by Joy | Jul 7, 2019 | Design, Jewellery, jewelry, Style
Great pieces that you’ll wear over and over again
Having an ‘armoury’ of modern classic jewellery that will allow you to shine again and again is worth aspiring to.
1. A long chain.
However you style it it’s a jewellery box essential. This one by Lucky Eyes is discreet enough for everyday with just enough sparkle for the evening, it can also be doubled up for a layered effect or worn with other necklaces for a touch of the bohemian.
2. Chain Bracelet
Do not underestimate the single chain bracelet, it is often the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. You can also create a very polished delicate look by adding matching earrings or a necklace – or both! This Sunray bracelet is by Rachel Jackson, the designer loved by both royalty and celebs.
A timeless classic that can be worn as a simple string, or as contemporary styled earrings. Combined with some sparkle they can add a dash of glamour! Pearls have a had a resurgence in recent years and it’s easy to see why. These fabulous earrings are by Surrey based Pearls of the Orient who carefully and ethically choose the pearls used in their designs.
4. A cocktail ring
Striking and beautiful, the cocktail ring will always get attention! This one by Bill Skinner is handmade in his Kent studios.
5. A short pendant
Easy to wear everyday and style with most outfits. Choose something that has meaning to give your spirits a lift and use to create a modern layered look like this one by Muru. The Feather is a Talisman for Positivity helping you to maintain a lighter, brighter outlook on life.
6. ‘Diamond’ studs
Of course you could buy real diamonds but wear these by London based designer Penny Levi and I defy anyone to tell the difference! Understated elegance!
7. A bracelet with sparkle!
Minimalist, elegant, sophisticated and versatile, this simple bracelet by Reeves and Reeves has it all!
8. Stacking Rings
Chic and versatile. Wear these Monogram Flower rings by Lucky Eyes singly for a pretty accent or together for real impact.
9. Statement Cuff
Immediately add drama to your outfit and get noticed with this beautiful handmade cuff by Bill Skinner. The honeybee is a firm favourite in jewellery design and this one is the Queen of them all!
With a pair of hoops in your collection you will look polished even on a jeans and t-shirt day. These Serenity hoops by Rachel Jackson are the perfect size and the hexagonal shape adds extra interest.
by Joy | Jun 1, 2019 | Holiday Tips, Jewellery, jewelry
We all love travelling, whether a major summer holiday, spa break or City break. If you’re like me, travelling light doesn’t come easy; choosing outfits to stay within today’s luggage weight restrictions if you’re flying or to fit into a weekend bag, is hard enough, then having to decide which jewellery to take can just add to the dilemmas but jewellery is a wonderful way to make otherwise simple holiday dresses or t shirts into something fit for an evening so you can go straight from beach or sightseeing to bar! Here are a few tips and suggestions…….
Don’t treat it as an afterthought
Don’t leave your accessory planning to the last minute. As you plan your outfits think about your jewellery. To be honest I sometimes jot down the outfits I’m considering along with the jewellery options. I find it really helps me focus rather than just empty my wardrobe and jewellery drawer on to my bed for packing only to have to put most of it back!
Leave valuables behind
No matter where your journey is taking you it should be a break from stress and worry so leave behind your most expensive, valuable pieces unless they’re a key part of an outfit for an extra special event on the trip or you’re not going to take them off!! (Not advisable ) If you are taking valuables make sure you have insurance to cover them.
Earrings are must-haves
All that said, don’t limit yourself too much. You should definitely include 3 or 4 styles of earring. Earrings to me are the most important! I just don’t feel dressed without a pair of earrings in and my go to studs at the moment are Muru’s Ancient Coin or Purity Mandala Studs which just go with anything and I have in silver and gold. Due to my colouring I’m normally a silver girl, but find when I have a bit of a tan I can also wear gold. Hoops of one description or another are big right now so include a pair of those, add in some tassels and a statement pair, just in case. That way you should have all eventualities covered!
This year’s trend
Seashell and Mother of Pearl is the big trend of the year and there are some really pretty styles to choose from in the form of earrings, necklaces and bracelets which are easily styled with your Summer wardrobe.
Chains can easily get tangled so you need to take precautions – some tips follow later. My advice? Limit yourself to one simple pendant that can be worn with multiple outfits and layered with other necklaces. My current favourite is a Muru Horizontal Feather necklace which can be worn with any neckline and has such lovely meaning attached and brings a simple elegance to an outfit so ideal for the City break when you may have an occasion to wear a slightly more formal outfit. For those very casual beach evenings when all you need to wear are your crop trousers and a plain t-shirt or strap top pack a ribbon choker – immediately it lifts the outfit in a very contemporary way, while beads, tassels and other materials such as leather, wood and horn can bring a pop of colour, fun and individuality!
