Valentines Jewelry & La Maison Française

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This girl is going to get out of the suburbs and head to D.C. for a big Valentine’s soiree / date night with my husband and another couple this Friday night at the French Embassy.  I credit the invite for this evening to some friends in McLean who get out a LOT more than we do and love to go out and get all dressed up.  Well – that’s probably more true of Mrs. A than Mr. A…

I get a little panicked when it comes to shopping for a dress and getting formally dressed up.  I gave myself one time to shop and Monday was the day.  I found a pretty dress in garnet.  I think I tried on between 40 – 50 different options at about 7 different stores to get one that was right for the occasion, ideally not black, right fit and looked good!  Serious challenge.

In addition to marathon dress shopping, I have been dealing with severe pains in my right foot (Plantar Faciitis).   I have been doing physical therapy, exercise and stretching for the last month – but it does not seem to be getting any better.  As a matter of fact, the more I do exercises that are supposed to be ok- like yoga, recumbant bike, rowing- my pain seems to increase.  I have been trying to beg various doctors to see me this week to get a cortisone shot in my foot so I can put on heels and maybe even dance a little this Friday.  So far –  no luck.  Looks like I may have to grin and bear the pain, use lots of ice, ibuprofen and French champagne.  Could be worse!

Now the jewelry for the dress.   I dug into my box of old beaded necklaces from a Loooong time ago.   I found some garnets I strung about 8 years ago that may work and I made a new neckalce today with a more modern look with light rose quartz, larger faceted garnets and tiny silver bead caps.   Totally asymmetrical.  I think I will wear my hair partially up so the asymmetry can be noticed.  I’m going to deconstruct the multi strand garnet necklace and rework it.    I am also going to make coordinating (not matching) earrings and maybe a bracelet.  The dress doesn’t really need much.  I kind of like the dress with just the new choker I made.  I will have to take  a picture of myself in the dress with different jewelry options – just like they do at the Oscars to see how the whole outfit will translate in photos!   It will be a last minute decision but I like to have plenty of options to choose from.

I discovered I love tiny silver plated bead caps all piled up back to back and I definitely don’t bead a necklace in symmetry anymore.  I had to sort of laugh as I was going through my box of old beaded super symmetrical necklaces.


Has anyone had Plantar Fasciitis?  What have your experiences been?  Any secret weapons?  Do tell – so this girl can kick up her heels this Friday!





  1. First off…I love your dress and the jewelry! You have definitely got the colors of the beads down! Io am sure whatever you deconstruct and reconstruct will be gorgeous! I have suffered with the same foot pain for almost 10 years now. I also had a heel spur…had that removed thinking the pain would subside, but it hasn’t. My foot doctor’s best remedy is ice. Take a water bottle (16 oz size is perfect for my foot). Put it in the freezer. Then, several times a day, take it out of the freezer and roll it under your foot. I do it for up to 30 min at a time The rolling of the bottle under your foot really helps with stretching, and the ice just feels good! I also have tried several braces that you wear while sleeping. Though cumbersome at first, they really do help. I bought mine at my foot doctor’s office, but they may be available at drug stores, too. I feel for you! Good luck and feel better!!!

  2. Tracy, I’m living vicariously through you and your big date night. We have kid activities on Valentine’s Day ….and obviously I’m not the aforementioned friend in McLean that goes out on the town frequently! 😉
    I can just see you shopping for the perfect dress…I know how that goes – so hard to find the right thing when you need it. I LOVE your dress choice though – it is really pretty! And your necklace is beautiful – love the colors and the 3 strands. I think I’m guilty of symmetry but I still like it at times.
    I hope your foot feels better in a matter of a few days and that you have a great time!

  3. Hello Tracy!
    What a lovely dress and beaded necklace for you to wear on your special date night! AWESOME!!
    Here is a web address that you might find helpful… As I work for Mayo Clinic and have had plantar faciitis I was able to mend my painful foot with these helpful suggestions. Good arch supports in your shoes are soooo helpful as we age. Ecco shoes have been wonderful for me! Stylish yet FUN to wear!
    Best wishes for healing and having FUN!!

  4. Love all your work and inspiration. I have had Plantar Fasciitis myself and now live free of pain.

    Things I did to help:
    I had golf balls in every room of my house and rolled and stretch my arch as much as possible. I would even stand and roll while doing the dishes.

