I am resurrecting Bread + Cake for the sole purpose to give a shout out to Cari Streeter.  This story is a bit of a long walk.  Hear me out.

About two weeks ago, my little dog, Roo, (a.k.a. chuckle-head or chicken bone) decided to pick a fight with a bigger, stronger dog.  She ended up with a big mouth, full of big teeth, around her as she made the biggest fuss you could possibly imagine.  The humans broke it up and that was when Roo made an even worse choice than her selection of opponent – she ran.  She ran and ran and ran.  I chased and chased but I was no match for the frightened chicken bone.  Eventually she was just gone.

May I pause a moment to write a brief love letter to the good people of San Francisco?  People ran into the street after Roo.  They shouted to drivers to alert them to the presence of a “DOG IN THE STREET!!!!”  Joggers and bike riders gave chase.  One guy left his own dog at a cafe to search for mine.  One lady found some treats to give to Roo for “when you find her.”  Man, do San Franciscans love dogs and, man, do I love them for that.

But, back to the action.  So, Roo was gone.  The trail, after about 30 minutes, had gone cold.  Just then, I encountered some joggers who had seen her about 10 minutes earlier.  One of them mentioned that she still had her collar.  That was an incredible relief because I was sure it had been lost in the fracas.  Suddenly, I thought.  Collar.  Tags.  Phone numbers.  My phone!  I looked down to find several missed calls.  I looked up to see my husband answering his phone.  Roo had been found!

If you are familiar with San Francisco, you’ll know the Hayes Valley and the Fillmore/Pac Heights areas.  Roo had made it from Hayes Valley, where the fight happened, to Fillmore.  On Fillmore, Cari Streeter spotted an unattended Roo running down the street and jumped in to help.  As Cari went after Roo, Roo found Browser Books (my favorite bookstore).  Roo ran inside the bookstore and right behind the counter.  It was then that the John and I started getting calls from Cari and the good folks at Browser Books.

John and I hightailed it up to the bookstore.  When we arrived, there was Roo surrounded by adoring humans and seeming just fine, if not a little tired.  As we thanked everyone, Cari, who was still there comforting Roo, mentioned that she was on her way back to her trunk show at Gallery of Jewels just down the street.  The Universe is a funny place.

We got Roo checked out at Pets Unlimited/SFSPCA, who has saved our furry butts more than once, and discovered that all her wounds were superficial.  Not a single puncture wound.  No sutures needed.  A miracle and, honestly, a credit to the other dog who surely could have chomped Roo in half.  I’d love to be able to tell the other owner of the restraint of her dog.

After that, John and I went to find Cari at her trunk show.  There, we met her husband Rory, too.  What an awesome pair and what an amazing concept for a personalized and collectable jewelry line made with precious metals and real stones.  Cari and Rory also provide a fun experience — they take the jewelry-making show on the road.  Rory turns up at the trunk show with a small, portable jewelry bench so he can stamp personalization on the jewelry or adjust chains before your eyes.  It’s a great idea to bring the customization to you.

Of course, I could not resist.  I was so pleased to find that Cari and Rory have included zodiac symbols in their collection.  (I have been thinking for some time that the zodiac symbols should be on their way back.)  I put together a Virgo symbol with a sapphire drop on a chain and I’ve been calling it my “September necklace.”  It has not left my neck since that fateful day.

I love my Cari Streeter original.  I love that, when I look at it, I don’t think about the day we lost Roo.  Instead, I think about the day that we were so lucky and we were showered with so much kindness by so many.  For me, that’s the power of keepsakes — which are so often in jewelry form — the energy put into them can transform an experience and set a memory in place.

In any case, if you’re in market for a lovely, personalized piece, buy it from Cari.  She loves dogs.

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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.

I’m a Lyric Person

I’ll be honest – I’ve sort of been putting off writing this post.  Why?  There is just too much to say and, somehow, it seems like the pinnacle of my blogging experience and it is just too early for that.  On the other hand, the mental pressure is building up and I can’t hold in my love for Jeanine Payer‘s work much longer.  So, here it goes.

When it comes to music, I am basically a lyric person.  Ultimately, it is the words that move me and stick with me.  Perhaps that is why the work that has made Jeanine Payer famous speaks to me so — it combines words with beautiful, delicate jewelry.  Jeanine obviously has a great love of words which enables her to find the music in quotes that are worthy of being worn.  Beyond that, though, she is a design genius.  She brings subtly and taste to each piece — pure poetry.

I met Jeanine Payer once at the grand opening of Alexis Bittar‘s store in San Francisco.  She was so kind to take a few minutes to talk with me and, truly, I was in awe.  I recall that she mentioned that she wanted to work bigger and begin to stretch the aesthetic of her line a bit.  (I felt so honored to have a discussion with her about her amazing line of jewelry.)   Indeed, her fall 2011 line began to introduce some new elements.

Great concept by Yellow Owl Workshop

I’ve been eying these super-cool necklaces by local San Francisco company, Yellow Owl Workshop, for some time.

I’ve seen these pieces around town and, last weekend, I spotted them on a display at Madewell at the San Francisco Shopping Center, which I would think is a great thing for Yellow Owl Workshop.

I just have to comment on this clever idea of crests and flags.  I think, as an idea, it could have all gone terribly wrong and awkward but it didn’t — it works beautifully.  I think that design is saved by the scale.  It had to have been tempting to overdue it in terms of size but, thankfully, they resisted.  The pieces really shine, though, because of the colors and the hand-drawn quality of the images.  It is also a nice touch that the bale is cut into the shape and the chain is tied on.  (As a general proposition, I really like the casual connection of jewelry to its functional component — a pendant to its chain, a bauble to its earring wire, etc.)  As a side note, I have to applaud the glass vial packaging.  All in all, I love them.  Nicely done, Yellow Owl Workshop.