Right now I love beach glass jewelry.....

Do you? Sending beach glass factoids over the web.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Dog Days

Hi, my name is Mattie and I am Frosted Trash's Grandoggy!

We recently had a visit from my daughter and her family who live in New Hampshire.  They (including Mattie!) had a fun time even though the temperatures were in the 99-104's!  Mattie kept cool inside the house along with my kitty Willy.  Willy watched Grandoggy with a suspicious eye, I think because Mattie loves cat food!

While taking Mattie for a walk on the beach, my son in law found an interesting piece of frosted trash (beach glass) that no one could figure out.  It looks like a top of a bottle, but where the hole should be - it's covered.  Anyone have an idea what it could have been?  He won the prize for the most unusual piece of beach glass this trip!

It will go in my "Interesting Glass" bowl.  If you check Low Tide High Style , you'll see it filled with glass.  It's a replica of an old fish bowl - big and round on a glass stand.  Some of the pieces in it are interesting only to me and some are really weird!

Here's a sample of a weird looking piece - "campfire" glass. 

Campfire glass was melted by some type of fire and when it cooled, made a free form shape.  Sometimes it also has pieces of burnt wood, rocks or sand in it - trapped for all time.
I made a pendant for my husband to wear out of a neat piece with black lines - probably carbon got folded into it when it was melted.

Not all beach glass that's found can be made into jewelry, but even the unusual can sometimes be beautiful.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pearls are a "Girl's Best Friend" in the summer! (or How Hot Is It?)

Right now we are going through some pretty hot and humid weather - the grass is brown and the hydrangeas are drooping.   I was creating jewelry in my workshop the other day and something about the sultriness drew me to use cool, white pearls with my natural beach glass.  The combination is so silky on your neck, wrist or ears that it is like a little breeze.  And the pearls compliment the cool frostiness of the beach glass so well - it makes you look cooler! 

Here are a few of the earrings I designed with pearls.

Kat from Low Tide High Style is giving away a pair of my cool pearl/natural beach glass earrings.  Be sure to visit her wonderful Blog.  I know you'll be captivated by her style.

I remember my mother wearing pearls in the summer.   Always a double strand for Church.  Here are some fun old clip on earring I found with HUGE faux pearls!

Pearls come from a family of pearl-oysters of the sea, and also a family of fresh-water mussels.  They come in such varieties of shapes, colors and sizes.  Part of my collection of white pearl beads:

There are some strange shapes created by putting a small seed in the oyster.  The oyster covers it with the Mother-of-pearl.  So whatever shape seed you put in is what you get out.   Here is a weird one!

Pearl wasn't used just for jewelry.  It was used for buttons, buckles, handles on flatware, and tokens.  In the old days, card games, board games, and games of chance required that points or money be kept track of.   To do this they used tokens.  Common token materials were bone, ivory, wood and even clay, both fancy or plain. One common material that was used throughout the world was mother-of-pearl.  This is the iridescent lining of the shells of some fresh-water and some salt-water mollusks.  I have a small collection of these mother-of-pearl tokens that I love to look at and handle:

You still find these tokens at antique shops occasionally.  I found these at a small shop in Maine a few years ago.  I thought that they would make extraordinary jewelry - a focal piece for a necklace or some wow earrings.  But I can't quite get the courage to drill them.  They are so beautiful as is - sigh,..... another useless collection. 

Here are some MOP buckles that probably were used for a fabric belt.  I wonder what I can do with these....any ideas? 

Keep a lookout for pearl items yourself, go through your Grandmothers button basket too.   Let me know what you find! 

Keep cool!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer.....

Now that the 4th of July Holiday is over, I feel a broad expanse of summer possibilities in front of me.  Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!  The warm, heavy air - redolent of tomato plants and beach breezes makes you just want to drowse on the porch with a good book.  And since the days are so long, everything is possible and there's time for everything.  I find myself going from the garden to my jewelry bench and then off to the Amish farm stand for some just picked corn and local peaches! Yum!

