I will admit to having a point of view about what statement earrings you “should” wear with my funky, chunky, fabulously hip statement necklaces. And so do you. We are both right!
Many bobbi kahn-ers will only buy a statement necklace if I also have a matching or coordinating bracelet and earrings. One of my long time collectors is a very successful professional and has little time to pull her wardrobe together before getting on the train to the office or a plane to a client meeting. She keeps her pieces in the bobbi kahn signature brown organza bag that comes with her purchase and can grab and go with her set of jewelry and the outfit that coordinates. For her, buying a coordinated set is a time saver. It can be daunting to pick out your outfit and then have to make at least five more decisions - necklace, earrings, bracelet, shoes and some of you even coordinate your handbag. Since I don’t always design sets, I custom create the set for her with each piece she buys.
When you ask me what earrings go with the necklace you are buying, I share my point of view. I think small, understated earrings look best with a large statement necklace. Do you have a pair of diamond studs? That’s what I wear everyday. It could be that I am just too lazy to change my earrings. If the outfit I’m wearing has a neckline that doesn’t make a necklace dazzle, I put on a bold pair of earrings and bracelet. If all your accessories are big and bold, I think it minimizes the impact of the one piece you are showing off. Now consider Iris Apfel. She has made herself distinctive for wearing so many pieces of statement jewelry that she is a walking gallery. Just goes to show you that whatever you love, and makes you feel fabulous, works.
DO NOT click on this link and look at my earring gallery. Its a total mess. I guess its like walking in to my messy studio where you can tell its full of really cool pieces but its hard to tell exactly where to start shopping. You can see what earrings I am selling but the photography is awful. No worries! On 10/24, I did an entirely new earring gallery shoot with stunning pictures and beautiful models/friends. Soon you will see my current collection. Look for that reveal in the next few weeks.
bobbi kahn-ers have a bold style. What makes you fabulous is how you rock that style when you enter the room. I say, do what makes you feel your most authentic self. If you are asking me what I think, then I’ll tell you to wear a bold statement necklace and small complimentary earrings. And if you love statement earrings, compliment them with a bold bracelet.
Everyone is so sad the the summer is coming to an end. I hear this all the time from visitors to my booth and strangers in the grocery store. Me? I hate summer. Its too humid (such is life in the mid west). The days are too long. I go to bed in the daylight most of the summer. I’m an early to bed, early to rise gal. The heat makes me feel sleepy and there are just so many layers of clothes you can remove before it’s a problem. Worst of all, sometimes, it feels to hot to wear funky, chunky, fabulously hip statement jewelry from bobbi kahn jewelry.
Now, these are how I see the seasons living in the midwest. I think if I lived in the southwest like my customers in New Mexico and Arizona, these would be the shades of my life! I’d see them all the time in vivid sunsets, shadows on the desert mountains, the flowers when they bloom so vibrantly on the cactus. When I visited Santa Fe to see my wonderful sister one time, I bought orange cowboy boots. Had to have them. And each year I see orange cowgirl boots and my fall fashion trend!
Fall is so hopeful. It’s back to school! It’s cozy clothing! Soon we get to make fires in the fire pit or fireplace. Get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving and the holidays. This is the time I switch out my closet from cool whites to cozy colors. Fall/Winter trends include copper and brass. To the left is a new one-of-a-kind piece I created using found objects. You ask me how long it takes to make something. In this case, it took me 3 years and two hours! I found these brass elements years ago. I knew they could become something amazing. And it took me this long to conceive and execute this piece. I wore it with a fuchsia jacket made of Sari material that had gold threading, an olive underpinning and black palazzo pants. Need help styling an outfit you have? Lets work on that together!
My other favorite material to shift to in the Fall/Winter season is copper. Copper is fantastic with something black. And copper is in the orange, brown, olive, maize, mustard and plum family - all the delicious shades of the season.
I have some of the greatest conversations with customers in my booth at art shows. I am often asked about what to wear with my chunky pearl necklaces and other handmade statement jewelry. I am in my 12th year of doing shows and I have seen a lot of women wearing my jewelry.
