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.

LINDA MACDONALD

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

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

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The Littlest Things Can Bring You Comfort And Keep You Same

The Littlest Things Can Bring You Comfort And Keep You Same

The little things you wear that can mean the most.

For example, whenever I am doing something that makes me nervous or that i need courage for, I wear the guardian angel pin my mum gave me about 9 years ago. One of the gems is missing, but I’ve worn it through every important even in my life since then and while i’m not a religious person, I am quite spiritual and it has given me comfort.

I have no idea where that gem fell off, but to me, it’s imperfection is a form of it’s perfection. It’s a little like me, a little like mum. A bit dog-eared, ever-so-slightly worse for wear yet still shining on through stubbornly, that remaining jewel apparently impervious to the elements that claimed it’s brother.

A touch to that in a nervous moment and a calm enters me. Just a tiny bit. But, it is something of an ancestral calm, something ancient and strong.

Either that or I have a really vivid imagination, either one’s a possibility to be honest.

A friend gifted me a stunning necklace in thanks for helping her in her darkest hour.

and WITHIN, behold the loveliness!! :D

and WITHIN, behold the loveliness!! 😀

The necklace is from Linda Macdonald, whose website I have linked you to.

Such a beautiful gift means so much to me and I’ve had so many compliments on it. I’m known among my friends for loving jewellery and my mum is a great collector of very, very expensive rings. Not in an obnoxious way, just on very special occasions she gets a new one. Like her 40th50th 25th Wedding Anniversary. She says;

“…when it’s a special occasion you dad asks me what I want and I always say a ring. It doesn’t mean I like it any more or any less, but when I look at a ring I like that I can tell you the history behind it. I like a wee bit of history behind them. Just for me. It helps keep the memories…”

I’m a sentimentalist. Every time I wear the necklace (which has become every day, more or less) I put it back in the padded pink box then back in the lacy drawstring bag. There’s nothing I love more than a well packaged gift; it makes the contents seem all the more special. Some would call it superfluous – I call it attention to detail.

I looked up the lady who designed it, because I was curious and oh my goodness she’s so talented!! Totally deserved the award. I may invest in another item, sooooo many to choose from!

 

SSDD

Black and White: Who Needs Colour

I don’t normally make fashion posts but I’ve been inspired recently and there is one coming up that’s got me pretty excited. Watch this space if you like nail art… 😀

 

Today I felt quite comfortable in what I was wearing – surprising, considering the length of my skirt 😉

Almost the entire outfit is from Primark, actually.

my outfit on this sunny day :)

my outfit on this sunny day 🙂

my outfit on this sunny day :)

my outfit on this sunny day 🙂

I accessories with a blazer, brogues and my favourite bag. I love me a leather bag… mmmmmmn… ^.^

I think the body-con look can look great on a girl who has curves and has the confidence to rock them in all their glory. But…

without blazer and bag...

without blazer and bag…

without bag and blazer...

without bag and blazer…

If you’re like me and are a little self conscious about having all the curves of a 10 year old, then there is an answer, yaaaaay!! 😀 COVER IT UP with a baggy t-shirt.

The American style, numbered jersey thing is “in” right now or something… I don’t really know I just saw it in the shops and like baggy t-shirts 🙂

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I like the body-con-short-skirt combo because it elongates my legs and gives me the freedom of movement I need – I take big steps, restricting clothes irritate the hell outa me, as I discovered after venturing into the realms of the midi-dress… I love it, but don’t ask me to meet you at the top of a hill, you’ll be waiting a long time.

The necklace is the special item for me.

Linda Macdonald is a Scottish jewellery designer who won the British Jewellery Association 125th Anniversary Awards 2012 Designer of the Year. She’s based in Helensborough, Scotland and I will link to her website HERE. I cannot recommend her stunning, handcrafted designs enough. I was so pleased with my necklace that I e-mailed her and Facebooked her to say thanks!

beautifully packaged... just looks great right!? :D

beautifully packaged… just looks great right!? 😀

The presentation is so sweet and so feminine that opening it with trepidation and anticipation is almost as exciting as opening it to find the silver beauty nestled within.

and WITHIN, behold the loveliness!! :D

and WITHIN, behold the loveliness!! 😀

It was given to me as a thank you from a very dear friend for doing her… well I wouldn’t call it a favour, but I tried very hard to help her in as best a way as I possibly could and it paid off in her favour, thankfully 🙂

She didn’t need to – you should never, ever, do something for a friend in expectation of thanks or recompense – but she gave me this gift in thanks for that. Apparently my actions made an impact. And hers certainly made an impact on me. I’ll treasure the pendant forever, for the memories and the sentiment.

And yes, the background to those pics IS a notebook covered in mustaches. You’re welcome.

Here’s a couple of pics of the dress I bought today. My birthday is coming up (the big 2o!!) so I figured I’d get me a wee party dress to… party in!! 😀

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And a couple of my lovely hometown this afternoon 🙂

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SSDD