Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Carved Stone

OK - I can see doing intricate carving on softer materials like wood or bone, but on stone?  Sure shaping is "just" a matter of patience, skill and lots of grits of grinding and polishing compounds, so cabochons, I can understand, like the ones in these necklaces:

I can even envision a tool a little like a dental drill helping to form the petals on this beautiful stone:

But having the artistic and technical skill to carve jade - a very hard mineral just blows my mind.  Guess that's why I love jewelry like these two pieces:

So, the next question is:  What do you find interesting, fascinating or mind blowing?

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Elephant Friendly Ivory Substitute

Let's face it - many fantastic artists worked with ivory.  It's gorgeous by itself, can be carved into incredible pieces of art, and if cared for, will last hundreds or even thousands of years.  But, big down side - elephants don't shed their tusks - they have to be killed and no matter how wonderful the art work may be, sacrificing such majestic animals is not justifiable.  Period.

There is a substitute that is being used by wonderfully creative artists - it's bone.  Creative artists from around the world are now working with bone.  The first pendant pictured here was carved in Bali.  The second and third are from China.  These bone pieces compare most favorably with those found in museums.

This cameo is as much a work of art as any ancient piece of carved ivory - and it's bleached bone.

Bone can be artificially aged, giving it an ancient look, as these two pieces have been:

Beauty, artistry, and sustainability.  And elephants continue to roam the earth!  It's a little like having  our cake and being able to eat it, too!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Coco Chanel may not have invented The Little Black Dress, that honor goes back to around 1902, but her creation, published in Vogue Magazine on October 1, 1926, along with her wonderful sense of style and ability to talk fashion, certainly made it a staple.   The beauty and simplicity of the always elegant LBD is once again being discovered and publicized and the perfect accessories for this "must have" article of clothing is a subject of discussion on many web sites, including, obviously, this one.

The ultimate classic accessory is a simple pearl necklace - so classic and almost ubiquitous that  even the great Bill Cosby told a funny story about basic black, pearls and his wife.  Audrey Hepburn perpetuated this style with her not so simple multi-strand pearl necklace in Breakfast At Tiffany's.  Our suggestion - something a little more original and unique - perhaps:

Still simple and elegant, but not just a string of pearls.

Perhaps a still classic necklace like this one:

is more your style - elegant gemstones with just the right amount of sparkle.

For a bolder style, go Tibetan.  How about:

this bold example in Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, Black Obsidian and silver filigree?

How about a bold Asian look with a Chinese Dragon, Coral and Black Obsidian necklace

Which ever you pick, just remember Coco Chanel's standard - "a girl [woman] should be two things - classy and fabulous."  What more could any of us want?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Straight from Paris Fashion Week

One of today’s fashion statements is the bold, chunky necklace.   This is an Accessory with a capital A – big, important, attention getting.   

Small diamond pendants may be nice, but they are so ubiquitous.  A pendant necklace – large, detailed pendant with a coordinating necklace – particularly if it is a unique design is absolutely cutting edge in the fashion world today.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Secrets to Picking the Perfect Gift

Guys, you are all wonderful.  You spend hours trying to choose the perfect gift for the special lady in your life.  It's not easy, is it?  Here are a few tips and suggestions to help to help you.

1.  Jewelry is almost always acceptable. The right jewelry makes a woman feel special, pretty, confident - and you are in a unique position to help her with those feelings - just observe and creative.

2.  Each lady wants to be seen as a special individual - in personality, in actions, and in what she wears.  The same applies to jewelry.

3.  She will give you clues about what type of jewelry she likes.  See what she wears - does she like and look good in small scale or large scale jewelry?  How do you know?  Well, this is an example of a small scale piece:

The pendant is smaller, the necklace delicate and the overall scale is dainty.

A larger scale piece would look something like this:

As you can see, the pendant appears larger and more substantial.  The necklace is proportional to the pendant, using larger gemstones and a longer length.

So, which would look better on your special lady?

4.  What colors does she seem to prefer - and which colors do YOU think she looks best in?  

5.  That includes metals.  I never thought about the colors of the metals I wore.  Then my husband started giving me silver and later white gold jewelry.  He said it brought out the sparkle in my eyes better than gold!  He got triple points - for picking gorgeous, unique jewelry, seeing what suited me, and of course for that complement.  Guys, you can't do much better than that!

6.  Gorgeous jewelry does not need to be precious stones and gold.  Look at semi-precious and natural gemstones.  Carnelian, lapis lazuli, malachite, moonstones, garnets, amethysts are all legitimate gemstones and make beautiful jewelry.  

7.  Beautiful, unique, one of a kind jewelry can be found in a variety of places.  On the internet, try Etsy (  and Zibbet  (  The artists at both sites make fabulous pieces, in all price ranges.  You can also shop with some degree of security as both are reputable sites.

8.  Unless you are proposing, stay away from diamonds - and when you do, try working with a good jeweler.  The diamond solitaire is lovely, but really common.  A good jeweler will help you pick a unique, special ring withing your price point.

