Why Aromatherapy is Beneficial

Have you ever had a constant cold that you just can’t get rid of and find that you’re always sick and no medicine ever seems to kick it? I’ve found myself in this boat a lot lately, but not to worry! I found something that finally helped me…

My family is incredibly important to me and therefore I’ve always leaned towards holistic medicine as much as possible. However, this past year I found myself sick with generic colds, stomach flus and bacterial infections that I never really suffered from in the past. After lots of doctors visits and the constant consumption of medicine, I finally turned to a friend and asked for some advice. She is an independent consultant for Young Living Essential oils and gave me some suggestions for homemade medicines I could make. I discussed this in a previous post.

After doing that and getting better quicker than any western medicine has been able to offer I continued researching the benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils and kept finding so many opportunities of how I could incorporate this into every day life. From aromatherapy to dental hygiene to refreshing laundry – the opportunities and applications seemed endless!

As a Handmade artisan I decided that one way I could contribute to communicating these benefits was to design a line of diffuser necklaces. 

I created a classic diffuser necklace design that has a high quality absorbant pad that can be used multiple times before throwing it out and replacing it. I’ve used mine 3 different times already and it’s held up the fragrances very well! Make sure to always clean out the diffuser locket to avoid rusting and corrosion. This also ensures that your fragrances don’t take away from one another either as you change oils. 

With so many designs to choose from there’s no reason you can’t find one that works for you. If you don’t see one you like I am always happy to make a custom adjustment. Just ask me!

Ashley Blank Jewelry Aromatherapy Necklaces

Just keep in mind that this is a gateway to opening up your senses to a whole new world of experiences. 

Happy diffusing! ❤

Ensuring High Quality

As any handmade artisan will tell you, the key to a successful product is in having high quality components. This means making it a point to search high and low for dependable supply sources that provide high quality items. If you are in the market to buy something that you want to last for quite some time,there are several key elements to a high-quality jewelry design that you should watch for.

  • Wire Guards – These are simple little metal U-shapes where the wire is threaded through at the ends. This helps to prevent breakage of the wire and protect it from easy wear and tear as it is worn regularly.

 

  • Crimp Tubes – These are rarely seen on most jewelry pieces but are one of the most important hidden gems of any design. Crimp tubes are used to hold together the strand of wire at the ends (right outside the wire guard) and creates a sturdy connection to hold the entire piece together. Without strong crimp tubes, or another crimping device, the entire piece will fall apart.

 

  • Crimp Tube Covers – These are small open silver pieces that are slid over the crimp tubes and used to protect the crimps from being exposed and wearing down easily.

 

I always make sure that each of these elements are used in anything I make where it calls for it. These are almost entirely found on wire-beaded jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets and some hoops earrings. Make sure you are getting the quality you deserve!

 

 

Creative or Bust

Handmade artisans depend entirely on our creative energy to keep us going – driving inspiration, increasing energy and the will to create. We all run into those times in our life when our creativity is severely cramped. This has happened to me a lot lately. While it sounds terribly dreary, the story does end on  happy note!

For the last several months I have had just about every cold or sickness possible due to the tumultuous weather the entire world has been experiencing. From a basic seasonal cold  in December to the stomach flu at Christmas time. To suffering bronchitis throughout January and then strep throat for the last month. Antibiotics and medications have worn me out and zapped me of all my creativity energy lately.

But then last week a little miracle fell into my hands. I was introduced to Young Living’s products and created my own home remedy of coconut oil, oregano oil and thieves to create a butt-kicking remedy that within 24 hours alleviated my aching sore throat and put me on the road to recovery.

I share all this with you because it made me really appreciate my flow of creativity.

As I’ve been coming out of a cloudy place the last several months, my creative flow has really bloomed with ideas for my next rounds of projects. These lovely colors have been uplifting and inspiring to me this past week. I have already started work on a some pieces in this color theme and will share them once they are completed.

 

Your Jewelry Box is Calling You

Can you hear that? That’s the sound of your jewelry box just screaming for a makeover! Now that you are finally getting into warmer temperatures and can break out your spring and summer clothes to show off – you must get your accessories in line.

