Here is a little preview of Fall 2012…
Shown is the Graham bracelet with faceted black jet stones.

For a while gray was everywhere in the fashion world, but after viewing the pre-fall runway presentations, I predict that black will be back in Fall 21012.
So–here is the low-down on the epitome of black which is, of course, JET.

Jet is created when wood is put under intense pressure for thousands of years. When this pressurized, carbonized wood is combined with salt water, the result is hard jet.
Jet has been used for adornment since Roman times. Hard jet is often carved, but this process is difficult due to the brittle nature of the stone.

Queen Victoria made jet a popular gemstone when she wore jet jewelry as part of her mourning dress after her husband, Albert passed away. The jet she wore was called Whitby jet because it came from the coastal beaches of Whitby, England.

In the states, jet was very popular during the roaring twenties when young flappers of the Jazz Age would wear long, multiple strands of jet beads.
With the much anticipated new Gatsby movie, and Kate Moss’ wedding theme, everything Jazz Age is super hot at the moment. The flapper drop-waisted dress was seen all over the pre-fall runways, so how fitting to add a little Jazz Age jet into the mix with some accessories!
These pieces in jet can be so versatile. You can shuffle paperwork by day and then wear it to a formal event that night.
For fall 2012, black is the new black.


Spring 2012 is on it’s way!!

Can’t wait for you to see the gorgeous sterling silver which is new for exVoto this season!
New locket styles and new leather styles. Freshwater pearl, turquoise, amethyst and citrine, too.
This was such a fun look book to shoot as well!
Find the video link for Spring 2012 in the top corner of the right-hand margin…
Follow ExVoto on facebook for some big announcements coming soon!

The newest addition to the ExVoto collection is the Blackforest Cross-Body Pouch!
Super-soft genuine suede, gold plated chains, Italian leather shoulder strap and the ever-popular suede tassel! I am in love with the leather pieces being created exclusively for ExVoto Vintage from this amazing (Ah.Ma.Zing) US leather company! Their work is superb! It is a dream come true for me to be able to design and draw and then see my drawings come to actual fruition! We need US companies in order for new designers to be able to innovate and create their lines, and it is my desire to always keep my production in the US. This particular company can create certain trims that overseas just cannot do! Yay USA!

A closer look at the Blackforest bag.
Embossed and given a lacy top edge detail and of course, the tassel!
The bag is 6×8– enough to hold your keys, phone, sunglasses,charge card and lipgloss (all the essentials!) Great for traveling or a quick dinner out. Keep this in your tote or giant handbag and then reach for it when you need to carry a bag less, well, huge!
Named the Blackforest Pouch because something about it reminds me of a bag Robin Hood would have carried…or maybe the chic Maid Marian?
Call the showroom for details…Don’t forget we gift wrap and ship!
M-F 9Am-6PM (central time)

Has anyone else noticed that all four finalists of this season’s Project Runway had each lost an immediate family member within the last ten years?
Frankly, I am not surprised by this. Hasn’t it been said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?
All four finalist, at one point or another, sited their lost loved ones as a source of strength and inspiration in the pursuit of their dream, and whether you loved Joshua or loved to hate Joshua, we all must agree that he was a force to be reckoned with in that competition, even when he was crying!

Pain builds strength of character (and there were certainly some characters in that foursome!)
God explains this paradox for us when He says that He gives us strength when we are weak.
History has shown through one biography after another that from the most horrible of circumstances, the most wonderful stories can bloom. It is the beauty from ashes phenomenon which can only be explained supernaturally.

A long-time friend of mine, Kim, came through town this weekend and she and her family stopped at our house as a resting place on their long road trip from Chicago to the panhandle of Florida. She wanted to see my studio and showroom and when she was in that space and saw the jewelry she marveled at the beauty from ashes story that God had allowed my life to become. Kim and I have known each other for over 20 years, in fact she was my church youth director when I was in high school, and in that time we have both been through more than our share of heartache. She was one of the many friends and strangers who prayed for my daughter as she was losing her battle with brain cancer at the age of four. Kim herself had lost a daughter a few years earlier and knew better than most, sadly, how to pray for me. So Kim stood in my studio and smiled as she looked at the way God had given me “gladness for sorrow” over the last four years by allowing me to use the talents He gave me and pour joy back into my life as I am given this amazing opportunity to create!

