Category Archives: Pretty Things Thursday

Pretty Things Thursday: Leah Alexandra Jewellery.

Sometimes there’s just the perfect clash of inspiration: I was pulling pieces for last week’s post on Shopping’s My Cardio, browsing through Magpie Jewellery online for inspiration, and of course multitasking setting up the Anonymouschic Facebook Page.  The result?  Well Magpie Jewllery was having a Leah Alexandra Trunk show, and I found two perfect pieces for the column…but also discovered an utter plethora of pretty things.

{…a sneak peak of the All in the Details post…}

See how easily the pieces work into an outfit?  Positively serendipitous!  Naturally you can see why I was under the impression that the line deserved its own Pretty Things Thursday post.

Inspired by the sandy shores of Cape Cod, this Ryerson-educated designer based out of Vancouver is creating pieces that fit seamlessly into any collection.  In fact the website describes the jewelry as timeless, fresh, and versatile…and I couldn’t agree more.  It’s fairly feminine, but it’s not so dainty that it disappears amongst the other components of an outfit – particularly in the case of those lovely mixed-media tie-back necklaces.

What I also sincerely appreciate is how everything works together building a defined voice and collection.  When browsing through the Leah Alexandra website, I found myself draw towards royal purples and luscious lavenders. Because no single piece is abundantly overbearing, feel free to layer up earrings and a necklace.  Personally I think that the dual-drop earrings wishbone bracelet would make an excellent pairing, but I’m really daydreaming about the grey and cream ribbon necklace paired with a crisp white blouse and black pencil skirt.

{ Celebration Necklace, $210 / Wishbone Bracelet, $128 / Baja Necklace, $98 / Eve Necklace, $84 / Peacock Earrings, $165 / Athena Necklace, $275 }

When browsing the brand on Magpie, I found myself drawn towards pieces that would be veritably versatile – metallic greys, blacks, neutral thin bangles lined with dusky stones.  I’d be inclined to stack all of my picks together, or alternatively focus on the earrings working with my favourite staples like a denim jacket and skinny black pants.

{ Pyrite Social Bracelet, $74 / Erin Bracelet, $74 / Blaire Bracelet, $126 / Eliza Earrings, $118 / Black Garnet Social Bracelet, $74 }

Whatever the source, I’m predicting a seamless transition of Leah Alexandra pieces into any jewelry box.  With prices that speak for quality, but aren’t excessive, I think I’ll be figuring out to how to narrow down my list and see what part of my pre-Christmas pay cheques will be going towards a few new collection additions.  How about it?  Be sure to share what’s catching your eye with the class in the comments.


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Pretty Things Thursday: Alexis Bittar & Magpie Jewellery.

So I decided to get out of the city last weekend, and take a trip to Ottawa to visit a dear friend of mine (the stylish W, who picked up these beautiful Bittars at the Magpie Trunk Show).  There’s a saying in her family (as coined by her sister) that the first piece of jewellery that one gets by the designer Alexis Bittar is referred to as “being Bittarded”.  Well guys and dolls…I suppose that now we can safely say that I’ve been Bittarded, and have found a new jewellery addiction: the Lucite Collection from Alexis Bittar.  This signature collection from Alexis Bittar is hand carved and painted, and described as combining Bittar’s interest in texture, colour, and light.

{…a few of my current covets from Alexis Bittar…}

O’Keeffe Matte Gold Cuff, $138 / Clustered Vine Pendant, $195 / Gunmetal Sophia Hinge, $295 / Golden Splatter Encased Hinge, $173 / Gold Sophia Hinge, $295 / Gold Wafer Earrings, $150 }

While browsing around in the Glebe we popped into Magpie Jewellery…and my oh my am I ever glad we did, as it’s the source of my new Bittars!  The store itself is lovely, with a great mix of items ranging from basic sterling silver that I would have coveted in middle and high school, right through to stunning rings and other such divine discoveries that may stay right on the fringes of the possibilities of my paycheque for a few years.  I can see this store being the source of a number of Pretty Things posts in the future.

