23 December 2010

Warm wishes for the holidays!

Christmas is almost here, which means there are still a few days left to enter to $50 gift card draw. How does it work? Each purchase from the online store at aileen.etsy.com is equal to one entry and all customers in 2010 will have a chance to win the gift card! The winner will be drawn early in the new year so don't miss out!

In the meantime, I would like to wish everyone a safe, warm, and happy holidays this winter! Here is a sneak peek at the Elysia earrings, which will be added to the store in January:

28 November 2010

Craft fair debrief

The Steveston Christmas Craft Fair was just a few days ago and my favourite sales were to my high school friend Ashley. She bought my Riley earrings at a previous craft fair and after not driving for a long time, braved traffic and an unfamiliar vehicle just to see my jewellery again! After checking out the selection, Ashley got the Delphine earrings for her mom and the Doreen earrings for herself.

I also held a gift card draw since I love to do small promotions at craft fairs, whether they are draws or bonuses with purchase. The winner of a $25 gift card is Claire Adamson!

In related news, although I no longer have the crowd favourite Riley earrings in stock, they are available by special order. I make an exception for these earrings (silver plated) and the identical Rowena earrings (antique brass plated) because they are simply too beautiful to not share:

19 November 2010

Craft fair count down

Today, I started preparations for my third Steveston Christmas Craft Fair and will have to shut down my studio for about a week. This means no more jewellery making until after November 27th!

What kinds of activities take place during preparation? First of all, I inventorize all my pieces and make a detailed list showing the materials and price. This list comes in handy at the end of the fair when I need to figure out which items I sold versus the ones I didn't. Then, I figure out which pieces were made since my last craft show because they require display materials and labels. Next, I prepare the display cards and tie the tags to the new bracelets and necklaces.

When the pieces are done, I review the promotion I plan to run for that craft fair. I will be doing another gift card draw this time around, which means I will need to create signage and entry forms. I also need to make sure I have enough business cards to hand out - this is especially important because some people don't need jewellery when they are at the fair, but want to look at my Etsy shop later.

The remainder of the preparation activities is for supplies and day-of things. This includes having enough bags for the sales and for the first time ever, I will have jewellery boxes as well! I also like to cut and curl ribbon ahead of time because this saves a lot of time on the big day! Then, there are other activities like washing and ironing my tablecloth (there is nothing less professional than a dirty or wrinkled tablecloth), making sure I have extra pens on hand, and cleaning my mirrors.

On the evening before the craft fair, I empty my Etsy shop and put up a note saying all unsold items will be restocked after the craft fair. This is extremely important because most of my pieces are one-of-a-kind and I would have a major headache if something sold at the craft fair and online!

15 November 2010

A bloom for all seasons

This is just a quickie post to show off a brand new lariat, which will debut at the Steveston Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday, November 27th. The little teardrop shaped pieces are fine silver, which is 99.9% pure silver as opposed to sterling's 92.5%. They were made in a recent PMC class and are imprinted with a cherry blossom design. My friend Elisse came up with the name Sakura and I think it's a perfect fit!

07 November 2010

Another way to work with silver

The Steveston Christmas Craft Fair is coming up quickly (Saturday, November 27th) and I will have to start preparing for it soon. For now, my mind is elsewhere because I worked with precious metal clay (PMC) for the first time yesterday and fell in love with it. Although it doesn't require any experience, my knowledge of pottery and silversmithing came in handy! Here are some of the pieces I made:

25 October 2010

Amber alert!

A total of eleven items have been added to the shop including two custom pieces: the Kiwa necklace and the Julia earrings. The latter are miniature versions of the beautiful Lilyana. Here is a photo of the Delphine, which are the first earrings from ARIA INDUSTRIES to feature amber!

14 October 2010

Pink is for girls

I am finally preparing to post items in the shop! It's a little slow but I expect to get some work done over the weekend. Here is another sneak peek in the meantime... This is the Delice necklace, which is one of my favourite showy pieces ever. The jawdropping centerpiece is a 59.50ct crystal quartz pendant it is topped with a large cluster of pink and white topazes, rose quartzes, and pearls.

