Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Lesson About My Halo

So, as you may or may not know, I am lucky enough to be married to my high school sweetheart. I have known and loved this man for the majority of my life (although there are admittedly some days when i don't LIKE him, haha!). We were engaged in November 2013 and married in April 2015.
When we got engaged, Erik gave me the most beautiful, unique ring I've ever seen. Everywhere I go, people compliment me on it. Fellow jewlers marvel at it's unique design and the interesting mix of rose gold in with the more traditional white gold.

The most unique feature of this ring, though, is a floating halo ring of diamonds that encircles the center stone and moves ever so slightly. The ring is always in motion, almost as if it has a life and energy of its own. I LOVE this feature of my very special, one of a kind ring.

So, immedately after we were married in April 2015, I became pregnant with my daughter Evelyn (when I say immediately, I mean like pregnant in May). Fingers swelled, weight was gained, and long story short I haven't been able to wear this gorgeous ring as much as I'd like to.

Well, in 2019 I am making efforts to enjoy the beautiful things in life, including all of the beautiful things that I am fortunate enough to have.

Including my beautiful ring.

So, with confidence and excitement, I took that ring up to a local jeweler (who does all of their work in-house) to be sized up. One week later, I went to the jeweler to pick up my ring. The sizing was perfect.

As the lovely woman at the counter unwrapped my ring, she happily exclaimed "...and look! He was able to fix the loose part with a small tack!".

I damned near died right there.

I think the blood drained from my face: I looked at her and before she could even finish her sentence I said "it's SUPPOSED to move: it was made that way!".




So, here I am, the ring is absolutely as gorgeous as it ever was, but that little unique detail that really only I knew about was changed. What I saw as a beautiful unique feature, the jeweler assumed was a flaw. It was different than what he knew to be beautiful and he "fixed it" for me.

Was it ill-intentioned? Absolutely not. This jeweler felt like he was doing me a favor by fixing my ring. He was going above and beyond to repair this broken ring so that I could enjoy it and wear it with confidence. It never once occurred to him that it was unique by design: that the assumed flaw was in fact a very intentionally thought out detail.

How does this story end? I sat there while he fixed it. He had to to back and undo his repair, removing the extra bit of gold that he had lovingly welded in to secure the moving piece in the ring. He had to try to undo what he had done, and I waited. When he brought it back out an hour later, it was once again free to dance and move like it had been intended to.


It is not the same now. I can see where the repair was. The metal is ever so slightly uneven, and there is an almost imperceptible scratch on the back. None of these things would be noticed by the naked eye, but *I* know it's there. I know what my ring was like and what its like now that it has been "fixed" and "unfixed". It may look the same, but in reality it has been changed forever.

So why I am I telling you this?

As I sat there waiting for the jeweler to bring my ring back to its intended design, I started to think about how this was all such an incredible metaphor for how we treat people and the effect our perceptions have on what we do.

About how we may try to "fix" something in someone else that we perceive as broken, but that really those imperfections are by design.

About how beauty and perfection are in the eye of the beholder.

About how, no matter how much you apologize or recant, you can never really completely repair the damage you do when you impose your visions of perfection onto someone else without their permission.

So here I am. My ring fits and I am wearing it with pride and love. The floating halo floats again, albeit with a slight scratch and an ever so imperceptible lopsidedness (that may or may not be there, I'm still reeling from the whole thing and it *could* be in my head).

The lesson:

unless you are God, don't ever adjust someone else's halo without being invited to. 

It's perfect the way it is.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A peek into the bel monili workshop


Every January, I like to take the time to really clear out my workspace 
and get some fresh inspiration for the new year.
This year, as I was moving through my space, I thought I'd share some photos of a few of my favorite areas within my space.

As you can see, I really love color!
I keep my beads organized by color, hanging where I can see them every day.

Working with vintage jewelry, I often come across pieces that I love but don't want to take apart for jewelry making. I like to make little vignettes that bring me joy when I see them, like this one with a tiny gold "E" (for Evelyn, my sweet daughter).
One of my favorite things to collect are tiny little figural pottery in rainbow pastel shades.
I have a lovely little collection that includes a dog, birds, a swan, some flowers, and even a unicorn!

For charms, I like to keep them organized in tiny see-through drawers.

My flowers are organized by size and color, in see through bins so that I can easily see what I have (AND also to get continual inspiration).

 I also organize/sort my vintage cluster earrings by colors, making my life MUCH easier when it comes time to create!

A few months back, my sweet husband installed some pegboards on my walls.
On one of them, I installed my beads (see earlier pic). 
On the other, I created a little shipping station where I have all of my supplies to ship out my jewelry creations.

A basket corraling all of my cards/mailing inserts has proven to be quote helpful when it comes time to shipping: no more searching around for cards!

My workpace is small, probably about 10x10 with a closet that is full of my husband's hockey card collection. One of my most favorite things about this house is this tiny little space that is full of color and light. I'd love to see your spaces and what inspires you to create!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Spring 2019 Style Report

Here at bel monili, we are always excited to see

what the fashion trends will be for the upcoming season.

Spring 2019 is especially exciting for us

as it combines our love of color and texture with a fun, casual chic vibe.

