A while back, one of my wonderful readers gave me this topic idea (Thanks, Rose!), and it has really opened my eyes to the challenges of making a fitness tracker look fashionable. While I know many of my friends use the Fitbit One that clips onto their bra or waistband, many others have opted to use the type worn as a bracelet. I have had my eyes wide open looking for fashionable wrist stacks, and I’ve seen a whopping TWO when out and about the past couple months.
First is my friend Laura, who wears a Misfit Shine in a cool shade of rose gold with a black band. She pairs this with her daily bracelet stack, which consists of bracelets by Hortense, Rebecca Overmann and Melissa Joy Manning. I think it’s a great look, don’t you? Very delicate and harmonious. She really is a mix master in all areas of jewlery.
While we were having lunch downtown today, I snapped another photo to show you how they all blend together effortlessly.
My other example of how to do this with a chic factor is seen on my image consulting colleague, Brenda Kinsel. She wears a black Fitbit with a hematite cuff she purchased at Oska and a cool fringy one by Goti. The result is a bold, edgy look.
Recently, Fitbit has come out with a more streamlined model called the Fitbit Alta . Its slim body can be mixed with a variety of bands, from leather to metal. I would think it’s possible to mix this with your watch and bracelets.
One last item I encountered was in InStyle Magazine — the Chronos, which is a disc you can attach to the back of your own watch to track your steps. You can even set it to alert you to messages, calls, etc. I find this idea a bit intriguing, as it wouldn’t affect my current look at all. I could just pop it on the back of whatever watch I’m wearing that day. (I do wonder how much bulk or weight it would add to my watch.)
Though I haven’t seen one of these in person (it’s currently available for pre-order), I explored the website a bit and found this 38 second video interesting. What do you think of this technology?
Personally, I love tracking my steps and stairs. I currently do this with my iPhone, but I don’t always have my phone with me, so I know my “count” isn’t accurate. (Frustrating for the type A personality…) I have been toying with the idea of getting a tracker, and perhaps the time is now. What about you? Do you wear one? I’d love to hear from you on this topic.
Somehow, 4 years have passed since I wrote an article about how to keep your jewlery safe. Given that this is a very important topic, I figured it was definitely time to re-visit the subject. Guest editor, Jennifer Bressie, has some wise words for us this week:
You might be surprised by the chosen topic this time, as it seems I have kind of become known as the wacky sidekick from previous posts! As a lover of jewels, I can’t think of a more important topic than keeping our beloved safe! As I mentioned in an earlier post, this blog has cost me a fortune and I now have a much more valuable collection of jewelry. I am not talking like walk-in-safe, with retinae scanner collection, but one that would make the average jewel thief quite happy!
Sadly, where I live in the Bay Area there have been a barrage of break-ins. In fact, my parent’s house was broken into just last year! I decided it was high time I take some action to protect my collection.
As Amy has previously mentioned, protecting the family jewels (ha ha couldn’t resist) can be broken down into a couple of categories. The first is protecting them from being stolen, with a safe or a killer hiding-place, which Amy covered in an earlier post. The second is the area of insuring the jewelry, which can be quite costly and not necessarily leave you as covered as one might think. I decided this was my first step.
I called my insurance broker to ask a few questions. For starters, I have a homeowner’s policy and I have a separate policy to cover jewelry. I had long thought that my homeowner’s policy would cover everything else besides that specified in the rider. WRONG! Depending on your policy, most cover $1,000 to $20,000 for theft, fire, and loss. Often there is a cap that no one item can cost more than $1500. If you think about everything in your home including electronics, clothes, and jewelry, it’s pretty easy to reach that number!
I am not an insurance agent, I don’t have any friends who are insurance agents and I find all of this very confusing! Also, it’s hard to get honest, unbiased answers on this subject because most people who know about it are trying to sell you insurance! I did call some brokers, but the best advice I received was from a friend of mine in the jewelry business. In addition to a great recommendation for a safe, which works in conjunction with your home security system, he had the best advice for insurance.
Here are some questions to ask when looking into jewelry insurance:
Current Insurance: Is my homeowner’s/renter’s insurance enough? Or do I need a separate policy? What exactly is covered and for how much? What kind of loss is covered? Fire, theft, looking down and your ring one day and seeing the stone is gone? Are there precautions I can take which might lower my premium? (Safe, alarm, safety deposit box, etc.)
Compensation: How will I be compensated? Does the insurance company write me a check? Do they let me replace with exact designer, etc. or do they replace it with one of their preferred jewelers?
Claims: How do I file a claim and what will be required of me? Will I need a police report? Receipts and photos? Recent appraisals? A note here, it is very important to not only keep your receipts for your fine jewelry but also, you will want to have some appraisals. For example, you may have purchased a gold bracelet back in 2004 when gold was $450 an ounce. To replace that bracelet today, with gold at over $1250 an ounce, means you will need to spend quite a bit more for the same bracelet.
