Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Kindred spirit: UK’s glitterBALL magazine August 26, 2009

glitterballLook, Athena has a new amazing friend and kindred spirit in glitterBall magazine:

I like your blog, I think it’s cool.

I’m a third year Journalism student at Sunderland University, UK and
glitterBALL magazine is my online magazine for art, fashion, music, photography, travel, make up and much more.

If you would like to read it, it is online at:

In the issue:

and much more


Le la Moda relaunches with interview with Litter it girls June 25, 2009

litterAfter a long process le la Moda is finally up and working in a brand new layout. You have to check it out for your daily dose of unique fashion, beauty, product reviews and relationships. See it here.

For their launch feature, two sisters with an all American individual style were chosen as style mavens. They are the designers of Litter, Rachel & Mackanzie Mann. Read the interview with them and check out their chain creations. Click here.

P.S. Le la Moda is still looking for guest bloggers/writers. If you are interested email The current guest blogger lineup includes: beauty/makeup experts; fashion-obsessed readers and professionals; industry experts to share their opinions; boy’s point of view on relationships. Write le la moda here.


litter sf: Saucy body jewelry June 9, 2009

yhst-38159722918324_2058_2744928For bedecking and bedazzling yourself, there’s nothing more glittery than the jewelry from litter sf. These gals have jewelry for the shoes, body, head and ears. It’s downright saucy. See littersf jewelry here (but beware, they’ve been so popular, they’re selling out).


Gem Junkie June 1, 2009

jadeI love beads and have ever since I wandered into a Santa Fe bead store run by a woman named Gloria of unknowable age with a glorious head of laquered white hair and a bad attitude. While I have collected them through my life (my favorites are from Prague), I’ve never gone so far as to string them. I just like to look at them, run my fingers through glassy piles. Although lately, with my haute couture embellishments class, I’m learning how to apply beads to garments, a task I took to with unforeseen and surprising love and tenderness.

skullWell, I’ve landed on a wonderful etsy beading store, Gem Junkie, which has “gemstones and jewelry supplies for all your beading needs.” Just think, I don’t have to put up with Gloria’s bad attitude or trek to Czechoslovakia. And with the supplies available as well, I may even string a few together. Discover Gem Junkie here.


Designer Cheung Lik: Wear and Tear Collection April 30, 2009

Filed under: Baubles,Fashionista Files,The Artists — rebmas03 @ 12:23 pm
Tags: , ,

Excerpted from iFashion Network

Designer Cheung Lik: Wear and Tear Collection – By Catherine Shen

Apr 29

Yes, Jack Nicholson told it to our face that we can’t handle the truth. But lets all be honest here. The truth is, who truly likes a closet that’s sparkly clean? No clothes on the ground? Necklaces all lying perfectly upon tiny cushions? Maybe that’s how we all dream it to be, and designer Cheung Lik seems to know exactly what we are all thinking about.


After graduating from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Lik explored many different materials and ways to create the perfect accessory. And looks to me she found it through her new collection, “Wear and Tear”. By experimenting with new materials and forms, she created a modern design with a touch of messiness that doesn’t get your mom screaming after you. (Which is a good change). It is edgy, new and completely original.

Check out the Squeezed Chains collection, scrunched up flashy chains with leather straps winding across your wrist as gun mental bracelets. Or check out the Weaved Tape, which is black leather weaved with gold chains perfect around your neck to impress.

Each style is the perfect ice breaker between strangers, so why not begin breaking the ice?





Accessories available at


Indie Jewelry Designs: Oceano Seaglass January 27, 2009

Submitted by Marjorie Cunningham – Designer of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry and Manager of the Reclaimed to Fame Market.

Oceano Seaglass Jewelry

Oceano Seaglass Jewelry

Today’s featured merchant interview is with Christine Gable Epstein of Oceano Seaglass Jewelry.   Christine’s jewelry is available at

Genuine sea glass started out as broken bottles and glass and is naturally recycled by the movement of the sea and sand.  It has a natural frosted beauty of its own.  Christine, who lives in Puerto Rico, uses those beautiful sea gems to create lovely one-of-a-kind, handcrafted jewelry.

I asked Christine how she found inspiration for her jewelry.