Here are the top 5 trends we are seeing for the Spring 2019 season

that you can actually implement into your style wardrobe:

1) Bamboo accessories

We LOVE the natural color and rich texture of this highly structured bamboo tote. Imagine filling it with a good book, a cold beverage, and a chic sarong and heading off to a private island retreat.

2) LOTS of color

If there is one thing we saw from the runways, it was C-O-L-O-R rules this season! The Pantone New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 color report is brimming with bright, juicy tones.

Pantone Spring 2019 Color Report, Pantone Summer 2019 Color Report, Spring 2019 Fashion Trends

3) Feathers

Feathers are a perennial favorite, and this year is no exception. You will find these ethereal beauties everywhere:

a chic pattern on a layering tee

feather tee shirt

on a delicately perfect pair of earrings

feather earrings, charm earrings, bel monili earrings

4) Vintage Florals

Well, this trend is pretty much our wheelhouse here at bel monili. We love working with vintage enamel flowers, which pair up well with basics OR layer in with other florals to create a bright, bold look.

vintage florals, statemenet necklace, dress with pockets

5) Layers, Layers, Layers

So far the Spring 2019 trends have been right on target for bel monili, and the layering trend is another one that we just can't get enough of. Pile on bracelets, necklaces, and earrings and strut your stuff in style! The best part about this layering accessories trend is that you can really work it in to your everyday wardrobe with neutrals such as a tunic and leggings or rock it out in an evening look with a little black dress.

Here are some of our favorite layered looks from the runways:

Versace Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 Milan September 2018

Versace Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 Milan September 2018

Let us know what your favorite spring styles are and how you work them into your style routine!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Why is it so difficult to keep up?

I am, admittedly, one of the worst bloggers out there. I start out the year strong: each year I do my "31 Days..." series and I am motivated for the year. 
Then February comes.
That's pretty much the end.
It's not that I don't have a lot of fun and interesting things going on: quite the opposite, in fact. 
I suppose that's the problem. I have so much to do that I don't really have the time to stop and share!
So, here is a little recap of 2015 so far for belmonili:
  • January: did MOST of my 31 days posts
  • February: broke my wrist, had a beautiful bridal shower
  • March: got ready for my wedding!!!
  • April: got married to the love of my life, went on an amazing honeymoon to Punta Cana, DR
  • May: got pregnant!
  • June: worked. slept. worked. slept.
  • July: went to Florida to visit my brother. slept.
  • August: entered into 2nd trimester, enjoyed a glorious resurgence of energy.
  • September: had an amazing time at the Country Living Fair!
  • October: my little dog Diva had enculeation surgery (removal of her eyes) and recovered like a pro

I am going to ***try*** to get some more updates out there, including long-overdue photos of my wedding and honeymoon. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

It's March, and I'm Getting Married in April. How did THAT happen?!

Well, as the old saying goes, 
"Time flies when you're having fun."
I must be having a ball, because we just turned the calendar 
and discovered that our wedding is a mere 6 weeks away!

Yesterday my dear friends and bridesmaids hostessed an amazing "Breakfast at Tiffanys" themed bridal shower for me. I am a wordsmith, however, the proper vocabulary escapes me when I attempt to convey the joy and love I felt.
Photo via Leigh Anne of Airheads Balloon Art
We had an amazing brunch spread at Roman Bistro in Forest Hills, PA 
(if you are anywhere in this area, I can't recommend this establishment highly enough), 
played some games, then sat down to open gifts.

As I looked around the room at all of those familiar smiling faces, I felt myself become overwhelmed with joy and love. I stopped to thank everyone for attending and became tearful when I said that this is the first time that I have had (almost) everyone I love in the same place. 
That was something I never expected, 
but it gave me even more reason to look forward to the upcoming wedding.

I hope that this day is joyful for you, 
and I can't wait to share the exciting things that are soon to come!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 24: Say a Prayer

Now, let me say that "prayer" means something different to everyone.
Some people clasp their hands and speak to a higher being. 
Some people reflect silently.
Some people turn to nature.
I am not here to judge or preach or say that any one way is better than another.
I am simply suggesting that today is a great day
to reflect on life's blessings and curses
and, in the best way you know how, say a prayer.
I'm going to ask you to add something today, though.
I am going to ask you to include my friend G in your payers.
She just had her second baby in November, a healthy baby boy.
She is the gorgeous and proud mother of 2 healthy baby boys
and the happy wife of my dear friend J.
Today she shared with the world that she has 
a benign meningioma (a tumor in the meninges of the brain) that must be operated on.
She is truly one of the worlds shining stars, 
and today she needs blessings.
Her husband needs blessings to stay strong.
Her boys need blessings to keep their dear mommy safe.
She needs blessings to overcome this obstacle with grace and good health.
So, however you pray, please pray for G today.

Friday, January 23, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 23: Love

I don't think it's possible to say or hear the words
"I love you"
without feeling joy.
Today's task is easy:
Say it.
Say "I love you" to someone you love.
Heck, say it to EVERYONE you love.
You can even say it a few times...
no one who loves you too is going to turn you away!