When I Saw Billy Elliot…

This weekend I saw the play, Billy Elliot.

First, if you haven’t seen it, see it!  If you haven’t seen the movie, see it!!

 

leather and evil eye bracelet for men

 

My parents took me and the grandkids to a very small playhouse where the cast is all volunteers and the performances are sooooooo good, you just cannot even fathom buying the tickets on goldstarevents.com because you feel like you are cheating the playhouse.  That being said, the play message moved me.

 

It wasn’t the time and energy and skill that goes into a production at a volunteer playhouse that moved me.  In all honesty, my daughter is on dance team, so I know about endless rehearsals and lessons.

 

 It was the message of a dream.

 And the right to be who we are. 

 

Sure, the manly dad and brother are who they are, and the cross-dresser is who he is.  And the boy Elliot just wanted to dance because it made him feel like nothing else in the world.  He is who he is.   What a blessing to be able to soar and be at peace with who you are.  I only hope that my children grow up to be who they want to be in life, and if I am ever found being stubborn, as the father in the play was, that I can change and grow as he does.

It really makes you think.  About life, happiness and what makes a person seek happiness.

That being said, it is the perfect moment to introduce a new line of jewelry that we are toying with–men’s bracelets.  You see, if a guy wants to wear a sparkly and shiny beaded bracelet– Damn It He Should!!!

black silver mens bracelet

He should.

 

This new selection is found online at www.alefbet.com, and keeping within the beloved theme of evil eyes and hamsas, we are, of course, highlighting spiritual symbols.  (You didn’t think we wouldn’t, right?)

 

The combination of sparkling black and turquoise cubic zircon stones are all hand-set in this evil eye amulet and strung on sterling silver beads.

 

This look here is a bit different, as the sterling silver beads are blackened with a rhodium plating and strung together with an evil eye charm in the center.  The other designs are combination of leather with a sword, and the other a set of three movable stones within a bar.

 

We encourage you to wear your bling proudly, flaunt your style loudly, but most of all be yourself.  Be happy in your skin– be proud of your accomplishments and learn from your failures.  And do as Billy Elliot did and take a leap and try because you never know where life is going to take you.

 

If you’d like to check out this new collection of men’s bracelets, visit and click alefbet.com

 

When Your Feet Hurt Wear Cute Jewelry

New shoes, new jewelry. 

 

Ladies– do you have a hard time shopping for shoes?  Not based on style, but on how they feel on your feet?

 

I have the hardest time!  I mean, my feet constantly ache.  It is the arch of my foot that just throbs.  I guess I could go to the doctor, but why? I think as a woman, we just like to suffer.  I really do.

 

I would rather moan and groan and shrug in pain whenever I step down from bed every morning than deal with appointments and doctor offices.

I just would.  

However, I have found that massages really help my feet pain.  My Peruvian friend said to me a few years back, come to my “sobadora” she is the best.  Now, I am sure that I am misspelling the Spanish word, so feel free to comment on my error.  But, basically, she is a lady that works out of her garage and pushes and pulls and moves tendons and ligaments and nerves back into place.  There is much screaming in pain during the whole process, it is not for the weak at heart.

But it works!!!

I would travel every Sunday to see her, a four hour trip, for almost a year.  Unfortunately, she passed away.  And unfortunate for me, my feet hurt still.

As I am off trying to find the next “sobador” I am still finding it hard to find cute and comfy shoes.  I did buy these slip-ons, aka mules of some sort at DSW.  They have a bit of an arch and padding.  Let’s hope for the best.

And they look awfully cute with simple gold jewelry.  I gotta admit they do.  

If you want to see these cute bracelets go to Alefbet.com and for the shoes, check out DSW.

 

 

Onto the next Sobador and Chinese Foot Massage…. the journey continues!

If Madonna Could Pull it Off…..

Growing up, you got a piece of Jewish jewelry for your bat-mitzvah, but if you were “lucky” you did not.  Back in the 80s, there was no fashion-forward Judaic jewelry.  It was large, ugly and style-less.  Ok, that is a big-blatant statement I am making, so I will retract it and say, “I cannot remember ever seeing anything nice that was religious when I grew up.”

 

It just wasn’t fair.  Madonna wore cool crosses and the kids at school did too.  They had fun flaunting their faith with style, pizazz and flair.   She made the rosary and crucifix into jewelry and took layering to a new extreme.  

 

And then she added a Jewish Star and OMFG!!!!

 

The coolest of the cool was wearing a Star of David.

Heart-attack.

 

As a society, we are used to images of obnoxious, gross, very large Judaic symbols.  (Madonna’s isn’t small by any means).  It was the Jewish grandpa on Miami beach wearing his mezuah, star or chai pendant on a thick gold chain that came instantly to mind.  You might argue with me and say your charm was meaningful and carried memories, but don’t forget this is my memories of what I saw as a kid, and would love to hear about yours in the comment section.

Now, back to my story:

These stereo-typical images are found on the big screen.  Here are two resourceful images I found that portrays the image of the symbolic pieces:

Other than that, there really was nothing on the market.  Unless, you were lucky enough to have someone you knew going to Israel, and they could hook you up with your name in Hebrew.  Remember this was pre-internet and Birthright so Israel was not on the top of the most-traveled list.

