Monthly Archives: September 2014

Style Profile: Nicole Harris

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Nicole Harris’s style is edgy, contemporary, and fun. We found out about this Williamstown, WV-based artist from her colorful and energetic abstract paintings. On a classic fall day with a hint of chill in the air, she welcomed us into her home with pumpkin donuts and coffee and modeled her favorite Heirloom Finds jewelry picks.

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One of the things we enjoy most about Nicole’s fashion sense is her willingness to go with what’s unexpected, whether it’s pairing plaid flannel with tortoise shell or shimmery crystals with casual wear—she makes it look genuine and natural, because, for her, it is.

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How would you describe your personal style?
There’s not a lot of fuss put into what I am wearing… I want to be comfortable, first and foremost. I tend to dress minimally and let my accessories shine! This has always been my style statement.I flip the same outfit with different accessories. It works. I stand out. Boring be gone! I have an extreme passion to compose, be it an outfit, art, home decor, etc.

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What are your favorite places to look for fashion inspiration?
I look on Pinterest for outfit inspirations and see what is being shown on the runways for the following season. I take in what people are wearing on popular television shows. I also, find much inspiration in what my friends are wearing. I also read Refinery29A Cup of Jo, and Yahoo Style.

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Do you think your painting style is reflected at all in the way you dress?
I am much more adventurous with my paintings than with my fashion, but I find that the aesthetic in both have a fundamental alignment. In both my paintings and my outfits, I strive to be an individual. The crazy squiggle in my paintings or mixing vintage accessories with current-store bought clothing is a way of being unpredictable and unique. You never know what I’m going to wear or paint next. I’m not afraid to put things together that others might not consider doing in both my paintings and my fashion styling.

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What draws you to the act of painting?
It’s the most fluid way for me to compose colors and produce something beautiful on a whim. I feel like it’s my avenue of communication. I can really explain myself through a symphony of colors. My paintings are like seeing a song: there is harmony, dissonance, rhythm, and also emotion and energy. This is how I tell stories.

What do you get out of it that you don’t get from other media/creative outlets?
I can dive into my imagination without any restrictions. It’s so freeing.  Being an abstract/abstract expressionistic painter, I paint honesty. There’s only honest emotion exploding on the canvas, in whatever direction I feel at the moment.  I don’t feel limited. I am not trying to replicate anything. I am creating a psychedelic experience, just by viewing my paintings. It’s a medium that stands still, but moves the viewers. I love that.

Nicole’s Etsy store is www.aquirkyius.etsy.com

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by Sara Bir

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Add Color to Your Spring: Time to Plant Bulbs!

Heirloom Finds Jewelry bulbs crocus

Imagine a flower that will thrive after six frosty months in the ground, with you not lifting one finger. That’s the glory of spring bulbs. Daffodils, crocuses, tulips, hyacinths, and many more well-known favorites in this category. They’re the ideal entrée for a beginning gardener, because bulbs contain all of the food and nutrients that flowers need to bloom. It’s like a handy little kit for picture-perfect blossoms. If you can dig a hole, you can plant bulbs and enjoy their joyful springtime presence for years to come.

Planting bulbs also puts you in a colorful frame of mind as leaves and trees begin to brown all around you. So it’s not just about investing in the promise of cheer for the spring thaw, but infusing color in your life all year round—exactly what we’re all about here at Heirloom Finds.

It only takes five steps, with hardly any active time.

Heirloom Finds Jewelry bulb tulip

  1. Pick your spot.
    Bulbs like well-drained soil, and they love sun. Chose an area with well-drained soil that’s not under an evergreen (deciduous trees aren’t a problem, because when your bulb sprouts, the tree most likely won’t yet have its new leaves.)
Heirloom Finds Jewelry bulb packages

Daffodil and Crocus bulbs ready for planting!

  1. Buy your bulbs.
    Oftentimes around the early fall, stores offer bags of bulbs for a decent price. If you can find loose bulbs for sale at a hardware or garden supply center, look for daffodil bulbs with a cluster of two: this is really two bulbs joined at one root, but you’ll only pay for one bulb.
    A mix of colors in different spots is nice. Petite grape hyacinth adds a splash of purple. Plant groupings of crocus in yellow, purple, and white. And you can get daffodils in a plethora of shades and combinations.
    Consider your climate, too. It’s possible to find bulbs bred for warmer areas, and they’re usually planted later in the season—December, or even January.
Heirloom Finds Jewelry bulb hole

This hole is ready for some bulbs!

