Travel: Santa Barbara Sept. 2012

While Dustin was busy (I mean BUSY) on the physical installation of the current interiors, I went away with my family to the beaches and always perfect weather of Santa Barbara.  Ever since I had my baby two years ago, Dustin has been the anchor of the boutique’s physical transformation.  No longer are we alone painting until 4:00 am only to be back at work for the day at 10:00 am.  This is partly a function of our growth (we can hire it out now) and the fact that I’m a mom and family time is sacred.  Needless to say Dustin, Hitchcock Madrona’s co-owner and my cousin extraordinaire, was working ’round the clock for a solid week.  Dustin managed a cast of painters, carpenters, videographers (yes, we filmed it!), and electricians who worked to bring our current concept to life.  I am working on the blog post tracking Dustin’s inspirational road trip, as well as the new concept.

For now, here are some images of me off duty.  Why is this interesting blog fodder?  I thought it might be a good time to talk about the concept of “second skin jewelry”.  This is a term I came up with to describe jewelry that you can live in comfortably.  It stays on your body and becomes a part of you, like a second skin.  A classic example would be the Cartier love bracelet.  People wear those (they don’t come off easily) for years and years – remarkably, even decades.  I love that concept!

Butterfly Beach.  Men’s Gap shirt bought on sale and white shorts purchased at a consignment store.

Me and my baby!

We visited Underwood Family Farm in Somis, CA to play in the sandbox, feed some animals, and stock up on fresh food for our week.  As you can see, I relied on my vintage red polka-dot bandana for easy mornings.  Do I look authentic?  Fooled you – I’m actually a city-girl-farm-poser.  I am wearing a Target t-shirt and Double RL jeans (aka paid a lot of money for those holes!).

YUM

You can classify a piece as “second skin” jewelry if it fits one or more of these requirements.  Can you 1) sleep with it on? 2) swiftly pass an airport metal detector? 3) shower, bathe or swim with it on? 4) wear it to the gym?  All of these requirements can be met if the piece of jewelry is stylistically small and unobtrusive.  It also needs to be made from genuine materials, such as gold, sterling silver, and precious stones.  Precious stones usually rate high on the hardness scale and are quite tough.

Above are my second skin necklaces: Gold #2 by Code Lulu Frost (you can hardly see it in this photo) and gold, diamond and sterling silver heart by Hitchcock Madrona (see detail below).

Yellow gold filled bangle cuffs by hitchcock Madrona.  Literally, I have not taken these off for months.  We are sold out of the first shipment but more are on the way!  Sterling silver, rose and yellow gold filled available.

Delicate 18K gold ring by hitchcock Madrona (middle finger).  I am also wearing my faux diamond wedding ring I like to take traveling.

A new version of my heart necklace (from first NYC post) – I added a little diamond on the top left corner (when right-side-up) to symbolize the position of your heart.

Goats in the sky!  It was amazing how the goats negotiate the 15 foot high ramps crisscrossing the farmyard.

XOXO

Erica


Outfit of the Day: 80’s Prep meets 90’s Grunge

Today I mixed my decades! On the top half, 1980’s popped collar prep featuring my Brooks Brother’s BOYS navy blazer and Jcrew white and pink oxford. There is something about a preppy blazer and that color pink that is so 1980’s (in a good way – I hope).  Then on the bottom half, my ratty old Levi 501’s that Dustin found in a thrift store (for himself) which I promptly stole and cut off to the most unflattering length that I could manage. The high heeled penny loafers feminize the outfit while tying it all together.

I am wearing one of my favorite gemstones ever – green amethyst. I actually buy more green amethyst than the traditional purple amethyst. It is so clear and sparkly with just a hint of mint green. It is so neutral but not boring at all. This is a great alternative for people with February birthdays that don’t love their birthstone.

Necklace: Green amethyst and vintage “V” chain necklace by Xenia Mara.

These earrings are so beautiful the stone is cut with tons of little facets so the light dances through.

Earrings: Green amethyst and vintage circle chain earrings by Xenia Mara.

My jeans are about 3 sizes too big for me and thus not the most flattering but, I like them!

Bracelets: (right hand) Pearl and vintage chain bracelet by Xenia Mara. (left hand) Rose quartz and bronze bangle by Lulu Frost, Seiko watch (personal), 14K gold filled bangle cuffs by Hitchcock Madrona.

I hope everyone is having a good late summer – we can’t complain about the weather here in Seattle. But fall is just around the corner (secretly excited).

XOXO

Erica


Fashion Flashback: Daisy Buchanan

We were feeling a bit stuffy in the shop today so we ventured to the garden of our favorite wine bar, Bottlehouse.  If you have never been to Bottlehouse in Madrona you must pop by.  They have the most wonderful selection of beverages and snacks.  Baguette with honey and creme fresh butter, please!  While gracefully sipping water (I know, but I had to go back to work!) I did my best to channel the fragile yet breathlessly beautiful “Daisy Buchanan”.  Step 1. Wear a large floppy hat.  Step 2. Pile on the pearls.  Of course, my “Daisy” had to have a little edge so I combined my pre-requisite pearls with this wonderful Xenia Mara hematite coated chain waterfall necklace.