Here are some further thoughts on ways to keep jewels safe and wearable:
1. Keep great records of what you have. Amy keeps an itemized spreadsheet of her belongings on her computer and a back up print out with her mom. I am not quite this organized, but I do have a folder with every single receipt and have just recently embarked on having the appraisals updated and will be creating a spreadsheet similar to Amy’s. I will also include photos of the item.
2. Regularly check your jewelry for wear and tear. Are there loose stones? Are the clasps all still in good working order?
3. Be cautious about travelling with your jewelry. Limit items to those versatile pieces that work well with your outfits, maybe limit the dollar value of what you bring and certainly triple-check the hotel safe to make sure you have everything!
4. The same goes for at home; while it’s always fun to wear our jewels, certain activities just don’t require them and leave you exposed to loss or damage. I’m thinking of you, lady with the 5-carat diamond ring who I have seen take off and leave in the gym locker! Are you kidding me?!
5. Have a great way to store your jewelry at home. Invest in a safe if you have a valuable collection. It is preferable if the safe bolts to the floor or is built into the wall, but even a small well-hidden safe can make your beauties hard to get.
Jennifer, thank you so much for this informative article! And you, my readers — what are you doing to keep your jewelry safe? Please share any tips you may have in the comments below.
You might think, based on their size, that they are heavy. But let me assure you they are light as a feather. From the photo, you can see they are not pulling on my piercing whatsoever. She achieves this lightness by using wire and very thin sheets of metal in her work. She really is creating sculpture for the body.
If you guessed pine needles, you are correct. That is if pine needles came in oxidized silver with 18K gold tips!
Heather began making jewelry when she was only 17 years old, and went on to graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002. After a few years working as a goldsmith in New York, she has now returned to Rhode Island, where all her jewelry is made by hand.
Modernist design is a key inspiration for her, as evident in these carved cone rings. I played around with stacking three of them in different sizes.
You know I’m always on the hunt for cool stud earrings. Heather had a chic design in a variety of stones.
Get ready for your jaw to drop…seriously, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Pretty spectacular, hm?! OK — here’s one more to whet your appetite.
Now you’re getting an idea why meeting Paula Crevoshay and getting the opportunity to see her jewelry in person at the Couture show was on my “must do!” list. Aptly dubbed “The Queen of Color,” Paula utilizes her artistic talent to paint with gemstones. (She in fact has a masters degree in painting and sculpture, graduating with honors by the age of 22!) Each of her pieces is one-of-a-kind.
Let me show you a few items I couldn’t resist trying on while at the show. First is this poppy ring, which took a year to make. The intricacy of detail as I peered from the top, side, and back was just incredible. The ombre effect she created with the Mexican opals, moonstone center, the folding waves of the petals…I couldn’t get enough of it.
Paula sketches each design, and she can envision exactly which stones she’ll need to bring her vision off the page and into real life. This African Queen bracelet is made of faceted Ethiopian opals and blue zircon from Cambodia. From design until completion, it was about 6 months. It looks pretty good on me, right?!
While Paula didn’t necessarily anticipate going into jewelry, that changed while she was on a three year “Magical Mystery tour” in India as a new bride. I can only imagine how the vibrant colors of India, combined with her artistic talent just exploded during this period in her life.
Being the ocean-lover I am, I also had to admire her Seafoam Bracelet, depicting the waves coming onto shore. The blue sapphires represent the water, with diamonds as the frothy foam.
I know you won’t be surprised to hear that Paula has permanent displays in museums, including the Smithsonian Institute, Carnegie Museum and the GIA Museum. Believing that “we are born to be jeweled,” it has always been her intention that her jewlery consists of one-of-a-kind art pieces. She has achieved this in spades.
I want to share a few more images with you…
If you’d like to get to know a bit more about Paula and explore her passion, take 6 minutes to enjoy this beautiful video. After viewing it, I felt both zen and inspired at the same time.
I want to thank Paula and her wonderful team for taking the time to speak with me. I learned so much, and I now have an even deeper appreciation of her work.
Back in October 2014, I wrote an article about chokers. At that time, the trend was leaning toward more delicate varieties. While these are certainly still very wearable today, I’ve noticed that chokers are going bold, big time. These larger-scale versions are making it off the fashion runway and onto the street.
With the longevity I’ve seen the past couple years, I’m thinking that chokers are no longer a trend, but rather a viable jewelry staple. I’ve done a bit of online investigating and wanted to share a range of designs with you. Perhaps one will strike your fancy?
