Archive for January 2010

My Name is Sueanne. And I am a Jewelryaholic.

January 30, 2010

Hi Everybody. My name is Sueanne. And I am a Jewelryaholic.

“Hi Sueanne”. Sympathetic nods from the audience.

It’s been two hours since I made my last pair of earrings.

Twitching fingers from audience.

What's the Buzz Necklace

 

I’ve been a jewelryaholic for almost two years. I had a jewelry teacher come in and teach a class when I had an art gallery, before the recession laughed at me and said “What are you… insane?”. My friends signed up and made me take the class. I didn’t want to do it. But they made me. “Come on Sueanne”, they said. “You’re creative”. “But I’m not ‘crafty’,” I said. ” I never touch the stuff, hell,  I can’t even giftwrap worth a damn”. “Come on,” they said. “We’ll drink wine and make jewelry. What’s the harm? If you don’t like it you can always stop”.

Wincing from the crowd. Hands covering mouths to hide smiles of pain. But they keep nodding. They understand.

At the first class I took in a ridiculously overpriced Sundance jewelry catalog and knocked off a complicated piece in under two hours. Then I made a pair of matching earrings.

A subdued gasp from the crowd.

Mystic Topaz Earrings

 

The next day I went to a bead store. I bought 4 different kinds of pliers. I only needed three, but I bought four. Four. I bought really pretty stones. They felt so good in my hands. What harm could it do, I said to myself, just a little hobby. I showed the neighbor lady at the school bus stop what I made at the first class. “Can you make me one?”, she asked, glancing sideways in both directions. “How much would it be?” “Sure,” I said, “I don’t know… 40 bucks?  They want $98 for it in Sundance.” She cautiously took out 40 bucks and gave it to me when the other moms weren’t looking. “Can I have it by Friday? I’d love something for the weekend”. It was my first jewelry deal. It felt so right.

A few audience members wiping tears from the corners of their eyes. Two women leave the room. 

After that people kept buying what I was wearing off of my neck, ears, even my wrists. There were deals done under the hair dryer at the beauty salon. At the PTA meetings. Waiting at the DMV. Finally the habit got so bad I had too much jewelry and I did a show by the beach. Now my secret was out and all my friends knew I had a serious problem. You would have thought one of them would have told me to stop. Staged an intervention. Just one. But no. It wouldn’t have mattered. I was too far gone. I wouldn’t have listened. 

Bubbly Earrings

 

I sold almost every piece at that show. I could have stopped then. My dining room workshop was a mess, the writing was on the wall. But it was too late for me. I rationalized. I started calling it a business. I went to a few boutiques. Showed them what I had. Now I had enablers. They said “Sure, I’ll sell for you, it’s great stuff”. My enablers also sold out, I kept making more and more. I moved out of the dining room and took over a different room of the house. 

There was no stopping me.

I put my stash on the internet on Etsy. Nobody even knew what the word Etsy stood for. They still don’t. I didn’t care. I was shameless. After a few sales somebody told me about  Twitter. I jumped on, and admitted my problem to a global audience under the name @sueannesjewelry.  I can handle it. I thought. What harm could a little bird be?

Open laughing from the audience. Three women take out their iphones and surreptitiously tweet what I just said. I hear the chirps as they send them on twittelator. Then they leave.

Honey Bee Necklace

 

Blog, Sueanne”, they said. “You can write, so you must blog“. So I blogged. I didn’t have a clue what I would say so I called it Yeah, that’s Random. I started making friends and selling lots and lots of jewelry on Twitter. People started blogging about me. It was like having cheerleaders. The men looked especially cute in those super short skirts, but I didn’t care. Everybody was so nice. So appreciative. Soon one Blog wasn’t enough. I had turned my enablers into jewelryaholics too. They started asking for style advice. They needed more, more more. I was shameless. So I started Does this look good on me? 

Hey… where did everybody go? The only person left in the audience is the lady with the metal allergies

The Handyman takes away the table holding the doughnuts.

I leave. Time to make the jewelry. 

Thank you, enablers.

