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Danielle Miller Jewelry
P.O. Box 8514
Greenville, SC 29604
USA

 

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Greenville, SC
USA

864-905-3646

Bridal and contemporary jewelry handmade by Danielle Miller in Greenville, SC - Inspired by geometry and nature - Using conflict-free diamonds, moissanites and recycled metals.

Danielle Miller Jewelry - BLOG

A Silver Anniversary Adventure

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

DonAndLorie.jpg

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting (and teaching) Don and Lorie. Don had reached out to me, inquiring about my Wedding Ring Workshop. He and Lorie were about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and he was planning a special trip. I hope you enjoy their sweet story as much as I did... 

I was put in charge of our 25th anniversary trip and had plenty of time to plan, so I wanted to make it a special adventure for both of us to remember. I put together a series of chests with themes and gifts to highlight our stops on the trip and our years of marriage together.

Starting our Theme Trip

Starting our Theme Trip

We have always enjoyed Chattanooga, TN so that is where I began our adventure with a Train Theme: staying on track...

Train Theme….staying on track (Chattanooga)

Train Theme….staying on track (Chattanooga)

My wife’s wedding band had become misplaced many years back and we had been without them for far too long. Over the past few years she had hinted that she would like for us to have wedding bands again. My goal was not just to get new wedding bands along the way.---Which I could buy at any store, but to somehow find rings that would be more personal to both of us. When I found Danielle Miller and her Workshop online, I knew this was the perfect solution! Danielle's Greenville, SC studio would be our halfway point and the highlight of our trip!

King & Queen Theme…be as one - as a ring makes a full circle (Greenville)

King & Queen Theme…be as one - as a ring makes a full circle (Greenville)

When I presented Lorie with this trunk's theme (King and Queen Theme: to be as one - as a ring makes a full circle), she said "I have no earthly idea what today's journey entails!"

Silver Rings for a Silver Anniversary!

Silver Rings for a Silver Anniversary!

She was completely surprised and we both thoroughly enjoyed making our rings for one another. Danielle was a blessing the entire time, guiding us through the process.

We now have a finished product that is not only an example and representation of our love for one another for 25 years, but is very personal because of the time and hands that created them!

History Theme…25 years of history (Charleston)

History Theme…25 years of history (Charleston)

We have always wanted to visit Charleston, SC. So that was naturally the next stop on our journey... with a History Theme: 25 years of history.
And we completed our trip with a Key theme: Family is the key!
Keys Theme….who ever your family is

Keys Theme….who ever your family is

Thanks to Don and Lorie for sharing their story and I wish them another 25+ years of happiness together! 

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True love made in the Mountains...

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

Aaron & Shannon's palladium rings made by Danielle Miller Jewelry. Photo credit: Jeff Woodward.

Aaron & Shannon's palladium rings made by Danielle Miller Jewelry. Photo credit: Jeff Woodward.

Several months ago, Aaron contacted to to make a palladium chiseled wedding ring for him. After receiving it, his fiancé Shannon decided she wanted a matching band but she had an unusual shaped rose cut diamond engagement ring. After discussing a few design options with her, Shannon decided to have me re-work her engagment ring and to have the chiseled wedding band notched to protect the stone. Both Aaron and Shannon were happy customers: "The rings are AMAZING! Everything I could have wished for, so stunningly unique. Thank you so much!"

They were kind enough to share their love story with me...

Aaron and Shannon met in 2014 while they were both working at Eastern Mountain Sports. Shannon had recently moved to Burlington, VT for Medical School and Aaron, a nursing student at the time, found ways outside of work to keep building on his connection with Shannon. He starting recommending good trails in the area and soon they began to meet for study breaks. He claimed he wanted to hear about Shannon's gross anatomy lab (cadaver dissection) over coffee and lunch dates at school---sweet yet gross!!

In January of 2015, they went on their first hike together in the Adirondack High Peaks. Shannon believes you can tell a lot about your compatibility with someone based on how they are as a hiking partner.---Aaron was great to hike with! Shortly after, Shannon asked Aaron if he wanted to go to India with her for a month on a global health experience. He said YES!

Their relationship continued to strengthen over the months, while in the Indian Himalayas and on vacation in Germany. They both knew after spending everyday with each other for 30+ days, almost dying together on terrifying roads, hiking in stunning landscapes and enjoying amazing Indian food, German beer and pastries together that they wanted to marry each other.---But that seemed like a future adventure.

