4   +   10   =  

When I stopped by Crown Nine in Old Oakland, it was one of the most sickeningly gorgeous, hot-house-warm days I can remember. (“Old Oakland” is near Chinatown, and it’s succeeded at reinventing itself as an adorable and chic destination for bar food and boutique shopping.) I felt sweaty but also felt some sort of inner glow from the bustle beautiful Oakland surrounding me. At the very least, I know I had an outer glow, but that’s what face blotters are for.

crown nine 9th st

Stepping inside Crown Nine was like stepping into the wood-paneled prow of a sturdy schooner: a very sunny, warm prow, with glass cases filled with silver and gold jewelry. It’s small but rewarding and lovely (I like to imagine this is how people describe me.) Everything is made by independent designers, many of them from the Bay Area.

crown nine interior

The shop’s owner, Kate Ellen, has her own work displayed as well. Check out this beautiful little piece: there’s silver in them thar hills, and you’ve found all the most gorgeous nuggets! Well done, prospector.

kate ellen
This may (not) shock those of you who knew me way back when, but I was a bit of a geek in high school. Not only was I in marching band and drama, I was in the color guard too. (Yep, the flag-twirlers.) Anyway, like every good little geek, I went through a swords ‘n sorcery phase. This bracelet reminds me of chain mail, and although I am MUCH cooler these days, I would still adore to have a kick-ass chain-mail bracelet to make me feel like a knight in burnished armor.

Design by Kristin Muenster, San Francisco

Design by Kristin Muenster, San Francisco

Now, these next 2 pieces are for the sea-nymphs among us:

shell ring

silver bracelet

Corey Egan, San Francisco

I love the marine-influenced style. The second one isn’t as overtly sea-themed, and perhaps I’m letting my own imagination color my impression of it, but doesn’t it look a bit like barnacles?

Now, here’s a perfect bracelet if you need to make a bloody sacrifice on a stone altar. I’m imagining a moonlit ceremony, a long white column of a dress, torchlight gleaming on an upraised dagger, and: this bracelet!

circular braceletAnd finally, there are a few bonus glamour items: nail polish and perfume!

nail polish gloss ltd

I was unsure of that rusty brown color at first. When I returned to look at it again, I decided that my continuing interest meant it was straddling that line between off-putting and intriguing. If you can pull it off, I highly recommend you do so. Perhaps with a creamy cotton sundress and wicker wedge sandals?

dafne portland

OLO Perfume

As for these perfumes, they are straight from the mythical land of Portland, and they are DELICIOUS. I am not much of a perfume lady (I’m too poor to get the good stuff, too lazy to spritz myself for non-special occasions) but I was THIS close to dropping a Grant on a bottle. Honestly. These are damn good: they’re woodsy and warm, intoxicating and androgenous. The dichotomy is best expressed in my favorite scent: Violet and Leather. Not too flowery, not overtly bovine. Just blissfully intoxicating.