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.
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.
Jewelry designer Lele Sadoughi travels around the world and creates collections by connecting each piece’s design to the place. Her 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.
This Scarab Bracelet looks like it’s part of a museum collection.
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.
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: NET-A-PORTER.com
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: NET-A-PORTER.com
Open Leaf 18-karat rhodium white gold, moonstones and diamond drop earrings. Photo Credit: NET-A-PORTER.com
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
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.
Winter Cottonwoods, by American painter Georgia O’Keeffe.
I bought this print while traveling through Santa Fe, NM. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Georgia O’Keeffe is my favorite artist. Many of her paintings are of landscapes, flowers and trees from the Southwest region of the US.
I thought I’d post one of my favorite paintings of all time, The Lawrence Tree, by Georgia O’Keeffe, created in 1929.
O’Keeffe is typically associated to paintings of flowers, but her body of work encompasses just about every element of nature: trees, seasons, animals, landscapes and the occasional modern composition. Flowers and trees are the best subjects to photograph when traveling. It’s amazing how varied nature is on the other side of the world.;)
While in Santa Fe (an incredible American city) I visited the Georgia O’Keeffe museum…it’s a must-see if you’re in town!
The Lawrence Tree, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1929
This is the tree that inspired the painting. O’Keeffe saw this tree when she visited author D.H. Lawrence’s ranch near Taos, NM…which, by the way, is an awesome travel destination for spa or ski!
“Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts! None of us knows what fairy palaces we may build of beautiful thought-proof against all adversity. Bright fancies, satisfied memories, noble histories, faithful sayings, treasure houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb, nor pain make gloomy, nor poverty take away from us.” – John Ruskin