Friday, November 30, 2012

Shop in Your Pajamas...and No Crowds, Either

The folks that own these Etsy shops, both vintage and handmade, are as gracious and generous as can be. Feeling the holiday spirit a little early, I thought I'd reciprocate by offering links to their shops.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Hiccup Cure?

Now this is funny, if I say so myself. I was working this morning on the computer and in the back of my head, trying, as usual, to come up with an idea for a blog post, as it was time for a new one. I began thinking of those little pieces of chocolates in my drawer (shhh, don't tell my hubby!), not as a topic--they were just calling to me

Suddenly I got a case of hiccups--how very annoying, don't you think?

I ignored them, hoping against hope that they would go away (haha). I gave in to temptation, opened the drawer and reached for a piece of chocolate. Stuck it in my mouth and typed away. Yes, I admit I also ate another piece.

About ten minutes later, I realized my hiccups were gone! How did that happen?, I wondered. Could it have been the chocolate? 

(I did not have anything near as yummy as these, by the way)

  So, off to Google chocolate as a  hiccup cure. Well, I found, oh, about a million results for this gem of a cure. How did I not hear of this before?

 Now the Mayo Clinic website offers medications for hiccup relief...

...and Web MD lists a teaspoon of sugar on the tongue as a potential cure.

But I think that the next time I get those pesky spasms, I am gonna eat some of my favorite food.

What would you do?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...Cooking Paella

                        Outdoor market in Bergen, Norway                       

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gypsy Craft

I've always had a fascination with gypsies, as I imagine a lot of others have. 

For Halloween one year, when I was a little girl, I dressed as a gypsy (with the help of my mom, of course) --that is, when I wasn't a pirate or a beatnik.  And I always wanted to live in one of those cool caravans, which are apparently now becoming popular for vacations.


So you can kind of tell, perhaps, that I am attracted to exotic sorts of things.

Yesterday, my mother (yep, same one) gave me some odds and ends of jewelry to either sell or incorporate into my own jewelry creations. The most interesting one was this necklace.

Then she told me a story about it that I had no memory of. She and my father traveled to the Provence region of France, probably in the 1980s (I forgot to ask). They rented a car and were leisurely going from town to town in that beautiful area.

Now there are many gypsies (or Tsiganes, as they are also known) that live in and around that part of southern France. They are travelers and make their living in various rather ways, that I will not go into here (but if you've ever gone to western Europe, you've probably read warnings about them).

My parents encountered some gypsies having an informal market, of sorts, so they stopped to see what was being sold. To make a not-too-long story even less long, my mom bought the necklace shown above.

The most interesting thing about it (besides the story, of course) is how it was crafted. It is quite primitive, which gives it a raw sort of  beauty.

The links were handmade, as were the jump rings. The chain and barrel appeared to be commercially made.  Lots of solder, most likely lead, was used, which would make it impossible to be sold in California.

The large piece of faceted purple glass
 is reminiscent of the color of wine.

This is such a dramatic piece, which I will eventually sell in my Etsy shop (with a warning about the solder). But for now, I will keep it and admire the exoticism of it and how it came to be in my family.