Month: July 2011


Style Trend: Statement Necklaces- Are they here to stay? | Elysian Studios

Style Trend: Statement Necklaces- Are they here to stay?

Categories: Fashion, Inspirations, jewelry, shopping

Clockwise, from top left: “Gold-Plated ‘Wonder” by What’s-in-Store, “Tilda” by Alexis Bittar,
“Mixed Metal Knot” by Hive & Honey, “Aalia” by Dannijo


Left, “Isabella” by Dannijo, Top right, Design by Denise Julia Reytan via Designing Mazorie,

Bottom left,  “Looped Multi-Strand” via Eclectic Jewelry and Fashion

“Statement Necklaces” are huge (literally- the bigger, the better!). 
They’ve been a big trend for several years now, and I have to ask- 

Are they here to stay?”  Personally, I think the answer is “Yes!

Why are we so obsessed with these big chunky pieces? 

Two answers immediately come to my mind:

One: They express our unique fashion sense, and empower us to unapologetically flaunt it! There are a million design possibilities with statement necklaces: color, texture, material, length and drape.  We can dramatically display our appreciation for the avant-garde, not to mention having a guaranteed topic of conversation!

Two: They are surprisingly easy to wear! Dress them up with an elegant gown, or go casual with faded jeans and a tee: both combos work with a statement necklace!  Nothing is better than looking completely put together by simply pulling in one accessory.  Don’t believe me? Check these out:

Image sources: Fashion Style Advice, Empowered Traditionalist, Fashion Without Borders

“Statement Necklaces” spark my imagination and get my creative juices flowing! Their construction is fascinating, and their possibilities are endless. Plus, put one on and they’re just fun!  For my own jewelry, I’m using these examples as beginning references to explore design and materials. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the statement necklace!
Do you have any in your wardrobe? Why or why not?  

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Dicovering Butterflies(& Spiders) at the Butterfly Pavilion | Elysian Studios

Dicovering Butterflies(& Spiders) at the Butterfly Pavilion

Categories: Colorado, Denver, family, The Artful Life


We recently visited one of our favorite attractions in the Denver area, The Butterfly Pavilion.  Specializing in invertebrates, the Butterfly Pavilion was actually the nation’s first stand-alone non-profit invertebrate zoo! Join me on a brief tour of our adventure (I promise it will be worth it!)

We were inspired to go after spotting one of these in our driveway…


AGH! I knew they had lots of spiders at the Butterfly Pavilion, and I had to figure out what this was! It’s a Wolf Spider (and I’m pretty sure it’s the Hogna genus of Wolf Spider, which is the giant variety!).  It is harmless to humans, unless constantly provoked, but I had never seen such a large spider in the “wild” that wasn’t a tarantula…

Like this “little” guy here…

This is a Salmon Pink Bird Eater Tarantula. It is huge!

Which, naturally, prompted the boys to do this…


That’s “Rosie,” the Butterfly Pavilion’s Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula.  I was happy to stand by and document the bravery displayed (by both the boys and the tarantula), but you probably won’t catch me signing up for this part of the exhibit!

Instead, this is more my style…

(Warning…  may experience eye-candy overload!)

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We were completely enthralled for hours.  There’s not many places you can go and be surrounded by hundreds of beautiful, fluttering butterflies! 

These are exquisite creatures, and I am so thrilled that The Butterfly Pavilion has become an active  leader in providing habitats, research, education and conservation for butterflies and moths.

I hope you made it past the “scary” spiders to the beautiful butterflies! I had a wonderful time taking these photos, and am now going to be sharing some of my photos for free under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Do you use Flickr? I have set up a set of my own original photography that is free to use for your blog or creative endeavors. All I ask is that you credit Elysian Studios!   

Click here to visit Elysian Studios’ Creative Commons Photo Set and enjoy!

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Art Tour: Cherry Creek Arts Festival 2011 | Elysian Studios


The Annual Cherry Creek Arts Festival is held every Fourth of July weekend in the Cherry Creek North district of Denver.  The festival is a celebration of visual, culinary and performing arts which attracts an attendance of about 350,000 visitors each year.  Cherry Creek North is located 5 minutes from downtown Denver and is nationally renowned as a premier retail, dining and business district. It is the perfect venue for a Fine Art Show!


Over 2,100 artists applied, but only 230 were chosen to participate in this juried show. That makes this one of the most competitive art shows in the nation.

The jury is comprised of local and national Art Professionals, and work is judged on artistic excellence for originality and craftsmanship. The Arts Festival features artists in 13 different media categories including: ceramics, digital art, drawing, fiber, glass, graphics and printmaking, jewelry, metalworks, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture and wood.

5902609911_6caf72505c_z-9850114 There is a thrilling variety of contemporary art available to view at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival.  You can see both the CCAF selected artists as well as step into local permanent galleries.  The Cherry Creek North galleries and artisan shops  offer a splendid array of  Fine Art and Craft year-round, and often have special exhibitions around the time of the Arts Festival.

If you’re hungry, stop by the “Culinary Avenue” where some of Denver’s finest restaurants serve unique cuisine.  These vendors also have to go through a juried process, so it’s not just your average festival food!  You can also choose to step into one of the many great Cherry Creek North Restaurants, like my personal favorite, The Cherry Cricket, where you will get the best burger in the world!


There were many new artists this year, and there were some that I saw last year. It is fun to remember the work of artists seen in past years, but I would expect the jury to require the artists to have a new body of work. I was disappointed to see a few artists selling the exact same thing they brought to the show last year.

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So did I find anything besides inspiration at the Festival this year?  Well, I have to say I looked very, very hard!  The prices can be quite high at this show, and though I understand the focus of artists to sell larger works, I wish more of the exhibitors would have made more accessible pieces for the moderate shopper.

I did see customers buying a few big pieces, but I also saw a lot of people looking, browsing and leaving booths.  I think a lot of vendors missed an opportunity to sell a higher number of lower-priced items. I was lucky to spot these fun handmade pendants by clay artist Amanda Barr. You can find her work at No Tengo Miedo Clay.  I can’t wait to create a few new jewelry pieces with these!


Have you ever been to The Cherry Creek Arts Festival?  I love attending Arts Festivals, and would love to hear about your favorites!

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