Gift Guide: Mother's Day

Somehow it's already April, and that means Mother's Day is just around the corner. 

Fortunately, we happen to have some gift suggestions for a special mum in your life.


If she's bold...

 

...or daring

 

If she's a dreamer...

 

...or an adventurer

 

If she likes a bit of sparkle...

 

...but still appreciates the little things

 

If she's unique...

 

...one of a kind

 

And whether she prefers the ocean...

 

...or the mountains


Happy Mother's Day!

School Me: How to Put on a Cuff Bracelet

Cuff bracelets are one of our favorite accessories. These stylish pieces are easy to wear: there's no need to worry about a clasp, closure or ordering the wrong size.

Diamond Rustic Cuff Bracelets

While cuff bracelets are meant to be lightly adjusted, repeatedly stretched and compressed metal can wear over time, not to mention diamonds can pop out! To avoid weakening your treasure, we've come up with an easy guide to adjusting and loving your cuff.



Before putting these bracelets on for the first time, take a look at the side of your wrist. Find the narrowest part on the thumb-side: this is where your cuff will slide on.

Very, very gently stretch the two ends apart, just wide enough to fit over the most delicate part of your wrist.

Turn the cuff sideways, and slide it on, turning your arm into the bracelet until it's correctly positioned.

Rustic Cuff Bracelets

To make it tighter, put your whole hand over the bracelet (so that you don't weaken one spot), and squeeze just enough so that it won't slide off. Be sure you can still slip it back off the side of your wrist, reversing the process.

You shouldn't need to adjust your cuff again, which will give it a much longer life. 

 

Betsey & Iya have a great video showing this technique. Sometimes a picture (or moving pictures) are worth a thousand words!

 

 

Currently Coveting: Geode Home Accessories

Geodes look like plain, weathered rocks on the outside, but hiding underneath are shimmering crystals.

They often begin their lives as bubbles in volcanic rock. Over time, minerals form on the inside of the hollow shell, growing toward the center.

Geodes can be found throughout the world, including in California, the American Southwest and several Midwestern states.

These irresistible treasures have been popping up in home decor-form more and more.

From coasters to planters and art to coffee tables, geodes and geode slices are a versatile way to incorporate natural elements into your home.

Cacti + geodes make for the perfect earthy vibe. 

We suggest Rab Labs if you have a generous budget. We also got some good results searching terms like "geode" or "agate" on home decor sites such as wayfair. If you're a sucker for a little DIY project, purchase some geodes and simple home decor items, grab a glue gun and have some fun. Oh, and Ebay! Don't forget Ebay.

Happy decorating!

School Me: Why Are Montana Sapphires So Special?

We usually associate sapphires with a deep, clear blue. Surprisingly they can be found in a rainbow of hues, including pink, orange, green, yellow and even multi-color. 

These gems are mined everywhere from Australia to Colombia and Madagascar to Nepal. However, the state of Montana is home to more varieties of sapphire than any other location in the world. Strict guidelines for mining in the states means that Montana sapphires have much less of an impact on the Earth than stones from nearly anywhere else.

Mostly found in the western half of the state, these gorgeous gems are famous for their rich and unusual colors. Yogo sapphires (found specifically in the Yogo gulch area) are generally cornflower blue in color, while others from different regions of Montana trend towards interesting blue-greens, violet-grays and even bicolor or with color shifts (these are our favorites)!

Montana sapphires were originally found by mid-19th century gold prospectors who headed out west in search of a fortune. Initially they were so focused on the gold that they often threw aside the sapphires. 

In fact, the prospectors even complained about the gems plugging up their pans are they sifted in search of gold.  

Most of the sapphire mining done in Montana is very small scale compared to other locations, making it difficult to find consistent sizes and colors of rough from which to cut a stone. The great part about this for consumers? Choosing a Montana sapphire makes your stone that much more unique and rare. Who knew that some of the most exotic treasures in the world were right in our own backyard.

We love sourcing these gorgeous specimens for clients to use in projects-just ask!

 

 

Dream Locale: Jewelry Rooms at the Victoria & Albert Museum

While London is full of treasures, a small series of faintly-lit rooms in the Victoria & Albert Museum is home to the best collection around.

With more than 3,000 pieces of jewelry spanning 3,000 years of history, it's known as one of the best, most comprehensive displays of jewels in the world. 

This museum of art and design claims pieces by 140 designers, ranging from Ancient Greece to 2017. Jewels worn by some of history's best-dressed women catch your eye as you wander through. In fact, it can be difficult to know where to focus your gaze. 

See an amazing mix of diamond Cartier tiaras, golden sword handles, delicate designs by Fabergé and Lalique and contemporary pieces made from titanium, paper and acrylic. 

Perhaps the most stunning feature, despite its tough competition, is a large spiral of rings--all set with colored stones. The collection belonged to just one man, a friend of Charles Dickens. The mesmerizing swirl is arranged by the hardness of the stones: beginning in the center with diamonds.

While you can explore the collections online, we recommend that any jewelry lover add an actual visit to their bucket list.  

Currently Coveting: Diane Tate DallasKidd Wall Hangings

Recently we were lucky enough to meet super talented artist Diane Tate DallasKidd at an open studio event in Sausalito. Since then, it's been impossible to stop dreaming of her ethereal wall hangings.

Born and raised in San Francisco, DallasKid studied textile art in the Bay Area before furthering her education in Japan. While there, she studied under a fourth-generation dyer, and learned to use traditional techniques to create pieces for high end designers.

The textured pieces are inspired by both urban and rural landscapes, and have been displayed across the U.S. and Japan.

Often times the design process begins with a feeling, rather than a vision of the final product.

We can't help but be inspired by these delicate, multi-dimensional designs.

Love Story: Nick & Ilah Rose

One great thing about this industry is being able to contribute, even in a small way, to someone's love story. 

Recently we were lucky enough to work with customers Nick and Ilah Rose to create the perfect custom ring

Image courtesy of Jess Hunter Photo

The 18k yellow gold piece is set with white diamonds and a gorgeous Montana sapphire. These special gems usually come from the western side of what is known as "The Treasure State."

Nick & Ilah worked closely with Sarah to capture the right vibe: looking upwards to celestial bodies for inspiration. Elements of the sun, moon, stars and universe influenced this dreamy design.



For Sarah, work like this is special, " One of the most exciting aspects of making jewelry is embarking on a custom project." 

"I get the greatest satisfaction when I see a client's eyes light up upon revealing the finished product of their vision."

Image courtesy of Jess Hunter Photo

Congrats Nick & Ilah Rose!

Feature: The Coastal Table

Recently our fishbone collection was highlighted in the winter edition of The Coastal Table: a digital and print magazine that defines itself as "an anthology of seaside living."

The quarterly publication features yummy seasonal recipes, adventure inspiration and a "Meet the Maker" section in which artists from all over the world get to contribute a piece of their narrative. 

"When looking at the fishbone jewelry created by Sarah Swell, it's easy to imagine the pieces are from another time or place," the article begins...

...before launching into Sarah's own coastal inspiration. 

"The ocean has a strong influence on Swell (whose last name is actually Greenberg). She adopted her 'jewelry pen name,' as she calls it, because of its association with ocean waves. It also serves as a reminder of her Cape Cod roots."

Check out the full article in the Winter 2016 print or digital version and take a little behind-the-scenes peek at how we put together our fishbone earrings.