Mom First

#1 VERY GIFTED: GIFT IDEAS

Gifts for:
*The Family Tree Loving Mom
*The Picture Sharing Mom
*The Money Is No Object Mom

Welcome, welcome to my gift idea bonanza! Day one, we are starting with those special ladies in our lives, MOMS! You might be married to one, you might be a child of one, or you might be best friends with one. What can I say, there’s lots of moms about. My gift ideas go from least expensive and proceed to most expensive. Because there’s got to be some kind of order here. (I think my mom taught me that.) So if you love a mom, and you need a gift, I present you my curated options.

Branch
Of all the mom jewelry out there, this is hands down the loveliest that I’ve found. The jewels between the branches represent the birth month of each kid. You pick the gem stones, quantity, alakazaam! Instant customized family tree necklace. They even include a birth month/gemstone code. Handy right?

You know those moms, they love themselves some sharing of pictures. Before facebook there were lockets. This is a beautiful vintage heart locket pendant, 14k yellow gold, with two framed compartments. It’s on you to add the photos. It’s so classically pretty. Simple, but sentimental. Only the coldest of hearts wouldn’t love this gift.

But maybe the mom in your life is a little fancier and you’d like to give her something extra special. Nothing says “I love you” like gold and diamonds. Sure it costs a pretty penny, but who can put a price tag on love?
love you
Afterall, this lady went through 52 hours of labor. Doesn’t that warrant a little appreciation? You don’t call, you don’t write. This is probably the least you could do.

Happy holidays, moms! Think of me when you get that heart tattoo. Margaret is spelled with two As.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer the link to my online store… I write these posts for my love of jewelry and gift giving, there’s no sponsors here but ME for MYSELF 😀

11.22.14 peevish

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Today I received a comment on one of my blog posts, a post that I’m particularly proud of because its subject is bleak and personal but I worked very hard to balance the dark hurt aspects with humor and light. Because everything has a humorous side. Don’t get me going on colon cancer. It’s a fucking laugh riot. See? That was funny because colon cancer is NOT a laugh riot, the punchline subverts my entire thesis statement. Humor, right? Hahaha. I’m fucked up, ok?

Anyway, the post I’m talking about is Ghost Dad LOL. I’ve really appreciated the various comments I have received on it. Up until today. Because today’s commenter, not someone with a WP blog, said “love stream of consciousness writing…no going back, editing”… WTF DUDE! Do you not realize HOW MUCH going back and editing I do on each and every post? Sure, sometimes grammar errors slip thru, sometimes that grammar error is intentional, sometimes I misspell something and don’t catch it but NEVER NOT EVER have I posted a stream of consciousness post. Maybe in a comment once or twice. Sort of?

I completely acknowledge that I am twisting my own panties in a bunch with very little cause. Fine, the commenter attempted a compliment. Maybe he doesn’t know what stream of consciousness is?

If that’s the case, here’s stream of consciousness:
Typing odn an ipad sucks and my fingers move too slow. I hate this song right now, shoudlnt have eaten that whole oanini. Greta more typos. Fat fingers. Cokd table. wtf.

👆That’s a pretty garbage blog post, right? Say what you like about my writing, but don’t ever say that I don’t go back and edit. That is the realm where I am KING.

Today’s bangles are: flacons de parfum, rouge Calèche, silver Taxco bangle, skinny silver Tiffany’s bangle, and wide Tiffany’s bangle from Christmas 1994.

Now ask me my opinion on starting a blog post with “I”; this rant train is the express and we are making no stops today.

11.21.14 vexillology

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Lately I’ve been all about the Goodwill bracelet finds. There’re so many treasures to be found at Goodwill, stuff that has a feeling to it. It’s beautiful that one item was cared by somebody, and now it’s under my watch. There’s a special link between me and them. I think that’s why I love ID bracelets so much. It’s actually pretty funny how I have this odd little collection of other people’s ID bracelets, but none in my own name.

The flag charm bracelet is also a Goodwill find. My dad was a big flag collector, a vexillologist if you will. I paid more than my usual Goodwill budget to purchase this guy, $19.99, an outrageous sum in the world of Goodwill shopping! Now armed with my inherited collection of flag books I’ve set about IDing the various flags.

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From left to right:
1. Italy (but the center stamp is slightly incorrect)
2. Netherlands or Luxembourg
3. UK
4. USA
5. Canadian Red Ensign (the predecessor to Royal Union Flag which was replaced in turn by the familiar Flag of Canada)
6. France
7. Belgium
8. Tria Juncto In Uno medal: “the Order of the Bath”, 4th most senior of the British Orders of Chivalry
9. Standard of the Governor-General of the Belgian Congo 1936-1960
10. Luxembourg or Netherlands
11. USSR
12. Belge flag number two
13. Poland
So what I’ve deduced so far is this is a Belgian charm bracelet from the early to mid 1900’s, maybe a collection of Belgian allies? I don’t know. I welcome anybody with some historical insight to chime in! What do all think? Any theories?

