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Dear Readers, this is just a reminder that I’m Suzanne’s Mom (John’s Mom, too), and Suzanne is the founder of the contemporary birthstone-jewelry company Luna & Stella, which hosts this blog.

Mother’s Day is a big season for Suzanne, and you will be seeing her moon and stars charms and her antique lockets in magazines such as Marie Claire and on websites such as CoolMomPicks.com.

Suzanne is also giving away one of her beautiful antique lockets. Here are the rules for entering the drawing, as seen on instagram @lunaandstella:

We are giving away this sweet hand-engraved floral antique locket for Mother’s Day. 🌸
To enter
1. Follow @lunaandstella on Instagram or Facebook
2. Tag 2 friends
3. Tell us in the comments portion of this instagram post whose photos you’d put inside
Giveaway ends Monday May 8 at 3 pm EST.

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I have to say, I’d be thrilled if the winner turned out to be a reader of Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog. Do consider entering the Luna & Stella drawing on Facebook or instagram.

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What is important to you? Who is important to you?

Today I’m thinking about all the ways we hold what we care about as close as we possibly can. Maybe we love to wear an article of clothing that reminds us of the dear friend who gave it to us. Or a ring that belonged to a great-grandmother. Or a child’s photo in a locket.

As you know, this blog appears because my daughter, Suzanne, suggested five years ago that I write a blog tied to her contemporary birthstone jewelry company and (I’m still amazed by this) basically said, “Go forth, and write about anything that interests you.” Wow.

Today what interests me is letting you know that Suzanne’s company, Luna & Stella, is now offering antique lockets that are rapidly finding a mix-and-match niche. The handmade hinges, just to mention one highlight, are nearly invisible, impossible to find today.

Dear Friends, carry what’s important with you wherever you go. In your heart. Or maybe in a locket. Get those creative juices flowing … maybe a photo of Lady Liberty would be good.

From the founder: “Luna & Stella blends its own contemporary heirlooms with antique and estate pieces.  Influenced by the moon and star icons used in Victorian jewelry, Luna & Stella creates fine jewelry that is symbolic of loved ones, using birthstones and other symbols to represent the relationships between parents, grandparents, children, partners, siblings, and friends. 

“A passionate collector of antique jewelry, Suzanne curates a selection of antique lockets and Victorian and Estate stacking rings chosen to layer with Luna & Stella’s collection of modern talismans, charms, symbols and birthstones. 

“I love finding lockets with the original photos inside.  It is a glimpse into another time and place.  I wonder about the people in the photos – were they her parents?  Her husband? Her children? Her sister or someone else important to her? Whoever they were, they were important to the wearer and I think it is so special that those memories have been preserved in some way, over a 100 years later.  When the new owner puts in her own photos, the locket gets new life and new meaning to each caretaker.

“The url to our website is http://www.lunaandstella.com/ and to the collection of lockets is: http://www.lunaandstella.com/collections/vintage-locket-collection. Not all of the pieces you have are online, yet but they will be by Nov 15.  Clients can customize the lockets with a new or antique chain, and charms from our or their own personal collections.”

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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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Well, this is a new one on me: a bookstore that sells only one title at a time.

Amy X. Wang reports at a website called Quartz that in September 2014, “Yoshiyuki Morioka, a bookseller who had been running a store in Tokyo, Japan, for 10 years, had a curious thought. Lots of customers, it seemed, dropped in during book launches and other events to buy the same title; others often appeared overwhelmed by all the extra variety. So why not start a bookstore that only sold one book at a time?

“Now, Morioka Shoten — Morioka’s new venture that threw open its doors in Tokyo’s trendy Ginza shopping district in May 2015 — operates around that very principle. The store stocks multiple copies of only one carefully selected tome each week …

“Takram, the design engineering firm that helped Morioka put together the look of his new store, says the experience highlights ‘the importance of a physical venue in the era of digital reading.’

“Books that have been displayed so far include Swedish-Finnish author Tove Jansson’s The True Deceiver, Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, and works from well-known Japanese writers like Mimei Ogawa and Akito Akagi. Each title is displayed for six days in a row—Tuesday to Sunday—and then swapped out for a new book.

