Friday, December 2, 2011

Trunk Show - 100 Congress

On Friday, December 2nd, Amy Holton Designs will be showing in the lobby of the 100 Congress building from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  Stop by, check out some new pieces and say hello!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday Sale!!

Amy Holton Designs invites you to join us for a rare sale and take advantage of the opportunity to save 20% off exquisite limited-edition and one-of-a-kind hand crafted jewelry.  Also, enjoy complimentary domestic ground shipping on all purchases.

Please review the details here and use promo code AHDBLOG20 at checkout.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sneak Peek - A Little Eye Candy

Have a head full of new designs and have been working hard.  Thought I'd share some new designs fresh off of my studio table.  A major website update and lots of new pieces to come very soon! 
Would love to read your comments on the latest...
Thanks for peeking!

Friday, May 20, 2011

If the apocalypse is tomorrow, you may as well be shopping with a cocktail in hand!

SATURDAY, MAY 21ST, 12:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Live music by Shotgun Party
Sponsored by SAVVY Vodka

Saturday fun...Austin style! Come see Amy Holton Designs and nine other local Austin designers at Gallery Black Lagoon's Accessories Trunk Show, Saturday May 21st ~ a fun and free event Sponsored by SAVVY Vodka and more! Yes...that's right folks, that means complimentary cocktails but do us a small favor and click the link to RSVP on Facebook. We want to be sure the bar doesn't run dry! (But if you forget, come anyway...crashing is not a sin in this case!)  After all, if the world is coming to an end on Saturday, shouldn't you be adorned with fabulous handcrafted jewelry and accessories, sipping a cocktail and listening to live local music by Shotgun Party? After is the Austin way...
There's even pizza next door at The Parlor if you fancy a slice and a pint for your last meal on earth.
RAIN OR SHINE! The event is indoors! (But we can't promise rapture...)
Plenty of FREE PARKING in the office parking lot directly behind the gallery (75+ spots) and street parking.

It's going to be a lovely day of fun, good music and shopping.  I had such a great time at the last trunk show I did at Gallery Black Lagoon (...though the aromas wafting from The Parlor made me really hungry all day!).  The fabulous gallery owner, Singer Mayberry really knows how to throw a party!

So...come out and support your local Austin artists, musicians and Gallery Black Lagoon!  All the cool kids are doing it and it just might score you some brownie points on judgement day!
Hope to see you there!!

Free entry, cocktails compliments of SAVVY Vodka and treats 12:00-6:00 p.m.

Buy original pieces directly from local designers.  Fashionable accessories just in time for Summer:  Hats, Purses, Jewelry, Belts…  
Designers: Chia Hats (sunhats), Bolsa Bonita, Tula Hats (hand woven palm hats), Headbands and Hair Clips by Kristen McAshan, Vintage Necklace and Bracelet Tie Creations by Shannon Anderson, Jewelry by Jasmine Turner, Amy Holton Designs, Holly Riley, Fat Cat Studio and Artulia Jewelry
Services to include:  Feather Hair Extensions by Electric Feather Co., Body Painting and Henna.  
Plus Live Music at 3:00 p.m. by Shotgun Party!

Sponsored by SAVVY Vodka and more!

Disclaimer:  The cheeky humor in the above post does not at all reflect the views of the gallery, sponsors, promoters or other designers affiliated with this event and I certainly never mean to offend.  It's merely my own (maybe inappropriate) way of expressing that I sincerely hope (and strongly feel) that despite recent prediction of the end of days, I'll have the pleasure of seeing you at future events.  If not, here's hoping there's champagne in hell (I'm sure this Catholic-reared girl has managed to secure a first class ticket with this post)...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where Were You When?

I remember one day in school, as a small child...maybe eight or so, studying American history, particularly the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  I remember my teacher saying that it was such a significant and life-changing event that anyone who was alive at that time would be able to tell you exactly where they were when they heard the President had been shot.  So...of course when my mom picked me up at school I asked where she was when she heard.  She immediately answered that she was at school in typing class and how devastated everyone was.  BOOM!  That hit me like a ton of bricks.  I still remember it.  My young mind was blown away that an event could be so life changing that one would remember exactly where they were and the time of day years later.  It shook me, and while I felt safe, I remember my na├»ve young mind thinking I hoped nothing so bad would ever happen in my lifetime that it would make such an impact.

