Tag Archives: jewelry

Heirloom jewelry

heirloom gold rings

I can’t remember the last time I actually bought jewelry for myself. I’ve been fortunate to receive them as gifts or inherited from family members. These lovely rings were inherited. Lately I’ve been wearing them stacked together to give them a more contemporary look as a statement piece.

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My Birthday!

macro dahlia earrings

My birthday was last week, and it was sprinkled with joy throughout the entire day. I’m actually calling it my birthday month, trying to focus more on my well-being instead of just the needs of others. It’s good to find that balance.

My morning started off with breakfast in bed, complete with a card my daughter made that features a rainbow with me under it with a camera. Ah, she knows me too well.

Years back, one of my friends told me that the ukuklele is one of the easiest instruments to learn, and I’ve always kept that in mind, especially since I have a guitar collecting dust in my closet because those six steel strings are too intimidating for me. So when I expressed interest a few months ago in taking up the ukulele, my daughter immediately told her dad that’s what they were going to get me for my birthday. And lo and behold, my daughter presented me with a beautiful ukelele of my own!

ukulele instrument

I’ve been practicing it almost every day. I’ve already learned a few chords and the tips of my fingers are getting tougher.

ukulele fret fingering

It’s really fun. How can you not enjoy that happy sound the ukulele creates?

From my photos, my sister-in-law knows how much I adore dahlias, so she gave me a pair of beautiful mint-green dahlia earrings packaged in a test tube. They are so pretty. And the color is fresh and perfect.

dahlia earrings mint green

My mom also gave me a pair of earrings. How did they both know that I’ve been coveting some new jewelry? I love the art deco feel of these. Fun!

Art deco earrings

Other birthday awesomeness include:
• slice of birthday cake, compliments of the cafe I frequent
• bouquet of irises from Hubster and Kiddo
• candlelit picnic for dinner in my bedroom, also from Hubster and Kiddo
• cocktails, a set of vintage glass tumblers, and a folk-art, cast-iron, whale bottle opener from a friend
• champagne and a super soft cowl from another friend
• gift cards to amazon and my favorite art supply store
• a ton of facebook birthday wishes! (’cause it doesn’t count if it’s not on facebook, right?!)
• lots of birthday hugs from my friends and family!

Who would dread getting older when you’re treated like this?

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Vintage rhinestone flower brooch

Another piece of vintage jewelry, this time this sparkly brooch. It was years before I actually could figure out how to wear a brooch, let along a sparkly one like this.

I think I simply decided that it needn’t be a special occasion to wear sparkles and that I could wear it whenever I wanted. And I didn’t have to be an old lady to wear brooches, though sometimes I feel more like an “old lady” rather than a 30-something, what, with me sipping my brandy while knitting or crocheting. And my achy back.

I think this brooch is from my aunt, although it’s possible that it was from my grandmother. It’s hard to remember now. See? Channeling my inner old lady* with my bad memory.

*and by “Old Lady” I do not mean to assume all elderly women crochet, sip digestifs, and have failing memories, of course. It’s just what I hope to become as I age, maybe a slightly better memory though.

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A few months ago I photographed two of my friends’ engagement rings. I gotta say, I do love a good sparkle (as seen on my Kanzashi post). Here is Sabrina’s ring, a classic ideal-cut diamond in a Tiffany setting. It catches the light like no other.

And here is Elizabeth’s ring, a vintage style, cushion-cut diamond, with milgrain detailed engravings and additional diamonds encrusted in the band. So dreamy.

I love that there are rings for every personality.

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Bira Bira Kanzashi

I’m extremely fortunate with all the great jewelry and accessories I’ve inherited from relatives. I was the only granddaughter in my family, so my grandmother passed on most of her jewelry to me. And my awesome aunt gave me her collection of kanzashi, traditional Japanese hair ornaments often worn by Geisha and Maiko (geisha apprentices). I hope to eventually photograph all of these treasures. Here is one of them, the flashiest of them all, the bira bira kanzashi.

It has colorful rhinestones set in 3 metal fans mounted on tightly coiled springs. They sway with your movements, catching the light on the faceted crystals.

Dangling below are the metal “bira” strips, which make an ever-so-gentle clinking sound when you walk.

This would be perfect to wear to a wedding or some other fabulous event. Maybe it’s time to grow out my hair again.

Want to get your own? There are lovely kanzashi hair ornaments created and sold on Etsy. I really like this fabric flower one; it would be so lovely to wear for Valentine’s Day!

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Bokeh Filter Fun

Bokeh Filter Fun

One of my favorite little photography magic tricks is using a bokeh filter, which turns all of the blurred circles of lights into little shapes. I’ve made my own with black construction paper, but this time I created one using a blank disc that came with the Photojojo bokeh kit. I used a ume (plum) blossom hole punch that I bought in Japan to create this 5-petal shape. You have to set your camera on manual focus for this effect to make it blurry and out of focus. I used my Tamron 90mm macro lens on this cocktail ring. Fun stuff!

And here’s what the ring looks like with out the filter:

And here’s a little video seeing the “magic” at work:

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