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!!

Advertisements

The Walking Dora

The other day I asked Dora about her second favorite TV show because her first favorite is The Walking Dead, and I’ve already sought out zombie jewelry about twelve times now. Here I found the disappointing branded Walking Dead store, here I covered all things zombie and here I took down the MAN in my TWD, Sex Ed Fail post.

Maybe we can admit two things straight off the bat. First, I am prone to exaggeration. Second, I’ve probably beaten the zombie bracelet theme to death. Unfortunately for you all, it then rose from the dead and bit me ONE MORE TIME. Because, guess what? Dora and I both love TWD that much! I’m throwing Sup Darling under the wheels of the zombie bus as well. How’s that for human remains in the exhaust pipe, huh? Whatchu got to say about that?!

First up, what the fresh noise is this thing that Rick’s holding??
Ring
I found it on the Craufthaus website, made by a Rebecca Rose. I don’t know about you, but to me this looks an awful lot like a Walking Dead scene atop a ring. Which is kind of awesome.

BLoody Charms
Now, I’ve showcased some zombie charm bracelets before but this one is different in that it is significantly bloodier. MM hmm blood. Made by Antonis Art Asylum on Etsy. Talk about dedication to authenticity! But wait.. shouldn’t these tools be covered in blackish green blood if they were used on the zombies… um?? Are these tools from the Governor’s toolbox? :/ Ahem. Moving onwards!

five gold skulls
I want a five gold skull trophy bracelet! Emphasis on ‘skull trophy’ not ‘trophy bracelet’. I guess technically, this is a necklace but I’m sure we can contact Starta, the designer, maybe he would hook a fellow zombiephile up? He should for the amount of money these gold skulls cost. I’d like to point out his TWD necklace is on display right next to his cuddly teddy bear charm necklace. Watch your back, Teddy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

skull cuff
OMG even Polyvore is getting in on the zombie hookups. This skulls and skins brings a little bit of skull to that classy bracelet collection of yours. Or mine.

There you have it, there is no bottom to the zombie/jewelry pit. Please enjoy the view of all the skulls while we free fall thru this together. Just a quick aside: I’m writing this while listening to some MJ, and I just realized Man in the Mirror is the Governor’s jam. Make that change. Or not. Shamo.

Med Alert!

Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead started me thinking about a number of things.

First of all, how do you talk about a show without talking about a show? It’s tricky, isn’t it? Especially something like The Walking Dead where you don’t want to spoil anything for those who watch it on delay. My answer is this: talk about the show without talking about the plot.

For TWD there are so many hypotheticals. It’s easy to transition the conversation from when character X did this specific thing to if you were in the zombie apocalypse, would you grow tomatoes or squash? Squash is the correct answer because it grows like a mo fo. And needs less maintenance then tomatoes. It’s basically an edible weed. I know because I signed up for a CSA and I almost always received squash in my box. Getting some tomatoes was like hitting the jackpot, but you’ve got to eat them quickly before they rot. Squash tho? It can even double as a weapon.

You can also bring up the guest actors in the show, because usually that’s not a spoil. Last night’s episode was just a showcase of “Oh hey, isn’t that… from that other show?” I’m looking at you, kid from Everybody Hates Chris and co-star lady from Hello Ladies. I think she was also in a Metamucil commercial that aired during last night’s TWD episode. Fiber is always important, but if you are eating your squash you should be good without the additional supplements.

Now here’s the tricky part of talking about a show and keeping it spoiler free. Setting. Is it fair game or no? I kind of think everybody knew leading up to last night’s episode that Beth woke up in a hospital. But, if you are two weeks behind in watching maybe you didn’t. So I’m sorry if bringing up the hospital setting is a spoiler.

The hospital is very interesting to me. I’ve been hospitalized for a long stretch of time, I’m fascinated by all things medical. I might be a bit of a medical groupie even. Plus I’m going thru this IVF- look at all my drugs and vitamins!

IMG_2946.JPG You know those pictures on Instagram where people layout a bunch of bills and sometimes guns and weed. Like they are ballers, but really they’re just dumb schmucks who’ve cashed out $200 in singles? Well this picture is the IVF equivalent. I could probably save some money by developing a heavy cocaine habit and giving up on this folly known as reproduction.

Back on topic, though. For a bracelet related tie-in? Hospital is where it’s at.

For ages now I’ve had “fancy med alert bracelet” on my gift idea list for my brother, Newt. That is not his birth name, BTW. I should mention that he’s a grown ass man, but he is still Newt to me. So Newt is severely allergic to peanuts and I think a nice, masculine med alert bracelet would be both practical and thoughtful. But the right one is hard to find.