11 October 2010

On the blue blue waters

One of the upcoming pieces is the Zura, a showy yet featherlight pair of earrings. The design took several forms before I settled on the final look and they are in order here from left to right:

02 October 2010

A new leaf

I have been on hiatus on the website rebuilding front because a couple of earring designs popped into mind. Here is the Aurora, which I recently made for a friend's workplace United Way fundraising campaign:

22 August 2010

WWWork

I have been taking a break from making jewellery this weekend to attend to something that has been on my to-do list for a year. For the last two days, I have been busy cobbling together HTML and CSS because I am redesigning the Aria Industries website!

The new design has a lot of similarities with the current site at ARIAindustries.com, but there are some much needed changes including a smaller logo, the introduction of "rhapsody on a theme of sterling silver, gemstones, and pearls", and additional pages. However, the most notable difference is probably the non-white background, which makes for a more cohesive presentation of the content. Here is a mock up of the new site:


Now, compare that with the teeny tiny content block of the soon-to-be old design, which was created for smaller monitors:


This is actually not my first attempt to redo the .com site... I worked on a new look a year ago, but I'm glad I never finished because I no longer find it appealing. The colours were depressing, the content was difficult to manage, and the proliferation of photos on each page plus a gallery was overkill. This is the unfinished and abandoned design:


Bleck, right?

12 August 2010

New stones, new designs

Two necklaces and eleven pairs of earrings have been added to the shop! The newest additions include stones that have not been used before, such as the pale blue-green hemimorphites in the Ondine earrings and the emeralds in the Val earrings. Sapphire also makes its debut in two pairs of earrings: there are tiny brown ones in the Arlene earrings and pink ones in the Inessa earrings as seen below:

12 July 2010

One pair for each day

It's been more than a week since the Salmon Festival and I have been busy making new earrings. In fact, I had three days off this weekend and made three pairs of earrings! Coming soon will be the Inessa (pink sapphire and pearl), Johanna (cherry quartz and carnelian), and as seen here, the Melrose (amethyst, pink topaz, and garnet):

02 July 2010

Afterglow

The Salmon Festival Craft Fair has come and gone, and with it went some of my jewellery. Three of my most memorable sales were the Claudia earrings (sold half an hour before the fair even started), the Felicia earrings (to Felicia, who couldn't take her eyes off the baby blue beads), and the brand new Diana necklace (a gift from a daughter to her mother). The day also included an exciting inquiry from someone who wanted custom jewellery to match her sari... If anything comes of it, I will definitely write about it here! Thank you to all my existing friends who stopped by and a big welcome to the new friends I made!

01 July 2010

T minus zero

The 2010 Salmon Festival has finally arrived! Come visit me at the Steveston Community Centre gymnasium today and see some brand new pieces that have yet to be posted in the shop. One of them is this blue, green, and purple beauty... Here are the Val earrings, with apatite, emerald, vesuvianite, and amethyst:

24 June 2010

The countdown begins!

There is now under one week left to June, which means there is still time to snag a deal at aileen.etsy.com. All earrings are discounted during the 10/15/20 sale and the same discount applies to bracelets and necklaces purchased at the same time!

The Salmon Festival Craft Fair is just around the corner so be sure to mark July 1st on your calendar! All of the jewellery in the shop will be available for viewing and purchase in the Steveston Community Centre gymnasium from 10am to 5pm so please come by and say hi! Several items will make their debut at the craft fair including this understated citrine necklace, called Diana:

16 June 2010

New to the shop

Seven items have been added to the shop including the Cadence earrings, which sold mere minutes after they were posted. A new record!

Also added to the shop are these beautiful chandelier earrings... Featuring prehnite, peridot, pyrite, crystal quartz, and mystic blue topaz, the blue and green colours of the Yara earrings evoke a watery vision:

13 June 2010

Pink'd!

Want to know how to get this beautiful pink quartz, peridot, and citrine necklace?


Aria Industries is donating to the Pink in the City silent auction, set to take place at Canvas Lounge on Friday, June 25th! The event is a fundraiser for women's cancers and the Violane necklace will be one of many beautiful items available. Find out more about the event and purchase tickets here!

