Oldies but Goodies - Spring has sprung

Another year, another spring - and more spring items from a new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge!
Around here the blossoms are still a little hesitant compared to elsewhere, but we will be getting there, no doubt.

Now let me put you into the mood with a spring poem by William Blake before showing you what the JAC members came up with this time.

Sound the flute!
Now it's mute!
Bird's delight,
Day and night,
In the dale,
Lark in sky,--
Merrily merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little boy,
Full of joy;
Little girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

1 Cat's Wire
2 The Crafty Chimp
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 MC Stoneworks
5 Echoes of Ela
6 Violetmoon's Corner
7 RioRita


My favorite piece of jewelry

It's time for the JAC blog carnival again and this time the topic is "my favorite piece of jewelry".
My first thought was "that's impossible" and it actually is. I don't have just one favorite. After all there are so many reasons to love jewelry.

I have collected quite a few pieces over the years. There are the gifts, there are the things I made myself and wanted to keep for one or the other reason, there are those I bought myself, there are those I inherited (which I really count as special gifts), and then there are those I would like to have, but can't - like the Hope Diamond ;-)

When I'll show you a few of them, you might be surprised.
These are favorites of mine not necessarily so much for their bling value or for working with all of my outfits, not because they are made with my favorite stones or because they make me feel elegant and classy (yes, I do have those, too). They are not this Gollum's preciousssss (although I actually do own the one ring and love to wear it around the neck like every good little Ring-Bearer who knows what's good for him or her).
These are favorites for their stories and the memories.

I have told you about this bracelet a few years ago. It came to me after my grandmother died who got it from her sister who got it from her husband whose first wife it had belonged to before that.
It's representative for the different pieces of jewelry I have that used to belong to my grandmother.

Are friendship rings between girls still a big thing in these days? They were definitely a must have item in my time. There used to be a jewelry shop with two stores in town. One had the cheaper things and was regularly overrun by teenage girls, the other one had the more expensive items.
When my friend and I went to get our rings in 7th grade, we took a third friend along. You could always rely on having some fun with her. So we went into the shop and looked at silver rings and started trying them on. The saleslady was used to that and was very patient ... until our friend put a ring on and couldn't get it off again. She couldn't stop laughing while the saleslady looked more and more as if she were ready to cut the finger off.
Needless to say there were no fingers cut off that day. The ring finally gave up, and we got our friendship rings. I bet the lady was glad to have us out of the shop, though!

Not long ago I told you about my Latin teacher who hated the color purple. What I didn't tell you was that he actually gave me some purple things back after I was out of school, like a picture of a purple Porsche (he had an old red one himself) saying that not even the color could take away from its beauty.
He had travelled a lot and once he brought me this necklace home from Nepal. The fact that it wasn't purple was a bonus. I mean, can you imagine this in purple? ;-)

From a slim ring to a chunky necklace back to a dainty garnet ring. This and an amethyst ring were a gift from my sister after she started working. Some of my first little treasures ....

You won't be surprised to hear that I own several pieces of cat jewelry.
These cute earrings (from Brightstar 109) didn't seem to want to stay with me, though. I wore them to work and I kept losing them out of my ears, first one side, then the other. I found the first one on the floor, but the second one seemed to be gone for good - until I happened to go to the bathroom because I felt a weird scratching in a delicate spot. The earring had dropped into my shirt and managed to hook itself into the fabric of my, erm, bra. Not in the front, though, but in the back.
Sounds totally like something a cat would do, eh? Claire graciously sent me some new hooks when I told her the story, ever since those kitties don't get away anymore.

The last piece sticks out in this collection.
It's not small and it's not something I ever thought I would fall in love with. I visited a friend of mine, a goldsmith. He showed me some of his work which was beautiful, but not necessarily what I would have worn. We often joked about it. He thought statement pieces would work for me while I preferred it smaller.
This design, however, swept me away. For some reason my friend seemed to think that I only said that to please him and he tried to talk me out of it. I got miffed because I felt he didn't take me seriously, he got stubborn, and the visit ended in awkward silence while he drove me to the train station.
On the train home I got a text from him saying sorry, and did I really want the ring?
I wanted it and I got one custom made.
My friend passed away last year. I still miss him which makes this ring even more special to me.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post a little even if might not have been what you expected from the title.
If you want to hear other JAC members' stories, check them out here.