For a man, it’s got be classic and simple. I like this one from American Medical.

IMG_2947.JPG
I’m curious if this design is too subtle for the on the scene responders. I think they check for this kind of thing, but in the heat of the moment, does this style ever get mistaken for a regular bracelet?

This one stands out, with the red stamp and the watch like chain. You can even store your medical information on a little chip thingy. Which is hypothetically useful, but what EMT travels around with a micro chip reader? I think you should engrave contact info and the most important medical details on the bracelet. Save the “I sprained my knee in 6th grade PE” part of your medical history for the chip.

IMG_2948.JPG

Emergency contact phone number is crucial, you guys. I remember lying in the middle of Market Street, the sky was very blue, people asking me for a phone number, who they should call. I couldn’t remember, nothing came to me. And then I pulled 393-7626 out of some pocket of my mind, but it was my dad’s work number from when I was a little girl. Not at all current. Eventually, it all got figured out. This part I don’t remember.

But if numbers are on your wrist, your family finds out that much quicker that there is an emergency situation. Your emergency responders know if there’s a heart condition, or special medication or anything that might effect the outcome of their treatment. I should probably pull the trigger already on one of these bracelets for my brother.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best! I think that also applies to zombie apocalypse. So hey, go ahead and grow both the tomatoes and the squash.

World Series Star Bangle

The other day someone found my blog by searching “2014 world series star bangle” which is pretty awesome. At least I thought so, until I realized no, this is not a fellow bangle and baseball officiando, this is some dumbass who thinks the song is the Star BANGLE banner. SMH so hard.

Because I am occasionally helpful I figure I’ll give that star bangle googler the object of their literal search. Now I don’t know if they were a Royals fan or a Giants fan, so I hunted down jewelry for both.

IMG_2910.JPG Kansas city Royals. They have that one pitcher with the evil eyebrows. Not Guthrie, he’s the Mormon pitcher. For their fans Fans Edge offers this $14.95 silver “tone” bracelet. Silver tone means it’s not sterling, which maybe matters to you maybe doesn’t. I don’t even know enough about Kansas City to make a crack about it by saying “oh you people from that fancy Kansas City neighborhood don’t even want it when it’s sterling”… Like they are so fancy that it’s got to be pearls and sapphires or bust. But hey, at least I chose the correct colors of your baseball fan fancy gems.

For the fancy Giants fan there is Daniels Jewelers special edition sterling five charm bracelet for $539.95 $269.95.

IMG_2911.JPG

Rumor is too that Tiffany’s makes annual world series champion charms. Alas, the Giants charms from 2010 and 2012 are not to be found.

For the non fancy Giants fan we have this collectible piece.

IMG_2912.JPG Made from SF Giants beads and old barbie shoes. I’m not certain what Barbie shoes have to do with baseball, but so I’m guessing this $5.50 bracelet is not licensed by either Mattel or MLB. What you save in price you sacrifice in official licensing. Either way, there’s plenty of tiny black and orange high heels to go around.

Now don’t feel all left out and butt hurt Yankees fans. Your late 90s and Jeter glory may be over but if you act fast there’s a sterling silver Yankees charm bracelet on the Goodwill website. Auction closes Oct 29. There’s currently just the two bids which put the bracelet at $20.99.

IMG_2913.JPG

IMG_2914.JPG I took a brief break from typing to consult with Leroy on his baseball jewelry needs. It turns out he’s not all that interested in this blog post. So there’s that. Not everyone is a baseball fan. For the rest of you, enjoy the game tonight!

Men and hair and silver bracelets

Who watched The Walking Dead last night? How about The Talking Dead after? Did anybody else notice Slash’s jewelry?

IMG_2905.JPG This picture is from Mary Lynn Rajskb’s twitter account @rajskb. You may recognize her from 24. I, however did not, but from being Gail the Snail on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

But Slash. The man has a thing for silver. I know the hair, the hat, and the sunglasses are his trademark but does anyone ever see his eyeballs? This is coming from someone who frequently wears her sunglasses indoors. They are prescription lenses! I think the people at the supermarket understand.

Anyway, in my post from the other day Jack Flacco mentioned that my turquoise cuff bracelet looked like something Robert Plant would wear. He was so right! Look at this picture I found.