{…a few Magpie favourites…}

TeNo Orbit, $250 / Hilary Druxman Sterling & Pearl, $100 / Silver Seasons Geranium, $73 / Alexis Bittar Liquid Gold, $150 }

But back to Bittar.  The Lucite collection is really interesting – very eyecatching in a subtle smokey double take kind of way, mixed with bold statement additions courtesy of gems and hardware.  I’m particularly smitten with the bracelets and bangles.  While perfectly lovely on their own, they also lend themselves well to stacking, taking on different colours and tones depending on the others that you pair them with, and the outfit that they compliment.  And with so many hinged varieties, one really can’t go wrong.  I’m also sufficiently enamoured with the earrings and necklaces which I would generally put in the categories of chic and elegant.  What I also appreciate about the majority of the collection is that it’s not prohibitively expensive.

The two pieces that caught my eye were this lovely little necklace that has an almost leaf-like motion to it, and a hinged bangle with hammered gold hardware – both in a versatile dusky grey.  I’m already dreaming up a whole slough of outfits to pair them with, and think they’ll be particularly excellent layered up with my Elsa Peretti Pearls by the Yard.

{…my beautiful Bittars…}

Now I know that Alexis Bittar is nothing new (his designs have been donned since the early 1990s, and he paired with Patricia Field for custom Sex & the City pieces)…but considering the infrequency with which I see his lovely works in the jewellery collections of many of my friends, probably worth a mention as I know of more than a few who would become fast fans.

If you happen to be in Ottawa, I must recommend that you go and check out Magpie – particularly the location in the Glebe where you should go and say hi to Kristin, the lovely associate who helped me with my first Bittars.  Magpie is also online, which makes browsing from afar a possibility.  If you’re not quite in that neck of the woods, you can find Bittar stockists on the Alexis Bittar websiteNordstrom, Neiman’s and Holts are a few more mainstream alternatives that I’m aware of.

PS:  The White and Gold Wafer earrings?  You can check out next week’s All in the Details on Shopping’s My Cardio to see how I’d style them!


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Pretty Things Thursday: Pyrrha.

I get a lot of comments on my jewelry…particularly a lot of the longer necklaces that I wear layered in and amongst each other.  While a staple in this category is a silver Falling Whistle (check them out here…), a couple of the other pieces that have garnered their fair share of attention come from a brand called Pyrrha.  I first came across this brand at one of my favourite pretty things haunt, Rubaiyat in Calgary, and the Pyrrha case is always one that I find myself returning to whenever I find myself in the city.

{Anchor Wax Seal Necklace, $182, Pyrrha}

Courtesy of the Canadian designers Wade Papin and Danielle Wilmore (now based in LA), Pyrrha is a line based on the use of wax seals pressed into dusky metals in a way that preserves the cracks and character of the orignal seals.  It has this unique vintage-esque feel to it, while holding on to an amazing message that comes with each of the talismans.  Each seal has a crest or symbol with a meaning.  For instance the Globe Crest pendant that I oft don has the words at spes non fracta below a crest and a rainbow, where the phrase means hope is not yet lost in Latin.  Ah yes…hope…something that I often times remind myself to have.  Cast in bronze on a gunmetal toned chain, this necklace really does transcend a lot of styles, and looks equally at home over a classics Brooks Brother button down, or with a loose black cape-esque cashmere sweater.  While I can’t track down the Globe Crest on their website, this Anchor Wax Seal that reads still have hope above the crest is one that I might need to look into adding to my collection in short order.

