Glittery Frippery

January 25, 2013 § 3 Comments

In the midst of getting clutter and paperwork out of the way before the expedition to Arizona (for shiny, sparkly things) I got distracted, as usual, by a bunch of shiny sparkly things. My jewels are often scattered across table tops and in shelving units. Precariously placed and aligned for my bauble making. Ideas that may or may not hit the bench. They make sense to me, to everyone else (i.e: my Ball&chain), it’s a bunch of rocks cluttering up the place.

I wasn’t planning on making much for my own amusement, I just wanted to clear my orders, then my head, then my table tops for NEW shiny sparkly things. I began, but then I got lost in galaxies of jewels. After I’d been looking at some geodes for a little too long, I made these:

Baby Geode Earrings with Sapphires and Iolite

Baby Geode Earrings with Sapphires and Iolite

I like the sapphires with the geodes. I decided there needed to be a sapphire stacking ring in the shop:

Blue Sapphire Stacking Ring with Baby Geode

Blue Sapphire Stacking Ring with Baby Geode

So very versatile, it looks good with almost anything!

Blue Sapphire Stacking Ring with Rose Cut Lavender Amethyst Ring

Blue Sapphire Stacking Ring with Rose Cut Lavender Amethyst Ring

I was hoping to make a “matching” necklace too but I seem to be running out of time. These are the rocks, aligned for the bench. I hope they make it to fruition. I may get distracted…

Idea for Baby Geode Necklace with Sapphires and Iolite

Idea for Baby Geode Necklace with Sapphires and Iolite

FYI: This year I’m going to keep the etsy shop open and ship goodies from Tucson. Go shopping here: LEDAJEWELCO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s vs V Day

January 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

While getting psyched for my trek to Tucson for the annual Gem & Mineral Shows (which would happily take me away from the mayhem and madness that is SuperBowlMardiGras here in New Orleans), I was thinking about posting baubles with a Valentine’s Day theme before I hit the road. What I really wanna talk about is love and respect, and WOMEN. Chicks. Babes. Broads. Females. Dames. Ladies. Lasses. Damsels. Or if you’re reading this from the “land down under”, Sheilas. This is my personal love letter to us.

I generally try not to get too political, heated arguments spoil my sunny disposition. However, I was very affected by the death of a young woman in India last month who was gang raped for hours. Her name was Jyoti Singh Pandey and her death needs to matter, and so does remembering her name. I count myself fortunate that I have suffered very little physical violence in my life. Being bullied in school was the closest I ever came to being hurt, and somehow I managed to outrun and/or outwit most of them. I can count five bullies. Four were girls! Sad, but interesting. I can’t remember most peoples names from my school days, but I remember the bullies names, first and last. Also sad, but interesting. The other interesting thing is when men have been inappropriate with me, I was never shy about making a racket. In my youth I was told to “keep quiet”. Like I was the one doing something wrong. “Nice” girls just need to shut up.

For a number of years, I volunteered at the local community radio station here in New Orleans (WWOZ 90.7 on your FM dial). Besides hosting some blues and New Orleans music shows, I would produce something called the “Community Notebook”. Usually it was for neighborhood events, fundraisers etc. When Tulane University submitted a request for a promo of “The Vagina Monologues” on Valentine’s Day, I was told I could not say the word “vagina” on the air!! We did come to a compromise: I was allowed to say the word once, because it’s in the title. (Duh). Since I was single (and couldn’t get a date) I went to see the performance. This play addresses the stigma surrounding rape, abuse and women’s sexuality. The author (Eve Ensler, follow her on Twitter: @eveensler) has incorporated a non-profit charity called “V-Day” and raises money via performances of  The Vagina Monologues for female victims of violence and sexual abuse. You can find out more here: http://www.vday.org/home

Now I know this is a jewelry blog, and don’t you worry, I’ll shamelessly flog some trinkets too, but I want to address the “vs” in the title. This non-profit has been criticized for taking the air out of the romantic balloon that is Valentine’s Day, attacking the “romantic” bonds between men and women, for being “misdandrist” (mis´an`drist    (mĭs´ăn`drĭst) n. 1. one who hates men). I say PSHAW. I love my husband, he’s good to me. I also know that I’m a woman, and I am outraged  by so much that goes on in the world because women are deemed to be less than worthy (Taliban anyone?). Ever hear about the “Sworn Virgins of Albania”? Women (usually young girls) are asked to give up their sexuality and live as celibate males. For honor and respect. You can find out more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_sworn_virgins and find some links to some of the photos by Jill Peters (photo below is hers) who recently brought this story to mainstream media.

