To be honest, I think it is more of a "I don't want to say no" mindset. This job, this creative life is amazing. I have more projects in my head than I have time to make, lovely clients who inspire me with their ideas for customs, talented friends who are always up for an adventurous shoot at any minutes notice. These are just a few of the blessings in my life. Who wouldn't want to say yes to all that?
The reality of time moving so fast this year is quickly catching up to me. At the beginning of April, I started making shifts in my personal routine, and for May, I have been shifting my work routine. Trying to protect my sanity and still do all the things I have on my bucket list. Also, trying to make time to stay healthy. Do you guys ever get so involved in work, you find you have no time to take care of yourself? That's where I got to.
My realization started with a rib. An unruly, stubborn, rebellious rib that decided to pop out of place at 2 am while I was innocently sleeping in my bed. If this has never happened to you, it is so incredibly painful and created spasms all down my back. After finding a chiropractor who works miracles and getting my errant rib back in line, I made a decision to spend an hour a day on me. Walking, working out, yoga, meditation, whatever my mind and body needed that day. Since making this choice, I have stuck with it and have to say I feel so much more energized and back to my usual self. An hour a day isn't much time to take away from the day, but it is amazing how hard it was to convince me that I was worth it.
I find that whenever I take on too much, something shifts in the universe to help remind me to slow down. I wish I was better at knowing, at listening to the signs. I always want to do more, push myself, do better than the last attempt. I am not sure what I am racing? An imaginary clock that is ticking out the time I have here on this planet? The ever shifting sands of the fashion industry that may make me irrelevant one day? The new designs slipping in and out of focus in my mind? Whatever it is that drives me is a powerful force, and I have to remember to breathe, make time, stay healthy and trust that it will all work out.
Most recently I had a work accident that gave me a scare. While I lay at Urgent Care with a saline rinse washing acid out of my eye, all I could think was "I can't lose my eye" over and over again. What would life be like if I couldn't see to create, couldn't work with my friends to create these amazing images and art, couldn't see the spring flowers bloom in all their purple glory? Thankfully, all turned out ok in the end, but it was another sign from the universe to really stop and appreciate what I have.
These goals seem small, but for me, they are a huge shift. I am hoping this will keep me positive, creative, healthy and productive. I am also hoping it will help keep the wait time on custom orders shorter and more consistent. There are 7 months left in 2018 and I want to make sure I make the most of them.
What about you, any goals for the upcoming months? Let me know in the comments below, let's inspire eachother!
At this time of year, we are all looking for the perfect gift for those we love. In my mind, often there is no better option than to gift a well thought out crystal. For centuries, crystals have held a special place in may cultures, and even those who don't believe in the concept of healing crystals will appreciate them for their unique beauty and still benefit from their energies.
There are many different ways to gift crystals, from choosing larger display pieces to a little bag of your favorite tumbled rocks meant to be carried in a purse or pocket. You can gift from your own personal collection, passing on a stone with special meaning to you, or you can head out and select a brand new crystal from your local store. You can also find the perfect piece of jewelry containing the crystal you would like to gift, which ensures the recipient can wear it with her every day. Whatever your selection method, you will want to cleanse and set intentions for the new crystals using a smudging technique, moonlight, or one of many other crystal rituals. For more on this, stay tuned for the next blog post which will highlight different ways to work with your crystals.
Once you choose your crystal to gift, cleanse it and fill it full of all the energy you want to impart on the recipient, its time to decide how to share all your crystal knowledge. While gifting a crystal is a special, thoughtful process, every recipient will respond differently. I find, especially when gifting to an acquaintance, sometimes less is more. Writing in a card "this made me think of you" is often all you need. For those who you want to share more with, I suggest letting them know what you would like the crystal to bring into their lives. For example "I wanted you to have this rose quartz, it is a wonderful stone to bring love into your environment". Even those who don't buy into the metaphysical aspects of crystals have to admit the power of the mind is well documented. If you let them know the rose quartz is meant to bring love, that is what they will see and feel everytime they look on it. And for the crystal enthusiast who would love to know more about the properties, feel free to share with them your favorite crystal guide or book, mine is The Book of Stones, Who They Are and What They Teach.
