5 Jewelry Tips to Consider When Traveling

As a jeweler I receive questions about jewelry care, and one thing I notice that people forget is, how to care for their jewelry when traveling.  So I thought (with all the holiday shopping and family visiting going on) I'd share my 5 jewelry tips to consider when traveling.

I travel often and I have found these to be tried and true, I hope they do you good.


1.  Keep your valuable jewelry on you while flying

A rule I live by when flying, especially if I am bringing sentimental jewelry with me, I find it is best to store your jewelry inside of  your carry-on bag.  This eliminates some of the heartbreak if your checked luggage is lost in transit or worst, is stollen.


2.  Pack versatile pieces of jewelry

When I travel I pack a capsule wardrobe; a limited number of versatile piece of clothing and accessories that effortlessly make up different outfits.  By packing a capsule you are encouraged to pack jewelry that can carry you throughout your trip.  This isn't so much a "care tip", more of a "packing tip", but I still find it to be useful for jewelry.

I tend to pack a pair of hoops, one statement ring, a pair of studs and a minimal necklace.   These piece will go with every outfit that my capsule makes up and will take me from day to night.


3.  Properly store your jewelry

Proper jewelry storage is key if you want your favorite pieces to last you years to a lifetime.   Proper jewelry storage is also the key to keeping your jewelry safe, organized and tangle-free.   I advise packing your jewelry in jewelry pouches when traveling.  If you no longer have the pouch that came with your jewelry, simply store pieces in plastic zip bags, just be sure to pack necklaces and dangly earrings in their own pouches / zip bags.

A tip for packing dainty necklaces; place the majority of the necklace in a small zip bag leaving about 2 inches (where the clasps is) hanging out and secure the zip around the chain, then place that zip bag into a slightly bigger one.  This suspends the necklace, keeping the chain from tangling.


4 Always put jewelry away after removal

When traveling, I tend to jump from one outing to the next and it is easy to misplace things when constantly on the go.   One way to avoid misplacing jewelry is to designate an area in your hotel room for your jewelry when getting dressed.  Once you are done accessorizing yourself, put unused jewelry back into pouches and the pouches back into your luggage or hotel safe. And that leads me to the next tip.


5 Use the safe (?)

This one is tricky.  I'm a slightly overly cautious person when it comes to matters like this.   If I am staying in a nice hotel (4 to 5 stars) AND traveling with expensive/sentimental jewelry, I would opt "yes" for the hotel safe.   I rarely travel with jewelry that would cause me to faint if lost or stolen but, if I did - I'd be using the safe.  When I am staying in accommodations like Air B+B, I would wear my valuable jewelry or hide it in a safe place or simply leave  valuable/sentimental jewelry at home.  I throw a "better safe, than sorry" at this one.


Those are my tips for traveling with jewelry and as I said before, I hope they do you good.


Happy travels + Thanks for reading,


The Importance of Escape for the Artist

There is an importance of escape for the artist; stepping outside of the studio provides contrast and inspiration, loosing yourself to wonder.  Marylin Monroe once said:

"A career is born in public, talent in privacy."

Like periodical solitude, escape from the "everyday" is essential to producing quality bodies of work and finding meaning in what we do.

I've made escape a habit - it is a part of my life routine.  I find that opportunities for escape are all around me; and I readily take advantage of those opportunities.  Desolate lancsapes are most enduring to me and I often escape to the desert.  I find these environments - where life seems to barely hang on - silence my minds chatter, allowing my most creative ideas to form freely.


photography: cj vegas

location: joshua tree national park

Exploring Joshua Tree

I can never tire of exploring Joshua Tree, let alone the desert.  The sounds and colors and textures fill me up in a way that the city cannot.  There is seriously something magical about Joshua Tree.  I can't put it into words but I understand why so many artists find inspiration there.   The sky alone renders you speechless, yet sends you into a rabbit hole of creative and life-changeing epiphanies.   And I too, found myself mesmerized and inspired by every boulder, every perfectly placed cactus grouping and every human figure like Joshua Tree.   Inspired so, that every visit feels like the first. 