Sworn Virgin Albania

I am fortunate that I live in a place that I can celebrate romance, be a “girly girl” AND support violence against women. If each of my 12 followers can go here: http://twibbon.com/support/one-billion-rising-5, get a twibbon, then maybe give a couple of bucks, maybe start something, dance, join a march, see the play, or just send a good thought, I will have done something. Now, how about something pink?

Wishing you an early Happy V/Valentines Day. Go home and kiss someone you love (yourself included).

Clicking on an image takes you to the listing. To see all my “pink”  offerings, click here: PINK

Big Pink Tourmaline Garnet & Moonstone Pendant Y Necklace

Big Pink Tourmaline Garnet & Moonstone Pendant Y Necklace

Rose Cut Pink Tourmaline & Watermelon Tourmaline Earrings with Deep Pink Briolettes

Rose Cut Pink Tourmaline & Watermelon Tourmaline Earrings with Deep Pink Briolettes

Mexican Fire Opal & Rose Cut Pink Sapphire Earrings

Mexican Fire Opal & Rose Cut Pink Sapphire Earrings

Rose Cut Pink Sapphire Stacking Ring

Rose Cut Pink Sapphire Stacking Ring

Rare Rutile Amethyst & Pink Morganite Pendant /Necklace with Pyrite

Rare Rutile Amethyst & Pink Morganite Pendant /Necklace with Pyrite

Pink Baby Geode Pendant

Pink Baby Geode Pendant

 

I Am Curious (Beige)

January 8, 2013 § 3 Comments

I’ve always been the inquisitive type, a wanderer, an explorer of sorts, about pretty much everything – and yet there are some people I just cannot hold a conversation with. A couple of weeks ago I was at a party, there was a woman in a boring beige suit, but wearing some interesting earrings. I struck up a conversation about jewelry, then I swung my head to show off the earrings I was wearing (which of course I made). She says: “They’re backwards”. Me: “Um, no, they’re geodes. The beauty is inside, the concave part”. She looked at me like I had two heads. Sigh. Oh never mind.

Double Drop Baby Geode Earrings

Double Drop Baby Geode Earrings

The Back of the Double Drop Baby Geode Earrings

The Back of the Double Drop Baby Geode Earrings

I can make ‘em so the glittery bits face the back. Your call.

I used to have a friend (well, I like to think I still do, except now that she lives on the other side of the globe, we don’t see each other much). One day we had a discussion about beige. We both decided that as a color, it was a lousy one. She told me a story: shortly after she married her husband, he bought a car while she was out of town. When he picked her up at the airport, all she could do was look at him and say “But it’s beige!! You bought a beige car?! I’m not getting in it!” My friend Lynn and I swore that neither one of us would ever live “beige”. So far both our lives have been interesting, maybe not what we imagined, but not beige.

How about these “not so beige” babies:

Stalactite & Labradorite Earrings

Stalactite & Labradorite Earrings

For the last couple of years, I have been working on this impractical jewelry business. It’s a little itty bitty endeavor, nothing offensive really (no skulls or body parts, or um, naughty bits) but a far cry from a traditional (beige) jewelry business that offers cast pieces and calibrated stones (common sizes that fit commercial jewelry) or pieces put together with plated stamped findings; I make stuff most people are obviously not that interested in. It’s one of a kind and it’s usually organic looking. (Translation: crooked, uneven, not necessarily balanced or correct). It’s OK with me. There is no point in me making something you can get at Zales or Kays. I usually enjoy working after Christmas best, because then I can focus on the stuff that I wanna make. Not things that I gotta do for the dough, which, sometimes happens. I do draw the line, for example, if you think that “custom” work (by me) is a pendant with a palm tree and a rabbit on it, I am not your girl. If you insist, it’s going to cost you much more than you need to pay. Better you go see someone else.

