Saturday, August 31, 2013

Seaside, Destin, Jewelry

Our whirlwind weekend in Destin was quick but wonderful. The weather was mostly humid (no surprise) and rainy, but the rain held on Saturday for the beach wedding and the reception afterwards, though we were dying at the rooftop reception from the exceptionally humid air. We did manage to eat, drink, and dance our way through it however.  :)

I wore this skirt on Friday night to the rehearsal dinner (it was a small wedding, and the bride and groom invited everyone to the rehearsal dinner) and also most of the day Saturday for shopping:

I bought it from Macy's earlier this year and this was its first outing. (Sold out,, unfortunately). It's a bit more blue / cool-hued than the photo shows, and Friday night I wore it with a coral tank and my leopard flips. For Saturday, I wore a black tank and rhinestone flips. It's 100% rayon so I was a little worried about wrinkling, but really had no trouble. And it was perfect for a very humid Saturday - lightweight and with the slits up the sides to just above the knee, it was breezy and comfortable. One of my favorite summer purchases so far.

Seaside, where we went on Saturday, was about 30 minutes from our hotel in Destin, and well worth the visit. Cute, charming, not too crowded (even though we got there around noon on Saturday during the summer season), easy parking and shopping and dining. We wandered around all sorts of fun shops - note, though, that Seaside is not for the inexpensive shopper, necessarily - and fell in love with a few. And one in particular, the Fusion Art Glass gallery.

When you enter, be prepared to be knocked over by the beauty of not only the items for sale, but the gallery itself. It was by far my favorite of the retailers we visited. And I'm not necessarily a glass girl (though my husband loves art glass). The owner himself is a glass blower, and carries items from artisans at the top of their game, and they are LOVELY. Affordable? Depends on your budget. But it's easy to lose yourself in all the gorgeous colors, shapes, vessels, etc in this glorious shop.

We did come away with these:

That I wore to the wedding that night. And on the drive home.  :)  They're by Patricia Locke, whose work I really enjoy. I showed you the only other piece of hers that I own, this necklace. It's a much older design, and the metal treatment is different, but I wouldn't wear them together anyway. The necklace is more subtle and the earrings are good-fun bling.  :)
We bought nothing else, but truly enjoyed ourselves just wandering around the main shopping district (right off of 30-A; their main drag). It's a tiny town:

of not quite 1300 people. But jam-packed with beauty and charm.

Also, there was this:

Which is unaltered, from my iphone. Such a gorgeous sunset! From the night before the wedding.

And this:

Part of the row of (I can only assume) multimilliondollarhomes right on the beach. All with rooftop decks and balconies on every floor. We didn't stay on the beach, but the bride and groom did, and let me tell you - that house had everything. Movie screening room. Hot tub. Beautifully appointed kitchen with every indulgence you can imagine. Sumptuous bed- and was amazing.

Here's the only shot I (sort of) got of the house where we partied:

The furthest to the right. Just to the right of the photo (unseen) is the deck/path to the beach where the bride and groom walked out for the ceremony. We were all barefoot with the fabulous white sand between our toes and the surf gently was a very quick getaway but well worth the effort!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wedding Weekend in Destin

Brett and I are heading to Destin, FL today for a wedding. And I'm bringing all the color a girl can stand - it's the beach, after all. What better time for happy colors?  :)


Two skirts in a very similar color pattern (the one on the right is a long maxi; on the left, an a-line. Plus a coral tank top in the upper left corner).


The lavender bracelet is to wear with the maxi skirt. The shell bracelet is for the other skirt. And the blue beaded necklace is for today, with a chocolate tank top and my denim mini.

And shoes:

For the non-beachy part of the beach. They'll work with both skirts and with the dress for the wedding (which is black; sometimes tradition beats color) if I wanted...though I do have rhinestone flips for the actual wedding. But I suspect I'll be mostly barefoot this weekend. I'll gladly forego footwear for poking my toes into the sand. :)

We're leaving in about half an hour...can't wait!! Have a great weekend, world.  :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Vintage Shopping, Lakewood

My mother came to visit recently, and we did a little shopping. It's what we do...and we do it well. :)

We went to the Lakewood Antiques Market, just a few miles north of home, and spent several hours hunting for vintage goodies.

For reference, we have two big antique markets in Georgia, Lakewood and the Scott Antique Market. Lakewood is a smaller, a bit more rustic, and a lot less busy (also less expensive...usually). I tend to go looking for furniture at Scott's, though it's often out of budget (I may have mentioned that I don't typically have inexpensive taste...). Lakewood is more about "smalls", for me. And that's pretty much what we came home with:

Vintage yellow ware bowl. In a great size, about 18 inches across I think:

The color is a little yellow-er than the photos show. Offered at a great price - $ 39, and it's marked for Hull. Usually when I see bowls this size they're selling for *not quite* double the price. My husband is a foodie and we use a lot of larger bowls in the kitchen. This one will be a welcome addition.