With all this talk about gifting a crystal, how do you know the right one to select? Often times, holding the crystal in your hands will be enough for you to know. We are all drawn to stones for inexplicable reasons, similar to how we are drawn to people, for that certain je ne sais quoi. You don't always have to be locked into the traditional meanings behind crystals, but knowing them can make it a little easier to narrow down your choices. Here are some of my favorite options to gift.
What are your favorite crystals to gift? Let me know in the comments below.
A bit fanciful, yes, but it encompasses that fear in such a beautiful way. Over the years, the most fun I have had is when I let go of what I think the world wants me to be, and I am myself in my truest form. My jewelry is an extension of this, I create from my soul, and everytime I launch a new collection, I feel the anxiety of will it be good enough. I am learning to let that feeling go, to embrace the fear as motivation but nothing else. I want to thank all of you for helping me learn this lesson through my art, it is the best gift I could be given.
Normally a post launching a new collection would be all about the jewels, and I had to include a few close up shots above. But for me, this collection is about how you feel when you wear the jewelry more than how the jewelry looks on you. This collection isn't available yet, it will launch Nov 10th online, and for my Las Vegas friends, there will be a preview launch party Nov 9th, from 6-9pm, at Sister House Collective downtown.
Special thanks to Heather of TaylorMade Photography for the amazing light room montage pics above. If you haven't been to Corduroy and found this little gem of a room, please make time for it. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
A quick shoutout here to the team that made this all possible. The location for filming was Corduroy downtown on Fremont St, and vintage props were supplied by Nostalgia Resources. Shayanne of BleuMoon Bakery made the most amazing vegan cupcakes and cakes, while the photography was Jamie Y Photography, assisted by TaylorMade Photography. Models are Jenni Anderson, Makenna Gott, Janelle Johngrass, and my gorgeous sister, Lindsey Roberts. Hair for all four models was done by Kate Eissinger, and makeup by Tanya Evans.
May you all approach this Holiday season letting your best self shine: You are enough.
Talking about my Holiday collection with my friends and family this year has been so exciting, I am excited to share it with all of you. The last collection of each year is always fun and over the top, what better time to create big and sparkly show pieces than Holiday? This year is no exception. But, instead of introducing you to the line through photos of the jewelry (which are coming, don't worry, Jamie Y Photography did an amazing job on Sunday's shoot), I wanted to share the story of how inspiration hit while I was on vacation this summer, and a little bit of how my design process works.
If you are more interested in just checking out the gems, please follow along on instagram as the collection will be unveiled there, and watch out for the Nov 9th launch party in Las Vegas, and Nov 10th website update.
For everyone else... read on!
We were leaving Manchester and starting our drive down to the Oxfordshire countryside for a few days. On the way out of the city, we decided to stop at Lyme Park, or the home of Mr. Darcy in the 1996 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice (called Pemberley in the miniseries). Walking through this huge estate, lined with Elizabethan and Victorian age formal portraits, we came upon the dining room set for a party... with no one there (see the picture below). Somehow, instead of honing in on the beautiful gilt details or the laboriously carved wood walls, I saw my Holiday collection come to life.
Imagine, nighttime in this room, a table set for a modern party. The women in the portraits have watched a thousand dinner parties happen, and decide it is time to crawl from the frame and join in. Entering the room, they realize how outdated their fashion is, the standards of female costumes having changed so much over the years. Instead of feeling self conscious and heading back to the relative obscurity of their frames, they decide to strip themselves of the layers of their wardrobe and unbind their tightly coiled hair. Wearing just their slip dresses, hair wild and free after being plaited so tightly, and leaving on their layers of extravagant jewelry, they are free to be themselves in a room of strangers.
