Jun 192014

Join Us August 9 & 10 2014 on the Cape May Promenade!

VAEL Designs will be at the 37th Annual Cape May Promenade Craft Show on August 9th and 10th from 10AM – 5PM both days.

We will have all your favorite items:

CM-NL-44-Cape-may-Diamond-NecklaceSterling Silver Wire Wrapped Cape May Diamonds

Locally found Sea Glass made into beautiful earrings and pendants

Locally found shells that have been transformed into gorgeous pieces of jewelry

And much much more!

Sep 092012

Please  come visit us at the St. Gregory the Great Craft Show in Hamilton NJ!  We will have loads of custom designs and one of a kind pieces for you to see and a whole line of Cape May Jewelry that is new for this year!


Saturday November 10th, 2012

9AM – 3PM

St. Gregory the Great Parish Community Center

4680 Nottingham Way

Hamilton, NJ 08690

Jul 272012

Recently I made a custom necklace and earring set for The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science – New Jersey (ASCLS-NJ) that they presented during their annual national ASCLS meeting in Los Angeles, CA.

Amazonite and Cape May Diamond Wire Wrapped Necklace and Earring Set

Amazonite and Cape May Diamond Wire Wrapped Necklace and Earring Set


This set was made using amazonite and Cape May Diamonds that were found on the beach and polished by us.  The Cape May Diamonds were then wire wrapped in sterling silver.  The necklace was completed with a hand forged sterling silver clasp to match the wire wrapped stones.

A little about ASCLS-NJ: The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), as the preeminent organization for clinical laboratory science practitioners, provides dynamic leadership and vigorously promotes all aspects of clinical laboratory science practice, education and management to ensure excellent, accessible cost-effective laboratory services for the consumers of health care. If you would like to learn more about ASCLS-NJ, please visit their website at www.ascls-nj.org.

Feb 062012

Please  come visit us at the St. Gregory the Great Craft Show in Hamilton NJ!

Saturday March 3rd, 2012

9AM – 3PM

St. Gregory the Great Parish Community Center

4680 Nottingham Way

Hamilton, NJ 08690

Jan 312012

I do a lot of drilling of stones and sea glass to make many of the pieces we have on our website.  However it is always something I dread when I need to drill a geode, quartz or anything that is hard over mohs hardness of 6.5.  The reason I dread this is because the drilling can take up to  10 minutes depending on the thickness of the piece.  I am using a simple setup of drilling with a diamond coated drill bit and manually drilling the piece.  It seems to take a long time to get through any of these pieces.  So I can across something called a diamond core drill bit.  Basically it is the same drill bit coated with diamonds but has a hole through the center that is also coated with diamonds.  I decided to give this a try – here is a picture of the diamond core drill bit I bought:

Diamond Coated Core Drill Bit

Diamond Coated Core Drill Bit

This drill bit is 1.5mm so I could drill through some geodes I had ready to be made into pendants.  I gave it a try and was absolutely stunned when I was able to get through the first geode within about 30 seconds.  It was one that I had started drilling months back and gave up because my drill bit was almost burnt out.  I was only half way through it so I put it off to the side.  I tried another one and again got through it within a minute.  All told, I was able to drill through about 5 geodes within 5 minutes.  Not bad at all!  Now that the geodes are drilled, be on the look out for new Geode Druzy Pendants in our store!

Jan 292012
We are doing a GIVE-AWAY! Once we hit 500 likes on our Facebook page we will be giving away one of the pendants in our 2012 – 500 Likes on Facebook GIVE-AWAY album. All you need to do is like our page at http://www.facebook.com/VAELDesigns and once we hit 500 likes, we will choose a winner at random from those who like our page. One lucky winner will get their choice of either our geode pendant or our Yowah opal pendant listed below!
Yowah Opal and Matrix Pendant

Choice 1 - Yowah Opal and Matrix Pendant

Choice 2 - Agate Druzy Geode Pendant

Choice 2 - Agate Druzy Geode Pendant

Already like our Facebook page? Don’t worry! You are already entered so help spread the word and share this post!
Jan 282012

One of the challenges we face with engraving is finishing a beautiful engraved jewelry charm and then seeing that something is wrong with the wording, centering or just overall position.  The molds we now made that we talk about here really did help once we had a consistent setup file on our GEM-RX engraving machine.   However, from time to time we have to do a new setup and have the need to “test” the engraving before actually engraving the piece.  Since we are fairly new to engraving, we had no idea how to overcome this issue so we sacrificed a charm or two as test pieces and just sanded off the previous engraving to test the new setup.  It was time consuming to do this and there had to be a better way, so off I went to figure this out.

