Tuesday, May 15, 2007

American Legion Auxiliary

Greetings jewelry lovers!

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I posted to my own blog! Busy, Busy, Busy! Well, I'm just dropping in to call everyone's attention to the newest additions to the Gifts that Give section: Patriotic Items that will benefit the American Legion Auxiliary!

Locally, here on Key Biscayne, this is a group of women who volunteer tirelessly to provide care packages to our young men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as making sure the veterans here at home are attended to.

So when President Susanne Schmachtenberg asked me to create some pieces for the local club, as a fundraiser, we talked and decided to take it a step further, and include the pieces on my site permanently.

After all, veterans are forever.

Here are the selections:

Click Here to Purchase the
Patriotic Swarovski Supernova

Click Here to Purchase
a loose cluster of 4mm cultured pearls,
swarovski crystals and your choice of
14k gold, sterling silver or 14k gold fill

Click Here to Purchase
"Red, Baroque & Blue"
in your choice of 14k gold,
14k gold fill or sterling silver.

Click here to Purchase
The Old Glory Barrette!

Of course, I reserve the right to create and add more as inspiration strikes! :)

20% of the proceeds from all of these items will be donated to the American Legion Auxiliary right here on Key Biscayne. If you're from another registered (and confirmable) American Legion Auxiliary group or club, and you'd like the 20% to go back into your club, please just drop me a line during checkout, and I'll make it happen.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Free Stuff! :)

Happy Summer everyone! OK.. I know it's not officially summer yet, but it sure feels like it here in Florida! Yikes... yesterday was one of those 94F days with the air as thick as soup.. the kind where there are only 2 options for outside: getting from the car to the movie theater; and being in a nice cool wet pool. I chose the former.

Many of you know of my involvement with American Cancer Society, and while that certainly continues - lol, it's a never-ender - today I'd like to call your attention to another way to support and educate.. through beading. :) How's that, you say? Well, there's a company out there, http://www.maketheconnection.org/default.asp, actually GIVING AWAY bracelet kits to anyone who writes in.

They're thinking of this as an idea to promote discussion between mothers and daughters and friends about HPV and cervical cancer, and I think it's pretty terrific. The idea being to connect with your friends, daughters, and other people you enjoy and care about to create your own personal statement to help in the fight against cervical cancer.

If you go to this website, and click on the lower right hand corner there is a bracelet kit you can order for FREE. Merck Pharmaceutical will donate $1 for every kit ordered. Send this to everyone you know! Even if you dont use the kit order it that $ will add up & could change someones life.

Again, here's that link...

As always, the GiftsThatGive section on my website continues to donate 50% of profits to cancer charities as well. Thank you all so much for your support!!
Happy beading. :)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Killer Boobs

This past weekend I was volunteering at the Miami Beach Relay for Life (for the American Cancer Society). I sponsored a "jewelry party" wherein people who came to the event could make their own jewelry, and all the proceeds were donated to the American Cancer Society - for research and the like. To my surprise, I shared the tent with a very cool girl named Sabrina who has a site/foundation/company called FreeTheStemCells.com.

Who wouldn't love a gorgeous girl in a wheel chair wearing a t-shirt she created that said "Wanna See my Ass?"... the idea being, then pressure the administration to free the stem cells... so i can STAND UP and SHOW YOU!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

She has t's for every just about every disease/ailment that would benefit from Stem Cell research, and they're all equally as edgy and hot. I bought one for Alzheimer's and one for Stem Cell Research in general... The most popular one of the day was "I have KILLER boobs" or "My BOOBS are KILLER" - i can't remember the exact order... in anycase, you get the gist. I hope you'll go check em out... and BUY! And if you can connect her to anyone, do so!

....stepping off my soapbox now

I hope you like her gear, that it resonates with you, and that you'll give her a boost.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A much needed update!

Where does one begin when it's been 2 months since the last blog, and so much has happened? Wow. So very much. I think I'll start with the latest... This one was beyond my wildest dreams. Once a year, I still do a tv production gig - just a couple days, and at this point, it's more for fun and to hang out with an old friend for a few days - kinda touch base with my old life, if you will. This year, she asked me to bring my jewelry along to the shoot, and guess what?! One of the actresses fell in love with the rings, and wore a couple of them during the shoot! Now, as much as I'd love to absolutely shout from the rooftops, I can't actually name the show or the actress just yet, since the pics wont come out till fall season promo stuff starts happening... but you're quite welcome to leave a comment and take a guess! :)

OK, moving backwards in time... my mother, who I blogged about earlier, took a fall a couple of months ago (she got into an elevator, pushed the button, nothing happened, so she went to get out, and learned - the hard way - that the elevator wasn't on an even plane with the floor - it was a couple of inches lower - so she went flying into the marble wall across the way, and then down onto the floor, hurting her left hand and arm, as well as her left hip, and her head... serious big ouchies here), sooooo... in addition to running my business, I was helping her run hers.

