Best Holiday Gift Guide For Colorful Jewelry 2013

Hey Everyone!!!

Every year this happens and every year we all say the same thing, “I can’t believe it is already the holidays”.  I say NOT THIS YEAR!  Really, the least I can do to help lighten the stress of holiday shopping is give you some ideas from the collections of work that Aaron and I feel are going to be wonderful gifts this year.  There are countless gift guides you can go through….. online, in the mail, and on television so I will just stick to my specialty and show what will be available at The Karen Curtis Shop this year in Grand Central Terminal.  I don’t want to show you products and pretend to know what you might want to get for someone.  You most likely receive this blog/email because you have an appreciation for our work whether for yourself or as gifts, and it is solely because of you that we are able to bring colorful designs to your life, and we want to thank you all for that!!!

EARRINGS

Let’s start with Earrings!  We went design crazy with earrings this year.  I’ve been toying with some new styles over the past couple of years and come this November there will be more styles and more one of a kinds then ever before.  Switching up earring styles is one of the easiest ways to have fun accessorizing your outfits so you can never have too many earrings…. or jewelry for that matter ; ) !  Here are some photos of new colors and concept pieces for the up-coming seasons.

Swarovski Sapphire with Pearl Earrings

Swarovski Sapphire with Pearl Earrings

Rare Vintage Swarovski Sapphire with Swarovski Pearl Hannukkah Earrings

Rare Vintage Swarovski Sapphire with Swarovski Pearl Hannukkah Earrings

Christmas Hoop Earrings

Christmas Hoop Earrings

3_strand_earrings_mink__03201.1350087998.420.420Chandelier Earrings with 3 tiers of crystal drops
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Large Swarovski crystal chandelier earrings

BRACELETS

Brand new designs of single strand bracelets, charm bracelets, bangle bracelets, and beautiful cuffs!   One of my favorites is the cuff with spikes.  By not setting these very rare crystals in the traditional manner they end up protruding from the bracelet and create a cool edgy texture.

Spiked Cuff Bracelet

Cuff Bracelet – Spiked – Magical Collection available at the grand central holiday fair 2013

Swarovski Crystal Charm Bracelet

Charm Bracelet

NECKLACES

Necklaces range from single wire wrapped strands to ultra-glamorous layers of crystal.  Once again I focused on creating more one of a kinds and new styles of Swarovski crystal necklaces to add to the selection this year.  I think its more fun for all of us.  I get to create new special pieces and my customers have a huge selection to choose from.  I hope you enjoy the preview.

folklore layer necklace

Folklore jewelry collection layer necklace

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High End designer crystal necklace available at the grand central holiday fair 2013

WINE STOPPERS

Finally I can’t wrap up this gift guide without mentioning our wine stoppers.  Hand Blown by my husband Aaron and I, Colorful like the jewelry but uni-sex!!!  Any wine enthusiast would be thrilled to get this for the holidays. There is a great selection on our website and if you are in the NYC area stop by our location at the Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair to stock up on a gift that is always nice to have on hand through out the year. Think House warming parties, hostess gift for Thanksgiving, and all those holiday parties we end up attending for the next couple months.  Why scramble around last-minute when you can be fully prepared with a few nicely wrapped wine stoppers.

Hand Blown Wine Stoppers

Hand Blown Wine Stoppers by the Karen Curtis Company

Hand Blown Wine Stopper

Hand Blown Wine Stopper made by the Karen Curtis Company

Stackable Rings and Multiple Rings a trend to sink your fingers into!

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     There are jewelry trends that are just plain classic, some that are split second fads, and then there are some that are super fun and you wonder why they ever disappeared…. “cough, cough”…. Stackable Rings!

It is so much fun and it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money either.  For example on http://www.karencurtis.com we have stackable rings for $20 and $25.  Of course there is no limit to what you can spend but for a couple hundred bucks you can have a vast assortment of rings that you can mix and match, having countless combinations for the year.

I am going to go ahead and say there are very little limitations on what you can stack together.  Mixing metals, crystal and precious stones, lucite and traditional gold or silver…. all of these are fine.  This is a great opportunity to piece together some smaller items by your favorite designers and as long as you like all the rings you are wearing, then it will look beautiful on you.

Remember that the key to stacking is to have fun with it and change it up whenever you want!

What Celebs have jumped on board with the multiple ring thing you ask? Let see who is having more fun then everyone else accessorizing with stackable rings!

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OK, So when I originally wrote this article  I threw in a picture of Miley Cyrus prior to the whole VMA public image disaster but lets keep her in here and remember what she looked like without a foam finger and before twerking with robin thicke! #Hannah Montana

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     If you are looking for a starting point for gathering cool rings you can always go to my website but here is a list of some of my favorite rings and links to the people in my industry that I think deserve lots of success pretty much because they rock at what they do!

1) Wendy Brandes –  Cool designs in different metals and precious stones http://wendybrandes.com/store/categories.php?category=Category/Rings

2) Michael Alexander – Always loved his creations. We have exhibited together at various shows and he definitely is a uniquist! http://www.michaelalexander.com/#!portfolio/vstc30=rings

3) David Yurman – Classic designs but great use of precious stones with elegant metal smithing http://www.davidyurman.com/shoponline/subcategory.aspx?folderId=/women/rings

Stack On!

Tips for keeping your Chandelier clean and shinny!

