A Bohemian Traveler's Jewels


Today I'm going to rave and ramble about jewelry, which is by far my favorite fashion accessory. I love to cloak myself in eclectic jewels, I even joked to my boyfriend once that I must have been a fashionable Ottoman or Persian princess in a past life. ;)

Buying special and unique pieces is important to me, and traveling is something that has afforded me the opportunity to collect quite a few of those.  There is nothing like roaming the Bazaar in Istanbul, or browsing tons of Baltic Amber in a Polish street market!  I'm a sucker for anything Mexican, Native American, Southwestern, Turkish, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Indian or Thai - particularly silver cuffs, beautiful bulky rings, and beady chandelier earrings!  I don't really favor costume jewelry, though I do have a few pieces.  For the most part, my jewelry consists of real silver and gold, brass, semi-precious and precious stones (though not really diamonds), and pieces that look rustic and tribal. 

Anyway, instead of scavenging the web for gorgeous images of bohemian jewels to inspire you, I figured why not share some of my own?  So I broke out a mini brass Moroccan tray table and started to play around with some of my decor and jewelry to create some saucy vignettes!  If I may say so myself, it ended up making for some pretty great photos, and I think I'll do this more often!  Let me know if you like this peek into my jewelry box... :)


This sterling silver ring has an embedded piece of vibrant red Cinnabar with carved floral designs. Did you know that Cinnibar is the common ore of mercury? I didn't, but now I do! It really is true, you learn something new everyday.... ;)

This shot captures an array of my bohemian goodies: the turquoise and coral bracelet on the top left was from Ross, the beaded turquoise necklace is from Santa Fe New Mexico - a gift from my mother, and the gold and Carnelian bracelet belonged to my mother.

Ah Matryoshkas, how I love thee. The stunning scalloped brass canister is one of a set of three, tiered in size. For this vignette I thought it was pretty, as well as functional - for displaying smaller earrings... The turquoise and mother of pearl earrings are from Ross, and the three gold hoop beauties...

... these belonged to my mother. The one at the top has small mother of pearl and semi-precious stones, and the two bottom earrings are some of my favorites... As you can see they're of similar style, but the middle one features The Sphinx and the bottom one Whales.

This beautiful little silver horse is supposed to resemble a Swedish Dala Horse, I bought it on eBay and I lerrrrve it!

Ah yes, how could I forget to show you these? I should have shared them sooner, but somehow they were destined to be flattered even more (if that is even possible given how awesome they are all by themselves) in this vignette photo-shoot! I bought these stunning/drool-inducing Turkish chandelier earrings a while back from an Etsy store called FIGIstanbul

At the time, they were $45....yes, $45 for sterling silver and gold earrings with inlaid Carnelian and Turquoise. However, they are currently $80 and I am not happy about that, a part of me wonders if the owner of the store decided to up his price after I sent him a feedback raving about how much I love them. Not cool. The reality is, they were some of the least expensive earrings from that store, at the time, many other earrings are over $100. I know that's a lot, but they are all sterling silver or gold (or both), and have a combination of many rubies, emeralds, sapphires, pearls, turquoise and more. So, after how pleased I was with these, I decided to treat myself for my birthday in March and buy two more pairs of earrings from the same store: one with rubies, pearls, and turquoise; the other with sapphires and pearls. I'll have to photograph those two, which finally arrived after over a month in transit from Turkey! Soon.

So after playing around with this palette of colors (all of the above), I decided it was time for a new vignette of jewelry and decor.  Really, I could stage things all day long, I'm insane.  So check it out...

I found this brass bracelet at a garage sale for $1 after hearing its sweet perforated design chanting my name softly from a vendor's table....  The thin sterling silver cuff once belonged to my mother, the turquoise stone bracelet is from Ross, and the pink quartz and smokey topaz bracelet was a gift from my aunt - along with a matching necklace that has since broken :(

I hung a pair of earrings on a beautiful hand-painted bowl from Marshalls, and let some coral and mother of pearl bracelets spill out...

Sitting in front of the bowl is a Tulip ring that I bought in The Bazaar when I visited Istanbul in 2008, FYI - tulips are the national flower of Turkey. If you look closely, you can see that there are two curved tulips etched into the metal under the clear crystal stone - the base of the ring is sterling silver and gold. I love that it is physically symbolic of Turkey, a country which I really enjoyed....

Don't get me wrong, I wish they were real coins, but they do look pretty darn sexy.... :D

Inside the bowl I stashed lots of different things...

The gold heart with the peace sign carved out is from TJMaxx and came with a gold chain as well.  The blue, white and gold hair comb is so elegant, though I can't remember where on earth I got it.  Hmmm....

As for the sterling silver carved capsule pendant on the right, that was a gift from my aunt while we were traveling in Europe many moons ago, I think it's from Spain.  It unscrews to reveal a small compartment, probably for poison or drugs, haha... 

...the brass and lapis bracelet at the bottom is something I bought at a Church Garage sale one day.  Common' you know those - they're huge, they catch you off guard, you bust a manic U-turn to drive back and park on the side of the road, and then you run walk up to the snake of stalls with Terminator vision (at least that's what I call it) looking for whatever it is that tickles your fancy.  For me, it's thing with a story, usually vintage or antique, and full of character.  

It may not be the most gorgeous bracelet (you can't really see it well here), but when I saw the woman's things for sale I knew they all had stories.  Sure enough, when she saw me touching this bracelet, we both said hello and she told me that she bought it many years ago while traveling Afghanistan with her husband.  I was intrigued...  I was immediately drawn to more of her things, one is a vintage folk painting of a bird on tree bark that she bought in Mexico, it's in storage (so waiiiiiit for it!), and the other is a hot pink and orange wool sling purse that she bought in Greece!  I got all of it for under $10!  I will have to photograph and share those items with you when I get the chance.

This is a vintage brass eyeliner/kohl applicator in the form of a Peacock (from eBay), the head twists off to reveal the applicator tip...

The larger brass compartment below (also from eBay) is a reproduction of an antique Chopra Hindu Ritual Box, it has six compartments that only open if you completely unscrew and remove the middle peacock....

This is a carved silver Turkish Hamam (Bath) bowl bought in Istanbul, I thought it made a great textural contrast with the color of my turquoise and pearl necklace (from TJMaxx) and some bracelets.

...The colorful mirrored, beaded, and pom-pom'd tassels belong to this small makeup purse made from a Suzani. I found a bunch of them at Marshalls during Christmas shopping last year and greedily bought two! :)

(All images in this post are my personal photographs, please do not use them without my written permission - I can be contacted at InspireBohemia(at)gmail.com - thank you!)


  1. Gorgeous staging and photographs of (just a few) of your treasured possessions. Haha! I was intrigued reading about the brass peacock which is actually an eyeliner applicator..interesting. I enjoyed reading your charming and ever so enjoyable description of your very far and local adventures. Thanks for sharing.
    Love,your biggest fan and friend forever,

  2. I love this post. So inspireing and beautiful! Love the kohl applicater and the hindu ritual thing. Lovely!

  3. Beautiful collection!

  4. OMG so pretty! I love the boho style <3

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.