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Archive for December, 2010

Fa la la la la….

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

The very merriest of Christmases to all of the delightful readers of Manolo Jewelry!


La Petite Acadienne

Wrapped up with a bow…

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

So, it is three days before Christmas and before  your entire family comes over for Christmas dinner.

Your roots aren’t done, you still have baking to do, goodness only knows where your good tablecloth is, and let’s not even discuss the state of your powder room, thank you very much.

You’re running around like a madwoman on your lunch hour, getting the last-minute stocking stuffers and making sure that you have a healthy supply of cashews for your snack-mad stepfather.

Your beloved texts you reminding you that you should really have some antacid in the house, just in case.

In the words of the Manolo, “Ayyyyyyyy!”  There is just too much to do, and too little time in which to do it! How on Earth are you going to remember all of the things that you must check off of your list before the big day?

Well, there IS that old trope about tying a string or a ribbon around your finger, so that you don’t forget…

What better way to soothe the frazzled nerves than with the lovely bit of fun indulgence for oneself, especially when that indulgence is available at 43% off?

Happy holidays to all of you, and may you get plenty of time to sit in your pajamas and eat buttered toast!



Baby bling

Sunday, December 19th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

Happy Sunday, everybody!

My apologies for being rather quiet lately. I’ve been fighting a double-whammy of bronchitis & stomach flu, which has left me incapable of coherent thought, let alone coherent writing.

When putting my earrings in today, I realized anew that I have had these holes in my ears since before I even knew what ears were.  Like many women my age, my ears were pierced when I was a baby. It was simply the done thing.

Of course, like many things, there are both pros and cons thrown out there when it comes to piercing an infant”s ears:

Stated Pros:

1. The infant is incapable of yanking at the piercings, and by the time she’s old enough to have that level of motor control, she’ll be used to the earrings and won’t mess with them.

2. It’s much easier to clean and disinfect the piercings of an infant than of a squirming toddler or rebellious school-age child.

3. If your girl-child is not particularly feminine-looking, it does help reduce the constant refrain of “Oh what a sweet baby boy.”

Stated Cons:

1. The risk of infection is still very real, as is the risk of allergic reaction.

2. When your baby becomes mobile, there is the risk of her getting the earring caught on something and ripping it out.

3. If she DOES manage to get her earring out, or if it falls out, there is the risk of aspiration.

Personally, I tend to stick by the rule of not making any permanent body modifications to my child unless medically necessary.  So no routine infant circumcision and no ear piercing. (Besides, I see ear-piercing as an EXCELLENT good-behaviour carrot for a ‘tween girl, so why not keep that arrow in your quiver until it’ll be of the most use?)

However, I know that there are plenty of people who feel differently.

What are your thoughts on earrings on infant girls (or boys)? Adorable? Appalling? Or is your reaction best summed up as, “Meh…whatever the parents want”?



One Dress — Many Looks

Thursday, December 16th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

‘Tis the season — for the holiday party.

The holiday party can range from the sublime to the horrific.

On one end of the spectrum, you have the festive/raucous, delightful/hilarious evening with good friends and intriguing strangers, filled with witty conversation, great music, delectable nibbles, excellent beverages, and a lovely atmosphere.  Dancing games on the Wii are optional (it IS, however always a delight to see your pregnant friend Jennifer waving a remote around wildly to the gentle strains of “Groove is in the Heart.”)

On the other end of the spectrum is your boyfriend’s sad office party, where you are forced to make small talk with Troy, the unctuous middle manager who insists on talking with his mouth full (of spinach dip, no less) and who has already dropped every single name with whom he has even the most tenuous connection.

Buying a new outfit for a party that promises to be fun is a delight, but also comes with a certain amount of pressure. Buying a new outfit for a party you dread? That’s just bleak and sad and depressing.

So what to do? Get yourself a workhorse stunner of a dress and make that bad boy earn its keep by pairing it with a gamut of accessories.

You could go with black, but why not experiment with a bit of colour?  This Donna Karan dress, with its artful draping, modest neckline and gorgeous colour, can work for a multitude of occasions.

For look #1, you could go with an elegant, yet somewhat exotic look. The rich colour and flattering draping of this dress remind me a bit of the saris that my best friend’s mom used to wear, so why not go with a bit of Indian influence? These earrings and this bracelet fit the bill quite beautifully without being at all costumey. This is perfect for a romantic dinner out with the beau, or for cocktails with the girls.

