Bling 4eva

If I were to carve a love message into a tree right now it would read "Grace hearts Costume Jewelery". Sorry The Boyfriend, but I'm a fickle woman. Maybe if you were more sparkly, it would be your name on that tree. Here are a few of my favourite pieces. You'll have to excuse the funny shadows. I'm not the most talented photographer in the world, and I don't have any fancy lights, so I have to depend on old fashioned equipment like "the sun" and "going outside". I had to climb out my bedroom window onto the tin roof of our apartment building, distribute my weight carefully so as not to (1) dent said tin roof, and (2) not sit my butt into the thick layer of red dust coating the roof from the crazy dust storm we had in Sydney last week. Sometimes I wonder if there is anything more amazing than living in a big city and having no outside space.

This chunky, colourful beaded necklace was a gift from The Boyfriend a few years ago. He got it at a shop called Bernstein & Gold in Victoria Canada. I love the busy mix of saturated, bright colours and the interesting choice of beads. I wear it to work with a crisp, white, collared shirt, but I think it would look equally sharp with a midnight blue silk top, or a light coloured scoop neck t-shirt. Unfortunately I've forgotten the name of the designer. Shame on me.

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I just got this fantastic sparkly necklace at JCrew when I was in Seattle earlier this month. It was a bargain at around $70. I can tie the chain in a knot at the back to make the necklace a bit shorter. The beads are a weird sort of non-colour; they could be olive green or grey, but they also pick up the light and colour from whatever I'm wearing, and morph, chameleon-like, to complement the outfit.

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This white and gold cuff was also a gift from The Boyfriend and also came from Bernstein & Gold in Victoria. And what do you know, I can't remember the designer's name for this one either. Double shame. It's made of white marble, gold and citrine.

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I adore this weird minty-green brooch that my mom and I found in an antique store in Victoria a few years ago. Upper Fort St. downtown is full of these neat little antique stores that sell shoes for teensy feet, corsets for teensy waists, and amazing jewelery. Notice the creepy little frog sitting on a petal, minding its own business. Also notice how in this photo the shadow looks like Batman''s head. It''s a double whammy of subtle weirdness. Like WHAM. And then again, WHAM. You didn't think I was going to do it, but I totally did.

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This is a silver collar I got at a store on Crown St. in Surry Hills called Mrs. Red & Sons. Their website only gives a phone number, but the store is definitely worth a visit if you're in the neighbourhood. They've got a giant red door at the front, which opens into a lovely little shop full of jewelery and homewares, most of which have an Asian bent. This piece is by a designer in Western Australia named Susan Pender. The collar is sterling silver and the fish ornament is freshwater pearl and coral. I love this necklace because it's striking when worn with a plain top, but you can also remove the ornament to wear the collar alone with a printed top or dress.

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This necklace belonged to my grandma, who brought it to Canada from the Philippines. I don't know much about it except that it's super cool.

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I was so excited when my mom and I found this peacock brooch in a shop called Chapel Street Bazaar in Melbourne.  Each piece of its tail is connected separately, so the tail swishes when I move around. The Bazaar is in a massive space at 217 Chapel St, Prahran and it's chock-a-block with vintage clothing, jewelery, shoes, and heaps of other flotsam and jetsam. What a fabulous place to spend a few hours drinking in the wares.

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This pewter flower also belonged to my grandma. I think the cross-hatching texture on the petals is genius. It takes something that's soft and reflective and makes it rough and almost industrial.

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I got this cool vintage gold-tone bangle at the Glebe Markets on the weekend.

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Finally, this is a bangle that my friends gave me for my birthday last year. I love how everything reflected in it looks like liquid. It's such a unique piece that I wasn't sure what it was at first, and I had some trouble figuring out how to wear it because it sits quite high off my wrist. Looking at it today though, I had a brainwave. I'm going to pick up some heavy chain or ribbon and try wearing it as a mid-length necklace. Sometimes I ask my friends how they can stand being around someone who has such clever ideas all the time. They just look at me, laugh and pat me on the head. I think they're jealous.

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