The most perfect spoon ring

I once owned the most perfect vintage spoon ring, until one fateful day when I was (shamefully) in a Forever 21 and took it off my finger to try on a piece of crap $4 ring, then forgot to put my own ring back on my finger before leaving. And I never saw it again...still frosts my cookies after three years! I've searched thrift stores and rummaged through estate sale jewelry for a replacement, but no luck. I also check in on one of my favorite Etsy stores pretty often just waiting for the day my ideal ring replacement pops up...and it happened the other day! Unfortunately, it costs [as my mother would say] "an arm and a leg," so it can't actually be mine. So I may as well post it/drool over it!

That's mighty purdy.

Valentine's Day Cuteness

Every year around Valentine's Day a plethora of adorable stuff inevitably pops up on my favorite designers' blogs and Etsy accounts. I am loving Erica Weiner's themed additions to her line! My favorite is this Sadie Hawkins ring (here) commemorating Leap Year. Here's Erica's inspiration for the ring: "Leap Year was historically a day of gender role-reversal: once every four years, women were allowed to propose marriage to men. This is our hand-cast reproduction of a 1920's-era ring commemorating this rare, exciting event. It's named for the American comic strip character "Sadie Hawkins," whose creator spawned the February 29th trend of Sadie Hawkins Dances. At these, women could boldly invite the man of their choice out on a date, typically to a dance attended by other bachelors and their assertive dates."

Aaaand there's this cheesy/awesome postcard from the 1908 Leap Year hysteria via Erica's site that makes me laugh:

I am also crushing on her vintage brass Sweetheart Necklace (here), which can be personalized!

And I've been really into making things out of recycled paper lately, so these dainty paper rosette bouquets by My Bohemian Summer caught my eye!

And lastly, totally in love with these eye chart-inspired prints by Tilependantjewelry.

Dara Ettinger

There's a winning chance you've seen Dara Ettinger's sparkling agate jewelry at some point over the past few years, maybe at Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie. Or maybe you've noticed one of her cocktail rings adorning Paula Abdul or Jessica Alba. Perhaps you even found out about her on my blog (jump to it here). [via Urban Outfitters]

[via Max & Chloe]

Through an (initially) unfortunate series of events concerning my Abby Halo ring that Matt got me for our one year anniversary, I've corresponded with Dara several times over the past few months. She is pretty amazing, so I thought I'd post a quick interview with her.

Q: How did you get into jewelry making? A: I actually fell into it by accident, but I couldn't be happier about that. I was a sweater designer for about 10 years, and had dabbled in some costume design work while living in New York. I moved to LA to get more into film and costume, and ironically left NY the day the writer's strike started. So, without any prayer of a job, I began making bracelets out of buttons I had from an old clothing line, and people started asking where they could buy them. Anthropologie placed my first wholesale order, and my line was officially on it's way!

Q: How long have you been doing this for? A: I have been a jewelry designer for 3 years, but in fashion just about my whole life, it seems. It was a natural progression for me, and it really has been the most rewarding time of my life!

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from for your pieces? A: I'm inspired by nature, by women, and by the stones themselves. They usually dictate how I am going to work, so that's really where all of my designs come from.

Q: What is the thing you love most about your profession? A: I absolutely love being able to have a career where I get to create things on a daily basis, and see that people are really enjoying them. I love hearing people's reactions to what I do, and when someone gets excited about one of my pieces, it really is the most amazing feeling. I couldn't imagine doing anything else.

Q: Who are your favorite jewelry makers or favorite lines out right now? A: To be totally honest, I am pretty much out of the loop when it comes to other designer's work. I know I should be more dialed in, but I like not having other people's designs in the back of my mind. I find it very limiting, and somehow it stifles my own creativity.

I'll sign off with photographs of the two gorgeous replacement rings Dara sent me (to make up for my original lost-in-the-mail ring):

Visit her website here. And you can find loads of Dara's jewels via Max & Chloe here or via National Jean Company here.

Satomi Kawakita

The unique craftsmanship of New York-based jewelry designer, Satomi Kawakita, has consistently dazzled me since I first came across her work. I am especially in love with her rings, and she just recently started selling double-finger rings. Ooh la la!

More.

Mount Dora

Just 27 miles north-west of Orlando, Mount Dora makes for a lovely day trip. According to its website the median age in the city is 44.5. LIES! Pretty much everyone I see in this town is owning their 70s/80s age bracket, having afternoon tea in their straw sun hats. We partied like fogies and found some thirfty thangs, too. Adore this lacy balcony!

The hotel is no longer in operation, but there was a cool clock shoppe below it.

"From nuts to manure and a whole lot more"!

In the park.

Being exposed to the elements is not always a bad thing - this old staircase aged beautifully.

Matt with some demon horns at The Goblin Market.

We think this was an adolescent heron of some kind. He was scraggly but cute!

Also, when a quaint antique town is almost solely inhabited by older folks, it's easy to find gems when thrifting since there aren't any hipsters around to beat me to it :)

Amazing vintage art deco burst mirror! I had been searching for (an affordable) one of these for ages...YAY!

Baby bunny figurine.

Alphonse Mucha-inspired 14k ring! I about peed myself when I found this. AND it was only ten bucks.

True that.