With that image in my head, I began to see inspiration everywhere. In this collection, you will see shapes and textures inspired by the landscape, architecture and fashion of Tudor England. There are nods to Canterbury Cathedral, Tudor homes like the below Little Moreton Hall, and plenty of lace and pearls, but all reimagined in the Desert Daisy way.
In addition to the planned castle outings and standing circle pilgrimages, we now added some sourcing days into the trip. I fell in love with this little haberdashery in Hastings (called Wayward if you are ever in that neck of the woods), and located beautiful vintage hand knotted lace for patterns, and velvet and satin ribbons to use for some of the necklaces. We also made a day trip to see a gem dealer in Portobello Market, where I found the most beautiful baroque pearls.
In addition to all the sourcing in England, I also reached out to some amazing and talented friends back home about putting together the photoshoot. I knew immediately I wanted to work with Jamie on this project, her photography has a moody quality that just fits so perfectly with this concept. Luckily for me, she was up for a fun artsy challenge and came on board right away. We also added in Heather of Taylor Made Photography as a second shooter, I have done some fabulous impromptu shoots with her over the course of the year and knew she would be up for an adventure. Hair and makeup was a no brainer, the work you see here is from the dream team of Kate Eissinger and Tanya Evans. I also pulled Shayanne of Bleumoon Bakery in, wanting a very dreamy cupcake feel to the tablescape. Her crystal inspired touches on vegan cakes were just the thing. Speaking of tablescapes, Veronica of Nostalgia Resources supplied our vintage candlesticks and vases. When it came time for models, I knew this one would be a greatest hits gathering of some of my favorites from previous shoots. Jenni Anderson has been in every holiday shoot from the beginning, Makenna Gott has been a joy to collab with all year long, and Janelle Johngrass is a red headed spitfire who I have been waiting to work with again. Lastly we have my little sister, Lindsey Roberts, who flew out from Connecticut for the weekend and is the glamazon you see in the top picture.
The final piece of the puzzle was where to film this shoot. There are so many venues in Vegas, but none of them seemed right. Enter Corduroy, a new bar that opened up on Fremont street this fall. Famous for their draft ginger beer moscow mules, we chanced upon this location a month ago. Tucked away in this 80's vibe place is a conversation pit complete with Red orange couches, brass tables and a mercury glass mirrored wall. With curtains to be pulled for privacy, this little room was everything I had imagined for this shoot. A quick conversation with Chris, the manager, got the ball rolling and we were all set. If you haven't checked out this bar yet and are local to Las Vegas, you should put it on your list. You won't be disappointed.
For a video of our behind the scenes, check out Makenna Gott's youtube channel here.
Below are a few sneak peeks of the photos and the collection. I'm curious, what do you think?
I am thrilled to bring you a new feature on the blog, Client Convos. Ask anyone what my favorite part of my job is and they will tell you it is the custom designs I create for my loyal clients. The process of designing a unique piece with a specific individual in mind is so therapeutic and strengthens my skills as an artist. I have shared a few of those projects on the blog before, but I wanted to create a way to share a bit more. I messaged a few of my previous customers and asked if they would share a bit of their experience with custom orders, give you an idea of what you can expect when reaching out to me with a design in mind. The first story I want to share with you is from Shantel, a new client of mine who I had the pleasure of designing for in April. Below is her email to me, and honestly it made me tear up a little to read such kind words. I hope you enjoy, and if you would like to submit for future client convo features, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What really inspired me was the art of the pieces, the geometric shapes, the unique pieces, unique crystals, and even the photography. I could tell a lot of work went into the whole aspect of DDJ. I have NEVER seen anything like it.
I finally worked up the nerve to message Emma/DDJ directly to ask about a piece I saw. Unfortunately it was sold out. This actually was the BEST thing that could have happened. This was a Segway to getting my own customized piece. Emma was so quick to respond with photos of the type of crystal I was interested in. She is so kind and open to your ideas. I was able to choose my favorite one, and she gave me free range into the designing aspect. This was amazing, I trusted her with her vision and wanted what she saw this piece could become.
