5 April

April Showers

April showers may bring May flowers, but in the meantime we’re stuck fighting off wet feet and allergies. But, just because it’s raining doesn’t mean we need to dress frumpy. Here are a few chic rain wares that are sure to keep you looking spring-y, despite any inclement weather.

Raincoat – This Mackintosh Rousay for J.Crew Tattersall Coat is the ideal piece to stave off any rainy day blues. ($1,200, available at jcrew.com)

Umbrella – Rainy days don’t seem so gloomy when you’re carrying a boldly printed umbrella. ($78, available at katespade.com)

Scarf – Staying warm in the spring rain calls for a light scarf that can double as a shawl to keep you warm at home or in the office.

Rain boots –Hunter wellies are a staple for the dreary days. Get them in a fun color like gold and you’ll never be upset about the rain again.

RainRaps –Rethink your poncho or slicker and opt for a more fashion-forward look. RainRaps are lightweight, reversible pashminas that are comfortable and look great. ($48, available at rainraps.com)

All-Weather Loafers –Forget ugly galoshes, these darling loafers from Norwegian company Swims keep your feet dry and function as sleek flats. ($149, available at Nordstrom)

Dog Rain Slicker – Even your pooch will stay dry with this adorable doggie jacket. ($124, available at Barneys New York) Also, try this too-cute-for-words Westerly Trench Coat ($91, available at dogversion.com)

30 March

Friday Faves: Hunger Games

We may not be heading into the arena anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take style cues from the gorgeous Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. Whether you enjoyed the film or not, we all must agree that Jennifer Lawrence stole the show. Her poise, strength and amazing hair had us pining to be just like her.

To get the Hunger Games look try wearing a tribute token of your own. Katniss had one with a mockingjay and an arrow, but your token (aka your lucky charm) can be whatever you want it to be. The Arrow in My Heart Pendant and the Birds of a Feather Ring make for fun tokens within the Hunger Games motif.

Another way to get the Hunger Games look is with a Katniss braid. Refinery 29 gives a great tutorial for doing the braid yourself.

Whatever Hunger Games style you choose, may the odds be EVER in your favor!

29 March

Vintage Revival

From left: Vintage ring by Suzanne Belperron that is expected to sell for $30,000-$40,000 at Sotheby’s Geneva sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, Three Finger Vine Ring by Gemvara

Vintage-inspired jewelry has risen in popularity over the years. This may be due in part to the fashion on television series like Mad Men and the recent resurgence of art nouveau styles in fashion and interior design. Celebrities like Taylor Swift have also been seen wearing vintage styles and Kate Moss has a vintage-inspired engagement ring.

Here are five elements that might inspire you to choose a vintage look:

1. Customization: Few have access to original pieces — and even then it’s hard to guarantee that an antique piece will be exactly what you want. New vintage-style jewelry comes in hundreds of styles. You can even design your own.

2. Classic Colors: Many vintage looks come in garnet, emerald and other vibrant gemstones in addition to diamonds. Gemstone jewelry stands out and makes a wonderful conversation piece.

3. Glittering Accents: Vintage-inspired jewelry often sparkles with tiny accent diamonds. These make the pieces shine, and frame the main gem beautifully.

4. Wearable Art: Because vintage designs have been inspired by decades-old fashions, these jewels remain classic and timeless. Investing in vintage-inspired jewelry is like investing in a piece of art. The fact that vintage is so popular also gives you an extra incentive to take care of the jewels you already own.

5. Romantic Nostalgia: There’s something inherently romantic about classic vintage styles. From the elegance of emerald-cut diamonds to the dainty architecture of filigree, these designs have a sentimental beauty.

How do you feel about the move toward vintage-inspired jewelry?

23 March

Friday Faves, Vol III: Wanderlust

1, 2, 3

I don’t know about you, but all this warm weather happening on the east coast is giving me a serious case of the “travel bug.” You know, that little urge you get during the change of seasons to explore someplace new and relax underneath the warm sun. Luckily, it seems like the blogosphere has also been feeling my cravings of wanderlust because I found a slew of photos to cure my fantasies (for free!).

Are you dying to travel somewhere new? If you could go anywhere in the world for one week, where would you go?

1, 2, 3

22 March

Get Dotty

Polka Dot Ring, Polka Dot Skimmers, Pouch, Dress, Scarf, Pants, Manicure

Nothing gets us in the mood for spring quite like fun prints and colors. We’ve explored florals, mint, monochromatic and today it’s all about spots! From Parisian-girl skimmers to dot jewelry, we can’t get enough of this playful pattern.

