Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Back from Paris: French Jewelry!

 I've returned from a trip to Paris - a wonderful time! Unusually cool weather made walking in Paris even more fun than usual.  Of course, I had to check out the jewelry, not always easy to do when I'm with my DH, son, daughter-in-law, and three-year-old grand-daughter.  I was especially careful to notice what French women were wearing, both young and old.
  Some eye candy first:  above is a wild creation I fell in love with (the matching earrings are below the necklace.  It's made of rhinestones and crystals and is certainly not what you'd call an everyday piece!  Crystals shoot out from long strands of silver in a way that reminds me of 4th of July fireworks!
   Below, another statement necklace from our Pantheon of French jewelry.  I think of this as a peacock necklace and believe that it would actually be very wearable with the right dress. It does not look cheap and is very beautiful in person!
 Below, more rhinestones and crystals.
 The French are known for their whimsey and their jewelry is often no exception. Below is a pretty necklace and earring set that is made from mother-of-pearl buttons.  It's really quite striking.
 Another statement necklace: I found quite a bit of what I would call the "tribal influence" in the jewelry in stores.  I didn't see many people wearing these however. The one on the bottom is made with lucite.
 Another necklace made from natural materials, such as bamboo, mixed with lucite.
 The skull trend is still on spot in Paris as you can see here.  The little turtle in the middle is made of colored rhinestones and I did see younger Parisian girls wearing them - on jean jackets!
 Below, I saw quite a few people wearing chandelier earrings, some quite elaborate. 

I also saw more frequently obviously Parisian women wearing something like this simple cross (but a very expensive antique) with a shorter chain.  And I saw that most women, especially those over 30, were wearing gold.  Almost all the gold here is 18 karat which is a richer, more yellow gold than the 14 karat that we are accustomed to.
  French women seem to wear pearls for everyday often.  Below is a Cluny Grey necklace, but it is very typical of what I saw French women wearing oddly enough.  Pearls mixed with softly colored natural stones were fairly common, as were pearls in white, cream, grey, pale pink, beige, and gold.
Many women also wore something similar to the Cluny Grey chalcedony necklace above when they were a necklace other than a simple pendant on a gold chain or pearls.  The gemstones were almost always in soft colors or pastels. But when they wore these gemstone necklaces, their earrings were very simple, a stone or pearl stud, and the only other jewelry they wore was a ring or a gold bangle or chain bracelet.

Above, dangling earrings that would look right at home in Paris.
  For all the glitz I saw in the shops, I seldom actually saw them on Parisian women, daytime or nighttime.
  What did I wear? Smallish plain gold hoops, a small mixed gemstone necklace and a bracelet that my grand-daughter would choose for me daily.  The bracelet wasn't always a perfect match, but she certainly enjoyed choosing it.  What did 3 year old grand-daughter wear? One of my good gemstone necklaces - yes, she really did!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Rubies and Heat!

I am one grateful person! Close to noon on the Fourth of July, after being without electricity for 5 days, we regained power! I LOVE air conditioning, tv, and most of all my computer and the internet! I didn't make jewelry during that time since my studio is on the fourth floor and you can just imagine what the heat was like (it was 100 degrees outside for at least 2 of the days). So in celebration of July (ruby is the birthstone) and the power returning, here are some red-hot ruby bracelets!
   Above, my favorite flat faceted rubies team up with dragonfly bangles in sterling silver.
   Below, rubies bring some heat to the cool creamy white freshwater coin pears you see here.  The sterling toggle clasp with its bevy of flowers is an extra pretty touch!

A bangle bracelet, below, features pretty faceted ruby nuggets and bangles from the Thai Karen Hill Tribes of sterling silver.  The sterling toggle clasp has a cabochon ruby bezel-set in the teardrop.

Quartz faceted nuggets are cool and classic and each is separated by pretty neon aqua apatite.

Above, the colors of turquoise and coral are echoed in the lampwork beads.  A scalloped filigree sterling toggle is the closure; two charms, one fish and one seahorse, hang near the center of the bracelet.