Showing posts with label San Gennaro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Gennaro. Show all posts

Friday, September 5, 2014

New Jewelry Items for San Gennaro Festival

It seems like time has flown since I was accepted as a sponsor/vendor for next week's San Gennaro Festival in New York.  I have been working from sun up until the wee hours of the night making jewelry for this event.  It has been a lot of work but I'm not complaining.  Thankfully, I love to make jewelry!

Being the creature of habit that I am, even though I am making tons of jewelry for the festival, I don't have it in me to make several hundred pieces of the exact same item.  So - while I am making several hundred pieces of things like domino pendants featuring San Gennaro, for the most part, the necklaces, charm bracelets, etc. that I am making are all one-of-a-kind in design.  Along that note, I want to show you some variations of necklaces I have made for the festival.  The basic design element is the same between this particular style of necklace, however, I utilized different images, beads and chain to complete the finished product.  So, without further ado - here are some of the bronze cameo necklaces I will be selling at the Festival:

Virgin Mary - made with new and vintage moonstone-style beads.

St. Mary Magdalen - made with Czech glass crystals.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha - Made with Swarovksi crystals.

St. Therese of Lisieux - made with hand-colored metal rose beads and crystals.

Virgin Mary - made with green jadeite milk-glass style crystals.

Virgin Mary - made with bronze metallic and champagne colored crystals.



These are just a few of the necklace variations made for the event.  All have adjustable necklace chains.

If time permits before I leave for NYC in a few days, I will post a tutorial or two on coloring and enameling metal jewelry pieces.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

San Gennaro Festival Poster, Kickstarter and Jewelry Designs in Process

The San Gennaro Festival poster for 2014 was added to the festival website the other day.  Wanda Maria Designs is listed as an official sponsor, right next to Fiat.  Let me tell you, that is one amazing feeling!  I feel like I have to pinch myself to wake up from this dream I am having!



On a related note, my project on Kickstarter is gaining some momentum.  I now have six backers for my project and there are still 21 days to go of my campaign.  Proceeds from this campaign will be used to purchase materials needed for custom orders I anticipate receiving at the San Gennaro Festival next month.  Those who sponsor me can receive an array of rewards from free jewelry to a day with me in my home studio, among other things.  Please stop by and check it out.  No contribution amount is too small, and every little bit helps me towards reaching my goal.

I have been quite busy working on new jewelry designs for the show.  I didn't have a lot of time to prepare as I just received notification of my sponsorship a couple of weeks ago.  Needless to say, I am working on designs from the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed late at night.  Thankfully, I enjoy creating jewelry, so even though I am "working", it's not the same as having to experience the drudgery of a typical 9 to 5 job (like the one I used to have.)  :)  Pictured below are resin pendants in the process of being made:







Please stay tuned for updates as there are lots more to come!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Introducing Wanda Maria Designs and the San Gennaro Festival in NYC!!!


Life is quite interesting at times - and that is an understatement!

For several months, I have been planning to go to New York in September, 2014 in order to promote my jewelry business, and I ended up receiving the opportunity of a lifetime.   My business will be a sponsor and vendor of the Annual San Gennaro Festival in New York's Little Italy.  This is a big deal as the special sponsor/vendor status is granted to only 12 businesses each year.  The promoter informed me that they have not previously had any businesses which make handmade Catholic and faith-based jewelry participate in the event.   They felt I would be the perfect addition to the festival. Needless to say, they really bent over backwards in working with me to bring me on board.  I can't tell you how very excited I am about being able to participate in this event, which is expected to attract between 1.5 and 1.75 million visitors this year.  This is a huge networking opportunity for me.  I will meet hundreds of thousands of people; in addition, the promoter informed me that one of the large Italian Fashion Houses will be helping with the event.  The Fashion House works strictly with jewelry and clothing designers.  I am very excited about getting to meet them while I am there.  One never knows what could happen.... *fingers crossed*.

San Gennaro - patron saint of Naples, Italy and blood banks.


