Monday, July 29, 2013

Rad Jigsaw Puzzles

Do you like puzzles? Nervous System is a product design company in Boston that uses math, computer programming and fancy tools (like laser cutters!) to make nature-inspired, affordable puzzles and other objects. They use software to simulate crystal development to create an unique, organic interlocking design for each puzzle. The details about the development of their puzzles is fascinating. The current radial series features colorful work by Jonathan McCabe. I'm filing these away for my Christmas wish-list.

P.S. There is a great interview with the founders Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg over at Design Milk.

Images courtesy of Nervous System

Friday, July 26, 2013


Jean Jean Vintage is 25% off now through midnight EST this Sunday. Come and visit!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Somber in the summer

Victorian banded agate brooch / MER DU NORD 1960s chandelier drop earrings / HOSTESS chunky Capri bracelet / ARTICHOKE gray and black leaf earrings / BEREFT grey and black aluminum leaf necklace / BEREFT Victorian swivel mourning brooch / COTTONWOOD Image Map

Well, this collection of jewelry in the shop certainly doesn't scream "summer sun," but I love it anyway. Black, grey, silver and gold are colors for all seasons, in my opinion. Just hover and click for a link to each piece in the shop.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Miriam and Fred, 1937

My Aunt gave me this original photograph of my grandparents earlier this spring after my grandma's memorial service. I was nearly speechless. It was snapped around 1937, possibly in Chicago. It looks like summertime which means my grandparents - Miriam and Fred - had only been married for about six months. My grandma is twenty-two in this photo, the same age as Edith Piaf across the ocean (who had just been "discovered" and was starting to record music). It is difficult to imagine the world that they were walking around in at that time. The country was segregated. Women had been voting for less than twenty-years. The Great Depression was just coming to an end and World War II was looming, although they didn't know that. The Golden Gate Bridge had just opened for traffic in May. Amelia Earhart was about to disappear. And they were just out for a walk, a young couple with no kids (yet!) stopping for a photo. What did they imagine their life would be like together? What were they worried about? What were they looking forward to?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Huaraches for a good cause

I spotted these bright sandals by Ix Style in a magazine while waiting for an appointment the other day and was smitten with the woven huarache style and the bright colors. I didn't have time to read the blurb so I looked them up when I got home. I found out that the young company (just launched this spring) is involved in charity work in Guatemala, which is where the founders have family roots. 15% of every shoe sale goes to fund clean water projects in Guatemala through Charity Water. The production of the sandals is in-country by a cooperative of women artisans, which means the retail cycle starts and ends in Guatemala. I like the mission and I like the shoes (natural leather and bright canvas - swoooon) I'm off to get the red pair.

P.S. Refinery29 has a generous coupon code for Ix sandals available right now, which will put a pair of these at your doorstep for less than $80.

Images via Ix Style Inc.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

In the flesh

If you like lapis lazuli (which you must!) you will love this Art Deco necklace. It is simulated lapis - also sometimes called Czech or Swiss Lapis - which is glass mottled and colored to mimic that wonderful blue. This piece is German-made and featured in one of my favorite jewelry identification and pricing references, "Popular Jewelry, 1840-1940" by Roseann Ettinger. I am so excited to offer it in the shop! Fun fact: I sold the faux chrysoprase version of this necklace (see above!) over two years ago.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Skinner auction catalogs

Did you know that you can find all the catalogs for Skinner, Inc. auctions, including their quarterly fine jewelry offerings, online at Clear your calendar because time means nothing when these things are full-screen. The layout is luxe and the product groupings are sensational. I wanted to climb inside the jewelry catalogs and try on the rings. It really felt possible. With every click of the right arrow I whispered another obscenity. Mercy, mercy, mercy - how can there be so many beautiful things?! You should also explore their recent oriental rug and carpet, fine musical instrument, and Folk Art auction catalogs

Monday, July 8, 2013

The best bird mobile

I recently bought a bird mobile for Severen and we both love it. The company that makes it is called Skyflight Mobiles and they have several other really great designs. I like how delicate they are and the 3D design of the birds makes it easy to enjoy from any angle. We are sort of crazy about birds at our house. Severen has a bird identification book and it is amazing how many birds/bird calls he knows. Of all of them, my favorite is when he says "Great Blue Heron," which sounds like "Gra bah HAIRRoh" with great emphasis on that second to last syllable. I'm going to miss his little sing-songy voice when he grows up.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The beloved beetle

Why beetle jewelry on the 4th of July? Because you need to have some pre-firework excitement.  I mean, sheeeeez - beetle jewelry is the best. This piece is turn-of-the-century and mounted in 14K gold. It sold for a reasonable $230. The beetle-shaped bezels just kill me.

via Aspire Auctions