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Handmade amethyst earrings with silver wire

8 Dec

Karboojeh Handmade Amathyst Earrings with Silver karboojeh-handmade-amathyst-earrings-with-silver-full

Hello all… it’s been a long time since I posted anything on this blog. It’s been a busy month, really! So I am here today to share a few handmade jewelry items I made a while back with silver wire and gemstones.

This amethyst earring pair is one of my favorites.

karboojeh-handmade-amathyst-earrings-with-silver-full

I made this earring as part of a silver wire collection, here’s a group photo:

karboojeh handmade silver gemstone antique silver jewelryI love amethyst, its purple/lavender color is surprisingly a neutral that goes with so many other color combinations.

There is something quite majestic about amethyst; you feel it’s very much suited to sit on Royal Crowns, due to the way it reflects wisdom, nobility, royalty, and leadership. The fact that amethyst shades are usually darkish and subtle, I feel people who love this gemstone are usually the wise, deep type. They’re not flashy, since amethyst is a mediator between earth and sky, with colors that can very much be found at dawn, or on the surface of the ocean – in a degree or two of amethyst.

I leave you with amethyst today; more gemstones to come in the future hopefully,

take care…

Handmade Wire Rings: My first attempt at silver & gemstone jewelry

30 Apr

I have finally arrived to my Silver Stage. When I started making jewelry a little bit more than a year ago, I was mostly training to arrive to the real thing. Here are my first attempts.

All my life I have never been a patient person. My first craft attempts were all so ugly because I did them in haste. I have always dreamt of designing/making silver & antique jewelry rings, necklaces & bracelets, but I knew I wasn’t ready. I was basically waiting to reach a stage where I was patient enough to sit & work.

Early last year I bought these amethyst beads, but I knew I wasn’t ready to put them into use. I was still uncertain about the steps I was taking and my style wasn’t mature enough yet. So, I basically opted to learn so many handmade techniques –  including decoupaging, glittering, stationary-making, and packaging – to basically nurture a good artisan in me.

I nagged my mom to give me a few beads from her collection of all the scattered antique silver beads & gemstones she has collected over the years. I nagged and nagged to no avail (I guess she was worried I would create childish stuff with them – like the rest of my past creations). But then a few months ago when I wasn’t nagging at all, she gave me everything!

But I still didn’t feel I was ready. I felt heavy and confused sitting in front of those beads; hoping to come up with something spectacular but unable to quite imagine it. I lacked the self-confidence, and I’m thankful for that: it was a good hunch, because I knew that I lacked the skill & the vision for undertaking authentic jewelry-making.

Yesterday without thinking, and after finishing a few craft projects that had nothing to do with immediate jewelry-making, I grabbed the silver wire mom gave me, my treasured amethyst beads, a few of her antiqued silver beads, turquoise & coral, and I started working on these rings. I followed a strong urge to start making rings.

One of them gave me a hard time since I was totally unclear about the design. I kept twisting and twisting until I snapped the wire. But then I relaxed, stepped back a bit,  thought about what I wanted to do and created a nice ring. It’s the one in the middle (up).

Handmade bohemian bracelets: Hippie Karboojeh

20 Apr

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Hippies, the nature-loving ones (not the self destructive ones), think of themselves as trees, or flower plants. They wear bracelets and accessories that connect them to wood, color and earth. These bracelets are dedicated to all the hippies of the world.

Handmade by Karboojeh, these bracelets are made to celebrate the bohemian spirit. Bohemian is far more expressive than classical trends, although the latter has its beauty spots.

I fluctuate between trends and tastes. I’m sometimes quite boho, but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate other styles, like French Romantic, or Shabby Chic. But my starting point, my original love is always boho.

And here’s more color…

With beautiful Italian beads…

Two blue hippie bracelets…

And more navy blue beads…

That’s the hippie post for today,

Have a great day,

Karboojeh

Craft show: Table Display & Handpainted Pencils

5 Apr

I’m not in the mood for words. So, today, I leave you with a few pictures from yesterday’s craft show.