  1. Dig your hole.
    The rule of thumb is to dig the hole at least three times deeper than the height of the bulb itself. You can either plant lots of individual bulbs here and there, or cluster a group of four to seven bulbs together in one larger hole. If that’s the case, make a hole that’s about a foot and a half across.
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Bulbs placed evenly spaced in the hole.

Place the bulbs equally spaced in the hole with the stem end up (usually it’s a little pointy) and the root end down (it’s hairy, like the root of an onion.) If you purchased bulbs in a package, the recommended spacing and depth are usually printed on the label.

Heirloom Finds Jewelry fall to spring bulbs planted

The bulbs are all covered up. The twig serves as a reminder of where to expect the beautiful blooms come springtime.

  1. Cover it up.
    Fill the hole up with dirt, being mindful not to topple the bulbs over, and tamp it down moderately.
  1. Wait.
    If you don’t want to forget where you planted your bulbs, shove a stick in the spot to serve as a subtle reminder. Water thoroughly just after planting if the weather has been dry. But really, that’s it!

Until your bulbs come up in the spring, enjoy the fall, and read up on other gardening tips. We love Barbara Damrosch’s The Garden Primer—it’s our go-to answer book for most any gardening question. And as you’re musing over those flowers-to-be, don’t be afraid to infuse bright colors or floral designs in your cool-weather wardrobe. The weather may be less than bright, but there’s no reason for your style not to bloom!

Heirloom Finds Jewelry Fall Floral Statement Necklace

Here’s our Black Mixed Media Bloom Collar Necklace, perfect for fall accessorizing!

by Sara Bir

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Lift Up Your Look This Fall with Cobalt Blue

 

The soothing shade of cobalt blue has been THE color to wear for spring, summer, and fall. And why not? It makes your outfits pop while projecting a calm and collected demeanor.

Cobalt is still going strong for fall. Bright Cobalt is one of Pantone’s fall 2014 colors. They call it “a subtle twist on the traditional cobalt blue, which unifies this season’s blues.” But don’t take Pantone’s word for it. Trend-makers we’ve spotted in cobalt include Kate Middleton, Rihanna, Pablo Picasso, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Obama, and Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog.

This timeless color gets its name from the element cobalt. Cobalt compounds have been used since at least the 14th Century BC to achieve that deep-blue ethereal hue in glass, paint, and glazes. It’s long been used in Chinese blue and white porcelain (flow blue china). Artists such as Domenico Ghirlandaio and Hans Holbein, and Renoir used paints tinted with cobalt compounds.

The illustrator Maxfield Parrish, active in the early 20th century, made an enchanting shade of cobalt blue his signature color, painting luminous, saturated skies in the backgrounds of his fantastical landscapes. His massive popularity at the time—his prints hung in middle-class homes across America—led to the term “Parrish Blue.”

Le Creuset, maker of iconic French enameled cast-iron cookware, produced enduringly popular cobalt blue pieces for years and only recently retired the shade (we heard a rumor that the pigment in the glaze became more expensive, but in any case, hang on to your collectible Le Creuset cobalt pieces!)

Cobalt is your go-to color for altering a stressed-out mood—it actually helps you solve creative problems. You can dress for serene success by donning blue, said to be the color of clear communication. The shade of the night sky and the deep ocean, blue indicates tranquility and stability. Wearing a cobalt ring, bracelet, or pendant can boost your confidence with its calming essence. Color theorists suggest wearing blue on job interviews or first dates to help you stay centered and sanguine.

Heirloom Finds Jewelry To the Last Teardrop Drop Earrings in Cobalt

Here’s our Cobalt To the Last Teardrop Earrings.

We have cobalt jewelry that ranges from sleek and modern to glitzy and glamorous. It’s a color that works with every skin tone and lends tranquility to other blue shades or makes a splash when paired with primary colors like yellow or red.

Heirloom Finds Jewelry model shows off the fall hue cobalt.

Cobalt plays well with a monochrome ensemble to really brighten up a dark look.

You can’t really overdo cobalt; it’s a great color for monochrome. But white, denim, gold, and silver really compliment cobalt, too. And it’s always a hit with white stripes.

For the more daring fans of blue, cobalt-hued nail polish or eye makeup makes a big splash. Forget your nightmarish 1980s blue eye shadow associations. Today’s blue makeup is about colorful statements, not shock factor.