“And things are going quite well at the quiet little store. According to Morioka, Morioka Shoten has sold more than 2,000 works since it opened. Proof, then, that readers seeking deep, personal relationships with physical books are still around across the world.” More here.

You know, that last sentence strikes a chord. I was just explaining to a friend today how this blog resulted from my daughter asking if I would apply my love of blogging to support the vibe of the jewelry company she founded, which emphasizes deep, personal relationships.

If you’ve never clicked on the Luna & Stella site (or even if you have), please do now. Suzanne and Erik have posted a steady stream of new birthstone-jewelry designs and charms over the five years I’ve been blogging. Each one is full of meaning.

Photo: Takram/Miyuki Kaneko
The one-room bookstore Morioka Shoten in Tokyo

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Trade shows have been helpful to Suzanne’s birthstone-jewelry company, Luna & Stella, as it branches out from being strictly online to selling to retail outlets like Talulah Cooper Boutique in Providence.

A couple weeks ago, Suzanne took Luna & Stella to the trade show NewYorkNow (“the market for home, lifestyle + gift”). Today, she is making an impression at PlaytimeNewYork — while making friends with other relationship-oriented businesses, like Little Paisley People.

I love how the founder of Little Paisley People describes the origins of her business: “I spent the most memorable summers of my childhood in Amalsaad, a quaint village, in Gujarat, India. … I grew up watching my mom work with the local artisans to hand-make toys that would support the local community. Those are the toys you also see in the Little Paisley People line. And that’s the logo you see – the passing on of the thread over the generations. …

“We create handcrafted lifestyle products for children, never forgetting that kids need to be kids. The handmade nature of these products evoke an understated elegance but are always playful. Social responsibility, the people who make these products, and how they make them are very important to us.”

Here, she and her daughter model Luna & Stella’s mother-daughter heart rings. How nice that new businesses are emphasizing the importance of family and friend relationships!

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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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Kate Colby (for whose offer of a room to Suzanne and Erik when they were house hunting there can never be enough gratitude) is a poet.

She came to the rescue when Suzanne was starting Luna & Stella and was having trouble finding a writer to capture the more ethereal qualities of the birthstones.

“What you need,” I said, “is a poet.”

“I know a poet!” she cried. She remembered Kate used to write copy for a catalog.

Beyond such marketing endeavors, Kate publishes poetry, choreographs offbeat theater, and co-leads art/poetry walks. An example of the latter will occur soon.

As Eryn Carlson writes at the Boston Globe, Kate is collaborating with artist Todd Shalom to offer “Duly Noted,” a participatory walk incorporating techniques from poetry, sound, and performance, at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, July 18, at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Carlson comments, “Shalom and Colby know that the very nature of tours makes it easy to overlook the ways in which artworks and their settings inform one another. … The pair created the collaborative walk ‘Duly Noted,’ a poetic exchange between participants and the Lincoln museum’s site and surroundings.

“ ‘Reading the art is apt because it’s so framed by woods and walls and water, and all this history,’ said Colby, who grew up in Wayland and lives in Providence. …

“ ‘It’s all about reframing the site,’ said Shalom, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist who founded Elastic City.”

At a performance in May, “participants evolved from visitors to artists and performers. Individuals gave one-word soliloquies atop a stump, announcing their visual discoveries, and, guided by a partner, wandered the grounds with eyes closed to pay special attention to the surrounding cacophony. …

“Shalom and Colby, who met while working on their master’s degrees in fine arts at California College of the Arts, planned ‘Duly Noted’ meticulously over the course of a year, visiting the deCordova several times to perfect the route, pacing, and segues. But a degree of uncertainty and room for spontaneity remained.”

This could be a fun activity on July 18 if you live in the area. The grounds of the museum offer breathtaking views and sculptures everywhere you turn. Add to that a participatory happening like this, and you have the ingredients for a memorable day.

Read more here.

Photo: Barry Chin/Globe staff
Visitors at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum on a participatory walk titled “Duly Noted.’’

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