As of now, I have one piece of DDJ but intend on doing another custom piece. I can wear my current piece with almost everything, between the Quartz and the black leather necklace; it fits with most items I wear. I like to wear my piece with all black wardrobes so it’s the centerpiece; I get so many compliments- or all light colors.
I have and will continue to recommend DDJ to friends, the quality of work and the stunning pieces…how could I not?
Here it is Tuesday morning and I am still reeling from the crazy wonderful things that came together this past weekend. What started as an amazing opportunity to finally work with a photographer who I met online a year ago through the rising tide society, quickly turned into a productive, inspirational, healing, exciting and uniting weekend. Think that is an exaggeration? I promise you it is not.
There were so many decisions and last minute changes that meant we ended up in Encinitas, a town none of us had ever been to. But, we found a cute little cottage that was walking distance to the beach, had room for three, and allowed dogs. I am so glad we found the place we did, because it put us just in the right place for the weekend.
We got up early on Friday and walked around the town. Cute shops, too many good coffee shop options, and gorgeous overgrown california beach gardens gave us plenty to look at. Day one we stopped for coffee at Iron Smith Coffee Roasters, and met the friendliest man working there who gave us the run down on the town and where we should visit before the weekend was over. The winner here, was the Ginger Tumeric Latte that Kati picked up, and she went back every day to make sure she got her fill of this yummy drink.
We grabbed breakfast/lunch at Lofty Coffee right on the corner of A street and PCH. The ancient grain bowl with arugula, tomatoes, plant based sausage and cilantro lime dressing was a hit! So much goodness in one bowl. This was another meal that was repeated throughout the trip I have to say.
I need to say a big thank you to this lovely woman pictured below, Makenna. She and I recently met on another shoot of mine (you might remember her from the Desert X road trip we took last month), but I have so much admiration for who she is. In addition to the modelling work she has done for me lately, she can be found on one of her YouTube channels she runs with her and her husband. If you haven't looked into her channel, please do. She is so funny and honest and has a wonderful outlook on life. Watching how hard she works on the videos for her channel is inspiring. She has a few vlogs up from the weekend, you should totally check them out here.
Thanks to her support and outgoing nature, we met a lovely woman at the cutest boutique in town, Moonshadow. You guys all know me and know I am not pushy when it comes to selling my work, especially to a busy shop on a Friday. But in a very natural way, Makenna introduced the woman working there to my jewelry.
It turns out Moonshadow is a natural fit with my work, and I am thrilled to say that they are now carrying my jewelry. I had the pleasure of spending a ton of time with Kati (pictured below) and the owner Kelley while in town. The boutique carries some of the most unique and special gifts and clothing, all styled and merchandised in a way that makes you want to hunt through each and every display to see what goodies may be tucked away in there.
In addition to the shop picking up some of my designs (and they got some good ones), Kati selected the angel aura sacred triangle pendant from the photoshoot. It looks so good on her, and matches her unicorn personality perfectly.
Our final day in Encinitas was bittersweet. We had breakfast at all our favorite spots, which meant three different spots for our coffee. Yup, we made a stop for Kati's tumeric latte, picked up the best coffee ever and the iced Moroccan spice from Better Buzz coffee, and the ancient grain bowl from Lofty Coffee.
Having packed up the car, we headed to Moonshadow to say goodbye to Kati. While there, we met the lovely local artist behind Tidbits of Love. Sharon makes beautiful sentiment cards to hand to strangers to remind them of the beauty in this world. On our first day, all three of us bought a set to bring back to Vegas with us. When we met the artist and told her about our purchase, she invited us to see the farm she works from. Our last stop in Encinitas was this beautiful organic farm where she has built her studio. We ate strawberries straight from the sunny vines, and got a peak into her lovely world. Makenna was able to capture this beautiful visit in her vlog, check it out!
With our hearts full, we left Encinitas knowing we would be back. So many things happened to tie all this together, I couldn't possibly include it all. If you want to see some of the behind the scenes and stories that made up our adventure, check out Makenna's vlog for all the fun.
