Oldies but Goodies - Pumpkins

Before the last family dinner my sister called and asked me if I'd like some pumpkin soup for a starter. What kind of question is that?? I love pumpkin soup! And I hate cutting pumpkin just for myself!! I really do, you know, so I would never turn down an offer like that.
Yup, pumpkin season is upon us (and pumpkin spice season ;-) although that is not such a big thing here in Germany, so the squabbling between fans and people who hate it leaves me unfazed), so that will be the topic for today's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, too.
Not everyone makes actual pumpkin jewelry, though, so pumpkin colors were allowed as well.

1 and 10 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 and 8 The Crafty Chimpy
3 and 5 MC Stoneworks
4 and 6 Cat's Wire
7 and 9 RioRita


Oldies but Goodies - Dangles

Last Saturday I told you a story about my friend and myself going to the local office supply store and buying sealing wax and stamps.
Today I'll tell you a story about one of our jewelry stores that took place around the same time, in the late 70s.
That store was called "Jewelry Chest" and, honestly, once I was grown up enough I felt a little sorry for the staff there. The "Jewelry Chest" had a sister store - whose name I don't remember at the moment which is driving me nuts - which was an ordinary jewelry store. Ordinary at least to us teenagers. They sold the real stuff, gold, gemstones, watches, way out of our budget.

The "Jewelry Chest", however, had little trinkets and decorations, from small animals carved from quartz to what we would call boho jewelry today, affordable silver pieces and more. It was heaven for us teenagers. I'm surprised I never stuck to that window with my nose because I couldn't resist it. Of course we bought friendship rings there (there may be another Saturday story in there) or we went just in to browse a little which I can't remember ever being discouraged, by the way, no matter if we bought something or not.

One day I finally had the money to buy a special birthday gift for one of my friends, a pair of dangly earrings from sterling silver (much of the silver jewelry still was 835 instead of the 925 at that time) that cost me incredible 32 DM. That was a lot of money for me back then, but my friend's family had always been so nice to me. They even took me with them for a vacation once, so I wanted to show that I appreciated it.
I had been so excited about these earrings. I had to go there all the time to see if they were still there. I loved them so much that I couldn't imagine anyone else not loving them. There was one little silver ball with two more little silver balls dangling from it on chains. Nothing that unusual, you may think now, but apparently I have always had a thing for dangles!
To present them in style I knitted a doll with yellow yarn braids and stuck the earrings in the head at the spots where the ears would be.
The birthday came and guess what. My friend didn't seem excited at all. She barely even looked at them. I don't know why, I really don't remember anymore if that was a style of earrings she never wore and if I had simply chosen what I liked instead of what she might have wanted. Then again I was only 13 and not always very wise. Okay, I'm still not always very wise, but maybe a little more than 40 years ago.
I wasn't mad at her, by the way. Maybe I regretted that I couldn't take the earrings back to keep them myself, but I never forgot that feeling when I walked out of the store to look into the little paper bag, and it's a good memory.

So why have I told you that story at all? Kudos to you if you made it all the way through. Dangles were this week's topic at the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, just what I like :-D
I hope you will, too.

1 and 8 The Crafty Chimp
2 and 7 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 and 5 MC Stoneworks
4 and 6 Cat's Wire


Random Saturday - Feeling like a Queen

The time was the late 70s. My best friend and I were on a mission to shop. We came packed with money, well, what we considered packed. After all we were teenagers and on a rather tight budget, so we had to choose wisely, think twice. We couldn't afford to regret.

Don't get fooled by the title of this post. We didn't go to a jewelry shop, we were at the local office supply store. Not one of the department stores, but the place where they had the good stuff, the special stuff. Beautiful pens, stationery in all colors of the rainbow, and what you needed for the latest hype at that time. Seals and wax.
The seals were easy to pick, our initials, a U for her, a C for me. The wax was not so easy, though. I can still see the display before my inner eye, all the beautiful colors lined up, but we knew we couldn't have them all.
A classic choice was the red of course, and if my memory doesn't fail me, that's what I picked in the end.

Those were the times when we still had pen pals. I wrote letters, between five and ten pages long. EVERY day. Today my wrist starts hurting after one page, but as a teenager I had pen pals in Belgium, Australia, Ireland, England, Germany and for a very short time a fellow in the USA who became a foreign exchange student very quickly after we started writing, came to Germany and sent me a letter every day - on a differently colored stationery for each letter.
Today I still feel the excitement when I get one of those elusive hand written letters, maybe even more because it is such a rare event.
And now I could send my own letters in royal style. Here you go, that's the title explained. I stole it from a friend of mine, by the way, who mentioned feeling that way when using her own seal in the old days.