As per the “About Us” section on their website, the collection came as a result of an excellent find of 19th century wax seals, where the idea is “was inspired by a desire to give the fragile wax seals new life and permanence.”  The other component part of the design philosophy that I really find attractive about the brand is that it is not mass-produced.  As Wade and Danielle explain on their website: “everything seems to be cranked out at a staggering pace and then left for dead. Because we live in such a throwaway society, it’s necessary to create some things that can be kept.”  I only wish that this kind of sentiment was held more commonly amongst people in general in the way that they treat their acquisition of things.  I know we’re all a little guiltily of consumerism for consumerism sake (…and yes, I absolutely include myself in that occasionally), and now when I wear my pieces from Pyrrha perhaps they can be a bit of a reminder to take a little more care.

{Wax Seal Initial Necklace, $166, Pyrrha}

The piece I have been layering my Globe Crest with is one of the initial keys.  A piece that I received for Christmas just this season past.  To get ever so slightly philosophical about it all, I think about the key as a consideration of my own ability to unlock my own potential and the crest as a reminder that there is still time to accomplish some of the hopes, dreams, and aspirations that I still hold.  As a graduate student, sometimes those two reminders are something that I truly crave and need.

So a little philosophy and a few pretty things for your Thursday.  Pyrrha can be found at a number of jewelry boutiques across North America, and in fact worldwide, with their flagship store in LA.  If you can’t happen to find it locally, be sure to mosey on over to their space on the interwebs and peruse and order your own bit of thought-provoking jewelry there (…pst…they ship nearly everywhere from the sounds of things).  Prices range, with the necklaces I’ve listed here sitting around the $150-200 range.

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Pretty Things Thursday: Leviticus Jewelry.


My jewelry box contains primarily two categories of pieces: classic Tiffany’s and the like, and really individual unique items.  I love all of my pieces to have a story or be intriguing…which is perhaps why I’m so drawn to the pieces at Leviticus Jewelry.  I was first introduced to the line through DailyCandy (what else would you expect my homepage to be?), and I consistently find myself returning to the bookmarked page to peruse the ever increasing number of quirky pieces.

{Antique Scuba Helmet Necklace, from Leviticus Jewelry}

The company is the brainchild of Tara Levitin, where words like dark and dramatic are used on the About page to describe the designs.  It’s a little bit avid collector, a dash steampunk, and completely cool.  While looking through the site, I saw everything from miniature telephone boxes, to antique scuba helmets.  The items seem to call towards their viewers, and while I highly doubt any two people will pick quite the same mix of pieces, I can say with some degree of confidence that everyone will find at least one that quietly whispers their name while scrolling through the site.

{Annie Oakley Necklace, from Leviticus Jewelry}

Leviticus Jewelry is where I’d immediately start looking for any collector of interesting jewelry, or for a friend who invokes adjectives like whimsy and original, or who’s style drums up ideas like noteworthy and distinctive.  These are the pieces that take a plain white t-shirt to a higher level, or that break-up (in my case) a rather traditional preppy outfit and make it modern and my own.  Considering this particular one to the left is one of my favourites (…and it’s a bullet with an emerald crystal), believe me you could end up being surprised with what catches your eye given your personal style.

{Have a Seat Neacklace, from Leviticus Jewelry}

The three pieces in this post are definitely going on my Christmas list, although they are relatively reasonably priced so who knows…perhaps they’ll end up in my collection as a result of a post-exams or post-holidays retail therapy session.  Prices range between $19 US to $208 US, but in all honesty, most of the pieces that I found caught my eye were necklaces in the $30-58 US range.  Shipping is available internationally…so wherever you are, Leviticus Jewelry can be as well!

Here’s to hoping that this things made your Thursday a little prettier and even may assist in providing inspiration to start your holiday shopping early.  All of the pictures of the pieces are linked to the appropriate pages…just in case you feel so inclined to indulge or window shop you’ll find yourself in the right place, right away.

On a warm, but unrelated sidenote…welcome to all of those of you who stumbled upon this little space on the interwebs courtesy Becki @!  Hope you enjoy it.

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Pretty Things Thursday: Monica Vinader.