I have been thinking about rebranding my business name of "Two Crafty Mules" for awhile now.  It was a cute name when we started the business in 2000.  At the time, we were making everything from dolls to quilts to jewelry and other sorts of homey, crafty things.  As the business evolved, it essentially became a business that sells primarily mixed-media and faith-based jewelry designs.  Two Crafty Mules no longer encompasses the type of product designs I make and sell.  In order to better capture the spirit of my handmade jewelry, "Two Crafty Mules" is being rebranded as "Wanda Maria Designs".   The Etsy store name has been changed to accommodate the name change, and a new website is being developed.  The Facebook page - which is currently a work in progress - has been set up here.  This blog will remain as "Two Crafty Mules" and will continue to share craft projects, tutorials, recipes and the like, as will the Two Crafty Mules Facebook page.  The "Wanda Maria Designs" page will focus more on sharing new jewelry designs to accommodate those who are interested in just the fashion aspect of my business without all of the crafting.  Confusing?  I hope not.  My main goal is to keep my customers and blog followers from the past as I garner new ones through "Wanda Maria Designs".


The logo for "Wanda Maria Designs"

Until the new website is set up, I will continue to share new jewelry designs on this blog.

I thank you for your past support, and I appreciate you sticking with me as I go through this exciting transition.

By the way - to help me launch "Wanda Maria Designs" on a nationwide level, I have started a project in Kickstarter.  Please feel free to stop by and check it out.  Any support you can offer will be much appreciated.  Those who support me there will have the opportunity of receiving FREE jewelry pieces from me, including, but not limited to lovely pieces like these:











I hope to "see" you there!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Naples - St. Gennaro Festival, San Gregorio Armano and Shopping Galore


When we were in Rome, we heard that we should be very careful when visiting Naples (the next stop on our destination) because it had a reputation for being dangerous.  We were even told we probably wouldn't like it there.  In actuality, Naples ended up being one of our favorite stops on the trip.

We stayed at a hotel called Hotel Maison Degas in the historic district of Naples.  First, the location is ideal as you are walking distance from many of the sites and shopping areas there.  Second, the owners of the hotel - Francesco and Emmaneula - are absolutely wonderful.  They were very friendly and accommodating to us during our stay.  We felt as though we were visiting with friends when we stayed at their establishment.  I highly recommend them if you ever visit Naples.  You will not be disappointed.

The view of the piazza from our hotel room - Hotel Maison Degas.


Naples has some wonderful shopping.  There are lots of little winding streets filled with shops and vendors; more than you can possibly visit in a short stay.  There are also several street vendors selling their wares.  You can bargain with the vendors and walk away with some great deals. 

Anthony and Brianna checking out produce in Naples.

A butcher shop in Naples.  Yum!




One of my favorite places to shop in Naples is on San Gregorio Armeno.  There are hundreds of shops on this little street.  This neighborhood is known for their nativity sets (known as "presepe" in Italian.)  There are many variations of handmade presepes here, in many different sizes.  This is also a good location to find handmade Italian souvenirs. For doll makers, there is a shop that sells various clay and ceramic body parts if you want to make your own creations. During my visit to this area, I watched a shop owner meticulously paint nativity figures.  I also found some gorgeous mini Virgin Mary statues which I purchased and will eventually use in 3-D jewelry creations. 

The shops on San Gregorio Armeno are packed to the gills with goodies for purchase.


Hand painting nativity sets - one by one.
Doll making parts are available by the thousands.


One of the biggest celebrations in Naples occurs on San Gennaro's feast day.  San Gennaro is the patron saint of Naples.  Most of the shops and businesses are closed that day; most of the city participates in the all-day celebration.  Thousands of people crowd into the Duomo Naples Cathedral to watch for the liquefaction of the saint's blood - a tradition which dates back to the 1300's.  From there, the crowds filter into the church to view the vial of blood and light candles while praying for the saint's intercession.  I was thrilled to be able to participate in this celebration.  It was quite beautiful and awe-inspiring to see so many people come together in peace and reverence.

The faithful line up to see San Gennaro's relic.

A side view in the Duomo of San Gennaro.

The faithful light candles asking for the saint's intercession.


Naples is known for it's delicious food and handmade, brick oven baked pizza.  I have to tell you - we ate pizza many times during our stay here.  It was fantastic.  Of course, it didn't hurt that a pizza establishment was located right across the street from our hotel. :)  In addition, there is some wonderful street food that is too good to pass up.  We had some tasty potato croquettes and arancini (fried rice and meat balls) made by Pizzeria Giuliano.  They were out of this world!  Last, but certainly not least, we also indulged in some handmade pastries that you really can find only in Italy.

Handmade brick-oven baked pizza!

Delicious pastries.


In my opinion - Naples is a "must see" kind of place.  I look forward to visiting again in the (hopefully) near future.  Next - a final highlight of the last stops on our trip and then back to the arts and crafts where this blog is concerned. :)


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