Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kathryn Designs at the GBK Gift Lounge for the American Music Awards

After all the excitement for The 46th Annual CMA Awards, I am thrilled to have another great gifting opportunity so soon!  Via The Artisan Group, my Gemstone Teardrop necklaces will be gifted to celebrities attending the GBK Gift Lounge for The 40th American Music Awards.  The gift lounge will be held in Los Angeles on November 16th and 17th.  The award show airs on ABC on Sunday, November 18th.
Gemstone Teardrop Necklace

In shopping news.....Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are fast approaching.  I will be offering some great deals on my Kathryn Designs Website.  In the meantime, check out some amazing offers via The Artisan Group Deals page.  My gemstone flower cuff is currently on sale for 60.00 (normally 80.00) until November 18th!
Gemstone Flower Cuff
Feeling grateful and blessed for all the wonderful, supportive people in my life.
My heart goes out to those who are still suffering the after effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Be a wrap star this holiday season: Beaded wrap bracelet tutorial

A preview of my bracelet tutorial, as featured in the upcoming November/ December issue of the Maryland Women's Journal, Montgomery County Edition.

We all know the holiday season can become stressful and hectic. Based on my background as an Art Therapist, I cherish the process of creating as a way to relax, recharge, and restore a sense of playfulness to my life.  As a full time jewelry designer, I fell in love with these chic and easy to create wrap bracelets.  Try this simple project to add a little rejuvenating sparkle to your holidays.  Memory wire makes these bracelets versatile, as they will adjust to fit any wrist.  

Tools and Supplies:
  • Heavy duty wire clippers (do not use delicate jewelry clippers with memory wire)
  • Round nose or chain nose pliers
  • One package bracelet sized memory wire
  • An assortment of beads.  Use beads of the same color family in different shades and styles for a fun Boho-Chic look.  
  • (Optional) Hollow rubber or velour tubing, cut into various lengths. 
To assemble the bracelet:
  • Decide how wide you want your bracelet.  For the pieces pictured, I used between 5 and 8 loops of coiled memory wire. Cut the wire slightly longer than the finished piece will be.
  • Use the pliers to curl or loop back one end of the bracelet.  Hold the wire firmly in one hand, and use the pliers to curl back the tip of the wire, against the direction of the curve in the wire.
  • Start beading the wire, using either a repeated pattern, or have fun using random placement.  For one bracelet, I used various lengths of velour tubing with crystal and turquoise beads in symmetrical groupings.  For the next two, I used a random selection of blue or black and gray beads.
  • To avoid tangles in the coiled memory wire, hold the wire perpendicular at the end that is not looped, and allow the beads to travel down the coil to the looped end.
  • When you have completed beading the bracelet, cut the wire just short of 1/2" from the last bead.  Make sure the beads are pushed tightly together, then create another wire loop.
  • Voila! Your bracelet is complete.  If you are like me, you will want to create another! 
  • Add some beaded dangles and charms to the end loops for some added punch :)
Note: Wear protective goggles when cutting memory wire, as small pieces of cut wire could cause injury. 
Use pliers to curl back the tip of the wire by going against the direction of the curve in the wire.
Wrap bracelets and rings now available in my shop too..


Friday, October 26, 2012

Kathryn Designs is headed to Nashville and The 46th Annual CMA Awards

Once again The Artisan Group has given me a chance to venture into new territory!  My work will be featured in gift bags and on display backstage at the official gift talent lounge for The 46th Annual CMA Awards, airing LIVE on ABC November 1st at 8/7p Central. I grew up in Kentucky, so country music is a natural fit for me!

I decided to go with a sparkle theme.  For the celebrity and press gift bags, I created Gemstone Teardrop necklaces using gorgeous CZ stones and natural moonstones.

For my backstage display, I went a little more elaborate.  I decided on a Gemstone Amulet Necklace, Hinged Gemstone Cuff, and a Fine Silver and Polymer Horn Necklace. 
I really obsessed over how to display these pieces!  I ended up making my own display shadow box by staining a plain wooden box with a white wash, then using scrapbook paper for the background.  I wanted something that would really highlight the colors in my display jewelry.  My fingers are crossed that the celebrities like what they see! 

