Friday, February 26, 2010

Nuts for Julie Nutting

The sweet and gracious Julie Nutting ( came by my office today. I have to admit, I was a bit starstruck, as Julie is the first artist whose work I really came to love from working here at Stampington. I am such a fan. I remember Julie before she had her Etsy site and had the honor of writing the first article about her work for Somerset Studio. To finally meet her after 2 years was a dream. And Julie is modest. She's kind. How lucky am I that when I asked her about how she makes her works of art she is able to tell me? When you hold one of these canvases in your hand, it's an entirely special moment. Thanks to Julie for making my day. Stay tuned for some more of her fabulous artwork in the upcoming fifth volume of Somerset Home.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lace on Lace: A Study

After seeing a lot of fashion pictures with lace on lace layers I wanted to try and re-create this look with my own wardrobe pieces. I actually really like it. There's not an overkill of texture. I was mainly inspired by Chanel, who does a lot of 1) black+white 2) lace 3) boucle and 4)high heels. I think this look ties together all of the above quite nicely. Tights: Betsy Johnson; Heels: Miu Miu; Dress & Coat: Juicy Couture.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Affaires, Affirmations & Red Velvet

There's a time to write ... and I feel like it right now.

I'm sure by now you've noticed the cover of my newest baby on the side of my blog. A labor of intense love like a magazine launch is as close as I want to get to having children. I've launched a magazine before (apronology) but this experience was completely different. This time around a number of unforeseen circumstances made the follow through and production of this publication more dependent on my particular vision. And at times I felt like if the magazine failed to live up to the standards I set, it would be my fault alone. But I am part of an amazing team and the lesson learned is that when you trust your instincts (as every fashion fanatic knows) you usually come out on top and smiling. This book is exactly what I had in my head, down to the cover (and what a story that is). I have never been prouder of putting together a magazine, and I dont even know if I can top it. It's perfect to me. I will read and look at it over and over again. I will hold it tight when it comes in. And I will show (and tell) everyone that this is mine, that this is me spread out over 144 pages and broken down into bits, baubles, and sentences. This work embodies the art of so many, yet for such personal narratives and pieces I am happiest to note that the tone of the magazine is celebratory. It's light, fun, and full of glamour that is not pretentious, but acheivable, real, attainable, and of course ELEGANT and EXTRAORDINARY. My editor's letter is the best summation of what I want to say when it comes to jewelry, but I think this editor's picture makes a great statement as well.
Little known fact: I detest pictures of me. You will notice there are very little on this blog, and that is because I think I look silly in pictures. Unfortunately, part of this job is being photographed and it's rare that I get to explain the philosophy behind my editor's pictures. The one I've included here is not the exact one in the book, but it's close. I like that the blouse is a celebratory, happy color, is made of a luxurious silk, and has drapey details (which is after all what makes any piece luxe). I picked it up from T.J. Maxx for $20 and it's by one of my favorite labels, Alice + Olivia. I piled on the jewelry because I wanted to show an array of artists off, as well as the many ways you can stack and layer jewelry to make it work for you. Think of it as accessorizing your accessories. Jewelry here is by:
When it comes to pictures I don't mind of me, they usually involve other people. I love this picture with my friends and I at La Maison Rustique. The wonderful Sandra Finn (, sweet Joy Gabler ( and darling Sherry Mattia-Welch ( dropped by yesterday for a visit and to unload untold treasures for upcoming magazines including HOME and Haute Handbags. And while they were here I realized many important things.
Firstly, the strain of producing the jewelry magazine was well worth it. Sandra asked me if jewelry was my passion and my first reaction was no ... but the more I thought about it, I learned that it might be. Any person or persons who helps you realize something siginificant about who you are, what you believe, and what you are passionate about is worth knowing and knowing for a long time. I'm so glad Sandra asked me that question, because sometimes it's easier to answer those soul-searching things when someone else poses them at you than if you had asked yourself.
Secondly, certain negatives come with the territory of sharing art and ideas, like copying and stealing techniques etc. But the important thing to keep in mind is that when this happens it cant stop you or slow you down. You will always be you, and as long as people like YOUR vision, YOUR ideas, YOUR style, you have something to market, something to bring to the table; you will always be a step ahead. No one can corner you unless you let them. YOU can always change it up.
Lastly, I learned something very telling from these remarkable artists: why people don't submit to our magazines. Something I've heard more and more from artists is that they never submitted because they were intimidated, because they second guessed themselves etc. I couldnt believe that people who are insanely talented could feel this way. And it made me realize how important encouragement is, enthusiasm is, friendship is, positive energy is. Believe me, I know what it's like to feel intimidated, as I've submitted lots of writing to be published that wasn't. And I've scared myself out of many a leap. But in the end it's worth it to take that plunge of faith. I know. I have the magazine to prove it.
So, a big thanks is in order to everyone who was involved with Jewelry Affaire, and in particular to Sandra, Joy, and Sherry who brought me some much needed encouragement and wisdom yesterday. To celebrate good times, good art, and good conversation we even splurged a little bit and had a slice of red velvet cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory. Success never tasted so sweet.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So You Fell in Love and You're Getting Married ...