Fast forward to September 11, 2001...
I was working at Enron (another story in itself!) and was in a serious relationship.  I was planning to be at work around 10:00 after Houston traffic had subsided.  That morning the phone rang.  It was my boyfriend calling from his office.  "Amy, do you have the TV on?"  "No, why?"  "We're under attack, go downstairs and turn on the news."  I hung up the phone and did, sitting in front of the television...stunned.  Never in my life did I think I'd see what I saw.  The phone rang again, it was him.  "Please don't go to work today.  Please just stay home."  I worked on the 36th floor of the Enron building.  A skyscraper in downtown Houston, fourth largest city in the nation, was the last place I wanted to be.  My assistant called my mobile and asked, "Have you left yet?  Stay home.  Everyone is leaving."  Terrified, I didn't go back into the office for a week.  Like many of my colleagues, I worked from home until we knew more.  I insisted my boyfriend cancel his business trips scheduled for that week and the following.  Gratefully, the airlines did it for him anyway.  Suddenly there it was.  My iconic tragedy that I would never forget where I was, who I was with or even the time of day.  It was shocking, frightening, surreal...
I called my parents, then on my own finally broke down and cried, completely overwhelmed at what I was watching.

Fast forward to May 1, 2011...
Having returned from Houston to Austin after a wonderful birthday celebration dinner hosted by my husband for me, my parents and some of my closest friends, we...exhausted, took ourselves to bed early.  We watched the local news, informed by our anchors that the President would be addressing the nation at any moment.  Why so late?  What on earth couldn't wait until morning as the East Coast might be on their way to bed?  The announcement was delayed and delayed as our local news anchors did their best to keep the day's stories moving while waiting for the President to break in.  We speculated on what could possibly be happening. A scheduled 9:30 Presidential address became 10:30...then it grew later...and later.  My husband had to leave at 6:30 the next morning to catch his flight but wasn't about to go to sleep.  Local news switched over to their national studios.  I was thinking, "Usually the White House at least gives a heads-up to the press as to the content of the address.  What gives?"  Apparently one anchor finally came on and announced that they had confirmed with the White House we were not under a nuclear attack, a thought that had never crossed my mind.  Then the word..."Osama Bin Ladin has been killed by American forces and his body is in our custody."  We waited for the Presidential address.  I opened my laptop and logged into Twitter, watching the news in silence with the man, now my husband, who ten years prior had begged me to not go into work as the tragedy of 9/11 unfolded.  President Obama walked to the podium and addressed the nation, giving the news and detail of the attack.  I, like many, couldn't believe we'd actually captured Bin Ladin.  It was surreal.  Twenty or so college aged men and women gathered outside of the White House gates chanting "USA-USA," and singing the national anthem.  Quickly that number grew to a sea of people.  At Ground Zero the same happened...people of all ages came out though it was after 1:00 in the morning in New York.

Closure? a way, though it could never bring back those lost or take away the nightmares of those who survived.  So many mixed emotions.  As a civil society I think we all struggle to some degree with the idea of celebrating a man's death, no matter how evil he is...and this man has to be one of the most evil who ever walked the earth.  While I grew up Catholic, I'm certainly not an overtly practicing and religious person, but even the bible says "an eye for an eye." However, the compassionate, human, decent side of me questions my instinct to revel in the news. Am I glad he's gone?  Damned right I am.  Is it over?  Definitely not.  Retaliation is sure to come, so as Americans, we remain vigilant.  As a civil society we still honored Bin Ladin's religious practices and our brave military respectfully buried him at sea, strictly observing Muslim traditions.  An observance that made me even more proud to be an American, never mind this man had no respect for the burials and traditions of those he so brutally murdered.  I'm a firm believer in being the bigger person.  A few hours later, as my husband kissed me goodbye in the dim early morning light of our bedroom, I made mental note of what he was I've done every time he's traveled since that fateful day in 2001, unbeknownst to him. The dark side of me has never let go of that practice in ten years...just in case.  I remember in the days that followed September 11, 2001, the family of those lost were asked to describe what their loved ones were wearing as they left for work on that day in hopes of it helping to identify them. So many couldn't.  Something we never would have thought to notice before.

One day your children or grandchildren may come home and ask you where you were when....
What will you tell them?

What a weekend this has been for me.  My stepdaughter, to whom I'm very close and who has been in my life since she was eight, has chosen a university and a dress for her senior prom.  We've celebrated a royal wedding and watched a true Cinderella story as a commoner became a princess. Pope John Paul nears sainthood.  The world's most wanted terrorist has been captured by our brave armed forces, killed, and put to rest.  To top it all off, as I was typing this post, I turned 40...

So, that little innocent girl who was amazed at the magnitude of President John F. Kennedy's death and the impact it made on her parents, like all Americans and the world over, has to stop and reflect on my place in the world, in my country, the times I live in and the incredible history that has unfolded before our eyes in recent days.  One day, my stepchidrens' kids or my niece's children might ask me, "Were were you when...?"
I can guarantee...I'll never forget.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tropical Hues of Coral and Turquiose

OK, so I'm a complete mess right now.  I've had a cold that's been hanging on for nearly a month and I just can't shake it.  Last minute travel to England to see my husband's family and jet lag has exacerbated the problem, I'm sure.  Not to mention a 24 hour delay on our return home (airline mechanical problems)!  I rarely get sick, so it really knocks me down.  I don't feel like doing anything. 