 

In 1989, my second trip to Israel, I remember getting my name in bold font Hebrew letters.  I was so cool, I didn’t even notice they spelled my name wrong.  Didn’t matter, I couldn’t read it anyhow.

 

Leaving the glamorous 1980s behind  and stepping into the late 1990s, there still was a void in faith-based Jewish jewelry.  Now, by this time I had learned to read, write and speak Hebrew.  My mom, selling jewelry at the time in her maternity shop, decided it was time to manufacture her own jewelry.  Enter Hebrew letter beads!

 

 

All of the sudden, there was modern Hebrew jewelry on the market, none of the likes seen before.  These cubes were fashioned after the English letter beads that were all the craze.

 

Popularity, Jewish, affordable

 

We hit on an idea that was void in the market.  The Jewish mothers loved us– !  Remember, this was still pre-internet days.

 

1996, baby

 

Thinking that we were a one hit wonder, we named the business after the beads. Alef Bet Jewelry.

 

Then someone asked us what else we had…..  and the answer was, “nothing.”  So, we scrambled and thought and designed and the rest is history.

 

If you still want to purchase these Hebrew necklaces, you can.  We really still do manufacture these beads from the original molds we made them in.

 

Confession– the image was taken on a regular pre-digital camera.  We used film.

And it was pre-photoshop.  So that is our only image that remains.  But, the jewelry is still shining and gorgeous and can be found at www.alefbet.com.

 

Let us know your thoughts and what were your stories about seeing Madonna in a Jewish star?

 

 

Wearing the Hebrew Biblical Prayer Jewelry

Hebrew Prayer Jewelry

Every religion has a prayer, “Thee Prayer.”  In Judaism, it is the Shema Israel Prayer found in the Book of Deuteronomy 6:4.  It serves as the centerpiece of both the morning and evening prayers, and the first verse translates as follows: “Hear, O Israel: the LORD Our God, the LORD is One.”  

 

As children, we are taught this prayer and no matter where you go in the world, no matter how religious you are, or aren’t, you know this prayer.  It is almost what unites us, to put it lightly, when we don’t share the same language or customs.  

 

I remember many times when showing this bracelet to someone and I say it is Hebrew, and the customer cannot read the language and are not religious, immediately ask is it the Shema Prayer?  And each person then tells a story with their memories of the prayer.  It is a touching moment for all, a moment we love to hear about when selling jewelry.  The stories, the feelings, the connection made again through a prayer to our fellow people around the world.

Just having the bracelet close to your soul, the words of the Hebrew prayer near you is a feeling that one cannot describe.  It grounds you, gives you inspiration and fills your soul.  These are all comments that our customers relay to us time after time.

 

There are many gorgeous prayer bracelets at Alef Bet Jewelry.  Take a peek, and let us know the feelings that they create when you wear them.

 

 

Friendship is Like a Rare Diamond | Alef Bet Jewelry by Paula

These fingers might look like a good manicure and a ring to you, but really they represent so much more.

diamond ring
Chain ring with diamond in 14k gold

When I saw it was #nationalbestfriendday the other week on Instagram, my friend Heather came to mind.

 

This story is actually quite unique:  we met at a gift show in NYC, when her mom bought her jewelry from us.  It was the last piece of jewelry her mother ever bought her.  From then on, she made it a point to visit us every 6 months at the show and our friendship developed.  She lives in Ny and we are in Ca.

 

She believes in us as a company, has invited me into her home, encourages us to keep going and is our #1 fan. And besides that, she is a gem. A diamond.

 

So, those fingers modeling our new ring that she designed, that is the fingers of a true friend, a diamond.

diamond chain ring

What’s On the Gifting Table for Dads this Father’s Day

Trees | Father’s Day?

What’s up with that?

We have this fancy shamcy image to show you the great gift you can give your dad this Father’s Day. Pretty good with the graphics, right?

Father's Day gift idea in jewelry

 

Why a tree? What does it symbolize?

 

Well, it’s pretty simple: a dad is symbolically the roots of a family, and the kids and grandkids are the branches and the beauty of the life extended from him. Without a dad in your life, perhaps you wouldn’t have grown up to the apple of his eye? See the tree relevancy here?

Trees make wonderful gifts, so if you don’t think he will rock this dog tag necklace, perhaps plant a tree in his honor and tell him you are watching it grow just as he is watching, loving and nurturing you to do the same.

 

What we love about this tree is that a tattoo artist actually drew the image and we converted it into a pendant.  The style is edgy, perfect for a guy that loves jewelry.

 

We’re created a video to show you the style and features about the pendant.  Check it out here 

And to buy the necklace go to www.alefbet.com

 

Teachers and End of the Year

This morning after I dropped my daughter off at school, I tried to calculate how long I have been driving this same route to school.

I think it is 13.

13 years of the same drive, twice a day for almost 10 months a year.  That is a lot of the sameness.

I am thrilled, totally thrilled, to be moving on this year to a different school.  How sad is that?  But, when you are done you are done, right?  My little one will be upgrading to middle school, my middle is in high school and my oldest will be moving into her own apartment this weekend for college.

