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Big Sister Barbie

March 25, 2015

Do you sometimes feel like you’re being watched, or listened to? Don’t worry, it’s not Big Brother, it’s just Barbie.

…Or at least, that’s the fear of many adults with the announcement of Mattel’s latest update on the classic Barbie model, a toy that has been a staple for little girls since the fifties. In just months, “Hello Barbie” will be available for parents to bring home to their little technophiles. What makes her to up-to-date, and yet so unsettling to some, you may ask? Not only is she equipped with a cute, Barbie-appropriate outfit and tshirt stamped with “hello hello hello,” she also comes with rechargable batteries in each leg and a wirelessly-accessible necklace.

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This new, ‘improved’ Barbie can now not only listen in on your child’s playtime, but record, learn, and respond. Embedded into the doll is a tiny microphone, which is activated with a button on her LED light-up necklace. Akin to popular talking toys of the past, Barbie is able to ask friendly questions, like what your child wants to be when they grow up. Only now, when your child answers, the response is sent to a web processor where the audio records are analyzed and processed. In this way, Barbie is able to “learn” about your child, and can pose the appropriate follow-up questions regarding things that have been established as their “favorites!”

V6744But is this too far? The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has launched a full-blown campaign to keep “Hello Barbie” off the shelves and out of homes, worrying that not only could she hear too much, but say too much as well. Some parents describe her as “creepy,” but she could also present an opportunity for stealth marketing…or urging her playmate to ask parents for the latest hot pink Barbie convertible!

The Tides of March

March 20, 2015

aqua-oceanCongratulations, March birthdays! For those of you born this month, you have the double pleasures of both getting to celebrate the day of your birth, as well as the potential to receive the gift of Aquamarine! For the lucky ones who get to do both, this will spell out especially good luck for you, as everyone knows that it is auspicious to receive and to wear the very stone that the heavens have celestially assigned to you!

It may not be warm enough outside for swimming yet, but that’s not stopping you from being one of the most aquatic being out there. The aqua (“water”) marine (“ocean”) literally points to the life-giving body of the ocean. In fact, it has often been used as a treasured sailor’s gem with the power to quell any sea-squall. And it’s not hard to see why, with a color range that spans from a pleasingly pale, glacial greenish-blue, to a medium, oceanic blue color which is considered the most valuable.

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“Aquamarine Lumiere” ring. Copyright: Eve J. Alfillé. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

Below the surface, however, the aquamarine is not what it appears to be. It is actually another form of the mineral beryl, just like its green cousin, emerald. These highly sought-after blue and cyan tones of beryl are also highly prized due to their extraordinary size and clarity, as aquamarine naturally comes in desirably large portions.

Large crystals can form with as many as 100 carats to begin with…in fact, the largest-cut aquamarine in the world, the “Dom Pedro Aquamarine,” now resides at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. When it was first discovered , the Dom Pedro was approximately two feet in length, and weighed 60 pounds…and that’s only after the original stone was accidentally dropped and broken into three pieces by the prospectors who found it! In its new form, it now weighs in at 10,363 carats.

The Dom Pedro aquamarine in the vault at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

“Dom Pedro” Aquamarine

The aquamarine is also traditionally the stone assigned to the 19th wedding anniversary, and is said to enhance the happiness of marriages…making it an ideal gift for ANY anniversary, we think!

Regardless of whether it is your birthstone or not, it is hard not to make waves with an aquamarine.

“Maker & Muse: Early 20th Century Art Jewelry” Guided Private Tour

February 18, 2015
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René Lalique, Chrystanthemum Pendant/Brooch, c. 1900. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus.

The Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio and The Pearl Society cordially invite you to join us on a private, guided tour of the Driehaus Museum, a Gilded Age museum and historic mansion in the heart of Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The tour will feature an array of unique pearls and other gems in the new exhibit: Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry. The tour will be followed by a brief Q&A.

  • When: Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 10:30 am
  • Where: The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, 40 East Erie Street, Chicago

Reserve your place now as space is limited to only 15 lucky attendees! Call 847-869-7920 to pay by credit card, or stop by the Gallery to pay in person. Private tour cost is $21/person (non-refundable) which is required at the time you reserve your place.