Just a little note about these hand-painted pencils… I adore them. They almost sold out yesterday at the Shigh Ead Craft show. I made the pencil holder (display unit) in the pic above by upcycling a Pringles can.

And finally a general view of the table. You can see some of the new items I have been working on: Fridge magnets/towel holders, notepads, “My Inspiration” notebooks & journals, in addition to jewelry (rings, bracelets, and earrings) and jewelry trees..

That’s it for now, Take care,

Karboojeh

Craft Show Wisdom: Life can be Full of Surprises!

8 Mar

Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry - Display stand at craft show/fair

I met wonderful people yesterday at the Souk Shighl Ead – Handmade Craft Show. And I learned a good lesson: Never generalize when it comes to purchasing power trends and attitudes. People can always surprise you!

This all goes back to the fact that life is a huge big mystery.

I don’t want to over-philosophize this. But, yesterday, I sold three rings that I didn’t think fit into the general fashion taste over here. I actually sold two very bohemian rings that were not at all bling-y, not sparkly, and totally not the kind of stuff I see people wearing.

Karboojeh Wood & Blue Boho Rings

So… What did I learn exactly? I learned to stop making judgements, expectations, and theories based on “perception.” What we perceive is not the Truth; it’s our way of making sense of the world around us – based on our hidden insecurities, prejudices, short-sightedness, and self-centered-ness. Perceptions make us who we are, that’s why we need to be very careful before taking them for granted. Perceptions help shape our destiny.

I learned being open to the experience was more rewarding than being in “control” mode. I actually went to the craft fair yesterday with a freer mind-set, less expectations than usual, less worries about what will happen.

I also sold another ring, which I didn’t even bother take a picture of before going to the bazaar, because I was so positive it will come back with me. Well, it didn’t! I was a bit surprised when a group of women actually started debating which ring looked better on their friend’s finger. The ring stash they were selecting from was on my not-their-kinda-taste list, until I experienced this!

Anyhow, I had a wonderful time. My table this time was a bit minimalist. I put on display a few handmade jewelry items, a few rings, a couple handmade jewelry trees, & a few hand-painted tableware ceramics – since I wasn’t in the mood at all for an elaborate display stand.

{Interview} | BOOST your handmade business with Hmade

29 Feb

Vintage jewllery and pretty hair clips from Charming Grace soon to be on Hmade

There are blogs that you keep going back to, like Hmade. Loaded with lots of inspiration, affordable online packages, and advice to help you market your handmade stuff, Hmade is one of Britain’s most interesting blogs.

At least that’s what I think!

Around the time Hmade interviewed Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry a while back, I wanted to interview Kellie, Hmade’s creator, to learn more about why she started her blog, her future plans, and most importantly her handmade marketing program, “BOOST” – designed to help you market your stuff over at Hmade. Artisans, designer-makers, cooks, and crafters, can visit the blog for very reasonable packages to help you with your online marketing experience.

Interview with Kellie, creator of Hmade – People who make, bake & create

Have you seen the new look at Calladoodles? (via Hmade)

  • When did you start Hmade? What inspired you to start a blog/shop that helps promote indie designer-makers?

I started Hmade in May 2011 when i met Clare from Calladoodles. It all began when I noticed Clare’s pretty shop and i fancied having a go at some product and interior photography. So I sent her an email asking her if she would like some photos in return for me practicing in her shop, and she loved the idea. Clare ran part of the shop by renting space out to designer-makers, and nearly every week there was someone or something new happening. I assumed she had a blog and was telling everyone about it all on Facebook but she was just too busy, and that’s where the idea for Hmade came about. We needed a way to tell people about the wonderful designers and their products who were selling in the shop, and what better way than a blog with lots of pictures.

Hmade began with lots of inspirational posts to get a good following and then we interviewed the sellers about themselves and their businesses. We had a really good response to it with viewing numbers being more than we expected. As Clare was busy with the shop i took this on myself and built it up to what it is today with the design, features, and new features to come.

