Style your Strut
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July 09, 2020
Let's be honest - no one expected the hottest accessory of 2020 to be a face mask. But we’re ready to adapt to this fashion must-have, and honestly, a little...
July 07, 2020
November 08, 2016 1 Comment
Lovelies, if there's one thing that makes sweater weather even better (did that just kinda rhyme?!), it's the increased focus on your beautiful hands. Long sleeves make the eyes travel down to the hands. This is fab news for those of us who love love love stacking our rings and then staring at them while we should be paying more attention while driving (insert embarrassed-face emoji here).
But in all seriousness, it got me thinking that since we all spend so much time looking at our hands while on the computer or texting wouldn't it be cool to have little, subtle reminders throughout the day that would make us feel good beyond just how cool stacking rings look (and trust me, they look really cool)?
So with that in mind, here's my top 5 ways to wear your stacking rings with intention:
THE 'POOL PARTY': Pick your favourite finger (don't tell the others so their feelings aren't hurt), and go all out. A central focal point helps anchor this look, so experiment with a gemstone stacker (pick one whose property resonates with you) and much like ripples in a pool of water, stack outwards on both sides with our curved wave bands. Waves are synonymous with the ocean, and symbolize great strength and power. They help remind me of life's continuous ebb and flow. One of my fave combos for this look is opal paired with gold-fill wave bands, as the gold picks up on the golden fire in the gorgeous opals. Shown below is turquoise, which is awesome for promoting creativity.
THE 'BOY, BYE': When the queen of all our lives Beyonce tells us to joyfully give a two-finger send-off to those annoying guys and gals in our lives, we listen. Because she's the queen. Decorate *thoooose* fingers with simple stacking-ring goodness in gold or silver, as a playful reminder that (a) you are in control at all times, babe, and (b) life is too short to accept anything less than respect & love. So middle-fingers up, raise those hands high, and make sure they are sparkly. No need to actually flip someone off to achieve this look (unless you want to!), sometimes just daydreaming about it is enough. P.S. this look works on ANY finger, so give it a try!
THE 'THUMBS UP': Remind yourself that everything really is a-ok with a thumb ring or two. They're back in a big way (hi 90's revival!), and the easiest way to make them fresh for 2016 is with skinny stackers. Wear one for a delicate look with a bit of sparkle, or load them on for a statement look. Either way you will be so on the cutting edge that your friends will be copying you and pretending they saw it on Pinterest.
THE 'ALL SIGNS POINT TO YES': Direction & intention are both super important. If you're a hot mama on a mission, remind yourself to keep moving forward by wearing your pointed rings facing outwards. On days that you need more self care, turn 'em around to point back at your lovely self. We could all use some extra nudges to be good to ourselves and say yes to self care, so why not get one every time you look down at your (very capable) hands? Snag one for your bestie too and pay the goodness forward by teaching her this gentle reminder trick.
THE 'MIXED METALS FOR LIFE': Honestly, this one just looks cool. But I also feel like it's representative of my life! It's kinda messy, very fluid, the pieces sometimes get out of alignment and then I spend all day fussing with them. But when you look at the entire thing, it's kinda....cool. Like it works somehow. I picked all the colours and the shapes and the textures, and it's uniquely me. Overall, I think it's pretty great and I'm grateful for it. And that is something I can definitely use a daily reminder of.
Extra Credit: THE ENDLESS CIRCLE RING: While not exactly stacking rings, these lovely circles symbolize the cyclical nature of life; when there is bad then good will most certainly follow closely behind. They also represent the love and protection we feel when encircled by friends and family, and remind us of the simple beauty surrounding us always. And can we have a moment for how classy you'll look wearing them? You classy thing, you!
Tell me what you think in the comments! How do you stack your rings? Does the idea of stacking with intention seem like something you'd try? Let me know below!
May 05, 2016 2 Comments
Layering long and short necklaces continues to be one of the hottest jewelry trends for women, and won't be disappearing anytime soon. I get asked how to do it constantly, and while there's really no right or wrong way to layer (it's an expression of your individual style, after all!), doing it with impact requires a combo of skill, style and a bit of gut feeling. This all comes with practice, but luckily there's some simple rules that can help you get started!
If that's sounding a bit scary or vague, there's great news; I GOT YA, BOO! I live, eat and breathe jewelry, and I've compiled 4 easy ways (with visuals, hello!) to help you layer necklaces like a pro jewelry stylist.
NUMBER ONE: Biggest on the bottom
When you're layering up your long and short pieces together the set will be much more impactful if the longest necklace is the largest necklace. Keep the biggest on the bottom, and you'll create visual weight and a sense of grounding to the set. The eye will travel from the top of the stack to the bottom and then back up to your gorgeous face, where all the attention should be anyway! This applies when stacking up shorter necklaces too.
