the blog of jewelry designer

August 25, 2013

BEST OF....

Isn't it cool how the media these days has become so collaborative?  Who doesn't LOVE a curated list of what's fun, what's delicious, and the year's most fabulous visits and venues?  D Magazine, here in Dallas, has truly embraced the "Best Of", helping to put our city on the map.  We are thrilled that Elizabeth Showers was chosen as the Editor's Choice Best Jewelry Designer of Big D this year, and alongside so many other bests of Dallas.

In the spirit of CONGRATULATIONS, I thought we'd give a shout out to some of our very favorites of this year's Best of Big D.  (And if you aren't a Dallasite yourself, we know you will travel through the Big D, for business or pleasure.  Keep these handy in your travel file.)


We too LOVE these eating spots:

Best Gourmet
Eatzi's!  I'm a lunchtime regular...so easy with it near my office.  Sushi, sandwiches, and incredible prepared dinners.  Love their sign as you walk out:  See you Tomorrow!  A combination of "thanks for coming" and "yep, we know you don't cook!"

Best Vegetarian
I adore Cosmic Cafe.  Great food (and homemade Chai)  It's such a calming, peaceful hideaway, right in the heart of the busy Oak Lawn area.



Best Burger
I'm picky, and Twisted Root is a great burger!


Best Chinese
Royal China is not just my favorite Chinese in Dallas, it's one of my favorite restaurants.  I've traveled to Hong Kong and China 5 times, and Royal China nails it.  My girlfriends took me there tonight to celebrate my 42nd birthday, and once again, yuuuummmmmy!

Best Ice Cream
Paciugo's Straciatella - basically, a high quality chocolate chip - is delicious.





And watering holes:

Best Coffee
I'm dating a coffee aficionado, which has me very often switching from my staple green tea over to the dark stuff.  Tommy is always looking for a better Americano, and we are very excited to try Cultivar Coffee


Best Hotel Bar
I'm not a bar-goer, but there's a special place in my heart for the Library Bar at the Warwick Hotel.  I was a cocktail waitress there as I was starting my business, at age 24.  I wasn't too great at it, but kinda had fun doing it!  

Best Bar with Games
Barcadia is so much fun.  Lots of vintage video games with my favorite being Ms. Pac-Man.  Remember her?




And when you visit Dallas, you must shop these favorites:

Best Designer Label
Forty Five Ten of course!  We love their team, and Brian Bolke has a great eye.  Our  Monkey Tales Collection lives exclusively at Forty Five Ten.
Best Jewelry Store
Ylang 23 is an amazing store.  The Teichmans are super smart and have designed an incredible website featuring a truly creative array of jewelry designers.  I also love Reader's Pick Nine-Eighteen.  We're neighbors in our Turtle Creek offices, and co-owner Darin Kunz has been a friend for many years (since our first jobs together working as sales associates at Crate & Barrel).

Best Fine Jewelry Designer
Carter Malouf is the Reader's Pick...I adore Carter.
We love sharing trade secrets with one another, and his fun wife Jill's law firm is in my building.

Best Shop for Outdoor Furniture and Accessories
Big Mango Trading Company is, indeed, a "wonderland".  I admire Lori and Jaime Smith's work and love that their inspiration never rests...they take frequent trips to Indonesia.  
I am fascinated and would love to tag along soon!


Best Custom Clothier for Women
Nha Khanh is an incredible ready-to-wear collection!  I sat on a panel of 3 designers for the FGI (Fashion Group International) Career Fair recently, and Khanh Nguyen was on the panel with me.  I was moved by her smarts, her humility and sheer talent.  I may ask her to design a dress for me, one day soon.

Best Consignment Women's Clothing
I have been consigning my clothes with Clotheshorse Anonymous for years.  I love thinking about what glamorous events some of my favorite ex-outfits might attend without me.



And for some CULTURE, high brow or otherwise:

Best Museum
We are so lucky in Dallas.  The Dallas Museum of Art is incredible...so easy to drop in for a smaller exhibit (changing constantly) or stay a full afternoon for meditation or to get inspiration.  But the new Perot Museum of Nature and Sciences is an experience, for all ages. These two museums alone are reason to bring you to Dallas.




Best Movie Theater
Angelika Film Center gives me a feeling of being in New York.  I could choose almost any film they feature, no matter the genre, and like it.


And these?  Dallas' cultural ICONS:

Best TV News Team:  WFAA CHANNEL 8!  
Ronda Gibbons White has been with WFAA since her early 20s and is one of my very very bestest of the best friends, and Best of Big D Broadcaster Gloria Campos is a faithful supporter of the Elisa Project, my beloved favorite non-profit for support from and awareness of eating disorders.

Best Athlete:  DIRK NOWITZKI!  I have always had a little crush on him.  There is something so inspiring and attractive about his spirit.



