the blog of jewelry designer

December 22, 2013


Creating my Last Minute Gift Guide for the holidays has gotten me thinking.  I can't count how many people have asked "What would be perfect for the girl who has everything?" 

It's a challenge, we all have so much!  And yet the holidays are about being delighted.  As much as I love a beautiful jewel, I am far more inspired to offer the message that comes with my jewels --  I think the best gift for the girl who has everything is the reminder to Feel Beautiful!

Check out my Last Minute Gift Guide here

Crafting a Last Minute Gift Guide for you has also made me reflect on my own wish list.  It occurs to me that this year (a year of big changes, all so positive), I truly am a "girl who has everything."  

Here's what my Christmas wish list looks like, each item on it is based in gratitude for having all in the world I really need.

  I want to use my down time to grow

I've added a commute to my life, up to 2 hours a day that I know I can use productively.  I'd love a subscription to Audible, an "audio book store" with a huge range of fiction, non-fiction and podcasts.  

And since I'm so often on the move, I need a bigger collection of reading glasses (why is it they're always where I'm not!?)  EyeBobs are my favorites.  
Audible has great gift subscriptions / These are EyeBobs "Co-Conspirator"
I want to feel healthy and comfortable

Tommy has me running again, and it's nice not to be tied to a schedule for my workouts.  Nike shorts and an Under Armour jacket are perfect running gear for this time of year.  

I have favorite workout clothes that have kind of become "signatures", and anyone who knows me well will attest that I'm as likely to wear them to work as I am to a workout!  Unfortunately, I can't find many of my favorite pieces any more, but I LOVE this LuluLemon hoodie. 
Under Armour's Studio Luxe jacket / My fav Nike shorts / Fab form-fitting Lulu hoodie

I want to be rested and present

It's been said that a good night's sleep is the answer to every question, and I believe it.  My ritual typically includes a great cup of green tea and a lounge-y pair of  PJ's.  And in a pinch, a great stand-in for sleep is always massage. 

Massage Envy has gift cards! / Hanro loungewear / EZ green tea
I want to feel connected to the people I love

As the year passes into memory, what I'd like most are just sweet, heartfelt notes from the people I love.  From friends new and old, from family whose time and attention I often take for granted, and from Tommy and his precious kids.  These are the gifts I cherish the most.  

So the best thing you can offer the girl who has everything?  
The blessings of growth, presence, friendship and love.  May your holiday be full of all.

Feel beautiful!

December 8, 2013


We ventured out this morning, and found Fred's Texas CafĂ© open, had a holiday-infused quail with eggs.  

Icicles are hanging from any perch, suspended in crazy shapes.  The roads in Fort Worth are like skating rinks, and hardly a soul is on them.

Inspired by frozen peace, time feels like it's standing still.  I'm seeing all sorts of possibility, in jewels and in life.  

It's perfect weather for creating Inspiration Boards.  
Kaleidoscope earring, a stack of tree-textured rings, warm with a bit of edge like the hand-knit tea set.  

Bird's Nest ring in turquoise is a little hint at life, a dream inspired by some favorite charcoal drawings and a winter sea/escape.

As clear and shivery as the Poles, Deco earring is set with many translucent stones.  Here in green amethyst.   

Vintage Chandelier earring in pyrite, inspired by a fantasy getaway.  
Maltese Cross hoops and the Soleil earring, each designed to reflect the translucence of sun on ice.

this December,
that love weighs more than Gold."
- Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

Let it capture your imagination. 

Feel beautiful,

November 26, 2013


It's a quiet week, a week for gratitude.  I guess it takes cresting my forties to realize how true it is that we're only as good as the company we keep.  My friends inspire me, they shape my day, inform my preferences; they surprise me and make me laugh.  

This Thanksgiving, I'm celebrating the company I keep.  

For Style and Substance...

I started designing many, many years ago, making wire-wrapped jewelry for my friends.  While my own aesthetic has developed (a lot!), I still design with my friends in mind, knowing that if they can wear my jewelry, it'll look perfect on every woman, everywhere.  

