Sea glass jewelry

I seem to have quite a few passions in my life (beyond even jewelry), and hunting for sea glass is definitely one of them. Sea glass is like jewelry from the sea — pieces of old bottles and such worn smooth and frosty by the sea, waves and sand. As I write this post, I’m here in Fort Bragg, California, which is home to THE most tremendous beach for glassing in North America (and no, that’s not an exaggeration). Glass Beach is beyond imagination — in fact the first time I visited here early this past July, I thought I must be in a dream or something, because it honestly didn’t seem real.

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, CA

My passions for sea glass and jewelry have now collided. It all started with a beautiful rare pendant I bought from the website By the Sea Jewelry. I just a-DORE it, and wear it often, especially when glassing. (I probably shouldn’t admit this, but my next pendant was just ordered while on this trip!)

Rare sea glass pendant

When in Fort Bragg, you have to stop into Captain Cass’ Glass Beach Jewerly and Museum! Not only am I completely envious of the fabulous finds Captain Cass has made, but he also has a nice selection of sea glass jewelry. Actually, it was pretty funny when I stepped in there today. Captain Cass saw me, didn’t say a word and just pointed to the bulletin board. There I was! My photo, a picture of my glass haul from July, and a little blurb about how there’s still glass at Fort Bragg. Never thought I’d see myself in a museum! Love it. 😉

Sea glass pendants from Fort Bragg

If you find yourself in the Capitola, California area, you should also check out Village Sea Glass, which is in the heart of downtown. There, you’ll find all sorts of jewelry and other sea glass art and products (including some driftwood/sea glass mobiles that were quite fab). Speaking of the Santa Cruz area, I just can’t wait until next weekend, when I’ll be attending my first sea glass festival! The Santa Cruz Sea Glass Festival is held Saturday, November 5th & Sunday, November 6th at the Cocoanut Grove at the Beach Boardwalk from 10-5. If this sounds tempting to you, then maybe I’ll see you there!

How to build a watch wardrobe

I don’t know what it is with the men in my life, but both my boyfriend and my brother don’t wear a watch. What’s up with that? Not only is a watch useful, but it’s a major fashion accessory in the jewelry world. I mean really…who would turn down a chance to bling it up a bit more?!

So the first watch every girl needs is an everyday watch. This is a timepiece in a medium scale, preferably with a metal band. If you’re wondering what metal is best, remember that cool skin tones look best in silver tones and warm with yellow gold. If you’re a combination, like I am, then a mixed metal watch might just be the ticket. And don’t be scared of having diamonds on your daily watch–diamonds are never wrong.

Two-tone metal watch

Now let’s say you have to go to a cocktail party, and you actually want to know what time the main course will be served without pulling out your iphone. Well for that you will most definitely need a dress watch. What distinguishes a dress watch from it’s everyday counterpart is basically the scale. Dress watches are much more petite, and in my (dream) world are encrusted with diamonds. Bedat & Co. makes some great evening watches with interchangeable bands. You can opt for the black satin band one night, and the silver the next.

Bedat & Co. dress watches

So what’s this about interchangeable bands? Well let me tell you, they are tres chic. The first one I discovered was quite a few years ago in Nordstrom. My mom and I were shopping and I fell in love with this Michelle “Deco” watch with a camel faux-alligator strap. Knowing this wouldn’t coordinate with my entire wardrobe, I was thrilled to find out that it could be easily switched out with a stainless band. So if you can find an “everyday” watch with an interchangeable band, you’ve just really enhanced the breadth of your watch wardrobe. Personally, I’m just dying for a stingray (otherwise known as shagreen) band. Not only is this one of the most durable materials around, but they are just GORgeous!

Michelle "Deco" watch with silver stainless band

The other watch that I cannot BELIEVE that I’m recommending is a sport watch. You may have read about this in my post about hiking jewelry. The Baby G has become my friend…not just when hiking, but also when doing anything where my regular watch might get damaged, like babysitting, lounging by the pool, or hunting for beach glass in Fort Bragg. Now if only I could find one with diamonds, I’d be set….

Juliet Roger: Designer

Though I pride myself on being a jewelry and fashion expert, I always love to encounter designers not already in my repertoire. Such was the case when I recently met Juliet Roger at her trunk show at Pink Tangerine in Menlo Park, CA.

Juliet and Amy

Color is Juliet’s signature, and it’s quite stunning when you see it displayed in all its glory. This Seattle-based designer is in her tenth year of producing a collection of sterling and 18K vermeil jewelry that drips with pearls and semi-precious stones, her most favorite which she sources from Jaipur, India.

Earth tones from Juliet's line

I really enjoyed her bangles with stone stations (of course I had to add a labradorite one to my wrist) and her uber-versatile earrings which come in virtually every color of the rainbow.

Gorgeous earrings

Even better, the price points begin at $55, which makes it quite accessible in the world of jewelry. So if Juliet Roger hasn’t been on your jewelry radar, you may just want to check her out.

“Socially constructed ideas of beauty”

I was recently on Facebook (yes, it’s a guilty pleasure) and came across this photo form Positive Outlook’s page:

This says it all!

