Friday, February 12, 2010

Pretty Organza Posies

These organza flowers are absolutely gorgeous. I can just see a bunch of them in cream and pale blues sitting in an ironstone pottery bowl on my dining room table. They would be fantastic pinned into a bridal or prom up-do, attached to a classic headband, or pinned to a lapel to brighten a dark winter’s coat.

The handmade set in red wine by supplier (shown left) would be stunning for a winter wedding.

Handmade Organza Flowers in Red Wine
by supplier

Pin a couple in the bride's hair, one for each of the bride's maids and one for both the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom. And at a very reasonable price, you may be able to request larger quantities to outfit the flower girls as well. (how adorable one of these would be pinned at the shoulder of the dress)

Another way to wear these are as clips on a pair of peep toe shoes, as shown by Clark and Diversey (shown right) or by jurgitahandmade (shown below).The clips add new life to the shoes and give them a very sweet and romantic look.

Ivory Bridal Shoe Clips with Rhinestones
by Clark and Diversey

                           "Mary" Ivory Organza Shoe Clips
                           by jurgitahandmade

The addition of pearls and rhinstones to the centers of the flowers give them that extra sparkle and make them oh-so-much-more glamorous.
Hmmm . . .I have a beige pair of heels not unlike the style shown left that would benfit by adding a couple coffee colored concoctions to.

Whether structured like the ones by supplier or David and Diversey, or more flimsy and whimsy like the ones by Reese Dixon or jurgitahandmade, these little beauties are sure to add interest to your existing wardrobe without a huge investment. Just attach . . .  and be prepared for the compliments.

Super crafty and wanna know how to make them yourself? tutorial here by Reese Dixon

oh Chanel, how I adore thee

So I'm browsing on the Chanel website, deciding on my next purchase (ha!). There are the usual suspects: the white gold and diamond rings, the strands of creamy white pearls with the classic double CC. And then I come across this little number. So different, so avant garde . . and yet classic and refined at the same time. Which when you think about it is everything the Chanel brand stands for.

Listed in their Les Intemporelles de Chanel (The Timeless Chanel) collection, the description reads only "Diamonds and white gold necklace". Of course there is no price attached because I think at this point, if one were seriously considering adding this necklace to their collection, the price would be something dismissed with a lofty wave of a well manicured hand.

Now I'm not a big fan of gifts at Valentine's Day, but for this? I would make an exception.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Goodbye Turtlenecks, Hello Open Necklines

With all the warm weather we've been having here in Vancouver (perfect by me, not so perfect for the 2010 Olympic Games), it doesn't seem so far a stretch to begin to think of shedding layers of heavy winter clothing for lighter, more vibrant attire. Can you say, "goodbye turtleneck"?

So with that in mind, I’ve started creating some new pieces for more open necklines. This doesn’t mean of course that you shouldn’t wear them with a classic turtleneck. Indeed, these pieces would be stunning with either a warm & creamy or a rich & dark palette to play off of.

Blue Lace Agate & Hematite Beaded Necklace

I enjoy the contrast of the black and copper banded beads with the pale blue lucite and frosty blue lace agate. The Bali silver textured beads remind me of pomegranates. Still with a hint of winter, but perfect for the opening of a blazer or peaking out from a tailored white dress shirt. Also great with a classic cocktail dress or dare I say it yet . . .flirty little sundress.

Highlights of this necklace include:

~ teardrop shaped blue lace agate focal bead
~ polished blue lace agate nuggets
~ textured Bali silver beads
~ round magnetic hematite beads
~ pale blue faceted lucite beads circa 1950
~ black with copper foil "wedding beads"
~ unique handmade scroll clasp

The necklace measures 18" or 46cm and has a 2" extension (5cm). Upon request, the necklace can have longer extensions added to suit your needs.

Want to add the necklace to your collection? You can find this handmade and one-of-a-kind piece here.

For other unique and interesting pieces, please visit the silverbluedesigns shop on, and stay tuned for other newly created additions.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Regal Amethyst

Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February as well as the Zodiac stone for the constellation of Pisces. A gift of this deep, dark purple prismatic stone is symbolic of protection and the power to overcome difficulty. It is said to strengthen the bond in a love relationship, and is traditionally given as the anniversary gemstone for the 6th year of marriage (just when couples perhaps are in need something with these attributes?).

The ancient Greeks believed that this gemstone held many powers, among them protection against intoxication. In fact, the Greek word "amethystos" basically can be translated as "not drunken." This was due to a belief that amethyst would ward off the effects of alcohol, and it was common practice to serve fermented beverages from amethyst goblets in the belief that this would prevent overindulgence. I am making a mental note to remember to bring my amethyst goblet to next year’s Super Bowl party.

Deposits of this gemstone are found in Brazil, Canada, Australia, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka; and in the United States (Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Colorado). Defined deep purple stones found in Guerrero, Mexico are some of the most valuable and prized in the world.

In Tibet, amethyst is considered to be sacred to Buddha and rosaries are often fashioned from it.

The color purple is traditionally the color of royalty and amethyst has been used throughout history to adorn the rich and powerful monarchs and rulers. The Royal Orb and Sceptre used in coronation ceremonies in the United Kingdom, Great Britian and Northern Ireland feature amethysts; the Orb (left) contains a large octagonal stone below its 365 diamond cross. One of the world’s largest amethysts is in the Sceptre (right), smack between a diamond encrusted cross and the world’s largest known diamond, the Star of Africa which weighs in at a mere 530 carats.

I think one of the most stunning examples still remaining today of amethyst crown jewelry is the Swedish Amethyst Tiara and Parure (above, clockwise from left: earrings, necklace, regeant dress swag and two brooches), favored by Queen Silvia of Sweden and shown here worn by Crown Princess Victoria towards the front of her head (below left).

Today, due to its widespread availability, amethyst is a lovely and fortunately affordable gemstone that is found in a wide variety of cut and uncut stones that many can all possess and admire; regardless of whether or not it is your particular birthstone. 


~ Find out the grade of the amethyst. Amethysts are often separated into 3 categories: Siberian, Uruguayan or Bahain. Siberian is the highest grade amethyst, Uruguayan falls in the middle and Bahain is the lowest.

~ Examine the color of the gemstone. The deep and rich violet colored stones will be the most expensive while the lighter colors will be more affordable.

~ Inquire if the stone is synthetic. Over 70 percent of amethysts on the market are synthetic.

~ Check the clarity. You want a stone that is clear with few inclusions.

~ Know the terminology. If you are looking for true amethyst jewelry, do not buy a piece labeled as Oriental amethyst. This term actually refers to a sapphire that has the same violet color as an amethyst.

~ Purchase a piece of amethyst jewelry with a clean cut. If the stone is cut well, it will maximize the intensity of the amethyst's color.

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