But, you know…we have to thank the teachers.  If it weren’t for the teachers my children wouldn’t be able to read or write.  In my 5th grade daughter’s culmination speech, I told her to include the paragraph that she is now an author, scientist, computer programmer (or rather youtube watcher), mathematician and more because of her teachers.  I honestly believe that teachers didn’t sign up for this job for the huge pay check, retirement fund and health care benefits, but rather for the love of children and education.  Yes, you may disagree on some standards and yes, some teachers should retire early, but all in all, our teachers are what make our children be able to enter the “world” and function.

 

I say we should honor our educators, if you want to gift them this year-end with a gift, try to think about what they have gifted your child.  We all have different levels of income and we can gift what we can.  From a personal and heart-felt note to a memorabilia gift — they deserve it!

 

There are lots of presents you can choose from on www.alefbet.com, in lots of different price points.  I love coffee, but lets be honest here: a gift-certificate to Starbucks is gone in a few sips but a piece of jewelry will stay with them forever.  And when they put on that bracelet or ring, they will think of your child.  And the thankful gift you bestowed upon them for educating your child.

I’ll Never Stop Loving You

Words

Words hold super powers.  They can cause a smile in a split second, change a life,  and create lasting memories.

Words can also harm.  They can cause pain, tears and such sorrow that could change a life forever.

 

Choose your words carefully, think them through long and hard.

 

We’ve all been there, all been hurt by words and all felt the positive power of words.  Let’s focus on the positive power of words– it is a much brighter subject when your blog is about jewelry!!

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

I’ll Never Stop Loving You Necklace in Sterling Silver

Wow– how touching is this!!  Can you picture your kids gifting you this necklace for Mother’s Day perhaps at brunch or while bringing you breakfast in bed?  Could you imagine the heart felt joy upon opening the box containing these sentimental words?  These are powerful words, touching words, heartfelt words that are not chosen lightly.  They come from within, from one’s inner most soul to share with yours.

I’ll Never Stop Loving You

This Mother’s Day, thank your mom. Or your wife.  Bring her joy and happiness, and let her know that you appreciate all she has done for you.  Etch these words onto her heart, just like this pendant.  Touch her soul, her mind, and let her know exactly how you feel.

Words speak louder than actions.  Create ever lasting memories with a piece of jewelry that she can carry close to her heart and continually draw pleasure.

Shop this pendant at www.alefbet.com

Touching gift for Mother's Day or Any Day
Touching gift for Mother’s Day or Any Day

Mother’s Day For the Handiwoman + Tools

tools for moms

 

There are all sorts of moms out there, some cook and clean and raise kids really well.  Others can do that + fix stuff and make stuff.  I admit, I don’t fall into those categories, but I can dream, right?  I do look online and get inspired to fix and create all sorts of things.  Why can’t I hang that new picture and make a bench for the backyard, right?  I pin away on pinterest all the time!!  Trying to convince myself I am handy and everything is easy.

 

Then the moms that do it really really well are out there, and put us others to shame. Hey, that is OK by me.  I still can rock this awesome tool necklace though and the matching bolt earrings.  It beats my kids name on a heart necklace anyday….just saying!

 

See this necklace online at Alefbet.com

 

 

 

Afikoment Gifts on Passover

 

My mom tells of growing up in Denver in the 1950’s and receiving a quarter from many uncles for finding the Afikomen.  I remember my Uncle Irving passing out $2 bills to all the cousins.  Now, those bills were an oddity, and so special that we wouldn’t even spend them.  I actually still have a few tucked away in my jewelry box.  As kids we couldn’t sit still until the middle piece of matza was broken, folded into a napkin, and hidden away.  Whoever found it would then hold it for ransom until they received a gift.  Yes, one person found the Afikomen, but in order to prevent hard feelings, the matzah was broken up and passed around so that all the kids received gifts.

There are stories and legends intertwined in history about finding the Afikomen.   Doing research for this blog post we found that the Afikomen has taken on special meanings throughout history as.  This symbolic middle piece of matzah used to be saved as protection against the evil eye and to ensure longevity.  Back in the Middle Ages, Jews would carry it in a little pouch with them from Passover to Passover, hoping for good luck.  Did you know that if you kept the Afikomen for 7 years, you could then throw it into a river to stop a flood?  The stories go on an on.

Afikomen might sound like this crazy made-up word, but it is a word.  Pronounced Ah-fee-ko-men, it is actually a Greek word meaning dessert.   Read more about it in this past post.

Let’s fast forward from the 1950s and 1970s to 2017, and admit that kids are still fascinated with the Afikomen ritual and holding it ransom until they receive something in exchange.  The thing is, when you gift something to a kid, they remember it.  That is what Jewish family celebrations are all about– creating memories and rituals.  From the food we eat to the prayers we chant, every child remembers the holidays.  Having them leave with a small keepsake just preserves these memories.

afikomen-gifts

Here are two wonderful choices to gift the children at Passover Seder.  A sterling silver Jewish star pendant or a Hebrew chai charm are both meaningful moments of the holiday.