Good hunting gentlemen - and thank you for your time, effort, treasury, and most of all, your love and care.  Where would women be without you?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Classic Colors Still Rule

Don't like looking like a flashing neon sign?  You are not alone.  Fashion trend setters are rediscovering the classics - like black, white and red - to fill their edgy modern life styles.

Check out the hot looks highlighted in Chrissy Makkas article:

While this features clothing looks, accessories, like your jewelry, can follow the same simple fashion rules - find something you like, feel good in, and go for it.

For example the pendant necklace below is has the feel of the a classic Spanish piece, but modernized and given an edgy twist by varying the size and shape of the gemstones used in the necklace and combining that with a classically simple pendant.

Marge, of PersonalDesignz has another example of a classic all black necklace on her site at:

For an all black and white look, try White Buffalo Stone and Black Onyx for a timeless, casual look.  This one is a "go anywhere" style:

Whatever you decide to wear, be sure it matches you - your style, your mood, your life - stay trendy, but only go to the extremes of fashion if they suit you.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Getting ready for work, school, a date or just a shopping trip?  Let your mood be reflected in your jewelry!   We’ve discussed the more powerful emotions identified by mood rings in a previous blog.   So what about those gentler, more subtle moods – what color jewelry would you chose for those?

It’s no surprise that deep blue reflects a calm, peaceful, happy mood, but did you know your mood ring will turn this gorgeous color when you are approachable, fun loving, warm and loving?  Lapis Lazuli and London Blue Topaz are the perfect deep blue to telegraph this mood.
Dark green on your thermo tropic skin temperature device shows you are feeling serene, easily amused, quietly alert, sensitive, and tender.  Aventurine, Moss Agate and jade jewelry have that deep saturated green.
Are you are feeling cooled, pensive, philosophical, and just a bit restrained?  Your ring would be turning white – so go for pearls or white buffalo stone.
No matter what your mood, always buy and wear good quality, original jewelry that reflects your individual style, goals, and personality.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Mood rings are lots of fun, but why rely on a little thermo tropic material (that’s the stuff that your skin temperature activates) to broadcast your mood.  Take charge, tell the world what you are feeling when you pick your jewelry for the day or evening.

The stronger, more in-your-face emotions are represented by predictable and some unusual colors. 
For example, feeling active, adventurous, alluring, exciting, passionate?  Red is easily associated with these emotions and pops up on the mood ring, too.  Jewelry made with red coral, garnet, carnelian or red jasper will let the world know you are enthusiastic and ready to go.

Rhodonite Nursing Necklace

Are you in a mysterious mood, feeling intense, fierce, energetic?  Your mood ring would be turning black.  Slip on a black onyx necklace or earrings.
Is your mood pensive?  Are you thinking things through, planning a big change, ready to boldly go . . . . ?  Check the mood ring – see that beautiful deep brown?  Now, find that fantastic Tigereye or mahogany obsidian necklace.
Romance is in the wind, your emotions are simmering, you are hopeful, excited – then a soft yellow green pendant and necklace is exactly right.  Not what you expected – but skin temperature never lies – according to mood rings.
So much for the more intense emotions– our next blog will be on the softer, calmer attitudes .

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


You are a fashionista, shopping for jewelry (for real or just for fun).  You are surrounded by beautiful pieces in so many colors – gemstones, semi-precious stones, natural stones; already a heady mix.  Then there is the metal – gold, silver, copper, brass.  So many choices.  How do you pick the right pieces?  It’s easy – you pick your jewelry the same way you pick your clothes and it’s not by just picking the trendiest pieces.  You choose the jewelry that enhances your own natural beauty (and maybe helps distract from that little flaw) and is unique, personal, and of course, gorgeous!

First, look at your skin tone – is it warm or cool?  Don’t know – here is an easy way to tell.
Look at the veins in your wrist – are they bluish colored?  Do you have pinkish or rosy-red undertones in your face?  Are your eyes blue, green or grey?  Is your hair color (the natural shade, please) blond, black or brown?  Then you have cool skin tones.  Some examples of famous people with your skin tones include Sarah Jessca Parker, Demi Moore, Anne Hathaway, and Hilary Clinton.
You look best in silver jewelry, white pearls, amethyst, lapis lazuli, malachite, rose quartz.  In other words, deep rich colors that are accented by silver.

Now – are your veins tending more to a greenish color?  Do you have yellow or golden undertones to your skin?  Are your eyes brown, black or hazel?  Is your natural hair color red, orange, strawberry brown or red-brown?  Then you have warm skin tones.  Good examples include
Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Amy Adams, and Nicole Richie.

Your best jewelry choices would include gold jewelry, gold toned pearls, turquoise, coral, amber and carnelian.
Second,  jewelry is very personal, so be sure that anything you wear is unique, and whenever possible, one of a kind.  Good jewelry is an investment, even good costume or bridge jewelry can be expensive.  So, pick pieces that suite you, enhance your beauty, make a statement, and add versatility to your wardrobe. 

Third, remember nothing looks worse than cheap, trashy jewelry – even if it is the “current” style.  Stay away from plastic, flashy rhinestones, pot metal