Most Popular Jewelry Photos: My 2016 Best Nine

Happy New Year, friends! 

I’ve been easing my way back into the normal routine of making my custom and modern jewelry this week after a whirlwind holiday season! But before we blaze ahead into 2017 (and it’s going to be a GREAT year, let me tell you!), I want to take a moment to look back on the most loved photos from the J’Adorn Designs Instagram page in 2016 and reflect a bit on each one. So without further ado…

My 2016 Best Nine:
Most popular jewelry photos of the year!

Most popular jewelry photos by J'Adorn Designs custom jewelry and bridal accessories


1. Self Portrait from My 5th Anniversary Photo Session

One of my very favorite projects from 2016 was the anniversary photo session that I had the chance to plan & style with A. Griffin Events to celebrate my own 5th wedding anniversary.  The gallery has been submitted for publication so I can’t share too many details yet, but my style inspiration was an elegant interpretation of one of my favorite rock-n-roll music videos with a nod to the Art Deco and Art Nouveau eras.

And even though the photos by Bekah Kay were to-die-for gorgeous, the best part was being able to take a few hours with my partner during one of our busiest seasons of life to celebrate the life we’ve been building together for the past 5 years. This photo represents the joy of looking back on all those moments, knowing all that we’ve enjoyed and overcome together, and realizing that we’re even more in love today than we were on that sunny October day when we said, “I do.”

Art Deco Sapphire and Rose Gold Anniversary Fashion EditorialPhoto by Bekah Kay Creative


2. Custom Bridal Accessories for a Boho Baltimore Wedding

Last year broke all my previously held records for custom bridal accessories with more brides commissioning custom jewelry and hairpieces than ever before! 2016 was also the year that I added hair accessories to my lineup of modern bridal accessories, including bridal combs, flower girl clips & bobby pins, and customized bridal hairpin vines. This was one of my personal favorite sets of the year because the bohemian bride who wore it selected a combination of altered pieces from my pre-designed bridal jewelry collection and made-from-scratch custom accessories to meet her exact needs.

Custom bridal accessories for boho Baltimore bride, modern wedding jewelry by J'Adorn DesignsPhoto by Nichole Meredith Photography


3. A Bayside Wedding for High School Sweethearts

This was another one of my favorite weddings of the year. Not only because of the stunning bridal jewelry that I got to make for Olivia, but also because she and her groom, Anthony, are close friends of my family. I have known these two sweethearts since their last year of high school, and they were just as in love then as they are today!

Their wedding at Celebrations at the Bay was on a beautiful summer day. We danced all into the night as these two celebrated the marriage they had been looking forward to for years. Brooke Michelle captured this intimate moment between the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. just moments after their ceremony. The joy of that moment is almost palpable.

High school sweethearts married at the Chesapeake bay - Custom bridal jewelry by J'Adorn DesignsPhoto by Brooke Michelle Photography


4. The Prettiest Gold Druzy Earrings

This pair of simple, sparkly gemstone earrings were in my very first bridal jewelry collection! They continue to be a perennial favorite for brides, bridesmaid jewelry, holiday gifts, and stylish women of all ages. I have my own pair of these neutral druzy earrings that I wear almost every day because they match so many different outfits! This photo is one that I’ve used multiple times in my Instagram feed because it captures those crystal facets so perfectly.

Neutral gold druzy earrings, champagne colored gemstone bridal earrings by J'Adorn Designs modern custom jewelry


5. A Statement Necklace to Have and to Hold

In my work as a custom and couture jewelry designer, my goal is to create jewelry that honors and reflects the most important moments and relationships in life. The accessories that I design are made to be worn, handled, gifted, and loved!

This photo comes from a wedding style photo session in early 2016. I collaborated with A. Griffin Events (she’s one of my favorites!) on this cool beachy wedding editorial. When I received the photo gallery from Lauren Werkheiser, I was simply blown away. She captured not only the beauty of this oceanic statement necklace, but the sentimentality I hope to inspire with each accessory I create.

Beach wedding statement necklace, modern gemstone and sea glass necklace, beach wedding inspiration by J'Adorn Designs custom jewelryPhoto by Lauren Werkheiser Photography


6. Showing My Sweet Tooth at The Bridal Event in D.C.

There’s no gentle way to put it: I am a sugar fiend. A sugar fiend who also loves cocktails! Both of these things were in abundance at The Bridal Event D.C., a unique party thrown by Grace of Bridal Bellhop and Jasmine of Jasmine Smith & Co. The Bridal Event involved a mock ceremony, a wedding photo session, and live demonstrations of all the vendors’ services who participated in the event. I had a blast at the party mingling with my industry friends and potential clients. I even got to enjoy a helping of gourmet cotton candy from Fluffness and a custom mixed cocktail from Mixin’ Mimi. What can I say? The job has its perks!