Look #2 is great for those evenings when you want to make a big impact without having to put a lot of thought into it.  It’s one of those nights when you are getting home late from work and now have about a half-hour to shower, change and put on some makeup. You’re frazzled as heck, but still want to look put-together.  Consider a bold, single accessory like this floral brooch, in a highly contrasting colour. It conveys a major amount of confidence and sophistication — basically, it’s the type of look that less confident women will wish they could carry off.  And when you’re wearing a statement piece like this one, you can eschew any other accessories, making for fewer mental gymnastics at a time when you’re truly on your last nerve.

Look #3 is for those times when you really do have to go in a conservative direction. Perhaps it’s a business dinner with a client. Perhaps it’s some other sort of function with dreary but very important people. Conformity tends to be the name of the game at events such as this. However, there are still ways to add a bit of personality and quirk to your look. These earrings and this watch are classic and basic, while this adorable owl brooch adds just enough of a touch of whimsy that you won’t blend in TOO much with Muffy, Kiki, Babs and Myra.

Mind you, if you want to utterly knock the socks off of Muffy, Kiki, Babs and Myra, Tiffany’s version of an owl pin will probably delight them enough that their faces may break free of the constrains of their latest Botox injections and actually register a facial expression.

Well…we can hope, right?



Designer Profile: Monserat De Lucca

Monday, December 13th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne


I featured a nifty bracelet from Monserat De Lucca in a previous post, and I can tell you now that I had a HARD time figuring out which piece of theirs to feature in that post, because there was just so much stuff that I loved.

What was I able to find out about Monserat De Lucca?

Not much…yet.

Their bio page is very low on details as to how they came about, and other information about them is pretty much non-existent.  They’ve indicated that they will be sending me a bio shortly,  so I will update this post as soon as it comes in. In the meantime, I was able to find out that they were founded in 2006, and a bit about their design inspiration:

“Modern women are multi-faceted dynamic creatures. We wanted to embrace this by creating accessories that are delicate and edgy, feminine and masculine, hard and soft, just like the women that they are intended for. We were inspired by the next natural evolution – an evolution in which the biker girl and the bohemian girl might not only be friends, but they may also be the same girl!”

Their pieces are whimsical, quirky, feminine and strong. AND, they’re very reasonably priced. I definitely plan on snapping up a few pieces, such as this sweet nest necklace:

These conversation-starting bracelets:

These lovely, tendril-y earrings:

It’s also worth noting that they have some rawther lovely handbags as well! I’m currently lusting after this gray satchel (which also comes in a multitude of other colours!)




Sunday, December 12th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

You know, I don’t wear pearls all that often.

I WOULD, however, make a rather notable exception for this necklace, thank you very much.

I don’t know what it is about gray pearls that appeals to me so much. It’s probably like my love for gray cashmere — it just feels RIGHT to me.

Details: this 17 inch necklace features 27 Tahitian Gray 13.5 mm by 16.5 mm South Sea Baroque Pearls, finishing this piece is diamond ball clasp. Yes, the diamonds do seem to be a bit of a case of gilding the lily, but I suppose when you’re already wearing pearls like these, go big or go home, right?

So, Mr. Clooney, if you wish to bestow these upon me this holiday season, I’m sure I could find it within my heart to wear them.  I’m very kind that way.



I Just Can’t Quit You…

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

I came across it today while rummaging through my box of “not everyday” jewelry — the stuff that I keep for special occasions, particular outfits, or for sentimental purposes.

It’s a simple, slim trinity ring. Three interlocking bands of white, yellow and rose gold. Cartier it ain’t, but it’s obviously inspired by the design.

It was given to me by a boyfriend from university. I don’t wear it anymore.

Don’t get me wrong: I still like the ring an awful lot. And I no longer have any feelings whatsoever for the ex, not even the idle curiousity of wondering what he’s up to these days. Honestly, if I passed him by in the street, I probably wouldn’t even recognize him.

However, I still don’t feel right wearing it. I’m married now, and adore my husband (who, by the way, has given me some stunning and thoughtfully selected jewelry over the years).  And I just do not and can not feel comfortable wearing jewelry given to me by another man (other than dear old dad, of course).

But I can’t bring myself to throw it out or give it away.  Why? Because I LIKE the ring, dammit. If it weren’t for my own reticence, I’d probably wear it often.

