Today on Etsy - December 28, 2012

Today's find is a sweet little pair of aqua blue chalcedony and silver earrings by cleobelle. Wire wrap detail anchored the stones to the silver flowers, clear crystals in the center of each stone.

Perfect for bridesmaids, or for that "something blue". Dress them up, dress them down...enjoy!

Today on Etsy - December 27, 2012

Found these unique and lovely coffee cups / tea mugs on Etsy today; offered up by BarkingSandsVintage.

Originally by Piero Fornasetti Milano and made in the 1960's, they would add a nice little bit of charm and whimsy to your kitchen, not to mention a smile to your guests' faces as you serve them.

I like tea mugs with lids. I find that I often let my tea sit too long and go cold once I become engrossed in a project. Then I remember, have to microwave the tea (not my favourite); or dump it and pour a new cup. I tragic, so much hardship.

Hmmm, I think I'll make myself a cup of tea right now. Care to join me?

All That Glitters

New Year's Eve is fast approaching. Found this FANTASTIC dress on Pinterest by Atelier Versace. Personally, I think the model has had her waist nipped a little by our friends at Photoshop (I mean, come on...unless she has been tight lacing for 10 years....that is one tiny waist).

Either way, it's a stunning dress. Kind of a champagne gold colour. Great for them fancy New Year's Eve balls all the gals are going to. Imagine all the hours it must of taken to cut each petal detail, finish the edges, add beading detail and apply to the garment.

And check out the height on that leg slit....yowza!

The hair is something else altogether.

Today on Etsy - December 21, 2012

So today on Etsy this adorable chic dress was featured on the home page. Beautifully designed by Vanda Fashion out of Isreal (two sisters, infact).

AND they are having a SALE !

This one coming home to me.

Beautiful Baubles 8

a beautiful speckled agate  necklace with little seed pearl spacer beads, unique double shepherd's hook clasp and extension chain.


Pomanders. The smell of spices and citrus.

During the Middle Ages, people didn’t bathe much. But they still wanted to smell nice otherwise it became increasingly difficult when trying to pick up a date for Friday nights.
The word Pomander comes from the French pomme d’ambre or apple of ambergris (nothing says “wow, you smell good like a bit of dull grey or blackish solid, waxy, flammable substance produced in the digestive system of sperm whales). Originally made from gold, silver or ivory, the small filigree balls were filled with fragrant spices and ambergris; which was used as a fixative. The pomanders were then worn either on a long chain around the neck or at the waist.

A modern version of a pomander is made by studding citrus fruit with whole cloves and a mixture of ground spices containing orrisroot instead of the ambergris. Orrisroot will dry out the fleshy inside of the fruit so that it doesn’t rot. What you’re essentially left with is a light, hollow ball.
Now, keep in mind that I do bathe. Quite regularly. So I don’t need to wear one of these around my neck or waist. Instead, I use them for decoration or gifts. When studding the citrus, I leave about a 3/8 inch space all the way around. When the fruit has dried, I then wrap a long ribbon around in the space and then tie it in a double knot with a bow at the top. The long tails I then tie together to form a loop to hang the whole thing in the Christmas tree or from a chandelier in the dining room (the warmth of the lights really bring out the smell of the spices).  You can also cover the whole surface and then display them in a pile in a pretty bowl as a centerpiece with candles.

Pomanders also make a great hostess gift. When placed in closets, the help scare away the moths.

I choose small, round oranges with thin skins, or nicely shaped lemons. Once studded with the cloves and allowed to cure, the scent will usually last for several years. When the spicy scent starts to wane, I dip them is warm water and then roll them in fresh ground spices with a drop or two od cinnamon or clove oil. I then leave the pomander in the spice s for a couple days to dry.
Want to make your own? Here’s how:

6 to 8 assorted thin skinned oranges, lemons and limes (some people say apples, but I haven’t tried these)
½ lb (8 oz or 1 cup)              whole large-headed cloves

¼ cup                                    ground cinnamon
¼ cup                                    ground cloves

¼ cup                                    powdered orrisroot (the pharmacy / health food store should have this)
2 Tbsp                                   ground nutmeg

2 Tbsp                                   ground all spice
I find having a slim nut pick or a large needle handy for piercing the skin very handy. Holding the fruit firmly, insert cloves at ¼ inch intervals; either in rows or at random over the surface. The fruit will shrink as it dries, closing up the spaces between the cloves. Repeat with all fruit.

Combine all the ground and powdered ingredients and mix thoroughly. I place my mixture in a large Christmas cookie tin. Begin to roll the fruit in the spice mixture until completely covered. Leave fruit in mixture, and spoon additional mixture over fruit, covering as much as possible. Leave in open container for 2 days (more or less).

Turn fruit in container and recover with spice mixture. Repeat this process, turning fruit every couple of days until fruit is hard, light and completely dried out. This should take about 2 weeks.
Once the fruit has dried out, remove from spices and shake off the excess. Tie on the ribbon if you plan to hang these, or place in a decorate bowl for on the table.

After the holidays, you can either store them in the remaining spice for next year, hang them in the closet (just be sure they don’t touch your clothes or the coats) or leave them out on display.
PS: If you’ve made these and have suggestions or questions, please drop me a note and I’d be happy to help. And don’t’ forget the voting buttons below to let me know what you think.

Happy Holidays