March and April are a very busy time for her, and the woman simply doesn't believe in taking a day off - ever. Consequently, a few things, like this blog, just had to wait a while. I'm taking my first day off since.... sometime before Christmas... today. And, lol, I'll be heading to the beach to help her... and at some point today design a couple of new pieces for yet another new section on the web site - to be called "Aqua," which will feature pieces to benefit the Key Biscayne Community Foundation a wonderful organization whose Aqua Gala is in 2 weeks. If you're reading this and the Aqua section doesn't exist yet, just give me a little time! :)

Moving a little further back, I also did the Key Biscayne Art Festival this year (2 days after my mother's accident). The response was incredible - truly more than I ever dared to hope, and it was sooooo nice to have so much interaction with people and to see first-hand such positive reactions to my designs. It was such a great experience, I'm seriously thinking about doing a couple of shows a year. I just have to figure out which ones... Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated!

OK, it's time to head over to the beach to help mom, but I leave you with this promise. I will be uploading some pics of new pieces tonight, as well as creating the new Aqua Section, so check back! :) lol... I did say this was a day off, right?! Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Magazine Feature

What a wonderful week! I've been creating so much lately, and I've had absolutely no time to photograph anything yet, but I have very exciting news: yesterday I was the featured jewelry designer in a magazine photo shoot! Rather, my jewelry was. The magazine wont come out until April, so I don't want to jinx anything by saying too much - other than how thrilled I am!! The shoot was a lot of fun - basically, I just brought everything I had in stock, and the stylist chose the pieces that looked best on the model. There will be 4 pieces featured - 2 rings and 2 necklaces. As a sneak peak, here's one of the necklaces.

It's the Lisette Pendant Necklace, and the model wore it as a choker - looked terrific!! This photo was taken by me, and it really makes me appreciate professional photographers - I can't wait to see how much better it looks in April!

***** UPDATE *****

The magazine was Key Biscayne Magazine, a gorgeous, glossy local publication, and the feature came off very nicely.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Wee Bit Skint

I love it when a new review comes in! Even moreso when the reviewer chooses creations no one else has reviewed yet. To that end, here is a brand new review from a blog called a wee bit skint.

continuing on in the same vein, carolyn koslen is a jewelry designer from florida with a catalogue that offers everything from quiet sophistication and elegance to bright hues and original designs. her designs pay strict attention to detail and all her items are hand made and so colourful, that anyone, no matter where your tastes lean, will be able to find something that accents your outfit, or your mood. she even takes custom orders and offers a wide range of bridal accessories, rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
a few items that really caught my eye, not just for their colour, but for their exuberant design:

find these pieces, and a staggering amount more at carolynkoslen.com

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sweet Like Brown Sugar

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you're having a gorgeous weekend full of creativity, time with family and friends, and joy in the small things. Before I head over to the Sonesta for a little of all that, I wanted to share with you another nice review that came in the other night. This one's real short 'n sweet, and it comes from a hot new blog called SavvyChick.

Image hosting by Photobucket

It's Sweet Like Brown Sugar
Isn’t it beautiful. It’s elegant but not overwhelming. The tagline from her website is “Relaxed Elegance” and I think that sums up this piece.
“...this necklace features Cultured Pearls in Chocolate and Champagne as well as Golden CZs, and can be worn beautifully from choker length to extra long. Available in 14k gold fill exclusively. This necklace layers very well with both the Champagne and Chocolate necklace and the Brown Sugar Charm Necklace.”
Now, as you know I’m a huge fan of pink… and well, this isn’t pink - but you know the browns, creams and earth tones are hot for spring - so I have to conform. *smile* Plus this piece is just beau-ti-ful.

Thanks, SavvyChick! Here's a pic of the necklace and charm necklace combined...
Image hosting by Photobucket

I love how they look layered like that. To see the whole set, including earrings, bracelet and ring, click here.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Hair Jewelry Review

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for coming on by to check out the blog. And apologies for the delay between posts. It's been a very, very busy past couple of weeks, and it doesn't look like it's gonna slow down any time soon - which is great! Among other things, the rings have been flying, and the baby bracelets have been getting really popular lately. Thanks to a new review from Sharp Lily, it's likely the cultured pearl and 14k gold hair jewelry for kids and adults is soon to follow.

