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This or That: Trace Hook Earrings

 

It's finally(!!!) cooling off here in Austin and beginning to feel like fall's on its way, especially with the launch of the new collection next week. Dressing for late summer / early fall in Texas is always tricky so it felt like the perfect time for a "This or That" outfit post using the fail Trace Hook Earrings, one of my best-selling and easy to wear items (they match everything!). I love these earrings as everyday essentials paired up with seasonal uniformshere they're styled with one last all-white outfit for summer and dressing up a LBD / denim jacket combo for cooler temps. 
 
Start brainstorming how you would wear them and if you aren't already, follow me over on Instagram for more Trace Hook fun coming later this week! 

Birthstones: August - Peridot

Illustration: Elisa Werbler

Peridot is said to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring the wearer power, influence, and a wonderful year.  - American Gem Society

Identification

Color - The color range for peridot is narrow, from a brown-green color to yellowish green to pure green. Yellowish green is the most common peridot color seen in jewelry. - GIA

Mohs Hardness - 6.5 to 7

History

The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem.” Most peridot formed deep inside the earth and was delivered to the surface by volcanoes. Some also came to earth in meteorites, but this extraterrestrial peridot is extremely rare, and not likely to be seen in a retail jewelry store.

Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually have been peridot. People in medieval times continued to confuse peridot with emerald. For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200-ct. gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. They are, in fact, peridots. - GIA

Physical, Mystical and Spiritual Properties

Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine. Its chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, and iron is the cause of its attractive yellowish green colors. The gem often occurs in volcanic rocks called basalts, which are rich in these two elements - GIA

The lime, green, gentle Peridot gem, the August birthstone is associated with less tangible qualities of peace, good fortune and happiness. The mellow glow of the Peridot, a soft, light green under the starlit sky or lantern has earned this lovely gemstone the title ‘The Evening Emerald’. The august birthstone is associated with prosperity, growth, dignity and love. It is also believed that the stone has the power to ward away Evil and nightmares, bestowing peace and progress in one’s life. - Birthstone Zodiac




Retailer Love: Good

good store boston - fail jewelry retailer love

Boston-based good was one of the first shops to carry my EPIC hoops and has been a favorite fail stockist ever since. With a modern New England aesthetic, good specializes in regionally-sourced goods as well as handcrafted objects and gifts from around the globe. With more than a decade's experience showcasing artisans and makers including BBDW, Farmhouse Pottery and ClauiaNoel, they’re a favorite stop to find something unique.

Shop good online at www.shopatgood.com and keep up with their shop happenings on Instagram.  

Image credits: good, @stylecarrot, @etsy, and @mindyerazo

Process: One of a Kind Diamond Ring

Earlier this year I was honored to make yet another custom wedding band for a friend and fellow Austin business owner, Mariska Nicholson of Olive + M.  It is absolutely one of my FAVORITE rings to date and I thought I would share a bit about the process with you today.

It was no secret that Mariska wanted a custom band designed by me, so when her soon to be fiancé came to me, he decided to start with a ring from EPIC for the proposal.  He chose the Coral Ring, knowing it would be a lovely addition to the stunner that Mariska and I would design together.  

Mariska originally wanted a cushion cut yellow diamond, but was also really interested in using a rose cut diamond and love previous designs that were a bit more organic.  She was also taken by the fluid nature of the Atol and Drift rings, and we began to dream of how to incorporate that look into the custom design.

Well, the hunt for a rose cut, yellow, cushion cut diamond turned out to be pretty futile. There were yellows in round, and cushions in white rose cuts, but it because clear that finding a beautiful stone with all of those qualities was not going to happen in the near future.  

I then began pulling from rose cut diamonds that were unique in shape and size, and I found a super elongated teardrop that was just under 1 ct.  I was hooked!  Mariska wasn't able to envision this new stone in the band, but I immediately knew that this one was special. Thankfully she put her faith in me to deliver a wholly one of a kind ring. 

custom diamond ring process

The results, pretty damed amazing!  I have rarely brought people to tears with my jewelry, but it was a pretty validating when she saw it cried (who knows, maybe it was all the stress too!).

 

Oh yeah, I got to make Steve's ring as well!  For his ring, we kept it simple with my Wide Classic Band.  Guys generally want something simple and not too flashy or shiny so the hammered texture on this band was just right.

Mariska and Steve are just starting their journey together and I am honored to be a part of their daily reminders of their love for each other!

Birthstone: July - Ruby

illustration: Dream Marginalia

"Rubies arouse the senses, stir the imagination, and are said to guarantee health, wisdom, wealth and success in love." - American Gem Society

In honor of the July birthstone, we’re looking into the qualities of the ruby.