And yet there are those people whose style is something… different, you almost can't put words to it -- in fact, they can't put words to it, so effortless is their look.  

Kathleen Cook-Hunter's style is in her quirkiness.  She doesn't follow trends, she creates them.  Her brilliant use of color is unconventional and deep.  This kind of saturation is what I strive for in the colored stones I choose every season.   

Kathleen with Christie, both in Elizabeth Showers
Karen Bates Novakowski is not only a friend, she's worked for me for years, and there hasn't been a day she hasn't delighted us all with her effortless chic, even in workout clothes!  Karen is a study in layers, and is the perfect muse for the way my jewelry can be worn together. 
Karen and me at the Couture Jewelry Show in Vegas, 2009
To explore distant places…

My most intrepid friends are hands down, Ann Alford and Erin Fenstermaker, both of whom have the tenacity to pick a spot, map its highlights and challenge me to go there with them.  They don't hesitate, ever, and it's with them that I've scaled boulders, bathed elephants, shot rapids and jumped from cliffs, and extended my own borders in every way.

For their taste buds...
Christie Coker introduced me to Pickapeppa sauce.  It was a childhood tradition, she doused it over cream cheese on tortilla chips, I think it got her through high school.  (Simple solutions!)  I've refined my own Pickapeppa tradition to accompany hummus on gluten free crackers.  Maybe a tad less "high school," still pretty decadent!

Coveting their Closet...

I have to include my sister Susanna in any conversation about friends -- especially when I'm thinking about closet influence.  The 5050 Boots from Stuart Weitzman (I'm wearing them today!) were Susanna's picks years ago, and I've passed them on to countless others.  So sleek and sexy, my pair is literally on their last leg!

For Popcorn and Culture...

Jennifer Stagen and I go to the movies together, and - I'm not proud - our recent obsession was with the Twilight Saga.  While I probably shouldn't call it Culture (not with a capital C), the power and energy of the characters, their interaction with nature - it speaks to me. 

Alice Cullen, the vampire world's greatest friend!
Their Eye for Art... 

My favorite pieces of art are those that are made especially for me.  Kristan Vinzant created Bark Art, made from tree bark applied to canvas.  I am using tree texture in more and more of my jewelry.  I'm surrounded by it! 

"BARK ART," Kristan Vinzant, 2009
A Friend on the Ground...

I've just moved to a new neighborhood in a new town.  Only 30 miles from where I've been, I wouldn't know where to start without Kim Boyd.  They say moving is up there with the top most traumatic life experiences, and without Kim's rapid response as my friendly City Guide, her tips for a masseuse, a dry cleaner, great restaurants, a tailor, a nail salon, and way more -- I would feel lost.

My new home, Fort Worth

And Words of Wisdom From Friends...
"Date someone for all four seasons before you decide to marry him."

"Rejection is God’s protection."

"Nothing in this world happens by mistake."

"Practice the 3 M’s to stay sane:  Meetings, Meditation and Masturbation!" 
 … Priceless! 

With friends: Ronda, Christie, Kristen, Ann, Christie
Go on, celebrate the company YOU keep!

Feel beautiful!

November 22, 2013


Dealey Plaza, Dallas, this morning
The world has its eye on Dallas today, the 50th anniversary of the death of JFK.  I love my city, and on this day, I'm proud of it.  With all the media coverage and editorial - non stop - on TV and radio, it wouldn't be a wonder if Dallas just buckled.  It's a lot of responsibility to be this city, the one on whose soil Camelot was lost.

And Dallas didn't deliver the perfect day today, no sunshine or warm temps.  Instead, it's raw and intemperate.  Like it's an actor in a play.  Dallas reflected the world's temperature.  
Lee Park, Dallas, this afternoon

On my corner, flags are at half staff.  The leaves have fallen all at once.  
A nest in branches, such a symbol of resilience 
It was a sad day, and yet even in it's winter-ness, there's life, and hope.  
I'm proud of Dallas today.  

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try."

