Could you be Australia’s next top hand model?

COULD YOU BE AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TOP HAND MODEL?

MiABELLE Jewellery is searching for Australia’s Next Top Hand Model so flex those fingers and practice your best hand poses.

Wherever you are in Australia, we want you to take part. To enter, simply visithttp://www.miabelle.com.au/Hand-Model-Search.aspx, upload a photo of your naked hand in a quirky, creative and fun pose and tell your friends and family to vote for you to win. It’s free to enter and the competition is open to women and men. The six pairs of hands with the most votes will be named finalists and a judging panel will choose the winner and five runners up! Entries open on Monday 1st August and close on Sunday 11th September 2011.

The more creative the photo, the better! MIABELLE is a fabulous collection of quality hand crafted enamel jewellery with a full spectrum of colours and styles.

Australia’s Next Top Hand Model by MiABELLE will receive the ultimate hand themed luxury package worth over $3,000!

  • an incredible $1,200 worth of MiABELLE Jewellery
  • an OPI Pamper Hamper and a deluxe OPI manicure for you and a friend
  • A HTC HD7 Windows Phone
  • a stunning leather handbag courtesy of Handbags by Pink Corporation
  • Dents luxury gloves to protect those precious hands, scarves and a stylish hat
  • Amanda Cole’s latest book; Who Needs Prince Charming?

And that’s not all; five runners up will win an amazing package valued at $330, including:

  • a beautiful pendant from MiABELLE
  • an OPI mini manicure pack
  • a copy of the book; Who Needs Prince Charming?

Show your hand some appreciation and enter the search for Australia’s Next Top Hand Model by MiABELLE Jewellery.

A Little Bridesmaid Bling?

The new film “Bridesmaids” is out and we thought it was time to pay some respect to all the hard working bridesmaids who hold weddings together with sheer will and humour.

The film is a funny tale of Anne, a maid of honor, who really doesn’t quite know what to do or how to manage the oddballs who are the bridesmaids. She’s broke and somehow has to work her way through all the expensive pre-wedding celebrations, not to mention manage to pay for her dress and so on.

It made us think about how underappreciated some bridesmaids are. They really do deserve some form of acknowledgement, dont’ they?

Miabellehas a stunning range of enamel jewellery that would be just perfect as a thank you gift. Yes, you know me. I love colour and the enamel on these pieces gives a beautiful clear burst of colour.

These pieces are made of sterling silver and enamel and then set with semi-precious stones. Just have a look at the stunning colours in these pieces.

The enamel is handpainted and then the jewellery is set with gems that may include garnet, citrine, topaz, rhodolite, quartz, onyx and more.

Every time I look at these pieces I change my mind about the ones I would choose. I started off drooling over the vivid enamel colours but I think I have now fallen for the classic elegance of black and white.

But, I guess it isn’t my opinion that matters. It’s your bridesmaids who count and I know there will be something in this lovely range that they will appreciate. Go on, give them a thank you gift that really acknowledges the work they put into making your day special.

By the way, does anyone need a bridesmaid? Ms FeetUp volunteers!

Visit Miabelle to see the complete range and to find a stockist near you.

Winter Jewellery Fashions

The weather is cooling down nicely so its time to consider your autumn/winter accessories as you haul out your warm clothes.

Jewellery for winter 2011 is all about making a statement. Having a signature piece whether it be a necklace, bracelet or ring, that will be remembered. A piece that stands out rather than just complements your outfit.

The key is to find something big, bold and add some tone or colour – whether it is dark, rich and warm or made of bright, contrasting colours.

Key elements involve chunky stones, natural elements and a combination of materials, asymmetric details, bold metallics and layering.

What does this all mean though when it comes to your jewellery wardrobe?

Chunky stones – think big faceted rocks or polished stones … or both!

*Oriana*

It doesn’t have to be all big and chunky though – if a big necklace makes you feel uncomfortable then go for a big pendant instead – the length can be anywhere from choker length to long opera length.


