Tag Archives: gemkitty

crafty girl: be your own valentine

Editor’s Note: I’m so very excited to introduce a dear friend and kick-ass designer as our guest for today’s Crafty Girl. Arrs is the mad scientist behind GemKitty, a fantastic website that basically allows you to staff out your DIY jewelry fantasies. Pick one of their dozens of beautiful designs, come up with a color combo you love, and presto – they’ll ship it to your door in no time flat.

Oh, and the best news? Order today (it’s the last day for Valentine’s Day orders), and get 30% off with code ROMEO –  forward it to a significant other or take matters into your own hands!

In the meantime, Arrs has cooked up an exclusive DIY design for your Valentine’s Day delight. I can hardly wait to get started on this pretty – if only I could decide on a color combo. Lapis beads with bright yellow jasper accents? Pale green aventurine and orange carnelian? Where would you start? (Yep, I totally used her amazing website as a gem cheat sheet for that, by the way.)


DIY fashion is all the rage (again) and while I heart marathon crafting sessions, I presume most of you aren’t reading this with hot glue gun, plumbing parts, and yards of fancy ribbon in hand.

So, for you crafty novices, I’ve cooked up a DIY necklace project that is the perfect way to wish yourself a happy Valentine’s Day. It’s simple (no special tools required), can easily be made while imbibing your favorite cocktail or gossiping with your girlfriends, and absolutely everyone can pull it off with style.

Necklace made with tiger’s eye and carnelian beans and suede cord.

To make your very own, just click below for all the gory details:

Read on

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get gifting: festival of the last minute

Santa’s sleigh is revving up, friends…are you ready?

Neither am I.

If all of the gift guides this month weren’t enough to rouse you from your procrastinating ways, chances are you’re in a bit of a pickle right about now. For the most part, overnight shipping is done, and it’s time to get something under the tree or risk the wrath of your loved ones.

Step away from the Starbucks gift cards, friends – I have options! Behold, a few of my favorite last-minute tips to check every name off your holiday list:

  • A certificate for a bespoke Hayden-Harnett scarf, paired with a copy of the photo you’d like to use, would be a wonderful (and incredibly thoughtful) gesture for anyone.
  • If she’s a fashion-forward girl who knows exactly what she wants, gift her the chance to design her own custom jewels at GemKitty. Or you can take it a step further – design the piece for her on their awesome website, print out a picture, and package her gift card with the design you have in mind. She can take your suggestion or change it out, without having to stand in a returns line on the 26th.
  • It’s hard to go wrong with a spa gift card. If you don’t know her favorite spot, pick yours. (Or if you’re local, pick mine – Portland Spa every time.) With price points from a manicure to a full day of bliss, this is a perfect fit for any budget and just about any girl. Plus, many local spas are running holiday package specials right now to help you out. Portland Spa, for example? 50% off any laser hair removal package for the holidays. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a lifetime without shaving.
  • If you must go with a retail gift card, steer clear of the mega-mart options (Target gift cards are so not festive) and for heaven’s sake, shop local. Head to their favorite boutique (or a store you know they’d love), and ask them to wrap the gift card up in a box, not an envelope – it feels more gift-y that way. A chic clothing boutique, a wine store or local distillery, even a video game arcade are all great ways to gift outside the box. If you’re in another city, enlist a messenger service (they’re everywhere) – the gift will be at their door today, probably for under $20.

Are there any last-minute finds you’ve given with wild success in years past? Or ideas you’re planning to test this year?

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welcome, sponsor! gemkitty

Hi, friends! It feels like forever since we’ve talked…all that gift guide madness sort of took over the place (it sure was a fun takeover, though, wasn’t it?).

Now that we’re back to business as usual, the first thing on my list is to introduce you to our newest sponsor (the owner of which also happens to be a dear friend and an outstanding human being): Gemkitty. The site is pretty phenomenal, in fact – it’s like DIY jewelry-making that you get to delegate. Talk about the best of both worlds! No wonder Martha Stewart and Glamour magazine are such huge fans.

Gemkitty has come up with dozens of different styles, all of which are totally customizable with your choice of gems, color combos, metal preference – absolutely anything you can dream up. Your design is then made by hand, with love, and sent right to your door – all without your having to step foot into a bead store or learning to use those teeny tiny pliers.

For me, it’s a perfect solution, since I often have big dreams of creating something myself, but I lack any actual creativity (hence my recurrent jewelry plagiarism). This way, some genius artistic person (my friend Arrs, actually) has come up with the design, and all I have to do is pick the details I love.

I can’t help thinking it’s a perfect solution for that holiday dress you need to accessorize. It would also be a great way to wrap up your holiday shopping for a group of girlfriends – make them each their own pair of custom earrings!

Or just, you know, when you’re sitting around watching Martha Stewart and have a sudden itch to be a crafty girl – you’ll get your DIY fix with a bare minimum of effort. Genius!

Take a peek at Gemkitty’s site – trust me, you’ll get sucked into all the fun.

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my kind of DIY

for those of you that have spied me moonlighting over at shelterrific this year, you’ll know i’ve been taking on a bit of DIY goodness this season.  since i’m feeling all warm and crafty inside, i couldn’t resist sharing this fun sale happening at rue la la today.  several different “make your own” companies have banded together and are selling some excellent customized wares for the holidays.  you can make a laptop case with a custom design or photo, custom chocolate bars, or – my favorite – design a necklace with your favorite gems, style, and metal from gemkitty.  getting all the credit for handmade gifts, without the mess, unexpected expenses, and endless trips to michael’s?  priceless.

oh, did i forget to mention the custom, organic beef jerky?  because nothing would say ‘happy holidays’ to the man in my life quite like a big bag of custom-created dried meats.  (sadly, i’m not being ironic or sarcastic.)

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