Feel Beautiful,

November 2, 2013


A big part of design, in art of any kind, is the study of the Iconic.  

I've recently been in San Francisco, and while its physical beauty is undeniable, what really hits me this trip is something beyond beauty.  It's this Iconic characteristic -- so elusive, yet as I head into my studio to start the process of designing my next Collection, Iconic is a characteristic I'm thinking lots about.

Iconic is a sense, a feeling - it's something that captures the imagination, once and for all.  San Francisco has snagged the heart and creative soul of so many of my favorite people; they come, they stay!  

As Rudyard Kipling once said: "San Francisco has only one drawback - ’tis hard to leave."

A favorite oil painting of a hilly street looking down at the Marina in San Francisco

My relationship with San Francisco began when I was young.  Almost every summer, my mom put me on a plane to spend time with her close childhood friend, Linda Bacon McBurney.

Mom and Linda shared the artistic muse.  And yet, with that muse, they went very different directions, Mom to Dallas to pursue the rigor of interiors, and Linda - west - to bohemia, to live the painter's life.  

Linda's studio, always so inspiring to me.
It was through Linda's lens that San Francisco came alive for me, from age 9 onward.  I was absorbed into the fabric of her incredible artistic, fun and funky family, and I am sure that her influence is alive in my designs to this day. 
"Might as well smile", oil on linen by Linda Bacon
This trip, I came to San Francisco with my own art, and the privilege of being hosted by Linda, her daughter Starrs, and Marcy, another friend from those old San Francisco summers.  They brought me into their world to show my art, my jewelry.  
What goes around, comes around!  

Feel beautiful!

With Starrs and Marcy, then and now!

October 12, 2013


No matter what collection I'm working on, the real determination of how my designs take shape is Color.  

Color Therapy is increasingly prevalent, with powerful applications in everything from helping children learn to supporting the treatment of mental health disorders and depression.  Indeed, color has an overwhelming effect on our sense of balance and well-being, even on the kinds of choices we make.  We associate with color in truly astounding ways -- think about the favorite color you chose as a child.  I'll bet that color is still one that you gravitate toward, even now.  

What's amazing is that color is largely subjective.  It's simply the way light is reflected or absorbed, then received by the eye and processed by the brain which names it "red" or "blue" or "yellow".  In other words, we make color based on where we are physically, and how we perceive the way light hits us.   No wonder we have favorites - we create what we see! 

Gorgeous Tourmaline 
I'm gravitating toward Green these days, and it's not surprising.  Green occupies more space on the color spectrum than any other shade because of how many attributes it shares with other colors.  Green is the color of the natural world, redolent of life from earth to sky.  Whether its deep forest or sunny lime, Green is considered refreshing and tranquil, it's the color of growth and fruitfulness.  
Glass Trees by Andreas Engesvik
Green is said to have powerful properties for nutrition and wellness, too.  Last weekend at Lucky Pines, Krista and I invented this incredible Green Drink, and I've had it for breakfast every morning since.  It's all natural vitamins and protein, in a deep, minerally green.  
Life in a glass, enjoy! 

Elizabeth & Krista's Green Power Shake 
Serves 2

Blend together these ingredients:
frozen strawberries - 1 c
frozen blueberries - 1 c
unsweetened plain or chocolate almond milk - 1 c
frozen organic spinach, packed - 1 c
frozen kale, if you like - 1/4 c
almond butter - 2 tbsp
wheatgrass - 1 tbsp
spirulina - 1 tsp
flaxseed meal - 1 tsp
ground chia seeds - 1 tbsp
hemp powder, for extra protein - 1 tbsp
cacao nibs - 1 tbsp
a few dried goji berries 
cold water, for consistency
liquid stevia - to taste

Feel beautiful!

October 5, 2013



Lucky me.  Great friends, an open weekend, and a sanctuary in the woods. 

Every so often, a group of my favorite women gather at Lucky Pines.  It is literally a dream come true for my dear friend Christie, who had pictured her ideal getaway for years and then, made it real.  Six acres and an eccentric, campy cluster of houses in Palestine, Texas, right outside of a town you possibly have heard of, Athens, Texas.  Lucky Pines is tucked deep in the pines, in a part of our great state that most have no idea exists. 

