Posted by: alenegeed | February 26, 2015

Person of Interest; Jewelry Designer Sandy Schenkat

Sandy Schenkat is next in my series of people who are following their passion and living their dream.

Where do you call home?  Scottsdale Arizona sandy-schenkat

How did your business begin?

Sandy retired from a 30 year Real Estate career when she decided to help jewelry artists market their work. From this beginning, Sandy determined that she really wanted to create the jewelry designs too! She began with training from Luxe Jewels and eventually created jewelry with beads from Kenya. This line is called Kenya Kasuals.   Two years later Sandy found her passion while working with Swarovski crystals! Her new designs are marketed as Heart and Soul Gems.

How did you come up with your business name?

Sandy was making lots of heart designs as well as using many of the chakra colors. Heart and Soul Gems was the natural outcome!

sandy logo

How do you market your business?

Galleries, stores and Etsy

What drives you to continue in the direction of your dream?

Sandy LOVES jewelry and loves learning new techniques. The whole process from design to sales is so much fun!

What successes would you like to share?

Do you have any mentors?

Julie Harmon, Harmon Studios has taught me many great techniques

What are your passions not related to your business?

  • On the Board of Directors for Coalition of Greater Scottsdale
  • Recently graduated from Citizens Police Academy
  • Appointed to the Judicial Appointments Advisory board for Scottsdale Court

(busy lady!)

Links to share:


 If you enjoyed this post you may like  Lucy Brookes






Posted by: alenegeed | February 17, 2015

Do you love Copper Cuffs? See my newest collection.

new cuff 2nd batchI have been playing around with a new technique I learned from a recent class with cuff process conversationEva Sherman. (instructor extraordinaire).    Once we had learned this process of crimping the metal, I put my own spin on it.. Because that’s the way creative people think. 
So I combined the crimping with corrugation, forging, mixed metals and different patinas.

Voila! A collection is born.

I will be photographing and listing the first 5 designs (each one is limited edition of one) on my web site. alenesadornments
If you want to have first dibs on purchasing one of these, please join my mailing list. My subscribers will get first notice AND their subscriber only discount!  

please Share the blog. Thanks!

Posted by: alenegeed | February 12, 2015

CZ: Do you LOVE IT and WEAR IT?

Cubic Zirconia that is!  This stone is often used as an alternative to diamonds. The price range is less but the quality is top knotch! All the gems in this collection are cubic zirconia.CZmulticolor

A few facts:
  • Cubic zirconia was discovered as a natural mineral from in 1937
  • The form you see today is a synthetic (man-made) version
  • Cubic Zirconia is an 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Diamonds are a 10
  • CZ can be cut differently. Faceted edges can be rounded or smooth
  • Experts can tell the difference between the two because of the difference in their thermal conductivity.
  • That being said, the average person cannot tell the difference!
What do I love about it?  I can add these gems to my designs to provide sparkle and pizazz.. at a fraction of the cost of diamonds. Here are a few examples of how I use them:
2 Dare to Dream Amethyst VIG

2 Picture Jasper CZ closeup

I used 3 CZ stones here to bring out the colors of the jasper stone.

Amethyst gem is highlighted when I add a purple CZ gem.

What are your thoughts? do you love the versatility of these beautiful stones?? 

If you enjoyed this post you may like Rhodochrosite: good for the Heart

Posted by: alenegeed | January 23, 2015

5 Friday Inspirations

Time again for inspirations to kick start your day and your weekend.  Enjoy!dont quit

Wherever you go…. Go with all your heart.  Confucius

Trust that an ending is followed by a beginning

A person who never made a mistake never tried something new.  Albert Einstein

Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin. Grace Hansen

It is better to wear out than to rust out.. Francis E. WIllard

if you enjoyed this post you might like  Oh the Places You’ll go

Posted by: alenegeed | January 21, 2015

4 Ways to “Coffee” Your Customers

I worked as a waitress during my college years. The tips went a long way towards paying my tuition!Do YouCoffeeYour clients- 3

The first thing we were taught was  ‘Once a customer sits down.. Provide them with Coffee and water immediately’.  We called it coffee-ing our customer. Our patrons were fine then to wait until we could get back to them to take their order.

So how does that apply to our businesses today?

