Tag Archives: earrings

Ocean Colors and DIY Earrings

Here’s a Throwback Thursday post. I originally made these earrings in the spring and forgot to show them off! They’re made of simple, thin strands of ribbon that I poked onto a fishhook-style earring. The best part: I got the ribbon for free!

DIY earrings

Whenever I buy clothes with built-in hanger straps, I cut off the straps so they don’t peek out when I’m wearing my clothes. Some stores like H&M use ribbon in the color of the garment, which means I have matching earring for anything I buy there.

When I pair shades of blues together, I’m reminded of the ocean. And the ocean remind me of nice weather (since that’s the only time I go to the beach). Outfits like this make me happy, even when I’m looking serious. (I’m smiling on the inside.)

cool shades

Top: target
Flares: Urban Outfitters via consignment
Shoes: Old Navy
Arm party: Various shops

I realize I’m wearing flares, and the trend is for skinnies. I still find them elegant though. Sometimes I’ll sew wide legs into skinny ones but I think I’ll leave these as they are.

sweater and flares

Do you prefer wide of narrow legged pants?


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

Interview with Jacquie Bird of SilkWire Jewelry

On my very first day in New York, I serendipitously met Jacquie Bird, the owner/creator of SilkWire Jewelry. Jacquie is a radiant woman who will draw you in with her smile. I brought my parents over to the booth she was running at a flea market in Harlem, just around the corner from where we were staying.

Jean, Jacquie and Carmen

I bought a ring from Jacquie that day (it’s been on this blog once already) and wanted to learn more about her and her business. She accepted my request for an interview, and here it is:

How did you get started as a jewelry designer?

It actually flowed out of an idea I had for hair accessories for locs. Didn’t have the energy or push to see it through at the time so I ditched that idea but had all this inventory. What to do with it? In a few days an idea was fully realized in my head, I just had to figure out how to do it, what was my voice? I had always worked with my hands from childhood and have worked jewelry in periods throughout my life but along the way in looking for my next passion, (I had a career as a dancer-singer-actress who worked on Broadway and the stage with a few trysts on TV and film in my first life) I was taken aback when I found it was creating JewelryArt.


What are the biggest challenges of working in such a creative field?

There are ten baZILLION jewelry creator/designers out there—how do I get folks to pay attention to what I do, to hear what I have to say through my JewelryArt? When your stuff is a bit off kilter, it is a huge challenge to hold your ground in the field; when your prices are a bit higher because you are firm in what it is you do and offer, staying true to self comes into question a LOT. There is a spiritual aspect to what I create, it isn’t just about jewelry. Gemstones, Crystals and Copper have power and amazing properties, I write about this in A Bird Blogs About Gems using my own experiences and that of others, along with research. Some folks get it, some do not—they just wanna rock the jewelry and that’s ok too. But I know what I’m about and why I do it.

And the biggest challenge? To be patient and to keep the faith that I will find my audience and they will find me. When I can laugh about this part of the journey I think, “well Bird, you danced, sang, and acted for a living, getting discovered as a Jewelry Artist should be a piece of cake just chill, keep on pushin’ and keep your chin up!”


All your pieces are one-of-a-kind, but is there a certain style or stone that’s popular with your customers?

People dig the rings and the stones they are familiar with like Amethyst, clear Quartz, Moonstone, Rose Quartz and some not quite so familiar stones like Chalcopyrite (because of the rainbow colors and shine), Rhodochrosite, and Pink Tourmaline. Oh, almost forgot Amazonite which is what you have. The Stone of Harmony 🙂

I do value harmony! Can you tell me a bit about the jemstones you use and how they affect wearers?

Some who are aware notice the subtleties; I had one woman tell me she noticed the Moonstone ring she had amplified her moods. One of the properties is that it can amplify moods both positive and negative. But the negative comes out with the intention to show you where you can change it and not act recklessly when you are not your best self. She realized this and when she was feeling crusty and ready to lash out, she would check herself.

A man told me he noticed he was more hyper when he didn’t wear his Rose Quartz and Lepidolite Neckpiece. Now this was someone who was not at all interested when I tried to tell him about the properties of the stones so I stopped in mid-sentence. After about a month of owning the piece he told me his discovery that the stones calmed him down. Lepidolite has Lithium in it and both stones have calming and soothing properties.