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11.30.14 just can’t get enough

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Hey guys, is this enough bracelets for a person to wear?

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How about this? Is this enough? Just let me know when I cross that threshold of “reasonable quantities of bangles” and enter into “obscene quantities of bangles”, okay?

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Are we there yet? Let me ask you this, at what point would this no longer be considered bangles but a metal sleeve?

Today’s bangles: 4 brass garage sale bangles, Hemrès Astrologie from my honey, 3 gold color cheapo bangles I was wearing during my accident, brass cameo cuff, oneida spoon cuff engraved with the letter L, Hermès cream Clous bangle, flag charm bracelet, sterling ID bracelet engraved with Claudia, giant M brass cuff that I paid too much money for from Goodwill because I love my own initials. Claudia’s got nothing on me!

11.19.14 silver sleuth

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Last night at dinner my mom gave me this bracelet 👆 that I am wearing today. It was black with tarnish and she was uncertain if it was from her mom, or from my namesake, my mom’s Aunt Margaret. I am basically Nancy Drew when it comes to the internet sleuthing, and I successfully Nancy Drewed the isht out of this puppy.

First, I polished this up, then I started my research. Through my googling skills I quickly found some very similar pieces listed on eBay and Etsy. These were variously listed as vintage Mexican or Aztec of Mayan. But, from what I’ve seen, Taxco (Mexico’s main silver city) stamps their silver Taxco. This bracelet has no such stamp. Nor does it sport the standard, legally required 925 that indicates a piece is Sterling. But all of this could maybe be explained due to the age of my new bracelet.

However, internet sleuthing was not yet complete! There is a stamp, it’s simply one I hadn’t seen before. 0.900…. Again to the google where I learned this is a South American manner of stamping silver.

Mystery solved! Between my Grandmother (Brazilian) and my Great Aunt (American) this bracelet was most likely my Grandmother’s. So from one Brazilian to another, thank you Grandmother! And thank you Google.

The Great Gift Idea Marathon

Tiffany box
Tiffany charm’s are pretty much universally beloved, but I am here to search out for you something special this holiday season. Think of me as your personal shopper. Welcome to 16 days of jewelry gift ideas for the special lady (mom, grandma, lover, daughter, sister, saint) or kind sir (father, brother, boyfriend etc.) in your life. It’s the time of the year where Very Bangled —-> Very Gifted.

Now, as you all know, I own a shop. I trudge thru the front lines of the gift giving mania each year. With my many years of battle scars I have several tried and true gift giving theories. Listen up, because I aim to hit these targets on your behalf for 16 days leading up to the holidays.

1. Most women love a gift tradition. I don’t know what came first, my love of bracelets or my dad giving me bracelets. But now almost my entire collection is thanks to my dad, and I love it. Best part of the gift tradition? Once you’ve set yours, you are golden for gift ideas on every occasion. Just continue the tradition! It’s a promise of the future of your relationship, and a special reminder of the specialness of that relationship.

2. The gift is about you, the giver, more than it is about the receiver. That moment where you’ve scored that something special for your loved ones? And their eyes gleam bright because you hit the nail on the head? That is the BEST feeling ever. But sometimes you will miss the target, and that’s okay. That’s why there are gift receipts. It’s better to shoot and fail then to tie yourself in knots and give nothing. It REALLY is the thought that counts.

3. Always go with your impulse. There is no nicer saying than “I saw this and I thought of you.” It’s heart warming. But that being said… don’t always impulse PURCHASE the item. Write it down for later. You might find something even better, but do NOT wait until the week of Christmas to complete your purchase. We, the retailers are picked clean by that point and that impulse item will be long gone.

4. Give something you love. This ties back into the gift is about the giver. You reveal a special part of yourself when you give a gift. Share that with your loved ones, they love you and giving something YOU love is sharing that love. I’ve found that my most cherished gifts are those that I would never have picked for myself, but once it’s mine, it’s so much more special because of that relationship that I have with the gift giver.

5. Stay within budget! This one is kind of derr but you can always find something special within budget. That’s the entire point of vintage. Don’t blow your money on the name. Tiffany’s costs more because it’s Tiffany’s, but is it worth more? No. Let me put it this way, do you want to give earrings and matching necklace for the same cost of one dinky little charm? YES. The answer is yes.

6. Customize! Always customize. If there’s ever an engraving or monogram or add her name option? Do it. It makes the item extra special. Years later she can look back and say “Oh yeah, that’s from Christmas 1994”.

7. Remember this is supposed to be FUN. There is no failure in gift giving. If you are unfortunate enough to have someone in your life who makes you feel bad about your gift choice? Well, they are serious jerks. That’s plain mean, inconsiderate and RUDE. They are crossed off the list for next year. No gift is deserved, gifts are wonderful opportunities to spoil the people you love, but if they are too bratty to appreciate that? Than they won’t appreciate anything ever. Don’t beat yourself up over their bad attitude. You tried your best.

