Dance Me to the End of Love

One of my favorite composers is Leonard Cohen, who wrote the well-known song “Hallelujah.” His songs convey his genius but also suggest a personal struggle, and his lyrics are hauntingly beautiful. My personal favorite is “Dance Me to the End of Love.” This YouTube video features Madeleine Peyroux singing a stunning version of Leonard  Cohen’s composition. The sound pierces me straight to my soul.

Being surrounded by art and music is a luxury in this world. My job as a jewelry buyer enables me to breath in the artistic gifts of others, and I never fail to be awed by the creativity of our craftspeople. The design team of  the Patricia Locke Studio is one shining example of such creativity.

Celebration in True Blue

Patricia Locke collections always blend the depth of fine art with a modern sense of fashion. Her work is immediately recognizable for its distinctive asymmetry, tantalizing multi-metal combinations and elegant use of positive-negative space. Each piece presents an exquisite paradox, at once handsome and beautiful, organic and geometric, and contemporary with heirloom overtones.

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Winter White

I am particularly drawn to white at this time of year.  In a season that can be dark and colorless, white provides a spark of light that is both bright and uplifting.

Art by Nel Jansen

Art by Nel Jansen

My cousin Nel is an accomplished artist, and I love seeing her blog posts every day in my inbox.  Last week she posted this stunning painting of white tulips.  Before I had time to begin to consider buying this piece, it had sold.  Lucky buyer!

Necklace by Meghan Riley

Necklace by Meghan Riley

The onset on winter also brings with it a different fashion dynamic.  High collars, scarves and the like call for an alternative in our choices of jewelry.  We might choose a long necklace to wear with a sweater rather than a short one, or a post earring instead of a long French earwire to avoid having it catch on our clothing.

Earrings by Silver Seasons

Earrings by Silver Seasons

Invariably our minds turn to the beauty of white when we have our first snowfall.  Who ever thought of carving letterforms out of freshly fallen snow?  Celebrate the creativity all around us, no matter the season!

Denis winter snow

Calligraphy by Denis Brown

Jewelry Inspired By Architecture

As a jewelry buyer, I am drawn to bold color and clean lines.  This photo of the JFK TWA terminal shouts “Good Design!”

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I’m also a fanatic about laser cut designs in any medium.  Kathleen Dautel of Spark Metal Studio creates laser cut stainless steel that is hand finished and hand colored with epoxy resin.  The forms are both architecturally based and drawn from nature with a linear graphic quality.

fizz necklace

Fizz Necklace

Kathleen has always had artistic influences in her life.  Her father was a printmaker, painter and art professor.  While at the University of Oregon, she took her first metalsmithing class and loved it.  After graduating, she returned to the U of O to receive a BFA in Metalsmithing.

Stem Necklace - Model

Kathleen moved to Portland, Oregon in 1994, and the city, its buildings and environment inspired her to pursue architecture.  She continued her education at NC State, earning a Masters in Architecture.  Since graduating, she has had the opportunity to work as a project designer for architecture firms in the area, winning several design awards for many of the projects, but her love for metalsmithing has always been in the back of her mind.  In the fall of 2009 Kathleen launched her own jewelry and metalsmithing line, Spark Metal Studio.

Kathleen Dautel

Kathleen Dautel

Holiday Bling

Even jewelry buyers have their favorite jewelers!

Infinite Universe Booth at NY NOW!

Infinite Universe Booth at NY NOW!

Infinite Universe is an elegant, eco-friendly accessories and lifestyle brand inspired by nature. The pieces are simply like nothing else I’ve ever seen in the jewelry world – gorgeous mother-of-pearl combined with 14K gold leaf and set in vermeil. Many are accented with white sapphires.  Absolutely mouth-watering!

Model Shot Kauri Wood

Meeting the jewelers behind all of this creativity is a highlight of my job. The world of handmade is truly a special place to be!

My Little Black Dress

Fall is the time of year when we receive all the fantastic new jewelry we’ve bought at NY NOW!  It arrives daily and we ooh and ahh over it before sending it to our stores.  It’s a feast for the eyes!