Echoes of Ela

Violetmoon's Corner
Jewelry Art by Dawn 


Quote of the week

Easter without bunnies? Never!
And if a sorcerer warns you about one, you might want to listen.

Tim: Look at the bones!
King Arthur: Go on, Bors, chop its head off.
Bors: Right. Silly little bleeder. One rabbit stew coming right up.
Tim: Look!

Bye bye Bors ....

Buster, my little killer bunny, this post is for you. I miss you.

Monty Python and The Holy Grail, UK, 1975


Tackle that stash - Wire knit eggs with seed beads

Why does my brain come up with these things in the last minute? I doubt I will ever know.
Today's stash tackler is about gifts. Wouldn't it be nice to make some wire knit eggs for the neighbors? Maybe with seed beads? I could use those deco eggs and knit around them like I did around the Christmas baubles. Oh, these eggs actually do look rather nice. The matte surface makes them look a little like real eggs, even more so if you see them through their extra wire shells.

Three eggs down and my wrists hurt. Just as much as I doubt I will know why my brain does that to me, though, I doubt it (and I) will ever learn from it.
The seed beads were a gift a few years ago. They were too irregular to use them in a design before, but the pastel and pearly colors are so perfect here. I love when things finally come together.


Oldies but Goodies - Out of this world

Out of this world - "It can be something having to do with outer space, aliens, or a design that is over the top. It’s up to you how you interpret it."

So we got
- aliens
- "landscapes we see out of airplanes when we look down"
- the moon
- a ring made with Tektite, an extraterrestrial stone
- the moon in the seventh house (admit it, who started singing now?)
- alien plants (my interpretation on those cool red earrings)

Whatever you see, everything is out of this world ... such a fun topic at the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge! I hope you will like these entires just as much as I do.

1 and 8 RioRita
2 and 7 Violetmoon's Corner
3 and 9 Cat's Wire
4 and 6 Jewelry Art by Dawn
5 2 Fab Fristers


Quote of the week

Have you heard of Clara Rockmore? Chances are good you have. After all there was an interactive Google Doodle in her honor not even two weeks ago. Now I could say that I knew her before that, but that would be a lie. So yes, like probably millions of others I looked her up.
After she had to give up her violin career, Clara Rockmore became a virtuoso performer on the theremin, an electronic instrument invented early in the 20th century by Russian physicist Léon Theremin.
Today's post is in honor of them.

After Sheldon gets fired from a project his three friends are working on, he sets up his theremin and starts playing.

Leonard: "What are you doing?"
Sheldon: "Playing the theremin."
Leonard: "No, I mean what are you doing with a theremin?"
Sheldon: "Playing it. I've loved the theremin from the first moment I've heard the original Star Trek theme. And it's been killing me that it just sits in my closet gathering dust."
He's playing again and the sound makes the others roll their eyes.
Leonard: "Sheldon, we're working here."
Sheldon: "That's all right. I can barely hear you over my theremin."

That's when Leonard pulls the plug and throws Sheldon and his theremin out of the apartment. Doesn't look like he's going to be another Clara Rockmore ;-)

The Big Bang Theory, USA, 2007 -


Tackle that stash - Native Copper and Porcelain Jasper

More than once I told you about the cabs in my little drawer.
Now I am determined, though. I am so determined that I promise I will only use cabs from my stash in the next few weeks. Maybe I shouldn't make promises, but I am willing for sure.

Take a look at this. Not one cab, but two!

