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It’s All in the Packaging

Linda Macdonald sent me another package!

PACKAGE!! :D

PACKAGE!! 😀

This time of year is all about the wrapping paper, the bows the bells and whistles. Whether you are receiving or giving, it’s all in the way it arrives. Everyone likes a nicely wrapped little something, no matter that that little something is.

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Gifts are ubiquitous at this time of year. “Christmas is the time of giving after all. And this one is a super special example of how some people put in just that bit extra effort.

Victoria's Secret Bag

Victoria’s Secret Bag

Some businesses at Christmas stuff things in a bag, scrunch a receipt in your hand along with a glum Ho Ho Ho“, and send you on your not-so-merry way. But then there are places like Victoria’s Secret. The fancy little stripey bag, the pink, the box, the intimations of contents a little more than ordinary.

Linda Macdonald is one of those places. And aside from her usual lovely packaging she is providing a special extra addition. Everyone loves a little indulgence at the festive time of year, writing it off as “It doesn’t count, it’s Christmas! (what kind of an excuse is that, by the way, exactly what difference to your metabolism is there during this particular stretch of the year that makes it better equipped to handle extreme amounts of rich and sugar laden foods, alcoholic beverages and cold weather??).

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Anyway, Linda has played into the hands of deliciousness and decadence and every order includes a lovely Lindt chocolate treat to please the tongue as well as the person.

package and CHOCOLATE!!

package and CHOCOLATE!!

Nestled inside my little pink organza bag was a ring that has been custom made to order for me. A gold heart set in a spotted silver band, on top of a solid one. Stunning!

RING!!

RING!!

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Even better, there is a sale! Lots of items under £50. Snap them up before your heart snaps in sadness at having not snapped them up!

Do you think they’re busy?? 😀

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SSDD

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Linda Macdonald Does It Again…

Ever wondered what that perfect piece of jewellery looked like? That one that was simple, understated, sat perfectly on your person like it was meant to be there?

Yeah, me too, and I’m yet to find it as well! But I have come pretty close with a few different ones.

A ring

Amethyst and Diamond Ring my parents gave me for my 20th birthday

Amethyst and Diamond Ring my parents gave me for my 20th birthday

A necklace or two, depending on my mood

My Linda Macdonald necklace

My Linda Macdonald necklace

It is the memories of who gave me these items, why and how I came about them that give them that importance to me. It is for that same reason that I doubt I will ever truly consider them perfect, as not all these associations are happy. They are like fragments of memories, both good and bad.

I’ve been thinking a lot about nature recently. There was a time, last year, when I was quite unwell. At one point, I went for a month without ever going outside, I was so sick. When I did, it was for only 10 minutes, to see the fireworks on bonfire night.

As much as I absolutely despise the cold that seems to linger in your bones in this god awful weather, I do love the freedom and the sense of utter release you feel to be outside. Something to do with all that space, I think. You can look all around you at eye level and there is stuff, buildings, cars, people… But then you look up. Look up and there is nothing. Just sky and space and air and freedom.

Well, that is something I like the idea of.

And I have found some more of my favourite things that represent that – jewellery!!

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I posted something recently, too, about a very special necklace given to me in thanks for helping someone through a tough time, as well as an actual entry about the lady that made it. Well, the lady that designed said necklace has been in touch with me to tell me about her new collections and I spoke last time of the Wee Pods collection. She has another. Forget Me Not.

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It is majestic, intricate and makes childhood an actual, present thing. How this woman does it…

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I saw the pieces on her site and fell in love. They represent things to me, much as my own necklace does. They are sweetness and delicacy, they are little pieces of pure life that you can wear around your neck and on your finger.

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There is a design in particular from the Forget Me Not collection that I loved the idea of. It is a pair of silver earrings with a little gold flower, looks like a bouquet of flowers with a dangley bit on it and a little tear drop hanging from the end. It reminded me of seeing those bursts of light and colour last year, set against the dark sky. To see the trinket would be like looking into one of those fireworks. Coming up to Christmas, can you imagine how much meaning one of those little bouquets could hold for someone? That seed would become a memory. Attached to it forever, would be the two of you.

