Posts Tagged ‘birthstone jewelry’

Suzanne has been dolling up the studio of her birthstone-jewelry company. Would you like to see what it looks like? Margareta took the photos. I especially love the Munch-like landscape of the moon on water and the view of the river from the studio window.

Do check out the Luna & Stella website, especially if you are thinking of giving your Valentine a piece of jewelry for Valentine’s Day. Suzanne’s antique locket collection has been getting a lot of attention lately, and there is a wide variety of contemporary necklaces, bracelets, cuff links, earrings, and more, including the moons and stars that gave Luna & Stella its name.

“Who’s your moon and stars?”


















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Suzanne (seen here with her paternal grandmother and John) sent this message to her customers today:

“At Luna & Stella, we make fine jewelry that celebrates our closest connections, the relationships between parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers, partners and the friends that are our family.  I believe those relationships are the greatest treasures we have.

“But recently I have been thinking more about the extension of these relationships — community. Specifically, I have thinking about what the role of businesses in civil discourse is and should be, and what my role as a small business owner should be in being a part of the conversation.

“I am the first to admit I don’t have all the answers. But I think we owe it to our children and communities to start somewhere. The place we are starting is with Facing History and Ourselves.  For over 40 years, Facing History has been training educators to teach empathy, tolerance, and civic responsibility through the lens of history.

“On #givingtuesday, November 29, Luna & Stella will give 20% of all sales on our website to Facing History. 

“Thank you for your support of this important work.

“In gratitude,


“P.S.  As a thank you, use code FACINGHISTORY for free shipping on your order.  If you are not able to shop on #givingtuesday, we will make a donation equal to 20% of your purchase all season long with this code.

“P.P.S. My friend and Facing History Los Angeles Director Liz Vogel interviewed me for Facing History’s website. Read the interview here.”

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Imagine how chuffed I was to see this article about Suzanne by Charmaine Gahan!

A close friend since kindergarten, Charmaine has been a huge support to Suzanne and the birthstone-jewelry company that hosts this blog, Luna & Stella.

In a delightful report, Charmaine describes how her whole family joined Suzanne’s family in New York City over school vacation to lend a hand at the Playtime trade show, a big deal for promoting new products to retail shops around the world.

Among the highlights of Suzanne’s growing collections are sweet Mama + Me bracelets, just in time for Mothers Day (May 8), and some stunning vintage lockets.

Notes the website, “All of the lockets in the Luna & Stella Vintage Collection were made in Providence, East Providence or Attleboro between 1880 and 1940.”

Why vintage mixed with contemporary? That’s kind of an interesting story, too, being the result of a hunt for beautiful hinges to use in new lockets. After the long search, Suzanne concluded that they just don’t make smooth and subtle hinges like they used to.

But sometimes an apparent dead end can lead to even better ideas, and Luna & Stella’s cool mixing of old and new seems to be an idea that is catching on.

At the Concord Journal (here), you can read more about the two friends and their families working the trade show in New York during the coldest week of the year.

Photo: Charmaine’s girls join Suzanne to look over the Mama + Me collection from Luna & Stella.

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Art: Maggie Stern
“Fish for Supper”

Concord Art has mounted a juried show of member works. I have been twice this week. It’s accessible and stimulating.

When you first enter, you hear a strange clattering and turn to see a beat-up old medicine cabinet with vintage pill bottles inside that are rattling around like ghosts. Very amusing.

My former boss, Meredith Fife Day, had two lovely country scenes in acrylic from her travels in Ireland, and she was the one who reminded me to see the show.

I took a photo of Maggie Stern’s playful “Fish for Supper,” above. Stern says, “What I love most about art is that you get to make up the rules.” I Googled her and found that she has connections with the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass., and has excelled in a variety of artistic realms, including illustrating children’s books and making kits for crafty folks to reproduce her original stitchery.

I was also drawn to Lorraine Sullivan’s use of vintage linens. There must be something in the air about vintage. I’ve been doing a little prospecting (along with Erik’s mother) to add to Suzanne’s new vintage locket collection at Luna & Stella, and have learned that the idea of mixing vintage with contemporary birthstone jewelry is quite popular.

In fact, all sorts of vintage items are being cherished now, to the point that it was not only wonderful but a bit painful to see how Sullivan used her seamstress grandmother’s handiwork in the piece below. Creative destruction. Happy-sad.