Native copper has pure copper in a stone matrix. Can you see the little specks?
Of course it made sense to use copper wire with this, but I didn't want to make another pendant. Instead I came up with this wire knit and crochet bracelet. And guess what, I used up those brown seed beads (that you might remember from last week) now.
I don't know what you see, but I'm almost reminded of a little (asymmetrical) crab here ;-)

Porcelain jasper is such a wonderful stone. I have more than one and I keep sitting on it like a dragon on his hoard. I have always been partial to black and grey and I love this pattern.
Don't you think the pearls are just perfect with it?


Oldies but Goodies - Lapis Lazuli

When I hear lapis lazuli which is often just called lapis (Latin for "stone"), the first thing I think of is Egypt. In ancient Egypt lapis was used to make cosmetics from it, among other things of course. I don't remember if I read that in the sticker book "Adventures of the World" (to be honest, I have no idea if that's really what it was called, but I only had about 4.5 hours of sleep and can't quite think right yet) that we got from the gas station when I was a child and which we sadly could never fill up with photos completely and which had those cool stories about The Silk Road and pharaohs and adventurers of all kind and ... I'm totally digressing here, aren't I?
Cosmetics. Egypt. Oh yes, lapis. Wherever I got it from, it shocked me a little back then how someone could grind up beautiful stones for makeup. I have never been a cosmetics expert, can you tell?

The members of the Jewelry Artisans Community, however, have used lapis in these jewelry designs for the last Oldies but Goodies Challenge.

1 MC Stoneworks
2 Cat's Wire
3 2 Fab Fristers
4 Violetmoon's Corner
5 The Crafty Chimp
6 RioRita


Tackle that stash - Stone Canyon Jasper pendant

I'm back! And what could be better to get back into blogging than a nice stash tackler?
To be honest there is little stash tackling in this pendant, though.

It's not the first time I am telling you that I am struggling with asymmetry. It's funny because there had been no struggle at all in ordering this interesting brecciated jasper. I came, saw, and bought.
Then I was carrying it around in my coat pocket for two weeks. When there's an order in my mailbox, I can never wait until I am upstairs, you know. I have to rip it open right there and then. As my veggie box arrived that same moment, I just shoved this and another cab into my pocket and kept forgetting to take them out.

Yesterday I finally remembered and just when I was about to bury them in the drawer with my other cabs - that have been waiting for too long to get out of there for good - I decided I'd give this a shot.
I turned the jasper this way and that way hoping it would tell me what it wanted.
The earthy colors called for copper wire and to pick up the browns from the stone I added transparent brown seed beads to the knitted bezel.

Next was the decision which way to turn the cab for the bail. I am always drawn to turn drop like shapes upside down and the fact that I love my dangles usually influences me to follow that urge.
The brown pearl was perfect with it.

Now which cab to choose next? Decisions, decisions!


Oldies but Goodies challenge - Water

Another week has flown by. You might have noticed by now that my blog time out was no joke. It's really about time I get back into gear.
Without at least the weekly Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge to post my blog would look very sad.
It would be a mistake, however, to think the Challenge is just a filler which you will see when you have a look at this week's beautiful entries that are inspired by water.
Do you already feel the urge to jump into the pool or go to the beach?

1 and 6 RioRita
2 and 5 Violetmoon's Corner
3 and 7 MC Stoneworks
4 Cat's Wire


Oldies but goodies - Amethyst again

This post is for my Latin teacher. He didn't like the color purple. He detested it. He said purple was not a color, but a catastrophe.
Too bad that one of my friends loved purple and didn't hesitate to wear it no matter what remarks she got from him. A small group of our class decided we had to give him something purple. It started out with a cake in purple and pink (which was good, no doubt, because said friend's father used to be a baker and passed the talent on to her) and turned into a tradition on Christmas and at the end of the school year. Purple ties, socks, flowers, plates, mugs, I can't even remember everything. When we were out of school, I kept up the tradition for quite a few years. To this day I think "oh, that would be a good one" if I see something purple. For me the color will be connected to him forever.

Of course the topic "Amethyst" wasn't chosen for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge because of my Latin teacher, though. Amethyst is the birthstone for February and of course it was still February when the challenge started.
Please enjoy some of our members' beautiful entries.

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