01 June 2010

10/15/20 sale

For the first time ever, Aria Industries is having a 10/15/20 sale! What does this mean? During the month of June, all online purchases at aileen.etsy.com enjoy this deal:

Purchase 1 pair of earrings, get 10% off
Purchase 2 pairs of earrings, get 15% off
Purchase 3 pairs of earrings or more, get 20% off

There's more - necklaces and/or bracelets purchased at the same time get the same deal. This means an order of two pairs of earrings and a necklace gets a 15% discount!

For this to work, all items have to be purchased and paid for at the same time before the end of June. Customers may do the math themselves or wait for an adjusted invoice before sending payment - either way, a confirmation of the total will be sent within 24 hours of the order.

Please note the discount does not apply to shipping and items cannot be held during this period. As well, this deal expires during the evening of June 30th because all available items will be taken out of the shop in preparation for the Salmon Festival Craft Fair on July 1st! But until then, shop away!

30 May 2010

Shop in person, part two

Here is the display case showing off my jewellery at Inner Fit Studios!


At the moment, I am working on a bracelet with dark jewel tones. There are four stones in rotation - garnet, vesuvianite, andalusite, and iolite - and I have to say they look pretty good together!

27 May 2010

Shop in person!

I've got exciting news! Four of my pieces are currently on display (and are for sale) at Inner Fit Studios in Richmond. The four items comprise of three pairs of earrings (Pippa, Cherie, and Yasmin) and one bracelet (Paloma) and will be rotated once in a while. This means they have been taken out of the shop for the time being, but will be put back when I switch items.

To see the jewellery in person, visit Inner Fit Studios at 128 - 12838 Clarke Road in Richmond. It's by Jacombs and Cambie Roads, which is really close to Ikea! And I would be remiss if I didn't point out that the owner, Rachel, is my trainer and her studio offers excellent personal training and bootcamp sessions!

20 May 2010

Earrings in development

Since the last post, I have attended another bead sale and picked up a ton of beads: some green tourmaline (new to my stock), melanite (also new to my stock and super duper shiny), andalusite (one of my all time favourites), blue topaz (hands down the jaw dropper of the bunch), several strands of labradorite, lemon quartz, and more! I am incredibly excited about the new items and they should start showing up when I post new pieces to the shop.

There are currently three pairs of earrings in the works and the first pair to be completed will be short and delicate. Named Portia, they will have only white materials - moonstone, pearl, and white topaz. Then there are the Lalani earrings, which are grander and more intricate. These were inspired by something I saw on the show Spartacus: Blood and Sand, but the design ended up completely different from what Lucy Lawless' character was wearing. The main stones will be smoky quartz, garnet, and amethyst. Lastly, there is another pair of earrings that are just itching to be made and they will also be chandeliers like the Lalani. The Yara earrings will incorporate one of the sterling silver findings pictured in my previous post and the stones will be mystic blue topaz, prehnite, peridot, and pyrite. The colours remind me of water, which is perfect because the name means "water lady" to the Tupi people in Brazil.

01 May 2010

New stock

The Whole Bead Show is in town for it's annual Vancouver event and I stocked up on supplies! Here is a peek at some of the stones I got:


I also bought some sterling silver findings such as these:


I wonder what kind of earrings I can make with these goodies! I should add that I have been busy with a cake decorating class, but the last class (for now) is tomorrow morning and I expect to have some more time to make jewellery soon.

11 April 2010

Goodbye Elaine

When one of my coworkers informed us she would be leaving us for a job closer to home, the rest of us wondered what departing gift to give her. We knew she loved necklaces so it did not take long to decide! We hammered out the details: it would be a little bit like the Carmen, but would use smoky quartz, green amethyst, and crystal quartz. These are the notes I made at the time:


When I started to work on the necklace, I realized that having two smoky quartz beads next to each other would not look great because there would be too much darkness surrounding the crystal quartzes. Thus, the design was modified and the resulting Elaine necklace has alternating light and dark elements with beautiful green amethysts added to the mix:

24 March 2010

What's in a name?

Over the years, I have been asked many times where the names of my creations come from. And the answer, I always say, is everywhere! Sometimes I name things after people in my life or those who custom ordered the piece, other times it is celebrities or something from the entertainment world. Recently I named three pairs of earrings after Olympians, but most often, I am completely stumped as to what name to choose. When that happens, I will visit baby name websites for ideas. Ultimately, I like to choose names that fit the personality of the piece. I have compiled a list of all the names I have ever used for my jewellery and here are a few tidbits about names that were inspired by popular culture:

Carice: I watched the movie The Black Book as I made the necklace and the protagonist was played by Dutch actress Carice van Houten.

