Get busy living or get busy dying

Timing is inherently perfect.  Sometimes it feels like a blessing, but every so often, it feels like a curse. 

I find comfort in realizing how much is out of my control and that everything is in the hands of the Creator. Each passing moment is timed so precisely, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

Unfavorable timing can be tough, but there are only two choices: you either get busy living and live, or get busy dying, and fade away. Look for the light or stay in the darkness. Realize that every circumstance and seemingly minute detail plays a part in a bigger picture that leads to a greater outcome than you could have ever expected. Life is really, really hard; but aren’t you up for the challenge? Keep going and create the life you’ve always imagined.

In The Patio I, Georgia O'Keeffe

In The Patio I, Georgia O’Keeffe

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.” Isaiah 42:26

In The Patio VIII, Georgia O'Keeffe

In The Patio VIII, Georgia O’Keeffe

A traveler, jewelry designer and child of the stars

On my recent trip to Los Angeles I picked up this Vanessa Mooney necklace from Fred Segal in Santa Monica.  Mooney is a Hollywood darling – she’s the great-granddaughter of Harry Warner, one of the original Warner Bros. – and she designs funky, handcrafted jewelry in her LA studio.  An extensive world traveler, Mooney’s pieces are often characteristic of a place’s culture, natural beauty and tradition.

The necklace pictured above is gold-plated with cubic zirconia and wooden skull beads.  It’s nothing fancy, but the contrast of dark wood against CZ creates a little extra sparkle – I’d describe it as delicate and slightly tribal.

Having a bad day? Picture yourself here.

When I was in college, I constantly daydreamed about travel. I would search for beautiful images of places I’d never been and collect them into a folder. Just the prospect of going, and the possibility of having a life where I could travel was enough to help me bang out those papers. I suppose this obsession with beauty and adventuring led to my career as a travel writer.

I remember buying a poster very similar to the photo above and every time I would get bummed out or bored with school, I’d think about: Vacation. Relaxation. Exploration…just about all of the ‘ations’ I aspired to integrate into my everyday life. These photos (via Interior Design Magazine) are stunning, striking, unbelievably incredible combinations of nature and man-made beauty. They make me feel better, and I hope they make you feel better too.

So, if you’re in the mood to daydream or you’re having a bad day, picture yourself here.

Travel, ancient history and style spurs creativity

Jewelry designer Lele Sadoughi travels around the world and creates collections by connecting each piece’s design to the placeHer Spring 2013 collection is influenced by Ancient Egypt: scarabs, sundials and scepters.  The use of crystals (instead of diamonds) and enamel makes Sadoughi’s jewelry affordable, with most pieces in the $75-$300 range.  She writes a blog about how her travels inspire her work – the image below shows her “sundial inspiration.”  Pretty cool huh?

Egyptian style is pretty distinct.  I bought a necklace in Israel (that conveniently doubles as a headband) and every time I wear the shimmering black and gold dainty piece on my head I hear “Tracey, you look so Egyptian.”  Essentially, you know Egyptian style when you see it.

Scarab Earrings

Scarab Earrings

Scepter Necklace

Scepter Necklace

This Scarab Bracelet looks like it’s part of a museum collection.

Scarab Bracelet

Scarab Bracelet

Wear the adventure if you can’t take the plunge

Bungee cord jewelry.

Designer Jaclyn Mayer creates artful jewelry collections with bungee cord (the same type used for bungee jumping or for securing luggage) and accents each piece with gold and silver-colored metal hardware.  The designs are awesome and really intricate; the necklace and cuff below are from Orly Genger by Jaclyn Mayer.  Proenza Schouler featured bungee jewelry in their Resort collection a couple of years ago – naturally, Resort collections are always my favorite.;)

Seriously, what a cool idea!

Navan Necklace, rope with metal links and cut out tubes. Via

Navan Necklace, rope with metal links and cut out tubes.

Tawa Cuff, rope with metal links and clasp. Via

Tawa Cuff, rope with metal links and clasp.

Buy the jewelry online or…make your own.  Find simple instructions to make bungee jewelry here.


Diamond spiderwebs & moonstone creations from a world traveler

I thought I’d share a few medieval-style jewels designed by a self-described ‘global nomad’…

Jewelry designer Loree Rodkin creates intricate, artful and medieval inspired pieces. Her current collection looks like sparkly ancient armor. Working with contrasts like rhodium white gold and emeralds, the darkened metal enables precious stones and gems to stand out beautifully. She’s well-known for her elaborate rings that cover the entire finger. Each piece is crazy expensive, but just taking a look can’t hurt.;)

18-karat rhodium white gold diamond armor ring. Photo Credit:

18-karat rhodium white gold diamond armor ring. Photo Credit:

Rodkin designed first lady Michelle Obama’s jewelry for the inaugural ball, which put her old world designs on the map. Click here to see her magnificent collection.

Spiderweb 18-karat rhodium white gold, umba sapphire and diamond necklace. Photo Credit:

Spiderweb 18-karat rhodium white gold, umba sapphire and diamond necklace. Photo Credit:

Open Leaf 18-karat rhodium white gold and diamond drop earrings. Photo Credit:

Open Leaf 18-karat rhodium white gold, moonstones and diamond drop earrings. Photo Credit:

When you’re traveling, create your own opportunities

When I was in India, I set my mind on finding a local artist to draw henna (or mehindi) on my hand.  I’ve always admired the art form and I so desperately wanted the experience.

I traveled to five cities while in India: New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur and Mumbai.  While in Mumbai – the last stop on my trip – I sat down with a Bombay woman, who was kind enough to come to my hotel room and draw this absolutely gorgeous design on my hand.

My hand drying after a mehindi design was applied in Mumbai

My hand drying after a mehindi design was applied in Mumbai

It took about 20 minutes and even though she didn’t speak English, we somehow, miraculously, managed to have a conversation.  I woke up the next morning to see a stunning, dark red design on my hand (traditionally in Indian culture, henna is applied to the arms and hands of a bride on her wedding night and if the color turns dark red by morning, the bride is marrying the right person.  Ha!).

If you want to see or do something badly enough, you’ll do it.  When you’re traveling far away from home and you don’t know if or when you’ll be back, create your opportunities.  No regrets.