Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Salvaged Style

For immediate release:
The FamiLee Jewels announces the launch of it's new artisan jewelry line Salvaged Style.
Bonnie Lee of The FamiLee Jewels searches local salvage yards, restoration shops, flea markets, garage sales and antique stores for decorative brasswork, antique findings and vintage jewelry.
Bonnie uses her treasures to create jewelry highlighting the natural patina of the found items.
Dramatic and smart each Salvaged Style creation is one of a kind.
The FamiLee Jewels is a local artisan jewelry business in Malta New York. It's 3 generations of artisans design and create beaded and wire sculptured jewelry using ancient techniques and a variety of beads and gemstones from around the world.
You may see Salvaged Style jewelry in their weekend kiosk At The Warehouse 20 Learned Street Albany, New York or online at http://www.thefamileejewels.etsy.com/.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Home Parties by The FamiLee Jewels

Did you know that The FamiLee Jewels does home parties? Invite your friends to your home for a couple of hours. We will bring our jewelry creations to you and show them to you in the comfort of your own home. Try on your favorite pieces, wear them for the afternoon or evening, and fall in love with our jewelry. Find the perfect gem for that new outfit or special event.

As a host you will receive:

  • Free and discounted jewelry
  • Half price products
  • A VIP card that entitles you to 10% off future purchases from the FamiLee Jewels for 1 year.
  • When one of your guests books a show and holds it within 6 months you will receive a coupon that can be used at that show.

Host Benefits:

  • If your guest sales total 200$ you will receive 25$ in free product.
  • If your guest sales total 300$ you will receive 40$ in free product.
  • If your guest sales total 400$ you will receive 60$ in free product.
  • If your guest sales total 500$ you will receive 90$ in free product.
  • If your guest sales total 750$ you will receive 150$ in free product and 25% off 1 item.
  • If your guest sales total 1000$ you will receive 200$ in free product and 50% off 1 item.
  • If your guest sales total 1500$ and above you will receive 200$ in free product, 50% off 2 items, and The FamiLee Jewels Artisan of your choice will work with you to design a piece to your specifications up to 100$ value.

Party Styles
Plan your own party or make it easy and choose one of our suggested styles

  • Open House
    The simplest of all shows is an open house. Requiring little to no fuss, you invite us into your home to set up our displays. Then invite your friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers over to shop.

  • Trunk Show
    The trunk show is the classic style of home party. We will bring our merchandise to you and give an informal presentation that teaches you a bit about the gemstones and design styles that we use. If you are interested in particular stones or styles, we can tailor the evening to showcase your favorites.

  • Lesson Show
    For a fee of $25 per guest we will teach your friends the basics of bead stringing. Each guest will complete a single strand necklace and pair of earrings of their own. We will provide all of the necessary beads, findings, stringing materials and tools. Beginner level kits will be available for purchase if your guests want to pursue their new jewelry skills. If you so choose we can also bring a selection of jewelry for sale.

  • Custom Jewelry Party
    For the crème de la crème treat yourself and your guests to a custom jewelry party. We will bring our gemstones, beads, wire, findings and design tables and will work with you to create the piece of your dreams. Jewelry will be completed and delivered to the host within 2 weeks time.

  • Fundraiser
    You are welcome to hold a home party as a fundraiser for your charity of choice. For fundraising purposes The FamiLee Jewels will donate 15% of total sales to your designated charity.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We're Going to Key West!!!!!!!

Key West is home to cats, conchs, pirates and a variety of barefoot wanderers from around the world.
It is sunny days, tropical nights and amazing sunsets.
Fred and I are returning there in February for a long awaited anniversary celebration.
We spent several hours on Tuesday morning making reservations and planning our itinerary.
So now our minds are full of Mallory Square and the Sunset Grill, The beach at Fort Zachary Taylor park, Blue Heaven, Kelly's place, El Siboney, and the Hogsbreath Saloon.
We are looking forward to kayaking through the mangroves, biking around old town, and walking to the Southernmost point.
We can't wait to see our first spectacular sunset.
The Florida and Georgia FamiLee have been notified of our itinerary in case they want to join us while we are there.
Sweet dreams of warm beaches with Buffet tunes til then.

