I just realised that its father's day next weekend - eeek. And that I haven't got my father anything, so I'll be late, AGAIN. *insert much guilt icon here ;) * In desperation I hit the 'net trying to find something for him. He's not the easiest person to buy for - he is elderly now and can hardly see or get around. He used to love reading but is now confined to hearing-books and he pretty much needs round the clock care. Not easy, huh?
So, in my desperate search I found some brilliant sites after floudering around for a few hours....and most of them came from the wonderful shopping blog http://www.mynewshinyshoes.com/ . I saw this site in its infancy when, in fact, I was featured on it. But haven't looked at it closely since. Well, what a great surprise when I looked further! Amongst the huge amount of sites there, one really appealed to me.... http://www.tesora.com.au/ - the best gadgets/novelty items/gifts for someone who is quirky/has it all/is difficult to buy for. Things like a LED lit compact mirror, leather bound notebooks, wind up racing grannies and fighting grandpas, air powered water rockets, and even a tool kit in PINK! Needless to say, my dad is getting those wind up racing grannies- he'll get a giggle out of them! The other great site I found via mynewshinyshoes was http://www.urbanbaby.com.au/ . Obviously a babywear store but I fell in love with a beaut little bib with animals all over it that is really cute and unusual - and perfect for a new baby gift that I need to buy. I am also keeping in mind the riverstones that can be engraved with whatever you like. There are some in the picture saying 'hope', 'love', 'peace', 'trust', 'truth' and so on which really struck a chord with my mellow side. And finally there was http://www.redballoondays.com.au/ - for something really unusual - like a ride in an ex-military jet! Cool!!!
Anyway, on to the piece for today! (A good match for the necklace the "flavour of summer" just the right, isn't it.....) Now pearls are a perennial favourite with almost everyone. I love their sheen and glow and the flattering light they cast onto your face. Perfection in the production of freshwater pearls from China and the resulting increase in such production, means that pearls are a lot more affordable and to make them even more appealing, they are treated into the most amazing variety of colours. The pearls are treated by either irradiation, dyed or bleached. Most freshwater pearls are treated in someway - the white ones are bleached, the coloured are dyed or irradiated, the natural coloured ones are soft peachy-lilac-apricot tones which are gorgeous too. The treatment is permanent and I wash all my pearls just in case, although from memory only one strand has ever had excess colour come from it.
The difference between freshwater pearls and 'cultured' pearls is that freshwater pearls, as the name implies, come from mussels that grow in freshwater and cultured come from oysters in salt water. The process of culturing however is much the same. Note that the treatment of coloured pearls does not apply to 'cultured' or naturally occurring saltwater pearls eg. black pearls do happen naturally.
The pair of earrings pictured above won't last long. They haven't been seen by anyone yet, so I can enjoy looking at them for a week or so before their first outing! I have made these by selecting a variety of bright, confetti colours in a variety of shapes and sizes. The bottom pearls are top drilled, so hang like briolette drops, and then each pearl above that has been wrapped securely with sterling silver to a delicate sterling silver chain. They will swing deliciously when worn and are such girly-girl colours that many people will be disappointed that they can't also have a pair! They take a surprising amount of time to make actually, so I'm glad I didn't decide to make more than one pair!!