A bangle for Autumn

September is here, kids are back to school and we’re now on our way to autumn.  Forever on the hunt for silver jewellery, I picked up this delicate sterling silver bangle from Jo On The Moon @ Etsy.   What’s not to love about this nutty treasure?

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I’m coveting nature-inspired gems at the moment.  Here are a select few of my recent wants:

 

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My New Orleans Shopping Haul

It has been two months since I came back from New Orleans, and, having done a huge shop there, I’ve been itching to write about the goodies I picked up.  I’ve been so busy though, what with family birthdays, a trip to Ireland and starting a new full-time job! So now, without further ado, let me share my lovely haul with you…

 

Mika Rose Skirt

First up is this ditsy little skirt by Mika Rose, from the National World War II Museum store in New Orleans.  The great thing about this cute number is that it is so easy to wear and has tons of retro appeal with its mini floral print.  I paired it with this coral top by Darling, from Cambridge boutique Lilac Rose.

 

Sterling silver bellflower pendant and earring set

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I couldn’t leave NOLA without satisfying my passion for sterling silver jewellery.  This bellflower necklace and earring set from Sterling Silvia, was designed by Silvia herself and is bang on trend with the current vogue for botanicals.  I was so tempted to buy the bellflower ring too, but it was all getting a bit matchy-matchy.  I love this set and have worn it almost every day!

 

Sterling silver water meter ring

One of Sterling Silvia’s bestsellers is the ubiquitous water meter ring, which I featured in my last blog post.  Every time I wear this, I just can’t take my eyes off its detailed art deco design.

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Gold seashell necklace

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She sells seashells on the seashore… Golden sands and blue skies is what this beautiful seashell necklace embodies.  It made a great present for my sister, who loves gold jewellery.  Made of gold-plated brass on a delicate chain, I found this treasure at Zele, an indoor artisans market on Magazine Street, which also sells other lovely things such as…

 

Turquoise pottery bowl

…this handmade pottery bowl in deep turquoise, a good gift choice for my mum.  It’s so soothing to look at, especially when its filled with still water and pink rose floating candles.

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Sea urchin trinket box

This aqua sea urchin-shaped trinket box from Magazine Street boutique Peony, complete with a gold coral-shaped handle, was an impulse buy.   It’d be great in the bathroom for holding cotton wool balls, although right now I’m using it to store all my spare clothes buttons!

 

 

Ruby Slipper tee shirt

I collect tee shirts like badges, and I couldn’t resist this retro tee from New Orleans eaterie Ruby Slipper Café.  It is dark grey and printed with a glitzy red stiletto, that’s so tantalizingly hot right now that the Wicked Witch of the West is dying to get her hands on it!  Plus, it has got an egg frying on it.

 

Peaches Records tee shirt

On the subject of retro tees, I plumped for this juicy number from NOLA record store Peaches Records.  What a peach – so nicely snug and soft!

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Emerson Lake and Palmer record

Of course I didn’t just go into a record store to buy a tee shirt, I had to get a record too! I got my prog rock fix with an American 1971 pressing of Emerson Lake and Palmer’s self-titled first album.  Despite the prices being so cheap, the record was in such good nick.   Plus the Peaches Record store is so damn cool, based on the facts that: a) the staff are so welcoming and friendly; b) they give you a free root beer whilst you browse the store; and c) I got a free Peaches Record sticker after buying my goodies.

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Yes Fragile Record

I got not one but two records on my NOLA trip, this second one from Frenchmen street music store, Louisiana Music Factory .  Because I’m currently obsessed with prog rock giants Yes, I got their Fragile album (US 1972 pressing) for a very good price, and in such great condition too.

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So there you have it, my NOLA shopping haul!

The New Orleans Crescent Meter Box

You will realise the appeal of a lowly water meter cover when you visit New Orleans.  Yes, it is just a water cover at the end of the day, but this beautiful lid is unlike any other water cover.  Adorned with the crescent moon and a burst of stars, it has become a historical and cultural symbol of New Orleans.

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The crescent meter cover was made by the Ford Meter Box Company, hailing from Wabash, Indiana.  Edwin Ford filed a patent application for the Ford Meter Box in 1898, a method of preventing customers from wasting water in Hartford City, Indiana.  The meter box is essentially a pit containing the water meter, outside the house, and is covered with a metal lid.  Ford gradually began supplying meters for other cities, including New Orleans, and after visiting the Crescent City, came up with the famous crescent moon and stars design for the lid covering the meter in 1921.

