Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dreaming of April

I absolutely love this dress by Econica. Gorgeous shade of green, much like newly sprung grass.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The ashing of my Wednesday

Today being Ash Wednesday, and me being a good Catholic girl, I went with some work friends to noon mass to get our ashes. Usually for Ash Wednesday the priests give you a sort of halfhearted gray blurry smudge on your forehead that may or may not resemble a cross, which then washes away on its own after a few hours. The priests today, though, were not kidding around. They gave everyone thick, gigantic black crosses. Some people even had their cross ashes span the whole length and width of their foreheads. So there we all were, sporting huge black ash crosses, trying to act like everything was normal as we trekked back to work and gamely attempting to ignore the fact that our foreheads looked like someone branded a hot iron cross onto it. I lasted a few hours before the sixth or seventh funny look I received had me guiltily wiping off my ashes, risking eternal damnation.

I'd forgotten all about the joys of Lent. I hope the next forty days go well for the rest of you Catholics out there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why I love trains

One of my fondest memories of living in Europe was of all the trains you can take to go places: the Chunnel from Paris to London, the train to Provence, the overnight train to Spain (this one in particular was my favorite, especially when the conductor came in to your compartment to convert the seats into bunk beds, and then the next morning you woke up and looked out the window to find the train chugging along, clinging to the side of a mountain with nothing between you and God but a sheer drop to the bottom. Awesome).

Anyway, I was reminded of how much I love trains because I recently started taking the commuter train to and from work instead of the subway, and I am in love. It is wonderful. My new mode of transport cuts my commute down by almost 45 minutes, there are no tourists or smelly people, and you can see the river and the boats docked on the marina as the train approaches the city, whistles bellowing. It's lovely. I also especially love the moment when you detrain on the platform and look up at the giant train waiting there; it reminds me of the Hogwarts Express and of old 1940s war movies.

And these are why I love trains.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things I like

A tag from Protege where I list ten things I like that begin with the letter "P." So here goes...
  1. Poop jokes: 'nuff said.
  2. Philippines: those lovely, lovely beaches and amazing food and wonderful aunts and cousins.
  3. Purses: I think this one speaks for itself.
  4. Pumpkin pie: I love my sister's pumpkin pie that she makes from scratch, especially the graham cracker cinnamon crust. Hers is the only pumpkin pie I'll eat.
  5. Pancit: I've been craving this quintessential Filipino noodle dish so badly lately that I've begun to smell its aroma everywhere I go.
  6. Plantains: if bananas were instant plantains, the world would be a better place.
  7. Pickles: especially the sour pickles in Jewish delis.
  8. Pho: what more can you ask for than meat, noodles, and soup?
  9. Paris: ten years later and I'm still homesick for my city.
  10. can't get through the day without it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Je t'aime

Voici les boucle d'oreilles qui dit "Je T'Aime." Je pense qu'ils sont tres jolie. J'espere que vous les aimez aussi! Vous pouvez regarder les photos ici. Je t'aime, tous mes amis!

(For the English translation click here).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm now OnSugar

I'm now also OnSugar - check me out there! I'll be using this site mostly for publicity and promotion, where I'll be featuring a piece of jewelry each day. The site is owned by one of my favorite gossip sites, PopSugar, which means the majority of readers are women. I figured it would be a good idea for me to have a presence there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vintage necklace

I finally tried my hand at oxidizing metal, and here is the result: the Priscilla necklace. I used the brass skeleton key charm I got a while back as the focal point. The circle pendant that the charms are hanging from was hand-forged using 16g sterling silver wire, but oxidation came out a little unexpectedly. Instead of a gunmetal color, the liver of sulfur gave the pendant a bluish/greenish patina. After a while I decided it actually sort of matches the verdigris on the key, so even if the results were a little unexpected, I kept it as is. I'm not sure if the blue/green color was a reaction to the soldering process or to the copper tongs I used (does anybody know if copper reacts with liver of sulfur?) but, it worked out in this case.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Twilight Tuesday

How cute is this card from dandeedesigns? I gave it to Mr Hazel on Valentine's day. And knowing how much I love Edward Cullen, that's saying a lot!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Post earrings

My first post earrings. I've named this pair Megan. Not after anyone in particular, but the name is pretty. Making post/stud earrings was at the same time a lot easier, but also a lot harder, than I thought. I'm working on another pair that has stones but I'm not having much luck so far getting them the way I want.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Been puttering around in the kitchen. A dozen yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting. And challah french toast with cinnamon, for breakfast. Mmmm.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing you all a happy Valentine's day with family, friends, significant others, pets, loved ones!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm on Wists

Have you guys heard of before? It's apparently a social shopping website where you can bookmark stuff you find online and make weblists out of them to share with everyone. I was excited to find out that the Alice ring made it onto someone's weblist.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big earrings are back

I'm super exhausted right now from a pretty full day, but I'm on such a creative high from listening to Alexis Bittar's talk at the Corcoran tonight that I couldn't wait to write about it. We spent a couple of hours looking at inspiring slides of his various jewelry, most of them high-end art pieces that were created for fashion shows and Vogue. He was really fresh, funny, and very forthright. The picture of him is kind of blurry, but he reminded me of a mix between Tom Ford and Nicolas Ghesquire. The audience was 100% female, all of them fans and stylishly dressed, with a handful sporting his jewelry.

