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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


Shiny!: Black Swan, Black Diamonds

Saturday, February 5th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Greetings my darlings!

Ah, it is delightful to be in awards season, where we can see the beautiful and bountiful baubles on display.

Jewelry and cinema have long gone hand-in-glove, have they not? We love to see the beautiful people wearing the glamorous, gorgeous gems and jewels.

The artisans creating these beautiful pieces are often inspired by a member of the Hollywood elite, but in some cases, they are inspired by the characters or the film itself.

With that, I bring you the talented and fragrant Wendy Brandes and her Black Swan ring:

“When Black Swan came out last month and people swooned over Natalie Portman’s performance, I thought, ‘I MUST do a black-diamond version of my Cleves swan ring!'”

And that she did:

This ring is a stunner. It was originally designed as the “Cleves Ring” with white diamonds, and “was inspired by Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII’s fourth wife, who was born in Schwanenburg Castle (Swan Castle). This black-diamond version is a tribute to the 2010 psychological thriller Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman as an unhinged ballerina.”

Black diamonds, ballet, and insanity? There might be something more glamorous out there, but I’m really not sure what it could be. These could make a great Christmas gifts for wife.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out Wendy’s blog.  She writes beautifully (and often, hilariously) about fashion, feminism, dogs, and many other delightful topics.

Yours en pointe,

LPA


Charmed, I’m sure…

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Greetings, my dears!

I hope that all is lovely and wonderful with each and every one of you.

Remember WAY back when, when I made mention of my mom’s charm bracelet, and how I didn’t want to tell her that I’d love to have it some day, for fear of appearing grasping?

I could kick myself right now.
Bring me my smelling salts!

She hocked it.

Don’t worry — she didn’t hock it because that was the only thing standing between her and a steady diet of ramen noodles. She simply figured that neither of us girls had ever shown any interest in it, and she hadn’t worn it in years and years, so why not be rid of it.

I could CRY. Seriously. She had charms on there from when my sister and I were born. She had a charm from when she graduated from nursing school. It was the ONE piece of jewelry of hers that I actually coveted.

So I’m a little bitter right now. But I’m also determined that I WILL have a charm bracelet, damn it. And if I can’t have my mom’s, I’ll just have to get my own.

One can always buy a pre-charmed (so to speak) charm bracelet, if you like the look, but don’t want the time, bother and expense of slowly filling up your bracelet with charms.  This one from Lily Pulitzer is rather adorable, and it does still have room for charms if you want to add something more personal. Plus, it’s on sale:

I also think this one is really neat. The Feng Shui of the charms is supposed to increase the energy in your life.  So it IS a little pricier than coffee, but it doesn’t have the diuretic effects…so it’s a toss-up, really. However the fact that it’s 77% off certainly sweetens the deal, no?

Or, you could do what I’m probably going to do, and get one that’s mostly blank, so that you can add on your own charms. I’m loving this David Yurman one. The fact that it’s silver AND gold makes it a lot more versatile with regards to what charms you pick for it, I’d say.

So what kind of charms would I put on there? Well, I’d want them to either have meaning, or be ones that I just think are delightful. This Eiffel Tower charm would be a must-buy, as it would remind me of the lovely 24 hours I once spent in Paris.

Of course, with charms, you can’t go wrong with Tiffany. They have got a broad selection of gorgeous things. How dinky is this oyster charm? It  opens up, to reveal a pearl inside! Swoon!

I’ll also be getting some sort of charm that reminds me of my son. I’m not sure yet what to get though…but that’s half the fun, isn’t it?

If you had a charm bracelet, what charms would you want on it?

Bisous,

LPA


Hoop! There it is!

Sunday, January 16th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Yes, I just made a bad pun based on a 1990’s-era dance tune.  I have no shame.

However, thinking back to 1993, I realize that there’s not too damn much that I wore back then that I would even consider putting on my body today (puffy poet shirt, I’m looking at you).  However, even back then, I loved hoop earrings.

Hoop earrings are one of those things that you either love, or you hate.  Smaller hoops rarely elicit a negative reaction. Larger hoops, however?  Well, there’s more than one Facebook group ranting about how trashy they look.  And consider this tidbit of information from a very knowledgeable acquaintance of mine:

“Cultural Difference Fun Fact: In many conservative  and/or old money families, particularly in the South, Nice Girls Don’t Wear Hoops. Small ones are considered merely low rent, but anything bigger than a quarter? You might as well be working the pole. They’re like lucite heels for your ears.”

I think hoops are one of those things that are extremely dependent on the wearer and on the  context. Yes, they ARE inherently more casual than studs or drops, but they don’t have to be lowbrow.

Big hoops with lots of cleavage, too much makeup, an equally big necklace and a Bumpit? Yeah, that’s lucite-heel territory.

Big hoops with an exotically patterned tunic over pale linen trousers and a low strappy sandal? Delightful.

When wearing hoops, keep in mind that while big hoops can be gypsy-esque and fun, smaller ones do tend to be more elegant.  The smallest of all, also known as “huggies”, would likely work in even the most conservative setting.

Fortunately, there are a LOT of choices out there.

Beautiful leaf hoop earrings:

Unusual and delicate citrine drop hoops:

Sparkly and elegant hoops for evening:

Of course, if you want to go full-on gypsy chick, these are a beautiful way to do so:

So to the hoop-haters, I say “You do NOT know what you’re missing, my friend!”

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


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!

Bisous,

LPA


Shiny!

Thursday, November 11th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

There are definitely a lot of positives to this job: getting to interact with you, the lovely readers; working for the ever-kind and supportive Manolo; being on a team with such fantastic individuals; and getting to be my usual opinionated self.  However, one of the nicest parts is getting to spend (a ridiculous amount of) time online looking at beautiful jewelry.

So, “Shiny!” will be blog posts that result simply due to me seeing something online that makes me go, “Ooooooh!”

Because sometimes, being a freaking-fracking gorgeous bit of fantasy is all that’s needed.

Moonstones, diamonds AND emeralds? Oh, Mr. Clooney…you really shouldn’t have!

Bisous,

LPA


A Rose By Any Other Name…

Sunday, November 7th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

Oh gold…why have we forsaken you?

Gold is one of those metals that is classic, but lately, it’s been given rather short shrift, hasn’t it?  Does anybody remember the Sex and the City episode where Aidan gave Carrie an engagement ring, and she was upset that it wasn’t platinum? When her friends protested that she loved gold, she replied, “Yeah! Ghetto gold for fun! But this is my engagement ring!” 

She wasn’t alone in thinking that way.

I say, it’s LONG past due for gold to make a resurgence.  It’s warm, it’s elegant, it’s rich-looking, and it’s flattering to the complexion.

And you know what kind of gold is REALLY underappreciated? Rose gold.  Rose gold is the most unabashedly romantic-looking gold. Warm and girly, but underscored by unassailable class and grace, it’ll lend a whole new feel to your wardrobe and your outlook.

Behold — rose gold!

Heather Moore Rose Gold ChainMichael Kors Chronograph Watch

Ippolita Rose Gold Earrings












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