I also played tourist in Pioneer Town - if you haven't visited this corky ghost-town, you must add it to your bucket list! You can read more on my time there here!

Adorned in the Desert

A couple of weekends ago I jaunted off to my happy place; the Desert. But this time focusing on the high desert;  Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Pioneer Town.  If you didn't know, I once lived in these parts - La Quinta and Palm Desert - from 2006 - 2013 (before it was trendy).  But as it goes for most people, you don't always remember to explore were you live while you're there.  So this trip to the desert was spent playing tourist with my desert friends and my fiancé.  And we had such a blast!

Our first stop was Pappy and Harriets where I had, probably, the most meat filled chili ever!  Seriously, there was more meat than beans...it was good, though!  After lunch we poked around Pioneer Town and Yucca Valley looking at cool vintage shops and taking "cliche" Instagram shots.  

I packed my jewelry for this trip, trying to get in the habit of wearing my work more often.  I brought mostly earrings, which to me are the best accessory to wear when traveling.  The small ImPerfect Circle dangles are my everyday and I accidentally left them at home, but I had back-ups!  I never travel with out earrings - they immediately add a little "something" to even the most casual outfit.  

Pictured are the Flawed Teardrops, ImBlance Beams and the Rough Around the Edges Hoops.  I have not added these styles to the shop yet  - working on it - you can inquire here in the meantime! 

I Made My First Ti Leaf Lei

I made my first ti leaf lei during my visit home to Maui for my 40th birthday!  Having lived in Hawai’i, I know how to make your basic flower lei. But, I’ve never learned how to make a ti leaf lei.  They take some practice to in order to “get it down” and I’ve thought them to be intimidating.  My father “the Jack of all trades and master of all ”  of course knows how to make tea leaf leis.  So I begged for a lesson and I think I kind-of got it down.


Tea Leaves after I wilted them with a warm iron.  This allows the leaves to be twisted without breaking.  I was told when doing lots of leis, you can put freshly cut ti leaves in the freezer to wilt them.

Ti leaves after I stripped them from their stalks.

To start the lei, I began with twisting the first leaf.  Then anchoring it wound my toe to continue the process.  This is a traditional method of lei making.  However, you can anchor your lei on just about anything.

tea leaf lei making

I blend in another ti leaf, once I reached the end of the first leaf.  At this point, I can, if desired, add a flower to the lei.

What gives the Ti Leaf Lei its look is the ends of the leaves are left exposed.

I added leaves until the lei was long enough to fit over my head.

Once I reached my desired length, I tied off the ends and removed the bottom of the lei from my toe and connected the ends.


I love making leis.  The process and the finished product are equally beautiful! Ti leaf leis can be made as simple or as intricate as you like.  There are other techniques that I want to learn, but what I made here is the basic version.  My father also taught me how to add flowers for pops of color –  I need to practice that a bit more.

I’m back on the mainland now and I am making it my intention to continue lei making.  I feel it could be a fun and therapeutic way to slow things down.  It’s therapeutic and evokes a stillness…which brings up a lot of good ideas!

I hope this inspired you!  Thanks for reading!


Fish Skeleton at Salton Sea

Exploring Salton Sea Beach

The Salton Sea – a saline lake that rest in the basin of the mountains of the Imperial and Coachella Valley.

When approaching the shores of the Salton Sea, your senses are immediately engaged.  Your nose is greeted by the noticeable stench of decay.  Your ears begin to notice the peculiar sound the sands makes under your feet as your curiosity leads you.  And your eyes take in the vastness off the waters and the contrasting mountains surrounding them.  Your brain; overwhelmed and intrigued by it all, continues to process what (on God’s earth) it just took in.


MoneyPenny Dog and Welcome Salton Sea sign



MoneyPenny Dog at the Salton Sea



Fish Bones Skeleton at Salton Sea



Fish Skeleton at Salton Sea



Abandon House at Salton Sea



Dog (MoneyPenny) on a vacant road Near Salton Sea



Little pieces of hollow fish skeleton, in the softest hues, make up its sands.  The Salton Sea – disheveled, with abandoned aspirations peppered throughout.  If you’re lucky…and don’t mind the smell…this corky town of curiosity will leave you temporarily moved; quiet, slightly confused and inspired.




