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Jewels for a Princess

Friday, April 29th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Hey, many of us want to look like a princess on our wedding day, right?

So if you’re actually becoming a real, honest-to-goodness princess, there’s that oh-so-tiny (read: ginormous) extra bit of pressure on you to look regal and stunning and all that good stuff.

I’m sure you folks have all read about the dress and hair and whatnot already, so let’s get down to the baubles.

There aren’t too many times in life that a girl can get away with wearing a tiara. But when you’re marrying a prince? I’d say that you can probably go for it.

And if your tiara is one borrowed from an actual queen, then you just flat-out win.

Here are the details:

Her Cartier tiara was made in 1936 and was purchased by The Duke of York (King George VI) for his Duchess (The Queen Mother — rest her feisty soul) three weeks before he succeeded his brother as King. Queen Elizabeth received the tiara from her mother on her 18th birthday (I got a new sweater for mine).

Middleton’s diamond earrings (by Robinson Pelham) were inspired by her family’s new coat of arms: a pear-shaped diamond set drop and a pave-set diamond acorn in the center. Middleton’s parents, Carole and Michael, gave them to her as a personal gift for her wedding day.

So it was a lovely blend of both old and new, traditional and modern, much like the couple themselves.

And of course, she already had “something blue” sewn up rather nicely:

And now we wait until that adorable rapscallion of a Harry gets hitched, so that we can be all a-flutter again.

Bisous!

La Petite Acadienne


Go March, it’s your birthday…

Thursday, March 17th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Aquamarine…

The name itself is so evocative, isn’t it? It makes me think of beautiful, crystalline, blue-green waters and white sand and palm trees.

There’s something about aquamarine that just feels like a soothing escape, isn’t there?

The March birthstone, aquamarine, is a form of beryl, the same mineral family that emerald belongs to. The highest quality of aquamarine is very clear, with fewer inclusions than emerald, but aquamarine that is less clear can be just as beautiful (as you will see below).Aquamarine exists in many shades of blue, from pale versions to the color of the sky, and some stones are tinged with green — it owes its color to the presence of iron. Deeper colored aquamarines have the highest value.

When I think of aquamarines, I always tend to think of the very clear, gemstone-cut variety, similar to these earrings:

They’re very lovely, and I certainly would not turn my nose up at them. However, I never realized how gorgeous the “less clear” aquamarines can be, like in this stunning necklace (which just happens to be marked down by 50%.)

Speaking of necklaces, here’s another gorgeous one:

But, if you prefer the clear aquamarines, these earrings should fit the bill quite nicely, no?

Happy birthday, March!!!

LPA


Oscars Live-Blogging

Sunday, February 27th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Okay, so this is the first time I’ve live-blogged anything, so please bear with me.

I won’t be blogging the ENTIRE Oscars, ’cause I just don’t stay up that late. But I will blog the red-carpet, and maybe a bit beyond.

Keeping with the theme of this blog, I’ll make a special point of noticing and commenting upon jewelry. However, I won’t be limiting myself to only jewelry, and may make the odd comment regarding anything else that catches my eye.

So, I hope you all have wine in hand, popcorn in bowl, and tongue firmly in cheek.

BTW: Am watching the ABC coverage, as it’s in HD. Just so you know.

8:00: Robin Roberts looks pretty. I see that she’s following the “big cocktail ring on index finger” trend that we’ve seen a lot lately.

8:04: I love you, Tim Gunn. Come live with me.

8:05: Maria Menounos is also doing the big cocktail ring.  I’m not sure if that gigantic sparkly thing on her wrist is a bracelet, or part of her dress.

8:05: Mila Kunis. I like the purple, but I’m not keen on the sheer. I love her earrings — a really different and pretty shape. Stand up straight, though. For someone who used to be a ballet dancer, her posture is crap.

8:07: Hailee Steinfeld. She’s so cute and poised and pretty. Not a BIT of jewelry on her, except for a tiny subtle ring, which is interesting and brave, but it works, considering that her dress is pretty sparkly.

Commercials: Cheese puffs, or popcorn? I can’t decide.

