Oldies but Goodies - Home

One of the magnets on my fridge says "Home is where your cat is". That may be true for me, but what's home to you? If you had to pick an item to depict where you are from, what would that be?
This was the question of the new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. It didn't mean just our houses, but our towns, states or countries - and we struggled a little with it because not everything that says home is easy to translate into jewelry. I mean can you imagine me making a spätzle necklace?
And so the group was a little smaller this time which doesn't mean I don't have anything to show you, though.

1/3/5/8 Jewelry Art by Dawn

1 - Dawn found this fall leaf during one of her walks in town.
3 - Lunaria flowers are also called "money plants" because their seed pods remind of silver dollars. The original name is Latin from luna, the moon, because the pods also resemble the moon.
5 - The froggy that inspired this painted cutie lived in one of Dawn's potted plants.

8 - The pine tree outside her studio gave Dawn the idea for this pendant.

2/6/7 MC Stoneworks

2 - Michele has a beautiful garden which attracts butterflies.
6 - The boot reprents Texas, the state where she lives.
7 - The orchid reminds of the lovely orchids in her bathroom.

4/9 Cat's Wire

Well, I said it already. Home is where my cats are ;-)


Random Saturday - The Laurin mark

It was a Saturday night after dinner, my sister and I were hanging out in front of the TV when she showed me a silver ring of hers that she had bought at one of her favorite fleamarkets many years ago. She had got herself a loupe some time ago and was curious what the marks in her ring meant.

Of course we both knew the 835 meant the content of silver. Nowadays jewelry is usually sterling silver which is marked 925, but I still have 835 silver jewelry myself from my teenage days. It means that 835/1000 silver was used, the rest was copper and nickel.

Next was the F with the star which we found online as the mark of W. Frey & Co. from Pforzheim, a city which is famous for its jewelry manufacturing and is even called "City of Gold" because of it. The company itself does not exist anymore, however.

What was that last mark, though? It was hard to read and it took me several attempts turning the ring this and that way under the loupe, taking my glasses off, putting them back on until I suddenly had the luck to get just the right angle to see it was a cursive "Ln" with a semicircle around it.
You know it is, once you know what you are looking at, it springs out at you, and my sister saw it, too.
And what did it mean? An online search took me to several sites - and to the Laurin mark.

The Laurin mark was a seal of quality that was used on jewelry manufactured between ca. 1934 and 1938. It got its name from Laurin, the King of Dwarves.
The campaign was supposed to instill trust in the marked jewelry and thus animate people to buy. It was not meant for cheap jewelry for which buyers didn't expect a guarantee nor expensive pieces, but for those in between.
All German manufacturers who accepted the given quality standards were allowed to use the Laurin mark on their jewelry.

Back to my sister's ring. The stone in the beautiful blue of an aquamarine is quite probably synthetic which obviously wasn't unusual for these times and until the 50s. To be able to tell the date and place of the ring's manufacturing like this, however, was really something, and above all it's a beautiful ring after all.
Now I wonder what stories it would be able to tell us if it could speak .....


While I found several pictures and short mentions of the mark, on auction sites for example, this was where I have found the most information so far (thank you to Antikschmuck Hofer for that!). For those who are not familiar with German and don't want to use an online translator - there are two advertisements for jewelry with the Laurin mark - one of them depicting the above mentioned King of Dwarves - and an article from a journal explaining the meaning of the Laurin campaign.

I also found this thread in a silver forum, this one's in English.

If I can find more eventually, I'll update this post.


Oldies but goodies - Aquamarine

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March, so it became the topic for this Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.
With this name which translates from the Latin into "water of the sea" it's no wonder that the GIA describes it like this "Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is a cool plunge into a refreshing pool." What do you think comes to mind when looking at this week's choices?

