Archive for September, 2009

Antiqueing or Coloring Bone Beads

Make your bone beads go from bland and boring to colorful.  Bone beads are lightweight and can add a lot to your design without adding weight, but they are usually a plain white color.

Bone beads or pendants can be antiqued in hot tea or coffee, or sauteed in oil Sauteeing produces a rich, golden color, but the smell of the oil will be retained in beads. The tea or coffee method can produce gray areas where the bone is not entirely white.

You can use Rit dyes for adding color to bone beads: Use a teacup and boiling water, add grains of dye until the desired strength has been reached. Leave your bone beads in there until they are the color you wish, then rinse well.



September 27, 2009 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

Designs on You

The  Style section of the Washington Post had an article called, “Designs on You: Local Fashion Pros Talk about Making It Big Right Here at Home.” Here are designers’ stories from that article I thought you might be interested in.

Mojee Shokri, 28, McLean:

What: Mojee Designs turns out fancy (but not fussy) necklaces, bracelets and earrings fashioned from bold 18-karat gold and semi-precious stones.

Inspiration: Each piece is one of a kind, and many of them are designed for a particular client, which means Shokri has a different muse for each. “I try to feel the style and fashion inside my client, and make something just for her.”

How She Did It: The native of Iran hit on jewelry design more than seven years ago through a designer friend. It combined her artistic streak with a desire to run her own business. She goes on buying trips to Iran every few months for stones and gold, and does most of the fabrication in her basement studio.

Advice: A designer just starting out has to knock on doors – literally, Shokri says. When she began, she honed in on a gallery in Georgetown, known for it’s collection of high-end but unstuffy jewelry, as a perfect venue for her pieces. “I loved the store, so one day I just showed up with my things,” she says. Now, the gallery regularly sells out of her work.

Signature Style: Shokri’s statement-y tassel necklace features moonstones, faceted citrines and mixed-metal accents. $1,980.

Look at her designs at:

Danielle Insetta, 31, Bethesda:

What: Sixties fashion icon Penelope Tree would look perfectly at home in the candy-colored necklace, bracelets and earrings Insetta crafts for her label, Circasixtythree.

Inspiration: The colors and shapes of vintage Lucite dictate her designs, says Insetta, who will become smitten with a particular specimen from her trove of nearly 1,000 pounds of beads, then tinker around with combinations to highlight it. “I like sticking to the aesthetic of the era,” she says of her 1960s materials. “And I really like crazy color combinations.”

How She Did It: When Insetta came across a box of vintage plastic beads at a Parisian flea market, she decided to trade a career in finance for one in design. She took a few jewelry design classes and launched her label. Now she’s turning out about 50 pieces a week and selling to local boutiques as well as French and Japanese department stores.

Advice: Insetta relies on networking through the Internet and through friends to team up with other creative types: She met the graphic artist who designed her sales materials on MySpace and recruited the barista at her neighborhood coffee shop to model her work. “Working with people who are just starting out, too, is great,” she says. “They’re often less expensive, and they’re really ambitious.”

Signature Style: A navel-grazing necklace of vintage Lucite hoops and brassy gold plate typifies Insetta’s aesthetic: vibrant hues, chunky lines and a mod sensibility. $98.


September 27, 2009 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment


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