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TOPAZ TALISMANS

TOPAZ TALISMANS

November has arrived, which means ample fallen foliage, a quick trip to the holiday season, and a want of topaz. Emblematic for those born this month, topaz has long communicated enhancement in all ways, from outward opulence to varied means of manifestation. The birthstone is said to harness the strength of the sun, its ethereal glow born our nearest star.

At Lulu, we rely on Swiss and London blue topaz, as well as white topaz to bring this solar power to you. Should you choose an azure adornment, the piece is said to reflect the energy of your mind, stimulating your sense of self and keeping you calm while your perception and openness to learning increases. White, on the other hand, amplifies healthy communication—with other humans, animals, spirit, and oneself.

And if you’re looking for a gift rather than a personal investment, topaz is idyllic. Aesthetic appeal aside, the gemstone symbolizes friendship and fidelity, and encourages the wearer to bring their inner dreams to fruition. Ultimately, there’s no better way to kick off the holidays then with a topaz talisman—whether you favor our Ocean Earrings, adorned in blue topaz teardrops, or the Ursa pendant, whose flank of white topaz drops echo a star-strewn night sky.

Our top Topaz picks: Ocean Hoops , Kathleen Ring, Radiant Necklace and Ursa Necklace.

 

 

 

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The Best Gemstones to Pair with Autumn & Winter Fashion

The Best Gemstones to Pair with Autumn & Winter Fashion

With the year’s most colorful season in full swing, we’ve seen many of the visitors in our Sausalito store breaking out their stylish fall fashion, including oversized sweaters, denim, and long boots. Nothing takes an outfit to another level like the perfect piece of jewelry, whether you prefer a single statement necklace or a layered look. One of the oldest and most timeless styles is gemstone jewelry, giving women of all ages an elegant and timeless look no matter where they choose to wear it. Below, you’ll find some of our favorite gemstone pieces, that are the perfect shades to pair with your everyday outfits this fall and winter. 

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4 Jewelry Trends to Watch for in the 2018 Holiday Season

woman wearing layered necklaces

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and we can’t help but daydream about the gifts we’re planning for the special women in our lives. Whether you’re interested in vintage-style pieces for your grandmother, or perfect layering pieces for your best friend, there’s plenty of beautiful jewelry to go around.

If you’re not sure where to start, you’re in luck. At Lulu Designs (as you can imagine), we know a thing or two about jewelry, and want to provide you with the information you need to make an informed buying decision while you’re out shopping this fall and winter. Below, you’ll find 4 jewelry trends to keep in mind, and our original Lulu pieces that fit the bill.

1. Sea Colored Gems

At the beginning of the year, blue-green gems were being touted as a must-watch trend. The subtle (yet statement-making) hues of a gemstone necklace can be used to dress up an everyday look, while a ring can add effortless elegance to your look.

Our Recommendations: Ursa Necklace ($164), Bodega Ring ($115)

2. Statement Necklaces

From the hefty pieces on display at Fashion Week to simple yet timeless designs, statement necklaces remain a necessity in every jewelry collection. Don’t compromise when it comes to quality - look for 14k gold filled pieces for longevity.

Our Recommendation: Anahata Necklace ($330)

3. Orbiting Stones

Guaranteed to help you turn heads at any special occasion, earrings with dangling gemstones of varying sizes add a modern twist to the classic dangle earring. Cosmic-style pieces are a popular trend, so look for styles adorned with moons, constellations and bold gemstones. Pairing statement necklaces with matching earrings can brighten your everyday look.

Our Recommendation: Glenn Earrings ($100), Luna Earrings ($154)

4. Autumn Leaves

When we think of fall, we think of a new beginning for our Mother Earth. With September is in full swing, many of us are already envisioning the crisp air, autumn colors and upcoming holidays  Leaves are a gentle, whimsical symbol of the season, and are a beautiful accessory on a variety of jewelry pieces.

Our Recommendation: Gardner Earrings ($164)

 

If you need help deciding which jewelry to buy, figuring out which metals and materials are best, or anything else, we’re happy to help. You can reach us at info@luludesignsjewelry.com, or complete the form on our contact page.

