Traveling with jewelry

I’m sure that there are countless people out there who would never travel with jewelry, for fear of being a target for thieves. But me? You should know me well enough by now that I don’t go anywhere without jewelry! (except perhaps the shower…) Granted, I won’t bring my better pieces to certain places, but I will be adorned in some way, shape or form on each and every trip.

Getting your baubles from point A to point B with ease is easier than you might think. The first and MOST important rule is to carry your jewelry with you. Never put it in a checked bag, or you may not have your lovelies with you when you land. There are many products made for travel which are really quite convenient. I recently got this one made by Cathayana for a client in a local travel shop. (This is another cool version that you can hang as well.)

Jewelry travel roll
Jewelry travel roll

It has a good amount of storage space in various sizes, and I like how the sheer pockets allow you to see what you’ve got with you, as well as adding a nice layer of protective fabric for when it’s rolled closed.

travel bag-inside
A peek at what's inside

The one thing that organizers like this often don’t have room for are the larger bangles or oversized necklaces. For these, I usually tuck them into a small clutch or evening bag. It’s something I would bring on the trip anyway, so why not use it for a dual purpose? Here’s what I often use:

bracelet bag
Small bag I use to carry bangles & oversized necklaces

A final concern are those long, thin necklaces that invariably get tangled no matter what you do. I’ve got the solution for you! First, take a piece of paper towel that’s about the same length as your necklace. Lay your necklace down near one edge of the paper towel.

First step...lay your necklace on the paper towel

Next, carefully roll the necklace up in the towel.

Step two

Finally, fold up this roll and put it into a baggie for tangle-free travel.

Final step

I hope you find these hints helpful. Enjoy your next trip while looking fabulously accessorized!

Rona Pfeiffer: Designer

I must confess…Rona Pfeiffer is one of my all-time favorite jewelry designers. Her exquisite creations just sing to my bohemian luxe heart. From the antique beads to polki diamonds and sapphires, her pieces reflect her unique creativity and esthetic.

Necklaces by Rona Pfeiffer

I first met Rona a few years ago at a trunk show and acquired my first bracelet. Since then, I’ve made it a point to attend all her local trunk shows. I was thrilled to see her in a new venue this past week at In Her Shoes in Palo Alto. I feel this boutique is the perfect fit for her, as all the profits from this store go to charity.

Rona Pfeiffer and Amy

Formerly of the film/tv industry, Rona uses her background in painting to “paint with stones,” as she says. She is one of the only designers I’ve met who actually makes each and every piece by hand herself–no outsourcing, no big company, just Rona. She finds her distinctive materials in her travels, be it from a dark, underground store in New York where she found some vintage ivory, to a shop in London where she discovered a pile of antique beads so amazing she couldn’t pass them up. And that’s one of the cool things about her jewelry…she doesn’t have an unlimited supply of different materials, so once they’re used up, they’re gone. This really ensures that you’ll have a one-of-a kind treasure.

More lust-worthy pieces by Rona Pfeiffer

If this line appeals to your personal style, I highly encourage you to check out her amazing jewelry in person. It will easily mix and match with your current collection, be great as layering pieces or on their own.

Accessories for Canning Tomatoes?!

When Jeff casually asked what I was up to today, I mentioned that I’d be helping my mom can 100 pounds of stewed tomatoes. (Gotta love having a mom who’s 100% Italian!) Of course his response was, “Is there specific jewelry for that?” I had to laugh…but really, when am I EVER without jewelry?! I had to forgo a watch, bracelets or a ring, but I definitely managed to wear a big pair of hoop earrings. I told you hoops could really take you anywhere. 🙂

canning tomatoes
Accessorized even when canning

Turquoise: A Summer Staple

Turquoise has been one of my favorite gems throughout my life. Though it can certainly be worn year round, many people associate it with summer. I can see why this is the case when I visit places like Capri, Italy, where people are adorned with turquoise in everything from their jewelry to their sandals.

Generally, turquoise comes in colors ranging from blues to greens, although it also comes in white. It has been used in jewelry and other items for thousands of years. Cultures from ancient Egyptians to Native Americans have made exquisite turquoise jewelry.

I was at a party and spotted this to-die-for necklace on my friend, Michelle. Come to find out, it once belonged to her grandmother, but she usually only wears it for special occasions. Tell me it’s not true! I think this necklace would be just as fabulous with a t-shirt and jeans as it would be with a cocktail dress, and I encouraged her to wear it more often.