Anticipation is so much fun!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

FamiLee Update

The FamiLee Jewels have been keeping very busy finishing up special orders and gearing up for the Holiday season.
Bonnie has just finished one of her wrapped agate slice pendants as a special order. It is actually a reproduction of a piece that sold a year ago. The blue agate was chosen because of the patterning in it that resembles an ocean scene. The sterling silver wire work was then done to enhance that effect. The pendant is hung on a necklace of turquoise blue glass beads imported from Greece, sterling silver filigree beads and sterling silver chain maille in the Byzantine pattern.
Becky is finishing up an order of Motorcycle Mama earrings. Over the summer Becky made some earrings using a stylized wing design. Turns out that it resembles the wing logo for Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. People loved them.
Bonnie has been working this summer making jewelry pieces out of items that she has scavenged while working At The Warehouse. She has used brass escutcheons, antique drawer pulls and bits and pieces of wire and brass. She has embellished rhinestone pins and repurposed vintage jewelry findings. The Salvaged Style Collection will be unveiled soon At The Warehouse.

Other FamiLee news:
Becky is feeling well. The twins are 2 pounds 3 ounces each and still in transverse position which unfortunately makes carrying them awkward for her.
Freddy is growing like crazy. Forget walking he runs!!!!! He throws the ball (and any other toy he can get his hands on). He flirts outrageously. He loves the park (especially the slide). He recognises many objects by name but doesn't yet use the words for them. He keeps Mim and Pip laughing.
Ella remains deployed with the American Red Cross, still in Hattisburg when I spoke with her last night. That center is closing soon and the volunteers will be sent to Texas.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Amethyst, the most beautiful of all crystal quartz's is an extravagance in violet. It occurs in primary hues from a slightly pinkish violet, called "Rose De France" to an intense violet with red flashes, called "Siberian" which is the most sought after variety. Amethyst may exhibit flashes in one or both of the secondary hues red or blue. The most valuable stones are transparent and pure violet in medium to dark tones with no shading toward red or blue.
Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglios, a type of carved gemstone in which the figure is engraved on the surface of the stone rather than left in relief by cutting away the background, as in a cameo.
Ancient Greeks and Romans wore Amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.
Medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle.
Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England.
Ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church traditionally wear rings set with a large amethyst as part of their office.
Amethyst is produced in abundance from Brazil where it occurs in large geodes called almonds that are found within volcanic rocks. It is also found and mined in Austria, Brazil, Uruguay, Russia, India and Zambia. Amethyst occurs in areas of the United States and Canada but these specimens are not considered jewelry quality.
Amethyst is the birthstone associated with February.
It is one of the most common crystals found in the earths crust.
Amethyst is sensitive to light and heat. These stones should not be worn while sunbathing or tanning and should be protected from extreme heat as they can lose their color or yellow when exposed to either. they can be cleaned with a soft cloth and gentle soap and water.
Amethyst stones are beautiful when set in either silver or gold.
They are particularly attractive when paired with diamonds and moonstone.
The FamiLee Jewels uses amethyst in many of our pieces. The rich purple color appeals to jewelry collectors of all ages. We have used it in focal beads for pendants and chainmaille. We have used it as accent beads with moonstone and peridot. We have used it in stand alone pieces that feature only amethyst.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

