Friday, May 23, 2014

Only three graduation gift mehndi letters this year

I painted two layers of the base coat so they were ready for middle to dry brush and then mehndi. 

The upside down paint bottles show the dry brush accent color (middle paints the background as the lightest color and then dry brushes a darker color). The pointed bottle tips show the mehndi colors.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pitchers as wedding gifts

We were given a pewter pitcher as a wedding gift and it has always been one of my favorite things.

I think pitchers are sort of a lost art. Rarely given, rarely seen except in restaurants. I think they are wonderful.

I have given many different styles of pitchers (as wedding gifts) over the years.

This (picture above) is my current favorite (to give).

It is made by Armetale and sold at Macy's. I buy it when it is on sale and I have a coupon. Today the regular price was $100. It was on sale for $59.99. I had a $20 coupon. Shipping was free. So the total was $39.99 + tax.

And it is a gem, in my opinion. Really classic. Nice and heavy. Very sturdy. Blends with a huge variety of dish styles.

Take a gift enclosure card with you. They ship from the store, so you can enclose it directly in the box.

I always have my gifts shipped to the bride to be. It is very fun to open gifts as they arrive before the wedding.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Friday, May 02, 2014

The religious medals project of 2014

As I was in my local bead store, sorting this religious medal project, an older woman came into the shop.

She looked at my pieces, all over the counter, and said it looked a lot like her mother's jewelry box.

She asked who was getting all the necklaces. I said three were for youngest, two were for me, one was  for middle. (It might be middle has other pieces with her at school that we will be redoing next week . . .)

Older woman (at the bead store) said she was going right home and digging out her mother's box. She said she could think of all kinds of girls, in her extended family, who would love to get necklaces like I was doing.

Jewelry 101 -
The more intricate chains (below) are from the bead store. They are all soldered chain. That means each link in the chain has been soldered shut. So, every link in those chains started as a jump ring with the ends pressed together and then was sealed/soldered. (I have no idea how they do it.)

Jump rings have the two ends pressed together, but are not sealed. When a charm is added to a bracelet it is added with a jump ring. I always have those jump rings soldered shut at the jewelry store so they do not come lose nor catch on clothing.

All three of us girls are (very) hard on jewelry. A very thin chain or a chain made of open jump rings is not going to make it with us.

(The other term in case you are trying to think of it is a split ring. A key ring is a split ring. The ring over laps on itself several times over so nothing can slip off of it.)

I buy lengths of soldered chain from the bead store. All the jump rings and lobster claw (clasps) below are sterling. After we put the necklaces together, I took them to the jewelry store to have every jump ring soldered. So the jump rings attaching the clasps are soldered, so are the jump rings attaching the crosses and medals. Everything is sealed.

If we add more items to these necklaces, I will just take them to the jewelry store, they have jump rings available.

Catholic Medals 101 -
A crucifix is a cross with Jesus on it. This is a very Catholic thing. (There are some Protestant churches that use crucifixes also, but not all.)

The plain, silver cross (below) is also Catholic, it actually came from the Vatican. The one in the picture is youngest's. I put it on a new chain. Middle has a cross just like this (from the Vatican), we might be replacing her chain after she sees youngest's .  .  .

The cross with the stones in it is also Catholic because it came from the Catholic bookstore at the Diocese.

Not all crosses are Catholic. All bibles are not Catholic either. I can't tell you which are and which aren't. My personal trick is to only buy from Catholic locations.

So if you don't know the difference and are buying for a Confirmation, First Communion, Baptism, Wedding or another Catholic occasion, buy from an actual Catholic store (not just a religious store) and then you will be sure.

Catholics tend to love holy medals. Not all Catholics, but many.

Many Catholic Schools and groups give medals to commemorate participation in events. Two of the medals on middle's necklace below were from school or diocese events.

The crucifix on youngest's necklace (below) was given to her for 8th grade graduation.

When you think of  holy medals worn as necklaces, it might be that the first one that comes to mind is St Christopher. I did not know, until I read the link, that St Christopher is no longer on the official calendar (of saint days). There was not enough documentation to determine he was real.

One common occasion for medals is Confirmation. Each person (usually, not always) picks a Confirmation Saint. This saint holds special meaning for the person, or is a source of inspiration. Middle and I both chose St Brigid of Ireland, because we feel very close to Ireland (potato famine immigrants). Youngest chose St Agnes. Her feast day is on youngest's birthday. Youngest did a report on her in 4th grade and has been attached to her ever since. Oldest's is Sebastian. Husband is trying to remember . . .

This project started because my very good RCIA sponsor gave me a St Brigid medal for confirmation.

I wanted it as a necklace with a cross.

So, I started digging out things we had, made a trip to the Diocese Bookstore, came home and hunted for more things.

This is what I ended up with for myself -

This is youngest's St Agnes medal (confirmation) with the cross she got for 8th grade graduation from the church/school -

This is middle's collection. She has not seen it yet. The cross is new to her. I got it (three actually) at the Diocese Bookstore. Two of her medals are from past activities (St Martin and St Vincent). St Brigid is her confirmation saint. The other Mary medal was a gift from a neighbor and was blessed (by a Dominican Priest) at an event in Washington DC. As the bead store lady was helping me with these, she loved this set for middle. Middle tends to like slightly off beat things and she definitely likes different, collections, on the same (soldered) chain.

This is also mine. Soldered chain from bead store. I love the blue -

This is youngest's Vatican Cross on a new (soldered) chain, it is a lovely, simple cross -

This is youngest's blue cross with a second Mary medal from the neighbor (blessed/Washington DC). They are on a soldered chain from the bead store. If you can't read it, it says "O Mary who was conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee" (that is not a typo, it is Mary who was conceived without sin, not Mary who conceived without sin) -