Thursday, July 2, 2009

ELLE JULE

We are gonna have a fun-filled day today as we explore Alberta, Canada's Calaway Park, the city’s largest amusement park. We have got plenty to choose from like the dizzying mechanical arm of the Air Gliders, the splashy vertical drops of the water ride Shoot the Chutes, and the gut wrenching twists and turns of the Vortex rollercoaster. Canada is also the home of featured jewelry designer Danielle Stirling.

What I find so great about jewelry designers and creative people in general, is that their passion to create is innate.

It begins early, while they are young. Stirling is no exception. Her eye for beauty, fascination with nature and color began in her youth. Her interest peaked after her mother bought her a bead loom.

In fact, she and a friend established a jewelry business in the 6th grade. "We created friendship bracelets from embroidery thread along with friendship pins. We'd set up shop at lunch and sell our bracelets for 15-20 cents a piece." While in the 7th grade, she began creating beads and working with Polymer clay.

Over the subsequent years, she continued to expand her jewelry-making knowledge. In her adult years the size of her family also expanded, "After I had my third child, it was important for me to be able to stay at home with them," she says. In 2006, she launched her company Elle Jule, "It gives me a creative outlet while allowing me to be with my children whenever they need me. Who could ask for a better job?"

Stirling's attraction to fairy lore, art, colors in nature, as well as her own moods inspire her wonderfully ethereal, custom jewelry creations. She admits that inspiration can come randomly and unexpectedly such as the Forbidden Love Bracelet part of a limited edition jewelry line inspired by Stephanie Meyer's Twilight book series.

Stirling carefully selects the materials she uses--freshwater pearls, Bali and Argentium silver, topaz--to produce her delicate jewelry. "I am a self-representing jewelry artist, which means that I create all of my jewelry myself from materials that have been hand picked from responsible suppliers that practice fair trade and provide good working conditions and fair pay to their employees."

The joy Stirling brings to her incredibly beautiful designs is matched by her clientele's response to the designs. "The thing I have come to love the most about my business is the feedback I have received from customers. It warms me to be able to share a part of myself that way."

Stirling's collections include the fairy-inspired, Bower of Bliss; the vintage-inspired Nostalgia Collection; and the Afterglow Collection featuring items inspired by the Twilight book series. She also designs custom bridal and men's jewelry, and her Salvation Bracelets tell the story of Jesus in colorful gemstones.

For more on Stirling's gorgeous custom jewelry check out her Flickr photostream or her blog.
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Photo 1 (top right): Gold Vermeil On Golden Pod Earrings with Keshi Pearls, and Moonstone from her Bridal Jewelry Collection
Photo 2 (bottom left): Moonstone, Blue Kyanite and Topaz Celeste Bracelet

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