While this doesn’t directly have anything to do with jewelry, I really feel I had to share and comment upon it. I’ve written many times about how important it is to get to know your personal style, which includes your jewelry signature, and stay true to that. While it may be challenging not to be swayed by the latest fashion magazine, hot actress or even your teenage daughter, I urge you to try.

True beauty comes in getting to know yourself, loving yourself, respecting yourself, and feeling comfortable sharing your wonderful self through your words, thoughts, and actions. It doesn’t matter what the scale says, where you bought your handbag or how much you have in your savings account. Those things don’t make you beautiful. Being an authentic person, open to life and all it has to offer is true beauty.

So next time you look in the mirror, remember what this photo says, “Warning: reflections in this mirror may be distorted by socially constructed ideas of beauty.” If that little voice in your head starts criticizing what it’s seeing, realize that it’s dead wrong and tell it to just shut up. Look again with clear eyes and see the beauty that stands before you.

Stephen Dweck: Designer

When my younger brother, Scott, was married 10 years ago, my mom was all aflutter about her mother-of-the-groom outfit. Her personal style meant that none of the traditional silk suits or conservative dresses would suit her at all. Instead, she opted for a beautiful pair of flowing black pants, a silk shell, and chiffon kimono-type top with a water lily print that was simply art-to-wear. The crowning glory, though, was the magnificent pair of yellow-green Stephen Dweck earrings she invested in. Though the outfit may have only been worn a couple times since the event, the earrings have been worn like crazy.

I was very honored to meet Stephen Dweck at a recent trunk show in San Francisco (where I did in fact tell him about my mom’s earrings). He’s currently celebrating his 30th year in business, and from what I could tell, he was just as enthusiastic (or even moreso) than he must have been when he launched his line with his three brothers all those years ago in Brooklyn.

Hanging out with Stephen Dweck

Stephen’s jewelry is inspired by nature, in all its forms. He travels the world collecting amazing stones, and then comes back and sets them in gold, silver and bronze. He has many coveted one-of-a-kind pieces which are marked by a little beetle, named Adam. (You can read more about Adam on his website.)

Stephen’s jewelry is on the chunkier side, making it ideal for clients looking for that scale. Just look at this stunning necklace and these cocktail rings! It was all I could do to leave the show without a new ring on my finger!

Large scale pieces by Dweck

I also love Stephen’s use of color–he’s certainly not afraid of it! At the trunk show, there were groupings done by hue, creating a virtual rainbow on the jewelry counters.

Delightful color!

Not only is this line versatile in the variety of stone and metal colors, but I really feel it’s multi-generational. I have clients in their 20’s wearing some of his amazing statement rings and a client near 70 who adores her bracelet in all shades of purple and amethyst. When I brought up this aspect to Stephen, he said that it’s not unusual for him to work with the daughter, mother and grandmother all at once.

Throughout his career, teaming up with everyone from Donna Karan to Oscar de la Renta, Dweck has kept his factory and production in Brooklyn. Score two points for that! I also feel that he has kept his genuine passion and talent alive, while remaining a lovely, grounded person.

So when you have the opportunity, be sure to stop and try on some of his attention-getting pieces. They may just be exactly what you’re looking for and didn’t know it! 🙂

Metals: What’s Right for You?

Yellow gold, bronze, white gold, sterling, rose gold, copper…the choices are endless as you stand at the jewelry counter. How to choose? Well, I have a few tips which might aid in the decision-making process. Here are some gorgeous mixed metal rings from Nadine Jewelry.

Stacking rings in a trio of metals

I know that there are many “rules” in the world of fashion and accessorizing. Some people are vigilant in following them. I, on the other hand, like to know what the rules are, and even more importantly, how to effectively break them.

The first thing you need to do is to take a look at your personal coloring temperature. Look at your skin first. Does is have a pink undertone? If so, then you’re in the “cool” family. Warmer skin tones have a more yellow or olive undertone. If you have trouble deciding, compare the skin on your inner arm to the skin of some of your friends, and I’m sure you’ll be able to detect the tone.

Next, look at your eyes and hair. Cool eyes include blue and icy green. Toasty browns and greens are warm. The same goes for hair. Black, silver, ashe blonde–those are examples of cool hair colors. Whereas golden blonde, auburn and many browns are on the warm side.

Don’t forget that you may fall into the “neutral” category on any or all of these, and in the case of jewelry metal choice, you will have a much wider range.

Once you have determined your personal color temperature, then take a look at the different jewelry metals. Metals on the cool side are silver, white gold and platinum. Yellow gold, copper, and bronze are warmer metals. Rose gold is a very interesting one, as it comes in a variety of shades. The pinker edge of the spectrum can be great with cool coloring, and those which veer to the peachier side complement warmer tones.

Now here comes the kicker. Most of us are a combination of temperatures. In my case, I have super cool skin, warm eyes, and my hair can be warm or cool depending on the color-du-jour. So what’s the solution? Mixing metals! It’s the supreme way to “break” the rules! You can effectively mix metals by layering necklaces or stacking bracelets. And there are many pieces of jewelry on the market now that do the job for you. Take a look at this beautiful Cartier ring.

Cartier trinity ring

With these guidelines in your pocket, you can figure out what will look best on you. But always remember the bottom line…whatever jewelry you end up wearing, it needs to resonate with your own sense of personal style and make your heart sing. That’s where true beauty comes from!