Renee Blackwell Design Flower Power ring $235 (Siam red cubic zirconia set in sterling silver)

One-of-a-kind jewellery pieces make strongest statement

Nikki Parkinson Fashion 61 Comments

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You know that feeling when you meet someone creative? Someone who might channel their creativity one way but show it in so many other ways?

That’s how I feel about jewellery designer Renee Blackwell. I’ve known Renee for many years now, initially through seeing her designs for sale at the famous Eumundi Markets on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, then working with her in fashion shows and lately following her travels via her blog and Facebook page.

I’ve even been out to her hinterland hideaway and visited the creekside “studio”, Harmony House, where her design work “happens”  and every time we’ve come in contact, I’ve been blown away by her sassy style.

Renee exudes a confidence that comes from knowing who you are and how best to show that off.

This was the look Renee had going on when we last met. Love.

Renee Blackwell

Note the jeans, the shoes, the bag, the iPad case …

Of course, it does help that she has some pretty stunning jewellery pieces at her disposal to wear 😉

Renee Blackwell Design pieces sit well on Renee but they sit equally as well on the thousands from around the world who have bought, loved and wear her designs every day.

For me, it’s Renee’s ability to bring a little of her style and her influence into creating unique pieces of art that make them a stand out for anyone’s accessory collection.

Each is a work of beauty and Renee’s signature style is the use of sterling silver plus one-of-a-kind vintage and antique buttons, as well as gemstones, semi-precious stones, cut crystal-including Swarovski crystal, Australian stones and other unusual “found objects” in her designs.

These form the cornerstone of the design of her earrings, pendants and rings, which are hunted down and found during Renee’s international travels. It’s also the travel itself which fuels the inspiration for her designs.

I travel to Paris each October to find my vintage buttons from a variety of vintage dealers we’ve been working with for years. I buy the buttons on their original button cards. They are from the late 1940s and early ’50s, era. This is why they are in perfect condition and can be used in my jewellery designs.

It makes you wonder what those buttons might have otherwise been destined for, doesn’t it? That’s the romance of it all for me, right there in each vintage button. Renee then brings that romance alive.

Here’s a little snapshot of some of my faves from Renee’s current designs:

Renee Blackwell Design Flower Power ring $235 (Siam red cubic zirconia set in sterling silver)

Renee Blackwell Design Flower Power ring $235 (Siam red cubic zirconia set in sterling silver)

Renee Blackwell Design sterling silver and gold-leafed earrings $138

Renee Blackwell Design sterling silver and gold-leafed earrings $138

Renee Blackwell Design sterling silver earrings $118 (featuring vintage 1940s French buttons)

Renee Blackwell Design sterling silver earrings $118 (featuring vintage 1940s French buttons)

I’m going through a jewellery phase at the moment where I’ll always wear at least one cocktail statement ring on my right hand and work those back with a pair of drop earrings but I can feel a re-found love of the pendant necklace coming on soon. They’re just too amazing not to embrace.

Renee Blackwell pendant $310 and "V" choker

Renee Blackwell pendant $310 (featuring an antique pottery shard and natural freshwater pearl) and “V” sterling silver choker $85

The key thing to remember when working statement jewellery pieces into your wardrobe is to let those pieces be the statement.

Don’t make them “compete” with what you’re wearing, instead make them the focal point of your whole outfit.

As they are works of art, consider your whole outfit the gallery. Where you hang your piece of art has to do that piece justice.

For more information about Renee Blackwell Design jewellery or to find a stockist near you (there are so many Australia-wide and in New Zealand), visit the main website: or to buy direct, make an inquiry through Renee’s blog:



Renee Blackwell Designs, together with Styling You, is giving you the chance to win one of three Renee Blackwell Design pieces. To enter, simply leave a comment below answering the following question: what’s your most treasured piece of fashion jewellery and why? The top three creative responses will win one of the pieces pictured below. This competition opens Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 6.15am and closes, Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 6.15am. Entries will be judged on originality and creativity. The winners will be notified via email and their details listed here. For full terms and conditions, click here.

renee blackwell prize

1. Pendant (Swarovski crystal, 1940s era French enamel button set in sterling silver) $310 | 2.  Butterfly and Swarovski crystal earrings $110 | 3. Silver and blue Swarovski crystal earrings $110

Comments 61

  1. At the moment my most treasured piece of  jewellery is my sterling silver Russian wedding ring. It’s precious to me because I made it and put in a lot of hard work to perfect it. It’s the first real piece of jewellery I’ve made. A lot of hammering, filing, soldering, polishing, patience and TLC went into it. I love it and my friends love it too. It’s a simple, understated but yet elegant piece of  jewellery.

