Oldies but Goodies - Feathers

Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt train station. Whenever you see a large group of younger and older children there, chances are very high that they visited the Wilhelma, a combination of zoological and botanical garden.
It's even easier to tell when some of them carry feathers from the long train of male peacocks. When we still had peacocks at our local zoo, we collected those feathers that fell out, they were not plucked.
Feathers have been a topic in fashion for a long time. You know us humans, we can never get enough and we don't deal well with limited resources.
Maybe that's one reason why I like the feathers from this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge better, they didn't harm any birds.

1 Violetmoon's Corner
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 Cat's Wire
4 MC Stoneworks


Bead stores

A while ago I said this in a post about the JAC Oldies but Goodies Challenge "Jewelry artisans, I tell you. They go on a trip and the first thing they find in a city is a bead store."
This post for the blog carnival at the Jewelry Artisans Community picks up the topic of bead stores - those places that make us faint or jump from excitement.

In times of online shopping taking over - and I'm not saying I am not guilty of doing that! - more and more brick and mortar shops are disappearing, not just for beads, mind you. When I started knitting in the early 80s, there were several yarn shops in my town, then they closed down and just one was left, but only because they started offering all kinds of other things, too.
As much as I enjoy having a large choice of beads online, as much I love visiting a bead store. My favorite kind, the kind that struggles the most, are those shops that are not part of a crafts shop chain or a drugstore chain which happens to have a craft department where you can find everything from bead kits over clay to the latest trend in crafting.
Being the dinosaur that I am I like a shop with the owner's heart and personal passion in it. Unfortunately there isn't a shop like that in my own town and never has been. Maybe that's why I love to sniff out bead stores when coming to another town.

I remember Edinburgh. The first evening we arrived, on a Sunday, we took a little stroll. It was like magic, not long and I had my nose and hands pressed against a window, desperately trying to notice details in the dark.
"We'll come back tomorrow morning first thing", my ex said rolling his eyes like a horse. For some reason he thought it would be more interesting to check out other things first like the tour to Loch Ness we wanted to do, going into town, see the castle, visit museums ... all things I love to do, but ... bead store!

Or how about Cambridge. We walked up the street after we had had a guided punting tour, and there, on the left side, bead store! It was closed that day, so we had to come back.
Do I detect a pattern there?
It turned out to be small and friendly, just the way I like it. "Are you going to take long?" "No, no, no. How do you like this? Or that?" "Oh, buy it already."

Nuremberg. My little brother and I came down from the Imperial Castle and almost right there at the foot of the castle was a bead store and yes, it was open. My brother waited outside with that slightly annoyed look on his face. I could have spent more time, but I told the lady I had to get back to the man out there. She laughed and said that she thought bead stores should always be built across from hardware stores. Now there's an idea ;-)

Like I said, here in town we don't have a bead store. We do have the drugstore chain with the crafts aisle, one of the toy shops used to carry some Czech beads, but finally gave that up, and we have the store with stuff for the garden and decorations on one and crafts things on the other floor.
Just the other day I ran in to look for a particular wire color and got it, but I'm not always that lucky because they have a limited choice. One normal house floor is not enough for all crafts there are. I still like to check there, though, if I need something quickly.

For more bead store stories have a look at what some of my fellow members have to say.

Jewelry Art by Dawn
Violetmoon's Corner 


Oldies but Goodies - Heat

Last year around this time we had a heat wave. And a friend of mine from California came to visit.
Americans can't understand that not all of us here have A/C. I guess we never really needed it. You lived through the hot days by drinking a lot, going to the local pool, and sweating a lot, in my case also cursing a lot. My friend didn't understand why I wouldn't let her leave the fan or the one A/C unit in my bedroom on during the night. I told her that I wouldn't take the cats to the vet if they got a cold because they decided to sleep in a drafty spot. A lot has to happen before I turn the A/C unit on and the fan is never unsupervised.
Now every time I mention heat my friend tells me "to turn that fan on!!!!" She thinks I'm totally weird.

While I hate heat, I love these items from these week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Hopefully you will, too.
Maybe you also want to tell me how you live through the heat or even if you are one of those people who start blossoming from it when I am ready to die from it .... ;-)

1 Violetmoon's Corner
2 Cat's Wire
3 RioRita
4 MC Stoneworks
5 Jewelry Art by Dawn


Oldies but Goodies - Spots and dots

What is there to say about spots and dots? Let me think. "A leopard can't change its spots" comes to mind. Or I could tell you the story how the leopard got his spots.
On the other hand I could make it easy for you and easy for me and just show you a few pieces from this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. How does that sound? I give you "Spots and Dots"! :-)

1 MC Stoneworks
2 Cat's Wire
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 RioRita
5 Violetmoon's Corner


Tackle that stash - Gunmetal and gold and lampwork, oh my

It's incredible what treasures you sometimes find in your house.
I went through my nightstand drawer (I have no idea what others keep in there, but mine holds supplies) and literally struck gold! Gold wire, to be more precise. 4 feet of 9 ct gold wire that I had completely forgotten about and that spent years in that drawer hidden away in the back corner because I didn't know what to do with it.
I got it with the intention to use it as accent in a wire crochet piece, but the wire kept breaking, so I had to give up on that plan. Every time I stumbled upon it, I looked at it for a while and then put it back again.
This time, however, I had a new technique up my sleeve.

No matter how careful I was, the wire started twisting up and finally broke in a few spots, but I managed to finish this pendant.
Another successful stash tackler! ;-)


Oldies but Goodies - Peridot green

"Others strung the gems on donkey hair and tied them around their left arms to ward off evil spirits."
Thank you, GIA. Who would not like to begin a post with donkey hair?
Now go, find yourself a donkey and ask him if s/he can spare some hair, so you can tie that peridot around your arm.
No, wait! I'm just kidding! And even if I sound crazy, I'm not, promise. I'm just a little tired and still worn out by my cold and looking for a way to introduce this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.
It was about peridot, the birthstone for August. Not all of our members have used that in their designs, though, so the topic is peridot green.

1 RioRita
2 Cat's Wire
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 Violetmoon's Corner
5 MC Stoneworks


Oldies but Goodies - Keep it simple

It doesn't always have to be elaborate, big, or major bling. Sometimes simple and classic is just the best.
That's why keeping it simple was the topic for this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Not only are simple pieces versatile to wear with all kinds of outfits, often they are the everyday go to pieces if you don't have time to plan. Just throw on those silver earrings or put on that pearl or another single stone.
And never forget that simple doesn't mean boring!

Here are some example from the challenge. Enjoy!

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