Storage Board — So Clever!

So if you haven’t picked up on it by now, I’m a total Pinterest addict. It started with just jewelry boards, including one on jewelry storage, but now I’ve got over 30, on various subjects. But I digress…

I’m always on the search for cool jewelry storage ideas, and I was blown away by this jewelry board that I came across during a Pinterest search!

jewelry storage board

I discovered that Becki is the creator of this awesome design. There’s complete instructions on how to assemble one of your own on her website, Whippy Cake. Personally, I don’t know how she had the time or energy to mastermind this project with three kids aged 5 and under, but kudos! Perhaps it’ll inspire you to create your own jewelry storage system. Let me know what you come up with!!

Tails as the New Accessory??

So I’m a bit concerned. It all started innocently enough when I was walking down the Strip in Las Vegas one night, and I spotted this girl walking in front of me.

What the heck?!?
What the heck?!?

(I was walking rather hurriedly to try and snap a photo of her, so sorry that it’s a bit blurry.) I couldn’t understand why she had a tail hanging from her backside. Well according to my friend Jeff, this was all the rage when he was living in Japan in a few years ago, and you know that we are often late adopters of various fashion trends. I tried to write this off as a one-time fashion “oops.”

Then I spotted this guy while in a casino on the same trip. Now granted, he had much more of the rock n’ roll vibe going on, so it made a little more sense, but I was still dubious.

tail accessory

Next, I was back home, shopping mid-day at my local Safeway. This guy was in the produce section, picking out fruit while pushing his baby in the cart, with one hanging off the side of his shorts!

tail accessory

Clearly, if this accessory trend is now hitting the suburbs, then it really must be happening. And just tonight, I spotted this image on Pinterest, of a tail (sadly) attached to a Balenciaga bag.

balenciaga bag with tail

And if that weren’t enough, you have to watch this short video (1:44) on the NEXT level of tails…I really don’t know what the world is coming to. (If this video just looks like a black box on your screen, then click here to see it.)

So what’s YOUR opinion? Is this truly a current accessory trend? What do you think of it? Would you wear one? Dying to know…please comment!

BlingGuard: Creative Jewelry Product!

Have you ever been wearing stud earrings and they sort of droop down on your ear instead of staying straight? Or have you had issues with your rings twisting around, with the center stone rolling off to the side? Well I know I have, and I just came across a product that provides a very clever solution to these problems!

BlingGuard, who’s tag line is “where function meets fabulous,” has two specially designed products. The first is BlingDots, which stabilize your earrings from the back.

blingdots by blingguard

They are these little foam dots with adhesive that you apply to the back of your ear. Then you just push your earring through the hole and the little dot, put on the earring back as usual, and voila, you now have a stable earring!!

blingdots

There’s also BlingWraps, which are transparent strips you apply around your finger to stabilize your rings.

blingwraps by blingguard

blingwraps

While I haven’t yet tried them out yet, I would love for one of you, my lovely readers, to! I have one sample of them, and if you comment on this post, then you’re in the running to try them out. One week from today, I’ll randomly select a name from all who comment and get them in the mail to you. And of course, you’ll have to let me know how they work out. Enjoy! šŸ™‚

Jane Basch: Designer

Sex and the City is still one of my all time favorite shows, and when I come across an episode while flitting through the TV channels, I have to sit there and watch it. (And no, it doesn’t matter that I’ve seen it countless times and can recite half the lines!) When Carrie Bradshaw made her “Carrie” nameplate necklace a fashion “do,” the whole country was on it.

Well thanks to Jane Basch, you can take the monogramed necklace to a whole new level. I was honored to meet Jane at the JCK show in Las Vegas.

jane basch and amy roseveare

With a background in clothing and a love of drawing, Jane was a natural at growing her jewelry business. Her husband, Michael’s, father started in the jewelry business 60 years ago, so all the stars were in alignment. She started with the more traditional monogramed necklace, and went from there. Here’s an example of her freeform script monogram necklace.

jane basch monogram necklace

Well Jane’s designs have really expanded, and her tagline, “she makes it personal” is right on the money. While at her booth, I was first drawn to this mongrammed ring. So cool! I may have to order one with an “A” for myself!

jane basch ring

Jane’s line is all hand-cut and made in Hollywood, Florida. (Yeah for made in the USA!) She really has done an astounding job at modernizing the monogram. Take a look at this layered necklace, which is SO on trend! And instead of having to think of what necklaces would blend well, you’re all set with just one necklace. Brilliant.

jane basch layered necklace

One of her more recent designs features just one long and lean initial on a 30″ chain. It’s uber cool on its own, or layered with other necklaces.

jane basch  necklace

Of course, celebrities are always up on the latest trends. Here’s Kaley Cuoco rockin’ one of Jane’s designs. (Another fact about me: I totally LOVE The Big Bang Theory!)

kaley cuoco

And here’s Christina Applegate in a “Sadie” nameplate, for her daughter.

christina applegate necklace

Jane’s line comes in silver, and both yellow and rose gold over silver. I think the line’s price points are very reasonable, ranging from about $250-$500. It’s modern, it’s personal, and it works with virtually every personal style.

