Saturday, October 11, 2014

Who Says These Are Nautical Earrings?

Here's the story

I posted a new jewelry creation in my online shops a few days ago and it caused a commotion! What really happened was a lot of people liked the item and a few had questions. Heck, how complicated are earrings?

I grew up on the ocean in a boating family where we didn't usually say the words "left" or "right" but used the nautical terms "port" and "starboard." Learning all the correct names for every part of a boat as well as making proper knots was very important. You might think we were preparing to sail a clipper ship! Not exactly, but we did sail. Yes, several sea captains are among my ancestors and their influence is abundant and welcome. Most of my siblings have extensive nautical decor in their homes, some salvaged from old wrecks. Last week I asked the car wash guy to get the mud off my vehicle's "bow" -- er, hood. If there is reincarnation I was a sea captain at least a couple of times.

Back to Red and Green

Channels in and out of harbors are deeper areas and they connect places in the same way highways and roads do on land. Highways use signs, but channels use markers -- most being red or green. To find your way back into a harbor there is the RRR rule. Keep the Red marker on your Right when Returning. With red markers on the right, green is on the left. The reverse is true when leaving a harbor. This little tidbit is essential for safe navigation and steering clear of shallow or rocky places. Many of the markers are buoys and are numbered.

On very special occasions, just a few times a year, my father and siblings would all wear one red sock and one green. Some wore their red for returning and others for departing! A few boating women in the family, too dignified to do the sock thing, wore one red earring and one green. It didn't matter what kind of earring, just a matching pair except for the color. My mom had several sets to choose from for nautical events and parties.

So in remembering all those fun times and the red and green, I made this particular pair of earrings, one is red and the other is green. They are perfect for yacht club parties, boating events, etc. And yes, you can call them holiday or Christmas earrings if you want. You can also buy a pair of red and a pair of green in case your schedule of boating events is light.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Has Autumn Changed or Is It Me?

Growing up in New England,
One Could Never Ignore
the Rotation of the Seasons 

From the bleak bare trees suddenly laden with buds to the happy harbors settling in for a time without boats, growing up in New England I learned to anticipate the cycle of activities and holidays of each time of year. The costumes for halloween, the feeding of birds in snow, Christmas sharing and visiting, the frozen feet sore from ice skating, mom's aromatic cinnamon buns, smells of spring, the scraping, painting and launching of boats, swimming, sailing and fishing. Special things unique to each season comprised my world.

But . . . other than the excited start of a new school year, autumn mostly made me sad. It was an obvious time of brilliant color and also of death. It was as if the season itself were a tutorial about life. Brilliant and then gone. That sad reality was so obvious and innate, even to a child. It was not a time when a child might discuss sadness with a parent or elder. The sadness was so personal as to be beyond vocalization anyway.

Work, study, responsibility, and stress obscured the observation of seasonal changes during many years. Autumn nearly slipped away unnoticed in those times, but its heavy heart never fully departed.

But then . . .
Decades melted away and I relocated away from those demanding and dramatic seasons clicking like a relentless clockwork. The churning cycle of nature is more subtle here, like a slow dance. The weather extremes are sanded down toward a comfortable range. I see I am now part of autumn in all its brilliance! Oh! Wait! Autumn seems to be perfection now. Sadness has melted. Has autumn changed or is it me?

Colors infuse my clothing choices where once they were missing. Color pops from my creative work every day. New ideas for products are many. Autumn in this life is wonderful! I want to stay up all night and create jewelry!

See my jewelry shop LehaneArts

See my chainmaille jewelry shop Lehane