  • Step 1 – Organize Your Jewelry Box

When you get home and get undressed after a long day, the last thing you sometimes think about is putting your jewelry nicely away in your jewelry box. If it looks anything like mine does right now, everything is thrown in there together. Dump the whole thing out and find all the matching earring pairs, the bracelets and necklaces that managed to strangle one another and get them grouped together.

  • Step 2 – Define Groups

You and I do not always think of groups in the same way. Find a way that you like to organize your jewelry (whether it is by color, design or size) and get all those earrings into nice little groups. This makes it a lot easier to find something that matches your outfit and also helps you to remember what you even have to choose from.

  • Step 3 – Put it Away

Now that you have emptied, organized and grouped all your jewelry you are ready to put it neatly away! This small, but effective few steps will get you perfectly ready for your accessorizing season which is not too far away!

To get you even more ready, here are the 2017 Pantone Spring colors to try and incorporate into your wardrobe this season.pantone-color-swatches-fashion-color-report-fall-2017

 

You can also visit Ashley Blank Jewelry on Etsy and find something sweet and chic to add to your jewelry box this Spring.

Spring is in Bloom

     Things are starting to warm up around the country, and as it does my jewelry line begins to display all the lovely hues and designs that pair so nicely with spring time. Seen here to the right is a newer design showcasing my first attempts at creating wire pendants. Shaping the design, hammering it down flat and then adding texture to the metal – along with a stunning and simple design that includes high quality, handmade lampwork and czech glass beads. Creating a  light weight necklace that is easy to pair with a simple set of diamond studs and at a price of $44.

Sometimes we just want to have a little fun and these pink and beige Picasso Jade earrings will do just the trick. Light and bold are brought together in this design in such a way that it can be worn with just about any spring colored ensemble and bring out the lighter colors. Using a little less standard look with the lever back ear hooks, they are something special and just a little bit different. You will love the versatility and comfort while wearing them and for only $16, why not!

In true spring fashion I had to make something displaying the beautiful colors of spring with these pastel pink and beige flower earrings. The true beauty of spring flowers is encapsulated with this design that brings together the flower, the water (tear drop design) and the cascading matte rosalind czech glass beads. With handmade flower enamels and other high quality components, these earrings are only $32.

Taking a little break from all the earrings we have a lovely bracelet set that features light pinks and purples in a multi-strand beaded design. The lovely heart accents and antique silver draw will keep you coming back for more. So treat yourself to  a little something sweet with this matching set that’s going for only $18!

 

The final addition to the spring-tastic options I have available right now are these gorgeous blackberry and silver drop earrings. The lively texture of the lampwork glass blackberries makes them look just like real fruit! Everyone will want to know where you got these and for only $15 how can you pass them up!?

I hope you are all as excited for Spring as I am – so don’t delay, start shopping today!

Visit Ashley Blank Jewelry Design on Etsy today!

 

Fall Trends – Layered Necklaces

Layering necklaces is still a hot trend this year and going into the Fall, you want to make sure you’re coordinated not only with the hottest seasonal colors, but also the trends to support your look.

JCK Magazine, an important industry leader, released the top 10 trends to watch this Fall. While other trends hit the top parts of the list, layered necklaces and jewelry are making a comeback in an important way. Make sure to stay ahead in your fashion sense as the season continues and look your absolute best!

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Even more important is the wardrobe these layered necklaces need to be paired with. An article published by Dispatch displays the graceful style of the millennial generation and the fact that many of them are finishing graduate programs and moving on into the working world. Due to this, Fall trends for
many of them are going back a few decades to longer dresses, cleaner necklines and a more professional style. One of my personal favorites is this ensemble that showcases the chic style with modest coverings that lend to the feminine mystique.
Shop the layered necklace collection from Ashley Blank Jewelry here.

Head in the Clouds

Designing new products is my favorite part of making jewelry! I’ve been thinking about this necklace for weeks now and finally got all my supplies in to make it. In most cases I already have a pretty good idea of how I want the final piece to look but until you have everything sitting in front of you, it’s hard to know exactly how it’s going to look.

So the first thing I do is set all of my pieces that I might possibly use in front of me so that I can see how the colors all look side-by-side. Is there anything that clashes really bad? Once I’ve narrowed that down then I start lining everything up for how I want it to look. This is the part where I sometimes completely change my mind from where I began and end up with something I had never dreamed of.

