Your mom's taste is absolutely impeccable, BWeaves! I love that pearl ring and the swan pins, so cute!
My mom absolutely enjoys and owns lots of jewelry as well, but I can't help but think that my generation (80s kid) will never be able to afford such wonderful jewelry in such great amounts. The world is changing.
Mom really bought too much jewelry in her later years. I think she was making up for her poor, early years. Yet, even in those early years, she always bought the best she could afford. When I was born, she treated herself to a diamond Movado watch (which she gave me when I turned 30), and my Birthday choker. The Movado is before they designed the Museum watch, so a totally different style. I don't wear it anymore because the face is tiny, the band is too tight, and it keeps terrible time. Also the stem has broken off 3 times, and I'm just afraid it's too delicate.
Sister got the watch Mom wore in her later life. A yellow gold Piaget with an oval face surrounded by large diamonds.
So, today I'm deciding between these two pairs of Mom's earrings.
Omega backs with multi color gems. Peridot, blue topaz and amethyst and teeny tiny diamond chips on the sides.
Huggies in white and yellow gold with a tiny diamond.
Story time. When we moved to England in 1964, my grandmother sent my mother an American flag pin (costume jewelry, but still bright and shiny). I remember Mom wore it on the plane when we went back to visit my grandparents, the summer of 1966. Mom wore a red, white and blue striped suit. The dress was a shift that had the suit skirt attached to a plain white sleeveless shell made out of lining material. It had no waist line, so very comfortable. There was a boxy jacket that matched the skirt, and had three quarter length sleeves. The way it was designed, you weren't supposed to take the jacket off. Anyone remember that style?
And the fruits of my labor for the last 4 days. Sakiori (rag weaving) and Zanshi Ori (thrumb weaving) scarves.
Thrumbs are the short lengths of thread left over when you can no longer weave any further, also known as loom waste. A thrumb may only be 18 inches long, but if you have 500 of them, that works out to 250 yards of yarn that might be thrown away. This is a way to reuse the yarn.
For rag weaving, the Japanese farmers grew cotton, but it was expensive, so they didn't use it themselves. They sent it to the big cities for the rich people to wear. After 50 years or so, when the kimonos were worn out, the rag man would sell the used fabric back to the farmers who cut up the fabric in strips and rewove it into cloth they would use.
Real Japanese cloth is much more refined. I wasn't using well worn rags, but brand new shot silk, and my cloth shredded, but I kind of like the look. The warp is dark green Tencel. The wefts of the rag scarf are all silk. The wefts of the thrumbs scarf are peach colored silk and merino wool threads tied to different colors of tencel. The fabrics are very iridescent and change color as they move in the light. That was hard to capture in a still photo.
These really aren't my style of weaving at all. It was nice to break our of my normal style for a change. All those knots and ends sticking out are big no-no in normal weaving. So to have a fabric that is nothing but knots goes against everything I was taught to do to make good cloth.
Tri-color gold necklace. I've always admired this one. Mom considered it a summer necklace, because you could sweat in it and wash it off.
I think the pattern, especially the shiny crescents must have been pressed into the necklace after it was made, because the crescents don't line up exactly with the repeats of 3 bars of the same color gold.
Mom bought carved shell cameos and Wedgwood in the swinging 60's in the Portobello Road Antiques Market in England. Everyone wanted Mod, but Mom loved the Regency and Victoriana. The top two are cameo habillé (the ladies are wearing real diamond jewelry.
A rustic scene mounted in Pinchbeck. Pinchbeck is a form of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, mixed in proportions so that it closely resembles gold in appearance. It was invented in the 18th century by Christopher Pinchbeck, a London clockmaker.
It swivels to reveal Victorian hair work on the back under glass.
BW, what a lovely post today! I love your stories and how each connects you and your jewelry to your mother! You are such a good custodian of her collected treasures. I am really impressed! And your weaving is beautiful! What will you do with these creations? Also, I love your cameo collection -- so precious!
I love the new cloth. The colors are just luscious and such a beautiful and interesting texture. I know what you mean about working on a project that is out of your usual comfort zone. But these look like winners to me
Wow BWeaves ...it's so marvellous 'listening' to your moms stories . I love that you know so much about the pieces . It gives such depth of meaning to each one. I'm astounded. And the new weaving techniques are great ..I love the look !
And ...boy do I love the multicoloured earrings! !!!
Gosh, BW...I'm hit by one lovely after another! What a lovely and interesting cameo collection. Your mother had a great appreciation for beautiful jewelry that her daughter clearly inherited. Your recent weaving projects are amazing!
When Russia opened up to American tourists, my parents visited Russia.
My great grandfather came to America from Russia in 1902. He bought a Singer sewing machine and set himself up as a tailor. I have his sewing machine. Cast iron with Art Nouveau designs painted on it. It still sews great. His family stayed behind in Russia. A Christian family fell in love with my grandmother's sister. My grandmother was a bit wonky looking, but my aunt looked like a Victorian child model. She had long red curly hair and one blue eye and one brown eye. The family hid my great grandmother and her children in their attic for 2 years during the pogroms, until my great grandfather could send them enough money to travel to America. They slipped over the border at night. We still have my great grandmother's passport. It's in Cyrillic, French, German, and English.
My grandmother had polio that stunted her growth on one side of her body, so she had one leg longer than the other, a twisted spine, and a hump like Igor from Frankenstein, but she had an amazing personality, so you never noticed her body. My Mom once complained about having nothing to wear, and Nana said, "At least you can buy clothes off the rack. I have to make all of mine in order to get them to fit my hump." My Mom said, "What hump?" You really forgot she was so twisted, because her personality just blew you away. I still have her Singer sewing machine. Cast iron with Art Deco designs painted on it.
Nana always won Miss Congeniality on the cruises she went on after retirement. There was a costume party on one cruise, and Nana put on high heels and a bathing suit. She took the sheet off the bed and pinned it to her shoulders as a cape. She took the top off a can of Ajax because it was silver, and pinned it to her head like a tiara. Then she wouldn't enter the party until the captain announced her as Miss America. So here's this 5 foot nothing, wrinkled old lady with a deformed body swanning around the party in her bathing suit as Miss America, and she WON THE FREAKING COSTUME CONTEST!
Where was I going with this? Oh yes, Russia. Mom bought a lot of amber in Russia. She didn't wear it, but gave me pieces over the years. I got the rest of it.
The ring is huge, but very comfortable.
Mom brought this brooch back for me, but it's hard to wear because of the position of the pin along one side at an angle. It has to be pinned on a lapel at an angle.
Mom's pin. I don't think she ever wore it. It's also hard to wear because of the position of the pin. It must be worn horizontal. It covers an entire boob, so I'm still trying to figure out how to make this one work.
Mom brought me these earrings. I love them.
And she brought me this necklace. I love it, but it's cleavagy, so I have to wear it over high neck sweaters. It came with a really cool silver chain.
Mom's amber bead necklace. It's nothing special, but it's great with jeans.
Mom's gaspipe amber necklace. This is very comfortable and has presence.
And I bought these green amber earrings at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. They were made by an artist in Poland.
I almost never see amber in the USA that looks like these Russian and Polish pieces.
When Mom and Dad visited Russia, the government was just allowing religion to be practiced again after many years of Communist suppression. The Russian people had no religious books or prayer shawls. And they craved Levis or any American jeans. If you showed up with a suitcase full of these things, you would get in trouble for selling on the black market. So you brought one prayer book and one prayer shawl, and a few pairs of jeans for your own use during the trip. And if you didn't have them when you went home, well, you must have accidentally left them behind in your hotel room, and that's your story and you're sticking to it.