Beautiful Find : Juniper Designs

You may have noticed cool necklaces and other jewelry popping up here & there, at larger boutique-like chain stores that use antique (or, in their case, reproduction) keyholes and keys, and other interesting trinkets.

My oh my, does it infuriate me when emerging designers get blatantly ripped off. This isn't to say, of course, that nothing like this has been done before- who knows what some designer made 20 years ago in Madrid that someone just made here and everyone thinks is new & unique.
To me, it doesn't really matter, design is about taking something and giving it a twist that makes it you. The style of the designer should stand out, and at Juniper Designs, you know it's Juniper Designs. Designers and materials together set things apart.

Back in May designer Jenifer Altman launched a collection called Pandora's Box. Each piece in the collection is designed with authentic antique keyholes embellished with Pearls and semi-precious stones. Each design is limited and genuinely original. This designer obviously thought about this collection before it even began- she built it from the ground up.

Some of my favorite necklaces in the collection are below. I adore the ornate details of the keyholes paired with the elegant delicacy of the Pearls and stones paired with them. The effect is unique and memorable.

They are incredibly, almost ridiculously, affordable at juniper-designs.net.

I grew up with parents who live the antique life, own a store, restore antiques, and hammered all of into my head from the time I was a very, very little girl. The keyholes used in the Pandora's Box Collection are rare and irreplaceable. In my opinion, each is truly one of a kind- though they may be built from the same cast, each one has unique impressions that make them one of a kind, even if they may look similar at first glance.
Get one of these necklaces while you can, they won't come around again.

Hot shoes at T. Georgianos

I'm not really in the go into detail kind of mood right now. It's been a long day. But, mostly, I think it's because these shoes, especially the red ones, speak for themselves. Sexy, strong, and versatile, the shoes at T. Georgianos beg to worn.

The Red Python pump is one of the sexiest, edgiest, most fierce shoes I have ever seen. It says come hither and I'll kick your ass at the same time. Made by hand in Italy. $390

Boots are essential. It's going to be cold soon, rainy, and overall, dreary. Shoes help, so do fabulouus clothes. But, boots, they keep you warm and dry, and these are pretty flippin' sweet. The grey suede is versatile and they look buttery soft. These babies are handmade in Montebello, CA and cost $440.

I'm one of those people that likes the classics with a twist- in the case of this tan pump, you have a typical fall color with a not so typical cut. These will go with anything, any season, but they'll be particularly perfect for fall. On sale for $182.745 at tgeorgianos.com.


Simplicity that works. Product Review: Lauren Goessling Designs

I am a fan of stationery. All of it has it's own personality. All of it says something about the person who's writing on it.

Lauren Goessling designs personalized stationery that is simple and pretty. Each sheet is about the size of a post card- well, probably the exact size of a post card. The paper is the weight of your typical card stock, so it's sturdy. I like the fact that this personalized stationery is not just on thin paper, but something that has more weight, and will last longer. We all know those notes we write are meant to be kept forever!

I was surprised when I opened the package and found a box that was obviously personalized for me with the initials of KM. How sweet is that? Getting me all buttered up. ;)
The notecards that were inside the box with brown envelopes were tied in brown polka dot ribbon: this is adorable.

Personalized stationery designed & created by Lauren G Designs. $28 for 25 pieces with matching envelopes, $50 for $50, and $90 for 100.

The personalized stationery for adults comes in 22 designs- from argyle to poppies to pretty borders, most people would find something they liked -even men- and I won't even get started on that.
Lauren Goessling Designs customers can choose from a number of paper colors depending on the design, 33 fonts (!), tons of font colors, and a good amount of envelope colors, as well. You can truly get something personalized to your tastes and that is important & appreciated.

When I was checking out the site, I felt comfortable. What I mean is, it was easy to navigate and clear as to how to order & that important stuff. Think of walking into a boutique, it's easy to check everything out without being overwhelmed or crowded. That is the perfect shopping experience and the Lauren G Designs website provides that completely. I am really looking forward to see her wedding and baby lines that are coming out soon!

For simple stationery that makes a statement, shop at laurengdesigns.com.


Product Review: Marzipan, Inc. greeting cards

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my package from Marzipan, Inc. owner of shadesofviolet.com. There wasn't any fancy packaging, I just saw cards & a box of stationery in a stack tied in pretty purple ribbon. On top of the stack of paper delight was a little round box filled with beautiful gift tags. I untied the ribbon and read a note from the designer herself, Lori, that was on the most gorgeous, opalescent paper I have ever seen. It shimmered like fine glitter.

