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Daily Ways to Dress in Costume

  • Oct 8 2014

It's full-on October and Halloween is soon to arrive at everyone's doorsteps in the form of young trick-or-treaters and party event invitations on Facebook for those of us past the stage to accept free candy from strangers but still not "old" enough to stop celebrating what truly is the most awesome holiday of the year. Even the most "mature" of us adults are contemplating playing dress up, grateful for the excuse.

Not sure what you want to dress up as this year? The great news is that you don't have to wait until October 31st to try on your favorite characters or roles, because you can do it all month long in more subtle, but effective ways. Deciding who you want to be for a day, can be as simple as adding a few accessories and wearing an unusual shade of lipstick. Those who notice will enjoy your sense of festivity, and those who don't will simply wonder why you're looking extra radiant, without being able to tell that it's because you're channeling a super hero or fairy princess, they'll just notice how fantastic you look. Here are a few outfit board to inspire you...


Pirate Outfit

Includes Pirate Earrings and Leather Necklace

Work of Art

Work of Art

Includes Painter's Palette Earrings

Contemporary Hippie

Contemporary Hippie

Includes Diamond Earrings, Tribal Designs Bracelet, and Tribal Headband.

Casual Mermaid

Casual Mermaid

Includes Anchor Earrings and Mermaid Necklace

Pop Star

Pop Star

Includes Pink Hoop Earrings

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Book Review: Be Absorbed by Tana French

  • Sep 30 2014

I love an author that can grab me by the wrists and shove me head-first into a world of an intense story and lead me to falling in love with characters who are so real I can't believe they come from a work of fiction.

Tana French does all this and more.

Reeling from my last Gillian Flynn novel, and scrabbling to find something as equally gripping, I decided to pick up the first novel in Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, In the Woods. And there was no looking back once I did.

The 5 novels within the series (ending with The Secret Place) are each surprising and griping with the intricacies of their character development and their thrilling twists of plot. Most of all, they contain a level of emotional intelligence, giving glimpse into the keen observation skills Tana must certainly possess.

Also surprising was the realistic and gritty portrayal of Ireland in these novels. After visiting the country myself this past summer, I can see how easy it would be to make the place out to be a scene of nothing but magical, glossy fairy tales with purely happy endings. But Tana doesn't shy away from the dark places, and rough edges of Dublin and its surrounding small Irish towns. Yet, while being dark enough to reach the point of including child murder and touching on what it's like to deal with psychopaths and their manipulative abilities, she also includes the heartwarming touches of friendship, love, and family bonds in a way that really expresses their true power in combating the darkness that can surround them.

So if you are looking for your next can't-put-it-down read, start with In The Woods. Seriously. You can thank me later.

Trending this Season: Southwest Design

  • Sep 19 2014

Southwest, tribal-meets-cowgirl design is timeless and effortless--plus--it's super hot right now. No reason you shouldn't join in on the fun.

Southwest Fashion Trend

(Featuring the new Southwest bracelet.)

Southwest style offers a touch of rustic, down-to-earth effortlessness to any ensemble. So you can feel hip and attractive with these garments and accessories without feeling like you're over doing it. If you're unsure and you just want to dip your toe into this western-inspired trend, a single accessory such as our bracelet is the perfect way to feel it out.

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Picture day? Bring it on.

  • Sep 10 2014

Camera-friendly jewelry that will flatter you in photographs.

Whether its the new badge for your latest job or the new student ID for the upcoming school year, September can be a high-pressure month for capturing your likeness. Between deciding what clothes to throw on and how to fix your hair, you have one other important decision: what jewelry should you wear? I may not be good at a lot of other things (like running marathons or preparing Parmesan chicken), but I know jewelry. This is something I can help you out with.

For starters, you're going to want to wear jewelry pieces that will actually show up in the photographs. As lovely as delicate and dainty slivers of chain or tiny rhinestone ear stud sparkles can be, they're often invisible in wallet/bio size shots. In this case, bigger is truly better--at least to a reasonable, and noticeable point.

That point being: you want jewelry pieces that will flatter and suit your face and the neckline of your top. Massive statement earrings are awesome on the runway, but can make your head appear shrunken in a 4 by 6. Better to choose a length that frames your face and coordinates with your hair style (the longer the hair the longer and larger are the earrings you can get away with, if you have it let down, that is.) Likewise, you'll want the level of "statement" your necklace makes to contrast that of your blouse or dress top. A Loud-with-a-capital-"L" shirt calls for a more subtle, complimentary necklace in simple mod design, white a simple white T or plain beige shell looks awesome with a bold, chunky neck party with lots of layers and bright, shimmering color.

