Tuesday, June 7, 2011

To the desert and back

I recently went to visit my Dad in Saudi Arabia and while there we made our annual trip to this carpet store that my family has frequented for many many years in the Afghani souk in old Jeddah. While my parents were busy bartering away for a carpet for Dad's new apartment I was stuffed into a little dusty corner playing with baskets of antique jewelry. And I'm not kidding about the baskets; I was sifting through them, like a gold miner panning for gold. The original objective was to find pieces that I could use in my own jewelry... but that goal quickly fell away as I found some amazing pieces for myself. I usually hesitate on buying stuff like this, but I couldn't resist mate. The whole experience was was like a treasure hunt and I went alittle overboard, but it was fun and will be worth it (although I have a gaping hole in my wallet at the moment).
Iiiiitttty biiiiittttty seed pearls - they're about the size of a grain of rice
Less seedy pearls - these are about the size of pin-heads... or slightly enlarged pin-heads
Less less seedy pearls - pea sized little beauties
I went alittle nuts and got several strands of lapis lazuli. Back in the Renaissance lapis was ground up to make the pigment ultramarine which was the most expensive and rare of all the colors. As a result of this most painters would use ultramarine sparingly though it was often used to color the Virgin's mantle because she the most virtuous and important icon in religious images.
Treasures!!! Several necklaces, pendants and strands of antique silver beads that I will begin to dismantle to incorporate into my own creations... to be continued!
So much epic going on I can't even describe. Handling these pieces was amazing because they are all antiques that have been loved and worn. They leave behind a black ash on your hands... this is the real deal. So excited I may not take them apart.
I hope these next photos justify my purchases... keeping to the bracelet theme, here are some more:

Un - boom boom pow... apparently silver and gold clash but I think the antique feel of the two metals together counter-acts that silly rule. I've never really owned a cuff bracelet, so I'm loving this one. It had a very Mediterranean vibe... yes?
Deux - Again I'm getting a very ancient Greek vibe from these bracelets although they originate from the Middle East.
Trois - A simple cuff to balance out the other two. Debating whether I should wear all three together and just bling out or, maybe try to stay classy and wear one at a time.
Go big or go home, I like them all together. Makes my arm look slightly bionic

Quatre - Wonder woman has nothing on this cuff. Holy moly batman, it is my best purchase in a long time. Don't ask me where I'll sport it, I just can't wait to wave to someone while wearing it, although it is alittle heavy... need to get to the gym I guess.
*Sigh* I'm so happy

And finally I love love love emerald green and couldn't let these little beauties slip out of my grasp. I don't usually wear earrings but have been sporting these for days. However, when I took them out last night my ears bled... so I may  put them away for a few, but beauty is pain. 

How'd I do? I'm pretty happy, but all this antique jewelry has done nothing to squash my shopping itch. I really want to go to Portobello Market and do some serious vintage damage. If only I was a millionaire... Euro millions here I come!

- Life is good

Listening to: 'God's Gonna Cut You Down' - Johnny Cash *Just for you Laurena!
Observations: Just back home from a jewelry sale... photos soon
Craving: Chill time with my girls 


  1. I have just discovered your amazing blog looking for Paul Klee images - nice to meet you.

  2. Love those bracelets, and the earings! Oy... I think you might enjoy one of my posts on Yemenite Jewelry, check it out


    Great blog!