Just under a year ago I debuted the first of what was to be a 12 month series; The Birthstone series. It was a monthly blog series in which I created a pinterest board and used it as a mood board for a style guide for that month’s birthstone. I loved the idea, I loved doing it, and I’m still somewhat annoyed that I didn’t get to post a style guide for each individual month. I did, however, keep up with the pinterest boards and intend to keep doing so on a much lesser scale though. I had originally intended to post this months style guide for Amethyst, and then later in the year catch up on the months I had missed. The problem with that is that I would constantly be playing catch up and adding more work, rather than admitting that there are some lessons I learned from this series. Instead I decide to post this wrap up, concluding the series and providing links to all the published style guides and each individual pinterest board in one place. I also wanted to use it as a way to reflect on what lessons I learned and how to adjust my planning for future blog series (oh yes, there are more to come! 😉 ).
The biggest lesson was that I over-reached, and wanted to do more than I really should have. The style guides needed to be more compact, and involving less work on my part. If I want to spend hours and hours pinning things to a pinterest board, then so be it. That’s my choice and I enjoy it; it’s also great for when I’m feeling really crappy and want to be productive. Likewise, thanks to my tablet I can do it on the go and anywhere in the house. The problem was trying to then convert that into a blog post; I had to wade through loads of links and save loads of images, resize them and so forth. It took so long. The next series is going to be more definitive, more to the point and less work in that department.
I also wasn’t as sharp with affiliate links as I should have been and probably lost out on a lot of great opportunities. I’ll be working on that in the future.
The Complete Birthstone Series
And finally, here it is! The complete set of published pinterest boards and the published accompanying style guides. I will continue to add things I find to these boards so take the time to follow them, whether it’s your birthstone or you simply love the colour palette for that month!
Did you enjoy this series? Which was your favourite? Did you prefer the style guides or the pinterest boards themselves? Did it help you style your birthstone or another stone? Would you like to see other gemstone based style guides? Let me know your thoughts in the comments <3
Today I’m taking you on a trip of my jewellery box and treasuring the memories they hold. I had some items in mind when I was planning this post, and then I went into my actual box and found so many more I had forgotten about! ‘Treasure’ is my word of 2017 (full post coming soon, I promise!) and so this idea for an entry fits perfectly with that. As a Libra I love pretty things, and that definitely includes jewellery. It’s something that has been a part of my life since I was a kid, and although I grew up and moved away from things like studs and yellow gold, I still have a range of items I love to wear. I’m also a Pagan, so most of my jewellery features gemstones and these items are more than just accessories to me. They’re a powerful part of the way I handle life, using specific gemstones for different moods and experiences. I’m often found wearing rose quartz, my birthstone, as it represents healing, peace and love. Likewise, if I need some luck you’ll probably find me wearing a piece of tigers eye!
I threw this picture up on instagram as a sneak peek for this post and wow, you guys loved it so I figured I’d start here. I don’t wear rings that much, I find they get loose and I don’t want to lose them, so they tend to be for special occasions only. The exception is my engagement ring (below).
Starting at the top is my pink sapphire and diamond white gold ring, a special 21st present which I’ll go into more detail a bit later. The blue sapphire silver ring was a random purchase on my first holiday with my parents after the break up of my first long term relationship. I was in a mess, no idea what was going to happen next and we popped into a little antique shop somewhere in Devon and I fell in love with this. It represents a particular time in my life and how I grew from those events. The bottom ring is beautiful shades of amber on white gold or silver (I’m not really fussy which!), and was one of the first things he bought me on one of the first holidays with my fiancé about 9/10 years ago.
Yes, plural because I’m a special clumsy kind of girl 😛 We’ve been engaged for 7 years now, and last year I managed to break my first ring when my fingers swelled. I didn’t notice and the break got worse, eventually it was so bad that a replacement was needed. My lovely fiancé is a sneaky little bugger, and even being in hospital with gall stones didn’t stop him from tricking me into trying on his mum’s ring to get my ring size. He put a tonne of thought into it, choosing amethyst which is a personal stone for us and I opened it on Christmas day 2016.
As I said, my pink sapphire ring has a very special memory attached to it. The ring was a 21st birthday present from my nan. My grandad died before my 18th birthday, so I never got to celebrate by 18th or 21st with him. My nan passed away several years ago now, so I treasure everything she gave me. The matching pendant was also for my 21st from my parents.