Stretch bracelets, friendship bracelets and wraps come into their own when you’re on holiday. Sometimes you need nothing else! (Well, in my case I’d still have to put something in my ears but maybe just some studs!)
How to pack your jewellery safely
Ok, so you’ve made your selection, now you need to pack it. Ideally use a jewellery roll with compartments to keep your items organised. If you don’t have one (mmmmm… perhaps I should start selling them!) I promised tips to prevent chains getting tangled. Well you can use empty toilet rolls – just thread your chain through and pop the cardboard roll in a polythene bag or wrap it in a scarf; if you have some straws (not plastic of course!) thread your chains through these, cut the straw to enable you to fold it and again just pop the straw chain holder in a poly bag or wrap it in something soft. Chunky items can also be wrapped individually in a ‘jeye’ cloth or similar then placed in a zip lock bag. Any bags that you received your jewellery in like the drawstring organza bags often used by us jewellery sellers, can of course be used. If you’re flying, my advice is to pack it all in your hand luggage – just in case your checked bag ends up in the wrong place!! Happens to the best of us at some time unfortunately! None of the pieces suggested in this blog will cause you too much financial trauma if they got lost so enjoy your vacation, relax and above all have fun!
by Joy | Apr 21, 2019 | Festival, Jewellery, jewelry, Style
The season is upon us!
The Festival season kicks off at the beginning of May in some parts of the country and no longer are these the playgrounds of the very young. Just as style is ageless so too is the love of music and dancing and so the Baby Boomers (of which I’m one!) and Generation X are just as likely to be found at a music festival as the Millennials!
Not surprising either when you see just how many festivals there are to choose from these days from Folk to Rock, from Blues to Country, from Classical to Soul, there’s something for everyone and whether you go for just a day or the whole weekend, it’s an opportunity to rediscover that rock chick or that inner hippy, celebrate the music and free your inhibitions!
Boho style is the most prevalent at festivals. Lots of denim of course, shorts, floaty dresses but whatever you wear you can make anything work with the right accessories even if you end up having to wear the old wellies!
Bracelets and lots of them! Whatever the practicalities attached to wearing jewellery at an event where you may be camping, bracelets are an easy way to achieve that authentic boho look and you can’t do better than Boho Betty. Adorn your wrists (both of them if you like!) in leather wraps, beads and tassels to your hearts content. Pretty enough to jazz up the most faded and tattiest pair of denims, add a splash of femininity to a pair of dungarees or complete that 60’s love child look with a flowing skirt! Here are just a few examples…..
Whilst Boho Betty might reign supreme other designers also offer some great alternative styles giving you an opportunity to truly have a unique stack incorporating various textures and materials from the simplest cord friendship bracelets with tiny silver nugget detail to, for a touch of class, semi precious stones and charms from the likes of Lucky Eyes and Muru. The latter are great option if you are a day visitor and therefore don’t have the restrictions of dealing with sleeping in a tent!
Get that Bohemian vibe with textured necklaces!
Necklaces with colour and texture, layered or on their own will also give you the perfect festival vibe. Again you can turn to Boho Betty for some beautiful, colourful, long beads and tassels, likewise Mark Watson, who along with White Leaf also has some fabulous options for a short statement necklace or layer. For practical reasons, you may want to restrict the layering to no more than 2.
The earring dilemma
Of course studs are the practical option but they needn’t be boring. You are out in the open with the peace of nature being temporarily interrupted with whatever music brings joy to your soul so display a little flower power with some flora on your ears. The Bill Skinner handmade designs below are perfect for the job or you can wear some more modest tassels or hoops with beads.
Last but not least….
If you’re staying on site then hair washing and styling can become an issue! Never fear grab a scarf that you can easily use as a headband or hair tie
Don’t hold back!
Whichever festival you may be visiting allow your jewellery choices to let you stand out – don’t disappear in the crowds but be loud and proud, whatever your age, with your colours and textures however you wear them! And don’t forget this is the dawning of a new era for baby boomers so don’t let the youngsters have all the fun!
by Joy | Apr 4, 2019 | Jewellery, jewelry, Style
Show you mean business!