Olive Bungalow Stacking Rings

One of the things I love about blogging is getting to know people, from the designers, to store owners and workers, to my readers. Everyone has such interesting stories that weave into an amazing tapestry of life!

I recently received an e-mail from one of my readers who has been going through a particularly difficult time in life, from the death of her father to relationship issues. While life is certainly throwing her some curve balls lately, she seems to be really coming into her own. First of all, she just came in first for her age group in her VERY first triathlon. (Brava!!) I admire the dedication and fortitude that the whole training and race took — way to focus energy into something positive! And next, she bought herself some amazing inspirational rings.

olive bungalow rings

These lovely rings are crafted by Olive Bungalow. This is my first introduction to this line, but I can say that just from perusing their website, I’m a big fan of this artisan, made in the USA line. My reader chose three rings, with opal, green tourmaline (both her birth stones) and a chocolate diamond. Inside each ring, she chose a meaningful inscription: hope, strength, and courage.

Hope
Hope

I know that each time she looks at these rings, she will feel that pulse of self-worth. Though jewelry can seem frivolous to some, this is case and point that it can have real meaning — she is more than worthy! I applaud this reader, and I have strong intention that her inscriptions of hope, strength and courage help carry her though whatever life has in store for her. Much love.

Victor Velyan: Designer

When I met Victor Velyan at the Couture show, I knew that I was meeting one interesting and talented guy. Full of stories of his “second” home in Africa, I know he could keep anyone entertained for hours! (In fact during the show, I heard a couple designers affectionately refer to him as “African Vic.”) But sooner or later, I had to get to exploring his incredible line, the likes of which I haven’t seen before.

Victor and Amy
Victor and Amy

Based in Los Angeles, Victor has been in the jewelry business for 30 years. But about 5 years ago, he really got the urge to create something extremely new and edgy that no one had seen before, so this particular line was born. It’s all completely hand made with NO electric tools! He only uses old-school tools such as chisels and hammers. The first thing that really struck me about his line was the amazing patina on some of his pieces, which he described to me as, “copper trying to come back to life.” Take a look at this exquisite cuff, and the detail of the carefully carved crocodile pattern. The patina process took him 5 years to develop, but I think the hard work was worth it!

stunning!

He also has a white patina on some pieces, which are made using a pure acid bath. The result is extremely unique! This white patina is beautiful on these drop earrings, accented with pink sapphires and sea blue onyx. And a fabulous feature about these earrings is that you can take off the drops, and add others. Great versatility!

victor velyan earrings

I also think these tourmaline and sapphire earrings are quite spectacular, with the color harmony of the stones — fab combo!

victor velyan earrings

Victor also loves pearls. This necklace of pink tourmaline, diamonds and South Sea white pearls is worthy of a princess! And the back of the pendant is just as beautiful as the front.

victor velyan necklace

While I was admiring his collection, I happened to meet Soraya Cayen, who has a fine jewelry store, Cayen Collection, in Carmel, CA. Small world! She carries his line, and is a collector of his work herself. Since Carmel is definitely one of my favorite places to visit, I’ll be sure to stop by next time I’m in town!

Katherine Jetter’s $3 Million Black Opal!!

You may remember the article I wrote about Katherine Jetter last year. (If not, you’re missing out — click the blue link to read it!) The night before Couture was beginning, I was so happy to run into her at a restaurant at the hotel! While chatting, she told me that she had brought THE most amazing opal to the show, and when she showed me a photo of it on her phone (it basically filled her whole hand), I could hardly believe it! I had to go see it in person!

Holy cow!!!!
Holy cow!!!!

Here’s a closer look.

katherine jetter's opal

So here’s how the story goes…a 68 year-old miner (Bobby) from Lightening Ridge, Australia found this gem covered in muck 14 years ago at the bottom of a bucket of rough, uncut opals. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he cleaned it up and really discovered what he had found!! Fearing it would be stolen, he slept with “The Royal One” under his bed and carried it in a pouch around his neck during the day. Last year he brought the opal to NYC to have it appraised by the Gemological Institute of America. Needless to say, this 306 carat black opal blew everyone’s socks off!

This is where Katherine Jetter enters the picture. She has a solid relationship with other opal miners from that region, so Bobby trusted her to take it to Couture to sell. (Clearly, he’s a great judge of character!) Katherine was thrilled to be showing this “important part of Australian history.” Here’s a CNN clip that will give you some more scoop on this incredible story. (click the blue word “clip” to take you to the video.

