Thursday, February 22, 2018

What Do Bracelets Mean

The dictionary defines 'bracelet' as an ornamental band or chain encircling the wrist. Although not everyone likes something hanging around their wrist, or anything at all on their wrist for that matter, but a bracelet or watch or a combination of the two can be considered everyday accessories for many. Bracelets are designed in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials; however, many of them have meaning behind them?
When giving a bracelet as a gift to someone, it's good to know about the meaning of the bracelet or its components. It can be a very simple design to signify a peaceful life or relationship. It can also have meaningful charms or symbols and  be loaded with character. Here are a few examples:
  • A horseshoe is an accepted sign of good luck
  • A circle could represent a an unending friendship or relationship
  • A starfish could show the connection of the sky and the earth
  • A honey bee symbolizes following your dreams.
  • An anchor shows loyalty and faithfulness
Friendship - Two friendship bracelets are usually either identical or very similar in design and exchanged by two friends. The circle of the bracelet signifies the unending friendship between the two. Of course, they are not limited to two friends. Maybe a group of childhood friends would exchange bracelets for a reunion or a hallmark anniversary or for absolutely no reason at all.

Would this pretty "Dreaming of Aloha" bracelet, with its hibiscus charm, bring back memories of a wonderful cruise you took to the islands with a close friend?

Click HERE or on the image for detailed instructions.

Remembering - A remembrance bracelet, adorned with a stone, gem or sometimes a locket, is often worn to remind us of someone dear or of an event that has had an impact on our lives. Wearing it where it is constantly seen triggers good memories.

Add a charm of your choice to this simply elegant bracelet that reminds you of something from your childhood perhaps.

Click HERE or on the image for detailed instructions.

Keepsakes - Carry your collection of favorites with you when you wear a charm bracelet. Traditionally made of chain with large links where an assortment of theme-based charms are attached and displayed. As the wearer moves, the charms bounce against one another to make a tinkling sound and could distract from the stress of the day.

What fun you'd have making this great charm bracelet in your school colors and wearing  it to your high school reunion.

Click HERE or on the image for detailed instructions.

Arm jewelry elements can be mixed and blended depending on your feelings and mood. Leather with chain, bangles and cuffs, a wide variety of clasps and closures, and any other combination the mind can create. In some instances, though, it seems that the goal is merely to see how many one arm can hold.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Timeless Trends

Fashion Week is in full swing in New York City where the well-dressed fashion lovers fill the streets and establishments. This is their time to shine. The most prominent in the fashion industry display their wares and predict what will be hot and trending in the coming season. Jewelry is always a major part of any outfit you want to wear to create a stunning look.

The elite fashion designers may set the trends for the coming year’s couture, but there are jewelry classics that rarely, if ever, go completely out of style. Here are some of the hottest fashion jewelry trends that will be worn, in one design form or another, by the classically fashionable woman in all walks of life for many years to come.

  • Tiaras – Tiaras are beautiful and glittering crystal headpieces which can look like the crowns traditionally seen worn by royalty or like petite hairdressings. Tiaras have been on the trending charts for many years.
  • Hoop Earrings – Hoop earrings are classic accessories. Large or small, sheer single wire or embellished with beads and stones, they seem to be just as relevant today as they were in the disco era.
  • Bracelets – Bracelets have a long and strong history in fashion. From slim and tiny chains to big and clunky bangles, bracelets not only accessorize, but they are worn to represent a special personal meaning, belief or supported cause. Whatever you are looking for when it comes to bracelets, there is something for everyone.
  • Long Necklaces – Long necklaces have earned their place in the fashion world. They companion well with any style neckline and when worn with a choker or shorter necklace, make a personal statement of fashion sense. Today, long necklaces go with just about everything.
  • Diamonds – Diamonds “are a girl’s best friend” and have been the most popular, as well as the most durable and lasting kind of center gem in a variety of settings for eons. Whether the choice be diamond earrings, necklaces or bracelets, the look will always be iconic.
  • Coin Necklaces – Coin necklaces and bracelets have been top trending for many generations. Sometimes the craze cools, but then someone famous is seen wearing one and the demand becomes a rage once again.
  • Stacking Rings – Stacking rings have an expensive look, but they’re super easy to assemble and usually cost effective to add a personal statement and unique features of your wardrobe.
  • Earring Drops – Earring drops seem to never go out of fashion and, in moderation, they are appropriate for business wear as well. Current designs include cascades, long fringe and chandeliers, but they can be customized to fit almost any style popular at the moment.
  • Rose Gold Anything – Rose Gold has become the chosen color over Gold or Silver in accessories from jewelry to cell phones. Having a warmer feel than silver and a cooler feel than gold gives it a luxurious attraction for many.