IMG_2903.JPG
(mid 1970s, Near Chicago, Illinois, USA — Robert Plant With Folded Arms — Image by © Neal Preston/CORBIS)

So much hair too. Sometimes I love a man with long hair, but I’m sorry Robert Plant, let me recommend a deep conditioning treatment for your whole situation there. Maybe the barber of Kashmir can do something with it.

Now Lenny Kravitz, man. This formerly big haired, much bejeweled rockstar made my tweenage heart beat faster.

IMG_2904.JPG I’m experiencing some serious heart palpitations even now! As I type! *fanning myself* Did you guys know he used to date Vanessa Paradis? The things you discover when you google Lenny Kravitz 1992.

Do you all see the connection between these men? Big ass hair that would put the ladies of Texas to shame, general shirtlessness (not on TTD obvi, but often you will find Slash shirtless) and huge statement wrist décor.

I guess if you swap out the shirtlessness for cowboy boots you could say these men are my style icons? :/ Nah, I’ll stick with Karen from Californication plus more bracelets as my style icon.

IMG_2906.JPG

Games people play

You know that game “If you could live in any era, when would it be?” It’s not nearly as fun as FMK. But so, it always amazes me when people pick these supposedly glamorous times that actually would have sucked to a. live in and to b. live in as a woman and/or a person of color.

The Victorian Age probably ranks up there as one of those overly romanticized and actually probably pretty awful periods that are often picked. People seem to forget that the Victorians went to the bathroom in bowls in their bedrooms. They kept that container under the bed. Then they discarded it’s contents OUT THE WINDOW! It was a FILTHY time!

But damn, they made some pretty jewelries. This one is available on the Past Era website and can be yours for $6950!

IMG_2882.JPG I met the people from Past Era at the SF Fall Antiques Show. They were so nice and gracious when I asked them about their bracelets and if I could take pictures for my blog. Here’s my shot, a pile o antique bracelets.

IMG_2873.JPG
I think they were maybe even a little impressed with my 42 blog followers. Do not dare to correct me! *sigh* I would probably be okay with suffering through a little consumption to get my hands on one of those darlings.

If you want to talk eras, let’s talk Scythian. Dude. NEVER pick Scythian when you are playing the era game because what if some weird wormhole magically develops and instantly transports you to your era of choice and you just fucking picked SCYTHIAN! Do you like war? And tribal living? Raising ox for slaughter and starving to death during times of famine? How do you feel about pillaging and rape? Well you will love the Scythians! I mean, even if you picked the Scythians because of their gold work, you can just buy their gold now for the reasonable sum of $35000 from Ollemans.

IMG_2875.JPG If you give me the option of Mongolia under the reign of Genghis Kahn or Sycthians, I would pick Genghis Khan because I 💗💗🐴.

I guess after those last two picks, roaring twenties (another popular choice) has some appeal. But we’re talking life pre-Penicillin, women and blacks were still considered the legal property of men, and the Great Depression was looming on the horizon. No thank you!

If I could go back in time, to any time, first I would choose the time of dinosaurs, but being the only human would probably get kind of lonely. Then I’d choose 2 years ago because life was pretty good two years ago, and it would give me the chance to do some major things differently.

Now, FMK? Lorelai Gillmore, Darryl from the Walking Dead, Carl from the Walking Dead? Trick question because there’s two kills in there.

Taxco

No, this is not an accounting post.

Taxco, Mexico sits atop a great big silver mine. It’s from where (whence, dude, whence) most Mexican silver originates. In my collection my silver pieces are either Tiffany’s, Native American or Taxco. That was probably the single most snobbiest sentence I’ve ever written. All my jewels are Tiffany’s, dahling. And when I don’t shop Tiffany’s I jet down to Taxco. En e weigh, when a tumblr slash website Mexican Silver Store started following me, my eyes popped open. Mexican silver = candy for Margaret and I was not disappointed.

But what I did not anticipate is the copper. The copper! Wow, so pretty. I don’t have any copper jewelry, do you? Brass, silver, nickel, rubber, gold, sure but not copper.

IMG_2852.JPG
$79.95 for a pair of bangles! And I have the 10% discount code which is Tumblr

I probably won’t pull the trigger because it is actually pretty uncommon for me to buy the items I lust after but… I do want this! I must remind myself this is why I have a blog, to lust by proxy.

What do you think about the layered clamp bracelet?
Also $79.95

IMG_2853.JPG
Cleopatra would probably wear a set of matching ones on each wrist.

But hold up a second, here is the tour de force on the Mexican Silver website. Some background first. When my honey and I visit Mexico we stay at Cabo Pulmo which is in Baja where there are a lot of camarones to be had. This means, I order camarones for every single meal. So I MUST HAVE this skrimps bangle.