* carnelian disc pendant on cord*

If rings are your thing go oversized and bold.

Natural elements – pearls, corals, amber, wood and leather. Combine these with some chunky stones for a look that is uniquely you!


*nourbese bracelet*

Pearls are making a big comeback and there are some gorgeous and different shapes that will appeal – particularly mixed with varying gems.

*olefumi*

Asymmetric details – a more traditional styled necklace can be given a lift with asymmetric details. These can be either sleekly modern or have a playful feel.

* Paloma *

Adding an asymmetric detail can bring your existing necklace up to date – why not add a vintage brooch to the side of a necklace to reflect your individuality.

Bold metallics – great style doesn’t have to be solid gold. Silver is a perennial favourite and you don’t have to go ALL metallic – metal details are just as great – a nice clasp or a few shiny balls can add enough glitter.

*Olympia*

Long chains dotted with a mix of luscious nuggets are another great look – adding colour and interest.

*Salacia *

Mixed metals are also popular – feel free to mix your metal colours.

Earrings are a great way to do the metallic trend, look for dangly styles (but not too heavy!) if you want these to be your statement piece.

*kyanite drops*

Layering– wear two or three complementary necklaces of different lengths, or try a multistrand necklace.

* Clarinda *

Wear a row of bangle – bracelets if you like to decorate your wrist rather than your neck.

*wood bracelets*

So, there you go – think, big, bold and make a statement with your jewels this season!

Annette Piper is a jewellery designer and gemologist. You can see her designs atwww.annettepiper.com.

Jewels for Autumn

By Elise Petty of The Bangle Business


Autumn is here and the colours of the world around us are changing. Reds, browns, rusts and golden yellows are popping up wherever we look. There is something about the changing seasons that alters the way a piece of jewellery looks, too. Or perhaps it’s my romantic imagination. Artists will tell you that the light changes with the seasons and that alters a gems ability to reflect and refract light. Perhaps that is why I love earth toned gems during autumn.

Our range of jewellery is handmade in India, using stunning gemstones and with a unique style that we love. Many gemstones seem to carry the colour of autumn inside them. Rich yellow topaz and quartz, smoky quartz, carnelian and tiger’s eye all have the wonderful richness and warmth of the colours around us and they seem to take on an extra fire at this time of year.

The Lily necklace is perfect for autumn. It’s boldness makes it trendy but the colours seem to glow against the autumn background. It’s made with Carnelian, sterling silver, and pearls with a stylish S-clasp closure.

You can also go for accessories with a vivid colours like this brilliant Melody bangle. Its mix of yellow, gold, and orange are the right autumn colors, yet it adds a little something extra with the pink and shiny silver base.

There is enough variation in the colours of these pieces that almost anyone can wear them. Go out and have fun with them.

The Bangle Businessis an online retail and wholesale store for unique, beautiful and handmade jewellery. Sourced from talented artisans from all over India, each piece is lovingly hand-crafted using the finest gemstones and precious metals. For ethical jewellery with style, your source is The Bangle Business.

What is Art Deco Style?

by Dhea Bartlett of Exotix

Art Deco is a defined style that developed during the early 1900’s is most associated with the 1920’s and 30’s. Its main features are geometric – squares, circles and hexagons. The designs were bold but gradually became more intricate as the shapes became interwoven in complex patterns.

In the 1930’s the designs started to include elements from nature such as animals and leaves but also moved to softer shapes such as stylised bows and hearts.

The jewellery was stunning and used brightly coloured gemstones such as emeralds and rubies but it also incorporated pearl, jade, onyx and ivory as well as chrome metals. These all had the modern, sleek and industrial look to them.

Marcasite was a favourite material for its modern gleam and glamour.

The jewellery was dramatic and streamlined. Long dangling earrings and necklaces, long pendants, chunky cocktail rings and dramatic bangles and bracelets were essentials.