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The Journey Is The Way

The Journey Is The Way

Making jewelry is a journey. We begin at a certain place, armed with our materials and ideas. Then, we set expectations. When crafting a new design or piece, those expectations are not necessarily clear. I always start with an idea about creating beauty in the world, usually born of something I have witnessed either consciously or unconsciously.  I am one of those that notices beauty everywhere. I do a lot of walking, hiking and daydreaming. When hiking, I notice the architecture of everything in my line of sight, from sticks randomly strewn across the sidewalk to flowers unfurling in their own mysterious, yet perfect, way. I notice how colors present themselves in nature, the curious way a lime green hydrangea’s petals fade to crimson red on the edges in such balance and harmony. I notice how everything is constantly changing and reinventing itself. Looking at the same branch out my window as its leaves come and go according to the season, studying its changes, and then changing my own viewpoint, helping me to see the different angles in new and inspiring ways.  I don’t want to remain locked into what my version of beauty is—fluidity is the key. 

My inquisitive nature about botany, architecture, and the ordinary keeps me creating. The jewelry is a reflection of my observations of the world; it represents moments of connection. Essentially, my goal is to capture those moments, and my hope is that the wearer will end up connecting to the piece in a way that creates meaning or mantra for them. I want the wearer to be reminded of something magical—something deeper than just adornment. 

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Fun Things to Do in Marin County This Fall

Fun Things to Do in Marin County This Fall

The temperature is dropping and the fog is lifting - you know what that means, autumn is peaking just around the corner! But just because the days are growing shorter doesn’t mean we should confine ourselves to the couch with Netflix and a hefty serving of Halo Top night after night. (Although once in a while doesn’t hurt…) The shifting of the seasons is a fantastic excuse to break out of our routines (and break out our flannels) and explore all our beautiful Marin County has to offer. Here are a handful of our favorite tourist activities, attractions, and sights we recommend you check out this fall:

  1. Muir Woods National Monument - If you haven’t already explored this gorgeous 550-acre stretch of land, it’s an absolute must. You can visit the 1000-year-old redwoods at Cathedral Cove or hike the 2-mile Dipsea Trail up to the top of Cardiac Hill (how’s that for a name?) if you’re in the mood for some exercise. Whatever you choose, fall is the perfect time to visit - just aim to go midweek or early in the morning to bypass those pesky crowds.
  2. Farmers’ Market - Lucky for you, many of our farmers’ markets run year-round, with several extending until October or November. The best part is they’re all held on various days of the week, so you can drop by a different one every evening! If there’s one thing Marin County knows, it’s how to serve up delicious locally grown treats in a fun community setting. Indulge in pastries fresh from the oven, stock up on fresh organic produce, and browse the artisan craft stands for that perfect gift.
  3. Point Bonita Lighthouse - No bucket list is complete without mentioning the Point Bonita Lighthouse, resting at the tip of the Golden Gate National Park. This beauty was built back in 1855 and is still actively maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard today. Fun fact: it’s the only lighthouse in the United States that can be reached by solely crossing a suspension bridge. Keep in mind you’ll want to plan ahead for your trip; it’s only open Sundays and Mondays from 12:30 pm until 3:30 pm, and even then, there are occasional shutdowns due to weather. Still, don’t let that dissuade you from visiting - the photo speaks for itself.
  4. Visit Lulu Designs Jewelry - No visit to Marin County is complete without a visit to our jewelry store! With the launch of our fall collection, we can’t wait to help you and your loved ones find the perfect piece to complement your personal style. We look forward to meeting you soon!

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Tips & Tricks For Jewelry Organization

Tips & Tricks For Jewelry Organization

                  Organizing jewelry doesn’t have to be painful. All jewelry lovers know what it’s like trying to pick out earrings and realize that somehow you’ve lost one out of every pair. Or when you see that somehow you’ve got about twenty backings but no actual earrings. Let’s not even talk about untangling necklaces- I can feel my blood pressure rising.

We’ve all been there. But they say prevention is the best medicine- so here are some super easy and cute ways to organize your jewelry before they all become lost in the abyss.