If you work in a creative environment this may not be an issue for you but for many who work in an office environment where the ‘uniform’ can be fairly restrictive, often monochrome, your ‘out of office’ choice of accessories may not be appropriate. Maybe because of this you tend not to bother, or you just throw on something randomly just before you leave home but if you want to make an impression, look polished and sophisticated then jewellery really is worth taking seriously. A few well chosen, quality pieces can set you apart, make you look more together, feel more confident and pull you out of a rut!
Organise your jewellery box
Just as you probably have one space in your wardrobe for your work clothes and one for your ‘weekend’ clothes, consider doing the same in your jewellery box/drawer. Separating the workplace items from the more casual ones will make it easier to get dressed in the mornings – no more head scratching or delays while you rummage and you will be able to keep to the style guidelines with absolute ease even if, like me, you are always running late!
Start to build your collection
Think strategically and start with essentials. A white shirt, perfectly fitted skirt or trousers and an impeccably tailored blazer are the workplace basics – you need the equivalent in jewellery. A pair of studs, a simple necklace or a discreet, yet elegant pendant and a delicate bracelet. These will form the basis of your capsule workplace jewellery collection and from this you can branch out.
Top:Penny Levi Studs, Rachel Jackson Sunday Bracelet
Lucky Eyes Chelsea Short Necklace, Muru Feather Pendant
Hone your own style
Just because this is for the office doesn’t mean you can’t have a signature style even if its very different to your weekend style. Consider your hair. If you have short hair or wear your long hair in a chignon or ponytail to keep it out of your way in the office, then consider slightly longer (albeit still discreet) earrings as a counter balance. They’ll look really elegant! If you are normally flamboyant and feel constrained by the work environment, try wearing a piece that’s slightly bolder or brighter but still understated.
Top: Collette Waudby Leaf Drops, Pearls of the Orient Tear Drop Pearls
Lucky Eyes Gold Pave Necklace, Rachel Jackson Serenity Necklace
Less is not always more
It may seem surprising but quantity in the area of corporate wear can mean style! However I’m talking minimalist pieces here. Making a subtle statement with quality matching/complementary jewellery items can be preferable to one ‘loud’ statement piece if you want to get noticed for the right reasons. However choose your larger piece carefully and wear alone and you can look very chic!
Rachel Jackson Serenity Collection, Chris Lewis Geometric Necklace
When to step it up
Do you have a Board meeting the next day or a 1-2-1 with your boss or are you just going to be at your desk all day? Whatever the activity office jewellery can empower you. Think strategically. If, for instance, you are going to give a presentation, wear something with a stronger impact. You know you’re going to have people looking at you so take advantage of the situation wearing something that will add some ‘shine’ without being overbearing. Wear as large a necklace as your frame allows which can emanate a sense of power (many of the worlds most powerful women wear chunky necklaces); choose a bold cuff over bangles that clink loudly as that will be distracting for your audience; wearing a stunning pair of earrings will get people focussing on your face and therefore what you are saying; if you will be using your hands to point at the screen/whiteboard, a statement ring will route attention to your hand adding weight to your gestures.
Bcharmd Faye Black Sate and Abalone Shell Statement Necklace
Bill Skinner Bee & Honeycomb Cuff
Lucky Eyes Large Filigree Ring
Lucky Eyes Baroque Pearl Hoops
You spend a lot of time at work!
Cost per wear is an oft used term for deciding the value of items in your wardrobe – the same principle can apply to your jewellery and as we all spend a lot of time these days working, the cost per wear can be great value indeed! Buying good quality pieces will be a good investment. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘dress for the job you aspire to, not the one you’re doing’; well, go for it – a few thoughtfully chosen pieces will mean you always look good, and look as if you mean business. Carefully chosen jewellery can enhance your outfit, your image and your confidence so whatever your style personality after hours or at weekends, if your workplace is more conservative, reigning it in, being clever in your choices will be well worth the effort.
by Joy | Mar 19, 2019 | Design, Jewellery, jewelry
Flora, fruit and feathers
Nature has always been a tremendous source of inspiration to artists of all sorts and none more so than jewellery. Humans have, since time immemorial, adorned themselves using whatever was around them; leaves, shells, feathers, bones, stones etc. Nowadays these components of nature are still used in various forms or represented in hugely creative and symbolic ways.
In this blog I will illustrate some of the beautiful ways designers have interpreted the nature we see around ourselves every day, designers such as the highly acclaimed Bill Skinner, Collette Waudby and Chris Lewis amongst many others.
Leaves are all around us whether on trees or flowers and of course appear in many different shapes and sizes which is reflected in the diversity of design on offer.
