Treasures for body and mind

31 August, 2011

James Barker

Whitney Abrams makes me drool- the finest metals, the finest stones, and talented artists creating beautiful objects that encapsulate intent, history, and fantasy.  The pearl disk earrings in the bottom left corner take my breath away.  A queen in a fairy tale should wear them.

All of these were made by James Barker and are being sold by Whitney Abrams.  Mr. Barker, B.1941-D.2005, was a sculptor, craftsman, and artist who used ancient techniques to make his jewels.  For more information about pieces by James Barker please contact Whitney Abrams at 312-337-6687 or

No surprise- those lovely earrings are sold.  Not sure about the gorgeous fire opals that are straight from a Jules Verne novel (no pun intended).

BTW- thank you, Ms. Abrams, for crafting your beautiful items in yellow gold.  Nothing else looks so rich.




29 August, 2011

New From Element, Not New to Fashion

Element Jewelry ( has some gorgeous new wooden bangles that I want to show you- they are sleek rosewood and silver.  Classy, eternal, and current all at once- gorgeous.  But I can't get the photos to work properly, so no photos of new, contemporary "arm candy" that no one should be without.      

And you should get your arm candy while the "arm party" is on-trend.

I am in awe.  It's so Victorian!  Seriously- Victorians stacked bracelets of every material on both wrists, especially if they had sentimental meaning.  Pairs of Victorian bracelets are hard to find now, but recently there have been some wonderful ones for sale.  Any of these would be invited to my arm party too.
Berlin iron bracelets from  The stories these beauties could tell!

Guta percha and gold, also available from www.1stdibs- mourning wear.

Not Victorian, these Georgian pinchbeck bracelets have Hera and Zeus in profile.  From Three Graces at  
 Also check out for "The Best Dressed Wrists In New York."  Lots of fun stuff there, and every collection was stacked with memories and self definition from blessings from monks to mop strings to mothers.  Fabulous.  

26 August, 2011

DIY with egg press

Paulette Goddard famously said, "The only thing you have always to remember is: Never, ever sleep with a man until he gives you a pure white stone of at least ten carats."  

These are the antithesis of the Goddard test, but are perfect for more situations than bartering for your (or someone else's) favors.       

Loving the earring hooks hanging from the side- definitely for big girls.  From

25 August, 2011

Tropical Storm Warning

The Mid-Atlantic/ Northeast Coast is getting ready for Hurricane Irene.  Please pray that she turns and heads out to sea or that the damage and death is minimal to none.  

We've stocked up on water and flashlights, checked the trees in the yard for instability and bad limbs, and will fill up the truck with gas tomorrow evening.  We're as prepared as we can be, minus filling the bathtubs with water for flushing when the power goes out.  Now we wait and pray.

Hurricanes are a kick in the pants.  There is a thrill to the preparation and the tracking- and then there is awe at the photos- and then there is a realization that you are about to eat that storm...gulp!

NASA photo, taken by Ron Garan on the Space Station

24 August, 2011

Endless Summer

Ugh- I cannot get excited about this fall's fashions because they mean summer is ending.  This summer has been wonderful, and I'm clinging to every juicy watermelon/berry/peach/salt/chlorine infused drop.   

I wish....

As you sit in an office over winter, these lovelies will help you hear the waves throbbing against the shoreline, keeping time until the days lengthen again.

Waimea- Silver Wave

Ala Moana Bowls
Both are available from Surfing Silver at  Now I'm off to soak up some more sun before it leaves us...

22 August, 2011

Princess for a Day

A tiara is a circlet worn around the front of the head for a very formal or court occasion.  When they were worn more regularly, they were usually worn by married women.  This weekend, a woman drove by me wearing a tiara, and I thought, "Way to go!"  You should be able to wear a tiara some days to release your inner princess or beauty contestant or Pirate Queen or Queen of Funk or whoever you are.  A collection would be best.  What would your tiara look like? 

Belle Epoch diamonds today?  

Early 1900s silver, chrysophrase, enamel, and rock crystal Hermes wings?

Victorian coral?

Edwardian peacock feathers, diamonds, and gold?
Victorian silver?

Does anyone out there have a real tiara tucked away in the closet? 

19 August, 2011

St. George and the Bejeweled Dragon

It's easy to forget the impact jewels had waaaaay back when the average person did not regularly have access to them- and then its understandable why princes used them as lavishly as they did.  Jewelry and objects de art were not just adornment or beautiful (or even gross displays of or a method of saving wealth), but were about power...who wanted it and who had it. 

This beautiful statue was a gift from a German prince to his brother, the Prince of Munich, the most powerful man in Germany at the time.  It's workmanship is unparalleled.  Seeing it knocks a modern viewer backwards; imagine what it was like seeing it in the 1600s when the viewer understood the realpolitik that lay beneath the enamel and gold.  

Statuette of St George (gold, enamel, silver-gilt, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, opals, agate, chalcedony, rock crystal, and other precious stones, pearls; height 50 cm); Munich, 1586/97
The statuette was made to house a relic of St. George that Archbishop Ernst of Cologne sent in 1586 to his brother,  Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria.  In the seventeenth century, the statuette was displayed on important feast days on the alter of an opulent chapel, the Reiche Kapelle, in the Munich Residenz.  The saint's face behind the removable visor is carved from wood and resembles Duke Wilhelm V.  The sword's blade is rock crystal, and both St. George's armor and the horse's barding are intricately enameled and set with stones that are flush with the surface of the piece.  
Amazing.  Powerful.     

