Researchery

My last post (ahem…right here) showed off my recent accidental Goodwill find: an ivory bangle. As I mentioned in the post, this is a very complicated piece of jewelry and it has prompted me to do some research in deciding if I (likely) keep it. My honey and I brought it to our jeweler Isabella Hutten to confirm it’s ivory-ness. Which she did. It’s tricky to place a value on ivory because of the laws surrounding the sale of it in many states, the undesirable yet valuable nature of ivory, and the lack of comparable ivory items on the market. So I started googling ivory like jewelry.

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It seems bone is the popular ivory looking material. I guess because it might be cow or horse. Basically a waste product in our meat eating economy. Like this second hand Chanel bangle. Yep I just called a Chanel bangle “waste product”… That is how we do! For seriousness tho the raw look of bone is highly popular. Bone, along with geodes, fossils, and skulls are definitely having a moment. In an odd way, most ivory is too polished looking to be fashionable.
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The other big ivory-like material out there is acrylic resin. Handling my ivory bangle it feels and looks very much like a synthetic material. Maybe because I’m so accustomed to synthetics. The big difference in ivory is the very light cross hatching pattern. It is a tooth, afterall. It has some tiny natural rings and details. Like a tree pattern but much more delicate.

Anyway, I enjoy this research and reason to read about jewelry. My honey and I are staying in Lake Tahoe for the week to commune with the snow. Whenever we come up here I have the most challenging time packing. I’m all “Do people wear jeans in winter weather?” I can’t ever remember.

Our friends and their ridiculously cute 1.5 year old are staying with us at the cabin we rented. Most people come up here to ski, but I enjoy the hiking and snowshoeing. Bandit is all about the outdoors whereas Leroy likes to remind me that he is a Chihuahua.

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Yep, this is how we do it with our visiting dog. (This is actually a pre-Tahoe shot- see my ivory bangle? Paired with the yellow enamel my brother gave me. Below is the legit Tahoe shot. You’ll note I finally decided people in the cold *do* wear jeans. Unfortunately I brought the pair with the fly that’s afraid of heights.)

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#weirdselfies 🙊

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12.27.14 back from the dead

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Oh! Hey there! It’s been a while, right? December kills me every year. Those last 14 days leading up to Christmas is solely work and sleep, that’s it. I still have this weird hangover. But now it’s over and I’m wearing cozy pants! And a big sweater and my honey is making some coffee. But I have some crazy shit to tell you all.

First, some background. I started buying bracelets by the pound from Goodwill for the purpose of selling some jewelry at my shop (ok, really because I love bangles, duh, but selling is an added perk.) These Goodwill bracelet grab bags are a crap shoot. In one lot there were two pieces of Sterling Taxco stamped jewelry. But that kind of thing is balanced by a bunch of junk stuff I throw out, then there’s the in between fun and inexpensive costume jewelry. Each time I open my grabbag I’m hoping for Bakelite. Bakelite, for those who don’t know is a vintage type of resin/plastic jewelry that was very mod and popular in the 60s. The black rhinestone one on my wrist in the pic above is probably Bakelite.

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So when this 👆showed up I was stoked. I thought it might be Bakelite. But you know what? This is not Bakelite. Guess WTF this treasure is?!?

Fucking ivory.

Giant ass ivory bangle.

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My picture makes my arm look deformed long, but you get the idea. This is a huge bangle that was part of my $20 for 10 lbs of bangles. Now the question is, what do I do with my new albatross? It’s gorgeous, it’s valuable, it’s impossible to sell and maybe even illegal for me to try. It represents the needless slaughter of one of my favorite animals (elephant). I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Today’s bangles include two XMas presents- the yellow enamel bangle was from one of my brothers, and the Hermès Colliers de Chien is from my honey. I cried when I opened it, I assumed with my dad’s death that was the end of the line for my Hermès bangle collection. But my honey! I love him. The rest of the bangles are Goodwill, black rhinestone square Bakelite, a red jeweled Indian bangle, black needlepoint bangle, Swarovski crystal bangle.