What to Wear on Picture Day

Finally, pay attention to the length of you necklace and where it rests in position to your top. You either want it to be shorter and rest above the seam of your blouse, whether it can prettily show off your skin tone and neckline, or lengthy and well past the point of where it crosses your collar. When pieces rest right on the seam of your collar it's a weird fit and looks awkward, particularly if it makes the necklace's pendant protrude at an unintentional angle.

Finally, when considering shades, note that darker generally shows up on photographs better than shades of white, however, if you want to show off that fab tan you worked on all summer, some brighter shades may present a stronger contrast.

You don't have to stress over matching your earrings to your necklace and to your bracelet. However, you do want to keep metallic tones (silver, gold, gunmetal) the same, unless all of the pieces purposely intermix. The same is often true of color families, though of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.

The most important thing you can wear on picture day? Your smile. Keep it genuine and express your inner positive energy with those teeth - it will be noticed and remembered most of all.

Necklaces included in this post:

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Trending this Season: Fringe Clothing and Accessories

  • Aug 22 2014

Fringe is all the rage this season.

It's flowing from our bags, decorating our jackets, swirling at the bottom of our skirts, woven into our hair, and dangling from our ears.

Fringe for Fall

The whole ambiance these clothes and accessories emulate stems from a place of free spirit, in touch with nature, and possessing a down-to-earth love of fashion. The movement of these pieces will have you ready to hit the dance floor, sprint to your next destination, and otherwise feel more alive.

To complete your fringe look for fall, add your favorite pair of beaded earrings from Megan's Beaded Designs. Here are just a few to get you thinking:

beaded fringe earrings
Black Fringe Earrings - $27

beaded fringe earrings
Silver Fringe Earrings - $9

beaded fringe earrings
Camo Fringe Earrings - $16

beaded fringe earrings
Smoky Fringe Earrings - $16

beaded fringe earrings
Pink and Gray Fringe Earrings - $12

beaded fringe earrings
Green and Ivory Fringe Earrings - $12

beaded fringe earrings
Green and Black Fringe Earrings - $12

Browse our entire earring collection to complete your fall look here.

You'll Fall for This Jewelry Collection

  • Aug 12 2014

A number of new additions have taken their place within the current Rebecca Collection of artisan jewelry and hair accessories.

And they are just in time for fall.

The necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets work perfectly with layered autumn combinations. You can pair the deep maroon and sand colored items with your favorite plaid skirt, or slip them over or under black leather to arm yourself against the cooling temperatures of the season. Each jewelry selection within this collection is undeniably perfect for fall.

Fall Chevron Necklace
Chevron Banner Necklace - $44

Each of these pieces can be worn on their own, or they can be layered together. Stacking your favorite bracelets or rings together can create a personalized look that is all your own.

Stacked Beaded Bracelets
Bracelets - $18 to $44
Stacking Beaded Rings
Stacking Rings - $6 each

Ready to fall in love with with these trend-sustaining pieces? View the complete collection here.

Blogger Giveaways Happening Now

  • Aug 7 2014

Interested in winning some free jewelry from Megan's Beaded Designs? There are a couple of giveaways happening in the blogosphere RIGHT NOW that are giving you the opportunity. Fashion bloggers can't get enough of our handmade jewelry, and want to share with you the chance to add some extra pieces to your own collection.

For starters, you can hop on over to the UK-based fashion and beauty blog, BEAUTY AND RAGS to enter to win one of our adjustable beaded bracelets:

Contest ends 8/20

Secondly, you can check out the review and giveaway for one of our miniature tea cup rings on the fun fashion blog, The Diary of Danielle.

Contest ends 8/13

Shop where these handmade jewelry pieces came from and much more right here on Megan's Beaded Designs.

Choosing Your Fashion Trends

  • Jul 25 2014

Even though it's become trendy to proclaim that you "don't follow trends," the reality of this ironic concept is that most of us can't help it.

Trends are like the seasoning of a meal. We find them sprinkled through the stores we buy from, the fashion advice we adhere to, and the media we consume.

Some of them rub off on us and we think to ourselves, "Hey! I really like that!" while others never can quite get our attention, no matter how widespread they become.

(I never did give into the move towards skinny jeans. My boot cuts and flare legs work just fine for me thankyouverymuch.)

Sometimes we take on a trend with full-force embrace.

Remember the black and platinum hair style that was all the rage in 2004? Yeah, I'm glad I didn't jump on that one. Because except for the few people who really could rock the skater-punk-princess look, most of the people who headed for the salons now look at their old MySpace pictures from that time and grimace with regret.