Our timing for Lucky Pines is often spontaneous, but always comes when we need it most.  When each of us needs refueling, in the form of both exercise and rest; chatter and contemplation. 

Sunshine is not a prerequisite.  In fact, the kind of restoration we seek at Lucky Pines is often best achieved as the earth is being restored as well.  What's better than rain on the roof and a fire to cut the chill? 

I've just come home from Lucky Pines, and know that I'm breathing differently.  This trip, our background music was Tara Brach's Guided Meditations (you can take 10 minutes and do one, click right here!)  Tara Brach's latest book, True Refuge, is a beautiful ode to nothing more than Being Present.  We work so hard at making life complicated, and yet how simple it becomes when we just commit to being present.  

Lucky Pines reminds me that it is that simple.  Friends.  Reset.

"Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it."
- Mary Oliver

Pearburst pendant, carved white quartz over pyrite.  With butterflies!  

Feel beautiful!

all photos in this post are courtesy of Ella Ann Alford

September 23, 2013


The sun, in french, soleil, is a powerful image in art, architecture and design.  A symbol of intention and focus, I am drawn to ways this potent symbol can enhance the art of jewelry making.

Sunbursts of gold have adorned many a Royal through the ages.  Think of the French King Louis XIV and his work of art, Versailles.      

Gilded gate at the Palace of Versailles
It isn't just the metaphor of Sun as King that is so powerful.  The sunburst yields such promise, that with its rays we have clarity, and we grow.  Vincent Van Gogh features the sun in its golden glory in so many of his mid-career works, the period considered his most optimistic.

Van Gogh's Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun, 1889
Soleil has appeared in my Mom's designs for ages.  Her Sunburst mirrors are always fresh and modern, and take different shapes with every collection she launches.   

Sunburst mirrors, all Jan Showers
Indeed, soleil figures as both a design and a jewelry-making technique in my Fall/Winter Collection.  By overlaying intricately carved white or milky quartz on deep-colored gemstones like malachite and pyrite, I've created a unique reflection and depth that looks different in every light.  

Soleil ring in milky quartz over mother of pearl
I love the poems written by 14th century Sufi poet Hafiz, for whom the sun was such a powerful symbol.  Hafiz wrote with whimsy and optimism, and as reviewer Brian Bruya says, "if it is true that a poet is someone who can pour light into a cup, reading Hafiz is like gulping down the sun."  To me, these words of Hafiz are truly like gulping down the sun!

Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth,
"You owe me".

Look what happens with 
a love like that,
it lights the Whole Sky.

 - From "The Gift" by Hafiz, as translated beautifully by Daniel Landinsky

Feel beautiful!

September 16, 2013


Announcing our newest collection!  And there's so much to say about it!

As the daughter of an Interior Designer, I've grown up steeped in - surrounded by - absorbing the inspiration and history that's informed the modern aesthetic.  Art Deco design, with its clean lines and structure, and utter accessibility, has deeply influenced my Fall/Winter Collection.   

I think of the great monuments of the Art Deco era.  The Empire State Building (completed in 1931) and the Chrysler Air Flow Sedan (first off the assembly line in 1934), both quintessential icons of the style.  And my favorite, the astrologically ornamented ceiling of New York's Grand Central Station is the perfect marriage of Art Deco symmetry and the mystery of the stars.   

My Fall/Winter Collection is about shape and color.  Deep color shades, that speak to the crushed velvet brocade and twinkling crystal we saw and loved in Baz Luhrman's Great Gatsby.   

I am especially excited about the pieces in Fall/Winter that reflect the accessibility that defined Art Deco.  Check out my entire Collection (in our features section, To You From Elizabeth), and take special note of the ways you can wear Elizabeth Showers at a price that inspires you! 
Audrey in lab-created blue sapphire, $435//Deco in white quartz, $295//Ball Stack rings with white sapphire, $195

Feel Beautiful!