Foodie Friday: Didriks Dinner Series

The lovely Alexandra Boeri from Didriks just sent over the official photos from last Saturday night’s dinner put on by Didriks at Austin Architects in Cambridge. These images are a lot more clear and well composed than the Instagram photos I posted yesterday. Enjoy the gorgeousness of the flowers by Laura Jean Floral & Design, decor by Nicole Rueda-Watts of Observatory, and table settings and food by Taryn Collins for Didriks.




Roasted Tomato and Cipollini Onion Crostini with Ricotta
Preserved Lemon Hummus


Shaved Fennel and Grapefruit



Seared Scallops over Saffron Risotto with Asparagus



Upside-Down Blood Orange Cake




Laura Jean


Nicole Rueda-Watts


Photography by  Nathan Brescia

Designer Spotlight: Laura Jean Floral and Design

Saturday night Didriks and Local Root owner  Jonathan Henke and his team invited me to a dinner where we talked about business and design. It was held in the Observatory Hill neighborhood of Cambridge, near his shops, at Austin Architects.

Didrik’s visual merchandiser, Alexandra Boeri, organized the nuts and bolts of the event and was the force behind its creative vision. She picked out all the tableware, and worked very closely with Laura Jean of Laura Jean Floral and Design, who did the flowers, and jewelry designer Nicole Rueda-Watts,  who provided some beautifully styled decorative vignettes.  Nicole is Laura Jean’s business partner in the new shop Observatory. (Check out Nicole’s old loft here.) Taryn Collins, who works at the shop, cooked the delicious meal. It was a such a nice evening, filled with good food, good flowers, and good company.

Here are some of my Instagram photos of the room, table, and meal, as well as some images from Laura Jean’s floral design portfolio.






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Peek inside the portfolio of Laurel Jean Floral and Design:










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Get the Look: 40 Pieces from Boston Jewelry Designers

For this season’s Style issue of the Boston Globe Magazine, in addition to a few profiles of Boston’s Most Stylish (friend and art/science documentary producer Alberta Chu, jewelry designer/computer scientist Jessica Rosencrantz of Nervous System, and Deborah Z. Porter Founder and Executive Director of the Boston Book Festival), I also wrote “Jewelry’s Big Moment.”  The spread includes nine pieces from wonderful, emerging local jewelry designers. With Mass Art and the SMFA in town, (not to mention RISD in nearby Providence, but that’s a whole other post) the artisan jewelry scene is absolutely thriving. Below are additional works from the featured artists, as well as a number of local metalsmiths that we didn’t have room to feature in the magazine. Lots of talent!


