Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Spiders...Sort of {Earrings of the Month}

Do you know the legend of the Christmas Spider? It's a folktale from Germany and Ukraine; it explains the tradition of decorating the tree with tinsel.

Here's a rough approximation...

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, a mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year: the day on which the Christ child would come to bless the house. There was not a speck of dust to be seen. Even the spiders had been banished to the farthest corner of the attic.

Finally Christmas Eve arrived. The tree was decorated, but the poor spiders couldn't see the tree. Silently they crept out of the attic, down the stairs, and across the floor. They climbed all over the tree - up and down, over every branch and twig - and enjoyed every ornament.

But alas! Everywhere they went, they had left their webs. And when the little Christ child came to bless the house he was dismayed. He loved the little spiders, for they were God's creatures too, but he knew the mother wouldn't feel the same. So he touched the webs and turned them to sparkling, shimmering, silver and gold!

Ever since, we have hung tinsel on our Christmas trees.

I’ll be honest, I love twinkle lights and tinsel. They remind me of glitter for the house, but I don't use tinsel on my trees because I try to minimize the plastic in our lives. So, this month, in celebration of the Christmas season, my earring twinkles and sparkles...and none of it is plastic.

The pieces this month are comprised of sterling silver, diamond-cut sterling chains, sterling stardust beads, and faceted gemstones…all handwired…and all one-of-a-kind.

May they bring my subscribers joy during this holiday season and beyond. These are in the mail to the gals this weekend.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Spicy! {Earrings of the Month}

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! If you follow my culinary adventures at all - here - you'll know that our only tradition is adventure. I can't remember the last time I roasted a turkey...or made stuffing. This year my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf came up with a Moroccan-inspired menu

This month's pieces were inspired by all those colors, aromas, and tastes. I used smoky topaz, tiger's eye, orange striped agate, dark amber, orange carnelian, and Oregon sunstone to create my November pieces for the subscribers. I hope they enjoy these.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fit For an Empress {Earrings of the Month}

I am halfway through the six-week elective class I'm teaching at my younger son's school. Since my class is Around the World with Rice + Other Global Grains, I've had all kinds of rice in my kitchen and on my brain.

Inspired by black forbidden rice, I decided to make this month's pieces with sterling rice-shaped beads, black druzy, and sterling silver.

Are you familiar with forbidden rice. The story goes that during the days of the Ching and Ming dynasties, forbidden rice - a medium grain heirloom rice - was exclusively reserved for the Chinese Emperors to ensure their longevity and good health. Eventually, commoners were allowed to eat the rice. Since then, it has become a staple that is purported to promote long life and good health.

I hope my subscribers liked these pieces and that, as we move into the winter season, these promote long life and good health, too!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hot, Hot, Hot! {Earrings of the Month}

We have been in the middle of an unseasonably hot month. Earlier, D and I spent the day in San Francisco while R was at an all-day seminar in Santa Clara. We hiked four miles, all over San Francisco, up and down from Coit Tower during a record-breaking weekend. It was 107 in the City that day. When we picked up R and his classmate, it was 109 in Santa Clara. Crazy hot.

And, while it has let up some, it's still hot. So, this month, I was inspired by heat and the warm colors of carnelian, amber, garnets, and rough rubies. All of these creations are handwired with sterling silver and hang from sterling silver earwires. I hope my subscribers enjoy these...and I really hope it starts to cool down soon.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Shoulder Dusters {Earrings-of-the-Month}

This month I noticed some earrings at the local market and was intrigued by the long, tassels that hung below the gems and beads. "Shoulder Dusters" they were called. I leaned over to my son and whispered, "I can make those!" And, so, I did. I played with different colors and different chains.

I made several extra pairs and tested how the length affected their wearability. Since they are so light, you barely notice them. subscribers are getting pairs of these shoulder dusters as their selections this month. Most of the gals didn't specify earrings as long as shoulder-length, so these don't quite dust the shoulders. But, you get the idea. I hope they like them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Love Me Some Lavender {Earrings-of-the-Month}

Lavender is one of my favorite scents and flowers. I wasn't able to attend the Lavender Festival here in town, but my friends did and brought me an armful of stems and other lavender goodies. Thank you!!

I was inspired to create this month's earrings-of-the-month in gems that reminded me of lavender: amethyst. I used both dark and light stones all handwired with sterling silver and hanging from sterling earwires. These are all packaged up and in the mail.

I made one pair asymmetrical. I hope the gal who gets that one enjoys it as much as I do. I know not everyone is good with asymmetry.

This lavender shot [below] was one of my photographs that was displayed during the Flower Power exhibition at the 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles in December 2010. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Garden Glory {Earrings-of-the-Month}

A couple of weekends ago, we were lucky enough to attend an event at the Tor House in Carmel; you can read more about that property here. I haven't been there in at least two (maybe three) decades. While the history of the property, the Hawk Tower, and Robinson Jeffers' poetry were all compelling, I was captivated by the rose bushes that were rife with fragrant, voluminous blooms. So gorgeous!

While the gems, obviously, don't smell like a garden, my hope is that their hues and configuration remind you of a garden in full bloom, a garden in all its glory.

I used faceted briolettes in different shades of quartz and chalcedony...

they are handwired with sterling silver...

and hang from sterling silver ear wires.

While this doesn't really have anything to do with the garden, it is one of my favorite Robinson Jeffers' poems: Song of Quietness.

Drink deep, drink deep of quietness,
And on the margins of the sea
Remember not thine old distress
Nor all the miseries to be.
Calmer than mists, and cold
As they, that fold on fold
Up the dim valley are rolled,
Learn thou to be.

The Past—it was a feverish dream,
A drunken slumber full of tears.
The Future—O what wild wings gleam,
Wheeled in the van of desperate years!
Thou lovedst the evening: dawn
Glimmers; the night is gone:—
What dangers lure thee on,
What dreams more fierce?

But meanwhile, now the east is gray,
The hour is pale, the cocks yet dumb,
Be glad before the birth of day,
Take thy brief rest ere morning come:
Here in the beautiful woods
All night the sea-mist floods,—
Thy last of solitudes,
Thy yearlong home.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Color of Adventure {Earrings of the Month}

This month I was inspired by a week long trip to central Oregon with my boys - husband and two sons - for Spring Break. We've been there before, and had no agenda but to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and spend time as a family. Oh, toss in some snowball fights and brutal hikes and you have my idea of fun!

It seems strange to say, but I love how different the sky looks when I travel. I always notice that the blues seem more blue and there's even a tinge of violet in the high desert.

So, it's with that in mind that I created this month's EcoChic Designs pieces. I started with some glowing blue chalcedony briolettes and paired them with aqua chalcedony, grey labradorite, various shades of amethyst, and faceted citrine. All of those natural colors reminded me of our Oregon adventure. The color of adventure! Do you think adventure has a color? What would that be?

I hope my subscribers enjoy wearing these as much as I enjoyed creating them. ~CMM