Traditionally found covering water box meters in the ground throughout New Orleans, the Crescent Meter Cover gradually became rarer as they were coveted and then stolen by many people.  Over time, due to the extensive and notorious theft of these beautiful lids, the New Orleans Water Board replaced these covers with plain ones, so that now it is quite a feat to find any of the original covers within the city.

Today the design is used in other forms – in jewellery, art and ceramics.  I was very much taken with this unique design and bought this design in various souvenir types.

This cute sterling silver ring from Sterling Silvia is just so cool and unique.

This lovely ceramic clock from Derby Pottery will be great for the kitchen or the bathroom due to its deep aqua tones and watery associations!DSC_0018

We got two trivets – one for my dad from Sterling Silvia on French Market and one for my brother-in-law from the Roux Royale shop.  They have a hook in the back so can be hung on the wall, as well as being used for hot things in the kitchen.

I was fortunate enough to find and photograph these water covers in situ – the photo at the start of this post as well as this one near the Lafayette Cemetery.

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Gilded Gold and Green

I am a total magpie for sterling silver rings, and I don’t believe you can have too many!  When Shop Dixi had a sale on recently, I just couldn’t resist!

I’m falling in love with sterling silver jewellery with gold accents.  The Golden Hour Feather Ring has a beautifully detailed gold-plated feather set on a thin silver band. It will be a great ‘layering’ component in stacks of rings.

I’ve not got any green-stoned rings in my jewellery collection, so the Siren Peridot Ring was just what I was looking for.  Green is fast becoming a favourite colour of mine, and the lime tint of this ring is refreshing and ready for spring.  The marquise-cut peridot is set on a slim silver band, which is adjustable – allowing me to wear this on any of my fingers.

Here is my lovely haul:

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Jewellery Insta-Edit

I am an avid collector of sterling silver jewellery, thanks to my magpie tendencies! I spend hours trawling through online sites such as Shop Dixi, Rose Garden Waterfall and Empty Casket, all of which do great lines of boho-inspired jewellery, as well as Alex Monroe, who has created beautiful pieces with references to nature and the English countryside, and the Great Frog who cater for the rocker crowd with their collection of sterling silver skull rings.

I love photographing jewellery too,focusing on portraying intricate detailing and handiwork against various backdrops, such as scarves, fabric, furnishings or anything unusual.  I prefer to use my digital SLR for this as it is much easier to focus on those details with great effect and gently blur out the other details in the background.  However in this post, I’ve decided to display some photos that I took using only an iPhone and the magic of Instagram.

When I first encountered Instagram I got particularly click-happy and inspired with taking close-up pictures of some of my jewellery collection, and using the special features on Instagram to ‘Photoshop’ my image so that it looked more retro, more vibrant or whatever look I wanted to go for at that time.  It’s fun to let yourself go a little with this, even though I still prefer an SLR to a phone for its quality of image and control.

Many online shops use Instagram as a promo tool for competitions and may feature customers’ pics of purchases on their shop’s accounts.  This particular aspect of Instagram was one of the reasons why I took so many pictures at the time.  Although I did not win anything, I still had a lot of fun being creative, and I hope you have as much fun looking through these pics!

Gothic, Grunge and Green

Today I’m all about the Nineties with this green velvet dress by vintage brand Molly Malloy.

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I had originally bought this lovely dress from ASOS Marketplace for a Halloween party where I dressed as a witch, but this dress is so much more than what I’d initially intended for it – it is elegant, luxurious and demure, and is just great on its own!

The bodice is close-fitting, with long sleeves, shoulder pads and v-neckline, with a beautiful criss-cross back neckline, the winning feature of the dress.  The skirt is long and flowing, and reaches to mid-calf.

The crushed dark green velvet is very grungy, and the cut of the dress is more gothic-inspired.  I’ve emphasised both parts with silver jewellery and pointy black ghillie lace-up shoes.  I’ve added a black velvet choker with a pale amethyst pendant – purples and greens go so well together plus the choker is both Nineties and gothic.  Smoky quartz silver earrings are elegant yet add a little mystery.  An ornate sterling silver tree of life ring evokes both gothic and mystical elements, as does the multi-coloured mystic topaz ring. The ghillie lace-up shoes are a more current touch to this vintage outfit, yet fits in with the gothic and grunge elements.

A beautiful dark purple wide-brimmed hat would complete the whole look – unfortunately I do not have such a hat!