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On September 5th 2015, Aaron and Shannon decided to camp for a night at "Sunset Ledge", a VT hiking spot duly named.  While looking at some of the brightest stars, Aaron got up on one knee and proposed. Shannon had to ask if he was serious a few times before saying YES! The proposal was unplanned (no ring---that would come later) but absolutely perfect, they were alone in the woods in warm September weather looking at a clear night's sky.

Almost two years have gone by since their engagement and Shannon and Aaron's relationship continues to strengthen. Aaron is now a RN working in the hospital and Shannon is in her last year of med school. They recently completed the Adirondack 46 High Peaks together---a few weeks before their wedding!

Photo credit: Jeff Woodward.

Photo credit: Jeff Woodward.

They love to mountain bike, rock climb, backpack and cook with each other. They look forward to enjoying their last year in Vermont and hopefully moving out West to explore bigger mountains next year for Shannon's pediatric residency.

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Wedding photography: Jeff Woodward
All other photos courtesy of Shannon & Aaron
Rings: Danielle Miller Jewelry

New Work - 3xR February 2017

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

Progress! The second month of the 3xR 2017 jewelry challenge is under my belt! I made four more new pieces in February using stones I have been hoarding for years. All these lovely gem stones  are one-of-a-kind so if you envision them in your spring wardrobe, click the links to make them yours! :)

I'm back ... With a new jewelry challenge!

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

WOW. I haven't blogged in over a year. 
There are MANY reasons why....
I am trying to get back on track now.

In the past, I have participated in some very inspirational jewelry design challenges that were organized by my fellow EtsyMetal members. A new challenge/inspiration is just what I need right now! So I am participating in the 2017 Rx3 challenge: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I will attempt to create one jewelry piece every week for the entire year using old stones, pieces-parts, half finished projects, old sketches, etc.

Here are the first four pieces I created for this project - using stones I have in stock for years:

Stay tuned for more new work! 

Handcrafted Jewelry or Commercial Jewelry? The Choice is Yours...

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

In a previous post discussing smart jewelry decisions, I touched on the value of handcrafted jewelry versus mass produced commercial jewelry. While there are pros and cons to both, obviously I lean more toward artisan pieces. But in the spirit of fairness, I’ve listed the pros of each to help you make your own decision.

Handcrafted

Stick and Stones Necklace and Earrings

Stick and Stones Necklace and Earrings

  • When you purchase handcrafted jewelry you’re getting an unique piece. Although I may offer a similar style for many years depending on what my clients want, each piece is slightly different because it's made individually and by hand. For example, while you may see someone else wearing a necklace from my Sticks and Stone collection, you can rest assured it won’t be exactly like the one you may own. 
  • Like so many other artists, I truly believe when buying from an individual you are doing something good for the planet. Unlike a big corporation where designing and churning out jewelry is based on nothing more than making the most money for the least investment, jewelry artisans care about where our gold, silver and stones come from. Plus, hopefully when you buy handcrafted you buy with the intent of keeping the piece for a lifetime, not just wearing it until the newest fad. This keeps less waste out of landfills and is better for Mother Earth. 
  • You are investing in someone’s dream. Many jewelry designers like other craftsmen struggle daily to balance paying the bills with doing what makes them happy. Purchasing a piece of handcrafted jewelry gives them the confidence and encouragement to continue to bring beauty into the world. 
  • Most artists have a story to tell---about their inspiration, technique or materials. The story continues when you purchase the piece---you become part of the story!

Commercial

  • You bought a pair of earrings from a nationally known retailer only to lose one a week later. Chances are pretty good that same store or another in their chain will be able to get you the same pair of earrings within days. (Although this may not be the case if you lose it a few seasons later since the fashion styles change so often.)
  • Are you a big impulse shopper? Then commercially produced jewelry definitely can satisfy that “must have it now” urge. 
  • Since mass produced jewelry manufacturers use commercial equipment often a piece bought from a department or jewelry store will have a higher sheen because it is has been machine polished with a heavy duty polisher. 

It is easy to see, there are pros for both. And while as a jewelry designer I would love for your jewelry box to be filled with nothing but custom pieces, I understand this isn’t realistic. But when you do want that something special…a custom piece as individual as you are, then seek out a jewelry artisan, someone who can create exactly what you are searching for. 