What I know is that there is no right way to wear jewelry. And there is no right jewelry to wear. The women who wear bobbi kahn jewelry best are the women who love to make a statement. They light up the room with bold personality in their dress, communication and jewelry choices. Body size doesn't matter when it comes to wearing my statement jewelry. I promise this!!!! What matters is how you feel in the jewelry you wear.
I love layering jewelry. If one bracelet is pretty, then layering 5 bracelets is 5 times prettier. So when I wear freshwater pearl bracelets, I wear a combination of pearl and silver, silver bracelets and two-toned bracelets. I also think layering old and new is a great way to give your pieces a new look. I have a long pearl necklace from my mom that has lapis lazuli beads. I will wear this piece with a modern and bold lapis necklace from my one of a kind collection and a pair of jeans.
A long pearl necklace, from either the Chunky Pearl Jewelry collection or the Gold and Pearl Jewelry collection, is so versatile. You can wear it long or double it and layer in a second or third piece for added interest. I love wearing Freshwater Pearl and 18k over Copper and Long Freshwater Pearl and 18k Gold over Copper together as seen in this image. And often I wear the long pearl necklace doubled.
Ever wonder where pearls come from? Learn everything you've ever wanted to know about Freshwater pearls in this blog post.
What earrings should I wear? To match or not to match? I go back to this: you should wear what ever you feel best in. Matching is not my personal preference. When I wear a large statement necklace I prefer my earrings to be understated. A simple pair of diamond studs or something small that coordinates but doesn't match. Just because this is my preference doesn't make it right, but it is right for me. On the other hand, one of my customers tells me that she needs a coordinating set of bobbi kahn jewelry to complement her busy executive lifestyle. She keeps each her matching sets of jewelry in the brown organza bag it comes in. When she travels for work, each bag goes with an outfit as she packs for her trip. BAM! Always good to go.
Confidence is contagious. You must wear the clothes and jewelry that makes you feel your very best bold self. I am always here for a personal consultation. That's one of the many perks of being an exclusive "bobbi kahn-er." (All you need to do is join my mailing list and you're in!) Do you have an outfit that you need a customer piece created just for you? That's my favorite way to create. Let's discuss what I can do for you exclusively.
Let's keep it funky, chunky and fabulously hip at bobbikahndesign.com!
Chunky Pearl Jewelry
I created the Pearl Jewelry collection because it is the most popular with my customers at art shows and on line. I love anything funky, chunky and fabulously hip and the Chunky Pearl Collection is no different.
There are four types of pearls: Freshwater, Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian. I use Freshwater pearls in my designs because they are an excellent choice for fashion conscious women. They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes and are the most affordable type of pearl.
Cultured freshwater pearls are pearls that are formed and created using freshwater mussels. These pearls are produced in the US and Japan on a limited basis but most exclusively produced in China. Chinese pearl farms account for nearly all freshwater pearls sold today.
A NATURAL pearl is formed when an irritant accidentally gets into the soft tissue of the mussel in an oyster. As a defense mechanism, the animal produces secretions to coat the irritant. Many layers of coating are deposited on the irritant making is smooth and a NATURAL pearl is born.
A CULTURED pearl is formed in the same process. The difference is that a human inserts a shell bead inside the oyster and the oyster produces layers of nacre. Human intervention starts the process in cultured pearl formation.
At freshwater pearl farms, each mussel is surgically implanted with 24-32 tiny pieces of mantle tissue (shell bead) in a process called nucleation. Once the tissue is inserted a sac forms and cells begin secreting nacre. In 2-7 years the mussels deposit layers of nacre around the gem, generally producing more than two dozen pearls in each shell.
Real or Fake? Real pearls are warm to the touch. Fake are cool to the touch..
The name Pearl is a Latin baby name meaning “Precious." The most common color of pearl is white but they can occur naturally in nearly every color under the sun.
The secret metaphysical and healing properties of pearls are that pearls are said to give the wearer a sense of calmness and centeredness and to promote faith, loyalty, truth and purity. They can especially enhance personal integrity. With these qualities, it is no wonder that pearls are a favorite. No pearl girl can have enough in her jewelry collection!
I love mine. I love the “stuff” I have out, the “stuff that’s in drawers, closets, the garage, the basement. Sometimes, when I want new “stuff” I go browsing in my own home and find things I forgot I had. And I think, OMG! I love this thing! I’ve got to put it out so I can see it again. You do it too.