  2. Teardrop on silver necklace.  Feels empowering and beautiful.  Can cry with sadness, laughter, relief, ecstasy.  Alot of stories in one tear.  Tears are always in fashion!!xx

  3. My ‘Lasso’ necklace with hand made glass beads is my most treasured piece
    of fashion jewellery.


    It’s so versatile (can be worn as a lariat, choker or a very long
    necklace) and contains so many shapes, textures and colours that it goes with so
    many styles & colours of outfits.


    It’s chameleon qualities means it’s been with me in the toughest and most
    joyous of times, it’s travelled the world with me and it’s my go-to piece if
    ever I need cheering up (it’s even ahead of chocolate!).

  4. I can’t just pick one fav piece – its like asking me to pick a favorite child. Each piece come with a memory but if I had to make a choice it would be the wrap beaded bracelet my daughter made for me at her friend’s Birthdsy party. It’s a bold statement piece and weighs a ton but the look of Pleasure and love on her face when she gave it to me – priceless

  5. My brown marble disc necklace that my mother purchased while in Vietnam. It was given with love and I always fell happy when wearing it.

  6. Right! Just deleted my first answer after I re-read the question! Favourite FASHION jewellery. In that case it is easy. I have a brightly coloured Riley Burnett necklace that I love and adore. It has fabulous chunky beads and a rainbow array of colours and I always collect compliments when I wear it.

  7. My favourite piece of fashion jewellery is a silver and gold swirl ring(fake diamonds) from the
    White House, Noosa Harbour. Shopping with a self confessed shopperholic sister- in – law pre- Christmas (fun) and dragging around teenage boys (isn’t much fun.) When I showed interest in this in- exspensive ring, whispers began and mobile calls, as I was ushered out of the shop.
    Much to my delight, it was under the tree as my Santa Gift. I have comments each time I wear it.
    The boys beam with pride. LOVE IT!

  8. My favourite fashion piece is not just one piece. It my M & S collection. They are the inexpensive pieces I pick up from M & S when visiting London. They are not common here so still have a unique look. Are great value for the price. You can wear then without fear because if you loose them it is no great loss. They mix and match with so many pieces of clothing. They nicely collect in the bottom of your handbag so if you forget there is usually a piece to hand. While they will never hold pride of place like my “bitser ring” as I call it as I designed it from ring styles of my favourite females and is topped with a diamond, my M & S collection is a fashion favourite. Fran

  9. My favourite piece of fashion jewellery is my grandmother’s engagement ring. it was given to my mother to give to me when she felt I was mature enough to take care of it – she only gave it to me when I was 33 LOL! Anyway, it is very delicate, and is a collection of diamonds shaped like a daisy flower, set in gold. Given my website name is dizzydaisy it seems very familiar, and I feel very close to the grandmother I never knew (she died just after I was born), whenever I wear it. Plus it’s gorgeous, and I get comments whenever I wear it.

  10. My most treasured item of fashion jewellery is loops of wool tied together with a button with a  piece of paper glued to it that reads I love you Mum. Only worn on special occasions!

  11. My most treasured piece of jewellery is simple and sweet and completely unique. It is my mothers 1950’s “Brownie” badge, it is an incredible cute little elf figurine….but it is a little more special than that to me.

    My mothers best friend borrowed the broach from her on some pretence of fixing the pin for her and got it dipped in gold! My mum adored it!! She died when I was 25 so when I got married at 30 there was no question in my mind of what my something old would be!! It is amazing how much emotion and love can be contained in a piece of jewellery!

  12. My favourite piece is a locket necklace my husband bought for me. He put a lot of thought into what I like and made sure the two photos of my children were the right fit and snug inside. The colours and the style of the locket are very ME.

  13. When choosing statement jewelry, it’s always best to purchase a few quality pieces which will stand out more and last longer. Many people buy cheaply designed fashion jewelry which may cost less but will end up costing you more in the long run to replace often. 