8:14: Amy Adams: That’s a pretty necklace, and a pretty dress, but I just would not have worn them together. That high neckline, calls more for earrings.  And the stones don’t contrast enough with the dress to look cool — just enough to look like they clash. Fail, Amy.

8:15: Jennifer Lawrence: Gold! Nice to see! I kind of wish she’d worn her hair up, so that we could have had a better view of those earrings.

(more…)


February! When the heck did THAT get here!

Sunday, February 20th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

I am soooooooo sorry, February ladies! (Including my own mother, whose birthday was on the 18th — Hi Mom! Love you!)

It’s not that I forgot about YOU, it’s that I forgot that I’ve been doing birthstone posts. My only excuse is the short-term memory loss brought about by severe sleep deprivation (ref: “Pearly Whites”).

So, if you will forgive me and still love me, I will now do my best to bring you all sorts of lovely goodness.

The irony of it is that February’s birthstone, amethyst, is actually one of my favourite semi-precious stones. I definitely share Anne Shirley’s love for them:

“I think amethysts are just sweet. They are what I used to think diamonds were like. Long ago, before I had ever seen a diamond, I read about them and I tried to imagine what they would be like. I thought they would be lovely glimmering purple stones. When I saw a real diamond in a lady’s ring one day I was so disappointed I cried. Of course, it was very lovely but it wasn’t my idea of a diamond. Will you let me hold the brooch for one minute, Marilla? Do you think amethysts can be the souls of good violets?”

Anne wound up choosing a pearl as her engagement ring. She didn’t want a diamond, because she was forever reminded of her disappointment that they weren’t purple.  Pity she never saw this ring.

Gorgeous, no? I love the simple setting, letting the stone take centre stage.

Here are some other amethyst lovelies that would have turned Josie Pye a most unflattering shade of green.

I love the delicacy of this necklace and the contrasting chains. So pretty!

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These pyrite-and-amethyst earrings are so unusual, but so lovely.

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I also love the shape of these earrings with their amethyst drops.

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Of course, if our Anne really wanted to steal the show, and still wanted to incorporate pearls into her look, she could have worn this stunning bracelet:

Isn’t it all just so romantic, Marilla?

Bisous!

LPA


The Look of the Grammys — Something a Little Different

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

So the Grammys tend to be known more for wackitude and big upsets (who knew that Bieber fans were so bloodthirsty?) than for elegant, gorgeous accessorizing.

And much like the wackitude tends to upstage the elegant, the “big names” tend to upstage the lesser-known folks on the following day’s fashion pages.

So, in the spirit of celebrating (or in some cases, kicking) the underdog, let’s take a gander at some looks from people other than your JLos and your Rihannas and your Lady Gagas, shall we?

N’Dambi:


Smart girl. Her dress is already sequined up and her hair makes a big statement, so she kept it simple with the jewels. (In other pictures, I saw that she did Too Much with the shoes, so we’ll just ignore that and focus solely on this picture, m’kay?) I love the teeny little diamond helix piercing — it just adds that subtle bit of edginess. Don’t believe me? Put your thumb over it in the picture. Makes a difference, no? Now, let’s wipe our greasy thumbprints off of our monitors and keep on going.

Mya:

I’m not sure what to think about the dress. It looks a little bit too much like a Project Runway challenge, involving the use of remnants of 19th century bonnets for my liking. However, I love the earrings, and love that she wore her hair back to show them off.

Paz Vega:


I wouldn’t want MUCH bling with a dress like this, but a subtle pair of earrings would have gone a long way towards this look. As it stands, Paz looks like she’s wearing the world’s fanciest hospital gown. One stumble, and we’re talking MAJOR wardrobe malfunction here.

Alicia Arden:

Good lord, what in sweet Rose’s marmalade is this? The earrings don’t go with the necklace, which doesn’t go with the bracelets, which don’t go with each other. Not that everything has to matchy-matchy, but this looks like Alicia just decided to throw on everything in her jewelry box, just for s**ts and giggles.

India.Arie:

I love you. Don’t ever change.

And, just to leave you on a high (and squashed) note, I bring you Gramma Funk:

I guess that’s one good way to keep anybody from stealing your necklace: wedge it so tightly between your breasts that a thief would require a crowbar and some WD-40 to jimmy that sucker loose.