Making our customers and clients feel noticed and appreciated is always in fashion. A satisfied and happy client will reward us with loyalty and referrals. They will sing our praises. Seriously, I mean this!

Here are 4 ways to Coffee your Customers.

1) Email. Answer emails as soon as possible. If you dont have the details needed to complete the answer, just let the sender know you received the email and will be getting back to them. That way the person will be confident that you are handling the question.

2) Social Media: respond to comments on your posts in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others. If someone has taken the time to comment, they are important. Let them know that.

3) Say THANK YOU as often as possible. Thank them for the EMAIL. Thank them for the comment. Thank them for the order. Thank them for their support.  Everyone appreciates hearing these words!

4) ‘Coffee’ them literally. If your client is local you can take them out for a cup or bring a cup to their office or home. If your customer is anywhere else in the world, email them a gift card. 

Having been in direct sales for the last 30+ years, I know these strategies work. Plus this is the way you would like to be treated too, right?

Do Unto Others as You would have Them Do Unto You.  Remember this from Sunday School? It applies in business as well as in every aspect of our lives.

Go out there today and ‘COFFEE’ Someone.

If you enjoyed this post you might like  You Had the Power All Along
Posted by: alenegeed | January 16, 2015

5 Friday Inspirations

It’s Friday again.
If you are like me you have had a busy week and need a little pick me up at this point. be who you are

Inspirational quotes and images have such an impact on my life… especially when I am feeling overwhelmed; like now!

Those who know me better are aware that I am a quote maniac! I have been collecting meaningful quotes for many years. I keep a file folder, a note book and of course my Pinterest Quote board. (almost 700 quotes there alone). Follow the board and see them all.

Beginning today I will provide 5 quotes every Friday. (OK 6 this week counting the graphic from Dr Zeuss.

These are not just random quotes from a list. They will always be quotes that speak to me that day. Maybe you can use these tidbits to brighten your day and weekend too!


  1. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”  C.S. Lewis
  2. Anything is possible if you have enough nerve.”  J.K. Rowling
  3. “How to begin the journey? You need only take the first step. When? there is always now.”  George Leonard
  4. Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart instead of a piece of our mind.”
  5. “Always trust your gut. It knows what your head has not figured out yet.”

If you liked this post you may like my Inspiration blog page

Posted by: alenegeed | January 7, 2015

MARSALA: 2015 Pantone Color of the Year

Ever heard of the color Marsala?  I had not. These days new names keep emerging for color blendPantone_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_ChipDrives. (very hard to keep up) This one is named after a wine.

Turns out Marsala is a blend of brown and red.  So pretty!  Here is a swatch to show you. Officially it is PMS 18-1438. (just in case you were wondering!)

Here is the detail the Pantone site offers:

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.

Lucky for me, I work with many gemstones that embody this rich color. Red Creek Jasper Antiqued

Red Creek J3 Red Creek Jasper antique1asper gems are perfect for 2015. One version of this gem features the rich red/brown Marsala color while adding in hints of green, caramel and black. What could be better?

Shown here are two examples of the gemstone in these deeper tones. 

So break out the wine, shop for a new ensemble and check out my Red Creek Jasper jewelry line!

If you enjoyed this post you may like Red Creek Jasper; Fascinating Facts.

Posted by: alenegeed | December 30, 2014

An Inside Peek… How I create my Designs

Did you ever wonder how a design is born? Is there some secret to the way artists create and conceive their designs?

turquoise pendant finished

I suspect every artist has their own unique process.. After all by definition we think outside the box mostly and are constantly morphing with some new concept or idea.

Many start with a sketch or drawing. I for one am challenged in that regard. My sketches tend to look like stick figures and don’t look at ALL like what I am envisioning! 

I like to start with a gemstone or metal design and work around that. So here is my proceturquoise cabachonss for this turquoise pendant.

I purchased an amazing turquoise gem and decided to make it the focal point of my new pendant.  Here is the original stone.

I knew I wanted to encase this in Silver, so created the bezel as shown.This particular bezel features a scalloped design.. which I feel enhances the stone so much.

The next step was to create the backing. I forged (hammered) the design into stturquoise original designerling silver and soldered the scalloped bezel to it. Then came the creative steps. First I drew a potential shape onto the silver.  I use sharpies for this since they will dissolve once I apply heat.