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If you are a consumer these days, after Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. I do love Giving Tuesday as there are so many worthy causes to choose from, and you don’t have to go farther than your computer to donate. This year I am torn between a food bank I admire and my favorite refugee nonprofit, although I do love the Granola Project. Maybe I will do something for all three.

But tomorrow is Saturday, and I am headed down to Providence to help Erik with the kids while Suzanne has a Luna & Stella birthstone-jewelry trunk show at Talulah Cooper Boutique on Traverse St, just off Wickenden (12 pm to 5 pm).

While we are on the subject of Luna & Stella (the parent of this blog) you should know that now through Cyber Monday (November 30, 2015) only, you can get 40% off all earrings, plus $20 off orders over $100 anywhere on the website — with code SHOPSMALL.

This season, Suzanne is into mixing her jewelry with some vintage lockets she has found. The ones in the picture are all from the Greater Providence area, long known for jewelry making.

Photo below: Rhode Island Foundation
A Luna & Stella trunk show pictured in a profile at “Our Backyard,” which features Rhode Island people and businesses, here.











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You know this blog is connected to my daughter’s birthstone-jewelry company Luna & Stella, right?

Well, today I am passing along a Luna & Stella promotion in case you would like to follow Suzanne’s company on Instagram and get a chance at a $50 gift card. As a Luna & Stella Instagram follower, you’ll also get $10 off your first order with Suzanne (use the code INSTA10).

If you are not already on Instagram, you can sign up here, https://instagram.com/.

I liked this day-in-the-life small business story that Suzanne put on Facebook today:

“A customer in Qatar who had special ordered our 14K gold Constellation Stacking Birthstone Rings for his wife to celebrate the arrival of baby due in November, emailed us on the way to the hospital last night: ‘The baby is coming now! Can we change the birthstone?’

“No problem, we said, we are always happy to make adjustments for babies who don’t arrive on schedule.

“In celebration of ‪#‎octoberbabies‬ everywhere, we are doing an ‪#‎IGgiveway‬. You can win a $50 credit to our store.

“To enter:
“1. Follow us on Instagram
“2. Tag a friend
“3. For an extra entry, tell us who is your moon & stars, and what piece you’d buy to represent them!

“That’s it! Giveaway will end on Tuesday 11/4 /15 at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.”

Photo shows the angel wing charm. See all the jewelry at Luna & Stella, here.

For angels only. Birthstone jewelry by Lunaandstella

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If you are in Providence on Sunday, do stop by the flea market and see what Suzanne is selling. As she writes on the Luna & Stella website, bargains will be had.

“My husband gazing at a tray of rings I have prepared for our first sample sale, asks, what’s wrong with them?

“What’s wrong with them?  Well, nothing.  A slightly included emerald, a band that came in a millimeter to wide or too flat, a bale a tiny bit too large, a style we decided not to put in the assortment because we already had something similar.

“They’re beautiful, he says.

“We are having our first ever sample at the Providence Flea at 345 South Main Street in Providence this Sunday, September 13.  If you have never been to the Flea, it’s a outdoor juried market inspired by the wildly popular Brooklyn Flea. We love the vintage/modern mix of the Flea, and the idea a shopper could find a great vintage charm from one of the other sellers and mix it on a necklace or bracelet with one of our charms.

“In addition to our full price line … we’ll be selling our almost perfect samples for 50 – 80% off the original prices.  That ring of trays you see?  With genuine rubies, emeralds, aquamarine, etc set in sterling silver or dipped in 18K gold?  Most will be $30, nothing over $50.  These are prices you will never see on our website. ”

More at Luna & Stella, the contemporary birthstone-jewelry company for which I blog. (“Write whatever interests you, Mom.”)

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talulah-cooper-boutique-providenceNew followers can be forgiven for not knowing that this is a blog for Luna & Stella, the contemporary birthstone jewelry company. The company owner is my daughter, Suzanne, and she lets me blog about anything that interests me. So I do go off on tangents.

But today what interests me is the Luna & Stella trunk show, scheduled to take place Saturday, May 2, 12 to 5, in Providence, Rhode Island, at the Talulah Cooper Boutique on Traverse Street (left).

