Jewelry of the West: Patina Gallery & More!

Western jewelry has been on my radar since circa 2001, when my mom and I found a slew of rings, necklaces, and bracelets at Rice’s Market in Bucks County. You can imagine my excitement when my mom shared her enthusiasm about gallery-hopping while in Santa Fe. I trust that New Mexico has authentic finds that we simply don’t see much on the East Coast and after obsessively researching Patina Gallery in historic downtown Santa Fe, I became mesmerized with their unique, artistic collections; some items shared below. Gallery owners Ivan and Allison Barnett bring the pieces of truly talented designers and artists to their inspired visitors.

And how charming is this little equation? Click on it for an introduction to the great minds that keep the gallery full of really fab, western treasures!

I’m bringing you the top 3 pieces that completely wow’d me.

“Posidonia” Necklace of Oxidized Silver & Coral, Click Image for Information

This necklace, by artist Enric Majoral, is the perfect marriage of dancing metal and sleek, natural coral. I especially love the play on planes as the metal pieces rest perpendicular to your skin. This adds incredible depth, movement, and visual interest. I’m fairly in love with the coordinating earrings as well.

“Trefoil Knot” Bracelet, Click image for information

To see a natural, hard material like wood all smooth and twisty and layered is so rare. The beauty is in the innovative approach and ready-to-wear art, uh, er – jewelry. I love it when I mix the two up. That’s a successful piece.

“Hydrangea” Post Earrings, Click image for information

These delicate and oh-so-3D earrings are sweet and happy. They are so well-designed and capture the nature of flowers so well. I’d wear these and I can name about 7 of my girlfriends who would, too.

While I decided to feature Patina Gallery for my jewelry post, there are several other wonderful art and jewelry galleries in Santa Fe. Below are some clickable-images of galleries featuring jewelry of the West. I’ll share the art later on today! As always, enjoy and be inspired.


Artful Attire: Back at the Ranch

Tucked away in an adobe-style building with fabulous pops of color (the blue windows and the red bull – love!), Back at the Ranch is a western boutique full of gorgeous cowboy boots and accessories. They are located in Santa Fe’s historic downtown area on East Marcy Street.  Back at the Ranch greets visitors with a warm “Howdy” (literally, the neon sign is hard to miss and oh-so-charming) and many beautiful boots to admire, try on for fit, and purchase. Ah, the scent of leather boots…swoon. And onward. The handmade quality is rare and boasts not only unique style, but a long life. I love their bold use of color and attention to detail. Boots with butterflies to skulls to patriotic flags, studs, and chiles – they’ve got something [amazing] for everyone!

Below I’m sharing my hand-picked favorites, but judging from the photo above, it seems they have many more in store than what I was able to snag from their website. Enjoy, cowboys and pioneer wild-women!

Monet Collection in Red

Design Your Own Collection, I Love Chiles

Skull Collection, Bad to the Bone

Equestrian Boot in Orange

Gypsy Rose in Black and Pink

Oh, and their lovely jewelry by designer D & A Jewelry Designs. Designer Demian Vazquez takes detail and meaning to an appealing, artistic level with these metal pieces. Here’s a taste!

D & A Designs, Skull Tags

I can’t wait to try on my size 8 “I Love Chiles” Boots, Mom! Wink wink!!! Enjoy your visit to this leathery shop while you’re staying in Santa Fe! And to Back at the Ranch, wonderful shop – so honored to gush about everything…


Virtual Visit: McQueen at the Met

I am so very bummed that I missed out on Savage Beauty, an exhibition of my favorite [late, *tear] designer! I discovered this exhibition 2 days before it closed, but we’re in luck because these photos capture the movement, ingenuity, and feminine rebelliousness that is the fashion of Alexander McQueen. You might have seen my post drooling all over a hot pink skull scarf last month. You might have also seen a second post drooling all over that scarf’s sister in a fan-favorite follow-up post, Decor Muerte.