This week requires a Pretty Things Thursday, in large part because we’re getting a Chinook in my neck of the woods and felt inspired by the wonderful weather.  I apologize in advance to those of you who are still experiencing miserable-ness, hopefully this brightens your day!

I was first introduced to Monica Vinader through Steffans Premier Jewellers, a website dedicated to all things pretty and fabulous in the UK.  I happened upon Steffans as a result of watching FleurDeForce on YouTube, and I have to say the site now occupies a regular rotation in my online window-shopping.

…and realistically it’s this particular bracelet that made me fall in love with the line…

{Fiji Bracelet 18ct Rose Gold Vermeil, Calm, £105}


My time on Steffans always includes a good search through the Monica Vinader offerings, and usually manages to deposit at least one or two of her pieces into my hypothetical “Shopping Basket” that sits idly by at the top of the page only to be discarded with my desperate attempt to exert some self control.  Though, I’d like to make it abundantly clear, this has absolutely nothing to do with the products that are found within it.


Monica Vinader works out of Norfolk, England and originally hails from Spain and has a unique ability to take from a diverse sense of inspiration and refine it into a series of bracelets, earrings, rings, and necklaces that are playful and yet executed with a keen sense of style.  The most appropriate description of her work is one I found on her website where it states that “Monica Vinader brings us pieces that balance elegance and luxury with practical and simple designs.”  Her mix of metals and textiles reflect a passion for colour and nature, with a soft sophistication.  After being named UK Jewellery Brand of the Year in 2009, she opened a flagship store in Madrid and realistically a perfect place in many a jewellery box the world over.

…personally I wish these were already in my jewellery box…

{Nugget Stud Earrings, 18ct Gold with Labradorite}


What makes me love this brand is the variety of colour and metal mixtures that you view throughout the collection.  The playful refinement is something that fits well with my wardrobe, but is something I can see as being easily widely integrated regardless of taste or personal style.  I love that the colours of her Fiji bracelets relate to sentiments such as Love, Calm, and Courage.  These pieces are not mainstream, but not subversive, and provide just the level of quiet intrigue that I believe a good piece of jewellery should have.  She also has a “Stone Guide” on her website, which I something I really appreciate flipping through as I’m browsing her collection.

I’ve listed my top five favourite pieces from her collection throughout this post along with links to their place on her website.  The vast majority of the collection can be found on, and prices range from about $40 to $400 (hello rare stones!), so there’s a little something for everyone.


{Luna Necklace, 18ct Rose Gold Vermeil with Smoky Quartz, £120}

{Rio Bracelet Sterling Silver, Courage, £98}

{Luna Bracelet, 18ct Gold Vermeil, Cornflower Chalcedony, £125}

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Pretty Things Thursday: Bing Bang NYC.

In flipping through the most recent issue of InStyle, I discovered many a fabulous wearable dainty bit of jewelry that I instantly fell in love with.  In fact there’s an entire handwritten page worth of websites to find these trinkets that I managed to pick out as I riffled through this particular issue.  Enough arsenal to fill a few weeks of Pretty Things Thursday?  Well I should hope so!  Thus I present to you the first of my finds…and a fine find at that…well now what would you say about that?  {I apparently have been reading a little Dr. Seuss as of late, can you tell?}

{Logo, from}

My latest online jewelry obsession comes from a site entitled Bing Bang NYC, and contains the jewelry designs of one Anna Sheffield.  As per the About page on her website {which I might add is directly beside the link to the blog that is kept…bonus points}, it indicates that Bing Bang is a line of haute costume jewelry.  It contains “kind of baubles you might find in an exceptionally well-curated treasure chest.” I absolutely couldn’t have said it better myself.  That description is terribly fitting and music to my ears as the whimsy and dash of play that surrounds the various bits of the lines is exactly the kind of Pretty Things I’ve been drawn to as of late.  Using a mix of metals, Swarovski crystals, and bits of turquoise, pearls and lockets, the line is “Punk Rock sensibility with elegant Victorian femininity” and has most certainly captured my heart.

