Best Jewelry of 2013: A Sparkling List of Handmade Achievement

By Claire Thomas – guest blogger

I highly doubt anybody appreciates handmade jewelry and the artists behind this list more than I do. As an amateur jewelry maker I know the struggles of making goals to sell my jewelry, creating cohesive collections and finding better ways of doing things. Discovery of fellow handmade jewelers that inspire you can be a big part of the process. The following list is comprised of designers and artists that inspire me in their magnificent jewelry making success.


Byrd Designs

I found Jaime Byrd’s work while searching for vintage jewelry and hair accessories. Her eclectic style keeps surprising me with everything from rosary style necklaces that impart culture as well as beauty, to the beautiful vintage locket shadow box necklaces, decorative hair clips and barrettes.




The piece above is truly a work of art, as are all of Jaime’s jewelry pieces.


©Byrd Designs

Byrd Designs is at the top of this list for more than the vintage necklaces. There is also the Titanic Collection which feels at home in Kate’s hair and jewelry box as Jack draws her like one of his French girls.

titanic-comb 02

This collection has brilliant emeralds, bold blues and mesmerizing violets to commemorate the RMS Titanic. The Victorian and Edwardian eras are represented as well as the bold women that were on the cutting edge of fashion at the time.



Kei Jewelry

This interesting jewelry designer is made by Keyla Viviana in San Juan, Puerto Rico using gemstones, sterling silver and gold filled metals. She is inspired by the colors of her warm home on the island of Puerto Rico. The Chrysocolla point necklaces below are regal yet mystical with the use of color of gold and the turquoise and green gems.



Keyla’s designs evoke the natural colors of the Earth in fun new ways. She balances bold and classy very well. The sky blue druzy necklaces below look like the Caribbean waters and refreshing blue skies.






Andrea makes her jewelry by hand in Zagreb, Croatia while she studies architecture. Her jewelry is all interesting elegance with unusual pieces like the one below.



Her studies of architecture influence the jewelry along with nature as seen in her stick pieces like the one below.



Frosted Willow

Katrin is the mastermind behind Frosted Willow in Boston, MA. This shop deserves recognition for the beautiful metal work and use of color in specialties items: bangle bracelets. They range from simple and elegant to bold and colorful in silver and gold. They are stackable and can be personalized with names or initials.

frosted willow
©Frosted Willow

Making jewelry by hand is one of the most rewarding things you can do. These artists inspire me to be more creative, and to follow my dreams.

Claire is a lean mean crafting machine and freelance writer for Wubbers. When she’s not whipping out everything from jewelry to repurposed furniture she is gardening with her daughter.





Jewelry In Spanish

Having grown up only minutes from the US and Mexico boarder, I’ve had a life long fascination with the exotic and colorful country of Mexico.  The food, the people, the art, and of course, the language.

I’ve created many pieces – with more to come – of my jewelry and shrine work with Spanish word stampings. Each meaning something special and different for different reasons.


 CORAZÓN (Heart)
A way of giving your heart to another soul.  I’ve been making hearts out of clay and giving them a high polish that I believe reflects the wonderful red colors of Mexico.  Many of my “Corazón” pieces varie in a number of mixed media designs that include found objects, soldered silver, gemstones, and plenty of sparkling Swarovski Austrian Crystals.

corazon-in-a-box-b corazon-in-a-box-d




AMOR (Love)
I have made a few pieces with AMOR stamped in somewhere.  This anatomical heart with a lock and key sold early on.  As many people know, I am in love with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and use this image for many of my pieces and art work.  The below pendant is filled with tiny details that make this one of my favorites.





“HERMANAS” (Sisters)
This is a design I thought would make any sister happy to get from another.  A great way to show sisterly love.  I used two lovely señoritas in full folk outfits then hand painted with pastels, and then soldered behind clear glass.  Copper plate is hand stamped and beads are glass, crystal, and gemstones.



I need to do an entire post just on the day of the dead holiday and it’s influence on me and my work.  Some of my pendants are painted with pastel chalk and glittered in full Mexican Folk Art style!  Lot’s of crystals,  flowers, and accents. It’s all part of my “portable shrines” that are perfect for the home or to wear around your neck.



I put a santos hand holding a heart in this shrine. Representing dual nature: Human and Divine.guadalupe-shrine-pendant


Thanks for visiting!



