Thursday, March 31, 2011


As I'm sure you can all guess, my second-favorite activity for the past few weeks has been reading wedding blogs (the first is catching my now-fiancée grinning at my ring while I'm not looking). Despite the fact that we've been basically-engaged for years, I've had a strict no-thinking-about-weddings policy. So it comes as no surprise that I wasted no time jumping headfirst into all the wedding blogs and magazines I've seen referenced on my favorite blogs but always forced myself to ignore.

After a few weeks of this, I'm totally paralyzed with over-inspiration and a (probably self-destructive) desire to make our wedding
perfect and unique. I don't know why my first response wasn't to just start blogging all my favorite images (the original purpose of this blog was, after all, to write out my ideas and obsessions and thereby - ideally - gain some perspective and clarity). But better late than never, right? So I think I'll start posting weekly favorite wedding inspiration boards. For the time being, these are NOT going to be curated collections of images; they won't have color or style themes, and won't represent inspiration for any single wedding. Like this one, they'll just be things that have particularly caught my attention but don't necessarily go together. Maybe - fingers crossed - this will help me choose favorites and make decisions, and eventually these will turn into mood boards for our real wedding.

clockwise from upper right:
Temple of Love at Larz Anderson Park in Brookline, MA (an actual ceremony venue option!)
a private estate in Newport, MA
save-the-dates via Oh So Beautiful Paper
Adolphus Busch Hall, Harvard (an actual reception venue option!)
invitations via The Indigo Bunting
cameo ring - ?
Vera Wang gown
bouquet - ?
color scheme - ?
Reem Acra gown (my current favorite, I think...)
bridesmaids via Martha Stewart Weddings
succulent arrangement - ?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


has been a bit of a whirlwind lately. In a good way:

In related news, this will be turning into a wedding blog in 3...2...1...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Agate, malachite and other minerals have been used to create beautiful decorative objects for thousands of years. Agate is actually the most popular gemstone used to carve cameos (look for a cameo roundup on the blog sometime soon!). Prized for its durability, it was often carved into thin pieces and combined with gold or other precious metals to create delicate but sturdy repositories for valued objects. 

left to right, all from the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Box for rouge and patches. English, ca. 1760. (38.50.6 a-c)
Watch, Charles Bobinet (ca 1610-1678). Swiss, mid-17th century. (17.190.1617)
Cup, standing with cover. French, mid-17th century, finial 19th or early 20th. (32.100.241a, b)
Banded agate amphoriskos (perfume bottle). Early Imperial Roman, late 1st century B.C. – early 1st century A.D. (2001.253)

Many modern takes on this trend emphasize its glamorous aspects – sparkly geodes, large-scale patterns, bright colors – but these antiques and antique-inspired pieces highlight the elegant simplicity of these natural materials:

clockwise from upper left:
Victorian agate 10k gold pendant, $195 at Ruby Lane
Antique deep blue agate and silver box, $85 at Ruby Lane
Victorian agate cufflinks, $100 on Ebay
Late 19th century banded agate snuff box, $125 at Ruby Lane
Tigela agate bowl, $55 at Rablabs
Agate celestial globe, $149.99 on Ebay
Victorian moss agate box with filigree setting, $105 on Ruby Lane
Small malachite box, $35 at Wild Iris Market

It's no secret that this blog is a year or so late to the game in talking about this particular trend. It's certainly not that I didn't notice it as it began. It's just that, honestly, I didn't much like it. Plenty of blogs wrote about rock crystal lamps and geode bookends. I'm not a fan of the former, and the latter took a while to grow on me. What actually peaked my interest was this necklace that I bought on clearance this winter at Madewell, a delicate, unpolished-but-elegant raw crystal pendant that also happens to go with everything.

Exploring this raw mineral idea a little further, I started to get past my former dislike and was intrigued by the contrast between raw, jagged forms and sparkly, polished and glam finishes. I found some other pendants that caught my eye...

clockwise from right:
Surrounded single roped earthy geode necklace, $145 by Brook&Lyn
Jefferson necklace, $84 by Stone & Honey
Marbled stone pendant necklace, $9.80 at Forever21
Karli necklace, $215 by Jasmine Pannamma

...and then promptly started exploring what other agate and geode pieces the internet had to offer. My interest was already peaked by this point, but a trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and its fantastic mineralogical and geological gallery clinched my decision to make this roundup!

clockwise from upper right:
Platinum drusy stud earrings, $200 at Pade Vavra
24k gold-encased plum and blue geode earrings, $86 by irisjewelrydesign on Etsy
Custom geode cufflinks in sterling silver, $160 by elseetee2 on Etsy
Mexican agate ring, $428 at Free People
Tourmaline slice shower earrings, $2910 by Jacquie Aiche
Kimberley McDonald 18k white gold geode and diamond earrings, £7885 at Browns
Agate geode and diamond ring, $2450 at Vivre
Lady Grey geode earrings, $176 at Dear Fieldbinder

Geode bookends have certainly been one of the most popular manifestations of the trend, but that isn't the only option you have to bring a little bit of this into your home. I'm particularly in love with the lamp finial, the malachite plates, the amazing rug, and the one-of-a-kind malachite-patterned chair. If you want your own version, the (to the trade) fabric is "gemstone" by Tony Duquette for Jim Thompson fabrics.

clockwise from upper left:
"Geode" rug (detail), £80 by Mother of Pearl Atelier
Agate candle holders, $110 at A+R Store
Sliced agate mini frame, $50 at Plantation
Agate 3-ring binder, $20.10 at Zazzle
Nature exploration agate notebook by Oh Joy!, was $13.50 (sold out)
Etage rug by Studio Bijoux via Design Milk
Agate cheese plates, $60 & $75 at Jayson Home and Garden
Crazy Lace agate fantasy poster, $22.70 at Zazzle
Tony Duquette / Belvedere "Malachite" chair at 1st Dibs
Malachite plates by D.L. & Co. via The Peak of Chic
Malachite pattern by Gibson Designs, $16.99 / 5-piece setting at Replacements, Ltd.
Agate clock, $85 at Vivre
Cobalt blue geode lamp finial, $8.75 at Lamp Finials
Aqua agate bookends, $17.50 on Ebay
Joia agate ornaments, $44/6 at Rablabs
Pink bookends, from $18.95/pair at Phoenix Orion
Brazilian blue agate plate/coaster, $25 at Rain Collection

Leave it to Alexander McQueen to be one of the first fashion designers to make a dress printed with the patterns found in natural minerals. The idea is certainly a little slower to catch on in fashion than in jewelry design or home décor, but if Matthew Williamson's brand new gown is any indication, we very well may be seeing more of it in the future. It doesn't look like this trend is going anywhere soon!

clockwise from upper left:
Agate scarf by Richard Weston Studio for Liberty, image via here
Agate bag, screen-printed by anorthwind on Flickr (check out the lining, too!)
Alexander McQueen agate print chiffon scarf, Saks (sold out)
Richard Sorger dress, S/S 2009
Alexander McQueen agate print dress via Polyvore
Geode dress by Carrie Hayes, S/S 10, via The Fashion Gazer
Matthew Williamson agate chiffon gown via Polyvore