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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


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


Pearly Whites

Friday, February 11th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

So it is morning, and your eyes are barely open.  The weekend is ALMOST here, but it still remains tantalizingly out of reach.

You have been operating on about 4 hours of sleep a night for the last week and a half, due to an evil force in your home.

This force is known as the One-Year Molar. It is also known as The Evil Teething Experience From Hell.  And your son currently has three molars coming in at the same time.

Last night, he started wailing at 2am. The “leaning-over-the-crib-and-rubbing-his-back” maneuver didn’t work.  Infant pain reliever did not work. Rocking did not work. Envisioning yourself far, far away at a spa in Martinique did not work.

3am saw you lying on a folded up duvet on the floor next to your son’s crib, with your arm jammed painfully between the slats on the crib so that you could massage his scalp while he finally drifted off.

You woke up at 4:30am, still in that position. Your son was finally asleep, but so was your arm. And your left hip felt like it had been kicked by a mule.  You limped back to bed, next to your peacefully snoring husband, to try to catch some more sleep before your alarm rang at 6am.

And as you slept, tiny, pearly little teeth danced in your dreams.

But, these days shall pass, and it will be only too soon before your pain will be financial as it is discovered that your son needs extensive orthodontics.

So in the meantime, why not get yourself some pearly whites, like this gorgeous ring, to help soothe your frazzled soul and distract onlookers from the alarmingly large set of Louis Vuitton carryalls you have perched under your eyes?

I think you deserve it.

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


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


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!

Bisous!

LPA


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?

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












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