Two mid-century teak lamp bases (bonus shot of Brett horsing around). These are inlaid with some sort of porcelain or tile...not sure exactly what, but they're gorgous. They're going in the living room, to replace a couple of our Target-modern lamps.  :)   I also bought some teak cream for these, as well as for our credenza, and we cleaned them all up this weekend. Mom spotted these; she has been antiquing for years and years and has a great eye. They also need replacement plugs and some shades, but those are easy fixes.

And finally:

I've been wanting to collect some tin toys for quite a while. For a girl who loves color so much, they're just happy. We bought this from a seller who has great, great vintage toys, going all the way back to the turn of the century. Brett and I have bought from her before, and her stall is always a "must see" when we visit the Lakewood show.

The crank on the side turns and the 4 figures on the ferris wheel actually rotate. It's so adorable. And it assuages my sadness at missing out on a buy in San Francisco last month. Brett and I were in a funky little store, and they had an awesome carousel tin toy. A salesperson asked if I needed help, and I held it up and said, "Yes! I want this". And she said, "I'm so sorry...that belongs to the owner and it's not for sale". SO disappointing..but this makes me feel a little better. And now, of course, I've started stalking tin toys on eBay...

The toy shown above is a newer toy, made in China. Not especially expensive, but so sweet. And I found the one I liked from San Fran:

This one happens to be on eBay for $150. Not a great photo but I promise, having seen it in person, that it is just charming and would bring a smile to anyone's face.  :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Happy (early) Birthday to Me...

Sam Edelman Alina.

My birthday isn't for a month, but sometimes presents come early.  :)

The above are what greeted me a few days ago when I was where I was not supposed to be...taking a partial "wellness" day from work...which was not originally including shoe shopping.They're HOT. They are NOT exceptionally walkable - they're not unwearable, but that heel and the way it's placed more toward the center of the shoe than toward the back...they're more of a sit-down shoe. This is why I struggle with buying practical shoes. Because I saw these when I walked in the door and they just knew they'd find a happy place in my closet. I scheduled a dinner date with my husband so they could have their first outing.  :)

Several other shoes I tried that day:

Sam Edelman Okala. Nice, buuuuuuut....I have four pair of animal print shoes already. And I thought these might be different enough to warrant purchasing, but honestly I am struggling to get behind the bondage ankle strap that is festooning shoes this season. I don't mind an ankle strap but I am not liking one that is so "tied-to-the-bed" looking. Pass.

These Michael Kors (Yvonne) were fun for about .03 seconds. Be forewarned: you'll need time to get your foot into these. It's a bit of work. Which isn't a terrible thing...but they were just too much for me. The glitter is about 100 times brighter in real life, so that's a lot of sparkly straps on one foot. Pass.



The Michael Kors Yvonne (same name, different style) were amazingly beautiful. Less straps = more refinement (at least in my book). The bottom of the platform is shiny, shiny silver, but somehow it just works with the glitter on the straps. I seriously debated about them, but since I already own (and LOVE) these:

It seems like I don't really need two pairs so similar...(of course not every girl needs even one pair, but I am a bona fide magpie). Though I *may* reconsider if the MK pair goes on sale. But for now...Pass.
Enzo Angiolini Caswell, Nordstrom exclusive. I looked at, but didn't try on. But they might be more moi than the Sam Edelmans above. And I still have a Nordstrom GC from, Pass. For today.  :) 

Best photo I could find - Dillard's and their tiny shots. Antonio Melani Irina. I wanted to love these but sadly (because they're on sale for about $60!) did not. The sparkle was canceled out by the suede (I know you can't tell from the photo, but that's a suede shoe) and they hit me a little wrong on the ankle bone. Pass.

I've been semi-lusting after these:

But just can't convince myself. I know they're a Prada knockoff, and I love Prada, but they're just a little too high. I'm a bit over the "allheelsmustbeatleastfiveinches" craze and am looking for shoes in the 3-4 inch heel range. So these are just a bit too much (though I did try them on again today, just to be sure). Pass. 

So far this year's purchases have included white strappy beaded sandals, purple peacock wedges,
leopard print flip flops, and wood-platform mules...can't wait to see what shows up next!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jewelry Favorites: Come into the Dark

I have, since birth, been consistently attracted to shiny things. Especially shiny jewelry. I love it, wear it, painstakingly polish it when necessary. But in recent years I've been drawn to the edgier side of silver metal...dark oxidation. Usually, of course, combined with some sort of shiny element.  :)

It all begin with this bracelet, made by my friend Delias Thompson:

I really like the dark gray oxidation contrasted with the shiny round balls. Sometimes shiny just seems *too* bright and oxidized silver seems a little more elegant. And it's definitely more subtle. Well...not in Delias's work (that girl doesn't know the word subtle), but in other jewelry it can be.  :)

Like these:

From Silversong Jewelry. Dark hoops with a touch of whimsy. Great for statement earrings with a laid-back vibe.