Georgia Gift Tags: set of 8, $8 at shadesofviolet.com. These tags are substantial and beautifully made.

In the stack were a variety of cards that would appeal to almost anyone. If you like dainty designs with a refreshing twist, I think Shades of Violet is a sure thing for you.

Cards by Shades of Violet, all $5 each.

The box of stationery is beautiful, too. The paper isn't flimsy which is seriously important to me.

I really appreciated the fact that the stationery set came in a plastic box that can actually hold up to be opened and closed quite a few times before cracking. You think paper cuts are bad? Get a plastic box cut and find out what's worse. Not to worry, here, though because this box isn't going to fall apart and even the paper edges are smooth.

Bailey Stationery available at shadesofviolet.com for $12.50. You get 6 notes with matching envelopes.

Writing on this stationery will be a treat. It's well made and beautifully designed. One of the things that really stood out to me is that you can't find a trace of glue anywhere- and usually with glitter, you can see that glue. A true sign of attention to detail and caring about presentation.
Going through just the stationery section of Shades of Violet makes me want more. All of the sets are vibrant and beautiful.

Now I'm going to talk about the greeting cards. They rock. The simplicity of the design is nice, they aren't overly look at me, look at me, but they have a unique flair that makes them really stand out among other cards I've seen and purchased, myself. You can just feel the love that goes into making these and I admire that.

Three cards really stood out to me among the samples that were sent. Below are close-ups!

This is the Jordan card. It's undeniable girly girlness (yes, I know that's not a word) is really fun and super cute. $5 at shadesofviolet.com.

Oh. This is perfect. I get so sick of those typical, boring, congratulations on your new baby/pregnancy cards. Most are too mushy. This one is fun. A Bun in the Oven, known as Josie on shadesofviolet.com is $5.

Last, but not least, we have the Virgo card, which is part of the Constellations series at Shades of Violet. It's truly a perfect for anyone card... well, anyone that's a Virgo. The design is simple and to the point, and once again I can't see any glue. These cards are worth every penny. Just five bucks.

I feel like what you send out really reflects your personality, in a sense, and if you're sending out flimsy, cheap cards and stationery that is not going to come across like you care. Shadesofviolet.com knows that the paper goods you use are just as important as the tone in your voice- know what I mean? You may mean something one way, but if you say it the wrong way, that is not going to go over well. Trust me, I know this first hand. ;)

Shopping here for your stationery and every day cards is going to show that you really care- not just about what you say, but how you say it.


Unique Twist

I just wanted a super cute, unique outfit that was appropriate for a slew of things and I came up with this idea. In this ensemble, I ending up using one more well known boutique, but all others are small.

Let's start with the adorable top which happens to be from Anthropologie, one of the coolest chain stores in the states, if you ask me. There's always a variety of clothing, that is modern and different or orphanage chic (or at least that's what they thing). I like most of what they carry, and this is one of the things I like. The vintage style top is modernized with an adjustable waist and a nice, tailored fit. And, navy is fabulous. The blouse is 100% silk (yes!) and $178 at anthropologie.com.

Denim is fail safe. Thinking about it, I really don't know anything like it. It is comfortable and wears well, and there are tons of cuts that will suit just about anyone. I am pretty sure I've never seen anyone look bad in jeans- well, I've seen ill fitting jeans, but that's not their fault... right? Let's just stop there before I ramble on and on and confuse everyone.
These jeans by AngelRox kick my and your ass. They are hot. I appreciate the bootcut and the super unique pockets embroidered with angel wings. What really stands out about these is the waist band- it's actually clothing and can be ruched to create a sash look or pulled up to act as an extra layer if you're cold. Pretty cool. An affordable $168 at the always cool unsungdesigners.com.

Shoes are necessary and heels aren't always the best option. Sparkle is fantastic and these pretty ballerina flats by Pretty Ballerinas are the perfect option for someone who wants fun, flirty femininity without the discomfort we sometimes suffer from high heels.
The Brigitte flat comes in a million colors and a few different glitters, so you can definitely find what you're looking for if you want to add some sparkle to your step. 99 euros or $127 at prettyballerinas.com

I felt that a bold piece of jewelry paired with the soft curls in the silk top would be a fantastic contrast. This sterling silver choker by Kate McKinnon is hand hammered perfection. I love the large circles marked by the hammer and beautifully patinaed. Each is made to order, as well, so you'll get a completely unique piece just for you. $400 at katemckinnon.com.