Bisous!

LPA


Whose Globes Bling – The Answers!

Monday, January 31st, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Good morning, my lovelies!

My apologies for the delay in publishing the answers to this particular quiz. Technical issues, blahbity-blahbity, software compatibility, yadda, yadda.

Anyway, yeah…so this was  a really tough quiz, no? And you thought that Manolo’s Whose Shoes Wednesday was tough. Seriously though, I won’t make it as blisteringly difficult next time.

And so, on to the answers!

1. Kim Kardashian

2. Camilla Belle

3. Tina Fey

4. Claire Danes

5. Jenna Ushkowitz

6. Catherine Zeta-Jones

7. Natalie Portman

I have to say, I really didn’t understand the hoo-ha over Claire Danes’ look.  I thought the dress made her look rather gaunt. But hey, in Hollywood, since when was that considered a BAD thing?

Bisous!

LPA


Whose Golden Globes Bling?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Well, the Golden Globes was definitely an interesting show.

Between Helena Bonham Carter wearing two differently-coloured shoes on the red carpet (on PURPOSE!) and Ricky Gervaise hilariously introducing Bruce Willis as “Ashton Kutcher’s dad”, I was entertained the entire time.

So, to keep the entertainment going, I thought I would springboard off of the Manolo’s always-delightful “Whose Shoes Wednesday”, and present to you “Whose Golden Globes Bling?’

Can you guess who wore what beautiful accessory?

And my vote for best-accessorized of the night? Well, it’s a toss-up.  An alarming number of women wore no jewelry at all, or only very subtle baubles.  That’s why I was so thrilled to see Kyra Sedgwick and her bold colour combination:

My other vote for best-accessorized goes to Susan Downey, and not because of what’s around her neck.

Bisous,

LPA


Go January…it’s your birthday…

Thursday, January 6th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Hello, my little winter chickadees!

Well, the holiday season is over, and we now have the long stretch of winter to face. Everybody has turned their Christmas lights off, it’s dark, it’s cold, and we don’t have any statutory holidays until Easter.

Bah.

The only bright spot for me is that my birthday is this month.  And while I am on the far side of my 30’s, I still get excited about my birthday. Mind you, that’s probably just because I love attention.

I also love garnets, January’s birthstone. I’m a bit weird about garnets, though — I’m not a fan of them when paired with diamonds. However (confession time), as a general rule, I don’t like it when diamonds are used to accent precious or semi-precious gems.  I prefer for the gemstone to take centre stage, or for it to be paired with something interesting or unusual. Pairing a garnet (or a sapphire, or an emerald, or a pearl) with little accent diamonds just seems kind of, “Ooh, let’s jazz this up a bit by adding a bunch of little diamonds!” I guess it just seems sort of lazy.  Mind you, I’m sure there IS some fantastic jewelry out there that pairs gemstones with diamond accents — it just seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

I told you I’m weird.

Anyway, back to garnets. Take it away, wiki:

Garnets species are found in many colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, pink and colorless.

Garnet species’s light transmission properties can range from the gemstone-quality transparent specimens to the opaque varieties used for industrial purposes as abrasives. The mineral’s luster is categorized as vitreous (glass-like) or resinous (amber-like).

Of course, red (rhodolite) garnet is the one that we see most often.  The word “garnet” comes from the Latin word “granatus,” meaning “grain” or “seed.”  This name was given to the garnet because of its close resemblance to the pomegranate seed.

A gift of garnet is thought to be symbolic of love and the desire for a loved one’s safe travel and speedy homecoming.  As well, garnets were once used medicinally, to increase strength and ward off several medical problems including blood disorders, heart palpitations and lung disease.

The irony is that this garnet jewelry would CAUSE heart palpitations, thank you very much.

Yes, this is a baby’s pendant, but I see no reason why I couldn’t have it set in a longer chain for myself. It’s just too adorable!