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French Kiss

January 29, 2010

Passion for Paris

 

Cafe rouge medium snap purse

 

I love Paris and anything that is French. The architecture, the streets, the cobblestones, the impeccably designed store windows. The cheese, the coffee and bread I could eat all day every day. Don’t even get me started about dessert. I could sit and watch the colors, sights and sounds for a lifetime.

Ohh La La Necklace

 

The handsome French men, the put-together women. The romance. The art. Paris is a city that reeks of Life and Style. Sometimes I run into people who have been there and really didn’t care for it. “I can’t believe we were in the same city!”, I’ll say. To me being somewhere so old and historically well-preserved is fascinating in and of itself.

What are you waiting for? Just go. Here are a few objects you can find in the U.S. that remind me of that great city. If you click on the pictures, it will take you to the websites that offer them.

Nick and Mo Boucle Jacket

 

The charming bag above was handmade by Susan Zupnyk of Antiquebasketlady on Etsy. We met on Twitter, where she goes by @AntiqueBasket. She is an RN by day and bag maker by night who is

Miss Shelbi Necklace

 

addicted to fabrics…all fabrics vintage to funky. Her Etsy shop features handbags, totes, wristlets, clutch bags and wallets. She welcomes custom orders and loves to be challenged. Some of Susan’s favorite designers are Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and Joel Dewberry. 

Susan can be found on : Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30160984@N02/ Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Antiquebasketlady

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Go Ahead and Cuff Me

January 24, 2010

 

Brown and Turquoise Deco Cuff

 

It all started with Johnny Depp. Specifically, with his appearance in the People Magazine most beautiful people issue, which, of course, I had picked up to peruse the jewelry ads. Ahem. I got a message from a friend to check out Johnny’s cool leather wrist cuff, and she asked me where she could get one for her boyfriend.

Back View, Button detail

 

Being the good friend I am (oh- shut up) I checked out the magazine again, which I already had because I was looking at jewelry– and saw the cuff in question. It was, of course very, very cool. I mean, look who was wearing it. I hopped onto etsy.com in search of said cuff. As I was looking, I stumbled upon scores of options. I made a suggestion to my gal pal and bookmarked a couple of women’s versions that were really pretty to get back to later.

I don’t really know if cuffs are a new trend, and, as I have mentioned before, I really don’t care. This is a style blog, people. All I know is when I went back to look at my bookmarks I immediately snapped up two really pretty ones from

Caribbean Queen Earrings

 

Baroque and Roll cuffs, made by designer Deanna DiBene. They put the “C” in Cool and the “G” in Gorgeous, honey. They are made of beautiful fabric, lined with a really soft sueded leather, and have really pretty button details. It feels like you’re wearing nothing. Well, I mean on your wrist, of course. They are so beautiful and unique, I just had to feature them on my blog, natch. Her prices are very reasonable, and she also seems to use many of the same color combos that I use in my jewelry, which is a big bonus!

Blue Bird and apple green brown leather cuff

 

Deanna loves to mix feminine and tough and practical and pretty together. Her work room is brimming with ribbons, feathers, jewels, trims and all manner of passementerie. She is most influenced by the 18th century- the glamour of old Hollywood and rock and roll. Deanna is always looking for ways to incorporate new and vintage fabrics and decorations

Lemon Drop Martini Necklace

 

together to create a modern twist on the past. So far her best sellers are the Brown and Pistachio and Brown and Turquoise Boho style. Her Websites are
http://www.Baroqueandrollcuffs.etsy.com   http://www.deannadibene.com Please visit this amazing designer’s websites and tell me what you think!

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Why Black Sucks

January 13, 2010

Did you just die… or are you wearing black again? 

Rainbow Cubic Zirconia Necklace

 

I’ll get straight to the point. Guess what. You probably look like crap in black. See those dark circles under your eyes? They are pronounced because you’re wearing black. See that pale, lifeless pallor to your skin? Blame it on the black. See your beautiful curves disappear in that photograph? Congratulations, black just flattened you like a steamroller. Yes, yes, I know I’m telling you something you don’t want to hear. Please, you’re thinking…it can’t possibly be true! I know you’re clutching your 10 little black dresses 6 black sweaters and 8 pairs of black pants and screaming ” Why, why, am I reading what this awful woman writes?”  By the way. There is no tooth fairy. See? …You’re okaaay. 

