I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.
Good designs sell – mine sell out!

http://www.artbyhensley.com/index.html

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Shiny"

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” never rang true for me.  My actual friends mean much more to me than shiny objects, but I have a lot of shiny objects in a big box I hardly ever open.  I like to take my trinkets out once in a while to play with them, but seldom wear jewelry.  It just doesn’t occur to me because it doesn’t have much practical purpose.  I can understand women living in places where they have to wear all their wealth because they don’t have a wall safe to keep it in, but otherwise, what good is a diamond?  They are vastly devalued as soon as you walk out of the jewelry store.  Money spent on a diamond is money you didn’t spend on a house or your child’s education.  Maybe I’m just too practical for jewelry?  I don’t like high heels very much either.

I do, however, love rhinestones.  Take me to some old lady’s garage sale and let me go through her box of sparklies.  Yay!  Sometime after I have spent between 25 cents and a max of $10, I have something cool to wear for dress up.  Woohoo!  And to top it all off, I always get more compliments for my garage sale finds than for “real” jewelry.  I get to feel good about recycling and giving old ladies pin money, plus I don’t have to contemplate violence in third world diamond countries.  It’s all good.

When Grandma was gone and Grandpa was about 4 or 500 years old and had to be moved from his house, I spent a lot of weekends cleaning out Grandma’s stashes of stuff.  She had a lot of things carefully stored away, and a lot of heavy things had to be packed into cars or carried to the curb.  I’ll admit to some resentments that I was doing so much work when most of my many siblings weren’t helping.  It wasn’t like I was getting to keep very many of the treasures because the will was split between Mom and her brother.  The day one of my sisters came to help, she wanted to look at jewelry.  Well!  Jewelry isn’t heavy, so I’ll admit I wasn’t taking this with the best grace, but Sis likes jewelry, and she got to keep a pile of things from the jewelry box.  I sat on the bed and sulked about life changing around me and no Grandma, and let the jewelry sorting go on without much attention since as I’ve already said, I don’t really care that much about jewelry… until a small velvet box was opened and a blue ring sparkled in the sunshine.  My hand was out before anyone had even registered whether or not they liked it or not.  I can’t even tell you why my hand was out so fast.  I just knew that this ring was mine.  I don’t think Mom really wanted to part with it, but it was the only thing I asked for, so I got it.

Mom said the ring had some history because it had belonged to Grandma’s grandmother, and Grandma fought about it with her sister-in-law, or maybe it was her aunt.  Years later, my uncle married a gemologist who informed me that it’s blue topaz (my birthstone!), ringed in fresh water seed pearls, and set in white and yellow gold.  Of course it really doesn’t make any difference to me if it were glass set in pewter, but I’m happy that it’s my birthstone.  That makes it feel even more right for it to come to me.  I don’t wear it very often.  The wire that’s holding the seed pearls is very brittle and I worry about carelessly sticking my hand into a pocket and causing things to fall apart.  It isn’t super valuable, but it’s invaluable to me.  I like having something that Grandma and her grandma actually wore.

When I saw the word for the week is “shiny”, I started to paint one of my garage sale finds.  I’ll admit I’m headachy today, and just don’t have the attention span to finish this piece, so I just took a picture of it instead.  Let’s call it a work in progress.  I painted the ring a while ago, and headaches are a good enough excuse for art recycling, right?

24 comments:

  1. Great post Linda. Being a work in progress myself I like seeing things a bit incomplete. And I like bright shiny objects. They're so... bright... and shiny! :)

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  2. I'm not much of a jewelry person either but there is something lovely about a beautifully crafted item. When you feel better you'll have something to inspire you.

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  3. Another good one, Linda! I'm sorry about your headache, but it sure looks good, in spite of it.
    Beautiful ring dwg, too!

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  4. I agree with you Patti, beautiful craftsmanship is a wonderful inspiration. Thanks for the comments everyone! And thanks for making me smile Rand!

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  5. Get over that headache soon Linda, pesky things they are. I really love your ring and can quite understand why you wanted it. It's lovely to continue to wear things owned by our long gone loved ones. I have a pair of tiny ruby earrings owned by my Nan and I treasure them. Enjoy wearing your ring...better to be worn even if it breaks than lying in a drawer never seeing the light of day.
    Jane x

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  6. Hi Linda. My wedding ring is from my husband's grandmother. Not so very valuable but like you, I treasure it because it made me feel a part of his family. Here's the link to it on my blog: http://terrilewis1.com/an-engagement-ring/

    BTW, we had to change email, so I've signed up again. I didn't want to miss your tales. If you want to delete my old comcast one, it'll be inactive shortly....