Think of the flappers of the 1920’s with their long streamlined silhouettes and sparkling gaiety and that will define for you what art deco style is all about: modern, sleek and glamourous.

Dhea Bartlett is the Victorian State Sales Manager for Exotix- Contemporary and fashion forward accessories. Stunning Sterling Silver Jewellery, semi precious gemstones, along with Luxe Italian leather handbags, gorgeous style bags … Something for every woman…

You can follow her onFacebook.

Hints and Tips on Choosing the Right Jewellery for Others

How many times have you received gifts that are just not that right for you? No doubt we can re-gift it, but wouldn’t it be nice to always receive something that actually suits us? The same goes when choosing gifts for others. We want to get it right the first time, and the feeling we get when our recipient genuinely LOVES our gift is just priceless. Jewellery, like fragrances, is such a personal thing. Not only does it depend on a person’s taste, but also if it goes well with their personality. Often, we end up purchasing what WE fancy and totally forgetting that it wasn’t for us to begin with. To make things a little easier, here are some easy to follow tips to bear in mind when getting the right jewellery for others.

  • Be observant – Have a look at what the recipient always wears. Do they normally wear bracelets, bangles? Do they prefer necklaces? What type of necklaces do they normally wear? Chunky, beaded necklaces? Simple silver chain with small pendant? Sometimes, people prefer one over the other. For instance I’m a huge bangle and bracelet girl and I often purchase those over necklaces. My sister is a necklace person, and she loves simple, eclectic styles. My Mum on the other hand loves bold statement jewellery and because she wears a head scarf, it’s just not worth it for me to get her earrings where it can’t be seen by others.
  • Be attentive– sometimes all it takes is to listen to what they’re telling you. Pay attention when they tell you what they loved whilst out shopping, or what they found online. Better still, take them out shopping for jewellery and check out what they really like. Some people are into handmade jewellery, while others love the ease of store bought chain jewellery.
  • Fashion Jewellery vs Precious Jewellery – This all depends on your budget, how close you are to the person, and once again, what they normally wear. If the person is a very close friend or family member and you have the budget to match, then I say go for precious stones rather than fashion jewellery. Precious jewellery is also more suited to those who are less likely to change their accessories often. These tend to be key pieces that they often wear and so would be worth the while purchasing, knowing they would wear it more often. For those who love to accessorise, I say go for fashion jewellery. That way they can chop and change whenever they like.
  • Classic vs On-Trend pieces – Sometimes the classic pieces are the way to go when it comes to jewellery. That way you can be rest assured that the recipient can continually wear their jewellery even when fashion trends around them changes. On-trend pieces are a good idea if you know the recipient is a big fashion fan. Some might think that it’s a waste of money to buy on-trend pieces, but bear in mind, fashion goes round in a cycle so, there’s every chance that it will come back in fashion again. Take for example the big floral brooches that were huge in the 90s worn by Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in Sex and the City, that came back in full force last Spring/Summer, when they were ringing in the floral trend. If you’re looking to purchase on-trend jewellery or accessories then I would suggest not having to pay an arm and a leg for it.

These are just some basic tips you can go by when purchasing jewellery for someone else. Hopefully these will stop you from buying duds that get re-gifted….back to you!

Norlin Mustapha is the owner ofBaubles, Bubbles & Bags, an online store which carries a collection of uniquely designed bags, jewellery and accessories that will suit all tastes and budgets. She also runs a blog –Baubles, Bubbles & Bags Style File, which covers, fashion, styling, beauty and lifestyle topics and reviews.

Jewellery for Blokes

By Heather Winchcomb of Gifts for Blokes.

Some say it’s thanks to the flashy bling of the gangster rappers, some put it down to the metro male style flouted by international sports stars, but whatever the reason, it is more ok than ever for men to wear a bit of bling.

Gone are the days of being limited to a choice between a plain neck chain, or a traditional ring or watch when choosing jewellery for blokes.