  • The Hanger: Just screw some hooks into the bottom of a wooden clothes hanger and you’re done. You can hang earrings, necklaces or bracelets from the hooks. The wooden hangers look rustic hanging from a wall or can be hidden away in closets.
  • The Ribbon: Stud earrings can be pinned to ribbon. This helps ensure they don’t get lost and stay in pairs! The ribbon with the studs can be placed in a jewelry box, drawer, or even tied to hooks on a wall or cabinet.
  • The Corkboard: Earrings can be put on a corkboard like pins. These boards are functional and can also look really cool when you get creative with the way you arrange you earrings, like in terms of color or geometrical shape.
  • Buttons: Just put your earrings through the buttonholes and store in your jewelry box.
  • Chicken Wire: Cut out some chicken wire, staple it to the backside of a picture frame, and hang the earrings from there. You can even paint the frames and space them on the wall – it’s a very aesthetic option.
  • Embroidery Hoop: Earrings can be hung on lace in an embroidery hoop. The hoop can be put on walls for a vintage feel or placed in drawers.
  • Plastic Bags: Online you can find long rectangular plastic necklace bags. The key here is to fasten the clasp of the necklace inside the zip lock part- this will insure the necklace does not tangle. This is also a great way to protect the metal from oxidizing when you are not wearing it. I recommend traveling with your jewelry in these bags, you can roll them up and place in a pouch with no worries of a tangle catastrophe. You can hole punch the bag and hang it on your corkboard or hanger.

Jewelry organizing doesn’t have to be painful and it can be as crafty or as simple as you want! But jewelry itself is a beautiful and valuable thing, and organizing it can really help to ensure its longevity and significance in your life.

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FULL MOON RITUALS

FULL MOON RITUALS

Connecting with the phases moon has been a celebrated ritual for centuries. Taking the time to create a sacred experience creates a ripple effect throughout our universe. While the new moon inspires setting intentions for new beginnings and manifesting our dreams, the full moon is a time for letting go. The fullness of the moon shines light on the abundance in our life at the same time reflects what no longer serves us. Use this powerful time, to create a space where you can celebrate all that is full and let go of any negative energy that may be holding you back.

 

 

 

Here are some rituals that will inspire you to connect with earth’s heavenly moon.

  1. Cleanse your crystals: Gently wash your crystals on the morning of the full moon. Water from the ocean is ideal, or you can make your own salt water. While cleaning, your crystals think about aspects of yourself that you want to let go of, so the new you can shine through. 
  1. Create a sacred space: If you have a garden, place your crystals where they will be exposed to the moon's brightest light. I converted one of my plant stands into a moon stand. During the full moon, I place  my crystals onto the plant stand to bring my specimens in direct line with the moonlight.
  1. Remove your crystals: On the morning after the full moon, allow your crystals to absorb some sun energy for a few hours and then bring them inside.

 

Taking this valuable time to reflect on the fullness of your life and letting go of what no longer serves you will renew your spirit and lift your vibrations.

Everyday is a new beginning and new opportunity to connect to your higher self. Use the specialness of the full moon to bring you into alignment with the cycles of life.

In today's busy and plugged-in world, it is even more important that we take the time to unplug and truly connect to the earth and the moon.

Wearing gemstones everyday is a way to stay connected and in line with earth's treasures and gifts.

May this month's full moon bring you renewed energy and connect you with the higher vibrations that are all around.

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How To Shop For Gold Jewelry

How To Shop For Gold Jewelry

         Buying gold might seem simple, but not all that glitters is gold. Fancy titles can be confusing- just because the word “gold” is used to describe a piece of jewelry, does not mean it is actually gold. A high price can be deceiving and is not a measure of quality and content. And depending on your occasion, sometimes it doesn’t need to be- it’s all about being an informed consumer; knowing what you need and how to find it.

There are many types of gold jewelry: karat-gold, gold-filled, vermeil, and gold-plated.  We will be explaining the difference between, gold-filled, vermeil and gold-plated jewelry.