George Carlin got it. He did a famous comedy bit about our attachment to our “stuff.”
Each time I’m at a show I hear my customers talk so sentimentally about what they have sitting out of sight. They say things like I have a whole drawer full of “stuff” I don’t wear. We usually are talking about jewelry. I say that doesn’t do anybody any good. If you don’t like it or wear it, get rid of it and get some new stuff. Or they say I really don’t need anything. Right! You don’t. You don’t need anything but food and water. Maybe shelter and clothing. But you’ve got a lot of “stuff” you don’t need. But you love it, don’t you?
Wouldn’t it be better, though, if we could bring that meaningful stuff into our everyday life? Make use of that which is neglected, rather than just accumulate more stuff that may not hold that emotional value?
And that brings us to the topic of your unworn jewelry pieces. Jewelry offers an awesome opportunity for redesigning and repurposing! Fashions change, your personal tastes change, lifestyles change… But when your jewelry doesn’t keep up with you, it ends up sitting in a drawer, unworn - and that’s sad. There are so many beautiful elements that can be salvaged from older jewelry and remade into fabulous, meaningful, relevant pieces that you WILL wear!
I’d love to breathe new life into your tired jewelry!
I’d also like to share with you some resources for making good use of some of your other sentimental stuff, as opposed to having it remain unused, just taking up space.
1. Here’s an informative article about valuing and selling sterling silverware. In fact, my cousin is in the business, so if you’re interested in contacting a professional, check out Paradigmexperts.com and email@example.com.
2. Got a bunch of Tee shirts you want to immortalize? A couple friends have a business repurposing them into memory quilts. Their business is QuilTee® T-shirt Memory Quilts.
3. Even if you’re not ready or willing to sell or repurpose your stuff, my friend Linda Goodman can help you organize it. Her business, altogetherorganized.org 847-921-0963 Info@altogetherorganized.org is an excellent resource.
Wishing you good luck bringing your unused stuff into the forefront of your life!
Design Inspiration - or Madness?
I’m often asked how I come up with my funky, chunky, fabulously hip jewelry designs. Well, in a sentence, the answer is: I talk to the beads.
That’s right. I talk to them. Some may call it prayer. Some may call it meditation. Some may call it crazy! But the simple act of considering what I want to work with and posing the question, “What do you want to become?” really gets my creative juices flowing.
Of course, any conversation has two sides. So once I ask, I listen for their reply. And that’s when things get interesting!
If I had to describe my creative process, it would go basically like this:
Choose the medium I feel is calling to me at the moment. Sterling silver wrapped copper? Jade? Hand blown glass? Freshwater pearl? Something is going to catch my imagination and that’s where I begin.
This is where I talk to the beads. And Listen to what they say to me. I allow them to guide me to a specific starting point and from there, I build upon the inspiration it provides.
Once I land upon that first element, I carefully consider its qualities: What do I love about this bead? How can I use it in a unique way that will highlight its beauty?
Next, I survey my extensive collection of beads in my studio for complementary elements, with an eye toward what makes them go together so well. In time I will see a theme emerge; that’s my “forget to breathe” a-ha moment that makes me love what I do SO much!
At this point when I’m satisfied with the progress but am unsure about what comes next, I’ll step away for a little while.
When I return, I do so with fresh eyes and a belief that serendipity will strike and the elements will fall together like magic through my hands.
And that’s it - that’s how my creative process works to come up with my unique jewelry designs!
Watch the “Birth of a Pendant” in this video from the bobbi kahn design studio.
...So Don’t be Afraid to Buy It!
I love incorporating silver elements into my jewelry designs! I proudly use sterling silver, fine silver and sterling silver over copper in a variety of pieces. It’s luster adds such light and elegance! Shoppers sometimes hesitate to purchase pieces with silver because they’re concerned it will tarnish - and indeed, all silver tarnishes.
I’d like to give a quick lesson on silver and tarnish so you’ll feel completely comfortable experiencing this truly gorgeous precious metal:
Pure silver itself is highly resistant to tarnish but unfortunately is too soft to be used for making jewelry. Pure silver is mixed with other metals to create Sterling silver, a metal alloy that is an ideal blend of beauty and durability.