New styles of wrist bands and bracelets, piercing jewellery and pendants are going on sale everywhere and blokes can’t get enough of it. Most blokes like to do all of their shopping in one place so more and more men’s fashion stores are putting in jewellery displays and designer accessory lines.

Most styles being created for men still have a definite masculine feel to them, but twenty years ago not many men would have considered wearing them.

Now you can buy cufflinks, watches and chains, but they have a different kind of flair. Buying a traditional item with a modern look can be a gentle way for a guy to ease themselves into the world of bling if it is a new avenue in style for them.

The vast range of contemporary styles in men’s fashion jewellery allows for the expression of any kind of personality, with a little or a lot of bling. Have a look at our jewellery sectionand you’ll see what I mean. We specialise in stainless steel jewellery for men because it is very tough and it wears really well and it looks fantastic.

Jewellery for blokes is a fashion necessity now. Next time you are looking for a gift don’t forget about jewellery.

Gifts for Blokesis an Australian online store offering a range of men’s gifts that are unique and special for the men in your life.

How to Choose a Necklace to Work With Your Neckline

How do you match necklaces with clothing? Firstly it’s important to consider your neckline and it’s shape and appearance.

Necklines and Necklaces by imogenl featuring Splendid

Necklines that have detail – beading, ruffles, cowls etc, don’t need any extra embellishment, avoid wearing a necklace with them. Earrings are a better option.

Lower necklines such as Vs, Scoops, Square, Sweetheart need something to fill in the space, but preferably on the skin rather than hanging over onto the top. Try a pendant or multiple strands of beads rather than a thin chain.

High necklines like crews and boat necklines look great with longer necklaces. Whether it’s a bib necklace or a long strand of beads or even a long pendant, a necklace can create the appearance of a long slimming line down your body.

Collared necklines work well with narrower and higher necklaces, if you have a longer neck, try a choker, otherwise something that fits in the space and sits just below your collar bones.

Use the colours of your top as an inspiration for choosing a necklace. Look at the styling – modern and minimal, don’t wear fussy old fashioned jewellery.

How to choose a Necklace to Work with Patterns and Prints

One of the other elements of choosing a necklace, along with the neckline, is creating harmony with the print or pattern or other design features of the garment it’s sitting next to.

Pattern and Necklaces by imogenl featuring Forever21

From left to right, top to bottom:

Snakeskin cardigan with muliple piece coral necklace – two naturally occurring shapes, made of many small pieces to make a non-symmetrical shapes and patterns.

Soft chevron design top with necklace that creates a triangular shape.

Drape cardigan with fine line pattern works with multiple strand fine necklace.

Floral top with different floral necklace, though colours work in harmony.

A geometric pattern needs a geometric necklace, if you put something fiddly and swirly, next to squares or plaid, it won’t harmonise.

Paisley top in soft fabric with delicate cursive letter necklace in a colour that blends. Notice how the curve of the letters works with the curve of the paisley.

Taking a queue from the colours in the multiple pattern tank, and the shape of the dominant pattern in the centre front, works with the turquoise star made from multiple small pieces. Notice how the star pendant is not the same as the centre pattern, matchy matchy can look way too contrived.

Soft geometric inspired top works with the soft asymmetrical pendant with colour and shape harmonising with the pattern.

These are just a few ideas of the way you can choose necklaces to suit the pattern or print in your garment.

Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP is highly regarded in the image consultants industry for her expertise which she shares on her blogwww.insideoutstyleblog.com. Runningwww.bespokeimage.com.au, a Melbourne based personal styling service, she sees private clients who love her friendly, down-to-earth manner and advice. A single mother of two, she understands the needs of the busy woman. She also trains people to become image consultants at thewww.absoluteimagetraininginstitute.com.

Pet Accessories

Article by guest writers from Snoutbook.

You might think that pet accessories are a waste of money but we are here to tell you that they aren’t.