12.18.14 fool’s gold

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Remember my love of Goodwill? If no, here is why- the middle wide ribbed cuff that I am wearing today. I bought it and it looked like this:

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Can you see that? Here’s the closeup:

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Hideous, right? Some numnuts splatter painted a cuff bracelet with ugly colors of acrylic paint. But, I’m proud to say, I saw the potential. The little chips showed something shine-y and for a few frantic moments I thought I’d found gold. GOLD! I freaked out, then soaked, scrubbed, and chipped at the paint. Despite the top photo with the jewelry cleaner this was mostly accomplished with my finger nails. I am a classy dame.

Alas, no gold. The easy test was holding a magnet up to it. Gold is not magnetic, brass and other metals are. But whatevs. Look how gorgeous it is, regardless of the material.

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Yay me!
Today’s bangles are: Astrologie from my honey, the Angela Cummings bangle that was a gift from my dad to my mom, my Goodwill find, and a silver Tiffany’s woven looking bracelet.

12.17.14 hair brained schemes

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This time of year whenever something goes missing I assume my honey took it for gift giving reasons. Like he needs to know the size of my shoe, or brand of makeup, or to engrave something for me. I believe this despite the fact that a. he has never done this before and b. the item missing may be a hairbrush. What could he possibly use my hairbrush for in gift giving terms? Hairbrush upgrade? I don’t think so. So the brutal truth is, I’ve lost my hairbrush. Which explains my hair today.

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Various emotional states call for special grooming rituals. If I’m extremely tired I paint on ridiculous levels of makeup. If feeling insecure? I wear A LOT of jewelry. Granted, I tend to wear a lot of jewelry for other reasons too, so you’ll never know if I’m feeling insecure or in a magpie mood.

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(Ack! My skin! *adds a face veil*)

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Clearly I do not abide my Coco Chanel’s policy. I suspect I have the entire female population of Texas on my side for this one.

Today’s jewelry: Left hand: two Indian rhinestone bangles from my best friend, red Clic Clac a Pois, Tiffany’s braid from my dad, Goodwill rhinestone bow.
Right hand: Jawbone UP, my dad’s Baume & Mercier watch
Necklaces: Tiffany’s candy cane charm, I’m Your Present bow tie
Earrings: red gifts I’ve had since about 4th grade

Anybody seen my hairbrush?

12.16.14 all quiet on the Western front

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The rain cloud bursts and business stops. STOPS. In case people have forgotten, today is Hanukkah and there’s only 8 shopping days until Christmas. Why then, when I am in retail, is there a moment of peace and quiet? And yet, it’s kind of nice…

The thing with retail and the holidays, for those who have never worked retail, is that a mania takes hold of your body and possesses you. I feel constantly wired/on during December. Completely manic. I wish I had thought to tally all the “hi there” that I say in a single working day. “Hi there, yes yes,” crazy lady laugh “you finding everything all right?” That’s me. I drink more during the holidays for no reason but to unravel at the end of the work day.

Bet you guys are wondering what’s going on with my uterus, aren’t you??? Oh, you’re not? Well nothing is going on. No hormones or anything right now for which I am super thankful. Can you imagine retail mania + hormone hysteria? What an awful combo. Going forward now I will be starting another round of IVF in January and we have a follow up appointment with the adoption agency. My vote is adoption, my honey’s is IVF. I’ll take whichever way gives us a potato sized human being. Large potato, I guess, or Butternut Squash sized.

Are any of you, my readers, adopted or have adopted a child? Any of you from mixed race families, as in parents are one race and kids are another? Do you have any insight about your experience you’d be comfortable sharing? I’d love to know so many things.

So today’s bangles are: a trio of rhinestone Goodwill bangles, and my Elsa Peretti X from my dad.

12.15.14 coloring

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So today my mom was all “Enough with your seaweed hair!” And took me to get my hair done. It’s so lovely now, straight and clean. Wow! Who is this person? I asked my reflection. I last cut my hair maybe a year ago :/ I’m not the best at this whole adult-personal-maintenance deal.

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All the pretty combs in a row.

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Me and my fresh hair and a dog butt. Stinky stinky dog butt in my face. I feel so loved.

Today’s bracelets: Hermès Calèche red and green, my mom’s Route de Corse, my figa charm bracelet, and Claudia’s ID bracelet.

Walking Dead Head

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You know how there are all these question blog awards? Well finally, thanks to Sup Darling and Dora there’s a long overdue The Walking Dead Zombie Award Blog Questions and Answers. See Sup Darling’s post here.