Michelle's turquoise necklace
Michelle's vintage turquoise necklace

I find that turquoise usually comes set in silver. When I was at the Wynn in Las Vegas I came across these Peruvian turquoise earrings set in gold. Of course, I had to swoop them up. Plus, they have a much greener hue, which really appealed to me.

vegas earrings
Peruvian turquoise earrings set in gold

When I mention turquoise to my clients, many of them have the reaction, “Oh, I don’t like that southwest look.” But the truth of the matter is that you can find turquoise in every sort of style. Here’s an example of a modern take on turquoise.

turquoise buddah necklace
Buddah meets turquoise

If turquoise makes your heart happy, then I think you should explore the colors, settings, metals, and styles it comes in. I’m sure you’ll come across something that fits right in with your personal coloring and style.

Carmel Crossroads: Unexpected Gems

When people think about shopping in Carmel, California, they usually envision ambling along Ocean Avenue, with all it’s tucked away courtyards and charming architecture. But that’s not the only place to shop, especially for jewelry. Carmel Crossroads is a shopping area located just south of Ocean Avenue, at the intersection of Highway 1 and Rio Road. (You can’t miss it–you turn left at the traffic light just past Carmel Valley Road.)

One of my favorite places to explore is European Jeweler & Goldsmith. At first glance, you may not think this store has what you’re looking for, but you’d be surprised! I always manage to find some amazing treasures at almost too-good-to-be-true prices.

Suzan @ EJ&G
With Suzan at European Jeweler & Goldsmith

This store sells both new and consignment jewelry, and you’ll find everything from costume to fine all in the same cases. You really have to spend some time looking with a discerning eye at the merchandise, and I have no doubt that there will be pieces that you must try on!

One of the coolest things is that they sell their jewelry at 30% off the sticker price! And…they offer a “secret” house account with no interest for up to 12 months, depending on the piece. How can you lose?!

I also love their collection of Carmen Priolo jewelry, which I first encountered quite a few years back at the Saratoga Rotary Art show. Her jewelry is chunky with subdued metallics, and it’s beyond gorgeous. I believe that this is one of the only places where you can find her line outside of particular art shows.

carmen priolo jewelry
Carmen Priolo jewelry

While you’re at the Crossroads, you also have to stop into She, a very fashion-forward boutique crammed with merchandise. (It’s just across the way and up a bit from the last shop.) When I walked in there last week, the sales woman, Heidi, actually remembered me and what I had purchased there a year ago–that’s customer service!

This is one of the only boutiques where I’ve encountered Calleen Cordero jewelry, which is a designer most known for her extraordinary shoes and bags. Her leather jewelry is equally fab, with sort of a bohemian, rock-and-roll edge.

Calleen Cordero jewelry

Here, in one of the display windows of She, you’ll get an idea of the esthetic, which is very chic with an urban edge. Not exactly what you’d expect to find in this locale.

window @ She
Window display at She

So next time you’re in Carmel, don’t limit yourself to Ocean Ave. Head a bit south to Carmel Crossroads and poke around. And if you have time for a meal, also stop by the nearby Earthbound Farm for a delicious organic treat! Gotta keep that blood sugar up for all the shopping you’re going to do. 🙂

Stacking Bracelets…Hot Trend!

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about layering necklaces, and now I’d like to take it one step further by talking about stacking bracelets. It’s all the rage, and I bet you have just what you need right in your very own jewelry box to try this trend out. I’m sure you may be sick of hearing me say this by now, but if this trend meshes with your own personal style, then have fun with it. If it doesn’t, stay true to who you are!

There’s no need to be afraid when attempting a new bracelet configuration. You don’t need to stick with one color metal, and they don’t need to be all bangles, all chains, etc. Create interest with a mixture of textures and metals.

stacking bracelets 1
Mixed metals and textures in stacking bracelets

Here’s another example of an unexpected mix I spotted on a friend of mine. She said she had gone into her jewelry box and pulled out a couple bracelets from years gone by and paired them with a recent purchase. Combined with her two-tone watch, I think it’s a fun combination.

stacking bracelets 2
Mixing vintage and modern bracelets

You know what a bling girl I am, so this final example really sings to my soul. You can never have enough diamonds! And I love how she threw in the solid silver bangle for a truly chic look.

stacking bracelets 3
Diamonds galore in this stack!

I hope this inspires you to try out some new stacks of your own…your wrists are waiting!