Welcome to Spanish Lullabies

I have a genuine appreciation for all things "vintage". I enjoy Estate Sales, Rummage Sales and attending the Brimfield Antiques Fair. I like to incorporate the feeling of old things to my jewelry designs. That's why my favorite material to work with is brass. It ages beautifully on its own and looks stunning with many different finishes. I also have a few silver items for a crisp, clean new look. Perhaps there is something for everyone here. I hope you enjoy what you see and read.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes...

OK, so this has nothing to do with jewelry, but I just thought it would be fun to post my tomato journey from almost beginning to end. Here it is, September 24...we have a lot of maples in the area that are turning their beautiful, bright oranges and reds!
 ~~One of my favorite trees in South Hadley.~~

 ~~The ornamental gourds are growing beautifully on their vines...a sure sign of Fall!~~

~~It simply amazes me at the sheer variety of produce that grows right from the ground...beautiful!~~

My garden is coming to the end of its production...everything is taking longer to ripen and the plants look like they are ready to rest after such a busy and fruitful growing season. So I spent some time with them and picked the juiciest tomatoes on the vines. I have some plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lemon boy, big boy and beefsteak tomatoes. Quite the variety! I may have even picked a few of the Husky Reds. We have so many of them, that the kids and I shared two full bags with some of our neighbors. One neighbor didn't have much success with her tomatoes this year, so she was thrilled to get some  fresh tomatoes! Well, the bunch I have left are going to be stewed today. This will be my first time doing this. I just looked up some directions on how to go about this process and it seems very simple. So here is how it went...enjoy!

Instead of digging up one huge chunk of our grass to put the garden, we decided on making rows. I really liked the ease of working in the garden...I was able to rest on the nice, patch of grass in between the rows and also was able to reach all of the plants. We made the grass in between the rows as wide as our lawnmower, which worked out well. Working on this garden was one of the most satisfying, relaxing moments since we moved into this house in 2008.

~~Here is what it looks like now that it is close to the end of the season.We have had a very dry summer.~~

~~This is what I started out with for my stewed tomato project.~~
~~All washed and ready to go! I didn't stew the cherry tomatoes...they are too yummy~~almost like candy. We eat them just like that!~~

~~Organized and ready to go into the pot. Such pretty colors.~~

~~The directions said to core them and put them into the pot over medium heat and cover.~~

 ~~This is what they looked like after 15 minutes. I realized that they needed to be upside down to let all the juices run out and help in the stewing process. So...~~

~~...upside down they went! And then...~~

 ~~...they were stewing!! Yippee! Next, I had to take the skins off. The directions said to use a fork, but I found it SO much easier to use a pair of tongs.~~

~~I was actually dreading this part and considered just leaving the skins on, but I tried it and it wasn't bad. Some skins even slipped right off in one whole piece!~~

~~And here is what I ended up with. I can't wait to make some homemade sauce. Everything tastes better fresh from the garden!~~

So, my journey with the tomatoes was a good one. I think I traumatized my dog, though. She LOVES to eat raw vegetables...especially tomatoes. So I thought I would treat her to some of the cores. Well, I called her over and held the core out for her (she usually sits right next to the cutting board, just waiting for the core as a treat) and just as she was going to take it, I snapped a picture for all the see. 

Who knew my dog was self-conscious? She immediately lowered her head and stepped away from the piece of tomato AND me and curled up into a little ball in the corner. :-( I felt so bad! I put the camera down and went over to her with the tomato thinking she might just not like being photographed while eating (what girl does?) and she cowered even more and looked at me as if to say, "Please Mommy, Don't make me eat it!" So I put the scary tomato away and gave her lots of pets and cuddles and apologized for whatever it was that bothered her. We take pictures of her all the time...like this one~~

 ~~She seems like a happy, well-adjusted dog. LOL!!~~

So I am confused as to why she behaved this way. I wonder what she will do the next time she sees the camera...or worse~~THE TOMATO!!!?? 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Born in the Wrong Century

~~This first post is dedicated to old things!~~

I love old things. My Mom and I stopped at a Garden Center in a nearby town and they had beautiful old-looking iron arches, gates, wind chimes and whimsical garden decor. Something about it all just appeals to my eyes, especially when these old items are surrounded by beautiful, new blooms and vines. I dream of being in a secret garden of my own. **sigh**

And, like I said in my welcome to you, I like to incorporate this feeling of old/vintage/antique items into my jewelry design. So I took some pictures of some of my favorite personal jewelry...some I have designed and some that I purchased from Tag Sales or Estate Sales. What do you think?

My Step-Dad is very generous and he loves to shop for gems and beads to see what I might come up with for a jewelry design. He bought some pearls for me and the bracelet is what I came up with...ONE of the things--because there were A LOT of pearls! The focal piece on the bracelet is one that I aged all by myself. It was one of my first attempts at aging brass and I am pretty proud of it. My friend, Jenny (who also shares my love of old things and especially jewelry designing) gave me the toggle bar and ring and made me promise not to use it on anything I would give away...something that I tend to do (I just can't help it)! So, a special bracelet for me is what I used them for and it is one of my favorites. Thank you very much Bob and Jenny, both, for being so kind and generous!


These are all new, but with an old-time feel to them. Again, with more beads from Bob, this time Tiger's Eye in a beautiful shade of gray and black.

The earrings at the top right of this picture cost me a whole $3. After I purchased them I found out they are 14K white gold. I really wouldn't have cared what material they were made out of, I fell in love with the filigree and the twist back posts. I couldn't get the best picture of them...sorry! The simple drop earrings below them started out as a beautiful, but very short lariat style necklace I found at an Estate Sale (purchased for about $1). I kept the delicate brass chain they were originally on, but I hung the faceted glass drops from some new ear-wire that I really loved the style of. So, the mix of old and new is again at the center of that design. The brooch is a curious object. I couldn't pass it up when I saw it. The person I bought it from didn't have the initials "JCS", so I don't know the story behind that. But those initials can be taken out and changed. It's a neat concept.

And finally, here are some pictures of some household items and handyman curiosities that caught my eye.When I saw this rocking chair (that folds flat) at a Tag Sale, I couldn't resist it. The tapestry on the seat and back is in great condition and I can't help imagining who might have rocked in it oh-so-long ago. When I bought it, my children were still very small and I actually used it to rock my daughter to sleep a few times. The hat and hatbox are a recent gift from my ever-generous and thoughtful Mom. She actually purchased it for my daughter to play dress-up with, but after my daughter was wearing it for a short time, the netting started to rip. So I think I will keep it safe from playtime. Grandma's very fancy granddaughter actually loves it and would wear it for real with pretty much any outfit she has, so that is a possibility. So, when I see these things, I immediately think about the original owner and envision them using and/or wearing them....Which is why I was particularly excited to see the original sales receipt for this fancy hat. The mystery Fancy Lady bought it on August 16...I wish I knew the year. She bought it at Steiger's in Springfield, MA, which was in business from 1893 to 1993. Her purchase totaled $8.98, probably not an everyday purchase. There was definitely a special occasion for her to attend, or so I like to imagine.

These hand drills are so intriguing. The handles are wooden and the craftsmanship is solid and durable. I have visions of these becoming towel/robe hangers for the bathroom. I saw that idea on a home improvement show one time and I have never forgotten it. I got them for 50 cents a piece. I wonder how many times these came to the rescue of the original owner?

As I end this post, I am wondering about and imagining lots of possible "followers" and fellow admirers of times-gone-by. How romantic an idea to imagine having been born in a different time period. If I had been, would I dream of times-gone-by still? That's a curious thought. I welcome you back to see future posts and I hope you enjoyed stopping by.