  • What do you hope to achieve through your blog?

The idea behind it is to promote designer-makers and provide information and inspiration. I love blogs which are pretty and full of images, which is how i wanted mine to be. Not everyone wants to read something everyday so to have posts with just images can make things a bit refreshing!

I have a small shopping side to the blog but this will be phased out soon as i felt that it wasn’t quite what i want to achieve with the blog. I want it to be more of a promotional, informational blog rather than a shop. My ‘thing’ is photography so i will be offering more advice and services on that side as well as business advice and ideas.
The original sellers in the shop were the designers from Calladoodles which made things easy for me to take photos of the products and then send out when a sale was made. We may revive it when the time is right.

  • What are your future plans?
 My plans for Hmade are to become a source of information and to have other guest bloggers sharing their own knowledge with everyone. I also want to help people to get their products noticed by getting their images into the press and provide features about them and their products on the blog. It is all about support and promotion. It seems the designer makers are great at what they do but they don’t have enough time for some of the business tasks, which is where we can help.
  • Tell us about BOOST?
We have just rolled out BOOST which is a promotional package and we will be announcing a new photo appraisal service very soon, so keep an eye out for that one :)
—————————–
To learn more about BOOST’s latest offers, go here.
To contact Hmade, go here.
To visit Hmade’s Facebook page, click here.
—————————–
Interview by Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry

Diversification: Amen!

12 Feb

I got advice today to focus on one craft line, one specialty, one thing… this is basically the same advice I got from a couple of blogs specializing in helping emerging handmade start-ups.
The idea of living my life focused on one thing does not sit well with me! I am truly pissed off!

I have already finished around 15 years in media, PR, and music. In between I wrote UNDP reports, translated documents, traveled for journalism, toured for music, wrote copy for advertisements, sang jingles for big brands like Coca Cola, worked as assistant director for a couple of nation-level documentaries, been interviewed, appeared in a documentary film about my music career; I gave song-writing workshops, planned PR campaigns for major brands and conferences, single-handed-ly covered international conferences, won local & international music awards, designed ads, managed business magazines… and NOW YOU TELL ME TO FOCUS ON ONE THING?
Sheeeesh!

No really!

The most boring thing in life is to squeeze the adventure and the beauty of exploring our human potential out of our life and to put our selves inside a cubicle, and think it is wise!

I believe the human mind is capable of going beyond conditioning and boundaries. All people have imaginary limits of our true potential as people. I have jiggled jobs, careers, and hobbies all in the span of 15+ years, I took music lessons, tennis lessons, I played basketball, I swam, read so many books about everything from para-psychology to mythology and Sufism, I traveled to God knows how many countries. I know, I have tasted it, I know it, I know what I’m talking about. Human ability to master more than one thing is infinite, you just need to believe in it. It’s not a theory.
So, when I decide to paint on fabric besides making jewelry… I guess I have every right not to listen to a lecture about focusing on one thing. Because if I ever had focused on one thing I wouldn’t have had the 4-page abridged C.V. I have, nor the adventure, nor the experience, nor the wisdom, nor the gratefulness to have known life this way…

And I am still hungry for more, for more heights, spiritual heights… where can my soul reach… without confinement of human theories about what must be and what mustn’t be. I long for the Truth of our existence, what are we capable of spiritually. Who are we? If we pause all theories and lies about who we are, if we silence the world and sit with ourselves, and listen to the voice of Truth, we will realize we are more… much more than fashion shows, and catalogs, and stupid social codes that dwarf our real Truth, our True Being.

So the quote in the beginning of this post? It’s reblogged.
… I just found this inspiring blog post by a fellow WordPress blogger, and I thank her for visiting my blog thus introducing me to her incredibly inspirational blog.
Diversify. Amen!

Cast Light

According to Wikipedia, diversification in finance means reducing risk by investing in a variety of assets. It translates to an excellent strategy in our everyday life as well. Diversify your days by investing your time and attention in a variety of assets – family, friends, faith, health, adventures, career, dreams, goals and fun.  You will reduce the risk of looking back on your life with regrets – an awesome return on investment.

