Evie Outgrew Her Baby Bracelet: Children’s Jewelry as a Token of Love


Evie is a precocious little girl who quickly outgrew the hand engraved baby bracelet that her Grandma, JoJo, had given her when she was born. Inspired by her initials, EGG, JoJo wanted her to have a substantial, sterling, egg-shaped pendant that she could wear for the rest of her life. We cut the the engraved section of the baby bracelet and riveted it within the new pendant so that her monogram and birthdate are visible from both sides. The three family birthstones, ruby and opal, were extracted from the bracelet and reset on the pendant. Now this piece of jewelry can accompany Evie throughout her life journey and tell the story of her family’s love.

Baby bracelets are a meaningful way to celebrate a growing family. Pinch the balled ends closer together for smaller wrists and spread them wider as baby grows. We have two bracelets available, one in sterling for $75 and one in 14K yellow gold for $470. Added costs will apply for engraving and gemstones.  Please contact Lainey to purchase: (678) 662-6156 or lp@elainadesigns.com.

In times like these, children remind us of what is really important. Their buoyancy brings hope for a better future. Many families cannot gather as we used to, but are brought closer through tangible reminders of familial love.

Live love,



“A Baseball with Diamond Stitches”

On summer evenings I bear witness to thousands of fireflies in our uncut NY meadows, blinking in simpatico. It’s a jaw-dropping performance, mesmerizing, mysterious, silent, sublime, powerful. At its best, jewelry communicates our visual and cellular identities in the same way. What is it’s message?

Nancy and Alan Morris and I have been friends since our sons, Clark and Orion, played on the same Little League baseball teams.  Alan’s deep reverence for “The Game” was not apparent to me until this commission. He contacted me about upscaling Nancy’s original orbit bracelet, made with family initials and heirloom diamonds.  To celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and Nancy’s 72nd birthday, she chose to enhance Alan’s initial on her bracelet, so I asked for his input on design. Was there was a hobby or a symbol that brought him joy? After some deliberation, Alan replied: “Baseball. Make my “A” orbit into a baseball with diamond stitches.”

What an interesting request! Alan explained that he was co-founder of “B4” a group of three men who gathered every year to tour and explore Baseball, BBQ, Burial Grounds, and Battlefields all over North America. This steadfast ritual has been a meaningful part of Alan’s life and I thought it was a great idea to bring his passion into Nancy’s orbit bracelet. I loved doing this commission because it thrilled Nancy,  honored Alan, and I am reminded of fireflies, spread out in the dark sending messages of love, devotion and desire to unite.

Be a Beacon,



A Talisman for Transformation

In the depths of the psyche, anyone’s psyche, there is a desire for transformation. The initiation for transformation means that as one thing passes, another thing comes to life.  The present pandemic has forced everyone into this crisis that will ultimately transform us. The question is, what will we bring to life?  The answer will be different for each of us, yet worthy of our attention.

A few weeks before the quarantine, Michael Burton entrusted me with his 93-year-old mother’s Diamond solitaire wedding ring. She had worn it for 70 years and when she died in his arms, he moved it from her finger to a chain around his neck. Grieving through the design process, he decided upon a solid 18K cross. Though not a devout man, the equilateral, star-like shape spoke to Michael. We flush-set his mother’s Diamond into the center, and used the gold from her old ring to create the hanger/bail.

Since prehistoric times, two lines drawn at right angles have represented a kind of crossroads, depicting energy going out from one’s center, equally towards the four directions. The love from his mother remains at Michael’s center, the cross a solo journey from which he is discovering his new life.

Creating a talisman can guide you on your own journey of transformation. After designing jewelry for nearly five decades, I am pretty good at distilling your thoughts into a small, precious object that appeals to all senses and provides you with grace and gravitas.

I am grounded in Ithaca, NY but can work with you virtually, from anywhere.

Live Love,


The Inner Jewel: Live Love

Stretching on the yoga rock.

The North Rock in my Stone Circle is a luscious lichen green.

The symbol, “OM”  vegetable garden has now been weeded and prepared for early spring planting.

Explosion of forsythia and daffodils brightening my wood stove.