Last year I said goodbye to my last remaining grandparent, my dad’s mother and this Maltese Cross was one of the gifts she gave to me when I was younger. I looked it out and wore it to the funeral, and now it sits among the other treasured memories in my box.
I’m always wearing two pieces of jewellery, and a necklace is one of them. I’m not a big fan of big bulky necklaces, so I have various pendants (as pictured) that I hang on simple thing chains. The image above features some of my favourites; at the top is the first necklace my fiancé Chris ever got me, green chalcedony, then the purple heart is stunning lavender jade, the red one is beautiful ruby and finally a gorgeous dainty amber heart.
Chip Stone Bracelets
One of the things anyone who has met me will say is that I am always wearing these. It is one of the ways I ensure I have gemstones with me all the time. I tend to wear 2-3 most of the time, sometimes 4 at most on my right wrist. My go to ones are opalite, rose quartz and amethyst (the white, pink and purple ones in the picture). Also featured are red coral, yellow calcite, fluorite and malachite.
Whether I’m wearing earrings or not really depends on a few different factors; did I remember? 😛 Are my ears sore? Is it pointless? I tend to wear them if I’m going out for a few hours/the whole day or a special occasion/event rather than just around the house or to pop to the shops. I very rarely wear studs any more, I don’t like how they feel and this picture represents the type of earrings I tend to go for. Once again, gemstones like the green jade on the right feature prominently. Often in chips like those ones, sometimes something a bit more elegant. I like a splash of colour, and whimsical cute things like the other two pairs on the left. Gemstones are always preferred, but I find myself draw to colourful small beads and little stars and such. I have a cute pair of sea horse ones, for example.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh Necklace
I am told every year that I am terrible to buy for by my fiancé, however, this is just one of
the many precious pieces he has added to my jewellery box over the years. He has a fantastic eye for beautiful items and knows my style perfectly. For those who don’t recognise the name, Charles Rennie Mackintosh is a famous Glaswegian artist and architect. As we live in Glasgow, and Chris knows I love art and Scotland, this was perfect.
Labradorite Triple Moon Goddess
I can still remember when I opened this beautiful gift box to find this lovely necklace by Masters of Tincture in it. My long time friend Tracy had sent me it as a surprise and I had no idea it was coming. I absolutely love labradorite, and so while the necklace is a bit bigger than my usual style I fell in love with it. It goes fantastically with corsets and is a lovely reminder of a very treasure friend.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
My best friend, partner in crime and fellow Pagan, Haley, picked labradorite as the stone to accompany her wedding. As one of her bridesmaids I picked up this beautiful set of earrings by AngryHairJewelry and the lovely pearl necklace by Peelirohini. They have been worn many times since, will be worn many more times and are a great reminder of a magical day and friendship.
Both of these were bought for me from Japan by my dad, who studies Iaido (the way of the Samurai) and follows a spiritual path. This is something we have in common with how we see the world, so he got me these two items on different trips. The coin is a lucky Japanese coin (I added the ribbon so I could wear it around by wrist) and the beads are lucky beads from a temple that very rarely opens to the public. As he had the unique opportunity to visit it he kindly bought something back for me.
I tend to prefer chip stone bracelets as they’re loose, so other bracelets like these two are better for me as they aren’t too tight in design. The green one was from our very first holiday, a cruise, as a couple and the amethyst was a valentines day present from Chris.
The final items I’m showing to you today are these gorgeous handmade beauties by a talented and lovely friend. Haley (a different one from the aforementioned bride!) had the earrings sitting in her online store and I fell in love with them. My mum got me them as a gift, and at the same time Chris contacted Haley and commissioned the matching bracelet.
I hope you’ve enjoyed taking this trip through my jewellery box and memories with me. Jewellery is a gift that lasts, that can be kept for generations and handed down with memories attached. Stories of loved ones that never truly leave us. It’s never too late to start building a collection to keep for yourself, or for your loved ones and a fantastic site for doing just that is Invaluable. Their jewellery section has a diverse range of items for everyone, and what I really like about it is that they even have a ‘loose stones and beads‘ section so you can pick something truly unique. You can either put it in an old piece as a replacement for a lost stone, or get something truly special commissioned.