There are times when I see a jewelry line, and it just resonates with me. This is exactly what happened when I checked out Julie Cohn’s work. (Thanks for the tip, Vicente Agor!) I think it’s so chic! Julie describes her collection as, “…primitive, yet modern in style, juxtaposing refined elements with rough organic shapes.” Working with Ancient Bronze and sterling silver, along with semi-precious stones, her designs are absolutely wearable. I had the chance to ask Julie some questions about her and her line. Read on to see what she has to say…
I’m in awe of your creative pursuits the past 30 years, which include designing paper, rugs, wallpaper and more. Has one thing just led to another in a natural progression? How did you make the jump to jewlery?
All of my creative endeavors have evolved organically. Each area of design that I have been involved with has had some common component with the next project. I was prototyping for a drapery hardware project and certain techniques that we were using were applicable to jewelry.
I think it’s wonderful that all the pieces in your line are made right in Dallas! Are you a self-taught jeweler?
I am a self taught jeweler. I have had private instruction along the way to figure out the best way to interpret a design, but I do all the conceptualizing and wax carving.
Your designs are both rustic and refined at the same time. How would you describe your aesthetic?
I am very influenced by the midcentury craft movement, which in turn was influenced by the architecture and ethnic crafts of that time period. I love ethnic jewelry but I also love the organic refinement of Elsa Perretti. I think my aesthetic is a mixture of all of those influences, in addition to my love of all things Japanese.
What is your current favorite piece or two in your line?
I love a lot of my rings. The current collection is about hand formed geometry and references contemporary architecture that I love. My favorite necklace is the Helena. It is made entirely of hand formed beads that are individually wire wrapped together. It’s obsessive in its construction but is so simple — it’s like a strand of bronze pearls.
What do you find are the biggest rewards and challenges of being a jewlery designer?
I live to work. There is an infinite amount of inspiration that I would love to explore. I think it is hard staying true to your own style and strengths when they may not be what everyone else is doing. I have never been successful when I’ve chased trends. I design for myself and what I’d like to be wearing.
I actually had to go check my calendar, but yep…it was back on April 8, 2011, I started this blog. How can it be that five years has flown by so quickly? I thought I’d share with you how this blog ever came to be.
I was dating a professional blogger, and we were driving home from dinner over in Half Moon Bay. This is how the conversation went down:
Him: “I think you should start a jewelry blog. You are so passionate about jewelry, and it would fit in perfectly with your image consulting business.”
Me: “Are you frickin’ crazy?! I have no idea what I’d write about!”
Him: “OK, get out a piece of paper, and start writing down article ideas. Tell me when you get to 50.”
I started jotting down ideas and continued the list when we got back to my apartment. I got to 50 without even really trying too hard. I couldn’t believe I had all these ideas swimming around in my head. Who knew?!
About 30 minutes later he said, “Go to JewelryFashionTips.com. It’s yours.” I did, and this is what I saw…
I was shocked, I was excited, and I told him, “I HATE the name! Why can’t I have something cute and catchy?” He explained it was a name which would be searchable online, and he was right. (Damn it! I hate when he’s right.) Organic search is still the #1 way people find my blog.
So now, 5 years later, I still have barely made a dent in my original 50 topic ideas, and I can’t stop writing. Thank you to Jeff, who’s still my bestie and blog master, to the talented people I’ve met in the fascinating world of jewlery, and to you, my fabulous readers. I cannot thank you all enough for your continued support!
Now, time to eat that dee-lish chocolate and coconut cupcake from Kara’s that I purchased to shoot the photo. Cheers! xoxo
Oh, you lucky April babies…you get the diamond as your birthstone! This gem, made of pure carbon, is known as the “stone of invincibility” because it’s the hardest known naturally occurring substance. It comes in most colors of the rainbow and can range from clear to opaque. Not only are diamonds beautiful, but they bring many wonderful qualities to those who wear them:
-enhances your inner vision, opening one to new possibilities
-brings balance to your brain and life
-builds strength and fortitude
-is a symbol of faithfulness and love
-helps release fear and anxiety, and builds courage and hope
-associated with success and abundance
One interesting thing I read while researching diamonds is that they are purported to amplify both the positive and the negative. So, for example, if you’re in a terrible mood, it will apparently magnify this feeling. It is suggested that one take off ones diamonds if feeling negative. Interesting, hm?
I was a bit overwhelmed when I began pondering how I could narrow down my examples of diamond jewelry to just a handful. There’s SO many pieces I love out there! Therefore, I decided to narrow the field and show you some of the fantastic designs from my local peeps — talented designers from the San Francisco Bay Area. I asked 11 different designers to share one of their current favorite pieces from their collections. So here they are in no particular order for your viewing pleasure…
I don’t know about you, but I’m blown away by the range in beauty coming out of the Bay Area. Thank you so much to the wonderful designers for sharing your work! May all of you with a birthday this month have a wonderful celebration and some fun shopping for diamonds. xo