Not ready to jump right into polka dot pants? Try a simple shirt or even colorful glassware. To get the adorable spotted manicure for yourself (above; originally featured on eat.sleep.wear), try using Sally Hansen’s nail art pens. They’re so easy it’s almost foolproof!

Pin your favorite polka dot pieces to your own pin boards or check out our favorite looks over on Gemvara’s Pinterest page!

17 March

St. Patrick's Day Scoop

Did you know that in Ireland St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated as a religious holiday, much like Christmas and Easter? Also — not to toot our own horn or anything — but the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was actually not in Ireland, but in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737! Here are some more St. Paddy’s Day tidbits to get you in the Irish spirit:

Images courtesy of Guiness

15 March

Oh, the Madness

Have you caught the fever? No, not spring fever… March Madness fever!

If you’ve never heard of March Madness it is an NCAA single-elimination college basketball tournament held each spring in the United States.

Before you roll your eyes, March Madness is actually a lot more fun than you may think. Picking teams for a March Madness bracket can be as much fun for the girly-girl as it is for the die-hard fan because it all boils down to luck. There are so many upsets during the series that you can win just as easily by creating a bracket based on team mascots than you can from analyzing every player on every team.

While we’re not saying that will actually work, we do suggest you follow along. Besides your alma mater might even be in the tournament!

Have a team you’re rooting for this year? What are your team’s colors? Figure it out and design some jewelry using our customization feature on gemvara.com. After all—you may need some victory bling when your boys take it home April 2.

Need inspiration? Check out our boards on Pinterest and pin your own pieces using hashtag #MarchMadness.

14 February

My Funny Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day! More often than not, today is the day we associate with romance. Chocolates, flowers, jewelry — you know the deal. However, along with the happy moments of love, there’s also a lot of pressure attached to this one day and frankly, we’d like to take your mind off of it for a second.

Instead of stressing out about what to get or how to ask someone to be your valentine, why not think back to some funny Valentine’s Day moments?

In the comments below, share your funniest Valentine’s Day memory with us. After all, we could all use a laugh at love’s expense.

Here’s a cute story from a coworker here at Gemvara HQ:

When I was in 3rd grade, a boy I liked asked me to be his Valentine. I was so excited and full of joy, flattery, etc. But that was fairly immediately crushed when he quickly followed with at “YES! Five Valentines!” and ran off to tell the boys where he is in their ‘How many valentines can you get today competition’. I should have known that it was too good to be true.

10 February

Get The Look: Katherine Heigl

Whether she’s glamming it up at her latest movie premiere or rocking the red carpet in support of her musician hubby, lately Katherine Heigl has been sporting some serious bling. Not usually one to exude sexiness, or even revel in the spotlight, Katherine has been coming out of her shell lately with some killer looks.

At the premiere of her new movie One for the Money in Germany, Katherine dared to take a walk on the wild side with a zebra print dress and some stand-out earrings. Her gems reminded us of spring and we couldn’t help but associate them with our Hera Earrings. We love that they look like little leaves. They are gorgeous in yellow and orange gemstones, like citrine and fire opal (styled above), but would be just as gorgeous in green, purple, or blue.

You can customize the Hera Earrings however you’d like on gemvara.com. Just get ready to attract some attention!

8 February

Laugh It Off

Dear Gemvara,

I just wanted to thank you guys for making an incredible and gorgeous ring. Now, I don’t pretend to understand everything as this was a “promise” ring (apparently the ring before the ring) – I imagine I have the Jonas Brothers to thank for this – but regardless, it made an amazing anniversary gift.

Frankly, I had a very hard time trying to find the “right” Claddagh ring for Lisa. I spent weeks and looked at hundreds of rings, but in the end, I realized that I should have just started with making the perfect ring, instead of finding it. Creating something where I was able to put together the options and then engrave it, made this ring as unique as Lisa is – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Toss in the fact that you guys are in Boston made the Claddagh as “authentically Irish” as one would could get in the US :)

My reaction being positive enough, but when Lisa saw it, she was so excited it induced an asthma attack. I’m not sure how other people have reacted to your craft, but I think you guys have some serious bragging rights now… looking forward to the “real” ring next, though I might have to propose to her with medical staff standing by.

Thanks so much :)

- James

A few weeks ago we received this charming and comical e-mail from a customer, James. The office got a kick out of his girlfriend’s breathtaking reaction (pun intended) and it got us sharing stories of our own gift-giving hilarities — and mishaps!

In the spirit of James’ funny tale, we would like to know if you have any funny gift-giving or proposal stories. Did she fall off her chair? Did you forget the ring? Whatever it is, share it with us!

Leave your story in the comments below and hopefully we can all share a few laughs in the name of love.