Labradorite Blue Flash Earrings

 

I KNOW somebody told you you look skinny or elegant in black, and that may be true for a few select people who can pull it off. But sweetheart, you also look like a funeral director, and you ain’t dead yet. If you don’t believe me take this simple test. Go to any catalog and look at the model of an item that is available in several colors. She is NEVER modeling the BLACK item on the printed page even though the item is available in black. This is because black is nobody’s best color. The manufacturers know that showing the item in a color will sell it, even though people will scurry to buy the black out of a bizarre safety mechanism simply because they are scared to try something new.  

WOW Red Carnelian Earrings

 

I do have one very dear friend who will only wear black and white, She leans toward white in the summer and black in the winter. They both look hideous on her. Nothing I can say or do will stop her.  I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded. I know you won’t believe this, but I’ve even been a little mean. I sometimes wonder if I love her so much because she so incredibly flawed, (she also takes forever to order in restaurants) or If I just can’t stand the thought of not being with her when we are shopping and she FINALLY finally finally tries on something other than black. If I’m not with her, will it ever happen? I doubt it. It would kinda be like missing a beautiful shooting star. You have just keep looking up at the sky and eventually it will happen. If I keep being her friend, someday Sandy will purchase green or blue. Maybe even red. Sigh.

Aqua Chalcedony Chandelier Earrings

 

Do a little experiment. Hold a black item against your face, then chocolate brown, dark green, charcoal, and navy. One or more of these colors will substitute nicely as a dark color on you. You will notice your eye color will pop, your skin will look much more radiant. Pair it with a beautiful colorful piece of jewelry from, say, for example, ME… http://www.sueanneshirzay.etsy.com  and VOILA! you look fabulous! In the words of Coco Chanel, The best color in the world is the one that looks good on YOU!

Yes. I know. I wasn’t born yesterday. Some of you will never give up your black. It CAN look very modern and chic on the right person. But please do one thing for me. Pair your black with a nice colorful shirt, jacket, skirt, pair of shoes and/or jewelry. Little children will no longer be afraid of you. People will smile at you more because you’ll actually look friendly. If you drop the entire contents of your bag on a busy Manhattan sidewalk, people will actually help you pick it up. Even the muggers.

Please feel free to comment on this post and send me any fashion or jewelry questions to sueanneshirzay3@gmail.com .

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What about my boobs?

January 10, 2010

Hooter Management 101

Boden Textured Cotton Shift

 

We all have them.  Big ones, little ones, real ones, paid-for ones. Boobs. If we have big ones, we want smaller ones, if we have tiny ones we want our cups to runneth over. If you do not want your name associated with the words “Hoochie” and “Mama” please pay attention, this post is for you.

Dressing around breasts is not as easy as it seems if you happen to be well…stacked. You get shirt gaps, you get front wrinkles where you don’t want them, and nightmares of all nightmares, you actually have

Passionfruit Golden Bee Necklace. Because it's a ribbon necklace, the length is adjustable.

 

 to pay attention to what is going on with your jewelry as it relates to your cleavage. If you’re relatively

 flat chested, no worries. You can wear anything and look fantastic.

If you’re chesty, you have to figure out how long chains need to be, if you can do chunky or skinny pieces, and how to surreptitiously remove your pendant that gets stuck in between the girls with the popcorn at the movie. 

Lane Bryant Cardigan. A great example of defining the waist and a great necklace length.

 

The most important thing is to find bras that will keep the twins locked and loaded. Especially if you are a D-cup or over, you WILL look 10 lbs. heavier if your breasts are not supported, and unfortunately my jewels will only emphasize this if they are hanging right on top of the sag sisters. So hoist those puppies up with a well fitted bra. If you have put on or lost any weight recently, or look like you have a uniboob, or worse, four breasts, guess what- you need a new bra. Bloomingdales has the best selection of well-made bras, and some are absolutely gorgeous AND supportive in my humble opinion. www.bloomingdales.com.

