Shop Small Catonsville: Featured Artist + Planner

The holiday shopping season is officially upon us!

It’s a flurry of anxiety, excitement, warm fuzzies, and sugar crashes over here. Anyone else? I’ve been hard at work in my studio stocking up my inventory of custom and modern jewelry to bring to the holiday markets I’m participating in this year. One such market – Shop Small Catonsville – is especially close to my heart simply because I’ve had the honor of co-planning it for the second year in a row! It’s an intimate open house style market highlighting a talented group of local makers with gifts for just about everyone on your holiday shopping list.

Shop Small Catonsville Gift wrapped handmade gift for holidays, custom and modern jewelry by J'Adorn Designs

The Details:

Check out all the details on our Facebook event page! And if you’re local, be sure to RSVP on the event page, invite a group of friends, and share it on your page too – the more the merrier! We’ll have plenty of warm drinks, cool music, unique gifts you won’t be able to find anywhere else made right in our community of Catonsville.

See you there, friends! 



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European Greenhouse Wedding Inspiration Featured on Magnolia Rouge

A few pieces of my modern bridal jewelry were featured today on the wedding blog, Magnolia Rouge. Lauren of Lauren Fair Photography planned, styled, and photographed this elegant European style wedding photo session and incorporated an heirloom pearl bracelet, rose gold bridal earrings, and custom bridal comb from my wedding jewelry collection. These are a few of my favorite photos from the day that feature my couture accessories.

Custom jewelry for european botanical wedding by J'Adorn Designs custom modern bridal accessories

heirloom vintage pearl bracelet for european botanical wedding by J'Adorn Designs custom modern jewelry

Heirloom wedding jewelry, vintage pearl bracelet by J'Adorn Designs custom bridal accessories

To see the entire photo shoot, check out the European Inspired Botanical Wedding Style on Magnolia Rouge.

Be sure to check back later this week for a review of all my favorite photos from this session and a bit about my inspiration for the custom bridal comb I created!

All photos in this post are credited to Lauren Fair Photography.

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Jill’s Elegant Wedding Day Style

elegant wedding custom jewelry, j'adorn designs

When Jill and I met for her initial design consultation, I knew almost immediately that her custom bridal jewelry was going to be special. As I shared in a previous post, I created a coordinating set of accessories for Jill to wear on her wedding day. This set included a double stranded pearl bracelet, two pairs of earrings, and a golden hair vine with elements in blush, pearl, and crystal – the perfect elegant wedding day look! Today I’m sharing a look inside how she styled these accessories with her beautiful gold and ivory gown on her wedding day.

elegant wedding custom jewelry, j'adorn designsJill’s wedding gown was simply stunning, with its sweetheart neckline, intricate gold details, and soft billowy skirt. The gold beaded belt she added was the perfect complement to the elegant gold jewelry with blush pearls, metallic leaves, and diamond white crystals. Her custom hair vine was molded perfectly by her hair stylist to complement the low, boho-style updo she chose for her blonde hair.

elegant wedding custom jewelry, j'adorn designs

elegant wedding custom jewelry, j'adorn designs

elegant wedding custom jewelry, j'adorn designs
A Maryland-based artisan herself, Jill wanted to support local small business as much as possible while selecting items for her wedding.  She chose The Garter Girl to make her stylish ivory wedding garter and Eikoh Design Studio for her customized glass jewelry box. I think all of the details came together perfectly, don’t you?

elegant wedding custom jewelry, j'adorn designsEven though the accessories and details at this wedding were pretty darn close to perfect, the most beautiful part of the day was the love that Jill and Eric so clearly have for one another. It shines through every picture!  To Jill and Eric, the newlyweds: may your new life together as husband and wife be every bit as beautiful as your elegant wedding day was (even if it can’t be as perfect!) Thank you for choosing J’Adorn Designs to create your elegant wedding accessories!

elegant wedding custom jewelry, j'adorn designsImages by Hannah Mink Photography

Jill’s elegant wedding jewelry was based on the following designs from the J’Adorn Designs Couture Collection:
Her custom hair vine and second-hole accent earrings were bespoke designs. To inquire about similar custom bridal accessories for your wedding, visit the Contact Page


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The Best Bridal Accessories for Every Hairstyle

So, you’ve curated your dream wedding on Pinterest, selected your dress and had it fitted, and finally know how you’ll be wearing your hair.  You’re finally ready to accessorize! But if you’re not sure which type of bridal accessories will best complement your chosen ‘do, take heart – you are not alone!