Did you slog thru everything? No? No matter, I’m keeping this list in consideration and you just need to follow my recs. Starting Monday the 24th, for 16 days straight, I will give you a gift idea for every type. Trying to shop for someone specific? Tell me their fav TV shows or sports teams, interests, hobbies or anything and I’ll dedicate a post to it. You know I love this stuff. It’s the thrill of the jewelry hunt!!

11.18.14 rhinestones are forever

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You guys remember that Bond film, right? Rhinestones are forever? If not forever, per se, they are at least decent amounts of time. “Rhinestones are decent amounts of time” doesn’t have the right ring, however. It’s not exactly catchy.

Today I’m wearing my Goodwill bow bracelet, my sterling knot from Hiho Silver, and a vintage rhinestone piece I was given for being a bridesmaid. Best yet?? Rhinestone panda clip ons. Now pandas, they are forever.

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Grenade Goes BOom

Cartography Grenade Heart Pendant

What do you do when you’ve thrown a grenade into your relationship? Purchase matching grenade necklace and earrings? Shoot, I am the worst at problem solving.

grenade earrings

Let me warn all women against this small little RAGE side effect of Estradiol. I had an awful, terrible weekend, capped with one too many hormone pills that magnify and blow out of proportion all emotions. Remember that time I got so angry with my honey that I threw out all of our food? Same pills. The Incredible Hulk’s got nothing on my estradioled self. Anyways, I was terrible, just horrible yelling at my poor honey. But it takes two to tango, if you know what I mean.

Can I offer you this grenade bracelet to go with a big helping of crazy?
grenade

Fortunately we’re made up now. But hormones! They’re not for wimps!! (All my guys-in-a-relationship-with-a-lady followers are currently nodding their heads sagely going ‘YUP, I coulda told you that. And the sky is blue.’)

How you like dem Apples???

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This post is for Jenny at She Loves Dresses because she loves food jewelry! If you too love cute food jewelry, Jenny, besides blogging about wonderful vintage dresses, sells some cute food jewelry at She Loves Cute Stuff (shout out, woot woot!)

Today is the day that I do something with my collection of slowly rotting apples. I have mentioned before my cooking skills. As in, they are not an inherent skill set of mine but something I have learned through practice and following recipes closely. These apples have been bugging me, like quite literally, because of all the fruit flies. So I figured I’d do something with them. Welcome to my little apple butter cooking lesson AKA how Margaret fuck’s up that which she’s attempting to cook.

Step one, find a recipe! No problem, thanks to my wonderful Fannie Farmer

Step two, realize that you do not have most of the necessary ingredients and the quantity of apples? Significantly less than 5 lbs.

Step three, proceed disregarding these shortcomings.

Step four, dice apples, put them on the stove to cook and commence research on apple jewelry.

Can I show you these apple jewelries? OMG. REAL FRUIT jewelry by, what else, Real Fruit Jewelry. The apple is kind of boring, but their kiwis? Pretty cool. I think they are dipped in resin to preserve them.
apple necklace

Or the bracelet apple? Made of unknown materials by Inekeotte Jewelry, seems like it’d be a bit awkward to wear and do basic stuff like reach into your purse. But whatever! It’s creative, right?
apple bracelet

Step five, notice the pot is clanking a lot. Return to stove top and add various ingredients the recipe both does and does not call for.

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Step six, ignore instructions to stir constantly to avoid burning and return to the internets. Read Dora’s The Walking Dead post. Uhhh what the fuck machines are they unplugging on TWD? With my first hand “being run over by a truck” experience I can tell you that there aren’t any life maintaining machines for you to be plugged into. Chest tubes have been around since WWII, they’re just tubes shoved into your pleural cavity that drain blood into buckets. BUCKETS. That’s not exactly sophisticated machinery.

The other machines I was connected to were: heart monitor, morphine drip, and oxygen tank. But it’s not like I would have died if these were “unplugged”. So whatevs. NO SPOILERS, I am not concerned as to the outcome of the character being “unplugged.” I mean, unless there’s brain damage and *character* can’t breathe on their own? But then they are fucked regardless because brain trauma = no bueno in zombie apocalypse.

Ehhh… Where was I?

Step seven, improvise MORE. Add tapioca flour (to make it stickier) and frozen blueberries (because why the hell not?). Notice apple butter is turning a bloody color. Add lemon juice. AND WINE. Again, why not?

Step eight, realize wine was a mistake. ADD BRANDY to counter act the wine. Because brandy is the opposite of wine, right? It’s simple math, folks. Close and put away cookbook because we are riding far off trail now.

Step nine, start looking for wine jewelry on some popular wine websites. Bemoan the fact that you can purchase a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird on the Coppola Vineyards site but not bracelets only to realize it’s Tequila Mockingbird, a cookbook? Then bemoan the downfall of Western Literature. Finally find cork bracelets (close, right?) but… ehhhh… no. This is not up my alley.
cork bracelet

Step ten, finally finish cooking and arrange a pretty “apple “butter photo.

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Remember that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… Bon appétit!