Necklaces (top to bottom): 1) Pearl strand (personal). 2) Hematite covered chain and pyrite waterfall necklace by Xenia Mara. 3) Tiny seed pearl and pave diamond bead necklace by Hitchcock Madrona. 3) Ring Necklace by IOSSELLIANI (can’t really see this one).

Rings (right hand): 1) On my middle finger, I have my simple diamond eternity band. I am really enjoying this ring beacsue I can wear it on 4 out of ten fingers.  2) On my index finger I am loving my personal sterling silver signet ring.  Both designed by Hitchcock Madrona.  *More on the new signet ring to come!

(left hand): 1) On my index finger I am wearing a vintage sterling silver, enamel, ruby, and aquamarine ring procured in Paris by Hitchcock Madrona.  This was an amazing find in Paris!  I love the color combination – black (oxidized sterling silver), white (enamel), ruby and aquamarine.  Truly one-of-a-kind.  I am so lucky to have found a few great pieces for our collection in Paris (lucky because shopping with a 2 year old in a foreign city is impossible). 2) On my ring finger I am wearing some faux gold bands from my personal collection.

XOXO

Erica


Obsession: Pastels and Metallics

One of my favorite color combinations at the moment – lavender and gold.  I am so into pastels this spring/summer – they look amazing on nails, as pants and even in jewelry!  Of course, the natural pairings with these pinky/lavender/minty tones is gold and/or brass metallic.  I think it possesses that hard/soft combination that I love so much.  Pastels also look amazing with black, a color combo that I am dying to experiment with this summer.  I will report back!

My first combo:

Earrings: Aqua Aura Crystal Earrings, Regina Chang

Necklaces: Pink Amythyst Bullet Necklace, Unearthen, Pink Tourmaline “Twinkler” Strand, hitchock Madrona (worn doubled)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t NOT wear this necklace!  It is absolutely perfect for this silky shirt and blazer combo.  This outfit also needed some warming up, which is where the heavy dose of metallic comes in – perfection.

Earrings: Extra Long Moonstone (been loving moonstone lately) Earrings, Xenia Mara (A BRIDE NEEDS THESE, HELLO!)

Necklace: Bronze “Goddess” Layers with White Druzy Slices, Xenia Mara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my last combo, I went with this show-stopping Lulu Frost Bib Necklace.  The colors are so beautiful.  It has rose quartz accents with bronze leaf-like shapes and rhinestones.

Earrings: Bronze (w/ gold wash) and Rose Quartz Earrings, Lulu Frost $120

Necklace: Bronze, Rose Quartz, and Rhinestone Necklace $480

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a piece that I can see being worn with a white t-shirt as easily as a formal dress/wedding dress.  Can you imagine wearing this with tattered old jean shorts and a white t-shirt?!  Beyond cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went with the matching earrings, which is quite a controversial pick (for those people that care about these things, which is probably nobody besides me.)  BUT, I am digging the matchy-matchy thing right now.  It is weird and a phase I am sure, but I love it!

 

 

Bracelets: Cotton Rope Bracelet (prototype), Sterling Silver Large Link Bracelet hitchcock Madrona, Gold “Dots” Bracelet hitchcock Madrona

Rings: White Gold and Diamond Eternity Ring hitchcock Madrona, Sterling Silver Cross Ring Pamela Love

BTW I love the shape of this silk (or rayon!) tank top.  I am not sure if it is designed to be longer in the back or if it is because I got it a size too big.  Regardless, it is a unique cut.

XOXO

Erica


Inspiration: Bracelets and Nails

I have been playing with a lot of bracelet combos inspired by my ever changing nail polish colors.  I hope this inspires some daring spring accessorizing. :)

Rose Quartz, Copper and Bubble Gum….

Here is a closer look at my little friend.  His eyes are this amazing pink/lavender color.  Gold Plated Skull Ring w Crystal Eyes, Michael Spirito $98

Mint Green, Gold and Black….

XOXO

Erica


What I am wearing today…layers and layers and layers

I am layered up today!  You would probably not wear all of this at once but I wanted to show that you can layer everything – necklaces (yeah, we know), bracelets and even rings!

First, bracelets:

Brown Leather and Copper Cuff, hitchcock Madrona $455

Rose Gold Vintage Watch with Quartz Pyramid, Unearthen $485

On to necklaces:

Vintage Pearl “Mix” Necklace, hitchcock Madrona $275

Vintage Chain, Pearl, Silk and “E” Necklace, Lulu Frost $355

*lipstick is YSL Rouge Pur #19 (one of my favorite lipsticks of ALL TIME)

Lastly, the rings -

Index – 14k White Gold and Diamond Eternity Band, hitchcock Madrona $795

Middle – Bronze Stud and Crystal Ring w/ Sterling Silver Setting, IOSSELLIANI $225 and Delicate 14K Gold Band, hitchcock Madrona $135

Ring – TWO Delicate 14K Gold Bands, hitchcock Madrona $135 each

I feel a bit bedazzled today but I figured I needed something with this boring white t-shirt (and my “Hugh Hefner Chic” pajama-like pants!).