Hammered gold and garnets? Why, yes. Yes, I think I shall!  I’m definitely a sucker for hammered gold, so those earrings are right up my alley:

We also have this simple, but perfect ring. The setting doesn’t distract from the gorgeous, deep, rich red of the garnet.  Delicate, but still very, very striking.  Me likey.

So, happy birthday to all my fellow January babies! May your birthday bring you some pretty new garnet baubles!

Bisous,

LPA


New Year, New Moon, New…Moonstone?

Monday, January 3rd, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

No, not THAT New Moon. The January 4th will see the first new moon of 2011.  And of course, thinking of the moon makes one think of moonstones.

For years, I had wanted a moonstone ring. A friend of mine had one, and I had always admired it. Mind you, I had always admired everything about this friend’s style — she is one of those people who always looks perfectly, effortlessly put-together. (Of course, the fact that she is a six-foot-tall cool blonde probably contributes somewhat to this effect, I’m thinking.)

Anyway, on a trip to Holland in 2005 with my now-husband, we stopped at this tiny little store in a tiny little town, and there, he bought me a sterling silver ring with a moonstone in it. The funny thing was that I put the ring on my right ring finger, as that is where it fit. When we exited the store, all of our Dutch friends started oohing and aahing and clapping. It turns out that they wear their wedding bands on their right ring finger, not their left.  So they thought we had just gotten engaged.

I look at this ring and am flooded with good memories. If I had a chance to grab any of my jewelry in the event of a fire,  this ring would be one of the first things I would grab.

In India, moonstone is regarded as a sacred stone. It is believed to bring good fortune. And really, couldn’t we all use more good fortune in 2011?

So it is a stone that is reputed to bring good fortune AND it is a stone to which I hold a great sentimental attachment.  Do I really need more reason than that to hunt for pretty moonstone jewelry for my beloved readers? No. No I do not need more reason.

You could have stunning moonstone-and-pearl earrings :

Or you could have this beautiful bracelet:

And of course, you simply cannot go wrong with a moonstone ring! Mine is sterling silver, but this unique gold one is SO eye-catching, no? It’s a wee bit pricey, but it would make a marvelous engagement ring (a deliberate engagement ring, as opposed to my inadvertent false Dutch engagement adventure, obviously.)

May the new moon and the new year bring you plenty of good fortune (and plenty of pretty baubles, of course!)

Bisous,

LPA


Drop Everything!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

Sometimes, a girl needs an emergency kit.

No, I’m not talking about a medical kit, or about a kit of emergency supplies for one’s vehicle (although you SHOULD have those, by the way — self-reliance is superfantastic.)

I am talking about the emergency kit that you keep stashed at the back of your bottom filing drawer, that contains a few key items that can add a bit of evening sparkle to your daytime work look, should some unexpected social event land in your lap. We don’t always have time to go home and change. Nor do we always have the time/money/mental energy to go shopping for an entirely different outfit.  Having a workplace emergency kit of fabulousness helps keep you from that panicked, “everybody will look great, and I’ll look like an office drone!” moment.

It goes without saying that beautiful shoes should be part of this kit, but we’ll leave that category up to the Manolo, as he has recommended scores of mouth-wateringly beautiful shoes over the years.

It’s the jewelry I’m talking about.

Having one or two special, sparkly, lovely pieces stashed away for emergency events can make the difference between feeling confident and feeling invisible.

And nothing brings an outfit from day to evening like some drop earrings.

I’m not talking delicate little pearl drops here, folks. If you’re going to put this kind of responsibility onto a piece of jewelry, it has to have the broad shoulders for it.

These earrings, with their effortless mix of gold and silver, are strong but still somewhat airy, dressy but not TOO much so. I could totally see these becoming the workhorse of my evening jewelry wardrobe.

These are fun earrings that can add a shot of colour to a neutral ensemble.  Devastating with a smoky eye and pulled-back hair.
These remind me a bit of rock candy sugar lollies…and that’s not a bad thing.  They’re particularly divine this time of year: icy and gorgeous.

Any of these (or the fabulous drop earrings of your choice) would definitely make a staid outfit MUCH snazzier, and at least make sure that you have no regrets about how you look.  How you behave may be an altogether different matter, but we’ll just keep that between us, shall we?

Bisous!

LPA












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