Bittar declared that big earrings (circa 1980s) are back for spring. I took notes on that one.

Perhaps the one piece of advice that resonated with me was when he said I should start at the highest level of whatever it is that's inspiring me and not think so much about whether it will sell; and then from that high-end concept, tear the piece down to what will ultimately sell. He showed us a bunch of pieces that were very high design that received a lot of positive press in the fashion magazines but that didn't sell well, if at all, to the public.

I also enjoyed the part where he name-dropped the various fashion industry people he personally knows: Patricia Field (Samantha's huge gold necklace that she wore with the red suit at the beginning of the SATC movie was a Bittar piece), Carine Roitfeld, Anna Wintour, Michael Kors, and Dawn Mello (the Bergdorf director who discovered Tom Ford). Cameron Diaz and Madonna are also fans of his pieces.

Finally, he spoke about the various things that serve as inspirations for his designs: antique jewelry, boxy '80s suits with large lapel pins, Etruscan jewelry, Gauguin paintings, Elsa Schiaparelli.

In the next few days I'm going to post some pieces from his current collection that are my favorites.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Twilight Tuesday

Catherine Hardwicke wrote a book called Twilight: Director's Notebook, which will be released March 17 prior to the DVD. It will include all kinds of behind-the-scenes stuff. She's definitely milking this as much as she can, for all those obsessive suckers who eagerly plunk down their hard-earned cash for anything related to this franchise. I'll be first in line!

In New Moon casting news, AnnaLynne McCord (why does she need two names?) of 90210 fame (the new one) auditioned for the role of Heidi, one of the Volterra vampires. Heidi's character lures unsuspecting humans so they can become vampire food, and she's supposed to be super gorgeous. I've never seen AnnaLynne McCord except on US Weekly, but based on the fact that she goes by two names, I'm already inclined to dislike her (see also: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Melissa Joan Hart, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mary-Kate Olsen).

Monday, February 9, 2009

New header design

You may already have noticed my new header design! I was craving something really pretty for the blog and stumbled, quite by fortunate accident, on Vanessa Warren of ButterflySparks Designs. I fell instantly in love with this design, which also works for me because it still lets me include a picture for marketing purposes.

Vanessa was great to work with and I can't recommend her enough if you need graphic design projects. Her response and turnaround times were super fast, her rates were very reasonable, and I love the fact that she cites Anthropologie as one of her inspirations. A designer after my own heart. Lastly, she created a matching Etsy shop banner for me - check it out!

Hope you like it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Going to see Alexis Bittar

Next week I'm attending a talk given by Alexis Bittar, and I'm excited. He's a very famous jewelry designer with a store in SoHo. His designs are opulent, decadent, colorful, and very luxurious. This is the writeup they have for him:
Described as “one of the most innovative jewelry designers of the 21st century,” Alexis Bittar burst onto the scene in 1988. Fueled by his passion for antiques, including Art Deco Bakelite and turn-of-the century Lalique glass, Bittar’s boldest, most whimsical, and easily recognizable pieces are created in Lucite. After making fashion headlines on Sex and the City, Bittar won the Accessories Council’s “Rising Star” Award and became a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In a short amount of time, Bittar has gone from selling his jewelry on the streets of SoHo to answering a growing demand from luxury retail stores and world renowned museums. In this fascinating and inspirational evening, Alexis Bittar describes his roots, artistic vision, and design process.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Discovered by Susan

What a week! Lots of little things combined with several big things and before I knew it, the weekend had arrived and I hadn't posted anything for Twilight Tuesday. What travesty!

The weather this weekend promises to be simply gorgeous - sunny and in the 60s - which is a happy change from the high of 27 degrees we had on Friday (no wonder people are getting sick with all this crazy temperature changes). I'm looking longingly out my window though because Mr Hazel has decreed that I must gather up all paperwork from bead purchases for the year and calculate my total expenses and revenue so he can complete our taxes by the end of the weekend. I know it must be done, but the sunshine outside is luring me to rebel.

Check it out - Susan from Susan's Greetings featured my shop's Susan bracelet on her blog on Friday. I happily return the free publicity.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Orleans ball

My coworker Victoria is attending a series of balls in New Orleans this month (the Orpheus Ball, the Gay Ball, and the Hermes Ball - the Orpheus Ball is apparently the one that Harry Connick Jr. throws). Anyway, she commissioned a pair of earrings and a necklace from me to wear with her dress. I showed her a selection of stones from my stock and she picked out these metallic grey freshwater cultured pearls as the focal stones. I paired them with potato pearls and twisted rings.

And here is the BCBG dress she'll be wearing. Don't you love it?

Victoria also got a bunch of my business cards to pass out at the balls in case anyone wants to know where she got her jewelry. Thanks, Victoria - I hope you have fun!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


The weather is playing with my mind. Today was sunny and in the 60s, definitely more like early April than the beginning of February. My spring fever is even worse now that I've had a taste of April (damn you, weather!). We're supposed to get another kind of winter storm next week, too.

Well, here you are - the Rosemary earrings. Pink and sparkly, and very girly.