I know that the solution is just to buy a similar ring for myself and to quit bellyaching. And I do intend to get around to that at some point, when my fiduciary responsibilities are not quite so daunting.  In the meantime, however, the ring has really gotten me thinking about the emotional baggage that jewelry tends to carry, and how a piece of jewelry is never fully free, for good or for ill, of the person who gifted that item.

Do you have any pieces of jewelry that you keep but don’t wear, for similar reasons? Or do you immediately perform a symbolic exorcism on all of your jewelry the moment the door closes behind an ex?

How much baggage do your baubles have?



Go December, It’s Your Birthday…

Monday, December 6th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

If cold December gave you birth
The month of snow and ice and mirth
Place on your hand a turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate’er you do.

Greetings, my little winter chickadees!

Can you believe it is already December? I’m still trying to figure out where in blue blazes September went!

December babies get a bit of a raw deal — especially the ones who were born near or on Christmas. They tend to get the “combo” gift, which is supposed to basically cover both events…but never quite does.  Plus, your birthday party tends to get rolled into holiday parties, instead of being ALL about the ever-so-fabulous you.

However, there is a lovely silver lining to all of this — December has two birthstones, both of which are absolutely stunning:  blue topaz, and turquoise.

So that means that you can ask for some blue topaz jewelry for your birthday, and turquoise for the holidays! It’s only fair, after all.

You could ask for these lovely earrings:

Maybe I’m weird, but I prefer the look of turquoise with gold over the look of turquoise with silver.  I think turquoise with silver can often (not always, but often) wind up looking like one has just  spent three weeks at an artists’ retreat in New Mexico. Which is great— but it’s not usually a look I tend to cultivate.

You could ask for this stunning blue topaz ring:

This ring has such an interesting look to it. Because of the wire wrapping, you would definitely have to clean it often, as I can see the spaces between the wires getting all gunked up with the detritus of life.  It’d definitely be worth the effort, however.

These topaz earrings are just lovely:

So pretty and delicate, yet still very striking, no?

And if all else fails, you could always consider a piece that incorporates both blue topaz AND turquoise! Now THAT is an acceptable “combo” gift for you December babies!

Bonne fête to all of our December readers!



Ask La Petite Acadienne

Saturday, December 4th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

I have received this kind letter from the talented and fragrant PenguinLady:

I have a pressing jewel question for you.  My 10th anniversary is coming up on Jan 1, and I have not one idea of what precious stone to ask my husband to get for me!  The “traditional” gift is tin – how boring is that?- and the “modern” gift is diamond jewelry.  I’m not a “just any ol’ diamond’ kind of girl – I’ve been combing sites looking for something unusual or interesting, but all I find are eternity bands and solitaires. (Yawn.)  What do you think?  I’m not married (ha!) to the idea of diamonds, either, but would like a ring to wear all the time.  If it’s unusual, interesting or meaningful, I’ll be happy.

(If it makes a difference, my wedding band set was a vintage gold & diamond chip set from my Great Aunt, with a 1/2 carat white diamond, and channel set chips, both of which I adore.  The plan is to wear the new thing on my right hand, so it doesn’t have to match, per se, but at least not clash.)

Well, PenguinLady, let’s see what we can do for you! First of all, felicitations on your upcoming anniversary! 10 years of love, laughter, the odd moment where you just itch to throw a solid object at his head, and more love…well, that is definitely an accomplishment of which one should be proud!

As far as unusual or interesting diamond rings, there are definitely options out there.

You indicated via a separate missive that your set is a warm  yellow gold, and that you’d prefer for it to match if possible, but that you’d consider other options if sufficiently eye-catching.

Here are a few options that I was able to dig up for you, at several price points:

First off, this diamond “love knot” ring.

It’s sweet and subtle for every day, and the symbolism of the love knot is rather fitting, no?

If you’re not dead-set on gold, there is also this unusual and beautiful sterling-silver ring:

And, before you completely write off eternity bands, there ARE some really nice designs out there, like this antiquey-looking one from Morris & David.

This one might accent your wedding set rather nicely, but still looks different from the other eternity bands out there, no?

And lastly, if you’re willing to look beyond diamonds, and are looking for something meaningful, why not consider sapphires? They stand for truth, sincerity and fidelity — three components that are rather necessary for a long and happy marriage like your own.

This lovely antique-style sapphire ring might be just the thing!

Wishing you a happy 10th anniversary, with many more decades of wedded bliss to come!



Happy Hanukkah!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

Happy Hanukkah to everybody! Don’t forget to tell your friend Veronica!



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