Thursday, October 01, 2009

Souvenirs and "The Grand Tour"

From about the 1880 to 1914 when the world was sucked into the First World War the popular thing for the aristocrats was to set off on The Grand Tour. They would take a year-year&1/2 off and travel around the world to see the sights. The tombs of the Egyptian rulers were being discovered. The middle East was full of mystery and exotic customs. Modern transportation was making many places accessible and even comfortable. Well I think I could argue that one but I suppose it wouldn't take much to be an improvement over Burro travel :) The invention and rapid improvements in the young field of photography was a wonderful way of recording their trips. It seems like any time you stumble on a collection of old photographs there is always qqqquite a few travel pictures. Have you noticed how many use to say we'll "record this for posterity" ???? Have you ever wondered just where this Posterity person is and where they have stash all the photos??? No??? Must just be me then :)

Along with the photo of you breaking your as...bum riding on the back of a cranky camel with bad breath and a nasty habit of spitting, purchasing a locally made piece of jewelry was the souvenir de jour. My friend Jackie P's (remember she is the friend who fell in Mali, Africa and broke her shoulder?) birthday has arrived. Jackie has spent her entire adult life working in foreign countries. Much of it was in the Middle East and South East Asia. I thought it would be fun to make her a couple pairs of earring's that reflected a bit of these cultures. I found these two cabinet cards in my stash so off we went on a whirl wind grand tour.

In Egypt the prerequisite ride out to the pyramids on the before mentioned camels so we could have our photos taken for that Posterity person. Then a trip to the markets and a purchase of the souvenir jewelry. I used a couple of antique-vintage type writer keys. J for Jackie, yes that's not a P (that's because I used the me for me-Pattie) sooooooo we went with the F for Friend and also Francis (Jackie's middle name) I used a bit of vintage lace, a couple of crystal beads. Then stepped out of my comfort zone and made a different style of wires. I think they came out rather spiffy actually :)

As we continued on our trip we wandered a bit in western China. Isn't the little guy just adorable and he so graciously let those two VERY VERY strange VERY VERY white, red hair and blond hair ladies take his picture. It just seem easier then having to listen to the VERY VERY strange sounds coming out of their mouths. ;) For our souvenir jewelry here I used 2 wonderful colored jade beads, two small squares of honest to goodness faux ivory and two little squares of Korean jade. This pair I wire wrapped and made the wires with of copper.

I'm sure you noticed that I didn't bother to age either pair with a bit of patina. Well that's because I have discovered that when it's small pieces of copper, silver, & brass withing 2 weeks they have a lovely natural patina that I can't come close to duplicating. And being someone who is more then happy to share the work with Mother Nature, it's a perfect arrangement :)

I don't know about you guys but I think I've had all the Grand Touring one girl should have this evening. I think it's time to tie up that cranky, bad breath, spitting camel and climb into a tub full of bubbles to soak my aching as...bum :)
Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are p;)


stregata said...

Thanks for taking us on that Grand Tour! Camels don't smell so good, either, but they sure are fast! Love the earrings! And love that you let Mother Nature join you - it's the sea air, I think.
I was hoping you were going to show the necklace with the ribbon intertwining... yes, I just visited Esther, so I know you have it there somewhere (trying to peer over your shoulder...)
Good night and sweet dreams!

Esther said...

thank you for the History lesson.. i love that.. the pictures are wonderfull... and your earrings!!!!!Gorgeous!!
hugs !!!

SummersStudio said...

Spitting camel or not (preferably not) I'd love to take a grand tour. It's always been one of those romantic notions I've held onto. The earings are lovely. I think the quick natural patina must come from the salt in the sea breeze you have.

Cindy said...

Hi Pattie
Love the way you draw us in by sharing the bit of history and background of the Grand Tour...and then relate that to your new earrings! Your friend will be so, so happy! You always seem to make the best gifts!! Thank you for sharing. :-)

Grandma Nina said...

Hi Pattie,
I found you via Rustic Tarts. It's so great that you are living your dream. I feel the same way. I enjoyed your tour and I think your earrings are great.

Bunny Missbrenner said...

Pretty good how you combined earrings and history and camels together....Nice!

Muy interesante!


Coastal Sisters said...

LOVE the earrings....yuckola on the spitting camels!


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