Year of Jewelry 2015 Week 1: Talisman

Haouli Makahiki Hou!  (Happy New Year!)  If you follow me on Instagram (@simplyleilanijewelry), you already know I spent the holidays in Hawaii.  It was a great time, but it's also nice to be back in Virginia Beach... This year I decided to participate in a project called Year of Jewelry (YOJ).  Essentially, jewelry artists are encouraged to finish and post one piece of jewelry per week for 52 weeks.  There are themes for every week, but they're really suggestions to get you started if you're having trouble getting started.  Good thing, as I'm actually starting a week behind, jet lag is killing me and my youngest decided she wanted to have a play date today.  The little ones interrupted me about every 5 minutes.  I burned through my first bezel attempt and accidentally stamped a letter 90 degrees off on the first back plate, so I really made this piece 1.5 times.  :)

The featured stone is kyanite, which purportedly opens all chakras, enhances psychic abilities, encourages fair treatment of others and helps you to communicate clearly, among other things.  Personally, I don't believe that inanimate objects give you particular traits; however, I do think that jewelry can serve as a reminder to focus on the things you wish to work on, and that can bring about change.  As the theme for the week was talisman, I decided to hand stamp an inspirational quote on the back plate.  I chose a lyric from Van Morrison's song, "Into the Mystic."  I thought it complemented kyanite's symbolic meaning.  For those who are unfamiliar with the song, the lyric goes: 

Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic

When I sat down to write this, I thought it was ironic that this is what I created today.  My self-appointed mantra for 2015 was supposed to be FOCUS.  Rather than keep spinning all the plates, I wanted to focus on one task at a time to wrap up a bunch of unfinished projects I just couldn't finish in 2014.  After having some time to reflect upon this piece, I realized that some of the changes ahead of us will happen no matter how I prepare for them and others don't really need to be achieved in the timeline I originally imagined.  In the long run, I will serve and be better served by focusing on meaningful relationships, not abstract concepts of achievement.  As a result, I will likely do fewer shows this year.

What are you working toward in 2015?

May 10, 2014

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Where Am I? The Creative Wedge

Today's the big day- stop by The Creative Wedge in Hilltop West!

Never been to TCW?  Here's how to get there.


Some of the goodies you just might see:



And special Mother's Day pricing on these lockets:


So come check it out!!!  I'll be there from 12:30 - 3pm, but TCW is open until 6pm.



Thursday Travels: Kailua (Oahu)

It's no secret.  If you love the beach, there are tremendous beach communities in Hawaii.  Each has its own feel.  We were lucky to call Kailua "home" for a number of years.  There's a great mix of people there, and lots of small thriving businesses.  If you ever find yourself on Oahu, GET OUT OF WAIKIKI and drive over to the Windward side of the island!

Kailua Beach is the largest beach park in the area, lots of families, dogs, swimming, and wind/water sports.  Be sure to stop by Kalapawai Market!

If you have access to military bases, Bellows AFB (which is a few more minutes east), also has a large sandy beach with fewer people.

If you like body boarding, Kalama Beach is smaller but has great wave action.

Lanikai Beach is also pretty popular for picnics, although you have to park on residential streets.  Just make sure you find public access paths and stay off of private property.

In Kailua, you will want to try Lanikai Juice for a refreshing treat.  There are also some great shops with unique, upcycled, hand made jewelry, housewares, and clothes.  My favorites are Kailua Verde and Global Village.  Lanikai Bath and Body has some really great soaps and lotions.  (Beautiful scents, not overpowering... perfect gift for someone on the Mainland who loves Hawaii.)

People who've "known" me for a while will recognize this photo... or maybe just parts of this photo.  This photo is the background for my business cards, banner, and many of my online avatars.  (It was actually taken in Waimanalo, which is a few minutes down the road from Kailua.)  I am not a photoshop guru.  This is really the color of the sand, sea, and sky.  I love it.

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Thursday Travel Tips: Dubai

Now, I know the United Arab Emirates probably isn't the most common "bucket list" destination, but if you like large coastal cities, you should add Dubai to your list.  What?  Dubai is a very fun city.  Lots of high end shopping, dining, and everything is over the top.  If Disney designed a major city, it would be Dubai.  Transportation is reliable and affordable, the city is very clean and safe for a major city, and any imaginable luxury can be found.  Where else would you find a four story indoor water fountain, the world's largest single pane acrylic aquarium, and the world's tallest building- all within a 10 minute walk from each other?  Want to shop 'til you drop, hit an indoor ski slope,  lay on the beach, or enjoy high tea?  You can do that here!

Planning a visit to Dubai?  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

If you are a "go see things" type of tourist, it will take at least 3 full days to hit Ski Dubai & Mall of the Emirates, Burj Khalifa & Dubai Mall, and Burj Al Arab & Jumeirah Beach.  They are located far enough apart that it's very difficult to hit two areas in the same day.  

If you want time to relax and do nothing (or have a world class spa day), you should allocate 4-5 days at a minimum.

If you want to attend tea at Burj al Arab (the world's only 6 star resort- you know, the one shaped like a huge sail with the helipad on the roof), make reservations in advance.  

If you happen to be interested in a luxury fitness retreat in Dubai, then check out Mind Body Transformation.  One of the owners is a long time friend, and I am sure it would be a world class experience.

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