18k gold custom made ring using customer's heirloom stones by Danielle Miller Jewelry

18k gold custom made ring using customer's heirloom stones by Danielle Miller Jewelry


Tips for Making Smart Jewelry Decisions

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

When digging through your jewelry box how many rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings do you own but never wear? Some of those purchases perhaps were impulse buys while others were gifts celebrating special occasions. Then if you’re like most of us, you probably have a few pieces from past relationships just gathering dust. Start now by cleaning out your jewelry case, selling any pieces you no longer like, have the wrong sentimental value or know you’ll never wear. Just be forewarned, pre-owned jewelry, unless vintage, doesn’t have a very high resale value. 

Then be careful when storing all your jewelry together. Consider investing in lined compartmental boxes to avoid damaging your more delicate pieces. This will also keep necklaces from becoming tangled. And here’s a helpful tip to take care of those knotted chains. Lay the necklace on a piece of plastic wrap and apply a few drops of baby or mineral oil. Use a small needle to work out the tangles then clean with dish soap and warm water, drying thoroughly to prevent discoloration. 

Costume jewelry needs special love and attention, so it’s important to take steps to keep it from tarnishing. The majority of the stones in costume jewelry are glued in place so strong chemicals or soaking in water can loosen or damage the gems, plus exposure to water can affect the finish. When cleaning it’s best to wipe each piece off with a slightly damp cloth then gently dry before storing. Just use as little water as possible to keep these pieces from changing color, rusting or becoming dull. Or simply use a two-sided cleaning cloth to buff and polish. 

When buying commercial jewelry from a major retailer don’t ignore last season’s styles, often these pieces will be discounted 50 percent or more. One of the best tips when it comes to buying jewelry is never buy anything that you don’t know when or with what you’ll be wearing it. If you purchase something without having a plan, chances are pretty good it will end up in your jewelry box gathering dust. 

And finally don’t overlook the value in a handcrafted piece of jewelry versus a mass produced commercial piece. An individually crafted ring, bracelet, necklace or pair of earrings uniquely designed and constructed with meticulous attention to detail, make the value immeasurable. Searching for more information on the pros and cons of handmade jewelry? Please bookmark my site. In the coming weeks I’ll be posting an article on everything you need to know and more about buying handcrafted jewelry. 

Searching for the perfect piece no matter what the occasion or outfit? In addition to custom jewelry (many times updating your old tired jewelry), I also offer monthly trunk shows featuring new styles, limited edition pieces and discontinued designs.

Dissecting the Hottest Fall Colors

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

Each spring and fall Pantone releases their latest fashion color report, detailing the hottest new shades for the upcoming season. This fall they are proud to introduce, along with Marsala, a gorgeous terracotta red, that debuted earlier this year as the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year, nine additional colors, that if you’re like me, will make you want to ditch your old winter wardrobe and fill it with clothes and accessories resplendent in these mouthwatering shades. 

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GreenToumaline_GreenSapphire

Dried Herb - Perhaps not the best named color, Dried Herb is everything you think of when you think fall…and more. Organic, earthy and subtle, many reviews consider this shade to be military inspired; while others, myself included, lean more toward an androgynous unisex vibe. Dried Herb lends itself to becoming incorporated as a neutral would, allowing you to build your wardrobe around this one nature inspired sophisticated color.  

Desert Sage - What would fall be without a little sage? Oh wait…maybe that’s Thanksgiving I’m thinking of and all that yummy sage stuffing. Anyhoo, for your upcoming fall wardrobe Desert Sage is the perfect neutral. The greenish/gray tone has Mother Nature to thank for her inspiration. Resilient enough to be considered timeless, you’ll want to include this classic neutral throughout the entire season. 


CashmereRose_PinkSapphire

Cashmere Rose - Who says fall colors have to be dull and boring? Cashmere Rose pays homage to a gentler era, one full of soft pastels, flowing dresses, and wallpaper and upholstery featuring floral prints. There is no limit on how this tactile and muted pink color can be assimilated into your home and wardrobe. 


PeachMoonstone

Cadmium Orange - Were you around during the swinging 60’s? If so, this bright and playful orange will have you once again flashing the peace sign and frequently using the word “groovy.” And even if this era was before your time, trust me; Cadmium Orange will have you feeling peace, love and flower power even in the dead of winter. 

Oak Bluff - When you experience this shade for the very first time, you’ll think gold and yellow got married and had a baby! A very warm color that has its mellow side, Oak Bluff will give you hope no matter how cold and snowy the winter, spring is right around the corner. 


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Biscay Bay - The winter equivalent of summer turquoise, Biscay Bay shouts “blue,” then quickly whispers “green,” making you want to catch a plane to a sunny secluded tropic island with a sandy white beach and your own personal cabana boy. 