Please make checks payable to Eve J. Alfillé Gallery.

Please note: We will meet at the museum at 10:30am. Parking is available for $14.00/car with museum validation at ROW Self-Park, 50 East Ohio, Chicago.

Ringing in Super Bowl XLIX

February 6, 2015

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Regardless of whether your team ultimately emerged as the victors or the losers in this year’s Super Bowl, it is still always easy to root for the team of diamonds, gold, and then more diamonds. I’m talking about this year’s eagerly-anticipated Super Bowl ring, which will undoubtedly be emerging in the near future in an array of Patriots-themed colors and designs. But if you simply cannot abide the anticipation of awaiting this ring’s announcement, why not click over to this amazing ‘listicle’ compiled by Buzzfeed, giving you a nice, close-up look at “Every Single Super Bowl Ring Ever?”

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As this glittering compendum so brilliantly showscases, some trends in ring design seem to flow in a similar vein: many take pride in flaunting the number of Super Bowls won by the team question through massive, central diamonds. Some rings use marquise-cut diamonds shaped suspiciously like footballs, while some inventive creators have even replicated the shape of the Lombardi trophy out of diamonds and other precious devices. Though metals have varied, the amount of diamonds (seemingly the Super Bowl stone of choice) has only grown. While we eagerly await the unveiling of the newest ring for 2015, now is the perfect time to click away and find out what your favorite ring is for your favorite team…or maybe even that of a rival! Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

 

 

 

Love on the Rocks: Learning the Love Gems

January 28, 2015

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Does your love life resemble a blank slate? Are you in love, but it’s on the rocks? No need to feel jaded! According to the ancient tradition of gem therapy, there are stones you can turn to that may be able to help get you back on the road to romance.

Despite the mystical atmosphere surrounding these gems and their powers, experts say that they are not intended for such drastic uses as love spells or potions (as convenient as that might seem!)…rather, these stones are meant to enable and encourage you to become the best “you” that you can be, and consequently, can encourage and create an environment in which love can more easily happen. In fact, the number one attribute that most of these stones seem to share is their ability to promote “self love,” or the love of oneself, which is arguably the most satisfying love of all!

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“Do you need company” rose quartz necklace by Eve Alfillé. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

Many gemstones do, however, possess certain specialities when it comes to the romantic arts. Perhaps the stone most well-known for being a “love gem” is Rose Quartz, a delicately-hued pink stone that has been said to be the stone of unconditional love. This stone promotes within the wearer a greater sense of self-worth, and as such, may be a  well-employed accessory for those who wish to bolster confidence, both romantically and otherwise, throughout the day. If a splash of rose-colored jewelry doesn’t do it for you, experts recommend either placing the stone beneath your pillow at night or tucking a piece into each corner of your room.

ChakraOpeningAre you feeling downright down-on-your luck when it comes to love? Try Malachite! This striped green stone is known for its ability to charm away the bad feelings of a broken heart, and to clear the way for future possibilities. You may want to try sleeping with this stone placed over your heart chakra, which is located in the very center of your chest and is represented by
the color green.

Moonstone, the lusty evening stone, said by some to be made of moonbeams, is among the saucier love gems that you might find. Give your love a moonstone on the night of a full moon, and you may find that you will always have a mutual passion for one another. Throw a sunstone into the mix, and the resulting sparks are supposed to fly even higher, as this is meant to amplify the sexual energy and mutual attraction caused by a moonstone alone.

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“From every fruit you taste,” a moonstone bracelet with central sunstone, by Eve Alfillé. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

It can be fun to experiment with mixing and matching your stones: if you want to kick your love life up a notch, combine rose quartz and moldovite to create a power house in your heart chakra! If you find that the effects of your rose quartz are overpowering and you are simply loving everything TOO MUCH, add some amethyst to tone it down! And, of course, any jewelry combination you should choose (whether given as a gift, or maybe given as a SELF-gift) which makes you feel beautiful, can be considered a resounding success. So go on and treat yourself, because: you rock!

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