When I visited your booth I had a hard time deciding on a ring. You told me to go with the one that first caught my eye. I did and it was a good decision. Do you make decisions based on what initially attracts you to something?

Tee hee I LOVE to hear that! And yes, I do ultimately remind myself to go with my first instinct whenever I find myself in the deluge of “what to buy, which one oh my oh my OH MY????!!!!!” When I don’t do that, I always end up asking, “now why didn’t you listen, you know better??!!” Lolol!

What do you have planned next? Anything you’d like to share with readers?

I am planning to get my jewelry on someone like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, India Aire, Esperanza Spaulding, Drew Barrymore, et. al.  And also on TV shows and film—the gemstones would really sing on a show like American Horror Story, Coven. So if there’s anybody out there that can help me do that, contact me please! 🙂

In all seriousness, one of my missions is to let folks know there are many natural ways to healing, peace, energy and balance; that working with gemstones, crystals and copper are gifts of Mother Nature that have power and can assist us greatly. They are made up of the same things we are and they took millions of years to cook. We place value on the foods we eat but lump these beauties into “oh they’re just rocks! Oh it’s just copper and it tarnishes!”

My copper JewelryArt is easily cleaned by dropping it in lemon juice or vinegar. And our body needs copper, which it doesn’t produce therefore we must get it from our diets and wearing it also helps. And “rocks” are energy which vibrate on frequencies. Just like everything else in our Universe. It’s ALL energy and vibes.

Thank you, Jacquie!

You can learn more Jacquie’s work in several places:

Jacquie Bird


Filed under Art, Crafts, Fashion

Anjolee Diamond Hoop Earrings

Today I have a special review. I’m taking a pair of beautiful, diamond hoop earrings by Anjolee on a test drive. They are gorgeous–and make me feel like a star!

Jean wearing Anjolee Earrings

Each item at Anjolee is custom-made. That means you can select your metal, shape, size, and the quality of the stones. Anjolee is a U.S. company that employs over 100 people in San Diego. They’re committed to ethical sourcing and environmental responsibility. All of which are values I can get behind.

And did I tell you that I feel like a star?

close-up of earrings

I chose the Must-Have Diamond Hoop Earrings because I was looking to try something that I could wear every day and for special occasions. Anjolee has a lot of necklaces and pendants available too, especially diamond pendant necklaces. But I also like their bracelets. There’s something so timeless about a diamond tennis bracelet.

tennis bracelet

I asked the people at Anjolee a few questions about their company and products. Here’s the interview:

Jean: Anjolee custom-makes all its pieces. What does that mean for customers?

Anjolee: We offer the ability to custom build all jewelry designs by metal type (gold or platinum), diamond quality, carat size and length. Our easy to use customization feature allows customers to purchase exactly what they want rather than settling for a stock item in a retail store. Our customers have raved about the ability to modify these components! Our customer feedback section is full of real testimonials discussing this point.

Jean: Diamonds are an investment and can cost a lot. Is there a good entry-point for the first-time diamond buyer?

Anjolee: The best advice we can offer is to do your research on the four c’s of diamond buying. For smaller carat size stones, it is recommended to focus on a good cut, color, and symmetry. For larger sized diamonds, imperfections have a better chance of being visible to the unaided eye, so you will want to look for good clarity ratings in addition to other four c’s.

Jean: The holidays are coming. What items are the most popular gifts? On that note, what holiday is the biggest jewelry-giving holiday?

Anjolee: Holidays are a popular time to give the gift of jewelry. Christmas, Valentine’s and Anniversaries are the three biggest occasions for gift giving. One trend we noticed is choosing an anniversary ring with the exact amount of stones for that anniversary year. For example, if it is your tenth anniversary, choosing a beautiful diamond anniversary ring with exactly ten stones is a great sentiment. For Christmas and Valentines Day, we sell a lot of our diamond and gemstone pendants as well as classic diamond tennis bracelets.

Jean: A lot of my readers are women. Do women buy their husbands and boyfriends jewelry too? What pieces are popular for the guys?

