Treasures for body and mind

17 August, 2012

Black Friday- The Nugget Jeweler, Alexandria VA

This is an original from The Nugget Jeweler, Alexandria VA.

Diamond, gold, enamel?  Beautiful- one of a kind. 

16 August, 2012

The Ear Vine by Alex Simkin

Please don't hold the waxy model against these really pretty earrings.  

These were a surprise at the last gem and jewelry show.  We spent an hour at the booth, trying on earrings and matching sizes and styles to our ears.  These are totally different from any other earrings I have worn- they have to be fitted to your ear and you, the wearer, have to learn how to put them in.  Mine are completely comfortable except that when one brushes against my hair, my first impulse is to swat it off because I think it is a bug.  Each earring is one piece, almost like a bobby pin, that slides up the front and back of your ear, gently pinching it between the bent metal.   

The lady in the instructional video makes it look easy.  Initially, all of the hand motions are totally backwards to what you want to do.  Ear Designs by Alex Simkin

The ones we picked were pretty, subtle, and fun.

Mine are like this but with amethyst.
I got these for my mom.

My youngest got these in blue glass and my eldest got them in opal.
They have more dramatic offerings, too, with cuffs that fit over the top of the ear (not pictured), combined with these decorations from the top, down the side both in and out of the external ear fold, along and beneath the lobe. 

Worn by a person, not an android, the long gold wire is hidden.

I tried to rock the totally bejewelled ear, but I was too self conscious.  I felt like this:
Not the goal...

But I love the smaller ear vines.  Give them a try!

14 August, 2012


I've been looking for these since I saw them in a magazine.  I always have a brown or black hair elastic around my wrist, making me look unfinished.  But tonight, during a fantastic WalMart splurge-a-thon getting the eldest ready for university, encompassing anti-roach spray, Jamaican cola that tastes like bubble gum, and coat hangers, I found them!  Hallelujah!

The metal on mine is gold toned, and two are shiny, and one is matte.  Not so heavy that they won't stick in my hair, they're not cheap looking on the wrist.  These are genius- where have they been all of my life?  The only problem is that they are hard to find...I've been actively looking for over six months.  

11 August, 2012

This May Not Be Jewelry...

It's definitely adornment but might be clothing.  It's pretty and versatile, though, and would make anything you own a little more modern/medieval.  How many items do you have that can do that?  Wonder what it sounds like when you walk.
Made by Fanniechiavoni, available at  She also has some fantastic PVC and steel chain bustiers and a steel cropped top that is the BOMB. 

10 August, 2012

Black Friday

Ladies and gentlemen- Black Friday presents the Lotus Arts de Vivre snake cuff!  18 karat gold, silver, wood, and precious stones, this jaw dropping boomslang is available on

Black Friday will be a somewhat regular event featuring black jewelry-  quixotic and aesthetically tense.    


05 August, 2012

Keeping Track?

Doesn't everyone keep a list of the jewels that got away?  The ones that haunt you because you did not get them and feel the hole in your psyche until this day?  Yeah- you know it.  This is for you.  

02 August, 2012

Snake Jewelry Is Always in Style

The Victorians loved snakes in jewelry, starting with Prince Albert's giving Vicky a snake ring (those crazy, kinky kids)!  Now they are ubiquitous, often looking like something on loan from Voldemort.  But this contemporary, beaded necklace is gorgeous! 
Gold Snake II by Claire Kahn at Patina Gallery,
Metalic and 24 karat gold plate over glass beads.  Is this subtle or freaky?    


This is James Bond's favorite recipe for potted shrimps, from The Guardian:

Serves 4

200g unsalted butter
Juice of ¼ lemon
¼ tsp ground mace
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish
200g cooked and peeled brown shrimps
Cayenne pepper, to serve

1. Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, and then allow to simmer until you spot the first dark flecks – watch it carefully, or it will burn. Strain through some butter muslin, or two sheets of kitchen roll, into a jug.
2. Wipe out the pan, and pour in two-thirds of the butter. Add the lemon juice, mace, pepper, anchovy essence and a pinch of salt and simmer very gently for five minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool but not set. Divide the shrimps between 4 ramekins, pressing them in tightly.
3. When just warm, but still liquid, divide the spiced butter between the ramekins and put in the fridge to set. Once solid, pour over the remainder of the clarified butter and return to the fridge to set.
4. Serve with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a lot of hot toast.

And why would you care about potted shrimp, you ask, wondering if I have some weird Flemming-philia.  Because of this delicious little Goring Shrimp, by Alex Monroe.     

Rose gold over silver, grey pearls for eyes- awwwwww.
Usually food doesn't make attractive jewelry, but this one is adorable!  Sold with a shrimp tea at the Goring Hotel, it is also available on Alex Monroe's site,  His blog does not say if the shrimps at the hotel are potted or not, but a shrimp tea is, well, very very (teddibly teddibly) British that they should be.

Since I am not British, I'll leave you with the shrimp and corn chowder I made the other night.  It's from the best soup cookbook ever, Twelve Months of Monastery Soups, by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette.

Serves 6

4 cups water
2 chopped onions
2 chopped celery stalks
1 small chopped pepper
1 finely diced carrot
2 large, diced potatoes
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 can creamed corn
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 lb cooked, shelled shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley and paprika for garnish

1.  Pour water into large pot. Add onions, celery, pepper, carrots, potatoes, and bay leaf.  Bring to boil and then simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
2.  Dilute flour with milk.  Add to soup.
3.  Add corn, cooked shrimp, salt, and pepper.  Cook for a few minutes, stirring over low- medium heat.  remove bay leaf and serve with sprinkles of garnishes.