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What’s In your Summer Bag?

Summer is one of my favorite times of year.  However, in this never-ending California heat wave it can be a struggle when it comes to dressing up on these hot summer days. So how do you showcase your own personal touch without risking heat stroke?

Accessories of course! And what better to accessorize with than jewelry?

This year my travel plans are what had me counting down the days on my calendar.  Oh, how I missed seeing new places and old favorite haunts! My first stop was Greece, and I have to say this family reunion might take the cake on 2021 so far.  Often my trips are somewhere between two to six weeks, so packing is always a struggle between the luggage weight limit and not knowing what I may feel like wearing on a given day. Fortunately, jewelry weighs less than clothes and my destination has only one weather mode in summer: HOT. When it came time to pack, naturally I had to include pieces from my Nomos collection.

Easy-to-wear signet-style rings are all the rage right now so I had to bring along a couple with me. The first one I packed? The Aqua/Blue No. 2 ring. This one was a must for my summer bag to Greece. The color of this “lavender turquoise” from Kazakhstan is one of the most vibrant in the world and is the most ‘chemically pure’ turquoise found in the market. The contrast between the baby blue color with its dark blue web-like matrix gives it an amazing depth and it frequently includes lavender hues, which makes it very distinct. This piece of turquoise makes me imagine Nature’s hand grabbing a paintbrush and loosely drawing a circle!

But in truth, the dark blue circle is formed as rainfall infiltrates downward through soil and rock, dissolving small amounts of copper. The water later evaporates, the copper combines with aluminum and phosphorus, and deposits tiny amounts of turquoise on the walls of subsurface fractures or sometimes replaces the rock itself. The deep blue ring here is a result of a less complete replacement of that rock, thereby appearing as “matrix” – or in this case, the circle.

Accessorizing doesn’t just end at jewelry though. For the last four years, I’ve taken to always packing my tiny sketch book and a mini set of oil pastels whenever I go on a trip.  I make a point to take some quiet time to draw a memory – capturing the country’s landscape, the city’s colors, the museum’s art; all of it inspires me. It’s an amazing travel journal of all the destinations I’ve been to and, each time I flip through it, I’m reminded of fabulous experiences!

Any time I’m traveling, I try to be as compact as possible – and leave just a little room for “extras” I find along the way. A trip to the island of Sifnos, which is where I was this summer, isn’t complete without packing a re-fillable water bottle, a scarf in case it gets windy, and some loose dresses, which are easy to take from steamy beach day to dinner in town. This trip one of my favorite extras was from a “local” Greek designer, Ancient Kallos, which makes gorgeous clothing with ancient Greek prints, traditional embroidery and attention to detail. Right up my alley!

Annnnnd, I also picked up some gorgeous local pottery, which the island is known for – you can see the potters hard at work and pick your favorites from their studio stores. I had a heavy bag!

While Europe is always a mesmerizing voyage, there is still plenty of beauty to be found at home. Sun Valley, Idaho, followed by Jackson Hole, Wyoming, were my next stops – this time for trunk shows, and wow… the West is stunning! The people, the wildlife, the views…. Though the surrounding nature Wyoming offered was different from Greece, I found myself overcome with a sensation of immeasurable peace. In my July newsletter I briefly touched on my trip and the Dumortierite Ring.

This rare blue dumortierite quartz echoes the cobalt lakes in the region. A gem hugged by blue sapphires and rainbow moonstones, their colors work to embody the tranquil cloudless skies.  I couldn’t pick a more fitting ring to accompany me through the mountains of Wyoming! And while the landscape is breathtaking, there is another sight just as eye-catching…Bison. Just roaming across the road in front of your car!

Now that you know what I’ve been packing this summer…what’s in your summer bag?