These adornments are a terrific elegant accessories for special occasions like weddings and proms, or as SharpLily plans to wear it, just around the office!

Carolyn Koslen Pearl Barrette $30
I have a reputation around my office - my co-workers tease me for frequently accessorizing with pearls. But I'm proud to sport them. (As reputations go, it could be worse.) They make me feel like Audrey even when I'm dressed like Mary-Kate. This elegant, handmade barrette will be a fabulous addition to my collection. It's delicate and decadent, and will be sure to induce whispers around the watercooler.

OK, how wonderful does it make me feel to know I've made a woman feel like Audrey Hepburn?!! Thanks, SharpLily.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My Favorite Hotel Heiress

Probably not the hotel heiress you're thinking of, but not far off. This gentle woman of means, style and class became a client last year when she requested something in rubies and gold. Yesterday was different. We had such a ball. It's funny, actually, I had just finished re-organizing my ring display, and she surprised me with a visit.

I wish now that I had taken a picture of what happened next. She must have tried on 60 different rings... then tried them again... then made little rows as she went through an internal process of elimination. This is a woman who could wear burlap and make it look elegant, so absolutely everything she tried on looked amazing on her. I'm so flattered to have her as a client. Here are the pics of the rings she finally decided upon. I hope you enjoy them as much as she did... and will. The links below the pictures will take you to the product listings in Carolyn Koslen Jewelry Design.

Cultured Pearls and Gold Ring

"The Silver Lining"
Silver Cultured Pearl Ring

Silver, Jet and Peridot Swarovski Crystals Ring

Faceted Amethyst, Pearls and Gold Ring

"All About You"
Champagne Pearls and Gold Ring

Faceted Aquamarine, Pearls and Gold Ring

Monday, February 20, 2006

Charity Auction

A friend by the name of Clara runs a charity called Universal Aid for Children, and yesterday they held their long awaited auction. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend, but I sent along a couple sets - one I had created in December, and the other just a few days ago, and having just spoken with Lars, her event coordinator, I'm very happy to report that both were very well received and helped to raise a nice sum for the charity.

Here's are a couple of items from the first set, entitled "Silver Belle"- a bracelet and earrings:

Both are made with dapped sterling silver chain, pearls and gold.

The second set is called "Jewel Tones", and features garnet, apatite and sterling silver. Here's the bracelet.

I hope you enjoyed these... The rest of the set is viewable on the website: CarolynKoslenJewelryDesign.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

KissMeStace! Review

I'm doing a little happy dance right here in my chair. I've been discovered by DesignerElla, and she did a product review on the site! A mention from DesignerElla means you've definitely arrived. I'm absolutely honored she deigned to utter my name.

Carolyn Koslen Jewelry
February 15, 2006 at 10:01 am by Designer Ella
Image hosting by Photobucket
It’s the day after a probably disappointing Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re single, or your man didn’t deliver, now is a good time for our next discovery of an independent jewelry designer. (They have rare pieces, great style & quality, and great prices!) Now, it’s Carolyn Koslen! Her items are full of pearls or beads, full of sophistication, with trend and luxe, all mixed in.
Koslen even has some charity-donating pieces for sale, and there are bridal and children’s items. She’s worth checking out and indulging yourself, or perhaps nudging-nudging your someone.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Great Weekend

It's been a really nice weekend, complete with, be still my heart, a full day off full of really great blues music! And I managed to create a couple of new goodies...

I've been wanting to make this pearl ring for quite a while now. It matches my favorite earrings...

These next two are brand new as well. Full of Champagne Pearls and Faceted Garnet...

After dropping off the above ring and earrings (and a couple of others) to SFR, I stepped out her door, and this is what I saw...

and then a moment later...

What a beautiful end to a great weekend. :)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Shopping Mommies Review

Wow.... I've been getting some really nice press lately, but this one from ShoppingMommies.com just made me blush. After about a week of pure insanity, this was exactly the kind of thing I needed to stumble on at the end of the day. And I'm so thrilled with the pieces she chose to feature! Here it is:

Jewelry by Carolyn Koslen

"Absolutely stunning!"

"Beautiful, exquisite designs..."

"Exceptional workmanship."

"A keen eye for color and style..."

These are how we describe the pieces of art that Carolyn Koslen creates.

Her designs speak volumes by themselves. Each stunning piece is a work of art. The woman who wears jewelry by Carolyn Koslen is an independent, fashionable woman with a true sense of style. You'll feel like a royal in these beautiful jewels.

Her line of jewelry consists of great everyday casual wear, exciting formal pieces, bridal jewelry, a children's section as well as a "Gifts that Give" collection where a portion of the proceeds from each sale is donated to charity.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and take a look for yourself. Get your credit card out because I know you're going to fall in love with her beautiful jewelry designs. Buy something for yourself and a gift for a friend...