We finally made it home this past Sunday evening after spending the night in New York on our return.  That's OK, though.  It was a good trip and I'd much rather be on a plane that didn't have mechanical problems!

Valentine's morning I happily woke in my own bed and my day was instantly brightened (never mind that I couldn't breathe) by a convo from Milla & Olya of AllimYalo with a link to their beautiful, tropical-hued Red Coral & Turquoise treasury.

There are so many bright and colorful items starting with jenijunk's cheerful vintage polka-dot slingbacksMishky's large lizard bracelet is fun and funky (that beadweaving must have taken forever!) and JessicaDoyle's print, The Nameless Ones no1 is cheerful and vibrant.  I'm certain I used to have a tea set similar to these play teacups from becaruns when I was a kid (in pink, I think).  AidaCoronado's turquoise embroidered Mexican tunic makes me long for a beach vacation and I love the classic simplicity of PearlModern's vintage coral handbagVanCocoaDesigns offers a fun satin ponytail holder and LuckyBluebirdArt's simple and clean print Coral Coral appeals to my eye for minimalism.  LeBijouxPrecieux's earrings of turquoise and red cry for the perfect white linen sundress and LilacSaloon's wallflowers would add a quirky and unexpected touch to any room (even the listing photo itself is beautiful!).  The coral verdigris earrings by iomiss have a wonderful, casual vibe that seem to compliment the organic feel of driftwoodinterior's fine art print.  I love LidDDesignsBoutique's feminine and playful leather bow ring and SymbologybyJJ's turquoise and coral cuff has just the right amount of sparkle.  Finally, who needs the upkeep of a saltwater aquarium when one can opt for kesslercraftsman's amazing Coral II fused glass vessel

AllimYalo's collection definitely has put me in the mood for summer sun and I thank them for including my four strand turquoise bracelet in their treasury.  Maybe while I'm in bed with my laptop, I should start researching our next vacation spot!  Be sure to also stop by their shop which is full of the most dainty jewelry pieces of polymer clay resembling porcelain miniature teacups and luscious chocolate confections.  It's like tea time for your earlobes!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Another treasury?  Really?  This has been a good week!  I'm so very flattered to be included in this absolutely delicious collection of artists in a treasury so beautiful I think it would look lovely hanging on a wall.  Jessica and Susan of Inedible Jewelry are the curators of this fantastic collection in the most gorgeous, spicy shades. 

Glass Panic's gorgeous, iridescent amber, ca. 1970, Kings Crown glass compote reminds me of a piece of my grandmother's that absolutely fascinated me.  It resided on the "DO NOT TOUCH" etagere that as a child, took every ounce of discipline for me to resist.  Speaking of trying to stay out of trouble at my grandparent's house, my grandmother also had the most beautiful rose-shaped soaps housed in a covered glass dish...almost like a terrarium.  Well, these buttercream Valentine soaps by Satin and Birch put those from my childhood to shame!  I can't get over how intricately beautiful they are.  They look like Wedgewood in caramel.  (P.S.  She does have them in Wedgewood blue as well!)  Speaking of intricate soaps, when I first looked at the treasury I seriously thought Love Lee Soaps Cinnamon Rolls were the real thing until I read the title underneath the photo.  Delicious!  Then there's Alice B Garden's yummy fine art photograph Caramels.  Who knew art could be so tasty?  Also check out her shop Elle Moss for incredibly dreamy fine art prints.  Surf and Sand's Brown Quartz necklace looks as worthy of being displayed in the finest candy shop as it does gracing any woman's neck.

This stunning treasury is also flush with beautiful blooms that weave themselves into the underlying (and accidental, according to Jessica) theme of concentric and radiating patterns.  Creative Apple's set of five Big Blooms greeting cards are so brilliantly cheerful they jump off of the screen.  Designed by Jane's forties inspired floral felt brooch is so intricately detailed it looks as though it couldn't possibly be fabric.  Block Party Press's Serenity Necklace is both detailed and elegantly simple at the same time, representing shimmering metallic chrysanthemum blossoms. 

