Looking for Jewelry as a Gift

A close friend was having a major birthday and I couldn’t think of the right gift. Then I remember how much she loves earrings and how wonderful they look on her with her short black hair. So I was looking around a bit online at some of my favorite shops so I could have a pair sent directly to her. Here are some of my top picks:

I’ve blogged before about the amazing Cog and Pearl shop on 5th Ave in Brooklyn, but I need to mention it again here. In another Brooklyn shop I noticed a beautiful necklace made by Wendy Mink, so I decided to look on her site too. Another designer that coworkers from BAM introduced me to is Jane Diaz, whose silver pieces are classic. And one of my more recent favs and the place where Craig and I found my wedding ring(!) is St. Kilda. The shop also on 5th Ave in Brooklyn is a treasure trove of sharp and delicate beauty. I love its slate gray walls and gold neon script on those walls.

But I ended up picking a pair of earrings on a site that I bookmarked long ago called the silly name of shopbop.com. But they have very pretty jewelry.

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Museum Shops-West Coast

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art shop: My top pick for West coast museum shops I’ve been to on this trip is SFMOMA’s on all counts. It’s in a sunny, gorgeous large room which is easy to maneuver in even when full. The items both made for SFMOMA and beyond are all tempting. And I love the jewelry and watches. Often these pieces feel aimed at ladies who lunch and are over 80 and just like shiny big things. The T-shirts and water bottles and pads of paper made for SFMOMA are all grab worthy. I love the use of the ginkgo leaf and the shiny leather covers for the paper pads. All useful and beautiful. And the bag that is made from a fabulous wrinkled shiny black material. SFMOMA shop

Getty Museum shop: A smallish room for a museum of this size and space, which although it felt fussy still had temptations. I found the singular best bookmark I’ve ever seen. It’s made of cut metal and looks like branches and flowers–somewhat Japanese in style. I don’t see it on their site, but I will try to track it down as I want to grab one for many xmas gifts later. Getty Museum shop

Los Angeles County Museum of Art shop: Although the room feels a bit dated, their shopping bag in which all my items were place, is the best I’ve seen anywhere. Craig and I are actually thinking of framing it. It’s a photo by John Baldessari with lots of sky and his thumb, a pencil with an eraser measuring  a palm tree in black and white (more brownish and white). LACMA shop

de Young shop: My Mom said I should go to the de Young museum and after we went to the California Academy of Science, we headed across the way to the new building of this museum. Sadly its collections was closed on Monday, but the shop and the tower with tremendous San Francisco views was open. And, the best part, was the room near the tower’s elevator was filled by Ruth Asawa‘s fantastic wire sculptures which I had only seen in photos. They were wonderfully lit to cast shadows on the dark concrete walls. The de Young shop is a beautiful two floor space with scores of beautiful objects and their museum-logo pieces riff off its new exterior which looks like rusty red metal perforated by circles in various patterns. de Young shop

Things I Like

Every so often I’d like to do a THINGS I LIKE post that will be eclectic. At one time I thought I’d like to open a shop with the name “Things I Like” as it would be lovely to collect beautiful objects and things from around the world, sit among them, and sell them to their new owners. Maybe that’s what I’ll do when I’m 80.

So here are some things I like at the moment:

I’ve always Loved semi-precious stones. Their colors, light, textures, weight just feel good whether in their raw, chunky form or smooth in jewelry. I was look around for a place to find beads, maybe to make something myself and found this stone site: http://www.agrainofsand.com/Beads-Labradorite-Stone-47.html. I like looking at all the colors and shapes, especially of Labradorite, at the moment.

Because I live in Brooklyn, any favorite shops are probably going to be located there. The shop that I recommend the Very Most, All the Time is Red Lipstick on Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights. Its owner Stacey is the bomb. She has out of this world taste, and although the shop is small, I never left without the next dress or shirt or bag or earrings for which I will receive tons of compliments.  (Be careful about the opening times. I think the store is open Wed-Sun, but I’m not sure.) http://www.redlipstick.net/shop/about.html

The other place I love at the moment has two locations, one on 5th Avenue in Park Slope: MATTER. It’s a  trendy store of household-esque designed objects, and decorative pieces and jewelry. But although it is in the zeitgeist of what’s hip hot now–they do it so well. And there are pieces that I think are or will be classics. I try not to go there if I’m saving $$ because I know I’ll see something (a basket made of tires, a necklace with the words Je t’aime, a bowl made of melted plastic toy soldiers…) that I will want. Matter: http://www.mattermatters.com/. Here’s more info: http://nymag.com/listings/stores/matter/. They also have a location in Soho.

And right next door to Matter, is my favorite card and wrapping paper + small gifts shop: Scaredy Kat. I think they might be closed Mondays: http://www.scaredykatstore.com. And they have a blog, http://www.kattreats.blogspot.com/

Also on Park Slope’s 5th Avenue is my favorite gift shop Cog and Pearl. It’s another place I only go to when I can spend money because they have such original, beautiful objects that I’ll find something every time. http://cogandpearl.com/store/