Be good.

In the last week, we had some family in town. Some of that family is young and small. Thus, we took in a lot of family-friendly sights and activities. Twice, we ended up at an aquarium. I guess that stands to reason in San Francisco, what, with all that water. One of them was the impressive aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences. It was there that I spotted some information about coral.  Coral, as I am sure everyone knows, is often used in jewelry.  That, as the California Academy of Sciences explained, is not a good idea for our precious underwater ecosystems.  For more on this, there is this little piece from the amazing designer and all-around jewelry goddess, Temple St. Clair, whose name I only utter in hushed tones.

Declaring Coral Too Precious to Wear — by Temple St. Clair.

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

While we are at it, check out this fun, beaded play on coral!

Faux Coral Beaded Necklace with Matching Bracelet

Beaded faux coral by Threadsandpins on Etsy.

This doesn’t hurt anyone.  This is better.

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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!

The New Cameo

Nothing says traditional jewelry quite like a cameo.  Components carved in the cameo style have appeared in every type of jewelry — rings, necklaces, earrings — for a very, very long time.  Only a designer with boldness in her heart would try to update the cameo and succeed.

The bold Jessica J. Fein has done just that.  She has a lovely line of vintage inspired chunky, playful jewelry and the modern/cameo mashups are very nice additions to the line.

You can find these lovely pieces in her Etsy store, jfeindesigns, as well as her other wonderful creations!

Guilty Pleasure

I’ve found a place in this blog to confess some things about my taste and sometimes my character.  It seems it is time for another one.  While I am not one for a lot of clutter or silly characters, I love garden gnomes.  Just for the record, I loved them before they became cool in that ironic sort of way.  I have a collection of garden gnomes figurines given to me by my dear husband.  And, hear this, I own this collection in a decidedly non-ironic way.   That’s right.  Like somebody’s grandma.  I’m even a garden gnome snob … to be in my collection they have to adhere to illustrator Rien Poortvliet‘s gnome aesthetic (see above).

I must not be alone in my obsession because there is a growing availability of, yes, gnome jewelry.

Here’s a little sampling of what is available by the reliably creative Etsy merchants.

Then, inexplicably, there is this – an interesting enamel gnome charm by Juicy Couture.  I sort of love it.

It does not appear that the charm is available anymore from Juicy but there are a number of them out there on the internet for sale.  The photo here was from Polyvore.

Big, Bold, and Repurposed

It is not too difficult to find old jewelry components that are suitable for being repurposed into new pieces.  Your mother’s jewelry box, thrift stores, antique stores — it’s everywhere, really.  The trick is in the designing.  It takes practice to do it well and have collected components find a home in a new piece.  Peiyu Tan, who seems to specialize in repurposed Nepalese jewelry, has done a wonderful job doing just that.

These and other amazing pieces, which are unbelievably affordable, can be found in Peiyu’s Etsy store, UniqueNepal.

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.