I don't know where I first got the idea to have my logo as a seal, but it has been a while. Then I forgot it again, browsed a little more, forgot it again, and that went on for some time until I got my tax return and thought that now was the right moment to just get one.
This week it arrived, and wow, within seconds I turned back into 13 year old me and had to try it out immediately although part of me said nooo, it's too pretty to use!

Actually this is a rich, dark color, but the flash and the fact that purple likes to turn bluish in pictures didn't help here. Isn't my little cat cute, though, playing with her wire and beads like that?
Now where did all my pen pals go? ;-)


Oldies but Goodies - Recent work

Okay, that's a bit of a contradiction there, I know. These entries for our latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge are no oldies, but I hope you will agree with me that they are goodies.
So without any delay I give you almost brandnew work from our JAC artisans. Enjoy!

1 The Crafty Chimp
2 and 6 Cat's Wire
3 and 4 MC Stoneworks
5 RioRita


Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop - Swirl

This hasn't been my month for different reasons. Life got in the way and ate up my motivation, my concentration and my creativity.
It would have been easier to send an email in time saying sorry, can't do it this time. On the other hand I can be so stubborn. I've got this. Some light stretching, shaking my head free from the cobwebs, grabbing my wire and ... hm, can you also hear that cricket in the background? And where's that tumbleweed coming from regarding the fact I'm not even in a desert? Oh, dust bunnies. Wait, just how long have I been sitting here with that wire in my hand??

It's strange that swirls - the topic for August at the Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop given us by Marsha - didn't make me jump all over the place with ideas. You know that I love to make tentacles for example which could have been one way out of this dilemma, but this time not even they helped me out. I drew a complete blank.
So I started making a little spiral hoping it would awaken some creative spark - today, on the day of the reveal! - , and there it was.
I had been admiring wire woven vessels for a long time. Mary Tucker's work was one of the first one of that kind that caught my eye. 
Basket weaving translated into wire fascinated me and I made some very feeble attempts long before I even contemplated diving deeper into the wire weaving world. Maybe it was time for another one, hopefully not that feeble this time.

This is a prototype or maybe a WIP. The piece is closed from both sides, so it's not like a basket, more like a chunky and rather heavy button. I'm not sure yet if I want to use it in a piece of jewelry or if I'm going to keep it as a reminder and as an inspiration to keep going and trying to make this work in my way. One thing I know, I will not be able to put it on my desk or Gundel will kick it round the place in no time! She already has that look in her eye ...
As you see I haven't put a bail on, I haven't oxidized, it just has been a bit of wire play for now, but who knows what's going to happen next? :-)

Other participants in the Challenge have not been quite as unmotivated or uncreative as I have been, so please go by their blogs and see what they have come up with. It's what I'm going to do myself now, and I do believe that they have to offer a big inspiration boost!

AlisonAnita - Cat (aka me) - Caroline - Jill - Kathy - Karin - Kimberly - MischelleRaven - Sarajo - Susan - Tammy 

AE Team Members
Cathy -  CarolineClaire - Jen - Jenny and Lesley - Laney - Marsha - Susan


Oldies but Goodies - Butterflies

I have always loved butterflies. I'm not good at identifying them, but I love their colors and fragile beauty. Actually I like moths, too (except for those who try to eat my Steiffs). Just the other day when I walked to the train station, I saw a pretty big one (big for what I usually see here) sitting on a wall. It probably wondered what a human was doing there at that time, but chose to ignore me in the end.
The last time my sister and I walked through our forest, we saw quite a few butterflies too, but the only one I was sure about was the common brimstone - which we call Zitronenfalter = "lemon butterfly" in German.
Never before did I wonder about where the word butterfly comes from, but when I looked up the English name for the brimstone, I stumbled upon this (from Online Etymology Dictionary):
"... but the name is of obscure signification. Perhaps based on the old notion that the insects (or, according to Grimm, witches disguised as butterflies) consume butter or milk that is left uncovered. Or, less creatively, simply because the pale yellow color of many species' wings suggests the color of butter. Another theory connects it to the color of the insect's excrement, based on Dutch cognate boterschijte."

Now I've got some different butterflies from the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge for you. Not much butter to see here, but I hope you will like them, anyway. 

1 and 5 Cat's Wire
2 and 4 and 6 MC Stoneworks
3 The Crafty Chimp


Oldies but Goodies - Little Something

Today's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge doesn't need a big story because sometimes a little something is simply enough. It doesn't always have to be big and flashy.
Don't you agree?

1 and 6 MC Stoneworks
2 and 7 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 RioRita
4 and 5 Cat's Wire