Jewelry in the Morning Light | My last day on Maui

Capturing the Morning Light

It was a quiet morning in my dads house and I was one of the first to rise.  I purposely rose earlier than usual – this was my last day on Maui. I needed to take everything in one last time.  Quietly making my way around the house, I noticed how gorgeous the space looked in the morning light.  Closing my eyes, I tried to capture the sounds of island life and inhale that sweet air.

One of the many things I love about my fathers house are the various siting vignettes peppered throughout.  My favorite – a setting of 2 vintage club chairs reupholstered in worn’in leather and an antique ship door, fashioned into a table.  This is were I sat every morning to sip my coffee and enjoy the morning light.

On this morning, I nestled myself into one of the vintage club chairs.  The most beautiful defused light came through a near window, highlighting textures of the antique wooden table next to me. I sat there quietly, enjoying the moment.  Remembering, this would be my last Maui morning light for the year – I tiptoed to my bedroom to gather my camera and jewelry.




bless the theory earrings in morning light



bless the theory cracked pendant in morning light




finding inspiration in maui

Finding Inspiration on Maui | Olowalu Sugar Mill Ruin

I just returned from visiting my father on beautiful Maui.  I’ve traveled to Hawai’i many times and with every visit, Hawai’i becomes more special to me … it’s one of my favorite ways of finding inspiration.  In the 9o’s, I was fortunate to call Maui home.  And even then, as a self indulgent teen, wanna-be tough girl, I was able to momentarily appreciate Hawaii and  its beauty, history and otherworldliness.

Wondering through Nature

This trip home was quite special. It was filled with a LOT of family time and thanks to my fearless father (whom was born and raised in Hawaii) my time was also spent with lots of exploring. Wondering through nature and stretching my eyes are favorite pass-times of mine – and as an artist, very necessary tasks.

The Sugar Mill Ruin

My dad took us to one of his new discoveries. The beachside Olowalu Sugar Mill Ruin – one of the first sugar mills on the island – dating back to 1864.  And when I say “beachside” I mean beach side – you can even spot a tiny seashell wedged inside of a crack in the foundation! *insert gasp*



Inspiration in the Desert II | DesertX

If you are on Instagram (you should be following me)  I am sure, like me, you’ve seen people on your feed  “posted up” next to a trippy white and black zig zag wall with #DesertX in the captions and wondered “what the heck its this #DesertX thing and how can I be part of it?”

With a few clicks hopefully you learned that DesertX is an outdoor exhibition of art instillations put up by 16 artist from around the world!  I was super excited to find that it was scattered about my former home; Palm Springs, California!  I usually never need an excuse to go the desert!…but this? This was a mandatory visit!

So, on a bright sunny Sunday morning, my fiancé and I piled in the’ol trusty Element to partake in the most amazing artist scavenger hunt in nearly 100 degree weather! 







DesertX was scheduled to end on April 30th.  But the recent news mentions: due to the popularity, a few instillations will remain open a bit longer.  By longer I’m thinking a few weeks, so if you are local or within a few hours driving distance from the desert –  you wanna get yourself down there to check it out!

We made a list before hand of all the instillations that interested us and planned about 4-6 hours to see a totally of 9.  But, because we know the desert we were able to knock it out in 3 hours!  So just plan ahead, make a day of it, or better yet make a weekend of it!  As I said before ” you don’t really need a reason to visit the desert  – but this is a darn good one!

My DesertX list:

  1. Claudia Comte
  2. Doug Atken
  3. Glenn Kaino
  4. Jeffery Gibson
  5. Jennifer Bolande
  6. Phillip K Smith III
  7. Sherin Guirguis
  8. Will Boone
  9. Travares Strachan 

You can check out all the details about the extension, the locations and artist that partook in this exhibition and which installations are still up for view by visiting the DesertX website here!

Happy Hunting and Thanks for reading!