Colorful Family Tree Branch Necklace with Birthstones

The sterling silver family tree branch necklace that I made for Abby is really special. 

family tree branch necklace with colorful birthstone gems, anniversary gift, jewelry push present, made by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler

It’s one part anniversary gift, one part push present. And it’s so full of meaning that I just keep counting the big moments represented by its gemstones.
Five years of marriage.
Four people.
Three colors, each representing a month.
Two babies.
One beautiful, growing family.

family tree branch necklace with colorful birthstone gems, anniversary gift, jewelry push present, made by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler

Like all of my custom jewelry designs, this branch necklace started with a message.

Abby’s husband Josh reached out with a general idea for a big surprise. He told me that he and Abby were about to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary and welcome their second child, all in the same month!
Josh wanted to give her a special gift to commemorate this time in their life together.
And since Abby still loves to wear the custom jewelry set that I made for her wedding, he knew she would love to have another piece of J’Adorn Designs jewelry to add to her collection!

family tree branch necklace with colorful birthstone gems, anniversary gift, jewelry push present, made by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler

I suggested the concept of a family tree branch necklace to symbolize their growing family, and Josh loved the idea!

Next, we selected materials, including the colors and shapes of the gemstones that would be set along the branch.

We needed to represent the months of June, August, and December in a color palette that was both complementary and Abby’s taste.

family tree branch necklace with colorful birthstone gems, anniversary gift, jewelry push present, made by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler

Josh and I didn’t think like the traditional stones of peridot or pearl for this piece.
So, we replaced them with two alternative birthstones for June and August: pink spinel and alexandrite!

family tree branch necklace with colorful birthstone gems, anniversary gift, jewelry push present, made by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler

With all the materials selected, I got to work creating the family tree branch necklace out of sterling silver!

I used a combination of sheet metal and wire to form the basic shape of the tree branch. Then, I perfected the piece with some engraving and polishing – all by hand, of course! Finally, I set the stones in their new homes.
The double-prong settings are one of my favorite little details in this piece because they mimic the look of berries or twigs that would occur naturally on a tree branch. 

family tree branch necklace with colorful birthstone gems, anniversary gift, jewelry push present, made by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler

I think Abby’s smile says it all! But just in case you’re not convinced, here is what she had to say:

“Thank you for being so secretive and creative with Josh! I absolutely love it and was super surprised…The setting and stones are beautiful!” 

 

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Custom Floral Hairpins for a Texas Bride

Ally had a specific vision for her bridal accessories but couldn’t find it in any store. So, she called on us to create her custom floral hairpins! 

custom floral hairpins for texas bride's custom wedding jewelry, tiny flower headpiece, by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler and bridal accessories

J’Adorn bride Ally wears a lot of hats. 
She’s an engineer, a fitness instructor, and a graduate student to name just a few of the roles she fills.
When it came to her bridal headwear, she knew exactly what she wanted.
But after searching high and low for those hair accessories in stores, she couldn’t find them.

custom floral hairpins for texas bride's custom wedding jewelry, tiny flower headpiece, by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler and bridal accessories

Thankfully, Ally used to work with woman who had custom bridal jewelry from J’Adorn Designs for her wedding! (Remember Jamie’s custom rose gold jewelry from last year’s styled elopement? )
With Jamie’s referral, Ally reached out to me a few months before her wedding to ask if I could help bring her vision to life.
She wanted two very small floral hairpins with minimal embellishments, no wider than one inch per pin.
It was a very specific request that I embraced as a design challenge! And after two rounds of design revisions, Ally and I decided on the perfect custom floral hairpins design for her walk down the aisle.

custom floral hairpins for texas bride's custom wedding jewelry, tiny flower headpiece, by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler and bridal accessories

To make Ally’s custom bridal hairpins, I used a combination of paper millinery flowers, freshwater pearls, and Swarovski crystals in my signature hand-wired sprout formation.
With a golden leaf and beaded ivory flower as accents, each pin represented delicate simplicity at its finest.

custom floral hairpins for texas bride's custom wedding jewelry, tiny flower headpiece, by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler and bridal accessories

Ally was thrilled with the results of her custom floral hairpins.

She raved, “I love them so much!”

custom floral hairpins for texas bride's custom wedding jewelry, tiny flower headpiece, by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler and bridal accessories

custom floral hairpins for texas bride's custom wedding jewelry, tiny flower headpiece, by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler and bridal accessories

From the father-daughter dance until the last kiss of the night, Ally’s custom floral hairpins were the perfect accent to her half-up bridal hairstyle.

custom floral hairpins for texas bride's custom wedding jewelry, tiny flower headpiece, by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler and bridal accessories

custom floral hairpins for texas bride's custom wedding jewelry, tiny flower headpiece, by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler and bridal accessories

Wedding photos by Kate Dixon // Product photos by Nichole Meredith

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The Best Grad Gifts of 2018

Tassels aren’t just for the cap & gown look anymore! 