The Bridal Event DC 2016 Washington DC Wedding Inspiration, Jewelry Designer Alison Jefferies of J'Adorn DesignsPhoto by Evan Sanderson


7. Community Over Competition at Tuesdays Together Annapolis

It’s no secret that I’m an active member of The Rising Tide Society, an international movement that seeks to educate, connect, and empower creative entrepreneurs in the spirit of community over competition. I attend local Tuesdays Together meetings almost every month of the year in my home state of Maryland.
(I have some excited news related to this coming soon…!)

We took this photo at one of the monthly gatherings in Annapolis back when the organization had its headquarters on West Street downtown. This venue came to mean a lot to me during 2016 because I was lucky enough to spend a few months co-working there with RTS founder Natalie Franke and her team of genius young women. The office recently closed with RTS headquarters moving to San Francisco at the end of December, but I will never forget the sense of belonging and empowerment I received from this place and my friends who worked there for that season.

Rising Tide Society Annapolis Office Tuesdays Together Local Chapter of Creative EntrepreneursPhoto by Natalie Franke


8. Green Druzy Earrings and Oceanic Wedding Inspiration

This photo is another one captured by Lauren Werkheiser at the cool beachy wedding editorial from photo #5. I love the way the direct sunlight illuminates the inside of the mint green druzy gemstones along with the highlights of its facets!

Beach wedding jewelry, mint green druzy earrings for a seaside wedding by J'Adorn Designs modern bridal jewelryPhoto by Lauren Werkheiser Photography


9. Celebrating Love in Every Form

I came to a big realization in 2016. I want to use my custom and modern jewelry business to actively celebrate love in every form. It’s true that many of the handcrafted accessories in my collection are perfect for weddings and even made specifically for that purpose. But I also want to be clear that J’Adorn Designs is not exclusively for brides.

Love comes in many forms, including romance but also friendship, family, and self-love. The jewelry and hair accessories that I make are meant to celebrate love in every single shape, color, gender, orientation, and type of relationship.

The photo session that this image came from was inspired by the song “How Sweet It Is.” It was by far the most published editorial featuring my work this year. It’s meaningful to me because it shows the beauty, depth, and singularity of each individual love story. If there’s a relationship that you want to honor with a tangible keepsake that can be cherished for years, let’s talk!

How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You Interracial Romantic Wedding InspirationPhoto by Corinne Kensington Photography


Raising my glass to all of your love stories and a successful new year!

With love, Ali 

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Mini Makeover with Carolyn Thombs

Jewelry designer makeover and lifestyle photo session with Carolyn Thombs

I met Carolyn Thombs virtually when we worked together on the Coffee Inspired Wedding Shoot I contributed to earlier this year. A few weeks later, we met in person at a networking event hosted by The Knot and we hit it off immediately. Carolyn is a talented makeup artist and stylist based in northern Virginia and when we got together to style & shoot our collaborative effort with ThredUP she offered to do my makeup and take a few shots. In this post I’ll be sharing some of my favorite shots from the mini makeover and lifestyle photo session Carolyn created with me.

I tend to go with natural colors for my makeup day-to-day, particularly when it comes to lip color, so Carolyn suggested we do something out of my usual comfort zone. I’m so glad I took her advice because I fell in love with the bright pink lipstick she used! Check out all the photos from our mini-makeover after the jump.

Jewelry designer makeover and lifestyle photo session with Carolyn Thombs


Jewelry designer makeover and lifestyle photo session with Carolyn Thombs


Jewelry designer makeover and lifestyle photo session with Carolyn Thombs


Jewelry designer makeover and lifestyle photo session with Carolyn Thombs


Jewelry designer makeover and lifestyle photo session with Carolyn Thombs

Love the jewelry you see here? Score it for yourself over in my shop! [Specific pieces linked below]
Necklace, Bracelet #1, Bracelet #2

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Pretty Little Things: Found Vintage Earrings

VintageEarringGroupI spent this past in Philadelphia visiting my college girlfriends. It was a lot of fun and a great chance to relax with friends whom I don’t see nearly enough. On Saturday morning we spent some time at the South Philly Flea Market and I found some really beautiful treasures that I can’t wait to repurpose for my jewelry creations.

VintageEarring2The first pair of earrings that caught my eye was a beautiful antique rhinestone set with an art deco style. I’ve been pretty much obsessed with rhinestones all summer after seeing The Great Gatsby. These earrings were clip-ons that I could easily remove the backings from, so I knew I could come up with a really cool piece or two using them. I’m thinking about an asymmetrical necklace with pearls and maybe some cup chain. What do you think?

