New Collaborative Blog: 17 Apart

I'm excited to share the beginnings of a collaborative project I've been working on with Tim: 17 Apart. On this new blog, we hope to share the things we're passionate about, give a peek into our own version of what sustainable living means to us, and offer up a few surprises from time to time. Learn even more of what we have up our sleeves over on the About page.

While we're getting things going, we hope you'll take a moment to keep in touch and add our new blog to your reader to stay in the loop.

See you over at 17 Apart, xoxo
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Giveaway: Peanut Knife Necklace

To welcome the holiday season and show thanks for all your support, I'm giving away one of these brass peanut shaped pocket knife necklaces, from my jewelry shop, Contrary over on 17 Apart.

This design in particular gets more comments on it's quirky, cute, and edgy nature from people all over the world — it's been one of the most popular designs in the pocket knife line for 2 1/2 years now and would make a great gift idea for the holidays.

Find all the giveaway details with 7 ways to enter on 17 Apart and good luck! Pin It


Good Cheer Deal: Contrary Jewelry

Looking to get a jump on your holiday shopping or just need a good excuse to spoil yourself with a new piece of jewelry? I'm excited to share a special collaboration and exclusive promotion for Contrary Jewelry over on Hello, Friend's Good Cheer Deals — just launched today!

Visit Hello,Friend for all the details on how to purchase one of 25 limited coupons for $25 good for $50 on any item/s in the shop (essentially 50% off your purchase). Pin It


Shop Update: Limited Editions

During my trip to New York earlier this month I got to make a quick stop at few of my favorite jewelry supply warehouses. I always like to stock up on vintage chains and new-to-me oddities when I get the chance.

Since my visit, I've been able to make a small batch of new jewelry designs which have landed their way into the Limited Editions section of the shop. This collection consists of jewelry incorporating many of the one of a kind antique and fine curiosities I come across. While a couple of these new favorites have already quickly found their new homes, I wanted to share them with you:

1. Vintage brass Remington shoe shaped "Goodwill Shoes" pocket knife souvenir pendant hanging from a vintage brass chain. Advertising tagline embossed on both sides reads: "For Hard Service and Long Wear" - Holliston, Mass. Goodwill Shoe Company also known as Arthur A. Williams Shoes (after its founder) specialized in leather shoes and steel toe "Safety First" boots. Among on of the earlier companies to produce such products at the time, it was one of the largest companies in manufacturing industrial boots by the 1930s. The company became bankrupt sometime in the mid 20th century. Built in 1909, the Goodwill Shoe Company factory resides on 26-28 Water Street, in Holliston, Massachusetts today.

2. Antique dark brass horse hoof doubling as a mini working pocket knife. Hoof hangs from a long vintage chain that slips right over the head. It almost looks as though it could have been handcrafted by a local artisan as a souvenir.

3. Rare antique Bakelite figural arm shaped pocket knife. Knife hangs from bail on a long delicate sterling silver chain. I've never come across a similar figural pocket knife like this unique arm shape.

4. Rare antique folding skeleton keys hanging from sparkling ball chains. These types of folding keys were made to fold so that you could put them in your pocket and were primarily used in schools, churches, and jails.

5. Victorian 1880's antique German figural chatelaine cigar fob cutter in the shape of a dancing lady hanging from a delicate sterling silver chain. Cigar fob cutting mechanism is manipulated by squeezing the fob at the head and feet, essentially bending her knees making the dancer curtsey as she cuts the cigarette.

Click each of the photos above for additional images and item details.

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Limited Editions: Antique Coin Dispenser and Perfume Bottle

I wanted to document two new pieces for my limited edition line of jewelry that have already come and gone. This collection consists of jewelry incorporating many of the one of a kind antique and fine curiosities I come across.

1. Sterling silver necklace chain incorporating an antique 19th century German silver dispensing coin holder locket that was once part of a chatelaine. Chatelaines were typically worn by female housekeepers in the 1800's as a belted chain holding useful household tools like scissors, watches, keys, vinaigrettes, and more. Over time, the chatelaine evolved from a mostly utilitarian use into a status symbol for the wife to the house owner. This particular dispenser holds dime and penny sized coins - which in the 1800's was most likely a significant amount of money for the lady of the house.

2. Gold plated necklace chain incorporating green Swarovski crystals and an antique brass perfume bottle with dauber and rare seal. Vial unscrews from the dauber revealing a hollowed opening in the bottle pendant. This vial still contained remnants of the perfume scent it once held.

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Happy 100th, Granny!

This past Monday was my grandmother's 100 birthday - as you can see, she's still got some good wind left in her! We celebrated family style last Saturday and I wanted to take a moment to share some of my favorite memories from the day.

The cake was a wedding size and made by Ukrop's Bakery - for those that know me well, this is my very favorite bakery for birthday cakes and a Richmond legend. My niece, Virginia, had her sights set on the cake since the moment she walked through the door. Her glazed over trance had me laughing and realizing how much of a girl after my own heart she is.

We brought Basil along to join in the celebration. All the children surrounded him and kept him busy the whole day. I joked how all we need to do is hire the little ones in our family to come over an hour a day running around the yard with him as an instant solution for tiring both Basil and the kids out.

At one point, all the men stood up and serenaded Granny with Let me Call You Sweetheart. It was quite the show. You can tell which ones are her sons as they each have their hands waved out in bravado. We have many characters in our family to keep things interesting.

Happy 100th birthday, Granny. I always knew you would make it. I'm proud to carry your name and am looking forward to all the future times we spend together and the lessons you have yet to teach me.
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Cinemagraphs by Jamie Beck

Have you all seen these moving images, coined "cinemagraphs," by New York City photographer Jamie Beck? They are pretty awe inspiring to look at and take the concept of an animated gif up quite a few notches in my book.

How amazing would something like these be for wedding memories, birth stories, and other landmark life moments? I'd just love to be able to get one or a few made in this style as a promotional photo for my jewelry line.

Could this be the next wave in photography? They seem to be in a category all their own. Find more cinematography and inspiration over on Jamies Beck's Tumbr.

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