Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Hello All!

Over the weekend I did my last gemstone haul for the year. I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to gemstone shopping. It's my retail therapy. I came across so many gorgeous gems at the GTS Bead Show. Take a look at some of the strands of beads I purchased. I can't wait to turn these gemstones into hip jewels!

Gorgeous crystals

Chrysoprase shards

My favorites: chunky citrine and Botswana agate

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Birthday Sale...

Hello All!

In celebration of my birthday week, I'm having a sale in my etsy boutique. Take 25% off all jewels from now until 11/30/14. Use coupon code BDAY25  at checkout. Click here to purchase. New jewelry being added daily. Thank you for your support!

Red Coral Wire Wrapped Chain Bracelet

Orange Coral Chips Copper Hammered Hoops

Deer Antler Wire Wrapped Long Brass Chain Necklace

Turquoise Silver Feathers Earrings

Turquoise and Salmon Coral Earrings

Monday, October 6, 2014


I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to gemstone shopping. It's my retail therapy. I came across so many gorgeous gemstones yesterday at the GTS Gemstone Show. Take a look at some of the strands of beads I purchased. I can't wait to turn these gemstones into hip jewels!

Coconut, Turquoise, Amazonite, Salmon Coral, and Chain

Love the Autumn Colors

Green Agate Chain and Brass Chain

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On Repeat: Cecile McLorin Salvant

Stumbled upon this artist while reading my Family Circle magazine. Cecile McLorin Salvant is a Miami-based jazz singer with French and Haitian descent. If you like Billie Holiday or Sarah Vaughan, you will swoon to Ms. Salvant. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

$700 Sneakers Or Nah...

I'm not bashful to ask someone, "Where did you get that?" I will also ask someone what brand a pair of shoes they are wearing that has caught my eye. Last week in Winston Salem I stopped and asked a lady who made her sneakers that she was wearing. She replied in a beautiful South American accent "Givenchy." Gulp! Immediately I thought $500. Whoosh I was wrong! I googled them and they are $700. There is no room in my fashion budget for a pair of $700 sneakers. However, after some searching I found a comparable pair of Vans for $55. See below. Splurge or Steal?

$700 Givenchy Slip On Sneakers. Splurge.

$55 leather Vans. Steal!

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day of School Outfit...

Today is the first day of school for my kids! Yippee ki yay!

The best thing about the first day of school is your outfit. I remember in Junior High my mom telling me to not wear my new Fall outfit because it was going to be hot! She was right. I didn't listen I wore my Fall outfit and burned up the whole day. But I was cute!

It makes me happy that both my son and daughter love Converse as much as I do. Below is an outfit I made on Polyvore 2 years ago and it still gets repinned on Pinterest. As of today, it is my top Pin with over 95 repins and 25 likes. Today, the only thing I would change is switching the camo jacket for a plaid shirt worn around the waist. Also, if you aren't a fan of Converse, go with Vans. Love the crossbody bookbag, a welcome change from the standard backpack.

So, what did your kids wear to school on the first day?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Backpacks And Stilettos...

Happy Friday!

Back in June I posted 10 Hip Girls Night Out Ideas, check them out here. One of the ideas was to Give Back. Earlier this month my friend, Lydia, hosted a Backpacks and Stilettos Girls Night Out. She asked all of her friends to get a backpack and fill it with school supplies. Wear your stilettos with a cute outfit, bring your filled backpack over to Lydia's house and Party With A Purpose! Lydia worked with a case manager who will distribute the backpacks to children in need in our community. Check out our fun Girls Night Out pictures below.

My school supplies 

Ready to stuff the backpack. 

Food and drinks are always involved when we party.

Lydia's living room was filled with backpacks!

The lady who knows how to throw a party and does it well while wearing her stilettos.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Yesterday was the last day of the GTS bead show that was held in Greensboro. GTS comes to the area about 4 times a year and I always go on the last day. You get the best deals!  I'm like a kid in the candy store when it comes to shopping for gemstones. It's my retail therapy. Here are some of the hip jewels I purchased yesterday. Fell in love with the Black Onyx and Jasper Slabs. I went to the show for the sole purpose to buy a display case ONLY. As a suggestion from a friend, I need to always have pieces of jewelry with me, never know who will be interested in buying. She suggested I get a small display case that is portable.  As you can see, I purchased more than just a display case.  Can't wait to start creating! 

Labradorite and Hematite

Black Onyx and Jasper Slabs

Lots of Chain. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Girls Night Out Sexy Shorts Outfit...

My vision of a cute summery Girls Night Out (GNO) outfit. No mom shorts here!

A few weeks ago, I gave you 10 Hip ideas for GNO here. Now that you gathered up your girlfriends and started planning for your next GNO, let's start thinking about what you are going to wear. Let's talk about the outfit below I created on Polyvore.