Then I thouturquoise 2nd revisionght that adding a smaller turquoise stone onto the bail (the part that attaches the piece to the chain).  this seemed like a good option but it felt that something was still not right.

The piece felt bulky and did not have enough pizazz for me. 

So I changed the entire design AGAIN! I scrapped the idea of the smaller stone, trimmed down the whole silver casing.. and then had the bright idea to add a glitzy CZ gemstone! See top of blog for the finished design.

I LOVE it! 

Such is the evolution of a design.. (at least ones by Alene’s Adornments)

Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this.. Please!

For more design inspiration check out Jewelry Processes

Posted by: alenegeed | November 26, 2014

You had the Power all along

Do you remember this sentiment from the Wizard of Oz?had the power

Dorothy is frantically trying to get home when the good witch tells her that the red slippers she is wearing will do the trick.  

You had the power all along, Dorothy!

 I was recently reminded of this as I was watching the final videos from an online course purchased from Creative Live. This particular workshop is about building a successful blog. April Bowles-Olin offered 3 days and 23 sessions of great ideas and advice.

As I neared the final sessions she said something that resonated with me. She told the listeners that we already had what was needed to create a successful blog! We had our own personality (that no one else can claim) We had our own perspective on life.. and we wanted to succeed!

Simple right? However this hit me like a ton of bricks! You see I have already spent the last 30 years creating and building my successful Promotional Marketing business. Many of the skills I learned and perfected over the years can help me! I already know:

  • The importance of building long term relationships.
  • How to create new opportunities.
  • Making my business fun.
  • Treating my clients with fairness and integrity.
  • And finally offering over-the-top customer service.

Realizing that I can apply these same principals to my social media and jewelry designing projects feels like someone lifted a huge weight off me. I absolutely LOVE designing my jewelry and I love sharing this with others.                               

  • Start thinking about the Power you possess, too. What skills have you already mastered during your lifetime? Event Planning: what about that theme or dinner party you hosted? or the school event you coordinated? Do you volunteer for an organization? Do you balance the household finances? Do you dabble in crafts? Every one of these things.. and more have provided you with skills and opportunities.

So I say… Whoopee for me and you too!  we are all amazing people!

In the meantime, check out my newest designs and go see what classes April offers on Creative Live… and expect to hear lots more from me moving forward.


Posted by: alenegeed | November 3, 2014

Two Days at the Jewelry Bench… in a row!

 Are you now saying.  ‘What’s the big deal about that?’all designs for november smaller

Well for me it is extraordinary. Since I have another career that requires my attention as well, having 2 days in a row to play and design is a pleasure rarely available.
But this weekend I did just that! here are some of my treasures.
Not only did I finish up a few designs that had been in limbo for months.. I also got some new ones started!
We always need a piece that is partially done and calling to us, right?
Here is my pride and joy from the weekend. (FYI, Photos are point and shoot.. not taken with my DSLR) So cut me a little slack here.  thanks!

picture jasper with CZ new design smaller

This design has been in the works since January.  At least I can say I finished it this year, right?
I wanted to try the concept of having the clasp in the front… yet keep this a Gallery piece. The CZ gemstones (while very time consuming to add into the design) make the whole thing a work of art (if I do say so myself) I am over the top with this one!  The main gem is picture jasper. The design looks like a landscape to me. SO beautiful.
 Two new of my Sterling and Copper ‘Sprinkled Silver’ cuffs got finished. Yippee! 
cuffs and spiral earring November smallersilver designs in progress November smaller Of course I HAD to start some new projects. Here are two in the works. Both in Sterling. The left design uses druzy quartz and red creek jasper. Still a little hazy on the final design for this one. The right design is malachite with the spiral enhancement. Look for these completed designs next year.

Besides having loads of fun, what was the advantage to a 2 day concentration on my designing?

I felt much more cohesion this time. the ideas that were churning in my brain on Saturday were still there on Sunday. So I was able to implement them sooner. When I work one day a week at this, I can organize all I want but often lose the train of thought, the inspiration that was there when I started with the design.
So this is not a perfect world and I will have most ONE day sessions in the future, but sure LOVE these times when my passion can emerge and show itself!

I would love your feedback on the finished and ‘in progress’ designs.

 If you liked this blog, you may like.  Evolution of a Jewelry Collection.

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