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Once I feel comfortable with how all of the pieces look together, then I start to string everything together. Even at this point I sometimes make changes – but not with this one. Like I said, I had been imagining it for weeks – and it came out just the way I envisioned it.

I couldn’t be more pleased with how this turned out. All of the beads are Swarovski Glass Pearls in colors such as Blackberry, Powder Rose, Pastel Rose and of course the classic white. Hugging the dark purple blackberry pearls are flower shaped bead caps and the connectors between the main section of the necklace and the back are delicate silver clouds. It’s finished off with a Zamak toggle clasp and measures 24 in. long.

I couldn’t be happier with how well this turned out! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did – my head in the clouds…

Continuing to Grow

For the last few weeks I have been busy purchasing all new supplies and getting myself organized for the summer crafting season. It’s a busy time of year of building up inventory for the impending holiday shopping season. Everyone wants to find something new and unique as gifts for those they care about, and it’s important to me to provide my customers with the best possible designs my little mind can create.

One of the new supply assortments I have now is a whole set of products to make antique copper earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. The antique look has become popular and the soft subtle colors make it easy to match these pieces with just about anything.

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Another new adventure I’ve been on is trying to create different styles using the free bead program (that I mentioned in a previous post) that I am a part of with Jesse James Beads. I showed the beautiful purple bead assortment in my last post and it has taken me some time, and truly challenged me, to come up with a finished project using those beads. I am particularly happy with this necklace. It’s edgy, exciting and all around very beautiful.

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Well it’s back to my inventory building, but in the meantime, make sure to check out my Etsy shop and use the Mother’s Day savings available to everyone – 15% off!

Ashley Blank Jewelry on Etsy

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Let the Creativity Flow

As all creative-minds know, there are certain things in our lives that inspire us; whether it’s through visual aids, planning, or a brisk walk through the woods. We are all inspired in different ways. Before I even start to design a new piece of jewelry I find myself always looking at what necklaces or earrings people are wearing around me. What are they made with, how do they look, are they heavy or light? When I’m out somewhere picking up dinner to bring home I walk around and look at all of the jewelry for sale and let myself become absorbed in the offering they have and find out what I enjoy most about buying jewelry. Through all of this I bring my own personal tastes and interests into my work.

I have a large collection of random beads in various colors, sizes and shapes, as well as metal beads and all the inner workings of making jewelry. But when I really want to make something I sit down and look through all of my options. Play with different colors and mediums to decide what I want to make. Sometimes I have an idea in my mind of exactly what I am going to make but most of the time it comes to me while I sit there looking through all of my supplies.

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Whenever I come across some beads or charms that draw my attention, I grab them and bring them home. Knowing that one day I will be inspired to use it in one of my works. For now though, I am looking at these lovely free beads I received courtesy of Jesse James Beads (Jesse James Beads) and am trying to determine what inspires me about them. How do I see them playing together; would they look best as a simple beaded bracelet or as some funky & fun earrings; maybe even a long chain necklace with a few beads speckled around.

I was privileged enough to be accepted into this fun free bead program. I receive my free beads, make a lovely project to share with my followers and then, like magic, I receive some more. This will allow me a nice avenue for providing new and fun designs to all of you.

So let’s continue discussing inspiration. What inspires you?

Artisan Style Strands and a Giveaway!

I recently fell in love with a new style of beads… Clay beads adorned with various kinds of stones, glitter, everything. I found a wonderful company that provides a beautiful and unique selection of these beads: Jesse James Beads. I ordered my first shipment from them and made a few beautiful sets of artisan strand necklaces with matching earrings.

The beads in these collections range in size, shape, and color. Allowing for the personal expression of the creator to flourish and shine through their designs. I am so excited about this new venture that I want to provide my followers with a special gift.

GIVEAWAY! Starting on Monday March 21st through Thursday March 24th 11:59pm MST one lucky winner will be selected to win the Black and Crystal bracelet pictured below. No purchase necessary to enter. All shipping costs will be included.
How to enter: leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite piece of jewelry is that you own.
Share with friends so they can enter too!

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Winner will be announced on Friday March 25th. Good luck to everyone!