IMG_2854.JPG
It seems appropriate to express my food preferences via my bracelets. I am that type of lady. Hellllooooooooo Tiffany’s! Bet Tiffany’s is re-examining their database now and plink, I think I just heard my name removed from their mailing list.

It was worth it!! Je regrette rien! Come this way, camarones, I promise to offer you a nice home.

Wonders of the Universe

One of the most interesting things about WordPress is the glimpse it provides into other people’s lives. I love following your blogs! People are fascinating, and even sometimes the mundane is a sort of fantasy escape because it’s different. So thank you, gentle readers, for writing about nailpolish, fantasy hockey, med school, knitting, recipes, clothing, traffic, foreign countries, family, Cillian Murphy, baseball, feminism, linguistics… The rabbit hole is deep and crooked.

Anyway, is this weird? One person I follow is Jack Flacco and his story “Ranger Martin and the Alien Invasion” comes out October 21st. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m excited to read it! Writing multiple books and birthing them into the world is kind of a big deal, in my opinion. I’m very impressed.

So between his story that I’m looking forward to reading and rewatching X-Files (omg Gillian Anderson was sooo young!) I’ve got aliens on the brain. Frankly, I believe in aliens. Not in the humanoid, walking talking kind but in the particles of life floating around our vast universe that our limited brains can’t recognize kind of way.

Let’s get down to it. There is some lame-o alien jewelry out there, folks. Like this one by Jaeci… What’s its intention? Like woah, alien spelled backward is symbolic of our fear of outside aggressors subverting our language? First of all, only the French are concerned over the sanctity of their language. Secondly, can you tell I went to art school? “But what’s it mean??”

IMG_2816.PNG
What I interpret this bracelet to mean is that it is not worth $36. All I ask of jewelry (and men! Bad dum ching!) is to either be pretty or be interesting. This one is neither.

Now this is art! And technically a necklace :/ oops.

IMG_2817.PNG Made by Reborne Jewelry I came across their alien named necklace on Pinterest and it just blew my mind. Looks like it sold though, so I thought I’d showcase another of their pieces. The one above is named “the chained bubbled zippers”. It’s all zippers! Amazing, right?

IMG_2818.PNG
Their bracelets are cool, kind of rock and roll but the necklaces. Wow. Just wow. Wonderful. Just like all youse guys blog posts. Keep up the good work.

Do you feel lucky, punk?

Well do you? No! I don’t! The answer is no, I don’t feel all that lucky. Something around here’s got to change, and I think I know what it is. I don’t have enough figas. I really don’t! I have just the one charm for a necklace, and one jade figa that hangs in my bathroom. Not early enough.

Oh what’s a figa? You ask.

IMG_2792.JPG
This here, these are my figas. Only in the brain of the gently paranoid and inexplicably superstitious would a life change come down to the closed fist charms, the figas. But that’s where I’m at right now.

Though I just remembered my jade figa fell and broke a while back, I crazy glued it together, but you think that has altered it’s powers? I’m only partially joking with this question. I am not, for the most part, a superstitious individual. Nor am I some hippy who believes in the regenerative powers of crystals or any of that nonsense. But this feeling, that maybe some little thing will help, still itches under my skin.

The figa is a Brazilian thing. My first one was given to me a long time ago. Along with a coral tooth charm. It brings luck, protection and fertility. All things I need now. Conclusion: I need more figas.

This is the one I want.

IMG_2793.JPG
I found it on 1stdibs.com via Polyvore but it’s no longer available. So I’m going to make one.

First I’ll showcase some other options out there. These two just do not have enough figas for my needs but reading about the Made With Love Project I like their cause to raise money through the production and sale of products to provide a fair income for women.IMG_2794.JPG

IMG_2795.JPG
The bracelets are $30 to 40 bucks. Very reasonable.

This bracelet from Wicked Magpie on Etsy is interesting because it’s identified as Peruvian.

IMG_2796.PNG Which llamas, horse whips makes sense but I never knew figas were South American outside of Brazil. It’s $28.

Also available on etsy are the figa charms in agate, ebony, jacaranda, and other materials that vary in price. To make my bracelet though, I think I will first check out the SF Hobby Co because of my preference to support local independent businesses. Side note, that’s why I never post links to Amazon and I try to avoid chain chainstore links too. But Etsy is the best internet hub of small business, so I do post to them. In case you were ever wondering.

Wish me luck!