As a designer of chandeliers, people and our clients often ask what steps to take to maintain and keep their fixtures clean?  Every chandelier that we create is different so depending on the frame being glass or antique brass is going to dictate the proper steps for maintaining the beauty of the piece.  First I would like to address an old school common way of keeping the crystals of a chandelier clean which I tend to think is outdated not ideal.  Often people would lay newspaper or cloth down under a chandelier and use a cup of warm water mixed with white vinegar and raise the cup up to submerge the crystal in the liquid.  While this does breakdown the oils and dust that often accumulates on each crystal, it does have its drawbacks….

1. Unless you really enjoy the aroma of italian dressing in your home, there are better cleaning products

2. The acidity of the vinegar can cause damage and tarnish the metal used to actually hold the crystals in place

That being said the following are a few techniques and suggestions that we have found useful for all of our chandeliers.

1.  COMPRESSED AIR!!!!!

We have all used the small cans of compressed air to clean a computer keyboard, but this little tool can be used for chandeliers also.  You will be able to get to hard to reach areas on the frames of the lights, as well in all the nooks and crannies that are found in the intricate designs on the arms and in the bobesh dishes.  Especially with the brass frames, the patina and antique look of the brass is something that you want to keep, so using any cleaner on it may result in discoloration and take away from the overall look.  We recommend starting off by spraying away all the dust on the frame.

2.  GLASS CLEANER

Windex or any similar product is going to give the crystal a fantastic finish.  These are typically very soft cleaning products and will not remove any finish that might be on some of the crystals, whether it is an AB coating or a metallic foil.  This will also not be harmful for the metal holding the crystals onto the frame.  Also windex smells better than vinegar.  Just spray a paper towel with the glass cleaner a rub each stone, this will take care of any oils from fingerprints and any dust left over after using the compressed air.

3.  INSPECT

It only takes a few seconds to go over each stone, but by cleaning them individually you can inspect each element to make sure there hasn’t been any damage to the crystal.  If for any reason you find a chip you can contact us and get a replacement piece so that we help keep your chandelier in pristine condition.

It is important to let you know that each of our chandeliers are created using STRASS crystal, which is a division of the SWAROVSKI company.  STRASS crystal has a patented anti-dust finish and works very well, but after about a year there may be some light build-up of dust on the stones although it is significantly less than that of a lesser quality crystal.  Regardless of the type of crystal that you may have on a chandelier it is always nice when the colors shine brightly so small tips like these can go a long way in getting the most beauty out of these functional pieces of art!

CHEERS,

Karen

Wedding Jewelry and Bridal Hair Accessories

Time does keep escaping me and I realized I never shared more photos of my bridal jewelry and tiara’s… I have started updating my website…. And now have a BRIDAL collection online.  The jewelry is not completed yet with detail pages for each piece so please forgive me… However, every piece you see in this section we will be debuting at the Grand Central Holiday Fair. So all you fellow New Yorkers, Tri-staters and  anyone coming to New York during the Holiday season … Come visit our temporary boutique we will have for the holidays in GCT. It is a fabulous show!  Come shop and try on some fabulous jewels.

I will write you more soon, as there is so much going on for us.

Right now I have to go back to designing a chandelier I’m working on and we have our beautiful hand blown wine-stoppers surrounding us as we prepare them for the show…  Lots of goodies in the works.  Will update you on the wine stoppers and chandeliers real soon!

In the meantime…. Enjoy the sneak peek of Bridal Elegance.

Tiara made with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS

Karen Curtis' Princess Tiara

 

Bridal Layer Necklace by Karen Curtis

Bridal Layer Necklace by Karen Curtis

Jewelry Design part 2

     Great week of designing jewelry.  Karen and I stuck to 1 color combination all week-long, creating earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that all matched in color, but design-wise were slightly different.  I believe its important to have these differences, they make it more interesting when paired together.  Lets be honest, it’s the shine and the sparkle that attracts someone to look at what you are wearing.  And when they do the fascination comes from the colors and shapes that are paired together, Whether it is diamonds and rubies, or like we are using Swarovski crystal, the elegance and the craftsmanship come from thought-out placement of the individual elements.  After the actual colors choice of a piece, this would be the second most important aspect for designing a sophisticated piece of jewelry!  The following image is a brand new charm bracelet that can better explain what I am describing.  It is also a quick sneak peek of our spring 2012 and what’s to come this year from Karen Curtis!!!

     The collection is meant to be dominated by the gold, honey, and amber colors that were selected, so here we brought in large transparent beads to stick out in the design of the bracelet.  It sort of sets the tone for the overall look of the piece.  Next we add in smaller beads to incorporate all of the colors.  Notice the stack of two oval red beads which break up the cone-shaped grey, amber, and olive beads.  Using our stacking method, and the pearl on the opposite side of the bracelet we add texture, different surfaces to each bead give us the opportunity to diversify the pattern.  The entire bracelet is wire-wrapped,  the metal is continuously woven into the next segment of metal.  Wire-wrapping is difficult but is a beautiful way of assembling certain pieces of our collections.

     This collection would look stunning with an any outfit that incorporates tan, grey, or other neutral colors.  This could also be a beautiful and fun addition to summer-time carefree outfit with the dangling Swarovski crystals catching sunlight as you stroll down the beach.  We look forward to showcasing this collection at this years holiday fair in grand central terminal!   Enjoy your week,  stay tuned for another weekly blog!!!!!!!!