  14. I simply adore the necklace my Mum let me borrow to wear on my wedding day.  It is a white gold star pendant.  My Mum wore this beautiful piece on the day she married my Dad!  I know that one day – hopefully very far off – my Mum will leave this piece to me.  I hope both my girls will wear this necklace as their ‘something borrowed’ on their special days!  

  15. My little gold signet ring it’s so treasured because my grandfather brought it for my mum when she was 10 and when I turned 10 my mum gave the ring to me. The ring is 44 years old.

  16. On a 3 week trip to Aussie, a tarot card reader told me to buy a rose quartz heart and wear it around my neck to bring ‘love’ into my life…I was separated and miserable at the time, but dismissed it as’poppycock’.  My girlfriend I was staying with, took me into a store I would normally never go in, and a silver necklace jumped out at me! It had a rose quartz heart in the centre and my friend persuaded me to buy it, she loved it. Little did I know that, that trip would be the last time I spent with my beautiful friend, who died suddenly a few weeks later..and little did I also know that, that trip, my man and I, after a 3 year seperation fell in love all over again and are now back together!  Sentimental value, much. 🙂

  17. PS.  That french enamel pendant is just divine, coincidentally reminds me of a piece my grandma owned!  If I were lucky enough to win such a gorgeous item, I think I would never take it off…

  18. A simple engraved silver bracelet that my grandmother gave me when I was a little girl.  I still wear it now, 30 years later!  And even more special now that my beautiful grandma is no longer with us.  

  19. I have a few pieces of costume jewellery my Granny gave me when I was small. I thought they were the real deal, I wore them all the time and wouldn’t let anyone touch them! They were the Queens jewels as far  as I was concerned. Now I still treasure them for their over the top vintage glamour and for the quirkiness of the tiny old woman who gave them to me.

  20. I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, but something I wear almost every day is my black pearl earrings. They are not flashy but they get so many comments, sometimes even ‘Gee you wear those earrings a lot!’  They were a gift from my husband and daughter a long time ago. I love that they are from the ocean, and I feel loved when I wear them.

  21. My most treasured piece of jewellery is a necklace with a cross that my mother gave to me one Christmas many years ago. I was in a very bad relationship at that time, and was wearing another cross necklace that the ex-boyfriend gave me. Every time my mother see me wear that necklace, it broke her heart because she saw how miserable I was but couldn’t do anything because I simply wouldn’t let the relationship go and wouldn’t listen to reason. That Christmas she gave me a new necklace and told me “Girl, I hope that you will wear this instead. It’s time to let go and let your heart heal”. 

    Not long after that, I finally gave up on that relationship. I’ve been wearing that cross necklace my mother gave me ever since. 

  22. My most treasured piece of jewellery is a set that I made myself (at a jewellwey making class with Brydie Jane Glass in Maroochydore). I made a pendant, ring and drop earrings from sterling silver and the four star sapphires that my husband dug out of the ground in Emerald (Queensland) for me with his bare hands. Lots of love in that jewellery set.

  23. My most treasured piece of jewellery is a jade green coloured rose pendant I found out the markets. I bought it because my daughter’s middle names are Jade and Rose and I love wearing this special piece on a chain around my neck because that way I can keep my girls close to my heart even when I’m not with them.

  24. My most treasured piece of fashion jewellery is my Wedding set – this is the best accessory that I have as it represents who I am today.  I am constantly told how beautiful it is and how lucky I am to have it.  I think it sparkles a little more to me as it is a reminder how lucky I am to have a wonderful marriage and family.  No matter how I am feeling or what I am wearing one look at it makes me smile : )

  25. These are gorgeous! 
    My most treasured piece of jewellery cost $5. It’s a glass pendant that happens to form the shape of an “Omega” symbol. I get complimented almost every time I wear it, and it’s all the sweeter because it was such a bargain! 🙂

  26. I’ve worn a heavy silver thumb ring for nearly twenty years and it was definitely my statement piece. I have shopped around and never quite been able to replace it as nothing I have found is solid enough. I can no longer wear the original as when I asked my husband-to-be about what he wanted as a wedding ring he asked for my thumb ring. So two and a half years ago it was re-sized and is now his wedding ring, and I guess his statement piece!