Some of the things I’ve been working on lately:

A couple of views of my friend Jane’s ruby from her engagement ring:

Jane'sRubyUnset1

Jane'sRubyUnset2

Now that she is no longer with the guy, we decided that this one would look good upside down (note the symbolism!) and more versatile as a stacking ring.

Stacking Rings: Ruby, Emerald (set upside down) with Opal

Stacking Rings: Ruby, Emerald (set upside down) with Opal

The emerald is also set upside down (and available for sale here: Emerald stacking ring, and you can check out the opal stacking ring here: Opal stacking ring.

Now I know I’m not the first person to do this, I just think a lot of rocks look better this way. The other thing I don’t do is set rocks in prongs. I love bezels, even though they take more time and material to make. Or course you can buy those chintzy “pre made” bezels, but those would be for garden variety shapes and sizes which are scarce in my studio.

How about these:

"Miss" Matched Australian Opal "Flower" Earrings with Rose Quartz

“Miss” Matched Australian Opal “Flower” Earrings with Rose Quartz

Maybe to “match”?

Australian Opal "Flower" Pendant with Rose Quartz & Moonstones

Australian Opal “Flower” Pendant with Rose Quartz & Moonstones

Last month I got a batch of raw crystals, pink and green tourmalines, some aquamarines and turned them into some trinkets I really like.

Raw Aquamarine Crystal Earrings

Raw Aquamarine Crystal Earrings

Raw Aquamarine Crystal & Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet

Raw Aquamarine Crystal & Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet

Pyrite Cube & Raw Green Tourmaline Crystal Earrings

Pyrite Cube & Raw Green Tourmaline Crystal Earrings

Rose Quartz Earrings with Raw Pink Tourmaline Crystals and Pink Tourmaline Briolettes

Rose Quartz Earrings with Raw Pink Tourmaline Crystals and Pink Tourmaline Briolettes

You can check out some of the “raw” crystal jewelry for sale here: LedaJewelCo’s “raw crystal” listings.

If you’ve come this far, I’d like to share a couple of “beige” stories here:

Tale 1:

A few weeks after Katrina marinated New Orleans and pretty much everything I owned (courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers). I got married. I wasn’t really ready, but I was supposed to be out of the United States by that time, and here I was dealing with disaster. Charlie (my new husband) put up with my emotional and mental health issues, took care of emptying and salvaging the contents of my house, brought me bourbon and held me as I sobbed into drunken oblivion every night. We were living across the lake at his house, and although he had been in the  midst of renovating it, and a couple of trees had fallen on it, it was still more habitable than my house. I was miserable.

Then, after awhile, I got it together and did what I could to get Charlie’s house finished and decorated. Including replacing every single light-switch and electrical outlet from beige (!) to white, not just the covers, the whole apparatus. We also had to deal with my legal status. Our lawyer briefed us on what was in store (if you want to get a more fun and detailed explanation of the process, go rent the movie “Green Card” with Gerard Depardieu). Like a typical lawyer, he was skeptical of our marriage until this happened:

Lawyer: “They might separate you and ask you some questions like ‘what color are the bedroom curtains?’”

Charlie: “I think they’re beige.”

Me: (looking at Charlie and shrieking) “Beige?! What? Are you insane? After all the work I’ve done? There is NOTHING beige in that house!!”

Lawyer: “I don’t think you two will have any trouble convincing INS that this is a real marriage”.

Tale 2:

Last summer Charlie and I took a trip to my mother country, Canada. We’ve done a few road trips, but he has not always met every one of my friends or relations on our travels. Every time we go, he meets a few more. This year, one of my kinfolk asked him, “So, Charlie, what it’s like being married to Lydia?”, which is essentially code for “How can you stand being married to Lydia?”. Charlie, being the Southern gentleman that he is, talked about getting married in the aftermath of Katrina, and the challenges a disaster brings to a relationship and how it makes it stronger, blah blah blah. Later that night, I received the best compliment of my life:

Me: “You didn’t really answer the question… so, tell me, what’s it like being married to me?”

Charlie: “I never know what each day will bring”.

Me: “Ah, yes. So, I’m exciting!?”

Charlie: “Lydia, you are not beige”.

I’m going to end this post with a song that expresses the idea of beige, way better than I’ll ever be able to. Wishing you an interesting and colorful day.

Beige to Beige, John Mellencamp

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