Best Annual Festival:  STATE FAIR OF TEXAS...a walk down memory lane for me.  I've been going every September or October since I was a little girl.  I will always eat a Fletcher's corny dog with LOTS of mustard, a Diet Dr. Pepper, and ride the bumper cars and ferris wheel.  It's one of my favorite things to do every year. 



I love Dallas.  It is vibrant and dynamic, it's changing every time I turn around.  (I even wrote an entire post on how my city inspires me, read it here.)  D Magazine captures the heart and soul of that vibrancy, every month on the newstands, and more (on the big screen and small, with incredible sponsorships and crazy fun events.  And online, check it out here.) 

We love you D Mag--keep up your amazing work!

Feel Beautiful!
Elizabeth

For the entire list of Best of Big D: Shopping 2013, click here.   

August 13, 2013

THE LYRIC COLLECTION SINGS!

Last week, early August in Aspen...it's the long awaited unveiling of the Lyric Collection, my design collaboration with the amazing Kelly O'Donovan, artist and co-owner of the Elliott Yeary Gallery in Aspen.  (Read more about our work together here in a post from May 1st.) The unveiling coincided with ArtCrush, the annual gala for the Aspen Art Museum.  Unimaginable energy is in the air, so much creativity and stunning natural beauty! 

Aspen trees in late summer
Teresita Fern├índez's "Blind Land (Green Mirror)," part of a current exhibit at the Aspen Art Museum 
I pinch myself.  Again I am reminded how my work is a catalyst for such extraordinary experiences.  In this case, it's the opportunity to create something all new, even a bit out of the box.

Our feature in the current issue of Aspen Magazine
The Lyric Collection is truly a meeting of two aesthetics.  You'll recognize me in the exotic stones and unique settings.  What Kelly brings to the Collection is an artist's eye.  In her work, words come to life to tell the kind of story that breaks your heart and makes you laugh, all for its honesty.  It was this raw courage that captured my imagination when I saw Kelly's canvases earlier this year.

Kelly and I at the Gallery in front of her painting, entitled Amazed
Being in Aspen to unveil the Lyric Collection gave me a chance to learn more about the inspiration behind Kelly's work, about her vision and her life.

Let me introduce you to Kelly.

Elizabeth:  Kelly, Amazed is truly an amazing work of art.  In the painting, you even talk about atoms and protons.  Will you say more?

Kelly:  I work from the perspective that we are all on the deepest level, interconnected, we're all one.  The painting has a section called ‘Science Lesson’- it is a simple explanation about all things in the physical world being made up of the same thing down to particles. While we don’t know what particles are made of, we do know each one is connected to every other one in the Universe. We all share something. This fact should make us all feel a bit less lonely and more compassionate and altruistic toward each other.

Elizabeth:  We used Deep Blue Sea in the design of our Lyric Collection earrings.  These words also appear in Amazed.

Kelly:  The Deep Blue Sea section of the painting that those earrings are based on is about that big feeling of in-loveness we all have at least once in our lives. When we are little, maybe it is about our mother or father or a sibling. When we grow up it can be about a significant other and even our child. It’s about loving someone else so much, that marvelous wanting to be in the presence of another. The wish to have them all to yourself, for just a moment but hopefully longer. The dream of getting on a boat and just floating together and letting ‘the wind and the waves’ carry you away.

A pair of earrings from the Lyric Collection

Elizabeth: And the hidden key under a rock by the door?  That too is in Amazed.

Kelly:  Right!  When you are close to someone, you know where that key is--there is a familiarity that's comforting. For me, that part in particular is about my Mom. She passed away last year. All of my life, she always left a key under a rock by her front and back doors. All who she loved knew where it was and were invited to come inside her warm and cozy home. That line also rings true in a different way for someone we are in a loving relationship with. Sometimes we close ourselves off, intentionally or not, but those that love us always know there is a key and they will be ‘let in’, so to speak.

Elizabeth:  I love your honesty--I definitely share these feelings about life and love and our interconnectedness.  So, is your work all autobiographical?

Kelly:   This painting is very autobiographical in that it is a written and painted expression of my thoughts and feelings about life, relationship, love and more. The fun is observing people ‘reading’ the work and identifying so completely with so much of it. Further proving our interconnectedness. A primo example of that is here in Amazed (she points to her painting and reads): "There might be some tendencies that lean toward the dramatic.”
 

OK, I think she may be referring to herself with those words, but Kelly is calm and cool, and such a centered person.  With that very fun tendency that "leans toward the dramatic!" Introducing Kelly O'Donovan, and the Lyric Collection!

"Amazed" by Kelly O'Donovan and the back side of the Lyric Collection Pendant
Feel beautiful,
Elizabeth