September Travels

This week Fred and I had the pleasure of spending 3 days in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.
We had a wonderful stretch of weather with sunshine and daytime highs in the 80's. I think it was the first stretch of 4 days together with no rain since May.
We took off Monday, Labor Day, as everyone else was returning to work and drove to Ausable Chasm.
Our cute little room at the Ausable Chasm Motel, right across the street from the entrance to the cavern, was furnished with white cedar Adirondack furniture and a lamp made out of deer antler. The staff was friendly and helpful and offered us use of the campground facilities during our stay.
Monday we walked the chasm, both rim and lower trails, and ended the tour with a tubing adventure. We had planned to take the 10 person raft ride to avoid getting soaked but the lines were very long so when the attendants asked if any tubers were waiting we jumped line.
It was great. The water in the Battenkill is colder. The ride is slow and meandering for the most part and travels through the rocky chasm with tall rock cliffs on either side. There are 2 places where the water narrows and you have to "shoot the rapids". I liked the ride but it was a little tame for Fred who prefers the speedier white water.
It was great to see the chasm from that vantage point. It gives you an idea of the size of the place when you are looking straight up those walls.
My favorite sighting at the cavern: A honey bee's nest in a hole in a tree. They were very busy and I had only ever seen them in man made hives before. It made me think of Winnie the Pooh and his little black hovering rain cloud.
My second favorite. The most amazingly large spider webs that I have ever seen-on the sunny side rock walls of the cavern while we were tubing. One of the guides told me that they were made by Wolf spiders. ( I was glad NOT to see the spiders.)
Monday night we went to dinner in Plattsburgh, that being the closest place (12 miles) to get a meal that wasn't from a pizza parlor or snack bar.
Tuesday took us to High Falls Gorge, a 4 season recreation area that boasts a 700 foot waterfall and nature trails. The waterfall was very spectacular and the gorge has walkways and bridges that allow you to view it from multiple places. There were some dramatic glacial potholes. We both decided that we would like to go back in the spring when the water is running high. We walked the nature trails but were disappointed in the lack of birds and small wildlife. We had expected to see more. Perhaps the larger summer crowds scared them away. We did view 2 wood ducks trying to swim upstream through the rapids while we were eating lunch.
Next stop Whiteface Mountain. The gondolas were closed for the day but we discovered Veterans Memorial Highway that goes to the top of Whiteface. This steep winding road and viewing center were built between 1929 and 1935, by the order of Franklin D. Roosevelt as a public works project to honor veterans of WWII. It is an incredible feat of engineering. The road stops in a paved lot next to a stone castle 270 feet below the top of the mountain. The Castle, made of granite excavated for the road, houses a restaurant, a gift shop and restrooms. After touring the Castle you must walk to the end of the parking lot where a tunnel leads you into the mountain.
424 feet into the mountain! It was deliciously cold and damp, and ended at an elevator which takes you up 27 stories to the weather station at the very top of Whiteface.
The views were spectacular. You could clearly see Marcy and Haystack and all of the other High Peaks, part of Lake Champlain and into Vermont. The top of Whiteface was Fred's favorite part of the trip. I would have enjoyed it more had he not gotten quite so close to the edge!
To descend to the parking lot we chose the nature trail which is only 1/5 of a mile but very steep and rocky. Again no wild life! I brought my binoculars thinking that we would see eagles or hawks but it must have been the wrong time of day. I saw a seagull and a crow!
We drove into Lake Placid for a walk about town. It was fun to see the Olympic arena and skating ring and ski jumps but I loved just sitting in the park (in Adirondack chairs of course) looking out at Mirror Lake and watching the swimmers do laps. We had dinner at the Adirondack brewing Company where Fred enjoyed their Autumn lager and a terrific chicken and pasta dish while I had seafood wellington. Both meals were excellent and our server Andrew took very good care of us despite the crowds.
Wednesday found us checking out of our Adirondack room. We stopped at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves on our way home. We had a beautiful walk through their trails and looked into the caves. We found out that they have Adventure Tours in the summer months that take you through the caves. While the garnet studded roof of Garnet Cave sounds beautiful I don't think that I will be sharing this adventure with Fred---maybe one of the more daring members of the FamiLee will agree to join him. By the way The Natural Stone Bridge and Caves just happens to have a fantastic rock shop! I found some great pieces of jasper and crystal points that will soon be making an appearance as jewelry.
Wednesday afternoon found us home sweet home, tired and happy, with Bear and Emily curled up near us while we rested sore feet and legs and discussed our favorite parts of the trip.