Vintage Tiffany Double Leaf Brooch
Flowers & fruit provide the opportunity for the exotic and of course colour! The renowned designer Bill Skinner excels at hand carving and combines floral with the creatures of the garden; due to its exotic origins and rarity the pineapple became a symbol of prosperity and status and is still popular with designers today but the more commonplace is also represented.
Feather & Fern are similar in form while being infinitely variable and continually attract the attention of designers.
Right to left: Bill Skinner Scenes of Nature Statement
Necklace & Pendant; Cinderela B Pineapple Pendant;
Bill Skinner Mushroom studs & Apple studs;
Park Lane Floral Ring.
Vintage Christian Dior Fruit Earrings
Bill Skinner Fern earrings &Floral ring
Nour Fern ring, Bill SkinnerFlower studs
Christian Lacroix Vintage
We are all nature lovers
Through the centuries nature has inspired the designers, been loved by the wearers and will continue to do so. Whether it is the exotic, the elegant, the playful, the colourful, there is something for everyone’s taste, style and personality.
by Joy | Feb 26, 2019 | Design, Jewellery
Nature is bountiful! Many artists take inspiration from nature but the best example of this is jewellery. Jewellery and nature have gone together since prehistoric times when the very stuff that jewellery was made from came directly from things easily found – shells, bones, leaves, feathers, stones etc. and then later, animals themselves became the inspiration.
Believe it or not even live insects were used in jewellery until not so long ago. The Ancient Egyptians are believed to have been the first to have worn insects as jewellery; their soldiers commonly wore scarab beetles into battle as they were considered to have supernatural powers of protection against enemies.
In modern times Mexico and Madagascar have both used beetles, decorated with gold and semi precious gemstones they are attached to a decorative safety pin by a chain. Not surprisingly Animal Rights organisations have been opposing this practice for some time and it is now very rare.
In this blog I am looking particularly at the influence of creatures in the world of jewellery.
Today the honeybee is one of the most popular influences on jewellery design, unsurprisingly perhaps as it plays such an important part in all our lives and its own life holds such a fascination for us. They are also part of symbolism. The hexagon, the shape of the honeycomb, has 6 sides, #6 is symbolic of love (it was a sacred number for the goddess Venus). In some cultures, the bee is also representative of fertility, beauty and wisdom. Bill Skinner is a designer based in Kent whose Honeybee designs have become iconic. He has produced designs for some of the most famous Jewellers such as Asprey, Garrards, Van Clef and Arpels as well as the legendary fashion designer Vivienne Westwood but he is one among many that have been attracted by this busy little insect!
Bill Skinner Honeycomb & Bee Cuff, Honeycomb & Bee Orb,
Baby Bee Pendant & Bee Studs; Cinderela B Honeybee Bracelet
Chaumet Abeille Bee - White Opal, Sapphires, Citrine,
18th Century - Jeweller to
Napoleon Bonaparte who
adopted the bee
as as his emblem.
Butterflies are often very beautiful but they do of course start life as a caterpillar. Not surprising perhaps then that butterflies are symbolic of new beginnings; often connected to the Law of Attraction they represent potential and transformation. Where the caterpillar inches along, the butterfly soars! The designs from brands Muru and Lucky Eyes are always meaningful, indeed Phil Barnes of Muru brings us a variety of Talismans of which the butterfly is just one that comes from nature.
Birds are another popular source of inspiration and symbolism. Owls, unsurprisingly, are symbols of wisdom; the Hummingbird a symbol of love and the Swallow a symbol of freedom but more generally birds are associated with grace and beauty.
Bill Skinner Night Owl Pendant, Muru Swallow Pendant,
Muru Hummingbird Earrings, Bill Skinner Double Bird Pendant
Boucheron (19th Century
White Gold, Blue Sapphires
All sorts of other animals have been represented in jewellery throughout history and continue to charm us often reflecting cultures, lifestyles and our fondness for pets.
Reeves & Reeves Hare and Fox Pendants, Bill Skinner Horse,
Muru Elephant stretch bracelet, Bill Skinner Kittens.
Iconic Chanel Lion Ring.
Coco Chanel became a
pioneer for Costume
Jewellery in the 1920's
using 'faux' pearls,
gemstones and metals.
Vintage Tiffany Cat Brooch
Fun, creativity and symbolism – all there in nature!
These are just a few examples of the creativity shown by jewellery designers over the centuries that continue to this day. Jewellery has always been symbolic and meaningful as well as enormously decorative. The choice offered by these craftspeople is amazing and with nature as their inspiration, boundless! You are always assured of finding something that speaks of your personality and your loves.