Boston Jewelry Designers


Boston Jewelry Designers Boutiques Artisans

Boston Jewelry Designers

Boston Jewelry Designers Artisans Stores



1 Petra Seibertova Nest Earrings, $50 at MassArt Made.

2 Ripegoods Rain Drop Hoop Earrings, $78.

3 Dev Bennett Three Dot Studs, $32 at 13 Forest.

4 Lauren Passenti Fish Jaw Bracelet.

5 Hannah Blount Barnacle Ring, $198.

6 Petra Seibertova Disc Cup Earrings, $340 at MassArt Made.

7 Little Pancake Stamped Triangle Necklace, $36.

8 Nikky Bergman Deer Antler and Leather Amulet.

9 Dev Bennett Geometric Solid #1 at Cambridge Artists Coop.

10 Sophie Hughes Slit Drop Chain Earrings, $240 at Fire Opal.

11 Sasha Walsh Ring, $360 at MassArt Made.

12 Becca Straus Maria Feather Necklace at Michele Mercaldo.

13 Alison Storry Rose Gold Heart Charms Necklace, $44 at Etsy.

14 Iolyte Stackable Ring, $340 at M. Flynn.

15 Dev Bennett Small Metropolis Necklace, $150.

16 Sasha Walsh Stackable Crystal Ring, $56 at Wicked Peacock.

17 Lauren Passenti Claw Necklace, $87 at MassArt Made.

18 Marissa B. Orchid Blossom Earrings, $62.

19 Sasha Walsh Druzy Ring, $220 at MassArt Made.

20 Julia Groos Halo Designs Gold Bead Ring, $220.

21 Beatrice Kim Karung Watersnake Cuff at Good.

22 Sasha Walsh Cuff, $330 at MassArt Made.

23 Hannah Blount Raw Crystal Brass Ring, $88.

24 Dev Bennett Four Post Earrings, $56 at 13 Forest Gallery.

25 Bree Richey Gondola Earrings.

26 Leah Meleski Infused Series Earrings

27 Lauren Blais Garnet Spire Studs, $210.

28 Nikky Bergman Hannah Bangle, $160 at MassArt Made.

29 Leah Meleski Recycled Impurities Earrings.

30 Monique Rancourt Small Granulation Ring, $200.

31 Monique Rancourt Cuff at Society of Arts & Crafts.

32 Lindsay Minihan Felt Bud Earrings, $120.

33 Filomena Demarco Double Feather Earrings, $95 at 13 Forest.

34 Monique Rancourt Feather Series Necklace, $400.

35 Sophie Hughes Razor Shell Earrings, $290 at Fire Opal.

36 Beth Solomon Ring at Alchemy 925.

37 Rachel Pfeffer Hearts on a Wire Ring, $88 at Wicked Peacock.

38 Joyo Small Squares Necklace, $50 at Wicked Peacock.

39 NYX Studio La Damme Earrings, $190 at Wicked Peacock.

40 E. Scott Originals Topaz Stud Earrings, $60 at Wicked Peacock.



 Read “Jewelry’s Big Moment” in the Boston Globe Magazine here.

Globe Style cover


Follow my “Cool Jewelry” board on Pinterest!

Design Diary: Jewelry Designer Nicole Rueda-Watts’ Live/Work Loft

Back in 2009 I profiled jewelry designer Nicole Rueda-Watts and her loft for Stuff Magazine. Almost three years later, Nicole has since moved to a new studio space (written about this past fall by the ever excellent Tina Sutton for Boston Globe Magazine), but I think you’ll still enjoy the original photos I shot when I visited.

Nicole designs under the label Nyx Studio. Nicole, along with her mom Pamela Watts, run Reside, one of the best mid-century modern furniture shops in the area, with outposts in Boston and Cambridge.

The view upon entering. The red-curtained area on the left is the walk-in closet/boudoir. When she first moved in she says, “There was debris everywhere, and weird makeshift tables bolted to the walls. But. . . this place was such a canvas.”

Vanity in the closet.

Bags above a daybed in the closet.

Plenty to wear.

Mosquito netting keeps the bed area cozy in the wide open space. She found the bedside tables and lamps at Marshalls.

Display cabinet was a find in the garbage in Cambridge.

A kimono from her mom hangs above the cabinet. The tree branches came from a walk in the woods in Ipswich, Mass.

Antlers (with fur still attached!) on a shelf inside.

An overview of the living area. The pair of chairs are Barcelona lounges without the cushions. She got them from two guys who rescued them from a couple who left them behind when they moved to California. Lamps next to the sofa were $3 each at Goodwill.

A closeup of the sheepskin draped Barcelona lounges. (Sheepskins from her mom, who got them at Costco.) The coffee table are just pieces of timber she found in an empty unit in the building.

More finds left behind by building tenants.

The horns above the mirror were left in the basement of her mother’s house. Nicole sanded them down before hanging since they were yellowed.

The glass dining table was here when she moved in, left behind by the photographer who occupied it before her, who came from a wealthy family. She says, “I have this vision that her elegant, totally ’70s parents with blue eye shadow and shag carpeting gave her this, but she never really liked it. It takes someone looking at it from a totally different angle to appreciate it.” The chairs are Plycraft, from her mom. The pendant is wicker from IKEA.

The studio is just beyond the living room, and can be closed off with an old burlap curtain she hung. This is the work table at which she makes all her jewelry.

A suede corset cuff with silver-work and cabachon stone, from Nyx Studio.

When she moved in , there was no shower or tub. Nicole and her brother found this tub in another unit in the building, dragged it over, and hooked it up.

A sculpture she fashioned. The centerpiece is a piece of coral with branches growing out of it that she found and carried back from Mexico.

“Growing up our house was artsy. We had hammock on our porch, so I knew I needed a hammock. It’s funny that where my mom sits when she visits.”

Nicole uses the little room off to the side as a sewing room. The chandelier is from a yard sale on the Vineyard.

Nicole’s jewelry. She apprenticed with a silversmith in Mexico.