One of my favorite new jewelry studios is Original Hardware.  I’m particularly drawn to these dramatic mixed metal earrings.

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This Original Hardware piece is perfect for my little black dress…
Original Hardware Lifestyle Shot

NYC, I hardly knew you and look forward to our next rendezvous!

NYC skyline

Eye Candy

My world revolves around what I call “eye candy.” It might be a photo, a piece of art or a landscape – I’m surrounded by beautiful things every day.

A beautiful small town scene with colorful buildings…

Kinsale, Ireland

Kinsale, Ireland

A gorgeous piece of wall art by my calligrapher friend Denis

Art by Denis Brown

Art by Denis Brown

And last but never least, new jewelry designs arriving every day! New designs came today from one of my favorite jewelers, Alicia Van Fleteren.  Alicia’s metals and gemstones are colorful and striking. I couldn’t resist and already bought a piece! What fun!

Alicia Van Fleteren Garnet

Alicia Van Fleteren Garnet

End of Summer Fun

hibiscus lilies

Ahh, the colors of late summer! A walk around my neighborhood yields bright flashes of brilliant red giant hibiscus flowers and gleaming white lillies.

Glorious sunset on the dock, wearing my favorite Crono necklace and my colorful Ann Carol earrings. Summer may end but Appalachian Spring jewelry lives on!

  crono  Ann

Pull Up A Chair

Artisan Chairs as Personal Adornment

One of my friends Joel D’Orazio recently had a show at the Katzen Center in Washington, DC.  Joel has a brilliant sense of design and I love sharing ideas about art and architecture with him – it helps me be a better jewelry buyer.  These are some of Joel’s many chairs and paintings, and this black & white chair is my favorite – Joel calls it the “Formal Attire Chair.”  Joel’s website is a feast for the eyes:    http://joeldorazio.com/

dawn marimekko

Washington DC is a cornucopia of good design.  We have world-class museums featuring well-known artists as well as lesser known exhibits, all at our fingertips and mostly for free.   My latest favorite exhibit was the Marimekko exhibit at the Finnish Embassy:  Marimekko’s Unikko: 50 years of flower power.  Unikko’s red-and-white poppy pattern’s continued popularity has proven that well-designed products are timeless, just like Appalachian Spring’s jewelry.  The Finnish Embassy has an awesome website with impeccable design:  http://us.marimekko.com/news/blog

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Shades of Blue

Everywhere I look this season, I see the color blue in all its many lovely hues. Whether it’s clothing, seasonal decorations, or furniture, this perennial favorite is making a statement for Summer 2015!  This is from one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Zero.

AFTER

Ice Blue Collection by Anna Balkan

Balkan necklace

Jeweler Anna Balkan’s new line in sterling combines the deep hues of London Blue topaz with chalcedony and faceted labradorite. The pieces are versatile because of the neutral tones she has incorporated with the juicy greens and blues. This new collection is available in all of our stores as well as on our website so be sure to take a look!

More Evidence of the “Blue Invasion”

The gorgeous hand-lettering in this downtown Washington DC restaurant sign is highlighted in shades of blue. It stopped me in my tracks!

Jewelry Inspired by Textile Techniques

Jewelry Inspired by Textile Techniques

I find jewelers at various points in their lives. Each one is on a personal journey, as we all are, and their jewelry designs oftentimes reflect this.

Meghan Patrice Riley’s star is rising. Her latest jewelry collection was created with the runway in mind, as she was racing off to Paris just after I saw her to participate in the fashion shows. She was excited, and both her facial expression and her jewelry were full of inspiration at having been invited to this major fashion event. Being able to share in these pivotal moments is one of the best parts of my job.

Shimmering Freeform Necklace

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This kinetic necklace is my favorite new Meghan Riley piece of jewelry. I love the asymmetry and the way the small sterling beads and uncut stones shimmer against the black nylon-coated stainless steel. I have to buy this – it will go with everything I own and I can wear it with t-shirts or a dress. The jewelers are the best – they really have their eyes on the fashion pulse!

Floating Pearl Earrings

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Playing a game in the sun with friends and my Meghan Riley earrings…
I love the contrast of the cascading pearls with the gold filled metal.