On the way out, we made a quick stop in downtown Temecula. The smile on Kati's face completely sums up the way we all felt leaving California: Inspired, happy, fulfilled, and just a little sad to go.
Every collection I design is an extension of what thoughts are swirling through my head at the moment. Sometimes I am conscious of what is driving the design process at the moment, and sometimes it is the process of design that helps me work through what is in my subconscious trying to get out. The Dark and Smokey collection is a perfect example of the latter.
Smokey Quartz elevates moods, relieves depression and overcomes negative emotions. It is excellent for relieving stress and anxiety. Not knowing it, I was selecting crystals that spoke to what I personally needed to survive the political and emotional climate I was struggling with in the beginning of the year. Regardless of who you voted for, or what political party you belong to, this has been a divisive and emotional year. I truly believe in the power of the individual, and having strength of convictions has been even more important to me in the last few months.
When I was younger, my mom once told me that when you are feeling sick, dress up. Fool yourself into feeling better because everyone will tell you how great you look. I have taken this to heart and regularly apply it to my day to day. So now, I applied it to my work. With a simple adjustment, this becomes: When you are feeling helpless, dress powerful. Fool yourself into taking charge because others around you will treat you that way.
I wanted each and every piece in this collection to feel powerful, feminine and fierce. I designed to capture something of the amazing strength in women, that is not hampered by their natural womanly aspects, but instead elevated by it. I have been wanting to work with the model, Michaela, for some time, but was waiting for the right shoot. Knowing her balance of grace and strength, she was the perfect pick for this shoot.
Working with Martina, a boudoir photographer, allowed me to explore the more sensual side of this collection. Her expertise with posing and capturing light perfectly made the final images more than I was hoping for. I also got to work with photographer Lisa Ann, and she was just the right balance of energy and ideas for the shoot. I had the pleasure of meeting Tirza, of Tirza Grant Makeup, who captured the strong and sultry eye that pulled her look together. Lastly, I was super excited to pull Valmir into this project, and he created amazing hair art as always (out in the desert, with no heat tools and minimal time I may add). We borrowed a feather headdress from Ariana of the Odd Portrait for that final touch. Working with such talented and magical artists really made this shoot something special.
I recently uploaded the full photos under the lookbooks tab, and I hope you enjoy the final results. I am so excited by the response to the collection, many of these gems have found homes even before I could add them to the shop. I am working on new pieces to add to the collection, something I don't normally do. But I am happy that there is resonance with the designs. To all the strong women I know, this is your collection.
Staring off into the vast landscape ahead of her, she wondered "what is out there for me?" When there was no answer, she decided to go out and create her own destiny.
Recently, I was talking with one of my favorite photographers about why I work in copper jewelry, and it occurred to me that not everyone knows how cool this metal really is! So, for this week on the blog, I wanted to dedicate some love to my favorite material and hope you get a chance to appreciate what copper offers you a bit more (and if you are already a fan, I would love to know what draws you to copper in the comments below).
Now, if you want to clean your copper back to that original raw shiny glory, it is so easy. You don't need chemicals to clean copper, my favorite method is lemon juice and salt, and the details can be found in this previous blog post if you like.
The other cool thing about copper is that you can set raw crystals directly in copper without the use of heat. This protects the stone, and makes every piece I create different from the others. You can also work in copper without the use of harmful metals like nickel, which so many plated silver and gold pieces require. I love the idea that there is nothing harmful in the jewelry.
In addition to the lack of toxic metals in copper jewelry, there are actually benefits to wearing copper jewelry. Because copper is a micronutrient, it can be absorbed into the body just by wearing it. For years, people have trusted copper to help with things like arthritis and inflammation. The body relies on copper for circulatory, nervous system, and bone and joint health. It is especially good for thyroid function. We only need a small amount, and so copper supplements are often more than we need and can be hard to metabolize. Wearing copper jewelry allows for small amounts to be absorbed through the skin and support all these essential functions.