First rule of ZABQA, thank Dora and Sup Darling for their genius idea. Second rule, answer some questions and tag people! Who can then decide if they want to answer Qs or not and tag people or not. Nota Bene, I found the above image on Etsy and it’s made by Amaranthasashes

The Walking Dead Tag

1. Walkers, Lurkers, Biters, Lame-brains, Geeks, or Rotters, which is it?
2. You just woke up to a zombie apocalypse. What is your weapon of choice?
3. Now that you have your weapon, choose your partner. Who will it be?
4. Location is everything, where will your camp be?
5. Who is dead that you wish were still alive?
6. Who is alive that you wish were dead?
7. Which character is the most evil of all time?
8. If you had a baby during an apocalypse, which character would you put in charge to care for your child?
9. Hey leader, your call: the needs of your loved ones or the needs of many?
10. What’s the biggest lesson TWD taught you about surviving a zombie apocalypse?

Before my answers you know I have to seek out and showcase some jewelry. Here the dead, imaginary item that I found today made by Susan Elnora.

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Unicorn skull necklace! Very cool.

Now for my answers:
1. Walkers, Lurkers, Biters, Lame-brains, Geeks, or Rotters, which is it?
Zombies, they will always be zombies to me.
2. You just woke up to a zombie apocalypse. What is your weapon of choice?
Baseball bat with the handle carved to a pointed stake. Because you can’t go wrong with some brute force but there’s quick extraction in a stabby situation.
3. Now that you have your weapon, choose your partner. Who will it be?
It comes down to Michonne or Darryl. They are pretty equal in a lot of ways but Michonne is a better problem solver. However, Darryl has some equipment I may want at the end of the world, and I’m not talking about his crossbow. Final decision? Rick. He’s got the best of both of them and hopefully he won’t become unhinged.
4. Location is everything, where will your camp be?
CDIC, that place was the perfect fortress. I would take out the nutjob in charge first.
5. Who is dead that you wish were still alive?
Dale. I liked him better than Hershel, what?
6. Who is alive that you wish were dead?
Father Asshole
7. Which character is the most evil of all time?
The Governor: rapist, murderer, psycho, need I say more?
8. If you had a baby during an apocalypse, which character would you put in charge to care for your child?
Now this q stumps me, because why can’t I be that person? Second choice Tyrese
9. Hey leader, your call: the needs of your loved ones or the needs of many?
I’m selfish, my loved ones.
10. What’s the biggest lesson TWD taught you about surviving a zombie apocalypse?
Why don’t they consider climbing into trees to escape zombies? I don’t think zombies would know to look up so long as you keep quiet. Other lesson? All the time smear yourself in zombie gut camo. Why do they ever not do this?

Now Jack Flacco, zombie author, how would you answer these q’s? And Susan? How about Olive Vienna?

12.11.14 stormy weather

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It is rainy in SF which means our entire city has ground to a halt. We don’t know how to handle weather! If there is any truer statement about San Francisco, please let me know. I didn’t go to work today because the shop has no power. Correction, I did go to work today, discovered I had no power, and returned home.

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My dogs refuse to go outside to take care of business. Chihuahuas, I tell ya. These raincoats are purely decorative.

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Here’s a car swimming thru the intersection. My picture is terrible, I apologize.

Finally, a life tip from me to you. When you buy a salad, turn it upside down to eat so you get the boring stuff out of the way first. You are welcome.

Today’s bracelets are a turquoise Taxco cuff, and a green stone (what is this stone?) and silver bracelet also from Mexico.

Me Me Me ME!

#16 VERY GIFTED : GIFT IDEAS

The Grand Finale
Gift ideas for:
*my doppelganger

Something that I’ve realized lately, thru the world of WordPress, is that we all have very unique tastes. Duh, you all say. I CAN HEAR YOU!!! So shhhhh. Stop drinking that hot toddy, Margaret, you add. And I make a lip zipping motion in reply. I think I’m catching a cold you guys! Which is not acceptable. First of all, I don’t get sick. Second of all, I have nothing but work here on out until that fat guy wiggles down all of your chimneys. So I can’t afford to be sick. Like literally. If I want to pay my mortgage I cannot be sick this XMas season.

BACK ON TOPIC! Unique tastes abound. It’s fascinating. I feel like I’m peeping into your lives and learning about the world. (Too much hot toddy yet?)

Uhhhhhh what?

