jewelry, paintings, illustrations, art politics and the man behind it all

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Japan Rewind part 1: Kamakura

For 5 visits to Tokyo now my closest friend Kelly has been gently suggesting a day trip to Kamakura. Every other time I brush the suggestion off and find a way to stay in Tokyo. Part laziness, part there are so many things to do I almost have a panic attack thinking about missing out on something. This time, though, and with the help of Gabrizelle – we made it happen. It was glorious. 

This sexy little camel adorned a tiny restaurant on a narrow street filled with gorgeous, but quaint shops and dining spots. 

Hase-dera is set on the hillside and is a glorious spot with many things to gaze at and a view to die for.

Blossoms just outside Hase-dera caught my eye.

DAIBATSU – the big Buddha. He survived a tsunami that washed away the temple around him. You can actually walk inside him – avoid this if you hate the heat and are claustrophobic. I survived, only just, but it was awe-inspiring to see the work done to make such an awe-inspiring Buddha.

Lone giant crow surverys the crowds at Hase-dera. Children dropping ice cream ensure that he will eat like a king in no time.

Watch out for kites wanting to rip into your tender flesh! Seriously though, seeing these majestic beauties soaring above us at Hase-dera was a bit of a thrill for me as I’m a bird guy. 

The view from the top at Hase-dera convinces me that I must see it again when I return. I also said some really intense prayers both here and at Fushimi Inari (more on that later) and when those prayers are answered I HAVE to go back to humbly give thanks.

When we left Hase-dera I hydrated with one of these babies. Words cannot convey the tart apple punch to the face. This was my only Vivit’s sparkling apple juice I enjoyed in Japan and I will be counting the days until I can shove guzzle another. After a slow, beautiful walk through Kamakura and back to the train station we made one last stop for a bowl of noodles that made me weep. The flavour. The pride noodle man should have. Oh man. I’ll either speak on Inari and Kyoto or Team Lab in my next post. Stay tuned! 

Southern Socialite inspirations with the Real Housewives of Dallas

The Real Housewives of Dallas return tonight and I cannot wait! Mostly I want to see what craziness LeeAnne Locken gets up to. For a long time I have wanted to bring my wares to the Lone Star state in a big way. I have been featured in and around the Dallas area at boutiques and many of my online sales come from that region.  It might be that I love the statement necklace and the women there have absolutely no fear of making bold choices with their accessories. 

In honor of tonight’s premiere and my popularity in the area I have paired one of my currently in stock statment pieces with each of the 6 women with featured roles on RHOD this year. 

My favourite RHOD is Stephanie Hollman because she is hilarious, really sweet, and has a style that I love. I paired her with one of my more delicate statement pieces, the “Nautical Coco” filled with tanzanite, fresh water pearls, and aquamarine. Get Nautical Coco. 

I also really like Cary Deuber and her look. She borders on having a rock n’ roll edge to her style at times and I think she would look great in this draping gothic cross piece. Get Rock N’ Roll Heart here.

Brandi Redmond gives me laughs as well and I really love her friendship with Stephanie. I hope they remain close this year even with all the drama and screaming around them. I paired Brandi with my classic eagle bib statement necklace because she SEEMS the most Texas to me. I MEAN former Cowboy cheerleader and all that attitude. Love it. Get the Eagle bib here

LeeAnne Locken gets the most screen time I think. She gets moved to rage quite often and tends to act out when she feels she is being judged or not heard. I have dealt with this myself, but had the good fortune of not being filmed while going through that difficult growth. In any case, her brand of crazy is the real reason many people watch the Real Housewives so I’m not sure what the show would be without her. And it’s not like she’s anywhere near as evil as Phaedra. Rest in peace girl. I paired LeeAnne with the Vampire Killer. I have been making these bold cross and miraculous medallion charm necklaces for many years and I think LeeAnne has the bold style and Christian pride to pull it off in the best way. Get the Vampire Killer here. 

I saw newcomer Kameron Westcott wearing teal and black in a few style shots floating around online and felt this Sky Blue and Black bib charm necklace would work great for her. I’m excited to see what she’s all about. You can get yours here.

I feel for the other newcomer D’Andra Simmons already as she is friends with both LeeAnne AND Cary and is sure to be in the middle of some nastiness as the outspoken women get their rage on. I paired her with some divine light in the form of my holographic crystal bib. Get yours here.

Have fun watching tonight and give Zachary Pryor’s jewels a look during the commercial break! 

Art, Culture and walking till our feet bleed

I saw so so much yesterday with my friends Maiko and Gabrielle and wanted to write it all down before my brain losesa the detail and order of things.

First up was Fuji Sun at Gallery 5610 by photographer Taishi Hirokawa. The show wowed me as I have great respect for Fuji and a love for all mountains, but I had the privilege of seeing Maiko’s baby Skye stand for the very first time.

My favourite piece at Fuji Sun 

“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.”

On the way to our second gallery in Omotesando we spotted my dream home.

Billiken Gallery, the 2nd spot on our tour held my new favorite artist, Sieya Imamura and his “Protected Zone”. Stunning work with linework perfection. 

This Shiba and Saru Painting was a gift for Maiko and Skye Chan as it represents their Astrological Signs.

Skye Chan is so photogenic. I took this little beauty at 246 Commune, an amazing little food cart space.

 

We also stopped off at Tokyo Cultuart by Beams to see Yugo’s “Girls”, but I didn’t get a picture. Afterwards we scooted over to one of my favourite spots, B-Side Label to snag some more stickers!!!! Once again, the shop girls were filled with exuberance and joy and kindness and left me wondering how they always maintain it at that level. 

Tokyo Cultuart by Beams mural in Harajuku.

Gabrielle and I said farewell to Maiko and began our walk to my favourite coffee shop, but opted instead to check out an incredible garden cafe just next door. We had homemade ginger lemonade and ginger ale and a dessert that neither of us can recall the name of. 

Harajuku Himawari 

When I was last in Tokyo (this Spring) I had a half day all alone and I walked from Shinjuku through Yoyogi to Harajuku. It instantly became my favorite walk. I re-created it with Gabrielle in reverse yesterday. The walk takes you over a huge curved overpass, up a winding street littered with beautiful apartment buildings and fancy department stores. It curves under traintracks and through Yoyogi Park to Meiji Shrine. (Torii gate pictured above) We doubled back through Yoyogi Park to the winding road past a really cool Loréal corporate office building and Yoyogi station. And then we came to Shinjuku and my favourite hotel…

At this point my friend and I had barking dog feet, so we took a breather in the lobby of Century New Southern Hotel. This is the panoramic view from the 20th floor lobby.

After our refresher we jetted off in search of Hanazono Shrine because I remembered enjoying the summer festivals there last summer. The party was in full swing with Taiko drumming and everyone dancing. We stood mesmerized, especially…

When this amazing woman above started drumming. She seemed so powerful and fearless and I liked her Taiko skills best. After the drumming and dancing we hit the food stands and got bacon wrapped herbed cheese and giant mushrooms on sticks, but the food party was just beginning.

As I like to use Yoyogi station instead of Shinjuku we walked back towards that stop. On the way we spotted a couple packed curry and noodle houses, but down one alley stood this beautiful beacon and we did’nt even need to look at the menu to realize we found Nirvana. I had the best bowl of udon in my life filled with things I did and didn’t recognize. The noodle boss was sweet and handsome and Gabby got a free upgrade in size and her noodle bowl was the size of a German Sheppard. And we headed back to Bukuro with full hearts and bellies. The end.