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What I Want to See: Jewels by JAR at the Met

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There's a brand new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I'm dying to see. It opened last Wednesday and shows off the work of jeweler Joel A. Rosenthal, who goes by JAR. His designs are contemporary, colorful and jaw-droppingly beautiful -- they are sculptures made of gems, with inspired shapes and flawless compositions. He makes a very limited number of pieces -- giving them a precious and exclusive feel, often purchased by private collectors, celebrities and the like. This is his first exhibition in the USA --although he was born in New York and went to school in Harvard, he moved to Paris soon after graduation and established his jewelry-making career there. Learn more about his exhibit here and see the photos below for examples of the wearable art he creates.

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Poppy brooch (1982), made of diamond, tourmalines and gold.

1 Poppy brooch (1982), made of diamond, tourmalines and gold.

Zebra brooch (1987), made of agate, diamonds, a sapphire, silver and gold.

2 Zebra brooch (1987), made of agate, diamonds, a sapphire, silver and gold.

Geranium brooch (2007), made with diamonds, aluminum, silver and gold.

3 Geranium brooch (2007), made with diamonds, aluminum, silver and gold.

Camellia brooch (2010), made of rubies, pink sapphires, diamonds, silver and gold.

4 Camellia brooch (2010), made of rubies, pink sapphires, diamonds, silver and gold.

Multicolored handkerchief earrings (2011), made of sapphires, demantoid and other garnets, zircons, tourmalines, emeralds, rubies, fire opals, spinels, beryls, diamonds, platinum, silver and gold.

5 Multicolored handkerchief earrings (2011), made of sapphires, demantoid and other garnets, zircons, tourmalines, emeralds, rubies, fire opals, spinels, beryls, diamonds, platinum, silver and gold.

Cameo and rose petal brooch (2011), made of rubies, diamonds, silver and gold.

6 Cameo and rose petal brooch (2011), made of rubies, diamonds, silver and gold.

Photos by Katharina Faerber and Jozsef Tari, courtesy of JAR, Paris.

 

Picnic Picks

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Now that we’re finally getting consistent summer weather (read: HOT and humid), I’ve been trying to get outside as much as possible to enjoy it while it lasts. It helps that New York offers a slew of summer outdoor events in the evenings, most of them for free and open to the public. From the New York Philharmonic's concerts in the parks to SummerStage shows, Shakespeare in the Park and the Bryant Park movie series, there is always something to do outdoors after work. I’ve taken to bringing a picnic dinner and a few friends to enjoy whichever fete we’re attending. Even a leisurely walk to the piers near my apartment can end in a picnic. After a few evenings of lugging around picnic food in tote bags and by hand, I realized it was time I invested in a true picnic basket. I’ve been scouring the internet for some good options – – take a look below to see my picks. Which one would you choose?

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You can't go wrong with a traditional picnic basket: wicker and gingham set the scene perfectly. $34.00, etsy.com.

1 You can't go wrong with a traditional picnic basket: wicker and gingham set the scene perfectly. $34.00, etsy.com.

This rattan basket is covered in linen and leather for a sleek look. Plus, the attachable water-resistant blanket is quite convenient. $129.99, worldmarket.com.

2 This rattan basket is covered in linen and leather for a sleek look. Plus, the attachable water-resistant blanket is quite convenient. $129.99, worldmarket.com.

Instead of an attachable picnic blanket, this picnic bag unfolds and becomes the blanket itself! Easy, utilitarian, and it saves space. $65.00, yielddesign.co.

3 Instead of an attachable picnic blanket, this picnic bag unfolds and becomes the blanket itself! Easy, utilitarian, and it saves space. $65.00, yielddesign.co.

This lovely wicker basket can be worn like a backpack, so you have your hands free to ride your bike to the park. $104.00, gardenista.com

4 This lovely wicker basket can be worn like a backpack, so you have your hands free to ride your bike to the park. $104.00, gardenista.com

I love the elastic silverware holder on the lid of this antique picnic basket from the early 1900s. $185, etsy.com

5 I love the elastic silverware holder on the lid of this antique picnic basket from the early 1900s. $185, etsy.com

And just for fun - this insulated tumbler is perfect for bringing along a fancy beverage to accompany your feast. $12.99, amazon.com

6 And just for fun - this insulated tumbler is perfect for bringing along a fancy beverage to accompany your feast. $12.99, amazon.com

The Martha Stewart Coral Melamine Collection can easily be tossed in a picnic basket without worrying about breakage. The colorful, under-the-sea design will make any park feel a bit like a beach vacation. From $2, macys.com

7 The Martha Stewart Coral Melamine Collection can easily be tossed in a picnic basket without worrying about breakage. The colorful, under-the-sea design will make any park feel a bit like a beach vacation. From $2, macys.com

Tea Time Comes to Brooklyn

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banner1Michael Shannon, a former colleague here at Martha Stewart, has joined creative forces with Heidi Johannsen Stewart, another former MSLO employee, and Scott Stewart to open Bellocq Tea Atelier in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Previously a store in King’s Road, London, Bellocq’s Brooklyn location is fairly recent, and they offer award-winning handcrafted tea blends that are sophisticated and inventive, not to mention delicious. They also sell a beautiful line of accessories, from porcelain tea pots and bowls to whisks, tea filters, and books.

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I love Bellocq Teas' delicious Kikuya tea - it's a mix of sencha and rose petals that's calming and fragrant.

The coolest thing about their operation is how much traveling and studying they do to get their blends perfect. Michael has traveled all over the world with his team to learn traditional techniques, and you can really tell in their products – they taste amazing and unique. My favorites are the Kikuya and the Hibiscus.

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Their hibiscus tea is delicious hot or iced, and it's naturally high in vitamin C. I always brew some when I'm feeling under the weather.

Check out their atelier in Greenpoint, or visit their website to see all their teas and stylish accessories.