This is my last Christmas gift idea list, you all are special snowflakes, but we have some crossover interests folks. So this is the gift list for my doppelganger slash the crossover interests with you all.

What are our crossover interests? You and me in our special relationship called WordPress? Crafts. Pop Culture. Fashion. IVF. Poetry. Art. Humor. And the Walking Dead. Sounds about right, right? Oh wait. Let’s add in cute animals.

So first gift idea of the night, in reverse order. CUTE ANIMALS. For all you who love cute animals. You know, I am almost buzzed enough to write all y’all. I’m so ashamed.
Rhino
Do you guys even realize how cute baby rhinos are? It’s ridonkulous. After watching Nat Geo for three hours, I totally want this rhino ring.

Now the Walking Dead? I’ve got to nod to my favs Sup Darling, Dora da bomb (oh yeah I AM that 90s), and Susan tho all these ladies also cross into the pop culture list.
mcqueen
Nobody does skulls like Steve McQueen.

How do you figure out humor in jewelry? Should I be looking for a punch line charm? Want to hear (or read) the joke I wrote the other day? What do you call it when Emilia snow plows the street? A Toes Drift. You would be cracking up like crazy if you knew who Emilia is.
Necklace
All I know is you search “joke” on Luis Via Roma and you find this necklace. HA HA HA. This necklace is so funny, amirite?

For the art and poetry themes and some of the best reading ever I am channeling Andre, Susan Elizabeth, and Spanish Woods all who have themes of surroundings and environment running thru their works.
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I don’t know, but these seedlings by Anita Van Doorn seem relevent.

Oh, where was I? Fashion, IVF, pop culture? Isn’t that the definition of ‘jewelry’? Sometimes I feel deep. Like super deep. What is the meaning of fashion, IVF, pop culture? I think we can hit that trifecta with a little Aliens jewelry.
Aliens embryo necklace
BOOM! Aliens embryo necklace DOOD. I wish it were Predator embryo. I like Predator so much more than Aliens.

I don’t even know what is left in my themes. It’s late. The gift ideas have fled. I sit here at my WordPress Dashboard drinking my toddy and not watching Californication. I’d like to wish you a happy holiday and for you to know how much I have enjoyed reading everybody’s writings. All y’all are fascinating. And I have appreciated the various comments and likes on my silly little blog these past couple of months. You don’t even know how much it has meant to me. BIG SLOPPY REINDEER KISSES FROM ME TO YOU!

xoxoxox Margaret

Oh and it’s not tooo late to buy something from my real life store, Bath Sense.

Fiber Content

#15 VERY GIFTED: GIFT IDEAS

Gift ideas for:
*the Knitter
*the Needlepointer
*the Perfectionist

In my effort to be an 85 year old 35 year old, I needlepoint. I knit. I wear nightgowns with pockets (pockets are good for kleenexes), I enjoy watching the BBC. And I know I am not alone. Hey you crafter makers out there! And spouses or children or siblings of crafter makers out there! I have some gift ideas for you.

knit bangle
First of all, some guidelines for shopping for us crafters. We love new supplies! But we also love ideas. Most of us belong to Ravelry but so… to shop for your knitting gift receiver pick up some yarn from the local knitting store. Don’t be overwhelmed by the selection, pick some color or size that you think is pretty. My local store is super helpful and if yours is anything like it, they will ask about the project ideas and recommend quantities of yarn for the project. For the idea? Voila! Here is the link for the pattern above See Mi Knit’s pattern.

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Ideally you would find a needlepoint bracelet bangle KIT for your beloved needlepointer. But the only ones I could find sucked big time. I guess you could swap out thread (floche) colors to improve them but lacking that, I recommend this Etsy vintage find. I would wear this and claim I had made it myself. Then I would feel bad and attempt to make an identical one.

For the perfectionist crafter, we gotta talk Martha Stewart.
http://www.marthastewart.com/250669/wool-bangles#907485
You’ve got to do some legwork here. Look at the various Martha Stewart project videos. Pick a style you like, find basket, pickup the required supplies, stuff the supplies and a bottle of nice wine into the basket, then type up a pretty card with the URL hand written in it for her reference. VOILA you too channeled your inner Martha making something special.

The daily disclaimer: I would be remiss if I didn’t offer the link to my online store… I write these posts for my love of jewelry and gift giving, there’s no sponsors here but ME for MYSELF 😀