Some of us love to be dressed up and a bit of bling makes us feel fantastic, especially when we are going out. The problem is that perpets (that’s you!) seem to think that bling only suits the little cute ones amongst us – Chihuahuas and terriers and sometimes even a Siamese. You might not realise it but even the biggest and goofiest of us likes some glitz and glamour. There is a reason for that.

Bling doesn’t mean the same to us as it does to you humans.

To us, bling is a sign of your affection. It’s also a great excuse to demand your attention. We even put up with those silly costumes you make us wear sometimes because it means that we get to spend some quality time with you. We love it when you spend time on us, even if we have to wear accessories that aren’t to our taste. Big, small or in between, we will all wear whatever you want us to as long as you are loving us.

So, what do we like for this season?

We are used to wearing those ugly council tags on our collars so why not add a touch of colour and humour to our look? This pendant comes from Doggles. It’s bright and colourful and won’t get in the way when we go chasing cats balls.

You could have a matching one on your keyring.

We do like these sunnies from Doggleseven though summer has gone here in Australia. It took us a while to get used to the feel of them on our faces but what relief they give to our eyes. They have shatterproof lenses and 100% UV protection. We are outdoors so much that our eyes really do need protection. It’s also pretty handy to see whose butt you are going to sniff before you go it. Avoids a lot of problems!

We can’t forget about the cats, can we. (We DO try, though!)

Cats love collars with a touch of class. Something like this one from Pets Palacewould be perfect. It has a croc pattern with a diamante buckle and studs which make this collar really stand out. The bling buckle is lovely. If cats didn’t already think they were superior to the rest of us, this collar would give them Attitude.

Finally, we’d like to think that you will remember us when we are gone. Perhaps you could wear a pendant on your collar? We love the pendants from Etched in Memories. They etch a picture from a photo onto a pendant that you can keep and wear. We can stay with you always.

So those are our picks. But like we said, we’ll wear anything as long as you love us and give us your attention.

Woof!

Written by Mickey and Fruitcake from Snoutbook, the online social network for animals and their perpets.

Interview with designer Julia Van Der Sommen

Melbourne fashion designer Julia Van Der Sommen has come up with a nifty, new idea as the weather warms – Sha-de fashion-savvy, sun protection wraps for women, which can be worn over clothing whenever the skin is exposed.

The wraps are made from Merino wool, which is highly UV resistant, naturally SPF45+ and transports sweat away from the skin.

They’re being supported by Melbourne mum Louise White, also the founder of the Emily Tapp Melanoma Foundation. The foundation was established in honour of Louise’s daughter, Emily Tapp, who died from a melanoma in 2006 after celebrating her 27th birthday and wedding in hospital.

We put designer Julia, who has previously worked for fashion names like Anthea Crawford and Slazenger, in the hot-seat…

How did you come up with the idea for the fashionable sun protection wraps? “I’ve been working with Merino wool for awhile and it’s highly UV resistant and naturally SPF45+. I thought if I had a garment that I could fold up and carry with me when needed – like, driving or attending a summer wedding or barbecue – it would be so handy. The idea for the fashion items was born.”

What styles do the wraps come in? “The wraps are available in two versions – a single sleeve for driving or a double sleeve shrug for full sun protection. Both come in various hues. Prices are from $59.95.”

Other fashion-savvy, sun protection tips? “Wide-brimmed hats are always in. Bright kaftans are also great for covering up. Plus, people are layering up more, like wearing a long-sleeved top over a singlet, so they’ve got that sun protection.”

Your style icon? “Christina Hendricks, the sassy redhead from Mad Men! I love how she offsets her pale, luminous skin with bright lipstick. I think that people these days are going for their own individual style, rather than following trends, like Christina, which is great to see!”

The Sha-de wraps are being sold via the foundation’s website, www.emilysfoundation.org.au, as well as www.sha-de.com.

(Interview by Carla Caruso)