Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Milkmaid braids and Icelandic ways

For today's post, I wanted to share with you one of my jewelry shopping sources, a seller on Ebay that has some gorgeous one of a kind jewelry and from whom I bought my crystal cuff from.

Anna or phoenixspirit2010 on Ebay, has been a seller for a while now, but I have found her just last month.

She sells jewelry from her own collection that she has created over the years and so I wanted to do a little interview with her asking her about her expertise in jewelry, tips she might have to offer and what to look for when purchasing new jewelry. As an astute shopper myself, despite my experience, it is hard to tell the difference between cheap and quality jewelry, and sometimes we buy pieces impulsively that aren't real because the item is "in" at the moment, but ultimately won't last and you won't be wearing it over time as opposed to more classic pieces, so I wanted to know Anna's opinion on what to do in these instances, and to get to know this friendly and kind seller a little bit better!

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona

Occupation: Semi-retired gypsy..;-)

Would you care to share with us when you started collecting jewelry and how you came to acquire the amazing taste in jewelry that you have today ?

I have been collecting jewelry for as long as I can remember. I had a mother that never ever left the house without her diamond earrings and rings and bling...I swear, even on a camping trip, she had to be fully decked in her 'jewels'...I recall one fishing trip, my dad said to her..."For God's sakes Frances, I guess if we loose the tackle box, we can use your jewelry to catch the fish!" and I think he was serious?..lol...I have been handed down jewelry since I was probably 2 years old!!

You mentioned starting your collection at 16 years of age, as a young adult with a budget, were there any places where you could find quality jewelry at a reasonable price range and where did you prefer to shop ?

I started my own sense of style around then yes...I did a lot of travelling and I would always go straight to the stores, vendor's or anyone that was selling some jewels. I was always attracted to BIG, BOLD DIFFERENT jewelry. When everyone was wearing pearls and little dainty rings and necklaces, I would walk in with some honking 5" long earrings or a bracelet that covered half my arm. I also kind of had to go towards sterling silver as I have skin allergies to most other metals....it really sucked when I was young...but now that the price of silver has gone so high and it is so desirable, I guess I was secretly blessed by that..:-) Anyway, back to collecting....I love unique designers, jewelry that is recognizable as that particular designer. I have my favorites right now..Masha Archer, Dian Malouf and The Echo of the Dreamer/Mars Valentine Mother daughter team...there are many others that also draw me and when I find one of their pieces I will jump on it...Bayanihan, Patricia Von Musulin, Carol Felley, S'Paliu just to name a few.

some of the amazing items on sale now..

As a young adult, my parents always told me my taste in jewelry was like the saying "champagne taste with beer money". Having great taste in jewelry can be an expensive hobby, did your parents ever feel overwhelmed by your extravagant taste back in the day ?

See above...as far as my mother was concerned, there was no such things as 'too expensive' when it came to jewelry! Now as my father (and more currently, my husband, if that is really true??)..hehe

Which piece of jewelry would you say is your favorite and couldn't live without (rings,bracelets,necklaces,earrings..), and which pieces does it seem you collect most of ?

Hmmm..that is a really really hard question...because I have literally a HOARD of pieces that I will never part with...if I admitted exactly how many I think I would embarass myself...but since my 'style' is BIG and bold...I always start with a fairly neutral big focal piece and then build around it. So if I am choosing a huge cuff for the day, I will find one huge ring that goes with and build on that theme for the day...my personal way is to buy pieces based on what you already own knowing how they will look mixed together...my other little personal rule is..when wearing colorful clothes, wear plain bold pieces..when wearing monochromatic colors (all black, all white, all beige etc) pile on the multi gems and multi textured jewelry

What would you say are your favorite materials&which kind of semi-precious/precious stones, do you find most desirable when purchasing new jewelry ?

Honestly I don't purchase much new jewelry anymore, I am trying to DOWNSIZE my collection!! lol...but my favorite by far is sterling silver of course. I do love the mixed metals of gold and silver too and as I get older seem to wear that a lot more. I love natural stones more so then gemstones. Give me a huge colored agate ring or cuff over a huge topaz or other precious gemstone any day. I have bought the odd piece of new jewelry by Sajen or Charles Albert but they are usually earthy stones and materials to catch my eye and my pocket book.

Your Ebay store features an array of new and vintage, handmade rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces made from sterling, or 18K gold, some with precious stones as well. When did you discover Ebay and when did you start selling some of your pieces ?

I discovered Ebay years ago actually but always as a buyer, never as a seller...I also found a lot of bad experiences way back when so got away from it for a long time. I decided to try selling almost 2 years ago and I actually love it! I also sell locally as well and I am lately even debating my own personal website.