For a limited time, I am offering a sale on anything from this collection.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Party Time! Girls' Night Out on Wednesday October 10th

Kathryn Designs will be teaming up with the following shops for a fun Girl's Night Out Facebook Event on Wednesday, October 10th, from 7- 10 PM EST. Join the event on Facebook and learn more!

Barefoot Bath and Body- Gorgeous natural soaps, candles, and balms. Facebook Page: Barefoot Bath and Body

Hearts of Stone-  Jewelry to showcase the natural beauty of stones. Facebook Page: Hearts of Stone

Sienna Grace Jewelry- Gemstone jewelry inspired by nature, art, and imagination. Facebook Page: Sienna Grace Jewelry

SoGa Soap and Cup Fakery- Simply delicious bodycare. Facebook Page: SoGa Soap

Kath's Elegant Accessories- Stunning wire and gemstone jewelry.  Facebook Page: Kath's Elegant Accessories

Tiffany Victoria Accessories- Semi precious gemstone and crystal jewelry. Facebook Page: Tiffany Victoria Accessories

lily and gus- Unique and lovely toys and clothes for children. Facebook Page: lily and gus

Madibella- Custom boutique clothing for your little blessings. Facebook Page: MadiBella

Esscentual Alchemy- Natural Botanical Perfume. Facebook Page: Esscentual Alchemy

E and O Clothing Co by Eleanore's Treasures- Boutique quality onesies and tees. Facebook Page: E and O Clothing Co

Alisa Marie Designs- Custom designs invitations and stationery. Facebook Page: Alisa Marie Designs

Literally Inspired- Beautiful and unique jewelry.  Facebook Page: Literally Inspired

Bubbles Bath Boutique - Lovely soaps, oils, and bath products.  Facebook Page: Bubbles Bath Boutique

Each shop will be running specials!  To participate, make sure you "like" the participant's Facebook Pages so you get all the updates AND join the Girl's Night Out Facebook Event.

Here is a link to my Event Page with information about my trunk show for that evening:  Kathryn Designs- Girl's Night Out.  I will be offering free shipping on all US orders AND a free handcrafted crystal collage necklace for the first 10 customers that night!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Gifting for the stylist of the hit ABC show Pretty Little Liars

I am thrilled to announce that my jewelry was selected to be included in a gift bag for the stylist for the hit ABC show Pretty Little Liars..  Thanks again to The Artisan Group for another great opportunity!
I am hoping I get to see my work on one of the fabulous ladies of the show. The show airs on ABC at 8/7 Central on ABC and it is addictive!  If I find out my bracelet will be on an episode, I will be sure to let you know :)

In other news, I have two great events coming soon.  First up is a great shopping event called "Girls Night Out" on Facebook on October 10th.  I will post more details in a few days.  There will be lots of fun, bargains, specials, and giveaways from 13 wonderful handmade shops!

In November, Kathryn Designs will be showcased and gifted to the biggest names in Country Music backstage at the CMA Country Music Awards!! Watch LIVE on November 1st at 8p/7p Central on ABC.  I am so beyond thrilled and thankful for this opportunity via  The Artisan Group.  More details to come soon.  I am finally catching up with my blog.
Watch LIVE on Nov. 1 at 8p/7p Central on ABC

Friday, July 27, 2012

Vacation in Naples, Florida and a necklace for Vanessa Lachey!

I'm slowly getting back into the groove after a lovely, pampering, totally indulgent trip to the amazing Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida..  If you are ever looking for a place to be treated like a queen, it is the place to be! The service is just unparalleled.  The beach is gorgeous, the restaurants are fabulous, and I did not want to leave!
Yes, that is me under one of those umbrellas :)

When I got home, I finished up a necklace that is being sent to Vanessa Lachey, via The Artisan Group.

I am also working on some new designs that are completely different than anything I've done before- unisex designs in faux ivory, metal clay, and polymer clay.  Stay tuned for photos!  

Monday, July 9, 2012

A gift for Tyra Banks and a new website for me

There are many good things brewing here at Kathryn Designs!