Finding the Inner Jewel

In the past when I have hurriedly typed my closing for an email, I often erred and typed “Live, Lainey” instead of “Love, Lainey”.   Annoyed to delete and retype the proper vowel, I now believe there is a message: Use them both, “Live Love’.  In this uncertain, odd new world, the two words express what is most difficult and most caring: to live for the good of the whole, and to love oneself during self-quarantine. When the stakes are so high, self quarantine is a collective act of goodness that protects ourselves and others, ultimately reducing stress for healthcare workers who are the most vulnerable during this pandemic. The Inner Jewel of this collective experience is each of us finding a new way to be at One with what is.  With grace we will persevere and get to the other side of this.

With time to reflect on the privilege and honor to have met, touched and created beauty with each of you, I’d like to thank you. Thank you for trusting me with your stories, and investing in the jewelry I have imagined and that you and your loved ones now wear. I pray for health and ease for you and your families.

I’m grateful that orders continue to come in and that my loyal friends and clients are still thinking of me when a gift is needed. If Aalia and I can help you, please call, text or email me at 678-662-6156 and  lp@elainadesigns.com.
To shop online, please visit www.elainadesigns.com.

Live Love,


Druid Hills Couple Celebrates with Meaningful Keepsakes

During these fear-filled moments in our lives, devotion, kindness and connection to all things becomes even more vital. I’m in Ithaca with David, ensconced on our sacred land and my daughters, Alex and Zoe are delivering supplies to us as needed. Even as I’ve drawn inward, with little reason to dress each day, I’m choosing to wear my jewels because they make me feel better. And I hope that you will do the same. Their light, color and density bring joy, strength, and stability.

I am still receiving and completing jobs with clients and I’m delighted to work with you.  Aalia is available to meet you at my Kirkwood, Atlanta studio. To schedule an appointment for a custom job, repairs, or to shop, please call me at (678) 662-6156. Birthdays, anniversaries and births can be celebrated in new and creative ways, and we’re here if you need us. The online store is open and we can ship anywhere.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this custom jewelry story!

Earlier this year I worked on a job for Hugh and Libby’s 10th wedding anniversary. Hugh and I had met in the 1980’s at Paideia when our young kids were classmates.

Tenth Anniversary dinner celebration, 2020. 

In 2009 he and his beloved Libby, came to me with the tender request to design rings for their upcoming Buddhist wedding ceremony. Libby and I designed her rings together, playing with a combination of gemstones and metals that captured her desire for understated earth colors.

Keshi Pearl with Opposing bar-cut Cognac Tourmaline, 14K rose and white gold, 2010 by Lainey Papageorge

In preparation for their 10th wedding anniversary celebration, Libby commissioned this simple heavy gauge, oval, sterling bracelet featuring hand engraved inscriptions with personal meaning to her and to Hugh.

“Om Mani Padme Hum”
Ancient mantra referring to the innermost heart of those who seek compassion for all beings. 

“Till a’ the seas gang dry” – to Hugh, 2-3-2020 
from the Scottish poem “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns first published in 1794

For Libby’s gift, Hugh selected these earrings cast in 14Kt gold from acorn caps I had found underneath the Twin Oaks in Dellwood Park.  As synchronicity would have it they had built and dedicated a meditation bench beneath those very same twin oaks. The Olmsted Linear Park along Ponce de Leon Ave, Atlanta brings joy and serenity for all who visit, especially while social distancing.

Pistachio Tahitian pearls, 14K rose gold Live Oak acorn caps 
by Lainey Papageorge

“Om Mani Padme Hum” is especially apropos at this time as we all face the extreme challenges that COVID-19 presents. In the strangest of ways, this virus is uniting us as a human family, against all odds. There are blessings hidden in everything.

To protect and cherish that which is most precious to us,
Lainey & Aalia



Girlfriends and Collectors

Anni Stokes is one of my oldest and dearest. We met at Emory College in 1972 where we were both Educational Studies majors. We also shared the memorable experience of being members of Kelly’s Seed & Feed Theater and The Dance Unit: she, an actor, me, a choreographer/dancer. I moved to Skagway in 1976 and after Anni visited, she was inspired to relocate to Juneau. It was a delight to share the bejeweled coast of SE Alaska with her. As I discovered my artistic voice in the vivid landscape, she became a Special Education teacher, using her performance and story-telling skills to gain the trust of  native Tlingit children with learning challenges. She became a beloved leader in her community.  From the beginning of my business in Alaska and throughout my career in Ithaca and Atlanta, she has been an avid supporter and  collector.