What would you say are your favorite trends at the moment ?

The BIG BOLD CHUNKY looks of course!!!! It is kind of funny, I was in my prime in the early 80's and we had a field day with the big shoes, big hair and big jewelry..I of course was in heaven!...lol...and now it seems to be back again...OH to be young again and pull off the gorgeous huge shoes and skinny clothes with my big jewels..:-)...somehow I think seeing an old lady wearing a get up like that would get a lot of attention, but not the kind I would be looking for...lol!

Huge alligator brooch

Furthermore, sometimes we come across jewelry that isn't real sterling nor gold, but the design is interesting so we decide to buy it anyway. Do you have any tips,things to watch out for or things to avoid when buying jewelry ?

There are many many collectible pieces of jewelry out there that are not precious metals or even big name designers. I would say stay away from 'trends'..stay away from the cheap $25-$50 pieces. Take that money and search online for something if you are not aware of any second hand stores or local consignment stores that have collectible jewelry. It is really easy to spend $200+ on cheap 'trendy' stuff that comes and goes within months..that same money can buy you a piece that will last a lifetime and more than likely be worth more as the years go by. If you are truly passionate about jewelry and collecting, educate yourself. Go online and research vintage collectible jewelry. Learn about artists and how to 'spot' their style and pieces. Nothing can help you buy more than knowledge. The internet is a huge wealth of that knowledge. I have been doing this all my life and I still learn new things all the time. It is a passion for me though..:-)

Thank you to Anna for agreeing to participate !


Ok, now on to what the hell happened to my hair. I've got the milkmaid braids goin' and Icelandic sorta light blond representin'. Since I have been 15 years old, I have been experimenting with my hair. It has gone from pink to blond to black to brown to a "thing from the swamp" green..but never my own hair color since over almost 10 years ago (has it been that long ?Man, Im getting old), but despite my "experience" in hair coloring, I have yet to learn a vital lesson : STAY AWAY FROM THE HAIR COLOR SECTION AT WALGREENS ! because ultimately I can't help myself and I ruin my hair. But you know, we all dream of wild colors, alter ego's and secret identities, so Walgreen's knows they're teasing us with their hair care isle. And you regret having to spend $200 on highlights and a cut at your hair lady, so why not DIY ? Wrong. Go see your wretched hair lady, you're gonna get it wrong and end up with a reminiscent of Bruce Willis bald eagle head. Sigh.

jacket and sweater, vintage; pants, American Apparel; shoes, Jeffrey Campbell Lela

Alright, now on to what in the world is on your feet ? Ok, now remember that post I did about LF's new Lookbook ? Well the Jeffrey Campbell Lela shoe almost blew me right off the couch due to its sheer awesomeness. Verdict ? They need to be put in a shoe-museum, not on my feet, I keep on staring at them in awe. But on your feet, I think they might be a bit too crazy for me, I need to get used to them. And the awesome people at Akira were having a sale on the JC Lana, so I wanted to return these flower power footwear in exchange for the Lana. HAHA ! I waited (a day no less) and they were sold out. RATS ! this is not my week. Chai tea, indian food and peanut butter and jelly. Pamper time is on to get me out of this hair/shoe dilemma.

Send me positive vibes ? xo


  1. such a gorgeous look love your vintage jacket so much and great shoes <3

  2. Ahhh! She is selling some of the coolest pieces. I also love chunky jewellery. The chunkier the better. It's cool to see how passionate she is about jewellery and how it started from such a young age.
    Whoa another big hair change. I like it! Suggestion: you should go red. I love your rings and pants. I've been looking for a pair like that.
    omg the Lela. I didn't realize how much detail they had! Are they painful? I hope you can return them, otherwise that would be shit. ENJOY YOUR INDIAN! My favourite.

  3. YES bustin' out that funky fresh stuff-- love this super original look. Keep it up.

  4. Gurl, it is unusually warm here right now. We're talking 60 degrees and sunny. It's been like this for days and it's usually literally freezing and snowy by now. I am in shock.

  5. Holy GOD I love her jewelry...going to check it all out now. And your shoes? Off the hook. Yes, I said it.


  6. eee! she has some pretty cool stuff!
    your shoes are perfect! ommmgg.. JC is so good. I like your hair now.. But sorry to hear hard times were had.. :/ hair problems are super frustrating. I really love yours though <3

  7. Great style and blog dear!!


  8. I adore all of these! How stunning. I'm in love with your header, too. x hivenn

  9. Those litas are so amazing!! and your jacket! Loved the mixture and the jewerlly too.

  10. Very amazing shoes, i love hair's color.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your comments are most appreciated. xo