“When my sisters and I were little, our grandmother used to make clothes for our dolls.  Together we would comb through fabric scraps, lace, rick-rack and odd buttons, out of which would come marvelous little dresses.  The magic of “from nothing into something” really made an impression on me, and instilled a life-long lust for art supplies!  Is there a better day than when your supply order comes?  That little carton, so full of possibilities!  Here in Puerto Rico, I get to hunt and gather seaglass.   I love every part of the process: the excitement of finding a perfect piece, washing the salt and sand away, laying it in the sun to dry, sorting the shapes, and matching the colors.    This handling of the seaglass IS the design process for me, when each found piece presents its gemlike qualities and I develop ideas about the type of finished piece it will become.

I live 500 yards from the ocean, and every free minute is spent there—in the water, watching my daughter surf, beach combing and walking our dogs. I also tend a little organic veggie patch with tomatoes, squash, herbs, and sugar cane. And since I’m not a native speaker, I’m always working to improve my Spanish-language skills.”

When you stop by her shop, you’ll see what a fabulous photographer she is, which makes her shop all the more attractive. Christine shares some photography advice for other merchants.

“Photographing seaglass is a bit of a puzzle.   Capturing that magical translucence, but not washing out the delicate coloration and subtle texture is very important.  Having been a stylist in New York, I really love shooting the photos, almost as much as making the jewelry!  My advice to anyone who sells online is to take loads and loads of photos so you are assured of a few great shots—that’s what the pros do.  A fabulous picture is really the most powerful selling tool we all have.”

Being a part of the Reclaimed to Fame Market, Christine is a strong believer in recycling, as are her neighbors in Puerto Rico.

“We live off the beaten path in a small fishing village. In our neighborhood, nothing goes to waste.  If you prop up anything marginally useful next to your garbage can at 6am, it will always be gone by 9am.  Very little gets ‘trashed’.

A lot of things in our daily life get reused for other purposes.  All of our newspaper is shredded for mulch or laid down thickly as a weed blocker in the garden.  Any plastic container not used for collecting my beach-finds is cut to make protective collars for vegetable seedlings.  I really admire the recycling I see all around us here.  It’s borne from a spirit of resourcefulness and inventive reuse.”

All artists have a creative process and here is Christine’s.

“It seems natural that I would wind up designing and making jewelry.  I’ve always been interested in fashion, and my art school training serves me well in terms of working with color and design.  Coming from a family of seamstresses also means that I have a love of anything tactile and a yen to do something useful with my hands.  These things all contribute to the way that I think about and handle my materials.

Part of my process is built around awareness for the safeguarding of the environment.  Oceano jewelry is handmade from recycled material because I want to unite my need to create with my views and beliefs.  While I’m creating jewelry, I also keep in mind the notion that I am making tiny pieces of kinetic sculpture that interact with and respond to the wearer.

Adornment has been around since the beginning of human existence and it’s a reflection of the customs and societies in which it is worn.  Choosing to wear something artisan-made and ecologically responsible helps you look good and feel good. And don’t we all need a dash of sparkle now and again?”

Stop by Oceano Seaglass to see what Christine has available there. And also check out her blog at


Indie Jewelry: You’ll just love Grandma Marilyn’s December 3, 2008

Posted by Marjorie Cunningham, broken china jewelry designer at Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry.

One of the nicest jewelry designers you’ll ever meet online is Marilyn Southmayd of Freer, Texas whose jewelry is known as Grandma Marilyn’s.  Always ready to help new jewelry makers with advice and encouragement, Marilyn is a delight to know.  The slogan on her website is very true:  “If it’s on this site, it’s handcrafted with love”.  Marilyn shared her jewelry adventure with me.

“Back in the ’80s, my first husband’s mother was making some little dolls and had nowhere to sell them.  I started making soft sculpture dolls, and we started going to craft fairs.  I let her believe that she was tagging along with me.  In reality, I was going to the craft shows so that she could sell her crafts and get a little pin money.  Then I found some beaded earring books in the craft store.  I started making some really pretty earrings to sell at the craft shows.  They did fairly well.  For some reason, we quit going to the craft shows and my beading fell by the wayside.

Then, around, September, 2005, I needed something to help me make some money as we had lost everything and my second mother’s husband was supporting us until we could get back on our feet.  I started making Christmas Crystal Snowflakes since it was right before Christmas. Those sold pretty well. I sold at least 17 of them. I was so excited. From there, I graduated to making bracelets with wire and acrylic beads.