  27. If I had a piece of jewellery passed down to me that would definatly be my treasured piece but the handing down is going to be starting with me.  I have two treasured pieces – can’t go past my uberkate with my kids name and bd’s and a beautiful amber necklace my husband gave me.  The amber comes from the black forrest in Russia- I love that.

  28. My most treasured piece of fashion jewellery is a ring that belonged to my grandmother. She had it made in the 1970s; it’s white gold in a very funky design with a large half pearl set in it. After she died, it was given to me, but although it had sentimental value, it wasn’t really to my taste, so it sat in a drawer for 16 years. Two weeks ago, I came across it and realised that it was exactly the sort of “cocktail ring” that’s fashionable now, so I’ve had it resized and am happily wearing it as a feature piece.

  29. My most treasured item of fashion jewellery is a pair of chunky, turquoise bead earrings handmade by my friend, Valerie. Making jewellery started as a hobby and it quickly consumed her. She’s so very talented! The earrings are a bright, beautiful statement piece!

  30. My favourite piece of jewellery is a necklace with a oval piece of paua shell with sterling silver  encasing it.  It was given to me by a friend when I left New Zealand to live in Australia.  It is a piece of my homeland and heritage  and always lifts my spirits when I’m homesick.  It makes home feel closer on those days. 

  31. My mother died quite young, so my nana put a photo into heart locket on a bracelet. This is my statement jewellery and wear it with pride as its filled with longing and happy memories.

  32. I have a mesmerizing Labradorite pendant that I purchased many moons ago at the end of a less than perfect stage in my life.  Every time I wear it I feel strangely empowered and am reminded of how far I have come and how beautiful the world truly is.

  33. My most treasured piece of jewellery are my white gold hoop earrings – sounds boring I realise, but they are the perfect size and they allow me to play around with loads of fun necklaces, rings or bracelets. 

  34.  what’s your most treasured piece of fashion jewellery and why?My mums eternity ring, Its a simple gold band with diamonds and sapphires.  It was given to my mum by my dad when I was born.  My brother was already here and I think my dad waited until me to buy her one.  We didn’t have much money growing up and they always made sure we had everything we needed.  This ring symbolises the love they gave us three kids when we were growing up.  Although it fits I won’t wear it as it was a bond of love between the two of them. I love looking at it and know that I will pass it on and hopefully the love that goes with it

  35. Good Mum should say the first piece of Macaroni hand-made necklace that came home from Kinda – LOL…  but aside from the sentimental pieces, the one I treasure the most and wear constantly (well not around the house) is actually my Oprah necklace – no, I wasn’t fortunate enough to be one of the chosen few, but bought it for myself. After 5 years of hell post-separation and divorce I decided that ‘she’ (it’s got to be a ‘she with goddess energy right?) would be my talisman as I move forward to a different, more expansive place and grow in to a new me – somewhere I would not have been ‘allowed’ to be if I had stayed in my marriage. So far she and I have been moving mountains!

  36. I have a stunning diamond and sapphire ring that was given to me on my 21st birthday, it belonged to my Nana who passed away when I was 17. I made sure it was on my finger the day I got married, just so I felt that she was with me for my special day x

  37. Now you said treasured – not like right :). I treasure a ring that used to be my grandmothers. I dont wear it but i keep it more for the memory of my gran and reminds me of our walks we had together as a little girl. It actually might even come back in fashion one day. Love the renee blackwell designs. Wendy

  38. With four beautiful daughters I have no shortage of handcrafted, unique pieces of Jewellery made just for me.  Wearing them may at times be an act of love rather than fashion… but they are all treasured pieces. Included in my photo…my precious UberKate Circle celebrating those 4 gorgeous girls! 

  39. My most treasured piece of fashion jewellry are my white pearl earrings.  They are a classic piece of jewellry that can be worn with nearlly anything.  They haven’t been owned by anyone else, but maybe they will be become an heirloom.  They will still be fashionable no matter what the fashion style.