After that, take care to find tops that are fitted to your shape. No need to put a tent on. You will look enormous. Try to find tops that have a V, or a scoop. Crew tops will emphasize your chest if they end high on your neck. You want the eye to be drawn DOWN emphasizing your length, not your width. Especially unflattering is anything with a front yoke. This is an evil  trend that will make you will look pregnant. Same with

Tourmaline nugget multi-colored long necklace

 

swing tops, just say NO. You’ll need to define your waist when you are chesty, otherwise your top half just looks like a big rectangle in clothes. If you have a blouse that gaps between buttons, you will need to go up a size or two and enlist a tailor to take in the side seam. Shopping will take longer. you will have to try on more things to get a good fit. Patience is required. It’s better to have a few well-fitting pieces than a closet full of ill-fitting mistakes that you never want to wear. Hint: If your back looks lumpy, the shirt is too small. This is a bit of a pet peeve with me when I see people out. If there is any chance of your bra showing in the front, then it’s cut too low. That would seem to be common sense, yet I see it happening all the time.

As far as chain length, shorter chains needs to hit 1″ above the cleavage or less. For most people this is 16-18″. It can be as long as 20″ for a taller person. I call this the Neck-to-Boob-Ratio. It’s very scientific. Ha Ha. For longer chains, I recommend they hit near or below the navel. but if you are layering, some can be a little shorter. For most people this is between 42″ and 48″, unless you have a really long torso. The great thing about my necklaces http://www.etsy.com/shop/SueanneShirzay?section_id=5517431 is that they can be made to order in any length you want. Of course you don’t want them to be so long they get caught up in a belt buckle.

I hope this helped you and the girls.  Please feel free to email me any questions and/or clothing pictures if you want to know …Does this look good on me? to sueanneshirzay3@gmail.com

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Keeping it Simple

January 6, 2010

Congratulations! You’ve organized your closet and no longer are terrified of opening the door for fear the contents will fall out on your head, immediately rendering you temporarily – or worse – permanently unable to shop. WHAT? You have no idea what I’m talking about? Please take a step back and read post #2, Conquering Your Closet. 

For this first Style File clothing and jewelry post I picked out these two very cute tops that are currently available in Anthropologie stores as well as www.anthropologie.com.

Secret Message Blouse

A word about Anthropologie. I’ll try to be brief. THEY ROCK. You’ll have to excuse me, but the simple mention of this store just makes me smile. And make sure I know the whereabouts of my Amex at all times. They understand color, therefore they understand ME. Don’t we all just want to be “understood” by the places that suck away almost every dollar of our disposable income? Is it asking too much? Yes, yes we do.

Teresa Green Onyx Earrings

I can always count on Anthropologie to have something that works for my ” I really don’t want to wear what everybody else is wearing, so give me something different  Artiste aesthetic” kind of thing I have going on. As a bonus they don’t cost a fortune and have some really kick-ass sales, pretty much all the time. Plus they sell cool kitchen stuff like candles and doorknobs, soap, knick knacks. Some Jewelry. (Of course, mine is better-hairflip!). 

Amethyst Chandelier Earrings

You’ll notice both blouses are in mid-tone colors. To keep it simple, I’ll define a tone as the saturation of a particular color. There are endless tones of a color. Though both blouses are in fairly universally flattering colors, if your skin tone seems to clash with them, then they are not for you. Both tops come in other colors, by the way. The jewelry that I have shown all work well with either blouse. 

Breeze Along Cami

One of the best books that explains color and skin tones and has really handy color charts is What you wear can change your life, By Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine. Basically Trinny and Susannah are the U.K.’s version of Stacy and Clinton. The jewelry I have chosen goes with these tops because it has the same range of tones in it. Because both tops have ruffles, I’m just going with earrings, here. Both can be worn with white if you live somewhere warm, your favorite jeans, other neutral pants and skirts. If , like me you’re freezing right now- wear a pretty, short, fitted jacket. 