Cool cobalt is still hot. Make this elemental shade your own and stock up on our luxe and soothing cobalt selections. Our blue baubles will make your transition to fall calm, collected, and chic.

by Sara Bir

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Ready, Steady, Go! Make the 60s Mod Look Work for You

Heirloom Finds Mad for Mod 60s Vintage Jewelry

Mod is not just a style. It’s a scene, a sound, and a spirit. Short for “modernist,” the concept was popularized in the mid-1960s by British fashionistas and teen rockers. A youth culture emerged in the post-WWII years, and those teens had access to pocket-money for clothes, records, and clubbing. A highly stylized, cutting-edge visual language set them apart from the sappy sentimentality of their parents’ generation. Mods craved the hip, smart, and streamlined.

Like punks and hippies, the mod subculture has endured with an instantly recognizable look that’s remained strikingly unchanged since its inception. What typifies the mod look? Think of the model Twiggy, the most well-known icon of mid-60s fashion. Bold, geometric forms. Primary colors and black-and-white motifs. Structured tailoring and fitted jackets. Mini-dresses and go-go boots. Vinyl belts, coats, and footwear in unexpected colors. White lipstick and prolific black mascara. Vital urban energy. The mod look is inextricably associated with 1960s swinging London and designer Mary Quant, who made the miniskirt mainstream. Italian scooters like Vespas and Lambrettas, with their gleaming chrome trim and smooth, highly contemporary design.

Accessories make the mod look accessible. Mod jewelry is fun and outrageous while retaining an arty sophistication. Sleek plastics like acrylic are mod signatures, so indulging in a colorful assortment of statement mod jewelry won’t break the bank. The mini-dresses designers are trotting out this fall are a natural to pair with mod bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. But since the Mod look is timeless, you know you’ll always have an occasion to punch up a simple ensemble of fitted trousers and a blouse, or a minimalist shift with tights.

Heirloom Finds Vintage Mod 60s Colorful Bangle Set

Here’s our 1960′s Vintage Mod Squad Colored Plastic Bangle Bracelet Set

You can’t discuss the mod style without discussing music, which has always been part and parcel of the mod scene. Kids in the early mod days gravitated toward the American R&B records: Motown and 1960s American soul are as important to the mod scene as rock bands like The Who and The Small Faces. During the mod revival of the late 1970s, ska and reggae groups joined those ranks. Like punk, mod songs are often short, direct, and rallying. There are great mod bands now, and a far-flung but thriving global mod scene that connects through festivals and podcasts. Everything mod retains a distinct British sensibility—perhaps part of the attraction for Anglophiles outside of the U.K.

Mod purists might poo-poo a casual adaptation of the mod look, but who cares? Dabbling in mod is a kick because it’s fun to look so stylish. Whether you consider a Vespa an obscure indulgence or a fashion necessity, our mod jewelry makes it easy to rise above your station and look fantastic while doing it.

Heirloom Finds Vintage 60s Mod Abstract Pendant Necklace

Here’s our Vintage 1960′S Groovy Copper Modern Design Pendant Oval Link Necklace.

By Sara Bir

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DIY: Tiered Jewelry Display

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Jewelry looks best when it’s displayed, whether it’s around your neck or sitting on the top of your dresser. Since you can’t wear all of your gems and baubles at once, give it a home that will show it off to its advantage. And exercise your crafting abilities in the process by making this tiered jewelry display!

We got together with a local antique store, H. Reitz and Company to bring you this heirloom-inspired display. They provided us with three gorgeous antique plates, one pink glass goblet and a vintage blush pink salt shaker for our project. Here’s the materials you will need:

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  •  3 plates (These can be old China you find at a yard sale, leftovers from an old plateware set, or Grandma’s hand-me-downs.)
  • 2 goblets, candlesticks or topless salt shakers (All you need is a vessel that is flat top and bottom.)
  • 1 tube of silicon caulk (Typically, crafters use hot glue for this task, but hot glue tends to grow brittle with time.)

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Step 1: Be sure that the plates and goblets are free of any dirt or debris before starting. Then, apply silicone caulk to the edge of bottom of a goblet and attach it to the top of the largest plate in the center.

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Step 2: Apply caulk to the rim of the goblet and attach it to the bottom of the second largest plate.

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Step 3: Attach the bottom of the second cup, or salt shaker, to the top of the second plate with the caulk.

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Step 4: Attach the final, and smallest, plate to the top of the salt shaker with the caulk.

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Step 5: Display all of your beautiful baubles for all to see!

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