As a bridal accessories designer, the most common question I encounter with my clients during our consultation is, “Which bridal accessory would look best with my hairstyle?” In the following blog post, I’ll be sharing my best advice for pairing the pieces I create with a variety of hairstyles, from low and loose to closely coiffed.

Wedding Hairstyle #1: The Low, Loose Updo

Bridal accessories guide: Low loose bridal updo with rose gold crystal hair vine

Best brdial accessories for every wedding hairstyle, by J'Adorn Designs

If you’re dreaming of soft curls swept back just-so with a few loose pieces framing your face, a strategically placed bridal comb or pin may be the perfect accent piece for you!

A freeform branch-style pin like the rose gold vine pictured above will mimic the organic feel of your loose updo for a more natural or bohemian style. Or, if you’d like to add a bit of structure to the look, you might opt for a tighter comb like the Amina from our collection.  A pair of drop earrings in the size of your choice (large for a statement or smaller to keep it simple) and a matching bracelet will complete your look!


Wedding Hairstyle #2: Short and Sweet

Best brdial accessories for every wedding hairstyle, by J'Adorn Designs

If you rock a short hairstyle, you might feel limited in your options for bridal hairstyles. But just because braids and buns are off the table doesn’t mean you have only one look to choose from!

An off-center birdcage veil is a personal favorite for close crops because it brings an unexpected vintage element to a very modern look. Another stunning option is to forego the hair accessory in favor of a dress with a bolder neckline, such as the beaded gown from Hitched Salon pictured above. Drop earrings of your choice will complete the look and you can even add a pair of second-piercing earrings to coordinate! Top it off with a bracelet and you’re ready for portraits.

Added bonus: You’ll never have to worry about your hair falling out of place while you dance the night away! 


Wedding Hairstyle #3: Half Up, Half Down

Best brdial accessories for every wedding hairstyle, by J'Adorn Designs

A popular style among boho brides, the half-up/half-down style offers a combination of the breezy, natural look achieved by wearing your hair down with a bit of structure that makes the perfect anchor for your favorite hair accessory.

Brides who choose this particular style will find that it’s easy to pull off a statement-sized hair piece. With this in mind, the accessory you choose should bring the “wow factor” – the crowning element of your ensemble. If you’re going for the boho look, a branch-style piece like our Lucille crystal comb works perfectly, along with a pair of matching druzy earrings to complete the nature-inspired design.


Wedding Hairstyle #4: The Formal Updo with a Veil

Best brdial accessories for every wedding hairstyle, by J'Adorn Designs

Perhaps you’re a more traditional bride who just can’t stop thinking about the fancy updo and long veil you dreamed of as a child. In this case, an extra accessory for your hair may be a bit overwhelming, if not just heavy to wear.

(Tip: You can always wear the veil for your ceremony and switch over to a comb or fascinator for the reception!) 

If your veil is the show-stopper accessory in your wedding ensemble, you’ll want your other accessories to complement it without overpowering. I love the way J’Adorn bride Olivia (pictured above) rounded out her look with a classic double-stranded pearl bracelet and a pair of small, sparkling drop earrings with a halo to match her engagement ring. It’s just the right amount of glamour!

Best brdial accessories for every wedding hairstyle, by J'Adorn Designs

Whatever look you ultimately choose, the most important factor to consider is what makes you feel the most beautiful and at ease in your own skin.  Your wedding day is a celebration of the love you’ve built with someone who knows and adores you. So, rather than trying to fit the particular “look” of a bride you want to emulate, think about what will best highlight who you already are inside.

My best advice when all is said and done is to remember that the most beautiful part of your wedding is the love you share with your spouse-to-be and the journey you’re embarking on together. Everything else just helps it sparkle. 

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5 Ways to Ruin Your Jewelry

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You love your jewelry.
But do you know how to care for it?

It’s ok.  You don’t have to feel embarrassed.  Most people are clueless when it comes to jewelry care!  

When you buy a piece of jewelry it doesn’t come with an instructional care tag like your favorite cashmere sweater or silk blouse.  But proper jewelry care is the number one way to protect your investment.  So, today I’m sharing my list of “what not to do” while wearing your jewelry!

