Teeny, tiny, little lapis pieces.

I am often in awe of jewelry that is not necessarily right for me. When it comes to picking out jewelry for myself, I go for the miniature and impossibly delicate. That’s kind of sad for me because I also love all things lapis. That gorgeous stone — like pieces of the night sky.  I never tire of looking at it.  Lapis has a funny habit of being invited into bigger and bolder pieces. (Perhaps, that is because it is a fairly soft stone and it is more durable in bigger chunks.)

This last weekend, my husband and I made a stop at the Union Street Festival in San Francisco.  There, among the many booths of handmade goods, food, and services, I found this little gem:

Beautiful Lolabean lapis bracelet.

Beautiful Lolabean lapis bracelet.

Tiffany Rodgers Bean of Lolabean makes many sweet, delicate items and it is worth checking out her other work.  With this piece, I love being able to have my favorite stone showcased so simply and in just the right amount.

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What can I say?

Here, I so often try to find new things to say about design elements that speak to me. Sometimes, I just want to just share something I’ve found and say, “Hey, I love that. I would wear that.”

But, really, shouldn’t I say more? Shouldn’t I say why? You know, it’s just not that easy. It’s easier to speak of lovely technique or innovation but it’s harder to say why something just strikes a chord.

Among the lines of jewelry that cause words to fail me is the work of Erin Jane.

White Jade NecklaceLong White Jade Necklace

So, about this, I can scare up a few words.  As I’ve said before, one of the things I most appreciate in jewelry design is when the designer really makes necessary components do some of the aesthetic heavy-lifting.  Jane has done this here with the silver band connecting the pendant to the chain.  With this little maneuver, she’s cleverly elevated the design from what could of have been a much more forgettable necklace.

Gold Bracelet with White Topaz (2)Gold Bar Bracelet with White Topaz

Nice. Clean. Simple.

Chocolate Diamond NecklaceChocolate Diamond Three Stone Bar Necklace

I didn’t write fast enough.  This has sold.  It’s beautiful, though, and maybe she’ll make more.  I love dots.  I love mixed metal.  This is no brainer.  Love it.

Confession

Hello All:

I had meant to announce the hiatus of the B + C blog.  I really had.  But, like so many things, it got away from me.  I just didn’t write anything for weeks and weeks with no explanation.  So, now, with great delay, here is my story.

In my other life, I am an attorney.  I work in California but I am licensed in Ohio.   My current job, for various reasons, does not require a California license.  Nevertheless, I got it in my silly little head to become licensed in California.  So, over the last several months, I invested a great deal of time, energy, and sanity that I could ill afford to spend to take the dreaded California Bar Exam.  I won’t know until November 16th if it all has paid off.  Wish me luck.

All that said, I have missed this activity and all that it represents for me — the looking at jewelry; the thinking about jewelry; the writing about jewelry; and the making of jewelry.  It is my life-line to the creative world.  Soon new, full blog posts will be coming.  In the meantime, check out these fun Etsy finds!

Concrete Facts

DrCraze is doing some amazing things with an unusual jewelry material — concrete.  By filling in his pieces with pigmented concrete, he creates an effect that is somewhere between enamel and mosaic.  The results are clean, colorful designs.

Golden Orange Bracelet

Olive Green Concrete Teardrop Necklace

Pink Ruby Heart Necklace

These and other pieces are available in the DrCraze Etsy store.

The Year of the Dragon

The Chinese New Year was on January 23, 2012.  This year is powerful in the Chinese zodiac — the year of the Dragon.  In honor of this, I went on a hunt for an elusive beast — tasteful dragon-themed jewelry.  Fortunately, I am happy to report that it exists!

So, to all my dear Dragon friends, Happy New Year — make it a great one!

A Man and His Jewelry

Ok, so I’m going to out myself.  I think it’s healthy if I just go ahead and say it.  Here it goes: I am obsessed with Russell Brand.   I am not proud of it.  I am not proud that, at 36 years old, I am obsessed with a celebrity like a teenager.  But, I tell you this, if I had a locker, it would have his picture on it.  Recent events, have put him in the news all the more and, while I am sad for him and his marriage, it has served to feed my obsession.

(To my dear husband, I love you and I am sorry about all this.)

I could go and go and about what I like about Russell Brand (for one thing he’s incredibly bright) but I won’t.  I will get to the point.  Russell Brand is a man who wears jewelry.

Here’s Russell Brand in a People magazine photo. A man and his jewelry.

I’ve attempted to do a little research into the designers that he wears but the information is spotty and dated.  So, rather than take the risk of misinformation, I will allow Russell Brand’s jewelry-laden style to be the inspiration for a post to showcase some awesome jewelry for men that can be found on Etsy.

Mala Beads

I’ve decided to mine the area of spiritual and religious jewelry for posting topics.  As I sat down to consider this, I realized that there was much to say — anything from rosary beads to the spiritual uses of semiprecious stones might qualify.  But, one thing at a time.  I’ll enter this topic area with mala beads and the mala makers of Japa Mala Beads.

“Mala” is most simply defined as a string of beads used in praying or meditating.  Typically, a full mala is 108 beads and, therefore, long enough to be worn around the neck. The smaller ones, that can be worn around the wrist, typically consist of 27 beads — a quarter of a full mala. The beads are used to count prayers or mantras during meditation and to assist in focus.  Japa Mala’s website provides some useful information about how to use a malas.

We have seen mala bracelets worn as accessories for some time.  The newest wave of this trend started about 10 years ago.  However, malas are spiritual tools first; spiritual reminders second; and jewelry last.  I suspect, although I don’t know, that malas were initially worn around the neck or wrist as a way to simply carry them around.

Japa Mala provides a very nice selection of handmade malas — full and for the wrist.  They use a wide range of materials — both in type and scale — and have something to appeal to everyone.