Monday, November 22, 2010

You had me at "Jewels Verne."

I was recently inspired to look up some funky engagement rings by a friend who confided in me that he is thinking of "popping the question," and now I have become completely obsessed with jewelry websites and making myself familiar with some very talented designers working in upscale materials (as well as some fun plasticky etsy designers).

First, I was looking for engagement rings and I came across the ring of MY dreams, which isn't necessarily helpful when suggesting sites and rings to someone else. To the left is the interesting-enough-for-me-to-care-a-little-about-diamonds masterpiece by Shaun Leane; a designer who sells through the Astley Clarke website and specializes in organic-looking enamel and precious metal pieces for the chic hippie. This particular piece is the most understated in a series of oversized cocktail rings, pedants and earrings that incorporate cherry blossoms and buds. His other works featured on the site are also inspired by flowering trees and the juxtaposition of metals, precious stones, enamel (occasionally in fun colors) and pearls.

Another designer on the Astley Clarke website is Stephen Webster. While a little goth, I can definitely appreciate his sense of humor in both design and titling. His "Jewels Verne baby jellyfish" collection had me rolling around on the floor (inside), whilst still admiring the simultanaeity (?) of beauty and ridiculous punny-ness.

If you are looking for something a little more affordable, this lovely bird cutout bracelet is sure to make any nature-lover happy. Fresh and lightweight and great for matching with winter whites and spring and summer brights- a real year-round treat from Etsy designer Miss Blue Bird and Oscar. Also, it's only $14.00. Lovely.

And, lasty but not leasty is a couple of adorable elephant cufflinks for the distinguished gentleman in your life- available in purple or blue, these enameled sterling silver cuff-buddies march proudly around the end of your man's sleeves. Designed in-house by Astley Clarke for the well-dressed man with a cool sense of humor.