Put a Ring On It – But Keep Your Mouth Shut About Other People’s Rings

Wedding

Even though I’m already married and the ‘ring search’ is far behind me, I still love looking at engagement rings and seeing what is new and exciting in that world. On a blog I was reading recently a woman posted the following:

“I see so many posts about moissanite and never realized it’s as popular as it is. I was under the impression it was a relatively new creation. I have had several people ask me if my diamond ring is “real” and I have to admit that it bothers me. Also, how do you even respond to that? Anyway, I am looking forward to reading other points of view.”

My thoughts:

I think my perspective is definitely shaped by the fact that I do not care about other people’s opinions about my ring and I also don’t have friends who would ever judge my relationship (or my financial status) based on the ring I’m wearing. When planning our wedding with my spouse we decided, deliberately, that we did not want expensive or ostentatious rings. What we did want were one of a kind, unconventional and unique rings that suited our style and our lifestyle. I work with my hands and would be nervous to wear something too precious. Not that I didn’t try on a variety of rings… but every time I tried a stunner with a gem that was raised too far from my finger, I felt like I’d get it caught on things, destroy it and every surface in my house, but mostly …like it was totally impractical.

In the end, my ring was made by a friend who is a jeweller; it’s unconventional and we used rough diamonds, so no sparkle really. No one has ever asked if they are ‘real’. However, many people have asked about the ring, the design and where they can contact the creator (Breanne Morrow at White Feather Designs).

View More: http://sweetheartempire.pass.us/alison-allia-engagement

Photo by Sweetheart Empire. Rings by White Feather Designs

View More: http://sweetheartempire.pass.us/alison-allia-engagement

Engagement photos by Kate O’Connor of Sweetheart Empire

I think what bothers me about the idea of people asking the original poster these questions is this: why are they asking? Is there some further question they need to have answered? Why do they care?

Maybe they are a gemologist? Maybe they are looking for an engagement ring. But if it’s because they want to know how costly the ring is… why? It’s none of their business and it’s super tacky that they are asking.

Perhaps they want to know because they are considering their options, or maybe see the value in a ring that doesn’t support an industry that has some problems (conflict diamonds, environmental impact), but you can probably already tell that this is their view based on the way they ask.

At the end of the day, I don’t know why it’s anyone’s business what you choose for something as personal as your wedding/engagement rings.

Handmade Market 2015

Art

Two weeks after wintery flurries, the temperature hit 31 degrees Celsius – just in time for a gorgeous weekend at 13th Street Winery for the 2015 Handmade Market. The outdoor Spring market had a sprawling maze of vendors, artisans and edibles that wove its way around the grounds of the winery, with a welcome breeze and live guitar and acoustic performances.

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Delicious fries and sandwiches at one of the food trucks, Dobro Jesti.

Tide and Vine.

Tide and Vine: Oysters

This is what happens when you ask my mum to take a photo. Wink wink, Mum!

This is what happens when you ask my mum to take a photo. Wink wink, Mum!

Allia and I deciding where to start.

Allia and me, deciding where to start.

Magnolias were spilling their blossoms.

Magnolia blossoms; everywhere.

Fruit trees and magnolias were in bloom. And the warm weather brought out diverse DIY lovers, both local and visiting, to enjoy some incredible summer scenes.

Enjoying the mood and music on the lawn of 13th Street.

Enjoying the mood and music on the lawn of 13th Street.

Avella's Pizza

Avella’s Pizza

The inside of the winery was also open for tastings.

The inside of the winery was also open for tastings.

TO DO: Park your car in between the rows of grape vines and stroll through the tents, perusing the hand-crafted clothing, soaps, decor, home items and quirky local designers. Or eat your way from one side of the market to the other starting with the handmade margherita pizzas, on to garlic and rosemary basted handcut fries, and finish with a cone of carrot cake ice cream. Seriously. I couldn’t eat it fast enough, and our chatty group was silenced – in a race to eat it before the sun melted this refreshing scoop of heaven.

Hometown Ice Cream.

Hometown Ice Cream.

Always a favourite, the talented Breanne Morrow’s White Feather Designs were on display. Though her designs can be found in some Toronto boutiques, her work is always a must-see in person. Admittedly, I’m partial to her jewelery, since it was Bre who hand-crafted our engagement rings.

White Feather Designs by Breanne Morrow

White Feather Designs by Breanne Morrow: enamel coated brass necklaces with tassels (bottom right) and bracelets (center).

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Earrings, necklaces and rings.

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3D Cut geometric necklaces.

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Necklaces in sterling silver.

Her line has continued to evolve over the years, and whether you find her on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WFDJewellery  or her online store http://wfdjewellery.com/, her labour-of-love jewels, her livelihood and passion, are both versatile and unique; every time I wear one it’s always a conversation starter.

A new favourite at the show was the work from the design duo at Studio 50 studio50.ca whose concrete, glass and steel designs were so striking and innovative. I can as easily picture these artsy, tough, yet beautiful pieces in my boho kitchen as on the counter in my brother’s sleek, modern Toronto condo. They are seriously some of the most original, cool pieces I have seen, and if money allows, I’ll be buying us some of our own next time we deserve a present (we being my wife and me).

Studio 50 knife blocks, and small round-bottomed science beakers that can be used to serve hot or cold liquids.

Studio 50 knife blocks, and small round-bottomed science beakers that can be used to serve hot or cold liquids.

Sangria, salad dressing, sake, tea, scotch or ... pretty much anything that would look cooler in a round bottom flask.

Sangria, salad dressing, sake, tea, scotch or … pretty much anything that would look cooler in a round bottom flask.

Knife blocks with skewers and ... some instructions to keep you on track.

Knife blocks with skewers and … some product notes to keep you on track.

Their entire line is all handmade and unique. I love the stratified concrete bases.

Their entire line is all handmade and unique. I love the stratified concrete bases.

Not only were the designs beautiful, the artists were truly lovely and happy to chat about their process and passion. Located in Paris, Ontario, one of these beautiful items from Studio 50 is on my list of things I must get for myself one day soon.

The annual craft market is just one of the great ways to support local artists and get outside. Enjoy Spring and stay tuned for more warm-weather indulgence.