She had me at her “egg” necklace — her signature piece. As soon as I came across it online, I knew I had to have one for myself. And let me tell you, when I received it, it did not disappoint! It has become one of my go-to necklaces.
One of the definitions of a gem is, “..something prized especially for great beauty or perfection.” In my mind, sea glass definitely qualifies as a gem, although it may not be what initially comes to mind when picturing one. When I tell people I’m passionate about collecting sea glass, they likely picture me strolling along the beach, stopping here and there to pick up a piece. Well let me tell you, this is more what it looks like.
Welcome to the world of extreme sea glassing. For this sport, you need gear: a wetsuit, booties, an array of shovels and scoopers, somewhere to quickly and securely stash your finds, and the ability to run really quickly when a huge wave is about to get you. Trust me, you don’t want to be slammed against the merciless cliffs. Davenport, CA, located about 9 miles north of Santa Cruz, is one of the best-known “multi” beaches in the world (the other being in Seaham, England). “Multis” are pieces of sea glass which have more than one color in it. Here’s one of the gems we found last week. Can you see the subtle striations in the white portion? I think it’s simply mesmerizing.
Finding sea glass at Davenport is definitely challenging. For one thing, it’s very seasonal — the winter storms are needed to churn up and take out the sand to reveal areas of gravel. This is your only chance of finding anything. If the gravel is in the surf, then you have to keep running in and out of the waves, scooping up gravel to sift through, hoping to find “it” at the bottom of your scoop or shovel before you’re toppled by the wave. If the gravel is up on the sand, then you spend hours digging big holes in the beach, hoping to uncover what you’re looking for. The rest of the year, the beach is just covered in sand…no glass to be found.
With years of drought in California, glassing season has left something to be desired. That is until this year, when El Nino has finally brought in some storms to help us out. BUT…this also means huge, dangerous surf to contend with. I’ve been a few times the past couple weeks, and while I’ve been there, I’ve witnessed someone get a concussion, a likely broken leg, a smashed ankle, and sadly last Saturday someone even lost their life. (Thankfully, his body was found yesterday.) This is definitely not for the faint of heart. Here’s a few photos recently shot by the glass guru, James Hailey. James is one of the master sea glassers, and he has helped me learn so much about the craft. (Follow his FB page if you want to see his jaw-dropping finds!)
We’ve been lucky to find a bunch of partial mushrooms lately as well, which are sometimes also referred to as “onions.”
I suppose I should be an expert on amethyst, as my birthday is this month…but I’m not. I enjoyed researching this birthstone and going on my (much-loved) virtual shopping spree. Unlike so many stones which come in a wide range of colors, amethyst really sticks to the purple family, from lavender and lilac to deep purple and red-violet. The amount of iron in the quartz determines the shade of purple. Though I have heard of green amethyst over the years, I learned this is a misnomer. Green amethyst is in fact created by heating a natural amethyst, and its true name is prasiolite. (Click here for a more detailed description.)
Amethyst comes from the Greek word meaning “without drunkenness” and has often been referred to as the sobriety stone. It can be transparent or opaque (didn’t know that!), and it has some potent qualities, such as:
-guards against overindulgence
-aids with curing addictions
-it is “nature’s tranquilizer,” helping soothe the mind and emotions
-brings the wearer balance and peace
-wonderful in meditation, as it opens the channels between realms
-enhances intuition and psychic ability
Having this new knowledge in mind, I set off on my quest for amethyst jewelry. With colored stones currently so en vogue, I was surprised there weren’t more pieces to be found. Many popular jewelry sites I visited didn’t have a single amethyst piece. (What?!) I have a feeling this is going to change with the coming season. I know many designers are amping up their color game. Nonetheless, I found many items I would be very happy to have in my own jewelry box. In no particular order:
Each year when Valentine’s Day rolls around, it’s not my single-ness that first pops into my mind, but rather, “Yay!! It’s time for another self-prezzie!” If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I’m a firm believer in what I call The Boyfriend Gift. In a nutshell, when important days come along (or heck, even a Tuesday, for that matter!) I use the opportunity to treat myself to a new piece of jewlery…because why should I have no boyfriend AND no jewelry? There’s nothing right about that! I may not be able to do anything about the boyfriend situation, but I can certainly do something about the jewelry situation. So any money I would have spent on the boyfriend, I spend on myself.
To give you some jewelry inspiration, I thought I’d take it back to my Jewelry Box Basics format, which is a series I began back in 2013. In this series, I describe 6 different personal styles, and then I suggest pieces of jewelry which would be harmonious with that style. Granted, no one fits in any one box, so please use these as general guidelines. To catch up to date, click on each of these styles to read more in depth: The Lady Who Lunches, The Bohemian, The Rock Star, The Minimalist, The Romantic, and The Trendy Gal.
Without further ado, here’s some ideas for each personal style…
The Lady Who Lunches: Chopard Happy Hearts Bracelet
During my 17+ years as a wardrobe stylist, I’ve learned that this woman likes high quality, and having something that’s a name brand doesn’t hurt. They don’t want to be ostentatious, but rather tastefully elegant. This Chopard rose gold bracelet with two hearts, one of coral and the other with a moving diamond, hits this desired note. Equally lovely worn alone or in a stack.
The Bohemian gal wouldn’t likely gravitate toward traditional heart jewelry. Instead, taking inspiration from Cupid’s arrow sounds much more up her alley. These bold arrow rings from Otto Jewels are very chic, from the finish on the metal to the sparkles. Yes, please!
I feel like I practically know Marla just from her fabulous Instagram feed. I’m obsessed with her line of locks, which come in a variety of sizes, metals, and even embellished with gems. Her heart locks are ideal for the rocker in you and would be killer layered up with some of your other fave necklaces.
The Romantic personal style is most certainly drawn to vintage and antique jewelry. When I came across this clever ring, I was instantly intrigued. It has two clasping hands, which swivel open to reveal the sweetest of hearts. Don’t you just love it? The sentimentality and the history would definitely resonate with a Romantic’s heart, as well as her personal style.
The true Minimalist has the smallest jewelry collection of all the styles. She usually has her “uniform” of jewelry she wears each day, which may be as simple as a watch and a pair of stud earrings that are never changed. This is not to say that this woman lacks fun in her life, so I think if this gal wanted to give herself a Valentine-themed treat, it would be in the form of the most delicate and simple heart ring. I found two I really like. The open heart is in 14K rose gold, from Ariel Gordon, and Jennifer Meyer has a precious 18K gold ring with a singular, solid heart.
This personal style likes to play, experiment and have some fun with fashion. What a better way to show a little sass than with this Alison Lou necklace? It’s surely a conversation starter with its ruby lips and fancy lashes. It makes me smile just looking at it.
Your fingerprint is one of the most unique things about you. Sarah Graham has found the perfect melding of fingerprints and incredibly meaningful pieces of jewelry. It all ramped up when she became a mother. When her son was four months old she created a necklace which had his fingerprint on it. Soon, all her mom friends had to have one too. (This is SO not your typical “mommy jewelry,” right?!) She was then tasked with figuring out a way to take this outside her studio and offer it to people far and wide. She knew there was a market for these future heirlooms. When I stopped by her booth at the Couture show, I was thrilled to see some of the collection in person!