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Happy Thursday!

So I’m sitting here on the patio with my coffee and I realize that I really need to purchase new beads, but financially it’s impossible right now.  I have so many ideas for new pieces and my creative juices are flowing, but I’ve hit a road block.  I admit that I’ve taken apart some necklaces that, upon third or fourth glance, no longer thrill me or make me ask “what was I thinking”?
To me, using beads I’ve already used is like a promiscuous sex life…once you had them you don’t want them anymore and you want to move on to something new.  So, I wind up listing the beads in my supply shop.  They are gorgeous beads, but as an artist I’m looking to work with other things.  My styles have been changing a bit and I’m testing out new designs to see if any of them sell.  The last thing I want to be thought of as is a one-trick pony!
I have a fascination with gemstone chips and things that look steam punk.  I’ve been doing some less chunky pieces and have been veering toward more waterfall type necklaces. 
For earrings, I am trying to hold off on buying supplies until I can afford all sterling parts, as well as 14k gold filled parts. 
Another thing I love working with is copper.  That gorgeous shiny orangey coloring mixed with oceanic blues just captivates me.
For Swarovski elements I’m discovering a fondness for padparadscha, dark indigo, blue azore and jonquil combined.  To me the three together give off a sort of Middle Eastern flair.
I’ve recently created pieces with Baltic amber incorporated into them and a friend recently told me about where it comes from.  Apparently, the Baltic Sea wasn’t always a sea…that it was a river and villages surrounded it, but then with the earth shifting it ended up filling with water.  So the amber comes floating to the surface from the trees, as it is tree sap, from the trees that are now under water which were once around the river.  Technically, amber isn’t a gemstone or mineral, but rather a fossilized sap from prehistoric trees that grew as far back as almost fifty million years ago, primarily in Scandinavia and elsewhere around the Baltic Sea.  It is generally accepted that the amber from the Baltic region is the world’s finest.
I’ve put my handmade cluster rings on clearance, by the way and my spring sale is still happening until the 31st, where you get 15% off all items.  Likewise, I’m having a 15% off sale in the supply shop from today through Sunday!  The coupon code is shown on the shop banner of both shops, but for those of you on mobile the codes are:  
Markalino Jewelry:  MJSPRING15
Markalino Supplies:  MSWS15
Well I am going to get ready now as I’m going with mom to a lunch at the Elks Lodge in South SF. Have a great day!

Not Your Granny’s Greeting Cards

This morning it’s raining out, but I have no complaints since we in California have been in need of rain this year.  So, I’m doing the indoors thing as much as possible today until it’s time for me to head to the post office to drop off a couple of orders going out (yay!).  
I figured that it’s a good morning to feature another Etsy artist and so today I’ve selected Adrian from Paradise, Nova Scotia, Canada, who makes some fantastic and fun greeting cards that are available in his shop, Paradise Papercraft.
Adrian Montfort-Guy describes himself as a “stay-at-home dad, chicken wrangler and curry chef”, but it’s very obvious that he is also a very talented paper craft artist who thinks outside the box.  
Adrian has been cutting card into shapes since the age of seven.  He had been given a storybook called The Tale of the One Way Street, by Joan Aiken.  It was a storybook of modern European folktales, which was illustrated by Papercut Artist Jan Pieńkowski.  Each story was illustrated with a blackwork papercut of exquisite detail, which Adrian has been trying to emulate ever since.

You Give Me a Heart On
Papercut Valentine Anatomical Heart Greeting Card

The hobby waxed and waned according to Adrian’s whims and every year he would cut 12 cards to give to family and friends at Yule.  Upon the arrival of Facebook a year after he started, he bragged a little about them and started to receive orders.
As Adrian says, "From time to time I get and itch and need to cut an art piece, sometimes I keep them, sometimes I give them away and sometimes I list them for sale."

Paper cut Hobbit Silhouette Greeting Card

In the summertime, Adrian concentrates on his garden design business, Earthen Pathways Garden Design, as well as selling his cards at local farmer’s and craft markets.  In the winter, he works on more “indoor” design projects.
With Valentine’s Day fast-approaching, now is the perfect time to order one of his great Valentines, like the shocktastic “You Give Me a Heart On" card, shown above in this post, or the "You Stole My Heart" card, shown below.  

You Stole My Heart Card

Not only does Adrian sell his unique cards on Etsy, but he also has his own website at, where you can find out more about him and his work.  Be sure to give his Facebook Page a “Like”, as well!
Here are some more examples of this brilliant paper artist’s work that shouldn’t be missed. It ranges from the exquisitely beautiful to the outrageously hilarious!  He even does some fantastic cards of famous celebrities, such as Liza Minelli, The Beatles and Audrey Hepburn.

Let’s Get Stoned and Go to Walmart Card

Art Deco Bird Card


Breaking Bad Happy Birthday Bitch Card


Day of the Dead Card


Liza Minelli Card

Steampunk Tentacles Card

Adrian’s cards shown here is a very small display of the many amazing cards he has available. You can see all of his works in his Etsy shop HERE.
Oh, one more thing, Adrian did this truly beautiful card as a commission to celebrate a civil partnership in the UK, which is one of my absolute favorites.  You can request a custom order from Adrian through his Etsy shop HERE.