In the example below, the brass chevron and opalite necklace is definitely the largest. If you can imagine reversing it and having that one up at the neck with the smaller pieces below, you can see how the whole thing instantly loses focus and impact. Also pictured: opalite long pendant necklace.
NUMBER TWO: Keep stones and metal the same
To help make layering work really well, try to keep the colour of the stones similar and stick with the same metals (gold with gold, black gunmetal with gunmetal, etc).
I know what you're going to say: I LOVE GOLD AND SILVER TOGETHER! That is not to say you can't mix it up if you want to (remember that layering is all about expressing your personal style), and if that means mixing silver and gold (which I love, btw!), then please do! In general, though, if you're a layering newbie, keeping items in the same colour ways reaaalllllyyyy helps create a cohesive yet oh-I-just-threw-this-casual-boho-chic-look-together-it-was-nothing kind of vibe.
In the example below, both necklaces are 14k gold-fill with brass accents, made of turquoise howlite and blue lapis, and create a cohesive yet unique summer-y layered necklace look.
Plus, notice how the largest necklace is the longest and at the bottom? And now when you look back at example #1, do you see that the stones and metals are cohesive? Thought so! You're getting it already!
Pictured: Turquoise howlite bar necklace, turquoise howlite slice + brass inlay horn necklace (coming soon).
NUMBER THREE: Layer shorter necklaces in a triangle.
This is my fave rule because it's really so easy. When you're layering multiple shorter necklaces, keep the shape of a triangle in mind. It really just means you're layering from smallest to largest, and you can see right away how good it looks in the example below showing my rough diamond necklace paired with the paua shell crescent moon necklace and a 14k gold-fill hammered crescent moon.
This stack still works if you remove any of the elements as it still has that small-to-large flow and mimics a triangle shape. It's ultra flattering and works on every single body I've ever seen it on! Definitely give this one a try!
Check out the second pic for a more visual representation of the triangle shape, then think for a second about the other ways this set works really well....we've got consistency with the gold tones, the widest pendant at the bottom, and the rough diamond is so neutral it goes perfectly with the colourful paua shell. Easy peesy!
NUMBER FOUR: Keep pendant shapes similar on shorter stacks
Our eyes loooove repetition, and there's a reason for it! Our ancient brains are hardwired for nature, and mama nature is the queen of repetition (think about flower petals, fern leaves, honeycombs, zebra stripes, etc). The same applies to items we find visually pleasing in our every day lives; most often we unconsciously prefer repetition over randomness.
Of course there's always exceptions to every rule, but it super helps to keep pendant shapes similar when creating a great layered stack of shorter necklaces! In the example below my small druzy triangle necklace sits perfectly above a 14k gold-fill hammered chevron, creating a totally unique look that's pretty do-able, right?!
We've also made use of the previous advice and kept the metal the same, the widest pendant at the bottom, and we've got the triangle shape covered too!
Now that you're basically a jewelry stylist slash layering expert, you're going to find it SO EASY to layer up your own pieces. Start with something you love; a particular long or short pendant in gemstone or metal, then work upwards or downwards and layer, layer, layer. There is really no way you're going to do it wrong because it's unique to you, and hopefully these four jewelry layering tips will help you if needed!! Happy stacking!! xo
Bonus points: tell me in the comments below why this stack of my 14k gold-fill small hammered bar and large hammered bar (coming soon!) works so well!
April 03, 2016
Many of my new bronze pieces are infused with the history of my family that is rooted in making and creating. These are pieces with a story; cast in bronze from vintage buttons and keys that belonged to my great grandparents.
My great grandmother had a love of sewing and fashion, and I inherited a huuuuge jar of buttons from my mom (that she got from my grandma), containing hundreds of vintage goodies. I used some of them on my very first designs.
Each button was so cool, and I always explained their history and said a little goodbye to them (in my head, like I'm not a crazy person!!) when they went home with their new owners. I had collected a few favourites that I knew I could never part with, like the moon button made of black jet pictured below.
Fast forward a couple years and my biz had grown a bit, and I had begun casting, which is the process of replicating items using wax blanks replaced with molten metal (my first actual collection of cast pieces was the Beachcomber Collection of found shells that I released last spring). I'd established a relationship with a small-batch foundry that I trusted to be careful with these heirlooms, and finally realized, "hey, I can cast those little guys I'm so in love with and finally share them around!"
But a couple of buttons does not a collection make (as many a jeweller has said throughout history, lol?), so I needed to round things out. Enter my great grandfather who was a cabinet-maker, and whose set of wooden drawers sits on my workbench, and whose tools sit on my dad's workbench, and whose love of working with his hands has meandered down through my mom's side of the family to me.