I wonder who will buy it…

Sethi Couture

Sisters Pratima and Prerna Sethi have jewelry in their blood. With a father in the jewelry business, backgrounds in fashion, and both with a love of all things beautiful, it was natural that they founded their jewelry company, Sethi Couture, in 2009.

Prerna and Amy
Prerna and Amy

I’ve been a fan of this line for quite a while, yet I’d never met them in person, even though they are based here in the SF Bay Area! It took being all the way in Vegas at the Couture show for our first meeting. About a year ago I helped a client select a new wedding set. We came up with this stack of Sethi Couture rings. The unique color combination, the versatility of wearing one, two or all three rings at once, and the blackened metals really sung to my client’s heart.

Non-traditional wedding stack
Non-traditional wedding stack

In fact, I think their diamond stacking rings are genius. They come in such a range of beautiful colors, and they can add so much when combined with other rings. They were created for “women to easily wear and stack …for effortless elegance.” I’ve got a brown diamond one on my jewelry wish list…

sethi couture stacking rings

Here’s a ring from their enchanted garden collection — perfect on its own, or stacked with one of their diamond bands. It’s made of 18K white gold with black rhodium, white diamonds and burnt orange diamond accents.

sethi couture flower ring

While their line is only a few years old, it’s gaining a huge celebrity following, from Halle Berry to Reese Witherspoon. Here’s Jennifer Lawrence rocking a pair of their stunning earrings!

These are FAB earrings on Jennifer!
These are FAB earrings on Jennifer!

I think these white rose cut diamond inverted drop earrings are a beautiful design, with green diamonds set in 18K white gold. They were inspired by the rich colors of peacock feathers. As Prerna described to me, “Ours is a contemporary line with an old world aesthetic.” I think that’s the perfect description.

From their "plume" collection
From their “plume” collection

Each sister has different perspectives to contribute to the designs. Prerna loves the architectural details, while Pratima adores feminine, lacy designs. Prerna said that she enjoys “buliding the architecture around these amazing natural stones.” Case in point is this modern chandelier earring, with an exquisite ombre effect, created from cognac, champagne and orange diamonds.

sethi couture chandeliers

If you’d like to see them and their line in person, then head to Gallery Of Jewels in Union Square on Saturday, July 13. They have a personal appearance from 11-7 during their Endless Love event. You might just find the perfect piece to add some color to your jewelry box!

Brooch Magnets

I know that all of us have pieces in our jewelry box that go unworn. Each day when you open your box, they are yelling, “Pick me! Pick me!” But as the days go by, they go unchosen. (sort of like being picked last for the kickball team in grade school!) Well Country Living magazine had a great idea for how to re-purpose your unused brooches. Turn them into stylish magnets for your fridge!

Brilliant idea!
Brilliant idea!

Basically, all you have to do is use needle-nose pliers to remove the hardware from the back of the pin, and then glue on a super strong magnet. Voila — you’ve got a chic new way to affix your “to do” list to your fridge! Plus, I’m sure that your brooches will love being center stage once again! šŸ˜‰

Anna Ruth Henriques: Stingray Accessories

This year was the first time I visited the JCK jewelry show, which happens concurrently with the Couture jewelry show in Las Vegas. It boasts over 3000 booths, so it was a bit overwhelming to say the least. But I just knew that there were many treasures to be found, and find one I did! While passing by Anna Ruth Henriques‘ booth, my eye instantly gravitated to the MOST amazing stingray clutch. (Side note: stingray is also known as shagreen)

anna ruth stingray clutch

Now I must admit, that I have a bit of a “thing” for stingray. It’s one of the most durable natural materials in existence, and I love the texture and organic feel of it. (even my iphone case is made from it!)

Anna’s bag is made from sustainable materials, made in the USA, and she uses recycled metals and diamonds. The gorgeous clasp was crafted from sterling with bezel-set diamonds. But the even cooler thing is that she created a cicada clasp that can be attached over the silver one to create a whole new look! If you notice the details of the cicada’s wings, you can see that she painted a very detailed pattern on the mother-of-pearl wings that sparkles under faceted quartz. It’s truly a work of art. And it can be used as an alternate clasp, as a pin, or on a necklace.

Cicada clasp on the clutch
Cicada clasp on the clutch

Here’s a close-up view of the cicada. Can you see the amazing detail?!?

anna ruth henriques

She also had some beautiful stingray cuffs. One of which features a spider, which is her signature. Granted, I’m not a big fan of spiders in the flesh. But when I found out that she uses them as a symbol of independence and self-sufficiency, I must admit that I will start to look at these 8-legged creatures in a whole new light.

anna ruth henriques

anna ruth henriques and amy roseveare