Then in December 2005, I found the internet bead groups and went wild. My first project was a bracelet by Glenda Payseno called the Fab 50’s Bracelet from her Beadchat group.   Glenda is such a giving person and uploads quite a few of her patterns for her members as well as sells them on Lulu and ReadytoBead as patterns and kits.  My beading continued to improve with this lovely roundlace necklace created from a bracelet pattern by Sandra D. Halpenny. Since then, I have created so many patterns created by wonderful designers that I cannot list them all here. You can see the pretties that I created either in my GrandmaMarilyns Etsy store, my Picasa Web Album, or my Flickr album.   You will find the links to the patterns in the description if I used a pattern.

In March 2005, Loretta, a friend I met on Beadchat, and I started our own group called Beading Fanatics so that the new beaders could have a place to go where the really experienced beaders wouldn’t get mad at them for asking the same questions over and over. I have grown so much as I have learned new stitches. I have actually started designing some of my own patterns.   I don’t have them up for sale yet but am considering it.  My daughter has even suggested that I start selling kits.   I still have quite a ways to go but I am enjoying every minute of it, and I am a beadaholic that doesn’t want to be cured.”

Marilyn told me a very inspiring story as to why she creates dainty jewelry.  “I have always been heavy-set and I guess for that reason have always loved dainty, feminine looking jewelry.   I had been told as I grew up that I shouldn’t wear dainty jewelry because it wouldn’t look good on me.   I feel that anyone should have the right to wear beautiful jewelry if they like it.  That is why I tend to lean towards patterns that have that look.”

What fuels Marilyn’s inspiration?  “It depends. Lately, I have been inspired by many things—one of them being the challenges on the Etsy Beadweavers Team.  I find inspiration everywhere … when I am doing a search for something on the internet and that special something catches my eye, in mother nature, and even in my pets or family.”

I asked Marilyn to tell us about the patterns for the Christmas decoration patterns that she and her daughter have on her website.  “Earlier this year, Linda M. sent an email to the beading groups asking for volunteers to make beaded Christmas ornaments (approximately 1-2 inches) for small Christmas trees to be sent to our deployed soldiers. This project was being handled by a group called American Angels.  I thought this was a worthy effort so asked my daughter to create some ornaments to be used for this purpose.  I told her that I planned to put up a page with her patterns on my site that other beaders could access to make these also.   They had over 700 little trees that needed to be decorated so the more beaders the better.  Of course, the ornaments could be made in any way but since I love beading first, that is the type of patterns that I listed.   This project will be going on every year so the patterns will stay there for as long as I have the website.”

Marilyn’s family members are also very creative.  “My mother before she died passed on the love of crafts to me.   I will always thank her for that.  She loved crocheting.  My father does leatherwork.  I have started creating a website for his wonderful creations.  He has made me a wonderful checkbook cover, belt, and a few fanny packs that are great for when I am doing a show or while shopping at craft shows.  He loves doing special orders.   My daughter is more into embroidery art than beading.  She has a website started, but we don’t have anything on it yet.  She has done some posts in her blog about her beautiful work and the inspiration.   I want her to do some of her work for sale but she is going to college and that takes up quite a bit of her time.   Hopefully someday her work will be for sale next to mine.”

Marilyn also told me why she liked selling on Etsy and gave some advice for newcrafters/designers just starting out there.  “One of the major features that I love about Etsy is that it is international.   They do advertising so that people can find Etsy.  Etsy is picked up by the search engines so that your wonderful handmade items can be found.   I love the fact that only handmade or Vintage items can be listed.  There is also the fact that the fees don’t eat up all of your profit. It is easy to use and easy to sell.  My advice for new crafters/designers just starting out on Etsy is:

1.  Make yourself an avatar and banner that people can identify with your shop.  Your avatar will show up in any of the messages you put in the forums or anywhere else.

2.   Make sure you get good pictures of your items.  Especially make sure that your pictures are in focus.   Don’t have the pictures cluttered.  Once you take them, make sure you crop them down to the item only and do any other editing that needs to be done.  Make the first picture your best one showing your item.

3.  When you write your description, sell your item.  Make the potential buyer think that they have to have your item.

4.  Make sure that you list colors in your tags.

5.  Do not let your Etsy shop get static….spend time listing and relisting (at least 2-3 items per day is recommended), photographing (remember you need 5 pictures for your listing), editing, writing, learning, promoting, networking, blogging, checking the forums, mailing (if you get a sale), and keeping records.

