May 31, 2010

Weekly(ish) Photo Essay: Treasures of Rastro

Yesterday I finally made it to Rastro, a big outdoor market at La Latina in downtown Madrid.I've tired to go for a number of Sundays, but I either wake up too late or the weather is inconvenient. But Saturday night I wasn't out late, so Sunday I woke up bright and early at eleven, called up my friend Lauren, and went down to see the market.

We were a little rushed because we got there after two and it starts to shut down around three, but I still managed to get a good number of photos of all the lovely, and so so colorful things for sale.

{your name here}
{personalized corrida posters? awesome!}

{a giant pile of used clothes}

{whimsical decorations}

{nearby mural}

{foam toys - so cute!}

{a close-up - I love the orange elephant on the far right!}

{pretty dresses for pretty little girls!}

{endless sunglasses}

{these felt pom-pom necklaces looked like strings of gumballs!}

{blurry felt flowers}

{decorative fans}

{this is only about a tenth of the wall of earrings}

{same for the wall of necklaces}

 {so many colorful Indian sandals!}

{a rainbow of cotton summer dresses and pants}


I was mostly just there to finally see it all and browse a little, but I was also half looking for something for myself, and a birthday present for my bestie Molly, whose twenty-fifth birthday is tomorrow. I didn't find anything for Molly, but I did find the elusive moonstone necklace - exactly like I wanted it - that I've been looking for for almost two years!

It all started in San Benedetto, Italy, in August of 2009, when I was on vacation with my friend Maria. I was in a little jewelry shop and I found this moonstone ring, which I instantly fell in love with.

{I wear it every day}

I especially love the way that it's set so simply, in a way that really lets the beauty of the stone shine through, rather than embellish it with a decorative filigree silver setting, the ways so many semi-precious stones are set.  I wanted to get some matching jewelry, like earrings and a necklace, but I could never find exactly what I was looking for.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, at another little market near my house, I found these earrings.

 They aren't round like the ring, but again, I love the simple setting, and the oval shape is a little more elegant.

Now all that was left was the necklace. All I found for so long were either huge stones, or small stones set in enormous twirly, loopy silver settings, neither of which I really liked.

Finally yesterday, at Rastro, we came across a funny little old  hippie man with a stand of lovely silver and semi-precious stone jewelry, and I finally found what I was looking for. A beautiful, round, simpley set moonstone pendant.

Now I finally had the ring, earrings, and necklace!

And then on my way home from the metro I stopped into this little bead shop I'd always noticed but never been in to see if they had simple silver chains to wear with the pendant. They didn't have chains, but they did have a string of round moonstone beads. So I decided to go for the quadfecta (I love inventing words!) - ring, earrings, necklace, and bracelet! So I bought half a strand of beads, and strung them up to make this bracelet.

Although apparently twenty-five beads was just too many for my wrist, so I made the bracelet with twenty-two beads and kept three to make this floating moonstone pearls necklace.

I went from having one lonely piece of moonstone jewelry to having every piece I could possibly imagine, in exactly the styles I wanted, and for incredibly reasonable prices! I obviously won't wear it all together, because I'll look like a crazy person, but it's nice to know that I have the pieces for when I want them. And just in time for summer, when moonstone looks so lovely against light-colored summer clothes!

What was your luckiest market find?

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Whitney said...

That market looks amazing!

I think my luckiest market find was a day when I was feeling kind of down and I found this cute little booth that has all sorts of fancy cupcakes. I had a lemon raspberry one. It was lucky for me because I guess they don't have a booth every single weekend and I just happened to go on a weekend when they were there. It was the perfect pick me up!

Muse said...

What an amazing and colorful market! With that crazy selection, I wouldn't even know what to choose. Whenever I go to Istanbul, I always spend and afternoon at the Grand Bazaar - one of my favorite things I bought there was an amber necklace. It took alot of bargaining but in the end it was mine!