Sterling silver is comprised of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. It is actually the other metals that are added to pure silver that cause it to tarnish as they react with moisture and sulfur in the air.
Exposure to the following will make your silver tarnish more quickly include:
substances which contain sulfur
To help minimize tarnish on your silver, store it in an area with low humidity in an airtight plastic bag with a piece of chalk, a packet of activated charcoal, or a container of silica gel.
You may be able to polish light tarnish away using a soft, non-abrasive cloth. Remember, silver is a soft metal and can be scratched, so rub gently using back and forth motions.
As for cleaning products, I find that Goddards Sterling Silver Dip works miraculously! Just make certain that it’s safe for the other stones and elements that may also be part of your piece.
So there you have it: tarnish is not abnormal, nor does it need to be of concern. A little extra care will keep your bobbi kahn design jewelry with silver looking as beautiful as the day you brought it home!
I am so beyond excited as I look at my show calendar and see the dozens of art fairs and festivals I have scheduled for the year ahead! So many of them will take me to new places I can't wait to go. Once the warmer weather arrives, I’ll be hitting the road on a weekly basis with my one-of-a-kind, funky, chunky, fabulously hip bobbi kahn design jewelry! Over the past couple seasons, I’ve been spreading my wings farther from home to reach new art and jewelry lovers. I hope you’ll be among the visitors I’ll be welcoming to my booths - and to the bobbi kahn family I warmly call my "bobbi kahners!"
If you haven’t already experienced the exciting vibe of an art festival, I encourage you to make plans to check one out! They’re a blast, providing an experience you can't get anywhere else and art to die for. You will see things you didn't know you needed!
I invite you to catch up with me on the road this show season! Consult my show schedule on my website to see a calendar of my upcoming events. You can also join my email list to receive show details to your inbox.
I’m looking forward to seeing you (for the first time or once again) at my booth where you can meet bobbi kahn design jewelry - and me, its proud designer - in person! Here’s to a funky, chunky, fabulous 2018 bobbi kahn design season!
The video below will give you a taste of what you'll see at an art fair. It demonstrates another bonus of these events: the ability to talk to the artists themselves to gain perspective into the inspiration behind the art:
I did the Park Forest Art Show this weekend. It's 8 minutes from my house. And it's a lovely, small show. I did big shows this summer that were so much harder logistically and so much more expensive and did sold less than this lovely show. The customers are nice, enthusiastic, appreciative and plentiful enough. An many of the long time residents still remember my dad, Oscar Peck and his store down the street, Newman Pharmacy. I won a prize and $150. The group from Tallgrass Art Association are helpful, present, serve a great dinner, offer water.
Memories are so odd. I live near this place yet I NEVER ever go there anymore. No reason to, I guess. So my first time back to the Plaza was last year for the show. Things have changed and not for the better. The ride to the show looks like buildings of blight. The Plaza was once very vibrant though it hasn't been so for many years. It was the home of Marshall Field's 5th store. Many of us recalled free delivery in a green Field's truck, lunch from the "Chuck Wagon" and I recall buying my parent's 25th wedding anniversary gift from the Williamsburg Shop.
I wish my dad was around, not to lament how much things have changed (some for better, some for worse) but just because being there makes me think of him and when I do, I remember him being hilarious and kind.
So I felt joy and melancholy. I kept trying to imagine being an artist who was not hyper local. What would I think if I did this show for the first time? Worried, I imagine! The Plaza is nearly empty of businesses so the show it the only real draw. I suspect it would take me a few hours to simmer down and just enjoy the ease of the setup, the friendliness and wait for buying to begin. Year two did not disappoint. I just hope next year my bigger shows don't perform like a small show!
Memories are odd.
I define myself as a fiscal conservative and a social policy liberal. So I align most with Bernie Sanders right now. I decided that in order to engage in the Republican race, I needed to come up with a game or contest. So for $5, you can play too. I get your secret vote for who you think will win the republican nomination. You have to submit your pick by 11/3/15. That's a full year before the actual election. This game makes it fun for me to watch things like the CNN debate and engage in other things that are a part of this process. I do not always vote democrat, but I wonder about the affect of having a one party rule for at least two years. Regardless of the party, that seems like a bad idea.