Lastly, copper has a long cultural history. It has been used in totems and healing jewelry for years and by many cultures. There are a number of holistic and spiritual properties associated with the metal. Ayurvedic medicine recommends copper for balancing the doshas within the body, and for purifying drinking water. Ancient Greece considered copper the metal of the god Hermes, who facilitates quick wit and mental agility.
Many spiritual beliefs center around copper as a conductor of spiritual energy, whether it is between people, crystals, or the mind and the spirit world. Some people believe that copper has the ability to amplify thoughts when sending and receiving psychic communication. It has the capability to ground and transfer vibrational frequencies and supports healing by keeping the pathways for healing open. My personal favorite is the idea that copper has the ability to free the wearer of mental burdens.
If copper does even half the amazing things cultures have connected it with over the years, I can't imagine why people wouldn't want to wear copper daily.
And as a random fact that just makes me happy for some reason, the Statue of Liberty is made from copper. Now you know ;)
One of the most rewarding opportunities I get in this business is to lend out jewelry to photographers and stylists to use in their shoots. Why this is exciting to me is because by lending out jewelry, I get to see how someone not involved in the design process styles my work. I also get lots of beautiful photos to share with you guys. Not every photoshoot is my branding, and that is part of what is so fun. I wanted to share with you some of the shoots that have happened lately, and let you see these talented photographers in action. Each one has her own voice, and I have included links to their work if you would like to check out more.
I love the idea of these pieces adorning such vibrant seniors as they head out into the world. It is so exciting to get to be a small piece of that moment and have it documented in such lovely photos.
I love the use of color and texture in these photos.
I have never really thought much about boudoir photography, I have to admit. It seemed like something way out of my vibe. But then I met Martina Zando through a mutual friend. After chatting with her, I went to check out her instagram, and just loved the subtle, feminine work she creates. In addition to the two shoots you see below, she and I are collaborating on a shoot for one of my next collections, so I am excited to let you know there will be more of her work to come.
The amethyst druzy choker used in this shoot is one of my favorites. I love the way the silk drapes, and the soft pinks are so perfect with the models coloring. I also am loving the way these ended up looking very parisian and slightly shabby chic with the rest of the shoot.
The second shoot she just did this week. I am so excited to have a few sneak peaks from it. The weather yeserday kept the team inside, but they did such a beautiful job.
If you are a photographer or stylist and want to chat about options for a shoot you have planned, please feel free to reach out and we can discuss options.
This January I was excited to plan a collaborative photoshoot with McKenzi Taylor of Taylored Photo Memories. She and I had met right before Christmas at a show and were inspired to do a lifestyle shoot during a typically quiet time for both of us. I am always a mixture of nervous and excited when working on a new shoot, but I have to say McKenzi made me super comfortable from the start, and I was more excited than nervous. Planning this project also helped push me to create a new collection earlier than I normally do, and got me back into my creative vibe after the chaos of the Holiday season.
After a few false starts due to illness and weather, we finally approached the day of the shoot. The day started early in the morning at the salon, then we all packed up into the Outback and drove out to Joshua, CA. About two hours from Las Vegas. Joshua is on the way to Kelso (which is home to my favorite train depot and sand dunes), and a great little pocket of the Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness area.
We had fun in the car ride, chatting about the backstory of the shoot and all getting to know eachother. I wanted the girls to feel like old friends, and coincidentally, they had been in school together and shared a few mutual friends. I love it when things like that happen!
Overall, we had an amazing day, got some beautiful images, and I left more inspired than ever. In this post, I wanted to show off the story and atmosphere of the day, but I also have to give a shout out to the beautiful detail shots that McKenzi and her assistant, Emma, captured throughout. It isn't easy to capture the level of depth and character in raw crystal jewelry, but they exceeded my expectations throughout the day.
See the story behind the shoot and the edited gallery below:
When your life is an adventure, your jewelry should tell the story.
See the amazing video below:
Owner/Designer for Desert Daisy Jewelry. Crystal Enthusiast, Wanderer, Gypsy Soul.