         Gold-filled, also known as “rolled gold” or “gold overlay” is made up of a layer of solid gold bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass (alloy composed of copper and zinc). All of the chains used in our Lulu collection are 14k gold-filled. Since it has a layer of solid gold, this layer can be in different fineness of gold: 14k or 18k. When reading 14/20 stamped on a piece of gold-filled it means that the layer of gold is in 14 karat gold and that the fraction of gold on the total weight of the piece is 1/20 aka the mandatory 5%. In order for a metal to be legally considered gold-filled, it must have a gold content of at least 5% of the total weight of the item.

         When price is an issue, gold-filled jewelry is a good alternative to karat-gold jewelry. Since gold-filled is a fused metal and not plated- it can be cared for like karat-gold pieces. In order to keep your gold-filled pieces in good condition, avoid water. While our pieces are delicate and durable, exercising or swimming is not recommended for your vermeil or gold-filled jewelry. The less moisture your gold-filled jewelry is exposed to, the better. With time, oxidation can occur on all metals, use a professional jewelry cloth to polish off the oxidation.

         Vermeil jewelry (pronounced “ver-may”) is composed of a sterling-silver base metal coated in a layer of gold. The thickness of gold plating is measured in microns. The thicker the microns, the longer the gold plating will last. A vermeil piece must have at least 10k gold- plating to be called vermeil, most luxury pieces are 14k and up. All of Lulu Designs’ vermeil jewelry use 18k gold plating.

         Lastly, lets tackle “gold-plated”. Jewelry called gold-plated is any base metal plated in gold. There are no requirements for gold-plated jewelry, so they are often made up of a very small percentage of actual gold. While some base metals are better than others, manufacturers are not required to tell you what the base metal actually it. Sometimes it can be brass or copper or a mixture of many metals, which is why it turns pink or brown over time. Something to watch out for, many gold-plated pieces can contain nickel- a metal that some people are allergic too. If you get a rash after wearing gold-plated jewelry, you are probably allergic to nickel. Unlike vermeil or gold-filled jewelry, “gold-plated” jewelry will not stand the test of time. Lulu Designs does not make any “gold-plated jewelry.” Our goal is to create well-made jewelry using higher quality metals and gemstones.

Deciding what to buy and working with your budget is important. Being informed is step one of that process. The more you know about what you are buying, the better.  If you have any questions regarding the metals used in our collections, please email us: info@luludesignsjewrly.com

 

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Emerald- The Stone Of Divine Love

Emerald- The Stone Of Divine Love

The emerald is nothing more than a gem. A greenish-bluish stone that sleeps within the depths of the earth. A rock; a mineral; the result of thousands of atoms crystalized into a crust, enclosed – hybernating – in the earth’s core. At face value, the emerald is nothing more than elements and compounds come together by the mystery of nature.

            But nature does not make things by coincidence. The universe is intentional, calculated; every inch made with intent. Earth did not form mountains or rivers or waves to merely look beautiful. Mother Nature is not that shallow. Each of her creations has a specific and meditated purpose. And therefore, the emerald could never be just a rock. It has a deeper power within.

            The emerald is the stone of divine love. It is believed to open your heart to invite an abundance of compassion your life. It strengthens connections with those you love and encourages one to reach out and connect. The wearer of the stone will give off profound levels of devotion and care, and will attract the same from others in return. If a relationship is wavering, the emerald acts as a salve to heal resentment and revives sympathy.

            This gem also shares a bond with the heart chakra, which is the chakra that connects the spiritual with physical body; the chakra finds the human empathy underneath feelings of anger and pain. When the heart chakra becomes unbalanced, an emerald can help: this love stone reaches deep within and pulls out compassion and the yearn to connect, which will ultimately overcome any negative tensions.

            But whether or not you believe in the literal powers of the emerald, or even just gems in general, their benefits can still be reaped. By just taking time to meditate on a gem and its ability, you unconsciously direct your energy to live out that power. Every time you look at your emerald, you are reminded to embrace friendship and romance. Just taking a moment to harness the emerald allows you concentrate on the gifts it spreads: love, compassion, understanding, patience. And so, in the end, it does not matter whether a person is truly strengthened by the rock itself or if they are transformed by just directing their focus, the emerald will always leave its mark; for Mother Nature does not make things without purpose.

 

Blog post written by Lila Dubois

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