I have once again been given a great opportunity via The Artisan Group.  I recently sent this gemstone and mixed media necklace for a special gift bag for lovely Tyra Banks.
I used a gorgeous champagne CZ and added a vintage inspired beaded chain.  I hope she likes it! 

Today, I launched my new website,, which will replace my Artfire shop.  I have loved being a part of the Artfire community, but I decided it was time fly from the nest.  For the time being, if you visit my old shop, you will see a link to my new site.  I took all new photos for my shop, so it was quite a project!  I am happy to be back in the studio today, creating some new pieces.  

Here is a sample of one of my new photos:

I hope everyone is having a great summer and staying safe and cool! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mixing My Media: Metal Clay Plus Polymer Clay

I have worked with Precious Metal Clay and Art Silver in the past, but for my most recent creations, I wanted to try out some of the cool new base metal clays.  I have been a huge fan of Hadar Jacobson's work for several years.  In addition to being fabulous artist, she makes and sells different types of metal clay in powder form.  I love this idea, because there is no concern about the clay drying out. She provides detailed instructions on mixing and firing the various types of clay. The mixing is pretty simple.  It just involves adding distilled water to the powder until the right consistency is achieved.  The firing is a little more complicated, as I learned through trial and error. Best of all, base metal clay is far more affordable than pure silver or sterling silver clay.

I used Hadar's White Bronze Metal Clay for my first experiments. I test fired a few simple shapes and they came out just fine.  However, when I fired my first few "real" pieces I realized they had not sintered because they were thicker than my test pieces (sigh....). Fortunately, all was not lost, and I was able to re-fire most of the pieces at a slightly higher temperature and they were a success!

Here is the first piece I made combining White Bronze and polymer clays:

I made a textured dome form out of polymer clay and added a garnet cabochon and some swirly designs. 

I wanted my next piece to be more complex, so I decided to make a test piece with polymer clay only and THAT project became a very fun distraction with a life of its own for several days!

Here is the White Bronze and polymer clay version:

I used a layered construction in both pieces to add an element of depth.  I will absolutely be doing more with metal clay in the near future!

In other news, I was fortunate to have my work included in gift bags for the press at the GBK Gift Lounge for the MTV Awards, as a member of The Artisan Group. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day, Celebrity Gifting, Memories

With Mother's Day approaching, I feel my usual melancholy as I remember my amazing and beautiful mother, Mary Elnora Doll.  She was the embodiment of unconditional love, elegance, and grace.  As I pursue my dreams via my jewelry business, she remains a constant source of inspiration! If she were still alive, she would be so excited about my journey with The Artisan Group and celebrity gifting.  Did I mention that she was Hollywood glamorous throughout her life?  She never left the house without looking amazing and put together.  I used to tease her that she put on lipstick to get the mail.  To this day, I hear her ask me "you are wearing THAT?" when I leave the house to run errands looking less than Southern Belle styled.  This is often!

I've been very busy these past few months, getting ready for a great Mother's Day gift bag that The Artisan Group will be giving to the following talked-about celebrities:  Hilary Duff,  Rebecca Gayheart, Keri Russell, Beyonce, Kourtney Kardashian, Lindsay Price, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Alba, Uma Thurman, Alyson Hannigan, Molly Sims, Sienna Miller, Kristin Cavallari, Jessica Simpson, Bryce Dallas Howard, Evangeline Lilly, Jennifer Garner, Marley Shelton, Sarah Polley, Mrs. Jason Bateman (Amanda Anka), Mrs. Bruce Willis (Emma Heming), Susan Downey, Jr., Lisa Loeb,  Mrs. Kelsey Grammer (Katye Walsh), and Jessica Capshaw. How is that for some serious name dropping?

With a mother's love in mind, I created the Cherished Heart Necklace.  It features a heart nestled within a circle and lovely shades of pink and pearl, with gold and coral undertones.
Cherished Heart modeled by Melissa Leila

Wishing a very happy Mother's Day to all!  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Don't you love a nice suprise? Kathryn Designs on the myStyle Shop-It List!