Well, you’re getting more McQueen. Because I can’t begin to explain the connection between fashion and interior design, I’m gonna woo you with pictures and save that for a rainy afternoon.

Click on the last photo and hopefully (please alert me if it doesn’t) you will be routed to the exhibition portion of the Met’s website. In the meantime, I hope these wow you!

The movement, texture, and the Tim Burton-esque vibe make my fashion-lovin' heart flutter.

The dress that Sarah Jessica wore, making me fall in love. The dress that started it all... for me.

Oooo la la la la... I envy the model who drifted down the runway in this memorable piece.

This silhouette is so classic, yet so mod.

The Refined Raw

It’s rare that I find artists like Sunyata, The Elemental Alchemist, who invoke the following mess of praise: “{gasp} Wow. Consider my mind blown. I’m in puppy love. {swoon}. (Insert lots more ga-ga like this).” Literally, I grabbed one patient MotoMan by the arm and made him revel in every ring in this fab Etsy shop while I gushed. So, when I discover the Sunyata’s of the world – they deserve a bump to to top of my “bloggables” list.

The Elemental Alchemist is such the appropriate name as it perfectly describes the successful integration of soft brushed, raw metals and incredibly colorful stones. Sunyata’s eye for innovative design shows in her unique approach to rebellious shapes and snarly, yet gentle prong settings. Enough from me. Feast your eyes, darlings.

The organic, smooth metal circle containing the wild, edgy quartz above peaked my interest. I love the paradox of her designs. And the colors. And the wearable sculpture. And the natural elements. And may I just mention the composition of the photographs? An artistic eye arranged and captured these mini sculptures. Since this is a blog associated with interiors, let’s find a way to sneak this in. Ok, here goes. Go to Pottery Barn. Find this jewelry box. Display new quartz ring collection. Done. Storage, jewelry, and art.

They remind me of something my mother would have designed if she practiced metal-smithing today – modern, raw, restless, yet somehow refined. (Hi, Mom!) They’re just… delicious eye candy. Mm. /star-stuck babbling.

Decor Muerte

When I was 14, I vacationed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was hot. There were exceptionally teeny bikinis. And colorful, dirty favellas. I rode in a rickety van to the top of Corcovado Mountain and stood in awe at Cristo Redentor (Portuguese). But those memories aren’t the only ones calling me back. I cherish one folk museum vividly and fondly. The carved and painted wooden figures, the instruments, and the rustic furniture – each piece was so much more than an object.

This experience influenced my appreciation for symbolism. Decor is deeper than beauty – the significance, presence, and story to be told brings life to a space. Take Dia de los Muertos, a holiday celebrated in Latin America to honor the dead. Morbid thoughts aside, I love this vibrant holiday. In fact, on this day, morbid thoughts are aside. Sugar Skulls, marigolds, crosses, food, and figurines signify remembrance. Skulls of the dead are no longer solemn symbols, draped with darkness and fear. It is truly beautiful and profound – this juxtaposition of death and dancing, pulsing life.

Above, enjoy my hand-picked collection of whimsical objects for your home. Dasher Muerte is my favorite – I laughed out loud. Then I added it to my Christmas wishlist. In July. I digress. Always. Consider them to be daily reminders that life – though, at times dark and solemn, has a way of letting the sun back in again.

The deets (from top Left, clockwise): The Evie Chair, $115 | The Pebworth; Skulls Wallpaper | Beware the Moon; Dasher Muerte, $60 | Mi Vida Creations; Skull Pashmina, $445 | Alexander McQueen; Necklace, $85 | My Salvation; Pillow, $20 | Mi Vida Creations; Tray, $60 | Mexican Sugar Skull; Skull Fabric, $12.50/yard | Mexican Sugar Skull; Framed Day of the Dead Skull, $15 | Emvee; Dispersed Wooden Skull Beads, $5 | The Forest Glenn.