Showing posts with label Handmade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Handmade. Show all posts

Jun 5, 2015

Suze Loves: The Cotton Thistle! + Whiskey Beach Autographed Book & Matching Necklace Giveaway

I love The Cotton Thistle! I like this shop because of the gorgeous jewelry and because it's so special.

The pieces are both pretty and versatile and I love the use of color and the different materials.

It's fantastic that Joyce, the owner of The Cotton Thistle, also makes book inspired jewelry.

For example there's a fabulous collection matching The Blueberry Cove books by Donna Kauffman.

I've asked Joyce a few questions to find out more about her and her work.

1) Could you tell a bit more about the jewelry and books combination?

Right now I have three authors that keep me busy designing and making jewelry. Because the jewelry I make is for the novels authors write, the jewelry usually debuts right around the same to time novels debut. I receive an ARC (Advance Readers Copy) of the book so the jewelry will be ready for the release date of the book.

2) I'm really curious to find out how you got the idea?

The idea for designing jewelry for characters in novels came to me when the fury was going on with vampire books and the jewelry items being made for the teens and young adult group. I was in the midst of reading Nora Roberts Sign of Seven trilogy and thought “wouldn’t it be nice if someone made a line of jewelry for women based on the characters of novels” and so the journey began. I designed and created a few pieces for the Sign of Seven trilogy and took them to Turn the Page Bookstore ( in Boonsboro, Maryland, USA. The bookstore is owned by Bruce Wilder, Nora Roberts’ husband. I dropped the pieces off at the bookstore and waited for about a week. I have to admit, I was very nervous. I received a telephone call from the manager of the bookstore asking if I could make about 4 pieces of each piece I dropped off and have them ready for the next booksigning. I was ecstatic! I never expected to make the jewelry in mass production. The collection has grown tremendously. It has been a dream come true and I am very thankful to have been given this opportunity to do what I enjoy best. I have been designing and creating this jewelry line for over 6 years now. I wanted a line that women would enjoy wearing, a line they could relate to and also afford. Because Nora Roberts characters are strong inspiring women I named the collection, “The Inspiring Women Jewelry Collection©”.

3) How did you meet the other two authors you're working with? 

I met Donna Kauffman at a booksigning and contacted her in regards to designing and creating jewelry for her books. We began with her trilogy of Bachelors of Blueberry Cove and have now begun working on the Brides of Blueberry Cove. Donna Kauffman’s “Blueberry Cove Collection” can be found on my website and Etsy store as well.

Ellen Dugan contacted me inquiring if I could design and create jewelry for her as well and the pieces I have designed and created can be found on her Etsy store. The latest piece for her novel, Legacy of Magick is “Autumn’s Amethyst Earrings”.

4) Where have you learned so many different techniques as your jewelry is quite versatile?

I started making jewelry in my teens, little bracelets and earrings here and there, mostly beaded pieces, and then branched out to making pieces for family and friends. I am self-taught on quite a few of the techniques I use; however, I take classes on many techniques I am working with now. I have a new line of silver and copper pieces hopefully showing up on my website and my Etsy store this summer!

5) I'd love to know more about your shop: how you started and what your background is and maybe what your plans for the future are?

I started my website a couple of years ago along with my Etsy store. I enjoy making all types of jewelry. I came up with the name “The Cotton Thistle” because I have a fondness for thistles and the beauty and strength they project. I even have a thistle tattoo on my hand that was also used as a pendant, “Avery’s Thistle Pendant” from one of the Inn Boonsboro trilogy books for the “Inspiring Women Collection”. Some of the author’s pieces are on my website and my Etsy store. The “Inspiring Women Jewelry Collection” pieces are sold exclusively at Turn the Page Bookstore (

At the present time I work 4 days a week in the corporate world and hopefully within the next year or so will be able to leave that and give 100% of my time to my jewelry.

You can also find jewelry on my website that has been featured on a TV show!

6) What inspires you?

Colors, seasons, moods and people I meet inspire me when I am making pieces not related to books.
Inspiration in relation to the books comes from me analyzing the books as I read them. By the time I am finished with a book it looks like a Post-It notebook. I have so many post-it’s in the book where I mark pages about the main characters of the books in relation to the story itself, their individual personalities, their personalities with other characters in the book, their likes and dislikes, anything that grabs my attention

7) Do you have any advice for jewelry makers who would love to turn their hobby or craft into a business?

The most crucial advice I have for anyone interested in making jewelry would be to learn as much as you can because you never know when that one little technique you thought would never be used turns into the biggest asset you learned. Never give up!
Never - ever say “I can’t do it”.
Practice – Practice – Practice.
Take those chances.
Believe in yourself and the talent that was given to you.

I think it's the best thing there is, jewelry that matches my favorite books. Joyce has managed to combine my two greatest passions.

A lot of women who love to read also want to look pretty and I think book inspired jewelry is such a good idea.

I'm a big fan of this shop!

Joyce is such a talented and creative person.

Check out her jewelry and have fun shopping!

For one very lucky reader of my blog there will be a fantastic prize:

This person will win an autographed copy of "Whiskey Beach" and an Abra's "Ocean Wave" matching necklace. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I will contact the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.