Keeping your own taste in mind and reflecting your current mood, adjust and add to the trending styles when building your jewelry wardrobe. It reflects your individuality and your personality and makes you feel like an intricate part of your social world. Experiment and, above all, have fun!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Chain...Links of the Ages

Chain...the embodiment of our own fashion intelligence. Let's peek into the world of chain, shall we? When we think of chain jewelry, a stream of images can come to mind. From delicate little circles of gold or silver nuzzling each other, to a thick collar of chunky metal beads lined up side by side, there is a chain that will suit anyone's taste.

Chain jewelry has generated symbolism in many different roles throughout the ages. It can represent eternal love, linking two people together with no beginning and no end, or a strong and unbreakable bond between friends. In direct opposition, chain can bring to light an image of bondage and imprisonment.

Mythological and medieval religious art has depicted chain as unshakable faith or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, when associated with devils and demons, symbolized defeat through materialistic desires. Homer wrote about a chain created by Zeus that connected heaven and earth. Plato spoke about a chain that held the universe together. Eastern religions, even in more modern times, relate common actions to the links of the chain of Karma.

Chain is apparently ageless. The British Museum has a chain and bead headband in their Middle Eastern collection that was excavated from the Mesopotamia area and dated to 2500 BC. The materials, styles, sizes and uses of chain from ancient times have developed and blossomed into the wide variety available today.

In today's chic to casual fashion world, from extravagant to demure, expensive to costume, classic to nouvelle, chain drapes over or hangs from every body part of the human frame. It can connect a nose ring to an earring and a ring on your finger to a bracelet. A fine mesh belt slides through a belly ring as today's couture beach wear. Adding a toggle and a pocket watch to a length of gold chain makes a perfect masculine accessory for the office. The best way to embellish your own body parts is to start designing and making your own jewelry. Buy it by the foot, adorn it with beads, gems, a pendant or charms, add a jump ring or two and a lobster clasp and voila! You now have a personal ornament that is as unique as you.

Antelope Beads consistently adds new chain to our available products along with creative ideas to use it. Check out our latest additions on the website HERE

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

How Does Jewelry Make You Feel About You?

Hi! How are you? Well, I'm not really asking about your health, although I do hope you are well; however, I am asking how you feel about yourself. Today's world is filled with challenges and circumstances that your grandparents, yes, even your parents could never imagine and yet, you face new challenges every day. What does this have to do with jewelry you ask?

To overcome those daily challenges and live each day to its fullest, it's imperative to take inventory of how you feel about YOU. Let's do a little evaluating together, shall we?

1. Are you a copy of your mother, or do you strive to be your own unique person?

2. Do you choose the path less traveled, or do you follow the trendsetters you find on the Internet or in magazines?

3. Would you rather be classically understated and conservative in your style, or are you flamboyant and a risk taker?

4. Do you use jewelry to accessorize what you wear or do you plan your outfit around the jewelry you design?

What did you learn about yourself in these few questions? Now, in perspective, however you answered them, you can be sure that every piece of jewelry you wear tells a story about you.

I have always personally felt that a woman's (or a man's) confidence and unique character are her greatest assets. When you have self-confidence, it doesn't matter that you may be carrying a few extra pounds, or that you have a blemish or that you're having a bad hair day. Each of us have days when we aren't on top of the world. But what is important is that you can feel good about yourself in any situation. You know who you are inside and that the love you feel for yourself brings out an inner beauty for the world to see.

Now, back to the point of this story, when it comes to your choice in jewelry, each piece you wear tells something about you. Here are some ideas that could boost your confidence and individuality:

 *Wear jewelry that makes a statement about who you are and matches your personality, not that of some untouchable Hollywood actress. If you are feeling regal, why not make a necklace that enhances your mood and lets you stand out from the crowd like our Nobility Necklace?

 *Find pieces that support a cause you believe in. As an example, Antelope Beads offers Kazuri Ceramic Beads that are certified as Fair Trade and help provide disadvantaged women of Kenya a way to better themselves and support their families. See the Kazuri Ceramic Beads we have on the website.

 *Wear jewelry that has meaning for you such as a friendship bracelet or a charm or pendant that connects to a symbol of your faith or a childhood memory. Maybe as a child, you danced in a field of flowers that our pretty Butterfly Wing Pendant could represent.

