Tuesday, April 7, 2009

and now, the pearls

The name of this blog can have lots of meanings, and only those who know me fairly well will get all of them, but the pearls are the most important bit. Simply put, I ADORE pearls. Ultimately I expect that there will be more pearls here than anything else, and to kick things off with style, meet my favorite: Paspaley, "the most beautiful pearls in the world."

Paspaley. Ahh... I even like saying the name. My friends at Stuller introduced me to the glories of Paspaley Pearls, the glowing little creamy white wonders from Paspaley Pearling Company in Australia. While visiting Stuller once, I got to try on a perfect $100,000+ classic strand of Paspaley South Sea pearls like these.

Just look at them! In all their big round satiny white glory. They look like they would melt--or disappear--if you touched them, like the most perfect little snowballs ever made, and so perfectly matched. It's hard to believe they are formed from an irritant or bead nucleus inside of something so akin to... well... slime... And though these could be your grandmother's pearls (she should be so lucky!), most of Paspaley's designs are not--but they are unique and beautiful while still being contemporary...

Like these pendants. *bites lip* Oh, I want 'em!

It's clear that Paspaley doesn't lose sight of the beauty of their pristine South Sea pearls, which remains the focus of Paspaley's designs. I love how they work with and build on the beauty of the pearls themselves, like the way these pendants incorporate tiny micropavé strips of diamonds around the circlé pearl's bands. Fabulous!

It was the Lady Alexandra ring designed by my friend at Stuller that first introduced me to the beauty of Paspaley Pearls, and now I'm enamored with these BHPRs (big honkin' pearl rings), though they cost as much as my car...

Ohhh, my precioussss!

Want to see the other Paspaley pearl jewelry I'll buy when I win the lottery? Oh, alright. ;o)

Pearls in gemstone roses and daisies made of pearls. Just gorgeous.

And after I win the lottery AND become queen, I'll wear this delicate little concoction of diamonds and one perfect, creamy South Sea pearl:


(All photos from Paspaley.com)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Raindrops on roses and soft fuzzy kittens...

...or is it mittens? Anyway...

I've spent the past couple of days "building out" this page with my favorite bloggers, websites, designers of jewelry/pearls, books and music, etc. I started it two days ago... and two days and hundreds of newly discovered blogs later, I'm taking a break. The web is big, y'all.

Just in time, too, because reading so many other blogs (actually I only skim most of them, just looking at the pics, except those done by friends--real-life friends not webernet friends... anyway, I digress...) As I was saying, seeing all those other bloggers listing their favorite this or that and all of the beautiful things they make got me to thinking about my favorite this-or-thats and all the beautiful-if-I-do-say-so-myself things I've made. Being HGTV.com's Crafts Editor for seven years turned me into quite the little "handmade'n" and I have the sparkly crown to prove I'm the other Queen of Crafts (thank you, Carol Duvall!). So... expect to see some of that in the coming days.

First, though, in my own little effort to stave off the death of even more magazines, I'm giving my first ever shout-out to some of my other favorite things--lovely eye-candy magazines.

The loveliest of all is Victoria. I was thrilled when Hoffman Media brought back my beloved Victoria magazine a couple of years ago, and I hope that this stupid economy doesn't kill it off again. Browsing through the pages of Victoria is like taking a trip through all of the cities I want to visit, but with all of the ugly bits blocked out. It's cover-to-cover beauty--linens, clothes, jewelry, dishes, silver, shops, streets, inns, homes, art... The photography is intoxicating and the quotes from classic literature peppered throughout are the icing on top. Get a scone and a cup of tea and check it out.

Bonus: The issues of Victoria magazine never go out of style. I often find earlier issues at antiques stores for $1 apiece, and I always buy them because their contents are so timeless... but it's fun to come across an old Victoria unknowingly mixed in with a stack of new Victorias and wonder, while browsing the pages, where all the URLs are. There aren't any--it was pre-internet-bombardment with the www's all over the place. Ha!

Another favorite is the new life: beautiful "faith for your journey" magazine. It's Martha Stewart in church, really--filled with all the beautiful photographs and inspiring ideas for fine home life but with the added bonus of spiritual topics and Bible verses scattered throughout. You'll find Joyce Meyer's voice inside, along with other Christian leaders, and you can learn more about life: beautiful's mission here.

I have the biggest crush on the sassily-named, swoon-filled new Garden & Gun magazine. It's the magazine equivalent of a tanned, handsome Southern gent in perfectly worn jeans, a crisp white shirt, and a smart jacket sitting in an equally-perfectly-worn leather chair nursing a well-aged glass of Johnny Walker next to a vase of perfectly blooming peonies in a fine crystal vase. *fans self* It's published in Charleston, which I like to call the pearl of South Carolina, and it makes me happy any time good media comes out of a city other than New York or L.A. The name is so fitting for a magazine filled with all the finest things about the South, from gentlemanly cocktails to hospitable cities with Southern cuisine and, of course, two things we do best--gardening and hunting. If your mouth isn't watering yet, just go see the amazing photography. (P.S. Sign up for the Talk of the South, y'all.)

So there are the three periodical addictions I'm nursing through Depression 2.0. Hang in there, darlings.

(Photos of magazine covers from Victoria.com, LifeBeautifulMagazine.com, and GardenandGun.com.)