An unusual thing has happened to me ... I've found myself at that juncture in life where a lot of people I know are getting married. I mean a lot. I'm constantly forwarding e-mails and ideas and am starting to keep track of images I like for design inspiration and decoration. It's funny, I do a lot of recruiting for my day job, and now I am realizing a lot of those efforts are doubled up with wedding recruiting. And since I have a background in wedding writing I actually really like helping out. I've had the great fortune in talking to Carley Ronaey, Stella Inserra, Donnie Brown and the owners of Kleinfeld Mara Urshel and Ronnie Rothstein ( So here's a posting for all you brides to be ...

Check out this bouquet made of brooches.

Unconventional wedding wear from This is Glamorous.

I recommend some really special bubbly and perhaps a special venue for such a merry occasion. The Korbel cellars in Sonoma woudl be an ideal wedding location. Better yet, their store ( offers premium blends of champagne they dont sell in your local supermarket. These also make for wonderful gifts, as they will ship these anywhere. My mum was kind enough to gift me with 3 beautiful bottles for Christmas. A classy gift that's effortless and always in style.
The cakes are from my favorite cake artist Alexandria Pellegrino ( she makes cupcakes too) Alexandria is very nice too, as I've written her actual fan mail (scary huh) and she responded. The only bummer is she is in Canada, so be prepared to really pay for that indulgence, but of course I'm sure it's worth it.

For gift giving, consider a special box to show off treasures and keep your momentos. For wedding jewelry and inspiration I vote you visit Diane Cook ( who talks more about wedding jewelry in the upcoming Jewelry Affaire.
For wedding and bridesmaids dresses, there's no one better than Carol Hannah Whitfield ( and Sarah Seven (

When it comes to jewelry I have to play favorites too. I highly recommend Oh Faro ( and of course Florabond (

Not getting married? I think it's definitely acceptable to shop for accessories and jewelry to wear as a guest. More wedding ideas to come ...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gaea's Beads

I still have jewelry on the brain ... I'm beginning to get responses from the jewelry community on Jewelry Affaire. I realize how lucky I am to be welcomed into this community of artists, and hopefulyl my magazine will be welcomed with open arms as well. This launch is so deeply personal to me, as I hope becomes mroe evident when you read my editor's letter which I think sums everything up nicely. But definitely one of the major perks of working on this magazine is getting to know and work with jewelry artists whose work I adore.

Today I heard from Gaea Cannaday ( ( How lucky I am to have her support this magazine, and to know her at all. Her jewelry is so organic, so different, so fresh, so amazing. Her play with colors is phenomenal. Her Day of the Dead jewelry is a personal favorite. Not only will she be in the premier issue of Jewelry Affaire but shes already shared ideas for the second installment as well. In addition to selling her pieces, Gaea also sells the materials to make these lovelies. Check out her stuff and prepare to be delighted.