Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Trending Sea Glass Jewelry for Summer 2014

It's always fun to try and spot new jewelry trends.  For so long brass birds, Cabachon Flowers and owls  were popular, however, now I'm noticing lots of new styles coming into the forefront like reclaimed sea glass and recycled coke bottled glass. True Sea Glass, I've read is becoming harder to find in the States.   With a growing environmental awareness, glass no longer routinely ends up in the ocean, so sea glass seekers are increasingly heading to Europe and Asia to find their treasures. I've been enamored with these natural and man made stones, and for all the possibilities they offer in jewelry design.
To meet the the demand, I'm seeing some beautiful man made tumbled glass, in a variety of colors and shapes that wouldn't be available otherwise.  Here's some of the things, that I've come up with, using this faux glass-
I think this medium is perfect to mix with silver and pearls
and sea life charms like this Sterling Silver Starfish
Also, there's some interesting ceramic beads from Greece that compliment the sea glass
like this cool pallet of blues and purples
So many possibilities, like this Spike Style necklace 
And these colorful squares, which remind me of the Juicy Fruit candy sold in movie theaters!
How about this simple aqua and pearl dangle for a sweet Beach Wedding Necklace?
patriotic Jello Squares?
I love the combination of sea glass with Sterling Silver or Rhinestone charms
All this talk of Sea Glass makes me want to head to my favorite beach to search for treasures!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Barrington Heights Book Club celebrates Lady Almina and The Real Downton Abbey with a Tea Party

 What better thing to do on a dreary January day than have a Tea Party?  Our Book Group read Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, the book which the popular PBS Series is based on.  It was written by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, who  is married to the current Earl, and who took over Highclere Castle nine years ago.
I love the beautiful costumes, and decor from the series, so I asked everyone to wear a hat or fascinator and everyone rose to the occasion!   Some even wore vintage dresses!

We enjoyed Tea Sandwiches, Macaroons, Biscuits ( the British word for cookies!), and a Cranberry, feta, and Pecan Fruit Salad, Tea, and Champagne!~ Of course!  
 I cheated and made some of the sandwiches on wheat bread, but stuck to the traditional egg salad, turkey and the most popular, Curried Chicken!  Recipe follows.
 It's so much fun to have a neighborhood again, although we missed lovely Minny, who brought us all together and then had to move back to Ohio! 

My daughter says that our book club is just an excuse to drink wine and eat lovely snacks in the afternoon
 The Ladies really got into the spirit of things, mostly everyone wore hats or fascinators. ( L) Veronica, our playwright in residence and Nadia, a decorator extraordinaire ! 
Some wore very cool Vintage dresses.  Who knew MaryAnn (L), was an actress in a prior life?
 Here we are in all of our glory!  I'm in the back with a purple and black hat that was purchased in Minneapolis for another fun party!
 I like mixing things up on the platters, so it's easier for people to serve themselves
 Nadia looking very sporty! 
 Connie wore her Mom's hat from the 60's!
 Elaine styled it with a cute felted hat with hand beading!
 Yes, we really do discuss the books!

 Carla, borrowed something blue and looked very chic and Lady Maryish!
 MaryAnn said that her hat was over 100 years old!  It was still stylish and beautiful today!
A belle of the ball, right out of Downton!

 Everyone's Favorite sandwich filling. This would be perfect for an appetizer with crackers, as shown, or as a

  Tea Sandwich filling

2 cups, cooked, chopped chicken
4 green onions,  finely chopped
1/4 c Orange Marmalade
1 tsp curry powder*
salt /pepper
1/2 c chopped almonds
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 c flaked coconut
* Just a touch of curry really gives this spread a great flavor!