Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wilma Flintstone Rides Again!

I think it's fascinating to see where we all get our inspiration. My favorite necklace that I've ever made is this one: I call it Wilma Meets Barbie. When I started, I just had this strand of gorgeous pink peruvian opal large faceted nuggets. They were really expensive! But Dennis at Beauty & The Beads will often make a deal with you if you buy a lot. What can I say? I can't resist! He only had three strands left, and I bought them all, along with a lot of other stones of course.

Sometimes pink peruvian opal has a bit of matrix mixed in and winds up looking kind of dirty, so the first thing I did was sort those out. I tried the remaining nuggets with just Thai silver cornerless cubes, but it didn't seem quite finished. So I put it away for a while and just thought about it. A couple of days later I was digging through my drawer full of Swarovski crystal and came across something else I hadn't been able to resist: a short strand of 12mm vintage crystal AB bicones. Yes, that's right - 12mm! They're huge and I love them! All of a sudden, I KNEW those peruvian opals and the vintage Swarovski HAD to go together. Go big or go home, right?

So this necklace inspired me in my latest treasury. I went wandering on Etsy to see what Wilma had inspired other jewelry artists to do. The variety is wonderful! Here's one of favorite pieces in the treasury. It's by Malodora and is called Stone Age Bracelet with Trilobites. It's just the kind of jewelry I love - bold and so THERE! When you wear this, you know you're wearing jewelry! It makes a strong statement. You can find the treasury, called Wilma Flintstone Rides Again, at http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=63882.

Don't forget also to sign up for my giveaway - check my May 30 post - for a pair of Maren's Birthday Earrings. They're so cute!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Swimming with the Polaris

I love having a backyard pool. As the years went by I became more conscious of their effect on my appearance in a swimsuit, so going to a public pool...well, let's just say I wasn't eager. But swimming at home is completely and utterly wonderful. Love that big tall arbor vitae hedge!

The other day it was about 92 degrees and the cool water felt absolutely delicious! I swam my laps, occasionally becoming certain that the Polaris actually knew where I was and was chasing me! In case you don't know (as I didn't pre-pool-ownership), a Polaris is a wonderful device to help keep the pool clean. It has a long umbilical cord attached to the side of the pool that shoots water down to the device. The water pressure makes the three-wheeled critter roll along the bottom and sides of the pool, sucking up leaves and dirt and such to deposit in its little bag. The little bag actually looks kind of creepy. You know those glass fish that you see in aquariums (aquarii? aquaria?) - you can see through them and their organs are visible for anybody to look at? Well, the bag on the polaris is kind of like that. It's made of white mesh, and it always has stuff in it that's kind of dark. I know it's just leaves and such, but eww! The last part of the Polaris is its tail, about two or three feet long, with a black Velcro-y band on the end that helps loosen up dirt from the sides and bottom of the pool, it whips back and forth under pressure of the water shooting through. When the Polaris wanders up to the top of the water and turns to roll back down, the tail shoots a stream of water into the air. (Freaks out the pets. I shouldn't say it, but it's really highly entertaining to watch them jump.)

So anyway, the whole time you're swimming, the Polaris is wandering around, sometimes catching up with you or getting in the way or trailing the umbilical cord across your path. I suppose I could turn it off while I swim, but I don't know, maybe I'm lazy or something. I just never do. It's only mildly annoying. The other day, I had finished my laps as I said, and I was just letting myself float on top of the water, feeling very calm and relaxed. I felt something against my foot and I thought, "Oh, it's the edge of the pool." and I gave a little push with my toes. Then whatever it was slid under my foot and up my calf and felt like it was about to GET me!! I kind of freaked! It was the Polaris. Totally wrecked my Zen.

Even so, see my May 30 post for how to enter the drawing for really cute earrings!