  40. My treasured piece of fashion jewellery is the small  gold ring pendant  my grandma gave to me when I was born. It’s with a red rope bracelet. It’s simple but never out of date. I still use it as my necklace or bracelet pendant. Because my grandma said it will bring me luck 🙂

  41. My most treasured piece of fashion jewellery, was purchased for me by my 7 yr old for the princely sum of $0.50 at the local op shop, everytime I wear the string of turquoise beads I get compliments on how great it is, which always brings a smile to my face, A knowing a 7 yr old stylist picked it out and B the price 50 cents. The new life Renee Blackwell gives to the vintage buttons is so clever

  42. my most treasured piece of fashion jewellery is a big silver cross on a silver chocker that my father in law bought back from Argentina.  He almost didn’t give it to me because he thought i wouldn’t like it but i love it and find that it suits most outfits in my wardrobe.  I love all those Renae Blackwell pieces too – they are beautiful! 

  43. My most treasured piece of fashion jewellery is a big chunky blue resin ring.  It adds “pop” to anything that I choose to wear it with.  It was chosen by my 7 year old daughter (which is part of its treasure status).  Easy.  Simple.  I forget about it when I wear it but it adds so much to my “look” when I wear it.

  44. Love hand made jewellery – it has soul.  My favourites pieces are a pair of clipon ear rings with jade beads and filligree that I found in Coffs Harbour and a topaz and silver chain pendant which my father made for me, polishing the topaz, setting it and making the chain link by link.  He was in his 80s when he made it and at 95 still likes to tinker.

  45. Stunning  jewellery ,I love Renee’s style and how she sources her designs  it’s like a story,very romantic knowing your wearing something very special.
    One of mysmost treasured piece of jewellery would  have to be a pair of gold drop filigree earrings that were my grandmothers and now mine ,they are very dear to me and unique which  like ,I love unique statement pieces.Thank you Nikki Another great post!

  46. My favourite items are a pair of silver disc earrings that I had made overseas, that have my daughter’s names on them. Apart from being beautiful earrings, they remind me of my happy overseas travels and I feel like I have my girls with me throughout the day.
    They are also good conversation starters – I make new friends in the supermarket when people ask me about them !

  47. As a woman I love throwing on stacks of jewellery. As a designer my original piecs get the most amount of attention. I love original one of a kind pieces of jewellery, if I can’t find it, I try and make it. Ebay is also a great place for finding pieces you cannot get here in Aus. Although I’m finding more and more, that pieces I find on ebay end up in chain stores 6 months or more later. Clearly I’m ahead of the trend, lol.

  48. I saw RBD at the Canberra Love Vintage show and LOVED her designs (buttons and jewelery – oh my!) I could not afford some items right there and then, but I made a mental note to look up her website, blog & fb so that I could purchase items on-line.

    Unfortunately, her on-line products are such a small reflection on what she had to offer at the show and I couldn’t find much that I really wanted 🙁

    I hope she’s at the next Canberra show!

  49. My most treasured piece is a sterling silver ring I have of my mothers. She gave it to me when I was a teenager, and it was already really worn. The engraved design is but a whisper of what it was, like it holds a secret between the two of us. This ring was given to her by her mother when she was a teenager, and she wore it lovingly for years. I feel close to her every time I wear it, knowing that we’ve both worn it a lot. 

  50. I would have to say my most treasured is a Simpson brooch from my Grandmother. I have found lately that i slip it through the clasp of a pearl necklace to make a real statement centre piece when I have to dress right up. It gets so much comment. I not only love it for sentimental reasons but because it is a unique piece, I have not seen one the same.
    Renee as some beautiful pieces in her range!!

  51. My most favourite piece, and one I never leave the house without, is my Elsa Peretti Tiffany heart bracelet. I simply adore it because it is so pretty and timeless, but mainly because it just means so much to me. It was a gift from the Welshman for my 30th birthday and I was very newly pregnant, which was really the only thing I wanted for my 30th. I was lucky enough to be pregnant at the time with twins. Sadly, this did not come to pass, so the bracelet has another layer of special tied up in it.

    The two hearts symbolise the many loves in our family, and also commemorate what could have been.

  52. This line is beautiful! My most treasured piece of jewelry is the macaroni necklace my nephew made me in his first week of kindy. Not entirely fashionable nor practical, but gosh it makes me feel special!

  53. Gorgeous jewellry! My favorite piece is a silver cuff bangle that belonged to my great grandmother and was given to her by her husband before they married. It is beautiful and goes with almost any outfit. It has not dated at all; totally timeless. It was passed down to my grandmother and then my mother but neither could wear it because it was too small. It seems that I have inherited my great grandmother,s freakishly small wrists and it fits me perfectly. Feels likeit was left specially for me!

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