 Gorgeous sexy shorts with a bright silk top (unbuttoned about 2 or 3 buttons). Keep your jewelry minimal so the focus can be on these jeweled Marni sandals that are to die for! Simple black clutch, June Ambrose-ish sunnies and a menswear watch. Perfect!

So what are you wearing for your next Girls Night Out?

Monday, July 7, 2014


Hey All! Picked up a few gemstones and other treasures while vacationing in Hilton Head, South Carolina. High Tide Bead store has tons of gemstone strands and other components. I was like a kid in a candy store. Check out some of the items I picked up. Can't wait to start creating!

Baubles and Beads

Bone Goddess, Raku Om, and Pewter Starfish Pendant

Raw Lemon Quartz and Black Jade

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ten Hip Ideas For Girls Night Out...

What are your plans for the weekend? Grab your girls and go out! I have a great group of friends here in Greensboro. We live for our monthly Girls Night Out (GNO). It's a great chance to catch up, vent, laugh until we pee, eat great food, and drink delicious cocktails or mocktails. I came up with 10 cool, hip, and fab ideas for your next GNO!


1. Host A Summer Soiree. Every summer my fab friend, Lydia, hosts a Summer Soiree at her house. As shown above. She goes all out! Sparklers, lais, drinks, food, dance offs, etc.

2. Wine and Design. This is a trendy outing that is in most cities. Some places call it Sip and Stroke, Wine and Canvas, or Paint and Sip. You go to a art studio to paint the picture of the day and drink wine. We always find a deal for this on Living Social or Groupon. Here is a picture of when we went.

3. Swap and Sip. Everyone brings at least 5 items that they no longer want. Put it in a pile, pick a number and select a item from your girlfriend that she no longer wants, but you love. Sip some wine.

4. Tour Open Houses. Need decorating ideas or you just want to be nosy about a new development, go tour open houses or Model homes. A cheap Sunday afternoon outing.

5.  Spa Day. When my friend Michelle, the baby of the bunch, turned 40, we went to a local spa for the day. They gave us the party room! We brought our own food and drinks, booked body treatments, and walked around in our robes.

6. Line Dancing. Seriously, there is a line dance for every song out there. If you don't know the Biker Shuffle or the Wobble, go on YouTube and learn it. Invite your girls over and show them the latest line dances.

7. Sleepover. Host a good old childhood favorite sleepover. Rent movies, buy belly aching candy, and popcorn. Vote on who has the cutest PJ's. Take selfies.

8. Vision Board. Buy poster board, glue sticks, and gather up magazines. Have your girls come over and put together their own vision board. Check out Pinterest for cool ideas.

9. Chili Cook-off. Have a friend that swears she makes the best chili. Tell her to bring it on! Create teams, dress in Western attire (a must), play country music, and invite your girls over for a friendly cook-off competition.

10. Give Back. My friend, Lydia, asked all her girlfriends to get a backpack over the summer and fill it with school supplies. Before school starts in August, we all will get together and turn in our backpacks to Lydia for distribution to a child in great need.

What do you and your girlfriends do for Girls Night Out?

To Girlfriends!

Monday, June 9, 2014


Wine and cheese

 Hey All! A toast to June!  Lately in June I'm...

Loving: Talenti Gelato in Mediterranean Mint. So incredibly good! Seriously, where has this been all of my life. The best part, no one in my household likes chocolate chip mint.

Listening To: Jhene Aiko and of course... Charlie Wilson.

Reading: So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell. A wonderful little book that is beautifully written. I'm reading this for a new book club that I'm in.

Thinking About: The 5K my brother wants me to run in with him is only 3 1/2 weeks away and I'm not prepared.

Thankful For: Seeing my family last weekend in Baltimore for my niece's Graduation party. It was a great party with yummy food, belly laughs, and catching up.

Looking Forward To: Vacation! This year my family (mom, dad, brother, sis n law, nieces, nephew, hubby, and kids) are headed to Hilton Head for a week.

What have you been up to Lately?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Reading...

I've selected my summer reading books. I'm a slow reader, so I'm hoping I can get through all four of these books by the end of September.  Check out what I'm reading this summer.

  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This novel was recommended to me by my friend, Tereska.  I've started reading this book and I can't put it down! It's that good. 
  • The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I was browsing Instagram and my friend, Quinetta, posted a photo of her summer reading books. The Language of Flowers was one she selected to read. When I searched for it on Barnes, the summary and reviews were gripping that I had to buy it.
  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. My daughter asked me to get this book so we both can read it. After hearing about the upcoming movie based on this book and all the Twitter reviews, I added it my list. I'm sure I will need a box of Kleenex nearby. 
  • The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I actually purchased this book last summer with hopes of reading it. I'm determined to have this read by the end of September. 
So what are you reading this summer? 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Bucket List...