BingBangNYC Jewelry

With a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings {oh, and gentlemen please do tune in your ears as Anna has whipped up a few pieces for your sort as well}, Bing Bang offers something that can integrate into just about anyone’s jewelry collection…whether it be boxing glove earrings in rose gold, or a gold feather bangle, or perhaps a Victorian key ring.  My problem {as I have a feeling it will be in rapid repetition with many of the things I put on this blog} is that there are just far too many things that I find appealing.  I’ve managed to put a smattering of pieces above for you that I’m positively enthralled with, not the least of which is a pair of caged pearl earrings that take centre stage in that collage.

Anna Sheffield’s Bing Bang jewelry pieces range from $58-325 {for necklaces}, $38-125 {for bracelets}, $30-150 {for earrings}, and $56-148 {for rings}.  This means that regardless of your price range {although granted this is not what I’d deem to be cheap}, if you’re looking for a bit of whimsical minimal investment to round out your current collection or to amp up your costume jewelry drawer, Bing Bang could very well be the line for you.

Now you’ll have to excuse me while I continue to ogle over all of the fantastic bits of treasure that I’ve found on … and make a fleeting attempt to cut my online order down to a more manageable size that doesn’t require Long John Silver’s pirate treasure to foot the bill for the dozens of things I wish to call mine.

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Pretty Things Thursday: Jewelry by Venessa Arizaga.

Hm…so my homepage is DailyCandy.  And DailyCandy has provided me with more than my fair share of pretty things, wonderful ideas, and places I want to visit in various cities, over its reign as my homepage.  Some of these things I have passed along to friends, and some have ended up on the blog, and it is the inspiration for today’s Pretty Thing for Thursday:  the jewelry of Venessa Arizaga.

{Logo from}

Made from found the found treasures of a creative traveller, Venessa’s jewelry is eclectic, entertaining, and the ultimate results are fantastic statement pieces.  Colourful silks, smiling skulls, bits of coloured stones and bright charms all make up the kinds of pieces that suddenly transform an otherwise basic black outfit or the quintessential jeans and a t-shirt combination.  What I enjoy about this line is that it focuses on collections, allowing for the bracelet and necklace combinations to work equally well on their own, but without seeming too over the top when worn together.  That being said, it would take a bit of daring to pull off wearing it all at once.  Venessa does also does a remarkable job of ensuring that you know just how the pieces look – with a wide variety of views and modelling photos so that you understand the pieces…which makes online ordering significantly less unnerving.

{Necklace design in Peru Peru, from}

Being the person who loves a solid dose of colour in her wardrobe, but who normally goes for simple jewelry, this line may actually be the one to turn that fashion philosophy on its head.  The necklace that’s above is “Peru Peru”, which definitely holds a place as one of my more out-there favourites from the Fall 2011 collection, yet still strikes me as completely wearable {although I’m a sucker for anything that can tone down the preppy in my otherwise vast cardigan collection}.  A few of my favourites follow…

So I can still gravitate towards my neutral jewelry…with a twist.

{Night Moonlight, from}

{Friendship in the Moonlight and Found Jewels, Bracelets,}

Or a statement for a t-shirt and jeans.

{Those were the Days, from}

Although to balance this with my inner prepster…this is the bracelet I covet.

{Time at Sea, from}

Pieces range in price with the necklaces between $150-$395, and the bracelets ranging from $55-$275.  For lost treasure, that certainly seems like quite the find.  I found that the easiest way to really get a feel for what pieces I loved best was by browsing the online catalogue which you can find on the Collections tab of her website.

So enjoy!  The pretty and playful, yet with enough of an edge to keep from being whimsically girly…be sure to check out the jewelry of Venessa Arizaga as your pretty thing for Thursday.

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