If you happen to spot a celebrity in a magazine or on the street with the same design you're wearing -- just know that you've got great taste. Now, it wouldn't be polite of me to name names but I'll drop a few hints. One is a rather well-known socialite, another is on a very popular soap opera, then there's the girl from a very famous yet eccentric Hollywood family who bought pieces for her entire family.. and oh there's more but I'm sure you get the idea.

Link: Carolyn Koslen Jewelry Design / Shopping Mommies use code mommies to receive 20% off all regular price merchandise
(excludes sale items and gifts that give section)
February 2006 - Product Reviews @ Shopping Mommies
Product Reviews Main Index

Monday, February 06, 2006

Judi the Jewelry Lady of the Sonesta

First things first, I just had to share this pic of one of the cutest little beaders ever! She's only 3, and she's been at it for about 6 months now, which means by the time she's my age, she'll have been designing for 2 years longer than I have... or something like that.

I've had the nicest day. It started out with some very strong Cuban coffee to compensate for the late night up designing, and progressed to a new jewelry forum (new for me) chock full of designers and hobbyists with great ideas and enthusiasm, and then to the beach at the Sonesta to work on a couple of special orders for a new client and hang out with my mother, simultaneously. The weather here on Key Biscayne is just gorgeous right now: clear skies, sunny and just the perfect mid-70s temps. Here's mom with that cutie pie, again. Such a face!

In addition to being a fixture at the Sonesta, my mother does jewelry making parties for all ages - this friday she'll be at a montessori school with a class full of 3 year olds (cutie pie's classmates), last week she had a sweet 16, and a little while ago, a HUGE baby shower, with 50 adults. Whenever she asks, I'm there to assist, and every time I do, it makes me appreciate her incredible patience and expertise so much more.

Truly, I don't know how she does it! The teaching part... She's been at it for 32 years now, and always at the Sonesta Beach Resort on Key Biscayne. Here's an early pic. That's my mother, Judi, on the right, in the bikini, before she had to get out of the sun, so they built her her own chickee hut on the deck.

Sadly, the Sonesta will be closing it's doors in August. They'll be tearing down the building and replacing it with a condo hotel in a couple of years. It'll still be Sonesta, but no one's really sure what it's all going to mean. At least once a day, someone asks me, "What's Judi going to do when they tear the hotel down?" Truth is, she just doesn't know yet. (For me, the hotel's where I grew up - I think I spent more of my childhood there than at home!)

I can't imagine her ever really retiring. For her, this has never been a job, but a lifestyle. Her gift, as she says, is "turning people on to their own creativity," and she's just great at it. Mom is responsible for helping a lot of jewelry designers get started - and all it took was her gentle guidance and their own innate creativity being unleashed. So I imagine she'll go on teaching her adult class at the community center, doing jewelry making parties, and doing pearl knotting and repairs for the locals.

If you're in the Miami area, and you'd like to book Judi for a party, please email her at judibeads@aol.com. If you're from out of town, and need a new kit, or just want to say hi, you can email too. :) She'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Earthtones for Spring!

I'm so happy it's earthtones for spring! For me, as a red-head, there's nothing better. Here's a preview of what I've been up to in that regard. Today, I'm mainly highlighting bracelets, but if you've just discovered my jewelry, I want you to know that YES :), there are matching necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings for everything, and if it doesn't exist yet, all you have to do is ask!

Let's start with Changing Leaves. This bracelet combines a super lustrous selection of cultured pearls in shades of brown, gold, and green.

The Lisette Bracelet just drips elegance with pearls, pearls and more pearls, in shades ranging from deep green to light, champagne to golden, and some sparkle from the olivine cz's.

EarthlyDelights is a fun combination of faceted natural Carnelian Agate, Swarovski Crystals and Olivine colored Cultured Pearls. I love when this bracelet finds the right person, because it's instant love.

Brown Sugar just makes you feel so good. What's not to love about pearls, gold and a little sparkle? I love this set. It came to me fast and furious. My fingers could barely keep up with my mind in bringing each piece to life. The ring is up on the top of this blog post, and here's the rest. :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

A Ring on Vacation

Welcome to my world: the "backyard" of the Sonesta Beach Resort in Key Biscayne, where I grew up and still call home. Granted Red Sky Bling isn't a particularly beachy ring, but I had to show you a snippet of the natural beauty that inspires my creations. Also, the deep red of the Swarovski Crystals just looks so beautiful in this shot, I couldn't resist.

