Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Inspirations in Jewelry

I will be the first to admit that there are a lot of jewelry designers out there. And after awhile, some of it starts to look the same (except those designs made by moi, bien sur). But then every once in awhile, I stumble across someone who is designing jewelry so differently, so uniquely, so . . .well, FRESH . . .that it causes my mouth to physically hang open.
Tonight I came across Barbara Macleod Jewellery, (yes, with the European spelling of the craft) or bcm999 as she’s known to fellow Etsians (those of us who sell and spend way too much time on Barbara graduated in 2007 with a first class degree in Jewellery and Metalwork Design from Duncan of Jordanstone Art College in Dundee. Soon after she was awarded a start up grant by the Scottish Arts Council, and returned to her home town of Lochinver, - a small picturesque fishing and crafting village in the northwest Highlands of Scotland to set up her workshop. Since then, she has sold her designs through local and international galleries, major events and her website.

Her designs blend the perfect mixture of modern and classic. Crisp, bold yet intricate silverwork is paired with a soft pallet of rosy pink and ecru, mint green and sky blue. The current collection very much reminds me of delicate Easter egg patterns.

Each piece is wearable for both daily work life and night time glamour. Compliments and curiosity will both be forthcoming when wearing one of these gorgeous designs.

Given the funds, I would be up for purchasing more than one of these, and not just for wearing at Easter.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More Earrings for Spring

Spring is definitely in the air, despite the smattering of snow we received today. The crocus and daffodils are in full force, the cherry blossoms are out on the trees . . .and the buzz of creativity is in the air. All this excitement has turned my thoughts towards new beginnings. New projects, new job . . . .new wardrobe, perhaps?

Here are a few new accessories to inspire the new look of spring:

Pink and mauve are two colors that whisper spring. Here they work together in a pair of pink pearl and mauve blister mother of pearl earrings (left). Delicate blue and pink crystals accent the look. How very sweet. How very spring.
 Another color that heralds spring in green. Here green is presented in a pair of amazonite jade earrings with Bali silver flower accents (right). 

Denim blue is a staple year round. A great pair of earrings to match with your favorite jeans are these Montana Austrian crystal and silver pave earrings (below left).  Or try these navy crystal and ribbed silver bead earrings with pale rose quartz (below right).

Just add a spring floral top and a light sweater, slip on your ballet flats and you're set. Perfect for a Saturday trip to the local market or brunching on a Sunday.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A New Look For Hoop Earrings

Here's a quick fix for giving new life to your existing jewelry. These connectors and pendants by EverLuxe are delicate and light enough to be threaded onto silver or gold hoops to add a new dimension to your existing earrings.
Or, you could place them between a stud earring and your ear. Imagine a diamond or colored stone sparkling at the top of these.
They would look great with pearl studs as well. And at such great prices, you can easily create several new looks by changing and swapping the look to extend your jewelry wardrobe.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Under a Canopy of Cherry Blossoms

It is the beginning of March, and as many of you have witnessed, Vancouver has been experiencing some rather warm weather. Last week it was a bit funny to see broadcasts from the Olympic events with daffodils in full bloom as a backdrop.

One of the other markers of spring that has come early this year is the blooming of the cherry trees. Many of the streets in Vancouver are lined with these beautiful and majestic Prunus Cerasus speciosas covered in pale pink puff balls. There are an estimated 36,000 flowering cherry trees in Vancouver. Each year the city holds a Cherry Blossom Festival with several events such as a Haiku contest, a Bikes & Blossoms Tour, and a photo contest taking place around Vancouver. Other cities with large cherry blossom festivals include San Franciso CA, Macon GA, Washington DC, and Honolulu, HI. The largest and most festive celebrations take place thoroughout Japan.

Cherry blossoms figure prominently in Japanese culture. The cherry blossom is seen as a symbol of represents the transience of life; it is a very delicate flower that blooms for a very short time and so reflects the teachings of Buddhism that state all life is short and transitory. A falling cherry blossom represents the beauty of snow or a life taken too soon by battle.

In Japan, the flowers are dried and used to make tea. The leaves (sakura leaf or cherry leaf) are used in cooking and medicine to make 'cherry tree rice cake'
If you are not able to visit the festival, there is another way to bring the cherry blossoms to you. Have a look at these gorgeous painted wooden bangles by amy987.

Each bangle is hand painted and unique, and is painted both inside and out. What a great way to keep the cherry blossoms with you all year round.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Paris Chic meets Dark Espresso

Anyone who has seen my apartment (and not many people have, since it is still in the final stages of renovation.) will note that most of my furniture is dark espresso and fairly contemporary. Bedroom set? dark espresso with black leather insets in the headboard. Dining room chairs? dark espresso with beige ultra suede. Book shelves? You guessed it, dark espresso with pictures in dark espresso or silver frames. Even my crown molding and baseboards are now painted in Behr # 790B-7 Bitter Chocolate Espresso. And I don’t even like coffee.

So I find it a bit interesting that recently I have become drawn to French style occasional furniture. Perhaps it is a reflection back to my stay in Paris in my oh-la-la bed & breakfast.

I like the chipped and peeling antique look of this gorgeous hand carved Louis XIV style dresser from the 1930’s (above).It would look lovely in the same room as this carved mirror (right).

Both are available from Karina Gentinetta

Imagine my surprise when I found myself enamored with this coffee and end table set at a local antique store. Even more surprising was that I bought them, even though they are pretty much the opposite of the rest of my furniture.

But maybe that’s why they work so well. A little bit of French je ne sais quoi in the middle of my living room.
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