Graduations mark an exciting milestone in a person’s life. They represent the closing of one chapter and the beginning of one that’s brand new!

And while high school graduations can bring up a lot of different emotions, ranging from excitement (newly minted adults!) to sadness (parents facing empty nests!), they deserve to be celebrated!

So, to make grad party season a little easier, we put together this list of our favorite graduation gift ideas for high school girls. 

best-grad-gifts-graduation-gift-ideas-2018-jadorn-designs-jewelry-papillon-photography-seniorsHonor the turn of tassels with a stylish gift

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:
Tassel jewelry is the “it” accessory of the summer!
As lightweight statement jewelry, tassel jewelry is both cute and comfortable. Girls everywhere are accessorizing with earrings, necklaces, and bracelets adorned by tassels! Our Tassel Collection offers a whole rainbow of graduation gift options following this trend.

best-grad-gifts-graduation-gift-ideas-2018-jadorn-designs-jewelry-papillon-photography-seniors

For girls who like delicate or minimal jewelry, we recommend the Pink Crystal Spike & Pearl Tassel Necklace as a graduation gift.

Its pale pink and white hues pair well with a variety of outfits. And the semi-precious quartz spike and freshwater pearl make this necklace feel extra special to receive.

Long pink tassel necklace, high school graduation gift ideas, J'Adorn Designs jewelry made in BaltimoreSpeaking of semi-precious gemstones, we also love the Blue & Gold Druzy Teardrop Earrings as a graduation gift idea! 

Most high school students only own costume jewelry. So a gift of high quality handmade earrings is a thoughtful way to mark a girl’s transition to adulthood. The sparkly crystal layer on the druzy gemstones contrasts beautifully with the smoothly faceted amazonite teardrops. It’s a look that she can dress up or down!

graduation present for high school senior, druzy amazonite gemstone earrings by J'Adorn Designs jewelry made in Baltimore

best grad gifts graduation gift ideas 2018 jadorn designs jewelry papillon photography seniors

For girls who aren’t afraid to make a fashion statement, we recommend a brightly colored Tiered Tassel Necklace! 

The Jewelry Shop currently stocks this gemstone-accented necklace in two colors, pink and green. But if you’d like a different color for your grad, just send us a note and we can create a custom design for you!
Graduation present ideas 2018, grad gifts for seniors, hot pink tassel necklace, made in Baltimore by J'Adorn Designs

No matter what graduation gift you choose, the point is to make the graduate feel special. Recognize her accomplishments and give her a gift that will carry her confidently into her bright future!

best-grad-gifts-graduation-gift-ideas-2018-jadorn-designs-jewelry-papillon-photography-seniors

Portraits by Papillon Photography

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Our Jewelry Studio Team Has a New Member!

Welcome, Betsy!

Betsy Merena, new jewelry studio team member, marketing and copy writer for J'Adorn Design custom jewelry studio

Friends, I’m so excited share some big news with you today! The J’Adorn Designs custom jewelry studio has officially grown to a multi-person team, with the addition of Betsy Merena. Betsy brings her writing and marketing talents to J’Adorn along with the perspective of someone who has been a friend of the company since its inception. (Scroll through the photos in this post to see some fantastic throwbacks!)

This change is one that has been in the works for a long time and I’m thrilled that we can finally make it official. To help you all get to know our newest team member, I sat down with Betsy for a fun little interview. Read on for the full scoop!

Betsy Merena, new jewelry studio team member, marketing and copy writer for J'Adorn Design custom jewelry studio

For starters, tell us a little bit about yourself! 

  • I’ve got wanderlust like whoa!  My husband and I love to travel and make it a real priority, even and especially with our little one.  We’re heading to Portugal later this summer with some great friends (who are from there). We’re also big Disney fans and are DVC members, so we visit Disney World and take Disney Cruises often.
  • I’m an early riser and usually go to bed (to read for a bit) right after I put my daughter to bed.
  • I’ll skip coffee every time in favor of tea (a London Fog or an Iced Chai are my go-to orders at Starbucks).
  • Give me all the Bravo shows, please!  And podcasts are what get me through my chores and long drives (unless I’ve got something great on Audible).
  • If I could live anywhere, with no worry about expense, I’d live in Manhattan… up high with city views.  I love that city and feel more alive when I’m there. My husband feels the same way. And our three year old is musical theater and ballet obsessed, so when you ask her where she wants to live, she’ll tell you “New York” too. 
  • I also love to be on or near the water. I love to paddle board and am even pretty good at SUP Yoga.
  • I enjoy cooking and baking and we often do so from scratch together as a family.
  • I know every word to Hamilton, have seen it on Broadway (with a few original cast members!) and am ALWAYS up for a cabinet battle karaoke challenge!