And that is really what ExVoto is all about. Beauty for ashes. These old, forgotten, sometimes even broken, pieces of history are given new purpose, and a renewed value. They are made new again. That’s a lot of what the finalists in Project Runway were feeling about their run in the competition. A chance for a fresh start. Redemption.

A few days ago, I put my hand into a box of suede tassels which I have specially made by an awesome US leather company which I was so grateful to find, and I got that itch to create something new. First of all, I love these suede tassels. They are so super soft and there is something absolutely luscious about a box full of them. So I pulled the box off the shelf and began to get inspired. My worktable in the studio was soon covered in tassels, jade beads, vintage crosses, antique keys, lockets and freshwater pearls. As with all creative ventures, not all of the pieces you begin with make the final cut. Here is the necklace which came about that day:
I call it, On The Fringe.
It is 23″ long and made from Italian leather, textured gold-plated chain, freshwater pearls with etched bead caps, the ExVoto toggle closure at the front, and of course the 3″ suede tassels. This fall season sees the return of one of my favorite layering pieces, the turtleneck, and this necklace works great with a turtleneck. Leather, tassels, and turtlenecks are all on this season’s Must Have lists–so here you go! Have fun! But don’t deliberate over this piece too long, I have decided to only make four of them!
On The Fringe necklace is $233. Call the ExVoto Showroom for more info. We can gift wrap and ship. 334.649.9121
If you are in Montgomery, AL, stop by to see us, M-F, 9:00-6:00.

Two Gigi necklaces. One with the Cloverdale cross pendant and another with the Gloria locket. (Pictured with the Classic 18″ necklace with Jewel locket)
The Gigi locket worn wrapped.
This past January ExVoto was invited to participate in the Golden Globes gift baskets for the presenters and nominees staying at the Four Seasons Hotel in LA and while working on this, I created the necklace design featured in this post. I named it the Gigi (after the Golden Globes, naturally). The slightly asymmetrical and seemingly random placement of the hand-wrapped freshwater pearls makes the necklace charming and is either an expression of my personality (which views perfectly balanced perfection as somewhat boring) or the fact that the design was born at around 1:00 AM while I was working endless hours to get the order filled! Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well maybe necessity is the mother of creativity too, and possibly a good dose of sleep-deprivation helps the process as well.
The Gigi with the vintage, limited edition Gloria cameo locket worn looped through itself for wearing as a short necklace.
Gigi necklaces are also available with the Annabelle locket, Scottie locket, Zelda locket, or the Amory (owl) locket. For an example of these locket styles, see the post titled, “Locket Lineup” from September.
Gigi’s are also available as a one-of-a-kind necklace with an assortment of antique lockets or pendants. Call the showroom for more information and availability. 334.649.9121

“I have never before received so many compliments on a single piece of jewelry”
“I walk into my closet and decide what I am going to wear based around my ExVoto necklace.”
“I wear my ExVoto necklace every day!”
These are some of the comments I have received from customers and they let me know I’ve hit my target, but these compliments also push me to make my designs even better each season.
I love nothing more than to hear you want to wear your piece of ExVoto everyday, and dress yourself around it, but it also reminds me to make each design as wearable as possible.
That means versatility.

Each long necklace style of ExVoto is created to be just the right length for wearing long or short. In fact, all of the long necklaces in the ExVoto collection can be styled three different ways! Some days you need a long necklace and some days your outfit calls for a shorter piece.

The photographs in this blog show the three different ways to wear the long ExVoto necklaces.
1)wear the necklace long
2) unhook the toggle clasp and wrap the necklace
3)leave the toggle connected and loop through the way you would a scarf

The necklace shown is the Graham necklace with hand-wrapped carnelian stones and the Mollie locket, a limited edition vintage locket. This season, the Graham style is also available with a chain of smoky topaz stones and many different lockets and crosses. The Graham is also available without a locket or cross making a light, delicate chain which is great for layering with other pieces.

Call the showroom if you would like more information about the Graham!
Or check with an ExVoto retailer in your city to see if they have the Graham.