It’s a stereotype, I know, but women do tend to love shoes. I have a closet full of shoes and technically do not need another pair, but that won’t stop me from buying more anyway. Sometimes, shoes are beautiful, like these with their carved, wooden dragons for heels.
You can find them in the Fashion4Freedom Etsy shop and they’re not only beautiful, but have an incredible backstory. It’s called the Saigon Socialite shoe collection and it’s a tribute to the ancient Vietnamese craft of Pagoda wood art.
Fashion4Freedom takes liberty in translating the timeless beauty of ancient Vietnamese wood art through the lens of modern luxury. After 18 days incubated in the hands of village artisans, our reincarnated soles are born.
The collection is a fusion of ancient symbols found in traditional art combined with a modern sensibility for comfort.
There are a variety of designs that include dragons and horses, and each is handmade so they’re going to be unique to the wood and the artist who made the carving. No two can be exactly alike. They even request a photo of the outline of your foot so they can customize the fit to your exact foot shape and size.
The wooden heels come in 3″ or 6″ heights and have rubber soles so you won’t be as likely to slip down the sidewalk. The uppers are semi-gloss ultra smooth leather lined in pig skin. Check out Fashion4Freedom and see if you’re not tempted to add one more pair of shoes to your collection.
Gena Robinson of Moonkist Designs has turned her love of metalworking into a business designing beautiful and geeky custom jewelry. I was fortunate enough to not only work with her to create a gorgeous set of rings, but to talk with Gena about the creative process and see how my rings were made from start to finish.
It all came about because in addition to making jewelry, Gena happens to work with author David Weber. He’s written the Honor Harrington series of novels, which, if you haven’t checked them out, are an addictive military science fiction series revolving around a female naval officer. We ended up connecting when David was scheduled as a guest on a podcast I contribute to called The D6 Generation.
As soon as I found out Gena designed geeky jewelry, I decided to interview her for my segment on the show and she decided to design a ring just for me. I checked out some of her creations which range from delicate, celtic wedding bands to steampunk engagement rings and had a hard time deciding, but Gena guided me through the process.
I wanted to be surprised by whatever she created, so I didn’t get too specific, but instead gave her a general idea of what I like and dislike in jewelry. I’ve got two kids, so big chunky stuff that can easily get caught or knocked out of shape was out. Same went for anything too delicate that couldn’t stand up to the day-to-day trials of being a mom.
What she ended up making was perfect!
Gena made a set of rings in sterling silver that look wonderful together, but I’ve worn them separately, too. One is a circuit board covered with a glass cabochon dome that is both beautiful and geeky at once. She paired that with a 6mm rose-cut citrine to make the set. Without ever meeting or even having a single phone conversation, Gena created a set of rings that couldn’t be a better match for me.
I interviewed Gena for The D6 Generation podcast and she shared a great story about how she came by the circuit board she used in my ring. It all started through her shop on etsy, where she had a conversation with a school in Alaska wishing to recycle a bunch of old circuit boards.
Since Gena strives to use recycled materials, she said yes to their offer. So, my ring started in a school in Alaska, travelled to Gena in South Carolina and then finally made its way up to me in New Hampshire. Even the metals she uses are often reclaimed from other sources, sometimes even broken jewelry no one wants.
Gena’s love of metalworking started back when she was just a kid and her parents got the family involved in the Augusta Gem and Mineral Society. That led to a job at a jewelry store when she was just 15 years-old. The bench jeweler there saw her interest and helped her learn the skills needed to make her own jewelry.
Now, Gena splits her time between “professional grown-up” helping wrangle David Weber’s busy life as a best-selling author and designing jewelry. You can see all her beautiful designs in the MoonkistDesigns etsy shop. Contact Gena if you’d like to have her design a geeky piece of jewelry that’s perfect for you!
Disclaimer: I received a set of rings for this post.