So how can you judge? What if you like a trend but don't want to end up regretting it later?

To Trend or Not to Trend?

While you can never be 100% safe from regret and still make trendy purchases, there are a few ways you can avoid wasting your money on pieces that you won't wear after the year they're "in."

First of all: is the trend EVERYWHERE? The way trend work is that they are first taken on by a special, small crowd of early adopters. They test out new idea or look, and if they like it, word spreads and the trend starts to catch on to the greater masses. Essentially, when it gets to the point where everybody and their dog is rocking some kind of mustache accessory, then you can bet mustaches are on their way out. If keeping "with the times" is important to you, then its best to steer clear of anything widespread.

(Besides, you're a unique and special snowflake my darling, why would you even WANT to be wearing what everyone else is wearing?)

Second of all: does the trend flatter YOU?

As much as I love pin-up looks, when it came out in full-force in 2012 I hesitated to buy certain pieces that wouldn't pair as well with my B-cup figure as they would the bombshell models rocking the items. Essentially, anything that required some cleavage to pull off was out for me. If you can't make a trend work with what you've got, don't sweat it.

Finally: does this trend express and enhance your personal style?

When everyone else is wearing something you're not into, don't feel like you are in the wrong. Always, no matter what, stay true to you. If you aren't sure what you're personal style is, simply pay close attention to your gut reactions when you first come into contact with a new style or trend. Does this look turn you on or off? Does that piece feel like "you" or like someone else? Can you envision yourself wearing this trend, instagraming the crap out of it, and viewing pictures of yourself rockin' it years down the road?

While it doesn't hurt to be a tad commitment shy, I do encourage you to free yourself from the binds of CLASSIC ONLY and try out some new trends. Who knows, you may decide you love the mustache accessories more than you thought, and you don't give a damn if they aren't new enough to be considered "hip."

Music Festival Fashion

  • Jul 15 2014

Summer provides the perfect season to enjoy long days and weekends with your favorite live music blaring from the stages around you. That's right: music festivals have entered the scene!

This combination of sun, style, and outdoor enjoyment does come with its own fashion challenges, however. While you want to dress in line and in celebration of the performance genre you've come to participate in, you also want to make it through the day without your feet screaming in pain or your skin blistering form 3rd degree sunburns.

Trust me, I know from experience.

Funny story: when attending my first WARP TOUR back in 2006, I made a couple of very terrible fashion decisions, that, at the time, had felt like perfect sense. For starters, I wore heels. Stilettos, in fact. I know, I know. I should have KNOWN. But they were very punk pink and black boot heels, that laced up like sneakers and felt just so fitting for the music scene we were hitting.

2nd mistake: we didn't think about sunscreen. When you're a Casper-like individual such as me, this is a huge NO-NO.

Finally, I wore fishnet stockings. While this in itself wasn't a bad idea, the combination of the fishnets with the lack of sunscreen equaled a not-so-flattering sunburn/tan on my legs for the rest of the summer. Double oops.

So to avoid turning into the foot-cramping lobster that I became after my own first outdoor music festival, I urge you to head my advice: you can still look cute, support your favorite bands, and avoid the possibility of pain. Take your sunscreen with you, top your look off with a big, floppy sun hat, and rock footwear that you can stand moshing in all day and night long.

Music Festival Look

Featured in this outfit:

Sunglasses Earrings
Slick Summer Shades Earrings - $7.00

Adjustable Brown and Tan Summer Bracelet - $47.00

Rebecca Collection: Triangle Ring - $17.00

Sand and Maroon Beaded Ring
Rebecca Collection: Beaded Sand and Maroon Ring - $17

Bronze Skinny Ring
Bronze Skinny Ring - $6.00

Summer Reading List

  • Jul 9 2014

It's that time of year when the outdoors is calling and the sun is blazing. Having fun in its rays is one way to enjoy the freedom of the season. (Just watch out for UV overdoses!)

Taking a good book along is perfection when you're just wanting some time to yourself to submit to an afternoon of relaxation. Now that hectic, busy-body spring is behind us, summer invites us to indulge in late evenings of iced tea, glowing skin, and great stories.

I can think of no better way to enjoy this time of year than by picking up a good book to absorb myself in.

My assistant and I put our heads together, and we came up with the following list of recommendations:

The Time Travelers wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Land of the Blind by Jess Walter

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

A Thousand Splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini

The Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

In the Woods by Tana French

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet

The Glimmer Palace by Beatrice Colin

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

Sashenka by Simon Montefiore

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Enjoy your summer and Happy Reading!