    First thing every morning, I would stretch my foot in a runners lunge position. I did both sides and then rolled on the golf ball a bit. I did this every morning until my feet both felt flexible. I suggest doing both sides so you stay balanced. Your other foot is surely getting a workout by helping over compensating for your injured foot.

    Also. Keep your feet uncovers while sleeping because even the slightest weight of covers pushes the foot down. I found this as a better alternative than a cumbersome boot. I just couldn’t get restful sleep while wearing it.

    Icing at night ten minutes on and ten minutes off and doing some massage is helpful too.

    Thank you so much for your beautiful work and great ideas. Hope you feel better soon.

  5. The dress is beautiful and necklaces, as for the foot I had this a long time ago and my Dr. told me to keep a belt by my bed and before I even get up wrap the belt around foot and pull up this is a good stretch ,sit on side of bed put foot in middle of belt and start pulling, your leg and foot will be out in front of you most likely at bed height.Be gentle hope this helps.I cant remember if the belt goes in middle of foot or right below toes, do a couple of times and then get out of bed,it worked for me, have fun Fri.

  6. Agh, Plantar Fasciitis….the only cure I found was a steroid injection. For me that was an instant cure – I walked out of the doc’s office without pain. Good luck!

  7. Massage will break some of that up. My husband (a massage therapist) has had good success helping some clients with the same problem. Sorry you don’t live close by, I would send him over.

  8. Tracy – thanks so much for your fantastic tutorials. I’m having problems with sizing the bracelets. Mine come out too long for a single bracelet. My wrist is 7 inches. Should I add just an inch to compensate for the loop and button fastener?

    Oh for the plantar faciitis — no more problems since I purchased Walk-Fit shoe inserts. They have a hard molded heel and different inserts for your arch. You might find them at Target, but I found them much cheaper on Ebay. I have taken the bottom sole insert out of my tennis shoes and put the Walk-fit inserts in the shoe. They are great. Maybe they will work for you too and others who have posted. Let me know!

  9. I too have Plantar Fascilitis and for years I went from one Dr to another. I have now found that if I watch my sodium and salt intake it helps with the swelling and I go to a Chiropractor and get a message once a month. Sounds crazy, but it has worked for me after years and a lot of pain and money going to Foot Specialists. I am now a shoe person, prefer to be comfy and cannot wear heels anymore, but I could for an evening. Before going to the Chiro they were talking about surgery and the shots were very painful, so I am happy! Hope this helps!

  10. Tracy, I love all three tutorials on the bracelets. I am eager to order supplies and don’t know what sizes (mm) of beads, pony beads, cap beads, etc. and the other supplies to order and the best website to order from. I’m wondering if you could supply me with that information? I did read your article in regard to darn good yarn and ordered the sari ribbon. Thank you for your help on this.

    • Hi Stephanie,

      I buy most of my beads from live bead shows or online. One of the most comprehensive jewelry making sites out there is FIre Mountain Gems. I also like Beadaholique and Lima Beads for certain things. The pony beads are from Fire Mountain and are silver plated brass pony beads. If you search that they will come up. The large hole beads I got from another wholesale source – but you can find them at Fire Mountain too. Search for large hole beads and many options will come up.

      Hope this helps! Have fun.


  11. I had that same problem from doing more intense dance cardio. The solution for me was to take a break from any aerobic work and I added a new exercise routine called Classical Stretch. It’s on PBS and last no more than 25 minutes. I live overseas so I ordered the DVD series. it’s a full body stretch that in a majority of the sessions include footwork to strengthen that area. At first I thought it was too easy and an old person’s workout. To my surprise I feel great, my posture has improved and in no time my plantar faciitis disappeared and I didn’t even notice it till later. I do this w/o practically everyday and time flies. This is a no pain, lots to gain w/o. Good luck.

  12. Love your site – that’s #1.

    I noticed that your plantar fasciitis request came after your vacation. Mine came after a weekend of wearing nothing but flip-flops and going barefoot. If you pronate at all, plantar fasciitis is a big risk with going without footwear without an arch. So, I do not. I wear store-bought orthotics in every shoe and do all the excellent things the people above advise. Ice, rolling the bottle under the arch, stretching, all of that.

  13. Hi Tracy,
    I love your blog! Great bracelets. I was reading about your foot pain. I suffer from it as well and no longer go barefoot for long periods. I even have house shoes now. That and the ice in the bottles stretches ect. Good shoes are key as well. Try Chacos or sandals from Naot for the summer. Great arch support! I also love Ecco shoes. They have wonderful ballet flats.

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