So I watch the debate last night so I can start to better form my opinion on the candidates. I felt that Fiorina won. She was sharp and knowledgeable. At the bottom was Paul, Kasich, Huckabee, Cruz, Carson, Walker and Trump. Trump is just silly. Carson is lovely but without passion. He was way too relaxed for my taste. The others aren't worth discussing.
That makes the winners Fiorina and Rubio in my book. Christie did well, I thought and I'd like to see more of him. Folks like Jeb, I guess. I don't.
So we'll see. Let me know if you want in on the game. At this point, I have no intention of voting for any of these people. I'm just trying to stay engaged. I think on the democrat side there is still a player to be named. I hope so.
The final show of the outdoor season comes this weekend at the Park Forest Plaza called Tallgrass. Each show bring me so much excitement I usually can't sleep. What should i bring? What do people want to see? What colors will they be looking for? What if I don't bring that one piece they wanted?
Park Forest is a thrill for me because it's in my neighborhood. My dad's business was down the street for his entire career. The Park Forest Plaza was historic in that it was one of the first suburbs created in the 40's and 50's. A model community for the middle class leaving the city and coming out to raise young families. Many locals still remember Newman Pharmacy and my dad, the Pharmacist and owner, Oscar Peck.
For a small show, i did really well last year so I look forward to returning this year. I do remember the epic wind that blew all my busts to the ground. So strong, my tent shimmied toward my neighbor. I freaked out because I couldn't figure out how to stop the destruction. My neighbor mocked me. It was awful. Finally I put the busts away and put every piece flat. It looked hideous but and least things stopped falling and breaking on the pavement.
Finally, after 6 years of shows and several broken busts and pieces, I found my solution at RAW in May. Mesh panels save the day. The tent sides hit your mesh panels and block the wind from knocking everything over. The stay bars at the base of your tent stabilize the structure.
So bring on the weather. But not so much that my customers stay away. I looked forward to the show with bitter sweetness. Sad for the season to end. Thrilled to have another chance to sell my jewelry.
I'm not really sure what to say that would interest you and yet, I think this whole business is so interesting that Herb and I talked about pitching it as a reality show. Let's start with the premise. The show would be 30 minutes and would involve the drama of the moment. For example, a few weeks ago the art show I participated in was Lakefront Festival benefiting Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, IN. I arrived on Saturday morning and saw tents strewn all over the place. There had clearly been a terrible storm the night before. That could have made for some serious drama on my reality show. Imagine showing up to your booth the next morning and finding it completely destroyed. What do you do? Try and get another tent and set it up? What if you left your work inside and it is demolished? How do you recover and get ready for the two days of selling now?
For me there were two elements of note. One was the horrific heat. This summer has been pretty temperate, but the thermometer read well over 90 during these two days. It's hard to sell fashion when you literally have sweat dripping off the end of your nose (please use your Roseanne Rosannadana voice).
The other event was winning second place! I got a lovely ribbon and $150! My tent was full of people. And I never win so I don't even pay attention to announcements. But this time I heard my name. It was thrilling.
Blogging is fun. I'll try and do more of it. I'll get more interesting as time goes on, I suspect.
I hope that you've had the opportunity to discover totally bobbi - my collection of your favorite bobbi kahn design jewelry that will now be available on an ongoing basis.
There's more to the totally bobbi story, however. While these pieces are designed by me, they will be assembled, in part, in collaboration with TradeWinds - an organization in Merrillville, Indiana, which provides services for adults and children with special needs. It is my singular honor to be associated with TradeWinds by offering an opportunity for their adults to exercise their abilities and job skills by helping assemble my totally bobbi pieces. These extraordinary individuals' enthusiastic input make every piece of totally bobbi even more special. On their website, Tradewinds sums up their vocational training philosophy perfectly:
It's a pleasure for me to work with such a dedicated organization and the adults whose lives they enrich. I'm happy to help fund their continuing efforts to empower people by donating $5.00 to Tradewinds for each totally bobbi piece produced there.
Meet a couple of my TradeWinds friends, busy at work assembling totally bobbi pieces: Toney Page and Elaine Kegebein are doing fabulous work!
