Mia Joie Boutique: To quote Lord Byron, every bride should “walk in beauty… and tender light.” These shoe accessories are designed to take any simple bridal shoe and make it extraordinary. The t-straps have a small clear elastic loop that the second toe slips into, and they stay quite securely and comfortably in place by tying them around the ankles.
St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest celebrations of the year. First, celebrated as a holy day in Ireland, it has turned into an all-out celebration of Irish heritage. Irish and non-Irish participants around the world join in the festivities by wearing green, eating green foods and drinking green beer, and proudly showing off their shamrocks and leprechauns. Everyone gets in on the action including pets and kids. The adorable t-shirt below is from Ashlyn Bowtique and the pet collar is from Lucky Fiona.
Parades are a big part of the celebration. They start the first weekend in March, in big and small cities and town around the country. Though large cities like Boston and New York have heavily-attended parades, tiny little Savannah, Georgia, is said to have the highest attendance of all the parades in the U.S. Savannah dyes their historic fountains green to drum up excitement before parade day.
Chicago, of course, is known for dying its entire river green. And even little known New London, Wisconsin, gets in on the celebration, changing its name to New Dublin for the week of St. Paddy’s day. This bag from Momo Ringo can be used all year round.
In Syracuse, NY, the Irish section called Tipperary Hill kicks off festivities on the first Sunday in March with delivery of the green beer to Coleman’s Irish Pub. At midnight, March 17th, they paint a shamrock below the ‘green on top’ light, which is an upside down traffic light at an intersection where green, still means go, but is the first light on top. These vintage-inspired blocks are from Gongy and Squish.
Growing up, we moved to a predominantly Irish neighborhood. I was 12 and it was my first introduction to corned beef and cabbage (Mrs. Kehoe made it for me) and claddagh rings (Stephanie McCabe had one) and many Irish blessings, songs (all learned from Joe Finn), and toasts. Though I’m Italian, 100%, it’s fun to be Irish-for-the-day.
This amazing occasional-wear ring deserves your attention.
Patrick Burt: This was an experiment which I felt failed and was therefore not reproduced. Now, when I state that the design failed I mean that in the sense of wearability. The look of the ring, I believe, is terrific but I know that it won’t stand up to the rigors of daily wear.
Titanium is colored by an electrical process which builds up an ultra thin skin of Titanium dioxide on the surface of the metal. This coating is completely clear and just molecules thick. The clarity and thickness sets up a diffraction of light which appears to us as color. The result, as you can see, is wonderful but the color is just molecules thick and quite vulnerable to the wear that hands dish out.
Even so, isn’t it gorgeous?
Beautiful lampworked glass by Jill Symons
As a glass artist, I am fascinated with the play of light upon glass. The beauty of glass beads is the simple power of glass itself; the power to transmit light. My approach to glass beadmaking is as simple as slowing down and letting the glass release the color, allowing the glass to speak.
I am constantly awed by the fluidity and form the solid glass takes. I draw inspiration from the glass itself and the way in which it seems to tell me what to do next. Drawing on a background in design, a passion for photography and a love of glass — ideas spill into dreams of what could be — always posing the question then of what else is possible and is there really a limit?
I remember the first time someone referred to my beads as ‘work’. My mind instantly denied that such joy could come from something called ‘work’. I have been making glass beads since 1999.
I recently spent a few days in the midwest to see family. Some of you might know this already, but certain parts of the midwest are really more like little Scandinavian outposts. My family originally hails from Sweden, so I always feel myself drawn to all things Svenska.
West Coast of Sweden: LillaJizo
On the west coast of Sweden, scientists recently discovered the bones of a 10,000 year old whale… and I discovered the very fine designer LillaJizo and her little pieces of art that she creates on broken pieces of pottery. Historically, Jizo is a Buddhist helper/bodhisattva. He is considered to be the helper of all beings, especially children, women, and travelers. LillaJizo painted this “healing shard,” as she calls them, with Roku Jizo, or the Six Realms Jizo. I wish I had this healing shard to carry with me in my pocket when I was on my recent trip. LillaJizo also has a blog, where you can read more about her dedication to the yogic path.
Sverige, Sweden: Jealousy Designs
This hammered silver man’s ring is such an amazing gift for the guy in your life. I always love inside out rings–rings with the good stuff on the inside. Jealousy Designs’ use of natural, raw, and uncut stones, as well as the hammering of the metal results in pieces that are both masculine and feminine. Actually, many of her designs are one of a kind because she works around the natural shapes of the stones. Most of the metal materials she uses are recycled, and the only pieces of her jewelry she does not make herself are clasps and tiny chains.
Eskilstuna, Sweden: MayaLee on Etsy
Finally, how could I resist this simple photograph of a heart–it is almost Valentine’s Day, after all. To me this image is a perfect expression of how I see the Swedish aesthetic, always with color and light playing together in a crisp and fresh way, but with an appealing warmth to it too. MayaLee has other photographs in her collection where she captures the simplest of things, set against a light infused background. But I think this is my favorite, the little dappling light and the stick pins, like a metaphor of what love often is–not necessarily fleeting, but certainly not permanent–And oh how we wish it was.