After a few searches on the internet, I saw people referencing engraving tape, but no one seems to sell it and I could not tell if that really did what I needed.  So, I embarked on an adventure and decided to experiment a bit.  I took plain old packing tape, the clear thicker kind to see if I could use that as a coating over the piece.  I knew I needed to make an impression on something but it had to be thick enough to not go through to the metal.  Therefore, I took 4 pieces of the packing tape and put them on top of each other, creating a much thicker piece of tape.  I then put it over the piece I was trying to engrave and cut it to size, just like I had coated the piece with plastic.  I put the piece in the jig, pushed the engraving button and held my breath as it did the engraving on the piece.  Once done, it was perfectly clear and I could see what it actually looked like engraved which was very impressive.  I carefully peeled back the tape to find it did not even mar or scratch the metal underneath.   I am putting this tidbit out there in hope this may help someone else!

Don’t forget to check out our cancer awareness bracelet line in which you can add your own custom engraved heart charm!

Jan 162012

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in NJ but it was COLD!  I do not believe it went above freezing yesterday and if it did, it was brief and only a few degrees.  We decided to take a drive down to the shore to check up on things and see the beaches and if there were any treasures waiting to be found.  We were quite surprised to see a bunch of folks walking on the  beaches as the wind just went right through you.  First we started at the bay side:

Ice that looed like broken glass from a distance

The wind whipped right through you if you walked the wrong way and at the waters edge looked like there was a ton of sea glass.  After closer inspection, I found that it was little pieces of ice that were forming as the waves hit the cold sand.  I decided to continue to walk down the beach as it was pebbled covered, to see if there was anything worth while.  The first thing I saw was a piece of green beach glass just waiting to be picked up:

Green Beach Glass on The Bay Beaches in Cape May County

My ears started to feel like they were about to fall off from the wind, so I have to remember next time to bring a hat or ear muffs when it is that cold out.  Sometimes even in the spring the wind is so chilling that you need something to cover your ears, so imagine below freezing weather with a nice strong wind hitting you in the face!  Before I turned around to go back, I saw something sparkling in the sun:

Cape May Diamond Shining in the Sun

Hard to see in this picture but there was a nice clear Cape May Diamond in the center of the picture next to another semi-translucent Cape May Diamond.  When they are dry, they look slightly frosted but still let the sun light through as they are transparent and it catches your eye!  Sometimes at sunset you can see them better because they look like glowing stones.  After this nice find I headed back to a warmer place but not before noticing that further down the beach the foam I thought was the foam from the waves was actually all ice:

Ice Foam on the Bay in Cape May County

That was all I needed to see to head back home to warmth!  Spring cannot come come soon enough!

Jan 092012

A while back we purchased a nice GEM-RX engraving machine and when all our excitement over the machine was faded, the machine just sat.   It sat some more, and a little more until we decided to offer engraving services for our awareness line.  However, we had a problem with getting the pretty flat sterling silver heart to stay in the same spot every time. What that meant was that I had to do an entirely new setup file every single time to make sure the engraving was perfect.  And in the beginning, there were a lot of do overs because the heart was not in the exact position.  I ordered different jigs all over the place and even tried to carve one of the plastic jigs to fit my hearts.  In the end, there seemed to be no jig that fit my little pretty sterling silver hearts just right.

I thought about how to fix this as I knew I could not offer these hearts with engraving with all the work that was going into it behind the scenes.  Then, a light bulb went off!  AH HA!  I took a wonderful course and the instructor had made a little handle for a needle using something like Jett Sett.  I had used it a few times prior to hold my work but it did not work well for me so the can was put somewhere safe (aka…lost)  and out of site.  I was not sure exactly how I was going to make use out of it, but I gave it a try.  It took a few times but what I ended up doing is making a nice flat thick oval out of the Jett Sett.  I than carefully placed the jet set on my current metal jig on the engraving machine.  First problem was that it was immediately setting because of the cold metal.  So I decided to retry again by making a nice flat over and pressing my charm to be engraved into it.  I also had to dig a channel underneath the charm so it could be easily removed.  I then carefully lined up the charm so it was straight and placed the Jett Sett into the meta jig on the engraving machine.  I pushed the Jett Sett so it would push through some of the holes in the jig so it would never move and stay in the same place every time.  It took some retries to make sure my charm was able to “snap” in place and be taken out but after that, I had myself a custom jig!

Since I created this custom jig, I have been able to follow suit with others and it had made a huge difference in the ability to add engravings to our Cancer Awareness Bracelets.   Once I had the setup completed, I was able to engrave without much issues so we added the engraved flat heart charm as an option for ordering our awareness bracelets.  We are still expanding what we can do with the engraving machine, so if you have ideas, let us know!