The rings I'll share with you today speak more to the sophistication and sparkle of many of my clients, and they serve as an excellent example of how we work together to create the perfect piece. Every ring here was created specifically for my client, Eve, to accompany a bracelet she purchased as a gift for herself. The bracelet is called Aria and it's been getting a lot of notice lately thanks in large part to a terrific write up in The Shopping Blog.

Image hosting by Photobucket
This prosperity ring is Bring on the Night, and it is a a balance of Gold, Silver, Cultured Pearls, Black Onyx and Swarovski Crystals. It is a match for the color scheme of the bracelet, however the pearls are uniquely shaped, so it doesn't have a too matchy-matchy feel to it.

Image hosting by Photobucket
This one is called Blonyx Bling. It's a protection ring, with it's five symmetrical components of faceted Black Onyx, Sterling Silver and Swarovski Crystals.

Image hosting by Photobucket
Centered is a healing ring that features Black Onyx, Silver Vermeille Swarovski Crystal Roundelles and 14k Gold Fill for the Beads and Base. While the bracelet does not have any Swarovski components, Eve's desire was for the ring to have "lots of bling." As you can see, I ran with it.

Image hosting by Photobucket
This prosperity ring is Magical. Jet Swarovski Crystals, Gold and Silver Vermeille Swarovski Rondelles combine for an elegant evening out ring. As you can see, I took the black and gold components from the bracelet and added Eve's requested bling.

Image hosting by Photobucket

For Eve's Night Out, I took the literal approach, and combined 3 exact elements of the bracelet - gold, the small silver-gray Swarovski pearls and the faceted Black Onyx - with Eve's requested bling in the Swarovski Crystal elements.

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into the process. Please bookmark this blog, and come back soon for another glimpse into the creative process.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Buzz! from ShoppingBlog.com

As an independent designer, one of the most important things is getting on the public radar. I'm often asked by friends and family, how do people find you on the internet, with all the millions of websites out there. Well, here's one way: great articles written by super-popular blogs like the ShoppingBlog.com go a long way. As much as the article itself, the nicest part of this one was that they found me, and when I stumbled on to the article it was a complete surprise!

Pearls For Spring
It may be January, but we're already thinking of Spring...and fun wedding fashions. We love this beautiful hair barrette in Pearls and Swarovski Rondelles, which is custom made by jewelry designer Carolyn Koslen. Available in 3" or 4" lengths, this is the kind of hair jewelry that we just adore. Carolyn Koslen's wonderful online store has rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and hair ornaments -- all handmade. She also has some special items she created; for these selected pieces Carolyn donates 50% of her profits to her favorite charities, such as the Susan G. Komen foundation. We especially like this "Aria" necklace, made of black onyx and silver Swarovski pearls. The necklace is available in either Sterling Silver ($335), 14k Gold Fill ($395) or 14k Gold $1,995). It's choker length, in either 14", 15" or 16". There is also a gorgeous matching bracelet that would look fabulous with that perfect black cocktail dress. Posted on January 20, 2006 ShoppingBlog.com

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My First Post

As much as I love to design a new piece, I love communicating with and hearing feedback from my customers. In my off-line sales, this is very easy. On-line, it becomes a bit of a blind marketplace for some. Many of you send terrific notes and emails when you receive your jewelry, and we all love that so much, I thought I'd create a blog, and perhaps we can all get to know eachother a bit.

Much on my mind at the moment is this year's Relay for Life in my little community of Key Biscayne. I'll be the Survivor Chairperson again, and I'm already brainstorming like crazy about just how we're going to honor our survivors this year.

As you may already know, a large part of what we do at CKJD involves fundraising/donating to worthwhile charities, such as the American Cancer Society. It was very important to me to have a section on the website devoted exclusively to that. As with all good things, when the ideas start coming, they just flow. Here are some of the new pieces just added to GiftsThatGive. Fifty percent of the profits from each piece is donated to the verifiable cancer charity of the wearer's choosing.

Image hosting by Photobucket
The Relay for Life
Amethyst and Crystal
Cancer Survivor Pendant

Image hosting by Photobucket
The Breast Cancer Survivor Pendant

Image hosting by Photobucket
Breast Cancer Support & Survivor
"Anywhere Clips"

Image hosting by Photobucket
Pink Cultured Pearl, Swaroski Crystals and Sterling Silver
Breast Cancer Support
Pink Ribbon Earrings

Thank you for coming to have a look. I hope you'll feel at home here. Please bookmark this blog and come back periodically to check for new and featured pieces, as well as alerts for upcoming sales and blog-reader-discount codes.

Beaches Resorts -- The Ultimate All-Inclusive Cari