I was so thrilled and honored when I saw that my mosaic bangle was included in the April 12th Shop-It List!
Handcrafted Mosaic Bangle

As my shop is still fairly new, I was very excited to get such great exposure on the very chic
I was even more honored when I saw that my item was included with beautiful items including a Yarnz Printed Cashmere ScarfMichael Kors Project Suede Fragrance,  and gorgeous candle from a fellow member of The Artisan Group, Deborah Carducci of Villa Lusso.  

My journey continues, and I have two exciting gifting events coming up via The Artisan Group.  First up is a Mother's Day gift bag that will be received by amazing celebrity mothers.  Kathryn Designs will also be a part of the GBK Gift Lounge MTV Movie Awards press and industry mixer gifting.
I feel so grateful that I am able to pursue my dream and build my jewelry business.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Polymer clay plus gemstones for Rachael Ray!

I am very excited to share my latest opportunity via The Artisan Group!  I am contributing a necklace that will be included in a special swag bag for the lovely Rachael Ray.  I have recently become interested in using gemstones in my polymer clay jewelry, and decided this was the perfect time to focus on gemstones as I created a unique piece for her.
Rachael Ray, photo by The Heart Truth

Here is the necklace I will be sending Rachael:
Necklace featuring a lab sapphire (orange padparadscha) and natural garnets from
Kathryn Designs
I read that her favorite color is orange, so I decided to use a gorgeous orange lab sapphire.  I paired it with four natural garnets.  The background is luminous peach, pink, and gold, and the bezel was hand formed using polymer clay.  I am so excited about this new direction for my work!  Here is another sample of a piece I created using a beautiful Olivine CZ and moonstones:

More to come as I pursue my newest obsession in jewelry making!  I have lots of stones that I have purchased over the years, and now I know what I will be doing with them.

Here's hoping Rachael loves her new necklace! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Signs of spring: Polymer clay jewelry by Artfire Artisans

I am about "this close" to turning on the air conditioning today!  I guess spring is here in Maryland.  At least, I hope it is, because I am not a fan of winter.  In honor of this lovely weather, I would like to feature some lovely work by a few of my fellow guild members from the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild on Artfire.

First, I found this gorgeous necklace by member Averilpam:
I love the beautiful sky blue color of the disc beads and the contrast with the brown beads, plus the organic feel of the disc beads that she created for this piece.  That blue color just sings "spring" to me!

Next, I came upon this lovely retro styled flower pendant by Christina Kosinski Designs
She describes this pendant as having a retro, hippie, 1970 style and I agree!  I am always a fan of vintage inspired jewelry creations and I think she really captured that 70's feeling in a modern and creative piece of jewelry.  

Finally, in honor of spring, I found this lovely flower necklace by Strange Whimsy:
This pendant reminds me of a dogwood blossom, and that is one of my fondest spring memories from my childhood in Louisville, KY.  I really love the pretty, soft colors she used in this, as well as the sculptural effects of the petals.  

I hope spring is here to stay!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chelsea Rendon modeling Kathryn Designs at GBK Oscars Luxury Gift Lounge

I am so honored that beautiful Chelsea Rendon loved my display piece at the GBK Oscars Gift Lounge so much, she chose to wear it for a photograph at the event!
I will be sending her this display piece in addition to the necklace she received in her swag bag.

Chelsea Rendon is best known for her role in the Oscar Nominated movie, "A Better Life".  Demian Bichir, who plays Carlos Galindo in the movie, was nominated for Best Actor! Chelsea was also in the movie "Nine Lives" and has been in episodes of "Flash Forward" and "Judging Amy."

Stay tuned for more updates regarding the gift lounge and upcoming events for Kathryn Designs. We will be participating in a very special Mother's Day Gift bag for celebrity mothers this May.  We are also going to be participating in a great charity event for the organization Just for Girls in Manatee County, Florida.  They provide developmental, educational, and preventative services for teen girls to help them stay safe and succeed in life.  They are hosting a fashion show on March 10, and one of the models will be sporting jewelry by Kathryn Designs.  The same jewelry will be up for bidding at their silent auction event in May. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kathryn Designs Featured at GBK Oscars Gift Lounge- Part One

  Displaying my work and creating 100 necklaces from my Open Locket Collection for the GBK Oscars Gift Lounge was a remarkable experience. From a business standpoint,  I gained a tremendous knowledge about creating my work in larger quantities, while maintaining a "one of a kind" appeal.  Valerie (founder) and Nikki (managing partner) of The Artisan Group did an amazing job at every aspect of planning for the event, providing feedback and guidance, and making sure each member was well represented at the event.