I've kept some of his wayward cabinet keys in my studio (along with the jar of buttons) since I started my little biz back in 2009. I've moved three times, brought the whole sideshow along with me every time, including these keys and buttons. This larger key was the perfect addition, and I loved its clean lines and art deco feel.
There's a few steps to making this particular necklace. The bronze is lovely and shiny when it comes back from the foundry, but it needs some vintage depth, so I oxidize it using a solution called liver of sulpher in hot water. Trust me, it smells as gross as it sounds. It gives the metal a deep black patina, which I then remove using a few grades of sandpaper so the recessed areas keep the dark colour and the high areas are back to their brighter selves. The buttons go through the same process, and I also drill holes in them. The metal sometimes gets so hot while I do this that I've singed the wood bench I work on. And I go through A LOT of drill bits. You can see the three finishing stages in the button on the left.
Everything gets tumbled for hours to bring the shine back up to blinding level, then I use labradorite beads and blackened wire to hand-make the wire-wrapped rosary chain that sits above the button, and assemble the whole shebang with some aquamarine, apatite and pearl beads that I put on headpins and attach to the finished necklace. I'm having a moment while writing this just staring at the blue stones in the photo; they're SO PRETTY, right??!
After I made the first one, I fell in love immediately! I've been wearing mine constantly, it looks so cute with a white t-shirt and jeans, and has enough sparkle to brighten up a dressier look too.
If you need this piece in your life to remind yourself to remember your history, to reinforce that you are the key to your own heart, or just because you think it's lovely and you heart supporting local artists, I'm offering you 25% off this special necklace for a limited time with code KEYTOMYHEART at checkout. Don't forget that Mother's Day is coming soon! You can find it on the website here.
Got a question about my process? Curious about how I make other stuff? Have an idea for a blog post you'd like to see? Ask me in the comments section below and I'll answer, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! xo
Photo: Kaja Photo, Model: Janice Sousa, MUA & Hair: Anthonia Bejide, Styling & Art Direction: Strut Jewelry
February 22, 2016 1 Comment
- PASTELS. Loves, this is one of my fave things about the shift from winter to spring; SOME COLOUR! Don't get me wrong, I adore my neutrals, blacks and greys, but when my wardrobe is too matchy-matchy with the colour of the sky and the melting snow, I know I'm craving some juicy hues to liven things up. I'm really digging all the pastels this season, especially the lavenders, mints and corals popping up everywhere. Are you?
- BRONZE & GOLD. I'm seeing this trend only get stronger as you guys are continuing to LOVE your warm metal tones. And guess what? They pair perfectly to offset the sweet pastels and edgy destroyed denim that is staying front and center this spring. Try a medium-sized statement neckpiece like our new Bronze Crescent Moon Necklace - you'll find that it's complete perfection with both casual weekend kicks and your suede booties at work. Not too much, not too little. The perfect porridge, shall we say? ;)
- STRIPES. Ugh, I can't even with the minimalist stripes this season!! I love them so much. If you're hesitant on this trend then start super small with some tiny black and white ones on a casual top. Pair with our Gold-Fill Wrap Bangle Bracelet to mimic the lines, add your fave denim and voila! You are now perfectly styled. You're welcome.
What are your fave spring trends? I'd love to hear. Comment below!
September 15, 2015
Guys, I'm really excited about this mini-collection for fall! If there's one constant here at Strut Jewelry, it's that we are always evolving, pushing forward creatively and trying new styles and techniques. Gotta keep it interesting, right? Mixing things up is a true reflection of my own personal style, so it's no surprise that these new pieces are a super-cool mixture of techniques, textures and metals. Authentically Strut Jewelry.
Last year I had the amazing luck of being able to take a trip to Morocco. Yeah, I know! How could a creative NOT be inspired in one of the most vibrant places on the planet? It was pretty heavenly from a visual point of view. The mix of colours, textures, scents, flavours, contrasts and oh man, can we talk about the textiles for a second? Completely amazing. I snagged two rugs, tons of pottery and argan oil, and I STILL wish I could have brought more home with me. Darn baggage restrictions!
The statement necklaces in this collection feature pendants I brought back with me that have been cast in bronze, paired with sterling silver and 14K gold-fill, oxidized fish bone chain and some vintage components. I love the contrast created by the mixed metals, the dark oxidization paired with the bright hammered precious metals. These pieces are essential staples for the modern gypsy who values unique jewelry. Check out the new pieces online now! Coming soon to shows and shops.
Photography: Kaja Photo, Model: Megan Brady, MUA: Sammi McLeod