1978 Blue Opal, 14KT Filigree.
1999 Black Opal and emerald, hand engraved 18KT.
2012 Indicolite Tourmaline, 14KY, hand engraved sterling

These three rings represent forty years of jewelry making and design.They also represent forty years of friendship. Anni has worn and cherished them everyday since the moment she purchased them. On a recent visit I convinced her that they were in need of some TLC. As we repolished the stones and secured the settings I was struck by how beautifully they’ve weathered life’s ecstasies and agonies. Some things can’t be restored, like the crater in the emerald, yet each gem beams out its beauty consistently, without demand.

Looking at these rings, perhaps you too can imagine the inspired vistas; mountaintop glaciers snaking into fjords of pristine green, icy cold peaks of molten blue, the sound of a distant rumbling avalanche. These pieces are imbued with the love affair between a place in space and time. Anni felt the same way about them. The worth of collectors like Anni who sustain and encourage these expensive artistic endeavors can never be underestimated. Happy “Galentine’s” Day dearest Anni.



A Family Story Expressed Through Custom Jewelry

Jenny Kapella is a new client that found me through a Google search, even though she lives only a mile away. I was very happy to know my website and social media efforts led her to me and I was even happier to collaborate with her on this meaningful project. She wrote a lovely account of her experience working with me.

“My mother has several pieces of jewelry that have great sentimental significance and were either worn out or never worn. Lainey patiently worked with me to repurpose them to create timeless pendants that paid tribute to our family and would suit each of my nieces. Lainey was able to recycle some of the jewelry and even dental gold to help pay for the new work.

Leah is my oldest niece. She has a passion for mathematics and tech. The “emerald” in her pendant comes from her great grandmother’s wedding ring, one of the circles in the pendant is her great grandfather’s wedding ring. The gold spiral represents the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical formula that describes curves found frequently in nature.

My mother was an artist, her medium was fiber and weaving. Melanie shares her creativity and passion for living things.  The design of Melanie’s pendant is lifted from one of mom’s weavings which depicted red blood cells. The bale of her pendant and each of the others came from the worn out Victorian wedding band of her great-great grandmother. The diamond and garnet cluster came from an earring that belonged to the same great great grandmother, the partner to that earring disappeared years ago and I am so glad it could be repurposed. The citrine is from a ring my mother designed, but the style was very heavy and would not have been worn by me or my nieces.

All of my nieces studied piano, but only Caroline continues to enjoy playing. My mother never played piano, but she did sing beautifully and performed in community musical theater. For Caroline’s pendant we chose a treble clef design, using a pale blue topaz from another ring and tiny diamonds from a tie clip that belonged to my dad.

My nieces don’t have much memory of my mother before dementia took over her personality, but in these designs a little bit of her extraordinary creativity is preserved. Thank you Lainey for your incredible patience and sensitivity.”

-Jenny Kapella, Atlanta, GA.

Designs by Lainey Papageorge, articulated by Tim Shoemaker, Atlanta, GA 2019

Gift Ideas for the First Five Days of Christmas…

Elaina Designs

Monday thru Sunday, Dec. 16-21, days and evenings by appointment
Please call, text, or email (678) 662-6156 or lp@elainadesigns.com
2116 Lanes Ln. NE, Atlanta, GA 30317 

Shop online or at www.elainadesigns.com 
Free gift wrapping on all purchases
Free domestic shipping until Dec. 20 

“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me….”