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1. Sleep

First on the list of what not to do while wearing your jewelry is something you’ll spend roughly 50% of your life doing: Sleeping. 

Your bed might seem like a harmless place to wear your jewelry. After all, you’re surrounded by pillows and blankets! What’s the worst that could happen?

Because you move around while sleeping, the potential to sustain unintentional damage to your jewelry is actually quite high.  Tossing and turning in the sheets can catch a ring prong between threads, pulling it open ever-so-slightly. You may not even notice a change when you wake up, but over time a stone could come loose or even fall out.  You’re better off playing it safe.

Solution: Invest in a ring box or dish to keep on your bedside table.  Get yourself into the habit of taking off your accessories each night before bed.  Keep your jewels safe all night and they’ll be ready for you to wear in the morning!  

why you should not wear jewelry in the shower

2. Shower

Between abrasive soaps, slippery water, and the drain, the shower is one of the last places your jewelry wants to be. 

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that I have broken this jewelry care rule.  In fact, I’d wager that most women wear their wedding rings into the shower.  But your fine and fashion jewelry are both better off on the counter (or back in that special box you bought back in #1!)

This is because the ingredients used in soaps, shampoos, shaving creams, and scrubs can cause both temporary and long-term damage to your favorite accessories.  Residue from these substances gets caught between the prongs of your rings, dulling the shine and making stones appear dirty.  Furthermore, abrasive agents eat away the finish on your metals, requiring you to have them re-plated by a professional jeweler at more frequent intervals.  If this happens to your fashion jewelry, which is generally not built for longevity, the plating could come off altogether after a dip in the shower.

Finally, we’ve all heard horror stories of people who lose their wedding ring down the drain.  Even if it feels secure when you step into the shower, the combination of conditioner and water can cause a ring to slide right off your finger!

Solution: Save yourself the headache and make sure you’re totally naked before taking a shower. 


druzy earrings tips for jewelry care in water

3. Swim

Whether you’re taking a dip in salt water or a chlorinated pool, remove your jewelry first!

Any blonde who’s spent too much time in the pool on a summer day can attest to the caustic properties of chlorine. But did you know that it can also discolor your jewelry?  Gold-plated jewelry responds particularly poorly to pool water, since the chlorine can strip the plating completely. When this happens it exposes the raw brass underneath, which can turn green in the chemicals.

Salt water and its close companion, beach sand, also pose a risk to your jewelry because of the small, abrasive particles of which both are comprised.

Solution: Leave your jewels at home. Or, bring along a small zippered bag made of neoprene or plastic that eliminates any risk of sand getting inside. Tuck it inside your beach bag, and you’re set! 


Jewelry Care Tips: Take off jewelry before spraying perfume, hairspray, lotion, deodorant, etc.

4. Spray

Remove your jewelry before applying hairspray, perfume, aerosol deodorant, or spray-on sunscreen.

Much like the products you use in the shower, spray-on substances adhere to the surface of your jewelry, dulling the shine and getting stuck in small nooks. The damage that sprays cause is two-fold: 

  1. Sticky sprays like hairspray can catch dirt, dust, and particles from the environment, which will then stick to your jewelry.
  2. Non-sticky sprays like perfume will cling to the surface of your metal jewelry and eat away at the finish or plating.

Solution: Keep all of these cosmetics in a place near your shower.  That way, you can apply them first thing after washing up, before getting dressed or putting your jewelry on for the day. 


Jewelry care tip: remove jewelry before you sweat and exercise

5. Sweat

My final jewelry care tip is to go [metal] accessory-free before you exercise.

Sweat isn’t a great substance for most types of jewelry to come in contact with.  Plated metals are particularly vulnerable to the damage sweat can cause.  The oil and salt that your skin produces during a heavy workout or long afternoon in the sun are both abrasive and adhesive, so the finish wears away while other damaging particles like dirt and dust easily get stuck.  This isn’t the glistening goddess look you’d envisioned!

Unlike rules 1-4, this one has a couple of exceptions:

  1. Cloth jewelry: hemp, cotton, nylon, etc. (as long as you can wash it!)
  2. Stone bead jewelry like Mala bracelets, which are a popular accessory and meditation aid among yogis

Solution: Leave your jewelry at home before hitting the gym. Or, use the same type of bag from #3 to keep your jewels safe!

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