Or these:

Found on Magazine Street, in New Orleans. And they have a very New Orleans feel to me. A bit brash, a little dark, kind of edgy. One of my few pieces that aren't sterling...some sort of base metal and rhinestones. They're a little washed out in the photos but the metal is very dark and the rhinestones very sparkly...great contrast

I think I paid less than $10 for them, and expected them to fall apart (they were bought about two years ago) but so far they're wearing like champs.

And I've shown you this before...but it's my main piece in this category and I am going to show it to you again.  :)

Dark metals can be beautiful. And subtle. And sometimes I just like that over all the shiny, sparkly, bling-y pieces I own.  :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Didn't Leave My Heart (Okay, I *Might* Have) in San Francisco...

...because I do love that town. I haven't been in around five years, but it's just as enjoyable as ever. I almost didn't go on this trip, which, as much as I wanted to to take, I so did *not* want to take. (My feelings about travel are complicated these days. It's hard to get away when you run your own business...). And it started out badly - flight booked for 10 pm instead of 10 am, two hour delay due to the Asiana Airlines crash last Sunday, so the flight didn't take off until midnight...I arrived in SF about 1 am local time...4 am my time. By the time I got my checked bag, got a cab, and made it to the hotel, it was 5 am Eastern. Can you say exhausted?

But it was a really great visit. I've been several times before, so didn't do much traditional SF sightseeing. I walked around Union Square the first day, Cow Hollow and Chestnut Street the next, spent most of the third day in Hayes Valley with Brett, and the last day was spent in the Mission District, which we LOVED.

One of many murals in the ethnically rich Mission area.

I didn't take many photos because most of the time I was hanging out in cafes or wine bars, taking in the flavor of the local 'hoods. But the Mission made me wish I'd brought my camera along, rather than just the iPhone. I'd been to Union Square, Cow Hollow, and some of Hayes Valley before, but the Mission was my favorite SF area by far.  Cool architecture, ethnically diverse, crumbling (literally) old buildings nearly next door to cute little eateries. Brett and I found tons of modern / retro items that we really loved, but didn't have shipped home (much of it was not exactly in the budget...), ate a bunch of healthy salads and breakfasts, and took in the cool, crisp air and relaxed

We split a summer salad (and I had the bottomless mimosas!) at Radish. We stayed longer than planned but it was a nice mid-afternoon break.  :)

I LOVED being so close to Union Square, because it was thrilling to see the urban styling. SF, of course, has its own style, just like NYC or LA. For the first time I brought flat shoes (it's taken a few SF trips to learn this lesson!) and I walked and walked and walked...I loved seeing what the people on the streets were wearing. Market Street is always, always bustling and the energy is contagious. 

The weather was quite chilly - I brought a scarf and jacket (for July?? that dang town doesn't really "summer") but they weren't quite enough in the evenings. And it was windy, which is nice when the sun is out, but around 4 pm each day I was wishing for the wind to die down. I cabbed to Cow Hollow, we rode the bus to and from Hayes Valley, and took the BART to and from the Mission, but once was a lot of walking. We logged nearly (or just over, on some days) 10 miles per day. Ten miles! On those hills! Sore feet, sore backs, sore knees...but so much fun. Such a good break.

Brett and I talked quite a bit about wanting to move back to the other side of the country. It's hard to travel West because it makes me really, really dislike coming home. Not that the other side of this country is so perfect - and there are a lot of things about California that are ridiculously complicated (for living there) but I will never be able to put down roots in the South. The mentality, the land, the aesthetic - I'm so much more matched with the West. And Brett doesn't say much about it, but he is, too.

Mid-century chairs at Harrington's, in the Mission. I'd reupholster (of course!) but love the shape. And in excellent condition. 

We saw so much modern decor that just made me happy. I love the design sensibility of the 1950s and 1960s. And it's hard to come by in Atlanta, though I did get inspired to Google around and it appears that there ARE some mid-century-ish shops...not up here in the 'burbs, of course, but ITP. I made a list and will have to find some time to check them out in the near future.