Left to right:
Ruby, 14KY eternity band, size 6.5, $775
Jelly Opal, 18KY bar band, size 6.25, $1400
Peach Pearl, 14KP ball band, size 7, $945
Ruby “V” Ring, 18K yellow and rose gold, size 7, $1350
Rustic Triangular Diamond on 24K band, size 7, $1540


Anodized Aluminum, plated sterling chains, $180
(also available in blue)


Left to right:
Quartz Barrel and Faceted Vermeil Necklace, 20″,  $255
Quartz with Iron Faceted Chunks with Vermeil Clasp, 18″, $175
Double Pyrite Strand, Sterling Clasp, 18″,  $300


Tanzanite, Cerulite, SS, 14KYP, $1000, discounted to $700
Cerulite, 14KY, SS, $1000, discounted to $700


Multicolor Tahitian Pearls, 14KP links and diamond studded clasp, $2800

Merry and Bright,

Womens’ Group Creates Communal Jewelry

As the Holidays approach we reflect on the many things that bless our lives. For me, its been my family and my women friends. Here’s a story of enduring female friendship expressed in three pieces of jewelry communally created and communally owned.

Seneca Lake is the deepest in a series of narrow glacially carved “Finger Lakes” in central New York state. Rich in fish and fertile farmland, the Finger Lakes region sustained the indigenous tribes of the Six Nations, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy. Seneca also became the birthplace of the Women’s Suffrage Movement with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

Fast forward 170 years to a group of women friends from all walks of life and political affiliations who meet beside the drumming waters of Seneca Lake. Taking a respite from their demanding lives, they came together to pick berries, make pies, gaze into sunsets and bonfires. Early morning swims and dock reveries were punctuated by sessions of talking, compassionate listening, selfless counsel, and shared grief and joy. Each one rediscovered a part of themselves as their friendships deepened, and together they became the Ladies of the Lake.

Thirty annual “Ladies Weekends” have passed on Seneca Lake and over the years many of these women have become collectors of Lainey’s work. Three years ago, Marion, the originator of the group, had a dream that each one would contribute their old, unworn jewelry to be repurposed. About 175 separate items were given to Lainey to assay, saw apart, and reconfigure. It was a mammoth design challenge and ultimately their shared experiences over the years provided the inspiration to create these three talisman designs. Saving metal elements such as the tiny hearts provided a unifying theme. The fine metals were sold for income to pay Lainey for her time and the creation of the 14K gold pendants. No money was ever exchanged among the women. The precious talismans were finally completed in 2019 and are now being passed along every couple of months from one Lady of the Lake to another.

Each exquisitely crafted piece speaks to a shared experience of female friendship that is celebratory, evoking every small thing that lifts us to rise, to love, to turn to one another with gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Blue Sky Swim Seneca”    “Rainy Day Beside the Fire”   “Pink Sunrise on Seneca”



Lainey Honors Her Mother, Irene A. Phrydas

Thirty years ago when my mother, Irene Phrydas, was diagnosed with breast cancer at 69, there were no support programs to help her through the physical and emotional challenges she faced. Mama chose to work full time throughout her chemotherapy treatments, concealing her illness. Our family was close and we supported her and each other though the trauma of cancer.

I turn 68 this month and am happy to report I am finally healthy after the challenges of a prolonged immune deficiency. I began a series of monthly infusions at Piedmont West and across the hall was the Chapman Cancer Wellness Center.  I got to know the staff and was deeply impressed by the range of free programs they offered to patients and caregivers that engaged body, mind, emotion and spirit. How I wish that my mother, father, sister and I could have been supported by such services when she became ill. Today anyone affected by cancer, regardless of where they are receiving treatment, can attend and benefit from the insightful programs the Chapman Cancer Wellness Center offers.

Through this Trunk Show, I am able to donate thirty percent of sales from the evening to the Center. This will support patients and their families during their tender and difficult journeys with cancer, moving towards improved wholistic health. Please join me for a lovely evening graciously hosted by Susan Powell of Good Living Real Estate with delicious hors d’oeuvres and refreshments prepared by Chef Nancy Waldeck.

Wednesday, November 13, 5:30PM – 7:30PM 
Chapman Cancer Wellness Center, 7th floor of Piedmont West
at I-75 and Howell Mill Rd.

1800 Howell Mill Rd. Suite 700 Atlanta, GA 30318 
please RSVP to Alice Papaceno: (404)425-7944, alice.papceno@piedmont.org

Please visit https://www.piedmontcancerwellness.org for more information.

I believe that beauty can transform and heal us–
Lainey Papageorge

“Swimming Through Mist on the Pond”
Rainbow Hematite, Mali Garnet, Bi-Color Tourmaline Crystal, 18K Heavy Gold Plated Sterling, $1533. 


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