Here is a photo of The Artisan Group's Display:
The Artisan Group at GBK Oscars Gift Lounge

As you can see, it looked amazing!  Here is a little close up peek at my display pieces:

I was glued to my iPad during both days of the event, as Valerie was posting updates about some of the celebrities who visited the display and picked up swag bags.  To name a few:  Melissa McCarthy, Kevin Nealon, Marcia Gay Hardin, Dermot Mulroney, Hector Elizondo, Penelope Ann Miller, Kristi Lauren, Frankie Muniz, Penny Marshall, Cloris Leachman, Josh Sussman, Tess Hunt, Reshma Shetty, and Jon Bernthal (oh boy, I am big Walking Dead fan, but I doubt he wanted to pose with my jewelry!!)

I got great feedback on Twitter from Jane Emery of LA's The Place, Los Angeles Magazine!
‎@KathrynJewelry @theartisangroup Very imaginative and nice~! Adored it!

I will find out this week which celebrity posed with my display piece!  In the meantime, I got word that the lovely Chelsea Rendon, of the movies "A Better Life" and "Nine Lives" loved my work and was interested in my display piece, so I will be sending it to her! 
Chelsea has also been featured on the television shows "Flash Forward" and "Judging Amy"

More to come!  Thanks for reading and all the support during this journey!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Countdown to GBK's Oscars Gift Lounge, and Introducing Melissa, Modeling My Jewelry

In a few days, I will be anxiously awaiting word from The Artisan Group about the GBK Oscars Gift Lounge.  I am so excited for everyone who is participating in this event, and hope we all get lots of exposure for our handmade products.  All the hard work is done on my part. Now it is just a matter of waiting and letting Valerie and Nikki from The Artisan Group work their magic at the Gift Lounge this weekend!

In the meantime, I am excited to share a few of my first professionally modeled jewelry photographs.
Thank you to the gorgeous Melissa for making my Open Locket Necklace, ( featured in the Swag Bags)  and teardrop earrings look so great!
Also, a very special thank you to Sweet Grace Models and Cupcake Sprinkles for making this possible!
I cannot help myself, so I am going to share a few more photos:

I was so excited to use Melissa's picture in my online Press Release as well.

 I would like to share a sneak peek at the necklace I will be gifting at the Press and attendees at the MTV Movie Awards industry mixer this spring (2012).  This necklace will also be included in special Mother's Day gift bags provided to celebrity moms such as Beyonce, Jessica Simpson, and Jennifer Garner via The Artisan Group!  Look for this new line to be in my Artfire shop soon!  I will be posting in more detail about these fabulous opportunities after the Oscars :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Giveaway winner, and I got a new camera!

I just completed the drawing for my Oscars swag necklace giveaway and the winner is World's Edge Beads!  I will be emailing the winner with this information,  and will also post this result on my Facebook Page

I am sending out a huge thank you to all those who entered and left such kind words with their comments! I really appreciate your support.  I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to focus on my jewelry making at this point in my life. 

I recent news, I have purchased a new camera in an effort to improve the quality of my product photos.  The number one comment I hear from people who purchase from me online is "your work is so much prettier in person."  This leads me to believe my photos are not what they could be!  I am so excited to have my first Digital SLR camera and fancy macro lens.  I am hoping I can become somewhat proficient at using them!  My goal is to capture the depth and colors in my work with better clarity and make the photos "pop."  Here is my first effort:
 I think it is an improvement, but as I am a complete novice at "real" photography, there is still plenty of room for growth.  I am looking forward to learning.  Thank goodness for "Dummies" books and the internet!

Again, thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway!

Friday, February 3, 2012

We're going to Hollywood! Hello, Oscars and hello,swag giveaway.