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The Forget Me Not collection is intricate yet sweet. It is the sort of thing you would feel good about gifting to your 5 year old daughter or your 95 year old gran. Either way, the beauty would not be lost on them.

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I will tell you all more about these wonderful pieces, but for now, here are some I am lusting after, as well as a few things I am also keeping my eye on that compliment them – it is Christmas after all, and while anyone will tell you I’m not materialistic… 😉

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Stay tuned, as there is one more in this series to come, and that pertains to one of the most special gifts I have ever been given… and it comes from this magical lady herself!

To see pics you will have to wait a few days though, as I am off to LONDON BABY!! Just for the day. I leave tonight! And the **ahem** item, will be coming with me. So by the time you lovelies get to see it, it will be well traveled 🙂

 

SSDD

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Linda Macdonald Brings Christmas

I am no hipster, but I like special items I buy to come from a special place.

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It’s all to do with brand identity. Price is of course something we all heartily consider when putting our hands in out pockets, but there is something about forking out for something fairly valuable to a company you don‘t care about that just feels… wrong.

I for one can’t do it. Just can’t. There is something that makes my bank card snap in half in my minds eye and I just can’t put it in that inoffensive little slot. (I see the slot sucking the money from my account like an evil hoover, mocking me as it does.)

Call me frugal, but I would rather the money go on something I really care about and give my hard earned pennies to a company that is actually going to benefit from it. Maybe that is part of why I love independent stores so much. I’m like that with movies too, I find I prefer something that has had to put in a little bit of work to make it interesting. Ones that are a little more cerebral. (fast becoming my word of the moment, that, cerebral…)

Linda MacDonald Insignia

Linda Macdonald Insignia

Linda Macdonald is one of those rare jewellery designers that make my heart skip to see her designs. Forget trawling listlessly through the racks of cheap tat on sale in chain stores. Everyone loves a glittery trinket from time to time – but you don’t really care when one of the gems falls off or the chain breaks.

Linda’s pieces are not like that at all. Then again, Linda’s pieces are far less likely to snap than your standard shiny plastic. Nothing but solid gold and silver here.

Have you seen the special little diamond surprise...

Have you seen the special little diamond surprise…

As this is a designer local to me, having her base in Cardross near Helensborough, (that’s Scotland, for those of you unfamiliar to what “local” is for me) I am keen to make sure as many people as possible hear about her. She’s a one woman, creative, jewellery making machine whose work has taken her all over the country recently. She and her team have been working relentlessly to make her vision come true this year, with expansions abound and new designs aplenty.

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Since 1997 she has been a business. Or rather, I like to see it as she has been in the business of making people’s day, making memories special, but that is just my romantic side coming out. She supplies the likes of John Lewis and more than 125 independent galleries and boutiques, all of whom are proud to stock such a wonderful designer! They are all lovely, but why settle for lovely when you can have stunning

a selection from the collection...

a selection from the collection…

Named British Jewellery Association’s Designer of the Year 2012 her pieces are recognised as timeless. You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate beauty – hey, I’m just the human manifestation of a magpie, what I know about jewellery wouldn’t fill a post-it!

Companies like this need support to flourish in the current – dare I say it – economic climate. And I want us all to do that. Not only for Linda, but for others like her too. If you know a company/ a shop/ an artist near you that is independent and unique, don’t overlook them, just because there is an easier option. Pay patronage and reap the considerable benefits.

Linda Macdonald has a couple of collections that I think are cute, seasonal and great value for moneyperfect for Christmas.

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The Wee Pods and Forget Me Not ranges are her newest additions to her rapidly increasing family of 21 collections of glittering goodies.

But she also has products for under £50 –  a bargain when you consider what you could end up paying in a store for something vastly less appealing and machine made.

