Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clearly, A Case of the Blues - Blue Tourmaline & Quartz Necklace

Yes, we all have them and sometimes for unknown reasons (perhaps those dastardly female hormones). In my case, I happen to know what set of the “Torrent of Tears” and “The Pity Party for One”. I really do know better than to let someone’s mean-spirited words bother me but, I still woke up with a clear case of the blues!

We have a little saying at home: “When Karen is unhappy. . .no one is happy.” If I can ever convince my husband that the Living Room/Dining Room furniture needs to be replaced, this room is an inspiration that would make me very happy. I have had these photos in my “Rooms That Inspire” folder for several years and it is a different look than is usually associated with me. The very clean, edited design with contemporary accents was beautifully executed by Brown-Davis Interiors and gorgeous photography by Angie Seckinger.

The lovely clean lines of this room were the inspiration for a necklace that incorporates the simplicity of clear rock crystal combined with the gorgeous colors of blue tourmaline briolette teardrops. Most people associate tourmaline with a much wider range of colors, but the blue and green limited range of colors really “spoke” to me on that particular buying trip. This is one of those pieces of jewelry that adapts beautifully to a variety of colors subtly and elegantly.

For an interior/jewelry designer, this quote says it all:

“Blue color is everlastingly appointed by the Deity to be a source of delight.”
Lectures on Architecture & Painting (1853)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dreamy Elegance – Rose Quartz Nugget, Pink Topaz, Lemon Quartz & Aqua Chalcedony Necklace

It is rare that an interior designer has a client with such complete confidence in the designer’s ability that a sincere carte blanche is extended in the execution of the client’s home. Such is the case of a long time friend & client from the Boston area. We had a very long-standing relationship of over 10 years and collaborated together on several beautiful rooms in her stately & elegant home. It all began with the design of her daughter’s bedroom that was to be a surprise 16th birthday gift and evolved into the design of several other rooms within the home. My last area of the house to be completed before moving to Arizona was the design of the Master Suite.

As you can see from the photograph, it is a very elegant bedroom with a luscious color palette of creamy yellow, pale pinks & raspberry, soothing green and a touch of watery pale aqua. Confectionary colors that are regally juxtaposed within a sophisticated composition of sumptuous furniture. It is the type of bedroom that many women dream of but few obtain - a custom designed rug, custom Regency canopied bed, custom trims on furniture & silk draperies and a stunning portrait of the client and her daughters at the beach. No only was it a sanctuary for my client but a dreamy vision for HGTV to feature as well.

The delicate coloring of this room has long been one of my personal favorites as well and was the inspiration for a new necklace idea that has come to fruition. The Dreamy Elegance Necklace is anchored by the generous rose quartz nuggets surrounded by a frame of coiled wire and tiny little faceted gold vermeil beads. The cascading plume feature of rose quartz, aqua quartz, aqua chalcedony, lemon quartz and pink topaz reminds me of the cascading and flowing silk draperies in the bedroom. Just as the gentle colors of the room repeat in an organized and harmonious balance, the gemstones repeat the colors of the waterfall plume around the detailed rose quartz nuggets. Elegant and dreamy – just like the bedroom that inspired the design.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Very Special Mother – My Mother-In-Law

This seemed like a very good weekend to spend a little time getting my website and other listings ready for Mother’s Day. In the midst of my frustration of taking pictures (I am still learning and not very good) my mind was wandering between trying to figure out the camera and thinking of my gorgeous mother-in-law. Whether she realizes this or not or even has a chance to read this (she does not own a computer), she has been my fashion muse for almost 25 years.

I vividly remember the first time I ever met her. I was invited to accompany my boyfriend (now my husband) to a Mother’s Day luncheon at the Ritz Carlton overlooking the Boston Public Gardens. This had been their tradition for many years before I came into the picture.
I took great care that day to find something to wear that was appropriate but, not too dramatic (navy suit with an ivory georgette pin tucked blouse – how strange that I still remember). As we walked up the circular stairs to the main dining room, I noticed a most regal white haired lady, impeccably dressed waiting by the elevator. As we neared the top of the stairs, she spoke to my boyfriend and I quickly realized that this stunning and fashionable woman would soon become a very important person in my life. Little did I know that at 35 my boyfriend had never, ever, brought a girlfriend to meet his mother!

Fast forward 25+ years and it brings us to this sweet photo of my mother-in-law holding our new grandchild a few months after his birth. At 90+ years old, she is still as fashionable and lovely as ever. When she began to have trouble wearing her gorgeous jewelry because she had trouble with the clasps, she inspired me again.

I created a line of jewelry that uses decorative magnetic clasps that proved to be just what the doctor ordered in facilitating the finishing touches for dressing to go to Symphony every Friday (she has gone faithfully since before my husband was born). Sometimes necessity is the “Mother of Invention”. As I tinkered around with this line, I realized that I could also create multiple ways of wearing the same necklace. By removing the pendant portion, it could be used as a simple choker-style necklace. During the design process, I also realized that some necklaces could also convert to a bracelet thereby rendering one necklace that could be worn three ways! Much to my delight, my mother-in law loved the idea and wears them frequently.

As an interior designer in Boston, my mantra was just because something has to be functional does not mean it cannot be attractive. I guess that lesson has translated itself into my jewelry designs as well.