1 RioRita
2 Cat's Wire
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 MC Stoneworks
5 Violetmoon's Corner


Oldies but Goodies - Beach

When I'm thinking of a beach, it will always be the one that my Californian friend took us every time we visited her. I loved the ride from Oakland going north on Highway 1. I am not an avid photographer, so I don't have many pictures, but when I close my eyes, I see all the spots we used to get out, Jenner, Point Reyes National Seashore, Bodega Bay, but also the spots on the way that didn't seem to change from year to year. The boarded-up building that used to be a restaurant, the trees on the side of the road, it's quite strange which memories the brain holds on to.
And then I see us of course, on the beach, me in my favorite shorts (one of the garments I'm holding on to for sentimental reasons, together with the otter t-shirt I got at Bodega Bay), the birds - some of them quite curious, no wonder, we had food. The walks through the sand looking for shells.
Okay, okay, enough memories now. They were triggered by this week's topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Here you are - the beach.

1 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 MC Stoneworks
3 Violetmoon's Corner
4 Cat's Wire
5 Betoj Designs


Oldies but Goodies - Victorian

The Victorian era from 1837 to 1901 is of course named after Queen Victoria and her reign during that time. I found an article in Collector's Weekly which explains what Victorian jewelry looked like if you are interested.
As you know the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is not that strict in its rules. I don't think any of us members made something with specifically having the Victorian era in mind, so our challenge master put it like this "Most anything that is ornate will work".
Here's a little selection from what was shown, as usual you will find all the entries under the link above. We hope you'll have a look!

1 Violetmoon's Corner
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 Cat's Wire
4 MC Stoneworks
5 RioRita
6 Betoj Designs


Trying something new

Peyote stitch and I - we are still no real friends, but we are trying to get along. At the moment we are working on a project that is supposed to prepare us for another project that is supposed to take us to new heights together in turn. The jury is still out on that one. We won't know before we finished this one, and we are still in a very early stage (as I am not quite over my obsession with knitting Easter eggs yet).
This month's the blog carnival at the Jewelry Artisans Community, however, is about what new things we'd like to try this year, so I'm forced to drag our collaboration out in the open already. After all it's about what we'd LIKE to try even if it may not happen due to one or the other reason.

At least I can show you my little WIP and tell its story.
Every, now and then I like to have some gin and tonic. Two friends know that and gave me some Black Forest gin for different occasions, one bottle being a miniature, one the normal size. The bottles look so cool, like old medicine bottles you would find in a pharmacy, with a little cork. I knew I would finally want to try beading around them, and the mini bottle would be perfect for a first attempt until the big bottle - which holds ten times as much - is empty.

As for the beads, I didn't think this through. I guess I was influenced by the February challenge on JAC which had the topic "pink". Not only will I not be able to finish the bottle today to make the challenge, but I don't even have enough beads in these colors to try at all.

I see a bead order in my future .... and of course I will be back once this project is finished, and hopefully I will be also be back with the big bottle eventually, maybe even still this year!

Curious what the others have on their lists for this year? Check it out here.

Violetmoon's Corner
Jewelry Art by Dawn 


Quote of the week

The stories were a part of my childhood (this is important to give you an idea of the time setting) and I own most of the books, but I have to admit I had completely forgotten what little anarchists Nicolas and his friends could be. They have words and they have fights, they let their fantasy run wild and they have fun, not always to their parents' and teachers' delight.
Sometimes they are sad, they are afraid, they are children and Nicolas is telling their story - like the time he went for a visit with his mother and had to play with Marie-Edwige, the daughter of the house.
When Marie-Edwige suggests to play nurse and wounded soldier, Nicolas tells her he prefers to play cards.

Marie-Edwige: Well, what can you play?
Nicolas: Old Maid?
Marie-Edwige: I know a much better one.
Nicolas as narrator: Marie-Edwige's game was very difficult. She was allowed to look into my cards and also swap for hers. I wasn't. Also the cards didn't have the same value as usual. She took the King from me with a Three.
Nicolas: But ...
Marie-Edwige: Something wrong?
Nicolas as narrator: And the winner could make a wish. I never won.

Tough break, Nicolas. I think there has been something not quite right about this game, or you wouldn't have ended up as Marie-Edwige's horse or her makeup manikin ...

Petit Nicolas, France, 2009

P.S. I read that Sempé who did the drawings to go with Goscinny's stories said he wanted to catch the childhood he would have liked to have for himself. No idea if it's true, but I wouldn't be surprised.
P.P.S. Not having access to the English version, this is a translation of my own from the German one.