Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian gems at Golden Globes

Manitoba's Bead-a Bling and Sugar Blossom Design glitter on red carpet

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The Golden Globes got a little taste of the Great White North a couple weekends ago at the second annual Oh Canada celebrity gift lounge in Los Angeles.

Four Canadian jewelry designers were invited to take part in the star-studded event including two from Manitoba -- Sugar Blossom Design and Bead-A-Bling.

As most of you are well aware, I am a huge fan of Sugar Blossom Design's (sugarblossomdesign.com) cutesy fabric and chain-link bracelets -- I even featured them in my 2013 gift guide.

For those of you who aren't aware of this local gem -- the bracelets incorporate floral fabrics braided together and linked to chunky silver or brass chain. You can also get them without the chain or customize them with a pretty tassel.

New to me is Bead-a-Bling -- aboriginal-beaded accessories handcrafted by three women from Long Plain First Nation: Valerie Houle, Jessica Meeches and Brooke Mousseau.

The trio hand-beaded 75 pieces for the gift lounge -- among them, colourful disk-shaped earrings encrusted with iridescent glass beads.

In addition to Bead-A-Bling and Sugar Blossom Design, the Oh Canada gift lounge also featured pieces by Montreal's Gris-Gris Factory and Alberta's Janie Jewels.

Gris-Gris Factory (grisgris.ca) features semi-precious stones set in sterling silver and designed by Barrymore Richards. The pieces are feminine and delicate -- think silver-petal daisies with jewel-tone centres and strands of sterling chains grouped together with a pearl bead to form a tassel necklace.

Also featured at the gift lounge was a collection of upcycled jewelry by Janie Jewels (janiejewelscanada.com). Not your typical bling, Janie Jewels takes the most unconventional recyclable materials, like paper, plastic tabs and aluminum foil and transforms them into wearable accessories.

Among my favourites is the tin puzzle necklace, which features tin puzzle pieces linked together to form a bib-style necklace in a golden bronze hue. I also find the crinkled balloon earrings quite adorable and the ideal accessory for the playful at heart.

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion@hotmail.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2014 D13

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