 *Make your own. To let your true personality, individuality and creativity shine, make pieces that you design. When someone comments on how pretty your necklace is, just think how proud you will be when you say, "Thank you. I made it!" We have tutorials that can help you make all your creative ideas come to life, no matter what your experience level. Watch and Learn Here!

Whether you realize it or not, every piece of jewelry you own has a story behind it. How does jewelry make you feel about You?

Friday, December 29, 2017

Finding the Parts of the Whole

I'd like to talk with you a little bit about findings - parts of the whole. Have you ever wondered why the jewelry-making hardware that connect elements together is bunched into a group called 'findings'?

In the days when people who made jewelry had to rely on their own ingenuity to make all the components for each of their creations, a project required its maker to hammer out pieces of precious metal or draw out twisted stretches for wire. Being unsure of themselves, as well as inexperienced in their art, they would often use more metal than actually needed. These leftovers were saved to become part of another piece. The next time the artist designed a piece that needed a closing or a connection, he would rummage through his collection of scraps to find exactly what he needed. These collections of scraps and pieces eventually came to be known as findings.

Today, pre-made findings are a huge part of the jewelry making supply business. Lobster claws, magnetic clasps, toggles and s-hooks are the clasps and fasteners that hold your pieces together and make them easier to take on and off.

  • Eye pins - great for making custom links to form chains: Thread beads and a charm on an eye pin, leaving about a quarter inch to form a loop at the open end with round nose pliers. Repeat the process until you have enough to link together and form a necklace the length you want.

  • Head pins - great for forming charms or pendants: Thread beads, leaving about a quarter inch to form a loop at the open end, again using round nose pliers. Add your charm to a chain as a pendant or to an eye pin link, like the one described in the previous paragraph, or, duplicate your pendant for earring embellishments.

  • Jump Rings - the basic connectors in jewelry making. Use them to link eye and head pin loops to each other or to chain, join different styles of chain and add extenders, endings and clasps.

NOTE when using jump rings: They connect and hold everything together, right? So you want them to remain strong. Do not pull a ring apart from side to side, causing a weak and distorted, sometimes cracked portion of the ring. Instead, grasp each side and gently pull one side toward you and push the other away from you and open it just enough to add it to your project. Then reverse that motion to close it.

  • Endings - the finishing touches to your project. Crimp beads and tubes close a strand of beads. Cones are used for multi-strand projects and hide the knots. End crimps and crimp coils are used with a dot of glue for the ends of leather or ribbon cording for a place to add a closure.

This list, of course, does not cover all findings available, by any means. For more information about all kinds of findings available, go to  and browse our pages. Don't forget to familiarize yourself with the many types of findings and the correct tools to use with them and, as you get more sure of your efforts and more creative with your designs, the findings will themselves add to the beauty of your creations. Maybe you'll even create some of your own.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Jewelry in a Man's World

Many of the traditional lines between men’s and women’s fashion are becoming blurred, and it is no surprise that the same holds true for jewelry. "Jewelers’ Keystone Circular" proposes that this is true  especially for younger people, for whom some of the basic gender constructs no longer apply.

Many of today's men would agree that they want to avoid being over adorned. Jewelry for men, as with women, should be an extension of a man’s style and self-image, likely worn on a daily basis. That having been said, men can readily stack and pair necklaces and bracelets, combining chain, leather, and beaded designs in a variety of combinations of simple to bold or colors and textures.

And yet there still seems to be some basic criteria for successful men’s jewelry designs:

Simple Designs – Just a strand of leather, possibly textured, with an interesting clasp may be the perfect combination for a winning bracelet design. The Plain and Simple Bracelet  is a perfect sample of this concept. However, there are several different ways to branch out from this point:

  • This Bolted Anchor Flat Leather Bracelet employs a double wrap, or strand design. It  is still quite simple but the double strand adds a bit more interest. 

  • Add a focal component. The Gray Granite Bracelet uses very simple PVC cord with sophisticated ceramic accents.

  • Add one or more coordinating strands of leather for a bit more interest. Use several different types and colors of flat and round leather in a basic cuff design, such as with the Montana Code Bracelet . Or, use a mix of leathers for a more dimensional look as with the Cayden’s Cog Bracelet

  • Beaded bracelets are also on trend for men. The use of natural materials, such as wood, are a great starting point for designing men’s bracelets. The Eye of the Leopard Bracelet,  uses Robles wood and beautifully crafted ceramic beads for a winning combination. Just remember to keep it simple!

Bold and Substantial Designs - For a more venturous look, select larger leather sizes and clasps. The Regaliz leather cords are perfect in this regard, used alone or with simple embellishments, such as with the Black Elegance Bracelet

 Leathers can also be combined to create a substantial look as with the Greek Tryst Bracelet. Our Rustic Cuff Bracelet makes use of a larger focal to achieve a bold look.