I would rather have something hand made by someone who really cares about what they are producing than by a machine that doesn’t care at all. I am by no means fashion conscious but my jewellery is important to me. I think it is the little choices that declare you as a person. Therefore, more attention should be paid.

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But then, when you see such beautiful things that have simply cropped up in the mind of an individual who has taken it upon herself to create beauty from the glimmering idea in her head, it is so easy to see why the UK has such a thriving Market culture and an love of unique things.

So indulge! Enjoy! And remember the name Linda Macdonald; I feel it is one you will be seeing a sizeable chunk of your bank account being transferred to!

But fear not. The joy you will get in return will more than make up for it. 🙂

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Here is a link to all her stuff – you will not be disappointed. I certainly haven’t been 🙂

LINDA MACDONALD JEWELLERY

SSDD

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Love Mika’s Boutique and… I’M BACK!

Great News!

Well, two bits of great news.

1. I am back on the blogosphere after an intensely busy period of faffing around with Uni and freelancing like a demon.

2. I have discovered a wonderful woman to share with you all as my welcome back gift to you!! 😀

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The internet has seen fit to treat me with word of another wonderful company! Therefore I feel it my bloggerly obligation to share my tie-dyed find! 😀

LOVE MIKA’S BOUTIQUE is a one woman operation from Wichita, Kansas (USA) and she makes hair bows and headbands for bold fashionistas.

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I’ve been looking for new hair accessories since Uni is starting again soon and I always feel that a little new detail in your outfit can act as a wee talisman, a confidence booster to make you feel good. This is especially true since I went for the chop and got my hair cut from waist length to shoulder!! So when advertising on Facebook randomly assigned this little gem to my sidebar, I was super happy! Useful pop-ups for a change! Yay commercialism (for a change)!

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I got in touch with the very talented lady behind the venture, Kamika Hicks, to, firstly congratulate her on being creative and awesome, and secondly to find out where her inspiration came from. Because small businesses are the stones that lay in the foundations of our global economy and people do not appreciate the effort they go to enough.

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Starting 2 years ago Kamika spends time creating these magnificent head pieces, crocheting, tie-dying, designing and decorating fabrics to make her products, originally just for fun and then commercially on a small scale. She has a passion for beautiful things and told me:

“During my senior year in high school I started to sell them to people around school and I really enjoyed doing it. Not for the money but also by making people happy and by seeing them smile when I would give them something I made…”

I respect this so much.  For someone to want to create purely for the fact that it makes them happy is the kind of artistry that is relatable and I feel makes a more unique product. And if something is handmade then it’s one of a kind.

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With young people constantly trying to differentiate from their peers, LOVE MIKA’S BOUTIQUE is a fantastic idea. All her products are hand-made and super colourful, but in my opinion not overdone. These days I think some hair accessories are so overly extrovert that there is more focus on the thing bouncing around on top of your head than your face, which kind of defeats the purpose of, you, know, having a face, if all the people around you are doing is staring distractedly at the glitterball on top of your barnet.

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Being that she is a strong independent woman, she is of course doing very well. She recently set up a store on etsy. com, which I advise you take a look at HERE.

Seriously, for the festive season, there is nothing better than a custom made hair accessory. Bows and adornments are a cute way to spice up a look at any time of year, but at Christmas they are all around us. Stand out from the crowd and roll custom – VISIT HER AND HAVE HER AWESOME STUFF IN YOUR LIFE.

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I would only suggest her if I thought she was the best since I’m really particular about my hair… mainly because my hair is so hard to make look interesting. Trust me.

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SSDD

Amethyst and Diamond Ring my parents gave me for my 20th birthday

Birthday Bling: Gem’s a Jewel But Jenny’s a Crystal…

Age Appropriate Gifting

Bring me the shiny things… and the leather bag…

I turned 20 the other week. August 12th marked the end of my teenage years and… the start of Grouse Shooting Season. Charming way to mark the occasion.