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DIY Monologue: Jewelry with a story

12 Feb

Karboojeh handmade leather boho hoop bracelet

I believe that when you make handmade jewelry (or anything handmade, including food), you put a little bit of you in each piece (recipe, dish, artwork, creation, etc). Making beaded or leather jewelry is more than just fitting colors and shapes together; it is a little journal where we write our life’s untold story – using jewelry components instead of words and ink!

I very recently noticed that when I am making a piece of jewelry or accessory, I am mostly reminiscing over a particular time in my life.

The boho leather bracelet above (sold) is just an example of this. Although the design is quite basic, it did take me quite a while to garner enough courage to make this one: It meant I had to re-live part of my adolescence, since such a bracelet would have been a hit in my teenage years.

After gazing at the ingredients (metallic hoop, leather cord, caps, clasp, jump-rings, beads, eye-pin/findings) I had arranged neatly in a box for almost two months, I decided I was ready to make jewelry that appealed to me back when I was a kido-turning-into–woman.

Adolescence is emotionally painful. Up until mid-twenties, one is virtually walking into all kinds of walls, hurting over so much as we grow up, especially if we have the artist streak, making us more vulnerable to life than most of our peers.

I sold this bracelet to a 40-something lady at a local craft fair who was looking for something to buy for her daughter. She impersonated her kid every time she looked at a jewelry item, and vocalized out-loud what she imagined her kid would criticize about it.

“Oh, no, this one has shells on it… my kid would say: ‘Mom, why did you bring me shells, don’t you know I hate them? I look like a board game of Barjees!*”

The mother sighed and continued…

“She’ll stop talking with me for a week!”

Obviously, that’s a difficult child. Like many of us.

The mother’s features relaxed when she saw this boho bracelet:

“Ah, she’ll love this one!”

Her kid is a 13-year-old girl. When I made this bracelet, I was thinking of my jewelry-taste (and life) back when I was 13.

Moral of the story: Any work of art, or artisanal work, that is made with a story behind it, will find a place to continue telling that story!

Cheers,

Karboojeh

DIY Tip: I used E600 to glue the caps on the leather-cord ends.
* Barjees is a board-game known in the Levant, specifically in Syria & Turkey. Instead of dice, cowrie shells are traditionally used so contenders would move their metallic pegs a certain number of blocks towards their target, the final house of win. The numbers are pronounced in old Turkish, and that’s how every one plays them.

Featured: Interview with Karboojeh at UK’s Hmade

1 Feb

Follow your heart, that’s what I keep telling myself. And I did, when a few months ago I stumbled upon this fantastic blog called Hmade and instantly fell in love. I was searching the net for display ideas from real-life craft shows. And I found a wealth of ideas and inspiration at this lovely blog. And yesterday, I was featured in an interview over there! How beautiful is that?!

I’m kind of really smitten by the gesture Kellie, co-creator of Hmade, made almost two weeks ago, suggesting we go for an interview. You have no idea what it means when one of your most favorite blogs – that also happens to be British (I love UK) – shows interest in your work. Wow…! Thanks, Kellie!

To read interview click  here.

Hmade: People who bake, make & create

The pictures in the Hmade interview are published for the first time. Here is a re-run of a few of them.

This pair of Karboojeh Handmade Boho Earrings is no longer with me, it belongs to an Italian young lady now, who is somewhere in the world. The smallest beads at the bottom are from Italy, the top ones are from Syria and Jordan.

And here’s a collage I made especially for Hmade comprising different pictures I took from around Damascus. Kellie wanted a picture that told her readers a little something about the city, and so I thought one pic won’t do justice to this fantastic old place. So… I thought I would give viewers a feel of what I see every day on the streets, something that is not too tourist-y, not too promotional, but just plain real. I hope this collage captures what I was looking for.

What a fantastic morning! I wish you all the same!

Love,

Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry

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