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I love making mixed media jewelry. These necklaces combine African crested porcupine quills, spent bullet casings, rough stones, various fossils such as shark vertebrae, agate, and jasper beads. Each one is unique due to the variation in materials. I named them Warrior Necklaces!

Warrior 1 Necklace

Warrior 1 Necklace

Warrior 2 Necklace

Warrior 2 Necklace

Warrior 3 Necklace

Warrior 3 Necklace

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Packing my favorite grey leather motorcycle jacket for my recent weekend ride got me thinking about this iconic jacket style. I purchased my current version in Italy in 2012. It was a little pricy but I have absolutely no regrets. To get that same jacket in the US, I would have probably paid three times as much. And the quality of the leather is like “butta”. I have another black version, a little less fitted, with a fur liner, that I have taken on all of my motorcycle trips and it has withstood wind, cold, sand, dirt, rain, and hail.

So, where did what me call the motorcycle or moto style jacket originate? Well, in 1929, brothers Irving and Jack Schott, the sons of Russian immigrants, created the first biker jacket, which they called the Perfecto. initially made for utility purposes, it quickly came to stand for all things cool, rebellious, and edgy. The company, Schott, NYC is still in existence today making some pretty cool versions of the classic jacket.

Try to imagine James Dean, Marlon Brando or Fonzie without the leather motorcycle jacket. Not possible.

Then try to imagine what you would wear in place of your leather motorcycle jacket whether you want to dress up or dress down an outfit and stay warm. It can even be worn over formal wear. In fact, I can’t think of an occasion when I would not wear one.

 

I love using natural elements in my jewelry designs. This fall, I could not go anywhere without stepping on acorns from all the oak trees around Savannah. Upon closer inspection, I noticed they were different shapes and sizes.  I knew I needed to make them into jewelry. The colors varied from light brown to rust but I wanted to make them look more like metal so I coated them with metallic paint and then sprayed on a protective coating. This added an extra layer of hardness to the acorn tops. I used a bead reamer to make a whole in the top of the cap and then added beads to represent the acorn bottom. Pearls and round beads in fall colors worked well. My favorite designs are these lariats using two jasper stones with metal leaf drop and tourmaline as accents.

Acorn lariat short

Acorn lariat close up

Acorn lariat

Archipelago Jewelry by Liz Juneau yoga inspired jewelry collection.
The colors reflect the chakras or energy centers of the body, the circle is symbolic of movement, the hand stamped “OM” charms represents the sacred sound or chant that in Sanskrit means “all that is”. These designs are meant to remind the wearer to stay in harmony and unity with all that exists – mind, body and spirit!

chakras

The bracelets, earrings, and necklaces were designed using mixed metals, leather, crystals, glass, pearls, and stones.

Chakra Butterfly Lariat

Chakra Butterfly Lariat

Chakra earrings

Chakra Earrings

Chakra necklace

Chakra Necklace

Chakra necklace2

Heart Chakra Necklace

Chakra necklace3

Heart Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra bracelet

OM Chakra Bracelet

Om Chakra necklace3

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace4

OM Throat Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace5

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace7

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace8

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra necklace10

OM Chakra Necklace

Om Chakra pendants

OM Chakra Pendants

Om earrings

OM Throat Chakra Earrings

Om third eye necklace

OM Third Eye Necklace

Om earrings2

OM Third Eye Earrings

I have been amazed to see the season of Mardi Gras (translation: Fat Tuesday) extend to the rest of the country. I was looking at a major women’s fashion magazine recently and it featured suggestions on how to celebrate the Superbowl, Valentines Day, and Mardi Gras this year. It seems everyone wants a taste of that King Cake.

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras include purple, green, and gold. The purple does NOT represent royalty like amethyst but is symbolic of justice. The other colors of the Mardi Gras season, are green which represents faith and gold, which is symbolic of power.

The accepted story behind the colors is that in 1872, when the Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff of Russia visited New Orleans, he was he was given the honor of selecting the official Mardi Gras colors by the Krewe of Rex. These colors influenced the color choices of two major Louisiana colleges. LSU choosing purple and gold and Tulane choosing green and white.

So, in honor of this Mardi Gras season, I chose these jewelry designs in those colors.

Purple glass, craft wire earrings

Purple glass, craft wire earrings

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Purple glass, craft wire earrings

Green rice pearls, prayer box,

Green glass and craft wire earrings

Green glass and craft wire earrings

Rutilated quartz, pearls, gold-filled bracelet

Rutilated quartz, pearl, ribbon necklace

Rutilated quartz, gold pearls, and ribbon necklace

I think these are two of my most UNIQUE jewelry designs. For the first one, named “Put a Spell On You”, I used a fossil – pyrite on amazonite, found object –  a feather, vintage jewelry pieces – pocket watch case and crystals, and various other jewelry components. The second one also uses a vintage pocket watch case, this time in brass, with added vintage crystals, fleur-de-lis, and pearls. I named the second one, “Mardi Gras Mambo”. They both hang from simple leather cords with a vintage button closure.

Put a spell on You

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LOVEly  Earrings

xo earrings2

X O Earrings

X O Earrings

X O Earrings

Pacific Ocean, California

Pacific Ocean, California

St. John, USVI

St. John, USVI

Hanakapi'ai Beach, Kaua'i, Hawaii

Hanakapi’ai Beach, Kaua’i, Hawaii

I find the beach and ocean inspiring for my jewelry designs. Even the name of my company, Archipelago Jewelry, has a connection to islands.

I love the way these repurposed chandelier crystals are illuminated when they catch the light.

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Clear crystal teardrop prism, lavender pearls on ss necklace Clear teardrop prism, flower, pearl necklace Clear teardrop prism, metal clay, pearls on ss necklace Clear teardrop prism, raku pottery, pearls on ss necklace

Another great find at Goodwill!  Actually, I did not find this one – my shopping companion spotted this beauty. Fortunately, she decided against it, so it was mine for the taking. The label states “B. Altman & Co., Fifth Avenue, New York. B. Altman and Company department store New York location was in business from 1906 until 1989.

Fur stoles were meant to be worn with formal wear. They could be described as capelets or shawls. I decided to wear mine over my coat for added warmth with a casual ensemble of jeans, a silk tie front blouse, and leather riding boots.

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“People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.” ~ Alexei Sayle