I really love the new Luna & Stella charms, including the Blixt lightning bolt (which has a special association with Suzanne’s electrifying son), the delicate cross, and the anchor that is based on the Rhode Island state flag. And because I am pretty familiar with the great work of the folks at the Rhode Island Foundation, I’m also tickled that Suzanne is sending them $5 of every anchor charm purchased.

She writes, “Our Hope Anchor Charm Necklace is inspired by the anchor on the Rhode Island state flag. $5 of every Anchor charm ordered goes to The Rhode Island Foundation’s Fund for Rhode Island, serving the state’s most critical needs since 1916.”

Oh. Did I mention that Mother’s Day is really soon, May 10? I myself have been dropping broad hints about needing my new granddaughter’s birthstone.

hope anchor birthstone charm necklace

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Last night Suzanne and Erik’s little boy got a baby sister.

My own baby sister e-mailed me, saying, “Sagittarius!” So I looked it up: “adventurous,” “relaxed,” “optimistic.” The constellation Sagittarius represents the centaur Chiron from Greek mythology, an archer and a mentor to Achilles.

Meanwhile, Suzanne says the birthstone for December is blue topaz. Lovely. I don’t have that one yet. The qualities of the stone can be found at the Luna & Stella website, here. (Suzanne’s friend Kate Colby wrote all the gemstone descriptions for the company — because, as Allen Ginsberg would say, when a poet was needed, a poet appeared.)

I am camping out in Suzanne and Erik’s guest room and will be blogging from here for a week.





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Have you started getting (or sending) seasonal greeting cards? I have received and answered two already: one from a cousin who wants to be sure folks have her new address, another from a friend in England who has to get a lot done before spending Christmas with her daughter in Hong Kong.

It’s the season of relationships.*

The Christmas cards I love best are photographic or newsy or beautiful or offbeat. Here’s something that would be offbeat. Imagine getting a holiday version of the leather postcards I read about a while back!

“Leather postcards were first made in 1903. They were a novelty that appealed to tourists. When stitched together, they could be used as a pillow cover or wall hanging. The holes along the edge could also be used to attach fringe.  The cards were made of deer hide and the pictures burned in. The U.S. post office banned leather postcards in 1907 because they jammed postage-canceling machines. Leather cards continued to be made as souvenirs until about 1910. Value of the cards today depends on their condition and design. Common postcards, including those with comical pictures, have sold at auction for less than $1 per card. Those with pictures of important people, like the U.S. president, sell for more. One very special leather card cut into the shape of Theodore Roosevelt sold for $325.” More at Kovels, here. Still more here, at Andrew Sullivan’s eclectic blog.


Because I have some new followers, I will point out here that Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog is for my daughter’s company, a contemporary birthstone-jewelry business that is about relationships all year long, Luna & Stella. There are some lovely stars and angels there, in case you were wondering.

Photo: Chris Bodenner
Leather postcards from the Albany Rare Book Fair

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Washington-Sq-is-where-I-came-inWashington Square, New York City

Random photos from my travels.

My husband going into the Public Theater to see classmate Ted Shen’s musical, A Second Chance. The Playbill for the show. A delightful chandelier at the Public, with paddles that illuminate changing phrases.

Subway buskers playing a grandson’s favorite song, “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.” Grand Central Station. The charming Iroquois Hotel. A flower-themed mosaic in the Lexington Ave. subway.

Gertrude Stein looking like herself in Bryant Park. And the Metropolitan Museum, where we saw a great photography show with my sister and brother-in-law. More on that later.

(Be watching for the relaunch of the Luna & Stella website, where one of the family pictures is of my sister at age 3, pictured with Suzanne’s maternal grandfather. … Did I mention this is a blog for Suzanne’s birthstone-jewelry company Luna & Stella?)












































































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Today KM added three short poems to my recent blog post “Do you feel a poem coming on?”

Because of KM and the fact that everyone on twitter seems to be writing Valentine rhymes today, I thought I would point out an Andrew Sullivan post on the connection between poetry and childhood games.

Andrew quoted poet Sandra Simonds, who writes in the Boston Review, “The first thing is that sound itself intoxicates and that we connect sound, rhythm, and rhyme to form very early on, probably from infancy.

“The music of language forms our understanding of the world and that is why it seems so fundamental, in poems, to follow the music and sounds over sense, and to trust that your ear will take you where you want to go.