Stormy Weather - Introduce this dramatic shade to your home or wardrobe and you’ll be wandering around humming the melody to Lena Horne’s hit song by the same name. Not quite a blue, not quite a gray, the rich darkness suggests the type of quality that only comes with true luxury. 

Reflecting Pond - A blue so rich and deep it almost seems to be charcoal, Reflecting Pond is a shade with substance. This color isn’t wishy-washy. It lets you know it means business and is here to stay long past Fall 2015. 


AmethystOrchid_Amethyst

Amethyst Orchid - “Unique, bold, creative and exciting” the description used by Pantone fits this bright vibrant color to a tee. Additional verbiage would just be overkill. 


Searching for exciting new fall jewelry to help capture and enhance these gorgeous colors? Please check out my full line of bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces. Don’t see exactly what you had in mind? Contact me today and let’s discuss the custom piece of your dreams. 

Learn Bezel Setting with me on Craftsy

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

An amazing opportunity opened up for me early in 2015. I was approached by Craftsy.com, asking me if I would be interested in developing a stone setting teaching video. (Thanks to my talented friend, Joanna Golberg for referring them to me!) After a few months of working with them on class content, an outline and scripts, I flew to their Denver studios for filming. I was SO nervous!!! I have never been in front of a camera (in this case, multiple cameras) before. I needed to take a deep breath and to loosen up between scenes.---And yes! We had to do quite a few retakes on my monologs. Can you say "tongue tied?!!" But my film crew and everyone at craftsy were great to work with!  *WHEW*  I think I made it through okay---although I do wish I would have had a manicure before filming---my fingernails look horrible on camera! (Truth: most jewelers'  fingernails are not very pretty.)

Crafty's "Professional Bezel Setting Techniques" film crew: Jon, Danielle, Breken and Caleb.

Crafty's "Professional Bezel Setting Techniques" film crew: Jon, Danielle, Breken and Caleb.

What is Craftsy?
Craftsy offers online crafting classes, taught by instructors who love the craft as much as you do. Craftsy classes are available streaming online (from your computer or mobile devices) to you anytime you want for as long as you want. There are no scheduled class times, so you can enjoy them entirely on your own schedule. Each class is taught by an expert instructor and consists of several hours of high-definition (HD) video content ... but Craftsy classes are much more than just videos! While taking a Craftsy class, you can:

  • Ask your instructor questions, upload photos and get personalized responses
  • Participate in discussions with your classmates
  • Access supporting class materials - including material/tool lists, patterns, recipes and templates
  • Bookmark your favorite moments in the video so that you can easily re-watch them and take video notes that you can refer back to anytime

Who is my Craftsy video for?
My craftsy video class, "Professional Bezel Setting Techniques" will be beneficial to the beginner stone setter as well as the more advanced student. You will learn everything from a basic bezel setting using bezel wire; making and setting free form, fancy shaped and sharp cornered stones; hammer setting techniques for thicker walled bezels, as well as tab setting. By the end of this class you’ll understand how to set round, oval, square, marquise, pear, and irregular shapes; and confidently create professional-quality bezels as beautiful as the stones they house! You can also ask me questions in the video, share your projects and be inspired by other students.

Interested? If so, you can see a preview and purchase my class here:  "Professional Bezel Setting Techniques" 

Hammer Setting

Hammer Setting

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There are lots of interesting video classes on Craftsy.com. I highly recommend browsing their library! And as I mentioned earlier, my talented friend Joanna Golberg is the person who gave Craftsy my name as a potential instructor----and her video is AWESOME! Check out her "Solder Smarter" class! On a personal level, I can't wait to watch some of the gardening and cooking videos! These are on my "must see" list: "Designing Elegant Edible Gardens"  and "Big Bowls - Hearty Vegetarian Meals."

I hope you enjoy exploring Craftsy as much as I have!

Apples and Rose Gold....A Love Story

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

Photo courtesy of Timeless Moments

Photo courtesy of Timeless Moments

About the couple:
Soon after Jennifer relocated to Kitsap County, Washington for a fantastic job opportunity she joined the dating website, OKCupid, never realizing she would be meeting the love of her life. Steven had been on the same website for several years but had never met anyone as special as Jennifer. Their first date was the Friday after Labor Day in September 2013. An immediate connection, along with many common interests, gave them so much to talk about; that first special date ended up lasting over three hours!

