the beauty of Kashmiri beads with silver plated side caps to culminate in a one of a kind creation exclusive to Maruti International.

Lac beads are made from a mixture of Lac and marble powder, ornamented with silver plating, seed beads and rhinestones: detailed with metal elements, mirror chips and various embellishments…In short, Lac beads are highly valued individual works of art…Lac is a substance secreted by a tiny insect called Kerria lacca. The Lac insect is so small that a magnifying glass is needed to see it. This little bug dwells in the twigs of host trees and lives off the sap from which they secrete the hard Lac resin. When first harvested Lac resin is brittle and tough however, through a process of slow heating the resin softens into a workable material.


Lac beads to the back, Kashmiri beads to the right, and Maruti beads to the left.

To be honest, I had never heard of Maruti beads before (nor Kashmiri, nor Lac beads), not until a rep from Maruti Beads International contacted me to see if I wanted to review their beads.

They sent me a multi-pack that included Maruti, Lac, and Kashmiri beads to review.

As you can see, each bead is beautifully unique. The attention to detail is just marvelous – and the rhinestones are top quality that really sparkle. Due to their ornate nature, the beads are a bit heavy but each exquisite one stands out. Thrown together into a piece of jewelry they may compete with one another – so probably the best use of them is to carefully choose where to place each one in designs for maximum impact.

marutibeads_braceletI made this pretty beaded bracelet in a flash, using imitation leather cording and a fish-hook closure. The beads would also be perfect as a single focal of a bracelet in an arm party stack (or many bracelets!!), or linked up together Shamballah-style. (You can also see Shamballah bracelets designed with Maruti beads here, and regular bracelets using Maruti beads here.) They can also be linked together into necklaces, or used in drop-style earrings. I love how each tiny bead tells a little story – and in some (not all) the hole is large enough to accommodate Pandora or Dione bead systems.

MarutiBeads.com also sells beautiful copper, glass, and gemstone beads, besides finished jewelry, on their website.

For any bead-lover or jewelry enthusiast I’d definitely recommend trying out these beads in your designs – and with the holiday season coming up they may make a wonderful present for the proverbial woman who has everything.

Wholesale Beads at MarutiBeads.com

Which is your favorite style of bead? (I just love that big black barrel one in the center of my bracelet!!) Or what would you make with these? Let me know in the comments section!


FTC Disclosure: I was sent a Bead Mix Pack from Maruti Beads containing Lac, Kashmiri, and Maruti Beads for review purposes (ARV=$60). I have not been compensated for this post. The opinions above are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here.

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DIY Mixed Media Decorated Rope Necklace

0.diymixedmediaropenecklace_introphotoI LOVE mixed-media accessories: they totally appeal to my bi-polar personality. 😉 Want a little rope? Sure, let’s start with that. And how about rhinestones? You can never have enough bling. And chain? Yup, got that. How about some ribbon, netting, embroidery thread, beads, and wire? OF COURSE!

outfit7.27.13_necklace2 I love that this piece is totally over-the top and such an eye-catching statement. (I wore it in this outfit here if you want to see how it stands out against other pieces.) It’s fairly simple to make since it’s really just a lot of gluing. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of materials…you can vary what you use for your own personal style statement! Here’s how: (more…)

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DIY Ombre Filigree Earrings

0.diyombrefiligreeearrings_introphotoBack when I worked on the May campaign with Martha Stewart Jewelry, I actually made a couple of pieces while playing around with the treasure trove of supplies I was sent. (Only my DIY Enamel Spring Flower Bib Necklace made it to the blog for the campaign post.) But I also made these earrings, and though I don’t have a shot of me wearing them yet (Hub has been working odd hours ever since we got back from Japan), I still wanted to share the how-to with all of you.

I’ve always been drawn to the intricate nature of filigree pieces and love its versatility (I even used it for the backing of the bib necklace above!). It reminds me of ancient scrolling and iron work – perhaps more suited to Guinevere’s or Cleopatra’s time than the modern minimalism of today. Of course these jewelry findings are not true filigree (which is made of soldered wire that is curved and bent to form patterns), but instead is created with dies cutting the pattern into metal. Incorporating them into your jewelry will add a sophisticated touch with a vintage feel, and adding crystal components and a wash of color from the Martha Stewart Jewelry line is a great way to truly customize your pieces. And you only need to be able to link jumprings and wield a paintbrush! Here’s how: (more…)

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Personalized Jewelry from Max & Chloe

maxandchloe_personalizedjewelryMaxandChloe.com is one of the premiere destinations online for fashionable, fabulous jewelry – servicing all price points from $5 – $1500, and carrying more than 300 designer brands.  They also offer one of the widest arrays of personalized jewelry on the Internet.


(Ring: Blue Bijoux Gold Zipper Ring, also c/o Max & Chloe)


I’ve been wanting an initial necklace for awhile (and had been thinking to DIY one, but due to the cost of the metal stamps I didn’t want to splurge for an entire set when I only wanted two letters for my necklace).  I had also been wanting a delicate necklace to layer with other necklaces: something non-obtrusive, understated, and chic. Max and Chloe contacted me and offered an item of jewelry from their collection, and I quickly snapped up the Urban Sweetpea Double Oval Personalized Initial Pendant Necklace ($90).

maxandchloe_urbansweetpeanecklace2I was truly taken with the vintage-esque typewriter font, oxidized for readability, set in the teensy-tiny oval tags.  For the personalization, I ended up choosing a C (for my name, Carly), and a K for…well, someone close to my heart🙂

I have been wearing it nonstop since it arrived in the mail (accompanied by a very elegant Max & Chloe-branded pouch…in which all their jewelry is packaged, by the way!).maxandchloe_jewelrypouch

Here are some other personalized pieces from the Max & Chloe website which caught my eye:


1. Kendra Phillip Reversible Cursive Initial Pendant Necklace, $50  /  2. Jordann Sterling Silver Magnolia Signet Ring, $230  /  3. Rose Gold Swirly Initial Stud Earrings, $90  / 4. Nashelle Identity Initial Ring, $50  5. West Avenue Jewelry Diamond Sweetheart Pendant Necklace, $595

6. Sandy Hyun Personalized Yellow Stud Earrings, $35  /  7. Carrie Saxi Siver and Gold Double Initial Bracelet, $100  /  8. Grey Lee Charmed Initial Wrap Bracelet, $100

Which piece(s) catches your eye?  I’m drooling over the Jordann Magnolia Signet ring, but the Nashelle Identity Ring is a lovely (and affordable) substitute.

Come back tomorrow to see how I wore my Urban Sweetpea Double Initial necklace!


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