Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vintage Vibes

My latest jewelry projects have been few and far between, given the challenges my family has been facing the past several months. On top of the holidays and my father's passing, we were in the middle of moving my parents out of the house they lived in since 1976 to a small retirement cottage. We've done a lot of purging and packing!!! We now have Mom all moved in to the new place, and she is busy unpacking boxes, and making fun decisions (like what color towels to use in the bathrooms, etc). Her days are full, and I think the move has helped her in dealing with the loss of her husband (my dad). I still drop in on her after work most days, to make sure she's ok - and she's doing well. However, this isn't a post about that.

What I'm getting to is that I have not had much time since Labor day to work on jewelry. Every once in a while, I'd find myself at home by 8:00 at night, and would have the energy to go to my bead room, and unwind there.

Mom gave me this rhinestone dress clip in the course of the purging and packing. I don't know who it belonged to, or where she got it. But all it needed was a couple vintage crystals and some gun metal chain to transform into a necklace.
And, if it ever needs to be worn as a dress clip again, The connector rings can be easily removed!

About every year, before the holidays, I take a day off from work, and go shopping with my girlfriend Joan. We go to Collingswood, NJ. There are a few little shops (not as many as previous years - a sign of the times I suppose), and lots of interesting restaurants. Jubili beads is nestled right in the middle of the action. Of course, it's our main stop. They have some vintage finds, reasonably priced too. I picked up both the carved button tops and the little wooden flower discs at Jubili. The button tops (I guess they are "cabs", but they look like old buttons to me) remind me of carved Bakelite. I'll admit, I bought quite a few of them.
I've named this "Orange Slice"
That is it, for now! Thanks for sticking with me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Benefit

I live in Pennsylvania, about a half hour from New Jersey. As most people know, the east coast was slammed by Hurricane Sandy last fall. The devastation that was left behind is incomprehensible. There are houses that escaped with barely a scratch, and houses that were completely demolished. Entire families were left homeless. What can we do about Mother Nature? Really, nothing.

So, when I got an email from a friend, asking if I'd donate a piece of jewelry for a Sandy Relief fund raiser, I said "YES". They are having a concert, and a gift raffle. I hope my humble little contribution will help them raise money, to help out the victims left homeless.
They were looking for "Beach" themed items for the fundraiser. I remembered that I had a "beachy" lampwork bead from Maya Honey. I started looking through my stash, and surprisly, I located it pretty quickly. It reminds me of sand and a starfish. I added a Vintaj Dragonfly, and some frosted glass beads. They aren't sea glass, but they look like it. The Vintaj bead caps remind me of sea creatures - barnacles, maybe?
"Beachside Fly By"
Close up of the Maya Honey lampwork bead
The fund raiser is this weekend. I hope they raise lots and lots of money!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

California Poppies!!

I don't think I've ever known a flower more cheerful or exuberant than a California Poppy! My mom loves them (among other flowers), and I have tried to buy the plants for her, but they are either a different variety, or they won't thrive in our area. So what's a girl to do?

Buy poppy BEADS, of course.

I ran across Emma Todd and A Polymer Penchant during the recent challenge of color blog hop. Emma had a photo of one of her poppy pendants on her blog, so, of course, I had to check out her etsy shop. I loved the poppy, but I did not see any coordinating beads, so I convo'ed Emma about it. She was happy to make up some matching beads, to go with the poppies. She really went above and beyond my wildest expectations! She made so many beads, and I liked them all! So I got TWO poppies, so I could make a necklace for my mom, and one for me!

Mom's birthday is this week, and here is what I'll be wrapping up for her!!
Mom's necklace
A close up of the poppy - so fabulous!!
And of course, MY necklace is similar, but uses more of the accent beads, in an asymmetrical design, plus earrings too.
A close up of some of the accent beads - there are still so many left over, I'll need to make another necklace!
Mom doesn't wear earrings....but I do!!
The beads are teardrop beads, made from the same clay as the other beads.
If you love these poppies, you should check out Emma's store. I really enjoyed working with her on my bead order (actually, she did all the work!!)

Thursday, January 17, 2013


My last post was Dec 5th. Coincidentally, my Dad went into the hospital on Dec 6th. Sadly, after being there over a month, Dad passed away 2 weeks ago, at the age of 80 (only 20 days before his 81st birthday).

He told people he was 81, but he really was only 80. I think he wanted to be 81, so he could say he lived longer than anyone else in his family. Technically, he lived longer than his older brother, by a few months, who also passed away at 80.
In his favorite hat
He was not the kindest or most patient man. But he was generous, loyal and loved his family fiercely. He really loved his 2 grand children so very much.
Last summer with Mom and the grandkids (Thomas and Isabelle)
I wasn't "Daddy's little girl". That was my sister. She was the first born, so she had hold of Dad's heart before I came along. But, in later years, my sister and brother both moved away, and it was my parents and me, at every holiday or family event. I think in the past couple decades, he appreciated my loyalty to him and Mom (I got that from him).

He loved his family.
He loved duck and goose hunting.
He loved golf.
He loved Italian food, and steak with A-1.
He loved bourbon and beer.
He loved his black labs and labradoodle.
He loved watching TV (mostly sports and crime shows).
He loved reading, too.
He loved his job, before he retired.
Relaxing by the pool, but NEVER in it
He hated water - but spent the last 36 years tending an in-ground pool, for the grandkids, Mom and the dogs.
He hated stupidity and laziness.
He hated waiting.
In Mom's garden
He had his personality flaws, like anyone, but I loved him. In the end, he was at peace and was ready to go, as he believed, to heaven.

I'll miss you Dad. R.I.P.