A shot of the Gryphon (I assume it's a Gryphon) on one of the doors at Mission Dolores. One of the very few sightseeing things we did. It had some lovely carvings. This was one of my favorites.  :)

Sadly, no souvenirs. San Francisco and I do not "souvenir" well. Last time I managed to come home with a scarf and a necklace. This time, nada. The problem with Union Square is that it's a lot of stuff that I could buy unless there's something really great that might not be available at home, I just window shop. Cow Hollow (which is where I bought last time) was not working for me, and Hayes Valley was close...but not quite. Also quite expensive, is Hayes Valley. Brett found some toys but I came home empty-handed. I'm okay with that...there's always another chance.  :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Jewelry Favorites: Rings, Part 2

Just a few more rings today:

Green agate, $5. Yes, at a gem show. Totally different from my usual taste, yet I really like it. It feels very art-gallery-opening to me. Here it is on:

Hard to see in the photo, but there are tiny natural crystals sparkling in the center crevasse.  There's usually a little bling somewhere in my jewelry.  :)

This ring always gets comments. I *think* it's abalone (well, okay, I know it's abalone) but the top is domed and faceted and I don't know how the abalone gets under the dome. Glued to the inside of the ring and then the dome is set on top? Anyhoo, it has a really cool effect.

Everytime I wear it, someone asks about it. It's kind of moody and subtle-ly glam at the same time.  :)

A gorgeous turquoise:

Boulder (Royston) turquoise. I've written about boulder turquoise here and here on my other blog, if you want to know more about it. This was the first time I'd come across it, in Highlands, NC, at a store whose name I've forgotten...and I fell in love with it. I love how the simple setting really lets the stone stand out, and the shank is just as big and thick:

It's one of the most comfortable rings I own, and one I wear frequently.

Last but not least, my own design:

One of the fist stones I ever set. I'd been holding on to it for a while, and once I learned to set stones I knew it would be special. My father gave this turquoise to me and I wear it often and think of him. <3

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jewelry Favorites: Rings, Part 1

Rings are so much fun...and they can be so beautiful. Though in my younger days I wore lots of tiny rings - sometimes rings on every finger - now I usually wear just one statement ring. I've managed to find several special ones over the years:

Love the ornate work - There are little hearts in the corners where the top of the ring meets the shank, and lots of scrollwork down the sides. It looks Asian to me, and I have no idea what it means...or if it means anything. But the detail work is stunning.

And what stone is it?

Amethyst, you say...but it's actually fluorite. Fluorite is a very soft stone which isn't usually put into rings (because softer stones have a tendency to chip and crack...and rings have a tendency to get knocked around). So I'm pretty careful with it.

If you look really closely at the above shot you can see that the support under the stone has some scrollwork details in the center. Really amazing work!

Next up:

From a gem show...there's almost always a small booth with Russian jewelry, beads, ornaments, boxes, and other tchotchkes with the beautiful hand painting that Russia is known for, at every gem show. But you don't usually see the painting on rings. It hit both the "unusual and interesting" markers for me, plus I have a fondness for Russian lacquer work.

It's heftier than it looks:

A pretty thick base and shank. Comfortable on the finger and a nice statement piece. I haven't seen any more painted rings in several years (I assume because the price of silver has climbed so dramatically) so I'm glad I got this one when I did.

And another gem show special:

A little cockeyed because it won't sit up straight by itself.

A stunning piece of rhodochrosite. I don't wear a lot of pink, but I like it as an accent with dark brown, gray, or navy. This is another ring where the detailed metal work is really outstanding:

tiny balls, swirls, and leaves. And the other side:

A little more plain, but still with some personality.

Even the underside is well done:

Cut out back (I assume to keep the price down, less silver = less cost) but interesting structure underneath to support the stone.

Next time I'll show you a few more...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Orleans Goodies

I just got home from a vacation in New Orleans, and naturally snuck in a bit of shopping while there:

first, this clutch:

Not a great photo from the web site; much cuter in person. I've been wanting a snakeskin print clutch for a while and this is exactly what I had in mind. 
And these:

slightly blurry shot, but you get the idea. From one of my favorite French Quarter shops, Shoe Be Do, which is always on the shopping list when I'm in NOLA. And I've just damaged my other wood-platform-studded shoes, possibly beyond repair, so I was glad to find these.

And these:

plus this:

both from the French Market, which I usually avoid, because it's full of touristy tchotchkes. But my husband wanted some New Orleans tee shirts, and that's the best place to get 'em. I have been looking for sterling hoop earrings for a while, and a feather ring, so these both were satisfying purchases.

And I have to tell you how much I loved THIS:

I'd bought it about a week before the trip, and I actually ended up wearing it twice - it's a convertible maxi dress / skirt, though I'd only wear it as a skirt (there's no upper support whatsoever) - and it was wonderful. New Orleans is HOT HOT HOT and humid this time of year, and you want to be wearing light and comfortable clothes when you're out shopping. The skirt was perfect and I'm now on the hunt for more of these for the HOT HOT HOT and humid Georgia summers.  :)