Oh, one last word of wisdom, when you go in to edit an item, always click LAST at the bottom of the item and then click FINISH at the top.   Otherwise your item will become inactive and your potential buyers won’t be able to see it.  Been there and done that.”

Here are the links where you can find more about Grandma Marilyn’s jewelry:

Official website

Marilyn’s Blog

Etsy Beadwork Shop

Etsy Craft Supplies


Indie Jewelry: Sea Glass, Jewels of the Ocean November 16, 2008

Posted by Marjorie Cunningham, broken china jewelry designer at Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry.

Sea glass—also known as beach glass, mermaid tears, lucky tears, sea gems, drift glass—is the only man-made litter that makes its way into the ocean and turns into a valued item.  The glass is naturally tumbled by the movement of water and sand and is transformed from broken bottles and jars into beautiful smooth frosted glass. Most of the sea glass found on today’s beaches went into the ocean in the late 1800’s to 1960’s. Sea glass is becoming harder to find due to the fact that we are more conscious of what is thrown into the ocean these days and also because manufacturers are replacing glass bottles and jars with plastic.

Many collectors search our shores to see what the tide has brought in.  Mostly kelly green, brown and clear sea glass is found.  Less common are jade and forest and lime green.  It’s rare to find purple or cornflower blue sea glass. To find pink, black, yellow, red or orange is to find quite a treasure.

Artists and creative folks use sea glass and broken china to create all kinds of mosaics.  Birdhouses, chairs, mirrors, vases and even floors are transformed with their beauty. Here’s a look at the numerous ways sea glass is used to create glorious jewelry straight from the sea.

Some jewelry artists leave the natural beauty of sea glass to stand out by itself without embellishment. This rare blue piece from the North Sea is simple yet so lovely.

Rare blue sea glass pendant

Rare blue sea glass pendant

Other artists drill through the center of the sea glass and use the glass like beads, creating a beautiful look like in the following piece.

Sea glass bracelet

Sea glass bracelet

This is a unique piece where the artist used the sea glass in a mosaic-type setting.

Sea glass mossaic pendant

Sea glass mossaic pendant

Sea glass can also be set into bezels, just like gemstones, like this rare red sea glass ring.

red sea glass ring

Red sea glass ring

Sea glass is also wire wrapped by artists

Wire wrapped sea glass pendant

Wire wrapped sea glass pendant

and used in wire crochet creations.

Rare blue wire crochet sea glass necklace

Rare blue wire crochet sea glass necklace

These gifts from the sea can be used in jewelry in the same way as any cabochon or gemstone.  The look of sea glass is timeless and is always in style.

But beware—all sea glass on today’s market is not naturally formed. Tumbled glass looks very similar but is not as valued by either collectors or jewelry customers.

Click on the photos to find out more about each of these sea glass jewelry designs.


Indie Jewelry: Jonara Blu Maui November 10, 2008

Posted by Marjorie Cunningham, broken china jewelry designer at Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry.

One of the nicest things about entering the world of jewelry design for me has been meeting so many wonderful artists. Learning from them and being inspired by them has been invaluable to me.  One of the most helpful and inspirational artists I have met is Jamee Jones of Maui, Hawaii, whose jewelry line is known as Jonara Blu Maui. Jamee is a wonderfully talented jewelry artist specializing in beach wedding jewelry. She’s gaining quite a reputation for creating jewelry of exceptional quality and beauty. Here’s one elegant example of her work.


Jamee has two online stores—one at Ruby Lane and one at Etsy. In addition to her lovely beach wedding jewelry, Jamee is known for her “fresh and funky beaded jewelry with an island twist”.   Look at the glorious colors of the beads she uses in this one.
















And of course, being in Maui, she creates jewelry that’s inspired by the ocean, like this fabulous necklace.



Jamee’s busy life includes being a dedicated wife and a mother. She home-schools her son Cameron. And she’s the bookkeeper for the family business. She mentions on her blog that she and her family have been on Maui since 1992, and although they do miss friends and family back on the mainland, they will never leave their beautiful island home.  Who could blame her for that?!

Jamee is also a moderator of the Beadingaholics Yahoo Group where she gives advice and encouragement to other jewelry designers on a daily basis.  I know I’m not the only one who benefits from her help and example.