XOXO

Erica

 


Jewelry Wardrobe Basics – Earrings

What do we need for our ears?  Looking at my picks for this post I think a good rule of thumb for earrings is “GO BIG OR GO STUD”.  Either earrings are the focal point, in which case you want a really fabulous, decorative pair (even in day!!!) or they are the finishing touch to your look.  Basically, just something to fill your ear holes and compliment the 57 necklaces that you have on your neck.  You may wonder, where are the diamond and pearl studs on this list??  Well, we strive to bring you what you DON’T have and what you HAVEN’T seen.  Sorry, I will stop screaming at you in this post.  Anyway, here are some earring categories that are basic yet still “hitchcock Madrona” (unique and unexpected).

1.  The Showstopper Earring

Vintage Tassel and Turquoise Earrings, Xenia Mara Designs, $165

2.  The Extra Large Hoop

Sterling Silver Hoop, Mineral by Lisa Kinoshita $130

3.  The Cool Stud

14K Gold Pyramid Stud Earring, Loren Stewart $399, 18K Gold Black Diamond Stud Earring, hitchcock Madrona $425

4.  The Simple Stone Drop

Faceted Quartz Crystal and Sterling Stone Drops, hitchcock Madrona $165

5.  The Tribal Earring

Wood, Onyx and Brass Earrings, Winifred Grace $169, Bronze Tribal Hoops, Pamela Love, $253

6.  The “Vintage” Earring

Brass and Rhinestone Earring, Lulu Frost $165

XOXO

Erica


What I’m Wearing Today…

The sun is out and shining so of course I threw on a piece from Lulu Frost’s Endless Summer Collection – one of my favorites!

Lulu Frost, Triple Pipeline Necklace with Plated Brass & Aqua Glass Cabochons, ($325)

Now I just need to slip into a white eyelet lace summer dress… I haven’t transitioned from my black winter wardrobe yet :(

Bisou, bisou,

Kate


Oufit of the Day: Erica and Bridesmaid Shoes

Yesterday I went to Goodwill.  I haven’t been there for so long and, of course, loaded up!  I scored a few good things that I am wearing today.

Top half featuring: random straw hat, YSL Rouge Pur Lipstick #19, Memory Motel Necklace (natural lemon chrysophrase and brass) by Lulu Frost $350, and lavender shirt (women’s but looks men’s).  I ordered myself one of these Memory Motel Necklaces when Dustin and I were at the showroom in NYC.  I am so inspired by this pale, custard shade of the chrysophrase.  I have found it pairs well with so many color combinations (like this lavender, white and bright green).

Bottom half featuring: White jeans from Target (cropped) and these bright green shoes from Goodwill.  I think they were a bridesmaids.  She only wore them once but danced all night!

Have a great day!

XOXO

Erica


Jewelry Wardrobe Basics – Necklaces

I was asked by a good friend of mine (thanks Katie!) to do a “jewelry wardrobe essentials” post.  I have thought about this a lot and even attempted a post on it a few months ago but it seems so daunting.  What are the pieces that every woman needs in her jewelry wardrobe?  What works with all her clothes for every occasion??  Well, I am going to just jump right in and tackle this post.

Here are the categories and photo examples of necklaces that I think are essential:

1.  Long Necklace.  Example: Plaza Hotel Letter “C” Bronze with Silk Ribbon, Lulu Frost $368

2. Statement Necklace.  Example: Pearl, Silver and Rhinestone Collar, Iosselliani $450

3. Mid-Length Necklace.  Example:

4. Chunky Stone Necklace.  Example: Brass and Quartz Crystal Necklace, Xenia Mara Designs $325

5. Delicate Fine Necklace.  Example: 18K Gold Diamond Dot Necklace on Sterling Silver Chain (Oxidized), hitchcock Madrona $695 (price depends on the size of the diamond – this one is a 10 pt stone)

6.  Chains Necklace.  Example: Vintage Copper Layers w/ Peach Pearls, Xenia Mara $330

As you can image, these necklaces can be worn in an infinite number of layering combinations.  Also, every necklace here can be worn with a white t-shirt and jeans, as well as, a little black dress.  I encourage women to wear the jewels they love everyday and in every way – that is particularly important in a city like Seattle (where casual is an understatement).

Here I am wearing all of them at once!  (Diamond is hidden in my shirt)

What category did I leave out?  Strand of pearls?  What can’t you live without in terms of necklaces?  Feel free to comment and I will do a continuation of this post.  Please, give me suggestions!

More posts regarding jewelry wardrobe to come.  Earrings next!

XOXO

Erica


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