Best Summer Hair Styles and Updo’s

Summer time is not the time that you want to be doing “too” much with your hair.  Or over thinking about it.  It’s time to hit the beach or outdoors with ease, but still look great and stunning!

For over 20 years now, I’ve been making hair accessories.  And over this time, I’ve had people from around the world show me ideas – old and new – and interesting hair styles using barrettes, hair combs, hair sticks, pick combs, bobbie pins, and even pencils!   Here are some of my favorite which seem perfect for the summer in the city and the beach!


1.  The French Roll (or French Twist)

This has been a long adored hair style ever since we first laid eyes on Audrey Hepburn and her amazing hair do.  Women spend hours trying to recreate this stylish look, only to have to have a hair dresser help.  Now, with modern tools and knowledge, we can do it ourselves in a matter of seconds.  Yes, I said seconds.  Our HOW TO VIDEO shows you how to do this!

2.  Bun or knot twist

This is a very popular look these days.  It may appear easier then you think, but once you get the hair into the desired bun or twist, you can secure it easily with one of our French combs (as shown below), pick combs, or set of bobbie pins.




knot hair





3.  Roll using bobbie pins
Bobbie pins are not just for holding your bangs back!


What is the Value of Art and what is Art Worth

I’ve come to realize that the 2 hardest things for an artist to do is to: 1. Promote and sell their own work 2. Decide what the true value of their art is worth. This has been troubling for me for most of my life as well as many of my artist friends. We have trouble understanding what we should be charging for our art because we feel that almost “anyone could do what I’m doing” and “it shouldn’t cost a lot because it was so easy for me”.  What is the value of art? I would like to start changing this issue and I want to help other artists in the process – by making everyone accountable for arts worth. Here is what I propose. Right now, in my life, I want to allow anyone to have a piece of my work. So, YOU tell me how much you think this item I have listed below is worth to you – and how much you are willing to pay, and if I feel it’s reasonable, it will be yours. All you have to do is pick your length, and pay with the “buy now” button below with the amount you are willing to pay, I will sell it to you for that amount. Then once you pay for the item, you agree to post and provide me with links to all the posts – on all your social media groups (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc.): 1. A photo of the item, 2. Who the artist is (Jaime Byrd in this case), 3. How much you paid for it, and 4. A link back to my website and Etsy store. Some IMPORTANT information about this item that may be useful in you deciding the worth: • Amount of raw materials to create this piece: Aprox $16.00 • Number of hours it took to create this piece: Aprox 5 hours • Artists years as professional artist : 25 + years • Artists education years in the arts: 6 years Pick your length, and pay with the “buy now” button below. Thank you for supporting artists and what the value of our art work is really worth! Jaime

What is the value of art - landscape

What is the value of art?

How do you determine what the value of art is? This is an original acrylic landscape paintings on canvas, then soldered behind a clear glass frame, and accented with Swarovski Crystals, gemstones, and brass. The chain is a Victorian rosary style with crystals, gemstones, and pearls! This is really a work of art that reflects a time gone by. This piece really looks amazing on! With a vintage and romantic style, this makes a great item for the home when not wearing it as a necklace! I will make the chain to fit up to 29 inches. Frame is 1″ x 1″. Entire pendant is 3″ long.


Jewelry Designer Jaime Byrd is back in the Studio!

[easyrotator]erc_79_1367166778[/easyrotator]If you’ve been collecting Byrd Designs jewelry and hair accessories for the last 20 years, you’ll be happy to know that I’m back at the designing bench creating some amazing new artisan pieces of work.

Some of you already know that I’ve been involved with painting, sculpture, pottery, travel, and mixed media art assemblage for years, and now I’m creating a new line of artisan jewelry that reflects and incorporates all my interests into one art form!  And I’m excited to share it with you!  Each one of my new Byrd Designs Artisan pendants are one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces made with love, high standards, and gallery quality.

So much about these pieces remind me of my mother and grandmother… Collectively expressing a time gone by and a time when design was more than just romantic. So, I’ve created a small collection of pieces specifically for Mothers Day.   I’ve used some of my tiny paintings and put them behind silver soldered glass.  Come check them out at our website!



studio-solder-barWe’ve done some remodeling of my studio space, making it much more organized and comfy to be in.  Considering how much time I spend here, I’d say that’s a good thing!


studio-paintingIt may look cluttered to some of you, but this is the most organization and order I’ve had in years!