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  7. It's a beautiful ring Terri, and you're lucky to have it. Jane, you should post about your ruby earrings sometime too. Thanks for the comments!

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  8. Linda, don't forget to soak your brain in magnesium!
    Your ring and story are lovely. I'm totally your twin sister in not needing diamonds but money for the education of my sweetie.
    Get better soon,
    Paula

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  9. Thanks Paula, and funny you should say it, but I got more magnesium this weekend. I'm feeling much better.

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  10. Even though I'm a sucker for bling I was delighted to inherit my Grandmas's antique bed over her diamond. Which was probably pretty small anyway. And I always admired one of my
    Aunt's artsy creations out of rhinestone jewelry. She attached dozens of sparkly blinged out pins to velvet and framed it. I might think it looked tacky now but at the time it was fabulous!

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  11. Beautiful ring Linda, topaz is my birthstone too, it always reminds me of twinkling water.

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  12. I love family heirlooms! It's lovely! Your posts always have such meaning.

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  13. Beautiful ring & drawing thereof! I have some of my grandmother's jewelry too, & though I only really wear earrings & my wedding ring, I love looking at her necklaces because they remind me of her.
    Hope your headache is all better by now! I hate headaches. They disrupt artmaking more than any other ailment I've experienced!

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  14. Your first sentence is my last...
    But you are so true about that friends are more valuable than shiny objects.
    Love your illustration.

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  15. so sorry about your headache.. my guess is a quick session of going through someone's box of sparklies will set you straight and make you feel shiny and new.

    Only a few things are cooler than heirlooms from WAY back. Funny, they can cause or cure headaches, depending...

    nice take.


    .

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  16. I like the idea of framing the bling. That's a nice way to look at things without having to wear them all the time or keep them locked up in a box or drawer. I also like the thought of topaz being like twinkling water :) And yes, headaches are a nightmare for art making! I'm feeling much better now. Thanks for the thoughts, and thanks for all the comments!!

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  17. I'm not a fan of bling either. Diamonds are great for cutting machines used in factories and (used to be) for record needles. My husband and I happily sold my engagement ring to help with expenses during one of our moves.

    Love this story about your grandma's grandma's ring! And a headache is a fine excuse to go digging in the archives.

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  18. Thanks Abby, and thanks for the follow!!!

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  19. ooooo … such a beautiful ring! I bet your great, great grandmother looked very elegant wearing it. The mix of metals and intricacies are lovely. I like how you delineated the colors/reflections and the shapes in the main stone within your illo.

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  20. Hope the headache has passed by now- It's almost time for next week's IF challenge! It was only proper for you to be drawn to your GG grandmother's ring. If jewelry could talk, I'm sure it would have some stories to share! As for any of my heirs, they will have to dig deep to find treasures in my jewelry stash- mine are mostly sentimental, but I will be certain to leave art supplies to my favorite artists when the time comes! :o)

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  21. Hoooray! I think I figured out this blogger issue, Linda. Many thanks for your email and sweet words. Have a wonderful rest of the week!

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  22. Thanks everybody! I do feel very fortunate for getting this ring, but I suppose in the end I'm only holding it for the next girl in my family :)

    Congrats on sorting out the Blogger issue Shirley!

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  23. Greetings Linda :) well I just read your newest post and though the post was serious had a bit of a guffaw - I don't think I've seen anyone use the word 'hardon' in a blog post yet. Ooh waah !! Had me cracking up... especially whenI thought your friend's secret was that she was 'laid, then I saw the next line which had the word 'off' in it

    but thne the post is serious stuff and I knew it would not be appropriate to make light, but light of shiny stuff I think I can make .! I'm sorry about your headache. But at least we get to see your beautiful work from the past - see one door shuts another door shuts.. err I mean 'opens' :)

    That ring, when I saw it I thought that it carries a piece of someone in it, like a peice of their memory, or a part of their life (soul) , kinda spooky, kindof nice.

    thanks for visiting me before, I am almost back on board ....

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  24. I'm glad you're almost back Andrew! Glad I could make you laugh, even in a serious post. I think you're right about that ring, but it's a friendly spirit :)

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