Thanks to Robin Sanchez sharing her crystal charm necklace that she made when she was in charge of a charm swap for Kim Caldwell's Moulin Rouge event last year, our small group decided we wanted to have our own swap. Our participants included Kathie, Kat, Robin, Jackie, June, Margo and myself - seven of us. We decided on the date of the gathering and to have two crystal charms for each member. So, we all had to come up with 14 crystal charms. These charms were to have bales already attached and ready to be hung from chains that we would provide for ourselves.
I don't think any of us realized how difficult it is to find and not pay a small fortune for crystal jewelry in the form of earrings, pins, necklaces, etc. Sure, for $15 to $20 you could get beautiful pieces, but who wants to pay that much per piece? Not any of us, for sure. Kathie actually got a great deal on eBay for a large package with various pieces that she could and did use.
I lucked out in that I had all my mom's costumed rhinestone jewelry saved. I have never know what I would want to do with it. I had used some of the more common pieces to decorate a frame of my mom's photo taken on a cruise the night before she died. I had gotten the idea from Jackie, when I first met her. She had a standing frame completed in the same fashion so I went on a hunt to Home Goods looking for something similar.
Well, *"best laid plans (sic) of mice and men". . . Kat ended up getting very, very sick; Kathie had to go back to Chicago to help manage her ill father; and June was dealing with a sick husband. So, we ended up being only four people in person but we had everyone's charms to exchange.
All the charms came in decorative opaque packaging. Margo had each person's charm package labeled since she personalized her soldered glass charms with rhinestones encased behind glass. Robin also dedicated her charms to specific persons.
Robin came bearing her charms plus her amazing wire woman that she had finished. We were also anxious to see the finished product since we had watched her start to build it at my home the last time she was here. We are hoping that she will pursue taking this project to Somerset Offices in Laguna and that she will have her "woman" featured at some point in the future. In the mean time, here is Robin's wire woman surrounded by the packages prior to opening them.
After we opened our packages, and started laying them out, we decided that if we wanted to trade with our present friends that we could and should.
Here are photos of our completed necklaces. There still might be some changes and perhaps silk ribbons or more dangles, but this is what we ended up with after lunch.
Von's market provided a foot long delicious sandwich plus tomato/Mozzarella slices with balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top. Margo made homemade potato salad with a delicious addition of bacon (hear that Elena?) incorporated. Yummy. Robin brought delicious mock cheese cake with sliced strawberries for dessert.
By 3:30 pm we were finished and Jackie, who had made her necklace and Junes, also volunteered to take Kat her crystal charms to her home. Robin, Margo and I took off for a short "road trip." Robin, lives about 40 minutes away and works, so while she was down this way she wished to venture to Ocean Beach and a bead store on the main drag for supplies. On the way there, we stopped at our favorite scrapbook store in Point Loma, Paper Tales. We wore our necklaces and the owner of Paper Tales, Michelle, was there and admired our charms. Since we were on the subject of jewelry, we discussed one of our favorite jewelry artists featured regularly in Somerset's magazine, JewelryAffaire Spring 2011 pg. 102, 103 - Debby Anderson who turns out to be a sister of one of our local artists extraordinaire and friend, Jane Pollack. Small world. I met Jane through Jackie. Six degrees or closer, it appears.
Margo Photo Shopped me and my necklace
Thank you Margo
The two previous photos of my necklace no long exist. I took it all apart and created this! More like Robin's.
Lastly, I was so hoping the little findings I had order from Vintage Jewelry Supplies would come when everyone was here. Debby Anderson had been kind enough to share the website where she purchases her little gems that are found on her jewelry pieces. As I began this blog, "best laid plans of mice and men," they came the next day. They are wonderful. Can't wait to start using them on my pieces. Check out their site.
Origin: From Robert Burn's poem To a Mouse, 1786. It tells of how he, while ploughing a field, upturned a mouse's nest. The resulting poem is an apology to the mouse:
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren't alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.
The poem is of course the source for the title of John Steinbeck's 1937 novel - Of Mice and Men.