16 August, 2011

Work It!

Her Serene Highness Charlene of Monaco, formerly a world-class athletic swimmer, wore this tiara when she got married this summer.  Van Cleef and Arples made it for her; The Ocean Tiara reflects her accomplishments as a swimmer (which is fabulousness in itself and the most feminist action a prince has made in a long time...).

Her wedding present from what's-his-name, the prince, was a matching necklace.

No doubt, as she opened it she said, "Wow!"  But what she thought was, "What do I wear with this?"  (Honestly honey, nothing.  Go naked- no one would notice because they'd be blinded by the bling.)

She recently wore the necklace (and clothes), looking stunning at some ball or another.  Here she is, what's-his-name, He-Who-Provides-Diamonds, with showing how wearable this necklace is.   

So, if you have something you haven't considered wearing in a while because you think it's over the top, it probably is- but don't let that hold you back! 

15 August, 2011


The word "edgy" means "daringly innovative," and comes from the phrase "cutting edge."  This Tiffany necklace is original, disconcerting, and animalistic, as well as being silver- which is what all of us will be wearing more of as gold continues to skyrocket.  Since I am using the heck out of quotation marks today, Tiffany's words will give the details:  "A claw adds drama to this gleaming choker design. Necklace with black jade in sterling silver. Original designs copyrighted by Elsa Peretti."

Nothing feels as good next to the skin as jade...nothing...even if it is a jade claw next to the jugular.    

13 August, 2011

What a Hoot!

It looks like a chrysanthemum, but it isn't.  It's an Italian, 1960s, 18 kt Gold and enamel owl ring.  It's a one-of a kind, available at 1st Dibs.

Look at his eyebrows!
Do owls have eyebrows?

12 August, 2011

New from Alex Monroe

It's no secret that I love Alex Monroe's delicate, detailed, nature-inspired items.  He has a new collection, Chrysanthemum, that is available on, but not his website yet.  All are 22 kt plated sterling silver.  I'm soooooo in love!     

The lovely chrysanthemum ring from the front.  Look at the different types of mums!
Same ring from the side.
Stud earrings

Same earrings, close up- look at the detail on the little bud!

The ant ring, for good measure, since that's not on his website either! 

10 August, 2011


If you want to read an interview with Konstanze of Nodeform, check out Etsy Metal (  Great minds think alike...

Back to School

Just when you were getting the hang of's time to go back to school.  These should count as school supplies.  

Ring, colored pencils and silver, by Maria Christina Bellucci, at

Silver necklace by Victoria Mason at
Pencil stud earrings, in a rainbow of colors, by Hui Yi Tan Handmade Design at

08 August, 2011

Nodeform- "No Ordinary Design Element"

Nodeform is the Etsy shop where architect Konstanze sells the rings she designs and makes, preferring jewelry's smaller scale to architecture.  Her bio on the site says,  "Rings are the perfect wearable mini sculpture, an expression of style right on your hand. A ring can symbolize and represent a variety of social and emotional states of being.  It can be pure adornment or fun and express personal style." 

Rough diamond ring in 18kt gold- love its sculptural band

Tumbled citrine and silver frog ring- the irregular coloring in the citrine pebble decreases the value of the stone but adds to the overall effect of the piece by the stone changing color from different vantage points.   

Nesthackchen ring- silver and gold keum-boo ring with freshwater pearls.  It looks like a Muppet! I love it!
All of these and more can be found at

And for those who want a Muppet fix, with nothing to do with jewelry, check out the Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody:

05 August, 2011

Cabinet de Curiosites

Awwwwww....isn't he cute?  Boucheron's line, Cabinet de Curiosites, has some great snakes!  The coolest thing about these snakes is that the snakes' little jeweled tongues go in and out with a wee hidden mechanism! 

For those who are not wild about snakes, Cabinet de Curiosites probably has your favorite animal too.   

And these are just rings!  There are so many more! 

03 August, 2011

Chanel's New Collection, Contrastes

Orpheus inspires Chanel's new line.  Orpheus played so beautifully that rocks and beasts came to him.  His music moved Hades to agree to let Eurydice, Orpheus' love, return to life if Orpheus refrained from looking at back at her during their return to the world.  He failed; she did not return.  Heartbroken, he wandered restlessly until he was torn apart by drunken nymphs who threw his head into a river.  His head floated down the river, singing tragically, until it was properly buried, freeing his spirit to join Eurydice.   Chanel's new collection,  Contrastes, hints at the myth's duality, tragedy, and mystery, while visually representing the power of Orpheus' lyre to alter the world and imbue it with magic created by beauty.  While the collection primarily adheres to Chanel's traditional black and white palate, it is anything but predictable. 

01 August, 2011

Trend Alert

Longer necklaces with collections of charms...happening everywhere!
From she's so beautiful I could look at her all day.
Also the watch with the purple scarf and red fiber bracelet...colorful items around the wrist are all the thing this summer, from Links of London's beautiful friendship bracelets to brightly colored beads to, well, scarves.  Best of all, moms can STYLISHLY wear those yarn bracelets our poppets made for us, blending them in with our stacked bling.  Stacked bracelets have been big for a few years now, but the scarf is a great addition.  Even if we don't have Hermes to wrap, we'll use what we have/like to our best advantage!

Links of London Sweetie bracelet
(I can't advise on how to wear the Cheerio necklaces kids make- I wore mine as a simple strand for fear it would be crushed- beyond advising that they be worn at least once in public.  The odds are that it won't be the day The Sartorialist takes pictures in your neighborhood.)