Bead weaving is something I've never explored as a jewelry designer, but I certainly can appreciate the effort put into Licia Beads' beautiful, raspberry hued Woven Facets pendant and Lbtoyos' Cinnamon Beaded bead earrings.  (P.S.S. For you jewelry designers, Licia also has a gemstone supply shop called Licia's Bead Vault and I can attest first-hand that her selection, quality and service is fantastic!)  Another amazing technique in jewelry making is shown in Twirled Treasures' shop of unbelievable quilled designs.  Her well-honed skills are definitely showcased in her lovely Majestic Marquise necklace.  Having had a peek inside her shop, may I just say...WOW!   Speaking of new and interesting jewelry techniques, can you believe this fantastic spiral bracelet by Taylor's Eclectic is made from paper?  I'm completely blown away.  It looks so much like vibrant stained glass perched between the wire coils, but it's actually bits of paper, carefully sealed to make the piece wearable in any setting.  Taylor really has some very unique and interesting pieces (and her shop has now been added to my favorites).  I'm especially loving the Windswept Cherry Blossom Tree necklace and the Peacock Bubble Necklace

But wait...there's more!

The colors in None of the Above's terracotta sunshine pendant are so beautifully graduated with the deepest red Swarovski crystal as the centerpiece.  Polymer clay is another medium I've never worked in but I'm so impressed with what one can create with it!  Speaking of clay, Leili Design has such an amazing shop.  Her ceramic pieces reek of modern simplicity which I adore.  This tiny ceramic dish is aptly entitled "Toast" but I don't remember ever having a breakfast dish quite this pretty!  Yes...another new favorite shop... 

As I comment on each of the wonderful featured artists, I had to save Tasha MCK until the end.  Hers has long been a favorite shop of mine because her sweet little birds just melt my heart.  These nesting bowls, featuring her trademark birdies along with their nests, are just too lovely for words.

Of course, I'd be a terrible blogger and Etsy friend if I didn't mention our curators with an amazing eye.  Jessica and Susan are sisters and proprietors of the aptly named shop, Inedible Jewelry which is chock full of the most delicious looking treats...all made of polymer clay.  They've even authored book on how to make their lovely little delicacies.  I am absolutely overwhelmed by their attention to detail and incredibly clever designs.  Who knew bacon and eggs could grace one's earlobe so delicately?!

Thanks so much, Jessica and Susan for including my Tunduru sapphire and prasiolite earrings.  I chose those sapphires because I adored their earthy, spicy colors and am so pleased they found their way into a little corner of your rich, delicious treasury!  It's such a privilege to be featured with so many amazing artists.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Valentine's Day...Squared

OK, so you know I love those convos on Etsy alerting me that someone has chosen one of my items for their treasury!  Always so flattering to be included in someone's collection...

Just yesterday evening, I received another from Murat &Yusuf (muratyusuf is their ID on Etsy).  This one has a square theme, highlighting gift giving ideas  for Valentine's Day.  Having contemporary taste, the aesthetics of the repeated squares really appealed to me!

JuneDesigns cube ring is just sooo cool and funky (and really appeals to my love of geometric shapes and metals).  Michelle Chang Jewelry's tiny silver cube earrings are a study in delicate simplicity (not to mention, what a great shot of these earrings!).  Iam Designs also showcases a lovely pair of cube studs, but these are hollow on the side and have a great industrial feel while still being feminine at the same time.  Arosha's brushed sterling silver cube ring looks like a sculpture that should be housed in a museum (I love his whole shop) and Whimsy and Spice's homemade chocolate marshmallows could easily entice one to throw that New Year's resolution aside!  Askida's stitched balsa notebook accented with green agate cubes has such a wonderful, natural feel and I love it's clean, simple design.  Perihan's big square earrings will certainly make a statement and at $3.99, why shouldn't you have them? 

We've had freezing temperatures here in Austin and my warm, deep bathtub has been my best friend.  Sure wish I had some of Whipped Up Wonderful's sugar cube bath fizzies on hand right now (not to mention many of her other bath luxuries)!  Speaking of warm and wonderful, Demet's beautifully detailed, hand crochetted baby blanket looks warm and soft enough for any infant's skin.  Looking for jewelry supplies?  PK Supplies offers some really cool large black square beads painted with silver.  Likewise, AllEarringandSuppli offers the ever-popular Swarovski cubes in a luscious plum color.  Gami and Glass has the most beautiful, simple, pre-drilled glass tiles that look like strung cubes of ice in this photo which looks like a work of art.   A single, mint colored crystal hangs in solitude on Edor's elegantly simple necklace; and JBM Designs' aqua blue Swarovski earrings make me long to dive into the turquoise blue waters of my favorite resort.  Last, but certainly not least, our curator du jour Murat & Yusuf displays a beautiful navy velvet handbag.  I am in love with this deep midnight color and the velvet makes it so much richer.  Don't you just want to touch it?  Aside from the handbag, definitely take a look at all of the warm, soft and feminine scarves and shawls in their shop.  I really like the long white bom bom scarf!

Thanks again Murat & Yusuf for finding and including my turquoise cube necklace amongst this great collection of designs.  What luck that I had just discovered the listing had expired and renewed it that morning!