May 26, 2015

Welsh Weekend: Suze Loves Welsh Hills Jewellery! & Discount + Giveaway

I love Welsh Hills Jewellery. Every design is inspired by something in the Welsh landscape. I like how Ann manages to translate the beauty of nature into a stunning piece of jewelry to wear.

The Welsh landscape is colorful and glorious and Ann manages to translate it into jewelry designs so well. Her pieces are all really special.

I love that Ann adds the photos in her jewelry listings, that way her customers know exactly which part of Wales has inspired her to make their piece. I think it's such a brilliant idea, it's something unique and different and the result is absolutely gorgeous.

Ann's jewelry is as versatile as the landscapes, I like that a lot.

I've asked Ann a few questions to find out more about her and her jewelry.

When/how did you get the idea to use the Welsh landscape as an inspiration to make jewellery?

I live in the Clwyd Valley in North Wales which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it certainly deserved that accolade with its beautiful landscape. As well as my jewellery I love walking, photography and painting and the Offa’s Dyke Path and other local trails provide the perfect way to enjoy the views and take some lovely snaps. I cannot remember the day but I was sketching from one of the photographs when it evolved into a design for a necklace.

Where did you learn your craft?

I studied silversmithing for four years at Teeside University and until that point my jewellery designs had been separate from my photography but it now seems so natural to combine them.

Could you tell something about your jewellery making process?

 I spend a lot of time visiting different landscapes across North Wales some obvious like Snowdon, but also some lesser know places such as Lake Trywern, and then I hunt for the perfect gemstones, shape, size and colour that reflect the specific image.

What's your favourite place in Wales?

My favourite place is Moel Famau Hillfort in the summer when the heather is out is its full glory. There is a perfect walk from Loggerheads Country Park up to Jubilee Tower that meets the Offa’s Dyke Trail and it has been a wonderful inspiration for many different designs.

I love that Ann's jewelry has so much character. It's stylish and elegant. Her photos are amazing as well, they're a joy to look at.

Ann has both a Folksy and an Etsy shop.

On Folksy she offers free worldwide shipping which is fabulous.

Ann's prices are very reasonable, so even if you don't have a big budget you can already buy one of her pieces.

Ann has offered an amazing discount for the readers of my blog. If you purchase something from her on Folksy and you use the code WHJ2015 you get a 20% discount!

Check out this amazing store...

...and enjoy shopping!

One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a fantastic prize:

These blue moonstone silver earrings inspired by Lake Trywern will be for the winner of this giveaway. Good luck!

   I will contact the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.

May 24, 2015

Welsh Weekend: Suze Loves Pa-pa Designer Jewellery! & Giveaway

I love Pa-pa Designer Jewellery. Phillippa makes gorgeous sea inspired pieces. I like that she works with shape, texture and dimensions. She has a great unique and cheerful style.

Phillippa's based in Swansea where she makes the jewelry. She is a silversmith who both designs and makes jewelry. The designs are for women who like their individuality. For me this jewelry expresses freedom and I like that it's inspired by the beauty nature has to offer. It's clear that Phillippa loves the sea. I'm from a coastal town and am a big fan of it as well, so the jewelry suits me very well.

Not too long ago I bought a necklace from Pa-pa. It's gorgeous and the quality is great. Phillippa packages her jewelry very well. I'm definitely treasuring my piece. She ships quickly as well, so it was a fast and easy transaction. 

I love how great this jewelry combines with summer clothing. It's perfect to wear with a bikini or with a simple top. It's meant to be noticed while it's often still quite subtle, I like that combination. Phillippa's jewelry has been featured in several magazines already and I totally understand that as I love her style.

Visit the shop and enjoy watching all the gorgeous pieces, they're fantastic and there's a large range to choose from. Everything has been divided into handy categories that makes it easy to navigate the collection.

If you're in Swansea you can visit Pa-pa's gallery. You can find more information about that on the website.

Phillippa has made a fabulous necklace for one very lucky reader of my blog:

The winner of this giveaway will receive this beautiful mussel necklace. Good luck!

  I will contact the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international. 

May 6, 2015

Suze Loves: Elliesbeautifulmess! & Giveaway

I love Elliesbeautifulmess. It's such a wonderful, happy shop.

Ellie's intention is to make people smile with her cheerful creations.

Ellie works without templates, so everything she makes is unique and different. 

The business started in 2014 when Ellie made a mobile for her son. She put a photo on Facebook and received a lot of positive reactions. Because of that she started to make more and now she has a successful shop with over 10,000 Facebook likes.

 I'm in love with the designs, they're all so cute and sweet.

I like that Ellie makes such lovely faces. They radiate happiness.

Ellie's designs will brighten up every home. They're perfect for children's bedrooms, anyone who loves something adorable and kawaii fans.

Check out this fantastic shop.

There's a great selection of mobiles, bags, garlands, ornaments and other cute items.

Ellie is really creative.

Some of the items can be personalized. This shop is a great place to buy a special gift.

Enjoy shopping!

One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a fantastic prize:

This gorgeous white moon decoration will be for the winner of this giveaway. Good luck!

 I will contact the winner via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.      
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