Romilda: These black hypersthene earrings were named after Romilda Vane from the Harry Potter universe because I always pictured her with straight black hair.

Margaux: The prestigious winery Ch√Ęteau Margaux was the inspiration behind the name because the earrings' garnets were wine coloured and the cluster style looked like grapes.

Lydia: The purples and blacks in these earrings reminded me of the girl from the Beetlejuice cartoons.

Fiametta: I had just finished reading In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant, and that was the name of the title character. Also, the pale blue calcites in the earrings perfectly complemented the colours of the book cover.

22 March 2010

First Olympic gold and customization

The last of the Olympian earrings is the Maelle, named after the first female Canadian to win a gold medal on home soil. There are magnificent giant citrines, matching golden tourmalines, mystic pink quartzes, and lemon quartzes:


One of my coworkers loved the cheery colours but wanted something shorter so I substituted citrine coins from the Salome earrings for the large briolettes. We also agreed to use one golden tourmaline and one hessonite per earring to liven things up and here are the resulting Kathleen earrings:

20 March 2010

Another Olympian

Here are the lovely Tessa earrings I mentioned in my previous post. They are named after Tessa Virtue, the Canadian ice dancer who partners with Scott Moir. The earrings have a combination of blues, greens, and whites, just like the colours of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, and are anchored by beautiful tropical blue apatites.

18 March 2010

Three Olympians

The 2010 Winter Olympics are over (though the Paralympic Games are still ongoing), and I have three unique souvenirs. Three of my pieces have been named after Canadian gold medallists: Charlie (Charles Hamelin), Maelle (Maelle Ricker), and Tessa (Tessa Virtue). Here is the Charlie:

16 March 2010

Introducing Karine

Things have been busy behind the scenes at the Aria Industries because a number of new items will be posted in the shop very soon! I am in the process of editing photos of the items themselves and thought I would share one of my most recent creations... This is the Karine, which features a juicy amethyst just below a nest of tiny aquamarines, morganites, rose quartz, white topazes, amethysts, and pearls.

01 March 2010

Olympic break

This past weekend was spent watching speedskating, curling, and of course hockey, and in between those sports I also managed to squeeze in Terminator Salvation, An Education, and Inglourious Basterds. Don't ask me how, I just did. I also named three pairs of earrings after Canadian Olympians. Which gold medallists were they named after? Stay tuned to find out!

22 February 2010

Regina and Carissa

Below is a picture of the modified Carissa earrings, which Regina Yung Lee chose with her $50 gift card prize! Regina does not have pierced ears, but I happened to have screw-back findings for unpierced ears so they were a perfect match!


Each item purchased online at my shop in 2010 earns an entry in the next $50 gift card draw. The winner will be announced in January 2011!

05 February 2010

Treasury: Khairi

Etsy member Palmsprout created a treasury listing and chose my Khairi bracelet to showcase! I'm thrilled she picked one of my pieces and here is a screenshot of her listing:

31 January 2010

Salome, finished

And here it is, the finished version of the Salome... After the last post, I added some tiny crystal quartzes that were connected to shiny 6mm jumprings to give the earrings some extra shine.

28 January 2010

Salome, in progress

Further to the previous post, this is what the Salome earrings look like currently:


I still need to add some extra cluster elements to make the design flashier and will post another photo soon!

27 January 2010

Colours: neutrals

My most recent shopping trips netted me two different types of coin-shaped beads and it is high time they joined forces. Here is one of my favourite combinations, citrines and smoky quartzes, in the "before" stage of a pair of fabulous earrings:

04 January 2010

The first annual gift card draw

The winner of the $50 gift card is Regina Yung, who entered the draw with her purchase of the Rhonwyn earrings back in May. Read more about the sale here...

There is going to be another $50 gift card draw in one year and the only way to enter is to make a purchase at the online shop at aileen.etsy.com. Each item purchased earns one draw ticket and the gift card can be transferred to another individual of the winner's choosing. How sweet is that?