Mar 29, 2013

boats and birthdays


Good morning from the boatyard!  
Riley and I are spending a long weekend working on Winbrandt.  Easter Sunday is also Riley's birthday, and all he wanted was to spend some time working on a few boat projects.  The boat is only a few hours away from some family near Raleigh, so we are also going to be able to combine the trip into spending some time with them on Easter.




Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

Mar 27, 2013

looks like spring to me

snow day
winter layers

Hopefully this is the last snow that winter had to get out of it's system before it could move on.  I can't complain too much, though, because it was a really pretty snow and it meant that Riley and I were both stuck at home working on our individual creative projects.  I love it when that happens.

Behind me is our long, very snow covered driveway.  I got these Hunter boots as a Valentine's present one year after we spent a particularly long and snowy winter hiking up the hill to where we had to park our cars near the road.  Needless to say, these boots were way better than any chocolates or roses.

Coat: Anthropologie Boots: Hunter Leggings: Target Shirt, Sweater: J.Crew Factory Hat: Target Necklace: The Bauble Dept.


Mar 25, 2013

artistic outlet

oil painting
oil paint and easel
I haven't done much painting since I graduated from college a few (several?) years ago.  But every once in a while, I get the urge to lug all of my supplies back out and set up a fresh white canvas on my easel.    I am a certified perfectionist.  I like everything in it's place and for everything to look just so.  Lately,  though, I've been experimenting with a more abstract style of painting, and something about it feels so freeing.  You never know exactly what you're going to end up with.

We got several inches of snow yesterday, and finishing up this painting feels like the perfect snow day activity.  Never mind the fact that it was a commissioned work for my mom's birthday, which has since passed.  But sometimes you just can't rush these things, you know?


Mar 22, 2013

investment pieces

polka dot shirt with boots
turquoise and polka dots

As much as I am looking forward to warmer weather, there are a few pieces of clothing I hate putting away for several months.  These boots were the first clothing "investment" purchase I'd ever made.  For the longest time I had wanted a nice pair of leather boots, but I could never justify the purchase.  Finally, a few years ago, I picked out exactly the pair I wanted, and that summer I set aside a little out of each paycheck specifically for the boots.  By early fall, I was ready.  It was worth the wait, no buyer's remorse or guilt trip over spending the money.  Bonus, my husband was impressed by my discipline.  I spent a couple hundred dollars on shoes, and he was impressed... how often does that happen?  Actually, I figure my cost per wear since then has them down to a few pennies.  
Not too bad.

Shirt: JCrew Jeans: Anthropologie Boots: Frye Purse: Kate Spade outlet Necklace: The Bauble Dept.

p.s. I just joined Bloglovin!  It's a great way to keep up with my new posts and those of your other favorite blogs all at the same time.  You can find the new bloglovin' icon on the left sidebar or click here!

Mar 20, 2013

Genevieve's jewels

repurposing vintage jewelry

My great grandmother, Genevieve Johnson, had a lavish collection of costume jewelry. Rhinestone baubles, colorful beaded necklaces, and oversized clip on earrings that she had amassed over her lifetime. After her passing, most of the jewelry was discarded, though I held on to several pieces that I loved. 

I have been able to repurpose some of the beads from broken strands into some of my favorite new pieces. Grandma Johnson was a very giving person, and she would be so proud to know that she was sharing a little piece of her jewelry box from Lincoln, Nebraska with a younger generation. 

The colorful beaded pastel gemstone necklace includes some of Grandma Johnson’s vintage beads.

Mar 18, 2013

the weekend


A lot of sanding, a lot of oiling, and a little bit of time enjoying the gorgeous weather at the city docks.  This place is really starting to grow on me.

Mar 15, 2013

wearing of the green

green outfit for St. Patricks Day
handmade pyrite necklace, fool's gold necklace

I'm a few days early on the green, but Riley and I are spending the next few days working on the boat, so I'll probably be wearing mostly boat dust for the rest of the weekend.
Also, my necklace is made with fool's gold.  How's that for a themed outfit?

Blouse: Anthropologie Jeans: Anthropologie Shoes: Kate Spade Watch: vintage Necklace: The Bauble Dept.

Mar 13, 2013

Happy National Jewel Day!


Apparently, today is National Jewel Day.  Google turns up absolutely nothing of note about the holiday, aside from the suggestion to buy your special someone a gift of jewelry to celebrate.  Sound suspiciously like a marketing ploy…?  Regardless, in honor of National Jewel Day, I am listing a few new spring jewels in the Etsy Shop!

Spring jewelry from The Bauble Dept.

Mar 11, 2013

making it pretty



sailboat, C&C 30, live aboard

My husband, Riley, and I recently purchased a 30’ sailboat.  We are working towards getting it ready for an extended cruise later this year.  It’s an older boat, built in 1980.  When we went to look at it the first time, my practical, knowledgeable husband checked it over for things like water damage, functioning mechanical parts, etc.  I was looking at it thinking, “how can I make this pretty??”

On a sailboat this size, less really is more.  But I still felt the need to come up with a little inspiration board for the d├ęcor.   We have started refinishing the wood in the cabin, and my mother in law is making us new interior cushions with the navy blue striped fabric.  I also love the combination of colors and patterns I found in a page from the latest West Elm catalog.

navy blue stripes, decorating

For more on our sailboat endeavors, visit us at The WaterLog!

Mar 9, 2013

when in doubt, wear stripes. and turquoise.

striped shirt, leather jacket, turquoise necklace
striped shirt, leather jacket, turquoise necklace


Stripes are my fallback.  Maybe stripes are everyone’s fallback.  Sometimes I think maybe I’ll mix it up a little, try something new, but before I leave the house I’m back in stripes.   They’re comfortable and safe, and no one likes their comfort zone as much as I do.

Turquoise works for me like stripes do.  Accessorizing never came naturally to me, I have a very simple, straightfoward style (see: stripes).  But I have yet to find anything that doesn’t look a little better with some turquoise.  Probably why the shop has an overabundance of turquoise pieces right now.  You can never go wrong with turquoise.  Or stripes.

Leather jacket: Fossil Shirt: J.Crew Factory Jeans: Anthropologie Shoes: Cole Haan Necklace: The Bauble Dept.


Mar 7, 2013

seeing green

green jewelry for spring and St. Patrick's Day from The Bauble Dept.



Lately it seems I just can't get enough green.  Not only is Emerald the Pantone color of the year, but with St. Patrick's Day and the first day of spring approaching, green is everywhere!  It's definitely influencing my work in the studio.  These pieces, and even more green can be found in my shop here!

Mar 6, 2013

a bit about me and my shop

About me and my Etsy jewelry shop

I’m Allison, owner and creator behind The Bauble Dept. I grew up with a love of art, mainly drawing and painting, and graduated from college with a BFA in studio art. After graduation, I had the privilege of working for a local jewelry designer where I fell in love with a whole new art form. When it came time to move on, I found that I couldn’t quite leave the jewelry making behind. I opened The Bauble Dept. on Etsy as a way to keep it in my life. 

I love creating such small-scale artwork and working with gorgeous natural gemstones and precious metals. I look forward to finding new ways to create beautiful jewelry and adding new techniques to my repertoire as a designer.  Starting this blog is a way for me to collect all of the things that inspire me, for both my jewelry making and my life as a whole.




Mar 5, 2013

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