Positively Charming Weekend

This weekend I got to spend some time with a friend who I went to high school with and we re-connected at our reunion a couple of years ago.  She actually became one of my best custom jewelry clients, too!  We took a trip over to Berkeley, where I hadn’t been to in several years.  She took me to lunch at a fantastic Mexican restaurant called Picante and we had the most amazing vegetarian tameles.  I’m not vegetarian, but the butternut squash tamales are to die for!  Even their tortilla chips are like nothing I’ve ever had.  Picante uses certified, non-GMO ingredients which makes it even better.  You can even order their food online!  If you ever have the opportunity, go there!

After lunch, we headed over to Shattuck Avenue to visit Baubles and Beads, which was our primary purpose for heading to Berkeley on Saturday.  I honestly have to say that while they have a beautiful selection of beads, semi-precious stones, gemstones and a lot of supplies, they are very pricey compared to the prices at General Bead and Beyond Beads in San Francisco (my two favorite bead shops ever!).  I did manage to find some great frosted Czech glass and Sea Glass for a reasonable price.  There was so much I wanted to buy there, but with the prices being so high I figured I’d be foolish to spend my money there and get so little.  I’m figuring that their high prices are because they’re the only game in town and I’m sure the rent in Berkeley isn’t cheap.  Plus they had about four employees working there on Saturday and they did seem pretty knowledgeable about the business.  So I’m not going to badmouth the place and say not to shop there.  I actually think it’s a great little shop and if you have the funds, more power to you!

Here is an Oceanic Blue and Green Sea Glass and frosted Czech Glass bracelet I just completed from materials which I purchased at Baubles and Beads, which is mixed with Swarovski and Czech crystals.  The sea glass is in aqua blue drops and olive green ovals and the frosted Czech glass beads are pyramid-shaped in clear and blue zircon.  There are even some beautiful purple jade beads mixed in.  I just listed it on Etsy and it’s available for $44.23 with free USPS First Class Shipping.     Take Me To The Listing

After bead shopping, we headed over to Philz Coffee, which is just down the street from the bead shop.  Philz is the most wonderful place to order a fresh brewed coffee drink and they brew each cup individually!  You can also purchase some of their coffee beans in various weights.   What makes it an even greater coffee experience is the very friendly and down-to-earth staff they hire.  Nicest people in the coffee biz ever!  When Peter and I were  living in San Francisco, I used to frequent the Philz on Van Ness quite often and I was sad when I found that there isn’t one on the Peninsula.  It had been a couple of years since I had the opportunity to visit Philz, so when I saw that there was one in Berkeley, it was a must-do.

Not only did we have a great day just being in Berkeley, but the weather was absolutely beautiful.  This was a good thing, since Sunday was rainy - but I’m not complaining about that one bit since we’ve barely saw any rain in 2013 and so far this year.  I know that many will agree that more rain is much needed around here, so bring it!  After all, droughts are no fun.

In light of having such a great weekend and with everything being so “charming”, I’ve put together an Etsy Treasury this morning called “Positively Charming”, which features nothing but beautiful handmade charm bracelets.  You can check it out below, or see it on Etsy!

Have a great day!!!

All the best,


‘Positively Charming’ by markalinovintage

I love charm bracelets and these beauties are some of my favorite finds.

Wicked Witch of the West Cha…


Valentine Bracelet “Can…


Disney Aladdin Inspired Purp…


Breaking Bad inspired charm …


Dr. Seuss Book Cover Charm …


Charm Bracelet (Blue Eagle H…


Divergent Charm Bracelet


Ladybug Charm Bracelet - Dou…


Starbucks Charm Bracelet


Pagan Charm Bracelet with 32…


Personalized Mommy/Grandma P…


The Infernal Devices Inspire…


Multi-Coloured Loaded Kawaii…


Pretty Little Liars Charm Br…


Handmade Silver Goddaughter …


Charm Bracelet Fifty Shades …


Custom Made Awareness Bracelets for All Types

I like to be flexible in my creativity and in what I offer at Markalino Jewelry on Etsy.  So, I am now accepting orders for two types of Custom Awareness Bracelets for any type of awareness you choose!  What’s more is that 40% of the proceeds from the sale of these bracelets will be donated to the charity of the customer’s choosing and a receipt of donation will be emailed to the customer in pdf format.

One is a Single-Strand Awareness Bracelet featuring Swarovski Crystal elements separated by silver and/or antique silver spacer beads and a .925 Sterling Silver Awareness Charm.   These were the original awareness bracelets I was creating back in 2007 to 2008 after we found that my father had Stage 4 Lung and Kidney cancer.  I raised a good amount of money, mostly for the American Cancer Society.  They were a huge hit and so I am now offering them once again for $30.00 with a 40% donation to the charity of the customer’s choice.

You can click on any image to go to that bracelet’s listing.  Further down is the second type of bracelet that can be custom-ordered.

The second awareness bracelet I am offering is a Charm Style Awareness Bracelet which features a mix of Swarovski and Preciosa crystal elements ranging from 6mm to 10mm in size.  Preciosa crystals are a less expensive alternative to Swarovski and look just as beautiful and it keeps the cost down a bit.  Some still must be Swarovski elements, as some colors are exclusively that of Swarovski.  Swarovski pearls are also included in these bracelets, ranging from 6mm to 8mm in size.  Two .925 Sterling Silver awareness charms are included in this bracelet.   These I am offering at $52.00 with a 40% donation to be made to the charity of the customer’s choice.

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