Betsy Merena, new jewelry studio team member, marketing and copy writer for J'Adorn Design custom jewelry studio

If you were a piece of jewelry, what would you be and why?  

If I were a piece of jewelry, I think I’d be a pave diamond infinity ring.  Subtly elegant, classic, sparkly but not flashy. Diamonds because of how tough and strong they are.  In my life, especially recently, we’ve had a lot of struggle and loss. But I think and hope I am still shining.  The infinity part is key, because there is depth and beauty from every angle. Something I strive for is to be well-rounded and self-aware.  I try to be authentically and unapologetically myself in every situation, no matter who I am with. So no matter which way you look at me, you’re getting the same me!

What is your most cherished piece of jewelry?

Aside from my wedding rings… my mother recently passed down a locket to me that belonged to my great-grandmother.  And it is quickly becoming one of my go-to pieces that feels super special to wear. Like I’m wearing a piece of my family, a piece of history.  

It’s a round gold locket, about the size of the circle your index finger and thumb make when you touch their tips. On the front of the locket, my great-grandmother’s initials are engraved in a scrolled script; on the back, a floral wreath.  So, it’s beautiful to wear with either side facing out. Inside the locket are two photos. One is of my great-grandfather in his WWI Navy uniform. The other is of my own grandfather in his WWII Coast Guard uniform.

And actually, I just gave the piece to Ali because I’d like to have the locket set on a longer and slightly more delicate chain!  I am so excited to be able to hand this special locket down to my daughter someday and keep this piece of family history proudly worn.

new jewelry studio team member loves heirloom gold locket from great grandmother, J'Adorn Designs custom jewelry businessHow would you describe your personal style?  

I love a good neutral!  Skinny jeans, a casual top and some Tieks are my staple.  Topped off with some great jewelry, of course! Right now, I’m really into long necklaces paired with stud earrings.  That’s my usual everyday look (with shorts and sandals swapped for in the summer). When buying clothes, and really pretty much anything, I prefer to go for classic, timeless design in great quality pieces.  I’d rather spend more, have less and a use things for a long time.

What is your favorite gemstone?  

First of all, I love diamonds.  Basic, I know. But I’m a neutral girl most of the time and diamonds go with everything… even yoga clothes!  But, as far as color goes, I love a pale blue topaz or an aquamarine.Betsy Merena, new jewelry studio team member, marketing and copy writer for J'Adorn Design custom jewelry studioWhat gets you out of bed in the morning? 

Honestly, usually my three-year-old!  Partly because she is an early riser, but mostly because I LOVE spending my days with her.  I have always enjoyed young children and I am fascinated by childhood development and neuroscience, so I now as a mother, I get a front row seat to watch it all happen in real time.  I try to be intentional in everything I do, especially when it comes to parenting. My husband and I have made specific choices for our parenting style and, though it can be a challenge at times to keep from yelling and lead with empathy and connection always, I feel enlivened by the experience!

What are you most excited about in your new role as a member of our jewelry studio team?  

As my daughter, who just turned three, will be started preschool in September for a few mornings a week, I am excited to do something for myself again!  I have always loved to write and enjoy being creative in that sphere. So, I can’t wait to get back into a routine that involves regular writing tasks. I’m ready to start flexing those muscles again!

Betsy Merena, new jewelry studio team member, marketing and copy writer for J'Adorn Design custom jewelry studio

Welcome to #TEAMJADORN, Betsy! 

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The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift for 2018

Comfortable and cute?

It’s like the holy grail of fashion for moms on the go (a.k.a. every mom I’ve ever met.)
And our tassel earrings happen to be both cute and comfy, making them the perfect Mother’s Day present for 2018!

Neutral grey tassel earrings by J'Adorn Designs designer jewelry

Women have been loving the new tassel earrings from our Tassel Collection.

These moms had a chance to take our tassel earrings for a spin. Here’s what they have to say!

Blue ombre tiered tassel earrings for mother's day gift by J'Adorn Designs designer jewelry

“These tassel earrings make me smile every time I wear them. They are so light weight and the color combination is perfect for summer!” – Vanessa M.

Mother's Day jewelry, green tassel earrings with gemstones, designer earrings made by J'Adorn Designs

“I love the pop of color that matches my wardrobe and they are so light weight!! So fun and they brighten my day!” – Crystal K.

 

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