“We also learn that language is deeply connected to play — riddles, jokes, nonsense, and, for lack of a better word, fun. But it is also wedded to tragic losses, lost time, lost childhood, the loss of the child itself and the body of the child. … As poets, we take [a feeling of childhood] smallness with us into adulthood and turn it into poetry.” More here.

I need to think about that.

And while I’m thinking, I’ll share a rhyme that goes with jumping rope — and also perhaps with Valentine’s Day.

“Cinderella dressed in yella
“Went downtown to see her fella.
“How many kisses did she get?
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight …”

You are limited only by your jumping ability.

Photo: Luna & Stella, the birthstone jewelry company

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This is my 1,000th post! Thanks to everyone for sticking around.

Back in May 2011, Suzanne and Erik asked me to write a blog for Suzanne’s birthstone jewelry company, Luna & Stella. They said I could write about anything that interested me.

Anything!? How could I resist?

Luna & Stella gift giving is all about relationships and relations, and I’m certainly a relation.

One time a woman who was nervous about buying online checked out the blog, felt like it helped her know the family a little, and decided Suzanne would be an OK person to buy from.

Want a gift certificate?

I’m going to list a few of my favorite posts. They are mostly recent because it’s hard to remember all 1,000. If you comment on your own favorite post from Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog before February 1, Suzanne will enter you in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate. She said we should do something special for the 1,000th entry.

Here are a few of my favorite entries.

In this post, I had fun trying to imitate Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories.

This one, here, is about a funny episode at the “On the Media” radio show, with songs that Broadway professionals wrote for corporate conventions.

Here you can read a story about an older couple celebrating their long-ago wedding with a theme from the movie “Up.”

“Iceland Has Elves” got me started on a whole Iceland kick. (If you can get your hands on the video Cold Fever, you are in for a strange but fun treat. Thank you, Asakiyume.)

The post about Suzanne’s 18-month-old son “training” his grandparents got nice comments on Facebook. And here is one on gratitude that I did at Thanksgiving.

Will you comment on a favorite post, too? Write your comment before  February 1, Suzanne says, and she will enter you in a drawing to win a $100 Luna & Stella gift certificate. Valentine’s Day is coming up, you know, not to mention Mother’s Day. And Luna & Stella has birthstone cufflinks for Father’s Day, too.

And thank you so much for hanging on for my daily posts.

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Photo: Free Arts NYC

Free Arts NYC is one of several free arts programs around the country supported by people who believe every child should have arts opportunities. Too many school districts have cut back on programs that trigger the creative imagination, and children whose families can’t pay for extra classes often miss out the most.

When Suzanne and Erik were living in Harlem, Suzanne volunteered for Free Arts NYC at the Dream Charter School, having learned about it from her 92nd Street Y ceramics teacher. The teacher told her that the Y had actually been the organization responsible for bringing the concept to New York.

In childhood, whenever Suzanne wrapped up one arts class, she could hardly wait to sign up for the next one. She knows what the arts can mean to a child and has carried that appreciation into adulthood and the birthstone jewelry at Luna & Stella (the company behind this blog).

So from now until December 31, $5 of every Birthstone Charm Necklace will go to support Free Arts NYC. More about the promotion here, at Free Arts NYC, or here, at Luna & Stella.

Photo: Luna & Stella

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Photo: Tracy Lee’s Signature Apple Nut Cake

The other day I realized that since I have no plans to go apple picking this year, I better come up with a substitute apple activity to fill that seasonal need. Tracy Lee Karner had a yummy-looking apple cake recipe at her WordPress blog, here. I made up my mind to try baking it.

With the understanding that I, too, require only ingredients and utensils I happen to have handy, I baked it in an 8-inch-square glass pan instead of Tracy Lee’s 10-inch round — for 43 minutes instead of 40. I can’t be sure it was as yummy as Tracy Lee’s because I haven’t tried it in the 10-inch round, but it was pretty darn yummy.

P.S. You may have received random photos from me with no text. This will pass. I’m getting used to the Lumia 1020 phone Suzanne gave me for uploading pictures directly from the camera to the blog, which as you know, is part of Suzanne’s birthstone jewelry company, Luna & Stella. Sometimes I hit the wrong button.


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