Anjolee: Women definitely buy jewelry for their companion. We carry many men’s bracelets that are heavier in design and can be crafted in gold or platinum. Some men wear this as a statement piece on the opposite wrist as their watch.

Jean: What trends do you see in wedding sets and bridal jewelry?

Anjolee: Right now, the biggest trend we are seeing with bridal sets and jewelry is the new halo design. A halo design typically features a center diamond surrounded by many smaller diamonds creating a halo effect. This modern design intensifies the diamond sparkle. A halo ring can make the center diamond appear larger, since it is accented by many smaller stones.


Even if you’re not planning to buy yourself any jewelry, the holidays are just around the corner. Now’s the time to start hinting! And if you’re hoping to get engaged, leave this post open on your PC. Anjolee has beautiful engagement rings too!

Anjolee is even offering a discount for readers! Use the coupon code MP591 for an extra 5% off your order.

Anjolee hoop earrings

Keep an eye out for these earrings in future blog posts: I’ll be showing how I style them. Of course they’ll look classic and timeless with dressy attire, but I’m going to wear them with casual outfits too. There’s nothing like fine jewelry to take jeans and a t-shirt to a new level–it adds an element of luxe that nothing else can.


Filed under Fashion, Product Reviews

Upcycling a Necklace

I bought a cheapie necklace on sale a few years ago and wore it only once. It was the wrong length, the charms weren’t in the right places, it just didn’t work. So, I thought about ways to change it. I like sculptural, asymmetrical pieces and figured I had nothing to lose by trying to change this long strand into something different. I grabbed a pair of needle-nose pliers and off I went.





Here’s the necklace on me so you can see how it lies. I also wore it on Day 6 of the 30 for 30 challenge.


I hadn’t planned on making earrings but I had extra chain and charms when I’d finished the necklace so I grabbed a few hook backs from my craft supplies and ended up with three new pairs!

If you have a before-and-after story to share, tell me in the comment and link to your post if you have one.


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

Leaving Santa Fe

All good things must end. And so my trip to Santa Fe came to a close. It was a fabulous city, and a great location for a long weekend of art, shopping, food, and friends.

The day before we left, my friends and I tallied up the jewelry we’d purchased during our stay. It was impressive.


We found great pieces by local designers. Turquoise was the big hit, but we snapped up pieces in amethyst and other materials too. The morning of our departure, Cheryl and I wandered from our hotel, the Inn at Loretto, to the open-air artist market next door and bought even more jewelry.

We met two artists who collect semi precious stones and polish and refine them. They will wrap any piece in silver and create a ring or a pendent. Cheryl had a turquoise ring made. They made me a pendent. Here’s my pendant, and a trilobite fossil pendant I picked up from them as well.


The jewelry shops are pricier than the street vendors, but even by street vendors prices, these guys were reasonable. The pendants were $30 each.

In my rush to get authentic Southwest jewelry while I could, I snapped up a few pieces of Native American jewelry from another artist. His prices were terrific too, and all the pieces are made by him. I bought a bracelet, two necklaces, and three pair of earrings. Their style was similar to a bracelet (also in the following picture, in the upper-right corner) I bought earlier at the Farmers’ Market.




While browsing the outdoor market, I met Takako, a Japanese expat living and designing in Santa Fe. I bought one of her fantastic silver and amethyst rings.


My other pieces, that I’d purchased earlier in the trip, include a fair-trade, hand-woven bracelet by Lilybead


And an enameled metal necklace from Dancing Turtle Studios. I found their booth at the Farmer’s Market too.

enameled necklace

I really enjoyed meeting the artists who created these pieces. The jewelry is a souvenir of my trip and will always be special to me because each piece has a story behind it.

The end of our trip wasn’t all about bling. Before we left Santa Fe, Autumn made delicious, refreshing drinks for the four of us. We named it The Blue Loretto. Here’s how to make it:

  • Four parts Trader Joe’s Sparkling Blueberry Flavored Juice Beverage
  • One part Vodka
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Ice

Directions: Throw all the ingredients in a glass and enjoy. Simple!

blue loretto

I miss Santa Fe. The sun, the art, the adobe architecture, the friendly people. All of what the city offers makes me want to go back. I hope you get to visit too.

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Filed under Art, Crafts, Fashion