A leather clutch is always a fabulous addition to any outfit. The Karma Chameleon clutch by Stylesse is beautiful. The metallic pink and green compliment each other beautifully while almost melting into each other. The gold studs add a slight kick of edginess. Buy it at stylesse.com for $100, marked down from $160!


Cool Find: Femmina Style

Femmina Style is a cool site, offering a variety of things. From clothing to home goods to bath & body, there is a litte bit of everything. They even just added vintage goods to the mix.

Now through August 31st, they are offering free shipping with the code freeshipping.
Check it out, there are a lot of cool things.

Above is a sampling of what they have to offer.
The Braided Pant is my favorite thing on the entire site. And, they're on sale for $59.50. Crazy inexpensive for such a unique and chic pant. Wear them with a beater or an oxford and look hot as can be.


The perfect transition sweater. Designer: Lara Miller

I'm sitting home right now on the beautiful day and it feels like it's September. After that nasty heat wave we had to endure, this weather is a welcomed change. The cool breeze tells me that later tonight, when I'm at an outdoor party, I'm going to have to bring a sweater or something with sleeves. Finally, it's a little cool at night and I can have fun in complete comfort.

This sweater by Lara Miller is available at bio-nyc.com.
There are a lot of great things about it- first of all, the color is fabulously rich and will go with almost any color in the rainbow. The way the neck drapes is luxurious and the three-quarter length sleeve is appropriate for cool, but not cold weather. The look is elegant and unique. Available at bio-nyc.com for $180.


on the lookout

As you all know (well those of you that read this thing regularly), I am always on the lookout for emerging designers.

I am pretty much set in the jewelry category, recommendations are coming in on a daily basis, which is great. I would LOVE to see some metalsmiths, so if you are one or know one, let me know.

My, oh my. If graphic tees were considered high end, I'd be all set. However, they usually aren't and I'd really like to see some garment designers that do dresses, pants, blouses, all that. Please let me know if you are one or know one!

Still seeking more handbag designers that work with leather. Are one or know one? Let me know!

Please, God, PLEASE! I don't know if I am simply a bad searcher for emerging shoe designers, but I am having very little luck. I am begging you to help me out- if you are a shoe designer or know a shoe designer or know of a store that carries emerging shoes designers, by all means, let me know.

Furniture and home related stuff:
Would love to feature more of this. Give me a heads up if you are a designer or know of some.


Loft Party - Modern Goods

I've been under the weather, so when I'm not coughing like crazy and my vision is working properly, I'm attempting to read email and look around for cool stuff.

Lucky for me, I found this awesome site called Loft Party today. The site features up & coming modern designers, as well as more established companies that care about their employees and the enviroment. Sweet, right?

Featured are a few things that I really liked.
The pillow is by a LA based brand called Amenity. It's run by two lovely ladies that make truly beautiful things. The branch pillow is $95.

The trio of dishes are by Precidio Objects. The platters are $14 each, the dinner plate is $8 and the salad plate is $6.

I bet you looked at the gorgeous object on the right and wondered what it is. Guess what it is? It's a cutting board! By far, the most colorful and unique one I've seen in ages. It's $27 by a company called Joseph Joseph- two twin brothers from the UK who sell their work in 23 countries.


Easy Femininity

Well, the horrible heat wave is finally over with in New England, so we can actually wear clothing again. It's a good feeling. I don't like be so uncomfortable that even my lightest clothes stick to my body and make me feel like killing something.
Anyhow. That's what inspired this outfit. It's very light, maybe not light enough for 112˚, but light enough for those "normal" hot and humid summer days.
I was shopping around, as I do on a weekly basis can found a few really cool sites with cute things. The first thing I found in this outfit was the button up top by Charlotte Keating, from there, the rest was easy.

This cute, buttery yellow top is by a UK designer, Charlotte Keating. I like the fact that it's not some cheap thin muslin like a lot of button ups these days. It's a feminine silk chiffon that's going to feel lovely against your sunkissed skin. The top is just a versatile as a t-shirt, but thankfully, not nearly as boring and unflattering as that can be. The top is tailored, airy, and easy to wear, it also comes in a few other colors. The price is £93.00 or $177, available at charlottekeating.com

What a pretty skirt, huh? It has that Anthropologie style without the Anthro price that sometimes makes me feel like gagging. I mean, I know things are usually worth it, but why bother shopping t here for a cotton skirt when you can get one at Boutique Ooh La La for half the price and have the beautiful thing made to order by the designers!? I like that a lot.
This skirt can be dressed up or down, be worn with a beater or a preppy twin set, and look adorable. I love the print and the cut. Only $80 at boutiqueoohlala.com.