As Jennifer and Steven continued dating, Steven began the arduous process of applying to graduate school, all with Jennifer's support. He was accepted to a program that would unfortunately be taking him out of Kitsap County. In early March, 2014 Steven asked Jennifer if she would consider moving with him. Of course, she said yes!  This began their first big cross-country adventure. After months of visiting friends and family as they traveled across the United States, they reached their intended destination and Steven settled into graduate school while Jennifer dived back into the corporate world.

On November 1, 2014, the fall season was winding down and Steven and Jennifer went to a local corn maze to explore. At a dead end in the maze, Steven proposed to Jennifer...with an apple! Jennifer and Steven had previously watched a YouTube video about the origins of diamond engagement rings and were inspired by a clip to get engaged with an apple. Steven asked Jennifer to marry him, then pulled an apple out of his jacket pocket and presented it to her. After she said YES, they shared that special apple together before turning around and figuring their way out.

Steven and Jennifer decided to hold a small intimate family wedding in Mount Pleasant, Michigan where they have settled together on their next new journey. The wedding was scheduled so to commemorate that first fateful decision to embark on their life together. Apples, of course, were highlighted in their first meal after the wedding.

About the Rings:
When it came to rings they knew they didn't want anything with a diamond or gem of any kind. While searching online, Jennifer fell in love with the facets of Danielle's design. Jennifer doesn't care for yellow gold, so they had decided on white gold until Steven suggested rose gold. Being from the great state of Arizona, Steven loves the state flag which prominently displays a copper star. He liked the idea of using rose gold because of the copper content in the alloy. Plus, since Jennifer's middle name is Rose, it seemed to be fate! 

But what of Steven's ring? Steven decided he wanted something similar to Jennifer's, but she said if the rings were going to match, the facets needed to be exact.  And that is where Danielle and her custom work came into play. Jennifer loved the size of the facets on the women's design but asked Danielle to make Steven’s ring with smaller facets so they were the same size. Because Danielle loves nothing more than a challenge when it comes to making and keeping her clients happy, she made a model so Jennifer and Steven could make sure it was what they wanted. Danielle continued to make changes throughout the process until both Jennifer and Steven were completely satisfied.  When the first one didn't come out to Danielle’s high standards, she recast it at no additional charge. Once the job was complete, Danielle also sent the happy couple a video of the ring…which was awesome!

The End…or we like to say…The Beginning of Our Wonderful New Life Together

We can’t thank Danielle enough for the thoroughness, openness to design collaboration, and fantastic craftsmanship. The result is two fabulous rings that will be treasures for us for years to come, thank you so much. :)
— Jennifer
Jennifer and Steven

Jennifer and Steven


Chandelier Earrings - Flirty and Fun for Spring

Danielle Miller-Gilliam

Designed to mimic an ornate hanging chandelier and created with Art Deco and Middle Eastern influences, chandelier earrings originally held vertical dangling strands of glass crystals, rhinestones, diamonds or other sparkling jewels. These earrings gently undulated with the wearers’ every move and were usually worn to complement evening wear. 

Citrine - Raw Surface Chandelier Earring

Citrine - Raw Surface Chandelier Earring

Now chandelier earrings are an everyday fashion staple. Short, mid-length, long or even lightly brushing the shoulder, chandelier earrings can be dressed up or down depending on the design, length and materials selected.

Go boho chic with longer earrings made from beads and lightweight woods while a shorter design crafted from silver or gold and accented with subtle gemstones is a good choice for casual daywear. And while some fashion experts believe chandelier earrings don’t present a professional look, others say as long as they are understated and additional jewelry is kept to a minimum they are fine worn with office attire. 

Long Sticks And Stone Earrings with Amethyst

Long Sticks And Stone Earrings with Amethyst

 “My hair is too long...too short…my face is too round…too square…my neck is too thick…too skinny…to wear this style of earring;” these are all reasons women give when avoiding dangling earrings. All it takes is the correct pairing of earring for the shape of your face and hairstyle to own the look. 

A round face can benefit from long narrow earrings while an elongated, heart or diamond shaped face does better with a wider broader design. Go bold when you have long hair and want to wear chandeliers; you want the design to stand out. But if shorter hair is your thing then select earrings that stop at the jawline. Anything longer will detract from both the hairstyle and your facial features. 

Lately I’ve been trying my hand at an entire new line of longer earrings that I would love for you to explore: chandelier. See something you like but want them to be a bit more personalized? Shoot me an email and let’s make it happen.