Identification

Color: “In its purest form, the mineral corundum is colorless. Trace elements that become part of the mineral’s crystal structure cause variations in its color. Chromium is the trace element that causes ruby’s red, which ranges from an orangy red to a purplish red.

The strength of ruby’s red depends on how much chromium is present—the more chromium, the stronger the red color. Chromium can also cause fluorescence, which adds to the intensity of the red color.” - GIA

Mohs Hardness: 9.0 Mohs

History

“Ruby is one of the most historically significant colored stones. Rubies are mentioned four times in the Bible, in association with attributes like beauty and wisdom. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby is called ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones".

Ruby has accumulated a host of legends over the centuries. People in India believed that rubies enabled their owners to live in peace with their enemies. In Burma (a ruby source since at least 600 AD—now called Myanmar), warriors possessed rubies to make them invincible in battle. However, it wasn’t enough to just wear the rubies. They had to insert them into their flesh and make them part of their bodies.” - GIA

Possessing a ruby was considered to be beneficial to the owner’s lands and estates, aiding in the accumulation of wealth, protection of holdings and acquisition of other precious stones.

Some other talismanic properties assigned this stone had to do with protection. If worn on the left, (the side of the heart,) this blood colored stone was thought to allow the owner/wearer to live in peace and concord with all men, that neither his land nor rank would be taken from him, and that he would be preserved from all perils. Not only this, but the stone would also guard his house, orchards and vineyards from storms.” - Gem Society

Physical, Mystical and Spiritual Properties

Physically, rubies are thought to energize and balance, stimulate heart chakra and encourage a passion for life, but never in a self destructive way.

Emotionally, it is believed that rubies improve motivation and the setting of goals. They promote positive dreams and clear visualization and aid in retaining wealth and passion. They bring up negative anger in order for change and removal. They also promote dynamic leadership. They bring a positive and courageous state of mind- one that is sharp, hyper aware and concentrated.” - Jewels for Me







Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco & Seattle



 
Heading back out to the west coast this week for Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco AND Seattle for the Summer West Coast Tour! Both fairs showcase the best in modern craft and design and I’m thrilled to be participating. For both weekends, I’ll have some of my favorite pieces for summer so swing by and see me!  

Renegade San Francisco will feature 200+ vendors at the the Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion on July 16 and 17 for a weekend of music, food, DIY workshops, breathtaking views of the Bay. I’ll be at Booth #93 on both days.  

The weekend after, find me at Renegade Seattle hosted at the Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park. The fair will be open from July 23 and 24 and will feature 150+ vendors plus music, food, DIY,  and more. Ill be holding it down in booth #25. See you there

Community: Young America Creative

Young America Creative (YAC) has been on my radar for a while — I set up beside them at many of the west coast shows I’ve participated in, and friends have had their seasonal prints hanging on their walls for years. YAC is Brian Friel and Meghan Dorria, both formally trained architects and friends who collaborate on some pretty awesome architecture projects in addition to their series of Seasonal Fruit and Veggie posters.

I am pretty interested in local seasonal eating so these prints are right up my alley.  Thanks to the global food industry, most of us don't know anything about what is in season, because a lot of our produce comes from half way across the world, and sit in shipping containers for weeks or months! Seasonal fruits are better tasting and more nutritious, and eating seasonally often means eating locally grown foods, which is good for the environment, supports small farmers, cuts down on pollution from shipping and trucking food, and in-season foods save you money! Alright, enough from my soap box and back to the prints...

Each poster provides a detailed list of the fruits and vegetables that are in season each month providing easy answers to “what’s should I be buying at the farmer’s market?” Along with their functional value as produce guides, they’re beautiful to look at with crisp inks and foil-pressed illustrations. This combination of utilitarian and art makes these environmentally-minded prints truly special pieces.  

FRUIT & VEGETABLE poster

FRUIT & VEGETABLE poster

Limited Edition Fruit & Vegetable Poster

 

Images via YAC and Touch of Modern

 

 

Tiny Home Love

fail STUDIOS

It’s no secret that I am an avid tiny home and small space fan—I designed and built fail's studio right at home in my backyard. With Dwell on Design happening later this week, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my favorites and daydream about moonlighting as tiny house designers.

Outbuilding of the Week: Tiny Cabins in Dark and Light via Gardenista

The Architect Is In: Container as Guest House by Potent Architects via Remodelista

Portable House by Ábaton Arquitectura

Bestie Row via Lighter Side of Real Estate