Finally!  I have been itching to post about Kathryn Designs being featured in swag bags at the GBK Oscars Gift Lounge, via the fabulous Artisan Group.  It has been a long and busy road, that ended up with 100 plus of my Open Locket necklaces. They are created using polymer clay, liquid polymer clay, and resin.

Open Locket necklaces
Here are some of the lessons I learned along the way:
1)  If you think it will take one month to create these necklaces, which involve several steps, you are SO wrong!  Maybe it is my perfectionism, but I ended up spending too many hours to count making these creations.
2)  Applying several layers of resin will assure maximum glow and depth of color.  To pass the time while stirring each batch of resin, it is helpful to listen to music by Adele, Amy Winehouse, Joni Mitchell, Florence and the Machine, U2, Johnny Cash, Kings of Leon, and Wilco.  It is even more fun if you sing along.  It is especially great that my dogs are not judgemental of my singing voice.
3)  Deciding on how to package your items will be a real challenge and will involve lots of internet searches.  In the end, I decided on a small grey velvet bag and added a small silver charm with my business name and a fabric flower to glam it up a bit.  I placed the bagged necklaces and my business card and product information card into a simple sheer organza bag. I won't tell you how many things I ordered that I ended up not using!  I know they will be perfect for something else, so I am chalking it up to "lesson learned."

I could go on and on, but I will save my other insights for another post.  Without further ado, let get to the giveaway......
To celebrate all the lovely people who have been so supportive and encouraging on my Facebook page,and to celebrate reaching 1470 Facebook fans, I am going to give away this necklace:

This necklace from my Open Locket Collection features lovely and luminous shades of blue and gold, with a hint of lavender. The center flower charm is shimmering gold.  I am selling this style in my Artfire shop for 65.00.  The winner will receive this beauty all packed up like my Oscars swag. 

To enter, simply leave a comment for this blog post and include your email address so I can contact you if you win.  If you are not following my blog, that would be great too, but it is not required!
The giveaway will start tonight, February 3rd at 6:30 PM EST, and will end on Sunday, February 12th at 11:30 PM EST.  The winner will be drawn using and I will announce the winner here on my blog and on my Kathryn Designs Facebook Page on February 13th. Thank you for visiting my blog and good luck!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cracking up: Creating a necklace for Cari Cucksey of HGTV's show "Cash and Cari"

It has been a busy and exciting few months here at Kathryn Designs!  I have plans to post about several great events (including a giveaway of one of my "Open Locket" necklaces that will be featured at the GBK Luxury Gift Lounge for the 2012 Oscars).

Cari Cucksey

 For now, I will focus on the latest amazing opportunity provided to me by The Artisan Group.  We are creating a special gift bag for Cari Cucksey of the HGTV show Cash and Cari.  Cari is a treasure hunter extraordinaire!  On her show, she helps people unearth hidden treasures and arrange estate sales of their finds.  She also has a fabulous shop called Re-Purpose, located in Northville, Michigan. It is loaded with vintage and consignment goodies. Cari has an eye for forgotten items that are really valuable and lovely treasures in waiting!

This gifting opportunity for Cari was just the motivation I needed to finally find a good use for some cracked china I have been saving for some unknown reason.  I took a deep breath, and smashed up a plate that was too cracked to use.  Then I reassembled some of the pieces and set them into polymer clay.  I used resin to coat the piece for added strength.  I was so pleased with the outcome, that I will soon be offering these pieces as a new line of jewelry in my shop. I cannot wait to start creating more similar pieces!  Special thank you to the lovely and kind Ann of AnneFannie Crafts and Green Acres Cottage on Etsy.  I ordered some tile and porcelain nippers from her beautiful shop and she gave me some great tips on finding more plates to use!  Check out her mosaics and vintage inspired tags. 

My 100 necklaces for the GBK Oscars Gift Lounge are finished and ready to roll!  I will be posting more soon about my experience creating so many pieces.  I am very excited that Hagerstown Magazine has interviewed me for an upcoming article about local jewelers.  They are also coming this week to take some photos for the article, so I guess I will be making my studio look semi presentable!