I don’t like to use the word “obsessed.” I think it’s overused. It probably shouldn’t be used unless it’s actually referring to mental illness.

So let’s say that I have become… fascinated by tortoiseshell.

In the picture above, you can see my Kate Spade tortoise patterned file folder, J. Crew tortoise flats (used, from Etsy), a tortoiseshell necklace, and a bracelet.

I started with a pair of inexpensive hoop earrings.

I wore them with this bow blouse, and they were a perfect echo.

Then I was thinking about bringing honey or amber into my burgundy/gray collection.

How beautiful and subtle tortoiseshell is in this role.

I have a set of tortoise knitting needles coming from Australia, too. That will probably be the end of my tortoiseshell spree.

Tortoiseshell used to be made from the shells of tortoises. The Hawksbill turtle is endangered now, largely because people became fascinated with this lovely material.

I think I’ve seen real tortoiseshell, probably in my childhood. Hairpins and things, maybe a tray. These are vague recollections. Now, I think all tortoiseshell is plastic. Acetate, even. We can buy these goodies guilt-free. Apart from guilt over conspicuous consumption, that is.