Since bobbi kahn design jewelry began, I’ve designed and created only one-of-a-kind jewelry. I’ve prided myself on crafting each piece to look like no other in my collection. Throughout the years however, I’ve learned that certain pieces are admired and desired by many people and frankly, it seems a shame to deprive them of pieces they really want simply because they’ve been purchased by another admirer.
Enter a brilliant concept. Here’s my solution to this issue which will enable my customers to have what they want: I’ve compiled a collection of those highly sought-after pieces that I will reproduce and make available on an ongoing basis. I call this collection, totally bobbi, and you’re totally going to love it!
My totally bobbi collection brings together many of my most popular designs which will remain available even while I continue to bring to life new one-of-a-kind pieces. So now you can indulge in bobbi kahn design jewelry the way you want: With one-of-a-kind pieces or the popular favorites in totally bobbi.
Each piece in the totally bobbi collection is a unique design originally created by me, then replicated to meet demand. totally bobbi includes a wide variety of styles and materials:
- totally bobbi pearl
- totally bobbi lapis
- totally bobbi turquoise
- totally bobbi black
- totally bobbi jasper
- totally bobbi metals
- totally bobbi purple
If you check my website show schedule, you’ll see that my 2014 calendar is filling up! Ever wonder what it’s like to attend one of these very special and entertaining events?
Here’s a video that illustrates the art festival experience, taken at Fountain Square Arts Festival in Evanston, Illinois on July 7, 2013. In it, I have the opportunity to talk about how much I enjoy displaying my fabulous and unique jewelry creations to the enthusiastic crowds who come out to appreciate and shop for them.
Sunshine, fresh air, live music, great food, friendly folks and beautiful works of art - what’s not to love? I’m looking forward to seeing you this season and showing you what’s new from bobbi kahn design jewelry!
I recently took my annual bead-finding trip to Tucson, Arizona and, WOW, did I get my hands on some beautiful and inspirational treasures! One of the highlights of my excursion was discovering some breathtaking, hand-blown glass beads created by several incredibly talented artists. In fact, they’re some of the most beautiful beads I’ve ever encountered. Their beauty has inspired me to create a very special jewelry line I call my Boutique Collection.
These gorgeous beads deserve the best complementary materials, so I’ve matched them with very special, distinctive clasps crafted of vintage Czech glass buttons encased in Sterling silver. Combined with stunning semi-precious stones, the pieces in my Boutique Collection are upscale and fabulously unique.
These jewelry creations are brand-new and will be on display at my Home Preview Show and Sale, March 7 and 8, 2014. This special event will take place at my home and you are cordially invited to attend! Please do come meet other bobbi kahn design fans, peruse all my jewelry creations and enjoy 25% off your purchase.
Spring Trend Alert!
I adore the fact that rose gold is showing up this season! I will wear other jewelry on my wrist, ears and fingers but RARELY on my neck, so in order to wear this color trend, I created this fabulous piece with a stunning fresh water pearl focal ball and trend-right rose gold.
To coordinate with this bobbi kahn design original, I found this fabulous bracelet at a stella & dot party hosted by Lauren Gomez. Lauren's a new resident to Flossmoor and a customer of my husband, Herb Mason's, Farmer's Insurance Agency. She's adorable and so is stella & dot.
Aren't these two pieces great together?
Contact Lauren about stella & dot at: Lauren.firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring Trend Alert!
There is so much black and white trending this season. I saw the CUTEST pants in a print from Banana Republic! I would wear this comfortably long top from Eileen Fisher with them and pull the outfit together with my necklace in black faceted onyx and white Chinese crystals with sterling plate over copper chain ($125). The necklace can be worn long as shown or doubled up for a shorter option.
Spring Trend Alert!
This Michael Kors bag from Nordstrom is exactly the fabulous rich tan color I saw everywhere this season. The shade reminds me of old-time luggage or classic Coach when it came in four indestructible colors. Obviously, MK sees the resemblance and has dubbed the warm, luxurious color of this bag, LUGGAGE! It's TAN, not taupe, not brown, not beige. TAN. And it looks great with everything.
I've interpreted tan in this necklace with carved tan jade and dyed blue jade which is freshly updated with modern brushed sterling silver plate spacers to help you effortlessly incorporate the trend into your wardrobe.