School is almost out for my teens which will be my official kickoff to summer. So what are you going to do with the kids this summer? Mine rather be with their friends instead of with boring mom. There are some things I want to do over the summer, so I made a bucket list. I'm terrible with lists. I make a to do list everyday and I'm lucky if I cross off 2 items that are on my list. But I made a bucket list anyway.

  Outdoor concert

 1. Go to an outdoor concert. The picture above is when Lydia and I sat outside at Wine Styles and listened to this colorful girl sing and play her keyboard. Love her tip jar!
 2. Read my 4 summer reading books plus the 2 books that have been in my Nook library for a long time.
 3. Go to the Asheboro Zoo.
 4. Go for a hike.
 5. Go bike riding with my family. My husband pumped air in my tires so my Schwinn is ready to go!
 6. Buy a picnic basket.
 7. Take the picnic basket on a picnic.
 8. Play a game of corn hole. It's a Southern thing y'all! We called it toss across back in the day.
 9. Perfect a pitcher of sangria.
10. Go fishing
11. Run a 5K
12. Take tennis lessons.
13. Invite friends over for drinks and tapas on my patio.
14. Buy a fire pit
15. Make a killer cheese, olives, and cracker platter.
16. Go to an outdoor movie.
17. Eat a snowball with marshmallow.
18. Visit the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh
19. Stop by a Farmer's Market stand on the way back from the beach.
20. Kayak with my husband. This time try not to panic when our kayak faces the opposite of the group.
21. Do a DIY project with my daughter that involves tie dye, rhinestones, or fabric paint.
22. Take the dog to the dog park. She needs a new friend.
23. Make a halo/crown out of flowers, twigs and twine. Wear it and pretend I'm a flowerchild and have my teenagers call me weird.
24. Finally buy a copy of Uptown Saturday Night and laugh like it's my first time watching it.

What's on your summer bucket list? I will be checking in with you guys as I check things off of my list.

The idea from this post came from How Sweet Eats.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Hip Jewels Sale...

Hey All! If you haven't heard on our Facebook Page or Twitter page, Sydney Austin Designs is having an end of May jewelry sale! Take 25% off all jewelry in our etsy boutique. Enter coupon code MEMORIAL25 at checkout. Hurry sale ends 5/31. Go here to stock up on your summer jewelry! Check out the new jewels below that have recently been listed in our boutique.

Cowrie Shells
I love designing with cowrie shells for the summer. Great for the bohemian free spirit girl.
Rustic rough crystal quartz. Great for wire wrapping. The amethyst is gorgeous!
The long necklace is the perfect layering piece. 
Statement Necklace
Awesome statement necklace for a summer wedding. The colors are so yummy! One of a kind. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Beginning Metals...

Hey All!

Last Autumn I took a Beginning Metals class at Sawtooth School for Visual Art located in Winston Salem, NC. It was an 8 week class taught by the talented Brittany Sondberg. Check out her work here. It was time for me to step up my designs a notch. I've always wanted to learn how to solder, saw, forge sheet metal into something beautiful. I learned how to use some amazing tools such as a rolling mill and hydraulic press. I learned some awesome jewelry making techniques such as riveting and  stone setting. I gained a wealth of information from this class. This summer or Autumn I plan on taking another Metals class. Take a look at some of the things I made. I'm hoping one day soon to schedule studio time at Sawtooth so I can make more hip jewels to sell in my etsy boutique.

Results from using a Rolling Mill and Hydraulic Press. Final product: Earrings.
Chain Making.
Handmade pendant using tab stone setting
Completely handmade necklace. So pleased! I wear this a lot.
Copper earrings I made using a German saw, file, and Rolling Mill. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Taste of Art...

Hey All!

Last year I purchased a Living Social for a Taste of Art class held at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art which is located in Winston Salem, NC. A Taste of Art is a fun evening learning something new such as ceramics, painting, digital art, or jewelry making. The Taste of Art class I wanted to take was the Copper Earring Class. It was very popular. Although I purchased the Living Social deal last Spring, I didn't take the class until this past Autumn. The instructor of the Copper Earring class was Annie Grimes Williams. If you are not familiar with her work, check her out here. Her work is amazing. The class was so much fun that I signed up to take a metalsmithing class. Post about that class coming soon!  This was my first time using a torch!  I'm excited for you to see what I made in the Taste of Art class. I really let me creative juices flow! Check it out below.

Annealing. First time using a torch.
Filing, hammering and adding texture to my copper pieces.
Copper earrings
The final results! So pleased with what I can do with my hands!
These are currently not for sale. I kept them for myself and to use a model when I start to add these to my designs. Since I do not have a lot of the tools used to porduce these, I will have to schedule studio time to design more. To pat my own self on the back, everytime I wear these, I receive lots of compliments.