Color - Although there are exceptions, most men’s jewelry is created using neutrals or subtle and muted colors and basic metal components. Designs can be a single color like our Lacuna Jet Bracelet or a blend of colors and textures as in the Brass Wrap Bracelet.

Necklaces - We've basically been talking about bracelets regarding men's accessories, but many men like to wear something around their neck as well. Whether to make a statement, show an affiliation or accessorize a personal style, necklace designs can be as simple as a strand of substantial chain, using, as an example, our Oval Link Chain, which comes in black and gunmetal as well as more traditional finishes; or a strand of leather or suede with a simple focal, such as in the very attractively designed Palmwood Necklace. There are as many possibilities as there are personalities. Experiment with more intricate or flamboyant designs, depending on the guy who will wear it.

Unisex Jewelry - Undoubtedly, many men’s jewelry designs will appeal to both sexes. This is not surprising, since men’s designs are based on some pretty basic, universal principles. This is also a result of some “blurring” of the lines between genders, as we discussed above. Of course, some designs can be modified with respect to size and color to create both men’s and women’s versions of the same design. The Missing Pieces Bracelets  and the Chic and Sleek Bracelets are great examples of this concept.

If you are a man who makes his own, or someone who creates jewelry for a man, don't be afraid to try new and different techniques and ways to wear your finished pieces. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this subject.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Make a Plan That Works for You!

What kind of creating system do you have? No matter where you are on the expertise level - pro, amateur or beginner- if you make jewelry, then you follow some kind of a procedure.

Yes, at times you pick up a piece of wire and start twisting and adding beads or you put a length of leather through a gorgeous slider you just found and, with a clasp...voila! You have a pretty one-of-a-kind bracelet that you didn't plan at all.

But there is almost always a series of steps that leads you to the final, finished product, especially if it is a deliberate and purposeful effort. Of course, depending on your personal style, your routine is fashioned by the way you work and that in itself will ensure the finished product is original and unique to your inspiration, imagination and talent. In my opinion, these are the four steps in the creative process that, in my experience, are fairly common.

Step 1 - Make a Plan. Get inspired. Whether it be by the person who'll receive your creation as a gift and what they like, or a cause that captures your interest or a memory from your childhood, you can be inspired by the tiniest speck to the universe around us. Will it be simple or extravagant? What elements and colors will most represent what you want it to say? How much time do you want to invest? Then devise a plan to pull all that creative thought into a tangible piece of jewelry.

Step 2 - Put It on Paper (literally or figuratively). This step will let you see your design. Sketch it on paper or use one of the available computer programs and bring your ideas together so you can see an image of your final piece. It doesn't matter how you draw it as long as you understand it, but the more detail you add in this step, the less chance there will be for design hiccups when you are doing the actual work. Here is where you can move elements and focal points, re-position beads or change the style or types of closures, etc. This would also be a good time to make a list of all the materials you will need for your design. If you are using a pendant, decide how you will attach it. How many beads do you plan to use and what lengths of chain will you need? The more information you list now, the more efficiently your work will go.

Step 3 - Prepare and Organize. This is when to get yourself, your tools and supplies organized. Believe me, there is nothing worse than holding a tiny chain link in the perfect position and then realizing you don't have a crimp. Your surroundings are important when planning a successful project, too. Set aside a block of time when you will not be disturbed, someplace without a lot of distractions. Light an aromatic candle, turn on some music you like and put yourself in a calm and assertive mind set to work. Especially if you are making jewelry as a business, this is an important step to promote productivity in any way that works for you.

Step 4 - Just Do It! Be guided by your plan and your original inspiration. Refer to your design, but remember, you can alter it as needed while doing the actual work. If it's a time-consuming project, take an occasional break to avoid cramps or tired-induced frustration. Take pictures, especially if you are in business or you're going to sell your pieces online. Shots of the different phases of your system will tell the story of the finished piece and stories sell product. Pictures of your finished pieces are a must for your portfolio, which every designer should have.

And most importantly, enjoy the process!

So, what do you think? Do you have a similar system or a different procedure altogether? I would love to hear your story. Anything you offer can help your jewelry-making colleagues and is appreciated by all of us.

If you need inspiration, Antelope Beads has a variety of suggestions and how-to's on the website. Browse through our samples to find ideas to make, remarks from the designer and a list of components.
Click Here!

Thanks, Everyone! I'm glad you're on our team.