I asked my family not to get me presents. I’m not particularly materialistic and there was nothing I really wanted. But then… I thought, this is not just an average birthday. This is 20, a big one, I think. The end of that era we call childhood which opens a door into decades of adulthood. Real adulthood, this time, not just the way they tell you you’re an adult when you turn 18. That’s like a dry run, a practice for the real thing.

How do I know? Well, it’s obvious. They’ve dropped the teen from the end of my real age and added the altogether less exciting ty.

140720131139So I decided I would get something special that I could keep forever. If I was choosing it, I would enlist the help of my expert mother, qualified in all things jewellery in all but legitimacy. I wanted a unique little something, a trinket that would not tarnish, nor rip or tear or break, that I could keep and love and cherish and have as a reminder of this time in my life and what all the events happening in it meant to me, the good and the bad.

So I bought a handbag. Kidding! Well, kind of.

I did get a handbag, but that was more an indulgence and a present than something meaningful.I do love it dearly, it’s a beautiful leather manifestation from River Island and sure, I hope my leather bag fetish lasts a lifetime but nothing will last as long as the real gift…

An amethyst and diamond ring.

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Amethyst symbolises piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom… The perfect gem to symbolise trying times and a new attitude.

Diamonds may be a girls best friend, but diamonds get lonely. I was searching the web for the perfect companion for my triumverate of bejeweled joy. And instead, I uncovered a jewel mine with enough carved precious stones to satisfy even the most bug eyes magpie.

Jenny Mills Jewellery

An Australian Lady with a Swarovski Heart

Jenny Mills is an Australian Jewellery designer and her creations are composed mainly of Swarovski crystals and pearls on silver hooks. The one that caught my eye was the amethyst pendant. It’s text based charm may not exactly match the simplicity of my ring but the colours vibrancy was beautiful. The powerful purple hue was mersmerising!

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E-219-3-620x376Further inspections delivered my eyes with more and more sparkles are fine gems to make me melt! Colours and clarity in all the crystals whispering of unparalleled quality. So finely crafted, so lovely and utterly unique. One woman and her skill and creativity, made all that, and the sites categorization into sections for easy perusal made my trip through the glittering mine of heart shaped lovelies all the easier and more rewarding.

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What purchase I will make is yet to be decided, but one thing is for sure; more people on my side of the pond should know of her. E-242-620x376Such a gift would be perfection, a gift to remember forever and treasure like the heart shapes on her pendants.

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SSDD

Recent Posts on the Products of Creativity

Recent Posts

I know recently I haven’t been posting as many things to do with my deep and interesting inner ponderings ( 😉 ) but I have more in the pipeline, never fear.

I also realise that there have been several articles that seem to highlight the abilities of other people, especially where the construction of shiny things (ie. jewellery) is concerned.

That’s because I noticed that life has seen fit of late to gift me with a whole host of wonderful creative people, whose skills have literally been dropped into my lap. I am finding more and more that I appreciate the talent and time it takes to craft an item, especially a custom one. Some things take a little extra effort to make, like diamonds, they cannot be rushed, yet it is clear that the end result will be magnificent.

The Future of Awesome

So I’ve decided to feature some of these lovelies on my blog. You super-special-awesome folk that read it make my day with every view and every comment. So, in exchange for this buzz, I will give you a series of folks who have talent of a rare kind. People who have taken an idea, a thought, a design, a passion and crafted it, cultivated it into something real and malleable. Something you can hold in your hands and have and cherish. A product.

You can call it advertising or you can call it promotion or you can call it sharing. I don’t particularly care. But know that I will never ever show you anything I don’t personally find inspiring or that I don’t feel passionaltely deserves to be seen by as many people as will pay attention. There are so many small businesses that just do not get the acknowledgement or oomph that they so need and deserve.

So settle down and read away, for coming soon you will be gifted by a veritable mine of all manner of goodies for your perusal and admiration.

Enjoy!

 

SSDD