I have never really been a fan of fabric bags. While I realize many are incredibly well made, I can't really get past the fact that I made some in high school. Maybe they just aren't my style- I'm a leather kind of girl, and I like edgier designs. That's not easy to come by with bags made of fabric.
There are exceptions, of course, there always are- one of those exceptions are the bags created by Nicole Giordano. Not only are the bags handcrafted, but so are the fabrics she uses. Very unique.
This shoulder bag is another incredibly versatile piece in this outfit. The color alone would go with anything. The easy shape will work with anything. The beads on the strap make it fun. Prices at Nicole Giordano range from $55 to $62.

Jewelry is an important factor in an outfit. I think most of us feel a bit naked without it on. When it's hot out, it's not so easy to wear chunky necklaces (which is totally doable with this look), so I'm opting for a bracelet and earrings for this girly get-up.
Designer Rebecca Bourke creates many intricate pieces of jewelry, as well as simple pieces, such as these. Chrysophrase is awesome- I love the shade of green, it is different from any other green you'll ever see. The earrings are a mix of Chrysophrase, so it's jewelry that works like a set without be too matchy. The bracelet is $65 and the earrings are $50, both available at rebeccabourke.com

Shoes! One of my favorite things ever. These flats from Elizabeth Brady are feminine, bold, and a touch funky. They would make any ensemble stand out. As if the outfit wasn't eye-catching enough already, right?
The vibrant fuchsia is a fabulous contrast to the subtle blues and greens in this look, as well as that buttery yellow top. And, we all love fuchsia with brown, don't we? It's such a rich look.
The cut-outs will keep your feet cool.
Available at elizabethbradyshoes.com for $375.


Cool Find: Gnarled Branch

Artist David Irvine creates a variety of art in different medias and styles. Each unique piece catches the eye and holds on for a minute- unlike cookie cutter sailboats and vases of flowers, this art makes you think about what it is and it inspires.

As a fan of abstract art, this painting, titled Artist Charred Memories, this truly spoke to me. Contrasting colors, jagged edges, incredible texture. The title matches the painting, it represents how we feel at times very well.
As a person just looking at art, I love how this painting jumps out from the ornate gold frame, the presentation is unexpected and beautiful.
The price for this completely unique piece of art is $200CDN (about $177USD).

Gnarled Branch also offers prints, ornaments, furniture, and more. Visit this storybook-like site for a fun browse and some interesting pieces that you definitely will not find anywhere else.


Product Review: Klean Bath & Body

Today's review is for a product by Klean Bath & Body called Yuzu Sugar Body Polish.

First of all, let me note the adorable packaging. Packaging is important to me. It tells me a little bit about a businesses professionalism. When a package is a delight to open, when you see it and smile- this is good, this is what getting something in the mail should feel like. Like a gift. And, let me tell you, this amazing Yuzu Sugar Body Polish is just that.

A little edu: Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that has a vibrant scent that's sure to awaken your senses and make you smile.

I could smell this beautiful product before I even took the lid off. That is really cool, and what's even better is that the sugar scrub is sealed in under that lid. This tells me the creator of this product cares about a few things- freshness, quality, and most importantly safety. The "sealed for protection" seal is appreciated greatly.

Now, let's get to the even better aesthetically pleasing stuff. I took that lovely seal off and saw beautiful golden sugar crystals that were complimented by actual Yuzu rind. What do I mean? I mean, you can see and smell that the fruit is actually in this polish. That is a really great thing to me, that makes this product have an awesome boutique, made from scratch feel. I appreciate that, I like knowing it was made with the real thing. That is just one of the things that makes it worth it.

So, I'm in the shower and decide it's time to test out this beautiful Yuzu Sugar Body Polish. Was it is beautiful to use as it was to look at and smell? Yes. Yes. YES! Loved it. Loved how it felt: it was exfoliating without hurting my skin like some scrubs do, the sugar is just firm enough to do the job without making you feel like your scratching your delicate skin to pieces. It was gentle and effective.
Another thing I noticed was how little you have to use in order to get that smooth skin that exfoliants and body polishes promise- I probably use less than a tablespoon each time to exfoliate my entire body. That is impressive, girls and boys. That is another thing, among all of the other things that make this product worth every penny and worth the wait of shipping- hey, that only took 2 days, I am impressed with Klean Bath and Body in every way.
Prices start at a tiny $10 and shipping is under $10 for regular shipments.

The body polish by Klean Bath and Body left my skin soft and incredibly moisturized. I love it.

As a note, I also tried Klean's Watermelon Klean Mist. It's light and airy and smells delicious.

Prices start at $9