Aqua Pineapple Earrings

There’s no reason to add a necklace to this formula with so much flounce going on already, but if you do just keep it very very simple, or you will look like you are being worn by your clothing and jewelry instead of you wearing it. No reason to match colors of jewelry exactly. If you look at most stones carefully, they have several colors going on in them. You never have to drive yourself crazy trying to be perfect. In fact, is there anything better than a “happy accident” when it comes to putting something together. NO! Have fun! 

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Conquering Your Closet

January 2, 2010

In the beginning, God created closets. Now, for many of us, a closet is a friendly happy place, full of fond retail therapy memories. But, if you have a busy life and are naturally disorganized, like me, sometimes a closet can be a place where you can

The Bella

only find one shoe, when you really need two, and your favorite jeans go missing for an entire week. I overhauled my closet a few years back, and am now at peace with my inner closet. Before we get started talking about which goes jewelry goes with what, you will need to know what you have to work with. Let’s dig in and organize your closet.

There are five things you need to buy, other than my jewelry, www.sueanneshirzay.etsy.com just to make me happy. You DO want me to be happy, DON’T you?

1. Buy wooden hangers. They have them really cheap at Ikea or Target. When you invest a little in a hanger, it’s better for your clothes, looks uniform, easier to see things as they hang. The one exception is that you can hang your sleeveless tops and dresses on those plastic hangers with plastic notches so they don’t fall off the hanger. From the Container Store www.containerstore.com  buy clear plastic shoe boxes for your shoes. Buy a few fabric covered stackable topless boxes for your undies. I think I got mine from Crate and Barrel or Hold Everything. Clear sleeved hanging handbag holders can be found at the Container Store as well.

2. Take every single thing out of the closet and put it on your bed or floor. Or both. No, do not try to get away with leaving the shoes in there. You WILL be getting rid of some. Take them out. NOW, young lady. NOWWW.

3. Look at everything. With the exception of evening dresses, if you have not worn it in a year, if it doesn’t fit you, and can’t be altered or if it’s really hideous and people mock you every time you wear it, give it to a friend or the needy. If it was expensive, sell it on eBay so you can buy more cool stuff. *Waving hands frantically* I will accept any and all Gucci donations, by the way. I’m not proud. I’ll MAKE that size 4 jacket fit me. Eyeroll. 

4. Sort everything. Here are the categories: pants, jeans,  long-sleeved shirts,  short-sleeved shirts, sleeveless shirts, jackets, sweaters, dresses, formal dresses, shoes, boots, bags, regular undies, special undies, (wink wink) workout clothes, things that need to go to the tailor, receipts, pens and makeup that wound up in your closet but don’t really belong there. Put them in a plastic shoe box to deal with later.  Last but not least, Jewelry. (sound of choir singing) I keep sterling in plastic baggies to prevent oxidation, and put them in a clear shoebox. Everything else goes into clear tower drawer thingie I have on a closet shelf.  Container Store again. Your fine jewelry should never be kept in your closet. Lock it up or hide it in the house. Just don’t forget where you put it, for Pete’s sake. Crying and jewelry do not mix. Not at all. Now pay attention. 

5. One by one, place the clothing items on hangers. YES you are hanging everything. NO you will not wear it if it’s folded up. You know you won’t. Stop pretending drawers work for you if they do not. I’m not a drawer person. If you are, then go ahead

Hello Gorgeous Labradorite Earrings

and put things in drawers. I never wear anything that’s in a drawer except bathing suits and socks, because if I can’t SEE it, it’s not THERE. Hang up each group. As you hang them up,  arrange them BY COLOR from light to dark. Now you will see very quickly what you have too much of. You will find several things that you had no idea you still owned. Your WILL find your BFFs shirt that you borrowed six months ago. When I did this overhaul for my mother’s closet, she was shocked to see that she had 18 pairs of black pants. Who knew? 

6. Get one of those hanging handbag holders to save space, they’re awesome. Put those shoes into plastic boxes with the exception of your running shoes, because you know you won’t make it to the gym if those shoes aren’t out and taunting you each and every day. 

7. When you’re done, reward yourself.  You deserve it!  I suggest chocolate, coffee and a manicure, because you just screwed up your nail polish and you’re starving. Congratulations!  : )


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