Seems like I want to get it all in .....maybe because I know that summer will be flying by me all too soon.  Don't you feel like time is speeding up???

My daughter and her family visited over the 4th and we had a great visit.  Just the right amount of "doing" and "not doing".  Some of our activities included a water tour of the local beaches in our new (old) boat, visiting a nearby lighthouse, a whole afternoon floating in the water getting some sun (burn!), playing games of horse shoes (young men vs. older men), eating lots of great food and going to the Gem show.

The Gem show was held near Baltimore, MD and had jewelry and jewelry related things for sale (beads, crystals, silver and gold).  I mostly go there to find unique beads and crystals and also look for good ideas.  There was a whole building of dealers selling things.  Many with hundreds of beads in hundreds of sizes, colors and material.   Here is a bird's eye view of just a part of the Hall!

This trip I bought some lovely Swarovski crystals that have Aurora Borealis highlights. These crystals are small and light green like the old jadeite dinnerware I sometimes find as beach glass.  These have that additional colored sparkle that "AB" is known for. 

Another find was some great carved bone beads.  I think these will look great with turquoise or brown.   Very island wear. 

One of the funniest beads I saw (and had to buy) were these lizard beads.  I guess they are lamp work - it looks like each lizard is just a little different from the other.  When I go to these shows, one of the pitfalls of loving jewelry is that I spend too much $$$!  See, I didn't really have an idea of what I'd do with the lizards, just that I really, really liked them! 

A classic trend I was reminded of was the combination of gold and turquoise.  It's so elegant and rich looking and also very summery.  In the 1900's this was a combination used in rings and necklaces. It would be fun to make something with this look.  I do have some genuine turquoise beads and golden brown beach glass.  I wonder how that would look???

Actually, I will be making some new designs .....   First a walk on the beach, then I'll check my tomatoes, and than maybe some home made ice tea just right for relaxing on the porch!  Supper will be light fare and sleeping will be sweet with the sound of the waves through the window.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Born on the Fourth of July

Well, I have been getting ready to deal with the 4th of July.  No, not just the National celebration, but my mother's birthday.  You see, my mom was born on the 4th of July and I was born on the 2nd of July.  She always called me her "birthday present".  But this July will be the first one without her that I've ever known.  She passed away in February of this year at 94.  A good long life.   I've had quite a few years with our birthday's celebrated together and you know what, I always thought that it would be nice to have it all to myself.  But, it doesn't really feel that good and I'd be happy to be able to share it again. 

So, I thought you would like to see some pictures of Mary.  She was a sweetie and very independent (of course! She was born on the 4th of July!).

This was taken on Mother's day a few years ago.  My brother and I took her to an upscale restaurant.  She said it was nice but I know that she really didn't like "fancy".  I'm sure she would have preferred it if I made dinner for her at home instead.  Most of the time that's what I did.

Here she is in her "disguise".  I always teased her when she wore those big sunglasses!  Since her eye surgery, she wore these when she was outside.  She laughed along with us and enjoyed the teasing.  She wore this hat just to have some fun.  The picture was taken at my friend's house down the street where we had an informal picnic since her mother was there also.  They both sat outside and talked about the "good old days".

As you can see, Mom had a great smile.  People liked her right off because of it.  She liked to laugh and dance.  Boy, did she love to dance!  She was an Arthur Murry instructor for a short time when she retired to Florida.  I remember her dancing with my husband and gently instructing him to "stop hopping!"  We got a chuckle out of that!
Besides dancing, she loved to eat!  Being Italian and all, at our house food was usually abundant and good.  She enjoyed cooking and eating.  After she moved near me in her 80's,  my daughter would always bring lobster from Maine for her birthday.  She loved it and looked forward to that special treat.  This year my daughter is bringing lobster also and we will enjoy the seafood in her honor and remember her.

Love you Mom

Mary Rose
7/4/1915 - 2/2/2010