VintageEarrings1The second pair that I couldn’t put down were these screwbacks with pear shaped, marquis, and emerald cut rhinestones. Pear is one of my all time favorite cuts (my engagement ring has a pear-shaped focal stone because my husband is boss!) and I love how the different shapes were worked together to make a floral design. I’m still figuring out how I’ll use these in a new piece, but I know that when inspiration hits it’s going to be pretty awesome!

I also snagged a couple of old white shutters at the flea market that I’m planning to rework for jewelry display purposes for my stand at the farmers’ market and upcoming craft shows. Once those are all finished I’ll share them here too!

I hope you all had a great weekend and an excellent start to the new week, friends!

Xo, Ali

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Pretty Little Things: Rifle Paper Co.

Are you guys familiar with Rifle Paper Co.? I was introduced to them a year or two ago when I first dove into the design blogosphere and have been hooked ever since!  I’ve been gawking over their products in paper boutiques all throughout Pinterest for a long time now, but only recently started buying a few pieces to call my own.

The print at the top of this post is actually a Valentine’s Day card that I snagged at a local boutique on clearance after the holiday. I’m working on a gallery wall for the dining room of our apartment and thought that the pretty floral “Je t’aime” print would be a great accent piece. I also found the pad of paper above at the same boutique. It’s magnetic so I can just pop it on the fridge and scrawl notes on it as I think of them. Isn’t it cute?

I was in Target this past weekend picking up gifts for a dear friend’s bridal shower and was pleasantly surprised to spot this set of journals from Rifle in their “gifts to go” section by the gift wrap! I must have been quite the sight for the other Sunday morning customers because I was just casually browsing, then my eyes got really big, I may have gasped and/or audibly said “OMG” and then grabbed a set for myself like a kid fighting for the last cupcake at the table. Except there were no other “kids” grabbing at these, except in my imagination, where everyone else knew what a gem I’d just found and were clamoring to beat me to them all. Scary things play out in my mind, you guys. But I digress…

Just beautiful. For me, it’s all about the details. Simple, chic packaging with great typography. Vibrant colors and lush, painted florals. I couldn’t wait to get these babies home.

 I still haven’t decided what I’m going to use these notebooks for. I’m an obsessive crazy avid list-maker, though, so I know that stray paper products floating around my home will never go to waste. Any suggestions?

I hope your week is off to a good start, friends, and if you’re on the East Coast, enjoy this warm weather! I couldn’t be happier that spring has finally arrived.

Xo, Ali

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Pretty Little Things: Monday Pinterest Roundup

Things are pretty chilly and grey here in the studio this morning. As I sit typing, I’m wearing a fleece pullover, a blanket, two pairs of socks, and fuzzy slippers. We may have an insulation problem…

With the unfortunate climate in mind, I thought it would be nice to feature some pretty little things I’ve spotted on Pinterest to brighten your day in case it’s as wintry as mine.

I’ve got weddings on the brain these days. Maybe it’s because I’ve been working on a lot of bridal jewelry sets lately, or maybe it’s because so many people dear to me are getting married in 2013. Whatever the cause, I’ve been a crazy pinning lady over on my Wedding Bells board. This invitation set from KM Paperie photographed by Chard Photographer is one of my  favorites. I especially love the dramatic emerald green, which in case you haven’t heard, is Pantone’s official color of the year for 2013.

This dress from ASOS is another wedding-worthy item. I could see a lineup of chic bridesmaids in this vibrant and full lace dress, or I’d love to wear it myself to a summer soiree. I’ve seen a lot of royal blue in the weddings I’ve been designing jewelry for this year and I think this piece is a great example of using the color in an elegant way. 

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

Food has also been on my mind a lot these days, particularly with the imminent weather change. This time of year I usually start to get antsy, ready to plant my gardens and switch from heavy warm dishes to lighter salads and inventive sandwich combinations.

Cheese is a year-round staple in our home – we’ve been known to snack on cheese and apples on a regular basis – and pastries are always a good decision. I’ve been collecting macaron recipes and may be ready to try my hand at the famous Parisian treats in the near future. I’m planning a birthday weekend for myself next week that’s going to be chock full of pastries as a last hurrah before I bid farewell to gluten permanently on March 25th. They may just have to make an appearance, along with…

Don’t act like you’re surprised. My obsession knows no bounds.

Happy Monday to all of you dear readers. May it be filled with sunshine, literal or figurative.
Xo, Ali

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